Tuesday, June 18, 2013

WAR/WOUNDS - By Greg Longstreet


I remember thinking how funny it would be to program this dated song as my ringtone as if it were still a top ten jam.  The looks that would come my way as my phone asked its unanswerable question would be “hilarious”… however, I just find it annoys me.

But there my phone sat this Tuesday morning – ringing… singing… questioning.  I answered.

“Hello, Greg – it’s Dr. Fleshner”, the voice quickly stated.

I’ve learned over the years that when a doctor calls it’s best to be short and to the point.  And in this case, I especially wanted to get down to business.  I knew why he was calling.  He must know something.

“Hi, Dr. Fleshner,” I answered without emotion and quickly thought about the 9 previous months leading me to this moment.

Back in September 2012, my son Tanner was diagnosed with a brain tumor and what began was a personal hell that would uproot and shift my life forever.  I had lost my mother when she was 49 to cancer and now was being faced with the very real prospect of losing my son.  Even with a successful tumor resection, the odds were not going to be in his favor due to the severity of the tumor.

Friends, family, coworkers, colleagues – all gathered around, offering their love and support.  It was a beautiful thing to experience in the shadows of something so dark and it was interesting to see how people would fall into certain “types” when trying to lend support.  That ever important line as to what different individuals feel is and isn’t ok.  I’m not judging.  After all, I have a voice and no problem letting someone know when that line is being crossed.

So there we were.  Me, Marlo, Casey… and Tanner.  Dealing with the worst of the worst…the unthinkable.  Actually, Tanner (in true T$ fashion) wasn’t dealing with it, which was to be expected – a skill that would ultimately benefit his longevity.

Now, somewhere during these first few months of Tanner’s diagnosis someone looked at my mom’s young age when she was first diagnosed and Tanner’s – with that came the question… could there be a genetic element to this?  Many of you reading this are probably all too familiar with things like BRCA1 and BRCA2, but what many don’t know is there are other mutations that lend themselves to different cancers.  Since my mom was no longer around there would never be a way to know 100% as to whether or not she had it, but her early death was about as close to a confirmation as we were going to get.

So, Tanner gets tested – he tests positive for p53…. Wait, what’s that?!  What’s a p53? – I leave the Wikipedia-ing to you, but in short, p53 is a protein your body produces whose main job is to suppress cancer/tumor growth.  When yours is mutated it just means you’re more likely to develop cancer at some point in your life (doesn’t mean you will, but your odds go up about 20%)…  Tanner, unbeknownst to anyone (because it’s not widely tested for), had this mutation, which impacted his body’s ability to fight off the cancer that developed in his brain.  There is even a fancy name for this… it’s called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (I can hear you Googling it now).

Li-Fraumeni is incredibly rare (could also be because it’s not something widely tested for), but it’s there.  We’re all at risk out there when it comes to cancer.  This mutation just means you’re more at risk.  As for knowing this about Tanner, it doesn’t do much – he already got cancer and now we were dealing with it.

The next step was for Marlo and I to get tested.  While p53 can happen spontaneously in someone, it can very well be genetic… at this stage of the game I knew this was merely a formality - after all, only one of us could have it and I’m the one with mom who died at 49 … in the immortal words of NSYNC, “it’s gonna be me!”… and I was right.  After giving blood and waiting a couple weeks, I got confirmation that I too was positive for p53… the only difference is…

…I’m 43
….and I feel healthy (with the exception of the emotional nightmare I was currently undertaking). 

Could cancer be lurking in my body unbeknownst to me?  How have I been able to go this long with not so much as an incident?  As I stood there looking at my son fighting for his life (in his own Tanner way), I (his father) was also at risk and could also find myself in that hospital bed battling the dreaded C.

So, what now?  I know all about p53 (Li-Fraumeni)… but what do I do?  Do you ignore it?  Do you live your life and hope for the best?! 

For me?  I had to take action – Tanner had put his life on the line to discover this and it would be for nothing if I didn’t do something… but what exactly?  I guess make sure I don’t have cancer… right?  Then, go from there.

