Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Freaking New Year

Checked off a lot of big ticket items in 2007:

Left North Carolina (thank fucking god)
Moved to St. Louis
Bought a house
Got a great job
Got a cat
Inseminated my wife

I also had a great 29th birthday, ran my best half-marathon ever and biked till I couldn't really safely bike anymore. I've resolved in 2008 to have a smashup wine bar, make more money and of course, be the best father I can possibly be. I decided to eschew the "exercise more" or "lose weight" resolutions and have amended myself to simply not put on too much "new dad weight", that puffy faced, three day stubble, saggy under the eyes look that most new dad's have. No doubt the stress and sleeplessness of both starting a business and raising a child at the same damned time will take their tole on my body, I just want to be aware of it.

Laura has planned an incredible New Year's Eve feast. Josh is in town and Matt and Narcisa will come over. We decided to go all out and under the direction of our meat man at Whole Foods, we bought five and a half pounds of upright roast. We were given some incredible bottles of wine from a family friend as thanks for helping him pack up his house, so that will make for a great evening as well.

Hope all ten of you that read this has a great new years, and an even better 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ABC Motherfucker

After months of nail biting, wrangling, harrassing etc. I will be closing on the business loan tomorrow. I've been at this for about six months now, and I thought I would be at this point long ago. This is a process however, a long, tedious, stressful process.

I feel like my life will be like the movie Alive only backwards. From this point on, I'm going to have to climb some mountain ranges, eat my fare share of people jerky and hopefully, get into an uncrashing plane filled with my fellow, now-alive rugby buddies and head back to Buenos Aires to party over a game victory. Yes, I am playing Stretch Armstrong with that freaking metaphor, but it's just the way I feel, dammit!

I'm going to start a second blog about the business, I'd promised to months ago when I thought the loan closing was imminant.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Commuting As a Future Father

Last Thursday I biked home in snow that turned into freezing rain that just turned into rain (but that was only after it was dark out and only for the last four miles). For me, it was the time of my life. I had my shuffle stuffed into one ear, proper gear on, a blinky light and years of experience. For Laura however, it was pure hell. She's not an edict maker, but she makes it known when she's worried she might have to be a single mother because I like to save gas.

One the one hand, I don't race motorcyles, have sex with prostitutes, own a gun etc. On the other hand, it's indefensable to worry my pregnant wife like that.

When I was about to leave for college, my mom asked of me only one thing, "Teddy, I'm trusting you with a lot here, I just ask that you don't ride a bike in New York. A woman that I work with's friend died riding her bike in New York". Of course, three weeks later I bought a bike and was riding like an asshole through the streets of New York. Later, I was a part time, semi-dilitante bike messenger. In the meantime, of course, I regularly commuted by bike, chose my jobs based on whether they'd be cool with me biking to work and even went so far as to build an office for my favorite bike non-profit (for a princely sum, of course). It was years until I admitted to my mom that I rode a bike. As fate will probably have it, I'll have a girl and my biking will worry the hell out of her, too.

I'm not going to quit commuting altogether, but now that the days are shorter and my hours at work are longer, I'll be driving in. Either that, or mixing a morning commute in with a MetroLink ride home. I went to a spinning class on Monday, but it was simular to that part in the movie "Interview With A Vampire" when Brad Pitt's character starts sucking blood from rats in order to avoid the guilt of drinking the blood of hot, creole prostitutes. You could also compare it to Tofurkey or a sexual encounter with an inexpensive sex-doll. Running might be an option, or going to a gym or yoga. If it's really not working out, I'll probably pick up boxing or some other semi-dangerous thing that can be done with lots of padding.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Lime Moves

Laura convinced me to skip the second OB appointment, saying that it would be a perfuntory five minute weigh-in, doppler, wham bam bhank you mam. It turns out that she got an unexpected ultrasound and a glance at our lime-sized bundle of joy bouncing around her uterous. It was moving too much to get a good picture, so I was left hearing the highlights from Laura. She did count two arms and two legs, so I'm pretty happy at this point.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cranksgiving Tooth Fairy

So, two years later and my second Cranksgivng, a rolling canned food drive that roves from supermarket to supermarket, this time STL style. Patrick and the good people of Bike Works put it together and it was more of a ride than a mad-dash scramble.

