Thursday, May 31, 2012

You Can't Put A Price On Some Things

Tuesday I sat in the school.  Waiting for my kids to arrive on a bench in the hallway.  The hall was empty as I had gotten there early.  Suddenly a boy came around the corner, but he wasn't a student.  He was older.  He paused, smiled, walked over and shook my hand.  "Hey, you're still running the after school program?" He said.  "Yep!  Wow, what grade are you in now?" I asked.  "I'm graduating in a few weeks.  Doing my senior internship helping out in Mrs. Johnson's class.  Are you still doing sports and stuff?'  He asked.  I explained that I was and have been since he was in the school.  He laughed and said "I remember sports in first and second grade and also the hockey class." I paused, "Jeffrey, right?'  "Wow! Yeah." Said, seemingly shocked that I remembered.  He then said he had to run.

Jeffrey was one of my first and favorite kids.  He was a complete goofball as a kid.  He was part kid, part monkey and part clown.  He would climb on stuff, crack jokes and occasionally put his legs behind his head and walk around on his hands and ass.  He was a great kid.  I would never forget a kid like that.  It's why I do this.  That being said, for a child who hasn't seen my in over seven years and one who wasn't in my classes for over ten to remember me.  Well that made my year. It's why I do what I do.

When I got sick, I asked two friends about my medication.  One is a nurse I worked with.  One is in Israel for med school and he was a camper of mine about 15 years ago.  Earlier this year I had two brothers come by to say hello at the school.  They commented on how great the classes were.  It's moments like that which make my life a little better.  A lot better.

I may never see Jeffrey again, but knowing that I made a difference in his younger years and that I had enough of an impact for him to remember me, really touched me. Here's a kid, in his final year of high school.  A million thoughts and emotions running through his head and he stopped and said hello.  I might not ever be rich from doing this, but you truly can't put a price on what happened the other day.  I wouldn't trade it for any amount of money.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 2012 - The Month My Youth Died Away

This month has seen the loss of so much of my youth.  Things that meant so much to me as a youngster and adolescent have been stripped from this earth and leave nothing but wonderful memories.  As I get older, death becomes a bigger part of life and those close to us and even more so, those who touched our lives through their  existence seem to depart at staggering rates.  May 2012 was like no other.

Maybe the most damaging to my true childhood, was the death of Maurice Sendak, author of Where The Wild Things Are.  If one had to weigh the importance of a book in terms of how it affected us at a certain age, WTWTA would probably be at the top.  The story of Max's voyage was like none other I have ever read.  To this day, it is as powerful and beautiful as any story.  If only people could live life in the same way he did.  Sendak might have written other books, but this one transcends generations.

The following weeks saw the death of Donna Summer, Robin Gibb and Adam Yauch.  My late childhood and pre-teen years were filled with the music of Summer and the Bee Gees.  Bad Girls, On The Radio and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack were basically worn down during these years.  The great thing is that I still love those songs as much today as I did then.

Adam Yauch was a completely different singer.  Being a white teen and trying to fit into the urban hip-hop scene was made much easier by the Beastie Boys.  While they didn't catch on as quickly as people might thing, they opened the door for hip-hop's acceptance by the mainstream.  People forget that their first "song" was merely a phone call to Carvel.  This was followed by the album License to Ill which was loaded with radio friendly craziness which endeared them to all types of people.  I had the privilege of seeing them perform live three or four times and as funny as they were on wax, they were even crazier live.

And then today, the great blues guitarist and vocalist Doc Watson died. Many won't recognize the name, but his style of picking the strings was like no other.  I used to listen to him with my parents and even at a young age, I knew just how great he was and appreciated his music.

So many iconic figures have died in less than four weeks and all played a part in my maturation process, especially in a cultural way.  They will be missed as will those from the month before Dick Clark and Mike Wallace.  Every month, every year, every week it seems.  Someone else.  I hesitate to think who will be next, as my youth fades away.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Trying to Lighten It Up

Recently, I have been a Facebook and Twitter whore.  It must be great to wake up, sign on to Facebook and think you've accidentally hacked into my homepage.  OK, for some it's a nuisance, but I'm trying to bring a little levity to a very cynical and depressing world.

Recently, Facebook has become a complaint board.  Work, relationships, illness and other various woes seem to be flooding the web.  While I myself have used social media to vent, it's becoming a little bit too much.  Studies are being done showing Facebook use leads to depression, because our day to day lives, don't match up to the happiness we see on other's faces.  Remember kids, if you have 200 friends and 3 post pictures of themselves getting felt up by their new partner, that mean 197 of them are sitting doing what you're doing, so don't get upset.  Unless of course, said feeler-upper is your ex.

