Friday, June 29, 2007

things to do instead of waiting in iLine today

they're here.
and if you're cool, you'll get yours in 10 hours or so.


if you're a loser like me, with no plans to acquire the iDesire, you'll need something to do while the rest of the world's standing in line and drooling. here are some suggestions. maybe you have better ones.

-- (re)read The Fountainhead. be like howard roark. he thought Different.

-- hand-write a letter to your grandmother. she wouldn't know an iPhone from an earworm, but a note from you would make her day.

-- go to Circuit City (place will be empty bro) and buy a Zune.
-- ha ha!! just kidding. think Different, not stupid.

-- watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy. gandalf was a rad dude, and i'm pretty sure he didn't have an iPhone.

-- go find some 4-leaf clovers. apparently it's not so hard --
here's how. see? you're still special, to me.

-- watch some of these
Top 20 Magic Trick Tutorials. if you never actually attempt the tricks you'll at least feel better knowing the truth behind the trick. sometimes things that appear flashy and jaw-gapingly incredible are an illusion, a sleight of hand.[1]

-- remember there's more to life than the iPhone. there are markymark's guns, for ex.

-- DRINK. it is MFBT.

[1] unless they are made by Apple.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

You got a question... you ask the 8-ball.

this is the Magic 8-Ball that loucypher gave me in exchange for the riding crop. it's so far proven 75% accurate, with a standard deviation of several donut holes. Magic 8-Ball predicted my last 3 wins and was right about joolieboolie being an alien though i didn't believe it at the time.

yesterday when E demurred my invitation to ride bicycles in a triple-digit heat index i asked Magic 8-Ball:
is E a big wuss?
and received this response:
Outlook Good.
so you see Magic 8-Ball is dead on.

i thought i would ask some questions about my blog friends and Magic 8-Ball proved very accommodating. for your edification, here are its responses to my inquiries:

did adam leave part of himself in the scottish highlands?
Outlook good.

will he and mrs. adam move to newcastle or sydney?
My sources say no.

will fatmammycat finish the 2007 dublin marathon in under 5 hours?

will fatmammycat's mammy ever start exercising?
Yes definitely.

[oops, time to recalibrate.]

did i just eat a banana? [i did.]
It is decidedly so.

['kay, back on track.]

is twenty major a cunt?
It is certain.

is kath's dog more annoying than my snorgoyles?
Most likely.

will mayra go to the seychelles when she's 18?
Ask again later.

will westolowski ever hook up with the chick from dengue fever?
Don't count on it.

will moz recover in time for the borgota show?
Very doubtful.

will teho become a full-time employee for CO?
It is certain.

will Bou warm to her kittens?
Cannot predict now.

will subhangi's animations bring her fame?
Without a doubt.

will she ever learn to relax, instead of working her ass off all the time?
My sources say no.

does manuel habitually dress in a french maid's costume at Little Miss Manuel's behest?
Better not tell you now.

i also asked some questions of a more universal and philosophical nature. i'm sure you were wondering these verysame things. well now you know thanks to Magic 8-Ball:

did humans cause the effects we're calling Global Warming?
Cannot predict now.

is there life after death?
Most likely.
are there krispy kremes there?
Concentrate and ask again.
My sources say no.

does George W. Bush really believe the ridiculous things he says?
Reply hazy. try again.
You may rely on it.

did paris hilton get cornholed in prison?
It is certain.

will george clooney ever get married?
Reply hazy. try again.
Yes. definitely.
to me?
Ask again later.

will the super-secret Tapeworm tracks ever be made public?
Most likely.

is danny lohner gay?
My sources say no.
are you sure?
Without a doubt.
like, 100% sure?
Without a doubt, asshole.

was my sunday school teacher telling the truth when she said my getting pinworms was the Lord's way of telling me i was full of sin?
Outlook not so good.
or was it because i ate a cup of dirt?
It is decidedly so.

[so fuck you, mrs. sklodowski. i'll be sending you an invoice for 8 years of therapy.]

is there anything else you'd like to ask Magic 8-ball? we're here to serve.

Super Secret Tapeworm Sesh.
extra credit if you can name the guys here w/o wiki-ing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

TV party tonight!!

nurse ratched and i got out of the pool at the same time this morning, and while we dressed we engaged in the kind of small talk necessary between two naked people in close proximity.

- any vacation plans? - i asked.
- i'm going to rehobeth for two weeks in august with some girlfriends. you?
- going to maine for a couple weeks in september. to a cabin on a lake with no electricity, no running water, no tv, no phone. i can't wait.

the nurse frowned and looked skeptical. i've handled this response, but before i could explain there's propane that will run a refrigerator, oven and lights, she spoke.

- that sounds nice except for the tv part. i don't know if i could go without tv.

that's the first time i've gotten that response, and i didn't know how to respond without sounding princetonian, so i smiled weakly and lied. - it takes some getting used to.

