Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A burning I will go

I'm off to Burning Man tonight. After work, K and I will trek to Reno.

Ah, Reno.

Where we'll crash at a casino hotel with a massive outdoor pool (for K, who, being part mermaid, requires periodic submersion, especially before packing off to the desert). Weds morning, we'll head out to the black rock desert for the experience.

This weekend we did some critical shopping. I am now the proud owner of 12 gallons of water. It's stored in the footwells of my back seat. Efficient packing, and better handling with the lower center of mass. 12 gallons is a lot of water.

We hit Daljeets in the Haight for some Burning Man appropriate attire.

I shall take photos of what I end up in.

The article that pulls all my looks together: Black leather knee high boots.

Only mine has some buckles and leather straps and stuff.

Most of my costumery will put me somewhere between gay man's fantasy and superhero.

I also stocked up on gold and silver metallic body paint. Can't hurt.

I intend to blog from the desert. Not in real time, but I'll write what I feel like each day and post upon my return, for sure.

What will we see? Stuff like this:

At night it had fire dripping from the mother to the child's hand, and the footprints leading to it were flaming.

Now it's installed in SF by the ferry terminal: (photo by me on a fog + sun day)

It'll be great.

Monday, August 28, 2006

On the having and eating of cake

Just finished a challenging chat with K pre-burning man.

At Harbin, I finally gave her what she had been asking for, namely, a very clear picture of the other less than platonic relationships in my life. She wanted openness. The problem, as she understood it, was that she kept bumping into that part of my life unexpectedly, and it hurt.

Except now whenever I mention anything about anyone in my life that isn't someone who's just a platonic friend, K gets... pissy. I casually told what I thought would be a funny story about a bad Match.com date. Nope. Pissed her off. Yes, we were just lying in bed talking, and maybe that wasn't a moment she wanted to hear about it. But my fear is that, really, she'd like to think she can handle me seeing others, but in fact, she can't. She feels what she feels, and she feels she wants me to herself.

Tonight she was clearly not in a good mood. Turns out my casually mentioning yesterday that I was seeing C to go to the Marin Farmer's market (C's been a good friend to me, and I want to build the friendship) and see another friend of mine (who's been a lover, but with whom I seem to be just friends these days, albeit snuggly friends) didn't go over well. She didn't like that I finished up our chat to pick up C's call. And tonight she wanted to talk about our time at Burning Man: She needs us to either go as a couple, or nothing. Because she can't deal with the transitions. If she thinks I've been off with another chick, she'll loose it.

I admit, it would suck for everyone if she came by my tent at the wrong time. Bad scene. And I don't want to hurt her.

But I really have no expectation that I'd meet someone and hook up. That scenario seems unlikely. Though I know a lot of that goes on. I'm just not so slick at the meeting of and bedding of chicks. Although I will be walking around mostly naked, which generally helps my cause. At least, it's the strategy one of my brothers recommends: "To get girls, you just have to take your shirt off. I have to actually talk to them."

I wanted to go out there with all my options open. Maybe we'd be together, if that felt right, and maybe we'd spend time apart, if that felt right. I have no idea how it's going to feel out there. So I went open to whatever.

But K can't handle being with me and then not being with me. And I'm a bit nervous about being out there in such foreign circumstances on my own with no one I'm close with to help me acclimate. I know I'll want to be with her, and had looked forward to sharing much of the experience with her.

It's just that, I imagine meeting some cool chick from the bay area and hitting it off. And it seems I'm about to promise K that I wouldn't pursue it then, under those circumstances. And part of me fears that, I'll be cutting myself off from a lot by promising to be exclusive with her going in. But I don't want to give up all access to her for 5 days. I'll need her, I know. Just to reconnect with reality.

One thing is now clear: K and I are reaching the limits of what is possible for us. I can't become her exclusive boyfriend. She can't handle being with me when I still may see other people.

And we can't be just friends.

This will be painful.

In the short run, it looks like we're going to be a couple through Burning Man. I hope I can keep my promise to her. I really have no idea what I've just promised her.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Hit the boat house this morning for the Hour of Power again. Got to use the heart rate hookups again.

