Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Worst Part of The Race Was Not Finding EJG and JSG at The End

The 2007 Ortega River Run was the very first race I ever ran, but it wasn’t until I showed up at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church this morning to run the 2009 version that I knew it was my favorite. I love running along the river and through the neighborhood, past the big brick houses and the bigger brick houses. The race is to benefit the church’s day school, and maybe Episcopalians are smarter than everyone else who puts on a race because this is the best organized race I’ve run – top to bottom. It’s a 5 mile race so it attracts both high end runners who feel that a 5k is too short, and scrubs who won’t die if they push themselves a little too hard (Why is everyone looking at me?). The course is beautiful. It loops around Ortega so the spectators are able to move around and see their runner at more than one spot, and with the exception of a damned bridge, it’s a very flat course so the runners can enjoy the scenery instead of having to think about tactics too much. What’s funny is how fast I ran race two years ago, even though I didn’t know about the bridge until I was running up it. Two years of age and experience, twenty-five pounds, and lungs half filled with mucous add up to an extra three minutes for me on this course. The experience part was a positive and a negative. It was a positive because I knew what was coming up, and the bridge wasn’t a big deal at all this year. It was a negative because I knew how I was feeling, and I held back for the first two and a half miles in anticipation of the bridge. The problem was I didn’t know how I was really feeling. I finished mile 5 eighteen seconds faster than I did any other mile. That’s a huge difference. I ran at a pace no one else ran at today, which is weird. Normally, there’s somebody that’s running just a little bit faster than is comfortable for me, and I’ll run behind them. I didn’t stick with a group of people for more than a ¼ mile, and that all happened before the bridge. Everyone was either way too fast, and I didn’t even try to keep up, or they were way too slow and jacking up my stats. After I turned onto the bridge no one passed me. I caught at least a hundred people in the last two miles of the race. The only thing I slightly regret is a mildly aggressive move I made at the very end of the race. I was sprinting through the finish line because I’m convinced that the chip timer is on the second mat at the finish line and the first mat and corresponding beep is a trick, and I had no room to push through because a group of women in front of me thought the race ended on the first mat. I tried to avoid them but I bumped one of them kind of hard. Not hard enough to knock her down, but hard enough to make me apologize. Fortunately or unfortunately, I don’t know which; I didn’t regret the bump enough not to do it again. Ludacris summed up how I feel in a song he wrote years ago. It’s two weeks to the Gate River Run and I’m excited.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Moaning and Groaning and Whining and Complaining

This has been a banner week. I couldn’t breathe so I couldn’t run, and now I’m going to have a crappy time in the Ortega River Run tomorrow. It’s not that big a deal. I wasn’t going to win it, but I had set goals for myself. And to have those goals thwarted by microbes is frustrating. I now hope to finish this ridiculous race in under an hour, which should be effortless. But I haven’t run or done anything strenuous since last Thursday, so who the hell knows? Not to mention the distractions on the route. I’m going to run past a Chick-fil-A. I could make a right instead of a left just before the three mile marker and a bridge, and enjoy some chicken fried in peanut oil and a highly underrated milkshake. Another concern is starting out too fast. I always have a huge adrenaline surge at the start of a race. If I don’t pay attention to exactly what my body is telling me I could find myself crawling across the finish line. I don’t think I’m dumb enough to do anything that would force me into the back of the ambulance – I hope.

A woman in my office had her last day today. She was laid off. She’d been there forever. She didn’t really do anything and probably never should have been hired in the first place, but it’s weird when someone you work with is let go because of the depression – yeah, I said it. However, some other people should follow her. Nothing frustrates me more than when someone tries to do something extra, and in doing so fails to do their job.

Finally, I would like to give a big middle finger to UBS – the Swiss bank. For hundreds of years they actively profited by helping criminals hide money, proudly. But when the US government puts a little pressure on them they cave in and snitch. They’re a Swiss bank, and yes they make legitimate money here, but their bread and butter has been made by keeping people’s secrets. Tell the US Department of Justice to go f**k themselves, and shut down US operations or do some time. The snitching isn’t what really bothers me; it’s the delusion that they’re respected members of the business community. They’re willing to rat out people for tax evasion, but they don’t have a problem hoarding Nazi loot.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

MJ Wanted Me to Write About Obama's Speech, But I Was Watching These Instead

The Ultimate Warrior

The Ultimate Mechanic

The Ultimate Equine

The Ultimate Onion

I’m thinking about the profundity of yesterday’s post, and the stagnation of the male mind. One of the things I do that really irritates my wife is watching videos on YouTube and laughing hysterically. She asks what’s so funny. I answer you don’t want to know – and she doesn’t. Most likely, neither do you. None of this stuff is “you don’t want to know” in a Tony Soprano or Chris Hansen kind of way. That’s “I don’t want you to know” stuff. This stuff causes soul searching and raises questions like: How am I married to this idiot? How do I leave my daughter with this idiot? Is he ever going to outgrow this? If you haven’t clicked on any of the links above, they are videos of a professional wrestler raving about Hulk Hogan, a guy in a garage using an air compressor to make fart jokes, and a guy getting kicked in the head by a horse (he was beating the horse so he deserved it). There is also a link to an article from The Onion about Japanese porn. What these all have in common is that they have me in stitches every single time I watch or read them. I thought the law of diminishing returns was universal. Apparently it isn’t. At least not when it comes to “THE OATIMATE WOHYAHH” telling everyone why “HOAK HOGAN AND ALL HIS HOAKAMANIACS” will be disappointed at Wrestlemania 6. I can’t defend the videos other than to say it’s a guy thing, and women wouldn’t understand. The Onion article is well written, and I think may have some crossover appeal. The names of the distribution companies are my favorite. A big reason MJ gets upset is because when I find gems like these it’s usually late at night or first thing in the morning and my cackling might wake up the baby. I watch her run through a quick cost/benefit analysis of me in her head, and decide whether or not to put me out of her misery. It’s a good thing I can lift heavy stuff, and I change diapers.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Distillation and/or Concentration of Social Abnormalities in The 21st Century.

