Thursday, September 29, 2011

Seven Things

Last winter was brutal here in Minnesota. Absurd amounts of snow and nutcracker cold. But at least one good thing happened: I won a Stylish Blogger award! Click here for details. It's sort of like the Pulitzer Prize, but for blogging. Not quite that prestigious I guess. Still pretty cool though. Midwestern modesty would urge me to add a self deprecating comment about why I don't really deserve this award. Screw that. Of course I deserve it. In fact, it's long overdue. I've been passed over more times than Iowa on the New York to LA redeye. Although I must admit, I'm a little uncomfortable with the “stylish” part. I've never considered myself to have style, but I suppose I can live with style–ish. Sort of like living with ALS. Technically I'm alive, but with near complete paralysis, it's more like alive–ish.

ANYWAY, thank you to my friend Greta for thinking of me. I was admittedly surprised by the honor. As I understand it, to be a blogger you need to actually blog once in a while. You may have noticed a decrease in frequency of my posts. But did it ever occur to you that it just takes a long time for a person with no functioning appendages to type out all this brilliance? I started this post in April for the love of Pete. Now it's July August September October and it feels like someone's following me around with a hair dryer every time I go outside. But despite the hot cold hot weather, I'm totally going to start posting more often. I might even post again by Labor Day Halloween Thanksgiving (let's be realistic) Christmas.

First things first however. To properly accept my award, I must perform several very important and perilous tasks. First, I must tell the world 7 things about myself that no one else would dare tell you. Next, I must nominate 6 other bloggers to receive this award and notify them of their impending celebrity. Then, I must provide a link to the blog of whom hast laid upon me this noble distinction. Finally, I must escort Dora and her pal Boots through the melancholy forest, over the valley of broken dreams, and on to the gumdrop palace. Wait, scratch that last part. Too many kids TV shows lately.

So, on with the seven profoundly interesting things about me:

1 - I am a boardgame geek and proud of it. It's no secret that I'm a gamer, but until now, I've felt like a member of an underground club. Today I'm coming out of the closet. I love to get my geek on and throw down some mad meeple action. To be clear, I'm not talking about Monopoly, Pictionary, or Scrabble here folks. Proper games all, but kid stuff in the broader gaming universe. I'm talking about Euro games like Agricola, Twilight Struggle, Pandemic, and Power Grid. Games that focus on strategy and minimize randomness, and can make your butt pucker in anticipation of every move. I can't move the pieces, but since these games are turn-based, I can rely on my mental dexterity to conquer the world. It's the only serious hobby I've found since ALS. Not only is it fun, it's revitalized the strategic thinking part of my brain that went dormant when I retired from corporate life.

2 - This is like, soooo embarrassing. Back when I was dating my future wife, I was so self-conscious about being tall and skinny, I would do all sorts of push-ups and weightlifting to pump up my muscles before we went on a date. I doubt she noticed, but it did pump up my self confidence. ALS has forced me to remove most of the items on my bucket list. However, it was truly a relief to cross off "Get ripped like Arnold Schwarzenegger."

3 – I stole a black and red Michael Jordan basketball from Kmart in ninth grade. My friend stole a fishing rod. It was rather ingenious actually. I deflated the ball with a needle-pump adapter and stuffed it under my ski jacket. My buddy faked a limp on his way in, disassembled the rod and reel, and put them down his pants leg. This was back in the day before electric scanners, and apparently we played our parts so well that security wasn't suspicious of a fat kid and his gimp friend wearing winter coats in the middle of June. Still, despite the success of our heist, I felt so guilty I never once played with the ball, and that was it for my klepto days, I swear. Except for the Fran Tarkington rookie card I stole from Schinder's but then lost to my friend Andy when I dared him to drink a bottle of hot sauce.

4 - Despite my name, I am not in fact from Scotland. Shocking as that may be for you, your shock value cannot possibly be as great as me'own disappointment when my parents told me last week. Imagine finding out your entire life was a lie, a lie you told yourself because wearing a kilt always felt so right, and that Braveheart guy talked like you wanted to talk ("I luv'yew, always 'av"), and because no matter how hard you looked, you could never find "Scandinavian" on a map. Also, and I want to be very clear on this point, I have nothing to do whatsoever with Scott tissue and toilet paper products. No matter what those jerky kids at the playground tell you, you should not ever think of me when wiping your arse.

