Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ship of Fools, Part 2: Black Water*

* HazMat Suits Optional.
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If you've never been on a cruise ship vacation before, the first and most important thing you will need to know about it is that at no point during your trip will your cruise ship ever smell like shit, piss, vomit or — worse still — certain other, even more disgusting, philoprogenitive human bio-emissive effluvia, of which, I can assure you,  plenty is produced in the course of the week-at-sea because many of the passengers on a typical cruise ship vacation are newlyweds and/or just basically always horny and looking for any opportunity to fuck in international waters, thereby ensuring the necessary by-production of much of the above-mentioned bio-emissive effluvia.

And I'm sure a lot of you are thinking, Well, that's pretty much a sine qua non for me when I go about picking my vacations — I just kinda expect that it won't involve my having to deal with a persistent shit-, piss- or vomit-smell. A-a-and furthermore any jizz I do encounter better be my own or my significant other's, and even that is iffy because I get these headaches sometimes and am just not in the mood and I'm SORRY if that leaves you "frustrated" and/or boner-laden but this is MY vacation TOO, you know, and maybe if you were just a smidge more romantic about it we wouldn't always have to HAVE this conversation and, anyway, why isn't cuddling ever good enough for you, if you really love me, and did you ever stop to think that maybe it's YOU who have the problem ... ?

Which, I would agree, is a pretty reasonable baseline vacation-picking-related expectation.

But when you're on a cruise ship, keep in mind that this is what you're dealing with:
[... C]ruise ships generate the following waste streams:
  • Black Water (sewage): A typical cruise ship generates as much as 210,000 gallons during a one week voyage. ... 
  • Gray Water (shower, sink, and galley water): A typical cruise ship is estimated to generate up to one million gallons a week. 
...
    • Oily Bilge Water: Cruise ships are estimated to generate up to 25,000 gallons on a one week voyage. ...
     That, ye gods and little tadpoles, is a shitload of shit, piss, vomit and jizz1. And it all has to go somewhere. But unlike the shit, piss, vomit and jizz you (probably) produce in the private confines of your own personal home, the ship's waste is not immediately whisked away to some far-off waste treatment plant where shit-, piss-, vomit- and jizz-neutralizing experts are standing by to deal with it; it stays somewhere on the ship2 at least until the next port-of-call — or possibly till the end of the cruise. (I did not investigate this any further; feel free to do so on your next/first cruise.)

    And so if you think about it — which I freely admit I did not do until this, our fourth(?) cruise3 — this lack of a shit-smell is a pretty amazing feat. Because the Carnival Glory, which is the ship we cruised on, can hold up to 3,600 passengers4 (which is more than a "typical cruise ship" because the Glory is one big-ass ship) and many of them were of the Fat, Lazy, Demanding American variety, who looked as though they consumed roughly 15,000 calories per day when they weren't on a cruise vacation, and it's for damn sure they produced more than their fair share of shit, piss and vomit5 on this 5-day cruise. The Glory also carried over 1,150 crew — so, that's roughly one crew member for every three passengers —  but most of them were thin and shapely and not-American and probably produced considerably less than one-third of the shit, piss, vomit and jizz that the passengers did.
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    I did not, in fact, intend to take up an entire post with a discussion of Cruise Ship Waste Generation and Treatment. I thought it would be more like a paragraph; but you never know where research will lead you, do you? And this post is already long enough so I won't go on to write — here, in this post — about my next topic, which is going to be ...

    The food.

    Probably a good decision.

    But here's a teaser: There's TONS of it. Food, that is.

    All that shit, piss and vomit has to come from somewhere.
    __________
    This is a vid I took of Ian and Teh  'B. as we were steaming out of NY Harbor, just as we were passing the Statue of Liberty (who poops REAL big). Teh 'Bride thought I was just taking a picture, but I took a video instead. That's why neither she nor Ian is moving. They thought I was just taking my time setting up the shot.

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    1 O sure, some of the latter ends up somewhere in the blushing newlywed brides — by one means of ingress or another — but not nearly as much as you probably think. I'm thinking most of it — I'd guesstimate roughly 90% — eventually ends up as part of what the white paper quoted above demurely refers to as "Gray Water". And if you don't want to know where that most likely ends up, don't read the next footnote.

    2 Or should, if the cruise line is even minimally environmentally-responsible; it is unclear whether they are legally obliged to be. Laws are lax, at best; and many of those are not even enforced. What you won't see in the glossy Carnival or Royal Caribbean brochures is the fact that many ships just dump their waste at sea, in the dead of night, just outside the three-mile limit, where the waters are international and the minimally- (or un-)treated shit/piss/vomit/jizz stew becomes everyone's problem.

    Chew on that the next time you're enjoying the "pristine" ocean waters on your Caribbean Island get-away.

    3 And even then only because I was desperately searching for some really, truly, profoundly and disgustingly emetic factoid with which to kick off this second post in my as-yet-undetermined-number-of-posts series about Teh Heisenberg Clan's latest vacation.

    And I make no promises that it will get less disgusting from here.

    In fact, I can just about guarantee the opposite.

    4 I know that the link I provide above resolves to a site that claims the Glory can hold a mere 2,974 passengers, but we were assured, on more than one occasion, that there were 3,600 passengers on our cruise. I don't know if that was a lie or just lily-gilding or if, because ours was a mere 5-day (as opposed to 7-day) cruise, there was less need for supplies and therefore more room for passengers ...? Which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, unless some of the passengers were sleeping in like crates or freezers or some such.

    In any case, the crew of the ship claimed that we — Ian, Teh 'Bride and I — were three among 3,600 passengers. I never got around to doing a head count, myself, so I'm just gonna take their word on it.

    5 Though probably not that much jizz because, from the look of these foax, fucking — or, indeed, trying to look even marginally fuckable — was not a priority, which is just as well because I want to believe that slap-slap-slapping sound I would occasionally hear at night was the sound of ocean water hitting the sides of the ship and not the sound of fat, sweaty man-flab smacking up against equally fat, sweaty woman-flab as these Big, Fat Shit-, Piss- and Vomit-bags attempted to bump uglies.