I have ex-girlfriends on Facebook who are happily married, with beautiful children and it makes me happy to see them.  It makes me realize that my being a dick forced them back into the game and they won.  I should get an assist and their husbands should thank me for lowering the bar.  On a more serious note, my friends, I mean my true friend's happiness means a lot to me. Why would I get depressed seeing them happy.  Why would I sign on and see someone blowing out candles or dancing, maybe kissing their kid or snuggling with their dog and then get mad?  I make jokes, but their happiness makes my day brighter.

So, recently I decided I will use Facebook and Twitter to try and make someone laugh.  If I achieve it once or twice a day, I can take solace in knowing that for a few seconds, I made someone's day a little brighter.  If I don't, there is nothing I can do.  I tried.  So instead of telling us your knee is swollen, tell me a joke.  My knees are swollen every day of every year and have been now for 15 years.  Do I mention them every time it rains?

If you wonder if I've lost my mind, as I was asked yesterday, I have not.  I'm just trying to help someone out who may.  Just trying to bring a smile to someone's face.  I would gladly do this by performing sexual acts, but my jokes usually last a little longer and both sadly end with lots of laughter.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Celebrities That Need A Little Credit

We live in a crazy world and there are celebrities out there who are constantly grabbing headlines for all the wrong reasons, but there are also those who don't get credit for what they do.  I don't mean someone donating money without wanting fanfare, I'm talking about those who do great things without trying and make a difference.  So here's a few who I think deserve a little more credit for what they do.  Trust me, some of these will be unexpected.

Kim Kardashian - Yeah, I know.  Hearing the name bakes your blood boil.  She's annoying. She comes across as fairly simple minded and she gets more air time than Obama.  I get it.  Where I respect her, is that she's herself.  She's not heavy, but she's curvy and she flaunts it.  While looking at a list of Maxim's top 100 hottest women, there might have been two who are curvy.  Who would be considered heavier than they should.  The top ten are all skinny women.  Kim K is annoying and I'm tired of reading about her, but she is beautiful.  She has the kind of body that would have been revered in the past.  I have to believe young girls who possess curves and whose pants sporting Juicy on their rumps, feel proud that there is someone out there who is praised for her looks who look like them.  For that I give KK kudos.

Anthony Bourdain - Mr. Bourdain has always been the anti-celeb, but what I love about his show, No Reservations is that he treats his audience like adults.  Similar to Food Network's Alton Brown, he refuses to dumb down his show for ratings. Episodes consist of travel, food, customs and the highs and lows of each destination and it's people.  He pulls no punches and when something is good, he applauds it and when it is not, he comes clean. As a self professed foodie, but someone who has a despicable travel log, I understand the food and what they taste like, but crave to be in his shoes. His honest depictions only add to the experience, as vicarious as it might be.

Eric Ripert - The award winning chef and owner of NYC's best restaurant, Le Bernardin is more than just a pretty face.  Aside from being a great chef, entrepreneur and TV celebrity, he is a great philanthropist.  He is the chairman of City Harvest, NYC's only food rescue service that feeds thousands of people daily.  This non-profit organization was founded 30 years ago and to this day, in NYC, there is no other similar foundation. It's the single best foundation out there in my opinion and I donate regularly.  He has also taught young chefs to understand their products and to stress and understanding of food.  Aside from that, he has had continued efforts to help those in Tibet.

Jack Dorsey - He and others created Twitter.  Like Facebook, it has taken over some of our lives.  Unlike Facebook, we can choose to skip over things we don't want to waste time on and can choose whose pictures we want to waste our time on.  What's fun about Twitter is that you can follow celebs, comedians, actors, politicians and see what they really think.  Sometimes they are honest, sometimes sarcastic, but honestly, it's nice to see them being real people.  There's something about seeing a celebrity making jokes about being mistreated in a deli or an airplane.  It's fun to see that they are sometimes just like you and I.  Sometimes we even get a re-tweet or a personalized message from them. Sounds silly, but getting some brief  Twitter recognition from an actor you like means a little more than your buddy telling you to quit your bitching on Facebook.

I could go on and on with people who deserve praise, but for the most part, we know why these people deserve praise. It's hard to recognize all of them, so I figured I'd mention some people I respect for what they don't advertise or things that are just lost in the daily shuffle.

