27 March 2005

I am very goal driven. I swear, if I don't have a goal to work toward, I'm useless.

It's a sad situation, but, thankfully I've realized this, before I'm old and gray and laying on my death bed, thinking, "Oh shit.... I haven't done anything!"

My brother convinced me to run the Utica Boilermaker with him this year -- it's 15K - 9.6 miles. Not too long, not too short, and in the middle of summer, so it's like hell (and, well, so is Utica so i guess it makes sense... Spent two years there, when we were looking at the first apartment we moved into the big selling point was that it was on the third floor, and crossfire doesn't usually travel that high).

But, then, I got thinking: why not another marathon? I mean, 9.6 miles.... 26.2. Once you get going, it's just a matter of keeping going. Not that bad, right? (It's like childbirth, i think: you just remember the good parts, and don't remind yourself that invariably you get to the point where you're sobbing, making deals with god that if he/she makes the hurting stop and gets you through it you'll adopt a third world orphan or something...)

So, how many weeks do I have to train? I'm totally on it! First step: put an end to the rock'n'roll lifestyle...

Let me just put down my wine and write that down....

23 March 2005

More mangled tales of woe

I need to not be sitting here. I need to be on the floor, lying on the floor, can of Punjabi chole – in lieu of a small handheld weight – in hand.

In my eternal quest for reinvention, I signed up for a personal trainer – comes free with the gym membership, and I figured it’s time to get the muscles back in shape. They’ve had it pretty easy, time to kick some butt: mine.

Alas, two seconds into my first session I was stopped, brought up short, face squinched as I tried to figure out where the pain was coming from today. I’ve learned to live with it – you live fast and don’t die young, you get squinchy hurty Christ-on-a-crutch what’s that now pain. This time, something about a rotator cuff, and now I’ve got physical therapy-type movements for a month instead of biceps that can crush skulls.

I’ve been hit five times by cars. I’ve got many scars, and now many pains to prove it.

Which leads me to wonder: Is it only gonna’ get worse? And, really, does it matter? I don’t much mind, I’m a hypochondriac, it gives me something to think about, but really, would I trade my life for less pain? Nah. Would I trade my left arm for a lifetime supply of really good pain pills that won’t give me a heart attack, stroke, powdered liver or a tail? You betcha…

19 March 2005

Brain Dead is the New Pro-Life

This whole fucking country is going to hell, and I for one am about to cash in every goddamned bit of loose change I can find in the backseat of my car and head to some underdeveloped tropical isle. Course, with my luck, I’ll land smack dab in the newest season of “Survivor”…

The NY Times reported the other day on the case of Terri Schiavo, the woman in a permanent vegetative state, that several senators have gotten into the legal tussle, including good ol’ Tom DeLay, House majority leader, who seems to be facing several embarrassing investigations into all sorts of fundraising and House travel regulation, ah, irregularities.
According to the Gray Lady, “taking a prominent role in rallying conservatives to the Schiavo cause also provided a sudden distraction from his troubles.”

How sweet. Seems he’s gone into hardcore Conservative savior mode, pledging to make the cause his own personal version of raising Lazarus, only this time the victim’s brain is all that’s dead: "… do not be afraid … Terri Schiavo will not be forsaken," he said. I wonder if he had a hard on while he said it…

But that’s not all. The Times continued: “Mr. DeLay and other lawmakers appeared to be affected emotionally by the life-and-death subject of Ms. Schiavo. Some have long held religious beliefs opposing such things as assisted suicide or the disruption of life-sustaining medical care.”

Really? And I’d like to ask these lawmakers, with their so-called “long held religious beliefs,” how they decide where to draw the line between, say, a woman who’s been brain dead for years and the workign poor who make the state-approved $5.50 an hour minimum wage, and even working two and three jobs each (part-time, of course, employers don’t have to pay health insurance then, thus saving costs and fattening the bottom line) cannot afford to pay for life sustaining medical care for themselves or their children.
Or the 80 percent of Baby Boomers who will be retiring soon with no pensions and no health insurance.
Of course, it only gets better: Sen. Bill Frist, majority leader, is in the fray as well.
“His determined press on behalf of Ms. Schiavo – with a heavy accent on his professional expertise as a physician – could resonate powerfully with [the Conservative] constituency. Other possible White House contenders are involved as well, including Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.”

Yes, yes, all fine examples of corruption so deep not even a high colonic will shake it free. But, Frist’s “professional expertise as a physician?”
This is the same sick motherfucker who’d adopt cats from the local humane society when he was in pre-med, take them home and dissect them? He’s suddenly gotten a conscience? I hardly think so. I’d listen to him about compassion as much as I’d listen to Hitler’s views on the Jews.

