Thursday, November 10, 2011

Show #66 October 15, 2011

Dedicated to Paula, Jaime and my wrecked left side...

Paula- The Golden Horde The Golden Horde
Sorry- The Smithereens 2011
Adventure Time- Cute Lepers Adventure Time
Can I Take You Home Tonight- The Lookalikes Can I Take You Home Tonight Single
Salad Days- The Grip Weeds Infinite Soul: The Best of the Grip Weeds
Got You Where He Wanted- David Myhr Got You Where He Wanted Single
Nightlife- Kevin K Band Nightlife
New Feeling- Future Dads 24 Winship
^My Girl- Donnie Iris 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Donnie Iris
Answers- The Questions Can't Get Over You Single
Dirty Back Road- The B-52's Wild Planet
You Belong To Me- Incredible Kidda Band Too Much, Too Little, Too Late
A Beautiful Lie- Bill Lloyd Set to Pop
(Can't Tell You) It's Over- The Jolt The Jolt
*My Girl- Face Dancer About Face
*My Girl- Hoodoo Gurus Stoneage Romeos
*My Girl- Madness The Business
*My Girl- Eric Carmen Eric Carmen
Can't Be Wrong- Travoltas Modern World
Drop By And Stay- Piper Piper/Can't Wait
Feel Like Myself- Brendan Benson The Alternative To Love
Thought Balloon- Urge Overkill Rock & Roll Submarine
The Girl is Alright- Big Kid You Must Be Kidding
Dame to Blame- Slaughter and the Dogs Do it Dog Style
>My Girl- Master's Apprentices Complete Recordings 1965 - 1968
Livin Alone- The Rattlers On The Beach Single
I Wanna Be Free- The Rings I Wanna Be Free
Catch Your Wave- The Click Five Greetings From Imrie House
Hit And Run- Battered Wives Cigarettes
Dance- The Fevers Love Always Wins

^Power Pop Peak: #25 Billboard Hot 100 3/27/82

*SacroSet: Songs For "My Girl"

>Power Pop Prototype: 1968

Do you know where your acetabulum is? Neither did I, but I sure as hell do now. On September 10th, 2011 I went on a bike ride with my friend Phil. The plan was to climb Cavedale Road- the highest elevation within riding distance of our houses:
7.61 miles, 2145 feet (200 feet per division)
We've done this climb dozens of times over the years, in fact I had done it on my own the preceding Saturday (9/3/11). In other words, no big deal. Phil and I hadn't ridden together in a while so it was good to reconnect. The trip up Cavedale was its usual bastardly self (I said I'd done it a lot- not that it was easy) with the descent down Trinity Road (3.01 miles, 1715 feet, pictured below). The top of Trinity is very steep with some tight switchbacks but down at the bottom, it evens out and you can build up some speed before you have to stop at Route 12. Well, I'm at the bottom winding part (formerly my favorite) when I come around a bend and my front wheel starts shaking violently, like it's going to potato chip and send me flying over the handle bars. I was going about 25 miles an hour, so there was no way I could slam on the breaks but I also couldn't control the bike enough to stay on the road. I took a bead on an open field on the left side of the road and hoped for the best. I don't remember the impact but I must have gone off the bike immediately because the next thing I remember I'm on my back with my knees up. Goddamn if it didn't hurt.

Phil was about a minute behind me so he didn't see anything. When the pain didn't let up, he called 911 and a Sonoma ambulance came. Paramedics nixed my request to go to Sonoma Valley Hospital and took me to Santa Rosa Memorial which has a trauma unit. My neck wasn't injured but they put me in a collar anyway. The worst thing though was the backboard. Sweet mother of mercy, that thing just about killed me. I was on it for the next three and a half hours, strapped in with my body weight pressing down on my wrecked ("involved" is what the Physical Therapists call it) left side. The dope they were giving me simply wasn't cutting it- just thinking about it now puts my teeth on edge. Anyway, my trauma wasn't as traumatic as other people's that day which is why I spent so much time on the board. I'm not complaining, "first come first serve" may work for the deli but not a trauma ward.

