Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vitamin D and Entocort Info Cards

I went to a checkup appointment with my Crohn’s Disease doctor today to go over the test I had last month.

I’ve been having issues the past few years with the place they reconnected my large and small intestines after my Crohn’s diagnosis and surgery back in 1988. Three years ago I had to be hospitalized because this place in my intestines was scarring up, restricting the flow, and backing me up. Today, my doctor showed me the difference between my scans from three years ago and my scan from last month. He even showed me the staples they put in me back in ’88. It was pretty amazing, and all done with a click of the mouse.

The good news, he doesn’t think I need more surgery.

The bad news, my vitamin D levels are way too low. Also, he thought it would be a good idea for me to go on Entocort.

I have no problem with the vitamin D thing. I know the Sun and I don’t get along too well, so I don’t mind taking this supplement to get my levels up. The possible side effects list isn’t too long, and the aches, loss of appetite, and nausea often come with Crohn’s anyway.

The Entocort is totally new to me. My first concern when my doctor brought it up was skating, and he assured me it wouldn’t affect my training. And, I will only be taking it for six weeks. So, it’s a temporary thing just to see if it changes what’s going on at the site of my surgery. But, the list of possible sifde effects is rather lengthy. A medicine for Crohn’s that may cause gas? How the f- am I supposed to know if it’s the Entocort causing the gas? And I love the “pain” possibility…could we get a little more specific? Even though the idea of starting another drug doesn’t excite me, I trust my doctor, so I will take my Entocort.

Over my life, I’ve had an interesting relationship with drugs. They have made my body feel better and worse. I’ve had allerigic reactions to drugs and others have made no difference with my symptoms. I’ve been given drugs that saved my life, but had side effects that made me violently ill and took my hair. My reaction to alcohol consumption was less than ideal. Drugs have helped me with my cancer and Crohn’s, gotten me into trouble, and have dulled the pain of two kidney stones.

Ultimately, it’s up to each individual what drugs are put inside his or her body. Doctors can suggest and laws can try to control, but it’s really up to you. I think all drugs should be legal and controlled like alcohol. I’d rather see all the money and resources currently used for the “War on Drugs” used for education and treatment instead. Addicts don’t care if a drug is legal, and if someone decides to “try heroin” because it’s newly legal then they are making a very poor life decision. I will go more in depth on this subject in a book someday, but for tonight I’ll just hope that my Entocort is doing what it should…

PS - Go B's!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Autographed 98.5 B-LIEVE Poster

First of all, pardon the poor quality of this scan. The poster was too big for my scanner, and I had to cut and paste 3 scans to get it all…

It wasn’t much of a decision when I heard they were letting fans see the Bruins off to Vancouver. The only question I had was which members of my family I was going to meet there. After a text message to my older sister, I left my friend Carl’s place in Quincy to meet her and my parents at the Fleet Center (again, there was only one “Gahden”).

Not surprisingly, I scored a parking spot right across the street, and met my family by the Bruins Pro Shop (which was closed today – even though it is a holiday, you’d think they’d open it for the B’s Faithful?). I put on my sunscreen (SPF 85), my parents waited by the building, and my sister and I found a spot near the gate. It was warm and humid, but well worth being a little uncomfortable to cheer a team that’s done something 20 teams before them haven’t.

After waiting for over an hour, and hearing a few words from my hero Cam Neely, the players started showing up. Tuukka Rask, Steve Kampfer, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin, and Dan Paille came down by us. With the exception of Paille who had some excuse why he wasn’t giving autographs, they all signed everyone’s 98.5 B-Lieve posters (I got Marchand in red and Seguin in black). Someone told Brad, “Go win The Cup”, and he replied, “I’ll try.” I had to whip out the Star Wars, and told him, “Do or do not, there is no try.” Speaking of Holy Trilogy references, Adam “Darth QuaiderMcQuaid was making his way down to us, but we saw someone tell him it was time to go (I’m sure he would have kept going down the entire line signing and taking pictures with people).

The B’s then got on the busses, and took off…

After the crowd had cleared, my sister and I found our parents who were (not surprisingly) BEHIND the barriers they had put up – they know a lot of Bruins people. We were walking back to get inside, and were interviewed by a Boston Herald writer. We told him about the McGrath’s love of everything Bruin, our dog (Rest in Peace) L.B., my parents’ living room “Bruins Corner”, and all the superstitions when we watch the games. Then, my dad was interviewed by NESN and explained how awesome it would be if three generations of McGrath got to share a Bruins Stanley Cup victory.

