December 31, 2001


Happy new year to all, and may 2002 bring peace, honor, love, work, joy,
fulfillment, and prosperity to all who read this. (Since of course you already
have taste. *wink* )

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

No, she doesn't want a drink, dammit

I very nearly slugged an old woman the other day, and she wasn't even doing
anything to hurt me. I'm a violent person, I guess; small as I am, I don't really
worry about actually hurting other people, so I've never had that reason to
restrain myself. The main reason I don't go around actually hitting other people
is that it's just not fair to hit someone who is too chivalrous to hit you back.
Plus, you know, there are all those laws and customs about manners and all that.

In this particular case, though, I was this close to at least
taking her aside and yelling at her. This is an annoying woman anyway, but she
really surpassed herself that day. I was chatting with her and another person, and
shall refer to them henceforth as A and B. A is getting over a nasty cold and the
ensuing cough has been keeping her awake at night. B suggested a shot of whiskey,
with honey and lemon. A responded that she doesn't drink.

So far,
okay, and even my finely-honed annoyance trigger wouldn't have been set off. B,
however, said, "Oh, it's just one drink." A said, "Nope, sorry, I don't do it." B
said, "Well, what about some wine?" and on and on and so fucking on. I mean
really, what part of "I don't" is so hard to understand?

Now, I have
a personal principle, by which if someone says they don't eat or drink a certain
item, I do not urge them to try "just a little bit" For one thing, they might be
allergic, in which case I'd far rather be spared the gory details, not to mention
the possible consequences if they did try just a bit. For another, as a light and
sometimes picky eater myself, I am convinced that one of the joys of adulthood is
not being forced to consume foods you don't like or want, one of the banes of my

With alcohol especially, there may be many reasons why a
person wouldn't drink. The three that spring to my mind, however, are dislike of
the taste or effects of strong drink; a physical allergy; or avoidance of the
consequences of known or suspected alcoholism. In the first case, a single small
drink for medicinal purposes might be acceptable, but in the latter two cases,
even a small drink could be downright dangerous.

Not only that, while
the lemon and honey in the suggested whiskey might indeed soothe a sufferer's
throat, the whiskey itself would probably not help a sick person to sleep more
restfully. (Though a sufficient quantity could cause passing out, it's been my
observation that people rarely spring up from that state refreshed and full of
joie de vivre).

I have nothing against drinking myself, but urging it
on someone who doesn't want it is stupid. And rude. And an adult who, as I have
reason to know, has been around for many, many discussions of why people do not
like being urged to partake of drink they donÕt want should damned well know

The only reason I didn't take B aside in this case is that I
know that A is perfectly able to take care of herself. And if slugging were
required, she could probably do that better than I could,


And now I'm off to buy champagne, and
maybe some wine to go with the steak au poivre I'm making tonight. May 2002 be
happier and better for all of us.

Posted by dichroic at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2001

as God is my witness

This morning I was lost in thought/ as 'cross the lake I

[Scratch that, start over.]

This morning, I
was out alone on the lake in my little shell just after sunrise, a time when the
clarity of the reflections on the lake give rise to another sort of reflection

[A little overwrought perhaps, but I've been reading Sir
Walter Scott, so my readers will have to pardon me.]

A day or so
before Christmas, the San Francisco news did a feature on a former dot-com CEO,
now homeless. I was rowing fairly lightly this morning, a state conducive to
thought, and began wondering whether a similar thing could happen to me. I
pictured my unemployment stretching on indefinitely, leading to some mental
unbalance or depression (I do have some bipolar depression in my family). As the
months stretched on, my savings would run out, I would grow dispirited and cease
applying for jobs, jobs would be harder and harder to get even when I did look for
them, and Rudder would eventually give up on me, in sheer frustration. I would end
up on welfare, grow coarse and unable to prod myself into action, and would sink
into a base and useless state, without the demands of spouse, children, or job to
spur me to activity.

Then I had a bit of an epiphany, a sort of
Scarlett O'Hara moment. I can't say that "As God is my witness, I'll never be
unemployed again," because I won't make promises I can't keep, even to myself. But
I can say that I will never let myself go that far. My Dad has survived much
longer periods of unemployment, and what he can do, I can do. I'm lucky enough and
determined enough to have many more external and internal resources than Dad; it
occurred to me that in similar circumstances, he wouldn't have even been out in a
boat on the lake because I don't remember his ever doing anything extracurricular
requiring skill, patience, and diligence. He would certainly not have even briefly
considered going back to school, especially since he doesn't have the background
to embark on a graduate degree. (To give Dad his due, it also occurred to me that
a major focus of his life and work had been to provide exactly those resources for
his children. I can take only partial credit for the situation I'm in, the rest
going to parents, professors, Rudder, friends, and sheer luck.)

so I'm off, to send in a few more job applications. I'll get past this.

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2001

bittersweet, but mostly sweet

So far, highlights of catching up on everyone else's diaries have included
Caerula's husband's hair href="">catching fire and what the
man in Astralfrog's life href="">wrapped for Christmas.
The trick to reading things like that is leaning back so you don't sputter on the

We spent the holiday at Rudder's maternal grandparents (the
lucky boy still has two full sets, despite having turned 35 two days before
Christmas). His parents, an aunt, and a cousin were also there, creating a
pleasant level of confusion. His grandparents have a house they built themselves,
on a golf course overlooking the Pacific ocean. It's not huge or anything, but
it's all wood inside, and beautiful. This year was bittersweet, since it may be
the last one in that house. It's in a small town north of San Francisco, and they
have a long drive to get anywhere, and they're getting a bit old for it. They've
put their names on a waiting list for one of those senior communities that has
care there if you need it. I think this one is affiliated with a university, so
there should be lots of interesting things to do there -- these people are getting
a little bit frailer, but are still active and interested, and have just come back
from a cruise to the Panama canal, so a nursing home environment wouldn't suit
them at all. They're very cool.

Our most addictive and most
frustrating present this year was from Rudder's cousin. It's a scale that also
measures body fat percentage. Unfortunately, it says right there on the box that
anyone who works out a lot needs the scale with the special "athlete mode" which
this one doesn't have. Possibly as a result, it measures me at a whopping 27%.
(Well, if I were really that high, I certainly would whop!) It also measures my
nearly 6', 160 lb husband, who works out what even I think is too much, at 17%, so
I know it's not right. We've arbitrarily decided that all measurements from that
scale are 10 points too high. Not 10 percent high, which would be about two points
-- I mean ten points should be subtracted. So there.

