Letters from the Lunar Outpost

The miser acquires, yet fears to use his gains.
- Horace, Italian Poet (B.C. 65-8)

My friends, my friends! I was away for a while, but now I am back!

Beer Bath

This lady is in a beer bath at a Czechoslovakian health spa. There were no beer baths where I was at.

It was almost a year to the day since the last time I made the retreat to the Health Care Center in Santa Ana. Same place as last time, same place I referenced in singing my song for Miss Vu. Part of me was distressed to find myself right back where I had been one year ago, but another part of me was happy to see the faces of some of the people working there who I admire and respect.

I also saw four guests who I remembered from my last stay, two of whom remembered me as well, two of whom you wouldn’t expect to remember much of anything. From the latter two, I said to one girl, “Hey, I remember you from when I was here a year ago! Was that the last time you were here or have you been back since?” She answered, “I wouldn’t know.” I wouldn’t know? LOL. Now that’s what you call living in the moment.

I read three books the first nine days I was there, The Da Vinci Code (like it almost always is, the book was better than the movie) and James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard, both of which were annoying in their punctuation and style, both of which proved that the author wasn’t just a recovering addict but an unrepentant bullshitter as well, both of which were also well worth the read despite all of that.

My nine day reading binge gave way to more time getting out and about the compound. There were some epic rivalries and competitions at the ping pong table, at the foosball table, on the basketball court and playing volleyball as well.

Most mornings, VH1 was the channel of choice playing the same songs over and over, Fun’s “We Are Young”, Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been”, Neon Tree’s “Everybody Talks” and Maroon 5’s “Payphone”. Completely oblivious to the pop music scene, not one of those songs had I heard before I checked in and now, all four of them will be forever linked to my three weeks in exile. Twenty years from now you can play me any one of those four tunes and I’ll immediately be brought back to that time and place.

In the evenings, I found myself sequestered with a good group of crazy basketball fans. Alternating nights with the Western Conference Finals, for two weeks I was rooting against the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals along with most of the rest of the room and it was like Déjà vu all over again, hating on LeBron and Co. just as most of us were doing last year as we cheered Dallas to one of the most improbable NBA Championships ever.

Again like last time, I was able to shed a healthy pack of pounds by fasting for days on end.

Last time, I entered at 234 pounds and left at 217, dropping 17 pounds in 14 days by fasting for 10 days straight.

This time, I entered at 242, eight pounds heavier than I was last year (whoops!) but the extra seven days that I stayed this time allowed me to drop 23 pounds by fasting for 16 of the 21 days.

So after three weeks in exile, my head is clear, my body is much lighter, and I’m back to rolling with the lithium. In a couple weeks, I’ll be going unplugged again on an even longer sabbatical, but therein lies my escape plan, my path to freedom. I’ll keep the blog live while I’m gone, so you’re welcome to come back often and enjoy some good reads from the Random Posts listed on the upper-left.

A few more weeks of blogging fun with y’all and then I’ll be gone, but with the same resolve General MacArthur had on leaving the Philippines in 1942, you can have faith, my friends, for I shall return.

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9 Responses to Three Weeks in Exile

  • Well… glad you’re back with us!!!!

  • Hey Mike, I’ve got some Good News for you brother. You need to search no longer for that inner peace you are eager to have. Only Jesus Christ can truly set you free my friend.

    Matthew (11:28-30)- Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for you souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

    JOHN (14:6)- Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

    JOHN (8:32)- And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    JOHN (14:27)- “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

    JOHN (8:36)- So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

    ROMANS (10:8-9)-8 In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand:it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach. 9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Hey Mike Jesus Christ’s first goal for you is salvation. All you have to do is confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, and you will be saved.
    Then the Holy Spirit will come to live within you from that point on, empowering you with his unfailing love and faithfulness (grace and truth). I pray that you will accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your Lord and Savior. You can invite him into your heart by using this following prayer or your own words.

    Lord Jesus I believe You are truly the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. Please forgive all my wrongdoing, and let me live in relationship with You from now on. I receive You as my personal Savior, accepting the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross. Thank You for saving me. Help me live a life that is pleasing to You. Amen

    1 JOHN (5:20-21)- And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.
    21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

    God bless you,
    Randy

    • I appreciate the Good News, Randy! Jesus is an important component of the program where I’m going to be going, so who knows, maybe while I’m there, the Bible will transform from the most important book in literature to The Word of God. I’ll just keep my heart open and see what happens.

  • Hey, we missed you….glad you are back…. 🙂 🙂

  • Glad u r back…

  • Thank you both for the welcome, it’s great to be back!

  • Love you Mike..I am very proud of you. Justin thinks the Bible is the best book he has read and continues to read. 🙂

    • Love you, Linda! I will never forget that when all the rest of the hands at the ranch had reached their wits’ end, you stuck with me.

      Will be doing much Bible study in the coming months, so I’ll be trying to make Justin proud, too.

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