Spewing poison. Do you know this phrase? It came to mind riding home from the doctor’s office tonight. I’m spewing poison! My mood sucked. Bad vibes leaked from my pores. Susan kept reaching over to hold my hand, not talking because I didn’t want to talk, not talking because she didn’t want to hear what … Continue reading Stewing Poison
Can’t you show me nothing but surrender? It’s a quote from Patti Smith’s punk poem/anthem Land. I’ve already written all about the song, so I’ll spare you my unabashed praise, I just want to use the quote as my jumping off point for some thoughts about new year resolutions. Surrender: As used in the song, … Continue reading Surrender
Don’t be a Karen
Maybe you’ve seen the meme. A photo shows a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut poorly on the diagonal. The left ‘half’ is about sixty percent larger than the right. The caption: Serve this to your OCD friend. It’s not really funny at all. There’s nothing clever about it. It breaks no new ground. It’s … Continue reading Don’t be a Karen
…and I don’t give a crap what anyone thinks!
Let me set the mood: October 1, 2017 – Las Vegas shooting, 60 dead, 413 wounded November, 5 2017 – Sutherland Springs church shooting, 26 dead, 22 wounded February 14, 2018 – Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, 17 dead, 17 wounded February 15, 2018 – Anastasia Bernoulli wrote her viral blog post “Fuck you, I like … Continue reading …and I don’t give a crap what anyone thinks!
Each year, I link a blog post on Facebook and call Tourette Syndrome Awareness month a success. In my mind, I check it off the list. I spread some awareness, time for a break—a 364-day break, well earned, I need the rest. Last year I linked my thoughts on the book Motherless Brooklyn, Jonathan Lethem’s … Continue reading Aware
I don’t check my pulse; I don’t check my blood pressure. I sit with a tight chest, constricted lungs, rigid, like they might crack if I breathe too deeply. I woke today with a headache. I went to bed last night with the same headache. I made no progress over night. I worried when I … Continue reading Hrurh
I’m an open book. Those in the know, Susan, my kids when they pay attention, possibly some coworkers, know my mood, my primal feelings just by watching and listening. Sitting on the couch this morning, talking to Susan, I started chewing on my pinky. Not at the end, my fingertip, like my kids chew on … Continue reading My Tell
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?I egged the chicken, then I ate his leg. -- The Beastie Boys You know that saying, which came first… Years ago, when I first met Robyn, we each showed our hand. Robyn: Tourette Syndrome is a comorbidity of autism. Jeff: Funny, I always heard of autism being … Continue reading Stimming
Tics. Part 45.
Tics: Involuntary sounds and movements associated with Tourette Syndrome. I admitted to my boss, I’m having trouble. It started with a nasty cold. Not Covid, my doctor tested me twice. The coughing never went away. It’s no longer the chesty, phlegmy cough of my three-week illness, the cough that stirred up mucus in my lungs, … Continue reading Tics. Part 45.
Tics: Involuntary movements and vocalizations… I sit at my desk and grit my teeth—first my molars, they squeak with friction, then my eye teeth, left then right. I press outward with my bottom teeth, until I feel movement. When I eat my apple, my jaw locks. It audibly snaps with every bite. I probe the … Continue reading Tourette
They gathered outside the Ugly Mug, I saw them when I drove by—smiling, laughing, relaxed. Radiating a glow only possible after a long run on a cool morning. Content. Gettysburg has three coffee shops, the good one, the popular one and Starbucks. I use Starbucks, or I did before the pandemic. I broke that habit; … Continue reading Bricks
I Can Ride That
I stress about what I write. Not the topics, but the word count, the frequency, the quality. I lie—I stress about the topics, too. I joined a writers' group on Facebook—Authors with Tourette Syndrome. “Authors.” Stretching? Aspirational? I'm more comfortable with the generic term writer. Author implies output, something published. That's not me, barely. I … Continue reading I Can Ride That
The Quiet Grace of Rosasharn Joad
Rosasharn: that’s a marble-mouth pronunciation of Rose of Sharon, the third or fourth oldest child of Ma and Pa Joad. Blessed with a beautiful name at birth, her whole family mangles it as if they've crammed a massive plug of tobacco in their mouth. Her age is unclear and hard to compare against her brother … Continue reading The Quiet Grace of Rosasharn Joad
Questions with Jeff
Do you talk to yourself? Years ago, I took on an accounting position that sat vacant for eight months. My new desk languished in a sea of paper—two-hundred-forty stacks of daily accounting records waiting to be entered. Each day’s data took five to ten minutes to input unless there was a variance to research. There … Continue reading Questions with Jeff
Jeff Cann, Meditation Practitioner. Cool title, maybe I should print business cards. I toyed with calling myself a meditator—Jeff Cann, Meditator—but I don’t like how it sounds. And who gets to decide which words end with or versus er? We’ve got bakers, renters, fighters and even practitioners. But then we’ve got meditators, mediators and aviators. … Continue reading Meditation
His latest book is crap—in my mind anyway. Jonathan Lethem’s The Arrest takes place in the near future, some years after everything stops. You know, everything: electronics, motors, hydraulics, solar power, indoor plumbing. Amenities, creature comforts. It all stops, but you never learn why. Witchcraft is my guess. As good a reason as anything else. … Continue reading Motherless Brooklyn
Can we be done with Zoom? Thursday night, eight-ish. I just got home from work. My company had a board meeting on Zoom tonight. “Zoom” you say? “Why were you out? Why not just do the meeting from your bedroom? Everyone else does.” Last summer, for a finance committee meeting, I set up my laptop … Continue reading Zoom
Can you write a poem about a graph? Can you grab a column of numbers, distill them to their purest form, and use them to paint a picture? I’ve spent my career trying to make numbers seem interesting. My last three companies, all nonprofits, in reverse order: a library, a domestic violence shelter, a community … Continue reading Obsession
I’ll call it a success. The mountain bike season ended last weekend with an outdoor pizza party on a chilly night. I can’t recall the last time I felt so cold. Maybe last March? Spring was pretty warm, plus during the lockdown I was always indoors. So yes, not cold since March. I didn’t like … Continue reading Coach Jeff
A few years ago, I managed an employee. The YWCA where I worked had a complex daily cash reconciliation process and a bazillion weekly bills. Unable to plow through the work on my own, I hired Ken for twenty hours per week. He made the deposits and kept on top of accounts payable. We were … Continue reading Me Time