Friday, March 18, 2011

New Story Published, and My St. Patrick's Day

Let's start with some good news. A new story of mine, "Magna Mater", has been published in Uninvited Press's "Open Magazine", issue 1. This is the fourth story to be published in the archetype series; others are still pending responses. Here is the complete short list of what's available:

Magna Mater



Senex is not available anymore--after some consideration, I decided not to ask Writing Raw to repost it. I am hoping to finish the series and publish them all in an anthology next year.

Moving on to other adventures...

I've never understood St. Patrick's Day. It's supposed to be an Irish celebration, even though St. Patrick was not Irish. In school I'd learned he was from Italy, but a friend of mine corrected me, showing that more recent research suggests he was Welsh, and was captured and brought to Rome before coming to Ireland. Still, Welsh is not Irish. You might get past that, saying that St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, which is why he's celebrated. Why he is celebrated by reinforcing every negative Irish stereotype is beyond me. I like a good Guinness as much as the next person, but really, I can drink that anytime. And probably not in Ireland; I hear that they water it down there. Which is why everyone there drinks Budweiser. A sign of truly desperate times.

Anyway, I started my St. Patrick's Day the way anyone should, with a mammogram and breast ultrasound. I had an early appointment, and I sat in a very nice waiting room listening to a radio station that seemed to consist entirely of castrated male singers. Either castrated or total wusses--sometimes it's hard to distinguish when it comes to music. In any event, this is not my music of choice, so I was actually happy when they brought me to the mammogram room. You know that music is bad when you prefer getting your boobs squished to having to listen to it.

In a previous blog posting, I described getting a mammogram as "having your boob slammed between two metal plates". I stand corrected on this--you get your boob slammed between two PLASTIC plates. Even better is when they take nipple shots; they use a smaller plate, and as the technician said, "just to warn you, the smaller the plate, the nastier it is, so brace yourself". To her credit, she never took more than 10 seconds to take a picture and release the plates. I asked her how flat-chested women fared during the process. She said, "Oh, it's much worse; you're practically scraping their rib cage." She also noted that women who see her in the grocery store tend to run the other way. As if they expect her to give them a mammogram RIGHT THERE in the cereal aisle.

The mammogram showed nothing, but the ultrasound revealed a small tumor, likely a fibrous adenoma, which is benign. I have to meet with a surgeon, but it's likely I'll just have them take the whole thing out rather than do a needle biopsy. Idle tumors are the devil's workshop. Or, something like that. Anyway, I don't want any cells living in my body that are not natural born citizens. Sometimes they start uprisings.

When I mentioned my results to my friends, a lot of people were worried. I've had a tumor like this before, and it's really not a big deal. However, this is the second tumor that will have to be extracted from my left boob. I don't believe in a personal god, but if there happens to be one, I want a refund on that boob, as it's obviously defective.

Speaking of defective, my car is acting up again. I had a problem over the weekend where the whole car would start to shudder, first when braking, then it would happen during acceleration as well. The mechanic looked at it, and naturally found nothing. A tune-up made it run well for exactly 2 days, and then it started the same thing that afternoon. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, as my car has 255,000 miles on it. But I have this ominous feeling that I will have to get another car, something I really can't afford. Everything I've researched on my problem suggests a variety of possible problems (water in the tank, fuel injection problems, spark plugs, distributor cap, etc.), but usually the problem isn't fixed even after fixing those things, and not even with a new transmission. I unfortunately need a reliable car for all of my travels, so I'm going to have to find a way to get another one in the not too distant future.

I did stop at the local Irish pub for lunch, and was just about ready for that Guinness after such a fun-filled day. I didn't go there because it was St. Patrick's Day; I went because it was close and I was craving their food (which is excellent). I went fairly early to avoid crowds, but was still surprised to see about 50 people in a restaurant that normally has maybe 5 people at lunchtime. The owner popped in and asked me why I didn't order corned beef and cabbage. I told her that 1. I hate cabbage even more than I hate Don Henley, and 2. corned beef and cabbage are not Irish. Seriously. Go to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day, and try to find corned beef and cabbage in a restaurant. I assure you that you won't. They'll probably be eating lambburgers and drinking Budweiser, a gastronic ritual that I'd prefer to avoid.

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