Thursday, December 30, 2004

Lorem Ipsum and the Midnight Cowboy

If this makes me a geek, then so be it...I find this interesting.

* * * * * * * * * *

And now, the top five movies I've seen in the year 2004 (thus far):
(1) Man of the Century
(2) Melvin Goes to Dinner
(3) Johnny English
(4) The Crucible (1996)
(5) Something's Gotta Give

* * * * * * * * * *

Confessions of a 40 year old man:
-I enjoy professional wrestling
-I watched "General Hospital" everyday for more than 20 years
-I own "The Ultimate Manilow"
-I've voted on American Idol
-I am somewhat acrophobic,severely emetophobic, and had no idea what cacophobia was until 2 minutes ago (fear of ugliness - is that hilarious or what?)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami

I hear the reports on the news. I see the images on my TV screen. I am an intelligent human being, but I simply can't fathom the depth of this disaster.

My illness of the past few weeks seems so small and meaningless these past few days.

Here are just a few ways you can help if you are so inclined:

Oxfam
800-77-OXFAM
Asian Earthquake Fund
26 West St., Boston, MA 02111

CARE
800-521-CARE

American Red Cross
800-HELP-NOW
International Response Fund, PO Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For more information on what Tsumani's are, click here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I've Got 8 Inches...

...of snow on the ground to contend with. Actually, had 8 inches of snow on the ground to contend with yesterday after a storm hit on Sunday evening. Fortunately, it was light and fluffy type snow which was easy to move. Have I mentioned how much I love my snow blower?

I'm off to the doctor today for a checkup. I've been feeling much better during the days when in an upright position. It seems the horizontal position is most disturbing to whatever the ailment ailing me is.

Got my grades all done for my class. Here's how they ended up:
A (1), A- (1), B+ (1), B (3), B- (1), C+ (1), C (1), C- (1), D (4), F (2), NC (2)

Okay then, off to see the Wizard...

Sunday, December 26, 2004

33 Questions about 2004

I first saw this on Jennifer's Blog, then on Michael's. I wanted to be cool too, so here's my responses:

1.What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
Started my Blog.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I am pretty sure I didn’t make one, other than to not make one.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my friend Marie gave birth to her 6th child.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My Uncle Joe DiBatista.

5. What countries did you visit?
None this year, but since I didn’t have the Blog last year to talk about, I was in Brazil for Christmas week at that time.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
Hardwood floors in my house.

7. What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 2nd – George Bush actually got RE-elected. Holy crap Batman!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I’ve wanted for a long time to write a poem where each verse is a haiku; I accomplished that.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not taking better care of myself (eat better, exercise, yadda-yadda).

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Unfortunately – on the night of my 40th Birthday. I also had arthroscopic knee surgery back in March to repair a torn meniscus in my left knee.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Wireless networking equipment; it’s proven to be quite convenient.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The soldiers in the Middle East, who continued to fight a war (and risk their lives) that was poorly thought out by a group of complete psychos.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
George Bush, and the American people who voted for him.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
A gathering of friends that took place just before Thanksgiving. It was a great group, some of which I hadn’t seen in quite a few years, and we had an amazing time.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
Vertigo by U2.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? .Fatter.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer (Not just financially).

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Community outreach, travel.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Complain.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I ended up spending it at my pal Linda’s house with the family.

21. How many one-night stands?
365-I stood up at least once each night (get that mind out of the gutter).

22. What was your favourite TV program?
Survivor, The Apprentice, Drawn Together, Crank Yankers, Rebel Billionaire.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Yes.

24. What was the best book you read?
Tough to pick just one though in a pinch I’d have to say “All I Really Need to Know I learned In Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum. Gotta give props to “Living History” by Hillary Rodham Clinton and also “Invitation to a Beheading” by Vladimir Nabokov.

25. What did you want and get?
A DVR (and I don’t know how I ever lived without one).

26. What was your favorite film of this year?
I haven’t been to the movies theatre all year. The best movie I saw was “Man of the Century” which was made in 1999.

