Thursday, February 18, 2010

All I Wanted Was A Haircut...Not A Mugging!


Up until a few years ago I had a thick head of dark hair. Shocking, I know! It grew so fast that I would get it trimmed every two weeks without fail. For most of that time I went to the same barber shop. Tom's Barber Shop. He owned the stereotypical "guys barber shop." From the Guns N Ammo magazines that were strewn about the seats to the smell of freshly mixed shaving cream, it was one of the few places I felt like one of the boys. The walls were covered with random pictures that hadn't been touched since the day they were hung, there was a fish mounted on the the wall from a magical trip twenty years ago with his friends, and team trophies from the little league squad he sponsored in the 1980s were stacked on his mantle. We'd B.S. about whatever sport was in season and the only reason we would stop is if Tom had to shoot out the door early on Fridays so he could beat the "traffic up north" during the summer months.

Twenty five years passed in an instant, until one day I went to get my haircut and saw that Tom's Barbershop was no more. I found out from the new owner that Tom had decided to retire to his lake home. I left sad and disgusted by the fru-fru stench and the flowery border that only partially covered the sun-bleached fish tattoo on the wall. The search was on for a new place to rock my locks, but I wasn't worried. I'm a guy for goodness sakes! How hard could it be to find a new barber? Based on my first experience, harder than I thought...

When I walked into this chain barbershop I was immediately confronted by a woman who was built like a mack truck.

"Sit down! I'll be with you in ten minutes."

I'd never sat down so fast in my entire life. The whole time I was waiting felt like being at the dentist's office. I knew I needed to get this done, but I wasn't excited about the experience. Then I heard her King Kong-ish voice scream: "Josh, it's your turn!" If I'd had more time to react, perhaps I would have wet myself. Instead, I was yanked by the arm, thrown into the chair, and given THE MOST VIOLENT HAIRCUT EVER! My head was yanked around and my hair was pulled and painfully brushed...it was not pleasant. Every time she sprayed my hair to wet it down, I had to question whether the warm sensation running down my face was water or blood.

At this point you might be asking why I didn't get up from the chair? I can't give you the real answer to that because I don't remember. I can only fathom one guess: You know when you are watching those cop tv shows and the villain has a weapon of some kind fixated on a hostage? Okay, substitute the villain with an amazonian hair stylist and the weapon with a small scissors.

By the end of the mauling, I had what I considered to be minor neck injuries and a possible concussion. I frantically paid her and rushed out the door without looking back. When I got home I told my mother what had happened and she just chuckled. I don't think she believed me. Hell, I wouldn't have believed me! I went into the bathroom to rinse my head off of stray hairs and to check for any gashes, when all of the sudden something fell from my head and clinked down into the tub. I looked down and saw HER WEDDING RING! She was so violent with my head, that she got her ring caught in my hair! How this happened, I'll never know, but I was thankful that I had the proof to show to my mother!

She saw the ring and her jaw dropped. "Are you going to bring it back?" she asked.

"Of course I will...tomorrow. For all the stuff she did to me, she can sweat it out a little bit. Besides they are closed."

I returned to the barbershop the next afternoon. It was empty and I saw the same woman with a sad look on her face. She recognized me immediately.

"Hello sir. You were just in here yesterday."

"Yes, I was. But I had to come back because you left something lodged in my head!"

With that, I reached into my pocket and pulled out her wedding ring. She proceeded to hurdle the reception desk with the biggest smile on her face and wrap her gargantuan arms around me. There is no way to prepare for your body to be squeezed until you turn blue. While the color of my face returned to normal, she told me that the ring belonged to her grandmother and she thought she had lost it forever. Then she offered to give me a reward for finding it. All I asked for was my money back for yesterday's assault and that she never cut hair "angry" again. She apologized for that and then started babbling about how her boyfriend was terrible to her and never did anything nice for her. I bit my tongue. Her boyfriend was either a monster-sized fellow himself or a pint-sized guy like me who was cowering in the corner for his life. I can only imagine how much it must hurt to love her! The things that must have happened when she was mad at him?! Oh, the horror!

I left the establishment feeling good about myself, still on the search for a place to get my haircut, and making a call to my chiropractor. Josh needed some crackin'.....STAT!

Peaceful...Yet Painful Things,

Josh

Monday, February 8, 2010

THE FIRST EPISODE OF "A CYSTIC FIBROSIS MINI SERIES FOR KIDS" IS FINALLY HERE!!


Do you ever wonder what your purpose in life is? For years I've struggled to find my individual spot in the world and ways that I can use my talents to contribute something positive. This blog allows me to do that. I cherish it and I'm so lucky that so many people come back to read whenever I post something new. But I needed a little more...

