Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

In honor of Easter, top ten favorite Bible quotes

No Gravatar

10. “And God created light, and saw that it was good. Then God created man, and saw that it was hilarious.” – Genesis 12:5

9. “As ye sew, so shall ye rip.” – Galatians 6:7

8. “And the Lord said unto John, ‘Come forth, and receive eternal life.’ But John came fifth, and only won a toaster.” – Leviticus 12:18

7. “Then the three disciples went to Mount Olive, but before they could, Popeye swooped in and beat the crap out of them.” – John 3:18

6. “Many are cold, but few are frozen.” – Matthew 22:14

5. “Then Doubting Thomas asked, ‘If we’re all God’s children, what’s so special about Jesus?’” – Mark 11:16

4. “And God said unto Abraham, ‘Be not mistaken, and doubt not that widescreen is the best.’” – Sony 16:9

3. “Thou shalt not raise thy hand to thy child. It leaves thy groin unprotected.” – Corinthians 9:7

2. “The lion and the lamb shall lie down together, but the lamb won’t get much sleep.” – Deuteronomy 13:3

1. “In the beginning, there was nothing, and God said, ‘Let there be light.’ Then there was still nothing, but now you could see it.” – Genesis 12:5
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Phones and drugs and rock & roll

No Gravatar

With three teenagers, I’m getting on the other side of it – could it be this column may have run its course?! – and now I feel I have some hard-earned perspective to provide to people just starting this kid-raising bit. One of my starters: Keep them off the phones as long as you can. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten unanswered questions

No Gravatar

10. Where does it say Humpty Dumpty was an egg?

9. Do gun manuals have a “Trouble Shooting” section?

8. If a man is talking in the forest and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?

7. If someone with multiple personality disorder threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

6. Why does mineral water that has “trickled through mountains for centuries” go out of date next month?

5. If a firefighter’s business can go up in smoke, and a plumber’s business can go down the drain, can a hooker be laid off?

4. Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make the unexpected become the expected?

3. Why don’t autobiographies ever end with the author writing a book?

2. If an indoor shooting range is burning, what do you yell to raise the alarm?

1. On a scale of 6 to 2.3, how much do you hate not being confused?
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingenvironment & nature

Now that Spring is here, top ten signs your house could use a good spring cleaning

No Gravatar

10. Your “lace curtains” seem to be catching an unusually large number of flies

9. After a mudslide swept through your house, it actually looked better

8. Your “bean bag chair” is made of accumulated lint

7. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t come inside

6. Your “dust bunnies” have all been devoured by “dust bobcats”

5. You’ve lost three pets and a nephew to indoor avalanches

4. Something keeps slamming your refrigerator door shut…from the inside!

3. When somebody asks, “What died in here?” you give them a list

2. You wipe your feet on the mat before stepping outside

1. Now that Trump is gutting the EPA, you’re hoping they’ll finally stop sending you warning letters
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

health & medical

Grimly plausible question of the day: is the President showing early signs of dementia?

No Gravatar

May I be wrong.

May I be so wrong.

Having been through this with many beloved relatives including multiple grandparents, it’s not something I wish on anybody, no matter what I may think of them personally. No one deserves to lose their identity—no one’s loved ones should be forced to witness them going through this loss.

That noted, reading Donald Trump’s interview in TIME, it’s hard not to think that something’s… off.

Understand: Trump is at risk. An estimated one in ten Americans over 65 has Alzheimer’s dementia. Trump is the oldest person ever to reach the presidency—he turns 71 on June 14. Beyond this, Trump’s own father had Alzheimer’s.

The Mayo Clinic has listed the signs of dementia. They include:
• Difficulty communicating or finding words
• Difficulty reasoning or problem-solving
• Confusion and disorientation
• Anxiety
• Inappropriate behavior
• Paranoia
• Agitation

At the risk of being blunt: does this sound like anyone we know?

