Doc says I’ll live a while longer…

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Results of my annual physical are in.

By all the usual standards, I’m alive!

Nice to know that.

I like my doctor, I hate going to the doctor. I dread the day he comes back with the result of some test or other and tells me really bad news. I have no ideal how I’ll respond to it.

Oh sure… the 7 stages and all that; but what does it really mean to me as a person? Will I embrace the reality and fight? Or will I choose to live in blissful ignorance and simply forget to wake up one day?

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There are pluses and minuses to each course of action.

If it’s serious and you fight, you could easily find yourself living in a tight little circle running from appointment to appointment at medical facilities for the rest of your days. I hate the smell of antiseptic in the morning!

On the other hand, if you choose to live in ignorant bliss you could simply live a happy if short span. If you go that route, you have to opportunity to do all the things you might have been afraid to do. Imagine the freedom of being able to do any drugs, have any kind of crazy ass sexual escapades, jump out of planes, climb mountains, live life homeless wandering the world. 

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Suddenly, albeit perhaps briefly the world really is your oyster. What penalty could conventional law place on you? Arrest? If you’re imprisoned, they provide you free health care. If the law allows you to go you simply go back to doing what you want.

When I’m confronted with my mortality I find myself thinking like this. The concept of no boundaries appeals to me in a very fundamental way.

The idea that nothing, no matter how dangerous really matters is alluring. I suspect the very first thing I’d try is something like peyote or the drug from that tribe in South America that’s been called the “god” drug. Supposedly, this stuff allows you to take a journey to the center of your being and commune with the universe. 

Why haven’t I done these things? Laws, Conventions, Rules, Expectations.  

In other words… FEAR.

Fear of consequences, punishment, loss of freedom, or simply people not liking me.

Consumer Society

It’s ironic because in a very real way I gave up absolute freedom to live in and be a part of a society that I no longer recognize. I guess I’m at that age now where I wonder; What If?

Down that road lies the potential for despair. Not bad to occasionally think about it… Very bad to dwell there.

So what’s the alternative?

Look forward. Remember that all it takes to change the future is to choose the future you want. 

That’s where I’m at. Yep I’ll live another few days, months, years, decades, whatever, but the future is as yet unwritten. Since I’m the one doing the writing I have to remember not to let the past have too much control over what I write next.

I think I’m at a place where I want to experience some of the things I’ve denied myself for no other reason than I wanted to fit in, to be accepted, liked, and thought of as doing what was expected.

I supposed I should say, “Thanks Doc, see ya next year.” maybe I will the next time I talk to him.

Until then… I’m setting a blank piece of paper and a fresh new pen on that desk in my head. I’ll start writing something new.

OK So yesterday wasn’t so Quiet…

Doctor

Got done at the Doc’s.

(No Happy Ending!)

Apparently I was alive enough for the Doc to be confident that I wasn’t going to drop dead in his office.

Yesterday was the first time that my Doc mentioned anything about politics. Apparently, he’s still hopping mad about Trump. I told him I don’t watch the News anymore, and joked, that it’s obviously helped my blood pressure.

He asked how I stayed informed. I told him I read the news because it’s a lot easier to limit my exposure to shit that pissed me off. He said what about Trump? I told him I thought Trump was simply the latest in a long line of politicians who as my grandfather used to say, “are all crooks and liars.” 

My Doc said he loved Obama… 

I said I didn’t love any of our politicians, because they all too easily forgot their job was to be in service to all the people. I’d be happier if they said what they mean, did what they said, and always put the needs of all the people who elected them, first.

There was an uncomfortable silence and we moved back into the professional comfort of the Doctor, Patient relationship.

Traffic

I was glad, because on Obama and the Democratic party, my Doctor and I are poles apart. That doesn’t mean I think my Doctor is a bad guy, or necessarily completely wrong.  I was however, suddenly concerned that he might just be so angry about the current state of our political system, that he might lose sight of the fact that I’m not a bad guy either.

In all honesty, we’re both probably operating from misinformation and the truth is somewhere between our two points of view. More importantly, he’s a good doctor and someone that I value having in my life.

I guess I valued the relationship we’ve built over the years more than the desire to swing him over to my opinion. I suspect that he may have reached the same conclusion.

FLU SHOT

All I can say is that I’m really glad that my hunger hadn’t reached the point that I wasn’t thinking. Otherwise the situation could have gone badly.

