I Heart My iPad

After three months of torturing myself about whether to buy an iPad – tweeting my agony to my friends – I purchased one. And it’s better than I ever expected. It’s a game changer when it comes to how we use computers.

Now I can wear an electronic bag over my ugly face

The iPad transforms the Internet experience into a book you hold in your hands while sitting in your most comfortable easy chair, or on the couch, or outdoors at night in a hammock. Its ergonomics when reading Internet articles and digital books blow away a laptop’s weight, size and physical design.

I can place the iPad in more positions due to its design than I can a laptop. And it boots up in an instant, which is a nice bonus when you want to check something quickly, like Twitter, your email or a web site. (Why can’t desktop PCs and laptops boot up like this?)

Then there is the bonus of all bonuses for me: reading digital books.

I don’t like the feel of rough paper e.g. grocery bags. If I were a captured spy, wrap me in a few Von’s paper grocery bags and all the Agency’s secrets will be spilled. I’ll talk, just don’t rub that paper bag on my chest again. I have never liked the feel of book paper either, or holding a book and trying to get comfortable with it for a long period of time.

Reading books on the iPad is my dream. I can read an iPad one-handed by propping it against something. I can read while eating without pages flipping over. I can read while using two hands to do my flutter. I love the (almost) hands-free reading. I only have to tap the screen to turn the page. And they turn fast.

A blog post within a blog post

When I go to jail next time, my iPad will make the terrible experience of being locked up better. I won’t have to sit in a crappy hospital chair with my knees hitting the bed’s framework, my laptop sitting on the bed. I will be able to kick back on the crappy plastic bed and tweet and read blogs and books, and watch movies streamed from Netflix – all with one device – awesome.

I waited three months to buy an iPad because I wanted to teach my daughter a lesson about not getting caught up in the hype of being the first to own new gadgets. (Now the lesson is to wait at least three months before getting caught up in the hype.) However, I did research it and talk to friends before buying it.

And with those conversations in mind and some hands-on time with it, I knew my daughter and I would get a lot of use out of it for a long time. I did resort to using the “Life is short because I have CF” excuse to help make the decision – just a tiny bit.

Other than fingerprints, which are annoying, my daughter stealing it and some software quirks, there is little downside.

I expect that one day in the future, my daughter will leave for school, but she won’t have a backpack full of heavy books hanging from her shoulders. She will have an iPad or other tablet computer in her hand. And it will contain all of her school books, notes, dreams, pictures of her parents, dogs and friends. And every book she has ever read.

I’ll stand by the door watching her skip down the walkway, love in my heart, thankful there won’t be chiropractor bills coming in a few years from her lugging 50 pounds of books each day. How nice that will be. And I’ll watch as the happy trees shake their leaves and wave and say to her, thank you, little girl, thank you. Have a great day at school with your paperless device thingy.

What a wonderful world it will be.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

The Pebble Game

“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Who has ESP in the family? I do.

I schooled my daughter in the art of non-verbal communication last night. We played a game where she hid a glass pebble in one of her hands and asked me to identify the hand with the pebble. I went six for six until she got mad at me and quit.

At the point I was three for three, I hinted at how I was doing it by reading her eyes, facial expressions, and white knuckles around the pebble. However, revealing the magic didn’t help her fool me. And she did try to fool me by looking at the wrong hand on purpose, which told me to choose the other one.

It took awhile to get to six out of six because she threw little tantrums a couple of times and tried to fool me with no pebble in her hands, which I guessed she was doing, even though she fibbed she did have it in one hand. Then she got mad because I guessed she was fibbing.

Once she calmed down, I went through the techniques I used. I also explained to her that at the beginning of the game I said to myself  “I can do it. I can guess the correct hand each time.” I was confident of success. I also visualized in my mind being able to guess the correct hand. Zip, right over her head that last point went.