Working with a genetics counselor and cancer screener, I began what would ultimately turn into an 8-month process of holding my breath as I subjected myself to a list of tests that would give me as clear a picture as possible as to my current state of health.  There was a brain scan, the removal of a mass in my foot that had resided there for years, a full body PET/CT scan, blood tests, more blood tests, and some more blood tests for good measure – all this while trying to be emotionally present for my son. 

You see, at this stage we knew Tanner would not win his battle.  It was simply a matter of time.  How much time?  Who the fuck knew?  Back in November, after MRIs had shown there was new growth happening, the doctors told us it could be anywhere from a couple weeks to months… and here we were – March 2013 and Tanner was going strong – We had celebrated a birthday and Thanksgiving in the hospital, Christmas at my Aunt Jackie’s where I got to dress up as Santa for him, New Year’s Eve, and Mother’s Day was coming up – he was so excited.  Amidst all this, there was were my weekend pancake breakfasts he loved, trips to Amoeba, burger stands, arcades and so many other things that made this remaining time with Tanner so special… so valuable… so unforgettable…. And still, I was dealing with my own personal fight to get some sort of “all clear” (would that even be possible?)

So, there I was… March 2013 – Pretty much all I had left was a colonoscopy.  Most people are advised to start having them when they’re 50… with p53, it’s suggested to start at 25… Wha, wha, WHAT?!?!  25? 2-fucking-5?  I’m already 18 years late on my first colonoscopy?  For whatever reason, something inside me was waiting for that hiccup and I felt if it was going to be anywhere, it was going to be where the sun don’t shine… so, I prepared…. mentally. As with tests I had already had, I always had that place inside ready for whatever was going to be thrown at me… my philosophy has always been a rather simple one

…hope for the best, prepare for the worst…

I was ready to tackle the colon.  Once completed… once signed off… once given the “all clear”… I could perhaps exhale and put myself aside while spending what I considered far more important time with my son (as well as my family)...

I physically prepared and drank things no person should have to drink, thrusting upon my digestive system a blanket bombing of gastro juice that would annihilate anything I’d ingested for the past 43 years of my life… “Oh, there’s that Tommy’s chili burger from 1992.”

In I went, knocked unconsciously – colon probed… I recall waking up and turning to the GI doctor with a “so how’d it look in there” expression. 

He looked back, “14 polyps.” 

My faced, half out of it, looked oddly at him.

“That’s a lot of polyps,” he said. 

And he was gone.  I took this all in.  He didn’t seem concerned, so that’s good, but he said it’s a lot…so what the fuck does that mean?  I know nothing of the colon so have no frame of reference.  All I knew was this – I had 14 polyps – 12 were removed and biopsied – 2 remained that were too large, but samples were taken to be biopsied as well… I went home.

Within 24 hours, I was emailing doctors at some of the nations most prestigious institutions to gather as much information as possible as to what was happening inside my colon and how it could relate to p53 since colon cancer isn’t one of the more widely associated cancers with it?  Most importantly… what do I do with all this intel?

March ends and April begins – I would spend the next month and a half sorting through endless amounts of information about my colonoscopy results.  While all but one of the ployps removed were precancerous (a very common marker – most precancerous ones don’t turn) all appeared to be benign.  There was one though… one of the two that still remained inside of me… it was nasty.  It was marked as High Grade Dysplasia… that’s not quite cancer, but it’s close and until it’s removed and thoroughly cut into the doctors won’t know whether or not there are cancer cells in there already at work…. The hard fact is this - knowing I was p53 made me get the colonoscopy otherwise I would have waited to do it when we’re all told to… at 50.  Without question – had I waited, and based on what was in there, I would have had colon cancer.  Plus, I had no symptoms prior to the colonoscopy – so, I got to chew on that for a while.... Oh, and did I mention that I’ve still got a son dealing with his illness progression?
After sifting through my options – getting second and third opinions – hearing about the least invasive (an EMR – which is simply removing the polyps themselves) to one of the most (a subtotal colectomy - removal of the colon), I settled on the latter. 

While a subtotal colectomy sounds awful, there is no external bag and function pretty much resumes to normal once they remove the colon and attach my small intestine to my rectum.  A major surgery, but one commonly performed.  Yes, I could have probably gotten away with the less invasive but given my family history, my predisposition to ployp growth (by way of an additional blood test in which I tested positive for a polymorphism) and the simple desire to prolong my life as much as possible, I opted to be more proactive.  I’m the Angelina Jolie of the colon if you will.  It was both preventative and, depending on who you talk to, necessary.

