Friday, December 17, 2010

With a little old driver, so lively and quick…

Greetings all and Happy Holidays! Here’s hoping this annual letter finds you healthy, happy and well. I’ve been writing holiday letters for a long time now, and this is the first year I have ever considered giving it a pass.

As many of you know, this has been a tough year for the Kellys. In August, my father Mike died suddenly in Maryland from epilepsy. It was quite a shock and has been very sad. We miss him terribly. This December, his mother Mary Kelly also passed away. Losing my father, and subsequently my grandmother, has cast quite a shadow over this year.

However, the holiday letter tradition was one of the many important things I learned from my dad. As children, all year long, my sister Lynn and I were motivated to try and accomplish things that might make his annual family year-in-review. (Looking back, I think it was the only reason I won the science fair in 7th grade.) Total number of mentions was the best way for me to take the measure of a year. (Even a major illness was worth it; any press is good press.)

I think my Dad thought that a holiday letter was a good way to stay in touch with friends far and wide, and to show that he cared enough to reach out with glad tidings. I agree.

To that end, I offer this 2010 edition:

This year, I continued to live in Brooklyn, NY (in Ft. Greene) and take advantage of the proximity to the park, the shops and restaurants. I love this neighborhood.

I am still working as a consultant at Perfect Sense Digital, and my client is still Scripps Networks (the parent company for Food Network and HGTV). I am still traveling to Knoxville, TN regularly and my exhaustion with spending time in airports is exceeded only by my respect and fondness for the folks I work with down there in that beautiful city. I still work Monday-Wednesday, and I strongly recommend that.

In my free time, I had the privilege to coach the Beacon High School Girl’s Ultimate Team (with my co-coach Dave, who I would not have survived without). I learned so much from coaching. It’s harder than it looks! The dedication of those girls, who practiced at 6 AM on Thursday mornings in the cold and dark, was a source of inspiration. We had some great tournaments and the highlight of the season was a trip to Vermont where the team beat their cross-city rivals (Stuyvesant HS) for the first time in many years. Why drive 9 hours in a mini-van full of screaming girls to play a team who is also based in NYC? Why indeed!

This summer was a blur and I was almost never home.

I attended a beautiful wedding in Kennebunkport, Maine. (Congrats again to Ali & Dave!)

(Here's me and Emily, another guest, at the wedding.)

I had a great trip with my extended family to Oak Island, NC in July. It was wonderful to see all my aunts, uncles, cousins and second cousins, and the trip is now an especially cherished memory of my dad enjoying time with the whole family.

In August, my niece Kate came up visit the big city for a weekend and wore me out, dragging me to dance performances, art museums, restaurants, musicals, Coney Island and Central Park. It’s pretty awesome that she’s old enough to be an independent person and fun to hang out with. Look out world. Her parents and her sister Lindy still live in Raleigh and are all doing great. I expect a visit from Lindy any day now when she hitchhikes up on her own and tells me she is starring in her own one-woman show on Broadway.


(Here's Kate eating a Famous Fry at Nathan's Famous on Coney Island)

This year, as usual, I also spent a lot of time and energy on Ultimate. I became a certified coach, hosted a coaching clinic, and I volunteered to be the Metro NY sectionals coordinator.

I also started a second women’s club team in NYC, Women’s Team Frisbee. We hadn’t had a second team in town in years and it was a lot of work coordinating tryouts, practices, rosters, tournament entry bids and jerseys. As a team, we traveled to tournaments in Devens, MA (twice), Ottawa, Canada, Philadelphia, PA, and Connecticut (twice). We qualified for the North East Regional Tournament and had a lot of fun playing all season. I enjoyed competing in the Womens’s division again and playing for the first time with so many new faces.

(Here's the team, me in the bottom middle with visor.)


(And here's me Narrowly throwing over the mark.)

In September, we had a Funeral Mass for my father in Maryland where I saw so many long time family friends, and in October we had a small ceremony on his birthday at Oak Island, NC. Thanks so much to everyone who attended, wrote or called to express his or her sympathy.

In November, we celebrated Thanksgiving at my Mom’s house in Maryland, and I’d be lying to say it wasn't weird or hard, but we got through it with help from my friends Dave and Sarah (who brought reinforcements in the form of her sister, sister’s fiancée and beagle, Annie). It was very sad, and concurrently quite fun, in the impossible way that those things often are.

December finds me planning to head to Raleigh, NC for Christmas as usual and reflecting on a hard year. I feel fortunate to have such wonderful people around me. Thanks to all of my friends and coworkers who have given me so much love and support. I do plan to return the favor, so consider this an IOU.

Wishing you the best in 2011! Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It seems that despite my expectations, life goes on. We've had a funeral mass in Myersville, MD in September and commitment ceremony down at Oak Island, NC last weekend on his birthday. Both were very sad.

So many of you have called, written and sent cards. Thanks so much. I haven't replied to most of you, I just don't know what to say and I don't really like talking about it. Of course we miss him terribly. The initial shock is wearing off and the dull realization of the new reality is setting in. I still forget most of the time, and catch myself thinking that I need to tell Dad about something I saw on Sportscenter. Support from so many people has really meant a lot and made this time more bearable.

Mostly, I feel tired and listless and not interested in much, so there's not much to blog about. We are getting ready for Thanksgiving, which will be at Mom's house and will certainly be very strange.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

kate. books. links.



This is the view from the Ferris Wheel at Coney Island. I was out there with my niece Kate. She came to NYC to look after me for a few days.

Here she is eating a famous fry at Nathan's famous:
Needless to say I was quite complimented whenever anyone asked if she was my daughter. We had a pretty fun time. We went to a dance performance by Pilobus. We went to the Broadway Musical Wicked. We did some back-to-school shopping. We took the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and saw polar bears at the Central Park Zoo. We saw Despicable Me in 3D, which I liked a good deal. She had to get back to Raleigh to take a babysitting course, but I'm pretty sure she knew everything she needed to after taking care of me for four days.

In other news, you know I've been flying around and running around a lot, like I do.

I was in Ellington, Connecticut last weekend with 15 fine women from Brooklyn's Women's Team Frisbee. We had a rough go of it, but had fun nonetheless.

All the flying for work and play has me madder than ever about the freezing temperature on airplanes. I'm planning to get a thermometer and keep it with me at all times. Take that airlines, I'm taking readings. And recording them. So there! (I'm too busy to start that project up right now, but consider yourself warned.)

One upside of all the time on planes and at the gate is a bit more time to read.

