Archive for January, 2010

How to Use Your Prostate as a Teaching Tool

Posted in (Almost) Totally Useless How-to Guide with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2010 by tgmreynolds

Normally I try to put in a photo or two related to the blog topic, to add some colour. Not this time. Be thankful. Be very thankful.

I recently had to undergo a series of x-rays after a slip-and-fall on black ice at work. The x-ray tech was a nice, professional lady about my age, but that day she was only the teacher, the mentor.  Assisting her and doing her practicum was a SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) Radiology Technician student who barely came up to the shoulder she was x-raying. She was cute as a button and very professional, and since I still had all my clothes on, I was perfectly at ease.

Such was not the case the first time one of my body parts was knowingly used as a teaching tool.

Since I turned 42 I’ve been having the annual, er anal, no, annual, exam to ensure my prostate is healthy. It was during my last exam that my doctor put forth the idea that the Nurse Practitioner student who was shadowing him for the week observe the procedure. I don’t think he liked her.

For those of you unfamiliar with a prostate exam, let me give you the gist of it:

  1. Strip to your underwear.
  2. Climb onto the paper-covered examining table without tearing the paper or slipping off onto your head.
  3. Pull your underwear down to your knees, thankful that you planned for this event and wore ones without too many holes.
  4. Face the wall. Never face a window. Then again, never face away from a window, either.
  5. Pull your knees up to your chest.
  6. Expose to harsh fluorescent lighting the one single part of you that should never even see sunshine.
  7. Close your eyes and try not to flinch at the sound of the snapping latex glove as the doctor ‘suits up’.
  8. Ignore the glooping sound as the kind-hearted doctor dips his arm up to the elbow in the industrial-sized tub of room-temperature-only hypoallergenic jelly.
  9. Try not to flinch at the cold touch of two gloved-and-lubed fingers of a nearly seventy-year-old doctor as he ‘goes for the gold’.

Having had this life-affirming exam before, I was mentally if not emotionally prepared for the necessary violation of my nether region. What I was not and could not be prepared for was a 5’8″ blonde, 25-year-old cheerleader-hot Nurse Practitioner student seeing my Worst Side Story.

To give my doctor credit, he did ask for my permission before inviting her into the examining room. At that point my head was bombarded with questions from the inside.

  • How do I say ‘yes’ to my prostate teaching a hottie a lesson?
  • How do I say ‘no’?
  • How do I face the student after it’s all done?
  • How do I tell my doctor that I  now want a female doctor because I just wasn’t comfortable with a man finding the spot that makes me say “Gee, that’s an interesting sensation; how about we try it again, say after cocktails and sushi?”

So, did I say ‘yes’ to becoming an educational instrument…

  1. because I wasn’t embarrassed at all?
  2. because it was no big deal?
  3. or because I didn’t want the cute blonde to think I wasn’t “man” enough? (is that a stoopid reason, or what?!)

To be honest, I have no effing idea why I said ‘yes’, other than the fact that I didn’t want to piss off the man who was about to stick his lubed and gloved digits in my bum and make me his finger puppet of the day. Achmed the Dead Terrorist had it easier! (See YouTube if you have no idea what I’m talking about!)

When I have my underwear down to my knees and I’m curled up in a ball facing the wall, I’m pretty much defenceless. Keep the man happy and live to see another day, I say.

I would love to see the student’s summary of her week with Doc Oc. Or maybe I wouldn’t.

Next week, something less invasive, I promise.

Ciao for now,

Tim.

Can You Feel Me Now?

Can You Feel Me Now?

Okay, one photo. Thank God it’s only symbolic.

The Cynglish Beat: Smuggler Munchkin

Posted in Cynical Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2010 by tgmreynolds

Excerpted from upcoming The Cynglish Beat by Tim Reynolds from Cometcatcher Press.

Mine was a good childhood, but even life in blanc mange suburbia can have its excitement. I don’t think most parents really think through what they’re teaching their children in terms of attitudes and life decisions.

Smuggler Munchkin

Smuggler Munchkin from The Cynglish Beat by Tim Reynolds

SMUGGLER MUNCHKIN


My white bread, succulently suburban childhood was filled with two parents, one poodle, two sisters, numerous turtles, and guppies beyond count, ad infinitum.

But to every bright, joyous, buoyant sunlit standard of suburban simplicity exists, lives, and dwells beneath the tastes, the touches and smells, a darkness, a rot, a mould, a mildew leaching away hope.

