Piriformis Syndrome.

In this entry, I am actually going to try to be both serious and informative. Hard to believe….but here it is:

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In the past couple of years I have been in a hell of a lot of pain from what has recently been diagnosed as Piriformis Syndrome. If it sounds radioactive, it is. Not in a U238 kind of way but it radiates like a bitch and if you have never experienced chronic pain, do I not recommend it, even to those amongst us who profess to enjoy it. If by some chance, nature did not endow you with an ounce of empathy, this here: tear jerking, fist clenching, teeth gnashing, and all consuming pain, will make you wish you never existed. And the best part of it is, it’s on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and every sorry ass day of the year.

Why am I telling you this? Fear not, I do not need your pity or sympathy, even-though I’ll take your money, but if by some stroke of fantastic luck, you are reading this, and are sitting at home and contemplating the old adage, that dropping like a stone has its advantages, read these here phrases before you decide to leap off the ledge and into the bottomless pit (btw, in you are going to do it anyway, remember that you must jump from at least the 4th floor, to ensure a sufficiently traumatic death? .

As I was saying, in October 2006, I decided that I had had enough of this grief to actually do something about it. I went to see a MDs, and as it turned out, not just one but many. At the time the pain was severe but not yet devilish. I had just finished crossing the country and the Pacific several hundred times, in a three month traveling frenzy, which had aggravated my aches and pains enough to warrant a trip to the clinic. I started to believe that since I was spending all this dough on health insurance, why not give medicine a spin, no more barin’ and grinnin’…. let’s get some relief, you’ve earned it….

Long story short, the pain got worse and worse, the MDs got more and more confused as to why my supposed Sciatica had no visible diagnosis, no herniated disc or spinal stenosis. Hell, at this point, since we can’t figure this out lets shunt him off to the pain clinic; it’s what we do when our protocols are no longer useful and we’d rather not look into it, it’s probably all in his head anyway.
Being the type A that I am, and a strong believer in answers to everything, I simply refused to believe the way this was ultimately going. I decided to enroll my friend Scott, the MD, who one early summer day came bouncing out of the San Francisco mist to casually mention, that I ought to get Botox injections: ” I read a paper recently that Botox injections can be quite effective, if, as you seem to so vociferously believe, that it’s a muscular, not a skeletal thing”.
A quick search (Botox + Siatica) on the internet and there it was, the number three, the trinity(actually six). There are, in turns out, not two but three possible diagnosis for this wretched sciatic misery; and here is my word for it: Piriformis Doloris Vendictis.
I won’t describe it here, just go to these and the other links, I am so generously providing alongside this entry to remind you that medicine is protocol based; to believe in your instincts and listen to your pain, not the physicians who think they seen it all before; just another patient, like every other miserable wretched case before it.
My condition, it turns out, should have been well known to the MDs who treated me, it’s not that uncommon, but thanks to the time constrained and generally disinterested MDs who treated me, I was well on my way to rotting, alongside all the other unlucky corpses haunting the halls of the chronic pain.

Epilogue: I received a Botox injection in the Piriformis last August fourth, and am doing better. Not out of the woods yet, as a lot of physical therapy and possibly many more corticosteroids and Botox injections will be needed to deliver me from this nightmarish affliction, but at least now, it has a name and can be treated like the bitch that it is.

Below, are must reads, if you have any kind of sciatic like nerve pain radiating down your lower limbs. Even if your MRI shows signs of herniation or synopsis, as it often will; do not discount the Piriformis, and mention it to your MD, as a very real possibility. Send him/her the links and nip it in the bud, before it breaks your spirit, as it eventually will as the longer a diagnosis takes, the greater your chances of going insane in the membrane.

Take it from me, chronic pain is unmitigatedly the closest thing to absolute misery. If you have it, wether or not your Piriformis is the culprit, you have my deepest sympathies; I feel your pain, I really do mean it, even if I often profess to the contrary.

“Skakespians”.