We all B-Lieve. I hope the Bruins do, too…

Can’t wait until Wednesday…GO BRUINS!!!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

1996 NHL All-Star Game Plate

As far as the Boston Bruins, my college years weren’t very kind to me. My freshman year, they were swept out of the first round after only losing 4 regular season games in March and April (three of those playoff games were OT). In 1994, they beat the Habs in a first round 7 game series, but lost to the Devils in the 2nd round after winning games 1 and 2 in New Jersey (I went to game 4 in Boston, which was an OT loss – thank you very much Stephane Richer). In 1995, I had finally made the decision to stop drinking, but the Bruins again lost to the Devils. My senior year, it was the Florida Panthers that knocked the B’s out of the playoffs in the first round, and I had to wear a Flyers jersey because of a bet with my college girlfriend – the person whose team was eliminated first had to wear the other team’s jersey for a week (people were looking at me like someone had kidnapped the real me).

Still, there was something memorable about that 1995-1996 season. Not only was the NHL All-Star game in Boston, the B’s captain Ray Bourque played a pivotal role in the outcome:

But when I think of this All-Star game, I think of two BC guys I met my senior year that have become two of my closest friends. I met Carl in my senior year psychology practicum class and he introduced me to one of his friends Scott (Scott and I were in a class together junior year, but only spoke briefly once when he told me how much he loved my “Fuck You You Fuckin’ Fuck” T-shirt). We were walking down Comm Ave not too long after this game, and I found out that Scott was a huge hockey fan too (a fan of the Islanders). I was saying that it was great Bourque got the All-Star MVP in Boston and Scott’s comment was something like, “Yeah, and it will be the only trophy he lifts up too.” Little did he know that this would be happening 5 years later…

Even though Carl and Scott have enjoyed making fun of me for being such a diehard Bruins fan and telling them “this is the year” on more than one occasion, I know they are both rooting for the B’s in the finals – and not because they are huge Bruins fans. They are two of my closest friends, and I didn’t even know them the last time the B’s made it this far. I was happy to see Bourque win it, but I think he Bruins have all the pieces in place. Here’s to many more years of friendship with Carl and Scott, a The Cup coming back to Boston – where it belongs…GO B’S!!!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Old Brown Dog Ale 6 Pack

There are a lot of things I like and admire about my girlfriend.

She always knows how to deal with me when I’m stressed out. She watches (and enjoys it) hockey games with me. She tells me she’s in love with Tim Thomas, and I tell her I am too. Her smile and laugh. She has a great sense of humor and isn’t afraid to make fun of me. She I smart, reads a lot, and encourages me to read more. She supports projects like my t-shirt blog and Skating for Hope. We share a similar view of the world, and can have honest and calm conversations when we disagree. She helps me with my weaknesses. She forwards me things on email that she knows I’d actually want to read. She deals with my Crohn’s using humor, but is very supportive and never makes me feel badly about it. She thinks my family is “adorable”. She watches The Daily Show with me, and calls me out for my huge man crush on Jon Stewart. She considers others when making decisions. She is a vegetarian, only eating fish when a menu is limited. And when it comes to beer, she isn’t satisfied with something cheap like Bud Light. She likes the higher quality stuff, and has a great “enjoy it” attitude to her beer drinking. Old Brown Dog Ale is one of her favorites, and when it comes to people in my life, she’s one of mine. The list of things I admire about my girlfriend could go on and on, but they’ll be continued in a book sometime soon. Thanks for being so awesome Hun; I’m lucky to have you in my life!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bruins Playoff Towel

I’m sitting at my parents’ house in between the first two periods of the Bruins/Lightning game 7 Eastern Conference Finals playoff game. I’ll take it! I’m here with my older sister and two nephews. Although my nephews are enjoying some iPad games and taking a more casual approach to the game viewing, my sister and I are on the edge of our seats.

