Monday, April 30, 2007

New McCartney: Memory Almost Full

CD release date is set for 6/5/07. No word yet on whether there will be a vinyl version.

Track list:
1. Dance Tonight
2. Ever Present Past
3. See Your Sunshine
4. Only Mama Knows
5. You Tell Me
6. Mr. Bellamy
7. Gratitude
8. Vintage Clothes
9. That Was Me
10. Feet In The Clouds
11. House of Wax
12. The End Of The End
13. Nod Your Head

Sunday, April 29, 2007

What a difference a week makes...

...168 little hours. Right now I feel like Doogie Howser M.D., when he would type what he learned from his recent experiences at the conclusion of each show.

I am in such a better place right now than I was last week at this time. I pulled out all the stops, as they say, and actually had a plan of attack for my infection. Luckily my doctors cooperated and I received the necessary treatment. My partner was very understanding and gave me words of encouragement when they were needed. I got proper care and plenty of rest, and my body started healing.

So what did I learn this week? I was reminded to slow down once in a while and recognize what is important. Life sucks if you're not living in congruence with your core values. Being so sick this week forced me to take a look at how I'm choosing to use my time, and for that I'm grateful.

Thanks again to my family and friends. You are awesome.

Coke and a smiley

Tulips

On my turntable: Cheap Trick - Heaven Tonight

It's plain ridiculous how good this album is. According to my notes found inside the sleeve, I purchased this record in January, 1980.


More Cheap Trick stuff:
Top 10 Fave Cheap Trick LPs
My Favorite Concerts: Cheap Trick at First Avenue 11/5-6-7/98

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I agree with the Pope on this one

Pope Benedict XVI says Cars are the Root Cause of the Iraq Iran war leading us all into Nuclear World War 3 and Global Warming and Highway Fatalities and Cancer, the leading cause of death on earth.

(click above to read entire article)

On my turntable: T.Rex - Electric Warrior

Electric Warrior (1971) is one of my quintessential early Spring LPs. I first became interested in the album after reading about it in the awesome book, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth. Each of the album's tracks has a strong early 70's glam vibe that glues everything together. This album arguably helped to pave the way for glam bands like The Sweet, New York Dolls, and early Bay City Rollers.

Rhino issued a great 180 gram version of this album a few years back, with original artwork and labels, in a gatefold sleeve. It's not too hard to find in the shops, and I believe you can order it directly from Rhino.

Today's task: Final essay

I've been busting my butt this morning trying to find at least one emperical article for a paper I'm writing. The paper is 30% of my final grade for this course, so I want to do well. Based on the limited amount of research I've found so far I'm thinking I maybe could have picked a better topic, but I'll still do my best to come up with a kickass paper. My goal for today is to at least do some literature review and get a couple of pages written.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Restroom Access Act

An Illinois teenager with Crohn's disease soiled herself in an Old Navy store because she wasn't allowed to use the employee restroom. She even showed them her Crohn's card (see mine, pictured), and they told her no. That's wrong. There's a proposal in Minnesota to make a law requiring shop owners to allow people with inflamatory bowel diseases to use the employee restroom, if there is no public restroom available. Some people are calling it the "Poop Bill", which is kind of funny. Poop is funny, but not when you crap yourself at Old Navy. Or the Gap. Or Marshalls. Or Barnes & Noble. OK maybe the Gap, since it rhymes with crap. That might be a little bit funny.

Luckily I've never needed to use my Crohn's card, and I've never pooped my shorts in a public place. I did pee my pants once in the magazine section at Snyder's drugstore when I was in 4th grade, but that's another story. Anyway, I think the Restroom Access Act is a wonderful thing for people with IBD. Way to go, Minnesota.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On my turntable: The Monkees Present

The last album to contain input from Mike Nesmith (until the 1996 reunion) was The Monkees Present (1969). For the most part this album is a collection of solo tracks -- I don't think there are any songs that feature more than one Monkee. Regardless, it's one of the better latter day Monkee lps. Standout tracks include Micky's "Mommy and Daddy", Mike's "Listen to the Band" (a minor hit in '69), and Davy's lovely "If I Knew".

The first time I heard this album was in 1986, when Rhino started reissuing the Monkees catalog. It was issued on CD in 1994, but I believe it is currently out of print. This LP version is probably not too hard to find on eBay. It's worth hunting down if you've never heard it.

Better, not bitter

One of the most important rules in the unofficial Crohn's disease handbook is Ask for what you need. Case in point: I made enough phone calls in the last three days to finally get the OK to have a Remicade infusion this afternoon, two weeks earlier than my scheduled treatment. If my abcess continues to clear (thanks to the meds I started on Monday), then the Remicade should close any open fistula.