E did alert me to the fact that if there's no electricity, there's no way to charge the Lapple. now THIS has triggered some consternation on my part. i can pump my own water, shit in an outhouse, and forego bad television, but give up my mac for 2 weeks??

I sit glued to my Mac Book Pro all night
And every night!
Why go into the outside world at all?
It's such a fright!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Evolution of Apple

i guess Apple's releasing something this week and accordingly everyone's got their panties in a wad.

i need another phone like a hole in the head, but the new data plans are surprisingly reasonable, esp for someone looking for WiFi net access at home. marking this one as Under Consideration.

meanwhile, to put things in perspective, edwin tofslie mocked up a real nice pictorial evolution of Apple, from 1976 to present day.

where do you score? i come in with 6:
   1990 - mac classic
   1994 - power mac 6100
   1997 - power mac
   2003 - ipod 3rd gen
   2006 - ipod nanu nanu
   2006 - mac book pro

Monday, June 25, 2007

another damn jersey du

2mi run – 16mi bike – 5K run

if last week's tri was an example of victory through focus and strategy, this weekend's result was surely victory despite wiftyness and fucktardery, as my pre-race routine was a collection of boneheaded and newbie mistakes. do as i say, kids, not as i do. here are some hints:

  • - don't start watching Notes on a Scandal at 8pm the night before you have to get up at 5, because you won't want to stop mid-way (good flick, though -- thanks for the rec, kath).
  • - don't eat a huge bowl of ice cream at 9pm because 2 hours later you will still be doing the samba if not on the floor then in your head.
  • - don't drown your ice cream in homemade kahlua. you made it, genius. you KNOW what's in it.
  • - if you have been averaging only 5 hours of sleep in the days before the race, there is a good chance you will forget about the bagel you set to toast in the oven.
  • - there is a good chance you will forget more than once. and there is an extremely good chance that on the 3rd time it will catch fire.
  • - men who are awoken by the smoke alarm at 5:15am are still horny.
  • - “i'll be quick” is usually a lie, or at the very least an extremely relative statement.
  • - get a good warm-up. driving to the race at double the speed-limit, though it may increase your heart rate, is not considered a warm-up. neither is dashing to registration, or re-racking the line of bikes you knocked down trying to jam yours in.
  • - if the portapot line is too long and you take the woods option, mind the thorn bushes. jersey grows some doozies. and if you get stuck, don't panic because that will only entangle you more and put holes in your uniform and your skin.
  • - don't forget to get bodymarked unless you want to dash back to registration 2min before the start of your race. but if you do, there's a smokin' guy there with nice forearms and a chunky timex whose hands feel cool on your hot skin. he won't mind that you're bloody, either.
  • - if surveying your transition area leaves you feeling like something's missing, explore that feeling. better to take this time before the race than to finish the first run and discover your cycling shoes are still buried in your transition bag. good thing you didn't have enough time to take that back to the car!
got all that, grasshopper??

despite an unpropitious start, i still finished pretty well, especially considering how knackered i was from the preceding week. felt okay on the first run and was 1st woman and top 10 overall coming into T1. felt progressively better, then progressively more tired on the bike; but passed a ton of people from the triathlon running concurrently and had the kickass Wings for Marie in my head once again.

ohhhhh mannnnn
- hollered an extremely enthusiastic man as i powered by him – noyyyce. you go girl!! that's one dude who has no ego issues about being passed by a girl.

hamstring and compensatory tweaks a bit of an issue on the 2nd run – there is a definite line i don't want to cross – but still passed more people, including the 2nd place woman in the tri. 1st place was within reach as we approached the turn-around but her dial must go to 11 because she rabbited away and the next time i saw her was at the awards presentation. recognised No-Ego Dude in the oncoming traffic, still very enthused. there she is – he yodeled happily – looking GOOD!!

there are No-Ego racers, and there are those who take your pulling alongside them 150m from the finish line as an invite to drag race and by drag i mean the state of your ass because you've spent the past hour flirting with your blow threshold. it does not matter that they're not your gender or age group and may not even be in your RACE, but du/tri, male/female, old/young doesn't matter when you're two racers approaching the finish.

he blew about 50m from the line.

stats: 1st F and 3rd overall out of 77.

Friday, June 22, 2007

paris hilton writes like a 6-year old

temporarily deprived of crack and vodka, paris hilton's whiling her jailtime away by responding to fan letters, says E-Online.

here's an actual letter received (see how that's spelled??) by a fan:

i am so inspired by paris' heroic stamina, and the little hearts topping her signature, that i wrote my own letter. golly, i hope this gets to her in time!

Dear Paris,

I heard you are having a difficunt and scary time and are feeling sad and alone. When I think of you sad and alone in your cell it makes me feel sad and alone too. It makes me think of that time Etienne and I were playing in the bushes out front and I dared him to eat some of the berries and he got real sick and had to go to the hospital and I thought he would die but all he needed was to have his stomach pumped. But then his mom talked to my mom and called me “that white trash hellspawn” and said we couldn't play anymore. I hope you don't feel as sad and alone as I did then.

