Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

it's FattyTime

before the workout last night, coach ran through past and upcoming events, then opened the floor.
- any other items of note? - he inquired. standing next to me, A murmured a response.
yeah, Finn gained 10 pounds.
i snorted & retorted.

- you're one to talk. did you "forget" to go to the pool again this morning?

- HA. yes.

friends, it is FattyTime ah FattyTime when the living is easy.
/ when at 5am you drive right past the gym to the dunkin donuts.
/ in fact, sometimes you sleep IN until 5 -- or even 5:30!!
/ there are no double-workout days, and if you want to take a day, or two, or three off, you do, without excoriating yourself.
/ dinners don't have to be at least 40% carbs; and with no hard morning workouts to load for, pints of ice cream last longer (but bottles of wine don't).
/ in FattyTime if you show at tues nite track you're there for the people, not the workouts, and during FattyTime
you appreciate the scenery you normally charge by armed with focus and purpose.

that's not to say there is not a down-side to FattyTime, as i discovered over thanksgiving when i hopped on a scale for the first time since worlds. and this weekend when D and i got in the car to go to EMS i had a minor skirmish with the seatbelt.

- what's wrong? - he asked - belly in the way?
- it's going to be a long wintery winter. you'd do well to get insulated too.

conventional training wisdom says that as long as you stay within 10% of your normal body weight you needn't fret. still, A and i did marvel at how quickly we porked up since du worlds and xterra nats. laf too -- i hear his mom's sausage & peppers in breathing signif more labored now than in summertime.

the beauty about FattyTime is that it's fleeting; and as rudy said, once you get into base in january and feb those sausage & pepper, flapjacks & extra syrpul, bowls of whole-milk yogurt & granola will gradually melt away. at least that's what i'm banking on.

but to keep us in check, laf emailed me this pic, with the subject line If You Keep Gaining Weight....

Monday, November 26, 2007

last race of 2007: DE XC champs @ brandywine

laf called saturday afternoon.
- how did the race go?
- fine.
- did you win?
- nnnnnn-oh - two syllables.
- no? really?? how does that FEEL, finn?

he's being a smart-ass because last week i did a 10k turkey trot, won, loitered in front of E's house for a cooldown and when nobody came out to invite me to a lumberjack's breakfast jogged back to the starting line and won the 5K 30min later. you, my fans, are spoiled.

- who beat you?
- an ex-olympian...
- vicki?
- jah. a pro duathlete from new zealand...
- fiona?
- jah. and some chick i've never seen before.
- DOH! are you okay?
- sort of. i've been crying a lot, and i just polished off a bag of reese's peanut butter cups. i'm watching High Tension right now and after that i should be okay.
- right. how was the hammie?
- except for a tweak on maintenance hill, absolutely fine. i got a looooong warmup though.

my explanation of my “looooong” warmup necessitated the confession that 15min before my race started i was hopelessly lost in brandywine creek state park. for a warmup, i'd dropped off the XC course to run flat along the river, out and back, but when i doubled-back with tool's Days on the nano, i passed right from familiar territory into unfamiliar, with the trail that would take me back up the hill to the race start gone. vamoosed. Not In Evidence.

i double-doubled back and ran in nervous circles until i broke down and asked a birdwatching couple i'd now passed 5 times if they knew which trail might take me back to the parking lot. since none of us knew WHICH of the multiple parking lots i meant – "the lot next to the place where my race is starting in 20min" not being much help to anyone – they pointed me toward a trail which went straight up the hill. it wasn't MY trail, though – in fact, it wasn't a people trail at all. it was a deer trail that got narrower and pricklier and then dwindled to nothing.

i backed out of that trail considerably bloodier than i entered it and found another trail that, despite its “closed” sign looked well-used. i trucked down it until i encountered a dog and three children walking with a man who looked trustworthy, that is to say not bleeding nor on the verge of tears. i threw myself at his mercy and he suggested i take the red trail. so i sallied forth 10 steps along the red trail until it forked without clue into 2 divergent directions. i suspected i should go right but consulted the oracle behind me. 'i suspect you go left' - he advised, so i went left and after leapfrogging 3 more walking parties popped out of the same woods the XC course dives into after the open start.