I had aimed to take only a half second off my split from the last time, hitting 1:56.0. But for some reason, my heart rate didn't seem to want to come up. Which meant I was rather comfortable at my target splits, so I re-set my goal and went after it.

I managed 15, 603m in 60 minutes, for a 1:55.4 average. More than a second off the split from last time, and only about 60m short of my current personal best for the hour. It pute me in the top 100 on Concept2 and only about 12 places out of the 90th percentile.

I'll take it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Moving up

I did 2 x (1000m, 6' rest) this morning. It's the erg test we're using in a cross-program ranking to re-shuffle people into the right programs. Some of the intermediates will move up to our program. I fear some guys in my program may be asked to move down. Not sure how that's going to go over.

Last time I did 2 x 1k, I was just starting to train again, and managed 1:43.6/ 500m average for both. I ranked somewhere around 20 in the boat house on raw time.

This morning I did them at 1:40.9 pace. I had hoped for 1:41.5. 2.7 seconds off the split from last time is a huge change. Looking at the rankings from last time, it would put me at 12th on raw time. Not bad. Only 4 more places to go till I'm in the top 8. When I'm fit, I'm around #5 or 6. Which is where I need to be if I'm to make the club 8+ for Head of the Charles.

Of course, the age adjustment knocks me back a bit. And everyone else is doing a new piece this month, too. So they'll all probably improve a bit. But given that the ranking is on the wall of the erg room, it's nice to have something I can feel a bit better about.

On another curious note, I weighed myself this morning, and the scale told me 182. I'm not sure if I believe it. Seems high for me. I'd be shocked to be back at my racing weight already. But I have been lifting. Still, I think the scale's off.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


This is part of why I can't wait to go out to burning man.

You've heard of Dance Dance Revoution?

This is Dance Dance Immolation.

Art with a sense of humor, cultural irony and spectacle. Sign me up.


Trying to give myself some perspective, I hit Concept 2's site yesterday to see how my 10K time stacked up against the rest of the times on the planet. When I realized that taking just a few more seconds off my previous best (post knee injury) would put me in the top 200, I decided to go for it.

Hit the boat house after work, and found a heart rate pickup for the erg. So I had my HR on screen for the whole piece, and was able to pace against my previous piece for each 500m segment on the split. Ideal circumstances.

I took another 12 seconds off my time, to come in at 37:47.3, or a 1:53.4/ 500m pace. Nifty. Though I spent the last 3 minutes with my heart rate over 185. My average was 170. I did spike to 192 in the last 500m. But that's a good sprint. And it's why I can't sleep now and am blogging at 1 am.

My best from earlier this year, around 36:56 or so would effectively put me in the top 100. Now, not everyone who's fast posts times on C2. So there would be well more than 100 folks on the planet pulling faster times than I am. But it's nice to know on a percentile basis. When I'm fit, I tend to make top 10% on any given distance, which seems consistent.

I think that icing the knee every night and wearing shoes that don't make my knee hurt are helping.

But given that I still only have half my left quad to work with, and given that I'm nearly in the top 10% right now, I have to feel good about myself.

It's funny. Even though I was in a crew that beat some Olympians this year, I still need the numbers to remind myself that, in the grand scheme of things, I'm a pretty amazing athlete.

Self esteem moment.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pabst Fragrance for Men

Sitting on the ferry this morning, I detected the scent I'd come to know as "frat basement" in college, and with more urban living under my belt, have also come to know as the odor emitted by alcoholics in the morning. Ethanol seeping out of pores. Liver crying out for relief, broadcasting an olfactory plea for mercy from anyone who might consider serving this body yet another drink.

I looked around.

Two middle America tourist chicks in front of me; dorky sweet office guy on my right. Nope.

To my left: Large, early 20's male, fidgeting in a suit, holding a giant purple 32 oz plastic cup.

Assessment: Class of '06, job interview after summer off. The cup was his right hand man for four years. Many good times with kegs and drunk chicks and puking with that cup. So the cup comes along to the interview.

And he smells like frat basement. Because he still regularly drinks enough to kill an ox.

I hope he gets his life on the right track. Soon.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Good pull

Did 3 x (20' on, 3' off) last night. Managed 1:56.0 splits for the first two, and 1:55.8 for the last one. Which is, again, faster than the last time I did that workout.

