Friday, May 26, 2006

conservative anthems

the National Review has compiled a list of the top 50 conservative rock songs (as reported by the NYT**). at least the Review has a sense of humor. (it is humor, isn't it??)

flying out this afternoon. hasta luego amigos.

**requires registering, if you've not done so, and will be archived soon enough.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

the biggest news in toys since the vibrator!!

the gravitizer purports to "take the gravity out of sex, for an experience that's like nothing else." it allows for Many Creative Positions, including the Milk Run, Flying Carpet and Give-N-Take.

with the gravitizer, "even a frenzied beating is easy to sustain." meow.

downfalls of a blog

my mom once told me she'd hate to race against me because i'm so competitive. "you're always plotting," she remarked. "i can't win through pure talent," i explained, "so i must resort to craftiness." plus racing can be real snoozers, so you might as well do something to entertain yourself, like figuring out how to fuck over your competition.

last night i did a local 5K because the race organiser's a friend of mine and i'd worked with her to get 32 kids signed up. my appearance was more community service than anything else, and i was looking forward to a stroll in the park. one of the vicki's showed, so i didn't have to fret about the possibility of winning, cos there is no way i'm gonna come close to a 17:30.

also toeing the line, however, was blondie. i know a lot about blondie because i read her blog. i know her weekly mileage and workouts. i know her strengths and weaknesses; i follow her ups and downs. i know she ran a fast 6-mile leg of the DE marathon relay on sunday, so she might be tired. you might say i had an unfair advantage last night.

when we took off i ran 10 yards behind her, watching her on the first descent, then the first hill (she doesn't like hills; i do). i watched her form and listened to her breathing & footfalls. i came abreast of her just as we turned into the wind (dumb on my part), and she tucked her little form behind my big one and let me brave the wind. i come from cycling, so my natural response was to weave and try to shake her, and if i weaved back & forth on the rougher patches of the road, so be it (she's not secretive about her klutziness; i am a trail runner).

approaching the tight cul-de-sac that's the turn-around, she pulled alongside, but i hugged the corner so she had to take the outside, long way 'round (she's not comfortable taking corners right beside someone -- see klutziness). when she tried to make a move to the inside, i notched up the speed just a little so she couldn't pass. i listened to her breath, footfalls.

i was 99% red-lined. my legs are still tired from sunday's tri, and we'd run our first 2 miles at sub-6min pace. when she passed me on the straight, i didn't challenge her. i thought she'd just charge up the road.

but she didn't, and i stuck to her shoulder like a fucking leech for the next half-mile. when her pace eased a bit, i pulled alongside just as we passed a little girl oncoming, headed for the turn-around. this little kid had fire in her eyes, brows knit in concentration. "great job," i said to her, "way to go!" blondie must have HATED me at that point. bitch be a cheering section now. she dropped back a little further, and i think that's where she broke.

i took off toward the final hill, the slap of her shoes on the downhill pursuing me like poe's beating heart. when we hit the ascent, i was totally depleted, and only the rhythm of my stride and a dude a couple steps ahead kept me going. that last mile SUCKED -- we ran it in 6:20. i finished in 18:59 and blondie crossed the line at 19:07 but i didn't see her cos i was looking for a private spot in case i hurled. the vicki beat us by a minute-thirty.

the good angel says i really hope blondie doesn't hate me, but the bad angel says that's racing, and if you were in a bike race, sitting on someone's wheel for 60K and then coming around them in the sprint isn't a shitty thing to do, it's just strategy. so is reading your competitors' blogs.

if you know me, pls keep it to yourself.

meanwhile, 4 races in 3 weeks is my limit. i'm looking forward to being Floater Girl in the pool at el panorama, a drink in each hand. dos mojitas mas, por favor.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


this weekend the somnolence of (s)lower delaware was disturbed by protests triggered by a marine's funeral in seaford, where cpl cory parker was laid to rest after his humvee was blown up outside fallujah.

were the protestors calling for peace?
nope, they're followers of some asshole minister from westboro baptist church in kansas. the church believes god's killing soldiers in iraq because He's pissed about gays in the military. "we have given God the finger," one chuch member explained, "now we are suffering God's wrath." protestors' signs announced "fags doom nations" and "god hates fags."

apparently god's pretty PO'd in general, though, because checking out the group's website,, links to the following mini-sites:

