Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Lonesome Death of Evan Tanner

The question of whether Evan Tanner committed suicide or simply died an absurd death out in the desert was raised almost immediately upon word of his passing. There is no discounting the effect of his difficulties with life -- his substance abuse, his depression, the virtual destruction of his MMA career -- but it is also much too tempting to yield to the weird machismo of a martial artist's taking his own existence and snuffing it out, supposedly in heroic fashion, on his own terms.

The truth is destined to be a casualty. In any event, here is a summation of what is known as of this date, as copied from Wikipedia:

In the second-to-last entry posted on his Spike-TV blog on August 27, Tanner wrote,
"I've been sitting around this apartment, bored to tears, waiting on the last of the gear I need for the desert adventure to come in the mail. I've really been looking forward to getting out there. I've been writing about it a little bit here. It seems some MMA websites have reported on the story, posting up that I might die out in the desert, or that it might be my greatest opponent yet, etc. Come on guys. It's really common down in southern California to go out to the off road recreation areas in the desert about an hour away from LA and San Diego. So my plan is to go out to the desert, do some camping, ride the motorcycle, and shoot some guns. Sounds like a lot of fun to me. A lot of people do it. This isn't a version of Into the Wild. I'm not going out into the desert with a pair of shorts and a bowie knife, to try to live off the land. I'm going fully geared up, and I'm planning on having some fun.

I do plan on going back pretty far, so I did mention in one of my posts that I wanted to make sure to have good quality gear. Any failure of gear out in the desert could cause a problem."[7]

Tanner had recently purchased a dirt bike, and on September 3 he rode into the desert-like region north of Brawley, California to go camping.[8]

According to Tanner's manager John Hayner, Tanner called that afternoon to say that his bike had run out of gas, and that he would accordingly walk back to civilization.[8] [2]

According to the marine search and rescue team who found his body, he was in the desert camping and while trying to return to his camp after hiking to Clapp Springs, he succumbed to elements after he drank all of his water while hiking to anticipated wet springs, only to find them dry.

He waited until nightfall, after calling friends, to attempt a quest back to his campsite where he still had water and a fully fueled motorcycle.

Evan succumbed to the exposure of the elements. He was found 2 miles from his camp after having hiked 5 miles away. Temperatures that day reached 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and friends became concerned and reported Tanner missing after he failed to contact them.[8]

His body was discovered by a Marine helicopter on September 8, and the Imperial County sheriff's office cited heat exposure as a preliminary cause of death.[8]



It's weird that I got worked up so recently over Tanner's fight with Kendall Grove -- a fight he lost in a split decision. A weird, and *wrong*, decision that scored this way:

29-28 Tanner

30-26 Grove

30-26 Grove

Thirty -- Twenty-six? More and more, I understand the constant vow of fighters to not let anything go to the judges, to not be subject to the whims of a decision.

It was a fight that did more than showcase two fighters in terrible need of redemption within the UFC -- the difference between Kendall Grove and Evan Tanner is rich and deep -- and exemplified by more than just the Mountain Man beard. Grove is a child, and spoiled. Tanner was a fighter/philosopher, and world weary.

Just how world weary is what we are all wondering now.

He beat her senseless

My apologies for not making mention before now -- but La Belle Bianca Castafiore will be de retours from a luxurious vacation early next week. We have missed her around the homestead -- her dulcet tones, her low key and comforting presence.

Yesterday and today have been marked mostly by pain and depression. I am doing the best I can to address each but these bastard symptoms are adroit at feeding off of each other.

Fred ferried me to the Infectious Disease doctor and Infusion Center, then off to see my VIPMD. I have not been keeping track -- but it hit me yesterday how much we are paying for the privilege of parking. It's outrageous.

Riding in the car brings me to tears, and that stresses the Fredster out, particularly as he is doing his best to avoid potholes, uneven streets, and rabid commuters. Having me sob doesn't do much to keep him calm -- and he is the one having to face some of the worst traffic known to motoring-kind.

I abhor others' logic in response to my illogical emotional outbursts. My MDVIP, for example, felt it necessary to point out that I am in much better overall health now that the infection has been "removed." Never mind that I am left with only one useful limb -- in his shortsighted view, I should be happy to be alive.

Harrumph. What a PollyAnna-Man. I might as well be gorked out, put in diapers, and parked in a corner somewhere. It took me five hours of hard work to accomplish the very basic of tasks this morning -- all before the gentry of the manor rose from their slumber, as I don't wish to be pitied, or aided. Just as Fred got up for the day, I was ready to take my first nap, and was, of course, in tears. He must think I do nothing other than weep.

I cannot make you understand.

There was a sweet elderly couple in the waiting room at the doctor's office yesterday. They carried a folded walker, so I am not sure who actually needed it. It seemed to function like a sleek fashion accessory -- the shades pushed up into the hairline, the pink crocodile cowboy boots.