I finished David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster essay collection. It was fun reading that on the plane to Ali's wedding and getting dirty looks. I had always though of DWF as too condescendo and cute with all the footnotes of footnotes, and I'd pretty much dismissed him as a dry pedant. I had based that on one essay, "Host" which I had read years ago. That essay is particularly heavily footnoted, and in an artsy, postmodern way that really does not work in print format, but should be a linked webpage. I'm really glad I gave him another chance. While some of the essays in the collection are pretty dense and would at best only interest those already intimate with the subject on which he is training his microscope, others are hysterical, touching or both from the first sentence. "Big Red Son" in particular was fascinating. My take away from finishing the collection was that each essay pretty much holds it's tone and form, so if you hate the first 3 pages, skip it, it's going to be more of that. Skip to the next essay right away because it might make you laugh and cry at the same time.

On books that elicit both tears and laughter, I urgently implore you to get your hands on a copy of Jonathan Tropper's This is Where I Leave You as fast as you can. I cannot recommend this strongly enough. I got this book from a tip from a friend at work in Knoxville. She was right. I laughed out loud on the plane and people looked at me funny (like reading Sedaris). This might be my Corrections for this year, a book I give everyone for Christmas. It has a dysfunctional family in common with Corrections, but one not quite so dark.

I also quickly finished Paul Harding's Novella tinkers. This was trying a bit too hard to be Faulkner and missing for me. The Pulitzer Prize winner segs seamlessly between three generations of Crosby men and their musings and hallucinations, with lengthy nature description passages and detailed clock repair passages woven in between. The novella was like a pretty quilt, but I like my fiction with a bit more plot and purpose.


Odds & Ends:

Jesse just reminded me to stay up on Zach Galifianakis.

No one needs to remind me to stay up on Kenny Powers. He's keeping the pen.

Dorks sent this along, which reminds me of my flying adventures. I wish there was a cartoon of him trapped in a block of ice.

Periodically the NY times runs a story, the gist of which is, "people play ultimate." I think we all recall in May of 2009, when they broke the story "ultimate is a sport and girls can play it."

Someone just anonymously posted this picture of me to my other blog as a reminder. I'm playing that game where the last one to touch their nose is it. I was not it!

The Gastronauts were in the New York Times again too. Breaking News!

14 years later and they got a hit on me in the Bone Marrow donor registry. Thanks Charlotte! Stay tuned for how that progresses.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Platinum Elite?

8 flights in 9 days. 6 of them were late. 8 of them were freezing. Why does it have to be so cold on planes? Every flight I wear a long sleeve sweater or hoodie and every flight I almost cry from the cold and it is July and otherwise I would be wearing shorts. Why airlines, why? I got stuck in Atlanta overnight when my 'on time' flight sat on the tarmac waiting for a gate until my connection left. There are about 35 hotels that function to serve the rotisserie city that is comprised of stranded travelers from that airport each day. I couldn't believe the scope and scale of the operation.

Ottawa was tough. It is far away. Everyone was exhausted from the 8 hour drive. We had a torn ACL in the second game of the weekend. It seems like there is one every year and I just hate it. I am so sorry Cash Money Smith.

I went to Oak Island and got to see most of my extended family. It was great to see everyone. I always forget how much I like it at the beach house. I like biking around. I could stay there all summer, but as soon as I leave, I can't find time to get back for a year. Ultimate ate my life.

At the beach I borrowed my sister's Bonobo Handshake. I had been a close follower of the blog so I thought I knew it all, but the book was still a compelling read. If you have any interest in animals, African politics, humanity or sex you should check it out.

My niece Kate will be here in 4 days to visit NYC for the first time. Should be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

As the saying goes, "Don’t let it hant you in the dills."

I have been playing some iPhone fake scrabble and it is making me much stupider. Some “words” that I have successfully played this round include “Hant” “Dills” and “Berg”. Look out.

Whirlwind summer persists with much travel and much airport time. A few quick notes.

Thanks to everyone who came out to Frank's and Habana for my birthday. I’m told I had a lot of fun.

WTF!!??!?! had tryouts, and went to the Boston Invite, where we had fun and lost all our games.
Thanks to Jesse for helping me understand the what the deal is with all that twilight nonsense.

I don’t really care about Labron free agency, he had to go somewhere. I’m not so sure he’s made a dream team, but I guess we’ll see. TG is pretty mad at him for some reason and did this: http://www.lebrontwitter.com/.
I spent July 4 at the lake in Virginia. Lots of fireworks and lots of fun.


Ali & Dave’s wedding in Maine was beautiful and fantastic. Maine’s rocky coast was just as picturesque as the cliché. The Wedding was in Kennebunkport and I ran past the Bush family compound several times. We ate delicious lobster and had lots of fun. (Maine mosquitoes are lobster sized and much more vicious.)
Here's me and Emily before the ceremony:

And me just after the ceremony, doing what frisbee people do at weddings. What nerds! Really, everyone was playing, it's just me in this shot though...

Oh yeah, and here's me getting busted getting Betsy's help with afore mentioned iPhone scrabble. PBR!

I just finished reading the Stu Ungar biography. The guy was clearly a genius, maybe the best Gin player of all time and a storied poker champion, but also a total degenerate that could lost everything he made just as quickly. I love that he never had a straight job in his life, so when he won a legit tournament, first had to go to get a social security card to collect the winnings.

Before that I read the really long and really funny Blue Latitudes. I never really thought I cared about Captain Cook, but I guess anything that Tony Horwitz writes is funny and moves well. He retraces Cook's 3 voyages, seeing the impact that was had on the places Cook "discovers". Part anthropology, part extended drunken road trip, neither part sounds good I know, but I think I just found Horwitz' voice resonated.

WTF, or at least 8 of us, are off to Ottawa this weekend. Should be grueling and fun.

After that I’ll go to Reston and Knoxville for work before I head to the beach for a few days to see the extended fam.

Note to humans loitering inside Chelsea Market, on NYC sidewalks or in the Subway – Try this: Ask yourself, “Am I in the way?” If answer = yes, then GET OUT OF THE WAY. If answer = no
then continue on with your ‘life’.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Compensation

I have been thinking about meaningful work and jobs and salaries (and their apparent inverse correlation) a lot lately. It seems clear to me that the more actual value you deliver, the less one is compensated. Why has our society developed in this way? Why is there no financial incentive to do anything good, or even worthwhile?


