Eric Zorn’s RSS reader must be the best one in the world, because it somehow snagged the Lost Post in the 120 seconds or so that it existed. So here it is, and we love us some Eric:
Among the pleasures of the internet age, from sub-sub-sub-niche pornography (brunettes in pure-white Keds, anyone?) to the London dailies a click away, I have a new nominee for Top 25 status: The online package tracker.
I do a certain amount of catalog ordering, and have fallen in love with the small joy of watching my box, on this trip holding New Balance running shoes and two sports bras — please, draw no conclusions about my fitness plans — make its way to me. Origin scan, March 9: Commerce City, Colo., after which it was scanned for departure, arrival and departure again, all at the same facility. (I’m assuming it’s a hub.) On to Omaha, then Davenport, Iowa — how are you enjoying the humidity of the east, shoes and bras? much different from Colorado, no? — then Hodgkins, Ill., wherever that is. From Hodgkins to Livonia, Mich., where it stayed only a few hours. Its final departure scan took it to Detroit. In at 6:45 a.m., out at 7:40, delivered at 1:49 p.m., to the back door.
The dog didn’t bark. He’s likely to sleep through these things, these days.
Why can’t they put this technology on the cable guy? “We’ll be there sometime between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Can’t be more specific than that, sorry.”
(Of course, one day they will. And I’ll complain that it’s wrong to micromanage human beings to this extent, and predict that the cable guy with a bar code on his forehead is the next disgruntled postal worker, and who will be able to blame them? People are not packages. Consistency, thy name is…not mine.)
But until then, it’s nice to dream.
I like my shoes and bras, by the way. They’re all closeouts, for obvious reasons which I won’t get into, except to say: Bra designers, don’t put seams right down the middle of the boob, OK? Most women prefer a nice smooth line there. But it’ll do for something to sweat in this summer.
One deadline passes, another approaches — they’re like telephone poles on the highway. In the meantime, though, I have to see my doctor this morning, to find out why my knee hurts. No, I know why (slipped on the ice); I need to know why so long. Also, I’m hoping to score some powerful narcotics. I wonder if that would work, not pussyfooting around with the so-called drug-seeking behavior, but just asking outright: “How about a little Vicodin/Oxycontin mixed grill, doc?” It worked with my old doctor, who appreciated directness, as well as the fact I never asked for anything stronger than Tylenol 3. (On a scale of 1-10, there’s a reason that one has a 3 in its name.) A few weeks back, the Wall Street Journal ran a story on off-label prescribing. The opening anecdote was about a woman who was licking those narco-lollipops for relief of pregnancy-related migraines*. She was up to five (!!!!) a day by the time labor started, and surprise surprise, her baby’s first words were, “(Sniff.) How much for an eightball, doc? Can I get it on credit? I seem to have left my wallet in my other diaper.”
Of course, if he says I have arthritis I’ll just ask for a bullet. To shoot myself.
In the meantime, festive bloggage:
I’m not the biggest fan of the Freep’s pop-music critic, but I thought he did a pretty good piece on Why Cobo Matters, even if that wasn’t the headline (but should have been).
Jacob Weisberg went to the American Enterprise Institute’s gala the other night, and wrote a nice piece for Slate. They should change their name to Home of the Unrepentant Neocon:
In his address, the 90-year-old (Bernard) Lewis did not revisit his argument that regime change in Iraq would provide the jolt needed to modernize the Middle East. Instead, he spoke at length about the millennial struggle between Christianity and Islam. Lewis argues that Muslims have adopted migration, along with terror, as the latest strategy in their “cosmic struggle for world domination.” This is a familiar framework from the original author of the phrase “the clash of civilizations”—made more famous by Harvard scholar Samuel Huntington. What did surprise me was Lewis’ denunciation of Pope John Paul II’s 2000 apology for the Crusades as political correctness run amok. This drew applause. Lewis’ view is that the Muslims started it by invading Europe in the eighth century. The Crusades were merely a failed imitation of Muslim jihad in an endless see-saw of conquest and re-conquest.
Were you to start counting the ironies here, where would you stop? Here was a Jewish scholar criticizing the pope for apologizing to Muslims for a holy war against Muslims, which was also a massacre of the Jews. Here were the theorists of the invasion of Iraq, many of them also Jewish, applauding the notion that the Crusades were not so terrible and embracing a time horizon that makes it impossible to judge them wrong. And here was the clubhouse of the neocons throwing itself a lavish ‘do, when the biggest question in American politics is how to escape the hole they’ve dug. Reality seemed to have taken up residence elsewhere for the evening.