i had enough time to dash to the car, shuck my extra clothes and change my shoes – quite possibly my most flawless transition EVAR – and careened toward the start line while pinning on my number. i heard rudy's voice and ran over to give him a hug but he pushed me away.
- they're starting you. what happened? did you get lost?
- har har har - i chuckled then jostled myself into place on the startline beside his wife. she gave me a Look.
- i got LOST. in the WOODS - i blurted.
- you have twigs. in your hair. and you're bleeding – she responded archly.
- sorry - i said contritely. when racing with ex-olympians one should look one's best and i was picking sticks and leaves out of my ponytail when the startgun sounded.

after that life got a lot simpler. the weathergirl nearly tripped me a couple times zigging in front of me, but after a half-mile she was gone, and mel was breathing on my shoulder up the rocky incline toward maintenance hill but when we crested the climb she too was gone and in front of me were fiona, a chick with long blonde hair and vicki. i could follow every line vicki took, but i sure couldn't run as light and easy as she does.

from the peanut gallery 25yds back i watched vicki gain on the blonde, patience and experience hunting down callow youth. the two of them were abreast after the false flat on the rt 92 segment and i really thought vicki had her, but youth prevailed and had 4sec on experience at the finish.

witness the loot below: a mint New Balance LS shirt, a pair of gloves, 75USD for 3rd place (vicki was scored with the masters women) and a gift certificate for a 30min massage from denise that i won in the post-race raffle. all this for my $18 day-of-race entry fee.

- you know what's funny? - i proposed to laf.
- what.
- well, when I did this race last year F and i ran the course once a week a month before the race, and i did hill intervals on maintenance hill. this year i didn't train for it at all, i've gained 10lbs since worlds, and still i was only 10sec slower this year.
- yeah funny how that works. when i was getting ready for chicago, i was utterly regimented: i ran with a marathon training group, did yasso repeats, and was fanatic about what i ate. i ended up running a half hour off my PR. sometimes it's better to just get out there and run, and not think.

i can assure you that for the next month there won't be much thinking, running, riding or swimming. there'll be a lot of lazing around like a kitty cat, there'll be a week in st. john and there'll be christmas vacation. with the new year will come the realities of an april qualifier for short course du worlds, and Eagleman in june, but give us this month of volunteer slothfulness, forgive us our excesses & forgive them that excess along with us, and lord lead us into temptation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

thanksgiving is a time to give thanks

thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all the good things you have in your life. it is a time to recognise your blessings and tell the people you usually blow off that they are important to you. you do this by sitting down with them and gorging yourself with meat, stuffing and sauces, then going to watch the telly.

there are a LOT of things that i am thankful for. here they are:

[click to embiggen]

yup, i think that is a wrap.

happy thanksgiving! cya next week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

my lips may promise but my heart is a whore

F's in early too, finds me beavering away.
- sooooo, i'm not engaged anymore - he announces. i read relief on his dark face, a bit of sadness but mostly relief.
- really. what happened?
- she cheated on me, the cheap slut.
- that's perfect.
- "perfect."
- yeah, because now you're out, but you're not the one bringing shame on her family, or yours.
he smiled wryly.
- you know, you're the only one who got that. everyone else says oh i'm so sorry.

sometimes we hit it out of the ballpark.
but most of the time it's just awkward and lonely in this half-light where the only entity is the self and it aint all that transcendent.

Friday, November 16, 2007

everything and nothing

I persisted in a friendship with June and Bernard. In conversations with them over several years, I discovered that the emotional void, the feeling of belonging nowhere and to no one that that had afflicted me between the ages of eight and thirty-seven, had an important intellectual consequence: I had no attachments, I believed in nothing. It was not that I was a doubter, or that I had armed myself with the useful skepticism of a rational curiosity, or that I saw all arguments from all sides; there was simply no cause, no enduring principle, no fundamental idea with which I could identify, no transcendent entity whose existence I could truthfully, passionately, or quietly assert.

Ian McEwan, Black Dogs, preface.

what a doodiehead.
of course there are fundamental ideas, & transcendent entities to assert.
theres sludge rock, for 1. on march the saints.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

doom, gloom and pantaloons

well it's been a gloomy week in lake wobegon -- i know this because all the shirts i hung on the line were variations on a theme, the theme being black. when and why did i become such a gloomy motherfucker?

i thought about this a bit and concluded there's a lot to be gloomy about! while creeping through the clusterfuck on the interstate this morning i came up with this list:

Reasons to Be Gloomy

-- people. there are fucking too many of them. they get in accidents on I-95 and make me late for work. they buy houses around me and where there used to be “yield” signals there are now long-cycled signals. they honk at me when i ride my bike and they buy up all the fresh gluten-free bread so that there is none left for me. selfish bastards.