I went home, cooked dinner and iced my knee. This morning it feels pretty good. I'm sticking with wearing shoes that don't iritate the knee, and I think the ice is good for it. I really don't want to have to have surgery.

I have to believe that the left leg is actually getting stronger.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Hippy Camp II

We took our time heading up on Friday night. Stopped in St. Helena for dinner. I wanted a burrito and a beer. Entered what K used to know to be a Mexican place only to find that, by night, it was just a bar. The stunning south pacific heritage bartender told us of a Mexican place around the corner. We found it, and I had the best Chimichanga of my entire life. Deep fried burrito with cheese inside. Mmmmm. And a beer. Then we went back to check out the cute bartender.

We arrived at Harbin, checked in, got to our room, and got ready to get in the water.

I admit, it did take a second or two to recalibrate the brain from "naked in public is bad" to "naked in public is fine". But only a second or two. By the end of the weekend I was comfortably strolling about in nothing in broad daylight, along with all the other people strolling around in nothing in broad daylight. No big deal. Just watch out for sunburn.

The last time K and I went, it was winter and raining. This time it was summer and lovely. So it was, if not different, a certainly expanded crowd. Same variety of bodies and ages. But there were kids this time. Some naked, some not. What a great way to grow up. One person whose gender was rather challenging to interpret in the standard male and female categorical framework. Body of a fertility goddess, beard and sideburns and face like a man. After puzzling it over with K, I decided that it was a person, and to leave it at that. Some folks are born ambiguous.

Upon realizing the other lean young men looked rather fierce going shirtless with pareo/ sarong, I opted to take K up on her offer to borrow one of hers for the stroll to the pools. Easy on, easy off. I look good in a skirt.

She and I had a good honest chat about where we're really at. Seems she's actually fine with my polyamorous ways, she just really wants to know about it. She doesn't want to feel cordoned off from the rest of my life. So we discussed my various loves and lovers. She eagerly wants to meet many, since to her they seem like cool people. She wasn't thrilled with HGC, mostly since she knows that's all about the sex and not so much about the connection. But she gets it: hey, she's cute, it's fun. And she really doesn't judge me for it.

We came out of the weekend with a fresh understanding. I feel much better, though part of me wonders how many new connections one can make while one is living closely connected to another. The more "taken" I look, the less "available" I seem. And I like to seem available.

I spent a lot of time in the warm pool with K, though, being the polar bear that I am, I would over heat after a while and need to spend time fully immersed in the cold pool. Which is gasping cold. But just what I needed. The hot spring fed warm pool, at 110-115F is too much for me. I waded in, once, and waded right on out. Don't need to poach my gonads, thank you.

We noted some groups of friends up there, hanging on the sun deck, in the pools, at dinner. We decided next time we should bring friends, too. K's been with her circle of girlfriends before. I'm not sure who among my friends would do it.

We noted some interesting couples, too. And some weren't couples. Triples and quads. Who's with whom? Everyone's with everybody. One couple was practicing what we can only conclude was some form of Tantric chant/moaning in the warm pool. Gave me & K the giggles to hear it, which we shared with another amused couple, via eye contact and smiles. I can be tolerant and accepting and all, but that shit was funny. Like a cross between a growl and a moan of ecstasy. "Uhhhhhhnnnnnhhhhhhhgh...."

We had a lot of quality naked time. In and out of the pool. Folks aren't supposed to get it on in public up there, and don't. Not that we were going to, but we were admonished by security one night to "keep it mellow". In the spirit of the weekend, on the trip home, K enquired as to whether a woman had ever gone down on me while I drove...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Lounge at W in NYC, Times Square

Lounge at W in NYC, Times Square

I'm working on getting photos from my phone to my blog... I may have mastered the process. This is the lounge where I ended up on my trip to NYC this week. Last time I was here, I was with my wife.

Damn the ligaments, full speed ahead

Despite the potentially sad knee news of yesterday, I've chosen to forge ahead with my training. Since the orthopedist can't see me for a month, anyway, I might as well keep training.

I did, for the first time in a long time, the Hour of Power: 60 min on the erg, no breaks.

