Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Poor Boy Blues - Chet Atkins (cancer)
Behind Blue Eyes - The Who (RIP John Entwistle, cocaine induced heart attack)
Smile - Michael Jackson (cardiac arrest)
Boom Boom - John Lee Hooker (old age)
Flirtin' With Disaster - Molly Hatchet (heart failure)
Cover Of The Rolling Stone - Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show (RIP John Wolters, cancer)
My Funny Valentine - Ella Fitzgerald (diabetes)
Middle Name - Rory Gallagher (liver transplant complications)
What'd I Say - Ray Charles (liver disease)
Will It Go Around In Circles - Billy Preston (kidney failure)
Round and Round - Ratt (RIP Robbin Crosby, overdose)
Peg - Steely Dan (RIP Jim Hodder, drowning)
Wang Dang Doodle - Koko Taylor (gastro surgery complications)
I Can Tell - Bo Diddley (heart failure)
She's A Beauty - The Tubes (RIP Vince Welnick, suicide)
My Girl - The Temptations (RIP David Ruffin, overdose)
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Truth be told, I was born an alliteration for the parents named me as such. They named me something close to Abigail Anderson. Close. And while I was dating, I only laid eyes upon others whose namesake included an alliteration. All of my husbands have alliterations for names.
Can you image the saddness on each of my wedding days? For unless I married an Aston or an Adams or even an Ackerman, I had to say bye-bye to my appointed alliteration. I didn't have to give up my last name and alliteration, per se, but I'm mostly a traditional gal and want my chitlins to share the same last name as me.
Hello husband. Adios alliteration.
Can you see why, when naming myself for the blogging community, it was important that this blogging community name have an alliteration? RR. Rabid Runner. Rabid fer short.
I have this mom. She's an exceptional character. Full of humor and full of love for the English language. So much did she love this English language, that she spent close to 20 years in a high school library. She also spent my entire existence advocating proper grammar. This mom of mine was rather fond of the clever placement of words. And one trick she taught was the use of an alliteration. An alliteration forces one to be clever. It makes the mind stretch beyond the obvious to find something somewhat "off."
My mom has her own alliterative agname. It's Summy Smeltzer. Funny, yes? Yes! But what's funnier, is how the nickname came to be. Her Ma and Pa needed mats for both the front and back doors. So they ran on down to the hardware store and browsed through the bargain bin for mats. Lo and behold, there were two mats in that bargain bin. Both were custom orders from folks who wanted their last names printed on their welcome mats. Both were printed incorrectly. Both were tossed aside as unacceptable. One was printed "Summy" and the other "Smeltzer."
So the Ma and Pa (My Grandma and Pa) purchased these mats for use at their door steps. Summy in front. Smeltzer in the back. Her friends thought it was funny and began to call her Summy Smeltzer. People still call her Summy and Summy Smeltzer when she's in trouble. (Like when she took my brother and four of his friends to the top of the Alpine Loop with big wheels. Let 'em ride those babies all the way down. The only big wheel that made it without falling apart was the Green Machine. Remember the Green Machine?)
Why do I tell you this story? Well several reasons. To show a little bit of heritage and to give a gander at where I came from. But mostly I tell you this because Summy isn't doing so well now. She's currently in intensive care recovering from the emergency removal of a blood clot on her brilliant little brain, a clot that came as a result of a stroke.
So if you're the prayin' kind, can I borrow a prayer or two? Just ask Whoever it is you pray to for help with Rabid's mom. They'll know who you're talking about. And while you're at it, could you spare a prayer for Stepmonster Moe? With his sweetheart in a fragile fix, he could use a bit of comfort too.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
So, I live in Utah. Did you know that? Most of you live here with me, or have lived here at some point, so what I'm about to discuss will make complete and total sense to you. Those of you outside of Utah might not understand. I'll do my best to make it make sense.
Our state "Place" - the one in the which Brigham Young called "This Is" - is quite a funny place. I'm sure that if'n Mr. Young were to make his way back, through Emigration Canyon of course, he'd stop, look around and holler "This is a Funny Place," instead of the historical "This is the Place." Sure of it. The reasoning for my supposition of Brigham calling our state funny, is all because of something called Mormon Marketing.
Utah's primary religious persuasion is LDS, also called The Church of Jesus Christ, also called Mormon. And by primary, I do mean primary. Like 72% of Utahns are Mormon (according to All About Mormons Dot Com.) I'm part of that 72% and could leave you all with a paragraph or two that describes how proud I am to be Mormon, but we Mormons aren't supposed to be prideful. So I'm proud to say that I wasn't lifted up with pride about my religious persuasion.
Mormons have their own language. Did you know that? That talk above yonder, that terminology about pride and being lifted up, that was Mormon talk. Well, technically it was also Bible talk for there are many references to being lifted up with pride in the Bible. First Timothy for starts.
Although I did grow up in Utah, I did not technically grow up Mormon. (It's complicated.) I spent a great deal of time and energy making fun of Mormons and their talk. But then 'round about the age of 25, I had a softening of the heart (more Mormon talk) that sent me on over ta' the Bright Side. I call it the Bright Side because it truly has created a Bright Side I never thought possible. True story. No kidding aside. So now I'm one of those full-fledged Mormon personages that I used to make fun of. Oh the internal conflict! Still Bright Side conflict, mind you, but internal conflict none-the-less.