I'm also having
a bit of trouble with the gift certificates I've been given. I asked for them,
because I've been trying not to buy books or clothing, my two greatest spending
vices. For Chanukah, Rudder gave me small ones for Borders, the local used book
store, and REI. Also, apparently his parents are sending us ones for L.L. Bean --
those didn't get there in time for Christmas. The problem with all this is that I
feel I should spend them on just the right thing, so it may take me forever to
decide. I have the Borders one narrowed down to two choices -- either Nicholas
Basbanes' latest or a combination of Diane Duane's latest wizard book and Helene
Hanff's Q's Legacy. I'm leaning toward the latter on the theory that my
library is more likely to have the former.

And Rudder's making waffles, so I'm thankful for him all over again.

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2001


Home again, after a drive all the way up the California coastline on Highway 1,
three days of Rudder's family's usual happy holiday chaos, and a quicker drive
back down on 101. We got some nice presents, got to join on what will probably be
one set of grandparents' last Christmas in their beautiful ocean-front house,
Rudder got his usual holiday cold, and we're looking forward to our own bed

I'm also looking forward to updating here, getting back to
the erg (scary, what?) and catching up on how everyone else spent their holidays.
(I admit to having already scrolled through She-Who-Was-Phelps's account, and
I'll probably peek in at the href="">other href="">three before I sign off tonight.) And I
like Turtleguy's greeting in my

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2001

not quite ready to go

I'm at that point where I have so much to do today that I don't know how I would
manage if I actually had a job. The answer, of course, is that I would only do the
most important parts of it, and would buy rather than make stocking-stuffers and

We're heading off tomorrow to see Rudder's parents and
grandparents at the latter's house in Northern California. It's about a 13-hour
drive if we went straight through, which we're not doing because we're taking the
scenic route, up the coast on Highway 1. Come to think of it, Christmas isn't
exactly the usual time to do a beach drive. It should be good though; I always
like beaches in winter, when there are so few people on them and even the Jersey
shore somehow looks more rugged and pristine. Also, with luck there will be a lot
less traffic.

I haven't made hotel reservations. I called around to
check and it sounds like the combination of the off-season and the lower travel
volume this year mean that we won't have any problem walking into hotels and
getting rooms for the night, even in the scenic tourist

Meanwhile, I need to visit the supermarket and the library, to
get food for body and mind on the trip, clean house, finish a couple more stocking
stuffers, wrap presents, and then go off and coach the juniors this

I will probably not be able to update while we're on the
trip, so I will wish any reader of these words a very happy Christmas break and a
wonderful, joyous, and prosperous New Year.

Damnit, that reminds me I
still have to send out some e-cards.

I was going to save this one for
Rudder's birthday, on the 23rd, but now it turns out we will be traveling on that
day. So today is the day to remember the biggest cause of all for

Today I am thankful for: Rudder!

And may you
all have or find partners of your own, to help and spell you through piloting the
rocky shoals and open seas of life.

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2001

toy stories

Dear Santa,

I would like the href="">Jerry
Garcia action figure



I was just at Toys'R'Us,
or ToytarUth, as the kids I babysat used to call it before they all morphed into
fully functioning adults with college degrees and life plans and all that. They
really do carry the Jerry figure, but, unfortunately, not the Bob and Doug Strange
Brew figures I went to look for. The latter really exist, too, because I've seen
them, and they come with extra beer bottles. And if you push a button, they say,
"Good day, ey?" or something similarly Canadian. I didn't really think TRU would
have those, though, even though I'm informed Kaybee toys does. But i won't believe
that, either, until I see them.

By the way, the existence of a Jerry
Garcia action figure (not to mention ones of Jim Morrison and the entire band of
Metallica) becomes less improbably once you realize that Todd McFarland has his
own line of toys now.

I am left with one other inescapable question
from wandering around the toy store: who let Barbie start shopping at Frederick's
of Hollywood? And why?

Posted by dichroic at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

Sorry, buddy, not here

Heh. Someone found this site through a Google search on "big + tits + Christmas".
Won't that person be disappointed.

A friend of mine just ordered some
wine charms -- I'd sent him some as a gift and he asked for more, saying that he'd
"be happy to pay whatever I charged at craft shows". I don't do craft shows,
because getting a tax ID would be such a hassle, but I'll do them for him for the
cost of materials -- I love being able to subsidize a hobby this way. (I'm also
pretty happy with the implicit flattery.)

Egret just told me that T2
has been invited to a bachelor party that will probably end at a titty bar (well,
sorry, but what else can you call them?) and that she won't let him go unless
Rudder goes with him. I'm not sure what the scariest part of that is. It's not
that I really mind Rudder going (because he doesn't like the sleaziest ones, which
is where I figure the women are more likely to be there against their will, and
because he comes home to me afterwards). It's just that the idea of him as a good
influence is scary. Even Egret said "...though I don't really know what I'd expect
Rudder to do...". Drool, maybe?

Today, I will be finishing up a few
stocking stuffers for Rudder's family, getting my hair cut, buying film, and
cleaning house. The worst thing about my otherwise wonderful catsitter is that she
has an impeccable home -- with white carpets! -- despite having as many animals as
you'd expect from a woman who earns a living watching other people's pets. IÕm
always loathe to let her see the usual state of my place.

Today I
am thankful for:
having someone I trust to watch my cats while I'm

Posted by dichroic at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2001


It was so cold this morning that rowing a single didn't seem particularly safe
(theyÕre tippy little beasts). SO Rudder and 2 took out the double and I ended up
coxing for the Masters group (they were short-handed, apparently because several
people decided it was TOO DAMNED COLD). I said I'd cox on the theory that I
probably had more extra clothing in my car than anyone else, and I used it all. I
was still getting a little chilled by the end of practice, but it wasn't really
too bad because I was wearing the following:

On my

  • Polartec socks
  • waterproof socks

On my

  • Polartec 100 tights
  • heavy fleece

On my body:

On my head:

  • a
    lightweight balaclava
  • the hood of my fleece

Also, a pair of wool gloves and two fleece blankets
tucked in over my legs. Did I mention it gets really cold here at 5AM? I'd guess
it wasn't below about 30 degrees, but remember, in areas where that's a laughable
temperature, people don't spend much time sitting very still, on a lake, in
December. Or if they do, they build an ice-fishing hut and put a stove in it.

Fortunately, it's supposed to be around 70 degrees this afternoon,
when I have to go coach the juniors.

Yesterday I went on a short hike
with a former coworker and her child. This is how to make a 2 mile hike, on a flat
trail, more strenuous: take turns carrying a 10-month-old baby. Fortunately, he is
both easygoing and small, but his favorite thing was to be sitting on my
shoulders, so he could get a view. At that age, "holding on" is still a foreign
concept, so the bearer (me) has to reach up and hold him. Tiring. But he liked it
when I sang to him, so he rates high with me.