I’ve used the Henry Ford quote with her many times when she says “I can’t.” I reply, “I guess you’ll prove yourself right then,” which makes her blow a gasket. She tries to prove me wrong by doing it, which makes me the Reverse Psychology King. (It’s always good to be king of anything, even when you make up the title yourself.)

The pebble game made me think about how clairvoyant I am at guessing which hand a pebble is in but how bad I’ve been at predicting the future. In the past, I have thought, my lung function is screwed forever, or I’ll never make it off this plane alive, or my bacteria will never be sensitive again. I have been wrong so many times.

Why is it easier to visualize the worst case scenario and not the best case? I need to do a better job of practicing my own advice by saying “I can” more often. I can handle what CF has in store for me. Oh, how I’d like to prove myself right on that one. We’ll see.


Three wishes

[No medical advice is given in this post or any other post on this site. Please see disclaimer in left column.]

Last night I fantasized that I had three wishes for cystic fibrosis.

I wished for a cure for all CFer’s, our lung function and digestive issues restored to normal, and lost warriors returned to life. These wishes came to mind in a heartbeat. But as my mind soaked in the warm bliss of fantasizing that all of these could come true one day, I changed my mental game to think up more immediate and practical wishes. (There will be a cure one day.)

If only it were as easy as rubbing a bottle

So with my brain-game rules changed, I wished for the following:

1)  BITC gets tested, launched, and becomes the most effective CF treatment ever. What would be more fitting than Melanie Childers and Sharktank.org delivering the grassroots knockout punch to CF? Karmic justice at its finest. My fear here is that BITC with its great potential will take mainstream science and medical companies too long to get moving. Hello, CF Foundation or rich donors? Time to step up with some research cash and get BITC  fast-tracked, as you don’t want to say “would have, could have, should have” years from now on this potential game changer.

2) All CF clinics deliver a high-standard of care. Years ago, my clinic had really lax standards – they used a peak flow meter to test lung function. As a result, my numbers went down and I lost some of my lung function forever. In came a new, excellent team with mandatory quarterly visits, PFT testing at clinic, and I.V.s when PFTs drop 10 percent or more. I’ve read others’ blogs and discovered that some clinics sound like my old clinic and are not being aggressive in treating CF. Thank you to the CF Foundation for setting higher standards for CF Centers. My wish is for them to push harder and ensure all CFer’s get the same high level of care. Oh, yeah, how about getting trial drugs out sooner? Please.

3) Every state automatically enrolls its residents in the organ donation program. Individuals should have to opt out of the organ donor plan, not in. This would help a lot of CFer’s and others waiting for organ donations. It seems like such an obvious change and I read that some states may move in this direction. Yay. Move faster, please, as a country.

X) This one is complete fantasy. I wish CF had a physical presence and I could hunt it down and kill it. But I wouldn’t kill it right away. I would torture it. And I would have no guilt about doing so. Imagine the worst, most painful torture scenes you’ve ever seen. I would do that and more to CF and it would feel so good to make it pay for the suffering it has caused to CF’ers and their families and friends.

Those were my immediate wishes. Now all I have to do is find a genie bottle, rub it, and make my wishes. Don’t be surprised when you wake up one day in perfect health and you hear screams coming from the other room. It’s just me with an ice pick engraving names into CF’s flabby skin.

Stay well.

Letter To My Daughter – 7/11/10

Here is the actual auction picture.

Dearest,

I’m embarrassed to write that last year, while in the hospital, I watched a Barbra Streisand auction live on the Internet. I feel icky admitting it, and blame manapause and the fact they were selling old pine furniture, all too expensive for me. But something about owning one of them sounded cool, as it came with a good story.

When asked why she was selling so many prized possessions, B.S. said it was because our possession of objects is temporary. She was speeding up the process for charity. Not a mind-blowing thought, but simple, interesting and true.

So, honey, listen closely, and I speak from experience: Don’t fall in love with objects (or boys until you’re 30, which I know won’t be possible, but I can hope).