Thinking of you in your difficult and scary time also reminds me of that time I went robotripping and met the Snakeman who told me about the bloody penguins and the fingernails that never stop growing. Then the voices in my head got so loud I thought my eyes would explode and afterward Betsy said I was screaming about teeth and razors right before I did a #2 in my pants. That was a scary and difficult time for me. I hope your jail is not like that.

Even though you are experiencing Hard Times, please stay strong and positive, Paris. If you paint a smile on a sad face, sometimes the smile becomes real and you don't have to pretend-smile anymore! Remember the clown who lived in the sewer? At first he must have been sad living in dirty water and trash, but he put on a happy face to talk to the children. And then the children made him happy!

So turn that frown upside-down, Paris! Soon it will be Monday and you will be free and can go back to being rich and having a lot of fun.

Love Always,

Thursday, June 21, 2007

and your father smelled of elderberry

alex and i did 100 IMs this morning, in a pool that over the weekend was rejigged from longitudinal yards to latitudinal meters. just when you think you're getting comfortable in it, the world flips a switch and suddenly you're bashing into the wall doing backstroke.

alex lingered in her shower while i bolted through mine and into the lockerroom. i was slathering on moisturiser when a strange woman popped her head around the corner.

- can i ask you a weird question? - she said.
- oh-kay.
- what perfume, or fragrance or whatever, do you use? cos it reminds me of Hymen Stymen by Jordan Smutherton - or something - i love it but it's been discontinued so i've been milking my last bottle, and whatever you have smells a lot like it.
alex sashayed in from the showers while i fished in my transition bag and proffered my lotion.
- is this what you smell?
she unscrewed the top; inhaled and nodded.
- yep, that's it. thanks a lot.

alex wrinkled her nose at me after the woman left.

- what? - i said defensively - you don't like the smell?
- it's not that.
- then what?
- i just think it's funny, that's all.
- WHAT'S funny - i'm feeling very naked.
- you. wearing j'adore with cargo shorts and an agnostic front t-shirt. it's funny, that's all. i don't think you're the christian dior target demographic.
- well there's a niche to be exploited then, isn't there.

i'm not loyal to fragrances by any means, but j'adore is pretty good at neutralising chlorine mollycules.

but aren't smells wonderful, and evocative? i have lost entire nights rummaging through my spice cabinet bottle by bottle. it starts with the thyme, progresses through ground cumin and marjoram, and by the time i hit up the almond extract hours have passed and the happy hour i said i'd attend is long over.

i love the smell of boat fuel and dry-erase markers and believe a book can be judged by its smell. sometimes i smell my 8th grade english teacher's perfume and am delivered back to A Tale of Two Cities and the shitty oral report i did on Old Bailey. walking through the aladdin casino in vegas i caught a thread of F's scent and felt momentarily dislocated; and josh and i tracked peter down the mobbed AC boardwalk by smell.
- i can find him in any crowd
- the fellow olfactophile announced - he uses that hippie shit, know what i'm talkin' about?
- patchouli?
- i offered.
- yeah. it's like a bead straight to him.

ever since that accident with the golf umbrellas, JBMS hasn't been able to smell anything, which is sad for her but convenient for people who fart a lot.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

reason # 121 for why i love Mac...

...because Microsoft Visio is faster running virtually on my mac, via Parallels Desktop, than it is running natively on my PieceofCrap.

FWIW, i didn't think it was possible, but Word 2007 is even more bloated, convoluted and utterly devoid of consideration-for-users than its predecessors. thank fuck for Open Office.

Monday, June 18, 2007

middletown sprint tri

0.25mi swim – 16 mile bike – 3 mile run

i waffled on this race until the very last minute, leaving the house only under the condition that if my much-abused hamstring rebelled during a warmup i'd pack up and go right back home. but after 2 weeks of chilling the hammie, i was feeling restless and coltish. mentally, i wanted to tear some shit up even if i'm not quite there physically; plus there's the fact that i've done this race for 4 years straight and won the last 2.

i knew i wouldn't be able to win through brute force cos i was feeling neither brutish nor forceful, so i'd have to be smart and calculated -- which i'm sure you've gathered is a stretch for me. i'd need to get to the race with enough time to do a slow, easy warmup run. i'd need time to get in the water and prepare for the shotgun swim start. i'd need to have my shit together mentally. and of course i'd need a huge bowl of haagen dazs the night before.

my warmup run was auspicious: the hamstring was Evident but not Obstructive. i had a peaceful poo in the woods and used the 10min i would have spent in the portajohn line warming up on the bike. i drank some of the noxontown pond water during a warmup swim so it wouldn't be such a shock to my system during the race. the stars were aligned.

my swim wasn't bad – and that is the best thing i can say about the swim leg of a tri. i've accepted that it's never going to be good, or absolutely fabulous, so “not bad” suffices. i stayed relatively on course, didn't run into any buoys and only once swam out to one of the lifeguard kayaks, mistaking it for a course buoy. i didn't wear a wetsuit because i figured the race would be challenging enough without throwing wetsuit removal into the mix. sorry, transition spectators – no sideshow this time.

