Note To Myself

We spent the day constructing Julia Nunes’ website layout at HostBaby (sister company to CD Baby). They have a easy access admin panel and all sorts of snippets with easy ways for novices to update their site without wrecking it in their basic package. And then they offer the possibility of a full access site with the snippets. They even have a friendly, knowledgeable help staff. Pretty impressive.

Bob Russell emailed from the Little Theater Cafe wanting to know if we wanted to play next Wednesday so I guess we have a date in the near future. I just set my drums up here for the first time since our WXXI gig. Peggi and I might play later tonight. I’m going to add that date to the Margo site when I finish this. Is it ok if I talk to myself here? I’ve sort of made a resolution to not put up any new pages until the section I’m posting to gets reworked from html to php. Eventually the whole Refrigerator site will be php pages with includes for the header with a navigation menu that I can update in one document and have it fed to the whole site. I am completely backlogged with stuff to post to the site and I can’t see updating only to have to rework those pages down the road.

So I created a new php index page for the Refrigerator and uploaded it. Peggi modified the .htaccess file to redirect301 the old index.html links to index.php. The only things in the menu are the few sections that I have reworked.

Peggi’s sister is coming into town next week to spend some time with her mom so Peggi and I are planning a trip to NYC. Another getaway idea is going up to Pete and Shelley’s place in the mountains. We met them twenty years ago on 8.8.88 at their “Digital Breakdown Party”, the day that Pete imaginged all tose old alrm clocks with flipping numbers relaxed and sat at 88:88. Maybe we can do both trips.

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Ah, But They’re Cool People

Ucrest Music Store in Buffalo New York
Ucrest Music Store in Buffalo New York

A few of the pads on Peggi’s soprano sax were sticking so she took the horn into Shuffle Music on East Avenue so Carl could look at it. Peggi mentioned that the horn is also slightly out of tune with itself. Some people notice that sort of thing. Carl suggested that she call Wally at U-Crest in Buffalo to see if he had any reconditioned sopranos in his Shop. He did and he FedExed out one that day for Peggi to try. This is the way they do things today.

The horn sounded great but the arrangement of the lower register keys was different. Peggi’s hands weren’t big enough to reach them. So she decided to take it back. We were planning on driving through Buffalo on our way to Detroit for Peggi’s high school reunion so thought we would hand deliver the thing. We found the place and hopped out of the car with the horn but couldn’t get in. They’re closed Fridays during July and August just like the sign says. Wally’s got a good thing going here. There was a nice one story brick house attached to the store on the left and a small kidney shaped swimming pool was behind the fence on the right. So we continued on to Detroit with the horn.

The expressways near the border have electronic signs displaying the wait times at the three bridges. Rainbow was only a half hour so we headed there. The cars were backed up for miles. We spent a lot more than a half hour looking at other people trapped in their cars and studying which of the lines were moving the fastest. The roads in Canada which used to seem so neatly maintained and fast moving were all chopped up. The 100 km speed limit seemed slow by NY Thruway standards and we were in a construction zone all the way across the top of Lake Erie. We had heard that the bridge up at Sarnia was less congested than Windsor so we took that route. We waited again for over an hour to get back in the US. We watched Homeland Security search the trunk of the car in front of us.

We drove by Peggi’s old house and then directly to a party in Troy. The people who were hosting the party were both in Peggi’s class. They reconnected a few years ago and got married. There was a band playing sixties music in the backyard. The guys were all from her high school but they looked older than Peggi. “Dirty Water” sounded pretty good. I picked a Mexican beer out of the kid’s swimming pool that had been filled with ice.

Peggi had a blast warming up for tomorrow’s reunion. She called her old friend, Leslie, from the party and we drove over to her house in Royal Oak where we spent the night. Leslie was wearing a Detroit Red Wings t-shirt when we got there. We sat on the porch while she smoked generic cigarettes. There was Doctor Bronner’s soap in the bathroom. In the morning we watched a locally produced horror movie that her son, Casey is in.


No Place For Beer Cans

Boat at sunset on Lake Ontario
Boat at sunset on Lake Ontario

We walked up near the lake today and found four golf balls while crossing Durand Eastman Golf Course. One of the balls was from the Seneca Niagara Casino. I also found a few beer cans in the woods and threw them back out on the fairway. The golf course hires people to clean up the trash. If you golf at Durand, just drop your beer cans on the course. The woods is no place for beer cans.

