Thursday, December 28, 2017

Twenty Seventeen

It's December 28, which feels like a good day for a little end-of-the-year reflection. I have no idea where this will go, which is fitting, considering that most of 2017 was completely unpredictable. Looking back, I recall a big mess of messiness.

I started the year as an Interim Director at my alma mater, where I had recently earned my Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and Policy Development. After working most of my adult life in Higher Education I still had a passion for University life, but by the time my contract had ended in January my gut was telling me that it was time for a break. There was a feeling of my life being out of sync, if that makes sense. Having just spent around ten years taking classes, teaching classes, and doing research, I was physically and spiritually exhausted, living with fatigue that was making an eight hour work day close to impossible.

It felt necessary to focus on my health. Working with a team of professionals, and doing my own research into what I had been experiencing, I soon received a diagnosis that would bring much of my life into focus. I had been living with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD). I won't go into too much detail about CPTSD here, since there are plenty of online resources that explain it much better than I can. One of most helpful things that I've learned about CPTSD is that it is more of an injury to the brain than it is a mental illness. Of course most CPTSD survivors live with mental illness symptoms, including depression and anxiety. Treating CPTSD, however, can be far more complicated than the treatment of its individual symptoms.

From March until August my life focused on learning about, and treating, my CPTSD. There is no cure for those of us who live with Post-Traumatic Stress, but with time, patience, and dedication we can learn new ways of processing life events.  I am very happy to say that as of this writing my life is far more manageable than it was 10-12 months ago.

It was around August that I started getting the itch to work, even though I was not well enough to take on a 40+ hour work week.  As a way to generate some income I set up shop on eBay and began selling records online. My therapist jokingly suggested that I call the shop Dr. Jeff's Fancy Vinyl, and a business was born. Within a month I incorporated Jeff's Fancy Vinyl, LLC, and created a new online record shop: Between August and December my sales have more than doubled, as I continue learning the ins-and-outs of running my own business. "Small Business Owner" has certainly never been on my professional radar, but for right now it serves me well. I work when my body and mind are at their best, which is usually in the mornings and prior to bed. I take breaks whenever necessary, and if I need a sick day there is no shame or guilt - I just do what I need to do.

It hasn't been easy, but in 2017 I have learned ways to integrate self-compassion into my life. For the most part I approach 2018 with a healthy dose of optimism and confidence.  In closing this post, I raise a glass to whatever the new year brings. I hope it's all sunshine and rainbows, but whatever 2018 throws at me I feel more prepared than ever before. Bring it on. You heard me.

Peace and happiness -

~Dr. Jeff

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Dr. Jeff's Fancy Vinyl, LLC.

It's been eight months since the completion of my last contracted position in academia. Since then, my health challenges have made full-time employment an unrealistic expectation. A couple of months ago I started feeling the urge to work, even though I knew I was not physically ready for a 40-hour work week.  So what could I do part-time to generate some income, something that would get me moving and feeling productive again?  

Sell records. 

Within weeks I had set up shop on eBay and incorporated my own small business: Dr. Jeff's Fancy Vinyl.

Right now I'm six weeks in, spending about 20-30 hours a week getting this project up and running. I schedule my own hours and I'm surrounded by vinyl every day. I don't know how long I'll pursue this new venture, but for the time being I'm having a pretty fun time with it.

Visit my shop at:
Follow me on Instagram: jeffsfancyvinyl

Thursday, August 03, 2017


Yesterday I had my first official EMDR session. The science behind any treatment involving the brain fascinates me. Over the past several weeks my therapist and I have dedicated our sessions to laying a foundation for the work we began yesterday, and now it's full steam ahead.

EMDR uses Bi-Lateral Stimulation to engage both the left and right sides of the brain to process past trauma.  The ongoing trauma that stemmed from alienation has been a major component of the CPTSD that I've lived with for decades. Hence, it made sense that my first session would focus on my pre-teen years, back when my early experiences with alienation started.

At the conclusion of our session, my therapist explained that my brain will continue to process the intense emotions that I re-experienced during the session.  I, on the other hand, can choose to not spend any time processing it. I get a free pass. I think the idea behind this is to prevent any re-traumatization.

I could write much more, but I choose not to process any more at this time.  I will say that I am optimistic about the relief that potentially lies in my future.  Hope.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

"I Wanna Get Better"

Life is some crazy shit sometimes.

Since my last post I have begun treatment for CPTSD, which has been eye-opening, affirming, and at times incredibly difficult.  On the positive side, I am learning about emotional flashbacks, my personal triggers, and strategies that help to manage the challenges of living with past trauma.  Not surprisingly, the process of digging into my past has been like picking a scab, or re-breaking a limb.  This week I became so overwhelmed that my therapist suggested I take a week off.  I may have been trying to process too much too quickly, to the point where I was being re-traumatized.  As a result, the first three days of this week were extremely difficult to get through.

