Mark Twain

So I’ve largely exhausted everything that Vonnegut has ever written, with scant few exceptions. Sad times. I’ve switched to Mark Twain recently in an attempt to redirect my addiction. When I was in Princeton about a month ago, I walked by a bookstore that had shelves of books outside on sale. So I picked up “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”, a book Twain wrote in 1889, which sounds kind of surreal to type out and actually say out loud. It’s about a late 1800s Connecticut man waking up prisoner in Medieval England in the year 513.

It’s also not easy to read at times. Twain wrote this 124 years ago, which also sounds weird to say. The English was different back then. He writes with unbelievable eloquence and incredible detail, sometimes made more difficult by olden vocabulary and sentence structure. For instance: “Presently a fair slip of a girl, about ten years old, with a cataract of golden hair streaming down over her shoulders, came along.”

This is one of my favorite passages early on:

“The boy nestled himself upon my shoulder and pretended to go to sleep. The old man began his tale; and presently the lad was asleep in reality; so also were the dogs, and the court, the lackeys, and the files of men-at-arms. The droning voice droned on; a soft snoring arose on all sides and supported it like a deep and subdued accompaniment of wind instruments. Some heads were bowed upon folded arms, some lay back with open mouths that issued unconscious music; the flies buzzed and bit, unmolested, the rats swarmed softly out from a hundred holes, and pattered about, and made themselves at home everywhere; and one of them sat up like a squirrel on the king’s head and held a bit of cheese in its hands and nibbled it, and dribbled the crumbs in the king’s face with naive and impudent irreverence. It was a tranquil scene, and restful to the weary eye and the jaded spirit.”


No soup for you

Oh it’s Friday, and that is legitimately terrific this particular week. On Fridays, I close at the pharmacy, meaning I get in at 10:30 and close at 6:30. I was exhausted by close. Also hungry because I thought soup would be filling enough at lunch to last me till I got home. I got home, threw in a pizza and settled in with a beer.

I’m watching a great show on Netflix right now called “Orange Is the New Black”. Jason Biggs is in it and so is Laura Prepon, who I would marry without hesitation, but doubly so since she’s a lesbian in the show. The show is wild. Women’s prison is no joke. Those ladies be crazy.

At work today, I had the opportunity to see and run my first MTM. MTM, or Medication Therapy Management, is the new thing the APhA and idealistic pharmacists everywhere are pushing as the thing that will “revolutionize” retail pharmacy and propel the 21st century pharmacist as a “healthcare leader”. The idea is to have a face to face with a patient, go through their list of medications, make sure their meds match our records, make sure they know how to take everything including inhalers, etc., make sure they’re eating well, exercising, addressing unmet health concerns, etc. I spoke to a 79 year old woman today for 45 minutes going through everything. She had diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, hypothyroidism, asthma, and some backache. Despite all this, she was pretty well controlled in terms of her disease states, and actually sounded pretty with it on the phone. It was a genuine pleasure talking to her and it’s a level of patient care that pharmacists rarely ever actually see. It’s the kind of care usually seen by general practitioners (i.e. doctors). It felt nice. The problem with MTM, it still being in its infancy, is the issue of getting paid. MTM takes time. Besides the 45 min-1 hour that you’re with the patient, you spend an hour or two preparing in advance going through the patient’s med list. You then spend an hour or so afterwards inputting all the information you obtained from the interview into a website. This website is run by the insurance you’re billing to get reimbursed, at least in theory. I have yet to see a single pharmacy get a dime from MTM. Theoretically, a phone MTM costs $60 and an in person interview costs $100. This sounds great until you realize that you’re getting paid $100 not just for that hour, but for the rest of the time you spent as well. So it’s more like $100 for 3-4 hours of work, and I’m sorry, but that’s not worth it when a pharmacist makes $50/hr just doing their regular bullshit job of checking scripts.

Last night I got a little fancy: sea salt and cracked pepper crusted chicken and pasta tossed with garlic alfredo. Please excuse the nausea inducing halo and generally atrocious photography.

From sorrow to serenity, the truth is absolution

Pesto with a side of angst

I can always count on the Tweeter for all my self deprecating humor needs.

The internet will be delighted to hear about my lunch because everyone likes food so here goes: lunch today was good. It was a pesto chicken sandwich on focaccia bread with spinach, roasted red pepper and melted provolone. Boom. The one reliable thing with this hospital I’m working at is that the food mostly rocks. It’s all natural healthy organic shit and it all mostly tastes awesome. Cheap too.

I love these two Canadian sisters a little too much.

