Thursday, April 30, 2009

The truth has come down now

This morning while I was getting ready for work, I heard Fleetwood Mac's "I Don't Want To Know." I thought to myself, "I should really write about this song" as it has always been a Fleetwood Mac favorite of mine. I kind of forgot about it until I heard it again at work this morning, on the radio no less, and I figured "this must be a sign." So here I am.

As much as I really do love "I Don't Want To Know", as Fleetwood Mac songs go, it is definitely the bastard at the family reunion. It is impossible to talk about "I Don't Want To Know" without talking about the song that it replaced on Rumours, fan-favorite, Stevie-favorite and Lindsey kiss-off song "Silver Springs." Stevie tells the story best, you can read it over here. The basic gist of the story is that "Silver Springs" was all set to be on Rumours, but then it was dumped at the 11th hour for "I Don't Want To Know." Stevie was devastated, "I Don't Want To Know" went on the record and "Silver Springs" was relegated to B-side status (of "Go Your Own Way" which is the Stevie kiss-off song. Talk about adding insult to injury.)

Since then, "I Don't Want To Know" has been persona non grata. To my knowledge, it has never been performed live. It was not a single and has not appeared on any Fleetwood Mac compilations, not even The Chain box set, but "Hold Me" wasn't on that one either, which is an even more unbelievable omission. Well, I am going on record here and now as saying that I prefer "I Don't Want To Know" to "Silver Springs." And not by a razor-thin margin either. By a lot.

It's not that I dislike "Silver Springs" - far from it. It is certainly one of Stevie's best realized songs as a songwriter. It is lyrically and musically strong. The imagery is vivid. The vocals are solid. I can understand why she wanted it on the album. I tend to think that Mick's "it's too long" reason is bullshit - it's only 4 minutes something, but I suppose that vinyl might have had more significant time limitations. I just prefer the fun of "I Don't Want To Know" over the why-so-serious of "Silver Springs." I have always said that if I were in a band, "I Don't Want To Know" is the Fleetwood Mac song I would cover. If I ever learn how to play guitar, I want to learn how to play this song.

Stevie is on record as saying that it was just a fun guitar song she wrote, and honestly, she's right, but what's wrong with that? I just can't help but love it. It's one of those songs that she wrote that was perfect for Fleetwood Mac if for no other reason than the tight harmonies. I just could not imagine this song on one of her solo albums. It is also one of her more "down to earth" songs in that it is not all mysterious and witchy and what-the-hell-is-she-singing-about? Also, it just simply makes me feel good when I hear it. There is a lot of raw emotion in "Silver Springs" but "I Don't Want To Know" is a little subtler, adding a spoonful of sugar to the nastiness that was Stevie & Lindsey's relationship back then.

So even though I really do prefer "I Don't Want To Know", I'm willing to let the songs coexist. I am, however, absolutely militant in my opposition to attempts to shoehorn "Silver Springs" on to Rumours re-issues, as if it were part of the original album. Put it on a bonus disc, record it live a zillion times, but DO NOT try to alter a classic album. Period. Really, I'm kind of opposed to all those "expanded editions" of albums anyway, especially when they are blatant cash grabs. I didn't buy the Fleetwood Mac re-isssues in 2005, but apparently Rumours is getting the deluxe treatment this year, so we'll see if they do anything with "I Don't Want To Know."

That song will always be special to me, even though Stevie will likely never ever sing it.

Meanwhile, I found this picture that I have never seen before. I think it is Mirage era (based upon the look Stevie has going) but it's hard to tell.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anna on the piano

I posted this on Facebook, so for those of you who are duplicated here (i.e. most of you), please forgive the duplication. I just want to be a proud dad in more than one place.

Anna had her first piano recital today. My father confided in me a couple years ago that of all the things we did as kids, piano recitals were the things he just couldn't handle. And really, who can blame him? 36 kids of varying piano playing ability playing "Snug As a Bug in a Rug" (thank you Eddie Izzard) or "Theme from Young & The Restless"? Torture. I couldn't have done it. But as usual, having a kid in it made it all better. We even played a duet.

It was a tight 45 minutes, so really, it wasn't all that bad.

I should have done my Celine Dion impression. Or worn the Heart of the Ocean. Actually, it's probably best I didn't.


I was doing dishes earlier today, looking pensive and Heidi said to me "What are you thinking about?" to which I answered, "Well, if you want to know the truth...swine flu." Bet she didn't see THAT coming.

