Thursday, January 31, 2008

TIGF!!!(That's Incredibly Gay Friday): Rear view mirror "flair"

If you are familiar with the movie "Office Space" then you are familiar with the concept of flair. You also then know that you need a minimum 37 pieces of flair in order to work at Schotsckys, or whatever in the hell that place was called. What I am calling attention to today is the flair that hangs from car rear view mirrors, or, "mirror flair".

How many furry trolls, fuzzy dice, cd's, dildos, and dreamcatchers do you need dangling from your rear view mirror? No, really, how much of that do you need to be TIGF? I think the only mirror flair that I indulged in are pine tree air fresheners. About five of those combined, fresh out of the wrapper, give me such a buzz. So, that is my mirror flair. Oh, and the occasional National Forest wilderness pass, because I want people to believe that I am the Brawny Towel guy's illegitimate son. "Me so rugged. Me rough it long time (chops five trees down in one fell swoop)." Uh, that's the part where all the women beg me to make love to them.

I want to hear your mirror flair confessions, Gruntonia. Also, what was the most ridiculous case of mirror flair you've ever witnessed. I hope it involves underwear or this guy. Ten points to whoever knows who that guy is.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dear Gruntonians

I am just checking in with all of you. Wednesday marks my quarter way through point with radiation. I have to remind myself that this radiation treatment is crammed all into four weeks, only having weekends off. It should go by fast. The chemotherapy went on for six months, six months full of agony and depression. It was also six months that are a part of one of my greatest triumphs in progress. Viva Matt!

I don't know how I've managed to keep working throughout this. I feel personally blessed by God and that he knows me as a father knows his son--well, better than that. I have wondered at times if he has let go of the "bike" during this trial to give me a chance to feel the pain in full, know the stakes, and finally, to know myself.

I still can't help and be scared about the future. The fear never seems to go away, but I am getting better at managing it. Mortality has various degrees of reality. When the reality of your mortality gets stepped up a few hundred notches, it places your mind in a whole new world. This new world makes you feel small and alone at times with respect to your fragile existence in an almost absolute sense. When you have this "a-ha" moment, you start to recognize why becoming connected with those around you is so important. To disconnect from people is the other option and leads to failure of life in the most real sense.

I once wrote in one of my songs, "Losing it Again (For the First Time)", that, "Oh, Mother Nature, you can count me as your son. I've finally shed off my robes and felt as one...with another, and if God is love--no need to look any further or up above." It can be about one person or many. Whatever, it is about opening up and accepting, being vulnerable, and exercising charity.

Love is. I want in.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Don't believe everything you hear

I was told by quite a few people that radiation treatment would be a piece of cake, compared to chemotherapy. I guess I read that as, "Radiation will be a piece of cake." So far, radiation has done some funny, not ha-ha, things to me and I am already sick to death of it.

Friday I had my second radiation treatment. That is two out of twenty done. On Wednesday I had about thirty x-rays taken around my chest, back, and neck area. I had a lot of exposure to radiation last week. After my treatment on Friday I went to work. I lasted three and a half hours, then I had to go home. I was fine when I arrived at work. It was weird how fast I was overcome with complete exhaustion. When I got home I immediately crashed and fell asleep for four hours. I was up for around three hours then I went to bed for good.

Saturday I couldn't drag my ass out of bed at all, until 12 PM. I went with my brother into town for a few hours and fell asleep while he ate lunch. When I got home I slept for another hour and a half then went to a dinner party. I perked up at the party.

This morning I was in and out of bed. I had some visitors and that broke things up a bit. I really haven't been eating a whole lot since Friday, so I decided to force myself to eat a decent meal. After eating, I felt like I should get out and go for a brisk walk. The weather was warm today. It almost got up to 45 degrees F. This is what usually happens before a big storm front moves in and drops a a lot of snow. The walk really helped get me feeling better. I wish the weather would stay better so I could do it more. It's usually too cold and icy for me to get out and walk much.

