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Bye By LJ [03 Oct 2007|04:49pm]
Hi folks,

I have a new blog. Please update your lives accordingly.

http://thereverendj.wordpress.com/

I will keep this one up, but will be updating the new one when the mood strikes. I am hoping the mood strikes more often then it has of late.

Love,

Justin
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Short of Inspiring [24 Sep 2007|11:03am]
"I am always fascinated by the personal stories of those suffering from diabetes. From their stories you will easily notice the underlying strength, acceptance and the unending will to go on and beat life itself."

The above quote comes from a Diabetes blog I subscribe to and I am sure most would find this quite inspiring. Not me.

In actuality it pisses me off. Why? Well, probably because I am one of the people who's diabetes story is NOT one of underlying strength, acceptance and unending will. It's pretty much the opposite of that.

I have had sooo much difficulty getting my diabetic self in order that I have found myself saying 'fuck it. I give up!" about once a month. Maybe even more than that.

As I have blogged here earlier, I was trying to get on the insulin pump which I am pretty sure will make me a healthier person. However, my doctor's office put a temporary hold on that process because my dr didn't feel that she "knew me well enough" to approve me for pump usage. If she really wants to "know me", I think she should know what I hard time I have with this. She should also know that her denial led to a yet another chain of events that has led me down that same old path of diabetes related stress.

Yes. I am mad at her, but I do understand where she is coming from. In some ways, she is only acting on my behalf. I also understand that my current diabetic woes are pretty much all my own doing as usual. What I am pretty sad about is that I was so close to breaking this cycle. I was literally days away from getting a pump and starting down a new path.

The issue that I have is that I just can't seem to keep it all together long enough to make anything of it. I will go through like two weeks of taking care of myself, but that is inevitably followed up with two weeks of not taking care of myself. Rinse and repeat. This is my story, peoples.

I know that if I don't take care of myself hundreds of horrible things will happen to me, but that doesn't stop me. I know that I could actually keel over from a heart attack at pretty much anytime. That doesn't stop me. This is what scares the poop out of me. Why do I act like this? What is up with me that I can sit here and type all this out and still not have anything change?

I find myself hating these people who seem to be able to deal with diabetes and move forward. I see these pictures of little kids with insulin pumps and say "Why can they have one and I can't?". When I see people in the blogosphere get all worried when they eat a doughnut, I want to scream.
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News Shorts [27 Aug 2007|11:23am]
Baby Here - Ava continues to be a baby, but a wonderful baby at that. Aside from some gas-induced angst that has occurred, she is happy, healthy, and sweet. Hard to belive she is three weeks old as of today. People keep asking me if I am sleep deprived and the answer is "No". Ava sleeps like a champ most nights. You couldn't ask for a better baby. Becky is also doing very well.

Micah Is Being Home-schooled - This is a big development that I have neglected to mention recently. To make a long story short, Becky and were unpleasantly surprised by some shortcomings at the school Micah was slated to begin today. Since Micah has, at his own request, been doing "circle time" with his Mom on a daily basis (learning to read, do math, etc), we decided that we'd ramp up the circle time for at least this one year and see how it goes.

My Insulin Pump is a No-Go - In what has been perhaps the biggest disappointment I have ever experienced, I have been denied the insulin pump by my Dr. I went into the office to ironically receive my pump training and was told that I was not approved despite having already gone through more than two months of getting ready for the pump. The reasoning that I heard was that there was some kind of miscommunication between the nurse and the Dr and me. Boy, I'd say so. I am so pissed at this "miscommunication" that I am looking for a new Endo. I am not so pissed about not being approved. It's more that someone could have told me weeks earlier than they did. That makes me mad, mad, mad.

Mom Came for a Visit - My Mom was here for Ava's birth and to help out for a while afterward. It was a great visit from where I stood, but I have a feeling that my Mom thought she stayed too long. I can't really argue with that, but I hope she didn't feel that way because of me. I loved having her here. As you might imagine, my Mom is still reeling from my Dad's death in June. We are all still dealing with this major loss, but as you can imagine, my Mom has a lot more to deal with the rest if us. She is obviously and justifiably depressed, but no so much so that I think she is a sinking ship. Her depression is natural and expected and while I am sorry to see her go through it, it is all part of the deal. I wish I could be there for her more.

My Band - Aside from the family, this is item that is at the top of my mind. We have named ourselves and everything which is kind of odd to be honest with you. For some reason, it feels strange to tell people "I am in a band". I think I feel too old to be able to say that with a straight face, but whatever. It is what it is and I am having a kick-ass time with it, so whatever oddness I feel telling people I am "in a band" is canceled out by the joy I feel when I am actually playing. We have also set up a little recording rig in our rehearsal space which is not really 100% up-to-speed yet, but just like the rest of it, it's an organic process that I am sure will lead to great (re: fun) things.
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Music by me.... [13 Aug 2007|05:02pm]
..and Craig and Dave.

http://www.myspace.com/coolbloodtrio

The recordings are quite rough, but we're working on that.

