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The Triumphal and the Surreal

I'm sitting at home, with no inclination to snark whatsoever. My cat is sleeping on my stomach, content as can be, and I'm watching an old (50's or 60's era) game show that Tivo snagged for me. It's called The Name is the Same, and the celebrity guest of the night just came out.

It's Salvador Dali.

Salvador Dali. On a game show. That's shilling Swanson Chicken. Weirdass mustache and all. The game show's premise is they have nobodies with famous names come on, and a panel of guests have to guess what that famous name is. If the panel fails, they have to make out personal checks in the amount of $25 apiece to the contestant.

But this is the real Dali, on as their celebrity guest, and playing their game where he's thinking of a famous name he "wishes" to be... only this is Dali, so before that he's being... well, Dali, describing his new painting, "One Soft Watch Exploding in Eight Hundred Eighty-Eight Pieces." Which might be Soft Watch Exploding, though that was the early fifties so I think not. Or it might be something entirely different. I'm not up on Dali.

And yet, years after his death, Dali's managed to make my life momentarily surreal.

Anyhow, because there's no impetus to do any real cultural commentary, I'm going to cut and paste a post from my Livejournal. I'm doing this because... well, because hours later, I'm still just plain proud. And besides, it's something to do.

Hopefully, tomorrow there will be snarking aplenty (or even the finishing of the Story Shortbread list). In the meantime, if it's as snowy where you are as it is here, be careful.

So, for those who didn't follow this journal last year -- because, well, most of you had never heard of me -- I had a gastric bypass last March. I was... large. What the jokes would call "Oh my god, he's coming right at us." And I was dying -- sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, but the end was near.

I've lost a lot of weight since then, and I'm still losing. I now climb flights of stairs for daily exercise, when before I had to take an elevator to go one floor, for example. But there was one area I was still terrified in.

Frankly, ice scares the hell out of me.

When I was at my top weight, slipping and falling on the ice was horrible. First, there was the fall itself -- a jarring impact that caused every joint to hurt and scared me on the way down that I'd break many, many bones. But that was just the start. You see, after that, I had to get back up.

And, if I fell where there was nothing to brace on, I couldn't.

I literally couldn't go from lying on the ground to standing up. I could get my legs under me, but they then couldn't dead-lift me back into standing position. So I'd have to either get help, or crawl to a tree or staircase or something.

It was humiliating. I remember once, last winter... I fell in the middle of the quad, on a snowy day. There was hidden ice, you see. It was the beginning of winter break, so there was no one on campus right then. And I couldn't stand. Finally, I started the long crawl across the quad back to the academic building so I could get up.

A teacher -- a nice guy -- saw me, realized something was wrong, and ran out to help me. And that was great of him, and excruciatingly embarrassing. I was helpless. I felt worthless. I felt like Darwin was standing over me, waiting with his chainsaw and smirking. I didn't deserve to live.

Well. That was then. I've lost over a hundred and twenty pounds since then. I now climb stairs willingly.

But I'm still scared to death of the ice.

Today it's snowing, and it was freezing rain before. And I was walking -- you guessed it -- across the quad. There were students everywhere, though. Which would actually be worse, if you think about it.

Naturally, I fell.

The first thing I thought as I hit the ground was oh Shit!

The second thing I thought, about a second later, was wait... that didn't hurt.

It didn't. At all. So, I shifted position, got my legs under me, thought "well, I guess we find out now, don't we?"

And stood.

I didn't strain. I didn't fight. I just popped right up, picked up the bag I'd been carrying, and kept on my way.

As I got close to the school, a student fell in front of me. I helped him up, asking if he was all right.

"I'm fine," he said, grinning and shaking his head. "Just embarrassed."

"Don't worry about it," I said. "I did the same thing a couple of minutes ago."

Take that, Darwin.


And if that's too feel good happy/overly personal bloggish for you... bear in mind that on the show, Dali just answered "no" when asked if Robert Q. Lewis, the host, was a person. "He is an Object!" he asserted. And then mumbled in French.

Either way, that's pretty cool. And he just drove Gene Rayburn off the stage with incoherence. Now that's entertainment.

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» A glimpse into a hopeful future. from Rising Above Mediocrity
Like so many others, I read the indomitable Websnark. I'm also aware that Eric Burns, the author, has lost a significant amount of weight through gastric bypass surgery. Today he posted to his LiveJournal and crossposted to Websnark about his small ... [Read More]

Comments

I'm glad you weren't hurt. No matter what your weight, it's easy to hurt yourself when falling on ice. Take care!

Wow! That's one scary feeling. I haven't yet reached that weight, but have been steadily gaining my entire adult life. I'm up to about 320 now. I've changed my diet, but I just don't get enough exercise. Ice sucks! I've been hurt (not too badly) a couple of times falling myself and I understand the difficulty in getting up. I thank God that I can still manage with out something to brace on, but seriously I'm right at the edge of that. Sometimes it's damn hard to get up. I'm really happy for you that you're getting healthier. It's an inspiration. It helps people like me to not give up hope.

I am glad things are working out! That kind of improvement is something to be proud of! Keep it up... I need my websnark fix, and you need to be healthy! (Tad selfish of me, eh? :P)

this is weird: right after i read this, i drove home from work, and as i was getting on to the highway, there's this huge billboard advertising a Dali exhibit. coincidence? picture of Dali with crazy mustache and crazy smile. also, it's at a museum in philly, and i'm in boston...

I found losing weight harder than quitting smoking. That you've lost so much in an inspiring thing.. and the fact that you've managed across a SECOND hurdle is awesome! Yay! Celebrate!

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