Posts in the “personal” category

“I think you’re the kindest, sweetest, prettiest person ...”

“I think you’re the kindest, sweetest, prettiest person I’ve ever met in my life. I’ve never seen anyone that’s nicer to people than you are. The first time I saw you ... something happened to me. I never told you but ... I knew that I wanted to hold you as hard as I could. I don’t deserve someone like you. But if I ever could, I swear I would love you for the rest of my life.”

~ from the movie, Groundhog Day

Love the one you’re with?

When I was a freshman in college I ended up spending a lot of days (and nights) in one of the girls’ dormitory buildings. My girlfriend shared a two-bedroom suite in a two-story building with another girl, who I think was at least a year or two older than I was.

There are only a few things I remember about the other girl. The first thing is that she was an extrovert and liked to have a good time. A second thing I remember was the time one of her relatives was going to come for a visit (her grandmother), I think, and she was vacuuming the apartment while smoking a joint to help her relax.

The third thing I remember is that she had a boyfriend at home, about 500 miles away, but after a while she also started seeing another guy at school. One day — I don’t remember the exact circumstances — I was standing in the doorway to her bedroom and she was sitting up in her bed, with her covers pulled up. I think her “school boyfriend” had just left the apartment, and I was either walking in or walking out at that time. I said hello to her, intending to keep moving on, but she said something I can’t recall that made me stop there in the doorway.

We usually only talked about “fun” things, never schoolwork or anything like that, but this time she seemed very serious, something was clearly on her mind. After a while she said, “Please don’t think less of me because of this (her relationship with this other guy). I ... I just don’t like to be alone.”

On other occasions she would joke about the song, Love the One You’re With, but on this rare occasion we had an honest moment.

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.

Day one in the new apartment (Broomfield, CO)

October 11, 2011: After moving from Alaska to Colorado I spent about ten days trying to decide to live, and was staying in two hotels, one on the south side of Denver (in the Denver Tech Center area) and another on the north side. On this day I made the decision to live northwest of Denver and east of Boulder, and moved into my first apartment in Broomfield, and made this post on Facebook:

“Day one in the new apartment, slept on the floor, and there’s nothing to eat. Planning skills are questionable. But the fireplace is nice.”

Lisa Scottoline’s writing is much better in Killer Smile

From LoriDuffWrites.com:

“One thing (Lisa) Scottoline is very good at, is something that many authors are not, and it is a pet peeve of mine. There is a rule in writing – if you put a gun on the mantelpiece in a scene, sometime later that gun needs to be fired. Red herrings are ok, but you can’t have irrelevant details or facts. Scottoline fires every single one of her guns, and that makes me happy.”

I didn’t like parts of Lisa Scottoline’s earlier books because she actually violated this “rule” quite a bit, but in her book, Killer Smile, she keeps the action moving and eliminates at least 90% of the “irrelevant details or facts” that I didn’t like in her earlier books. (Killer Smile is really good.)

If you can’t be brave, just be determined

I was listening to a book by Lisa Scottoline named Killer Smile, and a woman in her seventies told a woman in her late 20s or early 30s to be brave.

“I don’t know if I can be brave,” the younger woman replied.

“Don’t worry about that,” the older woman said. “If you can’t be brave, just be determined. And you’ll end up in the same place.”

That struck me as smart. I’ve often thought that I don’t know what brave is, but we all know what it is to be determined.

Mast cell activation disease vs histamine intolerance (differences)

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I’m pretty new to learning that I probably have Mast Cell Activation Disease (MCAD) — also known as Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) — and as I’m learning more about it, I’ve been wondering, “What is the difference between MCAS/MCAD and histamine intolerance?” In this article I’ll share what I’ve learned so far.

(Note: I take a little time to explain mast cell activation disease in this article. If you just want a quick overview, see the Summary section below.)

A Christmas Story

[From time to time I write little stories that have nothing to do with programming or technology; this is one of those stories. So, if you’re only here for the technology stuff, you’ll want to skip this one.]

I’m standing in the kitchen of a friend’s house at a Christmas party, making myself a drink while talking to a friend named Angie. This was nothing unusual; she and I were always talking about something. We became friends during our last year in high school, and we’ve been talking ever since.

In retrospect, it’s obvious that I have feelings for her, but I guess you could say that I didn’t appreciate her back then. After high school, my ambition took me away to college, and then to a series of jobs in different states. By the time I decided to move back home, she was married and had two young children.

While we talked all the time, this kitchen conversation was unusual. I don’t remember how it started, but Angie did ask me about something I rarely talk about: my parents getting divorced in high school.

Glen Frey, talking about Bob Seger and writing music

Bob was the first guy that wrote his own songs and recorded them that I had ever met. He said, “You know, if you want to make it, you’re gonna have to write your own songs.” And I said, “Well, what if they’re bad?” He said, “Well, they’re gonna be bad. You just keep writing and keep writing and eventually you’ll write a good song.”

~ Glen Frey, talking about Bob Seger and writing music

Taking a statin suppressed my MCAS symptoms (for the worse)

As a brief personal note, I just remembered that back during 2014-2017 when I went unconscious seven times — a process known as syncope, and pronounced sync-oh-pee — I would later find out that the reason I went unconscious is because I didn’t feel the initial symptoms of MCAS. Those initial symptoms were suppressed because I was taking a statin.

So while I was taking a statin I would feel sick, like I’d been poisoned, and then go unconscious in a process that took 2-15 minutes. But on September 1, 2016, I stopped taking the statin because of some things that happened in the previous days. To my surprise, after I stopped taking the statin I would feel bad from the MCAS much earlier in the process, and then I’d also get hives, rashes, and other symptoms hours before entering pre-syncope. This gave me an opportunity to take more medicine to avoid the actual syncope event.

So, my personal experience is that taking a statin suppressed the initial mast cell disease symptoms, and that led me to go directly to syncope events without first having hives, rashes, etc.

Speak to people in a way that ...

A friend posted this quote on Facebook recently: “Speak to people in a way that if they died the next day, you’d be satisfied with the last thing you said to them.”

It made me think that I was happy that Lori and I had a good relationship through Facebook, and that the last time I talked to Ben, he was showing me photos from a cruise that he took, and giving me advice if I should ever go on one.

The rawness of Peter Gabriel lyrics (Washing of the Water, etc.)

One of the things I love about Peter Gabriel’s music is how brutally honest his lyrics are. Sure, there’s imagery and metaphor and other things that make music great, but like these lyrics from Washing of the Water, the lyrics are just raw and emotive:

’til the washing of the water
Make it all alright
Let your waters reach me
Like she reached me tonight

Letting go, it’s so hard
The way it’s hurting now
To get this love untied
So tough to stay with thing
’cause if I follow through
I face what I denied
I get those hooks out of me
And I take out the hooks that I sunk deep in your side
Kill that fear with emptiness
Loneliness I hide

River, oh river, river running deep
Bring me something that will let me get to sleep
In the washing of the water will you take it all away
Bring me something to take this pain away