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 40. It was a fairly uneventful day which turned into a nightmare. Read blog for more details.

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not losing faith in more than 50% of the entire population of the country in which I live.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
I have absolutely no concept of fashion.

30. What kept you sane?
I’m not convinced I have my sanity.

31. What political issue stirred you the most?
The Presidential Election.

32. Who did you miss?
My parent’s, who after all these years I miss a lot and my cousin Annalisa in Arizona – who even though I talk to for a few hours a week, I miss seeing and hanging out with her.

33. Who was the best new person you met?
My wonderful friends of the Blogging community; in particular, Sprizee, Jammie, Michael, Jennifer, Daisy (who I miss like crazy), Kate and whoever else I missed so they won’t be nearly as pissed at me for not mentioning them by name.

That’s about the size of it.

And now for me (copping out a bit with a 2 year old photo, I really do not have a more recent one)…


August 2002-Disney World

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas from Me to You!


Merry Christmas from Me to You!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Grades and Holidays

So here we are on Christmas Eve and I am sitting here grading Final Exams. During my illness, I was able to get my class to agree to switch from a traditional classroom, to an online class. This gave them the advantage of taking a much easier final exam, and having an entire week to complete it on their own time (as opposed to a three hour in-class time limit).

I got another positive report from the doctors. My EEG results show no seizure activity. At this point it is undoubtedly an inner-ear problem. Not pleasant, but more than likely better than the "catastrophic" alternates.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Frosty the Snowman



I admit that I am more of a grinch at Christmas time than I probably should be. I spent alot of my younger years in retail enviroments where Christmas runs from August through January - it just got so played out so fast.

However, every year I look forward to seeing Frosty the Snowman. That movie just makes me smile and laugh every time. When Frosy awakens with a big yell of "Happy Birthday!" I'm laughing just typing it! If you've never seent he movie, I strongly recommend it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

An Audio Message from Me

this is an audio post - click to play

NOTE: The host site for this audio post shut down without warning so I have no archive of the audio post presented on this day.

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Bitter Cold

Here in New England, more specifically, Massachusetts, we are experiencing the first of who knows how many storms featuring below freezing temperatures. It never ceases to amaze me how no matter how many of these winters we endure we never seem ready, especially for that first freeze.

Today, as I am still recovering from this mysterious and unsettling dizziness, vertigo, and generally feeling bad - I long for freezing my ass off in the bitter cold as I navigate my way through the parking lot of the grocery store or whatever other errand I must run. I have left my house four times in the last 16 days, once to the emergency room, once to the doctor, and twice for other medical tests.

I am now at the stage where it's easy to make the mistake of overdoing it out of boredom and restlessness, that scares me a bit.

I gander about my blog and hope that through the desperate pleas for prayer and good thoughts, that you dear reader still see that I am still here. I hope that my sense of humor and personality still shine through somewhere. I hope that you know that regardless of how I feel, your are all in my daily thoughts.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Got a Minute or Two to Laugh?

Another home run from the folks a jibjab. Click here.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

If

I'm sitting here watching "The Apprentice" and one of the contestants mentioned a poem by Rudyard Kipling called "If". Thanks to my portable computer and wireless network (boy am I spoiled), I looked it up, read it, loved it, and plan on sharing it here with you. Enjoy...

IF
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Dizzy Boy and the Mexican Jumping Bean

Hey, that's a pretty cool title, maybe for a children's book. It really doesn't have much to do with this post, other than the dizzy boy - that's me.

Today is the 9th consecutive day of dizziness. When I spoke to the doctor's office the other day after having taken the medication to help with the dizziness, I actually said these words, "the dizziness hasn't completely gone away, but it is at a somewhat bearable level." Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined a bearable level of dizziness, but once the medication begins to wear off, it makes more sense than long-johns in the wintertime.

