Saturday, January 25, 2003

ok - my wife sent me off to cross country skiing the way she does to all my adventures "take your cell phone" - with that not especially resounding vote of confidence i headed off to here to try cross country skiing. those who have been reading for a few months might recall i tried down hill skiing earlier this year - although it was kind of fun, it seems it would take too much time and expense to get to the point where it was really fun, so i thought i'd try cross country.

so i packed up the car with some elvis cd's i recently bought used (costello, who'dya think i meant, that fat, sideburned git?) and hit the road (expect a post on the brilliance (genius might be a bit strong word, in this case) of good ole declan sometime soon - as i am rediscovering him - you've been warned)

i had a blast. went a few laps around a very flat meadow to get the technique down. tried both the "classical" technique and the snow skating technique invented by usa olympian bill koch who blew away yhe field with it. in koch's technique you essentially use the same technique as skating - except of course, your "skates" are nearly 6 feet long - the classical seemed easier - the skating technique was cool too - but had to be careful to avoid sliding too far and do the splits (yes, i know "the splits are a yoga asana (hanumanasana, perhaps) named after the monkey-king god - who represents human achievement and ambition, but also unfocused energy - occasionally one hears the term "monkey mind" for scattered thoughts, such as the ones behind this post), but just cause it's a yoga pose doesn't mean i can do it and plus, even with all of today's weird yoga hybrids - yogilates, no one is suggesting xc skiing/yoga)

after a few laps around the meadow, i hit the real trail. as with skating the uphills didn't bother me - even the big ones, but the downhills scared me - once i discovered how you can put weight on your inner edges to control the speed to a degree i was much better. i had learned "the snowplow" when i went downhill, but somehow i just caught the "v shape of the skiis - front close, back further apart - i didn't catch the "weight on the edge" bit. i would love to see how fast i was going down some of those hills - i am sure it was just a crawl, but in my mind i was bode miller. went part of the way down the trail, turned around and went back - at that point i was getting tired and as i have found that's often when one gets hurt. i did walk down the last hill. was debating whether to ski or walk down it and while i was thinking i took a fall - took it as a sign from god. the lodge had a nice fireplace - beautiful smell of wood burning and coffee for just a donation!

all in all a blast. a totally intense workout - the new parka and workout shirt i got seemed to do their duty well and i was soaked... i plan on doing it again. the park is a ways away, but almost all highway. the rangers were super nice and it was not all that expensive - so really don't necessarily need to buy skiis at this time.

on the way home stopped at panera bread (are these local, or are they elsewhere) i told the clerk i was the luckiest man in the universe as they had their veg black bean soup on the menu - that and an asiago cheese bagel hit the spot. the muzak played the wind cried mary - odd....

got home, took some ibupropen and crashed - watched some red dwarf and skiing/adventure races - am a bit sore/stiff... think i'm taking the kids ice skating tomorrow...

i believe i am going to try cross country skiing today. i found a park a bit of a drive away where you can rent skiis (considered buying a pair, but cost too much given i've never even tried it and have no idea if i like it or not). it's something i want to do, so i think i'm going for it - despite the drive. if i like it, perhaps i'll get some skiis myself. if there are no posts for a few days, ask loki where you can send the get well cards to...

i have to have fun this weekend. i know that's a bad attitude to have - to try and force fun - like planning to be spontaneous, but i'm going to have a heavy schedule for the next 6 weeks. I am teaching 4 classes this term (plus taking one) , but one of them only runs for six weeks - but meets every day (m-f) for 3 hours - starting this coming monday...which means for the last two weeks i've had a relatively light schedule (which i've needed), but the next six weeks will be very demanding. assuming i survive it (and the skiing), i should have a relatively easy schedule for the rest of the term...at least that's how it is in theory...

