What are you most proud of this year?

This is a tough one, because I’m really not proud of where I am in a lot of areas of my life. A lot of it has been happenstance, but I pride myself in my ability to adapt to the circumstances.

For this year, though, I guess it’d be dealing with my disease. I was in a tough situation early in the year, then found that my doctors didn’t accept my new insurance.

My company’s insurance, which has zero local coverage, I’d declined, so I ended up buying a plan from the Federal Exchange. Incredibly expensive; so much for affordable care. My primary care docs at EVMS, especially Drs. Grant and Newman, have been so helpful in finding new specialists.

So, I got a new neurologist. She worked with me to find the best disease modifying drug for me. That ended up being Tysabri. But getting to the point where I could take As a monthly infusion, with periodic blood tests, Tysabri required me getting better with venous puncture.

So, I’ve done that. I’ve also worked faithfully, despite an incredibly bad work situation.

I could dig and find something else, perhaps, but I really don’t think anything would come close. Nothing’s had a bigger effect on my life. I feel better than I have in I don’t know how long.

I wish I’d done a few things differently which would allow me to enjoy this newfound “health” more, but…


Thanksgiving leftovers. How much? What did you do with them?

I wrote this while watching a TV food show, obviously.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything you can do with leftover turkey that’s good. Sandwiches, reheated as it is, etc., but….

Ham has a lot of potential, turkey notsomuch.

I think all we’ve got left now is some of my SIL’s pumpkin pie, which, again, doesn’t need any modification. Or even heating.

I apologize for the lackluster prompt. It happens. There’s two prompts left, so maybe I’ll do better, grow up to be a division manager, drive a Dodge Stratus.


What places hold particular allure for you; where might you like to live?

Writing in the middle of the night, because I fell asleep during the Packers-Bears game, and am now wide awake.

(And also still uncomfortable from overeating today….)

This prompt is kind of related to yesterday’s; I think Detroit has a lot of potential. I think the same of many of the “rustbelt” cities – Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Buffalo, some of the NYC boroughs outside Manhattan. (Aside: I still, and probably never will, understand why Cleveland and Milwaukee don’t have NHL teams. Not that I have the least bit of interest in hockey, but it seems like those would be two places that are natural hockey towns.)

Yes, that includes Brooklyn, even though I can’t grow a hipster beard or manbun. Hell, I’d even consider something in northern Jersey if the right job presented itself.

Almost universally, these places are known as being cold. When I was younger, that’d have bothered me more. I really don’t notice it as much anymore, though. I notice cold a lot less than I notice heat. Yes, this is directly-related to the MS, but…. My mother is very concerned about me being under-dressed in cold weather, still.

Still, hypothermia seems less likely than passing out because I can’t breathe in the heat. I’m also very much intrigued by cities that are good for living without a car. That I can’t drive anymore has a lot to do with that.

So, notables….

I find Southwest DC interesting for some reason.,_Washington,_D.C.

There’s also gentrification going on in Southeast. I’d still probably not want to live in Anacostia, but you never know.

I do like Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia. If I manage to score a DC gig before my wife finishes school, that’s probably where I’d look to live until she can come join me.

I mentioned NYC. Maybe I’ve got an idealized vision, but I know at least I could get around without a car.

I can get most places when I’m in Norfolk. When I’m at my mother’s, where I stay when I’m working, OTOH, I’m nearly a recluse. I can’t go anywhere. sigh Even when I’m home on the weekends, though, I don’t have a lot of energy to get around.

I think I might be settling down again, so I’m going to cut this off now.

I have to get up in a few hours to go get another flu shot. When I got the first one, it was the first day I got Tysabri. Something about immunosuppressants killing a vaccine’s effectiveness. Go figure.


The team that traditionally has had Thanksgiving football is the Lions. Write about Detroit. Have you been there? Would you want to go back? Do you know anyone who is from there, originally? Would you want to live there, yourself?

This prompt was heavily-influenced by a recruiter I guess I ran off. He wanted me to work at one of the “Big Three.” (The one that didn’t go bankrupt.) I was worried about going without a long-term gig. I was also worried about being able to get to and from in “The D” not being able to drive a car.

Some of it is flavored by frequent TV; Red Eye on Fox News has a few somewhat-regular guests who are from Detroit.

I’ve only been to the airport, which was a hub for one of the merged/bankrupted/gone US airlines. I’ve never seen any of the inner parts of the city, though some of it looks pretty awesome. I have acquaintances who are big into urban exploration, and Detroit seems like it’d be an interesting place to do that.

Places like this:

Not that I’d be much for exploration, based on my limited mobility, but…. Maybe there’s a way that someone could explore some of those old places with a drone….

