getcher hand outta there. you'll gum up the werks.
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Busted Stuff
posted: 9/15/02

No, not the new Dave Matthews. Though I have a really funny story about Dave Matthews, a bar, the conversationally maladroit, beauty and the lack thereof. But not tonight. I have a lifeache.

I did hear Mr. Matthews Band's latest effort in James' truck on the way back down south, from the Daks to Albany, where I checked into the Quality Inn and spent some quality time, mostly immobile, on the hotel bed, watching CNN and The History Channel, with a bit of HBO ("Swordfish") mixed in for flavor. I missed the penultimate moment where Halle Berry shows off her... acting prowess (seriously, I've loved Miss Berry for years). I thought it was pretty good. DMB's new one, that is.

So it's two days later and I can't walk. Tomorrow I go in for x-rays. I can't imagine how I did this. I'd taken some time off after the last attempt on Shuksan. I'd been pretty sedentary. Then I did an easy hike in North Carolina, followed by an easy hike in the Shenandoah, followed by a 26-mile sufferfest that I often do for training purposes and to clear my head. After that last little jaunt I felt a little something amiss in my right foot, but didn't think much of it.

About a half mile into the Great Range Traverse, which we completed in a day on September 12th, I could tell that I was going to have some problems with the hoof. At the apex of the traverse, 14 miles in at the highest and most remote part of the High Peaks, the summit of Mt. Marcy, and 9 miles from the truck, I knew that I had to walk out that night or risk not being able to get out the next morning, should we bivy. So we walked out. When we got to the hotel that night I looked at the foot, which was a kind of watermelon color. Bad things. Very bad things. Feels like a fracture.

I limped around from here to there. Despite, or perhaps because of, my invalid appearance, the security force at Albany Intl called me over for a random screening. I played along, made nice. I couldn't weight my right foot when they asked me to spread my legs and I almost fell over onto the table. I could tell the guy with the wand felt bad. It made me happy to see him that way. I particularly enjoyed witnessing his discomfort as he detected something metallic in the vicinity of my crotch (i.e., a zipper - not a zucchini wrapped in aluminum foil, a la Spinal Tap). He was telling me, "Uh, pull the... take the waistband and... uh, go like... Um..." And I was saying, "I don't understand what you want me to do. I don't follow. What? [Turning toward him]: Here, you do it." The Wand waved me through.

Today it's been media overload, and I don't plan on stopping for many more hours. I recently caved and bought a DVD player (which I hadn't gotten until now, because I'm old and I don't trust what the kids say). I put my complimentary copy of "Casablanca" in the thing and pushed play. What I saw was pretty horrible. Contrast problems, all sorts of artifacts. This is the grand digital experience everyone is gaga over? I futzed with the thing, trying different settings for a couple of days. Eventually I called Sony and the customer service guy basically told me to return the thing. So I did. The guy had said the problem I was seeing was pretty random, so I got the same model in an exchange. I brought it home, hooked it up. Same crap. I take it back, switch to another model. I bring it home, hook it up. Still crap. Finally I realize that my 10-year-old TV is almost certainly the root of the evil (that and the fact that I had to line out to my VCR - remember those things? - and the signal was getting pretty degraded). So... new TV too. And now, everything is beautiful. I don't use this word, ever, but it truly is... well, it's frabjous. There. I said it.

My goal over the years has been to become less plugged in. I've succeeded here and there. But really, I can't resist some of this stuff. I've been skipping through DVDs all day. I finished up "Sidewalks of New York," devoured "Following" (Christopher Nolan's debut - he's best known for "Memento," which I also own - saw it in the theater but of course, if you've seen it, you'll understand why it was a necessary purchase), watched part of "Manhattan," stopped that to flip over to "The Royal Tenenbaums," then discovered after watching that (again, seen it before) that in addition to the second disc with all of the extra interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff, which I'd watched already, that there was a whole version on the disc with director Wes Anderson's commentary throughout the entire flick, so I watched that too (which means I watched the film twice today). During all of this, I worked through a piece I'm diddling in D, capoed at the fifth fret (which actually puts it in G), in Drop D, which is somewhat reminescent of Nico's "These Days," and "The Fairest of the Seasons" (both written by Jackson Browne and both, I believe, in C, but, I also believe, are capoed at the fifth or second frets, not really sure - I really love both tunes), which I recognize, are both featured in the film. Interspersed between all of this, I've been hobbling about here and there, and when not doing any of the above, I've been elevating and resting and icing my useless foot. And talking to the doc on the phone.

Tonight I'll be gorging on The Magic Box again, I suppose. This is what happens to people like me... It's inevitable. But it's Sunday night, so I guess that makes it all right. And U say - "What have I got 2 lose?" (That makes me chuckle, makes me think of when I was in junior high school when Prince was The Thing, and notes being passed in the hall, and girls who would write notes like the Purple One himself, with the "u" and the "2" and the "4." Girls who wore fruit-flavored lip gloss and a bit too much eyeliner.)

My cable provider has [finally] gone digital in my neighborhood. On Thursday they will "upgrade" me. They snuck in and left a couple of tracts full of propaganda last week, with endless combinations of options and tiers and premium this and variety that. God these people suck. I'm supposed to call them in the next couple of days to inform them of my programming desires, all of which carry rather hefty prices and installation fees. This kind of thing makes me nauseous. I always end up getting really frustrated and saying, "Just sign me up for everything. No, I'm sick of talking about it. Check everything, I'll cancel later." So they flip all the switches and send me a bill the size of Wyoming. And of course I never get around to cancelling anything. And of course, this is exactly what they want.

Cox Cable = EVIL. Even more sinister and diabolical than the Car Tax, they are. Eeevil, I tells ya.

They sent an updated TV Guide with all of the new channels. I can't find a goddam thing. Nothing is in its right place. It looks The Simpsons won't be on tonight (though I'll probably tune in, just to be sure). Springfield's finest notwithstanding, there seems to be an E! True Hollywood Story with Andy Dick that could land somewhere between entertaining and sickening. And then, well, I won't even offer any fanfare here... because there's just no point. Season premiere of The Sopranos, followed by Curb Your Enthusiasm (my personal fave) and Mind of the Married Man (which I actually don't care for, because really, the show does no man anywhere on earth any favors). I'll chase that with whatever else happens to get in my line of fire. Probably the news, actually. I'm always curious to know How We May All Die Next.

So anyway, I don't really have a point. Mostly I wanted to put something new up following 9/11. So this will have to do.

It's time for me to hobble in and eat something. And so I will. And then I'll lay back down, prop up the foot, put the icepack back on, push 17 buttons on four remotes, and I'll let the images and the audio stream in and wrap me in a cocoon of low-level stimuli, all 16:9 and shit, comb-filtered for my personal pleasure. Because I have been assimilated. And I cannot run fast enough to escape. Hell, I can hardly get on and off the toilet.

But what do U care? Probably 2 much in4mation anyway.

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