Category Archives: Humor

MS and The Day I Met, LL Cool J

    As you wake up on any given day you can never be to sure what surprising thing may lie just ahead of you.  Back in the early nineties a friend of mine, Julie Burton, now a singer song writer in Nashville Tenn., asked me if I would be interested in being a roadie for a day as she and her band showcased for some of the largest record companies in the world.  It didn’t take a genius to figure out that this was something extraordinary that I would probably never get a second chance to do again so I jumped at the offer.

     The first big surprise of the day came as we rolled into New York City in search of the studio where the showcase was to take place.  I expected some high rise palace where no expense had been spared to attract the upper royalty of the music industry.  What I got was a nondescript building on this out of the way alley that no one would have ever suspected to harbor the megastars of music as they prepared for world tours or whatever.  And once inside this cold cement fortress it was anything but what you would think a multi-platinum millionaire would spend time at during rehearsals. 

     After checking in which required passing thru two heavily locked and secured sets of doors we were ushered into studio B of a triplex of studios that surrounded a common room that was even more unimpressive then the building itself.  The furniture, what there was of it, appeared to have come straight out of someone’s basement or the nearest second hand store.  Otherwise, it was clean, but that was the best I could say for it.   

     After setup, and during sound checks of which I was absolutely no help, I decided to take a book that I had brought along and take a break out in the common area while I waited for the first of two showcases to take place.  As I entered the common room I soon realized that I wasn’t the only person who had the same idea.  And I found my day suddenly brightening beyond all expectations.  Let’s just say that I instantly fell in love with my new reading partner but that’s another story.  In no time at all I was engaged in a conversation with a woman who if memory serves me right which it probably doesn’t, remember this was twenty some years ago, was named Christine or Christina.  And she told me that she was a dancer with LL Cool J.

     I replied, “LL who?”

     She said, “LL Cool J, we’re rehearsing for a tour in studio C.”

     I confessed that I was surprised because the guys that I had come with all said that LL Bean was in studio C.  And yes, I was really that naïve about Rap and Rap Musicians back in those days.   When Christine stopped laughing, and believe me she was bust a gut laughing, she took pity on my lack of knowledge and explained that my friends had played a huge joke on me.  And she went on to tell me a little about her story and how she had managed to become a dancer with LL Cool J.  And not long after this I had to return to studio B for Julie’s first showcase.

     When I next emerged at the conclusion of the showcase I was extremely pleased to see that Christine was still sitting in the common room.  I could have talked to her all day if I had the chance.  However, this time she wasn’t alone.  LL Cool J’s entire band, as well as his manager, were all taking a break. 

     Christine looked up and smiled as she said, “This is Bill, the guy who thought we were all a part of The LL Bean Band.”  They all laughed as I looked for the nearest couch that I could climb under to hide. 

     It was LL’s manager who decided that it might be best if he taught me a little bit about the culture and inspirations behind Rap Music.  I guess he genuinely did not want me to ever be so humiliated again so he spent the next fifteen to twenty minutes laying out how intricate the underlying messages really were.  Christine, as well as the rest of the band, were all great throwing in little bits of information here and there. 

     And then it happened!  The door to studio C opened and a very big guy, LL Cool J is a lot bigger then most people probably realize when you see him in person and up close, and this mountain of a man who I realized had to be a body guard emerged.  After a moment I heard LL Cool J’s manager speak up.  “Hey LL, this is Bill the guy we told you about.”

     I was glad that he left out the LL Bean part but I realized that was my queue, “Hi, it’s really nice to meet you, especially after making such a fool out of myself.”

     To which Mr. Cool J replied, “Eh!”

     And that was it my entire earth shattering conversation with the man himself.  It was a moment that he probably had forgotten by the time the door to studio C once again closed but one that I’ll never forget.

     And then I had to go back for Julie’s second showcase and I never saw Christine or the band the rest of that afternoon.  Christine, I might not have your name right, but I will never forget the short time I got to spend with you!  And without you, I probably would never have met LL Cool J.  Cheers, and thank you, where ever you are these days?

     And Julie, the biggest thank you goes to you.  The only thing that could have made this day even more special would have been if you had been signed by a major label.  Thanks for this cherished memory!

Bill Walker

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A Google Search of Multiple Sclerosis

     Google Search Page

     Do you remember the Dr. Hook song on the cover of the Rolling Stone where the group sings about what it would be like to see their smiling faces on the cover of The Rolling Stone Magazine? Well, hopefully you do, because I have my own set of lyrics to the same song. I just want to see my words of wisdom on the front page of the Google search!

