Thursday, May 25, 2006

Eye Exam

Today, I have to go for my annual eye exam. That reminds me how much I used to hate to do things like eye exams before I went through my PFSP therapy. I would go there and stutter through the whole thing, and if that was not bad enough, I would feel like whomever I was talking too was feeling sorry for me. I can't tell you how much I hated feeling like that. Thankfully, those days are long gone.

Speaking of eye exams, a few weeks ago Novelchick got new glasses, giving up her sexy Lisa Loeb-style glasses. Though, Novelchick is still plenty hot, with or without glasses.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pagoclone and The One-Armed Guy

This morning, Indevus Pharmaceuticals issued a press release and hosted a conference call to discuss the phase II results of their Pagoclone testing. Tom Weidig has been discussing this drug for quite some time (including the possible sexual side effects) on his Stuttering Brain blog.

Whenever I hear the words pharmaceutical and testing, why is it that I think the one-armed guy from The Fugitive (1993) movie will somehow be involved?

Though I am very happy with the improvements in my speech due to the Precision Fluency Shaping Program, and am not looking for a miracle cure, this is an interesting story to watch.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I Love Baseball

I Love Baseball. Not like I love Novelchick or the little one, but I have always loved sports - specifically baseball. One of the reasons I have always loved sports is that they are fair. When you are playing a sport, it generally does not matter if you stutter, where you live, how much money you have, who your parents are, or even if you have any. As a stuttering white kid growing up in a black neighborhood with not the most pleasant homelife in the world, sports gave me a chance to feel equal to everyone else and gave me a chance to find commonalities with others, instead of just seeing the differences.

At times, I am reminded that people obviously must like sports for a variety of reasons. Last Friday, the little one and I were at the TED (as we are for every Friday night home game) for the Braves game against the Washington Nationals. The little one was sporting her new Jeff Franceour jersey and showing everyone her mastery of the tomahawk chop. During the game, we are sitting in our seats (left field, 2 rows up), when this young man staggers down the aisle and sits in the seats right in front of us. He looked like Willie Aames from Eight is Enough and Charles in Charge fame and is wearing a red golf shirt 2 sizes too small, jeans and dress shoes. He is also carrying 4 Budweiser bottles - though 3 are apparently empty. He starts shouting at the Nationals leftfielder Alfonso Soriano, specifically concerning Soriano's defensive lapses in the outfield. It was a rather strange scene and after a few minutes of this, this rather bizarre gentleman was escorted away by the ushers. I wonder what it is about sports and baseball that attracts this guy, and made him want to spend his Friday night getting drunk and shouting at a Dominican baseball player about his defensive liabilities in the outfield?

I wonder why Alfonso Soriano-hater-guy-in a tight red shirt likes baseball.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Stuttering, Insurance and Marilyn Monroe

As most anyone who stutters (or has a spouse or child who stutters knows), many health insurance policies exclude therapy for stuttering. The National Stuttering association has an interesting brochure on their site which may be of use, if you find yourself trying to get your insurance company to pay for your therapy.

When I first went through the 3 weeks of therapy at the Precision Fluency Shaping Program in Norfolk, VA in 1995, I was told by my health insurance company that stuttering was not covered. However, after I attended the program, I kept submitting claim forms for the therapy. I would get a letter declining the claim, and would immediately send another out. After about 9 months of this, I went to the mail one day and found a check from my insurance provider for 80% of the therapy fee. So, I guess the lesson from that is that it is always worth a try.

On a different topic, the other night Novelchick and I were watching The Seven Year Itch on AMC. It is interesting that possibly the most beautiful woman to ever appear in a motion picture stuttered, was bipolar and spent a good part of her career with her weight around 140 pounds and wearing a size 12 dress.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Goodbye Community Group!

I had a Cinco de Mayo lunch with Dorky Dad this afternoon. Actually, neither one of us realized it was Cinco de Mayo until we got to the restaurant at 11:45 and saw a big tent and crowd in the parking lot.

Dorky Dad and his wife lead our Northpoint Community Group. To make a very long story short, he told me over lunch that the rest of the group had made the decision last Monday to end our group 7 months early - after we finish the current study we are on. The timing of it was a little surprising, but it had been painfully obvious for some time that this was a group that just did not click on a Community Group level.

So, that is one less external transfer opportunity for me for a while. I classify transfer into 2 categories - internal and external. Internal transfer consists of any transfer I have with Novelchick, our daughter or my manager at work. Conversations with these 3 people probably account for 75% of my total time spent talking. External transfer is, of course, time spent talking to everyone else in the world.

Of course it will be great to spend some additional time with Novelchick and the little one on Monday nights.