Friday, February 28, 2003

Something just occured to me about U of M's pools. Inside Canham Natatorium are both the Matt Mann Pool, for competative swimming, and the Dick Kimball Diving Pool, the purpose-built diving well. Dick Kimball. Richard Kimball. Our diving well is named after The Fugitive.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

A small note to Saturday Night Latham (by and by, his blog is infrequently updated, but it's a good read nonetheless): the proper spelling of my beloved car's name is the Mousemobile.

I worked all day at the Big Ten Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, held this year in U of M's Canham Natatorium. Now, we all know that the Big Ten Conference is actually comprised of eleven teams, yet today (continuing tomorrow and Saturday) only ten were in competition. Why? Because Illinois dropped its men's team in order to comply with Title IX requirements. How in God's name did this happen? I am all in favor of encouraging women's athletics, but NOT AT THE COST OF MEN'S SPORTS! How are we helping female athletes by denying deserving male athletes athletic scholarships? As currently enforced, Title IX is a disgrace, an iron boot under which men are punished rather than women supported. Where is the justice in this? Today, I'm embarrassed to be an American.

On a lighter note, a big (no) thanks goes out to the Smartest Man Alive. Due to a brilliant observation on his part, now every time I think about Q-Girl, I start to call her Q-Bert. Thanks, Jon, now I'm dating a pink Big '80s video game character.

Year One
In this forum, I don't write about all kinds of things because I'm saving up my fury to write about them for The Newsletter. That strategy (strategerie) would make a lot more sense if I got off my arse and started up The Newsletter again. It's coming, my friends, honest, it's coming.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

"Last one out of Liberty City burn it to the ground."

I shaved on Monday, not because my neckbeard was bothering me, but because I figured I should. Today, I shaved because my neckbeard was killing me. Only two days growth (as oppsed to the previous five) and yet it was driving me absolutely crazy. I just felt dirty. Ick. Childbirth may be a bitch, ladies, but thank your lucky stars you don't have to shave your face every day for the next fifty years. My heart goes out to the Bald Mountain for what he must be going through.

I haven't been looking forward to this...
Year One - The Fight
Skeeter's best friend in all the world is Laura. Laura is getting married in a few months. In order to keep everyone up to speed on the wedding plans, Laura and her intended, Nick, created a website. Follwing a link from Skeeter's blog, I decided to check out the wedding page. Sweet fancy Moses, it was the most simultaneously amusing and horrifying thing I had ever seen! I mean, this was the most over-the-top crazy thing you could possibly imagine. Wanting to share my good time, I several times referred to Laura and Nick's site as "the funniest thing on the Internet" and provided a link. Unbeknownst to me, Laura was a regular reader of the Secret Base; though she never said a word to me, apparently I really hurt her feelings by mocking the site. This is when Skeeter decided to step in. She told me I was hurting Laura's feelings and asked me to stop. I did not react well to the idea of censoring myself. A fight ensued. Because Skeeter is my friend, I complied with her request and have not since linked to the wedding site; except for the purposes of this retrospective, I have scarcely mentioned it. Here's my problem: the over-the-top nature of the site bothered me; so, I chose to mock it. This mockery hurt Laura. Such was not my intention, but in any case the solution, it seems to me, would be for Laura to stop visiting this blog. Her site bothers me; so, I won't visit it. My site bothers her; so, she won't visit it. Everybody's happy. Instead of asking Laura to simply stop visiting my site, however, Skeeter decided that the only equitable solution was to ask me to change my site. When I challenged this, she told me that she was framing the issue as me asking her to choose between her loyalty to Laura and her loyalty to me. I wasn't asking her to make that choice, but in any event she told me that she was choosing Laura, and that Laura would always win. A couple days later, Skeeter asked if we could just stop fighting; she said she hated to have bad blood between us. I agreed and the feud ended. In the months since, we've talked more often than we have in years and I've been lucky enough to hang out with her the last few times she's been home. Yet despite all this, always lurking in the back of my mind is the knowledge that she cut me loose, over a situation that did not require nearly so apocalyptic a remedy. Our long friendship, and I, mean that little to her. My friendship with Skeeter, I fear, will never be as it once was. I feel unsettled, as if at any moment, without warning, the bottom could drop out. I feel like I'm living in a house built on sand. Needless to say, I hate this feeling. The best part about fighting with your friends is that nobody really wins, and nobody walks away unharmed. And by "the best part," I mean the truly sad part.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Year One
Sooner of later, everyone posts snippets of IM conversations. (AIM names have been hidden because I don't want you freaks bugging me while I'm online.)
Me: Okay. He's been attacked by a personality-vampire and is incapable of interesting conversation?
The Watergirl: which was fine with me, because i actually agreed
The Watergirl: maybe.
Me: (Oddly enough, most people end up dating their personality-vampire.)
The Watergirl: or maybe, like my blog, he's had a pretty boring few weeks. i don't know
The Watergirl: LOL!!!!
The Watergirl: THAT IS CLASSIC!!!

I quite like the idea of the significant other as personality-vampire. It explains a great many things.
Fuck! I just found out that Doom Patrol is being cancelled. First Suicide Squad, now Doom Patrol; I fear for how long a quirky book like H-E-R-O will be around. Meanwhile, Nightwing gets worse with every issue, and Judd Winick, after ruining Green Lantern, is being rewarded with the reins of both Green Arrow and the new Outsiders. I do not blame DC for cancelling the Squad and DP, they're running a business and cannot afford to sustain unprofitable products, but I do blame the stupid, fickle fanboys for not supporting these great series. These bottomfeeders can't get enough of any piece of shit with an X on the cover, it's no wonder they can't recognize greatness when they see it.