Anyway, I am hoping that what happened to me on Friday was just a fluke. I really don't need to be put out of commission right now. As for listening to other people tell me what to expect with this stuff, I am going to take it with a grain of salt.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

TIGF!!! (That's Incredibly Gay Friday): Lavender Oil

It is official: I rub myself down with lavender oil. It makes me smell pretty...uh, strong. Since I started my radiation one of the concerns I've had has been getting radiation burns on my treated areas. I got some tips from ladies who have had breast cancer about how to minimize the damage caused by the radiation.

The tip that I chose to run with is using lavender essential oil mixed with a carrier oil. The carrier oil that I use is olive oil. I apply this mixture after each treatment, then again before I go to bed. I can't have any oil on my body before treatment or else it will fry me.

Anyway, lavender in its "essential" state, whatever the hell that means, actually stinks. But the name is still incredibly gay. Plus the thought of me spreading oil all over my chest and neck just seems so TIGF to me that I felt like telling you all about it.

Here's proof that it is TIGF. I was in the dressing room only in my underwear, spreading the oil on my chest, when another dude gets all undressed and has a conversation with me about what I am doing. So, he's naked and I'm in my underwear spreading oil across my pecs. We are both having a conversation about skin care--very gay. Though, we ended the conversation with a firm handshake, thus, keeping our heterosexuality intact. That was the weirdest handshake I've ever been involved in...the greasiest too.

I think I've said too much.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I wonder if Jesus, while searching the future, ever saw the many flippant and idiotic things we do in his name. I wonder, if he did see them, how he reacted. I mean, was he filled with sorrow and disappointment, or did he just go, "Far out, man....I'm on a bumper sticker"?

Growing up I really strained myself thinking about Noah and the ark. I couldn't help wondering about how he got all those damn animals on board his ship. I would worry about how all the different species got back safely to all their respective corners of the earth. I mean, are you to tell me that some fucking pair of penguins humped it all the way into wherever in the hell Noah lived, or did he just sail by and pick them up on some floating iceberg? Well, I guess I've got my answer there. The penguins just stayed where they were and just hitched a ride on a sheet of ice. However, I was taught that God melted the ice in order for there to be enough flood water to cover the earth. It just wont stop.

I'm beginning to think that ancient people were retarded and believed any story told to them from a man with a big fucking beard. Who's to blame them, anyway? Men with big fucking beards are pretty damn convincing. I mean, just think if ZZ Top could travel back in time what kind of religions we'd have today.

I've come up with a solution for getting through to people that believe that God would not allow global warming to happen, and that we can go about fucking the earth up the butt until Jesus descends upon us riding a winged version of Trigger. I could get them to agree that the earth is one of God's many homes that he has built. I could also get them to agree that they are his children that live in his home called earth. I think, then, that it stands to reason that if you are a child and you mess up the house with your toys that your parents will not be happy with you for leaving a big-ass mess. So, clean your shit up, kiddies!

This is a true story. There was one dude at the Day of Pentecost that actually had his head catch on fire, then total combustion. While everyone else was freaking out, speaking in tongues, and dancing a jig while feeling the fire of the Holy Ghost upon them, this dude got too close to an oil lamp and burst into flames. Sadly, everyone there thought he was a burning bush and they all waited for a guy with a big fucking beard to pop out and tell them some stories.

The end.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Smile on your brother...

Happy Human Rights Day, Martin Luther King Day, or Monday off. Whatever you prefer there. I'm going with my Uncle Marty. People who really know me will get that reference. Besides, I have diversity in my blood--my brother is a Mexican bandito. I find it odd that I look like I am straight out of Mayberry and he looks like an extra from a Sergio Leone flick. This is what happens when an Indian Chief sells his daughter to an English dude for a bag of gold.

