Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Friday, September 29

Ben Stiller is truly this generation’s Jerry Lewis.

That’s all. I’m not bothered by it; I just think we need to come to terms with it and move on before he devises some sort of web-based telethon.

Monday, September 25

They call her Natasha but she looks like Elsie

So I’m kissing and trying to get clothes off, but meeting all kinds of resistance. I stop and make eye contact.

‘What’s,’ I ask, ‘going on? ’

‘Have you ever,’ I’m asked, ‘heard the phrase, “why would he buy the cow when he can get the milk for free?”

‘I have no idea what that means,’ I say, ‘my family raises beef cattle. ’

Thursday, September 21

Fame, It’s more fun with your friends

One of the many things that PlanetDan is far too modest to mention is that he is a fucking rock star in Minneapolis.

We’re not out for two minutes when I hear someone shout ‘Dan.’ Dan dutifully stops as someone tells him how much she enjoys his site and how long she’d been reading it. Dan says something to her, undoubtedly polite. I introduce myself to her and she looks at me for a half second. T-bone hands her a credit card and tells her to get us some drinks, which she does.

‘Nice,’ I say, nodding at T-Bone. She comes back with our drinks and a second of what would become many rounds of Jaeger bombs.

Then someone else comes up to Dan, ‘I recognized you from your blog.’ He exchanges pleasantries and I start talking to her. She asks me a lot of questions about what Dan is really like and and how well I know him. We do shots together and I’m not sure what happens to her after that, but then someone else is trying to talk to Dan. She’s trying to get herself invited to an after party.

‘Look,’ I tell her, ‘his parties make Big Brothers’ video for ‘The Party is On’ look like my cousin’s bar mitzvah. If you want an invite, you’ll need to help get me to a store that sells body paint. We need both green and blue. And we need the big, jumbo sizes. There were so many people last night that we ran completely out, and there’s not even much yellow left. And let me tell you, Dan doesn’t want to see anyone in purple body paint.’ I pause and look around for my drink. After checking the bar and the table, Dan points to my hand and I find my drink. Leaning into her, practically whispering, I say, ‘He hates purple body paint. It’s just too painful for him to blog about. It’s even worse than soup.’

She turns to Dan and points at me, asking him something. I shoot her a smile. She walks away.

‘What was that about,’ Dan asks. I shrug.

Things get a little blurry after that, I remember something about getting into a fight with a bald man who refused to tattoo ‘Dan Forever’ on my neck.

The next morning over giant doughnuts Dan asked if I got that girl’s phone number.

‘What girl?’

‘That girl you pulled off me at the end of the night.’

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ I say, shaking my head and sipping my coffee.

‘The girl you had your arms all over,’ he says, patiently. ‘The two of you were doing something with your phone.’

‘Nope,’ I say. Picking up my phone and scrolling through the names to demonstrate I recognize all the numbers.

It only takes a few scrolls to see, ‘ali msp.’ In the custom section it says, ‘tell dan to call me.’

I’m a SatelliteDan.

Tuesday, September 19

How I Invented French Kissing

‘My favorite song’s Imagine’

‘That's great,’ I say, laughing. But the face doesn't give and the eyes don’t look knowing; they look dreamy. I stop laughing, ‘You're kidding, right?’

‘Olena Adams has this amazing version that makes me cry every time I hear it.’

At a dinner party it’s easy enough to create a distraction to get someone to quit talking. You can reach for your wine and allow your hand to venture into the path of the water glass that sits to the left and twenty degrees away from the table edge, just to the right of the dessert spoon’s handle.

But in a bar, knocking over a glass isn’t enough of a distraction: You have to fill their mouth with something. This bar didn't have peanuts, so I leaned in and did the job with my tongue.

That’s how the world learned about French Kissing, and it’s still a great way to stop someone cute from saying stupid things.

Monday, September 18

Airbag/How Am I Driving?

When I visited Minneapolis PlanetDan, K*Mack and I went out for Mexican and I suspected we’d have a problem with gas. I didn’t suspect the gas would be carbon monoxide.

