Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More Personal Health Information

I have tendonitis in my left wrist and I have one thing to say about tendonitis: it hurts like a son of a gun (to quote the late, great Joey Bishop).

While I have been dealing with this minor medical issue, it reminded me of another minor medical issue, the type of medical issue that falls into the category of really embarrassing, so I am going to use euphemisms to describe my condition.

For several years I had been dealing with the same medical condition as Hall of Famer George Brett. I had been going to the doctor for my annual check up and my doctor would say, "Your medical condition that is similar to what Hall Famer George Brett has is really getting in my way" but then he would, "but (no pun intended) it is no big deal".

George upset about his "problem"

Then one year he said, "I want it out of there". I guess it became a big deal so I went to my Colon-Rectal specialist. He's a great guy especially considering he's a butt-doctor. My only problem with the practice is that you have to park in the rear. That and sometimes his staff gets a little behind in their paper work.

But seriously, he is a great doctor. Both his Dad and brother are in this practice. I would hate to have Thanksgiving Dinner at their house.  Can't you hear the rest of the family say "No more talking shop, The Non Colon-Rectal Specialists are trying to eat".

I always wondered what magazines they read. Celebrity Heinys, American Rears, No Butts About It

When I got to the doctor's office I had to fill out some forms. A lot of the questions dealt with elimination, if you can believe it.

One question asked how many times a day. I put down how many and took the form to the counter. The front desk nurse took it and read it. She exclaimed, "Really, this many times a day?! That is awesome!". Evidently we found at what I am really good at. I told my wife that I was a Super Pooper.

I go into the examination room thinking my "problem" would be dealt with at the office. This is when I learned an important lesson.

If your doctor ever says, "Whoa" as part of your examination, you are going to have a couple of unpleasant days.

He explained that there was no way he could, er, solve my situation in the office and I would require surgery.

I had never had any surgery that required me to be in the hospital. That bothered me. Plus it bothered me that I couldn't even go to a faith healer if I wanted to-no way would a faith healer try to lay hands on that.

The big day came and I was pretty calm. Except when they began rolling me to surgery. There is a stop where they let the spouses kiss each other and I realized that this could be the last time I kissed my wife. I'm not sure why I thought this, but I started getting nervous.

I'm rolled into the surgical suite and a nurse says, "After we put you out, we're going to pick you up and put you on your stomach. This nurse must have weighed 90 pounds. There was no way, she could do that.

The next thing I knew, a nurse told me, "Mr. Manis, you're going have to wake up." I told her that they haven't started yet. She said, "We've been finished about thirty minutes".

My wife and son take me home. I'm in a fog. I lay down on the couch and my wife goes to the drug store to fill my prescription for PAIN MEDICATION.

I'm not sure what PAIN MEDICATION I was prescribed. The only thing I can say is that I felt like I was in the song "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" when I took my PAIN MEDICATION. I  pictured myself in a boat on a river. There were tangerine trees and marmalade skies and my cat had kaleidoscope eyes.

This is what my cat looked like.

I remember my friend, Tall Billy, calling to check on me. I'm pretty sure I told him I just got home from Illinois. Dinosaurs, Victrolas, Buck Owens, tambourines and elephants playing in the band were mentioned too.

After a couple of days, I snapped out of my drug haze. My, um, rear, did not hurt. However, my throat was killing me-due to the anesthesia tube that was put down my throat for the surgery.

I am happy to say that this surgery was seven years ago and I have not had a problem since. I would like to thank my doctor for doing such a great job. And George Brett.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Talkin' Trash With Kayne and Bob Blues

If you ever want to feel old, watch The Grammy Awards.

It was the usual mess of "Who is that?" and "I  never heard of them",  and "Will someone please tell Madonna nobody wants to see her 56 year old rump?".

Kayne West was at The Grammy Awards and you know what that means: soon The Grammy Awards became a part of a drama Kayne West plays out in his poor feeble brain.

After Beck won album of the year (yeah, I didn't know he had an album out either). West told the press that Beck needs to give his Grammy to Beyonce. Here are West's full comments.

"I just know that the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain’t gonna play with them no more. “Flawless,” Beyoncé video. And Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé and at this point, we tired of it. Because what happens is when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration. And we as musicians have to inspire people who go to work every day. And they listen to that Beyoncé album and they feel like it takes them to another place. Then they do this whole promotional event, that, you know, they’ll run the music over somebody’s speech, the artist, because they want a commercial advertising. Like no, we not playing with them no more. And by the way, I got my wife, I got my daughter, and I got my clothing line so I’m not going to do nothing to put my daughter at risk — but I am here to fight for creativity. That’s the reason why I didn’t say anything tonight. But y’all know what it meant when ‘Ye walked on the stage."

I will be happy to translate this for you. "Wah! Something I like didn't win. Wah!

As you can probably guess, I consider Kayne West to be a borderline mentally ill person who, at best, is a total narcissist.  But others do not share my opinion.

