Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

A New year's Eve post? Shouldn't I be out partying or something?

Nah. My partying days are far behind me. If we had a greater circle of friends, we might be celebrating with them, but the most Becky and I have encountered at this point are good acquaintances. We came close to making true friends of our neighbors...until they were evicted. So, yeah...not doing so great socially.

Still, Becky and I have one another. We've been officially together for over a year and a half, which is quite the accomplishment. I say this because I don't believe myself to be the best choice when it comes to potential mates. Still, Becky seems happy with me...until we have the occasional falling out. No, life isn't all non-stop bliss here. We have our problems. But we keep working on them, and I think that's why we haven't killed one another...yet.

Looking back over the year, it's been quite a trial for me. Charcot arthropathy has really done a number on me, and the loss of a toe is starting to cost. The remaining toes are realigning themselves to compensate for the loss, and those toes aren't taking the extra workload very well. Thus, it looks like 2012 will have more trials for me.

My current state of being...? Well, it would seem that a recent trip to the market had me also buying a virus. (Actually, I think I got this one for free.) It's depressing to be sick on New year's Eve, and yet, once again, I look forward to my time with my beloved. We really don't have to do anything special. Just having her here is enough. Of course, with me currently being under the weather, I'll likely be declaring that I'm dying, with her scoffing the idea each time. (One day, my love, I'm going to be right! =P )

My one major regret for this past year...? That I seemed to have curled myself into an existential ball and hidden from the world. I stopped working so hard to actually face my issues, and simply let many of them wash over me, allowing me to wallow in self-pity. I guess exerting myself emotionally all of the time has paid a price, and this year was the year for me to settle part of the bill. My emotional crisis helped me to run from GitP. It helped me to shut the door on the last of my family with which I communicated. It's turned me into more of a hermit than ever before, and that's not a good thing in any way.

So...Changes? Perhaps a New Year's resolution? No...It doesn't take one night to see that changes need to be made, and it's not wise to use only one night to make a commitment to make said changes. I'll work on my problems as they come, addressing each as I am up to tackling them.

And so, with the midnight hour approaching, I want to wish all of my friends a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. The short form, as I often say it...? "Be well, and DFTBA!" =)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shadows in the Rain

Woke up in my clothes again this morning
I don't know exactly where I am
I should heed my doctor's warning
He does the best with me he can

Ah, but I wonder what he'd tell me to do with my right foot this morning. Gods above and below, but this HURTS! I awoke to a rather common call of nature, but immediately discovered the most uncommon pains - plural! - coming from the sole of my foot. It felt like it was being burned, broken, and stabbed all at once. I'm still feeling these terrible sensations. As a kind of bizarre bonus, it also feels wet, yet is completely dry.

The call of nature could wait a minute or two. I needed to get painkillers on board, and I took EVERYTHING! That is, I took a 60 mg. MS contin., 30 mg. of oxycodone, and 100 mg. of Ultram. (Took my antibiotics, too. I figured, "What the heck. I'm taking plenty of pills. Why not one more?") Then I headed for the restroom and found that applying pressure help to an extent.

He claims I suffer from delusions
I'm so confident I'm sane
Can't be no optical illusion
How can you explain
Shadows in the rain

I never quite understood that bit of human behavior. When a part of us hurts, we grab the spot as though our hands have some magical power over the unwanted feeling. It really doesn't do anything to make the painful site feel any better, yet I find myself grabbing spots of pain all the time. The best is trying to hang on to my hip when it aches. The pain is so deep that the Lidoderm patches I have can't penetrate it. But there I am, placing a hand on my upper thigh as though I were a paladin with "lay on hands." I've also noticed that "gripping the site" is part of the description on the pain scale. You've probably seen it at the doctor's office or in hospitals. It depicts a face going from a smile, (a rate of 1 on the 1 to 10 scale of pain) to a distressed face that's in tears, (that would be the 10 rating). With each face is a descriptive line, and somewhere along the way, "gripping the site" is included. It's instinct...but it seems to be a silly one.

I mean, I can understand why we might OCCASIONALLY hold a hurt area. When my cousin helped to break my wrist when I was five, I cradled the arm as a way of protecting it from further harm. Placing a firm hand over an open wound might also help to slow or stop excessive bleeding. But a heart attack victim isn't protecting or helping by putting a hand over his/her chest or left upper arm.

If you see us on the corner
We're just dancing in the rain
I tell my friends there when I see them
Outside my window pane
Shadows in the rain

About as equally distressing as the amount of pain I'm experiencing this morning is the fact that sleep has been an issue for Becky and I. We've been going to bed between 1:00 and 2:00 AM. I've tried making a case for going to sleep earlier, and pleaded with my beloved to take some Benadryl earlier in the evening, as it helps to knock her out. She argues back that she doesn't want to have to rely on pills to sleep; a nice idea, if she could put otherwise into practice. Personally, I MUST take something to help me sleep, and it's been that way since the attack at 2:30 AM on 2 July 2002. I can sleep during the day, (although I prefer darkness to help me get to the land of Nod). My subconscious probably thinks I'm safer during daylight hours. But when night comes...? If I'm not taking SOMETHING for sleep, then I'm not sleeping. Not for long, anyway.

So many pills taken each day; it makes me debate the strong possibility that I'm now addicted to many of my meds. I only ever take my "breakthrough" pain meds when required, but it seems to be required too often. Am I truly that broken? Or is it my brain that only THINKS I'm that broken? If I could only be pain-free without the meds, I'd stop taking them to see how my body reacts to doing without.

Woke up in my clothes again this morning
I don't know exactly where I am
I should heed my doctor's warning
He does the best with me he can

I'm constantly questioning my existence, especially since I moved in with Becky. And my cognizance of my psych issues makes me question my questioning. For example, I'll have the thought, I'm never going to get better; the most I can hope for is "status quo." If Becky won't have the presence of mind to leave me, then I should leave her to save her the future heartache. What follows such a thought are many, many questions. Do you really think running would save her? Why would you hurt her like that? Aren't you deserving of happiness of some kind? Are you basing this thought on facts, or is this the depression taking hold of you? If it's the depression, is there a problem with your meds? If so, what's the problem?

It goes on and on, doubting my every decision and action. I told myself when my father had his open-heart surgery in the mid-90s that I would try to live my life as regret-free as possible, yet I've managed to make plenty of rather large mistakes, leaving me with plenty of regrets along the way. (Mind you, my initial thought was, I'm going to live a regret-free life! Only later, when I realized that was impossible, did I add, "as possible.")

Woke up in my clothes again this morning
I don't know exactly where I am
I should heed my doctor's warning
He does the best with me he can

So what mistakes am I making now? How do I avoid those mistakes? CAN they be avoided? Always worrying...always questioning...always doubting myself...always feeling inferior. And yet, in the eyes of a few, the mere fact that I do any questioning of myself and my actions at all is reason enough to consider myself a better man. Like Socrates's wisdom of ignorance, "I am a wise man because I don't consider myself a wise man."

*sigh* I don't know. But at the moment, my pains have abated, and that means I can rest my restless mind and go do something else. Perhaps War needs to shed more demon blood on Darksiders. Yes...Yes, I think he does.

He claims I suffer from delusions
I'm so confident I'm sane
Can't be no optical illusion
How can you explain
Shadows in the rain

The lyrics mixed into this post have been "Shadows in the Rain," from Sting's Dream of the Blue Turtles. It's actually a much jazzier rerecording of a track from the third album of The Police, Zenyatta Mondatta. While I couldn't find any concrete facts about it, the song is rumored to be about tripping on heroine. I think of it as more of a questioning of personal mental status. Having heard both versions of the song, I find the jazz/jam version after Sting went solo to be superior. =P

Be well, and DFTBA!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Am I an author now?

Y'know, I used to hold it as an axiom that I was only a writer. AUTHORS get published. The thing is that I've now been published not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES at To an extent, this post is only here for me to show off. The first post comes from long ago. The second is fairly recent history. The third actually took place before the second, but was only remembered recently. (If you click the links and read, be sure to give the stories a thumbs-up...Please?

The thing is...I've been changing my mind about the whole "becoming an author" thing. My view is slowly turning into, "An author is someone who's not only published, but gets PAID for it, as well."

Ah...but who needs money. I have a relationship that is not only filled with lots of love, but plenty of comedy, too. =P

Saturday, December 24, 2011

X-mas & Befuddlement

Today was spent in Becky's home town with her family. This included numerous nieces and nephews I don't have quite yet, but Becky spent the day referring to me, when addressing them, as "Uncle Rob." Not that I plan on making a hasty exit in the near future, but I'm not quite their uncle just yet. Perhaps I should have shouted from the next room, "Stop smothering me!"

No...Shouting wouldn't have been a very good choice. We had plenty of children to do that, pumped up on sugary treats of the day and adrenaline from receiving gifts.


Yes, even I got "toys." After giving Becky a list of things I would like, she decided to get me the three main core books for D&D 3.5. I can see a difference just glancing through them, so I look forward to entirely too many hours reading rules for a game I probably won't be playing in the near future. Distant future...? Who knows?

Before we sat down to eat a monstrous meal, I made a decision. Actually, the decision was made weeks ago. I had it in my phone calendar and everything. The decision: to call my father and wish him a happy anniversary. My thought was that if I called around noon, I'd miss a potentially messy phone call, as they'd be down in the dining hall, but I'd still get to leave my message.