Smell The Brimstone
God Hates America
God Hates Fags
Priests Rape Boys
God Hates Canada
God Hates Sweden

WTF did sweden do?? canada i can understand, what with bilking american pharma companies out of brazillions of dollars as consumers find better deals on cialis & ambien over the border. but sweden?

oh, okay. it's all about:

The popinjay King of Sweden - a moral titmouse in the plumage of a peacock, who lives lavishly with his lazy, horny kids on Sweden's largest social security check - is King of Fags, King of Zoophiles, King of Pedophiles, and King of Incestuous Perverts.
that makes sense now. and the flamey, brimstoney header is total street cred.

there's another funeral in seaford today, for another iraqi casualty. minister phelps and his craven followers are expected to show.

in my world they'd be torn apart by dogs.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

sunday's olympic distance tri

columbia triathlon
1.5K swim – 41K bike – 10K run
ellicott city, MD

every time i do columbia, i fall in love with it a little more. it’s high-profile and well organised, and the courses are so fun. not your av-er-age bear.

the swim takes place in a lake with clear, clean water – a world apart from the sludge we braved at devilman in jersey two weeks ago. the water temp was a refreshing 66 degrees, and everyone wore wetsuits. i started at the front line of my age group’s wave and had a good (for me) swim, coming out of the water 8th out of about 80.

i found my bike quickly and began to fight against my wetsuit, with which i’ve had separation issues ever since i got it 4 years ago. i cannot get out of the thing with any grace or speed and my frantic struggles endanger anything within striking distance.

i gave up standing and plopped down on the ground to scrabble at the rubber bunching up around my timing chip strap. precious seconds bled away and i imagined dusk falling and volunteers picking up bits of trash around me 12 hours later when i still hadn’t made any headway. but I finally worked my foot loose and ran my bike out of transition. my T1 was 2:56, roughly a minute slower than my competition.

the good thing about starting in the 10th of 12 waves is that most of the race is in front of you, so i passed a stream of people on the bike. i had some jiggy saul williams in my head, my zipps were flying on the descents and i consumed a gel without smearing it over my handlebars, so life was good. R overhauled my bike last week and cleared a salt lick out of my bottom bracket so it’s smooooth sailing.

columbia’s bike course is hilly and technical in spots and there was a stiff wind, but i still ended up with a significantly faster average speed than i netted on devilman’s flatter, shorter course. the official results show my bike split time as down-to-the-second matching my time from last year. kinda freaky. i couldn’t do that if i tried.

my second transition wasn’t lightening-fast by any stretch of the imagination, but it at least didn’t involve writhing on the ground like the first one did. i donned my socks, racing flats & race belt with saul still looping in my head. i considered chanting to the first water table now tell me where my niggaz at and then thought better of it.

from the sidelines, my parents informed me that there was only 1 woman in my age group up the road, and she had a minute-thirty on me. i felt that frisson of energy that comes with knowing 1st place is within your grasp.

i worked my ass off on that run, knocking out the 4th fastest female run split, pros included; but i was chasing the woman who ran the 2nd fastest. hope hall is way out of my league, and if i’d known i was chasing her, i wouldn’t have been dispirited at the finish after failing to run down my prey.

i ended up 12th woman out of about 400 and the 7th amateur, an improvement over last year’s 10th. i would love to crack the top 5 and get me one of those Waterford crystal trophies, but first my wetsuit and i must come to an Understanding.

Monday, May 22, 2006


1:56am. pulled back to consciousness. why. brain going clickety-click-click-click.
2:05. still awake.
2:20. still.
2:21. maybe water will help. drink 3 glasses in the bathroom.
2:35. crave orange juice. polish off the carton.
2:45. surrender. toddle into the guest room to read.
3:00. turn off light.
3:05. turn on light.
3:25. turn off light.
3:30. turn on light.

repita hasta las 4:19 when i got up to swim.
stupid fucking brain. i hate when it pulls this shit.

7th amateur woman yestidday! yah! more later.