We ordered take out from We tried printing their menu but wound up with completely blank pages so we made a screen capture of their site and printed that. We wanted to show it to Peggi’s mom so she could pick something out. They don’t use butter or cream and they calculate the calories and total fat of their “fresh seasonal entrees”. The seven grain stuffed cabbage I had was 160 calories with 1.5 grams of fat.

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Fireworks on the shore of Lake Ontario
Fireworks ready to go along Lake Ontario

It’s a national holiday. What kind of an idiot would be posting to his blog? Time to get out and see some more fireworks – up on Lake Ontario this time at Mark and Sheryl’s.

Fireworks on Conesius Lake

I discovered I have a fireworks mode on my new camera! I can do stock photos.


What The Hell Is Goin’ On Here

I brought my laptop to Jerome’s over on Atlantic Avenue but can’t find a wireless signal here. I’m sitting in the waiting room reading old Newsweeks while they put new brakes on our car. They are the best car shop in town. I used to just walk home while they worked on our car but we moved out of the neighborhood. Alan, who retired a while back but still checks in, is smoking at the desk. It smells fantastic. I miss small does of secondhand smaoke. Alan talks to himself these days. I find myself doing that more too as I get older. Igor, a mechanic who has been here for years, has his own stable of Russian customers. One couple just stopped in to pick up their car and they looked like something right out of Diane Arbus photo.

I drove by Sparky‘s house on way here. His lawn needs mowing. I used to do that when I lived over here. Maybe I’ll check in on him on my way home. He stops by our new place often and keeps us up to date with our old neighbors. Some of the people who lived on our street when we first moved into this neighborhood are still here but just barely. Their spouses have died and now they are struggling to stay in their homes.

Elite Bakery used to be next door to Jerome’s but it’s gone and Leo’s Bakery is too. They merged and moved out to East Rochester. PCI Studios used to be right next door. They started as a chemical company but morphed into a recording studio somehow. We recorded a version of “Love Never Thinks” and Rich Stim’s “So Hard” in there back in the eighties. The windows are all boarded shut now.

Alan keeps mumbling, “What the hell is goin’ on here”.


Cliente Número Uno

It’s 4 PM and I still have my pajamas on. Some days go like this when you work at home. We weren’t even finished with our slim local paper this morning when when the phone started ringing. First it was the physical therapist who was supposed to be attending to Peggi’s mom. Peggi’s mom told her that she didn’t want pt so Peggi had to call her mom and do some tough love. Next call was on the business line and it was cliente número uno with immediate demands. I duked it out with the graph making function Illustrator while Peggi battled tables in Quark. And we still haven’t come up for air.

I will have to get dressed to go to my last painting class tonight. Peggi is stuck here doing rush changes to a 48 page book that needs to be sent off as a pdf for review. Nice, boring blog entry. What could anyone possibly comment on?


Getting Our Digital House In Order

Bird In A Nest
Bird In A Nest

I spent some time adding gadgets to our iGoggle home page this morning. We took a break at noon and went down to the street pool. The air temp is in the nineties and the water was 78. Peggi checked the chlorine levels and the ph. We swam for a bit and came back to work.

I finished converting a stack of Sun Ra cds over the weekend and that completes the big rip. I tidied up the duplicates folder and made a backup. Big time Party Shuffle tonight!

Still don’t have a cell phone but we could use one now. A client is desperately trying to reach Peggi and she is with her Mom at a pain clinic. I see Apple’s new phone is twice as powerful and half the price of their last one.

I’ve been following Kevin Patrick’s, “So Many Records, So Little Time” for the last few weeks and I’ve put a link in the right hand column. It is a pop aficionado’s paradise and timely too. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, shipments of LPs jumped more than 36 percent last year while shipments of cds dropped more than 17 percent during the same period.

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Summer Project

Enjoying the summer will be a project. And then there are all those summer projects. First on my list list is looking at Cubism. Fred Lipp’s orders. More like a question really. “Ever look at much Cubism?”

