Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lenten Wish

I just wanted to let everyone who's going to be giving something up this Lent know that I'll be thinking of you.


Cheers Darlings!!

Odd Job

I was talking to one of my colleagues at work yesterday and we were swapping stories of odd jobs that we've had to do at work. Although many might think that laboratory life if very dull and predictable, scientists have to deal with just as much random oddities in their daily work lives as much as the next person. My colleague related to me a story of how when she was a resident doing surgery research a lab member of hers didn't properly anesthetize a rabbit he was operating on. The animal awoke during surgery and her lab mate ran out of the procedure room befuddled and in terror. She was left to capture the rabbit that had begun to move around while still cut open from surgery before it spilt itself all over the procedure room. I then remembered a task that I had to do that is, to this day, the most bizarre and macabre job I have ever been asked to do.

I was working in the department of plastic surgery at a medical center here in Dallas. I was hired to do molecular biology research on wound healing but the department wasn't quite ready to embark on such basic science and I was by and large the cabana boy that the research nurses and secretaries called when they needed something lifted or retrieved from shelves above their voluminous hair.

One day I got a call from the research nurse telling me that I had to come upstairs to help her dispose of some biohazard waste. I wasn't busy and was downright giddy to be doing something so I reported with alacrity. So far nothing was out of the ordinary. Biohazard waste typically means sharps containers or spent media used to culture cells, no problem. I arrived in the plastic surgery research lab and the nurse tells me "You need to take the old heads in the freezer down to the anatomy lab to be cremated. They're old and I need to order some new ones." I paused for a moment and attempted to process what I had just heard. I figured since I was new that this was a joke and any minute now someone was going to start snickering. The nurse didn't snicker, stutter or flinch as she opened the freezer door and pulled out three plastic bags each occupied by something roughly the volume of a human head.

She then told me that we should probably put the heads into new bags for transport since the ones they occupied already were kind of old. I put on some gloves and lab coat to cover my arms past where the gloves stopped and held open each of the the three new bags as she casually transferred the three heads used by the residents to practice face lifts on into their new containers. I got a good look at each of their faces as they went into the new bags and the repeated surgeries didn't seem to help any one of their appearances.

I loaded the heads onto a cart and covered them with a sheet. My next task was to transport the heads across campus to the anatomy lab where they would be prepared for cremation. I wheeled the cart down each hallway being mindful of every bump and every opportunity inertia took to steal one of my packages. What I did not need was to have a head fall off the cart and roll to the feet of a visiting patient in the hospital.

I reached the anatomy lab in the basement of one of the research buildings. They knew I was coming down and I waved through the small square window in one of the doors to a tall albino man at the end of a long corridor and he let me in. I pushed the cart down the corridor which was lined with various plastinated cross sections of the human body trapped in clear lucite blocks. The day was only getting weirder.

The tall albino man had gone into another room while I was making my way down the hall gawking at the cross sections. When I reached the end of the corridor he emerged from a room on the left that was obviously the necropsy room. Upon seeing him I realized that he was, by appearance, the perfect person to be working in an anatomy lab. His skin could, like the skin of the countless corpses he tended to, could not afford much exposure to the sunlight. The basement was an ideal workplace for this individual. At this point I thought I would just hand off my packages to him and be on my way but he asked me to follow him into the necropsy room. I followed him into the room in which there was a corpse, still in his hospital gown, socks and all, laying on a stainless steel gurney. "That one just came down a few hours ago," he said. At that point I was trying my best not to pass out and nodded my head and smiled as if to say "Yes. Very good. He'll do very nicely." He continued as if he had heard my unspoken reply, "He was just old but fit as a fiddle. Thats how they like them for anatomy lab." I looked at the man for what seemed like an eternity but was really just a couple of moments. But in those few moments I had realized my own mortality and was oddly at peace with the fact that I would someday be just like him, dead.

I snapped out of my epiphany and began to feel more light headed and nauseous as a result of the embalming fumes permeating the room. The albino led me to one side of the room where a cardboard box with the dimensions of a coffin was on top of another gurney. He pulled off the lid of the box to reveal a myriad of other loose body parts used for various research and educational reasons. I don't remember specifically what was in the box but I do remember seeing a very large, fat leg stretching a good length of the box.