[Read more →]

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Penn State’s Cael Sanderson shows what a coach should be

No Gravatar

I watched the NCAA wrestling championships the other night and saw the stunning dominance of Penn State. The Nittany Lions won five (of 10, for you non-wrestling folks) individual national titles. Two of those guys beat two-time defending champs. Another was a redshirt freshman who took off the redshirt midway through the year. The other two are buzzsaws. The team won the national team title for the sixth time in seven years. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten pun-liners

No Gravatar

10. I bet the butcher fifty bucks he couldn’t reach the meat on the top shelf, but he said the steaks were too high.

9. When my wife kicked me out, I started living in a telephone booth, because I just wanted somewhere I could call home.

8. I made a chicken salad last night, but apparently they prefer to eat grain.

7. Standing in the park, I was wondering why a Frisbee looks larger and larger the closer it gets, and then it hit me!

6. I was hanging from the bridge when a rescue worker shouted, “Whatever you do, don’t look down!” – so I started smiling.

5. When people ask me why I wanted to be a film editor, I answer, “Well, to cut a long story short…”

4. I’ve just invented a working catapult, but it’s disguised as a sofa, so it tends to throw a lot of people.

3. While I was using the ATM, this little old gray-haired lady asked me if I’d help her check her balance, so I pushed her over.

2. I sent ten different puns into a local newspaper’s pun contest, hoping that one of them would win but, unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

1. Yesterday, on its last day, my best friend, who’s a dyslexic plumber, told me just how disappointed he was in this year’s Philadelphia Shower Flow.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

ends & oddhealth & medical

It almost feels like a plan…

No Gravatar

So, where did we leave off? I think I was in Atlanta (sort of). Two good things came out of that trip to Atlanta. Well, one for sure good thing and one possible good thing. The absolutely good thing was that I got to spend three days with a great friend. We caught up on about 10 years worth of news. In the past ten years I think we had seen each other 5 or 6 times, tops. It was pretty great. I’m bad at letting people help me, but she was extraordinarily helpful. Everyone should have someone just like her to accompany them to important third opinions with doctors. Sometimes she heard them say things that I missed, sometimes she reassured me that I heard what I thought I heard, and she took amazing notes that I have already gone back to many times. Thanks JJW, you’re the best.

The other potentially good thing? A lead on a Naturopath MD Oncologist. We’ll see how that turns out in a couple of weeks. The doc is super far away, but does phone consults (for a bajillion dollars, of course). Hopefully it will be worth it.

Other than those two things, that cancer center was not what I hoped. They do have a great Naturopath MD on staff, I liked her a lot. The surgeon that I met with, however, was the least pleasant consultation that I have had yet. By far. Real far. The biggest red flag for me was that the schedulers set me up with an appointment to have a chemo port put in before I ever even met with a doctor. Um, hello, what? And they kept ordering tests for me. The trouble I had with that was that I just wanted to speak with the doctors first. Also, everything there was out of network for my insurance. It was not going to be cheap. Had I done everything they asked, I would have had a port, an EKG, a bone density scan and a CT scan. I’m sure that if I were headed there after having a really bad experience somewhere else, or feeling like I was ready to just jump into treatment, that would have been fine. That’s not where I was, though, mentally. So, the twenty people who worked there and told me that I had “made the right choice” by seeking treatment there, just sounded creepy to me.

Meanwhile, I started to feel not as great as I was feeling the last few months. I came home and started trying to catch up after being gone for four days, and I still haven’t caught up. How many days has it been now? Ha! I haven’t had any energy. It doesn’t help that I’m still coughing from that flu we had. I think the cough made me think I was just still getting over something. Then on this past Tuesday I had a PET scan (ordered by Moffitt oncologist who speaks very quickly but is still my favorite of the three that I auditioned). The good news is that I am not riddled with cancer or anything crazy like that. It is still contained in the one boob and one lymph node. The bad news is the scan showed that there is something wrong with my thyroid. (So, I’m anemic, and my thyroid is out of wack. If you see me at the kid’s school, sleeping on the sidewalk, maybe just scoot me into a spot where I won’t get stepped on.) Endocrinologist, here I come!

