Friday, January 30, 2004

Okay, I know it's boring to keep writing about weather here. But can I just say this? It is -8 degrees F this morning. That is before the wind chill calculation; that's straight up -8.

It's supposed to be around 20 degrees in Toronto over the weekend. Cold, to be sure, but that's a difference of 30 degrees.

To anyone reading this thinking "geez that all sounds terrible-20, -8, when it's cold, it's cold!"

That's like a summer day of 70 vs. a day of 100 degrees. One isn't bad.

The radio is warning me that my flesh might freeze. That's fucked up.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Today is strange to me...I'm going to Toronto tomorrow.

Toronto! Another country!

I haven't traveled before without extensive thinking about every aspect of my trip...going on a trip is like casting a spell. I obsess over my airfare, obsess over my hotel accomodations, obsess over guide books and maps and plans about what I will do when I am there. I linger in chatrooms beforehand meeting guys to hang out with and perhaps get undressed with when visiting, I make up ideas about what the location will look like, what I will look like in that location, how that location will change me in some fundamental way. The trip will complete me somehow, that is what I think before I go.

Tomorrow is not like that at all. Last month I bought a ticket on hotwired; I'm staying with my friend Alex. He has prepared an itenerary, I just have to show up and let it happen. So in my mind, it isn't actually happening. I can't even think of it as a four-day weekend, no work on Friday or Monday. I have bought a few things for Alex and a totemic box of chocolates for his mom; it isn't that I have done no preparation.

I keep saying this to Alex, "this isn't real to me. It won't be real until I am there." I'm just attending. I'm glad to be attending. But I haven't cast that spell...I haven't looked up a single address on Yahoo Maps, I haven't figured out how I'm getting from the airport to where I'm staying, I haven't sussed out how I'll fill up the long Sunday afternoon (we are catching a theater matinee). It isn't at all that I wish I was making those decisions, it's nice to skip them and I'm thrilled to have a kind face and a warm embrace to meet me at baggage claim. I'm thrilled to spend a long weekend with my beloved friend.

But this is new territory. I've never been met at the airport.

Let's hear it for new territory.

Speaking of which, Water Polo. I like to swim (self serving link to my story about Welles Park Pool). I learned to swim three years ago this winter. On Wednesday nights there is water polo at Welles Park at 9 p.m. after Adult Lap Swim ends.

Here is the thing about most of the water polo players on Wednesday. They are 1)adorable 2)kinda fat. Mostly young guys, these are not the sinewey "swimmer's build" guys but very well fed lads with firm, well-supported pecs, butts and bellies spilling out of their lycra. So there's that--these are cute guys, athletic but not, you know, skinny.

Alex plays two sports, Volleyball and Baseball, in gay leagues, both of which he loves and both of which give him a team.

A team.

It's a workplace cliche', being a team. I don't know that I've been on a team before. God knows I've never been on any sort of sports team except for one ill-considered t-ball endeavor as a kid. Chicago improv groups organize into groups they call Teams but the one team I played on was more like little self-contained fiefdoms, not a team.

The past few years I've been doing more and more things that I don't know much about doing but I want to learn. The swimming, hip-hop, journalism, all that. And this seemed like the next step...figure out water polo.

"So are you guys, uh, a team?" I asked a young gentleman last night in the locker room. He explained to me that it was more like pickup basketball...whoever shows up gets to play.

Last night, I plugged "Learn Water Polo Chicago" into Google and came up with information about Chicago Riptide which not only is willing to teach the skills of water polo; they are a gay team!!!

I sent an email; I want to learn water polo and coincidentally, I'm gay too, how does this work?

Heard back. The team captain has invited me to attend a practice and suggested that I attend lap swim beforehand. He himself swims for an hour before the team practice/scrimmage.

I'm heading out of town tomorrow so I said not tonight, next week, errands to run and all that. But I went to swim tonight at my own pool, not the pool where The Riptide does their thing.

Water polo is kind of like soccer in that it mainly means you run(swim) back and forth for a long-ass time. Endurance. More so than speed, accuracy, all that. Endurance.