Check 'em.

Oh yeah, Dave is a fertility accupunturist, hence all the sex related graphics on the page.
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Hello PeopleAdmin [08 Aug 2007|01:10pm]
My LiveJournal url was inadvertently sent out to everyone in my company, so if you are a PeopleAdmin employee who otherwise would not have been reading this, "Howdy".

I have to say that I never really intended for that to happen so if you are in a position to hire/fire me and you come across something in these entries that you find questionable, please keep that in mind. Of course, one could make the argument that I do publish this stuff on the internet for all the world to see, so.....

Any way, welcome new reader to my blog.
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Ava Pics [07 Aug 2007|08:32pm]
http://www.flickr.com/photos/revjustin/sets/72157601283420701/
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The Pump Is Coming! [02 Aug 2007|03:29pm]
I actually spoke with a person from the insulin pump company today. This means that the ball is now rolling at a pretty good clip and, if all goes well, I will have an insulin pump attached to my body by the end of August. I am thrilled to finally have this process underway. What I am not thrilled about is how much this bugger is going to cost me. Even with insurance covering the bulk of the expense, I still have to dish out a little over $1000 to get the pump. The freaking iPhone costs less than that and that is the device that will save the world!

Seriously, I don't know what all goes into the construction of a pump, but I can't imagine that something that is basically the size of a pager could cost that much if it wasn't made of pure gold.

I am going to pay it, of course, but I wish there was some more options out there.
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Moozik [02 Aug 2007|03:22pm]
I am not a trained musician. I took a few lessons and I even took a semester of music theory in college, but the net effect of these was that I know realize that I know even less about music than I thought I did before. This used to bother me a lot. Mainly, this is because I know that to be a musician of a certain caliber, you must really be able to read music, understand at least intermediate music theory, and have the fundamental technical chops down pat. I have been close to enough great musicians to know that.

But because I am me, and me is pretty lazy, I never really seriously invested the time to cover these bases. This is simply because I am very much into instant gratification and practicing scales is probably the farthest thing one can get from instant gratification outside of, say, a 401K plan.

While I have crappy technique (I can't use my pinky to fret notes. I just can't make the little bugger work), and my understanding of chords is probably something I made up, I can play by ear pretty well. I have managed to get myself into what I would call a good musical situation simply because I can fake my way through it to the point where no one has objected to it.

I can pretty much play along with any tune I want to as long as I understand the "harmonic space" of a tune. This is simply a term that I made up, but it is probably the best way to describe how I hear music. What this usually means is that once I get to the point where I can hear the notes that will work in my mind, I can do okay. Songs that have a lot of changes or complex structures, of course, take me longer to figure out, but with some repetition, I can get there. Then once I am there, I can improvise pretty well without having to think about it too much.

In the end, it's not efficient, which is why having a better technical sense is beneficial, but it works and I still have the time of my life playing.
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[29 Jul 2007|05:53pm]
Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. He would have been 62.

I miss him so much
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Topic 1 - Baby coming! [29 Jul 2007|05:43pm]
It's been a while since I posted, but there has been a lot on my mind and I need to play catch-up.

The first order of business in the Burke household has been the impending arrival of Baby #3 (and no- we don't have a name picked out yet). We are tentatively scheduled for an August 6th induction which is interesting in itself. The whole concept of actually picking the baby's arrival date is kind of weird for me. It's not 100% set in stone, obviously, but that we have gotten to the point where we think that this is even plausible is something that I find myself ruminating upon.

The baby's room is painted and mostly decorated (in a dragonfly theme this time). Becky really has a knack for baby room decoration. We have also stocked up on diapers, blankets, etc. We're pretty ready.

The question that everyone asks me is if I am actually mentally/emotionally ready. The answer I give is this: is anyone ever really ready for this kind of thing? I believe that you're kidding yourself if you are.
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Transparancy: the new Political Spectacle [12 Jul 2007|01:17pm]

"Bush was willing to make...administration officials available for interviews, but only behind
closed doors and without a transcript. Democrats have rejected the
offer.

"If the House Judiciary Committee wants to avoid
confrontation, it should withdraw its subpoenas," said White House
spokesman Tony Fratto. "The committee is rejecting accommodation
because they prefer just the kind of political spectacle they're
engaged in now." -- USA Today

Political spectacle?  If it has become a spectacle, Mr. Bush, is is because you are making a big deal out of what you claim to be nothing.






