Kelly Clarkson rocks!!
Check out her cover of
Walkin After Midnight.
Patsy Cline is still one of my favorite artists and
Video is no longer up.... if anyone knows where this can be located let me know!!!!


Friday, July 31, 2009

It's Friday. Do you know where your mind is at?

Just a few things today. I am not feeling particularly well. In fact, my right eyeball is throbbing right now and it is making my brain squeamish.

I still have no clue what my final English grade is. This is sort of pissing me off. We, the students, are expected to be in class on time, turn in our work on time, report problems on time, ask questions in a timely fashion, and generally be slaves to someone's timetable. If we fail to act like a responsible adult we are held accountable for it. As a student it is usually in the form of a lower grade. Fair enough I say.

Now what recourse do I have when my instructor fails at all the above items. Should she not also be held accountable for not acting like a responsible adult? Is there any punishment for her not doing her job in a timely fashion? Nope. I say as a college instructor she should be setting the example for us, the students in her class, on how we should be acting. I guess, though, that since she is in charge of the class it's more of a 'Do as I say, not as I do' mentality. In the real world at a real job that just will not fly. Unless you are a bleeding heart, racist, liberal, douche bag. But I could be wrong. Oh my, almost left out narcissistic, egotistical, blowhard.

Bitter? Why, what ever gave it away? Moving on.

I picked up my books for next semester already. I am taking a PhysEd class and need new shoes. Since I wear a 15 wide (No, don't even go there) I had to have a pair ordered in. They should be here next week. About $65 with tax and everything for a pair of New Balance cross trainers, not too bad. I need to get 3-4 pairs of workout shorts, tshirts and maybe some sweats. Don't have the money for that right at the moment. Maybe an armored truck will wreck in front of the house? Hmmmm. A Ben & Jerry's truck would be far more appreciated.

I have been following a few blogs closely and kind of ignoring others. It is nothing personal but I wanted to take a break from reading about MS for a bit. I think I am feeling a wee bit depressed about everything and needed to cheer up a bit. Thanks to GypsyFox and her Twilight fetish I had a couple of great laughs. The "pit"falls encountered over at Jenni's blog had me laughing so hard my sides hurt. And poor, poor Ann dealing with a heatwave. It made me feel better. I had a great talk with some friends yesterday (One of them is preggers, lol... she is still emotionally sifting through that bit of news) and just spent some time doing nothing. Thinking about whatever buzzed through my warped mind. Most of it I can not, will not, talk about here.

I will get back to reading all the great blogs and catching up with everyone in a few days. I didn't realize how worked up I had gotten myself heading into final exams at the beginning of the week. It feels good to act normal. Please be aware that normal for me would be considered white jacket worthy for the average person. Add in my MS and my diabetes and we go someplace totally off the grid.

Listed above are a couple of links. One is to the movie Julie and Julia. It opens next weekend and I am so looking forward to it. I have great memories of watching Julia Child on tv with my mom. We would soak up her words like they were mana from the sky. We always felt so much better after her show. Fun times.

The other is for a link to a site that has some live music by Kelly Clarkson. They also have a lot of other stuff but the link is to watch a video of Kelly covering the Patsy Cline song Walkin' after midnight. Even if you don't like Kelly (and how could you live with yourself if that is the case) take a listen.

Ok, my nephew is finally ready for us to go do something. 2:30 in the afternoon and he just now gets is arse in gear. I might have to leave him somewhere. Oh yea, we went and ate at a great place in Moultrie yesterday. If you happen to find yourself in Moultrie, Georgia go have a bite over at Cedar River Seafood. Ask for Savannah (The short one with dark hair) to wait on you. Great food and Savannah rocks. Anyway, he spotted a sign there and didn't know what it meant. I had to explain that it just meant that things were fantastic. It kind of summed up how I felt yesterday. What did the sign say?

Gooder 'n grits!

Yea, life this week has been. How about you?

Adios Amoebas!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Done with finals and teaching?

For those that are playing the home game I took the last of my finals today. I aced the history exam and did well enough on the math exam. The tally is as follows:

American Government: A
American History after 1877: A
Algebra: C
English: Not a frickin clue

My English grade is the only hold out. She still has not posted anything and as of about 10 minutes ago no response to my email requesting my final grade. Personally I feel like I should have an 'A' in that class but who knows. That class was some kind of freaky. When you get a test with the URL from where it was printed still at the bottom that's not too bad. When the URL reads, www.teacherneedshelp.com then you begin to worry about the grading system. My research paper was very good and the presentation I did was well received by the class. If you don't know or can't recall it was on MS and the effects chronic fatigue and cognitive fog on college students (me). Several of my classmates requested copies of the paper and everyone else who read it thought it was very good. We shall see but I am itching to know what my grade was.

Once again I was told I should be a teacher. My History instructor is the new one here. Everyone, even some of my classmates I helped, feels I would be very good at it. I just don't want to go through all that crap for the BA minimum you need for primary education. Not that I could not do it, I just don't want to. I want to get in to a cushy job working on computers and computer networks (maybe security but I don't know for sure yet) and not work too hard.

Selfish?

Perhaps. I would be a good teacher. I have been for years in most of the jobs I held. Maybe I will revisit this after I graduate in 2011. Maybe.

So what else, OH! I am tormenting my nephew. In fact, when I get done and post this I think I will go get him with a squirt bottle of cold water. He went to bed 30 minutes ago. muwahahahahahahahaha <gasp> hahahahahahahahahaha!

Ok, I need to go shoot up now. And further torment my young relative. Then go to bed cause dammit I'm tired.

Later taters!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Whatcha dooooin?, Part deux!

Ok, when last you left your intrepid blogger he was lamenting over the fact that he had to start thinking about things before he did them. Well, that might be a bit of a stretch but whatever.

I had mentioned that we, the collective we; the we with MS, need to take a look at the things we are currently doing and those things we want to do. When we look we need to be honest and look at what the impact will be at the start, during, and at the end of the activity. Since each person is unique the answers for a given task set (i.e. getting up, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, and getting dressed) might be vastly different. We all have some basic idea of how difficult that task is for ourselves and how much effort we must expend to accomplish it.

For myself it is not terribly difficult. Assuming I am not too cramped/stiff/lazy to get up in the morning the process is fairly smooth and doesn't take too much time. It does not come back to haunt me later in the day. If you apply the same task set to someone confined to a wheelchair then the effort goes up considerably. If you take this person and apply only the most basic of restrictions you still have a huge amount of effort to accomplish a task I barely think about. This person will likely be troubled by the expenditure of effort later in the day, possibly even as soon as a few hours.

If you break your day into these task sets you can then break down these sets into areas based on effort put in versus possible issues later. The example I used is one that all people go through daily (well, I hope daily). There are a lot and I will certainly not try to list them here but some of the more obvious ones are:

- Preparing breakfast

- Checking the mail

- Attending a doctor appointment

- Mowing the lawn


As you can see these are ordinary task sets and each one will be different to one degree or another for each person with MS. The extent to which the disease has taken hold, house vs. apartment, single (with or without caregiver) or significant other, summer or winter, and the list goes on and on. No one person could make a comprehensive list of these sets for anyone other than themselves and certainly could not begin to guess at how easy or difficult a given task, much less the entire set, might be.

