Sympathy for the Devil
Today was a pain doctor day: Only 10 shots in my neck, shoulders, back and other places. Not too bad, especially since I wasn’t feeling that bad. Kind of a weird statement, I know: Only 10 shots! Came home and crashed for several hours. What is up with my tolerance and my body? I am not liking the way that I have felt for the past two weeks or so. Absolutely no energy. Feels like someone comes into my bedroom at night and walks across my body. Okay, so maybe that’s just the dogs, but I have been just useless as far as accomplishing anything, and I really hate that.
Not that I’m the Tazmanian Devil on my best days, but feeling and reacting like Elmer Fudd is kind of a downer. Seems like I don’t really get good sleep until about 8 in the morning after the dogs have decided that I’m not going to get out of bed anymore for a while. Bizarre, totally bizarre.
My doctor says that someone in his group received funding for trials on a new pain med, wanted to know if I was interested. Sign me up. I’ll try pretty much anything at this point. Short of wearing patches all over my body to lessen pain and improve cognitive abilities, I seem to be at a standstill.
I had planned to write about something else today, but for the life of me, I cannot remember what it was. Perhaps it will come to me sometime tonight, or maybe never. It’s not exactly ennui that overshadows me, something less debilitating but still keeps me from being able to puncture this thought bubble that leads nowhere. Oh well.
So in the meantime, I thought that I would just throw out a few quotes from people who have been in the news lately. There has just been too much going on to pass this up, what with the governator resigning and politicos cheating and a Supreme Court nominee, who can choose? I know that I’m not quite current in my selections, yet, these little gems were just too good to let go without at least a little nod from Lola.
Brian Kilmeade on “Fox and Friends” had this to say recently when discussing a study dones in Finland and Sweden that shows that people who stay married are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s: “We are — we keep marrying other species and other ethnics and other . . . See, the problem is the Swedes have pure genes. Because they marry other Swedes . . . Finns marry other Finns, so they have a pure society.”
Okay. Well, other species huh? Woman marries jackass? I don’t think that that’s exactly what Kilmeade had in mind, but who can decipher exactly what this braniac had in mind when he plummed the depths of interspecies marriage. Maybe he’s been watching a little too much Star Trek, or maybe no one ever bothered to explain the term eugenics to Kilmeade. Maybe Brian should have listened to sage Bill O’Reilly. Things that make you say hmm . . .
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford on his relationship with Maria Belén Charpur: “This [relationship with Chapur] was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story. A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.”
Gee governor, I’m sure that your spouse is delighted to hear that your illicit affair with the Argentinian woman was a “love story.” That makes what you did so much easier to accept. You and John Ensign should get together to discuss how to humiliate your spouses, families, and party, especially since both of you have been so openly critical of others who misstepped on the moral line, like Larry Craig, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, to name but a few. Just glad that neither of your wives joined you for your mea culpa speeches at the microphones.
Missouri State Representative Cynthia Davis stepped into the national spotlight with her finely crafted logic regarding the state’s summer food program: This one was so good that I thought that I would include most of the State Representative’s motivational message:
Who’s buying dinner? Who is getting paid to serve the meal? Churches and other non-profits can do this at no cost to the taxpayer if it is warranted . . . Bigger governmental programs take away our connectedness to the human family, our brotherhood and our need for one another. Anyone under 18 can be eligible? Can’t they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16? Hunger can be a positive motivator. What is wrong with the idea of getting a job so you can get better meals? Tip: If you work for McDonald’s, they will feed you for free during your break.
You go woman. With logic like this, I see a position in Congress in your future. Abolish those frivolous programs that give food to the hungry. Who needs them? Only one in five children in your state, but what the hell? I see your point. I really do. Let those poor people huddle around the table at dinnertime and dine on their togetherness. The arid taste of nothing on the tongue is akin to sweet, sweet honeydew if a little bit of imagination is applied.
I simply cannot wait to hear your reasons for abolishing state-supported programs for providing heat for the poor during the winter: Hypothermia can be a great motivator for physical fitness. Two hundred jumping jacks can produce enough body heat to sustain an individual for an hour. Disabled? Crippled? Pshaw. Use those walkers as weights.
By the way, Ms. Davis, when did you last go without a meal?
Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska: Where to begin? At the beginning? Nay, too much fodder for this little forum. Let’s just pick up where she left off on her Facebook page: “How sad that Washington and the media will never understand; it’s about country . . . Though it’s honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term, of course we know by now, for some reason a different standard applies for the decisions I make.”
Far be it from little me to question the decision of Palin to leave her term in office with 17 months to go, but I’m having a little bit of a problem in understanding exactly how her resignation is “about country,” that is, unless Sarah the Obtuse has finally realized that going far, far away would be good for her state and the country. But this “higher calling” business really has me perplexed.
Is her higher calling to join a seminary? Will she, too, learn how to cast out demons as her pastor has done? Is her higher calling to join “Fox and Friends” as a pundit? That might work because I believe that there is a wardrobe allowance for Fox’s motley cast of characters, and we all know how Palin loves her clothes. Or maybe she’s taking time to regroup and write her memoirs.
I can see it now: I Was Robbed in 2008 Because the Liberal Media Didn’t Understand Me. Of course, since Palin is so well-read and a Constitutional scholar to boot, there won’t be any ghost writing for her. No sirree. She’ll just use that can-do spirit of hers to churn out those pages. Perhaps she could take a tip from Cynthia Davis and forego eating while writing. That way, Palin will be super motivated to dissect her interview with Katie Couric.
(Do you think the publishers will be able to include pop-up pages showing Palin winking at key points? Just a thought.)
I’m not going into the hinterlands of the whole Michael Jackson may or may not have been murdered/abducted by aliens/followed in the footsteps of Elvis. Too much there, and too many people are way tooo serious about it. King of Pop. Boy who would be man. Pedophile. Jacko. Doubtless, we will be pulled into the morass that may or may not have been Jackson’s true story for months, nay years to come.
Books from those who purport to have known the real Michael Jackson. Tell-alls in the National Enquirer by his housekeeper, his nurse, his pool man, his Neverland gameskeeper. It’s all so tawdry, and really, really beyond the pale. He was an entertainer not a god, a singer who reached his artistic apex with Bad and Thriller. He was a man who was obviously plagued by such incredible insecurity that he completely changed his physical appearance over the years. What he did or did not do to himself, to others, we will probably never really know.
Anyway, the real tragedy here, folks, is how we continually put people onto pedestals, raising them to greater heights than perhaps they ever wanted or maybe they ever deserved. Lest we forget:
“Celebrity-worship and hero-worship should not be confused. Yet we confuse them every day, and by doing so we come dangerously close to depriving ourselves of all real models. We lose sight of the men and women who do not simply seem great because they are famous but are famous because they are great. We come closer and closer to degrading all fame into notoriety.” ~ Daniel J. Boorstin
Well, I’m sure that there are others who I have missed in my latest Heard but Not Seen compilation. I hope that they won’t be too terribly put out that they didn’t garner a mention this time. Never fear, though. There will always be another.
More later. Peace.
My recent physical lows hit an all-time high today: I tripped down the stairs going into the garage and landed on one knee with my left foot twisted awkwardly beneath me. I’m blaming it on Tillie the lab as she was gamboling in front of me on the way down.
So I am currently sporting an ace bandage around my left ankle, and a wrist brace on my left wrist as that has begun to throb as well.
Corey’s first question was if I had hurt my back. Believe it or not, that’s the part of my body that hurts the least at the moment. Small favors.
I was not always this clumsy. In fact, when I was a teenager, I cheered, which required a certain amount of grace and agility. I have practiced yoga, which gave me great flexibility. And as a youth, one of my favorite things to do was to climb trees. I swear that I never fell out of a tree.
I skied quite well and never took a major tumble, a few minor ones here and there. And believe it or not, I have never broken a bone, just a few sprains. I also studied ballet, granted not for long as it is one of those things that you can assess your natural abilities for fairly quickly. It was good exercise, but I was never going to dance Swan Lake.
So what’s up with my increasing stumbling in recent years? I’m assuming that it’s related to my back surgery and my other ailments. But I have to tell you, it’s not a very attractive trait to have.
My fall today brought to mind some of the more famous clumsy people I have watched and known. I’ll never forget when Carol Burnett played Norma Desmond on her show. Burnett descended that curving staircase with such feigned grace that I was sure that she was going to make falling part of the act, but she did not.
Another one of my favorite physical comics has to be Chevy Chase. His imitations of President Gerald Ford’s clumsiness are what skyrocketed Chase’s career. He carried that tripping and falling routine into his movie career, and few of his movies do not have Chase tripping at least once.
John Belushi was an incredibly agile comedian. But because of his girth, most people did not expect his gracefulness. Belushi could do hand stands and acrobatics and land perfectly. He could also crash against walls and into furniture in ways that appeared had to cause him injury. But he would bounce back up, literally, unhurt. Of course, the cocaine could have kept him from feeling pain, but he was still great at his craft.
My former sister-in-law Ann is also very accident prone. I remember that during a school talent show she was in a routine in which the players wore pillowcases over their arms crossed above their heads, giving them the appearance of having short legs. The pillowcases had no eye-holes, so everyone had to be very aware of where they were moving.
Ann finished the entire routine without any problem. However, when it came time to leave the stage, she walked forward instead of to the side. As a result, she landed in the orchestra pit below the stage. Major ouch. I can’t remember, but I think that she broke her arm.
When the two of us are together, we tend to bring out the clumsiness in each other; it seems that one of us always ends up with an injury whenever we are in proximity of each other. Last summer during one of the outdoor family gatherings, we both tripped and fell on her deck (at different points during the day). I survived with only a minor bruise on one leg. Ann, on the other hand, ended up with a huge bruise, about six inches wide and eight inches long, on her thigh.
Another time, Ann was slicing something, tomatoes I think. She went right past the vegetable and proceeded to cut a deep slice into her hand that required stitches.
For my part, I have had a few interesting accidents that required stitches and trips to the emergency room. Ever since I was a young child, I have hated to wear shoes. I walk barefoot outside most of the time, and when I was a teenager, I rarely went place with my feet clad in anything. One day I was riding my bike with Erica, and of course, I had no shoes on. My soles were so toughened that the rough pedals on the bike did not bother me.
That is, not until I crashed my bicycle into Erica and landed on the street with my bike on top of me. What I did not realize at first is that when I crashed, my foot dug into the peddle and scraped forward (makes me shudder now to even think about it). This resulted in a very large flap of loose skin on the bottom of my foot.
Together, Erica and I walked the bicycles home, and when I walked in the door, I was bleeding everywhere. That was my first occasion with stitches.
Another time that my disdain of shoes caused me pain was when I was playing tag with my cousins in Great Bridge. We were playing in the field behind my aunt’s house, which was covered with fallen leaves and sticks. I was wearing only a pair of flip flops.
As I was running, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in one foot. I lifted the foot and found an old, rusty diaper pin sticking out of the bottom of my foot. The pin had impaled the shoe and attached it to my foot. I adamantly refused to let anyone pull the pin out, my logic being that if it hurt that much going in, coming out had to be worse.
The diaper pin was pulled out, and I was driven to the doctor to get a tetanus shot.
But undoubtedly one of the most doltish accidents I have ever had was one that I knew in my head was going to happen, but I did it anyway. This one occurred when I was teaching English at Old Dominion University.
I was putting away clean wine glasses on the top shelf of a cabinet, which required me to be on a step stool. A glass fell out of my hand and crashed to the floor, breaking into several large, very sharp-edged pieces.
Have you ever known that you were about to do something stupid, but you just couldn’t stop yourself? That’s what happened in this instance. I looked down at the glass and thought, “I could really cut myself badly if I stepped on that,” because of course, I was not wearing shoes. I then proceeded to step down from the stool right onto a huge piece of glass, cutting a deep, comma-shaped gash into the sole of my foot.
Luckily, by this time there was an urgent care facility fairly close to the house. I wrapped up my foot in a towel and drove to the center. More stitches, but some really good pain pills.
I went back to school with my injured foot in a bandage, and one shoe on. I still vividly remember going into my Technical Writing class and trying to teach the group of engineers that were enrolled in my class. They asked what had happened, and I told them. They were merciless in taunting me, especially after I tried to talk to them and couldn’t form coherent sentences because of the medication.
Of course, there are other incidents, but I think that I have revealed enough about this less than graceful side of myself for now. I think that I’ll go lie down and put some ice on my ankle. I can hardly wait to see what happens next . . .
More later. Peace.