Dr. Beads

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Not With a Bang, But a Sunburn

I dreamed that the world was coming to an end.

Our response was to set out to buy as much sunscreen as we could find.

Monday, March 28, 2005

In my dream, a much younger and cuter version of your truly had just begun a flirtation with a cute guy. While I was visiting his apartment (which was also inhabited by two roomies, one male and one female), he took a phone call that seemed to discomfit him. Putting the handset to his chest, he told me that the call was from a woman he’d gone out with in the past. She wanted him to go with her to a nighttime party at the Bay Hotel.

“Isn’t that in a bad part of town?” I asked. He confirmed that it was. He said, “I don’t really want to go, because…she drinks too much, and then I have to take her home, and I’m not sure I can rely on a taxi for her…” Plainly, he didn’t want to have to take the woman home because he didn’t want to be alone with a drunken and possibly amorous ex. He wanted to be alone with me.

“Tell her you’ll be deeply involved in something else,” I said in a low voice.

[Pause for cinematic lip clinch.]

I arrived for a visit some time later and found his female roomie running toward to the kitchen, screaming, her chest covered with knife wounds. He followed, murderous, his own chest bloodied on the surface.

Next came the informal (!) hearing, at which he wasn’t even in handcuffs. His lawyer tried to prove that his client wasn’t in the apartment at the time of the attack, despite the fact that I’d seen him and the victim moments afterward.

I gave the lawyer the one-finger salute. It felt good.

It puzzles me, the way people expect me to get work done after such an experience.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Now That I Know about This

I wish I didn’t.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Waiting for an Asteroid to Wipe Out the SUVs

I witnessed a low-speed collision in a parking lot today. A woman backed her Chevy Suburban into the side of a passing sports car (perhaps a Mazda Miata) while attempting to leave a parking space. I had heard a car horn honk moments before the collision, but I don’t know the source. However, I do know that the sports car didn’t just appear out of nowhere and race past the backing up behemoth.

I have mixed feelings about who was at fault. On the one hand, as someone who drives a compact, I try to be verrry careful when driving near huge cars whose drivers show any inclination to back up, since size and momentum favor the huge cars, and my back would sue me if I in any way contributed to its being injured again. On the other hand, the driver of an auto as big as a T. rex needs to have very good neck flexibility and excellent sideview mirror technique, and must be careful not to run over the furry little mammals.

A few minutes after the collision, I saw the SUV driver, again trying to back up, give the right of way to cars about 10 feet away. The mammals might evolve into lawyers, after all.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Color My World

Lisa (alias for daughter): Look at that guy with the pink bike!
Dr. Rachel Beads (alias): It’s not pink, it’s…violet.
Lisa: It’s not violet.
Rachel: Fuchsia, then.
Lisa: OK. [pause] A combination of fuchsia and hot pink.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Elementary, My Dear

I dreamed that I was married to Sherlock Holmes. It was pretty cool, despite the age difference.

Shortly after I woke up, I drove past the local Planned Parenthood clinic, made eye contact with the sole protester, and gave her the finger. It felt good.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Don’t come near me

Just don’t.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Just Give Me the Meds at a $5 Co-Pay and No One Gets Hurt

I went to the local chain pharmacy to pick up refills on medications for myself and my spouse. As the pharmacy clerk ran the several pieces of pharmacy paperwork past the UPC code reader, I saw an unexpectedly large number flash by on the cash register readout.

“Wait,” I said. “One of those prices seemed too high.”

She checked, and up came the absurd figure of $71.35.

“That’s not right,” I said. “Which one was that for?”

“Drugtopia,” she stated, giving the brand name for a medication that recently became available in a generic form.

“But that’s available as a generic form now, and I’ve gotten it in here as a generic before,” I informed her.

She looked blanker than a fresh prescription pad.

“This happened before.” I informed her, staying remarkably calm. “Drugtopia is available in generic form, and Caifornia law requires that you fill the prescription with the generic unless the prescriber or the patient requests the brand-name. Can you please put something in my file stating that I want the generic?”

She checked the computer and said, “It’s the same for generic and brand-name. It’s the same co-pay.”

“But I paid $5 before, and $71.35 isn’t a co-pay.”

“It’s the same. That’s what the computer says. The same co-pay.”

“But that clearly isn’t a co-pay amount.”

“I’ll have someone else check.”

“Thank you.” (Closing eyes, massaging face, with fingertips, fantasizing about leaping over the counter.)

Several minutes pass, then: “It’s $5 for the generic. We’ll take care of that now.”

Twenty minutes later, I have my medication, in generic form, for $5. Thinking to save time on this transaction, I proffer a twenty instead of running my credit card through the machine on the counter. After the clerk starts to whimper about having an unsatisfactory supply of change, I dig in my bag again and come up with a $5 bill.