It went very well. My heart rate stayed rather low (140-150) for the first 20 minutes while I pulled at a 1:58 pace. As I took the pace to 1:57, my heart rate came up, but I still had my heart rate only just over 160 as I crossed the 30 minute mark. I then dropped my split to 1:56-ish, and worked towards managing a 1:57 average 500m pace. With 20 minutes to go, I realized I had a shot at a 1:56.5 pace, and went after it. Made it. Of course, my HR was near 190 during the last 2 minutes. But that's about right for the hour. I paced it right.

My PR for the hour is just sub 1:55 pace, so to be 1.5 seconds away from it on the split is a good sign. Of course, I think at my fastest, I can break my old PR for the hour.

There's nothing I can do for the knee except keep training. I also have a hunch that my shoes aren't helping: They need to be re-heeled, and the strongly eroded outer corner is stressing my knee, I think. I'm in different shoes today, and it feels better.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Crappy News

I got a call from my physical therapist today.

After our last session, in which she noticed I was a bit down, she asked to see my MRI films again, so she could chat with my doctors. She wanted to get their feedback on the rate of my progress given the nature of my injury.

Today she told me she had chatted with all the doctors, and that I should make an appointment to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon for a consult. He didn't like the way my knee looked.

In a word, fuck.

It doesn't mean surgery is imminent, but it means it's possible. I feel down, given that I had hoped to be getting better faster. I'm sad that I might not be racing in the fall. I'll accept whatever happens. I know, eventually, I will be better. I just need to be patient. I'm just not sure now when I can expect to be well again, and I think that's what I need to feel ok. I need to have a time line and some goals.

The earliest appointment I could get was Sept 14. He's a surgeon that comes well recommended by a friend I trust, who had his knee done by this guy.

I don't want surgery. But my knee's not well. It just buckles for no reason while walking on a level surface. Not good. I can't run, and I don't try hiking any more. It's impacting my life.

But why couldn't they have figured this out back in May? The MRI is from right after the injury. If it doesn't look good now, it didn't look good then.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Kabuki Stewardess

After my two round trip flights to NYC in two weeks, I've come to notice that at least one Jet Blue flight attendant on each trip is assigned a very specific role: Cute Stewardess Wearing Too Much Blue Eye Shadow.

On the last flight, a blonde one was trying to look surprised, or had applied her face with an intentional since of irony: "Gonna make me be eye shadow girl today? Fine, I'll apply mine in the style of a 10 year old girl playing dress-up."

On today's flight, one otherwise lovely, young, ethnically Jewish or Italian brunette could easily pass for Japanese as her eyeshadow occupies all the space between her eyebrows and her eyelashes. Literally. All of it.

If it weren't obvious she were a woman, I'd think she was a man, impersonating a woman.

Which strikes me as somewhat sad. She seems the victim of a low self esteem fueled cycle of make-up escalation: "I'm not pretty; I need make-up. I'm still not pretty: More make-up." She'd be pretty if she'd let us see her actual face. I know she doesn't believe that.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Sitting in the Bar at the W hotel in Times Square. Last time I was here was my first term in business school. I came here with my wife to hang out with our classmates. She looked great that night.

Started reading a book that I think will be very important for me. More on that later. It's articulating a way of looking at relationships which is very much the perspective I've been moving towards organically. It makes me feel a bit more legit.

Will probbaly see K tonight, who will be back in SF before my plane departs NYC. I've been looking forward to seeing her. Right now, I can't tell if it was my exhausting weekend with HGC, or my exhaustion from work travel that has me feeling ho-hum about it. I really want a nap. I hate Jet lag.

I do miss K. It'll be great to see her. I'm sure I'll feel the energy once we're together.

She and I are going to Hippy Camp this weekend.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

At the boat house

Yesterday went in to pull my 10K.

Chatted with another teammate recovering from injury. His issue: pancreatitis. Yikes.

I put in my CD. I got on my erg. I set the drag factor to 110. I set the heel heights to be right. I found my last 10K on my log card, and set it up to row against it for this piece. And then:

Middle aged lady: Would you mind if I turned the music down?

Translation: I hate this and don't want to hear it loud. Plus, I am clueless.

Me: Yes, actually.

My teammate: He's going to do a piece.

Translation: People doing actual work get their way with the music.

Me: I'm going to do a 10k

Translation: I'm going to do some actual work.

