August 29, 2008

Woah Woah Woah She's a Lady

McCain announced his running mate today, the Alaskan governor, Sarah Palin. Quite frankly, his choice insults me. It insults me because he didn't pick a woman due to her intelligence and policies as governor- he picked her because he's running against a black man and needs an edge. I guess the only edge he could come up with requires a gynecologist and lives in my pants.

It's no secret that McCain is pissed that his opponent is black (wait, he IS!?) and we all know that if/when Obama wins the presidency the GOP is going to claim he won only because of the historic shift it created in American politics and not because he is the truly better candidate. McCain knows that he couldn't pick another old white dude to be his running mate because that would prove his inability to bring change to the White House. He's just going to continue the old oligarchical, screw-the-middle-American policies that Bush put in place. It's proven to not work and it's going to continue not to work.

That old dude is playing smart, I'll give him that, but he's playing dirty. All those women who wanted Hillary and dislike Obama will now vote for McCain because he's giving them what they want- a fellow vagina close to the #1 seat. That's shallow and manipulative and if I were a Republican I would be pissed off that he thinks I'm that stupid to ignore his true motivation. His choice is an act of smoke and mirrors. He's hoping that women will see "Natural Resource Committee" on her resume and think she's for the environment- her husband works for an oil company and she's trying to get more pipeline laid in Alaska. He's hoping they will see that she's pro-family- only it means she's anti-choice and will make you take communion in lieu of an abortion. I could go on and on but my point is she has the potential to be very dangerous to women's rights. How ironic.

Now that I think about it, it's even more ironic that all those people who think women shouldn't run the country (ahem...) will have to face the very real possibility that he can die in office and leave a woman in charge. Wow, talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place. Black guy or a lady? What's a racist, sexist conservative to do?

My impression of how John McCain will take the criticism, "I was a POW for five years. If I want to work with some tits and ass I deserve it. I served America the beautiful by being a POW for five years. Did I mention I was a POW for five years? They don't let you see tits or ass while you're a POW for five years. I'm going to make up for it by having Sarah wear short skirt suits and get books off the top shelf for me because my arms were broken during the five years I was a POW. Cindy, go make me a sandwich."

August 28, 2008

I Am So Doing This Better Next Year

Many of you have asked about my last triathlon of 2008. I am now mentally and emotionally recuperated and can share with you the break down.

5:45am I wake up, take a quick shower, don the suit, and feed the cat.

6am Mike wakes up, grabs some homework, and is set to go. I eat a banana.

6:15am We are in the car. I apologize for being an asshole the night before. Mike is not mad at me anymore. We realize no one grabbed the camera. I figure I look exactly the same and I'll be doing the same stuff so whatever. I wonder if I fed the cat enough.

6:45am We arrive at the lake and don't park where they tell us to. Mike helps me put my wheel on my bike and walks with me to get marked up. The sky is blue, zero humidity, slight breeze- perfect.

7am I have 103 marked on my arm, hand, and leg. It's cool because I was 100 for my first race. I check in my bike and set up my transition spot. I don't realize the spots are marked and I set everything up in 213's slot. I pick up my crap and find my spot. It's near the water in the middle of hundreds of other bikes. I wonder if the cat snuck out of the apartment.

7:25am Mike and I set up a great view for him to see all my transitions. We hang out and enjoy the weather but hate the "warm-up" country music. I comment how glad I am that they haven't played Kid Rock's "Sweet Home Alabama" rip-off. I hate that guy.

8:00am The first wave gets in the water. I realize I need to use the bathroom but it'll take too long with the suit and my heat is in 10 minutes. There is no turning back. I hope the cat's litter is clean so that she won't pee everywhere.

8:14:30am I get in the 73 degree water and wave one last time to Mikey. He waves and smiles back.

8:15am My heat begins. I strategically placed myself so I'm not swimming over anyone. I pass a few ladies and swallow some lake water. Thank goodness my cat got a haircut- she won't be hot today.

8:26am I realize that I'm swimming too far to the right. I try to readjust only to swim off to the right again and again. The third heat is starting to catch up with me. I have to do the side stroke to make sure I get back on track. I'm that far off. I end up zig-zagging the last few hundred yards of the swim.

