Saturday, January 31, 2009

This Is A Good Thing

Oh man, I bet Strom Thurmond is glad he’s dead. A Negro Democrat in the White House. A Negro dominating golf. A Negro coaching in the Superbowl. A Negro named head of the Republican National Committee. I’m sorry, what was that last one? Michael Steele, Negro and former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, was named head of the Republican National Committee yesterday. It looks like the G.O.P. may have turned a corner, or finally woke up and realized what they had become. The vote came down to some douche from South Carolina and the bourgey brother from D.C. The Republicans made the choice to complete the marginalization of the Dixiecrat. Wow, they actually want to hold office again. Steele is a moderate conservative, and by that I mean he thinks about the stuff he’s going to say before he lets it come flying out of his mouth. If the Republicans had found their courage six months ago and had chosen him as McCain’s running mate instead of Sarah Palin the election would have been a lot closer. But they say you can’t make a real change until you’ve hit rock bottom, so the lovely governor from Alaska got her fifteen minutes. She may have more time in the spotlight in political science schools because she may be the lasting symbol of the death of the Southern strategy in the Republican Party, at least at the national level. We may have seen the last of the Trent Lotts, the Jessie Helms, the Tom DeLays, the Strom Thurmonds, and the George W. Bushs for a while. There won’t be any fanfare but Steele’s election is huge, and it’s great for the country. Not because he's black, but because there is a serious man in the White House and a serious man in charge of the opposition party. We gotcha comin’ and goin’ baby.

I didn't notice it until I had posted it. I was trying to be funny, but the photo of Martin and Malcolm together is powerful - really powerful.

Friday, January 30, 2009

On a Scale of 1 to 10 I Give It an ARRRGGGGHHHH!!!

I mentioned my new nutritional supplements a couple of days ago, the L-Carnitine and the Beta Alanine. Yesterday was the first day that I’ve had to really put them to the test. The rest of the week has been taken up paying for LMJ’s college and staying in compliance with the state of Florida. Back and rear delts were up, and I wasn’t really excited to be in the gym. LMJ decided she wanted to be up at midnight the previous night and I didn’t get much good sleep. 5am gets here quickly. Back means deadlifts and deadlifts suck, especially when I don’t want to do them, but I need to continue losing weight so deads it was. I had to pump myself up to go heavy, and a dude was staring at me like I had mental problems, which I did. I didn’t want to be there. After convincing myself that ten reps wasn’t nuthin’ but a peanut I blasted through twelve reps. I got light headed but that just means it was a good set. The intensity of my weight lifting was off the frickin’ chart. When I was finished I was spent, and there was no way I was pushing it on my cardio. I was taking it easy on the elliptical when I looked down at my numbers and was shocked. I was burning calories at a rate I haven’t burned them in more than a year – cruising. I got caught up in a particularly kick-ass tune and ran right through my time. The machine shut down. That’s how I knew I was done. Uh, okay. I was stunned. I thought it had broken and I was about to get frustrated that I was going to have to change machines. I’m sold on the amino acids, and there’s a really cool side effect bonus to taking the Beta Alanine. It makes my skin tingle when I take it. It has something to do with neurons doing new things and nerve endings near the surface of my skin getting used to it. It’s only supposed to last about a week, bummer.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Call Him The F-22 Because He's a Deep Invader, Baby

Why is it so difficult for politicians to keep it in their pants? Were they too ambitious, too focused on their careers at too young an age to get their freak on in college the way everyone else does? Sam Adams – of the Portland Adams not the Boston Adams – was elected mayor as an openly gay man. He knew before he ran for office that if he won his conduct would be representing the gay community before anyone else. No one is saying, “Those Oregonians are freaks!” because he couldn’t stop himself from sword fighting with an intern. An intern, really? Has that replaced the secretary at the top of the cliché list? At least I get to use my favorite porn line in a post. “Boy, can you come in here? I need you to take some dictation.” You may have to read that out loud. Is it the pressure of the job? I’m starting to think that a hooker allowance/per diem might be a good idea. That’s how they do it in Europe, isn’t it? Don’t frack the help. I’m forced to sit through a ninety minute class every year on just that. I sell life insurance door to door. Should we go Clockwork Orange on every elected official above dog catcher with this class? I laugh at the ridiculous situations in the presentation, but clearly they’re reactive. At some point somebody didn’t understand that a coworker might be offended by that somebody whipping out his junk – PRESIDENT Clinton. Illicit sexual congress is nothing new – PRESIDENT Jefferson. I wonder if there was a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence that started, “When in the course of human events has anyone seen a booty like Sally Hemming’s. I mean damn, she thick as hell!” How surprising would it really be if sometime over the next eight years Chelsea Clinton had a baby that came out mother of pearl or off-white whose first sentence just happened to be, “Yes, we can,”?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why Am I Like Pierre?

Why don’t I care about my professional continuing education? I just finished my 24 hours of continuing education to maintain my Florida insurance license. I breezed through the material; studying for the test as opposed to learning anything. I’ve been doing this for almost seven years and there are now only two types of professional information for me: stuff I already know and stuff it is physically impossible in the universe I occupy to care less about. If the Large Hedron Collider ripped a hole in space and time, and created a black hole that was sucking the universe back into a singularity maybe the massive gravitational forces could produce an instant where I cared less about this stuff than I currently do. The calculus can go both ways. I don’t deal with traditional health insurance because it’s a domain of evil. The only way to gain access to its inner workings is to howl like a wolf, and a witch will open a door. However, I do deal with long term care insurance and disability insurance so I’m forced to hold a health insurance license. One is good for retired people who want to keep their stuff, sometimes. The other is good for working people who want to keep their stuff, sometimes. That’s all that’s really important about the subject to me. I can’t force myself to slog through ten thousand words about the amendments made to ERISA in 1983. That was twenty-five years ago. A child conceived in the excitement of those amendments is now old enough to run for congress. Even if I did run into an entity still operating under the pre-1983 ERISA, we would rip everything up and start all over like we were in a new millennium or something. I put off my CE until the last moment. I was going to get fined $250 if it wasn’t done by Saturday. I’ve had two years to do it. I don’t like this attitude. I want to be super extra excited to learn about the subtleties and nuances of my chosen craft, or at least have the discipline and willpower to pretend that I am.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We're Not You're Good Neighbor. State Farm is Goonne