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As promised, I will now attempt to dissect the killer formula behind these starlets’ photographic replicas. The power, the éminence grise, behind these two pixies, I so generously posted in today’s and last Tuesday’s entries. BTW, I have no idea who Josie Maran is, but I am familiar with Jessica Alba and of the ongoing struggle for cultural hegemony, between hers truly, and Miss Jessica Biel. If I am not mistaken, these two young women are being currently toted as America’s hottest shakespians, or rather, “best in show”, in a supporting role as a bathing beauty.

Notwithstanding this aside, and in order to properly complete this task, I undertook to partner with a literary companion to search the internet and settled with a symbols dictionary, so as to remain as objective and un-lascivious as might be expected of a male of this specie. One who could infuse this entry with credibility and referential certitude, as oppose to vaguely self referential ineptitude.

Without much thought or premeditation, I briefly transcribed into words what I was seeing on screen. Also, and as previously mentioned, least we forget; I stumbled upon these screen saving beauties, on the same website where as lady luck would have it, I also found a very atonal, Middle Eastern version of Nokia’s iconic ring tune. (Furthermore, and as you may already know, cell phone manufacturers are forced to devote a lot of their precious, and limited global resources, to transcribing their “flagship” ring tones into other languages, and craft multi-culturally appropriate Pavlovian melodies, to win, the hearts and minds of the masses).

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Josie Maran(Tuesday the 18th): Image includes three obvious and visible references.

Sunset :

As the orbit of Venus, is closer to the sun than is the earth’s, it is never seen more than 48 degrees from the sun. This means that Venus is visible as the Morning star or Evening star in the immediate vicinity of the Sun. Thus Venus can only be seen from earth just before sunrise in the morning or just after sunset in the evening. As you can see, the use of the sunset, as a background for the Josie Maran image, wether, conscious or unconscious can be easily associated with Venus, the goddess of beauty, love and fertility.

Rocky Seashore (Ocean scape included)*:

As for the rocky seashore behind her, I will have to subjectively interpret its meaning, as a quick search on the internet did not reveal any interesting references, or reasons why the creatives, behind this image, decided to incorporate it in the shot.
Based on my knowledge of classical texts, and secure in the knowledge that water is supposed to represent nature’s passive element and is the ultimate solvent, I may be correct in presuming that the viewer is to feel non-threatened by this beauty but not so much so as to render her bland and unexciting.

The rocky shore line, is, I presume, meant to spice it up so to speak, infuse the scene with a bit of danger and mystery. Josie wants to be remembered as the girl next door, who might also, just as well spank you if you misbehave. She wants to pack enough of a punch so that you’ll keep a close but admiring distance. She’s just out of your reach, someone else’s treat. Unless, that is, you can in turn prove that, you are indeed equal to her needs. A task, not so easily achieved, as the competition for such a beauty is stiff. In order to join her archetype on these rocky shores, you will have to earn it, and prove to this Aphrodite, that you can swim.

And what about that autograph, which also happens to be our third and final peek: After-all, she may seem unapproachable and beyond reach, but still, she is a human being and would not want you to think that she does not appreciate her legions of teenage fans. Think of it as a kiss on the cheek, a smile, a look back and a wink as she steps into the limousine.

As for Ms. Alba, I would venture to think that the image above is meant to have you believe that she’d be a better mother to your kids than Josie, who, if you’re not jealously careful, might run off with Neptune, when you’re not looking. Frankly who would blame her, have you seen how well hung Neptune is? and from the looks of you, all you’ve got going; besides that hair piece, is a few moles and that gun you’re holding.**

* To separate these two, into distinct symbolic representations, seems at this point in time, inappropriate.
**A Corsican Welcome.

Audio blogging is here to stay.

I was able to find good text to voice software, and with a bit of work, I managed to find the very tone and voice, this blog is meant to emulate. I shall soon, be slowly transcribing, each and every entreaty. So, if you like reading these entries, please listen to them, it will add to the overall feeling. They are now, and will be, far more representative of my personality.

“Dear Leader”, the Audio Blog, is coming.

