Thursday, March 19, 2009

One day you'll wake up

So I bought this CD last night at the show, and I've been listening to it borderline incessantly today. It's so good! Especially the above song, check it out.

Having a soundtrack came in handy today. I started the day by running to Target to get a frame for the poster print I got last night (which looks AWESOME hanging in my office), and then headed to my first round of physical therapy. Nothing too revolutionary, although I realized just how inflamed the left side of my back is. I have some homework to do over the weekend, and then another session on Tuesday.

The real fun, however, didn't start until I got to the office, where I found out the next project on my list needs to be done by the end of March instead of April. Um, yeah. Needless to say, the next week will be extremely full of work. I think it's totally doable, and it needs to happen regardless, so it's going to happen. I might just have to bring a blanket to the office for a couple nights this week... we'll see.

I am officially tired now. And it's March Madness time! Here's hoping Western KY can hold on...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

He is hard to chase, but good to catch and he can change the world with his hands behind his back

One week later, here's where I've been and where I am:

My MRI on Thursday went quickly and well. I met with my doctor after and he said it was definitely a herniation of the disk between the L4 and L5 vertebrae. Not the worst he'd ever seen, but still bad enough that he recommended I have a cortisone shot as soon as possible and start physical therapy. Apparently, before getting an epidural, you need to be off ibuprofen and any other blood thinners for 5 days; since I'd dropped 8 Advil the day before, I was stuck waiting til Tuesday.

In the meantime, this weekend was Matt's bachelor party out at the river house. 7 guys, 3 days, 1 house, and lots of food: who could ask for anything more? It was a wetter weekend than we would have liked, but still a blast. We played countless rounds of darts, watched hours of college basketball, and even made time for a couple games of Risk. Oh, and there were crossbows involved. If that's not a bachelor party, I don't know what is.

By the end of the weekend, the predisone I was on was really starting to kick in. I could definitely feel improvement. That didn't stop me, however, from getting my scheduled epidural yesterday. The process was hardly painful at all, and I could feel the improvement by the end of the day. Today was about the same as yesterday, and they say it is most effective after 3 days, so I can't imagine how I'll feel tomorrow, which will also feature my first foray into the world of physical therapy. Recovery is looking to be a 3-4 week process, at least that's the time frame for my first round of physical therapy and follow-up with my doctor. I really think I'm going to good to go after this, thank the Lord.

Tonight, I got to see one of my favorite new artists (and the 2009 Grammy winner for Best New Artist) perform live at the Cannery Ballroom: ADELE! I'm glad my back is doing well enough to stand for a couple hours, because I would have been rather sad if I'd missed this show. If you have never listened to ADELE you should check her out. I can't think of a good person to compare her voice to. She is really just someone you need to experience for yourself.

And she certainly did not disappoint tonight! A simple show, opened by a new Irish band called The Script (quite good themselves, their debut album was just released in the US yesterday), ADELE let the music and her voice shine. She's an understated performer, with some light, mostly incoherent banter, and an arsenal of originals and well-chosen covers that combined for an incredible experience. Simply awesome.

And, to top it all off, I finished the project I've been working on for the last 6 weeks at work today. Not sure it could get much better than this!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Well shoot

It is 2 AM as I begin typing this. I woke up 15 minutes ago and the main purpose of this post is try and make me tired enough to go back to sleep. BUT, while I have your attention, I might as well lay out what I have going on currently.

I have spent the last week in various degrees of miserable back pain. Since I am not the type to seek medical treatment for a malady, I waited until Tuesday morning, when it became clear that this was not something that would just go away on its own, to get an appointment with a specialist. Said appointment was yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, and it was then determined I have a herniated disk. This is not an uncommon condition, but apparently my mobility is more limited than it should be (plus I literally can't stand up straight) so I'm going in 6 hours to have my first MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