To my utter astonishment, my step-mother answered, and...she was hear from me?!? o.O

Okay, what's going on? I was shouted at on 16 August and told to "have a nice life," at which point she hung up on me. Today, both my step-mother and my father acted as though it had been MY decision to stop talking to one another. I wish I could blame senility, but they've both held on to most of their mental capacities. My father being forgetful later in life is no different than when he was younger. (On more than one occasion, with his reading glasses perched atop his head, my father would ask, "Have you seen my reading glasses?")

I made small talk. It was the best I could do on short notice, what with being shocked that my call was welcome at all and everything. Then I ended the call swiftly, as there was "other-family madness" to attend to.

While Becky and I went the route of toys for the kids, other far more responsible parties decided to buy them clothes. This didn't go over so well with Becky's eldest niece, all of five years old, named Riley. The look on her face at a new pair of jeans said, "You bastards dare to come here and kill my puppy, then expect me to cheer happily?!? GET OUT!"

"Uncle Rob" to the rescue! I took the jeans, designed for a girl and so small my arm probably wouldn't have fit through the leg, and said, "Well, if you don't want it, I do." I held the jeans in front of me. "I think I'd look cute in them." The kid knew I was just being silly...but wouldn't you know it? The moment I expressed even my nonsensical desire for the pants, Riley demanded she have them back. She was even upset a couple of hours later, when it was realized they were too small for her, and that they'd have to be returned. "No! Don't take them back!"

Count your blessings, mortals, that I only use my powers for the good of mankind. =P

Once again, Turk and I were at it, with him announcing that my Jewish butt was going to Hell, while I insisted he was like every other Muslim in the world, just sitting at home, building bombs in his basement! There was even an exchange that I'm simply not going to put here. Instead, I'd submitting it to >=P

It was a good day, with Becky and I eating more food than we should have. We were also up entirely too early due to the cats fighting pre-dawn again, so come late afternoon, we were ready to pass out. It seemed like such a long drive home, and we looked forward to collapsing once we put away leftovers.

What did we do instead? Went online and forgot to be tired. But we're getting back to that point as fast as possible.

I hope all my friends and extended family out there have a wonderful holiday season. You should all be well, and DFTBA! =)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I was taking WHAT?!?

So...I had moved to AZ to chase a woman, Robin, and we promptly broke up. But at least I had a job...until the accident. What accident? The one where I was pulling into my apartment complex and was rear-ended. Various x-rays and tests didn't show what was going on back then, but there was an incredible amount of pain coming from my shoulder. Like, along my back...that part of the shoulder. In an effort to treat me, my doctor prescribed all kinds of meds, most of which I don't remember the names of.

But there was one pill...It was prescribed to help me sleep. I couldn't remember the name of it, but have always wanted it again because it truly did the trick. If I was having difficulty sleeping, one of those tablets knocked me on my butt for an entire night.

Like the one time I traveled with new-found friends to a seminar. Some of us were a little too juiced to get to sleep right away, and it was strange to be crammed into a motel room, with 10 people spread out on the floor. So the few of us still awake went down to the lobby. I had a portable Chess set, and we intended to play a few games. Before leaving the room, I popped one of those tablets, assuming that it would kick in after about an hour.

We set up the board. My opponent and I made a few opening moves. Then I was waking up the next morning, a little stiff from having slept on the floor. According to those that were with me, I was still conscious, but somewhat unresponsive. It was almost as though I'd gotten stuck while daydreaming. They packed up the Chess set, escorted me back to the room, laid me in my spot on the floor, and that was it. It was lights out for Rob.

Since then, as I've had some serious sleep issues, I've wished for those mysterious tablets again and again. Alas, when discussing my insomnia with any of the doctors I've seen over the last five years, the only thing I could tell them about the pill was that it was green.

With a PCP visit rapidly approaching, I finally had the presence of mind to look it up before the appointment. The drug I discovered was called "chloral hydrate," and it looked just as I remembered it. I made a note of it in my cell phone without really reading up on it at all, intent on asking my doctor about it. When I finally got to ask, as the appointment was today, my doctor's initial response was, "I'm not familiar with that drug." So he pulled out his little pocket computer of drugs and typed it in.

The verdict is that...Yeah, I won't be having that drug again. Not right now, anyway. It's a MAJOR sedative that's often used prior to surgery. While it would be nice to have a medication that would unquestioningly put me to sleep, we don't want a drug that will make my ability to wake up a mystery, especially with all of the other meds I take. In fact, the doctor was pretty sure that the drug would knock me out...permanently.

What shocks me is that chloral hydrate was prescribed to me at all. My issue was shoulder pain along the back. While the pain was bad, it wasn't anything the likes of which I deal with today. And to have that doctor write for the drug and casually tell me to use it for sleep, when the reality is that it was one of the more powerful sedatives he could prescribe...Wow. Just...Yeah, wow.

I'm off to argue with my beard. I've been growing one for the last few weeks, and some of the hairs on it are growing in odd directions. I'm hoping that a chat will bring it into line. If not, then I'll have to use clippers as part of my argument. >=)

Be well, and DFTBA!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dreams for sale!

Okay...You need to take yourself back to 1989. I was all of 20, and usually heartbroken because "the love of my life," Tara, wasn't interested in me in any way. Much of my life was a shambles. Adding to this, I was wandering the world with undiagnosed depression. Very SERIOUS depression. Somewhere amidst the darkness of my life, I still found it within myself to write creatively. While I would eventually take to fantasy and science fiction, the one piece I seemed dedicated to was a murder mystery. Mixed in along the way was the occasional short story.

I don't remember the month it was released, but Lou Gramm of Foreigner fame released a solo album, Long Hard Look, from which the radio stations seemed determined to play "Midnight Blue" to death. I bought said album on an ancient audio device called a "cassette tape." (You kids in the crowd may have to Google it.) And on this recording was one song that I mentally latched on to..."Broken Dreams."

Did you listen to it? You really should listen to it. The whole thing. It's important to this post.

At the time, my father still owned his 1987 Pontiac Grand Am. In what seemed to be something of a mid-life crisis, he bought the two-door version; the closest thing to a sports car my father would ever own. He even had the dealer tint the windows. Not much of a tint, but a tint nonetheless.

Now to describe the full scene. Me, locked in one of my darker moods, cruising around in my father's car, "Broken Dreams" being played over and over, and me brooding while I listened and drove. There were moments when I would start crying, despite the music itself not being terribly depressing. It was the lyrics, specifically at the 4:16 mark.

Now I've climbed this mountain high
But it won't stop my heart from burnin'
I got dreams for sale!
Tears and rivers running dry
But it won't keep the world from turnin'
Ohhh, broken dreams for sale!

To me, with my home life so miserable, and my unrequited love, and just alone in that car...The lyrics were telling my story. The story of a guy trying to find peace atop a mountain, perhaps where the wise guru awaits. But once he's reached the top, his heart still aches for that one true love. And while he might cry enough to form a river, the world would remain uncaring. Thus, with little or no empathy from those around him, he might as well sell his dreams of love.

The song would often run through my head, and I found myself sitting at the cafeteria at the community college I attended. Based on my interpretation of the song, I wrote a descriptive passage about a man who appeared to be in existential conflict. He's handsome, with his hair neatly combed, but in need of a shave. His expensive suit is wrinkled, but his shoes are impeccably shined. He carries with him what appears to be a suitcase, but it's the kind with legs that fold out from under it. As the city streets begin to fill, and various street vendors set up shop, he does the same with his suitcase. Passersby notice it's empty. And in a clear voice, he starts calling out, "Broken dreams for sale!"

The passage I wrote was longer, with much more detail. I sat there one day, simply dwelling on what I'd written, when the girlfriend of an acquaintance sat down and started reading it. She was amazed by it, and asked if she could include it in the college's literary magazine. I agreed that she could take it.

A part of me was proud that I'd finally been published. I hadn't been paid, so I still didn't consider myself an AUTHOR, but one of my pieces was in print...with many, many typos. (I think at one point my nameless character ended up with suitcaseS, and he later unfolded the leG beneath it (them?).)

And all of this has come to mind because of my recent emotional crash. One thought keeps running through my head: This is not how my life was supposed to go. And with that comes the thought that I seem to have officially come to a time of my life when I have entirely too many broken dreams for sale.*

*Keep in mind that I now have a new set of dreams. They are different from those of my youth, but they are pleasant dreams nonetheless. And with my beloved Becky in my life to make them come true, perhaps I'll have less to sell in the future.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Something I'll never have

So, I'm catching up on this season of Bones on Hulu. I missed most of last season, and I often find myself wondering how that show remains on the air. I mean, some of the murder scenarios are so desperately stretched that I shake my head in disappointment. It's not like Law & Order, where they get to tag an episode, "Ripped from today's headlines!" It's more akin to, "Ripped from the minds of our murderous writers while they were tripping on magic mushrooms."

I just finished an episode, and as part of the ongoing dramatic story that runs alongside the case, Booth's abusive, alcoholic father dies. He gets the news at the start of the episode, and Booth's reaction is one of cold determination to just focus on the case. And, of course, Booth is forced to confront his feelings about his past with "daddy dearest." One of the things mentioned is that Booth would never get to have closure with his father.

Well, it occurred to me that I'll never have such a thing with my parents, either. It was my step-mother, of all people, who shouted into the phone, "Have a nice life," and promptly hung up on me, without me hearing so much as a complaint from my father. My father, who's been oh so good at criticizing my every decision in life, finally had nothing to say, as he's made no effort to call me. I would call him, but...Well, I was told to have a nice life. I'm trying, but I don't think it'll be so nice. But that's a post for a different day.

