Monday, March 31, 2008

The Oracle is motivating

finally getting back into the training groove after a month flipped upside-down by 12days in scotland, an unplanned trip to baltimore and a flu that knocked me out for 5 days. feels good to be moving again.

but this Quality Over Quantity school of thought The Oracle subscribes to demands a deep stock of emotional fortitude, mental focus and blind faith, 3 things noticeably absent from Finn's Top 10 Strengths list, which includes things like Eating ice cream, Not folding laundry and Ignoring spills on the kitchen counter. also The Oracle subscribes to Pain, another foreign construct in my happy world of 12mi @ 8min/mile. yesterday it took me 6hours to screw up enough courage to get on the bike and grind out a BTW 20mi ride and 3mi run. 77min of PAIN. a small child sitting on a seesaw in his backyard saw my face during the run and then ran inside, his fat little arms flailing.

- is it normal to cry during these workouts? - i asked The Oracle - or am i just a big pussy.
i am sure The Oracle never cries. firstly, he is a dude, and second he is perfect.

- yes - he surprised me - crying is normal for that type of workout. You’ll cry when you stand on the top step of the podium listening to the national anthem too.

that is why i have the blind faith.

Friday, March 28, 2008

who knows the minds of men

- how come you went in the other room to talk to vince?
- huh?
- why did you have to go in the other room?
- um, cos i'm talking on the phone. i go in the other room when i talk to my mom too.
- and i thought that's because you talk about private things.
- i would go in the other room to talk to ANYONE. i just think it's the polite thing to do. i don't want to listen to your phone conversations.
- you don't??


July 25 Pemberton BC Pemberton Festival
July 26 Seattle WA Key Arena at Seattle Center
July 28 Edmonton ALB Rexall Place
July 29 Calgary ALB Pengrowth Saddledome
July 31 Winnipeg MAN MTS Centre
August 2 Minneapolis MN Target Center
August 5 Toronto ONT Air Canada Centre
August 7 Uncasville CT Mohegan Sun Arena
August 8 Worcester MA DCU Center
August 12 Knoxville TN Knoxville Civic Coliseum
August 13 Duluth GA Gwinnett Arena
August 15 Oklahoma City OK Ford Center
August 16 Houston TX Toyota Center
August 18 Dallas TX American Airlines Center
August 20 Saint Louis MO Scottrade Center
August 22 Cleveland OH Quicken Loans Arena
August 23 Auburn Hills MI Palace of Auburn Hills
August 27 East Rutherford NJ Izod Center
August 29 Philadelphia PA Wachovia Center
August 31 Lexington KY Rupp Arena
September 2 Morrison CO Red Rocks Amphitheater
September 3 Salt Lake City UT The E Center Of West Valley
September 5 Oakland CA Oracle Arena (formerly Oakland Arena)
September 6 Inglewood CA The Forum
posted by Trent Reznor at 2:34 PM pst, from los angeles.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

play [Revolver Ocelot] for me

yesterday i rounded the kitchen corner at mach3 with my mountain of fruit and nearly took out Inscrutable Chinese Man (who recently upgraded to 21 cats. WTF). he was more nonplussed by my apology than his close-call with a pomelo.
- finn! your voice is different.
- i'm sick.
- it's sexy.

- i'm glad you like it.

the dry sarcasm was lost on him. he waved his hand excitedly.
- go on. say something sexy.
- FancyFeast ten for ten dollars in aisle seven.

- no, no. come on. be serious.

i sighed, thought a sec, and rallied.
- i've been waiting for you, Solid Snake.

his finely-tuned gamer thumbs twitched in pavlovian response and he rubbed his hands gleefully and shuffled away muttering softly to himself.
that was easy.

i won't have this voice for much longer, so this morning i called ICM's voicemail and read off the specs for the new 17" MacBook Pro straight from the Apple site. by the time i got to the multi-touchpad i wasn't acting anymore. may his stony little black micro$oft heart explode. ima jess payin' it forward.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

whats good about today?

lets see.
theres this marc jacobs ad in this months elle:

and this:

having a training schedule from now til 4/6, and
NOT having a fever.
yes it was worth getting out of bed this morn.

but jesus christ this office sounds like a fucking TB ward.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

they call me the Eumenides

last night during dinner D looked out the window and frowned.