Just to show a little respect, here's a quick list of the people I like for the things they don't get credit for.
Ellen DeGeneres
Jon Stewart
Stephen Colbert
Andre Agassi and Stefi Graf
William Buffett
Bernie Marcus
and many others


Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Netflix Dilemma

Almost weekly I add movies to my queue on Netflix.  Usually a trailer or a recommendation leads me these secret movies and on rare occasion, it's something in the theater that I know I won't fork over $20 to sit with a watered down drink and some popcorn to see with people texting and chatting on their cells. I refuse to do the movie theater thing.

I was just perusing my queue and noticed it's back up to over 200 movies.  About a quarter of the films are foreign or documentaries.  I have a British television series that I'm in the middle of and combined with two other series' makeup another 10-15%. The rest are dramas, comedies, thrillers and horror films that look appealing or have been recommended.  Those tend to find their way to the bottom of my list, unless of course I truly value who recommended them.

I don't watch nearly as many movies as I used to.  I am convinced I have somehow created an adult ADD problem and it's definitely affected my attention to details in movies.  I need to now be in a movie mood, to sit down and watch.  I despise this.  What I also despise it my constant tinkering with my queue.  I can never seem to let it be and let the movies flow.  I find myself craving horror and then watching three in a row.  Ironically, I've been on a tear of watching fine films and it's reminded me why they are so important to me.

I currently have two films at home.  A friend's recommendation, the black comedy "Withnail and I" and tale of sexual addiction "Shame."  Waiting in the wings are Johnnie To's "Fulltime Killer," The Irish version of the Hatfield and the McCoys documentary "Knuckles" and Ingmar Bergman's "Hour of the Wolf."  All these while waiting for Season 3 of Helen Mirren's police drama "Prime Suspect" to become available. I've also been given Season 1 of "The Wire."  So excuse my if I become a hermit soon.  Movies, some snacks and laying in the AC cooled chamber that becomes my theater. Who knows how many times my list will change in the next few days and as always, I welcome suggestions.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Most Underrated Band of All-Time

I realize most people think my preferences in music are as diverse as whoever is in the top 40.  The Biebers and Spears of the world entertain and I'd be lying if I said I hated them, but this is not what I listen to at home.  I get very tired of listening to one band at a time, so Pandora has become my go-to music source.  To give you an idea of my "stations," I'm listening right now and the last seven songs have been by The Forecast, Social Distortion, Benedictine Monks of Santa Domingo, Michael Jackson, Geto Boys, Cher and currently Rancid is cranking away.

Now it would be much easier to write a blog on overrated bands, because there are so many. People might be shocked at some bands I consider overrated, but chances are their listing would be responded to with a "figures," followed by a smirk and an eye roll.  So I thought about bands who are great, some even considered great, but not mentioned when best bands are talked about.  Sure there are bands out there who have a few hits more than you figure, but I'm talking about a band that was consistently great.

For me, that band is Lynyrd Skynard.  Some may scream and want to run for the hills with the thought of having to hear "Freebird", but not me.  I always hate when die hard Zeppelin fans say they hate "Stairway to Heaven."  Face it, it's the most overplayed song of all-time, but it's easily one of their two or three best songs and arguably one of the ten best rock songs of ever made.  The same can be said for "Freebird."  Sure it's become a southern anthem, but it's because it's great. I remember seeing a live version one night on TV that lasted nearly a half hour.  Say what you want, but it was brilliant.  Look at their first album as a whole.  "Freebird," "Tuesday's Gone," "Gimme Three Steps" and "Simple Man."  Four tremendous songs all on a debut album.  Then there is the anti-segregation protest song "Things Going On."  Back in the early 70's in the south, this was a huge risk made by the band.

A year later they come out with Second Helping.  An album featuring the classic "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Swamp Music."  This alone would qualify it as a huge album, but this album also features lesser known gems such as "I Need You," which is one of the coolest bluesiest songs they have.  Then there is "The Ballad of Curtis Loew," a song about a young white boy being mesmerized and inspired by the guitar skills of an old black man.  Beautiful song.  There's also heroin battle song "The Needle and the Spoon," which was obviously a very personal song.

They followed this with Nuthin' Fancy. Probably the lesser of all their albums, but it contains "Saturday Night Special," which has been covered by tons of bands.  Lesser known, but solid songs like "On the Hunt" and "Cheating Woman" are incredible.