I've been reading a lot about the outbreak of swine flu that seems to have started in Mexico City and has so far spread to 5 different states in the U.S., confirmed in 3 countries and suspected in up to 6 more. When I first started hearing rumblings of it a couple of days ago, it was hard not to jump to the worst case scenario. For those of you that don't know, the worst case scenario is The Stand in which a superflu wipes out pretty much the entire population of the world. But since we all know that's just a story, and I've actually had a couple people ask me what I think of this from a health care professional standpoint, I thought what the hell, even though I am not super-qualified to speak on it. After all, I'm neither a virologist or an epidemiologist.

The simple fact of the matter is that, despite what the government and the news media are telling you, no one knows what's going to happen. Right now, things are not pointing toward widespread mortality from this particular strain of swine flu. There could be significant morbidity, but that is something we're just going to have to wait and see on. It doesn't seem to have a high mortality rate - only 20 confirmed deaths in over 1400 cases - and everyone in the U.S. that has tested positive for the virus has recovered or is recovering. So that's good.

What's not so good is that I really do think that this is going to be a pandemic influenza. That does not mean that it's going to be Captain Tripps and it's the end of civilization as we know it. We've had flu pandemics before and the last one was the Hong Kong flu 41 years ago which was not particularly lethal (at least not compared to 1918-1919) but they do happen. It's also true that we are well overdue for an influenza pandemic. There's been some speculation as to how much immunity the flu vaccine from last fall will provide, which is likely none as this combination of existing pig, bird and human influenza viruses is novel.

The part that bothers me the most about this is how the media is treating this, which I would say is borderline negligent in its attempts to whip up mass hysteria. All mainstream media outlets are guilty of this, but two that I frequent are especially bad. The Drudge Report has multiple scary headlines as links, and the Huffington Post (which really, in my mind IS the liberal version of the Drudge Report and because of that is annoying me more with each passing day) has equally scary headlines in 48-point red font. This helps in no way or form and the only reason they're doing it is because it makes good copy and for our mainstream media, news and entertainment are completely indistinguishable from one another so why should they bother trying to differentiate now.

I think the real story lies somewhere between the OMG-scary-might-as-well-jump-off-a-bridge-now attitude of the news outlets and a minimalist "oh, it's no big deal." Yes, this is a big deal. No, it's likely not the end of the world (although I can't wait for some religious wacko to try to blame the swine flu on gay marriage. You watch. It'll happen.) But we're likely to see quite a few people get sick.

So we don't know what's going to happen with this, and ultimately, we can't control it. Worrying is just wasted energy.

In the meantime, here's the Google Map tracking cases of swine flu. And if you want to read a great book on the 1918-1919 Spanish influenza pandemic, here's the link, although now might not be the best time to start reading it!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I found out that Bea Arthur died today at the age of 86 after watching that episode of The Golden Girls called "The Impotence of Being Ernest." I don't care much for the main storyline of that episode (Rose dates a guy who is impotent) but the secondary storyline featuring Sophia carrying out an 80s Sicilian vendetta is that show at its finest.

Blanche: (picking up the phone) Sophia, it's for you. He says his name is Tony the Hook.
Sophia: Tell him I'll call him back. (looks incredulous) What? He's my butcher. Yeah, that's butcher.

As my friend Matt says, no one could deliver a punchline like Bea Arthur. I would add to that sentiment by saying that Arthur frequently said more with a look than many comedians can with an entire monologue.

She will be missed, but thank God the reruns of The Golden Girls will continue until the end of time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In living color

This was Madonna's artist photo on the other day. It is usually the Ray of Light album cover, so this was a pleasant change.

I think, when it comes to iconic Madonna photos, this one has to be in the top five. It is oddly jarring seeing it in color as opposed to the sepia tones of the album cover. It's like we woke up in Munchkinland!

While I don't think that this is just an amateurish colorization of the Like A Virgin album cover, it would also not surprise me if that's what it turned out to be.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yet another NOM parody

And this is perhaps my favorite one yet. Those who know me know that if a YouTube video is longer than 2 minutes, I'm not liable to watch it. I watched this one. It uses the original NOM ad, but mixes in...well, just watch.

My favorite part: "Should I lose some weight?" (2:22)

But all in all, I enjoy the message at the end of the video, which shows how we will never be able to fight those opposed to equality with anything but love. I would be wise to remember that so that when victory eventually does come, the victory is not of the Pyrrhic nature.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

We don't buy music like this anymore

There are times that I really, really miss the way that late night TV used to be. Usually, it happens on the weekends when I wish I could be watching some cheesy teenage hornball comedy on USA's Up All Night or surfing between MTV, Night Tracks and Friday Night Videos (only to find that each is playing Cinderella's "Nobody's Fool"). Ever since infomercials took over in the late 90s, late night TV has just never been the same.

