Hello, How Are You?

Monday, May 21, 2018



Greetings one and all. Haven't written for quite some time... and won't really in this post either. :c) (Sorry!)

I just wanted to say hello, and that I *do* hope to write a new post for real this weekend. It's a long weekend here in the States, so I really have no excuse not to at some point. :c) Watch this space; lots to chat about since my last missive!

***

I don't think I've ever posted a picture of myself wearing my glasses, oddly enough. This is how I usually look at work when I don't wear my contacts. Unfortunately my prescription has changed, and they no longer make these frames. Bummer, as I really liked them. Oh well. Hopefully I can find a pair I like just as much.

Think that will do it for now. See you this weekend (I hope)!

***

I thought I'd end with "How Are You," a great song from Cheap Trick's third album, 1978's Heaven Tonight. You know it's a great album when a song this good is only about the fifth or sixth best song. Check it out if you've never heard it. (Same goes for their first two, Cheap Trick and In Color; all three are stone classics.)


And because one Cheap Trick tune is never enough, here's "Surrender," from 1979's Live at Budokan. The studio version is on Heaven Tonight, incidentally. Both versions are wonderful; it's such a joyous, life-affirming song. And they're still going strong, 40 years after this was released! God love 'em. :c) Enjoy!


Moving, 'Mones, & The Mane Thing

Sunday, February 25, 2018



Greetings all.  Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend. It's been one of the strangest winters I can recall here in New England. We started off bitterly cold and with well above average snowfall through mid-January, followed by nearly a month of above-average temperatures.

Then, in the past week, we've twice gone from several days close to 80 F (26.6 C) to snow - in the first case, eight inches (20 cm) of snow the same night(!), all of which was gone barely 36 hours later. Even by New England standards, that is strange.

Just thought I'd post about a few unrelated items. Follow along below the fold for all of the details. :c)


Poking My Nose Out

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Hi all, and a Happy 2018. Apologies for the radio silence the past few months, especially to those of you who have kindly reached out to check in. It's much appreciated.

Everything is OK, I'm happy to say. I've been back at work since mid-November. My energy level isn't where it usually is, unsurprisingly, given that I'm not quite five months post-surgery. I saw my doctor last week for an exam, who told me I'm recovering nicely, other than some swelling and soreness.

That's likely due to a less-than-comfortable chair at work; I've found I can basically sit for 45-50 minutes at most before having to get up and go for a brief walk. Another factor: I'm still staying with my sister, which, while wonderful, means that I've been sleeping on a futon mattress, which is quite firm and very uncomfortable.

Because there's only has one bathroom, I get up at 4:30 every morning for my first round of dilating, to ensure that I'm finished before she gets up. I work from 6:30 to 3:30, then head home for round 2, followed by the usual weeknight activities (dinner, getting ready for the next day, etc.).

As the week progresses, the fatigue sets in; by Friday evening I'm wiped out, as my friend A can attest from watching the bags under my eyes grow during our Skype chats during the week. I wish I had enough time to exercise the way I usually do, which would help enormously, but between my schedule, the winter weather, and my annual holiday bout with the flu it simply isn't in the cards at the moment. I'm just walking as much as possible, as time, weather, and my energy on a particular day permit.

I have no complaints about any of this, of course; it is all totally worth it. On occasion, I will step out of the shower, catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and be reminded: "You did it, Cass."

It's a great feeling, as you can imagine, especially knowing how far I've come and how hard I'be worked the past six-plus years. I know that I earned every bit of this. And in the weeks and months to come, as I continue to recover, and am able to resume my normal activities (and begin to have new experiences), I'll be doing so as myself, inside and out, at long last. I can't wait. :c)

I think that will do it for now. I'll do my best to write more, time and energy permitting. Ciao til then, everyone!

***

By the way, that's my sister's dog in the photo at the top of the post, in case anyone is wondering. As you can probably tell, he isn't a fan of winter either (or mornings). :D

***


As you may know, I'll use any excuse to include a track from Pearl Jam, one of my favorite bands. As soon as I started this post, I knew which song I should use. This is "In Hiding," from 1998's Yield album, at the final show of their Binaural tour in their hometown of Seattle, on November 6th, 2000 - a show I was lucky enough to attend. Enjoy!!!


Have a good week, all!

Musings on Montreal, Part 1B: A Few More Updates :c)

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Hello all, and apologies for going so long between posts. Hope those of you here in the States had a lovely Thanksgiving. :c)

I'm doing well, other than being quite tired. As I mentioned in my reply to Halle, Jenna, and Stace's comments in my previous post, time flies when you return to work, as I did on Monday the 13th, and are still in the three-times-a-day stage of recovery. Follow along below for details - and for information on the handsome gent keeping an eye on the donuts, above. ;-p)


Musings on Montreal Pt. 1A: A Few Updates

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Hi all - hope everyone is doing well.

I do have several longer posts in the works; I hope to get one of them finished and posted by the end of this week. In the meantime, just a quick update on a few things I've written about recently.

My nephew C is slowly improving, fortunately. He's lost quite a bit of weight, and, consequently, strength. He has a ways to go to get back to normal, but he's on the right track. thankfully.

I'm doing well too. I have some soreness, and I wish I was able to do more in terms of exercise, but I'm being careful not to overdo it. Not surprisingly, I was having a great deal of trouble sleeping, even by my lifelong insomniac standards.

Without going into detail, it was because nerve endings are slowly regenerating as part of the healing process. This is a good thing, needless to say, but it also resulted in an unfortunate side effect: it was very difficult for me to get comfortable while trying to sleep. I tried all of the suggestions offered by the staff in Montreal, and by my sister C (a nurse practitioner), but nothing worked for more than a single night, if that.

