Monthly Archives: February 2010

So Which is it?

Let’s get this out of the way for starters- if you think I’m going home to Tallahassee today you’re misinformed. It is cold down here on Anna Maria Island, mid-forties maybe? In spite of that the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and the first word that comes to mind is beautiful. Meanwhile, the forecast for Tally calls for sleetish rain and misery so y’all have fun wit dat.

And since we are on the weather, I have a serious question for you.

Is Global Warming real? Down here in southwest FL many people have closed the book on that one. Like when we all found out who shot JR (Sue Ellen right? Or was it Bobby?) These folks laugh until they pee themselves about the GREAT GLOBAL WARMING HOAX. My reaction is to put some space between us because stupid can be dangerous, but really, what do I know? I have a degree in English and another in a casserole of social sciences. All I remember from Meteorology is staring at the clouds and drawing barometric maps full of millibars. I enjoyed all that, but it doesn’t make me a Climatologist. I resent it when people try to do my job who are unqualified so I don’t intend to put some Climatologist out of work. I want one to come on this blog and explain it to us, or lacking that, I’ll take your versions.

Maybe these “Hoaxers” are idiots, but let’s keep an open mind and be good role models, because really, what do you know about it?

Bring the heat,


The scrum at the La Quinta breakfast buffet this morning was so frenzied you might think they were giving away validation for all of your life’s efforts, or freedom from prosecution, rather than individual slices of bread wrapped in plastic and 4 oz sweetheart cups of coffee that fold and splash hot dishwater on your hand.

I walked to Dunkin’ Donuts like a reasonable person. It was so worth $1.84.

Down here in this part of the world, southwest Florida, the entire FM band is dominated by a mix of evangelical and hate radio. Sometimes you have to nudge the dial a smidge to get both, but the real pros provide everything you need- a three song set of Christian rock that plagiarizes the sounds of Sublime, Carrie Underwood, 3 Doors Down- anything really- followed by a plodding revisiting of the President’s invalid birth certificate. I drift across the yellow line daydreaming of treason charges that will never come.

But that’s OK. The weather is nice, if only slightly warmer than home. I am here to do a job, and it is a job that let’s me sleep at night- or at least the job is not what keeps me up.



I was going to post a picture of lint rather than Lent, but the random photos of people’s disgusting belly buttons grossed me out to the extent that now I need the calm blankness of nothing. Still, tomorrow begins Lent, which is the reason for Mardi Gras in the first place. You indulge to sacrifice. You feast to go without. That is what I was taught about Mardi Gras. Somewhere along the way it became Spring Break in New Orleans, a time and a place where vomit is welcome everywhere and if you don’t get your identity stolen or date-raped than you just aren’t putting your back into it.

I long to be a person in the know, who attends Mardi Gras in the company of the local and the privileged. Bead thrower, rather than groveler.

Let’s talk about Lent though. Is it supposed to be capitalized? I’m not sure about that and while the Internet rests literally beneath my fingertips I prefer to learn some things from you all, my dear readers.

I am not a Catholic, or do you drop the article and just say, “Im not Catholic?” Once again with the question of capitalization. catholic? I doubt it. The seasons are not capitalized, and they seem so much more powerful than religion. It seems weird. Spring I understand, even if it is not correct.

Will you give anything up? Me? I’m thinking I will give up everything. All will and determination, all excesses and crutches, all beliefs and principles. For lent I will float and shuffle like a corn husk- cast from a tamale and discarded under a Mexican sun. mexican? For 40 days I will have no opinion, no favorite song, no particular bedtime. I might drink coffee. I might drink tea. There’s no way to tell.

For Lent, we are going to let the Great Magnet decide all things. great magnet?


You get what you pay for-

It’s a bike blog. Not much biking means not much blogging. I rode yesterday, but it was such a small ride of such small effort that there is little point in coughing up the details. I could tell you about attending the lonely heart’s club consolation dinner at the site of the Wii humiliation, but why? The Osso Bucco was delicious and the company exquisite. Isn’t that really enough?


12 hours is a long time to sleep. I feel good. I might even ride my bike today, but I doubt it. I heard some words of wisdom from one of the Bikechain droids, the one they call “Dan.” He said one day he drew a line in the frost and declared he wasn’t going to ride if the temperature was below 60 degrees. He didn’t even act ashamed, that brother just stated it like a fact of nature. Like…fish don’t fry in the kitchen, beans don’t burn on the grill, and Dan don’t ride if it’s colder than 60 degrees. That kind of obstinance has its appeal. I don’t know what’s going in in the rest of the country, but it’s cold in T-town.


Pleased to Meet Me

Saturday night was strange in so many ways. For starters it marked the celebration of a bona fide adult relationship that fomented and grew right before our eyes into a consensual marriage between two people, decided according to their own free will. My homeboy made that look easy man. He’s my new life coach.

S’quatch? You’re fired.