    Though I could be wrong about all of that and the sound really was that of two fatties trying to make a baby.

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    Ship of Fools, Part 1



    When Teh 'Bride informed me, roughly 10 months ago, that our next summer vacation (i.e., this latest one, which ended just this past Saturday) would be yet another cruise, I have to admit I was a bit less than enthusiastic. You see, we have been on cruises three previous times, at least. (I've honestly lost count.) And after the second, which was a bit of a disaster, I made no secret of the fact that I never really wanted to go on a cruise again, making such seemingly tergiversation-free pronouncements as: "I never want to go on a cruise again", which is about as clear, unambiguous and straightforward as I get, as anyone who reads this blog can attest to because, man, some of these sentence of mine, huh? They go on and on, like Texas! Getting more and more obscure in meaning as they progress.

    And it's kinda odd that Teh 'Bride wanted to go on another cruise and here's why:

    Teh 'Bride basically does all the arrangements for our summer vacations, which is fine with me because I'm lazy and not very good at calling people and [*shudder*] talking to them. But as far as cruise vacations go, I really thought my "No More Cruises" policy would get some traction with Teh 'B. after our second cruise, which happened over a decade ago, because on that cruise Teh 'Bride herself spent one full day and night vomiting and doing that other bodily-fluids-expulsion thing which she wouldn't want me to mention in connection with her personal body, so I won't — but rest assured, she was doing it and it was NO FUN — because she either:

    a) foolishly ordered some vegetarian thing for dinner the previous night that even our ship's waiter was trying, without actually coming out and saying so, to convince her NOT to order;

    or

    b) took a mouthful of contaminated water as we were walking up a waterfall in Jamaica1.

    And so I ended up having to take Teh 'B. to the ship's sick bay the next day, where they had to stick a needle in her to re-hydrate her because she had lost so much fluid and could not keep anything she took orally down — no, not even water. And the medical crew had a really hard time finding a vein on her because she's not very veiny to begin with but after all that fluid-loss was essentially flat as a deflated blow-up doll2. So they had to stick her quite a few times before they found a viable vein somewhere in the back of her hand, as I recall.

    And Teh 'Bride hates needles to begin with. Just hates them.

    But despite all that — and MORE; yes, there was more on that particular cruise, but I'll spare you — we ended up going on a third cruise with Matt and Sue just a couple years later.

    No one vomited on that one.

    And I am at a loss as to what exactly it would take to turn Teh 'Bride against cruises because even though this last one that just ended was pretty good, I myself do not wish to go on any more of them.

    And Teh 'Bride, ten months ago, was very excited as she described this cruise to me, arguing that it was different because this time we'd be cruising north to Canada instead of south to the Caribbean, etc., etc. And my excited response of Mumble and Meh and Snuh did not deter her because Teh 'Bride can be pretty oblivious when it serves her purposes to be so.

    And since misery loves company, I intend to draw my description of this cruise out for at least a week and over the course of at least five posts, and possibly more; which is why this post is called " ... Part 1".

    At least four more parts, limning this vacation in excruciating detail, are forthcoming.

    You have been warned.

    To hold you till tomorrow — or whenever I get around to writing Part 2 — here's Ian's headache-inducing, overly-long tracking shot of the ship's wake, taken from the deck just outside the ship's lobby on the third floor, a place of relative calm and solitude that we discovered when there was a thick fog on day two and they blew the ship's foghorn like every 30 seconds, making life on the 9th deck, where the pools and hot tubs were, unbearable for Ian, who hates loud noises.

    The video is worth watching in full because of its truly horrific, surprise ending — i.e., me, supine, in shorts. (<-- SPOILER ALERT!1!)


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    Comments turned back on so anyone who wants to comment here can; but please respect the "No Comments" policy I asked you to abide by with respect to yesterday's post. If you have something to say on that post, please consider expanding it and turning it into your own tribute to joyRuN.
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    1 And yes, that is correct, that is not a typo: one of our "excursions" involved walking up a waterfall; during the course of which walking excursion, someone, possibly even Teh 'Bride, took perhaps the gayest photo ever of me and Matt, one of our vacation companions. (We used to vacation all the time with our friends Matt and Sue; but they have since broken up and that has pretty much ended that — sadly, because we always had a great time with them.)

    In any case, in the picture, both Matt and I are standing under that self-same Jamaican waterfall, water rushing down our lithe, hairless young bodies, our ripped abs taut, the fast-flowing, foaming water itself obscuring the fact that we are, in fact, wearing bathing suits, but it sure don't look like it; and the picture itself couldn't possibly look any gayer even if we were fucking, which, if we had been, I'd be a top, I assure you. But I also assure assure we were not. Fucking, that is.

    Now Matt and I were pretty good friends, and, like all good friends, we've taken some pretty gay vacation photos1a. But this was without a doubt the gayest of the gay.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    1a You really don't want to know.

    2 Who also make for good cruising companions.

    Or so I am told.

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Quick Hits: Numero Uno: CHOOCH!1!; ... Etc.

    Yeah, so last night the Phils are getting their collective @$$es handed to them by the Dodgers and at like 9:40 I finally sent Ian to bed because it was way past his bedtime and it seemed pointless to let him stay up any later. And so Ian does what he always does, which is not go to sleep. He, I guess, was bugging Teh 'B. (who'd gone to bed at like 9 and was trying to sleep) so much1 that she apparently sent him back down. I let him stay up another 20 minutes or so, then sent him back to bed. Truth be told, I myself was staying up only to see if my guy, Ibañez, would extend his hitting streak to 19 games because he hadn't gotten a hit yet2 and I had, sensibly enough, already written this game off as a loss.

    And so but Ian is again doing what he usually does, which, as previously noted, is Not Go To Sleep Or Even to Bed.

    "What are you doing up there, Ian?"

    "I hafta pee!"

    Five minutes later ...

    "What now ...?"

    "I'm brushing my TEETH, Daddy! Do you WANT me to get cavities?!?"

    (See, because I'm the unreasonable one here, questioning a ten-year-old who's still up at 10:00 at night.)

    And so eventually, the Phils kinda start to rally in the 8th even though at this point the score's 9-2 and I yell up to Ian, "The Phils are gonna lose, but you might as well come down because they might make a game of it."

    And so he does.

    And I do this because I sometimes kinda feel Ian is a good luck charm when it comes to the Phillies because he's not jaded and still thinks they can do anything.

    And they score 4 runs in the 8th to make it 9-6.

    And I'm saying to Ian, "Well, they're gonna lose, but at least they're making a game of it, right?"

    And he sez, "You don't know they're gonna lose!"

    "Well, it's possible they'll win, but let's just say unlikely."

    "But they could ..."

    "Yeah, they could ..."

    And then ... they do. Four more runs in the 9th, capped off by Ruiz's two-run-scoring walk-off double against Broxton, a guy who throws 100-mph fastballs, and he never got so much as out ONE against Teh Fightins in the 9th. Just incredible.

    And that there above is a screen grab I took from the Phillies site3 of Chooch Ruiz and you may think he's running to second there or something but, actually, this is him after the winning run had already crossed the plate and he was trying, BIG-ASS smile on his face, to run away from his teammates, who came out to swarm him. And boy, did they ever swarm him.

    What. A. Comeback.

    And Ian sez, "Call Uncle P.! [Teh Heisenbro]" And so we do at 11:00 at night. We get Teh 'S-i-L and we're all collectively screaming at each other about the game and generally gabbing about OUR upcoming trip to the park — Ian's first ever.

    Man, when Ian, his Aunt and I4 go to see Teh Fightins this Wednesday, I hope we get to see something even half this exciting!
    _________
    I can't prove this, but something tells me Sunrunner may be running some kind of Ponzi scheme:


    Call it a hunch.
    ___________
    Barefoot Neil proves, with this graphic 


    that I stole from his site, that lipid is just a polite word for fat! Now, as anybody who's read my blog for any length of time knows, my (relatively) high cholesterol was diagnosed by my eye doctor when he claimed during my eye exam to see "lipids" in my eyes — lipids being a sign of high cholesterol. What he was really saying was, "Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyaaaaahhh! Fatty-Fatty-Fat Eyes!1!" Which the above Kanadian Nutrition Facts label goes a long way toward proving, what with its overt admission that Lipides = FAT. 

    Thought you fucking Kanadians were supposed to be polite!

    Second interesting fact: In French Kanada? Vitamin A = Vitamine A! Who coulda guessed?
    ________

    The following is dedicated to Jonathan Broxton, because the man can throw hard and he's a kinda scarily good closer, but as Teh Fightins proved last night, sometimes The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall:


    [Caught Jimmy Cliff on The Colbert Report the other night and he did an excellent live version of this song. And this is an odd reggae song because it rejects the idea of the promised "pie up in the sky ... when I die" in favor of getting "my share of what's mine" ... "between the day you're born and when you die". Because a lot of reggae/Rastafarian music is other-world directed. But not this one.]
    __________
    1 Ian prefers, in the summer, to sleep on a cot in our room, which we let him do because then we need to use only one air conditioner at night. We have one for his room, but I haven't even put it in this year. Every year I think, "This is the last year he's gonna wanna do that because he's gonna want to have nothing to do with us, his geezer parents, soon enough." And so I let him stay in our room. I really think this is the last year he'll want to1a.

    1a [Added later, after morning run] Teh 'Bride is up and I just told her about The Phils' big win (as though she'd care) and she sez Ian wasn't bugging her, but that she thought I'd sent him to bed because he was bugging me. She told him, "Show daddy you can sit still and watch the game and not be jumping up in front of the TV — prove you can do that — and maybe he'll let you watch." But, in fact, I had only sent him to bed because it was late, waaay past his bedtime, and I was debating going up myself since I thought the Phils were destined to lose.

    2 I know you don't care, Reader, but just FYI: He didn't. He went 0 for 5, which, for our Keefian Kanadian friends, means he got zero hits in five trips to the plate. As if you give a Kanadian Krap.

    3 Which I took without the express, written — or even implied oral — consent of Major League Baseball because fuck Major League Baseball and their copyright rules re: accounts, descriptions and rebroadcasts of MLB games because this isn't about them and their lawyers. This is about Chooch. So sue me.

    4 Inexplicably, Teh 'Bro didn't want to go  to the game! "I can watch them at home," he sez.

    Incidentally, Ian and I were thisclose to going with teh 'S-i-L to see The Phils v. The Indians on June 23. We didn't because the next day we had to get up early to go to Rocking Horse. And of course Teh 'S-i-L smartly stayed till the bottom of the 9th when Rollins won it with a two-run walk-off homer.

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Flying Pig Race Report; and Teh Continuing Assaults on My Butthole: This Time, It's Impersonal

    The Flying Pig Report

    Now, you'll recall that last night before the race, I stopped by one of the Branch libraries — the one that is about a half mile from the Flying Pig course — and posted a pre-race report using one of the public PCs. So after that, I'm leaving the public PC room1 to wash my hands after using the public keyboard and mouse, and who should I see manning — or I could say "skirting"? — the desk but the Branch Manager, whom I will call ... O, let's say "D'andrea". (Yes, that will do; no one will ever break that code.)

    Now I like D'andrea a lot and she happens to be one of the people in the system to whom I have been bellyaching about how shittily things have been going for me of late, job-wise and all2. So I sneak up behind her and call out to her by her last name like I always do just to be a dick. And I was debating at the time whether to go get some dinner before the race, but I ended up talking to D'andrea for about a half hour instead, just bullshitting and killing time till I had to leave for the park.

    Now it had been fucking hot outside when I got to the Branch, and there were few clouds; it was also humid, but not googleplex humid, as it had been for last year's Flying Pig. But when I left to go to the park, it was just starting to cool a little & it was clouding up a bit. Good signs, both.

    And so anyroad, I get there and I'm driving to the parking area & I see Gabrielle — the YS librarian at D'andrea's Branch — already out on the grass trying, I later leared, to figure out where the start for this thing was. It's sorta a weird course because you run through the trails in the woods, but they start you out in the opposite direction, toward the park exit, before they bring you back 180 degrees and into the woods and on to the trails. And I had only a vague recollection of that from last year, but Gabrielle had never run this race before, so she had no idea and she asked me and I was like, "Guh? I think they start you out over there [pointing vaguely]? And run you that way [again, gesticulating vaguely]? And they bring you back into the woods, over there?" 