thank you Mr. Manilow

It’s been a banner day in the Sunshine State. Gov. Crist made sure board certified teachers would get the bonuses they were promised, and State Farm bailed on the homeowners. I haven’t checked the bulletin boards for bonus chatter, but I did take a look at what was being said about State Farm. One good thing is that Liberals didn’t get blamed until about the tenth post, and the poster got flamed for it. What made me laugh is that people are screaming for deregulation of the insurance industry in the state so the market can set a fair price. The insurance companies have been screaming for this since before Hurricane Andrew, but the fine citizens of Florida elected only representatives who swore never to let that happen. State Farm asked for permission to raise their rates 47%. Florida said no. State Farm said adios. Now Floridians are crying about it. There’s nothing free about a free market. Strangely enough in the market this and market that discussions, no one has said, “Hey! I’m going to start an insurance company!” We are a state of problem spotters not problem solvers. Maybe I missed the day in economics class when they taught that the job of the free market was to force companies to make people happy. Apparently, I should be able to live in a house in South Beach that I don’t have to have inspected by anyone; the insurance company should trust that I didn’t cut corners when building it to save money, and insure my house at its lowest rate. When a hurricane destroys my glorified shack I should get my money immediately so I can rebuild, and there shouldn’t be a rate hike. We really are just children in this country. I wonder if this is going to reduce Charlie Crist’s chances of getting reelected from 100% down to 98%. After all, we wouldn’t want a big government Liberal in Tallahassee.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Training A 38 Year Old Body or We're Having Pizza Tonight

Well, I never seem to learn. I have a chest cold. I can’t breathe, but that didn’t stop me from trying to do my Monday interval training. I was supposed to do 3x1mi, hopefully finishing each interval in less than ten minutes. The first interval was fine. I finished in about 8m10s. Maybe I went out too fast because I struggled through the second interval, and I barely finished in 9min20s. I walked part of the last lap. I just couldn’t breathe. I guess I don’t know how to pace myself, but I’m new to interval training so maybe it will help me learn. There was no third interval. I left the track more than an hour ago and I’m still coughing. On the plus side I’m losing weight and my brand new kicks felt great. I have to start keeping better track of my shoe mileage because I can never tell when my shoes are worn out until there are holes in them. But whenever I get new shoes a light goes on, “Oh, that’s what cushion and support are supposed to feel like.” I also have a new schedule which is going to allow me to ramp up my workout intensity. I’m going back to weights five days a week. I haven’t hit my legs hard since LMJ was born; she’s almost two. Welcome back Mr. Squat. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve started taking L-Carnitine, which is a free form amino acid that helps facilitate the metabolism of long chain fatty acids. Beta Alanine has also been added to the mix – it’s the junk – is another free form amino acid that helps regulate muscle pH levels. It allows muscles to process lactic acid more efficiently and therefore perform longer and recover quicker. The older I get the bigger the role nutrition plays in getting me through my workouts. It was a lot easier being an eighteen year old perpetual motion machine, but getting old is better than the alternative.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Back When I Used To Be Heterosexual

I had a short correspondence with a knucklehead I went to high school and college with on Facebook – I’ll call him the Admiral. I recommended a mutual friend from our past to him – as Facebook suggested – but our friend had gotten married and changed her name in the nearly twenty years since we had all been together, as chicks will sometimes do. “Who the f**k is xxxx?” was the message awaiting me yesterday morning. I haven’t spoken to the Admiral since 1993, and this is how he greets me. What should I have expected? He’s a thirty-seven year old punk rocker. He hasn’t changed at all. One of the reasons we got along is because he’s even more caustic than I am. It’s also the reason I almost beat him to death on three different occasions. The Admiral has always believed that inhibitions were for the other guy. He was – probably still is – the “lets do some shots” guy at 4:30 in the morning. I remember having to pull one of his frat brothers off of him after this exchange on a Wednesday night.

The Admiral: Jager shots time.
Frat Brother: I can’t. I got my cost accounting* final tomorrow at 10.
The Admiral: It’s one shot. It’s not even hard liquor. Don’t be such a fa**ot.
Frat Brother: Look, I’m actually TRYING to graduate.
The Admiral: Whatever! take the penis out of your mouth so you can shoot some Jager with me.
The Admiral: Calm down, dude. You’ll feel better after you take the cock outta your butthole and hit this Jagermeister.

At this point the Frat Brother slams the Admiral to the ground, mounts him and rises up to start pummeling his skull. I pulled the frat brother off of the Admiral, calmed him down, and sent him home with his girlfriend. The Admiral was genuinely shocked and mildly offended that he had been physically assaulted. He asked, with zero irony, “What was HIS problem?” This is one of those moments that is chiseled into my brain by its surrealism. I also remember that the Admiral and I sat down at his kitchen counter/bar and finished that bottle of Jagermeister while comparing and contrasting the greatness of N.W.A and Metallica – on a Wednesday night. I guess that’s what you do when you’re the only two heterosexual men in Tallahassee. Hanging out with the Admiral today would cost me my marriage so it’s not even remotely close to being worth it, but it’s a lot closer than it should be.

*editor’s note: Cost Accounting is the accounting course that forces accounting majors out of accounting, and into Management. It’s a senior level course. It’s such a nightmare that it gets seniors to change their majors.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Don't Feel Like Writing Tonight

So I'm going to post some offensive jokes.

