Arthritis a pain in the neck? Sometimes you just need a new pillow.

My pillow – it’s one of the few things I own that I absolutely couldn’t live without. Sure, I have gadgets that I love to play with, and I have a closet full of clothes that make me look lovemypillowdebonair, and I even have a fantastic record player and some of the greatest music ever written on original vinyl, but as super awesome as all of that is, I don’t need it to live.  I could sit around and read old newspapers all day for entertainment, if I had to, I’m not picky.  What I do need, though, are the things that help me avoid pain, and that includes the stiffness in my back and neck that can happen in the morning.  The only relief I have found is my in my pillow.

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Our Hands Can! My Book Awarded As Prize!

bookA while back, my friend Lene Andersen from The Seated View had asked for a signed copy of my book to give as a prize for her Our Hands Can! event for the month of October.  Well, the October event has happened, and the winner has been declared.  I just want to say thank you to my friend Lene and everyone over at The Seated View for this great honor.  I’m truly humbled by all the work and great writing Lene and others post over there, and all I can say is keep up the great work! Thanks!  Check it out yourself.

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And Now For Something Completely Different… Aunt Ange

311414_2116711245904_915028863_nI know this isn’t my usual fare, but a friend asked me to listen to an album and give my thoughts recently, so I did.  It was so interesting, I thought I’d share.  When it was suggested that I listen to Olga Walks Away and commit my thoughts to paper, I immediately said “yes.” Writing about music is not something I often do, as the world of politics and my health-related endeavors don’t present me with many opportunities for such a treat. After I thought about the task more, I realized that I absolutely couldn’t wait until I had a few hours to myself to fire up the old tube amp and give the album a spin on my Fostex cans. (Any band like Aunt Ange who so graciously provides lossless formats for download should be applauded).

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Halloween: A Disabled Person’s Favorite Holiday

war_hockeyIt’s coming up on that time of year again, the one where people generously give presents to children all over the country simply for being festive. No, I’m not talking about Christmas, it’s Halloween I’m talking about. Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays, although it is much different now than from when I was young. That can be said about most things these days, though. Even so, Halloween was special.

Being a part of CreakyJoints and many other autoimmune communities, I like to think I have at least a decent idea of the things that other sufferers have gone through in their lifetimes. After gleaning this knowledge, I realize that my childhood was unique in the fact that the friends I had instantly accepted my disease and its many shortcomings.

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My Creaky Joints Homage

cjlogoWith the advent of the new CreakyJoints website, it was suggested to me that it might be nice to write about CreakyJoints itself, and what it means and has meant to me over the years. So, without further ado, here it is.

Someone asked me the other day how long I had been writing for CreakyJoints, and I had to admit that I didn’t know, exactly. So, I went back and looked up the first e-mails exchanged between me and Seth Ginsberg, and it turns out that I have been a contributing member of CJ since June 2010. That’s a bit more than four years for those of you who are counting, believe it or not.

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RA Meds & The New iPhone

iphone4So, the iPhone 6 is just about to hit stores, and by the time you read this, it will most definitely be sold out everywhere.  They say that it’s going to be the biggest iPhone launch yet, with millions already pre-ordered and customers already waiting until November for some models.  Then again, every iPhone release is the “biggest iPhone launch yet,” and my and the rest of my Apple brethren fall for it, every time.  It’s a never-ending cycle, and as I was sitting here, waiting for my shipping confirmation, I realized that these bi-yearly iPhone releases reminded me of something else very similar – something that all of us with autoimmune disease go through all the time.

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Chronic Opioids & Quality of Life

NSAID-pain-reliefRecently, I had the honor of authoring a guest post for my friend Lene over at The Seated View.  She so graciously allowed me to write whatever I wanted, and I decided it was time to show the world just what it would be like if people like me were no longer able to obtain narcotics in this country.  You can check out the post, my book, Lene’s great books, and more, over at her website.  Happy reading!

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An ISIS Primer & Why We Need To Fight

isis31n-5-webISIS. I only need to say the word, and horrible images of prisoners in orange jumpsuits being violently beheaded come to mind. The man dressed in black with a British accent, telling us that we have to “pay the price,” for arming the “Peshmerga against the Islamic state.” In the video showing the beheading of David Haines, the executioner holds the British Prime Minister personally responsible for “entering voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State.” The executioner then goes on to talk about how David Cameron, the British PM, is afraid to say “no” to the Americans and how the British citizens will pay the price. In order to illustrate that ISIS is serious, they claim that British citizen Alan Henning is next to be killed. Henning was captured in Syria, but no one knows exactly how. If you ever need a reminder, ISIS and their clockwork release of brutal, torturous, executions is a visceral memento of just what we are up against in the Middle East, and the extremes to which our enemy will go. According to the Art of War by Sun Tzu, one should know his enemy, so let’s talk about ISIS.

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My September 11 Story

port_11_TributeSeptember 11, 2001. 9-11. To borrow a phrase, it’s a “date that will live in infamy.” We collectively share what happened 13 years ago, the events that changed our world forever, but each of us also owns a personal narrative from that fateful morning. Where I live, in the suburbs of New York City, we were especially hard hit, and from my town alone we lost 77 people. Financial jobs were status quo here, and “Cantor Fitzgerald” is a name that still evokes an emotional gut punch when heard in passing. Don’t misunderstand; I’m not making light of any other town’s grief or claiming sole dominion over feelings of loss for our small berg. I only tell you this to set the stage for the drama I will unfold here, for the first time ever.

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Summer, You Know You Hate It!

heatI hear it everywhere: Another Labor Day, this summer really has gone fast, evaporating faster than I was even able to enjoy it, the lazy, crazy, hazy, days of summer.

Liars, liars, pantaloons on fire! The truth is most everyone secretly hates summer as much as I do.

We know we’re supposed to revel in the ‘beautiful’ weather and bask in the heat of the yellow sun and sip a glass of lemonade with a dog playing Frisbee.  Also, maybe a girl in a sundress dancing around as well.  Actually, that might have been a laundry detergent commercial I saw.

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