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Y'all ever have one of those days when the more you hear about something, the madder it makes you?

So as if the Great State of Georgia doesn't have enough race-related P.R. problems, some feller apparently goes and starts him up an all-white basketball team. No blacks allowed. Everybody knows there the damn media's going to run with this: "Georgia based cracker hates the coloreds". So I started out being pissed off because racist people piss me off, and the perception that we're all Klansmen runnin' around in trucks and my Rebel Flag sticker on the back of the truck is some kind of bona fide proof of same does too.

Turns out the feller's from Atlanta, which is one of the most cosmopolitan, ethnically diverse parts of the entire country. That dog would hunt if it had been Conyers or Lawrenceville, perhaps. In fact, Atlanta's such a tolerant area that even the black community, which normally has serious and violent problems with gays in its midst, has, if the Lenox mall is anything to go by, a practical enclave of flamboyant black homosexuals. I ain't judging them, I'm just sayin'. You might get the occasional asshole, but half of Gwinnett County is Indian, and remember, Atlanta is where Dr. Martin Luther King was from. It would be news if someone was so openly assholish and racist up in here, but not for "typical Georgian racism" reasons. Atlanta's one of those places where if you're some kind of bigot, you keep your fool mouth shut. So this guy trying that in Atlanta made me even madder.

I mean, don't get me wrong, you've got ample reasons to believe the South is full of weirdos. That Maurice feller from South Carolina with Wal-Mart sayin' no to his barbecue sauce is a dyed-in-the-wool, outright racist and lunatic, says that the Confederate flag has to fly over the State Capitol because it's a pre-Christian holy symbol/battleaxe against Satan. Shame really. His barbeque is good and it makes crossin' over the border at Augusta that much more painful, but I digress.

So I finally watch an interview on the TV with this smug little man who's startin this up, and he goes and says that he wants to play a "pure basketball" without it being ruined by the outright athleticism of black men. In other words, white men can't jump, white men can't dunk, so they have to pass the ball and throw it from the floor. I'm a football fan and like hunting, so I'm not sure if I got this right, but seems to me like he managed to imply black people were some kind of primitive supermen who lacked finesse, and that white men are physical underachievers who need to connive and work on "strategy" to make up for their innate physical inability. In one fell swoop, he managed to insult every man in Georgia. Maw-Maw had to get me to stop shouting at the TV by that point.

Then he said somethin' that made me want to reach through the screen and slap the stupid out of him. With a little roguish twinkle in his eye, he answered the question as to whether this was a controversial move with "well, you (e.g. the media) are here, aren't you?" and what does he then go on to say when the cameras are rolling? What does he do with the media attention? "We're in negotiations to produce a reality series about this." In other words, the whole thing was manufactured in order to get interest in yet another pointless, useless, series, with a bunch of "underdog" white men trying to "bond" and overcome their racial handicaps to beat the all-black teams the producer envisages them going up against. I think he said somethin' like it being "glow-ball vs. bro-ball". Let me tell you, if I was down there on THAT basketball court, there'd be some yellow flags all over that court with one genuine display of unsportsmanlike conduct from yours truly.

I tell Maw-Maw I'm goin' out for more tobacco, and I need to cool my jets. Maw-maw's a good lady, she knows when I need to simmer down on my own. So I turn the radio on, and that Neil Boortz is discussin' the same damn thing. And then he says somethin' like "why not an all-white basketball league? After all, the blacks have the NBA." I almost went off the road stabbin' my finger at the off button on the radio.

I'm glad my blood pressure check ain't til two months from now.

I promise to node something real real soon.

Meanwhile, strange and strangely vivid dreams continue to visit me.

I am younger, late teens or early twenties, time-traveling once more, and involved in a stage play about World War II and the Blitz. The play occasionally becomes the actual war.

Some years later and in some other dream-reality I am attending some other event about which I can recall nothing now. D and at least one of D's sisters was present, along with their “mother,” supposedly. The woman in the dream in fact does not resemble D's mother at all.

