Monday, December 31, 2007

Year In Review

So. 365 days of blogging. Who knew that would happen? So, time for meta-introspection.

The blog itself changed over time. Wrote at first about working out a lot. My knee injury which still aches at times (last Saturday during swing team aerials practice, for example). iTunes (oops, back up to 900 unranked music tracks...). Spirituality. And my relationship with a disappearing female friend.

I went through some journeys. Dated a friend of Friends. Got over Awkward girl. Got exposed to swing dancing and went completely overboard with it.

Ah screw this. Let's just look at the resolutions:

  • continue to live healthy
    Doing very well. Knocking on the door of breaking out of the "Clydesdale" label.

  • live my life with more thought about spirituality
    Meh. Been in and out of Quaker Meeting, been an infrequent visitor at the non-Institute class that the Remys invited me to. Meh.

  • compete in a sprint triathlon
    Knee injury cured me of all running aspirations.

  • complete a "Century" ride (100 miles)
    I rock! My first Century was a Cool Breeze

  • take more pictures each week
    Not so much. And not so important-seeming.

  • update this blog with consistency
    Hey, not a bad job. I don't think I've let it go quite for more than 10 days at a time or so. And almost 400 posts in the year? Good for me!

  • increase my social circle
    Definitely did this. Through the Remys to parts of their social network, to swing dancing, swing teams (where I'd like to congratulate myself on being a social catalyst).

  • contribute positively to the communities I belong to
    Not so much with the Quakers. Bit more with the dancers.

  • take a vacation that requires an overnight stay
    Not so much.

  • take positive steps towards finishing my degree
    Kind of. I took a math class last spring, but haven't followed up.

  • write 5 minutes of stand-up comedy
    Not so much. And don't care so much.

And from August:

  • Go On Casual Dates
    I did do this more in the latter part of the year, going on dates with, uh, three different women. And one of those has sprouted into a full-blown relationship. So I fell short of dating five different women, but that was an arbitrary goal compared to real-life.

  • Be More Organized
    Not so much.

  • Cycle
    Yeah, not in the latter half of the year. Darn.

Tomorrow, another year, another set of resolutions.

Make Me A Muslim


Very interesting. And so reminiscent of the LDS limitations my friends tell me about in the areas of modesty, homosexuality (hilarious misconceptions about that, by the way), alcohol, etc.


Just listened to a Fresh Air interview with Sarah Chayes, who founded and is running the Arghand Cooperative, which produces boutique soaps infused with the metaphorical (and literal) fruits of the south Afghanistan region. The goal is to wean the farmers off of the opium poppy by providing alternate products that add value to the local crops and are able to travel to Wester markets. They've been unable to meet the demand they've generated.

Chayes wrote an article in the Atlantic, Sents and Sensibility, about the journey of founding the cooperative, the frustrations of dealing with USAID, which is supposed to be helping groups like hers, and the amazing outpouring of direct support that actually got them up and running.

My brain: "Government-sponsored redevelopment can be extremely wasteful. Sometimes it's handled better by small, independent groups."

What am I, a Republican?! It's easy for me to say that we should foster an atmosphere of imagination and creativity in these agencies, but probably much tougher in practice. Accountability is a big factor.

My brain: "Why can't the government just fund independent groups with the flexibility and local expertise they lack?"

That's sooo problematic. And exactly what we're doing with the office of Faith-based initiatives, isn't it? :-(

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Skating By

Saturday was the Atomic Swing Team outing: ice skating at Anaheim Ice. I made sure P could come along as well, which was kind of the deciding factor for going. The pizza was a little sad, but had a nice chew to the crust. The skating... Well, I hadn't been since I was four-ish, when my father was attending Rochester Institute of Technology. So about 30 years ago. I briefly toyed with in-line skating back in the early 90's but spent less than an hour on skates. My feet were too wide for my skates and would quickly cramped up.

But all that aside, it came back to me quickly. The skates fit fine, if without enough arch support. I still don't know how to cross-over, but I was balancing on one foot fairly easily.

(Joy and I are too cool for school)

I only fell once, literally on the last lap before finishing up.

I think I'm done. Oh, the exit's too crowded. One more lap. Ouch!

Fun times! But my butt was sore the next day. Lots of near falls that I'll pretend didn't happen.

(Lindy Hoppers under glass, waiting for the Zamboni to finish)

(everyone, post cake and cocoa)

Funny conversation with Jeremiah.

Someone: Why didn't you get that girl's number at Lindy Christmas?
J: I'm young. I have plenty of time.
Me: Don't worry, I got her number and you can have it. [ducks right cross from P]
J: What?
Me: Why are you surprised?
J: Shut up.
Me: She had a teal top on and was from San Diego, right?
J: Er... Yeah...
Me: And her name was....
J: Yeah.
Me: Yeah, don't worry, I got her number for you.
J: Shut up.
Me: I'm just kidding.
J: I know you are, but I'm freaked out that you know who we were talking about from five seconds of conversation.
Me: Wasn't I the one who told you to dance with her?
J: Maybe. She had great connection, didn't she?
Me: Yeah, she did!
Later on:

Me: This was the girl you were talking about, right?

J: No, this is the one:

Milk came out of my nose!

