Thursday, November 23, 2017

no bad dogs, only bad owners

i’m non-confrontational.

i mean, i want to be friends with just about everybody.

except a guy in discovery park last night.

well past sunset and in the rain, a group of us were running along the bluff, when out of the dark charged a very large, off-leash german shepard.

it came right up to the (leashed) dog in our party, a good pup who can nevertheless be unpredictable with strange dogs.

it was a tense situation that could’ve gotten ugly very quickly—amplified by the fact that the shepard had no collar, and no owner we could see in the darkness. that the moment hadn’t immediately devolved into a dogfight was not reassuring.

we scanned the area with our headlamps, and the dog’s person finally arrived.

at that point i would’ve expected to hear profuse apologies and assurances not to worry, because “he’s friendly.” it would’ve been a lame, but tolerable response.

instead, we got, “could you turn down your headlamps!”

that was it. 

his dog was still way too close, still posturing aggressively, and instead of hustling over to help out, this guy was yelling at us to turn down our headlamps.

it hit me the wrong way.

“maybe you could get your dog on a leash, how about that? asshole.”
“turn down your headlamps!”
“fuck you!”

at that point my friend shouted something sarcastic (but less inflammatory), pulled her dog away, and we ran on to catch up with the rest of the group.

and that was that.
in a world that has lost its mind, this little altercation is meaningless.

on a micro level, though, it’s disconcerting how quickly my behavior escalated to defcon5. i’ve been assured i didn’t overreact, but sitting here today, i know i could’ve responded more constructively. or at least more cleverly.

i don’t know if it’s the times in which we live, or if i’m just predisposed to hostility first, civility second...but in the moment, under duress, my head went *boom*.

for this, i’m sorry. 

and, not sorry.

epilogue: i will try to do better.

Friday, November 17, 2017

caution: falling idols

“well a lot of people don't look at it like you were sick, hawkeye. a lot of people look up to you here. they admire you and they kinda feel they want to be like you. and...gee, when you walk out on an operation, you make them feel like you've let them down. if they can't depend on you, well, they figure, maybe there's no point in depending on anything.”

~ radar o’reilly
when al franken was doing radio for air america, i thought he’d make a great politician.

when he ran for the senate, i thought he’d be a great senator.

in his eight years in office, franken has championed legislation supporting healthcare, education, and human rights. he has 100% ratings from the planned parenthood action fund and the human rights campaign, along with high marks from the league of conservation voters and the aclu.

he’s been a politician i could point to as an example of an honorable, dedicated public servant, and say “see? this is what’s possible.”

which is why it was so crushing to see franken accused by a fellow USO cast member, leeann tweeden, of forcibly kissing and groping her during a 2006 tour.

that’s sexual assault and yeah, i believe her. one would have to be the worst kind of retrograde partisan not to. you’d have to toss out your intellectual and moral integrity altogther. and you’d have to pretend, impossibly, that you didn’t see the goddam photo.

what franken did was inexplicably, inexcusably stupid.

particularly for a person of demonstrated intelligence and professed liberal values (e.g., respect for others). for a man who has been an earnest advocate of women’s issues prior to and throughout his time in the senate. for a man who likely would have been apoplectic if someone had treated his wife or daughter or colleagues or staffers or constituents with such flippant abuse.

because it’s possible to reconcile two or more contradictory ideas, i can accept that a decent person could commit an indecency AND still be fit to show his face in public~if he owns it, demonstrates genuine remorse, and never again betrays our trust.

i can understand that franken could have done an abhorrent thing before he became a senator AND could still do good things as a senator.

what i can’t reconcile is his continuing to be senator.

al franken should resign.

people of principle can’t (rightly) excoriate roy moore and donald trump while giving al franken a pass.

ethically, morally, politically, there’s no way to straddle that fence, walk that fine line, or thread that needle. not at a time when people who cast themselves as “fine americans” and righteous believers are defending sexual assault and child molestation.

not when ‘deflection, never reflection’ hypocrites will gleefully excuse any past or future transgression in their ranks with: “yeah, but what about al franken?”

not when 51% of our population faces the prospect of a(nother) #metoo event every time they walk out the door.

i’m emailing and @-ing al franken to step down, because we have to be able to depend on our leaders to do the right thing.

or people will start to figure there’s no point depending on anything.

Thursday, November 09, 2017


shut up.
no, you shut up.
the joy of the run has left me.

i miss it.

i've heard other runners talk about this dilemma...but i until recently i've been spared it.

"it's running! don't overthink it! shoes, shorts, one foot in front of the other!"

odd how such a simple thing can become so complicated. 

thought exercise: envision a ball of twisted-up bicycle spokes. that's me and running right now.

clinical note: i'm not injured. not physically, anyway. it's just that when it's time to run, i don't want to.

if i go anyway, i feel better. until the next time.
if i don't go, i feel worse. i mean, obviously.

the world is a treacherous place.* running is my refuge and my therapy. i don't function well without it.

but i've lost the joy.

and i need it back.
* the world is simultaneously a place of breathtaking beauty, wonder, and bliss. that's not the region of the world i'm traveling, currently.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


welp, i'm in the lottery for a hundred-mile race.

actually, it's sort of THE hundred-mile race.

there are other 100s out there, of course, each with its own brutal beauty.

staring at my computer saturday, i experienced a serious case of ultrasignup butterflies. for a moment, i thought i might puke.

yup...this is the one i want to run.

the lottery is dec. 2.