Lonely Man, You Know Who I Am

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Lonely man, you know who I am. 

You’re a labor of love, hand and glove. 
If you ever want to shoot for the moon,
You’ll need to bring your own silver spoon. 

Your drink is empty, nothing’s on the table.  
Miguel your waiter, sells only by the label. 
So you dance to music that never ends,
And toast bartender Mike, your new best friend. 

You’re anybody who has a story.
You’re the blood and guts, but no glory. 
You’re the play that’s no longer afloat. 
You’re the poem, you never wrote.

Lonely man, you know who I am.  
You’re a labor of love, hand and glove.
Johnny Cochran’s not your deal.
You’ll never win on your appeal. 

You’re the crowd in every room. 
The conversation that always spells doom. 
You’re the fly that’s always unzipped,
The greeting card, that’s always skipped. 

You’ve become the sweat on everyone’s brow. 
You’re the answer to, “No, not now!” 
You’re the best friend you’ll never have. 
You’re the rub, without the salve.

Lonely man, you know who I am. 
Labor of love, fit hand and glove. 
Win the lottery prize in your office pool? 
What are the odds you’ve played the fool!

You’re someone’s smile, without a face. 
You’re the awkward in an embrace.
You’re the gaze behind an empty stare. 
You’re the voice that isn’t there. 

You’re the cold pavement under bare feet. 
You’re the toothless grin that never eats.
So when you dare ask for a slice of life,
You’re the one to brandish a knife. 

And when your chapter is finally read,
You already know what’s been said.
Lonely man, you know who I am, 
Dance to music that never ends.

I originally wrote Lonely Man for a Montel Williams Poetry Contest for MS charity because I have a sister with MS. I think “Lonely Man” epitomizes how many of us feel from time to time. At the same time it pokes some fun at those same self-effacing feelings.

Unspoken Words. “Sometimes I forget that people can see me walk away mid-conversation.”

The email that you want back…bad!

“Sometimes I forget that people can see me walk away mid-conversation.” Yes, that happens. I’m not proud of it, but I just ordered the t-shirt. Consider it a warning.

Have you been rendered deaf and dumb by the unspoken word? Do you struggle with the spoken word?  Is anyone really listening? Unspoken words have become all consuming.  Just ask Alexa.

It obviously started with the word-processors and PCs. E-mails have dominated as the most effective form of communication for years.  Then there are the email you wish you had back!  E-mails are now often ignored, as are voice and voice mail. Now text messages illicit a response, when a phone call will not.

Are you tired of “friending” folks you may have shared a past, without a future? Have you acquired reciprocal friends? Friends who aren’t really friends, but are looking to up their score? Are you tired of posting and checking Facebook and trading likes. Do you actually become angry, depressed and lose sleep, if your posts go unnoticed, or if someone’s emoji solicits the wrong response. Guilty on all counts!

Then there’s Twitter, tweets and retweets, too. Occasionally you can get someone famous to follow you, heart or retweet you if you suck up to them. It can be infectious. Eventually you grow tired of chasing nameless followers and responding in kind and they all share your views? I actually miss the followers who you can disagree with, then they block you! Not really.

Every social media site, online news, on every  device, all forms of social media, especially if you are are promoting your business, can be obviously compelling. Think. How many social media gurus are out there peddling their “schtick”?

I started a Facebook account to promote MS awareness and to raise funds for MS. Not one Facebook friend donated solely because of Facebook. They donated because they were “real” friends and responded to my emails. Twitter too, has been ineffectual. LinkedIn is the one social media platform I find effective to garner information, stay in touch with colleagues, who I consider friends, learn from them and each other.

The problem still remains. We live in a world where the spoken word matters less. I challenge you. When was the last time you told a good joke, face to face and enjoyed a real laugh from real people?

I just asked Alexa to tell me a joke. Alexa responded, “What did the golfer call his girlfriend? Alexa, “The Sweet T.”  So how did Alexa know I call my wife, “Sweet T”?

How Do You Spend a Trillion Dollars a Year and Not Cure Cancer?

