Monday, December 31, 2007

if memory serves...

december 31st, new years eve. holy mother of wassail, i have had some NYE doozies. there was that time i ate so much honey that i got stuck in Rabbit's door, and the year before i walked into a big closet where there was a nice lady with turkish delight. there was the time i won the Tourmalet stage of the Tour after crashing because of that musette bag. then there were the new years eves when i spoke parseltongue, defeated the green goblin, blew up the death star and oh yes that time i woke up as a cockroach.

- the rock star invited us to his new years eve party - D informed me last night - are you and omar gonna have a rematch?
- come again?
- ping pong. you remember. last year, when you guys played for HOURS? maybe you shouldn't call omar an "iranian pussy" this time though. i don't think he liked that.
D has obviously confused me with his other girlfriend. i suck at ping pong.
- you suck at ping pong, but man are you fun to watch. remember when you hit the ball through the window?
uh oh.
- through the window?
- yeah, you know. the one omar opened. i was amazed you made the shot, but when you tried to climb out the window to get the ball, and got stuck, oh-my-god that was THE best. remember?
i measured out my words slowly.
- i do remember that, yes.

in Ken Bruen Christmas Land if memory serves at all, it serves stirred, with a twist.

Friday, December 28, 2007

sometimes the holidays are just a shitstorm

xmas 2004: the tsunami
xmas 2005: pete leaves
xmas 2006: D's grandmother leaves
xmas 2007: bhutto gone

the NYT put together a short, visceral spread on the assassination.

i have worked my 6hrs for the week and now it is time to go ride my bicycle.

Friday, December 21, 2007

all i want for christmas is...

i know i haven' t been very good this year but there's been so much naughtiness going around that i'm hoping i'll look pretty good in comparison to Our Glorious Leader, the Spears-es and everybody in the Mitchell Report.

Finn's Christmas Wish List
(checked 25 times)

  1. danny lohner. if that's not practical, a RealDoll and renholder remix of indigo children might appease.
  2. a DVD about working border collies, and some cadbury**
  3. an administration in which "faith" plays NO part
  4. a swim coach
  5. space in the freezer for my bagels
  6. an iphone SDK
  7. untweaky hamstrings
  8. uncloggable toilets everywhere i go
  9. a new NIN album in 2008, a tour, and extra vacation time
  10. peace in the Congo. see, i'm not a total shit.
have a very merry holiday, folx. see you in 2008.

**HUZZAH! christmas is early!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

don't be a cunt during christmas

yesterday, on a long-overdue road ride during which i griped, grouched and grumbled about christmas responsibilities, E made the very valid point that at least i HAVE friends and relatives and holiday invitations so maybe i can quit being such a cunt for the holidays. point taken.

this weekend my mom and stepdad attended the shwank holiday dinner at my grandmother's assisted living facility. on this festive occasion the infirm and incontinent are tidied up and whisked upstairs to the formal dining room with white linen tablecloths and well-scrubbed, clean-shaven young men from Calvert Hall who bus the tables and endure the wandering hands and conversations of neurasthenic matriarchs.

- we took grandmother up in a wheelchair - my mom explained - because it takes her forever to walk anywhere now. but the only wheelchair left was one without foot-rests, and you know grandmother can't lift her feet because to lift your feet you need stomach muscles and she doesn't have stomach muscles because she just falls asleep during the fitness class. so i'm pushing her down the hallway to the elevator and her feet are dragging and i keep asking her if she can pick up her feet and she tries, she really tries. she WANTS to help, but her feet keep dragging. michael has gone back to the car to get a sweater so it's just me, and i'm trying to keep up a patter of conversation, just to keep her awake you know and to take my mind off the PUSHING. when we get to the elevator i park the wheelchair, push the "up" button and turn around. grandmother looks at me, her face lights up and she says, "why ruthy, how nice to see you." GADZOOKS. who did she think was pushing her that whole time?!?

because i'm going to hell anyway, i laughed until i thought i'd puke and somewhere in there my mom joined in. because honestly what can you do? you can't fix it, and you don't want to go down with it, so why not laugh.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

in FattyTime...

in FattyTime, after you do anywhere between a third and half of the prescribed workout at tues nite track, it is okay to sit down for a while. 

