Monday, October 31, 2005


A few nights ago, Bainwen and I went out to dinner. Our waitress was adequate enough, but a mite dim. Well, after a dinner of just laughing and joking, the waitress came by to collect the bottled sauces and knocked over the pepper shaker.

Everyone knows the superstition where salt is thrown over the left shoulder- it tosses salt in the Devil's eye. Well, I was in a mischevious mood, so I just told the waitress that she needed to toss the pepper over her right shoulder- makes the Devil sneeze.

Bainwen backed me up, claiming everyone knew that, and the waitress bought it. She lit up, and started talking about how much bad luck she probably had seen from that!

So, if ever you want to mess with a waitron's head, mention pepper. :-)

Friday, October 28, 2005

An update.

The interview went quite well, if I do say so myself. Very comfortable, no questions I really struggled with. I'd spent enough time pondering what could have been asked as to make it a little simpler.

I'm not much of a betting man, but I've a good feeling on this. :-)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Onward to victory...

Yeah, I know it's part of the Notre Dame fight song, but bear with me. :-D

I was driving home today, when my phone strikes up a chorus of the Nutcracker Suite. My phone is set up with a different ringer for every caller, and that's the "Caller Unknown" ring. I answer, and guess who it was?

Wright State University School of Medicine.

"Is this Casey Lastname?"
"Hi, Casey. I'm John from Wright State School of Medicine, and I'd like to offer you an interview."
*mind reels*
"All right, when can you get me in? When do you have?" *talking excitedly and faster*
"I have October 26th, if that would work for you."
"I'll take it!"
"Great! We'll be sending a confirmation email out early next week."
"Excellent! Thank you!"
*usual pleasantries and disconnection*
*nearly runs off the road doing a happy dance*

YES!!! Finally! :-D

Got my suit, my properly subdued tie, a broad smile and a steady handshake. I'm good to go. My new life begins now. :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I Made It ~

Though I'm not sure I'm doing it right. Am I just supposed to post here to leave you a message and to reply to your posts or shouldn't I be "posting" at all? (Blush)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Standing up.

In a previous entry, I mentioned how I was teased pretty strongly in school. That stopped pretty fast when I turned 16. Why?

I started lifting weights as a Freshman. Bench 150 by the end of the year, press 300 on the legs, curling 20s and 30s without much problem. Still, a limp survived. As HS boys will do, one in particular found that flaw, and exploited it.

We had gone through grade school and HS together, and he had always had it out for me. Bullying, threats, the works. He could get under my skin like nobody else, and it drove me crazy. Teachers advised me to just leave it be, but I couldn't ignore it.

Then came the end of my sophomore year, age 16. Back in grade school, I had borrowed money from this guy's mom when we went on a field trip, and had paid her back. Yet, he chose this moment to bring it up, claiming he would beat the hell out of me if I didn't give him $20, right now.

I had had enough, looked him square in the eye, and told him to bring it on. He got in one punch, a fairly weak shot to the gut, but my first blew the air our of him like a balloon. Right under the ribs, left side, hard enough to nearly collapse a lung.

As he was curled up on the ground crying, I was somewhat dazed. It felt good to have it done, but now what? What trouble was waiting?


The football coach, a good guy and friend of mine, had seen the whole thing. School rules said that throwing a punch was a demerit offense, but defending yourself was not. Sine he threw first, I was in the clear. It was over.

And he never so much as looked me in the eye after that.

Monday, October 10, 2005

That's not a path! That's a dry streambed!

So runs the sequence of events that my kola and I think will make up our first true argument.


We wander a lot. Find a park and walk in, ignore the marked paths and see what can be found. Deer snacking away in the underbrush? Seen it. Oak trees as big as skyscrapers, wrapped in mistletoe? Seen. Rivers gently whispering in the afternoon sun, and full moons as bright as spotlights? Seen them.

Well, on one of our more epic wanderings, this exact situation came up. No marked path, so we were stuck using side trails and dry streambeds. Got us home safely, but now and ever after, our destiny is fixed.

