Monday, March 12, 2018


Part 1: Before the doctor's office

Running into the sun. The feeling of bright, radiant sunshine on my face as I'm running is so energizing and positive. Regardless of the temperature outside, the energy and the warmth fills me up, both literally and figuratively. Best case—turning the corner, emerging from the shade, and running into an intense beautiful sun. I actually think this is a byproduct of both loving to run and the meditative state I'm in while running. I can't write about it without smiling. Right now, the sun is blaring outside. And I wish I was running.

I am solar powered.


There's a band called the Sunshine Junkies, I think that's a pretty cool band name. Maybe I'm a sunshine junkie, too.

Alas, I'm a little worried about Sunshine Junkies, the band. I smell sarcasm as their name doesn't seem to jive with the ennui projected on their web page. Maybe I shouldn't judge a frowny band by it's cover, but they're a Seattle band, so what sunshine? Two songs on their eponymous album are called Edge of Hell and Crawl Back to Bed. (snort) Needless to say, I didn't “like” their Facebook page.

I struggle mightily with Facebook. Stupid 21st century. But I do think I finally have texting down. It's all rather rote for me now. I agree effusively with whatever subject is proffered and then end with a smiley face. Technically speaking, blogging should be considered a 21st century activity as well, but it's not. In many respects, blogging is the opposite of tweeting or Facebook-ing. Social media is fundamentally a push technology. Once you “like” me, my opinion is pushed into your stream (of consciousness). Blogging is a pull technology. Even if you use an RSS reader, it still feels pull-y.

Blogging is also a longer form. Complete sentences. Imagine that! It's longer in terms of the text and the pictures and the formatting, the whole deal. Also, there's little feedback in a blog. Sure you can leave a comment, but no one does. I like it that way! Bundle this all together and blogging seems almost anachronistic. No one it's my preferred communication medium.

The newer versions of social media go even further. Communication is mostly through pictures or “memes”. The lust for a superficial audience is even more intense. All of this boggles the 50-something mind... as it should. I've never used it, but Snapchat is probably the most confounding. Of course, something that perplexes the aged is most likely to enthrall the young. The stock, SNAP, currently trades at $18 a share, which makes Snapchat, the company, worth north of $20 billion. So, when Snapshot focuses their business on creating animated GIF's of young faces with rainbows shooting out of their eyeballs, they're doing things right.


There's a weird website that posts stories that are exactly 1,000 words long, It's odd, but I guess having an artificial limit like that is sort of haiku-ish. One of my favorite websites/ideas is National Novel Writing Month, You're supposed to take your November and write a novel. The goal is to write 50,000 words in that month. That may also be odd and an arbitrary limit, but it's way cool. I haven't done it yet, but I'd like to. It also made me think. If you write 1,000 words a week, then you'll have a 50K word novel in a year. (hmmm)

Every so often I scan my recent blog posts for negativity. In the current political climate, you can never be too careful. I don't want to fall to the dark side. I'm doing pretty well on that front. I also went back and checked how long my blog posts were. I wondered: Do I ever approach 1,000 words in a williamt blog post?

Um, no.

That's a little unsettling. It's sort of like someone who never exercises and then gets winded walking around the block. You sort of figure, “Well, that's not good. But I'll bet I could walk around the block if I get out there and exercised a little bit.” So, I'll exercise a little bit. I'm going to post in 1,000 word chunks here for a while. It looks like a thousand words is about 3 pages of text. How hard could it be? (gulp)


I'm in my Sooby in the Jew-el parking lot, texting. (agree; agree; smiley; done) I've hit the Jew-el, and now I'm off to the doctor's office. The lady across the aisle is parked in her car smoking. Her hand and the butt are both hanging out the window. She's trying not to smell like a smoker, or trying for her car not smell like a smoker. God bless her, but I can't imagine it's very effective. I wonder who she's trying to placate? Her significant other or family or the public in general?

I bought the book 1984 on Amazon and have it queued up. I wonder if Orwell would have predicted the anti-smoking craze? Your health doesn't belong to you. It's now a social cost to be managed by Big Brother and the herd.

Woah. Peripheral vision alert! The smoking lady is now a whirling dervish. Thrashing about, her arms are flailing inside the car like she's trying to swat a bee or something. It takes me a moment to realize that she's dousing herself in perfume and making a wild attempt to disperse the particulates of deceitful fragrance. Good luck to you, lady. Me? I'm off to the doctor.


What can you say about the doctor's office? It's one of the few places I consciously choose to go where the result is actively and aggressively negative. It feels like crossing the street and asking someone to kick me in the shins. My father's solution is to just not go. No physicals. No nothing. Until something breaks. I used to mock him but not any more.

I learned to meditate as part of my D-word years ago. I had always wanted to learn, and it helped me to manage the bone-crushing stress of those dark days. Now, I use my meditation skills to navigate a doctor's visit. I'll do a quick calm-down in my car and then dive into the negativity. My doctor may abide by the Hippocratic Oath, but his staff most certainly does not. Do no harm? Puh. Harm and humiliation is the job of the doctor's office secretary. It's their pleasure. Deep, cleansing breath... and smile. Buck up, little camper. You can do this.

Next time: Dead fish eyes

"Window squirrel"

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