It’s been one week since you looked at me my operation, which means I’m in exile for at least another week-and-a-bit…and probably a lot longer. It’s not that I don’t want to leave the house: it’s that I can’t. I can’t drive; the good ol’ Zimmer splint sees to that, in the sense I can’t even fit inside the Mirthmobile unless I’m lying across her backseat (the alternative, as far as I can gather, would be draping my immobilized right leg over the passenger seat while driving with my left foot with the gearshift in my crotch). I can’t walk outside, unless you think “Calgary” + “February” + “crutches” + “Zimmer splint” seems like a safe idea. And so I’m stuck–not bored, but still stuck. I’m the guy in “In Hiding.”
What I do have is time–time to perfect such tasks as “putting on pants without bending my leg,” time for books and TV (I was alive before discovering House of Cards, but, why?), and time for blogging, although most of it’s been of the housecleaning variety as the Stuff and Nonsense migration from Blogger to WordPress continues. One of the major tasks–not to mention the most tedious–is assigning categories to the thousand-plus “uncategorized” blog entries, which means digging back into the Stuff and Nonsense archives and cringing while I re-read old entries. In 2005, for instance, the typical Stuff and Nonsense entry was characterized by at least one, and in most instances several, of the following stylistic tendencies:
- Ripping off Bill Simmons–and on that note…
- Starting sentences with the word “just.”
- Commas, commas, and more commas–but no Oxford commas, which is disappointing (I became an Oxford comma convert after Torontoist hired me).
- Employing literary devices so strained they’d make Dave Bidini blush (although I hasten to add that nothing–nothing–is as bad as his likening the impact of Stompin’ Tom Connors music to “a ham shot from a cannon.” If you think I’m joking, that particular doozy’s on page 188 of On a Cold Road which, ham analogies aside, I’m quite enjoying.)
- Exaggeration. Everything in 2005 was the “best ever.” I don’t apologize for that–I’m an excitable person–but it does make for a lot of eye-rolling nine years after the fact.
It’s obvious–at least to me–that I’m turning into a much better writer, albeit a less prolific one. I’ve reigned in some of my worst stylistic excesses (though I’ve adopted a few new ones…parentheticals, ho!). I’m also better read now than I’ve ever been, which means I’ve mercifully stopped thinking of Bill Simmons as a modern-day Mark Twain. Now I need to figure out where to go from here, and hasn’t that been the million-dollar question for years. I certainly need to write more. Moreover, I need to find a way of exposing my writing to a bigger audience. How? That seems like a great way of occupying my mind as one week turns into two.