Before I continue, it's important that I insert a big fat red exclaimer, but in a black font: I am not an authorized spokesperson for my religion. No siree. That's why the Good One Above has placed me behind the piano on Sundees. For the last five years, that's where I've been - behind the piano. Those in charge don't want me flapping my sarcastic gums and cynical vocals. Incidentally, if I do talk, no one will hear me because I'm way over there behind the piano. That Good One Above is so wise, yes?
Ever sa' often, there are little things that Mormons do that kinda just make me shake my head and say, "What the heck!" This "What the heck!" phrase is also Mormon talk. More often, it's "Oh my heck!" but "What the heck!" works just as good as "Oh my heck!" for getting the exclamatory point across - whatever that exclamatory point may be.
It seems the Mormons in Utah have some trouble determining the difference between culture and religious doctrine. It seems. Not all Utah Mormons are this way, I'm not saying that. I'm not trying to make blanket statements here, even though it appears that I'm making blanket statements, which is way funny because you should see the blankets I've made (bad!) There are many Mormons out there that do not know the difference between culture and religious doctrine.
Since some Mormons presume their cultural anomalies to be religious doctrine, business owners around here go to great lengths to capitalize on it. They take a skewed cultural tradition and billboard it to the bank. If you're a business owner, it makes complete sense to harness this 72% Mormon populace and the money that this 72% spends, don't you think? I mean, if you're marketing a product, it makes complete sense to find a campaign or two that speaks Mormon.
Would you care for an example of this Mormon Marketing? Oh good. I was hoping you'd say yes. Here in town, there's this store, boutique actually, called.... wait for it.... get this... Sexy Modest.
Why is it that I'm the only one around here that finds the naming of this women's clothing store drop-down-roll-around funny? I mean seriously. Sexy Modest?
Let's break it down. According to the Dictionary Communists at Dictionary.com (just kidding, they aren't communists, I just think it's funny to refer to dot com as being short for communists,) here's the definition for Sexy:
–adjective, sex-ey, sex·i·er, sex·i·est.
1. concerned predominantly or excessively with sex; risqué: a sexy novel. 2. sexually interesting or exciting; radiating sexuality: the sexiest professor on campus. 3. excitingly appealing; glamorous: a sexy new car.
And now it's time for Modest:
1. having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one's merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions. 2. free from ostentation or showy extravagance: a modest house. 3. having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior, speech, dress, etc.; decent: a modest neckline on a dress. 4. limited or moderate in amount, extent, etc.: a modest increase in salary.
Sexy Modest. Isn't that the funniest freakin' thing you've ever heard? I can see it now. Mormon mom of 14-year-old daughter says, "Dolores dear, we need to get you some new clothes. Your new clothes must be modest because our religion promotes modesty. But Dolores dear, you should still dress sexy. I want you sexy. I want every dude in school, every dude in town, lusting after your tight little bod."
That was bad, sorry. But still! Geez! Maybe the public around here has a different meaning for sexy. Who knows! My definition for sexy is rather clear, however. To me, sexy means Jump Me Now.
To fit in with the culture, we could modify that definition of course. How about: Jump Me Now Modestly.
***Notice that I didn't include a link to their web site. I don't want the owner hunting me down and inviting me to lunch. Good grief I'd have to wear something sexy. If you don't believe me, just get out your googley and search fer it. Sexy. Modest. Utah.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Spouse has a new bike.
Do you wanna know the best way to sneak in a major purchase? Like a bike? Send your endearing sweetheart away on a 24-hour foot race, like, say, oh, The Wasatch Back Relay. And after your sweetheart has been awake for, oh, say, 30 hours straight, and has run her guts out, up hill for many miles, send a text message that goes something like this:
"On a scale of 1 to 37 how mad would you be if I bought a new bike?"
Calculating, right? Also notice that the scale of 1 to 37 was sent on the very last day of this endearing spouse's (my) 37th year. As if that's not a reminder that I'll never be that young again. Such a calculating little floozy isn't he?
I love that word, floozy. Spouse is such a floozy. A floozy with a new bike.
At our house, we only have so much room for bikes. And since Spouse added a new bicycle to the residence, it means one of the old bikes must go. After many minutes of meticulous meditation, we decided the Nishiki must go. It's an old and heavy bike. No one wants an old heavy bike these days so we left it on the front lawn, hoping... praying... pleading... that someone would just come by and steal it.
After leaving this Nishiki treasure on the front lawn, we ventured out for a bike ride. We came home to this:
Who do you think put that there? Santa? The Easter Bunny? The Bike Fairy? I'll tell you who put that there. It was the Filthy Nelsons. And they had the help of Evil Zimm. (P.S. Look at the green of that grass. That's some green-ass-grass. I'll bet our grass is greener than the Joneses. Or at least greener than the Filthy Nelson's.)
ACT-choo-ly, and for the record, I called Spouse (after the "how mad" text) and told him to either buy the dumb bike or shut up about it. I swear. For a whole year now, I've heard him yak-yak-yak-yak about a new bike. All day and into the night, yak-yak-yak. You'd think this new bike was a naked lady. I don't really care about the price tag for this new bike - pay any and all amounts of money - just don't talk about it anymore!
A new bike warrants a playlist, don't you think?
Bicycle Race - Queen
Enjoy The Ride - Morcheeba Feat. Judie Tzuke
Buildings & Mountains - The Republic Tigers
Take Me Home Country Roads - John Denver
Misty Mountain Hop - Led Zeppelin
Happy Trails - Dale Evans and Roy Rogers
Ride - The Dandy Warhols
Rollin' Through the Sunshine - Trailer Choir
Heaven's Trail (No Way Out) - Tesla
Middle Of The Road - The Pretenders
Why Don't We Do It In The Road? - The Beatles
King Of The Road - Roger Miller
Moving Mountains - Thrice
Country Road - James Taylor
Rural Route - John Mellencamp
The High Road - Broken Bells
When The Road Runs Out - Blonde Redhead + Devastations
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot
Slow Ride - Sublime
Bike - Pink Floyd
Tall Boy - Widespread Panic
Incidentally, I'm using this new fangled Marsedit thing for blog posts. The paragraphing is weird. So bear with me 'til I figure it out.