Friday, May 19, 2006

clients. can't live with 'em; can't live without 'em

13-hour day yesterday. emerged with profound Learnings.

beware of potential clients who:

  • give you the wrong street address to their HQ
  • usher you into a room with no projector or screen
  • refuse to let you use the projector you brought
  • don't bother to introduce their 10-person team to your 5-person one
  • glare at you during your pitch
  • cock knowing eyebrows at their compeers across the table
  • have no questions about your 70-page proposal or 90-min presentation
when it came my turn to do my bit, i didn't give a shit cos i knew whatever i said could not possibly make the situation any worse. so i did just fine.

and the two pints i had afterward did me fine as well, as did the over-priced glass of pinot grigio i enjoyed while the project manager, marketing manager and i argued about the meanings of Sideways with a pharma rep occupying an adjacent seat at the airport bar.

meanwhile, J, our CIO, called the office.
-- we've been delayed. we won't be leaving at 3:30 after all.
-- why? what's up? my boss asked.
-- well, we've got some problems.
-- problems? what kind of problems?
-- well, it's finn and M.
-- huh?
-- they're in custody.
-- no.
-- yes.
silence, while my boss processes, and then asks
-- well, do we have bail money?
-- sorry, you're breaking up. will call you back later -- and J hung up.

that's wot you get for sending your troops into hostile territory.

i have been dutifully tapering all week but i'm not entirely confident in my legs' ability to perform on sunday. we shall see.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

adjust your cup size on the fly

think you're hot stuff cos you can lock out your mtn bike shocks on the fly? well, can you tweak your breast size during a trip to the loo? with the inflatable breast dress you can.

"One wearer said the dress was very comfortable and also gave her a different sense of personal space. With large inflated breasts, she felt like she had a protective zone."

so that's what they're for!

a long-awaited contribution from rob: his take on e3, wii and fucking with gamer-n3rds.

voy a viajar a espana en una semana mas o menos. cuando voy, los gatos cantaran y bailaran.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

today's cull

Dr. and Mr. Haggis-On-Whey present The Noses of the World.

feedback from james joyce's submission of Ulysses to his creative writing workshop. some excerpts:

"Snotgreen" = hyphenated.
Unclear where and when this is set.
Think you accidentally stapled in something from your playwriting workshop for Ch. 15.

did you read The Da Vinci Code? if so, according to this survey, you're now twice as likely to believe christ had a kid, and four times as likely to believe opus dei is "a murderous sect," than you were before you read the novel. according to my survey, you're also ten times as likely to believe dan brown couldn't write his way out of a paper bag.

finally, a
sumo wrestler blog. i can't read it but the pix speak for themselves. guys, if you're ever in delaware, give me a call. would love to party witcha.

Monday, May 15, 2006

more than a hundred bucks

heap big tri this weekend, so it's Taper Time. tapering after a recovery week doesn't make much sense, but if twenny years of racing has taught me anything, it's listen what yer body says. if you listen and follow its advice so much the better.

swam a straight 1000yd for time today, knocking a couple seconds off each 200 to finish in 14:49. not blazing, but under 3:00 per 200. even more impressive is the fact that i swam 20 laps and didn't lose count. on a monday morning, too.

after a horrendous week, legs and spirits seem to be rebounding a bit. the "deep well of fatigue" i felt in my legs is dissipating -- and just in time, too. with its rolling bike course and hilly run, columbia's tough enough on perky legs. stopped by DRC friday afternoon and bought a new pair of racing flats. "whenever you have a crappy race, blame the shoes and get new ones," opined MM -- always a credible authority, even if, as an owner of a running store, he may have ulterior motives. the poor guy is injured now, with a torn soleus incurred at broad street last week. he was leading at mile 7 when he felt in his right calf the flick that presages a hobbling seizure. he soldiered for a hundred yards and then told the lead motorcycle he was pulling out. the marshall looked at him like he was nuts, then radioed in. "the leader is pulling out... the LEADER just pulled out.... that's right.... do i look like i know??"

M retreated to the sidelines and became a spectator. he is a much bigger man than me: i would have stormed off -- as stormily as possible with a torn calf muscle -- and drowned in my own sulky sorrows.

on saturday i raced a 5K just to see if, after last week's deathmarch tri where i ran 7:23 miles and felt like poo, i could still feel good running. the race was 10min from my bed, on a course i like (over the ribber and through the woods), for a good cause. finally, the main sponsor is a local brewery which offers a fine post-race repast, with free GOOD beer (pig iron porter, mmmm. fuck celiac, man).

when i did this race last year, i went head-to-head with the steeple-chaser's fiance and set a 33-sec PR, breaking 19min for the first time in a 5K. this year, i finished 10sec slower, but i still won, and i felt GOOD. i felt so good at 2miles that i got goosebumps. M was right about the shoes.