I’m really sad that the political polarization in our country is permeating into every aspect of daily life. Politics used to be something you bitched about in a bar with your friends, half drunk. Now it’s almost everywhere and 24/7. I mean who gives a fuck? Those assholes in Washington and the Statehouses across the nation are more than likely in someone’s pocket. The only voice we have is voting and that voice is growing weaker each election cycle. It’s been demonstrated that elections can be affected, not only by foreign governments, but also by a media who is not adhering to good journalistic practices. Thank goodness I thought this instead of speaking it.

Flu

By the time I was done, I was starving. So I thought I’d head out to get something to eat immediately. Traffic was a nightmare!  After sitting on the freeway, (Thats a mis-named thing if ever there was one) for about 45 minutes I noticed I was close to a place I used to have my hair cut. I figured, “What the hell,” and pulled in. They had an opening and soon I was in the chair having my mop cropped. Still very, very, hungry.  

WOW! The prices had gone up… Should’ve checked that before I sat in the chair. A couple of years ago the prices were obscene, NOW, the prices are astronomical! Grrr!

Why is it that you can’t get a decent haircut at a reasonable price anymore? I don’t want anything fancy, I just want consistent.  I’ve tried many places in Escondido & San Diego and you’re lucky if the same person is working at the place from month to month. The phenomena isn’t limited to San Diego, it’s everywhere. I was noticing it long before I moved out of the OC / Riverside area. I don’t like clipper cuts, I like scissor cuts. Clipper cuts accentuate the cowlicks I have and frankly, I could probably give myself a clipper cut. 

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Anyhow, the stylist did a pretty good job, at least it’s workable. Maybe I can find a hairburner in San Diego that can maintain the cut. If that fails, I’m going to be heading to a stylist in Beverly Hills that comes highly recommended by several friends.  Who, believe it or not… is cheaper than the place I was at yesterday.

Still hungry, I get back on the misnamed road called a freeway. Traffic was better and the further I got out of southern OC the better it got. Pretty soon, I could see the mountains I call home. 

Got in the door, started wolfing down junk food, then started laundry.

Shutting down the irrigation system had to wait until today. 

However, I’m moving very slow today. Maybe the flushot I got yesterday. Not that I feel sick, but I do feel super tired. That’s probably the immune response kicking in, creating antibodies to fight off the faux infection. It’ll pass in the next day or two.

Gotta get a move on, the day is passing and I’m done with the weeks laundry.

Have a great weekend.

To Quiet days

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It’s my weekend. 

I slept soundly, and late for me. It was 5:00 when I finally woke up.

I lay there in bed enjoying the contrast between the cool air in the room and the warmth of my bed. My morning wood put a smile on my face, it was nice to just “Be” for a while. 

I’d silenced all the electronics the night before, so there was nothing of the modern world to drag me into my day.

I dozed off & on until about 5:30 then got up made coffee and took a long satisfying morning piss. That’s a highly under-rated experience that we often miss in our rush to get ready for work and get out the door. 

As I get older and the world gets more complex, I find that I’m appreciating the simple things in life. 

I don’t have to be anywhere until my annual physical at 11:20 am. That’s the good news, the bad news is that I can’t have anything to eat, and no sugar in my coffee until afterwards… Grrrr. I’m going to have to work very hard to not be “Hangry”.

By the time I’m finished at the Docs office it will be the middle of the lunch time rush and I’ll be ravenous. The Doc usually has some kind of munchies around his office maybe i’ll make do with something from his place until after the rush then stop for a civilized meal.

A civilized lunch is something I rarely get these days, so I’m looking forward to that.

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I have mixed feelings about seeing the Doc. On the one hand I don’t see him that often and am generally healthy, so our visits are pretty mellow.

On the other hand…

Well he’s gonna do the ol finger up my butt trick. Meh, gotta be done. I just feel like it should have a “Happy Ending”. I mean he’s gonna push and prod a part of my anatomy that is involved in happy endings, so I figure In (ahem) for a penny, in for a pound.

At least I’d leave with a smile on my face!

I don’t mean that disrespectfully toward my Doctor, I just feel like the indignity of the situation should have an up side.

From there, the plan is to meander home to the mountain where I’ll do a mountain of laundry, and shut down the irrigation system for the winter. The irrigation system shutdown shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.

