Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It Has Been Long Time Since I Published A Blog Post (Did That Sound Like A Led Zeppelin Song)

It has not been a long time since I have written, most weeks I manage to some write something and indeed some weeks I am prolific, I have some thirty odd posts that I have not published.  Then you may ask yourself what is the deal?

There are a lot of deals and you knew that before asking, I mean really what in life is simple?  So I have a couple of options. Number one I could bitch about how my brain refuses to allow for decent copy editing most days and the stuff I turn out is usually in desperate need of copy editing and then that would proceed into bitching about how some days I can just not muster enough of, well for lack of a better word ganas.

Ganas is a Spanish word that does not directly translate into English. Depending on the situation it can be poorly translated as desire, forward, want, things of that nature but none of those really it do it justice.  My friends that are fluent in Spanish know what I am talking about and everybody else is lost and to bring the lost back on to the path and for the those that are not lost make sure they know where we are going forward.

I only use the word ganas in one way when speaking to anyone in any language.  Fire, like the fire of passion.  Language fails me here either from my lack of mastery or its' lack of ability but the result is the same, every time I try and write about the fire of ganas it comes up short.  It is basic and primal, fire for today, fire for tomorrow.

Much like the triangle of fire from my boy scout days the fire of ganas is made up of three parts.  The spiritual, physical and mental make up the three parts.  It is not an equilateral triangle and it is not a total sum game, meaning there is no number system that describes it.  You are not trying to get to 300 and some days it is 200 from faith and 100 mental and other days it is 100 from each, it definitely does not work like that.  Anywho after a paragraph of trying to describe it I have managed to tell you several things it is not, I think it might be me falling short and not the English language.

I think it this time I am going to let you the reader use your understanding of what it is not to imagine what it is.  Also throw in some Jiminy Cricket just for some spice because there is spice in ganas.

Aside:  I like similes and metaphors, there I have said it out loud.  I know everyone already knew this but the first step is admitting you have a problem.

After all that I have not mentioned Led Zeppelin or what ganas has to do with posting on my blog, I think you are probably smart enough to figure it out but just in case you are not.  The title is going to have to be enough clever Led Zeppelin talk for today and below I will try and bring the Ganas around to why I have not posted in almost a month, wow I do suck I am sorry but can I use the sick card?  I am sick I swear....

Ganas

The past while has been hard for me physically, I am often reluctant to talk about the details because I hate reading those blogs where there person relays how sick they are get off in some Munchhausen By-proxy Syndrome kind of way from people reading their story and feeling sorry for them.  I write this to document my successes and struggles with the twofold benefit that I release it from my mind and during that process I sometimes learn something and other times it is just a release that it is now somewhere else and not just in my mind.  The other benefit is that I hope I help people, I hope I help a lot of people but even if I just help the few I know about that is enough.

Aside:  When I was first diagnosed with sarcoidosis there was a blog that I read and related to and it gave me a lot of comfort during some hard times (i.e. existentialist angst at the thought of my potential demise).  The guy writing that blog died so again I will pledge to do my best to not die.

This has been a little bit rambling and I am in doubt of its overall coherence but I will try and wrap it up here.  My faith is God has been strong.  My spiritual health has wavered in the past, I have an understanding of the spiritual purpose for my pain but some days my pain wears against my understanding like understanding is sandstone and my pain is water and my understanding can slowly be washed away.  My wife does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to reestablish my faith but I have also been lucky to have a relationship with a Deacon from my church who has helped with the heavy lifting and has given me tools that I can use to lift myself up.

All rightly then that was a little off topic but I am going to leave it in, I think there might have been a good simile in there. 

Over the past while that I have not posted there have been different problems with my ganas so to speak.  Mostly it has been physical but it would be a lie to say that I have not had weakness in the mind or the spirit.  There are days where my mind has no desire to process anything, i.e. information, emotions, Judge Judy, I mean anything.  I do not know if your mind can really get tired but there are days where my mind is too tired to push anything onto the virtual paper.  I don't like to think about it much by my physical decline has affected my mind in ways I still do not want to consider but for the sake of my current unrealistic world view I would still like to treat my mind as being completely separate from my body.

I think I am ashamed to say that some days the spirit is not willing.  It is not as easy to quantify as physical or mental and I am aware of how nebulous those are.  There is never a day that I doubt my faith but there are days that my spirit finds my faith lacking.  It is not a failing in my Church but a failing in me.  In its simplest terms there are days when I feel the world collapsing and I ask why me?  I will not get a satisfactory answer to this question why I am alive and the petulant child in me lacks patience.