I’ve watched a lot of playoff games here. I remember watching game 7 against the Devils in 1988. I was finishing the 8th grade, and the Bruins had beaten the Habs for the first time in my life. I remember watching game 1 of the 1990 Cup Finals here, the most heart-breaking Bruins loss I’ve ever watched.

Although I don’t know how this game will end up, I’m thinking positive thoughts. I just got a text from my friend who told me his 5-year-old wants the Bruins to score 6 and the Lightning to score 2 in the 2nd period. I’ll take it!

I’m expecting the Bruins to show me just how badly they want this. If it’s as much as I want them to win, they shouldn’t have too many problems. GO B’S!!!!!

More later?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

(Dream) Skating for Hope Schedule

I think we can all agree that cancer sucks. It makes people suffer physically and emotionally, and takes loved ones from us too early. We all want it to go away.

Still, I think there are lessons we can learn from cancer. It does not discriminate. Cancer doesn’t care about your age, race, religion, political party, job, finances, sexual preference, nationality, or anything else that people often judge each other about.

Cancer reminds us that our family and friends are the most important things in life, and that the “stuff” we have isn’t what makes us the happiest.

Cancer taught me to keep laughing no matter what is going on in my life.

Most importantly, it showed me how picturing something, dreaming something, and believing in it makes it happen.

19 years ago, I was picturing chemotherapy traveling through my veins, into my brain, and attacking my cancerous brain tumor. It worked, and I am here to share that story.

Two years ago, I got an idea for a Skate-a-thon to help Hope Lodge, and it is happening in a couple of months.

This is what my ideal Skating for Hope event schedule would be. Even though I am still waiting to hear back from a few people, some of it is already happening. There are former BC hockey players joining me, which itself is going to be unreal. I’m sure as the years go on, the actual event will look more and more like this “dream” one. Looking forward to July 30th

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thank You Card (2010)

I’ve written it many times, but I really can’t write it enough: The only thing that really matters in life is the people you have in yours. No amount of money, possessions, or Bruins Stanley Cup Championships can make up for the great people I am lucky to have in my life. These people have helped me through medical, personal, and professional problems. They made sure I had enough shirts for my t-shirt blog last year. They are the reason I don’t let “little things” upset me.

Some people in my life have been a lot less fortunate than me. I have worked with many special ed students that had severe behavioral and emotional issues, and usually had a less than ideal family situation. In the fall of 2009, I started working at a special education school during the day while still working at Hope Lodge during the night. The double shifts wore me down physically and mentally, and the stress made my Crohn’s shift into overdrive. After three months, my body told me that I couldn’t keep it up. It was a difficult decision, but I had to stop working at the special ed school.

Still, I wanted to make sure the students knew it wasn’t because of them that I made my decision. So, I started volunteering my time at the school. I continued an after school writing group, and also started playing guitar with a couple of students each week. Not surprisingly, the students greeted me about 1,000 times friendlier compared to when I was working there full time. They were well behaved, had fun, and were productive in both of the after school groups. It was actually more rewarding than the work I got paid to do at the school.

This is the thank you note I got from the education coordinator for the school…

Earlier tonight, we had the first committee meeting for my Skating for Hope event. Most of the group was my family, including my younger sister on Skype. I can’t thank them, the other committee attendees, and people that are going to help but couldn’t make it tonight enough. Like my t-shirt blog, I will not be able to pull of Skating for Hope by myself and I am thankful to have so many great supporters in my life. Looking forward to the next meeting!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tybee Island Light Station and Museum Wristband and Guide (With Pictures)

After a weekend of wedding-related festivities in Savannah, GA, my girlfriend and I had a free day yesterday and we went to the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum.

First up (after entering through the gift shop) was climbing the 178 stairs to the top of the lighthouse. It wasn’t too bad, but looking straight down from the view deck did make me feel a little dizzy. I did manage to get a few shots of the view, and my girlfriend was daring enough to take one looking straight down.

After climbing back down, we checked out the head keepers’ cottage and the summer kitchen. I didn’t think there was anything too special in either of these buildings, but I did wonder how often the keeper had to rush down the lighthouse stairs for a bathroom trip. I also asked the tour guide about ghost sightings, and he said he hadn’t had any or heard of any.