- what's good in the land of finn? - laf asked, dropping beside me.
fucking that was a tuffie.  christmas, which is so simple for kids -- you leave snickerdoodles on a plate by the fireplace and the next morning there is a new bike for you -- becomes a tangled, fraught affair as you delicately balance family, friends and people you'd rather never see ever again.   what's good indeed.
- wellllll i got four strikes in my second game today.  

loucypher, huggy bear and i went to a client-sponsored bowling party.  when i wasn't pitching my ball into the gutter, i was notching strikes and spares.  i'm like donovan mcnabb!- i told my teammates.  they were less charmed than i'd hoped.  

laf and i talked about how non-athletes wrongly assume that, as athletes, we should excel at anything that involves movement, when in reality anything that requires coordinated movement is something we'll unequivocally suck at.  we bitched, commiserated and laughed while watching runners pacing through 500s.  our bench soon accrued sir oliver, teej and il divo.  fisch crossed the track to fetch a foam roller from the equipment room.  hands on hips, he surveyed the black rebel motorcycle club.
- what, you think i couldn't see all of you from over there?
i gave him a big gappy grin.
- what are you doing? - he asked.
- it's december - i explained - it's FattyTime.
- the more people we get here, the faster everyone else will finish, and the sooner we'll be at the deer park - laf clarified.

in FattyTime this equation always holds true: 
[oz of post-track guinness consumed] x 100 > [meters run]

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

for fans of Fall Out Boy

'tis the season.... haul out the classics.

reuters' best of 2007

from the sublime to the redonk, check out Reuters Pictures of the Year 2007. i don't really see how madonna fits in here, but the pic of mrs. becks made me snarf.

Monday, December 17, 2007

reason #1225 why i love mac

iphone brrred in my pocket yesterday afternoon. text from laf.
- where ru.
- xmas shopping. bestbuy.
- stop drooling over the macs.
- im looking @ cameras.

which was a lie. i'd just finished drooling over a Kapple™ and was now watching two kids play on a 15" Macbook Pro. i'd ventured into Best Buy looking for a digital camera for D but shortly found myself the Apple zone, an oasis of peace in a sea of rudely short-tempered people. i might be one of those people i used to ridicule for their lack of rationality and balance. i may have become a mac addict.

last week we pitched a multi-channel CX strategy that proposed texting to connect a radio station and its listeners. the Dreamer was in zazzly fine form.
- see finn, when you're shooting down 95 and you hear a song you like, you send a simple text to WMAC and get one back with the name of the band and the song.
- sure. and it should also have a link to more info about the band -- a discography, maybe. and a link to upcoming concerts. and maybe you could wifi-connect to itunes and buy the song right then & there.

the Dreamer sighed and looked pained.
- YOU could do that.
- whaddya mean?
- you could do that with that microcomputer you carry around in your pocket. my phone doesn't let me link to the web, or itunes, from text messages.
i paused and considered.
- is it broken?
i was only half-joking. after you use an iphone, even "smart" phones seem dumb. prehistoric. like D's camera. which reminded me why i was there in the first place.

- eagles r beating dallas - laf alerted me.
b there in 5.

then iphone's Contacts and Google Maps teamed up to give me directions to laf's new house. oh apple you are taking me on the highway to hell but i do love you so.

Friday, December 14, 2007

toilet etiquette and a valuable lesson

- fourth floor bathroom is broken - the mayor just reported.
- what?? how can a bathroom be broken? - loucypher challenged.
- toilet's clogged.
- fuck's sake. it's hard enough to take a piss in this place as it is, and now the one bathroom that's not a complete shithole is out of commission. what happened?
- i don't know, but it's so bad the plunger didn't work so we called the landlord.
- who takes a crap that big?
both heads swiveled toward me, but i pretended i couldn't hear the conversation through my headphones. it's not fair that in these cases of The Mystery of the Clogged Pooper i'm typically fingered as the culprit.

let me just say for the sake of saying though, that IF you happen to take an elephant-sized crap that leaves bold skidmarks as it shoots toward the magic land of turdles and wee, and if you want to erase those skidmarks because you're polite (and you don't want to get hollered at again by Nargon the Crapper Nazi), do NOT wad up a big ball of paper towels and flush it down in the hope that it will scrub the sides of the bowl as it swirls through. this may seem like a sound idea, but it's really not, because the pipes get narrower somewhere down the line, i guess. hypothetically speaking.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

GoogleImageSearch: danny lohner

doggie lama's dad is 37 today.
somehow this:

grew up to be this:

and the world is a better place for it.

i think.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

night swimming

3 days back to work and a week in st. john is already fading to mist, though i'm still lightly toasted and there are still 4 bottles of Cruzan in the liquor cabinet. they are not nearly full, as i've discovered that Black Strap dark imbues cookies, pancakes and double lattes with depth and mystery.

