Saturday, September 30, 2006

Trojan Man: boon to the boudoir, or filthy liar?

Great leaping tadpoles of destiny! I just found out that nonoxynol-9, the primary ingredient in the spermicidally lubricated condom, is actually not all that good at killing the little devils. And not only that, it can cause microscopic lesions in living tissue that atually increase the likelyhood of contracting STD's! I have never been a fan of condoms(what man is?) but rarely complained due to the even greater dislike of unwanted progeny. But one of the more unpleasant effects N-9 had on me was that it caused the first pee after sex to be extremely painful. And now I find out that the sensation of fire shooting from my artillery was all for naught? And what's even better about this is that the World Health Organization released this information back in 2001, yet I just found out about it this morning! Here is an excerpt from the WHO report:

There is no published scientific evidence that N-9-lubricated condoms provide any additional protection against pregnancy or STIs compared with condoms lubricated with other products. Since adverse effects due to the addition of N-9 to condoms cannot be excluded, such condoms should no longer be promoted. However, it is better to use N-9-lubricated condoms than no condoms.

This does raise an interesting thought, however. Since the fruitless pregnancy of a few months ago, Wifey and I have been trying quite actively to make another go of it, so far with no success. I am now wondering if the problem lies with my little swimmers, since there have been a total of 2 pregnancy scares in nearly 25 years of illicit activities. It makes one ponder...

So, anyway, if you are still relying on the lauded N-9 to keep you child-free, think again.

This has been a public service announcement from Dr. Marius.


Monday, September 25, 2006


Alas, the ancient utterance of power above worketh not. Oh well, I guess I'll just ramble then. It's tech week, so I'm pretty much brain dead. And it's a special tech week, since I was given a two week vacation/hell-ride to Normaltown that put me two weeks behind. My set is similar to what I had in mind, and my lighting designer has yet to write a single cue. And my sound designers almost have the CD made. Oh, and did I mention that the show opens Thursday night? I'm trying to figure out how to spell that special kind of giggling that preceeds the call to the sanitorium. Arkham? Yeah, Marius here. How's about you reserve me a room, a bed, and one of those special jackets.

Ok, that's all I have the energy for. Don't know what's going on in the world. Hope it's not too creepy.

George Bush sucks!

Love ya's.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The wind is in the sails, the oars are in the locks, and we must awaaaaay!

Arr, shiver me timbers and hoist the mainsail, me hearties, for 'tis National Talk Like a Pirate Day. The day when all ye scurvy dogs and saucy wenches put gravel in yer guts, and booty on yer thoughts, and arr the day away. And if ye be a landlubber, and need some larnin of the pirate way, then ye'll be wantin to watch this...


Now be off with ye, lest I draw me cutlass and send ye t'Davey Jones. Arrrr!!!!

Cap'n Marius

Monday, September 18, 2006

Some Sort of Return in Triumph is Required...

(bonus points if you can identify the show that title quote is from)

Greetings, Gentle Readers. I went back to the arts school today, and it was actually pretty groovy. I got many hugs, handshakes, and even people I didn't know saying how glad they were that I was back. And they had actually gotten quite a bit done on the set in my absence. It's still going to be a tight squeeze to get the thing up in time, but not so impossible as I had feared. So, I'm in a good mood for the first time in quite a while. On to some more trivial things.

Saturday was the first showing of the first of the re-done Star Trek episodes. They chose Balance of Terror, which was the first episode to feature the Romulans. It starred Mark Leonard as the Romulan Commander, the same actor who would later play Spock's father, Sarek, and the Klingon Commander at the beginning of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The new effects were very well done. Vastly superior to the originals, but made to blend seamlessly with the show itself, even adopting the same graininess and texture of the original footage. They could easily have ramped up the effects, but chose instead to simply replace the herky-jerky old model shots with much smoother CGI. Overall the revamp was beautiful. My only complaint was that the episode was still edited for syndication, but it was edited with all the subtlety of Freddy Kruger on crack. I guess we'll have to wait for the DVD's to see the real glory of the refits.

Ok, I'm really tired, so I'm going to end this here. I don't know what the future holds for us, but at least it's a lot less aggravating.

Peace, y'all.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Why Can't Johnny Read? 'Cause the Bosses are Idiots!!

Ok, my mom called me last night and berated me, gently, over the paucity of local news in recent editions of The Corner. She was, this time, quite correct. I have been purposely avoiding blogging about my adventures through the hallowed halls of education, but for good reasons. 1. I was unsure as to the outcome of the tale. And, more importantly, 2. I was so disgusted that I didn't want to talk/write about it, lest I continue the bitch fest. But, a promise is a promise, so pray attend my tale of bureaucratic woe.

