The Year in Review
I gained some weight. LMJ learned to walk and talk, and became a fully functional rampaging terror. An African-American, black, Negro, colored fellow was elected President of the United States. Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska was the first woman to run on a Republican Presidential ticket. The economy crashed because of collateralized debt obligations. Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois has chrome plated, grapefruit sized nuts. The Large Hedron Collider almost created an artificial black hole and nearly destroyed the universe. My parents got old. My sister moved to Kansas. We went to Chicago and discovered Portillos. Britney Spears made a comeback. We bought a Nintendo Wii. I’ve watched more Sesame Street this year than I thought I would in my lifetime. There was a tropical storm in the Pacific named after me. Unfortunately it never intensified into a typhoon and killed no one. I added swimming to my workout cycle. Fidel Castro stepped down and turned Cuba over to his brother – estos cabrones. We bought a Panini press, which helped lead to the first sentence in this post. I joined Facebook. That's all I can remember. Much better post than this one
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
This is my first real Christmas as a dad. Last year LMJ was sort of fascinated with the wrapping paper, but that’s about it. This year she’s noticed that there’s a tree in the house and stuff inside the wrapping paper. I built a tricycle for her which wasn’t too bad. The instructions didn’t have many words, just diagrams, and I had to figure out which order things went together. By the time I got frustrated I was 85% done. I went low key on the shopping because no one needs anymore crap. I know the gifts I got will be enjoyed by the recipients. There was a hot Israeli chick that almost got me to buy some Dead Sea manicure sets. I was making a B-line for the Godiva kiosk, which I was surprised was even open at 8:30 in the morning, when Roni jumped in front of me and asked, “Can I ask you a question?” She was tall, dark, and mysterious with a desert accent. I meant to say, “Sorry, but I’m in a hurry.” What came out was, “You can ask me anything you want.” Dammit! I knew I had just wasted at least 5 minutes of my life. She went into her sales pitch about how she was from Israel and this four sided nail buffer and assorted polishes made with salt from the Dead Sea would be the greatest gift ever for the woman in my life. She grabbed my hand and started buffing my thumbnail. Opportunity knocked and I opened the door. “Hey, my wife already has one of these,” which is true, and I took the buffer from Roni and showed her how this side scuffs the nail to release the natural oils, and this side buffs it to a nice shine, blah blah blah. “But thanks anyway, Roni, happy Hanukkah.” Boom, I was out of there. I got my chocolate and was on my way. If you’re not a heterosexual male you have no concept of the mental discipline this took. This is the type of situation that got Sarah Palin the Vice Presidential nomination. John Edwards would have spent $50 thousand on Dead Sea nail stuff. This was remembering the lyrics to a song while a different song is playing. I’m a ninja
Monday, December 15, 2008
My favorite thing about W is that he's a half way decent athlete. What would Obama have done? I hope he would have come over the podium and whipped dude's ass. Biden would have taken both loafers right between the eyes. McCain would have gutted the reporter and hanged him from the ceiling with his own intestines. Palin would have shot both shoes out of the air and admonished the reporter, "I didn't yell pull." Hillary Clinton would have stopped the shoes in midair with the force and said, "The ability to hurl footwear is insignificant next to the power of the force." Bill Clinton would have ducked like W, but would have apologized to the reporter, "I'm sorry. I didn't know she was your wife".
I was looking at some old posts of mine, back when I wrote about exercise and pain, looking for a list of my fitness goals. I fell short of my race goal of ten. I only ran eight – six if you count the Tour de Pain as one race – but I was closer than I thought I was. I’ve gained eight pounds, but I thought I’d gained twenty-eight. I was already getting fat before the end of last year, and I’m already dropping it before the beginning of next year. Not failing horribly has inspired me to get a head start. I’m training for the River Run and I’m scheduling the other nine races now. That way they’ll be on my calendar and I can forget about them until Outlook reminds me. Then I can moan and groan about how much I hate to run. I’m changing one ridiculous goal to something more reasonable. I will never finish the River Run in under an hour – that’s stupid. I’m not running a 15k at a 6 ½ minute mile pace. Do I look like I’m from Kenya? An hour and a half is much more reasonable. It’s not that the hour pace is physically impossible, but it would require intense interval training, and interval training hurts- a lot. I’ve added it to my regimen once a week and it’s zero fun. I don’t look forward to lung burn the same way I do muscle burn. Muscle burn creeps up in a gradual way, increasing in intensity with each rep. It’s weakness leaving the body. Lung burn kicks in instantly as soon as the body starts burning sugar, and there’s no warning. It’s life leaving the body. Everything is exhilarating and then it’s excruciating a step later. I don’t know how long interval training will be in the regimen, but right now it’s the only actual running I’m doing. I’m swimming and doing the elliptical machine for my calorie burning and muscle recovery. Long runs will only be added when I have a race coming up, and only so I can get used to a comfortable pace. I’m done tearing up my feet, ankles, and knees for no reason. Actually, it’s has more to do with me being cheap. I don’t care about my body; it heals, but shoes are expensive. I don’t know if I’m going to become that guy who carries his running shoes to the start line, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I can tell that I’m getting into a routine because I hate everyone at the gym. I’m finishing ’08 strong both mentally and physically.
