Posts in the “personal” category

A dementia story

My mom is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and she can also be funny at times.

Her memory is a little worse now, but a couple of years ago she was in a wheelchair and I went over to hug her. When I did, I accidentally kicked her foot with my foot.

I said, “Oh, I’m sorry.”

She replied, “Don’t worry, I won’t remember it.”


Cousins (the movie)

If you like sappy love stories, Cousins is an underrated movie. Released in 1989, Ted Danson’s wife (Sean Young) and Isabella Rossellini’s husband (William Petersen) have an affair, which sparks a special friendship between Danson and Rossellini.

I was just reminded of a line from the movie that goes something like, “Don’t you know? Men and women who are married can only be close friends in large groups.”

Goth ... Hippie ...

I don’t know the original source of this image, but it reminds me of Easter colors and vice-versa.

Screaming moth in my brain

Way back in 2015 when I was going through the worst of the MCAS problems, I was getting incredibly painful headaches and had all sorts of brain-related problems, including shaking, an inability to hold things without dropping them, brain fog, etc. This MRI image showed the problem: There was a screaming moth in my brain. :) It reminds me of The Mothman Prophecies.

Mousey Alexander - The Mouse Roars

One of my uncles was Mousey Alexander. I didn’t know him very well, only meeting him a few times that I can recall. The most I remember about him was watching him play at a jazz club in Chicago one time when I was a young teenager, and also spending a little time with him on a vacation in New York. (In particular I remember going fishing with him and my dad in New York. We caught something like 40 small fish in an hour or two. Every time we dropped a line in the water we caught a fish in a matter of moments.) I also remembered that he called a lot of people “cat” or a “cool cat.”

I was told that he played on the Johnny Carson show and also played at The White House. I think he’s most well known for playing with Benny Goodman and Clark Terry. If you’re interested you can read more about him at that Wikipedia link, and thanks to YouTube you can also find some of his performances there as well, including this Doc Severinsen “Airmail Special.”

A tale of two stories

A couple of stories are bouncing around in my head, so I thought I’d write them down to get them out of there.

In story #1, I was meditating a few nights ago when “Boom!” I was standing in the house I grew up in. I always wanted to go back there to see what it was like with an older set of eyes, so I took my time in walking around, looking at and touching everything. Eventually I walked downstairs, and when I got there a young version of my mom came out of her bedroom and seem concerned about something. Then she looked at me and said, “Money is important, isn’t it?” I replied, “I suppose so,” and then she kept walking around with that concerned look, and then the scene ended just as fast as it began and I was back in the darkness of meditation.

In story #2, my family was at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, and I probably wasn’t a teenager yet, maybe thirteen years old at the most. I think I went to get a drink of water, and when I turned around an older hippie girl was standing there. She leaned down and pinned a little fake red flower on my shirt and said something spiritual, which I thought was cool. Then she asked if could give her some money. I didn’t have any money, and when I told her that, she ripped the flower off my shirt and stomped away much less peacefully. I remember thinking that her behavior wasn’t correct, and I suspect that incident made me mistrust religious people for quite some time.

(From a Facebook post from May, 2018.)

Two women I wanted to have children with

Random thought of the morning: When I was young — maybe an early teenager at the oldest — I was talking to Sister #3 and said I wanted to have a baseball team worth of children. But then a few years later my dad got a woman who was not my mom pregnant, and my parents were divorced. Whatever notions I had about wanting a family and children were wiped out.

Part two of that random thought is that over the years I’ve been fortunate to meet a number of women (over 1,000 if you include school, work, and social events), and out of all those women there are only two who ever made me think, “I can see having children with this woman.”

"Dad, can I borrow the car?"

I can’t sleep tonight, so I’ll tell a story. I think I was 18 when this happened, maybe 19.

I ask my dad to let me borrow his car, he says yes, and I drive to a party with a friend of mine. The party is fun until my friend gets in a fight, punches his hand through a window, and cuts a big gash in his forearm. At one point I see his forearm and there’s a chunk of it that’s completely gone, and I can see the bone in his arm; it’s pretty bad.

Life-changing events

A series of recent emails has me thinking about “life-changing events.” These are events where your life is clearly headed down one path, and then perhaps in an instant it’s no longer on that same path.

For me there is just one “major” event, which happened when I was a teenager. I’ll call this a Level 1 event. After that there are a series of other important events that are all at a similar level of importance (Level 2), but they are not as direction-altering as the Level 1 event(s).

It's been an interesting thought process. There are at least two moments that didn’t seem too important at the time, but when I look back at those events years later I can see how they changed my direction.

Original logo

Way back in the beginning — 1998, to be exact — I started this website as Today I was going through a box of old things and came across this image, which shows one of the original logo design ideas I came up with way back then.

Canine body language: The greeting stretch

When I first read the text in this image, it brought a few tears to my eyes. When I used to get up and make coffee, our dog Zeus used to come into the kitchen and make stretching moves like this. I came to think of this morning ritual as him saying, “Hey, how you doing? Did you sleep well? What’s on the agenda for today?”

What you think about when you’re dying

Dateline May 22, 2016: Before I write this, just to be clear, on most days and times I’m not laying in bed waiting to die. But, there have been somewhere between 20-30 times where I have laid down in bed not knowing if I’d ever get up again. Five of those times I passed out. Recent lab tests also show that I may have something called a paraganglioma, which doctors refer to as a “pharmacologic time bomb.”

So while I’m not laying on my death bed 24x7, I can tell you what my thoughts have been when I laid there, now knowing if I was about to pass out or die.

Waking up in a hospital

I wake up at 3:40am, hearing something dripping. I follow the sound around the new apartment until I find that it’s coming from the refrigerator. Looking around, I don’t see any water on the floor, inside the refrigerator compartment, or in the freezer. My guess is that this is what it sounds like when it defrosts. I have a sip of water and go back to bed.

I wake up some time later. It’s bright, so I don’t want to open my eyes. I’m enjoying a comfortable rest, and the pillow and sheets smell fresh and clean.


Why is it so bright? I haven’t been here long, but I know that the Sun rises on the other side of the building, and my bedroom only get indirect light in the morning.

Without moving my body, I open my eyes and look around. I see enough to know that I’m in a hospital.