I started making a list of the things I do on a daily basis and then began separating them into task sets. Now to be honest the set I used as an example is not complete for myself (I have making coffee, taking out the garbage, and a few others listed) but I thought it was general enough to apply to the population as a whole. I will not bore you with the list I have thus far but I would strongly suggest you do this for yourself. While you are at it, list the things you do on occasion (Do you weed the garden or mow the grass every day?) and create a category for them. Pretty much all of us knows how we are likely to feel after doing something particularly rough (Fixing the cement driveway over the weekend tore me up for Sunday). With this list we can better plan for things or possibly better track if continuing to perform these activities gets any easier with time. Or if they get worse.

Will this work for everyone? Nope. It doesn't mean that you should not still be asking yourself the question. You might find some surprising answers that help you to have a less stressful, painful, or tiring day. As a side note you could pass this along to your normal friends. Let them do this for themselves and then compare it to yours. It might help them to better understand just what you go through to simply live each day.

I find it quite interesting that since my hospitalization and subsequent diagnosis I pay more attention to what it is I am doing. The one bad point is that with many things I am having to just do them and then see what the effect is. Sometimes it is ok and other times the sucktitude meter is off the scale. But that's the way it is going to be. Trial and error. Mix and Match. The list, while never ever really complete, will help me be more careful of those things I know have a price.... or if I am willing to pay the price.

Much thanks to Isabella for asking, "Whatcha doooin?"

and remember;

The quickest way to a man's heart is through his chest.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled internet.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Whatcha dooooin?

I have a confession to make. Actually, I have several but I didn't want to scare you away right off the bat. Is it possible to scare you people away? I mean come on, how bad are things in the world when people end up here, at my blog, reading my insane ramblings, silly quotes, and other things of no significant consequence? Pretty bad me thinks. At least my nephew doesn't sugar coat it when he says I am rude, mean, and an overall pain in the ass. Of course, I just tell him to shut up get back to work in the yard. rofl!

This leads me to a quick story about him. Sunday afternoon we were coming back from town after I had taken him to see Harry Potter (which means I have seen it twice and well worth it) and to get dinner. We went to my favorite Chinese buffet and gorged ourselves like a couple of crocodiles at the riverbank during a wildebeest migration. We were both sleepy but since I was driving I thought it might be bad form to take a nap. He, however, was dozong peacefully in the passenger seat of my truck. Head back, eyes closed, breathing slow and steady and then it came to me. A practical joke to make him soil himself. I waited until he was sleeping for a few minutes and there was no traffic behind us. Then..... all at the same time I slammed my hand on the dashboard, slammed on the brakes, and yelled "LOOK OUT" at the top of my lungs. At this point I must confess, I wish I had a video camera running. He bolted upright in his seat, eyes the size of Waffle House pancakes, and gasping for air while trying to climb backwards through the seat all the while trying to figure out what was going on. After a few moments of hilarity, on my part, he realized I was pranking him. By now I am laughing so hard I could barely keep the truck in a straight line but it was worth it. The look on his face was, dare I say it, priceless. I think you all should be made aware of two things. The first is that he did not soil himself (thankfully since it is my truck) and he was mad as a wet cat. I am laughing at him right now as I type this. Good times I tells ya, good times.

School. What can I say. English class is over and I am sure I passed with at least B. I won't know until she posts the grades next week. Sucktitude. I am not worried about History. I only need 33 on the final for a B so I am golden there. Math on the other hand is still a concern. I got a 68 on the last test. I studied my ass off and was even showing classmates how to work the problems before class, minutes before the test. when I got the test though, my mind went blank. I used the entire class period to answer what I could and still left maybe 3 or 4 unanswered because I just could not figure out how to work them. The instructor says I should not worry because I will pass. I wish I could believe that. Finals are next Wednesday.

At this point I would like to make an observation. For the entire semester I have been asking people, in both History and Math, to form a study group so we could work together in learning the information. Help shore up the weaker areas and solidify the stronger ones. I practically begged them but nothing. Now this week everyone is coming to me saying they want to get with me to cover material and form a study group. I agreed because it really is never too late. Well, the day of finals will be but you know what I mean. I will be meeting with several of my history classmates next week. Good on them. The ones in math though simply walked out of the room at the end of class without saying anything. We will all suffer a little more for it. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

Let's see now... made fun of my nephew, check! Talked about school, check! Ahhh, my battle of the bulge. It has been a rough week. Between the stress of tests this week and prepping for finals next week I have been a bad, bad boy. I have not walked in the mornings at all. Not because I felt poorly but just because I didn't feel like walking. Also, I have been eating more than I should. Two trips to the buffet this week as well as an increase in coffee and cookies at the coffee shop. Also at home I have been eating more. I did get on the scale this morning and I still lost 2 pounds so I am down to 317. I was very surprised by this. It may catch up to me next week if I don't do something about it now. there is some yard work my nephew andI are going to do tomorrow (I might take pics) but I need to do my walking. I will let you know how that goes.

Now on to the confession. The title to this post was shamelessly borrowed from a Disney Channel cartoon, Phineas and Ferb. One of the characters, Isabella, has a huge crush on Phineas and whenever she arrives on scene she always asks him 'Whatcha dooooin?'. I have to say I watch the cartoon every chance I get. It is funny and I always laugh. If you have not seen it go on over to the site here. i think you will like it. This long lead in comes to a point now. Lately I have been asking myself that question.

When I allow myself to become stressed, stay out in the heat of the day too long, or push myself harder than I know I should I have to step back and ask myself that question. I know that it will lead to flare-ups of my MS symptoms which is not good at all. I have to get in the habit of asking that question before these things happen so I can avoid putting myself in the position of paying for it later. We all need to do this. Not only as it relates to our illnesses but just in general.

I need to cut this short right now but in my next post I am going to go into detail about this. I will also cover some other points that have been cropping up in my life in regards to my MS and my Diabetes. If you have any questions then drop me a line or leave a comment. I do read them and often respond but I would like to get an idea what other people, even those that are perfectly healthy, are thinking.

Later taters!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I hurt therefore I am

Play on words there. They are true though. I woke up this morning and my right leg felt like it was in a vice, my left upper arm was cramped, and my neck had a kink in it the size of my ego (By the way, that's big. Really big. Not Texas big but close enough for government work). Now what woke me up was the alarm clock. It sits across the room.

Yep. I said across the room. That way I have to get up to turn it off making me less likely to lay back down and fall asleep. I learned to do that years ago. I was always late for stuff like work, church, social activities, court... you know, life in general. I might mention here that if you have to appear in court for ANYTHING don't be late. Judges tend to take a very dim view of tardiness. Much more so than college instructors.

So anyways, I see the clock and I hear the clock. I just can't seem to get my roly-poly arse out of the bed. It would seem that the combination of the right leg and left arm were sufficient to mess up my ability to sit up or pretty much anything resembling horizontal or vertical progress. That took about 30 minutes. I finally got the cramp loosened up and the crick mostly worked out. ahhhhhh. Sweet relief. The leg I can work with. I manage to get to my feet only to find out I can't feel the big toe and the two piggies next to him... on both my feet. *le sigh*

Well right away I can tell it's going to be a fun day. Eventually I get the alarm turned off and get a shower. The feeling comes back in both big toes in the shower. Thank god. Well, not god actually.... it's more like thank Kenmore for making a water heater that dispenses really hot water. I think anyway. It could be increased blood flow from standing upright. Maybe it was all in my head. No, that's can't be it because we already know there isn't anything rattling around up there. Whatever.