The museum part was located in Battery Garland, which is part of Fort Screvin. There were several rooms that had artifacts from Tybee Island history and an observation deck. One of my favorite parts was the “biggest pinup collection” picture – I’m sure it was one of the most popular spots in the barracks. The other, I found at the end of a quiet hallway. I was walking down it, and noticed a few leftovers from when there was an amusement park on Tybee Island. And then just as I entered the room to get a better look, all these lights and loud circus music scared the crap out of me. I yelled, “Jesus Christ!”, crouched, and ran back towards my girlfriend as if the rapture was only off by a couple of days. My girlfriend was laughing about it for the rest of the trip, and rightly so.

We spent the rest of the day on the beach, which was just on the other side of the museum. It wasn’t too crowded, the water was warm and jellyfish free (we saw one on the sand), and the waves were great. We got a healthy dose of vitamin D, and stayed in the water until my girlfriend felt “something” walk by her foot. Still not comparable to a PEI beach, but it was definitely a fun time.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Westboro Players' Club Sweeney Todd Program (2009)

Sometimes things just pop into my head and I say them without thinking about how upset the person I’m talking to might end up. Two years ago was one of those times.

I went with my friends Glen and Krissy to the Westboro Players’ Club production of Sweeney Todd at the middle school in Westboro. As we were walking in, I thought of Glen’s love of all things ice cream, especially the sundae variety. I turned to him and asked, “I told you they’re having make your own sundae at intermission, right?” Glen’s face lit up for a bit until I started laughing, and he realized he was a victim of a typical Dave ruse.

Even though Glen was upset at the lack of intermission ice cream, this story has a happy ending. We enjoyed the show, and the next day I felt bad for tricking him so I brought over make your own sundae ingredients to his house. I cant’ help myself sometimes when I make people believe things that aren’t true, but I’ll try to make up for it…

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Ticket (5/22/08)

When I was a kid, Star Wars and Indiana Jones were the movies I loved the most. My siblings and I often acted them out, and I wanted to be some combination of Han and Indy. I collected all the toys, played the video games, and (thanks to our new VCR) knew all the lines. To some extent, all of the above are still true today.

When Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out three years ago, I knew I wanted to see it on opening day. I had Red Sox tickets for the same day, so I caught a morning viewing before the game. I wasn’t anticipating a movie that was better than the original three Indiana Jones flicks, but hoped it would be full of similar action sequences and Indy one-liners.

My expectations were met. It was my least favorite of the Indy movies, but I still enjoyed watching it. Even though I think the dialogue wasn’t as good as Raiders, Temple, and Last Crusade, the action scenes were right up to par. I will never get tired of watching another narrow escape by Dr. Jones.

Many viewers questioned the alien element of this movie, but I think they missed the point. Every Indiana Jones movie had religious themes, and Crystal Skull did as well. The first three centered around Christian and Hindu religious artifacts, and the crystal skulls revolved around a religion that involved aliens. Also, all four movies had people trying to use these godly objects for evil purposes. The message in every Indy movie is clear: try to get powers like God, and you’ll get punished.

The only thing I really didn’t enjoy about the Crystal Skull movie was the ending. Cheesy, cliché, and not Indy-like.

Even though the 5th Indiana Jones movie is only “in development”, you can still get your Indy fix in the new traveling exhibit, which is now in Montreal (don’t worry, there’s no hockey games being played to get in your way).

To check out more about the real story of the crystal skulls, you can go here and here. And to see the very graphic depiction of what the South Park guys think this movie did to Indy, go here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Georgia Wedding Invitation (5/22/11)

My girlfriend and I came down to Savannah, Georgia this weekend for this wedding that she is a bridesmaid in. When I saw the Bruins playoff schedule, I saw that we would be down here for game 3 of the Conference Finals between the Bruins and Lightning. I quickly Googled directions, and found out Tampa was only* a 6 hour drive from here. I told her if the Bruins were ahead 3 games to 0, I would “have to” drive down to Tampa and go to the game. The Bruins ended up losing game 1, so it became a non-issue before we even got here.

We got in last night, and I spent the evening at the bride-to-be’s parents’ house getting to know everyone else that came for the wedding. The house was full of laughter and story sharing, and everyone had a great time. Of course, my girlfriend shared my “I want to go to game 4” story with everyone, and I think the guys understood more than the women.

