The Way Things Are






I’m pretty sure you don’t have cancer.
2006-06-28, 5:46 p.m.

All righty, white nighty. Got a call from the Good Doctor this morning, and my diagnosis is this:

“I’m pretty sure you don’t have cancer.”

HA. Don’t they make a Hallmark card for just such an occasion? “Congratulations on probably not having cancer!”

OK, specifically, he said that they got a lot of those thick gooey cells, which he said is a liquid protein that these gnobs tend to manufacture, mentioned the word “colloid”, and then said that they didn’t actually find any normal cells in there. Didn’t find any cancerous cells – didn’t get any cells of the solid area at all. Just goo cells. And goo don’t tell you NUTHIN’.

Anyway, I suppose I could have stamped my dainty little foot

(my foot says yabba dabba doo!)*
and insisted that they perform another biopsy, and you’d better get some solid cells this time, mister, but he was all “nothing about it looks anything but benign” and I was all “hmmm, okay” and he was all “you have a follow-up in 6 months, we’ll take another look through the ultrasound then and make sure it isn’t doing anything” and I was all “WHATEVAH!”

If this were some kind of scary, fast-growing potential cancer, I might be a little more worried, but from what I’ve read, I’ll die of old age before my thyroid spreads its evil poisonous tentacles through my body and chokes the ever-loving shit out of me, so we’ll see if the gnob has grown teeth or hair in the next six months, and deal it then.

I’m sorry, my pumpkins. I wish I had a more definitive answer for you. I do love having the casual diagnosis of “I’m pretty sure you don’t have cancer.” If anyone was made to take that diagnosis and run with it, it was me.


I was chatting with Jane, as is my wont, and we were discussing the music we listened to back in our teen model years (what? You weren’t a teen model, too?), and one of my fondest incomplete memories is the Police at Reunion Arena. I kept thinking it was in 1981 – I knew I was a junior or senior in high school – and I remember who all I went with and everything. Shit, I practically remember what I was wearing.

But it wasn’t 1981. It was March 23, 1982. And the biggest thing I could never remember was, who opened for the Police at Reunion Arena in Dallas in 1981-1982? It wasn’t the Go-Gos. No.

They were supposed to open, but they canceled out at the last minute, and some other band opened. I couldn’t remember who it was, except that we loved them, and they ended up being really big and much more fun and wonderful in later years than the Go-Gos. Whose name I’m sure I’m botching what with the capitalization and hyphenation and whatnot.

Anyway, I dug around on Google for a bit, and I founded it! It was Joe King Carrasco, and if you were between the ages of 11 and 42 in Texas in the 80s, you know who he is. He was big around here, for a much longer time, than the Go-Gos could have ever hoped to be. Go-Gos. PTOOO!

So as I am prone to do, I sent ol’ Joe King an email. Here’s what I said:

I was just chatting with a friend about concerts we saw in the 80s, and I was remembering The Police at Reunion Arena in 1982. All I could remember is that the Go-Gos were supposed to open, and they backed out, and the band that ended up opening turned out to be really big later on. But I couldn't remember who it was! I just remembered that later, we felt silly for being disappointed about the Go-Gos backing out, because the guy who opened was way more awesome than any lame Go-Gos.

Well, you can find anything on Google if you're patient enough, and I just found out it was YOU who opened for the Police, and wanted to tell you thank you for being a big part of my music life way back when. After that concert, I saw you numerous times at various live venues, and always had a blast.

If you're ever playing in the San Antonio area, I'll be there. I feel like I'm 17 years old again.


My people, two hours later, I got a response:

I am playing down in Jalisco right now--adios joe king

Y’all! Somebody famous read my email and responded quickly! I kind of want to believe that he was literally playing down in Jalisco when he emailed me – like his Crackberry started buzzing with a new message, and he set his Corona down and sent me a reply right quick, right there on stage during a drum solo or something.

Can you just let me have that, please? Please allow me to have that moment.

Joe King was never a big crush of mine or anything, and I reckon he’s a 50-sumfin-year-old man by now, but still! I saw him up on the stage 24 years ago opening for the Police, and now we’re like good buds who respond to each other’s emails all quick and everything.



Oh! I almost forgot to tell you. I was driving around today, listening to NPR, and Talk of the Nation was on, and who were they talking to? Only my very biggest nerd crush EVER. I didn’t have anything useful or interesting to add to the show, but I wanted to call up ToTN, and just say this to Geoffrey: “Um, hi. I LOVE YOU BYE!”


I’m kind of thinking I might email ol’ Geoffrey, like I did Joe King, but this time, I’m going to ask for a picture. You just never know. As he explains in his Language Log entry today, he was very obviously at odds with Neal Conan and the other guests. I kept wanting to scream “You guys just don’t get it!” I wanted to call Geoffrey and tell him that I get it, that I understand him**, and then maybe ask him for a picture.

OK, we see by the picture that although he is a HOM (Hot Old Man), he’s prominently displaying a wedding ring, as am *OOPS* I, so perhaps I shouldn’t go there. But I might call him and say something like “Your refrigerator, does she run?”

*Please note that I am wearing a very cute anklet (or should I say “canklet”) that I bought from this lady. She ROCKS the beaded jewelry and I command you all to go buy something from her. NOW. Shoo!

**Actually, no, I don’t get him. Not at all. Most of Language Log flies right over my pointy head, but it’s like looking at balanced chemical equations for bodily processes: I don’t understand it, but I love it anyway. There’s something to learn just by looking at it.

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