I think meaningful work exclusively exists below $80K/year. Let me know if you can think of an exception.

I have been thinking about quitting my job to go clean up oil in the gulf. I don't love the idea of being poor though... I need tickets to sporting events and sneakers.

We on award tour with Muhammad my man...

My summer tour schedule:
Reston
New York
Knoxville
Boston
New York
Charlottesville
Knoxville
Kennebunkport
New York
Ottawa
Knoxville
Oak Island
New York
Ellington (CT)
Charlottesville
New York
Myersville / Poolesville, MD

Will someone please make me one of those band tour shirts? Be sure to catch me when my tour swings through your city.

Ugh. Individually I am looking forward to a lot of the things above. Collectively I HATE the idea of having this busy a summer and no down time and almost no time in NYC. Don’t expect to hear from me. Catch you in October when things should settle down.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorializing the end of May

My new women's team is really taking off. Brooklyn's Women's Team Frisbee had tryouts this weekend and announced a roster of 18. There will be 9 more players added through June. We will be a pretty young team. It should be a lot of fun and also a lot of work I cannot really believe I signed myself up for.

Beacon High School Girls Ultimate is pretty much wrapped up for the year. I survived the trip to Vermont. I drove 14 hours in 3 days in a giant SUV packed with screaming girls. It was pretty much hell. We all slept on the floor together in our host house. There is no predator as vicious as a high school girl. The girls actually did pretty well, finishing 7th in the tourney and 8th in spirit. 7th out of 10 might not sound so great, but they beat their cross town rivals from Stuyvesant for the first time in years. They all seemed to have a tolerably good time, though you'd never know it from their permanent scowls.

I recently finished Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, and of course it was incredible. That's all I can really say. I love the chapters by each character, the changing point of view. I especially love the chapters from Vardaman the 7 year old son. Faulkner had a lot of courage. I could never write something that leaves so much out at the beginning, that requires the reader to work so hard. I would be afraid of readers giving up or missing my point. (Of course it goes without saying that I could never write anything like Faulkner could write, but I'm specifically pointing to this one aspect of his writing, which is this deliberate and bold choice to slowly dribble the details through a murky filter, heightening the suspense.) Five Stars.


Other news:
Well, I gave blood again. My hemoglobin is still low, but I found a guy with a broken meter!
I am pretty amped about the NBA finals: Celtics/Lakers. Go Rondo!
I am looking forward to the world cup as well. Should be alright.
Went out to the Frying Pan for Tim Barbie Dahl's birthday, which was a great time.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Let's Hear it for the Girls!

We're #7! We're #7!

On April 24 & 25 I traveled to Springfield, PA with the Beacon High School Girls Ultimate team to compete in the O'Hara Invite Girls Ultimate Tournament. You'll recall I'm coaching the team this season with O-Town.

I was very nervous. Being responsible for 16 high school girls for an entire weekend petrifies me. My goals were straight forward: I wanted to return 100% of the girls to their parents by EOD Sunday with none suffering from exposure, dehydration, sunstroke, starvation or major injury. I hoped to avoid felonies and unintended pregnancies for all 16, and was really aiming to have none of them run off to Atlantic City or join the circus.

By these metrics the weekend was a rousing success. At this very moment I believe the are all alive and in relative good health. VICTORY.

By some other standards, the results for the weekend were a bit more mixed. We lost all 4 games on Saturday, at a combined margin of 8-49. We were destroyed. Our girls are just not in the kind of shape the other teams are in and we cannot match the skill level in throwing and catching. This game of ultimate is pretty much no fun at all if you cannot catch.

It was a hard day for the team. Most of them got up around 4 am to get their rides to Philly. They lost 4 games in a row badly. They were in no mood to listen to my tips on swinging the disc off the line, or preventing ACL injuries. When hotel rooms were assigned there were tears, actual tears. You would have thought I was arranging marriages, not assigning 4 teammates rooms for one night in a Howard Johnson.

That evening I had this telling exchange with one of the girls on the team:

Team Member: Boys are so weird.
Me (nodding, grateful to have identified any common ground): They sure are. It gets a little better after college, but not much.
Team Member: Like, take for instance our Boy's ultimate team. They get so mad when the other team scores or they make a mistake.
Me (still nodding, quizzically now): mmm-hmmm.
Team Member: What are they so mad about? Don't they know it's just a game? It doesn't matter.

As you know, I'm not often silenced, but this had me speechless. I nodded dumbly and felt around the table for another breadstick.

Sunday was better. We played two games in the losers bracket and won them both. They were the first wins of the season, and the first back to back wins for the club. We earned a 7th place in the tournament (out of 10) which beat seed and made the long congested Sunday drive back to the city more tolerable for everyone.

Yesterday, the team scrimmaged downtown rivals, Stuyvesant HS in Prospect Park. The team was down 7-1 at half and got the game back to a much more respectable 8-5 final, so we'll count that as progress.

I'm driving them to St. Johnsbury Vermont in a couple of weeks. I just may find religion.


In other news:

Book Reviews:
I have been reading, but a little slack about telling you what I was reading.

A while back, I read the recently released short story collection Look at the Birdie from my beloved Vonnegut. The book's full title is actually, "Look at the Birdie: Unpublished Short Fiction" which pretty much makes no sense at all and I'm sure Kurt would have edited, but I know what they meant. I was a little leery. I love Vonnegut like no other author, but he's published more posthumously than Tupac, and I was concerned that the stuff getting churned out after his death was stuff that he wouldn't have published while he was alive for a reason. Maybe there was some reason, but it isn't that this is poor quality work. It's vintage Vonnegut. I was delighted to find a little bit more of something that I thought had been all used up forever. My favorite short story in the collection is Ed Luby's Key Club, which really should be a movie, likely starring Bruce Willis.

I finally read Letham's Motherless Brooklyn, which I guess Ed Norton is turning into a movie now. I've loved Letham for years. Girl in Landscape and Gun, with Occasional Music were favorites of mine in back in college. I loved Fortress of Solitude. For some reason I just skipped Motherless Brooklyn. Maybe it was that it seemed MB was when Letham really blew up and I wasn't ready to share just yet. At any rate, it's great. Not as good as Fortress, but compelling and quick paced and worth your time as a read. With a protagonist with Tourette's I found myself observing everyone for tics. Maybe we're all on the Tourette's spectrum somewhere and it's amazing how common these little involuntary urges appear in folks when you watch for them. There are all kinds of clicking, tapping and jerking on the plane when it's time to touch down.

