Friday, December 30, 2011
First of all, I'm healing up very quickly from the surgery. A little pain and mild incontinence is all that's still bothersome. I think the rapid healing is in part due to the Captain Jack Harkness R.A.F. coat my wife bought me for Christmas. (Pictured above.. Sorry, I'm not better lookin'.)
I was going to title this blog entry “Catheter the Great” but I my respect for horses prevented it.
My urologist called me this morning and informed me that while the cancer actually spread fairly rapidly between the biopsy and the surgery, meaning that mine was the more aggressive variety, it was still contained within the prostate, so its removal will more than likely mean I can change the name of the blog in a couple weeks.
All of the positive energy I’ve received over the past several months worked its magic. I owe you one. Every single one of you.
I’ll save the stories of humiliation and discomfort for another post. Right now, I’m too damned happy to whine.
Here’s me singing “Midnight Train to Georgia”, that should be enough discomfort for today.
I do wonder though, if my bloodwork comes back in a few weeks and I find out that I am, in fact, cancer free, what should I rename my blog?
Monday, December 19, 2011
The surgery is over and was completed with great competency and care. I was toying with posting a picture of my battle damaged and artfully manscaped mid-section but decided against it.
The catheter comes out Wednesday morning and the pathology should be back before the new year.
I hope to feel well enough to post a full length piece soon.
I'd like to leave you with a couple of snappy numbers.
"T'd Like You For Christmas" by the Brunette Bias fave Holly Cole.
And this ... "If my blog could tell you all the pretty words..."
Saturday, December 10, 2011
David Hanson a.k.a. Ragz Dandelion, a.k.a. the fella I named the Boo Monster after, created the character Koltar, based on me more than a quarter of a century ago. So I commissioned him to do a Koltar Family portrait, and here it is in brilliant water colors and pastels. Once we get it here it'll be up on the wall and I'll take another picture!
Check out his artwork at the link above, and if you need art work done, he's worth every penny.
See all you all after surgery, assuming things go right this time.
Please love each other in the meantime!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Happy Holidays from Stately Boo Monster Manor (pictured above)!
I have to take a few days before surgery to catch up on work; since I’m going to lose some hours after the Cybermen perform my RADICAL PROSTATECTOMY (allegedly) on the 14th, so my blog is going to be in a holding pattern over La Guardia for a little bit. But I’ll be back after the surgery, as soon as I am able. When I do I’ll tell you a semi-fictional story of how I found out the answer to “How is a raven like a writing desk?” I say “semi-fictional” because I meditated over it and came up with the answer. I’ll even tell you the answer now but I won’t explain it until just before Christmas.
Q: How is a raven like a writing desk?
A: Faith is not a wedding dress.
Monday, November 21, 2011
The following is intentionally melodramatic and not meant to be taken entirely seriously.
Surgery has been rescheduled for December 14th; and so I have returned to Limbo in my mind, but while I was at the hospital someone came in and trashed the place. They didn’t even bother taking the valuables like my lucky Captain Kirk dollar bill or my limited edition Hillary Clinton plate; they just made a huge mess. I made a point of leaving limbo nice and orderly when I left for the hospital, and I come back to chaos. Oh yeah, they did take a bunch of video tapes from the eighties that I never got a chance to watch. Wonder what was on ‘em.
My expectations have been murdered, and one thing’s for sure, someone’s responsible.
I could look no further than the nice basket of food sent to me by the hospital (photo above) with the card reading “Sorry for the delay,” to suspect that some otherworldly force was at work here, but there was more … on the very same day I received care packages from two of the most enchanting talents in the history of talent, Jane Monheit and Tianna Hall. Some may consider this a cluster of coincidences, but I know it’s a sign from the very Universe itself. Because everything happens for a reason, except for *really* bad stuff, because then I’d think the Universe was a jerk, and then life wouldn’t be so fun.
So, until the surgery actually happens, we’re going to figure out what the Universe was trying to tell me…. together! Karmic boomerang, infinity gauntlet, the smoking man, the ghost of Thanksgiving past, the cancellation of “Joan of Arcadia,” or some guy in a SHIT HAPPENS tee shirt shopping at Wal-Mart, we will get to the bottom of this.
Until then I leave you with my hero/friend Tianna Hall singing the title track to this blog entry, which can also be found on her new album “Never Let Me Go.”
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The surgery that I was supposed to have today didn’t happen.
Maybe it’s because I listed my religious preference to the hospital clerk as Jedi, maybe it’s because improbability dances with me in the shadows, or maybe, just maybe, it’s “just because”. Scratch that last one, I’ve seen and experienced too much to believe in “just because.”
What bothers me is that, in a very odd way, I feel I let so many people down. All the love and positive energy from people I received to face this day and the coach never let me off the bench.
We went to the hospital and I was admitted, given a fashionable paper gown and sock like things (which I’m still wearing). They took some of my blood; fitted me with some blood-clot preventing, inflatable calf leggings (which I brought home), hooked me up to the IV and sent my wife in to wait with me for the moment that I had , after weeks of anxiety, finally prepared myself for. I was ready for this. I wasn’t afraid.
Then the medical team came in. The doctor said that he had bad news. The robotic equipment that was to be used in my procedure was, for the first time, malfunctioning, and the surgery could not be performed today. I was stunned; I had read that these machines malfunction less than 1% of the time. More than that, I was crestfallen. My dark passenger would continue life inside me for a while longer.
For their part, the staff of the hospital was extremely apologetic, even giving us gift cards for the cafeteria since I’d been on a liquid diet for the last 48 hours preparing for the surgery, and was famished.
Later I learned that the equipment had malfunctioned during the prostatectomy that was taking place before mine, and that my urologist had to finish it up old school, which is much messier and less reliable.
So I guess, I’m sort of lucky.
But damn it, I had this! I was in charge of my feelings in a stressful situation for one of the first times in my life and I didn’t get a chance to win the day. All because a highly improbable malfunction happened *minutes* before I was going to be put under. That’s not bad luck, that’s a challenge from the Universe. I’ll get back to you as soon as I figure out what that challenge is.
The next try at surgery will be mid-December.