though i didn't know it at the time, i was about 6th woman out of the water. they're a couple minutes up the road - BV informed me as i hopped on the bike.

sometimes my bike is really really good, and sometimes it's so-so. i knew that today it had to be really fucking fast because i couldn't rely on my run to make up time. but i still started off eeeeeensy-slow in the small chain ring because that's how we roll, and after a couple miles i graduated to a comfortably hard pace.

that would have been enough to make up some time but on the second of two 8-mile laps, i found the Zone. the mental jukebox cooperated once again, serving up Tool's Wings for Marie which, with its rolling bassline, rumbling drums and hypnotic vocals, is absolutely perfect for time-trialing. my focus narrowed to my tunnel of movement – i could have been riding in the arctic circle with polar bears all around for all i know – and i could concentrate without concentrating, if that makes any sense. i felt invincible, which was nice for a change.

i didn't know how many women were ahead of me after the swim, but when i caught joss, i knew i was close to, if not the, front. she's such a strong swimmer and cyclist that i typically don't see her until the later part of the run.

i was pulling on my flats when joss came into transition, with a couple women hot on her heels. spectators told us we were the lead women, but i knew i didn't have much of a lead. still, i started out slowly, trying not to jack my hamstring into tightening or spasming. i took tiny little steps up rises and opened up on the flats. i felt okay – not great, just okay. if i'd had to chase anyone down there would have been serious suffering, but all i had to do was keep the rhythm rolling, and stay relaxed, which i did. i crossed the line with a quiescent hamstring and a huge grin.

i finished about a minute up from joss and was 1st F and 10th overall out of 255. the nice thing about local races is that people in delaware may not know you won a bunch of races in new jersey, or went to duathlon worlds, but they know you won wayne's sprint tri. a local win also gives you more local currency to use with the people you can't do without: rudy, fisch, MM and other members of delaware's inner sanctum of sports.

it's also a much-needed ego boost.

Friday, June 15, 2007

funeral for a friend

marsha's memorial service is tomorrow. she died on monday, my mom told me last night, and didn't make it to jill's wedding afterall. her wishes were to be cremated and have her ashes spread in hawaii. you know she was a travel agent - my mom said - and here she is arranging one last trip for people. marsha's the 4th close friend or relative my mom's lost to colon cancer.

F went a funeral yesterday, for a schoolmate. 25 years old; cocaine overdose. when i talked with him last night he was at sea. - everyone was so blase. people were laughing and joking, and nobody was really crying. her dad is a triathlete and when i was making small talk with him i asked him how his training was going and he said "well, i haven't gotten out much THIS week" like this was a real inconvenience to him. i haven't been to very many american funerals, but when my cousins and uncle were killed everyone cried. everyone was sad, and the services went on for a long, long time. my aunt is still wearing black.

well fuck.

this is a fine start to a weekend.

i'm slated to race on sunday, a local triathlon that i've won the past couple years. so, no pressure or anything. the hamstring is still tweaky, though getting better, but i haven't done speedwork in almost a month. also, i don't know how it is possible to get fat and out-of-shape in 2 weeks, but i seem to have done so. moan moan moan. it's just a fucking hamstring. it's just a fucking friendship. it's just a fucking marriage. everything changes.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

lolnin, WSJ's presidents, burritos, king of pensis, wellington grey

i am grown weary of my yapping as have you i'm sure. so here are pixlinx to Stuff:

Wellington Grey's miscellanea

(shouts 2 teho)

Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality
(McDonald's Sausage Breakfast Burrito pictured here)

From the Wall Street Journal --
How the Presidents Stack Up:
a look at U.S. presidents' job-approval ratings.
[i wonder if the WSJ will stop doing stuff like this when murdock takes over.]

i'm glad my email spam filter didn't catch this one:
things that are great about it:
-- the logic that says "somewhere else" = underneath a furry killer whale
-- furry killer whales LOL
-- her husband has a small PENSIS
-- kingofpenis makes me think of the police song, which is less annoying to hum for hours than holiday in cambodia, which FMC got me on at 6 this morning because that's where she went on vacation as a child. or didn't. none of this is true remember.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

for the dad who has everything...

the nurse who loved me

saturday night, approx 4 hours after tool left the stage, peter, shoddie and i are sitting outside johnny rockets watching the funnel clouds of aggression whirl and disperse as groups of belligerent drunks move down the atlantic city boardwalk. half an hour ago we left josh at caesar’s, where he pitched a snit and refused to accompany us.

- i meet this awesome girl who will drive to atlantic city alone to see tool and she ends up digging THIS guy. he looks balefully at peter, who rewards him with a blank stare. – oh fuck you guys. this is my vacation and i’m going to ENJOY it dammit. fuck you, fuck you and fuck YOU. i got some gambling to do and i’m NOT hungry.

none of our imprecations worked so here we are at JR’s without josh.

in preparation for the 90min drive back to DE i am stoking up on coffee and chili. eminem – or an 18-year-old version of him – is our server: very white, very trying to be hip and very hyped.

