Category Archives: It’s My Life

Guitarists have the Advantage (with Women, Anyway)

steve-piano

Now I know why I remained single until age 33: because my parents had me take piano lessons instead of guitar lessons.

Two studies show that a guy is more attractive to women if he’s carrying a guitar. In a French study, a handsome guy approached 300 women (age 18-22), said “I think you’re pretty,” and asked for her phone number. In one-third of the encounters, he carried a guitar case; in another third, he carried a sports bag; and in the other third, he carried nothing. He got the phone number 31% of the time when carrying the guitar case, but only 9% with the sports bag and 14% when empty-handed.

That study was in France. In the other, from Israel, 100 single female college students received a Facebook friend request from a guy, along with the guy’s photo. In half of the requests, the photo showed him strumming a guitar. In the other half, it was just his mugshot. The guitar-photo request had 14 positive responses, while the guitar-less request had just 5 responses.

The Israeli study was duplicated, but this time the friend requests came from a woman to men. The presence of a guitar made no difference.

I really think they should try it with a guy sitting at a piano. I mean, THAT is sexy, isn’t it? Please tell me it is.

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Miniere’s Disease and the Barf Update

doenca2It has now been two years since I vomited. Sorry for the mental images. But that’s how we Miniere’s Disease sufferers measure progress. I’ve struggled with Miniere’s since 2004, and for much of that time, recurring vertigo would cause a vomiting episode (or more likely, a series of them) at least once a quarter.

I’d be okay for a while. And then I’d not be okay. You get so you can read your body, and know when it’s coming back in force. You wake up in the morning and just know, “Probably around noon, it’s gonna hit me hard.”

But my life changed on April 16, 2010, when I had an endolymphatic shunt surgically installed behind my left ear. The first year saw definite improvement, but a bout with acute pancreatitis threw my body off, and I still had some of the aforesaid episodes. But the last one occurred in April 2011.

April 2011 was also my last serious episode of nystagmus, where the world suddenly starts spinning and you’re nonfunctional for about ten seconds or so. For me, a vomiting episode is often a delayed reaction from a nystagmus episode. Not always, but often. I’ve had a couple minor episodes of nystagmus that stopped pretty quickly, and could usually be attributed to excessive sodium intake. But very minor.

Anyways, I give credit to the endolymphatic shunt. I can almost feel it kick in sometimes, taking in ear fluid before it triggers vertigo.

I’ve posted about the shunt surgery several times over the years, and I usually get comments or emails from other Miniere’s sufferers who are researching the surgery and discover me through a Google search. There have been a few negative reports, but most are very positive.

There are several surgical options for vertigo sufferers, and the shunt is both the lease invasive and the option with the highest success rate. During the past year I’ve heard from a couple people who have had a shunt in place for up to 20 years, and it seems the shunt was wearing out and they were having the surgery done again. I can live with that. It’s not a bad surgery.

I really feel like I’ve gotten my life back. I drive and fly without worry. I still watch my sodium and caffeine intake (moderation only). Alcohol is another trigger, but I’ve never been a drinker, so that’s not an issue for me. The fourth trigger is stress. You can’t always minimize that; I’m coming up on a period at work when there will be a higher level of stress. But I’ve learned to cope with it.

So, two years and counting.


My various posts about the surgery:

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Thank You Frank for the Lovely Picture

The whole table. Bishop Phil Whipple is at the other end of the table. Sorry about the lighting.

The whole table. Bishop Phil Whipple is at the other end of the table. Sorry about the lighting.

Bishop Phil Whipple ordered what was called a Bento Box, which had a variety of interesting things to eat.

Bishop Phil Whipple ordered what was called a Bento Box, which had a variety of interesting things to eat.

That would be our esteemed Global Ministries director on the left, and our esteemed bishop on the right. And that would be me striking a magnificent pose in the middle. A big thank-you to my colleague, Frank.

That would be our esteemed Global Ministries director on the left, and our esteemed bishop on the right. And that would be me striking a magnificent pose in the middle. A big thank-you to my colleague, Frank.

Today was our Administrative Professionals day, and we went to the Naked Tschopstix at the Village of Coventry. An uninformed reader may initially think that sounds like some kind of strip club, but said uninformed reader would be wrong. It’s an Asian place with various kinds of Asian food–Thai, Korean, Chinese, etc. I had a rice bowl with Bulgoki beef, a thinly sliced beef with a sweet marinade. It was quite delicious, but not terribly adventurous.

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The Persistent .05%

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I work with lots of ministers, and ministers always have a “life verse.” I think it’s a requirement for getting a ministerial license. But, I admit, I’ve never had a life verse. It has always made me feel spiritually deficient.