As I type this I'm very tired, but feeling much better. If I continue to feel better I might return to work tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for all of your support - it means a lot. Fun & Friends!

Relief

This morning I woke up with considerably less pain than I've had for the past 4 days, which means the drugs are working. OK that's the good news. The bad news is that one of the drugs has a side effect of constipation, and I haven't pooped in over two days. On Monday (when I was super sick) I bought a 10-pack of frozen bean burritos (pictured above), all of which I've since eaten. So now I have ten digested bean burritos loitering in my colon. If they don't leave soon I'm gonna start charging them rent.

I am so famous.

I just learned that City Pages has named my Fancy Blog as "MINNESOTA BLOG OF THE DAY". From The Blotter:

"Minneapolitan Jeff Anderson blogs about the unrequited love for his ear, nose, and throat specialist, battling Crohn's disease, and dreams featuring celebrities at Jeff's Fancy Blog."

Fancy and famous.

Thanks to Corey Anderson at City Pages!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

What stop sign?

I was probably 20-30 feet from our driveway, coming home from the pharmacy, and the police car behind me starts flashing its lights. I pull over, not thinking that it's actually ME that the cop is flagging down. "Do you know why I stopped you?" he asked. I totally guessed: "Um...did I go through a stop sign?" I was right. I told the stone-faced officer that I was quite sick and just getting back from the doctor. "That's my house right there," I explained. So here I was, totally beat down, in pain, with narcotics sitting in the passenger seat. Very nice. Granted, I hadn't taken any of the meds yet, and they were prescription, but still - it adds a nice element to the story. Anyway, the cop let me go and told me I should know where the stop signs are in my own neighborhood. Good point.

So my lovely doctor (have I mentioned that I love her?) gave me a number of prescriptions to hopefully aid in curbing the infection. If things aren't better by Friday I have an appointment to meet with a surgeon. If you're the praying type, please say a few words for me. Or light some incense or a candle or something. Thanks.

God bless my doctor

I was able to secure an appointment with my ENT (ear nose throat) doctor this morning. She is my favorite doctor, so I feel better just knowing that I'm going to be able to tell her what's going on. I'm hoping to get some Cipro for the infection and something for the GD pain. I always used to be afraid to ask about pain management, telling myself if I'd just buck up I'd be fine. Screw that. Nobody should have to live with this type of intense pain, and that includes me. If I can take something for a couple of days until I get Remicade again I should be OK (fingers crossed).

For the trip to the doctor's office I burned a little CD I called "Cool Out Music".

Ouch plus one.

It's 3:05 on Monday morning and I can't sleep. The pain is close to unbearable & I'm trying to just not feel hopeless. It's crazy how completely unpredictable Crohn's disease is. I've had my complications over the past few years, but nothing this painful in at least 4 years. It is disruptive to virtually everything, and it is constantly in the foreground. So today I'll be making phone calls to try to get in to see one of my doctors.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ouch.

It's 5:47 on a Sunday morning and I can't sleep. I have what I believe to be a new abcess as a result of fistulizing Crohn's disease, and it's very painful. For the past four years my doctor and I have successfully treated this problem with an I.V. drug called Remicade; I'm hoping that I can get in this week for an infusion. This really really hurts.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fridge

On my turntable: Culture Club - Kissing to be Clever

For many years I resisted being one of those people who is all ga-ga for 80's music, perhaps because I heard so much of it during the 80's. Lately some of this music has sounded really good though, such as tonight when I played Men at Work's Business As Usual (1981), and now Culture Club's Kissing to be Clever (1982).

This album always reminds me of being in the hospital in 1984 when I had four feet of intestine removed, due to complications from Crohn's disease. My dad was very sweet & bought me my first Sony Walkman, a big deal in '84. One tape that I played a lot while zoning out on pain meds was Kissing to be Clever, which I think I had just recently purchased. Wierd as it may sound (recovering from major surgery and all), it's a good memory. Good album.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

On my turntable: Prince & The Revolution - Around the World In a Day

It's been a stressful week, worldwise. I needed a little sumthin to cool out to tonight, and this album did the trick. Simpler times in Duluth, MN, 1985.

Bomb scare at the U

Around 1:45 this afternoon someone came through our office at work and informed us that we needed to evacuate the building immediately. I work in Johnston Hall at the University of Minnesota, one of eight buildings that were closed down due to a letter referencing a bomb that was found in a bathroom on campus. They roped off all of the buildings with yellow police tape, and after standing around outside for about an hour it became evident that we weren't going back into those buildings. We later learned by calling someone off-campus that our building was indeed closed for the rest of the day. Sign of the times, I reckon.

much needed cuteness

This video, posted recently at CuteOverload, is likely one of the Top 20 cutest things I have ever seen. It's roughly 2.5 minutes of bunnies playing. That's all it is, but what else do you need? I'm guessing there are 6-8 baby buns, but it's hard to say 'cause they're bopping all over the place. Unbridled cuteness.

Monday, April 16, 2007

It's called GUN CONTROL

Brady Campaign

Virginia Tech

What happened today at Virginia Tech makes me so horribly sad. I don't know what else to say, really. College campuses are supposed to be a safe space. I pray that all of the students, faculty, staff, and families of the campus community find the healing and peace that they need.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

On my turntable: The Who - Endless Wire

I was surprised to find this today at Cheapos, as I didn't think it would get a vinyl release. There's nothing too fancy about this domestic double LP in terms of extras, but it's still worth having, in my opinion.

I'm listening to Endless Wire (2006) for the third time as I type this. I'm being patient with the music because I want to like this album. It's Hard (1982), the last full-length Who studio album, wasn't much of a proper send-off for the band. Endless Wire is very much a Who record, even including a "Mini Opera". I'm not enough of a Who fan to own their entire catalog, but alongside the records I do own I would say this new album is just as good.

Last night's celebrity dream

I frequently have dreams with celebrities (usually bands or rock stars) in them. The most common star in my dreams is Prince, and he's always a super cool cat. Prince and I have gone to a high school football game, a college keg party, the ATM, and other general cool stuff. Last night's bizarre dream starred Susan Cowsill of the Cowsills. Susan and I were just hanging out talking about her family, watching old black and white footage (which was quite entertaining). For a while Susan was hanging out with me and my parents. It felt like a long dream, and I even woke up and went back to sleep, and the dream continued. That almost never happens. So Susan is my new girlfriend.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Friday the 13th

So this morning I had a colonoscopy. I'm not what one might call superstitious, but if I were a thinkin' man I might have chosen a different date on the calendar to have some quack shove a camera up my pooper. Just sayin'. Luckily the pooperoscopy went smoothly. The only crappy part of the procedure (pun intended) was the prep -- I had my last meal on Wednesday night, and was on liquids all day Thursday, including some 4 liters of "NuLytely" business that cleaned me out. Clean as a whistle.

No matter what you might think, colonoscopies are virtually painless. The drugs they give you are fantastic. Seriously. When I was being scoped this morning I barely needed to utter the words "ow" or "ugh" and the nurse was there with another blast of mama's little helper. Next thing I knew I was in the recovery room faintly hearing the doc tell me I was fine. So, if all goes to plan I won't need to have my colon checked for another 5 years.

Friday, April 13, 2007

On my turntable: Rosanne Cash - King's Record Shop

I remember I was working at the Crystal Title Wave store, in the winter of 92/93. I remember driving in my K car to work listening to this CD. What I don't remember is why I bought it. I'm not particularly a country fan, although I learned to appreciate Rosanne Cash when I worked at Don Leary's record shop (Leary demanded that we keep the radio on K102, a country station). I must have read somewhere that this was a great album.

I'm glad, for whatever reason, that I stumbled upon this record, which I finally got tonight on vinyl. It's a great mix of the roots of country, which is pretty much 50's style rock-n-roll, blues, bluegrass. The songs on King's Record Shop (1987) are all fantastic. I read over at Wikipedia that this was the first album ever by a female country artist to feature four #1 hits.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Beatles LOVE on LP - new details

The new release date for LOVE on double LP is now May 8, according to MusicDirect.com. The price tag is $10 steeper than the previous Music Direct price of $34.99, likely because it is now a 180 gram release. Still, 45 bucks appears to be a good price compared to other sites who are selling it at anywhere from $60-90. Sheesh.

