Friday, January 30, 2009

Are You Miserable? You Need This!

I love this parody of the Zoloft commercial. I can't embed it, so please click on the link to watch it:

Miserable Ovoid Creature, by Ian Wood.

Hope you like it!


2011-07-23: Edited to change link from http://www.astonishedhead.com/images/OVOID_123.swf

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One Advantage to Being Gluten Intolerant

It's lousy that I have to avoid wheat. But there is one positive aspect. I don't need to drink to get plastered. All I have to do is eat a big bowl of pasta to go off into la-la land. It's cheaper, and it's perfectly legal, too!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Magic Tricks

It turns out that I can perform magic tricks.  Specifically I can make things disappear.  But I don't quite have a lot of control over this ability, like when I will do it or what I will make disappear.

The other day I was nailing up a hanger for some beads.  I needed four nails, so I picked out exactly four nails from my box of favorite shiny bright nails.  I didn't want to bring the box to where I was working because then I'd have to bring it back.  A few days later, I needed more nails for another project.  But I inadvertently made that box of nails disappear.  My favorite nails.

This morning, I came back home from an errand.  I needed to shave and change my clothes before going to work.  First I picked my warmest socks out for this cold day.  By the time I finished shaving, I realized I'd made the socks disappear.  My toasty warm socks.

So far I haven't made anything re-appear.  I wonder when that ability will come?  Soon I hope.  Like tomorrow.  It's supposed to snow.

Husbandic Therapy

My wife was especially despondent after she realized the pain management doctor wasn't interested in treating her. So after assuring her that we'll find another one, as well a new neurologist, I suggested she go for another visit with the psychologist.

"Oh, he's no help at all. All he does is talk about his own problems."

"Well, yes. That's special 'Talk about yourself' therapy that's designed to make the patient forget about her problems."

It drew a chuckle, at least.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dream: Epic Religious War

I'm at choir rehearsal. MD is conducting the rehearsal for her husband. She tells me that I can play bass on the song we're doing. I say okay, but I don't have my bass guitar here. I get up to leave. It could take me a half hour to go home, get the bass and come back.

I'm near the entrance of a large house of worship. I walk toward the altar and then go behind to meet the people in charge. I'm greeted by an Indian man. He calls over a woman to prepare me. She pulls out a ceramic pot that will be placed into the water, and I'm supposed to sit on it and float that way for some sort of Hindu ceremony. I barely float. Apparently I'm much heavier than the typical Indian man. So the man urges the woman to put a spell on the water that will increase my buoyancy. The spell involves stirring the water with something that looks just like a hockey stick.

Now that I am in the water, the Battle begins. I'm the target. My perspective has shifted so that I can see the Battle in the sky over a castle. It is fantastic and very alien. The good guys -- those who are protecting me -- are beautiful silver humanoid creatures with jagged contours. The attackers are very similar in appearance, only somewhat crude. Both sides float, sail in the air.

Rather than attack all at once, one attacker approaches (descends) at a time, and each time he is repelled by a defender. The defensive move is merely to get in the way of the attacker.

Another more powerful type of attacker now advances. I see a golden figure move into position to intercept it. This figure is half the size of his fellow defenders. Is he more powerful? Yes! He repelled the bigger, more powerful attacker with ease.

I've been keeping my eye on the Ultimate Attacker. This humanoid carries a dragon on his back. I realize that this Battle is the real battle, but it's being manifest in the physical world by a battle between human armies with guns and tanks. And the dragon is the Big Weapon that the enemy army has. It's a massive laser cannon. The dragon is eager to shoot his flame. But its humanoid mount is holding it back.

Dream: Combusting Football Player

I notice some people watching television intently. It's a replay of a down in a football game. By the time I start watching, the replay is over and it's frozen at the end. I see a strange puddle of green liquid along the wall in the end zone. From what I overhear, something very strange happened. One of the players underwent spontaneous combustion.

The network starts the replay over, but now it's zoomed in on the player. He's on his hands and knees, getting up after having been tackled or diving to catch a pass. Suddenly, green liquid starts shooting out of the back of his neck. He's clearly in agony as he covers his neck with his fingers.

I feel very bad for the player, but I also am excited that such a rare event was captured on camera.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Overheard at a Sleepover

Overheard at a girl's sleepover, sung to "Dona Nobis Patris"

"Donuts, Obese Pot Roast. Grant us Pizza we pray."

