Tiny Pineapple

ananas comosus (L.) minimus

Nurse in Doubt

by Rose Williams (1965)
Nurse in Doubt

A surprising rival and an unexpected mystery force Edna Brayley to choose between two suitors.

“Beautiful and brilliant,” the hospital staff called Edna Brayley. The lovely young nurse knew how to cope with any situation at Farmington General Hospital.

But Edna’s personal life was a different story. Upset at her father’s recent death and pressured by a young and beautiful stepmother, Edna was undecided about marrying the handsome son of a Boston millionaire. And then Edna met the compelling and embittered young doctor who had just joined the staff — and found her own stepmother a sudden rival!

The drama and conflict of a small New England hospital become part of the agonizing decision facing a young nurse and the men who love her.

New York Doll

New York Doll: One Sheet

Just a quick note for those of you who are local. New York Doll is playing this week at the University 4 theaters. If you didn’t get a chance to see it the first time around, now’s your chance. And you’ll only pay $1.50 for the privilege. (50¢ on Tuesdays.)

Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, Doll was described by one critic as possibly “the only documentary that will appeal to punks and Mormons alike.” But surely it deserves a wider audience than that.

And, whatever you do, be sure to stay until the end of the closing credits for David Johansen singing an acoustic version of “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.” Truly one of the most surreal film moments of 2005.

Here’s the trailer…

New York Doll Trailer: MP4 | Ogg

This Is The True Joy In Life

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

— George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Man and Superman (Epistle Dedicatory), 1905

Nurse in Yosemite

by Beatrice Warren (1982)
Nurse in Yosemite

Quite suddenly Nurse Doralee Dahlquist became a nervous shrew. Needing a change of pace from her high-pressure work in the Intensive Care Unit of a big hospital, she gook a job at the medical clinic in magnificent Yosemite National Park. Her sense of well-being quickly returned as she nursed others in the peaceful valley. Then a new siege of unrest attacked Doralee when she lost her heart to Angus McGonigal, a photography genius. For while Angus seemed to return Doralee’s love, Nurse Jan Stagnetto claimed she was going to marry the handsome photographer. And when Jan put on the charm and glamour, no mere man could resist her!

La Dolce Vitaballs


When I was a new parent and my daughter had a cold that was bad enough to require medication, I’d stand in the Cold Remedy aisle at the supermarket for half an hour trying to decide which cold medicine to buy. Not wanting to over-medicate my child, I would spend a great deal of time trying to find a cold medicine that contained only those ingredients necessary to address her particular symptoms. But even after I had decided on just the right combination of ingredients, I’d then have to decide on just the right combination of non-ingredients:

  • No Artificial Colors!
  • No Artificial Sweeteners!
  • No Sugar Added!
  • Alcohol Free!
  • PPA-Free!
  • Dye-Free!
  • Non-Staining!
  • OU Kosher!

I remember standing there thinking…

“Am I better off going with the ‘Dye-Free and No Artificial Sweeteners’ combination, or should I choose ‘No Artificial Colors and No Sugar Added’ instead? And what the heck is ‘PPA?’ Maybe it causes learning disabilities and my daughter will come to me in 15 years and say, ‘Thanks a lot, Dad! I just got my rejection letter from Harvard. They say I would have been accepted if my SAT scores had been 50 points higher, but noooooooo…you had to pour PPA-laden brain poison down my throat every time I had a sniffle!’ Maybe I should go home and do a few hours’ worth of research on the Web and then come back…”

Fast-forward two years and that same process probably would have taken me no more than 2 minutes and 5 seconds, tops. It would have taken me 5 seconds to choose the cold medicine. The remaining 2 minutes would have been spent tracking down a syringe and a box of Twinkies to inject it into. Because what difference does it make what’s in the medicine if you can’t get the medicine in the kid? And getting the medicine in the kid ain’t always easy.

My daughters aren’t picky eaters in the least, but they are especially sensitive to things that are sour or bitter. They’re probably “tasters,” and they most likely inherited this trait from their grandfather, who was once brought to his knees (literally) by a Sour Ball.