-- candycorn. i eat too much of it, fall asleep at my desk for a while and when i come to and find i am NOT skipping through a sunny field with a herd of beagle puppies i am understandably gloomy.

-- evanescence. evanescence is shite but i still listen to them and they make me gloomy.

-- i called norman mailer boring and now he is dead. the BBC rebroadcast an interview with norman mailer this morning, and i was mistaken: he is not boring. he believes in reincarnation, though when asked to predict his next incarnation, he demurred. when that four-way stop by the chinese community center is replaced by a light, norman mailer will come back as the signal which will always turn red for me because i called him boring when really i was only talking about The Executioner's Song. which, for being boring, was also very gloomy.

-- my dog will probably die before me. i know this should prompt me to be in the moment and all but it still glooms me the fuck out. i bet your dog is not as cute, smart and YouTube worthy as mine. stick around and I will tell you all about my dog. i better do this soon, before he dies.

-- according to an email i just received, "your sexual stamina depends on your pen!ile size" [sic] and my pen!le size is roughly that of a penc!le-eraser. not fair. very gloomy.

so as you can see, there are some real barbarians at the gate, what with pen!le !ssues, finite dogs, norman mailer's revenge etcetera. OTOH the new NIN album has leaked. and there are jellybeans in the kitchen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

prayer? a paean would be more appropriate.

i've got work coming out my ears and anus right now, but if any of you have connections with former C-in-C jimmy carter please let me know. i'd like him to house-sit the next time i go on vacation.

back into the burrow...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


oh we are against pat robertson.
we are against him and bloated bellies.
bitchslaps from new marketing directors.
and not being as clever as we should.

we are against dogs losing their owners.
TSA nazis in philly international.
benazir bhutto's marketing blitz.
and non-compete clauses.

we are against turd burglers
who natter interminably outside the bathroom door while we are pooing.
toilets that clog.
and wishing he'd text us.

we are against NOT being an island.
we are against losing our religion.
we are against growing old.

we are against being cranky,
but sometimes it cannot be avoided.

Friday, November 09, 2007

let's get retarded...

friday titters, from the sublime:

to the redonk:

blame teho. he got this started.

loucypher is another year older

loucypher's birthday was yesterday. we're a bunch of gloomy sorry fucks so he didn't get shit from us except for a Dawn of the Dead birthday card and a pack of gum from yours truly. what do you want for YOUR birthday? this button that i found in the street? a splinter? you think on that for a little while.

our office manager thought it would be a lark if we made loucypher wear the burger king crown, so she went looking for the burger king crown. she hunted me down as the last person to have handled the burger king crown.

do you have the burger king crown? - she asked. hmmmm. good question. it used to sit on adonis's ball, but i have not seen burger king crown lately. maybe it was knocked off adonis's ball and slid back heeeeeere. i began to crawl under my desk but was stopped short by the birthday boy. oh no. finn i love you but i am NOT wearing, touching or otherwise getting involved with anything that comes from your area. there are life forms in there that no one has ever heard of. stay. just stay.

fuckin harsh, man. a mouse dies on your desk and melts away to fur, bones and maggot shells and you're a pariah from then on. fine. the crown is all mine. which reminds me -- the king needs the jester and a jameson, stat.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

spam subject lines + GIS ii

Foreign Service veteran: Who will raise our children
if we are dead or wounded?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

wilbur larch knows how to cheat fate

i dig john irving. from chap10 of The Cider House Rules:

“When an orphan is depressed,” wrote Wilbur Larch, “he is attracted to telling lies. A lie is at least a vigorous enterprise, it keeps you on your toes by making you suddenly responsible for what happens because of it. You must be alert to lie, and stay alert to keep your lie a secret. Orphans are not the masters of their fates; they are the last to believe you if you tell them that other people are also not in charge of theirs."