So the question that I pose to you dear reader is:
Do I save the narrative of this story by not posting for a few weeks until after the surgery *really* takes place (perhaps with the entry title “Let’s Kill Cancer!”); or do you still love me enough to let me carry on as is?
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Today’s entry will be filled with a few random observations, and finally a video by the artist that my wife half-jokingly calls my “other lover.”
Some Interesting “Philosophical” Quips :
“Pain Don’t Hurt” from Roadhouse. Only Patrick Swayze and his intense, very nearly believable earnestness could pull off this line. Pain, by definition, does NOTHING but hurt. But by golly, I stole this as a catch phrase, and never let it go. Tomorrow, I may modify the line to “Could you please give me something that makes pain don’t hurt?” File this along with “I ain’t got time to bleed,” by Jesse Ventura from Predator. You can tell someone’s a badass when they make you believe a sentence that contradicts itself in six words or less. Nobody puts Baby in the corner? Really? Where is she sitting? In the corner! She may have even decided to sit in the corner. Who do you think you are, Patrick Swayze? Okay, I admit may be overreacting here. When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong. By the way, sometimes people will put Baby in the corner because of the mess she makes with strained peas, but everyone loves the bowl of spaghetti on the head trick.
“That’s the trouble with self-improvement, honey, I know when it’s time to quit,” from David Lee Roth’s “A Little Luck”. Say what you will about Diamond Dave, but when he puts his mind to it he can be one clever son of a gun, and I’ll be darned if he’s not right. Keeping your imperfections perfect requires a little good old fashioned laziness. One doesn’t want to become someone other than their true self, that’s like messing with a fixed point in time.
Don’t do that by the way.
“Do or do not, there is no try,” says Yoda to Luke and everyone just ate it up. Now, I love me some Yoda but my Jedi Master, Liz Carr, would never say something so ridiculous. How are you supposed to “do” if you don’t try? We’re not all naturals at pulling aircraft out of swamps with our minds, Grover. Yeah, that’s right. I went there.
Speaking of Sesame Street’s Grover, if you have a kid, or even if you don’t, purchase a copy of “The Monster at the End of this Book” by Jon Stone and Michael Smolin. It’s insanely clever.
Just mixed up my magic intestine cleaning fluid (with Lemon Flavor Packet!), which I will drink tomorrow after a “liquid breakfast”, followed by a full day of liquid meals. Fortunately, my wife will be home and can talk with my Jedi Master (Hi, Liz!), during our weekly confab, when I am otherwise “occupied”.
I’m wearing my “Macho Forever” shirt today, in honor of what would have been Randy Savage’s 59th birthday, and I’ll be wearing my Pop My Culture Podcast Tee on my way home from surgery, in honor of it being such a great show. With all these great tee-shirts I could be a model on “Project Runaway”.
Once again, I’d like to thank you all so much for the positive energy and support you’ve shown me and my family during this challenge, and believe me I’m absorbing it all, and will use it to recover quickly and finish off this cancer, and maybe, just maybe, with all this love inside me, I might make a positive difference in the world.
Thank to Jenni Cole (@LilFerret on the Twitter) for picking this entries title, well the first part of it anyway. I added the drugs part.
And speaking of things that make me light headed and happy...
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. John Barrowman…
Monday, November 14, 2011
For the first time, perhaps ever, I wasn’t afraid. It didn’t feel like a temporary moment of euphoria, it felt like all the fear in my body, mind and soul fell into a pocket universe, and then fell into a volcano. This odd moment of clarity shouldn’t go without comment.
I should probably point out that in the last ten years, my life has improved significantly. I am with the life partner that I am supposed to be with; I have a beautiful son who changed me forever. I have the support and friendship of so many people that like me more than I could ever like myself. I still try to figure out how I warrant so much positive energy from these angels and warriors in my life, and I should probably stop trying to figure it out and just appreciate it, and more importantly, reciprocate it.
I should also point out that some of the following material is of a very serious nature and almost all of it is information I’ve never disclosed. So I’ll try to lighten things up for tomorrows entry.
But before I met my wife, changing my universe forever, fear and I were very close.
I was born afraid. I was afraid to fail, I was afraid to succeed. I was afraid to be myself and I was afraid to conform. I was afraid of demons, professional bowlers, and taking a shower in gym class. I was afraid that Jesus hated me and that Godzilla really might just be a guy in a rubber suit. I was afraid my stuffed animals might explode in the washing machine and I was afraid that Playboy would make me go blind.
My single greatest source of fear, however, has always been myself. How I react to things, how I make other people feel, how I was unable to get my shit together enough to be a productive member of society, how I let people down, how I was so obsessive compulsive, how I wanted it all but didn’t want to work for it. Fearing myself made me a Grade A loser.
I like to think that I’ve always been, more or less, a person of good intentions, but the way I reacted to fear led me down dark paths and convinced me to do bad things; but that kind of fear comes from one place: not being honest with yourself about who you really are.
Being true to yourself is not always easy and the more you lie to yourself the further you get away from your true center, and the harder it is to get back home. When you lie to yourself it becomes necessary to lie to others. Sometimes those lies are merely tall tales made up to impress someone that you don’t believe really could respect you as you are. Some of those lies are made to cover your tracks for something you’ve done that will hurt others. Further down the line, you lie just so you don’t get caught at something you’d probably keep doing if you could get away with it. That’s when you’ve lost your way. I’m sure most of us have been there. Of course, all of those lies come in with built in excuses. Heaven knows I had excuses lined up for everything rotten I’ve ever done.
So, how did I get to that place, a place that sent me so far down into the pits of despair that I tried to take my life twenty years ago? Fear of being myself, or more specifically, fear of allowing others to see me as I am.
How many people do you know that are in “committed” relationships that are actively pursuing extracurricular dalliances, when they can get away with it? My guess is that you know quite a few. I worked at a bar for thirteen years and saw both men and women (though mostly men) try to pick up someone for a cheap thrill, a distraction from the norm, a little adventure to keep life interesting.
I used to be that guy. I’m not proud of that. Why did I act that way? Because I was lying to myself about who I really was, by putting myself in life that I always knew wasn’t the right choice for me, but provided security, stability,and held the fear of being alone at bay. Well, since I was lying to myself, I had to lie to others, people that didn’t deserve to be lied to. Good people who believed in me because I allowed them to see only the good side of me, which actually existed, but was tainted by this scret darkness. So in the end, I was destroying myself and taking decent people with me and the hell of it was that I knew it. I tried so many things to “cure” myself. I drank excessively, I gambled hoping luck could buy happiness, I took out bad loans to pay the bills. I was such a basket case.
