Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fitting in...in my own mind.

I think that, perhaps, my entries will come a little closer together for a while. I expect to be spending a lot of time alone in the next few months, though that is by no means assured. After all, the Universe is running this show, I'm just the actor and audience.
 
Wow! Having insurance is interesting. They paid for my meds, but they won't pay for chiropractic care...which is very unfortunate as I really need some! The accident hurt me more than I thought, especially noticeable since I haven't been getting treated for the injuries. The insurance will reimburse me for the treatments, but need the money to pay for the treatments in the first place. It is times like this that I either wish I had money, or had a wealthy benefactor who was willing to front me the money and then wait to get it back from the insurance company. Since I have neither, I just deal with it as best I can. I can tell you this, I am seriously becoming acquainted with chronic pain!
 
I had an MRI the other day and now know that I have a herniated disk that is putting pressure on a nerve in my lower back that is hindering my dancing, and is making walking any distance a challenge. I have a referral to go see a neurosurgeon, but they are booked many months out. I'll be going tomorrow for a stress test and the day after for a consultation on the hernia that I need worked on. I also have an appointment next week to see an eye doctor; this came as a surprise as I didn't know I was going to be seeing one until I got a letter in the mail telling me to call such-and-such to schedule. This is exciting because it has been a couple years since I had my last checkup. Bifocals this time!!! It is hard to draw on balloons when one needs two different sets of eyes to see the child and the balloon.
 
On a deeper note, I was observing to a friend today that, when I was a young man, I couldn't imagine enjoying spending time alone like I do now. I have this little 19 foot wrecked RV that I stay in when I come to Bellingham and I find that I just want to spend all my time in it. I get out of it rarely right now, though that might have something to do with the health issues going on for me. No, I feel no form of depression...in fact, I am quite happy and jolly. I've just found that I truly enjoy the privacy...though privacy in and of itself isn't something I'm known for. I tend to tell folks exactly what is going on for me, if I think such knowledge may be of benefit.
 
When I was young, I used to always want music playing, always wanted to be around people. I couldn't imagine living anywhere but in big cities like LA, San Fran, or at least medium-sized ones like Cincinnati. Now, I find it difficult even to visit Seattle. I recently rode my bike on a tour around Arizona and did my best not to even have to drive through Phoenix...though I did have to do so. Now, Bellingham is almost too big, population about 100, 000. I noticed, if I was truly being honest with myself, I never really felt like I fitted in anywhere back then. Now, being comfortable in my own skin, I find I don't need the excited distractions of people to be comfortable and content anymore. Now I do fit in, in the only place that matters: my own mind.
 
May you also be at peace.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Primarily, health update.

Hello all,
 
It is odd, but I could've sworn that I had posted 2 new posts since Havasu. I'll have to look into that. Well, to update again: I am now back in Bellingham, WA. I have a Hernia which needs tending to and I have a support system here that doesn't need that much support themselves. I thought about going to my mother's in Bandon, OR for the surgery, but my mom needs help herself so my being there needing looking after would only be a burden to her, though she would welcome me with open arms. Here in B'ham, I will have my old RV to stay in, which I truly enjoy, as well as several friends who think of me highly enough to make sure I am comfortable during my downtime. Hopefully, I will be able to get some writing in while I'm down.
 
As those who have been following my blog know, I had an accident in Nov, '13. It seems that that event opened the door to several more stressors being added to my body system. I have a pinched nerve in my lower back, for example, that now seems to occasionally effect how I use my legs. They become weak and tired easily...not good for a dance teacher! I often use two walking sticks to make sure I'm able to maintain balance. I've also been having horrendous headaches lately, unlike any I've can remember having had before. They are interesting, that's for sure. Due to ignorance in the health field, I have no way of knowing if the headaches are related to the pinched nerve.
 
Insurance! WOW! Never had it before and it is pretty darn cool! I'd been without blood pressure meds for over a month because doctor's require an office visit to prescribe the substance. Seems odd to me that it would be a controlled substance since it can't get one high and is require it to help not have strokes. Oh, well...In any case, not only did I get a new prescription, but I also was able to get a refill of pain meds and muscle relaxers...for free! Thanks Obamacare! I've also found out that I have high cholesterol and high blood sugar. All the rest of the blood-work came back okay. Which is great, but leaves a question about why my body is doing what it is doing these days. (Regardless of the fate of the insurance, I have safely acquired at least a year's worth of blood pressure meds! When first measured by the nurse, my bp was 178/106. When I went in yesterday, after a week of having the meds, it was 138/87.)
 