- what the... oh. look. skankyAsshat's eating a creature.
and so she was, nom nom nom, an indeterminate creature too far gone to save. still racked by a persistent fever with, as FMC put it so well, the strength of no kittens, i could only simmer with resentment at yet another wrong perpetrated by snorgoyles.
- hates them... i murmured. D tut-tutted disapprovingly and then filled me with venison roast in a valiant man-attempt to make me feel better.
by the grace of extra-strength TylenolPM i was sound asleep at 2am, less so at 2:30 when i was yanked into consciousness by the unmistakable sound of a cat puking. under the bed. with all the boxes i've shoved under there i don't know how a cat could fit, but one of them did.

- fuck ME - i moaned and struggled out from under my 8-blanket strata. i turned on the light and peered under the bed. it took me a while to find her amid all the boxes, but there she was, down by the foot of the bed where the blankets pooled in a big soft nest. no wonder my shoulders were always so cold; fucking skankyAsshat was stealing my covers. and there in that big soft nest were the rejected, partially-digested remains of the indeterminate creature.
- you miserable fucking bitch - i snarled through clenched teeth. OH i HATE you. 
i received a hostile "enhh" in response. Asshat doesn't meow; she punctuates. it's one of the more unpleasant noises you'll hear in your life.

i stumbled into the bathroom for a roll of toilet paper willing myself not to hurl. the cat was gone by the time i returned, and i swabbed and swept up the chunky pool of indeterminate creature with a lot of pissfuckshitcuntsuck-ing. if i'd any spare blankets i would have tossed all these into the wash, or burned them, but it's not like i can smell anything right now anyway.

i settled back in bed and read for the half-hour it took my heartrate to level. i turned out the light and was dropping into that lovely fuzzy state of sleep when i heard it. enhh. whatthefuck. ENHHHH. louder. you have fucking got to be kidding me. i vaulted out of bed with the warp spasm upon me and pulled up the covers to peer under the bed. she was hunched up against the wall at the head of the bed.
- ENHH - she challenged.
and it was war. i shoved boxes and slid books at her -- it was like Kitty Curling -- and even brandished a pair of scissors.
- i'll cut off your ears you fucking cat! - i yelled, before collapsing into a coughing fit.
- everything okay in there? - D called groggily from his own bed free of decaying-animal-cat-puke.
- FINE!! - i sang.
- ENHH! - said skankyAsshat.
- GIT - i growled and scuttled to other side of the bed. there i assembled a line of boxes and staged an advance much like the Duke of Cumberland's forces at Culloden. bitch didn't have a chance, and we routed her like a stinking swamp fox from her hole. she was a blur of black motion passing through the doorway.

'twas a pyrrhic victory, however, as it took me another 45min to get back to sleep. so today, yet another day spent working from home trying to kick this bug, i'm returning the favor. the Asshat settles to sleep by the kitchen door; jack and i gently nudge her aside so we can go out. she curls in the sun on the kitchen rug, i rearrange the oven pans (very noisy) until she leaves in search of someplace quieter. she takes refuge under the rocking chair, and not very long after her eyelids shut i am poking her out of the way as i sweep up dust mice. i'm not cruel, simply insistent. it will be a long day for the snorgoyle, but what comes around goes around. 

Monday, March 24, 2008


she did not rise.

Friday, March 21, 2008

a request for D.Alighieri

yesterday my mom, aunt and i faced off against against chop-chop peggy and unctuous emilio -- picture an oily elderly jewish man and a smartly-dressed young black woman with staccato delivery -- across a vast conference room table at the druid hill cemetery.

i stared out the window at the gulls pitching and pinwheeling in the 50mph gusts because if i looked at emilio again i might throw up my thick & creamy yoplait all over his nice table. THERE. that is for shaking your head and saying "she didn't look it" when we told you how old she was. that is for unzipping your dayplanner and showing us the sample bookmark druid hill made for your mother, so that your children would always have "a touching memento of their beautiful grandmother -- along with her favorite poem!" that is for making a "mistake" on the cost and charging us $400 over what you quoted on the phone. that is for the awkward silence when we told you we wouldn't be there for the opening of the vault or the placement of the "cremains" (it's for a word like "cremains" too), and that is for your clearing your throat peremptorily when we told you we wouldn't need extra attendants for the procession to the service because there'd be three cars, max.

oily emilio cleared his throat and i could hear the gears rumbling and mashing in his head. he pushed across the table his pièce de résistance: a glossy brochure called The Ultimate Celebration of a Life Well-Lived with pictures of ornate mausoleums and crypts.