I started last night with the Cezanne piece and continued my investigation tonight by looking at my recent paintings with my first impressions of Cubism in mind. I was struck by how obvious it is that I am still learning to draw. That’s what I saw first. And my paintings are really drawings. And then I saw a lot of room for expression. I’m still not sure what Cubism is. I’m guessing a more imaginative way of seeing and translating is probably an important part of learning to draw. So I am still on course.

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Nephew Management

Andrew with nice looking car on Alexander St
Andrew with nice looking car on Alexander St

I’ve been too busy managing our nephews to make coherent entries here. Andrew, Peggi’s sister’s oldest, is staying with us for a few days and one of my brother’s sons, Matthew, is doing a virtual internship with 4D Advertising for six weeks. I keep calling Andrew “Matthew” and Matthew “Andrew”.

Matthew is in his senior year at in Montclair High school in New Jersey and he is getting credit for working with us. We have him reworking web pages with new templates loaded with php includes.

We did manual labor with Andrew yesterday and upgraded his computer to Leopard today while we toured the Larry Towell show at the Eastman House and had dinner at One. In the middle of all this we’re really busy with 4D work. We ran into a few problems with Andrew’s install and may have bail the laptop out and mail it off to him at his next stop. He leaves tonight on the train for Chicago.

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What Would Jared Do?

Andrew at stone quarry in Penfield
Andrew at stone quarry in Penfield

I picked my nephew, Andrew, up at at his Grandmother’s apartment this morning and we drove over to the Odenbach quarry in Penfield where we met Peggi and our neighbor, Jared. We borrowed Jared’s truck to pick up a load of stone for the french drain we’re constructing in our backyard. Jared has been engineering this project and when he’s not around we’re always asking, “What would Jerod do?”

Andrew graduated from Penn last year and worked for the Park Service for a few months doing trail maintenance so we put his skills to work on the deer path that runs between our house and Jared’s. It is the only way to get a wheel barrel into our backyard and the way it was, we would have dumped the first load down the hill out back trying to walk like a deer. We moved about a ton of stone (5 dollars worth) into Jared’s truck at the quarry, over to our house, into the wheel barrel, down the deer path, and then into buckets that we dumped into the french drain. We worked Andrew like dog. Now we’re praying for rain to see the thing in action

We had a good turnout for our last gig at the Little until Fall and it was really nice playing for so many friends.


Happy House

I wish I was at the Five Spot at 5 Cooper Square in the East Village for Eric Dolphy on July 16th of 1961. I almost feel like I was, I have listened to the music so much. Thank god Rudy Van Gelder was there to record it. The trumpet player, Booker Little, died of uremia a few months after this show and Eric Dolphy died of diabetes complications a few years later. This amazing date is available on two cds even though the night fits easily on one. I know because I’ve made copies for friends. The musicians, Eric Dolphy — bass clarinet, alto saxophone; Booker Little — trumpet; Mal Waldron — piano; Richard Davis — bass; Ed Blackwell — drums; are firing on all cylinders. This music will energize you. It is my favorite painting music.

Margaret Explosion finishes a three month stand at the Little Theatre Cafe tomorrow night. Fred Marshall may sit in on piano if he is not on call. Brian Williams sat in on bass for a tune three weeks in a row and Phil Marshall played guitar last week. Phil’s band, The Horse Lovers, stole the show at the Dylan tribute last weekend. I saw him before he went on and he told me he had never seen me lose my cool like I did when he and Rich Thompson were at the Margo gig. I told him I could barely play with Rich out there. Rich teaches percusion at the Eastman and is one third of Trio East. He is such an amazing drummer, I just feel apart fumbling around on my kit like I do.

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What Are Your Plans?

If I was in NYC this weekend I would be headed to the “Philip Guston: Works on Paper” show at the Morgan. After that I would head down to the West Village to Gavin Brown’s Enterprise for the Elizabeth Peyton show. She is one of my favorite painters. If I was Andrea Stim and in NYC I would be up on the roof of the Metropolitan for the Jeff Koon’s sculpture show. We have been looking for an opening to get down there.

Lucky Duane, he lives there and last night he saw Suicide. He sent this report up.

Last nite in my old neighborhood, literally around the corner from my old apt, in a Polish disco, Suicide played. It was sort of intense in a different way than their shows can usually be. Marty was wearing the biggest pair of goggles I’ve ever seen, like something from a space-age motorcycle helmet with pitch black lenses. The rest of his outfit was almost too much to explain. Red satin Hip hop basketball jogging suit w/ a shredded blk t-shirt. Vega wore what Vega always wears, black. + a Knit hat on his head.

Marty started by playing a whole heap of white noise sounds – high pitched – with no rhythm machine. Then Alan announced that they were dedicating the show to Marty’s wife Marie who had just recently died. That was a shock, & even more so to me because just 1 min earlier I’d asked Howard why, when Alans wife Liz was always at the shows, did we never see Marty’s wife. No idea why that Q had popped into my head. And so Howard had just told me she died in Feb. Married since 1971.

The clubs PA was too small & I think Martys unusually raw & emotional playing was too much (maybe purposely) because for most of the show the sound was really distorted & the sound system auto-shut down a couple of times for like 2 sec. That was intense too, the sudden silence. Lots & lots of white noise, my ears are really ringing today.

Song titles that I remember – Dream Baby, Wrong Decisions, Cheree, Che, Stayin Alive, Ghost Rider, Death Machine.

At one point While Rev was playing all this noise, Vega was putting his mic into the speaker of Revs amp & rubbing it all around the rim, etc. Extra noise & distortion. They played about an hour, & got a long applause encore. At the end of the encore, after Alan had left the stage, Marty finished up with an overloaded white noise wall of sound & then took off his goggles & said something solemn into the mic about his wife, but it was so distorted & blown out I couldnt understand it. Kind of a loose, sloppy, & unfocused, one off type show. Good, not great. But a good Suicide show usually still has more than some other peoples great shows. We chatted with Liz before the show & went bk & said hello to the guys after.

That friggin neighborhood was just waiting for me to leave to become incredibly hip. This place was totally east euro cool/trashy, and the hottest underground club in NYC now is at the next corner down on Calyer street towards the river.

Didnt take my camera but Howard took some shots. There was a great point & shoot in someones hands there, nice big LCD & it looked like it shot some form of nitevision, but it was deep blue instead of green. The guy was too far from me & he left before the show was over or else I was gonna go see what it was. Howard noticed it too, we were both green with envy, so something that fits my needs could be out their waiting for me to find it.

Next weekend is Memorial Day wkd – what are your plans?

Hmmm. We are thinking about driving down to New York.

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Fantom Sensations

Bill Jones called me this morning at arond 8:45. I was having a cup of coffee and reading the Democrat & Chronicle. I had already run into Rick and Monica out at the mailbox. They were headed off to work in their seperate Subarus. Bill needed help getting a box with a band saw in it into his garage where his wood shop is. The trucking company that was delivering the saw had called to say they would be at Bills house at 10AM. I stopped at Wegmans and did a little shopping. I do most of my shopping in the produce department and then I scoot across the store to the canned goods section. We needed black beans for beans and rice and garbanzo beans for the humus that I have been making every week lately.

The truck driver was not running on schedule. Bill showed me some software he bought that generates site maps for web sites. He had run it on and and he gave me the .xml files to put on those sites. His son Sam was on the lookout for the truck and he shouted to us at around eleven. A huge semi was parked out in front of his house on Valley Road. The driver told us the box was about two hundred pounds and he wasn’t about to help us with it but he did say we could use his cart. Bill and I lifted the box out of the truck and onto the cart and I wheeled into the garage. Bill recently cut the tip of the index finger on his left hand off. A piece of wood kicked back on him when he was ripping a small piece of wood. The wood flew back so fast it sliced his finger off. It’s very sensetive now but Bill has managed to play golf so it’s not the end of the world. I asked if he had any fantom sensations and and said no.

We had dinner out “The Bistro”, the small dining room at Peggi’s mom’s apartment building. All three of us ordered divers’s scalops and asparagus. After dinner I adjusted Peggi’s mom’s walker. Her brakes weren’t working any more. They operate like the brakes on a ten speed bike with a cable hat needed tightening. We pictured her rolling downhill at next week’s Philharmonic performance and winding up in the orchestra pit.

I wish I had brought my camera with me to get a picture of the troll like creature with a long white beard that is the hallway outside of Peggi’s mom’s door. The little guy has a tiny golf club in his tiny hands.