But really, there's something more specific that I was longing for today: The CD compilation commerical. I used to absolutely love those ads for CD sets that collected "the best music of the 70s" or "the most romantic ballads" or whatever type of music they were hawking. Always available only through this special TV offer, I found myself pretty much hypnotized by them, unable to change the channel even though I had seen them over and over again. Even better were the 30 minute ones that sometimes aired on Sunday mornings.

They were a dime a dozen throughout the 80s and 90s. I spent a good chunk of time earlier this evening watching them on YouTube. I've gathered some of the best (and the one I hated with a passion) for this quick Saturday evening post.

Everyone probably remembers Freedom Rock.

And this one that collected the best of 90s music--in 1995. It seems a bit premature to me, although I will admit that it made me listen to both "I Touch Myself" and "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"

And this one helps you to "feel the love."

What I remember about these most is that they taught me snippets of all these songs, such that when I actually heard the songs on the radio or wherever I might happen to hear them, I expected the next song snippet to follow directly after hearing the part on the song featured in the commercial.

The advent of digital music has rendered these types of collections pretty much obsolete, but I do look back on these ads quite fondly. Except for this one which drove me up the fucking wall. I don't mind most of the songs that are featured in the commercial, but the dweeby guy trying to be all Tom Cruise made me insane - especially the "China Grove" part.

I figure that guy is probably something like 35 and he just looks pathetic (and I'm 36 so I can say that). I'm sure that copyright probably prevented them from using "Old Time Rock & Roll." I'm also pretty sure that has Mary breathing a sigh of relief.

There are so many of these on YouTube, if I posted all of them, all I would do is annoy people. But here's one more, just because she's holding a big old vinyl record at the beginning.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Walking the walk

We have a Hobby Lobby here in Ames and we shop there every now and again, mostly for seasonal stuff or whenever we get an idea that we want to add a bit of decoration to a room. But I always feel a little bit weird whenever I walk in there, for it always smacks a little bit of religious fundamentalism. There is no mistaking that the Christian faith is very important to them. My experience has taught me that people (or businesses or whatever) that go around declaring how religious they are usually end up having life practices that are the most incongruous with that professed faith. So when I shop there, I always am a bit skeptical.

But yesterday, they showed they not only talk the talk, they walk the walk. They had a good year, and what did they do? They passed it on to the workers by increasing their minimum wage to $10 an hour for all employees, and those already making that got raises as well. According to a spokesperson, the company "had a profitable year and wanted to pass it onto the employees" because "it was the right thing to do."

Now that, folks, is living your Christian values.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Her laughter burns you up inside

A golden oldie came on my iPod on the way home from work tonight. It was none other than Madonna's "Who's That Girl" which gets quite a bit more play from me 22 years out than you might think. It's always been one of those Madonna songs that everyone forgets about. Banished from The Immaculate Collection (both the CD and the DVD) and only performed live on one tour, it seems like it's a song that Madonna would prefer to leave behind.

I suppose we can't really blame her. It, like most of the Madonna songs on the Who's That Girl soundtrack, is likely just a reworked cast-off from the True Blue sessions. I remember when the song premiered and how shockingly similar to "La Isla Bonita" it was, especially considering "LIB" was the single immediately preceded "Who's That Girl." Melody-wise, it's quite different, but it retains the Latin elements and slow pop groove of its predecessor. If Madonna really wants to include a Latin section in the next tour, I would implore her to consider "Who's That Girl" rather than trotting out "La Isla Bonita" for the 69,000th time.

Although it is mostly forgotten, even amongst fans, I would argue that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to "Who's That Girl." As a friend of mine from the Madonna listserv said, it is Madonna fluff to be certain, but for fluff, it is quite brilliant. What I love most about this song is how strong it is structurally. Sure the lyrics are lightweight and the production very 80s, but when it comes right down to it, it's a solid pop song. It also contains what is arguably the best Madonna bridge of the 80s ("Light up my my life/So blind I can't see...") Madonna's best songs have strong bridges and this is no exception.

It hit #1 on the Billboard charts, but I'd be curious to know how strong of a #1 hit it was. Surely it was a stronger #1 than say something like "This Used To Be My Playground" but it is still a bit of a featherweight when it comes to Madonna singles.