Monday, June 21, 2010
|1.||676||Full Nelson||0||UT||1.||Coed Open||22:47:07.5|
|2.||1040||26.2 Running Company B||0||UT||1.||Coed Running Store||23:10:59.7|
|4.||436||Trading Paces||0||UT||2.||Coed Open||24:44:53.1|
|5.||619||Becky's Boot Camp Crew||0||UT||3.||Coed Open||24:48:14.0|
|6.||727||2 Fast 2 B Last||0||UT||2.||Coed Sub-Masters||24:57:43.1|
|7.||371||The Diablos||0||UT||4.||Coed Open||24:59:23.0|
|8.||682||Ogden Road Warriors||0||UT||3.||Coed Sub-Masters||25:03:32.2|
|10.||241||Running From Commitment||0||UT||6.||Coed Open||25:54:10.5|
|11.||612||Weber High Runners||0||UT||7.||Coed Open||25:57:29.8|
|12.||357||Slctc Donde Esta La Cerveza?||0||UT||1.||Coed Masters||26:11:54.2|
|13.||496||Cardinal Cruisers||0||ID||8.||Coed Open||26:18:14.3|
|14.||647||Cirque Du Relay||0||IL||9.||Coed Open||26:20:05.3|
|15.||705||Team Willard V The Final Chapte||0||UT||4.||Coed Sub-Masters||26:26:58.2|
|16.||122||Smokin' Shoes||0||UT||10.||Coed Open||26:27:17.7|
|17.||987||1988 Ricks College XC Alumni||0||ID||5.||Coed Sub-Masters||26:27:30.0|
|18.||876||Team X-treme||0||UT||6.||Coed Sub-Masters||26:27:50.9|
|19.||807||Insanity Prevails||0||UT||11.||Coed Open||26:45:34.3|
|20.||307||Wasatch Back...The Squeaquel||0||CT||12.||Coed Open||27:06:21.7|
Friday, June 18, 2010
Do you know what today is? Today marks the beginning of the Wasatch Back Relay. I call it the Wasatch Crack Relay. Mostly because the name of our team is the Crack-o-Dawners. Not sure about this Wasatch Crack stuff? Check out the description from last year.
The Wasatch Crack is a big deal - even has it's own label on the Rabidrunner blog. We Crack-o-Dawners are looking to Three Peat our mixed sub master victory. It's a Three Peat because this is year three of said sub master participation. Mixed sub masters means runners 30 or older, with both men and women. Mixed also means that you can have a maximum of six men. This year we have five men and seven women. We have won our division the last two years.
Word on the street, however, is that we Crack-o-Dawners have been cheating. Cheating, I tell you. Our last three winnings weren't earned fairly, they say. I wonder if they think we're all on the EPO? It's possible I suppose. It's possible that we all spent mega money on doping so as to earn these little doo-dads:
Worth cheating for? Hell, yeah! No. They're not. I'm just kidding. Like normally I'm just kidding. These little Wasatch Back Batons, in blue, are all you get when you win your division. Those BYU boys who pull a sub-6:00 minute/mile average for 188 miles? They get the same! So worth cheating for.
This little (big) cheating accusation has got me thinking about the ways in which to cheat at this Wasatch Crack Relay. They are:
- Use more than 12 runners. Which is impossible. Do you know how hard it is to get and keep 12 team-members? That are healthy? That know how to laugh?
- Use young punks instead of old fart 30 and overs. As if we want to spend 24 hours with people under 30. As if!
- Pick up our runner, drive for bits, then drop them off. We'd get busted for this. The course is just too busy, someone would see us.
Irregardless, we're not cheating. We're legit. We never have, and never will, cheat. I'm starting to sound like Lance Armstrong.
Anyway, here's to the madness. And the Crack-o-Dawners.
By the way, the Foxes aren't coming this year. I'm rather bummed.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I've been thinking.
Last night was Documentary Night. You know how some people have "Pizza Night" or "Taco Night" or even others have "Stare at Each Other By The Fire Night?" Having some kind of "Night" has apparently become the American way of passing time. Since we Rabids are all about the American way, Spouse and I have a night in the which we watch documentaries. We call it Documentary Night.
Last night's documentary was Bigger Stronger Faster: The Side Effects of Being American. This was a dandy. Let me tell you how dandy this one was. First of all, I didn't fall asleep. That right there speaks volumes, for I fall asleep during everything. This one was interesting enough to keep me awake. More evidence of this documentary's dandyness, is the fact that we started it at 10:00pm. That is sooooo late for me. Soooo late for me. Being a crack-o-dawn runner, a member of the established Crack-o-Dawners, I break the dawn with a run. This means I set the alarm at 4:40am. After the documentary had been on for about 45 minutes, I said "I gotta go to bed" then dragged myself to bed, only to toss a couple of times and return to the television. I just could not go to bed without finishing this Bigger Stronger Faster flick.
This Bigger Stronger Faster documentary (doc for short) is mostly about anabolic steroids. However, a great deal of this documentary had to do with performance enhancing substances. I found the director/writer, this cute little Chris Bell guy, was able to show both sides to the performance enhancing substance debate in a somewhat unbiased manner. I say somewhat unbiased because I now believe it impossible to exist without bias.