It is my great pleasure to inform you that I will be transcribing all past and future blog entries into embedded audio files, available right here, on this blog. This thecnology will allow you to listen to my entreaties instead of having to actually read each and everyone of them. A voice generating robot will be performing this thankless and dreadful task, so that I, may not have to.
A word of caution, you might have to listen very carefully. As of yet, I am unaware of any free, Mac compatible software out there, which might do a better job than Fred….Also known as the “Stephen Hawking”.

Ring Toons……………………………………………………………….

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A quick note please: To experience this entry, as it was meant to be, it would be best to click the MP3 above. A pop up will appear, which you will need to forcibly shove aside, so as not to obscure your reading pleasure. Until such a time as I can figure out how to play it automatically, you will need to comply with this directive. Thank you, the management….

Begin:

On a whim, I undertook to search for Arabic ring tones and in the process of expanding my search, as is so often the case, I quickly became mired in a tangled web of baroque web pages, MP3s, MIDIs, pop ups, Dubai mortgages and Arabian real estate.

To my here disbeliefs, the Muezzin’s MIDIs is, if well intoned, not a bad way to shake off some dream sleep and double check, how red delicious, Kabul’s sunsets might look to the Almighty™, after a long day. In the meantime, while browsing afore mentioned website I nearly picked up my pen to sign these dotted lines: “Allah is defined as the ONE who ALONE, without partners or helpers created all that IS created in creation, either known or unknown.” Sounds like an all rights grab to me; and because we should be so lucky, his excellency, rimes with intellectual property…… How’s about 72 attorneys…..?

While desperately trying to extirpate myself from a dozen web pages, I inadvertently followed a link and came upon afore posted, Kafir beauties; which, to my manly delights, featured scantily clad celebrities. Cell phone mementoes, that to many a teenage dream screams: “Call me…!”. Afterall, it does not hurt to dream a little, every time you hear that ring tone and pick up the phone; like snacking between meals, sneaking a peek, or coping a flat screen, when no one’s looking….. If only that damn LCD didn’t fade to black, with such annoying regularity.

As an aside, later today, I shall also explore why we primates find such images so compelling, and how they are, ever so deftly constructed to lure so many fishes with nothing but a hook and no bait. Why is it that images of such enticing and classically trained young ladies, always seem to say: Why isn’t she calling.?
Some day, I promess, I shall reveal, lay bare and peel back, the many layers of this cake. Trust me, nothing but good things awaits us in this future and upcoming journey.

Nevermind Fifty Ks.

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These are my great grand parents on my mother’s side. I shot this framed image in my ninety four year old grand mother’s bedroom last month, in Milaria, Corsica. I dropped by the village for a couple days to visit her and found this propped up, on her bedroom set. It was nice to see that even at 94, she gazes at their image every night, before she goes to bed and may be dreams of rejoining their warm embrace.
I do not see any reason why I should not have 4×6 of my mother when I am her age but it was surprising to see this portrait come out of the woodwork, and remind me, that my grandmother’s memories go back so far in time, that they seem down right alien, ancient and distant to this grand child’s eyes. Time will render us all the same, and our descendants, our grand kids even, will look up some day and see us, not as we were but dead.

I would not mind owning portraits of my ancestors circa 1334, but I fear that that time has come and gone without momentoes, pics or snap shots. How rude, how thoughtless, how very, how to say, Dark Ages….
Nevermind them, for if all goes well, my descendants will be able to gaze up, five centuries from today, type in a password, hack my DNA and bring my carcass back to life, and give me another shot, at living on this planet; or the next.

Since I would not want to be a burden, I’d be willing to provide enough cash to actually live off the interest, even five hundred years from now. In the meantime, I might get there by investing my last dimes to cryogenetically store my seeds in geostationary orbit , which would, with any luck be launched back to earth at a prescribed time and date and reconstituted, for a small fee, by future scientists. If five centuries seem like a long time, a downright and boringly longtime, don’t worry, it shouldn’t feel any longer than a good night’s sleep. By the time you rejoin your descendants, even at 5% compounded, you might even be rich. Like Social Security, but without the bitterness of government pay day…..