NFADR Michael actually commented on my last post a reflection of my own thoughts, "...I'm glad you have a sinus infection." It's odd, but I am glad as well. Though they are doing all sorts of other tests on my liver and brain, this is the first diagnosis of anything. It is something more than nothing and as I described in the title of my last post, a glimmer of hope. Right now, my biggest hope is that the sinus infection will respond to the antibiotics, heal, and the dizziness and this entire nightmare will go away. However, until that happens, I must still hope. Now, onto the jumping beans...

From a website I found...

Observe also Metamorphosis (Egg-Caterpillar-PUPA-Butterfly) The seed of a Mexican shrub. (Spurge family-Euphorbiaceae-Sebastiana Pavoniana) is famous for its quick jumping movements.

The movements of a jumping bean are actually caused by a caterpillar that lives inside the seed. Butterflies of the species laspey resia saltitans deposit their eggs in the shrub's flower.

After the eggs hatch, the caterpillars burrow into the young seeds of the shrub. The caterpillar eats away the inside of the seed, but it leaves the seed wall undamaged. The caterpillar then builds a web along the inner wall.

Apparently, the seed jumps when the caterpillar grasps the web and jerks its body vigorously. This helps scare away birds and other animals that might try to eat the seeds.

Warmth - increase the caterpillar activity and jumping. Jumping beans remain active for several months. The caterpillar makes a circular lid by cutting through the seed wall.

The caterpillar later forms a cocoon and begins to change into a butterfly. When the change is completed, the adult butterfly pushes through the lid and leaves the seed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Something to Grab On To

Though the dizziness persists, I am sensing that its effects are lessening (or I have overdosed on the medication to help it to subside). Sunday morning, I had an MRI done of my head; an experience not designed for the claustrophobic. The results did not show any "unusual or foreign masses" (that's growths or tumors to us lay folk) but did show evidence of a rather nasty sinus infection that "could be the cause of the dizziness, either way, we'll need to treat it." The quotes of course are the doctor, or rather the nurse speaking on behalf of the doctor, who prescribed an antibiotic for the infection.

So, today I remain dizzy (I'm setting myself up with a line like that) but hopeful. Hopeful to the point where I think some of the anxiety has gone away and that helps. I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love from the people around me and I am also certain that the prayers and well wishes are helping. I will continue to keep you all posted on this and hopefully can find something more creative to post about. Until next time...

Saturday, December 11, 2004

A Milestone and an Update

First, the update. The medication is helping somewhat with the dizziness and the MRI is scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 8:30. Currently, I am coping as best I could - there's not alot I could do, so mostly I sleep or lay down.

Now, the milestone...[Drum Roll] this is my 100th post. If From a Whisper to a Scream were a sitcom, I'd be in my 5th successful season at a cast party with a big cake and pondering syndication deals that would make me wealthy. However, since this is just me here in bloggerville, I'll leave you all good wishes and thanks for all of your support during this odd thing going on with my body, for reading and responding to my blog, and for sharing thoughts, observations, and experiences from your own live's.

I'm off to rest for a bit.

Friday, December 10, 2004

How to Scare the Crap out of a Grown Man

It is insane that I am posting right now but I need to. I am typing with one hand as I am using the other to support myself as I seem to have lost my sense of balance. Since my ER visit, and subsequent Doctor visit, I've managed to progressively feel worse. Today, unless I am fairly motionless, everything around me begins to spin and lose focus.

I just spoke with the doctor's office for advice on what to do next. He is getting a prescription to me for the dizziness and scheduling and MRI for my head. I think mostly I'm posting this to address my fear; especially the fear of the unknown. It just occurred to me that once I put this out there, people I care about, and those that care about me, are going to read this - effectively bringing you all on this ride with me.

Partly confused, a by product of fear, I am certain of one thing. I know that when there are people out there thinking positive thoughts, whether it be through well wishes, prayers, or what have you - it has a positive effect on me. I guess that's really what this is all about.

Yesterday, I received a birthday gift from my brother and his wonderful girlfriend (tehnically fiancee, but I've always hated that word) - it is a rather impressive wine bottle opener and a wine cooling device. Here's to cracking open the next bottle of wine celebrating a full recovery and any future dizziness to be the result only of too much of that wine.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

What is Your Shakespearian Tragic Flaw?

