Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday Musings: Praise and Commendations, Weight Loss, Definition of Dork, Politics

Me and my cousin Diana visiting Grandma Downey at Bethesda Lutheran Infirmary.

Several things of note happened today. Do you want to hear about them? No? Well quit reading this then.

If you're still here, I guess you want to know what I have to say this time. Ok, here goes.

This morning I went to my appointment at St. Paul Radiology, next to United Hospital, for my biannual ultrasound. They always do a thorough job. They image the liver, pancreas, spleen and kidneys. They check the portal vein. The technician said that it looked about the same as it did six months ago. The radiologist will look at it and then give the results to MNGastro. I'll find out all the details on March 11. The technician said that there weren't any kidney stones. Whew! I've had five of them and they are no fun. One was so bad that I ran into the ER screaming for Dr. Kevorkian. They just laughed at me and said, " must have a kidney stone." That's how bad the pain is. If you've never had one, count your blessings. Some are silent, but I've never had one of those. Mine always make their presence fully known. Kidney stones have been known to make grown men fall to their knees.

This is Thursday, so I attended Golden Rule Toastmasters. That's the best Toastmasters club ever! I started this club and we still have several of the charter members. We've got people from MDH, people from Commerce and some from the investment company on the first floor. These are dedicated Toastmasters, some very new, and serious about improving their communication and leadership skills. We always have great meetings with humor and laughter as well as some formality. Today I gave a speech on a research article I read about a research team that injected human liver cells into a mouse. Then they injected hepatitis C and hepatitis B cells into the liver. This study is so incredibly fascinating as well as being cutting edge research. For more information, here's the article.  The second speaker, Andy Bahn, gave a very inspiring speech about his garden. 

Iit was wonderful getting praise from today's Toastmaster, Mat Spaan. He commended me for always stepping in to fill roles that were vacant because someone was sick and couldn't make it to the meeting or because they were swamped with work or had a work-related meeting to attend. He also commended me for dealing with the challenges that come with having a chronic disease. The rest of the group applauded. I felt good. One thing about Toastmasters is that everyone is so supportive. Sometimes we DFLers support gubernatorial candidates so much that we forget we need support, too. Some candidates don't seem to care about that. They're too busy relentlessly pursuing their political ambitions.

During the Table Topics segment today, Greg Doyle, the Table Topics Master, passed out Chinese proverbs. Then he called on people to give an impromptu brief speech on what they thought the proverb meant. Joe Batkiewicz was called upon. His proverb said, "Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, little wisdom."

I liked Joe's answer so much that I wrote it down. In part, he said that it's not how you get knocked down, but how you get up. Make every challenge and every occasion of getting knocked down an opportunity to learn and to grow. That hit home for me, cause I've been knocked down hard during the last week or so.

Someone else got "He who acts in haste repents at leisure." I should have got that one. We try to call on people who haven't had another opportunity to speak at the meeting. Table Topics teaches Toastmasters how to think on their feet. This comes in very handy in real life, particularly during job interviews. It's our belief that everyone who is having a hard time finding a job should join Toastmasters.

This week I have felt like I lost a friend. It's been making my solar plexis have an empty, hollow, gnawing feeling. I have not eaten anything at all today. I just couldn't. I did go to Lifetime Fitness after work, though. I lost another five pounds in two days.

The friend I lost keeps engaging in dorky behavior. Guess I shouldn't have said so. I told a couple of friends at work about it. They all asked, in separate conversations, why I thought the person was dorky. I told about the Alan Grayson incident on Facebook. They all said, "Yeah, that's dorky. What else?" So I gave some examples and they grinned and said I was right.

Dorkiness can be very endearing at times. Laura, my son Marcus' girlfriend, said to him, "You're such a dork. But I love you anyway." 

So what does dorky mean? I looked it up. In popular culture, here's the definitions. These are from various people.

Someone who has odd interests and is often silly. A dork is also someone who can be themselves and not care what anyone thinks. One expression is, "You are such a dork."

Someone who sits around, writing the 500th definition for a word in the Urban Dictionary, as if anyone will ever read them all. I'm such a dork for writing this.

Someone who does things that are kinda silly and not neccessarily cool but always cute. "He's such a dork. I love dorks."

Often used interchangeably with nerd or geek. Dorks are typically more noted for their quirky personality and behavior rather than their interests or IQ which may or may not be on level with traditional geeks or nerds. They tend to be more humorous and extroverted and don't mind laughing at themselves or with others at themselves, as the case may be.  After the 1990s, the term dork tended to specifically refer to a person who often shared the characteristics of geeks or nerds but were not ostracized as a result. Also, while old school geeks and nerds tend to continue to accept an "outsider" status and maintain an elite club mentality amongst themselves, dorks generally tend to do the opposite, hence a current preference with the mainstream for dorks over geeks or nerds.

Wow, that light bulb that's flickering in a seemingly random fashion is actually occurring as such due to a capacitance built up on one side of the tungsten filament until it discharges sending electrical flow through the tungsten, causing photonic emission through heated excitation, which then dissipates as you get farther from the light bulb according to inverse square law.  Girlfriend who is also a dork: You're right, you dork. Shut up and kiss me. You're so cute.

So yes, I did call a DFL gubernatorial candidate a dork because he often engages in dorky behavior. I said it endearingly, though, and with love in my heart. So what's the problem?

Also, I found the perfect method of weight loss. Fall in love with someone who doesn't know you exist. You'll lose your appetitite in a big hurry. Even better, make him mad. The pounds will drop off like leaves off the trees in late October. Plus he'll never forget who you are by that time.

Politics has changed my life. Yes indeed.

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