Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 20, 2010
Part 6: To Blog Or Not To Blog

"...But when he’s not being too jokey, Matzer is a perfectly pleasant, readable writer, good with an anecdote. He’s not overly thoughful, but he’s chatty. He’d be a decent blogger."

The above is a quote from Ken Jennings website. ( It is a quote from his lengthy review of my book Millionaire Boy: The Adventures of a Game Show Contestant.

Jennings, in case you were living in a cave in 2oo4, won 74 Jeopardy! games before he was defeated by challenger Nancy Zerg on his 75th appearance. His total earnings on Jeopardy! are $3,022,700. He's won more money on a game show than anyone else in history. He has also written books and he has own website.

Jennings didn't exactly like my book and that's okay with me. He did however write a pretty long review of it. I'm actually kind of surprised he took the time. It seems to me he could have written just a paragraph that summed up his feelings and moved on with his life.

"I didn't like J.E. Matzer's Millionaire Boy. Matzer seems like a nice guy but he is not a writer. I am. I've written two books. You can buy them here on my website."

It's okay. Really. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm just being my 'too jokey' self. I'd like to think that I'm not one to hold grudges.

Pssst! Hey Ken. Did you get that package I sent you? Was it still ticking?'

Anyway. So. Here I am. Writing a blog. This is a blog I am writing.

Do I expect anyone to read it? No. Not really. And I guess I not that worried about that right now. I'm not sure if I'm writing for anybody else, but then again I did post the address on my FaceBook page, so I don't know. I do know I didn't start this to promote anything.

I'm writing this blog because I want to keep a diary of what is happening to me right now. I want to write about how I am feeling and how I am being treated by the people who should want me to feel better.

If it turns out that I am okay...that the tumor on my spine is just a fatty tumor...or that it is a tumor but it is is benign...than maybe I can read these posts and laugh. If it turns out there is something more serious going on, than there will be some sort of record of my experiences.

I believe that laughter is the best medicine. I won't lie and tell you that's the only medicine I'mm relying on right now, but it is an important one. I have got to keep my sense of humor about this. So much of it is so stupid and outrageous. The only way, I think, to look at it and tell the story of the experience is too poke fun of it.

Look at the doctors I've been dealing with up to this point.
Should I honestly let my disdain for them eat me up like a cancer. Okay. Poor choice of words there. They are buffoons and I'm going to make jokes about them, which actually only requires me to write down things they have said or done. I'm not making any of it.

There are doctors out there like them practicing all sorts of medicine. Guys who barely graduated medical school but graduated. Guys I wouldn't let change a car battery. Guys who would purposely withhold information about there being a tumor on your spine and feeling that it is perfectly okay to wait two months before they see you again...or more importantly, tell you THAT YOU HAVE A TUMOR ON YOUR SPINE!

I have to laugh. Crying is too exhausting and quite frankly, I'm going to need all the energy I can muster if I am going to beat this thing. Whatever it is.

The good news is that I have heard from a neurosurgeon. Well, actually, I have heard from the receptionist who works for a neurosurgeon. They have my medical records and they want to see me as soon as possible. In fact, they are trying to move people around to get me in even sooner.

I'm trying so hard not to read anything into that. I really am.

It's great news! I am besides myself. No. Really. I am. I am sitting right next to myself and I'm noticing several things. One. I've got to get the clippers and trim my ear hair. And second. My sideburns are way of alignment. What the Hell? For as much as I pay for a haircut, you think my sideburns would be trimmed a little better. Maybe I should be behind myself? I've always wondered what I look like from behind.

I'm waiting now...

Just keep swimmin.' Just keep swimmin.'

for the neurologist's office to call and schedule an appointment. And then, I'm assuming, there will be a biopsy. Then surgery, more than likely. Then recovery. Then relief. And

It's hard to imagine days without pain. I can't remember the last time I didn't feel pain when I moved my head to the left or to the right or up and down or when I didn't move it at all. I can't remember not walking around like Frankenstein, which, when you are as tall as me, it not really a good thing. Every time I go out in public, people seem to group together with torches and pitchforks. Where do they get those anyway? The last time I was in Home Depot I didn't see torches. Is there a guy with a cart out there somewhere?

But I'm putting the cart before the horse.
I need to slow down and a little and keep some perspective.
I haven't even seen the neurosurgeon yet. I don't know what is wrong with me. So. I'm going to stop and take a breath.

I am reminded of a Little Rascal's short from 1934 called Hi Neighbor. It is actually one of my favorites. In it, the 'Gang' builds their own fire engine to compete with the new rich kid-on-the- block's shiny store-bought one. And it is a rickety-rackety thing about 25 feet long made from scrap lumber and whatever else they can find. It is vintage Little Rascals. It is hilarious.

During the climatic race down the longest and steepest hill I've ever seen...(Forget BULLITT. Even Steve McQueen would have said 'no thanks' to this monster) Spanky and the Gang are racing down the hill, the back end of the fire engine begins to creep forward, at one point swinging so far out that the vehicle is racing towards the bottom sideways.

Wally, leader of the gang, and the guy who wanted to build the engine in the first place to win back the heart of his true love Jane, sees Stymie, who is sitting in last position at the end of the engine off to his right.

Wally shouts: "Hey Stymie! Where ya' goin'?
Stymie replies "I don't know. But I'm on my way!"

Then the fire engine cuts off to the left and slams through a thick hedge, stripping off all of the boys' clothes and they are left there, in their underwear, shaking their heads in disbelief.

I guess, in a way, that sort of sums up how I feeling.
I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.

And you had better believe that I'm going to keep a serious look out for any hedges!

and that's Jody with a "y"


  1. Hang in there buddy! Laughter really is the best medicine and you bring plenty of it!!

  2. I wasn't aware that Ken Jennings had written anything about his experiences, although it doesn't surprise me. He didn't impress me enough in the few times I saw him on The Show to care what he thought. Why would he need to write TWO books? It's not like winning big on a game show suddenly makes you a writer. You were a writer long before you were a contestant, judging by the comedic routines you devised in your make-em-laugh career (which, to my knowledge, started way, way back in High School).

    I'm praying for a happy ending to this story. Like the one where people all over the web start reading your stuff online and clamor for more ... in print. And you write more books. And appear on Leno (although you'd probably have more fun on Conan). Then your screenplay gets funded. And then we finally get to see you up on the Big Screen. And everyone in the world sees your movie, and laughs themselves senseless. And since everyone is having way too much fun laughing, wars and famine and stuff like that stop, and people start living together in peace and harmony. And then they restart the space program so we can spread the message throughout the galaxy. And I finally get to go on a space ship! All because of YOU!!

  3. Ken Jennings is an A$$...You have so much more to offer ... so much more that you don't have to tear down other people. hmmmm.. <3

  4. Here's a follow up to this blog.
    I actually sent Ken an email. In it, I thanked him for his review. And then, with tongue firmly in place, said I had to cut the email short, because I had to get back to work. Well, you know busy Applebees is at lunchtime?

    I was more than a little surprised that no less than a day later, he responded. In his reply he said that he went back and read his review and after thinking about it, thought that maybe he had been a little harsh. (I notice he has yet to amend the review-LOL)

    Like I said, everybody has their opinion. I never claimed to be John Grisham. Although more than a few people have compared me to David Sedaris. A high compliment.

    I will write until someone tells me to stop. And then I will write even more.

    I love you all for reading my blog and taking the time to post comments. Thanks for being part of my journey. With love, Jody with a "y"

  5. For the record, Jody, the torches come from Pier 1, not Home Depot. They are tiki torches, meant to liven up your next luau.