At the beginning of the ride, it was mentioned that the shelter we would be donating to needed toothbrushes. When we got to the first stop, I asked some people who volunteered at a local food pantry what I should buy. They said again that they needed dental hygene products. No effin' problem, everyone who matters knows that I'm a flossing machine. No canned corn for this man, I loaded up on teeth cleaning products. Five supermarkets and 16 bucks later, I had 10 tubes of toothpaste on special, two Spider Man kids toothbrush and toothpaste kits, some floss and a few bars of soap for good measure.

All in all, 72 people took in a crap ton of food and dental products, everyone had a great time and now I'm going to concentrate on drinking water.

Cranksgiving STL made it into the local paper

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

First Baby Pictures

Laura and I went to our first OB/GYN meeting yesterday. Dr. K, who is our other Dr. K's Wife, was pretty good. There wasn't any waiting, she was very pleasant and professional and was warm enough to make Laura feel comfortable. After only a brief meet and greet, we went to a little room, she turned on some mood lighting and shoved a condom-covered, sonogram probe up Laura's hoo-hoo.

And this, ladied and gentlemen, is what we saw:

What you don't get from the picture is the winking on and off of the heart beating very rapidly. Laura was very nervous about finding problems during this visit. I didn't think I was, but once I saw the heart beat, and saw that it wasn't in the tubes, it felt like someone had taken a bucket of relief and dumped it over my head.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Don't Try This At Home

I just wanted to add that in looking for the picture in the previous post I did a Google image search of "knocked up". If you have your filter turned off, like I did, you'll get a few images of Judd Apetow's movie, and a lot of shots of pregnancy porn.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thanks A Lot Judd Apetow

I remember telling Laura after we saw "Knocked Up" that I coulnd't wait to see the DVD when it came out. I was actually clutching Laura's arm while the birth scene was happening. The movie holds up the second time around with the comedy as well, I've always been a fan of improv based shit.

Our first meeting with the OB/GYN is on Tuesday. It'll also be our first time meeting the OB/GYN who just happens to be the wife of our regular doctor. I'm not too sure what one is supposed to do in these meetings. My grandmother, my grandfather and my aunt were all OB/GYNs and so I'll be sure to get that one in. I always make a point to mentiion the doctors in my family whenever I'm having a frank doctor-patient about my own impending medical attention. It's not so much a hope that they'll have met them, but that I'll appeal to that part of their superego that's more afraid of looking like an ass in front of their peers than getting sued for malpractice. It's an unfair advantage, but I feel that the cards are stacked against me anyway and I might as well use whatever I've got.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Our Blueberry Sized Bundle of Joy

It's unclear to me how Laura gets through her day. She seems to move through the world in a vomitous cloud of pure fatigue. Not being able to eat a lot, I was a little worried about how that would effect the nutritional needs of the baby. Luckily, female biology is such that a fetus will happily eat the very marrow from the mothers bones.

As you might guess, I'm playing the part of the caretaker. Gone are the days of me basking in knowledge that my junk works and that my love of cycling hasn't destroyed my cajones. Now I wake up and have to change the cat litter for fear of giving Laura a harmful cat feces born disease and there is no one to walk the dog but me since Laura is out for the count.

Work is going well, I've jumping through requisite hoops to get everything ready for construction. Lots of people that I run into bitch about how difficult it is to get anything done in the city of St. Louis, but so far everything has gone off without a hitch. Bids are due this Friday, which is the 800 lb gorilla. I'm expecting some awful sticker shock, a little horse trading, a touch of whip-sawing and then finally picking one, closing the loan and getting down to business.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Laura is pregnant, but everyone says that it's a "we" thing, so yeah, while Laura is doing a great job of growing another human being in her womb, I too, am pregnant. I/Laura/we are due in late June. It was no accident, we meant to do it and it happened lickity split. Anyone who tells you that unprotected sex doesn't result in pregnancy is telling you a goddamned lie!