Everyday that anyone gets up and does anything is a wonder, congratulate yourself, someday life is harder than others but you get by and move from day to day and some days that is a miracle.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Passive Aggressive Attack Platform (The Star Wars of emotional warfare, Star Wars from Reagen not Lucas)

PAAP

Passive
Aggressive
Attack
Platform

I have talked about what I wanted this blog to accomplish, but let us just keep it real right now.  When this blog started it was just like 90% of the blogs out there, meaning it was just a way for me to bitch about people and like most people that bitch about other people I was too much of a punk ass bitch to name names.

If you don't name names using your blog (PAAP) to communicate is like trying to shoot someone with your eyes closed, it is possible to hit your target but not likely.  I talked about this in an earlier post Your so vain I bet you think this blog is about you?.  Apparently it struck a cord with the reading public because it was by far and away my most popular post of 2014.

The good news is I am not going to name names if I have something to communicate I will contact the person I wish to communicate it to directly.  What has caused this change?  It turns out I am the Kwisatz Haderach, okay I am not the Kwisatz Haderach but I am something quite close, I am sick and I have faced my mortality (death) and laughed, well maybe not laughed in as much as I smiled slightly, that is probably more accurate.

Now for everyone that reads my blog for veiled insinuation directed at people that are close to me do not worry I still have something for you.  If I have some horrible interaction with someone I will describe said horrible interaction in Technicolor detail (480p).  Full disclosure as to not get your hopes up, I do not have a lot of horrible interactions anymore.

How can this be?  I am still not the Kwisatz Haderach but I have gained some wisdom over the past five years of being sick, not seven years in Tibet mind you, but you can learn quite a bit from five years of being sick.  The main thing I have learned is something I have known for my whole adult life.  Peoples past behavior is the best indicator of their future behavior.

The subtle nuance (it is not really subtle or a nuance, I am just emotionally slow and learn emotional stuff the hard way, which means I have to learn it over and over again before it really sinks in) that I have discovered is, no matter how your life and circumstances of your life change that does not change that people's past behavior is the best indicator of their future behavior.

What it all comes down to (Alanis Morrisette) is my chronic illness (sarcoidosis) and the life altering and potentially life taking aspects of sarcoidosis changed me and changed what I need and want from the people around me.  It did not change the people around me in the same way.  I am not saying it did not change the people around me, all right, I will come out and say it: the people that you wanted to be there for you, but were never there for you are still not going to be there for you.

People that suck before you got sick are still going to suck even after you are sick.

People may change and people may surprise you, but they probably won't so give them the opportunity to surprise you, but don't mortgage the house on the possibility.

PS

You ever feel like you are overwhelmed with being sick and with all that it entails and entrails for that matter?  The people you could rely on before you got sick, you know the people that did not suck before you got sick, they are probably overwhelmed too, so give them a little breathing room and allow them to grieve the loss of your health with you and try not to burn them out.  Living sick is hard, but loving the sick is harder still, at least on an emotional level.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Only The Shadow Knows (Nostalgia Ahead)

My dad had a small house and when my sisters and I would stay with him I had to sleep in my dads bed with him.  Other than the snoring I did not mind and we would listen to the radio as we would fade into the static of sleep.  On Sunday nights we would listen to replays of old time radio shows like The Shadow, Boston Blackie, Rocky Jordan, X Minus One, Johnny Dollar, Duffy's Tavern and I could keep listing and listing but I won't.

They would play two episodes from two different shows and they would follow along from week to week until the storyline had finished, there were some stand alone episodes but most were shows of that time were serial in nature.  Even before the TV it was still about ads and they wanted everyone to tune in each week to hear the ads.  Before Orson Wells had the Mercury Theater Playhouse it was the Campbell's soup Playhouse.  The preceding has been a side-note brought to you by my wandering mind, thank you and remember to tune in next week and remember to buy blue coal, it is colored a harmless blue color at the mine so you know you are getting the finest in Pennsylvanian Anthracite.  That Last bit is from memory, but I think it is pretty close, Blue Coal sponsored The Shadow which was one of my favorite shows.

In a lot of ways my dad was a hard man, he was a child of depression for better and worse.  When I was a child, my dad didn't say he loved me and we did not hug or kiss, but me and my dad would go to sleep listening to old time radio and it was good and it was warm and fuzzy and Norman Rockwell could have painted it for the over of the Saturday Evening Post.