How do you spend a trillion dollars a year, over 6 trillion dollars in less than 6 years, and not cure cancer?

Murder by guns vs. cancer, a look at our current death toll in this country (based on trends – not actual numbers).   —> Always current Mortality statistics for USA

Cancer kills one in four Americans, making it the second-most common cause of death after heart disease. That’s nearly half-a-million Americans dying from cancer each year. More than 1.5 million new cases are diagnosed annually.

The average health care spending on a cancer patient is around $20,000 annually on treatment.  All told, more than $125 billion is spent on cancer care per year, just in the United States.  Yet, in 2013, the U.S. government funded a mere $4.8 billion.

Why are we not a nation cancer free?  Where are our priorities?  What are we thinking?

This is getting personal.  I have three sisters.  My youngest sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and she is a breast cancer survivor   Now my oldest sister has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  It’s no longer about Obama simply reaching into my wallet. It’s not so much about the money anymore.   It’s about the waste.  It’s about wasted time, wasted money and wasted resources.  Tic-toc, cancer is rampant and destroying more and more lives.  Government waste is a cancer, too.  Here is a case in point: Millions Spent on Storytelling Science.

Do you want to see real gains in life saving procedures and reduced medical expenses?  News flash!!!  Put your money and energy behind curing  the disease.  One of the most appealing aspects of Obamacare is providing for coverage to people who have  preëxisting conditions.  I’m all for that.  Make the insurance companies toe the line.  My contention is, what if preëxisting conditions didn’t exist?  Cure cancer. There would be a lot fewer preëxisting conditions if we attacked the real problem, cancer.

What if Obama had the cojones to take back the $16 Billion he gave to his mega-rich campaign donors, including blowhards like Ted Turner, recipient of around 1 billion in green energy money from Obama, for failed green energy initiatives  and put that money it towards cancer research?  No.  Now that he’s been reelected at all cost, we’re $17 Trillion in debt.  Now it’s everybody’s  problem that our healthcare is going to be too expensive for many small businesses because we are going to be taxed.  If you want to blame Bush or the Republicans, argue your case with John Roberts, Chief Justice, Supreme Court.

All politicians have it wrong when it comes to priorities on health issues, but the Mainstream media and Hollywood have placed the focus on our savior and savant, Barack Obama.  All Obama was about, was keeping his job by dividing America, the have’s and the have-nots’.  He succeeded.  All Obama has done is grow a new cancer.  A cancer that is equally daunting and will grow as our economy shrinks under his leadership.  Get to the source of the problem.  Why waste time and money on Obamacare?  Why not cure cancer?

One more reason we have our priorities wrong… click on the picture for the video or this link.Capture

UPDATE: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and IBM today announced that MD Anderson is using the IBM Watson cognitive computing system for its mission to eradicate cancer. Following a year-long collaboration, IBM and  MD Anderson will showcase a prototype of MD Anderson’s Oncology Expert AdvisorTM powered by IBM Watson. The organizations will discuss their shared vision to leverage Watson’s cognitive computing power to help patients by enabling clinicians to uncover valuable insights from the cancer center’s rich patient and research databases.

Living Backwards, Still Moving Forward

Diane Petersmark, with Danny Altenburg and John Whittenhall celebrating the finish of a century ride bikeMS 2010.

My reflections on bikeMS2012:  With quiet courage and conviction, those I meet with MS radiate hope, determination and optimism.  Even afflicted with MS, spiraling their physical selves backwards, their indomitable spirit moves their minds and souls forward.   Their hope gives me hope.  There’s a better world out there.  They inspire me, the ordinary man.  They are moving forward into the hearts and minds of all of us. 

Maybe those of us who clicked in Saturday AM for bikeMS2012, can take away a valuable lesson.  It’s not just about raising money, or the route, or the weather, the wind or the ride, it’s about the challenges in our very ordinary lives of living backwards and still moving forward.  It’s about the challenge of living extraordinary lives, like living with MS.

I’m very proud of our supporters and my Team iDentifi.  Individually, collectively we scorched our goals both as athletes and fundraisers, exceeding $25,000 in contributions.  Thank you!

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