Nothing happened today. I went to work. I came home. My head is starting to clear, but I didn’t run (at least not yet). I didn’t go to Georgia to get my malt liquor because my wife wouldn’t let me (hater in da house). So I was stuck for something to write about, and then I signed on to Facebook and had an epiphany. High school graduation is the peak of maturity – and bone density, but that’s another story. We continue to be shaped by our experiences after high school, but our personalities are done. Think about it. Is there anyone from your high school that you knew that you’ve changed your opinion about? Is there anyone from your high school that was boring or self-centered that isn’t now? I know I’ve mellowed, but I’m still the same jackass I was in 1988. I’m basically – we’re all basically – scotch. I hang out with most of the people I liked in high school, and the people I have friended on Facebook from high school that I don’t hang out with I’m remembering why I didn’t hang out with them in high school. I would think that it was just me, stuck in a Rico Dynamite vicious circle of not being able to let go of the past, but the stuff that makes these people dorks now is the same stuff that made them dorks twenty years ago. I was caught up in a friendnado a month or two ago and added about forty friends in the span of three weeks. I thought it would be a good idea if we could all get together for dinner to reminisce. Fortunately, I’m not dumb enough to need Twitter and came to my senses before I started making reservations. I didn’t go to my high school reunions for a reason. I have connected to about ten people that I hadn’t seen since the ‘80’s that I would like to see. I have about ten friends on Facebook that I hang out with in real life. That leaves sixty people I’ve (re)connected with that I kinda wish I hadn’t. And two who I need to keep tabs on because the wheels are going to come off at some point, and I really want a front row seat. Yes, that’s juvenile, but I just explained how I stopped growing when I was eighteen. I think Facebook can be a good thing, but like everything else in the world today, people are overdoing it. Having 1100 friends doesn’t mean people like you. It means they don’t know that you can’t tell when they’ve ignored your friend request. But now I do. And not only am I going to de or unfriend you. I’m going to blog about it behind your back. Go Robert E. Lee fightin’ Generals!!! Class of ’88 MF’ers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Update: I Should Eat More Fiber Because This Is Painful

Expectant mothers with big busy body families? I’m trying to figure out exactly who would need Twitter because I want to convince myself that it’s not a sign of the Apocalypse. For those that don’t know, Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?. That’s from their web page. What a total, complete, absolute, all encompassing waste of time. I’m wasting time right now. My ramblings do not meet the minimum requirements to qualify as a constructive use of time. At best my blogging is mental exercise. I usually think when I do these things. At worst it’s a psychological profile that will be used at trial. However, it is not in the same realm of the putrid narcissism of Twitter. Why would anyone want a play-by-play account of the boring lives of 99.9999999% of us? Most of the status updates on Facebook are annoying me now, “It’s Monday and I’m at work!!!” is not an update anyone is interested in, except from my one friend who just got a new job after a long search. How is an entire website dedicated to that and nothing else? People that go on Jerry Springer should have Twitter accounts. I would love to know how they get to that point in their lives. The mom that just had eight babies even though she’s living on student loans should have Twitter. Basically, Twitter is good for the functionally retarded, so society at large will have a chance to stop some stupid decisions.

Plaxico’s Twitter: I’m looking for my gun so I can stick it in my pants and go have some fun.

Plaxico’s Wife's Twitter: Sweetie, I got rid of all the guns because we’re millionaires and have adequate police protection in our neighborhood. Not to mention that you’re stupid, and stupid people should never be armed. ILY.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm Stuffed Up, So This Post Goes Off The Rails A Little Bit

I wish snot was a commodity because I would retire today wealthy. I don’t understand how my entire skull can be filled with mucous. I thought I was getting over this thing yesterday, and today I’m sitting in my office writing this with a lotion covered Puffs up my nose because my nose is running like I’m four years old. Yes my office door is closed. I’m light headed, and the elevator ride up made me dizzy. I’m sneezing so violently that I cracked a window. If I had tried to hold it in I would have blown the back of my head out. My lips are chapped because I’m breathing out of my mouth like a state senator. I’m not happy. I’ve got a race on Saturday. I was looking forward to it. I was on track to challenge my time from two years ago, but now it’s a race I’m just hoping to survive. If I can’t run by Wednesday with a clear head, I’m going to walk the Ortega River Run carrying a 40oz. of malt liquor in a brown paper bag. Fun Fact: The reason people drop their drinks into paper bags is because of public intoxication laws and an unwritten understanding with the police. Most municipalities don’t want people getting their drink on out in the street, which is ridiculous. Americans are going to get liquored up. It’s what we do, and the police understand this. If they were going to enforce these laws they would do nothing else, but if it’s in a bag they pretend they don’t know what’s going on. Those guys on the corner could all be enjoying mineral water. It’s a nice compromise between law enforcement and the citizenry. Anyway, if I can’t breathe on Wednesday, I’m going to have to go to Georgia to get a “40” or a couple of deuce-deuces, and it may take me close to two hours to finish the race. Those race pictures of me crossing the finish line as I finish my beer will be up on the blog and I may change my Facebook photo. It will be art. It’s symmetry, which is beauty by definition.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'm Not Trying To Be Arrogant or Negative; I'm Just Right. And This Works For Movies Too

