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 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.


“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


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


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)


“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…


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.


Am I A Pod-Person??

“Women That Fart”.

…OK; If that didn’t offend you, I find it safe to say that nothing else I write in this blog will…

Anyhow, I didn’t just mention that because the idea of women farting kind of makes me laugh. (No; Not the girls like I did plays or graduated school with, but the more-sophisticated types that go to art galleries or operas for fun, constantly refer to themselves as “women”, & often insist you do the same.) I also did it because thinking of it briefly this morning reminded me of that scene in “Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back”…

OK; Searching YouTube briefly got me nothing, so let me explain to those of you who haven’t see it: In the film, “Jay” & “Silent Bob” (the character created-&-played by the film’s writer/director, Kevin Smith) are on their way across the country (see the movie if you want to know why). At this point, they are in a van in which they’ve joined one guy & a group of girls. (I’d explain why these people are on their trip, but if you ever plan to see the film, it’s a decent-sized spoiler.) Eventually, they get into a conversation/argument about whether or not females flatulate.

Anyhow, this brings me kind of circular in the subject of this blog, as it was partially-inspired by that scene, & I saw Kevin Smith this morning on a commercial on IFC. I don’t recall what show it was for, or (naturally, then) if I’ve ever watched that show.

Back on my planned subject, I only saw that ad because it was played during a show titled, “Maron”. This was my first & only (thus far, but probably not for long) time watching the show. For those of you unaware, it stars writer/actor/comic Marc Maron, playing a semi-fictionalized version of himself.

I have watched him for years when he was a guest on talk shows hosted by Conan O’Brien (back before the mess at NBC, who would probably love to have either of them host a talk show there now). For that reason, I watched him a few weeks ago when he was a guest on Conan’s TBS show. One of the things he was “plugging” was his TV show.

Another thing he discussed was his “podcast”, titled (in whole or in part), “WTF”. I am well-aware what it probably stands for in that case; However, if you read my previous blog, you’ll see I often edit myself for content (like movies shown on basic cable, even after Midnight)…. See how I get the circle?!

Anyhow, the episode they aired today was one entitled, “Radio Cowboy”. Having never seen the show before, the onscreen description of this one sounded like something I might be very-much interested in: Marc (playing a podcast-host as he truly is) spends time on a radio morning show (like some he used to host in both his real & fictional lives), & comes to believe radio is dead & podcasts are the future. Soon, however, he finds & tries to help (“…help future-ize?”… “…help anachronize?” Something like that) an old radio host.

Back off-screen, I’m sitting here (in my room & then the living room), watching the show. Meanwhile, in the back of my mind, a small part of it is thinking about my future. (I still claim to “live improv”, & believe I do so honestly, having never believed to this second the proper definition of the word/term meaning doing anything at all with no thought whatsoever.) I sit in this apartment a few hours a day. The entire time I do so, I have maybe a half-dozen “short stories” ready for publishing. (Some have even literally been submitted to publishers.) I also have an entirely-original, clean-enough-for-all-audiences (from my 6-year-old nephew to my father’s 90-plus-year-old Aunt & all in-between) musical play which is (what I call) “technically complete”. I am more than happy to take a writing job at the local paper, who prove they need me simply by the number of mistakes in one edition (& have printed opinion-pieces & the like I’ve submitted many times in the past, even E-mailing me to ask for more specifically from me on specific subjects). I am/would-be also “more than happy” to talk about anything on any local TV station (I E-mailed one & talked to an employee on the phone about possible programming), & would only “shy away from” radio due to the fact my name automatically calls-up for many my connection to my father, who has done his share (as well as dozens-of-others’ share) of work on the medium.

Anyhow, I then (at the end of the show) briefly hopped online to mention on Twitter that In had watched-&-enjoyed it. I hopped back offline (wanting to be ready to leave soon, the trip honestly being the only reason I had wanted to wake up at the time the episode began), & thought some more. I thought mainly about myself (I’m an egomaniac to a point, but if you knew a lot about me, you wouldn’t blame me), & (again) my own future. More-specifically, I thought about the chances of hosting a podcast or something myself.

