What Happened and Other Stuff

What Happened and Other Stuff
Some more navel-gazing, some years back … In life’s greatest celebrations, one must drink champagne. Not only does its company imply a heightened sense of importance for the given moment, it creates an air of camaraderie. When you raise a glass to make that toast, it’s definitely serious...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Flagrant misuse of cream cheese is common practice in Germany. It’s also what I’d come to identify as a public health problem for American expatriates living in the country. Unfortunately, many may not even realize the seriousness of this epidemic. Let me provide an ordinary example of this...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
The response had been well-nigh instantaneous. Sirens blared in the distance immediately after I ended the call. By the time I made it down the four flights of stairs of our fourth floor walk-up in Manhattan, there were fire engines, an ambulance, and utility trucks outside. It was...
Cloudyskies
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383
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What Happened and Other Stuff
Gone were the days of cruising through life without having to witness an old man’s bare ass strutting by. The distressing scene in Basic Instinct where Michael Douglas's backside is exposed was enough for me to handle in the last fifteen years. But times had changed. I was living in Germany. It...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
My worst year of illness was 2017. For most of that year, I needed help standing up to pee in a bed pan that was two steps to the right of my recliner, where I lay, blinds drawn, all day, every day. Symptoms were severe, nonstop. I was routinely spoon-fed by my wife. Any noise would exacerbate...
Cloudyskies
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659
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What Happened and Other Stuff
The healthy years: a class to kick a*& in Germany … The widely popular Korean martial art Taekwondo mostly involves fast, combative multiple-angle kicks and strikes (jabs, chops, blocks, and choking, too). American-style Taekwondo incorporates a more comprehensive approach and includes many...
Cloudyskies
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358
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What Happened and Other Stuff
“I just broke up with George. He said he understands.” “Sorry to hear that,” my wife texted back. It had been a brutal winter. In the front bumper of our car there was a large hole from a snowbank accident the previous winter. So my wife had resigned to keeping a shovel in the trunk this...
Cloudyskies
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263
What Happened and Other Stuff
The healthy days: from Germany to ball in Vienna, Austria … It was late on a Friday morning and I was sitting at my work station taking big gulps of my morning cup of Joe. There wasn’t much work to be done, and I was feeling restless, adventurous, and romantic all at the same time. Maybe it had...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
How far would you go to to convince someone of something? Early on in my illness, I would stage falls to the floor so my wife would pay attention to how sick I was becoming. I’d complained of unrelenting fatigue and weakness and a whole host of other severe symptoms, but I was not fully...
Cloudyskies
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What Happened and Other Stuff
The healthy days: a little mishap at a Manhattan apartment … When I’m on vacation, I eat like a camel. There’s a lot of gorging and then sitting around for hours before the next feasting takes place. Pizza, sandwiches, and pastry, whatever I can get my hands on. It’s primitive man at his best...
Cloudyskies
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380
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What Happened and Other Stuff
I am rather embarrassed to admit that I had three major medical episodes in the past that were all psychosomatic in nature. The first occurred was when I was living in Germany. I had a whole host of physical symptoms, most notably severe sharp pains in my chest and referred pain in my back...
Cloudyskies
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435
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What Happened and Other Stuff
TENNIS COURT My next door neighbor has a tennis court in his backyard that is visible from my bathroom window. In summer, I sometimes look out the window and imagine a fierce tennis match taking place between two polished opponents. I welcome this bit of excitement happening in real time that I...
Cloudyskies
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747
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15
What Happened and Other Stuff
When much of your life has been stripped away, you come to appreciate some of the simplest, most basic things—food and water, the Internet, a warm breeze, nice music, the trees, your comfy pajamas, a nice pair of socks, the appearance and company of another person, your pet, and the list goes...
Cloudyskies
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500
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What Happened and Other Stuff
It’s 2018. I’m seeing a psychiatrist once every two weeks: a meathead Russian guy with a large pot belly, a thick accent, and a disheveled head of bushy gray hair. He is tall. I lie down - fully reclined - in the car to get to my appointments. Severely impaired, I walk ever so slowly and...
Cloudyskies
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650
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8

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