5 - Despite the idiom, I would in fact wish ALS on my worst enemy. I'm not sure who my worst enemy really is (terrorists? gravity? parents who neglect/abuse their kids?) but I sure am tired of having this stupid disease. I've learned all the lessons I possibly could from it, so yeah, if offered the chance to pass it off on some waste of space assclown who doesn't appreciate the value of life, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

6 - I'm gay. Well, gay–-ish. At the very least, I'm confused. I just watched all six seasons of Lost and I can't stop thinking about Matthew Fox. You know, the incredibly smart and sexy Dr. Jack who pretty much saved the world while alternating adorable outfits. One minute he's rugged and moist while chopping wood in a jeans/T-shirt combo, the next he's asking you to turn your head and cough in a pair of scrubs. It's not like I want a whole new wardrobe or anything, but I've also been fantasizing about myself in one of those adorable blue and red Warblers uniforms from the all boys private school on Glee. It's okay though, I can say these things. I have a gay friend. And I'm in a wheelchair, so I could even make fun of gay cripples if I wanted to.

Lucky #7 – I don't believe in luck. At least not in the traditional deterministic sense, where some mysterious force is taking sides in the fortunes of every individual. I believe luck, destiny and fate are just labels for events that actually happen, out of all the various possibilities, regardless of how much control we may have over them. One person's good luck is another person's bad, it's all about perspective. Turns out ALS is a part of my destiny. My need to ask why seems a uniquely human trait, one that often becomes a curse when horrific things happen. We agonize over "why me?," feel sorry for ourselves, and try to assign blame. We rage that it's not fair when we know perfectly well that life itself doesn't give a frog's fat ass about fairness. God might. God might even have a plan. But I refuse to believe that plan is to slowly torture me with ALS, to rob me and my girls of joy and love. I beg God every day for the chance to be a healthy father. If it doesn't happen, I hope I'll find out why when I die. Until then, I will attempt to find peace with the way things really are. All that said, I consider myself a very lucky man. As the greatest rock band of all time once said: "Why does it happen? Because it happens. Roll the bones."

Six Four stylish bloggers you should totally check out:

This dude could very well be my doppelgänger, only funnier. He's tall, white and handsome, wears glasses and prefers cycling, Macs, and heavy metal. Oh, and he has ALS. I've never met him in person and probably never should. Based on well proven science, "a doppelgänger seen by a person's friends or relatives portends illness or danger, while seeing one's own doppelgänger is an omen of death." Wait a minute…OMG, maybe we've met after all!

I have met Craig in person, I even threw up all over his car one time. He is a dear friend. Smart, witty, creative, and eons more consistent with his posts.

I know Dave through Craig, but have yet to vomit near him or his vehicle. Dave and his wife own Hymie's Vintage Records in Minneapolis, ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top 25 record stores in America. They rock it old school. Broaden your musical horizons and check them out.

Don't know these folks personally, but I regularly laugh hard enough to vomit when I go to their site.

Ok, that's only 4 nominees. Truth is, I read other blogs only slightly more often than I post them. But these are well worth the time to read, in addition to mine of course, which, as you can see, is now an award-winning blog. Thanks again to my friend:

for bestowing upon me this honor. I have been away from here for too long. I will post again very soon, I promise. Well, soon-ish anyway.


Kirsten said...

I love your nomination from Greta, especially, "The posts are not so frequent, but every word he writes is a gift." Well said. Well written. said...

You are lovely - and thank you for sharing your writing gift....and you...(I have very much appreciation for the painstaking effort it took for you to write it.) and thank you for not giving up...THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME LAUGH! Linda R.

Catherine said...

We have missed your wonderful comments. You are indeed an inspiring writer and hearing your voice again makes us happy. Love from Catherine and John

Craig Willford said...

Crud, now I'm going to have to start trying to be witty again. . . Much like Scott, I've not been posting enough lately. . . I've been hanging out in G+ land. I just read this morning that there is a new wordpress plugin. Woot! Expect more content soon.

Scott, you are a funny man and once again the cause of people wondering why there is a guy giggling to himself in the last stall in the crapper. Thanks.

Matt Kuhns said...

Always good to see something posted here. Congratulations on the award!

You know, you still post more frequently than many perfectly-healthy people who also (allegedly) maintain a blog.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog in 2005 when I was looking for more information on ALS. My uncle was diagnosed with ALS and dementia at that time. He was 49. Anyway, you are an inspiration and I love your honesty. I check this blog periodically to see how you and your family are doin. Your wife is an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing your story.
Brenna Clarke