Neutral Man, it should be noted, is part of the problem. He reads all the X-books, even though he doesn't like most of them, because he has several score of continuous backissues and wouldn't want to break continuity. And because he's buying them, he doesn't want to shell out the bucks for any new ongoing series. Then again, his taste is pretty poor; so, even if he'd picked them up, he probably wouldn't appreciate them. After all, he reads Wolverine but won't even pick up an issue of The Flash.

I don't know if Zach Nie!'s recommendations can still be considered reliable. Why? Because he said Daredevil (the movie) was every bit as good as Sam Raimi's Spider-Man. Yes, he loves Sports Night and Cowboy Bebop, but, well, I just don't know. He's all over the map. Hmmm.
Last night, I spent two hours figuring out what I'd take with me if aliens (friendly, Federation-type aliens, not evil, invader-type aliens) came to me, offered me the chance to travel the galaxy with them for thirty years, and gave me two hours to prepare. They are familiar with human physiology; so, things like food and toiletries are all taken care of. What would I take with me? Who would I contact? I wouldn't want to waste any time running to the store; so, I'd just grab all the notebooks in my room and whatever film I had on hand. (Note to self: start keeping more film on hand.) What T-shirts I'd want, which CDs I'd need (crap, would they be able to synthesize batteries for my Discman or should I just ask them for a stereo?), how I'd say goodbye to my brother, my parents, Lindsay, my friends. All I can say is thank my lucky stars I already have a Pith helmet on hand.

Also, I watched the finale of The Bachelorette. It was my first experience with reality TV. Hurray, the sensitive guy "won"! Yippy! Yes, it was trashy and voyeuristic, but I won't lie: for those two hours I was completely engrossed.

Year One
Anonymity. Everything online is fucking anonymous. People feel free to say things anonymously that they wouldn't were their name to be attached. This bothers me. An anonymous statement is a worthless statement. (The only exception I will allow would be the Federalist Papers, all written by "Publius." This exception is allowed because Publius was known to be James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay.) I use a lot of nicknames, not to protect the identities of those I am describing, but because I find them amusing. In the early days of the Secret Base, I used ordinary names. In reading The Watergirl's blog, where she uses pseudonyms to protect the names of the innocent and guilty (a la Jack Webb's Dragnet), I discovered the great fun that silly nicknames provide. Thus, my boring friend Brad became the more "exciting" Neutral Man. And so on. I have no interest in protecting anyone's identity. If you don't want your identity revealed, send me an email; otherwise, you're fair game. This is my little stand against the "liberating" anonymity of the Internet. So that I'm not a hypocrite, Q-Girl's real name is Leanna ***perhaps discretion is the better part of valor***.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Sigh, no break for me. This week is the University of Michigan's "Winter Break." At most schools, this mid-semester break is called Spring Break, but since Michigan's is in February, it is more accurately called Winter Break. I am no longer a student, but all of my housemates are. One would imagine they would like to take this opportunity to get away from the cold and snow of Ann Arbor and engage in the sort of merrimaking that so typifies the college break experience. They go away and spend a solid week drunk, I get the house all to myself. Everybody wins. Unfortunately, dumbass Simms has decided to stay in town; so he and his moron girlfriend are here every day. Adding to the joy, now that fucking weasel Wyman is back, too. It's essentially no different than normal, except now I don't have Neutral Man and the Flying Dutchman with whom I can bitch about the Idiot Brigade. Fuck! Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Why can't you idiots be in Daytona Beach or something? Ah, well, the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry. I need to buy a gun.
I know that it shouldn't bother me, but today, for no discernable reason, it does: can someone please explain to me what frat boys and sorostitutues have to do with music?

The fucknuts at Amazon have just informed me that the first season DVD boxset of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is now enroute to me. This news has made me ever so happy. WOO HOO! The greatest of all Treks shall soon be mine! As is fitting and proper, the first season is the weakest of all seven, they were still finding their footing, but even so it contains nuggets of absolute gold: "Duet." "In the Hands of the Prophets." I'm a happy Trekkie.

Year One
It is a prerequitsite for every blogger that he read and have opinions on other blogs. I am no exception. I hate to be so common, but it if hadn't been for other blogs, the august Secret Base, to which you pay such rapt attention, would not exist. My primary inspiration has always been Skeeter's Letters From the Pedestal, the first blog I ever knew about. In fact, it introduced me to the very concept of weblogs. (That one was thrown in for the Pikachu Tamer, since he hates the word "blog.") I have dabbled from time to time in the blogs of strangers, but I cannot become interested in them. Even if I find the writing style interesting, I do not have the emotional context to give a rip what happens to Blogger X when Friend Y finds out about Friend Z's secret. The only exception to this rule would be The Watergirl's Rant & Roar; of course, in the beginning she was the friend of a friend, so it is not as if her exploits were completely contextless. (No THX-1138 are her adventures!) I would say that through mutual blogging, a musical exchange, and emailing, The Watergirl can now be counted amond my friends. Aside from Letters From the Pedestal and Rant & Roar, the only other blogs I read on a daily basis are Dylweed's Transmissions From the Obscure, the Evil Princess's titleless blog, Saturday Night Latham's new blog (to which I am uncertain if I am allowed to link), and the Squirrel King's Unscripted. Not a terribly diverse group, but I'm quite fond of them all, both as bloggers and moreso as people. There are several others which I visit on a more sporatic basis.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

"Grand Blanc Swimming and Diving:
A Family With Pride for the Past,
Spirit for the Present,
Dedication for the Future,
And Excellence Always."

