First: Gustav, Chicago. Chicago, Gustav.
Yesterday might very well have been the strangest of my life. I went to the doctor to discuss the results of the MRI on my back Tuesday (and let me say that I managed to survive being shoved into a tube for an hour or so without wigging out but there is no way I could have done that when I was a kid-I was so claustrophobic as a child that I could barely wear hats) and things could be a lot worse. There is no herniation in the disc that I hurt and I seem to be responding well to treatment. Today is the first day that I have been able to do stuff around the house (to which my lovely wife screams "AMEN!" as she should, because she was awesome these last two weeks and deserves to take the next year or so off) and so far I feel fine. I still need some follow up because I am not 100% symptom free.
The most interesting part of the appointment is when the doctor put one of my x-rays up and asked me what I did ten years or so ago to break three vertebrae just at the end of the rib cage. Huh? Are you sure that's my x-ray we're looking at? Yep, that's my name, birth date, time I was here, etc. Hmm. Yep, I see the three vertebrae that have fused towards the end in a bit of self-healing and look quite unlike the other ones that have never been fractured (think tuna cans, and the broken ones have bent sides).
I guess that car accident that I was in during July 1998 was more serious than I thought. It was early in the morning and I was on my way to some BS meeting that was forcing me to rearrange my day off, which meant that I had to cancel a golf outing. Traffic on the Eisenhower was horrible so I took Roosevelt Road, and at Cicero some clown pulled out in front of me to make a left turn. I smacked him just above the back wheel, and he was kind enough to flee. The front of my car crumpled, and the first auto I ever owned totaled.
I remember seeing the accident unfold in front of me, closing my eyes and gripping the wheel. I know they say that you aren't supposed to brace for a collision, but I did. I walked away from the crash without a scratch, or so I thought. I never got checked out, never felt any pain.
When I relayed this to my doctor yesterday he said: "this looks like an injury consist with someone who either was wearing their seat belt (I was) and hit the steering wheel (I didn't), or went through the windshield and flew into a light pole."
I don't know what to tell him or myself. I don't recall it being that big of a deal. There is now danger or risk from it now, but it sure does explain why my back has ached so much since then.
I could not resist the RNC last night, and I would have sworn that I was hopped on some very effective pain pills while listening to the cavalcade of speakers, because those were some unbelievable auditory hallucinations I experienced. Wait, they were real? The heck you say!
Mitt Romney? Bat shit crazy. There's just no other way to say it. Well, yes, there is:
Mitt Romney seems to use the word "liberal" in a randomly pejorative
fashion. I half expect him to say "I was eating breakfast this
morning, and my hash browns were all liberal. I sent them back and
told the waitress to bring me some good, conservative hash browns.
Damn skippy! Next was Mike Huckabee. For some reason, I like this man. He seems like a really nice guy. I think it's because he avoids much of the nasty rhetoric that the majority of the GOP spews. He's still nuts though. His speech was all rah-rah faith, troops, John-McCain-can't-raise-his-arms stuff, but it also included the single funniest moment I've witnessed in the political arena. Funny how? Well, I probably cannot do the story justice, so I urge those who have not seen it to watch the speech, but towards the end Huckabee told the story of an Arkansas school teacher who removed the desks from her classroom on the first day of school, and vowed that no student would get one until they knew where the desks "came from".
Now I'm listening to this and trying to figure how out how the manufacturing of desks at some factory bleeds into Republican policy, but then Huck revealed how the teacher revealed the answer: one by one she had a uniformed soldier walk into the classroom with a desk. Get it? It's the troops, man. The GOP "old reliable." All those times that the US went to war was about desks! I never knew that! It wasn't for freedom, or bashing Nazi oppression, or defeating communism (all noble causes for sure)-nope, just desks. Millions made the ultimate sacrifice...for desks.
Huckabee then thanked John McCain for spending all that time in the Hanoi Hilton, because it allowed him "to get a desk." Huckabee said that he wanted to give McCain a desk of his own-the one in the Oval Office.
Of course now I picture a President McCain walking into the OO on his first day, seeing that there is an empty space were his desk should be,and bellowing in his best Ricky Ricardo "Huckabeeeeeee!!!!"
(Seriously, you have to watch or read the end of Huckabee's speech. I am not doing it justice. It was completely ridiculous, a perfect ten on the scale of unintentional comedy).
