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!!!!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

And so another day goes by.....

Not a catchy title by any measure. It was the best I could come up with. Deal with it. I did.

So I'm sitting at home playing Aion Online for a bit, then switch over to Battlefield 2..... *yawn*

I'm just not finding myself terribly excited about being on the computer. I checked out some of the blogs I follow and find some interesting reading. Thanks to all of you whom I follow. At some point or another I find some pearl of wisdom that helps me to put things in perspective. It really is nice to have such a great resource.

I have, over the last 6 months or so, learned things about a few of the people I follow. Some of it good, some of it not so good, and more importantly, much of it relateable (I don't think that is a real word but I don't care).

I have mentioned, on more than one occasion, that it is nice to know I am not alone going through this thing called Multiple Sclerosis. To the extent we have been diagnosed with MS, that is about all we have in common.

There are men and women, husbands and wives, daughters or sons, niece or nephew, black, white, young, old.... We come from every group imaginable; ethnic, religious, political, socio-economic, and so on. We find ourelves bound by one never ending desire, and that is to be rid of the one thing that binds us so tightly together.

Ironic?

Perhaps.

Each blogger, I have met, has given me something special, something that I will always cherish and carry with me. A possession so treasured that I will never let it out of my reach. The kind of gift I tell my non-blogging friends about, with the excitement of a kid who still believes in Santa, on Christmas morning. When I am feeling down, I pull out these gifts and they remind me I am not alone. They make me smile, or cry, or laugh. Often at the same time.

These gifts fill me with the hope of better days, the promise of unconditional love, the desire to be appreciated, and the ability to forgive. What is it that you gave me? You gave a part of your heart and soul with each word you wrote, every comment you posted to others, and every link you listed. Every part you gave patched a hole in my own soul and gives me the strength to put one foot in front of the other. It allows me the luxury of tears without pity, laughter without malevolence, and love without obligation.

To each of you, thank you. I can only hope that I have given back as much as I have received.

Mike

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An unhappy anniversary

The last few days found me in an introspective mood. A great many things ran through my mind and, to be quite honest, many of them are still lingering on the periphery. Kind of like that stray itch you get on the back of your leg while drifting off too sleep. Not enough of a bother to warrant the expenditure of energy to scratch but, just enough to let you know it's there and could develop into a full blown itching fit if you ignore it for too long.

Now let me scratch that itch.

I have been thinking about my mom a lot lately. She died three years ago this month (27th) after a lengthy fight with breast cancer. She was confined to a bed for the last eight months she was with us. My father and I took care of her at home with the help of Hospice. I am not sure what we would have done without them. They took care of the details for us (like getting a hospital bed at the house, medicine, nurses, counselors, and so on), many of which we would have never thought about ourselves. They provided nurses on a daily basis to help with her personal care and to give my father and I a break. While I am not a religious man, by any stretch, all I can say is god bless them.

Mom could not talk at all the last few months she was with us. She could barely move her fingers in the end. She always manged a smile. It often failed to cover up the pain she was in but it helped us cope. She did not want pain medication. She was strong like that.

In the end, she went quietly in her sleep. I still remember that day.

I had gotten off work at 6:30 in the morning, gone home and taken a shower. Mom was having a bad morning already and dad had called Hospice for help. They sent several people, one of which was a wonderful nurse/administrator. I really do wish I could remember her name. She came out and first off got Mom calmed down. She spoke to my father and I. She told us that it was close to that time, just that mom would not let go. She also asked if any of us had told her it was ok to let go.

We had not.

She explained that in these situations, sometimes, the patients try to stay for their loved ones and will continue to fight. The nurse also explained that it is not at all unusual, once they are told it's ok, for patients to relax and allow nature to takes it's course very soon after. I suppose my father and I both must have looked dumbfounded because she went on to explain the situation a little better for us.

Mom was in the last stage, her body was trying to let go. She could be gone as soon at 24 hours, based on her prior experience in these situations. The cancer was all through her body (brain, lymph system, bones, lungs, breasts, and so on) and it was trying to shut her down. The only thing stopping it was her sheer force of will. She was in pain, a lot of it. I seem to recall she used the word agony. Judging by how worked up mom was, this made perfect sense. She suggested some morphine to ease her suffering.

