Saturday, January 02, 2016

Sometimes They Come Back

Start of a new year, and it seems like a good time to start this up again. It's been a little less than three years since my last entry, right about my 50th birthday, but really not much has changed.


Since my last post, I have...

  • Bought and moved to two houses, one after the other,
  • Lost my mother to old age and my older brother to complications from heart surgery,
  • Lost the first dog my wife and I raised from a puppy,
  • Gigged more or less continually in my band, The Insensitives, then retired from pro music for a bit, 
  • Sang with my old church choir on a tour of Ireland, and getting a postcard from Bono thanking us for singing the U2 song "MLK" as part of the tour (which featured yours truly as the soloist),
  • Learned to play ASL. OK, learning. Because, ASL, and,
  • Sold our vacation house at Sunriver, the source of so many awesome gaming retreats,
  • Had open heart surgery to replace a bad aortic valve, found out I was about one chili cheese fry away from a massive heart attack so ended up with a triple bypass as well, had the surgeon tell my wife I needed to massively change my lifestyle if I wanted to live more than a few years, and so I did. 50lbs lighter, exercising regularly, and eating food that is keeping my heart from more blockages.
But wait! There's more!
  • And having another open heart surgery in two months because yet another valve went bad, and had the bad form to do so after the last surgery. So one more artificial valve, yay! On the plus side, they did an angiogram a couple of months ago when diagnosing the 
It's been a busy few years. I had to completely throw out my wardrobe and buy new clothes. Twice. Because weight loss wasn't the goal, eating well and exercising was, but the weight loss was a side effect. I had to get a new driver's license because I no longer look like the photo I had of me at 50. People don't always recognize me, even people I've known for decades. To be honest, I don't know that I'll ever get tired of that. 

I also have a somewhat different attitude about life. As you can imagine. Having someone tell you you could die any second because of multiple 95% blockages in your heart's arteries and that you need surgery in less than 48 hours tends to get your attention. If you're paying attention, you learn that everything is simultaneously vastly important and completely irrelevant, all at the same time. No wonder most people live in self-denial and pretend everything is fine and will continue as it always has. 

And so it is, at the start of a New Year (said start being largely the result of the Roman adoption of the Julian calendar to coincide with the election of Consuls, then formalized by Pope Gregory and not being tied to any relevant astronomical phenomena, like you'd think), and it seems like a good time to start recording my thoughts again.

I have a lot to discuss, like taking up Advanced Squad Leader last year. Like how to change your diet and be happy about it. Like what it's like to recover from major surgery where the perpetrators would be brought up on torture charges had it not been something I wanted. Like figuring out what the important bits are.

Like most things, everything is part of a continuum, constantly changing, growing, dying. This blog is a part of that, and I'll cover a lot of the past couple of years as well as what's currently going on as we go. No idea how long I will keep this up, there is a very small but significant chance I will stop involuntarily as a result of surgery. Given that my brother died because of something that no one in the hospital had ever seen before, oxygen not going to his brain for a few minutes during surgery, I'm very aware that we are all living on borrowed time and it can end at any point. We like to think we have a lot of control over our lives, but really not so much. We can barely control our bodies and we think of those as "ours" (hint: they aren't). 

First up will be my gaming goals for 2016. Yes, I have some. Because prioritization is a good thing, and if you want to do something now is a pretty good time to do it. Stay tuned...

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