I have been swimming a while, I can swim a decent distance in 40 minutes. I can put away a good chunk of a mile in 40 minutes. But what does it mean to swim CONSTANTLY for 40 minutes? In professional water polo pools (it's a european thing apparently) there is no shallow end; players are meant to tread water the whole time.

Tonight I found out what it means to swim constantly for 40 minutes. I hasten to point out that the last 10 minutes was only using a kickboard, not doing a crawl stroke, and I still thought I was going to die.

So this is next. Before being on a team, before being a beginner with a team, I have to be a beginner with swimming on and on and on.

Part of me hates being a beginner. Beginning...ugh. A lot to learn, not enough time to learn it, and everyone is annoyed at your ignorance.

Another part of me is really liking being a beginner. A guy in my office just retired after 35 years. 35 years, that's older than me, that means that every single moment of my life Ray was here, doing his job. He never got promoted, he kept that job for 35 years. When I started nursery school? Ray was there. When I learned algebra? Ray was right there doing the same thing. When I got my first checking account?

You see my point.

He retired at 63 so he was 28 when he started at the office. 35 years of striving to not learn anything new. Man oh man did email piss him off. Attachments. Entire days would go by when he wouldn't even turn on his computer...think of that. Imagine going a day without turning on your computer.

I don't want to be that guy. Ever. And I'm sure it sucked to learn about double clicking and directories and the internet and all that. It sucks to be a beginner. We make children suffer through it, we make them continue, tell them they shouldn't be quitters. Adults, especially older adults, get special dispensation. They are old dogs, unable to learn new tricks.

But still.

So yeah, I will be done with my next term of school by Memorial Day. And I want to be strong enough, to have enough endurance to learn how to play water polo. February, March, April, May that's four months, around 16 weeks.

From the New York Times on icky kitchens:

Chuck Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at
the University of Arizona who has studied bacteria in home
kitchens, said that he found that people who had the
cleanest-looking kitchens were often the dirtiest. Because
"clean" people wipe up so much, they often end up spreading
bacteria all over the place. The cleanest kitchens, he
said, were in the homes of bachelors, who never wiped up
and just put their dirty dishes in the sink.

My brother must be so psyched.

The truth is, as (a different scientist) pointed out, bacteria in the
home kitchen is simply not mysterious or weird enough. To
respond to it, you have to do something very banal: wash
your hands. And that's just not as compelling as taking a
dramatic stand and halting beef consumption in the face of
a brain-rotting disease.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I hate the smell of burnt popcorn. Somebody really burned the hell out of a bag of microwave popcorn and it smells like a sheep was set on fire.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Good god but Joe Lieberman is dreadful. He's giving his speech right now and he is saying, as if this is a plus, that he is in a 3-way race for 3rd place.

Actually MSNBC is saying it's a two-way race for 3rd place and neither of those two places is occupied by the Lieberman campaign. They are instead saying that it's a two-way race for 4th place between Lieberman and Kucinich.

Chris Matthews is having none of it and cut away, denouncing the spin.

I am trying to get psyched about John Kerry. Not working so far but I do like the pashmina that his wife was wearing.

Right now I'm trying to get my mind around the idea that the Democrats should ignore the South and quit trying to please the region. It's an interesting approach, described well here by Slate's Timothy Noah calling the region "...the spoiled brat of American Politics"

Gore lost every Southern state, including his home state of Tennessee. Thus Lesson 1: Southern voters won't vote for you just because you're a Good Ole Boy. But Gore still came within four electoral votes of winning. If he'd taken Florida, which in many ways is not really a Southern state, he'd be president. (Some people still argue that he did.) Thus Lesson 2: Democrats don't really need those Southern votes.

Dean is on now, doing an insufficient job of crowd management. The talking heads at MSNBC have pointed out that Kerry does at least have an organization who knows how to handle little details.

Monday, January 26, 2004

New Hampshire is tomorrow and I'm interested to see if William Saletan, writing in Slate is right about this:

Dean makes light of his concession speech on caucus night in Iowa, in which he vented his emotions with a visceral roar. In the week since then, he has repeatedly explained that he wasn't trying to scare the television audience; he was just trying to mirror and affirm the enthusiasm of his supporters who were in that room in Iowa.

