Wednesday, April 29, 2009

No Time Like The Present

This is Judy's last full week off, so she charged me with finding things that were fun to do on days she didn't attend physical therapy. That would be a day like today. You might think a movie, or a nice ride and a picnic. Judy decided that she and her older sister would go to the cemetery today instead. Some days, it's tough being a trophy husband. On the other hand, it gave me a few hours to be alone and enjoy myself.

Being alone is not being lonely. I got to trade the markets a little, listen to my music with my earphones, and re-listen when I felt like it. I even got some time on the Internet, which has been going down every evening, and dropping a lot during the day. What I mostly did was to think about friends who are having some problems.

A confluence of things have occurred. Mel has been writing a lot about people holding themself back, keeping themself from happiness. This has spurred memories of things I learned in school. People live on two levels, the intellectual and emotional levels. Connected to this was a discovery that people could know something, but suddenly have an epiphany when they actually understood what they had known or had learned. This has happened to me a few times. Once, when I realized that a professor had actually designed his seminar course to be an job enrichment program for the students and just had never told us, the realization left me speechless at lunch with a colleague for several hours. I just kept shaking my head, laughing and saying, "I don't believe I missed it and it was right in front of me."

We all live in an environment that is so full of stimuli that no one can perceive everything that's there. So we all selectively perceive what's there, through our own individual filters. We can take the stimuli there and derive happiness and joy from them, make lists of things that make us happy; or we can take different stimuli from the same environment and decide we are useless, worthless people, and find all kinds of justification from the past to support the contention. Another way to look at this is some people are choosing to be happy, and some aren't. Are we influenced in that decision by our emotional unconscious? You bet. Can we do something about that? You bet.

Look yourself in the mirror and start finding reasons why you like yourself, and tell yourself out loud those reasons. Daily. Be redundant. It's called positive affirmations. I like myself because I do kind things. I like myself because I saved a bee from Jake today (true). I like myself because I tell my wife I love her every day, and mean it. People like hearing this too it seems.

There's lots more. Here's what doesn't work. Hiding. Problems don't go away. Pretending there's nothing wrong. Same as hiding. If you need help, go get some. Really. But you need to work But it is so worth it. Imagine being happier. Here's what Mel wrote today:

"No matter what results you get, the only real failure is when you stop making the effort.

When you are mistaken, you can learn.
When you are knocked down, you can get back up.
When you find that you've veered off track, you can correct your direction.
When you discover that circumstances have changed, you can make adjustments.
What a shame it would be to stop just one effort short."

Now, I'm not Mel, I'm not going to start wearing heels and pantyhose, and I don't have a British accent, which I am sure are messy character flaws. I'm not a therapist, and I am not much different than the next person. But I laugh a lot. If you are one of my friends who are suffering from a lack of confidence, or know you are awesome at an intellectual level but not an emotional level, or think that you lead a boring life because you're so boring, or you can't be loved because the people who loved you left you; I'm here to say that I love you, and you don't have to change for me, nor lose weight for me, you're perfectly valid for me the way you are. Please validate yourself, because other people are wrong. There's no time like the present to start because life's a banquet and we don't want to starve. Come join me at the banquet table, please.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We Have News

We went to the surgeon today. When Judy had her rotator cuff surgery, she had torn the entire rotator cuff, and the operation took approximately twice as long as was first estimated. They had to dissect a certain muscle, and there was some nerve damage in the process. This is known as "complex regional pain syndrome". In other words for us laypeople, her hand and entire arm hurt like hell. Still.

She reacts to this sort of like General Patton or Napoleon might. She simply seizes control of whatever area she is in and controls her environment to protect herself. Jake curls up next to her on her left side only. He only tries to bite her left hand. Jake may be a cat, but he's not suicidal.

The surgeon and her physical therapist decided that she should not go back to work for another 30 days and she should continue physical therapy through this period. At the end, she would be re-evaluated. Judy announced that she would be off for the next nine days, then return to work part time since her leave had run out, continue therapy, not drive, I would continue to chauffer her around, and they and her would re-evaluate in thirty days. Now I was part of the prescription. Actually, I have been part of the prescription since she tore the rotator cuff, but now it was formal.

The good news? The surgeon didn't object to her working part time from the house. We've been told by both the surgeon and the therapist that it will be August before she is pretty much pain free, and a year before she gets her range of motion back.

I have filed a motion with the General for a luxurious weekend in Richmond in mid May. By starting now, and discussing this everyday, I hope to get her to come with me. I offered her Tylenol PM and to let her sleep all the way down. Rejected. I have offered her an alternative route, down route 301 to Richmond, instead of down Interstate 95 to Richmond. The General immediately countered with "can you find an interior route instead of going toward the coast?" I guess she's worried about her tank sinking into the ocean I must remember that Hanibal preferred the overland route with his elephants. And that's why we studied history....

