Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Running Scared

In case you didn’t figure it out, my family is moving to another city so my wife and I can finish school. We’re quitting our jobs, trying to sell our house, packing up the family, and moving into a three bedroom apartment. Neither of us has a job lined up or any idea how we’ll keep up with our rent and utilities if we don’t get one, although my wife has an interview set up. I’ve never done that before. I’ve always had a job during a move. In fact, the only time I’ve ever moved as been because of employment, not in spite of it. I’m scared witless, but for a reason I can’t fathom, we’re going through with it, anyway.

The security-craving part of my brain is going ape-shit. It’s like I’m talking to myself, “Self! What in heaven’s name are you thinking? You’re acting like an idiot.” The adventurous side of my brain is saying, “Wow! Think about it, Self! You’ve freed yourself to work on music full-time!” I can’t decide which one is screaming louder.

I can dream pretty well: releasing and marketing a solo piano CD, playing clubs and coffee shops, setting up a piano trio/quartet with some other students, getting involved in the local arts scene, teaching and doing something concrete with music therapy. Maybe I’ll write a book or create an online course.

I can frighten myself pretty well, too: how are we going to pay the rent if we can’t make a decent wage, how can I get a job given how scattered my schedule is, how will this effect my two youngest daughters, let alone my other children, how will I deal maintain the connections I want to maintain in Salt Lake and Tooele if I’m living in Logan, and so on. What if this makes us homeless and I have quit school?

I admit it, I would love to play the house husband, work on my music, and let my wife work as the full-time bread-winner. She’s planning on it, but she has a few classes to go to finish her degree, and I don’t want that to go by the wayside because of fear. It’s not fair to her or to our daughters. Either way, the adventure begins this weekend.

P.S. If you’d like to help us move, show up Saturday morning and help us load the truck. If you’re in Logan, you can show up at Aggie Village and help us unpack. Any help is appreciated.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Last semester went well. Surprisingly, I got straight “A’s” for the second semester in a row and have a current GPA at USU of 4.0. Anyone who knows me from childhood has either fainted or reported me to the FBI to find out exactly when I was replaced by an alien doppelganger. I can sympathize with them. While I’ve never been overly stupid, good grades and I never got along when I was younger. I think it was all the boredom and skipping classes in high school, but I’m not ruling anything out.

To put things in perspective, though, I’ve only been going part time. I’ve also been at an extension campus with rather small class sizes. This is all about to change. In about a month my wife and I will be moving to the main campus so both of us can finish our degrees. We’ve put our house up for sale, started getting rid of our excess stuff, and generally been making a mess. We’re moving with into an apartment about half the size of our current house. I’ve been telling everyone it’s like we’re losing our basement.

Miraculously, I’ve saved enough money to fix most of my teeth. I’ve been visiting the dentist every other week for a while, and it’s not quite over, but should be in a couple of weeks.

To make things more chaotic, and here’s the scary part, as you know, I had surgery on my hands:  bilateral carpal tunnel release. Not fun. Needless to say, that has slowed things down on the move, at least for my part. My hands are starting to feel better, though. That’s the good part.

The effects of such personal upheaval are an increase in personal and familial stress, increased orneriness, and general feelings of hate, fright, discontent and a fair amount of humility. It could be humiliation, though. I’m not sure.


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Through the Carpel Tunnel

 Two days ago I had bilateral carpal tunnel surgery. Not very fun, you can imagine. I have splints on both wrists, I can't grab anything without pain, and I feel generally miserable. 

I decided to take a week off from work so that I can more fully recovered from surgery. Yes, the doctor said that it would only take a few days before I could get back to work, but I chose to take the week off. My boss isn't happy about that, but I can't make any mistakes with this surgery. Being a pianist and a small time guitar picker, I simply have no choice. The surgery has to work for me. I lost my ability to play the trumpet to Bell's palsy, I'll be damned if I'm going to give the rest up to carpal tunnel syndrome.

While lounging around and being waited on hand and foot for a week sounded like a good idea, the reality is far less appealing. The humiliation of needing help with the toilet, and just about everything else, coupled with sheer boredom, and was pretty much put it damper in any kind of fun I might be having.

To fight the boredom, I'm talking to my iPad in an attempt to do something productive, like update my blog. I'm using a dictation program to post this. Not being able to use my hands very well, I'm coming to appreciate both a touch screen and voice command. Dictation programs being what they are, I'm using the touchscreen to edit it as much as I am recording.

Fortunately for me, days of slicing your hand wide-open for this malady are far behind. For me, it was a very small incision by my wrist. I've only got a couple of stitches in each wrist. What I do have is a severe case of body odor. I really need a shower, but my wife seems reluctant to pursue the inevitable sponge bath. She acts like she's tired, but I really think it's avoidance. You know, the "Not tonight, dear. I have a headache." kind of avoidance. After a few more days of intense stink, she may give in. 

If my boss thinks about things from that perspective, maybe she won't feel so bad about me taking the week off.