Today I am thankful
baby grins, with two bottom teeth showing, and a level of joy that comes
from living only in the moment.

No more Holiday Challenge updates,
since it's DONE! (Yes, I'm still gloating.)

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2001

Done. I'm done. I'm DONE!!!

Oh, frabjous day! Calloo!! Callay!! I gloat! Hear me!!

*sounds of
Dichroic chortling in the background*

I'm done I'm done I'm done I'M

Whew. Please excuse the giddiness, but it's well-
earned. I have now finished 200,000 meters -- two hundred thousand meters -
- on the erg. The challenge was to do that distance between 12:01 AM Thanksgiving
Day and 11:59 PM Christmas Eve. As you will notice, it's still five days until the
deadline. To put it another way, not only did I finish, but I finished some 30300
meters ahead of



Posted by dichroic at 07:38 AM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2001

almost done....

Oww. [Creeeakk] *whimper* Ow.

I guess breakfast before rowing worked
(she said, doubtfully). I didn't puke or anything, or even feel anywhere close to
it, and I did seem to warm up a little faster. I was getting a little antsy about
finishing the damned erg thing already, especially after seeing that Rudder had
only 11K to go, and hearing that T2 snuck ahead of me also. He's a bit
competitive, and I think falling behind me may have bothered him a bit -- catching
up included doing *two* erg pieces some days.

So.....I did a half
marathon, 21,097 meters. I foresee lots of Gatorade and plenty of doing nothing in
my immediate future. I don't actually feel all that bad, though my back aches a
bit, but I think I've earned the right to malinger. Also, I burned over 1000
calories, and probably ought to replace some of those. Fortunately, I don't have
to do anything until leaving to coach the juniors at 3

Today, I am thankful that: I'm nearly

Concept II Holiday Challenge: 5819 meters left!

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

a new approach

Today I'm trying something a little different: up early, tea and toast (with
butter and cinnamon) before erging. Either I'll puke it all up or I'll be more
warmed up and less logy for the first couple thousand meters. I'm hoping for the

Meanwhile, Rudder, the scum, has under 11K to go. I still
have 26000m left. Maybe I should try to finish it all today, in one massive
ergathon. After all, there's nothing else I have to do until 3:30 this

More later.

Posted by dichroic at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2001

holidays and parades

OK, I'm starting to get annoyed here. We still have not figured out what
we're doing for Christmas. We decided not to do the trek to Yellowstone that we
were thinking of, because all those closed roads, open roads that go over
mountains, and low, low temperatures began to look like recipes for Serious Risk
once we actually sat down and checked out a map. I don't particularly want to go
anywhere around here that would involve staying in a hotel, what with being
unemployed and all that. My family doesn't do Christmas and anyway, I was just
there. And I DO NOT want to spend Christmas here, with just the two of us, Did
that at Thanksgiving, had the leftover turkey to show for it. A gathering of only
two people does not feel like a holiday to me.

The obvious solution,
and the one we had planned as part of the Yellowstone trip, way back when, is to
spend the holiday with Rudder's family, but for some reason, he seems to be
resisting the idea. If I understand him correctly, he's OK with driving to
northern California, if his parents will be going to the grandparents', but
doesn't want to drive all the way to Oregon, to the parents' house, if not. As far
as I can tell, he has plenty of vacation time to do either, and we don't usually
mind long drives. In fact, I was sort of looking forward to this one, because we
could do the coastal road from LA to San Fran, in daylight, which I have never
done. (We've taken I-5 instead, and usually at night.) And the coast road from San
Francisco north is even more scenic. Also, his parents have been doing some
remodeling that I'm curious to see.

It's hard to tell, but I think
the problem may just be that Rudder is tired: he's been run ragged at work, trying
to get in his end-of-year reviews and prepare for some upcoming business travel,
and has probably never really caught up from all those regattas in November. He'd
have plenty of time to rest at the parents' house, probably even more than at the
grandparents', so it may just be the sort of state I've gotten in at times, where
even the idea of going somewhere is just too much of a burden.

if I offer to drive the whole way....and do all the packing and

The boat parade last night went well, and Rudder and T2
won the Man-Powered category. The prize was a night at a local resort, impossible
to split, so we gave it to T2 and Egret, on the theory that they can use it on
their wedding night. Assuming, that is, that they get married on a weekday, since
it's one of those any-night-but-Friday-or-Saturday deals.

There was
one minor hitch in the parade: the lights went out on the Mill Avenue Bridge just
after the first boat came under it. Of course, we all assumed they had done that
on purpose, to show off the boats, but it turned out that a traffic accident a few
miles away had blown the transformer, so there were also no lights or sound
equipment working at the judge's tent. (Egret's son, the Teenager, and I were sent
over to the festivities, on the other side of the lake, in case awards had to be
accepted.) The judges took forever, apparently hampered by having to work by
flashlight, to figure out the four prize-winners (two category prizes and two
overall) from among about fifteen entrants, and the lights came on just as the
Teenager and I crossed back over the bridge. Halfway back, I realized that I had
the keys to the truck in which all the boat decor had to be loaded back up, and in
which Rudder's and T2's shoes and extra jackets were stashed.

Today I am thankful that: no matter how our plans end
up, at least I get to spend the holidays with Rudder. And that he wasn't mad at me
over the key incident last night.

Concept II Holiday
26610 meters left!

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 15, 2001

words and juniors

One thing I forgot to mention about my writing process is that I usually find
several more changes I want to make after I've posted the silly thing. If I were a
published poet, I'd be wanting to make changes after the book was in

The latest tweaks to href="">yesterday's poem are due
to some useful comments of Rudder's. I don't usually show him stuff like this;
he's emphatically not a verbal person and I doubt he's read any poetry since the
last time an English class forced him to it. Still, he does have a very good
feeling for the use of words, and I knew he would respond to the whole flying
theme. He surprised me by pointing out a couple of lines he thought were clunky (I
mean, the idea that he had a feel for the rhythm of the lines surprised me, not
the fact that they were clunky) and pointed out spots where my shifting images
were jarring. He even complimented one stanza. I think I'll keep

Yesterday's junior varsity rowing class went well, except for
one jarring bit at the end. A couple of the kids thanked us for taking over their
class; they all responded well to our coaching, and they were very helpful in
telling us what they had been doing. One guy demurred a bit when I told them I
wanted them to row at rates from 16 (very slow) all the way to 32 (a racing pace)
-- "These people are experienced and very comfortable at higher rates," -- but I
think he was OK with it once I told him that slow rates are good practice for
anyone, that I didn't have any doubts as to their abilities, and that they
wouldn't be rowing at a 32 at all if we didn't know they could do it. There were
a few who needed to work on form, of course, but as rowers they all ranged from
decent to outstanding, and their attitudes were all good. Whatever arguments I
have with DI, his work with the juniors has definitely paid off -- they whether he
brought them to this point or just didn't stand in their way, I couldn't say. He
certainly had excellent material to work with.

