Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Plagiarism, Pilgrims, and Regret.

It's time for a cleansing of the soul. I have done things, man. Things that would make Russell Brand blush...this is not one of those, because it's stupid.

This is the story of how I started a prank that ended HORRIBLY. I COULD ACTUALLY DIE FOR TELLING YOU THIS. Ok, not really....but it will be embarrassing, and the first time I have publicly admitted to it.

Before I begin. A Special Message to Mrs. Thompson. OMG I'm so sorry. I hope you still love me after reading this (if you read it).

OK. It started with the announcement of a writing contest during my senior year in High School. I was not any sort of writer in school. In fact, I hated it. However, some friends and I decided it would be a fun little thing to enter a piece of poetry into the contest that would be so ridiculous that Mrs. Thompson would call me out and we would simply have a hearty laugh and chalk it up to a poorly thought out Sr. Prank.

The plan was simple. Submit a poem that was so ridiculously and obviously fake that it would never leave the classroom. The ONLY rule. It had to be song lyrics.

I was at a fairly odd point in my life and I just happened to like Enya.

Anyhow, They have a lovely song called Pilgrim that is overly homosexual. The lyrics were OBVOUSLY over the top. Or so I thought....

For your listening pleasure, here is the song.

So. I pulled the lyrics from this overly horrible song and hastily wrote them down, being sure to remove the chorus as not to be TOO obvious. In hindsight, that was possibly not a wise decision, but hey....I have never been known for my wise decisions.

I brought it to class a couple of weeks later. I walked it to the front of the class amidst the chuckles and snorts from my friends and handed the crumpled and folded paper to the teacher, because in my head, a true artist would not have a clean piece of crisply folded paper. You know...I had to show artists angst. I take this role very seriously.

Mrs Thompson (looking shocked) took my paper and stuck it in the pile.

Now I just had to wait for her to read through it, and bust me out in front the class and have some laughs, and pray she doesn't report me for plagiarism.

A week passed, and I began getting nervous. She announced that she had chosen the finalists, whose work would be submitted to a panel of judges at ASU. They would then decide the winners.

She called out the finalists for Poetry. SHE CALLED MY NAME. JESUS CHRIST WHAT JUST HAPPENED! This is NOT going as planned. Surely this is her realizing that I was trying to mess with her, and this was her revenge. Embarrass me in front of the class. This is SO Mrs. Thompson (I secretly hoped). NOPE. IT'S HAPPENING.

I needed to think fast. If I admitted to her what I did, she would make an example of me for fooling her. On the other hand, what were the chances that this sorry excuse for a poem would even get a second glance from the panel of judges. OR what if they read it, and get pissed, and report me. JESUS THE ANXIETY WAS UNBEARABLE. There was one thing I could do....CRY LIKE A GIRL and pray I don't get into trouble. I mean, it's what any other wuss would have done. I'm no better than the others.

Another couple of weeks went by. I waited, my friends reveled, Mrs Thompson swelled with pride....

I knew at the very least, I was burning in Hell for this.

SUDDENLY! One day, the loud speaker came on. It was Mr. Dunivan with an announcement. The school had some students that placed in the "High School Writers" Contest.

Ronnie Boling wins FIRST PLACE IN NEA for his original Poem "The Journey" and guess what.... it would be published in a book!

H-O-L-Y   S-H-I-T What have I done. HOW DID NOBODY NOTICE! It's an ENYA SONG! Understand, this was in 2001, Enya was fairly popular!

I was in too deep. There was no escape. This was my life. I am now a poet. I literally cannot tell anyone I did this.

Only a small handful of people knew, and I wanted to keep it that way.


I have kept this to myself long enough to hope that I am outside any statute of limitations that could possibly get me in trouble.

I'm sorry to those who thought I was a real writer. I never had a copy of the book...but Mom did. She held it proudly until the guilt got too much and I had to tell her. I think was like 22 or so when I told her.

Lesson Learned. I am a terrible terrible person.

I feel better after having confessed, I'll go whip myself with a cat of nine tails until it bleeds just a little bit, because I don't like pain.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Broken Ankle and a lesson learned

It's been a while since I posted. Things have been a little hectic for me ever since the holidays.

You see, I stayed over at my girlfriends house on Dec 27th, and on the way home the next morning, I had a pretty terrible accident.

I was driving down the highway, doing about 60MPH in the fast lane. The lady in front of me had apparently realized that she almost missed her turn. She slammed on her brakes in the left lane to make a right hand turn. While she waited for the right hand traffic to clear so she could make her turn, I rear ended her. I guess I had switched the song on my radio or something. I only looked down for a second, but by the time I looked back up it was too late. I slammed on my brakes with my right foot, and smashed into her.