Laura turns 28 tomorrow and has reached her goal of being 28 and pregnant. Happy birthday baby.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Too Much Fun

Through a friend of a friend of a friend I heard about the illustrius Tour De Moose, a semi-competetive event that marries beer drinking and biking. It celebrates the birthday of a gentleman known as Moose (or Kevin) who works as a bartender at a bar called Lemmons where the event began.

These are the rules:
1. Everyone has a helmet
2. No running lights (five minutes added to your time)
3. Stay with the turn sheet (five minute penalty as well)
4. Each beer is 30 seconds off of your time

About twenty minutes of biking, a half hour of beer, a group photo and then off to the next bar. Every weekend should be like that, maybe a ride around wine country for variety. Everybody was super chill: lots of introductions, some new friends made an invitation to a friendly game of bike polo and in the end some healthy competition.

Laura got super competetive and decided early on to house all of the other women AND DID!!! The four sophic women in charge of the oranizing and timekeeping rooted her on at every checkpoint. I took it easy for the majority of the ride, but was told at the beginning that there were a few people that always took it very very seriously. I decided to take the piss on a couple of these guys and had a great time of it. Lots of photos to follow.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Went to my 10 year high school anniversary last Saturday. The timing with work was good since I could back up my brag of opening a wine bar with written assurances from two different banks. My high school class was incredibly small, and the reunion was maybe 35 people, spouses included. Two girls from my class are new mothers with six and nine month olds. Three of my former classmates fly for a living, for the Coast Guard, Air Force and privately for jetsetting millionaires. A good number of my classmates work for their dads, pretty par for the course here in St. Louis, but impossible for me since my old man never taught me how to intebate.

I got to see my old theatre teacher, tour the school and see what has changed. The former head of the school, who I absolutely hated was long gone and had been replaced by a younger guy who seemed pretty competent. I was a little bit worried that she might show up, since I had planned exactly what I wanted to say to her and I knew I wouldn't be able to stop myself. Laura was there with me, which was great for the cool, hot wife bragging rights and so that she could get a little bit of an insight into who the hell "Teddy" was.

October 7th was our 1 year wedding anniversary, a sort of half anniversary since we were actually married in February. Laura's mom, Val and her boyfriend Bob were in town and we had barbicue and went to a new wine bar where Val gave the Italian wine selection a delighfully thorough drubbing.

October 11th marked a full year since we left beautiful, thriving, exciting New York. It's becoming a more remote spec in the rearview mirror, more abstract. I miss it sometimes, mostly the people. With some notable exceptions most of my good New York friends are leaving the city, and the New York that I used to know isn't really there anymore. This may be a stretch, but I sometimes liken the city to female characters in the Tom Robbins novels I used to read in college; beautiful, eager to engage you and completely indifferent whether you stay or leave.

The day we left, a New York Yankees pitcher crashed his plane into the side of a midtown building, snarling traffic and adding several hours to our exit. I looked out the window of our rented minivan and Laura said "we could always move back if we got really rich" it was a nice thought, but I knew it was goodbye.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Happy Freaking Bike Messenger Appreciation Day

It's been a year and a day since I retired as a bike messenger.
I've got a crap cold so I didn't bike into work.
There is exactly one (1) bike messenger in the entire city of St. Louis.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Real, Honest-To-God Bike Commuter

I've been experimenting with my commute route for the last few weeks and I've settled on the one that goes through a long, industrial stretch of Manchester Road. It's got a lot of stop lights many more lanes than there are cars and no one else except local traffic seems to use it in the mornings. There are a bunch of factories, used car lots, a big depot for welding supplies and the illustrious Bull's-Eye indoor shooting range. It's a lot like my commute from Greenpoint to Gawanis Brooklyn, only I'm the only biker.