Next was the female governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, who stepped in it big time I thought when she took a dig at Joe Biden's home state of Delaware. She mentioned that both Alaska and Delaware have the same amount of electoral votes (3) even though "you could fit 250 Delawares into Alaska." Think about that. Lingle is obviously inferring that Sarah Palin is better qualified to be VP because she's governor of such a large state while Biden represents tiny, tiny Delaware in the Senate.
Her logic might be witty if electoral votes were awarded according to land area. They're not; they're awarded according to congressional representation, which is determined by population. So despite being 250 times smaller than Alaska, as many people (actually more) live in Delaware. And this makes Palin more qualified how? Because she governs more moose, salmon and glaciers?
It was almost Palin-time, but we had to suffer through Rudy Guiliani first. Rudy is all teeth and 9/11 these days. As to further make the point, the screen behind the stage featured a shot of the NYC skyline with the spot where the twin towers of the WTC centered perfectly. Deep. Guiliani was embarrassing; he openly mocked Obama's "only in America" story and made googly eyes at his voting record. He is repulsive. The less said about him the better.
By the time Palin emerged, I knew it was going to be all pit-bull, all the time. She didn't disappoint. She lied about Obama's record again and again, which was to be expected and didn't bother me so much. What else was she there for really? But one thing she did really irked me, and made me lose just about any respect that I could ever muster for her: she mocked Obama's time as a "community organizer" in Chicago-her exact quote was "I guess being a small town mayor is like being a community organizer except that you have responsibilities."
How dare she? She was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a town of about 9000 people. Obama worked in poor neighborhoods that might have had as many people living within a square mile. And which area was less economically viable?
It was a bitchy comment, ignorant and unnecessary. I spent about three years working at stores in the inner city (not as a community organizer, but a retail manager. They were some of the highest performing stores I worked at, yet the inner city has challenges unique to other spots) and I can't imagine Sarah Palin working there. She made Obama sound like a city worker who sleeps in his truck all day. What's more, it is extremely insulting to the people who take pride in the places where they live, no matter the societal factors. Palin told the world yesterday that it is far more important to be a mayor in rural Alaska than to work as an organizer in the inner city, that gun-owning hunters are more deserving of representation of inner city poor.
Remind me who is supposed to be elite in this race again? And when was it written that being a mayor qualifies one for being president? I grew up in a town with almost fifty thousand people. Is the guy who was mayor throughout most of my childhood five times more qualified to be president than Sarah Palin? He's about ninety now. I wonder if McCain knew he was available?
And let's not forget Sarah Palin's family. How could we? They were plastered all over the TV during her speech last night, including the newest member, the boyfriend of the pregnant 17 year old daughter. Talk about surreal: this dude (who looks like Joe from Blue's Clues, I think) has been whisked off on a whirlwind adventure from Alaska to the Midwest, getting to meet countless well-known GOPers and shake the hand of the Republican nominee for president. He gets rock star treatment for knocking up his girl friend! What do you think John McCain said to him on stage? "Well done"?
Amazing. Just try to imagine if Barack Obama'a eldest daughter was seven years older, pregnant, unmarried, and parading on stage at the DNC. Tell me that the Republicans would not be all over it. Go ahead. I'm waiting. Tell me that if the Obama's had a special-needs infant and insisted on having it passed around in full view of the cameras (and having a seven-year old sibling lick her hand to slick his hair back-ick) that they would not be vilified as using the baby as a "prop."
The same folks having aneurysms about Palin's family being attacked are the same ones who made sure to call him "Barack Hussein Obama," are the same people who swore that there was a video of Michelle Obama trashing "Whitey" and are the same folks forwarding e-mails that still suggest Obama is a Muslim.
Republicans live in the largest glass houses, and they also toss the largest stones. They can't have it both ways.
Back to Palin: she did her job. The VP is supposed to be the attack dog. Never mind she contradicts her presidential running mate when she chastises both Obama and Biden for being senators only and therefore having no executive experience (like, um, say John McCain); never mind that she has no experience when it comes to national security in a time when the GOP swears that if they lose the White House that we are all going to die; never mind that she lies every time she says that she was against the infamous "bridge to nowhere." She had them frothing last night, convinced that Obama wants to take all of your money, destroy America and kill every single conceived baby.
I have no idea what world I am living in anymore. Maybe I did go through the windshield ten years ago. Maybe. I do know that I am skipping McCain tonight. I'll read the speech instead. I can't stomach hearing anymore of whatever Bizarro World I have been inhabiting lately.