Friday, January 24, 2003

the previous entry was dylan's idiot wind a bitter, yet oddly touching song - but to completely appreciate it, it must be heard sung by dylan. i mean, he doesn't have the kind of voice that you'd want to hear him sing the cole porter songfbook - yet for these highly personal lyrics, the sound of his voice brings out the bitterness and feeling even more

put differently, despite conventional wisdom, dylan is a great singer...

proof of dylan's genius

Someone's got it in for me, they're planting stories in the press
Whoever it is I wish they'd cut it out but when they will I can only guess.
They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy,
She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me.
I can't help it if I'm lucky.

People see me all the time and they just can't remember how to act
Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts.
Even you, yesterday you had to ask me where it was at,
I couldn't believe after all these years, you didn't know me better than that
Sweet lady.

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
Blowing down the backroads headin' south.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You're an idiot, babe.
It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I ran into the fortune-teller, who said beware of lightning that might strike
I haven't known peace and quiet for so long I can't remember what it's like.
There's a lone soldier on the cross, smoke pourin' out of a boxcar door,
You didn't know it, you didn't think it could be done, in the final end he won the wars
After losin' every battle.

I woke up on the roadside, daydreamin' 'bout the way things sometimes are
Visions of your chestnut mare shoot through my head and are makin' me see stars.
You hurt the ones that I love best and cover up the truth with lies.
One day you'll be in the ditch, flies buzzin' around your eyes,
Blood on your saddle.

Idiot wind, blowing through the flowers on your tomb,
Blowing through the curtains in your room.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You're an idiot, babe.
It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart
You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasn't enough to change my heart.
Now everything's a little upside down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped,
What's good is bad, what's bad is good, you'll find out when you reach the top
You're on the bottom.

I noticed at the ceremony, your corrupt ways had finally made you blind
I can't remember your face anymore, your mouth has changed, your eyes don't look into mine.
The priest wore black on the seventh day and sat stone-faced while the building burned.
I waited for you on the running boards, near the cypress trees, while the springtime turned slowly into autumn.

Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You're an idiot, babe.
It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I can't feel you anymore, I can't even touch the books you've read
Every time I crawl past your door, I been wishin' I was somebody else instead.
Down the highway, down the tracks, down the road to ecstasy,
I followed you beneath the stars, hounded by your memory
And all your ragin' glory.

I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I'm finally free,
I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me.
You'll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above,
And I'll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love,
And it makes me feel so sorry.

Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats,
Blowing through the letters that we wrote.
Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves,
We're idiots, babe.
It's a wonder we can even feed ourselves.

i need a physicist, a minnesotan/canadian or a zamboni driver to explain to me what the heck was going on with the ice today. i went skating outdoor and the ice was cracking under me BIG time. it COULDN'T be melting - i don't think we have left the teens in several days. i mean, hey, i might be putting on a bit of weight over this winter - but had no such problem monday? does the bitter cold make the ice more brittle? were new ice sheets forming on top of old ones and i was cracking thru the new ones? geesh - glad this wasn't a real pond where i could break all the way thru...took some serious stumbles before throwing in the towel hastily...

geesh - the friday five has been lame lately. perhaps it ought be retired...

1. What is one thing you don't like about your body?
it will fail me one day

2. What are two things you love about your body?
it hasn't failed me yet
legs are perfect length; they reach the ground

3. What are three things you want to change about your home?
i would like there to be some brand new 5-wheeled inline skates in the garage
3 things - hmmmm - throw in a new bike and a new stereo....

4. What are four books you want to read this year?
touring iceland on $5 a day - by krístin
pulp friction's guide to life - by karen
how i stopped worrying and learned to love bill gates - by loki
how you can have my positive attitude - by sharon

5. What are five promises you have kept to yourself?
climb everest
swim the english channel
win the western states 100
win gold in the summer and winter olympics
retire undefeated

i caught some of the hbo concert of those octagenarian rockers, the rolling stones last night.

it actually wasn't as sad as i thought it would be. actually, was kind of entertaining.

this means of course either they are not as pathetic as i thought they were, or perhaps i am more pathetic than i thought i was.

i mean, the boys, at least on paper, have been washed up for so long that entire bands have been created, risen from obscurity, made it big, and got washed up, since they've been washed up....

