“FREEDOM – It always gives you your money’s worth.”

Yes; Here I am again, with another blog for all of you. I have no clue how many readers I ever get, or how many of you ever read any of them, let alone all of them… However, keeping-up with the comments left on all of them (which I do my human best with) shows me that even those of you who have pretended to my face to care about me for my entire life, right on down to those of you who’ve only known me since I was 18 (if that long) &, despite lack of a criminal record, continue to decide I don’t deserve to be treated like a human, let alone an adult… Anyway, seems you love these blogs, as it gives you a chance to comment. (Sorry; I passed Latin in high school, but was unaware :”comment” was from the older-language word-origin for “rip the author to shreds like you were running a cheese-grater on his face”.)

Sorry; That was there for all of you to see, but actually directed at the vast minority of you. (No need to name them, or write further things I considered posting that would’ve been rather personal; They know who they are.) Instead, let me get past that, & refer to what this blog is meant to be about… Let me mention what happened on September 11th.

Now, I’m not going to mention what happened on September 11th some 13 years ago; Yes, I was alive, & very-much recall it. However, if you don’t, odds are you’re trying not to, or you’re too young to know. (In that case, I will treat you like my nephews, who have never heard a word on a list of them my sister instructed me not to use around “my kids”.) I’m referring to what happened on the 11th of this month this year.

I woke up relatively-early. (I had no appointments, but I had some things I wanted to accomplish over much of last week.) The show I started watching first bored me, but being my father’s son (which may mean nothing to anyone in 49 states), I turned-on “Mike & Mike” on one of the ESPN channels. They were both there, as was a third man I thought might have been one of the channel’s “NFL analysts”. Therefore, I was all set to hear them talk about the upcoming/recently-passed Steelers-Ravens game.

Instead, however, the camera did a close-up on “Greenie” (what Golic often calls Greenberg). As I alluded to earlier in this blog, I literally grew up around sporting venues, so I was prepared to hear him talk about any sport (even some we don’t play in the States). Instead, he went into a long, spoken piece about the events of that day over a dozen years ago.

Needless to say, this upset me. I now don’t care to relive any of the Ravens-Steelers game, & would bet any fellow Steelers fan would agree. I also don’t care to relive much of the year 2001 (the year I graduated high school & was diagnosed Diabetic, & some connection to Kubrick that I’ve never read/heard/seen), & I feel safe to bet nobody would disagree with me on that one, especially when it comes to that specific day.

It got to the point that the camera went wide again, showing all 3 men. I recalled the old movie “Airheads”, most of which happens in a radio station while the DJ is on the air, & kept waiting for someone to enter the room or speak into his headset, telling Mike G. nobody was in the mood to talk-or-hear about this… I won’t say it never happened, but I will say that if it did, I never saw it.

Instead, I sat there, jaw literally dropped, wondering why Greenberg (who I’ve honestly felt was the smarter of the 2) would decide to talk about that for as long as he did, continuing to make that choice each time he paused. I furthermore wondered why everyone in/on that staff would choose to allow him. (Dad’s done a lot on radio & TV, so I know they have “powers that be” telling them if-&-when they can/can’t say things.)

Finally, I mentally corrected myself… I’m not aware of anyone I knew through “Six Degrees Of” anyone or anything that was killed or even hurt that day. But what if I had been?! What if I was related to the guy once famous for his “Let’s roll” line that I once saw plastered on hats after that day? Wouldn’t I want to know that he wasn’t forgotten since then? For every bit what the ESPN guy said upset me, it may have made someone in his family feel better.

Eventually deciding I didn’t want to think about that day, or even anything connected to it (again using the famous “Six Degrees…” bit), I thought about something else, something I think about a ton: “When is the next one?” I don’t have a clue when the next strike by a terrorist “cell” or anything is (nor do I want to), & I know my next doctor’s appointment isn’t for another two weeks (even if you’re counting it as Monday now, it’s 2 weeks from tomorrow).

But I wasn’t thinking about either of those; I wondered when the next big, national anniversary is.

I remember 1996 or 1997, I was a Freshman in high school. Columbus Day was approaching, & we were all in “Homeroom”. My Homeroom teacher was a great guy named Mr. Andrews. He was never my Science teacher, but he had taught my best friend & my sister. That day, he taught me something my alma mater may not want you to know about: We were (at the time) supposed to get a day off each for Columbus Day & the upcoming “Teacher In-Service”, but the school District was being sneaky & giving us “1 as 2”…

Anyway, I tried to remember when the next big holiday is. I thought of a bunch of them in no special order, but it made me think of something else. (I keep wishing my neuro- guys could tell me why/how my brain does things like this.) Non-specific, I know we have some holidays we celebrate on a famous person’s birthday. Others, we celebrate on the day they died, or the day they made their first big contribution to “the world at large”. Others, we celebrate/remember the day they died. (In the words of Billy Joel, “JFK. Blown away…”.) Then there’s those 2 Presidents in February, neither of whom get their own individual day, & the day they share is within 2 weeks of a day set aside for groundhogs!!! [If you ask me, that’s just not ferret!! J]

Briefly mentioning the people/stuff I wrote about at the start of this (about the things others wrote at the end of the last one), I’ve written it a million times, & said it to the other 3 members of my oft-referred-to “family of 4”: You’ll find no bigger defender of one’s right to their opinion than me. The only requirements I have are you have to admit that’s all it is, & return the favor by giving me the same rights/freedoms.