Last night, the Grand Blanc Boys' Swimming and Diving Team won all twelve events at Big 9 and set a record with 507 points! The Mountain blew everyone away with the power of his rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner;" I saw Coach* for the first time in forever; and the Mountain, Zach Nie!, and I all wore our old varsity jackets**. The whole thing, from start to finish, was just so much fun. The GBHS Pool, which, by Jove, will one day be renamed the Craig Oldham Natatorium, is magical. It feels like home.

*Mr. Craig William Oldham. To me, he will always be Coach. (Like Mom or Dad, that's just his name.) Sure, Larry Day was head coach my senior year (which he successfully managed to ruin, by the way) and I mean no disrespect for current head coach Matt Pearse (assistant coach to Coach my freshman, sophomore, and junior years; I love Pearse; "Shut up, Pearse!"), but Mr. Oldham will always be Coach.

**I was not a jock in high school, but I loved my varsity jacket. To this day, it is the finest coat I have ever owned. But more than that, I deserved to wear it. I was a three year letterman on a damned good swim team; I earned each and every one of those letters not because I had one iota of talent, but by being the SKP Machine. (If you ever want to see a wistful look in my eye, get me started about the swim team.)

Year One
Over the course of the last year, I have often mentioned a girl named Lindsay. For those of you who may be new to the Secret Base, Lindsay Shaw is one of my best friends in the world. A graduate student in psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, we first met in January 2001. I am in love with her. She knows this, but does not share my feelings. This has been a source of great pain to me. Lindsay is selfish, arrogant, hypocritical, and oversensitive, yet these traits are more than made up for by her humor, intelligence, beauty, and general coolness. She is amazing. At present, Lindsay has a boyfriend, Jake, usually referred to simply as "Lindsay's boyfriend" in the style of Curly's Wife (from Of Mice and Men; come on, people, read a book once in a while), though she is careful not to mention him or their activities together since she knows this causes me pain. The worst part of the whole thing is that she really cares for me - she loves me - just not the way I want her to. I often think I might be happier were we bitter enemies. Nevertheless, I love her. I would burn the world for her. It is my aim to one day win her heart. "He was one hundred and seventy days dying and not yet dead."

Friday, February 21, 2003

I woke up this morning to the sound of Zach Nie! on the phone. I love Zach Nie! because he is the master of the one minute phone call. He calls, asks you the question he has for you, and then says "I'm going to let you go." Like he's doing you a favor. In. Out. No otherwise designated time used for pointless chit chat. We could all learn from Zach Nie!'s phone etiquette.

The Secret Base: Year One
Today, The Secret Base of the Rebel Black Dot Society celebrates the first anniversary of my very first post. Following Skeeter's example, I decided to post my thoughts and ideas for all the online world to see. Given my general distain for most people, this seems a very odd course of action, but it is a contradiction within myself with which I have grown comfortable that while I loathe people, I do so love the adoration of an anonymous crowd. But none of that matters since this page is now Squirrel King endorsed! Over the course of the next week, essentially throughout the remainder of February, I will be taking a look back over the past year under the heading "Year One," in tribute to the DC miniseries Batman: Year One, Robin: Year One, JLA: Year One, the currently running Batgirl: Year One, and my own column looking back on The Newsletter's first year, "Year One." There have been trials and tribulations (but, sadly, no "Trials and Tribble-ations"), victories and defeats, epiphanies and blunders, and the ever present thought of Lindsay, without whom the world is a grayer place. So, I'll have fun because it will give me an excuse to plow through my archives and you'll have fun because, for no easily explicable reason, you seem to keep reading this brainfart of a page. It's win-win.

Things went well, I thought, with Q-Girl last night. We had dinner at Cottage Inn and then drinks at Ashley's, where I discovered she is very sensitive to cigarette smoke. It turns out she's just as weird as I suspected, with an unfortunate disposition to the Goth end of weirdness. Hmmm, this will have to be closely monitored. She announced to me that she's bi, but in such a way that I'm not certain if she is or if she thinks she is because it is cool and chic amongst a certain sector of the populous. Anyway, these are things to keep an eye on. (It should be noted that I have no problem with homosexuals or bisexuals. My problem is straight people who see homosexuals as some manner of extremely amusing novelty, like it's cool to be gay or bi. People are just people, don't use their orientation for your own amusement, just let them live their lives.) She's overly enamoured with her two cats and likes fan-fiction, which I have always regarded with considerable suspicion. I like spending time with her, but we shall see if I enjoy spending large amounts of time with her. So, we're seeing each other, but until a discussion takes place, it would be inaccurate to describe her as my girlfriend.

The Happiest Place on Earth
Going back to GB tonight for Big 9. For the first time in years, the meet is returning to GBHS. Listen, it's not just that we win Big 9 every year, we also have the best pool. Get over yourselves people (I'm looking at you, Powers), we just have the best place to hold a meet of that size. If we get out early enough, the Ponies at the Local. Sweet.