So, when last we met I was sent to a school for 'normal' kids. I went, and much to my dismay not only was I to teach Drana, but I was also to teach one class of...English 1! I haven't taken an English class in over twenty years. How in the screaming f*ck am I supposed to teach it? So the beleaguered department head, understandably expecting a 'real' teacher, added to her already Sisyphean work load the joyous duty of providing me with a lesson plan each day for a class that I had no clue how to teach. The Drama classes were somewhat better, but even this class was half populated with kids put there against their wills by the guidance counselors. Ya-freaking-hoo. And all along I kept being told by the people back at the arts school that I would be back 'any day now'. Meanwhile the kids at my new school, who were trying to deal with a steady stream of subs after their 'real' teacher went to jail for check fraud, kept asking me if I was staying. Not that they were particularly fond of me, since for some reason I expected them to be quiet in class and do their work, but they were just sick of not knowing who would be their teacher each day. And all I could tell them was that as far as I knew I wasn't going anywhere. Then, finally, on Wednesday I got a call. I'm going back. But, not until Monday. So I was just another sub for two days, and now I'm going back to the arts school. Now, I have no idea if any work has been done on the set since I left, but we have a show that's supposed to open next Thursday, and I just lost the better part of two weeks build time. And on top of that, I am going back to West Palm next weekend for my adoptive son's going away party, and there is no way in hell I'm missing that. So this next week should be interesting.
So what is the moral to this little tale? Mainly that the Hillsborough county school system doesn't give a fuck about the students. All they care about is having a body in the classroom, and who cares if that person can actually teach the subject. It's no wonder most freshmen I've seen in college can barely put a sentence together.

And there you have it, oh faithful few. I don't know how long I'll be in this situation, but I am actively looking to get back to collegiate teaching. They may be clueless, but at least they make sure the teachers know their shit.

I'm exhausted, disgusted, and tired of this whole thing. But, I will try to be more entertaining with my next entry.

Peace, dear ones.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pharmacist's Blues

This was sent to me by a dear friend who is a pharmacist. I found it both amusing, and very enlightening.

Why your Pharmacist hates you so much....
Sunday, August 06, 2006
I Realize Today I've Done You A Disservice
WARNING: This post may be painful for those in the profession to read.

For over a year and a half now, the first thing anyone visiting my
little blog garden has seen under the headline at the top of the page
is the promise that the question of "why does my prescription take so
damn long to fill" will be answered. Tonight I looked over this blogs
archives and realized it was a promise not kept. While many topics
have been covered here, and you have been provided with ample evidence
of how drugstore workday life does indeed warp the mind, the question
of why it took 2 hours for you to get 20 Vicodin has remained
unanswered. I can't help but to think there may be someone out there
who has been logging on every day for the last 18 months hoping in
vain for this mystery to be solved. Should such a person exist, I
offer my humble apologies. To everyone else, I offer the following
prescription scenario:

You come to the counter. I am on the phone with a drunk dude who wants
the phone number to the grocery store next door. After I instruct him
on the virtues of 411, you tell me your doctor was to phone in your
prescription to me. Your doctor hasn't, and you're unwilling to wait
until he does. Being in a generous mood, I call your doctors office
and am put on hold for 5 minutes, then informed that your prescription
was phoned in to my competitor on the other side of town. Phoning the
competitor, I am immediately put on hold for 5 minutes before speaking
to a clerk, who puts me back on hold to wait for the pharmacist. Your
prescription is then transferred to me, and now I have to get the 2
phone calls that have been put on hold while this was being done. Now
I return to the counter to ask if we've ever filled prescriptions for
you before. For some reason, you think that "for you" means "for your
cousin" and you answer my question with a "yes", whereupon I go the
computer and see you are not on file.

The phone rings.

You have left to do something very important, such as browse through
the monster truck magazines, and do not hear the three PA
announcements requesting that you return to the pharmacy. You return
eventually, expecting to pick up the finished prescription.....

The phone rings.

......only to find out that I need to ask your address, phone number,
date of birth, if you have any allergies and insurance coverage. You
tell me you're allergic to codeine. Since the prescription is for
Vicodin I ask you what exactly codeine did to you when you took it.
You say it made your stomach hurt and I roll my eyes and write down
"no known allergies" You tell me......