I'm mostly on the fence about this steroid/doping issue. I have a good friend, however, that was close to placing at a national track competition, but didn't, hence the "close" part. She learned a few years later that many of those who did place, Marion Jones being one, were busted for doping. That friend would have placed nationally if the Balco people hadn't gotten in the way. (Balco was the company who manufactured anabolic steroids that could not be detected by the current urine testing procedures.) Note that this friend was, and will always be, the fastest white chick in America that year, irregardless of the doping stuff. I just thought of something... maybe she was doping! Care to comment, Winder?
Sometimes I think athletic competitions should just throw in the towel and let the athletes take what they want and inject whoever's whatever they want. Being as it doesn't directly affect me right now/yet, the urgency for having a black/white opinion on the matter just isn't there. If I had a Yahoo on the cusp of Olympic greatness, however, I'm sure I'd propagate an unyielding opinion real quick-like. So quick would I form this opinion, you'd think I was a juicer. The SAHJM (The Stay At Home Juicing Mom.)
One argument I have against these take-all-the-performance-enhancing-you-can-get competitions, is that each sport will become more about who has the best laboratory and less about the sport. Tiresome.
Bigger Stronger Faster was able to reveal enough to get me thinking. Remember up there, like four or five long paragraphs ago, I said "I've been thinking?" I'd like to discuss what's got me thinking.
Let's start with Arnold. Did you know the governor did steroids? Even admitted to it on camera? Gasp. And did you know that the baseball industry was brought to it's knees in 2005 because of the heavy hitters (Sosa, McGuire, Bonds and, like 80% of the majors) getting busted for steroid use? Gasp again. And did you know that congress spent more time in session over this performance enhancing baseball business than it did over Hurricane Katrina, or the initiation of the War on Iraq, or health care? Gasp, gasp, gasp!
The argument for banning these performance enhancing substances is mostly centered around safety. People just don't want their precious role-model athletes to get hurt. However, the documentary points out that steroid use isn't as dangerous as everyone says. For example, in the year of this doc's production, steroid use/abuse caused only three (3) deaths. Three deaths isn't a lot, but it's still too many. However, if you compare that little number with the 75,000 deaths caused by alcohol each year, and the 435,000 deaths each year that are directly associated with tobacco use, that number is just a drop in the Anadrol bucket. Alcohol and tobacco are legal at their prescribed ages while illicit unprescribed steroid use is not. (Death toll stats came from the documentary, which director/writer claims came from the CDC.)
Another issue worth thinking about, is what constitutes illegal performance enhancing. The documentary used Tiger Woods as an example. Not too long ago, Tiger had his eyes fixed. A medical procedure was able to turn his terrible eyesight into 20/15 - which is above perfect. Now. In a game that requires good eyes, and even gooder depth perception, having above perfect eyesight might be considered cheating, yes?
These days, increasing an athletes red blood cell production is the most controversial of performance enhancing methods. Here's how it works: If you have and create more red blood cells, you are carrying more oxygen to the muscles. The more oxygen you have in the muscles, the stronger and longer you can go.
Increasing red blood cell production is a big thing among endurance athletes like runners, cross-country skiers, porn stars, and cyclists. Just kidding about the porn stars upping their red blood cell production. I was just checkin' to see if you're paying attention - although the documentary does say that porn stars inject Viagra into their performing member to help with their performance. Still paying attention?
Anyway, back to red blood cell production. According to the documentary, there are four major ways to increase the number of red blood cells. They are:
- Sleeping in an altitude chamber type thing so as to limit oxygen and simulate high altitude.
- Training at high altitude.
- Removing your own blood several weeks before an event, then re-injecting it the night before. Or injecting someone else's blood the night before an event.
- EPO or erythropoietin - a pharmaceutical grade hormone that, when taken, tells the kidney and liver to jack up your red blood cell functions. Kind of like a monster truck but with a more efficient size to torque ratio.
Of the four ways to increase red blood cell production, two are legal and two are not. Now, why are options #1 and #2 legal and the others are not? I mean, same result, right? Why are #3 and #4 considered "cheating" and the others are not?
With almost a whole day to think about this blood doping situation, I've drummed up a test, a test that will tell us, once-and-fer-all, whether or not this EPO use is cheating.
I call this cheating-or-not test The Rabid EPO Project.
Here's how The Rabid EPO Project works: The Rabid will take EPO while training for this up-coming Saint George marathon. If little ol' mediocre me somehow manages to knock many minutes off the P.R., - say enough to qualify for the Olympic Trials (even though it's not a qualifying year) - this concludes that the EPO is cheating. If I knock only a few minutes, then, well, the EPOs a waste of time and/or resources.
Simple, right? Simple! In the name of science and athletic competition, I am willing to subject myself to the guinea piggery of the EPO. Serious.
I keep track of my training. I organize everything into an excel spreadsheet and have done so for the last three years. I keep track of mileage, heart rate, speed (or slow), altitude changes and cross training. I take good notes. If I do the same training as last year, but with the EPO, this will most definitely give us some data we can work with. And maybe sell to someone for millions. Serious.
This Rabid EPO Project will include its own documentary. I'm thinking a documentary in the style of Super Size Me. Here's what I'll need: A cameraman, some rights to some ESPN footage, a soundtrack, and a doctor to monitor the situation. Oh and EPO. I'll need some EPO.
