Friday, November 30, 2007

Walking On Sunshine

Morning weigh-in: 167#, 10% BF
Which Brew last night, and I did has cheezburger, plus a coupla brewskis as the scale does indicate...
A Heartwarming Story: Ran into Michele there, former bartender, until she finished school and became a grade school teacher for developmentally disabled kids, pretty cool when you think about it.
Anyway, she's been seeing this dude from where she used to live, he's been visiting on weekends lately, and I already knew from talking to him that he's gaga about her. Well last night I was talking to her, and she brought him up, thanked me for hanging with him the other day -- hey no prob, good conversationalist & he bought me a beer -- but I think that was her excuse to start talking about her guy, and I could literally see the stars come into in her eyes when she thought about him. She was walking about an inch off the ground for real, I've never seen her so happy. Nobody sang "Kumbaya" or anything, but she pretty much lit up the whole room.
No walking on sunshine for me, riding in the dark with dudes tonight before prosecuting my own social life downtown. Early night though, tomorrow is morning yoga.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Death Imitates Art

Morning weigh-in: 165.5#, 11% BF
No Country, Part Deux: Went outside this morning, and there was a helicopter positioned over downtown -- all the schoolkids were milling about in clusters & watching it too, like in the Little Rascals or something... It's usually a bad sign when you see helicopters hovering over Easton, since it usually means either a flood, a crime/manhunt, or a spectacular traffic jam; we got two of three with this one because there was a triple homicide overnight, first one in twenty years, cops were investigating (with street closures), and the crime scene was basically in front of the Route 22 entrance ramp.
Anyway, interesting & challenging yoga class last night, then the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers. Tonight is a late night here, followed by alterna-workout nite at the gym, then laundry and dinner at Which Brew.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

No Country For Old Men

Morning weigh-in: 166.5#, 8.5% BF (hmmm, wazzap widdat?)

Crazy hungry yesterday, and except for a whole turkey sub for lunch (as opposed to half for lunch, half for dinner), I was pretty good I thought. Hit the gym last night, then had more leftover chili for dinner -- I now have one last batch left. This morning was post-lifting protein day, scrambled eggs instead of yogurt. Oh how I do love those scrambled egg days, tabasco & ketchup, golden scrambled eggy goodness...

I'm falling behind on my movies. I still need to see Into The Wild, and now No Country For Old Men is out. Here and here are two reviews for NCFOM, pretty much what I expected. I'll probably see NCFOM on the 8th with a bunch of friends, and so I have to see ITW sometime before that with Brian. That should be interesting: both of us read the book, and I see Chris McCandless as an essentially sympathetic character, while Brian does not.

Tonight is yoga, and then the last of the leftover turkey.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Watchin' A Vapor Trail

Morning weigh-in: 165.5#, 10.5% BF
Yoga last night. My Monday instructor has always looked sort of half-familiar to me, not sure why but it just dawned on me the other day: she did some trailwork at Sals with her husband a few years ago, and I ran into them at one or two brew fests afterward. (He's friends with a guy who used to work at Which Brew, and both dudes also bike.) It doesn't help that she seems ten feet tall in yoga class and she was just another trail girl at Sals, but I also think that my "she seems familiar" feeling actually blocked my ability to remember, sort of like vapor lock.
The Fire This Time: Holy living fsck, look what I found! A book written in words of fire... I remember reading The French Revolution not long after I moved to Easton, bought it used from the Easton Library during the 1992 presidential campaign (I remember that " Hunger Strike" was all over the airwaves); this, even more than Gravity's Rainbow, is what made me, politically and socially, who & what I am.
Sorry, I can't help it, here's an extended quote from deep within the book :

Here perhaps is the place to fix, a little more precisely, what these two words, French Revolution, shall mean; for, strictly considered, they may have as many meanings as there are speakers of them. All things are in revolution; in change from moment to moment, which becomes sensible from epoch to epoch: in this Time-World of ours there is properly nothing else but revolution and mutation, and even nothing else conceivable. Revolution, you answer, means speedier change. Whereupon one has still to ask: How speedy? At what degree of speed; in what particular points of this variable course, which varies in velocity, but can never stop till Time itself stops, does revolution begin and end; cease to be ordinary mutation, and again become such? It is a thing that will depend on definition more or less arbitrary.

