Daily Briefing Bingo Edition 2.0

PM Zoolander rides a moose. As one does.

PM Zoolander rides a moose as one does.

If you’re new to Daily Briefing Bingo, check out Daily Briefing Bingo Edition 1.0 and get your first-edition Daily Briefing Bingo card. From this point onward, you can play either or both cards from this point onward.

The first edition card does not have any completed lines yet, but here’s hoping! Come on, Ascot! Come on, Jeans! Come on, Blue Steel! Sadly, second column is a complete skunk, with not a single box ticked at this point. Ou est le blue plaid jacket d’antan?

Here’s the Daily Briefing Bingo Card Edition 2.0. It’s a PDF, so if you’ve got the right software you download and play with it on the computer, or you can print it out and mark it up in meatspace, rollin’ old skool.

Moving forward, from this point on, our new reality is (sorrynotsorry) squares featuring appearances by a diverse cast of characters and phrases including international vaccine alliance GAVI, visible perspiration, porchscaping, “Ramping up”, “The new normal”, “Who we are”, and the highly controversial Wears brown shoes with a grey or blue suit, which is JUST MORALLY WRONG.

Remember to play safe, and maintain good social distancing and mask hygiene while playing, and to never, and I mean never, speak moistly.



Ride for Dad: but give Dan the donation money!

Dan Sparling Ride for Dad

Dan Sparling Ride for Dad

This is my almost-brother-in-law, Dan Sparling, boyfriend to The Sister for lo, these 23 years, and many thanks are due him for taking her off our hands. He’s spending his weekend doing the Ride for Dad through scenic southern Ontario, raising funds to fight prostate cancer.

We raise funds through large scale one-day motorcycle, snowmobile, watercraft and ATV ride events and through ongoing public fundraising throughout the year. TELUS Ride For Dad events take place in multiple cities across Canada, representing every Canadian province. To learn more about a ride in your city, please click here

Since 2000, the TELUS Ride For Dad has donated more than 13 million dollars to the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation, charitable number 85133 3179 RR0001, to support prostate cancer research and awareness in the communities where the funds were raised – we give where we ride! 

Dan’s already met his goal of $500, but if you’re feeling generous and like possibly saving the lives of any of the prostate-having men you know and are fond of, click through and kick him a few bucks. God knows, it’s hard work touring the scenic countryside on a motorcycle on a beautiful spring day. Eh?

So it sprinkled! They earned their money! NOW GIVE THEM SOME!

So it sprinkled! They earned their money! NOW GIVE THEM SOME!


Happy Birthday, Paul Rudd!

Paul Rudd covers up his Rudds

Paul Rudd covers up his Rudds

Give the man what he asks for: a cure for cancer!

“I know it’s the thought that counts, but…the money counts too!”

Normally, as you know, I am so NOT all about the self-conscious hipsters (apologies: I repeat myself) particularly those of ironic eyewear, but in this case I must give it up to Mister Paul Rudd, who suggests that on your birthday, you ask your friends to donate your age in dollars to the Cancer Society. Now, this may well bankrupt my friends, but you, according to Quantcast, are younger, and you should be doing this. I mean, if they spend that money on PBR you’re just gonna have a beer belly and a hangover to show for it the next day, right? Whereas fighting cancer provides a glow which makes one irresistable to the opposite sex (as several cancer fakers of my acquaintance know and have taken advantage of, and don’t worry, I’ve taken care of them in ways they don’t even know yet).

Am I ranting? Oh, let me rant. I beat cancer: I’m entitled to rant a bit. If you’re feeling ranty right along with me, here are some infuriating, medically-themed gossip links for you to read and ensure that your blood pressure remains elevated. If you get angry enough, it even counts as aerobic!

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Liveblogging Morphine

Cover of "Midnight Phantom"

Cover of Midnight Phantom

I wrote this when I was in the hospital with my first gallbladder attack. I was there five days, and in my memory I wrote this over the course of many, many days and recorded many, many different experiences.

I did nothing of the kind.

What I did was, write it on morphine. Holy crap, how Coleridge ever puked up Kublai Khan while on this stuff is entirely beyond me. Prolixity is not a quality it confers, lemme tell ya. But in the vague hope that you’ll find it amusing, I will copypaste it here for your enjoyment (?).