So, I am mostly English blood, then Danish, with a smidgen of "Runs with Deer". My brother gets a cool complexion out of the deal, though. I don't, but at least I never wear cowboy hats and look as though banjos are my life's soundtrack. He really isn't a redneck, but sometimes he just makes bad style choices.

BTW, that Mad Max looking jalopy was Clyde before I worked my magic on him. I prefer to be talented rather than special.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tattoos, Bondage, Women, and Good Health

Kinky, eh? This is a custom made restraint for my head. It starts life as a flat piece of plastic then it is placed in hot water until soft. When the plastic is ready it is wrapped around the head and molded to the person's face. You can't see it in this picture but there are three anchors that hook up to a table, strapping the head firmly down.

I guess I need to explain a bit here. On Tuesday I went in for my visit to my radiation oncologist. He laid out my radiation therapy for me: 20 treatments. The treatments will be done every work day. I start on Wednesday. After I visited him I joined five highly skilled women into the planning room to map out my body, get custom restraints (shown) and headrests made, and tattooed all so my body can be aligned perfectly for each treatment. If your idea of sexy is laying on a hard CAT scan table, strapped down, topless, having a bunch of women draw on your body with Sharpie markers, and tattooed, then I had a sexy time. They also had REM's "Out of Time" on their Ipod, which is what I requested we listen to. "Losing My Religion" is actually a great song to listen to while having medical stuff done to you. I don't know why that is. It just fits.

On Wednesday, I visited with my main oncologists Heather and Martha. It was Heather's turn to shove her hands down my pants to check for lumps, oh, and other places. I bet you didn't know just how sexy cancer exams could be. It was a great visit. My docs told me that my PET scan was almost completely normal. They also said that the areas of concern are so small that radiation will annihilate them. My largest tumor went down from the size of two golf balls down to the size of a marble. Basically, I am the poster child for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Whoopee!

The only negative about my health right now is that my white blood cell count is extremely low. So I have to take my temperature several times a day to make sure that things are ok. If my temperature hits 100.5 F then I have to go to the emergency room. The doctors said that in time my count will get higher. For now I have to be extra careful around people and keep my hands sanitized.

Anyway, a month from this Wednesday will mark the end of my cancer treatment, for good I hope. The chance of a full recovery for me is 85%. That's pretty damn good. Let's all hope I will be saying goodbye to cancer forever. BTW, if you connect all the dots from my tattoos you'd make a really far out Star of David.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Just real quick

I had a real interesting medical experience today but I don't have enough time to blog about it yet. I have to get up early to go to another medical appointment tomorrow. I just wanted to say that the light at the end of the tunnel is finally here for me and things are looking good.

I hope all of you are having good days today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Radio time in the car

Those who commute or get stuck in traffic can try some of these things out.

I have a work utility van with a crap ass radio. When I am travelling from one task to another that crap ass radio is my savior. It keeps me from going insane. What I like to do, though, is not just listen to the radio, but engage in a bit of silliness with it. Here is just a small sample of the things that I've done (do) to keep my sanity.

How to sing like Michael Mc Donald: Stick both index fingers in the corners of your mouth, yank them to the side so that your mouth looks like a slit, and start singing incomprehensible lyrics. Bam! You can be singing, "What a Fool Believes" in no time. Make sure that you have clean hands and are stopped in the car while performing this trick. Knees can't swerve the steering wheel to miss pedestrians so hot, it turns out.

I am a big fan of the glam rock band Sweet. "Fox on the Run" and "Ballroom Blitz" just get me singing along without regard to anyone that can see me making an ass of myself. Anyone that is familiar with Ballroom Blitz will know the part where one of the dudes starts talk yelling all dramatic and spooky and shit then the other dude goes "Oh yeah...." When I hear that song it gets me in a silly mood and then I start making up conversations in those dudes' weird spooky/campy tones. It's just good clean fun. I thought that if I had no care for the appearance of sanity that it would be great just to talk like that everywhere. Oh yeah! Try it out sometime.