The woman in the second picture was taking the OC Swing intermediate Thursday series when I first started the beginner classes last February. She's really nice, and Jeremiah is really mean.

Scary Dick

Too awesome for words.

Scary Mary

Too awesome for words.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007



The word "disc."

Why do we use that instead of "disk?"


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What Plants Need

I've never seen a plant growing out of a toilet!

RyanH points out that everyone should watch Idiocracy, where Brawndo was originally featured.

Too Obvious

(While chatting late at night, facing away from the open front door at Atomic Ballroom)

D: OK, I'm going to have to go dance. My backside is getting cold.

Me: I was just about to say the same thing.

J: Your butt is cold too?

Me: No, hers is! Heyooooh!

D: I knew that's where you were going with that.

Me: Nothing you say can ruin my moment!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I've never been a fan of abstinence-only education. But I can get behind Abstinence.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hitler, Hitting, and the Sun

I didn't write it, but I was pointed to this article because of my recent Ouch episode.

The biggest women/fascism link is a woman’s reliance on violence. Women will be the first to hit during any kind of dispute. It’s not even a percentage. It’s as much of a guarantee as it is that the sun will rise tomorrow. And as men we can all understand that the sun rises because it’s actually a star that our planet rotates around, therefore it is guaranteed to rise. We are able to remove ourselves from our personal point of view and understand that the sun isn’t rising at all. It’s actually us who are spinning around the sun. Women don’t even fucking know that.


Men Are Better Than Women

I Had To Know


Here are the ground rules:
  • You are in an enclosed area roughly the size of a basketball court
  • There are no weapons or foreign objects
  • Everyone is wearing a cup (so no kicks to the groin)
  • The children are merciless and will show no fear
  • If a child is knocked unconscious, he is "out." The same goes for you.

Important answers on my survey:

I can kick higher than 3 feet (that might not be true).
I counted my years of judo training during 4th to 6th grade.
I've been in one fight in my life.
I counted my experience running from bees and playing Starcraft.
I've never been trampled.
I would bite, kick or eye-gouge in a fight.
To hell with morality, I'd be too busy pile-driving, crane-kicking, and bare-knuckle bashing them all the way back to kintergarten.
Yes, I would you feel morally comfortable picking up a child and using him/her as a weapon to throw at other children.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


P has a cold/flu or something, but has still been interacting with people. One of her main problem symptoms is hoarseness. It's caused her the frustration of not being able to sing Christmas carols, or along with the iPod. She told me she was singing tenor just now, when attempting something.

And funniest of all, she can't laugh. No, that's the not the funny part. All she can manage are these low exhalations which sound exactly like Butthead (of "Beavis and" fame).


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pain and Resentment

Let me start out by saying that if you meet my father, you'll probably really like the guy. He's very personable, friendly, and good in the room. He tells funny stories. People like him.

And spending time with him makes me grind my teeth.

It's all old stories, and not very original ones. He wasn't very emotionally involved in my life after I entered my teen years. His interest in me felt centered on my academic achievement, which made me feel like he was only interested in reflected glory. When my parents marriage soured and ended, he accused me of poisoning her against him.

Wow, those words always sounded strange coming from your mother. But now that I hear you say them, I know where she's gotten all these ideas.
And while we've never really addressed any of these issues, he's tried to reach out to me. To be interested in my life. Which is horrible. I can't really spend any time with him without thinking about those things. Well, and the fact that I've heard all his funny stories over and over, so they're not fresh. Or funny.

The horrible thing for me is that the rest of my family doesn't seem to feel the same way about him. He gets invited to all the family birthdays, holiday celebrations, etc. And I have to decide if spending that time with my family is worth the teeth-gritting time with my father. I resent my family for subjecting me to this. They know how I feel and keep inviting him.

It really isn't that they don't know. I've told them. I've asked them to let me know when he's going to be around so I can decide whether or not to attend. And there are times I've done that. On Christmas Eve 2005, my brother text-messaged me late at night that my mother wanted me to know that my father would be there the next day. That was infuriating. They wouldn't respond to my questions about the timing of this revelation, and I decided not to go. Which pissed them off to no end, especially my brother who couldn't understand why I wouldn't "just suck it up and spend time with the family."

Our experiences with our father were very different, of course. In one of the last fights I had with the man before I went to college, I warned him that he should be more involved in my brother's life. It's possible that he took that advice to heart.

I'm not sure which is worse, spending time with my father or the resentment towards my family for subjecting me to him.


I've been dating P for just over 2 months now. There are different stages of comfort to a relationship that I anticipated: First time we held hands. First time we burped in front of each other. First time we sat in the same room working separately.

But last night was the first time she hit me. On the arm. Hard. Really hard. There's no bruise, but it's still tender.

Admittedly, she was following a "Hit him for me," order from MichelleM. But it still hurt. She's got practice punching her older brothers, and I don't remember ever having to take a punch from my younger sister.

P: Would a kiss make it up to you?
Me: No!
P: So what would?
Me: How about grabbing my butt in front of the hot 20-year-olds?
P: Outside, after we leave?
Me: No. Inside, when they're watching.
P: [doubtful] Sure...
Me: I'm serious. And I'll have to think about how to react. Maybe I'll jump, squawk, and yell 'Did you just grab my butt?'
MichelleM: At least you know now not to mess with me. I'll hurt you!