Thursday, March 29, 2007

i filled the whole front page with the catchiest words i could find

like all good dopey slackers i'm a regular daily show viewer. like most people, what i love about the show is that underneath the snark and satire are real nuggets of truth. it's possible that since the famous cnn moment the show's been a bit too taken with itself, but it's always worth watching. and yes, stewart was unfair to the dems in the run up to the 2006 midterm elections by harping on the false theme that the democrats had no plan for governing. maybe it was stewart's attempt to show that his satire can cross party lines. usually, however, there's a pretty solid factual basis for the snark.

so it was disappointing to see how, on the march 27 show, stewart took on the congressional debate over funding for iraq. somehow stewart let stand the g.o.p. talking point that the dems deliberately loaded the bill with pork. no, most of the spending in the bill was catch-up funding because the outgoing 109th congress couldn't see fit to pass the necessary spending bills.

and also? why would any self-respecting talk show have dennis miller on anymore? he may be a friend of stewart's but at this point he's become a loathsome, misogynist, unfunny jerk whose stock in trade has become grade-school insults of democrat politicians. his march 27 daily show appearance was particularly awful. i know stewart has to pander to the guests a bit, but he's never been afraid to call guests on their own bullshit. too bad he didn't puncture miller's bullshit balloon. at least he and colbert took some nice shots at miller during the bump between the shows (video not available right now).

Friday, March 16, 2007

this boy's exhausted

(updated, monday march 19)...ok, maybe not so much. thankfully all is well and i've recovered my gem. funny how that made for my best night of sleep in a week.

so after 7 months i think i might be single again ('m honestly not sure...i mean, i hope not though i guess, if you don't know, then you are), and sadly it's not of my choosing. no details here as i'm not about laying that much bare. suffice to say that it's something i thought could be worked out, as working things out is part of any relationship if you really want the relationship to last.

obviously the main reason i'm sad is because i thought i'd found someone who i clicked with on enough levels -- tempermentally, activity-wise, politically, and so forth -- that it would go a long way. and that's tough to do as the years pass. for those of us past the age of 35, there's an aphorism about dating:
single people over 35 are like parking spaces -- the best ones are almost always taken and most of the rest are handicapped.
i thought i'd gotten exceedingly lucky and found a gem of an untaken space.

so now i not only don't have the hard-to-find gem, but i've got to start circling the block again. trouble is, i don't know that i've got it in me right now. i'm not sure that i can face another round of first-dates, some blind, some not. yeah, there's a certain rush to it, but it can also get soul-crushing real quick.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

why john edwards? because...

i was on his bandwagon early, even in the face of hillary and obama mania.

there were good reasons initially --

* his work on poverty, work that was more than a campaign slogan but an actual effort.

* the tone of his current campaign, which has stressed action and doing, rather than calculated talking.

and then he stuck behind his blogging team when the wingnut-driven storm blew up. the women eventually resigned, but edwards did stand behind them and refused to fire them.

and now, this...

in the wake of assinine comments about homosexuality by joint chiefs chair gen. peter pace, hillary and obama each refused to repudiate the sentiment behind the comments. the gutless wonders wouldn't say right off what should have been said.

edwards, though, said the right thing.

right now he's the sleeper candidate who, even though he announced first, lags behind obama and hillary in the polls. but polls now don't mean a thing. and while hillary and obama snipe at each other and play it safe to the point of seeming to lack conviction about anything but getting the nomination, edwards is out there saying what he means, standing for something, most all of it good.

a ticket of him with obama as the vice presidential nominee will be a formidable one against what looks to be a weak and pandering gop field.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

today is a birthday, they're smoking cigars

i'm not one to use birthdays as any major milestone from which to take stock of life, and this won't be any different. though i will note that thinking back to a few years ago, i was at a job which i knew i wanted to leave and in a city in which i didn't particularly want to live. now, those things are much better. oh, and this isn't a troll for b-day wishes.

on any given birthday you might wonder if it's a beatles kind of birthday, or a smiths or blur kind of birthday, a replacements kind of birthday, a fugazi type of birthday or maybe a cracker type of birthday. i went with the sugarcubes. for no apparent reason other than that song's lyrics are as oblique as i'm feeling about this particular one.

