Tomorrow I go into the hospital for a procedure called ‘cardiac ablation’.  I’m not entirely sure why, but I feel not just a little peculiar announcing this here on the blog, but there it is.  You can read about it, or not, with the link attached to the term here.  Even though I certainly know what’s about to take place, I myself have kept a safe distance from the nuts and bolts outlined in such an article in order not to induce panic.  That seems sensible, am I right?

So, instead, let’s listen to Stacey Kent and her piano accompanist David Newton, both of whom I’m crazy about.  The little keyboard trills on this track, so nice.

Also on this record is My Heart Stood Still, much more upbeat than Easy to Remember, but let’s face it, a little tacky to consider including at this juncture…

(I’ll save that one for the day after tomorrow.)

And so does my husband Stephen (our house is full), but that’s another story.

To avoid a March vacuum here on Domani Dave, I offer this piece from seven years ago, which several posts back I threatened to recycle.

Sharp-eyed Bare-breasted Boys

March 2, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I began my forth year of walking for exercise, every single day.  I walk a roundtrip distance of two and a quarter miles, the same stretch — from Broad Street, crossing Baxter, to Five Points, and back — and I do it in about twenty-nine minutes.  It would not occur to me to skip this daily routine.  Though I’ve mentioned this walk a couple of times on this blog, you’ll have to take it on faith that I do not stop people on the street to natter on about it.

Why the same strip of sidewalk?  Well, for one thing, it’s flat and it’s predictable, and it’s a block away from the street where we live.  It’s also one of the busiest streets in town, and I’d be less than honest if I said that the fact that people tell me that they see me walking all the time doesn’t give me some kind of validation.  I also see a number of other ‘regulars’ — we don’t know each other, but we wave.  Stephen jokes about how I need to get out there with my ‘peeps’.

I used to wear sunglasses, but I found it isolated me from people walking in the opposite direction.  People smile and acknowledge you if they can make eye contact, not so much with sunglasses.  Which brings me to another aspect of my routine.  The street I walk on is a very popular jogging route.  And this is a college town.  Hello!  I know it’s going to get cold again before this is all over, but recently the weather has gotten almost warm, and the jogger shirts came off.

Admittedly, I get a bit blasé as the Summer rolls on.  On the odd evening that Stephen might ask for a report, I eventually end up describing some youth as ‘standard-issue gorgeous’ because the details get so repetitive.  Only if there is a magic combination of height (six-three, maybe) and shoulder width, for example, will I get into tiresome (!) particulars.  But, back to sunglasses, or the lack thereof.

I read somewhere a long time ago that evolutionarily speaking, one of the refinements the human species acquired for survival is the ability to tell with great accuracy where another pair of eyes are trained, even at a considerable distance.  Let me corroborate.  If I espy an approaching jogger, and closing at thirty feet away I allow my eyes to b r i e f l y drift below his navel, inVARiably there will be some subtle indication that this glance has been detected.  Though I’m well-past caring, it IS somewhere between frustrating and fascinating.

In spite of this post, my handful of readers will know me to be a gentleman of taste and breeding, and nothing like a dirty old man.  Well, old, yes, and maybe a bit dirty, but not dirty and old in combination with each other.  It should also be pointed out that whereas I have great legs, it would never occur to me to display my own bosom while out on the hoof.  I’ve s e e n contemporaries in this state of déshabillé, and the next one that comes along, well, there’s going to be an intervention.

My recent circulatory setback has nudged me offline, but since I think I’ve been consistent in posting, for better or for worse, at least once a month since 2009, indulge my feeling inclined to place a marker here to signal that I’m still around.  If you don’t hear from me in March, consider me kaput.

I know… its too painful to contemplate.

Sorry to be a week late with my annual birthday selfie.  It’s been a rough year…

Today is the seventy-first anniversary of Davemas, aka my birthday.

The lead-up to it has been inauspicious to say the least, as I spent Tue/Wed/Thu of this past week in the hospital (leave out the ‘the’ if you’re from the UK).

As Stephen had the flu, he insisted that I go to a nearby walk-in clinic to get swabbed.  While there, we discovered that my heart was racing at double the normal rate, and the doctor insisted that I go to the ER, which I did.

With no symptoms that I was aware of, we discovered I have AFib.  Wish me well.  (I insist.)

My only relief during my hospital stay was my day nurse, ‘a well-made youth’, as sweet and charming as could be — made all the more charming by (though he tried) an almost complete inability to make smalltalk.

How prescient my previous post;-)

I’ve been out of commission for a while, and haven’t posted.

When I posted this photo before, it gave my ‘views’ a boost.

I’m certain it was the eyes that engaged so many then, so…

I posted this Edward Gorey yuletide tableau before, long ago on Domani Dave.

The image originally appeared on the cover of an issue of National Lampoon of all places, and to the best of my knowledge never resurfaced, not even in any of the Gorey compendiums.  I’m sorry: ‘compendia’.  We are, after all, talking about Edward Gorey.

As I’ve pointed out a number of times before, I will steal anything.  If I’ve used ‘the Works of Goethe bound in blue Levant morocco’ once, I’ve used it a hundred times over the years in answer to what I want for Christmas.

A sable pelisse would also not be bad, but if you are casting about for something to send me, I already have an automaton that sings ‘Dal dolor cotanto oppresso’.

Happy Holidays, my dears!  We all deserve s o m e thing happy after this year.

Click to enlarge

After November 2016, I stated somewhere along the way that I was going to endeavor to guard against this blog becoming ‘one of those’.  Not that I have anything against ‘those’.  I think I’ve been a pretty good boy.

This article from ‘The Guardian’, however, is just too entertaining to pass up, and to celebrate yesterday’s Michael Flynn news, I include it here.