Come to think of it, this might make the makings of a trashy sci-fi; where only those with enough cash would be reconstituted to live and work another ten decades. The rest of us who could not or would not provide well enough for our futures would simply wither away and die alone, in orbiting planetary hospices, shot into intergalactic space, where may be some other race would find us and bring us back to life to work us to death as sex slaves, or digging amonium trenches, four million light years away.

Anyway, the possibilities seem compoundingly and endlessly hopeless…… Or better yet buy some government CDs, have yourself cryogenetically preserved along side Mickey, and there you have it, when your future mother drops you from her vageen, you’ll be sitting pretty, richly compounded, on pile of money*. Grown up, eat candy, blow half your savings on Crystal, crack and hot babes, blow your brains out, repeat as needed. If all keep on going well, invest in the future once and you won’t have to ever do it again. What’s life without death, and death without compound interest.

*$1000.00 at 5% For 500 years= $ 39,323,261,827,218.67

Future Salamis of America.

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Two things for Friday Sept Sixth:

Thing One: I just took a nap for no other reason that I had to drive to Berkeley to deliver some promos for bulk mailing. After that, I went for a walk through UC, the university. Like an old man on his afternoon walk, my hands behind my back, I reviewed the offerings laid out on small tables where students proposed to let others, not I, join various ethnicities, to presumably once again bond and share a common ancestry, find solace amid a sea of unfamiliar kissters and grins. As if that was a barrel of monkeys, or something.

When I first moved to this country, when I was fourteen, it never failed, I had to be introduced to every French, Dick and Harry who happened to live within a 200 miles radius of me. Wether I like it or not I had to play the little diplomat, shake their sweaty paws and prove to the peanut gallery that indeed we were French, not some knock off, some cheap Chinese copy. That generally was achieved by muttering a few words, twirling our mustaches and cursing “Les Roast-Beef “.

As if sniffing a terrier’s crack somehow smelled better to another terrier than a pug’s posterior or a shepherd’s ass. So, as I was saying; I strolled by so many recruiting stations that I became frightened and had to turn back, retrace my steps, return to my car and begin the short ride home to Saint Francis; but not before noticing the Future Business Leaders’ hermit crab convention and the Future Accountants of America ‘s kissing station. Like a fucking Carny, but scary…. I quickened the pace and then down right ran as fast as my shackles would let me.

Thing two: When you are forty two, going on forty three, you’d better not succumb to the culinary temptations of Telegraph avenue, which as you might have presumed, and rightly so, are chuck full of tricks and treats for teens. I made the mistake of ordering a large frozen yogurt on this empty stomach. Large frozen treat came with a paddle, for scooping, and could barely be dragged, never-mind carried. It came oozing, out of the frozen yogurt machine, all 50 gallons of it and had to be consumed alone, with no other posse or company than my own.

Needless to say, on the bridge back to San Francisky, my lids were droopy and my killer driving instincts severely diminished. I hopped into bed, closed my eyes and threw off the main switch. When I woke up, I did not really wake, just dreamed that I was waking and cutting myself a piece of salami. As I was chewing I came to realize that there normally is, no cutting board or salami in my bedroom; let alone on my bed, at least not in the past several years of domesticity. I decided to double check that what I was tasting was real, not some fucking dream, that it was indeed a piece of dried and smoked meat I was indeed, masticating. That did it, and next thing I know, I am truly awake, with both my hands deep inside my mouth, searching for that salami treat I could have sworn I was chewing.

Thing Three: Look up, not at the night sky, just the top of this page and behold the galaxies. I love this image. Every point, every spec, a galaxy. I even tried to run the dust and scratch filter in Photoshop and momentarily cleaned a few billion errand stars, clusters and galaxies. But not to cause, any real, intergalactic damage, I, promptly, commanded Z, and reverted to saved, right away.