fr_defenestrato: (j'accuse)
People be gibn ol' Mittens da shittens about this "Amercia" business...



...as if there weren't anything more substantively objectionable in his politics (RHPS crowd: "Religion!" "Same thing!"); but I think it was just a shoddy attempt at being clever, some kind of play on "mercy" or French "merci"...

So in the spirit of cooperation—because aren't we all finally tired of having a president made out of muslin? I mean, muslin makes LOUSY magic underwear—and to help the Merony campaign highlight the Government's proper role via-à-vis the plebes in our own 21st century Roman Empire, I offer the following anagram for "United States of America":

SAME COUNTERFEIT STADIA
fr_defenestrato: (stripper drawing)
It was some kind of porn star promotion at the Lucky Horseshoe Lounge last night, and they were giving out Fleshjacks, collecting money for TPAN (Test Positive Aware Network, a name I've always found a bizarre glorification of an unhappy event). Anyway, when the host asked for volunteers with ten $1 bills in they pocketses, I stepped up along with one other guy to compete in some unspecified game. We were instructed to "tip these two porn stars in the dirtiest way possible". So I ended up paying $10 to suck dick, eat ass, and be given a Fleshjack. Which somebody subsequently rooked while my back was turned, but oh well. Easy come (remarkably easy, to hear tell), easy go.
not safe for human consumption )
fr_defenestrato: (nebuchadnezzar)
I am a rank technician, nothing more,
curating, as we all do, this our sphere:
Its monuments, minutiae, metaphors
are but Mephistophelean bargains here.
In everything are beauty and despair—
the yin-yang of the so-called higher forms,
a calculus of which deceptive pair
around each curator's aesthetic norms
deploys obfuscatory, spinning gold
to straw and straw to sautéed aubergine,
till all we know is all that we are told,
unalloyed by the truth of what we've seen.
Thus is each curator despoiled by school
except—I dearly hope—a perfect fool.

Personal artist statement for Artomatic 2012
fr_defenestrato: (obama)
So I've been engaging in lots of bits of dialog concerning Barack Obama's "fully evolved" "embrace" of same-sex marriage: all the whirl in the press yesterday. I am, I discover, not sufficiently agog at the amazing fact that for the first time in history a sitting president has come out in favor of equal marriage rights for queer people. Oh, yeah, except for all those other countries' presidents who have already legalized same-sex marriage while we Americans are still thumping our bibles like the paranoid, primitive subspecies we by and large are. But, ok, this is the first AMURKIN president to so opine, so... OOOOH! AAAAH!

There, happy now?

Sorry. This is a bullshit historical moment whose historicity is built solely on Obama—and probably at least two of his immediate predecessors—having lied or withheld their true opinions on the matter for fear of political repercussions. Barack Obama publicly supported same-sex marriage as an Illinois state senator in 1996, so this whole charade about his views "evolving" and just now coming around to supporting marriage rights is precisely as horseshit as everything else the man says. As my friend Glaucon suggested, Mr. Obama seems at least partially to have been shamed into voicing a decent human sentiment by the jovial and somewhat goofy sentiments his veep expressed on Meet the Press Sunday. Of course, others have suggested that Biden's remarks were a calculated test drive of a new White House policy, but if that's so, the job the entire WH press staff did in acting flustered under fire was masterful.

(Aside: Dana Milbank at WaPo is a fucking asshole—starting with calling Biden's remarks a "gaffe" and sinking from there into a slimepit of his own making. He should only get cancer.)

The goodhearted folk around me insist on being optimistic, in many cases stating explicitly that they choose to believe the president's sincerity—which I find a remarkable admission—whilst chiding me for my cynicism. But I truly don't understand why people are lined up around the block all eager to suck Obama's dick with gratitude for making a statement that was a bare-minimum vocalization of support. He might as well have had a fucking Muppet on his wrist and spoken in a funny voice for all the weight of conscience and/or ethics and/or rhetorical power he put into his remarks. Here's a man who, we know perfectly well, could give us a pithy, morally compelling soapbox speech worthy of Henry Fonda or Jimmy Stewart in the last reel (cf. his sermon on race relations in March 2008)... but in this case, what do we get? Gary Cole in Office Space: "Why don't you go ahead and say you support gay marriage this weekend?"