There’s a meme going around on Facebook asking people to name the albums that changed their lives. The minimum I’ve seen is fifteen, and the most one guy listed was 101. Really, you’re thirty-eight years old and roughly three albums a year shake you to your core? Flake. Music is an area that I want to have an open mind, but the giant metal door in my brain is on some faulty hydraulics. I understand that brand new music does change the realities of teenagers on a moment to moment basis, and this lasts for most of us until we settle down into the dreariness of our career lives. It has less to do with the music and more to do with what’s going on at the time. That’s how Al. B. Sure and Love and Rockets wind up on my list. But then there are people that are just trying to be cool, and in their quest for cool they fail miserably and wind up in a giant bag of douche. If you were born in the ‘50’s then I will accept that both Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold as Love changed your life, but not if Hendrix was dead before you were born. If you were born after 1970 you have to pick one Hendrix album, or Zeppelin album, or Sabbath album because when you heard the first one it changed your life, then you hauled ass to Coconuts or Turtles and bought the rest. This was my experience with all classic rock, and it was the experience of everyone I knew. Then there are the people whose music I just don’t approve of. This is my shortcoming. Who am I to say that someone shouldn’t like the Sammy Hagar Van Halen more than the Diamond Dave Van Halen – other than a guy who’s not deaf or retarded? I can’t respect that. I judge people by their music preferences, and I’m okay with it. Because the more I think about it the more I know my logic is rock solid. I’m capable of distinguishing good music from bad, whether I like it or not. I like Merle Haggard about as much as I like Garth Brooks, but I understand that one is a musical pioneer who is truly original and the other is Garth Brooks. If you tell me Merle Haggard changed your life I’ll ask you if you’ve ever seen him live. If you tell me Garth Brooks changed your life I’ll try not to talk to you anymore. The best real life example of this happened at FSU. A guy got back from a Guns ‘n Roses concert and said this, “Axl Rose is the BEST piano player in the world!” I want to have an open mind and be accepting of different points of view, so in the name of global harmony – Mr. Rose’s virtuosity not withstanding – I would love to hear why I should have listened to anything that person had to say ever again.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

LJ and the Bee

MJ dragged me to the regional spelling bee that was held at the downtown library this morning. The winner gets to go to Washington and compete in the national spelling bee. I didn’t want to go because it’s a spelling bee and spelling bees are boring. But it was kids pushing themselves to be excellent so it took about two seconds before I was all in. MJ had to stop me from mouthing and nodding along with the spellers, which was much harder than it sounds. The kids were from the fourteen surrounding counties and could be separated into two groups: those that were taking it seriously and those that weren’t. The kids who weren’t taking it seriously stepped up to the mike and spelled the word. If they knew it great, if not they took a wild guess. The kids who were taking it seriously had a process: ask to have the word repeated, ask the definition, ask for alternate pronunciations, ask for the origin, spell the word. I liked both groups. As the competition started I was surprised when the first misspelled word came in the first round and was “hyphen”. I can spell that. Then I saw the way the kid bailed from the stage and realized that these kids were dealing with some pressure. I knew I was emotionally invested when a kid misspelled Hibachi and I got angry. I got angry because she didn’t use a process to figure out what where the word came from. She just took a guess. There were “O’s” and “T’s” involved. But what upset me more is that Hibachi is not an English word, and it’s a name, a proper noun. This is a major bug up my butt with spelling bees. If it’s in the dictionary it’s fair game. That’s dumb. Under these rules d’oh and jiggy are perfectly fine. What’s a kid supposed to do if jalapeño comes up? N and ñ are not the same letter; ñ doesn’t exist in English. Yet the hot pepper is in the dictionary. This is a key reason I’m not excited about LMJ competing in one of these things. Another key reason is the randomness of the words selected. One kid will get vorlage and have to correct the game show host’s pronunciation before she busts it all up in his grill and the next kid will get quell. I was on the edge of my seat and I had never met any of the competitors. I’ll be much happier with my baby girl getting involved in Jiu-jitsu. Is that Jiu-jitsu or Jujutsu?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sorry for the Short Post

I have some kind of virus. I’m bleeding black blood from all of my body cavities, yet I still had a pretty good day. I really enjoy my day with LMJ. We played with some new city block toy she has. We watched a little Winnie the Pooh. We played in the backyard where she dumped a bucket of 45 degree water on herself. We changed clothes. We went to the park and went down the sliding board. We swung in the swings. We even did some pull-ups – she’s a beast. She ate almost an entire dinner serving of Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese. We read Ms. Spider as she went to sleep. We both took a nap. Six of my toes fell off and they smell like almonds and ammonia. I would go to the doctor but I don’t want to pay the $15 co-pay.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Long Run