By the time I make my 8am class I have most of the feeling back in my feet, the crick is completely gone, and the cramp is a distant memory. Now I was going to going walking this morning but I did not, as you can imagine. 30 minutes to get vertical made me forget all about the walking. But I came to a couple of realizations today.

The first is that the pain, fleeting or steady as it is from one moment to the next, reminds me I am alive. Not that I would wish to be dead. No, that would involve an entire bottle of Jose Cuervo and the next morning. In this I have lots of practice. Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, too much practice. They say practice makes perfect and by golly I practiced. Waking up on a cold January morning curled up in the drivers seat of my mustang 2 counties away from my house made me stop practicing though. But I digress.

The other thing is that I think my body has assumed control. I had announced to my nephew that I was going to go walking this morning and he said he would go with me. It's funny that the few days previous I mad no such declaration and felt fine when I woke up. Well, fine being a relative term but well enough to get out and walk. Now previous to that I had stated I would walk and the days I had set aside for it and said I was going to walk to someone I felt like crap. My physical form is conspiring with my MS to keep me inside. Damn you!!

Ok, that's a stretch but odd none the less. So now I sit here thinking about you know what but I'll be damned if I am going to say it out loud. We'll see in the morning and I'll let you know.

And for those playing along at home I got an 87 on my history test. Not as well as I would have liked but not bad. Even if I don't take the final I will finish with a C average. I will take the final because I am only 33 points from the B that I set out to get. I think even I am lucky enough to get 33 right on the final (Never mind the fact I know the info pretty good).

My average in math is a 73. I have a test tomorrow and then the final next week. If I can pull a C I will be giddy. Giddy as what you may ask yourself.... giddy as a school girl on her first date! To be honest I will be happy to get out with a D. I have my fingers crossed.

Well, I think that is all for today. I will leave you with this one pearl of wisdom.

If at first you don't succeed... try, try again.

Ok, I know it's not a funny like I usually end with but I wanted to be positive tonite.

Later taters!
{Small edit for spelling errors. Sorry!}

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Awww damn I'm tired

I was going to post a review of the new Harry Potter flick. I am just too tired at this point to type up a lengthy one so here goes the quickie version.

The movie picked up where #5 left off. Nice. The storyline was not overly complex but it focused mainly on the relationships between the schoolmates, mostly. The acting was far better than in previous movies, the overall use of CGI for the magic in their world was quite subtle and helped the movie progress nicely. I liked it. I liked it a lot. I am going back to see it tomorrow with my nephew.

There is a moment near the end of the movie that had me saying (to myself since I was in a theater crowded with small and young children); 'What the f**k?' It fit and it worked but I didn't like it. From what I have been told it followed the book extremely well. I have not read any of the books but I may break down after the last 2 movies are released (Book 7 is to be split in to 2 movies) and actually strain my eyeballs. Then again I will probably just buy the DVD's and complete the set and watch them over and over and over and... whew I am tired.

I give this movie, on a scale of Frog to Infinity, a wombat snogging a platypus. Of course since only I know the conversion formula (from my scoring system to the standard 1-10 rating) I will also tell you it rates a solid 9+. Go see it. Use the bathroom before going in, pack a lunch, complete your will, and inform the family you will be gone for a while. It is 2.5 hours long and closer to 3 with the previews and other stuff (at least it was at my theater). Well worth the price of admission.

===============

Ok, on to more important things. I posted 2 news pictures on my page above (You kinda can't miss them when you land here). I was over at GypsyFox's site and noticed she has a thing for stuff that is older than I am. It is a lovely site and I enjoy the vintage style pictures and theme (Go check it out if you have not been there). I saw a cookbook icon of the old Betty Crocker cookbook and I remembered something. My father and I are currently in possession of two BC cookbooks my mom got from her mom. That is what the pictures are of (By the way, I will shrink them down and move them to the side in a few days). I remember my mom using them all the time and my dad still refers to them on occasion. They were well used and show it. I thought everyone would get a kick out of them though.

I picked up my nephew from the airport today. He is tired. He has been complaining that he had to get up at 4am this morning. Poor thing must be absolutely tuckered out. I mean heaven forbid he should have to get up before noon on one day of his summer vacation. I feel so sorry for him. He just stopped in to tell me he is laying down to take a nap. WTH? At 6:30 in the evening? Damned slackers. I will give him an hour to get good and asleep then my little friend ice water and I are going in to say hello. Might have to try to get some pics. If I do I will post them here.

Ummm, what else. Drugs. Forgot my shots last nite. I fell asleep, way early, and slept until almost 3 this morning. Said to hell with it, rolled back over and went back to sleep. Yea, yea. I know. This is the first one I have missed so cut me some slack. Come to think of it I missed my teeth whitening procedure last nite as well. Well poop. Going to have to make sure I don't miss anything tonite.

I am playing in the beta test of a new MMO called Aion. I chose to play a female toon. A friend from another game used to say that makes the toon a 'shim' (She played by a he). I have made it clear that if I have to stare at the ass of an avatar I am not going to be creeped out in any way. No, you don't have to go there so don't bother asking. Got it?!

It's a nice enough game but the attraction is I can fly. Only for short periods but who cares. I can fly. All well and good but if I am way up when my energy runs out it ends badly. Kind of like not paying attention to which mount you are on in WoW (World of Warcraft) and running off a cliff in Northrend (Some have wings, some don't). It is one of those stupid moments where you look around to see if anyone witnessed you act of superior moronitude... kind of like when you are walking through a busy mall and trip on the ever so thin air in front of you.

What else can I talk about? Hmmmm, I could talk about politics. I think I will start another blog dedicated to anything political. Stupid cat tricks? Not enough space on the internet for that. I need to write Caitlin a return letter. She is a sweety and I miss her laugh. She is just a friend and I like it that way. Oh she is adorable and cute and silly (just the way I like em) but there is only one problem. She is only 18. Just a friend, nothing more. She is out of state as a missionary and I promised to write to her. We have already sent each other one letter so the ball is in my court. I will do that tomorrow.

My eyeballs hurt now. I think I am going to shoot up, self medicate, and then pop in a movie. Something pointless and without value me thinks. I don't own anything with Steven Segal or Jean Claude van Damme so no comedies. BOOOO! Bad joke! Bad Joke! Sorry for that folks. They always sound far better in my head than they look like once I type them out.

Laters taters!

and remember this pearl of wisdom:
If you can not find it in your heart to forgive then your heart will never know forgiveness.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled internet.

Friday, July 17, 2009

All the news that's unfit to print

Ok, the title might be a skosh misleading... and by skosh I mean more than a little... and by more than a little I mean a lot. HEY! I'm kind of like the main stream media now! Another post...

I was going to post this afternoon and review the new Harry Potter and cover a few other things but I could not wait.