With that, I’m off until if/when I feel like writing again… Remember, on- or offline, I have the (“right”? or “freedom”? Call it both) to be silent any time I want.

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”Try To Remember”

I’m admittedly embarrassed how regular this is becoming for me, but I feel the need to start this blog with some confessions.

1] I wrote the beginning of the last blog (about the “30 days…” & all that) thinking it was this month. The truth is I have trouble remembering when August ends, which I think itself is proven in the fact I didn’t know at the time it hadn’t ended yet. (My sister’s birthday is in August, & her eldest son’s in September, which I think is the work of her, some deity, or both, to just continue to mess with me for an undetermined number of future years.)

2] I have problems with my hearing aid.

It is Number 2 that I admit was not in the original draft of this blog, but which I instead feel the need to concentrate a bit on now…

The first problem is that it is indeed a “hearing aid” in both the good & bad meanings of the phrase… Yes, I heard everything my sister said to me at my nephew’s soccer game yesterday, but I also heard whistles being blown due to the events of a half-dozen neighboring games; I took my camera along in my pocket, hoping to perhaps get an “action shot” of my nephew, but found no time to do so, as it seems a bit ironic his best action moments were often when I’d put my camera back in my pocket due to thinking the game paused after a whistle-blow (which I learned had actually happened in another game).

The second problem is that I was given (& took) the option of having one with a volume-control on it. However, when you increase the volume of nearby relatives, you also increase the volume of everyone else at the game/at the burger joint/in the county. (It also has the noise-eliminator switch; But I can never remember if that’s in the “On” or “Off” position, & attempting to correct hitting it by mistake resets both of these functions, making it a pain in my ear & my rear simultaneously.)

Regardless, one final admission for this blog, one to be included today because it only happened about 4 hours ago: I remove the aid from my ear… I do this when I hear TV & other people fine, when I prefer to lay on my bed/couch while watching TV, or when I just don’t want to hear what you have to say.

It is the last one that happened most-recently. I initially regretted asking my audiologist for the volume-control on my aid, realizing that most of my family talks either incessantly or not at all. (We all have cell phones & wireless “mice”, I think each largely due to this knowledge about ourselves.) This meant that by the time I decided if what someone was saying was something I wished to hear or not, it would’ve reached a point of “Might as well just get this over with now.” (Honestly the same attitude I had partway through my MRI a week ago, during which I wore no hearing aid or headphones, meaning it caused the 2 simultaneous pains I mentioned earlier.)

Anyhow, today I slowly (so my elder parent & neurologist could/would notice) removed the aid from my ear & the battery from the aid, before placing both in my back pocket. While I considered it (honestly) more times than I can recall/could count, I never went through with the step of exiting the “exam room” while my Mom & the “doctor” (I have voiced to the former my doubts that the latter even graduated high school) talked.

“WHY?!”, you may ask. I did the Math (literally) in the time it took me to exhale, & the answer goes back about half-my-life ago. Both parents came with me to a doctor’s appointment. Being that it was my first (&, as I recall now, only ever) appointment with that person, it didn’t bother me at all when the first bunch of questions went to my parents, as they were literally about my first year-or-so of life.

However, while I admit to the fact/idea that I “live improv” (to the point my aforementioned nephew sometimes says it at the same time I do), Mom is what was once termed a “creature of habit” (to the point you could cryogenically freeze her in the middle of making her Breakfast tomorrow, & when you thaw her in 50 years, she’ll continue making that same bowl of Cheerios as if the only time that passed was her waiting for someone to finish leaving a message on the answering machine).

PLEASE, don’t get me wrong; I’ve known both/each of these “statii” a while. (I remain unaware of the proper plural.) What I’d failed to recognize was the ability it/they had to make me pay later…

You see, while my tendency to “improv(ise)” seems to often find me with a memory well-stocked with past experiences & more-school-based knowledge (both of which the tendency would by definition view as useless/pointless), Mom’s “present-based-on-past” way of living seems to leave little-if-any room for new knowledge. What I mean by this is she seems to often remember things that (in the case of me , anyway) happened decades ago as if they were yesterday, & also remember things that happened the prior day or week in ways they never actually happened.

That wouldn’t bother me at all, except that I once again find myself relying on her in many situations, ones that I’m hypothetically betting will prove important somewhat-later in my life. As I believe I mentioned in a recent blog, I’m not feeling all that great overall, so I’m basically aiming to live…Well that’s honestly it; To coin the phrase once made famous by The Script &/or Kris Allen, “Live without dying”. For example, yesterday, I grabbed 2 cans of “Beanee Weenees” off the shelf at the Dollar General Market, & while putting them in my cart, said (admittedly right out loud), “SCORE!!” (This is also the reason I’m trying to see as much of as many of my nephew’s soccer games as I ca, though the fields seem to have maintained the ability to “mud up” that they had when my best friend played there almost a quarter-century.)

