Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why I Love David Crosby, Reason # 944

Ted Nugent is a right wing, racist, hunter, gun owner, closed minded jerk off.

He is also a rock guitarist.

He recently said the only reason he has not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is because he is a gun toting member of the National Rifle Association. He feels the Hall is trying to be politically correct.

David Crosby, who has been inducted twice, responded with this short but sweet tweet:

"No the asshole just isn't good enough."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I Am Not Too Old To Evolve, Goddamn It

It's about to get raw all up in here.


Because I'm feeling pretty raw.

Worried about Carol's health. She's tough, she will get through it fine but, as Tom Petty said, "the waiting is the hardest part".

Fucking medical community. Saturday they tell Carol she has a tumor in her head and its gotta go because she is demonstrating symptoms. Tell her a consultation will be set up for Tuesday (yesterday) for me and her to understand what is about to happen.

She never got a call. We are still waiting. Carol called her physician and expressed her displeasure. The doc said she would contact Dartmouth-Hitchcock and give them a push.

Still nothing.

Apparently the approach of modern medicine is to tell you that you have something fairly serious going on, and then to take their fucking time dealing with it.


If I am feeling this upset I cannot imagine how Carol feels.

So there is that.

As this all unfolds I am taking notes. This situation is definitely not about me but it has forced me to take a step back.

When I had the cancer thing I called Keith and Craig and cried like a bitch. I am a deeply emotional man, the drawback being I allow emotions to overwhelm me.

I am also a fatalist. I hear cancer and I think death. Even though Dr. Feelgood assured me that it was the lowest possible stage of melanoma and I did not really have a lot to worry about.

When Carol called Keith and Craig on Saturday they had awesome conversations. Carol was strong; they even laughed on both ends of the calls.

I sat next to her and thought "How the hell did she do that?" What she has is a lot more serious than what I dealt with and yet she handled it with strength.

The difference is she hears brain tumor and thinks "OK, let's deal with this and move on".

That, apparently, is the difference between positivity and negativity.

I texted Keith and Craig afterwards and thanked them for making Carol feel better.

They both said that her positive attitude gave them confidence. I thought "Jesus what an asshole I was to cry like I did and make the situation more awkward than it had to be".

I have never liked the overly emotional side of my personality, the craziness that allows emotions to overwhelm me and prevent me from functioning. But I have never been able to control it.

New ballgame. I am learning from Carol. What she is doing is amazing. And inspirational.

When you are 39 years married you know everything about this person you live with and settle into a "taking it for granted, sometimes making the wrong assumptions" perspective.

All of a sudden I am looking at Carol differently. With a great deal of admiration. And respect.

I will be strong for her whenever she needs it throughout this ordeal. I am determined to do so.

But I think she will not lean on me too much. She is a warrior.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

True That

I gotta start using this phrase. I like the way it sounds. Think it is cool.

If you walked up to me and said "Hey Joe - you are the greatest human being who ever lived. Omniscient and omnipotent. Talented and rather pretty. Intelligent with a wonderful sense of humor. Unselfish and giving. Thoughtful. With a remarkable capacity for empathy."

I would respond: "Yeah, I've been thinking about that lately. I guess I am super cool. It is utterly amazing what I have accomplished in my life. A statue should be erected."

But if the conversation went like this: "Hey Joe - I am amazed at your inherent greatness. Your greatness supercedes all greatness that came before. Your greatness is greater than the sum total of all the greatness of every great human who preceded you."

And I responded: "True that."

That would be a lot cooler.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

And Just Like That

I intended to jump in here yesterday and gloat about the fact that I scored David Crosby concert tickets on Friday night.

Had to talk Carol into it because she experiences physical pain when we spend any more than $1.25 for anything that is not budget related, and these tickets cost us $160. But I was determined. I missed him earlier this summer at another small venue only an hour away from me and it broke my heart when I found out about it.

The man is a survivor. His life story is legendary. His singing is exquisite. His song writing is emotional, political, meaningful and inspirational.

We have seats in the front row of the balcony, which means we will be looking down on him when it should be the other way around. Still, it will be a spectacular night.

We saw Crosby, Stills and Nash a few years ago, outdoors on a beautiful summer night, and their singing brought tears to my eyes.

Croz is 75 years old and still bringing it, baby.

That news was eclipsed by a phone call yesterday afternoon.

Carol has been having hearing issues in one ear, and balance issues when walking. She kind of walks like a drunk, which she may have learned from me.

She had an MRI yesterday morning, and in the afternoon she was called by the MRI interpreter ( my description - I am not sure he was a doctor). They found a tumor behind her ear and it has gotta go.

We have a consultation on Tuesday, then they will get her in the hospital ASAP for a two day stay.

It was heavily stressed that this is most likely not as frightening as it sounds. That it is not entrenched in the brain, but rather pressing up against it. So that is good.

Still, we cannot help but be nervous.

And just like that our lives are changed.

We have had a pretty remarkable run. Been through some shit, had lots of ups, some downs, but all in all life has been relatively gentle with us.

Until last summer. Apparently now, August is officially the month of bad news. I was diagnosed with melanoma last August, Carol with the tumor this month. In addition I am dealing with the fractured hip thing.

So there you have it. You can't help but wonder exactly what stage you are in in your life. We are only 63 and the shit has begun.

But not anywhere near as bad as it could be. So there is that.