This was something mom did not want. We also wanted to respect her wishes but at the same time we did not want her in pain. That is no way for anyone to live. Dad agreed and I deferred to him. When we went in to give her the shot you could see the pain she was going through in her face. The nurse explained what we were doing to mom. She gave her the shot, lightly brushed a tear off moms cheek and told her it was ok to let go. Mom just looked up at her. The nurse stayed with her and held her hand until she fell asleep.

In the adjacent room, she explained to dad how to give her the shots and that she should get one about every six hours, or as needed for pain. She promised to be back the next day to check in and gave dad her card and private number. After the hospice people left dad and I went and sat on the back porch to talk. Well, that is a bit misleading. We more or less sat smoking our cigarettes and staring out into the back yard. By now it was about 10 in the morning.

Dad told me to go get some sleep. I told him there was no way I could go to sleep right now, despite the fact I had been awake since the previous day at about 1pm. I told him I was going in to town to get a drink and to call me if he needed anything.

I did go get a drink.... several of them in fact. Tequila. That was my drink of choice at the time. I didn't get totaled. I still had to drive. I sat and talked with some friends. By the time I got back home it was nearing 5pm. I was so tired my vision was going all wonky.

I checked in with dad. Mom was sleeping peacefully. To be honest it was probably the first time she had done that since before she was confined to the bed. I told dad I was going to get some sleep and to wake me if he needed anything.

Dad woke me up at about 7. I was still out of it. He told me mom was gone. Still half asleep, I asked him where she went. He just looked at me blankly and said she was gone again. This time I picked up the tone of his voice and I sat straight up on bed. The weight of those words smacked me square in the chest like a hammer and took my breath away. Dad was already out of the room heading back to the front of the house.

I jumped up and went to the living room and checked. She wasn't breathing. Dad was sitting at the dinging room table looking in at me. I asked him when. He said he wasn't sure. The last time he had checked in on her was about 4pm to see if she needed another shot. He said she was sleeping quietly and opted to let her sleep instead of giving her another shot. He went back to check on her just before he woke me. He was crying at this point and I did not want to press it. He had been through enough. We all had.

So mom passed. Quiet, comfortable, and asleep in her own home. That was all she wanted in the end. To be at home with her family. She will always be.

I miss you mom.

Monday, September 14, 2009

That there is a 'WTF?!' moment if ever there was on

Ahhh, the creative juices started flowing and I have Kanye West to thank.

That's great, but at the same time it just reeks!

For those of you living under a rock (in which case you really would not be reading this right now would you?) or if you did not watch the MTV (gag) VMA Awards (hurck) then you missed the mother of all WTF?! moments.

For those of you not at all familiar with the acronym, I will define it for you. Please cover the eyes of any small children, fuzzy animals, or in-laws that might be reading over your shoulder.

WTF?! means WHAT THE FUCK?!

Now, as a rule, I do not watch MTV. I must, however, confess that I do occasionally stop in to view the occasional bit of a train wreck in progress (i.e. reality tv). Yes, I know I railed against it in a previous post but even I, Mr. Attitude, have the rare weak moment. I remember when MTV stood for Music TeleVision. Now I think it has a more lackluster meaning: Moron TeleVision.

With all that being said, the news was all atwitter (not to be confused with the social networking site) about Kanye hijacking Taylor Swift's acceptance speech. I caught bits and pieces on the radio this morning, on my way to school, and saw a blurb on the front page of the local paper. I just had to know more.

I started on Youtube and quickly found the clip of the aforementioned hijacking. If you don't know already, here is the Reader's digest condensed version.

Taylor won the award for Best Female video. In the middle of her acceptance speech, Kanye *cough* asshole *cough* comes onstage and takes the mic away from Taylor. He babbles something about Beyonce having the best video ever and exits stage right. After a few awkward moments, a dumbfounded Taylor hands the mic off and exits stage left. It bears noting that Kanye was booed and Taylor was applauded.

Ok, so now I am not just mad, upset or anything trivial like that. In fact, livid does not go far enough. I try not to be a violent person. Violence doesn't solve anything. Violence is reserved for those lacking the mental stamina for rational and insightful discussion. Now is not the time for that namby-pamby bullshit. Kanye should be taken out and beat to a pulp. No, that's too good. He should be staked down over an ant bead, Georgia fire ants if you please, and covered in honey. Then after about a week, left to soak in a epsom salt bath for a few days, then beaten to a pulp and left to rot in the middle of the Florida everglades.