Armed with a kick ass surgeon, I set my sights on May 18.  Whatever was currently inside me just needed to chill the fuck out until I could get it the fuck out.  Still, sitting around for a month-and-a-half with something inside you that could be turning into cancer (if it isn’t already) is NOT fun no matter how early it’s caught.

As the days moved along, I continued to enjoy the quality time we’d been blessed with Tanner.  He had shown small signs of illness progressing.  We had begun using steroids to help keep the tumor growth at bay.  He gained weight – he gained more weight… Throughout it all – his strength never wavered.  He was an inspiration.  Whenever I questioned what I was doing or felt I was dragging my feet on something in relation to my own health, I quickly reminded myself that I wouldn’t have had any of this knowledge if it weren’t for Tanner (you have to remember – I had NO symptoms whatsoever.)… My son had taken a bullet for me and while it was still TBD if it was caught in time I owed it to him to make sure I saw it through sooner than later.  God, or whatever you are out there, make this experience have some sort of silver lining.

Tanner was getting more tired and my surgery was 5 days away.  I had to accept the real possibility that I could be laid up in the hospital when he passed away.  While it might be easy to say “well, put off the surgery until you’re through this,” you have to remember I had a ticking bomb inside of me, and a son who had proven to his doctors that he would not follow their timetable.  So, how long do you wait?  Until it’s too late and it turns to cancer?  What if it’s already cancer deep inside that thing?  The more time that passes the more at risk I am.  If I wait too long then this has all been for nothing.  The knowledge my son has given me has been wasted.  I must go through with this surgery and hope he just continues to hold out.

Friday – May 17… I mentally prepared and started operation colon annihilation part deux … something wasn’t right.  I was deeply concerned that Tanner wasn't going to last much longer.  He’s wasn't too symptomatic beyond a few headaches that were treatable and growing tired at times.  That said, I knew he was enjoying watching daddy run to the bathroom all day.  But then he didn’t want me to go into the hospital – he was scared for me.  I even called the surgeon unsure of what to do.  He gave me the best answer he could.

“If you don’t show up we’ll reschedule,” said Dr. Fleshner in his monotone voice.  He was good either way. 

Exhausted from a day of bathroom visits and uncertainty about Tanner, I went to bed at Marlo’s house.  My parents, having flown in from Seattle, would pick me up in the AM and drive me to Cedars.  That night Marlo took me aside. Her thoughts?  If something is going to happen, it will happen tonight before you go to the hospital.  I prayed she was wrong.  I wanted Tanner to hold out longer.  I wasn’t ready to give him up.  I closed my eyes and tried to sleep as Friday turned into Saturday.

Tanner passed on Saturday May 18 at 10:45am… he was surrounded by all of us – showering him with love.  My surgery would have to wait.   While Dr. Fleshner would eventually get word as to why I was a “no-show”, I have to wonder what went through his head in those hours I was supposed to be at Cedars preparing to go under his knife.

We laid Tanner to rest on Tuesday, May 21 – I sat and listened to Marlo and Casey eulogize the most special boy in our life.  I too had some things to say, but something was nagging at me – or rather throbbing deep inside.  It was unfinished business sitting inside my abdomen.  It was the thing that would keep me from being able to move ahead no matter how slow that movement would be.  I was unable to bring this chapter to a close because for me the chapter was continuing.  This thing inside of me… whatever its current state… needed to be taken the fuck out, so I could exhale.

I wasn’t sure how much longer I would need to wait until I could go under the knife and take care of this bs, but after much emailing, the possibility of flying to NY to do it, and let’s not forget the rest of life I was dealing with, I settled on June 10 – same surgeon, same hospital… now it was inevitable… but the question now was, what’s awaiting me on the other side?

Greg’s Three Possible Outcomes:
1      1) All clear – no cancer
2      2) Cancer cells found but within the colon wall – no further action necessary
3      3) Cancer cells found, but also in the lymph nodes – let’s talk chemo.