Yesterday was a meeting with a representative from my new-this-year insurance, & today was a meeting with my most-recent neurologist, brother of my never-operated-on-me neurosurgeon. [I feel it needs noting the latter sent me to the former previously, who then put me at different times on 2 different anti-seizure medications, each of which literally reached my house, at which time we saw they had warnings related to not taking them if you had medical issues I had… Needless to say, the “-surgeon” put me on a different one, saying he wouldn’t ever operate on me unless I took it; I have for a year, & still no operation, which I personally feel (as the person living through each day’s problems) is an inevitable necessity.]

Anyhow, not only am I trying to have as many positive experiences as I can control, but I am (to be blunt) purposefully forgetting many of the seizures & other oft-occurring problems of each week… Which is why I take Mom into the rooms with me, hoping she’ll recall them… But it is ironically only this action that leads me to learn she is recalling them incorrectly. (The fact is, legal adult & first-person experience-er or not, I can shake my head all I want, but since I admittedly have little-if-any recall of how a specific instance did happen, any attempt at correction or talking over her would only leave me in a potentially-worse situation.)

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My Spaces & Final Frontiers

OK; I like to break from the norm a lot (not to mention everyone from my grandfather to my younger nephew has heard me say that “‘normal’ is a relative term”), so let me do that here one (more?) time, by starting my blog with an interactive section. Ready? Everybody now…

“Thirty days has September, April, June, & November. All the rest have thirty-one…”

Were you with me on all of that?! (I honestly know it has more, but I’m not sure exactly how it goes; I started-out learning it as something about “February” having “twenty-nine alone”, but a junior-high Spelling/Writing teacher gave us a sheet to copy once in class that had the whole thing ending in something about the month having “twenty-eight in fine, ’til Leap Year gives it twenty-nine”.)

Anyhow, I just wanted to start with that to show why this has always been the easiest month for me… As far as knowing when it ends. I would claim to not be “OCD” (to me, it ranks right up there with murders on the “Who would have/do it & admit to it it?!” list), but I do keep a pile of appointment cards right behind where I’m sitting that has the cards for my doctors’ appointments in chronological order. (No joke: I had a very-easy appointment yesterday morning, during all of which I carried that appointment’s card in my pocket. I came home, threw it in the nearby trash, & placed the card for the next appointment with that doctor in the right place in the pile, above the card for the next appointment I’d made with my eye doctor at the start of this week.)

But regardless, I don’t pay a lot of attention to when months will end. My Aunt, it seemed, had decided earlier this year to actively count-down the days left in Winter, including the number in several E-mails to my mother… However, I have spent 90% of my life in the state of Ohio, which has spent more than that whole time neighboring Pennsylvania, not to mention owning “Groundhog Day” on DVD…. All of which is to say why I don’t believe there is any proper way to count when a season (or, necessarily, a month) will end. (My best friend, I recall, used to tell me stories about a Summer we had growing-up with a lot of rain… I don’t have a clue if he was remembering that time right, or what one he said it was… But I also sit here now owning 0 pairs of sunglasses that fit, largely because I am constantly “keeping my options open” for snow in this month of August.)

Regardless, as I said, I don’t pay a lot of attention to when months start or end… As I said, that’s “easy for (me) to say” when I keep a chronological-order pile of appointment cards, as well as the simple fact that most doctors call you at least a day before your appointment to remind you. (The other side, of course, is that most cards & calls say to give 24-hours notice if you have to cancel/reschedule. I actually had a doc’s office call earlier this year to reschedule within 5 hours of the appointment on the same day; Why does the AMA not allow me to charge him or his insurance for all the time I wasted prior thinking about that appointment?!)

For the third time (I wonder what, if any, “charm” that will bring me or this blog), I write that I don’t pay a lot of attention to when months end. As Everclear sang years ago, “You believe what you wanna believe…”, but I’m telling you in my case that has nothing to do with the Summer/better weather ending, or football season starting (for my Steelers or my alma mater); As you’re probably betting if you read my blog all that often, it’s got more to do with my life.

When I was home from my appointment yesterday afternoon, I looked at the new top card on the list. (Yes, I admittedly have considered watching them “fight it out” for the position, as in so many books I’ve read & movies I’ve seen, but unlike the recent “Lego movie”, it has yet to happen.) The date for that one reads, “9-30″. I asked Mom how that was possible, since my watch told me yesterday was the 27th (meaning the 30th fell on/in a weekend), & she said the appointment “might be for September”. (As I told a nurse at tests I had on Wednesday, I’ve lost watches at a few appointments, hospitals, & things; I never gave thought to needing any more than the day/date on the screen when replacing them.) I figured that was the case, mentally-checked to see if that was a weekday, & moved on.

