Friday, August 17, 2007

In the Lake of the Woods

L - how long are you gone?
F - two weeks.
L - you lucky dog. taking the bike?
F - of course.... you know, everytime i'm there i think of this book called In the Lake of the Woods. ever read it?
L - nope.
F - it's about a couple that retreats to a remote cabin after the dude's bid for a senate seat ends disastrously -- turns out he was part of the My Lai massacre. after that he goes a bit potty, killing all the houseplants by pouring boiling water on them while he's sleepwalking; and then his wife vanishes. you never learn definitively what happened to her, but the boat's gone, and by the end of the book you're left with the feeling that he didn't do anything to her but that she just took to the water and lost herself. now i look across the lake to that wall of green and i wonder about doing the same thing.
L - it'd be easy to do.
F - in some ways, yeah.
L - i'd find you.
F - i doubt it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

talent vs. experience

rode the flats with the Penis Brigade last night, the lone female representin' among a bunch of burly-chested, hairy-legged macho dudes who require constant attention because you never know when one of them will miss the curl of a turn and ride right off the road. most of them ride for fun, not competition, so it's a refreshing change of pace. you better hope that none of your teammates see you on this ride - LAF said to me - you'd get so much shit. that's why i wear an old kit - i told him, and then watched paulie walnuts ride into somebody's backyard. but they're all mountain bikers so their saves are pretty good.

flatlands suck the life out of me, so when we hit summit bridge coming out of chesapeake city i got to the front and found wings, riding everyone except LAF off my wheel. summit's a long gradual incline, and if you find the right gear and rhythm you can really fly up it -- and if you're used to time-trialing, you crest the top and hold the effort steady, clicking through gears as you hit 30, 33, 35mph. it felt SO good -- smooth and fluid and simple.

- you're so talented - LAF said as he pulled alongside me.
- what?
- you didn't change position that whole time. you didn't move. - he means my shoulders & hips don't rock.
- that's not talent. that's hours in the saddle while your body figures out how to be more efficient. it's experience and laziness. why do any extra work?
- i guess. i always learn something when i ride with you.

it's all relative, isn't it. the next time i do the barksdale ride i will marvel at how L manages to stay with us when i would be off-the-back on the first hill if i were carrying those 30 extra pounds. but she's been riding for so long that she knows how to survive in a peleton. that said, it's also gratifying to have your "talents" called out.

i have fallen in love with swimming again too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

*his* soundguy is competent

[posted to tdy. meep. pant pant. starVING.]

UPDATE -- ooooh, this helps.

this time next week

this time next week i will be sitting on a dock in maine reading the last Harry Pooter book with nothing on the iCal except for happy hour.

here are pix from june, when LAF & friends were up there. pretty chillin, eh?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

BRMC @ seaside park, NJ - 8.10.07

trekked with the rock star & entourage to NJ last friday to catch Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ the Sawmill Cafe's Green Room.

the Sawmill is right on the boardwalk, smack in the middle of Funtown Pier, and offers sushi, seafood and pizza plus guinness on tap. new york not wanted here.
[props to jersey for mastering the subtleties between “you're” and “your.”]

$25 dollars covered the show and an entree. fit in a couple rides at Funtown before the show and visited the ocean.

it is hard to take pictures from the ocean.

200 people max upstairs in the Green Room, a glorified bar born for things like cinco de mayo. same opening band i saw in philly: the cobbs. i was kinda grooving on their closing song when the rock star pulled the wool from my eyes. - it's the exact same bassline as Where the Streets Have No Name. jesus, if you're doing to rip off an entire riff, at least change it up a bit.

it's fun going to shows with musicians because you learn so much. i have no musical background – everything i know about music theory i've learned from buddyhead, westolowski and dudes i meet at tool shows. the boys opened with Took Out a Loan. - d'ya hear how peter just picks up that chord and drops it? - the rock star breathed - amazing.

the Green Room's sound was better than the TLA, but vox were still a little low, especially robert's. set list did not disappoint:

took out a loan
ain't no easy way
weapon of choice
punk song
six barrel shotgun
not what you wanted
666 conducer
need some air
american x
grind my bones (peter solo)
fault line (peter solo)
killing the light
spread your love
all you do is talk

plus an entire encore set of crowd requests.