Mark Steyn can turn a clever phrase, but reading this piece o’ crap (only the first two grafs available online, sorry) last night made me want to cancel my subscription to The Atlantic. Please, editors of the world, don’t let idealogues write arts criticism, OK? Styled as a tribute to the talent-free Denny Doherty (“the other Papa”), it comes off as one long snark about the excesses of the ’60s, which is a record played so often by this crowd you can’t even hear the music anymore. Not that they ever heard the music in the first place. Michelle Phillips, he says, is “seriously hot, in a way few rock chicks are in the cold light of day when the drugs have worn off.” Oh, please. How would you know? There’s more snarkage about Cass Elliot, who could only get laid because she had drugs, and pokes at John Phillips’ “vacuous” lyrics, proving Steyn may be the only person alive who could listen to the Mamas and the Papas and think their appeal was about the lyrics.
Put it this way: Reading this, I was reminded of the time Alexander Cockburn, hard-core leftist, described the scene in “The Untouchables,” where Elliot Ness throws Frank Nitti off the roof after the latter taunted Ness about how his recently departed colleague (Sean Connery, sigh), “squealed like a stuck Irish pig” before he died. This person, Nitti, Cockburn describes as “an unarmed murder suspect.” So there.
Off to tend the knee.
Late-breaking update: Knee diagnosis unclear, but he suspects arthritis. (Muffled gunshot. Thump.)
* I originally wrote “nausea.” My memory was faulty.
Eric Zorn said on March 15, 2007 at 1:16 pm
Thanks be to Bloglines!
Dorothy said on March 15, 2007 at 1:41 pm
Wow Nance not only are we the same age, now we have similar medical problems! I’ve been suffering left knee pain for the past two months or so. I think it started after I fell one morning walking the dog. He spotted something thrilling, and I wasn’t prepared for the yank. SPLAT – I landed on both knees, and tore my damn pants too. Practically brand new black dress paints. I was royally pissed for several reasons.
I had xrays and an MRI last month, and finally saw an orthopedic doctor this week. More xrays there to compare both knees. The MRI shows my meniscus is torn in a few spots, and I have arthritis in both knees and some thinning cartilage on my left patella. I got a shot of cortisone on Monday, and a script for Celebrex. I go back to see him in 3 weeks.
Isn’t it fun being 49?!
Laura said on March 15, 2007 at 2:09 pm
I’m having knee problems, too, but I’m putting off tending to it until I’m done taking care of this breast cancer. Oh, and I’m due for bifocals. Yep, this aging stuff is great!
Seriously, though, I take it all in stride. All in all, life is pretty sweet–as long as I’m not forced to listen to Bob Seger. Ha ha!
Marcia said on March 15, 2007 at 2:11 pm
Knee stuff is going around. My 13-year-old brilliantly decided to do a back handspring on the basement floor, and landed on her left knee. Ouch.
She just had the MRI; they’re thinking torn meniscus. Her injury isn’t related to being older, just stupid.
And I hate Eric Zorn.
Marcia said on March 15, 2007 at 2:12 pm
(Not really. Nurse Marcia just wanted to see if he was paying attention.)
MichaelG said on March 15, 2007 at 2:27 pm
You wanna hear cable guy? As a result of a domestic realignment, I now find myself exiled from Auburn to a small house in Sacramento. Given the circumstances, small was all I could afford to buy. I read the ads and decided to go with Direct TV satellite service. They were supposed to show up in a four hour window on Mar 1 in the PM. No show, no call. I called them on Fri AM. I talked to 7 or eight different people, all of whom apologized profusely but none of whom were responsible or able to reschedule me to my satisfaction. I called Dish Network. They were scheduled to come out between 8 and noon last Sunday morn, the 11th. No show no call. After the obligatory several people and their empty apologies, the best they could offer was to reschedule me for Wednesday (yesterday). I was in Susanville, CA yesterday. Beautiful country, beautiful weather, but far away. So I’ve had no TV for the last couple of weeks. I may try cable, but I think I’ll call the local purveyors instead of the 800 numbers. Lots of NPR the last couple of weeks. God, I can’t stand Garrison Keillor.
MichaelG said on March 15, 2007 at 2:28 pm
“My comment is awaiting moderation”? What does that mean?
Danny said on March 15, 2007 at 2:32 pm
Laura, you are a trooper. Get well quick.
Dorothy said on March 15, 2007 at 2:35 pm
Same here, Laura. Sending positive thoughts your way!!