All that to say about "Who's That Girl" and truly, it's not even the best Madonna song on the soundtrack. That honor goes to "Can't Stop" which is definitely in my top 10 favorite Madonna album tracks. It may scream "they kicked me off of True Blue!" but the bridge on THAT song is to die for as well.


I wrote a good-sized post over on Heidi's and my other blog tonight and as I was trying to figure out how to embed a video into a Wordpress blog post, the entire fucking thing vanished into the ether. I swear I saved a draft before I navigated away from the page! I can probably recreate it in some form or another, but that event pretty much sealed the deal for me that I will never move this blog to Wordpress.

Not really related to that, but I imagine it could follow from that, I have been wanting to blog but have found that I have really lacked the will to do it recently. I know it's something that every blogger goes through, for regardless of the number of readers and/or commenters, blogging is essentially a solitary activity. I'm cool with that - I love having complete creative control and not really answering to anyone other than myself.

But that also means that I have to come up with everything I write about and, I'll admit, I have been having a difficult time with the balance on the blog recently. By that, I mean that I feel like the music and picture posts are too frivolous and not really matching my overall mood all that well. Posting things like that doesn't seem like I am being very true to myself (at least the current version). Big long posts that try to articulate thoughts I'm having end up either seeming like too much information or are just not all that interesting. Posting heavy stuff all the time upsets the balance that I strive for on this blog.

It's much like the best relationships I have, which tend to be a delicate balance of the serious and the not-so-much. Too much of either one ultimately annoys me. But fortunately we have Le Chatelier's principle: If a chemical system at equilibrium experiences a change in concentration, temperature, volume, or total pressure, then the equilibrium shifts to counteract the imposed change. Even though it's supposed to apply only to chemistry, it also applies to relationships and blogging and life in general. Oddly enough, most of the fundamentals of thermodynamics also do. There was a guy I knew in college who I always said was a living example of Le Chatelier's principle as his natural equilibrium was depressed and moody and he had an uncanny knack for turning any good things that happened to him into bad, thus restoring his equilibrium.

And since this got a bit heavier than I originally wanted, here's my attempt at balance. It's the only Meat Loaf song I really like, and it's because it's perfectly balanced out by Cher.

(actually, I kind of like that "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" song as well, but really, it's just the "hose me down with holy water" part that I like.)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter then and now

We had our picture taken today after the Easter service. I figured that since we are Unitarians, it would be just like any other Sunday, and in a way, it was. But it also wasn't. We are also VERY good looking!

In 2005, we had a similar picture taken in our front yard. We were good Lutherans then. Here's that picture, just for the nuts of it.

I cannot believe how much longer my hair is, and honestly the last time I wore a tie was to my grandmother's funeral last summer (not counting my turn as Doctor Who at Halloween.)

We've come a long way in 4 years. It'll be interesting to see where we are 4 years from now.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter - if it were a horror film

We went down to Ankeny today to my friend Jeff's sister's house for an Easter egg hunt. Anna had a great time, and Jeff surprised all the kids by dressing up as the Easter Bunny. Anyway, I snapped photographic evidence of his arrival.

Looking at it now, it is like I captured the moment just before everyone at the Easter egg hunt was murdered by the evil Easter Bunny. I think that Easter is the only holiday that does not have a companion slasher movie. Instead, we have to settle for Night of the Lepus, which I have never seen and after watching this trailer, I think I must Netflix it immediately.

And here's a clip from the movie. To quote The Vicar Of Dibley, it looks like a "production of bloody Watership Down!" Emphasis on the bloody part.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I can run but I can't hide

There is NOTHING less cool than admitting to liking a Celine Dion song. Yes, the woman can sing, but I think that most guys would rather put rusty nails into their eyes than admit to having any kind of fondness for anything that French-Canadian chanteuse produces.

Well, I'm not most guys.

I love this song and I am not ashamed to admit it! (OK, maybe just a little bit.) It is from Celine Dion's last album Taking Chances so it's a couple years old now and it is called "Shadow of Love."

I can't figure out what it is about the song that I like. I think part of it is the chorus which just has a great hook. It's very high on the melodrama and it's also a bit unexpected from Celine Dion in that it is not a ballad. It is also uncharacteristic for Celine Dion in that it kind of crept up on me rather than hitting me over the head with a hammer. I listened to it a few times, then put it away for a year, and then it resurfaced and I am listening to it like it's the biggest hit ever.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a huge closet Celine Dion fan. Although I don't really harbor her any ill will, so much of her music is so same-y that I feel like a little bit goes a long way. But really, who else has done Meatloaf better than Mr. Loaf himself? ("It's All Coming Back To Me Now") And everybody says that they hate "My Heart Will Go On" but come on, you know you love it.