But that's the problem. Dean wasn't talking to the country. He was talking to his movement.

You could argue that Dean's Iowa yelp shouldn't be more of an issue than Bush's non-stop idiotic statements. And certainly Bush himself speaks to the echo chamber as Saletan here accuses Dean of doing.

It's frustrating to me that I look on Kerry with such despair. "What a dullard!" I think, faulting Kerry for not stirring my passions. Even though that is the same argument used by those who voted against Dukakis, against Gore (and to a lesser extent against Mondale and against Carter who had other circumstances besides their utter dullness as politicians).

But Kerry is dreadful. It's impossible for me to imagine anyone voting FOR Kerry rather than simply against Bush. I will, of course, vote for anyone who is running in opposition to Bush and there is a decent number of folks in this country who would rather drink a glass of pee than vote for our current, cretinous president.

But there are lots of people who aren't hard core Democrat or hard core Republican (or on the fence like those of us who briefly thought "gee, I guess I could consider voting for John McCain if it came down to it")

I once heard Deborah Tannen speaking about difficulties in conversational style. She described speaking with an executive for a movie studio who spent his days hearing pitches from fillmmakers. He said that he hears brief, short pitches and there are tens of millions of dollars on the line each time. The exec said that, essentially, he gives the nod to filmmakers who are super-enthusiastic. He doesn't research their ideas, test them, none of that. He picks whoever is the most enthusiastic.

Which is not as retarded as it first sounds. Making a movie (or, you know, running a big-ass nation) is going to have heaps of difficulties which cannot be foreseen. Is the person at the helm excited about this endeavor, eager to see it through? Or resigned and pragmatic, throwing his hands up and saying "well what was I SUPPOSED to do?"

And indeed, someone who would like to pay full attention, yet has lots of other stuff to attend to, how should this person assess fitness for this mammoth project? Well, Seeming Psyched is a decent stand in. It's not perfect, it no doubt excludes a lot of competent people but it probably doesn't INCLUDE too many incompetents.

Except, of course, for the current president. But you can see how somebody might have chosen him over the godawful Al Gore.
"Hey, Que Pasa Hadassah, right?"

-Audio clip of Joe Lieberman addressing a (no doubt small) crowd in New Hampshire, this afternoon on NPR.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

It is snowing outside. It was flurry-ing when I left the house to return DVDs to Blockbuster (a side digression about the late 90's there was a Second City show that described Blockbuster in the same way that lots of people regard Starbucks-an example of a corporate monolith that has shut off the oxygen for lots of more worthy, independent, etc. etc. And the sketch had one character asking audience members to come forward and give up their blockbuster cards to be sliced in half, much like a tent revival's "Altar Call" where people come forward to declare that yes, in fact, they have recieved the message. And it's true, Blockbuster carries all sorts of shit and the "Special Interest" section is a sad, sad section indeed despite the inclusion of THE EYES OF TAMMYE FAYE and even though the location to which I was returning said videos said that not only did they not have the DVD of THE OFFICE but that they had no intentions whatsoever of purchasing said DVD this is the thing-it is right next to the Whole Foods (don't get me started) and, further, there are Blockbusters near where I work, where I live, where I go to school, where I take a hip hop class, where I do pretty much everygoddamn thing in my life. You know where there is an excellent video store? One 30 minute train ride and a 15 minute walk-and reverse that for the trip home. Another one? A 40 minute train ride and a 20 minute walk. Are they independent? Fiercely. Better selection, more to my liking? You bet. Forced employees to wear ill-fitting t-shirts advertising the impending release of MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING? Of course not. Hey, I bought a fucking copy of STYLE WARS because theoretically-more-desirable-store-one said, "uh yeah, somebody seems to have, uh, stole that". Of course I prefer the non-chain video stores in theory but, like all y'all I don't live in theory. Where I live, there is a Blockbuster RIGHT THERE) and to get a haircut.