8:36am I'm out of the water. One minute and 46 seconds later I'll be on my bike. A lady stops her bike right in front of mine and I run into her. That happens with my cat all the time- she's always in my way.

8:40am The bike chain falls off. I hop off the bike and pop the chain back on. Now my hand is covered with chain grease.

9:30am I start to cry the hills are so bad. Who knew a fifty foot incline over 1/3 mile over and over again would be so painful? The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that I will finish this bitch and Mikey will hold me and let me weep in victory.

10:00am A state trooper doesn't stop traffic for me and I have to stop my bike on an incline. I start to tear up because I'm so close. The bad-ass looking bikers stop traffic for me and let me go. F the police. I miss my cat.

10:10am I make it to the transition. Thirty-five seconds later I'm running uphill. Uphill!?

10:25am Two old ladies (I'm talking 65 minimum) behind me are jogging and having a chat. They're going to pass me. While discussing what's for dinner, they pass me.

10:31am I can hear the music from across the lake. The asshole DJ is playing that stupid Kid Rock song. I really hate that guy.

10:44am I come up on the last stretch. Mikey's right there, "You're going strong!"

10:47am I'm finished! I almost fall over to take my chip off. Mike comes over and I start to cry. He hugs me and tells me how proud he is of me and that I did great. I walk around some, grab my stuff, and get in the car. He picks me up a bottle of water and I eat my banana. Onward to feed the cat.

I know that for next year I need to train for the bike much, much more. I swam slower than expected, but I did zag a lot. And I ran at a great pace. I've got to say- when you're in the back of the pack, your race companions are awesome. Every time someone passed me, they cheered me on while they pushed themselves. I finished 176th out of 191 and I was 5th in my age group of seven other ladies. That's all I could ask for.

August 25, 2008

I Don't Even Need to Know Your Name

A lot of bloggers have gotten book deals these days. Most of the books are memoirs. I am a little surprised by that because these bloggers aren't particularly famous people, they're just like me- someone who enjoys writing and decided to put it up on the Internet to share with others. Don't get me wrong, the bloggers whose websites I frequent with book deals deserve them. I love checking out their sites every day to either laugh with them, hurt with them, or see myself in them. These blogs are blogs I can relate to because the authors are genuine and heartfelt.

A blogger I read often, Deus Ex Malcontent, commented about how after posting his Hurricane Andrew experience, sales in his memoir spiked. That got me thinking. Why would a particular blog post send people to buy a book by an ordinary (though very intelligent and interesting) Joe? Then I read the story and it answered my question. Wanting the memoir isn't so much about the person, it's about someone who writes captivatingly about things that any of us can experience. Does it make his life less interesting because he's not famous? No. If anything, it's part of the book's appeal. (It goes to mention that he survived a brain tumor and got fired from his job at CNN over his blog- also very interesting.)

I am much more interested in people like me. I don't care what those kids on The Hills go through. I'll never relate to those sh*theads. I'd rather read about Dooce's dog Chuck or about Sweet Juniper's farmer's market haul. Or better yet, check out Jana's daily photo. There are so many other blogs in my cache that are just great. These bloggers share something of themselves and let me into their lives. I don't know them and they don't know me. But I do know that I'm not alone.

August 22, 2008

But I Love Bacon

I am really intrigued by those Kinoki Footpads. They are pads you put on your feet (!) that are supposed to draw toxins and crap out of your body and suck them into the pad. I did a lot of research into them before I bought a set- I emailed a friend in the alternative health field, I did a lot of Internet searching, and I asked around. My snooping lead me to decide it wasn't worth the investment- my friend told me it was a waste, I heard that a magazine did a check and found that the "toxins" were really just dirt and sweat, and no one I knew had used them. I was a little bummed because my cat is got by curiosity and I wanted to know for myself.

Behold! For my birthday my friend Ashleigh (hi Ashleigh!) gave me Kinoki! I could try them out for free! No harm, no foul! I decided to finally put them to the test last night because I've been so tired lately. I've done cleanses and whatnot so I figure how much different can this be other than I'm not ingesting anything this time?

