What I Threw Out Today: Notes from Veterinary School, a Photocopy of an Article, and an Italian Journal on Equine Medicine


I don’t know if my children will ever know what it was like to have to keep one’s information in hard copy. There were all those articles that one Ippologiaxeroxed just to have them handy. The walls of offices were filled with years of periodicals and journals, all because we were afraid that we’d have to refer to them.

Of course, I barely got around to reading a tenth of the stuff I ever copied, and in the day of the internet, they are just not worth keeping around. The information in these old things is still  probably good, for the most part, but it’s also been 15 years since I’ve treated a horse. IMG_1777

I liked keeping the Ippologia issue for sentimental reasons. I got it in Cremona, Italy (home of Stradivarius) when I was taking a course in veterinary acupuncture. I had a great time. The connections I made there lasted a while, but then they dissolved.

It happens. Radiology Notes II

 

 

 

 

What I Threw Out Today: The Organic Chemistry Textbook


The process continues.

I try to think of why I hang on to things.  My mind strains to think under what conditions I would actually need an organic chemistry textbook again. To be totally honest, I’m not sure why I needed to study organic chemistry in the first place. As a requirement for graduate school in chemistry, pharmacology, biochemistry, etc, it makes sense. To be a doctor? Most of us don’t remember anything about organic, except that we had to take it and a lot of people really hated it. ochem.jpg

I didn’t hate organic. I thought it was sort of interesting. I think I kept the book because 1) I thought that I might need it, though who knows for what, and 2) I hated the idea that after spending so much time studying something, it would all just go away. Could I get 5% right on those tests I took all those years ago? Why on earth did I spend all that time and treasure learning something the veterinary school admissions committee must have known I wouldn’t need and that I would almost certainly forget?

Lastly, I wonder whether somewhere this book wouldn’t be of use to somebody somewhere, in a place where there aren’t old textbooks piling up in landfills or being carted off to get recycled?

What I Threw Out Today, part IV


Once upon a time, Abercrombie and Fitch was a fancy-schmancy sporting goods store. Y’know, with that Adirondack camp, WASPy type feel to it . IMG_1775

That company folded in 1977.

When I was in 5th grade, my dad took me on a father-son fishing trip along with another couple of dads and their sons.  abercrombie2

The trips were great, though. I loved the woods, the lakes, and being away with my dad. Is that why that shirt is still among my things? Odd thing is that it is almost assuredly a hand-me-down. I never went shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch. Also, having something from A&F was always a bit self-conscious, at least to me, and even at that age: those things were part of culture to which I didn’t belong.

For those of us who knew it when, it seemed so strange to see the name picked up by a store marketed to teens. Why that name? Clearly, it no longer had any real associations to anything. I cant stand the idea of paying to wear someone’s advertising, so I wouldn’t wear the stuff. But I’m not 16.

aberfitch

(I’m getting rid of this shirt, but it’s going into the giveaway box.Some lucky soul may find it at Savers or wherever.)

 

 

What I Threw Out Today


The Car Stereo

Car Stereo
Car Stereo
See also What I Threw Out 2 Days Ago

This was the car stereo on my 1997 Dodge Ram 2500. It played cassettes. I listened to a lot of books on tape. You can tell a man of a certain age: he says “books on tape, ” rather than “audiobooks.”

I sold the truck nearly ten years ago. I don’t think that the truck or cassette tapes are coming back. But who knows? Vinyl is back, against all odds.

 

The Birthday Party, part I


from www.shutterstock.com
from http://www.shutterstock.com

Ever since my dog got hit by a car the day before my 20th birthday, the occasion has seemed less than auspicious. After all, if  the magic of your birthday can’t keep your dog from getting hit, how much power does it really have?

When I was a kid, of course, birthdays were magic. By themselves, they turned a day no different on the calendar from any other into the most special day of the year.Did we have to do anything special in those days, other than cover a cake with candles, sing a song, and open up cards from every relative I knew?  I remember that one year we had all my party at the Frontier Inn (of blessed memory), a cowboy-themed hamburger joint, but mostly I remember parties in the house. I remember a lot of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, dropping clothespins into milk  bottles (clothespins! milk bottles!), duck-duck-goose, red rover if we could play outside, and then the same games at other kids’ houses. What I don’t remember is coming back from those parties thinking that they were lame, or that the goody bags weren’t good enough, or that the experience wasn’t novel enough. Sure, in time party anxiety crept in–were other people having a good time, was the party a success, but not until late junior high.

At least that’s how I remember it.

My last birthday party, my 50th, was horrid. My best and oldest friend had just died, I wasn’t happy about turning 50, I didn’t like where I was in life, and I sure as hell made it fucking well clear that I DID NOT WANT A FUCKING BIRTHDAY PARTY. But that’s another story.

This story is about my daughter’s forthcoming party, and how difficult it is to plan the damn thing. As a parent, I want her birthdays at this age to still retain that aforementioned magic but it’s getting harder.

On top of it all, there’s even a more than reasonable chance that I won’t have a home to throw the birthday party in.

Packing, part 3: Loss of Youth, Amadeus, and Tim Curry


scooter titleNot my loss of youth, which is of no consequence. Promise. But 31 years later the title to my motor scooter shows up while I’m packing things up, and I’m thinking

 

“Great, the title to my scooter had my favorite president’s picture on it.” I had fun on that scooter, the best thing being cops wouldn’t ticket it on Chicago streets, or sidewalks, more likely. At least not in those days. And my girlfriend looked really funny with the helmet on. She had kind of a round face, so with the helmet,  her face and head combined to form a sphere with nose, lips and eyes. A really cute sphere. Then we broke up, and this quasi-Amazonian blonde would ride on the back but we were just friends. That was fun, too.

But as I said, it is of no consequence.

 

 

 

So, not thinking about that.

This is what I am thinking about. This play was my introduction to Sir Ian McKellen, though he wasn’t a Sir then. Now he is an elder statesman of sorts, but back then he was just a great (fairly) young actor. I wonder what he would have said if future Ian came to him and said: “You will become most well-known for playing the comic book character, Magneto.”

 

Tim Curry was in the production, but I already knew him from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I thought he would become the great actor of our generation. This was April 1981. I was wrong,  of course. Raiders of the Lost Ark came out that year, too, but voice for voice, Ford can’t hold a candle to Curry. (Or sing “Sloe Gin.” Or rock lingerie and high heels.)

 

 

 

Amadeus

 

 

McKellen as Salieri
McKellen as Salieri
Yeah, that is Jane Seymour next to Curry, playing the role of his wife. This was before she started making jewelry that looked butts.
Yeah, that is Jane Seymour next to Curry, playing the role of his wife. This was before she started making jewelry that loks like butts.

 

I have searched high and low for a video of this performance. The screenplay was very different from the script for stage. If anyone knows of one, lemme know.

In the meantime, anyone want a playbill? I can’t keep carrying this stuff around with me.

 

 

 

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