Speaking of the plane, for the second time, some jerk sitting in the seat next to me has woken me up, to tell me I was nodding off. "No Kidding, sir! Thanks for the update. Keep me posted as this story develops." This is baffling. We're adults traveling. Having been randomly assigned the seat next to me does not make you my buddy for the field trip. This guy, a fat guy in his 50s or early 60s, had the nerve to wake me up, tell me I was nodding off and then offer that, if I wanted to, I could lean on his shoulder. Grrrr!!! My birthday is coming up, so whoever is getting me that large engraved, "Leave me alone!" sign to wear around my neck, maybe we could accelerate that.

I hate cops. I always have. They are just a violent gang that is funded by my taxes. Other violent gangs at least fund themselves. Here's a VERY DISTURBING video I can't recommend where the cop gang shoots some dogs on a drug raid over possession of marijuana. The shoot a corgi. A corgi!

Links: Thanks to Kalb for this democratic way to determine the most awesomest thing ever.

Fitness-wise, I did another SNERTZ about a week ago and my times continue to improve, though it is leveling off a little. This time I was about two minutes faster overall than the last time. I finished the whole workout in 49:35 (first set = 12:10, second set = 25:40, third set = 37:20). I'm planning another one on Sunday with Erica, so I'll let you know how that goes.

I ran a 10 hard minutes today in the park. That went pretty well.

I've been watching a lot of the NBA playoffs. I'm pretty much in anyone but the Lakers mode. Right now I feel like the Magic are my best hope.

Best to my cousin Madison who is recovering from a major surgery. Hang in there, my dear.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

30 for 30: No Crossover – The Trial of Allen Iverson




Special to you for my bicentennial post, and just in time for NBA playoff kickoff weekend:

I love Allen Iverson. A search on this blog for Allen turns up a mere 5 mentions but he is always on my mind.

You know this. If you’re reading this blog, you know how I feel about Allen Iverson. It is probably one of the first things I ever told you. Chances are even if you found this blog from a link of Chip’s blog, or Mara’s and you barely know me, you know me as that girl who tells stories about Allen Iverson.

Allen & I were freshman together at Georgetown, and I loved watching him play my first two years there. I remember so clearly watching him down at McDonough Hall during ‘Midnight Madness’ which was at 7:00 PM the day after NCAA basketball practice was opened, and quite orderly. The scrimmage against the Armenian national team (or whoever was in town) was my first glimpse of this controversial young man, alleged to have taken the SAT 3 times and only nearly achieved the minimum, (with assistance?) on the final try. Our college newspaper reported he was just out of serving federal prison time for his participation inciting a race riot. The sports pages said that perhaps he would be the best ever. All of that could be true, but it is the last point of which I am most certain. I became sure of that the first time I saw him move up and down the court and I have never wavered in that conviction. Inch for inch, this is certainly true, and he has the most heart.

It’s an understatement to say I followed his career intently at GU. I sent flowers for home games. The term stalker could probably be fairly applied. I loved him like a 1956 teenager loved Elvis, but my Elvis was almost near enough to touch. I watched him on campus and in the dining hall as closely as I watched him on the court. The Hoyas never got beyond the Elite 8 with Allen, but he never really had much help. When he was drafted first over all by the Sixers, already my favorite NBA team, my lifelong dedication was sealed. I followed his NBA career ravenously.

He is the fastest that I ever saw; the best at slicing and driving the lane, the most exciting. He was so tiny among those giants and he was the toughest player in the NBA, driving the lane again and again, drawing hard fouls and getting up to swish the free throws.

I still love him, and though I am loathe to admit it, the additional highlights are likely to be few and far between. He is becoming a creature of the past (those with less attachment to him and more access to reality would say this has already occurred). It is with genuine sadness that I am coming to grips with likely never seeing him play again. (Though I still believe he should go live in Greece and play for the A1 Ethniki and be the best player in the league and highlight reel every night all night. Why not? Go live on an island and get paid Allen!)

So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that ESPN was doing a 30 for 30 on Allen.

Here for you, blogged in real time is my reaction to the program:

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Baby Allen. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Oh my. I wonder if I will have anything more to say. He was a beautiful child. And amazing. This might not turn out to be any more substantive than a 6th grader blogging about the Jonas Brothers.

I’d seen much of this high school footage before, but it is delicious to see again. His football plays, returning kicks for touchdowns, are impressive. He is so much faster than everyone else. The aired-out, windmill dunks from his Bethel games are better than anything from this years NBA all star dunk contest. The alley-oops, too. These are pro-level highlights. Dun-nun-nunt, Dun-nun-nunt!

The film focuses on Hampton, VA as a racially divided community. The film posits that the Allen Iverson trial is simply a lens that depicts the racial tension of the community. Race is something I’ve never felt comfortable commenting on. As privileged and white, I’m probably wrong on race and willing to let those with firsthand experience comment on the subject. But this is a 90 minute film, and it’s about race. Shift nervously on the couch.

I wonder why he wears #10 on his Bethel HS football footage. Is #3 not a QB number? Maybe someone already had that on the football team.

The commentary on his childhood is stuff I had heard before, but really makes me laugh at the college me. What was I really going to say to this kid if he ever did talk to me? I didn’t understand how different someone could be. He lived in a 2 room house with 14 people. He missed school to take care of his baby sister when his mother didn’t come home for days at a time. Everyone had to wear boots in his house because the floor was covered in raw sewage that backed up from the faulty plumbing. Seriously, what were he and I going to talk about? I bet Allen was real worked up about who was running for GUSA. I bet he cared a lot that my college humor newspaper had satirized the student health and financial aid departments. (“…And if you do have these calculators, as you say, why is that you do not use them?)

His mother was 15 when she had him. 15. I’m trying to imagine the type of mother I might have been 19 years ago. I know that sack of flower I carried around for home-ec didn’t survive the 6 week term. Mike Brick stuck a fork in it when I left it in the debate room unsupervised.

The bowling alley brawl: this film tries to bring all the angles and conspiracy theories to light. What do I think now, having seen this? That Allen’s status as an elite athlete hindered him and then helped him at every turn, doubling back on itself like a shoelace. The fight seems like no big deal really. A standard high school squabble. Chairs are thrown. The biggest injuries are 6 stitches, a concussion and a broken arm. Stuff like that happened at my high school all the time, in the halls. This is misdemeanor disturbing the peace at max, disorderly conduct, (I don’t know what any of these terms actually mean, but I watched a lot of LA Law growing up.)

