New Year, Old Back

Happy New Year to everyone… hard to believe it’s 2008! I’m still pretty laid up with my bum back and the worst sciatica I’ve ever had. Huge thanks to my sweetie Adriana who has been taking care of me the whole 3+ weeks; thanks to Dr. Rupa for a painkiller prescription; thanks to everyone for sending me good thoughts and visiting and hanging out… My recovery is underway, but surprisingly slow. I keep thinking I should be OK by now, but I’m still in a considerable amount of pain when not on drugs, and my leg continues to be numb nearly all the time. Walking has gotten better, and I have managed to sit for almost a couple of minutes a few times in the past few days. So I’m starting to regain some normal functioning, sort of, but still no bicycling, and walking uphill is really painful. I got a car ride up to the top of Bernal Heights the other day, and walked a short distance to get a photo of San Francisco’s new Middle Finger:

For about 10 minutes I felt stiff and sore and not too great, but still, I was up and walking! That’s when Adri took this photo:

But just a few minutes later, as we walked back to the car, I was overcome again and had to lay down on the bench:

It’s really a gut check to be so damaged as I’ve been. Staying patient is hard enough, but feeling like maybe I’ll never regain my former normal mobility is scary. I think I will, and the chiropractor thinks I’ll be much better in another couple of weeks, but it’s hard to believe right now. It’s such a drag to not be able to go out on my own and ride across town, or take a long walk…

I guess when you’re in a physical funk, a mental funk comes along with it. The circus of the presidential primaries managed to poke into my consciousness briefly, kind of similar to my interest in sports. I really am amazed (again, for the ??th time) at how many people are all worked up about Obama, or Edwards, or any of them… I watched a bit of the New Hampshire debate last night and couldn’t have been less inspired. I vaguely remember once 32 years ago getting all hopeful about Jimmy Carter and a New South and some kind of move beyond the imperial barbarity of normal American politics… didn’t happen then, and it sure ain’t gonna happen with any politicians running for office now. Different strains of populist rhetoric notwithstanding, they are all creatures of the same politics and priorities as the folks they’re ostensibly running to replace. Obama’s taking cues from Brzezinski for chrissakes! Clinton is obviously the same ol’, and Edwards is talking anti-corporate but he was careful to qualify it that there were “good corporations in the U.S., like Costco, or AT&T”!!! Is that the same AT&T who is clamoring for legal immunity from having rolled over for Bush’s illegal wirtaps? The same AT&T who is busily re-monopolizing telecommunications? Jeeeeez!

Time seems to have slowed down in a strange way. You’d think that being prone most of the time would have enhanced my ability to write, read, think, get some of my projects moving… but actually everything is moving quite slowly. I did finish Nowtopia, and it’s off with AK Press for a last round of proofing. But the Shaping SF wiki is mired in details, and thus still not open to the public. The further effort to get funding for a Drupal version is still in limbo (hopefully not for much longer). I am going to try to make it to CounterPULSE this Wednesday for the first Talk of 08, on “Class and Power in Queer San Francisco” which I’m sure will be a stimulating discussion. The week after, Jan. 16, we resume the Art & Politics series with muralist and painter Andrew Schoultz. I’m going to be really bummed if I can’t attend these events.

I have a big article to write for Antipode, a geography journal, based on Nowtopia. I’m also busy making plans for a book tour in April and May, and maybe another one combined with some speaking gigs in the fall. I hope it all comes together! With the completion of the book I hope I can kickstart the conversation I always want to have about work. We’ll see…

OK, as you can see I’m not up to my usual musings. I have watched a lot of mediocre films, a great number of basketball and hockey games (go Warriors and Sharks!), and have been reading (but not as much as I think I should have by now!) (check out John Robb’s USA Inc., a short piece prognosticating a total privatization of the government in the next 15 years)… I’m almost finished with The Darker Nations (it’s very good) and have resumed Adam Hochschild’s “Bury the Chains” which is also a great history… Fiction hasn’t been grabbing me much lately. Started Doris Lessings’ The Cleft, but it’s not that great yet…

So, I still hope to get back to a more engaging blogging rhythm. I have tentatively agreed with Ramsey Kanaan to move the blog over to a new online journal he’s launching, so when that gets more solid, I’ll post a notice here. We may do parallel publishing so the pieces appear in both places simultaneously… Anyway, thanks for your interest and your patience. Let’s hope I’m out and about again soon.

2 comments to New Year, Old Back

  • nobody

    Exactly who IS John Robb, and whose interests is he promoting?

    About John Robb, from John Robb’s blog:

    “Department of Defense Counter-terrorism. Worked with Delta and Seal Team 6 in a Tier 1 unit. John participated in global operations as a mission commander, pilot, and mission planner (El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Egypt, etc.). Numerous medals for exemplary service.”

  • linda j.

    Chris, I feel so bad for you! Back problems suck. I hope you are consistently up and around very soon.

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