My dads are nuts

I’m new here. Can I please just stay under the old stereo behind the ratty sofa in the corner of the living room? No, of course not. I have to paraded around town (to art store of all places, on my first afternoon off the farm), dragged out of various cozy corners to socialize, and “brought out of my shell.” (Speaking of shells, did I mention I like to eat snails?)

But I get my revenge. Apparently I have big poop for a puppy, and I really despise having to do it while I’m on a leash. So Jay or David will spend an hour outside with me, idiotically babbling “go poddy! go poddy!” or something like that, but I manage to hold it until we get inside. Heh heh. And boy can I whiz!

Then there’s the whole escape thing. David can run fast–but I’ve got twice as many legs and something to prove. I stopped, eventually. But now I’m busted and have this tetherball-type apparatus in back that keeps me in a 15-foot orbit around a giant corkscrew embedded in the ground. I will admit it is nicer than having my big dumb humans right there on those rare occasions when I do have to go in the back yard.

They’re OK, I guess.

On matters of output

First of all, I’m SO sorry. Especially to Paulette, who manages to write beautiful posts even while in Europe. They have such weird keyboards there, not to mention lots of distractions to the would-be blogger.

You know who else has lots of distractions? Me! Namely, Dozer, rugby, and my real job. All three of these produce a lot of shit that I have to deal with, lately to the exclusion of my blog duties.

Dozer is, of course, the cutest puppy in the universe. I will momentarily post photographic evidence of this fact. He is also a bit high maintenance at the moment, what with his gargantuan poops (all too often on the beige grass on the inside of 843), his dinnertime escape artistry, and a shyness that is criminally vulgar (to quote Moz). David can tell you exactly how fast this pup can run, while I can tell you exactly how quickly he can hide behind the sofa. But we’ve had a quiet night here tonight and a good walk and he seems to be adjusting quite well.

Rugby is another story altogether. It has been high drama with a board member quitting after I pissed him off, a website relaunch, and our upcoming West Coast Gay Rugby Tournament May 10. Oh, and somewhere in there I ghostwrote an article for a drag queen and helped her get three of my teammates to strip, shower, and towel off on stage at the Timberline. And people wonder why I am ready to get back to the pitch!

Work is enjoyably insane right now. I am doing seven positioning projects at the moment–four was previously my limit, and I am afraid my head might explode. But it’s all fun work, and far better than my final year of boredom spiked with terror at Landor. But I will be in full dog-paddle mode until mid-June, so please forgive any authorial lapses.

That’s the news and I am outta here.

Explanation for Albin

With entries like the one Paulette just wrote (following those links resulted in uncontrollable spastic laughter, in my third day on the job), f.a.n.s. is sure to be a huge worldwide hit by, like, next week. Until then, we apparently have a huge readership at the Williams-Sonoma call center in Oklahoma City.

That is, of course, where The Judy works. The Judy is, of course, my very own personal mother, the woman who gave birth to me lo these (almostbutnotquite) 30 years ago. So you can imagine The Judy’s pride (The Judy’s Pride being one of The Judy’s great and unassailable qualities) at her very own personal son’s very own personal blog with the son’s very own personal writing up there on the World Wide Web for anyone with a browser to read.

I mean, it’s not like her very own personal son is an actual published writer with a loving remembrance about a mother bearing an unmistakeable resemblance to The Judy on the New York Times Best Seller list for 87 weeks in a row, but clearly having a weblog is really really close to that kind of literary mega-celebrityhood– just with no royalties, no publicist, and no pied-a-terre overlooking Central Park.

Anyway, having told several coworkers about this website that is really much better than filial megacelebrity what with all the lurking media attention that would entail, The Judy found herself having to explain this week why her very own personal son referred to her as The Judy in this post. Which was a challenge, as The Judy has never really understood this particular nomenclature system and has (on occassion) seemed fairly nonplussed by it. One coworker in particular, Albin, whom The Judy adores immensely, took some umbrage to The Judy being called The Judy (by her very own personal son, no less). According to The Judy, he said something along the lines of, “Don’t they know that Judy is this sweet little thing we all have to protect and take care of?”

So here’s the explanation, for Albin, and others. It’s well timed, as The Judy is about to visit Seattle for her very own personal son’s 30th birthday (which hasn’t happened yet, not quite).
Continue reading “Explanation for Albin”

A nonfamous sister site! now has a sister site– or rather, an aunt-and-uncle site:
Tompkins Abroad. Thanks to the miracles of the MovableType system, I used up only 30 minutes of my vacation (well invested, I might add) setting Rick and Lisa up with a blog of their own. If I have ever forwarded you any of her emails, you know how much our life is about to be enriched!

Lisa’s first post , about her kitchen sink, is hilarious.

