Monthly Archives: December 2007

On the Cover of the Daily Kos

(With apologies to Shel Silverstein and Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, at the very least. I mean, I may have a lot of apologizing to do for this, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.)

(Meant to be sung and spoken to the tune of “Cover of the Rolling Stone”)

(And, for those who wouldn’t know, Daily Kos is a very popular political blog.)

On the Cover of the Daily Kos

(Spoken: Hey Markos! Hey SusanG! Tell ‘em who we are …

Well, we’re big blog writers, we’re the real outsiders
And we’re cool and hip and slick
We blog about Obama and we blog about Bush
Though we make just pennies a click.
We’re all kinds of nerds, all in love with our words
But the love that we crave the most
Is the love that’s inside me
When I get my diary
On the cover of the Daily Kos
Continue reading

A. Cat on Christmas

A. Cat passed on a couple of years ago. He was big and white and unruly and benignly despotic. I generally avoid euphemisms such as “passed on,” but I do not have a better phrase for what happened with him; for he simply disappeared, to my consternation and sorrow. But I occasionally saw him thereafter. The first time, he was big as life — I was making coffee and he came trotting out of the bedroom and loped through my kitchenette toward the sliding glass doors that led to the deck, steps and Long Island Sound … and he vanished into the near-blinding morning sun. It was so real that I followed him and, once again, looked everywhere for a cat who was no longer there.

Since then, I have mostly caught him on the edge of my peripheral vision, every once in a while. And I have heard him. He was a bit of a muse and I think that he knew that, and he will forever have a voice and a place in my head, no matter what other characters, real or imagined, walk about in there.

He helped me loads with my first short magazine piece after I returned to writing for print in 2004, enough so that I gave him the byline, which was rather less than he deserved if you look at it rationally, from his point of view. As though yours or mine mattered …

Cats know a thing or two about magic, and A. Cat knew a thing or two more than most cats. There is no doubt in my mind but that he will find his way back into print. I have a folder with his name on it and a dozen pieces in it, ranging from snippets and one liners to completed essays to the first chapter of what could be a somewhat lengthy work of fantasy fiction, which I don’t really write except when A. Cat is too much with me.

Enough foreplay, he’d say. Get on with it. And so … regarding Christmas: Continue reading

But where’s Yukon Cornelius?

I was driving home on Florence Road in Northampton last night behind someone who suddenly swerved to the side ofBut where’s Yukon Cornelius? the road and stopped. As I slowly went by, I saw the “what-for.” Check out the “Bumble” snow sculpture by Dave Rothstein … at least that’s the credit in the Daily Hampshire Gazette today. But the Gazette is one of those papers that doesn’t put it all out there, online, so you can’t see the picture they took of the “Bumble” with Dave; you’ll have to settle for the one I took this afternoon. (Click on the little photo to make it big, you know you want to.)

If you aren’t getting the “Bumble” reference,you’ve been living under a rock during the holiday season for your whole life. Dave’s creation is the spitting image of the Abominable Snowman from the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer TV special, which has been showing since 1964 and is the No. 3 answer on “Family Feud” to the question, “What do you associate with the Christmas season?” (Baby Jesus did not make the list, but that is a story for another time.)

Anyway, I think Dave should make a Yukon Cornelius and a Hermie the sorta gay elf dentist, too. But I’ll take what I’ve got. Thanks Dave, you’re a pal.

I’m not a doctor …

… but now, I apparently play one on television in Florida and on the Internet, for a few seconds anyway. ;-) Not Dr. Arnold Berlin …

This was on WFTV Channel 9 in Florida, apparently edited from the same original video as used for the Channel 14 piece in the previous post. My apologies to Dr. Arnold Berlin, but it really wasn’t my fault.

Click on the image, you’ll see what I mean. I took it directly from the video. The full news clip is here.

I’ll probably follow up on this tomorrow or Monday — maybe there’s a picture of Dr. Berlin I can add here — but I’m past due to pick up the pizza for dinner and we’re expecting yet another nor’easter…

(Update, Dec. 17) We’re somewhat shoveled out … that was yesterday’s signature accomplishment. Here in New England, a foot of snow should be considered commonplace. But we are somehow still struck by the wonder of it, hundreds of years after the Pilgrims were writing home about how hard a Massachusetts winter can be.

Anyway, I can’t find a photo that is, with certainty, of Arnold Berlin, MD, but I am amusedly honored by our brief moment of confused identity and perhaps, someday, I’ll get to see him perform — surgically or musically!

First Post …

At some point, if you’re going to blog, you just have to blog. I easily could have agonized over the “First Post” here at for another day, or two, or even a week, but a television station in North Carolina unintentionally forced my hand. I figure, if I don’t post something about me being on television … well, then, I’m just too blasé to have a blog, especially one with my own name as a domain. So here I am, doing sound bytes … this is a 1:26 minute news item, you’ll see and hear me about halfway through.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

The original link, with story, is from News 14 Carolina; reported and produced by Ivanhoe Newswire. I recall being taped for the piece last summer and I am pretty sure there is a longer version available, which I’ll try to obtain. Ivanhoe syndicates news content to TV stations. I thank Ivanhoe and News 14 for the link to “Beauty from Afar” … I think they did a good job in presenting the piece. Medical Tourism is a tough topic to do on TV news, — it’s such a tight format, such a big topic.

IMNSHO, anyway. Obviously, I thought it was worth a couple of hundred pages of writing.


There. That was hardly worth agonizing over. I’m sure I’ll explain more as time goes on. I will be posting here regularly about medical tourism and travel, since it is a subject about which I am considered somewhat expert. (That’s what happens when you write a book about something, by the way …) But I don’t feel at all obligated to write only about that.

Now excuse me while I tidy up around here. The TV thing interrupted my procrastinations …