Demerol better bring its A Game

Demerol better bring its A Game

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Alpha, Beta, Gran Turismo

So, it’s like this.

I’ve been in the hospital. Again. This time, I was supposed to pop in Friday morning and have that pesky gallbladder removed, a 90-minute procedure after which I’d be set free on an unsuspecting food chain to wreak uncontrollable havoc, in the style of Cthulhu left in charge of a daycare. SMORGASBORD!



Guess what? Things didn’t quite work out that way.

The Sister informs me “that’s three for three” in the family, going in for a simple gallbladderectomy and ending up with an aerated colon in the bargain. Must be our genetic heritage of deformed gastrointestinal tracts or something (we coasters have an extra pouch to help us separate out the nutritive particles from the rainwater here). My doctor informs me she’s done over 300 of these operations, and this is the very first time she’s chopped a hole in someone’s colon without meaning to. In any case, she sewed up the hole and I am no longer holey.

As if you couldn’t tell.


That is one angry looking gallbladder

That is one angry looking gallbladder



She tells me, additionally, that in her 300-gallbladder career, she’d never seen one as inflamed as mine (and remember, this woman ONLY sees unhealthy gallbladders). It was at least twice the size of an ordinary, inflamed, has-to-be-removed gallbladder. She said she couldn’t imagine how painful my attacks must have been, to which I replied that I reported them as 8/10 on the pain scale only because I’d had a bone marrow biopsy, and that was a 9. I don’t think people remain conscious through a 10.

No, sadly, they do NOT give you your Human Pearls after the operation. Gallstones seem to be a sort of cancer clearinghouse for the entire body, so if there’s cancer anywhere, it shows in your gallstones, so now they give all your lovely Human Pearls to the pathologist to brutally crush and analyze. There goes my business model, dammit.

In any case, after lying in the hospital a few days taking nourishment from a plastic bag and a hose attached through a hole in the back of my hand, getting dosed with superantibiotics (perforated colons have a nasty way of causing the worst possible infections, and are fatal quite frequently) and being bored out of my mind by my charming, sweet, but UNSTOPPABLY CHATTY roommate, I mean, seriously, I’d have my headphones on, she’d wake up, start babbling, notice my earphones were on, say “oh well, let me repeat that so you can hear” and do so, louder. Several times. All. Damn. Day. When they moved her to the physio ward it was sweet, sweet relief, anyway, after all of that they let me go, and not a moment too soon because although they did officially switch me to “solid” food two days before, the kitchen never got that notice and sent nothing but milk, tea (vile brown particle-filled stuff that would strip paint), cream soups, and cream of wheat. I tell you, I would have welcomed the synthetically cheerful jewel tones of Jello like a drowning victim welcomes a life raft. A shiny, wobbly crimson life raft filled with empty calories and pure joy.

Now, let’s back up a little (a phrase which should give one pause, embedded as it is in a blog post about the gastro-intestinal system and catastrophic colon-based events.


This is what a GT looks like, y'all

This is what a GT looks like, y'all. My blood is AWESOME under a microscope



“GT” is a sort of byword for a car that is sporty, racy, competitive, and stylish. So it was with not a small amount of pride that I noticed while reading my medical chart that according to a blood test from the last time I was in hospital, my “Gamma GT” levels were substantial. They were so awesome they were bolded right there on the chart, along with a whole lot of other terms like “AT” and “conjugated bilirubin” which were also in bold. And decorated with a large letter H, each of them.

And why were my Gamma GT levels bolded and H’d? Because, it turns out, normal Gamma GT levels are 51 or less. Mine?


which rather puts into context my medical team’s remark that, had they not tested my liver enzyme levels both when I was admitted to the hospital in November and when I was released (this figure is from the latter, when it had increased threefold) they would never have clued in that my bile duct was blocked and I had a potentially fatal, potentially SOON, situation underway.

Anyhoodle, that got dealt with. Which brung us to Friday, and from Friday the rest of this post has brung us to here. Which is about all I can think to write at this point, except that my blood is SO WAY COOLER than yours under a microscope, so suck on that while you’re watching your big screen tvs and enjoying all those concert tickets I can’t afford. MY BLOOD IS SO WAY COOLER UNDER A MICROSCOPE. Ha! Take that, Mundanes!

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