Except for today of couse when I got passed by a guy on a mountain bike with slicks, full on shorts and jersey and a rack with waterproof panniers, which I assume held his work chlothes. I drafted him about a half mile, we exchanged a "great freaking weather for it" with one another and then went our separate ways. I finallly don't feel like a complete freak.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nerding Out

One of my boss's German clients turned me on to "Meet-Up German Speakers" and tonight I went. It was me, three other Deutschaphiles and a woman who was actually from Germany, a scientist of some sort. I've never quite figured out what it is I'm supposed to do with my German, it's an odd little parlor trick that I'm no longer that good at. It's not quite so good as a hard skill. Not very sexy either.

On the work front, I've gotten one bit of good news from one of the bankers, but I'm wating for even better news from the other one. I remain hopeful that things can get started soon. In the meantime, I've been clearing out some of the dead weight in the space.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Big Week

Work is going well, met with money folks last week, more money peeps this week. If things go well, I'll clear it with my boss and see if I can start blogging about my work project either here or on another, new blog.

Here's a little bit of St. Louis cultural differences for those of you on the coasts. In St. Louis, home of Anheuser Busch, drinking beer in public is your goddamned god-given right.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Life Insurance

About a year ago I was taking in a Shakespear in the Park production in New York and I ran into an old theatre design teacher of mine. He's gay, and when I told him I had gotten married he asked me very earnestly (New Jersey was mulling over civil unions at the time) "how is it?" I told him that the biggest difference I felt was that it was now okay to openly talk about my shared future with the other person. My former teacher is good at getting expository truth from people and my answer knocked me back since I had never articulated it for myself. When I was dating, even when I was in a long term, stable relationship, I was always leery of say, making Christmas plans in August.

Now that I'm married, planning can span months, years, and now I suppose, beyond. I was just notified on Monday that my life insurance policy through USAA had begun and if I crump before I turn 49, Laura will be the sole beneficiary. It's heady stuff, but I've been raised to be pretty practical about it.

Growing up, my parents would start many a conversation with "if your father and I dropped dead tomorrow..." Family friends and relatives would shift over the years and become the ones nominated to take care of my brother and I should my parents die. Once I became an adult, any changes in post mortum plans would be covered during my time home from school or when my parents would visit New York.

It has now been passed on through to the next generation like a potato salad recipe. Mortality is inevitable, and planning for it is just another form of hygiene. That doesn't exactly take away the ol' fear of death or make me feel like riding my bike like an asshole, but I was able to openly talk with Laura about future plans, even those that don't include us both.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

How LImber You Feelin' Now Mother#$@#$@

Decided to bite the bullet and take a yoga class on frida and got talked into purchasing a $20 7-day unlimited pass. I took it Friday night and Saturday morning and my god do I hurt all over.

Looked around the internet and found this great short film that I had seen a couple of years ago. It's a pretty good portrayal of biking in New York. I especially like it since there are no anglos playing bike messengers, a personal pet peeve of mine. Look closely and you'll see a Mr. Frank Boudreaux as the yuppie douchebag what doors the messenger.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

And I Thought Only My Wife Read This Thing

I guess I should have expected that a blog with my real first and last name would be more than a little googleable to my relatives. It was lovely to her from my master linguist aunt Dr. Jill Robbins and my uncle John wishing me a happy 29th.

In other relatives news, my cuzzister, Carol is off to college tomorrow. She's a smart cookie and all y'all better start saving saving up for her upcoming 2020 congressional campaign. BASTA!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

29 is shaping up pretty well

The birthday party was a great success! We now have more wine than god. Matt and Narcisa came back from Bosnia just in time for the party and gave us a beautiful "Bosnian coffee" (don't say "Turkish coffee" unless you wanna get a frying pan and 630 years of history thrown at you) set and a bottle of plum Slivovica. Hell yeah!