Welcome to Moscow

Well, I arrived mostly without incident and am having a wonderful time with Rick and Lisa here in Moscow. The sob story of BA’s inability to get me an aisle seat landed me an upgrade to World Traveler Plus from Seattle to London (thanks, knee– and the lovely Charlene!) and I had a whole row of four to myself on the surprisingly enjoyable Aeroflot into Moscow. (Great food, shockingly.) My bag did not make it until the next day, but this was not tragic. After a stop on the way home from the airport for pizza and “piva” (beer), I slept really well. No trouble from the knee, apart from a little stiffness.

Sunday was great– we had a little light breakfast and then went to lunch at a truly fabulous restaurant called Nostalgie. It was old world charm meets new Russian money, with spectacular results. We had amazing blinis with red caviar, and the foie gras with Rick’s tuna was absolutely the best I have ever had (Paulette, I was thinking of you!). My steak was excellent, and Lisa’s crepe Suzette for dessert was the perfect end to the meal (Rick and I ate almost all of it). After that, R&L’s really nice driver Pavel (more on him later) took us to Red Square. Wow. Again, more on that later after we go back. We could not get into GUM– the giant amazing department store– due to something that looked like a cross between crowd control and military exercises. We walked over to the Hotel Metropole (and I was a bit cold and sore of knee by now) and had tea. Pavel picked us up, and after some reconnaissance for a bar David’s coworker Masha recommended, we returned home.

Rick and Lisa have the DVDs for the first season of Six Feet Under– which I had not seen. It was their first viewing of any of the series, and they love it. Especially Rick. We had to cut him off after four episodes so we could get some sleep (not that I got too much… I am a bit out of sorts with the 11 hour time difference). We watched another this morning with breakfast, and as soon as I sign off we are off to the Novodeveichy Monastery. My big victory of the morning: calling and confirming in my phrasebook Russian that it is indeed open today. Score one for phonetic transcription!

More updates later.

This… is… JEOPARDY!

Originally emailed 2/27/03 following my sound drubbing on Jeopardy…

The Short Version:
I didn’t win. I did have fun.

The Slightly Longer Version:
I was fodder for the Jeopardy mill, falling not ignobly to a true machine of a Jeopardy player who was, I feel certain, on his way to being a five-time champion. And at some point in the future I will receive a $1,000 check for my troubles. All in all, a very memorable and enjoyable experience.

The Full Version that Reveals Details You Might Want to Save for the Show’s June 17 Air Date, So Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You:
Continue reading “This… is… JEOPARDY!”

You have 1783 unread messages

Despite the fact that my mail boxes are overfull and under-read, despite the fact that fifteen days after my birthday party I still have dishes—and parts of the floor—to wash, despite the fact that my two-plus-year project at work is in its final days, I felt drawn to finally try cultivating a weblog.

This last week I read Sugar Blues. This is a captivating book about the history of sugar. Sugar induced and perpetuated a good deal of slavery, and I’m not talking about the addicts. Much less than harmless "empty" calories, the author lays the blame of many ills onto sugar consumption, and does so plausibly. The book also demonstrates the power of industry to alter government, even when the change is against the best interest of the public.

Having been an avid reader in the last few years of diet and exercise plans, I already knew the message that this twenty-five-year-old book would deliver, but I didn’t expect it to be so captivating. Also read recently: The Warrior Diet—how to eat like a Roman legionnaire. It’s interesting, but not nearly the page turner that is Sugar Blues. War, slavery, plague—and plaque. Sugar Blues has it all.

Me and my ACL

Most of you know (some of you in excruciating detail) that I destroyed my left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a rugby match November 2. After many delays, some interesting physical therapy, and lots of ice and ibuprofen, I will be having ACL reconstruction surgery February 3.

So what does this involve? This site offers a good overview. For the non-squeamish, this site offers even more detail and some lovely photos.

I’m pretty cool with all this, with exception of two words: “bone screws.” Not only does that sound like medieval torture, I’m not looking forward to setting off airport metal detectors for the rest of my life.

My surgery will be a bit less involved than what is described above as I have opted for an allograft vs. an autograft– the replacement ligament will come from a cadaver donor instead of being harvested from my patellar or quads tendon or hamstring. Virtually everyone I have talked to who has had the surgery said they would do this is they had the chance again, as the harvest site was more painful and problematic than the actual reconstruction.

This is not just because I’m a wimp– though I am all for avoiding pain. The allograft should allow me to get back to normal day-to-day activities sooner. And as for my favorite abnormal activity, my surgeon and I wanted to avoid the inevitable weakening that any autograft would have inflicted on the harvest site. Given that I play lock, I need all the explosive strength I can get.

So when will I be on the field with the men of Quake again? I am looking at 8-9 months post-op before I can play, with a return to some aspects of training with my mates within 6 months. So I am holding out hope that I might be on the pitch at least a little in the 2003 Fall friendly season. That’s my goal, damn all the people who think I’m crazy for playing again. Quitting is not an option.