Two Become One

6/22/12

As promised last year, the whole shall be reunited as was meant to be from the beginning. This blog is currently being moved and archived onto my other blog Singing From The Crease. To those of you who have remained readers of this blog and any incarnations previous, I can never express my gratitude enough for your time and consideration. Always know I have shared as openly as possible in the hope that one of you have found comfort, a laugh, a bit of information that has proved helpful, a perspective that was new or simply amusement while passing the time. You are true champions to me. Do not ever forget how appreciated you are as you continue down your particular path in life. My heart is always with music and it is music that has kept me able to be in love with hockey as long as I have. The two must now become one.

Nothing found here will be left behind. Anything that would have been found here in future will be where my heart will always be… Singing From The Crease.

Peace, as always and may the music always bemuse. I love you. Mia singingfromthecrease@gmail.com and @creasesinger on Twitter

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3/30/11-Never Fear, the MUSIC in my Heart is Always Near

3/30/11

I suppose I should be flogged for leaving this blog so under nourished all this time. One thing’s for sure, I am still all about the magic of music. It’s been a very difficult road for me over the last ten years. The last six years have truly been one very horrific nightmare following another. Eventually, I settled in the 15th layer of hell and can only now just start realizing that I peaked there. Slowly, I’ve moved on up to about maybe the 9th layer of hell. Check me out making progress on some levels.

Yup, I would never want to back-slide past the 9th level. Once you’ve peaked that the 15th level of hell, the 9th level seems almost somewhat pleasant from time to time. All the efforts to claw my way back-up the levels to, what I hope will at least hit ground level some day, have caused me enough issues to disturb the entire “way of me”. I can guess that’s confusing, so I will try to explain further.

First, I’ll mention that most current information about me is located at singingfromthecrease.wordpress.com and checking out the “Get to Know Mia” page may help a bit. Second, it’s been more challenging than it may be worth the have two separate blogs and keep them both populated with relevent goodies on an even keel. The first few “incarnations” of my blogs were titled things like “Music-Head Central” and “All About Music”. That was all fine and dandy, until it started appearing that my other love, ice hockey, wasn’t fitting into the mix very well on those earlier blogs.

Don’t get me wrong here, I have always included my thoughts, opinions and expressed my great love of the sport, especially the NHL, goalies and the Washington Capitals in the blogs. It wasn’t that I personally couldn’t put regular, everyday happenings, musical passions and NHL in single blog. It was the interesting nature of those who were reading the blogs that eventually gave me clear indications about what many will take the time to read and what many won’t even bother with no matter the content, subject of a post , tags, or how well-formulated some of my thoughts were presented.

For the musical, creative sorts, there wasn’t much issue. The traffic that one of my earlier blogs got was an absolute astonishment to me every single time I checked the stats. As a matter of fact, this blog, with no recent updates or posts still gets regular visits daily. The problem became combining my TWO LOVES – MUSIC AND HOCKEY on the same blog without sacrificing. Those who love music, self-expression, random musings and other free-spirited internet reading, but who are NOT fans of the NHL will accept mentions and some thoughts about ice hockey as a part of my musical musings. Those who are interested in the NHL, but who also really appreciate or even love music, do not typically accept any random musings, musical thoughts, and ideas interjected stemming from my life and personal experiences as an appropriate internet reading option of any value relating to NHL related topics.

Hence, at some point in 2005, regular readers of “Musical Laughter” (or maybe it was still “All About Music” at that point), began to provide me feedback indicating my posts had too much ice hockey content. The more I put thoughts about ice hockey in the posts, no matter how much music, personal and creative content was also included, the more readers I lost. On the other hand, there were far fewer NHL blogs, specifically Washington Capitals blogs and even fewer goalie-centric ice hockey blogs in 2005, so I was gaining traffic due to the NHL related content.

As more and more NHL blogs appeared, fewer people felt that visiting a blog with creative, personal content titled as a “Music” blog was an actual “NHL” blog and I lost many regular readers. I also wasn’t getting “stumble” traffic. For a while, I was perfectly okay with the process I had worked within for many years. I wasn’t ever really doing any of it for stats of any kind. I didn’t even know until a year after I started web journaling (prior to bloggers and blog sites) on a website I created and owned for a creative project known as “Open the Box”, that it was rather simple to check site statistics.