Who started it, the blacks or whites? Who knows? Was the N word-used? If it was, does that justify the violence? Who knows? This just seems to me like a not-that-big-a-deal fight in a bowling alley. They all probably should have been given tickets and a 1-month ban from the bowling alley, and no more free shoe rental for life.

I guess a bunch of white people in a predominantly black bowling ally shouldn’t start trouble and then be surprised when trouble goes down.

But Allen was famous, and it seems this was a chance to make someone famous pay. It was a fight, and fights have 2 sides, but there were only blacks charged. The only reason he was singled out was because people knew who he was and could identify him.

The night of his arrest Allen Iverson scored 42 points, and weeks later won a state championship. (Damn!)

Director Steve James spends most of the film interviewing columnist and local activists on either side of the story from the trial. What stands out the most is that the introduction of race forces everything, excuse the phrase, into black and white. There can be no middle ground. For the whites, Allen Iverson was a felon that should serve 15 years for inciting a mob. He swung a chair at a defenseless white woman, and he should be held responsible for this evil act. For blacks, he and his friends also charged were persecuted angels, innocent 100%. It’s probably somewhere in between. Maybe they shouldn’t have been in a fight in a bowling alley, but as the white trial photographer said, they probably should have done a week picking up trash, not been convicted as felons. For most people in either camp, there are only the two extremes and no middle ground.

Pow! There is a black and white close-up still of Baby Allen’s face that fills the entire screen at about the 20-minute mark in this film. If the TV broke right then, and never changed again, that would be a fully valid use of the technology.

Allen was charged with “Maiming by mob”. All that had to be proven was he was present, as a member of the ‘mob’. The charge is abusive. But it was on the books, because it had never been repealed.

Terrible mistakes were made at trial. A judge trial rather than the jury trial was chosen, by Allen’s pro-bono attorney and this was a major disadvantage. One of the judge’s defenders describes Judge Overton as, “not particularly bigoted.” Oh okay, just the typical amount of bigotry for a white Virginia judge. That is the best thing you could say about this judge. I learned working for a law firm at Georgetown that a jury of your peers could be a critical tool in the justice system, especially in matters of race, and Allen was deprived of a jury trial.

To me, the most powerful footage of the film is of the sentencing. Imagine being 17 and hopeful of a NCAA scholarship to a big program, followed by a career in the NBA, and hearing that you were going to serve 15 years in prison and lose it all. At that moment, I would have vomited, and then cried out. My knees would have buckled, I would have wept. I would have torn at my clothes and hair. The toughest player ever to play in the NBA just swallowed hard and stood there, like a little man. I cried watching that.

But as much as his fame and talent got him into this mess (he never would have been identified if everyone didn’t know who he was, never would have been charged if he weren’t worth making an example out of) his fame then came to his aid. Community activists rallied, marched, raised money, recorded rap songs, and generally did everything they could think of to get him out. It’s hard to think this kind of groundswell would have occurred if Bubba-Chuck weren’t shouldering the hopes of the entire community. The biggest town halls in the history of Hampton were convened in Allen’s name.

Now half-way through, at the 46-minute mark, director Steve James is reflecting on the racism (both latent and overt) in his hometown of Hampton when he was growing up, twenty years before the Iverson trial. Maybe this is news to him, but I’m not at all surprised that Virginia was really racist in the 70s. I’m pretty sure it’s really racist now as are most states in the South, and to be fair a lot of places in the North.

Now at the 52-minute mark, James is listing folks that are unwilling to speak to him on the record about the trial. One person who does reluctantly come forward asks what the purpose of digging all this up is again could possibly be? What really could be gained? That seems like a fair question. Sensationally, this is interesting and ESPN will sell some ads. I’m naturally glad for any airtime for AI, but I doubt any additional reflection on the past will lead to apologies or racial healing.

At the 53-minute mark, there it is again. The glorious, angelic, black and white headshot of baby Allen (mentioned above at the 20-minute mark). It’s by far the most visually compelling thing in this documentary and James knows it.

58-min: Tom Brokaw interviews Allen in prison. Hampton takes some PR lumps when the sun shines on the kangaroo court they are running down there.

60-min: The film advances that Allen was done in, or at least not assisted by, not only the white community, but upper class blacks that didn’t want to rock the boat for this lower class, street kid. House help. Uncle Toms.

64-min – Allen Iverson is denied bond. This is unheard of for this type of crime.

71-min – In one way, Allen is lucky: in his timing. The first elected black governor, Douglas Wilder is nearing the end of his term. Community activists (and Bruce Hornsby! Mandolin Rain!) petition Wilder to pardon AI. He does, and later the other convicted young men. Allen is now free.

73-min – Allen is tutored extensively by Sue Lambiotte to get his GED, as he is not allowed to return to Bethel High School. The footage of his mock high school graduation ceremony from the learning center is of a proud and happy young man. He laughs genuinely and smiles broadly.

77-min – Allen is chosen #1 overall in the NBA draft. After dragging Allen Iverson behind a truck, the city of Hampton has the gall to host Allen Iverson Day and a parade. Since they didn’t kill him, they might as well cash in.

83-min – Snap back to the present, Allen weeps openly when thanked for granting a college scholarship. The toughness and the rawness when he speaks makes it all so clear. He’s told himself he didn’t need anyone or anything since he was a little kid, that he could do it all alone, and he pretty much has. Fine, now you’re gonna put me in jail, now you’re gonna hate on me, go ahead. I don’t need you. I don’t need anyone. I don’t need to listen to coach.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

James justifies the film in hoping that viewers will give more consideration to the struggle around race and sports. What does it mean that the NBA and NFL are dominated by black athletes? Does this actually condemn scores of children who hope to succeed in the way of their heroes? I never for one moment thought that I could be like Dr. J, or Charles Barkley so I never could have traded time doing my homework for taking extra free throws, but maybe for some kids this distant, improbable goal serves as an out for pursuing more realistic endeavors.

I think it’s telling that even that tiny fraction that do make the pros, don’t really succeed in the way we imagine. Many (60%?) NBA stars live paycheck to paycheck to support the superstar lifestyle, play short careers and end up filing for bankruptcy. Right now, no one knows the extent of Allen’s gambling debts and if he is financially secure. Even the way out is no way out.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Yet another lesson I am incapable of learning...

There are some things I just cannot learn. I have some kind of psychological block. I've told myself many times, and I continue to repeat the mistake.