My brothers...?

Well, Barry simply faded into the background, and his view of me having no value to him certainly made it clear how he wanted things. Mind you, during my very first suicide attempt, he arrived at the hospital in tears. You'd think he was afraid of losing me. Somehow, I think he saw himself in a similar emotional state and was afraid for himself. Honestly, someone filled with that much hate for so many ethnic backgrounds doesn't belong in my life. Odds are he'd have a racial slur for every one of the people whom I've befriended over the years.

Stu...Well, he got stuck somewhere between childhood and adulthood. He managed to learn all about responsibility to one's self, but never to another person. He cares for his son the way people care for pets; until they're directly within sight, they're fine on their own. Hence, his son being reared by a television set. And his wife seems to have an entirely different lifestyle from him because Stu doesn't know how to connect to anyone but himself. So closure with Stu...? Yeah, that's never going to happen.

Finally, (and I saved the best for last), there's my biological mother. There's a list of questions I'd love to ask, and expect no reasonable answers. "Why didn't you LOVE your children? Why did our cries for help fall on deaf ears? Why is it, when the whole world seemed to be complaining about her, did she not sit up and wonder if the problem wasn't HER? How is it that she was perfect and everyone else was flawed?" And the greatest questions of all time: "How could you want to see your son dead on the streets rather than call for help when he needed it? Why did you only summon the police when you felt YOU were in danger? With your eldest living child hurting so badly, how could you be so damnably selfish?"

How could she possibly answer any of those and not seem like an idiot? How could she see herself as anything other than the abusive harpy that so many psychologists warned her about when I was still a child? I was taken, you see, to a number of psychologists when I was so much younger, and a variety of therapists saw how fearful I was of my mother. Instead of seeing a problem in her behavior, she became insulted, forcing my father to accept how "wonderful" she was, and shopped around until she found a therapist whose diagnosis she preferred. She waited until someone said, "It's not you; it's the boy." That was...What? Psychologist number four or five?

Today, I carry the scars left by my family, along with some of the ingrained behaviors. My first instinct when I feel the need to argue with Becky is to diminish her...make her cower...belittle her so that the expression of hurt in her eyes is TRULY felt by her. I mean, if she's going to shed a few tears, why not make sure she's wailing in agony, as well?

Instead, I grab that beast with both hands and hold it back as hard as possible. No one, not even a misbehaving dog, deserves to be treated like that. I believe myself blessed by the fact that I somehow grew up to recognize how people should be treated. With kindness...with loving...with caring. I tried to treat my family in these ways, and they didn't know what to do with it. Stu glossed over it and moved on to things far less emotional. My father brushed it off as foolishness or...

When my father lived in FL, there was an almost daily ritual of visiting the nearest Dunkin' Donuts. There, a regular group of seniors would gather, and I went along while visiting my father. One woman was complaining about her relationship with some other woman, and I sat calmly, listened, and then distributed what I thought was the best advice I could muster. I spoke of the needlessness of anger, and how, if this other woman was being as spiteful as she seemed, she wasn't worth the complaining woman's time.

When I was done, my father wanted to know what was with the spectacular act I'd just put on. It wasn't an act. I was being myself. And my father didn't even know who or what I was at that point.

I'm the only one who grew up with a heart. I'm the only one who did his level best to hang on to anything positive in life, despite the horrors of diabetes thrust into my lap as my own doing. For this, I am lazy. For this, I am foolish. For this, I am an actor.

I'll never have closure with my family. And for that, I'm very, very sad.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Y'know what? Take your "Merry Christmas" and shove it up your -

No...That's not me. It's not in my nature to be that rude during the holidays. In fact, the holiday spirit tends to strike me more throughout the year, and doesn't require a specific date for me to be giving. When the opportunity arises, I try to do good deeds. Just the other day, while Becky and I were shopping for no-bake cookie supplies, I told a cute child to go find her parents and stay with them, as I'm still trying to be the protector of the young and innocent.

But I'm a bit annoyed with the hypocrisy of the season, especially when it comes to those who declare that people should keep the "Christ" in "Christmas." Even I, the nice Jewish boy from NY, knows that Christ, in an historical context at the very least, preached kindness, forgiving, and charity to those less fortunate. Yet those who point out the whole "war on Christmas" thing tend to give only on specific occasions. Kindness, forgiveness, and even tolerance go out the window as these "righteous" human beings demand that others say "Merry Christmas" openly and freely...

...and to Hell with all other cultures and religions!

I can't tell you how many cashiers I've made squirm with one simple line. As they wish me a merry X-mas, I simply say, "I'm Jewish." Suddenly, in this world where entirely too many people strive to be politically correct, these poor cashiers find themselves wondering if "Happy Holidays" wouldn't have been the better thing to say. If I were truly malicious, I could then file a complaint, saying that I was personally offended by the fact that my beliefs weren't being respected., that wouldn't be very nice, would it? Those poor cashiers already look confused at the idea of someone NOT wanting to have a merry Christmas.

The reality is that I DO want to have a Merry Christmas. Or, to be more generic and cover the multitude of those who celebrate this time of year, I want to have a HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON. (There's absolutely nothing wrong with being generic.)

I hope my readers - all two or three of you - can forgive my grumpiness, but this hasn't been a good day. Both my right knee and ankle have been aching. I think it's a weather-related event, as it seems to be getting much colder. I've not only taken the appropriate pills, but have Lidoderm patches on both areas.

And then there was the brilliance of Dell customer service, straight out of India, and their undying desire to see my surprise gift to Becky not be a surprise at all.

You see, Becky has had a laptop hiding under the bed for some time now because the power cord essentially snapped at a point where it can't be repaired. For months, she's been saying how she needs to buy a new cord so she can not only get some old files off the computer, but to also have a computer that she can use to bring to school and work on various projects between classes. Well, with us putting our gathering of money for the wedding fund on hold for this month, I thought I'd splurge and buy her the cord in secret.

I called Dell, the manufacturer of her laptop, last week and ordered up the proper item. It wasn't the most expensive thing I could buy, but it wasn't cheap, either. While talking to the customer service rep, I specified that this was meant to be a surprise gift. So he took my e-mail address and phone number, put them on what is actually Becky's account, and then...Well, he said that the address I gave him wouldn't come up as a legitimate address on their system. It was the apartment number that was screwing everything up. To get past this, I simply told him to ship it to the address on the account, which is 'Nita's address. (Becky's mom.) After this was all set up, I called 'Nita to tell her the gift was coming to her, and eventually also asked that she wrap it so it would remain a surprise.

Skip to today, when my phone rang with a mysterious 800 number showing up on the little screen. When I answered, it was another guy from Dell, looking for Becky to find out if she'd received the power cord. According to their records, it was delivered on the 13th. "You're looking to talk to my fiancee, whom I bought this thing for as a surprise gift," I said vaguely, as Becky was sitting near me. "Well, I'll have to make a call to see if it arrived. I'll call back if there's any problems." Mr. Customer Service Guy said he understood, and apologized for almost ruining the surprise. We hung up and, as far as I knew, that was the end of it.

I then went into the kitchen, gathered up the trash, and walked outside to put it in the trash bins.

When I came back in, Becky was finishing up a phone call. My immediate thought was that she'd called her mother to at least ask if my surprise gift had arrived. I was fine with that, so long as she wasn't trying to find out what it was.

But...No, that wasn't the case. Instead of her having made a call, I found out that it was THE SAME GUY I'D JUST SPOKEN TO, calling the other phone number on the account, trying to get a definitive answer as to whether the power cord had arrived. After being told he understood it was a surprise...after saying he understood that I'd call if there was a problem...after apologizing for almost ruining the surprise...he went and made another phone call anyway, essentially ENSURING that the surprise was ruined.

Here, in a few brief lines, is how I imagine a job interview at Dell goes...

Manager: Can you push buttons?
Applicant: Yes.
Manager: Do you speak in an accent few Americans can understand?
Applicant: Yes.
Manager: Do you, yourself, understand English?
Applicant: Not really, no.
Manager: YOU'RE HIRED!

I'm so glad such people weren't in on the engagement scenario I pulled off over a year ago. I can just see it now, as Becky gets a phone call two weeks before I asked her to marry me, with the customer service rep asking, "We just wanted to know if you received the engagement ring your boyfriend ordered from us in secret and if you're happy with it?"

True genius, I tell you.

With that bit of venting, I'm off to relax and perhaps read some holiday gifts I recently received from an old friend. Be well, and DFTBA.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eight hours straight...please?

Just one night - JUST ONE - I'd like to be able to sleep the night through without interruption. Instead, I have nights like last night.

It began around 10:00 PM, when I was lying in bed, reading, while Becky was playing some Zelda game on our newly acquired Wii. She and her mother bought it together some time ago, and her mother decided she no longer wanted it and gave it to Becky. So Becky is on the bed, playing, and I'm on the bed, reading...and I'm slowly losing consciousness. I might have drifted off to sleep right then, but when Becky had to fight off some baddie on the game, she would shake the whole bed.

Even with all of this movement, however, I started falling asleep...and then I had one of those things. You know...that sensation that you're tripping, stumbling, falling...and your whole body jerks to catch your balance, which you can't possibly lose while lying flat. (It's actually called a myoclonic jerk. Oh, the things I learn on House.)