Their fourth album Gimme Back My Bullets feature the title song, which is a gritty song about the right to bear arms.  Double Trouble is about as Southern Rock as you can get.  Guitar riffs and a female chorus mesh perfectly with the southern Twang of Van Zandt's voice.  These coupled with "Cry for the Bad Man" and "Every Mother's Son" make this another classic.

Their fifth and final album featuring the original members, before their tragic plane crash was Street Survivors.  Five albums produced between 1973 and 1977.   Three double platinum, one platinum and one gold.  Street Survivors was their third double platinum album and came out just three days before the death of Ronnie Van Zant.  The album starts with the ultra catchy hit "What's Your Name," followed by one of my personal favorites, "That Smell."  The A side also contains another great unknown "One More Time."  The B Side isn't a blockbuster, but does contain great songs like "You Got That Right" and Merle Haggard's "I'm a Honky Tonk Night Time Man."

Five albums in four years.  Three songs which are rock anthems and many more hits and hidden gems.  It makes you wonder what could have been had that horrific crash not taken place and ended what was one of the best bands of the 70's.  Say what you want about Freebird.  Heard it too much?  Sorry, there's just something about it's mellow beginnings and the build up to the frenzied guitar solo, which has to be one of the most recognized guitar riffs ever.  Maybe in 2012, after hearing it 2000 times, it has lost it's luster for most, but I can't imagine hearing this for the first time back in the mid 70's  It must have been amazing.  A great great band!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX3cbFJ3lYU

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just For Fun - Stocks & A Sad Story

With all the hype surrounding Facebook going public, I have decided to start my own stock portfolio. I have decided to "buy" $7000 worth of stock.  I have invested in A pharmaceutical company, a solar energy company supported by Warren Buffet, an alternative energy company that I've been following for years, whose stock is worth less than a penny.  I have also bought 100 shares of Facebook, because it dipped to $34.

Obviously, I'm not using real money, because personally I feel the stock market is joke.  Unlike most people, who have delusions of grandeur, I'm not going into like that.  I'm looking at it like a poker tournament.  If you enter a poker tournament with 100 people for $70, usually the top 10 people get paid.  With $7,000 in the prize pool the winner would get about $3,000.  Last place would get their money back and 9th place would get $140.  I'm not greedy, but want a profit.  So by averaging 9th and 10th place, I come to $105.  From a $70 investment, that would be a profit of 50% of my investment. I'm not used to losing streaks.  When I was playing poker a lot (almost for a living), I was investing about $300 a week and over the course of a year, I tracked my progress and was in the black by about $6,000.  So that means, over about 80 weeks, with an investment of $24,000 I won $30,000.  A profit of 25% on my investment.  Realizing that a $10,500 payout on $7000 investment is petty nice, I'm going to have lower expectations.  I want to cash out $9625 (37.5% profit).  A nice profit in my eyes and I'd like to do this in no longer than 3 months.

So this is my game.  So what's the sad story?  Oh it's a doozie. I was having drinks with some friends one night, many years ago.  One of our friends gave us all a tip and asked that if we had some spare change, we should invest in her company.  She told us that their quarterly reports were about to come out and they had a monster resurgence and despite stocks plummeting, they survived the dot-com crash.  The company was Priceline and at the time the stock was about $1.45 per share.  I actually had some money saved and approached my genius, millionaire stockbroker cousin looking to purchase a thousand shares.  He laughed, told me he wouldn't waste my time or money and told me to thank him, because he had just saved me $1450.  Today the stock is worth about $650 per share.  While I don't pretend to be a psychic and I'm sure I would have sold a majority of the stock once it approached the $50-60 range, I would have definitely kept at least 100 shares for the long haul. Hard to fathom having a $60,000 in stocks on a pocket change investment.  The worst part is I've asked others about stocks I felt something good about.  There was a ball bearing company whose stock was hovering around $12 and I read an article about how many major things have ball bearings in them.  How there will always be a need for ball bearing companies.  I asked two people about purchasing a 100 shares.  They both said to save my $1200.  Three years later, the stock is at $44.  Not a goldmine by any means, but had I bought it, I'd have made a profit of $3200 in three years.  Not bad.

So here's my game, my stories and we'll see if I can become make believe rich.  It's like Skyringer on Preakness day. Had I been on my game and gone to the track, I would have bet $30 on this horse.  I would have walked away with $190.  Of course, this is the first year I haven't bet on any of the races.  The Belmont might see a different path.  We'll see.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Ides of March

Gosling, Clooney, Hoffman, Giamatti, Tomei and Wood.  The bar was set so high before sitting down, I wonder if the movie ever stood a chance.  The political film takes a look at the nomination process through the eyes of campaign managers. Those who hide their candidates flaws and promote their strengths, despite whether they truly believe or not.