The phone rings. have insurance and spend the next 5 minutes looking for your
card. You give up and expect me to be able to file your claim anyway.
I call my competitor and am immediately put on hold. Upon reaching a
human, I ask them what insurance they have on file for you. I get the
information and file your claim, which is rejected because you changed
jobs 6 months ago. An asshole barges his way to the counter to ask
where the bread is.

The phone rings.

I inform you that the insurance the other pharmacy has on file for you
isn't working. You produce a card in under 10 seconds that you seemed
to be unable to find before. What you were really doing was hoping
your old insurance would still work because it had a lower copay. Your
new card prominently displays the logo of Nebraska Blue Cross, and
although Nebraska Blue cross does in fact handle millions of
prescription claims every day, for the group you belong to, the claim
should go to a company called Caremark, whose logo is nowhere on the

The phone rings.

A lady comes to the counter wanting to know why the cherry flavored
antacid works better than the lemon cream flavored antacid. What
probably happened is that she had a milder case of heartburn when she
took the cherry flavored brand, as they both use the exact same
ingredient in the same strength. She will not be satisfied though
until I confirm her belief that the cherry flavored brand is the
superior product. I file your claim with Caremark, who rejects it
because you had a 30 day supply of Vicodin filled 15 days ago at
another pharmacy. You swear to me on your mother's'....

The phone rings. that you did not have a Vicodin prescription filled
recently. I call Caremark and am immediately placed on hold. The most
beautiful woman on the planet walks buy and notices not a thing. She
has never talked to a pharmacist and never will. Upon reaching a human
at Caremark, I am informed that the Vicodin prescription was indeed
filled at another of my competitors. When I tell you this, you say you
got hydrocodone there, not Vicodin. Another little part of me dies.

The phone rings.

It turns out that a few days after your doctor wrote your last
prescription, he told you to take it more frequently, meaning that
what Caremark thought was a 30-day supply is indeed a 15 day supply
with the new instructions. I call your doctor's office to confirm this
and am immediately placed on hold. I call Caremark to get an override
and am immediately placed on hold. My laser printer has a paper jam.
It's time for my tech to go to lunch. Caremark issues the override and
your claim goes though. Your insurance saves you 85 cents off the
regular price of the prescription.

The phone rings.

At the cash register you sign....

The phone rings.

......the acknowledgement that you received a copy of my HIPPA policy
and that I offered the required OBRA counseling for new prescriptions.
You remark that you're glad that your last pharmacist told you you
shouldn't take over the counter Tylenol along with the Vicodin, and
that the acetaminophen you're taking instead seems to be working
pretty well. I break the news to you that Tylenol is simply a brand
name for acetaminophen and you don't believe me. You fumble around for
2 minutes looking for your checkbook and spend another 2 minutes
making out a check for four dollars and sixty seven cents. You ask why
the tablets look different than those you got at the other pharmacy. I
explain that they are from a different manufacturer. Tomorrow you'll
be back to tell me they don't work as well.

Now imagine this wasn't you at all, but the person who dropped off
their prescription three people ahead of you, and you'll start to have
an idea why.....your prescription takes so damn long to fill.

A year and a half late, but a promise kept. I feel better about myself

Monday, September 11, 2006

In Memorium

I don't have much to say about 9/11 that I haven't said before. Mourn, remember, commemorate as you will. This should not be a day of politicizing, but a day of quiet reflection. And I'll leave it at that.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


–noun, plural -ties. 1. distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune

It is also a powerful and irrational master. I try to sleep, but unfocused thoughts pour acid into my guts and turn my heart into a metronomic M-16 on full auto. The people from the 'good' high school called and think they can get me back. The college responded with a 'Let me get back to you.' Which option is the best for me, and the family? Am I even looking in the right direction? Is there some other field I could go into, yet not have to start at the bottom? Then again, what I have been making for the last 5 years or so is starting pay for most 'real' careers. The only other thing I've ever really wanted to do was marine biology, but that kinda requires a whole lot more schooling. I'm a lousy salesman, and retail is out of the question. So, what can a married forty-something with a kid do? My stress level, and thus my asshole-at-home quotient has skyrocketed since I started the new job, but we can't afford for me to be unemployed either. I'm feeling tired, and trapped, and more unsure of myself than ever. If only I could find a nice, cozy shop where I didn't have to be the boss, but could make a livable wage. And as long as I'm dreaming, I'd like a pony, too.

Thanks for listening to me bitch. You guys are the greatest.


Rectum? Damn near killed 'em!