Our house and home and concrete castle was no different, no exception, no great improvement on the status quo. You see, we were smugglers, Avoiders of duty and excise, and we were all of four, seven and nine.

Mid-July, two hundred degrees — the criminal summer of ’69.

Loaded, goaded and bribed into the sweltering, sweaty, duMaurier King Size-stinking back seat of grandmother’s border-crossing, international law-defying Pontiac Parisienne.

The windows rolled down, the music turned off, the ashtray filling, the black-top rolling by — Mom as the wheelman and five-foot-nothing granny riding shotgun, armed only with her twisted-metal-handled flyswatter of corporal punishment and punitive pleasure.

It’s okay, acceptable and far out to shop Stateside and cross back north declaring only that we have nothing to declare except the falseness of the declaration, but play I Spy too enthusiastically or hog more than your divvied-up piece of the back seat and the swat came down with a snap, crackle and screaming pop.

The unbalanced insisting on balance — skewed and skewered balance.

In the store — The Kingdom of K-Mart, two hours of filling the banshee-squeaky-wheeled shopping cart — socks, underwear, cords, shirts, skirts, paisley, plaid and lime green.

It was the summer of ’69 and our fashion sense was almost obscene, itself a crime.

Cold metal cart, grid-work of pain for the munchkin relegated, voted and assigned to riding not walking, not talking, not gawking at the new Barbie Dream House.

Aisle after aisle of tedium I could never possibly forget.

Then the shopping is completed, finished and done, the munchkins are fed and the true ordeal begins.

Stripped down in the parking lot. Pins, cardboard, plastic wrap removed and the layers layered on, layer upon layer.

Two hundred degrees of heat in the summer of ’69 and three smuggler munchkins were pigs in a thousand woolly, child-cooking blankets, Michelin Men in miniature, just to avoid the duty and excise dully due to our duly elected dully neglected powers-that-be.

And after all that, after the rig, the marole, the whole shebang, they hit the roof and parts of each wall when I spent my youth shoplifting in my one-man gang.

~

I’m hoping that the statute of limitations has run out on such minor silliness.

Ciao for now,

Tim.


Blog Post contents copyright 2010 Tim Reynolds.

The Canoe Wrangler’s Love – Temporarily suspended

Posted in My Opinion, love it or leave it, Novel Process, The Canoe Wrangler's Love, The Novel Itself, The Novel Process on January 28, 2010 by tgmreynolds

Hi.

Sorry for the inconvenience everyone, but due to a couple of pressing novel-length projects with self-imposed deadlines, I’m having to suspend work on the weekly Blogmance, “The Canoe Wrangler’s Love”.  With luck, I’ll be able to get back at it before the end of February.

Cheers,

Tim.

Stand Up Comedy & Life: Clutter

Posted in Stand-Up Comedy & Life with tags , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2010 by tgmreynolds

Excerpted from Stand Up & Succeed by Timothy G.M. Reynolds from Cometcatcher Press.

“Either use the microphone stand or make sure it’s out of the way when you’re on stage.”

~Martin Bell~

Tim Reynolds as Jack Nicholson

Uncluttered: the mic, the sunglasses and me. Copyright 2009. Tim Reynolds.