One of my good qualities is also one of my most troublesome ones. I know when I’m taking the wrong path. I was hurting people and I knew it, and I honestly believed there was only way I could stop hurting other people. It was an easy choice. I hated myself. It was time to go. So I took a couple bottles of sleeping pills and tried to die. It wasn’t a cry for help. In fact, the concept of suicide filled me peace.
The man who I was living with at the time, and the man I named my son after, got me to a hospital in time and saved my life. When I came to in the hospital my first words to him were “Boy, I really can’t do anything right.”
I tried my best after recovering to help heal the wounds I caused, but it was still, I knew deep down inside, all a lie. I tried my best to become a good man who did good things, but the truth wasn’t going to change. So I started to unravel again.
Then ten years ago, I met the girl of my dreams, and the truth was that I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with her. Suddenly, there was no further need to lie to myself or anyone else. It wasn’t always smooth at first, and there are occasional twists in the road, but it’s the right road and we are so blessed to have such beautiful travelers with us along the way. A good portion of those companions on this journey are reading this blog right now, and I will do everything in my power to make you proud to know me.
So on Thursday, when the robot goes in and gets my cancer riddled prostate, I won’t be afraid because I now know I’m a better version of me, maybe on my way to being the BEST version of me.
I am all but certain I owe an enormous amount of this new sense of peace to my Jedi Master, Liz Carr, who helped me realize to embrace the perfection of my true self’s imperfection. I still need work, I get frustrated and distracted so easily. I am sometimes petty and selfish. Maybe now, that the fear is gone, even those less noble qualities will diminish.
Thanks for letting me vent.
I love you guys.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
But no one wants to read that crap.
My support group has been beyond amazing.
Friday night, my long time close personal friend, and the best man at my wedding, Daniel Floyd, broadcast his 80's Night Live radio show and dedicated the whole program to me. Dan played nothing but music that I like, which is a pretty dangerous format if you want to keep your audience, but that’s the kind of friend he is. Also my Huckleberry, Annie performed “Moon River” for me, Dan also played John Barrowman and myself singing that classic number. I got a little weepy. I won’t lie.
Here's one of my new Jazz Trinity Trio Jane Monheit with my fave version of the song.
Buy all of Jane's Music ... I'm going to! Maybe even twice!
The other two Trinity members are Tianna Hall and Brigitte Zarie in case you're interested. Buy all of their stuff too.
I also got a much appreciated blast of positive energy from the folks at Pop My Culture Podcast with Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland. Episode 52 with special guest, the beautiful and talented Meredith Salenger.
Speaking of Cole and Vanessa, here's a photo of the shirt I'll be wearing when I leave the hospital on Friday or Saturday.
Now, let's talk about Murray Gold for a moment. I think the current restraining order has expired.
David just loves his compositions. “Rose’s Theme” and “I Am the Doctor” freeze him in his tracks. As far as I can tell, Boo doesn't care about "Doctor Who" one way or another, unless there’s a stirring theme in the background. The opening theme sends the Boo Monster into a frenzy, but I'll bet he sees the time/space vortex more frequently than we neurotypical normals do.
I also listen to A LOT of Murray’s music when I write. I’m sure my thanks are a drop in the bucket, but here they are.
I also owe him three pies. Hurm.
Speaking of the Boo Monster, that dude is finicky, like MORRIS THE CAT finicky. I keep putting various dishes in front of him and he pushes them away. One day after 5 attempts I got it right. David's fish fingers and custard are tortilla chips and catsup.
Speaking of levity. Wendy Liebman's new Showtime Special "Taller on TV" is just the right thing to watch when you're in the mood I've been in lately. There's nothing outlandish, overtly political, mean-spirited or preachy here. Just well timed, well read, clever jokes being delivered by a pro who is not only funny, but beautiful too.
Until next time, please love one another....
Thursday, November 10, 2011
11/11/11 Is Here!
Quick note: This is the symbol I use when paraphrasing the Doctor.
This entry will feature the truth and elaborate falsehoods. Fear not, it’ll be simple to discern which is which.
Six days from surgery. 1+1+1+1+1+1 = 6!
I remember the last 11/11/11 rather vividly. The Great Blue Norther they called it. Radio host and paranormal investigator Daniel Floyd and I were testing some Sontaran weather weaponry meant to freeze out the rather elementally challenged Rutans, great shape-shifters, rotten body temperature control, and we decided to park our TARDIS in Kansas City and kind of made a mess of things. Record highs in the day, record lows at night. So, all you centurians in Missouri, my apologies.
Speaking of Dan, tonight (Friday) he's doing a special version of 80's Night Live from 10 p.m. to 12 a. m. eastern standard time, dedicated to some nerd named Father Wizard or something. I'll be in the chatroom during the show. The chat Password: Krushradio
The 11/11/11 before that, I was mid-wife for the birth of future Confederate General Benjamin McCulloch. Yankee or no, I was the only one around that knew something about birthing a baby! I only recently realized the significance of that event, as I am currently working on, under the genius guidance of Tina Prause, The Civil War Today application for Arts and Entertainment Television Networks, we’re included in the The Wired App Guide . Buy both. I'll pay you back when I create a dematerialization ray.
On 11/11/1611 My time machine, Helen Mirren and I went to go see the opening performance of some play called "The Tempest". It was okay, but it could have used a few song and dance numbers. Helen seemed mesmerized, as if she had some sort of plan.
I recently decided that I don't hate the phone anymore. Mostly thanks to Liz Carr, my Jedi Master, who is one of the greatest people the Universe has ever connected me with. (That's true!) Also talking to my son's namesake David, my dear friend Lilianavonk, my new pal Marilu Henner,one of my favorite musical artists EVER Natalie Nicole Gilbert, my brilliant boss Tina, and my little brother Tim. I've become a phone guy!
Also as an aside I love Michael Gardner and Sandra Bernhard ! LOVE. THEM.