This was sent to me by one who personifies this philosophy perfectly. Thanks, Doug.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Much Needed Weekend

Ahhhh, friends. What a wonderful thing they are. Let me, wait, there is too much. Let me sum up. A little over a month ago I got wind that the Fine Arts magnet high school here in town needed a new technical director. You all know that tale. The rapid departure from the college; the torturous application procedure, the blood-pressure raising stress; and the myriad downsides to the gig that no-one told me of. But there was one very vital piece of information that should have been shared with me but wasn't. Apparantly every year the school board threatens to eliminate the position of technical director at this school, and, up til now, the administration has managed to forestall that elimination. Note that I said up til now. On Friday, half-way through my first class, I was informed that I was supposed to report to 'the pool'. This is where displaced teachers go to be reassigned. Now, my bosses kept telling me that, since I am not qualified to teach anything but technical theatre I would probably be coming right back. Oh foolish ones, how little they understand the bean counter mentality. When I explained that the one class they wanted me to take, Drama at a different, regular school, was outside of my abilities, they simply said that I either take that one, or they'd put me in something I was even less able to teach. So quality of education loses to simply having a body in the classroom. Nice. So, while my former bosses assure me that they have come up with a plan that 'should' work to get me back, I'm getting ready to contact my former boss at the college and grovel for my old job back. It's so much fun being me.

Which brings me to the real subject of today's blog. My friend Sean-Logan and his lovely wife had said that they would be replacing their children's bedroom furniture sometime soon, and would our young'n like the bunk bed set that would then be superfluous. Ever the free-furniture whore I said yes. Well, this weekend became the date of transfer. We rented a U-Haul and went to Naples. In addition to getting said bedroom set, we played video games, ate pizza, watched Firefly episodes(and yes, I'm hooked now, dammit!) and generally did nothing of great import. It was a much needed break from the soul-crushing stress I've been under, and the kid got a groovy new bed. Now I can face this week with some degree of calm, and hopefully put an end to this grand mistake I've made.

Peace out, y'all.


Stingray Elaboration

I got this from

How a Passive Stingray Can Become Deadly

By Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Managing Editor
posted: 04 September 2006
12:16 pm ET

Stingrays like the one that killed "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin are cousins of sharks. But unlike some sharks, which are fearsome predators with powerful jaws, the stingray is rarely a threat to humans and its small mouth is no threat at all.

The tail of the stingray that killed Irwin is capped with a roughly 8-inch spear made of the same stuff that makes up shark scales, known as dermal denticles. The spear, which stiffens when the stingray feels threatened, is serrated like a steak knife and packs a venom that can be deadly to predators.

The tip of a stingray's tail is serrated like a steak knife.
"The venom itself is a largely protein-based toxin that causes great pain in mammals and may also alter heart rate and respiration," according to the Mote Marine Laboratory.

"Stingrays do not attack people, however if it is stepped on, the stingray will utilize its spine as a form of defense," according to Nancy Passarelli and Andrew Piercy of Florida Museum of Natural History. "Although being pierced by the stingray’s spine is painful, it is rarely life threatening to humans."

There are about 200 species of stingrays. They live in both freshwater and in the oceans. Many do not have the ability to sting.

A stingray's mouth is on the underside of its flat body, so that it can feed on worms, crustaceans and other creatures on the seafloor. Its teeth are used to crack shells of prey.

Stingray spines have been used by coastal tribes to create spears and arrowheads, according to the Miami Museum of Science.

Irwin was likely killed not by the sting so much as the fact that the stingray's spear pierced his heart and caused him to bleed to death, according to news reports.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Well, for a guy who seems to have lived a charmed life, crocodile hunter Steve Irwin has been suffled off this mortal coil by an extreme case of bad luck. After making a career out of manhandling the fiercest predators on Earth, Irwin was killed by a stingray while diving off the coast of Australia. It wasn't the venom that killed him. Stingray venom is painful, and not a lot of fun, but is very rarely lethal. What got him, apparantly, is a one-in-a-million shot where the ray's barb pierced his heart. He is survived by his wife and two kids. Here is the full AP story.

I can't say I was a fan. I took more of a 'let's see what this nutjob will do next' attitude toward him, but I can't deny that he did a lot of good for wildlife in general, and for Australian wildlife specifically. His high profile and crazy antics may have paved the way for the popularity of the cable network Animal Planet, and he definately helped raise public awareness of the plight of the world's endangered species. And, at the risk of sounding trite, he died while doing what it was he loved to do. And I suppose that's one of the better ways to go. Vaya con dios, Steve. Good on ya.