The other bad news (at least I’m taking it that way at this point) is that “standard of care” requires that 2/3 of my surrounding lymph nodes have to be removed. All because of that one lymph that went astray. It seems excessive to me, and there are clinical trials going on to determine if that is really necessary, but that doesn’t help me now. Add to that the fact that they won’t build my bionic boob yet because they want to make sure I don’t need radiation first, and I’m a little annoyed with the process at the moment.

I do like to bright side things, though, and I finally have a date for surgery. April 10th. Mark your calendars, cause’ we’re having a raging kegger on the 9th and I will be topless! Gotta get the most use out of these before one is gone! Obviously, all but the surgery date is a joke. As long as my thyroid isn’t holding anything up, that’s the day.

I keep moving the goal line of my expectations, but it hasn’t reached the edge of the cliff yet, so there’s that! Actually, I still feel pretty stinking positive, maybe more than I did a month ago, maybe more than I should. Ha!

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Getting them there boys to read

No Gravatar

As a little boy, I had a literate environment in my house, and I myself was a big reader. I remember material literacy moments, such as when I kept sneak-reading my mom’s thrillers, like By Reason of Insanity and The Omen. I recall scaring myself stupid with those books and then coming back for more. I remember how The Lord of Rings trilogy smelled. I remember hiding the Alien “graphic novel” (I mean, that’s what it was) because of the language. [Read more →]

musicreligion & philosophy

Suggestion for Church … Music for “Marching As to War”

No Gravatar

The most recent national election has provided a new President of the United States – one with an attitude and goals that some within the Presbyterian Church USA find alarming … to say the least!

Through the world wide web and with the assistance of internet applications, a number of my ‘virtual’ acquaintances within the denomination have shared their concerns – their dread, even – over the developing situation … and a call-to-arms, of sorts, to alleviate that situation. And let me say, their concerns are not unfounded. In just a few weeks, President of the United States Donald Trump and the conservatives in Congress have already set back victories achieved by liberal-to-moderate factions within our society during the term of Trump’s predecessor, Barrack Obama.

And more may be on the way …
[Read more →]

animalsBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten dog songs

No Gravatar

10. Fly Like a Beagle

9. Canine to Five

8. Hello, Collie!

7. MacArthur Bark

6. What If Dog Was One of Us

5. Hit Me With Your Vet Shot

4. When I Think About You I Lick Myself

3. I Like Big Mutts and I Cannot Lie

2. I Got 99 Problems but a Bitch Is One

1. Blinded by the Light (Wrapped Up Like a Pooch)
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten riddles

No Gravatar

10. What has four legs and an arm?
A happy pit bull.

9. What are the three most terrifying words a woman can say?
“Notice anything different?”

8. How do you find Will Smith in the snow?
You look for fresh prints.

7. Why did the chicken commit suicide?
To get to the other side.

6. What does a man with two right feet wear to the beach?
Flop-flops.

5. Why can’t you hear a psychiatrist using the bathroom?
Because the ‘p’ is silent.

4. How does a pessimist count his blessings?
“Ten…Nine…Eight…Seven…Six…”

3. What is ET short for?
Because he’s got them tiny little legs.

2. What do the films Titanic and The Sixth Sense have in common?
“Icy dead people.”

1. Why does Donald Trump sleep with a tub of hummus?
Because there’s nothing he LOVES MORE than when he has a chickpea in his bed.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

ends & oddhealth & medical

There has to be a better way

No Gravatar

Catching up. I’ve fallen behind on my information dissemination. I don’t like to post that I have questions but not answers. I don’t like to call friends and say that I have taken tests without being able to give them results. I’m trying to keep up, though, and there are still some missing results.

When I had that infection and the doctor freaked out and biopsied my lymph node, I literally had three thoughts about it at once. My first thought was that my lymph nodes have felt electric (best way I can describe) for quite a while, so the cancer was probably there already. My second thought was that the node was just swollen because of the infection and this was just an overreaction biopsy that would prove everything is fine. My third thought was that the infection had somehow shoved the cancer up in that node like a bulldozer, but maybe it would ease back down when the infection was gone. All these opposing views are just constantly bouncing around in my head about everything that is going on with me. If you imagined that I overthought things before, well, old me’s got nothin’ on cancer me.