"Load em in," he said. I began to drop a bagged head into the box at which point he stopped me and said, "Oh no plastic in here. You need to take them out of the bags." I reluctantly followed his orders as I let each globe slide out of its plastic bag and thud into the box with its eternal companions. I couldn't bear to look into the box and wondered if the conscious minds of the people who once owned these body parts had known or even fathomed how they would end up. He covered the box and then wheeled it past a threshold into another room that contained shelves, stacked four high, of cardboard boxes awaiting cremation, each one containing a melange de corps.

I asked the albino what happens to the ashes. He told me that they are placed into a memorial garden on the campus that honors those who dedicate their bodies to science. Oddly enough that was the most cheerful thing I'd heard all day. I gathered my sheet used to cover my parcels and disposed of the bags. Without further delay I wheeled my cart out of the necropsy lab down the long corridor, exited through the double doors and reentered the land of the living this time not paying any attention to the plastinated artwork on the long gallery walls. I had had enough morbidity and reminders of my own mortality for one day.

I arrived back at the plastic surgery lab and the nurse asked me if there were any problems. I told her it all went well and that they were expecting me. She smiled and thanked me for disposing of the waste. As I turned to leave I glanced down at her desk and saw a post-it note on her desk calendar, "Order New Heads."

It was the weirdest day of work I have ever had.

Monday, February 27, 2006

I read headlines.

This headline popped up in my google news box when I logged into my gmail. The editor for this website needs to...well...edit. This headline is out of control. Maybe the readership for this particular site is well versed in Latin and erudite enough to be mature about it. For those of us that have the minds of twelve year olds this elicits a hearty chuckle.

Microsoft to unveil console-cum-tablet-cum-sat-nav

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Krebs Cast #15


Random ramblings again. My week at work, my weekend, and news of the weird.
Krebs Cast #15

I just realized that I numbered this podcast incorrectly. Oh well. Krebs Cast #14 will be known as the lost episode.


Mayors, Bodybuilders, and Porn Stars

I've already noted, but not on this blog, that two quasi-celebrities work out at my gym.

  • Laura Miller, Mayor of Dallas

    laura miller high res

  • Sagi Kalev, Professional Bodybuilder and Professional Hottie


    Today though I was pleasantly surprised to see gay porn star Tom Chase at the gym today.

    Tom Chase

    I had to make many a piercing look at him to verify that it was him and after deliberation with Brad we came to an overwhelming consensus that it was indeed him. My gym is so D list, I love it!.
  • Saturday, February 25, 2006

    How Am I Not Myself?

    Where I work reminds me of high school sometimes. There are many
    cliques and factions that operate in their own microcosm. It's really
    amazing that the templates for cliques that existed in high school are
    echoed where I work.

    There's the "popular" group. We're all familiar with them, if you're
    not then you were or are one of them. They live in a reality where
    all they can see is how much better they are from everyone else. They
    love exclusion, gossip, and drama. Hive mentality also dominates this
    group and therefore can be found in very large numbers. What
    distinguishes them the most from everyone else is that on the outside
    they all appear as if they are the bestest of friends but if you
    listen closely they are constantly talking about how much they dislike
    one another.

    Then you have the free spirited group. These individuals like to
    observe and do their own thing. Occasionally they'll join the popular
    group for a social function but by and large they get ignored but the
    free spirits could care less. These people are mature, confident, and
    not afraid to be alone. Some might think that these people are
    standoffish and snobbish but they are misinterpreting the free
    spirit's prudent trepidation about who to let into their life.

    Finally you have the outsiders. This is a group of people that the
    "popular" group cannot stand and that the free spirits tend to enjoy
    but can only take in small doses. They can be annoying a lot of the
    time but if you look past all of that you can find very dynamic and
    interesting people underneath the idiosyncratic behavior. Its
    important though to set boundaries when exploring the dynamic
    personalities of these people as they can become clingy and possessive
    of your attention. It is here though that you will find people that
    will leave the most lasting imprints on your memory.

    There are more groups but these are the three main ones that I always
    had in my mind and the ones that seem to be prevalent at my work.
    Which group do I fit into? I don't know. I usually like to cop out
    and say that I don't belong to any one of them and that depending on
    my mood I can be in any of them or none of them. I will admit that
    during my middle school and early high school days I had the desire to
    be in the popular group. I soon came to know what I know about that
    group now and adopted the philosophy that I should actually like the
    people that I call my friends.