Eventually, as categories, the internet, search engines, tags, meta-details and free blogger engines sprung-up like gang-busters and became more and more accessible and known to the world, my little blog became nothing but me generating thoughts typed for my own reading pleasure sometime in the future. Still, I was perfectly good with that notion and there were, and as all-out amazing at it may seem, still are a very small group of people who have followed my blog incarnations from the very beginning. I’m not entirely sure if those loyal readers have been chained to desks and forced to click on my blog posts as some sort of diabolic psychological experiment involving illegal chemical testing of some sort for the last, about 12 years. I may just be ribbing those folks in a silly manner right now, but just in case the former scenario is the case – PLEASE KEEP UP HOPE THAT ONE DAY YOU WILL BE FREE!! GO TO YOUR HAPPY PLACE!! THERE IS NO DESK OR BLOG-TORTURE AND YOU ARE NOT UNWILLING TESTS SUBJECTS!! THERE IS ONLY THE MAGICAL WORLD OF SARLACAN WHERE YOU ARE THE WISE ELDERS WHO HOLD THE HIGHEST HONORS BY READING FROM THE PROFETIC ELECTRONIC SCROLLS FOUND ATTACHED THE GOLDEN, JEWEL ENCRUSTED DESKS LEFT BEHIND FOR YOUR PEOPLE BY THE GODS OF KNOWLEDGE!!!

I should hope those rare few individuals who have managed to stick with all my 12 years of several blog incarnations, random musings on all topics, mostly focusing on the awesomeness of music and all that is the NHL, have not done so under duress. I mean, I’m not sure I could handle the guilt ya know? (please be sure to understand I am a bit of a goof-ball with a healthy dose of dry and sarcasm in the mix as well)

I am now a two-blog kinda gal, however, the two-blog system is not a good solution for me as a blogger. Enough time, experience and practice in the “two-blog” approach for me to be sure I prefer a single blog containing the entire musical, goalie-centric, NHL-loving, odd, goof-ball, serious, creative, analytical, empirical, science-is-cool, humorous, ball of spirited me. To that end, I have been working on the other, mostly NHL, goal keeper and Washington Capitals centered blog, Singing from the Crease, and not updating this blog for the last year. While doing so, I have been plotting my devious merge of the two-headed blog monster into one fire-breathing, mega-blog that has all that I share, but in more categorical fashion for those who don’t like to mix your peanut butter with your chocolate. To me, music and the National Hockey League are as yummy and delicious as the brilliantly conceived Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup.

In time, this blog and Singing from the Crease will become one. I will keep the blog under the name “Singing from the Crease” and am 1000% sure that no further incarnation will be necessary in terms of title. Never again will those few who have followed along since “Daily Ruminations”, through to “Almost Daily Ruminations” and then who bravely proceeded further to “Music-Head Central” and up to now have to endure the bumpy, blog reinvention ride. I promise to “Sing from the Crease” for the rest of my days just for you, ya freaks! Maybe I’d feel better if you are actually chained to desks being force-fed my inner-mianess and all of its galaxial trips through life. Thinking you’ve been on board on your own accord may indicate a severe psychological trauma has damaged your reasoning and critical thinking skills. 😉 But I sincerely thank you and your brain damage for your never waivering, continued support. I am in some debt to those of you few who refused to let me go any great length of time without making some attempt at posting something, anything, on any of my blogs. YOU ROCK – BUT YOU’RE A BIT LOONY!!