So I find myself awake, and Becky finds herself having a hard time getting to sleep. We both get on our respective computers to try and engage in activities that will tire us out. Becky also popped a Benadryl; G-d bless her and her lack of need for narcotics to get to sleep. Unless I receive Benadryl via an IV, it doesn't make me tired at all. Instead, I pop 5 mg. of Valium.

Come midnight, we decide to give sleeping a shot...except that I'm not quite as tired as Becky is at this point. We cuddle for a bit. I relate a story from a Twilight Zone episode I saw many, many moons ago, and Becky eventually starts wanting to drift off...while snuggled against my shoulder. Well, that's not going to work, as when she falls asleep in such a position, she usually ends up snoring directly in my ear. After a bit of a lovers' conflict over the situation, she rolls over...

...leaving me still to awake to sleep. So I open my 3.0 D&D Player's Guide and try a bit of reading to knock me out. It usually does the trick, and was working while she was playing on the Wii...but now it's not having much of an effect. I finally decide that reading might be keeping me awake, close the book, turn out the lights, and lie in the dark, trying to think of nothing so sleep will come...

...and that's when the cats decide that NOW would be a good time to have a fight. They take turns antagonizing one another, but Raine always fights in silence. It's Nike who we hear during all such scraps. Thus, I find myself sitting up in bed and heatedly whispering threats to a pair of beasts who don't understand a word I'm saying. What they DO understand is my tone, and they run for cover, knowing the water bottle that we use to spray them can't be far behind.

Sleep eventually comes to me, only to be interrupted two hours in by the call of nature. When I WANT to be asleep for an extended period, my bladder starts complaining at a regular two-hour interval after finally getting to sleep. But when I want to use my bladder functions as a kind of alarm clock, it fails me. Like the other day...I felt the slight need to use the rest room as I laid down for a nap, and though, Good. In about two hours or so, my need will be that much greater, and it'll wake me up, thereby keeping me from sleeping the day away. Nope. My body allowed me to stay asleep for six hours, to which I awoke with Mother Nature screaming at me to get to the bathroom.

Okay...So I relieve myself, head back to bed, and notice in the darkness that Becky has thrown off the covers. She's too warm. This is actually unusual; normally, she's too chilly, as my own internal thermostat is broken. (It's a diabetes thing.) So it is that I ended up turning on the air conditioning in the midst of winter. Our place tends to get incredibly warm, and I run the fan on the AC unit almost continuously, but last night I actually turned on the AC itself. Then it was back to bed...

...and I fell asleep on my back. This isn't always a terrible thing, except that on occasion I will start snoring, and said snoring wakes me up. Yes, my own snoring will wake me up. How scary is that? And that's what happened about an hour after I'd drifted off.

The next time I awoke, it was because I was too cold, and seemed unable to get myself covered up properly. Now I'm out of bed again, trying to adjust the AC so it's "fan only," and get back to the Land of Nod. I toss and turn, trying to get comfortable on the sliver of bed that Becky's left me in her own sleep. This results in me bumping into my night stand, usually knocking something off in the process. As if that noise wasn't enough, it was the collision of my elbow against the corner of the night stand that caused Becky to wake and ask, "What was that?" I explained that I'd smashed my elbow, which seemed to satisfy her, and she rolled over to sleep again...

...which FINALLY gave me a little more room and allowed me to do the same. I might have actually gotten some decent sleep after that, except Mother Nature woke me again at 6:30 AM. I answered the call, went back to bed, and this time slept until alarms started going off around 10:00 AM.

And now it's after noon, and Becky is still asleep. I'm gonna have to wake her up, which I don't look forward to. I like to let her rest, as I believe she does so much more than me in our home. But I can't let her sleep the day away.

I just want a night of uninterrupted sleep. Alas, I'm probably asking too much.

Be well, and DFTBA.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Two down, six to go

Have you seen it yet? Rick Perry's "Strong" video? Here...take a look.

What amazed Becky and I was the like/dislike bar. Neither of us had seen one as red as that. And by the time I'd gotten around to viewing it on YouTube, comments had been disabled, probably due to the epic amount of arguing and trolling going on.

But we don't need no stinking comment section to troll such an advertisement. No...we have video responses! So many, in fact, that I couldn't pick just one favorite. Like this one with the alternative voice-over. Or an "original" video like this one. And for all the mensches out there, we have this one.

The internet has seemingly exploded over this one, incredibly stupid commercial. All you need to do is look up "Rick Perry Strong Parody" on YouTube, and you'll wind up with plenty to watch. Some are funny, like the ones I linked. Others are quite bad. And many, sadly, are just rude. The comments are an insane flame war, with people, even more sadly, trying to defend his message.

In my opinion, he sunk his very own battleship. For me, it started when he had the 30,000 strong prayer meeting before announcing he'd run. The price he charged to get into it was enough to start a campaign. He then dug one of the deepest holes imaginable when he revealed that he couldn't debate worth a damn. (Really..."Oops?") And now this commercial, where he basically says, "I'm a religious zealot who's also a bigot."

Mr. Perry, if you'd just join Mr. Cain over there on the sidelines, we'll allow you to answer a few questions before disappearing into obscurity.

My guess at this time is that it's going to be Newt Gingrich vs. Barack Obama come next November. Because Newt is a familiar face and he has the experience. All other contenders are unknown or buffoonish, and...

Y'know what? Screw it. I'm moving to Canada. =P

Be well, and DFTBA!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

In today's adventure, the terrorists win

Yesterday marked the day when a defense appropriations bill went through the senate. It passed at a vote of 93 to 7. The crowd can cheer, as we will be able to continue defending our nation. There is, however, a little attachment to the bill that should have every American not cheering, but quaking in fear. As I understand it, it states that anyone suspected of terrorist activity can be detained by our military and held indefinitely without a trial. I'm not talking about suspects on foreign soils. I'm talking about American citizens.

Now, look...I know we have our villains here. "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." And there are those who would sympathize with various terrorist groups. But this law is going to end up catching a number of people who have no interest in such things; they just happen to ACCIDENTALLY fit the profile of what officials would deem a terrorist.

Watching Jon Stewart, there was a clip of one senator discussing those things that would constitute a potential terrorist. Waterproofed firearms. (So any cop with a waterproofed weapon in a rainy spot of America - say Washington State - is probably a terrorist for protecting the weapon he lives by.) Hands with missing fingers. (My landlord must be a terrorist, then.) More than seven days of food in one's pantry. Heck, on that last one, Becky and I, as well as probably a few million homes in America could be suspected of terrorism. (When a microwaveable meal goes for $1.50 less at Wal-Mart than at the market across the street, we try to stock up.)

There was this commercial after 9/11. (Watch it! It's only 30 seconds.) When watching it so shortly after 9/11, my heart would swell with pride in our country. We DID change. I felt we'd become stronger; that we'd bonded over our mutual tragedy. I was simultaneously made sick when it seemed so many Arab-Americans were targeted for hate crimes, simply because of their national origin or religion. We're better than that...or we could be.

But then, over the years, slowly but surely, we started seeing various freedoms taken away. I was all for the extended wait at airports while my belongings were searched. I even tolerated the limited amount of toiletry chemicals I was permitted to bring on a plane. And we were almost instantly hit with the PATRIOT* Act, which was passed less than two months after the attack. To almost every eye watching, it seemed to be rushed through the legislative process, and signed into law with almost NO ONE reading it. As per John Conyers, Jr., via Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, "We don't read most of the bills. Do you know what that would entail if we read every bill that we passed?" It's scary, and misinterpreted or not, many people felt that the FBI having a blank check on wire tapping was terrifying in its own right.

Then this new agency popped up, the TSA, and it started making headlines that they were getting carried away with their searches. I mean, is patting down the seven-year-old girl really necessary? What about the eighty-six-year-old grandmother in a wheelchair? Once again, every eye on this agency seems to think they have entirely too much power, with virtually no oversight.

Along with the TSA came new technologies, which allowed total strangers to see what was beneath our clothes. Leave it to one woman, Tammy Banovac, to use methods to get past and around the screenings of the TSA, who said of a previous experience, "If it happened anywhere else, it would have been sexual assault."

Now this new law, which would allow anyone SUSPECTED of terrorist activity can be detained without so much as a word permitted in defense. No trial. No lawyer. No nothing.

But don't worry. President Obama plans to veto the bill. Why? Well, Jon Stewart put a spin on it, making it sound as though the White House will veto it because it doesn't grant the President ABSOLUTE POWER. From what brief reading I've done, it's because such powers already exist. "The authorities granted by the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorist, including the detention authority, are essential to our ability to protect the American people...Because the authorities codified in this section already exist, the Administration does not believe codification is necessary and poses some risk."

Oh good. I feel so much better.

That commercial, where it claims the terrorists changed America...? They succeeded, alright. They've helped to turn us more and more into a police state than any other effort made before. "Land of the free. Home of the brave."

Well, mostly free.

Be well, and DFTBA.

*Edited after I was "Targeted." =P

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Learning old things

I got curious. You see, I've been putting off writing my book about diabetes. The irony being that my writing it was interrupted by the dramas produced by the complications of diabetes. It's time to focus and get back to work.

But there are things that I simply don't remember about my past, and one of those things is the interaction with friends in the outside world. Outside the hospital, that is. In a way, it's sad that I had friends inside the hospital. They should have been fleeting acquaintances, at best. Instead, I knew many of the chronically ill kids by face and name, some of whom have died from their illnesses, like my beloved friend Sandra.

