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Showing posts from March, 2011

Sam Called at 6AM

Thank God ... the phone is on Debbie's side of the bed.

"Yes, Sam .... how are ..."
"Listen ..."
"Tell Joel that I'm going to the urologist today at 2 o'clock."
"Oh ... are you okay?"
"No they are telling me that I've been peeing blood ... but it doesn't hurt."
"Sorry Sam ... I'll let Joel know."

"Yeah Levine finally took my penis out and examined it."

Silence ... now at this point Debbie was caught between total gross out and hysterics.

"So how are you .. and how are your parents?"
"Well ... my mom is feeling a little better and my dad ..."
"Okay .... just tell Joel I called. Bye"

I'm Home

I must have really lost a lot of weight the last few days.

Okay ... so maybe the nurses gave me the wrong size gown this morning.

Five of me could've fit in here!

Anyway ... Tonight I sleep in my own crib!

Thanks for all the prayers and good thoughts, my friends and family. See you soon.

Rock With the Doc

I'm gonna try these out. I haven't embedded You Tube videos until this morning so .... hope they work. These were all produced by illustrator Kevin Riley, my song writing partner Mike Sexton and me.


Want more? Check out

Is There a Doctor in the "House"?

Bored? Me?

How could I be bored? The second day in the hospital is full of surprises ... like the visits from lab techs with needles, nurse techs with blood pressure cuffs and thermometers,  dietary staff serving plates of mystery meat and the constant questions ... full name? date of birth? do you have any hobbies? (Just seeing if you were paying attention).

Amid the excitement .. there is the ever present TV ... mounted an inch from the ceiling. Hospitals tell you that it's mounted that way so you can see it easily from the bed ... the real reason is so no one would be tempted to steal it (after all it IS a 1978 Zenith).

So as I lay there slowly scrolling through the channels ... I came across something truly remarkable . Did you know that there is a "House" Marathon on the USA Network? That's right ... all House all day. I know I sound overly excited by this ... but you have to understand that I was never a House watcher. I think I've only seen the show once b…

"If I Only Had a Heart (Ablation)...."


Ever heard of it?

Every time I think of the word, my wierd brain comes up with stuff like "One Ablation ... under all ... " or "Scrap the mission! ABLATE! ABLATE!" or " She's Giving me Good Ablations ... Good, Good, Good ... Good Ablations".

You're probably asking yourselves ... "Why is he talking about ablations ... in fact what the heck are ablations anyway (and why should we care)?"

All good questions.

If I didn't just go though one ... I'd probably be happily ignorant and you wouldn't have to hear about it. But of course ... it's all about me ... and if you are tired of hearing about my medical problems ... stop right here.

Gee I'm glad you decided to read on ...

At 4:00 this morning ... when nobody but insomniacs and  insane people are awake ... I stumbled into the shower and got dressed for my 768th trip to Tampa General Hospital…

It's a Beautiful Day in St. Petersburg

That's what our former mayor, Rick Baker, would say every day in St Petersburg. You know what? He was right ... every time.

Today, for example, I wandered downtown, stopped at a corner eatery called Ceviche and had a fantastic ham, cheese, pepper, mushroom omelette.

That's it on the left ... with my fat mitt spearing a delicious potato.

Yes ... I was in heaven. The weather was true Chamber of Commerce perfection: blue sky, clear day and 70 degrees. The downtown waterfront was bustling and music drifted over my table. It was Jimmy Buffet stuff ... perfect for dining in Florida.

Across the street, the Saturday Morning Market was just kicking into full swing. Vendors were all showing their wears, down Central Avenue.  

At the corner ... a latecomer to St. Patrick's Day waited to cross the street. It was a doberman in shades and green antlers. You'd think he'd be embarrassed ... but no ... he just smiled at the crowd.

I decided to check out the market myself.

The first s…

My Personal Serenity Prayer

For the record: I know my limitations.

1.  My desk will never be organized in my lifetime.

2.  I have to have that extra half hour sleep when the alarm rings ... well ... maybe 45 minutes.

3.  I can keep a conversation going with my Dad for no longer than 15 minutes in one sitting. (He will have to share the blame on that one).

4.  If I'm still around when my kids are 50 years old, I will probably still call them kids and still freeze them at 5 years old in my dreams.

5.  I will stop gambling, drinking and doing harmful things to my body ... every week.

6.  My shoes will continue to go unshined.

7.  I see the humor where others don't ... which probably  means there is none in what I laugh about.

8.  I will never take myself seriously.

9. There will be daily apologies in my household and daily forgivenesses because I married a saint (I ordinarily would curse her "perfectness" at this point, but Debbie would feel the urge to hit the "beads" to protect our hous…

Sam Speaks (again)

Debbie's least favorite conversation with Sam took place before we left for New York. It took me a few weeks to get her permission ... and even with permission this story requires some careful editing.

The night we called, I think it took 3 or 4 attempts to get past his voice mail message, "Thank you for calling me. My number is 555-5555. Please leave a message at my number, 555-5555 and I'll call you back. (at the end of his message he coughs, chokes and drops the phone and then there's the beep)" If you didn't know Sam ... you would think he dropped dead after the message. But that's just the way he holds a conversation.

He actually answered the phone on our third attempt.

Sam, "Hello?"

Debbie and I on speaker phone, "Hi dad ....Hi Sam."

Sam ... "Who's this?"

Us ... "It's Joel and Debbie ... as in your children."

Sam ... "Oh ... yeah ... glad you called."

Me ... "You doin okay?"

Sam ...…

New York on Wednesday night

Fun in NYC.

First game of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden and our USF Bulls beat Villanova 70-69. Pretty cool considering we were underdogs ... overcame a 16 point deficit and became the first team in the history of Big East Tournament play to do so.

Tonight we play Cincinnati. Pray for us!

Earlier we played at the Apple Store where Debbie got a new phone, brought three poor salespeople to their knees as they tried to explain how to use itunes and only took 3 hours this time to finish complaining about her first iphone.

By the way... she cursed the phone 4 times today ... and it's Ash Wednesday!

Oh ... I got this great shot when we rode the subway and ran into the guy who starred in the Coneheads with Dan Ackroyd.

I always wondered what happened to him.

Later ....

Don't Ask

Heard from one of my old college roommates from UGA the other day. He sounded great considering he just had a triple bypass operation. That was followed by a conversation I had with another friend who was getting ready for hip replacement and yet another told me that she found her boyfriend dead in his apartment.

Pretty depressing, huh?

Even more depressing was the realization that these things that were happening to my friends was not due to the position of the moon or bad karma or just plain rotten luck. No ... it's due to OLD AGE. You hit a certain age and these are the things that you hear.

My conversations are alot like this lately:

Me ... "Hey, (fill in any old fart's name). How are you?"

Old fart friend ... "Well ... to tell you the truth ... been having a few medical problems."

Me ... "That's too bad (I've learned not to ask about them)."

Friend ... "You see I had this surgery (I knew they'd tell me anyway) on my heart. Tr…