Good news is that I cracked the 38 minute mark, breaking 1:54 on the 500m split, knocking 0.6 seconds off the split from last week's time, taking another 12 seconds off my total time. I left my heart rate monitor chest strap at home, by accident, so I did it without the benefit of knowing my heart rate. I may have paced it better, had I better info. I'm pleased with the result. If I can take another 10 seconds off each week, I'll be screaming fast by October, which is my goal. If I can crack 37 minutes by October, I'll be thrilled.

My right thigh is getting very built up again, which feels good, and looks good. My left still lags behind. I'm hoping it catches up. I've stopped doing the isolation work on my left knee after rowing, just using the rows as rehab work. The knee sure feels less feeble when I do that.

New Airline Security Policies

Due to recent terrorist activities, the following new security policies will be made effective immediately until further notice:

  • Passengers may not carry on liquids or gels of any kind, unless they are willing to demonstrate the liquids or gels are harmless by ingesting them. To liven the atmosphere in these tense times, the TSA will offer a prize to the day's fastest toothpaste chugger.
  • The terrorists were found to have been studying old episodes of MacGuyver, and are believed to be able to improvise explosive devices from duct tape, chewing gum and hair pins. Passengers may no longer carry on anything.
  • To prevent passengers from smuggling banned objects onto the flight, all passengers will be barred from wearing non-transparent clothing. For those passengers who wish to avoid seeing nude businessmen, fattened on fast food and immobilized in coach seats like veal calves, the TSA will distribute complimentary blindfolds.
  • Several passengers from each flight will be selected at random for body cavity searches. Since many passengers have expressed, after being searched, the desire to have been bought dinner prior to such intimacy, all passengers subjected to such searches will be offered a $20 meal voucher good within the airport terminal.

I'm flying to NYC on Monday. I hope it's not ridiculous at OAK.

Friday, August 11, 2006

To the squishy middle aged woman in the erg room

It's clear that you're new to the boat house, new to rowing, new to athletics and that you've not been around serious athletes much. Or ever. So permit me to explain a few things right now that I'm certain you would have eventually come to understand on your own in a few months or years:

  • The erg is respected. There are some who say "ergs don't float" meaning that someone who's big and strong but not smooth may not be fast. True. But ergs don't lie, either: If you're not strong, you're not strong. And it'll show up in your score. And scores matter, if one cares about making the top boat. Right now, you care about not making your boat flip. So I don't expect you to know this yet.
  • The erg is feared. Unlike a human opponent, the machine is immune to psychological warfare. You can go out hard and fast, which might scare a human into giving up. The machine doesn't give up. It just is. If you try to pace faster than what you're capable of, try to pretend to be something you're not, you will melt down, and the erg will reveal you for the imposter you are. To succeed, you must push only to your limits, but no farther. No matter how much time you spend training on the water, nothing prepares one for battle with the erg, but the erg: It's a closely related, yet entirely different sport than rowing. You're just trying not to fall off the erg, let alone assert dominance over it. So I don't expect you to know this.
  • We respect those working on the erg. Sitting in one place, sweating and hurting isn't fun. But it's the only path to being beautiful and deadly on the water. The legendary erg scores national team folks post are not mere genetics in action: They come from thankless hours wrestling with the machine. The structure of the workouts and the discipline required to adhere to them are what creates speed, not just time spent erging. Discipline requires focus. We don't talk to people who are working, unless we've stood behind them, deduced what piece they're doing, gauged whether it's a serious workout, and know them well enough to risk distracting them by speaking. You chatter with the other mommies in your program while you erg, because, to you, this says "we like each other and are friendly". To us, it says you're not pulling hard.
  • We know who's who. When the national team guys drop by to work out, we know who they are. And even if it only looks like they're cruising, they probably aren't. We're extra cautious about disturbing the workouts of athletes superior in ability to ourselves. It's how we show them respect. Quick test for who you may bother: Anyone you'd not want to take on in a bar fight is probably someone whose workout you should not interrupt.
  • Music helps us work. Reason only goes so far. Emotion takes us beyond what's rationally possible. It's irrational to choose more pain. Music helps us tap into the right emotions to push to our limits. Since it's clear you haven't pushed the limits of much more than the elastic in your waist band, I don't expect you to get this.
  • Boy athletes and girl athletes use different music. Men tap their inner raging warrior hunter selves. Women seem to like cheerful and peppy. This tension is resolved by a first come, first served protocol with the stereo. I've had to sit through Dixie Chicks on days when a flock of women sets up camp before I do, and they've had to endure Marylin Manson and Tool when I queue up to tear the arms off the erg.