And that’s what I was faced with as I awoke from surgery on June 10 (coincidentally, my son’s brain tumor was discovered 9 months prior on September 10).  The surgery went great, my recovery was on track and all that remained was the pathology results of my colon and that nasty mofo that sat inside inside of it.  After 4 nights in Cedars, which included a 24 hour addiction to dilaudid, I returned home – each day getting more and more energy.  Dr. Fleshner had said post-op that he wasn’t concerned by what he saw, but I remained skeptically optimistic….see above for my philosophy.

I got through the weekend and still no word… I didn’t take it to mean anything.  Sometimes it just takes time…I just wanted to breath again.  I would play out both scenarios in my head and how I would deal with each.  I knew if I didn’t hear by my post-op appointment on Wednesday that I would go in by myself and make Marlo (my chauffer for the day) wait in the car.  I couldn’t have her in the room if the news was bad… I think she might just combust from emotional overload.

Monday night, June 17 (two days before my post-op appointment) I found my mind drifting as I tried to sleep.  Hearing the bad news echoing in my head and then reminding myself it’s probably fine… but that “what if” loves to creep back in and fuck with you…. Just sleep.

“Who let the dogs out?! Who Who Who?! Who let the dogs out?!?!”, played as I emerged post shower on Tuesday morning.  The phone read “Restricted”… probably Marlo.  I answered with a simple “Hello?”

“Hello, Greg – it’s Dr. Fleshner”, the voice quickly stated.

 “Hi, Dr. Fleshner,” I answered without emotion.

“Yeah, everything looks good.  No signs of cancer,” Dr. Fleshner states matter of fact.  Just what he expected.

I had prepared myself with a follow up, “Can I ask a dumb question?  Is there ever the risk of a false negative?”

“Nah, it’s good. All looks good.  We’ll see you tomorrow for your post-op right?,” Dr. Fleshner questioned.

“Yeah, I’ll see you then.  Thank you for the remarkable job you did. So no sign of cancer?,” I said, needing to hear it one more time.

“All looks good, no signs of cancer there,” Dr. Fleshner politely concluded.

During the phone conversation, I played back the last 9 months in my head at lightening speed.  My chapter is over, but my story isn’t.  This was very good news.  But news I did not want to celebrate because at what cost did this good fortune come to me…my son – I had to give up my son and it’s something that I’ll never be ok with.  It’s me who’s supposed to sacrifice myself for my kids, not the other way around.  But here I am, the one month anniversary of his passing, blessed with life and missing the warmest of embraces from one of the cuddliest, sweetest guys I know… my boy, my Tanner.

I will be dealing with this, this p53 mutation, this Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, this fear of cancer for the remainder of my life no matter how long or short that is.  However, it will not define me, it will not make me enjoy life any less…in fact, it’s the opposite.  I plan to enjoy every day as much as possible.

I finished up my call with Dr. Fleshner - I hung up the phone...


P.S.  My lower back has been hurting – where’s your pancreas located?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24th, 2012

TEXT TO YA LATER! (If The Tubes wrote "Talk To Ya Later" in 2012)

I must be some genius or something to come up with that headline. It's a grand statement isn't it? And those of you who know me by now (or at least know me via this blog) realize that I may or may not be full of shit.

The jury is still out on that. Some days I feel like an incredibly honest person who tells it like it is when it comes to people and behavior and what not.

The truth is... no one knows anything - we're all just doing what we can to make it through the day. Whether it's professionally or personally, we are just doing the best we can in a world where the rules are constantly changing.

I mean, think about it - look at something as simple as texting. It is now an accepted form of communication. I've gone out with girls where I could count the number of phone conversations on one hand - it was either in-person or via text. Now, I'm not hating on texting. In fact, I love it. The fact that I prefer writing lends itself to the texting landscape.

However, I will digress and say that booze, texting, and me are not a good match. I regret many o thangs thanks to a bottle of Jameson and my blackberry. But aside from that, I think texting is a great form of communication which I gladly embrace.

Think about it. It's no different than writing a letter to someone, dropping it in the mail, and awaiting a response. Only now the process is more immediate. But the good stuff remains. With the writing process comes the ability to carve out our words - be they funny, romantic, profound, depressing... and yes, even shitfaced drunk. Texting allows us to say things that might sound less than desirable if they were said aloud. But, for whatever reason, in text form it works.