If any of you are interested in coming with me on my latest journey, and if you can help me with any or all of the items mentioned above (except the soundtrack, I can do that), have your people call my people. Serious.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Totally annoying. I cannot imagine what it's like in person. And speaking of annoying, you know what's annoying? Italy wears blue jerseys. BLUE. Their flag and country coloring is red, white and green. Why not green? Why not red? Why not white? WHY blue? It took the Spouse and me roughly 45 minutes to figure out which team was which in yesterday's Paraguay and Italy game.
This was the conversation. Me: "Those Paraguayans sure look European."
Spouse: "Yeah, they do. Lots of Europeans moved over to South America."
Minutes go by, Italy scores, and the blue jerseys run about celebrating.
Spouse and Me: "OOoooooh." Then we remembered that the same thing happened four years ago. It's that short-term memory thing that has the nasty habit of getting worse with each passing year.
Being a greatest hits fan of all sporting events, I don't much frequent soccer. Mostly because the Yahoos would rather dress like girls than play soccer (and they would never dress like girls.) This little mystery is among the questions I'll ask the Person In Charge at the Golden Gates of the Hereafter. That's right, we don't watch, talk about, or play much soccer. When World Cup time comes, however, we're all over it.
Dentally (not incidentally), this means that after four years without the speakings of soccer (and that short-term memory issue,) the first few festivities of the World Cup are a refreshing review of rules. And football phraseology.
Today's Tuesday Tunes are about the terminology. Or something like that.
Seek and Destroy - Metallica
Drop Kick The Punks - The Faint
Pick Yourself Up - Dianne Reeves
Fields Of Joy - Lenny Kravitz
New Kind Of Kick - The Cramps*
Ball of Confusion (U.S. Mix) - Love and Rockets**
Get On Your Boots - U2
Two Sides To Every Story - Etta James***
Kick Ass (We Are Young) - Mika Vs. Redone
Can I Keep You - Phillip Roebuck****
Song for the Fields - Fields
Same Direction - Hoobastank*****
8 Goals Away (UN Song) - Angelique Kidjo, Baaba Maal, et al.
Represent - Weezer
The Penalty - Beirut
Striker - Annihilator
Ref and the Red Card - The Baboon Show
Shrink the World - Yellowcard******
Defender - The Cruxshadows*******
Corner Kick - Sean Michael Dargan
Who's the One - Winger
Green Pitch - Green Pitch*
Hope - Siphiwo Feat. Nelson Mandela
* Bad live. Sorry.
** Ball of Confusion was a toss-up between Love and Rockets and the Temptations. Love and Rockets won.
***Get it? Your side and my side? Off sides?
**** Keep as in Keeper.
*****Same Direction is also an INXS tune. 'Member that one? INXS was my first rock concert.
******Did you know that Yellowcard has six (6) albums? That's 6 albums of the same damn song. I didn't own any Yellowcard until today, but alas, what's a World Cup playlist without a card that is yellow?
*******I found many techno operations name their tunes after soccer stuff. (Used soccer in the stead of football so as to form an alliteration and acquire the label, alliteration.)
Monday, June 14, 2010
So... you know how you start a new Monday, and you feel like writing about something, but the brain's just blank? It's where you have all sorts of swanky terms rolling about in the noggin, but lack the substance to support said swanky terms. You know, where you have an hour to kill and want to pontificate profusely.
Yeah, that. I had that.
Like most days, when I feel like spewing some slander, something always moves on into my method of madness. Always. I just need to be sure that I'm paying attention.
Today was one of those Mondays.
Today is Flag Day in the United States (I say that because I have some international readership now. Bitchin', right?) Around our parts, the Scouting et al. groups (I say et al. because the Boys Scouts get help from the girls) place flags all about the neighborhood. ALL about the neighborhood. Everyone gets a flag. It sure is neat to see. Streets and streets lined with the beloved stars and strips in red, white, and blue.
I'm rather fond of our Flag and it's symbolic representation.
Earlier in the morning, I was standing on the corner of a friend's house. We had finished some running business. And as we were standing there, gabbing about nothing particular or important, a neighbor stormed out. This neighbor, an import from an Eastern European Establishment, walked on over to her placed flag, unhooked it from the pole, and let it drop.
"WTF!" I said. "You must Wuv The Flag! Wuv it, I tell you. Wuv it." I didn't say that for reals. I thought it as my jaw dropped.
I also began to say - but caught myself (there were children present - hence the censorship) - "You know lady - there are millions of people - waiting, wanting, working - to live here and partake in the joys of being American. And there are millions living here illegaly who would give much to have your citizenship."
An argument could be made that the Scouts et al. had placed the flag on her property without her permission. However, that flag was placed in the easement of her property. Easements are technically owned by the city.
Wuv The Flag.
And you can start by reading the proper care and treatment of the United States Flag.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Today's installment of Rabid Reading was inspired by a tale called The Hunger Games. When I finished this Hunger Games, I thought to myself, "This is a very thought provoking book. A book that makes one consider the instincts of the human race - especially when certain members of the human race are in a position of power."
I really did think that. Word-fer-word, complete with the dash. Then I thought, "This book totally reminds me of Lord of the Flies for some reason. I must find that reason." Having read this Lord of the Flies wonder something like 20 years ago, I wasn't sure and felt a refresher read was in order. Did I really just say I did something 20 years ago? I really hate it when I do that for it makes me sound so old 'n stuff.
Reading this particular book is a bonus because Lord of the Flies is on the Lost Book List. I'm all about efficiency. Do you see me kill two flies with one pig? I've read the book to quench a curriosity and I'm reading it to gore a notch on the Lost book list.