But after all, I do understand why the president voices his personal support. Because he cannot articulate the central argument against the religious objections to same-sex marriage. He cannot say to America what desperately, life-or-fucking-death-desperately needs to be said to America right the fuck now: Opinions based on the imagined will of an unsummonable deity have no business affecting human rights, federal law, or public policy. Instead, he throws in some awfully vague (and well-worn) aphorisms about treating all Americans fairly and equally. I'm surprised he didn't take a leaf from Bill Clinton's notebook and assure us he was bestowing his equal rights mitzvah only on such faggots and dykes as work hard and pay their taxes.

Next. In explaining his reticence to articulate his support (think Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn from The Music Man: "I am reticent. Oh, yes, I. Am. Reticent.") Obama says he thought civil unions would suffice for them second-class LGBT citizens, because "I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people the word 'marriage' was something that evokes very powerful traditions, religions beliefs and so forth"—and for a second time in as many minutes, he cravenly fails to make another rhetorical point that desperately needs to be made by somebody that matters at the national level: that as far as the federal fucking government is concerned, marriage is a legal contract, entered into willingly by two adults, with certain attendant rights and responsibilities, and not one fucking thing more. If your Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Assholes or your Psychotic Bastard Religion doesn't want to marry same-sex couples, that's your wretched affair; meanwhile, what we the people call "The Law" is just a little more recent than fucking Leviticus.

Sigh. So having missed these two golden opportunities to say something real to the citizenry of this fine nation, what kind of rhetoric does the president get up to? Oh my: Fucking God. In addition to the historicity of prez-oks-fagspice, this interview was also the first instance in MY memory (can anyone else cite a precedent?) that a sitting president has made explicit reference to Jesus of Nazareth "sacrificing himself on our behalf"—the central tenet of the Christian faith, of course, but WHAT IN THE BLISTERING FUCK IS IT DOING IN OBAMA'S JUSTIFICATION FOR SUPPORTING MY RIGHTS? YOU'RE REALLY FUCKING SAYING THAT I DESERVE THE RIGHT TO MARRY A GUY BECAUSE CHRIST DIED FOR MY FUCKING SINS?

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

So that's it. I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate the fucking people who run this country. They are all just as screamingly wrong-thinking as they could possibly be... or worse: they pander to the screamingly wrong-thinking to enrich their fortunes. Don't you fucking dare tell that's the way it has to be: there are other countries NOT enmired in this superstitious bullshit, not pandering to the stupidest and most hateful elements of their society, and not shoveling the wealth of their citizenry full-steam into the coffers of the most obscenely rich fucks on the planet. But here? OMG, in spades. And they're not going anywhere, and they're not getting any better. That's what really and truly pisses me off about Obama's performance yesterday: it represented ZERO real progress in any way that matters. It established ZERO principles in the president and provided ZERO progressive or even common-sense rhetoric. Like Alice's recitation to the Caterpillar, Obama thought he knew what he was saying, but he was wrong from beginning to end.
fr_defenestrato: (baseballs)
The Nationals won their third game (of three) against the Diamondbacks tonight, 2-1, isolating their ignoble trio of losses to the Yanquis as the ONLY series they have lost so far this year. Their record improves to 16 wins, 9 losses—or .640, top of the Eastern Division, tied with St. Loomis in Central, trailing the Dodgers' .680. We're also tied with Baltimore in the American League, but they're behind Tampa Bay (.692), who just finally surpassed Texas (.680). (See all standings here.)

Now the really exciting part: Philadelphia has finally broken even: 13 wins, 13 losses, putting them FOURTH out of the five teams in National League East. And they're coming here for the next three days.