Thinking about that again this afternoon, I realized the weekend is mine… Not only that (that’s the case a lot), but most of the month of September is mine; Not only do I not have an appointment for 4 weeks, but it appears (if TVLine.com is any indication) many TV shows don’t return until that same week! Many in my position, such as my Dad & any other relatives who still work, might be celebrating that…

…Which comes back to my long-held belief of “normal” being a relative term. (I admittedly think that a lot as a movie “tag line”, for something like, “‘Normal’ is a relative term…. Unless you have THESE relatives.”) I have never worked (well, in actuality, I worked for a company, but they left town a while back, & didn’t pay me in 20 years), so a lot of my time is mine. (I tend to think my medical history & related appointments, etc., are worth the highest “minimum wages” internationally, as I read about in a recent Rolling Stone article.) However, if you’ve been reading my blogs recently, you’ll realize I believe my time is limited. (When making new appointments, I am less-curious if I have another one already made for that day than if I won’t already be in the local morgue at that hour.)

That is to say (entirely-honestly) that I even break away from what is “normal” for me. For instance, yesterday, I went to my older nephew’s soccer game. Even though the sun was out & it’d been perfectly-warm when I was out that morning, I took my jacket out to the playing surface with me, reminding Mom “I’m a ‘have it & not need it’ type of guy”. That said, I’ve become less of one in many recent instances; While many people might describe themselves that way, I already have 2 phone calls I plan to make next week: One is to my eye doctor, asking to be reminded what kind of compresses (cold/warm) he suggested I use on my eyes this past Monday. The other is to the local “Regional Airport”, to see if they can put me in contact with someone who could help me schedule a skydiving trip…

…Again, I am being entirely honest. When I was only slightly older than my older nephew is now, I admitted to being “afraid of heights” (even indoors), a statement I maintained was true until earlier this month. However, I am currently awaiting results of tests I had about 52 hours ago (paperwork said I’d get them at the next appointment), & honestly wondering if I’ll literally live to see that next appointment. Don’t get me wrong: As I told my Dad at something we went to last week, I believe I’m taking care of any-&-all medical problems I’ve been told I have as best I can. I’m just curious if I don’t (& honestly believing I do) have some problems my doctors have not IDed (or even been made-aware of themselves) yet.

To paraphrase myself here, the “options (& the odds) are open” that I have one of the thousands I’ve never had discussed/tested-for… What good is giving me the results in 6 weeks if I only live to see the next 4?!

Well, I gotta go for now; Ma brought Lunch home, & we all know I’m alive now, so it’d probably be better if I had some energy (& checked my blood-sugar numbers) for the next couple of hours.

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“I’m Leeneng Away From Lurnyng” = New Blog Begun 8/21/2012 @ 1:20 AM

OK… I really try not to blog more than once-a-week, but I’ve been trying to average that for over a year, & know I missed a few, so excuse the fact that this one’s coming when it is.

Excuse me also if I’m asking you to excuse too much, but excuse me for a minute while I allow myself to exert a bit of an ego. (I’ve broken my jaw & right foot in different years, & my knees have cracked for literally decades, so I hope this doesn’t hurt like those do.)…

I’m a 3-time school-spelling-bee Champion who has also been in contact with a few publishing companies spread across the contiguous United States. I’ve also been printed in the newspaper a few times. That said, it’s not ego but honesty that requires me to admit I haven’t taken an actual class at an actual school in over a dozen years.

You want to know why I’m bringing all of this up?! It’s because I went on a trip into Pennsylvania with my Dad today. That’s nothing special; I went on a trip with Dad under 2 months ago, & a-year-or-so ago, I had a “specialist” doctor I was seeing multiple times a year (maybe not specifically, but someone in the same building) at her offices in Pennsylvania…

….OK; Back to honesty. That doc is one of the specific reasons I am writing this. That “specialist” was seen for a disease regular readers of my blog (or members of my family) know I’ve never believed I had, & that has also been true for over a decade, since long before I saw that particular person (or anyone in that building).

I haven’t gone to that building in over 6 months, & don’t expect to ever go back, even if it was proven some day this month that I actually have that particular disease… The reason being that (due technically to nothing I did) I saw a “specialist” in the same area much closer to where I live. In the past 6-weeks-or-so, that person has left the area, & my insurance-coverage has changed, so the latter is currently trying to connect me to one of the former that is in their/our “plan”.

Often the last few weeks, my mind has been hit not with a statement, but a question: Do I owe it to that company & their employers to make their lives easier if I can? I mean this 200% seriously, in that I’m seriously thinking about it, & I seriously want an answer if you have it. I love my nephews & niece, & sometimes we (mostly Mom; I sleep at weird hours) watch them here when my sister goes to a doctor. I don’t have, want, or need that type of doctor due to obvious anatomical differences between my sister & I. My point being I may not need a new one of these “specialist” folks at all if it turns-out I’ve been the correct minority all along, & I’ve never actually had this particular disease. No doubt I would call the insurance tomorrow (well, in about 10 hours) & tell them if I knew that to be the case, but the fact is I don’t, neither do they, & I feel just as sure that neither of us know a way to definitively prove one way or the other.

That’s where this all ties into the trip I took with Dad. We were listening to his car radio, which has that “XM” satellite deal. One of the ads I heard was for a show that claimed it had recently been discussing “back-to-school”. That makes total sense to anyone if they look at the calendar. What makes less sense (to me, anyway) is that one of my cousins is getting started on “home-schooling” their children… But what seems to me as being at the top (or rather bottom) of the “sensibility” list is that my sister is getting ready to “home-school” my eldest nephew, who already passed Kindergarten & First Grade in the same school seemingly filled with kids not related to him in any way that she & I passed those same grades.