Before I close, I will state right out that at no time will you be given a hard deadline regarding posts, features, the date of the final merge or anything in definitive terms relating to either of the blogs. Over the last five years, the Universe has put forth an enormous effort to reinforce the notion that I simply can’t deliver on the deadlines I place on the labors of love that are Mia’s Musical Musings (a.k.a. – Triple MMM) and/or Singing from the Crease (SFTC) regarding posts, updates, archives, features, etc. The Universe has taken its mission very seriously and has done a fantastic job of beating the living snot out of me in every possible manner available to it in order to inform me through conditioning the hard way that something will always happen to prohibit me from making any and all deadlines I set for my blogs. I must have a solid rock head, so receiving a massive, relentless beatings by the Universe using weapons it probably had to find in some remote storage location, long forgotten about, out of pure necessity to finally reach the part of my brain that believes in deadlines like they are an absolute like blinking one’s eyes, in order to remove the inevitable stresses that accompany deadlines. Okay, so the Universe has spoken and I’m tired of watching the poor Universe look in frustration for weapons it doesn’t even user-manuals for while it struggles to teach me a lesson and loses energy as the time has marched on. How much more fight and beatings could the Universe have left at this point?  I chose to take pity on the Universe before it reaches a total flame-out this time. NO DEADLINES FOR BLOGS!! 10-4.

Of course, the Universe keeps energy stores strictly for use in its side business called “Humorous Irony.” Technically, I think it knew I’d relent with the pity “lesson learned” with regard to the “no deadlines for blogs” thing and had employees of “Humorous Irony” ready in wait for the signal to leap into action on its main project a.k.a. “All non-Mia related deadlines shall be met. ” If anything needs to be done on any sort of deadline, or anyone needs a goal met in a given timeframe, I have been trained by the Universe’s most capable henchmen to hit that mark no matter what size, variety, type or amount of the obstacle or challenge threatening the deadline. The Universe instilled a drive in me that is as precise, high performing and able to function at extreme high speeds as an elite European sports car when it comes to deadlines set for the benefit of others. Yup, the short of it is this:  Deadlines for things related to me are silly according to the Universe, but deadlines relating to all else shall be met – end of story.

Hey thanks for thinking of me Universe. I’m as reliable as reliable can be to everyone but me. Nice work Universe.

I will be working on for a while on getting as many of the scattered archives from every single incarnation of all the various blogs up and in one place for a while. Check Singing from the Crease for the bulk of those archives and keep checking back. A few years (2002-2005) of archives were saved on an external hard drive. That drive was recently rediscovered, but is slightly damaged. Many of the archives have been corrupted, but are not beyond saving with some work. I am doing that work. I have revived a few posts from the 2005 so far. In time, all the saveable posts will be archived at Singing from the Crease.

Stay tuned for more of this saga to unfold. For now, I feel terrible that I did not mention until now that I saw Steven Page (formerly of the Barenaked Ladies) at the 9:30 Club several months ago in support of his album “Page One”. Everything you need to know about his work and about the man, the singer, the Page can be found here at his website.  I think he has a sharp-wit and a fantastic singing voice. I am very happy with “Page One”.

I realize I saw him at the 9:30 Club in DC one night away from his “lyric blunder” at a Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers game when singing the American National Anthem, but I never got around to voicing my thoughts that the “blunder” wasn’t as bad as some had made it out to be, he still sounded great and he DID A SUPERB JOB WITH THE CANADIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM IN FRONT OF ALL THOSE MASSES GATHERED ON HEINZ FIELD ON NEW YEAR’S DAY, 2011 TO WATCH THE CAPTIALS BEAT THE PENGUINS IN PITTSBURGH FOR THE WINTER CLASSIC OUTDOOR GAME!!

Support Steven Page and enjoy his fine singing voice. Keep your MUSE as close as you need. Your MUSE will never leave you as long as you still believe. I think guitarists should have their guitars painted with the images of NHL goalies. Mind your nets and make your music – peace – mia – singingfromthecrease@gmail.com and twitter @creasesinger

8/9/10 – I Spent the Night with Barenaked Ladies – for the 75th Time! (I Heart Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, MD)