She said, in that quiet, sweet voice that some confused -- but secure -- people adopt: "This is a nice room. I wonder what they use it for." Her husband told her that it was a waiting room and that patients sat there until seeing the doctor. She was clueless about being at the doctor's office but covered well -- laughing, tossing out "of course" after "of course."

A few minutes later, she wondered why she was there, and he told her that she had some sores on her arm that would not heal, and together they looked at those reddened spots of skin. She managed more laughter and the obligatory "of course."
She had beautiful poofy white-white hair, no grey, and swimming blue eyes.

I dreamt that he beat her senseless in the elevator on the way down to the very expensive parking garage.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Experimental Treatment CRPS-1

Forwarded from Jim Broatch, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association (RSDSA): Clinical trial for experimental new treatment for CRPS-I at McGill University Health Centre

Clinical trial for experimental new treatment for CRPS-I at McGill University Health Centre
Investigator:Dr. Mark Ware
MUHC Pain Centre
Montreal General Hospital
Candidate profile:· Over 18 years of age· No kidney or liver disease· No diabetes
Length of trial: 10 weeks maximum
For more information: Please contact the Research Nurse, Sylvie Toupin at (514) 934-1934, ext: 44348

This E-alert was made possible by the contribution of the members of the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association (RSDSA). To learn more about becoming a member of RSDSA, please click here.

RSDSA Home Page

The Dilaudid Effect

Not exactly dreams, I envision static vignettes wherein figure some of the most important people in my life. I seem to be dreaming staged photographs -- some of Annie Leibovitz quality, most black and white, all extremely legible (no need to wonder about envy, or loss). That these things are drug-induced seems likely, but I am clearly the Editor-in-Chief of content and, perhaps, intent. I am comfortable in the knowledge that there is no schism to me -- at least not anymore, at least not in any way that matters.

My Mother holds a tall blond toddler, standing on a concrete slab of a balcony in Ankara, thin-waisted, pointy breasts, Modigliani-neck, a pale blue linen dress. Her hair is thick and black, wound carefully into a style that defies caricature, that is: timeless. Timeless. That pretty well sums her up -- but not the tall blond toddler. She somehow managed nearly straight blond hair, very, very fine, atop her fearful face with the open eyes, and freckles. My Mother is strong, for the long little girl leans away from her firm body, hands in the air, grabbing, grabbing -- creating some tough torque, a kick in the belly. She told me, I think, that there were airplanes everywhere, that I was reaching out to the sky, that they were dropping leaflets about Kennedy's assassination.

Why? Why would they do such a thing, in Ankara, of all places? A civilized locale, neighbors within a nod, a wave. Why would they drop leaflets in the city, where the sky is much too crowded for competing airplanes? And what could they possibly say that our radio had not?

Still, it is an iconic image, her there, framed by the doors to the tiny balcony, me (long, blond, and ugly) pushing against her to reach for the sky -- which we cannot see, where there may be heroics going on, but likely not. I cannot be quite four yet, which means, obviously, that she hasn't left us, that she is still Mother, still larger than life -- but, as always, concerned with fiction.

There are others, like the glom of my oldest brother onto the cover of Dylan's Nashville Skyline, or my stepsister's bright orange Vega (we were pretending that it was a sportscar... shoot, pretending that it was a *car*!), around which a small crowd is gathered, speechless at her choice. There is the Other-Brother-Unit...

No, that is a lie. There is never the Other-Brother-Unit. He is too precious; He is always gifted, in me, in my mind and heart, with many more chances. He just sort of floats around these stillbirthed dreams of mine, never fixed, often laughing, even through tears.

I guess we all need someone to love and admire while we are awake! And he has a calling card that we are going to obliterate week by week, every Thursday night, ticking off those minutes like small time bombs.

When I told Professor Bersani that I wanted to write about the role of habit in Proust -- he told me that he would not approve the topic, as it had "already been done." I had the flu, it was raining, and the stacks were musty. The essay in question? A mostly self-referential work by Beckett.

"The laws of memory are subject to the more general laws of habit..."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Parkour and Free Running

My brother offers me armchair travel -- one of the few insightful people who recognize the need to get *out* of both this body and this place. He shows me the large and the minute of canyons and flowers perfect in a rocky crack.

The internet is, of course, an incredible gift. I can go, virtually (if, alas, no longer virtuous)anywhere, anytime.

I thought my need for compensatory movement would eventually die out and disappear, and simply rededicated my efforts at mental tennis mimicry... but it becomes less and less satisfying.
Fortunately, I discovered the world of parkour and free running. Sweet relief. A conduit for challenge, joys, and tears. If you've not yet had the pleasure, go check out some of the marvelous videos over at YouTube: