Where to start? Between the x365 entries and the feeling sorry for myself, I've hardly had any time to write one of my more typical entries, which usually falls along the lines of: Insert ridiculous premise A into ridiculous situation B, then watch it try and hold up ludicrous, overly elaborate punchline C. I still don't want to do that. I'm suffering from a deficit of good humour lately.


Part of that stems from the impending surgery on my back. I had my CT scan and it confirmed what I'd pretty much figured out: that my lower back is fucked. I have a 'fracture' in one of my vertebrae that looks more like a hole, through which a disc has spilled out onto my spinal cord. Have I told you this already? If I have, forgive me.

I took the scan results to my doctor and he said I had two choices. The first choice involves hobbling around in pain for the rest of my life, slowly subsiding into a wheelchair-bound life while continuing to throw money into the physical therapy pit. The other involves a date with a knife. Not surprisingly, I took the surgery. I'm now on the waitlist and am waiting for the hospital to call with a date.

A few people have tried very hard to feel sorry for me. Others have suggested that surgery may not be the way to go. If you feel the temptation, there's no need. Surgery for me is a good thing. It may not be right for other people in different circumstances, but this is what's right for me. I've been down a long road, hobbling all the way, and now that road has ended. Now I get my life back.


As anyone who's waited a long time to get surgery can tell you, the last stretch is a killer. Now that I have a couple of concrete milestones, I've turned pissy and impatient, just when I should be grateful and cheery.

There are also moments when I dwell on the negative. I've been given an 80% chance of a full recovery. At times the 20% whips through my mind and I'm nauseous. I think about the possibility that I will never be quite as mobile again. Then I realize that the alternative to taking a chance is not even worth considering.

The waiting weighs heavily on my mind, though. If posting here has been largely restricted to x365s and little dribs and drabs, it's because, in the words of Jon Spencer, now I got worry.


Also, I have an urge to write about the local politics. And the old world politics. I tend to crush these impulses as quickly as possible, because who wants to hear some guy's opinion on whether Al Gore should run for Pres in the wake of winning a Nobel Prize?* If I want politics on a blog, I go to political blogs. I figure that you folks come here for the downloadable ice cream coupons (any day now, I swear). But I will break from my usual moratorium on politics to show you a picture I took of the Premier recently at a news conference. I had a camera, he had a face, and it all worked out.



Do you like the new template? Whatcha think? Some have been enthusiastic, others have been guarded. I vote for snazzy. If this were a blog democracy, you could submit all your hanging chads, out of which I would fashion a suit. I'm not a big guy. It wouldn't take too many chads. Then when the voting is finished, I would walk the streets at night in my chad suit, threatening anyone who comes near. If I make it through the night unmolested and unarrested, then I will be president. Damn, there's that politics again.

Schmutzie, aka She Who Loves Smallville And Is Not Afraid To Admit It,** designed the whole thing. She produced a clean, sharp template that puts the emphasis on the content instead of the wrapper, which means that the burden of quality rests on my brain. Well, this is me. Stepping up.


*Have you seen Not to cause offense to well-meaning and passionate people, but how deranged have two Republican terms made you? If I were Al Gore, I think I'd rather join a circus sideshow than run for president. He's won an Emmny, an Oscar, and a Nobel - there is nowhere to go but down if he reënters politics. If he loses the nomination or the presidential race, then it's humiliation. If he wins, then he can do absolutely nothing but disappoint as he enters a fatally degraded public sphere weakened by two terms of lethally bad policy decisions. Don't forget that Gore was V-P for two terms, and the Clinton administration did plenty to weaken environmental regulations, not to mention fuck up rules on media ownership so badly that radio listening in the States now amounts to a choice between Rihanna or Rush Limbaugh.

One of the spiffiest things about the American political system is the limit placed on presidential power. The twentieth century is full of instructive examples of what happens when political leaders concentrate that power. It seems to me that the movement to get Gore into the race speaks of a fairytale longing for a hero to ride in and save the day. It's precisely the same attitude that had people queuing up at the Handjobs for Dubya booth after 9-11. The various power grabs, the Unitary Executive Theory of governance, the lack of oversight in the current administration: that's the stuff of leaders shooting for tyranny in the guise of heroism. And so it is I've snuck in a political discussion despite my own objections?

**Geez, give it a rest and stop talking about Smallville already. You were so totally thrilled when Clark was fighting Bizarro - I get it already. Would you let me watch PBS in peace.

x365: 6 of 365: Brian B.

Sorry I stole five bucks from you that one time. You knew it, I knew it, you stayed friends with me anyway. Once you punched a teddy bear across your bedroom as a joke, but I could tell you were feeling kind of bad about it. Did you ever get your pilot's license?