I lead a pretty dull life actually

September 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Accomplishments this year:
I can now back squat 215# and bench press 120#
I delivered a wedding poem for my friends who are getting married
I won an award at work (possible sympathy vote for that time I nearly died)

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July 15, 2012 4 comments

Looking back, maybe I should have seen the signs. Here are a few selected tweets from the week prior to my stroke:

June 23:
Right after warmup, I felt very dizzy and nauseated, so I lay down on the weight room floor for a few minutes…

June 24:
Quite dizzy for no apparent reason, although the base of my skull is sore. Either attacked by ninjas or suffering a mild brain fever.

June 24:
Perhaps really stiff neck & back muscles are cutting off the blood flow to my brain. GIVE ME A NECK MASSAGE, INTERNET. …damnit.

June 25:
I seem less prone to vertigo today, though the base of my skull is still sore. Perhaps the brain fever has passed.

June 25:
Am having completely irrational notions that I’m about to stroke out and suffer brain damage. But that might actually be good for me.

June 26:
The base of my skull still hurts. Also: sleepy.

June 27:

June 28:
Still dizzy. The base of my skull hurts, but only on the left side. Improvement?

June 29:
At the hospital. It WAS a stroke.

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I cannot imagine what you’re going through

March 16, 2012 Leave a comment

My 80 year old aunt has cancer. She called dad (her brother) and said “I have cancer it’s malignant.” I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to be her right now. There’s got to be shock. There’s got to be the feeling that for her, this is the end of everything.

Or maybe not. She’s a nun; she has faith and friends. But still it must be a devastating blow.

I’m terrible at empathy and am socially awkward under the best of circumstances. It seems awful to just call someone up and say “I’m so sorry to hear you have malignant cancer.” And yet surely it’s worse not to call at all.

To blow off steam, I cobbled together the following image. It’s based on Google’s actual search predictions.


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Interlude, musing

January 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve never been the other woman
Just another woman
When neither of us was exactly what he wanted
This happens more often than I’d like

The fractals repeat themselves
The bridges burned,
scorched earth and smoking man
I’ll see them all again

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Slippery Slope

January 8, 2012 Leave a comment

And so I found myself asking the Twitterverse:

“Is it ok when a married man feels you up on several occasions? And you don’t want to be touched & didn’t invite it? And you know his wife?”

And qualifying that pathetic question with the further information: “But when [I] bring it up to [our] mutual ‘guy friends,’ they say things like, ‘Well, I can’t say I blame him’ and ‘He’s a good guy.’”

This sort of thing has happened to me more times than you’d think.

When you’re an employee at a company that distributes pornographic material, of course you’ve signed a document stating you won’t sue the company for exposure to political incorrectness. So you keep your head down. You’re a good sport. You take it like a man.

You study martial arts under an amazing martial arts master. He’s been known to tell male students that they shouldn’t buy the cow when they can get the milk for free. Also, he encourages drinking after black belt class, so things happen.

In dark corners, away from witnesses, you have been told the following:

  • “I’ve always wanted to make love to an Asian chick.”
  • “I just can’t control myself.”
  • “I know you told me you didn’t want a relationship, but it feels like my clinical depression is coming back.”
  • “You’re so smart.”

And then things happen. Or is it that you let them happen? You don’t make a fuss, because these are your friends; these are your coworkers; these are your brothers. You accept that while there is no excuse for their behavior, neither will there be retribution. You don’t want to be kicked out of the family. You don’t want to be a drag. You don’t want to ruin it for everyone else.

Sometimes, I’m not even involved. When one of the guys is obviously two-timing two of your female friends, but all your other female friends say “I want to believe the best. I want to believe the real him is the ‘good guy’ we see in class. He’s just confused.” But no one makes a move to say anything to the women involved. Because…why? They should know better?

There’s no good way to tell a woman that her husband has been pawing you. And not just tonight, and you suspect not just you. She will hate you forever.

But it’s the right thing to do.

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I am small and weak

October 4, 2011 1 comment

Yesterday, I actually went to failure on both the back squat (at 100#) and the bench press (at 70#). By this I mean I actually collapsed under the bar during the last round of squats. (Hooray for those safety bar thingamajigs!)

  • The curious thing about the experience is that I wasn’t at all in pain and was taken entirely by surprise. I did rep #4 without incident, and then rep #5 completely took me down. I was just on the floor with no forewarning whatsoever. This happened to me once before when I was trying out Crossfit. There’s a threshold where adding just 5 more pounds to the squat load painlessly but inexorably forces me to the ground. I’m thinking it’s not muscle failure (there’s no real discomfort), but a function of neurological adaptation (or lack thereof).

  • Also, I somehow managed to accomplish all this collapsing so quietly that NOBODY noticed, not even the guy in front of the mirror FIVE FEET AWAY. Come on, guys. Throw me a bone here.

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    October 4, 2011 2 comments


  • I’m solving that old equation: Exactly
    How to undo
    The geometry that holds us

  • The diagram takes
    A cunning shape
    Sharp to the touch,
    and precarious:
    A cat’s cradle tangled
    A jangling mobile hanged
    On a steel wire net

  • It’s an acrobatic trick,
    Disarming this love
    Trip one wire, and the shock
    Will set the rest to humming
    Vibrating our small constellation till it shatters

  • Holding my breath
    I clip at your heartstrings
    Hoping this whole thing doesn’t shake apart
    If I’m subtle enough
    To slip the knots
    You may never notice me let go

  • Even now I can feel us
    Casting off the vestigial
    and essential
    And without forethought
    All the while attempting
    A casual disregard
    for regret

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