Pretty much every time I vacation in a warm place, I forget to bring any kind of hoodie or jacket and have to buy one there on a chilly evening.

Similarly, when I am guarding the dump/bail, I often over-commit to the swing side and let off the much more dangerous cut up the line. I see this develop in front of me one moment before it occurs in that sickening way that you might realize you are locking your keys in the car a split second before you actually do it, but too late to stop your arm from clicking the door closed. I see that I am out of position and lean in to chase, but the cut is made, and the throw is usually off before I set the mark.

Yet another disappointing recurrence is my ordering of custom kicks, waiting for their delivery with increasing anticipation and my crushed expectations when they finally arrive. I just did this a third time with Mi Adidas. Every shoe company has a program like this. First I ordered Nike ID Dunks years ago. They were shoddily assembled and poor quality materials. A couple years later I remade the mistake again with Puma's Mongolian Shoe BBQ.

Just today I got my CMFK 55's out of the box from China. This is what the website led me to expect:
Hot!

And this is what I got:


Basically the same shoe, but everything is a touch off. The CMFK is a bit too small. The light blue is more smurf puke than robin's egg. The dark blue is more navy than royal. The tan is too dark. The eyelets are metal, not royal. Most bothersome, the assembly is poor. There is a large gap between the body of the shoe and the heel cap. The toe cap isn't actually a separate piece, but a false seam.

Despite my long term love of nice kicks, I don't really have the vocabulary to explain why these are shoddy, but I see it in a second, and it disgusts me. Seams that should be sewn are glued. The synthetic upper is stiffer and shinier than typical material. The seams are clumsier. They look a bit like shoes you would expect to see on a Cabbage Patch Doll.

Today, I've given a lot of thought to why this happens. This could be so great, and instead it is such a kick in the gut. Seeing your dream shoe poorly executed is much worse than never seeing it.

I think it's a function of two causes. One, there's clearly more labor involved in this type of custom shoe and I'm always surprised that the price point is about the same. My Nike ID dunks were much cheaper than any LE dunks I'd purchased. Same price, more labor means they need to make up the margin somewhere, and it guess it's done on shoddy materials. Second, the lego- style swap assembly required to customize every component seems to mean that the overall assembly is substandard. The pieces don't fit as cleanly together as they would on a large scale run.

Ah well. I'll be rocking these. I mean, they are CMFK-55s, but I won't enjoy it like I could. Stay tuned here for me complaining about some crappy custom Reeboks in about 18 months.

In other news, Deirdre has shiny new tires. Jesse said I needed them. I don't really know why. It is probably a conspiracy with the local bike shop and he gets a cut.

At least once a week, I take a flight that takes off at 6:00 AM. This has me getting up at 3:45 AM a little more than suits my constitution, but I do see more sunrises than I would otherwise. Here's one my iPhone camera doesn't quite capture but I thought was pretty:

Next weekend, I am taking the Beacon Girls to the O'Hara Invite. I am very excited for them and also sick with worry about keeping an eye on the girls in the hotel.

There's been more running, SNERTZing and Tabata. I'll let you know when the Mets call me up.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tacos Fooled, Scheme Hatched

Happy April. As much previewed, last weekend I went to WAFC's Fools Fest with my girls from Flash Taco. It was pretty much a perfect time.

Here's the gang:

Yes, I am wearing a taco costume. I wore it for every game. I threw the first goal of the tournament, and I caught a score in every game. We were a fun group.

I've spent my fair share of Fool's Fests huddled in a car during byes, cursing the rain, but this year the weather was just perfect, sunny and warm all three days. It was great to play with everyone. Maximum fun was had.

There are about 700 pictures of the weekend. Here's a few of my favorites:

I had so much fun at Fool's that I didn't vomit fire later that day when I learned that the Eagles had traded away near certainty of making the playoffs and one of the top 5 QBs in the entire NFL, inside the division, for the 37th best draft entrant in 2010 (read NOBODY). What am I supposed to do with this? Seriously, Donovan, who I love, is going to get shredded by that nonexistent offensive line in Washington. And how is that supposed to make me feel? I hate the Redskins, so I should be glad when their QB gets sacked, but I won't be glad about Donovan. And what about the Eagles? Should I be glad when they go 4 and 12, because they made this terrible decision? What about the Eagles/Giants games? I may need to move rather than bear Jesse's gloating about this. What if this means a bigger role for Vick? Getting sicker. I have been an Eagles fan since I was 7 years old. I have a poster of Randall Cunningham in my bathroom. I am so sick about this, I feel so betrayed that I may have to forsake the Eagles entirely. I am thinking about being a full-time Jets fan. This should provide about the same level of gut wrenching pain I've come to expect from the NFL.

Speaking of nausea, I did another SNERTZ on Thursday. You'll recall that last time I puked twice. This time there was a considerable improvement. I finished the whole workout in 51:35 (first set = 13:30, second set = 28:00, third set = 40:00). That's about 8 minutes better, which is a huge improvement, but really only shaves off the puking time. Saturday I'm playing women's pickup. Sunday I'm planning some horrible sprinting before a game of pick-up.

Spring is for real here in NYC and I am loving it. Looking forward, this weekend I'm coaching Beacon on Sunday morning. The girls have an overnight trip to Springfield, PA coming up April 24-25. You know I'm not religious, but if you pray you might consider praying for me about this. 16 high school girls with me in a hotel. I am terrified that I will lose one of them, or one of them will try to run away and join the circus or get married or something.

Next week I'm working in Reston, VA. This week I worked in Knoxville and Reston and took two 6 am flights. Killer.

I am still reading for the 20 minutes each flight before I'm allowed to get out my laptop. I recently finished A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami. I liked a lot of the prose and descriptions, but in the end the plot proved a bit to metaphysical for me. It was as if Murakami wanted to write certain passages, but couldn't be too bothered to put together a narrative that those passages fit inside.

Oh yeah, This just in: I went ahead and hatched the scheme to form my own women's team: WTF. After talking smack about it all off-season it was time to put up and get serious, and how do you show you mean business, by starting a blog of course. Here's my blog for Women's Team Frisbee.

Thanks to Benji for sending along this pretty awesome clip:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March Madness Effectivly Treated with Zyprexa

Things are looking up.

I had a great time in Vegas for the opening weekend of March Madness, baring the catastrophic, gut-wrenching opening round losses by my Hoyas and U of L. I pretty much did not leave the Sports Book at the Red Rock, but here's a picture of the fountains at the Bellagio.