Also, a thank you to all those who served this country so nobly for so long. This days is yours, and you have my undying respect and appreciation.
The following is the unembellished truth :
I'd like to take this moment to thank the girl of my dreams, the center of my universe, the being that all my reality revolves around, and the person who has lifted me to higher heights than I'd ever thought possible. Not only has she given me the gift of my precious Boo Monster, but she gives me strength and encouragment even when I'm in spazzy, anxiety, and yes, even jerky mode. She is an academic phenom, a true genius,her beauty is unmatched, and she sings like an angel.
Pamela, my wife, my life didn't really begin until we met,and even though I'm not there yet, if I ever become the person I truly wish to be, it will be because of you.
When I come out of surgery on Thursday and see your face I will know that everything will always be all right. No. Everything will be amazing!
I love you.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Tomorrow is Saturday, and Saturday is a good day to talk about Murray Gold, a man I've relentlessly stalked dressed as David Bowie from the Ashes to Ashes video, but more importantly, Mr. Gold composed much of the music that I listen to when writing my blog.
So we'll do that tomorrow, and I've got a couple more things to talk about as well.
Until then little David Bowie for you !
Love one another !
In 7 Days, a preternatural entity crawls out of a well and steals my prostate, and all because I watched what I thought was a rare VHS copy of Godzilla Raids Again. Foiled by my great love for Japanese pop culture.
Speaking of which, let's all enjoy the theme from one of my all time favorite anime series' "Scrapped Princess", Little Wing as performed by JAM Project and Masami Okui.
I also strongly suggest checking out the Utawarerumono and Solty Rei collections, both of which actually made me weepy.
I think it’s somewhat appropriate the Regis and my prostate are riding off into the sunset together. Maybe, they’ll become sheep herders and live happily ever after. I actually named one of my cars Regis. It’s funny how the Universe works.
I bought a couple of feature length Rifftrax to watch on my iPad during recovery from my surgery, when I will be equipped unseemly tubes and bags and stitches and ... but I digress...
I'd like to take this moment to thank the folks at Rifftrax, Cinematic Titanic, and Mystery Science Theater 3000, for filling my life with mirth, and an inability to stop riffing on everything I see or hear. My wife really wishes I would stop riffing "Homeland" and "The Good Wife", but she loves you too.
Over on the Rifftrax side, I'd like to send a special shout out to Erik and Sarah (Barnes and Todd forever!), who have to put up with my endlessly stupid questions via e-mail. Erik, did no-sell my boxers or briefs question, but you know, I'm sure he was swamped for autographed 8X10 glossies, as he is a damn good looking man.
At the end of this post enjoy the Bill Corbett composition Love Theme From Jaws featuring the vocal talents of Kevin Murphy, the less Welsh Tom Jones; and the beautiful and talented food blogger, singer, dancer and mommy Virginia Corbett.
This lovely song is available at the Rifftrax site and on iTunes along with many other snappy numbers both musically and comedically satisying, much like you'd imagine sex with a clown playing Stravinsky on the cello, but less messy.
I have to thank you all for you tremendous support during this time.
Now I get semi-serious and it might get a little icky.
A dear friend of mine assured me I'd be"as good as new" after the surgery. She was right! I'll be incontinent and unable to procreate just like the day I was born!
It's all about the coming and going.
When removing the prostate they have to reattach my bladder to my urethra, so it might be awhile before I can control my going, but I'm assured I'll be back to "I'm a big kid now!" from in a bout a month.
As for my..er, uh.. coming ... well, let's just say my days as a genetic jackhammer are over. In fact, it will, as I understand, require a series of pulleys, winches, vaccuum tubes, blue pills, blue borings, fob watches, jelly babies and helium for me to "perform" for quite a while.
This saddens me.
I'm also concerned about how my son will handle having an unclimbable, Daddy for a few weeks. He also won't be able to tell me what he wants because, as he is non-verbal, he needs to pull/drag me to what he wants.
This saddens me, too.
But you know what?
It's just another regeneration episode, right? I'll be out of it for a period of time, adjusting to a new body, and then soon I'll be back to squashing Daleks, confounding Cybermen, and travelling through time and space with my scrying ball, my magic wand, my sonic screwdriver,my beautiful wife,the Boo Monster and YOU!
I love you guys !
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
After surgery, I’m in for a few weeks of being more or less laid up, so I need some spiritually uplifting music to stave off the madness. I figure I’d try to put together three perfect playlists. One playlist would feature of all female vocalists, one of all boys, and one of my favorite all-time songs. The only problem with this concept is that I’ve been trying to construct these lists for an eon (or two) and have come close, but just as I soon as I think I’ve got it, I get kind of tired of one or two of the songs, and then I swap. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Today, we’ll start with six artists with multiple songs sure to make “The Ladies” play list. Two of these women are friends, and one of those is like a sister to me. Two have been my social media buddies for a long time, and one a recent supportive contact. The sixth doesn’t know me from Grover Cleveland.
Dawn Langstroth (Top Left)
Her album "Highwire" is pretty much a perfect pop album. I've bought it two and half times! The songs sure to make the playlist.
Elevator Music: I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this song. Sometimes that symphony of early romance just sounds like muzak after a while. Fortunately, ten years into my marriage, the orchestra still swells and sweeps me away.
A Case Of You : Joni Mitchell has written two of my favorite all time songs and this is one of them. ( In fact it appears twice on this list alone.) Joni just had her 68th birthday. "I could drink a case of you, and still be me on my feet." Awesome!
No Prize : I'm a sucker for a song with a shuffly jazzy feel and Dawn could sing the angels down for a closer listen. Love it.
Enough for Two, Where Were You? , Stranded, and You Don't Want Me will almost all certainly make the cut as well. I'd put the whole album on there but that'd be overkill.
I actually dreamt Dawn had a new album out and half remember the title cut "Newly Blue" but I forgot it too quickly. I might still write a song with that title though,and give it to her.
Natalie Nicole Gilbert (Top Right)
Natalie's music strikes a chord in me that I can't quite explain, except that it fills me with inspiration and happiness.
Cut On Your CD off the album Skeletal : It's one of those fun breezy songs you can imagine being sung by a campfire with a guitar and a singer. It's also one of the few songs of NNG's I can actually sing, even if it makes me feel impossibly old when I change the lyrics to "Cut on Your LP."