I've got a particularly special place in my heart for kids, especially all the little CF Warriors that I see at my clinic and across the internet. They have IV's in their arms, are stuck in hospital beds, and they're getting pounded or shaken to clear mucus from their tiny lungs. It can be very scary to be a child with CF. How hard must it be for parents to explain to their little one the importance of doing all this medical stuff? It's something that many of them won't understand until much later in life. When my sister and I were little there was NOTHING to help parents their teach children about the basics of CF without scaring the begeezuz out of them. Nowadays the content is better, but still sorely lacking.

That is why I created this kids show: A CYSTIC FIBROSIS MINI SERIES FOR KIDS. The first episode is entitled: EPISODE 1 - When Moganko Met Joshy.

Throughout this series, I will cover some of the basics of cystic fibrosis care including an unbiased presentation of: respiratory therapy, exercise, taking pills, clinic visits, and other general practices. It will also include some special guests that I have lined up to help me. These are people that provide inspiration to the CF Community and are great role models for newly-diagnosed families. Moms of CF kids, adults with CF, and of course this little Muppet named Moganko who is learning about this illness right along with them.

I had a feeling what I was doing was important, but something wonderful happened yesterday that confirmed it. I received a video "Thank You" from an amazing little boy with CF named Conner. A few weeks ago, I made a little Moganko video to lift his spirits and make him smile. His mother, Sarah (who writes a wonderful and heart-wrenching blog, http://notsobrightandshiny.blogspot.com/), told me that Moganko makes Conner happy while he fights CF. I knew right then that if I could make him happy, I could make others happy too. I could help parents teach their children about cystic fibrosis through humor rather than having all this scary information thrust upon them all at once. That's worth more than anything in the world to me....

So...In honor of my sister, Angela, and all people of the CF Community...here is the first episode:

I AM NOT A DOCTOR. NOTHING YOU SEE IN THESE EPISODES SHOULD BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE!



If you like this video, feel free to share it and my YouTube Channel on your blogs and your social networking sites. Give me some feedback as well!

Peaceful and Teaching CF Things,

Josh

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Singing Mermaid Running For An Angel


This past weekend my fellow Breathe Singer, "The Soulful Singing Mermaid" and "Sister from another Mister", Rose, ran in the her first ever half marathon at The ING Miami 1/2 Marathon with 65 Roses CF Team. She met up with two of our CF kinfolk: Emily, Founder of the Rock CF Foundation, and one-year-post-double-lung-transplanter, Mike. I call them the Treacherous Trio. Thanks to all of her hard work training and saving - along with a little help from her friends across the country, Rose was able to gather up enough cash for travel expenses AND donations so she could participate in this run to cure cystic fibrosis.

What does this have to do with me, you ask?

Rose chose to honor my family by writing my sister Angie's name on her arm for the race. Seeing that made my heart race with joy and sadness. Angie LOVED to run. She loved to be active. She played basketball, softball, ran relay races, and swam like a little fish until her body wouldn't work anymore. Until she could barely go DOWN a flight of stairs without getting winded. From the moment we met Rose, my mother and I agreed: She is what Angela was and would have turned out to be if her body wouldn't have betrayed her. Rose and Angie are self-proclaimed "girly-girls" who love to be beautiful inside and out. They exude grace, wisdom, and charm while sharing their passion for life and for love.

The following is an excerpt from an email I received from Rose:

"...the feeling I had crossing the finish line was something I'll never forget. I thought about all of the people who lost their lives to this disease, Matt Scales, my friend Josh's sister Angie, and on and on. I thought about all of my friends living with this disease, I thought about my family (and those we've lost)...and my friends and all of you- those images pushed me through that last mile."

Mermaid - I know you are reading this, so I will say this in "Rosie speak": You are vicious and delicious. I Loves, Loves, Loves you so much. Angie is ALWAYS watching over you. Click here for Rose's Album - Fly!

A special congrats to my long distance buddies Mike and Emily. Keep kicking huge amounts of ass. CF and all!

In closing, I am blessed to be surrounded by a lot of strong women in my life. My gorgeous wife, my beautiful mother, my sweet grandmother, the spirit of Angie, and all of the other lovely ladies that grace me with their presence. It would take me years to list you all, so I won't because you already know who you are.

Thanks to all of my friends and family that were a part of making Rose's dream come true. These are the little things of life that make me happy and keep me peaceful. I hope they do that for you too.

Peaceful, Powerful, and Amazing Little Things,

Josh

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Peaceful Things ~ Josh
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