Enough of me tooting my own efficiency conch, let's get on the book report, shall we?
If you've read Lord of the Flies, raise your hand (then leave a comment.) If you haven't read Lord of the Flies, get out there and find yourself a copy (then leave a comment.) It's a brilliant collection of words and ideas - and I don't just throw that word "brilliant" about like it's free.
First and foremost, let me introduce you to the author. His name is William Golding and is not to be confused with William Goldman. The Man of Gold wrote The Princess Bride, whereas the Ing of Gold penned Lord of the Flies. Got that? Good.
Ladies and Gentleman, this is William Golding:
Doesn't he have a fantastic face? That is a fantastic face. Sir William Golding (a knight, none-the-less) was born in 1911 in Cornwall, UK and died June 19, 1993. Sir Golding studied Natural Sciences at Oxford University for a couple of years then switched to English Literature. Golding began his career by writing poems and was published with the help of an anthropologist friend (the anthropologist friend is an important fact, by the way.)
William Golding, an animal rights activist, is also a Christian and aficionado of Greek mythology. He served as a commanding officer of the Royal Navy during World War II, who's participation included the tanking of Germany's Bismarck and the invasion of Normandy.
As a side note, the 66th anniversary of D-Day was a June 6, 2010 (get it? 66 years on 6/6?) The Big Picture posted some great photos here.
Now that you've met the author and his background, please allow me to share my Rabid Analysis. Lord of the Flies is a story of boys, aged 6 through 12, who were stranded on an uninhabited island. No adults are present during their adventure.
One boy, Ralph, instinctually takes control of the situation by establishing order with a conch. Whoever is holding the conch will be able to speak and receive the attention of the other boys. Ralph also secures a plan for rescue by building a smoke signal fire at the highest point on the island. He then assigns each boy a shift for keeping the fire alive.
Other characters include: spectacle-wearing Piggy, who's glasses are the only means for fire starting, twins Samneric (Sam and Eric), insightfully good Simon and evil Roger. Last but not least on our list of characters, is Jack.
After Ralph establishes order with the conch and the fire, Jack rebels. Jack would rather hunt than keep some silly smoke signal sailing. He establishes a barbaric following and proceeds to entice others with the flesh of his freshly slaughtered pig. One by one, the boys wander on over to Jack's side - the symbolic dark side - until Piggy and Ralph are the only ones left. Many are killed along the way.
I found that the act of war was a major theme in this book. Remember when books had themes? Like, long, long, ago? When was the last time you read a contemporary with themes and symbols and other such luxuries?
It seems the author is trying to portray war as an innate human characteristic; that squabbling over trivialities will inevitably lead to a war on one scale or another. As I watch my precious Yahoos fight viciously over who gets the blue bowl, or who gets to brush their teeth first, I mostly believe that Golding is right. People are territorial animals, easily offended, who defend their positions and eventually go on the offensive themselves. As I look through various relationships in my past, both family and friends, I can name many times where this cycle has repeated itself.
To drive this people-are-warriors point even deeper, Golding ended the story with a rescue. The boys were smack-dab in the middle of their own little war (chasing, killing, etc) when they stumble upon, and are rescued by, a naval officer. Ironically, that naval officer was smack-dab in the middle of a war himself.
Another theme, illustrated so clever 'n symbolic, is the existence of "good and evil" within each of us. I think Golding was trying to say that when left to our devices, we inevitably separate ourselves into the "good" and the "evil." Each of us is capable of taking authority and turning it sour. Each of us is wicked enough to kill our friends and neighbors. Each of us can arrogantly justify our way out of doing or being good.
After Jack and his boys kill their first pig - a sow with piglets - they cut off its head and stick it on a spear as an offering to whatever beast might be residing on the island. Golding calls this offering the "Lord of the Flies." Interestingly enough, this term, "Lord of the Flies," is a direct reference to Beelzebub, which is the Hebrew name for one of the seven princes of hell. (Is Hell capitalized? Did you know this Hell had seven princes? I didn't!)
Translated literally, Beelzebub means "Lord of the Flies." And as you all prolly know, Beelzebub is what the Christians call Satan.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
1. And it came to pass, in the Month of August, during the year two thousand and seven, that the daughter of Vera was taken as wife. The daughter of Vera was called Squid by the Runner called Rabid.
2. The man in the which Squid, Daughter of Vera, was taken as wife, was called George. And George was kindly and good with computers; especially those computers in the which were patterned after the original forbidden fruit.
3. And this original forbidden fruit is called Apple by the sons of our fathers.
4. Now George, being crafted and skilled in all things Apple, was also very fond of all things Apple. So fond was he, in all things Apple, that a symbol of sorts was laid upon his leg, permanently, by the inking of a professional. And this symbol of the Apple, in the which George was so fond, was laid upon the leg near the symbol of a Flux Capacitor.
5. And it was good.
6. Many began to grow envious of George's Flux Capacitor and Apple symbols, in the which were laid upon his leg in permanent inking. This envy led to the gnashing of teeth by the Runner called Rabid and the Spouse called Spouse. This envy led the Runner called Rabid and the Spouse called Spouse to pattern themselves after the Daughter of Vera and George, also the Son-In-Law of Vera, on the Eve of all Hallows.
7. The Son of the Spouse called Spouse, also called Yahoo #1, applied similar inkings on the legs of Spouse with a marker called Sharpie. Wherein a Sharpie is only semi-permanent.
7. And it was funny.
1. And it came to pass, that in the Month of April, of the year two thousand ten, the Runner called Rabid had searched for the true and correct computing device.
