Archive for June, 2023

SUMC moments: the University Nocturnist

June 26, 2023

An official title on a door in the Stanford University Medical Center, noted as I was being wheeled (in the middle of the night) to a test on one of my recent stays at SUMC. No Chopin is involved in this position.

I knew about hospitalists. From NOAD:

noun hospitalist: a dedicated in-patient physician who works exclusively in a hospital.

But nocturnists are even more specialized. From Wikipedia:

A nocturnist is a hospital-based physician [a hospitalist] who only works overnight. Most nocturnists are trained in internal medicine or family medicine and have experience in hospital medicine. However, there are nocturnists trained in other specialties, such as pediatrics. The main role of a nocturnist is to admit patients into the hospital from an emergency department, and to care for previously admitted inpatients through the night.

I  was sort of hoping that SUMC would be sending in the pianists, but alas no.

Rainbow, locked and loaded

June 26, 2023

A brief amusement for Pride Month, from Aric Olnes on Facebook yesterday (SF Pride, which I missed by being really sick):

Aric says: Happy 🏳️‍🌈 Pride 2023: Sending you a picture of our dear SF go-go Dancer Emerson to celebrate. Rainbow 🌈 undies!!

With, yes, a doubly phallic gun: basic gun phallicity, plus that gigantic penis simulacrum on top.

Yes, the undie colors are odd, but you really came for the ass, and the briefs are but window dressing.

Return again

June 26, 2023

Back home once again from Stanford Hospital. Yes, after a short time at home, I was taken in extravagant pain (brief explanation to come below) to urgent care at PAMF Palo Alto, then from there to the emergency room at Stanford and back into the hospital for a couple of (overfull) days. Now at home with various caregiving helpers, just barely coping, in the midst of truly alarming mess. (Warning: there will be, not just the usual piss, every 20 to 25 minutes, but a whole lot of shit. Most of this posting will be deeply distasteful. Let the language I’m using here be a guide to whether you want to go on.)

But I am, once again, like Mary, Queen of Scots, NOT DEAD YET. That’s the crucial thing. I have the gift of yet another day, and despite everything, that feels wonderful. Be happy for me.


Back from the hospital

June 23, 2023

… after 7 days in Stanford Hospital, now recuperating at home, minus my gall bladder. I am terribly tired, so this will be the brief summary; various details, some entertaining, with some things of linguistic interest thrown in, will have to wait.

When last I posted, in the early morning of Friday, June 16th, I felt fine, buoyant even. Then I was seized with extravagant pain, which I attributed to a bleeding ulcer, and called for help, because I was clearly in a bad way. (You truly do not want the details.)

Turns out I did have a bleeding ulcer. Also a kidney stone. Also a gigantic, marble-sized (literally: 1.9 cm) gallstone. Also a UTI caused by the gallstone. (Plus all the pre-existing complicating features of my medical life.) All were treated successfully, but it became clear that gallstones would be a recurrent feature of my life, so the real solution was surgery to remove the gall bladder.

My spirits are good, and I have an assortment of caregivers attending to me. More stories there. But now I really have to rest.


We are all gay bookpeople now

June 16, 2023

… and we have cats. So it is in this postcard I got yesterday from a gay bookperson friend (who has a cat) in celebration of Pride Month: très gai legal librarian Ryan Tamares (now ably serving Stanford from Hackensack NJ):

(#1) Library Cat in purple (from red shelves through purple) by TaylorRoss1 at

The design is available in a variety of forms; this is the portrait postcard version, but there’s also a landscape postcard, a t-shirt, stickers, and who knows what else. (more…)

Let Him take your load

June 15, 2023

Via various posters on Facebook today, country singer Marty Robbins performing his own gospel song “Kneel and Let the Lord Take Your Load” (1953) — meant earnestly and reverently, but eliciting reactions ranging from raised eyebrows to laughter and shock at the unsavory and sacrilegious potential of the word load in the title. The single:

(#1) You can listen to this recording here


Aardvarkman on the Impostor Syndrome cartoon

June 15, 2023

About a Jules Feiffer cartoon — still not unearthed (and it’s possible that there’s more than one) — that I recollect one way (described in yesterday’s posting “The Impostor Syndrome cartoon”) but cartoonist Dave Sim (creator of Cerebus the Aardvark) recollects a different way, in a review of Feiffer’s 1993 book The Man in The Ceiling, as quoted on the A Moment of Cerebus blog (“an unofficial cite celebrating the comics art of Dave Sim & Gerhard”) in 2015.

In today’s installment, the Sim account. And then a brisk survey of  Sim, the strip Cerebus, and the character Cerebus (and yes, there will be an explanation of the name).


The Impostor Syndrome cartoon

June 14, 2023

Whiling away yesterday morning at the CA DMV in Redwood City — being shepherded by caregiver Erick Barros through the process of renewing my senior ID from the state of California, which involved an interview and then a new photo — I entertained Erick with a retelling of the Jules Feiffer Impostor Syndrome (IS) cartoon as I recalled it, because our conversation had wandered onto the IS and because the joke that’s the hinge of the cartoon plays with ambiguity in a surprising, and especially satisfying, way.

Today I’ll just re-play the account in my 10/30/14 posting “Impostor Syndrome” and (exploiting the resources of OED3) unpack that joke into the lexical items that make it tick.

(It turns out that the cartoon has been described elsewhere (in cartoonist Dave Sim’s account of his conversation with Feiffer about an Irwin Corpulent cartoon of Feiffer’s), as having a very different resolution for the IS story. Four solid hours of searching through the materials available to me — including every damn cartoon in Feiffer’s thick volume Explainers: The Complete VILLAGE VOICE strips (1956-66) — did not, alas, produce an actual IS cartoon, neither the one I recollected nor the one Sim recollected. That search goes on.)


Their mortal anxieties captured in a picture

June 13, 2023

In a Psychiatrist cartoon by Oren Bernstein in the New Yorker of 6/12/23:

(#1) The patient flopped on the therapeutic couch is a despondent octopus [6/14: oh dear, apparently a squid rather than an octopus; later on 6/14: not exactly a squid either (see comments) — so an OSB cephalopod, of a previously unreported species]; the analyst has presented the cephalopod with  a Rorschach inkblot (designed as a projective psychological test), which has aroused the patient’s deepest fears, of fleeing the pursuit of death

I know, you don’t see the savagery of an attacking shark, but then you’re not an octopus [or squid].


Hot Dad 4 U

June 13, 2023

(This posting manages to (barely) skirt male genitals and man-on-man sex, without (almost any) street speech or explicit images, but the topic is daddy fantasies in gay porn, so it will not be to everyone’s taste)

For Memorial Day (and other American patriotic holidays), ads for gay porn play to fantasies of military men, while for Fathers Day, coming up rapidly (this Sunday, 6/18), they play to daddy fantasies (see the Page on this blog about my postings on Daddy-Boy encounters and DILFs, on the sexualization and various ritualizations of the father-son roles). With luck, pretty much the same material can serve for both holidays, as in the case of Papi Kocic (with his heavily loaded porn name) in’s Norse Fuckers, who did ad duty on Memorial Day (in an ad for a porn emporium’s Memorial Day sale; see  my 5/29/23 posting “Hordes of Norsemen insert themselves into a national holiday”) playing a military leader; and now appears in a porn-sale ad for Fathers Day in his guise as a hot daddy:

(#1) The ad, with genitals concealed (for WordPress modesty) and ad copy suppressed (so we can focus on the image and the porn-purveyors’ sentiment “We ❤️ Hot Dads!”)