-- he’s got to be on speed – i pronounce as marshall mathers whirls away with our orders – no one can be that fucking cheery at 3 in the morning. shoddie doesn’t even respond; he’s half in the land of morpheus already. peter surveys me with heavy lids.
-- you like bud? – he asks.
-- bud?? get real. you drive a chevy, too?
he frowns at me, processing with an overloaded CPU.
-- no, you like smoke bud?
-- OH. mmm never really worked for me. peter looks at me as though i’ve just outlined the theory of relativity. - and besides, i gotta drive home, remember?

this makes sense to him: he nods slowly and begins to roll a joint. at this point the speakers jack 10 decibels as donna summers’ Last Dance begins, apparently a cue for the johnny rockets staff to assemble and begin the obligatory line dance. for a little white dude, our server's got some funk in his blood, and he gazes confidently out the window at us from first row, center.
-- little man can dance - i note.
-- you think josh is okay? - shoddie wonders for the 10 billionth time. peter tries josh’s cell phone again; it goes straight to voicemail and he sings a couple lines of Last Dance.
-- i’m sure he’s fine. he’s a fucking army ranger. he can take care of himself – i say.
-- not worried about him – says shoddie – it’s the other guys. josh ain’t the same since he come back from afghanistan that second time.

i can’t argue with this, since i watched josh change over the course of several red bulls & vodka in the caesar’s lounge. a pretty nice, charismatic and funny guy who made you feel special by remembering your name and using it liberally, a soldier who guided you through cell phone shots of his 6-year-old in germany, his drumset and his rottweiler puppy, this man changed into something else over the course of those couple hours, the skin around his eyes pulling tighter and meaner.
-- yeah he’s okay unless somebody sets him off – peter mitigates.
-- did he talk about afghanistan at all? - i inquire. he never mentioned this to me; our conversation was all about europe, german techo clubs and endurance sports. before he can answer, peter’s phone chirps dyspeptically; the battery's running low. he answers but loses the connection.
-- dude that was josh trying to call.
i finish my coffee while shoddie tries to reach him.
-- yo, 'sup. you what? where you at? ohhhhhhkay we just gotta pay. we're there in 5. just hang, man. – he snaps the phone shut. – where’s our fucking waiter. we gotta go.
-- what’s up?
-- josh says we gotta go. – shoddie won’t say anything, just squirms while we we settle up. josh calls shoddie twice en route to caesars, while peter knocks off his joint, gracefully pirouetting away when the cops roll by.

when we reach caesars josh is outside pacing, rubbing his fist. he won’t look at me; hones in on peter.
-- hey fuckface what’s up with leaving me like that. i’m at the roulette table just minding my business when some asshole knocks my elbow. it wouldn’t have been nuthin except that i had my drink in my hand and it spilled a little. hey, i said, don’t you have any etiquette or fucking couth and he said what the fuck you say and i said don’t you have any fucking couth and then he shoved me and i fucking nailed him under the jaw and you never saw anyone drop so fast. i mean it was lightening fast and i just walked away from that table as fast as i could. didn’t run, just walked real fast.
josh rubbed his knuckles which, reddened as they were, showed the scars in starker relief.
- are you okay? – i asked.
- i’m fucking fine – he answered peter. fucking fine. that fucker dropped so fucking fast. you should have seen it. – he stops short, sniffs. – you fucking smoking? - peter shrugs nonchalantly. – jesus christ. let’s get the fuck out of here.

we chaperone josh down the boardwalk, away from caesars. peter’s worried about me driving home; says i can crash in their $60/night room at the Golden Flea. much as i’d like to stick around and see if josh ends up in police custody, i’m supposed to meet The Gay Squad in philly in 6 hours for brunch and the King Tut exhibit. drummed up on red bull, there is no way josh will go back to the hotel when there are strip clubs and casinos open for his business but someone’s gotta oversee him and that job’s left to peter, since shoddie is so down for the count i have to drop him off at the Flea on the way out.

i roll into the driveway at 5:20. the sun’s already rising, the cats are clamoring for food and i wonder how peter and josh fared. this isn’t the first time i’ve hooked up with the psycho kid with anger management issues and his coterie of devoted, understanding friends at a concert; and for the 30sec it takes me to fall asleep i question the influence of the bands i love.

say hello to everything you’ve left behind
it’s even more a part of your life now that you can’t touch it

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

tool at boardwalk hall - 6.9.07

saw tool in atlantic city this weekend. probably if i had gone with someone who really wanted to see the opening band, Melt Banana, i wouldn't have gotten stuck in traffic on the AC expressway, i would have found parking faster, and it wouldn't have taken me 15min to find my way out of the ballys casino, where the parking elevator conveniently disgorged me. but i did, didn't and it did, so when i arrived at boardwalk hall and began to wend a way toward portal Q i heard the thumpingness of Jambi. motherfucker.