whatever warm feelings i had for jersey dispersed midway through the show, when the two drunk sluts in front of me decided to hook up with the two horny dudes next to me, occasioning a fabulous display of primping of hairs, wriggling of arses and a constant stream of inane chatter. there might even have been spirit fingers. why go to a show if you're gonna yap the whole fucking time? and if you feel the need to yap the whole fucking time, and twirl about with hands in the air, and do spirit fingers, for fuck's sake get out of the front row jane you ignorant slut.

remember spike, the backup guitarist i said was hot in an unkempt junkie aaron north kind of way? here is a blurry picture of spike and robert. spike has very muscular hands. i think when he is not playing with BRMC he is strangling dinosaurs.

boys wrapped up with a rockin' song that i did not recognise. even the drunken ho's shut up for this one. while robert and peter were still writhing over their axes, nick left his drums. robert wrangled his bass for a bit longer, then approached the amp stack and carefully laid his guitar atop, as though presenting an oblation to the gods. while feedback still emanated wobblingly from the prone instrument, he too departed the stage, leaving peter and his wolverine sideburns attending to his own guitar. peter laid his guitar to rest with similar religious devotion, then strode across the stage in his big black boots and authoritatively flicked a switch on robert's amp stack and all the sound went dead. i might have come a little; it was THAT good.

Friday, August 10, 2007

my heart is a liar

[some women] go through all this effort of working out, cross-training -- and then they get so depressed by some relationship that they can't even get out of bed. My agenda is: nobody's going to fuck with my velocity.

-- Carol Wolper

Thursday, August 09, 2007

RTFM: Riding with Finn

if you are going to invite me on a 2-hour bicycle ride on a day when the heat index is well into triple digits, there are some things you should know:

-- you better have drunken enough. 3 miller lites the night before don't really count, even though they might as well have been water for all the good it did me.
-- i will ask if you want to "add on a couple miles" to the route you carefully laid out on MapMyRide. you should say NO.
-- if we meet one of my teammates on the road, you should not have a Festival of Penises to see who breaks first. chances are it will be me and i will hate you for having a penis in the first place.
-- i will suggest "why don't we take back roads. they'll be cooler." you should say NO.
-- that bottle on the shoulder you assume i see? i probably don't. you might wanna call it out.
-- it is normal for me to hum the same song for 3 hours.
-- there are real physiological factors behind the precept that women have better endurance. you may discover this for yourself around mile 40. then again, you should have drunken more.
-- if the ride ends up running 3 hours, if you bonk and need a gel from me, if you cramp on that steep fucker of a climb on hopkins, if you're late meeting your buddies at mcglynn's and you almost go into renal failure, you should be a good sport. as you were.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

my house is cat-free 'til saturday

outdoor kitties sing this song
doo-dah doo-dah

outdoor kitties all day long


i wish i weren't stomped by work so maybe i could enjoy my time alone....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

iPhone cool factor drops precipitously

what fat-fingered Architect is using Magic Lantern to read the SMS you just sent your afghan friend? could it be... saytun?!?

i feel dirty now.


makes u regular 2
1 orange
2 plums
1 BIG peach
cluster of grapes
3/4 pint blueberries
handful of strawberries
1 apple

clean fuel, homies. if you're a fruit bat.

Monday, August 06, 2007

maybe my clock works after all

i know i'm not getting younger.

i know my time is limited and bodies become less accommodating the longer you wait.

but when presented with the same old, predictable question, i offer the same old stock response: nope, not interested. not ready for THAT.

maybe the tide is turning though. last week i shelled out 225USD and registered for the
eagleman half-ironman in june. it'll probably sell out before the end of the month – i've learned this the hard way. right now everything is bright and breezy; come May i will be whimpering and crying for my mama, making deals with god to get me in shape, to fix an injury, to wipe me away with a greasy thunderbolt, anything.

i've done eagleman before, but doing a half-ironman to finish is one thing; to be competitive is another. and one of the main draws of eagleman is that it's a qualifier for kona, the big cheese, triathlon's world championship -- which happens to be a full Ironman, natch.

as i was filling out eagleman's entry, a little voice in my head was saying what if you got one of those kona qualifying spots? what if?? i didn't think i'd ever want to do an IM, but it seems like my clock got jiggled, and now i'm actually considering it. i mean, how much longer do i have to live??

on our run yesterday morn, LAF regaled me with stories from last year's IM Wisconsin. the forecast said scattered showers. finn, it rained from the starting gun to the end of the race. twelve and a half straight hours of cold rain. bikes were crashing everywhere.