Texting allows us to use our words more carefully - and in my opinion that's the most important thing. Let's say you're out with some people and you're all having a grand conversation. Everything you say is basically a first draft. For some people that's no problem. They're good speakers, so the first draft sounds like a final draft. But for others their first draft sounds...well... like a first draft - they may sound like a lunatic even. You know that thing you say to yourself after you've said something - "Oh, man I could have said XYZ instead and that would have been so much better!" But with texting you get to take your time, you get to choose your words... and that can make all the difference.

Obviously, I'm not saying we shouldn't go out and have live conversations, but if you're someone who isn't good in that forum, texting at least gives you another option (especially when it comes to dating). Texting could even improve your live convo skills if approached the right way.

I embrace this process and I think my texting skills have gotten better (not necessarily when booze is involved). For the longest time the biggest downside to email and texting was that the receiver had no emotional context when it came to reading the message you sent. How many times have you had to clarify "No, that's not what I meant!" And for the longest time BOLD type was thought of as yelling and exclamation points are used to such a degree, I couldn't even begin to tell you what they meant.

The absolute WORST are the common errors - like writing "did" instead of "didn't" - THAT completely changes the meaning. Fortunately, we're not idiots so we're able to work around such errors.

And let's not even get into Auto-Correct right now!

I think one of the most helpful tools is the emoticon - be it :) or ;) or :o or :\ - these faces actually help us convey the emotional context of what we're writing. I think this is an area that can be greatly expanded on to even further help convey our message. We need more emoticons!

I think the world should embrace texting because it can teach us to me more responsible with our words. I can't say enough how important words are. It's what I love about Obama. He gets it. He uses precisely the right words to convey an idea - simple concept, right? Well, I think there is a reason I feel for the first time that I understand the President of our country. but enough about my politics!

The words we choose represent us and I'm always careful with how I say something. However, I still can be the worst culprit when it comes to the wrong choice of words.

There is also something more intimate about texting. When you're on the phone and talking it's easy to get distracted by everything going on around you, but when you're texting you are focusing on what you're writing. If something distracts you, you stop and then go back to it when the distraction is gone. So, if I'm texting with a girl - even if I'm at one bar and she's at another - I have her attention for that moment. She may respond immediately, in ten minutes, an hour, or the next morning... but the fact is, when she does, I will have her attention in that moment. There is obviously more to all this, but I think there is something here at its core.

I'm no licensed therapist (SHOCKER!), but my guess is as this is researched more there will be some interesting discoveries about texting and human interaction. It may seem impersonal now because it's still so new, but if you stop and think about it texting is punk rock to hip hop as far communication goes. It's still evolving. When I was a kid, I would write a note to a girl I liked asking her "to go" with me, and the girl would send me a note saying she didn't want "to go"....texting is no different than passing notes in class.

Even as I write this, I am more convinced that texting is a good thing.

I'm not saying it should replace the live human experience - it should simply add to it.

In closing, and as with everything, we need to be responsible -- with the power of texting comes great responsibility and it's just as easy to misuse texting. Remember that there is a human being on the other end of that text reading what you've written and your words will impact them. But it's no different than having a verbal conversation, the same responsibility applies.

Remember, we're all fragile, even if we don't show it. In fact, the ones who don't, tend to be the most fragile. So please... take care and be nice.

We only go around once.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

March 10th, 2012

The line between you and me....

I think a lot about the human experience... more specifically human interaction. I'm observant. I watch people - I listen to the things they say and do. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm not sure when or how it started - it's sort of like one of those chicken and egg sort of deals. Did I become this way because of my life experience or have I always been this way and thus my life has been what's it's been?

Regardless, I am who I am.

And who is that you ask?

To my detriment, I am someone who is hyper-aware for better or worse... mostly worse - you see being hyper-aware makes you susceptible to analyzing everything around you. Rather than living in the moment I'm forced to observe the moment. Even as I type this, I can already decipher the code of why I'm this way and most likely it's a result of my upbringing (wow, does that make me the chicken or the egg - I think I'm the egg but it's the chicken that sat on me and made me the way I am). There is no such thing as perfect parenting and I'm sure one day I will deal with my kids calling me out on my shit.