The only bad part about tonight's game was that there were too many and the wrong humans in Section 314. Escape from the Diamond Club's corporate douchebags is one thing, but The Rabble have their own little foibles, too: witness the drunk, Werth-hating motormouth behind us (who wore out the patience of even the buddy who brought him—the nadir of their dialog was, "You're really starting to piss me the fuck off. STOP POKING ME."); witness the GenX threesome (and 4-ish child) to my right, one or more of which needed to run a new errand on average every half-inning; witness, indeed, what happens when motormouth hollers at Incontinent GenXer A to wait for the goddamn batter to be done before making everybody in the row stand up, because some people are trying to watch baseball up here. This got GenXer's attention as he was passing directly in front of me, where he stopped and glared and said sharply, "Who do you think you're talking to?" whereupon they beat their chests at each other for a while. Witness GenXer B take every possible opportunity throughout the rest of the game to wring sarcasm out of the situation—e.g., admonishing the accompanying child for everything he did, lest the mean man yell at him; pointing derisively to other people standing while a batter was up; and insisting that one is never made to suffer such petty scolding at Fenway.

I hate humans.

In other news, I am exhibiting photography at Artomatic 2012, which opens May 18. I need to have my installation done by Sunday week, which is starting to scare the shit out of me. Anybody want to advise on presentation, wall space preparation, framing? My initial idea (project one of my photo images, rendered in 8-color, onto the wall, trace outlines, and paint by numbers) seems way, way too complicated and time-consuming at this point...
fr_defenestrato: (baseballs)
Séain accompanied me to Nationals Stadium tonight to see the second of three home games against the Arizona Diamondbacks. After last night's disappointment—the Nats' fifth loss in a row, having dropped one to the Padres and a three-sweep to the Yanks—tonight was more of a roller coaster than usual: Nats conjured one run in the third (Ramos singled, Lombardozzi doubled); Dbacks came up with two, top four; Nats grab two more in the same inning (Espinosa BB, steals second; Harper doubles, scoring Espinosa; Ramos singles, scoring Harper): so we're ahead 3-2. After a blank fifth, the Dbacks score two more in the sixth, and there we sit, down 4-3, out after out, through the sixth... the seventh (one runner left on base)... the eighth (TWO runners left on base)... and then the ninth, which starts with young man Harper getting his second double of the night; then forward Ks from Ramos and Ankiel. Down to our last out, with Harper stuck at second, Ian Desmond gets up and sees three 4-seam fastballs in a row: Fouls the first. Takes the second for a ball. And smashes the third with his cudgel such that it proceeds game-endingly yonder.

So: Rah!

I had scored the rare Diamond Club seats from Chisanbop, so we availed ourselves piggily of the free grub (though we quaffed only a pair of Blue Moons each). These tickets are face value $170 each, and they share a border with seats, arguably equally lovely (but without fud and drink) that go for less than half that price. By contrast, my season ticket seats are in Section 314, so close to directly behind home plate that you really can't tell whether you're a bit left or a bit right from where you're sitting... but up two levels. What I've come to understanding sitting around this ball park is that the Diamond Club seats are mostly corporate season tickets, just like Chisanbop's. They are therefore heavily populated by corporate douchebags—ultra-privileged males who expect the world to drop what it's doing and come lick their scrota clean on request. (For extra bother, there were loud, stupid people behind us: five 30ish dolts who couldn't between them figure out who the fourth president was in the Geico Presidents' Race, besides Geo. Washington, Abe Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt.)

Mind you, Chisanbop's Diamond Club seats are mighty fine... but for company, I think I'll head back up to my nosebleeds, thanks just the same.
fr_defenestrato: (fuckyou)
Hi, LiveJournal.