After that I’ll probably nap. The laundry won’t need me hovering over it. I’ll set the computer to do most of the monthly maintenance on the home network automatically. It’ll ask me for help if it encounters anything out of the ordinary. The washer and dryer will do their thing and beep at me when they’re done. So I can put on some favorite music and just relax.

Friday, I’ll slug my way 100 miles back down to San Diego and get ready to start the work week. But that’s still a day away, so I’m not going to think about it.

Have a good day

It’s on my Calendar…

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The accusatory reminder is sitting there.

“Blog,” It says.

“About what,” I think to myself.

“That I have nothing to say?”

The reminder is implacable. I should just delete the little bastard, that’d show it. Consign it to the digital hell of forgotten “To Dos”.

But as A friend has reminded me and several well renowned authors have said;

Write anything, just write daily.

Okay, I’m writing. 

The internet is an interesting thing. I was able to distract myself from writing for a whole hour. I was suddenly curious about an old High School friend. Actually, he was my best friend. I may have found traces of him, but doubt seriously that we’ll ever re-connect. 

That relationship ended in a weird way in 1980 (I think). I honestly don’t remember now. I just remember thinking as I watched my friends back receding from my view that this was probably the last time I’d see him.

Then I got busy living my life and I assume he got busy living his. 

Through the years I’ve been curious about him and how his life had gone. I tried sending a letter or two and the occasional Christmas card. I don’t know if they ever found their intended recipient. These items were sent with paper and an actual stamp, but there was no reply.  I suppose I had an answer in that – there was no reply.

Nonetheless I’ve been curious through the years. 

With more and more data and personal information being stored and made available on the internet, it’s a lot easier to locate someone from your past. They don’t even have to have a social media account. Public records can go a long way toward letting you find someone.

Regarding my long lost friend… Either he was arrested for domestic battery in 2002, OR he’s living in a nice house, in the town that we grew up in working a blue collar job. The latter is, I think most likely. The second result’s age lines up more closely.

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The mug shot is striking in its similarity to the face I remember.

However, I think it highly unlikely that the police would be off by 5 years on the person’s age.

Perhaps it was a relative…

Not that an arrest record would be a reason for me not to re-connect. Multiple arrest records would be another issue.

This appears to be a one-off, and God knows I’ve had my knock down drag out fights with significant others over the years. Had some of those fights happened while I was living in an apartment… Well, then probably a mug shot of me would be gracing search results on the internet too.

The legal definition of Battery is surprisingly vague. I could see slightly rough sex being considered battery. 

I could easily imagine doing the same thing this week, that you did last week where your partner was really into it. Only to find out that your partner wasn’t into it today, and was flat out pissed off. Next thing you know, you’re having unflattering pictures (Front and Profile) taken.

I wonder what it would be like to re-connect with my friend. Would it be like no time had passed, or would the time and life experiences be so different that the gulf simply could not be bridged?

Would we each be disappointed with the effort? Is it better to let sleeping dogs simply lie?

The question is…

Do I want to put this on my “Bucket List” or not? Given that we’re both as old as we are if this is something I’d like to do, I should probably get on the stick about it. I’d hate to drive all that way only to lay flowers on a grave.

Something to ponder, I suppose.


Oh Look!

I can now check blogging off the list of things to do today.

Huzzah!

I think it serves him right – United Passenger

United Plane

OK, 

So the way I heard the story, is that a United flight had to make room for a flight crew at another airport. United asked for volunteers to give up their seats, to be bumped to the next flight.

Four people said, “Sure” then ONE of those people, a Doctor realized that the NEXT flight was the NEXT day. Then decided he was too important to wait because he had patients to attend to so he needed to be on his original flight.

Dumbass Passenger

The first thing that pops to mind is… Hey DUDE perhaps you should have looked before your leapt.

I’ve been in this situation. I’ve been the guy who gave up his seat for other folks in an overbooked situation. I’ve also been the guy who gave up his seat to a person like this Doctor when they realized that the next flight out was going to be crazy later than they thought it would be.

(In that instance the flight attendants asked if there was someone on the plane who could afford to be late. In fact, in my case it was a United flight. The airline treated me like a king, nice hotel room at the airport on the airline’s dime. A really sumptuous dinner, and the next day… They put me in First Class to get me to my destination.)Dumbass Passenger2

It was all very civil and I’d volunteer to get bumped again if it came to it.