I would have some definite problems, the first being I don’t own a microphone. (It looks on the show as if podcasts need at least two.) We used to have a TON in the house when Dad lived with us, & I bet he still has a bunch of them I could use simply by asking. The problem that brings me is the guests to invite on my podcast… This is where the other problem actually helps; My first plan to “fix” it was to do the podcast in some sort of non-audio style, leaving me a wide choice of guests, & I have a list I could contact through “tweets”, E-mails, phone calls (sounds sort of “Cro-Magnon” now; Doesn’t it?), text-messages, & the like.

Of course, if I wanted to reach out to the majority of those people as guests (I would eventually need to get most of them; I’ve long wondered how shows that get renewed for many years, as “Big Bang Theory” recently did, manage/plan how to fill that many episodes after celebrating the news), I would run into the problem of most having little-or-nothing to “plug”/discuss… However, as I believe I saw Donny Deutsch say on “The Today Show” once (paraphrasing here), “There are a lot of people with million-dollar ideas, but most lack the oomph to give them a shot.” It is my belief (especially since Hollywood moves into remakes of “Spider-Man” for movies a decade after the first trilogy began, & is about to release the first of what I believe to be a third set of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” movies) that TV & film media rehash so many ideas almost-literally to death because they simply refuse to try ANY of the new ones that come along.

Seriously, let me know your thoughts on this!!! I want to know if I should go through with my new idea, which I have temporarily titled “T. I. P. P, E. R.” (Thanks to my student & staff friends at the local Kent Campus for semi-connecting me to this author & his book), as well as any thoughts about/ideas you have for it.


Where Is “Where I Fell”?!

In the words of Alan Jackson, “Where were you when the world stopped turning?”.

OK; So I don’t really know if it ever has. (In an aim to make my life seem more worth-living to me, I have often spent the day simply trying to find a way/reason to be moving somewhere, in a vehicle or on foot.) However, I didn’t want the first sentence of this blog to be as upsetting as my real starting question might be…

“Where were you on the morning of ‘9-11’?”

Growing up (as some may claim I am still doing), I heard a ton of people say there were moments of history during their lives that everyone in the country would remember where they were: The JFK assassination (about Negative-Twenty Years Old) was the big one, but the first I recall happening in my lifetime was “9-11″. Yes, I remember precisely where I was when the 2nd plane hit: I was sitting in a chair in my original home, getting mad at Matt Lauer. It was nothing personal, nor did it have anything to do with what he was saying, doing, or wearing; I had started a very-regular routine of waking at the same time, checking my blood-sugar, & watching “Judge Mathis”. I turned-on the channel, & it was Matt, continuing the “Today Show” due to the (apparently) “shocking events…”.

Twenty years later (doesn’t seem that long to me), I don’t recall what Matt said verbatim, nor many other major details. I do recall, however, what I continue to call “My One Good Thing To Come Out Of ‘9-11′”…Or rather, “who”. Due to filming at that time in the New York area, Conan O’Brien had a lot of bands coming on & performing optimistic tunes. One night, he brought out a group I had never heard of (he did that a lot, & still does) called “Fountains Of Wayne”. They performed what I later learned was a Kinks cover they had recorded before called, “Better Things”.

Lyric-wise, the song sounded to me like it belonged in a Disney film. (Covered in sugar, it seemed, as it was from “Mary Poppins”, long my sister’s favorite Disney flick.) But I liked something I still can’t specify about the group’s sound. I went soon to the local secondhand-disc store, & bought the only FOW disc I found. Over the next few years, they became one of my favorite groups. (I will always claim this was before they hit it big on the radio with “Stacy’s Mom”, or they were nominated for a Grammy for “Best New Artist”… For their THIRD ALBUM?!)

