Like Peter Parker, Endure

Two weeks ago, while cleaning the attic above the garage, I was reaching for a bag of stuffed animals, trying to hook the strings with a Riddler cane, when I pushed just a little too hard – actually jumped a bit on the ladder I was standing on – and came down on a crossbeam in the attic straight-away on my ribs.

That was a 60-word sentence.

Good morning, everyone! It’s around 5:30 on a Saturday and, as I prepare my brain for work (with coffee), I sit here and wonder how I should greet the world. I decided to greet it with my rib story. They are bruised, by the way, or maybe slightly cracked. I’ve spent a lot of the last two weeks icing, being very careful, taking a ton of Advil, and more or less being in some version of minor-to-major pain. That’s the thing about ribs, though, you can’t do much about them but let them heal. Ibuprofen has taken the edge off a bit – more so than acetaminophen, though acetaminophen is more fun to say – but for the most part, pain. It’s okay, though. Whenever I’m sick or injured I think back to when Peter Parker was ill with some kind of flu bug back in the 70s and still had to go out and fight Electro or somebody. I always think, “if Pete can endure, so can I!”

Comics rock.

Although my reading habit – when it comes to books with lots of words – has been in the slack zone for the better part of a year now, I still read volumes of comic book stories and, of course, news and information articles. I’ve always been something of a news junkie, an avid information freak, which is why I love the modern era so much. The Information Age. It’s all out there, to a fault. My recommendation when it comes to information is to get a lot of it but don’t fly down the rabbit hole. Confirmation bias is real and, if you’re not careful, you’ll end up deep in the weeds.

I don’t know who needs to hear this right now, but you’ll never know the whole truth.

Along with re-reading all my old comic collections – starting with Brubaker and Epting’s The Marvels Project – I’ve gotten immersed in a simply fabulous independent comic called Black Hammer by Jeff Lemire. I’ll summarize the plot with the Wiki entry about it:

“Ten years ago, Black Hammer and six other superheroes had saved Spiral City from the Anti-God, but in [the] process became trapped in Rockwood, a timeless Twilight Zone-ish town. Shortly after the heroes arrive, Black Hammer dies. In the present, the six heroes live on Black Hammer farm with very little hope of ever escaping Rockwood.”


It’s kind of a darkly look at the history of the genre but, in the end, just fun as hell. Hell can be fun.

I am making my way through a few books with words right now, too, but I’m not entirely committed to any one. I finished Bruce’s autobiography, of course, and still rock to Springsteen on the deck while reading a little bit here and there from the others. In no particular order I am currently perusing Humankind by Rutger Bregman, The Origins of Political Order by Francis Fukuyama, We The People by Erwin Chemerinsky, and The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale. A couple of those I’ve been working on for a better part of a year. The Bregman one holds the most promise of getting immersed within should reading passion soon retake my soul.

On deck, purchased but not begun, is (are) Start With Why by Simon Sinek, The Future is Faster Than You Think by Diamandis and Kotler, and Becoming by Michelle. I intend to read a lot. Intend.

Alright, that’s it. Just wanted to say hi this morning, really. And avoid the word “pandemic” and the phrase “idiot president” if I could. I think I did a pretty good job.

Oh, one last bit of advice:

When reaching for a bag of stuffed animals in the attic with a Riddler cane, keep your feet firm on the ladder.

Just trust me on this one. 😉

43 thoughts on “Like Peter Parker, Endure

  1. better coming down on a beam than a floor…..sorry for your pain though. That sucks. big time. I am the opposite with my reading. I’ve read 13 books so far this year…someday I may actually update my reading list on whatever that reading website is that encourages one to immerse in the written word. I’ll remember the name of it as soon as I finish with this drivel of a response. Haven’t read a comic since aquaman to tell the truth..they got so dark in the 70’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I envy you your reading habit! Dark, light, mixed, I love me my comic stories. Since I was a child my brain is constantly creating new stories, characters, and universes in the genre (thus my RPG habit).

