Category Archives: Miscellaneous Ramblings

For when I can’t think of another category.

On Feeling Stupid


In February I had an x-ray and learned that for three weeks I’d been walking around on a fractured toe. Specifically, a “linear lucency … consistent with a nondisplaced fracture.” I’m still reminded of this every time I bump it or move it the wrong way.

For a long time I didn’t notice anything wrong. I mean, obviously I knew my foot hurt. I was limping. But it took me over two weeks of limping to notice my foot had hurt long enough and badly enough to justify calling a doctor.

Drive a car long enough, and something will probably go wrong. Maybe you hear a squealing noise, not very loud at first. Without really thinking about it you drive a little bit slower. Maybe the brakes are a bit soft, and you instinctively brake a little sooner to compensate. Gradually the noise grows. Gradually you drive a little more gently, and a little more. And one day you notice, hey, you’re driving at ten miles per hour and braking half a block away from the stop sign and your car still sounds like it’s rehearsing Tosca.

We do this all the time. We thump squealing refrigerators and dishwashers and clothes dryers into silence. We put up with TV aerials that must be adjusted and readjusted with microscopic precision to pick up signals. We live with watches that stop randomly and work with computers that crash and tolerate small appliances if they start to smell funny.

You can get used to all kinds of things. You can be used to a thing for a long time, until one day it hits you that you’re too used to it, and you’ve let it go way the hell past the point that it ought to be tolerable. I was amazed, and a little alarmed, to discover I could do this with my body.

Maybe the real lesson here is that life never ceases to provide us with new things to feel stupid about. Which in some ways is better than not feeling stupid. If we never felt stupid, would we notice when we had something new to learn?

Still here…

…but still exhausted.

We’ve had about 58 inches of snow since the beginning of winter. An awful lot of it seems to be hanging around. Some of it melted today, but that brings new problems: I’ve had ice dams all along my roof for a couple of weeks, and this morning I awoke to the cheerful sound of water dripping into my bedroom.

I’ll try to come up with some short posts over the next week or so while I wait for my writing ability to come back.

December, why are you doing this to me?

December has been inconsiderate.

It’s brought inconvenient winter storms every week. Not *during* the week. I could handle that. On the *weekends*.

A couple weeks ago it was an ice storm. A big old half-dead tree across the alley dropped some branches. One landed on the power line running underneath and blacked out the neighborhood. When the electricity goes out, so does my heat. I spent the night in a hotel.

This is the second ice-storm blackout in a year. Last February a branch from the *same tree* knocked the electric meter right off my house. It took two days and $500 to get it fixed. The tree is now on my enemies list.
This week I had a headache for five days straight. I saw two doctors. The first gave me a simple and apparently dubious diagnosis. The second said the same thing but gave a detailed explanation that took into account the observations I’d reported and made a hell of a lot more sense. If any doctors out there are looking to cut health care costs, here’s a tip: actually *explaining the reasoning behind your diagnosis*, instead of handing down your judgment and running off to the next patient, could save a *lot* of second opinions.
Less painful, but still annoying: the one movie I’d been looking forward to seeing in the theater [isn’t coming to town] [st], courtesy of our local theater chain monopoly. To add insult to injury, here’s what one of the usual idiot comment-section drones had to say:

>Even though it has Johnny Depp and the Tim Burton directorial moniker, “Sweeney Todd” is not exactly fodder for the unwashed masses. It’s an R-rated musical supposedly soaked in gore, washed of color, and decidedly bleak in tone. Not exactly a blockbuster in the making. Paramount’s cockiness in demanding extra dollars will only hurt their box office returns, which I’m guessing they’ll really need for this one…blowing off Midwesterners reflects a left-coast elitism that should be given the finger.

I’ll take Paramount over this guy any day. They may be left-coast elitists, but at least they don’t think Midwesterners are an unwashed mass.
I’m sure things will only get better from here, and I hope to update more frequently in 2008–I’d like to post some thoughts on books I’ve been reading, continue reviewing old _Doctor Who_ tie-ins, and finish [more comics than I managed this year] [com], including some longer stories.