when i hit the 3-mile mark i was ready to be done, though. i'd been chasing a 14-year-old kid for a half-mile and the little fucker would not let me pass him. he beat me by 3sec.

for a cooldown, i circled round and ran backwards on the course, watching the stream of humanity finishing. people of all shapes, ages and expectations careened, shuffled and drooped toward the finish line. kids at the finish line hollered and shook signs: "Dad you ROCK" and "go mom! we are puling [sic] for you!" some were ecstatic to finish in under 30 minutes; some were ecstatic just to finish. some walked. some walked with headphones singing to themselves. a group of college kids set up such a din when their friend approached the line that you'd have thought she'd just won the new york marathon instead of running a community 5k in 36 minutes.

"i won a gift certificate to iron hill," i told my mom afterward, "but if i'd done the 5K down in wilmington, i could have walked away with $100 cash." "it sounds like you got a lot more out of your race than a hundred bucks," my mom rejoined. that's why she is the mom. she's wise.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


so this morning i'm into work early -- feeling self-important and puffed with self-pity because i worked overtime yesterday and lost a couple hours of sleep last night worrying about a website -- and in my inbox is a note from the boss announcing that M will be out for 2 weeks because she's donating a kidney to her sister.


now i'm really REALLY glad that i didn't forget mother's day because at least i'm not a TOTAL asshole.

NIN, even cooler (or hotter):

Daniel Maas NASA Mars Pathfinder Animation set to "Sunspots" by Nine Inch Nails (Trent Reznor)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

advice from carlos

hey now, all you sinners
turn your lights on
turn your lights on.

MyCo can't decide on much right now. are we staying, or are we moving? are we re-branding, or sticking with the same old identity? should we hire more full-time staff, or continue to overload the current batch?

while we languish in indecision on many fronts, we have introduced some changes. there's a tiled floor in the elevator, for one, and we've also cajoled some contractors into the building even though our interviewing process is a day of hell. you're stuck in front of the whiteboard while our CEO alternately berates, indoctrinates and subjugates you; and when he's done, you're cast to the partners, who tenderise you for another couple hours. finally, you're subjected to a battery of tests which evaluate your technical skills and design savvy, and assess your familiarity with ancient roman philosophers, the reproductive habits of dwarf hamsters and dealing with floaters left in the toilet.

if you pass with flying colors, and if you're not stark raving mad by then, we'll ask you to return the next morning to work a 12-hour day. and please bring your own computer cos we're short. if you have a desk, bring that too.

one poor soul who ran the gauntlet came to us from a temp agency. he was a JAVA programmer brought in to help us with the back-end programming for an online quote application. he seemed competent enough, though a little quiet, as i outlined the project requirements. he asked few questions and set to work around 9:30. an hour later, he approached my boss to excuse himself. he needed to go out to the parking lot; he thought he'd left his headlights on.

he left, and never came back.

we worried for a bit, fearing he'd fallen victim to one of the homeless guys who piss behind our cars or the crackheads that hit you up for a buck or two. a call to the temp agency relieved our anxiety: dude just didn't like it here and lit out as soon as he could.

which reminds me ... i think i left my headlights on.

had a great swim practise this morning, so i'm not quite ready to sell all my shit like this guy. yesterday was a little touch & go, though.

Monday, May 08, 2006


first tri of the season yesterday.
2-hour death march.
wanted top 3; finished 6th.

the silver lining:
a new appreciation for my real job, which does not involve swimming in squalid water, riding into a constant, inexorable headwind and running in slow motion.

i could never be a professional athlete.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

19 babies

we have wood ducks -- or will!! the prolific pair has so far withstood a barky overactive dog, trespassing fishermen and me stomping through the woods ... the proof being a clutch of 19 -- yes, NINETEEN -- eggs in the box closest to the pond.

poor momma. just the thought of squeezing out 19 eggs makes me want to take a nap.

will we see the babies? doubtful, for if my sources are correct, wood ducks fledge in a day. to these ducklings, fledging entails clambering out of the box and dropping most ignominiously to the ground -- for they can't fly -- and making a beeline for the nearest body of water.

i see great potential for trauma at the hands of good ole red in tooth and claw Mother En. a couple years ago i presided over the nesting, egg-laying and proud parenthood of a pair of bluebirds. before the fledglings left the nest, however, they were discovered and devoured by the resident rat snake, which literally climbed the birdhouse pole and squeezed enough of his fat body into the house to reach the nest.