“When you lie, it makes you feel in charge of your life. Telling lies is very seductive to orphans. I know,” Dr. Larch wrote. “I know because I tell them, too. I love to lie. When you lie, you feel as if you have cheated fate – your own, and everybody else's.”

betsy wasn't an orphan, as far as i knew, but boy could she pitch some whoppers. after captain kirk ran away on halloween, betsy made up a story about one of teddy's burnout friends, a party around a bonfire, a nosy neighbor with a german shepherd on a leash that broke, and Animal Control; and she sold the lie to her mother. i guess she couldn't tell the truth because she thought she would get in trouble for taking captain kirk out trick-or-treating with us. betsy's mother was real weird about that guinea pig. when betsy would get home from school her mother would be in the living room rocking chair watching General Hospital with captain kirk in her lap, stroking him and rocking back & forth.

she won't GIVE him to me – betsy would complain – nan gave him to ME for MY birthday and if i ask for him back she yells at me and tells me i should be worrying about my grades and not a guinea pig. i can do my homework AND talk to captain kirk. he's MINE. and she's a BITCH. i would watch wide-eyed as she fought back the tears and frustration.

then she started bringing captain kirk to my place and to her sessions and swim meets and even school that one time. she got away with it because her dad stuck up for her. mr billings was great. he looked like one of the hardy boys, not shawn cassidy, the other one. we got along great. he called me “bean” and always cheered for me at swim meets even when i came in last. i wanted a dad like mr billings. once when i went to get betsy he was arguing with betsy's mother because betsy had taken captain kirk with her to her session.

- let her have him, sylvie. my mother gave him to her for a reason. do you want to go against doctor's orders?
- oh, and i can't have my own reasons? is that what you're saying? that i don't need my own tactile whatever-he-called-it? i should just play along like everything is fine, that's what you want isn't it.
his voice rumbled low and from the hallway it was hard to make out.
- just what are you saying, sylvie.
in the long silence i could hear the metronome creak of the rocking chair.
- oh this is all your fault. all your fault. your fault.
- you've had a hard day, syl. i'll make you a cup of tea.
when he rounded the corner and saw me his face brightened.
- hey, bean - he smiled and ruffled my hair - betsy's not home yet, but you can help me grade calculus exams while you wait. i wrinkled my nose. - no? okay. how about we make some tea for mrs billings. she had a hard day and she's tired.

i didn't see what was so hard about sitting in the apartment all day watching television with a guinea pig, but sometimes grownups didn't make very much sense. i felt weird about being in that apartment with mrs billings rocking her way into port charles, so i went back home and waited for betsy and captain kirk but they never came.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

spam subject lines + HD image search

Your Secret Expectations Will Come True

       - are you going to zingos?
       - yeah.
       - can you get cat food?
       - i got some last week. they ate all that??
       - they ate all that.
       - why do we even have cats?
       - don't worry. they'll die soon.

Monday, November 05, 2007

black dog at the door

8am Hangover Remedy Run with Laf and Young Buck sunday. Laf and i were in the same straits -- my skull got 2 sizes smaller overnight - he insisted -- so Buck let us set the pace. Laf was leading up cellulite hill, where i might have checked out a little.

- see right there - i addressed the nicely rolling haunches before me - did we just pass a bunch of runners going the other way? or did i make that up. because in this condition i'm just not sure.
- yes we did – Young Buck confirmed behind me.
- oh was THAT what that “swoosh” sound was – the haunches mused. Laf was in possibly worse shape than me because his bowels had decided they'd had enough of the previous night's dinner and were determined to expel the lot of it. he darted off trail 4 times in the first 3 miles.

we reached the top of the hill and Buck scampered off while Laf and i paused to reconnect with our lungs. i was starting to feel better. my head still throbbed but i was thankful i hadn't slept through the alarm as i'd been sorely tempted. and i could finally voice a realisation.

- at the end of every season, after my last big race, i don't know if this happens with you, but i get depressed and feel like crap. Laf nodded.
- i was like that after ironman wisconsin.
it's like post-partum depression. and so for these past two weeks nothing's had a point and nothing gave me pleasure.
- nothing? - he leered. i let that grounder dribble by.
- okay, almost nothing. there was music this time. but even though i KNOW this will come, as it does every year, it still creeps up and takes over and i start to think this is how it will be from now on. no ups & downs, just gray.
- but then you come out of it.
- yeah, but what if you don't? what if you've used up whatever brings you back and you get stuck?

Laf pulled the rim of his baseball cap down a notch and looked away. the morning sun glanced off his cheek, setting in relief a crosshatch of wrinkles i hadn't noticed before. he looked wrung out. he's living with his parents, his house isn't selling and his soon-to-be ex-wife recently began to exhibit symptoms associated with MS. what brings us back??

Buck reappeared before a bend in the trail and surveyed us silently. i tugged his sleeve gently and we trotted up to Buck.