Of course, when it comes to meting out law, if suspects are Muslim, or even tainted with a hint of burnt umber-esque flesh, they might as well wish they were terminally brain dead.

The NY Times, again, reported that Jennifer Millerwise, director of public affairs at the CIA, defended the department’s “lawful interrogation of captured terrorists."
In short, we only tortured them a little bit… But, hey, like she said, It’s “a vital tool in saving American lives.” How does this woman, and others like her, sleep?
In fact, that’s as far as I got into the paper, as the blurbs became too much to handle:
I don’t even read the stories half the time. Perhaps that’s best…
Frankly, I advise anyone who wouldn’t want to potentially wind up a lawmakers’ political puppet to sign a Do Not Resuscitate order and legal directive that, should you become a vegetable (the real deal, not the way you feel after a hardcore weekend bender, people), they let you die.

In the meantime, I'm off to watch the "What Not To Wear" marathon while sitting on the couch, self medicating with carbohydrate-laden tasty vegan morsels...

Mmm... Posted by Hello

10 March 2005

Oslo.  Posted by Hello

Oslo, the city of thieves

Seems thieves were arrested in Oslo stealing two more Edvard Munch paintings, according to the NY Times.

This, of course, does not solve the theft of "The Scream" and "Madonna" last year, but hopefully it will lead to something.

Of course, those dumbass Norwegians stood around while the thieves stole the paintings from the Munch Museet, which simply baffles me.

Sadly, this tends to be a problem with Norway: As a socialist country, they expect someone else to do everything for them. They aren't even allowed to hook up their own Internet.

I simply cannot imagine a similar theft in the states. Of course, that has its good and bad elements. But, overall, I do love Norway, "warts and all," I'm just not sure I can live there. I want to, eventually I'm sure I will, but the self-determination and pure pull yourself up by the bootstraps mentality that thrives here in the U.S. makes it diffucult to be there.

Until, of course, they slap a fresh salmon and glass of aquavit in front of you!

Aftenposten reported today that the Norwegian economy is picking up in leaps and bounds. Considering the U.S. economy is chugging along... if you're rich... maybe I need to get all Viking on my life.

'Course, the pillaging I already do, although the raping I could do without!

09 March 2005

Virtual Reality

I did a crazy thing today. Okay, maybe not so crazy, but to me a little bit, and it’s all because of Jon’s mom.

Now, Jon’s mom rocks, I mean, she freakin’ rawks in the bestest way, and this weekend, sipping martinis we had a nice chat about life, kids and dating. And, perhaps it was the lycheetinis, but I fessed up that I’d been thinking about it and it would be nice to have a boyfriend.

Now, you may think that’s nuts in itself: who doesn’t want a boyfriend, girlfriend or both? But, as those of you who know me know, I’m not exactly the best judge of character, and my past experiences have been less than successful. As have the boyfriends. Thus, the boyfriend-by-committee requirement was instated on my behalf by my former roommie, who, unfortunately, now lives back on the west coast. Thankfully, Darrell, Jon, my brother, my roommates and the dude who works at the coffee shop where I live my life have all agreed to form the requisite voting bloc.

That said, I’m still a bit gun shy. I mean, I’m f’ing 34 years old, and the fish in that sea are, for the most part, the kind that can be found in the wastewater pond next to the Springfield Nuclear Plant: freaks.

But, I’m a total, stupid and pointless optimist, sure that somewhere out there there’s a place…er…. boy for me. It’s just a matter of running into him, hopefully not literally. Thing is, I work for psychos who expect me to be in the office a minimum of 9 or 10 hours, I hang out with totally cool people in places where there aren’t a lot of choices (no, I will not date Veal Boy, Brown Boy or Girl Boy, Jon, no matter how many times you point them out to me!!! ;-)), and the other places I go—the gym, the store, hanging out with my friends—aren’t exactly the hottie hot spots.

So, what to do in this crazy modern world where we all live and work in bubbles? That’s where Jon’s mom comes in, with her advice that if she were my age, she’d go online. She also said she thought I was a catch, which is sweet, especially since she’s not my mom and therefore not umbilically bound to say so. So, on this other site that shall remain unnamed where a slightly anemic mirror version of this blog lives (all names have also been changed to protect… me) I listed myself as “looking,” whereas before I was just hanging out, checking out my friends’ profiles and having a grand old time.