Next time, though, I
want to call the lineup. DrunkTina still has some preferences for the bigger
people, and I'd like to set up the boats so that they are more evenly matched,
especially if we do any more race pieces. On Monday, though, they'll be doing
2000m erg trials -- better them than me.

The disquieting moment was
when we came back up to the boatyard to find DI hanging around. Neither DrunkTina
nor I spoke to him, but the kids all flocked around him, of course. We didn't try
to keep them away, not being physically equipped for pissing contests. To their
credit, they did not go over to talk to DI until after cleaning and putting
away all the equipment. Still, his presence worries me; I don't know what lies
he's telling them, and I can so see him as a stalker. I took Queue's
suggestion -- she was there to teach the Fitness class -- called the city as soon
as I got home, and left a message for Unknown Legend, letting her know he was
there. Not only is this unprofessional, it's scary -- reminds me of the time at my
last job when an employee who had been fired was lurking around the parking

Tonight, we'll be back at the boatyard for T2 and Rudder to
participate in the Boat Parade. There are prizes for this, and they have high
hopes of winning one. I'll be taking pictures, but doubt they'll come out all that

Today I am thankful that: I didn't have to talk to DI

Concept II Holiday Challenge: 33936 meters left.

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2001

The Why of Flight

I finally got this month's Poetica Project done:
Write a poem on any subject using the Terza Rima form.

The Why of Flight

That 'wheeling and soaring and swinging' is all very well,
But it's not at all like that when first you inhabit the sky.
There's tedious work in it, and many a fear pang to quell.

And yet we go on with it, knowing that someday to fly
Will deliver on promises vouchsafed by that silvered wing,
Flight is promises kept; it is only the earthbound who lie.

An aircraft is such a straightforward mechanical thing,
A tool: one whose limits are etched in its stays and its steel,
Yet its leap into air is the rise of a heart in the Spring.

But so what? Does the concept of soaring have such great appeal?
Or is it the thought of a partner-machine come alive?
Or is it, as I think, the lure of a mystery revealed?

To live as a human is always to yearn to revive
A dreamtime, a manitou, magic now glimpsed but in dreaming,
Without which – so it feels – the heart never can fully thrive.

So to reach for the sky is the pull of enchantment's own seeming,
Not the thing in itself, but reflecting the magic's own gleaming,
The mystery's glow, as the moon's shine reflects the sunÕs beaming.

I won't detail the process, Mechaieh-style, because honestly I don't know my process all that well. I can tell you that I say it out to myself in my head to get a feeling for the sound and scansion, and that I keep a running list of possible rhymes when working with a rhymed scheme, but that's about it. I can detail its weaknesses: awkward phrases like "the sun's beaming"; trite images like "rise of a heart in the Spring"; a not-altogether successful linking of the allure of flight to the vague unspecified yearning at the heart of humanity. Also, perhaps, a bit of pomposity in overtelling the story -- explaining the broad general themes instead of dwelling on the specifics I know more about and letting readers make their own links.

On other subjects, I've been compiling the nominees for the various "awards" I proposed giving out on the list I administer -- Most Admirable, Most Beloved, Most Obsessed, Rowdiest, Biggest Flirt, and so on. I wasn't sure whether the awards were a good idea when I suggested them, but now I am. Compiling the nominees has been a hoot. I plan to hand out lots of ties and include some of the most trenchant comments. Also, I'll probably post every nominee for the Most Admired, Most Helpful, and Most Beloved category -- when someone lists you as the listsib they most admire, out of over 300 people, that's a huge compliment, and I think the recipients should know it. Of course, I will be keeping all the nominators anonymous. I will be the final arbiter on these awards, but I'll base my decisions largely on the votes, when applicable, and if anyone besides the winner has quite a few votes for a category, I'll mention that too. And I'll mention some of the write-in categories -- we have a "Most Able to Plan and Commit a Murder", but at least two or three people have also nominated one person as "Most Likely To" -- and I'll bet she can guess who she is. I'll probably end up posting the winners over several days, just to keep the posts from getting too long, and to build up suspense. What fun!

The City of Tempe has asked me to help coach the juniors for the last few practices of the session, after DI's 'resignation'. I'll be helping DrunkTina who told me that the first DI-less practice, on Wednesday, was a real tear-fest, but that she thinks today will go more smoothly. She also said that DI had implied to them that the whole debacle was my fault, so she did some disabusing. She's got a very good rapport with teenagers -- she works as a school counselor -- and so I hope her words took. At least if they do, I can tell them honestly I wasn't the one who blew the whistle -- though I may also stress why the person who reported it was doing the right thing. Anyway, Unknown Legend told me that they'd heard about the incident from multiple sources.

And a small in memoriam: T2 told me this morning that his cat died yesterday. They'd been together for 7 years. His cat and Egret's have been fighting since moving in together. Her cat attacked his while she was eating, and she choked on a bit of food. She died in T2's arms. Poor thing.

Today I am thankful that: my two middle-aged cats are healthy and seem to be happy and, after ten years, are getting along better.

Concept II Holiday Challenge: 41105 meters left -- I did over 11K today!

Posted by dichroic at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2001

unseemly gloating

Now that I've dumped all the details of my href="">Philly trip, in inordinately
fine detail, I can share
a bit of news that was waiting for me when I returned.

The subject of
many rants here has gone down in flames of his own making. Coach DI has been

Ti-ra-la-la-i-tu! I gloat! Hear me!

Excuse me, that was unseemly.

[hee, hee, hee,

Sorry again.

Remember a few weeks ago, when he
took two boats out of
, against city policies? Well, word of that got back to the city (and not
through me, I might add).

He's still trying to believe
himself in the right, apparently -- he sent a note to the rowing e-mail list
stating that he had "resigned, due to irreconcilable differences". Uh, yeah.
That's not the way I heard it.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see
what happens next, I hope the city can keep their rowing program together. They
may have some trouble finding a new head coach who would take a part-time

Today I am thankful that: I had nothing to do with
creating the mess described above.

Concept II Holiday
52300 meters left.

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2001

Philly trip report, Part II

This is Part 2 of my trip report -- if you're not one the eight people who read Part 1, just hit the back arrow.