Breathing Hope off of Summary : This song reminds me of my son David, in fact I quoted it when my blog was all about the Boo Monster, a "beautiful contradiction" if there ever was one. A gorgeous song, with lyrics that make my soul stir. As long as I remember to forget it was written about a vampire of the sparkly variety.
Santa Monica: Simply one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, reminding me the importance of every moment, every sight, sound, smell and touch.
Also certain to be on the final playlist: Sweet Australia and Danger Surrounding off of Summary and New Moon, Blue Sun respectively.
Natalie's in the midst of an exciting new project :
Check it out here!
NNG's other site!
Jane Monheit (Upper Center)
Jane Monheit has the mutant ability to reimagine my favorite songs and make them new again… except I know all the lyrics. . On her CD Surrender, with her song styling at the helm, she transported Moon River from Branson, Missouri to Heaven and Pure Imagination from a Chocolate Factory to Paradise Island, and her reworking of Stevie Wonder’s Overjoyed is a thing of an entirely new kind of wonder.
On The Lovers, the Dreamers and Me, Jane revitalizes one of my favorite Bacharach/David numbers with This Girl’s In Love with You, and performs the best Rainbow Connection since a banjo playing felt amphibian warbled it in the theaters. On a side note, I dueted that song with a Kermit puppet for YEARS when I was a karaoke host. Give me your number and I’ll do Kermit for you. His voice, I mean.
My wife and I sang If, the classic Bread song, at our wedding as a duet. Had we had heard Jane's version (along with Kenny Barron) off of the Come Dream with Me CD, who knows what we would have done with it. Mesmerizing.
Also on the list Jane's version of Over The Rainbow from her brilliant Taking a Chance on Love CD and A Case of You (along with Richard Bona) on Come Dream With Me.
I must see her perform live before I die !
Jen Chapin (Bottom Left)
Jen's father is one of my top five artists of all time but she's a star all her own. The List features seven minutes of bliss in I Could Fall (in Love With You) and Jen's performance with the Rosetta Trio of a little ditty called Starman that I love because it reminds me of the 11th Doctor.
Sandra Bernhard (The Other Center)
As the Light in the Darkness, and my Gemini-Genesee Sister, naturally I put her entire Whatever It Takes album in heavy list rotation, along with her rocking Lita Ford/Pink mash-up from her I Love Being Me, Dont you? CD. Sandy's currently on tour. Go see her. I. Love. Her.
Jennie Walker (The Blonde)
FINALLY ! Jennie's debut redebuted. The whole CD is gem with, lush strings, stirring piano and Jennie's goddess like vocals.
The haunting Simon, along with the fabulous Your Father Your Mother, the nifty Black Hat and I Wanna Show the World (and she does!) are on the list.
So there you have it. Maybe in a couple weeks I'll tell you how my search for the perfect playlists is panning out.
Oh yeah, and I'll update on that whole cancer thing too.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Enough with all of the keening, wailing and gnashing of teeth; let’s play a game!
This multiple choice quiz will feature questions about 20 people I am thankful to have as friends.
The first person that e-mails me all the correct answers to the quiz wins … um, let’s see… I could call you and do a bunch of silly voices… or put you in my will or something. We’ll figure something out.
This question pertains to my very first nephew, Jack Lee, reaper of lost souls, and all around swell chap. We’ve gone to the Motor City Comicon together for roughly the last 75 years. I love him.
Which of the following is another annual event Jack and I look forward to?
A. On the full moon every April, Jack and I dress as Bucky Barnes and Jason Todd and scour the greater Flint area for criminals to kick in the nethers.
B. On Jack’s birthday every year, I attempt, and frequently succeed in choke slamming him straight to Hell.
C. We enter our prize hog, Cherylene, into the county fair competition for prettiest pig. She’s never won but we love her for her beautiful soul.
My sweet and supportive friend Jori Jenae, Hollywood make-up artist extraordinaire, one of my very first twitter friends and vice-versa. *HUGS*. http://www.jorijenae.com/
Which of the following celebrities has Jori not worked with?
A. William Shatner
B. Kathy Bates
C. Harold Lloyd
Jenifer Swift (real name withheld so that she is not constantly barraged with questions of how she always has such great hair.)She's awesome.
Jenifer recently sent me a package containing three WWE (WWF) Teddy Bears, what three characters did the teddy bears represent?
A. Hellena Heavenly, Sharkboy, ad Chip Fairway
B. Bastion Booger, Glacier, and Jay Leno.
C. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, and Kane.
Speaking of Hellena Heavenly, she is a phenomenal worker, and I wish was a trainer at FCW so that she could teach some of these "Divas" how to run the f**king ropes. Drives me nuts. Anyway....
Other than Hellena, which of the following three pro wrasslin' female heroes of mine have I have met.
A. Trish Stratus, Nora Greenwald (Molly Holly), and Mickie James.
B. Sherri Martel, Akira Hokuto, and Lisa Varon (Victoria, Tara)
C. Judy Martin, Gail Kim and Kia Stevens (Awesome Kong / Karma)
Lisa Ray has been a friend of mine nearly forever. We got reacquainted a few years back and it's been amazing fun. Lisa works in the television news industry (currently WDIV in Detroit),but when we were in high school, she was the queen of the stage. Her acting skill was so formidable that it required two separate leading men - both with same first name - to act opposite her in a legendary musical.
What was the play and what was the first name of both her leading men.
A. Hair / Alan
B. South Pacific / Scott
C. The Fantasticks / Petro
Erin Aiken is one of the kindest, diplomatic, and thoughtful people on earth.
What game does Erin routinely destroy me when we play each other?
B. Words with Friends
C. Giant Monster Combat Larping
I have two friends whose names are remarkable similar to my own, Shawn Patrick Colton. Both incredibly sweet and clever individuals. Their twitter handles (Cthulu23 and Kouban) will tell you nothing, unless you cheat and look at their profiles!
Who are my similarly named friends?
A. Shawn Colvin and Sean Patrick Flanery
B Shaun Crocker and Patrick Shawn Kelly
C. Wallace Shawn and Charles Nelson Reilly
Anastasia McGee is an incredible human being with an unusual number of first cousins. Guess how many ?
