Saturday, September 29, 2007


On Tuesday while I was waiting after work for my bus to arrive a guy came up to me and struck up a conversation. I wouldn't wish multiple sclerosis on my worst enemy, but I kind of hope this guy has it.

No, I'm not being nasty. Read on.

He started talking to me because he saw that I was using a walker and, since some day he may be doing the same, he had some questions about how it was working out. He has been experiencing fairly rapid deteriation in the muscles that are used in walking - thus the curiousity about the walker. His doctors have presented rapid-onset MS as a possible explanation.

But this is just a better-case scenario. Of course his symptoms may just be transient. A temporary glitch in our imperfect universe. That is the best-case scenario. So, if we perchance don't have that best case, what other possibilities are there?

One possibility, as I've mentioned, is MS. Another possibility put forward by his doctors is ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Most folks today are probably more familiar with Stephen Hawking as someone with ALS.

From my perspective as someone with MS it seems vastly preferable to ALS. Both can be debilitating to be sure. There is one big difference though - folks can have MS for years The average life expectancy of someone with ALS is 3-5 years after onset of the disease. Of course this is just expectancy. Individual results may vary.

Even still, seems like a pretty major 'Sword of Damocles'-type thing.

Yes, MS sucks. I wouldn't, as I said, wish it on my worst enemy. I can't imagine a perspective where it is not a better possibility than ALS.

At least I don't feel like I have an expiration date.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gore Gore Girls/Fun Fun Fun


I should be all over this band like white on rice. Just look at some highlights from reviews posted by their record label:

"Rollicking girlie guitar-and-handclaps in the vein of Holly Golightly, the Chalets and the Pipettes." Playboy

"Detroit garageists sound like the gum-popping, guitar-toting granddaughters of Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys?" USA Today

"While the Raveonettes have successfully reawakened the dreamy, girl-group soulfulness of the ?50s and ?60s, the Gore Gore Girls are here to remind us there was a raw, rebellious side to that era as well. Get the Gore is a rollicking blast from the past ? a sound like go-go dancers emerging from the garage." Nuvo Weekly

A couple of notes here:

I've never heard The Chalets. Looks like I have some homework to do.

The Raveonettes did a show in Minneapolis. I checked out samples of them on the net, was unimpressed, decided against going. I'll look again, though.

Notice the Playboy review mentions my current musical obsession The Pipettes.

I guess "50s and 60s" is technically correct for girl group, but the 50s part - well, really late 50s.

But I'm not a huge fan yet. Not a detractor, just not a fan. Intrigued enough to keep listening, though.


So I'm buying a cellphone. I'm always on top of this sort of thing :) Figuring out WHAT I'm getting, within the constraints that I have, has been quite a bit of fun. Think I've settled on the Cingular 8125 (which is a rebranded HTC Wizard ...) Looks like I'll be able to do pretty much everything I want it to do. Making phone calls is not very high on the list of wants, but pretty high on the list of needs.


So, this post needed to be more in the light/happy vein. Why? The next post is kind of a downer again. It happens. And I've experienced Daffy Duck levels of frustration this past week. Even so, my primary concerns have been with the music I listen to and the cellphone I'm picking up, so there ya go.

'Perspectives' is next.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Baked goods

More baked goods!

I came home from work the other day and hanging from my apartment door was a plastic grocery bag. Inside: a loaf of Chedder-Jalapeno Foccacia. A mysterious loaf of bread!

The source was plain to see - the manager of my apartments gave me rides to the grocery store while I was getting the whole transportation/grocery thing worked out after loosing my license, and one thing I picked up pretty much without fail was a loaf of that bread. She thought it would be a nice gesture to surprise me with some.

And it was. Certainly an unexpected one.

I guess that is the upside to the stuff I've dealt with the past few months. People just sort of spontaneously give me baked goods.


I've been connecting the dots lately. Two seemingly very diverse styles of music are pretty much my favorites: girl group and hardcore. Digging deeper I've managed to come up with connections I hadn't realized before. Superficial and not-so superficial. But that desrves several posts of its own. And it'll get them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I've visited New York City once, in the mid-ninties. I anda few others were inNewark for a conference and took a day trip in to NYC, taking the train across the river to the World Trade Center.

