Serendipitous


Notably in the midst of an ongoing series of accurately anticipating themes. Great stories!

“See it and be it!”



Regis and Me (before either of us were making millionaires out of others…)

Originally uploaded by przybysz.

The above was back in the day.

New anecdote today, courtesy of Angelo Di Carlo (WNDU), Regis Philbin, and Fighting Irish Football obliging us with a #1, single TD, to defeat BC. Many thanks and many happy adventures to you!

P.S. This anecdote gets better after Regis reigns at the top of the best sellers, so BUY THE BOOK!

I surprised Mom, and myself, with a visit today, and ended up embarking on a surprise treasure hunt. She wanted LJS for dinner. (I’m happy to do whatever I can when I can for her–well, for anyone, really.) No coupons were located prior to setting me Saturn to northern coordinates, but her stomach was set. “Just get the Treasure Chest,” she directed.

I sailed fearlessly. Swift, yet mindfully.

I entered LJS, and happened to be looking around enough to notice an ad with several coupons torn out. It had been left (for me?!) on the divider between the entranceway and the seating area. The Treasure chest/family feast (8 fish, 2 sides, and 50 hushpuppies) for $12.99 remained, so I immediately checked the expiration date (and then double-checked the date on my mobile). Whew–last day to redeem. I confidently collected the coupon and proceeded to order and pay. A smooth transaction ensued (aside from a few attempts to sell me beverages, desserts, and more hushpuppies). I sat on the bench, with my order placard displayed, while waiting for the vittles. It was just enough time to notice a man and two children enjoying a meal at the booth next to the exit, and to message Mom that I saw the sign outside for $1 Baja Fish Tacos as I walked in, and ordered those instead. (She is far from a southwestern cuisine afficionado, and I must have been too nice, because she didn’t even flinch before responding, “Ok.” As the Subject, no less!)

Great service, seeing the kids, the timing of the coupon discovery, and anticipation of swiping some crunchies inspired me to ring the bell on my way out the door.

See what transpires when you look around?

*Energy* plus Flow equals synthesis of inputs and generation of life-enriching outputs.

A bit of everything is contributing.

AKA, the Summer of Anti-George

This doesn’t mean I’m against George Costanza, unless of course the Cubs should face the Yankees in the World Series. Rather the contrast in circumstances and goals, as I perceive them at this time.

This is a good kick-off for now. I think I’ll probably have other things to blog about, so I’m hesitant to make my blog all about personal development over the next several months, and hopefully years. But then, there are a lot of unique aspects that will likely coalesce into an interesting constellation of thoughts and experiences, which I may actually be in a frame of mind to work out publicly.

For pleasure reading, on the side-of-the-side, I’ve started Umberto Eco’s The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. By started, I mean to say I’m only on the second chapter. It was a serendipitous find, a new copy for $5 in hardcover, at a local bargain bookstore. (I don’t have a severance package from the Yankees to bankroll my book buying, as much as I’m for supporting great works/minds/artists.) What makes a worthy novel is being able to identify with the protagonist, to empathize. Sometimes it’s in an abstract way that touches on universal themes. Sometimes details mirror more personal experiences, although maybe in converse ways. Sometimes it’s both. What’s interesting is that I’m dealing with the aftermath and continuing effects (and affects) of bilateral multilateral brain lesions and surgeries. It is only belatedly that I’ve come to realize the life-preserving function of behavior I engaged in that was, incidentally, healthier in the short and longer terms than banging my head against a brick wall, literally or metaphorically.

It still bothers me how much context flows through my mind, as I write, that I cannot manage to convey in a shortened and useful form. Still I’m setting out to revitalize both content and form. To merge them all. I am, largely optimistic. (This isn’t a broken record. There was merely a skip. Grand opportunities still abound.) I am primarily driven by various inspirations… and also more rationally fueled by readings in neuroscience over the last few years. Neural plasticity has certainly worked in my favor. Now to bring out the tools of another craft and synthesize it all again. (using the words… to bring things together, and to create something new, simultaneously; very cool.) Similar process, new product.

“WIN”

That was the take-home acronym from his* visit to the basement of Lewis Hall, early in my undergraduate years at Notre Dame.

1994 ND football

1994 ND stadium with blimp

Thanks for all the memories, Lou, and for your continued brand of humor!

As an incidental note, John Cooper was the OSU QB when my trusty neurosurgeon, Dr. Robert L. Campbell, was attending The Ohio State University.

And Bonus photo:

Regis and Me (before either of us were making millionaires out of others...)

* View linked story prior to May 9, 2008; courtesy of South Bend Tribune.