More strange though, were all of these guys wearing street clothes instead of lycra. Some might say it was the homebrew that made me compulsively introduce myself to people I have known or been acquainted with for years now. That is not true, decorum prevented me from filling my Camelbak with ale. It was a classic case of worlds colliding. It was more like seeing the neighborhood drunk flying a helicopter on the 6 O’clock news. I have never seen Big Jim Slade’s naked head before, nor have I seen him wearing pants. In fact, that goes for all of the Bikechain posse except for those I knew in civilian life prior to the rise of their cult.

I thought Ricky Silk was Bill Nye the science guy for a minute.

It was strange. In order to be sure I knew the right name for the face I would use my thumb to obscure the top of their head while I squinted and muttered through their nicknames. “Is that Soup Can? No, that must be Nutter Butter. Oh there’s Soup Can!”

At least Wrecking Ball and Big Worm looked the same as ever.


Juancho vs. The Wii

So I am over at Tommy’s house the other night enjoying the company of what I thought were old friends. A bowl of gumbo, a delicious beet salad, a couple of High Lifes- the world felt right as rain.

Then- after dinner, but before the andouille could find a place to settle, Tommy suggests we play some video games, Skateboarding on the Nintendo Wii to be specific. “Sure” I say, trying to be a good sport even though I find video games tedious. It’s all about enjoying the company of friends really.

Tommy directs me to the center of the living room and instructs me to stand on a platform, “the Wii balance board,” he calls it. I mount the platform with the slightest sense of unease creeping up on me. I would rather play a sitting down video game I think to myself. Still, I am comfortable with board sports and assume I will be carving the halfpipe in no time.

I did not carve the halfpipe in no time. That is because the Nintendo Wii is not a video game at all, but a lifestyle modification device designed to destroy your self-esteem and rebuild you in the preferred image of its makers.

The Wii evaluates your BMI (body mass index) based on the standards of the average small asian people where it was designed. The Wii knows nothing of the Viking.
So- after evaluating my height, weight, balance, and posture post gumbo; the Wii adjusts the physical form of my avatar until I look like fat Charlie Brown. The Wii suggests my healthy target weight is 145 lbs. I used to wrestle at 145 lbs actually. I was in the seventh grade. So now I am 60 lbs away from the perfect me? And here I thought it was 10 lbs away, where it has always been.

Now I am allowed to skateboard, which believe me, I have lost interest in doing. After attempting to master the nuances of pretend skateboarding in the living room, the Wii assigns me a “fitness age.” My fitness age you ask? 55. My actual age? 39.

Now completely shaken and demoralized, I seek nothing but a toilet in which I can deposit the gumbo. Is the Wii done with me? No it is not. It asks if I would like to set some fitness goal for our next “play session.” I decline. It then asks if I will make a commitment to at least “not lose any ground.”

I would have answered “too late” but that was not an option.


Left, Left, Left, Right Left.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day I awoke inspired. I laced up my Lowa hiking shoes, loaded the messenger bag with the day’s assignments, and marched out the door. Three miles by way of the Myers Park neighborhood, one of the prettier hoods in town. It took me 45 minutes to get to my office on All Saint’s St. Not bad.

The return trip went a little quicker because the hills are in your favor headed east, and I thought I might have a new routine going on.

It must be an every other day routine because I can barely stand up today.


Go to Commercial

I am avoiding the bigringcircus right now. I keep circling the keyboard then sitting on my hands or walking away. It is too dangerous. The only thing I am compelled to discuss is those evangelical kidnappers in Haiti. I realy shouldn’t go there. It will only become a boring rant, and around here we like to save our ranting for the first ten and last ten miles of a twenty mile bike ride.

Let’s just say though, for the sake of it, that a group of Haitians, driven by their Voodou beliefs, came to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and scooped a bunch of American kids off the street to take them to a resort hotel in Mexico before giving them a better life in Haiti. How would that be received?

Damn. I knew I shouldn’t have logged on.


My friend the Internet.

Did you have a nice weekend Internet? I hope so. Mine was very busy. Friday and Saturday were characterized by long bike rides through miles of sand. It was really great Internet, to be out riding with my bro’s again. I’m so sore, but wow, it was super.

You probably know this already cuz you are the internet Internet, but we all helped move Cupcake into his new house yesterday. It was the craziest time ever! Washer, Dryer, Gigantic refrigerator, furniture made from lead, and a hundred heavy boxes. We filled a 30 ft. trailer and 7 trucks! That Cupcake, I don’t know if he is worth it sometimes. LOL! ; ) JK!!!

Well, the hole in my leg is healing up and I gotta go to the store. My Dad said I need some new biotics to replace all the biotics I killed with the medicine that made my leg get small again. Oh well, it’s always something isn’t it Internet! I don’t have to tell you that though do I! You’re the busiest friend I know.

Be cool! Your (best?) friend,