I got my haircut at Big Hair, and by the owner at that (they have instituted a sign-in system at Big Hair meaning that you need not sit inside to claim your spot in line but instead can trek around the corner to the various vintage clothing stores) and had a conversation with the owner/stylist about late 80's music in which she was impressed that I knew who The Lords Of The New Church was and said "it was great talking with you!" after the haircut which was like winning a little prize.

after all that, well the snow got really intense. REALLY intense. The last time I remember it snowing like this was on New Year's Day 1999 when it snowed so hard, so fast, that the ground was dry in the morning and up to my kneecaps at 7 p.m.

So I'm at home, eating steamed broccoli and leftover pizza and checking email. I subscribe to a few listservs who make it their mission to send me lots of porn every day. Thank you listservs. Okay, here's a question. Why in the world did the convention develop in gay, male pornography to have a guy licking his own bicep. I rather like biceps and wouldn't mind having my own although I have zero interest in developing them (Implants? I could do that. And while I will do the ab exercises associated with my hip-hop class, it is because instructor Boogie has made it clear that the stronger my abs, the better my ability to do the crazy-ass things she requests. Boogie has, thusfar, expressed no interest in my biceps and there we are) and while I like them on a fella, I don't much care if they are there are not and certainly don't wish I was licking them.

Being a subscriber to such images, I do get a fair number of photographs of gentlemen who are both limber enough and sufficiently well-endowed to allow them to fellate themselves. Hey, I get that. It's like the joke-why do dogs lick themselves? Because they can. But dogs don't lick their legs, unless they have fleas. I've never yearned to lick some guy's arms, no matter how well developed. And, further, while I might wish that, say, my nipples be fiddled with in sex, I never thought, "man, I sure wish there was a hottie tonguing my bicep, such as it is".

So what is up with these young, fit gentlemen licking their own upper arms?

Friday, January 23, 2004

Home after my hip hop class. I've been doing the ab exercises every (well, most every) morning before work so of course we added a new series of them today. Ow ow ow. We did a combination that included the elusive glide move that I seem to fucking rock at doing and I thought ah ha! I'm gonna make it through the class and feel like a star! I can DO this.

Then Boogie decided to add in some of that crouch on the floor, throw your legs out move (like one of those Fiddler on the Roof dances but low to the ground and, you know, urban) and I felt all geriatric and shit once again. Next week I'll be in Toronto and Alex says he's found us a drop-in class on Saturdays...he is, in fact, dropping in tomorrow to check it out. So that could be cool, getting another perspective.

I am done with the Mars Rover. I realize that lots of other people say "oh good! Mars rover! We can stop talking about the stupid presidential campaign, geez it's only January." I can appreciate the huge number of skills and innovations that went into the rover, on an intellectual level, sort of, briefly. I do not care if there is or was water on Mars. I realize that this makes me a less well-rounded person and I'm okay with that.

But I'm intrigued that the rover has decided to stop transmitting anything worthwhile and has instead just settled on nothing or gibberish. And I'm even more pleased that the best solution that the folks on the ground can come up with is to reboot. "Did you turn it off and turn it back on?" the people at my work's help desk ask every time. Yes I did AND IT STILL DOESN'T FUCKING WORK.

I talked to Lillian tonight (or rather we IM'ed one another...I guess I'm not supposed to make a distinction between the two in this modern world...ow! leave an old man alone! I was hippity hopping all night for chrissakes!) and her blog is up. I read a bit and will return. I blew it in the blog's first incarnation and didn't get that she had both an MSN community AND a blog and only saw one not the other and then found the blog, then The Man shut her down for some sort of electronic payment hoo ha but now she's back and I'm so thankful. And she blogs about going to Yoga (going at 4:30 in the fucking morning, I might add. 4:30, damn, that's when I wake up to pee and look at the clock and feel smug because I still got two hours left to sleep) and how she doesn't really get it but she is stretching and she is feeling calm and the pleasant head stuff lasts long after the confusing class ends.

"Yeah!" I thought, "yeah I know!"

Sometimes it's good to go deep even when it doesn't feel so good at the time. "This is too deep!" I think, crouched over and balanced on my toes, kicking my feet out exactly half as often and twice as awkwardly as Boogie. But afterwards, standing on the slush of the train platform I didn't even think of that shitty floor work. Only the glide, turn, glide, turn, glide, turn Throw Down Throw Down, back, back. Feeling like a badass.