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


The Susan Boyle video on YouTube:

Susan Boyle is a 47 year old woman in England who spent her life taking care of her mother. I would have embeded the video, but YouTube won't allow it. You really must go see this phenomenon. An entire packed theater is against this woman. Until the third note she sings..... I have never seen Simon Cowel smile before. Adam Lambert wishes he had her voice. She has performed once, and become a world-wide item.

There is a moral to this story. If you give up on your hopes and dreams for yourself, you have only yourself to blame for it. If you haven't watched the video, please do so now.

Mel wrote the following this morning (Thursday):

"What are you telling yourself that's holding you back?
What are you telling yourself that's preventing you from being happy?
What are you telling yourself that gives you permission to be less than your very best?
What are you telling yourself that gives you an excuse for not taking action?

Every moment of every day you're interpreting the world for yourself, telling yourself what it means and what to do about it.
Each time you tell yourself something, you have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on your life.
So tell yourself yes.
Tell yourself that you can choose a life of joy and fulfillment right now.
Tell yourself that you're fully capable of whatever you decide to achieve today....."

Mel says it so much better than anyone I know. What I can't explain is her amazing timing. She wrote this at the same time this amazing success story hit the world scene. I don't know how she does it, but she does it all the time. If you succeed at fullfilling a life's goal, doing something you have always dreamed, you an thank Mel for her words. Now I have to go figure out how to hit an L sharp on the piano. Have a good day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Latest Ringtone

I have a wife-certified and approved girlfriend named Susan. Susan and I talk a lot on the phone. Often, Susan talks to Judy and I on the speaker together, and the result is generally hilarious. I decided I wanted to pick a new and different ringtone so I'd always know when Susan was calling, as opposed to anyone else.

Picking the absolutely best possible ringtone takes time, effort, and is a worthy endeavor. Susan loves music. She loves lyrics, so she is a Leonard Cohen fan. You know, the guy who wrote "Hallelujah", etc. But more than anyone else, I am the one who will hear the ringtone. Below is what is written about Beethoven's "Fur Elsie" and the entire piano solo itself. I wonder what you would have picked?
"Für Elise" (German for "For Elise") is the popular name of the bagatelle in A minor WoO 59, marked poco moto, a piece of music for solo piano by Ludwig van Beethoven(1770-1827), dated 27 April 1810.

Beethoven scholars are not entirely certain who "Elise" was. The most reasonable theory is that Beethoven originally titled his work "Für Therese", Therese being Therese Malfatti von Rohrenbach zu Dezza (1792-1851), whom Beethoven intended to marry in 1810 and was also one of his students. However, she declined Beethoven's proposal. In 1816 Therese, who was the daughter of the Viennese merchant Jacob Malfatti von Rohrenbach (1769-1829), married the Austrian nobleman and state official Wilhelm von Droßdik (1771-1859)[1] Another theory is that 'Elise' was used to describe a sweetheart during Beethoven's time. If this is true, then the piece is dedicated to sweethearts in general, with no specific person in mind. However this theory is unlikely because it doesn't fit well with Beethoven's composing and dedication history. When the work was published in 1865, the discoverer of the piece, Ludwig Nohl, mistranscribed the illegible title as "Für Elise". The autograph is lost.
Category: Music

Tags: ludwig van beethoven fur elise classical music URL

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I Ask You Once Again

My dear friend Carrie (Echomouse) lost her beloved cat Teddy to cancer on Monday. For those of you who live with an animal, who have made it a part of your life, you know that she has lost a family member, and is suffering enormously. For those of you who have never had the experience, I can never explain to you the pain and suffering Carrie is going through.

If you choose to read the memorial she has written to Teddy, you will get a glimmer of understanding. I am asking that you go to her blog, and leave your condolences. That is all. Having been in her position before, I can tell you that it helps to get comfort from everywhere because everything seems terribly unfair.

If the blogosphere is to have real meaning, we need to tend to our own. Compassion is essential in the blogosphere for without it we truly undermine the vitality we try to nurture.

If you are a lurker, please go to Carrie's blog, and simply offer your condolences, I won't hastle you to comment here.

Thank you for doing this, from the bottom of my heart!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Quick Note

I had a close call last week. I was told to report to the emergency room as my family doctor couldn't hear any 'bowel sounds' when he examined me. The range of options ranged from exploratory surgery to a soap suds enema. I wanted to go home and finish the chopped liver so that Jake didn't get to finish it while I was laying in the hospital. I won.

I'll write it up as soon as it's a little easier to sit and write. Part of my reason to wait this long to write anything is the London Burlesque Fest was last weekend. Many of you voted to help Glamourpuss get into the newcomer's competition. She went on first, and came in third for all UK competitors. The back story is she was operated on about a week before to see if she had cancer, which she thankfully doesn't. I waited for her to publish her account before I wrote this up. It just an amazing example of having some faith in yourself and seeing things through when the going gets tough. She deserves you congratulations after having received your support.