But, if there is one thing I can hope for is that I displayed some sort of consistency to the way in which I raised them, because that's the thing I DIDN'T have, which in turn is the reason I believe I'm the way I am.

You see, in the house I was raised there was no way to know what you were going to catch wreck for. There was no rhyme or reason. Something that wasn't an issue one day would suddenly be one the next. Now, granted we all have our childhood experiences and we all have our stories. And who knows, maybe we were all raised in environments where we didn't know what we'd get in trouble for... all I can say is this is how it defined who I am.

The goal in my house was to avoid getting in trouble. Being the youngest male, a poor student, a runty immature kid this meant I was getting the full onslaught from all directions be it home or school. Whether getting in trouble for God knows what at home or being bullied at school, it forced me to be on alert at all times (analyzing a situation, making choices, and trying to shape a desired outcome) -- needless to say it was emotionally grueling. Additionally, on the home front I was raised to believe that every action/choice had some sort of meaning behind it - everything was an ISSUE.

Now some of you reading this may already understand what I'm getting at. Rather than living in the moment, I was forced to analyze the moment and attribute some sort of meaning to it. This has followed me throughout my life and today I sit here typing this -- owning up to it. Fuck - this is confusing...

Bottom line is, I subjected my ex-wife to this and even some of my post divorce relationships.... Christ, how annoying! I wouldn't even want to spend time with someone like that. Now, I'm not saying it's the reason my marriage didn't work nor my relationships, but I do know it's a major turn off and I'm doing my best to change things. Sure there is some analyzing that's healthy to some degree, but I take it to a whole new level. Actually, the only analyzing I should be doing is on myself.

OK - I think I've got it figured out a little...I think self reflection and some analyzing is healthy, but what happend to me is different. As a kid, I forced to come up with meanings behind what I did, which meant it didn't have to be true, it simply had to get my mom and step dad off my back -- AND -- they would even analyze me and tell me why I did something (even if it wasn't the case) -- but I was a kid... what else could I do but just say "yeah, that must be the reason I did that."

So, there you have it. My reason for being annoying. Throughout my childhood my mom and step dad would psycho analyze my behavior and tell me why I did things and this in turn drove me to do the same. I think I've done a good job to NOT do that with my kids... BUT, I don't think I've been as successful in other aspects of my life... and I regret it -- I don't regret much, but I DO regret that.

This all goes deeper with lots of mom and trust issues, but there is only so far I can go with this posting.

To the parents out there raising their kids, I offer this in closing (for now):

On a positive note, I will say that it's a talent that has helped me in my work. To be successful in PR one needs to be able to anticipate crisis in order to avoid it. I feel one of the strongest skills I have is the ability to grasp a situation and take hold before the undesired outcome occurs. I can point to a few situations in the field where I could determine what was going to happen before it did - not quite ESP, but in the realm of it. Because of that skill I was able to avert a "disaster" (PR disasters aren't usually that big of a deal, but hey, it's my gig).

I feel like I'm just going off on tangents here. I'm tackling two issues that are related but ultimately different. I think simply stated I've been unsuccessful in relationships for a few reasons, but this is definitely one of them.

The reality is this.... you meet someone, you enjoy being with them, you see what happens... trying to anticipate the outcome (internally or externally) will just lead to failure. That's what I used to do and am trying to avoid as I move ahead. I am trying to be in the moment - it's not easy, but I'm giving it my best. Ignorance is bliss some of the time.

I think self reflection is an important quality to have, but notice the word "self", meaning it's not my place to analyze you. Sure, your actions/behaviors will lead me to draw my own conclusions about you (that's the normal human experience). But, it's not my job to attribute meaning or even tell you what I think it means (unless you ask me of course). And, if you can, just turn off your brain and live a little. Get outside of your head and enjoy life.

I really could keep going on and on about this... but you know what? I'm going to go outside and play.

See you around, suckers! I'm sure I'll have more to say on this later.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 8th, 2012


...you gotta be in it to win it.

So, I'm back - with what? I don't know. I do know I'm not interested in blogging about my love life on a daily basis. That's not to say I won't discuss it at all - after all, it continues to be quite the interesting experience with all the trimmings! What's amazing is that I'm no further along then I was when I left you back in May 2011 -- everyday I'm shufflin', trying to find a balance that works. And just to be clear, it's not me being a player - it's me trying to find something that works.