I think of all the stuff I’ve bought in my lifetime – the shirt I couldn’t live without or the expensive sneakers I had to have that eventually went in the trash or to charity. I could make a list that would unroll like a Greek scroll the length of a football field.

I have spent money and energy on garbage that provided a short-lived Red Bull jolt of happiness. Worse than that, I’ve wasted emotions and experienced anxiety on stuff I couldn’t afford but thought I had to have.

The next time you buy anything, close your eyes and picture the lifespan of that object from the moment you purchase it to its end. Are you going to use it for a long time? Will it end up hidden in a closet in two months and given to Goodwill in two years? Is there a way to buy it used, like the furniture we’ve found on craigslist?  (If you really want to see how items lose their value, look on craigslist, honey. It’s amazing and depressing what we spend our dough on and how much we pay for it.)

If you feel that your happiness depends on that object and you’ll absolutely die if you don’t get it, then walk away. Run away. It’s a losing proposition and it will never live up the hype you’ve given it. Take your time and reevaluate.

All of this stuff becomes baggage and a ball and chain. You have worry about it, lock it up at night, put an alarm on it. It gets scratched or damaged or breaks when your 8-year-old daughter drops it (sorry, you’ve been pretty good at breaking a lot of stuff over the years, especially Christmas ornaments). So, if it’s fragile, you’re going to have to worry about it twice as much.

storyofstuff.com

Know the true cost of an item. We watched Story of Stuff together. Watch it again. Cheap items from other countries aren’t cheap. They come with a long-term cost to world pollution that we don’t quite understand yet, but your generation will.

Know what is truly important in life. I wish I had had a parent to share some wisdom on this subject. It’s your family and friends that matter the most, not objects, unless of course they’re statues of me (couldn’t resist that one. Perhaps a small shrine. Joking. No shrines. How about a Play-Doh bust of me mounted on a pike in front of the house? Hmm, too gory.)

You’re on the clock. Your time is limited. Don’t worry about owning stuff. As they say, it ends up owning you. Make sure whatever you spend your money on will truly deliver happiness for the long term.  Otherwise, it’s not worth the price.

Remember, you had as much fun playing with a giant cardboard box as you did with that pricey collection of Webkinz animals. Find the boxes and save for a rainy day. Please.

Love to you and your mom.

“Oh while I live, to be the ruler of life, not a slave, to meet life as a powerful conqueror, and nothing exterior to me will ever take command of me.”

Whitman, Walt

Fox’s Adventures in Los Angeles: Malibu

Fox here.

I have some very hip friends in Malibu who invited me over for a Fourth of July BBQ. Here are a few pictures of the day.

For those of you who think California is warm in the Summer, it’s not. Well, it is and it isn’t. The day I went to Malibu was a “it isn’t” day. I froze my tail off. You can see from the pictures that it looks like a winter day. However, it’s July.

Some of the warmest beach days I’ve enjoyed in Los Angeles have been in October and November. Go figure.

Clouds fill the sky and turn the day gray

In the picture above, notice the rocks. The beach in this location washed away. The rocks protect the houses and will help bring the beach back – they hope.

The view of the south shows the bluff and Zuma beach to the left

The water was freezing cold to humans. My chocolate lab pal had no trouble with his oily coat.

Lunch for a Fox

There’s nothing I love more than free food and beer. My friends provided the beer and I caught the food. I ate three of these seagulls. They’re quite tasty with a rum marinade and Cajun seasoning.

Who got crazy with a paint brush?

The lifeguard shacks in L.A were getting run down. Kudos to the people who gave them a bold makeover.

Let's roll on down to the surf shack, dude!

Now this mailbox tells me someone with imagination and a love for life and the beach lives here. Nice choice, Malibu person I don’t know.

Living on a hillside overlooking the ocean is the high life. Reminds me of someone I know in England.