One thing you may not know about Dan is how narrow his garage is; it’s so narrow that you can’t open the passenger door in the garage. So I had developed the routine of getting out of the car while it was in the driveway, walking into the garage and standing by the basement door as he parked. But standing there as the car advanced reminded me too much of the Karma Police video and I started going into the house and waiting for him there.

So after the mexican restaurant, K*Mack and I wait for Dan in the basement while he parks the car. We watch the end of a movie of the week with Bionic Woman Lindsey Wagner, about a pregnant widow who learns to love again, an episode from the second season of Miami Vice, the one where Gina tricks a rapist into going after her so she can shoot him in her home, and then The 40 Year Old Virgin, which I refer to as The Dan Miller Story.

We got home from the restaurant before 10 and it’s nearly 1 am when Dan says, ‘What’s that beeping?’ I tell Dan that it’s just the movie. ‘No, it’s not,’ he says, getting up, looking a bit alarmed. ‘I think it’s my carbon monoxide detector.’

My first thought is, ‘that’s why I don’t have one of those things. Just another thing to malfunction and go off because its batteries need replacing,’ but I follow him down to the basement and—sure enough—the readout says 280 parts per million. At levels over 75 people start to feel symptoms. Levels over 200 can cause unconsciousness and/or death.

I walk to the garage and lean my ear to the door. He drives a car with an incredibly smooth ride and engine, so it takes some straining to hear that it is, in fact, still running.

‘Dan,’ I say, ‘I think you left your motor running.’

He walks to the door, takes a big gulp of air, runs into the garage, activates the garage door opener, shuts the car off, and runs back.

‘You don’t have to run.’ I say, ‘It doesn’t work like that. It’s a length of exposure thing.’

‘My lips are starting to swell up,’ he says, a bit panicked.

‘Well,’ I say, ‘you’ll be relieved to know that carbon monoxide doesn’t cause lip swelling.’

During that brief opening of the basement door, the carbon monoxide level in the basement jumps up to 370. We move the detector into the kitchen, it’s only 50 there. In the living room where we had been watching television, it’s less than 20.

‘No one’s calling the fire department,’ I say. With levels so low in the area where we had been watching television, we could take care of this on our own. EMS would be obliged to swing us by the ED and we’d get arterial blood gases to establish that we had not had a sufficient exposure to suffer any serious effects.

K*Mack, Dan and I put fans in the windows around the house and in the garage door. The levels drop to below 20—even in the basement—before Steve Carell loses his cherry. (Spoiler. Sorry.)

Since we decided to leave the doors open overnight to ensure the gas didn’t reaccumuliate, Dan stayed up to gaurd K*Macks door.

‘You realize, Dan,’ I tell him before I head off to bed, ‘that if we’d died USA Today would run the story as an internet cautionary tale: Double Blogger Suicide in Twin Cities.’

Thursday, September 14

I & O

For the great bulk of the summer I had assumed that the headaches were from reading 40-80 pages of medical reviews each day. I suspected the tearing eyes and vague sense of disorientation were from processing the enormous information load through serial naps and caffeine supplements.

But the boards came—thankfully—and—just as thankfully— also went. And the headaches persisted.

When I turned on my computer last week, this list was saved as a Word document on the desktop. I know who put it there, but I don’t know how.

I post it with the hope that doing so will prompt them to leave me in peace for a while.


The Economist

NY Times
June 17, 2007
January 1, 2000
VideogamesThe Novel
Bathing Regularly
Ethan Hawke
Phone sex
Re-evaluating definitions
The persistance of memory
Fun, natural fun!
Bed bugs
Riemann sumsLucky guesses
Girls Are PrettyLifehacker
Barack ObamaKathrine Harris
The Sundays
Artic Monkeys
your own voice
best. jargon. ever.
Okra Eggplant
Ancho Chipotle
Aaron EckhartBrittney Spears

Wednesday, September 13

Uncynical Wednesday

Monday, September 11


Medical Records

Season Three

Season Two

Season One