8/9/10

It’s been “a minute” since I posted an entry here, but I went out of my way to make this entry happen today. First, I’d like to re-visit a previous post and make an updated statement regarding Kevin Hearn of  Barenaked Ladies fame. Typically, “Kevin” songs aren’t necessarily my “thing”. He has a unique voice and style that speaks to a specific musical mood and taste. I don’t always “get it”. BNL’s latest release, “All In Good Time,” has a mix of three “lead” vocals. During the dual-vocals BNL era that included former co-lead vocalist Steven Page, it was most likely that fans (like me) would decide which “Steve” song AND which “Ed” song (referring to Ed Robertson) was best on any given album. Now that Barenaked Ladies is minus Steven Page, the new album has a mix of lead vocals from Ed Robertson, Kevin Hearn and Jim Creegan. I had previously posted that I felt something was missing from the newest BNL release. I still feel that way, but that does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean that I am “less” of a Barenaked Ladies fan. I’m simply adjusting, along with the band it seems to me, to a quartet instead of a quintet. These things happen “All In Good Time.”

I have listened to “All In Good Time” numerous times by now and it has quite grown on me. I prefer it to its predecessor, “Barenaked Ladies Are Men,” by leaps and bounds actually. Now, getting back to Kevin Hearn, I couldn’t resist staying away from a BNL concert that was just so close to me, so I purchased a lawn seat at Merriweather Post Pavillion for the Sunday, August 8 Barenaked Ladies show at the very last-minute. I made a good decision and Kevin Hearn earned some serious points in my world as well. Kevin singing “Watching the Northern Lights” was the highlight of the show for me. Not to mention, I gained a rather good respect and appreciation for “Another Heartbreak” that I didn’t get from listening to the album alone. This is why I will always pimp a live show.

It had been what felt like eons since I’d seen a live musical performance of any kind, let alone a BNL show. I am partial to outdoor music venues. Merriweather Post Pavillion is located very conveniently to me. I could not resist spending money and putting my health at risk to go see BNL on Sunday night. I’m weak and I admit it. So be it. At the very least, I figured I could create a solid rationale in my own mind that I HAD to go to the show so that I could round my all-time BNL show attendance record to an even 75 and thereby, put BNL in a tie with Metallica for second most concerts attended, featuring the same band, by me. Duran Duran is #1 with 101 lifetime concert outings by me and for a long time, Metallica held the #2 spot at 75. Now, Barenaked Ladies has a chance to surpass Metallica and grab the #2 spot, perhaps to one day overtake Duran Duran at the #1 spot.

I have had multiple health issues over the course of my life, the latest being the removal of a benign brain tumor, and everything I do these days has to be far less spontaneous and carefull than my nature prefers. I had to use a “Reward Night” (meaning free) at a Holiday Inn in Columbia, MD in order to be safe and responsible with myself. Even though I could drive Columbia, MD from Jarrettsville, MD fairly easily in the technical sense, nothing is technically “easy” for me and I would be doing the wrong thing if I thought I could attend the show, drive all the way home, sleep very little, wake up for work at 4:30 a.m. and keep my schedule normally with no issue. That just isn’t the reality of my world. I could have endangered other drivers if I drove more than 10 or so miles that late at night (11:15 p.m. is very late at night in “Mia World”). I also get odd symptoms, randomly, for no good reason that have yet to been explained by medical professionals to date. If I don’t take certain precautions before venturing too far from some sort of temporary “base” (i.e. – home, work, hotel, etc.), the “Murphy’s Law” principle will no-doubt cause unexplained, uncontrollable symptoms of something yet to be diagnosed, in no patterned, recognizable manner, hence leaving me to deal with the mystery far away from any comfortable, controlled environment. I have learned in the years (2005 was the year the major downward progression really began) since I started having these issues that a comfort zone, temporary or static, is a necessity for me.

Anyway, enough about that – I had such a great night on Sunday. I was apprehensive and upset with myself on Sunday morning. A certain amount of guilt was present, since I lost everything, have no living relatives, no support system and live in an actual barn in efforts to start my life from scratch. Even the $46 bucks, plus gas and beverage cost, is A LOT of money to me these days. Costs like that were no worry to me, even just a few years ago. Now, that much money is considered a totally poor choice in spending if it’s not put directly into a retirement account or some other savings account. I have ZERO financial security. Still, I trusted my natural instinct and bought the ticket, used my free hotel night and made arrangements to go to the office (in Baltimore City) later in the afternoon the following day. I can telecommute if needed, so work and laptop were packed in the car, along with work clothes, extra medication and the all important “In Case of Emergency Contact List” that is ALWAYS up-to-date and accessible in several different places on my person.