From what I understand, at around this point things went WAY off the rails.

The video clip I saw is indeed disturbing, but some passengers on the flight are saying this guy lost his shit and became a raging asshole. (Again, DUDE you probably should have payed attention to what you were volunteering for.)

Anyone who’s flown in recent years knows that if you cause a ruckus you’re not going to be on a plane. It doesn’t even take much of a ruckus, you are at the mercy of the flight attendants, the TSA, and the Air Marshal.

BUT there’s always some moronic asshole who thinks they’re more important than anyone else.

So guess what snowflake? Your ass is going to be dragged off the fucking plane.

Yeah maybe this guy got roughed up, but he had a simple choice. He could cooperate like a civilized human being and allow the Airline to see what else could be done… OR he could pitch a hissy fit and get dragged off the plane.

Well, we know what this idiot did.

But for me there is another issue…

This guy caused a scene, got dragged off a plane, and delayed 200+ OTHER paying passengers, not to mention whatever trauma his actions caused to the children who might have been on that plane witnessing this insanity, and not understanding what all the fuss was.

He’s a Doctor for god’s sake. Pull out that AMEX Gold and buy another ticket on another airline get home, then send your grievance to United. Hell, they’d probably have just refunded the cost of his ticket, or given him a travel voucher.

There is absolutely no excuse to delay a bunch of other people getting anywhere because you don’t like something.

Put your shit away, Sit DOWN, Strap in, and Shut the fuck up.

Or in his case, take it off the plane and deal with it like a fucking man. This guy, acted like a spoiled child according to witnesses.

There is absolutely nothing in my travels short of death, that can’t be fixed with a little kindness, firmness & patience.

The airline doesn’t want a scene, you don’t want a scene, and together with cooler heads both of you can come to an arrangement.

Crap, had I been on that plane, I’d have given him my seat, called him what he was; a spoiled dickless, petulant child, then told him to sit down and shut the hell up for the duration of the flight. 

At which point I’d have gathered my belongings, smiled at the flight attendants and asked, “OK, what do we need to do now?

In all likelihood the Flight crew would have seen to it, that I got where I was going smoothly and perhaps in a bit of style.

I have ZERO sympathy for this guy.  

He was all worried about not getting home in time for his patients… Well, hey moron you didn’t get home for them anyway and now you’re bitching about being in a hospital. What, You don’t like Doctors?

DUMBASS! He had choices and at every turn he appears to have made the wrong one

If I were one of his patients… I’d be severing that relationship in a heartbeat. 

I prefer Doctors with cool heads and pragmatic approaches.

Is it just me that sees the epic fail on his behalf?

But he does serve as a cautionary tale to the rest of the rabble clogging our airports…

Fuck around and you get your ass kicked.

Maybe we need a little more ass kicking and a little less “Oh that poor snowflake

I could be wrong…

______________________________________________________________________

4/13/2017

So more has come out. United originally asked for volunteers, then when no-one could be inconvenienced, they went to a lottery. This guy LOST the lottery. Hey, that’s the breaks. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Get over it.

Then things went off the rails. This guy refused to leave the plane like an adult. Chicago PD came on board and told him to leave, he chose instead to fight with the police. BAD MOVE.

After all, doesn’t every snowflake know that the police are fascists? 

My original thinking still stands.

Get a ticket on another airline, lodge a complaint and demand a refund from United. You paid for services that were not rendered, that’s what an adult does. Regardless,  you cooperate with the authorities, have a little grace and work the problem.

But the other passengers, the ones saying “Oh, this is wrong,” the ones videoing the event, you know the OTHER people on the plane who were too self important, who could have simply said, “Hey, I’ll give up my seat,” putting an end to the situation. Where were you? Surely ONE of you could have taken the next flight.

Instead of paying lip service to “How wrong this was” any one of them could have stepped up and everything would have been OK. But no-one did, because everyone was too self absorbed and couldn’t be bothered to look at their schedule to see if they had some flexibility.

Apparently, because no-one knows how things work, no-one thought to ask if United could help them with their rental cars, or rescheduling connecting flights or simply asked “Since I’m accommodating your needs, can you help accommodate mine?” Hell, I’d have simply asked for a travel voucher on another future flight to a vacation destination, say Hawaii?

This is a symptom of the overarching problem with everyone thinking the world revolves around them. 

