Friday, April 30, 2010

April Numbers: Stronger Than Dirt!

When I began Genteel April1, I claimed I would do a lot of things, not the least of which was to be nice for the whole month of April.

I don't need anyone to tell me what a failure I was at that2.

But I promised a few other things, one being that I would attempt to post something every day in April. Well, I averaged in excess of a post a day (this here post is the 50th in a 30-day month), but I missed posting on two days thanks to a short weekend get-away and an uploading snafu3.

I have to think that, despite this failure to post every day, the seven of you who read this blog have probably had just about enough of me for awhile. So you should have no problem with my taking a bit of a break from posting, which is what I intend to do.

Note the verb: intend. That gives me the wiggle room I need to be allowed to post in case I feel the need to do so for some stupid reason. You know, if I get all het up and riled over something.

But I intend not to.

I'll still be reading and commenting as nastily and scathingly as ever on your blogs. Just not posting.

Or so I intend. 

I won't say it's because I deserve the break. But the six of you sure do4.

I'll be back around my birthday, which is in roughly two weeks5.

Use this gift of free time I have given you wisely: Catch up on your reading of other blogs, e.g. You should be able to read roughly 5 other blog posts in the time it takes you to read one of mine, because, yeah, I'm pretty long-winded. Fuck you. I'm old and I've earned the right to ramble incoherently at you. Here: have a hard candy. It'll take your mind off that Old Person Smell that permeates my blog. Now be a dear and remind me what  I was talking about.

O yeah. Things you can do with the copious spare time you will soon have.

Alternatively, why not use this free time to get reacquainted with your family?  

HAHAHAHA!! Just kidding about that last part! Your annoying fucking family is why you turned to running (and then blogging about it) in the first place, isn't it? Your family just doesn't get you, do they? Not like these anonymous weirdos on the Interwebs — your "friends" — do, right? So fuck your family, spend more time with themthe weirdos your online "friends"!

Actually, do whatever you want. But before you go? Be a dear and hand me my teeth?

Hahahahaha! It's funny because I'm old!
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This morning's run: 6.36 miles in 57:42 for a 9:05 pace. Acceptable because this morning I ran up the Foothill of Teh Schmatterhorn for the first time in months.

The April Numbers:

Running: 80.15 miles (This low number is because I didn't run for a full week due to the calf injury. Otherwise, I might have made it to 100 miles this month)

Walking: 42.51 miles

(Giving it HARD to Morrissey While Recumbently) Biking: 79.1 miles

Total Miles: 201.76 — Woo-Hoo! I TOTALLY don't blow!
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I listened to this one over and over this morning during my 6.36-mile run:

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1 Which probably won't catch on because let's be honest, here ... it didn't even catch on with me.

2 Feel free to tell me what a failure I was at that in the comments.

3 Yeah, "uploading snafu" sound soooo much better than "fucktarded brain fart on my part", don't you think? Because the latter is what really happened. Stop me if I've told you this story before3a. Because here's what happened: It was the morning of the Saturday that we were leaving for the Poconos to visit with Teh 'Bro and Teh S-i-L; I was rushing to finish the post I was writing so that I could upload it before we left so I'd have Saturday's promised post done, because I'm nothing if  not diligent and yes, I know, that pretty much means I'm nothing. I had two tabs open in Firefox: one in blogger, where I was working on my post; the other open to Google Reader, to see if any of you slackers, who post maybe two, three times a week3b, had posted anything new. You hadn't because ... see footnote 3b, below. So I logged out of Google Reader, stupidly forgetting that it would also log me out of Blogger3c because Google now owns and controls access to every virtual thing in the world and now makes even Micro$oft look like a Corporate Pussy when it comes to not sharing and monopolizing stuff and making crappy products and stop thinking what it would be like to Do It wit a a Corporate Pussy because I'm not finished with my story yet. (Still, doing it with a Corporate Pussy? I bet that would be Teh Awesome!) But so then there I was, blithely typing away in Blogger, not letting it register that the whole while, Blogger was trying to tell me "attempt at saving failed". If I even noticed that message, which is unlikely, probably all I thought was "Geez, now even Blogger is telling me that another Big Wall Street Financial Institution has gone under! NICE JOB, OBAMA3d!1!" (Because I like to think the economy was just zippy till January 20, 2009, because I'm a fucktard.) But what I didn't quite grok was that, when I clicked the "edit post" tab in Blogger to navigate away from the page I thought I had just saved, I lost the like 6 paragraphs I'd typed since logging out! And these weren't like Dr. Nic-type bullet point "paragraphs", either. These were Glaven paragraphs, with like twenty sentences each, chock full of verbs and adjectives and stuff, and the word "like" repeated like 50 times in each sentence! All, like, lost!

Upshot: No post that Saturday. Then: stayed up till 1:30 that night/morning drinking beer with Teh 'Bro, so no post Sunday, either, because ... um ... it somehow didn't seem a priority.

3a O, wise up, Jethro! I already know I've told you this story before! Did you really think telling me that I had would stop me? When has it ever?

3b Pfffttt! Posting Pussies!

3c So in a sense, this was all your fault. Man up and admit it! Pussies! The question isn't, Why do I post so much? It's Why don't YOU post more? Pussies!1!

3d So in another sense, this was all Obama's fault. O, I was willing to look the other way when you CRAMMED SOCIALISM DOWN MY THROAT, Barry, but this ... THIS is too much!1! SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS, ALIEN!1!

Hahaha! It's fun going all Arizona on Teh Kenyan in Chief's ass!1!

4 There's only one danger here. See, the reason I  post at least once a day, seemingly compulsively, is it keeps me busy. The danger, when I don't post, is that I might go back and start critically reading earlier posts of mine and then, then, comes the inevitable forehead-smacking moment when I realize how badly written they are; and at first I start to think, Well, that's okay, they can be salvaged; I can fix them ... And so it begins. Because I know where that road leads because there's the sign post right up ahead: This Way To Mass Deletion Acres, Where Old Posts Go to Meet Their Personal Death Panels. And then it's like, Jebus! Wouldn't it be easier, and more humane, just to delete the whole blog? But it doesn't have to be that way! Nobody reads the archives anyway; I know that — those old posts have already corrupted all the minds they're ever gonna corrupt; "fixing" them now is like putting a condom on after ... wait, that's gross. When I see that simile in the archives, I'll definitely fix it. But you get my point, which is this:

Put your condoms on before you fuck. Yes, condoms — plural. Better make it two or three because why take chances? I myself have shot a few across the room when I ...

Wait, that's even grosser. I'll fix it at some indeterminate time in the future when I'm trolling through my archives. It's a good thing I didn't finish that thought, though, because if I had told you how far across the room I shot the condom I'd then have to tell you how far the girl went, too, which was a little farther because, yeah, I'm like a firehose.

And that would be the grossest thing of all.

5 To be precise, B*tch, my birthday is May 15. Yeah, I'll be 50. So if any of you out there are thinking of getting me something, my condom size is XX-Large (this info should enable you to estimate my shoe and glove size, too); I'm Irish (this info should tell you all you need to know to estimate my @$$ size, which is XX-small); and my turn-ons include: Women who like small-@$$ed men wearing nothing but XX-large condoms; and raccoon-eyed morning whoo-wers in circa-1980s black nylon stockings ... who like small-@$$ed men wearing nothing but XX-large condoms.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

You CanNOT Petition The Lord With Prayer!

There's this video of an interview with a very drunk- and/or stoned-looking Jim Morrison from about 1968 or so in which he claims that the one thing he'd like to do musically, which he hasn't yet done, is write and perform a song that is an expression of pure, unadulterated joy. I spent quite a bit of time looking for this interview on youtube, but couldn't find it. I just wanted to make sure I was remembering it correctly; I'm pretty sure that's what Jim says, but it may have been something even more general that that, something along the lines of "Music is the expression of pure joy"; he may not have been referring to his own music in particular — I can't quite remember which it is.

Regardless, "An Expression of Pure Joy" is far from the first thing that should come to mind when you think of the Doors' music1. In fact, it probably shouldn't even make the top 500 things that come to mind. Jim Morrison's was a consistently dark vision.

Well, that assessment needs to be qualified: darkish is perhaps more accurate. Because even a casual glance at the lyrics of Morrison's songs reveals his celebration of the life force; but it's equally obvious that Jim believes the time we have to enjoy life is short, doomed to end soon, probably sooner than you think, possibly violently, because there are dark forces afoot in our world:
There's a killer on the road
His brain is squirming like a toad
...
If you give this man a ride
Sweet family will die
("Riders on the Storm")
In Jim's view, we are all, however unknowingly, on the verge of  "giv[ing] this man a ride."