I went on with my life, as I do. I took my antibiotics, started feeling better, met with the plastic surgeon at Moffitt, left feeling confident that he could build me a bionic boob with my (just so tiny) leftover baby belly fat (for the record, he called me skinny), and went home to wait for the scheduler to call. That was on Wednesday the 15th. On Thursday the 16th I felt well for the first time in a week, like truly up an at ’em well. I felt like I had the first part of a plan and it was kind of coming together. (The missing piece was/is still finding a more integrative oncologist who will work with me on alternative or natural therapies in place of or in conjunction with the most targeting chemo for my type of cancer.) I’m not a “let’s throw all the poisons into my system and hope for the best” kind of girl. On Friday the 17th I started to feel like I had caught the house cold (care of daughter and husband), and that night I got a call from the doc that my lymph node came back positive for cancer. He said his team would call me on Monday to schedule a PET scan, and we would go from there. He mentioned starting chemo and postponing surgery. On Monday I called Moffitt and the nurse also said this would postpone surgery. She scheduled me an appointment with their oncologist on March 7th. The freaking wheels at Moffitt turn ever so slooooowly.

Well, the PET scan machine at the radiology lab broke down. I have been so sick this last week and a half. It was like I had the cold that froze time, because I can’t seem to get things going. I have now been scheduled for a scan with that radiologist every day for a week. Every day they call and reschedule for the next day. Yesterday was the last time they did that. Today the folks at CTCA said that when they called to inquire about the results of my PET scan, this broken down place actually told them that I canceled my appointment there myself. I’ve given up on them entirely. Moving on.

As I write this now I am in a lobby called the Peach Outpatient Center at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. It’s in Newnan, Ga. (Big sign in town reads: “Newnan, Ga, City of Homes.” No homes anywhere else, ya’ll! We’ve got all the homes!) I’m about forty-five minutes SW of Atlanta for a third opinion and to see what the oncologists here are like.  I thought it was closer to Atlanta, so that’s a bummer. You have probably seen the commercials for this place. It is definitely a for profit company, but they sell themselves as the more integrative and natural place to cure your cancer. I will be judging them on that, for sure. It’s the whole reason that I came all this way.

First impression is that everyone here is going out of their way to prove to me that they are nice. They keep telling me that I have made the right choice by coming here. People at Moffitt are nice too. My first doctor in St. Pete was also super nice. It’s not like I’m shopping around for the nicest people to treat me. If you are a total bitch with with least invasive, most effective, not so poisonous cancer treatment, one that you know will work on my cancer because you have done the genome test, then you’re my bitch. It is a little sad here, as it is at Moffitt. Big buildings full of sick people are sad, it doesn’t matter how good the buildings smell, or how nice the garden is. Luckily, a very good friend is getting on a plane right now to hang out with me here for three days. Leave it to us to figure out how to turn this into a slumber party. Love that woman.

I know that people are wondering why I haven’t started any surgery yet, or started some kind of chemo yet. I’m not doing nothing. I’m getting healthy in every other possible way. I’m studying my butt off (wishing I’d had an interest in this before, because I’ve learned so much). I’m approaching this in the most thoughtful and measured way possible. I want to live. I mean really live, like get past this and be healthier than before. It might feel to others like I’m dragging my feet or not moving fast enough, but I’m getting it done, I swear.

 

 

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten things overheard at last night’s Academy Awards

No Gravatar

10. “I understand that the Oscar was actually named after a guy named ‘Oscar’.”

9. “The montage of dead actors at the Golden Globes is a good indication of who’ll still be dead tonight.”

8. “I hear new U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is hoping that Ruth Negga wins for Loving just so he can say, ‘Well, mercy me! I do declare, a Negga just won Best Actress!’ and not get in trouble for it.”