Fuck Facebook with an ungreased Louisville slugger, twice, on a big rock with your mom, jerko.
fr_defenestrato: (We Are Not Amused)
Haha! 'Twas just about to click "Compose"
when your own verse (more credit than it's due)
dropped in my box. And yes, last night, who knows
what time, I thought about our gutters, too,
and then our lack of ladder, lack of shed,
then of that evil, ling'ring basement stench...
and then of painless ways to make me dead.
When I was able, finally, to unclench
my jaw and fists, I thought of our TVs—
the both of which I own—occupied hour
'pon bloody hour; and then, with great unease,
I thought of four men fighting for one shower,
and I was back to death... by heart attack
or black mold. There, now: aren't you glad I'm back?

[For Maria Forsythe-Chopin, upon returning from New Orleans to Old Hell]
fr_defenestrato: (dissenters hate freedom)
Paranoia and the Progressive Press: A Response to WaPo’s Religion Columnist

www.religiondispatches.org

Last week, Lisa Miller, religion writer and editor (Newsweek and the Washington Post) filed an op-ed in which she fulminated against “the left” and journalists who have raised concerns about the influence of dominionist thinkers on Republican presidential candidates like Michele...


So... I grew up a fundie. Not exactly dominionist, mind you: at the time, the pulpits of the First Assembly of God in Hammonton, N.J. and the First Baptist Church of Egg Harbor (City), N.J. still resounded with the various sermons and sayings by Jesus and All Those Girls on humility, subservience, and keeping one's Christian proboscis out of the secular world's business, lest ye end up tempted by greed and filth and such. The sort of righteous insistence that the Christian's rightful place is in the legislature is a movement that saw its first major victory in the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Not coincidentally, this followed a decade of the crazy-fast-rich ascendancy of televangelists. Suddenly nobody had JUST a humble little Sunday morning pulpit as the source for inspiration about how to live a good life—now Oral Roberts and Jerry Falwell and Rex Humbard and other demonstrably acquisitive, dishonest fucks started sharing the bill and infecting the poor, unsuspecting... well, the poor, unsuspecting Geises, among others.

By now, we really do have a situation where some people unabashedly believe they have a monopoly on the will of their deity—needless to say, the only real deity in existence—therefore a monopoly on good and evil. These people believe it is their deity's will that they exercise dominion over the entire earth, because that was more or less the instruction when the species got kicked out of Eden, and because some asshole with a private jet and 17 Caddies told them they deserve a private jet and 17 Caddies too, and the unerring path thereto is from trusting the the LORD and voting for only His servants, which, here's a quick list. Ok, it's not all about the Caddies; some of these dominionists earnestly believe they can hasten the second coming of Christ by establishing an earthly government in his name; others just believe they have a sacred obligation to God to promote his supposed wishes in the public sphere: legislating prayer, marriage, antigay laws, etc.

My own personal view? I don't quite buy the authenticity of the current batch of dominionists—Bachman, Perry, et al.—or, really, any of them since they started mounting the national podia in the late 1970s and saying the words "God" and "bless" an embarrassing lot. I believe there's some behind-the-scenes business going on whereby the electorate is being manipulated. Somebody figured this out: Citizens with this mindset—roughly, Christian fundamentalists—will always vote for the candidate that sounds most like a Christian fundamentalist, that seems to share their desire that everything in American public life be as "Christian" as possible (often in direct opposition to that other adjective, "Christ-like"). Now, somebody like Carl Rove (but much longer ago than Rove) looked at this religio-political phenomenon and said, "Wow! These people are so very ridiculously, profoundly stupid! In order to make ourselves and our rich friends even richer, all we have to do is convince these stupid fucking Christians (SFCs) that our candidates are good little fundies, and these SFCs won't even notice that they're being fucked daily by the very people they've elected with every piece of federal legislation that deregulates industry, ruins the fiscal and physical environments with equal abandon, robs them of centuries-old constitutional and legal rights, flushes American jobs down third-world sweat-shop toilets, and takes poor and middle-class people's money and hands it pretty much directly over to Wall Street, without so much as a reach-around or thank-you card."