    So I was no real help to her because I was acting unsure — which was not an act — but turns out I was pretty much right about everything.

    And so she and I and this other dude named Tom — who is the husband of one of the circ people at D'andrea's Branch — talked for maybe 20 minutes before the race. And Tom seemed like an okay dude, despite his name and my long-held belief that all people named "Tom", "Tommy" or "Thomas" are TOTAL DICKS!1! Which I still believe wholeheartedly, despite any so-called "evidence" to the contrary.

    Gabrielle's Finish

    And so but it was hot and humid, but not too. And the race started and we were off.

    I'm grateful it was cooler because last year, if you recall from my race report that appeared on my old blog which some n*ts@ck-fondling fucktard deleted, I felt, at around the 4k mark, that I was just going to stop and walk for awhile, felt like I had to, because I had just been chicked, old-guyed, and boychik'd right in a row. But I somehow managed not to stop.

    Well, this year I never felt the need to stop — I mean, no more than usual during a race; because I always wanna stop because running sux, is why —  which was nice and seemed encouraging. And I hadn't checked before the race to see what my time had been last year — I had a vague recollection of its being either 26:16 or 26:26.

    And I thought I had a good chance of beating that, especially if my time were the latter.

    But as it turns out, I crossed the finish line exactly halfway between those two times, at 26:21.

    And, of course, when I got home, I checked: Last year? 

    26:16.

    I was 5 seconds slower.

    61st out of 124. No idea where I placed w/r/t the 50+ geezers because I didn't hang around for the awards.

    Why Does Everybody Want a Piece of My @$$?
    So I had my physical this morning and what with me being 50 and all the first thing Teh 'Bride sez to me as I'm about to leave is, "Don't be surprised if Dr. D. suggests a colonoscopy."

    Love you too, dear.

    I kinda knew that, but hadn't really let myself think about it. 

    And it turns out Dr. D. did suggest one, but she herself didn't like just whip out a collapsible scope like a ship's captain with his telescope and shove it up there for a look while my pants were already down. But she did do the other thing, which I totally expected and even wanted, but not in a weird way, so shut up. And while she's ... um ... let's say "rummaging" she says: "I think I feel something." 

    And I'm like, I'm the one with a finger stuck up my bum and you feel something? But she says it might just be a node, that there's no swelling of the prostate but she says I should have it checked out by a (hopefully tiny-digited) urologist.

    So in my near future: A colonoscopy and another probable digital violation at least, if not worse. Pretty soon, I'm gonna have more things up my butt than RBR does on a typical second date (if you believe what you read on the men's room walls, which I do).

    I don't know why anyone would want to do things with my butt because if, after looking at the pix in my previous post, you think my face is ugly, you should should see my flat, 50-year-old Irish Geezer's @$$3.

    I don't know why it is in such high demand these daze.

    Personally? I blame Obama.

    Now? It's off to my last P/T session.
    ________
    1 This Branch, for reasons I've never been able to fathom, has the public Internet PCs tucked away in a room with a door and there is no way for any staff to see from the reference desk what's going on in there with the library weirdos who use the PCs. And I'm always surprised that the floors in there are not way stickier than they are, which means either no one is wanking in there or this Branch has the politest wankers of the whole library system. I'm not sure which explanation is creepier or more unnatural.

    2 If you think it sux to be a library webmaster — and by now, if you're a regular reader, you should — you should hear what Branch Mangers have to put up with. Poor D'andrea! I told her she could piss and moan to me about her job on Fridays, but the rest of the week is mine.

    3 Extra credit to the first commenter who says, "I thought those pix in the previous post were of your @$$!" To which I respond: "Har! hypothetical commenter! You so funnn-neeee!1!"

    Post Race Pre-Report: Making Teh 'Bride Happy: Teh Heisenshave

    I went for my physical today (about which more anon), after which I decided I would do the inevitable — viz., shave off the hated beard, in which I never did get around to making a kisshole — but I figured I would do it on the spur of the moment, without even hinting to Teh 'Bride, or Ian, about my plans. So without further ado, her is pre-shave me:


    This is me backwards because I took the pic in the mirror and as you can plainly see, I'm not smiling because it's hard (that's what she said) to aim at yourself in a mirror and smile because I was never good at multitasking and a few of you have said I should smile because maybe smiling would like offset the ugly, I guess?

    So I tried again, this time holding the camera out at arms arms-length and shooting blindly backwards, like a fucktard:

    So fuck all of you who told me to smile because now it just looks as though I'm happy to be ugly, WHICH I'M NOT!1!!

    Anyroad, this isn't about me; it's about Teh 'Beard, which I intended to terminate with extreme prejudice, and did:


    Again with the smiling?

    What you probably can't see because I ensmallinated the pic is that there are flecks of blood on my rather capacious, lantern-jawed chin and also little bits of beard hair on my face, neck and upper chestal region. Only upper-chestal region today: sorry, ladies; no nips for you. You have to earn that.

    And so now Teh 'B. can once again see those non-@$$al dimples that she missed, though Dog knows why she'd want to.

    Later today, I hope to get my Flying Pig Race Report up, or, to put it another, better, more suggestive way:

    The Flying Pig Race Report: I Hope To Get It Up.

    Till then, live with this contrast:

    Last year, I ran this Flying Pig 5k only because Teh 'Bride wanted teh piggie tee. And last year the tee was tasteful, just yellow with a drawing of a flying pig on it. (Some n*ts@ck-fondling fucktard seems to've deleted all the photos of that shirt, along with my old blog.)

    So I ran it this year so I could get a flying pig tee.

    And here's what this year's tee looks like (click to embiggen):

    That's a lot of fucking pink. I know pigs are pink, but ... Man! Lucky I'm secure in my masculinity. Why wouldn't I be? I used to have the beard to prove it.