But that would be wrong on so many levels?

The fact that this dick (and no disrespect to the dicks of the world intended) is allowed a public forum at all says so much about Hollywood, the music industry, and our society as a whole. After the 'George Bush hates black people' tirade I just wrote him off as another idiot destined to slide into obscurity. Boy was I wrong on that count. He is like a cockroach, always there, lurking in the shadows only to appear at the most inopportune of moments. Usually in close proximity to that sandwich you just made with your last two slices of bread.

Now I had heard that Beyonce had won an award and instead of giving an acceptance speech she asked Taylor to come back out. Well this i had to see. Youtube was filled with video responses saying this happened but I could not locate a clip from the VMA's. So I went over to mtv.com and sure enough, there it is.

What she said, and this is not verbatim, was:

I remember being up for my first award, at 17, with Destiny's Child. It was one of the most exciting times in my life, so I would like for Taylor to come out and have her moment.

And Taylor did. She came out and hugged Beyonce, then proceeded to thank people. I could easily say this was a small moment of redemption, but only slight. I will tell you that I do have a lot more respect for Beyonce than I ever had before. I am not a fan, nor will I ever be, but I will be far more apt to listen now.

Kudos to you Beyonce. You have shown a level of class that I, in all honesty, did not think performers were capable of in this day and age. You have earned my respect. That is something that is very hard to do.

My hats off to Taylor. Congratulations on your win (I admit it, I like your music) and for showing such poise and grace. I can't say I would have done the same but then again, as a general rule I hate people.

Well, that ends my post for today. I could not let this event go by without at least commenting on it. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a nice day.

And remember this:

'Well, it just seemed wrong to cheat on an ethics test.'
Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes

Later taters!

Edited for spelling and the simple fact I still have problems capitalizing the noun 'I'. So very sorry!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What did I forget....

For the record, I was forced to edit this post simply because I forgot a title. It has been fixed.

My mind is blank.

Well, not really but, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Besides the information, from my Cisco class, that I am cramming into it I just don't have the desire to write. Sorry. I have sat down a multitude of times in an effort to bang out a post but nothing. Most of the time i just sat and stared at the screen, brain in neutral, and the accelerator on the floor.

Sure, there was lots of noise but just no momentum. It's kind of funny when I think about it. I want to write something, anything, but some part of my brain made other plans. Unfortunately those plans did not include the entry of text into the digital world. It may have included, amongst others things, my paying too much attention to Facebook. More to the point? Mafia Wars, Vampire Wars, Mobsters 2, and Farmville. /facepalm

It's not just Facebook mind you. I installed some games on my laptop. First person shooters. My brother and I have been spending a little time "killing pixelated bad guys" (that is what he calls it). In case you're curious, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 and Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2. They are certainly not kid friendly but a heck of a lot of fun. Trust me, lobbing a frag grenade into a room is satisfying. And no one gets hurt.

Still, I am not sure why when it comes to posting here I just can't seem to get past a good intention. I suppose I could blame it on my MS but that would be doing a huge disservice to the disease. Ok, I know that sounds silly, stupid, crazy, or whatever you choose to call it. The cold hard truth is I guess I am just being lazy about the whole thing. It's easier to fire up a game or cruise over the Facebook than to actually burden myself with having to actually process a thought that does not include the correct port for a DNS request or the class of a 155.12.45.1 IP address (Port 53 and Class A by the by).

Quick! What layer will you find the TCP protocol?

Well? What are you waiting for? Google it and get back to me.

Anyway, not the most insightful of posts. Nothing pithy or earth shattering today. Sorry i could not have been more amusing. Maybe next time.

So, have a good day, chin up, fight the good fight, and so on. I feel the need to quote one of my heroes. Buckaroo Banzai.

"Hey, hey, hey, hey-now. Don't be mean; we don't have to be mean, cuz, remember, no matter where you go, there you are."

It doesn't really apply to anything here, I just like that movie. I may have to watch it when I get home tonight.

Later taters!