“It is not by accident that the happiest people are those who make a conscious effort to live useful lives. Their happiness, of course, is not a shallow exhilaration where life is one continuous intoxicating party. Rather, their happiness is a deep sense of inner peace that comes when they believe their lives have meaning and that they are making a difference for good in the world.”

–Ernest Fitzgerald

Been caught shopping. I pulled into a parking spot and belatedly noticed it had a sign posted that wasn’t obviously for a disabled parking spot. I figured it was probably for pregnant women. I’m happy to note I was wrong. It really was for ME:

“RESERVED FOR THE SUPER STAR OF THE MONTH”

I’ve got a backblog of material/posts, but in the meantime I feel compelled to recommend a grand read:
The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal, by Jonathan Mooney.

I’m only about a third of the way into it, yet there are so many facets to compliment already. There are TONS of subtle (and many not-so-subtle) gems throughout.

For now: I thoroughly appreciate how seamlessly Mooney weaves experiential tangents into the narrative. Yet there’s so much more. Like I said: TONS.

You really should read it.

* pg. 93
“Can we measure the health of our society by the number of freaks walking the street?” –Jonathan Mooney**

** not even close to the best quotation in the book, but relevant to frog theme and my repeated references to indicator species, as well as a few boatloads of connected themes and perspectives.

“Hi Spammers,

here is the paper for Wed. Sorry for sending it so late! (see paper and models
in two separate docs.). This is about half of a
first draft of a paper – I have not written a word on entire sections, and the
ones already written need more care. It may sound familiar to other things I
presented in SPAM since I’m using the same data, dependent variable, and some
old ideas. There’s a monster inside me – like in the ALIEN movies – that makes
me write, even against my will, about why people protest using the ACPS … But
other emerging monsters are ready to take command of my brain and will hopefully
move it to distant places soon.
Although I need feedback on everything, the most pressing question for me now is
whether this is an interesting question to pursue. I’m pretty persuaded that
this paper should ‘fill a gap’ (at least for me), but I’m not sure if people
believe it’s a gap interesting enough to be filled. And as always, I would love
any suggestion for improving my English.

Thanks so much!”

The day started with omelets. Pictorial documentation’s imminent. I’m on the cusp of the 21st Century in one respect at least. Text is alright for this moment, right?

I’ve been on an activity drive since the flurried excitement of a morning allowing the Grands to rest while I engaged in the wonderful exercise of communication and bigtime planning with nephews C and D. What a great gig!

And my mind’s been cranking out the juice all day.

This is so surreal! I’m even gonna copy and paste some contemporaneous, same-day writings. I haven’t been this bold about revealing some of the raw innerworkings of my mind for well over a decade.

INXS just kicked in for the internal jukebox. So taste it, maybe:

New Sensation.

Are you feeling so good because you got an optimistic report from the doc?

No! LOL this is all on my head, just like my tons of tumors and all. I’ve NEVER been one to feel a way because it’s what’s expected. Always exploring what my body and mind might have to offer. Or at least that’s what I’ve always tried. Sometimes things click. Mysterious and grand!

Jamie

“I am totally in a Zen, present moment cycle here. Very similar to my recovery after extreme brain stem-shifting tumor removal of Summer 1998, that defied expectations and catapulted me into grad school and stuff. I am very much enjoying the ride. The level of clarity is astounding! It’s likely I’ll have a few manuscripts out of all this! LOL!!!

I love creativity. Man did I miss my brain there!!! It’s like a long lost friend is back.

What a ride! Lots of good music in my head!

Jamie”

Subject: More Research — mutated to Jamie Shifting the Paradigm

(Belated note: I was replying to something, that was being discussed in the conventional ways of clinical trial research enterprises, but had missed the context until I was well into elaborating on what had already commenced in my mind. It’s been good to have a sense of how the wheels turn from different ends of the crankshaft.)

I don’t want to freak anyone out on the Crew, or alienate folks with my inspired musings, but it’s entertaining me to see what’s coming out here. I’m highly self-regulating here, so I’m in control and you should not be worried. I’m just sharing this, if you feel like the read. :) As I said, though, I shifted the original context.)

Yeah, we’ll see how things go! It’s like I’m on a personal clinical trial of my own design!!! Of course the absolute best thing would be for whatever to translate into some use for other people. For the moment, I’m embracing all these really cool perspectives. And enjoying moving all over, too. Cleaning, showering, cooking, and taking care of/playing with nephews has been effortless. Pure joy: you have no idea, perhaps. (I know you guys haven’t been aware of my chronic problems because I just kind of endure stuff and get by, but I know there are people who can relate to the degree of effort put into each and every, everyday thing, that builds up for chronically and progressively ill individuals that does exist experientially.) (Though maybe we’ll get some fluidity and reversibility here, like you observe in collective behavior contagion models.)