Here’s a shot of the hillside and some homes. There are a few gems up there I would like to make my habitat.

At night, the dolphins return to the ocean

Even the gas stations in Malibu sport artwork with an ocean theme. The Chevron near my house has a bus bench with graffiti on it, not spitting dolphins.

That’s a quick look at Malibu.

Party like it’s your last.

Fox out.

Sweet and Sour Gummi Worms

If I were an M&M . . .

We haven’t told our daughter about cystic fibrosis yet.

She visits me in the hospital, and will many times in the future. She sees me doing daily treatments, and is here when the agency nurse draws blood while I’m on home I.V.’s But we haven’t given any of this an identity yet.

We treat my CF like a business, or business as usual, with no emotions when I leave for the hospital. It’s a way of life and is like me going on a trip – one she can join on weekends.

I can’t say if what we’ve done is right or wrong – it’s how we’ve handled it. And it seems to work for us. Our daughter loves life, thinks completely about herself and her world and how many treats she’s going to get and how much Wii time she’ll have and just how much fun she can have in a day. That is what I call completely normal behavior for a happy 8-year-old.

I must have the brain of an 8-year-old because I think the same way – when can I have my M&Ms today?

If we gave the battle a name it might zap her buzz. And one day we may have to zap that buzz, but why do it any sooner than we have to?

That’s not to say we’re doing the right thing by hiding it. We each do what’s best for us. We just never mentioned it and are hoping we can prolong it as long as possible. We may, one day, wish we had introduced it earlier, having backed ourselves into a corner. We’ll see.

My wife and I don’t really talk about CF a lot anyway, except for the bills it generates. We try to ignore it, hoping, perhaps, it will get bored and go away. How much broccoli do I have to eat to make that happen?

But my daughter is starting to become aware of my limitations or lack of wind power.

We were scootering up a moderate hill yesterday. My wife, the aerobic animal that she is, shot to the top, while my daughter hung back. I thought it was odd the little scooter maniac stayed behind, as she doesn’t like anyone to ride ahead of her, inheriting her competitive streak from me.

“Why aren’t you up with your mother?” I asked.

“I’m waiting for you. Can you make it up the hill, Daddy?” she asked, in a gentle and loving voice.

Available at the Sweet Factory

Earlier in the evening my wife and I were talking about going to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl and I remembered the big hill you have to climb, which might cause hemoptysis. Little Miss Elephant Ears must have overheard part of the conversation.

So, it was sweet that she showed concern for me in the sincere way only kids can do. But it was sour at the same time that CF created her concern for me.

 

I’m lucky. I’m lucky. I know. I do know.

But some days CF tastes like a sweet and sour gummi worm – with its brief sweet taste and sour punch – Doctor says: “Your heart is in pretty good shape considering CF” – sweet. “There is, however, mild pulmonary hypertension” – sour.

To which I reply: &$% you, cystic fibrosis, &%(* you, you piece of *$^#. Then I feel better. Much better.

Stay well.

http://www.sweetfactory.com/Candy-nbsp-nbsp-Gummy/Sweet-and-Sour-Gummi-Worms-1-LB-/prod_1212.html

Confessions of a Cyster Blog

A flower seemed appropriate

Tonight, I’m giving a shout out to Stacey Bene and her new blog. It’s great, and I enjoy reading it. Please check it out if you haven’t already done so.

Here’s the link to the blog.

http://confessionscyster.blogspot.com/

Here’s the link to my current favorite post. Love the wit of it despite the circumstances. I’m sending positive vibes to Stacey.

http://confessionscyster.blogspot.com/2010/07/around-and-around-we-go.html

If you’ve been reading my blog in the past month, you may have read my two posts on CFers having kids. Here is Stacey’s touching post on the subject with a closing line I really dig.

http://confessionscyster.blogspot.com/2010/06/these-are-not-my-mistakes.html

Stacey, thank you for sharing your life. I look forward to more of your story and you giving CF a serious ass-kicking.

