Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Crazy Summer 08

Hello again.

I'm back after another absence, during which I'm sure your lives lost a significant amount of purpose and meaning. They say that "absence makes the heart grow fonder." Then again, they also say "out of sight, out of mind." And, in my vast experience as a morally questionable human being, I have found the latter to be the truer statement.

So thank you for sticking by me long enough for this new post to come out, instead of wandering off to repeatedly click the 'random article' button of Wikipedia, like I have been known to do in fits of interzone boredom.

Oh yeah, I'm calling the internet the interzone now. It's an allusion to Interzone, the setting of William S Burroughs' novel Naked Lunch. Basically, it's a fictional setting influenced by the International Zone in Tangier, Morocco, in which Burroughs spent some time enjoying the sun, surf and freedom from extradition.

This last factor became important after the author shot his common-law wife in the face during one of the most spectacular party trick failures of recent memory. The couple referred to it as their "William Tell trick." Basically, the soon to be deceased half of the pair would put a glass on her head and WSB would pull one of his several guns and try not to murder her. Evidently, one night he didn't try very hard. Good thing they were in Mexico at the time, so he was able to escape justice pretty easily.

Quick review:


Just for future reference.

Anyway, Interzone is a messed up place where people eat garbage and have huge crazy orgies and turn into bugs and slime and switch genders and kill and maim pretty much whenever they want. Fairly appropriate for cyberspace, really.

It is also home to the namesake of the band Steely Dan.



A stern yet fair sheriff, perhaps? An outlaw with a strong sense of justice? Nope.

Steam-Powered Dildo.

Oh yes, read that again if you have to. The truth hasn't changed. I have the specific passage here, but you know what? I'm not going to post it. Read the book, if you like, you'll find it soon enough, and quite possibly won't read much further.

There, that's my justification for the term. Gosh, I hope it catches on.

Back to the wacky misadventures of Rev:

Oh yes, Boilermaker!

I ran the 2008 Boilermaker, as promised in an earlier post.

And, as expected, it was a blast. I was nervous, as my globe trekking adventures and general laziness had led to me not training as much as I should have. I topped out at a distance of about 6 miles, which is significantly less than the 9.3 miles that makes up that most Utican of races (p < .05).

Nonetheless, I had already bought my JetBlue tickets, and so was pretty much locked into doing this thing. Plus there was the whole boasting post (see above) which, had I bitched out on running, would have made me look like... well... a bitch. And we can't have that, can we?

(No)

My nervousness was compounded when I decided that I would be running alongside two of my friends, also native to Central New York, Curly and Bluish-Green. Now Bluish-Green is in training for the USMC Marathon, and Curly had run 9.3 miles the week before "to see how it would feel." Moral: they're both better runners than I, and I was scared that the pace they would set would result in me winning the Boilermaker consolation prize: a free IV and oxygen mask.


Not really funny.

So I was prepared to put my foot down, and dictate my own pace. Did that happen? We'll see.

Here's Curly and I before the Race began:


This was pretty early in the morning, so it's possible I'm actually asleep in this picture.

We met up with Bluish-Green after the cameras had gone, but here's a picture of the three of us in mid-race:


This is on the Parkway... I forget which mile. More than 2.

And finally, after the finish line:



I made it, and I think I shaved 5 minutes or so off of the first time I ran. Coolness. Even so, I stuck mostly to my own pace. I slowed my companions up a little towards the end, but gave a pretty good sprint at the last second. Sweet, sweet success.

Which brings us to the point of it all: Beer. The finish line is strategically located at the FX Matt Brewing Company, and immediately funnels the runners into a bitchin' party in the back parking lot. It looks like this:


Lots of people.

And dehydrated, endorphin-charged runners and tables and tables of free beer at 10:00 on a Sunday Morning. It might not be Heaven, but it's a damn sight better than Church.


Here I am as a proud endorser of both Saranac Beer and Hitler hairstyles.

Well, that was my wonderful experience with Boilermaker 2008. Now I have 11 months to not train for Boilermaker 2009! Huzzah!

I leave you now with Groucho Glasses.




Good night, and God Bless.

Rev

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blogstravaganza

Sweet Bippity Moses, it's been a chunk of time since I've updated, and I don't even really apologize this time. First off, I didn't just want to do a series of small updates. I wanted to do a nice big one that will waste your time and stretch your pathetic internet-poisoned attention spans. The main reason for that is because, as I'm sure all of you have noticed, this marks the 100th posting to this digital drivel dumpster. I mean... hilariously whimsical and worthwhile work. Anyway, a milestone of this magnificent magnitude requires some special effort. I'm now going to stop with all the alliteration, as it's starting to bug me, and probably you as well.