My brother in law, Alex was able to come and visit fresh from his last final of college and the day he arrived he got a job offer! Sure it's good news for him, but it will also mean vast rebates on luxury hotel rooms for Laura and I when we come to visit Boston. Double Hell Yeah!

Lastly of course is the coming of Nosey, our new lady cat who we picked up today from the APA. Nosey is named for her love of ramming her nose into mine when she's amorous. She's so far been a great cat.

Here's pics of my life lately:

Laura getting ready to obliterate the former owner's paint choices.

Milo and Pig, awkward dog cousins.

So goddamned happy to own a house I forgot to wear a longer shirt.

Friday, August 10, 2007

My Eventful 29th

Here's the Highlight Reel

-Wake up at 4:00 in the morning. Drink about 30 oz of water and find out from NPR that the European stock market is shitting the bed.

-Suit up, get ready and head out at 5:00 am. Realize that I haven't so much as taken a step with my newfangled water bottle belt, consider ditching it, but tighten it instead. I hate the belt.

-Mile 8.5 I have a minor freakout. Inside of 100 feet I feel extremely tired and my body stops working like it should. I try drinking water but drop one of my water bottles and freak out some more. In the midst of all this, my former coworker's band Au Revoir Simone starts playing on my Shuffle and everything is ok again. Thank you Annie Hart.

-I have been saving my energy for the last three miles. MIle 10 comes around and the energy is not forthcoming. I reach for external forms of inspiration and find it in the form of Rihanna's "Umbrella" which I play three times in a row. It is a good example of my character persona that Julia likes to call, "big, gay Frank".

-Finish at 6:49. HOUR FORTY NINE-BITCHES!!! That's an average of 8 minutes 20 seconds a mile, waaaay faster than I had hoped for.

-Get on my bike. Go 10 miles and realize that both my body and mind are wrecked. I had counted on this so I intentionally biked in a straight line away from my house so that I can get at least 20 miles in. I drink water by the shore of the Mississippi river and head on back.

-I'm slower than molassis save for the last 2 miles when a biker passes me and I chase him to within 4 blocks of my house.

-Shower, change, gorge. My brother-in law Alex comes in from Boston and we go check out the cat we wanted to adopt.

-Adopt the cat, who shall be referred to from here on out at "The Nose". She is getter her uterus and her claws removed, we will pick her up on Wednesday.

I haven't had a beer for over two weeks. I haven't had any sleep since my morning and I can't freaking wait to see what alcahol will do to me.

Happy Birthday to Me.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Prop S Failed by 244 Votes

Proposition S failed in a vote of 1059 to 815. Taxes will remain lower, classrooms will stay crowded and my GD property value might not skyrocket beyond my wildest dreams. Ah well.

My Brother Is Back, His Dog Is Gone

Yesteday I returned my brother's dog back to him after nine weeks of dog sitting. My bro got a great job at a summer camp in Connecticut that he'd worked at for several summers and Laura and I agreed (jumped at the opportunity really) to watch his dog, Milo.

Milo is about three times the size of Pig, and unlike our hypo-allegenic bichon, sheds to beat the band. While he is now gone from our house, there is still plenty of his hair around with which to remember him. I have to say that he was a very good, well behaved dog...after the first two weeks and after we got him a "Gentle Leader" collar. He socialized well with Pig and even if he went a bit ballistic every time someone new came into the house, he did spend most of the time chilling out and obeying my verbal commands.

I had high hopes of running with him all the time, but he has a hinky right back leg and after every run, he would limp on it a lot. I didn't want to risk screwing up his leg and having to have the damn thing amputated.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Local Politics

Laura and I just came back from voting on a ballot initiative for our local schools. Proposition S (S for SEXY no doubt) would increase our property taxes by about five bucks a month but would make classroom sizes smaller and pay for preschool scholarships for needy parents. Laura and I discussed the issue at length and decided that it would be a good thing to vote for.

Unfortunately as this increases taxes and older, childless people vote in droves. I suspect that the initiative will be beaten down like a red-headed stepchild and that said child will be ridiculed the next day in school by his 43 other classmates.

