Monday, March 7, 2011


So, uh, good day, and welcome to the second entry in my reborn personal blog. Our topic today is 'metaphor' as you may be able to tell from the title bar up there.

Originally this was going to be about the daily injections I get to give myself. I couldn't come up with a good play on the title of the Neil Young song 'The Needle and the Damage Done', which I got in my head would be an amusing way to title that post. So I abandoned the whole idea. Couldn't work out how to get away from the 'damage' bit. After all, the injections are supposed to moderate some of the neurological symptoms of MS, not damage me. Although ... Ever wonder what it would feel like to carve the muscle off your lower arm with a filet knife? Hit a nerve while injecting and YOU TOO could have this ... wonderful ... sensation.

Metaphorically, anyway. No actual carving involved.

'Metaphor' was on my mind earlier today. I was on a message board, talking about Big Thoughts. You know, the Big Thoughts you discuss at 4 AM hanging out with friends when you SHOULD be sleeping or studying or something but the darn Big Thoughts keep thudding at your skull demanding to be set free ...

No? Maybe that's just me then.

Anyway, that earlier message board discussion was about using one bad thing as an a metaphor for a seperate thing to make the point that thing 2 was itself bad as well. Overall consensus was that it was best to speak from personal experience and not use (for example) genocide  imagery.

I wholeheartedly agreed. Well, wholeheartedly in part.

See the two-ton canary in the corner? (Which is how I say 'elephant in the room'. Gotta work those creative writing skills you know!)

What if the metaphor comes from personal experience?

The obvious example for me being disability related.

Except none of the people on the board know I have a disability. It's pretty obvious when you meet me wheeling my way down the hallway or whatever. But online ... It's only words you see and most of the time those words have nothing to do with impairment or health or ability or disability. If it's not germane to the conversation I don't mention it, and 99.5% of the time it isn't.

But then there's that .5% when it is relevant.

So I get to do the 'big reveal'. Which isn't that big to me. I live with a disability. It is what it is. That's all. Like Popeye. It is what it is and that's all that it is.

Although I don't usually reference Popeye. 'You play the hand you're dealt' is what I say. Nice metaphor. True, bit of a cliche, but it's one I've used for 4 or so years.

But today something new happened. As I typed the phrase guess what popped in to my thoughts unbidden and unwanted? 'The Gambler'. The 80s pop-country Kenny Rogers tune.

Dang it.

"You gotta know when to hold 'em" Hopefully one chorus and this stupid song will get outta my head. "Know when to fold 'em" Love to discard this song, Mr. Imaginary Kenny Rogers. Really. "Know when to walk away" Uh ... ain't happening Kenny. I'm not down with the whole ambulatory scene any more. "Know when to run" STILL AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!

Then I thought (once Kenny was done) ... I have a rail in my tub so I don't fall down and crack open my skull ... bars around my toilet, also for skull-cracking-open-avoidence ... why not adapted imaginary pop-country tunage? "Know when to wheel away ..." Yeah I kinda like that. "Know when to wheel away really really fast because a big guy with a handlebar mustache wants to kick your butt ..." OK, last bit needs some work.

And then I spent the next half hour giggling to myself.

So that's today's blog post. It has all the elements a piece of writing should have, except I skimp on the ... what's it called? The bit after the climax. The rolling over and falling asleep. Except in literary terms.

Oh yeah. Resolution. That's it.

So this kind of ends up being like the stories kids write in elementary school. You know. They go at the start something happened.
Then something else.
Then another thing.
the end.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blog Reborn!

Yikes. Have I really ignored this blog for over a year?

Well, BBODS is back on the air!

Or however ya wanna say it. You know what I mean.

Except now I'm focusing. No more "now for something completely different." One topic, or topical "universe" - my experiences and thoughts about having Multiple Sclerosis.

Actual substantive posts to follow :)

Oh, yeah, I'm mirroring this blog on Facebook soon as I work out how. So if you're reading this on FB I've figured it out.


Monday, November 23, 2009

17 1/2 years

A couple times on thiis blog I've mentioned my friend Beth whom I haven't seen in 17 1/2 years. Strike that. 2 days. Here's the proof:

So what can we learn from this?

1) I have photography issues.


2) The universe is wackier than we realize!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


OK, so this is the 3rd or 4th post I've done called 'chair'. Lazy lazy lazy ... From the 'Fight Multiple Sclerosis' group on Facebook:

Any other wheelers out there? I've been using a wheelchair since April. Been a mostly positive experience so far ....