Things that suck about this:
1. It hurts. Plain and simple, some of the worst pain I've ever been in.
2. It costs money. I have to pay for the MRI out of pocket tomorrow; thus, until my tax return comes through (read: until I do my taxes), my savings will be slightly dwindled.
3. Everyone has an opinion. If you didn't know this about me, I hate whining, and will rarely discuss if I'm not feeling well. I tend to be of the opinion that, say, if I have a cold, my telling you that my throat is sore and how much I'm coughing doesn't do anything for anyone except fill the space between pauses in conversation. So, naturally, I would have kept this whole thing much quieter if it didn't make me walk like a senior citizen. So, over the last week, I have had pretty much anyone I come in contact with ask me what's wrong. I tell them I did something to my back (I also wish I could pinpoint a specific moment when I got injured, because it seems to baffle the greatest amateur health experts how this could happen), and they proceed to tell me one of the following remedies:
a. Put heat on it
b. Put cold on it
c. Go see a doctor
d. Go see a chiropractor
e. Take Tylenol
f. Take Advil
g. Do Pilates
h. Let me walk on it (you'd be surprised how many people think this is the cure-all for back problems)
i. Get acupuncture

The biggest debate was definitely between doctor and chiropractor. I have been blessed over the last week to hear no less than a dozen individuals' experiences with chiropractors, both good and bad. And so many stories of people's own pain; not stories to empathize, more "I had a herniated disk on the moon" stories of the terrible pain everyone else has been through that sounds similar to, yet so much worse than, my own. So much fun...

4. This could not have come at a worse time. I have enough work on my desk to get me through the end of May pretty comfortably, and it all needs to be done by the end of April, if not sooner. And I have my cousin's wedding in MN at the end of March that I am hoping to drive up for, but I'm not sure how my doctor would feel about that, not to mention Matt and Janelle's wedding in NC a week and a half later.


All right, I'm still not tired, I'm going to try some other methods. I'll post my MRI results later today :-) (That's right, you've just been emoticon-ed)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I certainly hope The End is Not the End

When Amazon decided they were going to get into the digital download game, I was skeptical at best. Apple had, and continues to have, such a huge market share, I figured it would be a flash in the pan at best.

And, for a while, it was. And then Amazon did what Amazon does: it under-priced everyone. And I mean EVERYONE! They have a different deal of the day each day, featuring either a new release or catalog release at deeply discounted rates. For example, I purchased Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" album on Saturday for just $1.99, and yesterday I bought U2's new album on the day it released for $3.99. $3.99 for one of the biggest releases of the year! The great thing about these deals is that they last for longer than a day, often as long as several weeks!

Beyond the great deals, they also have a ton of free content, which leads to the reason behind this post. One of the best albums of 2008 was House of Heroes' "The End Is Not the End", and Amazon currently has THIS 3-SONG EP available for free! Just give these guys a shot. If you like the EP, listen to the whole album on Lala and fall in love!

In case you're worried, Amazon's songs are all DRM-free, meaning you can play them on any mp3 player and copy them as many times as you want. They will also automatically be added to your iTunes library. Any rumors you've heard about the files not being compatible with Apple products is a load of crap.

So, in summation: Amazon mp3 is the Wal-Mart of digital music, and House of Heroes is your next great musical love affair.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Say hi to your mother for me

I've decided it makes more sense for me to put my Song of the Post at the beginning so you can hit play and the music can add to your experience.

Midnight Meat Train has been out for five days now, and I have yet to experience its glory. I tried to rent it tonight, but apparently it's not available through Redbox or Blockbuster! We watched Max Payne instead, which was predictably rough. It's was a nice paycheck for my namesake though, so I felt a connection to it. Not his worst performance ever (I don't think anything can top "The Happening"), but still rough enough to make me cringe when anyone makes the connection.

Speaking of, I was thinking about it today, and when I write my screenplay and the film gets made, I think I should write it under an alias so as to avoid confusion. Any and all suggestions will be considered and are appreciated.

I'm off to Memphis tomorrow with Jon and Matt to pick up the bed Matt is getting from Tracy's parents for his wedding. And a trip to Memphis must always include GREAT barbecue! I think we're going to try and get into Rendezvous for lunch; not necessarily the best barbecue I've ever had, but certainly the best dry-rub.

I had the pleasure of starting a bit of a frenzy on the internet earlier this week. Well, frenzy might be overstating it, but I made an impression anyway. Ricky Braddy, who graduated in my class at Belmont, was/is in the top 36 on American Idol, and a bunch of his friends started to help get him some exposure, as he wasn't heard on screen until his semi-final performance Tuesday night. Long story short, the production company got upset that Ricky's mom gave a shout out to the site on air and forced them to take it down. They decided to hook up with another website, but wanted to make it an adventure to get there, so they had me write a riddle to get people on the right trail. See if you can figure out what this riddle means:

A rose by any other name would still smell of spring
But a floribunda just doesn’t have the same ring
You won’t find Ricky in a triangle or box
But perhaps a floribunda for Curry’s Paradox

If you get stuck, go to and follow the trail. Anyway, the people on started digging WAY too into it, and making these deep philosophical assumptions about what the riddle REALLY means. So hilarious! Once you figure out what the riddle says, or once you give up, or if you really don't care to try and figure it out, check out the comments here: A riddle from the Braddy Bunch Ricky Braddy fansite

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm probably losing a couple jewels in my crown for this...