    I wore "Pigasus" proudly to my physical this morning. Wouldn't you?

    I mean, assuming you are a girl!1!

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    At The Branch

    Well, just as I did last year when I ran this stupid Flying Pig 5k, I'm killing time at one of the branch libraries because the Flying Pig race is held in this town and it starts at 7 and instead of going all the way home and back (40 minutes each way), I decided to stick around and kill time whatever way I could right here. Which means I'm on one of the branch's public PCs writing a pre-race report and it's only 5:40 so I still got like 45 minutes to go before I make the 10-minute drive to the park where the race is being held.

    You may remember that the weather for last year's FP5k was overcast and googleplex humid. (I'd link to the post where I mentioned that last year except that was on a different blog that some n*ts@ck-fondling fucktard deleted.) Well, this year it's humid but less so, not overcast, and fucking hot. I'm running this for a tee-shirt?

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think (hey, I just write 'em; I don't read 'em, because I find my writing style to be crass and offensive), I have an appointment tomorrow for a full physical, including bloodwork, so I can't even have a fucking beer after this thing, which totally sucks and, I'm sorry, thoroughly refutes any argument in favor of the existence of a Loving and Caring God. Because if I have a beer, I may eff up the results of the blood work. Who know - it might even screw up the measurements they do of the fat content in my eyes. Point is, it's not worth the risk.

    The good thing is, I took off tomorrow because I have this doctor's appointment and then some other stuff to do and then my last Physical Therapy session.

    It is definitely gonna be my last session because Andy and I talked at yesterday's session and agreed this week was it for P/T. I stayed strong. He cried. What a pussy1! But the thing is he told me about this new program they have - free for the first month - whereby I can visit the physical therapy place any time I want and use the facilities as I would a gym, and continue doing the exercises on my own except, of course, he and Tony would be there if I was having problems or questions or felt I was backsliding or just wanted a hug or maybe even a little more than a hug. So I leapt at that chance.

    So no more getting off from work for P/T, but, also, no cold turkey withdrawal from it, either.

    Now I'm just trying to decide whether I wanna go get something to eat before this thing. I'm not really hungry, but I guess I should go find me a bagel or something.

    I definitely have to go wash my hands after using a public PC. Gee, I wonder why the keyboard is so sticky?
    ________
    1 By which I mean he has a very attractive vagina.

    Got My Dickies On

    And so but yeah, about a month ago I did a program at the library about The Who, and I did it with this other guy named Jerry who works the circ desk1. Jerry is not as big a Who fan as I am, but he knows way more about music because he's an accomplished musician himself. And I was happy to have him there because he's also, obviously, much more comfortable in front of an audience because he performs in front of audiences all the time.

    Jerry plays guitar, bass, piano and I think a bunch of other instruments, as well. He also sings. I was talking to him a couple of days after the program and he handed me a 3-song promo cd featuring this band he's in. He plays bass on the songs and also sings backup vocals. All three songs are incredibly good, but I especially like the one below, "Got My Dickies On" — in fact, I added it to my current run list and have been running to it for about the past three weeks. Indeed, you'll often find me walking around the house these days snappin' my fingers and going "Got Mah Dickies Awn ..." and I'm sure Teh 'Bride's thinking There he goes ... singing about his wiener again ....

    Which is understandable because I do that a lot. But in this case, she's wrong.

    The cd is incredibly well-produced (one of the guys in the band engineered it himself) and Jerry also mentioned at the time he gave it to me that they were working on getting a distribution deal with Sony.

    Which I found out just yesterday they got.

    And so the release party is scheduled for November, and the band will be touring behind it, but, for most of them, only locally because they all have day jobs, like Jerry.

    In any case, here's part of the song, which I just synced up to a loop of Ian doing his Peanuts Xmas dance (he's trying to dance like the kid in the yellow shirt in this clip) so you can get a taste of the song:


    _________
    1 Roughly five people showed up for the program, and by "roughly" I mean exactly, because even though I am mathematically challenged, I can count to five and have been able to do so since my late thirties — 30 being a number that happens sometime after five, though I'm not sure when or why.

    And three of those five people were staff1a, one of whom was Jerry's teen-aged son, John, who's a shelver at the library, and who, apparently, is an even more gifted musician than Jerry, because in the course of the program, Jerry revealed that this kid, when he was like 16, had performed John Entwistle's bass solo from "My Generation" for a high school music course. And of course the kid plays guitar and like five other instruments as well, the talented little fucking bastard.

    1a And one of the two who wasn't staff kinda sat in a fetal position the whole time and never made eye contact or said anything and kinda had me thinking he'd come there by mistake thinking it was like maybe a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and when he realized it wasn't just was too embarrassed to get up and leave.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Good Lidge, Bad Lidge, Dud Lidge, Brad Lidge

    When he comes in, you never know
    Just how he'll pitch, just how he'll throw.
    Two years ago, no team could beat
    The Phillies' closer, so elite — 

    But now it's "Hang on to your meat1!" 
    (Or, for you skirts, perhaps a teat2)
    'Cause is it Good Lidge? Is it bad?
    Will we be happy? Very sad?

    Throughout this land let it be known!
    I hate it when a save is blown!
    Now normally I favor blowing —
    The kind where seeds will soon3 be sowing.

    But in the ninth? A one-run game?
    It really isn't quite the same!
    Here he comes4. Which will it be?
    Good Lidge? Bad Lidge. Pffttt! Beats me!

    Just hope he beats the other guys — 
    "Not in that sense!" chaste Glaven sighs.
    And hoists his beer and takes four swigs:
    "You people are such fucking pigs!" 
    ________
    We have satellite TV and we get about 969 channels but because we live in northish central Joisey, we get NY channels, not Philadelphia; which means we rarely get to see the Phillies play. Occasionally, we pick up a random game, here and there, and when they play the Mets, we tend to get those games because — have you heard? The Mets are a New York team that's covered by some NY channel or other.

    Mostly, though, Ian and I sit around down here at the Mac and "watch" the play-by-play being acted out by little avatars on the computer screen, which, yes, is as lame as it sounds. Possibly more so. We'll then watch the highlights next day on Phillies.com or on the MLB show Quickpitch.