When we got there we went to the desk at the WTC staffed by a woman whose job it was to guide us towards the attractions of the city. "So", she asked, "What are tou looking to do in New York?"

I replied, "I want to buya bagel from a street vendor."

She looked at me like I had just sprouted spots. Unusual request, I guess. But she quickly recovered and instructed usto walk in pretty much any direction and we would come across a stand within a block or less. Which we did, and I had my bagel.

I sometimes wonder if she had to work on this day 6 years ago.

Profundity is where you find it. Many were awed by the WTC when the towers came down. Or by the cost in lives.

The thing that resonated with me is that I had eaten there. In a very real way this personalized 9/11 for me. A connection was there that I could not have felt had I merely watched events unfold on TV.

I considered many ways I could bounce various topics off today being 9/11, but decided to leave it at that and one small request:

Have kids? Hug them extra tight today.
Someone you are close to? Same thing.
Do something nice for someone.

And then (this part is optional, but symbolic) ...

... share a bagel.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What are you listening to II? (Ants)

It wasn't accidental that I left off last entry mentioning that Patti Smith song. But hold on to that thought ... I have other concerns for the moment.

None of those concerns have to do with ballet. "to II". "tutu". Get it? But I'm not playing. Completely an accident.

But, anyway, welcome to yet another rambling music-related entry. It's just like school except hopefully more entertaining.

Speaking of school-type stuff, I learned this week that 102 species of ants are recognized as regular residents here in Minnesota! 102! Amazing, because I can vaguely come up with 4: little black ones, little red ones, medium-size black ones, and big (for an ant) black ones. What is out in the world we live in never ceases to amaze me. Guess I hung on to that sense-of-wonder we all had when we were much younger Sometimes this stuff just makes me stop and go "whoa" ...

I realize I'm pushing the envelope on "interesting" here.

I said I was gonna talk about music, not ants. But my computer is running hot. Think I have to lay off here and figure out why ...

Oh, yeah. Pipettes.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

What are you listening to?

My coworker Amber has a blog. One thing about her host that is really neat is that you can tell readers what music you've been listening to. I mean, I could do that too, but on her host it is 'built in'. This inspires me to let all of you out in the blogosphere in on what I'VEbeen listening to. That, and the fact that I've just learned how to embed YouTube video on here and want to play around with that.

First, the guys. Probably 3/4 of what I listen to has female vocals. Except hardcore/punk/whatever. Some of myf avorites in that genre have the ladies front and center (FUAL for one, and I'd be surprised if that is NOT the first mention of that group on the net ...) But anyway, older Bad Religion has been in my CD player as of late.

Here is some:

Now it's the ladies' turn. The angelic voices, the dulcet tones of female vocalists ...

That will seem really funny at the end of the post.

I already linked to one Pipettes tune - here is another.

And we can't forget Patti Smith. A few posts ago I asked how I got to be 37 and not own any Patti Smith stuff. I've since rectified that situation, and Patti is in fairly heavy rotation on my personal playlist. Here is a low-key vrsion of my favorite song:

And finally some Arch Enemy. Normally I dislike 'I just gargled with Draino' vocals, but ...

So what's the common thread? These songs inspire dancing, or at least motion. Well, that Patti Smith one not so much. But one of her few chart 'hits' was about dancing ...

The Bunny Story

A vignette more than story.

But still we pack 3 protagonists into it, short as it may be.

First, of course, is me. It's my blog after all. I play the dispassionate observer. Funny how often that happens. For such an emotional guy, that is. Just watching and making a hypothesis.

Second, the observed. The bunnies. (Hop hop). At one time, they would ... cavort ... doing bunny stuff ... on the empty field near my workplace. I'd watch their antics while I was waiting for the short bus to take me home each evening.

Third, a hawk, the villian of the tale. Although there really isn't a villian. This isn't a fable. Critters are not moral agents, for the most part. (Anyone who has lived with a dog who pooped on the floor because he felt slighted knows what 'for the most part' means.)

So now we have the observer, the observed, and a third party. The observation: I haven't seen the bunnies in a while.

The hypothesis:

The hawk ate 'my' bunnies.