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kottke.org posts about Emma Carmichael

(I don’t know) how to recover from an accident

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 04, 2016

Emma Carmichael and her cousin Molly were hit by a truck this summer. Their bodies and minds are slowly healing.

I talked about it in the weeks following, as friends came to visit. “Want to hear what I remember?” I’d ask. I was prepared, even if my audience was not. For a while, I found comfort in re-telling it, and even in seeing their horror. I couldn’t remember much, but I could tell you about where we’d been standing, and just how it looked when my vision mercifully faded black as I went into shock. Telling it, more than the rods protruding from my body — four down my left leg, one in each hip — was proof that it had happened. It all felt like a dream, so the story mattered.

While not nearly as traumatic as what happened to Carmichael and her cousin, I have been involved in a pair of, uh, happenings over the past two years, a car accident and a very slow-moving non-accident that has completely reshaped my life.1 But I identify completely with her about the weird thing that happens when you tell people news like that. “I was hit by a truck and almost died.” “I was on my bike and got hit by a car and now I have 9 stitches on my thumb.” “You haven’t heard, but _________ and _______ are ________.” It stops the conversation dead and you can see the other person completely reform themselves around your news. One sentence changes them and it happens right in front of you. It’s a powerful ability, to make someone feel so bad so quickly.

But we were so lucky, I’ve said again and again. I know it’s true, and also that it’s a hollow line for a moment of chance I’m unable to make sense of.

My bike accident was not my fault. The driver ran a red light and hit me.1 The thumb on my dominant hand got sliced up, it was difficult to work for a couple weeks, I have thousands of dollars in medical bills, my hand still hurts more than a month and a half later, and the doctor who took my stitches out casually mentioned that it would take “6 to 9 months” before I would know if I’d get full, normal feeling back in my thumb (which means that I might not have a normal-feeling thumb again). I should be super pissed at the driver (it was a fucking Uber, of course) and really frustrated about the whole thing. But I just can’t work up any negative emotion about it at all. The only thing I feel is really really lucky. It could have been so much worse…six inches to the left and maybe I’d be unable to type this.

  1. Yeah, sorry, I’m not going to tell you what this is. It’s not that tough to guess if you’ve been paying attention.

  2. I still blame myself for it. A little. If I hadn’t been in such a hurry and distracted from researching health insurance options for my kids (health insurance “options” for the self-employed in NYC are maddening!), I would have been paying more attention, and it wouldn’t have happened. That’s the deal with biking in NYC: the second you stop paying proper attention to everything around you, you’re at risk.

We Work Remotely

What was it like guarding Michael Jordan?

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 21, 2013

Michael Jordan just turned 50 and so Deadspin’s Emma Carmichael asked former Cavs guard Craig Ehlo what it was like to guard Jordan in his prime. Sometimes Jordan would tell Ehlo what he was going to do ahead of time and still score.

Usually, Ron Harper would start on him, then I would come in and go to him, and Ron would go to Scottie Pippen or something like that. I always felt very lucky that Coach Wilkens had that faith in me to guard him. Michael was very competitive when he got between the lines. He was never a bad talker or too arrogant, but it was just like what Jason [Williams] said: He’d tell you. He only did that to me one time, from what I remember. It was his 69-point game, and things were going so well for him that I guess he just went for it. We were running up the court side-by-side and he told me: “Listen man, I’m hitting everything, so I’m gonna tell you what I’m gonna do this time and see if you can stop it. You know you can’t stop it. You know you can’t stop this. You can’t guard me.

“I’m gonna catch it on the left elbow, and then I’m gonna drive to the left to the baseline, and then I’m gonna pull up and shoot my fadeaway.”

And sure enough …

Ehlo famously guarded Jordan during The Shot:

See also Michael Jordan Has Not Left the Building and Jordan’s top 50 greatest moments.