I have said for decades (aloud & in print) that my sister is very intelligent. She’d agree in a proverbial split-second that I outdo her in my recall of certain subjects, but that works both ways. One subject they never taught either of us in school is what’s well-known as “common sense” (I refuse to call it that). I can guarantee you the 2 of us disagree on which of us knows more of this, & her choice to take him away from the public schools she started him in would be my “Exhibit A”.

As I already typed, she’s incredibly smart… But the problem with her teaching anyone (that would also be true about me, my doctors, the people who assisted &/or taught my doctors, or my best friend, who literally worked for “Teach For America” last I knew) is they can only teach you what they know. Much less has happened in the 14-years-or-so since she graduated than did in the prior 100+ of this country (let alone the world), but think about this: If, on the day she’s teaching him the names of the planets, she briefly forgets that Pluto was knocked off the list, he potentially spends the next quarter-century believing he knows something that isn’t really true…

…Likewise, if the first “specialist” doctor I saw because of my diagnosed Diabetes (who, ironically, doesn’t “practice” medicine anymore, & whose offices were located down the street from the alma mater of myself, my sister, & the aforementioned best-friend-turned-teacher) was seeing me due to a diagnosis that it turns-out (tomorrow, next month, or in another decade when I’m cryogenically unfrozen) was incorrect (not on purpose, but due to some un-name-able person making a diagnosis due to a mistake out of their control), then it makes no difference then (I’ll potentially have died already), but now, I may as well get one of those tattoos I recently re-discovered notes about me considering, as sticking needles into my skin with no real purpose is part of my personal history.

Finish @ 2:01 AM

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The One-Item Bucket List ; New Blog Begun 8-19-14 @ 3:16 AM

OK; I’ve had that old “Confessions” song in my head so much lately (not even the “real” one by Usher, but the parody by “Weird Al” Yankovic) that I think it’s time I “release” a few confessions of my own.

First off? I’ve got a HUGE media collection…. Most of which I’ve never heard, watched, or any of that so-called “good stuff”. For instance, right now, the latest “Weird Al” CD is sitting next to my TV under my (smaller) “portable” CD-player, wherein the disc itself is honestly located. I bought the CD legal-&-honest (though I remain constantly curious about the location & actions of the former Internet-piracy man known as “Kim Dotcom”), but have probably listened to less than half of it, that being the earliest percentage, & all on the day I bought it. Before that, the player had 2 disc-cases under it: One the latest by the Old 97’s (I have yet to listen to all of that one either), & the other a disc they recorded years ago with country-music legend Waylon Jennings. (These were also bought cleanly, with the Amazon receipt atop my TV to prove it. I could literally reach either of those right this second from where I sit, which leaves me with no honest answer as to why neither has been played by me in literally weeks.)

My second & last (for now) confession, & the one that brings me to the point of this blog, is that I watch a lot of what is apparently “crap TV”. I say this largely because of the responses to online articles about the shows I watch, such as all the people angrily responding to the cancellation of “Crossbones” (I liked it, but am fine with it being over, as I also watch many series that are highly-rated, but have trouble filling a whole season’s-worth of episodes with believable, continuing storyline); Not to mention the fact that some shows I expect to love get dropped before they (in my opinion) get a chance to even make an attempt at such a thing. (I love watching “Person Of Interest” or “NCIS: Los Angeles”, which is the only reason I have yet to contact CBS about cancelling the once-started “NCIS: Red” & “Intelligence”, while still not thinking twice about doing 20 seasons of “Big Brother”. (One more confession, I guess: I first mis-typed that title as “Bog Brother”. I laughed at my mistake, until I was correcting it, & considered the possibility of a “Duck Dynasty” spinoff; Don’t say you weren’t warned.)

Anyhow, follow my steps here… One of the shows I tend to watch that many would probably avoid is called “Baggage”. Some might say it’s downright stupid of me to watch this particular show (wherein people competing to be selected for a date reveal less-desirable facts/traits about themselves) considering I myself have never even attempted to date someone (& I admit much of many days includes time spent laughing at ads for EHarmony &/or similar sites). But being that I average a day a week spent at the local Mall, & it was just a week ago I was at a doctor’s office where a man entered wearing a football jersey that literally touched his shoelaces, I see no harm in accessing the “perhaps-less-desirable-but-home-owning-&-job-holding” parts of society in this way. [I've long said the reason I've found watching these sorts of shows OK is some actress admitted to doing so in an interview with Jay Leno. Honestly, thinking that now reminds me how I never thought I would miss Jay Leno as host of the "Tonight Show"... I shall not miss Dave, but Jimmy Fallon hosting anything on a night Monday-through-Friday (let alone all of them), coupled with the approaching loss of Craig Ferguson, often leaves me sitting & watching "Baggage" episodes on my TV, curious about the possible side-effects of taking an additional one of my "anti-anxiety" pills, which I have usually taken as directed within the last 2 hours.]