Making up new lyrics to old songs is nothing that any of us haven't done. Currently, I am working on new lyrics to the Rick Springfield classic, "Jessie's Girl". Here are some snippets.

"She's greasing up her thighs, I just know it."

"Where can I find a woman that fat, like Jessie's girl?"

It's a work in progress. It's just that I have so many other projects going on that it is hard for me to come back to this one and complete it. I'm still working on completing new lyrics to some Journey tunes. Though, stay tuned for the reworking of Jessie's Girl. Hey, I just got an idea about how Kansas's tune "Point of Know Return" (the spelling is right--check it on the album) can be turned into a bathroom time adventure. Sweet!

You got anything?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

TIGF!!! (That's Incredibly Gay Friday): Dudes with long chick hair--viewed from the back

This happened to me today. The hospital that I go to for my cancer treatments is located at a major university. Not the one where Julie from the Real World went to. It's the other one that Mormon folk believe is haunted with the ghost of Satan. This is funny because most of the Mormon presidents went to the University of Satan.

Well, I was brought up to hold the University of Satan with the highest regard because my dad went there. My sister went there too. My mother did three quarters at the Celestial School, but we all ignore her when she talks about it.

I went to Ghetto University in a town that used to be known for its high murder rate on 25th street and ample supply of hobos, ghosts, and illegal immigrants, oh, and the Purina dog food mill. That's what options you get when you almost drop out of high school.

Where was I? Oh yeah, I like to eye the crop of college co-eds when I travel to the hospital. It makes me feel younger and very horny. This is an essential therapy for me since chemo robbed me of a normal functioning libido. It's coming back though.

So, today I get all excited because I see some long hair and long legs walking up the street all lady like. I'm there starting to convert from meters to miles in my nether regions all to discover that the front of said hair and lady legs did not agree with my assumptions of femininity.

This is where a man runs the risk of becoming victim of Pavlovian Classical Conditioning. Having a semi hard, or semi soft for you pessimists, and then getting tricked like this is a dangerous pairing of stimuli me thinks. I also think there are malicious men out there who purposely style themselves to toy with regular guys. It is even bad for gay men because they miss out on the opportunity of admiring a great ass only to discover that it was a hot dude.

So, I am putting out request to all of you dudes out there that look like a hot chick from behind: just get a sex change already. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I'm taking my goldfish Roger

Today I am going in for a PET scan. Well, it's actually the night before but you will all be reading this post on the day of the scan. If you don't know what a PET scan is go here. Isn't learning fun?

I had one of these when I first got diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma Cancer. I got to see my insides in various color sections. The detail was amazing. I also got to see my cancer. It looked like I was storing a bag of golf balls in my body from the base of my neck down to my diaphragm. This time around I am hoping that the only thing I will see will be a normal looking lymph system.

My mother was with me the time I saw the first one. When the doctors dialed through the scan my penis was visible. It looked like a meat penis, but it was still there. I exclaimed, "Don't look down there mom, you can see my dink." She replied, "It's not like I haven't seen it before." I countered, "Yeah, but it's all grown up now." That was a good laugh.

Anyway, wish me luck. I won't find out the results until I meet my radiation oncologist on Tuesday. From there I will know what my radiation treatments will be. Fun stuff.

You all have a kickass day.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tough day

My body hurts. My mind is weary. It was tough going today. I didn't take it out on anybody. In fact, I did my best to make those around me feel good about themselves. Why do I still feel utterly horrible?

I don't talk about my work, but I will a tiny bit here just to clue you all in a bit to my troubles. I'm not doing the things that I was when the job was offered to me--the things that I like doing. My job has become menial to me. I wish I were not in the situation where I need to keep my current job for health insurance or schedule in order to get my radiation treatments. I still need this job a little longer, but it is killing me with boredom and stagnation. I have to admit, though, that the people I work with and around are grand.

