Look for beauty, because it's there. Ugliness is easy to spot; you can see it a mile away. But you have to dig for the beauty sometimes. It's there. Open yourself up and you'll find it.
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I've just been good and busy. You know the kind of busy where you collapse in your bed at the end of the day and think: "Good gravy...but that was a full day"? Yeah. That kind of busy.
If you're wondering about the big Team In Training logo at the top of the page, that's the bulk of my time. I've been training and fundraising like a badmother. If you've got some spare change, why not click the link and throw a few shekels in the bucket? It's for a good cause, and it's better than spending your money on porn.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Starting is easy. Starting is a breeze, the simplest thing in the world. Anyone can start.
It's the part in the middle, that's where people start dropping out. Do you have the staying power? Can you keep your focus up for the entire race? Can you reach down, way down, and find the juice you need when you're at your lowest? Do you have the guts? Do you have what it takes to see your plan through to the end?
This is the work. This is where it counts. This is when you need to keep your eyes on the prize, and know that to finish is to win, and to win is to finish.
Calm down. Gear down. Breathe and focus. You know where you are in the race, you know you have a ways to go. Don't let setbacks bring you down; ride right through them. Know that there are people all around you who want to see this through. There are fish tacos at the finish line, and you will share them with all and sundry.
Wednesday, February 5, 2003
Dreams are for the unmedicated.
Monday, January 27, 2003
Women fall faster.
Women fall faster.
Friday, January 24, 2003
Bill Mauldin died yesterday.
You know...Bill Mauldin? The cartoonist who created Willie and Joe?
No, really. Who?
Oh, fer the love of...didn't any of you pay attention in American History? Willie and Joe were cartoon characters, two American GIs who went through all of the shit that WWII had to offer.
You mean like the guys in Saving Private Ryan?
...yes, just like them.
Vin Diesel was hella hot...
Could we focus here? Thanks. The point is, as we're getting ready to go and roll over Iraq (and let me be clear: I think Suddam Hussein is a psycho nutjob megalomaniac who should be drug through the streets of Baghdad by his entrails. But I think it's his own people who should be doing the dragging, and I also think he's about as threatening as Dick Cheney right after his last heart attack. We need to worry about, oh, I dunno, North Korea and Kim Jong Il, and then there's Hindu-Muslim extremism in India and Pakistand, and there's the whole mess in Israel and Palestine. Oh, yeah, and our economy at home which is still in the toilet. There is no need to go after the monster we made right now, not when we have more pressing concerns that, oh, yeah, happen to be more complicated and scary than the chickenhawks in the White House can handle. Christ Almighty, people, what were you thinking when you elected that pack of fools? Did you really think things would be better? Oh, yeah, our taxes were cut, we all got a three hundred dollar check from the feds, whoopee! Too bad we have to close down libraries, fire departments and hospitals!)
...oh. Right. Bill Mauldin. The reason Willie and Joe are so important is that they are reminders that it's not generals who fight wars. It's not Presidents or world leaders or great heroes. It's dogfaces like Willie and Joe, regular guys who'd rather be home, warm, clean and safe, but know that the alternative is worse. Wars are fought by people, and we're about to be lead into war by people who've never fought a day in their life. Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick "Heart Attack Man" Cheney, even our Glorious Fuckwit, George II, none of 'em did any real time in the military. Only Colin Powell has, and, oh, yeah, he thinks that marching off to Iraq is a bad idea. Hm. Maybe we should listen to the vet?
I know wars happen, some wars need to happen, but not this one. Not now. Beware any moron who wants to charge off to war from the comfort of his own home; see how much he thumps his chest when you shave his head and send him off to boot camp. He'll be wetting his pants and crying for peace and his mommy before chow time.
Willie and Joe bitched and moaned their way all over Europe, but they did their job, came the hell home, and that was that. Bill Mauldin spent the rest of his career as a political cartoonist, taking the piss out of the nation's stuffed shirts and bullies. If you want to fight, start at home. We got plenty of bad guys here to deal with before we start carpet bombing Baghdad.