Rock on.

.

Work Dinner at Benihana

I hope I can catch the shrimp in my mouth this time

Is there a name for that phobia?

I fear hibachi-style restaurants.

A few years ago, at a fake Benihana in the southern United States, the chef, who was showing off his mad skills with a spatula and shrimp, forever killed my love of sitting in front of a hot flaming grill while eating.

My work pals lied that it was my birthday, laughing as if they were the first group to ever pull this prank. So, I had to sit there sporting a paper idiot-hat while they sang Happy Birthday and toasted me. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

And, as I was the faux birthday boy, the chef had the genius idea to toss me a shrimp to catch in my mouth. Unfortunately, I had missed the memo about it.

When I noticed the grilled shrimp coming at me, I opened my mouth like a SeaWorld dolphin but couldn’t maneuver in time to avoid it hitting me in smack in the eye, which led to everyone laughing their asses off. Oh, funny man, make us laugh, please. Let’s see that again. I didn’t laugh very much when I spent 10 minutes washing the grease out of my eye. Fun times don’t come better than that.

That’s why I hate these ##$*@ places. They bring back bad memories of the “shrimp to the eye” night.

So, last week, when the gang told me the work dinner was at Benihana, I just couldn’t wait to go. Sarcasm alert, if you didn’t get it.

With Benihana being the restaurant choice for the night, someone’s memory flashed on the “shrimp incident.” Then the jokes started rolling my way around noon and continued through dinner. At one point, a pair of safety goggles showed up to protect my eyes from another mad shrimp. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, guys. I’m so lucky.

Light, damn it, light. Oh, screw it. I'm retiring.

Retire before you suck at what you do

At the restaurant, we got the worst teppanyaki chef ever, an ancient bench warmer they called into action when no one proficient at their job could be found. The crusty geezer was counting down the days to the cashing-in of his Benihana 401K and “free fried rice for life” coupon.

This is how much he sucked: He couldn’t flip a shrimp tail into his hat, which is a basic skill they teach you on day one of teppanyaki-chef school. He missed six in a row and gave up. Six? How do you miss six? I could make that shot in six tries. How hard can it be? Evidently, harder than it looks, as was the behind-the-back shot that hit the floor. You’re 0 for 7, loser.

Worst of all, he completely screwed the pooch on my favorite part of the show, the flaming-onion volcano. How do you mess that up? There are only three ingredients: onion, flammable liquid, and a lighter. A six-year-old could torch that baby. Somehow his onion didn’t ignite, much like his passion for the job.

I looked at this cat and wished that CG would get her new lungs soon

Free Drinks on the company

It’s amazing how much some people drink at company functions. It feels like it’s the people who have been in the same position for 30 years and have never moved up. Is it the chicken or the egg? You got drunk at company functions and didn’t get promoted, or you got drunk at company functions because you didn’t get promoted?

One such person, who exceeded his limit, slurred that he was cutting out carbs to reduce calories. When I told him alcohol has more calories per gram than carbs, he mumbled something about not giving up the one thing he enjoyed and turned his back to me. I admit that eating meat and drinking beer sounded like a good strategy regardless of his poor knowledge of caloric intake.

This same guy turned to me later, after he’d forgiven me for my rude remark, and shared this depressing fact: he felt really bad because he’s been attending a lot of funerals lately. Five people he’d known had died in last two months.

You know what I was thinking: I need to get away from this guy right now. I don’t want to be number six. I made sure I didn’t rub up against him. Back luck rising. I started to worry that the chef might lose control of a knife at any moment and I’d look down to see it stuck in my chest. That would be . . . ironic? I survive 47 years of CF and meet my maker at a teppanyaki grill where I’m killed by a guy who can’t make a flaming volcano? I know what my British friends would say: F#*king hell.

When someone finally drove the carb counter home, I yelled out “seat-belts,” and got a funny look back like I was the drunk one. I just didn’t want the driver to be number six.