Sara Tweed, impossibly nice and Greg Stafford, a paragon of virtue, are considered royalty in what magical land. (Also visit the following Greg related website if you are an unsigned music act, Canadian, and VERY Good http://canadianshowoffs.com/ )
A. The Fuzzball Empire
B. The Nutball Kingdom
C. The Provincial League of Superhuman Entities Named Karl with a "K."
The extremely awesome, talented and lovely Danielle Tucker is the host of "The Golf Club" ( http://www.radiogolfclub.com/). What state does Danielle live in?
B. Pennsylvania (Go Steelers!)
Karen Stupples, super-mom, incredible pro athlete, and more than all that a GREAT person. I call Karen "Champ" not only because she won the Women's Britih Open in 2004, and was part of the winning European team at the Solheim Cup this year, but she also won another championship in 2009, which tournament was is it?
A. Open de France Dames
B. Wales Ladies Championship of Europe
C. Ladies Swiss Open
My Twitter Cousin Erica V. is incredibly fabulous and her cat is cooler than Raul in Howard Chaykin's "American Flagg". What's the name of her putty-tat?
I dig a good love story. All of the couples I will list in this question are intellectual dynamos, physically attractive, and loaded with talent. Three of the couples I like a whole lot, separately and together, and one of them not so much.
Which couple is not on my list of favorites?
A. Phil and Karen Villasenor
B. Cole and Jenny Brooks Stratton
C. Virginia and Bill Corbett
D. My John McCain and Joe Leiberman salt and pepper shakers.
Speaking of love, my Twitter pal Ross Douglas waited a LONG TIME for the love of his life to return to him and now they are blissfully married!
How long did Ross have to wait?
A. Two-thousand years while she was trapped in the Pandorica
B. 8 years
C. 15 years
Holly Reier ( @Solitaire171 on Twitter ) stumped me with this trivia question.
Who, other than an occasional fill in by Bob Hastings, voiced the Raven in the Munster's cuckoo clock?
A. Casey Kasem
B. Mel Blanc
C. Scott Levy
In honor of my dear fried Mokes (@mocoddle), who I really, really like, and is one of the funniest and nicest people in the galaxy, I ask this question.
Which of these events never happened in U. S. History?
A.Prior to World War II the New York City phonebook listed twenty-two Hitlers, after the war ended, there were zero.
B. Paul Revere warned the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, by ringin’ those bells and by makin’ sure that as he’s ridin’ his horse through town to send those warnin’ shots and bells that we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free … and we were gonna be armed.
C. Martin Van Buren had two pet tiger cubs.
Robin Olson (@ThePlushGourmet) is living a lifelong dream... what is it?
A. To be a human cannonball.
B. To have a place all her own.
C. To have a pony ... with two heads!
My friend Andy (@AndyCH65) is a beautiful upstanding person.
How many men with the first name Andrew served as the Secretary of the United States Treasury
Kate Flanagan Siegel, a total sweetheart, is my favorite what ?
A. Blip FM DJ
B. Lawn dart player
C. War correspondent
and finally ....
Which of the following Twitter accounts do I NOT follow?
So there you have it! Also feel free to leave your answers in the comments section or e-mail me at email@example.com.
The next entry is about the upcoming surgery ... and there will be 5 more thank yous!
I love you guys!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Bouncing. It’s what Boo Monster’s do best ! But bouncing leads to broken box springs, bed frames, and couches. When we used to live in an apartment, neighbors would insist that we must be doing something horrible in our quarters. One actually went to the office of the landlord and claimed we were smashing things with a baseball bat “day and night,” and that was the* upstairs* neighbor. The downstairs neighbor was the building manager and he was forewarned that a 100 plus pound jackhammer lived upstairs. David likes to jump up and down a lot, particularly when he’s excited, which is frequently. Things fall off of walls and shelves, light bulbs in the basement come loose, C. H. U. D.s move to the suburban sewers, etc.
Why don’t we stop him? The same reason you can’t stop a hurricane. He is a force of nature. Not that we don’t ask him in every way we can think of, but it’s like asking someone not to breathe. It’s what he does.
Recently my friend, M, told me of the health benefits of the trampoline, that rebounding was good for the lymphatic system. Her husband had used it to great effect. Well, my new health-minded self, being slightly sharper than my sloth- minded self, realized that what was good for my lymphatic system, might also be good for David’s emphatic system.
::Prepares to be pelted with rocks and garbage by the bad pun police.::
So we’re getting a trampoline for Boo Monsters and Daddy Monsters!
Here’s a video of an alternate reality David and I voiced over by Tom Selleck:
I’ll let you know how that goes. The trampoline, not the fire breathing.
In other news, my wife and I took a mini-vacation close to home while my mother-in-law watched the Boo Monster. I, in my own self-important dramatic fashion, titled the vacation “Perry Prostates Last Stand”. I’ll assume that you can figure out why I gave that title to our little getaway (Brown Chicken Brown Cow!) and we can move on to the other things we did during the weekend.
I cheated on my diet and paid for it after we got home. Hint: If you don’t eat red meat for a while and then do, you’re asking for it. It was like I was burping up the souls of the eternally damned.
Naturally, like most people do when they are on a bit of a holiday, we went shopping… at the Habitat for Humanity store. We got some swell pictures frames and I found an Anne Murray 8 track tape that will definitely wind up in the eight track tape player I’ll be adding to the console of my TARDIS control room, which will be the subject of another post somewhere down the line.
We went to go see Paranormal Activity 3 at 10:50 in the morning, and both found it quite a clever little diversion. In fact, I liked it so much that I when my wife bought my son a helium filled spider balloon just before we came home Sunday I named it “Toby”.
Probably shouldn’t have done that since our new home was built in the 1940s and has produced some rather ghostly experiences, but that’s another story, again, for another post.
We also went out to shoot pool and sing karaoke, where we performed among other numbers, one of the two songs that we sang during our wedding ceremony ten years ago, Billy Preston and Syreeta’s “With You I’m Born Again.” People told us how cute we were.
We came home exhausted and the Boo Monster was on 11, so I think that little Mommy and Daddy alone time did us both some good.
I have an appointment today with my “regular” doctor to okay me for the rapidly approaching surgery, and if anything interesting happens you can read about here!