But any life worth living is about taking chances, Jim consistently preaches. Perhaps the best distillation of this view is in the lyric from "Texas Radio and the Big Beat": "I'll tell you this," Jim intones: "No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." This — the here and now — is what we have; nothing else.

The rest of it is empty promises.

There is no "better place" awaiting us after we leave this plane of existence: "Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection," Morrison sings in "When The Music's Over"; for the "music is your only friend" and when it's over ... "turn out the lights". In fact, in a little known Doors B-side, "Who Scared You", Jim basically uses his contention that the time we have here on this earth is all we have as a seduction technique: "Who scared you and why were you born/ ... into time's arms with all of your charms?" You, we, are young and beautiful here and now — not in some later, promised paradise that preachers try to scare us into believing in; a place we can enter into only by denying ourselves now —  so let's make the most of our now because we are caught in time's unforgiving arms and our youth and beauty will fade2 ... and if we waste that, no promised eternal reward awaits us3.

There is a word for this: hedonism. Undeniably, there is a distinct hedonistic aspect to the lyrics and poetry of Jim Morrison. But it is a hedonism in the face of a certainty that time will win; death will win; our time is fleeting, our youth temporary and a moment wasted is a moment lost forever. There is a definite Götterdämmerung vibe to Jim's vision. Don't get lost looking toward some promised paradise yet-to-come; this is your paradise, your Valhalla, and you should not let the fact that you are aware that Valhalla is, yes, destined, doomed, ultimately to fall deter you from finding whatever enjoyment you can while there is still time.
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Originally, this post was going to be about nothing other than this song (below): "The Soft Parade". Typically, I found myself going off on tangents, into back alleys and snickelways that I had not intended to follow. O, well. Here's "The Soft Parade" for you to enjoy, anyway.

Jim said:
I am interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos-especially activity that seems to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom... Rather than starting inside, I start outside and reach the mental through the physical.
I think that sentiment is best reflected in this song. The Apollonian/Dionysian dichotomy is something that Jim Morrison was acutely aware of and he consciously invoked the forces of chaos, individualism, ecstasy and intoxication — the Dionysian sensibility. Apollonian rationalism and order was of no interest to him; he thought it a lie.

"The Soft Parade" always struck me as the Doors' best musical approximation of a Bacchanalian revel, ending in utter chaos and destruction, increasingly "harder to describe" ... then, ultimately, impossible to describe.

Perhaps, to Jim, this was an expression of the only true kind of pure joy, ending in ritualistic death and destruction.
_______

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1 Generally speaking, I mean. Because not all of the Doors' music reflects Jim Morrison's decidedly dark aesthetic. Some of the Doors' better songs were written mostly or entirely by the Doors' guitarist, Robbie Krieger — for instance, the music and most of the lyrics to The Doors' first big hit, "Light My Fire". Early on, the Doors were so much in sync with each other and so collaborative, though, that the credits for the songs on the albums would read "Music and lyrics by the Doors", regardless of who had written the song. Individual credits for songs began to appear with The Doors' fourth album, The Soft Parade, because Robbie began writing lyrics like "Follow me across the sea/ Where milky babies seem to be/ Molded, flowing revelry/ With the one that set them free" ("Tell All The People"), which Jim Morrison nearly refused to sing because he felt ridiculous mouthing sentiments so far from his personal vision; not just the hippie-dippie, groovy vibe, but also the admonition to "follow me" — Morrison was adamant in his belief that people should lead themselves, not follow. (In fact, one of JM's refrains during the Miami Concert where he allegedly exposed himself on stage was "You're all a bunch of slaves. Bunch of slaves. Letting everybody push you around." Of course, during the same drunken incident, he also repeated asked, "Isn't anybody gonna love my ass?" which sounds possibly pretty hippie-dippie love-the-one-you're-with-ish.)

But at times, even on the album The Soft Parade, it can be pretty hard to distinguish who wrote what because a lot of the lyrics sound like what Jim would have written. "Touch Me", written by Robbie, sounds to my ear like the kind of love song Morrison might have written; even more so when you realize that the song was inspired by a fight Robbie had had with his girlfriend and the lyrics had originally been , "C'mon C'mon C'mon C'mon now HIT me, babe". It's one of those classic rock songs in which you could easily imagine the word "love" being the radio-friendly stand-in for the real lyric: "fuck". (Robbie's "Love Me Two Times" is an even better example: "Love me two times, I'm going away"? Obviously, the word "fuck" would make far more sense here.)

2 "The time you wait subtracts the joy", Jim sings in "We Could Be So Good Together".

3 Surprisingly, and perhaps even unbelievably, this seduction technique evidently works in the context of the song because in the last verse Jim sings, "Well, I'm glad that we came/ I hope you're feeling the same".

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hot From Teh Northish-Central Joisey Police Blotter

So Teh 'Bride just sent me a link to the site of a local county news rag which has this here headline:
04/28/10

TITLE: OH MY GOODNESS - MAN CAUGHT MASTURBATING IN [CENSORED] COUNTY LIBRARY

Saturday, April 24, 2010 @ approximately 2:12 PM - Police arrested [CENSORED] and charged him with lewdness following an incident at the [CENSORED]County Library on [CENSORED]. Police were called to the library for a report of a male masturbating in public view on the second floor. ...

Yep. You guessed it. [CENSORED]County Library is Teh 'Bride's library, all right. The fun never stops at the library:

[PA Voice-Over]: "Clean-up in aisle three - wet."

What does it say about me [do NOT answer this in the comments] that the thing that I [I am NOT kidding - this question is rhetorical!] was most interested in [Really, don't answer it] when I went to the page was the ad-link it provided at the bottom of the page to an article from the same online rag about a local pub called Mrs. Riley's Ale House?

Because I had never heard of Mrs. Riley's, even though it is in our Northish-Central Joisey County, and so I clicked the link, thinking, Hey, why not, might be a nice place to go for lunch or something, and it's basically just a puff piece on Mrs. Riley's, comprised of pix, mostly, and the local rag even managed to misspell the name of the establishment at the top of the page, calling it "Mrs. Reiley's", which I know is wrong because one of the pix on the page is of the fucking place's SIGN where it sez, plain as day, "Mrs. Riley's Public House and Trattoria" (la-dee-da); and I'm looking at the pix trying to see what beers they have on tap, but all I can make out is a Coors Light tap, so Teh 'Bride and I won't be going to Mrs. Riley's any time soon, I can assure you.

But I'm also thinking, Poor Mrs. Riley! Not only did they misspell her name, but she probably paid money to have Breaking News Stories linked to this puff piece on her Ale House and what does she end up linked to? A story about some guy jerking off at the library on Saturday!

Also - the fact that this local rag's headline for this story is "O MY GOODNESS" should tell you all you need to know about Our Lurvely County. What's next?

MAN CAUGHT FUCKING HORSE AT LOCAL MIDDLE SCHOOL - WELL, FIDDLE-DEE-DEE

Noah's Ark FOUND!1!

... according to this article, found on the front page of Faux News' Sci-Tech news site.

Yes. Their Sci-Tech news site.

In related news:

Team of Fucktards Found Editing Faux News' Web Site!

Favorite part:
The group [of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers] claims that carbon dating proves the relics are 4,800 years old, meaning they date to around the same time the ark was said to be afloat. Mt. Ararat has long been suspected as the final resting place of the craft by evangelicals and literalists hoping to validate biblical stories.
[emphasis added]

O, carbon dating, is it? The same carbon dating technique that doesn't prove the Earth is older than 6,000 years when it's used to date fossils that are hundreds of millions of years old?

Now that there is some fair and balanced "science"!

You Pay NOW, Bitch!

This morning's run: 6.84 miles in 1:03:24 for a 9:18 pace. It was a perfect morning for a run; cold enough, at 5:20 a.m., that I wore sweatpants and a hooded sweat shirt; which may have leaned a bit toward overkill, but not too much. About a mile and a half of that was on a trail behind the local middle school, parts of which I had never been on before.

Not bad.
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Now THIS (below) is just funny!



The Blargle
The Blargle is a Thing Unseen
By man (and also chicks)
A good thing too, cos it's obscene —
It has eleven dicks!
And testicles in overplus
Full twenty plus three moo-wer
Normally I never cuss,
But: Blargle, you're a WHOO-WER.
The Blargle talks in Blargle-speak,
Thus: "Glippy korkle xime!"
Words good for nothing (but to tweak
A line that needs a rhyme).
Now I will let the Blargle talk,
For nothing could be sweeter.
The Blargle says: "Ookle Ookle Ookle Ookle gauk!"
Thus fucking my poem's meter.
The Blargle drives a mini-van
As well as a light truck
That's cos the Blargle really can
Find fifty ways to suck.
O, Blargle with your multi-dicks!
You SUCK as naught else can!
(I take that back, cos Dr. Nic's
Still there in Wiscon-SAN.)
(Plus, Cletus also sucks — possibly even more than Dr. Nic — but doesn't deserve to have his suckage memorialized in verse1.)

Some thought it a Mythical Creature, something parents invoked to scare their kids into behaving — "Be Good or The Blargle will get you!" —but here we see an actual photo of The Blargle itself! It has the Head of a Chiropractor and the Pasty, Bloated Body of an Inbred Hayseed; plus it has the Ears of of a Mutant, Disneyfied Dwarf Cartoon Pachyderm of some sort ... No, wait. My bad. Those are just the Chiropractor's normal ears.
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1 For the record, I was going to link all those references to inbred hicks in yesterday post to Cletus's blog, but I took pity on him after reading his ordeal with his century ride. That won't happen again.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

From The Anals of Effective Advertising

I know what you're thinking: Glaven, shouldn't that be annals, with two n's?

I'll let you judge:

Does that make you look at your recurring gas and bloating a bit differently?

Uh, depends. Which end am I looking at them from in this hypothetical?

Man, US1 never fails to supply me with something unintentionally amusing to peruse during lunch!

Deepness

It's not easy being genteel for a whole month. In fact, it can't be done.

Yesterday's Post: An Apolonation

Unless you're some sort of inbred hick, you'd probably figure out all on your own at some point while reading this post — thanks to what they used to call "context clues" back when I was a youngster in what they used to call "grade school" — that "Apolonation" is my own neologistic portmanteau-word meaning "both apology and explanation"; and I'm telling you this right here, upfront, before I've even supplied you with the first context clue so that you'll never know for sure whether you'd have been one of the readers who'd've figured that out on your own and therefore could've proudly held your head high and declaimed: "I am of dull-normal intelligence AT LEAST, dammit!"; or whether you'd have been one of the readers who, after finishing this post, would've still been all, "Guuuuuh, wha da fuck is uh 'apolonation' anywayz?" and would've had to've conceded that you might be an inbred hick of less than dull-normal intelligence and then would've had to've gone to your father and said, "Paw, are we a bunch of inbred hicks?' only to've had him answer, "Guuuuhhh, I dunno. Go ask my sister ... er, I mean, your Maw. She's tha one whut birthed y'all litter a' young 'uns."

Okay, okay — here's a bone1 for you: If you managed to get through that first paragraph, and you actually think it made sense .... you just may be an inbred redneck who's not smarter than a fifth grader.

Anyroad, the above caveat is necessary2 because I need both to apologize for yesterday's post — because it was fucking boring — and be clearer about what it meant — because some of you, in your comments, misunderstood what I was trying to say.

Okay, so: Sorry it was boring3.

Okay, now that that's outta the way ... to the Explanationmobile! [cue Batman Theme]

These lines from that post:
I was pretty happy with my performance4 ... but looking at the numbers objectively? Gotta admit, they kinda suck.

Which is fine because "suck" is pretty much my own assessment of my running skills. So I'm not disappointed by them.
were, I think, kinda misunderstood by readers as my way of trolling for some comforting words of consolation (which they weren't), because Teh Former Blogger Formerly Known As Teh Loose Former Moose aka LuMu said:
I disagree with the whole "suck" assessment. Didn't you used to be MUCH suckier? I believe you did. And 24/33 in your age group is not especially sucktastic at all, considering the fact that that is a tough, tough age group.
which was kinda nice of her and under normal circumstances, her "Didn't you used to be MUCH suckier?" observation would've won First Prize in the Best Left-handed Compliment category, except there was this gem from carpeviam (aka, "seize the n*ts@ck and twist it while the guy's already down"):
At least you finished the race. Despite the suckage. A DNF would be worse, right?
Wow. That brought a tear to my eye. You suck, but at least you didn't DNF. Plus, I have my health, too, right, cv? Don't forget that meaningless comfort! Now why don't I just go off in a corner and bounce this here red rubber ball while the real runners discuss real running.

Then, of course, there was this from My Favorite Blogging Transvestite:
Suckage? I see no absolutely no suckage.

I have yet to break more than the top 85% of my age group, much less the race. I am pretty sure I have not even the top 85% of all short, fat blonds running any particular race.

I would peel someone's penis like a banana ...
Oops! I accidentally included a little bit more of that comment than I intended. O well, the damage is done now, and there's no way to undo it.

By way of apology to RBR, let me add this link to her latest post because it includes this pic of a really hot GILF5 and she's so cute she'd be totally worth having to go to dinner at 4 p.m. to catch the early bird special then back home for some hanky-panky by 5 and light-out, night-night by 6:30!1!

In fact, I appreciate all of the kindness and encouragement. But I wasn't being down on myself in my assessment of my performance. I actually did much better than I thought I would in the race in question. My point was that it's just pretty much true that, in objective terms — however you wanna define "objective" — my numbers were not impressive to anyone but me. I actually gave this some thought: why it is that my numbers are soooo much better in 5ks, even ones where I'm not particularly happy with my performance, than they were in this 15k?

I reckon it's because loads of foax figure they can finish 3.1 miles; but once you get up to 9.33 miles, the number of foax running the race just to finish it goes way down. In other words, most of the people who run 15ks are serious runners, I guess.

I can't prove this. But I figure that's as likely an explanation as any.

I hope this satisfies all of you (that's what she said because she's a whoo-wer!1!).
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1 No, not that kind of bone. <--That joke was a really cheap-ass way to get you down here to the footnote area of this post and it was not the real reason I wanted you down here (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!1!). The real reason you're down here (THAT'S ...etc.!1!) is so that I could point out to you that I have now, three days early, violated the last provision of the oath I made at the beginning of this month — viz., not to use footnotes. I've already been ungentle for at least a week and a half; this past weekend I dropped the N-Bomb ("n*ts@ck") like twenty times; and I've been generally vulgar and potty-mouthed for quite some time.

And I'm pointing all of this out to you so that you don't feel the need to get all "GOTCHA!1! You used an illegal footnote!1!" in your comments; because, yeah, I know that already.

I also wanted to point out that I have decided there will be no repercussions for me for these violations of my oath. We must look forward, not backward. Because looking forward? I see a shitload of footnotes and n*ts@ck-sightings in the future. So come, grab my n*ts@ck (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!1! then he said, ZOMG!1! YOU'RE NOT A SHE!1!) and make the journey forward with me.

Also, I knew that if I didn't start using footnotes soon, j'og would never, ever leave another comment.

2 "Necessary" defined here as "arbitrary and totally unnecessary, like these footnotes."

3 And a big FUCK YOU to all y'all who thought my Ibañez post from a couple of days ago was more boring than the post I'm actually apolonating for, because I'll NEVER apologize for that one and as explanation for that refusal I refer you to the big FUCK YOU, above. Because Ibañez!!!1!!!!!1!

But, to be fair, I will apologize for those two big Fuck Yous.

Sorry.

4 THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!1!!

5 HANDS OFF, dude-bloggers! I saw her first!1! BONUS: RBR also includes a pic of the GILF's granddaughter!1!

To be absolutely honest, though: I also totally would have fucked that hippo RBR posted a pic of in her 4/25  post because
HUBBA-HUBBA!1! I haven't seen bulgy, come-hither looking eyes like that since Barbara Bush!1!

But I wouldn't've wanted a relationship with that hippo because in time it would've been all, Glaven, does the fact that I'm a 4-ton hippo make my ass look fat? and I just neither need nor want that kinda drama in my life right now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Morning Run in the Rain; And Official Results

I figured this morning was as good a time as any to shake the legs out after the the 15k race on Saturday. On Sunday, I took it relatively easy, doing some stretching, some yoga and 3.7 miles on Morrissey in 10:15, so I reckoned I had better do some kind of run today so the legs could recover better.

I plotted out a 5-mile run, but figured I could improvise a longer one if the legs seemed up to it. Much to my surprise, my thighs were achier than anything else after Saturday's race. Not that they were very achy; it's just that I have done 9-mile (and longer) runs before and I don't remember it affecting my thighs this much. Of course, the pace I managed to keep in the race was a much quicker one than I had ever accomplished on my longer training runs, so maybe that was it.

Anyway, I ended up improvising a 6.41-mile run at what I considered an easy pace, which, when I got home, I found out was a 9:11 pace. Not bad. I'll take it.

The calf is holding up okay. It was just great during the race, so if it wants me to baby it a bit for awhile now, that's fine — that's a perfectly reasonable trade off. My next race is not till mid-May, and it's a 5k, so it shouldn't be too hard to prepare for that. The week after that, I have another 5k, but it's a trail run. That should be interesting.

My GOD this is a fucking boring post!

So let's just cut it short then.

Here are the official numbers for the 15k:

I was 236th in a field of 374 runners ... so .. bottom third of the class.

Official time: 1:22:31.16. Pace: 8:51. There were 214 males and I was 165th; I was 24th of 33 men in my AG (M45-49).

I was pretty happy with my performance on Saturday but looking at the numbers objectively? Gotta admit, they kinda suck.

Which is fine because "suck" is pretty much my own assessment of my running skills. So I'm not disappointed by them.

Sorry for the boring post! Better luck with the next post you read, Anonymous Reader, because this one is finished sucking!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Raúl Ibañez!1!

My guy finally came through! First homer of the season in the ninth to win it for the Phils, 3-2!

[Oops!  Ibañez's homer was in the 7th to tie it up. Werth's second homer of the night won it in the 9th. JAYSON!1! Woo-Hoo!]

Woo-Hoo! Ibañez!1!

Actually, it's not fair to say he finally came through because, yeah, he's only hitting .222 even after going 2 for 4 last night, and so has been in a hitting slump, obviously; but he's worked a lot of key walks (he has 13, which is ninth in the NL), and he's got 4 doubles already. His On Base Percentage is .362, which is better than it was last year.

Ibañez!1!

(In baseball? You can "prove" anything with stats.)

Ibañez!1! Woo-Hoo!

Ibañez and Werth crushed all three homers as you can see in this video. Bonus: The Diamondbacks' batboy is a member of the AARP.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

15K Race Report - PR, Bitches!1!

That's right — BITCHES!1! I called y'all BITCHES, because FUCK this GENTEEL shit!1! RBR smugly notes that I missed my goal of a Whole Genteel April by a mere 6 days because in my last post I wrote something that she evidently took to be an allusion to oral sex, but it wasn't because CLEARLY the thing I was telling my readers to EAT was my PR not my pussy because I don't even have one!

That I know of!

And so RBR is wrong and she can — wait for it!1! — kiss my n*ts@ck!1!

ZOMG!1! That felt so good! When was the last time I said "n*ts@ck"? I was afraid I would misspell it, it's been so long.

But saying it was enough so on second thought, TrannyB, you don't have to kiss it.

Anyroad, the 15k race report, yeah.

I get there and I get my shirt and my chip and all that and I'm lining up at the starting line and I hear, "Glaven! Glaven Q. Heisenberg!" And I look and see a smiling face that I don't immediately recognize; and then the smile sez, "Marty Lastname!" And I'm all, "Martin!"

Martin used to be my and Teh 'Bride's boss at Baker & Taylor, where Teh 'Bride & I met. That was in 1990, 20 years ago, by my calculation; and Martin, who was a runner even back then (I was not and wouldn't be for over a decade more), looked great: a little grayer of hair, but like zero body fat; and after we shook hands and exchanged pleasantries — I asked if he'd run this course before and he had so he gave me and the lucky foax around me a quick run down as to what to expect — he made his way up a little closer to the front; because I suspect he finished the race a good 10-15 minutes ahead of me since he's been running forever, a fact that is evident in how well-preserved he is: He must be eight or more years older than I, but he looks to be about my age or younger.

[Interpolation, added a little later: I looked up Martin's results from last year: turns out he's only three years older than I am (I guess you always think your boss is way older than you) and his time last year WAS almost exactly 10 minutes faster than mine this year.]

I mention Baker & Taylor — a book jobber here in NJ — by name only because they paid for my MLS. They deserve the shout out because I would never have gone to library school if I had had to pay for it; but I would have been an idiot not to take advantage of B&T's full tuition reimbursement program for job-related education. And since my job title at B&T was "Collection Development Librarian", obviously Library School could be justified as relevant. I got the job at B&T not because I already had an MLS (obviously I didn't; if I did, why would I enroll in library school? PAY ATTENTION, BITCHES!1!), but because I had relevant experience at a different NJ library book jobber where the job I did was exactly the same as the one I did at B&T only the other book jobber called that job ... "Book Buyer".

Yeah, I could explain why, but it's a long story. Plus, I think I covered a lot of this story in my previous blog. So read it there.

AND GOOD LUCK finding it because some n*ts@ck-fondling FUCKTARD deleted it! Hahahahaha!

 Anroad, back to the race report, brought to you by Allagash Belgian Tripel, which is what I bought a liter of after the race and am imbibing as I write this here report, which for some reason is more pointless ramble than report so far, huh? O, look out my window! A squirrel with a fuzzy tail! Woo-Hoo!

That reminds me — some woman ran this 15k race with her three-legged dog! They finished only about 8 or so minutes after I did: I know this because I did my usual post-race thing, which is to stand by the finish line and encourage the rest of the racers. Three-legged dogs always bring out an "Awwwww!" from me that I just can't supress. I can't help it. Poor doggy! But he was fast!

But so okay, the race. There were a lot of fast-ass people running this race because less than a half mile in, I could see there were just scores and scores of them in front of me and I knew I would have no chance of catching up with them. I mean, it was possible some had started out too fast and might end up walking a bit, but even if they did, by that time they'd be so far ahead, I wouldn't have a prayer of catching them.

And the thing is I think I started this race way too far up front because except at the very beginning, I did not pass  a single runner the whole time. And most of those I passed ended up re-passing me at various points. I merely note this so that you know I am not kidding when I say I'm a slow-ass runner, because I didn't care that I was being passed; because as I said, my ONE GOAL for this race was to finish it. Of course, about two minutes in, that changed because the right calf felt absolutely great, as though it had never been injured, so I added this goal: Never to stop and walk. And since it's about time in this interminable report that I said something substantive, I will tell you this:

I achieved both goals. I finished ... running the entire time.

I wore my water belt for the race, but if I run it again next year — a near certainty — I won't because they had plenty of water stations (at every mile, I think), and the water stops offered Gatorade, too, so the belt was unnecessary. I don't think it slowed me down much. It just made me feel like a chick shopping at a mall, is all —  Oooo, did you see that shoe sale down there at Prada, Myrtle? — or like Carolina Cletus but without his rampant auto-homo-eroticism.

Anyway, the course was an extremely pretty one, especially when we got to the trails; only about three miles of it, I'd estimate, was on trails, but it was very scenic: We crossed and re-crossed the Raritan River numerous times, and whenever I felt tired (which was often, because I think I paced myself in relation to a couple other runners who were more skilled (i.e., faster) than I), I'd try to forget the pain by looking at the river or the wooded park, trees in mid-Spring full-deciduation mode, and remind myself that, essentially, I was on a sped-up nature walk. Enjoy that, at least, I told myself.

That kinda worked. But it was a little harder (that's what she said!) when running through busy town streets and nice-but-boring McMansion-filled neighborhoods.

Finally, I got back to the park and immediately wanted to KILL the n*ts@ck-fonding FUCKTARD who decided that the race should end with your having to do this like .33-mile circuit of the park before you got to the finish line. I don't watch running, because it is, in my opinion, an excruciatingly boring spectator sport, but like everyone else in the US, I pretend to care about marathon running when the Summer Olympic Games roll around. And as I was watching the end of the marathon in Beijing a couple years ago, all I could think is Those runners must want to fucking KILL the guy who made it traditional to run around the track inside a stadium at the end of the marathon. Maybe they don't, but I can only project how I would feel and I would feel that anyone who made me do a half-mile (or whatever) fucking sprint inside a fucking stadium after I had just run 26 FUCKING MILES deserves not only to be kicked in his own personal n*ts@ck, but also deserves to have every male member of his family kicked in their n*ts@cks, too. Because you fucking asshole! I'm fucking TIRED, you DICK, and here I am, I made it to the stadium, and you won't just FUCKING LET ME JUST STOP!1!

ASSHOLE!1!

That's how I felt as I entered the park after running a mere 9 miles. Point-three-three more to go in the park?

FUCKING ASSHOLE!1!

But I did it.

Finish time: 1:22:31 (PR! Hahahaha! That part was guaranteed!) 8:51 pace.

This is way better than I thought I would do.

Unless I sign up for something else, this was my last race as a 49-year-old. My next race — a 5k — will be on my 50th birthday in May.
Ian and me, last August, on Lake Champlain

Pre-Race Post

I'll be leaving for my 15k race in a half hour or so. The USATF site describes the route thus: "Scenic route consisting of farms, trails, and neighborhoods." So when I said a couple posts ago that I was wrong because it is not a trail run ... I was wrong; because it is. In part, at least.

As I said before, my only goal is to finish. I'm not worried about time or placement or anything like that. 9.33 miles is 3.1 miles more than I have ever raced and so, since it's a guaranteed PR if I finish, my goal is to PR, which, in this case is just another way of saying that my goal is to finish.

I'm pretty sure other runners out there who read this may have a hard time empathizing. I can fairly hear them going, "15k and his only goal is to finish? What kinda pussy is this guy?"

Well, I'm the kinda pussy who'll have a 15k PR if I achieve my goal, so who's the pussy now, huh?

Right. Still me.

But a pussy with a PR.

SO EAT IT, hypothetical judgey readers!

(The PR. Not the pussy.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Photo Op

A friend of ours is a producer at CNN (aka, Teh Epicenter Of Teh Global Liberal Media Conspiracy®), and yesterday he took his kids to work with him; and whereas my kid spent the day getting intimately acquainted with Teh Wonder That Is Youtubal Surrogate Parenting/Babysitting, his kids were doing this:

Yeah, that's right. Being photographed with Nancy Pelosi on The Speaker's Balcony (the balcony outside her office). That there is Eamon on the left: He looks about as thrilled as a teabagger to be spending time with NP. "Don't touch me! It burns! IT BURNS!!1!"

Anyway, that's Teh Global Liberal Media Conspiracy® for you: Always doing their all to make me look like an inferior parent.

TYCtWD: The Aftermath

Yesterday was Take Your Child to Work Day. So I took Ian to work.

I take him, not Teh 'Bride, because her county is fucktarded and they put the kids on a bus and make them travel all day to each county facility, which bores them and which totally defeats the spirit of Take Your Child to Work Day because you're separated from your child the whole day by this Forced Busing Fucktard Fiat. And so in Teh 'Bride's County System, the only kids who attend TYCtWD are like Freeholders' kids — because the Freeholders are the Self-Same Fucktards Who Came Up With This Great Idea of Treating The Kids Like Lost Luggage — and Directors'/Supervisors' kids — because the Freeholders can intimidate Directors/Supervisors into coercing their kids into attending because Directors and Supervisors in this county are hand-picked by the Freeloaders for their innate spinelessness and pussified personalities.

I was expecting Ian to be bored out of his skull and begging to leave by lunchtime — which is exactly what happened the last two years I took him. But since I set him up with his own PC, he was as good as gold and at 4:15 — 15 minutes till quitting time — he sez to me, "I don't want to go soon." I said, "You can sleep here if you want, but they stop paying me at 4:30, so I'm outta here!"

He reluctantly agreed to accompany me.

Here are some pix:

Yeah, nothing sez "gay" "paternal-filial love" like matching outfits, so Teh 'Bride tried to make Ian and me match as much as possible. The hands-in-the-pockets deal gives me that sexy pear-shaped look that all you skirts out there crave in a man. Look but don't touch, ladies! He's married! (Note: I originally did have an image of Ian and me here, taken outside our house just before we left, but I truly did look kinda "full-figured", so I thought better of it and decided to go with the approximation above, instead. I figured people will still be digesting (or even eating) their breakfast when they see this. You should thank me.)

This is the first pic I took of Ian at the library. He's in the admin area and Lothario Ian's already scored TWO HAWT library chix! Chip off the old block! WTG, Ian!
In Acq-Cat (Acquisitions and Cataloging), they let Ian be the first non-staffer to see this new book on the history of the Phillies. (It hasn't even been put out on the shelves yet.) Ian's a big Chase Utley fan, but I call him "Victorino" because when we go outside to play catch, he's dirty from head to toe within roughly 12 seconds and he always wants me to throw the ball so that he has to make a diving catch.

This pic was an accident, but I liked how it came out, so I didn't delete it.

This is what Ian did all day: Sit in front of a computer screen watching youtube.

Yeah, in fact, I think I know the lyrics to pert-near every Lady Gaga song now, because he spent a lot of time watching her various videos. Other things he watched: Snakeheads devouring various other fish ("Daddy, who do you think would win in a fight - a snakehead or a piranha?"). I had to put an end to that after about 10 videos. He also discovered all the videos of him, some of them years old, that I put up on youtube because I logged him in as me. Whenever I video him, he sez, "Daddy, don't put it on youtube!" And I assure him I won't. Then, I do because he's not the boss of me.

So I thought he'd be mad. But he was more interested in how many views his videos had. In fact, he put up a comment on one: "Everyone should watch this video or else!" In fact, when he found the vid of his volcano erupting, and noticed it had over 3500 views, he was ecstatic.

All-in-all, a pretty good day for us.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Take Your Brat To Work Day ...

... and I set Ian up with his own PC here in IT and he's currently watching this:



Then he watches actual Lady Gaga videos.

Not that different from what his daddy does at work, really, if you think about it ...
____
They finally — finally — posted the official times for that 5k I ran back on the third of this month. 23:53.66. 73rd place (out of 288 runners).

So ... exactly as I reported it when it was unofficial.

In other news, this weekend's 15k is NOT a trail run, as I erroneously assumed. (I assumed that because it's in a rural part of my mostly rural county and it starts in a park.) But I looked at pics from last year's race and the path is paved.

Beyond These Things

I am not a big fan of Procol Harum and, in fact, frequently have to remind myself to check to make sure I am not misspelling their name "Procul Harum" — the supposedly Latin phrase from which the band derived their name — which does not mean "beyond these things", even if Gary Brooker, the founder of the band, thought it did. I wouldn't have to check my spelling every time if I were a big fan, would I? When I was in high school, even the zoniest, most Dazed and Confused druggie wasteoids in the school knew the correct spelling of "zeppelin", thanks to that eponymous group they worshiped, and would get righteously indignant, indeed, worked up into High Dudgeon, should they run across stray graffiti — Physical or otherwise — claiming "Zeplin [sic] Rules!" "Dude, yes, they rule! But duuuude — that is not how you fucking spell it!"

Nevertheless, there are a couple of Procol Harum songs I like, my favorite being — WAIT FOR IT! — no, not "A Whiter Shade of Pale" but rather "Conquistador". I have nothing against "AWSoP" other than the fact that it is overplayed and -praised. But it's still a good song; my reasons for being slightly sick of it have less to do with the song itself than with the fact that it gets played seemingly every ten minutes on FM radio and seems to make an appearance in every "hip" film that comes down the pike. Teh 'Bride, for instance, still loves "AWSoP" and considers me merely perverse for preferring "Conquistador".

But I just happen to think "Conquistador" is a better song, is all, and I think I'd prefer it to "AWSoP" even if the latter weren't so over-exposed. I like both versions of "Conquistador" — the original, slower, bluesier studio version as well as the one below, performed live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The live version is the one you always hear, and with good reason: The song is vastly enhanced by the inclusion of orchestration. The staccato strings that open the song are distinctive, and help to set a relevant tone of urgency that I consider thematically apropos for the song; and the inclusion of the Spanish bullfighter horns also enhances it, giving it a Latin flavor nearly entirely absent from the studio version.

The real Conquistador in the song is not any unnamed Spanish Explorer/Conqueror but Time Itself. The song is really a rumination on the inevitability of death, which brings everyone low and is the great equalizer. When it comes to death, there are no conquerors, only the many vanquished, among whom must be included the great Conquistador.

It is unclear whether the narrator is looking at a statue of a Spanish Conquistador or some other work of art or if he is just addressing an image in his mind's eye, but however he may be seeing this Conquistador, it is from a vantage point that spans a sea of time and through a prism that reveals to him the ravages that time visits upon both the meek and the mighty indiscriminately: The Conquistador's stallion stands alone, riderless, almost forlorn, the apostrophized Conquistador having been laid low, his "armour-plated breast ... [having] long since lost its sheen", his face a "death mask ... [where] ... there are no signs which can be seen." No signs of  life? Or no signs of a meaning to Life? The refrain "And though I hoped for something to find/ I could see no maze to unwind" suggests that the narrator is in search of some sort of, for lack of a better word, ultimate meaning ... and what he finds that ties all of humanity together is the ineluctability of death.

This is not a happy narrator or a happy song.

Historically speaking, the Spanish Conquistadors were — not to put too fine a point on it — ruthless murderers who brought whole civilizations down, plundering their wealth along the way, and sowing death wherever they went in the New World. This fact is barely alluded to in the song, though. We do know that the narrator originally "came to jeer at you [the Conquistador]" — perhaps for the Conquistador's historical crimes against humanity when he "came with sword held high"? — but the narrator ends up paying his respect to the dead man because the narrator, from his vantage point across the sea of time, soberly realizes that the Conquistador "did not conquer, only die".

The Mighty Conquistador ultimately suffered the same fate as his victims, the same fate as everyone who ever lived — the fate that will be shared by everyone who ever will live: death.

Time conquered the Conquistador as it will conquer us all.


______
Conquistador your stallion stands
in need of company
and like some angel's haloed brow
you reek of purity
I see your armour-plated breast
has long since lost its sheen
and in your death mask face
there are no signs which can be seen


And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind


Conquistador a vulture sits
upon your silver shield
and in your rusty scabbard now
the sand has taken seed
and though your jewel-encrusted blade
has not been plundered still
the sea has washed across your face
and taken of its fill


And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind


Conquistador there is no time
I must pay my respect
and though I came to jeer at you
I leave now with regret
and as the gloom begins to fall
I see there is no, only all
and though you came with sword held high
you did not conquer, only die


And though I hoped for something to find
I could see no maze to unwind

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Depressing

Just finished putting the words "This service will end on June 30, 2010 if the proposed budget cuts are approved" or "This service may end on June 30, 2010 if the proposed budget cuts are approved" next to the links to all of the online databases our patrons (and we librarians) will or might lose access to if the current hatin'-on-libraries-and-schools NJ state budget passes.

Literally, scores of databases. Virtually every one we now offer. If the budget goes through, we'd be lucky if we could hang on to a tenth of what we now offer.

Extremely depressing to contemplate.

And that's just the databases this budget would strip from us. Which is just the tip of the iceberg.

We included this link. I hope enough people kick up a fuss to get this thing changed.

Little Billy's Doing Fine

I chose this live version of "Little Billy" (see vid, below) over the studio version because here Pete, in his intro to the song, gives a relatively good and factual explanation of its genesis. Peter Townshend, incidentally, was pretty well-known for his elaborate, fanciful and sometimes even rococo intros to songs back in the day; some of what he would say was true; some could be utter bullshit; it was all entertaining to listen to. His claim, in this intro, that "Little Billy" would soon be a released as a single and you'd hear it being played on the radio? Outright bullshit, and Pete probably knew it. "Little Billy" wasn't released until 1974, as a track on Odds and Sods ("a compilation album of studio outtakes and rarities by The Who released by Track/Polydor in the United Kingdom and Track and MCA in the United States in 1974"), even though it was recorded in 1968, which is also when this live version (below) was recorded.

The background vocals on the live version are a bit shaky, though — unusual for the Who, who were a pretty reliably fantastic live act — so if you want to hear a more sonically pleasing version, click this here studio version link. (On second listen, the background vocals aren't bad so much as they are mixed too far forward and poorly blended. But that was the state of the art of live recording back in 1968.)

In the intro, Pete alludes to "Odorono", which was a song on The Who's (at the time) latest album, The Who Sell Out. The idea behind that album was to reproduce the experience of listening to "pirate radio", which Pete loved and that the British government had just legislated out of existence. Pirate stations were actual ships that broadcasted good, current rock 'n' roll music into Britain from just outside British waters, i.e., in technically international waters. This was necessary because BBC radio — the only "legal" alternative in England at the time — restricted the broadcasting of rock music to an hour a week or something absurd like that. (There was a movie starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Boat That Rocked, aka Pirate Radio — which no one saw — that told the fictionalized story of one pirate radio station, Radio London.)

In any case, The Who Sell Out was an album of "pirate" music (all Who songs, of course) that included commercials recorded by The Who (Whomercials, if you will ... or even if you won't, because fuck you! You're not the boss of me!) for actual products like Heinz Baked Beans; it also included station promo jingles ("It's smooooooth sailing/ With the highly successful sound/ Of Wonderfulllll Radioooooo Londonnnnnnn!") and other miscellaneous stuff. "Odorono" was a song that was a "commercial" for a product that didn't exist; the young lady in the song misses her big chance at becoming a Big Time Singer when her unfortunate body odor offends an important impresario (concluding lines: "Her deodorant had let let down/ She should have used Odorono").
Yeah, Roger got pneumonia after this photo shoot. And Pete became a Famous Rock Star because LOOK! He didn't forget to use Odorono, unlike the poor girl of the song.

The Who Sell Out includes what many, including Pete, consider to be the Ultimate Great Who Song: "I Can See For Miles". It was released as a single; Pete was sure it would go straight to number one, but it stalled at like #10 in both the US and Britain. This crushed Pete; he considered it a flop — even though "ICSfM" charted the highest of any Who single ever. Pete threatened to make the next Who album a collection of all the Who's under-performing singles and he was going to call it The Who's Greatest Flops. After "ICSfM" stiffed (at least, as far as Pete was concerned), Pete wrote a string of ... let's just say ... "less than commercial, borderline-novelty songs", because he was seemingly somewhat doubtful of his ability to write a commercially viable song.

"Little Billy" was one of those songs.

The American Cancer Society, somehow made aware that The Who had written commercial ("commercial" in the sense of "advertisement"; not the sense of "number-1-on-the-charts-with-a-bullet") songs, asked them to write and perform an anti-smoking song. And they agreed.

It's not hard to see why the American Cancer Society declined to use "Little Billy". The song's a bit cavalier in its attitude toward cancer, obesity and even revenge: Ha ha ha ha - fuck you, dead smokers! Fat Billy's got your KIDS now and he's got his revenge for the way you treated him as a kid! I'd rather be fat, a misfit and alive than cool and DEAD! And so should you, Kids of America! Don't SMOKE! It has a definite anti-smoking vibe, but it's not exactly uplifting. Message: If you don't smoke, you'll be fat but you will outlive your smoking classmates and even though living well is the best revenge, living longer is ... well ... revenge, anyway ... of a sort ... even if you are saddled with 25 kids who are not even your own.

The song's a bit macabre, you might say. Flippant too, you might say.

I still like it.

Ha Ha Ha Ha!

Interesting side note: It appears that in this live version, the verse beginning "Now Billy and his classmates are middle-aged" is sung by Roger, even though Pete clearly sings it in the studio version.

Little Billy was the fattest kid in his class
Always the last in line
All the other little kids would laugh at him
Said he'd die before his time


Ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha ha
Little Billy didn't mind


Most of the kids smoke cigarettes
Just to prove that they were cool
The teacher didn't know about the children's games
And Billy always followed the rules


Ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha ha
Little Billy didn't mind


Billy was big on the outside
But there's an even bigger man inside
Ten million cigarettes burning every day
And Billy's still doing fine


Now Billy and his classmates are middle-aged
With children of their own
Their smoking games are reality now
And cancer's seed is sown


Ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha ha
Little Billy's didn't mind


Most of them smoke maybe 40 a day
A habit Billy doesn't share
One by one they're passing away
Leaving orphans to Billy's care


Ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha ha
Little Billy doesn't mind


Ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha ha
Little Billy's doing fine

Little Glaven's Doing Fine

I decided to go for a short run this morning — the first I've tried since I hurt my right calf a bit a week ago — so I plotted out a 2.89-mile run (that's just what it came to; weird-distanced runs don't bother me, so-called "Deb") figuring I'd test the bad gam out and see how she held up. (Yes, "she", because my legs are girls because HUBBA-HUBBA!1! Look at 'em! I could easily pass for a tranny!) I just wanted to see if I could keep an easy 9:30 pace for a short distance, but I would have been happy with something closer to a 10-minute pace.

Upshot: The calf felt okay from the get-go so less than a half-mile into the run I decided to deviate from the planned route and see if I could go a little farther. I got a late start today, which meant it was light out when I started the run (a rarity for me on a week day), so I could see well enough to go off-road to some nearby trails for a while, which I was happy about because Saturday's 15k is a trail race.

There were a couple times when I said to myself, Well, I've proved my point; I can head home now but I had a rough estimate in my mind, based on my time, of how far I'd run and I just wanted to see if I could get near half the distance of the 15k race on the bad leg without re-injuring it. So the planned 2.89 run ended up being 4.25 miles, falling roughly .4 miles short of half the 15k distance I was shooting for. Close enough for hack-runner work.

But I managed a 9:05 pace (my time was 38:30) — a far swifter pace than I thought I was doing or even capable of doing, considering — and the calf held up okay. So I'm calling this one a win unlike the FUCKING PHILLIES who went into the 9th with a 3-0 lead having finally — finally — gotten a GREAT start out of Kendrick and then they take him out after the 8th and then they give up THREE FUCKING RUNS in the ninth — all on homers — and then FUCKING LOSE IT IN THE 10th ... Yeah, on yet another homer!

