2010: The Next Chapter

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My only two posts to Oo’s Writings in 2009 concerned something I call “mmming,” a moaning, or sort of crying, “mmm” sound I make sometimes, especially when troubles get overwhelming. For this first post of 2010, I want to touch base with that issue, but largely I want to move on.

New “Mmms”

With the new year (already about 15% over) has come new goals, new accomplishments, new experiences, even a new Super Bowl champion… and a few new “mmms.” Frankly, I think there will always be some mmming. But has it diminished? Yes, it has—at least somewhat. Let me elaborate just a bit:

Normally, filing our income taxes is pretty simple because we don’t have much income, and our deductions are too few to itemize (the standard deduction is always higher). Most years, I finish both the Federal and State returns in two or three hours. But this year, I ran into a weird problem! First off, the IRS rejected our e-filed Federal return, saying that someone else claimed either myself or my wife as a dependent. Because of this, I had to mail a paper copy of our return… and now we have to wait about six weeks for the refund.


We still have a home loan modification pending under the Making Home Affordable program instituted by the Obama administration. I recently read that only 12% of applicants get a permanent modification. Hopefully we will find ourselves in that small minority, because we desperately need it.


My Music, Landmarks, Website

On a brighter note, I started singing at Open Mic Night at Mocha Moment again, after laying low for the month of January, when there was too much going on. I performed on February 3 and again on February 17; the second time I was in good voice, so it went off better. I didn’t have a single acid-reflux-into-the-throat episode until February 23 (but that one was particularly painful) so my singing voice is continuing to improve. In addition, on February 21, I made my self-titled CD* available again at CreateSpace.com; it was actually a remix of my earlier CD entitled Umm… so I put it on hold when Umm… was re-released on January 19, 2009. But I thought, “Hey, why not let both editions be available, and more people will know I’m out there, right?” So that’s just what I did; we’ll see what comes of it. Meanwhile, I’m writing some new songs, and I plan to release a brand-new CD hopefully by the fall of 2010.

(*NOTE, 1/22/2022: the self-titled CD is no longer in production; the original Umm… was reissued in 2021.)

Also on February 17, I celebrated my 52nd birthday which is sort of a landmark: there are 52 cards in a deck and 52 weeks in a year, right? Though people say I look younger than my age despite the balding and graying, sometimes I feel older; I’ve had occasional pains in my hip, knees, foot and ankle, that I didn’t have before. The blessing is that the pains have been absent for the past few days. And I used to have frequent back pain which is no longer there. I try to stay fairly active, and that helps.

Wendi’s birthday was February 15, two days before mine. At her request, I bought eight pieces of fried chicken, wedge fries and cole slaw for dinner.

Time marches on. Watching our “Counting the Days” on the Home page, I see that Wendi and I will have been married for 10,000 days very soon (March 3, 2010 to be exact). How cool is that… and for that matter, how many couples would know the day when that happens?

Speaking of this website, I recently changed the font to something more readable for most, and redesigned the Home page on February 18. I plan to try and finish Version 18 soon (the site is currently in three different versions; ouch!) and will also add new material as time permits.

Wendi’s Surgery, Activities, New Drink

Wendi underwent an upper GI endoscopy on February 17, performed by Dr. Michael Rainiero. He took some biopsies and also stretched her throat; she has been having trouble swallowing lately. She came through the procedure beautifully and ate several pieces of toast during post-op recovery.

Wendi has been volunteering at the hospital pretty regularly, and she is now involved in a group at church called Girlfriends Unlimited. She and I attended the Sweetheart Banquet at church on February 13. She walked with her cane that night; she often uses the cane instead of the wheelchair but relies on the chair for extended periods of standing or for longer walks.

On February 22 at Taco Bell, Wendi invented a new soft drink: I call it Ummamum Dew. Wendi mixed nearly equal parts of regular Mountain Dew and Baja Blast (she said it was slightly over half regular Dew). The stuff tasted awesome but looked exactly the color of the Ummamum!