Friday, February 01, 2008

To The Stilled Earth Speak: I Flow

Morning weigh-in: 167.5#, 10% BF
Smackdown: When the S/N! guys are being funny they are really good, but when they drop the humor and get serious -- or, God forbid, angry -- they truly become the best on the net. Go read this -- it's long, but read it all. (Meantime, surge this, and this. Motherfuckers.) I remember arguing with some boob -- actually, he was almost a caricature: right-wing talk show host, named (not ranked) Colonel, lives in a golf course condo development, 35 years old but looks fifty -- and he actually quoted that "We're Winning!" line. He also told me he couldn't serve in the military, because his role was as a cheerleader. I told him he was the ugliest cheerleader I ever saw, before he got swamped by a whole bunch of other peeps giving him a piece of their minds...
Quiet Society: Went out after dinner last night, felt like seeing some familiar faces so I went to Which Brew. The place was packed, but except for bartender Kateryna (and one passing acquaintance, but she was reading) there was no one there I knew. Eventually the place cleared out, Perry came in and Christina closed her book, and the three (four) of us had a decent bull session. (Perry grew up in Long Branch, and actually was/is friends with my HS music teacher. I already knew that, but it also turns out that Christina grew up in South Brunswick. Small world.) Busy is good and all that, but I really do prefer the quieter nights.
Reading: Anyway, while I was alone in the crowd I began mulling over Male Fantasies, my latest chew-toy. Maybe it's because I don't know all that much about the more esoteric Freudian arcana, and maybe it's because the book is a translation from German -- I've had my "WTF? moments" before, reading translations from the original German -- but I'm starting to think the guy's arguments are a bit of a stretch. It kind of reminds me of those Jack Chick tracts, "Where will You Spend Eternity?" and such like. Pure craziness, but the stories aren't word salad, they do have a narrative, until... some point or other in the tract, some dialog maybe, is footnoted, so you look down at the footnote and find a Bible quote to give the point some authority -- and the quote is a total non sequitur, no connection I can find to the point being made.
That's what I keep getting in Male Fantasies: the arguments are closely reasoned and reasonably persuasive, but the examples of proto-Fascist & Freikorps literature the author uses to illustrate and develop them don't quite seem to fit his narrative. The examples are full of stilted prose (see "translations" above), and are devoid of earthiness, and of all but the most cartoonish sexuality: it's more like they just remind me of things like ERB's Tarzan books, or Lord of the Rings -- wait, what?
Anyhoo, gym last night; dinner was more of that pot roast before I went out. Tonight I'm picking up some bike rack doo-dads (installing that'll be tomorrow's project), then hitting the towpath. I have a feeling I'll be alone out there. Sunday is the Superbowl, and the Superbowl of Chili.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pornographies of Flight

Morning weigh-in: 166.5#, 8.5% BF
Best. Pot roast. Ever. Just saying... Had it with a salad and a Stegmeier Porter, the turnips and alterna-roots really worked out well and the meat (a better cut than I usually use) was melt-in-your-mouth good. I only wish it were colder or rainy/snowy last night, this was the ultimate winter meal. I'll probably get the chance to eat this under more adverse conditions, since there's a winter front coming through tomorrow night, and I have plenty left over: I cooked a 3 pound chunk of beef, so I basically have another week's worth of meat, maybe more. Next time, I'll probably go with a smaller piece and use more veggies, to try for a more balanced ratio -- right now it looks like I'll have plenty of meat left over when I run out of everything else.
Nothing much to say otherwise. Picked up my old bike rack last night, from the guy I sold the car to. Hit yoga, had dinner, read some Gravity's Rainbow -- I'm up to the Franz Pokler part, the moral center of the book, and maybe my life -- and played with the computer some, but went to bed at a reasonable hour. Overslept, but not by much... tonight is the gym, and I think you know what I'm having for dinner.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Scagnetti On Scagnetti