- did you ever mentally lose it?
- yeah. once. about 90miles into the bike i realised i still had a marathon to run. i mean, i always knew i had to get off the bike and run 26miles, but the reality didn't hit me until right then. for the next 20min i had a freak-out session and lost all my concentration.
- how'd you get out?
- i hit a windy section and had to focus on just keeping the bike upright. after that i was okay. i can't believe i didn't tell you this before. what about J's raincoat story? did i tell you that one?
probably, but i can't remember jack shit unless i write it down so here i am.

- no? well, you know J. he's incredibly tough, he bleeds Army, but with 10miles to go in the run he was soaked, shivering, looking for the next aid stop so maybe he could get some soup, or just drop out. and when he gets there he sees a raincoat just lying in the middle of the road. so he picks it up and puts it on, then runs really hard for the next 5min. he gets warm enough in that raincoat that he's able to finish the race. he's wearing it in his finisher's picture. he still has that raincoat.
- was it blue, the raincoat?
- no, it was clear.
- mmm. if you can get through that you can get through just about anything.
- you said it sistah.

this is how i get myself into Trouble with a capital V.

tick tick tick.

Friday, August 03, 2007

my mother is a realist

hello again friday or shall i say Gingerday. it is good to have friday back and friends back and i hear a Guinness calling me and LAF. first round is on him for having me on about contador doping; second is on him for dropping me on every single climb wednesday afternoon and third too for looking so damn good in lycra.

last night i told my mom about the man who stopped to wish me luck racing the thunderstorm and she was less than impressed. she suspected him of nefarious intentions perhaps similar to those of the gentleman who presented at the kitchen door yesterday afternoon. this rugged stranger was wearing of the same black crocs that D wears and i wondered whether he had eaten D's brain and stolen of the crocs but a moment's thought dismissed my fears because anyone who steals of the crocs cannot be too bright in the first place and will be easily overcome by a small skillet or surprise wedgie.

the wearinger of the croc explained that he and his wife had gone splitsville (is this contagious?) and he was looking for a place to live -- not to buy, for in 11 years if he should live so long god willing he planned to retire and live on a boat -- just a place to rent, maybe a place that needed some fixing up, which he'd be glad to do in exchange for rent of course, and was there anyone living next door?

- next door? you mean bill dupont's?
- HE lives there?
- yep.
- oh. i guess there wouldn't be room for two then. croc-man has flummoxed me. he wishes to rent the dupont castle but worries there might not be room? i have seen this before, where the wearing of the crocs drops the IQ logarithmically.
- um i don't know. you could ask, i guess. am i wearing of the crocs?
- is he home? - he cocks his head at the carriage house. the proverbial lightbulb goes off.
oh, mr. dupont doesn't live there. you want to live in my carriage house?? - i titter. lucien bring the car around; the queen and i are having tea. croc-man looks at me blankly.
- is it livable?
- if you're a mouse. but honestly, i'm just a caretaker and i'm ninety, no ninety-nine percent sure the owner isn't interested in fixing up or renting that place.
croc-man is downcast. dashed are his dreams of living in the woods, living off small rodents and edible berries, and wearing elephant leaves.

- he was probably casing the joint. you should have told him to bugger off as soon as he opened his mouth. having spent her formative years in the criminal justice system's Victim Witness Assistance unit, my mom works off a decidedly different zeitgeist. she counseled rape victims; i took puppydogs for walks.
- mom, he was just a poor guy down on his luck.
- he had a story you bought hook, line & sinker.
- mommmmm.
- just keep your eyes open, that's all.
- o.kay.

happy GingerDay! keep your eyes open and be careful of bridges.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

of puppies and paris

"I’d pet ‘em, and pretty soon they bit my fingers
and I pinched their heads a little

and then they was dead—
because they was so little.”