Over the past few months I have also been undergoing daily TMS sessions.  TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, a relatively new form of treatment for folks like myself who have not responded to traditional therapies (i.e. medicine). As of this writing I've had 38 sessions, and have seen improvement.  My hope is that my continued therapy, combined with EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) will provide relief and a chance at a "normal" life, or at least a new normal that includes a happier version of me.

I have chosen, for the time being, to not be employed.  I want to be at my best (whatever that looks like) before I dive back into the working world.  I will probably seek part-time work, at least to start.  I thank God that my husband is working and is supportive of all I am doing to achieve wellness.  The academic in me has been writing about the process.  Organizing the past fifty years into chapters, sub-sections, etc. has been a helpful way for me to understand the role that trauma has played in my life as someone living with Complex PTSD.

I realize that I am in the eye of the hurricane right now.  My life is in transition, and I can only guess how things will be when the next phase begins.  I definitely have a new appreciation for the term "blind faith"!   I'm living through it, though - and right now, today, I am OK.

Thx for reading.  PEACE.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

RSD 2017

My 2017 RSD want list
Yesterday was the 10th annual Record Store Day. The hubs and I ventured out to just two stores and we had a downright festive time. The sun was shining, making it a beautiful day for standing outdoors, in line with other record enthusiasts (aka nerds).  The RSD gods must have been smiling on us, because after only a few hours I went home with everything on my list (I don't think I've achieved this feat once over the past decade).

It's been a thrill to witness the re-birth of vinyl over the past 10-15 years.  One thing that I am sure of is that none of this would have been possible without the existence of brick & mortar stores, which will always be the cultural epicenter for experiencing recorded music.  Let's keep our indie record stores alive!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hello, 2017

Was surprised to learn that I've not posted an entry here in nearly three months.  Long time no see.  Hope you are all well.

A quick recap of what's been happening, for anyone interested:

  • My interim Program Director position at my Alma Mater ended two months ago.  So, I am currently on the market again.  
  • I've been wrestling with depression and anxiety (again) for the past few months.  The good news is that my quest for answers (and the help of a fantastic therapist) has led to a diagnosis of Complex PTSD.   The more that I learn about C-PTSD, the more I grow to understand most of my adult life.  This gift of sense-making has been life changing.  There's lots of work ahead, but if all of the empirical research on this condition is true, my efforts will result in a much happier existence.   
  • I learned just last week that my band WORDS has been chosen with 24 other bands to be featured on a super cool Monkees Tribute disc that is coming out soon by the equally cool 7a Records (see artwork below).  All proceeds from the CD and digital download will go to the Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation
    Listen to the Bands: The Ultimate Monkees Tribute Album (2017)
  • WORDS are also working on a track for an upcoming tribute to The Knack, which is being produced by Zero Hour Records.  I'll post more about this (and the Monkees disc) as their release dates approach.  Once these tributes are completed I'm hoping that the band can get started on recording one or two of the original songs we've got stockpiled.  
I know there is more that I could write, but I think this is enough for today.  


Friday, December 30, 2016

Jeff's Fancy C-60 Podcast: The Best of 2016

Episode 176 of my Fancy Podcast is the very first to go live on a Saturday (I typically post new episodes on Tuesdays).  This episode recaps some of the best music of 2016 (in my opinion).  Hope you dig it!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mixtape: Best of 2016, Qtr 4

Last night, after a few weeks of trial/error, recording/re-recording, I completed my "Best of Quarter IV" mixtape.  Yes, it's an 8-track, which is admittedly nerdy, but hey - it's fun.
Best of 2016 Qtr 4 mixtape
Track 1:
  • "Terrifying" (RSD Black Friday) - The Monkees
  • "Radio In Bed" - Kate Pierson
  • "Neighbors of the Beast" - Pansy Division
  • "Haroomata" - Lemon Twigs
Track 2:
  • "Still Breathing" - Green Day
  • "This Is Your Night" - The Flat Five
  • "Memory Of..." - De La Soul
Track 3:  
  • "We The People..." - A Tribe Called Quest
  • "Certainty" - Temples
  • "Dreams of Rock & Roll" - Kula Shaker
  • "Mira Et Ten" (from Fantastic Planet) - Alain Gorger
Track 4:
  • "Wasabi" - Shonen Knife"
  • "I'm In Love" - Teenage Fanclub
  • "Amy In Colours" - Barry Gibb

Thursday, December 08, 2016


December 8th, for me, has become one of those milestone dates during the year when I find myself pausing to reflect.  For many years I remembered John Lennon's death as a marker in my life, a moment after which I viewed the world through a less innocent lens.  Today it feels like I'm looking at December 8th through a lens that's been tinted by the passage of time.  The loss of a hero, or a loved one, is now something I have experienced numerous times.