So keep these cultural covenants in mind the next time you are preparing to row slowly with poor form and feel the urge to turn down my Rage Against The Machine when I'm in the last 500 meters of 10 x 500.

Thank you.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Iraq war death map flash animation

This is amazing. Do it with sound turned on.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Signed the divorce agreement this morning. Also signed the title to our car over to her, and wrote her a check for more than I spent on her engagement ring.

And we're unmarried.

The mediator's assistant, a notary, whom I'd not met previously, walked me through that moment of officially ending my marriage. For her, it was some paperwork in her work day. Not that she was insensitive, but for her the ritual was devoid of meaning. Which is part of why the process is so terrible: Strangers paid to help kill your most intimate relationship. Must be how it feels at the hospital delivering babies, or with funeral directors. Those involved are having a life-altering moment, those being paid are just doing their jobs, dispassionately participating in others' life-altering moments.

After some thought, I think I will bring my wedding ring back to the top of the mountain where I proposed to her. I'll find a quiet place to leave it (may the leave no trace gods forgive me), maybe with some durable words attached, so that in case it is found, it will be returned to where I left it. There's a chance I'll be back in New England in October. It would be a fitting time of year to do it, as that's when we were engaged.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Another good pull

I did my 10k this morning at 1:54.6/500m pace, about 3.6 seconds off of "fast". Moving in the right direction: 1.2 seconds on the split faster than what I pulled just a week ago. Big chunk of time.

Officially divorced

Barring any drastically unforseable circumstances, I'll be unofficially divorced on Monday.

Seems my ex has chosen to sign the settlement agreement. I'll sign it Monday morning, write her a big-ass check, and it will be filed. It will go into effect at the end of this year. We'll remain legally married through '06 so I can continue to extend health benefits to her.

On one hand, it's good to have it over and done with. On the other, it's terribly sad and final. To see where we started and to see where we ended up. So many people, many years after our wedding, raved about it. This split shocked so many people. They thought we were so happy.

I still have happy memories. I still know her and love her.

But we're a very, very bad match. We can't communicate at all, and have fundamentally different assumptions about roles and responsibilities in a relationship.

So on Monday, it'll be done.

I've been trying to think of what to do with my wedding ring. Selling it seems crass. I want some ritual, maybe something shared with friends. It's not a good riddance thing, more a transformational thing. I'd like it melted and reforged as something. What that would be, I don't know.

And I suppose I'll have to put the remaining photo albums lying about my apartment in the back of the hall closet with all the other pictures, now. That breaks my heart. I can't bear to destroy them. Can't bear to see them.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Good pull

Last night hit the boat house after work to do 3 x (20' on: 3' off). It went very well. I aimed to pace at 1:58/ 500m. Did the first two at 1:57.9. I got back to the erg just seconds after my third piece started. And the new ergs show no mercy: If the clock starts, and you're not pulling, your boat just sits there while the pace boat rows away. So I inadvertently gave the pace boat about an 8 second head start. I took off and held around 24 strokes per minute to chase it down. I didn't want to miss my goal due to a late start. I finished the last piece at 1:56.5/ 500m pace, so I kicked ass. Total Calories burned in ~ 1 hour: 1083.

This morning's practice was real 1000m race pieces. I don't have the power in my left leg to hammer away at 40 strokes/ minute in the 8+, so I took out the single.

All in all, I know I'm improving, though my left thigh just doesn't burn at the high intensity pieces. My times get better, and it looks like the muscle is coming back, but it's maybe 25% of the strength of my right. And this frustrates me.

Good news is I'm now about 3.5 seconds on my split pacing away from "fast". A fast 3 x 20 min is 1:53.5- 1:54. My average was 1:57.5. Fast for 10K for me is 1:51. I did 1:55.8 a little over a week ago. Maybe I'll try one tomorrow morning and aim for 1:55.