Also, I've been doing a whole lot of cool stuff, so couldn't be bothered to keep updating. Unfortunately, now I'm way behind, because each of those cool things should warrant its own entry, so I have to cut down.

Also unfortunately, I'm forced to largely abandon other ideas for blog posts that I've had for a while, like "Inappropriate items I've found in the Times Square Toys R Us"


Oh, vibrating foam fist, we hardly knew ye.

and so a brief summary of the last few weeks.

I went to China (as I believe I've mentioned before).


Ladies, this is one red octagon that doesn't mean 'stop,' (wink).

Then I spent 4th of July weekend on the Jersey Shore with -2.


The Ocean and New Jersey. Despite that combination, I had a good time.

Then I went to Utica to run the Boilermaker.


Nevermind how it looks, this is actually a lot of fun.

Finally, just last night I attended the Billy Joel Last Play at Shea concert in Shea Stadium.


I think now he's some kind of Vampire King. The coolest Vampire King ever, though.

So lets talk China.

I went there for ten days as a stowaway with two groups, the New York Choral Society and the Hartford Chorale, who had combined to make a giant choral supergroup. Kind of like Voltron, except made of old people and singing classical music instead of killing robeasts with his blazing sword.



Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do.

So yeah, not being a member of either organization, I classified myself as a "special guest" and enjoyed a lovely mix of organized tours and running about willy-nilly in a significantly less organized fashion.

Predictably, I prefer the latter, like eating a 75 cent bowl of noodles from a shop made out of a double decker bus.


What does botulism taste like?

Awesome new friends were made, historical facts were learned, and exotic dishes were eaten. It was a fantastically enriching experience, but not without its difficulties.

Those included:

The Chinese government feeding our choir boxes of McDonald's in a loading dock while in full concert attire:


Good Americans. Eat.

An outdoor concert with a lot of rain and a slight chance of lightning killing us all:


The crowd was appreciative, though possibly mandatory.

And an Alto passing right the F out in the middle of a lengthy piece by Philip Glass:

I'm sorry, I don't have a picture of that. I was singing at the time. I think there may be a video somewhere, and Goddamn if I don't want to get my hands on it.

So several things on the agenda got a bit rocky. Big deal. Some people decided to complain about this and let it spoil their time. Not me.

The boringest thing in the world is something going precisely to plan. I mean, that's why we're not in on the details of the heist in Ocean's Eleven. We have to think they're getting busted all the time or we don't care. There's no conflict there, and that's the source of all comedy and drama. We especially don't care about the crappy sequels they made, except to discover a new form of resentment involving the actors having more fun on screen than the audience is in the seats.

I seem to have gotten sidetracked. What I meant to say is, looking back in a year or fourteen, it's the panicked scrambling and silly outrage that we're going to remember as the most fun, and they certainly make for a better story, even today, than "everything went perfectly and we had a lovely time."

Unfortunately, I think I'll close on that note. I hope you've enjoyed my 100th Blog Post.

I'd also like to mention that you should feel free to contact me with any questions you should have about life or existence. My brilliance can benefit the world.

Like Franksta, who recently left this on a past post:

"I am trying to be Marty McFly this Halloween, care to share you secrets of where you found some of the articles of clothes? I think you did an excellent job and I can not find a vest with button snaps anywhere near the right color! "

Franksta, you're right to be in awe of me.




Catch you later, folks.

Rev

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back in the U S of Effin' A.

Hello! I am back! I have returned to the country of my birth and the greatest nation on the face of the Earth. It feels good to be home.



I'm still a bit jet-lagged/tired, but that will pass soon enough. Others have been telling me that it's mostly my own fault, as I got back to my apartment at 8:30 PM on Monday, and went to work the next day at 9:00 AM sharp. Evidently people feel that an "unwinding" day is desirable after taking several airplanes/buses/trains over the course of a 30 hour day (something about the international date line or flux capacitor, I don't understand time travel).

I say to them that sick days are for illnesses, and if you don't like it you can leave me alone and go back to your laziness and welfare fraud.

As promised, though, I have taken many pictures. As I don't have time to go into huge detail right now, I'll just post a few teaser promos, and let you wallow in your exquisite suspense.


1) Here's me radiating my smug contempt for Mao at Tiananmen Square:




2) Here's me trying to scale part of the Great Wall:




C) Ummm...




Yes, this trip did indeed have it all. Comedy, drama, culture shock, edible scorpions, karaoke, and lots and lots of poorly translated signs.




So yeah, you get to look forward to at least some of that later. Or you can save us both a lot of time and just come over to my apartment to sit through the five hundred and five picture slide show.

It's up to you.

-Rev



PS - bring beer.