As I was getting at, I was watching the show briefly tonight (first thing I thought of that was on when I turned-on my bedroom set), & one of the contestants revealed an interesting item on their “bucket list”. (Forget what it was right now.) When asked to explain it, they said they had long wondered what it would be like to do, & thought if they knew they were on the way out (terminal disease) or something, that would be something they’d like to be able to say they’d done.

This reminded me of an episode I’d watched last night of “Dog The Bounty Hunter”. (I sometimes find it hard to get to sleep after watching the weekend “Burn Notice” repeats, & “Dog”, like most characters on “Burn Notice”, often cracks a few jokes that lead my mind into more-rest-able areas.) The Chapmans caught a guy who had violated parole. After leading him back to the jail, “Dog” told the camera that he felt bad for the guy; On the one hand, the guy had done something he wasn’t supposed to, & needed to pay for that. On the other, “Dog” had learned on the way to turn the man in that he had terminal cancer, so part of him admittedly wished the guy could live with the people the Chapmans had found hiding him, as in jail, little would be up to him, & the disease he’d been diagnosed with outside of the legal issues might take him on the first day into what would likely be a relatively-small sentence.

Anyway, on to me….

I never saw “The Bucket List”, the movie. [I've purchased & watched my DVD of "Now You See Me", & like a bunch of Morgan Freeman movies, but Nicholson could never repay me for the part he played in the movie that attempted (albeit unsuccessfully) to destroy the Monkees over 40 years ago.] I’m not sure when, but I apparently did make one of my own. (Mom referenced it in a conversaton we had once, & I barely-but-honestly remember that.) Regardless, watching repeats of “NCIS: Los Angeles” a few hours ago reminded me that, largely-inspired by that show, one of the things I had put on a mental “bucket list” a few months back, & in fact hoped to accomplish by the end of 2014, was to learn & be licensed to legally carry-&-fire a gun. I then recalled I had planned to do it by this part of the year. While I haven’t taken even the first step (I don’t even know what that might be), I have several months left, which most firearm-carriers would probably tell you is plenty of time.

The only problem is, like that man captured by “Dog”, I’ve been diagnosed with a few incurable diseases (& believe myself to have several others my doctors have not given me positive-or-negative responses about)… So the number of days left on my cell-phone’s calendar & the number of days left on mine are no doubt very different.
–4:01 AM Finish

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Insurance & “AAA” = New Blog Begun 8-9-14 @ 5:08 AM [Warning: Runs A Bit Long]

So, what’s the latest from me? Not a statement of real news, but a statement of fact, which is simply this: I gotta move.

I’m not saying that because “You Gotta Move” was the title of Aerosmith’s last DVD prior to the most-recent one (like that means anything; They just released the third “Ninja Turtles” movie in as many decades, & I’m not counting the sequels). I’m also not meaning that I have to move out of this apartment. (I think I should “As Soon As Quick”, but good luck finding a realtor who’s in their office at 5 AM on a Saturday & doesn’t themselves live there!) I’m saying that because of “AAA”…

… But I’ll get to that. First off, let me cover the “insurance” part of this. Of course, for any reader who is anywhere near my age & like me has never been employed (technically; I believe a no-longer-existent company owes me a few small paychecks), that means “Obamacare”. When I read or hear that phrase, I think of Carrie (“Solve The Big Problem That Caused Her To Play ‘Maria'”) Underwood & Brad Paisley, & the song they did about it at the CMAs a few years back…

Regardless, I’ll admit here I voted for him twice, but have come
to regret it, although not due to anything related to health insurance. Aside from that, I’ve got a medical history as big as some phone books, but I also have long said I don’t need to worry about any of it, as I have “insurance up the ying-yang”. (This is what I called it when I was younger; I’ve decided to save time in recent years, simply calling it “insurance up the wazoo”.)

Regardless of what type of insurance you have, there is one BIG problem with all of it I think anyone reading this will agree with… That being that “the insurance pays”. For instance, my current insurance pays for things I need for my (diagnosed) Diabetes…. But only partially… And only the insulin, not the needles I use to give myself the insulin. (I may have that backwards, but I know it’s one & not the other.) Also, for instance, my insurance will cover the appointment I made with my neurosurgeon this coming week; If, however, he again chooses not to operate at/by the end of the appointment, my insurance will still cover any costs associated with the time he spent with me. (Oh, how I wish I could contact them to put a “stop payment” on that check! I’m betting it would end-up in court, but it would be worth it all the more to me to get him on a TV court show, so people across this state & country know that this may be the one “-surgeon” out there who refuses to operate when any other neuro-guy whose own brain actually works can see the patient’s life depends on it!!)

That reminds me (I’ve long wished my neuro- people could tell me why my brain takes trips like this)… Once again (already said it on Twitter), happy (now-belated) brithday to Stan Freberg! In my mind, his name automatically makes me think of the old TV episode, “Monkee Vs. Machine”. I think of that now because it near-starts with still-performing Monkees Peter Tork & Mike Nesmith being (separately) interviewed for a job by a machine. When Peter asks why he can’t talk to a human, the machine goes into a long speech that I always recall ends with something about the use of a machine helping to lessen the possibility of “the human error”.