I was so happy when I left and survived the night. I will do my best to avoid these places in the future. I’ll use the “I’m sick” excuse. No one at work will argue with that one.

Stay safe.

Fox’s Adventures in Los Angeles – Theatricum Botanicum

Handsome me hunting in the theater's garden

Fox here.

A magical outdoor theater hides in the hills of Los Angeles. Though well-cloaked by the woods of Topanga Canyon, and unknown to many who live in L.A, Theatricum Botanicum thrives as a gem of artistic freedom and expression.

This outdoor theater hosts outstanding plays and music in the summer and fall. The area where it’s located is home to artists, writers and other successful L.A. humans. Foxes like me live throughout the surrounding hills, along with other mythical creatures who show up at night.

Here’s the web link.  http://www.theatricum.com/

I recently grabbed UC and his family and treated them to a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For a few hours, cystic fibrosis and the challenges of life faded away, and fun and mirth was had by all.

Thank you, Mr. Will Geer and Family. Thank you for maintaining this wonderful place and for sharing great art.

(CG, I hope to see you here one day with that crazy cat of yours. It’s your kind of place.)

Here are some photos from the day.

The year was 1973 and Theatricum started rolling. It gets better each year.

Buried deep in the woods, T.B. is a must see in L.A.

Strange creatures live here and hide themselves in plain sight during the day. At night, this gas meter man comes to life and roams the canyon, hissing and smelling of rotten eggs.

While you're sleeping, I'll be standing outside your house measuring your gas usage

Here is the man who started it all.

The great man himself. AKA Grandpa Walton. At night, he comes to life and tells great stories to the wildlife.

Theatricum has introduced thousands of kids across L.A. to live theater. They give back to the community. Here’s a small performing area for kids to practice. It includes this cool bridge.

A wood bridge in a smaller theater for kids

Botanicum refers to the nature that surrounds the place, including the special garden where the bust of Will Geer and other native plants live.

Arrive early and you can picnic in the garden or other hidden nooks.

All kinds of amusing and interesting things hide in plain sight here and fill one’s imagination and heart. Where does this staircase go? No one knows because all who have gone up it have never been seen again.

Do I hear Led Zeppelin playing?

Here’s the stage in all of its glory. I would have loved to show you the actors on stage, but they frown on that. Plus, I drop the camera a lot trying to hold it my paws. My pal, Josh, tells me it has something to do with me not having opposable thumbs. At least my middle one still works.

All actors are invisible to the camera lens. That's how magical they are.

Here’s where the forest creatures hide during the day. Notice that there is no door.

Only at night does a door appear. They say those who see look too closely at the creatures become a creature

What exists at the top of the hill is unknown. Clearly, this is a sign a fox can ignore. And I did. However, I cannot speak of what I saw.

You do not want to know what's up here. Trust me, I'm a fox.

That was my adventure in Los Angeles. If you live here or are visiting, Theatricum offers the finest entertainment and acting. Not only that, your worries and troubles will gently be absorbed by the surrounding nature and the wonderful performance. You’ll leave smiling and relaxed.

Fox out.

On the Road with My Pal, cystic fibrosis

Fox taught me to get a hotel room with a stove for boiling nebs.

[Warning: adult language]

Four days on the road

Mush, you CF drugs, mush. Creative Commons - jurvetson

I used to love traveling on business, but now I haul so much CF stuff that it’s not very enjoyable. It feels like I load a dog-sled full of nebs and meds. And it takes a couple of hours to boil and pull everything together. Then I need to make sure I don’t forget anything, though I’m didn’t fly this time, which meant I could drive back, if needed. Still, I’d rather avoid that.

Thanks to my wife, I received a packed suitcase for my trip. She packs enough clothes for a three-week trek across Antarctica. I can change my underwear twice a day, which fortunately I don’t have to do.