That doesn't mean it doesn't suck sometimes, because sometimes it does. In particular I have developed a near irrational hatred of stairs. Never knew I could feel so strongly about a simple, common, architectural feature.

My neuro says I probably should have started using one 2 years ago and he's probably correct. Just stubbornness and fear of social stigma on my part, I guess.

One thing that I've learned that should have been obvious (I'll use all caps because it is kind of important): USING A WHEELCHAIR DOESN'T MAKE A PERSON MORE DISABLED. Quite the opposite, really. Now that I use a chair I have more energy, can get around better (if stairs don't get in my way) ... If you use a functional definition of disability with a more-less scale, I am LESS disabled than I was in March. Three is a mental shift involved, but it has been well worth it.

Anyway, my 'ride' is an Invacare 9000 XT (manual), custom purple paint job. I haven't done any mods yet. I use it at work so I have the constraint of looking at least somewhat professional - no bumper stickers :( . I rigged up a rope on it so I can drag it up and lower it down the stairs to my apartment (yes, I *am* moving soon!) I want to rig up a beeper thing so I can beep like trucks do backing up, but I haven't quite figured that out.

But not to turn this in to a car show :) ...

So, what is you experience with wheelchairs? Anyone nervous about what experience they might have? I'll fess up here, I really started this topic hoping to provide provide a more complete view of them - not just one steeped in FUD - fear, uncertainty, doubt (that's a technophile acronym :) ). Although there's nothing wrong with those feelings. Lord knows I had my share.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


From Facebook ... 'Craig' is my buddy who asked the question, 'Beth' I've mentioned before ...

Craig asked 'What's the deal with the beard? What's the story>' There IS a story of sorts, but not room for it in a little comment box.So I'm putting it in this note ...

A long long time ago in a galaxy far far away ....

OK, I'm being melodramatic. Not so long ago. The summer of '91 to be exact. And not so far away. Just northern Minnesota. Lake Itasca. I was studying at the U of M's Lake Itasca Field Biological Station.

So I'm in the woods. And I'm a guy. So I did what many guys do in the woods (no, not pee. Well, I did that too occasionally. But I'm talking about not shaving). So I let my beard grow. Of course I could have started shaving again when I returned to civilization. But ...

Something happened. I'd put some dramatic music here, but a typed up little story isn't really a place I can do that. It'll have to wait for the movie adaptation. For now, use you imagination.

Anyway, where were we? Oh yeah, something happened. Ba-bum-dah! The Breakup.

Beth and I broke up. I capitalize it because it really was sort of a capital letter type event. I found myself doing a lot of the navel-gazing self involved self reflection moping around that ordinarily annoys the daylights out of me. Continuing to wear the beard was just part of that.

So I wasn't in the best of shape. I got better. But the beard stayed. The reason isn't as dramatic as the story so far. I just liked the way it looked. Plus, it was a lot more convenient not shaving. Just trim it every once and a while ...

At this point folks are probably thinking I must not be very good at trimming. For 16 years I kept my beard fairly short. Then, two years ago, it happened: possibly the most mundane event in this entire tale ...

No imaginary dramatic music here folks. When I say mundane I mean just that. I lost my scissors.

Buh-ba-ah stuff it. Silly. I should mention this is silly too. I stopped trimming my beard because I lost my scissors and was slow to replace them.

It's sort of a defining characteristic now, though. I'm the guy with the big stupid beard. When I think of the other ways people could define me ... I'm cool with that.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Kinda been neglecting BBODS lately. Been fairly active on other forums. Often simply run out of time.

Currently have a number of conversations going:

On a forum for vegetarians: a discussion of feminism and ethical vegetarianism that has sort of gotten away from me. Two factions are sniping at each other on the topic of ... poverty. Most of the conversations I'm involved in there are not quite so contentious, having more to do with the nitty-gritty of food: cooking,, recipes, ingredients, technique ....

On a forum about disability issues, conversations about, well, duh, disability issues!

On a forum about MS, currently no 'hot' topics, but I've been meaning to start a wheelchair topic ....

On Facebook, various and sundry 'hanging out with friends' things ...

In the interest of keeping up with this blo, I'll occasionally repost something I wrote for somewhere else ...

First one tomorrow. From Facebook, "The Beard".

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Zero Day

Countdown day zero ... So 20 years = 240 months = 7305 days = how long I've been a vegetarian.