Two summers ago I was tempted into playing a game of street ball. It actually didn’t take much convincing–the sound of a basketball bouncing off the pavement was enough to lure me in.
(left: It all started with a game of hoops.)
Near the end of the pick-up game I dove out of bounds for a loose ball. Like I skateboarder, I’ve been trained to fall over the years, but on this evening I came down awkwardly on my right wrist. Having just saved the ball from going out of bounds, I rose to my feet, ran down the to the far side of the court, caught a bounce pass, put a left-handed lay-up off the backboard, and cinched victory for my team.
Our win–like many in street ball–was short lived, because the team that had “next” was, well, up next. As much as I wanted to run another game, I just couldn’t. Something didn’t feel right with my wrist.
The next morning, I had my doctor look at it, and long story short, my wrist wasn’t broken, but it was severely sprained with a partial tear in the ligaments. If I was a professional athlete being paid millions of dollars to win a championship for my NBA franchise, I’m sure I would have immediately gone into surgery to have my wrist fixed, but considering my last name was not Wade, James, or Bryant, I was just given a brace and told not to use my wrist until I could comfortably move it.
Fortunately, most of my on-air television gigs that summer were covering skateboard, freestyle motocross, and BMX events. Instead of the brace making me stand out, I actually blended in with most of the banged-up athletes and action sports personalities I came in contact with.
That summer was a rough one, especially walking past basketball courts and knowing that I couldn’t play. I also had to learn how to brush my teeth with my left hand and participate in various mid-summer activities with using only one arm (it’s tough setting a volleyball or playing miniature golf without having both hands at your disposable).
A year later, though my doctors discouraged me from doing so, I accepted an offer from IFC.com to start up a music blog (Independent Ear). Though I’m not a writer by trade, and considering that typing blog postings is more strenuous on my injured wrist than holding a microphone on television, I decided to give it a go nonetheless.
A few months into the endeavor my injury acted up as I could barely even twist my wrist to reach the enter button (if only that damn return key was on the left side of the keyboard). But like Willis Reed in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA finals or Hines Ward in the most recent Super Bowl, I decided to play with the pain.
A team of doctors advised me that if I continued writing lengthy blog postings day after day, there was a good chance that I would never be able to use my right wrist again and that I could say goodbye to right-handed jump shots, giving people high-fives, strumming a guitar, eating corn on the cob how it’s traditionally supposed to be eaten, running my fingers through my wife’s hair, and putting a binky in our future children’s mouths.
People who have sprained various parts of their body will tell you that sometimes a sprain never fully heals. Two years later, and my right wrist has not been the same since before that fateful pickup basketball game. Because I’d like to do all the things mentioned above (especially eating corn on the cobb)–and though it pains me to say this–today I am officially announcing my retirement from the world of blogging.
I would like to take this time to thank all of you for reading the Indie Ear Blog for the last year and three months. I never did give Perez Hilton or Brooklyn Vegan a run for their money, but if any of you shared a chuckle, learned something about a band, or got turned on to some good new music that you wouldn’t have otherwise, then I consider my time at IFC.com well spent.
Though many of my blogging days consisted of sitting in a pair of boxers typing out music musings from my apartment, the Independent Ear did give me a chance to do a handful of really cool things. We got to snoop around the Beastie Boys Oscilloscope Laboratories, flew out to San Francisco and hung out with Lars Ulrich in Metallica’s Headquarters, chatted with some brilliantly-minded music folks for IFC’s Independent Music Panels, and got to go backstage at various concerts and music festivals, including SXSW and Pitchfork (where we got free ice cream and burritos, mmm).
I don’t know how much of a behind-the-scenes vibe you get while watching IFC or reading IFC.com, but I am amazed by how hardworking everyone is here. It seems like everyone does the job of three or four mortals (especially the web staff). A tip of my cap to you who wear many.
Thank you to all the Troys, Petes, Bobs, Joes, Steves, and Grey Russians who have left hilarious comments over the last year. Thanks to Rachel, Sarah, and James for helping me out with blog postings (as you know, it’s not always easy to come up with topics to write about). Thanks to Kent for bringing me aboard (special shout-out to Rex too), and thanks to Alison, Anna, Colin, Craig, Gero, Jesse, Jonathan, Julie, and Melianthe for showing me the way. If I forgot anyone, expect an apology and a fist pound in person.
Thanks to all of you for reading my ramblings–I truly appreciate it. If I weren’t so tone deaf I’d sing Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” or Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)“, and if my team of highly trained medical experts wouldn’t have advised me against it, I’d wave goodbye to all of you.