Fuckers! I stayed up an hour-and-a-half past my bedtime to watch THIS shit? I put up with the chatter of the Braves' play-by-play guys ("Oooo, that double by Utley was on a check swing, wasn't it Jethro? I don't think that should COUNT!" "You're absolutely right, Jereboam. The rules clearly state that THERE ARE NO RULES as far as homer broadcasters are concerned!") on whatever fucking channel it was that I was able to catch the game just to see the Phillies BLOW it?

I let Ian stay up late to watch till about the 6th. The Phils did great while he was there. From now on, he stays up till midnight when I can get them on TV because he's evidently their good luck charm.

Yeah, I know. This post wasn't exactly GENTEEL, but I'll go back to being Aprilly Genteel when the fucking Phillies stop blowing three-run leads in THE FUCKING 9TH INNING!

FUCK!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How Not To Impress The Boss(es)

The library is sponsoring this "Trashed Art" contest for Earth Day; basically, all these local school kids and some adult artists submitted various objets d'art (sculptures mostly, but not exclusively) to the library; the objects are all made of recycled material. The people in charge of this contest put these works out in the library, none more than 20 feet from the Reference Desk; most a lot closer. There are pink slips of paper available for patrons to vote for the recycled art object they like the best.

But there were also supposed to be different slips for the Official Judges - who are various library staff members - two of whom are the Library Director and the Library Chief Financial Officer.

So as luck would have it, they both come up first thing this morning and decide to get all judgey during my time on the desk. They are told by the Circ Desk staff that The Official Judgey Ballots are available at the Reference Desk ... which, apparently, they are supposed to be.

So the Director comes up to me and asks for a ballot. And I go all Ralph Kramden on her because I have no idea where they are because I don't see them and so, to her request for a ballot, I respond thusly:

"Hummina-hummina-hummina! Nawton! Where are those ballots? NAWTON!!"

I and the two other librarians on the desk go in futile search for these ballots. None of us can find them. Which is nice because Misery Loves Company, especially when Misery Will Soon Be Standing In The Unemployment Line.

Luckily, I later learned that it is NOT OUR FAULT that the ballots were unfindable because it turns out the woman in charge of this contest was running late this morning and had not come in yet and she HAD NOT EVEN MADE THE JUDGES' BALLOTS YET much less printed them out!

The solution I offered to the Director and the CFO was that they take a pink patron ballot, cross out the word "Patron" and write in the word "Director" or "CFO", as needed, just as they did in that episode of the TV show M*A*S*H:
Hawkeye: [exasperated at Quartermaster Sloan's denial of his request for a hospital incubator] We're not asking for a jukebox or a pizza oven!
Captain Sloan: Oh, I can let you have one of those.
Henry Blake: No kidding! That would be great on movie nights! You got any of those pizza requisition forms?
Captain Sloan: [referring to a generic Army requisition form] Oh, just use one of those standard S-1798s and write in "pizza" where it says "machine gun."
See, when you're a Reference Librarian, you gotz ta be quick on your FEET.

I'm pretty sure nothing impresses a Library Director and CFO more than seeing three presumably well-trained Information Retrieval Experts looking high and low for a stupid form and not being able to find it.

How we doin', Boss?

DFW By Way of j'og

Occasional Reader and Full-Time Punk Ass j'og (whose hip, legend has it, is amazing and who could really use a cup of capital letters if you have some to spare next time you swing by his blog) sent me this link to a Slate magazine article that is really little more than a complete list of words that David Foster Wallace had underlined in his copy of the American Heritage Dictionary. I can't say exactly why I find people who are fascinated with words fascinating, but, fascinatingly enough — or perhaps not fascinatingly at all — I do.

"Most words are hyperlinked to the American Heritage definition (available online via Yahoo). In a few cases, we couldn't find the definition on Yahoo, so we just left those words in bold."

j'og sent me this like 4 or 5 days ago, but I didn't write about it then because I've been endlessly intrigued by this list and have been going back to it off and on since I first got the link. And even though I've had all that time to think about the article, I really have nothing earth-shatteringly insightful to say about it. Thankfully, I figure no one comes here for earth-shattering insights; and if that is why you come here, I feel earth-shatteringly sad for you, for the lack of insight in this post will literally shatter your world!

Except, not literally. It just doesn't pack as big a wallop when you say: This will shatter your world! (Figuratively speaking.) No wonder people misuse the word "literally" so much. They literally do it all the time, figuratively speaking.

Anyroad ...

When my siblings and I were kids, we thought Teh 'Dad had read every single worthwhile book there was to read, especially after each of us got to college; because we'd come home all excited by some work of literature or philosophy we'd "discovered" ("Dad, this dude Plato is Teh awesome! Ever heard of him?") and we'd sadly realize, after jabbering about our latest literary crush for awhile, that Teh 'Dad knew more about this geezer than we ever would; and he was remembering all of what he knew from like 30 years previous, when he last read the author in question. Because Teh 'Dad had basically stopped reading by the time any of us came along — I guess after getting married, he just got more into making Catholic babies, which is Pleasing in the Eyes of Teh Baby Jebus. But he (Teh 'Dad, not SBJ) forgot nothing, seemingly, and as we discovered even later in life — by which point we had learned to challenge some of Teh 'Dad's more dubious assertions — if he did forget something, he'd just wing it. As kids, we believed him anyway because he sounded authoritative, but never authoritarian (there's a BIG difference (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID WHILE MAKING CATHOLIC BABIES!)).

But for awhile there, he did read one thing: the dictionary.

When my sister Virginia — three years my elder — hit high school, one of her favorite pastimes was to sit in the living room with Teh 'Dad and test him on his knowledge of the definitions of words. She'd proffer these words I had never heard of and see how close Teh 'Dad could get to their true definitions. She almost never stumped him, even if Teh 'Dad had never heard the word before — his classical training stood him in good stead: He'd figure what the Greek or Latin root was and give a speculative definition. He answer was always in the ball park, at least; more often, it was spot-on.

And both Virginia and Teh 'Dad seemed to be genuinely enjoying this little game. As a kid of eleven or twelve, I simply could not fathom how anyone could take pleasure in doing what was essentially homework. I felt as though Virginia had somehow betrayed all of us normal, schoolwork-hating kids — of which I and my brother Frank were about the only ones in my family, but I knew there were others out there ... in the world at large.

But I think Teh 'Dad must've been somewhat intimidated by these pop quizzes because I distinctly remember seeing him, in the early-to-mid '70s, sitting in the living room alone reading our Big Ass Random House Unabridged Dictionary for what seemed like hours on end. You couldn't tear him away from it, he was so engrossed:

"Dad ... Dad! ... DAD!1! YO DAD!!!! THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!!! Nothing ... Geez! Hey, Dad, I don't wanna spoil the ending for you, but I hear the zygote did it." (Note: That circa 1972 "YO" is not an anachronism. In Philadelphia, we used "Yo" interchangeably with "Hey" decades before Yo! MTV Raps hit the air. Rappers stole "Yo" from us Philadelphians, not the other way around. It's a fact. Look it up. Famous Philadelphian David Brenner did a whole routine on it. So the rest of you are all welcome for this "Yo" thing we gave you. But on behalf of all Philadelphians, I hereby apologize for the whole David Brenner thing. Let's just call the score even.) (<-- If this were May, that parenthetical remark'd be a footnote. This one too, probably.)

Yeah, so maybe Teh 'Dad wasn't so much intimidated into reading the dictionary as he was rediscovering how much he enjoyed it.

The Slate article also led me to The David Foster Wallace Archive at the University of Texas at Austin. Also endlessly fascinating to me.

Thanks, caveman j'og (né jiif)! For a PUNK ASS, you're okay. But make no mistake: You are a punk ass.
______
I have not run since last Thursday, when the strain in my calf felt a little more painful than just a twinge. I cut that run short and decided not to run until this Saturday's 15k race. I figured that was the best way to go. I almost talked myself into going on a short 3-miler this morning, but I figured I better give it at least one more day before I try out the wheels. Maybe I'll go for a short run tomorrow. We'll see. Since my only goal in the 15k is to finish, I really don't want to jeopardize that by running on the game leg too early. Because I already paid for this race and I'm cheap.

Today, I did some stretching, a bit of weight-lifting and 3.6 miles in 10 minutes on Morrissey.
_____
Happy to see BrianFlash's blog has been de-hackificated. Now you can go there and read his Ultra (50K) race report.

Update: Uh, it appears BF's blog is not completely de-hackificated, because it just eated two of my comments, the second of which merely noted that the blog eated the first and was really just an attempt to gauge whether the first eating was a fluke.

It wasn't.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Asshole Hackers

I just finished reading BrianFlash's Report on his first Ultra (he got a first place AG award in a 50K race - WOOT!) and I clicked on the link to his report in GR only to discover that some asshole has hacked his blog. (That's why I didn't provide a link.)