For ourselves we answer that French Revolution means here the open violent Rebellion, and Victory, of disimprisoned Anarchy against corrupt worn-out Authority: how Anarchy breaks prison; bursts up from the infinite Deep, and rages uncontrollable, immeasurable, enveloping a world; in phasis after phasis of fever-frenzy;—'till the frenzy burning itself out, and what elements of new Order it held ( since all Force holds such) developing themselves, the Uncontrollable be got, if not reimprisoned, yet harnessed, and its mad forces made to work towards their object as sane regulated ones. For as Hierarchies and Dynasties of all kinds, Theocracies, Aristocracies, Autocracies, Strumpetocracies, have ruled over the world; so it was appointed, in the decrees of Providence, that this same Victorious Anarchy, Jacobinism, Sansculottism, French Revolution, Horrors of French Revolution, or what else mortals name it, should have its turn. The 'destructive wrath' of Sansculottism: this is what we speak, having unhappily no voice for singing.

Surely a great Phenomenon: nay it is a transcendental one, overstepping all rules and experience; the crowning Phenomenon of our Modern Time. For here again, most unexpectedly, comes antique Fanaticism in new and newest vesture; miraculous, as all Fanaticism is. Call it the Fanaticism of 'making away with formulas, de humer les formulas.' The world of formulas, the formed regulated world, which all habitable world is,—must needs hate such Fanaticism like death; and be at deadly variance with it. The world of formulas must conquer it; or failing that, must die execrating it, anathematising it;—can nevertheless in nowise prevent its being and its having been. The Anathemas are there, and the miraculous Thing is there.

Whence it cometh? Whither it goeth? These are questions! When the age of Miracles lay faded into the distance as an incredible tradition, and even the age of Conventionalities was now old; and Man's Existence had for long generations rested on mere formulas which were grown hollow by course of time; and it seemed as if no Reality any longer existed but only Phantasms of realities, and God's Universe were the work of the Tailor and Upholsterer mainly, and men were buckram masks that went about becking and grimacing there,—on a sudden, the Earth yawns asunder, and amid Tartarean smoke, and glare of fierce brightness, rises SANSCULOTTISM, many-headed, fire-breathing, and asks: What think ye of me? Well may the buckram masks start together, terror-struck; 'into expressive well-concerted groups!' It is indeed, Friends, a most singular, most fatal thing. Let whosoever is but buckram and a phantasm look to it: ill verily may it fare with him; here methinks he cannot much longer be. Wo also to many a one who is not wholly buckram, but partially real and human! The age of Miracles has come back! 'Behold the World-Phoenix, in fire-consummation and fire-creation; wide are her fanning wings; loud is her death-melody, of battle-thunders and falling towns; skyward lashes the funeral flame, enveloping all things: it is the Death-Birth of a World!'

Whereby, however, as we often say, shall one unspeakable blessing seem attainable. This, namely: that Man and his Life rest no more on hollowness and a Lie, but on solidity and some kind of Truth. Welcome, the beggarliest truth, so it be one, in exchange for the royallest sham! Truth of any kind breeds ever new and better truth; thus hard granite rock will crumble down into soil, under the blessed skyey influences; and cover itself with verdure, with fruitage and umbrage. But as for Falsehood, which in like contrary manner, grows ever falser,—what can it, or what should it do but decease, being ripe; decompose itself, gently or even violently, and return to the Father of it,—too probably in flames of fire?

Sansculottism will burn much; but what is incombustible it will not burn. Fear not Sansculottism; recognise it for what it is, the portentous, inevitable end of much, the miraculous beginning of much. One other thing thou mayest understand of it: that it too came from God; for has it not been? From of old, as it is written, are His goings forth; in the great Deep of things; fearful and wonderful now as in the beginning: in the whirlwind also He speaks! and the wrath of men is made to praise Him.—But to gauge and measure this immeasurable Thing, and what is called account for it, and reduce it to a dead logic-formula, attempt not! Much less shalt thou shriek thyself hoarse, cursing it; for that, to all needful lengths, has been already done. As an actually existing Son of Time, look, with unspeakable manifold interest, oftenest in silence, at what the Time did bring: therewith edify, instruct, nourish thyself, or were it but to amuse and gratify thyself, as it is given thee.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Why, It's A NATIONAL HOLIDAY In Pennsylvania!