And now … 5 thank yous !
Thanks to my boss, Tina Prause, over at A&E Television Networks, who is always supportive and understanding. She is, quite frankly a super-genius, and one the best people ever. She also gave me the best gig I could ever hope for.
Thanks to Renee Yvette, my beautiful Twitter cousin. She is incredibly smart, wise, and kind, and a terrific hugger. Meeting her earlier this year was a moment my wife and I will always cherish.
Thanks to L. A. for telling me of your experience with prostate cancer, and the ensuing surgery, and keeping me from going crazy by reminding me that I have a good life and that this is a minor setback on an otherwise magical journey.
Thanks to Natalie Nicole Gilbert, whose fan club card I carry in my wallet, and was nice enough to give me a call and see how I was doing. The poor woman had to listen to me babble like a fan boy on meth. Buy all of her music. You’ll be glad you did! http://natalienicolegilbert.com/
Speaking of music, I’d also like to thank William Shatner, http://www.williamshatner.com/ ; Jane Monheit, http://janemonheitonline.com/ ; Dawn Langstroth, http://www.dawnlangstroth.com/#/home ; Alice Cooper, http://alicecooper.com/ ; John Barrowman, http://www.johnbarrowman.com/ ; and Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan http://www.theturtles.com/; for providing the soundtrack that helps keep my spirits up. Gobble up their music.
Thanks to Julie Silver, who I found (by happy accident or divine intervention) through social media, and was completely awestruck by. She is ALWAYS a positive force on the universe. http://www.juliesilver.com
Next time … It gets a little freaky! Or not …
Until then, Love Each other!
Monday, October 24, 2011
As far as origin stories go, my prostate cancer’s isn’t very exciting. I didn’t get bit by a radio-active compound tubuloalveolar exocrine gland and gain its proportionate strength, nor did I submit my prostate to cosmic rays during unprotected space sex, but here it is, the story of how I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
I found out that I might have cancer of the prostate a couple of months ago when I received a 9 p.m. phone call from my doctor telling me that the results of my routine blood work showed that I had an elevated PSA. I figured that if my doctor was calling me during prime time something must be wrong. I also wondered how I had elevated public service announcements in my body. It turns out this particular PSA stood for Prostate Specific Antigen, and my doctor suggested I see the urologist as quickly as possible. This had me a little worried.
My urologist appointment was not the most fun I’ve ever had. I knew I was going to have the dreaded Digital Rectal Exam, which I had to prepare for in ways that we don’t need to go into here, but they were new experience for me, and I don’t remember those experiences fondly. Having never been particularly sexually adventurous and having never been abducted and probed by aliens, I was not very comfortable with a gloved stranger’s finger feeling around for abnormalities in prostateville. He found some enlargement even though his patient was “quite tense.” Next step: a three week regiment of antibiotics to see if my PSA levels would drop. This had me more than a little worried.
The PSA did not drop significantly in those three weeks, so I had to schedule a biopsy. This had me worried.
The biopsy wasn’t any fun either, but your mileage may vary, because the nurse said she’d never seen anyway “jump” so much during the procedure. The doctor said the biopsy results would be in within ten days. This had me quite worried.
Speaking of worried, the doctor mentioned possible side-effects from the biopsy but omitted a very important one: BLOOD RED SEMEN! Fortunately, I read up on prostate biopsies after I got home and found out that little tidbit, otherwise… Oh, the screaming I would have done driving to the ER.
After an anxious ten days I called the urologist, and I was surprised to find out that they had found cancer. I didn’t expect to get that info over the phone, but at least I knew. We set up an appointment for a cancer consultation.
The consultation let me know that while I could have a slow growing version of the cancer that might not kill me for twenty years; I could also have a more aggressive form that, if left untreated, could spread much more quickly, and eliminate the possibility of some of the treatments available to me now while the cancer is localized. Also, it’s fairly rare for a man of my age (44) to develop prostate cancer. I elected to have the prostate removed, which will very probably result in me being cancer free. I also found out that urologists are immune to the hilarious line “Rectum? Hell, it killed him!”
As I’ve mentioned in previous entries, I need to stay alive as long as possible for my son, and being cancer free seems like a good way to accomplish that. The down side is that after the surgery I’ll have to deal with a period of time with a catheter, followed by possible period of incontinence. Also there are sexual side-effects, that while going a long way towards never parenting another child, might not be any fun at all, and some of those after-effects will be permanent. Fear not, dear readers, you’ll get to read all about it after the surgery.
One positive I can get from this diagnosis is that I am now aware that I need to make some lifestyle changes. Through diet, exercise, meditation and some yoga, I hope to be healthier and more centered than I have ever been. So I’ve got that going for me... which is nice.
Now my five thank yous for this entry.
Michael Gardner, brilliant artist, better person. http://www.michaelgardnerart.com/. He has helped me immensely in finding ways to deal with this upcoming journey by suggesting meditation techniques, good music, and introducing me to my new friend Liz Carr, who I mentioned before in a previous entry and adore for her inspiration and support. He also introduced me to …
Marilu Henner, http://www.marilu.com/ who really talked me off the panic ledge by telling me of her experiences with loved ones with cancer, and more importantly gave me ideas on how to become a much healthier person. I won’t lie: Hearing the voice of someone who I’ve long admired, tell me how to get things straight and that everything was going to be all right, was a very helpful and humbling experience.
Sabrina Zbasnik, http:/www.Introvertedwife.com/ , a brilliant artist who actually moved me to tears by creating a twibbon supporting me. She’s also met me and doesn’t hold it against me.
Christina Kim, Fambly member, aunt of the Boo Monster, and my favorite professional athlete ever. Her inspiration and support have been endless. Eye. Heart. Her.
Emily Volman http://emilyvolman.com/ A good friend whose name I like to drop.
Next Up : Trampolines, ghosts, and Perry Prostate’s Last Stand … plus five more thank yous !
Until then, Love each other !
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Open Letter from Me to Me.
(Dear readers, I have written a deeply personal letter to myself, I thought I’d share it with you.)
How’s it going handsome? Here’s the orders sent down from the mind and soul department.