Sometimes, I simply ignore everything I am thinking and feeling. My natural intuition knows what it’s doing and I was wise enough to let it chose for me this time. Just the basic act of getting outside, listening to live music, sitting in the grass and changing my routine, has made a huge difference in how I’m feeling. Add in the fact that I am a great fan of the Barenaked Ladies, I love their live shows, I got a chance to see how they have adjusted former “Steve” songs to fit the four of them and the extra special bonus of getting a chance to sleep in a real bed (I haven’t slept in a real bed since April of 2009) and I’d say I couldn’t have had a bad night even if the show stunk on ice.

Tyler Stewart’s rendition of “Alcohol” was just freaking precious. He’s a loon, that guy. He’s also a hockey fan, so I obviously, I think he’s awesome. Hockey does rock and hockey fans are always welcome in my world. Speaking of hockey, I was wearing my Alexander Semin shirt (GO CAPS GO!) and ran into quite a few Washington Capitals fans who stopped to chat with me about hockey at the show as well. As I mentioned, Kevin gets high kudos and a new-found appreciation of his whole “Kevin-vibe” from me. Jim Creegan has a great voice and performed to my expected standard. Ed Robertson always makes me laugh and has never let me down on that account in all of the 75 shows I’ve shared with BNL. He did seem to be struggling with vocals here and there, but considering he plays a pretty darn good guitar, can bust a rhyme like a pro (you’d be surprised by this talent if you’ve never experienced it before) and now has the lion-share of the lead vocals all to himself – I think he did just fine.  Ed also hit the “skins” while Tyler was out in front going hog-wild with “Alcohol”. As usual, the banter and topical improv was evident. It was refreshing for my soul to sing along with BNL. We were all blessed that the weather Sunday night was fairly cool and not humid like a Central American jungle as it has been almost every day around these parts since the beginning of July. Just one good night spent with Barenaked Ladies outside can cure (at least for a little while) many of the day-to-day things that weigh me down.

I’d be lying like a cheap oriental rug if I stated that I felt okay when I awoke at 6:45 the next morning. It would be untrue if I didn’t admit that my schedule did get altered enough to make today more difficult than normal. Still, I’m just plain grateful I got yet another chance to sing along with my favorite Canadian foursome, especially all barefoot and carefree out there in green, cool grass. The little things are important and 2 hours of live music from silly, musical, hockey-loving, Canadians can very easily make my daily challenges come across to me as all necessary steps to get me to the next BNL show (and help me through the hockey off-season). BNL is the “Methadone” that keeps me going until the official start of the NHL hockey season, when I can get a fix (yeah I know – bad use of a literary device – but I’m keeping it in anyway). If it weren’t for outdoor music venues and NHL hockey – I’d have given-up the fight a long, long, long time ago.

GO Barenaked Ladies GO! ROCK ON KEVIN HEARN. No one should go an entire lifetime without seeing a BNL show! Find the things that bring you peace and use them as weapons in your personal fight to not just live, but live-well. ROCK WITH THE OUTDOOR MUSIC VENUES!!!!!!! – peace – mia – sciencegirl99@excite.com

Technology SNAFU Results in NO NEW BLOG POSTS HERE

5/14/10

It’s been quite a week, including last weekend, for me and the pattern indicates it’s going to get even more challenging. This is a quick update to let the subscribers know that I haven’t fallen into a deep, dark, trench – but my personal laptop has seen its best days as is now on “life-support” awaiting me to save the few lingering bits of data and finally “pull the plug”, allowing it to sleep forever in peace. It was merely a question of time before my used Acer Inspire laptop fell prey to the effects of my late-cat “Dirty Harry” and his projectile vomit. The hard drive was replaced when I procured the device in poor condition from a local Goodwill store and after clinging to electronic-life for an almost miraculous amount of time – my sturdy conduit to the internet has finally surrendered to impending blackness.