One reason why James Robinson's late, great Starman was better than ninety-five percent of the other comics out there: the third trade paperback collection of the series is entitled A Wicked Inclination....

Thursday, February 20, 2003

I have a headache. This sucks, as I almost never get headaches. I'm not coughing, but my nose is stuffed and I think my headache is related to the fact that every inch of my sinus cavities seems to be full. Ugh.

My date with Q-Girl is tonight, but I still don't know what we're doing. I'm thinking Palio's. It's nice enough to make a good impression, but it's no Gandy Dancer. Opinions? I really don't know what to do after dinner. I've got several ideas, but I've shot them all down one by one. Hmmm. Maybe we'll just walk around for a while... but I don't know if she likes walks. Fuck it. I'll improvise. (And by improvise, I mean I'll IM Skeeter and make her tell me what to do.)

The Bald Mountain is going to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before tomorrow's Big Nine Boys' Swimming and Diving Championship. So, we'll be in GB for the evening. If fortune favors us, we might be able to catch The Tourettes Ponies at The Local. Then, the Mountain's off to spend his spring break with K. Steeze in Savannah.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Dylweed is fucking pregnant!
Okay, okay, Dylweed isn't so much pregnant, but his lovely wife Kristy has a little bun in the oven. I've almost gotten used to my friends getting married, but this is a whole new level of weird. I'd be freaking out more, but I actually heard the news a while ago. (Ha ha, I'm an insider and you aren't!) Hmmm, I'd have thought I'd have more to say. Maybe later.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Another development of Saturday: I am done with Bachelorette No. 3. I'm just done. During the dinner break, she was breaking down about the same old bullshit as always. So, we went off together to talk. I was doing my damnedest to comfort her, listening to the same crap I've heard a thousand times before (some people just don't believe in progress), when she seemed to get mad at me. She stood up and walked off, and was closed off the rest of the day. Seriously, what the fuck just happened? I didn't even do anything! So, you know what, I'm just done. All I've ever tried to do is help her through her insanely overblown, perpetual personal crisis. How can she get mad at me for that? I don't need this bullshit. I'm just done with her. You know, maybe all of your friends leave you because you're an A-1 nutjob.

The last issue of Batgirl written and drawn by the founding team of Kelley Puckett, Damien Scott, and Robert Campanella comes out tomorrow. I know you guys don't care, but I've decided I don't talk about comics enough. The current team gets the way Cassandra (the second and current Batgirl) thinks better than any of the fill-in teams who've done an issue here and there. Yes, it's because they've defined the way she thinks and reacts, but still. In my experience, when a new team takes over a book, it either markedly improves or markedly declines. The book that changes but retains the same level of quality is non-existent. Of course, maybe it's too much to ask. My fear, though, is that as often as not, the change is for the worse, and Batgirl is such a good book now that I'd hate to see it ruined. I've been reading comics for two and a half years now; it is only now that I'm really seeing how books change when a new team comes on board. Before, everything was new; instead of thinking whether or not I liked a certain team's interpretation of a character and heritage, I just liked or disliked that particular book. Now, it's becoming even more complicated. I mean, I love both Batgirl and Batgirl - she's an incredibly compelling character - but what am I to do if the book starts to suck? I've stuck it out with Green Lantern for over a year with a crappy writer, but now that he's leaving, I'm left wondering if it was worth it. The same chode is now taking over Green Arrow. I haven't been following Green Arrow as long as Green Lantern; consequently, if the book starts to tank, I'm out of there faster than The Flash. I'm just concerned for my darling Batgirl; will she ever learn to forgive herself?
I've been the asexual best friend-type for a long time now. I've got to say, at many points in my life I've been really fucking sick of it. Once, just once, I'd like there to be enough sexual tension to make a truly meaningful friendship all but impossible. On the other hand, maybe I should just accept my lot in life and shut the fuck up. Thank you, Dr. Denis Leary. "That's the title of my new book, Shut the Fuck Up! by Dr. Denis Leary. These guys come in, 'Doctor, I'm not happy.' 'Shut the fuck up! Next!' 'I'm not happy.' 'Shut the fuck up! Next!' 'He just told me to shut the fuck up and nobody had ever told me that before; I feel so much better about myself.'"
My apologies to Skeeter, but I cut my hair. My pink tresses are no more. I will admit that my contrary streak played a part in the decision - many people complimented the pink tips look, clearly it had to go - but it was not the primary reason. I just wanted to look like me again. I have very short hair. It's what I do.

For reasons unknown, AIM wasn't working earlier. Now it is, but nobody's online. Fokkers. (Well, accept the Flying Dutchman. Right now we're sharing the odd experience of IMing with somebody in the next room. Hee hee.)

After this Saturday's Animania screening, Bachelorette No. 1 shall henceforth be referred to as Q-Girl (short form of Quasi-Girlfriend... not too presumptuous). I'm not trying to get ahead of myself, but it's a rare thing for me to kiss a girl; consequently, I think there's something here. I hope to know more after Thursday's date. Don't get excited; I debated even saying anything. I'll alert you when there's anything big happening. (The following is a paraphrase, as I'm too lazy to look up the proper lines.) "What am I looking out for?" "There'll be flashing lights and a loud bell." "Really?" "Yeah."

