Wednesday, May 21, 2008
A bunch of unrelated observations as I continue my long climb out of the happy abyss of painkillers:
1. The surgeon said I could start driving today, now that it's been 48 hours since I took my last pain pill. All well and good, but at $4.24 per gallon of gas? Huh? Going for a drive just to feel the breeze in one's hair is a non-starter these days. And I'm not sure I could squeeze myself into the thrifty Civic, though I'd have no problem with the thirsty Odyssey. Good thing I won't be flying the Cessna until late August at the earliest; aviation gas costs more than $5 a gallon most places (and it's $7.57 at O'Hare!).
2. Geovany Soto is my current culture hero. The chunky Cubs catcher's inside-the-park home run the other night against Houston thrilled slow-footed gimps like me everywhere. It is said that it took Soto only 15 seconds to circle the bases but 20 minutes to catch his breath. What a guy!
3. A certain newspaper political writer wrote this morning that Barack Obama has problems reaching the "white middle class," judging from the Kentucky primary. Appalachia is white middle class? Maybe she really means the lowest rungs of that class: the bitter, uneducated and ignorant who find racial hate easier to hang on to than to grasp meaningful change in their lives. It was folks like these that James Carville had in mind when he not so cynically observed that politically Pennsylvania was "Ohio on the west, New York on the east, and Alabama in the middle."
4. The best book I read during my downtime was Jane Gardam's 2004 novel Old Filth, a brilliant and often hilarious character study of a British barrister during the waning days of Empire. (It was part of a postsurgical CARE package brought over by my neighbors Bruce and Barbara.)
5. God help me, I want to see the new Indiana Jones movie!