- your mother - and your grandmother - was so loved, and so special. have you considered ways to honor her memory and celebrate her long and successful life? you did love her so much. would you like to see some options for celebrating such a special lady? something that future generations would appreciate? - upon "future" emilio's cicatrice eye clicked to me.

my mom pushed the brochure back across the table.
- no thank you - she answered politely.
- no thanks - said weird sister.
- nope - said finn.
and we all three turned back to peggy who, showing a degree of intuition and wisdom emilio wil never know, gathered speed and hastened the filling of forms-in-triplicate.

as a group, we could defeat emilio. but just one of us? an overwhelmed, distraught spouse?

there should be a special circle for vultures who prey upon grief.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

reason #0321 why i love mac

there's a documented issue with areas of iphone touchscreens going dead, and indeed when i returned from scotland and everything else in the world was going wrong, i discovered  a dead strip running horizontally across the touchscreen about half an inch down from the top. every time i tried to call D from my Favorites list i ended up ringing laf which was awkward to say the least.  

so today i took some time off from funeral arrangements to pay a visit to the Genius Bar at the apple store in towsontown centre.  there, good and bad news greeted me.  the bad news:  there is no Laphroaig at the Genius Bar.  the good news:  since my iphone's still under warranty, i got a new phone, for free.  no repairs, no rentals, just a new, 8G activated phone which synched flawlessly with my Lapple backup.  kinda bummed to say goodbye to my battered phone with the scratch in the upper left corner of the screen (that took some doing) and the galaxy of pockmarks on the back where i'd dropped it in the parking lot multiple times.  but a small price to pay for a satisfying customer experience, i suppose.

but apple really.  a bar without hooch??

[posting from the apple store]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Oracle confers order

this morning i had breakfast with TR. i was eating haggis, for which i've developed a fine taste, and peaty scotch (for which i've cultivated an even finerer taste) whilst my companion enjoyed porridge and tea with milk, no sugar. the discussion turned to politics and whether or not obama's new world order will come to pass. i would like the world to be rid of cats, i said; he argued that might be cruel and perhaps we should settle for seeing that all greyhounds are treated kindly. okay - i said - but can obama protect the people i love from pain? - and he said no but he will maybe make the pain lighter with just his voice. i like your voice better - i said, and he smiled.

when i woke i wasn't sure it was a dream because having breakfast with trent reznor is no more strange than MClark dying from a bloodclot, my gmother passing and neen's lying in ICU with a weird form of pneumonia, all in the space of a week.

but the Oracle, ah the Oracle offered direction with a response to my email waffling about how to get back in the saddle again after 11 days off.

Welcome home! Yes, get on that bike--NOW! You need to get to work.

tough love no doubt, but most welcome is the Oracle's order in this disordered state.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

adieu for a bit

off on a chumley adventure.
back in a cpl weeks.

you take the high road
and I'll take the low road
and I'll be in Scotland afore ye...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

analysis paralysis

when i started here, MyCo had 6 employees. now we have people who compose emails like this:

Subject: The New MyCo Softball Team Name
From: Mary Marketer

Dear Marketing Consulting & Consensus Team Members,

We are in the process of finalizing the MyCo softball team name: MyCo Reds. Consensus with no haters has been developed among the team members and now we need to generate Marketing C&C Team approval.

The rationale behind the name MyCo Reds is as follows:

1. We refer to our brand color as MyCo red.
2. Reds is a reference to the old Cosmic Commies name, which refers to our capitalistic/communist company model.
3. The Reds is a baseball team.

I need your feedback by midday tomorrow, March 6th.

Mary Marketer

my feedback?? this sums it up.

maybe you just had to be there

last night i made D watch the You Sick at Photoshop 6 vid. i filled him in on the storyline so that #6 had a context, and dude was game but watched stonefaced while donnie's agony spun out.

- didn't you think that was FUNNY?!? - i asked as he turned heel.
- um, maybe if you're 5?? and like to talk about poop?
- well, yeah. what's your point.
- my point is that most people grow up.

and he plopped down on the sofa and returned to his Bowhunter magazine.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

counting down

my mom called this morning to wish me happy birthday and give me the latest from Sunset Assisted Living.

- i called father rosenberg to see grandmother.
he is so-called because when he showed up at the ER for my grandfather, rosenberg was wearing a dark sweater and white-collared shirt and grandmother was in such a state that she tried to confess to him. if we hadn't wrested her away rosenberg would have learned that in her WWII mapmaking days my grandmother was responsible for eisenhower's troops showing up in southern germany when the nazis were in the east.
- why?
- because she couldn't walk. at all. and i wanted to know if it was something physical or mental.
- and?
- and he said it was mental. he said her head's not connecting with her legs any more. next is refusing to eat when the order stops coming from her brain.
- then what?
- then she dies.
my family has a rep. if we think the balance between pain and reward has permanently shifted in your life we won't make you stick around.
- what's the time frame, in father rosenberg's experience?
- i didn't ask. some things i don't want to know.

i'm glad i got down there to visit this weekend. time may be short.