In the process of getting a post here earlier this week; a “Smart Failure” notice interrupted the upload and after inspecting the laptop – I agree that it’s time to part ways and find another method of personal computing. I thank my Acer for its courage in the face of more than one owner, a massive amount of stinky, moisture-filled cat puke and a new hard drive. It was an honor and a pleasure serving alongside such an “underdog” of a laptop. It will be missed.

So, now I have to find a creative way to pull money out of a budget that hardly exists right at the moment. I was hoping to get out of my “Barn Condo” as soon as possible. A set of new front tires, front-end alignment, medical bills and now the purchase of another personal computing device seem to indicate that I’m Barn-bound for a while longer. All of that also adds up to one overwhelming idea that I may not be posting here for a while.

I shall return eventually, but please be patient. I have yet to find a money tree and I certainly have never even heard of a laptop tree!!! Much love to all the musical-types in the world – I’m with ya all the way!

ROCK YOUR WAY – EVERYDAY – peace – mia (sciencegirl99@excite.com)

Meet a Newbury Prize Winning Author Russell Freedman in Harford County, MD

5/5/10

Just a quick note to share this information with Northern Harford County young book enthusiasts – Russell Freedman will be signing books on May 14th at the Abingdon Branch of the Harford County Public Library. Freedman is an excellent nonfiction writer who gives the younger folks at look at the happenings in the world a glimpse that is engaging, captivating, but does not bog them down in details that might lose them. His latest book is about World War I and it ahs received a lot of great praise.

You can find all the details at the library’s website here. Parents, grab your kids and give them a chance to meet a successful author. If you don’t have kids – it should be a lot less complicated getting to the library. This event is for young and old alike.

Get your read on Harford County (a.k.a. – The Great Hockey Void) – peace – mia (sciencegirl99@excite.com)

Is Nothing Sacred to Some of the Washington Capitals Fans?

4/28/10

You may all feel free to call me a “cry baby”, a “sissy”, a “wuss”, a “softie”, or any term (some I can’t type here) that describes my not-so-happy feelings about some of the Washington Capitals fans today. I’ve been a fan for at least 30 years and I was getting all fired-up, like everyone else, so when they were knocked out of the playoffs in round 1 last night, it wasn’t a great day for me. I went to sleep convinced that the head coach was a “mental midget” compared to the brilliant strategist that is the Montreal Canadiens head coach.

However, there is nothing that can be done about it and today is another day. The NHL season still continues and there is still more hockey for the hockey-lovers like me. I will have to “keep the faith” for another 82 games and hope the Washington Capitals get the chance at the cup again. I wrote a blog post on my hockey blog this morning. I have a positive attitude. I was happy to see Brooks Laich could at least make some hard work payoff at some point. I figured I’d root for the Montreal Canadiens to win the cup, because both Buffalo and Phoenix had been taken in the 1st round, along with the Capitals. Some team will win the cup this year. Hockey did not come to a sudden end because the Capitals did not make it any further along the playoffs.

What I got for my positive attitude was a pile of personal attacks from embittered Capitals fans who were so enraged with indignity about the fact that a team I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER WHATSOEVER tanked early in the playoffs. As a behaviorist, I know that most of those fans are simply getting out all of their frustration. I shouldn’t take it personally. It’s hard to do that however. Mostly because someone actually sent me an e-mail that said, “that brain tumor should have killed you – you stupid bitch stop spreading your capitals sunshine and now you think its a good idea to cheer for the team that beat your favorite team – your mother should have had an abortion.” I cut and pasted that straight out of my e-mail box.

So yes, I am a little baby who can’t take it and I will now go crying all the way home wee-wee-wee. That kind of stuff is just so far over the line that I will contemplate the removal of the my other blog for good. It is just a game and I am just a human.