We're led to believe that Gosling is a morally sound, unflappable man, with high standards and integrity, but we soon see that he is all about advancement.  Although the movie seems to grasp to maintain his ethical makeup.  Hoffman and Giamatti are good as rival, veteran managers and they give subtle performances that, aside from one scene, left me wanting more.

Clooney is believable as the candidate, especially since he seems to be preaching his own personal beliefs within the films.  Tomei is solid, but I wish there was more to her character. Wood continues to shine, both aesthetically and in her roles, but she too wasn't a big enough character.  It's rare that I saw this, but at an hour and 50 minutes, I felt like I needed more. A little more character depth would have gone a long way.

In the end, the movie falls short of the greatness expected and basically becomes watchable and entertaining, but did little to make me love it.  When the greatest scene in a movie is one where two characters are not actually seen on camera, one has to wonder.  I have to believe this must have been a play that simply didn't translate to the big screen.  One other huge blunder was in the title, because it leads one to believe there might be a different ending, even if only metaphorically.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Affirmation

I've never been a person who needs money or a prize at the end of the day.  I remember in HS, I was a pretty good athlete, but I didn't play school sports, because my brief time doing so showed me two things.  It's not about having fun and it's honestly never about you.  It's about a coach, most likely a lesser athlete than you are, living vicariously through you, but only wanting a W.  It was never for me.

As I got older, sure I loved getting a paycheck, but there was always something about recognition that mattered more to me.  When I did roofing and my boss felt comfortable enough to leave me alone, or even in charge, it made me feel good.  When I worked with kids at a sleep away camp, the director pulled me aside one night and said "you know the kids like you."  I nodded.  He then said, "they like all their counselors, but you they like for all the right reasons and so do I."  It confirmed that I knew what I was doing and I was good at it.  No money can be placed on that.

The week in the hospital, I found myself apologizing to the air for missing my classes.  I missed the kids also because they mean so much to me. That hour each week means a lot to me and when I see them smile, achieve or make it over a personal hurdle, it gives me pride.  The pride usually reserved for parents.  Summers not working with kids is tough for me.  My summers working with them were my happiest. I was lucky enough to do it for nine summers in a row.

On Tuesday, my first class in almost two weeks ended.  During the course of the hour most of the kids found their way over to me. They all needed a little confirmation that I was OK.  This was so sweet, as kids can sometimes not realize the severity of anything. This group in particular seemed to get it.  What shocked me even more, was the parents reaction.  Parents who had never had a conversation with me, simply explaining pleasantries during the pick-up process.  These parents came over, some with a gentle hand on my arm, seeking proof of my wellness.  One, when learning I had left the hospital roughly 24 hours earlier, praised my health, while questioning my sanity.

All of these words meant a lot to me, but today meant mountains.  I got to the school about 15 minutes early and was setting up for a tennis class.  Two girls had arrived early and were talking in the corner.  The gym doors opened and in walked two boys, one eighth grader and one tenth.  I asked them what they were doing in the gym. The oldest explained that his brother was in his club and his part was over so they figured they'd say hello to me and hang out.  This might sound odd, but these 13 and 15 year olds were former class members.  One I had as a kindergartner 8 years ago, the other 10.  Both were in my classes until at least second grade.  So it's been at least five years since they were in my classes, but the memories of the class was lasting enough they wanted to spend time.  Even mentioning their old tennis lessons.

Today, two teens, an age group which rarely shows moments of sentiment, came to hang out, if even for ten minutes. Is there any price worth trading that in?  Today, for a handful of minutes, I was a millionaire.  Thanks Ross. Thanks Ryan!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Facebook Status - Negativity


This was actually my last long winded Facebook status.

I was perusing Facebook the last week and something dawned on me. I was laying in a hospital bed for eight days and had two complaints the entire week (one about my roommates family using cell phones in the room and the other was a work related thing where someone wasn't doing their job and I was asked to work it out from my bed). All my post aside from that were positive and tried to show some levity. Yet there are people who call me a downer, a pessimist and a cynic and think I'm the most negative person on the planet. Then I went back and started reading their posts. Status after status calling people out, talking behind other's backs, complaining about life's daily trials and tribulations. It's funny how perception and reality is so skewed in our daily lives. My mother was dying for nine years and complained less in person than the average self anointed "optimist" does in a day. For all you people who think rain, sitting in a waiting room or being stuck in traffic is Facebook or conversation worthy, you my friend are not an optimist. Rainy days should be used to make a call to a friend you've ignored. Sitting in a waiting room can let you finish that book that you have put down due to lack of time and traffic gives you time to reflect or sing as loud as you can along with the radio. There are things in life we can't control. A week in the hospital, in bed, no TV, no computer (for me) and I was at peace with the idea that I can't change it, so embrace the time to think and to relax. Why is it that I'm the negative one but those who sling insults and call me negative are the positive ones? Seems ironic to me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Week in the Hospital

