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I went to Costco on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. On accident, of course I didn’t think about it.

I went to the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University.

I had to position myself to avoid the glare. The Rodin, they had “The Thinker”. So, I went into the gallery and saw that and I had to kind of position myself all around it. And because you have to spend so much, because I had to spend so much time positioning myself, I couldn’t do this kind of casual looking. It really changed the way I looked at stuff. I had to look kind of more actively. It was interesting. Anyway, it was just a really cool experience having been to so many art shows in my life. It was totally new way of doing it, but I enjoyed it. I did it. I’m going to do it again, I think that’s cool and so cool stuff with the wheelchair, positive things.

I appeared on another MS Podcast, the YEG MS Podcast. Read on..

Begin Transcript

Welcome to the “What’s the Matter With Me?” Podcast.

My name is John, I’m 39 years old: husband, father of two, small business owner, radio DJ, podcaster, and I have multiple sclerosis, so I made this podcast to share what I’m going through.

“What’s the Matter With Me?” is an MS podcast, and it’s also about other things. I’m not a medical professional and you should not take this for medical advice. If you need medical advice, ask your health care provider.

I record this podcast to let people know that when difficult things happen you don’t have to quit or give up, you can just keep going.

YEG MS Podcast

I went on my wheelchair to two different places, one was crazy and the other was kind of beautiful. But first, I did an interview on a multiple sclerosis podcast from Canada called YEG MS Podcast, which is created by this guy Sean Wingrave. And he’s kind of like me, he’s husband and father, about my age and he’s out of Edmonton, Canada, in the state of Alberta.

Sean has MS and he organizes running events called “The Really Long Run to End MS”, which is kind of an interesting thing. I can’t run, but I’m interested! I reached out to him to try and make a connection with another MS patient. He’s a podcaster, he’s a father, he’s my age, have a lot in common, I thought, maybe. I wanted to see if I could talk with another podcast to see what we sound like. It sounds loud out here right now. But just like I said, I’m just going to keep rolling.

SI have a lot in common with him. I wanted to see how my message sounded when I crossed it with another person’s podcast, or with their own message. We had a pretty long conversation. I think it was about an hour. Actually, we had two conversations because the first one there was some audio lost and so we made it up on the second one. it was good, I had, it was almost an hour conversation with the guy. We covered a lot of stuff. I’m going to play an excerpt, I’m going to try and download some of it. I’ll definitely put a link to it on my website. Here’s the excerpt:

Sean Wingrave: Welcome to the YEG podcast, episode number 52 Today I have the pleasure of chatting with John Hoppan and John is a podcaster. He’s a radio DJ, he’s an entrepreneur, he’s a father, he’s a husband, he’s an MS warrior. He’s an all-around great guy and his podcast has had a profound impact on me. At the start of these things, I always like to give the listeners more of a sense of who we’re talking to and kind of how your MS journey started, but you’re involved in so many different things. So, where do you think we should start?

John Hoppin: Oh gosh, that’s hard. I mean, you have to edit things out right? (tape edit sounds) ..Like I often say at the beginning of my podcast, I say, “What’s The Matter With Me?” is a MS podcast. But, it’s also about other things because I live a full life. I have a family, I have a wife, I have two children. I run my own business and I’m on the radio and I make the podcast. I put a lot of energy out there in the world because it helps me to get support for my own MS, my own struggle. To put energy out, it comes back to you.

John Hoppin: YEG MS podcast is available from iTunes and everywhere you can hear podcasts. Also from Sean’s website at ownmultiplesclerosis.com. I encourage you to check it out. Many thanks to Sean. It’s an interesting thing. He talks to other people with MS. He’s creating this audio archive, so thanks for having me, Sean. Check it out.

Time of 11:00 AM right now, so there’s a lot of plane traffic. It’s Fall right now. It’s pretty beautiful in the garden, lot of leaves on the ground everywhere.

I rode my wheelchair around two places and one was insane and the other was kind of wonderful.

Costco

Totally by accident. I didn’t think about it, of course, I didn’t think about it. I went to Costco on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, it was bananas. I mean it was Costco, but Thanksgiving Costco, it was madness. It was really crowded.

I got stepped on, I got menaced by carts a lot. I was trying to stay real close to my wife. She was pushing the cart with the kids and I’m trying to stay close to her, but people’s carts keep getting in the way and I keep getting swallowed in a sea of giant Costco carts that are right at my face level. It was kind of freaky and people kind of trying to get in between the cart and me, would step on my feet and knock into me. It was kind of intense, but I was happy to be doing it and I proved to myself that I could do it. That was really the main thing here because I won’t be doing that again, I don’t think.