Music will help me get past it – peace – mia (sciencegirl99@excite.com)

A Medicine Mix-up Makes More Mispoken “Mords”

4/26/10

I had a bit of a problem earlier this morning. I was in D.C. at the very crack of dawn this morning. That meant that I needed to be awake around 3 A.M. and out the door no later that 4 A.M. That was a tough trick in the first place, but I managed to sling myself off of my couch and get myself into the car full of coffee (which I drank out of my “home game” coffee mug this morning hockey gods – so the Capitals should win tonight right?) and one my two daily medications. It was a D.C. morning for me today, because I had to do some public speaking on a particularly important topic. I only mention it’s importance, because the gravity of the situation I found myself in can only be truly appreciated if you have that information.

I don’t have an office in D.C., so I have to bring everything for work in and out of the city any time I am called upon to work in the nations capitals. No problem for me – I have one of those “wheelie bags” that some of the guys I know in law enforcement just love to make “old lady” and “lookout you young hooligans – grannies gonna whack you with her 150lb. purse on wheels if you don’t behave” sort of comments about. The “purse on wheels” comment is very special to me. There is one person who found out the hard way that this “old lady” can and will swing my “purse on wheels” and hit my intended target pretty quickly if needled enough (he’s fine and he at least learned to be several feet away from me when he give me a hard time). Anyway, when I barely crawled my hardly conscious body around this morning, long before the sun lit the Eastern sky, I grabbed the wrong pill bottle and put it in my “purse on wheels”.

When I do spend work time in D.C., I have an “assistant” who keeps me on schedule and well prepared for my presentations. He knows I don’t like to call him my “assistant”, but that word is in his title, so it is acceptable. I call him the “Chief of Saving Ass”, but it’s now just “CSA” for brevity. He earned that title the last time I was in D.C. and pulled a total stupid by taking the Green line to the Chinatown/Gallery Place stop. Guess what’s at that stop? You guessed it – the Verizon Center where the Washington Capitals play. It’s like rote for me at this point. My brain says to itself without me hearing, “Hey, I’m taking the Metro in to D.C., I must be going to see a Capitals game.” I should have driven to New Carrollton and taken the Orange line right to my intended location. What can I say – those darn Washington Capitals have conditioned me, like a salivating dog, to go to Greenbelt and take the Green Line to the Verizon Center whenever I get anywhere near D.C. – bastards! But, Chief Saving Ass came to my rescue in grand fashion that day.

My special “CSA” realized that I was not where I usually would be 1/2 hour before I needed to be in front of very busy people giving them an “A++” presentation. He also knew that I had a rough draft of my presentation on a shared drive, so he smartly ran around recklessly trying to get that rough draft uploaded on an available laptop. Then this brilliant individual set-up the laptop in the presentation room and started reading the notes I had sent via e-mail the night before. I was still correcting my “oh boy, oh boy, oh boy – going to see the CAPS – do-do-do” mistake of the day (can you say “one track mind?”) and was about 10 minutes away from my final destination when the VIP audience had filled the room and was ready to hear some well put together information.

Thanks to my great ass-saver, the faces in that room did not turn sour due to my hockey-related blunder. The transition between the “CSA” tactfully going over some key-points to be covered (using my notes) and my covert arrival and subsequent switching out of the laptop with the final presentation and the laptop with the rough draft, went so seamlessly, several people commented afterward that he and I really had our “acts together”. Well, I’m not ashamed to admit – that “act” was a one man show. He is the “CSA” all the way. Well, maybe not this morning – I have to give him the following temporary title today:  “Chief of Make Mia Almost Fall on Her Face, Unconscious”.

Before I get to that “travel” pill bottle I mentioned previously (you can probably see where I’m headed); I will tell you that I still think he is the “CSA”. I mean, if I can drive to Washington D.C. while practicing the presentation I’m going there to give in my head the entire way, and STILL mindlessly go the WRONG Metro station and get off at the WRONG stop because I’m addicted to Washington Capitals hockey – my “CSA” can make a mistake too! And he did this morning – we’re even I guess. I was getting everything prepared and noticed that I had brought the wrong medication with me, because I grabbed the wrong prescription bottle containing a VERY strong pain-killer. I had only taken this pain medication twice before, about a year ago, and didn’t take it again (I shouldn’t have even filled the prescription). It made me drool and talk to a blank wall for a while. After taking the second pill, it gave the “junkie itch” and I scratched some of the skin of off my arms. Oh, you better believe that’s a controlled substance. I’ll take most types of pain over being so druged-up that I fall backwards into a closet, landing on a pile of shoes, then basically “sleeping” exactly where I fall for several hours. NOT FOR ME thanks!

