28 April 2008


In my haste yesterday, I forgot to add something that I wanted to start. Since music is so expressive, can capture a mood, a feeling. I thought I would do my artist of the week. So to speak. Can't say how long it will last but my tastes range far and wide.

This week . . . Leonard Cohen.

Been around for fourty years, but I think his songs are timeless. Three favorate come to mind: Hallelujah, If It Be Your Will, Everybody Knows. Hallelujah has been covered quite a bit, but Jeff Buckley certainly had the best version. It's been featured in movies and TV the last few years. Jason Castro did it this year on American Idol.

The last two were in Pump Up the Volume. Including a cover version of Everybody Knows by Concrete Blonde. Both are equally good in their own respects.

27 April 2008

"Maybe It's Just in Your Mind" - A Working Title

Today I am sore.

I know mind over matter is a big thing. Having a positive mental attitude can't keep depression away, but it can make have less of an impact. How does that apply to the physical? Is it possible for a person that is paralyzed to be able to learn to walk again? Of course it is. It happens all the time. I've known a quadraplegic game some use and motor function.

How does that all apply to myself. I've had myelitis for over a year and it's only been since last August since it got bad. Before the steroids and solumedrol any activity just made it worse. Coordination went out the window, physical prowess dropped to close to zero. I thought I was going to not be able to do anything but work out. Not entirely a bad thing, but for someone that would play soccer, tennis, and volleyball all in the same day, it's certainly a change in lifestyle.

Yesterday I played volleyball for about four hours. Two of which wasn't really serious and the other two not quit competative. Aside from a lot of rust, it wasn't bad at all. It didn't seem like I had a loss of speed or coordination or its that my body has just gotten used to what I have to deal with or both. Memory tells you how you used to play but your body forgets. Working out certainly helps, but playing volleyball for so long, my muscle memory is set in its ways.

Afterwards was a little rough. Either the numbness/tingling really makes my feet hurt because of the pounding or I need new shoes. The knees were a little tired. Today I sore, but not as sore as I thought I was going to be.

The rest of last week was just a normal as a week should have been. Three shots, one of which hurt like hell. Forgot to take it of the refrigerator, so it was only out about 15 minutes and I held in my hand for another 10. It hurt enough for me to say "OW" aloud.

19 April 2008

Apathy . . . Ah . . . Who cares.

Yes . . . It's been two weeks since I've written anything about what has been going on. Frankly, as the title suggests, I just really haven't cared to do much of anything. I haven't really worked out in a couple weeks. I changed my workout schedule and it didn't really work. There doesn't seem to be a lot of people who go to the gym that I belong to. Monday is always the busiest day. It' funny that people think going to the gym is going to fix what they did over the weekend. Anyway, I used to go Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. For some reason I kept Saturday and Sunday but changed to Wednesday and Thursday.

Bad idea.

Turns out that I need to get off my ass at the beginning of the week or by the time Wednesday rolls around, I have no motivation to do anything. Last week, I wasn't really motivated to do much of anything. I had every intention of working out on Wednesday, had my truck parked out in front and then came up with every excuse why I wasn't going to go.


I get easily annoyed with blatant stupidity. Understandably, certain situations are excusable. Yesterday, St. Louis was jolted with a 5.2 strength earthquake at 4:37 in the morning. Granted everyone that was aware of was woken up by it. This has been the strongest quake in about 30 years. Granted peoples memories are pretty short, but that doesn't excuse blatant stupidity.

All the earthquakes that have happened in my life, I was either on the road or asleep. This one, I think either my internal warning alarm went off or the the initial shaking woke me up. First thought was that since a rail line is close by, it was a damn heavy train. Except my bed wasn't rattling or vibrating, it was actually moving back and forth. Just to confirm, I turned off my air purifier and didn't hear a train. In typical guy fashion, if it wasn't a train, it had to be an earthquake. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. After about 15 seconds of shaking, it still wasn't over. So I took a pillow put it over my head in case the ceiling fell and did go back to sleep.

Of course, the only topic of conversation at work was the earthquake. Enter the dance of the stupid people. "I didn't know what it was, " "I thought it was the wind," "I thought a truck was passing by," "I didn't find out it was an earthquake until I saw the news."

It just amazes me how people don't use that gray mass of mush under their hair and have to rely on being spoon fed information. I am not the most intellectual of people when I first wake up and especially when it's a sudden wake up, but if I can put 2 & 2 together. . .

There was an MS Walk last weekend and one of the people I work with was kind enough to bring me a care package. Actually, it was what was given out to everyone that walked. Funny enough, it's all stuff from the drug company that makes Rebif, which is what I take. Included was a small backpack with Rebif on it, a bright yellow t-shirt with Rebif on it, a yellow neck cooler with Rebif on it, then pamphlets on how the drug company assists those how have trouble paying the outrageous cost of the drug.