Rumble Rumble

Last night while chatting on the phone with M, I heard and felt what sounded like the approach of a large truck. But then it seemed more like my neighbor was violently shaking the wall. Or the entire building. Which was beginning to ripple and pulse. And everything in my apartment rattled. And then rattled harder.

There was no truck.

This was an earthquake.

I stood up. It stopped. I looked out the window and saw the neighbor across the street, who had been outside, run inside (they have small kids).

I stepped onto my back door balcony. Bewildered neighbors were poking their heads out of doors, seeking validation.

"Did you feel that?"

No, you're all on drugs. It was a mass hallucination.

It was a good one. Strongest I've felt since living in CA. 4.7, about 30 miles away.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's my blog, dammit

And I'll write what I want to. Read at your own risk, if you don't want to know the real truth.

So remember Hot German Chick? Long story short, she was around when I came home from the burning man party (3 am...) and we hung out... yadda yadda... Stuff happened.

Which is cool, on many levels:
  • I'm not too "old" to score with a cute girl 10 years my junior
  • She's not looking for a husband and babies
  • I get sophistication points merely for acting like a normal 32 year old

But it bugs me because
  • I may have become "that guy" who dates inappropriately younger chicks
  • She's friends with my neighbor, and she's going to be around, no matter how this ends
  • Therefore I can't date anyone else without it being in her face
  • We're at massively different places in life
  • She's a sweet girl, and has begun doing sweet, girlfriend-like things for me
  • I don't want a girlfriend

I ponder this: Why don't I want a girlfriend?

1) Time: My life is so full right now, I don't have time to flush just being with someone else. Seriously, I have time for a good screw from around 8:45 PM to 9:30, and time to snuggle through the night till I'm up at 5 to row. And that's it. It's hard enough to get up and go to practice in the morning without a warm woman tempting me to stay up late at night or get back in bed in the morning. And while it seems like a good idea at the time, I always resent the downstream consequences of indulging in some carnal fun.

2) Emotional manipulation: Yeah, falling in love is fun. Yay for feeling giddy. But for me, it means I can't focus on anything else, and that scares the crap out of me. At the risk of sounding like a re-hash of my prior point, I don't want to be distracted from the other stuff in my life. I'm just too happy taking care of myself right now, I don't want to focus on anyone else

3) Opportunity cost: Just yesterday I encountered yet another intriguing woman. And while I haven't figured out how or whether to pursue continued interaction, I want the option. I'm not done sampling what's out there. I'm not done building new relationship skills. I'm not ready to take myself off the market.

Last night, HGC was over, and it came down like a ton of bricks: Holy fuck, my night got hijacked by a girl. Not that I didn't freely choose it. But I had hoped for a little "hey, nice to see you, gotta go, bye". Not something that went to 10:30 PM. We hung out, we got busy, I made dinner, finished some work, we shared dinner, I faded, she saw I was done, put me in bed, cleaned up my kitchen, put away my leftovers, and snuggled me to sleep, then quietly left.

Which was very sweet, but makes me feel obligated. I hate receiving kindnesses, because I feel like I owe someone. And now I feel like I owe her. And I don't want to. I just want a screw and a snuggle from time to time. I know that's crass, but it's the truth. And starting from where I'm at and what I want is the only way I'm going to be happy.

I think what put me over the edge was that, while HGC is there, I get an IM from M, a call from K and a call from C as well. Again, I made my own bed here. I really wanted to talk to K. I actually wouldn't have minded a chat with all of them. Though the chat with M, who's now moved within a 4 minute drive of me, would have had to have been another rearticulation of the fact that, while we dig each other, I don't want to see anyone exclusively, even if you do live conveniently around the corner. But I couldn't talk to any of them, because HGC is right there.

I suppose I'm entering that dangerous and messy post divorce phase of "exuberantly on the market, unwilling to commit emotionally"

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I have decided

I'm going to burning man. I may not be able to make the whole week, but I'm going to take the time off from work and get out there.

Too many things in life pointing me there. My friends with the fundraiser party. K is going. And at the wedding, my cousin's cousin is going. She's from NYC.

I'm gonna check it out. Life is short, and I'm curious.

Hippie artists in the high desert? Perfect. I'm in.