Friday, June 14, 2013

60-second nonfiction

gotta love these guys...
that was close.

it's been busy around here. too busy. i've been traveling, mrs. spaceneedl has been traveling. we're about to go traveling together.

schedules being what they are, it looked like my streak of 13 consecutive months participating in at least one running event would come to an end.

my last hope was the june 29 taylor mountain half marathon. i went to register...and it was closed. i tried the 5K. closed.

so i got on the wait list for the half...and, you know, waited. 

today "a few more spots became available" and i got registered. boom.

the streak continues.

on my feet and moving.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

60-second fiction

dude, don't sneak up on me like that...
it was a big damn bear, and it was moving toward me. which made it easy to forget the conventional wisdom that black bears are sort of overgrown raccoons, not particularly dangerous, unless you startle one or stumble across one in a bad mood.

this one was definitely startled, and closing the distance between us.

i ran.

50 word fiction

give or take a few words...
she squinted into the midday desert sun. heat waves on the horizon nearly hid the approaching truck, but she saw it. 

standing there sweating, she wished the driver would hurry the hell up. at this rate, he was still several minutes away, minutes she didn't have. 

"put the gun down, put the gun down," she sang under her breath. "imma set fire to the whole damn house..." 

Friday, June 07, 2013

defying brevity

"it's more important to look mahvelous than to feel mahvelous." 
~ billy crystal

"if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation." ~ jean kerr

i'm a pretty good faker of the calm. 

but probably not as good as this guy, who assiduously worked on a rubik's cube as the plane he was on plummeted toward earth...

"I was surprised when the guy sitting next to me said, 'Man, I was freaking out. I was about to lose it, but then I looked over and saw you were so calm that it helped me calm down too.'  Soon other passengers sitting around us started chiming in, sharing the same experience. It seems a wave of collective calm slowly rolled over the back of the plane helping to ease some of the tension. Without being aware of it, I projected calmness to the people around me. They in turn became calmer. And ultimately my internal fear started to fade away as well. It was a surreal experience but it became clear to me that calmness was contagious, even if I was only faking it."

there have been times ~ earthquakes, hurricanes, hydroplaning off the highway at 70mph ~ when panic was clearly called for, and yet i've stayed strangely calm. i have no explanation for this, but i'm grateful. in tense situations, a grown man running around shrieking like a five-year-old is rarely helpful.

sadly, it's the little things that tend to send me into an undignified tizzy. things like...

the seattle mariners: (see, i told you it was the little things.) in a world filled with inconsequentialities, the mariners are smaller still. they don't mean to be. they just can't seem to help it. and me, inexplicably, i can't help but watch them and care about how they do. season after hopeless season. i sit in front of games, at home and less frequently in person, and i care. i don't know why. i watch them fail, and i get angry at their failure, and i swear spontaneously at the television (i swear silently when watching in person). then i chide myself for caring about something so insignificant, when there are far more important failures worth caring about. (shakes head) the seattle fucking mariners.

politics: history will little note nor long remember the intensity of my love/hate relationship with politics and other people who love and hate politics. want to distract me from any subject, pursuit, or baseball game? make an innocent, offhand comment about something political. important note: i will immediately judge you and base further interaction with you on the outcome of the conversation that follows. forever. this is not a healthy or appropriate behavior on my part, and i apologize for it preemptively and unreservedly. still, i now believe you're a very smart person. or an idiot. let's talk some more about this. let's never talk about anything, ever again.

first world problems: my parents don't have wifi. i can't decide which pair of running shoes to wear. do i want beer or wine, or both? i think we have way too much food for this many people. we're down to our last pound of coffee. i have to take off my polarized sunglasses to see my iphone screen. i let people merge in front of me all the time and hardly ever get a "thank you" wave. comcast sent us a standard-def box instead of the hi-def box we're paying for. it's national donut day but i don't like donuts. i haven't started packing yet for our trip to france.

sleep deprivation: i've been compelled to nap in my car at lunch three times this week. it's entirely possible i may have carpolepsy. (autocorrect tried to change carpolepsy to "carpool rosy." which makes me wonder what the autocorrect people do in their carpools.)

BREAKING: i've just received an email from agent mark a. morgan, field director, FBI, washington, d.c.  according to agent morgan, the feds have intercepted two shipments at JFK airport, addressed to me. shipments containing $4.1 million! yay!!

here's where sh*t gets real, though:

"You are therefore required to contact me within 72 hours on this email {emailhere} at that point I will walk you through the process of clearing and claiming the money. Failure to comply may lead to your arrested, interrogation and/or you being prosecuted in the Court of Law for tax evasion and or money laundering. You are also advised not to contact any bank in Africa, Europe or banking institution."

as you can imagine, i'll be contacting agent morgan post-hastily. fortunately i'm a verizon wireless customer, so he had no trouble tracking me down. thank goodness for NSA surveillance!


in recounting all this, i've projected an outward appearance of calm. as a result, i believe, others around me have remained calm as well. there may be other explanations for their bizarre placidity (drugs) but why shouldn't i take credit for it?

i think we're done here.

stay calm, everyone.