I know it's wrong to laugh at this, but we got a piece of junk mail yesterday for a former occupant that had this tagline across the front:

"You can help feed an elderly Jewish person for just $2.40!"

It's from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and while I'm always in support of helping the less fortunate, it just caught me off guard. That, and there's a testimonial from Pat Robertson on the back of the envelope. Not really your best selling point, Rabbi Eckstein.

This also may be one of the most expensive sponsorship programs I've ever seen. If I check "Yes! Rabbi Eckstein, I want to help save poor elderly Soviet Jews this winter by providing food baskets and other essentials through Isaiah 58," I can sponsor one person for one week for $17. $17! That's over $70 a month! And when did the Soviet Union reunite? Ooo, I just found a recommendation from Pat Boone too! Score!

But, again, $2.40 a day? I think I could feed myself on $2.40 a day if I really tried, and I don't have near the resources and connections the Rabbi claims to hold. Eh? It reminds of that Rebecca St. James song that I hate (that could describe a lot, I'll try to get more specific) with the homeless guy who can eat on $1.50 a week. That is the opposite extreme of this; if you're not eating for free from a shelter or something, I really don't see how you can feed yourself on $78 a year in the US. Just not possible.

And now, for something completely different:

Monday, February 16, 2009

The life and times of Cloris Leachman

It's amazing how time flies.

This time last year I was beginning my hunt for a home. After 6 offers on 5 houses that all fell apart for different reasons, I was starting to get discouraged. Then, one April day, I went driving around with my agent and my roommate Tim. We looked at probably 10 houses that Saturday, with varying degrees of success. Just after noon we decided to look at a house that we knew little about on the north side of East Nashville. As we pulled down the street, we passed a large woman on foot carrying a queen-sized, well-worn mattress on her back. That's odd, I thought, but we kept driving and found the house that I would go on to officially purchase a month later.

But this is not the story of my house. No, this is the story of the mattress woman, who I will call Cloris Leachman because I can't remember her actual name and she has the leathery skin of the real Ms. Leachman. Mostly, just picture a slightly darker version of Charo.

Turns out, Cloris owns the house next to mine. After a handful of random encounters with this woman over the last 6 months, I have learned the following about her life:

Cloris was born in 1940, and immigrated from Puerto Rico at a young age. In the early 1970s, she toured as a backup singer and dancer for Dean Martin on three world tours, including stops across North America and Europe. After three years of employment, it was revealed she had undergone a sex change and was promptly fired for what they considered fraud.

I'm not sure exactly what happened over the next thirty years, but I know that she married a man at some point. He currently weighs over 600 pounds, and is confined to a wheel-chair from the combination of a back injury suffered in a swimming accident and his obesity.

Seven years ago Cloris and her husband bought their current residence. She walks to the grocery store several times a week to keep her blood pressure down. She collects "antiques" in her back yard, and plans on opening it as a store to the public early this summer. Rather than try and plant real grass in her yard, she has decided to take drastic measures. Her front yard is covered in bushes, lawn ornaments, and a stagnant pond. She has spread rugs and doors across her back yard in an effort to kill all plant life and create a walkway for her "store", including across the "mushy" part where they filled in the pool her husband hurt himself in.

Cloris knows all the gossip in the neighborhood, as she spends the majority of her warm-weather days in her yard and the majority of her cold-weather days looking out her front window. She has informed me of several interesting facts:

- The tree in my front yard was once lit on fire by the neighborhood kids on Halloween because the people who were renting the house at the time didn't have any candy.

-The house five down and across the street was once used as a crack house. The owners subsequently burned it down to collect the insurance money. (I found this out when the re-built house burned down AGAIN last Saturday morning...)

And, I think she still thinks Tim and I are gay, despite several attempts to tell her otherwise. She says its ok, she doesn't care because she used to be a guy.

Oh Cloris, you are just one of the things that make life on Edith Ave so interesting!

In her honor, I give you: