Wednesday, August 30, 2006

By an Eye that Can't be Stopped 

Well, I've done it. I've officially gotten old. I've paid money to a chiropractor. Jesus Christ.

I've found out that I can run real strong for 13 miles. Then my legs start to sort of call attention to themselves. It's still depressing me how far I am from being a fast runner.

Speaking of which, I will sadly miss spending the upcoming weekend with fast runners. It's too bad. I even took Friday off, was looking forward to racing . . . . but I just got out of five years of debt and need to stay that way. And it's time I painted the garage doors. Fuckin' being old and responsible.

I really feel bad for a buddy of mine who has this gigantic pile of cow shit for a boss, but he can't tell anyone about it or do anything to rectify it. It's a certifiably lose-lose situation that couldn't have happened to a nicer person. It wouldn't be quite as bad except the pile of cow shit really thinks he's the bee's very best honey.

I really like this band called New Sense. It's a dumb name for a band, but they're pretty spiffy.

We went on a nice vacation that maybe I'll write about soon. It was fun and shorter than it felt.

I think we've finally defeated this beast called summer. Oh, sure, she's got a few weeks of life left in her. But as I sit here by the open window, the wind coming through it cool and dry. Just what I've been waiting for.

I don't know that I've given adequate respect, but I should point out that my wife is one hell of a cook. Really solid with the foods. She'll say she hates it, but deep down in her culinary glands, her heart pumps the blood of . . . I guess I forgot what I was going to say, but just take my word for it that she can whip up a nice batch of whatever if you need it.

There's this great Steely Dan collection that includes this introduction by some wasted guy that's just hilarious. I haven't heard it for years, but it's a real kick that I can't get out of my mind.

Sometime during my high school years, my sister went off to New York City and came back with a New York T-shirt for me. I wore it. Then I turned it into a running shirt. It was perfect for a running shirt -- nice, thin cotton. Then one day we had a tie-dyeing day at practice, and the New York shirt was my offering. After a while, it graduated to a "pizza" shirt, meaning it was a shirt I would wear at my illustrious job as a pizza chef extraordinaire. And at some point in time, my sis made the exasperated comment about how I destroyed her gift to me. But what she was missing was that that shirt saw it all -- it moved from job to job as one of my shirts, like no other shirt before. That's not too bad, especially when I could consider all the other birthday and Christmas gifts that didn't get all that attention. And hold on to your seats for this: I bet, standing in that store in New York, my sis never could have imagined that 13 years later, her bro would be on this thing called the internet, writing about the very gift she was about to purchase. Pretty amazing little gift now, isn't it? So there's nothing to get so upset about, Fahr. I liked the shirt.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to look out the window of my color TV.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

In this land of strangers. 

There's this guy who's constantly coming up to my desk, and he used to come up all like a lap dog, all yippy and skippy and fresh with his hip haircut and ethnic timing. But then he called one day and I couldn't tell him what he wanted to hear so there was a pause and excuses and now when he comes around I just think of this Irish book I read in which a mom had to go to the garage, and her kid just couldn't figure out why until one day everyone started looking at him with these wide eyes, just like the eyes of this lap dog, and just like that kid who figures out his mom isn't in a garage at all, I realize everyone here is just looking for blood.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sometimes it would be OK to ask for world peace, but receive a fish fry. 

It's vacation time. We're driving north. I hope I get to read a book and pick a lot of raspberries.

We rushed and rushed to we can rush some more, just to relax far away.

Maybe there will be antiques and used books. Hopefully the books will be dusty and hard.

Things are starting to cool off here. It's like seeing a city appear on the horizon out of the fog. Just have to keep moving forward. Focus . . . focus . . .

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

On Experiments, New Sounds, Riddance and Fair Food 

Well, the first draft of the cache and cookies ice cream is finished. Two batches, decent start, but definitely room for improvement. Ben and Jerry don't have to look over their shoulders yet.

I've got all sorts of new music on my plate now: The M's, The Eskimos, Stephen Stills boots, LandCarp, OlO, Os Mutantes and more stuff I haven't even opened. Still on its way to me is Heatmizer, Penfifteen Club, more OlO, and Galaxie 500.