Marcia said on March 15, 2007 at 2:46 pm
Oh, Laura, best wishes to you. I read your knee comment and skimmed right over the rest!
Seeker said on March 15, 2007 at 2:54 pm
Caught your thread. Interesting! I though my getaway from reality (brunettes in pure-white Keds, anyone?) was mine and mine alone until the mid 90’s. Now we have a pretty strong group of like minded individuals.
nancy said on March 15, 2007 at 4:04 pm
Michael, evidently due to your domestic relo, your e-mail and IP numbers changed, which meant you had to be re-approved by She Who Must, etc., i.e. me.
Sorry to hear about your situation. Good thoughts headed your way. I bet you miss the goats.
If someone has a problem with Seeker’s link, let me know. I approved it with trepidation, on the grounds of educating others about this big world of ours.
brian stouder said on March 15, 2007 at 4:37 pm
whoa!! that sneaker site is….different!
I think they’re going for the MILF look….
nancy said on March 15, 2007 at 4:57 pm
Sneaker fetishists are probably at the low end of the offensiveness scale, which is why I left it up. Fetishism in general is mildly interesting to me, because it’s so odd. I read a great interview, years ago, with the (female) editor of Leg Show magazine — I think I found her because she’s an ex-girlfriend of Robert Crumb, and appeared in “Crumb.” He described her as “the Albert Schweitzer of sick perverts,” and he’s right. They’re her bread and butter, and she knows exactly what they want, and gives it to them.
…OK, now I have to find the article. Back later.
This is it. It’s fascinating, and not particularly offensive. The first graf:
Fetishes are narrow, even brittle, phenomena. There are men who need to see women’s toes but not heels, or heels but not toes; men who need to see women in leg casts; men who need to see a specific kind of woman’s shoe pushing a specific kind of car’s accelerator. “That’s not at all an isolated fetish,” says Dian Hanson, the most cerebral pornographer in America. “There’s an entire club called Pedal Pumpers. The first man who called me about it could only be satisfied with a 1959 Corvette and white pumps. It had to be white pumps. He’d bring hookers home and take them to the garage.”
Really, really worth your time.
Rory on Lawn Guyland said on March 15, 2007 at 5:02 pm
Re: The Knees. Yeah, me too, 55th birthday coming up this August. How the hell did THAT happen? Anyway, had some joint pain from weight-lifting 4 days a week. Did some online research, and started taking two Glucosamine/Chondroitin Complex capsules daily. Guess what? Pain’s GONE! They say to take SIX a day, but methinks that’s just to sell more (NY Cynic that I am.)
Also, Miniscus: Tore that sucker in my right knee when I got crushed between two cars in a gas line in 1974 (See, “Arab Oil Embargo.”) Was talking to the gas jockey about something, and the mutt behind me took his foot of the brake and pinned me between his bumper and the other car’s taillight. Ow.
Quick ambulance ride to the E.R. brough in my internist, who checked my, ummm, “package” and right leg, and seemed more concerned about the knee. “Screw that!” I sota blurted out. ” I can always hop! What about the “rest” of me?”
That broke the tension; knee still gives me the yips occasionally, though. Everthing else fine (Which is WAY more info than anyone needed….)
Laura said on March 15, 2007 at 5:07 pm
It’s all cool re: the cancer. The worst of it is over. Plus, my hair is rapidly shifting from odd to edgy to (almost) chic. Thanks for the good thoughts!
Dave K. said on March 15, 2007 at 5:21 pm
Laura, My prayer goes out for your continued recovery. But, I just can’t understand anyone hatin’ on Bob Seger. I could maybe get…no, I guess I just don’t get it. Peace, and ROCK & ROLL!!
Dorothy said on March 15, 2007 at 5:25 pm
So Rory – you never had surgery on the torn cartilage? I’m wondering if I’ll be able to go without it myself. Guess it depends on how bad the tear (and pain) turns out to be.
Laura said on March 15, 2007 at 5:39 pm
Maybe it’s my hatred of of Bon Seger (and other bad rock) that gave me the cancer.
Connie said on March 15, 2007 at 6:14 pm
I’ve had the arthroscopic surgery for torn cartilage in my knee, now my other knee is going bad. Ask your doctor about Synvisc injections, not a pain reliever like cortisone, but a synthetic joint fluid. Has given me a good 6 months of reduced knee pain and still counting.
Joe Kobiela said on March 15, 2007 at 7:03 pm
Doubt it was Bob that gave you the Big C.Wife is a 10 year Breast Cancer survivor and she loves Bob.