After the show, I stayed with an old friend and once again had a flareup of House Envy. His is a three-story twin, built in the 1880s, with gorgeous original cherry and mahogany woodwork. It's been painted over, neglected, and otherwise messed up, and he'll be restoring it probably for the rest of his life. But what a thing to restore! The downstairs is pretty much done, and is just beautiful. The neighborhood is only barely beginning to be gentrified, but it's not far off Penn campus and has a lot of potential. There are lots of very nice houses not more than a block away, and scary ones not more than a block the other way.

Monday was the highlight of my trip. First, I walked around the Penn campus all
morning, astounded at how much something that looks so permanent has changed. Of course, most of this change is new buildings for the Wharton school, and to other stuff being moved around to make room for them. Also, there's a new bookstore, run by Barnes and Noble. Stone and mortar are no match for the might of money, apparently. I guess I knew that, but hadn't seen it demonstrated so graphically. I stopped in to see a friend who professes there, but found she's on leave this semester, and then made an appointment for a phone consultation with a career counselor, just on the principle of making use of resources available.

I had planned to visit the Rodin Museum, which houses the largest collection of Rodin's work outside France, but halfway there, I realized it was probably closed on Mondays. I headed to the Parkway anyway, and decided to stop in at the central location of the Philadelphia Free Library, which I hadn't visited since grade school field trips. I was disappointed in the Children's section, and in small (very, very small) exhibits of crafts and Wodehousiana outside the Art and Literature departments, respectively. Therefore, my hopes weren't too high entering the Rare Book area, where I wanted to see the books themselves, as well as a Beatrix Potter exhibit. You have to ring a bell and wait a few minutes to be let in, then submit to having bags and backpacks locked up while in there. The librarian who let me in was quite friendly – he seemed to be having a slow day. He left me alone to peruse the exhibit, which was quite good, giving accounts of the writing of all her books, along with letters, stories, and various issues of Peter Rabbit &co. There was a modern copy of each book, in an edition very close to the original one, outside the cases for visitors to page through. All of the books in the Rare Book collection were also visible, locked up behind glass.

At the far end of the area, there were locked doors behind which I could see a beautiful wood-paneled library room. According to a sign, the original owner of the room (a Mr. Elkins, I think) had donated his collection to the Free Library, and after his death, his wife and daughter decided to donate the library itself. I had to go find the friendly librarian anyway, to get my backpack and be let out, so I asked him if I could see the room. OhmyGod. I want one. It was about 60' by 20' wood-paneled throughout, bookshelves alternating with paintings and comfortable, though fancy chairs. Most important, it was clearly a reader's library, not one created primarily for reference or for show. The primary collections were of Dickens, Goldsmith, and American exploration books, but there were plenty of others, and they were all of either the sort you'd want to read or for reference into the reading books. And it was beautiful. The original owner must have hated having to do work that took him away from that room and from his books. Unfortunately, my camera was in my backpack, locked up way at the other end of the section, so I couldn't take photos to bring home to Rudder. It may be just as well though if I showed him that library, he'd be trying to design one like it for our eventual house. Not that I wouldn't like that, but I don't think it would fall within any budget we'll ever be able to afford.

According to a pamphlet they had there, the basis of the collection of rare
children's books is the personal library donated by A.S.W. Rosenbach. I've been
interested in him since noticing that he features prominently in just about every
book I've ever seen on bibliophiles and book collecting, so I asked the friendly
librarian to show me that collection. On the other side of the nook containing the
Rosenbach collection stands the collection of incunabula. Of course, I had to look at those, because Peter Wimsey collects them. The librarian (who did not say, "Ook! Ook!") offered to take one out for me, "Even though I don't normally do that, because you seem so knowledgeable." I refrained from mentioning Lord Peter.

Partly due to my mother's recent influence, and partly because I was standing in front of it, I chose a Latin edition of Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews and The Jewish War (De antiquitate Judaica. De bello Judaico). I couldn't touch it, of course, but he turned the page for me and we had fun guessing at the meaning of the Latin, a task made easier because I recognized the stories he was telling. The text on each page was very dense; each capital letter at the beginning of a sentence was filled in in red and the first sentence of each paragraph was underlined in red. The librarian told me that this was a common practice, in order to make early printed books look more like manuscripts. I pointed out, though, that the noted in this particular edition looked more like notes a reader would jot in to make the dense pages easier to read. Since the red markings petered out after the first third of the book, and after noticing a few marginal notes in the same red, we concluded my theory was correct.

After all that, I pretty much floated to the subway, and headed home. Dinner was an odd conglomeration between what my mother wanted to cook for me (stuffed chicken breasts and potato latkes) and the two meals' worth of leftovers I had stashed in her fridge (shrimp and shrimp, Chinese and Italian variants). Afterwards, I headed down the block to hang out with some old friends; a kid I babysat, now 22 years old with ambitions to open a dessert restaurant, his mother, who was like a big sister to me as a teenager, and his father, a gifted musician and a truly terrible lyricist. Of course, an hour over there became two (and then two and a half, when I asked, out of courtesy, to hear a song from the CD that S had just put together
and he insisted on playing me bits of every song on it). But despite a 5:30 wake-
up call, I got almost enough sleep that night, as I'd finally convinced my parents
not to keep yelling to each other after I went to bed. Or at least to yell less.

A neighbor had offered to give me a ride to the airport the next morning, since
she works near it. We grew up together, and were best friends until we
reached the age where friendship demands shared interests beyond dolls and
playgrounds. She and her husband bought her parents' house, and live there with their two-year-old. It was odd calling her to set up a time to meet, because her phone number is the same as it was when we were six (of course, so is my parents' number). Before going to the airport, we had to go drop off her son with her mother, who now lives in an apartment nearby. A. hadn't told her mother I was coming, and she was shocked to see me. Also very happy – I can't remember when anybody has been so excited to spend ten minutes in my company. I think she still misses the old street and all the neighbors she' known for 30 years. She kept offering me breakfast, and telling me how wonderful it was to see me, and passing on gossip about all of our mutual acquaintances.

Now that I'm home again, I'e spent the whole day doing laundry. Every piece of clothing I took, even the ones I didn't wear, smelled of smoke. The real reason not to smoke isn'tto save your lungs, it's to keep your clothes and hair from smelling of it. I still have so much to do here around the house now that I'm glad I don't have to go to work. (Which doesn't mean I don't want to be hired, if anyone reading this has a job opening!) I have concluded that our society is still based on a model whereby one member of a couple goes to work and one stays home and does everything else. We need to change things. A shorter work day, maybe?