So what of my friends outside the hospital? What did they think was going on? Did they have any understanding of what was happening? To find out, I wrote to the only guy I'm still in touch with from my teen years, Terence. His response was both amusing and frightening.

You see, he claimed that I was able to make such statements as, "I'll be going into the hospital next Tuesday." The way that sentence lies, without further information, makes is sound as though I was able to plan my hospitalizations at least a week in advance. Mind you, the process of entering diabetic ketoacidosis, DKA, can take only a few hours. Take no insulin and ingest some sugar, and I could be puking my guts out in short order, as was accidentally proven just days before I returned to AZ.

Not sure if I told this story, so I'll tell it now. I'd just received all of my back pay from Social Security, and was feeling wealthy. Thus, I decided to get a new pair of glasses. The only place that could do it in one day was next to the nearest mall, which was about two hours away by bus. I made an early start of it, had an eye exam, and the glasses were being put together while I wandered the mall.

While I wandered, I started to feel my blood glucose rising. I reached into my pocket to get my insulin out, and discovered that I'd brought everything I needed to take my meds...except syringes. Well, I figured I could make it home in time to take a proper dose before things went badly for me...but I was starting to experience polydipsia, or excessive thirst for you uneducated, non-diabetic types. =P

I got the glasses, then went to get a drink at a bar and grill near the bus stop. Since it was mid-day, they were slow. I approached the bar and asked for the largest diet soda they had, to go. I was served the drink, popped the straw into it, and took a HUGE swallow of it...and noticed that it tasted very wrong. I asked if it was diet, to which the bar tender said, "No. It's a Coke." In that moment, I had a sense that I was doomed, all because this idiot couldn't take my order correctly.

Two hours later, stumbling up to the boarding house where I lived, I knew I was beyond a simple dose of insulin. I needed a hospital. I tossed together a bag of clothes and toiletries and was taken to the ER, and was admitted for being in DKA. When asked how I came to be in such bad shape, I told the doctors of the tragic comedy of errors that brought me there. One of the doctors, who'd cared for me when I was there months before with osteomyelitis, simply shook his head in amazement, especially at being served the wrong drink and the consequent swallow that I took.

Back to my machinations of my youth...Terence wasn't as close to me back then as would eventually become. Most often, we would bump into one another at the comic book store, and then end up hanging out for a bit afterward. This was pretty much a weekly event, and my guess would be that it happened most on Friday, when the new comics were in each week. That was my regular day to head to the shop, and...

Wow. And that's not a good wow. I would be planning on Friday my hospitalization at least four days later. I was incredibly STUPID!

And that's all from me. Be well, and DFTBA. (That last of which I obviously forgot in my youth.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

When I was young and stupid...

...Y'know...a few years ago. Someone shouted amidst my blog comments or some such that I should run for President, and I took it to heart. I started another blog and everything, in which I decided to open up about myself and my political ideas.

That blog is now thoroughly and completely dead, as is the concept of running for office. No one is going to run out and vote for a guy who is tempted to call in sick while running the country. Sure, I could probably take care of everything from my bedroom, but the nation wants to see it's leader up and about, physically making a show of running things.

Aside from the fact that my potential annual Presidential physical would come back as, "He could have a diabetic stroke at any minute," there's also the fact that I had a lot of goofy ideas that wouldn't mesh with the idea of keeping America running.

One of those things was to become as close to an isolationist nation as possible. (Keep in mind that this comes from someone who calls himself a "backseat president.") My idea of isolating the country would be to tax imports more heavily than they are. That is to say, if someone wants things made outside the country, they're going to have to pay a lot more for it. The reasoning behind this is (was) to push American manufacturing harder. Give the jobs to OUR citizens. Entice companies to establish factories here, so that we'd see "Made in (usually some Asian country)" less often. Put our people back to work, and start having some pride in that old phrase, "American made." Those companies that moved outside the U.S. might save money on labor in their sweat shops, but they'd lose it all, and then some, when it came to paying to import their products. Again, the incentive was to keep the work here, in the States.

Then there was our military operations. Perhaps it's a military secret known only to those in office. Perhaps it's just known to people who aren't as lazy as me, who bother to Google it. Perhaps it's something known by people with more brain power than I...but I can't help but wonder why - for the love of G-d, why? - do we have military bases scattered across the globe? We "tamed" Japan in WW II. We whipped Germany into shape in the same war. And I could understand why we'd want to leave bases there for a decade or two to keep an eye on things - make sure they played nice with the rest of the world. But bases still there after well over six decades? Are you insane? This is a sore spot in our debt that I simply don't understand. (Don't explain it! My ignorance feels quite blissful, thank you very much.)

And then there are these wars we're involved in. We've become embroiled in too many conflicts, and it almost seems as though someone at some time after WW II said, "Hey...War is big business. We should make sure we're always fighting with someone." Since then, it seems as though we've either been at war or preparing to be at war with one nation or another. And while there are those politicians who think war makes for good business, what with various manufacturing contracts spread out all over the U.S., it's the blood of our young men and women that's being spilled on foreign soil. Bring them home, and stop meddling in every affair that we THINK we can meddle in.

As to the idea that we readily start fighting in nations with heavy oil reserves, I think we'd be able to kick our own butts into gear on alternative fuel sources if we would just learn to let go of foreign oil. I believe it could be a much larger industry right here at home if we bothered to put the resources behind it, and probably for a lot less money that it takes to support an army overseas.

Spurring the economy...keeping our military fingers out of so many pies...these ideas, in my head, would eventually start supporting various entitlement programs, instead of us living under the threat of them being bankrupt in just a few decades.

But the idea of cutting ourselves off from the world? No, I'm afraid George Washington would be out of his mind if he were to suggest such a thing today. I don't think there's anything wrong with the concept of "partial isolation," as my ideas might suggest, but we are also part of the global community, and must remain so.

Of course, I also thought running for President would be a great way to FINALLY get decent medical care, instead of having to juggle visits between one doctor or twelve.

And it troubles me that our nation is in such disarray at the moment. That's what all of these political posts have been about. It only seems to get worse as each day passes. (At least Herman Cain seems to have dropped out. That's one silly choice out of the way. NEXT!)

(Oh...if you're wondering why I used the "stupidity" tag, it's because I don't believe myself to be the brightest bulb on the tree when it comes to politics.)

Be well, and DFTBA.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Just this one

As should be well known, by now, I have lots of aches and pains. The ones coming from my hips have been curtailed to an extent by the removal of the cast; my hips are no longer at a perpetually odd angle, but still ache now and again because of the tissue reduction there. My ankle hurts because of the numerous microfractures in the talus and, because it's new, I can only assume it's the cold causing the pain to flare up.

But there is one pain that is slowly making me more and more insane as time goes by. It's somewhere between the very end of the 1st metatarsal, the medial cuneiform bone, and the intermediate cuneiform bone. Somewhere in there, and I'm not sure where, is an old break that I'm blaming for all this pain, as it doesn't seem to be a good fit with the Charcot arthropathy.

How'd I break a bone in the middle of my foot like that? I broke it...over a girl.

I've mentioned numerous times that Perlin and I broke up because she was cheating on me. From what I can tell, I haven't told that story in full. I probably still won't do that, as I'm only going to cover that event up to the break in my foot. So here goes...

When Perlin and I got together, she was dating someone else, but was flirting heavily with me. Flirting eventually led to much, MUCH more. She broke up with the other guy, started dating me, and all was well. Or so I thought. I had it in my head that I would be the one to change her cheating ways; I would treat her so well that she'd never want to run off with someone else.

In other words, I was a fool.

There was this guy at our community college whom she started spending more and more time with. I not only became extremely suspicious, but insanely jealous. There was a point where he and I were in the college quad, surrounded by many people, and I shouted threats at him so loudly that I could be heard inside the administration building on the third floor. (Yeah, I can be quite loud when I want to be.) I didn't mind Perlin having new friends, but I saw her getting entirely too close to this guy, and told her to stay away from him. That he would visit her at work was even more distressing.

One day, Perlin walked me to class. She gave me a kiss goodbye, and then left for work, as she had no other classes that day. As she walked off, I was about to enter the classroom, when something in my head told me to follow her instead. I did, all the way out to the parking lot...and into a loving embrace with the other guy.

I lost it. I mean, I was undiagnosed with any mental illness, and not medicated in any way, and I exploded with rage. When I become that angry, I don't hit people. I hit things. And while venting my rage, I kicked the door of the guy's car. The car door dented...and then popped right back out.

But my foot...things didn't work out so well for it. Because of the way in which I landed the blow on the car, the bones in the middle of my foot collided, and one of them chipped. The pain at the time was so bad that I went to my PCP of the time, and he took an in-office x-ray which revealed the break. Upon telling my father of the broken bone, my father insisted I see a specialist...because, you know, specialists know more. But when the orthopedic specialist took an x-ray, there was no break to be seen. I then had to run to my PCP, get the copies of the x-ray, and show them to the specialist, who "competently" scratched his head and said, "Hey, there IS a break!" (Genius.)

(Shortly after the break was discovered, and I was retelling the tale of how I broke it, many people wanted to know why I didn't beat the crap out of the guy with whom Perlin was cheating. My repeated answer was this: "The human foot can withstand a great deal of abuse. From what I understand, you can slowly run over a foot with a car, and while it'll hurt, it won't break. So imagine how much force I had to exert to break the bone that I did. No imagine if I'd kicked the guy Perlin was cheating with. If I'd kicked him, my foot would have gone THROUGH him, and I'd be in jail for manslaughter.")