The Oracle is perspicacious

at his suggestion, sent The Oracle links to last year's race results and splits. this morning's response:

I looked at a few of these, but not all yet—I’m still forming my thoughts on them. These are pretty impressive results, but you definitely have potential to do better. In your opinion, which races went well and why and which didn’t and why (if you know the whys)?

Have you worked on speed through transition? I don’t think it affected any outcomes (maybe one), but I think you could gain about 35 to 45 seconds for no additional effort if you worked on it a bit.

Also, do you have a du before 4/6? No problem if you don’t, wanted to try something if you do.
The Oracle has bounded up the divinity charts; now he's right up there with rudy, a rung or two below dr. fellows. why?
1. IF The Oracle is not on crack, i have the potential to be even better.
2. my du biggest weakness is transitions and he glommed to that right away. i'd never considered transitions as possibly affecting an overall outcome, but it makes sense that they do.
3. The Oracle wants to "try something" before LC quals and i'll bet it is something different than challenging the devil to a fiddling contest (prizes being a Team USA berth or my soul) which is what *i* was planning to try, but maybe not.

then this:
I would try to get on a Lifecycle/Spin class or some kind of equivalent while you're on vacation. Two or three very high intensity workouts a week (even if it's only 30min to 1hr) will keep you from losing what the base got you and can help you for short-course. Do the biking before the scotch though.

"high intensity" makes me nervous. just typing it triggers a poo. i have to ask.
when you speak of "high intensity" how high is high? are you talking long-course pace, short-course pace or balls-to-the-wall?

his response:
B to W.


Monday, March 03, 2008

the irish blog awards, and The Oracle

first of all, congrats to fatmammycat and twenty major for representin (FMC in spirit) at the irish blog awards saturday nite. FMC took best post award; twenty snagged most humorous post and best blog overall. congrats to both, and to arseblog for winning best sport blog.

now, let us speak of sport, which i don't do often because i know that playing with dust particles is more exciting than reading about so-and-so's training plan, unless so-and-so happens to be your competition and if you are my competition then i have done this blogging thing wrong wrong all wrong.

to some people, having the right coach is the difference between an All-American season and one that ends in june when you're burnt out on the sofa reading Lucky magazine and eating Mallomars. finding a proper coach can be an arduous process, and having just gone through it myself i feel qualified to offer this guide called:


step #1. undergo a rude awakening. finding out that qualifiers for long-course duathlon (run-bike-run) worlds are only a month away is very effective. attendant upon this awareness are these realities:

  • - your first race of the season will be a worlds qualifier
  • - your second race will be another worlds qualifier (for short course), 3 weeks later
  • - you are just now coming off base. you have done NO speedwork.
  • - you will be off the bike for 11 consecutive days this month
  • - you are fucked
  • - you need professional help
  • - your bowels are hot, roiling liquid
2. while you're in the bathroom, text all your friends who have coaches and ask whether it's too late to get connected with them (it is MARCH, after all). don't discriminate, blanketbomb. beggars can't be choosers.

3. back at your desk, stare at your unresponsive phone and then recall a crazy pipedream idea E proposed on a ride. send an email to the 2004 elite world duathlon champion and throw yourself at his mercy, esplainin' you're seeking training & racing advice from someone who's:

  • - experienced, and successful
  • - okay training by feel not numbers, and not all caught up in heart-rate, wattages, V02 max or lactate-threshold. some people dig that shit. not me.
  • - appreciative of the fact there's life outside training and racing. there's whisk(e)y, for one, and 65hr work weeks.
  • - unlikely to get on your tits too bad if you spend a weekend in the boozetank or battling the Dog, instead of riding a bike.
4. SQUEEEEE when he says yes and run back to the bathroom.

so now, for the first time i have an Oracle to guide me and reveal certain truths -- like if i wish to place top 2 in my AG in carrboro, NC on april 6th i need to get on a bike as often as i can during those 11 days in scotland.

so, finn's world has undergone a seismic shift, and instead of lazily slouching toward a half-ironman in june we are rabbiting into race shape for april. huzzah! -and i need a nap.