Monday, October 15, 2007


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.


Schmutzie said...

I would like to correct one small (HUGE) point in your entry: I am no lover of "Smallville". I hate "Smallville". Ew. Yuck. No more, please.

palinode said...

I find it fascinating that you, the biggest Smallville fan of all, the secret power behind so many fansites, the preeminent Smallville slash fic writer of our generation (Martha/Lana/Shelby? You're sick), would pretend not to enjoy the show. Are you modest?

butterfly said...

The wife sent us...from Planet Twitter...and we will be assimilated into the Palinode Palace in an orderly fashion.

Hiya! I like the clean look of your new template -- I'm a big fan of white space and clean lines -- plus red, white and black have always thrilled me. It's strong and clean, like a man should be! LOL ;-)

I'm sorry to read about your surgery waiting/difficulties/stress/pain/
impatience/blues. From what you've described, it sounds like a good choice you've made. If I were faced with those possibilities, I think I would have the surgery too. Even if the 20% is scary, it's negative possibilities are not much different from where you would eventually end up having done nothing -- so what have you got to lose? The odds are things will be better for you with the surgery. Mentally, making a choice to be active in the situation and having hope for the positive outcomes of surgery can be very beneficial to your overall health and recovery, whatever the future presents. Keep your squinting head up ;-) The blogosphere is sending you good vibes...bzzzzz..bzzzz..bzzzz..feel 'em?

- the_butterfly aka Vanessa

SUEB0B said...

I did the surgery, and it made it all pretty great. I woke up feeling human for the first time in a year. The old lady in my room had the same surgery and she awoke feeling like a human for the first time in 20 years.

I know that pain or something like it, and it is just Stupid Crazy to live with it. I wish you a quick date and all the best.

Kate said...

Surgery for Palinode = excellent and most awesome. To hell with being grateful and cheerful. You'll have plenty of time for that when you're no longer shaped like a question mark.

It fills my heart with sadness that Schmutzie is in such denial about her love for Smallville. Schmutzie's denial makes teenaged Superman cry.

Theresa Bakker said...

Nice new look. I'm a fan of the left-sided menus. Don't know why. Maybe there's something wrong with my brain? But your site is most soothing. Now if your back would just be soothed. Sorry to hear about your pain.

Marie said...

Nice clean layout. I hope to have one like that myself one day, am working on it.

Now that I know your secret formula I can do a hostile takeover! Mwahahaha! Oh wait.

mathew said...

my eyes retch, unaccustomed to reading from left to right when once right to left would do.

Ozma said...

Like the template.

I hope your surgery turns out OK. Good grief. What the hell caused that? I'm very sorry but I have a good feeling about the surgery.

sgazzetti said...

I wish you the best of luck as you go under the knife. I'm glad that you've made the decision to attack the pain at its source, even though its source is in your spine.

Redesign is great, despite being the product of a fan/hater of "Smallville".

palinode said...

Thanks to everyone for your encouraging comments about my upcoming surgery. And I'm glad you like the redesign - all praise to Schmutzie.

Although she must shoulder the blame for making Mathew's eyes retch - just think what that would look like: a pool of all the stuff you'd seen that day.

Carolyn said...

I had major back surgery about 10 years ago after falling from a third-story balcony. (Less dramatic than it seems.) I woke up feeling like a whole new person. I have some very minor problems as a result - since five vertebrae are pinned together, my back doesn't bend in an S-curve like it should. But when my back acts up, it takes about 20 minutes of walking to sort it out. That's it. No drugs, no docs, no rehab. You're doing the right thing.