I'll keep ya posted.

Sexy Aussie Chicks Dig Recycling

In my quest for green products to incorporate into the wine bar I'm developing I came across an Aussie company that makes a quiet bottle crusher and encorporates footage of lady bartenders mulching bottles on the job into their online ad. Yeah baby!

Speaking of hot, at 2:00 pm today it will top 100F outside and feel like 108F. It was simularly hot yesterday, when I biked about 30 miles, drank a gallon or so of water and still managed to have a water weight loss 6 pack at the end of the day. Oh man.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Things Are Heating Up

First off, Laura's cousin, Dr. Amy Gershkoff just published a pretty hardcore Op-Ed in today's Washington Post about the difficulties facing returning reservists trying to get thier old jobs back. This could very well be the fart at the beginning of an election year shitstorm.

In other news the house is great. I spent about two and a half hours swapping out the garage door with the basement door. It was the first time I've ever messed around with mortising out a doorframe, which I butchered. We have a very small yard and I'm cheap (and somewhate ecologically concerned) so I got a free fifty year old Craftsman push mower from my boss and I'm loving it.

This Friday is my birthday and I'm going to be doing a duathalon: a half marathon and sixty miles of biking if I'm game. St. Louis is about 1300 miles away from a coast so the weather in August gets pretty oppressive. Friday's high is 100 degrees, breaking the heat record set 19 years ago. I'll be starting my run at 5:00 am to beat the heat and will hopefully be at the halfway point of my run when the sun rises. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Oh Yeah, Did I Tell You I'm Buying A House?

After a lifetime of renting, I will be carving out my own (small) piece of the American dream. The pics below are from the listing and have the current residents' stuff in it. Check it out!


Spent the afternoon watching Michael Moore's, Sicko with my father, my sister, Laura and some friends. It made me laugh, come to the verge of tears and then left me feeling empty and distantly hopeful.

I've had no illusions about how fucked up HMO's are and always just assume that I'll never get any coverage for anything. I have never, ever been totally honest with any doctor I have ever had for fear of having my honesty come back to haunt me. No doctor of mine has or will ever know that I used to smoke cigarettes, how much I drink, past drug use etc. I feel that I am always trying to game a system that would like nothing more than to game me.

For the last two and a half years, health insurance has been a mounting issue in my life, my work and my family. I kept my dangerous job as a part time bike messenger in New York primarily because of the health insurance it offered. My grandfather had a religious, but not a civil ceremony in order for them to preserve their health care coverage. Laura and I had a civil ceremony long before our wedding in case either one of us lost our job and insurance before our wedding. Laura and I have had several worried discussions about what in the hell we would do if she got pregnant during a lapse in coverage or what we would do should she lost her job and we couldn't afford the Cobra payments. We've also had pretty hardcore questions about the nature of our coverage and what we could possibly do if we got into a jam. "Sicko" seemed to propose a solution to a predicament like that: get the fuck out of the country!

The part of the movie that took place in France actually got me to involuntarily start having expatriation daydreams.

"How bad could it be? I could pick the language back up again in a matter of months, the kid would grow up bilingual, healthy and live three years longer than had we stayed in the U.S. Ahhh, but Laura would never do that." After the movie of course, she was quick to ask me what it would take to move to Paris. We talked about the prospect of flying to France in her third trimester, having the kid in a free Parisian hospital and getting French citizenship through our healthy, French-born child.

That fantasy is only about 25% fucked up! I spent close to a year of my life working on the Dean campaign with the idea that my service could possibly ensure health insurance for my unborn children, what Josh like so call "Investment Activism". That, of course didn't pan out like I had hoped. If the health care mess isn't cleared up in the next election, the economy tanks, and the war keeps cluster-fucking along, I don't really know what in the hell Americans will think they're getting back from their tax dollar investment.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Eco House

After reading about it in my my new favorite blog I convinced Laura to check out the new display home for Eco Urban a green building company that just started her in St. Louis. Upon certification the house will be the fifth one in the nation to get a Platinum LEED certification.

