Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Accumulation of Misery

I was at the nurses' desk giving report. It was evening change of shift and I was looking forward to going home, popping open a case of shells, and pumping lead into schoolbuses. No, not really. It had actually been a good day. I was just thinking that would get your attention. As luck would have it, the real story is much more interesting.

The secretary gave me that look and handed me the phone, saying "shrimpie, I think you had better take this."

"Hi," I said, "This is shrimpie, I'm one of the nurses." I never declare that I'm a charge nurse or anything, because who cares? I certainly don't.

"Hi. I, uh, just took a lot of pills. I think my bipolar schizophrenia has been acting up on me, and I'm depressed about the economy. I can't get work. I think I might want to just kill myself," said a young woman.

"I'm glad you called," I said.

The secretary jotted down the caller's number and handed it to me. Not from here in Phoenix. Deep out among the far reaches of fuck-all Lower Foreclosurestan.

We chatted quite a bit. After a while the young lady assured me that she would seek help. I let the house manager know that I'd gotten the call. I have no idea how that happened. Our little telemetry unit is no place to direct such a call.

The nurse manager suggested that we notify Phoenix police, but instead the oncoming charge nurse googled up the number of the law enforcement agency that works out that way. I spoke to a very nice lady there who said that they would send a car over to the address, which I had gotten after I called back the suicidal young woman. She told me her name too, and that the pills were diet pills. Those made her feel "a little shaky." But that was all.

During the second call, the one I initiated, I also spoke to the woman's brother who told me he would take her to a local hospital which happened to be a sister facility to ours. Some of my old colleagues work there.

I hope they were able to help.

This article on rising suicide rates reprises this salient excerpt:

“The law ... rivets the laborer to capital more firmly than the wedges of Vulcan did Prometheus to the rock. It establishes an accumulation of misery, corresponding with accumulation of capital. Accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality [and] mental degradation at the opposite pole, i.e., on the side of the class that produces its own product in the form of capital.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Muster of Storks

If I ever go violently crazy (don't worry, I won't,) it will be because of the color beige. It drives me out of my mind. I hate it.

Cats in the wild do not "meow." They only do this in the presence of people.

There are materials that are very dense. This is fascinating.

The class was split about fifty-fifty. Half agreed with the professor that it would be good if you could just take a hypothetical pill that would give you all the benefits of sleep but without requiring that you take the time out of your life to do so. The other part of the class preferred to just sleep the good old-fashioned way.

Today is the tenth anniversary of the Columbine tragedy. I bought a copy of the new book about it. It's a bit creepy. I was shopping with my kid, who got the new Warriors of the Wild book that was just released. I saw the Columbine book and after I explained to them what it was about, they insisted that I buy it because they want to read it too someday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

In Nomine

Pride in the name of love.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

CSI Phoenix

Crime scene.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

PorkPie in a Pink Room

Easter Sunday Brunch, Conversation Overheard


"Oh, that's their new dog?"

"Yup. Cutie, eh?"

"He's such a darling! Where did they get him?"

"From Senator Kennedy. He has some and he wanted Sasha and Malia to have one, too."

"I thought they were going to get a rescue dog?"

"I guess not. And when Ted Kennedy gives you a dog, you don't say 'no' unless you want to end up at the bottom of a tidal basin somewhere."

"Still, he's a sweet-looking little dog."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Daily Prayers

6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy ® C6/H12/O6 + 6O2

The speed of light is about 299 792 458 meters per second.

C6/H12/O6 + 6O2 ® 6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Hello Pork Pie Cat

PorkPie wants to know if you are hip to Mingus.

Friday, April 03, 2009

A Murmuration of Starlings

Wealth is created by labor and innovation. Great wealth is created by corruption.

I was purchasing a book, Lucrezia Borgia by Sarah Bradford. There was something about the cashier's voice, and I forthrightly (perhaps rudely) asked him "Are you gay?"

His expression fell flat, and he said, Yes... why do you ask?"

"It must be a lot of fun being gay," I said. Then he smiled.

The earth has a molten core. This makes it difficult for me to relax.

Salt from a salt pig, pepper from a mill.

Events unfold at different speeds, like music spun out at various tempos. Yet all minutes are the same.

The morphine comes in its own glass injectable. We never have any carpujects, so we take an empty sterile syringe out of its wrapper, put on a sterile needle, then we draw up the morphine. We take it to the patient, use a prepared normal-saline-loaded syringe to flush the intravenous line, then remove the needle from the morphine syringe to just Luer-lock the medication syringe onto the line to inject the drug. Then we get another prepared saline syringe to flush after administration. We use a few alcohol swabs to clean the Luer-lock ports before screwing on the syringes. It's a lot of trash just to give one simple dose of medicine.