One of the things I love about living in Riverside is that everything is so close. Everything I use is less than two and a half miles away. However, what I love about Riverside as a resident I hate about Riverside as a runner. I ran long yesterday, and I didn’t really map out a course. I headed southwest – into the wind – and kind of followed my nose. I planned on checking my mileage at a landmark not yet determined, and if I was a little short I would make it up with a lap or two around Boone Park. I wanted to get a minimum of seven miles in so I was just cruising. Yesterday was more about miles than time. As I was coming up on the big Publix on Roosevelt Boulevard, I checked my watch – 2.4 miles, WTF? I could have sworn it was a minimum of four miles from my house, three and change accounting for running short cuts. I was feeling great when I thought I was half way done. I felt like crap when I realized I wasn’t even a third of the way done. So I lapped Roosevelt Mall, and the smell of Chick-fil-A almost ended the run in a torrent of vomit. My heart rate needs to be under 140 for peanut oil to smell good. It was about 78 degrees outside so the weather wasn’t helping either. The mall ate up a good bit of distance but I was still going to have to make two laps around Boone Park. Why do I always feel the worst when I’m as far as possible from home? The wind was gusting in my face the entire way out, and as usual, died down on the way back. My legs started hurting after mile five, but I was fine cardiovascularly. Strengthening my legs is no problem at all. My watch beeped at mile six and I pushed myself. Mile seven was my second fastest mile, after mile two. The only bad thing is that I miscalculated and finished the run at 6.97 miles, but I’m counting the 160 feet my watch says I didn’t run as computer error. This was the second great workout in a row, and I’m looking forward to a short three mile recovery run tomorrow. I may even do some weights.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Name Is Paul, And This Is Between Y'all.

I saw a couple of interesting little shows this morning at a local middle school. I was standing at the media center desk/weigh station for both shows, waiting for an early appointment. I’m an outsider. I would think everyone would be on their best behavior as representatives of the school, or at least show a little pride as a professional. I would be wrong. The first show started with a student being escorted to the media center by an adult – I don’t know what the adult does at the school – to dispute a charge about a lost or defaced I.D. The escorting adult was met with immediate scorn from the media center overlord and her minions. I don’t know the history between these two, but it seems catty was the order of the day. The dispute wasn’t whether or not there should be a charge, but how much the charge should be. The escorting adult handed the overlord two forms, and asked how figure A jumped to figure B. The overlord looked at the forms, ignored the escorting adult’s question, and scolded the student for not having taken the forms home and not having gotten them signed by her parents. This happened a few times over again before an amount was decided upon, and the student and escorting adult left in a huff. Then the media center cadre began to gossip about the escorting adult’s incorrect understanding of the current I.D. administration organizational chart, and beckoned me to join in. I gave a non-committal nod as I cringed listening to a group of “professionals” bad mouth a colleague in front of children and a visitor. The second show started when a teacher brought her class into the media center for a lesson on the computers. She smiled at me, assumed her class knew what to do, and lamented the bad behavior of yesterday’s class to the media center overlord; who, apparently, had to send some people out for being too loud. They were talking about this – as the class talked amongst themselves – in front of the previously mentioned outsider, me. How can anything get accomplished when the goal seems to be defining personal fiefdoms? Thankfully, my appointment showed up and rescued me. She was extremely professional; restoring a little bit of my faith that public education is still a good idea.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

10x400 Interval Training

Well, that wasn’t too bad. I did a lot better than I thought I was going to do. I smashed my goal times by more than a minute in eight of the ten intervals, and my slowest interval was 57 seconds ahead of the goal. I don’t want to say that I cruised through the session today, but I outperformed my expectations. I don’t know if I did it right because a quarter mile is a very short distance. Technically, it’s a sprint, and I can tough my way through it. My pacing was pretty consistent. The only real outlier was the very first interval. After that my body figured out what was going on and tried to put a stop to it. I do need to drop some pounds because my ankles, shins, and knees are a bit sore. I’m on course for my diet today and on schedule for my weight goal for the Gate River Run though. My hamstrings held up great. The last interval training I did, which were longer intervals but there were fewer of them, killed my hamstrings, even though my pace was much faster today. I guess the stretching is working. I have a new flexibility goal for the end of the year. I want to be able to get into the lotus position without using my hands. This is a lofty – borderline ridiculous – goal because I’ve never been flexible and I’ve got big thighs. Even when I was ten years old running track I could barely put my hands flat on the ground without bending my knees. Now I’ve got to open up my hammys, my quads, my knees, and my hips. I’m going to be like Jean-Claude van Damme. I finished less than 90 minutes ago so maybe I’m still on a bit of a post exercise endorphin high, but I’m excited about my upcoming races. It’s either that or I’m glad that I don’t have to do interval training for another week.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Got Nothing



I'm bored with my Facebook games. They're just ways for them to recruit more people onto Facebook. We went to J.L. Trent's for lunch today. It's a Southern Seafood place. Southern is read Fried. We ordered three meals and they didn't bring us anything that wasn't some shade of golden brown - I had a salad. That's why I love the South. We went for a walk around the neighborhood tonight, which we haven't done in a while, and it was great. I love living where I live. I would write more if I had any imagination, and if I didn't have an assignment to watch the Closer from last week so I can watch the Closer from this week at 9 o'clock