so much for an interminable passage of opening bands.

so what to say of my first tool concert? well, it wasn't what i expected. it wasn't a Nails show, for one. whereas some people go to NIN shows hoping to hear the fuck-you-like-an-animal song, this audience seemed comprised of hard-core fans. tool likes to arcanely noodle their way into songs, i think as a kind of fan jeopardy, but as soon as the event horizon's reached and the song's identifiable, a collective roar rises to the ceiling. everyone around me knew the words to the parts of songs that were obviously the germane parts – and we're not talking simple stuff like the FIST FUCK part of Wish. this is deeper, darker stuff.

though i was on the floor, there was no moshing, and little thrashing. true, our space was constrained by folding chairs, in part a consequence of several deaths at a tool show yea
rs ago; but when i asked the veteran josh if there were mosh pits at other tool shows, he frowned at me and asked, "why would you do that? how could you enjoy the music that way?”

here's the AC setlist:


The Pot

46 & 2
Schism (the kickass LONG version)

Lost Keys & Rosetta Stoned

Intension Intro/Right In Two

Wings For Marie parts 1 & 2

[a little break while the 4 guys sat onstage and talked
amongst themselves.]
Lateralus (w/ Melt Banana guitarist and drummer)


that's a total of 11 songs spanning 2 hours. do the math. while trent strings together 20 songs that collectively tick out a sine wave of energy, from March of the Pigs to The Frail/The Wretched, to Gave Up and Hurt and back again, the tool set list seems more a basket of polished gems handed out with delicacy, tact and musical mastery. and mastery's key. look, i love NIN and trent's a genius and all, but nobody in the history of the supporting band could be accused of being a musical virtuoso. josh freese probably comes closest, but i think that's more out of sheer insanity than talent. stack him next to tool's drummer danny carey and there's no contest.

a Nails show – if you're where you should be, on the floor – is a cathartic experience that exorcises the demons leaving you drained and at peace. (YMMV, of course.) a tool show is an appreciation of musicians. the dude next to me was a drummer and danny carey devotee. “just watch this,” h
e advised as guitarist adam jones deftly began to pick out the opening notes of Lateralus, “the drummer from Broken Banana is gonna come out and duel with danny, or at least that's what they did in baltimore last night.” several minutes later, the Melt Banana drummer and guitarist took the stage, the drummer beating out a bassline answered in snare and tabla by the man in the Bruins jersey behind the barricade of drums. “wow,” i said to josh. “no, wait” he said, “they're just warming up.” three minutes later danny fell in with his entire setup while the crowd stood motionless, just soaking up the feeling of thundering, rolling drums. i had goosebumps. “see?” said my new drummer friend when the guitarists took over. i nodded dumbly.

'taint just danny, though: justin chancellor, the brit who hammers out tool's characteristic rippling bassline is mesmerising as wel
l, making complexity look deceptively easy. he and adam attacked the bridge of Schism, sped up to double-time live, without breaking a sweat it seems. nobody showboats, either – no one leaps into the crowd or dives into speakers; and for a lead singer, maynard's remarkably content hanging at the back of the stage next to his drummer. and yet the crowd's transfixed and 100% invested. tool seems to be a musician's band.

some highlights:
-- Lost Keys and Rosetta Stoned, which i ho-hummed through on the album are excellent live. armed with a vocoder like a tracheotomy patient, maynard alternates b
etween two voices as the chosen one divulges his story. i've new appreciation for that song, esp now that i've seen the light rings approximating spaceships above the stage.
-- the light show, the LAY-SERs, the video screens – all of this is tight stuff, but honestly i need to see the show about 4 more times to fully appreciate it because most of my attention was on the band...

-- but i did notice that during Wings for Marie, part 2 the lights fanned out over our heads, from the stage to the back of the hall and...
-- the crossing, flitting lines that formed and reformed the Tool Army symbol were projected on the
american flag hung at the back of the venue.
-- some tool fans just Know. as Wings part 2 wrapped up with maynard singing of his departed mother, judith marie, “hallelujah, it's time for you to bring me home” a guy several rows in front of me
pressed his palms together and lifted them over his bowed head, standing quiet and motionless while applause rumbled.
-- with Wings complete, the band took a break, the four of them sitting onstage in a cluster, talking amongst themselves like the cool kids at the high school lunch table. they chilled for 5 or 10 minutes while the crowd murmured its own conversation; then justin raised a lighter and boardwalk hall lit up like white and yellow lights climbing a christmas tree. the band sat for a little while longer, looking out at the crowd, then spread across the
stage and noodled toward something we eventually recognised as Lateralus, which has been playing non-stop in my mental jukebox ever since. small price to pay, though. i gotta see these guys again.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

word to Der Bossen

i'm sorry, but i'll be working from home for the next 40 days. you see, the food here is terrible and i'm not getting any sleep.