What did the deaf, dumb, blind kid get for christmas? Cancer.

Q: What's the first thing a woman does when she gets out of the battered wives' shelter? A: The dishes, if she knows what's good for her

A ship wrecks onto a deserted island. Two guys and a girl survive. Since they don't have anything to do all day besides eating and sleeping, they just have sex. Eventually the girl gets sick and dies. The two men don't know what to do with themselves anymore so they keep having sex. After a few days of sex, they feel guilty about what they've been they bury her.

I locked my keys in my car outside of an abortion clinic the other night. It turns out they get really pissed when you go in and ask them for a coat hanger.

What do spinach and anal sex have in common? If you were forced to have it as a kid, you'll hate it as an adult.

What has four legs and one arm? A Doberman in a playground.

Pickup line: Excuse me, does this smell like chloroform?

How does every Black joke start? By looking over your shoulder!

Why can't Stevie Wonder read? Because he's black.

Obama in the whitehouse... Thats exactly what we need, another black family in government housing.

What did the black kid get on his S.A.T?
Pork rinds and orange soda.

What do you call a black man flying an airplane?
The pilot. You're all a bunch of racists.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Random Stuff

Holy Taco got W's doodles from the inauguration speech

This is Jada Pinkett Smith's death metal band. She's one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. Which is the only reason I care. Her face is nearly flawless. It feels good to look at her. She looks like a Nubian sculpture - not necessarily in the picture. She started a death metal band. She's black. She's married to the Fresh Prince. I don't think he's TCB'n. I think he's a full on homo Scientologist(allegedly). I think their marriage was a business arrangement just like Tom and Nicole's and Tom and Katie's(allegedly). Who is Hancock's best buddy? Unfortunately, Jada's career hasn't taken off like Nicole's did. She's turned to death metal to deal with her disappointment, resentment, and rage. She's turning her back on Jesus, but not in favor of L. Ron Hubbard like her husband and his "wingman" hope. She's turning to the Dark Lord, the Desolate One. It's just a matter of time before she's trying to conjure up Satan on Oprah. She's going to get jiggy with it in a brand new way. When she's done with the rite will it be Oprah herself, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, or Rachel Ray that says, "I'm already here"?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We Hold These Truths To Be Self...OH MY GOD! LOOK AT HIS LEG!!!

So I’m watching the John Adams HBO miniseries today, and like almost everything HBO does it’s great. It’s connecting people, places, and times for me in a way that books never have. For example, it never entered the transom of my mind that Samuel Adams and John Adams were related. I knew they were both prominent members of the revolution. I knew they were both from Boston. I knew that gene pools weren’t deep in the 18th century, but when John calls Samuel cousin I asked myself, “Is that THE Samuel Adams?” Then I mentally smacked myself in the back of the head. The series is also showing that the Founding Fathers, at least the ones from Massachusetts, were just a bunch of thugs. An English official calls John Hancock a smuggler, and the gentleman with the affinity for large font incites a riot and has the official stripped, tarred, and feathered by the mob. The scene is graphic. This probably should have prepared me for the battle scene when the ship carrying John Adams to France is attacked by a British ship. A lieutenant on Adams’s ship has his leg mangled by a cannon that was fired without having its brake set. Adams tries to help the guy by dragging him below deck to what I guess was a sick bay. All I could think about was the lieutenant’s destroyed leg bouncing down the steps. They hoist him onto a table, tie a tourniquet above his knee, tell him to drink as much rum as he can, they give him a leather strip to bite down on, and start sawing his leg off with a hacksaw. The damn thing had a serrated blade! The “doctor” seemed surprised when he hit an artery and blood started spattering the wall. Then he got annoyed with Adams because Adams wasn’t checking the lieutenant’s pulse quickly enough. As if checking someone’s pulse will stop blood from squirting out of a severed artery. With weapons more lethal than ever, drugs that actually relieve pain, and doctors that know to watch out for arteries when they attack large limbs with hacksaws, I would still be hesitant to engage in potentially lethal combat. But people that fought in wars throughout history seemed to not know or not care about what was going to happen to them. I guess when you’re 25 and your life expectancy is 30 you can’t be anything but phlegmatic about danger – better to bleed to death quickly on a table than die slowly from small pox, scurvy, rickets, syphilis, malaria, salmonella, trichinosis, thirst, hunger, or gangrene.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stop, Just Stop, You Suck

One of the great things about the internet is that anyone can dump anything onto it. Information has never been freer. At the same time however, one of the horrible things about the internet is that anyone can dump anything onto it – hence the birth of amateur porn. I have a buddy I went to high school with who threw a video of his garage band onto Facebook playing Jimi Hendrix’s Red House. It was recorded on someone’s handheld video camera. It wasn’t ready for publication. Everything that one would think was wrong with this is wrong with this. I “play” guitar, and by play I mean I own one. I used to be able to struggle through most Metallica, even through the weird key changes and time changes, but that’s all math, which is why everybody plays Metallica. Hendrix’s Red House is a simple blues; it’s all soul. What sets it apart is the man himself. Songs like this should carry the “don’t try this at home” disclaimer. Eric Clapton would hesitate to cover this song. Stevie Ray Vaughn never covered this song. But an IT doofus with a garage and a Stratocaster figured he has what it takes. I don’t mind him playing it, even in front of people. It was a barbecue and he was serving free food. Just don’t throw it up on the internet. There has to be a mental checkpoint before exposing your horrible playing and worse singing to the whole world. Yes, Hendrix is universally cool. You playing Hendrix is not. I know all the words to the Star Spangled Banner, but there’s no video of me frightening babies singing, “AND THE LAAAND OF THE FREEEE” because I understand that what sounds good in my head doesn’t necessarily sound good to, you know…other people. The problem is that dude thinks it’s great. He put it on the web because he thinks he’s can play. “Look at me. I rock.” Where are his local friends whose job it is to mock him until he bleeds? I can’t do everything.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Memo To Nutjobs

Re: The President and Any Harbored Ill Will

Any F***ING time. Any F***ING place


The Secret Service

My Understanding of Obama's Inauguration Speech

This is the full transcript of the President's inaugural speech. In case you disagree with my analysis.