She also had a Knee replacement back in October and as I type this she is fininshing up 20 min on the stationary bike. Says the knee replacement was the best thing she has ever done. Nancy, beside getting brother Dave to chime in here from time to time I have now gotten my oldest daughter turned on to you and she will be posting from time to time. Also thanks for the link to Ken Levin I laughed out loud reading it.
P.S. Last night South Park was a CLASSIC.
brian stouder said on March 15, 2007 at 7:31 pm
Well Nance – that New York Magazine article was indeed quite interesting.
One of the money quotes in there from Diane Hanson was “My hedonism is leavened with caution.” …that struck me as funny! One notes that the article ends with her ‘stepping back into the grey light’ of Chelsea – anonymous (and wealthy), and NOT one of the ‘unacceptable people’ – after spending hours and hours directing a porno shoot of a woman whose image will be soon be buried in underware drawers, and pinned up in truck-stop garages (etc) all across the landscape.
I thought it was funny that she herself was ‘unacceptable’ as a kiddo, but then grew (or literally stopped growing!) out of it – and that she got her start in understanding porno at the library!
But I winced a bit over the counterpoints that the article (perceptively) kept making with regard to her – between ‘unacceptable people’ on the one hand, and her own praise for the Von Trapps (for example) as genetically superior people! –
and between love, and contempt – for another example.
Aside from that – “bunny parts”????
Bob said on March 15, 2007 at 8:29 pm
Aging doesn’t seem like such a bad deal, once you’ve taken time to contemplate the alternative.
Laura, I’m a ten-year survivor of metatstatic head & neck cancer, after having been given a terminal prognosis.
While I was going through the “OHMYGODWHATDOIDONOW?” phase, a friend bought me a copy of Dr. Bernie Siegel’s Love Medicine and Miracles. It was the first optimistic news I’d heard after an increasingly bleak succession of results from scans, x-rays, tests and doctor visits. It gave me hope and changed my outlook, and I think it was an essential component in my survival.
4dbirds said on March 15, 2007 at 10:49 pm
Best wishes to you Laura. My 16 year old daughter is a 14 year cancer survivor.
John said on March 16, 2007 at 8:56 am
Joe, glad to see that there are other adult South Park fans. The boys (this week) were on top of their game!
MichaelG said on March 16, 2007 at 9:13 am
Right you are, Nance. My home email address has changed. The result of getting a broadband hookup. In Auburn the only thing available was dial up. No cable, no dsl, no nuttin. Things certainly have changed. I miss lots — even the goatie-oaties. It’s an adventure starting over at 62. I’m not sure I’d recommend it.
LA mary said on March 16, 2007 at 1:27 pm
At 54 my knees are ok, albeit sometime noisy going down stairs if I’ve been standing a long time. They make a sound like bubble wrap being popped quietly. My left ankle has never recovered from an ugly fall a few years ago, though. My running days are over, but walking it OK. It actually helps it. I recommend a book called Running and Walking for Women Over 40, which is about exactly what it sounds like it’s about.
LA mary said on March 16, 2007 at 1:28 pm
Oh, and don’t run in a bra with a seam down the middle of the cup. Trust me.
Danny said on March 16, 2007 at 2:14 pm
I recommend hiking poles for everyone. Sometimes called trekking poles. They take stress and weight off of your lower joints and get you upper body and torso into the excercise.
I shut down running and soccer before my knees got too bad. But hiking is awesome. Especially with the poles. I love them and don’t mind looking like a dork.
ashley said on March 16, 2007 at 6:50 pm
Best of luck, Laura.
From my motorcycle accident, my right knee has a completely torn PCL, a partially torn ACL, and a LCL that is stretched so much it isn’t doing anything.
The MCL is perfect, by the way.
The PCL tear is amazing to the docs, as they usually occur only after the ACL is torn. So everytime I see an Ortho, they call the interns in, and demonstrate the “shelving” of the lower leg. It doesn’t hurt, but it looks really bizarre when my leg is moving about 2″ when it shouldn’t be.
I still just put on a knee brace and take about 12 ibuprofen and try to play soccer.
The funny part is there aren’t many visible scars, as all the surgeries were arthroscopic. The 7 surgeries on the other leg were not, so it has all the cool scars.
Chix dig scars.
And did someone mention sports bras?
LA mary said on March 16, 2007 at 7:25 pm
I can see my sons saving a file called “D Cup Running.”
ashley said on March 16, 2007 at 7:25 pm
Only a D? Go all out…and on the trampoline.
LA mary said on March 16, 2007 at 7:30 pm
Wow. Watching that sort of hurts.