Monday, September 5, 2016

The Bug Man???

My sweet little Alissa came over to the house the other day to check on me.

"I'm doing fine, honey ... Thanks for bringing me bagels." 

"I would have come over earlier if I knew you had surgery."

"I didn't tell you?"

'No! I had to hear it from the bug man! He sprayed my house and asked me how you were doing after your surgery."

"He did?"

"Yes. You tell our bug man before your own daughter!"

Turned out Deb had cancelled with Steve (the bug man) and told him I'd be home that day from surgery. Alissa and Nate use him too. 

This is a public apology to my daughter for telling the bug man first. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Igor, Is That a Lipoma on Your Shoulder Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

A few days ago I went to TGH for surgery AGAIN.

Big surprise huh? This time it was for the removal of a lipoma from my shoulder. I started to feel like Igor from Young Frankenstein ... remember him? He had that hump that moved around a lot during the movie.

Actually, a lipoma is a soft tissue mass that moves too (not quite that much) but in my mind it had become just as noticeable.

Plastic surgeon removed it and originally said it was a simple procedure that should take just 20 minutes.

He obviously didn't know me well. I'm the 5% guy who always has other issues even with simple surgery. This time it was attached to the muscle so it took longer and required a little deeper "dig" (like really close to China).

There's a movie out now called Hologram for a King with Tom Hanks. He has a lipoma on his back throughout the whole movie that bothers him so much that he tries to cut it out with a steak knife.

I thought that was a crazy premise until I had surgery and I looked at my back and shoulder.

Oh well, pain killers, a new attractive accessory called a drain that is pinned to my shirt for a week and a great excuse for a pity party over the weekend will be my life for the next few days. Then back to a normal life for me.

Normal? Is that when the ICU nurse wakes me up from anesthesia and says, "Hi Joel ... are you back again? Hey I read your blog ..."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bye Bye Bahston

Deb is reading me the news again as we wait to board the plane. It's the newspaper from last week in St. Pete. 

By the way ... Forgot to mention the great restaurant on the North End we went to the other night: Limoncellos. What a great meal we had. Rosette Al Montasio Ed Olio Di Tartufo to be exact. To die for! 

Mark and Keli ordered us a very special wine to start. Nice touch!!!

Oh good they just called us to board. Debbie just got to the section on local elections too! Oh well. 

Going home. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Chesney Does Bahston

We went to the Kenny Chesney concert tonight. 

Actually, Kenny Chesney is why we are here. Debbie raised her hand at sister Keli's fundraiser a few months ago and ... magically ... we were the owners of two concert tickets, a limo ride and a stay at the Parker House Omni.  

The limo picked us up early to get us to Gillette Stadium with the other 70,000 concert goers.
Most of them were in the parking lot feeling no pain when we got there.  Average age was probably 18 (well maybe there were some who actually were legal). 

Inside, the stadium started to fill slowly. The age of the crowd started to look more diverse as people took their seats. On stage was Sam Hunt, former football player and country songwriter/ musician. He did a long set. Very good. 

Then the crowd swelled and Miranda Lambert took the stage. She killed it. Deb told me the history of her marriage and breakup with Blake Shelton (I'm probably the only person in America who didn't know all the stuff about Gwen Stefani from the Voice which I never watched). 

It was close to midnight when Chesney finally played. Okay I exaggerated, It was only 11:30. 

The stadium was rocking. We looked around and everyone knew all the words of every song (except for us). Deb also filled me in on the Renee Zellweger one month marriage, which I DID know but Deb still enjoys telling. 

Beautiful night and a great way to end our trip. We fly out tomorrow. 

See ya Bahston. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Today we started out bright and early looking for another meal. No ... The beer comes later.  

Actually we wound up an Panera. I know ... We come all the way to Boston for a bagel at Panera. But hey ... it was a quick stop ... and plus I had to find a bathroom. 

Ready for a little TMI? Our toilet in the room is about the size of teacup. A full size man (like yours truly) can't even  ... Well let's just say that I'm not sure how a person who is 4'10" fits on it.  

So I was happy to see the Men's Room sign at Panera. I hurriedly grabbed the handle and noticed the sign "Enter the four digit code from your receipt". Darn, I threw away my receipt. How was I to know that this clever foil to keep away street people from relieving themselves would now inhibit my ...

"Ain't got your code?" One of the Panera housekeepers asked. 

"I'm ... I must have thrown it ..."

"0641"

"Thank you so much. I really ..." He was gone. 

Deb and I hit the trail looking for our next adventure. So much stuff to see in 90 degree heat with a 60% chance of rain. 

"Hey! How about a bus tour?" I said to Debbie. She stopped dead in her tracks. It took her a minute or so to regain consciousness. 

"Wait. Are you My husband? Are you asking to take a tour? You hate tours!"

"I know. But it's hot as hell and the sky is turning black."

Trolley tour it was ... Not quite Gilligan's three hour tour. More like an hour and a half. Met a nice couple from Cincinnati (the guy became my best friend because he was three years younger than me and thought I was three years younger than him). 