Then Christmas comes. The weather varies wildly. At one point it's clearly summer, whatever the calendar says. Downtown we're having a cold time of it. The snow is sparse, but it crunches underfoot. Somehow I'm crossing a town by passing through all of its churches. One place of worship resembles a highway stop in maybe Wisconsin. Another is clearly Anglican, very High Church, with a fine and decorous procession, the Archbishop, male priests and some unidentified female rank, with red and white costumes, hats from another century. Some don't like the idea of me being in the procession, but the Archbishop says I represent the common folk. A gay priest turns his head my way and makes remarks about oral sex, using the crudest terms possible.

At another religious establishment I encounter two young girls, perhaps nine or eleven years of age, who sing a song about how they prefer Walt Disney adaptations and the theme park view of history and culture. "It's our own tradition," they sing, merrily, merrily, and encourage everyone to embrace the Happy and the Shallow.

Well, I'm feeling rather cheerful.

I've been working at MAMC, Madigan Army Medical Center, with an 1.6 to 2 hour commute each way for 3 weeks. So far I have seen exactly one patient alone and then the computer note took me about 3 hours, what with meeting with the computer geek, I mean, tech guy who told me everything that I was doing that was wrong. The electronic medical record has four different intersecting programs and is rather challenging. They've already asked me to stay for longer than three months, mostly I think because I am entirely cheerful about the computer training and because they keep moving me around to plug different holes and I don't mind. Also I'm being a self-starter and have gone off to the "Help" desk where the eye-bagged cynical computer guys say, "Yeah, the passwords they give you only work 50% of the time at best." And I am cheerful there and hurry up and wait.

I have a bumper sticker that says "Honor veterans and fight for peace." That's a contradiction that I can hold in my head with no difficulty. I like contradictions, they make you think. I'm happy at this job because the administration doesn't hate me, like my old hospital, and I no longer expect an electronic medical record to make sense or make my job easier. They have me "shadowing" various doctors and physicians assistants, all of whom have work-arounds and ignore everything that the tech guy told me. The "providers" (the current politcally correct term for doctors and midlevels, midlevels being nurse practitioners and physicians assistants) just want to see their people and get them helped, computer be damned. The creative variety of work-arounds makes me quite cheerful. Try to standardize people, by god, it won't happen outside of McDonald's.

I am not minding the commute much. I listen to NPR or Mozart or Talking Heads or Hank Williams III or the Offspring and I bought a set of CME (Continuing Medical Education) CDs so can catch up on the latest greatest ideas about chronic pain or subclinical hypothyroidism or bone strength. I decide whether I agree and try to absorb their points for the boards. Though I couldn't find anything to do on New Year's Eve at the job, so spent the day working on the ABFM, American Board of Family Medicine, on line requirements and now my board are extended from 2010 to 2014. So you are no doubt deeply impressed that I am a Board Eligible/Board Certified Family Physician. No? Well, honestly, it's just more silly acronyms. Treatments rise and fall and science comes up with more theories and I am turning into one of those old crotchety doctors who doesn't agree with half of the party line. Which is just fine. If one lasts past age 50 working, one is an old doctor.

Meanwhile I signed my bank loan and the new clinic, my clinic, is being polished inside at a frightening rate. "Oh, shit." I think. Today we had to go look at flooring. I have absolutely no idea what the flooring was in the clinic I've been in for the last 3 years. None. Kinda white vinyl with speckles. The choices are endless. Gotta stand up to iodine and blood, but nothing much more toxic. I stroked the cork flooring while my beaux/contractor discussed flooring with the owner of the floor place. Should be low maintenance because my dust bunny tolerance is way high and I'm not into polishing. Well, it'll all work out, as my friend Alice used to say. The target opening date is April 1, which suits me perfectly.

The Introverted Thinker is doing well with me back at work. We have a Cook's Illustrated magazine with some 400 30 min dinners and we have picked a way to work through them methodically, two per week. This plan is deeply comforting to her. She made the veggie burgers, with chickpeas and a yohgurt/cucumber sauce, very middle eastern, on Friday. I now have money coming in instead of just going out, which is a relief. And I like to work. Isn't that terrible? But I do.

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