    On Sunday, we got the game and, even though our DVR was recording it, I didn't wait a half hour or so to start watching (I usually build up a buffer so I can zip by the commercials) because Doc was pitching and Ian and I were impatient. So we watched live.

    But the first inning was a weird one, and the Mets scored a couple of odd runs and it looked as though Doc was not going to have a good outing. And I was hoping the Phils would get some runs back in the bottom of the first, but they didn't.

    And Ian was doing what he usually does during the game: Going in and out of the room; going outside to toss the ball to himself; coming back in, passing in front of the TV each time, causing me to say to him more than once, "Ian, I know you're a pain but I can't see through you", a pun he obviously doesn't get because if he did he'd say, "SHUT IT, Daddy!",  etc.

    And so while he was outside, I decided to pause the game and watch an episode of The Colbert Report so I could build up a buffer to zip by the commercials.

    Of course, Ian comes back in and wants to watch the game. I say, "Wait 20 minutes and we'll watch commercial-free." He argues with my strategy, which is basically pro forma for him, and then disappears.

    What I didn't know was he was coming down here and "watching" on the Mac.

    So in the top of the second (for me), Ian reappears smirking and is hinting that the Phils are gonna do well, because at this point, he already knows that Werth has homered in the bottom of the inning. And I'm like, "Are you watching the game downstairs?"

    "Yeah."

    "Don't tell me what happened!!!1!"

    So I watch Werth's homer and I say, "Did you know about that?"

    And he giggles, "Yeah!"

    And he disappears again.

    And when he comes back up, Rollins is on and Polanco is on and Gload singles to tie the game, and I'm my usual restrained self, going: "Woo-Hoo! YES!1!" and Ian lets slip, "It gets better."

    And Teh 'Bride, who was downstairs with Ian this last time, puts her librarianish index finger to her librarian lips and says in her librarianly way: "SHHHH!" And Ian obligingly shuts it.

    And then Ibañez hits his 3-run homer to dead center. And when I first see the ball going out to center I think, Well, I know it's something good ... too far to be a single ... probably a double ...

    Then it goes over the center field fence and I'm all, "YESSSS!1! MY GUY!1!  Ibañez!!1! Woo-Hoo!"


    And then I'm like, to Ian, "You knew this?"

    And Teh 'Bride is like, "He was biting my arm to keep from yelling out down there so you wouldn't hear and could be surprised!"

    And then Schneider knocked in a sixth run, which, turns out they would need.

    And then it's 6-5 Phils going into the 9th and Lidge comes in to close and his first two pitches are waaaay wide of the plate and I'm yelling over the a/c to Teh 'Bride (who doesn't care) in the other room, "O, NO! it's Bad Lidge."

    But after giving up a single and letting that guy advance to third in the course of the inning, Lidge came through and the Phils won.

    And Ian showed the kind of restraint I didn't think he was capable of. For his Dad.
    _________
    On Wednesday evening, I have a trail race, a 5k. It's the Flying Pig 5k and I ran it last year in googleplex humidity because Teh 'Bride, who loves piggies, wanted the piggie t-shirt.

    For some reason, I signed up for it again this year. Maybe so I could have the piggie tee this time, I dunno. And it looks as though it's gonna be googleplex humidity again. Just my fucking luck.

    And under normal circumstances, I would at least be able to look forward to a celebratory beer or seven after the race, but I can't this time, because the next morning is my yearly physical, which will include blood work, which I of course don't want to risk fucking up with alcohol: "Mr. Heisenberg, your blood is 30 proof! Better than last year! What say we tap that kidney?"

    Also, being 50 and having a family history of prostate cancer (Teh 'Dad, who had it like 20 years ago and is the Poster boy for recovery, but will soon be replaced as poster boy by RBR's hubby), I also get the magic finger up the nether-eye, which is always fun. But I got a female doctor this time, which presumably means slender fingers. Unless her nickname in her high school yearbook was "Sausage Fingers" or "Ham Hands" or something.
    _________
    This morning, for the first time in I don't know how long, I had a run whose time I am not embarrassed to post. I don't know if it's the heat, or the fact that I stopped doing kankle runs or what, but my runs have been just egregiously slow of late.

    So today's was nice, especially considering it was like googleplex humid out there:

    6.18 miles in 55:07 for an 8:54 pace which is 6.7 mph, according to Mapmyrun. 

    That, for me, foax, is a pretty good run and maybe bodes well for Wednesday's race.
    _________
    1 No problem. I was, anyway.

    2 Or I'll hang on to one for you. No charge.

    3 Roughly thirty seconds. Unless I think about baseball.

    4 ... so to speak.

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    The End of an Era

    I dislocated my shoulder nearly three months ago (May 13) and started going to physical therapy for it about a week later. I have had P/T twice a week for an hour each session since that time. I canceled one session when we went to Rocking Horse Ranch for a long weekend back in late June, but that's it.

    I am pretty certain that this upcoming week will be my last week of P/T. I can't imagine they think there's much more they can do. I have to really over-extend my arm to feel even so much as a twinge in the shoulder, now, and I started being able to throw overhand just this past week when Ian and I go out to play ball. I have no power behind my throws, and I can't yet throw far, but I can throw and not look like a girl doing it — other than when my moobs jiggle when I try to throw hard1. With normal, everyday movements, there is now no difference between my left (good) shoulder and my right. It's been that way for awhile, and each week I have experienced significant gains in overhead movements.

    So I am, in all likelihood, as close to back-to-normal as my therapists can get me, and the rest of it, I imagine, will come with time.

    I have mixed feelings about the imminent termination of my P/T: On the one hand, I want it to be over because it's tough and a bit of an intrusion on my usual schedule; but on the other hand, it gets me out of work (I go to P/T on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, which is when they had time for me), and these days, the less time I spend at work, the happier I am, by and large.

    But all-in-all I think I'll really miss P/T because I have had some great times there. I really like my therapists — Andy and Tony (I mostly work with Andy) — and their assistants, Ian and Zach. I'm mostly there when Ian is working. Ian's a 21-year-old student, studying to become a physical therapist at a college in DE. He's a good kid, outgoing and fun to talk to.