Friday, January 23, 2009

More on Finding God

My Message From the Universe post came from an appreciation of things we tune out, things that tend to fade into the background.

When I read "Perhaps God is waiting to be found in the things we try to avoid," from Danielle's where to find God: down, not up, it occurred to me I was finding God in the things we ignore.

When I practiced meditation, I was taught to focus on the quiet beneath our thoughts, on the rests between the notes, on the space between our breaths. I wondered if I was finding God in those places.



Finally I realize that we can find God in all these places: Up, Down, Deep Within and Without (As Cheerful Monk does), in the Things We Avoid, and in the Things We Ignore. After all, God is Everywhere.

The important thing is you cannot find God if you don't Look.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Danielle Knows Where to Find God -- Do You?

Where do you aim your consciousness to find God? If you're looking to the lofty heavens, you need to read where to find God: down, not up. It will turn your world upside down.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In 20090121

I gave in to sugar cravings over the weekend, and topped it all off with a huge dinner last night at a Mexican restaurant. Also I haven't been able to get to the gym due to some days working late.

Waist = 38"
Height = 5' 9"

References:
  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Myelitis Manifestation

It was September 2006. My wife woke me at about 1:30am. "I have to pee, but I can't." I didn't think much of it and drifted back to sleep.

But I woke up shortly after and saw that she was not in bed. When I checked on her, she still couldn't pee, but she said also her legs felt a bit heavy. We sat around wondering who to call to sit with our daughter while we went to the ER. Could we wait until morning, after the bus picked our daughter up?

This was serious, and I decided to call our church's pastor. At about 3:00am. Both he and his wife picked up the phone at the same time, and when I addressed the Pastor, I heard him say to his wife, "I'll handle it."

And he did. He came to the house and sat in the kitchen while I drove my wife to the ER.

Once there, it seemed like glaciers rose and melted before we actually had a doctor attend to her. By then her feet were mostly numb. He did not exude much confidence, and muttered something to himself about Guillain-Barré and Myasthenia Gravis. He let her try going to the bathroom before inserting the catheter.

Meanwhile, transport to the MRI was waiting.

The collection bag filled to an amazing 1 liter. And then we found out that she was being admitted. She was just starting to experience burning pain from light touch on her legs. It was an evolving and worsening condition. That's when I went home to do our daughter's morning routine.

When I got back, I found her in the oncology ward hooked up to intravenous steroids, entertaining Neurologists and Rheumatologists that had one thing in common -- a fascination with bizarre and unusual medical cases. Her legs were tight with spasms and filled with pain. Even the weight of the sheet sent blasts of fire into them. They severely underestimated the amount of pain control that she required. They also offered little in the way of physical therapy. However, the doctors viewed the leg spasms as a great thing -- she might possibly walk again!

The diagnosis was Idiopathic Transverse Myelitis, which, apparently affects only 1 to 5 per million people each year. "Myelitis" is inflammation of the spinal cord. "Transverse" defines the location of the inflammation and its effect on the body. "Idiopathic" means that despite an MRI, spinal tap, blood tests, weird eye test and a nuclear medicine scan, the doctor has no friggin' clue about what caused the condition. Hence, IDIOpaThic. Their guess was that the flu-like virus she had tricked her immune system into attacking the tissue in the spinal cord. Why was she put in the cancer ward? I think it's because it was the ward with the best infection control practices. And being on a high dose of steroids, her system was vulnerable to infection.

She stayed an agonizing seven days in that ward, and was transferred to a hospital that specialized in rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries. The transfer could not be done before my wife was switched from intravenous to oral pain meds. She stayed in that hospital for three weeks, leaving behind the catheter and gaining the ability to shuffle walk with a walker.

We've crossed the two year mark. My wife can walk just as well as before on a good day. We have learned a bit about this uninvited guest:
  • During winter, pain increases and mobility decreases.
  • Switching to a new pain med helps for a short time, but quickly becomes less effective.
  • Doctors do not like complicated cases.
Life is short and unpredictable. Seize the day before it is seized from you.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Quiz: Getting to Know Me

This is the 2007 edition of getting to know your friends.

