Monday, January 26, 2015

Nothing Doing

One of the nagging things in my life is searching for an answer to the question, "what's going on?" This informal conversation-supplanting tool has me utterly and completely flummoxed. Every single time. Never in my life have I produced a satisfactory answer, either to myself or to the person asking the question.

Let's try to break this down:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Nine Months and Change

Ahh!
Stepping off the bus that had taken me from the Denver airport to the mountains outside Estes Park, I arched my back in an attempt to release the knot. It's a long bus ride to trundle along in a re-purposed school bus, full of hard plastic seats reorganized to sit parallel to the road instead of perpendicular. The early September air was a lot cleaner and cooler up there, compared to the dusty and overly warm days in Kansas City.

The scenery leaves no doubt where I was. Pine trees, for one thing. And trees that are dotted across the mountains -- that's another clue. And near the tops, the trees fall away, too large to survive in the harsher conditions (and frequent snow cover) of the peaks. A world away from the flat, largely treeless area of KC where I live.

Then my phone rang. It's my brother, and after a few tense moments of fearing something terrible has happened, he lets me know that he and his wife have begun revealing that they are expecting a baby in the spring of 2015. My phone connection is very poor, but I congratulate them and promise to speak more when I'm next in St. Louis. Ben, my brother, closes by letting me know that they're only told the close family, so I promise not to tell anyone.

I did tell some people, though, which was a bursting of that promise. But the people I tell don't know my brother or his wife, and they're unlikely to then post something saying, "Congratulations to my friend Andy, who's going to be an uncle! What a great secret!" And even if they took that step, it's not going to reach anyone who's going to feel offended that Sarah didn't tell them PERSONALLY.

What I understood when they said, "We're only telling close family," is that they're trying to control the release so that certain People Who Care About These Things don't find out the good news from anyone other than the happy couple. When I lean over and tell the trombonist next to me, "my sister-in-law is pregnant," he smiles and says, "Hey, that's great. Congratulations to them." And then he forgets it, because that information is pretty far down the list on his priorities for life. And I still feel good, because it's nice to tell people good news from my life, even if it's not going to change the course of anyone else's.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Breathe, right?

As a stocking-stuffer this year, I received a box of "Extra Strength" breathing strips. This was parental feedback to my various stories of the BPAP breathing machine not being comfortable for me. Readers may recall that I was prescribed a positive-pressure breathing apparatus in the wake of my three nights in a sleep diagnosis center, which lead to me having zero sleep those nights and embarking on a series of introspective, fitful, and eventually quasi-hallucinatory experiences. (Read about them: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.)

My parents heard me saying that I don't really use The Device anymore, so they made me the present of a box of 40-ish little adhesive bands. The band fits across the bridge of my nose, and has enough support in it to attempt to return to straight. Adhere it to the face, the bar attempts to straighten, and it rather-ingeniously helps to hold the nasal cavities open.

A couple of nights ago, I applied the first one. I felt like the small folded sheet of instructions didn't provide me as much information as I needed, but then these are really just fancy stickers, right. How much instruction do I really need?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

And he whispered, "I love you period."

I miss the period from my writing. Mostly in text messages. Specifically, I miss the functionality of the neutral sign that marks the end of the sentence. In my own text message writing, many periods that I write get reconsidered and transformed into exclamation marks. Why am I writing texts as if I'm always excited?

Monday, January 05, 2015

Favorite Photos of 2014: Seventeen Through Twenty-Five

Last set of photographs for the (previous) year. As before, these are my momentary favorites: selection can and will depend on the day. Also, these are by no means my "best" photographs from a technical sense. For one, I'm rarely satisfied with the technical aspects of my photos. I always seem to be fighting with noise and shadow detail. New equipment necessary? Maybe, but that would probably just push the complaints along.

Please enjoy this last set of photos.