November 16th, 2004
So today I needed to make arrangements to get down to see Eric’s high school choir/band concert thingy, and since Eric never phoned me last night with the details like he was supposed to (kids these days!! Hmph), I took it upon myself to find out exactly where it is. I know it is at the (stalker alert!) University, but there are a zillion buildings there, and I need to know exactly where I am to be dropped off/picked up. So I called his high school, and explained that I am attending this event tomorrow and need to make my travel arrangements this morning (via Access Calgary, who have a 1:00 pm cut off for booking trips that happen the following day) so I need to know the exact location now. She put me on hold to talk to the band leader, then came back and said “well you were given the wrong day, it’s not tomorrow, it’s Thursday!” Oh! She told me what building it is in, and the times, and that indeed, it is Thursday. She said she received this information directly from the band leader.
I looked at the University Campus map, but could not find an exact address for the building I’m going to, so I figured it would be best to call them and get the info. Damn good thing I did, because the woman who called me back said “we don’t have a high school concert happening here Thursday, we have one on Wednesday”. I told her I had just talked to the high school, and the Thursday date came directly from the band leader (via the receptionist, whatever). She said she better call him next then, because it is definitely tomorrow. Anyway, I got all the information I needed, booked my ride and I’m all set. I just have to call Eric tonight and make sure he remembers to leave my ticket at the box office.
I’m so organized!
Speaking of kids I hang with, I received a call from John a couple days ago which shocked the hell outta me. John was 17 when I met him (he is 23 now) and he was living at The Alberta Safe House, a “last chance hotel” for welfare/street kids in Calgary. I signed up for their mentoring program and while hanging out at the house one night, I clicked with this brilliant kid. He was funny and talented, and smart… oh, is he smart. I was so impressed with his brilliance and ability to come back at me with sarcastic one-liners, that he became my “kid”. The unfortunate part is that I signed up for this mentoring program RIGHT before I had the big MS attack that changed everything about my life and circumstances and physical abilities. I was going through the toughest and scariest part of my life trying to come to grips with what was going on with me, while he was also living his. I didn’t feel I could be much help to him, but we hung out a lot anyway. He would come over and I’d order pizza while he’d hurl insults at my CD collection and teach me what the kids are doing these days on the computer (hello, Yahoo chat, do you miss me?? Heh. *shudder*) We probably had a pretty solid 2 years in which we hung out fairly regularly, but then things changed. I don’t know if his dad’s getting out of jail had anything to do with it (the first place he took John was to a crack house, so it may have). John started getting into the drug scene really heavily and hanging out at Raves. He was continuously kicked out of every school he attended and every place he was living, and it was always “their fault”. He had an excuse for everything and an elaborate story to go with it. Every CD, video or book I ever lent him went missing (I miss my King Missile CD!! And my Wonderland Avenue book!! I need to replace those one of these days… ohhh added to my Amazon wish list ). Anyway, John knew he was messed up and didn’t want to involve me in his fucked up life (and I know all too well you can’t help someone in that place until they want to help themselves, all you can do is let them know you are there), so he only called me once in a blue moon to let me know he was alive. I have rarely seen him over the past few years. He called me many months ago to tell me he was heading to Pincher Creek to make some money (selling drugs) so he could pay off some debts and “build a life” with his new girlfriend. M’kay.
So I get this call a couple days ago, and he is living in Victoria, WITH HIS MOM and Stepdad, and it’s going well. He has been clean for 6 months (yippee!!), is going back to school to take sound engineering, he has let go of all of his old friends from his drug days and sounds like he’s really trying to clean up his life. He apologized for not being in better touch with me, “but I felt you deserved to hear from me when I had good stuff to tell you and I’m not all fucked up”. I’m THRILLED. He hopes to be back in Calgary this summer for a visit. In the meantime, I added him to my MSN and hopefully we’ll keep in better touch.
Oh, and speaking of messed up people wanting to better their lives, David Lee Roth is in training as a paramedic. God help the good people of NYC. “He takes his work so seriously that he did not want publicity so that it would not ‘diminish what I am trying to do here’” Sure, and that would be why it’s in the news today.
Sometimes I forget that I have this non-profit organization called MS With Attitude. Well, I don’t forget I have it, I just don’t do much with it. It’s so quiet, with just the website there, and no really active members that meet or discuss things, that I just go about my business and gather materials to write the newsletters and don’t really do much else. I did the TV thing in the early days to draw awareness to the organization, but I never received a great amount of calls or interest, so I’ve kept it very small and rather inactive. (One day that may change, when I get a burst of desire, energy and time, all at once). I received a phone call today from a woman in tears that had just been diagnosed with MS. She is feeling helpless, hopeless, scared and depressed. Man, do I ever remember that! For me, it didn’t happen right after diagnosis… it slowly crept up on me over a couple years and then hit me hard. The fear, holy shit, there is nothing worse than that fear. I still live with MS every day but thankfully I don’t live with that fear anymore. It just stresses you out and you get worse, if you’re always fearing the worst!! I think I helped talk this woman down a bit. We talked for over an hour and I sent her a bunch of materials and websites to look at. I offered to let her try a product I take that helps me a lot, but it’s a very expensive multi-level marketing product and not everyone wants to shovel out $160 just to “try” something. I hope to hear from her again; she seemed in better spirits when she hung up the phone. I’m glad I was here to take her call. My goal is to just let people know they don’t have to “suffer”, you know?? Adjusting your attitude isn’t always easy, but it is imperative when dealing with health issues and your life suddenly hitting a wall… look at it as a speed bump and it’s not so bad. I wish I had a magic pill to help people see that. There is nothing worse for me than hearing about yet another MS “Sufferer” or “Victim” committing suicide (the two words probably used in correlation with MS more than any others, and they are the two words I hate the most). “How long have you suffered from MS?” I don’t, thanks, next question please.
Anyway, it was good to get Paige’s call anyway… it means she found my site because she was looking for something, and the first step is to start looking, because at least it shows you have it in you to help yourself.
So let’s end on a fun note!! My most favourite teenage girl on earth, Emma, wrote a great entry in her blog about The Polyjesters. Wheeee!!! (There were 3 links in that sentence, did you get them all??) For those of you who wonder why I call the link at the top right to my Amazon Wish List “Buy Your Way Into My Pants”, now you know. One look at her blog and the whole use of the phrase “in my pants” takes on a life of it’s own. Em, you are my inspiration!!