"That's not a path!"
"Yes it is!"
"It's a dry streambed!"
"There are footprints in it!"
And on. :-)

Thursday, October 06, 2005



A simple word, really. Not English, not a misspelling of the beverage, but one of the Lakota. Its meaning?

Well, I'll let Lame Deer, medicine man of the Lakota Nation, do the honors.

"Friend. White people use this term lightly. Maybe you don't know what real friendship is. The young men who vowed to become a kola to one another would almost become one single person. They shared everything- life and death, pain and joy, the last mouthful of food... They had to be willing at all times to give their lives for each other."

Lame Deer speaks only of male-male bonds, but I am convinced that male-female can exist. How do I know? I've seen it.

When I graduated college, I was king of the hill. Bachelor's with Honors, cum laude on top of that, interviews to medical school, I had it all.

Then, it crumbled. My Midas touch turned to dust. No shot at medical school this time. Close, but no cigar. Stuck doing courses I didn't want to do, to have a crack at 2006. I posted to a message board I frequent, and asked advice.

A friend answered the call. Through posts on there and emails, she talked me out of my funk, and started helping me get my confidence back. Then, in April, we met for lunch.

It was strange. Not like meeting someone new at all, but like seeing an old friend. We talked like we'd known each other for years, and when we parted, I felt a deep sadness tempered with joy. I had found a friend, and a good one. She couldn't stay that day, but I still had found a friend.

I helped her cope with a failing marriage, encouraging therapy and doing all I could to try and help. Through it all, though, I didn't realize the most important thing that was going on.

I was falling in love.

One day, we kissed, and that sealed it. Looking deep in her eyes, I saw love as clear as the sunlight and as pure as fine gold.

Now, I stand on the border, looking out into the great Unknown. Medical school applications again, interviews coming soon, but this time, I have my kola by my side. This time, I am loved.

Whom might this be? The reader doubtlessly knows.

Bainwen, my kola, I love you.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Echoes of the past...

Yesterday, I was watching TV, and a commercial came on. Don't remember for what, and it doesn't matter. There was one part that had meaning, though. In it, a child is walking on a football field, and looking up into the stands, hearing the cheers of fans long gone and the crunch of pads long hung up and forgotten.

Thinking about it, I know what they meant. Sure, it was just an ad, just something to hook the viewer, but at a deeper level, I know what they meant. I have seen it.

Camp Miakonda, established 1917, in constant use every summer since. The echo here is one of peace and laughter, one of the happiness of green-clad Scouts wandering. From the brown and green of the 1920s, growing and shifting into the olive of the 1950s, to the khaki and green of today, that is the sound of this place. It's the sound of snapped blades in Scout knives, of burned dinners over wood fires, of snowball fights and German Spotlight, of the pure laughter of a summer's day and the pure shock of flipping a canoe in the lake.

UT's Glass Bowl football stadium, built 1933 through the generosity of the WPA. The sound here? The roar of the crowd and the crunching of pads. Soft leather in the early days, growing sharper and harder as the players get stronger and the pads get tougher. Coaches carried off the field as champions, and players carried off with shattered bones and dreams, those are here. It's of winning streaks and solid beatings, of fifty-point blowouts and last-second saves. The hot dogs still sizzle on the grills, the peanut slingers still hawk their wares, those are the sounds that endure here.

Riverview Cemetery, established early 1840s (nobody knows for sure). The sound here? Mixed. Tears, sure. There are many dead that lie here. But, there are also the quiet intonations of Masonic burials in many languages, of quiet rituals and soft words. There still echoes the low whistle of the barges on the river below, the mechanistic thunk-thunk-thunk of the hammers in the forges at the steel mill, and the quiet, respectful chatter of squirrels and birds in the trees. Even superceding the sadness, that quiet respect and affirmation of life is the sound I hear most.

A friend once told me that she could see flashes of the world the way things used to be. Forests where there are now only streets, valleys and hills now covered with concrete. I understood her then, as well. I tried then to explain what I can see, those flashes of the world gone by. Maybe, just maybe, this will do the trick.