This part of my life was a complete mess. My psyche was shattered by the illusion of love becoming undone. I made one of my more serious suicide attempts over the next few weeks. At one point, I went to shower while I was in the hospital, and they gave me a flimsy plastic bag to cover my cast. The cast became soaked, and was so uncomfortable that I eventually hacked it off at home using an EXTREMELY sharp knife. The bone that was broken only had a brief time to heal - only three or four weeks - and probably didn't heal properly.

Now, years later, it's haunting me as one of the most agonizing pains on Earth. Seriously, it feels like there is a jagged shard of glass that's been shoved in there. The pain is sharp and perpetual, and none of my pain meds seem to be cutting through it. Among other things, it's terribly distracting, and brings about a fear in me of standing and walking. It's that bad, and the brace doesn't really help me with this particular pain.

I believe I'll be seeing the pain specialist in the near future. When I do, I'm going to inquire into the possibility of another nerve block. There has to be a solution to this pain without there being some kind of surgery or more narcotics. Or so I'm hoping.

And now that I've had another whine session, as well as another trip down "Amnesia Lane," I bid you all to be well, and DFTBA.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A brief clarification

My last post...It's receiving quite a bit of criticism, which I don't mind, as the aforementioned critiques are intelligently argued. The thing is, I slipped in a kind of disclaimer toward the end that is being glossed over. It's the third to last paragraph, in which I state that I was skipping a lot of history. So allow me to clarify that...

I skipped A LOT of history! Lots of it. There's no way I could have covered everything I would have liked to, and there are instances where Washington's ideas would have been oh so very wrong.

The one that comes to mind most strongly is America's involvement in the European side of WW II. I'm surprised we stood on the sidelines as long as we did before we got into the game. To remain an isolationist nation in the face of such an evil as Nazi Germany would have been wrong in so many ways that I can't begin to count. And, really, Adolf Hitler presented a threat to the U.S., as he would have tried to conquer the world had we not stepped in. Could he have done it? We'll never know, thank G-d. But had we taken Washington at his word, putting every suggestion into absolute practice, our world might be very different in countless, negative ways.

We've become "the World Police," which is very much so against the thoughts of our first President. We also spend far more than we have, which has led us into this nightmarish debt the nation now holds. So much time has been spent in the Middle East that I'm surprised we don't simply OWN the nations there. And our political parties are no longer drawing party lines, but digging battle trenches.

My point of my last post was born from a fear that our country is entirely too broken. Governor Bush was a failure at every business his daddy bought for him. It only stands to reason that he would run this country into the ground and leave the mess for someone else to clean up, which is what happened. When/if I have them, my children will be the ones paying off the absurd amount of debt that Bush started and Obama added to. And the political arguments, with everyone pointing fingers and trying to lay the blame on everyone else...It just makes me that much crazier, as no one seems honorable enough to stand up and take responsibility for it.

I skipped A LOT of history. Lots, and lots, and lots. So try not to beat me up too much...Okay?

Be well, and DFTBA!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

When we stopped listening...

No, this isn't another music post. Too many people thinking there's real music out there now. (Kids these days! =P )

No, this is going to be another one of those posts where I discuss politics and history, and Becky will hate it. (She much prefers when I spew a love note in public.) Sorry, my love, but I've been learning things, and now I must vent!

In my post last Saturday, where I was mostly addressing Zeb, he replied with a comment that ended with a few words about our very first President, George Washington. (I mention that in case someone out there thinks our first President was Abe Lincoln or something.) Washington had no party. (Lewis Nicola made a suggestion that Washington become king of a new State, but he was the only one to really make the suggestion. Thus, the idea that Washington was offered to be made king of the United States is a myth. (My source.)) He was unopposed in the election. The framers of our Constitution simply assumed he would take the job, and when he agreed to come out of retirement to take the office, everyone basically said, "Good!" And they left it at that.

Zeb linked a summary to Washington's Farewell Address. It was a nice read, but I wanted to see what was actually said. So I read that, as well. (The man used the word "umbrage" in a sentence without the word "professor" before it! No one speaks (or writes) like that anymore...that I know of.) Having read the actual document and the summary, I have come to the realization that his words fell upon deaf ears...and still do. The House of Representatives stopped reading it back in 1984, but the Senate still reads it on Washington's birthday...and not a single Senator, as far as I can tell, understands a word of it.

But let's back up from our modern day and go all the way back to the election after Washington left office. Washington, having expressed that political parties were a bad idea, was followed by John Adams, a member of the Federalist Party. A member...of the Federalist...Party.

Right. Here's my interpretation of how this went down:

Older, Wiser Parent: See this? This is fire. It burns. Don't touch it. Understand?
Child: Yes, I understand.
Older, Wiser Parent: Are you sure? Because I don't want to see you get burned. If you get burned, it'll hurt. Do you like being hurt?
Child: No.
Older, Wiser Parent: So what won't you do?
Child: I won't touch the fire.
Older, Wiser Parent: Why?
Child: Because it'll burn me, and it'll hurt.
Older, Wiser Parent: Right. Very good.
Child: *immediately puts a hand in the fire and starts screaming in pain*
Older, Wiser Parent: Why'd you do that?!?
Child: I was making sure you were right.
Older, Wiser Parent: ...

Here was a man who'd invested everything he had, including his very life, into the creation of our nation, and then gave his later years into running said nation. On his way out the door, he made a gentle plea, as it were, that those who would follow him to take great care in how they conducted themselves in running the country. Washington had learned from that goofy thing we call EXPERIENCE. And you'd think that these men from another time - men almost certainly WISER than we are today - would heed his warnings. Nope. Human nature seems to dictate that we only learn through our mistakes, and so they had to do exactly what he said not to do in order to prove he was correct. that we've established when we decided to be a stupid nation, let's move forward to 1860, when our first Republican President was elected. (NOW we're at Abraham Lincoln.) Under the misconception that Lincoln was going to ruin their way of life, the Southern States secede. Why? Because of all of the personal discourse that Washington warned about. "False patriots," as Washington may have called them, screamed loudly enough to bring about a shattering of the nation. (Well done, gang.) And we paid for it in blood. This early version of the Republican Party was for a strong central government that would keep the country in one piece.

Today, here in the States, we have these things called "Red States." These are the States that tend to vote Republican most often. In a radical twist, it seems that many Southern States are the ones to vote that way...for the same party that "that heinous Lincoln belonged to." Why? Because modern Republicans are against big, centralized government.


Y'know what? Let's get away from the whole political party thing and move on to Washington's urging us to stay out of foreign affairs. Oh, the occasional alliance to support a peaceful world was all well and good, as far as his address said, but let's not choose sides all the time...unless the other nation presents an imaginary threat to our way of life, like with communism. "They're over there, and we're over here...but let's make sure they stay over there and crush them while we still can! And while we're getting involved with such nonsense, let's also attack anyone who won't easily share their oil. And once we've established a presence in these other nations, let's not leave for a few dozen decades."

Oh, but I absolutely LOVE the part where Washington warns against debt, proclaiming it a necessity in times of preparation of war, but otherwise unnecessary. "As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by sunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear." In other words, "Don't screw up the national debt unless we absolutely have to in order to stay free. And if we DO have to extend our credit, let's not leave the mess for future generations; let's clean up our own messes."

Thanks for the advice, George, but as an advanced society, we now have it in our power to park the country down the street so China can't repo the nation.

I have an idea. Let's erase all of the history books, and call Washington our first and ONLY President. After that, all others will be called "Ringmasters," as they've led this circus in some of the dumbest ways possible. It seems that all of them ignored the wise man atop the mountain, and we've paid for it ever since.

Okay, I'll be fair. I'm leaving out a lot of details in our history, mostly because I'm not trying to write an entire book on the subject at the moment. But I'm wodering what our nation would have been like - would be like - if we'd heeded George Washington's advice. No debt...No squabbling over petty differences...No Fox "News."

Perhaps one day I'll tackle the task of going over George's address, point by point, and exemplify how we handled each one. Or maybe I'll save it as a book idea. Or maybe - just maybe - I'll get over it and worry more about personal matters. =P

Be well, and DFTBA!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Remember when... truly affected our lives? Most won't. If you were born in the 90s and grew up with (c)rap, pop, or hip-hop, then you can probably only recall music that spews music only about love, sex, or, in the case of (c)rap "music," murder, abuse, and money.

I, in turn, grew up when rock-n-roll talked about more than just love, although love was certainly a repeating theme. I mean, how many couples adopted REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling" as their official song? (Forgive Kevin's Cronin's mullet. It was actually popular at one time.) And if you wanted to feel heartache, despite the song's faster beat through the body of it, there was always something like Styx's "Don't Let It End."

In terms of songs that didn't talk about love, you had bands like Saga, singing about, of all things, a gambling addiction in "Wind Him Up." They also had a song about growing up and facing the realities of adulthood in "Goodbye Once Upon a Time." (That was my interpretation of the song. According to Wiki, Michael Sadler wrote it about his late father; something I can see in the song, as well.) Rush was also notorious for addressing sociological issues, and was still doing it come the 90s with songs like "You Bet Your Life" and "Nobody's Hero." In fact, when I bought their album, Counterparts, "Nobody's Hero" shook me like no other song in quite some time.