What Obama was saying is that W. is retarded, and we're in a monstrous hole because of his tarditude. Thank God we're Americans becuase we're the only people in the history of the world that could come out of the absolutely brutal and constant pooch screwing of the last eight years.

I'll end this on a happy note: FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH.

Monday, January 19, 2009

There's Some Big Thing Tomorrow Isn't There?

I signed up for some races today, and then decided to do some interval training at the track to get ready for the Super Sunday 5k two weeks from now. Interval training sucks. It’s nothing but pain. It had better work. I better beat my 2007 times in both the Ortega River Run and the Gate River Run. I had a massive brain fart last year and forgot to sign up for either race. Beating my time in the Gate shouldn’t be a problem. The G’s and I ran that just to finish. If we weren’t dead when we crossed the finish line it meant we’d won. The Ortega might be a problem. I was almost thirty pounds lighter and in the best shape I’ve been in since the ‘80’s. Right now the goal is to finish this upcoming 5k in less than thirty minutes. I need to look up and see a 2 in the tens of minutes spot when I cross the finish line. Tonight I ran 3 x .5mi at an 8 minute mile pace with a 2 minute rest period. I’m happy that my third interval was faster than my second. I ran under control the entire time, and my heart rate didn’t get too high. The next step is dropping some weight. We had Maggianos for dinner. I had the braciole. In case anyone doesn’t know, braciole are meat stuffed meat rolls served over pasta with a simple tomato sauce. It’s what Jesus served at the Last Supper. I don’t think it helped me get any leaner, but like they say, the best time to start a diet is tomorrow. I’ve got my schedule set for the next two weeks, and I’m going to try to get in a workout every day including the days I’m with LMJ.

Obama voice: This is a time that calls for responsibility; a time that calls for effort; a time to meet adversity head on. When the world asks, “Can we put that third bearclaw down?” I say, “Yes we can!” When the world asks, “Can we stay on the elliptical machine when we’ve forgotten our iPod?” I say, “Yes we can!” When the world asks, “Can we get in the pool even though it’s cold as a bitch outside (meteorological term)? I say, “Yes we can!” I say, “Yes we can and yes we will!” God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Nothing remarkable happened today. I don’t have a serious football rooting interest playing. I wanted the Iggles to win but I’m not worked up about them losing. The Seminoles look good in basketball, but it’s January so that means less than nothing. We went to the park today, and LMJ was cute but so. She’s cute everyday. What am I supposed to write about? Some of you should resist arrest and let me video tape it – your pain, my gain. Could somebody please punch a cop in the face? We met the G’s yesterday at Panera, but that was uneventful. They’re really nice people but there weren’t any cops in the restaurant for them to punch. Even if there were, I doubt they would have because I’m sure their daughter would have died of embarrassment. I’m not sure they would sacrifice their daughter’s life so I could have something to post about – at least not in January. If this was late December and everybody needed something to write about to keep their blog post streaks going then maybe, but not for 18 of 365. Nobody’s desperate yet. The most dramatic thing that happened this weekend is that I forgot to get MJ an orange juice. Tomorrow is MLK day and Tuesday Obama is inaugurated, but how does that help me on this sleepy Sunday. I drank some beer and my parents came over to see their granddaughter, so it was a good day, but absolutely nothing extraordinary happened. I got Starbucks this morning, but it wasn’t crowded and they got my order right. The only complaint that I might have is that there’s a hot chick crew and they weren’t working. Today is a complete happy wanderer day. Maybe I needed it after Friday night’s Battlestar. It’s 7:30. The baby girl is in the bath. There’s football on right now. Tomorrow is a holiday. That’s about all I’ve got. Seacrest out.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lucy, You Got Some Splainin' To Do.

Battlestar Galactica frustrates me. How am I supposed to wait a whole week to find out what’s going to happen. I need a BSG marathon. I need to see all of the final episodes in one sitting. I think that’s only six hours. I waited a full six months for last night’s teaser. I had gotten BSG out of my mind. It was sitting on a fond mental shelf with other past television greats like The Sopranos, The Wire, and The West Wing. I was able to go on with my life. But then last night, BAM! Spoilers: Dualla blows her brains out. Starbuck is the final Cylon except she’s not. Because Ellen Tigh is the final Cylon – maybe, possibly, perhaps. Earth was entirely populated by Cylons who destroyed themselves 2, 000 years ago. Are we to infer that WE are Cylons? Are the twelve colonies actually the Cylons while the Cylons are actually us? I bet they’re going infomercial on us and throwing in an EXTRA Cylon at no additional cost. Billy Mays is the final Cylon. What the frack is going on? I’m going to need closure. And by closure I mean the writers had better wrap this up neatly with a bow – everything. I don’t want a crappy cop out ending like The Sopranos had. That sucked. I want an epilogue, Harry Potter style. I dreamt about this stupid television program last night. Something like that hasn’t happened since…um…I don’t know…oh that’s right, it happened six months ago with the last BSG cliffhanger. If this show is going to seep into my subconscious then I think the writers have an obligation to put my mind at rest. I’m going to drop the $200 on the box set anyway, so there’s no downside to doing the right thing and ending this story with an actual ending. This is sad. I’m just begging now.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Everybody’s Got a Plan Till They Get Punched in The Face