That is the main problem I was referring to about what the insurance does cover/pay for; We all (as the saying goes; I stopped doing this around my early ‘teens) give anyone with “Doctor” before their names such respect & trust, in addition to any financial gain they indirectly recieve from us. (It reminds me of an old “Law & Order: SVU” episode that includes a scripted piece spoken about trusting a respected doctor, a dramatic bit spoken by usually-comedic actor Robin Williams, who of course himself earned an Oscar playing… What else? A doctor; We all know Academy Awards haven’t given one to someone in a comedy in quite some time.)

For instance, whatever insurance(s) I had at the time no doubt paid for my now-inactive endocrinologist when I began seeing him after I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. (I’ve made absolutely no secret about my continued disbelief of this diagnosis, but have kept relatively quite about him lying to me about a medication he eventually put me on that wasn’t at the time FDA-approved for my age group, or how he eventually dropped me as a patient due to being unable to contact me while I was in an out-of-town hispital due to an infection caused by something that even a-decade-plus later could be easily traced back to him.)

Insurances have continued to pay for each endocrinologist I’ve seen, including the one who (again) dropped me as a patient because I (& a company associated with them) thought I was a good candidate for an insulin pump, & he had a personal issue with the objects/their manufacturers. They then paid for the one I saw in Pennsylvania, who I saw maybe twice (couldn’t pick her out of the proverbial lineup now), despite going to her office at least a half-dozen times. Keep following the sequence, & I can try to cut-&-paste the list of 5 endocrinologists’ names & addresses they E-mailed me this year, 1 of which was the man with the pump personal issue, & another 3 of which were the one who I’d been seeing for a while, until she had recently moved out-of-state, that relocation being the reason I had initially contacted them & asked them for the list.

OK; Even I’m tired of all that. (You wanna discuss insurance with me, then we both need to check our life-insurance policies, as it may take me a few years; I keep myself under controls where I don’t form opinions on shows-or-movies I haven’t seen, but I also tend to over-inform/over-think myself on things.) Let me get to the “AAA”.

When I refer to “AAA”, I’m not referring to the car service. (Never had a license in my life.) I’m also not referring to anything related to Alcoholics Anonymous. (No joke; Only ever had 1 alcoholic drink in my life, & was literally in rehab at the time.) I’m referring to right here, right now: “Always-Active August”.

That’s the way I can best, honestly explain why I’m up at a-quarter-to-6 on a Saturday morning, typing this blog while simultaneously wondering what I can do next when I’m finished. It’s also the best honest explanation for why I’m sitting here, waiting for my hair to dry from the shower I exited under an hour ago. Lastly, it’s the top reasoning for why I walked 30 uninterrupted “laps” of part of this apartment 2 hours ago…

Long story short (too little, too late for that maybe), some part of me is always thinking that I won’t be killed by any cold or other sickness I catch, any allergy I may have, or the neuro-, kidney, or heart issues I’ve been diagnosed with over the past few decades; I’m predicting I will be rolled “into my last shallow bed” (quoting a GREAT old Cory Branan song) due to something I may have now or get later, but without anyone being aware until I’m already “Goin’ Down” (Just-as-GREAT Monkees song). Therefore, being (as I actively consider myself) constantly aware that I am constantly unaware how much time I have left, I want to make sure I don’t waste a second of it.
The latest from me now? I have no clue of anything else I wanna type in this blog, nor any idea how to spend the next 9 minutes before new shows start on TV. (5:51 AM)

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“N. O. N. E. [(The) Narcolepsy Or Nothing Experiment]” = Begun 7-29-2014 @ 4:37 AM

OK; I know I haven’t been blogging as much lately as I once did, & I’m really quite sorry about that. But before I really get this one going, & fill you in on what I’m doing & why, I’ve got one question for you to think about; A question that has to deal with your own life, specifically, more than mine…

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?!

Don’t go off answering that one too fast now… Think about what you’ve really learned, not from me or anything I’ve ever written or said, but from/in your life. If you really take the time & think it through, I’ll bet the answer isn’t as long at the end as it is initially.

Let me explain what I mean…

About 8 hours ago, I was sitting in a different room of this apartment, getting ready to watch the Monday-night wrestling show with my Dad. (We’ve done that a lot.) Before “Raw”, the USA Network often shows “NCIS”. That night was no different, & this episode ended with scenes featuring Mark Harmon & Charles Durning… Or was it Brian Dennehy?

I know it really doesn’t make a difference in this case, but I asked myself the same question aloud at the time. I IDed the actor as “Charles Durning”, & Dad confirmed it. I said, “He’s good,” & Dad didn’t really react. I then asked aloud, “Or is it Brian Dennehy?”, telling Dad I find myself getting them confused occasionally, but that it didn’t really matter, because I thought both were good. (This then brought me reminders to read my paperback copies of “Iceman Cometh”, & then “Glass Menagerie”, after which I mumbled awhile at a volume even I couldn’t understand.)

Back to the question… On the same Network, I used to watch a show I loved called “Psych”. One of the main characters was named “Gus”, played by Dule Hill. One thing I recall about him was a “pick-up routine” he had starting with something like, “Did you hear about Pluto?”. I only mention that because one of the things I learned in school was the names of all the planets, which at the time, included Pluto. I graduated less than 2 decades ago, & that’s no longer the case. Even so, I often find myself wondering if Pluto won’t be re-classified as a planet later in my life, or a brand-new planet will be added to the list.