It was cool to be in a wheelchair because Costco is giant and I was like, “at least I can just sit here”. But, it was also a little bit, I feared for my personal safety, so I don’t know if that’s one I’m going to repeat very soon.

Art Museum

Something else I did a lot less perilously, I did something that was kind of right in my comfort zone, used to be. You know, I went to art school and I was an artist and that’s how I met my wife, she’s an artist. I’ve been to probably thousands of art shows, we’ve been to so many art shows. And I go to less now, but I might start going to more because the wheelchair makes it possible.

So I went to Stanford, I went to the Cantor Art Center. I was doing the Blues Collective on KFJC and we read a PSA for this and Jack Tar, who’s my partner on the air, was like, “you know, that’s free”. I thought to myself, I’m going to try and go there. So it’s like an art museum on the campus of Stanford University, not a very small art museum. There were four or five exhibits on two floors.

It was a lot of fun to ride my wheelchair. It was a little freaky. I rode in there, I took the elevator thing and it was kind of jammed on there like in addition. After ADA, probably, duringthe 70’s or 80’s addition. I jammed my wheelchair up in there. I fit, just barely and I got up the steps as it were, but up an elevator on the side and it worked. I went in there, went through there, saw the shows, there were some cool art shows.

Richard Diebenkorn

I went to see Richard Diebenkorn. When I was a kid, he was one of my favorite artists. I was very interested in Diebenkorn. He was kind of, I was into abstract expressionism but I was also just a kid. I was still kind of conservative. I liked Richard Diebenkorn cause he could draw I thought, representationally. But he also would be kind of like a gestural painter at times, like an abstract expressionist, which was attractive to me as well.

So we saw that. It was cool. There were some cool paintings. I didn’t realize that he went to Stanford University. So, they had some collection of his work and it was interesting. They had some sketch works they had digitized and made into this kind of interactive thing that of course my kids loved.

So there was that, and there was another few painting shows. There was the curated show of the collection. They had an old, cool painting from the 17th or 18th century, of Saint Sebastian struck by arrows and being tended to by some nurses. It was pretty cool. It was free, man! I took my whole family, I mean come on, you can’t beat free.

It was cool to go around. It made me have to, being at an art show, it was different than any other art show I’d ever been to because I had to get myself in position to see the art. In the past., I had kind of done this stroll through the gallery and now I had to kind of position myself. I had to kind of reckon with every piece of art because I had to move the wheelchair into the right spot because I was lower. I was looking up at a lot of the art and that meant that there was glare from the roof. I had to account for the lighting. I had to be in the right position.

August Rodin

They have a big collection of Rodin. The sculpture named “The Thinker”. I think they have the largest collection in North America and so it was a lot of sculpture, so to see that I didn’t look too much at the show. I looked more at the Diebenkorn exhibition.

Jordan Casteel

They had a woman, she’s the African American painter, kind of like doing paintings of black people looking at the lens of the camera, something about the gaze and about representation and kind of owning their own representation in a way.

Jordan Casteel: Hi, my name is Jordan Casteel. I’m a painter and coming into town with the exhibition, “Returning the Gaze” from Harlem, New York.

John Hoppin: It was cool and kind of beautiful. Lots of interesting color really and pattern, really interesting. It was cool to see but I had to position myself to avoid the glare.

Active Looking

The Rodin, they had “The Thinker”. I went into the gallery and saw that and I had to kind of position myself all around it. Because I had to spend so much time positioning myself, I couldn’t do this kind of casual looking. It changed the way I looked at stuff. I had to look kind of more actively. It was interesting. Anyway, it was just a really cool experience having been to so many art shows in my life. It was totally new way of doing it, but I enjoyed it. I did it. I’m going to do it again, I think that’s cool and so cool stuff with the wheelchair, positive things.

Thanks for listening to the “What’s the Matter With Me?” Podcast

I went two places on my wheelchair and one of them was insane and the other was beautiful. You can find past episodes on whatsthematterwithme.org and iTunes, wherever you get podcasts, check it out. Check it out. Whatsthematterwithme.org, set it as your homepage and only look at it, and use it as your only news source. Why not? That’s what everybody’s into. All right.

Hoppin Hot Sauce. It’s the best hot sauce. Hoppin Hot Sauce. It’s the best sauce in the world, the world, I’m telling you.

John Hoppin: Yes, definitely. Get some Hoppin Hot Sauce, share it with people, because they’ll be like, “you’re a nice person and you have good taste, you know hot sauce”. Even if they’re not like hot sauce people. You could tell them, “well, but you got to try this because they do it different”. It’s more than a hot sauce. It’s a condiment.

Thank you for listening to the What’s the Matter With Me? Podcast.

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