I cleaned my feet and put the patches right on before bed. When I opened the packages I smelled Bacos. You know, those imitation bacon bits you put on salad? Only it smelled of really stale, rife Bacos. Later I shifted the sheets and it smelled like I dutch-ovened myself. But no, the smell was just my foot pads warming up to detoxify my body.

When I took them off this morning the Bacos were stale, rife and now wet. It was pretty stinky. Over night the pads had turned dark brown- full of toxins!! I studied them closely and noticed that the only places that turned color were spots that definitely got wet from my sweaty feet. There was no residue on my feet, everything was on the pads. We'll see how this progresses and if I feel any different. I did feel a little refreshed this morning. But that could've been because the cat left me alone last night for once.

I wish I had my own laboratory to do an experiment to find out if it really is just sweat and dirt. But if that were the case, how would it lighten up over the course of detoxification? The pads aren't numbered or designated for when to use them. That leads me to believe maybe something really is drawn from your body by these pads. Eh, maybe not. Even if it doesn't take crap out of my body, at least my feet will be clean of dirt and sweat. And man, do my feet sweat.

August 20, 2008

I is Loving Grammar

Alright class. Are we ready for our grammar lesson for today? Yes? Fabulous. Our lesson today concerns the use of me or I.

Please select the correct usage:

a) This is Brad Pitt and I making out after we did three Irish Car Bombs.

b) This is George Clooney and me sunbathing nude in Tuscany.

c) This is Mike laughing after Christian Bale and me prank him, making him think I'd left him for Batman.

d) Me and Natalie Portman thank you for coming to our lecture on The Role of Zionism in Cryptozoology.

Well class? If you picked "a" you are a peeping Tom with horrendous grammar. If you picked "c" you have an excellent sense of humor but a terrible sense of grammar. If you picked "d" you don't know what you're talking about especially when talking about grammar. If you picked "b"- congratulations! You are a dirty pervert with excellent grammar skills.

The trick to choosing the correct usage of me or I is this: remove the other person's name and see if me or I makes sense. For example:

a) This is [Brad Pitt and] me making out after we did three Irish Car Bombs.

b) This is [George Clooney and] me sunbathing nude in Tuscany.

c) This is Mike laughing after [Christian Bale and] I prank him making him think I'd left him for Batman.

d) [Natalie Portman and] I thank you for coming to our lecture on The Role of Zionism in Crypotzoology.

It's a direct object rule but I'm not going to bore you with that crap. The only other thing with which I want to leave you is to always list yourself last. It is only polite. You bunch of dummies.

August 17, 2008

Don't Want to Fight the Moonlight

Contrary to anything poetic, I don't feel protected by nightfall. I feel the most vulnerable, the most bare, the most susceptible at night. And that isn't because I sleep naked. (Haha. I don't. Or do I? Hmmm...) It's because the stillness of our building is almost impenetrable and we get only beautiful moonlight in our bedroom- I feel like I'm covered by a velvet cloak. But the velvet cloak doesn't protect me from anything, it just makes me comfortable.

If I don't fall asleep immediately I'm left looking at the moon and listening to Mike's quiet breathing. The cat's at the foot of the bed curled up at my feet and all I'm left with are my thoughts. In writing about it I want to be nowhere else but there. But when all those pieces fall together I'm confronted with only myself. With nothing to distract me all I'm left with are the thoughts in my head.

The thoughts aren't specific. In fact I really just find myself facing this urgent dread. It's not urgent dread like OMG I think I left the stove on. It's more like existential dread. What am I doing here? Am I being true to myself? What is this crazy thing called life? Without the usual distractions I'm faced with the complete unknown. That can be a little scary. I never reach any conclusions or formulate ideas. I either fall asleep or force myself to think of butterflies and rainbows to escape the heavy feeling in my chest.

It sounds like a chance to meditate but it feels much more sinister. Sometimes I don't know how I calm down and sleep. These nights don't happen incredibly often, but do they pack a whollop. Life will eventually take us away form this apartment and I'll face a new kind of silence. I'll probably miss this kind. Go figure.

August 16, 2008

I Want My MTV

I miss watching hours and hours of music videos. I wasn't allowed to watch MTV but my parents weren't home for at least four hours after I was so I got unadulterated music television. I doubt I would have time to watch that much now. Luckily MTV and Vh1 have eliminated that conundrum.

Music used to be my hobby. I still love to find fresh and new things which in turn leads me to undiscovered jems. I can't afford to buy music on a whim like I used to. I could literally afford to take music risks and find some great stuff after seeing one video late at night on "edgier" music shows. Nowadays its not always worth the $15 investment. iTunes has become my main source of music. And that makes me a little sad. Luckily I have a friend in the local radio scene (hi Aja!) and she has exceptional taste in music. She loves Britpop as much as I do. Oh yeppers. My comrade in wondrous European magic. She also finds great stuff that is not easily found.

She introduced me to Sam Sparro because she knows how much I enjoy this stuff:

Man, I want to have his campy gay babies. In turn that video lead me to find this:

Which is a cover of a song I play on repeat and repeat whilst riding the bus:

She is gorgeous. In just tooling around YouTube with a Sam Sparro search I found this great video:

There isn't nearly enough of any of this kind of music played on American radio or what is left of music television. I love this kind of music that makes people move. What's out there is mostly shit sung by boys wearing too much eyeliner. If you want to find anything good or interesting it can't be on a station owned by Clear Channel or Viacom. You need to go to the "streets" of college radio, non-profit music radio, or even YouTube. I challenge you to find something you can't find on main stream radio. Let me know what you find. I'll be searching, too.

August 8, 2008

So True

Just Five More Minutes

I signed up for the next triathlon for a few reasons- I want to stay in summer shape, I enjoy training, and the last triathlon was so much fun. I had so much fun! getting my ass in gear for Pine Bush. But this time around I can't seem to bring myself to do it. I don't know if it's because I'm not scared of this triathlon like I was the other. Fear seemed to be my biggest motivator last time. If I didn't do what my trainer Pamela told me to do then I would fall over and die. This time I know what to expect and since I'm not training to win I'm sort of lackadaisical about it. I just can't get out of bed early enough to do what I need to do. And I can't even scare myself into it.

Mike asked me why I don't train to get a better time. That's a great goal. I'll admit I'm selling myself short when I answer that I'm just slow. But I am slow. I'm a slow runner. I run but running is not my thing. I do all these races for fitness and if I do better from race to race then hot dog! It's a bonus. But I'm not going to win any races. And I'm okay with that. (I'm probably only okay with that because I HAVE been improving with each race. If I didn't then I'd be a whiny bitch.)

I'm just so tired all the time. I'm short an hour of sleep each night but I cannot wake up in the mornings. I don't sleep through the night and I don't go to bed or wake up at the same time. I just sleep as long as I can. I hate it. I know exercise gives you energy but I just can't find the motivation to get up. Luckily, I'm going to train a lot next week while I'm on the Jersey Shore for a vacation. I'll be able to sleep all I want and work out all I want. I don't know if I'm going to get to swim swim all that much but I can do plenty bike riding and running. Maybe I'll even improve my running time. I guess we'll see.

August 7, 2008

I'm Not Against the Soldier

In order to go greener and save gas I decided to ride the bus downtown to the theatre as often as possible. There is a bus line that stops right in front of the station, right in front of the theatre, and right in front of my apartment. All on the same line! With that luxury, driving down there without a valid reason is stupid and kind of irresponsible. Yesterday was my first bus ride and it was easy-peasy. In my opinion the bus stops way too often- once it was twice within 50 feet. But otherwise grrrrreat!

While I was waiting for the ride home a man approached me. He was holding out a military ID and told me that he was an Iraqi vet who "was embarrassing himself asking for bus fare." I'm not comfortable giving money to people I don't know so I told him I only had my bus fare on me. But after I lied I started to feel terrible. That morning I heard an interview with an Iraqi veteran who was talking about his homelessness when he came home. Combine that with what happened and I really felt like a jerk.

My father was a career Air Force man and my mother's boyfriend served two tours in Vietnam and does extensive work with veterans. I know what our veterans face. My mother's boyfriend saves soap, shampoo, conditioner and other toiletries that hotels give away so he can give them to veteran's homes. Bush's government can't even buy soap for the people who risk their LIVES for a war that he pulled out of his ass. Don't even get me started on their health care and psychological services.