My dad bought an old trailer home and put it out on some property he had in Skull Valley Utah.  There was no electricity or running water, but it was a significant upgrade from a tent.  The whole family would go out there from time to time, but as me and my siblings got older that time to time became less and less for everyone but my dad and I.  We did not initially have a TV, but my dad had an old short wave radio we would listen to the radio and play cribbage by the light of some camping flashlight and I am sure that Norman could have found some inspiration there.

My childhood was pretty shitty.  It was shitty enough that even with pseudo-anonymity that this forum provides I will probably not document the shit of it for the world.  I may put shit to paper in twenty years or so but not now.

Why the juxtaposition between the Norman Rockwell moments and the ambiguous shit moments that I speak of?  I am aging and I think I am aging at a pace that is faster than most.  The sick are quick to age, not quick at much else but definitely quick to age and as I speed away from the day my dad died I remember everything about his life as it wrapped around mine.  There was good and there was bad, I have to be careful here because I think I am slowly writing a bad Paul McCartney song, but as I age, I find myself missing my father and looking back at the good times with my father with nostalgia and the bad times are there but they are in the background like a poorly lit scrim with some out of focus gobos.

I see people focus on the bad and become bitter and unhappy, I see people deny the bad exists and live in constant fear that they will be forced to remove their heads from the sand and then there is what I have done.  Is my way the best?  Only The Shadow Knows.

I thought about ending it there, but it seemed like a cop out so here is a couple more lines...

I have denied and I have been bitter and I have focused on the good and become nostalgic about my father and I am happiest being nostalgic.  I am still saying prayers for my father in purgatory because I have not forgotten the bad, but hell he is dead and nostalgia is fun (as long as it is not some hipster being ironic, I still wish I was well some days just so I could punch me a hipster or two).  I have nostalgia for a bit of the ultra-violence as well, but that does not belong here, so remember nostalgia is mostly good, especially about people from your past.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rip Van Winkle Could Have Used Some Meth And Other Fairy Tales (I Have Missed Many Nows)

I did not post a post last week, I know that my three regular readers noticed.  I have been ill and not like the ill from the Beastie Boys album Ill Communication.  I am not the sickest I have ever been (I know no one is tired of hearing that!) but I am pretty sick.

Over the last two weeks I managed to start two blog posts, but made little progress on both.  The cause of this is not going to be a surprise, it is the sarcoidosis and the flare there of.  Specifically, I have been doing some sleeping, Rip Van Winkle style.

I started having trouble with severe fatigue shortly after being diagnosed.  At the beginning my body still had some resiliency, but after five years it is not just my mind that is being worn down, the body has followed along for the ride.

Over the last two weeks I was awake eight hours or less each day.  It has been hard on me, my wife and my cat.  That is bad, but unfortunately it gets worse, those eight hours were not quality hours.  There have been days where I have not left the bedroom.  My hygiene has gone out the window (some out the door). 

I hate being dirty and the only thing I hate more than being dirty is being smelly and over the last two weeks I was dirty and smelly more days than not.  My joints and muscles have been uncooperative in my quest to be clean, on one occasion my wife had to bring me my toothbrush and a couple of cups because I was unable to brush at the sink let alone shower.

I have a doctors appointment next week, I am going in with no expectations.  Back in the day when I had full control over my faculties I read studies and traveled out of state to see specialties and blah, blah, blah.  The upshot is I have a rare disease and there are no new treatments.  I wake up each morning, take an inventory of my body and I try to make a plan to have some joy that day. 

I do have one expectation for the doc, maybe some symptom relief, maybe...

All right bringing it back around to Rip Van Winkle, he slept and the world passed him by.  Time does not exist and only the now is real, that being said I prefer to be awake for the nows.  Now take a step back with me and I will say that being sick for the past five years I feel like Rip Van Winkle because the world does pass you by when you can not get out of the house or interact with it.

The past couple of weeks this has become really apparent, like watching an ant through a microscope, that is right not a magnifying glass a microscope.  I feel like I have missed many nows.  I have been going through a sick phase since Christmas and for my Catholic posse the worst part of this is that I have been unable to attend mass since I left early on Christmas.  Being sick sucks, being sick and asleep sucks, being sick and not being able to go to church sucks, being sick and missing time with your wife sucks.

Being sick sucks. 

This post is not as fleshed out as I would like because I am sick and that sucks too.

PS

The cat is not getting enough attention and she has let me know, no sympathy from the cat and I think that might be a good thing.