Yep. That's what I think.
fr_defenestrato: (tynchre)
When you were young and tirelessly wont
to julienne my ankles through the sheet,
I found you nonetheless un cher enfant
and you received me into the retreat
you'd built yourself, far from the irksome lot
that had so ignominiously been thrust
into your courtly midst. But then I got
full custody, discretionary trust,
and chancellery of your earthly realm—
the which you seem inclined to soon forsake.
Since healers' cordials may yet underwhelm
(for heretofore they have), I bid you take
this moment, secreted from all chagrin,
and deign once more to let me scritch your chin.
fr_defenestrato: (Bert Lahr)
[sung to the tune of "You're the Top"... at least the refrain]

You're the pits ... you're a thirsty 'skeeter
You're the pits ... you're a bottom feeder
You're the fresh shellac on Dick Cheney's blackened heart
You're an unlanced boil, you're castor oil,
You're baby art! (looking at you, Anne Geddes)
You're a bust... you're a bile martini
You're the crust on Santorum's wienie
I'm a salty food that's not yet chewed to bits,
But if baby, I'm the olives, you're the pits!

You're the pits ... you're a skid row hummer
You're the pits ... you're a constant bummer
You're a caravan of unbridled vanity
You're a jerk in progress, your royal hogness
You're leprosy!
You're a stye ... you're a Chevy Vega
You're the fly in my shot of Strega
I'm a salty wench with great, portentous tits
But if baby, I'm the cherry, you're the pits!
fr_defenestrato: (mushroom)
On the walk from the stadium to the car, my shirt was soaked through from sitting in the sun watching baseball. I took it off.

"You just signaled that you're not from around here."
"Why?"
"Locals never take their shirts off in public. Even on a hot day, and even if doing manual labor, a gentleman may strip down to his undershirt, but that's as far as he'll go."
"Why?"
"It's gauche." <<slightly abbreviated version So... let me get this straight. An action based in the pursuit of tangible physical comfort is to be forgone by fiat of a pointless construct based on what other people think. Am I close? I don't know what really is behind the Anglo-American abhorrence of visible skin. Is it really nothing more than the millennia-old offspring of the 'nakedness' shame attributed to Adam and Eve in the very first Bible story? (And where did THAT come from?) Is it a remnant of pride as old as the first wanderers into the frozen North? "Haha, you Mediterranean types, look where WE can live because we can make these lovely, warm clothes!" Is it a random evolutionary adaptation, the search for human meaning behind which is de facto nonsensical? Whatever. Fuck unnecessary clothing and fuck humans who prescribe the wearing thereof. (BTW, that goes equally for women. I remember Anne Hairston saying, one filthy-hot August day, something like "I can't believe I need to wear a shirt to go outside on a day like today... but the moment I walk down the street I'm going to run into some shirtless dude with breasts bigger than mine!") Similarly, I remember having conversations with a variety of males, long ago in Delaware, on the subject of unshaven female anatomy. To a man, each respondent expressed repulsion. Wait, I kept protesting, I don't understand. Everybody KNOWS women are variably hairy, too... why do we have to pretend they don't grow hair on their legs or under their arms? Nope. Even when they could admit that the custom was intellectually absurd, these guys could not undo their training. Stupid fucking humans.
fr_defenestrato: (purr kitty)
The staff at Dogs & Cats Veterinary Referral agree, Tynchre's mast cell disease has not responded to the course of Vinblastine, with which he's twice been dosed. They switched him to Lomustine as of today. The problem with the latter drug is that it is more likely than the former to suppress the animal's white blood cell count (leukopenia), so it's possible Tynchre could tolerate treatments only every 4 to 6 weeks—which may make them ineffective. So... so far, no good. I've been steeling myself for loss.
fr_defenestrato: (Default)
It cannot be avoided in any examination or discussion of my psyche that my mantra is "I fucking hate humans." I really didn't seek out this mantra and I'm not sure how to get rid of it. A very few persons in this world give me momentary respite from my overall bleak outlook. Mostly I do not understand humans, what they think, how they feel, how they behave. It is not in any way fanciful or exaggerative to say, as I did yesterday, 'I'm really disappointed in my species. They seem inevitably to go for the Obamas, Tyler Clippards, and 59th Street Bridge Songs of this world.' (The last in response to Séain's disclosure that that song was a favorite of his UU congregation during 'Flower Communion'. Out of Paul Simon's entire body of work, the sheer number of people who giddily adore this piece of insipid tripe makes my teeth itch.)