The idea behind the house in great. The houses are modular, everything is sourced inside of a 500 mile radius and it takes 60-75 days from start to finish to get one and you get a tax credit for owning it. Local lenders are lined up to give special mortgage rates for the houses because it saves an average of $300 a month in heating bills in the winter and a few hundred in the summer for electricity, freeing up money for a bigger loan.

There are about 30 houses slated to be built in St. Louis city, most of them on lots bought from the city. Because St. Louis city is less than half the population it was 75 years ago, there are many blocks that have vacant lots where foreclosed homes were reclaimed by the city and bulldozed down. On those blocks today you'll see some people holding on to their 120 year old houses, some of those houses boarded up and crumbling and some really ugly, poorly built apartment buildings falling to pieces after only thirty or forty years. EcoUrban has decided to buy up the cheap lots (for about $1500 apiece) and build their houses there.

I talked to Lunchtruck yesterday about it and he asked if it was all about gentrification. In Brooklyn, it would be pretty much that, because there's always 100% occupancy and putting something in somewhere is a zero sum game. In this case though, these are lots that no one is using or wants, on blocks where no one is investing and houses that are cutting edge.

Laura and I drove around some of the proposed sites, and while I'm sure the investment will help things along, the neighborhoods are a little too sketchy to think about moving in. For now, an Ecourban home is slated to be a the second house we buy, not the first.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Corporate Charity

Doing the full-on job search can wear you down. Flooding the internet with tweaked versions of your resume, sending corny cover letters in the blind hope that you'll be able to get a proper sit-down. Once the sit down happens, it's a high stakes structured improv and I've been falling back on my theatre training. I now do vocal warm-ups, take costume very seriously, write down objectives (what I want the other person to feel) and plan out specific actions and talking points get my message across.

The format of the interview can be a little too much give and not enough take. Most of the time you're on the defensive, answering questionse in what you can only hope is the right way, hoping that you don't get dry mouth, trip up or say "you know" too many times. After being the one to ask the questions they make a show of turning turning the tables and ask:

"So, do you have any more questions about our company?"

To which I've taken to responding with:

"Can you tell me what kinds of Philanthropic work your company does?"

The reaction is priceless. They'll falter for a few seconds, say something vague about sending nice things to the Troops around the holidays and mention something they might have heard third-hand about an event that they provided food for. Hopefully, it makes me a memorable candidate, and beyond that maybe they'll in turn ask someone else if there's a program. I don't know how effective that question is overall, for my sake though, it makes me feel good to stump the questioner.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

My New Running Partner

My brother got a great gig at a summer camp he used to work for in Connecticut and in nine days I'll be taking his dog Milo for the summer. This is great news on all counts: Milo is a great dog and I'm going t start running with him, Laura and I will have a dry run of two dogs ownership and my bro will have the opportunity to make it with hot Aussie girls. Win Win Win. I also agreed to mow his lawn and drink his beer. Tonight is his birthday/summer party and everyone will get to try his new pilsner and coffee stout. Good times.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The 8 Mile Barrier

John laid it out to me last week that 8 miles was right about the upper limits of what I should do. Part of me wanted to go ahead and do a 10 mile just to prove him wrong but after doing 8 miles yesterday, I would agree with him.

The weather was in the low 80's and muggy and I was more resigned to the idea of running 8 miles instead of being pumped about it. Zoe, the malamut had just changed from puppy to grown dog chow and stopped at least 10 times during the run to deficate, so there were ample breaks and we lowered to pace to roughly nine and a half minute miles.

I had a couple of low moments where I wanted to give up, which scared me. I've always prided myself in being a mentally, if not physically tough person, and I've always liked how endurance sports have pushed me against that edge of giving up. Having conquered my endurance limits in the past I've begun to believe that that was just part of my persona. In reality, I'm only as tough as the last time I pushed myself.