    Recently, at work, the temptation to be part of the "in" crowd
    resurfaced. It influenced me to cast negative judgement on people
    that I had thought well of previously. Every now and then we all get
    tempted to be people that we are not and acquiesce to the
    sensibilities of others for the sake of being part of a group and to
    avoid being "out." I learned a long time ago that deception, of
    others and of the self, has an inflated perceived pay out. Therefore
    every once and I while I have to step back and ask, "How am I not

    Friday, February 24, 2006

    I want to be alone.

    Tonight I am supposed to go out with people from work to a bar to celebrate someone's birthday. Thats not going to happen. Instead I'm going to go to the gym, come home, eat dinner and do some things that I've wanted to do for a while now but have not had the time to do.

    Brad will be out doing more departmental interviews so I will be alone. Its not that I can't do these things when he's here, were very independent when we're home together but when you're alone the feeling of doing those special things is, well...special. The opportunity for alone time is so rare that I cannot resist the urge to indulge in it. That and I have a tendency to be reclusive.

    So what's on the agenda you ask? First, I plan on opening a bottle of wine and enjoying a glass or two with my leftover Italian Wedding Soup that I made last night. Afterwards I will retire into our office/spare room/philosophical think tank/podcasting studio/ game room with the remainder of the wine and enjoy some retro gaming on our Sega Dreamcast, Sega Nomad, and our Atari 2600. Heaven!


    Thursday, February 23, 2006

    The Future of The Past

    Brad found these photos on Plan 59. They are advertisement drawings from the late 40s into the 50s. What gets me about these images is that they were born out of optimism for the future and the promise that things will always get better. Sure maybe the the Cold War had a little bit to do with this but at least there was vision for a better tomorrow. I look at these and wonder what happened to that vision of the future?

    This one is my favorite. These are spaceships that use giant "sails" to capture the ceaseless bombardement of solar radiation to power the ships so they can travel the solar system. Do people even think up ideas like this anymore?

    Tuesday, February 21, 2006

    Krebs Cast #13


    This is a special photocast podcast. You will need the latest version of iTunes OR an iPod with photo viewing capabilities (i.e. iPod Photo, iPod Nano, or iPod Video) to listen to and VIEW this podcast. If you don't have one of those devices do not fret you can use the latest version of iTunes to hear the podcast and see the photos that accompany it. I hate to be all promotional but you can get the latest version of iTunes on www.apple.com.

    Let me know if you have any issues and let me know what you think about this photocast.

    Download the podcast from my podcast site and then load it into iTunes or click the image below to subscribe to my podcast with iTunes and download the photocast directly into iTunes.


    Monday, February 20, 2006

    And Stay Out!

    On the plane home I had on my right a larger fellow in good spirits that talked just the right amount, and on my left a girl who looked no more than seventeen donning a red hooded sweatshirt and white flannel pajama bottoms with red roses printed on them. Call me prejudiced but I loathe people that go out in public in pajamas. The flight attendants did their usual pre take off announcements after which the child remarked jadedly with intent to sound sophisticated "Well our flight attendants are in a lovely mood tonight aren't they." I turned to her and was about to say something in reply but when I saw her pull an Ugg bag from under the seat in front of her, replete with fur, then proceed to turn off two cell phones one of which was a Razr I decided that it wasn't worth it.

    I maintained a perfect ignorance of her for the rest of the flight thanks to my noise reducing headphones. Its amazing how time flies listening to Confessions on Dancefloor whilst playing breakout on my iPod.

    Once we began our descent into DFW the friendly man to my right and I were talking about where we lived. I told him I lived in Oaklawn and he added that he lived in Addison. The child heard our exchange and, uninvitedly, interjected:

    "Wow! Ya'll live in Dallas Dallas then, like in the city. I remember when I was a kid and we used to go to Mississippi for summer vacation we would drive through that area. How do you deal with all the traffic and living near all those people. I mean really, I live west of Fort Worth and it suits me fine."

    This time I couldn't resist. I calculated the appropriate dramatic speed of which to turn my head, turned it and looked the demon in her arian eye and said with consternation and exclusivity, "It's not for everyone." The last I heard from her mouth she was speaking on her cell phone to who knows what kind of trash telling them that when she got off the plane she'd be "out fernt smokin' a ceegarette."

