Thursday, November 29, 2012

a novel idea...

the two rode up the elevator quietly, looking straight ahead. the young man looked over and noticed the older woman. she was pretty, in a severe kind of way. he looked down, then back to her. "how are you doing today?" he asked. "tired, broke, disgusted and can't be trusted," she replied, still looking straight ahead. he raised an eyebrow, and turned toward her. "i bet you say that to all the guys you ride an elevator with." she withdrew her hand from her coat pocket, and pointed the gun at him. "i told you i couldn't be trusted," she said. his eyes widened just before she pulled the trigger. the elevator doors opened and the woman walked away without looking back...

Monday, November 26, 2012

ad nauseum

sam elliott won't rest until every glacier melts and every polar bear is dead.

why else would he continue to pimp the biggest gas-sucking bunny-crushing truck-beasts american engineers can design? okay, besides the money.

sam elliott has a great, iconic voice. shoot, if he told me something ridiculous, like say, coors ("the banquet beer!") is fit for human consumption, i'd almost believe him. it is, after all, brewed with high country barley and pure rocky mountain spring water. which sounds good, in the abstract, if not in the actual beer.

but when he tells me the dodge ram 1500 truck can "move heaven and earth," and "bring the world to its knees" ~ while on screen a CG mountain explodes in a cataclysm of environmental devastation ~ i start to think maybe sam isn't the most credible, responsible spokesperson.

give the soulless marketing hacks at dodge credit ~ they know their target market. the dog-whistle language in this spot is like PBR for gun-toting climate-change-denying manifest-destinating hemi-hogs.

"take it all head-on ... shorten the distances, push beyond the possible, roar past convention, shift every course, defy the elements..."

earth-scorching parody can't mock much much harder than that. and yet, it's just the kind of talk that gets the most atherosclerotic viagra-dependent face-painters all tingly with...something. they can't quite remember what. simmer down there, bubba. you're just a few systolic points away from a hemorrhagic event.

sam, though, takes it one step further. he actually appears on camera here ~ a first in this scintillating series ~ lending his personal imprimatur to a marauding message of manly plunder.

"the road doesn't end here," sam says. "this is only the beginning. guts. glory. ram."

and with those last three words, delivered with the dramatic seriosity only a true professional can fake, excitable types all over the country explode, messily and in unison, in a truckgasm of monster proportions.

atta way, sam. environmental impact, if such a thing existed at all, is somebody else's problem. america's weekday warriors are gonna ram this road right up mother nature's avenue ~ and god help anyone who gets in the way. all the way to the job site where the really serious fracking happens. giddy. up.

afterward they'll fire up some of the beef council's finest byproduct, because as sam once intoned: "beef ~ it's what's for dinner. especially after you've just had your way with nature and you're ready to reload with a bolus of fat-marbled protein, rammed into your veins. defy doctors orders. guts. glory. meat."

three things ~ the economy, the environment, and the american habitus ~ are in rough shape. sam elliott's audacious advocacy ~ for fat trucks burning tons of fossil fuels and a flotilla of adipose americans ~ is ill-advised. in a nonfunny literal kind of way.

sam, the world is already pretty well brought to its knees, thanks. and you've done your bit to help put it there. so before you start pimping, oh-i-don't-know, high fructose corn syrup and genetically modified organisms and baby harp seal hunting ~ how about you take a ram 1500 head-on and, you know, push beyond the possible?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

going dark

run to the light...all are welcome!
wait, not that light...
it's not winter yet, but the dreaded drizzling darkness is descending rapidly. this time of year, nightfall comes early to seattle. 

at 3:30 in the afternoon you can look out the window and think, "are we having an eclipse? did i lose consciousness for several hours? is it time for dinner?" but no, it's just a weak-willed sun too low in the sky to make any headway through the clouds.

it's a tough time to be a runner here. during the week, you either get out 
at lunch, or you run in the dark. quite often in the rain. or you stay inside, on the treadmill. either way, your time and distance usually suffer, unless you discover the eternal secret to enduring the treadmill. which i have not.

this leaves the weekends to get out for some extended miles, if your responsibilities allow for such a thing.

i confess, i'm embittered by these short daylight hours. we had actual summer in 2012, for the first time in years, and i got used to long, tranquil runs after work, with plenty of light left over for the drive home. at 9:30 p.m. or so we'd say, "well, it's starting to get dark. maybe we should head in and get some dinner going."

i'm greedy now for the warmth, the light, the lack of horizontal precipitation. i want to be someplace where winter doesn't last seven months. where the vault door of dreary and damp and dark doesn't close with an ominous, remorseless, echoing booooom.

trouble is, places like those are very popular, and very expensive. with the kind of jobs that pay just enough for you to buy a bus ticket someplace else when you've exhausted your life savings.

that, or they're so inhospitable on the other end of the thermometer that even the gila monsters don't want to live there.

i know. no one ever said life was easy. running certainly is not easy for me. but i'm learning that "real runners" adapt to the environment and keep going. so that's what i'm trying to do. to that end, i've been accumulating gear. a couple LED headlamps. a breathable waterproof jacket. reflective gloves. a waterproof baseball cap. knee-length compression shorts. ankle-high smartwool socks. and some winterized trail running shoes with burly vibram soles.

fortunately i already owned the snorkle and scuba mask.

i can now run, as comfortably as possible, in the cold, dark and wet. people who do so report feeling exhilarated and vibrant and powerful and fully alive like never before. in such conditions i feel pretty good sitting bundled up indoors with a glass of wine, but admit to a twinge of...envy? admiration? when those people run by.

part of me thinks, "y'all are crazy." part of me says, "you need to gear up and
go find out. or one day you'll wish you had."

that last thing, the finding-out part? it's winning. in fact, it's already won.

i'm going.


there's a new running store in our neighborhood, called seven hills running
(there are seven hills surrounding seattle, see). each week they sponsor a
saturday morning group run ~ rain or shine. today they headed out in pouring
rain, the perfect chance for me to test my new gear, and my resolve.

instead, i headed to the airport, to new orleans, for a conference. weather dot
com predicted 66 and sunny for the short duration of the trip. i packed


the weather in nawlins was perfect. i put in eight miles one day, five miles another.

then i headed back to seattle, where the forecast called for rain. every day.
for the next several months.

it won't be getting lighter, or drier, any time soon. but, at least there won't
be any frankenstorms. theoretically.

time to dive in.