I don't think I handled the cancer thing as well as I should have. I am an emotional guy and it got me down.

Carol is strong and upbeat about the tumor and that is a very good thing. We will get through it together and come out the other side with a fresh and exciting appreciation for the good things we do have in our life.

Five I can name right off the top of my head - Keith, Emily, Craig, Karen and Eddie.

Fucking amazing human beings.

I am going to try and ride the wave of Carol's strength and learn from it. Her situation is much more frightening than mine was and she is standing tall.

You never really do know what life is going to throw at you. At the stage we are in and beyond, there is a higher probability that there will be more negative shit.

All we can do is try to learn from it on a personal level. Learn how to react, learn how to maintain positivity, learn how to pay deep attention to the sensitive and meaningful things and people in life every fucking second of every fucking day.

Speaking for myself I know I will fall short of these intentions on a regular basis. I am just built that way. A bit on the dark side, a lot on the emotional (interpreted as not rational) side.

We shall see what transpires.

I can, however, guarantee you that come November and David Crosby, we will sit in amazement at the beauty of this man's soul and his ability to survive life's evil side.

I hope we bring our own personal beauty and survivorship to that night as well.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I Feel Cheated

The summer that wasn't. So far, anyway.

Way too many cold nights and cold mornings that feel more like fall then summer.

Shouldn't that be illegal?

I know, you are saying "But Joe - I love the cold nights - it is good sleeping weather". I'm gonna go easy on you and give you that one. It is a better sleep when you can draw a sheet up under your chin in easy contentment. Sweating like a pig is not conducive to peaceful sleep.

BUT - everybody waits for summer. They pray for it, anticipate it, think about it and plan for it. It finally rolls around and you end up actually being cold 50% of the time.

What the fuck is that? Somebody is gonna have to pay.

For most people summer is the only thing to justify being alive. Everything else is torture. I can see morticians licking their chops even as I speak.

I must be getting softer because I'm telling myself September will be summer-like. I mean real summer. That is probably a safe bet; summer has been starting later and hanging around longer.

It fucking better be summer-like - I need warmth like a drunkard needs a drink.

Been an off balance summer karma-wise as well. Fractured hip, dead Lincoln, my laptop just died and my tablet is dying a slow death.

And nobody has offered me that 5 million bucks I feel I deserve. Christ, I've been around long enough. Shouldn't some wealthy benefactor just hand me the fortune I need to live out my life in dignity?

Every time I leave the house I keep my eyes open for bags of money by the side of the road. I never find them.

This is distressing because that approach represents the sum total of my retirement strategy.

Got me thinking about karma. What have I done to deserve this punishment? What could it possibly be?

Everybody knows I am a good boy. Avid church goer, teetotaler, anti-drug advocate, health nut, all around sweetheart, and a volunteer with Meals on Wheels, the Boy Scouts and three local food pantries.

The Pope calls me for advice.

After peeling back a couple of layers of self delusion I began to take a look at who I really am; the things I have done, the evil thoughts I have thunk.

Oh shit - so that is what's going on this summer.

The hell with it. Whadddya gonna do?

There was a line from "Penny Dreadful" that I really embraced; perked right up when I heard it.

"The best way to be free of regret is to embrace your sins".

I cannot open my arms wide enough.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Oh My God - Could This Even Be True?

"I mean, in the end, we must be that thing the world demands of us. We must take the lust and the avarice and the ambition and bury them. All the alien, ugly things, all the things we really are--the other one, the other man, we cannot allow him!"

Jekyll, from "Penny Dreadful"

Thursday, August 3, 2017

More Stupidity

Another stupid thing about baseball.

The pitcher throws a ball into the dirt, the catcher throws the ball away and reaches behind him to the ump, looking for a fresh new ball.

Doesn't seem to happen every time, and I'm sure there is some arcane rule I am not aware of, that decides when is yes and when is no.

But if on the very next pitch the guy at the plate hits a ground ball to short - which obviously takes a hop on the dirt - and gets thrown out at first, the ball eventually makes it back to the pitcher.

Who quite contentedly serves it up to the next batter.

I don't get it.

QUICK ASIDE: Baseball could probably reduce the national debt by 75% if 300 balls were not thrown into the stands at every game. Or maybe - and this is heresy - reduce ticket prices.

Are You Like Me?

Are you like me?

I wear my socks until every goddamn pair has holes in the heels.

Not little holes. Massive holes so that my entire heel is exposed. Right and left.

Every morning I say to myself "this is stupid. It's embarrassing. Socks are cheap. Why don't I just buy new socks?"

I wear them for 6 more months.

Finally I break down, bowing to the Amazon god, and shell out $5.84 for a 6-pack of Hanes Men's FreshIQ Cushion Crew Socks, White, 10-13 (Shoe size 6-12).

Two days later I am slipping them onto my feet and thinking "oh my, my - these are so comfortable."

So very silly.

Still I am consumed with crippling fear and self-doubt. Now I need dressier socks, colorful socks, the more flamboyant the better.

But I wait. Hesitate.

And the holes grow bigger.

You Can Cut It With A Knife

There was a palpable melancholia in the air.
It came from within.
It came from without.
He felt it most disturbingly from those
who tried hardest to hide it.
Pretty ironic, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

If Only It Was This Simple

"And I wanna grow old without the pain, give my body back to the earth and not complain."

From "The Perfect Space" by The Avett Brothers.