I find so many facets of popular culture and the common discourse downright appalling. The overwhelming need to believe in invisible intelligences selling supernatural insurance plans for post-mortem domiciles. The overwhelming need to believe the most wealthy and powerful persons on earth are not super-villains—that, for example, that corporate shill in the White House has one lousy shred of integrity or principle. The circular assurances that a thing must be right or true because so many people believe it is right or true.

In Section 319 Row A of Nationals Stadium yesterday afternoon, I (quietly and with a bit of nausea) came as close to suicide as I ever have in my life. Over nothing, as it were—but every suicide is over nothing and every suicide is over everything. It was top of the 8th inning, and Coach Davey Johnson had just called to the mound the sole representative of the Washington Nationals at the All-Star game this weekend: right-handed pitcher Tyler Clippard.

A few folks who've read my statuses at The Other Place over the last year-and-change will be familiar with my longstanding loathing of this young man. I watched him throw away game after game last season when brought in as a relief pitcher. Lord Fomo and I settled on the theory that then-coach Jim Riggleman knew he wouldn't get to stick his tongue up Clippard's ass on any night he didn't put Clip in for a disastrous inning... but it wasn't just Riggleman: among all the commentators and a vast, loud throng of fans, there seldom was heard a discouraging word. What rheumy-eyed, back-alley djin shored up Clippard's charisma points?

[Geek-aside: My backup theory was that Clippard cast a powerful spell on the world, like Jonathan in Ep. 4.17 Superstar...
Buffy: I think that Jonathan may be doing something so that he's manipulating the world, and we're all like his pawns.
Anya: Or prawns.
Buffy: Stop with the shrimp! I am trying to do something here!

... but just recently I'm feeling more like Buffy in Ep. 4.2 Living Conditions, which means I'm going to have to kill him myself.]

Anyway. Clippard's performance this season has been marginally better—in some games he delivers a single flawless inning—but he's still erratic: you never know what his performance will be like, and yesterday, he was throwing more balls than strikes and threatening to negate the single-run lead the Nats were enjoying. After he had allowed a single and issued a walk, putting the first runner in scoring position with one out, I was inspired to voice my opinion: YOU SUCK, CLIPPARD! Unimaginative but heartfelt. A nearby fan immediately says, kinda sotto voce or to his people rather than to me, "If he sucks so bad, why are we sending him to the All-Star Game?"

And my mind just spiraled. I was speechless. "Yes, very good question" is what should have distilled from the brain chaos, "Why in the blistering fuck ARE you sending this asshole to the All-Star Game? You really think THIS is the best this team has to offer?" And a ton of mental detritus, a towering shitpile heretofore secured with duct tape, came tumbling down on my head; the Obama and Christ similes sauntered by; my utter, desolate distance from the rest of the species flashed in momentary LDS-neon-spiderweb clarity; and I really wanted for a second to jump over the fucking railing.

I mean, imagine a world where virtually all the arts were dominated by lackluster semi-talented sellouts whom people slavishly adored... no, wait, that IS the world. Hmmm. Imagine a world where everyone is so profoundly stupid, they can't see that there is no "opposite of evil" in politics? Shit, that doesn't work either. Imagine a world where people boss and bully and ostracize and even attack and kill each other because invisible beings tell them to do so...