- what was your favorite part of the vacation? - laf posed last night at the track, as i creakily eked and he fluidly spun out 400s. i thought for a moment.
- i loved running the trails, for one.
- because you were flying solo?
he knows me too well.
- but the best i think was when we went night snorkling.

night snorkling is a different experience entirely. we rented lights, which are like alien ray guns that you carry around and point at the new creatures that emerge from their hideyholes when the light bleeds out of the water. black sea urchins come out in armies and ease across the coral, while the more colorful sea cucumbers inch slowly across the sandy floor. since your field of vision is limited to a funnel of light without peripheral vision it's a bit of a wake-up call when a stingray undulates into view beneath you.

- but that wasn't the best - i explained to laf - the best was when D's light died after 20 minutes.
we were swimming off the edge of a state park, so the only lights we saw were distant points in little maho bay and the constellation of st. thomas 5 miles away. if my light failed, we wouldn't know if we were swimming toward shore or into the caribbean.

since D's the naturalist, i offered him my light and shoved the dead one in the back of my suit. i took a couple experimental strokes into the dark: i was tired of veering away from D's flippers that always seemed dangerously close to my face. the beauty of the salt water, i thought, is that you don't NEED flippers. the water just holds you and multiplies any effort expended so you feel bionic moving over coral reefs and schools of blue tang and swirling sergeant majors protecting their egg spreads.

so i was tired of dodging and i struck out and with the first stroke into the dark was rewarded with something utterly unexpected: an explosion of sparks, an s-curve of fireworks tracing on a second's delay my catch and pull, and my whipping kick behind. THAT, that was the best, swimming straight into the dark, flying solo, striking out into a shower of phosphorescence. there was no temperature difference, air merged into water and i felt free, light and so pregnant with possibility that i could have swum all the way to st. croix.

but heavy with reality i eventually returned to the light, and later, in silence, we emerged clumsy and oafish from the water at maho bay. i was the ungainly 150lb penguin tottering toward my sandals with a sad nostalgia for the water's grace. D was shivering and yanking a fleece over his wet body. a couple walking along the beach stopped.

- we wondered what that light was in the water - the woman said - we thought it might be someone night-snorkling. it's a beautiful night. i looked across the bay where i imagined i still could see traces of my journey - did you have fun? without hesitation we answered simultaneously. NotReally. YES.

february is come early.

why do you get all the love in the world

alessandro cortini and the remote-control yamaha.

Monday, December 10, 2007

a way out is a way in

flew back into philly int'l friday night, stepping into an empty shuttle bus that'd take us to long-term parking. when the bus made its second pickup the mass of people at Terminal B almost filled it. when we pulled away from Terminal C, a round Puerto Rican woman was almost nestled in my lap and D was spooning with her teenage son. there weren't no room in the inn and we would have driven right past Terminal D if the murder of people gathered around the Courtesy Parking Shuttle sign hadn't rushed us, pounding the side of the bus and hollering at the driver. their eyes rolled and stalactites of spittle glistened in their throats as they howled inchoately. i shrank back from the window where a white palm slapped and slipped squeakily downward, leaving a smeared imprint behind.

the driver cracked the door enough to address the mob of zombie-riders.
- we're full.
the zombies howled louder. their leader insinuated his hand into the inch-wide crack and gnashed his teeth at the driver.
- we're FULL - the driver repeated - but there are another two buses coming soon.

this had little effect on Zombie Commander, who grimaced and pushed his hand in further, forcing the door open another inch with his forearm. his fingers twitched and curled, grasping at the air. somewhere in the back of the bus a child began to cry. Zombie Commander's shoulder was moving through the crack now. i knew if those questing fingers got hold of the handrail we were goners. our brains would get eaten and i'd wander the land without rest until loucypher blew away my head with a magnum.

- sir please move away from the door. another bus will be along shortly - our driver said and took some pressure off the brake. the bus moved slightly forward. the Commander stumbled. sir, the bus is moving. please move away from the door.
he eased off the brake even more and in smooth syncopation opened the door half an inch. released from pressure, the Commander's arm slipped out while the bus moved forward. it was a masterful move on the part of our driver, whom i'm certain has practised this movement many times before. defeated, Zombie Commander bared his teeth and hissed.
- we've been here for forty-five minutes.
- another bus will--
- go.fuck.yourself.

we pulled smoothly away from the terminal. i looked back at the mass of teeming bodies.
- welcome to philly - i murmured into my puerto rican friend's ear. she nodded and when she grinned i saw a glint of light off her gold canine.