I saw this on Unutterable Bruiser's blog and decided, clearly against my better judgement, to give it a try.

Titus Andronicus
Remind me to stay on your good side.


What is Your Shakespearian Tragic Flaw?
brought to you by Quizilla

E.R.

I had a nasty scare on Monday night, the evening of my 40th birthday and wish there was a simple answer like too much partying. I was upstairs in my house walking out of a room and then it happened. I wish I knew specifically what it was, and thinking about it, I suspect it looked alot like someone (me in this case) being struck my lightning. There was no pain, and no real noise other that the sound of my body collapsing to the ground and in some odd defensive maneuver controlled by the subconscious mind, my hands slapping across the doorframe to somehow deflect the fall.

I am fairly certain that I never lost consciousness but wasn't aware of what happened until it happened and had to catch my breath to assess the event. I know that I was scared and my first thought was "am I having a heart attack or a stroke?" After catching my breath and realizing I was conscious and breathing, I attempted to get up but everything was spinning - so that wasn't happening. I then crawled into my bedroom (where a phone was nearby), leaned onto the bed and closed my eyes hoping that the spins would stop and prayed for some kind of answers (what's happening?, why?, what should I do?).

Over the course of the next hour I had felt a little better, my nerves were a bit more controlled, and I was able to go to sleep. It wasn't a restful sleep as I awoke a number of times either feeling very cold or very warm - I decided to simply remain put as the room wasn't spinning nor was my heart racing, and that to me was a sign of things being better than before.

Tuesday morning I awoke feeling very "tentative". Not quite sure how I felt though certain I was not at my best, I arose from my lying position to have a somewhat dizzy sensation come over me only to subside almost immediately after I was sitting in an upright position. Then I attempted to walk about the room and I just wasn't feeling right. After all, I had to attempt to do something I do very regularly without having to think about it - that to me is a sign of something being wrong.

I made the decision to go to the emergency room and try to get some answers. There, I spent seven hours waiting, checking in, waiting, being interrogated, waiting, being touched, probed, pricked, checked, monitored, waiting, waiting, and then the doctor gave me his report. "Here in the emergency room, we aren't always able to come up with definite answers, but what we do first is rule out specific 'catastrophic events' such as heart attack and stroke." Fortunately for me, testing on that day showed no signs that I suffered either of those catastrophes; which to me is good news, but also somewhat frustrating because there at this time is no firm explanation for what happened. "It could be a virus or an infection..." they say, but you should get plenty of rest and fluids and follow-up with your physician tomorrow. I write this about an hour and a half before I see my physician in hopes of finding some more answers and/or ruling out other potential catastrophes. I am a bit scared but am trying hard to keep things in the perspective of all that I believe in. Of course nothing is easy when it hurts, is bad, and is happening to you. SO, as I confront what may be nothing, or could be something, I ask you my reader for your good wishes and perhaps your hand to hold.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The Big Four-Oh

Here's how nutty I can be. Today, is my fortieth birthday, and the first thing I do is go to my own blog, look at my profile, and verify that my age changed (yes, it did).

One of the things I have learned as each new year comes and goes is that it is all to easy to look at both sides of the coin and choose to either be depressed or happy. I tend to be indifferent, but if my only choices were depressed or happy, I've got to go with happy.

One of the things that always sucked about being born in December, as many of you may know or have figured out, is getting screwed with a "combination" birthday and Christmas gifts. To all of you who have ever tortured this boy with a "combination" gift, FUCK YOU!!! If you're going to get me a combination gift, the rule(s) is/are that it should be twice as nice and twice as expensive. I'll even let go of twice the "thought" as long as the first two rules are applied rigidly.

In other news and notes, I have been enjoying the new animated reality show "Drawn Together" airing on Comedy Central at 10:30 on Wednesday evenings (here in the USA). It's nice to see someone pushing the envelope and doing it for the same of comedy, not just for the sake of it. I am outta here for now.

