Day 169: Gary Busey’s Teeth

 gary-busey.jpg

A four day blogging break. Wow. I just realized that I have indeed not blogged for four days. I will give you two possible reasons for this and you can choose the one that is more to your liking: a) I have been lying on a beach, getting a tan, doing some occasional surfing and spending the rest of the day being fed seedless grapes by Donald Rumsfeld, or b) I have been so stressed out during the last few days that I did not have the nerve to write something, since I have been pulling all-nighters in order to meet writing deadlines and each and every word I would have posted would have been pissy.

>No, Donald, I am writing a blog entry. Be quiet, go sit over there and stop telling other people how much smarter you are when it comes to the correct way of feeding grapes to people in a foreign country. I’ll tell you when I’m ready for my foot massage. NO! That’s a BAD Donald!<

Sorry. It’s so hard to find good staff these days. As I was saying, I have been writing a lot of stuff lately, which makes this suposed vacation quite exhausting. I’m glad when the semester finally starts again and I can relax while grading papers.

What else has happened? Let’s see: they ruined the Tour de France for me (well, at this point it has become quite funny, actually–in an insane laughter, “we’re all going to die!” kind of way)–I gotta say: all of this doping-witchhunt weirdness should be stopped and they should legalize it. Then it would just be up to a few weenies left who fetishize being “clean” (treehuggers on bikes, basically–and we all know never to trust a hippie) to step up and get with the doping business. Yes, your testicles will shrink but from the limited bicycling experience I have I believe it is safe to say that those things are a nuisance in that sport anyway. So, there we go. Problem solved.

Hmmm… maybe that was too sarcastic. Sorry. I also generally like hippies, despite the John Lydon dictum. I even saw my first jogging hippie a while ago. That again was disappointing. The long hair and beard swaying in sync with the rythmic flow of the siren-like music of the ultra-commodifier called body cult. Sad. But strangely energizing.

Huh… not a lot else happened. Oh, I can share with you a line from yesterday’s chapter, or rather the claim that sets up the discussion of the second half of the chapter (hyper-vague summary: class and race throughout US history). Maybe that line is worth discussing:

“upward-bound class mobility is anti-American.”

Do with this what you will.

Finally, I would like to come back to the Tom Cruise post from a few days ago and to some of the comments made in response to it, stressing one aspect of the post that did not get enough attention: Gary Busey. He is fantastic. He acts. Well. He smiles. Like a God. I want his teeth. Once I can afford to get them, I will singularly sleep in 30-minute increments for the rest of my life, just so that I can brush my teeth more often before and after bed. Gary Busey. Wow.

Also: I miss The Deadliest Catch. I haven’t had TV for almost two months now. Surprisingly, I survived. Now I think I am starting to be scared of my TV. Since yesterday I am also scared of giraffes–well, the rear half at least. Not sure why. Everything from the shoulders on (in direction of the giraffe butt) is scary.

And: today I decided not to like hydroculture potting soil/stones. They are too light when you pick them up. This confuses me and I really cannot afford to become any more confused than I am at this point. Oh, and just to make sure that bunny isn’t losing sleep: I like AAA batteries again.

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Day 164: Le Tour de France + Mountain Stages + Fans = Yay!

Despite the fact that I can barely sleep at night due to the fact that I have so many writing deadlines coming up, there is still this daily one hour of serenity in my life, induced by the fact that my conscience apparently permits me to watch the last hour of the day’s Tour stage. Sadly, this year’s Tour is somewhat overshadowed by the whole doping discussion and the fact that they did not even have the decency to reveal that the winner used illegal substances to win the race until a few weeks AFTER the end of the Tour (at least leave us the chance for the construction of an illusion!). This year the more than likely winner (Rasmussen) is already facing more than slight suspicions regarding his ability to sprint up mountains like no one else, never tire and even excel in time trial racing, which his 50 kilogram body is definitely not built for. So, my afternoon hour of watching the Tour mainly consists of two things these days: watching all the previous favorites for the Tour victory disintegrate one by one and enjoying the audience. In fact, I believe that the two stages leading the field through the Pyrenees are the last chance to avoid a Rasmussen victory. No, not really because any of the other riders might be able to challenge him. Rather, I believe that the Basque fans (whom I love most among the crazy folk crowding the mountaintops during each Tour) may yet have it in them to punch him off the bike. It is not really the case that I am hoping for this. It is just that I think that this is the only thing that can still prevent a victory by Rasmussen, last of the chemical brothers.

But let’s depart from such morbid thoughts for a moment and instead let’s enjoy some of the interesting, colorful characters that flock toward the mountain stages of the Tour. This video shows a supported of Astana, the team from Khazakhstan built around their former captain Vinokourov (who is pretty much out of the race, which means that thay could finally commit themselves to pushing German rider Andreas Kloeden toward a potential podium finish!). You might recognize him.

Day 160: EPO for Writers?

As expected, writing at home is not as easy as it is in my tiny, boring, free from distractions apartment. But having my dog to keep me company is a nice touch. Still, I am not progressing as fast as I would like to, which, especially in light of yesterday’s events, begs the question: is there any form of doping that can help writers make it over the next hill (chapter)?

This question is raised for me by the piece of news that moved through Germany like a firestorm (well, at least through the parts that are interested in cycling). A member of the German T-Mobile Tour de France team Patrick Sinkewitz has been accused of testosterone doping. “Accused” is here more a legal term, as it is pretty certain that the B-test will confirm the results of the first test. The ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone found in Sinkewitz’ bloodstream (which should be about 1:1, maybe 2:1), for which the borderline ratio (beyond which one has to assume some form of external manipulation) is 4:1 (and let’s remember, the ratio found in Floyd Landis that cost him his 2006 Tour de France title was 11:1), was a whopping 24:1. Immediately after the news broke, Sinkewitz (who after a severe crash on the previous day was undergoing reconstructive facial surgery at that very moment) was suspended from the team. The most interesting reaction, however, occurred on part of the first and second channels of German television, who year after year broadcast this event (which is a HUGE summer event/tradition in Germany millions of people follow for multiple hours every single day). They decided to discontinue their live reports of the Tour de France. With this incredibly drastic reaction the two public channels intend to pressure teams into more responsibility, vowing not to resume broadcasts until things improve, simultaneously also warning other sports that similar things will happen if serious attempts to keep sports “clean” are not being made. While some people have applauded the courage of the ARD and ZDF (and mentioned the value of such a boycott, which would never have been possible for non-public television, depending for its existence entirely on commercials), others have criticized them for aligning themselves too closely with the Tour de France as an event, prioritizing the effort to save the Tour over journalistic integrity.

In any case: while I certainly miss my afternoon Tour break (which for me is more about the beautiful pictures of the French countryside, as well as the  mass of cultural and historical info one is usually provided with than about cycling [at least until the end of the respective stages]–because, let’s face it, 5 hours of cycling cannot just be accompanied by talk about cycling), I will obviously have more time to write. My initial question remains, however: can EPO, or any testosterone product help me write faster? It seems as though a little roid-rage might do wonders for my productivity (even though Hegelian negativity might turn into actual negativity, hence the less valuable kind for critical purposes). Does anyone know of writing-doping products (aside from blow, various forms of amphetamines [which, to make this clear, I obviously, officially and wholeheartedly reject, mister government official, sir]  and, of course, gummy bears)? Just wondering. Because: 24:1. That seems like it also corresponds to the procrastination to writing ratio of the average grad student, no?