Morning weigh-in: 166#, 9.5% BF
How you gonna kick it? Gym last night. I didn't go light but I did skip the legs, and I did a few other non-standard things, in the hope that a change would be as good as a rest. I hit Taco Hell (kept to the lesser evils there), then bought a bunch of food. I have a pot roast cooking for tonight, with a few experimental features: instead of potatoes I went with turnips and celery root (I think that's what it was). Carrots, onions, leeks, gonna kick it root crop...
Still tired, still with the crazy dreams. Tonight is yoga, then dinner, chores, and an early bedtime -- my biggest current problem, other than not having an actual rest day in the mix, is my recent habit of firing up the computer "just for a few minutes" at the end of the evening. Well the internets can wait a day or two, and so can the Leslie matrices; I want to get the house cleaned up a bit for the weekend, and after that it's straight to bed, tonight and tomorrow night too.
I saw something about Mary Steenbergen last night, which reminded me of What's Eating Gilbert Grape? and from there, that got me thinking about good old Juliette Lewis. (She was totally the "it girl" of the early nineties, and was a major tool in the recuperation of the Lollapalooza icons, but I digress...) I must have been dreaming about Natural Born Killers (1994, co-starring Juliette Lewis), because when I woke up this morning the phrase "Scagnetti on Scagnetti" was going through my head.
Beer Muscle Weekend: I first saw Natural Born Killers in maybe 1996 or so, on cable while on a skiing weekend with my neighbor "Crazy Joe" McK and his co-workers. (Big corporate animal-testing facility sponsored a bus trip to Whiteface, Joe & his buds were the employees that tended the animals, cleaned the cages etc. Joe sometimes would bring home rats to keep as pets, and set them free in the backyard, where they no doubt got beat up by the city rats, and eventually eaten.) I remember those guys gossiping about one dude who couldn't make the trip: he tried to steal a monkey by sticking it under his shirt, the thing tore him apart and he got caught/hospitalized. Thinking about it now, they remind me of the prison guards in Maus. Several were good skiiers (like Joe), but I remember they spent most of their time drinking, even on the slopes.
Avalon, heteronormative mystical mondegreen: Been listening to the Chemical Brothers lately, mainly because I found the CD lying around... One song I've always liked, but a closer listen changed everything -- I thought the refrain was:
Avalon! Avalon!
Blah de blah da blah da, yada dada da da...
(The actual lyrics can be found here.) I thought that literally for years, and it was part of why liked the song... I guess I can't really call the new lyrics "heteronormative" though, it sounds like a girl singing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Fever

Morning weigh-in: 166#, 10% BF
Hit Blue Mountain last night, no idea how many runs but I got in a lot of skiing before they threw me out. Word on the slopes was that Main Street and similar trails on the right were "a sheet of ice, totally scraped off," so I just stayed by the quad lift: Paradise, Lazy Mile & the lower section of Challenger, and eventually Razor's Edge where I spent most of the night.  It was warmer than last week, maybe just below freezing but the conditions were surprisingly good, at least where I was hanging out. Pretty empty by weekend standards (no lift lines), but the nicer weather did bring more people out than last Monday. I ended up skiing a couple of runs with two guys from Pottstown, and kept bumping into them at the lift. It was another beautiful night, and there was Sirius again; one of the dudes pointed it out, as well as a bunch of other stars, we were birds of a feather so I told them my "Dog Star joke" story. Just three dorks chuckling on the side of a mountain...
I got home around 11:00, had some black beans for dinner and went to bed. I must have worked it harder than I realized, because I had all sorts of crazy fever-dreams, like you get when work-damaged muscles leak protein into your bloodstream. Scrambled eggs for breakfast, gotta replace that protein.
That Old Time Religion: Today in 904, Sergius III became Pope, initiating what became known as the pornocracy. I guess I'd still go to church, if they still had strippers.
Fever: My friend Greg from Englishtown -- the only guy I know who married and divorced the same woman three times -- worked for his dad, and for all I know still does. His dad made Teflon products for such as the aerospace industry, buying bulk Teflon in pellet form, running it through screw pumps, extruders etc, and machining the bar stock into finished product. Part of the job was keeping the hoppers filled above the screw pumps, and every so often someone working up there would get a whiff of the melting plastic fumes. This caused a malady they called "the fever," and it was pretty nasty: sweating, dizziness, nausea; the end result was that they'd get the rest of the day off, and the next day too. Just a part of their life, and no permanent harm that I could see, but... hmmm.
Tonight is the gym, probably alterna-workout but definitely skipping the legs, then it's food-shopping night. Not sure what dinner will be tonight, but I want to have a pot roast cooking Wednesday.
One last thing: What he said.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Quick Tour Of Teh Internets

