Both Less and More Bionic than Before

My time in the hospital was kind of a blur. The light grew and faded over and over again--like a tide that washed in and out of my small bay of a room.
I tried to read. Tried to memorize my lines--but everything is so hard to hold onto when you're being held by the warm, foggy blanket of narcotics.
I was there four days.
Andrew came to visit me. Carl. Ashley. Amy and Clark dropped by in the middle of the night and I thought it was a dream. Renae and Cory came several times--so nice. My mom flitted in and out. I don't think she likes hospitals.
They moved me to the sixth floor on the second day. That night there was a man yelling in the room next to mine all night long--but he seemed so far away that I barely lost a wink.
They took seven screws out of the left side of my ankle, and kept two in on the right. And the plate of course. It looks like some sort of shallow strainer spoon--polished silver and full of holes. The sort of souvenir spoon you'd get from visiting a colony on mars. They gave me the jingling artifacts in a plastic ziploc bag with a label that said: "Hardware--left ankle"
Apparently, some people try to sell used implants on the internet to people in third world countries who can't afford new. But not to worry. I don't plan on giving anyone else my infection any time soon.
I'm feeling much better, but the bad news is, they're worried about the wound becoming infected again so they sent me home with an IV pump.
Yes, a pump. I will be attached to a clear plastic bag full of Nafcillin via a battery-powered pump that I will have to tote around with me all the time, everywhere I go. It will be pickling me with antibiotics round the clock for the next six weeks.
My fridge is now stocked with said bags of antibiotics--a new bag every day.
I will change out the plastic tubing that is now attached to my arm every three days, and once every five days or so, a nurse will come and put a new hole in my veins for the medicine to flow in through.
If the flow were reversed on my pump, it could quietly and efficiently drain me in a matter of hours. Luckily, I don't think the pump comes with that option. I'd hate to think that I was secretly attached to a robot mosquito--you never know where they've been.

Going Under the Knife

I'm trying to be optimistic about this. I'm getting surgery again in the morning. I can't sleep. I thought maybe writing a list of pros and cons would help clear my head.

Being cut open.



Pain meds.

Pain meds.

Four day hospital stay.

Spring break extension. Sort of.

Hospital gowns.

Peeing in a bottle.

Hospital food. Jello.

I'm getting my plate out.

I'm going to ask if I can keep it.

Visitors. (Hint Hint)

Did I miss anything? Let me know if you think of anything else. Or, better yet, come visit me! I'll be listed in the hospital directory.


Busdriver like the
ferrys souls across the Styx
Seats meant for two
hold only one
--everyone alone.

Winter garb
hoods and scarves
and fingerless mittens
all but a few patches of cold pale skin.
Greys and blacks and
dark navy blues
Walking funeral shrouds.

The only color of the day: a thick-skinned
blood orange
bright rind peeled back to reveal
deep purple bruised flesh
savors sweet fresh red wound:

Things that remind us we're alive.

On Pondering My Open Notebook:

Blank page:
a wall standing firm resolute unyielding
unwilling to be scaled, toppled, tunneled under,
or made to disappear.
Only can we try in vain to cover it's expansive surface with thin scratches and fading scribbles
--like pencil marks on the pyramids.

Upon this towering mountainous frighteningly white and pristine
unadorned imposing monolith
must we pin our pithy tacks.
(which sometimes defile or desecrate that beautifully clean untouched, unspoiled space)

Sometimes our best attempts fade and peel with the paint
sometimes fail to stick
but every now and again our scrawling black lines give the illusion of spreading cracks,
the impression that we have somehow found a chink in that white perfect solid surface.
(But the wall spreads out as far as the eye can see in any direction and is far taller than the sky)
There is no filling it, seeing over it's highest towering top, or any amount of cracking to ever make it weak.

there is no other side.

It is tomorrow
and the ocean
the canvas and the stage
it is a handshake or a whisper
(the space between your lips before you breathe)
: It is the everstretching edge of the horizon on a globe.