And then there's this. It defies description.


Things have been quiet around here over the last few days - on the blog at least, but not in real life. There's a really good reason for this - actually two, but they are related. We are working our tails off with One Iowa to make sure that a repeat of Prop 8 does not happen here in my home state. Also, I have hesitated posting here because this fight is very all-consuming right now and I don't want to fill this blog with daily posts re: marriage equality. That's why Heidi and I created this blog, which is where we're putting all of our activism for right now.

I posted this over there, but I simply must put it here. In reading through the news links this morning regarding marriage equality in Iowa, I found this. It is definitely in the running for the most blatant hyperbole I have seen yet on the issue. While I will give him props for mentioning how much marriage has been "attacked and dishonored" by heterosexuals (something sorely missing from most of the virulent anti-equality folks here in Iowa), the basic point is that his only argument against gays getting married is some moral imperative from an imaginary friend that I don't believe in.

Bottom line here is their only arguments are religious, and newsflash! - not everyone shares their religious views, and as such, the whole population of Iowa should not be subjected to their religious views being written into law. Conversely, the arguments for marriage equality are based on the rule of law and the Constitution of the state of Iowa, which was modeled after that of the United States, something that all of us as citizens should rally around.

Add that to the fact that the Republican caucus in the Iowa House yesterday simply redefined obstructionism by insisting that we not vote on the state budget but instead, vote on the marriage amendment. Fortunately, the Democratic majority stood strong, but they will be vulnerable next election cycle, especially with out-of-state money coming in for the opposition.

We have not yet begun to fight, but I will be there fighting every step of the way. Marriage equality is just the right thing to do and I'm proud to be on the right side of the issue.

In the meantime, ponder this. Which is more destructive? Loving people committing to each other and creating new families and social networks, or this?

It's no wonder I left organized religion. This kind of thing is just disgusting.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Wish I were here

It's now my desktop wallpaper, so I guess that's close enough.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Harmonizer harmonizer

My admiration and love of Dolly Parton's music is one of those things that is fairly well documented around these parts. I've written many a post on her in the past and I'm sure there will be many more to come. But one of Dolly's most underappreciated talents is her absolutely amazing ability to harmonize with just about anyone. I was listening to a song that she recorded with Sonya Isaacs called "The Angels Rejoiced" tonight and I was once again reminded of her amazing ability to harmonize. She is just a natural at it, effortlessly finding the harmony and, in her own Dolly fashion, making it seem like it is the melody.

There are countless examples of this and while Google searching "The Angels Rejoiced," I came across an Listmania collection of Dolly rarities, including many songs on which Dolly has either dueted or provided backing harmonies. Part one is here, and part two is here - it seems quite exhaustive. Some of my personal favorites are her presence on Rhonda Vincent's "Heartbreaker's Alibi," Mindy Smith's cover of her own "Jolene," and Norah Jones' "Creepin' In."

But perhaps my favorite is her unlikely 90s duet with Culture Club. Called "Your Kisses Are Charity," it simply must be heard to be believed. (yes, it's a lip synced performance, but I'll take what I can get.)

I especially love her vocals from about 2:09 on - the harmonies just give me chills, although now that I think about it, they are not really harmonies, but you get my meaning. There is also a god-awful lot of stomping going on in that live performance!

All this has prompted me to make a playlist of Harmonizer Dolly. We'll see how it goes. In the meantime, here is her Dolly-ness with Norah Jones.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Filled with pride

It was a long night last night on a lot of levels. I work late tonight and have a hellacious weekend ahead. But for whatever reason, I don't care, because same-sex marriage is finally legal in Iowa. The Iowa Supreme Court upheld a lower courts ruling that it violates the equal protection clause of the state Constitution. Not only did they do that, they did it UNANIMOUSLY.

I have lived my whole life in this state. I don't imagine that I will probably ever live outside of its borders - I am an Iowa boy through and through - and I have never, NOT ONCE, been more proud to be an Iowan than I am right this very instant. It is pretty much the polar opposite of how I felt when Prop 8 passed.

As one of the articles I read said - in politics, as goes Iowa, so goes the nation. One can only hope that it applies in this situation as well.