Chris Richards of The Washington Post wrote an interesting if not bizarre piece about West reactions. In it he says, "And while many often hear West’s trash talk as nothing more than self-serving petulance (paging Mr. Manis), it’s always about issues greater than him."  An issue greater than him: Beyonce.

 Richards also says, "Don’t forget that West’s televised broadside against President George W. Bush’s mishandling of the fallout from Hurricane Katrina back in 2005 still stands as one of the most far-reaching gestures of social protest we’ve ever seen from a pop star."

Yes, let's not forgot when an entertainer accused the President of The United States of mishandling Hurricane Katrina not due to incompetence , but because the President hated people due to their skin color.  It was one of the most far-reaching gestures of pure asininity we've ever seen from a pop star.

Another person who had something to say was our old pal, that Bard from Hibbing, Bob Dylan.

By the way, Bob has a new Bob album out called "Shadows In The Night" in which Bob sings songs that Frank Sinatra sang. (But not necessarily Frank Sinatra songs. Got it?).

I am a huge Bob fan and I consider Bob to be the best Bob ever. However, if you are not a Bob fan, I doubt you would like this album, even though, it is not as bad as it sounds. He enunciates his words, which if you know anything at all about Bob, that is a big deal.

The Grammys gave Bob an award for being Bob and, in return, Bob gave a ramblin, talkin' thirty minute Bob speech that was pretty much the capsule of his career. It was: brilliant, weird, funny, folksy, touching, and at times, down right mean.  You can read it for yourself here: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-grammys-2015-transcript-of-bob-dylans-musicares-person-of-year-speech-20150207-story.html#page=2

He thanked Peter, Paul and Mary. He thanked Joan Baez, even though he dumped her and married a Playboy bunny. He gave some insight on how he wrote some of his greatest songs. For a moment, he seemed like our buddy Bob-that guy that couldn't sing but wrote such great songs.

Then he became Bad Bob. He criticized song writers of the past (Leiber and Stroller, who wrote "Hound Dog") and country music stars of the past (Merle Haggard). It was strange because a few years ago, Dylan toured with Haggard.

Where Bob crossed the line was his criticism of old Tom T. Hall. In his speech, Bob made it seem that Tom T. was this old fuddy-duddy country music singer. Actually, Tom T. was nothing of the sort. Hall wrote a lot of great songs like "Ballad of Forty Dollars", "The Year Clayton Delaney Died" and "Faster Horses".

His song, "I Love" drew most of Bob's ire, for some odd reason. In it, Hall says, " I love little baby ducks, old pick-up trucks, slow moving trains and rain". True, it's no "Ballad of A Thin Man", but it is a nice little song about nice little things.

If Bob doesn't like Tom T., that's really up to Bob, however Tom T.'s wife died a few weeks ago and getting such a harsh appraisal  from the iconic song and dance man was thoughtless at best and cruel at worst.

What Kayne and Bob missed was an old truism: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Signs Breaks My Mind

Gather round and allow me to rant about something that has been bothering me for over 40 years.

The song "Signs" by the musical group Five Man Electrical Band.

In case you are not in your fifties, "Signs" was a huge hit. It was almost as omnipresent as "Joy To The World". You can tell the age of a person if you walk up to him and say "Jeremiah was a....." and if the person answers "bullfrog", you know they are somewhere in their fifties.

Now, this "bullfrog" was a "good friend of mine" and I never understood a single word he said.  Another word for him would be engineer.

"Joy To The World" might have been silly. "Signs" is just stupid.

First Verse

 And the sign said, "Long-haired freaky people need not apply"
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said, "You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do"
So I took off my hat, I said, "Imagine that, huh, me workin' for you"

This song came out when young men were growing their hair out like Bruce Jenner. You would not believe how controversial this was.  You had all of these long haired freaky people walking around telling you not to judge long haired freaky people.

Here was a small businessman who wanted to make a good impression on his customers and not offend anyone.  But, the narrator of this song is a preachy long-haired freaky person and instead of finding another job where they like long-haired freaky people he decides to commit fraud so he can make his point that this guy is a hair bigot. Or a hairaphobe. Or hair hater.

In 2015, this guy would have been the recipient of a lot of mean tweets, #hairhater, #hairaphobe.

The chorus

 Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

Wikipedia says the lyrics "seem to show an extreme level of frustration with the omnipresent, authoritative symbols employed by governments, institutions, and religion to commit society to a "conform or pay the price" system of control".  I would add the lyrics shows a lack of perspective.

Of all the bad things in the world today like childhood cancer, poverty, war, famine, etc., what breaks the singer's mind are signs?  This doesn't make any sense.

There is a certain Libertarian element to the chorus. Libertarians are always using the argument, which is good sometimes about the intrusiveness of government. "If I want to drive my car at 100mph, drinking a martini with a heroin needle in my arm that's my business--not the government's".  But you have to have signs, or people would spend hours trying to push the door open when you have to pull it.

The second verse

And the sign said, Anybody caught trespassin' would be shot on sight
So, I jumped on the fence and yelled at the house
"Hey, what gives you the right?
To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in
If God was here, He'd tell you to your face, man, you're some kinda sinner"

Granted, shooting a trespasser on sight is kind of harsh, but again, the singer cannot resist a sermon.