Of course, if you wanted utter nonsense, but still fun rock-n-roll, "The Seven Seas of Rhye" fit nicely. And most of the time, I had no idea what Yes was singing about, but their music was utterly amazing. Even when they briefly split, a song like "Order of the Universe" had my jaw scraping along the floor with the level of talent tucked into its workings. (It should be noted that, since I was a late bloomer in so many aspects of life, Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe was he very first concert I ever went to see. Also, my idea of the order of the universe was, "ham on rye, light mayo, no cheese.") "Order of the Universe" was my favorite song on the album, and you have to listen carefully, but there is a most amazing guitar-playing that kicks in at 6:45 on the video I linked. It doesn't last long,

Pink Floyd, Yes, Queen, Saga, Rush, REO Speedwagon, Night Ranger...These were some of my favorite bands, and listening to them brings me back to a time when I was quite troubled, but also surrounded by great friends. Some of the music I listened to was heavily basted in love and the consequences thereof, while other parts were simply about life, or aspects of life. It seems like today's musicians are only concerned about relationships. The only new performer coming close is Chris Daughtry, and...

Well, before Becky and I were truly involved, she went to her first concert, which was Daughtry. His song, "September," takes me back to those "good old days." Me, Bryan, Terence, and Rick wandering the town of Wantagh, nothing to do but dwell on the fantasies churning in our heads.

Yeah...I miss those days when I was young and fit...and my greatest concern was whether or not I had enough money to fill up the tank so we could go for aimless cruises, blasting the music we loved so much.

I remember when...Do you?

Be well, and DFTBA.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Talking politics with Zeb

Dear Mr. Troll;

No, no...I'm not calling him a troll. His name, (although I know his real name, but choose not to tell the world), is Zeb the Troll, and he's a moderator on GitP. Despite that last fact...=P...I deem him a good friend. =)

Anyway, I'm in agreement with you on our political climate. The President hasn't received much cooperation from anyone in his term, which is why I call him "the Great Compromiser." He tries to be friends with everyone on both sides of the aisle, and that just doesn't work. "You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time." His attempt at trying to accomplish the latter has produced more drama than there was on The West Wing. If he cooperates with the D's, he ticks off the R's. If he tries to throw the R's a bone, as you said, the D's get their feathers ruffled.

The problem, as I see it, is a complete lack of understanding, or only the most basic form of understanding at a bare minimum. The transparency that Obama advertised at the start of his term has become somewhat tainted. "We'll let you see everything going on behind the curtain...from our perspective." I suppose this is what makes Fox "News" so popular. They are an ongoing editorial about how they see things, and not how things actually ARE. The D's are as guilty of it, but they're far more subtle.

So we have our politicians, and many of them want to be reelected to office. That's their main goal overall. To do this, they must please their constituency. Their constituency doesn't truly understand the issues at hand because no one is taking the time to explain it in any other language that "legalese." There are also various complexities to numerous issues, including the dizzying aspects of economics, that most people don't truly understand. (It's why there was that one protester with the sign, "Keep your government hands of my Medicare!" This is the intellect of what I believe is the majority of the nation...unfortunately.) The lack of understanding leads to simplistic demands, which tend to be bad for the nation.

Thus, we have politicians trying to appease their constituency by fulfilling the latter's demand with simple legislation that doesn't fit the complex government system we have. The former does this so their constituents continue to like them and vote for them. And the whole thing is gumming up the works in ways never before seen in history.

Obama trying to make everyone happy isn't helping, either. He's shown a kind of weakness in trying to make nice with everyone on both sides of the aisle instead of being more Bush-like.

Bush...I hated that schmuck. Illegally in office. Dumb as a stick. Embarrassing to listen to. He was a complete ass. But what I'll grant him is that when he wanted something, he got it. He was as stubborn as every other Texan who ever made it into the history books. He wanted tax cuts for the rich? He got them. He wanted war? He got it.

*sigh* If only he'd wanted a dictionary at some point.

Obama is a great public speaker, and I think that's the only reason he got elected. After that, his leadership skills - something rather important in a President - are sorely lacking. The good news, as I see it, is that it's not too late for him. At the rate things are going, there won't be a strong R candidate to challenge him in the next election. Perhaps an independent will come along who becomes a threat, but the R's are too disorganized. So I think Obama will see a second term, and then it's entirely possible that he will throw caution to the wind and take greater chances. Chances that he knows will be good for our nation. And with the Senate and House currently having such low approval ratings thanks to their R majority, we might well see more D's taking seats. Then Obama just MIGHT see things going his way for a change.

Now here's the thing I feel I must point out. I don't see myself as a Democrat or Republican. I'm on the fence with a lot of things, and so I await the candidate who makes the most sense. The R's have been babbling nonsense, so I've crossed them off my list. And unless Obama starts showing more backbone, I'm crossing him off my list as well. I'm awaiting a leader who will actually LEAD.

So...while this seems mostly addressed to only one reader, all reader's are welcome to throw feedback at me. Meanwhile, be well, and DFTBA!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The honorable thing

There's a lot of history involved, but Becky's dad is not her biological father. No...that particular schmuck was only around long enough to get 'Nita pregnant every now and again. Otherwise, he was off serving in the navy or servicing other women. Becky was all of six months when he walked away for good...kinda. I mean, he would spend time with his children when it made him look like he just might be a good father. Other than that, he was never really a part of her life.

Becky's dad, however, entered her life when she was two, and he was good to a family that technically wasn't his. Really, it was only genetically. In every other sense, he was "daddy" to Becky. Actually, he was always known as "Turk," even though he was perpetually thought of as "dad." 'Nita and Turk never married, but have been together for 20 years. Thus, when the time comes, it will be Turk giving Becky away, and not that other guy.

Now, when it came to meeting Becky's parents, I knew I'd be meeting her mother first, as Turk was out of the country at the time. It was nerve-wracking, as Becky and I were already engaged, yet her mom hadn't met me yet. We broke it to her as gently as possible, and in that instant I was made to make several promises. 1: Becky completes school. 2: No surprise wedding, in which we come home from wherever and announce, "Surprise! We're married!" (Her ex, Shawn, tried to set up just such a thing, which ticked off a lot of people.) 3: No child named "Oops." That is, we are to do our level best to avoid getting pregnant until Becky has completed school.

Fine. We can do those things. And since that first meeting, 'Nita and I have gotten along rather well.

By the time I met Turk, he'd already received the news that Becky and I were engaged, and had had time to cool off. (I think every father hates the guy who's bound to steal away his little girl. And with Becky being the youngest of three kids, she really was the baby.) He and I got along well enough, which came as a bit of a surprise to me. I mean, he's a Muslim and I'm Jewish. We should be rolling around on the floor, hands wrapped around the other's throat. The good news...? He's about as Muslim as I am Jewish. Thus, no fights to the death.

For all the times I've gone with Becky to visit her family, I've been overlooking something that I felt was important. It's a bit old-fashioned, but I'd never actually asked her father for his daughter's hand in marriage. Sure, I had asked for her mother's blessing, but not her dad's.

I corrected that on Thanksgiving Day. I explained how I'd been so wrapped up in seeking her mother's approval that I never asked for his. His response kept things simple enough. So long as I didn't interfere with Becky becoming a nurse, I would have his blessing.

And that was it. What had been plaguing my mind for months, but what I refused to do over the phone, was finally put to rest. I can be quite stubborn, shortsighted, and even downright rude. But at all times, I try to seek out the honorable action and follow through with it.

So it was that I had a good Thanksgiving. I know not all of my readers are here in the States, and yet it's my hope that as the Holidays approach, we can all count our blessings and be thankful for all the good we have in our lives. Sure, I complain a lot, but I've been given fair reason to do so. When I can, I try to see the bright side.

Be well, and DFTBA!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This post comes to you in two parts. The first is personal, and the second is political. You can pick your choice of topic, or read the whole thing. It's not just freedom of speech...It's the freedom to read! =)

Anywho, I went to see the special specialist today for that four to six week followup that was to come after I got my spiffy new shoes. I'd been a bit worried, what with all of the swelling, and the fact that there was a portion of the bottom of my foot that looked...Well, not good. Either something is wrong structurally, or my foot is pregnant. If the former, I feared more casting. If the latter, I was seeing the opportunity to become rich!

It turned out that the waiting was longer than the actual discussion with the doctor. I told him that the shoes fit very well, and they offer a decent amount of relief...provided it's not cold and raining, which it was today. Then I pointed to the part of my foot worrying me most, which is a lump on the underside of my foot, kind of along a path following the third and fourth toe, in the area most people know as the arch. Mid-foot...lump...callus forming. What gives?

Nothing unusual, according to the doc. It's common for people with Charcot arthropathy to experience the collapse of their arches. That mine is only a partial collapse is actually not so bad. It could be the whole thing, to which I'd probably have some major issues with that whole "walking thing." There's also the blessing that this collapse isn't bothering me; it's just there. I have other pains in the same foot that are apparently unrelated to that collapse, so...ummm...yay?

Overall, the doc was pleased. There was no longer anything incredibly unusual. My foot might be an ugly, swollen, painful monstrosity, but it looks okay for someone with Charcot arthropathy. He wished me well, and said I should call if I needed more help.

I should call him next week and ask if he could become a dentist for a little while. =P

* * *
On with my political topic, which I think should be entitled, "The Collapse of the Republican Party." Honestly, I can't recall any political race as what I've been witnessing over the last few months. The Republicans seem to have a goal: make sure they don't get a President elected.

