A No BS Post.

This goes out to everybody who posted about my birthday, to everyone who left me a message on those blogs, and to everybody who stopped by here over the last couple days, be you old friend or new.

No fancy graphics, no clever wordplay, no silliness. This is just, plain, straight-up gratitude. When I started commenting almost two years ago, it was as a diversion, something to do when I was wracked with pain from my continual cluster headaches/migraines. I never dreamed I’d be signed up on almost 50 blogs, much less know literally hundreds of people directly or indirectly. Things just kind of grew, and I just enjoyed the ride.

But since my health crashed, and we moved down here to Ohio, my birthday (and by association, the whole holiday hoopla) became depressing. I was away from family and friends, miserable and sick, and usually without my wife, who took on the “bread-winner” role. I had grown to view this time of the year more with not-quite-annoyance, feeling cheated at the spirit of family and friendship “everybody else” had. This year, with my 50th birthday bearing down, I was feeling downright churlish.

Never…. never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that a band of people, who only know me as the guy leaving the smart-ass comments on their blogs, would set aside time during this season to set up this whole birthday celebration. Whether elaborate or spare, silly, funny, or even informative, each and every blog post was a gift, a tremendous treasure made all the more valuable for the surprise of its’ creation. And to top it all off, people who didn’t even know me added their wishes too, and even traveled here to join my growing little community.

In the light of such truly epic generosity, and (dare I say) love, I find myself without a gift to give in return. Words seem so empty, so hollow, unable to begin to describe the feelings that all of you stirred in me with your friendship and your best wishes.

All I can say is, Thank you. I know I haven’t responded to each of you directly, and I am truly sorry for that – a number of factors in “real life” keep me from spending the time I would like to. So I will say it again, to all the bloggers, commenters, and simply, to all the friends who made this birthday something truly special.

Thank you. Thank you all, so very much. And regardless of what holiday you celebrate at this time of year (even if it be none at all), may it be the most happy, joyous time for all of you. I look forward to a New Year with new friends and old alike, warmed to the deepest part of my soul by what you all did for me on this 50th birthday. Thank you all.

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41 Responses to A No BS Post.

  1. Don’t mention it, anything for my employees.

  2. Tori Nelson says:

    Glad to know you (even just blog-style), John. You make this wacky writer land a better (and weirder) place 🙂 Happy belated Birthday 🙂

  3. aFrankAngle says:

    John … it wasn’t time out of my holiday schedule, but rather part of it as it was a pleasure to do. Besides, I knew you would appreciate it.

  4. Alex Autin says:

    Very well stated John 🙂
    I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!

  5. Elyse says:

    It was a pleasure, John. You are one of a kind and we all treasure your friendship. Even if we normally only say it in a snarky way. (Not me, of course. I loathe snark.)

    Happy Holidays, John.

    • El Guapo says:

      Wait- what?
      Who are you, and what have you done with Elyse?!?

      • What do you mean, Guapo? This is Elyse! Humanitarian of the year, and lover of all mankind! 😉

      • Elyse says:

        It’s the spirit of Christmas, hijacking my snark. Ho f’ing ho.

      • I think I have that exact saying o a T-shirt, somewhere around here. A con-going friend in Buffalo had a friend who looked EXACTLY like Santa, year round – about 6′, big belly, white hair and beard. He grew so tired of kids pointing and yelling “Santa!”, that he had a T-shirt made saying “Ho Ho Fucking Ho!”. He wore it to a con, and a group of us ordered a dozen on the spot! (See? Everything I ever needed to know, I learned from sci-fi cons! 😀 )
        And a Merry Friggin’ Xmas right back at ya!

    • Oh Elyse, you’ve never been anything but a kind, warm, loving individual. It’s that incredible love for your fellow man that first brought me to your blog! 😉
      All my best, Elyse.

  6. whiteladyinthehood says:

    That was so sincere and sweet! Merry Christmas, John!

  7. El Guapo says:

    Thanks John!
    And that you enjoyed it, and you have a presence in the sphere is thanks enough.

  8. The world needs to know…are you or are you not L. Ron Hubbard? That was the one question no one dare mention!

    • C’mon – if I had invented Scientology and bilked all those Hollywood celebs of all their millions, do you REALLY think I’d still be here in Nohio? 😉
      No – I am not, nor have I ever been a Communist … er … Scientologist. A lot of OTHER ists, maybe, but not a Scientologist. Besides, my people’s motherships are FAR more awesome! 😀

  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And 50 is the new 21, so you’re totally young, vibrant, and should party hardy! =D Glad that everyone has been able to make you feel special and hope your day stays as special as you!

  10. aFrankAngle says:

    Oh crap … It happened. Christmas Eve 2012 will be forever known as the fall of an empire. Gotta run … the escape chopper is waiting.

  11. benzeknees says:

    I didn’t know you were a fellow headache sufferer. Quite a few years back I got a migraine headache that lasted 6 full months. I was throwing up all the time, wearing sunglasses every day, laying in bed with ice packs & heating pads & so f’ing miserable & bitchy! Thank goodness it was between my 2 marriages & I didn’t have to put up with a male in the house on top of everything else. I saw neurologists & all manner of other doctors, had tests up the whazoo & no one could figure out what was causing the headache. Then they started me with different medications & nothing worked. Finally, the doctor told me there was nothing else they could do for me – except he was going to try me with an old, old medication that people didn’t even use anymore. He told me if this didn’t work, then I would just have to learn to live with the headache. I told him to get out the gun & just shoot me right then & there. Fortunately, this medication in conjunction with high blood pressure meds worked. The headache finally went away, unfortunately there were side effects – one of which was the appetite of a horse. I gained a fair amount of weight & have struggled with weight problems ever since. I still suffer from migraines, but they usually only last 12 – 36 hours, with the accompanying after headache “hangover” which can be almost as bad as the headache itself.
    Merry Christmas John! Hope you are headache free today & tomorrow & many days to come.

  12. Oh benze, I’m so sorry to hear that. They defined mine as “cluster headaches”. I used to get them for about 4-6 weeks, then I’d go some years until the next group hit. The last group hit in 1999. In the process of trying to treat them (after a buttload of tests showed nothing), my genius doctor sent me to a neurologist who talked to me for 10 minutes, took my pulse and BP, and promptly prescribed me Depakote – a VERY heavy duty anti-depressant that “occasionally helps with cluster headaches”. Yeah – it helped lock me into the cycle, and I’ve had migraines (thankfully, without excessive light and sound sensitivity) ever since. I was on large doses of Vicodin and a couple other painkillers – I’m now down to less than half as much as I was just 8 years ago, and I’m hoping to continue improving, though things have been holding even for the past year or so.
    i think I might write a post about my last decade’s “adventure” for those new to me and my blog. Give ’em the gruesome details that help explain why a big-city boy ended up in the middle of nowhere! 😀
    Hope you’re having a Merry Christmas! And thanks for your story – it’s true about that old saying, “misery loves company”. Here’s hoping both our heads are one less pain we need to deal with in the New Year!

  13. Teeny Bikini says:

    Happy Birthday! Wishing you the best.

  14. tom says:

    Hey John, happy Belated Birthday and a Happy new Year to you and yours. Lets not go soft on us. We need the edge.

  15. Archon's Den says:

    No “like” and no words on this one either??! I know I’ll never take your commenters crown away, but, really?! Get healthy! Soon you’ll need to set the Claymores on the roof again. Blitzen? I’ll give you Blitzen! Separate Donder from Kris, and we can have a nice venison stew. 🙂

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