Thursday, June 01, 2006

Primary sources

I was in Galveston this past weekend for a wedding.

Oh yeah, and the weekend before that, I was in the Land of Cleve for graduation. I left Berkeley as Ms. Gerbil and returned as Dr. Gerbil. A few years ago I thought I might spring for a vanity license plate once I received my Ph.D. I thought I'd apply for one that said GRBLPHD. But then I realized that very few people would be able to parse that one, and vanity plates aren't supposed to be esoteric, you know? You're supposed to be able to figure them out almost immediately, as every millisecond you spend decoding a vanity plate is a millisecond you're not spending paying attention to the road.

Speaking of paying attention to the road, while I was in the Land of Cleve, I was walking up this long hill when these two women in a Subaru Outback passed me on their way down. The one in the passenger seat hung her head out the window and said, in an unmistakeable tone, "Hey there." That pretty much made my day. Usually I get this sort of thing from guys in penis cars sports cars or pick-up trucks. But I got hit on by two chicks in a big gay Subaru with Ohio plates!

Anyway, when I discarded the idea of GRBLPHD, I came up with DRGRBIL instead. Easier to parse, definitely. But also a little, well, unsavory as a vanity plate.

So no vanity plate for me just yet.

The Land of Cleve gave me a rhinovirus as a parting gift, and of course I got bronchitis after the cold. So in addition to a strict inhaler regimen, my doctor also prescribed cough medicine with codeine. I am no stranger to this stuff; I got codeine every time I got bronchitis from the time I was a toddler to when I was finally diagnosed with asthma at 13. It still tastes like ass and makes me stupid and clumsy, but at least I can sleep. So could the two pals with whom I shared a hotel room in Galveston.

Alas, on its final descent into Galveston, my plane had some pressure problems. My head did not explode, as I'd feared; but my precious bottle of controlled substance did. About a third of it soaked through my toiletry kit and sopped around in my bookbag. The novels I brought became a sticky mess. (The wedding was sticky, too, but this was due entirely to the humidity.)

On the way home, I stopped by a cool used bookshop to get some new(ish) reading material. I picked up this novel by Lisa Alther, Other Women. It's a fun (and fast) read about a lesbian nurse with a certain Cluster B personality disorder and her heterosexual therapist, a woman with her own traumatic past. I'm impressed with the therapist-client dialogue, but not so impressed with the vast number of sentences that go "As she [insert mundane task here], she recalled how difficult it was to [insert description of vaguely traumatic life event here]."

I'm also less than impressed with the obligatory reviewer quote on the cover:

"AN ABSORBING
AND TOUCHING NOVEL...
SHARP, FUNNY, AND
DYNAMIC."
-PEOPLE

Um, which people are these?

(Yes, yes, I know, the magazine. But cut me a break. My snark's not getting enough oxygen these days.)

3 comments:

Mrs. Gerbil said...

G. Ribble Thud?
Gir Blip Head.
Grub Lap Head?

Die Rug Rubble!

Heather said...

Yay! Congrats on the Doctor-dom.

Kara and Wheezy said...

Yay, you are now officially a doc! I like the license plate names, with the second one being easier to figure out. Have you ever wondered where your gerbil obsession comes from? Is it healthy to still remember those frozen gerbils?