Unfortunately, this opens up a whole host of problems, the least being that the last time I did that every “outtie” seemed to think we were destined to be together, if for the sole reason that I’m an “innie.”

“Hey babe, my only exercise is lifting fried food and beer to my mouth, I’m all for the war, my highest education was in juvie, and I’m only 45. Let’s fuck!”


Not that education, age and matching interests are all that important, but when you get carded for alcohol, lottery tickets and cigs, have spent the bulk of your life in school because you like it, don’t believe in capital punishment and actually enjoy getting all sweaty outside the bedroom, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Plus, I’ve had some terrible experiences in the short time I was listed there, like the dude who met me for a drink and only brought $11. Now, I’m totally independent, I was unemployed and brought plenty of cash and will offer to pay for myself every time, but to not even bring enough for your two rounds? Lame.

And, I always feel compelled to respond, no matter how ridiculously obvious it is we’ve got nothing in common—otherwise I feel rude. But, it seems also that that’s de riguer for the online thing these days. I actually did once find someone really cool on there, or rather, they found me, someone really cool, interesting, and, at least on paper, seemingly an ideal candidate for at least hanging out with (when can you ever have enough of those?). Unfortunately, asshole stopped writing.

Okay, so maybe it’s me. I’m nuts, when I find people I can connect with I have a blast, let it all hang out, forget I don’t actually know them. But, then again, considering everyone else I email I know, it’s tough. And, yeah, let’s admit it here and for all to see: I’m neurotic. Fucking insane, probably—all you have to do is read the last few posts with the spontaneously combusting retinas and whinging about how much I hate working and wish I’d taken the job with Frank Kozik after all to know that I’m destined to be cat food in about 60 years.

But I refuse to believe that’s it. Goddamn it, we’re all crazy in our own ways, and if you’re not I don’t want you—friend, lover or otherwise. And, fortunately, I’m not ugly or deformed, nor do I have strange twitches or nasal sounds that emit at the most inopportune moments. But I am picky, and that’s where the problem lies.

My own mum says I’m too picky, but how can you not be? Again, first off I need to find someone the committee can agree on, but more importantly, someone I can agree on. And therein lies the catch: Where do you find the male version of yourself, someone who’s just been hanging out, doing your own thing, figuring out what you want to do when you grow up, going all the places you want to go, doing all the things you want to do, living life by your own rules and actually enjoying the ride when that other version is doing the same as you? Is that where this whole online thing comes in?

Does that mean the male version of me is doing the exact same thing? One can only hope…

08 March 2005

Crafty Foxes

So, vegging in front of the telly the other night, and this spot comes on for this show called “Craft Corner Deathmatch.”

Allegedly, a bunch of Martha wanna-be’s face off, glue gun to glue gun, and outdo each other, MacGuyver style, and get all badass crafty armed with, like, some pieces of felt and a bottle of Elmers. Or something to that effect.

Well, it’s the real deal, as the NY Times reported today
, and it seems the pitch was a joke that stuck.


Likely I won’t be watching, however. Not my cuppa’ joe as my crafty arc topped out somewhere in second grade, when I got a prize for making a Santa ornament using, oohing and aahing please, cotton balls and some red paper. I know.. I know – snore. But, it was parochial school and they didn’t really put much emphasis on the arts… not like Jesus was running around making water into wine, raising the dead and making decoupage thank you cards for the frankincense and myrrh.

Besides, it seems the bulk of the TV talent is made up of hipsters from Williamsburg. We’ve got a few here in my ‘hood as well, hipsters that is, not Williamsburgs (although certain people like to pretend that’s where they are… ah. Yeah…), and I see them sitting in the anarchist meetings, knitting (black yarn, of course, synthetic) and sharing in their collective scarves.

Alas, my craft quotient is limited to being able to sew buttons back onto things. Although I like to think I’m more useful: I can use a level, drill and hammer. I can fix minor plumbing issues. I can even rewire a bit, twitch twitch…

What I’d really like to see is something more useful. Like, instead of having debates at election time, what about “Presidential Hopeful Deathmatch?” Seems we’d really get the candidates who believe in what they’re doing, and most of them would be more likely to stay in the corporate world, where, unless they’re female, they get a slap on the wrist and an offshore bank account.

What about waging war? “Congressional Declaration Deathmatch.”

Or the budget. “Pork Barrel Pound of Flesh.”

I’m beginning to think it’s a notion whose time has come. I mean, so many people are so dreadfully enamored with reality TV, why not take it all the way?

Gee, maybe I need to get into the TV business….