Don’t let clutter get in your way and distract you from the task at hand. Remember that clutter can be physical, mental or emotional, so do what you have to do to clean it up — even if that means applying a little Feng Shui to your soul.

~~~

A True Story:

I was on a city bus when the rear doors malfunctioned so that even when they closed they didn’t release the ‘rear interlock’, a safety feature which prevents the bus from moving when the doors are open.

The bus was stuck at the stop so the rookie driver hopped out of his seat, casually strolled to the back of the bus and jiggled the door handles in an attempt to solve the problem.

His technique worked almost immediately and the interlock released its hold. Unfortunately, rookie-boy had forgotten to apply the emergency brake or put the bus in neutral before he left his seat, so as soon as the interlock was off the bus started driving itself slowly down the street while the red-in-the-face, wet-behind-the-ears driver ran back down the aisle to jump in his seat and apply the brakes. His cool-under-fire comment?

“Wellllll, it’s never done THAT before.”

Yup, never let them see your fear.

~TR

Words and Images Copyright Tim Reynolds.

Shooting for Success: Closing In

Posted in Photography How to... with tags , , , , , , , on January 25, 2010 by tgmreynolds
Daring Lady Bug

The Daring Lady Bug. Copyright Timothy Reynolds.

For me, a close-up image is one where the subject is everything and the overall setting is nothing. It’s all in the details.

Close-up photographers see things that most people would walk right past. Whether it’s the perfect green grapes in the flat grey light of a cloudy damp day in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, purple irises in the sun at Lake Louise, a daring lady bug gingerly scaling a Scottish thistle or a set-up image with an Ontario maple leaf brought to Alberta and posed on the frosty ice of the freshly frozen Lake Louise.

These images all have quite a bit in common. The images were all shot using tripods, they were all shot using shallow depth of field (f 4.5 – 5.6) and they were all shot in natural light.

Grapes at Greymonk Winery

Young wine on the vine. Copyright Timothy Reynolds.

They were also all cropped tightly, in camera, for the most part, to better draw attention to the subject of the image.

The lens used for the grapes and the leaf on ice was a Canon EF 28-80mm zoom at 80. A Canon EF 100-300mm zoom at 200 was used for the flower and the thistle. The camera was either a Canon EOS 10S or a Canon EOS A2E.

I find that one technique which works well to make images stand out is to use contrasts.

  • The purple flower against the predominantly green background (with the touch of purple and yellow out of focus).
  • The round smooth lines of the ladybug against the sharpness of the thistle as well as the red ladybug against the greens of the thistle.
  • The roundness of the green grapes against the sharper edges of the green leaves.
  • The orange and black of the maple leaf against the nearly colourless ice.
Irises

Purple Irises. Copyright Timothy Reynolds.

These are the details people often walk past without noticing, but which we photographers love to capture.

So, go out and find the details, and have fun capturing it all.

Ciao for now,

Tim.

All Images Copyright 2010 Tim Reynolds.

Ontario Leaf on Alberta Ice

Ontario Leaf on Alberta Ice. Copyright Timothy Reynolds.

The Cynglish Beat: No Solitude in the Ether, Either

Posted in Cynical Poetry with tags , , , , , , on January 22, 2010 by tgmreynolds

Excerpted from upcoming The Cynglish Beat by Tim Reynolds from Cometcatcher Press.

Online social media has removed our privacy on so many levels, but this is the one that disturbs me the most.

No Solitude in the Ether, Either

No Solitude in the Ether, Either

NO SOLITUDE IN THE ETHER, EITHER

She found her way to Facebook,

All confused innocence and cautious half-smiles.

Her friends suggested it, recommended it, put forth the idea.

Without a clue, she bit. “I can do that. What do I do?”

It was just two years ago when she had dial-up, an answering machine and saved margarine tubs for reuse — ten years down the road.

Now she’s got high-speed WiFi, enhanced voicemail…

…and a cupboard full of margarine tubs.

She has established herself in the ether and found her way to Facebook.

My seventy-two-year-old mother is on Facebook.

Am I wrong to want a place in the ether without maternal mischief?

My mother is on Facebook.

Wrinkly-Face-book,

Exasperated-Face-book,

Disapproving-You’re-Not Wearing-That-Shirt-With-Those-Pants-Out-Of-This-House-Face-book.

Am I a bad son for ignoring her request to be her Facebook ‘friend’?

Is there a special place in hell for me?

Will she be able to find me there, too?

~

Ciao for now,

Tim.

Blog contents copyright Tim Reynolds 2010.

The Novel Process: The Final Decision

Posted in The Novel Process with tags , , , on January 21, 2010 by tgmreynolds

Okay, so today I started with the fictional blogmance/diary of Will Cotsan and his love Sara. Based on the survey I conducted (thanks to the person who filled it out) the title is The Canoe Wrangler’s Love.

Lovers on Ice

Will & Sara Slowskating. Image Copyright T. Reynolds.

The other decision I had to make before writing was the form it would take and the relationship between the characters. I can tell you here that the form is going to be as a blogged diary, love notes of a sort from Will to Sara. Of their relationship, all I’ll say is that I hope to reveal exactly what it is over time, and maybe even add a surprise or two.

Please make as many relevant comments as you would like. You can even make story suggestions, but just take note that if they don’t fit with my overall vision for the tale I will have to pass them by. Sorry.

This won’t be a daily thing, but will at least be a weekly thing, written in real time, sort of.

Please note that this is fiction. There are similarities to real places, people and situations but they are all coincidental. Don’t try to read too much into this. It’s just meant to be entertainment.

Now, back to editing the anthology, revising the novel & novelizing the screenplay.

Ciao for now,

Tim.