I hate

I hate how I love you

I hate how I have no choice in the matter

I hate how you still hold a special place in my heart

I hate how I felt depression for the first time in my life after losing you

I hate how I could let you affect me so profoundly

I hate how not a day has passed since you left that I haven’t thought about you at least a little

I hate how I have to live with you occupying this space in my head

I hate that you’ll always be in someone else’s arms

I hate that I don’t want you in mine

I hate that I can’t just turn off the memories

I hate that I can’t turn off you


I went to another IDT meeting today. The group speaker had rattled off a list of hospice patients that had died the past week. Of those named, one man named Benoit had his name pronounced “Ben-oyt”. Everytime someone said “Ben-oyt” I felt like someone was stabbing me in the ear. It’s not “Ben-oyt”. It’s French. The closest English approximation is “Ben-wha”. It wouldn’t be a big deal under 99% of circumstances, but this guy was dead. He wasn’t even around to correct anybody. I knew how to pronounce your name, Benoit. Maybe that’s enough.

Lots of transfers today. I learned a neat fun fact about a sleep medication called Ambien (zolpidem) while on the phone with a Massachusetts pharmacist today. Apparently new guidelines are out recommending women against taking the 10mg dose due to excessively long metabolism of the drug leading to morning sedation. Bummer, ladies!

Remain in what you are, the center of your life
You made it to this point, no one can tell you how
You crawled and bled all the way but you were the only one
That was tearing your soul apart, you finally find yourself


I have probably heard this song hundreds of times and I will never tire of it. Every time it comes on the radio, I crank the volume almost in a Pavlovian fashion. There’s nary an Incubus song that I don’t love, but this one just resonates with me.

How To Be A Successful Blogger

Preface: “Blogger” is a very pedestrian term. Successful bloggers prefer the term “bloggist”.

Firstly, before you even consider successfully blogging, purchase a fedora. This will let your audience know that you are anĀ #internet #professional and that you take #blogging seriously. Your fedora must be on every time you create #content.

Next, use #hashtags. This is a #hashtag. These will allow you to reach the broadest #market in order to capitalize on your #brand. You will notice that #hashtags don’t actually work on blogs, but this is #irrelevant because you are a #successful blogger. Your audience will spread your blog on the #Twitter by copy and pasting the #hashtags that you have conveniently provided. Audience consideration is #critical for a #successful blogger.

Now, we can move on to #content. A #successful blogger must provide #content that is both #words and #information. Sometimes #neither. Focus your #blog on: #brand #integration, #market #optimization, #synergy and #web2.0

I would provide more #tips, but successful #bloggers, such as #myself, are very #busy #individuals that are constantly producing #content. Good #luck!

For better or for worse, remember forever

Today was one of those mornings where I stayed in bed for way too long, something I haven’t done in a long time. The issue is that I get introspective in bed. I start digging. 8-10 months ago, doing so was devastating because it felt like I was ripping open every raw, pulsating wound that was delicately healing. Nowadays, the wounds have been replaced with scars and instead of devastation, I’m merely left with disappointment.

I’m disappointed and left with questions that have no answers. Questions that I’m not sure I even want answered. I think that when two people grow close or go through anything significant together, they form a bond that is inextricable. So the task becomes living with this bond and ignoring it. Moving forward and making new bonds. The saddest thing is ignoring it. The second saddest thing is wanting to ignore it to protect yourself from any further emotional trauma.

“But while men and women are equal in their capacity of absorption, they differ in their method of reaction. God invested women with deeper and more abundant emotions than he gave unto men. In this respect, He made woman superior to man. For emotions are the richest, the most valuable treasures that man possesses. A woman’s genius is in her heart, and her reactions to life therefore always emanate from the heart first. A man’s life is mostly guided by reason, a woman’s life by emotion. A man’s life is mostly a succession of plans and schemes and enterprises, a woman’s life is a chain of emotional manifestations, of tenderness, of devotion, of love.”

Not only should…

Not only should one achieve self-reliance by giving expression to his own creative thought, but he should show self-reliance also in the apparently disheartening circumstances of his life. If you fall into one of the pits that the road of life frequently offers, do not lie despondently in its depths, do not moan, do not give up. Very often such a fall is only a test of your manhood, that you may see for yourself how much there is left in you after you have lost everything that is outside of yourself. Your fate is not made by others, your destiny is your own creation — yours only. Your fall is but a temporary setback, do not mistake it for a mortal wound. As long as you have thought in your mind, and feeling in your heart, and iron in your blood, you are not wounded, you are only being tried.

“Peace of Mind”