Tonight is rehearsal dinner time, and the Bruins are going into the 3rd period tied 3-3 (after having a 3-0 lead in the first period). I’m lucky to have a girlfriend who understands my love for hockey and the Bruins, and I’ll be able to skip the church part of the evening and watch the end of the game. Thanks, Hun!

Looking forward to hanging out with the wedding crowd for dinner tonight, and for all the festivities tomorrow...

Let’s go B’s, strong 3rd period!!!

* Compared to driving from Massachusetts to Prince Edward Island

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cheers Last Call Poster (5/20/93)

I didn’t start watching Cheers regularly until I was in junir high, but well before the last episode aired I was a huge fan. I can’t believe it was 18 years ago that I went to wait outside the Bull and Finch with my friend Mike to watch the last episode.

Before the episode started, we saw all the cast members pull up in limos and wave to everyone as they walked into the restaurant. I was especially thrilled when Cam Neely got out with Woody Harrelson.

There was a huge screen setup to watch the last episode of the hilarious, Boston-based show, and I was glad I got to be there.

Here’s some of WBZTV’s coverage:

If you’ve never seen Cheers, do yourself a favor and put it on your Netflix list. You can thank me when you’re laughing.

Off to do wedding weekend related things, more on Cheers later…

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Red Sox Tickets for Tonight

I’m off to my first Red Sox game of the year. Of course, it would have to be during a week of non-stop rain and on a night when the Bruins are playing game 3 of the Conference Finals. Hey, it’s hard to predict these things in mid-December. Of course, thanks to Harold Camping, we know the world is ending on Saturday, so I’m glad I get to squeeze in one more visit to Fenway. Go B’s and go Sox!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Skating for Hope Postcard

We had a special dinner at Hope Lodge tonight thanks to the great people of Niche Hospitality (the same group that brings us free dinner every Monday night). Steve and Mike came and made a delicious meal for everyone. There were doctors, donors, friends of Hope Lodge, former and current guests, Hope Lodge committee members, and an American Cancer Society CEO.

So, I designed* and printed out a bunch of these and left them in a prime spot for people to see them on their way in and out. Luckily for me, I had people here tonight who made it a point to mention Skating for Hope to the attendees, and many of these postcards were taken away.

Feel free to use this scan and spread the word about Skating for Hope! Also, if you’re interested in being on the Skating for Hope Committee, let me know!

*Thanks to my awesome sister Carolyn for making the SFH logo!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pearl Jam Tickets

I’m not the biggest fan of the warmer months.

My skin was not made for the Sun. I always get the highest SPF even though I know after a certain number it doesn’t matter. I actually want to come out with my own brand that just says “Irish”.

My Crohn’s doesn’t like hot and humid weather. Some days, my energy is so low that I just want to lie down with the A/C on full blast.

There’s no hockey. Every year, I wait between the last game of the Stanley Cup Finals and the first game of the next season. And no summer in my lifetime has included a Bruins Stanley Cup Parade (yet).

But, I always try to look on the bright side of things. Just about every summer, I go to PEI. It’s not nearly as hot and humid as Massachusetts and takes many of life’s stresses away. I also go to concerts during these warmer months. Even though less temporary than The Island, they also remove any worries that might be rattling around in my brain.

I’m not sure exactly how many concerts I’ve been to, but I know Pearl Jam is on the list of bands I’ve seen the most. Pearl Jam, Extreme, and Great Big Sea are my top 3, and of those I would have to say Pearl Jam is my favorite to see live. And I obviously love seeing Extreme and GBS concerts too, but there’s just something about a PJ show...

Even though I heard Pearl Jam on the radio when I was a senior in high school (Ten was released August 27, 1991), they really didn’t come into my life until I was battling cancer the following summer. My older brother Jon let me borrow his Discman whenever I was getting chemotherapy, and I listened to Ten as the VP-16, carboplatin, and bleomycin were killing my brain tumor and I liked it…a lot.

But it wasn’t until I was done chemo and moved on to alcohol that I really started loving Pearl Jam. Their anger at the world added to my drinking and anger at life proved to be a perfect and lethal combination (see more about that on my Pearl Jam T-shirt blog from last year). I knew I had to see them play live, and I went to my first Pearl Jam show my sophomore year of college. I was blown away, and have been going to see PJ play ever since.

