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Every now and then my mom sends me a pile of old photos of me and my brother Daniel. Here’s one.
Notice all of the cameras. I’ve got two (I’m the shaggy haired guy on the right) and Daniel has one (he’s the short shaggy haired guy on the left.) I have no idea how old I was but I’m going to guess around 11 based on my white knee socks and light blue short shorts. I’m 99% sure the cameras are a Contax (the smaller brown one) and a Pentax. Oh – and check out that cool camera strap.
My mom is a great photographer and when we were kids we hung out in the dark room a lot. I remember how cool I thought the red light was, how bizarre the chemicals smelled, and how our washing machine and dryer made perfect tables for the printing process. Developer, stop bath, and fixer – remember that?
I stopped taking pictures when I went to college, but I can’t remember why. Maybe in the next phase of life I’ll rediscover this, possibly with a Lytro camera. I can only imagine how cool it would be to combine that with Occipital.
Amy and I have been married for 18 years. On the summer solstice in 1993 we went to the top of Ester Dome in Fairbanks, Alaska and exchanged vows. Earlier that day we went to Pay ‘n Save and bought our wedding rings (I think we got six for $1.99). I wrote the word “vows” on a piece of paper twice, tore it in half, and gave one of the vows to Amy to give to me when we got to the top. We never had a formal wedding because we never wanted one, although we did visit the Boulder County Courthouse on June 21, 1996, paid our $20, assured them that we weren’t brother and sister, and made it official. But we count years from that date on top of Ester Dome in 1993.
I can’t image having a better life partner. Like all couples, we’ve had our ups and downs, although the only real downs that I remember are the ones that catalyzed me into action to change my behavior. The list of amazing things Amy has brought into my life is extraordinarily long, but the greatest is the joy that I get from spending time with her, learning from her, and just being myself around her.
The journey through life on this planet is a complicated one. Many years ago I decided that I had no idea when the lights were going to go out so I was determined to live every single moment as fully as I could. As I get older, I want to spend more and more of these moments with Amy. We’re going to be together every day for the rest of this summer – and I’m ecstatic!
Amy – you are the most awesome person I’ve known. Thanks for choosing me.
I’ve been quiet since the weekend. It’s not because I’ve had nothing to say (that would be a first), but because I was absolutely slaughtered by the flu. I spent all of Sunday and Monday in bed. I managed to work yesterday and stay on top of the things flying around and today was more or less normal (with a long afternoon nap). But that was easily the worst kick in the ass I’ve had from a cold in many years.
I’d put together a string of three weeks of six days of running a week prior to getting sick so there’s some chance that I was a little fatigued from that, but I generally felt great after my week off the grid for my 45th birthday. I’ve gone pretty hardcore on food / diet as a result of reading Younger Next Year so my body might have been a little confused by that. Or maybe I just shouldn’t have spent so much time next to my partner Ryan after he was recovering from the flu.
Regardless of what it was, I don’t wish that one on any of you. Maybe this is the year to get a flu shot if you haven’t already.
I had a new experience today. At 7am I had my first MRI at the Boulder Community Hospital. I was a little nervous, although I’m not entirely sure why. I was in and out in 45 minutes – it was fascinating.
I hurt my lower back about five months ago (actually, exactly on March 13th at about 1pm at my parents house in Dallas). I went for a two hour run and then took my dad to Fry’s for his birthday to buy him a new color printer. As I unloaded the printer from the car, I lifted correctly, but then twisted left and immediately knew I’d screwed myself. I rested a week and started running again in advance of a marathon in mid-April in St. Louis. I had a great three hour run in Charlotte the first week of April and thought I was ready to roll. Amy and I drove to Santa Fe the following weekend; when I got out of the car when we got back to Boulder I had enormous lower back pain. I got a massage the next day (big mistake) and when I woke up Tuesday morning in a hotel room in Seattle I couldn’t get up off the toilet, nor could I completely straighten up. Four weeks of rest and three months of intermittent running with regular recurrence of back pain in the same spot after a few days caused me to finally decide that I’m hurt and need to figure out what’s going on.
Boulder is fortunate that it has a great community hospital system. There are plenty of new facilities and the people are very nice. I checked in and got my paperwork. It was already completed via my doctor’s referral. The charge for the MRI was $3,696, my insurance plan allowed $1,078, and there was $0 co-pay or money owed by me. I was completely stunned by this – I expected to at least have to pay a $20 co-pay. The entire billing / checkin thing took about as long as it takes to checkin on FourSquare. I pondered where the difference between the $3,696 and the $1,078 was coming from, or whether it simply vanished into the ether.
I went to the Imaging Center with my Dark Side of the Moon CD, ready to chill out in a tube. I changed into hospital scrubs and was escorted to the MRI machine by a lovely nurse who talked me through everything. The machine I was in didn’t have a CD (it had an MP3 player) but my head was in a cradle that wouldn’t fit the earphones so I punted on the music. I got a little “panic thing” to squeeze if I freaked out and then went into the tube.
I basically had a noisy 20 minute shivasana. They did six scans, most between three and five minutes. The noise was loud, but rhythmic. I had earplugs so it was more like a weird electronica thing. I did my share of isolation tanks in college (I went through an isolation tank phase) – this was much shorter, much more comfortable, but much noisier. As is my practice with shivasana, I dozed off near the end.
They pulled me out, I walked down the hall, and picked up a CD with my scan on it. The software is pretty ancient, doesn’t run on my Mac, but worked fine on a PC. I have no idea what I’m looking at – well – other than my lower back and pelvis region with all the ensuing pieces – but it’s pretty amazing to look at and ponder.
It’s fun to be a human, even when you are hurt.