Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Crawl Before Ball

On Sunday I played my first hockey game.  Over the summer I slowly accumulated a full set of gear from free and cheap sources with the goal of playing for real somehow, somewhere.  With help from the director of the city's sports division, I got accepted as a sub in the local "organized no-check pick-up" league.  After nearly a year since my first lesson with the kids' class, blade finally met ice.  And then quickly, breezers, shoulder pads, helmet, and blood met ice.

I got my shit rocked - there is no other way to put it - three times.  The reality is that my spatial awareness and ability to stop on a dime are mutually exclusive right now.  Don't even ask about those combined with stick handling.  But the reality is also that my rink-mates' remain somewhat mutually exclusive as well.

The first time: I was coming across center ice looking right to watch for a breakout from a defensive play and so was someone else and we ran smack, stomach-to-stomach into each other - except I'm about 9 inches shorter.  All I saw was the crest on his jersey as I face planted into...honestly, his beer belly....and then, of course, nothing but lights.  His head snapped forward and between his visored helmet (no cage) and the top of my helmet, his nose got destroyed.  There was a fu manchu worth of blood.

The second time: I ran into the back of my teammate as he backed up suddenly.

And the third: I got boarded by another teammate who didn't see me there.

Somewhere my parents are reading this and my mother is hyperventilating.  But these are not malevolent guys.  They're just full-grown men with 30-60 pound advantages on me.  May the physics be never in my favor.

Maybe I should have prioritized equipment that I actually had to pay for.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Call Me Marla

It's Friday night and I'm attending a Cocaine Anonymous 12 Step meeting for a class assignment.

When I envisioned myself living out scenes from Fight Club, these were not the scenes I expected.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

Music Dump: The F*ck Th!s Edition [NSFW]

It should evoke little surprise that a lot of my current playlists average out to F*ck This, F*ck That.  Just F*CK.

One of my best discoveries recently is the group Dorothy.  If I could run, I would run to them.  But I can't run and I'm still listening to them, which is a meaningful referendum in and of itself.

FYI: Links to videos all go to SFW Youtube videos, which are original content not allowed to be shared vis embed.

White Flag, by Joseph

I could surrender, but I'd
Just be pretending, no I'd
Rather be dead than live a lie
Burn the white flag

F*ck Apologies, by Jojo feat. Wiz Khalifa

And honestly I was just about to pick up the phone
And then I realized that I didn't do nothing wrong
So f*ck apologies
I would say I'm sorry if I really meant it


Sucker for Pain, by Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons w/ Logic & Ty Dolla $ign feat. X Ambassadors

If Corporate America cooked up a song's artist list perfectly designed to target me, Sucker for Pain represents 60-75% of a dead center hit.  It's only missing Adele, Florence, Rihanna, and Sia...or you know, any females.

But Lil Wayne's verse is straight art.

I'm devoted to destruction
A full dosage of detrimental dysfunction
I'm dying slow but the devil tryna rush me
See I'm a fool for pain, I'm a dummy
Might cut my head off right after I slit my throat
Tongue kiss a shark, got jealous bitches up in the boat
Eating peanut butter and jelly fishes on toast
And if I get stung I get stoked, might choke
Like I chewed a chunk of charcoal
Naked in the North Pole
That's why my heart cold, full of sorrow, the lost soul
And only Lord knows when I'm coming to the crossroads
So I don't fear shit but tomorrow
And I'm a sucker for pain, it ain't nothing but pain
You just fuckin' complain, you ain't tough as you claim
Just stay up in your lane, just don't fuck with Lil Wayne
I'mma jump from a plane or stand in front of a train
Cause I'm a sucker for pain


Way Down We Go, by Kaleo

Oh Father tell me, we get what we deserve
Oh we get what we deserve
And way down we go

Rise Up, by Andra Day

You're broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can't find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains

I'll rise up
In spite of the ache
I'll rise up
And I'll do it a thousand times again

Raise Hell, by Dorothy

Young blood, run like a river
Young blood, never get chained
Young blood, heaven need a sinner
You can't raise hell with a saint
Young blood, came to start a riot
Don't care what your old man say
Young blood, heaven hate a sinner
But we gonna raise hell 

Church Bells, by Carrie Underwood

Jenny slipped something in his Tennessee whiskey
No law man was ever gonna find
And how he died is still a mystery
But he hit a woman for the very last time
She could hear those church bells ringing, ringing

Missile, by Dorothy

Vengeance is a cold thing, baby
I serve it on a bed of flames
Still think you're a hard one, baby?
We'll see when the missile rains

And an added, non-vengeance bonus:

My Church, by Maren Morris

Can I get a hallelujah
Can I get an amen
Feels like the Holy Ghost running through ya
When I play the highway FM
I find my soul revival
Singing every single verse
Yeah I guess that's my church

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Meat Sweats Or Bust

A year after I left Austin, I wrote a list of what I missed from my time living there.  It basically came down to TXLA, Food, and Mel.