      In years past it wasn’t uncommon for me to absorb some 20 books a year, of various levels of difficulty, but lately … meh. I’m sure it will return. In the meantime, like Peter Parker, I will endure. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wowowowowow 60 word sentence and all, huh!
    Clever advice- keeping your feet firm on the ladder is something I’ve never thought of. Thanks for enlightening us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My comment got posted halfway- I don’t know, WordPress keeps doing that. Nasty little bugger.
      Hope you feel better.
      Love always,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oof, gravity does indeed work.
        I so get you- when I’m writing out Hindi pieces, I often end up with sentences that span entire pages.
        And the worst thing about Hindi is that it still sounds okay! Like even though the sentence goes on FOREVER, it somehow sounds lit!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What are stuffed animals doing in your attic in the first place? The second question is – are you done cleaning already? Every time you check in, you’re tidying up. Relax already.

    Sorry to hear you’re in pain, pal. If somebody knows how you’re feeling, that should be moi. Long live ibuprofen, and you know my thoughts on the pandemic and idiot president, so I’ll spare us both….this time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Bo, I can tell you! Once upon a time I lived in Prunedale with a woman who was the master of all stuffed animal captures. Carnival games? Claw machines? You name it, she nailed it. So, over time, I gathered a collection of – I don’t know – a good dozen 33-gallon plastic bags of stuffed animals that, during the next few moves, got stuffed in various attics until she could “get to them.”

      Fast forward 20 years.

      That woman is Mrs C and she still hadn’t “gone through them.” So, in my constant attempt to create the perfect garage organization paradise, I decided to force her hand. Every bag opened, every stuffy free from it’s plastic cage and all over the garage floor.

      Of course, as always, whenever I cross the woman I pay the price. This time I paid with my ribs. Irony, right?

      My pain is nothing like yours; I feel for you greatly, sister!

      As for relax, I tried. Last Sunday, I tried. I lasted about 90 minutes before the depression of motionlessness set in and I had to move. Since things in the garage might be too heavy, I cleaned and rearranged my office. I have a sickness!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We many not know the whole truth, but we should strive to know enough to allow us informed discussion.

    So, how much is enough? Where do you pull back and say, I’m good? I figure some heuristic is needed. Loosely, as I gather information, as I start to read repeating information I figure I’m close to having adequate data to understand an issue to a layman’s satisfaction.

    Masks, for instance. They work both ways, protection/prevention. But mostly prevention. This in concert with asymptomatic spreading says, wear a mask, even if you feel fine. Aerosol spreading is probably a thing, but droplet spreading is the major factor. Masks catch droplets. So, wearing a mask, even a cheap one, is logical. I read enough about this topic (I’m sure you have too), saw the repeating info from various sources, and have now arrived at some conclusion.

    How do we know that enough information is enough? Because, as you said, we’ll never know the whole truth.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ken and I just restarted our antique business and took a booth in an antique market. We had a stack of comic books from the 70s, a lot of them Spiderman, and they all sold right away! If you want something obscure though, you have to read Captain Canuck. Sorry about the ribs–hope you’re feeling better!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I seriously need to try Captain Canuck; it’s from Canada so it’s got to be good!

      As for the ribs, they are healing. It would probably heal quicker if I slowed down, as Bojana is insisting, but Tom’s gotta be Tom!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It probably goes without saying that I am a big fan of the 60 word sentence. My current books in progress are “The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche and “Too Much & Never Enough” by Mary Trump. Perhaps I, too, should rediscover the joy of comics. And by the way…Advil, Tom? Everyone knows that the only effective cure for injured ribs is beer.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Mary’s book is utterly surreal. It’s the kind of thing where I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, but it does elucidate the authoritarian mindset quite vividly, something I find grotesquely fascinating.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s well-written enough. You can tell that she wrote it alone, no ghost-writer or anything like that, so it comes across pretty naturally. That tone works because this one’s not in any way a “political” type of story, overall.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh dear Brother Tom, I hope you are okay. And just like Peter Parker, you will rebound just like he does, by the web he swings from. And I, just like Harley Quinn will carry a verbal baseball bat lmao. 🤣😂😁😆
    I’m more of a DC than Marvel fan, but I respect Parker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “a verbal baseball bat”! 🤣🤣🤣