The track listing by side, according to a UK website, are as follows:

Component 1
Side 1:
'Because' (Love Version)
'Get Back' (Love Version)
'Glass Onion' (Love Version)
'Eleanor Rigby'/'Julia' (Love Version)
'I Am The Walrus' (Love Version)
'I Want To Hold Your Hand' (Love Version)
'Drive My Car'/' The Word'/'What You're Doing' (Love Version)
'Gnik Nus' (Love Version)
'Something' 'Blue Jay Way' (Love Version)

Side 2:
Blue Jay Way'/'Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!'/'I Want You (She's So Heavy)'/ 'Helter Skelter' (Love Version)
'Help!' (Love Version)
'Blackbird'/'Yesterday' (Love Version)
'Strawberry Fields Forever' (Love Version)
'Within You Without You'/'Tomorrow Never Knows' (Love Version)
'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' (Love Version)
'Octopus's Garden' (Love Version)

Component 2
Side 1:
'Lady Madonna' (Love Version)
'Here Comes The Sun'/'The Inner Light' (Love Version)
'Come Together'/'Dear Prudence'/'Cry Baby Cry' (Love Version)
'Revolution' (Love Version)
'Back In The USSR' (Love Version)

Side 2:
'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' (Love Version)
'A Day In The Life' (Love Version)
'Hey Jude' (Love Version)
'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)' (Love Version)
'All You Need Is Love' (Love Version)

Perfect score

*sigh of relief*

A couple of weeks ago I turned in a paper for class that I was a little unsure about. I felt like I either did an OK job or I simply missed the mark altogether. I got the paper back in class tonight and it had a perfect score on it. Gold star. Of course I turned in another paper tonight that I'm not too confident about, but I still feel very good about the paper I just got back.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

2 out of 2 bunnies surveyed agree...

Oxbow Botanical Hay is delicious! Here we see Austin & Simon polishing off what was left in their Easter basket.




Bunny basket

We filled a wicker basket with goodies for the boys this morning. Austin was at first interested in just eating the wicker, but then he seemed grumpy with this obtrusive new object invading his space. Simon tried to dump the basket over, but quickly lost interest, deciding a nap was more interesting.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

VERY VERY BUSY


Simon is preparing for a hard night's work delivering Easter goodies to the childrens.



In fact, he's so busy that he couldn't take time for me to get a good picture of him.




"You think all these jelly beans and Peeps are going to deliver themselves?'" he asked. Very busy indeed.

7:51 p.m.

Mark St. John 1956-2007

Mark St. John was the guitarist for Kiss on the Animalize (1984) album. He developed Reiter's syndrome, which prevented him from touring for the album, forcing him to leave the band. He was replaced by Bruce Kulick. St. John (pictured, on right) died this week of a cerebral hemorrhage -- he was only 51.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Easter at Apache Plaza

Catholic plus one

As of this Saturday I've been "officially" Catholic for one year. Last night's service at the Basilica served as a reminder of why I'm happy being Catholic: it's about community, service, and living through conscience. Catholicism is actually a very activist faith.

Part of last night's Holy Thursday service was the foot washing, where the congregation is invited to wash each others' feet. It's a pretty powerful thing, having your feet washed by a stranger, as is washing someone else's feet. I saw a number of people in tears from the experience. I admit I got a little emotional myself.

I like going to church with Leo and enjoy having church as one of our rituals. We've met some really cool people at the Basilica, people that I consider friends. It has added a nice element to our lives. I still don't agree with a lot of what the Catholic church represents, but most of my issues are with what comes down from the Pope and his people. I believe that the church ultimately belongs to the people of the church, which includes me. For now I feel like I can make more of a difference as an active member of the church than as an outside observer.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

On my turntable: Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country

I'd never heard of Camera Obscura prior to seeing Let's Get Out of This Country (2006) in the local record shop. After hearing one of the songs online last week I figured it was good enough to go out and buy the record.

Am I bothered by the fact that the woman on the cover looks a little like Nellie Olsen from Little House? Sure I am. Unlike Nellie though, there's nothing nasty about this record - it's quite sweet actually. Sweet in a Phil Spector sort of way, with lots of reverberated rhythms and big arrangements. The vocals sound a bit like the Sundays at times, which works nicely on top of some of the super perky tracks.

As a special incentive to vinyl lovers, Merge Records includes a special coupon inside each sleeve that's good for a free digital download of the album online. I've seen a number of albums that are doing this, and I hope it becomes the norm.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Bunnies and Easter don't mix!

As someone who shares his home with companion rabbits I certainly know how adorable bunnies can be. What many people don't know is that rabbits are very sensitive, complex creatures that do not always like to be held. Because of this, rabbits do not generally make good pets for children. Sadly, cute bunnies are popular gifts at Easter, but when children lose interest a rabbit can suffer from neglect, or worse, be set "free" outdoors to fend for itself (translation: become dinner for a predator).

Owning a house rabbit is, on average, a ten year commitment. Do your research before adopting a companion rabbit. Rabbit.org contains a great wealth of useful information.

Make Mine Chocolate!