A plan…

“The emotional life is full of peril, thus is the stuff of novels” -unknown

We all have skeletons in our closets. We all have ghosts in our pasts. Well, I decided last night to clean out my closets and regardless of how long it takes I am going to scatter the bones….

I will open every closet door, wrestle every demon, disturb every ghost, I will pick through the bones of every skeleton and expose the ruins and the damage I’ve collected along the way. 

If not now, when?

I’m digging my way out. I’m tired of the baggage I’ve accumulated. I’m looking for answers to questions I haven’t asked yet.

Wish me luck, here goes nothing….

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 10:51 am  Leave a Comment  

A Rant…

I have my cell phone, a working VCR and a DVD player. I have an iPod, a computer and one TV in the entire house. We have a couple clock radios, a couple hundred CDs and only one portable CD player.

I am driving a 14-year-old Honda Accord, My watch is two years old, it’s a Timex Ironman. it’s a good watch. Reliable, Sturdy, Durable. My old Ironman although showing the wear and tear was ten years old when I replaced it. I still have it. It still works.

Except for my updating my watch a couple of Father’s Days ago everything I own is still working and functions just fine. The VCR and DVD were brought into my life by my wife when we got married 14 years ago this year. We have not upgraded to Blu-ray and I honestly don’t see any point in doing so. When we need a DVD player, and I mean this one no longer works or plays DVDs we will buy another one. By then the only option will be Blu-ray and so be it. But I’m not upgrading our entire DVD library (which isn’t massive) to some other format just because some yahoo out there invented a new platform to watch a lousy computer generated movie.

The older I get (and that seems to be by the day) I no longer see the point in getting something new “just because…” why change brands and services because we “need” the newest gadget Apple released. Is that gadget going to make me feel more loved?

No.

It’s a thing, a means to an end and it’s lifeless regardless what it does. It doesn’t love you for walking into the electronics store on the highway and picking it out among thousands of other gadgets trying to get your attention. That thing is NOT going to make you feel better, isn’t going to love you more, or make you cooler than you already are…nobody cares. It’s just a thing. Your other phone worked just fine, didn’t it?

I am certainly not impressed by your new phone, truck, SUV, massive wall sized HD TV or newest techno-gadget of the minute…etc. You had to buy these things because you discovered the last thing you bought didn’t fill that void in your life. You keep searching for the next thing that will do it hoping to quiet the ache in your heart, the problem is we are human it’s hard-wired into our chemical make up. We were designed to feel suffering and abandonment, God created us flawed and damaged all the way thru, he expected us to fail in the Garden and that separated us from him. He designed it so we would need him and he could step in and be the hero…and that’s okay.

For all intents and purposes that is exactly what God did. He saved the day but not everyone gets it and sometimes, even when they do people still keep searching the isles for that thing that will comfort them. But this is a temporary world and eventually the crap we are buying to pacify us start adding up and our hearts and homes are cluttered with all this stuff we never needed in the first place.

I have never been interested in keeping up with whom ever the Jones’ are. The Jones’ don’ t give a shit anyway why do we work so hard to one-up them? We are compensating for our own shortcomings and we show off our worldly possessions to validate ourselves in someone else’s eyes.

I also think it falls into a faulty mindset.

A lifeboat mentality.

We strive to prove our worth in this world. This is also hard-wired into our being and it’s very hard to work around. We are trying to prove we are worth keeping in the lifeboat rather than be tossed into the sea because we are useless. It’s a power struggle for a position we have to constantly work at maintaining. And it’s not at all worth it.

It’s a fruitless quest. In the long run we struggle to obtain and acquire more stuff, bigger and better things and be one up on the next guy. If anything we get to talk about the features and how much we paid for it, and that alone shines a light on how much we make for a living and “This new purchase I didn’t need proves I have disposable cash and the job to provide useless things”

How cool am I?  Look at all the Apps.

Who give a shit about your Apps?

I couldn’t care less about a position in the lifeboat. After all is said and done it’s a colossal waste of time, energy and resources and NOBODY cares about you and what you have. If they do…they are as shallow as you are.

Things do not matter.

People matter.

Stories Matter.