If I’m being honest (which I largely aim to do online), I really am worried about that, but not so much for me; I’m more worried for my sister’s kids. I have 2 nephews & a niece. My older nephew is “going through grades like gangbusters”, as I’ve come to say it. It really means one-per-year like most should, but regardless… Who’s to say he hasn’t already learned something that will change before he graduates?!

That, everyone, is an honest explanation of why I’m up typing this blog on my computer at a few minutes to 5 AM. Not for anyone in my family, or for the intelligent life that may be on any (past, present, or future) planets… But because of my brain.

I mean specifically my brain; Not what I know, or used to know (like that old Gotye song), or what I think I know (or even know I think), but my brain. As someone used to say (I thought it was Colin on “Whose Line…?”, & Google now seems to back me up), “For as long as I can remember, I’ve had memories.” I honestly don’t remember being told it, but going back long before time I can remember events from, I’ve gone to people I’ve simply referred to as “my neuro- dudes”. To the best of my knowledge, that’s probably gonna be seen by some as disrespectful, as they were all licensed doctors. But it’s not (like some old documents from this country) negating the time I saw women, as in this area, I don’t (didn’t; been reminded & corrected in the says since first draft) recall that there have been any females.

Anyway, put “back to basics”, I’ve had hydrocephalus, & been shunted. (I believed one set of facts for 20 years, but Google & WebMD “pulled a Pluto” on those some half-dozen years ago.) About 3 years ago, I started having seizures. My neuro- guy of the time (I’ve seen a mix of “neurologists” & “neurosurgeons”, & I believe he’s solely the latter) literally sent me to his brother. (They are genetically brothers, I believe literally using the exact-same rooms at varying times in the same office.) I went through a few supposed anti-seizure meds (felt a bit like free samples I used to get at the grocery store), but have been taking the same one regularly for quite some time now, & went most of that with little-to-no seizure-like activity.

Then came this month. This month, I continue to take all my medications. Regardless, I have what seem to me (the only one living this life, & the only one living in this body, which makes me feel like my perspective should be the main one relied-upon if not the only one that matters) to be multiple seizures a day. In addition, I have what I literally feel (& other relatives have confirmed) is a new bump on my head a bit below my current “shunt”… It hurts literally 24-7.

I am planning to call…. I guess it would be “later today” to get the soonest-possible appointment with my current neurosurgeon. (I’ve been telling him basically since I met him the shunt is “malfunctioning”, if in fact it’s “functioning” at all. This particular surgeon refused to operate unless I took some sort of anti-seizure medication. I have literally 2 guesses what his response will be when I tell him I take it & still have multiple seizures a day; One is taking the blame, the other is finding some way to still blame it on me. I’m hoping he’ll realize only putting the blame/the necessity of action on himself will allow me to live until my next scheduled appointment.) (Another Update: Did this Wednesday.)

Regardless, as much I was in the process of typing a blog about it earlier this same week, I’m really having no trouble sleeping lately. (A questionnaire my general doctor has patients fill-out every visit truly asks, “Have you often recently had trouble being unable to sleep… Or sleeping too much?”. Last week, I chose, “Yes,” hoping this man who had taken so much more schooling than me would realize asking the question that way taught him nothing regardless of my answer.) Actually, as my being VERY awake & active (& having just finished watching a DVD) will attest to, I have times of sleeping amazingly, & also times I could walk for miles while proverbially chewing gum without trouble.

The simple fact is I have chosen not to… Do much of anything. My sister brought all 3 kids here Saturday, & I intentionally stayed away. Mom offered to pick me up for our weekly family Lunch the next day, & I again rejected the offer. My older nephew is amid soccer practices, & while I made much of his recent sport season (where they won the Title, as proven by a picture on my cell-phone including him, a trophy, & me), I’m not sure I’ll make much of the soccer season. (Yet another update: Found myself joining Mom in going to his practice Wednesday afternoon.)

I have said since quite near the day he was born I am “addicted” to my nephew. My younger nephew literally grabs my leg at every weekly Lunch, to the point I consider ordering 2 of everything in case I drop 1 when he attaches himself. My niece, meanwhile, has developed a running bit of “always has a smile for” her Uncle. It is (ironically, you may say) precisely that reason I am avoiding them.

I have had hydrocephalus for literally 3 decades, & been told I was “Type 1″ Diabetic for a dozen years. To the best of my knowledge, neither is curable, & either could potentially, eventually (almost alliterative) be fatal. Therefore, I am aiming to be awake & active in some form as much as I can, simultaneously to not waste a moment, as well as to not miss it if we have an eclipse or something I might be able to view if awake. However, I am simultaneously trying to avoid seeing (or, more-accurately, being seen by) my younger relatives. In much the same way Joni Mitchell (& later Adam Duritz) sang, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”, I am assuming (based on my own “life experience”) that should whatever’s worsened recently take me away, they’ll get over it easier if it’d been a long time since they’d seen me while/even-though I was alive.

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