Rule # 1
Remove “you owe me one” from your vocabulary. The feeling of accomplishment from helping another person in a positive way is motive enough to exhibit generous and kind behavior. No one owes you anything for being a loving member of society.
Remember that the universe does not revolve around what *you* want or even need.
Providing the people you love with what they want and need will fill your universe with brighter stars than you could ever witness by trying to be a big sun in a little galaxy.
You know the people around you are worthy of your love and attention, they will not forget or take for granted your efforts. Bask in the glow of the happiness of others… it’s warm!
For Christ’s sake, Shawn, stop treating your body like a waste dump. You’ve got high pressure, high cholesterol and prostate cancer … AT 44! You say you love your son and want to live as long as you can to take care of him, you’d better make every effort to get healthy, because you’re no good to him dead and if you don’t clean up your act, you’re nothing but a loser who loved crap food and being lazy more than you loved your family.
Remember, your opinion on trivial matters is not more important than other people’s feelings. Telling a Katy Perry fan that you think she sucks doesn’t mean that you’re exercising your rights as an individual to express your opinion; it means you’re being a dick.
Remember that your opinions on matters of importance must be *informed* opinions based on facts, personal experience, and your own sense of morality; not on sound bites, conjecture and knee-jerk reactions. Shawn, I’ve see your butt in full length mirror and no one wants to see you talking out of it.
Don’t waste your energy on hateful, ignorant, or self-centered people. Being angry at them is pointless. Ignoring them is priceless. Instead find the people who are informed, loving citizens of the world and help them do some real good .
Listen to the fates. Sandy introduced you to Michael, Michael referred you to Marilu, Marilu had you talk to Lloyd and now your future, once uncertain and frightening, is infinitely less terrifying. All four making time for you out of the kindness of their hearts. You must repay their kindness by helping others as best you can.
7a: Listen to Liz Carr, your Jedi Master, who will help you find your center, and I suspect be one of the greatest friends you’ve ever had.
Love your wife. Love your son. Lather, rinse repeat.
How could you not though, I mean really Shawn, if I weren’t you, you’d kick my ass for ogling your wife… and that MIND, that intellect is so formidable it makes me weak in the knees.
And David, the Boo Monster… the King of my World.
Always strive to be a better Dad and Husband … because they really could do better…
Be thankful for what you have: your beautiful family, your amazing friends, your newly purchased home, your great job, having one of the greatest humans on the planet as your boss. (You are brilliant, Tina!)
Also, show your thanks for what AND who you have in your life.
Not everyone is so very lucky.
End each entry thanking at least five individuals you love and respect.
Warmest Regards, Your Own Damn Self
Oh… I’ll do that now!
Annie, my huckleberry, the last few years would have not been nearly as beautiful without you as my friend. (@yogageekgal on Twitter)
David Hanson, he has known me always, the man I named my son after, and a friendship I will never neglect again. I love you man. Also a brilliant artist! (@ragzdandelion on Twitter.) http://ragzdandelion.carbonmade.com/
Sandra Bernhard, her love and support have been indispensable. We have Gemini-Michigan brother-sister telepathy! http://www.sandrabernhard.com/
Dan Stehle #BROTHER we’ve travelled up and down these roads a long time. I hope it never ends. http://capdansblog.blogspot.com/
Lilly, one of my staunchest supporters and dearest friends, happiness is on its way! ( @lillianavonk on Twitter )
5 more tomorrow !
Until then, Love Eachother !
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
This is the story of my prostate’s farewell tour and the cancer that necessitated it. At times, it might be a little icky, so I’ll give an all caps warning when I might be going in that direction.
I’ll also be talking about sex, sort of, so if that kind of stuff falls in the T.M.I. category this might not be the blog for you.
Of course, the legendary Boo Monster’s adventures will be covered. I’m concerned he won’t be able to understand that Daddy is not his usual human jungle gym self after the operation.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Boo Monster, he is my 8 year old son David and has low-functioning autism. He’s non-verbal, which is not to say he doesn’t vocalize, and is quite simply the most unstoppable force in the universe. He’s also my whole world.
Basically, this blog will be a diary, and I promise very little doom and gloom.
I’ve been exceptionally lucky for the last ten years. It’s been an almost mystical bout of good fortune, peppered with the necessary humility, so as I could continue to “keep it real”. I met and married the girl of my dreams; the perfect little boy picked us as his parents; I lucked into a dream-job; some of my heroes are now my friends, and some of my friends became my heroes; and we moved into a brilliant house in Flint. I don’t think I’ve earned or deserve such a great life.
When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 44 years of age… well, I have to admit I didn’t see that one coming. It’s in its early stages, and since there is no way to tell how aggressive the cancer is, I’ve elected for a radical prostatectomy. If I were twenty-years older I might elect to not treat it at all, taking the gamble that the cancer was slow growing and something else was likely to kill me first, but at 44, even the less aggressive form could kill me by the time I reached 64, when David would be twenty-eight and still in need of full time care.
I’ve also been making strides to improve my health. I’ve treated my body like a garbage disposal for so long that at 44 I’ve not only managed to get cancer, but dangerously high blood pressure and some pretty scary cholesterol levels. Eventually, I intend on becoming a full-fledged vegan, who occasionally cheats on the full moon. So far I’ve knocked off all red meat and dairy products. If you know me, that constitutes a RADICAL change in diet. I also try not to stuff myself and only drink soft drinks once or twice a week.
I have attempted some rudimentary yoga positions, and attempted to center myself through meditation. The latter two being no easy task when confronted with the reality that is the Boo Monster, who requires constant attention and who makes certain that NOTHING non- David related will be accomplished while he’s home from school and awake. I empathize with the Japanese military in the classic Toho monster movies, realizing that the best way to deal with Godzilla is to wait until he wades off in the ocean to take a nap before even attempting to clean up after him. Unlike Godzilla, David’s path of destruction is usually a jolly one with no malicious intent at all. His energy is amazing. Before last night he stayed up for 36hours straight.
Hopefully, this semi-daily blog will help other people in my position and hopefully help other men who are relatively young that find they have developed prostate cancer.
My support system has been nothing less than astonishing. I’m putting this entry up before I can ask permission to name the unexpected angels and warriors who have helped me so much in the last few months. The stories of their selflessness will be the subject future entries.
I love you guys.