On V-Day, I taped a sappy TV movie called The One. Why? Because it stars Richard Ruccollo, one of the two guys from the late, sometimes great Two Guys and A Girl. (Originally, Two Guys, A Girl, and A Pizza Place.) I watched the movie this afternoon. I've been thinking a lot about Lindsay today. Specifically, about her kissing me at Conor's the night of her going away party. Good thoughts, though, not depressing in the least. She's just... she's just amazing.

Listening to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "The Day He Didn't Die." "I really miss him/He would have loved this/I hope he can hear me."

Monday, February 17, 2003

At work yesterday, I read the entire ("entire" since it was only twelve issues) run of Suicide Squad. Cursed fanboys! Like Sports Night, it was great yet underappreciated, and came to a premature end. How could people not realize how good it was? Penciller Paco Medina's and inker Joe Sanchez's art was bombastic and energetic, while write Keith Giffen, an old master of the craft, was mining the Squad's dark history and laying down plot threads that would have sustained the series well past fifty or even a hundred issues. In the end, which came all too soon, he cleaned up his own mess; he killed off several characters who still had great potential, but better to do so than run the risk of another writer corrupting them later. Suicide Squad was a great series that deserved to be popular, yet it died while countless less worthy series continue. Alas. In the immortal words of Deadshot, "We'll burn that bridge when we come to it."
"It's so nice, I want to hear the same song twice.
It's so nice, I want to hear the same song twice."

A most excellent weekend, even though the Bald Mountain took the Mousemobile the one time I NEEDED it! More later, perhaps. For now, I go in search of blessed blessed caffeine.

Friday, February 14, 2003

I talked to Lifeguard Ray today up at the NCRB. I'm just about Ray's favorite person on the fucking planet. He's president and founder of the ad hoc Mike Wilson Admiration Society. It's always an ego-booster to see Ray. He talks too much, but he says only good things about me; so, who am I to tell him to stop?

Also, the Secret Base has been named one of The Watergirl's five favorite blogs. Between that honor, Ray singing my praises, and yesterday's championship, somebody up there likes me. If I'm going to press my luck, now's the time to do it.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

House of Delicious Candies 8, U of M Sailing 9 (forfeit)
Well, we won the co-rec championship (CRA A, the best of the best co-rec teams) and the coveted T-shirts, but not the way we would have liked. Things started off badly, as for some unfathomable reason Tad, one of our star forwards, was not on the roster. What the hell, he played in all three regular season games?! Without Tad, Kevin (power forward), and Whitney (defense) we were short subs, but we were still playing them evenly until the half, at which point point we trailed 9-8. At halftime, the supervisor (the job I usually work) called over Barkey, our other captain. It turns out one of the Sailing players was not on their roster. Hang on a second, Tad is standing over their on the deck and their off-roster guy is harassing Keanu in front of the net?! Bullshit! We had no say in the matter (like say, to eject that one guy and continue), and for playing with an illegal guy they forfeited the game. It was over just like that; the T-shirts were ours. Son of a bitch! If we'd only had Tad or Kevin, it wouldn't have been a contest, even with their illegal player. Nothing against Keanu, but he doesn't have the size to battle in front of the goal the way Tad and Kevin can. Well, all I know is that we did nothing wrong, and the championship T-shirts are ours! Woo hoo!

As a side note, not to lend creedence to Lindsay's theories, but it is never a bad thing to see Lifeguard Girl in a suit.

Weekend Fun
Tomorrow, anti-Valentine's Day with The Watergirl and her bud "ft20." We're going to drink ourselves into a stupor (well, they are; I'm immune) and lament our tragic and chronic singleness. Boo hoo hoo, woe is us. I predict a smashing good time will be had by all.

On Saturday, I've once again got Animania in the late afternoon/evening, though I may depart early for a hastily arranged GCAS banquet. Will anything happen with Bachelorette No. 1? Yeah, I don't know. It shouldn't, since I have no feelings for her, but I can't say that it won't. Better, I say, to be a bastard than a liar.

Sunday, Skeeter the Hapa Girl! Yaaaaaaaaay! It should be a grand (and frightfully expensive) three days.
Once, I stayed awake for forty-two hours. It was rad. Towards the middle of the second day, I got a little loopy, but nothing like I'm experiencing now. I'm on two hours sleep and I barely know where I am. I can type just fine (except a few minutes ago, I spelled difficulty "iddiculty"), but I have to squint and really concentrate to remember it's Thursday or that I'm still wearing shoes. I'm in no shape for tonight's co-rec water polo championship game...

House of Delicious Candies vs. U of M Sailing
They whipped us in the regular season's opening game, but we're an entirely different animal now.

last night's semifinal game...
House of Delicious Candies 14, Triceratops 13
We just barely edged them out, but like true champions when the chips were down we found a way to win.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

The great thing about the world is that it is a far stranger and more odd place than you could ever imagine.

Damn it, I got traded from Pittsburgh to the Rangers. I don't want to play for the Rangers. I mean, NYC is great, but I fucking hate the Rangers. Oh, wait, wait, I didn't get traded. I'm thinking of the professional hockey player with my name. I don't even know how to play hockey. Hey, I hope Mike Wilson likes playing for the Rangers. Stupid unoriginal parents....