Friday, December 03, 2004

From the "You Can't Make this Stuff Up" files...


The photo of the public safety log at the right is copied from the school (that I work for's) newspaper. This is the first time they have published a "Public Safety Log" and the only thing I can assume is that it is a "ripoff" of the Police Blotter commonly found in the local newspapers.

Having read the school newspaper for the nearly seven years I've been here, I can say that beyond the shadow of a doubt, this was the single most entertaining thing I've ever read in this publication. Unfortunately for them, I don't think that was the intent, but c'est la vie.

Here is the text EXACTLY as it appears:

Sept 16, 2004

0935-W-Jette: Called by dispatcher to come to the Public Safety Office - unruly student smoking in front of the building - matter taken care of at this lime.
Sept 17, 2004

0730-W-Jette: informed by Irvine that there was property damage to the loading dock area at the Framingham campus. See report 04-79
0955-W-.Jette: Dispatched to a medical emergency, room 409 Carey bldg. See report #04-80
1235-W-Jette: Approached by faculty member asking if I could turn the television down - large group of students reacting loudly to football plays.
Sept 20, 2004

0720-W-Jette: Met with two students concerned about the parking in the meadow parking lot - students are blocking the roadway- entering/exiting the wrong way.
Sept 21, 2004

1655- W-Fuller Mother awaiting pickup of daughter in lot reports waiting for an hour with no show. Fuller located daughter who reports she does not speak with her mother and was not expecting her. Mother already left. Daughter not concerned.
Sept 22, 2004

1251-W-Jette: Responded to false 911 call with the Wellesley police, fire, and EMS made from tech tower elevator
Sept 23, 2004

0850-W-Jette: Student reported a vehicle smoking in the lower lot - water hose on vehicle busted.
Sept 28, 2004

1030-W-Jette: Received two (2) emergency calls from two (2) female arguing over parking spot - one student fearful of exiting her vehicle - other student blocking her and opened the
fearful student’s car door threatening her.- Jette and Irvine respond, nothing further
1340-W-Jette: on patrol of the Café - smoking area keeping the smokers away from the bldg. so that they do not set off the smoke detectors at the entrances to the bldg.
Sept 29, 2004

1053-W-Jette: Responds to the Café because due to a group of students using loud, vulgar language. Informed them that it is not acceptable, nothing further.
Oct 1, 2004

1830-W-FuIler: Alarm company reports Wellness Center alarm going off. Inspection of area shows all in order. Party looking for basketball tournament 5 mins prior may have set it off by trying door. Provide access to area for cleaner.
Oct 5, 2004

1235-W-Jette: Patrolled the front of the main bldg. keeping smokers away from the front of the bldg. - watching out for motorist trying to park around the rotary or in the fire lane. Contacted by Laurie Taylor stating a student was sick and vomiting in café - Venice and Jette responded student OK - food got caught in his throat - a constant situation with entire family.
Oct 7, 2004

1215-W-Jette: Met with faculty member who left I-Pod type music recorder in her classroom - Campus police was left a note stating that someone had indeed found a music recorder and left his/her e-mail address, information provided to instructor.
1500-F- Johnson: Advised by members of Fuller School of witness hit and run, investigated, found to be outside of primary jurisdiction, FPD notified.
Oct 12, 2004

1550-W-Fuller Odor of marijuana detected in area of cafeteria/elevator/side door. Checked men’s room, elevator, facilities doorway, exterior and cafe. Unable to determine source. No one in immediate area.
{If you've made it this far, I might remind you that this is a college, an institution of Higher Education...Oh boy!}

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Little Devil


I'm a Baaaaad Boy!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Happy Birthday Jenn!



Seeing this picture again reminds me that I really should bring my digital camera to your next gig and have more recent photos.

May your birthday and every day be sweet and filled with hope and all the happiness and success you wish for.

My dear readers, you will soon be able to purchase the debut solo CD of this incredibly talented musician, writer, person, and friend. Details will be posted here.
Have a great birthday!