7. “I’d like to thank the Academy. And for those of you who think it’s an honor just to be nominated: What a bunch of losers!!”

6. “I was considered ‘ineligible for a 2016 Academy Award,’ I think probably because I didn’t actually do anything this year.”

5. “I love that new ‘anatomically correct’ Oscar; it’s so much easier to carry!.”

4. “I’m so glad the Academy has finally recognized O.J. Simpson. They totally overlooked him for those Naked Gun movies.”

3. “I only hope I live long enough to be included in that In Memoriam segment.”

2. “I thought La La Land was about a Magical Kingdom ruled over by that yellow Teletubby with the curly antenna!”

1. “When I was backstage, I accidentally knocked over a couple of envelopes, but I can’t see how that can be a problem. I mean, they’ve only got one award left to present.”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

They don’t need us anymore

No Gravatar

Julianne and I took a trip to Bogotá, Colombia last week. I attended WRAB IV, an international writing research conference, and we stayed at the remarkable Bogotá Bed and Breakfast while being introduced to the wonderful city of Bogotá. In planning this journey, there was a little catch: What we do with our three kids – more specifically, what to do with three teenagers, since, when we returned, all three would be teenagers? [Read more →]

animalsBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Now that they’re making a wine for cats, top ten brand names

No Gravatar

10. Catbernet Sauvignon

9. Wine Lives

8. Yellow (Cat)tail

7. Furgandy

6. Clawvignon Blanc

5. Cat Nips

4. Pinot Meow

3. Mos-cat-o

2. A-purry-tif

1. FeWine
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

ends & oddhealth & medical

So that happened

No Gravatar

Last Wednesday was super stressful. Thursday was terrible and weird. Friday was worse than both. Today is almost normal, so I’ll write about it now. We’re all fortunate I was in too much pain to type on Friday.

I’ve been reading a lot about the mind body connection with breast cancer. I’m a believer. When I find myself getting anxious or stressed out I can feel the blood flowing to the tumor. I’m trying really hard to be mindful of what I am doing to myself physically when I go down my emotional rabbit hole(s). On Wednesday morning I was feeling great, then early in the afternoon I started to stress about something. It was a small thing, but then I picked up kids and they were both at their most intense. This got me really started up. By the time I was trying to handle the stress that showed up in the evening, well, let’s say all my coping strategies were used up. I felt blood rushing to my chest like a tidal wave. Then I started to feel pain. I tried to breathe my way out of it, but felt totally stuck.

Thursday morning I had a (previously scheduled) acupuncture appointment first thing. I thought for sure this would fix me. It did help, but by this time the pain was pretty intense. It was a chilly morning, so I didn’t notice that I just couldn’t get warm. I went home and took a nap. When I woke up, James was home for lunch and I had a fever of 101. Plus pain that felt like the worst mastitis ever possible (if you have not breast fed or have no boobs just take my word for it, this freaking hurts). I texted my go to TCM practitioner at TYM because I had just seen her for the acupuncture. She said she thought that, given the fever, it was an infection (why didn’t that occur to me?) and that if I didn’t want antibiotics she could treat me with herbs, but maybe I should call my boob doctor. I did call, and they put me on the books for 8:30 the next morning.

Friday morning at the doctor was not as I expected it would be. After the idea of infection was been brought up I had thought, “duh.” I figured I’d see the doc, get antibiotics for the week, and go back to my TCM for some probiotics next week (I would also like to say here that I avoid antibiotics like the plague and only use them for true infections. Because I would like them to be of some use to my children. You know, in future land.)

The doc and I chatted, I made boob jokes and she laughed. Then she took a look at the problem. Her whole demeanor changed. She started the ultrasound machine up. She took out her little tape measure. She used the word necrosis. She said she felt that the tumor was spreading (she may have said infiltrating, the oncologist uses this term), that one of my lymph nodes had also blown up, that she was going to do a biopsy right now. She said that I needed to stop thinking about what my plastic surgery options were because this was an emergency. She said I needed to start chemo immediately and have surgery sooner than planned and no reconstruction because there would be lots of radiation. I shook uncontrollably the entire time that she did the biopsy of my lymph node. I cried my eyes out.