I chewed out my shiteater of a boss, both in an email last night and today when he stopped by the pool to talk to me about the email. Yes, it did indeed make me feel better. I'm still fucking pissed about last night, but at least I was able to make someone else's day a little more unpleasant. Schadenfreude!

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Roy Flan 16, Genesee County All-Stars 14
We were beaten tonight by a team that cheated better than we did and shot better than we did. I give them a lot of credit for their offensive prowess; we played solid defense, but they scored whenever they had to. I also give them credit for their creative use of cheating. The officiating was all manner of awful; I swear before God that we would have beaten them except for the officials. But, you pays your money and you takes your choice. We agreed to play intramural sports and by doing so we agreed to all the rules of the Intramural Sports Program. If you offer me any sympathy, I will not speak to you for a year. Do not mention this to me.
Genesee County All-Stars vs. Roy Flan
Tonight we face the formidable team Roy Flan. They are all big guys, fast and agile in the water, with the sure aim and ruthless play of long-time water polo players. They are an opponent to certainly respect, if not outright fear. Unfortunately, they don't have a prayer. For Roy Flan has never faced the likes of the Genesee County All-Stars. We are disciplined. We are methodical. We are relentless. ("This is me, in your face all day.") We are not a team of destiny; this will not be an easy win. But we will prevail, because we want it more.

For all my bravado, I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about tonight's game. We're playing better ball than we ever have before, in any year of the All-Stars. Yet I'm still not sure it will be enough. I don't know if anyone can beat them. However, I find courage in the words of Erasmus: "In great things, it is enough to have tried." A part of me hopes they just don't come tonight, that we don't have to face them. However, the greater part hopes they do come. It does not matter if we win or lose, what matters is that we step into the arena, that we fight the good fight. This is of course the Teddy Roosevelt perspective. And in the back of my head, behind my anxiety as a coach, is a small voice asking me to have faith in the boys. They have risen to every challenge, they have passed every test. "Have faith in them, they won't let you down." They have amazed me at every turn, why doubt them now? I do not. We shall meet Roy Flan on the field of battle and we shall overcome. When it is over, we will say, "We have run the course. We have kept the faith." And we will be victorious.

Sunday, February 9, 2003

A stern look of disapproval goes out to K, Saturday Night's girlfriend. Rude reluctance to meet his friends is not cool.

A truly excellent time was had by all last night. Culture, food, spirits, and good friends. Plus, we were amusing as hell to our waitress at the Jug. This morning, I was awoken by the phone; it was Bachelorette No. 3 calling to tell me she'd gotten the part she'd wanted in a play. Gah, I was so tired standing there. I don't even know why, but I was so deeply asleep that I barely knew what was going on. My first conscious thought, though, was "Kill." Still, good for her. It's nice to see something in her life she's excited about. As for me, I've got to remember to unplug the phone before falling asleep. (The Mountain woke me up yesterday, admittedly at 12:44pm. The phone is not a good way to wake up, especially two days in a row, it requires more coherent thought than I'm good for that close to having been asleep.)

I spent the whole day at work, mostly feeling sorry for myself, the dark bastard trying to convince me that I'm going to die alone. "Listen, Mike, Lindsay, Skeeter, Olga, every girl you've liked would rather die a thousand deaths than go out with you. Senior year, Aisha lied to get out of having agreed to go to the prom with you. There's no way anyone will ever like you. Accept it. Also, Jake's going to shag Lindsay rotten on Friday in celebration of Valentine's Day. Face it, you suck. You're a loser." Yeah, I'm mostly done with that now, but I have to give darkie credit for sticking to the facts. From a standpoint of evidence, there is absolutely no reason to believe that I will ever have a meaningful relationship. The many reassurances to the contrary from my family and friends are really just well-intentioned lies. They don't know that I'll find someone. They can't know that. They're saying whatever they think will make me feel better. I hate days like this.

Saturday, February 8, 2003

Two "quickies" with the Evil Princess in the last two days, one via Mr. Bell's talking box and the other over IM. Also, catching Skeeter online fairly often. Glad Neutral Man finally got this computer's firewall to be less crazy (i.e., it no longer interprets AIM as a tool of the Devil).

Going to see an opera with Zach and Sarah this evening. Aren't I Mr. Fancy Pants? On a related note, I caught This American Life for the first time this year. Ira Glass's voice is a wonderful way to wake up; if only that didn't mean I woke up at 1pm. I wonder what would happen if I dialed (734) H-E-A-T-H-E-R?

I'm trying not to be so moody, not to be so crazy (specifically, not to be so erratic about Linz), but it's hard to change something that has been so fundamental to your being. I just try to remember Bester. I try to remember The Stars My Destination. "He was one hundred and seventy days dying and not yet dead." And not yet dead.