    Sunday, February 19, 2006

    Farewell My Concubines

    I headed out from my brother's 40th surprise birthday party to meet with Darin, Jayne, Chad, and my friend Nikki who is now Jayne's little sister, renamed Nena and whom will henceforth receive free drinks at Charlie's. It was my last night in Phoenix and I needed to party it up. We had a great time but I really wish that Dan was there. Unfortunately I couldn't spend as much time with him as I would have liked but some other things came up. Without further ado...




    This lovely lady looks like a fellow Dallasite by the looks of her hair.


    A couple of local cuties, Freddie and Dan.


    Suck it Jayne. Suck it hard, suck it long.


    The fabulous life of champagne and chandeliers.


    Nena knows where the goods are and she doesn't hesitate to check them out.


    Darin couldn't let Nena hog all the meat.


    I am certain this weekend was just the first of many adventures with this group. I'll get back to regular posts this week and a special Photo Podcast of some images from my youth.

    Farewell and cheers to you Phoenix! Thanks Chad, Dan, Darin, Jayne, and Nikki for a great weekend. Love you guys!


    Saturday, February 18, 2006

    The Trifecta

    Yesterday was filled with a lot of stress for me but I managed to meet Dan and Darin out. I don't really have time to go into the details right now but here is the picture of the three of us. The meeting was far too short but another one will be planned for the future. In summary, I'm really glad these guys are my friends.


    Friday, February 17, 2006

    Night #1: Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves

    Every time I go home I am thrust into a paradox, I feel like a stranger yet I know the city but not as I remember it. So much has stayed the same that the little changes make it seem like I have somehow entered an alternate reality. Its very similar to "It's A Wonderful Life" where Bedford Falls is the same but a bit amiss.

    After I had my metaphysical reflection on my returning home I ventured out with my friend Nikki.


    We first went to get some R&R at a local Starbucks. Note the wretched specimen of overprivleged suburban spawn behind my dago princess.


    We got a call from Frick and Frack and zoomed across town to join them at Roscoe's.


    We soon departed and moved on to Charlie's and so the night really began.


    The Debauchery:


    The Drama:


    The Carnage:


    The Local Color:


    And the greasy southern Italianness of it all:


    This was just the first night and Dan has yet to arrive. Are you ready for this jelly?

    Thursday, February 16, 2006

    Into The Desert

    Well I'm off to Phoenix today. I'm flying standby and my flight got changed from Thursday afternoon to early Thursday morning so I get to arrive at the airport at 5:30am. Yipee! I will post pictures and possibly a podcast as soon as I take them and I assure you there will be many photos. Have a good thursday everyone.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Chez Moi

    Many of you have asked and here they are, pictures of our condo.


    This is the W.C. downstairs. The sink came with the condo and the previous owners had a very nice mirror in this room and it happened to be the only mirror they took with them. No worries, we had fun finding this one and we got it for under $60. We got this mirror at a great Mexican folk art store here in Dallas called Casa Mexicana. They import a myriad of Talavera pottery items and a whole lot of Dia de los Muertos sculptures. Brad and I guessed that the sink is also Talavera pottery as well; not that its rare or anything but its nice to know the story behind things.


    This is the living room. We painted it "green tea." The rug is a new acquisition as is the leather chair that has a twin. Its definitely my new favorite room. The Stuart Davis print of "New York Mural" is something that I've had for many years. I saw a special exhibition of his work at the Met before I moved from NYC when I was about ten. The original is massive and I fell in love with it. My mom bought me a print, framed it, and its been with me ever since.


    We've got more to do downstairs and as soon as other rooms get finished I will post them.

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    Krebs Cast #12


    This is an al fresco cast. No notes. Nothing discussed was planned or thought about. Total on the fly banter that concludes with my Valentines Day dedication song.

    LISTEN to me in stereo sound.


    Also! Be sure to check out Darin's Podcast over at All Prep & No H where I am the guest host this week. I had a blast making it and you ought to check it out.


    Many of you know that I got Matha Stewart's Baking Handbook this past Christmas. I had made pignoli cookies a few days after getting the book and have not made anything since. Well this weekend I returned to my baking newly armed with my first piece of silicone bakeware, a mold for Madelines.

    Martha has a lovely recipe for these shell-shaped cakes that uses a whole lot of butter, sugar, lemon zest, lemon extract, and the uber-expensive almond flour. A little shout out to Martha on this recipe: It might be wise my dear to have your recipes consist of items that average people can afford to buy. It democratizes your brand.