In my car, after it was over, I called my husband and my mom. I told them both that I potentially had a very different diagnosis now, and also an appointment on Monday with an Oncologist. Obviously, I spread my worry all around and freaked everyone out. Of course, they want to know, but still.

I texted my TCM and she called me back. We talked about what the doc had said about necrosis. I couldn’t remember if the doc was saying it was necrosis or could be necrosis. Also, there was the fact that I never had time to ask if I should take antibiotics, just to rule out infection. I promised I would call the doctor with my follow up questions. To her credit, the doc responded by calling in the prescription for me. To my TCM’s credit, she sent me a message that she felt sure this was an infection, and told me to send daily updates. That made a huge difference for me, mentally.

By Monday morning my fever was finally gone. The oncologist examined me and agreed that it looked like an infection (at this point it was much less red, painful, and swollen), then he cancelled the order for my chemo. He also went over test results for my concern over rib pain. Everything came back normal. I even convinced him to order a mammaprint for me from my initial biopsy sample. It should tell me with a good bit of accuracy what my chances are for recurrence, and whether chemo will be a good move for me at all, like ever.

When the appointment was over I went to the beach and sat in the sun for 40 minutes, just breathing. Obviously, I need more of this type of thing in my life. Probably some better coping mechanisms as well, while I’m at it.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingliving poetry

Top ten favorite lines for a Valentine’s Day poem

No Gravatar

10. A Valentine that finds us far apart.

9. Though distance can’t dilute your brilliant Light.

8. I Love you very much, with all my heart.

7. And soon we two will finally reunite.

6. And nevermore will I be far from you.

5. And pleasing you will be my only aim.

4. Then nevermore shall we be rent in two,

3. United in the all-consuming flame!

2. Our path was fated since before Creation:

1. A Love forged in a Twin Flame Conflagration!
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingliving poetry

Top one reason today’s Top Ten will be delayed 24 hours

No Gravatar

1. Because it’s called “Top ten favorite lines for a Valentine’s Day poem” and tomorrow, somehow, just seems more appropriate.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten Executive Orders Donald Trump plans to sign into law

No Gravatar

10. The Fat Ugly Face Law: Which bans Rosie O’Donnell from showing her fat ugly face, or any of her other fat ugly parts, in public.

9. The Long Wall Law: Which mandates the building of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, up the East Coast, along the U.S.-Canadian border, and down the West Coast, to be built by whichever construction company covertly contributes the most money to Trump’s re-election campaign.

8. The P.G. Law: Which gives the Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief carte blanche.

7. The Don’t Ask Law: Which bans gays and lesbians from serving in the military, except maybe for the occasional USO show.

6. The Trickle-Down Law: Which reduces the taxes of corporations and one-percenters to zero, because we know they’re going to spend that extra money like crazy so everybody can get rich.

5. The No-Immigration Law: Which bans all further immigration, because isn’t the country already full enough?

4. The Peekaboo Law: Which will require a government-vetted male to stand outside every men’s room and a government-vetted female to stand outside every ladies’ room to check the genitalia of anyone wishing to use the facilities, with all unisex bathrooms banned outright.

3. Trumpcare: Obamacare’s replacement, which will save millions in federal dollars, and provide each family a DIY health kit containing, for example, a DVD interview with Russian surgeon Leonid Rogozov who, in 1961 Antarctica, was forced to remove his own appendix.

2. The Alternative Facts Law: Which mandates that every atlas and history book publisher must print a second version of each of their books, containing such alternative facts as the thrilling story of how the fearless Donald J. Trump single-handedly took out bin Laden.

1. The Wretched Movie Law: Which bans the showing, airing, or sale of the films A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, The Flintstones, Exit to Eden, Pitch Perfect 2, or any other movie featuring Rosie O’Donnell.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.