I can’t remember if it was Plato or Mike Tyson who said this. But right now it’s in my top 5 profound thoughts of all time. There seems to be a lot of people worried about what Barack Obama is going to do, and how quickly he’s going to do it, to make the world peachy keen before the end of the year. There are people who object to the homophobe that will swear him in. There are people who have a problem with the gay bishop he’s appointing. It seems that people on both the right and left expect Obama the president to be the same guy as Obama the candidate. For the love of Krispy Kreme I hope this is not the case. The closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay is higher on people’s priority list for the president than I think it should be. Philosophically, I agree with all of the popular reasons for closing Gitmo: human rights, constitutional illegality, we’re better than that. And I’d be more than philosophically on board if more Americans understood that getting punched in the face is a cost of doing business. Oil is cheap because we screw people over. Food is cheap because we screw people over. Clothes are cheap because we screw people over, and sometimes these people get fed up. When they do, we have a choice. We can take a step back for a moment of reflection and examine what may have caused our neighbors’ outbursts, or we can hit them back. I’m fine with either choice, but I think we should own that choice. We should embrace the evil that it is to be Americans. But we don't. We want our sausage, but we don’t want to see how it’s made. That’s crap – figuratively and literally. We’re not God’s noblest children. We never have been. We never will be. There has never been a good leader who was a good guy, and I hope Obama understands that.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm Lazy

How to field dress a unicorn is one of the many reasons why the interweb is a wonderful thing.

This is just about how I remember it, teachers who read this, is it still like this? is the best website ever.

Maddox makes me feel better.

I've reached the breaking point and I'm going to buy a digital voice recorder, and record my wisdom in a Scottish brogue.

Human society is based on polite lies. If people, especially men, were honest about what they thought the whole world would be like the Middle East. The Jews and Arabs have an open and honest relationship.

Does anyone really believe that Pizza Hut can all of a sudden make world class Italian food?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ricardo Montalban Died Today

Ricardo Montalban died today at 88. The Mexican actor made a splash in the late ‘40’s in Hollywood musicals and had a long running stint as Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island – even after it got weird. He is best known for pimping the Chrysler LeBaron with its rich Corinthian leather during the ‘80’s and as Khan Noonien Singh the genetically enhanced super-villain who cost Spock his life, but more importantly went macho-a-macho with James T. Kirk. He was so absolutely, totally, completely, an unmitigated badass that, although he only showed up on one episode of Star Trek, they made a movie about him fifteen years later. Consider the subtitles for the Star Trek movies: Generations, The Voyage Home, Sulu’s story: We’re Queer and We’re Here. But when Señor Montalban signed on they came up with The Wrath of Khan as a subtitle for the second Star Trek movie because his machismo dictated it. The Wrath of Khan was a great movie not just because Kirk had finally met his equal in deep space pimpery but also because Montalban took bigger bites out of the scenery than Shatner. I know all the other performers spent most of their time checking their bank balances to make sure the checks had cleared. Money was the only thing that kept them on the set. If you haven’t seen the movie, this is the Cliff’s Notes version

Montalban: KOOOOUUUUUURRRRRRKKKK!!! (that’s Kirk with a Mexican accent)

Shatner: KAAAAAAHHHHHHHNNNNNN!!! (that’s Kahn with a Canadian accent)

Although, near the end, Leonard Nimoy has quite the scene chewing soliloquy, only to be upstaged a minute later by Shatner’s fake trembling lip. Don’t bring Kool-Aid to a gin party. But the greatest part of the movie, and the reason Ricardo Montalban is in Cooperstown, was Kahn’s chest. Bill Murray once asked, “Quien es mas macho, Fernando Lamas o Ricardo Montalban?” Only God knows for sure, but I think I have a pretty good idea.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Just Do What I'm Told

LMJ is 20 months old today, and I’m thinking about how much she has changed my life. What’s strange is that I’m 38 years old, she’s been a part of my life for less than 2 years, yet I can’t remember life before her. It’s funny that I used to think I was busy. What did I do with all that free time, and what will I do when I get it back in seventeen years when she goes off to college (MJ, you have no automatic claim to any of this potential free time)? On the one hand, I wish we had had her five or even ten years ago. On the other hand, I’m cherishing every moment and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love her pigeon English. I love the sense of purpose she has with everything she does. For right now, I love how bossy she is. I don’t think that’s going stay cute though. I love how busy she is, even though she wears me out. I love that she’s an extremely affectionate baby. We spend a lot of time hugging and kissing. I even love that I’m at the base of the totem pole that’s buried underground. LMJ brought me the TV remote the other night and handed it to me. I asked her what she wanted me to do with it, and she said “On!?!” So I turned on the television. What was funny is that her mother was genuinely surprised that I asked how high when LMJ said jump. I’ve treated her the exact same way for nearly twenty years. When we found out we were having a baby girl how did she think things were going to go? If LMJ asks her daddy nicely and there’s no chance of physical injury, 99 times out of 100 she’s going to get what she wants. That’s just the way things are (Mama still gets treated that way too). And that’s the way things are going to stay.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cold and Gray Part II

Running in the cold and biking in the cold are two different things. Disclaimer: cold refers to Florida cold. It was 58 degrees and cloudy today when I decided to exercise, another gray day. I figured I’d get a ride in instead of going to the Y or running. Some days both of those options suck. I thought about LMJ and wore my helmet. No matter how much I ride, I still feel like a complete retard when I wear a bike helmet. I’m a big believer in the 2nd amendment so I wore a shirt with no sleeves. I ride faster than I run and riding doesn’t use any part of my upper body so I was freezing. I decided to act like I had a pair and soldier on. Everything was fine. I was dodging cars and doing my Lance Armstrong thing, and then it started to rain. I was four miles from home. Oh yeah, I said some bad words. The upside is that I picked up my pace as I cut my ride short and headed home. I rode home at a 3min47sec per mile pace. It hurt – a lot. I rode through Boone Park, and for about thirty yards I was off road. I actually had to change gears to get up a “hill”. The freezing rain and rapid pace came together to help me ignore stop signs. It’s funny how discomfort changes one’s perspective. I made the choice that it was better to risk getting hit by a truck than to slow down because slowing down would mean either speeding back up or spending more time in the rain, and my legs and lungs were not having it. If I got hit by a truck, well, I’d probably be unconscious and at least the ambulance would be warm. The next time I ride in the cold and rain – probably tomorrow – I’m bundling up.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Didn't Even Have to Use My AK