Nothing like free advertising and nothing like advertising you or someone you know has MS. Yes, I am being cynical again.

There's really nothing new to report. The myelitis changes every day and as usual, no signs of MS.

07 April 2008

Philosophy 201?

Time for a bit of philosophy since I haven't waxed poetically in a while. Some thoughts came to me and they were those thoughts that only come late at night.

What defines us?

Is it our actions? or is what we say? or is it both.

What defines you?

A previous entry made use of the word hypocrite. Saying one thing and doing the opposite.

Actions or words?

For most of us, actions are both a public and private thing. But it's such a duplicitous thing because the same act in public can mean the complete opposite in private. Words on the other hand are just the opposite: mostly private sometimes public.

Is it words or is it actions?

Dichotomy - a division or the process of dividing into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities

What's the difference between public and private perception? Does it matter? What's worse: the things we do in public or our actions in private. I think that we delude ourselves with the deceptions that we create in our own lives. When we let people in, they get to know us sometimes the very perceptive know us better than ourselves. In poker, it's called a tell. We are creatures of habit, but back to the question at hand . . .

Actions or words?

I have always thought that "Actions speak louder than words" is half true. Actions: public; words: private. I think the two go hand in hand. I can talk out my ass, but unless I back it up, the words are empty. Words are important, words have meaning.

Enter Dichotomy again.

Think of the feelings evoked when someone says "I love you." How much meaning do those words carry after the the hundredth time, the two hundredth? At some point do we want those words to be backed up by actions? Does love come with a price tag? or is it just the simpleness of an act.

Let not the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken.


She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that 's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes . . .

Are those words that were penned 400 or 200 years ago carry any less weight than a flower given unexpectedly?

Actions or Words?

There are a ton of platitudes for actions and words. Are there any for both? I have always thought if I give my word and fail to back it up what use are my words or lack of action? If you say you are going to do something and then don't do it, how many times are people going to put their trust in you. You can only treat people like a doormat for so often before they aren't going to take it. Unfortunately, people don't like to admit their mistakes. It's always the fault of someone else," you've changed, you just don't see it."

Do we consider ourselves to be a just and moral person? Do we do what is right or do we do what is right now?

Actions or Words?

05 April 2008

"One small step for Steve . . ."

This past week has been kind of up and down. We've tried this thing at work for the last 18 months that just hasn't work. Probably with all things "corporate" and hierarchical command structures I can make a blanket statement because it probably accurate. We can all watch "Office Space" and find someone we can identify with or something.

With any problem that's "corporate" a group is organized to study the problem and come up with solutions. When that isn't working, another group is started to study the group to find out why they aren't coming up with solutions. In the meantime, another group is started to study the original problem. By this time, the original problem has grown beyond the grasps of those studying the problem and taken on a life of its own. Instead of analyzing what is going on, the powers that be decide that just solve the problem by destroying that which created the problem and coming up with an entire new way. Instead of studying this new way before putting it into action, it's the ol' jump right in method. Which creates a new set of problems which takes us back to the beginning when all these new problems crop up.

When this new system was put into place, it was evident from early on that we had to few people and to much work. Fast forward to now where two teams are fully staffed and the team that I am on is still the same five people. Now add to the mix that all overtime now has to be approved. This lead to a meeting where we were told our processes are not working and we need to change. Big F'ing surprise. I've been saying that for 18 months to know avail.

Now on to the rest of the week. Shots went good. Monday's were typical, Tuesday's achy. Surprising, Wednesday was as well. Friday, I hit a vein and the thing wouldn't stop bleeding. Mangina that I didn't want to be, put on a band aid, then mangina that I really didn't want to be had to rip it off and the multitude of leg hair came with it. Those from my past would have been proud of how many hairs they could have ripped with it. ;-)

I also touch a volleyball for the first time since August. I really had my doubts and still have them. I had been on my feet since 1:00 today. Usually, when I am on my feet for that long, the myelitis really flares up. I did manage to sit down for about 60 minutes before playing and it did help. I wasn't so worried about getting to the ball. I already know that my mobility isn't going to be what it was. Age wise, I may soon to be 36, but I'm probably 50. The thing that scares me the most is hitting. If you can't jump, what's the point of playing a sport where it's a requirement.

With any athlete, there's a double edge sword: if you leave at the top of your game, there's always the question of what might have been; if you leave on the downward spiral, you are always trying to regain what you had and that's not going to happen and people say you should have left earlier.

I know that I haven't been at the top of my game for a while. A volleyball player's prime is between 26 - 28. Looking back on it, mine was between 27 - 30. I won the most tourney's then than all the previous years added up together. I've slowly stepped away from the game and I did it on my terms until this. The sport that's in my heart has been denied to me. I think the hardest thing for an athlete is not to leave on their own terms.

I know I can still play after today, but no where near where I used to be. The question is do I discover a new me in volleyball and erase the memory of what used to be or walk away completely.