    I usually get there when either Andy or Tony is working with a young lady named Kate, who's as Irish-American as the day is long. She, too, usually works with Andy and loves taking the piss outta him, which Andy is all good humor about. He, in turn, will tease Kate relentlessly, while Ian and I, of course, get our own shots in from the sidelines. It doesn't matter to us who we take a shot at: You see an opening, you go for it.

    The result is that there have been times when all of us — but especially Andy and me — have been on the verge of tears from laughter. It is not abnormal for my P/T session to end with one or more of us proclaiming, "I haven't laughed that hard in/since _____ [fill in the blank, but a good guess would be since last session]."

    Andy likes to recommend movies and once he had recommended, I think, Up to Kate and Kate is what I like to call a classic misreader of movies. In the sense that if you tell her "Hey, this movie I just saw was really good, but really sad", she'll come back and say, "The main character in that movie was dying of brain cancer and my Dad had brain cancer and how could you possibly call that a good movie because since it had a bad association for me it is therefore objectively a bad movie."2 Because she was giving Andy infinite shit one day because he had let his 5-year-old watch Up and she appeals to me, saying "The wife dies in the first 15 minutes of that movie and don't you think that was inappropriate for kids to watch, too upsetting? This is a movie for kids? ... etc.?"

    And I'm lying on the table while Andy's working on my shoulder and I'm like, "O, I dunno. Think back to how potentially traumatizing, say, the death of Bambi's mother was? That was probably worse than the death-by-old-age of the wife in Up."

    And Kate's like, "But that's different! Those were animals!"

    To which I immediately respond, "O, come on, Kate. They are fully anthropomorphized animals ..." and was about to go on to tick off the fact that they show human emotions and they speak and they have human-like relationships but I stop because I see Andy's eyes kinda go, "Guh?" and then light up with glee as he realizes that Kate is probably gonna have no more idea than he what "anthropomorphized" means and so he cuts me off loudly and says, "You know, he's right! They are that thing he said. And so how do you respond to that, Kate?"

    Meanwhile, I'm lying face-up on the table and sputtering so hard with laughter that I'm practically spitting in Andy's face and Kate's all, "You guys are such jerks!" and Andy and I just kinda lose it.

    And one time as Ian was removing the ice pack from my shoulder as I was getting ready to leave after my session, Andy somehow got to talking about the time his brother fell asleep on a subway train in NYC and evidently made it all the way back to the train yard before he woke up; but he'd fallen asleep in such an awkward position that his leg was not just asleep, but totally numb and he hears the train doors closing and he's screaming, "No, wait!" and Andy does this hysterically funny impression of what he feels his brother must have looked like desperately trying to make it to the door on one good leg before being locked in for the night and it was absolutely hilarious and I left that day barely able to speak and breathing heavy from laughter and with actual tears in my eyes. And when I get out to the parking lot I'm thinking, Any new patient, seeing me come out in this condition, is gonna think these physical therapist are the biggest, most painful bruisers in the biz.

    Which of course set me off laughing again.

    And so I know from reading Freud that patients often feel what he called "transference" with their psychotherapists — transference being, basically, the patient's becoming emotionally invested in the therapist. And a psychotherapist has to deal with and successfully resolve the potential transference before she can say the therapy is concluded.

    And I'm wondering if I somehow am experiencing some sort of transference with my physical therapist.

    And what about the potential counter-transference?

    Well, I guess I'll just have to rely on the emotionally deadening power of a sucky job to kill any transference.
    ________
    1 Which is a real pain in the mangina. But I do have nice, firm moobs.

    2 This, of course, is a vast oversimplification  of her approach, but it captures the essentials of it. She would judge movies not on their merits, but on how they resonated with her on a purely personal level and you were supposed to just guess what she might find personally upsetting — which, her being a typical Irish woman, was a lot of stuff — and therefore "objectively" bad.

    Saturday, August 7, 2010

    I Need A Kisshole

    Things being the way they still are at work — viz., fucked up and beyond my ability to influence much less my ability to control  — I did what many people do in such situations: i.e., grasp tightly, even maniacally, onto something totally unrelated that I could control fully. And what I grabbed was — no not my n*ts@ck, but something even more wrinkly and, at present, almost as hairy — viz., my face.

    Because about a week-and-a-half ago, I just decided to start growing a beard. Because it's MY fucking face and I can.

    This is a big decision because Teh 'Bride hates facial hair — in truth, she hates all hair — and she for some reason labors under the delusion that she should have some say in what I do with my face. Now, I long ago willingly — eagerly, even — handed over to her a certain amount of control over my n*ts@ck because, let's face it, that could lead to something mutually pleasurable and beneficial1.

    But my face? Pfffttt! The day my nose can get a woody she can have shared control of my face.

    Anyroad, this has brought a certain amount of tension to our relationship because, while Teh 'B. is way better at controlling her tongue2 than I, her face gives her true feelings away every time. And so when I ask her if my new beard makes me look like Jayson Werth, she gets a look of horror on her face and says Jayson would be handsome if he shaved and then says something about missing my dimples and I counter: "Why you always gotta bring my @$$ into this?" Then I say, "It's TITTY TUESDAY!1! Woo-Hoo!" and she hits me with a rolling pin3.

    So Teh 'Bride's feelings are well-known re: my facial hair. But Ian is more of a wild card.

    Because at first he said he liked it; then, influenced by Teh 'B. (who I suspect was paying him off in some way), he kept telling me to shave. But when I told him I was Jayson Werthing it, he went back to liking the beard, so it was two-to-one in favor of the beard and IN YOUR FACE, 'BRIDE!!1!

    But then when I would go to kiss Ian goodbye in the mornings when I headed off to work, he'd complain that my beard was scratchy and he started to turn against the beard. And no amount of tying the beard to his beloved Phillies would make him change his mind about it.

    This is Ian (right) and me (left) showing off the backs of our Phillies shirts, in preperation for when we see the Phils play the Giants on August 18. Ian got me the green Victorino Phillies shirt when he and Teh 'Bride went to a flea market ... (story continued in next caption) ...