The impact coupled with my foot on the brake was enough to destroy my ankle.

When I came to, I didn't realize my injuries, and in an attempt to stop rolling into oncoming traffic continued to try to smash the brake with my broken ankle. I finally realized that I wasn't stopping, and pulled the hand brake.

A gentleman ran over to check on me and I remember trying to get out of the car. He made me stay seated and asked me where I was hurting. About this time, I realized that my ankle was hurting...badly. I told him that I felt like my ankle was broken. He bent down to look at it, and his expression said it all. He explained that it looked pretty bad, and called the ambulance.

Next thing I knew, I was being lifted into the back of an ambulance being transported to the local hospital. My clothes were cut off of me, and I was sent through a blur of tests. You name it, and I had it done. X-rays, CT, MRI, blood, etc,

The doctors came back and recommended I get sent to the closest trauma hospital which is The Med in Memphis, TN. Low Clouds meant no helicopter, and I would have to ride in the back of an ambulance.

I had a lacerated liver and spleen, a bruised pancreas, and a "complete dislocation/fracture" of my ankle. To everyone's amazement, the skin didn't break. So the only thing hold my foot to my leg was skin, and my Achilles tendon. All other ligaments and my talus (the main ankle bone) were broken and torn.

I didn't realize just how serious it was until we got to the med. There was talk of amputation, rods, fixators, "reduction", and a whole host of other options. Everything was a blur at this time. A flurry of nurses and doctors and medicines. I finally went into surgery about 12 hours after my accident, and I woke up with what resembled a bionic leg. Rods and hinges and screws sticking out of my leg and ankle. Here are some pictures of the foot before and after surgery,

I was told I would have to wear the "External Fixator" for 12-16 weeks. Needless to say, it was uncomfortable. There were 2 rods drilled into my tibia that served as a kind of anchor. The carbon fiber rods attached to them and ran down to a third rod that went all the way through my heel bone. This particular rod would come to be the bane of my existence for the next 4 weeks. This whole contraption disabled any and all movement in my foot with the exception of my toes.

Fast forward about a week. I went to the doctor and learned that I would only have to have the fixator on for about 4 weeks. This was great news. At this time, there was no pain, but it was difficult to deal with. My sheets were shredded, I wasn't sleeping good, etc.

Well, about a week later I woke up with an unbearable pain in my heel right where the rod went through. I popped a couple of pain pills....nothing. The pain continued to increase throughout the day until about 8pm when my girlfriend and I decided to go to the ER in Memphis (more on the girlfriend later). They X-rayed me and said everything was fine despite my immense pain. They sent me home with more pain pills that did nothing to cease the still increasing pain in my heel. It seemed that the more time went on the worse it got. Over the course of a week, we made 3 separate trips to Memphis with ZERO explanation as to why it hurt so bad. Since there was no explanation, my doctor came to the conclusion that I was exhibiting "pill seeking behavior" and cut me completely off pain meds. He instructed that until the fixator comes out in 4 days, I was only to take tylenol. THATS IT. I couldn't believe it! The pain was real, and I was just beginning to suspect I was a wuss.

I barely made it through the weekend. I hit a very very deep depression. I was in tears, I wasn't sleeping, I couldn't even move my foot. An infection had set up in my pin sites...I was just in complete misery.

Monday rolled around and it was time for surgery. I went under, and when I woke up, the Doctor had learned something! It turns out, I'm not a pill head. The bar in my heel had become loose, and with every slight movement of my foot, it was grinding against the INSIDE of my heel bone. He concluded that I was probably in "Considerable pain". WHOOPS! Geez doc...maybe if I make three trips across state lines to complain of severe pain, I'm not just looking for a fix. GO FIGURE, JACKASS!

He sent me home with pain meds, but now that the fixator was out, I felt unbelievable! I was in no pain, and I was smiling for the first time in weeks. Here is a pic from right after getting the fixator removed.

Here it is about 9 weeks post accident, and I am in a walking boot. I am still ZERO weight bearing, but I went from Fixator, to cast, to boot in just 7 weeks! I'm making a great recovery, and I'm back at work. I'm happier than I have been in a long while too.
As I continue to move on in life, a lot has changed! On top of all this, I have continued to lose weight and I am now down over 160 lbs!

Woah, who is that guy on the left. Jesus...that gut!

I also replaced the old car since it wasn't really roadworthy.

Everything is going well. My foot is on the mend, I should be walking (or at least trying) this time next month, so I will be sure to keep you guys updated.

Thanks for reading!!!