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

Philadelphia, Part I

Oh, it's good to be home again. Obviously, I survived the family visit. Now that
I've taken all the suspense out of it, here are the

(Digression: Jesus, no wonder it was cold out on the lake
this morning. According to the weather forecast, it was only supposed to be about
30 degrees out. Brr.)

Even my Dad commented that we hadn't had any
fights on this trip. I considerately refrained from pointing out that that was
because a) I'd escaped from their house for at least half the trip and b) I bit my
tongue whenever a snide remark came to mind. There were plenty to be made, though,
and if there are no objections, I will reward myself for being a good girl by
letting them out here.

[Any objections? No?

There were hard feelings between the 'rents and My Brother the
Writer (MBTW) before I got there, because he and his girlfriend picked me up at
the airport and told Mom they would bring me over "if I weren't too tired". They
told me they were trying to save me from dealing with my parents too much,
completely missing the point that I save myself from that fate by living three
thousand miles away. If I'm in their city at all, I've girded my loins and put a
lock on my tongue and am prepared to deal with all and sundry, in the interests of
family harmony (and some gratitude to my parents, who after all did and do try to
do well by their children.) This is especially ironic because the girlfriend, who
will henceforth be referred to as The Prodigy, got her MA in Psychology shortly
after her 21st birthday. And she got it from Penn, which is a difficult school, as
I can vouch.

Also, Mom was mad because on the phone on Thursday, MBTW
didn't tell her to have a happy birthday, and she was throwing a medium hissy fit
over how her feelings were hurt, despite the plans for all of us to gather for a
big combo mom-and-bro birthday dinner the next day, my visit specifically to
celebrate those birthdays, and a lot of friends taking her out to lunch and making
a fuss. And Rudder thinks I get silly about birthdays.

Greatly to Mom's credit, she came with me to the local Y the next
morning, where I erged while she walked on the treadmill. After that, we went to
the Art Museum to check out the Eakins exhibit. It was a little disappointing to
know that his famous rowing paintings are only a fairly minor part of his career -
-I had hoped to see many more rowing paintings than the ones I knew about. Still,
it was a wonderful exhibit, and I highly recommend it. I love how you can tell, by
the lighting and the level of detail, exactly what part of each image Eakins
conspired most important. And I burst out laughing in from on one rowing scene
where, according to the accompanying text, he'd painted himself in, rowing in the
middle distance -- the puddles left by his oars showed him as a strong rower with
perfect form. Tidy little piece of self-praise there.

After that, we
walked through the museum's European section, which turned out to be a mistake, as
Mom viewed every work through Jewish-colored glasses. At the stone effigy of a
Crusader, she make remarks about his "killing Jews all along the way" and she was
far more interested in a minor painting showing Esther and Mordechai than in
anything dealing with either secular or New Testament subjects, or even the
beautiful stained glass and furniture in some rooms. Sigh.

The dinner
was good, but not exciting, at a very loud and crowded restaurant called
Georgine's. (And called Georgini's by the parents of a former boyfriend, with whom
I'd eaten there over a decade ago.) The food was Italian, and tasty, but I have
trouble with restaurants whose biggest claim to fame is the quantity of their
food. Maybe that's because I don't eat much, though, compared to most

We unwrapped presents afterwards, and everyone seemed to like
the things I'd given, especially the handmade ones. (Relieved

I spent the next day with MBTW and The Prodigy, getting ready
for and then attending his birthday party. I do like her; we spent a lot of time
talking. I think that, like the rest of us, she's frustrated by his vagueness and
apparent lack of ambition -- she told me he hasn't written anything new in a year
or so. Though considering how long it's been since I worked on my own book
project, perhaps I ought not to comment on that. For example, though, he'd finally
gotten a learner's permit, two months ago, and hadn't so much as touched a
steering wheel. I did my big-sisterly duty by taking him to a nearby parking lot
and administering his first driving lesson, which actually went fairly well. The
party was somewhat tame, though it did go on until 3 AM. (And despite my normal
early bedtime, I did stay up for it all -- not so much due to natural studliness
as to the fact that I was to sleep on the living room futon.)

just realized how long this is getting, I'll write about the rest of the trip
later -- including getting up close and personal with the Rare Books at the
Central Library. So tune in later for the further adventures

Today I am thankful for: being home again. Big, quiet
house, comfortable places to sit and sleep, more bathrooms than

Concept II Holiday Challenge: 59408 meters left to

Posted by dichroic at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2001

home again, jiggetty-jig

I'm back, and I've survived. The short version is: three nights staying with the
'rents, bit my tongue a lot but not to the point of severe pain. Went to dinner
for Mom's and brother's milestone birthdays. Met the brother's girlfriend,
attended his 30th birthday party. Went to smokin' concert of the Battlefield Band
(Scottish music), stayed with a friend who lives out that way, giving me a flareup
up House Envy. Spent some time on my old campus, then got up close and personal
with the Philadelphia Library's Rare Books Collection. (Stop drooling, you
librarian types.) Erged twice. Caught up with some old neighbors and

The long version will be written at a later

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2001


So far, I've survived two nights at my parents' house, which is much smaller and
dingier now than it was when I lived there. They haven't moved; the size change
is perceptual,, though I think it really is dingier. There's 14 more years of
Dad's cigarette smoke deposited everywhere, for one thing. That's one of the
worst things about cigarettes, to me -- not so much the smoke in the air, which
dissipates, but the film and smell it leaves behind on surfaces. I have been in
smokers' houses that were clean, so it's obviously possible, but I think they
either spent a lot more time cleaning up or else they smoke outside or in a
confined area.

Anyway, I have gotten to erg, yesterday, and for the
next two days I will be hanging out with My Brother The Writer, and his
girlfriend, who needs her own nom. I couldn't say what condition their place is
in, because you can't see any surfaces, under all the books. Not that that's a bad

Today I am thankful for: getting to go home in three

Concept II Holiday Challenge: not sure, 80K or so left.

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2001

peer pressure

Later on today, I'll be flying of to the other side of the country. I expect to
have some computer access, but I expect I'll only be able to update here
sporadically, if at all.

But today, I'm all about peer pressure. After reading href="">Comfortfood and D, I feel the need to
mention the chicken/sausage/shrimp gumbo I made the other day. I'd post the
recipe, but it's right out of the Bubba Gump cookbook, and I didn't change much,
other than to add in some Tony Chacere's Cajun seasoning, because I can't cook
Cajun or Creole without Tony. And how can you go wrong, with an entire cookbook
full of shrimp recipes? They claimed it would make 4.5 quarts, though, whereas my
gumbo boiled down sufficiently that we had just about enough for two dinners
(apiece), plus a lunch for me.