When I get home, I see that the receipt shows a price of $62 or so for drugolol (generic form of Drugtopia), so I still don’t know how the hell the clerk came up with the information that generic would cost the same as brand-name.

(The pharmacy in question also routinely neglects to provide patients with mandated counseling on new or changed prescription medications. Having a clerk ask, “Do you have any questions for the pharmacist”? is not the same as having the clerk say, “The pharmacist will speak briefly with you about this medication now.”)

National healthcare now!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

“M” is for the Memories She Gave Me

The second punchline to my nightmare about my mother coming back to life:

I got on the phone to my sister and asked, in urgent tones, “She’s dead, right? Did I miss something?”

Monday, March 07, 2005

My friend Charlotte (alias) told me that her daughter had asked, "Am I doomed to have the same breakfast every day"?
I suggested that Charlotte introduce her to the refrigerator of doom.

Friday, March 04, 2005

I woke up to what I hoped was not Stevie Nicks on the radio, singing, in full-blast vibrato and the bottom of her tortured vocal range, about "a room" and "some lace." (It couldn’t be just "lace," it had to be "some lace." How charmingly and specifically non-specific.)

It was Nicks, natch. After I recovered from my Nicks-induced nausea, I googled the relevant phrases. What to my startled eyes should appear, but a plethora of sites citing the words as part of the lyric of "Gypsy." I’d forgotten that song years ago, and now it’s my earworm. Damn.

"Gypsy" has got to be one of the most sickeningly self-referential-in-the-third-person songs in the Nicks oeuvre, right up there with "Rhiannon."

It’s hard to pin down just what it is about Stevie Nicks's persona and singing that makes me feel like someone is sticking a be-ringed finger (or maybe an entire be-bangled wrist, or even a multiply be-scarved torso) down my throat. That won’t stop me from making a list, though.

1.) The gauzy clothing
2.) The swirling round and round
3.) The whole "I think I’m a witch/ Now I think I’m a gypsy/Adore and protect me even though I’m pretending to be certifiably insane and anyway it's all aboout me, me, ME" shtick
4.) The overly made-up doe eyes
5.) The voice that doesn’t quite hit the right notes, and beats the listener over the head with vibrato even when the lyric doesn’t call for emotional emphasis
6.) The mere existence of the song "Sit on my face, Stevie Nicks"

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Open a Window and Preheat the Oven!

A recent conversation with my son focused on...farts. (My father would have loved to be there. Too bad he's dead.)

David: (phbbbbt) I killed a giraffe! Who needs an elephant gun!

- - -

A recent conversation with my daughter focused on...meat animals.

Lisa: Most people eat too much meat. I mean, besides the fact that I don't eat meat, and animals are sweet and cute and furry and...

Dr. Beads: They're not sweet unless you marinate them.

Lisa: That's stupid, Mom. That's not funny. Don't say that.

Dr. Beads: (has silent hysterics)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Speaking of Real-Life Graphic Violence…

The “BTK” serial killer has finally been arrested in Wichita for roughly 10 gruesome, sadistic murders he committed mainly 25 – 30 years ago.
Guess what? He’s married with children, active in his Christian church, and a former Cub Scout leader.

He kept mementos of his vicious crimes (victims’ personal belongings and IDs, and even photos of the bodies) for up to 30 years, and then sent them to the media. We may never know whether he did this to taunt the police, to arouse widespread fear after a long dry spell, or to make himself more vulnerable to capture.

I do wonder how he managed to keep those items intact and secret from his family. My kids find objects from my distant past that I don’t even remember keeping. They investigate the items thoroughly.

If I had Polaroid snaps of corpses tucked away in a drawer, not only would my kids find them, they’d turn my sociopathic ass in to the police.

Back Away from the Video Store Shelf and Run Like Hell

In my most recent remembered nightmare, I gave birth to a small, amorphous monster. My spouse prepared some baby formula and fed the thing. After expressing my doubts about the wisdom of ever feeding it again, I went into its room, where it lay writhing and transforming, heaving and growing. It became a partial skeleton (skull and torso, both adult-sized) with very hairy skin on the back.

The thing lifted its skull-head slightly and said, “Mommy, my first skin grew out!”

I blame this dream on a recent trip to the local video store, where one of the “recent arrivals” featured very realistic images of murder (by chainsaw, by knife, by garrote, and even by fire) on the damned box, which anyone above about 3 feet in height could grab.

Are movies about serial killers the new pornography? Why would anyone want to see a movie about made-up (but gory) graphic violence, especially when there’s so much real-life graphic violence?