A badass with some abs that have been WORKED.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

The Hip Hop Action Summit is happening in Houston during super-bowl week. It's meant to promote positivity, blah blah blah. This year's theme is "Taking Back Responsibility: Youth, Economic and Political Empowerment."

A journalist with the alt weekly Houston Press has a good time with a PR rep for the event. Kind of like shooting fish in a barrel but well done all the same:

Q. It's "So die, muthafuckas, die muthafuckas, die, die / I ain't no muthafuckin' good guy, dog / And I don't give no good-guy damn about none of y'all." The empowerment, then, is in the repetition of "muthafucka," which is representative of what?

A. You'd have to ask Scarface that, he's the one that wrote the lyric…Are you actually -- is this on the record?

Q. Here's one from Master P--

A. You don't have to go through reading the lyrics of the artists…I can't speak to what the intentions are of the various artists.

Q. So you can't tell me what "I piss on your porch / Shit in your house" means?

A. I sure cannot.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Somebody had the foresight to position an African-American girl (3 years old?) along Bush's pathway as he approached the lectern to give the State of the Union. Bush, of course, stopped, hugged the girl, and continued on his way, shaking hands and being well received.

So will this become a new, standard thing in State of the Union Speeches? Sort of like having the special guest who sits with the First Lady? The cute kid to be hugged en route?

Turns out that it was Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr's daughter (just saw her sitting on his lap). I am so furious at Bush that I can't keep this in perspective; I'm angry that Jackson took his kid to the address and allowed her to be used as a prop (rather than the equally true point of view that this is a perq that daddy gets for being a rep and you can come meet the president and be on national tv).

From the NY Times, regarding the plane flight Dean made last night from Iowa to New Hampshire:

On the flight, Dr. Dean took a brief nap and then had a
long chat with his pollster and his campaign manager,
standing over them in the first-class cabin. Flying with
him was Joan Jett, whose keyboardist handed out free CDs to
the reporters, photographers and lower-level political
aides in coach.

At the rally, vegetable soup and clam chowder was served to
the traveling party, as Ms. Jett followed Dr. Dean to the
stage, and played three songs, including "Crimson and

Monday, January 19, 2004

The caucuses have begun!

I briefly thought that C-SPAN was the best bet for coverage; not a good thing. They WILL be broadcasting the local news from Des Moines at 10 p.m. which is a nice touch but one of the talking heads that C-SPAN has recruited (from Drake University) either has a horrible stain on his sweater or has been lit in such a way as to cast a giant, stain-sized shadow on his sweater. So I've switched to MSNBC where my beloved Tom Brokaw is there with Tim Russert and Chris Matthews. See, cable rocks! NBC can run its normal Monday night programming for normal people who have no interest in the caucus while still deploying its heavyweights on the MSNBC channel.

I guess everyone else figured this out a looooong time ago but I'm excited.

The MSNBC reporter who is loitering around the hotel where the Dean party is being held is really cute.

Okay, so who had the bright idea to have McGovern endorse Clark? Actually, what is the advantage of McGovern endorsing ANYBODY?

Friday, January 16, 2004

Not only are the Iowa Caucuses next week, not only does the Michael Jackson trial begin today but last night I saw my 1st episode of CRIBS (it was Russell Simmons' place in N.J. and just the teensiest bit vulgar but I'm not here to judge). How in the world could I consider a life without cable?

Iraq is arguing that instead of a caucus, they would like a full-on election and, after hearing all these reports about how the caucus works in Iowa, I see the Iraqis' point.

For those of you who ignore all of this, a caucus is NOT like casting a single ballot. Everyone gathers in a location...a church basement or maybe somebody's living room. First someone determines how much support there is for any given candidate-a candidate has to hit 15%-and then the caucus attendees have to cluster themselves in the room...everyone for Dean over by the basketball hoop, everyone for Gephardt by the Snoopy poster, etc. Then the groups spend lots of time hollering at one another, trying to convince people to move groups ("we have cookies! Come over here and support Edwards!") and it takes forever.