I sat around and did nothing today. I watched both NFL playoff games, and I’m very happy. There is nothing about college football that can compare to “this league”. Actually, I did some laundry today. Which should have been balanced out by drinking a whole bunch of beer, but I’m trying to lose weight. I love the NFL. It’s unmitigated brutality. It’s grown men taking years off each other’s lives. Thanks to the Jaguars poor impersonation of a real professional football team this year, I’m not overly invested in any of the games emotionally so I’m enjoying them a lot more. I’m watching with an unbiased eye and appreciating the technical precision. Both games today were played in cold weather, the Giants and Eagles in New York and the Steelers and Chargers in Pittsburgh. It was windy like it always is in the Meadowlands in January, and it was snowing in Pittsburgh. Football played in the snow is the coolest thing in sports. It’s also cool that all four teams have defenses that like to hit and hurt people. I had burgers for lunch and burritos for dinner. I wore khaki shorts, white tube socks, and loafers while I grilled meat. I got some charred meat on my khaki shorts and went to a backup pair. A prepared griller is a good griller. The only thing I tried to do today that didn’t work out is take a nap. I was trying to fall asleep on the couch but LMJ wasn’t having any of it. Mommy said, “I think Daddy’s trying to take a nap,” and my sweet, precious, beautiful baby girl ran into the living room, grabbed me by the head, and moved me out of the way so she could sit on the couch. Even the LAPD would have thought that was a little bit rough. It was a good day, and now I’m rested and ready for the week

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Everyday You're Upright Is A Good Day

I did a biathlon thing today. I rode my bike fifteen miles, hopped off that summbitch and ran three. Running on pre-fatigued legs is fun. I like it when I have to think about not falling on my face every step I take because I don’t know if my thighs are strong enough to support me. Running on pre-fatigued lungs is fun too. I bet it feels like somebody OD’ing on a speedball. I also learned that a still beating human heart works as long as it doesn’t shoot out one’s mouth. I can’t imagine how it’s humanly possible to do the Ironman – 2.5 mile ocean swim, 110 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run – but it is. I see people finish it every year on T.V. I also know somebody, personally, that’s finished it. I’m not anywhere close to being ready for the Ironman. I am close to being ready for the River Run, which I plan on treating like a white collar convict in a maximum security prison – don’t let me catch you standing up to pee. I forgot to mention that I have a kiddy-seat on the back of my bike that acts like a parachute. As positive as I am about my fitness right now, the constant pain I’m in is threatening to take its toll on me. My ankles still hurt. My shins hurt. My thighs hurt. My neck hurts. My lower back hurts. I’m flexible like a baseball bat, and I’m too sore to stretch for any length of time. I’m only comfortable when my muscles are hot; not warm, hot. I’m thinking about moving into one of the saunas at the Y. The only reason I got the bike out today was because my legs were too stiff to run, and I didn’t want to take twenty minutes to warm up in the back yard. Getting old is a drag, but then I remember what the philosopher Westley says, “Life is pain; anyone telling you different is selling something.”

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's Great to Be a Florida Gator.

The Florida Gators were voted national champions for the second time in three years, and I would really be happy if the world exploded. My deep black hatred for the orange and blue is all encompasing. Their success is my misery. However, I can’t feel half as frustrated as the Gators’ defensive coordinator, Charlie Strong. Strong’s defense just bent “the best offense in college football history” over and treated them like a white collar convict in a maximum security prison for the second time in three years. He’s been a huge part of the Gators’ success yet, no one wants to interview him for a head coaching job. I wonder why. What could possibly be the reason that not one of the 30 or so schools looking for a head coach is interested in even talking to Charlie Strong? Well f**k ‘em all. I’m a Gator fan until the brother man gets an interview.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What To Do With A Sleeping Baby

I’m at home with a baby who has a head cold. She didn’t sleep well last night, therefore neither did her parents. We went outside this morning and played. I’m a big believer in the recuperative powers of physical activity and fresh air. We played in the sand. We played in my car. We played with a beach ball. We played with a basketball. We had an all around good time. Then I decided to take her on a walk. It would keep her outside in the sunshine longer, and it would let me work some of the lactic acid out of my legs - a very laid back recovery run. We were going to walk down to the Starbucks in Five Points, pick up a pound of that uncut stuff, and walk back. The route is between 3.18 and 3.20 miles, depending on how my 305 is feeling. It takes about 45 minutes there and back. We started up the block. I was singing Let’s Go Driving in an Automobile to her when I looked down and she was asleep. We were .66 mile into the walk, and I had an executive decision to make. Do I keep walking and let her get a guaranteed half hour of sleep in the sun or do I turn around and go home so she can sleep in a warm bed for up to two hours, but risk her getting no sleep and spending the rest of the day cranky? I rolled the dice. Fortune favors the bold. We went home and she slept for a good ninety minutes, which confirmed that she has more than just the sniffles – poor, sweet, silly baby. She woke up happy and rested. We had some lunch while we watched a Sesame Street Podcast. Then we finished our walk. Unfortunately, I forgot to stop at Starbucks and get some coffee. Hopefully, MJ is reading this at work instead of doing her job and stops on her way home.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Stuff I Shouldn't Let Bother Me.