When Jaime got to the hospital I was surrounded by cops who were trying to get away from the raging douchebag on the other side of the curtain who got tazered in a domestic dispute in which he threatened his girlfriend with a gun. As you might imagine, the trauma ward is aptly named. They finally let me off the board when I went upstairs for a CT scan. Jaime got the news piecemeal: first they told her I had a cracked acetabulum. This is the part of your hip that your femur fits into, like a "hip socket." Of the injuries I sustained that day, this was the most serious. This image shows the acetabulum as if the femur isn't even there- the doctor kept going on about his new imaging machine and seemed bummed out that Jaime wasn't suitably impressed with the awesome special effects.

As I said, Jaime got the prognosis in stages, so about fifteen minutes after the acetabulum deal they told her I had a broken pelvis. This sounded much worse to Jaime (as it would have to me if I wasn't in a narcotic cloud) but when she asked about it they told her the words "broken" and "fractured" were interchangeable. Finally, they threw in three broken ribs. In summary, the left side of my body was blown up real good.

By this time the drugs had taken over- I don't even remember saying goodbye to the accursed backboard- and at some point I was admitted and got a room. Jaime brought the kids to see me and Reverend Nancy from my church came by that night but it is pretty blurry so I don't remember much else. The next day a bunch of friends visited: Chris, Todd, Joan, Beverly, Frank & Joanna- it was great to see all of them. Dr. Schaeffer, my GP from Sonoma also came by and got to talk with my orthopedist who was still hyping his fancy new machine.

The nurses were great- especially when I clarified that I was hurt on a bike and not a motorcycle. In my limited experience, it seems that nurses, especially female nurses, hate motorcycles with an all-encompassing passion. If I'd seen what they'd seen I might feel the same way. The drugs were free-flowing; a mix of Oxycontin, blood thinners, and at one point some Atavan that, in combination, had me insisting that I could hear Metallica music coming out of the air conditioning vent (I'm pretty sure it was Side 2 of Ride The Lightning). Jaime and the kids loved that one. Being in the hospital kicks your ass, if you don't believe me check out this sexy, sexy picture that my daughter Nica took.

The second night they moved a guy into the room with me who was a hardcore junkie. I've heard how boring and "one note" drug addicts can be and got to see for myself. The dude asked for drugs every five minutes, driving me and the nurses nuts. I'd have given him my hillbilly heroin if they'd let me. Luckily he was moved from the ward before lunch. I was in such a haze on Sunday and Monday that I forgot to re-schedule a conference call already set up for Tuesday. So, I took a mid-day drug holiday and re-presented a research study for some Wichita clients and their new consultant. It went pretty well and the clients seemed happy- I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself. Afterwards, I met with physical and occupational therapists who gave me the go-ahead to get out the next day.

Our friend Diana lent us her huge van for the ride home on Wednesday so it went off without a hitch. There was a point though where I said to Jaime: "you have a yellow mustache." I can still picture it clearly in my mind- bright yellow, like sunflower pollen, on her upper lip. She looked in the rear view mirror and tried to wipe it a way for a minute, with me saying "nope, still there," before it dawned on her and she said: "why am I listening to you, you're stoned." Apparently I was talking drugged out nonsense. Whatever I'd taken really kicked in when I got home. I don't drink so my son Jack had never seen me in giggling idiot mode- it really freaked him out.

Jaime had ordered a hospital bed for the living room and that's where I slept for the next three weeks or so. (In case you're wondering, there's no way to feng shui a hospital bed in the living room.) Jaime had a ton of work lined up, so my mom came out from Massachusetts for the next ten days, which was a blessing. After crutches, crutch and cane, I am now walking unassisted- two months after the accident. I dropped my bike off at the shop this week. I'm hoping they can do a CSI job on it and tell me what went wrong.

I put this show together while still in the hospital and despite the blistering drug cocktail, I think it is surprisingly coherent. Jaime has been amazing since day one of this ordeal, so that's where the idea for the "My Girl" features came from. Paula is this show's namesake but it is especially dedicated to "My Girl" Jaime to thank her for everything these past two months- and the 20 years or so leading up to them. I am a very lucky guy.

Click the links below to download this week's show (right click and "Save Target As"):
Hour 1
Hour 2

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