Friday, February 7, 2003

Reality bites: If you were born in 1987, this year you will turn sixteen. People born in 1987 are having sex and here I am, Vestal McNosex. (If you don't know who the Vestals were, I suggest you brush up on ancient Roman culture, you ignorant puke.) You know, fuck being in love with Lindsay. Fuck wanting to get to know a girl before sleeping with her. I'm going to do all the shit I should have done in college. I'm going to randomly hook up with people I never want to see again, I'm going to prey upon the drunkest girls I can find, I'm going to tell my sense of morality to go fuck himself. And smack. I'm going to get addicted to smack.
House of Delicious Candies 26, Futsunami 10
Suddenly, the co-rec team has become absolutely badass. Lifeguard Girl and Barkey were everywhere at once at mid and Palmer was a beast and a half. He's little, but scrappy as all hell; the size of the fight in the dog, made manifest. Though still tentative before the game, both Katie and Whitney provided truly monster D. The Martels, Kevin and Kristina, buried shot after shot at forward. We were organized, we were disciplined, we were ferocious. I don't know if we're good enough to make it past the next round, but all of a sudden the fate of the House has become much more important to me. We're not yet as crisp as the All-Stars, but damned if we're not getting there. All the better, at the end of the game one of the Futsunami girls refused to shake my hand (I didn't even guard her most of the game). They got smoked and they knew it. Man, I love sore losers.Stay tuned for the further exploits of the Genesee County All-Stars and the House of Delicous Candies.

It's playoff time, baby!

I was never in High Potential and, yes, I am bitter about it. I was going to be in HP in fifth grade, but then Jared DeLine moved to town and took my spot. Of course, the last time I was at Mongolian I recognized him working as a busboy. Perfect. (Almost every time I go home, I go to Oliver T's. usually, Chris Harris is working the register. I've talked to him more buying Jones Soda at Oliver T's than I did in all our years of mutual public education.)

I dropped my discman today. I'm glad I got the first drop out of the way so relatively early. It's still working fine. As I type I'm greatly enjoying MxPx's Ten Years and Running. Truly one of America's best bands.

Thursday, February 6, 2003

IMing with Skeeter, trying to explain Iran-Contra to her. Iran-Contra cannot be explained, it's too wacky. I am her geopolitical/historical whore: be it Iran-Contra or the Fourth Crusade, I've got what you need, baby.

Reality bites: Lindsay and her boyfriend have been dating for at least six months. I have to give up on her. I don't want to, but this waiting in killing me. Somebody, please, give me a reason to move on. Sorry, sorry, I don't mean to whine. Well, I do, I just don't want to seem whiny while doing it. I need a reason to move on. I will always care for Lindsay, maybe I will always love her, but I can't keep my whole life on hold until she "comes to her senses" as I have been. (Thanks, Skeet.) I need a reason to move on. Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

Reading National Geographic at work, I realized Lisa's right. Some issues are mind-numbingly boring. But then I read the article about Sudan; if we remain involved as we have been since 9/11, we can save those poor people. The war on terror may be the salvation of the world. It would be bad for the U.N. to go the way of the League of Nations, but maybe necessary.

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Note to self: sleeping for only four hours between 6:30 and 10:30am will leave you feeling sort of disoriented all day, unless it is the weekend and you're sleeping that little because you have five or six friends crashing at your house for two days of revelry and merriment. Also, shave once in a while, you dirty bastard! (Oh, come on, that was unnecessary, it's only been two days.)

We are the U.S. of A. Bow before our mighty PowerPoint presentation! Big fun at the U.N. today. Woo hoo.
Oddly enough, the scent of Neutral Man's coffee at 6:30am zonked me right out. I slept for four hours before I had to go guard. There's a new episode of Enterprise tonight and tomorrow night the House of Delicious Candies team begins our co-rec playoff campaign. AIM isn't working again. Curses! The Hank Scorpio episode of The Simpsons was on today, one of my all-time favorites. And now to cheer up the Evil Princess through the magic of email!
Maybe I shouldn't judge people as harshly as I do. But if I didn't, I wouldn't be me. I like being me. (You would, too, given the chance.)
I've elected to stay up all night. I watched an episode of Nova between 2am and 4am and then decided it just wouldn't be worthwhile to sleep. It was a behind-the-scenes look at the Joint Strike Fighter flyoff between the Boeing X-32 and the Lockheed Martin X-35. Neat stuff.

The Blue Tree Whacking Forums are going downhill at a fantastic rate. Every time I read a post by Little Coliadis, I can feel brain cells dying by the truckload. Ugh, how horrid. I fear withdrawl may become a viable option in the none too distant future.

Today on Cheers, Sam called Norm "the last angry man." So now I have two namesakes, Norm and Homer Simpson.
Real Can of Yams CODENAME: Koala
(all songs are tentative and in no particular order)
"Carpe Diem"
"Late Night Swim"
"Awful Awfulness"
"The Lando System"
"It's Your Turn, Part II"
"A Girl Named Hell-ya"
"The Cowboy, the Indian, and the Cyborg"
"Why Must Things Change?"
"My Best Friend"
"Carpe Noctum"
"Wrong Number Song"
"Our Best Song Ever!"

Truly, I hope RCY has the opportunity to record a second album. I mean, girls with musical tastes as diverse as Lindsay (Matchbox Twenty... gag me), The Watergirl (David Gray... I'm feeling ill), and the Evil Princess (MxPx... now that's my kind of girl!) all think we're a great live act. And if there's one good reason to be in a rock band, it's to meet chicks. To quote Kiel Phegley, "I joined a band for the music, the money, and the girls. The music's great, but I'm still broke and not getting any. What went wrong?" And aside from the ladies, the Superfans are itching for another album. More importantly, though, I'm itching for another album.