Lots of people decide, reasonably, that they have better things to do with a Tuesday evening in January than sit in a room with a bunch of other goofballs doing this contest that isn't that effective at measuring much of anything except who is best able to turn out goofballs.

Here is an incredibly funny and well-written story about Iowa that sums things up nicely:

Why are the media desperate for us to care about Iowa? Because the media themselves care about Iowa, deeply. Journalists are members of a class of people who can't think about anything right now except Iowa.

Any journalist with a brain knows that covering the Iowa vote is one thing, but covering it this much and this breathlessly, suggesting that the future of the Republic hinges on this one story, is really kind of dumb and pointless. Iowa doesn't decide anything -- candidates have won Iowa and lost the nomination -- and the media know this.

So they seek popular validation. That's why the message keeps coming at us, day after day, from every possible kind of news outlet: Care, care, care! Iowa, Iowa, Iowa! If enough people start caring, the coverage will have justified itself.

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (as quoted in this essay) found this:

"While the majority of Americans are at most marginally engaged in the Democratic primary process, a small number keep close tabs on campaign news and events. These people have been following the campaign closely, enjoy keeping up with election politics, and are familiar with all of the election events and facts asked about on the survey. Overall, they represent roughly 7 percent of the population."

Please, join those of us in the 7%

If you'd like to be more informed, may I suggest this story in SLATE about the lamest press releases of the 2004 campaign including such gems as The Edwards for President campaign today announced that former Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Mazie Hirono endorsed John Edwards (D-NC) for president.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Found an excellent news site called which is similar to Google News but so far seems a little better. Look at the list of cities on the left-hand side of the home page-nice way to search. You can look by geography, kind of news, or key words.

From the "offbeat" search comes this story about Moose in Boulder City, Colo. who are enjoying cars that are encrusted with rock salt from the roads. The moose are licking off the cars.

Okay, I'm kind of dreading getting a confirmation that Spalding Gray is actually dead. I saw him three times, once when he was developing GRAY'S ANATOMY, once a few days before 9/11 when he told about being in a car crash in Ireland earlier in the year, and once in Powell's book store in Portland. "Hey Spalding!" I said, as if we knew one another.

"Hey," he replied and kept going.

So it would suck if my good friend Spalding offed himself. Dude, you should have called if you were feeling low.

In other low-wattage news, the Chicago Bears have hired a new head coach, a man who has the first name "Lovie". I guess when you are a football coach you can call yourself anything you like and nobody is going to mess with you. I'm still reading "Random Family" which is a total page turner and I'm into the names in that book. Some of them are nicknames (just read about Weedo who likes to smoke guess what) and some are actual names. Coco just had another baby she named Nautica and there is an older girl named Trinket we haven't heard from in a while. Heroin kingpin Boy George is still in prison and, like the football coach, if you are a heroin kingpin I guess that the name Boy George doesn't mean you are queer but that you are so tough you can call yourself any damn thing you like and nobody is going to say anything.

Finally, Bush estimates that his whole Let's Go Back To The Moon project (or the Ignore That Book By My Former Secretary Of The Treasury project) will cost $12 billion over the next five years. Yet he proposes spending $1.5 billion on a campaign to promote marriage (insert comments about Britney Spears, gay unions, etc. here).

Meaning that if we just opted to NOT promote marriage for 8 years we would have enough to go to the moon?

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

From today's Chicago Tribune:

A Glencoe woman testified Tuesday that her ex-husband hit her at least five times with his car, getting out on each occasion to tell her, "Remember, this is only an accident."

It's not as good as the Texans but it's a good beginning

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

The book Random Family is out in paperback and I bought it yesterday as an early Done With The Semester gift to myself (talk about a rationalization).

