Yukiguni is the title of one of Kawabata's novels, translated as Snow Country in English. The famous opening sentence is "The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country." The idea that a country can have snowy and non-snowy areas in close proximity is a bit foreign to Canadian thinking, where nearly everywhere is snowy all winter long. There are moments of striking beauty in late autumn and early spring, when snow mixes with living green. It's that overlap of seasons that gives the opening sentence its piquancy for me: not a sense of crossing a border but of inhabiting a mental state where warmth and cold are both present. Douglas
Clearly I'm not hanging out much at the Rideau Canal any more, because today was my first visit to the new (built in 2005) pedestrian walkway at Somerset Street. I recall being surprised the first time I saw it spanning the Canal, because the Ottawa Citizen had been so set against its construction that I had assumed the thing would be voted down in city council. Yet here it stands a thing of beauty and further testament to what a crap newspaper the Citizen has become. Was it the final piece in securing the Canal its United Nations world heritage site designation?
This must be the weirdest vessel operated by the federal government, an algae collecting paddle boat. I hope it has a name like the Right Honourable Kim Campbell. I'll try and find out. Douglas
This is going to turn into a web comic if I'm not careful. The dialogue goes: (thinking) "Yet, if we turn to Wittgenstein's Tractatus..." then, "What the hell were your thinking of?" and "The mind-body problem." If you're not from the Maritimes perhaps I should explain that St FX is the school that always puts Mt A in its place athletically. Now, to get over my fear of inking. Douglas
So. For the last couple of months I've been looking forward to this weekend. I had several vacation days lined up and we were planning on a jaunt to Toronto to go to TCAF where there'd be mountains and mountains of comics and graphic novels to look at and buy. Instead the closest I got to an interesting graphic experience looked like this.
After a 16-hour stay in the emergency department, I have learned
If you keep vomiting up your painkillers, a trip to the emerg is probably a good idea.
Also if you need to pee but can only pass about a tablespoon at a time, a trip to the emerg is also a probably a good idea.
There's a lot of waiting even if you're rocking back and forth in pain.
Gravol eventually works. Happy bonus: it will put you asleep so you don't notice the pain.
Intense lower belly pain could be an ovarian cyst and you will get a pelvic exam. This will be especially surreal if your partner is in the room with you and you know he's taking mental notes for a comic he's working on.
The staff doctor will have second thoughts about the resident's evaluation and will order blood work. When they say it will take an hour to get the results back, they are being wildly optimistic.
Eventually the blood work will reveal that your kidneys are in trouble and you need an IV to replace the fluids you've been hurling up. It'll also make it easier to do the CT in the morning too.
The vein busy nurses prefer to use for an IV hurts more than you'd think.
A stretcher in the back corridor is a weird place. I didn't need to learn as much as I did about the cleaning staff. The cleaner who wore his latex gloves into the bathroom, peed, and then came out still wearing the gloves needs a refresher course in personal hygiene. The cleaner who was looking for attention and sympathy from patients on stretchers needs to rethink her job choice.
There are two CT machines. Your paperwork will not be at the first one you're wheeled to. Your partner will get semi-lost trying to follow your speeding stretcher to the other CT machine.
By the time you're inside the CT machine, you'll be so tired that you will find the "hold your breath" icons intensely amusing.
If you've been there a long time, especially past a shift change, you may need to make a small fuss to get someone to chase the CT results.