• What is your occupation? Electrical Engineer.
• What color are your socks right now? Transparent. (Not wearin' any.)
• What are you listening to right now? Pandora Radio station seeded with Genesis tunes.
• Can you drive a stick shift? Yes, but it would be a frustrating commute.
• Last person you spoke to on the phone? I think it was the receptionist for my wife's chiropractor.
• Do you like the person who you stole this quiz from / tagged you? Yes, she inspired me to do more art. And "who" should be "whom."
• How old are you today? Forty-five.
• Favorite drink? Water, or perhaps Cherry Juice & Seltzer or some sort of Black Lager. Oh, d'you mean if I could drink anything I wanted to? Hmm, that would be a not-quite-thoroughly chilled Coke that's gone a bit flat. Or a light-n-sweet iced coffee.
• Favorite sport to watch? If I must choose a professional sport to watch, I guess hockey would be the most exciting.
• Pets? One large Golden Retriever. One American Shorthair tuxedo-colored cat.
• Favorite food? From my diet: cold sliced roast beef on top of my wife's homemade tossed salad. From outside my diet: B&J's Phish Food Ice Cream, Apple Pie With Crumb Topping. Beef taco.
• What was the last movie you watched? Happy Go Lucky
• What's your favorite day of the week? Thursday is when I get to find out what my daughter did in art class that day. If I'm lucky, she'll have brought it home!
• How do you vent anger? I have no anger, unless I'm working on the computer and something goes wro g a d t en I g t re l y p s ed and curse at it.
• What was your favorite toy as a child? I was overindulged as a boy. I loved the bendable Mattel astronauts. I even had the space station. I liked the Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels. And the electric race car track.
• What is your favorite season? Winter. The days start to get longer, there are no bugs, and near the end you get to ponder which is most slippery: snow, ice or mud.
• Hugs or kisses? Hugs.
• Cherries or Blueberries? Blueberries
• Do you want your friends to do this quiz? Only if they have much more time than I and don't have to do the bills as I should be doing now.
• Who is the most likely to respond? I'm not tagging anyone!
• Living arrangements? I've been left here on Earth to fend for myself with absolutely no idea what I'm supposed to be doing while I see people around me die and others born. I thought maybe if I took up meditation I might get in touch with Universal Truth, but all I get is a stiff back. It's not so much an arrangement as an annoyment.
• When was the last time you cried? A few months ago, but I don't remember the occasion. There was none, in fact, expect that I was just thinking how pointless life is. (See the previous answer.)
• What is on the floor of your closet? Laundry basket, a stack of cheap plastic drawers a carpet sweeper and a small block of cedar that fell off a shelf.
• Who is the friend you have had the longest that you hope takes this quiz? Well, JP was my first long-term friend. It would be cool if he did it and I could read it.
• What did you do last NIGHT? I went to a "Mom and Me" Girl Scout bingo event on behalf of my wife who was bedridden with pain and fatigue. Then I washed a few dishes before going to bed.
• Favorite smells? Yankee Candle Root Beer candle.
• What inspires you? The challenge of finding the least capable programming language to automate something in. Like writing a batch file to find all the text files that have the word August in a certain directory and change that word to September.
• What are you afraid of? Financial ruin.
• Favorite dog breed? Golden Retriever.
• How many states have you lived in? Three. Okay, two if you don't count the State of Confusion.
• Favorite holiday? Father's Day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In 20090114

I lost another 1/2 lb and 1% body fat!

Waist = 37 3/4"
Height = 5' 9"

References:
  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Message From the Universe

What if trees grew in such a way that their intertwining branches signaled a key to some divine Truth? Perhaps if we pay close attention to them, and to other miracles of Nature, we might learn more Truths.

What if this were our most important activity: watching the clouds for a special sign? Not for a sign of impending weather, but for the One Day, the One Instant, that the Meaning of Life would be revealed in them?

If we could engage all our senses in the beauty of Nature -- the sweet smell of a lilac bush, the tinkling sound of a small stream, the soaring majesty of a cloud-crowned mountain, the rough-solid feel of a trustworthy tree, the soothing taste of a rosemary leaf, the weight of miles of air above us, the press of the cool ground below us, and the slow spinning of Spaceship Earth -- would we experience a Message from the Universe?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Biological Barometers

Last week, Kerry shared an excerpt of an article that discussed how seasonal changes in weather can affect our bodies and our health. Read it.

On Friday, I had accompanied my wife to her first appointment with a pain management specialist, which was where we witnessed the Ominous Sign. Armed with the knowledge in the aforementioned article, I told the doctor that my wife has the most trouble in the winter. He made a brief guffaw-like sound and said, "Move to Arizona."