Morning Weigh-in: 166.5#, 8% BF
The long weekend is over, now it's time for back-to-work. I noticed that the roads were a little less busy this morning, and then I remembered that today is opening day for rifle season. Not a good idea to go into the woods, except on Sundays, for the next two weeks.
Return of the Grievous Angel: I'm a hurting puppy today; yesterday's ride -- on top of everything else -- took more out of me than I realized. We rode at a fairly good pace, and since I could keep Joe in my sights most of the time I hammered extra-hard to keep up.
This is the time of the year that his asthma holds him back, and I make the annual mistake of thinking "wow I'm better than I thought," until his lungs thaw out and my bubble gets re-burst in springtime, but I do think I was riding a lot better than usual yesterday, noticeably so, and so it was very gratifying that Joe noticed and complimented me on my weight/riding. Got a couple of compliments from others on Thursday's ride too, so I'm pretty stoked, and also pretty motivated to continue doing the right things.
Interesting conversation on the drive home yesterday: Joe went back to school recently, and we noticed the parallels between his school decision and experiences, and my own with the training. Knowing the right thing to do for a while, then suddenly the time just came to do it... also, how much harder it turned out to be than expected.
The next level in my program is coming, and it means giving up a few things that I like, such as the pub scene, and it also means becoming a bit of an asshole about the training and the cutting back on the nightlife. Just warning y'all ahead of time...
Tonight is yoga, then Thanksgiving leftovers.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Standard "Weekend Update" Post

Friday night I saw Brujos at Which Brew, also drank some beer and ate some cake for T's 50th birthday party. Late night, but not too late because I had big plans...

Saturday: It's rare that I seize a day as thoroughly as I did this one. Yoga in the early morning, then breakfast at Coffee Exchange (saw some bikers getting ready to ride Sals, basked in a little "thank you Mr. Trailbuilder" adulation), hit the gym for a monster workout, then went and rode Jacobsburg with Larry and Pete. Which Brew again to catch Trouble City All Stars, and finished the night at a friend's backyard bon-voyage bonfire for his girlfriend, who is relocating to Colorado. Walked there, arrived after midnight, got home at 4:00 AM -- didn't think I still had it in me to do that.

Sunday morning I got a call from Joe G: he was doing homework right then, but wanted to ride at Deer Park (aka Allamuchy South) in the afternoon. We got there at around 2:00, rode until almost dark -- we were out for about three hours, but our actual ride time was maybe 1:45, and we rode about 18 miles. A pretty good ride actually, especially for something out of the blue like that. Some new stuff over there too, or at least new to me, fun and technical.

Now I'm just kicking back, doing laundry.

Time To Say Goodbye

Mom And Dad
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
Back home after the ride, had a couple of turkey sandwiches before getting ready for the trip home, I took a few pictures of my parents in their new house.

Something To Be Thankful For

Inside The Bunker
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
On Black Friday I rode at Huber Woods and Hartshorne Parks, which are just outside Red Bank NJ.

These are on the same spit of land as Atlantic Highlands, and some of Hartshorne used to be part of the New York Harbor defenses in WW2. The guns are long gone, but you can still see the bunkers (think Guns of Navarone), which were themselves protected by pillboxes and defensive works all through the woods -- if it ever did come to an invasion, there probably would have been a massive fight for this piece of land, and we would be reading about "The Battle of Atlantic Highlands" in the history books. So that's one more thing to be thankful for, that it never came to that, and these guns and defenses were never used...

Anyway, at one of the lower bunker complexes I found a way in, crawled through a hole in the fence and took some pictures.

A Righteous Bird

Turkey For Three
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
Thanksgiving dinner was with my parents, at their new home in Jackson. This turkey is just one of the things we ate... and then my brother and his family came over and we had dessert, followed by Independence Day on the TV.

Turkey Ride

Originally uploaded by donXfive.
This is a shot of Eric B (and part of Joe C) on Thursday morning's pre-turkey ride at South Mountain. Just a really nice way to start the day, burn off some calories and a little guilt before the feast...