By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published May 22, 2007 at 1:58 PM

If you've read any of my rambling blogs, you might already think I'm crazy.  But here's a little more fodder for you: I actually really enjoyed my MRI this afternoon at Columbia St. Mary's Milwaukee Campus.

I didn't, of course, enjoy the reason I needed the MRI in the first place: I was rear-ended in April by a guy who fled the scene.  Since then, I've been in almost constant back, shoulder and neck pain.

But going into this hour-long procedure, I knew I'd be getting some closure -- at least to the extent that an MRI would show more definitively what's exactly wrong with me (and yes, attorneys, I already have legal representation -- no need to call and pitch your services).

The hospital is just a few blocks from the global headquarters of, and it being a beautiful day, I decided to walk.  Already in a good mood, I was amused to find out that during the weird, noisy procedure, I could listen to music on headphones.

And the choices were comprehensive, like a jukebox at your favorite corner tavern.  I picked Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" (because an MRI is pretty trippy), Bob Marley's "Legend" (because I thought it would be relaxing) and finally an '80s mix, prepared by the technician, Laura (because I thought it would be a silly thing to listen to during a very non-silly medical procedure).

"Crank that up, I'm from the iPod generation," were my exact words, and Laura obliged.

If you've ever had an MRI, you know that you can't move an inch, and today's machines are much less claustrophobic than they used to be.  Lying perfectly still on my back actually had the interesting effect of making feel better (albeit temporarily).  In other words, I was literally forced to relax in the middle of a busy day.

Lying motionless also brought me into a hypnotic, zen-like state, somewhere between awake and asleep.  The music choices of the first two discs led me through a virtual (and in some ways, a nearly literal) time machine of my life (chew on that analogy and it makes sense). Each song reminded me of something, always pleasant, in my past.

Then came the '80s disc.  Kudos, Laura.  Check out this totally awesome mix tape (and yes, you may call me crazy again for loving these tunes):

  1. "Take On Me" by A-ha
  2. "99 Red Balloons" by Nena
  3. "Down Under" by Men at Work
  4. "Everlasting Love" by Howard Jones
  5. "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield

And then it was over.  And believe or not -- seriously -- I wished I could have heard the rest of the tracks.

"That was a kick-ass mix," I told Laura.  She offered me the CD, along with my MRI films to take back to my doctor.  Of course, I accepted (she said she had ample discs backed up, pardon the pun).

Of course, I have no idea what this pile of spinal imagery means, so I won't even attempt to speculate.  And I'm glad I have insurance, because I don't even want to guess what this very necessary procedure cost.

And finally, that back pain that temporarily went away while lying on that table is coming creeping back in as I sit at my desk and pound out this blog.

But for an hour this afternoon, my back stopped hurting, I took a trippy trip down memory lane, and I rocked out -- all without moving an inch.

If that makes me crazy,  I don't want to be sane.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.