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Dr. Holiday Wednesday Below are 10 entries, after skipping 10 most recent ones in the "Dr. Holiday Wednesday" journal:

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September 18th, 2007
11:01 pm

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One of my colleagues, who shall remain nameless-- let's call her Dr. Francine --goes around to restaurants and bars, claiming it is her birthday when it isn't, in order to obtain food and drinks free of charge. She keeps a small book with meticulous notes, regarding which places she has duped with this scheme, and which date of birth she used at each one, so that she is not caught trying the same establishment on multiple days. I believe her activities have gone beyond financial considerations, or simple greed, entering into the realm of neurotic behavior; but that is neither here nor there.

Often, she will travel with an accomplice, who verifies her story; on occasion, this accomplice is myself. Not too often, as I am not one to fade conveniently from memory, in the manner which a successful confidence trickster requires. There are also so many iterations of the 'Happy Birthday' song one can endure before one goes spare, unless one is the sort of individual who devises elaborate schemes to embezzle sandwiches, apparently. Entertaining woman, though. Has a sign on her laboratory door, reading "INTERN DON'T LET THE SUN SET ON YOU". In spite of that she's really quite amiable.

Rusty's House of Meat, the evening's mark, was packed. The dinner special was to blame. Tri-tip steak is to yuppies like blood to piranha.

Francine and I had ordered our meals. I forewent my usual bourbon, in favor of an umbrella drink, and I nursed this now, when who should I see among the throng, striding purposefully to our table, but Dr. Barbara Allen herself. Despite our previous encounter, I favored her with a smile. I'm usually pleased to see her. She's an unending source of amusement. Rather than seeking to chastise me, as one might expect, she had an almost furtive expression.

"Wednesday," she said. "I need to talk to you."

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September 10th, 2007
03:03 am

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The matter with Hodgson is really rather minor in the larger picture, but contemplation of it persists, like a canker you can't stop prodding with your tongue.

Managed to ascertain he did not make advance upon Dr. Son. A relief. Apparently he is conventional in his ethnic preferences as well. Typical reactionary... his idea of transgressive behavior is visiting the Playboy Club. (rolls eyes) Chalk one up for the neocon rollback. And they say I'm a blight on this department.

What have I learned about Hodgson in the interim? James H. Hodgson, Ph.D. (Chemistry) Stanford, research fellow organic chemistry, rowing team, and long may it wave. Blah blah. That's all straight off his profile on the departmental website. One item you won't find in his C.V.: he has a penchant for high-stakes gambling. I'm unsure it qualifies as addiction under the Gamblers Anonymous guidelines, but it's an entree. Perhaps entrapment, via the creation of some sort of embezzlement opportunity, is possible. I must weigh that approach against the damage he might do to the department's budget. Perhaps I do the embezzling, and he, with the recent arrival and obvious motive, is framed for it. Note to self: consult Greta re: budget-cooking techniques.

Already I've cultivated an out for this situation, dear Diary. Hodgson wears a pacemaker. One pass with a degaussing gun and he's flopping on the ground like a fish out of water; I can finish him at once, or I can toy with him for a while, allow him to appreciate it is I doing this to him, setting his heart aflutter in quite a different fashion than that which he anticipated.

Needless to say, I have access to Hodgson's medical records, but his record as an academic eludes me. I know there's some reason he transferred to this university, rather than assuming a higher position at his previous post. The safe bet is that he molested one investigator too many, and was forced out; this, or simple incompetence made it so he couldn't rise and he couldn't stay put. I'm going to learn all his secrets, if only for the sake of getting his number.

These are crude plots, in the brainstorming stage. I'm just warming up.

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September 2nd, 2007
11:51 pm

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During the period Nicole was sorting herself out, I burned to skewer Dr. Son in an ardent and positively violent fashion. But I did not wish to give Nicole, in her vulnerability, the unfounded impression I had no further interest in her; and at any rate, I endeavored to be available to my assistant at the first moment she required my company. Son and I did it in the supply closet, dear Diary. As discreet as she and I might wish to be, the air in there had grown quite thick after a week or so of this activity.

And there was the student, of course. Not just one of those drones briefly orbiting the science department, fulfilling their requirements, only to sail out of it forever once this is achieved. Were it not for some unquantifiable vagarity of personality or temperament, she could be a Greta or a Nicole... but she is, in the final analysis, merely a fling, lightly used by her professor for a bit of fun during a relative dry spell. She receives the ego-boosting thrill of 'seducing' an intellectual several years her senior, while I draw energy, vampirelike, from her youth. Except that a vampire feeds on blood, while I require more ephemeral fluids....