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It’s Running Season

EG and JG ran 13.1 with Donna Hicken this morning (Big Ups to them). I thought about doing it but wimped out. I’ve never run that far, and all I could think about is how much pain I would be in during the 2 ½ hours that I would be running. I did enter the Gate River Run and the Ortega River Run this morning, so we won’t have a repeat of last year. Then I ran long, for me anyway, today, and remembered that if I’m going to run more than five miles I can cruise. I need to remember this the next time a half marathon comes up. I don’t have to push myself the way I do in a 5k. I ran about 5 ½ miles today in just under an hour and it felt great, even though I pushed myself the last mile and a half. I enjoyed running through Avondale and along the river while listening to my running mix, which is still great after six months. It works in order and on random. I would have run another three or four miles but I had company coming over, so time was an issue. I’m encouraged because the nice easy run was a lot of fun instead of a bunch of work. I need to make signs I can post all over the house to remind myself that I’m a thirty-eight year old professional dad and not a professional athlete. With that being said, I plan on doing 10x300 intervals tomorrow morning at the track. I’m in good cardiovascular shape. My legs are getting fit. And I’m dropping weight. If I can stick to my diet and running schedule over the next month I think I can crack 90 minutes in the Gate, comfortably. I wonder if I’ll win something if I knock more than a half hour off my personal best. The Gate keeps track of that stuff.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Winnie the Pooh: A Critical Analysis?

LMJ has discovered Winnie the Pooh, and that’s pretty much all she wants to do now is watch Winnie the Pooh – over and over and over. Actually, she just wants it on. I’m more into it than she is. It’s a sweet story with sweet characters and a sweet ending. I think Pooh has some kind of honey addiction. I don’t know if Milne meant it as a metaphor for heroin, but the chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff does seem a little bit stoned. Even if it is a social commentary, it doesn’t matter. What’s getting me is the thought of eating a bowl of honey: sitting down, pouring a pint of honey into a bowl, and eating it. I’m getting hung up on a mouthful of honey. I don’t mean a big bite of honey spread on a piece of bread. I mean honey as a thick sweet stew. Could I swallow all of it before I started to freak out? Could I deal with the inevitable mess before MJ started to freak out? If I did eat sixteen ounces of honey, would I slip into a diabetic coma? What would that feel like? What would it feel like to vomit a bunch of honey? Unfortunately, as I sit here writing, that’s starting to sound like a wager. The story never gets into what type of honey Pooh prefers – orange blossom, clover, etc. – which gets us back to the heroin metaphor. As long as he gets his fix, it doesn’t matter. My feelings about the characters are changing as I watch the movie more and more. I used to like Tigger. He used to be my favorite character, now he’s starting to annoy me. He’s kind of stupid. I think he’s LMJ’s favorite because all she wants to do is bounce. I see Christopher Robin completely differently than I did when I was a kid. I never saw the point of him. He was a little bitch with little bitch shoes. Now I see him as the glue of the story. He’s a sweet little boy on the verge of making the transition into school, and seems to be trying to hang on to his innocence just a little bit longer. Maybe I’m over thinking it. Maybe I should just enjoy it for the songs. I can do that.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Following Standard Imperial Procedure

I got stuck helping LMJ pinch a deuce today. I thought we had an agreement. Daddy lets her do dangerous stuff that Mommy and Grammy won't, and she doesn’t poop on Daddy’s watch. We were bouncing along through the day very nicely. We’d watch ten minutes of Winnie the Pooh. We’d play with blocks. We’d watch ten minutes of Pooh. We’d play outside. We’d eat some fruit with flax seed oil while watching a Sesame Street podcast. Then she couldn’t sit still, which she normally can’t anyway, but she was extra fidgety. And then she got gassy. She was peeling the paint off the walls with the fumes. It took me about ten minutes before I realized it wasn’t a competition, and I asked her if she had to poop. She said no, of course, so we continued playing basketball, and sitting on the couch, and sitting on Daddy’s lap, and farting. I was hoping she just had the wind and could make it another six or seven hours, so I could pass this job on to her mother. It wasn’t five minutes later when she said, “POOP!” and we headed to the bathroom. I had her dressed in overalls with a onesie underneath, which I didn’t think would be a problem today because I thought we had an agreement. I got her out of her overalls and onesie, and sat her down on her little seat, and she said, “BOOK?!?” Thank God a book was in there for her to read. Even though we weren’t even to, “Nine soft friends…” before she was preparing to make the jump to lightspeed. Mommy has this down to a science now, and there’s never any fuss. Today, LMJ started crying a little bit and I was worried that we hadn’t been feeding her the right stuff to help keep her from getting bunged up, but as I was hugging her she told me “WIPE”, so we did. And then we high-fived, said Yay! and got dressed. Another “been there, done that" that I can add to the list, even though she did all the work.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's Not Logical. It's Psychological