Right now, though, it’s like I’m a little energy rich kid again. But with greater skill. And I hope it’s contagious! Very cool that we may biologically possess the power to retain that perceptual memory, and can perhaps draw on it when we fall into a vulnerable state, despite the bulks of tumors in our bodies, or controlling if or how rapidly they may grow. My body is functioning at optimal pace, and I’m tuned into the perfect balance of the past, present, and future. Simultaneously! Perfection! In ways, the world’s a state of mind, but it’s reciprocally conditioned by biological constraints. And we gotta respect those. Life and creation is so beautifully complex and elegant. What an elusive power, though, in the things that we can’t willfully force. Hope, yes. But what comes… It is most up to us to remain receptive. What are you building for yourself and others?

Benevolence.

————–

I’m on this wavelength out here. I started this theory stuff as part of formal studies, too, and it’s coming back via another round of lived experience, which is pretty exciting. Science requires repetition and replication. I’m getting a repetition of a local phenomenon (many levels and scales over the years, actually: training, practice). And then I see how my repeated individual experiences open an area that may universalize the possibility for others (any human being: we’re all vulnerable to threats to basic life-sustaining processes). Man this moves even beyond Irv Zola! How awesome! The synthesis of the biological and the social. All those beautiful connections and links!

My mind is organizing stuff internally, yet I’m not getting all bogged down in fretting about whether it’s gonna be possible to convey it in a form comprehensible to others because right now it’s about laying the blueprint for me and enjoying my current ride. Awareness. I’m extensively aware of the context I haven’t been able to provide yet for all this. (As well as some explication of prior philiosophers and humanists.) There’s tons. And it’s falling in the “manageable,” and “doable,” column once again. The opportunity to pursue such a wild living experiment. The bionic, the effects of technology that’s been integrated in my very being. Brainstem as body’s regulatory control center, and what’s with mine and the effect that the ABI has had, especially in light of having to withstand repeated mass damage and scar tissue–but what ameliorative effect has the electrical stimulation and phenomena of alternative auditory-sensation-production contribute as to enhancing functional capacity? Vast potential, even in the face of infinite variables, perhaps.

I know I have the capacity again to communicate all the subtle intricacies of what I’ve learned, through living in such vibrant and diverse spheres of experience. Of course, that was all socially generated. I guess I’m lifting that veil between the Private and Public spheres, or something like that.

Things are what they are. In the moment.

——
OK, so steroid weaning is still satisfactory. I have been riding a great natural endorphin high, or whatever. The contrast to chronic pain makes it that much more enjoyable. And I’m into reintegrating here. Very even-keeled about everything. Optimal healing environment.

Good drama and it’s free.

Let’s go. Interaction. Pithy comment, baby. You know you’ve got it in you! When I get back on my desktop, I do have designs to get more connected and all that. For the fun of it. Whatever my niche is here. I try not to demand much. Scratch that, I demand nothing. I expect a bit of respect–“just a little bit, just a little bit*”–but that’s just because that’s what I insist on dishing out to others. What’s nice though, and you know it… You know, just toss a little crumb, a little catalyst, and the little ham in me gets back in the spotlight. I’m glad she’s still part of me. There’s nothing more than this. Chime in. No need to be shy! Meaning’s in the response. And you’re in more control than you realize.

Things don’t even have to make sense all the time. Blame the drugs. Everything’s always changing. Adapt and improvise. The way of the future. Communitarian project.

My muscle movements feel endowed with some extra phantom power kick. Yet, I still can’t wiggle my ears, using only facial and head muscles. I have seen a few men who have this amazing talent. I don’t know if there are any women who can wiggle their ears. Have you seen any?

My dad is a master ear wiggler, but he doesn’t tend to publicize the fact. Come to think of it, that would make a great YouTube video! Is wiggling your ears something you learn, or just something you can do, or do not? “There is no try.” (Kind of reminds me of when I tried to learn to spit lougies, or whatever–what’s the spelling?!–, WAY back. Just no go. I am content that greater peace exists in the world thanks to that failing. And yeah, since I couldn’t retaliate, the thrill of targeting me got old fast. Ah, the art of passive resistance. Wisdom?)

