Thursday, July 22, 2004

More Music Writing
 
Two new bits of mine up over at Rift Magazine:  A story about selling band merchandise, and a Nowhere Band column about the ongoing Grumpy Alice renaming project (which, by the way, remains unresolved).

I sort of expect the Rock Writers' Union to send some goons over to my place some time soon to break my legs and take away my union card, because I'm going to see Van Halen tonight, and dammit, I'm excited.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

We All Have Our Problems

So this is what I've been reduced to... gambling on reality TV. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Triathlon!

So, I did my first triathlon this past weekend (I'd like to claim that as my excuse for not updating the site in a month, but the sad truth is just that I'm a lazy fucker). It was quite an experience. I confirmed yet again that my nerdiness runs deep and true; I experienced a brief panic over drowning in the middle of a fairly nasty lake which had been the scene of a suicide the day before; and I saw a woman finish a race despite shitting her pants. 

I was freaked out the day before the race to hear that a kid had jumped off of the Cedar Ave. bridge into Lake Nokomis; when I heard the news, the body hadn't even been found yet. Weirdly, one of the biggest psychological issues I'd been dealing with in preparing for the race was this unreasonable fear of encountering dead things while swimming in lakes. I'd been thinking mostly of dead fish, but dead people would be several orders of magnitude worse. Luckily, they fished the guy out with about 24 hours to spare before the race.

The nerdiness-confirmation came that night. It's not too surprising that I had trouble sleeping; what is surprising is that I spent the entire frigging night dreaming about the Battle of Midway. Why? I don't know; I spent most of June reading about World War II, and I guess something about Midway stuck in my head and somehow resonated with the race. I don't know how or why. But I know that I felt like a big dork when I woke up. I mean, what sort of inspirational dream is that?

As for the race itself it was pretty fun. I'm pretty sure I'll do some more. The swim was my worst event... I knew it was the place I was weakest (mainly because swimming in a straight line is easy in a clear pool with big black lines on the floor, but really hard in murky green water), but I had a couple of problems that I didn't anticipate. About 2/3 of the way through, I got this killer cramp in my calf... that'd never happened to me before and I kind of freaked out, since I was in like 40 feet of water. I was able to keep pulling myself along with my arms, though, and just sort of dragged the leg until the cramp went away. Problem is, my steering was even worse then and I wound up about 40 feet off course. That took a while to correct, and the cramp came back while I was doing it. So all in all, the swim wasn't a ton of fun, and in parts it just felt like this unreal, ongoing bad dream where all I could experience was green water and hazy sunlight.

It got a lot better after I got out of the water... I had trouble finding my bike in the transtition area (next year, I figure I can cut 10 minutes off my time if I just stay on course in the water and quit hosing up my transitions), but after I got onto it things got ok fast. After I got going on the bike, it was pretty sweet... I think I could really get into road bike racing in general. I got passed by pretty much everybody while swimming, but I made a lot of it up on the bike... I was really hauling ass, and it was a lot of fun. Having wide-open streets with no stoplights is a pretty good feeling.

I was actually kind of disappointed when the bike ride was over because I was enjoying it so much. I was also a little worried about that calf- it hadn't been a big deal on the bike, but I thought that if ti cramped up while I was running, I'd be screwed. The first mile of the run felt pretty awful, but after I hit the water station and splashed Powerade all over my face (think Ted Stryker's drinking problem in Airplane) I felt a lot better and was able to pick it up. I didn't feel as dominant on the run as I did on the bike, but going by statistics it was my best event... and there was a pretty nice feeling at about mile 4 when I knew for sure that I was going to finish. I even had enough left to sprint into the end, which should make for some good pics. I saw some weird stuff on the run: an 86-year-old-woman talking smack to younger runners who passed her; an unfortunate woman who appeared to have pooped her pants while running (but she kept going); a really chatty woman who had finished the race and just rode along on her bike talking to a friend who was still running; and so on.

Afterwards, I got to stand in front of these big fans that blow cold mist on you. I think I'd like one of those for my house. That and a hot tub. I know they sound like they negate each other, but there's room for hot and cold. It's all about timing.