Thursday, January 23, 2003

why is it when i see a documentary about alaska or antarctica or something and they talk about the "stark beauty of the frozen landscape" i can see it - i really can, yet when walking across a frozen campus to my car in single digit temperatures with a nasty windchill, all i can think about is how much i hate winter. is it trick photography or do i have an attitude problem?

we were discussing effective powerpoint presentations in the class i am taking (in which we use macs). we had to demonstrate we knew how to create a powerpoint file by creating a small presentation tah included text, graphics, changing the font, etc...- so just for the heck of it, i put "thank god for bill gates" on my last slide just to see if the mac would blow up or something. it didn't.

i crack myself up.

the cold inspired me to buy a new parka (mine's a different color though) today between classes. i have felt i needed a new jacket for a while now; this AM was the straw that broke the camel's back...

now i am perhaps the only person outside in n ohio today breaking a sweat.

fitness experts and advice are a dime a dozen.
these bits of advice, from one of my favorite magazines and websites, seem reasonable to me

perennial favorite the pat metheny group to be on austin city limits this weekend.
funny. i've listened a bit to pat this week and a little voice in my head told me to check his site to see if anything was new...

i love the scene in ferris bueller's day off, where ferris is sitting on his bed wearing some kind of goofy outfit and hat and he blows this bit of cacophony on the clarinet then proudly declares "never had a lesson!"

also, anyone who teaches (or who has been a student) can relate to the ben stein scenes...

what a great movie...

human kindness...

it is frigid today. 2 F when we woke up. virtually every school in our area is closed, except for the system my kids go (so that's why we do so well on the proficiency tests) and, of course, the college...

at the exit ramp where the cop directs traffic i saw a car stopped. apparently the driver gave the cop a cup of hot coffee...the cop who is quite a showman, seemed, very grateful - tocuhed the warm cup to his face for warmth... i thought that that was so nice and showed that there still is a place for human kindness in these brutal times...

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

because of my previous post about vegan ultrarunner scott jurek, emily asked am i a vegan?
i thought that was an interesting topic for a post.
no, i am not a vegan. i am a vegetarian, but eat things that contain milk and eggs - not to mention honey plus i wear wool and other animal products.
i genuinely admire vegans for their ideals and their discipline. in some respects, i wish i could, but at this moment in time, i don't feel it possible. being a vegetarian as opposed to a vegan, is kind of my compromise between my ideals and practical realities - remember - no one else in my family is a vegatarian. i am not sure if i have the discipline to be vegan. i would miss many foods and it would be inconvenient for me and my family. granted, i had all those thoughts about being a vegetarian at one point in time - and now i've been one for 2+ years. still, being a vegan would be a bigger step yet - would make eating out with my family virtually impossible as well as meals at home. at any rate my models for vegetarians - the hindu yoga tradition - were not vegans...

my intent for posting the link was that many people are under the impression that humans need to eat meat to be healthy. i wanted to show strong evidence to the contrary. one has a right to eat meat or not to eat meat. i sincerely believe not eating meat is a better choice for a number of reasons, but i will not criticize someone for eating meat. however, criticizing a vegetarian diet because people have to have meat is simply not accurate. as emily pointed out, people need protein not meat...

so anyhow, for now, no, i am not a vegan, but a mere vegetarian, but who knows what the future brings

i guess scott jurek belies the claim that one needs to eat meat to be in top shape...

comments are very dicey today - so if you have something to say to me and they aren't working, send me an email:
mzellers at hotmail.com

what the heck, might be fun to get a few non-spam...

real audio stream from bbc6 crapped out during ian dury's hit me with your rhythm stick
life is pain

after reading fever pitch, i paid nick hornby, what i feel to be, the ultimate compliment for a writer. he can make a topic interesting that you normally have no interest in. fever pitch is about soccer (or football as it is called in the uk). what was interesting was his enthusiasm for his team, which mirrored my enthusiasm for the cleveland browns at one point of my life (certainly not now) i admit, i know nothing about soccer, and from the few games i saw, frankly it seemed boring. even the dreamcast game was kind of dull...