Generally, in a university department, those privy to open secrets are inclined to mind their own business-- meaning the gossip is kept strictly among the staff, not shared with the administration --but this new Head, Hodgson, apparently caught scent of the matter. (cough) So to speak.

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August 14th, 2007
01:52 am

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When one hears uncontrollable, maniacal laughter emerge from a research laboratory, what is the first impression which springs to mind? The typical 'mad scientist', in the throes of unsalvageable insanity? Fair. Let me reassure you, however, there was no dementia whatsoever involved in my expression of mirth, earlier. Provoked by a regional news story, I merely recalled an incident from young adulthood. Predoctoral days. The incident is humorous in itself, but to think I witnessed it personally-- had been a part of it --made it ten times as hilarious.

The former president, George H. W. Bush (at the time simply the George Bush) was travelling the lecture circuit, as former presidents are wont to do, and this, in time, found him at our university. Christine and I learned of the engagement in the student paper, and, fools that we were, courting major disaster, we went to meet him. If they had had an inkling of Christine's mental profile, the Secret Service would have gunned her down on general principles, never mind permitted her to make physical contact with a former President of the United States.

At any rate, to sum up, Barbara Bush was there as well, and while we were shaking hands with the late president, so to speak, Christine wrenched this 'Valley Girl' voice out of herself, and in the midst of formalities, said to him, "So, like, is that your mom?" And I just gaped at her, mouth twisted in uncategorizable response-- Christine later invoked 'Ren and Stimpy,' which was contemporaneous --simultaneously appalled and delighted at the balls on my colleague.

But the truly startling thing was this: ex-President Bush didn't appear a bit surprised or put out, as though he heard this all the time. He smiled and shrugged it off and said "Nope, nope," and informed us Barbara was, in fact, his wife; Barbara herself favored Christine with her soulless, flesh-eating rictus, which indicates the receiver as being marked for death at some later date. (sigh) Christine and I did have some wonderful times, even if she later proved to be so utterly damaged.

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August 2nd, 2007
05:28 am

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Acquiesced to public demand and submitted to the Skin Two shoot, dear Diary. (rolls eyes) Much hardship on my part.

In the end I concluded I have far greater reasons to worry about public scrutiny than appearing sexually permissive or kinky, and that, indeed, such exposure as that afforded by a mainstream fetish magazine (oxymoron?) could only draw attention from my myriad of closeted skeletons. A facile argument, I know. Vanity is my weakness.

The shoot director's given name was apparently Sylvia Menzies, but she went by the lingering sobriquet of 'Menses,' and was herself costumed, in couture which can only be described as an inexplicable hybrid of Frau Farbissina and Count Chocula. My initial pity for her evaporated upon discovering she was not another model. Goodness, is it possible for Dr. Wednesday to speak complimentarily of anyone?

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June 19th, 2007
11:39 pm

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Things in the lab have resumed as normal. Nicole did not turn herself in to the police, nor did she commit suicide in a fit of pique, nor did she lash out in accusation of my cruel manipulations. I can only speculate as to her state of mind... I would prefer not to speculate, rather, to know. But she apparently has taken this better than the incident with her penis growing back.

This afternoon, I was informed that a reporter was waiting for me in the floor lounge. I stalled, naturally. I shrink from fame for its own sake, and as a rule I distrust reporters. I imagined she was with Science or New Scientist, or heaven forbid, Scientific American... when I at last deigned to see her, she proved to be a correspondent with Skin Two, and researching some story concerning medical fetishes. I should like very much to know who put her on to me... ostensibly, the reporter wished simply to consult my (alleged) expertise, but before long she made noises about getting me in front of a camera and into something shiny and elastic. Intriguing, but almost certainly a mistake. I have my professional reputation to consider, not my vanity.

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June 12th, 2007
12:08 am

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If I sound dispassionate, this is because it is a rather overwhelming moment for me, breaking in a new assistant. Consecrating her, as it were. The potter painstakingly shapes the clay, banks the embers in the kiln, and then can only wait to see if the fire has shattered her work, or tempered it into glorious permanence.

The tempering fire: doing for this individual, this... person, who led an unprovoked assault upon Nicole just over a year ago. Shall we give him a name? A Mr. Taylor... there is nothing to be gained by giving him more substance than is necessary.

In the time since, my assistant and I have kept an eye upon him; mostly myself, but I've had Nicole do her share of surveillance, keeping her engaged, building up to this moment. It was the casual and distracted nature of this reconnaissance which rendered it inconspicuous, putting at ease even suspicious quarry. Nicole and I need not have concerned ourselves.