Helpful Hint: IT DOESN’T

We live in a society of rules. Some of those rules are enforced by rule of law, others however, are simply good manners. Both types of rules help insure that we live in a nice place where we are not angry all the time and always fighting to get our cut. 

The problem is, too many people think they’re special, entitled, and better than everyone else.

United, screwed up… Given. This dumbass compounded the problem by deciding to be an asshole. Chicago PD was probably a tad over zealous. All this tracks back to an easily predictable outcome when no-one can think beyond themselves or their own selfish needs.

He still got exactly what he deserved.

We need to be touched

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We intuitively know this, but with the hustle and bustle of our ‘work a day world’, it’s easy to forget this simple fact.

Massage can fill part of the void, if you’re living alone and aren’t seeing anyone. 

Contrary to popular belief, not every massage is a vehicle to have sex and not every masseuse or masseur is a prostitute using a clever (or not so clever) disguise to take money for sex.

Although I have been fortunate enough to have a number of massages that ended with me being invited to spend the night. However, that was something that two consenting adults entered into as adults, and no-one was “on the clock”. We were just two people having a good time and the vibe was right.

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I’ve had an equal number of massages that ended with me getting dressed, saying, “Thank you” and leaving.

My point however is that If we’re not touched, and acknowledged we start to become a little strange. Our needs aren’t being met and we sometimes become antisocial, or extremely needy. I’ve been both, sometimes simultaneously. 

On a subconscious level we know we need social interaction and a subtext to that is that we need to feel the warmth of another person’s touch. Lots of folks use the sterility of the internet to fill the need for interaction. Twitter, Facebook, and the various dating sites or chat applications have made millions of people feel relevant, perhaps even loved. But I think that the folks feeling “loved” because they have a bunch of “Likes” or thousands of followers is demonstrative of a sort of twisted adaptation to feelings of isolation.

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This point has been recently brought home to me. 

I talk to people all day long, I help people and move on to the next person in need. You’d think I’d have enough interaction to feel fulfilled. 

I don’t. 

Those people that I help are ephemeral. They’re just voices on the phone and most of the time they’re very needy. By the time I’m done with my day, I’m tired and really don’t want to talk to anyone else on the phone. So I entertain myself with the TV until it’s time to go to bed to get up and go back to work.

It doesn’t help that I work odd hours and weekends. By the time most people get to work, I’ve already been working 3 or 4 hours. The oddness of my work schedule has advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage is that I usually miss the stupid traffic of the San Diego area. The disadvantage is that I’m home mid-afternoon and “normal” people aren’t available. When “normal” people are available, I’m heading to bed.

When I’m done with my day, I’m tired. It’s more emotionally tired than physical, so it’s easy to be isolated, and allow that isolation to continue.

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I could stop someplace for happy hour but have you spent much time at a bar at 2PM in the afternoon?

Trust me, it isn’t pretty; not the kinds of people you’re likely to meet and develop healthy friendships with. Bars in general are dimly lit for a reason!

Gyms are better but even there, you’re dealing with folks that are probably not going to have time. They’re squeezing in a workout before they go on to the next thing; picking up the kids, heading to work on their own odd schedule, or in some cases just creepy people looking for something else entirely. 

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I’d been going along for months (possibly years off & on) fooling myself into believing that I was OK. Then because I was in some pain I went and had a massage.

Another person touching me slammed into my consciousness like a sledgehammer. I wanted, needed to feel the warmth of another person. I needed to hear that other person breathing and smell them. I needed the full 3D experience and to know that I was, in fact not alone.

A week or so later, I had the distinct pleasure of having a friend visit, and again I was struck by the power of someone else being physically in my space. It was comforting and settling and again hit me upside the head that I’d been too isolated for too long.

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A few nights later, I went out with a coworker that I enjoy being around. We had drinks, ate and laughed. I realized that even simple (non-work) interactions are very satisfying, while not very intimate or sexual, its far better than the cold interaction of words or pictures on a display.

All of this brings home two undeniable points. It’s not good to be isolated, especially in a crowd. And I need to find another job that pays better and is not on such an isolating schedule.

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All of this is to say; if you’re feeling isolated, or lonely, turning to the internet is probably not the healthiest source of “connection”.  Close the laptop, put the phone down, and turn off the TV. That’s what I’m going to be doing and hopefully I’ll be able to provide some pointers to finding something fulfilling over the next few months.