      I’m a big fan of supers, period. Except the Batman. I hate the Batman. Superman should have kicked his arrogant ass years ago. Stupid, spoiled rich kid. Betcha he’d be an orange president. Betcha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhh, careful Brother Tom, I’m Team Batman here…lol. But because he doesn’t have any superpowers what so ever, yet he still built his “powers” on his own, knowing full well it could go either way. I’m not a Superman fan, Batman isn’t easily manipulated like Super…dude does by his feelings for Lois Lame, yes I spelled it right, lol. But, I’ll agree to disagree on this subject, oh and don’t insult Batman by comparing him to the Orange Orangutan that’s in the White House right now, that’s just plain

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry to hear this. Your injured ribs, not the neglected pile of books. It really is a hard thing to heal and you always feel like a fish out of water for weeks. But bravo for not saying idiot President. That’s time well spent ..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry to hear about your ribs. It is truly an annoying injury. I pulled a rib muscle while doing my yoga teacher training course and it hurt every time I breathe! Is the same happening to you? I hope you feel better soon, and stay super!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, M+M, and thank you! It does hurt if I breathe in too much, yes, but mostly it’s excruciating to go to my left. Although, I must admit, after two weeks it is already MUCH better than it was a week ago. Last Sunday was the worst day, since I kind of overtaxed myself at work on Saturday and exacerbated the thing. Thanks again for stopping in; stay super yerself!


      1. “They” say 3-6 weeks. I’m entering my 3rd week today. I would say, judging by it’s current state of progress, that I will be 100% normal (for me) in another 10 days?


  10. Tom,
    It is an immutable truth that gravity works. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of that fact. I’d say you won’t need to do that again for quite a while. It’s the same with drinking too much. Sometimes, it’s good to remind ourselves why that isn’t a good idea. So what’s going to happen with all of those stuffed animals? Holy smokes that’s a lot. Count them and then tell us how many there are or were. Glad you’re on the mend. I have the Start With Why book. If you’ve seen the Ted Talks version, you can probably skip reading the whole book–just saying. Right now, I’m reading a humorous book by someone who’s name I can’t remember right now. It’s a book that was written in the 1990’s (I think), but it’s making me smile nonetheless. Mona

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Mona, there was SO many bags of stuffies up there! When I got ’em all down and sorted, the bulk of them stuffed into 6 64-quart storage containers, but there were some left over at that point. Big ones, small ones, medium ones, from the 80s, the 90s, and Aughts alike! Some of them have been through 3 moves with us!

      Mrs C is going to sort through them and donate some (but not nearly enough!). What’s gonna ultimately happen to them? No doubt back up into the attic after thinning out. 😂


  11. I won’t rib you about your mishap although I could come up with some ribald jokes. For instance maybe you should go to a Chinese restaurant for help; they always have spare ribs. Also I’m intrigued by Black Hammer and it’s setting in a “Twilight Zone-ish town”. What exactly does that mean? I love the original Twilight Zone and it takes place in all sorts of towns, although most of them seem to be sleepy Bradburyesque burgs where it’s always summer, kids run free, and handlebar mustached shopkeepers in aprons and arm garters sweep the porch in front of their general store, but there’s a lurking sense of menace underneath the idyllic surface.
    Would such a world be better or worse than the one in which we find ourselves? I think that’s impossible to answer since, as you say, we can’t know everything. Even in such a world, though, I think the best thing is to endure as best we can. And, hey, at least in this world we have The Boss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. a “sleepy Bradburyesque burg where it’s always summer, kids run free, and handlebar mustached shopkeepers in aprons and arm garters sweep the porch in front of their general store, but there’s a lurking sense of menace underneath the idyllic surface” is as good a description as any for Rockwood! Now, take a handful of super-humans and trap them there for a decade (while they hide from the townsfolk what they truly are) and you have the base setting! There is one member of the crew, a robot named “Talky Walky” who is still trying to build probes designed to pierce the veil and get them out, but the rest of the crew seems pretty well resigned to their fate. One of them is a middle-aged superman-esque woman trapped in a little girl’s unaging body! It’s really well written and often quite fun (and, of course, dark, too). I highly recommend!

      And don’t worry … a little ribbing will never bruise my ego. 😉 Just leave out the side-splitting humor!

      Liked by 1 person

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