I will have to wait awhile for many of the medical things I need done to come about, but at least it is in the works and I MIGHT be about to get treated longer for the effects of the accident. I can't sit and look down at my computer screen for very long without developing a severe pain in the neck and upper back...directly traceable to the accident. Additionally, my lower back hurts easily, also directly traceable to the accident. My right shoulder joint is also hurting a bit, which came from the accident as well. I had thought that I would have to stop treatment because I have no more money available to treat; the other guy's insurance requires that I pay for treatment and then they would review the expenditure and decide if they would reimburse me.
 
Please note: my description of my ills has nothing to do with complaining. The inner experience of all this is, "It just is what it is." Sometimes life is pleasant, other times it isn't. Usually it is a mix of pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral. I am happy and content, with only a little stress regarding not being able to work for a while due to the hernia, and once I get that fixed, the healing time. Perhaps I'll look into online schooling...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Leaving Havasu

March 17th, St. Patrick's Day. Travel time once again. I had breakfast with Dave, the gentleman who has been so generous with letting me camp on his back porch. Then we both were something of a whirlwind as we packed as quickly as we could to try to get an early start, me to Bandon, Or, him back to LA. Fail on both accounts. Neither of us got out until after noon.

Funny thing about when I leave a place that I sense what I came for is finished, I had no problem at all, emotionally, in leaving. I'll miss a few of the people, but the town has no appeal for me now. I rode the 20 miles to the freeway and filled the tank and headed on to Vegas to visit my daughter.

The sun was quite warm while I headed West, but as soon as I turned North on 95, the wind picked up; dust blowing everywhere. In passing from Arizona into California, there is a traffic stop on the freeway where they check for something or another. They usually just wave motorcycles through but this time, there just wasn't anyone there. Everyone got waved through. The gas was $3.429, and nine miles from California. Twenty one miles from where I filled up at, and at the first Needles, CA exit, gas was $4.769.

Passing from California into Nevada, the road changes abruptly from a 2-lane to a divided double lane highway. Big change in the quality of the road. Nevada obviously has more money to spend and they want to show it off.

Got to visit with my awesome daughter and spend a couple hours with her and my furry grandsons (cats), punctuated by a brief appearance of her boyfriend. Then it was time to go. Hope I get to see her again before too long.

It seems that Las Vegas city has an ordinance of no overnight camping. After almost running out of gas - the bike has a 5.4 gallon tank and I put in 5.198 - I found that even Walmart can't let someone camp. So, I looked online for free camping and found a rest area 80 miles away. So, I rode there and had a good nights sleep.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Travel...and jealousy.

Hello all! I'd likely get a lot more subscribers if I were to be a little more diligent about writing posts. Oh, well, such is not presently within my power. This is the first time I've had the computer charged in quite some time. Unfortunately, my power cord burnt up a couple weeks ago. I ordered another one and hopefully will get it soon.

So, yesterday was quite humbling. I'm presently back in Lake Havasu City, AZ. I'm camped on the back porch of my friend's (Dave) second home. Usually he is in California, but he showed up out of the blue the evening before last. Well, he was leaving to go on a ride with the local Goldwing club and he locked the front door. I had pulled my bike into the garage to plug the battery into the charger for a bit and I shut the garage door. I had told Dave that I would make sure I locked the sliding glass door before I left for the day, which I did...and then I remembered that my bike was locked inside the garage. STUCK! For the day, until he got back. After I finished laughing at my own silliness, I posted it to my FaceBook.

A lot has happened since I last updated this blog. I had my young friend, Alexaray, come to travel around with me for a bit. It was fun, having her youthful energy around. We get along well. We rode around the state of Arizona, just seeing what we could. Got to say, Arizona is a very beautiful state! Between Sedona and Flagstaff, especially. WOW! Seriously, wow!

We stayed at several Couchsurfing locations (see couchsurfing.org), one each in Yuma, Tuscon, and Flagstaff. Had an interesting experience when the police was called on me for "accosting a teenager" in a Walmart parking lot. (She and I were horsing around while taking down the camper and had gotten into a tickle fight.) To put your mind at ease, she's 20. There were no teenagers around,as far I I know. The cop smiled, after checking our IDs and giving us an odd look, and then wished us a good day and safe ride.


She's now back in Bellingham after having seen the Sate, including the grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon between Sedona and Flagstaff, and many other awesome sights.
.....................................................................................................................
 Later in the week: Had an interesting experience a few days ago. I found out that it was a friend's birthday here in Havasu. She's 64 or 65, I think. I won't go into too many details but because she is such a great dancer, I have often gone to where I knew she'd be so that we could dance together.  Well, she got into a relationship with a guy since the last time I saw or talked to her and it turns out that he suffers under the tyranny of the Demon of Jealousy. I showed up at her birthday party at a public venue to make her a balloon and have a birthday dance but was accosted by her boyfriend's demon. He came up and told me that he "had my number" while having a smile pasted on his face to not let on that he was basically threatening me. He also had a hand on my shoulder. I was shocked, even though I have been under Jealousy's sway before. I had had no thought of doing anything that would give him a reason to be jealous, even to the point of not even knowing it was going to be her birthday. A mutual friend had come up with the idea of my going to make her a balloon. Oh, well.

Here's something I've learned about jealousy: it makes the person you are with do EXACTLY what you don't want them to do...look at every other member of your sex in the room and judge them against you so that they will know where NOT to look. I must say, I thought it was a compliment that he thought that I was so much better than he was that she might want to leave him to come to me, even though I only want her as a friend. I really feel for them both. I've noticed that her demeanor has greatly changed, no longer the happy, bubbly woman she was the last time I was in town. Now she almost always looks sad, doesn't often look guys in the eye, especially me. All the signs of being emotionally abused by a jealous partner. I hope that he is able to excise the Demon in time to save the relationship. Or, if he can't, I hope she is able to break out of the prison she has allowed him to put her in.

I think that I will write a blog post about what I know of jealousy. Having been on both sides of the fence of that particular hell, I've learned a thing or two.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Clarification.

A friend of mine recently suggested that my asking for sponsorship of this lifestyle was arrogant and self-serving. So, I think I would give a little more of my reasoning, and I would do it here so that other's might know of my thinking on the matter. Last weekend, I was approached by a fellow who was putting together a festival for special needs people. He asked, as do many people who are interested in having my skills at charity events, if I would be willing to donate my time and skills. I had to decline, because I just don't have the resources to give away so many balloons at one time. It costs a lot of money to stay supplied. Additionally, because I have some bills I have to pay and have a few things that do require money--I've been using whatever kind of blood pressure medication I can scrounge because I don't have the $100 or more to see a doctor to get a prescription to name but one--I usually make "bulk" money on the weekends, because that is when everyone else is off work and out playing.

So, this gentleman said, "Perhaps I can find someone to sponsor you for the festival." In other words, find someone willing to pay for the balloons and perhaps give me something extra for the effort toward living expenses. Usually what happens in such cases (it has happened often in the past) is that a company will sponsor me so that they can get some cheap advertisement out of the deal. Which is okay as far as it goes, but to me, doing it that way tinges the giving with commercialism. Not quite the same energy as a bunch of people giving just because it is in their hearts to do so.

Because of a couple of friends who stepped up to sponsor this last balloon buy (which I upped significantly because of the generosity of these friends) I will be able to volunteer for a couple charity events without me having to be the recipient of the charity I'll be entertaining for.

So there ya go, just a little more information about this crazy life experience I'm having this time round. Om Shanti

Monday, February 3, 2014

WHAT JOY!!! Examples of my day...

Hello, my friends.
 
Recently, you may have read about my attempt to find sponsors for my odd lifestyle and the joy that I seek to spread through my balloons and teachings. Well, a little update is in order, I believe. Although the whole of my lifestyle has not yet received anywhere near the numbers that would allow me to totally give away all of my balloons and stay alive at a meager level of existence, I have received a couple gifts that results in the funding of this month's balloon order(s)!!
 
I don't often write in here the things I do regarding bringing smiles to others because I don't like the idea of bragging, or seeming to be doing so. However, since I would like to include my sponsors and readers in the joy that I feel, doing what I do, I will endeavor to give examples from time to time. Please note, each thing I write is multiplied many times throughout almost every day.
 
Just now, a young man came into the store I'm at with two children, a 7 year old boy and an 11 year old girl. The son looked a little down and sat down away from Dad while he was ordering a drink for the daughter. I took my squeaker from my pocket and, palming it so that they couldn't see it, went up and asked the family group (the son had rejoined the other two) if they would like to see something cool. I guess it is seeing my grey beard that results in almost everyone I ask that of saying yes.
 