I did not walk this morning. Just didn't feel up to it. I have to go by the bank for dad, do some grocery shopping, drop by the department of labor (I will have to post about that one day), and some other stuff of no real importance. Since the bank doesn't open until 9 I spent the morning goofing around on the computer, browsing some of the blogs, and occasionally examining the inside of my eyelids (Nothing worth seeing there).

So I was getting ready and decided to jump on the scale one day earlier. I know, I know.... should be weighing once a week on the same day under the same conditions but I opted to throw caution to the wind. I am on the edge folks, on the EDGE I tells ya! aherm. Sorry. So I get on the scale and while doing my Squinty McGee impersonation the scale says I have picked up 3 pounds. HOLY CRAP! For the record I used a word that means crap but can't be said on network tv. Ok, now I am pissed. I get off the scale and take a long hard look in the mirror. I cut back on my eating, increased my water intake, cut out most of the sodas, stopped going to the chinese buffet, even started a little walking, and taking the long way around campus. I even started eating a healthy cereal and taking a multi-vitamin.

Bah, dammit. I bend over to push the scale under the sink so I don't have to look at it and notice something odd. The scale is not zeroed (It is not a digital scale). Hmmm. I zero it and decide to try again. This time it is a different result. 319 pounds. WOW! I lost six pounds this week. I am as giddy as a school girl with her first crush. Ok, that was creepy. Still moving in the right direction which is good.

So now I am off to run my errands and take care of what I need to get done today. One of my nephews is coming to visit from Colorado on Saturday. Slave labor really. I need help with some stuff around the yard and since my dad is in a wheelchair he can't help. I might even put him to work tomorrow after he gets here. Start him off right. muwahahahahahaha. No, I'm just kidding, mostly.

So I had a good week in school and lost some weight. Life is good at the moment. I will likely post my review of the new Harry Potter tonight sometime. I hate going to the bank and cna't put it off any longer. Later folks!!

Remember:
A bird in the hand equals a really messy hand!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled internet.

Mike

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Short and to the point.

Don't have a lot of time today so this will be a quickie (not to be confused with the other quickie nor the local sandwich shop).

History test... I felt like I did well on it. A couple of the questions had me confused for a few minutes but I think I answered them just fine. The short answer questions were answered with short responses. Not as lengthy as Mr. Carter will like but I should get a decent amount of credit for what I wrote.

I turned in my research paper for English Comp and did my presentation on it. For those not up to speed I did it on MS and how fatigue and cognitive issues affect me as a student. It is not a long paper and could really stand to be fleshed out a lot more but for a basic paper (limited to 5-7 pages) it works. I wasn't terribly happy with the start but I finished strong. Lots of questions from both the class and my instructor. I think I gave them something to think about. I might post a copy of the paper for you folks to take a look at. I feel like I will get an A for it.

I did not walk this morning or yesterday morning. When I woke up my legs and back hurt so bad I just lay there listening to the alarm clock wail for an hour before I could get out of bed. I took a lot of aspirin to quench the nasty, eye popping, tooth-grinding headache. It helped a little. Once I got through the shower and brushing my teeth (for some reason that made my eyes hurt but I don't have a clue on that one) I felt a little better. I was still real stiff by the time I got to my first class but I am dealing. Lets see how I feel tomorrow morning before deciding if I will walk when I get up.

Found a great blog so go check it out here. It is quite the site and rather nice. Make it a regular stop, I have. I will be updating my main page to reflect a number of the blogs I have been going to regularly. Lets show some support for our fellow (is fellowette a real word?) bloggers. Lisa Emrich over at Carnival of MS Bloggers does a great job and much thanks to her. I don't know how she does it. If I can find an artist I might have to create an award of my own to give out.

Ok, need to wrap up so I can go see the new Harry Potter while I still have the strength and sanity to. I will let you fine people know it is.

Remember this important fact:
Getting struck by lightning is Mother Nature's way of saying, "Don't stand there!"

I now return you to your regularly scheduled internet!

Mike

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New cereal... yummy or is it all lies?

Welcome back (and just welcome if this is your first time here)!

I was looking for something to write about and then I remembered my cereal. Cereal you ask? Why yes, cereal. Now I know what you are thinking... I think I know what you are thinking but lets just throw it out there and see. You are thinking, "DO NOT GO TOWARDS THE LIGHT!" You would not be totally wrong to think that but that will be for when I talk about the movie Poltergeist.

I was browsing through my local grocery chain's health food section and found myself sorely disappointed. Now I am certainly not a nutritional expert but I am thinking that a case of exlax, 40 rolls of extra-strength charmin, and an industrial size box of depends just doesn't qualify. I could be wrong... yea, and bats the size of geese might fly out of my arse!

So I decided to look for a healthy cereal. For those of you who have been around for more than 20 years you might recall that the cereal isle was maybe 20 feet long and consisted of around a dozen selections with shredded wheat and grape nuts as the "healthy" alternative. Otherwise the choice was usually some type of chocolate frosted sugar bomb (Borrowed from Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes - opens in a new window) that parents did not mind feeding you. Ah, those were the days. I can remember it like it was yesterday.... oh, sorry. Started daydreaming for a moment there.

Where was I? OH! A new cereal. Anyway, I was perusing the cereal isle when I came across this new (says it is on the box even) cereal made by this health food company that starts with a 'K' and rhymes with Tashi. It is a plain looking brown cardboard box, green background art on the front, and the name of it. The name is 7 WHOLE GRAIN FLAKES & GRANOLA WITH BLACK CURRANTS & WALNUTS. Seemed kind of long winded to me but I thought, what the hell. The front of the box points out that it promotes the vitality of 5 body systems; Heart, Immunity, Bone, Digestion, and Mind. Holy Crap Batman!!! (This will be even funnier in a little bit). This must be the holy grail of breakfast cereals. I am so going to try this cereal.

So I get the box home, pour me a bowl, and slosh some whole milk over it. As I am walking back to my computer I am looking in the bowl. It doesn't look bad. The small, round, blackish/purplish things (I suppose those are the currants) are starting to stain the milk a nice shade of fucia. I suddenly wish I would have bought the Cocoa Puffs instead. You can't go wrong with chocolate milk. Ok, so I get to my computer, set the box down to look at the nutritional label and stir the contents of the bowl. It looks like something that might be healthy.

I see bits of what I strongly suspect to be walnuts. Not sure why I think that but lets roll with it. The flakes remind me of another cereal... some sort of a bran type product with 2 scoops of small sun dried fruits in it. Ok, so we have some healthy looking flakes made up of some whole grains, some round things that seems to be coloring my milk an odd shade, and some nuts. Not too bad but I don't see the granola yet - oh there it is. It is not granola clusters but actual loose stuff. I can live with this. I scoop up a mouthful of the stuff with my spoon (I don't use regular spoons but the ones that are the next size up) and shove it in. *munch* *munch* *crunch* (that was the walnuts) *munch* >gulp<

Not too bad. Good flavor, lots of texture. No funky aftertaste and it doesn't hurt my mouth (like the aforementioned grape nuts). Very nice actually. So while I am shoveling in the rest of the bowl I start reading the side of the box. Only 200 calories per serving. Say now, that's pretty good. 3.5g of fiber (2g polyunsaturated and .5g monounsaturated... no clue where the other 1g is at but whatever), nice. No cholesterol, only 125mg of sodium and it has 120mg of potassium. I am feeling good now.