I was studying my youngest nephew, L.’S, facial expressions tonight. He’s well advanced to where’s he’s generating his own things, and not just imitative of others’ expressions. (Although he has developed a great base repertoire, thanks to abundant comically emotive influences.) With my facial weakness, and especially some of the recent med-induced muted twitching in my cheeks and nose, it’s a real relief and treat to be playing around and interactively, equally, eliciting such animated expressions. His eyes light up as if the energy of the whole world, or even universe, fills his head. Plus, reading about how physically affecting various expressions elicit those chemicals to change the emotions linked to different areas of our brains that are aroused, prompts me to visualize and enhance all the beneficial stuff that can be going on in my amygdala and prefrontal cortex. It’s only natural for me to empathize and attempt a greater understanding of brain functioning, right? I probably should’ve been a neuroscientist. I’ve got the humor. Ah, and that leads us back into cognitive sociology. Perceptions. Bridge those disciplines, baby. I will totally love it, here, if my synthesizing brain works are re-emerging. I’ve missed the relational and manifestly interdependent process by which I so long enjoyed my brain working.

Wakefulness. Marvelous.

What is cool, though, is in the merging of empathy and clinical distance. I have always identified with it, and located consistency in deliberate balance. The detachment there that arises precisely because a scientist cares so much about accuracy and validity. When my work started going more towards what I judged as half-arsed, there was no satisfaction. Even at the same time I realized the futility of beating myself up about it. I know enough to set about changing, or at least refrain from whining, to spare my own self-recriminations. (Regular scholarly trajectories, isn’t it? Although I suppose a survival function was kicked-in all along. But you want it without the excuse, the footnote, the exception. Well, I do. Because there’s gonna be a cool story there, no doubt. And it’s the anecdotes that inspire creativity.) Now, in whatever transformation comes, what may the brain in my head possibly contribute to the world? It’s nice to get back to the terrain of the possible; that I may live up to a hype I felt long ago, in the days of “diagnosis to float.” (Indebtednesses still to be rightfully acknowleddged!) The mental landscape map was clear at one time. And I’m now, apparently in a hypergraphic sort of stint. Why not ride it? I hope I can put the pieces together. Cool stuff, really. Truly.

* Erasure, End of Innocents, #2 on Official Przybysz ABI cassette series, sound and musical appreciation and discrimination training list, with primary fondness for the awesomely energizing and rhythmically distinctive, multi-layering, pitches scales, heights, dimensions, transcending theory and practice instrumental composition: “Pennsylvania Sixty-five Thousand!”

I woke up with that song title melody ringing grandly in my brain. Sweet comfort! How can you not feel good when you’re awakened by motivations to get your booty on the floor tonight? And making days, and welcoming others to make yours?! (I’m not in some corny mood here. It’s a combination of a bit of optimistically-leaning anxiety that steroid weaning goes well, and yet being rationale enough to stave off extreme impulses. It’s a dance. Iterations of pushing limits a bit, extending capacities, and then retreating to regroup. Hopefully getting a bit further each time, without enduring slides back. That’s the now. The next couple weeks, perhaps. I’m cool with it now because there’s more meaning to be generated: a woman with a plan.

* I am sure some sort of divine intervention has a role here: the internal electrical pathways essential for lithe movements to successfully rise from the air mattress I’m sleeping on are optimally activated such that I feel no stress upon rising. Awesome! Again, I’m just getting out of the way of my body. It’s nice when that works!

I need to generate some funnies. A lot of funnies. I don’t have my tools at hand right now. Hmmm…

So what’s the weirdest thing that’s gone through your mind lately? Any good dreams?! Do more things seem possible to you now than they did five days ago? The way things add up… always surprising me. Hey, I never claimed to know what I was doing!

“Should it be snowing?”

(And just wait until I get that picture from Saskatchewan!)

The good news: no ambulance with flashing lights and siren required.

Not so good news: I beat myself up quite a bit and don’t recall a thing.

Have I already mentioned how much I love my recliner? No blood shedding is certainly a grand feat.

Sorry for lack of pictures and posts lately. I did segue into a stint of unbounded compassion, like old times. And that gets me reminiscently theorizing and all mentally ambitious. I never imagined that would not be enough all the time. I am certainly thankful for folks being in the right places at ideal times this morning, and keeping presence of mind to calm them.

Back to _The Naked Brain_. Or maybe not. My glasses fought valliantly, but sustained damage from my limbs and forehead nonetheless. Yeah, some sleep is more probable.

Exhausted yet happy here. I was more entertaining nine hours ago. Certainly!

Oh! I did score a rather spiffy red bracelet right in time for Valentine’s Day. I’m looking forward to seeing it catch on!

And for all you late-deafened readers with elementary school-aged nieces/nephews/kids: Cranium’s Doodle Tales rocks! Oh the stories…

Healing vibes to infinity and beyond!

If you are reaidng this shortly, then you really should, “Look at the moon!”

Why?

Just trust me.

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