yesterday, as luck would have it, as part of my self-imposed rest day, i ended up seeing a genuine uk soccer game between manchester united and chelsea. it was hard to tell who was who, cause it seemed like their jerseys had ads instead of team logos, but regardless, i was rooting against manchester united cause i seem to recall rod stewart mentioning them in a song. anyhow, i finally got straightened out who was who and even spotted david beckham, who, if i am not getting my british gossip confused, is married to one of the spice girls (posh, i believe - probably the cutest)

anyhow, i realize i am probably missing a lot of the, um, subtleties of the sport, but it was kinda boring, after watching what i thought was about 45 minutes, i was suprised to look at my watch and saw only 15 minutes elapsed. the crowd seemed to be cheering randomly and occasionally breaking into chants/songs that were more entertaining than the game (guess you have to make your own fun...). before some soccer fan lectures me, i know, i am a low attention span american who wants action action action (i.e. i know the lecture cause i've heard american baseball fans drone on endlessly about how exciting "pitcher's duels" are in baseball....)

by the end of the game - which doesn't appear to have a fixed time - they paly for 90 minutes then add some extra time for god knows what (one of the coaches was complaining) man utd scored a goal and it was very exciting - prob due to the hours of inaction which preceeded it.

anyhow, thanks for all the well wishes from the previous post - one day at a time...

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

slight muscle pull. not sure if it's from yoga, skating, shoveling the driveway, or (most likely) trying to do yoga immediately after shoveling the driveway when all the muscles were cold.

will take it as a sign to slow down and take a total rest day after my class is complete.

besides the muscle pull, folks, i feel lousy. don't care to get into it (i know that's not really fair of me), but perhaps you all can beam me good thoughts or something...

Monday, January 20, 2003

apparently there is the world premiere of some show on nickelodeon tonight.

here is my older daughter's explanation to my younger daughter of what a world premiere is:
"it's where we get to be the first people in the world to see it; except for those people in central america that get to see everything an hour before us."

especially for americans - but others can too

please taka a minute today to think of dr. martin luther king jr. and what we all can do to realize his dream of racial harmony...

i caught only about 5 minutes of the golden globes last night, but i suspect i caught the right 5 minutes - hbo's curb your enthusiasm winning for best comedy and larry david's hilarious acceptance speech.

though it is easily the funniest of the nominated shows, i really thought that they'd go with a more cliched, bigger name show. for once voters in an award show showed some good judgement (good judgement=agreeing with me)

Sunday, January 19, 2003

a friend of mine, knowing i could use a boost, asked me to go skating with her at a local park. ironically, i lived across the park for over 10 years, but i had never ice skated on it as i was only just getting into skating when i lived there...

anyhow, they flood a low-laying area of the park, so it's not a "natural" pond, but it is still a totally different environment than the hockey rink i am used to skating on. a bit rougher - perhaps, snow covered in part and must deal with the wind...i still enjoyed it quite a bit. more of a (and i realize this sounds absurd) "outdoor" activity. i firmly believe being outside is very beneficial to one's mood and if that means occassionally having to calculate the difference in the co-efficient of friction between ice and snow, then so be it. a larger area - more free form - did not have to endlessly circle in the same direction. i really enjoyed it. took one tumble - but did a good tuck and roll - i love when my muscle memory is that good - reacts before you can think. definitely will make it back there...

blogger was down last night, which is probably good for you cause instead of the long, morose, depressed post on death i was about to make last night, you will get a short, cheerful post on some trivialities...

undercover brother is a hilarious movie - it pokes fun of racial stereotypes of all sorts, but it does so in a way that is light-hearted, good-hearted and above all funny

when the travelling wibury's cd came out (late 80's???) i liked it, but i have liked it more with each listen and it's a classic record. great musicians playing great songs and being very serious about having fun while doing it....

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