Oh jeebus. 7g of fiber. That's 26% of what a person needs each day
(Remember the Holy Crap Batman comment?). That's a lot for a 1 cup serving. I think I just ate about 2 servings (6 total in the box). Now as a sufferer of MS and several of it's lovely symptoms I should point out now that one of those symptoms might have something to do with the dysfunction of a certain internal organ set. Now I don't know about you but given the problems I already have you would think I eat fiber, cheese, and superglue by the gallon, pound, or whatever other measure adds up to a lot. I don't. In fact I do try to avoid that in the hopes my system will work more right, more often.

Now with the spoon halfway to my mouth I am staring at this and wondering just what the consequences are going to be. It's probably not going to be good. Ugly is the word I would choose to use at this point. I just might be taking a trip back to the health food isle I told you about in the beginning. The two seem to go hand in hand, err, uhh, hand to butt? *le sigh*

Well too late to stop now. So I finish the bowl and keep reading the box. Lots of nice stuff; 25g+ of whole grains per serving, the box is made from 100% recycled paper (minimum 80% post consumer waste), inks are soy based 100% biodegradable, plus all the other normal stuff for these people. I finish the bowl and down the rest of the milk. Sticking to the recommended serving size would be a good idea me thinks.

In case you don't know what cereal I am talking about you can click here
(<--- There, not here) to go to their website for more information. I did pick up a second box by these people but of a different type. The other one has dried strawberries in it. I like strawberries. So go check out their site and if you eat cereal try this stuff. It really is quite tasty. Of course if you really don't need a lot of fiber you might want to just go with the chocolate frosted sugar bombs.

Remember these words of wisdom (again from Calvin, who is one of my heroes btw):
When birds burp, it must taste like bugs.


I now return you to your regularly scheduled internet.

Mike

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

School, walking and people

I think I am going to address these in reverse order (why? because I can!).

People
I have always been a fan of the 'everyone but me sucks' theorem. Let me see if I can fully explain this. The way I see it I am always right and even more so when you are. This means in order to justify myself you have to suck therefore nullifying your rightness. By default that makes me right. If this makes sense to you then you are as whacked out as I am and welcome to my world.

Now I can explain what brought this up. I have tried to be patient, understanding, caring, thoughtful.... you get the general idea... but still certain people try to take advantage of my niceness. They assume weakness where there is none (ok, there is some but I'm always right so there!). I try to do something nice and the accusations start flying like crap at a cow chip chucking contest. A woman I know, who has been nothing but cordial with me, was in need of some help. I offered to help. A mutual friend told her I was only trying to get in her pants. wtf?!?! What makes this even worse is that she believed it. wtf?!?!(squared)

Now I not only want to punch this friend in the cooter for this lie but I want to slap the woman for believing it. I have known her for more than 6 years and never once have I even made a move in her direction so all I can say is, wtf?!?! Ok, so people suck... suck to the power of 13.

Walking
I did a 4 mile walk Saturday. That is not going to happen again any time soon. Sunday was a bad day. Monday morning I got my arse outside, at about 5am, and figured I would do a mile then work my way up from there. At the end I was tired and sore but I felt pretty good. Took my shower and went to school and was feeling really bad by about 10am. On my way home I thought I was gonna die my legs and feet hurt so bad. I decided to drive the route I walked and guess what? Turns out it was about 2.3 miles. DOH! Ok, so this morning I get up and drag myself out for my walk and decide to do the same 2.3 mile route. I don't feel near as bad right now as I did yesterday so I am guessing in a few weeks I will be ok with this distance. My dad said I should start with wind sprints. I pointed out that if my heart were to explode then he would have to clean up the mess. He said to do it outside.

I don't think I will be doing wind sprints anytime soon. Not without my ass being on fire anyway.

School
I finished my research paper and submitted it to the Writing Center yesterday for review. I worried about how badly they would tear it apart all last night and this morning. I picked it up and was very surprised that there was not that much wrong with it. Mainly it was comma usage, the use of 'you' and 'your' and a little bit of spelling (I blame Microsoft Word for the spelling errors. It should have caught shouuld). I made the corrections and will take it to print out in a few minutes. Then I can turn it in tomorrow and I am done. yay!

I have a history test this week that I might not do so well on. I have an algebra test next week that I feel ok about. That just leave finals. English next week then history and math the week after and then I get a break. I am looking forward to that. I think it is like a week and a half before Fall semester so I will get a chance to unwind a bit before starting my computer classes and a PhysEd class. Oh joy. The PhysEd class is 8am MoWeFr and the computer (cisco) is TuTh at 6pm. Going to be a weird schedule but I am looking forward to it.

Ok, I have been typing too long already. I am also sure I will read this later and find a ton of spelling and grammar errors to fix. I might. I might not. Don't know if I care that much yet.

Later everyone and remember this:

You can only be offended if you allow yourself to be. Suck it up and move forward.

Mike

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Exercise, day 1

Got up early. Weighed myself. For those that might be playing along at home the number is 325. Popped in my Tai Chi for Beginners DVD. Spent about 30 minutes trying to get the first 3 moves down. Spent the first 30 minutes trying not to fall over. Made some progress but wasn't the slightest bit worked out. Tried an old workout tape I found in my closet. Wood floor with a crawlspace+325 pound man+jumping jacks = dad wondering if we were having an earthquake (small house btw).

Nixed that idea.

Threw on some old sweats and a tshirt with my camo boonie hat (I should get a pic of that just for s&g's. you folks might get a kick out of it) and went walking. Seventy minutes (including the stop to get that rock outta my shoe) and 2.1 miles later I was done. Sweating like crazy but strangely I feel.... not bad. Looks like a lot of walking every morning. Means I will have to be up about 1.5 hours before I normally get up for the walks. yay (and since you can't really tell that was said with a heavy amount of sarcastic undertone).

I might stick a gadgety thing to one side to track weekly weight. We'll see. Another thing I have to do is to stop eating so much (means my favorite Chinese buffet is out, *sob*). Will need to go to the store and look for healthy stuff (like rabbit food for starters. but we don't like rabbit food. yes we do now hush and finish your post.) and some snacks that will be better for me. I suddenly have the oddest craving for tofu right now..... and sushi.

Anyhoodles, going to get my laundry done then go check out the health food section at the grocery store. Being in South Georgia I have low expectations so perhaps I will get a nice surprise. Boy is my regular doctor going to be sooooo mad with me.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I scared myself

*** Note: I edited this post. Too many misspellings mainly. ***

I scared the poopies out of myself today... well almost. What scared me you might be wondering? I got on the scale this morning. :0

I used to weigh a lot. 426 pounds at my worst. Now a few years ago I managed to get myself down to about 250 but I evened myself out at about 270. I was more than happy about that. I was downright giddy (mental image? ya, I thought so). I had to buy all new clothes, which was nice actually. I went on a rampage throwing away all my old stuff because I told myself I was never going to let myself go like that again. I swear, I actually looked myself in the mirror and spoke the words out loud. I was happy and life was good. This was way back in 2003 btw.