What kind of douchenozzle do you have to be to hack a running blog? What "Man" are you "Sticking It To" by doing that?

Well, congrats, BrianFlash and I hope your site is unhacked very soon.

This Post Is Not Meant For Certain People

In a comment the other day on my post about the Rolling Stones, Anonymous sort of came to the Stones' defense, which I kinda understand because even though I said I liked the song I was writing about ("Stray Cat Blues"), I also made some pretty unflattering comments about the Stones, probably more as an attempt to distance myself from the topic of that song (viz., statutory rape) than anything else.

So, to be clear:

Stones = Good. I lurves me some Stones (up until around the mid-to-late 1970s, anyway, after which they seemingly ate a Big Communal Bowl of Suck).

Rape, statutory or otherwise = Bad. I oppose rape in all forms. I realize this is a controversial stand to take and might alienate a number of people who read this blog, perhaps even all seven of you, but I was never afraid to take unpopular stands and then let the chips fall where they may, because I have this little thing called Fearless Integrity.

And might I just add: Mmmmmm ... fallen chips.

But anonymous also said — and I quote — "Now do an analysis of a Who song for us, and make us believe in those honest lyrics."

Your command is my wish, Anonymous!

But first, a disclaimer:

People who used to read my late, unlamented blog The Hedonist Hermit's Musical Retreat already know that I would write about Who songs at the drop of a hat. That being the case, I'm aware that "Anonymous" might kinda looks as though s/he were my very own sock puppet, asking me to write about something I am more than willing to write about with no prodding at all. Indeed, I would not be surprised if many of you thought Anonymous were actually me commenting on my own blog posts to make it look as though the next hobby-horsical post I did were in response to some genuine "request". I also wouldn't be surprised if there were a few of you who hadn't thought that but do think it now, since I brought it up.

So maybe I shouldn't have brought it up.

But too late - I already have. So: I want to state, categorically, that I do not know who Anonymous is — s/he is not my sock puppet; and furthermore, I myself am not Anonymous. Moreover ... I now consider Anonymous to be My Bestest Bloggy Friend because s/he asked me to write about things that I wanted to write about anyway and since now I'm merely "responding to a commenter's request", there's fuck-all the rest of you can do about it. Man, even though Anonymous is not a sock puppet, this makes me wish I had thought of setting up a sock puppet to comment on my blog long ago because, man, it really is useful to be able to say "I'm only writing about this stupid topic because so-and-so asked me to."

Anonymous, even though you're not my sock puppet, I would gladly hire you as my sock puppet.

If I were hiring. I mean ... the bad economy and all.
______
Originally, in response to the Real And Actual Request of Non-Sock Puppet, Not-Me Anonymous's Request, I was going to write about "I'm One", because I think it is a great —  and, in terms of themes, wonderfully representative — Who song. But then as I was listening to my iTunes this morning [most of this post was written on Saturday] while riding Morrissey — HARD!1! — another great Who song came on: "Sally Simpson".



The key to understanding just about any Pete Townshend song is recognizing that they are all explorations of the question of identity. And I say "question" rather than "theme" because Pete never offers facile "answers". How could he? Our sense of identity is in a constant state of flux. We think we are one thing, only to discover that others don't see us that way; or only to discover that, in fact, we no longer see ourselves that way; or we conclude that we have no idea who we really are ("Can You See The Real Me?") — nor does anyone else.

This is a consistent theme in Pete's songs, and the question of Identity is at the very core of Tommy, the "rock operas" album on which the song "Sally Simpson" appears.

This song is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that it explores the idea of identity — Who Am I? — through the peripheral character of Sally, rather than the main character Tommy. (The whole rock opera is about Who Is This Tommy Geezer? Messiah? Charlatan? Confused kid? Victim? Exploiter? Exploited? All these things?)

But in "Sally Simpson", Pete explores the issue of identity as it pertains to the mind of a follower rather than a leader. Sally sees "the New Messiah" Tommy as someone she loves and absolutely must be with. She defies her father (and in doing so, interestingly, throws a "book of her father's life" in a fire — a symbolic destruction of his identity?) and "sneaks out anyway" to attend Tommy's revival meeting.

But from the very outset, doubt as to Sally's true fate, her identity, is expressed in the song:
She knew from the start
deep down in her heart
that she and Tommy were worlds apart...
but her Mother said "Never mind your part is to be...
what you'll be"
The mother's comforting words stand in counterpoint to the father's harsh dismissal of Sally's attempt to explore her own identity and follow her own path. The mother seems to understand that finding out who you really are is a constant struggle; and perhaps the most meaningful thing anyone can say about her identity at any given time is the virtually meaningless — but true — "I am who I am; I am becoming who I am meant to be".  The question of identity, here, remains, as ever, a question.

The parallels between Tommy's revival meeting and a rock concert should not be lost on listeners. It's been said that the incident in this song where Sally is violently thrown from the stage was based on an incident PT witnessed involving Jim Morrison when the Who were the Doors' opening act during a 1968 tour. A fan who rushed Jim Morrison was violently ejected from the stage by body guards while Morrison watched with indifference. (Pete was always extremely ambivalent about fans' tendency to see him and other rock stars as saviors of some sort. He explores this theme more fully in Quadrophenia. But he also explores that theme to a certain extent in Tommy.)

Sally is similarly violently dealt and dispensed with in this song; her tears mixing with her blood, she is taken away by "the ambulance men". Tommy is unable to see what happened to her because he is blinded by the stage lights — somewhat ironic, since Tommy describes himself as the Source of (En)Light(enment) in the song "Sensation":
I leave a trail of rooted people
Mesmerized by just the sight,
The few I touched now are disciples
Love as One I Am the Light …
Sally, having survived what we might easily imagine her describing as one of the worst days of her life, eventually marries a rock musician, we're informed; Tommy, abruptly abandoned by his acolytes at the end of Tommy (for reasons that are not exactly clear), refers to this same day as the greatest day of his life:
"Tommy always talks about the day/ The disciples all went wild!"

Ultimately, at the end of "Sally Simpson", we have no better grasp of who Sally is ... or who Tommy is. The theme of identity has been pretty thoroughly explored, but no resolution has been offered.

What else should Pete Townshend's group be called other than "The Who"?
_____
Outside the house Mr. Simpson announced
that Sally couldn't go to the meeting.
He went on cleaning his blue Rolls Royce
and she ran inside weeping.
She got to her room and tears splashed the picture
of the new Messiah,
She picked up a book of her fathers life
and threw it on the fire!

She knew from the start
deep down in her heart
that she and Tommy were worlds apart...
but her Mother said "Never mind your part is to be...
what you'll be".

The theme of the sermon was come unto me,
and Love will find a way,
so Sally decided to ignore her dad,
and sneak out anyway!
She spent all afternoon getting ready,
and decided she'd try to touch him,
maybe he'd see that she was free
and talk to her this Sunday.

She knew from the start
deep down in her heart
that she and Tommy were worlds apart...
but her Mother said "Never mind your part is to be...
what you'll be".

She arrived at six and the place was swinging
to gospel music by nine.
Group after group appeared on the stage
and Sally just sat there crying.
She bit her nails looking pretty as a picture
right in the very front row
then a DJ wearing a blazer with a badge
ran on and said "Here we go!".

The crowd went crazy
as Tommy hit the stage!
Little Sally got lost as the police bossed
the crowd back in a rage!

Soon the atmosphere was cooler
and Tommy gave a lesson.
Sally just had to let him know she loved him
and leapt up on the rostrum.
She ran across stage to the spotlit figure
and brushed him on the face
Tommy whirled around as a uniformed man,
threw her off the stage.

She knew from the start
deep down in her heart
that she and Tommy were worlds apart...
but her Mother said "Never mind your part is to be...
what you'll be".

Her cheek hit a chair and blood trickled down,
mingling with her tears.
Tommy carried on preaching
and his voice filled Sally's ear.
She caught his eye, she had to try
but He couldn't see through the lights.
Her face was gashed and the ambulance men
had to carry her out that night.

The crowd went crazy
as Tommy left the stage!
Little Sally was lost for the price of a touch
and a gash across her face! Oooooh.

Sixteen stitches put her right and her dad said:
"Don't say I didn't warn Ya".
Sally got married to a rock musician
She met in California.
Tommy always talks about the day
the disciples all went wild!
Sally still carries a scar on her cheek
to remind her of his smile.

She knew from the start
deep down in her heart
that she and Tommy were worlds apart...
but her Mother said "Never mind your part is to be...
what you'll be".