That's it. Class dismissed.
Thursday, January 23, 2003
If you're so pro-life, don't lock arms and block medical clinics. Lock arms and block cemetaries
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Some time last year, Tom was kind enough to turn me on to Kíla, a very cool Celtic band. I had commented about how cool I felt for listening to the Chieftains while lifting, and then he informed that, in Ireland, the Chieftains, while they are excellent musicians and still very popular, are about as cool as John Tesh. He recommended Kíla as an alternative, and I have been grateful ever since.
I found Lemonade & Buns in the used bin over at Second Spin, and I just got Tóg é Go Bog é through another used outlet. And the more I listen, the more I realize that Kíla makes for good running music, especially the more whoop-ass songs like "Where'd Ya Hide That Train, Joe?" Since I have to keep a high cadence when I run, I've been listening to Underworld and lots of techno. I think Kíla will make for a different run, a more organic run.
Now, if I can just convince Tom of the genius of Weird Al...
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Buying an SUV is partly an act of fantasy. It's a way to connect imaginatively with a more inspiring life than the one you actually lead. Like every muscle car before it, SUVs are big, dangerous and superfluous, but they're also poetry made of metal. They're symptoms of a latent spiritedness, even in a sedate suburban world. There's nothing wrong with having a little poetry in your life. Surely the geeks can see that?
Good gravy...no, pal, there's nothing wrong with a little poetry in your life. I'm all for poetry. But the new Hummer is about as poetic as being bludgeoned to death with a very large brick. There is nothing lyrical about them, nothing beautiful. Even if it got 128 mpg and its exhaust were a mix of lilacs, freshly-baked bread and black tar heroin, I wouldn't find it poetic. It is, in a word, ugly. Truly, truly ugly. It is as aesthetically pleasing as Tammy Faye singing and putting a baseball bat between your eyes.
I've been having a hell of a time coming down on SUVs, though, now that I have friends who drive them. I love these people, think they're brilliant, and I know they're environmentally conscious and aware of the world around them. I know they're plenty confident in the size of their genitalia. They have shown me the data for their vehicles, and the mileage is pretty good. It's not hybrid vehicle good, but it's not as horrific as I thought. And, yes, they do haul around gear and people and large dogs, and they do off-road and go to snowy, muddy places where you want as much traction as possible.
But there is no way on God's green earth that you could convince me that their vehicles are poetic, or that they tap into any kind of poetic lifestyle. The poetry stops when you get out of your SUV in some faraway place; you don't have any shots of Half Dome from the car window, dude. There is poetry in hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, skiing, cycling; there is rhythm, there is a deeper connection with the road and with the world. Inside a Hummer, the only thing you're connected with is the heated seats.
The author of this piece, of course, ignores that third group, the one I belong to: the Geek Superjock, an attempt to fuse the best of both categories. I've given up on moralizing and condemning SUVs because I'll get better results by leading by example, by riding my bike or taking the bus or carpooling. I'm not perfect, by any means, but you know what? I'll bet that I have a better looking ass than any Jock. Woot.
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
What can you hope for on this day?
You can hope for a world where no one cares about the color of your skin, or your religious creed (or lack thereof), or who you're attracted to, or what books you read, or what songs you like. You can hope for a world where people judge you based on the kind of person you are. Are you kind and generous? Do you give of yourself and do you take just enough? Or are you a greedy misanthrope who doesn't give a stony rat's ass about other people? These are the things we need to think about, the content of people's character (and that's good ol' regular character with a lower-case "c," not the Bill Bennett flavor of Character, which should be tied up with Virtue and put into the public square so we can throw rotten vegetables and Buicks at the both of them), not how much they make or what they look like. We need to take those steps in our cultural evolution and get to the point where we just don't care about these niggling details anymore and worry instead about the important things. Are people getting enough good food to eat? Is their water and air clean? Do they feel safe? Do we all have the freedom to become the amazing creatures we are all meant to be?