I’d rather be a misfit in this world. I am not impressed with bigger, better, cheaper, faster. I’d rather sit in the corner reading a book, drinking my middle of road, nothing special brand of coffee I brewed in a coffee maker at home out of a paper cup than a designer mug filled with Fair Trade certified Starbucks if it would impress you.

I’d rather read something than watch something utterly mindless on a crystal clear TV with 350 channels beaming into it from space in high-definition when there isn’t anything earth shattering to watch in the first place.

“Television: A medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done” – Ernie Kovacs

And why do we need the News in High Def? Do we really need to see every blemish on the talking head delivering the weather?

Life is way too short to waste time and money on useless crap and while I have spouted off here you might whole heartedly disagree and you are certainly entitled to tell me to blow it out of my ass, but someday when you are searching for that next bigger, better, cheaper, faster TV, Blu-ray player or iPhone, searching the web on that cell phone that can remote start your car, pay your bills online and land the space shuttle I will be quietly living in my corner content with what works in my life.

To each his own I suppose. You fight your demons and I will fight mine.

But I will be content loading an old school DVD we had to buy on Ebay because they are obsolete into my 20-year-old DVD player, which still works. I will be buying old school paper back books on the black market because the last Borders or Barnes and Noble store on earth shut it’s doors after the Kindle and other electronic readers killed the printing business.

I am striving to have less stuff. I want less possessions. I want more room in my head and heart and in my life.

I see how the world works and how people race to compete and stay ahead of everyone else. I watch these things. I see these things because as a cartoonist my job like any other writer out here is to “map the enemies positions and report back” as Stephen King put it. My job is to observe and skewer the status quo.

I may talk too much sometimes but I observe more than I talk, at least I should. And my lack of want for the latest and greatest is rooted in my up-bringing.

When I was a kid my parents (whom I have ranted about in previous posts) raised us in church. A foundation was laid whether I like it or not and in terms of seeing the void in our lives as a God-shaped hole I made amends back then to make peace with God and accept his gift of salvation. I have struggled to maintain what I have believed and have wrestled with several crisis of faith when I was diagnosed with Cancer. I lost sight of his purpose but I am slowly working my way back. I wasn’t on a fast track to the corner office and a mansion on a hill back then but life has always been a struggle since I can remember.

I recognize the landscape and the sign posts as I work my way back to familiar roads and territory. I don’t need the same things a lot of people out there seem to, I am not hurting to fill a void anymore. Life isn’t easy, it wasn’t supposed to be. These last few years for me and my family have been messy and unpredictable and littered with emotional debris. Things have gotten dark at times and I have doubted everything I ever believed in.

But I am still here. I know this life has nothing to offer me. “Things” are not going to make me sleep better at night. Living life thru the shit that comes your way is what builds character, it’s when life gets under our finger nails and you can feel the ache in your hands from hanging on so long that you know you are alive.

Maybe these other things I’m complaining about are just distractions from the bucket of shit that comes our way…and it always does, at some point everyone gets their bucket of shit. But if we are rooted in something bigger than we are chasing after these things is pointless and more exhausting than obtaining them to quiet the voices in our heads.

In the end it comes down to this…we live, we breed, we die and we disappear.

The rest of this crap stays behind and turns to dust.

…To quote Dennis Miller “Of course that’s just my opinion…I could be wrong”

Random Stuff…(Snow day post)

There is a short italian plumber in my house nearly every day! My kids love this guy…I just don’t understand it.

I call it Mario Krack, sometimes Mario-juana…the gateway drug. My kids are addicted and can’t be helped.

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

Links I want to share:

This is my previous blog: http://scottscancerblog.blogspot.com/ the one that tells my cancer story from the beginning. Which eventually lead me to start this one…

http://her-eyes-blueskys.blogspot.com/ This blog is written by a friend of ours whose 2 year old daughter has Peter’s Anomaly.

This is another friend of ours. His company and his band: http://www.digitalcafetour.com/ Friday’s Child http://www.frichild.com/

This is my cousin: http://elisagirlando.com/ she is also a musician.

http://scottscartoonblog.blogspot.com/ “Random Doodles” (my cartoon blog)- just for fun.

http://i2y.com/ I’m Too Young For This Cancer Foundation.

http://www.canaryfoundation.org/ “Stopping Cancer Early”

http://www.thejournalofaprizefighter.com/ Blog of a fellow Hodgkin’s Survivor

Of course there is always Lance…http://www.livestrong.com/ and http://www.livestrong.org/site/c.khLXK1PxHmF/b.2660611/k.BCED/Home.htm

A personal favorite comic strip/cartoonist: “Cul de Sac” http://richardspooralmanac.blogspot.com/ 

And…Coming soon: http://scottdawnllb.wordpress.com/ “The Live Life Better Blog” , my wife and I are writing this one together.