The husband of one of MJ’s colleagues, CL, died recently after a battle with cancer (I think). CL is having a wake for him. She’s calling it a get together, but whatever. She’s the type of person that puts up a strong front, and doesn’t really let other people in emotionally. She wants to give the impression that she’s in control; that all her bases are covered. From what MJ told me about the invitation/notification of the event it sounds like CL doesn’t really care one way or the other if people show up, but it would be nice. I know that’s not the case. I know that she desperately needs people to show up, and not just to celebrate her husband’s life but to put the grief aside for a little while. When MJ told me about the wake I didn’t want to go. I may have met the guy once. I’m not really sure. CL is nice enough, but I may speak to her about twice a year. Then I started thinking about it and came to the realization that if you can help someone out in their time of need then you probably should, especially if all it entails is an hour or two of standing around and talking to people. I don’t think there will be any heavy lifting. I used to have a plan if MJ goes before I do – there was a contingency if I had something to do with her going. I planned on shutting down completely. I would watch television, eat fast food, and drink beer. It would be like Leaving Las Vegas, only more depressing. Then LMJ came along and that plan got scrapped, but as soon as she’s eighteen that plan goes back into effect. I know that I’m surrounded by people that care for me, and they will do everything they can to get me through the emotional devastation. I don’t know if CL is surrounded by people like that. I hope she is. I hope she’s as lucky as I am, but in case she isn’t. I can sacrifice a Saturday afternoon in the name being human.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Maybe Getting Old Isn't Better Than The Alternative

I was bouncing around the interweb today, and I saw this Sports Illustrated cover that made me feel really old. It’s came out twenty years ago today, which is why it popped up on the S.I. website. I remember this cover because my buddy was infatuated with Kathy Ireland, and he called me when his copy arrived. He was really happy that she made the cover – like he got a bonus for it or something. At the time Ms. Ireland, along with Elle MacPherson and Rachel Hunter, was tops in pound for pound hotness amongst American males between the ages of ten and twenty-five. That ten year old is thirty and that twenty-five year old is starting to think about retirement. Or at least he was until last October. Thanks to Facebook I can see the faces of the people, and even some pictures of the events that were going on in my life at that time. I remember acting like a fool every single weekend at another buddy’s house, which had been left to him when his parents moved to North Carolina. I remember the layout of the house. I remember the island in the kitchen. I remember the dead yard. I saw the magazine cover in the bottom corner of my screen this afternoon and I was the jackass kid with a high top fade and the worst attitude in the history of bad attitudes. What’s funny is that MJ was there. What’s not funny is that when I looked into the mirror I was surprised at what I saw. I spent the afternoon looking through the eyes of eighteen year old me. I had no use for the thirty-eight year old me. I hit rock bottom when I searched for a current picture of Kathy - yes we’re on a first name basis now – and she’s stunning, but she’s not the flawless siren she was when she was twenty-five. Back then I would have clubbed baby seals with other baby seals just to see her in real life. Now I imagine trying to have a conversation with a twenty-five year old supermodel, and I wonder if the beer I would be pounding would make her more or less annoying. If that change of perspective is what happens with age, I think I may have had enough.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sure, why not?

What the f**k? The Catholic Church is pimping plenary indulgences, again. Isn’t this what got you folks in trouble 500 years ago with some overzealous Germans? Is “overzealous Germans” redundant? Was W right, is the Apocalypse upon us? Did he usher in the end of days? I ask because people are losing their freaking minds – Stephen Wise. I’m not Catholic. This doesn’t affect me, but I’m baffled that highly educated, politically astute men of the Catholic episcopate came to a consensus that this was a good idea. Even the Republican Party figured out that you can’t continually turn inward and expect to survive. Martin Luther’s idea that the Church shouldn’t be dealing with sin on a cash and carry basis caught on a while ago. Didn’t the rampant violence tip the Church off that something was amiss – possibly, maybe, perhaps? Two lessons should be learned from the response to Luther’s theses: first, be careful what you write down, and second, to paraphrase Princess Leia, the more you tighten your fist, the more parishes will slip through your fingers. In a world more cynical than ever, made even more so by the global recession, the literal powers that be decided to start selling granting plenary indulgences in an effort to make what was old new again. Are there bishops somewhere in a dark dungeon in the Vatican trying to get Galileo re-excommunicated? This is kind of like Coca Cola reintroducing cocaine into the mix. F**K WIT DAT RED BULL! PUNK ASS DIET PEPSI MAX BITCHES. CHECK OUT THE NEW PROPRIETARY BLEND. WHAT WAS OLD IS NOW BRAND NEW AGAIN. IT DOES RHYME! SHUT UP!! I WILL KILL YOU!! It seems like a good idea in a vacuum or if the only bad ideas are the ones not voiced, but in the real world it’s not going to sell, and people are going to not only think you’re out of touch, but that you’re crazy.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Florida is dead last in education, and state Senator Stephen Wise is introducing an intelligent design bill. I wish he had been my senator when I was in high school…And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. That’s the King James version of Genesis 1:31. I would have gotten an A in 9th grade Biology if that was my final exam. Instead, I got a whole bunch of gene this and chromosome that. I had to study the effects of different types of light on the growth of African violets, and present my findings to my peers and my teacher. I had to dissect a frog. I can still smell the formaldehyde. I had to break into the school board building and change the grade(s) on my report card, so my parents wouldn’t know that I didn’t do any homework, and I could still get my party on. My life would have been so much easier in all my science classes if I didn’t have to prove anything, if I could just spout whatever came into my mind, and have it qualify as a scientific theory. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. That’s Genesis 2:1-2. That’s post graduate level work right there. Depending on your copy of the Bible that’s page two or at least the second column of page one. I deserve a Nobel Prize in biology before we even get into the fact that I’ve seen fish, dolphins, manatees, and alligators in the waters here in Jacksonville. Marine biology could have been my specialty if it wasn’t for the “scientific community” and their “peer reviewed” work. Clearly, all they do is mainline Haterade.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I Really Wish Fitness Was Easy

