What's The Matter With Me? Podcast

I have multiple sclerosis, trigeminal neuralgia and I made this podcast to share what I’m going through.

car accident cover

I got in a car accident where I got rear ended, wasn’t injured and the insurers agreed that I was not at fault. This is a blender episode, with lots of little segments that all go in there.

Blender Episode

This episode contains lots of different segments, all going into the blender like fruit goes into the smoothie.. Stay tuned for lurid stories of rampaging young adults and their dangerous car accidents, but let’s start our blender episode back in the 1990s at Jamba Juice.

Juicy Tale

  • Do you go to Jamba Juice? My first thought was that I went there in the nineties, and that I don’t go there anymore.
  • Kind of like Noah’s Bagels, I feel like Jamba Juice belongs to the 90s the way Orange Julius belongs to the 80s
  • But I go there all the time because like El Pollo Loco, you can trust it, if you don’t trust anything, Jamba juice will feed me I get the peanut butter smoothie
  • Jamba Juice was originally called juice club
  • Began in San luis obispo in 1990
  • It was renamed in 1995.
  • In 1995, founder Kirk Perron swapped out Juice Club for Jamba Juice, which is a play on the African word, jama, which means “to celebrate.”

Music & Culture Festival

  • Like Carijama, the dormant Caribbean music and culture festival in Oakland’s Mosswood Park
  • Ended in violence every year 2001-4 after existing since 86

Making The Scends

  •  I have been using lent as an excuse to go to the fried fish place in San Leandro on 14th street Scends

Crate Digging Expedition

Session In Paris

  • Masahiko Togashi was a jazz drummer who sustained a spinal injury in 1970.
  • After his injury, Togashi had a custom drum set adapted so he could play drums using only his hands
  • At Stacks, I found a copy of 1979s Togashi / Cherry / Haden “Session in Paris – Song of Soil” with a picture of Togashi in his wheelchair on the back, something I haven’t seen very often on a record, so I bought it right away.
  • If you’re looking for a copy, they’re on Bandcamp

Pole Cane Stick

  • Got a new walking stick made of carbon fiber, the old one was aluminum.
  • The weight difference is like picking up a twig vs. blade of grass

Creative Destruction

I was on vacation in Palm Springs, Calif., on Nov. 7, 2021, when I awoke with the cacophony of a dozen dial-up modems blaring inside my head. Confused and alarmed, I called out to a friend staying in the room next door and could hardly hear my own voice. When he responded, I heard almost nothing at all.

The reason for my sudden hearing loss and the persistent ringing in my ears wasn’t immediately obvious, to me or to the emergency room doctor who examined me that morning. I hadn’t stood too close to the speaker at a concert or hit my head in some traumatic accident. I simply had gone to sleep with my hearing intact and, come morning, it was gone.

My life since that day has been difficult to describe, though the words I return to most often are “disorienting” and “humbling.” I spent months shuffling from one medical specialist to the next for a battery of tests and treatments. I eventually started wearing hearing aids and learning American Sign Language. And, perhaps most challenging of all, I confronted a new identity — disabled — that often leaves me feeling vulnerable.

At first, I also felt very alone. No one hands you a guidebook when one of the fundamental senses on which you innately rely is revoked without warning. Even the most attentive physicians are primed to focus on your physical symptoms, not the upheaval that a sudden impairment brings to your personal and professional life, nor the erosion it causes to your sense of self.

Steven Overley, “I had decades to make peace with my sexuality. My disability is a different story.” NY Times Subscriber-only newsletter (EXCERPT)
  • Acquiring a disability feels like forced creative destruction
  • Steven Ozerkey was guest writer for Frank Bruni’s newsletter last week and shared his perspective on acquiring a disability

‘Eyesight Compromised. Could Go Blind’

There is virtue in stoicism, but there is also danger in what strong people can hide. His own situation has made him even more keen to understand the other whose public face contradicts a private suffering. He proposes that each person should have a sandwich board listing her pain and how she adapts: “Imagine that our hardships, our hurdles, our demons, our pain were spelled out for everyone around us to see.” Bruni’s sandwich board would read: “Eyesight compromised, could go blind.”

You ask, why announce your troubles? Doesn’t everyone have something? “Well, yes. Tell us anyway,” I think Bruni would reply. Maybe if we knew, we might slow down, turn and fumble toward each other. Perhaps, then I could say that you’re not alone, and I’m rooting for you, because I am.

Min Jin Lee
  • Reading Min Jin Lee’s review of The Beauty Of Dusk by Frank Bruni, his account of impaired vision after suffering a stroke

AI Still Not Perfect

  • I asked openAI to summarize my podcast, and it said @johnleeclark hosted it, which isn’t true I host it. I appreciated the compartisom, and I’ll keep my eye on Clark, a DeafBlind poet.

I spin around in the middle of the corridor. My cane taps against four elevator doors. I have pressed both the up and down buttons because there is a fifth elevator door. If I tried to tap all five I would come to closing doors too late. Let the fifth door open to a ghost. Let it be confused and close again.

Source: Poetry (December 2021)

RIP Judy Heumann

  • RIP Judy Heumann, who passed away on Saturday March 4, 2023 at 75 years old
  • She changed the way we think about disability, or the better. What an inspiration

Chimpanzeeing it

  • Since I got my teeth back I’m having to learn to use them to pull things into my mouth and not my lips. For the moment i’m kinda chimpanzeeing it

Shout outs

  • Shoutouts to Claude Hopper – congratulations on being awarded the Sal 9000 spot, Saturday mornings 6-9AM PST on 89.7FM kfjc.org. To get the ball rolling, I request Tapper Zukie

In the kitchen

  • Made a simplified meatloaf & cheesy polenta

Disabled Japan

  •  In Japan for example, it isn’t said that, “I am hot.” Instead you might say “Heat, there is.” It’s a group culture, which ios different from the West, where we live in an individually-oriented culture. In light of this, I have to reorient myself and figure out for myself.
  • How to exist as a disabled person in Japan? Rather than saying, “I am a disabled person, and they will accommodate me.”

Youth Gone Wild

  • I got rear ended and although it wasn’t my fault (the guy in front showed down, then I showed down, then I got rear ended) by a 20 year old driving his parents BMW which sustained a lot of front end damage
  • The kid jumped out of the car, cursing, yelling. At himself, not me, but it’s freaky when people start doing that, because it feels like they could turn it on you att any moment. But it was cool. I was bigger than him and an adult.
  • I am always afraid when I get in a car accident that somehow it’s going to lead to me having my driver’s license taken away, because I’m disabled.
  • I thought back to the Positive experience I had in the Hayward DMV, And I thought to myself, “I am totally allowed to be here,” and it got me through

Youth Gone Wild Pt. 2

You made it this far

  • Subscribe to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast and you’ll get a very fancy nice email version of the podcast every time a new episode comes out, it’s very handsome, be sure to click subscribe right at the top of the page, just a name and your email is all we need to get goin and then you’ll always get the selfie

This Week’s Selfie

Accident Survivor


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