And, after reading Geni and href="">Mechaieh, not to mention my own early
entries, I realize how much more rarely I post poetry than I used to. I haven't
gotten started on the terza rima I wanted to do for Poetica, so instead, band because I'll be spending half
of today aloft, here's one of my favorites by Gerald Manley Hopkins. To Hopkins,
this was about Christ, but to me, it's about flying. Maybe there's not a total
disagreement there.

I CAUGHT this morning morningÕs minion, king-

dom of daylightÕs dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding

Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding

High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing

In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,

As a skateÕs heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding

Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding

Stirred for a bird, o the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here

Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion

Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion

Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,

Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

Today I am thankful for: Hopkins' swinging rhymes and mastery of words.
(And, descending to the mundane, also that my gumbo turned out well.)

Concept II Holiday Challenge: 85928 meters left

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 05, 2001

minus six million

A friend mentions that her ten-year-old thought Lois Lowry's Gathering Blue
was very sad. I haven't read that one , but the mention of Lowry makes me think of
her Number the Stars, a wonderful book about the incredible actions of the
Danes during the Holocaust. (Picture the complete opposite of how the Poles acted
(the Polar opposite?) and you'll pretty much have it. I have no idea what makes
one country behave so nobly and another so unspeakably, but I am sure that the
causes are not singular or simple.)

Anyway. The Lowry book makes me
think of another I just finished, The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, and
reminds me that I had wanted to write about that. If you have a child who is of
the proper age and mindset to read that one, consider this a warning -- a yellow
light, proceed-with-caution sort of warning, rather than a red light stop. It's a
very good book. It also describes daily life in a concentration camp modeled on
Auschwitz in unflinching detail.

I think I understand why Yolen
decided to do that, in a children's book. The concept of "witnessing" is woven
throughout the book; one motivation for survival in the camps was to become a
witness, who could later tell the world of the Nazis' atrocities. If other
generations can be made to witness, through the medium of fiction, the memories
will be carried on further.

And after all, maybe it's not right to
protect children from the knowledge of evil. Children weren't protected from dying
in the Nazi ovens, or in a despairingly long series of other wars and genocides
stretching to the beginning of the last century and probably before it. And if
they know how awful the consequences of hatred can be, maybe they will refrain
from starting the next wave of genocides. Maybe one reader of Yolen's book will
grow up to be another Dr. King or another Moses. Or at least, not grow up to be
another Hitler.

So if I had a daughter who wanted to read The
Devil's Arithmetic
, I wouldn't try to stop her. but I would certainly make
sure I was there afterward in case she needed support.

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

done and ready to pack

OK, I've done my 8K for the day, in four 2K pieces. Some days, it's just too hard
to get going in the morning if you have a big mountain to climb, and it's easier
to face a series of small hills. Also, this allows to do a fast piece in the
middle and have its time recorded.

The rest of today will be spent on
packing and other upcoming trip-related activities. I've reluctantly decided that
four five days, in winter, with sweaters and gifts and all that, not to mention
workout wear, I won't be able to get by with my smallest suitcase. Blahsuck, as href="">Natalieee would say.

I will probably
take my holiday cards to finish on the plane. I've done all the ones for my list,
but now I have to finish the ones for the Meat People. (What? Priorities? What
about them?) I may also take a few beads to work with on the plane -- I've just
realized it would be annoying to do embroidery, as I can't take even my tiny
scissors on with me. On Sunday, I'll be staying with a friend, and should probably
bring him a host gift, and if I can make him some wine charms, I can keep the ones
I've already made for my own use. (The more sensible converse of this, of course,
if that if I give him mine, I can always make more at my leisure. It's not like I
have people over for wine all that often.)

Or maybe I'll just read on
the plane and not get anything done.

Anyway, I can start the packing just as
soon as my laundry is done.

Today I am thankful for:

Concept II Holiday Challenge: 91900 meters


Posted by dichroic at 09:59 AM | Comments (0)


Today's method of self-delusion is to do 4 2000 meter pieces on the erg, with
plenty of time to goof off in between. I'll update the meters left when I've
finished all of those.

Posted by dichroic at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2001

Catalog gumbo

Dear Catalog Marketeers (and I mean that "Dear" in the most pro forma

If I see one more catalog that informs me "There's still time
to shop!" before such time as a reasonable person would be worrying about that
(say, December 22), I'm going to put your catalog to use in the outhouse,
replacing the corncobs.

Also, could you please each send me not more
than one a week? I'm beginning to worry about the Earth imploding due to the
unbearable pressure of billions of



Every December, my mail
carrier displays new levels of skill in fitting 60 cubic inches of mail into 30
cubic inches of mailbox.

I know why I'm making Chicken, Shrimp, and
Sausage Gumbo at the moment. Could someone please tell me why I'm making 4
quarts of it? Or does anyone want to come over for dinner?

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

terror, or not

Great...they've announced that bin Laden may be close to having nukes (or the
cheap'n'dirty kind), and warned of another possible attack, just in time for my
trip to a populous and dense East Coast city, centered between New York and DC,
that holds some of the USA's most beloved icons. Granted, my home city is just as
populous, but it is very widely dispersed, has no special claim to strategic
importance, and is, in general, probably not one of the places a terrorist would
think to attack in order to have maximum impact.

I can console
myself, however, by remembering the last time Ridge and co. warned of possible
attacks. That, you may recall, was when they were worried about attacks on bridge
in major California cities, the very weekend we drove out to LA. Nothing happened,
as you may also recall. I hope this will be a repeat.

I do not want
to denigrate the warnings of a possible attack. If these things may happen, I hope
our own government will give us all the information it can, and I do not want to
be flippant about such matters. On the other hand, when you have no idea when or
where, there's not much an individual can do to prepare, so I won't alter my

On a more cheerful note, today I need to go to the post office
to get the first batch of my cards mailed. Um....I don't want to give anything
away, but to anyone who receives an unexpectedly large envelope from me, don't
worry. I promise there is no fine white powder involved.

And on that
note, I need to go. I want to get to the PO before it gets

Today I am thankful for: every possible terrorist
attack that doesn't happen.

Concept II Holiday Challenge:99900
meters left -- more than halfway there!!!!!

Posted by dichroic at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2001

how to impress a woman

I had the oddest experience today: I was impressed by a mall restroom. Really. I'm
not making this up.

