Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why I won't be voting for Hillary

There are many, but in a word: Dynasty.

Am I the only one who'd be bothered by the presidency being dominated by two families for nearly a quarter century?

1988- 1992: Bush
1992-2000: Clinton
2000-2008: Bush
2008-2012: Clinton

That one can't make it in national government without money and connections is already disturbing. So much for Jeffersonian ideals. We have an aristocracy. And it's not just Politics. It's business and entertainment. Fords at Ford. Jennifer Aniston. Tori Spelling.

It's, of course, human nature to use one's power, connections, influence and money to help one's family members. It's also economically efficient, and leads to a monopolization of leadership roles, making it harder for outsiders to come in. It's what happens in forest ecosystems: Tall trees shade the floor, making it hard for new trees to grow. So you have networks of old trees, and no young ones. Networks of families that have been in power for a long time, and few new ones.

I'll feel like the people are actually in control of this country if I see someone not of the political establishment nominated for the presidency.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Pulled 60 min yesterday morning, then 90 min this morning for somewhere north of 37,000 meters in a little more than 24 hours. It's managed heart rate stuff, keeping mine just at 150. It's comfortable, but I'm working.

I'm about to turn 33. If I live to be 100, 1/3 of my life is over. That sucks. I'm doing my best to make the most of the time I've got.

Chatted with my friend and teamate/ workout partner this morning over breakfast about the kids thing. He and his wife are thinking of pulling the goalie. He thinks K and I are a great pair, but knows I shouldn't pull the goalie unless I'm ready for kids.

My client for work expressed interest in hiring me. But they're in San Jose, and I have no idea how I could row in Marin every day and work in San Jose. None the less, I'll make efforts to be in touch with folks there after the engagement.

I have other consulting opportunities coming my way. Just signed an independent consulting gig, and have a classmate from school who wants to try to build a research business with me. I'm just not sure I'm excited to analyze the crap out of business to business software markets. But if it makes me rich, I may do it...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Some sanity

I've learned in my life that, as hard as it may be to do so at the time, putting the truth out there gets you to the right answer faster than living in denial. When you don't try to hide from unpleasant truths, you move on to the inevitable task of dealing with them sooner. Turn into the pain.

Which is part of why I blogged about the lack-o-latex event of last weekend.

Some of the few folk who know me in real life and read the blog were in touch to gently remind me that it's okay for me not to want to have kids right now and that, as hard as it may be for K, I do her no service by trying to be some place I'm not. Hell, 6 months ago I didn't want one steady girlfriend. She's lucky I've come this far. And as much as it may pain me to diasspoint her, it will pain me more to be dishonest with myself.

So our Valentine's Day was a latex-involved event. And while I felt that K's enthusiasm dwindled a bit once el preservativo was tagged into the ring, and while I had the recurring, situation-dependent "Hey, this'll be great! Kids aren't so bad! It'll be like this forever!" impulse to go au natural, I was glad I made the choice to stick with my guns, use my rational faculties and hold my fire, so to speak.

The downside is that there will be more melt downs, for sure. And K may have to re-evaluate some of her choices not to pursue certain avenues towards motherhood. And those difficulties are what I'm chosing to confront rather than avoid them by caving to the emotional pressure I feel to make her happy by giving her exactly what she wants.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Support our troops

because they'd never shoot a dog with a grenade launcher for no reason


I went 6:43.3 for 2000m this morning, improving my prior time by about 2 seconds. Good, but not where I want to be. I don't think I had enough warm-up time. Going all out within an hour of being totally asleep is just too hard on the body.

My friend and teammate broke the 7 minute mark for the first time in his life today, which is inspirational for me. If he can set a new PR in 2K at age 33, so can I.

I have 6 weeks until San Diego.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Please Don't Cry

Why being a genuinely nice guy makes me feel like a chump from time to time

The ultimate issue for me and K - her ticking clock versus my recently minted detachment from all domestic entanglement - has now come to the head I'd expected. For those of you who missed all of sex ed, biology, National Geographic, and Dirty Dancing: The having of sex and the making of babies are linked. And therefore baby tension will eventually impact sex.

K is about to enter, or has entered, her more fertile moments this month. So I was cautious this weekend.

Sunday morning, mid frolic, when (based on my assessment) K sensed I was, once more, not going to leave the creation of a baby to chance, but instead delegate the prevention of a baby to latex, I could feel her emotions shift. And in seconds I had a sobbing girlfriend on my hands.