When Donald Trump became a presidential candidate, Susan Mulcahy got a call from a former colleague at New York Newsday. “You’d better stock up on valium,” the ex-colleague said.

“It’s because I hated him so much,” said Mulcahy, the veteran gossip columnist who covered Trump for years at the New York Post, describing the call. “I would go ballistic if his name was mentioned in the office.”

Trump’s reputation as a liar now precedes him, but this week it reached new heights. In addition to reports that he regularly brags about winning the votes of a majority of American women – he did not – other accounts say that he has begun questioning the authenticity of the Access Hollywood tape in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitals.

It’s an over-the-top falsehood (the hosts of Access Hollywood have reiterated that the tape is authentic) but to Mulcahy, it is just par for the course with Trump. “Most people have an alibi or a backup plan; Trump doesn’t do that,” she told the Guardian. “He just says the exact opposite of what he did five minutes ago.”

No one can argue that Mulcahy didn’t warn them. “He’s a pathological liar. I’ve said that repeatedly and I’ve been saying it since the 80s. He has two sports, golf and lying, and that’s it. He just lies about everything.”

…  [click the link above to read the entire piece]

But Mulcahy, who gleaned her insights into reporting on Trump the hard way, does have some thoughts for those charged with covering the president today.

“Donald Trump should be treated like a very, very bad child in a preschool. Like the kid in preschool who really wants attention, so he throws his excrement against the wall? That’s Trump on Twitter.

“Bury the absurd outbursts and cover what is really happening. Don’t cover his personality and his statements on Twitter, because they’re ridiculous.”

Mulcahy said she wished there were a way to cover the actions of Trump’s administration without covering Trump himself. “He would lose interest in the whole thing, as soon as it wasn’t all about him,” she said. “He would lose interest in being president if you just covered those actions.”

For instance, she said, it was no coincidence that when hurricanes were pounding the Gulf, Trump was busy tweeting about players kneeling at NFL games. “He wants people not to pay attention to the fact that his government is not doing a good job of hurricane cleanup,” she said. “He’s very good at redirecting attention.”

She is damning about what she see as the president’s narcissism.

“He’s so excited to turn the TV on – it’s Donald everywhere and that’s all he wants,” she said. “He didn’t get into office with a plan, like: I want to accomplish these things. He just wanted to win – just like he wanted to make a major real estate deal and get the most tax abatements or whatever.”

She added: “He has no policies or theories, just a desperate, endless need for attention.”

Thirty years after she first began dealing with Trump, her observations remain apt.

“I certainly did not envision my comments about his lying to become relevant in this context so many years later,” she said. “I thought he would be a lounge act in Atlantic City about now. If so, he’d be happier, and the rest of us would have much less to worry about.”

Credential-less myself, it does amaze me how many people with credentials I have collected on Domani Dave – retired MIT professors, for example, Canadian foreign service types, the odd psychiatrist (meaning, of course, ‘random’ as opposed to ‘strange’).

On the other hand, during a period of my years working at the university here, I would have the odd (in this case meaning ‘from time to time’ and a bit strange) lunch with a Pulitzer Prize winning author, and the conversation was never less than lively.

(Last nod to the ‘My degree is bigger than yours’ culture one has to endure in a university setting, I recall a cocktail party he and his wife hosted.  Populated primarily with university faculty, another guest asked me, ‘How do you know Bill and Mary?’  I’m certain that I was not feeling overly oppressed at that function when I heard in that query: ‘How do you know Bill and Mary?’)

Massachusetts born and a Yalie, Dr. M made the most remarkable comment during one of those lunches.  He said he found me to be ‘the least Southern Southerner’ he’d ever met.  This is of course absurd.  Most prominently, I am unmatched with the novella-length answer to most any question put to me.

Here at the Thanksgiving season, my mind has darted back to the larger family gatherings during my childhood, and what I had always thought to be the most Southern of expressions, ‘gracious plenty’.  My guess of regional claim is based, I’m sure, on pronunciation.  Run it in your head with a Southern accent.  Yes?

I Googled ‘gracious plenty’, and found it paired with ‘elegant sufficiency’:

“Gracious Plenty – If you’ve had enough to eat, you might say you’ve had gracious plenty. This expression goes back to the early 1800s, and serves the same purpose as saying you’re sufficiently suffonsified or you’ve had an elegant sufficiency.”

I heard ‘elegant sufficiency’ only once as a child at a dining table, minus the word ‘elegant’, uttered by my cousin Burt as a burlesque.  (‘More turkey?  No, I believe I’ve had a sufficiency.’)  But ‘a gracious plenty’?  If I heard it once, I heard it a million times.

I do hope you’ll have a gracious plenty on Thanksgiving Day.  I’ll even go so far as to hope you’re sufficiently suffonsified.

Koan: a paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment.  (Merriam-Webster)

The answer to the quintessential ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping’ is (allegedly) the sound of air passing over the hand as it strikes nothing.

I’m sorry, this answer does not strike me as ‘enlightened’.

My favorite Zen Koan is this one.

–      –      –      –      –      –

A duckling placed in a bottle has grown to full size with only its head sticking out through the neck of the bottle.

How can we free the duck without killing it or breaking the bottle?


There!  [punctuated with a sharp two-handed clap]

It’s out!

–      –      –      –      –      –

Kindly explain this answer to me.  I’m not in a great hurry, it can be something to ponder after Thanksgiving lunch before your nap.  However, if you cannot come up with an explanation, I will think very little of you.

I know that’s a bit harsh, but I have every confidence.

Why am I telling you this?

I started blogging in 2009, but September 2015, I ditched the previous posts in a fit of cyber housecleaning. Some of it was really nice writing, but alas, as my old friend Susan once said: ‘Compulsion is a cruel master’.

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