Monday, December 8, 2008
I was dragged to Wal-Mart last night by my wife. It was just how I remembered it: a congregation of the dregs of humanity. I always want a gun, but the Wal-Mart parking lot was the first time in a long time that I felt I might need one. It was six-thirty on a Sunday night so, of course, Wal-Mart was jam packed. When we got out of the car, I felt like I was in a scene from The Wire, and I realized I’ve insulated myself from the real world and real people’s problems. I see lots of different colors of people in my daily life, but if I had to guess, 98% of them have college degrees, and are more concerned about global warming than buying beer with a WIC check. I’ve become a limousine liberal. I’m Barbara Streisand. I don’t want to come in contact with the disenfranchised. I just want to tell them how to live. We found the candy MJ wanted and were in the less than 20 items express line behind a Cambodian refugee. I don’t know if he was Cambodian; I didn’t see a passport or anything, but I’m almost certain he was a refugee. I’m also pretty sure he handed the East Indian clerk a counterfeit sawbuck. MJ doesn’t do well in crowds or with inefficiency, yet she wanted to go to Wal-Mart. The refugee had a penny coming back to him, and the clerk was out of pennies. MJ offered one up, having come back to her senses about being in Wal-Mart, to speed things along. The refugee didn’t make eye contact with anyone because he’s part of a counterfeiting ring, but the clerk acted like MJ was offering up one of her kidneys. As we were walking out, and the clerk was asking MJ for her name so he could nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize, MJ told me I was right about not wanting to go to Wal-Mart. I didn’t have a voice recorder to catch the rare moment, but I bet Wal-Mart had one cheap.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
We had an interesting Thanksgiving holiday. I ate way too much. I didn’t drink nearly enough. But I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The Seminoles suck. My fantasy football team sucks. And the Jaguars were kind enough not to play. We had a yard sale and people bought our crap. I’m always surprised that one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure. I wouldn’t have come up with a nickel for anything we were selling, but MJ and CG made a killing. Yard/Garage “saleing” is a sport. People have different strategies for buying garbage. Some like to show up early, even before the sun comes up, well before the listed start time. Some people like to aggressively haggle, because it’s ridiculous to pay a dollar for a broken CD player when it can not play music for you for 75 cents. I wasn’t “on duty” for any of these people, which is probably a good thing. I don’t think they would have liked my negotiating style. I grew up in a small town called Get-the-f**k-outta-here. There were deals to be had, especially on the big ticket items. We
got rid of sold a treadmill, a table saw, and a really good ladder. We also had an arms dealer moment. We sold some of LMJ’s old clothes to both sides of a nasty divorce. The grandpa is a jackass and the grandmother decided to play for the other team after the divorce – apparently that’s how much of a jackass Gramps is. We got paid. What they do with those clothes is their business. Our across the street neighbor is writing a memoir about his trip(s) through Ireland because Frank McCourt is a little bit dour and the Irish people need a more uplifting story. I’m trying really, really, REALLY hard to like this guy, but damn. Okay buddy, you go ahead and fix Irish literature. I’m sure your two weeks there on a bike trip will give you all the insight you need into the Irish psyche to change how they see a thousand years of their own history. If I give him a copy of Oliver Twist maybe he’ll be able to put a happy spin on the English orphanage experience. How do people think like this? Well, I spent a fortnight here (you people say that right?). Let me give you MY take on how you should feel about your country. Dude doesn’t even drink Guinness.