Fast forward to late 2008. I was feeling poorly, the holiday season was upon us and I was eating pretty much everything. I was maintaining my weight at about 275 so I thought life was ok. I was working (12 factory shifts help keep the weight manageable) and the trip to Colorado was still another week out. I figured a few weeks away from home visiting relatives in beautiful Colorado would do me a world of good. I was already aware the plant was going to close in 2009 but not when. Time to worry about that later.

Two days before New Years Eve. My head felt like Dizzy Gillespie was playing his 15th encore inside it, the right half of my head was numb (ya, HEAD), my right arm and right leg were having a personal argument with the rest of my body and were constantly trying to take their ball and go home, and my stomach was threatening a rebellion fairly constantly. My brother asked if I was feeling ok a few times but I blew him off. I didn't want anyone to know how I was feeling. I started chewing aspirin like pez candy and drank nothing but coffee and water. Nothing really helped and it was getting worse.

January 6th my dad and I left for the drive home. I wanted to take the most direct route. He didn't. We drove from Colorado Springs to El Paso (That's Texas for you geographically challenged) and hung a hard left on to I-10. I would like to tell you Texas is "purty" but to be honest I only had one good eye at this point and it really wasn't all that clear. We pulled in the driveway on the evening of the 9th, 2300 or so miles later, and I unloaded the truck and went to bed. Did I mention my dad is confined to a wheelchair?

Dad was mad at me at about 3pm on Saturday cause I was still in bed. After an argument I decided to go to the ER. They freaked. Took me right in, plugged me up and ordered a CT scan. It eventually came back negative so the doctors and nurses could only gripe about what they could have found. They scheduled me for an MRI on Monday and I went home. Dad didn't say anything to me.

Monday morning came and I got jammed into a giant metal tube. I dozed off. I was eventually awakened and told to go out to the waiting area. Maybe 20 minutes later (Could have been 2 hours as my sense of time passage was whacked) the nurse came out and said I needed to be admitted. I refused until someone told me what they found (Really, they could have thumped me and knocked me out cold and did what they wanted). The Radiologist came out, closed the doors to the waiting area and told me. She had been the one to look at my MRI from about 4 years previously, gave a preliminary diagnosis as early MS (I must point out the specialist my insurance company sent me to said no it was not and made me his lab rat for 3 months). This time the lesions were absolutely clear and to add to it my brain was swollen from all the inflammation. I needed treatment.

Some 4 hours later I am lying in a hospital room, IV drip, drip, dripping away, my mind numb with fear, shock, pain, nausea and a host of other not too nice thoughts trudging one after the other through my head. Several nurses introduced themselves but I only took particular note of the cute redhead. She was married. Damn. They said a neurologist would be up sometime that afternoon and my regular doctor had been contacted.

Early evening. I had lunch and dinner and was watching iCarly. I felt a little better but my head was still numb and my right side in general was still being quite the rebellious upstart. I would stumble to the bathroom since I refused to use the pee bucket and the bedpan. The nurses didn't like it. Especially since they had plastered my chart, arm, bed, door and wall above my bed with the same two words: FALL HAZARD. They told me to call a nurse if I needed to go and they would assist me. I told them the only way they would assist me was if I was unconscious. A couple of them gave me a look that told me not to push them too hard or I might find myself that way.

I called my dad. He was worried but unable to do anything (wheelchair). I told him as soon as I got some more info I would call back but don't worry about trying to come down. I called a good friend. She brought me a bag with some clothes, toothbrush and other essentials in it. She said I didn't look too good. Nurse came in to draw blood, give me a shot of insulin and see how much urine I was passing. My friend left. She doesn't like needles.

My neuologist stopped by. Said the words, "Yes. You have MS and here is what we need to do first." Steroids. Have to get the brain unswollen. He was wondering how I was still mobile, much less the 2300 mile drive. I told him, "Because I had to." He didn't like that answer. Three days of massive steroids with a spinal tap on Tuesday. After that we will see. Got first dose that night. Woke up Tuesday morning feeling strange. Oh wait, I was feeling better.

Spinal tap was uneventful. Fluid was clear but eventually tested out that I have MS. Nurses still mad about my wandering aorund the room. Food sucked, but I was actually able to start tasting it. Still sleepy as hell though. Every 4 hours they would wake me up. Check my vitals, give me a shot and then leave me be. Got my second dose of roids that nioght. Woke up Wednesday feeling a lot better but my right side was still protesting their attachment. Not near as vocal though.

Wednesday my doctor came by. Said I would have to be on insulin from now on. Steroids were driving my sugars way up. I hate needles. Neurologist came by. Said I could go home Thursday morning as long as everything checked out. Yay. Food still sucked. I did shave and take a shower that afternoon. Nurses really mad about that. Cest la vie.

Thursday PT (Physical Therapy) people came by. The girl knows my dad from his many trips there (Left leg amputated, two back surgeries). They were the final release I needed. Wanted to know if I needed a walker, Told them no and followed them through their paces. I had to concentrate really hard but I did it. Even beat them back to the room. As long as I didn't have to suddenly change direction I was ok. Was noticing tremors though. They said that was normal. They signed off and I got another dose of roids. Managed to get cut loose at about 4pm. Made it to the truck and immediately went to my favorite Chinse Buffet (Nikki works there. She's cute and I like her. I think she likes me to but I dunno for sure. Maybe yes). Ate and went home.

Told dad everything. He looked worried but didn't say anything. Went to bed. Next morning went and filled my prednisone prescription (1.5 months of that stuff). Had note keeping me out of work for a while. Dropped that off. Was kind of weird stumbling thru the plant. Almost fell a few times. All was well though.

A few months later and I was well enough to return to work but my uniform didn't fit the same. It was a little tight. I had been eating pretty good and I know the steroids can cause some weight gain. Laid off at the end of March. Two weeks later I start on my Copaxone. Doctor says that might cause some minor weight gain. I also stopped smoking. Started cramming food in like, well like I don't know what. The pills I still take for my diabetes have a side effect; weight gain.

Present day. Today. Got on the scale this morning. Lets just say I had passed the 300 pound mark. yikes. Have to do something and I am going to. At least three days a week, starting tomorrow I am going to walk for an hour in the morning. Bought some Tai Chi DVD's (I used to do it years ago, part of how I lost all the weight before). Going to do that at least 2 days a week, prolly 3. Do the Tai Chi on the days I am not walking. Use Sunday as a rest day. Start eating better. Picked up some weight loss stuff, multi-vitamins.

Have to lose this weight. Have to get myself a lot healthier. Going to shoot for the 270 now. Once there will see what I need to do. Was gonna try yoga (There is a local class I can join) but I doon't want to subject other people to me. Not until I can get a handle on things. I very well may use this blog to track my progress. We will see.

Must open DVD's. Tomorrow morning will be Tai Chi (Already made up my mind MWF will be walking). yay!

Mike

Thursday, July 9, 2009

OMG moment...

This will be quick. I just had one of those moments where something clicks in your head so hard your ass wonders what just happened.

I have tried, for the entirety of my life, to be a non-conformist. I wanted to be different, not like the rest of the crowd. I didn't want to be one of the sheeple I see aimlessly wandering through their existence basing their happiness on the newest Paris fashion or what kind of soda the hottest starlets were drinking. I went out of my way to not fit the mold and it caused me more than a little bit of grief over the years (Never good to be too different in high school... ever) but I took it, built on it and always moved forward.

