October 26, 2006
So, let me tell you about my knees. Here is what happened.
Sunday, a week and a half ago, I was playing a fine game of football. Well things were going well, I was busy scoring a touchdown when things went bad. I got tackled.
I can't tell you exactly how this happened, but both of my knees bent the wrong way. Not backwards, but sideways. I heard a loud pop in both knees and I just kind of crumpled down on the ground. Somehow, after laying around for a while, I walked back to the house and sat down in an easy chair, which became my base of operations for the next week and a half.
I couldn't really walk, so the next day I got a doctor's appointment. Collin took off work and drove me.
He took some x-rays. poked me, twisted me, yanked my leg around, and asked "Does that hurt?"
I said, "yeah."
So he gave me some knee braces, prescribed me a wheelchair, and scheduled an MRI.
I sat around in my control center (a.k.a. easy chair) for the next few days, rolled around in my wheelchair a little bit, then went to the MRI. I got there and she was like, "OK straighten out your legs."
I was like, "I'll try, but if I could do that I wouldn't be here."
I did my best. She was like, "Are you OK?"
I was like, "Yeah."
She said, "If you start have convulsions or muscle spasms because of the pain you will really mess up the images."
I said, "OK." Then I got curious and asked her, "How often do people sprain both knees at one time?"
"Well I've never heard of it before, but I'm sure that it must happen occasionally."
My strange bed slid inside some huge machine that started making these wild whumping noises. Alicia Keys was playing on WJBR, and I just slept right through the whole process. The next day I went camping with Laura, Collin, and Lindsay. They were pretty nice. I just sat around the fire in my wheelchair and they walked all around and collected wood and made hot chocolate. It was a sweet trip.
On monday I went back to the doc to get the MRI report. It was beautiful. The doctor took me picture by picture through ever millimeter of my knees. It was incredible, I felt like I was at Body Worlds, except it was my body, and I was alive.
So, the report is this. Both of my MCLs are partially torn and I have a bone bruise in my left knee. It's the best report that I could have hoped for! He said that both knees will heal entirely on their own in 6-8 weeks.
Meanwhile, I am learning a lot about people with disabilities. Although it's been painful and incredibly boring at times, I think it's worth it for the experience.
October 23, 2006
Inspired by a line
Did you ever hear a line of a song that really means a lot to you in some way? I think that words and the meanings that we ascribe to them can be so powerful when arranged with special thought and care. Lyrics to a song can say things in amazing ways. Here are a some lines that have meant a lot to me.
when I say I'm living with an angel that's you
I need you to give it meaning
I need you to share the view
I know our filthy hands can wash one anothers
And not one speck will remain
-Death Cab For Cutie
It has to start somewhere,
It has to start sometime.
What better place than here,
What better time than now?
-Rage Against the Machine
I'll be where I've always been
I'll be here for you
-Robert Earl Keen
to accept the view that mankind is so tragically
the starless midnight of racism and war.
-One Win Choice
I don't mind if your halo don't glow like it used to glow
I don't want to find out that I've wasted
my only chance to make a difference...
Don't want to waste my life, waiting for a moment,
I'm not gonna wait until it's over.
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass
This is my reason
You are my reason to stay
I have shed this dry hard shell
Traded its comfort for your eyes
Played with denial
And then denied my own defenses
-Boy Sets Fire
Half of the time we're gone but we don't know where,
And we don't know here.
-Simon and Garfunkel
I knew that you were a truth I would rather lose
than to have never lain beside at all
-Death Cab For Cutie
I don't wanna sing about freedom anymore.
I wanna see it! I wanna feel it!
I wanna know that it still sits beyond the lies that we've been told
beyond the wars that keep our families from home,
I know that there's a way.
Dear God, let there be a way
to change the path we're on
and believe in a better day.
-Boy Sets Fire
The angels get a better view
Of the crumbling difference between wrong and right.
Beneath the dust and love and sweat that hangs on everybody
There's a dead man trying to get out
Say I'm a fool,
Say I'm not for you.
But if I'm a fool for you,
Will you come with me
And we'll be ourselves,
And we'll walk into the light
And you can colour yourself
In golden wings
What are some lyrics that have inspired you or meant a lot to you in some way?
October 21, 2006
Recommendations of the Moment
If you have iTunes, you owe it to yourself to sign up for the This American Life podcast. It's an hour long free radio show that includes very interesting stories from aroudn the country. Perfect for a car drive.
It's hard to over-estimate just how much I loved the film Whale Rider. The performances alone were tremendous, but then you throw in the beatiful cinematagraphy, the touching story, and the educational value that this view into a unique culture afforded, and wow. You just have to see it.
Netflix in general is incredible, I've seen many excellent movies since I've signed up. At some point I'll put together a list of the movies I've loved.
So what are all of you loving?
October 20, 2006
I've been thinking about this...
Man's true self is eternal,
yet he thinks, "I am this body, I will soon die"
This false sense of self
is the cause of all his sorrow
When a person does not identify himself with the body
tell me, what troubles could touch him?
