Sunday, February 24, 2013

Examiners of the Medical and Banking Varieties

This is a fine time to announce my participation in a conference titled "Medical Examinations: Art, Story, Theory" at the University of California Riverside on April 26-27, 2013. This opportunity emerged from my involvement in the Graphic Medicine conferences, which is where I met Juliet McMullin from UC Riverside's Anthropology Dept., who invited me to come on down.

This looks unique and interesting. Although it shares some roots with the Graphic Medicine conferences I've known and loved, this is more of an artistic community event than an academic meeting. According to its website, it will "feature major scholars whose approaches to medical narratives vary and bring them into conversation with one another. The focus of this conference on the 'neoliberal body' aims at centering our discussions on the kinds of medical narratives that emerged in advanced capitalism, high-tech medicine, and new media while health disparities among different populations remain."

So, like that.

Very attractive to me personally is that another of the speakers will be my friend Ian Williams, the UK physician and cartoonist who organized the first Graphic Medicine conference in London a few years ago. I look forward to buying him a pint of something. Very attractive to everyone else is that "Medical Examinations: Art, Story, Theory" is open to the public and free! Wow! The organizers are asking folks to register because space is limited and they need a head-count.

UC Riverside is about 50 miles due east of Los Angeles. If you're in the neighborhood the last Friday and Saturday of April drop by and say howdy. I'm speaking Friday afternoon but plan to hang out for the whole thing.

* * *

A week ago an evil-doer helped himself to a fair portion of Karen's and my life savings. I won't say how, partly because I'm not sure and also because I don't want to give anyone any ideas. Let's just say it involved computers.

It's hard to describe the sinking feeling of looking at a monitor and realizing you have much less money than you thought you did the day before. It actually kind of reminded me of Karen's reaction when our car was stolen: "Did you take it? Because I didn't take it. Seriously, did you take it?"

Luckily, our giant multinational mega-banking institution has been completely helpful and supportive--in fact, they alerted us to the problem in the first place. We couldn't have asked for better, more professional service. After a brief investigation that I assume convinced them we were victims rather than perps, we're getting our money back. All relevant computers are now cleaner than a CDC Ebola lab. But what a hassle! New everything: checking, savings, credit, debit.

It's all just electrons, and oh so fragile. Where was George Bailey when I needed him?


Mike Lynch said...

Sheesh! Glad all is well!!!

Jim O'Kane said...

So of course now all I can do is imagine Karen grabbing you by the lapels and yelling, "Where's that money? Do you realize what this means? It means bankruptcy and scandal and prison! That's what it means! One of us is going to jail --well, it's not gonna be me! " and so on. Glad everything landed jelly-side up.

Brian Fies said...

I wasn't wearing lapels. The rest is eerily accurate.

Sherwood Harrington said...

A week ago an evil-doer helped himself to a fair portion of Karen's and my life savings.

Just a "fair portion"? I am reminded of the time when a thief climbed up to the balcony of my 2nd-floor flat in Oakland and stole about half of the clothes that I had set out to dry. My first reaction was outrage at the theft; my second was a sense of insult that he had left some. What's wrong with THESE?

Seriously, I'm very glad that you and Karen are out only some time and irritation on this. What a violation.

Brian Fies said...

They were depleting us in multiple large bites; I guess draining it all at once would've raised too many flags. Another day or two and I'm sure they'd've had it all.

Funny (in retrospect) story about the insulting clothes thief. Your sense of style evidently wasn't up to their standards.

"Violation" and "irritation" are two good words for it. Supplanted now by "healthy paranoia."