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small gray square Oxymoron observed on Usenet today:
"This is not spam, although I'm posting it to several newsgroups"

small cyan square I'm such a hypochondriac - by reading up on the symptoms possible, last Saturday I'd convinced myself that this sore shoulder I've had was really lung cancer (specifically: "Pancoast Syndrome"). Although I gave up tobacco usage ten years ago I have this fear that I didn't quit Soon Enough. Now of course the pain has faded (just a sprained muscle, I reckon) and I'm feeling pretty good! Still, a reassuring visit to the pulmonologist (who I saw about my asthma) may be in order, along with the baseline chest X-ray he suggested; and I'll be formally establishing a relationship with a Family Practice (ie a "regular") doctor in the same facility, per the pulmonolgist's recommendation, after I return from Europe. I can tell this Palo Alto Medical Foundation is a really good place since it's so difficult getting appointments - I'm also scheduled for a physical, and the next available time slot was three months away! Plus I like their building's 1950's "Googie" stylings. My dentist is also in Palo Alto - the place positively exudes high-grade health-care vibes to me, what with Stanford adjacent and all - I feel lucky and privileged, by my proximity and insurance, to have access. At my most morbidly hypochondriacical, I anguish about the sad impact my sudden death would have upon my loved ones, and how I could minimize that impact, especially the tidying up afterwards. Is this weird? Frankly, should I develop a wasting illness, I intend to avoid any hospitalization - I desire no prolonging of life via a connection to a machine. But this is so easy to say while healthy - any pain or sickness drives us directly into the arms of the medical community, pleading with them to do whatever it takes, at whatever price, to restore health - why should I believe I've the strength to behave any differently?

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small yellow square D & G saw the big Van Gogh show at the National Gallery Saturday (D won tickets at work, somehow). G reports that the show's hype exceeds the reality, that the Wheatfield With Crows "Wheatfield With Crows" is no big deal, and the attention this Last Painting receives is disproportionate. 1 I recall my own similar anti-climactic feeling, rounding that corner inside its home, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam - "That's it? I thought it would be... bigger, or something." In the Slate review of this show, Christopher Benfey describes the painting with an usually modern simile: "The oncoming zigzag crows, swarming like the black choppers in 'Apocalypse Now'..." In fact my disappointment with the scarcity of the Van Gogh Museum's holdings impelled me into the Dutch countryside to experience the real motherlode, the Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, where my favorite, The Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night "The Cafe Terrace At Night" can be found. I love its cobalt-blue sky... but due to its title, there's confusion between it and the one with the pool table: The Night Cafe in the Place Lamartine in Arles
"The Night-Cafe", which lives at Yale.

  G was disappointed that the A Starry Night "Starry Night" wasn't there - but how often does the MoMA let that prize out of the house? It also has a title which leads to confusion, with Starry Night Over the Rhone "Starry Night Over The Rhone" - let's just call it "The Big Dipper", instead.



small blue square Did you enjoy my little Van Gogh shogh? As with all good web pages, the images are all "thumbnails".

MoMA - Museum Of Modern Art
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<1> His exact words were:
One of a wheat field which I considered 'best of show' and not that insipid one at the exit wall, which every philistine gawked at with the black death crows, muttering oh the poor demon chased man...