The book itself has a site (linked above) with this great passage from the first chapter:

Jessica lived on Tremont Avenue, on one of the poorer blocks in a very poor section of the Bronx. She dressed even to go to the store. Chance was opportunity in the ghetto and you had to be prepared for anything. Her appearance on the streets in her neighborhood usually caused a stir. A sixteen-year-old Puerto Rican girl with bright hazel eyes, a generous mouth, and a voluptuous shape, she radiated intimacy wherever she went. You could be talking to her in the bustle of Tremont and feel as though lovers' confidences were being exchanged beneath a tent of sheets. Guys in cars offered rides. Women pursed their lips, grown men got stupid, boys made promises they could not keep.

The book is fantastic, the author spent ten years hanging out in this neighborhood, doing the reporting. Slightly disturbing to me that Jessica's mother is a grandmother at age 34. Which makes sense...if I had a kid at 17 and THAT kid had a kid at 17, there you go.

Of course that would require me to, you know, do it with a woman as I understand that has something to do with the way babies are made.

Monday, January 12, 2004

I've been bringing in CDs to work and recording them on my hard drive so I can listen to them without toting the discs back and forth.

I brought in Jay-Z's THE BLACK ALBUM and Real Player declared it to be "Artist Unknown; Genre: Alternative Christian Contemporary"

Uh, no.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Last year I had a fantasy that I was going to move to Texas and spent my spring break visiting San Antonio and Austin.

I don't think that is such a great idea anymore but I do really love a lot of the freakish news stories that come out of that state.

U.S. Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez (D) from San Antonio got a divorce from his wife and she is pissed. She started a website featuring all sorts of information about her divorce:
Becky's tale ... the story of being squashed like a bug by her Congressman husband ...
And she is now running against her ex-husband for his seat in Congress.

Interestingly, she is getting her PhD in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. Geez.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Got an email from David Kodeski which thrills me to no end. He googled himself and found my blog entry about his show Another Lousy Day. He has moved his files over to a site that has elements from his shows and also links to photographs he found while walking around Chicago, some of which are not entirely g-rated. He has such a nice, slow, patient approach to found objects and a real willingness to find what is interesting rather than demand that interesting elements leap out and announce themselves.

All in all a nice place to spend some time
Saturday morning (well, for another 24 minutes anyway), drinking coffee and eating pears. This is my new, as of yesterday, thing.
I have to write a paper for a class and my topic is childhood obesity. There are lots of fat kids now as everyone has gone on and on about; however I was a fat kid back when there weren't so many. That's kind of my ulterior motive behind picking that topic. Anyway I spoke with a nutritionist yesterday who is also the mother of two children, one 18 and one 13. I asked how she navigated nutrition with her kids.

One idea she described was FF or Fruit (vegetable) first. Raising her kids they were always required to eat their serving of fruit or vegetable first; then they could eat the pizza or pot roast or whatever. It's hardwired into the kids now, they don't have to be told. And the advantage is that at the beginning of the meal, when you are hungriest, you are getting a food that is bulky, relatively low in calories and high in nutrition. The other advantage is that it's pretty easy to incorporate...rather than saying "No pizza!" or "eat just a single slice of pizza!" the infusion of plant food in the front end makes an appetite more self regulating.

I didn't make any new year's resolutions but this strikes me as a worthy goal. So I cut up a pair of pears and am eating those now.

Feeling extra-happy this morning as I went to hip hop class last night (no class in like the past 4 weeks). I just recently got over a cold so between the illness, the holidays, and all that I've been really under-exercised lately. It really is true, being active makes you (well, makes me) feel better. Apparently George Bush is unable to jog anymore due to excessive wear/tear on his knees. Hope he finds something else; let's not have him more cranky a'ight?

Boogie (that's the instructor's name, I know but it works for her) teaches at The Old Town School of Folk Music and she treats hip-hop dance like any other folk art. She drops in info about the origins of moves. Last night we were locking. Locking is those moves you do with your arms; think recent Missy videos-wrist twirls, pointing, those sorts of gestures. According to Boogie, locking was invented back in the time of The Hustle by a fat dancer named Don. Don couldn't get any girls to dance with him so he would dance by himself, moving his arms as if he was twirling a partner.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Okay, I know I haven't been here in like two weeks. Sorry all y'all.

It is -1 degrees outside, BEFORE calculating the windchill

the temperature has nothing to do with my lack of blogging but I hope it does bring on a wellspring of pity