So, now you can probably guess what my blog title means huh? I do not take a lot of medication considering my health situation, but there is one medication I MUST take a certain time of day with food. I did not have that medication with me and the time was approaching to take my pill. I called my doctor and asked if he could assist me by calling the pharmacy that was right around the corner. That worked out great and all parties were more than glad to help me out, so my “CSA” diligently took the initiative to go to the pharmacy and get my medication. The standard catered, breakfast layout displayed nicely in the presentation room, so I got some 4-star, or better, food in me in preparation for my medication.

I will give you the specifics of how the “switch” happened later, for now, all you need to know is that I took the pill that my “CSA” put in my hand just as I was walking to the front of the room to begin my presentation. Many people have a fear of public speaking, but for some reason, I have never really had difficulty when addressing any size group of people – thankfully. I started my talk and progressed through the first fifteen minutes of a forty-five minute presentation just fine. Then I started to feel flushed and got increasingly warmer as the minutes went by. I realized I was just very slightly slurring my words, so I put more effort into enunciating properly. With about twenty minutes left, I gave everyone a bathroom and food break. That’s when the real fun began.

In my world of “Mia, we haven’t yet discovered what your underlying medical condition really is”, I am quite accustomed to odd symptoms that pop-up out of seemingly nowhere, for seemingly no reason. Nothing new there. I figured I was suffering some adverse reaction to being awake at 3 A.M. and a lack of proper sleep. I drank an entire bottle of water during the break in the hopes that would cool me down and wake me up. Then I headed back to my speaking spot, but I was shuffling my feet and feeling very “heavy”. After starting again and getting to about the ten minutes left mark, I was very glad there was a table near me, because it was either lean against the table or sit on the floor. Everything got about ten times harder to do and concentrating was barely an option. I’m the prideful sort who certainly felt that I should continue my fine standard of giving good presentations. The faces looking at me didn’t seem to show any indication that I was doing anything wrong or different, but I could tell something was not at all right. My “CSA” had returned to the room and was eyeing me very carefully with a very concerned look on his face.

I did struggle through the last five minutes of my talk, barely able to stand up (still, no one listening seemed at all affected). Just as I was getting to the last few sentences; a little voice inside of me was saying “you did it without falling on your face and kept it together for just long enough“.  And then I said, out loud, to my group, “Sometimes, it’s not MORDS you’re looking for in certain situations.” Well, I almost made it without any observable issues. Yes, “words” was what should have come out of mouth, but I very clearly, and with great emphasis said, “mords”. Upon the completion of my presentation, most of the group meandered to the food area again and mingled. I found the first available chair and was then informed by my “CSA” that he had given me the wrong pill. No sooner did he make his confession, a very, very, major player in the audience approached me and said, “I suppose my group has been missing the mark all this time because they were putting too much stock in the “MORDS”. I can only hope that he was saying that with some sense of levity.

My “CSA” was pulling double-assistant-duty this morning. He got a rush request from someone else and put the prescription he had just picked-up for me in my “purse on wheels” for a few minutes. When he returned to get my regular, daily pill and bring it to me, he assumed he had the right prescription bottle. I had no idea he had gone anywhere near my “purse on wheels”, so I trusted that he was giving me a pill from the bottle he had just gotten from the pharmacy. Instead, he gave me something that almost put me flat on my face.

I stayed in D.C. for a good portion of the day and worked on this post offline. I had to return to my detail office this afternoon, so I took a train. My car is having a sleep over in Greenbelt and I will have to work late this evening. I suppose it was all meant to happen. I’m not sure I could stand to watch the Washington Capitals play game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens. It’s a deciding game for my D.C. based Capitals and I may prefer finding out if they will be playing golf soon tomorrow.

Keep your eyes on your medication – those are very important MORDS – GO CAPS! – peace – mia – (sciencegirl99@excite.com)

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