Monday, October 29, 2012

Tentative Top 10 LPs of 2012

These are likely the ten that will make up my "Top 10" of the year. The Beach Boys & Redd Kross have a pretty firm hold on #s 1 & 2, respectively. Numbers 3-10 remain in a state of flux...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Crohnie's Life

Today was Remicade infusion day. I receive the medication every seven weeks to help control my Crohn's disease. At one point this morning I had a needle in each arm: one for the IV, and the other for a lab draw.
I learned that today's infusion was my 80th (I started the medication in 1999). Although there are some side effects, and I still have my bad days with the disease, I could not be more grateful for this life-saving medication AND for the healthcare that pays for it. I don't know if I'd be alive today without this particular treatment, which costs around $4,000 a pop.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Is lethargia even a word? If not it should be.

Lately I feel like I'm sleeping, or engaging in some subset of sleep (napping, resting, recharging, etc) more than I am being active or even awake. It's frustrating because I've got academic writing that's staring me down. Of course my internal "good vs evil" chatter is ongoing, debating whether I am so tired because I want an excuse not to write, or whether I am legitimately fatigued.

As a Crohnie I definitely have a history with fatigue. Seems lately I'm either blogging or tweeting about it 3-5 times a week. It helps to put it out there, because I do get the occasional response from a fellow Crohnie who is battling the same issues. It's interesting to me that I've been able to accept the idea of living with a chronic illness, owning that I am a person who has this disease, and yet I struggle to fully accept the impact of various symptoms. I carry tremendous guilt at times, that I am unable to crank out page after page of writing like some of my fellow PhD students. Productivity for me tends to occur when I recognize that my energy level is high enough to engage in the process of writing. If I miss that window of opportunity I play the waiting game and hope that another burst of energy hits me again soon.

And yet there's always a silver lining, right? For me I believe that it's this disease, oddly enough, that is pushing me to complete this program. I know that once I do finish the sense of satisfaction will be all the more pronounced knowing I prevailed over the obstacles that failed to knock me down (or at least keep me down).

Thanks for reading. As I stated earlier, it helps to write this stuff down. If it resonates with even 1 or 2 people out in the blogosphere, all the better.

Hope this finds you all happy and healthy!


More 2012 instagram

From earlier this year...
Just after learning I'd passed my written prelims.
Puppy Bowl 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

2012 in Instagram

Thought I'd post some of my fave snaps from this year. I've really become a fan of the lo-fi photo format. Here's a few of mine from January '12...
Taken just after completing my written prelims.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Happy Birthday J.O.L.

As I type this my head is stuffed from allergies so my mind isn't exactly clear, but this day often puts me into a reflective state, which is what compels me to write. The impact that John Lennon had on my youth, and ultimately who I am today, is immeasurable.

I was in fifth grade when I was officially bitten by the Beatle bug. I couldn't get enough; fortunately there was such a huge catalog (it seemed like a bottomless barrel at the time) of music for me to dig into. The more I read about the band and their lives the more I became fascinated with John & Yoko and their foray into activism and the fight for equality. Whenever I trace my own roots as an activist I am brought back to my early Beatle days.

So many different areas of my life have been touched by John, Yoko, and The Beatles. My decision to pursue a career in higher education was largely based on my belief that college campuses are a place where social change often begins. In this messed up world I figured higher education is a place where I could possibly contribute to solutions more than simply becoming part of the problem. Over the years I've learned it's not quite that simple, but the idealist in me still believes in the power of the people (particularly young people) to change the world.

Today I am filled with gratitude for John Lennon's life, short as it was. In my pre-and-early teen years when life at school felt very dangerous for kids like me (scrawny, quiet, perceived by some fellow students to be gay), my safe zones were my bedroom and the record store. As I've grown older and gained more perspective on my past the more I've grown to believe that music, particularly that of The Beatles (collectively and solo) saved my life. It got me through the toughest times when I had no hope for the future. What got me through each day was the anticipation of getting home and putting records on the turntable.

So today I intend to celebrate John's life rather than mourn his untimely passing. I feel part of a much larger community of individuals whose lives were similarly impacted by John and his musical partners. Thanks for everything, John. I hope you know just how great your stamp on the world really was.

Thanks for reading.
PEACE. xxxooo Jeff