One of the coolest things about the Pearl Jam website is they have pages for every song they’ve ever played and every set list for all of their shows since 1990. With a few tickets missing, here are all of the Pearl Jam shows I’ve seen…

Boston Garden, April 14th 1994 – My first PJ show. Went with my friend Jay who lived across the hall from me at BC. His dad had some Budweiser connection, and that’s how we got the tickets.

Great Woods, August 29th, 2000 – Went with my cousin Matt and friend Jenn. Matt was very happy we didn’t miss a Pedro Martinez no-hitter (He had a one-hitter against the Rays that night).


Hartford, CT, May 13th, 2006 – Went with my buddy Ian, and saw my friends Glen and Mark there. I think it was Ian’s first time seeing PJ.

Fleet Center, May 24th, 2006 – Took one of my best friends Andy to his first PJ show and it was awesome. We’ve played many of their songs together on guitar, and it was great to finally share a live show with him.

Hartford, CT, June 27th, 2008 – Went with my awesome friend Glen to the first of back-to-back PJ shows, and Glen took a picture of me and Eddie Vedder (see with picture of me and Glen at show with Glen bravely ignoring the unwritten rule of wearing a t-shirt of the band you’re seeing).

Great Woods, June 28th, 2008 – Eddie Vedder made a reference to Boston fans having endurance : “You waited 86 years to win a goddamn motherfuckin’ World Series, I think you got endurance…”

Fleet Center, May 17th, 2010 – A year ago tonight, I went with my friend Sherry to the most recent of my PJ shows. Tonight, the building is rocking again, but for a different reason….hope the B’s finish strong and looking forward to my next PJ show!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Crohn's Disease (IBD) Questionnaire from Remicade

If you don’t have Crohn’s Disease, you probably don’t have to ask yourself questions like this on a regular basis.

I think questions 2 and 6 are my favorite ones, and I feel lucky that for the most part my Crohn’s doesn’t get in my way of my social interactions. If anything, it has provided my family and friends with comedy material to add to all the things they make fun of me for.

Even though this questionnaire was sent to me as part of a big ad for Remicade, keeping track of symptoms and experience is really important to most people with Crohn’s. Factors like diet, stress, exercise, and weather all can play a role in a “Good Crohn’s Day” vs. a “Bad Crohn’s Day”, and keeping track of it all helps with knowing specifically what sets the disease off.

Crohn’s and Me used to have a tracker you could print and mark off, but I just found out they updated and there’s a smart phone app – just search for Crohn’s and Me Wellness Widget, and you can have a tracker with you wherever you go.

If you have Crohn’s, I hope you are having a good day and whatever plan (diet, medication, exercise) you’re using is helping to keep your symptoms to a minimum. I know Crohn’s affects everyone differently, but knowing exactly how much, how often, and what circumstances your CD is flaring up is a good tool in fighting back.

If you don’t have Crohn’s, be happy you don’t have to ask yourself all of these bowel-related questions!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Medical Records, 2nd Round of Chemotherapy (5/13/92-5/15/92)

Yesterday, Friday May 13th, I went to UMass for a CT Scan of my intestines because of some symptoms I had been experiencing with my Crohn’s Disease. What I didn’t realize until after my appointment was that exactly 19 years ago to the day (5/13/92), I went to UMass to start my second round of chemotherapy for my cancerous brain tumor.

Even though my two trips to UMass were 19 years apart and involved some serious medical issues, they were both overshadowed by something (to me) that will always trump CAT Scans and chemo meds: Boston Bruins Conference Finals Playoff Hockey.

In 1992, the B’s were getting ready to face the Penguins for a chance to advance to the Cup Finals – also after sweeping their round 2 foes (The Habs). They lost Game 1 on May 17th, and would end up getting swept by the Pens and “Super Mario”. The Bruins had lost to the Penguins in the Conference Finals in 1991 as well, so it really wasn’t too surprising (I brought a Walkman to my Junior Prom that year so I could listen to game 6 – the game that eliminated the B’s from the playoffs).