Friday, November 02, 2007

spam subject lines + google image search

[since spamusement isn't keeping up]

The latest investigations have discovered,
that males with bigger penises are more successful

if a finn poos in the woods...

against my better slothful instinct i went for a run last night. i was running out of light and when the trail changed from field to woods i never saw the rock, or the root, or the small berry, that caused me to twist my ankle; i just felt pain that flipped my vision to black and white.

- oh that was a bad one - i muttered through clenched teeth, hopping down the trail until i was forced to stop, doubled-up in pain. - oh motherfucker shitfuckcunt that was a bad one fuckmehard. when I straightened up i saw a doe standing in a tangle of multiflora rose 10yds away. she looked at me with wide liquid eyes.
- jesusFUCK that hurts.
- i imagine it does.

- i mean, like nailed in the nuts hurt.

- i wouldn't know.

- i wouldn't either. i'm just hypothesisin'. hey, are you one of them magic harts? like, will you give me 3 wishes or superpowers?

- i'm afraid not. she turned away.
- wait. can I ask you a question that's been bugging me for a long time? she turned back to face me and cocked her head. - okay. why it is that the hunters out here never see deer but I see you guys EVrywhere – you're always jumpin through the woods and when i round a corner in the fields there's a whole group of you standing there staring at me. why is that?
- well, you're rather a celebrity in this area. a local attraction so to speak.
- me? really? - i considered this for a moment - it's because stuart said i ran like a gazelle isn't it. so i'm part of your pack. she snorted. i'm gonna say it was a sneeze.

- hardly. no, we know you by your name, Two-Legs Who Leaves Improbably Large Poos in Our Beds.

- oh. listen, i'm sorry about that.

- when we discovered the first one we thought the giants of old were returning, bu
t then She Who Dances on Three Hoofs saw you entering and leaving one of our bedding areas. she called a gathering so we could see what you left. how DO you do that? it would seem very painful.
- it's not so bad. it's mostly fruit.
- i see. well, the acorns are good this time of year.
- i'll keep that in mind. she bowed her head, turned and began to pick her way through the underbrush.
- hey, take care with the hunters, eh?

- take care with that ankle – she echoed.

during my cooldown walk, i tried an acorn. it wasn't very good. but this morning my ankle doesn't hurt at all and there's not a spot of bruising.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

puscifer gets right with jesus

the first full-length puscifer album hit the street tuesday, so go to your local family-friendly WalMart and ask the blue-haired greeter to direct you to the aisle where you can find V is for Vagina. make sure you enunciate clear & loud because sometimes those geezers don't have their hearing aids screwed in tight enough.

after years of dealing with those total downer dudes from tool and APC, mj malmsteen has escaped the nuthouse to have a spot of fun and knock out some music that's not about his mom, chakras or obtainin' enlightenment by opening his third eye (x10). maynard being maynard, there are some higher bean references mind you, but they're of the "christ is coming, and so am i" variety. cheerful, like.

"This is absolutely just put-it-on-and-move-your-butt -and-get-completely-out-of-your-head music," MJK told MTV back in july, "This is purely body candy. It's meant to make you feel like I feel when I hear James Brown, when I hear some old Jackson 5 or or Aretha [Franklin]. It's just that good feeling — music that makes you feel good. There's no math. Nothing wrong with math, but sometimes, it can be exhausting to be that forced, that focused. " really?? cos, i imagined it was a big happy laugh riot when you and the guys were sitting around writing "wings for marie." my bad.

but puscifer isn't an hour of aenima's "intermission" either. puscifer is like john waits meeting leonard cohen in a sports bar on a sunday afternoon before the apostate baptists pour in after the last service. a showcase for keenan's growls, croons & chants, Vagina is immediately accessible, catchy & poppy. my iTunes is disgusted with me, tells me Blackout's available -- with bonus tracks -- and wouldn't i like to give that a gander instead of playing THIS again?

that said, some songs, like “drunk on power” and “indigo children” suffer from repetition, but not enough to prompt you to leave them off the playlist. Vagina's version of “the undertaker” is flat and lacks the power danny lohner gave it in the second Underworld soundtrack but conversely, the "rev 22:20" track that appeared on the first
Underworld here gets stripped down to vox, piano and high hats for the 'dry martini' version and tho it's not lohner it works.

does puscifer have staying power?
make your own judgement call.

queen b – christ this is earwormy. can i get a witness.

momma sed
– reminds me of lcohen's "waiting for the miracle" only poppier, with less depth.
rev 22:20 (dry martini mix) - christ is coming. maybe.
the undertaker (renholder mix) - the better version, from Underworld Evolution.