Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Did I Really Just Read That?

From today's New York Times:

"After complaints from residents, Santa Monica officers are breaking up unauthorized exercising on traffic medians".

The full article here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Two More Nurse Novels from the Vestibule

I have found two more "nurse" novels in the vestibule and, amazingly, they were all written by different people. The first is "an Arlene Hale Nurse Romance," Community Nurse:

I love the expressions in the cover art:

The back cover gives a nice synopsis, and I love that last line:

Maybe I'm transfixed by this, because it was published the year I was born, 1967?

How about this gem from Helene Chambers Schellenberg:

Again, the cover art is what draws me in...look at these expressions:

And, oh, their off-duty hours!

Is it any wonder that women were (and often still are) under the impression that they couldn't have both career and marriage? This one is from 1968.

Plus, here's a whole list of nurse books. I wonder how many are left, undiscovered, in the vestibule?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Random Poem of the Day

I'm taking a quick breather at the Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.

I'm going to walk over to the poetry section and pick a book and find a poem to share.

Here we go....

Hmmm. This being the Business Library, there are only 2 titles in all of poetry (Call #811).

I pick Sam Hamill and skip August Kleinzahler. I find a short one, from page 96 in Destination Zero:

Sheep to Slaughter

Like a sacred cow on the Ganges,
I feel the years turn to meat and metaphysics.
I cannot understand. I look out at the world
and everything I see slides by
in a haze, or I go down on my knees
for prayer or sleep and shadows rise up
like icons. You, too,
chew on the same old questions -
our classical cud and useless benedictions.
Tender and un accountable.
The untouchable touches us.
What is beautiful alters.

Time Capsule: Off to Israel!

I threw this up on Facebook, but figured I'd share here too. From the June 1983 issue of Hawaii Jewish News:

From the front page, here's a detail from the photo:

That's a 15-year old me. The first and last time a Judas Priest Screaming for Vengeance
concert shirt appeared in The Hawaii Jewish News.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vestibule Literature

My landlord has some furniture in the vestibule of our building. One piece is filled with books. I'll look at books anywhere. Once in a while I find a beauty:

You can actually see more of Peggy O'More's "Nurse" titles here. Apparently, she was a prolific and top-selling profferer of nurse tales.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BillyBlog Plays 52-Card Pickup (Moo)

I found these cards, from two separate, yet related, decks, on November 1st near the corner of Ft. Hamilton Parkway and 86th Street in Brooklyn. I'm not sure what the letters on the backs of the card mean. Could they be Greek (Mu, Omicron, Omicron)? Or Russian? I don't know. I guess it'll just have to remain a moostery.

The following cards have been found previously:

The King of Spades (October 26, 2008)

The Ace of Spades (September 22, 2008)

The Jack of Diamonds (September 18, 2008)

The Six of Hearts, Queen of Hearts, and Eight of Clubs (August 10, 2008)

The Six of Clubs (July 21, 2008)

The Seven of Hearts and The King of Diamonds (April 24, 2008)

The Three of Clubs (March 29, 2008)

The King of Hearts
and the Three of Spades.

(February 28 and March 25, 2008)

The Ace of Diamonds
(July 7, 2008)

The Jack of Hearts and Five of Hearts
(July 19, 2008)

View the whole set here.

And here's the scorecard with the latest additions:

Hearts: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, Ace
Diamonds: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, Ace
Clubs: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, Ace
Spades: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, Ace

Monday, November 17, 2008

Get Well Beans

Arriving in the mail today to "perk" me up:

Courtesy of my mom on the Big Island, who just couldn't resist the logo:

Plus. coffee is welcome and appreciated in our home any day of the year!

You can check out their Kona coffee here

Inguinal Hernia Repair

Well, you may see a flurry of small blogposts in the days to come as I recuperate from inguinal hernia repair surgery last Friday at Maimonides Medical Center. I am feeling just dandy and it went swimmingly, especially since I had the same surgery on the right side a few years back and knew what to expect.

Like last time, I didn't even need to fill my pain prescription, and have made do with over-the-counter ibuprofen. Thanks to my surgeon, Dr. Shahabuddin Ahmad, for doing such a nice job.

Although I didn't live-blog the procedure (they knocked me out, thank goodness), I feel obligated, for the curious readers, to send you here, one of countless YouTube links that shows, in graphic detail, a hernia repair operation. Really, don't watch if you've recently ingested food. It's icky.

I don't have a lot of insight to share, other than some advice to potential hernia operation candidates. Of course, I'm no expert, but two very different experiences in the past few years give me semi-expert status. And, based on the history on my maternal grandfather's side of the family, this may very well not be my last foray into hernia repair.

Pointer 1: If you live in a climate that has actual seasons, avoid scheduling your hernia repair (if possible) between the months of December through March. If it's cold outside, it's psychologically cold inside.

Pointer 2: When they're asking you, as they prep you for the procedure, if you'd like to use the bathroom before you go into the operating room, politely decline. Worse thing that can happen is you urinate in the o.r., and if you're asleep, you won't even know you did it. You'll see why later.

Pointer 3: Remember to ask for tea.

When you're in the recovery area, you're stuck there until you urinate for them. On my first trip, the January weather, the chill in the room, and the performance anxiety kept me there for hours until I was able to satisfactorily micturate. I remember this other patient coming in, and leaving in ten minutes. I had been drinking water and apple juice. He asked for tea. I remembered this and after two cups of tea (plus it combats any possible chill), I was peeing like a spider monkey at the zoo.

I arrived at Maimo (as it is affectionately called) at 7:00 AM, and was home by 1:00 PM. Even my beloved bride would praise the more positive experience that this surgical venture was, compared to my previous excursion.