    ... and Ian saw this green Victorino shirt and prevailed upon Teh 'Bride to buy it for me because, he told her, "Daddy calls ME Victorino!" which is true because whenever he makes me hit pop-ups to him, he tells me to make it so he has to run and dive to make the catch and he's just a little bundle of energy most of the time and hence I started calling him "Victorino", the Phillie he most reminds me of. And I love this shirt because Victorino, being Hawaiian, is called the Flyin' Hawaiian but this fucking shirt is green and has a shamrock on it and just makes no sense, assuming you haven't ingested a magic mushroom in awhile, but if you have, well then it makes perfect sense.
    And here's the controversial beard, which, yes, is coming in gray, I know, there's nothing wrong with my EYES, and Teh 'Bride likes to mention that fact because she thinks it'll make me want to shave but guess what? I already know I'm old and I don't have a problem with that.

    And so but then today Ian says he likes the beard but suggests that I trim it around my mouth so that when I kiss him it won't scratch him.

    And so all I gotta do to get him back on my side is make a kisshole in my beard.

    And that's why I need a kisshole. Maybe Teh 'Bride will even like it after I make a kisshole in it.
    __________
    July numbers: 102.92 miles running
    28 miles walking
    __________
    1 Plus, it was in our wedding vows.Where, in compensation, she made certain breast concessions. Titty Tuesday, Nuff said.

    2 Not in that sense, you pigs.

    3 Which is the traditional way of opening Titty Tuesday, like the Wall Street bell.

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Why I Love and Miss LuMu

    Listen, buddy - if you have the time to leave comments about my quivering sphincter, surely you have the time to write a new post. Or are you too busy watching 70's porn? That can't be pretty - n*ts@cks were WAY hairier back in the day.

    And in Flyers26 implying that you are tender/kind hearted or just incredibly flaccid? Either way, I'd be insulted.

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Another DC Visit

    This past weekend, Ian, Teh 'Bride and I went to visit our DC-area friends, Sue and her two kids, Caelin and Eamon.

    When we begin our ride home from these visits, I always start the trip back wondering why we don't make these visits more often. But then we get on 95 North and I remember why: both Maryland and Delaware feel it is their State's Right to take you hostage by setting up random toll booths to collect up to $6:001 just so you may have the privilege of escaping from their crappy, fucktarded luuuuzer states. This, of course, backs the traffic up for, literally, miles and when you've been up all night alternately drinking, playing Beatles Rock Band and watching Brad Lidge blow another save by giving up a three-run homer in the 9th to some Woshington Notionals luuzer, the last thing you wanna be is stuck in traffic. Especially when you're currently listening to an AM radio station that's on the verge of fuzzing out on you and it's the bottom of the 11th and the Phils are up by two and the manager, Charlie Manuel, has just brought in the Phils' closer to pitch, said closer being — you guessed it — Brad Lidge.

    But be that as it may, we finally did make it home in 4-and-a-half fucking hours and the ordeal is over and it didn't kill me but I'll be fucked if I feel any stronger because of it.

    Anyroad, I kinda kept a bit of a video log of our visit. It's comprised of three videos, two of which feature Teh 'Bride! That's for all of you 'Bridalmaniacs out there. She doesn't know I've posted them, and since she doesn't read this blog anymore unless she's not busy at the library — which virtually never happens anymore — I think I can keep them up for up to two weeks. Because see, take my last post: I posted it on the 16th? And Teh 'Bride didn't get around to reading and commenting on it till the 29th! So I have plenty of time to embarrass her without her ever being any the wiser. The rest of you just have to shut your fucking traps about it, is all.

    This first video, which does not include Teh 'Bride, features our smoky-smelling and impressively priapic rental car (because we always rent a car for our longer trips):



    For Ian, as you can see, "Be Prepared" means "Be prepared to make farty noises". And since he can't always be sure his butt will be fully armed and ready to fire, he brings his Whoopee Cushion with him2.

    This second video — which ends with Eamon screaming at me and drowning out my killer a cappella version of "I Me Mine" — is one I took Sunday morning while we were walking the trails in Silver Spring, MD. Sue pointed out the damage that had been done by the Impressively Raging Storms they had had, but she hardly needed to: The snapped-like-a-twig trees were just everywhere, and the sight was truly impressive and a bit awe-inspiring, like the first time an unsuspecting skirt gets a glimpse of the Massive Bulge in my pants.

    Teh 'Bride is in this one for a short time making faces at me because evidently she just got a glimpse of the Massive Bulge in my pants:



    And finally we have this here, which is a video of Teh 'Bride at the one mile mark of our walk. Teh 'Bride is not one for over-exercising, so I thought she might like to see what she looked like after walking A WHOLE MILE IN A HALF HOUR!1!

    It ends with her telling me not to show it to anyone and me saying it's going straight up on Youtube. Of course as soon as I stopped recording, I assured her I wouldn't post it on Youtube.

    Reader? I lied:



    So there you have it: The highlights of our trip to the DC-area in videolog form, courtesy of my iPod nano.

    I hope you enjoyed it but if you didn't, please head directly to DE because I think South Joisey is about to take another Massive Dump.
    ________
    1 N.B.: It costs a mere two dollars to go through the Ft. McHenry tunnel in Baltimore. But fucking six to get out of Lower Bumfuck, DE. But as you can see from this map, New Joisey's @$$-end is pointed right at Delaware and we regularly take dumps on DE, which is why that state smells like shit — since it is entirely composed of a mixture of NJ shit and Dupont chemicals (Dupont's major chemical product being, of course, a form of Artificial shit); and even when we're not shitting on DE, we're mooning them, saying, "Hey, Delaware! I gotcher toll booths, right over hee-ah! Kiss both my @$$-cheeks if you got an EZ Pass, ya pussbag!"

    Because NJ stores all of its shit in South Joisey until it's time to take a dump. And that's a lot of fertilizer, man. If you've never been to South Jersey, this pretty much tells you all you need to know about it and so you don't need to visit it now and you're welcome.

    2 I myself have never needed a Whoopee Cushion because I'm always locked-and-loaded.