Back to the prompt, I’ve been going through my memory bank, and I can’t think of anyone who was from Detroit, or nearby. A few people from Michigan, but nobody from Detroit, specifically. That’s a bit surprising considering how big a city it once was.

Would I want to live there? I don’t know. I think there’s a lot of potential in the old real cities, but the people who brought endless miles of suburbia wouldn’t understand it. Everybody should have a 3,000 square foot McMansion, and buy groceries somewhere miles away. And pay not a dime of Federal income tax as a result.

(Yes, I am a bit bitter that because I didn’t choose to enter into a contract I couldn’t afford in 2006/7, I paid more in income tax in 2009 than I grossed in 2002…. Go south from Detroit, and you’ll see what a wasteland a country that doesn’t have tax breaks for renting a house from a bank has… Still, all this is why Hillary will be the conservative candidate in 2016, just as Obama was the conservative candidate in 2012. And now watch as the hipster progressives’ heads spin around and around)

Would I want to live in Detroit, specifically? I don’t know. Maybe. But one of the other recovering big cities might be better for me. Cleveland, Buffalo, Baltimore, even Philly…..

But it’s really not up to me. My wife’s career aspirations dictate. I know my days of going somewhere to work, then enduring a commute home (public transport or not) are over. Oh well.


Thanksgiving is tomorrow in the US. Are you travelling? With whom will you eat? If you live somewhere where they celebrated last month, describe what you did. glares North If you live somewhere where they don’t celebrate, describe what you did on the most recent holdiay where friends/family/loved ones gather.

Not traveling, really. Going to my inlaws’ house, which is about twenty minutes away. So, it’ll be her parents, her sister, her sister’s husband, and her grandmother. Since my brother isn’t coming to the East Coast until Christmas, my mom is going to come join the festivities.

I think mom had originally planned to do the churchlady stuff, but most of that got cancelled after the preist died a few weeks ago. :-/

Since my FIL keeps hours liek he lives on Central European Time, I think we’re eating at like 1400 Eastern.

Menu is kind of traditional Thanksgivng fare. Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean cassarole (which I found out that my MIL strains the mushrooms out of the cream of mushroom soup since she doesn’t like mushrooms….yeah, I don’t know, either). My mom is bringing a couple of pies for dessert.

As I mentioned, we’re basically not traveling. It’s been probably more than ten years since i went anywhere out-of-town, and I’m okay with that. I’m not much one for trips these days, anyway. Some previous trips were memorable. Others I’d just assume forget.

I don’t think there was a single Thanksgiving weekend I didn’t have to work when I was in radio. Part of the job. I do miss it sometimes, but not terribly often.


It’s the final Tuesday of the month. Do you care?

Not really, no. All it means, really, is that next Tuesday will be the first day I haven’t written in a month. Although there’s still a few days left, I think I’ve proven to myself that I can still keep a commitment to something sometimes tedious.

By the same token, though, the fourteen months I’ve spent in this horrible, very bad job indicate teh same thing.

I’ve endured a lot in my life. Some of it deserved. Some of it undeserved. But all of it flavors my values, who I am.

I can endure a lot; the quetion is why do I keep doing it? When will I get to do something that I really enjoy professionally again? I’ve considered a lot lately, mainly to get out of my current situation, but should I go do something else I really won’t enjoy, for very little money?


But one day of work left. I’m ready for a break.


Write about being 23. Other than the fact that nobody liked you, write a bit about being 23. What were you doing? Where you were living? Relationship/who were you doing?

Let’s see….I was still working in radio, but with lessened on-air duties.

This would be a lot easier if I had access to my old OD entries, but they’re somewhere stuffed away on a powered-off PC at my apartment.

I should really move thoes to somewhere more accessible.

But, working from memory, I was single. I can’t even remember if there was anyone I was interested in. I think that would have been the summer my brother got married (for the first time), and I helped ruin the paint on his car after his groomsmen weren’t ready to decorate it. Cheap shaving cream from 7-Eleven does wonders to brighten faded paint.

I’d moved back home so I could concentrate on school, and didn’t have enough money to move out again. That certainly made me a magnet for the opposite sex….a weird work schedule, fat, and no income to speak of.

So, what else? I think that was also the first time my dad was really sick; if memory serves, tha was the first near-death scare. It would have been later that summer that I came to terms that he wouldn’t be around a long time. Heavy stuff for someone that young, with a newly-married younger sibling who hadn’t yet finished college.

That also probably would have been a summer of spur-of-the-moment trips. I think that was the summer I drove up to Redskins’ camp in Carlisle on a whim. I met Spurrier, Wuerffel, Matthews.

It’s been a long time. And, yes, if I had a lawn, I’d tell you to get off of it.