Jesus did my back seize up. I spent too much time in the car this week, and it’s killing my lower back. I ran southwest today instead of northeast, and the route is much more hilly. There’s a pretty big dip at about a quarter mile into my run, and running up the steep incline did not please my lower back. I was feeling great. I wasn’t expecting it. I thought that resting yesterday would give it a chance to recover. I forgot that I spent an hour in the car yesterday going to the beach. I had a lot of fun at the beach, but I guess my back didn’t. I pretended it didn’t hurt and kept pushing myself to the next stop sign. Just make it to the next stop sign and you can quit. Okay, just make it to the next stop sign and you can quit. Then I got to the bottom of the second big dip on my southwest course, and my back quit. I had to stop running or I was going to fall down. It really frustrated me because I was bouncing along at a nice clip. I was excited because my cardio fitness is better than it has been in a long time. For the third and fourth miles of the run I’d walk a minute then run a minute or as long as my back would let me. I finished my last lap around Boone’s Park as my Garmin hit 4 miles. I had a mile and a quarter, and both dips home. I said screw it, found a position that put as little stress on my lower back as possible and toughed it out. I think it may have gotten warmed up or the kink may have worked itself out because I finished the last mile and a quarter in less than nine and a half minutes. Like I said, my cardio is great. I’m going to do some extra stretching and deadlifts are getting put on the shelf until after the River Run.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Have Nothing To Write About Tonight

Today was uneventful. We skipped breakfast at Panera and got Einstein Bros. instead. They suck. We went to the beach and helped a friend get her condo ready for her new baby. The day was beautiful. LMJ learned a new word, porch. Breakfast at Tiffany's might be the most racist movie in the history of cinema. Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi is, without question, the most racist performance in history. Holy crap! Al Jolson thinks that was a over the top. What the hell was Mickey Rooney thinking? I don't care if it was 1961. I don't care if Mickey Rooney is in his late '80's. How is it that he never got his ass whipped? How is it that he didn't win an Oscar? I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I don't get the fascination with Audrey Hepburn. Sports Illustrated is reporting that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2003, which means he lied to Katie Couric. I know he cheated on his wife with a bunch of strippers. I know he's cavorting with Madonna; she's still married. But I just can't believe he would take steroids. I know he's been paid almost $500 million over the last 15 years, but what about the love of the game. Come on Alex, you're better than that. I'm going to start saying that to my wife from now on whenever she upsets me.

"MJ, you put your dirty clothes on my towel again. Come on, you're better than that."
"You shouldn't use language like that in front of the baby. You're better than that."
"You hit an artery. Who's going to clean up all that blood? Come on now, you're better than that."

Sweetie, I wouldn't be coaching you if I didn't care. Now get in there and show me whatcha got.

End of stream of consciousness

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Shouldn't Have Written This and You Shouldn't Read It

I was going to post about my trip to Disneyworld, but I saw a thread on my MMA forum titled: Do You Think You Can Take a Chimp? As of this writing there were 285 responses. There are two basic arguments. The first is that humans are smarter and bigger than chimps, and with the posters’ martial arts training the chimp has no chance. The other argument, and my school of thought, is that chimps are made of equal parts evil and hatred, and they are proportionally much stronger than humans, not to mention that the very existence of this thread negates the premise that humans are smarter than chimps. As a note of clarification, I am talking about the chimpanzee and not the smaller more docile bonobo. In my own defense I didn’t read past the first page of the thread, and I didn’t respond – I didn’t need to. However, while this topic is funny it’s also something every guy everywhere thinks about every time he goes to the zoo or sees a chimp on television. Unless, and until, he sees a chimp special on the Discovery channel. Any special will do because they’re all the same. The females take care of the babies and interact with each other in a way that is disturbingly close to a sewing circle. The males spend their time grooming each other, and stalking, chasing, and butchering monkeys when they’re hungry. They also tear other chimps who wander into their territory to pieces. Chimp life is basically Braveheart without the kilts and brogues. Even if someone could match a chimp’s brutality, which he couldn’t, his martial arts training would be useless. Martial arts are designed to work against the human body and how it moves. Chimps are shaped differently. Their center of gravity is different, and the nature of their agility is different. And even if none of this was a factor I HAVEN’T EVEN MENTIONED THEIR HUGE SHARP TEETH! There was a story about a chimp trainer in England who didn’t lock a cage, and his chimps that he raised from birth ate his face and genitals. He died. Don’t f**k with a chimp. They’re Hannibal Lecter minus the Chianti.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Don't Want To Be HERE! Either!!!

I was dragged down to Orlando by LFA for our 2009 Kickoff meeting. I spent $150 on a room at the Coronado Springs resort at Disneyworld. It’s a “value” resort, read “crappy”. My room smells like musty hotel. The Contemporary doesn’t smell like musty hotel. I understand the economy is in the toilet, and expenses have to be controlled, but how about this; skip the whole thing, and let me stay at home. Motivational speakers blah blah blah. Wholesalers blah blah blah. I get it. Sell more stuff. I miss my girls. On the bright side there’s an open bar for an hour.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Don't Want To Be HERE!!!!