Last Sunday, I entered the ER and assumed I'd receive some medication and be kicked to the curb.  For the next week, I laid in a hospital bed.  The first few days, in severe pain, but the last few, just itching to leave.  During the time, I had many thoughts and feelings, but they were different than most times.  

As I lay there Monday morning, Demerol pumping through my veins, I felt like life outside had stopped.  I asked friends who inquired about a visit to stay away.  Part of is was a desire to sleep, part embarrassment by my situation, but lastly, I don't like putting people out. People came in an out, at what seemed like an unreasonable rate, but I quickly realized it was Tuesday morning.  The second day was much like the first. In an our of consciousness, not so much as a sip of water to wet my dried out lips and tongue.  It was a slow torture, but the pain killers made me get through it.  

The third day, the pain started to subside, but would flare up. I thought I'd be home, but I was not. It didn't bother me much, but I wanted answers.  I started to think about what life must have been for my mother, who spent so much time in beds like these. Hooked to tubes, for longer than anyone deserves. There was sorrow, but there was the reality of strength, hers not mine.

The fourth day was one of complete coherency, the pain killers were gone and the prognosis looked good, but time started to slow.  This is when I started to think.  I started to think about those around me. The nurses, housekeeper, food service workers and the many assistants. So much on their plate and for so many.  My comfort was their concern and it showed.  I appreciated them more and more with each passing second.  Do not think one is more important than the other. That woman who brought me a fan on the first day was as important to me as the nurse who injected my painkillers.  The woman who changed my sheets, no less important than the doctor who stopped by for two minutes a day to let me know my fate.

Day five, I knew I was there until Monday.  Time slowed, but a roommate added occasional chat.  He too was important too.  Levity and a someone to share discomfort and pain stories were funny and therapeutic at the same time.  He was Dominican and talk about his wife's rice and beans dishes made my mouth water as I slurped my fruit cup.  A few friends stopped by during the week and the days seem to blend, but Friday my brother and his wife stopped by and it was a nice time.  My brother, for all my criticism of him at times, was stellar this week. A big help and consistently came and spent long periods of time and offered many things I declined.

Saturday I started to get antsy.  The beautiful day outside and the weekend had me down.  Physically I was ready to leave, but I knew. I started thinking about how our country runs and how people are against hand outs as they like to call it.  So my unemployment status and lack of insurance must seem to some as my slacking. A week sick and people probably see me as some moocher. If it was up to me and the hospital, I would have been out of there in a minute.  I learned some things about how billing works and I'm amazed at how about 1% of the country understands it.  If they did, if they took time to read, something other than headlines, they might educate themselves. In today's world, sadly, that is too much to ask.  We're too busy judging others to understands their plight or predicament.

Sunday I knew it was one more day.  At least that was the doc's word.  The nurses warned to be optimistic, but said to expect the unexpected. Numbers had to line up before I would be released.  That night I couldn't sleep. I had thoughts of other times.  Better times.  

I left Monday and was happy to be home.  I learned some things while there and they are few and simple.  Knowing people care about you matters. Knowing people love you, even when they don't always say it means the world.  Finally, I realized that nobody should die alone. While my situation wasn't dire, but it could have been.  It could have been serious, it could have been something else.  I thought about those who die alone and how awful it must be. I remembered my mother's last breaths.  She died at home, my father, myself, my brother and his then girlfriend now wife.  She was surrounded by love in sickness, in health and death.  None of us deserve anything more or anything less than to have that.  Love!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Back At The Old Site

After months of being blocked by this site for now apparent reason, I'm back on.  Hopefully this time for good.  While I was away I was using another website, but a password snafu somehow got me blocked from that website.  If anyone was interested in checking that website out, here is a link to my page on that site.

http://www.thoughts.com/jonhopper7

It's been a few days since I've written and tons of stuff has been floating through my head, but it's almost 5 am and I'm actually a little tired.  So tomorrow, I'm going to try and get back in the swing of things and we'll see what happens.

Goodnight