and a flaming pussy at the end

Lately I’ve actually had plenty to blog about, but no time to blog. So today, here’s a nice, long post in four parts (with footnotes of course) to catch you up. I thought about breaking these into their own posts, but decided to opt this way. So suck it.

1. Trans-Siberian Orchestra

On Sunday, Ashley and I went to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra with Bubby and Dee.(1) My love for TSO, when it began 12 or 13 years ago, was instantaneous. From the opening arpeggio of ‘Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)’ through to the power-chord-riddled climax of the song, I was hooked like I’d never been hooked before. This occasion marked the one and only time I rushed out to buy a CD immediately after seeing the video. I felt cheap and dirty for having let MTV influence me so, and upon my return I showered until the upper-three layers of skin were gone. But I listened to the CD the entire time.

The album didn’t disappoint, and though the following albums haven’t been up to par(2), I’ve never faltered in my love for what they do. Seeing them in concert was the culmination of many years’ worth of longing to see them but never having cash at the right time.

The show didn’t disappoint, either. The band played well, the sound was amazingly well-balanced, and the light-show may have topped the Pink Floyd show I caught back in ’94.(3) A little warning sign was posted on the entrance to the arena:

“Trans-Siberian Orchestra makes use of strobe lighting effects, which may cause seizures in some people. Also, Bo rules!”(4)

This is the most understated warning I’ve ever read. It couldn’t be more understated if Eddie Izzard stood there(5) and personally announced it to each passerby in his droll, British manner. There were more lights than Chevy Chase stringing Christmas lights on a house on the sun. There were screens of lights, lasers, strobes, kliegs, spots, and even fire…fire that changed color no less.

Let’s just say that Helen Keller could have dug this show.(6)

And, as I’ve mentioned, I did too.

Though she should have known better, Dee arranged things so that Bubby and I were sitting together. As such, tonight at band practice we’re going to figure out how we can pull off a few TSO covers, including their version of Canon in D.(7)

2. Ashley’s test results

Yesterday Ashley got the results of the recent bronchoscopy she underwent to see how her lungs are doing. This is a fairly routine procedure for lung-transplant patients, the purpose being to check for infections and signs of rejection. It’s pretty much as the word sounds: they stick a camera down her throat in into her lungs all the way into her bronchial passages.(8) The procedure carries its own risks, but her doctor felt it worthwhile to do.

I’m happy to report that the brochoscopy showed no signs of rejection. She has a mild infection, but it’s something that cystics contract on a regular basis and, therefore, is nothing to worry about. Her chest x-rays were also clean, though she was very amused that her breasts now show up on the x-ray. After being so thin for so long, she loves having boobs for a change.(9)

3. Ethical concerns and low-light grilling

After work yesterday, we went to the store to find something for dinner. I happened across a new brand of chik’n cutlets and decided then and there that it was pleasant enough outside to fire up the grill. So Ashley bought herself a nice big steak and we went home where I realized that I was going to lose the light in a hurry. It was already 5PM, and around here it’s getting dark at that time already.

Undeterred, I fired up the grill and put her (real) meat and my (fake) meat on (very opposite) sides of the rack. In time I would have to grab a small flashlight and hold it in my mouth while I checked to see if her steak was properly done.(10) One of the neighborhood cats approached as she always does and I pet her and fed her a little of Ashley’s steak, careful to wipe my hand before touching my chik’n again. I kept my plates and utensils separate, but still the ethical question bogged my mind, viz,

Part the first:

Ashley, due to her lung transplant, requires more of certain nutrients than most of us do. (Mostly iron, but other things that help her absorb and use the anit-rejection meds.) The best source for these nutrients, other than the supplements, is red meat. In this case, is it ethically acceptable for her to eat animals?

Part the second:

Because she has been told to eat red meat by her doctors, and because she may not be able to live without it, it is wrong for me, as a vegetarian, to prepare meat and meat-dishes for her? (I’m not eating them.)

The always-up-for-an-ethical-food-debate Lindy Loo has stipulated that the first argument is questionable and she challenges the doctor’s information that red meat is the best source for iron. She pointed out that doctors and surgeons are typically under-informed w/r/t nutrition issues and give advice that contradicts that of nutrition studies.

This makes sense to me and I think she has a valid point. However, Ashley takes quite a bit of iron each day, in the form of pills, and after some recent blood-work was told to up her iron intake, not through more pills, but specifically through red meat. I know that some nutrients (protein is a good example) are found in several different forms depending on the source(11) , and that nutritionists advise getting these nutrients from a variety sources. Perhaps this is the case for iron. It’s a question to be asked.

W/r/t the second ethical question, I don’t see a problem with it personally, nor does Lindy Loo. I make sure that I’m not mixing up my utensils and plates and whatnot, yet I’m sure some people(12) would have a problem with a vegetarian cooking meat. So I continue to debate it in my head.

4. And lastly, Switters and fire

Last night, around midnight-thirty, Ashley asked why something smelled like food. I looked out to the kitchen area and the light wasn’t quite right.

Because the stove was on.

Somehow Switters, who’s just gotten big enough to be able to jump up on the sink and counter, and therefore also the stove, had turned the knob and lit the stove when he’d jumped down. The gas burner was going on high and burning the shit out of some potatoes we’d accidently left in a pot.

But at least the cat himself wasn’t a running blaze through the apartment.

The whole thing was scary as hell. If we hadn’t been home….

And I’m not sure what to do. Cats climb around; it’s in their nature. He’s a rambunctious little dude and a lot of fun, but I can’t have him burning the house down. For now we’ve taken the knobs off the stove, but I have a feeling that from now on I’ll be worried about what he’s doing when we’re not home. I’ll soon long for the days when I was merely worried that he was peeing on the sofa or chasing the other cat around all day.

So there. You’re all caught up. Because clearly you cared to be.


  1. Friends of mine, and, together, we form three-fourths of our own band.
  2. The Christmas Attic isn’t as musically interesting as Christmas Eve and Other Stories, but does have a few high points. The Lost Christmas Eve is, musically, the best of the trio, but doesn’t transmit the story as effectively as the first album. In fact, you can’t discern the story of The Lost Christmas Eve without the CD insert, and who the hell buys CD insets anymore?
  3. This began my long-term love affair with Cleveland, as it was the first time I was there.
  4. Due to the constraints of memory, the language here is an approximation.
  5. In tight pants, a sensible blouse, and fabulous heels, of course.
  6. Or do I mean Anne Frank?
  7. I’ll maintain until I die that it way better in Db.
  8. She is, thankfully, put under before they do this. Though the technician told me of one guy who wasn’t put under and I imagine that when they got the scope down far enough they found a giant set of steel testicles.
  9. Just yesterday she said, “Even God couldn’t make boobs as awesome as mine.” And I wholeheartedly concur.
  10. Medium-well.
  11. Animal, vegetable, or mineral.
  12. PETA, for example. But seriously, if there’s a more hypocritical ethical-concern group out there, I’ve never heard of them.
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