Morning weigh-in: 167.5#, 9.5% BF
Oh my goodness, they're talking -- openly! -- about the Shock Doctrine right there on the Op-Ed page! (Via Daily Kos, where I also saw this. Such an innoocent time, seems so far away now. My how time does fly...) Meantime, the Liberal Fascism smackdown continues apace, but the SadNo!-gons step back for the big picture, and it ain't pretty. OK, that's enough of that, I feel stupider already. (My two cents: I think the entire concept is the dumbed-down version, of a deliberate misunderstanding of good old Eric Hoffer.)
Juno: here there be spoilers. As per usual, Roy does the best movie reviews. I think I may actually see this movie, even if I now know a bit about how it ends.
Meatspace: Got the laundry done last night, with obligatory Porters visit (too late for food, so dinner was Taco Hell) while the stuff dried. Odd conversation, if that's the word, with some guy who spoke earnest and rapid-fire Spanish to me, while I nodded and smiled, and said "No compendre," and "Yo no habla espanol," whenever it seemed like my turn to say something. (I don't think he understood me.) Anyway, I'm a little closer to my new mug. The laundry's done, the decks are cleared, and I can hit the slopes with no worries tonight. It won't be as cold as last Monday, but that's not really a good thing.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viva La Viva La Viva La Viva La

Whelp, I'm going back to Moab, first week in April; we just booked our flights about an hour ago. Me, Brian, Rich and new father John C, whose wife is sending him off to get him out from underfoot... We don't see John much anymore, and probably shouldn't expect to: he no longer lives outside New Hope, they moved back to Maryland and he's also back among the employed. Anyway, he lives near Patapsco now, and so we promised him a road trip or two this summer -- and in the meantime we have Moab. I better be careful for the next few weeks...

Anyway, good weekend, starting with Friday night's towpath ride. I was by myself, I had no takers on my offer but that also meant I could go my pace and distance. My time wasn't great but it was acceptable, and I felt good at least. After that was Which Brew, where some girl (the jewelry maker) asked me my age, then feigned shock and claimed she would have guessed "thirty-two, tops." My new best friend! Screw the ride, that's what really made me feel good. (One of the bartenders threw a reality check later, by saying I should totally hang out with her dad, but still.)

Saturday was early morning yoga, with a pleasant surprise: Eric & Kris used that gift card I got them and joined me. Bonus: they liked the class. We hit the Coffee Exchange afterwards too, so I guess they got a real taste of my Saturday routine. Kris might be joining me for this Wednesday's class.

Gym, errands, nap, then back to WB to catch Tavern Tan, with friend and fellow PPRAC'ster Dave drumming. Needless to say there were a bunch of PPRAC dudes there, including Heath & Hans, Keith & his cyclocross girlfriend, and Taylor & his wife. (I tried to talk them into joining us for today's ride, but they were doing something on the road, maiden voyage for Heath's new rig.) Good crowd, but I took off a bit early.

Today was an awesome ride at French Creek. Me, Rich, Doug, Joe & Cindy, Pete and Eric B, we did about 20 miles, maybe a little more. We were all riding really well (surprising for January), and conditions were primo. The place was packed too, lots of other people biking, and also hiking, playing frisbee golf, ice fishing... The ride was basically an all-day affair: we started with breakfast at a bagel place near Doug, and ended with an early dinner in Bally. No action shots, but I did take a few photos at some rest breaks. I'll post them tonight.

Now I'm just kicking back, playing on the computer and doing chores while the laundry cooks. Tomorrow I'll probably go skiing.