I find it frustrating that people can’t separate what they like and don’t from what is good and bad. I was looking through a list of the worst books ever written on Goodreads, and there were a bunch of classics on the list. I don’t just mean best sellers. I mean Steinbeck and Faulkner and the King James Bible. In art the test of time is absolute – it’s scoreboard. If it's relevant a century later then it's good. No matter what anyone thinks. Just because someone doesn’t think the Bible is true doesn’t mean it’s poorly written. Just because Ann Coulter is evil doesn’t mean she can’t craft a sentence. The fact that she upsets so many people is proof she’s a good writer. And if you have a problem with Harry Potter, put the Haterade down and step back. I understand Dan Brown’s stuff and Mein Kampf being on the list; they’re badly written. When I read Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code I spent a lot of time rolling my eyes. Mein Kampf isn't bad because he was a mass murderer. It's bad because he was illiterate. These are “Worst Book” candidates. I liked Angels and Demons but I understand that it sucks. The Grapes of Wrath nearly bored me to death, but Steinbeck will still be ruining the lives of 11th graders everywhere a hundred years from now – scoreboard. The group that bothers me most is the Haters, the frustrated writers whose great American novel is just too far ahead of its time to be published, the wannabe lit professors that can’t enjoy brain candy for its own sake. Maybe Twilight is written for ‘tween girls not pipe smoking old guys, and from what I understand Caitlins and Madisons all over the world can’t get enough. Remember Cassio’s words to Iago in Othello, “Don’t hate the player. Hate the game.” That’s the Bard.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

That's Not A Moon. It's A Fat Guy Running

I stepped on the scale today and was not happy with the numbers that came up. So I threw on my Swoops and took off on a run. I may have mentioned that I’m throwing myself into my job, and in doing so, I haven’t had time to workout. I had to cut my workout short yesterday because of a meeting, and I didn’t even schedule one today for the same reason. On the one hand LMJ is not going to have to worry as much about the community college she chooses, but on the other hand I don’t want to have to be the first contestant on The Biggest Loser who’s a complete jackass. Just because I’m a vomitous blob doesn’t mean I won’t make fun of the other food addicts. Women across the world will tell their husbands and boyfriends what a jerk I am, especially since I’m the fattest one on the show. The husbands and boyfriends will try their best to hide their laughter behind their beers. Anyway, I ran my normal 5.5 mile course this afternoon through Riverside towards downtown. A full two miles of it are along the St. Johns which makes it beautiful, but the stretch behind St. Vincent’s runs me through two smoking stations twice. The second time through is in the last half mile and makes me wish I carried a gun to speed up the smoker’s slow suicide. It would have to be a .22 or something small like that because I don’t want the extra weight. It’s awful running through the smokers. I swear I can smell them 200 yards away on my return run. It’s not so bad on the way out. On the way out I pity the fools (Mr. T). It’s partly my fault. If cheeseburgers weren’t my not so secret lover, I’d be closer to svelte. If cheeseburgers weren’t my not so secret lover, I wouldn’t be in so much pain right now – my feet and ankles are shot. But it’s January 6, and I still have a full two months to get ready for the River Run. I cruised at an easy pace that I could keep for another four miles, which would have me finishing the River Run in less than 100 minutes. I’m excited. I didn’t even mention the 1100 calories I burned.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What lead my daughter to the Tribe or I'm Not Racist. You're Racist for Thinking I'm Racist (part II)

My daughter discovered latkes about ten days ago and loves them. What’s not to love, but she’s just a little girl. My wife likes to say she, my daughter, has a sophisticated palate, but there were onions in the latkes, and what 19 month old likes onions? I guess mine does. If you click on the latke link you can see a picture of her enjoying her fried potatoes Chosen People style. When LMJ chooses Judaism as her way to serve God I’ll look back to this moment. There’s no real downside. There may have been more of a downside if she was a boy, but since she’s a girl there’s no circumcision anxiety. Lisa Bonet, Lenny Kravitz, and Jenny from the Jeffersons have already blazed the biracial Jewish trail for her. She’ll have one day of penance each year on Yom Kippur as opposed to forty days of Lent. There’s no need to pay retail in sin. That last sentence is a total rip-off of a John Stewart joke from his act from fifteen years ago. Her mother is already instructing her in the mysteries of voicing one’s true suffering so LMJ is going to be way ahead of the game. There’s a good chance I’ll be sending her to Hebrew school anyway, just because kids have it too easy these days, and I remember growing up that none of my Jewish friends liked missing out on soccer and kickball to learn the language of the prophets. Finally, if she’s a Jew she’ll have the stereotype Royal Flush. She’ll have the gifts of a big booty, crazy athleticism, and rhythm from my people. Her mother’s people give her the gifts of a work ethic, organization, and brutality on a historic scale. The Jews will give her an overdeveloped sense of self and a nose for money. Plus, since all Blacks know each other and all Jews know each other LMJ will know everybody, and it’s all due to a tasty treat.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Git 'Er Done

Go home. This is the Vacation Police. If you all just grab your stuff and leave there won’t be any hassle.

It’s Sunday, and tomorrow the work routine begins again. It’s a brand new year full of brand new opportunities. We still have to come up with a name for the decade. I don’t really like “the aughties”. There are forty pounds to lose and ten races to run, including the River Run. It’s time to start training for a triathlon. If a seventy-nine year old women can finish the Ironman, which is a merciless race where competitors are disqualified if they don't finish the ocean swim in under a certain time, what possible excuse can I have for not being able to finish one of the local triathlons? I have another chance to motivate my family to exercise. There will be more family running, biking, and swimming or LJ will be an a-hole of unprecedented intensity. It’s just your life; it’s not anything really important. There is a bunch of writing to do. If the retarded kid across the street can redefine Irish literature, the least I can do is bang out a blog entry everyday. I can spend a Saturday afternoon planning my novel. I can stop procrastinating and take care of my own financial planning (physician heal thyself). While I’m willing to bet my life on my indestructibility, I’m not willing to bet LMJ’s future. Effort is the order of the day. And while I may be in a Tony Robbins mood “effort” is still a noun. I will not be “efforting” anything. I will be taking a more proactive role in trying to help those close to me achieve what they want to achieve, whether that’s peace of mind or a redone kitchen. However, my biggest challenge for 2009 will be to love my job, but I think I can do it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I'm Trying to Post Everyday, Too.