I persisted. "A lot of times the pain is worse during low pressure weather. Wouldn't a hyperbaric chamber help out?"

This elicited an unmistakable laugh, which was followed by, "Try to get that one by the insurance company."

I wasn't aware that I was joking about my wife's pain. How could I have been so insensitive?

To make amends, I cleaned out our bedroom's ionizing air purifier, so now it works without sounding like a bug zapper. I just wish I had one in this office right now -- the dog is farting up a storm.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quiz: What Kind of Nerd Are You?

MUSICAL NERD
[x] You play a musical instrument.
[x] You play more than one instrument.
[x] You actually really enjoy playing your instrument.
[x] You've given your instrument a name.
[x] You've participated in an extracurricular activity for your instrument.
[x] You are known by what you play.
[x] You listen to classical music.
[ ] You are wondering whether that refers to the classical music genre or the classical music time period.
[x] You have a favorite composer.
[ ] All of your friends are from your band/orchestra class.
[x] You write music.
[x] You've had discussions with your friends about music; your favorite composers/instruments/musical time periods/key/etc...
[x] You have considered a professional career with your instrument.
[x] You are never nervous playing for other people.
MUSICAL NERD POINTS: 12/14

ART NERD
[x] You like art.
[ ] You actually consider yourself an artist.
[ ] When using art supplies, the brand of them matters to you.
[ ] You have a favorite brand.
[ ] You have asked for art supplies as a Christmas/birthday gift before.
[x] You give people your drawings as gifts.
[ ] People actually ask for your drawings.
[ ] You are known as 'the art person' at your school.
[x] Instead of just "brown" or "pink", you'd be specific; it's "sienna brown" or "blush pink."
[x] You have taken an art class outside of school.
[ ] You have considered a career as an artist.
[ ] Your school papers are always covered in doodles.
[x] You have a favorite artist.
[ ] Your drawings have been framed.
[ ] You carry a sketchbook with you everywhere you go.
ART NERD POINTS: 5/14

COMPUTER NERD
[x] You use the computer every day.
[x] You have an account/username on some sort of social website.
[ ] You go into random internet chatrooms.
[ ] You spend at least 2 hours a day on the computer.
[x] You use computer faces; : D XD XP D: ^_^ >.> and etc.
[x] It is hard to go a day without using the computer.
[x] You spend time in online forums.
[x] In the forum/chatroom you use, you are known there by everyone else.
[x] You have friends you have only met online.
[ ] You have/had a girlfriend/boyfriend you have only met online.
[ ] You have actually met an online friend in person.
[ ] U cn ezly rd 'txttlk.
[ ] You have said 'lol' or 'omg' in speech that is not online.
[ ] You can type really, really fast.
COMPUTER NERD POINTS: 7/14

ANIME NERD
[ ] You watch anime.
[ ] You read manga.
[ ] You buy/collect anime DVDs or manga volumes.
[ ] You own some other form of anime/manga merchandise.
[ ] You have referred to an anime character as 'hot' before.
[ ] You have cosplayed.
[ ] You have done so in public.
[ ] You have been to an anime/manga convention.
[ ] You have created/joined a fanclub for an anime/manga character.
[ ] You have created/joined a hateclub for an anime/manga character.
[ ] You have squealed when you found out somebody had the same name as an anime character you knew.
[ ] You enjoy drawing anime.
[ ] People you know know you as the 'anime' person.
[ ] You know that it is pronounced 'mawnguh' and not 'manga' like it is spelled.
ANIME/MANGA POINTS: 0/14

VIDEO GAME NERD
[x] You play video games.
[ ] You own more than 4 different video game systems.
[ ] You've had debates over which system is the greatest.
[ ] You play video games every day.
[ ] You have played a video game for over 10 hours.
[ ] You have songs from your favorite video games on your MP3.
[ ] You love to talk about video games.
[ ] You memorize the dates for when a new game is being released.
[ ] People know you as the 'gamer' person.
[ ] You spend more time on video games than you do hanging out with friends.
[ ] Your gaming system is in your room.
[ ] You have preferences when it comes to what company your game came from.
[ ] You've had debates over which company is the best.
[ ] You keep playing a game until you beat it.
[ ] It makes you angry when you found out somebody looked up cheat codes on the internet to beat their game.
VIDEO GAME NERD POINTS: 1/15