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Genesee County All-Stars 31, Militia 1
The best part of the game was when I got a guy thrown out for unsportsmanlike conduct. Okay, these chumps were playing down two men anyway; so, they never had a chance. But, that doesn't mean we're not going to play defense. This guy, henceforth referred to by his helmet number, No. 7, was a whiny bitch. One of these dicks who thinks it's fine and good when he pushes your tube underwater and bats at your legs, yet bitches and moans when you retaliate in kind. This is the honest truth: as dirty a player as I am, and I freely admit that my first and last concern is winning, I don't start it. However, I always finish it. No. 7 started off by grabbing my wrist while I was going for the ball and kicking my legs whenever he turned to face me. That's fine by me, that's the nature of the game. He wanted to park himself in our defensive zone; so, I stuck to him like glue. When he moved, I shadowed him, and as soon as he turned around to take a shot on goal, I was all over his tube trying to flip him. He, for whatever reason, thought it was perfectly acceptable to play physical with me, yet, when I returned the favor, he acted as if a great injustice had befallen him. Typical whiny bitch. Near the end of the first half, we were playing six men to their four and actively increasing a 10-1 lead. When the ball goes into our offensive zone, a good fifteen yeards from No. 7 and I, he turns to me and says, "You wanna go?" Go? Go where? Outside to the flagpole to fight like fifth graders? Jackass. Nevertheless, you can't back down from that kind of challenge. I said, "Anytime, bitch," and kicked his tube out from under him. This was a blatant and obvious foul; I guessed there would be about a fity-firty chance of getting called on it. No. 7, though, was too good to be true; he popped up and started coming at me. He wasn't trying to get back in his tube, he swam towards me and tried to land a punch. It was amazing; the whole time I was looking at his eyes and trying to supress a smile. The referee blew his whistle and ejected No. 7 for fighting. He didn't even call my foul. It was beautiful! I passed the ball off to Tad, who promptly chalked up another goal for the All-Stars.

Did I commit a foul? Yes. Was I out of line? Debatable. Water polo is a violent, ruthless game. Innertube water polo is a far tamer, more domesticated sport. But, if you're going to dish it out, you've got to learn how to take it. I would not have kicked No. 7's tube out from under him that far away from the ball if had he not threatened me. But he showed that he was succeptable to agitation and so I agitated. I didn't take anything he did personally, not even the attempted punch. Had I known he would react that way, I might not have kicked his tube. It never crossed my mind that he would take things that far beyond the boundaries of the game. I just thought I'd put him in his place and, as a bonus, probably get away with it. At worst, he'd get a direct shot which our goalie would have a fair chance of stopping. At best, well, it's easy to win when you're playing six-to-two.

I wish that Militia had posed a toughter test, though. After the cake walk of the regular season, I was hoping to acquire a little seasoning during the opening rounds. Next week is the real test, though, the team of ringers, Roy Flan. Make no mistake, though, we can take them. They've never seen anything like the All-Stars. They have no idea what's about to happen to them. Victory shall be ours.
Tonight is the first Genesee County All-Stars playoff game. It's time to break out the sports cliches, give 110%, and kick some ass.
No Lindsay for me, I'm afraid. For whatever reason, she is a wuss and has the hardest time adjusting from Pacific to Eastern time. Consequently, her sleep cycle is way off, which combined with the stress and activity of a funeral, means that she woke up about noon today and called me, still obviously groggy, to tell me she has to leave for Metro at two (right about now); so, we couldn't get together this trip. In a way I feel relieved, since, deprived on the chance to see Lindsay, I have in no way profited from her grandmother's death. At the same time, it would have been nice to see her. Woe is me.

Trivia night at Conor's was about as I expected. There's nothing wrong with Neutral Man's School of Ed friends, they just pale in comparison to mine. It is a point worth making again: my friends are extraordinary people. They are really, truly grand. (I'm not naming codenames for fear of forgetting someone and inadvertantly hurting their feelings.) Lindsay discovered this over Christmas, both at the Blinkies' wedding and the RCY show, my friends are a superior group of individuals. Neutral Man's friends were fine, but I can't say I feel any particular desire to see them again. Two of them are engaged and mentioned wanting to host a Trivial Pursuit party at their house. Before leaving, they made a point of telling me I should come too, or they'd hunt me down and dye my hair back to its original color. As threats go, I found that one rather charming; however, that was the high point of the night's wit. Needless to say, I shan't be joining them for Trivial Pursuit, much though I do love that game.

Monday, February 3, 2003

Hurray! Skeeter's going to be home for a visit in two weeks! Goody goody!

In other news, the first All-Stars playoff game is tomorrow night, against Militia. If they are largely the same team as last year, I foresee no problem in dominating them utterly and dispatching them quickly. I would truly hate to have to play us.

I'm going to Conor's for trivia night with Neutral Man and a couple friends of his. I've got a bad feeling about this; most of Neutral Man's friends are drooling morons.

Saturday, February 1, 2003

A prayer goes out for the brave men and women of the spaceship Columbia.

Lindsay's back in Michigan for her grandmother's funeral. The reason I'm not a monster: I'm not happy to see her, not at such a cost, not under these circumstances.

Talking on the phone with Skeeter earlier, I told her my favorite crusade is the Fourth Crusade. She said I'm the only person she knows with a favorite crusade. (Why the Fourth Crusade? Because those fucks didn't even fight Muslims. In God's name, they sacked Christian Constantinople. That's beautiful, man.) The First Crusade finishes a close second, since it gave us such treasures as the Holy Spear of Antioch, the Crusader States, and the seige of Jerusalem!