The other stuff consists of medical billing companies giving me shit about missed payments. It's funny because my bank statements show that they seem to cash the checks I send them just fine. That doesn't seem to stop them from sending me threatening letters and annoying phone calls.

I'm finally tired of being single. It's funny because I absolutely loved not being tied down up until this point in my life, so much so that the idea of marriage made me physically ill (really). This is new to me. Most of my romantic life can be summed up to this point in one word: whatevers. Now I have this feeling of "Oh shit! Now what in the fuck am I going to do about all this then?" I keep hoping that I will wake up tomorrow and snap out of it. How in the hell do you start feeling this way when you never did before? I'm not in love with anyone right now. I think going through all this need for care and struggle has shown me that going it alone through life is really tough. I need someone to help me out. This is hard for me to accept right now, but I know that it is something I am slowly acknowledging as a fact of my evolving life.

I need a drink, but I don't drink.

I had something happen to me today that scared the shit out of me while at the same time was quite amusing. I was in an office fixing a wall. I got up from a crouched position and found myself later on coming out of a fog, humming, while laying on my back on a desk. It was fucking lunacy. Apparently, I had passed out and landed on this desk. I was sure glad that nobody saw it happen. I don't need people trying to get me out of work. It's funny that I say that after having complained about my job. I think the problem is my anemia and low blood pressure.

I'm done. It's dreamsville for me.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Harold's Elevator Restrooms

You can go levels one, two, or opt for "B".

What do you give the person who has everything? Nothing.

I have an itch that I can't scratch. What would Jesus do?

Could God create an itch so big that even God could not scratch it?

I am positive, with a 99.95% certainty, that there is a game show in heaven called "What Would Jesus Do" and "Ultimate God Challenge". If you are a polytheist then I would imagine "The God World" would make for a great reality show. The best of all would be "My god can beat up your god".

I've heard that if you say a demon's name it summons them from beyond. Conrad Smeaklebottom!

Now I'm going to have nightmares.

If I were to have the wherewithal to do the most prudent thing in this particular situation it would to make my mind up as how to end this post.

I am horrible at making up my mind.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

TIGF!!! (That's Incredibly Gay Friday): Chemo Graduation

It was a late appointment at 2:30 PM. It took an hour and a half to get my blood work done. I was having anxiety problems all day long. But I finally got into the infusion room just before five and got my first, "Hey, short timer" from one of the infusion nurses. They were all saying that my face and eyes had "This is the last time I'll have to do this part" look on me.

I had my last pushes of huge syringes of my life, I hope. I had my last bags drip into me, I hope.

After I got done it was really late, around 7 PM. There were still five nurses on hand to give me my graduation ceremony. They sang me a song about my last chemo and then all said that they didn't want to see me there ever again. I got a diploma all signed by the infusion nurses. They all gave me big squishy hugs and then presented me with this really cool black with neon colored polka dot flannel blanket.

There was so many gay feelings in that room, circa 1920s meaning of the term, that it qualifies as being way TIGF!!! in a good way, of course.

I then promptly went home and took enough of my medication to not barf and got some good rest. The end.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It ends today: My last chemotherapy

It ends, yet it doesn't. I get my last trip to the infusion clinic. My last dose of adriamycin. My last dose of bleomycin. My last dose of vinblastine. My last dose of dacarbazine--the stuff that makes my insides want to pull the fire alarm and vacate the facility. Like I said: It ends...yet it doesn't.

The nausea.

The mouth sores.

The loss of taste.

The anemia.

The bruising.

The fatigue.

The anxiety.

The constipation.

The pain.

The depression.

The insomnia.

The intense feeling of vulnerability.

Those things will keep on going for a spell. But for now I will celebrate the last treatment knowing that I have gone through all those things listed above and survived. I can do it once more.

P.S. I made it through! It was a late one. I got in at 2:30 PM and left at 7 PM. What a long day! I will post about the day soon.