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Saturday, October 23, 2004


Apparently, I thought I had something to say.......I was mistaken.

"...oh if I am to have so much I must have more!"

-Edward Abbey, in Jonathon Troy, quoting, I believe, Whitman


Friday, October 22, 2004


William Shatner's new album, Has Been, is great. His old spoken word albums were a little ridiculous. Entertaining, but ridiculous. But his old spoken word albums didn't have Ben Folds producing them. This one is spectacular. I wish I could recommend buying or not buying it, but since I got Rhapsody, I've lost all concept of owning music. It's definitely worth listening to.

The best tracks:

It Hasn't Happened Yet
That's Me Trying

Best Lyric: "Live life like you're gonna die. Because you're gonna."


Wednesday, October 20, 2004



Thanks, Windy.


Monday, October 18, 2004


First, I'ma gripe.

I'm reading A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson. My gripe isn't with the book (this time), it's with the review on the front cover. Some doormat from the New York Times (that rag!) named Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, for whom a wilderness expedition probably means walking through Central Park, says this (this is his exact quote):

"The best way of escaping into nature is to read a book like A Walk in the Woods."

Really? Because I'd have thought the best way of escaping into nature would be to escape into nature. The fact that the Times doesn't fire people for making asinine comments like that should have hinted at some problems long ago.

Those who can write, write. Those who can't write, write book reviews. That's my theory. How do you get that job, anyway? I think the qualifications for 'book reviewer' must be similar to the qualifications for a human resources person - no talent or abilities whatsoever, but a satisfaction in hearing oneself speak authoritatively on topics about which one knows nothing.

"And who are you," you might ask? I am nobody. Nobody at all. And that's why my opinions have more merit than those of a whole flock of professional 'critics.' Plus, I know at least 2 dozen ways to break your wrist, elbow, or shoulder, from a variety starting positions.

Ed Abbey:

"I've never yet read a review of one of my own books that I couldn't have written much better myself."

There also seems to be some arrogance on the part of New Yorkers who feel that New York City is the center of the universe. It may be - the center of their universes. The center of my universe is my wife, the top of Medicine Bow Peak, the ripple of water where a trout just took an insect, but principally, the few cubic inches between my ears and behind my face. New York is, to me, as peripheral as the Gobi Desert, though slightly less interesting. A city is a city is a city. Cities may come in different 'flavors,' but then, so do those sugar-water Rainbo Drinks.


I've been thinking I need to establish an alter-ego, like RawkStah has. But I could never come up with a decent alter-ego-type name. Abbie had me proofread a part of her thesis today. Apparently, the rule is that if you study fairy ring-forming fungi, you have do have a dweeby name (excepting Abbie, of course). Henceforth, I have, by combining the names of two prominent fairy ring scholars, come up with the following moniker for my imaginary other half:

Piemiesel Ramsbottom. I don't know how the first name is actually pronounced, but in my alter-ego's name, it is pronounced 'PIE-measle.'

Piemiesel surfaced tonight at my Grappling and Striking class. Usually, it's just me that goes. And I goes through the motions, but without showing any particular promise or enthusiasm. Tonight, after our normal drills, etc., we went into 'free-flow' (meaning that you start off standing up, throwing light punches, and attempt to throw your opponent to the mat (and he (or she), you), and end up grappling around on the ground, trying to get your opponent into a submission hold).

Well, unlike usual, I was partnered with a guy who is bigger than me, and has enough coordination to simultaneously step AND punch. Well, when we got to the grappling portion, Piemiesel tagged in and took over for me. He was strangely calm. Rather than wildly flailing around trying to get some sort of hold on his opponent, he patiently waited for the right opportunity, and then got his opponent in his guard. To have an opponent in your guard means you are lying on your back, with your legs wrapped around your opponent, who is hunched over you. This seems like it would be a less than ideal situation, but it's actually my favorite position to fight in, because you can control their body with your legs, and they can't do much of anything until they get out of it (if they start to throw a punch, you can just push them away with your legs, for example). So Piemiesel got his opponent in his guard. This also forces your opponent to carry your weight, if you do it right.
When Piemiesel's opponent finally escaped his guard, his opponent was fairly worn out, while Piemiesel was still pretty fresh. To further this advantage, Piemiesel patiently countered his opponent's every move, calmly doing whatever necessary to prevent a submission. For example, when his opponent tried to choke him out with his fist, Piemiesel dipped his chin down to his chest to prevent it, and crossed his arm in front of his opponent's face, and twisted him backward and off of him.

Eventually, his opponent was in front of Piemiesel, facing away from him, and grabbed Piemiesel's ankle and attempted to apply a shin lock, which is a nasty little hold that puts incredibly uncomfortable pressure on the inside of your shin. Piemiesel lured his opponent backward by bringing his ankle in, and then quickly applied a choke hold, forcing his opponent to tap out.

I was amazed. I didn't know Piemiesel was capable of such wonderful strategy. If grappling were chess, Piemiesel would have been like that one computer that beat that one Russian guy that beat all the other computers.

I may be overstating what a glorious victory it was, but suffice to say that it suprised a few people, not the least of which was me.

Piemiesel, however, was nonchalant. He just ambled over to the fountain for a drink. See, Piemiesel is one cool customer. He's the kind of guy that can saunter up to a girl at the bar and just mass-produce suave things to say. He laughs at danger and spits at trouble. (?) He remains unflummoxed in the face of adversity.

I hope Piemiesel comes with me to class on Wednesday. I also hope he's available if I ever have to actually use anything I've learned in this class. Because I'm pretty sure if it's up to me, I'll attempt one of my famous left-footed kicks, and the robber would just laugh, and then stab me with his knife, because I can't kick for beans with my left foot.

A related sidenote is that one of my college professors (Bradley) on numerous occasions referred to the area from the center of my body leftward as "The Dead Zone," when we were playing hackysack. Any sack that got hackied in that direction was never heard from again. That's how useless my left side is. It's basically just ballast.



Day 2 of busted DSL. Posting via dial-up kind of works.

Spent the whole day attempting to get ahold of someone at school to ask them what was up. When I finally did, they said, "talk to Qwest, not our problem." Shite-fer-brainses.

Let's see, what else sucks...

Oh. My research.

Also, having to spend countless hours on a fellowship application that has about a 1 in 10 chance of getting funded. (Please, nobody mention how it will be 'good experience' even if it doesn't get funded)

Also, the gasto-intestinal issues that are currently punishing me for thinking it was a good idea to put the following on a pizza: anchovies, pepperoni, some kind of pepper that is way freaking hotter than it looks.

To quote my friend Bret, who is, for some reason, in New Zealand:

"fuck, fickle, lick little schmickel, sick monkeys liver.."

Fuckin' A. He has a way with words.


Sunday, October 17, 2004


Talk about the Dark Ages...I'm posting this entry via...DIAL-UP! For those of you who don't remember, this is where you plug your phone line (I swear I am not making this up) into the back of your computer, your computer makes a few comical "Beep-BEEP" noises, and suddenly (well, not actually suddenly, more like 2 minutes later), you're cruising the superinformation hyperspeedway at a blistering 56k.

I remember now why it's worth it to spend $30 for DSL. Man.

Oh. The reason is that DSL died sometime around 10:37 am this morning as I was bottling beer. Right in the middle of Won't Be Home.

I feel like I should be typing on my Commodore 64 and playing The Oregon Trail as I'm typing this. Maybe I better make a back-up copy on my 5 1/4" floppy, in case this doesn't go through...


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