Tao Te Ching Verse 13
I'm sitting inside, watching the season change. It's almost the peak for
the leaves. There is a hickory tree right outside this window. It's
bright yellow, waving wildly in the wind. The weather keeps changing. A
few minutes ago I heard pounding rain. I looked out the front window to
see a heavy downpour. I looked out the back window, and it was still as
dry as ever. Just minutes later it was bright and sunny.
It feels like this season has really reached a turning point. I've been
hearing the geese, flying through the dark sky in the middle of the night,
honking. It started out being pairs, or occasionally a single goose,
lonely and searching... now the flocks have gotten bigger. 30, maybe 40
geese in a flock. They are headed south now, striking out for warmer
I've seen swallows flying south too. They don't flock, they fly alone, so
high that I can barely see their split tales. I never knew they migrated,
but watching the sky I've seen them go by one by one in a steady stream,
all headed for the lower latitudes. Swallows are my favorite birds. To
me they have always symbolized freedom. Their daring low passes and
swoops, just barely skimming above the grass. Their cheery songs, their
incredible speed and agility. They are not a symbol of power like the
eagle, or wisdom like an owel. They are not strikingly beautiful like an
oriole, or dignified like a heron. People don't take much notice of them at
all, but they are totally free. Free from expectation, free to migrate,
I have always associated freedom with movement. The unstoppable flow of a
river, the uncontrollable gallop of a horse. I think of freedom as wind
on my face, and miles and miles of trail ahead of me. I think of
mountains, high planes, cliffs, rapids, journeys, the open road, open
Today the wind is tossing the tree branches like they are nothing. Leaves
are blowing wildly by the windows, geese are headed south. It seems like
everything is moving. Everything but me.
In one hard tackle my whole idea of freedom was demolished. I can't walk,
I can't drive, bike, paddle, or ride. There is no wind on my face. The
distance from my bed to the kitchen seems longer than any trail I've ever
hiked. The road is anything but open.
But strangely I don't feel any different. Physically, I'm in pain, but
emotionally and spiritually I am if anything, better than before. My
concept of freedom was destroyed, but I still feel free. I find myself
asking, What is freedom?
Today, lying in bed I was alternating between staring out the window and reading the Tao Te Ching for a class in school. Verse 13 suddenly stood out to me. Here it is again, in case you skipped it up higher.
Man's true self is eternal, yet he thinks, "I am this body, I will soon die" This false sense of self is the cause of all his sorrow When a person does not identify himself with the body tell me, what troubles could touch him?
My physical self has been, for a time, broken. but rather than breaking
my spirit, it set me free. Truly free.
So now, I'm trying to discover what it means to be free. Is it to think
for yourself? Is it to pray to whom you choose? Is it political?
Economic? Is it the ability to maintain emotional and spiritual well
being regardless of physical conditions? Is it as Webster thought: "the
absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action"?
I just don't know.
It reminds me of something in the Bible. "It is for freedom that Christ
set you free." Whatever it is, freedom is intrinsically valuable. It was
worth the life of Jesus. I can not be imprisoned by a wheel chair. I
will not be enslaved by this body. I am a free man, and nothing in this
world can change that.
By the way, I sprained both knees. So I'm in a wheelchair for a little while, but it's not a big deal. I'll bounce back before you know it. I am amazed by people who spend their whole lives not walking.
October 16, 2006
Thursday Helping Josh
Here is what they said:
"As many of you already know our good friend Josh Latshaw from the band Boy Sets Fire recently injured himself severely. He broke his hip, back and neck, but luckily his recovery is going very well and he is finally back at home. He still has a long road ahead of him and we're trying to help him and his family out. Hopefully we can do this with your help. As we all know the price of healthcare in the US isn't exactly cheap, so we are setting up a charity auction on eBay.
"We dug deep into the Thursday vaults and found some really rare items that haven't seen the light of day in years. We autographed all of them and put them up in an exclusive eBay store. The auction just started so head over there and start bidding on a great cause. All donations will go to help pay Josh's growing healthcare recovery costs.
"Boy Sets Fire took us on one of our first tours and it was an incredible experience for us. They're all a really great bunch of people and have been family to us ever since. For those of you that weren't familiar with their music, "The Day The Sun Went Out" was a big inspiration to us. They were a very important band that weren't afraid to speak their minds and they constantly used their band to work with various charities.
"You can check on Josh's progress at www.boy sets fire.org. Thanks for your help.
October 13, 2006
October 10, 2006
More on Columbus
I am glad that Jase posted about Columbus day. Thanks Jase, great job. I started writing a comment to add to it, but it grew very long, and I thought that i should make a full post about it. Warning, don't click the link and read the rest of this post if you like to think of Columbus as a nobel explorer or a good christian spreading the word of God.
I am appalled by the fact that this is still celebrated as a holiday. It is very true that Genocide ensued after european contact, but people should recognize that Columbus himself was more that a mere catalyst. He was a tyrant in the truest sense of the word.
Before Christopher Columbus was a "discoverer" he was a slave trader. In his report to the spanish crown, he said that the people would make poor slaves, but that they did possess riches that Spain could capture.