Now that I have MS I think I would give just about anything to be like the rest of the herd. I don't want to be different or stand out. I just want to quietly blend in to the meadow, munch serenely on my posies, live a totally uneventful life, and then keel over quietly in my sleep. I think someone is laughing at me now.

Be careful what you wish for.....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Research paper, or "What did I sign up for again?!"

* Editors note (That's me btw): This is turning our far longer than I thought it would. The fact that I have added this statement to the beginning is making it that much longer. Do not be discouraged by this. For some reason I find I am unable to stop typing and now find myself resorting to rambling on about nothing in particular whic... [SCRONNCHE!!] Conscious stepping in. The editor has been delt with for his constant blathering about nothing specific. It must be noted that this post was finished prior to his edit here. We, the Id and I, have sent the editor to his happy place to contemplate his faux pas. Should he lose track of himself again he will be delt with, in the harshest manner possible, by his Ego. Thank you for your patronage and we now return you to your regularly scheduled internet. *

I have been working on a research paper for my English Composition class. I decided to do it on (wait for it... wait for it...) Multiple Sclerosis. I have always heard you should write about what you know. The sad thing is that after gathering a good deal of information it turns out the only thing I knew for sure is that I have it and I hate giving myself shots.

On the plus side I am becoming quite knowledgeable about this insidious bastard child of mine. I have been diagnosed with RRMS which is what roughly 85% of people are diagnosed with. I feel fortunate compared to the alternatives. Of course this is not to say that my RRMS will not eventually progress to SPMS but according to what I have found this does not happen with near the frequency it did before the modern treatments came about. I like my odds. Well, to be honest if my odds were a mere 1% better than they were 50 years ago I would still like my odds. I'm crazy that way.

My paper is going to focus on primarily on the effects MS has on cognitive abilities with a side run into the issues of fatigue. I think this is of significant importance to me since I am in school. The ability to remember, recall, problem solve and all that is the first level of abilities one needs to be successful in college. I am at an immediate disadvantage. I have been told that I should go and talk to the people that are responsible for making sure people with disabilities are taken care of. To be honest I am kind of split on this.

On the one hand I don't want to view my MS as a disability (unless I can get that nifty placard that lets me park in the best spots, lol) but I have to come to terms that I am not like I was 20 years ago. There was a time that I could be told something and I had it. Now I am having to work so much harder to just squeak by that I wear myself out just studying for one class much less the three I currently have. I don't much like the idea of people feeling sorry for me. Feel sorry for that man who is out of work with a family to support. On the other side of that coin is the fact that it takes me longer to accomplish what an average student can. Can I quantify it in any meaningful way? I don't think I really can. It is one of those things that is a real bitch to measure under the best of conditions.

I guess I should head over and talk to them. Maybe there is something they can do. If not then perhaps I can start a campus organization for MS. *le sigh* Just what I need.... something else to occupy my already finite time. Between school, taking care of my dad, house chores, yard, driving time and all the incidental stuff (i.e. sleeping, eating, showering) I sometimes feel like I just don't have the time to do everything I need to focus on right now.

pfffft! pfffft! MS can kiss my fat white hiney.

At any rate I don't think I am going to be able to fit all of this information onto a scant 5-7 pages. To be honest I don't think 10 pages would be enough to do it right. I am sure my instructor will count off points for exceeding the 7 page limit. I just would not feel right leaving out any pertinent information. It's not like I am going to cover a ton of material:

- What is MS?
- Sample data relating to getting MS and who usually gets it
- Types of MS
- Symptoms (Short list)
- Fatigue and cognition issues
- How these issues affect people (Main focus/sub focus on myself as a college student)
- Treatment options (Types of drugs and delivery methods)
- Short term and long term goals

I am not sure I will put the goals portion in and I will likely only cover the therapy I am going through (Copaxone). Even stripping/pruning that info there is still a lot of information to discuss. I am not going into tremendous detail but I have to be clear enough for the average person to understand it. So far I am down to Symptoms and I have nearly 5 pages. Probably more like 4.25 when you take out the images (Images, charts and the like do not count towards the paper limit). Screw it. She is going to get a lengthy paper and by god she is going to like it.

A huge upside is that a large number of my classmates have asked for a copy of my paper when I am through so they can better understand what it is I am going through. I might even post it here (in some fashion) so you, the readers, can take a look at it. Then again maybe not. I would not want any of you to find out just how big a goofball nitwit I really am.

I guess I will work on it some more tonight but I have so much other work to do. I skipped math today so I have two sections to read up on and I still have the last of my History after 1877 study guide to complete. I have to finish that by this weekend. I have people in that class who think my study guides are da shizzle, fo shizzle, der whizzle, or whatever. They all want one now. I told them I would have to start charging $37 for each one. They didn't see the humor. They will at least pay for my copy costs. Money doesn't grow on trees you know (thanks mom!). I'm not made of money either (thanks dad!).

Ok, study time it is. Good night all and remember;

If life gives you lemonades ask for a refund or at least try to trade them in for something a little sweeter!

Mike

PS: In case you want a good laugh then pop over to Dr. Horribles Sing-Along Blog. You will not be at all disappointed. Go on. clicky clicky!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My two cents (Other thoughts never made it)....

As I sit here at the coffee shop drinking my Vanilla-Hazelnut Latte I am looking at some of the information floating around about the MJ memorial service. I am going to add my two cents in and then never speak of it again.

** WARNING: This paragraph will contain language some people may find offensive. Don't read it if you can't handle profanity. I will delete any and all comments referencing my use of profanity. I have the innate ability to wield profanity like Michelangelo wielded paint and I am not afraid to do it. **

I can appreciate that MJ made some great music. Pretty much everything after Thriller was shit. Looked like it, smelled like it and prolly felt like it. He went off the deep end a long time ago and never found his way back. Did he molest kids? To be honest I dunno though I personally think he was a child molesting fucktard. At this time the point is moot. With all of that being said the media, and the public at large judging by the various blog/news story comments, have turned this whole thing into a complete fucking circus. I have given up watching the news because every 10 minutes there is going to be another story about MJ or his mom or his will or his kids or his brothers or his doctors or his possible addictions or his last rehearsal or his music or his coffin or his life or... what the fuck people?!?! Bin laden didn't get this much press in 2001! Say your goodbyes, shed your tears but for the love of all that is holy and right shut the fuck up. We have far more pressing concerns to occupy our time and we really should be focusing on them.

** End rant - Returning you to your regularly scheduled internet. **

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hi to everyone....

I just wanted to say hello and welcome to those of you that decided to follow my blog, posted comments and/or just stopped by for a read. I am happy that you found something here you like well enough to come by. Feel free to ask any questions you want as I am quite open about who I am. If you find something of particular interest then pass it along and I will check it out. We all enjoy a hearty laugh, a soul cleansing cry or just a "what the hell?" moment.

I will be glad to add to mylist of favorite sites and things I think you should check out. There is a lot i would like to do with this blog but I am not sure that blogspot will be able to let me (Pictures, text documents, etc.). For a techie guy I am pretty green when it comes to the web and the blogosphere. Maybe if I were to take the time and read the help sectionm I will find that I can do all of that here.