Nope, I'm having a hard time thinking of how the species as a whole could be one fucking bit worse.

Patriotism

Jun. 29th, 2011 09:31 pm
fr_defenestrato: (love of country)
Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarrelled with him? —Blaise Pascal, quoted by Tolstoy in Bethink Yourselves
The holiday weekend being nearly upon us, it is right and proper that our outpouring of love for these United States proceed from reflection rather than reflex. It seems to me that only by the latter—by recourse to the regimented, reactionary indoctrination of schoolkids in the Red-scared mid-20th century—can so many of my neighbors convince themselves of some vague moral superiority by virtue only of their living in a place where some rebels bucked a monarchy a couple centuries ago, and of their shouting and singing and crying and pledging and blowing things up about it to this day. We are so not that country anymore. Even our boasts about how "free" we are sound empty—while federal spooks track our every move, purchase, email, and phone call with impunity if they so choose. That's free compared to whom, exactly? On the most loathsome and knee-jerk end of the patriotic rectum spectrum is the insistence that we are a people chosen or blessed above the others of the earth, which, far from elevating or ennobling us, shows merely how petty, cruel, and utterly unenlightened the species can be.

When I stand in the stadium this weekend—while icons of four great American presidents cheat and trip and bully each other and dance to disco and generally act as buffoons, courtesy of Geico—why would I place my hand on my heart and pledge allegiance to the corporate powers that steal from us and kill our neighbors to enrich themselves? For it is surely they who own this country, its government, its institutions, and its weapons.

We would do much better to pledge allegiance to each other.

[Next Sunday's sermon: Sports fandom is how we rehearse our nationalism.]
fr_defenestrato: (purr kitty)
So here I am in the unenviable position of determining how much money my cat's life is worth to me.

Pursuant to Tynchre's GP appointment at Lynn Animal hospital last week, I took him yesterday to 'Dogs & Cats Veterinary Referral' in Bowie, where we had a consultation with Dr. Simmerson, an IM doc specializing in oncology, and had some diagnostics done. An ultrasound showed probable spleen involvement with the mast cell cancer, and subsequent spleen aspirate confirmed there are more mast cells present than are normal, though the count isn't wildly high—i.e., his spleen is NOT one big tumor like his head is rapidly becoming.

So this morning I went back to Dogs & Cats to consult with the surgeon who also examined Tynchre yesterday. T is definitely an outlier in terms of the aggressiveness of this cancer. Dr. Freed at Lynn AH had predicted the tumor(s) in and around his left ear are located such that a clean margin will be difficult or impossible to achieve. Dr. Austin, the surgeon, confirmed she would almost certainly not be able to remove all the mast cell growth. However, she spelled out some options:

One, radical surgery to remove as much tumor as possible from Tynchre's head, plus splenectomy, plus irradiation of the cranial excision site, plus a course of chemo. The head surgery would take the left ear completely off as well as most of the ear canal; he would lose all or most of his hearing on that side. Even beyond the startling earlessness, he would look funky in that skin would be pulled from elsewhere to cover the area of excision. His neck fur, e.g., would be his side-of-the-head fur: different color, different texture. Facial structure itself would not be compromised. Anyway, that's just the cosmetics of it, and not really an issue if we're talking full remission.

Unfortunately and as I expected, there's just no guarantee of that. His chances are no doubt better with this most highly aggressive course of treatment, but—e.g., if the disease doesn't respond well to the chemo—it could be right back to where we were 6 months or a year from now.

Price tag for this option: roughly $10,000 over the course of a year.

Second option: start with chemo and see whether and how well it works. Dr. Austin reiterated Dr. Simmerson's message from yesterday: reaction to chemo of mast cell disease in different patients varies wildly: in some case the response is profound; in others, negligible. So it might be worthwhile to see how this disease reacts before attempting more radical and costlier remedies. Price tag: $278 per treatment for eight treatments.

Lastly, for the no-treatment price tag of $0.00, Dr. Austin predicted 2 to 3 months of life for Tynchre.