"car back"

the local cycling community's been rocked by news of another cycling fatality on the local highway that runs between delaware's beaches. a 18yo fell asleep at the wheel and plowed into a cyclist who'd stopped on the shoulder to fix his chain. that area's claimed a lot of cyclists -- dr. fellows was struck nearby -- because drivers are looking for cops, turnoffs to a friend's timeshare, kids crossing the road and hotties in bikinis in front of the Bottle & Cork. there's so much going on that a cyclist barely registers on the radar. especially if you're asleep at the wheel.

as a result, it's easy for cyclists to distrust and fear drivers; sometimes that distrust and fear ferments into agression. i've watched perfectly mellow people froth at the mouth and grow spiky points when confronted with a dickweed driver. case in point is my friend JB, a seasoned ex-pro worth considerable dinero i think, so dude's got a lot to lose by going up against something a ton or two bigger than him.

last week when JB and i were riding up THE ROAD I LIVE ON and a car behind us began laying on the horn, J pulled out and rode the center line so the driver couldn't pass us on the twisty, narrow road without taking the oncoming lane into a blind curve. the driver's reaction was... predictable and we were treated to a torrent of abuse when he finally passed us on a straight section.

-- you almost got to see JB in rare form – J boasted, his chest puffing with pride. if you'd tested him right then i bet his testosterone levels would have gotten him kicked out of the Tour. when something like that happens i like to get in the middle of the road, come to a complete stop and check my front brakes, rear brakes, saddlebag, spokes, everything. then i “discover” that my rear brakes are rubbing and wave gratefully at the driver (who's been seething behind me) and “thank” him for pointing out my brake issue.

- that's great, J. the next time that guy sees a lone rider on this road, he's gonna take out his frustrations from today. and chances are that lone rider will be me.

- oh, he won't be on this road again.

whatever, numbnuts. i'll be watching my back for a while.

monday afternoon, as a delightful blustery tailwind pushed me down Doe Run road, i sensed a car coming up behind me. it slowed and then motored beside me. i edged further away, shoulders braced for the impact of a beer bottle or stream of invectives, but when nothing came, i looked through the open passenger window at the driver, a burly bearded man in his 40s.

- hey – he said – i hope you get home before the thunderstorm. he smiled and then pulled away smoothly. when i rolled up the driveway 5min later, the sky was banding in shades of glowering gradients of black and gray, and 15minutes later the rain came sheeting down.

so, they're not all bad.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

there is no you, there is only me

earlier this week, manuel wrote about the liberties his restaurant's customers take with him, assuming he'll tolerate their dashboard confessionals, blithe racism, and blatant infidelities without a peep. one of the regulars brings his mistress AND his family to the same restaurant (not at the same time, but wouldn't that be fun to engineer), causing some distress amongst the waitstaff.

do you know why Mr DickInTwoPlaces does this? it's because he's thinking about himself, not anyone else. it doesn't even occur to him that he's putting manuel into an awkward situation, because he's not thinking about manuel.

poor manuel's discomfort aside, this preoccupation with ourselves is awfully convenient sometimes. for instance, this morning i had the Y lockeroom to myself after my shower. as i dressed i held a short conversation with myself about my swim workout, beeped in response to the drained air freshener's cries, and hummed Lowrider.

thing is, i wasn't really alone. someone was taking a quiet-as-a-mouse crap in the stalls nearby; only the spin of the dinnerplate TP roll eventually revealed her presence. was i a little chagrined to be caught thusly, talking to myself and humming? sure! but then i realised that the little mouse was probably so invested in her own sitch, trying to crap quietly without moaning or cannonballing, that she didn't give a shit about me.

so the wisdom i'm imparting to you today, any of you teenagers out there because the rest of you probably figured this out way before now, is not to worry about looking like an idiot because people are too wrapped up in themselves to notice anyway.** so go forth and be yourselves.

**unless you're a celebrity, of course.

this might be Too Much of a good thing

but honestly, you can never have enough danny lohner.