However, there is one verse I apply to my work more than any other, so perhaps it qualifies as a life verse. Proverbs 10:19 says, “When words are many, sin is not absent” (NIV).

As a Communications Director, my career is based on churning out words. This verse tells me, “The more words, the more chance there are mistakes.” Ain’t that the truth. You can’t crank out thousands of words every day without getting something wrong.

A very nice woman called me today to point out a mistake. She was nervous and apologetic about it, and was calling because somebody else asked her to. The idea of correcting me intimidated her, I think; she didn’t know how I would respond.

But I’m long past (most of the time) being defensive. Making errors in writing–whether mere typos or, as was the case today, factual errors–is just gonna happen. It’s been happening for over 30 years. I accept my fallibility. Probably 99.95% of what I write is clean, mistake-free. But that .05% won’t go away anytime soon.

So I told this woman the mistake was entirely mine, I apologized for it, and I promptly corrected it (you can do that with stuff on the web). No sense being prickly about it. I appreciate people pointing my mistakes, as long as they aren’t jerks about it.

And keep this in mind: whenever somebody talks a lot, or write a lot, there’s a good chance that some of it is just plain wrong. It applies to your local newspaper reporters, to TV pundits…and to your own preacher.

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For Goodness Sake

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This morning I ran my snowblower for only the second time this year. The snow was VERY deep. I was pooped out after doing our own driveway, but then I headed over to our elderly neighbors’ house to do their drive and walk. I don’t know the technical term for the next level beyond “pooped out,” but I was definitely there. Several levels beyond there, actually.

I think I met my “good deed” quota for the week. I realize that, by announcing my good deed before men (and women) on Facebook, I am sacrificing any heavenly reward. But I’ll settle for a few “Likes.”

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Better than Roses

Today, most husbands brought home roses for their wives. Me: I brought home a pepperoni-and-ham pizza and breadsticks with cheese sauce from Pizza Junction. Pam agreed that it was much better than flowers.

But I’m haunted by the memory of the guy in the SUV next to me at Pizza Junction, who was waiting on a carry-out pizza. He was holding a vase of roses. So obviously, there is yet another level of Good Husbandship to which I can aspire.

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The Schoolbus Conspiracy

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The other day, on the way to work, I found myself behind a schoolbus which stopped at EVERY SINGLE ROAD to pick up kids–junior high and high school, by the looks. Took me forever to get out my own addition.

We’re talking entrances to culdesacs just 25 yards apart. What societal forces prevent two able-bodied kids from walking 25 yards to join the two kids from another street, so that the bus can make a single stop?

And then it hit me: It’s all a conspiracy from the oil/auto industry!

Think about it. All of those extra stops means more gas usage–more money in the pockets of Big Oil, and more money going to support terrorist sympathizers in the Middle East, Venezuela and, most insidiously, in Canada.

And then there’s the extra wear-and-tear on buses from the continuous stop-and-go. That means buses wear out more quickly–and thus, more frequent orders to Big Auto for new buses.

Wake up, America!

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A Respite from Reverse Discrimination

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Yesterday at break time, for the first time in probably a couple of decades, the men outnumbered the women. It was 6-4. Two of those guys come to the office only one day a week, but still. The other men travel a lot, and frequently, I’m the only guy at the break table. So yesterday was a treat for my longsuffering self.

I have solitarily endured numerous breaktime conversations pertaining to gardening, home remedies, parenting woes, hygiene products, etc. So it was nice yesterday, with the preponderance of testosterone, for the conversation to focus on sports, with accompanying grunting, snorting, and general Neanderthalism. The women, for once, had to endure.

I hope my stereotyping doesn’t come across as sexist, though it most blatantly is. I will now continue through my day, confident that whenever I ask one of the gals for assistance, I will be met with a stony, “I’m busy. Find somebody else.”

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In My Wisdom….

I have some chicken strips marinading at home in lemon-pepper sauce. My well-thought-out plan is to grill them tonight…outside, in -20 degree temperatures. Sometimes, I wonder how I ever graduated from 5th grade.

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Sick, or Not?

Because it’s so doggone cold outside–something like -19 with windchill–I wondered if I should call in sick. Because you’ve gotta be sick (in the head) to go out when it’s this cold. But alas, a conundrum. If I went to work, it was proof that I was sick. But if I stayed home, it was proof that I wasn’t sick. So I needed some new rationale.

Now that I’m at work, I could declare myself sick, and have them send me home. But I don’t think any of this will work.

So…where’s that to-do list?

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