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52 Flippin' Question Meme [11 Jul 2007|04:20pm]
I love me.  I love meme. You love me?  You love me meme.  Here's the latest greatest, longest meme ever meme'd (and I got suckered in):

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? Crap. I don't have time to shower.


2. How much cash do you have on you? $1.50 - about $1.50 more than usual.


3. What's a word that rhymes with DOOR? Yore.


4. Favorite planet? Pluto.  Yes.  I know. 


5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
Rob Lifford.  Sorry Rob. 

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone? A recording of me going "Riiiing......Riiiing".


7. What shirt are you wearing? Big light blue button-down thingy that has arms.


8. Do you label yourself? With a sharpie.


9. Name the brand of the shoes you're currently wearing: Mossimo


10. Bright or Dark Room?My film turns out better in the dark room.


11. Why is there always a missing question? Ha.         Ha.       


12. What does your watch look like? An exact replica of my wrist.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night? War-gaming out the remaining weeks of having just two children.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell phone say? “6 lber!"


15. Where is your nearest 7-11? Is this really a question? Use mapquest.


16. What's a word that you say a lot? "the"


17. Who told you he/she loved you last? My wife and I think she meant it, too.


18. Last furry thing you touched? Maki the Cat.


19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? Define "drugs".


20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? I am currently up-to-date on this, so stop bugging me about it, okay.


21. Favorite age you have been so far? 11 (1984 was a good year for us all).


22. Your worst enemy? Skelator.


23. What is your current desktop picture? A random dessert scene I copped from Flickr.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone? "Okay.  Bye.”

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly, what would it be? If I choose "fly" that makes me cooler, right?

26. Do you like someone? Again, I ask if this a real question.

27. The last song you listened to? I don't remember the name of the tune, but it was off of John Scofeild's A Go-Go.


28. What time of day were you born? I like to believe that time was invented AFTER my birth, so this is irrelevant to me. Next.


29. What's your favorite number? 3.

30. Where did you live in 1987? Paoil, PA.


31. Are you jealous of anyone? I envy the genius who came up with this meme.

32. Is anyone jealous of you?I highly doubt it.


33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? I was driving to work.


34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? They have access to my bank account?!  Wow. 


35. Do you consider yourself kind? Yes, I do, asshole.


36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? I already have 3.  Would like a few more.  Location TBD.


37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? Spanish.  Duh.


38. Would you move for the person you loved? I already have. 


39. Are you touchy-feely? When I touchy something, I feely it too.


40. What's your life motto?"Avoid mottos."

41. Name three things you have on you at all times:Nose, Ears, Legs.


42. What's your favorite town/city? Tie between Austin, TX and Seattle, WA.


43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? Your mom.


44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? I don't believe in godless post.

45. Can you change the oil on a car? No, but I can change a car on oil.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? I am in direct contact with my one and only true love on a daily basis.  I call her "my wife". 

47. How far back do you know your ancestry? I had some relatives on the Mayflower.  You can do the math.


48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy? I thought I dressed up for a nice dinner I attended with my in-laws, but I ended up looking like a high school principal.  I have since given up on fancy dress without the direct supervision of a female.


49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? I have been told my face hurts people all the time.


50. Have you ever been burned by love? No.  Fire usually does the trick for me.


51. Do you have a crush on any bloggers? I am not that pathetic....yet.


52. Where would you like to live? In a blissful state of ignorance.



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Tweaks [09 Jul 2007|04:54pm]
If you actually log into this site to get your dose of me, you'll notice a few tweaks.  I was getting kind of sick of the default livejournal scheme.

I have been thinking of jumping ship and leaving livejournal in favor of a more traditional bloggy-poo.  I really enjoyed the fact that flickrverse was more out there in the public domain and that random people would stumble upon it.  livejournal is more protected, I think and while that is cool at times, the exhibitionist in me thinks the increased exposure would be nice.

I have heard that you can actually publish your LJ on a normal blog.  Anyone know anything about this?


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Thought o' the day [02 Jul 2007|04:45pm]
Anyways, how old is my dog WilliamShatner when he warps through my pajamas?

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How am I doing these days? [01 Jul 2007|09:13pm]
Well, it's been almost a month since my Dad died. I usually use the word "passed" or something like that, but let's face it - the man died. He's dead. Gone. Not coming back. Ever.

Sound harsh? Yup. It does. There is a reason for that. It is harsh.

For the most part, I am okay. I can go about my daily business, hang out with people, etc without having much of an issue, but there are times when I just lose it still. These times seem to be while I am in the car, so if you are in Austin, look out for crazy, bawling drivers. This is just an amazing painful time. I will get through it, but that pang of longing/guilt/sadness/anger/fear will probably always be there in some way when I think of Dad. To tell you that truth, I don't ever want it to go away, but I do want the happy/funny remembrances of Dad to get more plentiful. Thank goodness those are there.