Perhaps that's at the heart of my current funk. I've just lost touch with my badass side and with it some of my confidence. It's a powerful lesson, but it's something I've realized in myself and can actively work on. It'll be another couple of weeks till I can crush an 8 mile run, but I did wake up this morning without even a hint of soreness.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Bunnies Are No More

Having saved the bunnies from a certain death in the jaws of my brother's dog, we knew that we were just playing slim odds that they would survive in our care. From what I've read, if you take them away too soon, they might not have built up the benificial bacteria that helps them digest food and they die.

We found "Chinny" two mornings ago, dead in the cage. There are a few theories as to how he passed.
1. The cotten I found around his neck=he might have strangled himself
2. He was malnurished. Though he might have actually been a she which would provide a reason for why Chinny was so much smaller than Lefteye.
3. Aforementioned lack of digestive bacteria

Lefteye hung in for a little bit longer, but when we got back last night, he looked nearly dead, was cold and didn't want to eat. After some deliberation, the decision was made for me to euthanize him. It was quick.

Friday, May 18, 2007


My brother's dog, Milo surprised him a couple of days ago by waking him up with a dead baby rabbit in his living room. A female rabbit had had a litter in a hole in his back yard, and his dog managed to destroy three of the babies and leave two still alive in the hole. He told me about it and remembering how Laura constantly points out the baby rabbits in our neighborhood, I said that if they're still alive, we could be over ther in 20 minutes.

When we got them out of the hole, one of them made this unearthly, high pitched screeching noise but quited down once we had them in a towel lined box. The internet gave us a bunch of info and so we took em' home and fed them a bunch of Pedialyte and formula. One of them had a pretty sizable gash on it's left cheek, by it's eye, which got worse during the night. We did a little bit of bunny surgery, cleaned out the flap and then reattached it to its face with liquid bandage. We named that one "Left Eye". The other one, in better shape, had a cut on it's chin that we cleaned out. He has been since dubbed "Chinny".

The bunnies are roughly 5-6 days old and the chances of them surviving are pretty slim. In the wild, about 90% of the littler don't make it, which is just as well since they would overtake the planet in short order if not for that. If they do survive, we'll be releasing them in about a month (thats my plan anyhow).

It's a funny situation, morally speaking. In Maplewood, where we live, there are bunnies everywhere and save for hopping under a car or into a back yard inhabited by a dog, they have no natural predators. I've been on a kick lately where I've been wanting to revisit my meat-eating by killing, slaughtering and preparing an animal, but after this episode, I've effectively scratched rabbit off of the list of tasty dishes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Six Miles Mutha Fucka

Had a freaking excellent 6 mile run in the rain today. Laura came with for the first mile and a quarter and doubled back and the rest went off without a hitch. Inside of two weeks I was able to get up to six miles, not too freaking bad. I was completely endorphin high for about two hours, singing in the shower and generally alienating myself from Laura. Several hours later, I'm beginning to have some hurt in my calves and hip joints.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ritalin and Running Update

Were I a competetive athlete and open to chemical scrutiy I might get called out on how I did today on my first 5+ mile in a long ass time. That not being the case, lemme just say that running is a freaking cinch now that I'm on ritalin. I was able to concentrate and perform quite well today. It can also be said that I"m in a lot better shape than I was two weeks ago and that helped a lot too. Tomorrow is a 6 mile run, more on that later.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Quality of Life Drugs

After my recent acquisition of out-of-pocket health insurance ($175 for me and Laura, not too bad) I got myself to a local doc. My mother told me a couple of years ago that if I'm picking out a doctor blind from a list I should look for geographical convenience and a last name that belies being one of the chosen people. Since she was in Australia when I was looking for a doctor and neither she nor my father could think of anyone good offhand, I used the same method to get me to Dr. K.

I told him about my ADD and he prescribed me Ritalin. It's been pretty good so far, not too speedy like when I took Adorol when i was 21, but I'm able to focus a lot easier. More updates on that later.