Archive for August, 2012

Eh Hee… on MVM

Here is a Dave Matthew’s song that has only been released (to date) in two forms: as a single, or as a live recording (on multiple live albums) – not on a regular studio album.

When I first got it, back when it was first released a few years ago, I was impressed both with the structure of the lyrics and the production of the video. I recommend the rearranged version of the song by Dave & Tim Live at Radio City, but here is the original video that was released for the single.

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Thoughts on a Decision (the detailed version)

Do I think he doped? While I think it is possible to use illegal substances and somehow “beat” the tests for a little while, at some point there would come a hiccup – a missed moment where the “cover” becomes cracked. It’s that hiccup that has led to investigations and ultimately the downfall of those using the substances. Like Marion Jones. Like Tyler Hamilton. Like Floyd Landis. Among others.

I don’t think there can be an operation in place (yet), with enough consistency (yet), to “beat” the advances in technology that have occurred over the last fifteen years.

During the years Lane rode (and won!) the Tour, there were always the question – from people wondering how he could have won the tour after having had cancer. A valid concern, understandable considering the amount of medications and chemicals he had pumped into his body during the course of the treatments. But, as Lance has mentioned several times, he never failed a drug screen.

Here’s my understanding about how the UCI drug screens work. The obvious ones: you win a stage, or are in the Yellow Jersey, you get tested. Each day of the event. (Remember – the Tour is three weeks long.) Similar standards for any other event participated in. Then comes the off season. The athletes (riders) have to file their plans – vacation, major trips, etc. – and at any time could get a knock at their door and have to pee in a cup. Any time.

There has been a lot of speculation over the inquisition that the USADA launched against Armstrong, from one of the judges reviewing one of the motions to former 5-time Champion Miguel Indurain. Personally, I don’t really get it either. It didn’t really kick up until after some time after he retired (the first time), and the only information that has been released have been interviews with Hamilton and Landis.

Until there is proof – 100% unavoidable evidence, not just USADA theory – I am still in Lance’s corner.

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First Draft… an Update

Still Drafty…

An update on how things are going with the MFA… The “semester” class officially started last Monday. Too early to call, or make any firm comments, but I’m already working on reading the second (of about 7) books that will be discussed during the semester (I’ll post the reading list, and some of my opinions, later).

The more important thing, though, is the Work in Progress. The Thesis Project. The novel.

The way the program is built, there are six residencies (held in January & June each year). The idea is that for the first four, the novel is drafted (for a mystery: about 100 pages per semester), then revised and refined over the last year. Each semester is broken down into four “Writer’s Deadlines” – each a month apart (starting with the first, 1 month after the Residency ends). In theory, the first three deadlines could see the raw pages, with the fourth being a revision of all those pages.

We just passed the 2nd deadline, and I am sitting at about 50 pages. My goal is to still hit (if not exceed) the 100 page mark by this time next month. With Viable Paradise landing not too long after the next deadline, I need to make sure I stay on track so I can spend some time with editing while on the flights and during layovers – in addition to adding new pages.

Just so you know.

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Thoughts on a Decision (take 1)

Yes, I have heard the news about Lance’s decisions to drop the fight with the USADA. Yes, I have some opinions on the matter. No, I am not about to share them (yet)… still brewing on a couple of things before I drop words online. Check back over the weekend when I will have a more coherent reaction available… but one will be coming.

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[Originally written 7/27/2007]

“You need special permission to view this material,” the young librarian stated, looking at the list of books on the counter.

 “I’m sorry?” Joseph asked, looking up at the librarian.

 She removed her pink glasses and let them dangle in front of her chest. She was wearing a long-sleeved white shirt with a sleeveless, red v-neck sweater. Her shirt collar was partially open, and the pearl studded eye-glass chain stood out dramatically against the sweater. She leaned over looking into Joseph’s blue eyes, and repeated the words, “You need special permission to view this material,” accenting the words with exagerrated pauses between each word.

 Joseph returned the Librarian’s gaze and leaned forward slightly. “What kind of special permission?” he whispered, winking, exagerrating the spaces between his words to match hers.

 The librarian stood up straight, moving quickly enough to cause her breasts to bounce slightly when she stopped, which jostled her glasses to one side. Her cheeks developed a slight, rosy tint. She looked around to make sure that no one else would hear their conversation. She raised a hand to place her glasses back on her face and lightly stroked her red hair. She looked back at Joseph and whispered, “How old are you?”

 “Old enough,” he whispered back, stepping closer the the counter, touching the librarian’s hand. “How old are you?”

 “Twenty-three,” she whispered, her breasts rising as her breathing increased. She interlaced her hand with his, while lightly, nervously licking her lips and swallowing.

 Joseph could feel her pulse quickening, and he was growing excited. He looked into her clear green eyes and smiled softly. “Miss,” he whispered, “what kind of special permission do I need to view these items?”

 {to be continued….}

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Promoting a different sort of “Rush”

No, it’s not THAT one…. This one:

Right. I saw part of the trailer last night during something for Shark Week on Discovery, and my curiosity was piqued. I found myself watching more the commercials, hoping to see the tailer again. Not seeing it again, looked it up online (which took a while, since I only half-caught the name of the movie. It took a trip to IMDB to actually get the name stuck in my head.)

Why I am enamoured enough to promote it: Well, I’m intrigued wnough to want to see it, isn’t that enough?


Okay, here’s why I want to see it, maybe that will help.

It involves cycling. In a city. With Bike Messengers.

Not feelin it? Weirdo.

How’s this one for you – it looks like an action packed thriller.

Meh, trailers are supposed to make it look intense. What else you got?

How about Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the starring role? Honestly, that’s what sealed the deal for me, what elevated it to a “take the movie seriously” position. I’ve generally been impressed with his choices for roles, and the variety of films he’s been involved with.

But I’d be only telling half of the truth if I didn’t also tell you this. I have been kicking around a very similar kind of story for the past few years. Not the same story, mind you, but similar enough that I am excited to see the movie as a proof-of-concept of sorts, that my own idea is viable. I want to see the movie as an act of research, to see how its beats work, how it’s structured, and pick up more of the Messenger culture – especially for today’s world (since my other Messenger go-to – Kevin Bacon’s Quicksilver – predates cell phones, for example).

So, there you go… one of the many movies lately that I would like to see.

Note to the future, when my project DOES finally come around – the only similarities I see between the two is the involvement of/in Bike Messenger culture, and the mystery/thriller style of pacing. The plotting/inciting events and nature of the protagonist appear to be quite different – and I want to make sure they stay that way.

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Being Career Minded…

I’ve mentioned before (I think), that one of the sites I cruise over to is that of Steven Pressfield – especially on Wednesdays. His post there this week, let’s just say it resonated pretty well (and I encourage any of my fellow SHU peeps to check it out as well). The gist, like the title here, is:

If we’re going to think like professionals, we have to think in career terms.

Check out the article, and while it’s directed at artistic/writerly types, it’s something that can be applied by everyone.

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