It infuriates me and it breaks my heart. No matter why the servicemen and women joined, they served their country and faced atrocities I can't imagine. They gave something of themselves that I'm not brave enough to give of myself. And the country they served can't bother to take care of them when they come home. If they come home. Bullshit.

The man came back around the corner and I saw him ask a limo driver for some cash. I chased him down and asked him where he needed to go. He told me the post in Watertown and he was only $13 short. I gave him some money. Earlier that day I found unexpected cash in my pocket and made some change with it for bus fare. I figured maybe the money wasn't really meant for me. I gave him what I didn't need for the bus. He asked me for my address to pay me back and I told him to just take it, that my father served. He asked me if my dad served in Watertown and we shared a chuckle about who would ever want to serve up there. He thanked my dad for his service and I thanked him for his.

He could have been a scam artist but I'm asked for money all the time where I work and the scam artists in Albany certainly aren't that creative. There are other reasons to believe him besides his panicked sincerity- the bus depot was just down the street and Albany is a big stop going anywhere in the state. I really think he just fell on some hard times.

I joke around with my dad all the time about how I'm a pinko. But I cry during the national anthem. I cry when I think about the dreams that come true when people first arrive here. I cry when I hear Neil Diamond sing "Coming to America." But I love an America that doesn't exist. The America I believe in stands for beauty, strength and acceptance. Some argue that America never existed. I guess I believe in my imagination. But that man doesn't believe in his imagination. He believed in this country enough to serve it. And he should be thanked for that. Not on the street by a girl with crazy hair, but properly.

August 5, 2008

My International Hero

Mike and I ran in a 3.5 mile trail race on Sunday. Mike kicked ass! He ran the whole thing, puddles and all, in 33 minutes! I am so proud of that guy. I ran, if you could call it that, it in 43 minutes. Ahem, 43 minutes! You know, I'm happy with that time. I'd never run in the woods before, even when I lived in the woods. The woods kicked my ass. My stomach felt like a rock the whole time (I think that's because I'm having digestive issues. Or shall I say, no issues...) but it was beautiful weather, we ran in Thatcher Park- my favorite around here, and there was a BBQ included in the registration!

After my victory lap, Mike washed off his shoes while I picked up our chickens. We then went to The Overlook and ate our fabulous bounty overlooking the Upper Hudson Valley. It was sunny with passing clouds (thanks Martin Seese) and there was a beautiful breeze. It was a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning. I can't wait to do the whole thing again next year.

But as great as we did, neither me nor Mike is my international hero. This guy is:

*Le sigh.*

August 4, 2008

This Round Better Be Cheap

I got another wedding announcement the other day. When the wedding is over and she's basking in her post-coital mess bliss, she will realize she's been with her mate for approximately 15 months. To her credit, I don't know how long she's been with him or if they've known each other since puberty. But I do know she likes to take chances.

A few weeks ago Facebook brought to my notice my twenty-two year old cousin's engagement. I was hoping his engagement would take his family's mind off the fact that I'm unmarried and childless. However, it's just gotten them all asking me and my mother what's taking me so long. I should turn right back around and ask them why they think my Grease obsessed, male cousin should be getting married to a lady.

The only people who know when the time is right to get married are the people in the relationship. I shouldn't judge the three couples who got engaged under six months. I shouldn't judge the couple who got engaged after an ultimatum. I shouldn't judge the engaged children. And they shouldn't judge me for not being married. Too bad it's all a game of shoulda, shoulda, shoulda. I judge them all. I think those people did something unwise, some even foolish. But you know what's not foolish? The amount of money I have in the divorce pool. Wakka wakka.

Whatever. I've been to those weddings, I'm going to continue to go to those weddings and some of those people are coming to mine (Hey Nana! Just so you know, I'll be so old by the time I get married that my ovaries will be shrivelled husks.) I'm kind of hoping my cousin doesn't invite me so I don't have to deal with the shit. Anyway, if I am, there better be free booze and a great DJ. And if he plays Christian rock at his reception, I'm taking Mike and gunning for the first gay bar. The music will be kicking, the booze will be flowing, and we won't be the only unmarried people around.