Friday, April 23, 2010

Be A Man

Today I told my students that "I'll Make a Man out of You" from Disney's Mulan is an excellent song to listen to while you work out. I think education is sometimes simply a process of telling each other ridiculous things. A few weeks ago they told me that the Trojans conquered Sparta using a wooden horse.

For maybe five minutes the other night, it was obvious to me that the Christians and the Muslims are either making stuff up or crazy. Maybe the Jews have it right. But the Jews are clearly crazy. So is the universe, I guess.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Live Without Warning

South Park aired the first half of a two-part episode last week which dealt with, among other subjects, censorship of the image of Muhammad. Ironically, and perhaps predictably, they received a threat from a New York-based Muslim group. The second half of their episode was heavily censored, and Parker and Stone claimed today that Comedy Central was responsible for some of this. I don't know if I believe them, though...

Jon Stewart quoted Catullus 16 the other day. Everyone should go look at that.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Plotting The Course

On Saturday, Margaret and Jesse and I ran a 5K at Bates Middle School. It started with one lap around the track, and I went out hard. I was towards the front as we headed onto the streets, and I passed a few more runners in the first mile. Eventually a group of about six pulled off ahead, paced by the bike that was leading the race, and a second group of three coalesced behind the leaders. I dropped Jesse and a guy who looked like Carrot Top and caught up with the second group. Around the end of the first mile, I settled in behind them and we cruised along at about a 7:30 mile pace.

The leaders had gotten away from us quite thoroughly, but we four were making good time: me, an older guy, a ten-year-old with incredible stamina, and his dad. No one was close behind us as we came in on the halfway point. We were just over eleven minutes, so we were moving fast, but I was feeling good, and I was pretty sure I could run away from them on mile three. That would set me up to finish in the top ten, and probably under 23:00. We cruised through the water station at the halfway point with no trouble- I swigged some water without missing a stride- and moved on up West Street. Now no one was visible behind us.

As we approached the traffic circle, I glanced back again. We were really moving. I couldn't see anyone behind us at all...

Almost twenty minutes later, as I ran down onto the track towards the finish line, Jesse jogged up. "Did you get lost?" he asked.

"NO. I just really wanted to tour downtown Annapolis before I finished the race..."

Jesse finished in 24:30, Margaret hit her 36:00 goal with a 35:55 and one of the most badass bits of racing I've ever seen,* and I (and my new friends) jogged around for almost an extra mile before we found the course again (the water lady was supposed to tell us to turn) and finished in just under thirty minutes. Always download the course map, I guess. Fortunately this should not be a problem at Broad Street.

*She didn't stop running til the finish line, where she promptly hit the ground and puked. And she took almost six minutes off her previous time, and it doesn't get more badass than that.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I Want To Ride My Bicycle

When I was in middle school, I had Pokemon: Blue (and later I got Yellow, too). One of the annoying features of this game- and of many RPGs- was that it took a really obnoxiously long time to walk anywhere. First of all, you progress at this painfully slow pace. And when you have to go back and forth to various places in order to heal pokemon, get items, save your game, etc, you start to develop a recurring desire to hurl your Game Boy through a wall.

In Pokemon, though, you eventually get a bicycle, which speeds everything up considerably. The game gets fun again, because you don't have to waste so much damn time.

Now, having lived in Oberlin and in College Park where everything is built sprawled out and far apart, I think I'm starting to realize how true-to-life that game was. I don't really want to live in a city again, but I don't want to live outside one without a bike, either.

The other good thing about biking is that you get to wear spandex and buy expensive equipment and go really fast. And this is seen as legitimate eco-friendly form of exercise, so society even commends you for spending large amounts of money to play superhero and act like a little kid.

Another Victory Song

Good memories from last night:

-Joshua Sacco performs the "Miracle" pregame speech, tailored to the Red Sox.
-Pedro throws out the first pitch.
-I yell "See-see ya later!" as we finally chase C.C. Sabathia out of the game in the sixth inning, which draws a laugh (at least from me).
-Steven Tyler performs "God Bless America" and Neil Diamond comes out to do "Sweet Caroline" live (he stumbles through it a little, but Red Sox Nation helps him).
-Pedroia hits a long high fly ball to left. I have a bad angle, but (stay fair, stay fair...) it's over the monster! Tie game. Didn't he hit a homer on opening day last year? Isn't he roughly hobbit-sized? How does he DO that?
-Youkilis goes 3-for-4 and is basically as tremendous as ever.

This morning on the plane, I felt sick as hell- maybe related to my lack of sleep, but I have done worse before- so I am taking the day off. But now it is afternoon and warm and sunny and so, in light of this Ditty Bops cautionary tale, I am pretty much obliged to take my bike out.

I sat Miguel Cabrera today in favor of Michael Cuddyer. This might be foolish, but I am scared of Greinke.

In titling this post, I accidentally typed "Another Victory Dong," which is a pretty sweet typo.