2. After the gathering of rock bands, one called Muse, and two unknowns, the Runner called Rabid, approached the Son-In-Law of Vera, also called George, and proceeded to have words on the subject of the computers called Macintosh.
3. Now George, being smart and clever and kindly with all things Macintosh, was currently earning coin for repairing all things Macintosh at the retail space for all things Macintosh. And he was very knowledgeable and very coercing. So coercing was he, in regards to the goodness of this Macintosh, that he will now be called the Mac Man.
4. The Mac Man planted a tiny Apple seed in the hearts of the Runner called Rabid and the Spouse called Spouse.
1. And it came to pass, that the Runner called Rabid, had a friend called Sparks, who lived in a town with the same name, Sparks.
2. Sparks is near the border California that resides near the city Reno.
3. Now Sparks, who is also wise in all things Macintosh, has positioned herself a Macsionary of all things Apple. Inasmuch as she has created a labeling called Macsionaries on the history of her ramblings called Remarks From Sparks.
4. Sparks also planted a seed in the hearts of the Runner called Rabid and the Spouse called Spouse.
5. And it was good. For there appeared to be twin Apple seeds planted in the hearts of the Runner called Rabid and the Spouse called Spouse.
1. And it came to pass that at the end of the month April of the year two thousand and ten, Sparks and Husband of Sparks, also called Vanderpool Red, were in town. And it came to pass that they invited the Runner called Rabid and the Spouse called Spouse to a discussion.
2. And the discussion was accompanied by Lamb Curry, Saag Aloo, Chicken Makhani, Gobhi Manchurian and Naan of all flavors and sizes. And this discussion dispensed at a House called Bombay.
3. And it was really good.
4. Now Sparks and Vanderpool Red, being Macsionaries of the highest esteem, did proceed in softening the windowed hearts of the Runner called Rabid and the Spouse called Spouse.
5. It should be known that Vanderpool Red is also earning coin at the retail space for all things Macintosh and is very knowledgeable.
6. Vanderpool Red and Sparks softened the hearts of the Runner called Rabid and the Spouse called Spouse. Inasmuch as the coin was delivered a fortnight later in exchange for a device known as meMacintosh. Also called meMac.
1. And it came to pass that the salesman called Creighton (not a joke, that's his real name), called on the talking machine to announce the arrival of the meMac.
2. And the meMac was assembled at the dwelling of the Runner called Rabid. The songs of our fathers were transferred in a matter that included the listing of plays, also called playlists.
3. And it was very, very good.
4. After a sun and a moon, then another sun and a moon, the Runner called Rabid managed to set up the airport and airport express. In the which playlists and the songs of our fathers were being broadcast all about the house and controlled via mePhone application called Remote.
5. And it was so good that the Runner called Rabid was confused and thought she had died and gone to heaven.
6. The Spouse called Spouse was also confused, for he had never seen the woman he had taken to wife so happy.
1. And it came to pass that two weeks later, the workings of the meMac airport and airport express proceeded to relinquish its workings.
2. And it was very, very bad. There was gnashing of teeth and the heart of the Runner called Rabid became hardened. So much was this heart hardened, that there were discussions of returning the meMac to the retail space for Macintoshes.
3. Many hours of troubleshooting commenced. Ten hours, to be precise. And there was much confusion because the machines with windows connected just fine.
4. And it was still very, very bad.
1. And it came to pass that on the sixth day of the sixth month of the year two thousand and ten, the Runner called Rabid sent electric mail to the Son-In-Law of Vera, also called Mac Man, also called George, also called man with Apple and Flux Capacitor inkings.
2. This electric mail, proceeded to display, in colorful language, the gnashing of teeth over the meMac and its airport issues.
3. The Mac Man, due to a gathering of their families, was located at the House of Vera, four houses up and on the same side. The Mac Man called on the talking machine. Asked if he could come look.
4. And the Runner called Rabid said, Why sure! Get thee haste!
5. George, being located at the House of Vera, four houses up and on the same side, arrived within minutes.
6. Now George is wise beyond his years, and nice to boot. He opened the configuration of the Router called Rabid (seriously, it's named rabidrouter) and clicketh on the option called Status.
7. And the Status said Connecting.
8. George clicketh the button called Disconnect.
9. George clicketh the button called Connect.
10. And the meMac, and its airport began to work.
11. And it was so very, very good. So good, that the Runner called Rabid thought she had died and gone to heaven again.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
By now, I'm sure you have all figured out that I'm one of those over-achiever types. You know the type, right? The type with 18 honorary degrees from 5 colleges and truckloads of kiddies that excel at everything. The type in the which you want to poketh the eyeseth ofeth.
I'm an over-achiever. Yes-sir-ee.
Let me tell you about my over-achieving summer. My plan for this summer - my only plan for this summer - is to watch every last episode of Phineas and Ferb. I'm not trying to catch up on the current Phineas and Ferb year. I'm going above and beyond. I'm going to watch every last one of those episodes. All 102 of 'em.
Do you know of this Phineas and Ferb? No? Well, let me enlighten you! Phineas and Ferb are step brothers and it's summer vacation. Each episode begins with Phineas and Ferb deciding what they plan to do that day. The plans of P&F are not as ordinary as going to the pool or riding their bikes for a snow cone. They build stuff. Like golf courses, animal translator machines, or their very own love boat (that turns into the Titanic.) Candace, their boy-crazy and simpleton sister, cannot stand their antics. She drives herself bonkers in several ill-fated attempts to bust the brothers in their current scheme du grandeur.