I opted for the chemo. Tynchre goes in Thursday morning for his first treatment.

I'm kind of a wreck.
fr_defenestrato: (Default)
Journal Title: Polymorphous Perversity of the Imagination

Journal Subtitle: Combatting the Illusion of Obviousness Since 1965

Friends Page Title: Half of What I Say Is Meaningless
fr_defenestrato: (Default)
Tynchre's new doc call me last night after he reviewed my boy's complete medical records. I got a referral (with enthusiastic recommendation) to a veterinary oncologist in Bowie and I just set up an appointment for Monday 20110613.

Ol' Doc Freed (well, Young Doc Freed... well, Young Hot Doc Freed... [optional addition of adjectives]) did a 'keep your spirits up' spiel, said it's entirely possible the specialist will take one look at Tynchre and say, Fuck yeah it's operable! Alternately, it's possible some course of non-radical/palliative treatment could keep him hale for a good long time. We'll just have to see.

Of course I'm still worried and depressed; I've seen firsthand how aggressively (that's vet for 'fast') these fucking tumors have been growing.

ETA: Oh, and my heartfelt thanks and love to you'uns who have empathized and sent well wishes. :)

Tynchre

Jun. 8th, 2011 11:02 am
fr_defenestrato: (purr kitty)
[Disclosure: most text re-purposed from an email to mom & bro.]

So my cat Tynchre (not pictured) has cancer of the face. By the end of winter he had something growing in his ear that I took to be an abscess of some sort... but I had not established a new doc for him since moving to Hyattsville, so found one online, close to my home: Langley Animal Hospital, whose doc said, "Oh, that's not an abscess, that's a tumor" and immediately admitted Tynchre for surgery the next day.

After that first surgery (March 23), the biopsy of the tumor came back saying that while "the vast majority of feline cutaneous mast cell tumors are benign... no reliable grading scale has been devised for feline patients"... meaning that even with the biopsy they weren't sure absolutely whether the cancer was benign or malignant. Which I find pretty hard to believe. In any case, "Complete excision of these lesions is generally curative. Unfortunately for Tynchre, neoplastic cells extend to the margins examined in this biopsy and local recurrence would therefore be expected."

Local recurrence indeed. The poor boy has a nasty polyp-looking tumor growing right where the old one was excised (inside his left ear); and another, bigger one growing outside and under the same ear. The size of the external one makes me think it must have been present as of March when I took him to Langley Animal Hospital, and they didn't catch it. Add to this fact the apparent borderline incompetence of the admin staff at Langley and some very scary customer reviews online about the cleanliness of the place, and so...

I took him to a new vet yesterday (Lynn Animal Hospital, with far better online customer reviews) and am awaiting a follow-up call from Dr. Freed, who promised to call before he knocked off work today. However, the doc that examined Tynchre brought in a senior colleague to have a look as well, and even the senior colleague said he would have to recommend a specialist for surgery given the location of the present tumors. For one thing (he said he said he said) the external one runs pretty much where be also nerves that control the left-side facial muscles... and the internal one is trickily close to the ear canal. In order to have any confidence that excision of neoplastic cells will be complete, the surgeon needs to go "several millimeters deeper" than the visible edge of the tumor; and therein lies the problem. Tynchre could end up with facial paralysis and/or hearing loss... and still not be guaranteed of non-recurrence.

In the unlikely event the cancer is malignant, appropriate treatment with any hopes of cure would run upwards of $10K. That would be a very hard sum to cover, and again, no guarantee of being effective.

So... fuck. I will consider a surgical option—exactly one more surgery—if and only if a specialist assures me it's benign and there's a good chance s/he can achieve "complete excision of these lesions" and prevent recurrence. If not, I expect I will simply not treat Tynchre until his health or quality of life noticeably declines, and then will have him put down.

Yesterday was not a happy day. Today's kinda sucking, too.

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