Speaking of water, like the first robin of spring, the city has turned the drinking fountains on in the parks. I'm always glad about that. Much improved runs around the park and Nalgene refilling at pick-up. Today I did a lap around Prospect Park and Forsythia bushes and Tulip trees were blooming. It was gorgeous out.

In other local news, we've had a bit of wildlife around the city.

This Thursday morning with Beacon went really well and the girls ran their offense and looked a lot like an ultimate team. We are making progress.

Afterward, I stuck around the field and did another SNERTZ. Total time 59:33. That is pretty bad but includes not one, but two separate instances where I had to stop and puke in a trash can. (First on the ground jump + 40 yard sprints, and then halfway through the 5-10-5s.) You know it's bad when the homeless people who sleep in the park are concerned for your well-being. The second time I spewed, a guy dozing on a bench asked me if maybe I should call it a day. He's no trainer! I gutted out the end but the last few 'sprints' were anything but.

I'm planning another SNERTZ for Saturday. I'll let you know if I can bring that time down a little (but it'll be after two hours of pickup with the rockstars from Bent, so who know what kind of shape I'll be in.)

This weekend is about watching the NCAA, doing some cross training, and women's pickup on Saturday with the ladies from Bent. Tucker's birthday is on Saturday night so that should be fun.

Great news that Lindy's latest test showed no evidence of the return of cancer. Thanks to all of you who continue to ask how she is doing.

6 days to Fools!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Life Fail?

There's nothing like running intervals by yourself in the rain to make you take a little life assessment.

Things are not going well.

I lazed out again today and did 10 hard minutes, which is apparently my favorite way to limp through pretending to cross train. Not sure who I'm fooling or why I bother. I guess since all my friends moved away or got hurt I need to get a trainer. I hate having to pay for friends. Doesn't anyone want to get into game shape?

Tomorrow I am doing a Snertz, in the rain. By myself. Hoo-ray. Maybe I will try to get the slumlord in on that, but he says he is 'retired'.

I got fired. I am no longer a famous west coast internet personality. Now I am just a schmuck like all of you. The slumlord is still working on my new business cards, so I guess I'll still get ones that say, "Famous West Cost Internet Personality" with a strikethrough, and "Just a Nobody Like You" below that. My editor tells me that there is no more money for freelance writers and I have heard enough about the death of the newspaper to believe him. It was really fun while it lasted and thanks for checking out my posts.

Yesterday at 6:30 AM at practice some of the girls on my wayward High School team asked if we could just stop practice and watch the boys. This makes me sick and sad. I cannot imagine asking any of my high school coaches this. What are they thinking? They must think I am such a joke, and they must also not want to get any better which is at least part of the reason we are so much worse than the Bad News Bears.

I hate the off season! 22 days until Fools with Flash Taco.

That reminds me of the old days and made me want to throw this up:

Oh My! Mel feeding baby Ezra who is now 5?!?!? Since then Goldy's married and knocked up. And Tucker is married?!?!?! And Brenda is married!!!!! LP and Jess have both gone off to and finished (?) med school at Emory. Taliesin is married and Michelle had a baby and got married. Kim Koo and Becca got married and retired. Crystal tore 2 (TWO!) ACLs. Erica retired and Redhook got an IKEA. RIP Ambush.

Tonight I am going to MSG to see the Hoyas play Marquette. Hoya Saxa! I am getting all geared up for March Madness.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

There are a couple more Olympic hockey posts up at the Stranger here.

This has been the most prolific month for 'Spondence since its early days. I think there are several factors contributing to this. One, I've been traveling less as I've been working in NYC some and ultimate is in the off-season, so I have more time for you. Also, writing for the Stranger has made me feel like I need to set the record straight about what is really going on in my life somewhere else on the internet.

Last night at Marino's birthday Ali reminded me of this near-perfect literal video interpretation, which I've posted before here, but I just watched it again and laughed out loud and you should too. There's nothing wrong with reruns if they are awesome.

Also, you know I love viewing gruesome sports injuries and yesterday's hit by Ryan Shawcross on my beloved Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey is one of the worst I've seen in Premiere League, though this you tube clip really does not do it justice.

Today I went to the park to run a fartlek pyramid and I could not make myself do it alone. I did 10 hard minutes again instead. I thought about it and I would rather get in a barrel of snakes than run that workout. I would rather you put that mask from 1984 with the rats that eat your face on me, so go ahead. I will not run that workout alone. So there.

My Hoyas are wildly inconsistent so I can't be too shocked about the loss to Notre Dame and this weekend was no better for U of K. Syracuse is really scaring me as we near the Big East tourney.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Saving your life, only so I can control it

Apparently, I have become the man. Look out. I am now the New York City Metro Sectional Coordinator for the women’s division for the UPA. (Thanks a lot Dorko!)

I’m a known UPA loather. They are well established as consistently taking the ultimate out of ultimate, being pedants for pedantic’s sake and generally not supporting the members. I think you remember when they banned Ali and Amanda for ALL OF NATIONALS for what they agreed was a typo. They even suspended their own rule, I. C:

“Captain’s Clause: A game may be played under any variation of the rules agreed upon by the captains of the teams involved. In tournament play, variations are subject to approval by the event organizer. Such things as game length, field dimensions, number of players and stall count can easily be altered to suit the level of play. Before a game starts, each team designates one captain to represent them in disagreements and arbitration.”

The point of the captain’s clause is that our sport is THE ONLY sport where the players have all the supremacy. Not coaches, not referees or officials. Not jackasses in Boulder. Players. Calling rank with the ‘event organizer’ term about an irrational suspension served only the UPA’s need to be in control and ‘right’.

Not top be outdone, last year those jackasses made the cool kids from Bashing Piñatas play in beaters because a few of the jerseys did not have the same sponsorship on the back. Nice work UPA. You’ve got that Letter of the Law down. Now if you could ever learn the spirit of it.

I think there’s an inherent tension between the core feature of our sport being player supremacy and an overarching body making decisions. The UPA is definitely a necessary evil. It’s nice to have insurance. Someone has to organize the national qualifications. But just like politics, egomaniacs that like to be in charge are the ones who run for positions and then act exactly like you would expect.

Anyway, now I’m one of those egomaniacs, but on a local level. Look for me to wield my power with a clenched fist and a bloody disc. I’m thinking Sectionals will be single elimination, losers put to death on the field by the winning team. Might help hold registrations down to a manageable number.