For several weeks I was fortunate if I got three or four hours, which is insufficient even for someone used to getting by on six hours. Fortunately things finally seem to have improved the past few days, a trend I hope will continue. There's still some discomfort, but at least I'm able to fall asleep, and to go back to sleep when it wakes me up.

On a totally different topic, I was greatly heartened by the number of openly transgender candidates who won office in the elections here in the United States last week. Danicia Roem, in particular, demonstrated a level of grace and class inversely proportional to the disgusting, transphobic tactics employed by her opponent. Congratulations to all of you for your courage and commitment to public service.

I think that will cover things for now. As I mentioned, watch this space for a longer post - hopefully by the end of this week. I certainly have no shortage of things to write about; I have a lot to look forward to, happily. :c) However, trying to sort them all out in a coherent manner is a challenge. But as my friend B says, all will be revealed in the fullness of time. :c) In the meantime, be well, everyone, and I hope you have a wonderful week.

***

I'll be writing in more detail about my experience with the surgery and recovery process in future posts. For now, I can say that music plays an important role for me. And the one band I've been listening to more than any other the past two months is Blue Rodeo. I've loved them for a long, long time, and find their music very comforting. It has helped more times than I can count to relax, take a deep breath, and keep the big picture in mind during that time.

I'll post more of their songs in my upcoming posts, but here's a terrific live version of one of my favorites: "New Morning Sun," from their excellent 2013 album In Our Nature. I've listened to it, and them, over and over, and will continue to listen to over and over as the healing process continues. Check this out to see why:


The introduction shows why they've been together for so long: they genuinely like other. That is no small accomplishment after 30-plus years together. :c)

Musings on Montreal, Pt. 1: The Way I Feel

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Hello all. Hope everyone had a good week.

After what felt like an eternity of endless heat & humidity, both here and in Montreal, it finally feels like something approximating autumn. This being New England, of course, that meant receiving three inches of rain in barely 36 hours earlier this week, with an even more powerful storm headed our way tomorrow evening into Monday. Oh well, we badly need the rain. And at least the humidity is finally gone. I'll take that trade. :c)

My nephew C is doing a bit better every day. He's still quite weak, and doesn't have much of an appetite, but he's still slowly improving. Thank you again to those of you checking in on him.

If you've read my most recent posts, you know I've been planing to write about my experience having my surgery with Dr. Brassard in Montreal last month. Amazingly, it was over five weeks ago already; it seems as if it was simultaneously yesterday and a million years ago.

Confession time: I've started this post several times now, only to feel dissatisfied and abandon what I'd written.

I finally realized why: trying to summarize the most important thing I've ever done in my life in a single post is daunting.

So, I won't. :c)

Instead, I think I'll just share my thoughts in more than one post.

How many posts, you ask?

I'm not sure, to be honest. But please feel free to tag along, and we can find out together. For now, follow along below the jump. I'll see you on the other side (as we told each other as our turn came for surgery up in Montreal). :-p

My Nephew C: On the Mend (Thankfully)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hello all. Just wanted to post a quick followup to my previous post about my nephew C. I'm happy to report that he's home from the hospital.

My sister C, his mother, is a nurse practitioner, which I suspect is why they let C go home, even though he's still quite ill. He's been staying with my parents in his old bedroom, where he can get the rest he needs in his own bed. And my sister lives next door, so she can monitor his condition.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I don't want to violate C's privacy. That said, I can say that I was badly shaken by how sick he was. C is 24 years old, in excellent shape, and in good health overall. It was scary, and quite sobering, to see how quickly his condition deteriorated. I try not to think about what would have happened had my sister not trusted her instincts and gone in to check on him once he had been sick for four days (C lives in Boston, while she lives about a half-hour outside the city).

If you could, please continue to keep C in your thoughts; he's been through a lot, and will likely be recuperating for some time. I'd like to thank Alice, Halle, my colleague M, and my manager L, among others, who have been checking in regularly to ask about C. It means a great to myself, my sister, and to C.

I went over to say hello when he got home from the hospital. We only spoke for a few minutes, as he was exhausted. He told me his mother had passed along the greetings from everyone, and asked me to thank them all on his behalf. I promised I would, but he was dozing off before I finished answering.

I reached over and shut off the light next to his bed, then headed for the door. Just before I closed it I heard his voice:

"Auntie?"

I stopped and turned.

"Hey, C. I'm still here."

"I just wanted to say... you have really good friends, Auntie."

Yes, I do, C. Yes I do.

***

Now that C is home where he belongs, I'm hoping to finally finish my post about Montreal in the next day or two. Have a good week 'til then, everyone. And give your loved ones a hug. Just because.

***

This Greg Brown song, from his 1988 album One More Goodnight Kiss, has been running through my head the past 10 days. You'll understand why when you listen to it. Prepare to be moved:


As a bonus, here's "Daughters," the first Greg Brown song I ever heard, from his second album, 1983's The Iowa Waltz. It was this verse that made - and still makes - the hairs on my neck stand on end:

When my daughter who is tall now was not so tall
One night we were driving home in the truck
And I was sad because I was busted and disgusted
And she looked out the window and said,
"Dad, the moon is coming home with us"
She said, "Dad, the moon is coming home with us"

I'm a man who's rich in daughters
And if by some wild chance I get rich in money
Like another two thou a year, or even one thou a year
I'm gonna look into havin' some more daughters



 

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