I was still on the air overnights three nights a week, and in the mornings on Saturday. I lived in a perpetual state of jet lag. It wasn’t as bad as it was a couple of years prior, because I wasn’t also taking a full course load in college. But it certainly wasn’t easy. When you live at night, things “normal” people do you have to plan well in adavance. Traveling. Going to the doctor and dentist. Meals.

That was also probably the summer I spent fishing. There wasn’t a lot else to do when you had two solid nights to yourself, and those nights were Monday and Tuesday.

Grab the rod, grab a box of squid, wander out onto the pier to try to bring in something worth eating.

Instead, I spent a lot of time listening to the radio, sweating in the 80F+ humidity.

When I find my old OD entries later this week, maybe I’ll revisit.

Incredibly, if I’d been in a relationship, fathered a child, then, he/she’d be in middle school.

What is this? I don’t even.


Day of historical significance for “US Americans.” Do you know why? Were you alive? (I’m skeptical…) What do you remember? (Bonus on this one for readers from Soviet Canuckistan….)

Cheating a bit here, since I really haven’t gone to bed after SNL.

To the prompt, no, I wasn’t yet born. My ancestors were committed Democrats, but you’d rarely hear them say something positive about a Masshole

JFK would feel very out-of-place in today’s Democrat Party; most modern hipster progressives wouldn’t understand why. (Clluestick: He was Catholic, and very much anti-Communist…)

But, I’m sure the big three news networks will roll out the “where were you” segments in tonight’s newscasts. But the President was in diapers, and a lot of us ween’t yet born.

Update on the drama that woke me:

So, yes, the tow drivers probably were shouting at each other, along with the pool]ple whose cars cars were being towed……

First Look has yet anotherr new host. She’s in Worst Korea(TM). I miss the US focus.


Major drama between two tow drivers outside to wake up this morning. I don’t even….

I ended up calling the non-emergency phone number because while one left, another seems to be circling the block, and someone is yelling profanities at the truck. Umm…..

So, for the prompt, another where I wonder what I was thinking about when I wrote/accepted/recycled it. I understand the importance of the After-Action Review, and this prompt isn’t one…..

How about a list of things that’ve statisfied you this year, and a corresponding list of disappointments.

1. Surviving this awful job which made me….
2. Buy new letters after my name.
3. Buck up with my problems with venous puncture to be able to start Tysabri. (with a new neurologist because the one I’d been seeing since just after I was diagnosed didn’t accept my wonderful Federal health exchange plan…..)
4. Seeing my wife succeed in her college endeavors.
5. The Kansas City Royals. Duh.

1. That I’ve gotten zero movement on the many outstanding applications for Federal employment.
2. That, because of this awful job, I’ve not had the opportunity to really make a push on the business I’d started.
3. That my financial situation hasn’t gotten better.
4. Realizing that due to this awful job, I’m earning roughly what I did in 2006. But the economy is totes getting better. Forward

But I’m thinking it’s time to try to go back to sleep now…..


Kind of at a low-ebb today. Tysabri in a few hours, and I’m beyond ready for it. This has been an incredibly trying week, and I will never understand how being overbearingly officious makes you right.

Talk about your professors/teachers. What things they taught you have stuck with you?

It’s interesting to reminisce about them now. Yesterday, as my mother was giving me a ride home, I was thinking about one of them who’d been a counterpart of my dad’s in the Army. We were talking about writing. This professor said something about how he’d see other officers who were not inspiring leaders, and wondering why or how they got promoted….until stumbling across things they’d written. I don’t know what happened to this professor; he was married to a professor at a nearby school, but I haven’t been able to find him. Even the totes-not-worried-about-being-evil company doesn’t give good info as a result of his common names.

So, who else…..

The History professor who helped me become a more-effective writer. There were a few things he’d focus on that have stuck with me. An impact is a collision. “In-depth” is for people who don’t know how to spell “thorough.” Still, he was big on college being about teaching you how to think, not what to think. In the world of multiple choice tests for everything, this has been lost. (And that reminds me I need to needle on something I’ve been considering as a joke that I can put up, string initials after my name on LinkedIn…..)

One who lived through “massive resistance” in Norfolk. This white protestant kid ended up at a Catholic school because the local Democrats closed all the public schools rather than integrate.

The business law professor who obliterated what I thought was a great analysis on a case. I’d treated the case as a tort, and she thought I wrote it well as a tort. “You should have used the UCC. C.” Ouch. So much for the grade on the final pulling me up to an A for the course….. At the same time, she spoke to a campus group I helped run a couple of years later, and was very gracious to me.

I’m wandering here, though, and could write little vignettes about several others. Instead, I’m going to cut it off, think about how I’d never fit in on a modern campus, and tell those kids to get off my lawn.