In 1493, columbus returned to the Americas with an invasion force of 17 ships (appointed at his request). His expressed purpose was to set himself up as "viceroy and governor of [the Caribbean islands] and the mainland" and seize the wealth there by whatever means necessary.
He promptly instituted a tribute system where every native citizen over the age of 14 had to pay a certain amount of gold to him every 3 months. Upon payment, they were then given a token to wear around their neck to show that they had fulfilled their duty. If they did not pay, they were punished by having both hands cut off and were left to bleed to death. In his first 4 years as governor, it is estimated that around 10,000 natives died in this manor alone.
Bartolome de Las Casas was the first european historian in the Americas. He oversaw conducted censuses and documented (in exquisite detail) what was happening in that time and place.
He gives accounts of Spanish colonists hanging Tainos (the native people) en masse, roasting them on spits or burning them at the stake (often a dozen or more at a time), hacking their children into pieces to be used as dog feed and so forth, all of it to instill in the natives a "proper attitude of respect" toward their Spanish "superiors."
Here's another description by another historian "The Spaniards made bets as to who would slit a man in two, or cut off his head at one blow; or they opened up his bowels. They tore the babes from their mother's breast by their feet and dashed their heads against the rocks...They spitted the bodies of other babes, together with their mothers and all who were before them, on their swords."
By conservative accounts based on Spanish surveys, the Taino numbered as many as 8 million in 1493. Las Casas estimated that over 5 million people had been exterminated within the first three years of the Columbus rule. By the time of Columbus' departure, only 100,000 Taino were left, and by 1542, only 200 were left. Within the entire Caribbean Islands, about 15 million indigenous people are estimated to have been exterminated within one generation of Columbus' arrival. This is genocide, the wholesale killing of an entire people group.
Hope you enjoyed your day off.
October 09, 2006
our myspace player
it actually looks a little funky on here, because i had to shrink it to make it fit. to see it in all it's splendor, click here:
The Look Machine's official Myspace site!
but, before you leave ----[click to continue reading]---->
here's where it gets good. you can have this beautiful music player absolutely free of charge!
here is the code. you can copy and paste this stuff to put our mysace player anywhere you want:
actually, we kind of demand that you copy and paste this everywhere, because, it contributes to our play count, and we want to reach 100,000... :)
i mean, would you please use this code to tell people about our music? thank you kindly.
Today I visited the Rankokus Indian Reservation in New Jersey for an Arts Festival. It featured a number of talented artisans from around the continent, from a wide variety of the nations that were here long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
In introducing the events, the Indian M.C. said, "Today is not a holiday, and we don't say the C word around here. But we forgive him, for being 15,000 miles off course and accidentally finding this land." He was making a joke, yet of course there is quite a large bit of truth to that. I would add, "And we don't forgive him for enslaving us and killing us."
Truthfully, how is it that Columbus Day is still celebrated? He never actually landed on North America. He killed the people he found. And he certainly didn't discover America. Of course there were already people here, and if you want European contact, the Vikings were here long before Columbus stumbled on to the scene. Isn't the celebration of this day kind of just dancing on the graves of the people who were here before the Europeans showed up?
At the risk of upsetting some Italians, I would propose changing to this a Native Heritage Day or something like that. I know it sounds trite and its been said before, but we did steal their land. At least we could give them a bank holiday.
October 06, 2006
The New Television Season
Guess what I got to watch tonight, finally? The season premiere of Lost.
I was very impressed. That they are able to expand their story and keep it moving forward and compelling at the same time is incredible to me. Wow, I love this show.
The entire band loves this show now. Which stinks because the only night we can practice is, you guessed it, Wednesday.
Now we've almost always practiced on Wednesdays, and at first I was the only one in the band who suffered through missing it because I was the only one watching it Season 1. This was when Collin still didn't watch TV, and insisted that nothing on TV was as good as movies. He's since agreed that some fabulous entertainment can be found on the old television -- namely, The Office and Lost.
Ian and Shane got addicted too, and caught up with DVDs of season 1 and itunes passes of season 2. Drew? iTunes and DVDs too.
So now here we all are, complete junkies who can't watch it. Thank goodness for iTunes downloads. Season 1 I had to hope to remember to tape it, beg friends for tapes of it. It was very stressful. Now I just get to watch it - without commercial interruptions - whenever I like. And rewind and rewatch certain parts (very important with Lost). Seriously, this new technology is so great.
Anyway, I can't add any new television shows to my weekly watching habits. None of the shows I watched last year got cancelled or became lame, and I can't really find time for more (especially considering my netflix queue is up to 311 movies). Plus, you know I have . . . work and family and relationships and video games and all that.
So, just like last year, I will try to watch, 24, Desperate Housewives, the Office, Lost, and Law and Order SVU. Fortunately, they are all on iTunes, because I have conflicts with just about every one of their regularly scheduled times.
What are you watching?
October 04, 2006
Hello everybody. People have been saying that they want to see more local shows. Where do you want to see us play around newark/southeast pa?
October 03, 2006
Some of our friends just released an album. They are in a band called the deans. They sound (in my opinion) like if jimmy hendrix and Jet got together and had a child. Check them out!