This year, the B’s aren’t facing an NHL Powerhouse like the Penguins of the early 90’s, and I’m not facing a life-threatening situation like my brain cancer. But I think if they believe in each other and victory as much as I believed I would beat my brain tumor, they will be the ones advancing to the Cup Finals this year. I have B-elieved in this Bruins team since the beginning of the season, and I know they are capable of bringing the Cup back where it belongs. I’m not saying it will be easy, but anything is possible if you put your mind to it…


Friday, May 13, 2011

UMass GI CT Appointment Sheet (w/ video)

So, I thought I'd try something different today and make a little video of my GI CT appointment. Enjoy!

Holy Cross SPUD Collage (5/12/11)

This is the scan for Wednnesday, May 12, 2011 – Blogger was down last night, and is working again just now…

Last week, I gave some advice to the students from Holy Cross who visit Hope Lodge every week.

This week was their last visit until next school year, and they (well, the group leader Katie) made a pasta dinner for all of the Hope Lodge guests.

Everything was delicious, and many of the guests were around to enjoy it along with the last SPUD visit.

I’ve made it a tradition to make all the students a collage from the school year as a little memento for their time at Hope Lodge. The background from this year’s came from an old Boston College / Holy Cross football program, along with snapshots from Christmas, Cranium, Apples to Apples, and the “unplugged” night we had with one of the guests.

It was another positive experience working with the HC students this year, and I thank them for all the hours they put in helping to make the Hope Lodge guests have a better experience during their stay.

PS - Always remember if you are playing Apples to Apples, the “Dave’ Ass” card trumps all others.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Science Cheerleader T-Shirt

Never heard of a science cheerleader? Neither had I, then I saw them on TV last year.

So I checked out their website, sciencecheerleader.com, and saw what they were all about. I also saw that they had t-shirts.

After a quick email to the group’s founder, she told me she would send me a t-shirt for the blog.

Even though I didn’t get my Science Cheerleader T-shirt in time for my 365 T-shirts Blog, I thought I’d include it for this year’s blog.

Here are some other cool things I found on their site:

Think you’re science literate? Take the SC Quiz here.

Does your kid need to pick a topic for a science project? Check out their project finder.

Thanks again for the t-shirt donation!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dirty Gerund Poetry and Marc Marcel Cards

Last night at the Worcester Magazine’s Best of Worcester party, I ran into a friend of mine, Alex, who I had not seen in a while. Alex and I went to St. John’s and Boston College together, and he was there for winning the Best Poetry Series.

Although he had invited me many times to the Dirty Gerund Poetry Show he co-hosts, my schedule at Hope Lodge usually has me working on Monday nights. Luckily I had someone covering me for the Worcester Mag Party, so I was able to go last night

So, after all the awards had been presented, my girlfriend and I headed to Ralph’s Diner for our first night of Dirty Gerund Poetry. We hung outside for a bit with Alex and the featured poet Marc, who had flown in from Baltimore for the show, and headed into Ralph’s.

Even though I had never been there, I felt really comfortable at this diner. I don’t know if it was the hamburger being grilled in front of me or the funky décor, I just felt like it wouldn’t be the last time I visited this place.

When the poetry started, I was really blown away. Even though I have published 4 books of poems myself, I had never been to a live poetry show. I figured the poetry would be different than what I had written, and I was right. All full of energy, most of the poets exploded with verses about sex, religion, and politics. The poetic vocalizations were full of emotion, funny at times, and captivated the audience. I think my favorite was titled “Election Night Sex”, an anti-Republican rant written about the 2008 presidential election.

Marc Marcel mastered the mic with his poems about how religion divides us, how money is meaningless, what he needs from a woman in bed, and how he disagrees with one of his friends about how to treat women. When he was sharing his verses and views on religion and money, I was all smiles and knew I would be emailing him my t-shirt blogs that shared the same opinion – this guy understands what is really important in life. I’m looking forward to his next visit to Mass.

The night concluded with a Superhero Haiku Game Show (What, you’ve never heard of one before?). Haikus were read that gave clues to different superheroes, and contestants “buzzed in” (hit a different body part of Alex’s co-host, Nick) as soon as they knew who the poem was about. With my girlfriend as my witness, I would have won and taken the $15 gift certificate to That’s E.

I don’t know when I’ll have enough confidence to be part of a Dirty Gerund show, but I definitely want to give it a try at some point. It was a great job by the Dirty Gerund hosts, bands, and poets last night. Easy to see why they won Best of Worcester. Looking forward to the next Monday night I can have off…