As always, I remain hopeful - and, as always, I remain the same - a scared romantic (don't ask - that's another conversation)

I've learned a lot in the past year -- while I'm driven by the continuing pursuit of the opposite sex, I'm also discouraged beyond belief. The push and pull. The I'm too into you or the you're too into me... it's madness I tell you.

The ability to find two people who can be on the same wavelength is a challenging one. Probably more so at my age. At 42 I've seen and done a lot and I'm caught in the middle of wanting to be irresponsible and sensible. It's hard to explain, but I see it and I live it.

I'm not interested in naming names or speaking ill of anyone -- as I've maintained, all is fair in love -- I'm allowed to reject you just like you're allowed to reject me. It's not personal because we're all allowed to find what it is we want that will make us happy.

So enough of that for now. The last year has brought much change and I'm very excited about what the next chapter has in store. My goals are simple - transition into a new phase of my PR career and move into a bigger apartment so I can have more room for my kids :) -- I like those goals - tangible... not emotional.

There is so much on the horizon to look forward to like an upcoming Vegas bachelor party (it should be noted this will be my first Vegas bachelor party post marriage -- you do the math!) -- I bring attention to this because my bachelor party was kind of lame. It was a poker game... and that's it. I was a bit on the wimpy side back then and the idea of letting loose with strippers and such was bit outside my comfort zone. I don't apologize for it - it's who I was back then. This go round? Who knows! I mean, I'm not the one getting married, so I look forward to acting stupid (safe, but stupid) even if others are not.

My bachelor party was very representative of who I was as a person... I lived life in fear a lot - I didn't trust myself... If you think I've got issues now.... well, brother, go back and visit me circa 1996. And it's not like I'm cured - I still continue to struggle with the demons of my childhood. I think overall I'm doing good, but the one thing I've learned is that it takes effort to try and go against a lifetime of experience (especially those childhood ones that really do seem to stick with you a looooooong time).

As we go through adulthood we continue to rationalize our actions and stay within our comfort zones. I'm doing the best I can to not do that, but it's tough. It's far easier to take the road I'm used to traveling versus taking a different route.... it's not to say you have to do one over the other, but I do think it's important to try new things (try living differently, even if you ultimately decide it's not a direction you want to take again).

With all that said, I'm not going to make some grand statement that I will blog on a daily basis - I think the pressure of that was too much last year. Rather, I will blog when I feel I have something to say. Fair enough?

- Punchy

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One more thing...

It's important to note that The Year of Loving Dangerously is almost a year old and I'm a much different person than I was then.... if you choose to read those entries keep in mind the time that's passed from May 2011 to now...


Where have you been?

Hey there!  Where have you been?  Me?  I've been here!

So, here is the deal - I've merged my old Year Of Loving Dangerously blog (a valiant 5 month attempt at a tell all blog that ultimately was impossible to maintain) with the OG A Punch In The Face blog.

It's all here -- hopefully in order, but I have to comb through it all.  While I gear up to write new entries, feel free to check out my mental floss and all the ramblings therein.

I love you all who have read me in the past and I will love all of you who choose to get on-board the crazy train!

Going off the rails!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

4/30/11 - 5/5/11

Well, one thing is for certain... someone is clearly letting shit slide when it comes to writing entries... and that someone is me.

I guess this is turning more into the five months of loving dangerously.

I'm sorry party people.  I really am trying here.  There is only so many hours in the day and so much energy I can muster.

I guess the truth is.  I'm bored with loving dangerously.  I'm bored with the same shit over and over and over.

I want someone to excite me.  I want someone to distract me from this cycle I keep putting myself in.  There has got to be more than just hooking up.  I'm serious.  It's time for me to put myself out there.  It's time to try and make a go at it.

You may not hear from me for a bit.  I have to write because I want to and feel like I have something to say.  I promise I will.  But I think if I proven to myself one thing, it's that I can put my thoughts down in a coherent and sometimes funny way.  A way you all may find entertaining and even insightful.

I'm going to work now... work my life out...  Wish me luck