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May 24th, 2007
11:58 pm

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Guess who, once again, has been tagged to cover an entry-level science course. Just guess. At least it is a summer course and not a full semester. But it is already shaping up to be, if I might be sarcastic above my norm, a fount of inutterable joy. (sigh)

It seems I already have a troublemaker. One of the jocks. Please try to arrest your expression of shock and surprise, dear Diary. Someone who doesn't need to be here with the rest of us, evidently. While I was lecturing what, as I've already conveyed, is an already burdensome class, this individual made a point of rising slowly from his seat not twenty minutes into my lecture, stretching, gathering his things, chatting (!) with others as he sauntered up the aisle to the exit. Someone has no particular need to absorb the material, when someone has an athletic scholarship. (frown) I was not going to leave it at that.

I called out to him as he reached the door. "When, in years future, I encounter you on the street, rest assured I shall not hold this slight against you, and will place a full dollar into your begging bowl so that you may purchase a cup of gruel to keep away the chill. Never let it be said I bear a grudge." He had no suitable answer to that, of course. Will I fail him? Oh, quite possibly.

It is almost a shame that I cannot utilize this noteworthy fellow as Nicole's 'first.' But that position is filled. Have I not mentioned? Nicole and I have located the main instigator of the group of hooligans which assaulted her, on that long-ago night. Indeed, we've located his favored haunt, and have staked it out for a little rendezvous. Nicole seems quite enthused. Very soon now.

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April 30th, 2007
11:47 pm

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Had a long-overdue phone call with Greta this evening. It was quite a relief to hear from her, and we spoke for hours. One might imagine our intimate conversation would consist entirely of snide commentary and biting observations of the sort in which we engage while in public, but there are many opportunities for tenderness and less caustic reflection, I may assure you. Among many subjects, we discussed her employment situation... that, thankfully, has eased since she was last ranting about unearthly manifestations, and oily sex with corporate spies. However, the underlying issue, of her boredom with a respectable career, remains. Despite my previous suggestion, there are issues with Greta returning to university. Unconsciously, she associates departure from the corporate world with failure. Perhaps not so unconsciously.

There is also the difficulty of finding a place for her. Although I, myself, consider her capabilities proven, Greta does not officially hold a doctorate... this makes a great deal of difference in how she is situated and regarded in a university department. In my more lachrymose turns, I blame myself for this. As a mentor, I failed Greta in a myriad of ways. But I digress.

I cannot resume my former role in her life. Greta is not now content to work in my shadow. Also, I now have Nicole as my assistant. As pleasant and self-serving are visions of the three of us working together, as one happy scientific family, this arrangement would create tension between Greta and Nicole, in addition to those existing. I would not have that. It is also unfair to Nicole to have my attention divided, particularly at this delicate stage.

Almost incidentally, I could not recommend this university for Greta's doctoral pursuit... I'm not wasting my breath when I express dissatisfaction with its dubious qualities. Despite this, I may yet suggest she forgo my recommendation of her to a superior institution; fairly or not, Greta is tainted by my ill-repute already.

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April 19th, 2007
11:53 pm

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I'm afraid I may have given the impression recently that I'm misandrist. And so I am, to be fair, but it is not an impression I wish to consistently convey, if only that it pegs me to a particular mindset. Therefore, this little, ah, incident earlier in the week is pleasantly convenient.

You recall my previous mention of Dr. Barbara Allen, she of the high-security breast implants.

Apparently she'd her eye on her lab assistant, but as fate (and a little encounter in the supply room) would have it, he now only has eyes for me. Or perhaps for my posterior... allegedly he could not stop talking about it. How indiscreet. I'll allow you to fill in the details, dear Diary, as you invariably do. (laugh) I cannot say I was unaware of Allen's prurient interest, and indeed this may have had influenced my interaction with her assistant. You know how I can be. But all of this had Dr. Allen so irate, that when she spotted me on the steps for my cigarette break, the posterior in question was, to her, much like waving a red flag before the proverbial bull; and therefore she endeavored to deliver a kick to the offending anatomical feature as forcefully as possible. She found me entirely unaware, at just the moment when no one else was near. As fate should have it, however, I meandered aside as she came at me, and her foot instead connected with the robust metal railing which divides the steps. My first inkling of this narrow escape was a rather evocative ringing sound, followed by a scream and a scuffling thump. Startled by the noise, I turned, to find Allen splayed on her back, clutching her leg behind the knee.

It was only a moment to piece together what had happened. For a moment, I stood over her, meeting her gaze meaningfully... I suppose I expressed sadness at her inadequacy in these little games.

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