This makes medicine-taking a struggle. We’ve tried countless brands and flavors of cold medicines over the years and all of them have been met with stiff resistance. Nowadays, two chewable tablets = 15 minutes of negotiations followed by much shuddering and face-making.

They’ve grown highly suspicious of any medicine that is cherry- or grape-flavored, so a few years ago I purchased bubble gum-flavored Triaminic Flu, Cough & Fever. I mean, really, how bad can bubble gum-flavored anything be? But just to be safe, before I gave it to Emma I tried it myself. And after taking the tiniest sip from the bottle, I couldn’t get the vile liquid out of my mouth fast enough.

As I stood over the sink, sputtering and gagging, Emma walked into the room.

“What’s wrong, Dad?”

“Nothing, dear. <gasp> I got you some cold medicine. <wheeze> We’ll mix it with Tang…”

Tang® is our last resort. If I can’t get them to take the medicine any other way, I’ll mix it with Tang, which can mask just about any other flavor in the world. The astronauts took Tang with them into space so that if they ever ran out of water on the journey, they could mix the Tang into any other liquid they could find (rocket fuel, urine, etc) and it would just taste like Tang.

So I mixed the bubble gum-flavored syrup into a glass of Tang and after taking one sip Emma was standing over the sink, sputtering and gagging. Even Tang was powerless in the face of such evil.

But while getting cold medicine into the kids was a battle that only needed to be fought a couple of times a year, getting them to take a multivitamin was a daily skirmish. As a child, I remember my daily Flintstones Chewable being a real treat, but my children weren’t of the same opinion. Again, I tried a number of different brands and flavors, but they were all bitter pills to chew and swallow.

After a while, I turned to Gummy Vites. They didn’t have the same bitter aftertaste as regular chewable vitamins, so at least my girls would take them, but they weren’t ideal. There was some controversy last year when it was reported that Gummy Vites contained excessive amounts of lead. But while some people were concerned about what they might contain, I was more concerned about what they didn’t contain: namely, vitamins. Take a look at the nutrition label:

Gummy Vites Nutritional Information

Serving size: 2 Gummy Vites
Vitamin A50%
Vitamin B635%
Vitamin B1267%
Vitamin C30%
Vitamin D15%
Vitamin E50%
Folic Acid60%
Niacin (B3)
Pantothenic Acid50%
Riboflavin (B2)
Thiamin (B1)

That barely beats a bowl of Coco Pops.

Then I discovered Vitaballs.

“For many kids, taking a daily-vitamin is not something they look forward to. It’s hard enough for parents to get their kids to take them, never mind ask for them. But now there’s a multi-vitamin your kids will look forward to each day. Vitaball, the vitamin gumball!

“Vitaballs look and taste like the candy gumballs kids love, but it’s so much more! Each delicious gumball is packed with 100% RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of 11 essential vitamins. Chewing just one Vitaball vitamin gumball for 5-10 minutes delivers the vitamins needed each day!”

Take a look at the stats:

Vitaball Nutritional Information

Serving size: 1 Gumball
Vitamin A100%
Vitamin B6100%
Vitamin B12100%
Vitamin C100%
Vitamin D100%
Vitamin E100%
Folic Acid100%
Niacin (B3)100%
Pantothenic Acid100%
Riboflavin (B2)100%
Thiamin (B1)100%

And best of all, my girls love them.

Some people won’t approve of Vitaballs because they contain sugar, but if I had to choose, I’d prefer to have my kids lose their teeth to sugar rather than scurvy. And while others might worry that turning vitamins into “candy” might encourage kids to overindulge, I think it provides you with the perfect opportunity to discuss with your child the dangers of Vitamin A toxicity and the importance of not consuming polar bear liver when stranded on arctic ice flows. Granted, they’ll hear it all again during their regular Arctic Ice Flow Survival Training, but I believe you should take advantage of every “teaching moment.”

“So remember, dear, only one Vitaball a day…unless, of course, you want to experience the same severe irritability, vomiting, blurred vision, hair loss, large-scale peeling of the skin, and agonizing death as those intrepid arctic explorers.”