I’m (again) not sure why or how, but being a fan of theirs eventually led me to a song called, “Fountains Of Wayne Hotline”. It was performed by a singer-songwriter named Robbie Fulks. If you can find it, I suggest you get it. It’s a hilarious song I’m shocked he ever actually recorded (on no albums I can find, nor available anywhere in “MP3″ format.), as written by a wannabe artist who has trouble writing songs, so he calls the “Hotline” & talks to a few employees (none of them sharing names with actual FOW group members) who give him tips, ideas, etc…

Anyhow, I was watching TV last week, trying to transfer files from my still-problematic PC to 1 of a few external hard-drives (if not remove them permanently) before sending it off again to the local “Geek Squad”. (“Once more unto the geeks, my friends!” says a voice in my head that prefers mocking Shakespeare to the anger this often fills me with.) The show had a few live performances of other songs by Robbie, which I watched. Afterward, I looked for versions of those same songs in my Windows Media Player library. One of them is a song called, “Where I Fell”. Both verses end with him referring to a specific spot (different in 1 verse than the other) “…Where I Fell”.

The songwriter in myself (who has spent much, but not all of the past dozen years silent) wondered if one (or maybe both) of those places (as well as a few other places/things) he refers to in the song truly exist in his case. Unsure about him, but knowing I myself have fallen more than my share of places over the years, I decided I would spend 1 day this week heading to one of them, standing on/in it (the chosen spot was a pothole at the time of the fall, which is the reason I think I fell on/near there), & proclaiming (like Robbie in the song), “Now I dwell where I fell”.

I mentioned it to Mom briefly last night, being rather vague on purpose. (Mom has no mask, costume, or comic book, but I have long thought-&-said she feels great when she knows of someone who needs her help at any time; In fact, I am borrowing her PC right now while she is out-of-town, taking an Aunt to Cleveland Clinic.) She woke me this afternoon right before she left, & seconds after she left, I grabbed my necessary items (& a few “perhaps-I’ll-need/use” things), & headed out.

Side-note: I was ready to discuss my plan with anyone, since my destination was not indoors, which may lead/have led to questions. Also, I kept a “running log” on my Twitter account, going as far as to invite people to come & ask questions while I was having Lunch near my planned destination.

I left this building wearing the following “outfit”:

Usual wristwatch

Shoes ordered by my podiatrist about a year ago

Dark jeans (still including an especially-dark spot caused by the Banana Cream Pie Blizzard I had while my nephew celebrated his team’s local Athletic Club Championship yesterday)

The black shirt I bought covered in shoes, themselves covered in a phrase regarding, “Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.” (Needless to say, the whole saying is more humor than true suggestion, & I credit the late Mitch Hedberg as the first reason I heard it.)

Monkees sweatjacket I bought under a month ago (Largely b/c Mom had warned of predicted storms, another one of the reasons I originally fell in this spot)


Long story short, I stopped at the local Taco Bell at the Mall’s Food Court (same menu, but I think a bit more cost, than the one up the block). I then walked through a bunch of the Mall, cutting through the JCPenney the way I had that original fall (for me; Summer for all others) day, & out the exit. I literally pointed with my index finger at the end of my fully-outstretched arm to the light-pole I recalled (perhaps incorrectly) falling near on that day. (I realize now I have not named/mentioned it. If you need to know, I can 95%-promise you it was June 19, 2007.)

I stopped within walking distance of the store I had just left & the local movie theatre I haven’t visited in I-literally-don’t-know-how-long. (I quietly debated amongst myself further steps, remembering I was headed from-movie-to-Mall the day of the fall… Did not mean for that to rhyme, I promise.) I then decided that specific didn’t matter, largely because repeating that detail would require me to cross a two-lane roadway of sorts between Mall parking & that of the nearby theater & “Expo Center”. (I specifically also recalled I believe myself to have tripped because I was looking at/for traffic on/in those lanes, & not paying attention to what awaited once I had crossed it.)

Finally, I shrugged, grumbled & mumbled a bit to myself, & started writing my own 3rd verse to the song, wondering “WTH?” (full words; Editing myself for content) happened to the pothole &/or rest of the area where I recall myself to have fallen. [Watching too much "NCIS: Los Angeles" makes me wonder who to call about them maybe still having the traffic/other surveillance tapes to prove what the reason(s) was/were I fell that day, & why it isn't/they aren't still there...I also laughed at the local Congressman I've longed disliked, with whom I share a first name & who I believe my Dad knows personally, perhaps causing me this issue/problem by actually (I believe) doing his job in this case/area.]