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Atheism vs. Judaism

We opened the neighborhood pool yesterday. It’s not ready for swimming but the cover is off, the filter is running and there are thirty five pounds of chemicals ready to dump in. The adults, who had we had hardly talked to each other all winter, got caught up while the three kids ran around. There are two ten year old girls in our group. We heard that one wants to quit her religious classes because she doesn’t believe in god. Her mom wanted her to learn about her heritage but her father is an atheistic and there is a conflict there. The rabbi wants her back and gave the parents a book they could read with her. The girl’s father said he would read the book if the rabbi would read Christopher Hitchen’s book, “God Is Not Great”. They agreed to this proposal. The other ten year old girl, her best friend, goes to a catholic school and there doesn’t appear to be any conflict there. I was raised Catholic and I was never sure whether they even believed in god.

We are celebrating Mother’s Day by having Peggi’s mom and my parents over for dinner. I am marinating chicken in lime juice, balsamic and seasoned rice vinegar and crushed garlic. Peggi plans to make and angel food cake (no cholesterol) with fresh strawberries. We started a fire for the older folks. This will probably be the last one of the year. I have about two hours to paint before dinner.

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“Hello man! how are you?”

We have Google handle our email accounts and it does a pretty good job of filtering out the junk but it let this one slip though this morning (my birthday). The above was the extent of it. Thanks. I love it. I am fine. The title of this entry was the subject of the email. Its like an mysterious emotican.

Peggi got up before me and had coffee and a few gifts sitting on my chair. There was a Francis Bacon book, a newsprint sketchpad and a small book of artist’s quotes. I love this one from Otto Dix. “You know, if one paints someones’ portrait, one should not know him if possible. No knowledge! I do not want to know him at all, want to see what is there, the outside. The inner follows by itself. It is mirrored in the visible.”

And our neighbors had a package hanging on our door this morning. It was R. Crumb’s, “Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country”. It has stopped raining so we are headed out for a walk. Other years we’ve taken rides in the country on this day but we have decided to drive down to NYC as soon as we can find a few days without commitments. There is a Philip Guston “Works On Paper” show opening at the Morgan this Friday that I would love to see.

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Forgive But Never Forget

Paul Dodd protesting Viet Nam war. Photo by Kim Torgerson
Paul Dodd protesting Viet Nam war. Photo by Kim Torgerson

Here’s one of the protesters in San Francisco as the Olympic torch passed through town. No, wait. That’s me protesting the Viet Nam war in Assembly Hall on the IU campus. No one would look that dorky today. I think Kim Torgerson took this shot.

We watched a very cool movie last night about letting go. Eva Mozes Kor, one of the Mengele twins who were experimented on at Auschwitz, stars in this documentary about her decision to forgive the Nazis for killing her family. She gets a lot of flack from people who can’t go that far but she holds up well. Margaret Explosion played at the Little last night and I was sort of expecting to fall asleep during this one but “Forgiving Dr. Mengele” was really well done and completely engaging.

I couldn’t help but think about another Jew’s plea as hung on the cross and of course that whole “turn the other cheek” thing. I looked up “forgive” this morning to see if it really is that simple. It is. Forgive “Stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw or mistake.”

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What He Most Loved, That I Most Hated

Snowman at end of March
Snowman at end of March

My sister stopped by today and we were talking. Actually she does most of the talking so that sort of makes it easy. One of her daughters goes to a conservative church and she told us that our other sister is concerned about that. The sister who stopped by says, “What does it matter. My daughter is all grown up and she’s happy”.

I was thinking of this Frederick Douglas (a Rochesterian) quote that I read last night. This was in connection to something much more serious (the relationship of slave to master) but it kind of explains how the world keeps from getting lopsided.

“What he most dreaded, that I most desired. What he most loved, that I most hated. That which to him was a great evil, to be carefully shunned, was to me a great good, to be diligently sought.”

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Dodd Goes Down For Browns

In the middle of fifth grade my parents moved from the city and I started school at Holy Trinity in Webster. There was immediate pressure to join the group that smoked in the woods on recess. I resisted but made friends with them. Some people teased me and made me the brunt of jokes that I didn’t understand. Mostly it seemed like there was this intense challenge coming from all parties to see where I was coming from and what I was made of. I must have bent over to pick up a penny in the hallway or something because I remember kids kids teasing me with, “Dodd goes down for browns”. I survived and had a good time there.