"Hey, what gives you the right?"  Oh, I don't know, the DEED of the property, maybe. Several hundred years of common law.

My question back to the singer: since you brought up God, where does he say  that I can't put up a fence? As we Baptists say, what Bible is that in? Nowhere did Jesus ever say, " Blessed are the trespassers, because it is cool".

The break

Now, hey you, Mister, can't you read?
You've got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat
You can't even watch, no you can't eat
You ain't supposed to be here
The sign said, You got to have a membership card to get inside, ugh

Here the singer again gets mad because somebody has something that he doesn't: a shirt, a tie, and a membership card. Maybe if he got a haircut, he could get a good job and be able to afford that restaurant. No, he'd rather complain "You got to have a membership card to get inside" and then emit a noise which sounds like he is passing a pineapple.

The last stupid verse

And the sign said, "Everybody welcome, come in, kneel down and pray"
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all
I didn't have a penny to pay
So, I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
I said, "Thank you, Lord, for thinkin' 'bout me, I'm alive and doin' fine.

Was anybody surprised that this guy didn't have any money for the offering?  No, he spends his time giving sermons about hair to people that might give him a job. His own little sign probably wouldn't feed a lot of widows and orphans.

However, the good news is, according to The Ottawa Sun, Les Emmerson (who wrote "Signs") earns enough money from royalties of "Signs" that he has an average lifestyle without working. Which means he's alive and doin' fine.

Monday, February 2, 2015

What College Is About

As a high profile alumnus of Kennesaw State University (Motto: It's Great At Kennesaw State) I feel compelled to comment on the recent kerfuffle with 70's radical Angela Davis.

Okay, maybe I'm not the most high profile graduate of Kennesaw State. According to Wikipedia, that title would probably go to Ty Pennington (of ABC's Home Makeover) or Mac Powell the lead singer for the Christian Rock band Third Day who used to watch my son at daycare. Really. I'm one of the few people in America who can say somebody that watch their kid at daycare has won a Grammy. That is so cool.

Where was I? Oh yeah, I may not be the most high profile KSU Owl, but I'm the only one with an award winning humor blog.

A couple of weeks ago, Angela Davis, a self proclaimed communist radical from the early 70's when being a self proclaimed communist radical meant you had a killer Afro, gave a speech at Kennesaw State in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday.  The Communist made $20K for giving an "admiring audience of  more than 700" a speech full of such wisdom like:  "We think of gender as being male and female, and so precisely, trans prisoners and trans activists have opened our eyes, not only to the importance of addressing trans issues in the context of that work, but also the fact that there’s a way in which an understanding of the gender binary in relation to prisons, it affects all of us." [Note: this is a direct quote from the speech]

Silly me, here I was thinking "gender" meant male and female, but that's what college is for-to hire has been speakers at 20K a pop to "open our eyes".

There was a lot of controversy about Davis coming to campus. It fell along predictable lines.There were the conservative fuddy-duddies who don't understand anything except what our leaders (Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly) tell us we understand. I can assure you none of it has to do with gender binary in relation to prisons.

Then there were those like a local banker who said "You can’t be ignorant to things going on because our points of view won’t matter if we’re not enlightened or if we didn’t have knowledge of what’s going on.”  I have no idea what this means except I won't be putting any money in his bank.

And what college controversy would be complete without the lecture of what college is all about? My first inclination was to say college is about $25, 773.00 a year, give or take $10,000, at least according to the Kennesaw State website. This also includes $1834.00 in fees, which means every student helped pay for Angela Davis. However, a student explains what college is all about. 

"The purpose of attending any University is not just to study toward the goal of attaining a job after graduation. A student's time at university should be used to explore themselves as individuals as well as the fast paced world they live in. The faculty and staff at Kennesaw State University strive each day to open the eyes of their students to not just one opinion, but to all. They encourage each student to not just think for themselves but to practice seeing the world through the eyes of the student sitting next to them. In some cases, this means eating sushi at the commons or wearing a hijab for a day and in other cases hearing from a speaker with unique life experience. None of these opportunities are mandatory, but each one offers those that take part the chance to make an informed decision about why they, as a person, should choose to hate or love an item, topic, or religion."

Wow, college is a time to "explore". At $25K a year, that's some pretty expensive exploration. Boy, when I read things like this it makes me want to sell my bonds.

Anyway, here's a little more broader perspective. Davis was a kook and nut in the 70's and she is a kook and nut now.  For some reason, kooks and nuts are popular at colleges. However, I can guarantee you that for every student that was there, there were thousands who were not there and could care less.

Do you know what?  Their lives will be just as happy as those that listened to Davis' enlightenment, maybe more so because they are not reflecting on the gender binary in relation to prisons.

I don't blame Davis for taking $20K and giving a speech. That's a pretty good gig. I hope Kennesaw State has some money set aside for Ann Coulter. Just in case if the university is really striving to open the eyes of their students to all opinions.