Well done, Iowa. The people at One Iowa must just be beside themselves.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Heroes & heroines

Heroes and heroines
Are scarcer than they've ever been
So much more to lose than win
The distance, never greater.

--"Heroes & Heroines", Mary Chapin Carpenter

It's hard for me to believe that we've reached the end of the first quarter of this year. Seriously, it seems like 2009 just started. I'm nowhere near keeping up with the blogging pace I started with last year - I'm down about 30% from this time last year. Most of that has just been the natural ebb and flow of things. I haven't been as "into blogging" this year as I have been in the past. That's not a threat to quit blogging or anything. Believe me, if I ever do quit, it will be with a whimper and not a bang. I despise those people that come on to their blogs and declare their intentions to quit as a blatant attention grab. I am, however, thinking of doing a massive overhaul of the blog. Template, title, layout, everything. But we'll see. I also have a lot of other things on my plate.

A lot of this year has been devoted in some form or another to diagnosing Heidi's mystery ailment that has defied (until recently) a diagnosis. It has been a long and hard road for her, for both of us really, but most of all for her. As I pointed out to her the other day, I'm not the one that's hurting pretty much constantly. But I don't exist in a vacuum and I would be lying if I said it hasn't affected me a lot. Part of that has been my marked tendency to pick up things I don't need to pick up, but when you love someone that's hurting for reasons no one can seem to figure out, it's hard not to want to do whatever it takes to help them. It's why Lynette Iles is worth her weight in gold. After all the doctors and tests and more doctors and meds and more tests and an MRI and chiropractors and neurologists and psychics and you-name-it-we've-entertained-the-option, she finally figured out what is causing most, if not all of the chronic pain that Heidi has been dealing with. It's called hypermobility syndrome, and even though it, like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, has no real definitive treatment beyond exercise and analgesics, it's at least a relief to be able to refer to it by name. There is also a possible carpal tunnel component, but frankly, we're beginning to doubt that more and more with each passing day.

This whole experience has really caused a crisis of faith in me - and that sounds dramatic and it is probably overly so. My faith in the ability of traditional Western medicine to find the cause of an illness, accurately diagnose it and treat it successfully has been severely rocked by this. As someone whose job is to be a cog in the wheel of Western medicine, this has proven especially problematic. Before this, I figured that there was no problem that a competent physician could not diagnose and treat. After all, our medical educations are the best in the world, right? I have, in the past, been notoriously skeptical of alternative medicine. Even most herbal remedies get a raised eyebrow and skeptical look from me. If there is no tangible proof that we can measure objectively that a treatment works, then it is not worth trying - or at least that was the school of thought I espoused.

I think the tipping point for me was when Heidi went into the chiropractor and, after her initial appointment, had me come along to play the role of the skeptic. After inadvertently comparing this man's profession to voodoo by saying "I just want something to help her, I don't care if it's voodoo," I took a step back and set my general skepticism of chiropractors gently off to the side. When I thought rationally about it, the things he said made anatomical and physiological sense. What I've come to realize is that the chiropractor is basically nothing more than an osteopath, only without all the internal medicine training. And while her results from the chiropractor have been plus/minus, I think overall it has been positive.

The problem is that our health care delivery system really is broken. Badly broken. I said to Lynette after Heidi's first appointment back in December in which she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia after 5 minutes, "Whatever happened to a differential diagnosis?" According to her, in most places it is dead, or only exists on House. I've been trained to put my faith in the diagnostic abilities of physicians and while there are many many good doctors out there, they are operating in a fundamentally flawed system that discourages spending time actually listening to patients and encourages herding them through like so much cattle.

So while these heroes and heroines of health care actually are scarcer than they've ever been (or so it seems), the real hero in all this is Heidi. Rather than just succumb to to it and give up and not fight, every setback has been a reason for her to redouble her efforts. I'm not sure that I would do the same were I in her shoes. She refuses to give in to to the pain and despite the numerous obstacles that have been thrown in her face, she continues to push them aside and persevere. That is not to say that she hasn't had frustration and anger - one look at her blog will tell you that. But the fact that she continues to fight it is an inspiration to me.

We don't know what the future will bring as far as this goes. We certainly didn't think we'd still be trying to figure things out 3 months later. But it's what we do. One day at a time. I frequently say it's the "in sickness and in health" part of the vows, plus for me, I also view it as karma or whatever for all those years she weathered my storms.

But the one thing I do know is that we will continue to face them together.

28 Smurfs Later

Smurfs episode in which angry Smurfs are created by biting + score from 28 Days Later = (near) classic.