And lastly: http://zenhabits.net/ 

Have a good snow day America….or not, whatever.

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 1:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Say what? “Ob-la-Di, Ob-la-Da”

Survey Says…

“MRI and blood work came back fine. You have a hearing loss. You need a hearing aid” – pretty much that was the gist of my phone call with Dr G. last week. I went into his office expecting that much, thankfully nothing else popped up. Next step, set my appointment for a “fitting.” I wonder if they come in designer colors?

My finger twitches are still present. They have diminished a little but I have noticed a finger on my other hand joining in the dance recently. Since my ENT also suggested I see a Neurologist “just to confirm my findings” I might just ask about the twitching too. I have reduced caffeine as much as I deemed necessary to see if the twitches would stop altogether, when they didn’t, I got back on the wagon. I generally switch between regular and decaf.

What I need is more water. No argument there.

I have noticed I tire more easily. My days as a night owl are OVER! I can’t make it past 10:30 most nights. My shoulders hurt when I move my arms a certain degree, I am hearing “Rice Crispies” in my neck again when I turn it…and, I have been to see my dentist twice in the last month, he has found lots of complicated work to be done. Today he ended my visit with a few questions about my exposure to chemo and leaned toward blaming my dental issues on those wonderful chemicals.

Cancer is continuing to leave its fingerprints everywhere. Not to mention the physical scars, (surgery, multiple biopsy marks and port scar). But the random joint pain, exaggerated uni-lateral hearing loss, arthritis, and last but not least: my vision. That has gotten worse in the last couple of years since chemo too and that is next on my list to deal with.

Trouble is I can’t tell if it’s age related or cancer fall out, or both.

Maybe it doesn’t matter. It just is and it has to be dealt with. I shouldn’t complain because I know what the alternative is.

So in short my parting gift for dodging cancer is a life of minor physical complications that slowly reveal themselves over time that when added up can be quite a bitch if taken on all at once. What can I say…I’d rather be above ground, taking nourishment, honestly. I will be cranky as hell sometimes, but still alive to complain about it.

Perspective being what it is, things could certainly be worse. And life does go on. “Ob-la-Di, Ob-la-Da” as the boys from Liverpool once put it.

I am also co-writing another blog. This new one I am starting up with my wife. She went thru the worst with me, every two weeks for six months and slowly (in these last 2.5 years since my treatments ended) we have altered a few things in our daily routines which may actually be chalked up to a lifestyle change…even though I was just lamenting all the chemo side effects that seem to be cropping up, I do feel better over all. (in little ways)

I know that doesn’t make much sense, but life never does.

We have learned a few things since 12/19/2006 and need to pass them on. I think her side of things really needs to be explored as well, She has a story to tell too. The care-giver never gets any fan fare. Please stay tuned.

Until then, Be well.

-Scotty

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 2:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Is there anyone out there?

I am beginning to wonder why I write this blog…I have collected some comments from people who are reading it and that thrills me, “I have a readership” but then I second guess my purpose here altogether.

Who am I writing this for? What constitutes a readership…even just one person? two? five? I don’t know…

My real answer is, I started writing this for…ME. but as a writer, thats not enough.

I need to know, if YOU are out there and you read this blog often enough to think about commenting on it or you have…tell me now! I am otherwise going to stop posting here for no reason.

I can write off-line for my entertainment. In fact I should be writing off-line more often, but I don’t. Why? because when I started this blog and the one before it (Taking Life One Day At A Time) I was chronicling my cancer year and the fall out that followed.

I was aiming to find some self-induced therapy in the writing and maybe help someone out there who might find themselves in the same boat.

So, I am at a crossroads. Is this blog serving any purpose? Do I keep writing here or do I just close up shop and go do something else?

If you are out there…Speak to me!

Thanks…

Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 6:26 pm  Comments (4)