The side-show for these Phineas and Ferb episodes is Perry, their pet platypus. (Did you see that alliteration? Do you see why I have the sweets for this show?) Perry is a secret agent, complete with hidden secret agent headquarters, who has been sent to fight evil. Specifically, Perry has been sent to stop the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz from ruining the tri-state area with whatever "ator" device Dr. Doofenshmirtz has fabricated.
This Phineas and Ferb show is cranial, creative and clever. I'm a big fan.
Now on to the tune. In episode 68, "The Baljeatles," Phineas and Ferb save their friend Baljeet from the impending doom. See, Blajeet, an Indian transport, loves school - especially math. Baljeet signed up for a "rock" class thinking it was something to do with geology, only to discover that it was a class about rock music. This "rock" class didn't issue a grade. Baljeet wanted a grade. And that is our Tuesday Tune:
Somebody Give Me A Grade - The Baljeatles.
If you want the entire eposide, you can get it here:
Part 1 of The Baljeatles
Part 2 of The Baljeatles
Now. Being the overachiever 'n all, you'd know that I would create a blog post to keep track of my Phineas and Ferb progress. Here's that post.
Also note that a full-length Phineas and Ferb flick is due out summer of 2011. Can't wait!
* Special thanks goes to The Winder for exposing us to Phineas and Ferb! Thanks Winder!
Sunday, June 06, 2010
My first thought was, "I am so screwed. I was really hoping to Find Myself. I'm done with this Create Myself crap. I'm ready to join the Findist crowd."
You see, the last few weeks have been a bit trying. There is no particular reason. On paper, with lists of achievements and luxuries, we're doing just fine -- better than most. Trouble is, the Rabid has been in a funk of sorts. Funkified, and not in a good way. I have been bad funkified, wherein this funkified term is a candy-coated version of bitchified.
In fact, the Spouse was leaving the other day. He wandered over to my scowling, sour-puss semblance and told me he loved me. I said, "Even though I'm a bitch?" And he said, "Yip. 'Cause you're my bitch."
Quite a pair aren't we?
This evidence goes to show that the "action" around here ain't so great. Now before you blame me for holding out, you can use that chicken or egg metaphor. Do we have an empty jar of Nutella because Spouse isn't getting any? Or is that empty jar of Nutella a result of me not getting any? Such mysteries.
Anyway, not doing so great. When I happened on this journal book, titled "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself," I wanted to throw a princess fit. I don't wanna Create Myself anymore. I just want to sit around and let things Find Me.
Creationists take life by the horns. They plan stuff. They make stuff happen. They take full responsibility for their lives -- where they are now, the choices they've made.
Findists sit around and let stuff happen. They don't plan. They blame others for their lives -- where they are now, the choices they didn't "get" to make. Findists are victims who sit around and complain.
Spouse and I have had this "Find" joke for a while. It started about the time we decided that going to India was on the bucket list. Actually, to clarify, going to India was on my bucket list. It wasn't necessarily on Spouse's bucket list -- it was more on Spouse's gotta-go-to-keep my job list. While reading up on this treasure called India, we happened upon many travel agencies and whatnot that were hosting trips to India that were structured so as you can "Find Yourself."
So that was the joke. We're going to India to Find Ourselves.
Truth is, there's some truth to that Finding Yourself in India business. India is humbling. A mere 24 hours in India is plenty of time to Find how truly self-importantly self-absorbed we Americans are. It's enough to Find our little and insignificant existence. And finally, 24 hours is enough to Find that we know nothing of the hard work and living conditions that come with poverty.
Most people go to India and Find that they are spoiled rotten. At least I did.
I suppose you Find yourself by discovering and appreciating the life you've Created for yourself; by looking that life in the eyes and taking credit for both the good and the bad, by taking action, by accepting consequences, by learning from mistakes, by giving, and most of all, by showing gratitude.
Trouble is, Creating Yourself, this Creationism, is hard work. It ain't easy. And lately I want to be easy. Er... have it easy.
Last week, when I was in a particular sour mood, I found myself at Yoga. At this Yoga joint I frequent, the instructor always starts with a theme. The theme for this particular class was attitude. When she started her feel goodisms about attitude -- you know like, change is about attitude, progression is about attitude, being happy is about attitude, yadi yadi yadi -- I looked around. Everyone else was soakin' it up like a sponge, with big cheesing smiles and shoulders held high. They were ready to have positive mental attitudes. I, on the other hand, just wanted to be mental. Instead of rolling my mat up and heading for home, I decided to roll my eyes and deal. I can handle this power in positive nonsense.
About mid-way through the class, she started in on the attitude stuff again. She started to say that in order for us all to grow or improve, in all aspects of life and not just Yoga, we must get out of our comfort zones, we must remove the habit of being comfortable.
I gave up and put myself in balasana (child pose.)
"Listen Lady," I said in my orneriest of thinking tones. "I woke up at 4:40 today, ran to the top of a 1500-foot mountain (and back down), followed that with a self-applied full-body waxing, only to attempt my version of yoga among a room-full of bendy dancers, where my relative stiffness makes the football players look flexible. To top it all, I had to hire a babysitter in order to make it here. I AM FAR FROM COMFORTABLE!"
I just realized that I have no idea where this is going.
I will say this, however. Struggle brings strength. There must be opposition in all things. We must have the bad days to appreciate the good ones. So maybe, if I do decide to ditch the Findism and go for Creationism once again, my version of Creationism will be the act of creating discomfort.
I'm good at that. Just ask Spouse.