    Since I omitted the almond flour from this recipe I renamed these little cakes Bradelines in honor of Brad. They are splendid and the silicone bakeware preformed satisfactorily.



    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    My New Olympic Obsession

    Now that Michelle Kwan has gracefully removed herself from the US Olympic team I can stop fagging out and give my attention to more important aspects of the winter games, like all the hot men.

    I was at the gym today doing my post work out cardio and as to be expected ESPN was orgasming over the figure skating drama. Between the recycled clips of Kwan falling on the ice they were kind enough to feature some other Olympians one of which happened to be this handsome young man, Joe Pack, a US Freestyle Skier.


    This man is HOT and I must have looked like a freak with my mouth agape while I looked at his visage on the plasma screen above me. Think of all the naughty things you can say with his name. Joe Pack my... I'll leave it to my readers to fill in the blanks.

    Saturday Summary

  • Running into extremely loquacious acquaintances in a crowded strip mall while trying to acquire goods only available at big box stores puts fascist thoughts in my head.

  • Do I really need those items that never made it into box or trash bag during the move if I haven't missed them for two weeks and is it safe to burn them?

  • It does not make sense to spend $140 to have a $5 print framed.

  • At $11.99 per pound, Almond flour is perhaps the most overpriced baking ingredient I have ever sought out.

  • The desire to take an afternoon nap with your kitty cat always trumps the desire to go to the gym.

  • While watching the pairs figure skating short program last night I came to the conclusion that Sandra Bernhard ought to be a commentator for the sport at the Olympics.
  • Saturday, February 11, 2006

    Overheard in Dallas

    Scene: Chili's. A woman and her husband sit behind us with their extremely overweight teenage daughter dressed in clothes meant for a smaller person.

    Daughter(in a Vercua Salt manner): I want a Motorola Razr!

    Dad mumbles something disapproving in thick Texan drawl. His voice is considerably less voluminous than his daughters.

    Daughter(while eating something):But my momma said that if I lose twenty pounds I can get a new phone AND two hundred dollars!

    Mom(in voice similar in timbre and volume to that of her daughters): I DID say that.

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Adam and Brad in South Park

    Brad and I are now part of the South Park community. Note how I am in a zip up hoodie (hoodies are to Adam as flip flops are to Darin) and I have my cup of coffee in hand. I must have coffee! Brad is in the classroom, of course, and he has his iPod in his ears. We are both sporting our very academic messenger bags as well. The weird thing is that these bear a striking resemblance to us. I think Brad looks so cute in South Park.





    Thank you to Atari_Age for featuring the link to the Southpark character creator.

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Butter and Fashion

    Whilst Brad was off doing philosophical things this evening I had the house to myself. It was weird occupying all the new space alone. I wouldn't sat that I'm totally and utterly dependent on Brad but "I just don't know what to do with myself" when he's not around. I cracked open my oh so pedestrian but oh so useful 365 ways to cook chicken cookbook and started on making a quick recipe.

    I have to admit that I was a but nervous about the recipe. The sauce to cover the chicken that had already been browned in oil consisted of six tablespoons of butter, the juice of one lime, two chopped green onions, and a half a tablespoon of dill weed. I poured the translucent concoction on my browned boneless beauties and I cut a piece off of one of the breasts in my plate. I tasted. I masticated. How did I ever come to doubt my humdrum 365 ways to cook chicken book!? Anything slathered in butter is delicious and this recipe is proof of principle. It would be great on a piece of fish was well. A white fish though. It would clash with the flavor of salmon or tuna.

    Anyway. Brad came home and we indulged in Project Runway. I have to tell all of you that although he couldn't be further from my type, I am in love with Daniel Vosovic! His design this week was...peculiar but he has won four of the challenges so far and I think his milky white skin and full head of beautiful brown hair is absolutely stunning. Not to mention his paradoxical small but supple lips. This week the designers served as models and Daniel was dressed by Nick Verreos in an 80s kind of way. He looks hot.

    Those of you that have read my blog in the past know that I love taking photos od television shows. Wednesdays episode of Project Runway was a smorgasbord of photographic moments. Here are some of the frames I captured with the stunning Daniel V. as the first in this set.







    The best comment of the night was when Michael Cors said about Nick Verreos' design from Daniel V., "It looks like a Golden Girls jacket that should be belted and worn with legins."