I started a rather nasty manifesto that won't be published until it is revised - if it's published at all. I'm trying to be more positive in my outlook and less punitive in my responses. This is diametrically opposed to what I'm writing in my manifesto. I think the manifesto, if it is released, it will mean that everything has broken down. But that's not going to happen because my positive energy, and the endless supply of Tony Robbins quotes available on the Internet are indefatigable. President elect Obama is testing me already. He's about to be sworn in as POTUS, yet his ridiculous cult loyal followers continue to beg me for money like a homeless guy at the bottom of an exit ramp. You won. I voted for you. Stop begging. I think a more constructive use of your time would be coming up with a strategy to let the world know you're not a bitch, without starting or finishing a nuclear war. One of the things I'm going to miss about the W regime is the world's abject fear healthy respect of W's potential to act capriciously. Laura's not in the mood, fine. Let's end the world. My bike has a flat tire, fine. Let's end the world. I don't condone this attitude, and "I challenge W to make his life a masterpiece. I challenge him to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk" - Tony Robbins. Can Obama get out of my pocket and actualize his synergy to help America be the best America America can be? I'm pretty sure I know his answer, and his positivity helps me in the positivization of my own ideal tomorrow. Thank you for motivating me, Barry. Allow me to return the favor by offering you some motivation. When the Dow gets back over 11 thousand I'll send you five dollars. When the Cuban embargo is lifted I'll send you a hundred. A salaam alaikum.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Can We Put the Phone Down? YES WE CAN!

Hey! Howyadoin? I got in my car, drove to Starbucks, spent $4 on coffee, and then I called you on my cellular phone to talk about things other than business, getting together, or what kind of tasty treat you want. What’s that? Yeah, I guess I could have skipped steps one thru three, but why would I want to do that? How else are people going to know that I have a social life if I’m not sitting by myself and screaming into a phone at Starbucks?

Is this just part of the culture of the 21st century? I don’t understand the thought process. I don’t understand where Starbucks fits in. I could understand where a bar fits in, but not a coffee house. It’s the holidays. It’s a chance to catch up with friends and family. Sometimes catching up can’t be in person. 4 fingers of Jameson and a pint of Guinness would make the situation better no matter how the relationship is. Espresso does nothing but force a bathroom break. Why is a trip and stay to Starbucks necessary to make a chatty phone call? I was at the Starbucks to provide moral support to a teacher who didn’t want to grade. She was there to escape the baby who had been tugging at her leg. El Cabron behind us screaming into his phone in Spanish was rambling on about nothing. His conversation consisted of remember this, remember that. It’s a free country, at least for another 18 days, and I don’t think people who have to be on the phone or they get twitchy should spend extended time in maximum security prisons. They just baffle me. Do I baffle them? Do they see me at a stoplight with no Bluetooth in my ear and assume I’m deaf? Do they write on their crappy blogs about not understanding people who accumulate rollover minutes, “How can you not be talking to someone on the phone? How can this guy stand to be alone with his thoughts?” Maybe that’s what it is. Maybe phonaholics can’t ignore or appreciate the voices coming from inside their heads, so they need a voice coming from outside their heads to drown them out. We think that’s just sad.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Who The Hell Are Old Guys?

Yesterday the family was touring the public parks in Riverside and Avondale, and as we were driving I saw an “old guy” in his car wearing a cardigan and smoking a pipe, like it was 1962. It didn’t shock me at first. My brain catalogued him as an old guy smoking a pipe, but then I started thinking about it. This guy wasn’t old. He was under sixty. He had a thick salt and pepper goatee and a frackin’ pipe. Even if he was sixty, that means he was born in 1948. He’s a baby boomer. Most likely a filthy worthless hippy. What baffles me is why he decided to cultivate this look? It’s not contemporary. It’s anachronistic. He might as well have been wearing a monocle and a stovepipe hat, or smoking a cigarette out of a cigarette holder. Did this guy want to be a professor that badly? At some point in his life this guy quit and said, “You know what, I’m old,” which is ridiculous. Old is out. Young is in. Christie Brinkley is fifty and sells exercise equipment. Jane Fonda is SEVENTY and apparently tried to fornicate her ex-husband to death. I don’t have a problem with this guy’s fashion statement. I just don’t understand it. Does he really want to be Fred MacMurray? Nobody knows who that is. Wouldn’t it be awkward to meet Bill Clinton and W at an evangelical whorehouse – something for everyone – and be the oldest guy in the room even though you’re the youngest guy in the room?

Side Note: I’ve stated before that I think W is going to replace his dad as Bill’s wingman and they’re going to win two or three Nobel Peace Prizes over the next twenty years. They’re not going to be sitting in high backed chairs in great rooms smoking pipes, and if they are smoking pipes they won’t be filled with tobacco.

Maybe this old guy got caught up in a joke. Yesterday I took the trash out wearing shorts, a white t-shirt, black socks pulled up to my knees and brown loafers. I wished I'd had some garters – damned elastic. It’s not the first time I’ve rocked this outfit, and it’s becoming less funny and more comfortable every time I do. Maybe I’ll be an old guy in twelve years. If for no other reason than to embarrass my daughter. Yeah, I have to go get a cardigan and a pipe.