This past weekend I was in Austin for a wedding - Mel's wedding - and as this was my first return since I left in June 2014, I manufactured a reunion tour.

My first afternoon I visited the Mother Ship.

Then I threw caution and pain to the wind, and ran on The Trail.  

I made a pilgrimage to Torchy's.

The next morning I dropped in on Longhorn Masters (TXLA), where a surprising number of people were excited to see me and it became clear that a surprising amount of my swim fitness is gone.  However, my pro-longed shoulder rehab does seem to have done a whole lot of good.

That night the rehearsal dinner was hosted at Franklin Barbecue.  

I swam again with Longhorn, ran again on the Trail, and tried to cool off in preparation for a sure-to-be-steamy, early evening outdoor wedding on South Congress.  The next morning I was on a plane back to Indiana before 6 am.

I always wonder what places I have already visited for the last time.  If this weekend is my last ever visit to Austin, I am content.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

To Be "Injured" Or To Be "Not Injured"

Over the last couple of weeks I have wondered when in my recovery process I would feel like I qualified to say "I am no longer injured."

Ostensibly this conversation is valid, and not an insignificant concern for athletes returning from long-term injury.

Realistically I was getting ahead of myself, although I didn't know it until this Monday.

I'm broken, mostly likely, to some degree, in the same place, for the 5th time since January 1.

Awesome. {/sarcasm}

My current/second doctor, a podiatrist, is tapping out.  My problem is "too sport".  He prescribed 3.5 months of conservative treatment, which I followed (exhibit A)(exhibit B), and he doesn't know why it didn't work.  With no better idea why it didn't work the previous three times (under a different doctor who was a sports med ...).  So I'm moving on up the treatment - and geographic - ladder, referred to Indianapolis-based doctors.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thoroughbreds: Camels in Maralal

UPDATE: Bedan, he of the Men of Nyahururu, placed 7th in the 10k in Rio.  No lie, I was pulling hard for him to get a medal.

Now back to tales of Africa, collected over a year ago now and delivered in the rudest of inconsistent schedules.

So...I got on this bus to Maralal, which is the gateway to the desolate northwest Kenya beyond it.  Two buses travel the unpaved road per day, and are responsible for transporting nearly all the goods flowing north.  No wonder it looked like this outside and in.

That's a picture from above me, looking down.  Packages filled every gap up to my waist.  The box in the lower left hand corner with the man's hand on it is filled with chickens.  Yeah, chickens.  The lady whose lower face can be seen on the left, got into a fight over the package of chickens with the woman on my right, to whom the chickens belonged, because of the chicken dust we were all supposedly sucking down.  It's amazing that I don't understand a word of Kiswahili but I could pick up on the hand signals for "crazy chicken lady killing us all with her dangerous chicken dust".

This delightful view is what I saw for 5 hours, knowing full well the potholes were coming and being completely unable to do anything about them.

But occasionally I got see a Samburu man protecting his cattle, or hanging with his buddies.

This bus ride might deserve it's own post - all bus rides in Africa tend to deserve their own post - but in awesomeness is totally trumped by what I found in Maralal.

Annually in early August Maralal hosts a camel derby, the longest race of which is 40k.  It's more an attention thing than a money thing so no child jockeys like in the Middle East.   Here's a jockey with his mount.

Unfortunately the town books full well in advance, so I couldn't stay for the races.  Otherwise I would have been in the AMATEUR RACE!!!  For like US$20, they put you on a camel and let you race (20k, I think).  Bucket list, people.  Bucket. List.

So anyway, I ran way out of town at dawn to the Maralal Camel Club, to meet the camels.  The racing camels are really anti-hands, which isn't surprising since all hands do all day is hit them.  But if you put your face out...

KISSES!  And cuddling too.

After I finished making out with the camels, I ran back to town and got on a bus.  But not before they ran the camels through town on a training run, and I saw this Samburu woman.

Like Nyahururu, I wish I had stayed longer.
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