Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"For the blood is the life" - Leviticus 17:14

CONTENT ADVISORY: This entry is about human blood. If that's the sort of topic that upsets you, please don't read any further.

I had blood drawn this morning, and as regular readers know, I am not a fan. The process of drawing blood from my body is rather adversarial: not between me and the hematology nurses, but between me and my own body. I have a poor track record (especially this year) of resisting the urge to pass out.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Things Doctor Andy Doesn't Think Anything About: Raising Children

There are several things that I try never to offer opinions about. These topics are things that fall outside my set of experiences, so any words I have to say are just conjecture, opinion, and received knowledge. These topics are also usually important and often serious, making me even more reluctant to offer pithy sarcasticality.

One of those items is raising children.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Are We Not Words?

Death has not stopped now that society has the internet. The degree to which we can be connected to our circles of friends combined with the ease of sharing information to those circles means that death also needs its space. Recently, a family friend noted that her brother had died in hospital. Seeing the news was only twenty minutes old, I called my parents and relayed the news to them. News of loss, spreading at the speed of electrons.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

An Evening with the New (and also Alex Lindsay)

Prometheus, who stole fire from the heavens to give to man
Last Friday night at six o'clock in the evening, I made an important decision. I made the decision that by seven o'clock, I was going to be in an area of Kansas City I'd infrequently visited, in a bar I had never heard of, meeting a man I don't know.

It turned to be a notable evening.

This is my story.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Greatest Hits?

Time for some site business. No, I'm not asking for donations or subscription fees. I just wanted to point out a feature that you may not have seen. It's tagging! Everyone loves tagging. It's searching my blog by subject heading. Remember library research classes?

Tagging occurs when I create little phrases to qualify and categorize the various entries I write. I make sure to tag everything I write with at least one tag. Tags are a way of taking a large group of items and dividing them into easier-to-manage categories. Think of it like adding data that can be searched for. If I write an entry about my feelings, it's not necessarily going to have the word "feelings" in it. So using the standard search bar at the top wouldn't find that entry, even though I might consider it to be largely about feelings.

In such a case, I would probably use my tag for "Reflections", possibly combined with "About Me".

In the right column, you can find all the list of tags I've created (I guess Blogger calls them "labels," but they're the same thing). I've created more than forty so far. Some of them are easily explainable (like Death, Social, Men, Women, etc.) but some of them are more opaque. For example, "'Loco' motive" refers to entries about cars or transportation. "A Modest Proposal" refers to entries steeped in satire. "Gullible's Travails" is about trips I take, which often have humorous episodes at my expense.

But for today, let me address your attention to "My Favorites." It is exactly what you might think it is. This label contains entries I think are especially good or representative of my writing. There's no hard or fast rule about what makes it into this elite list. In fact, some entries get added and then removed at a later time. It's merely a collection of entries that I think are particularly meaningful, haunting, funny, or thought-provoking. Basically, they are particularly something.

It is by no means a comprehensive list. Selecting an entry usually follows any time I dive back into my archive for an unrelated reason. While I'm in there poking around, I stumble across an entry I didn't even remember, read it once more, appreciate it, and stick the tag on. Tags were introduced sometime after I started writing, so earlier entries tend not to be tagged with anything, unless I've specifically gone back and assigned some.

I've published more than 750 entries at this point. Let me tell you that - just between us - they aren't all great. But when I tag something as being part of My Favorites, it's because I found something about it that made it stand out in my mind. It's the best of what I've written (by my own estimation), and I'm happy to invite you to take a look if you haven't.

You can find it in the right column near the bottom, or through this handy shortcut