I have been getting lots of nice phone calls, emails, cards, and letters from people who have heard the news. It is funny (like funny weird, not funny ha-ha) that one good thing that has come from all this - an affirmation that there are lots of cool people in my life. My extended family (that includes you, my dear readers) rock. I love you, extended family.

One thing that I am also impressed with is that I have gotten through all of this without wanted to blow off my head. As you may recall, I was medicated for depression for quite a while there. I have been off that for a long time now and have no need to get back on. If I can handle my Dad's death without lapsing into deep terrible depression, then yeah for me, muthafuckas!

It also helps that my diabetes care is improving - thanks to me as well (and to Becky for being so supportive!). I feel better and am looking forward to kicking this disease's butt.

Now, if I could only solve this pesky work problem I have been having......
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Now the Classical Guys are getting in on the act [28 Jun 2007|05:04pm]
Today's ad:

"THE MICHAEL DRAPKIN TRIO (two clarinets and bass clarinet) -





is looking for venues here in Austin. We are some of the finest
classical musician in town, and have performed with great organizations
ranging from The New York City Opera to The Austin Lyric Opera, under
conductors ranging from Leonard Bernstein to Austin's Dick Floyd!





- Are you looking for classical music for Sunday Brunch in your restaurant?..."

I would think that Austin's finest classical musicians would be looking for something more than a restaurant gig, don't you?

Clarinestist 1: Hey, did you remember to book the Long Center for our amazing demonstration of clarineting prowess this Tuesday?

Clarinestist 2: Oh crap!  I forgot.  Maybe we can get a brunch gig to fill up our time.

Bass Clarinestist: At least I don't play the oboe. 



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Mo' CBGM'ing [27 Jun 2007|08:52am]
All-in-all, being hooked up to this little machine hasn't really been much of an issue, except that it does feel a bit like I am being watched by an endocrinology's own Big Brother. Since I only have be on it for a total of 72 hours, this is, by no means, a major burden. 

I will say that knowing others will be seeing my blood sugar levels in great detail as created some odd behaviors.  Last night for example, I wanted to have a few beers and figured that this would look bad (since beer usually raises my blood glucose levels).  Normally, I would use insulin to handle this issue, but I had run out and was unable to make it home before beer drinking time.  Rather than just live my life normally, I decided to forgo a proper dinner and just drink the beer later, hoping this would keep my levels in check enough.  This was a bad idea as I then had a low blood sugar attack which then obligated me to get something to eat anyway.  Since I was driving my car at the time, I popped into a drive-in a got a burger, which also wreaks havoc on my levels, but I had no choice.  This made me feel guilty.

Then I realized something.  My endo is not out to accuse me of anything.  The whole reason I am doing this 72 hour monitoring experiment is to help understand my real-life diabetes, not some idealized version of how I should be.  What happened to me was real life.  Fuck Big Brother.

So, I went and had a few beers anyway and when I got home, took care of my elevated blood sugars with a shot of insulin and all was well.

This, I call progress. 


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I can't get enough of these ads [26 Jun 2007|02:03pm]
My latest favorite from austin.craigslist musicians ads:

"Very talented Bass player seeks work $$$$ (Anywhere)

Posting title says it all, i consider myself a superior bass player and
ask anyone ive ever played with and they'll tell you the same thing. Im
looking to join/play with a group that is gigging with pay$$$ or can
very easily get get gigs that pay $$$ i play all styles but i prefer to
stick with an R&B/soul/funk/modern jazz group. Im not looking to
get rich but i do need need some sort of compesation for my skills i
can practice 2 days a week and rehearse on my own. I have my own
equipment so if you need a great bass player than feel free to email me
or call me"

I would totally be willing to compesate this a-hole for his skills.




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Ryan Adams rules over you [26 Jun 2007|01:12pm]
And I'll bet you didn't even know it.

I recently acquired* a "bootleg" of one of his recent shows (6/22/2007) in Toronto and it is gracing my headphones as I type this.

Simply put, this man has got "it".  Songwriting, musicianship, performance.

Do yourself a favor and check him out.



*legally via bittorrent.  Mr. Adams allows taping and sharing of his live performances like many other forward thinking musicians.  Please also note that I am not talking about Brian Adams.  They are soooooo very different.


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Do it for my Dad [25 Jun 2007|09:24pm]
Please consider sponsoring my family in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night walk this upcoming September in memory of my Dad. The following link takes you to the page for my Dad if you are interested. Scroll down to the end to see the part that is relevant to us.

http://www.active.com/donate/ltnPittsb/2189_DennyBurke
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