men are untrustworthy

this weekend is our 4th Girls on the Run 5K race. Girls on the Run is a 12-week after-school program for girls ages 8-11. twice a week they meet to "train" for a 5K, but the program's more about teaching & encouraging self-esteem, healthy eating habits & the benefits of exercise. it's a national program we started here 2 years ago, and enrollment's been climbing logarithmically. 50 girls participated in the inaugural program in the fall of '05; this spring's program supported 240.

so saturday's race-day, and one hat i'll be wearing is that of Running Buddy Coordinator. Running Buddies are grown-ups who sign up to run with a Girl. not everyone loves running (hard to believe i know), and some 8-year-old girls require spirited cajoling to get to the finish line. it's a challenging job being a Running Buddy, but dozens of people sign up during race day; and i match them with needy girls.

what's new this spring is that male Running Buddies cannot be assigned without a female Running Buddy, unless the Buddy is the Girl's father. the national GOTR council's decided that male Running Buddies must be chaperoned, to ensure there're no Improprieties committed during the race.

i guess in theory it's easier to discriminate against one gender in general than try to talk your way around a sketchy creepster who crept out from under the park bench and presented at the Running Buddy table; but i've never encountered the sketchy creepster, and this directive from national seems like it's elevating a fringe possibility over the proven probability.

maybe this wouldn't be such an issue if it weren't my job to explain to the would-be guyBuddy that he must be matched with a galBuddy, that something in his Y-chromosome makes him ultimately untrustworthy. maybe i'm overreacting and the guyBuddies will be totally cool, maybe even understand and applaud national for its proactive stance. maybe.

all's i'm hoping is that i don't get roped into face-painting again.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

eyes on darfur

this morning amnesty international launched Eyes on Darfur, a site which uses satellite imaging to visually monitor certain villages in darfur. implicit is the threat that any untoward acts committed by the sudanese government will be shown in the satellite images. here, for ex, are photos of Bir Kedouas before and after militias tore through. huts you can make out in the "before" pic are gone in the "after," where blackened brush and vegetation dominate the shot. click either pic for the NPR story with embiggened photos.



the idea of using satellite surveillance to keep tabs on a brutal government's treatment of its citizens is problematic. on the one hand, it's an effective means of stirring public awareness and involvement; on the other, it smacks a bit of Big Brutha.


that's a rhetorical question, right?

a word of advice to the would-be inamorato:

which do you love more, me or your mac? - is NOT a good way to kick off a romantic evening.

if you get an equivocal answer, well, serves you right.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

BRMC sampler

for brown suga & other interested parties. i wish vox, where this stuff is hosted, didn't autoplay audio, and didn't play it so freakin' LOUD. you've been warned.

red eyes and tears - (live in cologne; 2002)

in like the rose
- dig the contrast between the 2 guitars

ain't no easy way
- blues-y and thighslapping


666 conducer
- badass, pure & simple.


american X
(baby 81) - stellar vocals and lyrics wrapping with a trippy, Doors-ish solo. after they played this song on friday night the drummer had to leave the stage, presumably to rest. awesome song.

NIN shows are crazy

the scrum over the tambourine tossed into the crowd at the BRMC show reminded me of an encounter last week. stop me if you've heard this one before.

we just hired a batch of new designers, and now axl, princess leia and eugene are struggling to adjust to our flextime, free lunches and dress code that ranges between brooks brothers suits and Henry the Serial Killer tees. tough place.

one day last week eugene arrived at 7am. the prize for coming in 2nd is that the triple-strength ass coffee is fresh and hot. it gives shy persons the strength to get up and do what needs to be done, and that's perhaps why i looked up from my boxes and arrows to find eugene standing at my desk.

- hullo – he began timorously.
- hey.
- how're you.
- fine. busy. fine. - then i remember my manners - How Are You.
- oh, i'm good. yep. sooo.
- so. - i am aching to get back to my deliverable due in hours, but i also want to make nice with the new guy in case i ever need anything from him. could happen. plus i am a little curious. eugene comes to us from one of the local financial giants, and i read him as the type who plots his life on a gantt chart. i wonder how he'll survive here, where we'll expect him to juggle a half-dozen jobs whose scopes change daily.
- so are you the nine inch nails fan?
- erm, yes. - at this hour of the morning, the only other car in the lot is the honda with the NIN sticker.
- yeah, i like them too. i went to a show once. it was CRAZY. - now my interest is piqued.
- really.
- yes, it was the tour they did for the album before the new one; what was it called?
- With Teeth?
- no, something else.
- The Fraggle? the Fragile, i mean. - hur hur. i crack myself up.
- that's it. i went with a woman from work. it was a real scene. wow. we were just sitting there (sitting??) and suddenly this waterbottle comes out of nowhere, right at my friend! one of the guys onstage threw it! (one of the guys??) and, to this day, i don't know how i did it, but i reached out and batted it away just in time. just before it hit her! she was sooo surprised!
the recollection's taken eugene back in time. he pauses, panting wetly.
- and then this bunch of girls in front of us all dove for the bottle and started fighting over it. it was just crazy!
- wow. betcha got laid that night.
- what?!
- i said, you got whatcha PAID for that night.

might as well break him in fast. E gently chided me for taking the piss with poor eugene, who was simply trying to find a common ground for conversation; but i, who've been at MyCo since the paleolithic period, can't begin to relate. the idea of someone attempting to curry favor with me is laughable anyway. i'm a unrepentant curmudgeon even when my hamstring isn't fucked.

i haven't run in a week. i can literally feel my calf and quad muscles dissolving into decrepitude, and my hamstring STILL hurts. penis fuck shit cunt.