We saw lots of graveyards. Not sure how many we saw but there are hundreds of them in this city. 

I noticed that Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, and most of the presidents were buried in each one. Ben Franklin slept around a lot so possibly his body parts were scattered. 

Saw the Meeting Hall where the Declaration of Independence was announced to the crowd from the balcony. 

The driver said they just repolished and replated the gold and silver ornaments of the building and placed a round brick paver below the balcony to mark where the Boston Massacre happened. (During the reading of the Declaration? I got confused on this point). 

Lots of churches here. Catholic, Protestant, Episcipal ... You name it and there's a church for it. 

The driver said every time one was built, people left and moved on. Not sure why but perhaps they kept moving so they didn't get too chummy with the neighbors. The other thing that seemed commonplace was hangings for important stuff like gossiping or taking a sheep to the school dance.


Fenway Park was on the tour. It is the oldest baseball stadium in the US and has quite a history. Been around for over 100 years. 

We saw a couple of college kids trying to get a mattress up some stairs. 

Finally came back to Quincy Market and had a drink at Cheers. See ... Came back around. Norm knew my name. And all was right in the world. 

Tonight we head to the North End and a cool Italian restaurant named Limoncello. 

More tomorrow!

Boston Continued

Landed at 3 in the afternoon.

After checking in to the Parker House we headed over to Quincy Market. Had a cup of clam Chowda and a beyah. 

Delicious. 

Had to get a picture from Dick's Last Resort the place where insults are served with lunch. 

That was our whole day! We went back to the room and woke up at 11 PM.

 I'm having M&Ms before I sleep again. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Boston Bound ... Thoughts of Doc Hollywood


Off to Boston today.

I'll keep you posted on the next few days. Jet Blue is the best by the way ... Free wifi, movies, no waits, lots of room. 

 Good start!

I was looking through the movies on the plane and up came Doc Hollywood. Remember that one? Michael J. Fox is the doc whose car breaks down in a little southern town and winds up falling in  love, giving up his practice in Hollywood ... Etc. 

Well ... The guy who wrote the original book based on his life (that became the screenplay) Is a doctor named Neil Schulman. He's a professor at Emory University, a comedian, author and the chairman of the Patch Adams Foundation. 

So happens I know Neil. 

Interestingly, he called me when I worked at All Children's Hospital about the music that Mike and I wrote for kids. He was working on a TV special and a new book and heard our stuff. He loved it. 

We corresponded back and forth for a while and he ultimately invited me to meet with his creative staff in Georgia. His office was actually his tiny house outside of Atlanta. I was surprised when I first saw it. Not what I expected from a famous Doctor/author. 

That was only my first surprise. 

Neil asked me to run the meeting. Now to put this in perspective, this meeting was all about his new project not my music. His creative staff sat on an old tattered couch. None were over 21. Two of them played video games during the meeting, one said nothing at all and the other was his live in girlfriend/aspiring actress/cook/scribe.  

Neil introduced me, gave me an overview of his book "what's in a doctors bag?" And asked me to share my ideas and work with the team for the structure of the book. 

I think there was a pregnant pause for about an uncomfortable 2 minutes until I sad ... "Neil ... Can I talk to you in the other room?" ( there was ONLY one other room in the house). 

We walked into the kitchen. "Neil, I'm confused. Are we going to talk bout my music today?"

"Absolutely ... It's part of the strategy for my book and tv show."

"How so?" 

"I don't know. I was hoping you and the team could work it in."

"I thought you and I were going to negotiate some arrangement."

"We can do that. "

"Okay ... So ..."

"What?"

"Well I came up with a price structure for the use of the music as is and also a contractural arrangement for creating new tunes."

"Okay. "

"Want to see it?"

"Sure. But you probably should know that I have no money to pay you." 

I just stared at him waiting for the punch line. There was none. 

"Neil let me guess. Your creative team does this for free right?"

"Oh yes. Of course. " 

I'm not sure it was right then that I said my goodbyes or after creative guy number one screamed with delight when Mario hit level 435. 

You know ... I don't think I'll watch Doc Hollywood today. 








Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Waste Makes Haste or (something like that)

What is it with tiny trash cans (sorry ... "Wastebaskets")?

I hate them. 

They serve no purpose. I have one in my closet that can only accommodate one wire hanger and a plastic dry cleaner bag. If the hanger sticks up too far it constantly tips over. 

So therefore I have to empty it every day (into a bigger trash can). 

Conversely my bathroom has an oversized wastebasket. 

My guess is ... it provides a home for the huge number of used Qtips, Kleenex and cotton balls that I go through in a week.

I could let that one fill up for a year and still have plenty of room. 


My office has a small round wastebasket that sits under my desk. 

It's really not for documents or any big items ... Mostly pens that run out of ink or the occasional sticky note or an employee that misbehaves. 

The challenge here is that I typically reach under the desk to throw stuff away and constantly miss the basket. I wish it was more squared off to fit against the sides. 

But then again ...this is just the small stuff. 

Why worry about wastebaskets when there are so many other far more important items to worry about? Like why there are 300 Pokemon Go players outside my office window ...