Now guys who think it's only fun when the stripper's crying may have been able to set aside the exigency of the day and carry on. I, however, am not one of those guys.

No words were needed. We both knew what was going on. We also knew that the issue had now officially invaded the final frontier of the bedroom, and could no longer be ignored.

K pulled herself together enough to make a noon social event with me. Jim Beam and a few bloody Mary's were part of her self-help strategy. I was a little concerned with the "drinking while sad to feel better", but chose to take an "ends justify the means" perspective. At least she wasn't sobbing in bed, home alone by herself.

All she wants is a chance at being a mother. And at having a family, and a man in her life and the kids' life.

Women who get me are not a dime a dozen. My ideal woman is an extroverted, centered exotic brunette nymphomaniac triathlete. K is pretty damn close to my ideal.

Every article I've read says a woman in her late 30's has only a 10% shot at conception each month. The average woman K's age takes a year to get knocked up when trying.

All she wants is a chance. Every fiber of her being is crying out to become a mother. It's got to be the female equivalent of the 15 year old male desire to get laid. Instinct is powerful. And she'll feel that her life had a huge hole in it if she didn't try. And the window is closing. And she's ovulating. And her boyfriend is going for a condom. And what is she doing with her life?

So on Sunday night I chose to give her a chance.

I told her it's not a policy reversal, just a gift from me. Though I fear it's the beginning of a policy reversal.

I know she's got other options. She's made the choice to be with a guy 7 years her junior who's not, and has never pretended to be, at the same place she is in life. She could be going after this without me. But she wants to do it with me.

And I'm afraid that, once more in my life, I'm going along with the wishes of the woman I love when I think what she wants will be bad for me or us. I just can't stand to break a heart. It's not a rational choice on my part.

Today she's happy. This month, she's got a chance.

Friday, February 09, 2007

I feel bad for Anna Nicole

I heard the news on my way back to SF from San Jose yesterday, after a presentation of all the work I've been doing this last week to the client . I kept them from making a $20M mistake. So that was good. But, thus, no blogging.

I was surprised at how sad I was for someone I didn't know personally. Perhaps I'd seen enough of the Anna Nicole show to feel I knew her. If you know the name of some one's dog, you may feel you know that person. The show humanized her. We saw her un made up, un glamorous, un censored, un scripted. She wasn't always clever, but she was unapologetically herself.

She was everything our media culture celebrates with its attention. Glamour and sleaze. Affluence and classlessness. Paris Hilton. Britney Spears. Commanding an adoring global audience, lacking anything worthwhile to say.

Her life was tragic. I think she's iconic for what happens to many pretty, but not so quick women: In and out of bad and odd relationships with bad and odd men. And, though she may not have been able to articulate it, I think there was some ironic tension in that she was widely known, and widely wanted, and widely given attention, but she didn't receive a lot of real love. People loved her outsides, but she was pilloried for her insides. Was she a calculating gold digger? A dumb stripper? An unfit mother?

Her weight and appearance: Trampled and scrutinized in the media.
Her rich husband who adored her: Dead.
Her relationship with him: Trampled and scrutinized in a protracted lawsuit.
Her son, a source of love and contentment: Dead.
Her life with her new baby: Trampled and scrutinized in a protracted lawsuit.

Suicide would be understandable. Escaping from it all with a lot of drugs would also be understandable. Not that I endorse these options, but I have a lot of empathy for the spiritual misery of her existence. She may have had fame and money and looks, but she lacked love and peace and connection. And without that, she may have whithered and died from within.

I feel terrible for that poor girl from Texas who just wanted to be loved and happy.

Friday, February 02, 2007


I've put in more than 37,000 meters on the erg this week. I sat down for the hour of power Wednesday night and put up my third fastest hour ever. And I hadn't sat down trying to do that. Just decided to pull and not worry about heart rate management.

This morning I did 90 min with y friend and teammate. I managed the heart rate for all but the last three minutes, in which I opted to really pull.

I aim to make the B 8+, and I aim to win. Seems our arch rival paper club is pulling out all the stops and assembling a boat of former national team types to try to win the race.

I do hate that we have to race against "clubs" which aren't so much clubs as rolodexes. We're a real club, a real community of people. But last year we raced the rolodexes and won, though they had the very shitty lane 6 and we had the very nice lane 2. I can't say we'd have done as well in another lane.

I must say that the calorie burn (1420 per the erg, 1220 per my heart rate monitor) makes me feel pretty good. I have to live my life, and I have to work out every day. I've rowed every day this week, and feel great.