Last Sunday I took an 8-hour CPR and first aid certification course recommended, but not required, for my coaching position. I am ready now, so do not give me an excuse to compress your chest. I learned a lot but here are a few things to keep in mind if you don’t have time to take a course:

1) Get help first. Someone who’s lost consciousness, isn’t breathing or doesn’t have a pulse needs to get to a hospital ASAP. If you are alone, you need to call 911 first.

2) If you know help is on the way, you can try to keep a person’s brain from dieing using rescue breathing and CPR.

3) Give two 1-second breaths into the person’s mouth (after opening the airway and sealing the nose). You’ll see the person’s chest rise.

4) Give 30 hard chest compressions right on the sternum. Pretty fast (a rate of 100 per minute). You need to push way down (2 inches) to actually compress the heart to make blood circulate, so you’ll likely tear the cartilage around the breastbone and maybe break the sternum. That is the least of this person’s problems, so don’t let that stop you.

5) Keep up the cycle of 30 compressions and 2 breaths until real help arrives or it is no longer safe to continue.

This is no alternative for taking the course, but the way I see it, if you are around someone who is not breathing and no one else is better equipped, they are going to die soon, so you might as well try to help. The outcome of trying and doing this wrong won’t be any worse than not trying.

Today we got 17 or so inches of snow. It is pretty out, but has delayed my getting into shape. I was going to try and rally folks on Saturday for a cross-training and ACL tear prevention session but something tells me that more than a foot of snow on the ground is going to put a damper on attendance.

Also a problem is that usual support structure is not in place. Dorko moved to Philadelphia after she finished laundering drug money for the Mexican drug cartels . Ali played on her plantar fasciitis too long in cleats and has been recovering FOREVER. P-Funk hurt her hammies at Kaimana. Kate has some cocktail of hamstring injury and Sciatica that threatens to sideline her for too long as well. Mara is in Rwanda. That is no fair. I cannot do this on my own. I need you there to watch me or I will slack.

All of this is to begin the long process of making excuses. I did a hill workout in deep sleet yesterday. I ran the Prospect Park hill stoplight to stoplight 6 times. It sucked and I ran slow. Though I told myself I was going to run each of them ‘all out’ I ran them all in about exactly the same time which, of course, means I was dogging it. If you run hard, your times increase. If you don’t run hard, you’ll stay the same, which is a complete waste of time.

I had the exact same time on the first 3: 60 seconds on the first part to the fire hydrant (where slacker slumlord Jesse begins his hill) and 2:40 total. All 3 exactly the same, to the second. On the fourth one I passed a guy so I had to run hard to keep that up, and finished 2:30. On the fifth one I did the universal 'next to last one let up' and ran a 2:55. On the 6th I think I have the Hawthorne effect to thank that I did the 6 reps at all, because I was all alone in that park, and if I didn’t have you to tell about it, I probably would just have run home. and final one I tried to psyche myself up as much as possible and ran, you guessed it, a 2:40.

Here we are on Day 18 of the month-off drinking. So far so good. It’s nice to be one the second half. It has mostly been annoying to hang out in bars with my friends and not drink. Saturday is Marino’s birthday and I’ll be there for a while so maybe I’ll try O’Doules.

Maybe you don’t need to know about every one, but I’ve had another Stranger post. You can see all of my posts here sorted by author.

Tonight I’ll write some kind of preview for the gold medal game. Oh Canada!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Finer Points of Time Travel

Hey there. Here's a few recent pics off Leroy:

Sorry I had my finger over the lens and I am too lazy to crop it out. This is a new program to allow people refill water bottles rather than buy new ones. I love it. Thanks Aveda!


This is your typical truck in NYC. What you got Vancouver?

This is Prospect Park, and that is a giant snowball Stonehenge fort.

That's me by the subway by my apartment. The sleeping bag coat is really warm, and has recently been named Sheila. Person-sized, Sheila is my quiet friend who tags along with me when it's cold out, and who needs her own chair.

A few notes on time, and its passage. I ran around the park again today. We all know that doesn't make you better at anything, not even running around the park. Maybe it makes me a little better at singing along with my iPod shuffle. Practice makes perfect.

No, it's the second half of February and that means it's 'time', (Maybe way past time, folks?). Time for intervals. Time for fartleks. Time for pain. Today I ran the '10 hard minutes' workout for maybe the 100th time in my life. I've written here before about my ability to be re-astonished about the same things, and my inability to learn certain things (Pack a jacket! Bring a jacket, even if you think it will be warm: Vegas, West Palm Beach, LA, Miami, Adelade, Howth. Pack a jacket. Why is that so hard?!?!?)

This is another example of the phenomena. You know the workout: run for 10 minutes to warm up and then run '10 hard minutes', with a minute off to recover in between each off them. I like to tell myself that 'the odds are on.' So I ran hard the 11th, 13th, and so on until the 29th minute. It went okay, but every minute of the workout, I was re-astonished about time. Every minute! Fool! Every 'on' minute I try not to look at my watch until I think it must be almost over and every on minute I look at about 20 seconds in. Even when I count. Every 'off' minute, I look at my watch at what I think is the half-way point, and instead it's about 53 seconds in and I have finally stopped gasping like a fish in the boat and just about have to start running again.

How can I be unable to learn that? How can time in pain run so much more slowly than time out of pain that even when I tell myself that it just seems like time the minute is up and really I have to wait longer, that still doesn't get me close?

One thing I thought on the 27th minute was that, it does seem that the best way to slow time down is to go as fast as you can, which made me smile and I think is perhaps good approach for living your life. Give that a go and let me know how it works out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Brief update on the month off alcohol (which is actually passing fairly quickly): So far it's going pretty well. I don't really miss drinking. 10 days down. There have been a couple of annoyances. Twice since the start of the month on the wagon I've gotten the Delta complementary upgrade to first class. I typically take this as a personal challenge to drink as much Woodford as they'll give me. Anything else is like leaving change in the ashtray of a rental when you return it. Take what is yours! Instead I've sipped my club soda and it's never tasted so flat.

Socially, it's a bit of a bummer as well. I went to a birthday party that would have been a lot more fun if I had been drinking. More bothersome, I just don't have a way to see people as I mentioned a couple posts ago. I now have two more folks on the 'let's get a drink' backlog, waiting to catch up when I start acting like a normal adult again. See you in 20 days Matthew and Erica. Have one for me.

And finally, I'm adding a category I didn't cover in my Julie Andrews post, this is my favorite ever ultimate jersey (Ryan Scribner, designer). Hot!