That's it for me now.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

And Another Train of Thought: Samuel Eliot Morison

First spotted on the Q train (November 7, 2008):

"America was discovered accidentally by a great seaman who was looking for something else; when discovered it was not wanted; and most of the exploration for the next fifty years was done in the hope of getting through or around it. America was named after a man who discovered no part of the New World. History is like that, very chancy."

Samuel Eliot Morrison (1887-1976) The Oxford History of the American People (1965), Ch. 2 "The European Discovery of America."

Saturday, November 08, 2008

New Train of Thought: Isaac Newton

First spotted on the R train....

"I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."

--Isaac Newton (1642-1727), Memories of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton (1855), ed. David Brewer

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A hodgepodge of stuff

I'm on an R train to work.

This is what's going on.

One of the free a.m. papers, Metro, boasts the headline "Yes They Did".

The BilliPod is playing "Subterraneans," live Nine Inch Nails, with David Bowie, from a gig in St. Louis on October 11, 1995.

I am in Bloglimbo, with tattoos vanishing from the landscape. Next in my ear buds is "Kiss" by Prince, from the album Parade.

A woman standing near me is reading a hardcover by Alice Sebold (can't make out the title).

At 59th Street, there's no N train, so I remain seated on the R. The N pulls in, the guy next to me jumps up, and the Sebold reader sits, revealing she is reading The Lovely Bones.

Prince gives way to "Tell Him" by The Exciters, from the soundtrack of The Big Chill.

Another headline: "A Tough Time to be a Young Republican". I think, "or an old one, too."

Another woman sitting next to me is reading a book by Gwyn Hyman Rubio ("Yes ma'am," he said, rubbing his square chest...). The title is Icy Sparks.

Don Henley is singing "The Boys of Summer" from Building the Perfect Beast.

The train is packed and I know Melanie had problems commuting in this morning, with someone pulling the emergency brake on the train ahead of her in the tunnel. I wonder if I am experiencing the effects of that an hour or two later. Thursdays I go in late as I walk Shayna to school.

Interesting "It Beats 4 U" by the wonderful My Morning Jacket. I switch at 36th Street and get on a D train. I'm standing but I was astute enough to get in at the last car where I am not crushed.

A woman here is reading a small green bible (Hebrews 3:4).

The BilliPod is playing "Bad Night" by Public Image Ltd.

A guy has a baseball cap that says "Rushin' River Outfitters Wilderness Wear".

A blind man drinks coffee that smells good. It smells like Denny's.

I don't do this often, but I entertain myself (and hopefully my readers) when I do.

Interesting. Rare that the earbuds spew country music, but here's Garth Brooks singing "Friends in Low Places".

At Pacific Street, we fill up a little more. I am now standing near someone reading a foreign language paper. I am trying to decide if it's Russian, Greek, or Polish, and I am leaning toward Polish. Strike that, Russian. The fine print that said "Russian Daily" tipped me off.

Ah, now a flashback to Ozzfest 2007: "S.O.M" by a killer band called Static-X.

The guy behind me is reading The New Yorker. I miss that magazine, which I read religiously for a dozen years or so. I just ran out of time to read it.

The BilliPod is making up for the Garth Brooks by cleansing itself with metal, another Static X song called "Pieces". Rare to get back-to-back songs from the same artist on a 12,000+ track shuffle.

I'm on the Manhattan Bridge now.

Metallica covering The Ramones' "53rd and 3rd" from the We're a Happy Family tribute album.

Getting on the D means I will be doing a little banking this morning before reporting to work.

Leaving Grand Street, Mark Mothersbaugh's "Hardest Geometry Problem in the World" from the Rushmore soundtrack.

Straight into "Good Day Sunshine" by The Beatles. Perfect song for a misty, overcast, autumn day.

Leaving Broadway-Lafayette. Will be getting off next at West 4th Street and switching for an 8th Ave train.

Now, "Let it Bleed" by The Rolling Stones.

At West 4th I wait less than a minute for an A train. I actually snag a seat next to a young woman wearing an Obama "Hope" pin. People elsewhere in the country would not believe how many Obama pins we see here on a daily basis.

And she's reading his book "Dreams from My Father".

"Love Me Two Times" by The Doors.

Getting off next stop at 34th Street. "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" by Dr. Dre carries me out of the subway.

Standing in line at HSBC, we go from Dre to Twin Peaks - Angelo Badalamenti's "Dance of the Dream Man (Instrumental)".

It's 8:58 (I started at 8:04) and since it is not raining, I won't cut through Penn Station, but walk around it, up 33rd Street to 7th Ave. The top of the Empire State Building is shrouded in clouds.

"In Trance" is playing. Very early Scorpions. Klaus Meine sounds like a woman.

The New York Post's headline is "BAMELOT".

Front Page

I am in the building, just a few minutes late, but hitting the bank shaved 15 minutes off of my lunch break.

Soundtrack for entering the office: Lucinda Williams' cover of the blues staple "Disgusted". The perfect song for starting work.

Thanks for accompanying me on my commute.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Did

I generally avoid political discussion here, not because I am apathetic (far from it), but because I do not wish to alienate readers who may share different political beliefs.

But, as those who know me may expect, I'm giddy with excitement this morning as I can see the end of the road for the Bush Administration, and the bright, shining path welcoming beacon of the Obama presidency. Not mentioning my happiness here on BillyBlog would be a grave omission.

The last two elections were disheartening and discouraging to me, but they occurred prior to my becoming a blogger, so I never used this forum to spout, grouse, vent, or gloat.

The urge to gloat is tremendous, but I shall resist.

I am happy for the future of this country, as well as for the future of my daughters, who I feel have just gained a reprieve on what I feel had become a looming threat to the rights they will possess as young women coming of age in America.

I will leave you with a link to the blog of my friend Jeff Chang, here.