There have been a couple instances recently in which I've really wanted to say, "Good riddance!" But this is a phrase typically frowned upon in society. And that's a damn shame. Because there's nothing like smiling while throwing the dog shit in the garbage, is there?

We recently went to the good ole Wisconsin State Fair. We're going to be taking a few years off from the fair. It's partly the humongous crowds, partly the trash element, partly the crap food, and partly the crap vendors and musicians. Add it all up, and I found myself, after a couple hours, looking around and becoming scared for Wisconsin. Because all the fair started to look like . . . . remember that moment at the end of Animal Farm, when they can't tell the pigs from the humans? It was like that at State Fair. There are all these animals. But there are also all these people eating. And they're huge. Now, let me be clear: I love splurging. I'm all for it. Sometimes it's just OK to have the brat, nachos, brownie and popcorn all at once. Go for it; have fun; live it up. But this was obscene. This was out-of-bounds, crazy. There were all these gigantic, 900-pound people being shoved around in wheelchairs because they can't walk anymore, and they were cramming all this deep-fried crap down their throats as fast as they could, and the food was dripping down their necks like . . . . well, some of the animals next to them. It was like an unannounced competition to see who could become the fattest the fastest. And the humans were gaining on the hogs. Wow.

Satan is My Motor 

"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."

- Book of Revelation, 13:18

I recently went online to verify whether my registration for the Lakefront Marathon had been accepted. It has, and I've been given a number. The number. The number of a man. The number of the beast.

This can't be good. I was really just hoping to finish the thing, but now . . . . I'm marked. I could get struck down by a church steeple or beheaded by a plate of glass. Or maybe all the other runners will surround me, brandishing holy water, shouting, "The power of Christ compels you!"

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Beaten by the third woman and a guy with a double stroller. 

After not racing for three years, I ran three races over the course of 17 days.

My first race back was faster than I expected, mainly because I had treated it like a workout, but then ran it with a little pride. But not enough so that there isn't plenty to work on. That last mile of the 5K was pretty weak. I don't mind getting beaten by the top woman, but not the third woman. That's not right.

The second race was only the second or third 10K of my racing career, and although I started extremely slowly, I finished 8th, and with a decent, if not memorable last push. The problem with this race was no port-o-johns at the start of the race. I spent the first three miles thinking of how I could run behind some bushes to take a leak. Took me until mile four to forget about the bladder. Funny, as bad as I had to go, I didn't until hours later.

Third race was an utter failure. Too hot, too warmed-up, too fast at the start. Completely unfocused throughout. Got passed at 2.25 miles by a guy pushing a double stroller. Yes. That bad.

Thus, the next couple weeks will be all about progression runs and two-mile repeats while I leave racing to the professionals.

Not even getting paid for the ideas that will change the whole world. 

While discussing my fit-of-rage subject of the fallacy of cache & cookies, and how the two became entwined when they had no real reason to be, my co-worker came up with the most astounding idea since Nutty Chicken for the Chinese restaurants.

Cache & Cookies Ice Cream.

It's brilliant. The cache would have to be the ice cream part, and would have to contain some cashews. I'm thinking mint with cashews. Then throw in some crumbled Keeblers, and bam! Gold mine for Ben and Jerry.

A day later another whopper hit me: Bob Seeger is a gold mine waiting to happen on the oldies circuit. Here's what he does -- it's so simple, I'm kicking myself for not being a manager/promoter type:

1. Get the Silver Bullet band back together. Shouldn't be tough. All they're doing now is drywall or painting.
2. Book a 2-night gig at Auburn Hills outside of Detroit. Tape both gigs.
3. Cull the best songs from both nights, toss 'em together, take a couple days in the studio to polish it a bit -- BAM! You've got a live album to promote.
4. Release it to the waiting masses. Toss out a few iPod exclusives since you just settled up with Apple.
5. Book a 4-month tour to promote the album and go on TV to get famous again.
6. Book some studio time and call some celeb friends.
7. Release a Santana-like album with new material, but dominated by the celeb guest artists.
8. Watch that puppy sail up the charts.
9. Book a 12-month worldwide tour.
10. Start bathing in all that money that keeps rolling in.

We live in a world ripe for a Seeger comeback. It's only a matter of time before someone steals my amazing idea and makes this guy enough money to buy Namibia.

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