WRITING NERD
[ ]You write every day, even if it’s only a sentence or two.
[x]You either laugh or get angry when you see spelling and/or grammatical errors in books.
[x]You have lots of scrap pieces of paper with single sentences or paragraphs on them.
[x]You squeal when you see a great word with an even greater definition.
[x]You ask your friends (or people you don’t even know) about how they would react in a certain situation.
[ ]When you edit yours or other peoples papers, you can’t read it anymore.
[x]You carry a pen or pencil and paper with you to write with when you get a great idea.
[x]You try to speak in grammatically correct sentences.
[ ]You edit or correct papers with a bright red pen.
[ ]You always carry a notebook or your laptop with you.
[x]You have heard of or participated in NaNoWriMo.
[x]You did NOT just look it up.
[ ]YoU hAtE iT wHeN pEoPlE tAlK lIkE tHiS!
[x]You correct people's spelling or grammar in everyday conversations.
WRITING NERD POINTS: 9/14

HOMEOWNER NERD
[x]You own a home or have owned one.
[x]When looking at other homes, you notice whether the gutters need to be cleaned.
[x]You have more than ten cans of gallon-sized house paint with different color paint in them and know the difference between Eggshell finish and semi-gloss.
[ ]You regularly read a home and garden magazine or newspaper section or watch shows on a home and garden network.
[ ]The folks at the local hardware store know your name and where you live.
[x]You have replaced a faucet.
[x]You know what a snake is and have actually used one successfully.
[ ]You have replaced a broken window pane.
[ ]You have more work clothes than clothes to wear to work.
[ ]You have a toolbelt and wear it around the house even if you don't plan to do any repairs.
[x]You know how much you pay in property taxes and utilities, and how much (if any) is left on your mortgage.
[ ]You have added a new electrical outlet with its own breaker to a room.
[ ]You have added or removed at least one interior, non-weight-bearing wall.
[ ]You have built your own deck.
HOMEOWNER NERD POINTS: 6/14

No surprise, here. I very nearly decided to go to a college that specializes in music. But my desire for financial security won out, and I got a practical education.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dream: Pink Party Gift Car

I drive into the parking lot where our daughter's birthday party will be held.  I want to park near the entrance because when our daughter leaves the building, she's supposed to see the car and go to it.  However, there are parking lot attendants directing me to park all the way to the end of the lot.

Now I'm on a bicycle.  I realize that it's not a good idea to simply park it because it might get stolen.  I didn't bring a chain and lock.  The party host is nearby.  He's got black hair, and he has a trim and fit body.  I ask him if I can bring the bike inside.  He responds with a nasty tone, "You certainly may NOT bring that inside."

This is the person who will be hosting our daughter's birthday party?  I consider calling it off.  But I decide not to because my daughter would be disappointed.  Besides, my wife screened the place and decided it would be good.  Instead, I decide to focus on stowing away the bike someplace.

I notice my wife's car in the lot.  I also notice a Subaru Outback wagon in pink camouflage colors near the building.  This must be a gift to my daughter from the party hosts.  I try opening the hatch with my wife's car key and find that it works.  So I decide to stow my bike in this car.

Now the bike is in pieces.  I'm holding parts of it, and I put them inside the pink car.  The rest of it is in my wife's car.  So I remove those pieces from that car and put them into the pink car.  As I'm doing this, I suddenly realize that my thinking is flawed.  I should be putting the bike pieces in my wife's car.  What if the pink car really isn't a gift?  Most likely it isn't.  But I obstinately continue to load the bike into the pink car, ignoring my own good sense.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In 20090107

Despite Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, I lost 4.5lb and 2% body fat in eight weeks. Cool!

Waist = 37 3/4"
Height = 5' 9"

References:
  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dream: The Waterfall

I'm on the bank of the nearby river. Some guy is with me. We look at a log that has fallen and lodged into the bank. We decide that the log is trapping too much debris. So we push it off the bank and cause it to float downstream.

Now I'm downstream, and I see the log get trapped here among a bunch of small logs and branches. And only a few feet further there is a steep drop of about 20 - 30 yards. But because of all the logs and branches, there is only a thin sheet of water going over the waterfall.

There are some people swimming further downstream. They're approaching the bottom of the waterfall. Somehow they begin to swim up it. They make great progress, but they do not reach the top. It's not that they're incapable of it. They just don't seem to want to.

But now a couple of them do get to the top. They dive even though the water appears quite shallow. I can see the bottom even from up here. I wait for the expected trauma and shouting that would follow such a disastrous dive. But the divers appear to be fine.