Monday, June 04, 2007

BRMC at the TLA: 6.1.07

saw Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in philly this weekend at the TLA. missed the first warmup act (thank you I-95 gaper delay) but arrived in time for:

the Cobbs
local philly boys, the Cobbs are BRMC-lite. same kind of riffing heavy guitar but with less substance and polish. standard band line-up, with one notable exception: a dude whose job, as far as i could ascertain, was to bang a tambourine to a beat that roughly approximated the band's. i want to think bud was tripping hard, cos that might explain his spaced, beatific expression – and why sometimes he'd sidle up to one of the guitarists and spoon him from behind. dude creeped me out a bit. i wonder if he's part of the band or somebody's shortbus brother the Cobbs bring onstage whenever they're in town.

good warmup act for BRMC anyway.

for three guys, BRMC generate an improbable amount of sound, though sometimes they'd bring a 4th onstage when two tracks of meaty guitar reverb weren't enough. a far cry from the Cobbs' sketchy loomer, BRMC's extra (named Spike, natch) could play (guitar & keyboard), was bewitching in an unkempt aaron north kinda way, and didn't rub up on anybody that i saw.

this band has endurance, man. they started their set around 11 and released us two hours later.

set list was something like this:
Took Out A Loan
Lien On Your Dreams
In Like The Rose
Ain't No Easy Way
Weapon Of Choice
Punk Song
Not What You Wanted
666 Conducer
Need Some Air
American X
Fault Line
Devil's Waitin'
Love Burns
All You Do Is Talk

6 Barrel Shotgun
Sympathetic Noose
Spread Your Love
Shuffle Your Feet

some songs, like Window, Spread Your Love, and Shuffle Your Feet, were excellent. and seeing American X's 4-min-long winding guitar solo live was worth the ticket price – good good stuff. the guitars were ON. In Like the Rose is perfect live because you see it built from scratch: peter sets up a pulsing electronic throb, then robert lays down an organic, bass-y, winding riff on top. here's a clip on something called YouTube: check it out.

but another thing that sets BRMC apart from the madding crowd of shitty bands is their full, rough-edged vocals, so it was a real disappointment that the sound guys totally blew that mix: for much of the show the vocals sank below the instruments and were lost. songs like Weapon of Choice and 666 Conducer lose much of their bite when they're rendered down to just guitar & drums. i think Window was so good BECAUSE robert hung up his guitar in favor of a piano, which he COULD sing above. same deal with Shuffle Your Feet: spike popped back behind a mic and when all three sang “ti-i-i-i-ime won't save our souls” a cappella, your skin just prickled with the Rightness of it all. another vid clip for ya. notice how the vocals just drop away when the guitars kick in.

so, sometimes the Club was on-on, and sometimes i just wasn't feeling them, which is a shame because their music is so freaking good. sweet guys, though: they requested house lights during the encore -- so i can see you all, explained robert -- who then took audience requests for the rest of the night.

BRMC is proof that rock n' roll ain't dead yet.

Friday, June 01, 2007


- finn it's only a hamstring - my mom sighed.

- yeah but i wanted to race in jersey this weekend because i have a shot at winning again, maybe even the tri ...whine whine whine. i'm so insufferable i'm testing even motherly limits.

- it's a hamstring. meanwhile marsha's not even sure she'll make it to jill's wedding now. - my aunt marsha's colon cancer has returned with a vengeance and the only recourse is palliative care. - and there's no way your grandmother's going. she falls asleep anywhere now, at any time; plus i don't want to be changing her scooters every 3 or 4 hours.

- scooters?

- her diapers. but i'm getting better -- i'm now to the point where i can sometimes predict when she'll need to go and then we hustle off to the bathroom. she still gets confused though, even when i'm there. tuesday night she wouldn't sit on the toilet. "sit mom," i told her. "you have to sit down so i can help you." she just looked at me like she didn't understand a thing i was saying. "SIT, MOM." nothing. then she pops out "ahsee-a-voo? " "yes, mom," i said, "ahsee-a-voo."

- ahsee-a-voo?

- it's french for sit down. she hasn't spoken french since my sister and i were little kids. it's funny how parts of the brain shut down, and other parts start up. she can't express a coherent thought, but when i get ready to leave she can say "please stay with me forever" with no problem. it breaks my heart, finn.

- it must. i'm sorry mom.