I’m not complaining.

A stuffed suitcase is a great perk of being married. I just need to lighten the load before I leave next time. I did promise to bring her back a cute penguin, though there weren’t any at my real destination, Ontario California.

What you can see looks nice. Creative Commons: angelasevin

What do we really know about each other?

Sticking with the Antarctica theme, I’m an iceberg, as are my co-workers. Just like icebergs, we only know the 10% of each other that sticks out of the water. The other 90% remains hidden from view. The longer we work together, the more ice we see. But with me, there is always cystic fibrosis lurking below the waterline.

Only three trusted people at work know I have it. The rest have the impression I’m sick a lot, I don’t like to shake hands due to germs, and I don’t like to talk about being sick a lot. Pretty close, but I don’t think I’m sick a lot.

CF neuters me again

My manager asked me to travel overseas on company business, which I used to do all the time. I turned it down. I just couldn’t do it. I have hemoptysis screwing with me these days, and I already lived through a bloody gusher on a plane across the Atlantic once before. Plus, travel wears me out, which affects my health in bad ways. Not wanting to go through that again, I turned it down for health reasons, which was embarrassing and made me feel like less of a man.

A leak develops - Creative Commons: clearly ambiguous

There’s that CF iceberg again, dragging through the water, slightly more complex than other people’s. Still, I’m lucky, I know.

The joys of saying the wrong thing

A co-worker said to me, “you looked really tired in the meeting.” She made this simple comment three times, as if I didn’t hear it the first time. Why do people always have to comment on the way I look? And why is it always negative? Do you really need to point out circles under my eyes or other physical characteristics? “Gaunt” or “thin” used to derail me when I was younger. I’ve heard it so many times now, who cares. I should wear a bag over my head 24/7.

What they don’t know

What my pal didn’t know was that my mucus production quadrupled the day before, and I was awake until one in the morning coughing it all out. Then I had to get up at 6:15 a.m. – when my co-worker was sleeping – to do my xopenex, two hypertonic salines, and my flutter. Then, I had to get ready for work. All of this took close to two hours.

Who wouldn't want to dream of these?

So, when someone says you look tired to me, I feel like saying, fuck you very much. While you were dreaming of puppies playing, and snug in your Marriott bed, I was sitting in my bulldog-covered boxers coughing up a pile of the stickiest crap you’ve ever seen in your life. Would you like me to show what I coughed up?

When you don’t have anything nice to say, just STFU.

I was pretty tired on Tuesday. I had to grind out the workday. I hadn’t slept well or long; my upper back was killing me, an 8 on the pain scale.  When I hurt it . . . I have no clue. Sharp back pains zapped me when I coughed. And my stomach bothered me all day. Overall, CF did a good job kicking my ass that day. I should have looked tired. But she had no idea why I did.

Zen and the art of keeping your mouth shut

Perfect bag for me. Note the upside down "crazy" on the bag. Awesome.

I had my own “foot in the mouth” incident when I said hello to someone I hadn’t seen in a long time and added: “I hear you’re kicking ass in your new position.” I meant it as, “I hear you’re doing really well.” I forgot she just fired one of the nicest people in the department, a woman who wasn’t a very good worker, but made days brighter. Thus, when I made my comment, she turned red from embarrassment.

I had to quickly explain what I meant. Too late, Mr. Tiny Verbal Dancer, damage delivered and done. I won the idiot of the day award, which goes on my shelf next to a hundred others that I’ve won at work. Yay, oh, yay, Communications Master, just STFU in the future.

I’m thinking of becoming a monk, the type who takes  a vow of silence. The only problem is there’s still non-verbal communication. I’m sure one of my fellow monks would look at me, make a sad face, and then use his finger to trace imaginary half circles under his eyes, which is the monk-way of saying “you look tired.”

I, of course, would use non-verbal communication right back with my middle finger – the universal way of saying, just STFU.

Stay calm and quiet.