August 2006

I never expect or expected anyone to know how to pronounce my surname.

(“Expect the worst / nothing, and one will be pleasantly surprised. A lot of the time.”)

If you go back just four or five years, there weren’t many Przybyszes on the web besides a few others and myself, and it wasn’t so common for me to run into folks (outside my immediate family) around town who knew how to pronounce it. (I don’t believe these are related phenomena.)

Now, it’s pleasing to see many Przybyszes pop up via search engines. (Again, I don’t feel personally responsible for this phenomenon either.)

What did start, quite long ago, was friends of mine who took it upon themselves to memorize the spelling of my surname. Too cool!

It’s actually got a nice little rhythm to it:

P r — z y — b y — s z

Easy as pie in the sky, eh? I’m still waiting for the hit single to be released — hooks, loops, and catchier than Kidz Bop.

I owe emails to a few of these extremely loyal friends. You know how something slips, and then it’s gotta be way, way better to make up for the delay. And soon it’s apparent that one will just disappoint?

(Actually, these aren’t right either — I found some material I want to share with these grand pals when I write, and I know I’d mention that material rather than sharing reasonable facsimiles, if I did write before scanning and reproducing cultural artifacts from the tail-end of the twentieth century. And describing something is rarely as provocative as material evidence of the original.)

Back to the name game:

These are kind of cool for pronunciation and such. I should know more Polish. Really, I should. The world is more than piwo and dupas!

Update (12/14/2006):

I emailed Patrick earlier.  Months ago.  I figured it was about time to go ahead and post the pronunciation we actually use here.  It’s been verified as one-of-three that would be considered, “correct,” by polished Polish standards:


The lack of a beginning p-sound is certainly to my advantage these days, since my Ps lack the punch they deserve.

So there you have it.

Mispronunciation of my own name never bothered me (perhaps because for over half my life I couldn’t tell the difference?).  No, it’s just not that big of a deal:  names should be fun.  That’s not to say that I don’t take the spelling* and pronunciation of other people’s names seriously.  I do notice that, lacking passive access to how other people’s names are pronounced (first and last…), I feel bad whenever I realize I haven’t been pronouncing a name correctly.  So please, as with all things, please do correct me.

* I suspect a great deal of Dan’s drive, aside from the beverage thing, springs out of a dream of one day living in a world where his (straightforward) last name is not misspelled.  I’m an unknown, but Dan’s work has been out there, all over practically.   I am continuing my campaign to convince him to add an author’s note as to the spelling of his last name.  Your help is appreciated.

I remember that game*. I play it a lot now, without meaning to. I perceive a lot more movement now while at rest, and more stillness now when I’m most active. Many, many paradoxes. I thought it’d be the thing to do to share a smattering of all kinds of things.

I can’t see myself using this as mainly any one single thing–so I hope you’re fine with the hodge-podge, and allowing the space for anything, and life, to be whatever it is. And perhaps experimenting to alter some aspects, to change various patterns that aren’t leading to the desired outcome. My desired outcome is happiness, and sharing it with others.

Actually, it’s more of a process.

I knew that long ago, in a galaxy much like this one. It is one of the only things I know with a great degree of certainty. Too much fun — too happy? Do those exist, and are they harmful**? (Ok, you’ll need to excuse the somewhat recent example of when laughing too hard at a comic strip sent me into a fit of coughing and choking, and exhausted me for the night . . . though one could argue the laughter healed more than it hurt. Survival makes it fine — this goes for many risks I’ve taken … which I’ve started a post about, and want to flesh out before sharing… — it even goes for the risks everyone takes, all the time.)

I don’t have what I want up here yet, before associating things with Neurofibromatosis type 2 and brain tumors and spinal tumors and blind eyes and deaf ears and inhabiting all sorts of physical and mental states . . . and what this unbelievably complex and simple life is. And though there are parallels to be drawn with ‘life with NF2,’ at base, it’s still life, and that’s all there is for everyone/anyone.

Of course, we can’t always get/give what we want, but sometimes we get/give what we need.

So I’m going with that flow.

I can organize little pieces of my life, achieve balance in various ways, in various parts . . . and even feel all sorts of things, all over the place . . . different levels and scales, tune in Tokyo . . .

That’s pretty much what everyone does, isn’t it?

Sometimes I’m just in cryptic writing moods. (Don’t worry–these pass and I do get back to whimsy, and eventually even more serious topics. It seems there’s always that initial dispelling of stereotypes . . . and things go from there. Letting things be, as they are, rather than how we expect them to be. Where do we go from here.)

I’ve gone around in full circles a few times. It’s alright because it’s always a bit different, even with some recurring themes. Right now, I’m allowing the things that wish to be pulled into relief, to do so. If I repeat myself, you’re free to find it humorous. There’s a lot of repetition in life. I find a lot of novelty in the most routine aspects of everyday life. Not always, but many times–on most days. It’s got a lot of physiological bases, but at least we can still count on gravity–for better or worse.

So this commences my formal sharing of perspectives. It is by no means authoritative in any sense other than that a good deal of it is experience-derived. And it’s always subject to change — just like yellow lights. Liminal. Subliminal. Tastes a bit like chicken***, probably. Washed down with a pina colada, or a beer, depending on one’s mood and tolerance.

* Red light/green light and players stopping all movement or being sent back to the starting line; we later altered the game to one of the advancers having to keep themselves from laughing… and the IT person inducing fits of laughter to send the others back to start. Kids are so inventive!

** Of course, the answer depends on how these are defined and valued, and whether multiple frames are used for reference.

*** It doesn’t have to be chicken to taste like chicken. Or to at least say that it tastes like chicken.

BBQ sauce works fine, paired with mustard, on a hot-diggity-dog, when neither onions, sauerkraut, or pickles are particularly appealing. (Rare instance, I know…)

A ketchup (catsup?!) dispenser should not be based on dollops, unless it is aimed at little tubs used for dipping.

An aside: In the past, I found it utterly appalling when some restaurants would refill Heinz bottles with inferior imitations. As if I can’t tell . . .

Oh–and I just brought back the whole, “momentum,” commentary for my sportscaster-in-training gigs. It’s been absent for far too long!

And he was in the right place at the right time:

Delayed documentation of foul ball and its retriever

bari sax

It’s been happening.

The dreams, where I find myself playing my bari sax again. That all-encompassing sensation and not-so-hokey energizing calmness, sense of relief and satisfaction it gives me. As if it’s healing the world, even.
Still laying down the base and the bass.

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

– Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

There was a moment when I considered taking up the tenor sax just so I could play this one, and have it sound so powerful:

I Still Believe

Otherwise, my heart belongs to the bari.


Originally uploaded by przybysz.

Before we set out on the adventure, I knew we’d need reservations, if we hoped to stay here.

I’d also read up enough to know that the units were furnished with original hand-crafted wood furniture, and kept in decent shape, contemporaneously.

Skeptics remained.

Now, I continue to quote songs by Kermit, “I’m going to go back there someday…”

(There was a great Studebaker pick-up truck among the vintage automobiles on the premises — an obvious sign of welcome.)