Wow. Reading for myself: What a concept!! rofl :)

Anyway, I am trying hard to avoid working on my paper for english comp but I cn't put it off any longer. Take care everyone and remember one unflappable truth:

Love is not finding the things you like about a person but accepting the things you don't like.

Mike

PS: Lonliness sucks!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why I cry listening to the radio....

I have been opening the waterworks to the strangest songs on the radio. This would not be a bad thing except I only listen to the radio while I am driving and it makes for a weird scene.

I am male, 6'3" tall, about 290 pounds and drive an F150 (pickup truck for you non truck types). A red one. As I have pointed out, in a comment posted on a great blog (Living Life With Sarcasm, Kids, and MS), I have been doing this and getting some strange stares at stop lights. I mention this because it is helpful to put an image in your head.

Ok, so I was listening to the radio when an Elton John song, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, came on. Sure enough about 5 or 6 notes in the tears started rolling. As usual I felt more than a little embarrassed, because we all know real men don't cry (riiiiiight!), but then it hit me. BAM! Another car.... no, not really. I am being reminded of something I had forgotten.

My mom, may she rest in peace, was a huge influence on me and my musical choices. She taught me that all music had something to offer and was worth listening to. Even to the end we both agreed that rap was ok to not like but I have some on my iTunes account and my iTouch (Not to mention Spice Girls, Aqua, and Toni Basil but that's another post). I remember when I was in elementary school and getting ready in the mornings. Mom would fix us some oatmeal (or something that I remember being oatmeal but could have been boiled paper for all I know now) and have the stereo playing. It wasn't always Elton John but it is his music that stands out in my memory.

She seemed to smile more when she listened to him, hum a little and even sing softly to herself. It is this memory that really stands out in my mind and quite possibly why I have a particular affinity for anything done by Elton John. While so much of my childhood is lost in an ever expanding fog these memories stand out in sharp contrast. To be honest I could not swear to you they are real anymore than I can tell you a blackhole is real. To me it is real and that is all that really matters.

My mom died in 2006 after a very long struggle with cancer. The last 8 months of her life was spent confined to a bed set up in the living room so she could be at home living with us instead of relegated to a nursing home or stuck in a back room forgotten. The last 5 months or so she could not speak or move except for a forced smile, the faintest of nods, or the grip of a titan when I would hold her hand. My father and I, along with the angels from Hospice, took care of her. The one thing she loved, even then, was listening to the radio and I do know that when any Elton John tune came on she seemed to lose herself in the music. Perhaps she was remembering something like I did or maybe even a childhood memory of her own came to keep her company for those few minutes.

This is the first part of why I am crying so much lately. I miss her dearly and would give anything to see her one more time. The second part is my MS. I am only 7 months into my diagnosis (Though I believe I have been living with the disease for more than 6 years at this point) and I am having a little trouble coping with the future. The song in question is emotional to me because of the lyrics and they do mean a lot to me.

Lyrics copied from eltonography.com

I can't light no more of your darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I'm growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life

Too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life
But you misread my meaning when I met you
Closed the door and left me blinded by the light

Don't let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it's always someone else I see
I'd just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me

I can't find, oh the right romantic line
But see me once and see the way I feel
Don't discard me just because you think I mean you harm
But these cuts I have they need love to help them heal

I guess it is true that each person takes away their own meaning from a song. This song especially reminds me of mom and the struggle I have to face with my MS. She fought her cancer to the very end. She never once said she would lose to it. Even when the meds made her loopy she fought. Regardless of the fact that the cancer was doing things to her she could not control she never gave up. She was a strong woman with a heart the size of the universe even down to that last day. I remember feeding her breakfast (A little bit of scrambled eggs, toast and orange juice). She could not talk but her eyes spoke volumes. There was a fire that burned in those eyes that I am reminded of when I hear songs she loved or would have loved. She lived to the very end.

That is why I am crying right now. I will not give up without a fight. I will not let her down; not now, now ever. MS may be doing things to me that I can not control I will not let MS control my life. I will still live each day as hard as I can and I will do it for myself, for my friends and family but most of all for the memory of my mom. To truly be alive you have to live no matter what your circumstance and to do anything less is giving up.

She didn't.

Why should I be any different?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A must read... if this even gets read :)

In my browsing of blogs related to MS I came across this site (http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/the_spoon_theory/). If you have a sec go check it out and make sure you actually read the Spoon Theory (written by Christine Miserandino). God bless her for this. There is a store where you can order prints of this as well as a variety of items.

Even if you don't order just read it. Trust me when I tell you that it's worth the effort.

Mike

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

politics suck....

I posted this as a comment to a blog post on health care reform. I also forwarded it to Glenn Beck so i thought I wold post it on my blog.
---------------------------------------------------
The only people the President and his mouthpiece might be fooling are the sheeple that blindly voted for him and his socialist policies. The President and the Democrats are only interested in ramming as many changes through Congress as they can before they lose control of the House or the Senate. They have a lot of lost time to make up for and they have put the political engines on warp factor 12. It doesn't matter how much damage they will cause by their spastic attempts; change for the sake of change is as bad as doing nothing at all.

As all of this relates to the health care reform debate all I can say is here we go again. The mainstream media outlets continue to break bones bending over backwards to appease the anointed one. ABC stopped being a credible news source more than 20 years ago and to be honest CBS and NBC were right there with them. Cable news stations are not much better; CNN and Fox are about the only stations I can stomach any more but even they routinely give me pause. I will not even discuss MSNBC and the two charlatans masquerading as news casters (Maddow and Olbermann). Huh, I guess I just did.

The Democrats never met a tax hike they didn't like and the Republicans have been leaning hard towards liberal solutions. Sadly we, the American people, continue to put these thugs, thieves, ne'er do wells, and liars in office then act so shocked that they are doing something we dislike, again. It amazes me to hear people talking about possible tax hikes NOW. Many people I know are just shocked that all of this money the politicians spent has to be paid back somehow. They are mad as hell that all of these government programs, old and new alike, have to be funded from somewhere. The sheeple are just now grasping the fact that citizens pay for these things through the taxes they pay and the sudden realization that it's their taxes is somewhat humorous to see.

I say enough. If you want to get all of your news information from a single source, like CNN, or Fox or MSNBC, then you are just too stupid to be an American. Please turn in your citizenship and move to Iran. If, on the other hand, you have a desire to see this country return to what it should be then stop being a sheeple. Stop being part of the problem and become the solution. Do not let Pelosi, Frank, or even Obama tell you what to think. Stop listening to the talking heads as if they were the next best thing to God, no matter what God you happen to believe in, and for once in your life make up your own mind. Have we gone so far that not only can we no longer do for ourselves but we can't even think for ourselves? Here's a hint, look at where we are for your answer.

I do not have a problem with equal opportunity but I will fight like hell against equal outcomes. You get what you put in and if you give nothing then you should get nothing. I respect your right to be an idiot but I do not want to pay for your lack of self respect or laziness. I do not see African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, or whites; I see Americans... People... Men and women. I am tired of hearing about how you are being oppressed, or your job is being stolen from you. Get off your duff and do something about it. Sheeple must be led, told what to think, how to think, how to act and live. I am not a sheeple and I am damn proud of that fact. When you look in the mirror what do you see staring back; a person or a barn yard animal. Baaaaa.