 

     If you ever have Googled multiple sclerosis the first thing you will notice is that there are more than 22,500,000 results that you can search. In my case I just wanted to see how far I would have to go to find something that I had written that might have made it to the top of that list. And, so I don’t keep you in suspense, the answer is zero in the first 26 pages. However, briefly, here is what I did find in those first 26 pages.

     The first honor on the top of the very first search page goes to The National MS Society with an article entitled, What is MS? Fair enough, can’t argue much with that. The second one goes to the Mayo Clinic and an overview about MS. And the third one down was from Web MD with a similar article. And I found that all three were pretty good as general information for anyone who was just starting their search about multiple sclerosis and what we currently know about the disease, which is still very darn little.

     The first page is rounded out by other sites that explore current treatments, new treatments, and ongoing research for the cure. The most humorous title on the first page or at least the one that made me laugh (Could Canada cause multiple sclerosis?) Which actually explores why ms rates are so much higher, by percentage, in Canada then seemingly anywhere else in the world. Which as I recall from previous things that I have written, both Ireland and Scotland might dispute? Interesting side note here, I have multiple sclerosis, and with a last name of Walker I am also of Scottish heritage so maybe Scotland causes multiple sclerosis? LOL

     The second page of results is much the same as the first but also has a few entries from medical journals about early warning signs and how to manage the disease.

     The third page of results is where you start to see more specific studies concerning MS. One discussed in depth why vitamin D might be a major factor in the early onset of the disease and another discussed how melatonin may be a major point of significant research in the near future. The rest of the links on this page seemed more about the soaring and outrageous costs of MS drugs and whether or not they are really all that effective especially from the cost standpoint.

     The fourth page primarily covered new studies outside of the United States but they really didn’t seem to offer a whole lot of information that I found to be new or exciting above what I already knew. What was interesting about the fifth page was a link that discussed the increase in multiple sclerosis diagnosis’ in Baby Boomers of which I belong to as well. And now that I think about it I have three risk factors for MS, I live on the boarder of Canada, I’m Scottish by heritage, and I’m  Baby Boomer, no wonder I have this autoimmune disorder! I should have known.

     After the fifth page most of the links are just repeats or updated links from past. Although Jack Osbourn gets a link at the bottom of the page which is kind of funny since he beats Ann Romney by two pages. Ann Romney makes an appearance on page seven with a link to her site. And really that’s about it all the way through to page twenty six which was a lot of searching and very disappointing. I mean common, you would think at least one of my blog entries would have found its way into the top twenty six pages, since there is also a lot of junk mixed in there as well.

     Alright Goggle here’s your chance; sing it with me, to put my words of wisdom on The Front Cover of the Google search!

 

Bill Walker

Like my writing? Want to read my first novel about a pod of Killer Whales traveling up the Pacific Coast of North America? Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Visus-William-C-Walker-ebook/dp/B00U8ZN4GE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427573378&sr=8-1&keywords=Visus

 

 

 

 

 

The More Humorous Side of Multiple Sclerosis

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Election 2014, Run Forest Run!

     Though I am not happy about having MS I do have to admit from time to time I have to laugh about something’s that are a direct result of my disease.

                                    *****

     You know, it might be MS if, the next time your at the Doctor’s office scanning through all of the entertainment and fashion magazines and find yourself asking, “Who are these people?” And it might be MS if you find that you can read a newspaper or your favorite magazine twice as fast as anyone else in your family because your fingers just can’t seem to separate the individual pages.

     And it also might be MS if, you can shoot a pen eight feet out and away from between your fingers, like a dart, every time you go and try to pick one up sending family and friends diving for cover. And it may also be MS if, the next time you look at your check registry and find that you dated all of your check payments for the year 2017. And finally, you know that it might be MS if, you discover that you have changed the spelling of many common words in the English language the next time you sit down to write a letter! Thank God for spell check, even if I do hate those squiggly red lines!

 

     Trying to keep a lighter attitude towards Multiple Sclerosis I think is a healthy approach. If anyone wants to have my blog linked to their email so they can ignore the thousand places that I post these on facebook, all you have to do is just look to the right of this page where it tells you how to sign up to receive this blog as a link that you can open directly from your email, or you can just click on one of the thousand links in facebook, your choice!

 

     Next blog, I hope, will be about my experience of being in a, Clinical Trial, if you’re interested!

 

Bill Walker