I told Peggi this story a long time ago and today we found a penny on the ground while we were walking and of course you can guess what Peggi said.

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In My Own Dream

Dodd Family Rochester NY 1960's
Dodd Family Rochester NY 1960’s

I set my watch ahead before the daylight time change to ease the transition. And Peggi set the clock in our bedroom ahead before going to sleep so we wouldn’t be fooled in the morning. The next day I started to adjust the clock on our stove. This requires needle nose pliers to twist the broken knob. But I guess I never got around to setting it back in the Fall because it was already reading right. The clock in the car is tricky since the buttons all do double duty. I turned off the radio and fumbled my way through this while Peggi was driving to our Margaret Explosion gig. For a while I lost the clock completely. I guess this is one of the available options and it sounds so dreamy.

We don’t get in the car to just drive around. I remember doing this in Steve Hoy’s Barracuda but that was a lifetime ago. We would just cruise, listening to Led Zeppelin, Cream or Paul Butterfield’s “In My Own Dream” 8-tracks. If we are in the car now, we are on our way somewhere and we are usually running late. And that is usually my fault. I guess that’s selfish but part of it may have been inherited.

My father is notoriously late. I had a paper route during the time this photo was taken so I was getting up at an ungodly hour and still managing to get complaints from neighbors that I wasn’t delivering the paper to their doors early enough. While I was preparing for my route, eating whatever I could get my hands on, my father was trying to get out the door to Kodak. I remember the car pool guys out front waiting for my father to get down there. Some would honk and get pretty upset. One guy, who worked below my father at Kodak, kicked my father out of his car pool.

I had this paper route for five years and kept looking for angles to shorten the effort. I started walking the route with the heavy bag over one shoulder. And then I got a big basket on my bike and loaded that up but the bike kept falling over when I stopped to walk the paper up a driveway. So I started rolling the papers before leaving and throwing them from my bike. And eventually I was just putting the papers in the bag unrolled and rolling them while I road my bike no hands. I even got so I could do the whole route without stopping my bike. Of course this involved riding across some peoples’ lawns and gardens. I developed some pretty efficient child labor skills and my driving force was wanting to stay in bed a little longer.

As my father’s oldest son, I even find it sort of rude when invited guests show up on time. This must be selfish.


More Back Story

The Chiropractor (Gary Seidel) from the "Community Icons" series by Paul Dodd. Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54" wide by "60" high 1989
The Chiropractor (Gary Seidel) from the “Community Icons” series by Paul Dodd. Acrylic house paint on billboard paper, 54″ wide by “60” high 1989

Steve Hoy was in Rochester and Personal Effects was playing down at Scorgies. We were hanging around after the gig and we started hopping parking meters. I landed wrong and jammed my leg up my back like I was trying to shorten it or something. I had muscle spasms and saw my doctor about it. He prescribed muscle relaxers which didn’t do much. The pain continued so I saw him again. He prescribed pain killers which did quite a bit. Except I was working as a free lance graphic artist and I couldn’t work while taking them. Friends kept saying, “Go to a Chiropractor” but I gave my doctor one more shot. He told me there was not much choice but to get in bed and rest for a week.

I checked out Dr. Donald Siedel, a Chiropractor whose office was around the corner from my house on Culver. He put me on my back and had me hold out my arms and he pushed against them. I had no strength at all in some positions. He rolled me over and told me to take a deep breath. When I exhaled he popped my spine so the knobs lined up. He didn’t prescribe anything, he just manhandled me. Fifteen minutes later I was standing outside of his office wondering what the hell had happened. I felt dazed like he had zapped me with something. And my back felt great.

In follow-up appointments he taught me how to “free” myself. He gave me a little pamphlet and circled the exercises that help alleviate my problem. I do these all the time when I feel locked up. But every once in a while I go through a bad patch where the exercises don’t help. I swivel my hips like Elvis. I do the egg. I do the dog, leg openers and hip openers but I still feel stuck. I miss Dr. Siedel. I heard someone filed a bogus complaint against him and he had to leave town.

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