07 March 2005

Confessions of a Hypochondriac

So I’m killing myself with good intentions. Or, at least expediting the death process….. Very slowly through waaay too many vitamins.

The weirdest thing has been happening for the past week or so. Last week—cold-death-snow-week—I didn’t think anything of it. I’d been wearing a black, fuzzy hat to keep my ears from falling off, and, sitting at work would notice little black fuzzies floating around in front of my eyes.

So, I essentially spent last week batting at little pieces of fuzz I was convinced had superglued themselves to my hair. Hey, it’s winter – static cling has a vice grip when it gets this dry. Little did I realize I’ve been spending the past few weeks acting a bit, well, schizo.

Add to that the fact that I keep seeing stars, all Bugs Bunny-like, floating around my head sometimes when I stand up.

Well, today, walking to work I realized the black fuzzies and stars are real, but they happen to be living inside my eyeballs, like predator only floaty and, well, annoying as fuck.

Alas, hypochondria kicked in somewhere between home and work and I was Googling before I even got any caffeine this morning. I found some info on taking too much vitamin A, before I came to the conclusion that my retinas are detaching, I don’t have health insurance for another two months, I’m going to be driving to NY this weekend and that’s when it will happen and they’ll just fall out of my eye sockets, rendering me blind and probably causing me to crash into a truckload of puppies or something, racking up the $500 deductible on my car, I’ll never be able to see again, people will pass me in the street and shake their heads, my clothes will never match again (uh, not like they do now… I know) and I’ll spend the rest of my days typing my magnum opus, but because I only paid attention halfway through typing class in high school it’ll look at bit like this:

eoitjd;,mvn;dhngklfjdhfl;’vms,cmf ;akljdf ds;afn pewirt -3 095 fdkmfg ds’ogfljds.

The only thing that will keep me going is the thought that someday, someone will decide that I was actually the next James Joyce all along and they’ll put a statue of me in some town square…

With my sweater buttoned wrong…


In the meantime, it's a matter of trying to debate whether or not to be concerned about the fact that there are space aliens in my eyes. I'm a sort of masochistic hypochondriac in that I'll decide I've got some horrible illness -- the plague or leprosy or something -- but I won't actually do anything about it. Granted, at the moment I'm in a weird non-insurance transition time (oh lovely third world first world country where someone can lose everything they own over getting sick... don't even get me started...), so the tendency is to pretend it's not there... and there... and, damnit, there and there and there!

Is there an optomologist in the house?!!?!? ;-)

06 March 2005

A Decade's Worth of Debauchery

So I read today that Japanese women would rather remain single. That on top of reading a few months back that a large percentage of Scottish men prefer the single life. It makes a lot of sense to me. Think about it, total autonomy. Want cereal and that take out from last week for dinner? Go for it. Want to channel surf for the next four hours? It’s all yours.

Problem is, it gets dull, not to mention the takeout gets funky and there’s no one there to take care of you when you’re doubled over driving the porcelain bus, swearing you’ll put dates of purchase on all your Thai noodles from now on.

Today, however, I am all about marriage, 100 percent enamored with the idea, but not because I wound up hung over, watching the white-dresses-and-babies channel (or whatever the hell that scary women’s network is) and, in my vodka-soaked state have been brainwashed to believe that married life is the holy grail. Nah.

Paris-Nice was on the telly and, fact is, I’ve got a way better reason: Darrell and Jon.

Going back to the Stoli-on-the-brain, I am fortunate enough to be friends with two of the coolest men going, who happen to have taken a trip, and vows, last year in my old stomping grounds – San Francisco. On top of that, they’ve been together for a decade (A DECADE! I don’t even remember what I was doing a decade ago… but that’s another story!), and last night they threw us all a blow out party at a fantastic gallery to celebrate.

Toasts were made to the strength and longevity of their union, tears were spilled, and today, despite a throbbing headache resulting from many, many such touching toasts, I gotta’ say it was pretty goddamned cool, and things like that tend to get you thinking: oh how sweet. How wonderful it could be, can be, must be. Oh, I gotta’ get me some of that…

That is, until you meet them for brunch and they’re bickering and make you sit in between them… reminding you that it’s real life, not a made for TV movie and it’s the good, bad and bitchy you get in one big ol’ pretty package. So you order a bloody mary, entertain the notion of entertaining the notion of not running in the opposite direction when someone of the opposite sex comes on to you….and in the meantime wonder what kind of leftovers you’ve got lurking in the back of the fridge…

And just love the fact that you've got such amazing friends...

03 March 2005

it begins... Posted by Hello