Now, understand that I'm not pointing at Republicans as a whole; I'm looking directly at the politicians. The very first of their party to take the Presidency said quite famously, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Republicans are so divided that they are fracturing any cohesive image that they might have had. And with members of Fox News leading the way as their heralds, they come off as a bunch of lunatics.

There are apparently eight people seeking to run for the big chair, and the party, as a whole, can't make up their collective minds as to who that should be. So far, from what I'm gathering while watching the race from a long, LONG way off, I have an idea of who should NOT run. In no particular order...

Herman Cain - The only things this guy can keep straight in his head are "Black Walnut" and "Nine, nine, nine." What he claimed to be a simple "pause" when asked about Libya came across as a kid caught in class by the teacher asking him a question, to which the kid, after hemming and hawing, finally admits, "I didn't do the assignment." And that whole sexual harassment thing...? The records say one thing. Herman says a half dozen others. Perhaps if he'd been honest and admitted his wrongdoing, as well as apologizing publicly, I might have come away saying, "Wow. That took guts. I like that." Instead, I shake my head in embarrassment for anyone and everyone in his campaign.

Michele Bachmann - No. No, no, no, no, no. She seems just as much of a crazy dingbat as Sarah Palin. Quoting MB, "Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn't even one study that can be produce that shows carbon dioxide is a harmful gas." Sorry, but when common knowledge escapes a potential candidate, I can only pray that she simply goes away, silently. (My prayers will probably not be answered in that regard.)

Rick Perry - Of all the public speaking gaffes he's committed during the debates, I have just one word that sums them all up: Oops.

These are the ones who've been so dumb that the spotlight has shown brightly on them. None of them should be running for the Presidency. If anything, the Republican Party should be begging them to step down so the spotlight shines on someone who knows what they're doing. Instead, it's like the circus is in town, and everyone is enjoying the show. Unfortunately, this isn't entertainment to me, and should be to anyone else. This is our country's leadership. This "clown parade" that's being presented by the Republicans needs to come to a stop.

Why bring it up? Because I had great hope that Obama would straighten out the messes Governor Bush left us in. But with "Yes we can" being effectively turned into "We probably can't," I don't see him as a viable candidate in 2012. And at the rate things are going, there really won't be anyone worth voting for come Election Day next year.

Okay...I think I'm done. Be well, and DFTBA!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Too much stuff in my head

This is a problem. A serious one. Because I want to get my butt working on my book about diabetes, but I'm perpetually distracted by one thing or another.

For starters, I see irony in the fact that my writing about diabetes was disrupted by the complications of diabetes. Oh, I got a little writing done during that time, but my head was often filled with, I hate this cast. I hate this cast. I hate this cast. In fact, just the thought of the cast and how it disrupted so much of what I was doing in life irritates me. The apartment fell into greater disarray. Intimacy between Becky and I went out the window. Showers became a much less frequent event. And let's not forget the pain I experienced, along with the occasional muscle cramp.

The cast came off, I got my new shoes, one with a brace, and my right foot...blew up. This time it wasn't just the ankle. It was the entire foot. Following the line of bones down from the big toe, right in the middle of my foot, an old break began to cry out in agony, as though someone were shoving shards of glass into that area. The swelling also affected my toes, giving very little room for the skin in between them to breathe. So as an added bonus, I developed athletes foot, which burns like fire.

I was supposed to become more active once I had the shoes. I even planned to start walking, which I gave a few tries. But then there are other old pains, like surgical sites and the like, that have started reacting to the increasing cold and all the precipitation we've been getting around here.

My personal life was not going in the directions I'd hoped once I moved in with my beloved.

Enter the world. I don't like what I'm seeing out there. The government seems intent on shutting down half of the internet. What's more, the government hasn't drawn party lines, but dug party trenches, and are fighting each other over every little thing, passing some of the dumbest legislation along the way. ( important was it to have Styrofoam containers for their lunches over biodegradable cardboard? Who cares if "in G-d we trust" appears on our money, so long as it still spends?) The government is stall, and I believe it's because no one wants to work with "the Great Compromiser," President Obama.

I can see it now, as millions of senior citizens who have been rooting for the Republican Party suddenly find drastic cuts to their Medicare coverage. They'll be shocked, and start shouting about how this was not what they wanted...But that's what you've been screaming for. Don't you remember? You and your grass-roots nonsense have been wanting less interference from the government. They'll eventually have it and won't be happy...and manage to blame the Democrats, because they're just that smart.

Add to this the crimes that are being committed against our youth. The bullying that leads a kid to think of no other solution that suicide. The infamous rapist and what I deem his accomplices. White collar crimes, with the rich trying to get richer by stealing from their own companies or from investors. Executives taking bailout money as bonuses for a job done poorly. These are the things that keep popping into my head, and make me wish I had some magical power to fix this oh-so-broken world.

Not to mention my friends, who've faced their own crises. Ray's father dying. Julie's grandfather dying. Sophia losing an EMT friend to...something. Various friends combating their own illnesses, as well as struggling with issues of poverty. I want the power to fix their lives, as well.

Alas, there's no genie in a bottle, and no magic wand that'll cast a "fix-everything" spell.

Somehow, I manage to have hope. I still love Becky, even if we've been having a hard time of things lately. Julie's kids are a wonder, and I pray there are more parent's like Julie, with more kids like hers. And if all else fails, there's always Nike, snuggling up to me, simply wanting love. It helps when my brain is overloading.

Here's hoping that in the near future, I'll be able to get back to work on my book. I keep meeting people who, as soon as I mention I'm a diabetic, say that they know someone who isn't taking care of themselves. This book is NEEDED rather badly.

Be well, and DFTBA.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Calling Captain Obvious...

Come in, Captain Obvious! We need your help!

Or, at least, I do. And when you lend me your aid, could you do so in a slightly more timely manner. Like when I was at the podiatrist on Wednesday and complaining that it felt as though my toes on the right foot were on fire. Well, I reported it as a burning sensation.

There are some details in this post, so if a fungal infection of the feet bothers you, perhaps you should run along and read some other source of material. I recommend The Iliad. =P

Admittedly, it's a tough call to make. Because of the Charcot arthropathy, there is perpetual swelling and discoloration. Skin against skin tends to produce sweat. (I remember an old joke. Q: Why to people sweat? A: So they don't catch fire while making love.) So at a glance, things appear to be status quo. A physical exam is also hampered on the doctor's part because he wisely wears gloves. It's the smart thing to do when dealing with the sweaty feet of someone whose hygiene habits are unknown to you.

By Thursday evening, the burning sensation at my toes now felt like they were actually on fire. While tending to my foot, I noticed that my toes appeared to be...crusty. Said crust could easily be dismissed as dead, scaling skin. Since I can't bend my leg or foot to get a better view, I rely on my sense of touch during such self-examinations. As my fingers moved between my toes, there was so much moisture that when I removed them from between my toes, I fully expected to see blood. Instead, whatever the fluid was, it was completely clear. I would gladly have dismissed it as simple sweat, but the stench...! Oh, dear G-d, it stank!

I don't recall ever having athlete's foot, and to think of a disabled man having it when all he does is sit around in his socks seems contradictory. But I quickly looked it up, and saw pictures that seemed to indicate I was right on the money.

Thus, I did what I could immediately. First, I dried as much of the fluid as I could with a paper towel, trying my best to clear away that crusty material. Then I scrubbed my toes with another paper towel soaked with rubbing alcohol. In my mind, the 70% isopropyl alcohol and water mix is enough to kill just about any germ alive. I've even used the stuff to kill the bacteria in kitchen sponges with great success. But I am also a firm believer in my fallibility, and didn't have enough faith in my ability to get the alcohol everywhere it was needed. So, using a third paper towel, I dried my toes and then coated them with a little Gold Bond Medicated Powder that I have on hand. I also poured more powder into my sock before putting it back on.

An hour or two later, I was feeling a bit better, hinting to me that I just might be completely accurate on my self-diagnosis.

While I could TRY to treat it on my own, I'm just not like that with anything that bothers me, as demonstrated by my recent dental adventures. Thus, I called the podiatrist on Friday morning and described my symptoms to his receptionist. She, in turn, put me on hold and reported to the doctor. When she came back, she told me that they would be calling in an anti-fungal cream, and that if there was no improvement in the days to come, I was to call back to be seen.

My concerns involve the fact that I feel this topical fungal infection so badly. While the underside of my feet are miraculously sensitive, my toes tend to be a bit numb when it comes to collisions and cuts. My fear - yes, another fear! - is that this thing is a bit deeper than I can observe visually or by touch. My hope - yes, another hope! - is that the cream will address the problem and there'll be no complications. (Having said that, there'll be complications. Just you wait and see!)

I just wish Captain Obvious had been on hand Wednesday afternoon. Just the mention of the burning pain should have had my podiatrist looking for signed of athlete's foot. Perhaps it simply wasn't bad enough at the time. I don't remember there being any crusting along my toes during the visit. Then again, the doctor had a much better vantage point than I'll ever have.

Oh, I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. I like this guy. Between him and my PCP, I honestly wish all of my doctors were like them. But if the foot guy is going to start missing or overlooking the obvious, then I suspect there's going to be big problems for my in the future.

Well, it was certainly nice to get back to my usual complaining, wasn't it? =P

Be well, and DFTBA!