On Wednesdays the Y is jam packed with retards playing basketball, so I had to park a mile away, and it was freezing. I was wearing a sweatshirt and I was still cold. It was an inauspicious beginning. I almost dropped a 70lb. dumbbell on my foot. I was killing my shoulders and it was my last set of dumbbell presses. I was working at a fast pace today and my shoulders were really burning. I was trying to put the dumbbells back in the rack, but one didn’t make it. It made a whole bunch of noise as it clanged off another dumbbell and almost landed on the left foot of this dumbbell. Thank God I’m an athlete. I was pretty embarrassed, but it was tempered by the raging fire in my shoulders. Blood gets trapped in the shoulders because of the way they’re shaped. That’s why they grow so easily and burn so quickly when lifting. I was super setting today because I wanted to get out of the gym as quickly as possible, and shoulder day is easy anyway, so bumping up the intensity wasn’t going to kill me. After I dropped the dumbbell I ran around a shaking my arms to get the blood moving out of my shoulders. I looked like I was having a fit. Amp, short for Anthony, who is a trainer at the Y said, “We’ll call that a good set, but try not to break the mirrors”. They had the mirrors replaced on Monday – as in two days ago. I don’t think fixing a 90’x 8’ mirrored wall is something they want to do every two days. I’d want to pay for it even less. I finished my weight training, and moved on to my cardio training. The elliptical is getting easy and I’m probably going to have to bump up the resistance next week. I got through the hour and rushed out. I don’t know why I was in a rush. The most time I would have saved would have been two minutes. I live two miles from the gym. In my rush I didn’t put my sweatshirt back on, and stepped out into forty degree weather with swirling winds, in a soaking wet t-shirt. It’s a miracle I didn’t get pneumonia on the way back to my car. Strangely enough I consider workouts like these the good ones. I didn’t want to be there, but I struggled through and finished. Anyone can exercise when they want to.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

LMJ: Saving The World One Daddy at A Time

I’m going to be out of town on Thursday and Friday, so I spent today with LMJ. My baby girl is a peach, and she makes everything okay. She recharges my karmic batteries, which are like the batteries in MJ’s Dyson handheld; they get depleted very quickly. When I’m playing with LMJ nothing is stupid. I love my neighborhood and my neighbors. I love my ratty backyard. I love looking at things through her eyes. She’s taking years off my life, but it’s completely worth it. She can’t jump yet – it’s just a matter of time – but she jumps off of things. We walked to our park today, and after the swinging and sliding, we were running around a gazebo that sits on a slab of concrete that’s raised about an inch off the ground. She yells “JUMP” and steps off the edge. I’ve said this before; I’m saying this now, and I’ll say it again. The next thing LMJ is afraid of will be the first thing she’s afraid of. The gazebo’s base sticks out about four inches at four points around the structure. It’s a tripping hazard. LMJ misses each one when she runs around the gazebo by millimeters. She’s haulin’ ass so if she clips one she’s gonna eat crete, so I have to follow her close enough to catch her if she falls. It’s simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying for me. I’m glad that she’s on her way to being an active tough kid, but I’d rather be waterboarded than see her in pain. We had been at the park for about forty-five minutes when she started to get tired. I suggested that we go home, and she voted no, vociferously. I told her it was time for lunch and that we were going to have macaroni and cheese, and I swear I heard her say, “Let’s ride, Dawg.” We walked home, had lunch, and when we were done she said, “Tired. Nap”. I put her to bed, she gave me a hug and a kiss, and she went to sleep. It’s a cliché, but she makes me a better person.

Monday, February 2, 2009

No Pain, No Gain?

I ran a 5k this weekend and finished with my third best time ever. I was in the top ten in my age group, men 35-39. There were nine of us. I huffed and puffed behind the other eight. It was a really small race, but damn, dead last? I was feeling good and then I wasn’t. It didn’t help that as I scrolled down the results I wasn’t tops in any age group until men 75 & up. I dominate when it comes to races in the Deep South sponsored by a Jewish Community Center and people born before 1935. A sixty- seven year old man beat me by more than four minutes. An eight year old beat me by more than three minutes. I would have pushed him down if I could have caught him. I was pretty discouraged, until I saw the results for the 24-29 year old group. What a bunch of fatasses? I won that group by nearly three minutes. I don’t know if it’s more embarrassing for the race or for the three guys in the primes of their lives coming in dead last as a group. I may have been the weak link in my group, but at least I represented with a time under thirty minutes. The fastest guy in the 24-29 group barely broke thirty-two minutes. I’m sure the sixty-seven year old is writing a similar blog post about me. I didn’t almost die in the Mekong Delta so some lazy jackass in his late thirties can take his own sweet time to waddle across the finish line. You know what I was doing in my mid thirties? I was having flashbacks about Charlie. I don’t know if he’s a Viet Nam vet. He was mixed in the crowd enjoying coffee, bagels, and donuts while I was trying not to have a heart attack. I was really regretting my choice to post my goals on here during the last mile of the race. If I hadn’t told everyone what I wanted to do, I would have scaled back my pace saying screw it. I still don’t know what lesson I learned. On the one hand I ran a fast race, which I like. On the other hand I spent the better part of a half hour in excruciating pain, which I don’t.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Blogger Sucks

I ran in the Super Sunday 5k today, aka the yarmulke 5k. I ran my third best 5k ever. I’m watching the Superbowl so this is just a couple of pictures of me finishing.