I keep looking down, contemplating diving only slightly. There's no way I'd really do it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Good Fixin's

If yesterday and today are harbingers of what the New Year has in store, this will be The Year I Fix Things.

Yesterday, I overheard my wife's friend say that her massage chair doesn't work. I immediately had a hunch, so I butted in and asked whether the chair even turns on. "No, it's just completely dead." "It might be the fuse. If you want I can stop by and check it out. I need to go to Radio Shack today anyway."

So I did stop by and checked it out. The fuse was indeed blown, and Radio Shack had a replacement. I popped in the new fuse, and the chair worked again.

Today, Radio Shack had an exact replacement for a faulty switch for my 20+ year old exercise bike. I soldered it in, screwed the cover back on, and it worked fine.

If you have non-working electrical appliances cluttering your house, you might get them working again just by changing the fuse. Give it a try!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Why Not Ask For Directions?

I may be an oddball-misfit, but I'm a typical guy in one respect. No that's not what I mean! Okay, make that two respects.

I hate to ask for directions. Here's why:
  1. There are some neighborhoods so dangerous, you shouldn't even stop at traffic lights. Forget pulling over to stop and admit you're lost. If you do that, you'll either get pulled out of your car right then, or you'll get directions to a gang of punks who'll pull you out of the car. You're much better off following the greatest amount of traffic. It will most likely lead you to the highway, and then you can get out of there.
  2. Guys like to be in charge. The moment we ask for help, we're putting someone else in charge. No likey.
  3. We're pioneers, explorers. We're never really lost, actually. We're still somewhere on Earth, eager to blaze new trails and find our own way.
  4. We can't listen to directions, actually. The moment we try to memorize the directions, we'll hear, "Go blah blah blocks and turn blah. Then take the next blah and go a few more blocks until you see blah blah and make a blah. Then make a blah at the Wendys." Even if you just tell us to take a right on Forestville Road, we'll take a left on Fountainview Road. Face it. We're lousy listeners and we know it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolution Evolution

This is how my New Years Resolutions have evolved over the years.

When I was a smug, anti-social schoolboy, I got particularly grumpy around the holidays. One thing I especially hated was how festive everyone would become right before Christmas Break. And afterward, New Years Resolutions were stupid things done by stupid people.

And that was that, even though I did New Years Resolutions myself. You know, don't let anyone see me pick my nose.... That sort of thing.

Fast forwarding...

I'm still a schoolboy, but not for much longer. I've found a niche, and some classmates (the kids in band, mostly) actually respect me for who I am. So I'm not anywhere near as grumpy as before, even though I still feel out-of-place. But now it's time that I figure out what I plan to do after school is over, just as I'm getting used to the place. But no one has bothered to tell me what all the choices are! And the one personality profile my Guidance Counselor gave me to do said I should go to college across the USA (Oregon, actually) to study Forestry. Actually if there had been a World Wide Web back then, I'd've wanted to help build it. But everyone else in our big family is a blue collar worker, and that bores the piss out of me. But that's the only choice I know. It may have been at this time that New Years Resolutions started to have Meaning.

If I could name One Event that first made me realize that Resolutions are important to me, it would be the auto collision. It messed up my back and gave me a nasty concussion, so that I could not remember what happened.

As I lay in the hospital, I thought about that missing chunk of memory. I thought about consciousness. And I thought about All Those Unanswered Questions, like "How does the brain work?" and "What happens after you die?" and "Why do people lose socks in their dryers?"

And I Resolved to Find Things Out. Now. I Resolved to never have another New Years Resolution. Only dimwits sit around on New Years Eve and start thinking about what needs improvement in their pathetic lives. But I am Different. I am Self-Aware, Desirous of Instant Self-Improvement -- nay, Perfection, and I am in Possession of a Nifty Bedside Urinal.

And that was the end of New Years Resolutions for me. For a long time.

But I broke that New Years Resolution, once I realized that my Life today is so different from the Life I had back when I considered myself perfect and no longer needed to make New Years Resolutions. And it got me thinking, wondering, actually, "How did I get here, with health, finances and bad spelling ready to spiral madly out-of-control any second, splitting infinitives along the way."

It's Time. Time again for New Years Resolutions.

And my Resolutions are this: I will attempt to maintain the good, simple habits of drinking plenty of water, exercising, taking vitamins, breathing, and blogging.