i can just imagine my poor ducklings (for they're mine, now) falling like tiny brown, panicked skyjumpers to an uncertain fate below. this is why i'm arguing for immediate dispatching of all 3 cats. at the very VERY least they should be safely confined for the next couple weeks. i think the dryer's the safest place.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

first race report of 2006

this weekend i ran a trail half-marathon, part of a race called the triple crown, because if you’re manly enough, you can run the half, follow it with a 10K and finish off the morning with a 5K. if you’re a decent runner, which presumably you would be if you were to attempt something this foolhardy, you get 10-30min rest between races. that’s enough to hit the loo, weep in the car for a while and choke down a couple gels.

i’m not manly, so i stick with the half, with the other mortals. to my credit, i usually blunder off trail and tack on an extra mile or two for an extra challenge. what’s pathetic is that these trails are my home, and i still get blown off course.

we line up on a sunny, chilly saturday morning: perfect running conditions. next to me is a dude wearing gore-tex trail runners with gaiters. i’m guessing he read course fords White Clay Creek at miles 3 and 10 to mean two skips over dry streambeds consisting of detritus and scree that will get in your shoes. your gaiters ain’t gonna do shit, boy. and for all its claims of breathability, gore-tex can’t magically osmose a cup of water out of your soppy socks. n00b. he’s sure to beat me by at last a quarter hour, i calculate.

the whistle blows and we scamper across the meadow, avoiding gopher holes so conscientiously flagged by johnmac. i love trail running because every ramble through the woods is a couple minutes of childhood returned to you. men who work 70 hours a week at MBNA dash downhill pell-mell, their arms and spirits akimbo; i try to follow their lines, praying that I don’t crash into a tangle of privet.

we drop through the woods straight down to the creek, whereupon my cranky hamstring seizes and threatens to snap like a guitar string. i consider the possibility of pooching my entire season through sheer obstinacy… and i obstinately forge onward. i just went really easy.

i delicately pick my way on descents, cos descending is what truly hammers your hamstrings, and just to be safe i walk up hills or do the Ultra Shuffle. this is less a race than an exercise in pain management, and it’s a testament to my overall fitness level that i still end up the female winner. the steeplechaser’s wife is second, and she’s no slouch … then again, she proved her manliness by soldiering on through the rest of the triple crown.

F, the afghani metrosexual, offers a big hug at the line, despite the fact i’m covered in sweat, dirt and … blood? um, yes, blood. caught up in the heat of racing, i’ve neglected to notice the worst case of chub rub i’ve ever had: my inner thighs are chafed to the point of bleeding, and being on anti-coagulants means I bleed until the cows are just about home. when I cross the line it looks as though i’ve given birth in the woods.

in the car, i weep for a bit and assess the damage. you know how marshmallows puff up and soften when you toast them? up high, my inner thighs are just like that, except that instead of a toasty brown crust, there’s oozy red shit issuing from striations in my flesh. i staunch the bleeding with a layer of Body Glide, then do a lap of the 5K XC course with F, who does not seem too taken aback by my bleeding partses. he’s heard my belches and has no illusions about me being a lady.

i won’t be able to walk right for a while: instead, i gingerly manage a duck-footed waddle, like i’ve got a full diaper. as i walked into the grocery store yesterday afternoon, i saw a retarded kid reflected in the window, then realized that kid was wearing my tee and my skirt (i cannot bear anything with seams).

but i won, and that’s what’s important, right?

Monday, May 01, 2006

as the crow flies

yesterday afternoon i was hanging laundry outside when i heard a strange noise: a sort of melodic choking but without the feline raspiness that announces one of the cats' special deliveries. plus, it seemed to issue from the sky, where the cats usually aren't.

scanning overhead, i saw a redtail hawk performing graceful yet evasive manuevers while a pair of crows mobbed it, crying and diving.

from his stand in the garden, D noticed them too. "there must be a nest nearby," he said.

i watched the three birds pitch and circle across the sky, marvelling at the courage of two crows taking on a much bigger adversary a couple significant steps up the food chain; then i questioned the wisdom of leaving a nest unguarded for as long as they had. at this moment, one the crows tilted away and flew swiftly back -- presumably -- to the nest.

i love it when things make sense.