After getting their attention, I reached out and made it appear that a napkin holder had a squeak in it. The kids were amazed and tried to make it squeak, in vain. So I told them that it was a "move-able_ squeak and moved it to a different location. They, again, attempted to make the same point squeak. Nope. Then I took the squeak and put it on the son's shoulder. Looking incredulous, they attempted to make his shoulder squeak. Then I moved the squeak to Dad's arm and left it there. Five minutes later, they were still poking Dad's arm to try to make it squeak. Then, while Dad went to check on his car (which, I was told, had broken down and was needing towed), the children sat near me and I made the boy a motorcycle balloon and the girl a kitty. The boy told me that he loves motorcycles and has many magazines about them.
 
When they left, they all thanked me and were smiling and happy. Like I say, this same scene is reenacted many times a day. Sometimes it is an old woman, sometimes a waitress or waiter (they like getting them for their loved ones), sometimes an office worker or cashier. It doesn't matter to me who is the recipient of my entertainment, as long as I can leave them a little happier than I found them. Often, the points I try to make about: how awesome each person is, how to stay out of gangs, why it is better to treat each person with respect, how it takes everyone and everything in the universe to get one child a balloon (these and many more like it) lead to impromptu counseling sessions. Many of these run very deep and end with hugs.
 
This is my life almost every day. Once in a while I take a day off and just stay "home" in my camper, or ride somewhere just to see it, but let there be a child or someone unhappy... :-) Almost everyone who has ever gone out to eat with me has had to sit through my twisting a balloon for a waitress and or getting up to sing "Happy Birthday" to a child or an old person...or pretty much anyone.
 
I'll post more examples in the coming days. May you be as blessed as I am. :-)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sponsoring joy

It is amazing, the joy I feel from very simple things. May it not leave for what few minutes I have left in this body, whether such be but seconds or decades! Today I acquired a small, folding step stool to help me climb into the camper. I am overjoyed at the ease with which I'm now able to heave my injured bulk into bed. It is as awesome as the camper itself. And to think that I, dancer with never-failing legs, find myself needing such help...For truth, everything changes.

It seems that my body doesn't really know what to think these days. Pain in lots of odd places, blood pressure of 168/98, lots of discomfort in my chest when I move quickly or get my heart rate up. But I still have full use of my facilities, am still filled with joy and peace, and most wonderfully, have several times this week reached my daily goal of getting 5 people to spontaneously say, "You've made my day!" It is this, combined with the multitude of smiles in my wake, that gives me confidence that I am leading a wondrously beautiful life, regardless whether those who do not see the good that I do, believe me worthy of respect or support.

My most joyful entertainment tool is a simple, $.75 squeaker found in many dog toys. With one of these I can confound, confuse and entertain a large group of both adults and children. Today, 4 of the 6 people who told me that I made their day, did so because of the entertainment created by one of these little plastic toys in the hands of a skilled children's entertainer. I hope to get few examples on video and on the Web soon. I can imagine such a video going viral.

Soon,  I will be posting a gofundme.com appeal for crowd-sourcing sponsors of my little life endeavor to spread joy everywhere I can. I truly enjoy what I do,  but sometimes living so close to the edge is difficult.  For instance, coming up with the money to buy more balloons when I run out; it is a great expense to me,  yet I know that many people spend such money as though it is pocket change. One day's worth of middle  class-style shopping can provide balloons (latex smiles) for literally hundreds or even thousands of strangers, the majority of which are children.

I understand why such sponsors don't just offer themselves without prompting. We are, are we not, in the land of, "If you don't make your own money, you are worthless?" Or so or consumer-driven society would have us believe. So, on the basis of that Foundation, of what value am I? At the same time, I have a great many people each day thank me for living as I do and doing what I do. So even if I were deluding myself as to my value upon the earth, meager though it is, still I have all these strangers and new friends blessing me with their gratitude. I am SO blessed!

In any case,  please consider becoming a sponsor. Presently, I spend about half of my income buying balloons. Those of you who know me personally know that I don't drink, smoke, or waste money on drugs. I would love to get my own smile fixed soon as it is beginning to cause pain, but will buy more balloons before going to a dentist. So, if you have few dollars and would like to gift others (friends you may never know) with moments that, through my efforts, help make their lives more joyful and less stressful,  please consider using PayPal to donate whatever you feel would bless you to give. You can be assured I'll get it if you send it to my email,  twistofair(at)yahoo.com.

Regardless of any donation or gift,  I wish you the greatest joy, deepest peace, and all the love you can imagine for your entire life.