When I look back at the timid fourteen year old I was on 12/8/1980, I see little resemblance to the person I am today, even though much of what took place around that time in my life remains embedded in my psyche.  There are demons that I still face, but overall I am grateful that I am able to recognize all that I have overcome in the past 36 years.  I made it.  I'm still alive, and honestly I have John Lennon and his bandmates to thank for getting me through some incredibly tough times in my pre-and-early teens.  There will never be a time in my life when the Fabs don't exist, and as I sit and think about that, I think that it's a pretty cool thing.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2016: Best of Quarter III

Since the onset of my big 8-track kick this year, I've been archiving my quarterly best-of's on the ancient tape format.  Working with 8-tracks adds an extra level of ritual to the process.  Some would call it a pain in the ass, I call it fun.  You say potato...

So here's what is likely be the final track list of my fave songs from the past three months, as they appear on the tape:
Track 1: "Insatiable" - Redd Kross
               "The Luck You Got" - The High Strung
               "Cricket and the Genie, Movement I: The Delirium"
                        - The Claypool Lennon Delirium
               "Action" - De La Soul
Track 2: "CBGB's" - De La Soul
               "Beautiful Thing" - Stone Roses
               "Simple & Sweet" - Yoni & Geti
               "Sreaming" - Redd Kross
Track 3: "Pleasure Seekers" - Jeff McDonald
                "2 Styx" - Kula Shaker
                "Smile More" - Deap Vally
Track 4: "Madeline" - Yoni & Geti
                "A Better World" - The Monkees
                "The Sharp Knife" - Dhani Harrison & Paul Hicks
As of now, it's looking like my 'album of the year' is going to be The Monkees' Good Times!. The Top Five, if I had to guess, will probably include Kula Shaker's K2.0, De La Soul's Anonymous Nobody, and maybe Weezer's White Album.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

When one door closes...

Yesterday morning I defended my doctoral dissertation, Finding Purpose: Identifying Factors that Motivate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender College Student Engagement at a Two-Year Institution.  We're in the middle of a heat wave in Minnesota, and the conference room in old academic building I'd reserved did not have a window or air conditioning.  Despite the heat, things went very well.  I had a good number of friends in attendance, people I've met throughout my years in academia.  I was happy to have my husband there as well. 

After my presentation, there was time for questions, after which my committee had a closed door discussion.  I was then brought back in the room to answer questions from my committee faculty, before being asked to leave the room one last time, to allow the faculty to vote on whether I passed my final PhD exam. 

By noon I was no longer a Ph.D. candidate.  

I started this blog in 2005, shortly before I began what became a ten year stint as a student. A whole lot of shit has happened since then.  It's all here if you care to read.  Personally, I'm crazy excited to move forward.  Completing my Ph.D. is an opportunity to start over.   I'm happy, healthy, and I've got a loving home and incredible friends.  Today I have a soul filled with sunshine. 

Peace -
Jeffrey A. Anderson, Ph.D.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

2016: Best of Qtr II

April, May, June, 2016. Prince died, our house burned down, and hateful tragedy struck in Orlando. On the lighter side, The Monkees released one of the best albums of their career.

April, May, and June had a pretty decent soundtrack, but I think history will show that the May 27 release of The Monkees' Good Times! is what stands out most.  The Monkees' twelfth original LP (their first in 20 years and the first since the death of Davy Jones) is most likely to be my favorite album of the year.  The band released three digital singles from Good Times! this quarter, plus a fourth single ("Whatever's Right") that released by mistake.  Of these four songs, three made my quarterly "best of" list, my favorite being the ridiculously upbeat, "You Bring the Summer", written by XTC's Andy Partridge.  A few weeks ago an official animated video premiered for the song, created by Monkee offspring Jonathan Nesmith and Susan Holloway.

Here is my complete "Best of Qtr II" list (track order as it appears on my quarterly mixtape, pictured below):
  • <"indian wisdom"> unreleased Beach Boys track, circa 1968
  • "She Makes Me Laugh" - The Monkees
  • "The End of Things" - Bob Mould
  • "Funnel of Love" - Cyndi Lauper
  • "You Bring the Summer" - The Monkees
  • "Mr. Pleasant" (RSD release) - The Kinks
  • "IOU" - Annabel Jones
  • "Unicorn" - James McCartney
  • "Sometimes Accidentally" - The Goon Sax
  • "Come With Me" (RSD release) - Idle Race
  • "Trainwreck" - De La Soul
  • <"let's go crazy" (live at Target Center, 5/4/16)> Paul McCartney
  • "King of the World" - Weezer
  • "Me and Magdalena" - The Monkees
  • "Let Love Be (with u)" (single version) - Kula Shaker
My faves of the last three months, immortalized on 8-track.