We're not there yet. It takes time to evolve, to let the reckless hatred and prejudice leech out of people's hearts. Every bit helps, though, every kind deed and giving hand helps turn stone hearts, even if it feels like the toughest thing in the world. Forgiveness, Dr. King said, is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude. We need to forgive ourselves and our neighbors. We need to forgive strangers and enemies. We are here to sow a beautiful garden on this earth, in this lifetime. Plant your seeds and tend them with love, because when it blooms it will be more amazing than anything you can imagine.
Monday, January 20, 2003
It's one thing to seek challenges.
It's quite another to go and make challenges.
Friday, January 17, 2003
Whenever I need a pickup, Christopher Walken never fails to deliver.
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
I just realized, after a week of fighting off another cold (and good gravy am I getting tired of those) and having a head full of cotton candy, that it has begun. Already. I had hoped all this bullshit would be put off until next year, but, no, the relevant parties are gathering, the knives are being sharpened, and the blood is ready to spill.
Yes, friends, we're warming up for the presidential election of 2004. And the only thing I think of is this: why in hell haven't I emigrated to anywhere else just yet?
All I know is that the jackasses who run the Dems are going to put Joe Lieberman on the ticket, and all I want is for his runty little head on a stake before New Hampshire. I have never liked Joe Lieberman, the uptight conservative wanker in Democrat's clothing. I didn't like him when he started his misguided campaign against video games, I didn't like it when he widened that war to popular culture, and I certainly didn't like it when Al Gore picked Little Joe as his running mate. (And a note to Al: Jebus, man...you had that thing in the bag! How could you fuck it up in such a grand fashion? You're going to go down in history as an example of what not to do. The problem is, however, that every Dem out there is going to follow your lead and be up to his eyeballs in consultants and flunkies, and none of 'em will let Al Be Al. Or whatever.) And now this little wanker wants to run the whole enchilada? You want to remind me how he's different from the Party In Power right now?
Gah. January is just finding its legs, as is 2003, and I'm already foaming at the mouth. Politics is worse than crack, and I'm not even in a position to share in any of the power. Can you imagine how rabid I'd be if I knew there were people actually paying attention to this? You'd have to get the dart gun and elephant tranquilizers.
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
I will fear no evil.
This life is mine still, mine to have, mine to hold, mine to share if I think you'll take good care of the piece I give you. My life is not yours to take, not even a little bit, though you may request some of it. The committee will get back to you.
Don't think any of it's yours. You've got your own life to work out, and maybe they'll mesh, maybe not. But it's not for you to decide what course I'm going to take. Not by a long shot. And I don't care what places of power you occupy; I'm not a number, not a statistic, not some bit of data you twiddle around just to balance the books. None of us are. You would do well to remember that you may hold all the guns, but you'll run out of bullets long before we climb over the fences and wrap our hands around your throat.
We are free people. It is you who should fear us.
From The Last Elected Emperor by Danielle Cartwright
Tuesday, January 7, 2003
This year, this new and tender year, there will be adventure.
There will be asskicking of the highest order. This year, I will take no crap. I will use every and any word at my disposal, even it makes the Ladies' Auxiliary cluck their tongues. I will edit when it counts, and type like the wind when it doesn't.
This is the year I will see America.
I will get published again. And again.
I will spend more time absorbing vitamins D, C, and B12. I will have a heart as big as the Midwest and as strong as a battle fleet. I will have legs of titanium, and your daughters will swoon when I tie up my shoes.
I will make the perfect salsa verde.
The New Year is here. Welcome it without pants.
Monday, January 6, 2003
March and April
April and May
May and June
June and July
July and August
August and September
September and October
October and November
November and December
Winter into Spring
Spring into Summer
Summer into Winter