(Let it never be our past)

Consumption: Most Recently

Punch Drunk Love
After seeing so many movies over the last few years with twist endings, I kept waiting for the turn while watching this one. It never came.
Turns out it's just an ultra-surreal romantic comedy that in the end isn't all that romantic or comedic. But it was a real piece of eye candy at times. I loved the oversaturated colors and quirky art direction. And the only element that rivaled the visual quality of the piece was the sound. I watched it wearing some pretty great headphones and I don't think I've ever really experienced a movie with that caliber of aural finesse. The whole movie was finely tuned to take full advantage of the stereo effect (I can only imagine what if would have been like in Dolby surround) which created so many subtle textures and spaces. And the accompanying score from composer Jon Brion was phenomenal.

I was really looking forward to seeing this one. I had heard that it received mixed reviews for a couple of reasons--conservatives didn't like it because it doesn't shy away from exposing Bush's Bushisms, and liberals didn't like it because it didn't give Bush the roasting he deserved.
While you might hope that this sort of a balance to reveal a subtle and nuanced portrayl of a complex character, you'd be sorely disappointed.
Josh Brolin gives a great performance as Bush, but the writing he was given doesn't really delve any deeper than the cartoonish phrases and cowboy exploits that we've already seen from the real Bush after enduring eight years of his misunderestimations on the news.

Of all the movies I've seen recently, this one hit me the hardest. After breaking my leg last November and undergoing major surgery, my medical bills topped out at over $15,000. Luckily I've got great insurance and so I won't have to shell out hardly anything out of pocket--BUT, unluckily, my insurance coverage runs out at the beginning of next month, leaving me to wonder, how in the world would I have ever been able to pay for my desperately needed care if I had not been covered?
Costs associated with healthcare are now the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States and this film takes a good long look at why that is. Michael Moore is an incisive and witty commentator on the state of things as he travels the globe comparing different systems of healthcare. I was both entertained and deeply moved as I watched the stories of so many americans struggling to make ends meet in the face of tragic circumstances. If you take the time to see one movie from this list, make it this one.

The amount of artistry and attention to detail that went into making this film is just staggering. Even before the movie actually starts, I'm blown away by the credits and titles.
I was really impressed too by the way the director chose to use the 3D effect as more than just a gimmick--but a way to further the story and add to it's depth. (No pun intended...ok, maybe it was) Everything in the real world for Coraline is washed out, dull, and compressed. This makes her journey into the alternate world behind the door all the more vivid and rich. The sets become deep and expansive--full of wonder and in Coraline's case, danger too. If you haven't seen this one yet, make a point to go--it just won't be the same outside the theatre.

Buffalo '66
This movie took awhile to grow on me but I can't stop thinking about it. The characters were so honest and believable--several times I felt like I was intruding on a really private moment. Sort of uncomfortable and hypnotic all at the same time. The cinematography was really beautiful--full, rich, grainy unabashed pre-digital film stock, shot mostly with natural and existing lighting.
Vincent Gallo was electrifying on screen and it is evident that he was just as powerful off as he wrote and directed the piece.
The comedy was painful--uncomfortably funny. I wasn't sure if I wanted to laugh, or cry, or cower in fear with the characters. I don't know if I've ever seen anything so emotionally complex.

Paper Moon
I can't believe I've never seen this one before! Instant favorite. Ryan O'Neal is fantastic, as was Madeleine Kahn--but neither was as pitch perfect as Tatum O'Neal who delivered hands down the best performance I've ever seen from a child actor. The story was clever and the dialogue witty and original without ever becoming trite or corny. Director Peter Bogdanovich paints a charming and naturalistic portrait of the Depression-era Midwest without being overly-sentimental or sugary. The film style is raw and fits the period beautifully with richly contrasting black and white tones and long depth of field focus. I really don't know if there's anything I could fault about this movie.

Your thoughts? Have you seen any of these? Any others you might like to reccomend?