sure, life in general is good, though thanks to an unexpected and unpleasant event over the weekend things could be better. and to quote westerberg, i do kinda wish that "there weren't quite as many candles that {I} had to blow". but life is ok, if for no other reason that i'm in good health (creaky knees notwithstanding), living in a beautiful city, doing good work in a job i love, playing some soccer, learning some improv and acting, and after a couple of years out here i've built up a fairly decent social network. so setbacks aside, things could be much worse. i know how good i have it.

so yeah, today's the day. i'll make of it what it is.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

call me "king of the mountain"

so back in december i had my first ever time on skis, a nice cross country session up in tahoe. this past weekend jp & i were able to (thanks to a work thing that fell through) go to tahoe again for the weekend, and this time i tried downhill.

we stayed in the town of truckee... the truckee hotel, and skiied at northstar. the hotel was rustic. take away the electronic appliances in the room and i'll bet the feel was very much like late 19th/early 20th century. the room had a sink, but toilet and bath facilities were shared. and the stairs? very steep. but it was clean, comfortable, right downtown and close to the mountain. traffic up was a bit heavy around sacramento, so even a 2:30pm departure meant a 7pm arrival.

saturday morning we headed to northstar. jp rented skis from the good people at tahoe dave's, while i'd get it at northstar as it was included in the lesson. the rental operation at northstar was incredible -- you walk in and fill out some info at the computer -- height, eight, skiing level, etc. after getting the form printed you get boots, skis and poles in fairly short order. a very well oiled machine.

the conditions, i'm told, were optimal -- cool temps in the high 30s and with no wind. there'd been lots of snow lately, somewhat calming the fears of a totally dry winter.

in addition to it being a busy weekend (thanks to the great conditions) northstar was also hosting a van's snowboarding competition. free rockstar energy drinks for everyone! if it weren't that i was there to ski and not spectate, i would have taken lots of pics. as it is, all i've got is this empty half-pipe...

jp's been skiing since she was about 9 years old, so she took the morning to do some more challenging runs, including some black diamonds. meanwhile, i was in an adult beginners class lead by a very nice grandfatherly guy named bob hill. he was kind, patient and funny. he led us through some very basic stuff, progressing to some turns out of a snowplow. for those of us who have been on bicycles, turning means sometimes a heavy lean in the direction you turn. imagine my surprise at the counterintuitiveness of the ski turn, which means you lean in the opposite direction that you want to go.

anyway, i got the hang of the basics and did ok on the wimpiest of the bunny slopes. after lunch we tried the next level of easy runs...
...i did ok, pretty much snowplowing the whole way down, but never falling, doing a few small turns and feeling pretty good about it. so after a few runs there, we tried the next level up.

oh boy.

the first run out i somehow got us so far to one side that i think we ended up on an intermediate trail filled with lots of boarders. there were a few steep drops and some narrow chutes. i made it all the way down, falling more than a few times. by the end of the run my heart was racing and i was sweating more than i thought possible on a cold winter day. still, i wanted more...

so we went back, but this time making sure to cut to the right parts of the trail. there was more falling, some major speed that i didn't think i could control. but we got in a few good runs and despite a few falls, most of which were on purpose (thankfully playing goalie in soccer has helped me learn how to fall sideways) i didn't break or sprain or tear anything. the last run was the village trail, in lieu of the gondola. i was nice and leisurely, a great way to end the day.

well actually, the best end to the day came at the bar, with a few margaritas and some calamari. no lie, i was still all amped up on adrenaline as we sat down. it took a drink or two and some plain old sitting to calm down. it was a good amped up, though. a physical *and* mental tiredness that comes from total exertion and concentration for a long period of time.

some random observations...who decided it was a good idea to tell snowboarders that it was ok to sit in the middle of trails -- dude, if you fall down, either get up and keep moving. if you're hurt, call for help. if you're waiting for slower friends to catch up, get the hell out of the middle of the trail. and who decided it was a good idea to make cellphone calls at the end of a trail, right in the middle of gates that people are trying to use to get to the lifts or the lodge.

all in all, a great day. i don't know that i'll ski enough to get as good as jp, but i'd like to get to the point where i can paralell and turn without snowplowing. and i need to learn the "hockey stop" or spray stop. it looks cooler than the "snowplow and fall stop" i do now.