Like everyone else, my usual reaction to mall
restrooms is to structure my life so that I can avoid them whenever possible. This
morning, though, I was finishing up my Rudder-present-shopping at our shiny new
mall, which despite being only a mile and a half from my house is clearly aimed at
the more fat-walleted of the local shoppers (Banana Republic instead of Old Navy;
Aveda instead of Supercuts; lots of stores that have never been in this state
before). The mocha latte I'd treated myself to kicked in and necessitated a trip
to the loo in one of the department stores (excuse me, "anchors", in mall-

First and most impressive, someone had used their brains in
the design, and this was what made me notice the rest of it. They had done
something I'd never seen. The wheelchair-accessible stall was the first one in,
not the last one. So someone whose mobility is difficult doesn't have to go that
much farther. Though in case turning into that first stall was difficult, there
was another accessible stall at the far end, whose door was flat perpendicular to
the aisle. I've never seen two in one place, except in those mega-loos they
sometimes have in airports.

The rest of it was equally nice. All the
tile and counters were stone, or a good facsimile, and the sinks were pedestals,
with faucets that wouldn't be out of place in a private house. There was a shelf
behind the sinks, where it would stay dry, so you could put your parcels down
while washing your hands, without having them get all nasty. The changing table
out of the way of all but the last stall. It was curved (to fit a baby's shape, I
presume), and had its own separate trash.

And, in a true marketing
genius touch, they had a jar of Origins salt scrub, with little spades to keep
everyone's fingers out and a sing inviting patrons to try it. Of course, if you
liked it, a new jar could be conveniently purchased at the store's Origins counter

And of course, the whole room was clean, the sine qua non of
a usable public restroom.

I know I'm easily impressed, but my
question is, if it's that easy to bowl over your customers, why don't more stores
do it?

I just realized that I had forgotten to add the following in
my earlier entry. So:

Today I am thankful for: having finished
my holiday shopping. Now I have only wrapping, card signing and addressing, and
mailing to do.

Concept II Holiday Challenge: 109917 meters

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

manic on Mondays

It's just getting to 8AM, and already I've rowed twice around the lake in a double
with Egret, and then came home an did over 6K on the erg. I'm such a stud

And I didn't href="">sing to ELO while I was doing

Though I haven't noticed it as much since I've been at home, I
usually do seem to have more energy on Mondays. Weekends are my time to recharge.
By Fridays, I'm often a rag; I've been known to burst into tears at the idea of
having to go camping for the weekend -- even though I know once I get there, it's
actually more restful than staying home. When I get really, really physically
tired, like, say, when backpacking up a mountain, I tend to get floppy and fall
down a lot. The equivalent, for mental tiredness, is similar.

though, maybe that was just symptomatic of the stress level at my last job. I
can't remember Fridays finding me so burnt-out before then. I can remember times
when the accumulated frustration of the week made me want to drive really fast,
with all the windows open and AC/DC blaring "You Shook Me", over to a bar to get
shit-faced with my co-workers and fellow frustratees (frustrants?). But that's
just pissed off, not tired to the point of tears. Given a choice, I'll take pissed
off every time.

Humph. I never realized before that that was only with that one job. I knew I
write here for a reason.

Go read this. Reminds
me of why I felt let down by the ending of C.S. Lewis's Surprised by Joy.
This is how it should have ended instead, embracing his moments of joy, instead of
deciding they were superseded by something else. But that's another entry.

Posted by dichroic at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2001

softening of the cerebrum due to overexercising

Concept II Holiday Challenge: 116123 meters left.

See? I
promised I would do it. The scary part of all this is, there was actually one
point on Friday when I caught myself thinking, "Hmmmm....if I can just row 30000
meters over this weekend, I'll be half done." For perspective, 30000 m in a
weekend, for me, is theoretically possible but not bloody likely. I thinking
erging has affected my brain.

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

trip planning

Rudder and T2 spent all day yesterday working on their boat decor. I'm
going to have to describe this in detail, but I don't think I'm supposed to do
that until after the boat parade, just in case someone local reads this. I will
just say, though, that they keep saying that they may have to have Egret and me
row the boat, because we're lighter. They're a little worried that the weight of
their decorations may sink the boat. I think Rudder will be doing even more work
on it today, while T2 goes out shopping for antler hats. I will be very sure to
take lots of pictures, I promise. I can't believe these guys are going to wear
reindeer hats voluntarily.

I'm getting a little nervous about my trip
to visit the family, next Thursday. For one thing, staying with the 'rents is
always a bit stressful. (Here comes the TMI. Don't say you weren't warned.) Aside
from the general bit about how they drive me batty when in close proximity,
there's the fact that they live in a one-bathroom rowhouse, and my mom has
ulcerative colitis. Considering that my own body's reaction to stress involves
churning guts, this can be not a lot of fun. As far as I'm concerned, Immodium
ranks right up there among the wonders of modern chemistry. (/TMI).

suspect I'll be fairly mobile this time, though; I'll probably only stay with them
two nights or so, staying with an old friend of mine near Penn on Sunday after
seeing the Battlefield Band at the folk club where I used to volunteer and staying
with my brother the rest of the time. I should survive that way, I

Today I am thankful for: parents that are only mildly
annoying, when there are so many who have parents that are mean, or abusive, or
uncaring, or absent.

Concept II Holiday Challenge: I haven't
erged yet today. I will, I promise!!

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2001

another coach rant

Amazing how much I end up hanging around with other rowers even when I drop out of
the program. Last night we went out for happy hour with a few, and this morning I
went and cheered on a mixed eight in a scratch race. Actually, I was down there
because on Thursday, I'd gotten permission to move my single to a lower rack. Now
I can reach it all by myself and take it out without help. Huzzah!

haven't ranted about Coach DI in here for a while, so I'm about due. There is also
another race this weekend, in California. None of the masters are going, just some
juniors. During this morning's race, DI loaded up a small bus with the juniors,
put two fours on top of a van, and left for the CA race. This means:

  • He wasn't there to cheer on the boats racing today, which he could have done
    by leaving an hour later.
  • He took city equipment (the boats) along,
    which is against city rules. If they find out about it, there may be hell to pay.
    I rather hope so.
  • Worst of all, in my eyes, because he took those
    boats, they weren't available for the crew who wanted to race in them today.
    Again, this could have been fixed by his leaving an hour or two

I don't know if anyone will tell the city
about this. I am tempted to do so myself, but would rather see one of the people
actually hurt by his actions do so. What a dick. (I know, I've said that

Meanwhile, I'm going to go off, read Jane Austen, write out
holiday cards, and see if Rudder and T2 need any help with their boat decorating.
They're going to kick some serious ass in the Boat Parade.

Today I
am thankful for:
being out of DI's rowing program, and his sphere of

Concept II Holiday Challenge:124198 meters left to
go. (Amazingly, there are people who have already finished the 200000 meters, and
one sicko who's done 290000!)

Posted by dichroic at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)