Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Little Women

Okay, I give up, I'm still getting over the flu. There's no place I need to go -- or CAN go for that matter. I'm going to make tea and watch Little Women which was shot right near here in Concord and has some lovely pictures of Concord and Lexington houses in the snow. And thank God we're wearing Polartec and Goretex and fabrics that keep us really warm and really dry instead of those big old dresses.

The Big Dig

If you're a Bostonian those words mean the big construction mess downtown -- BUT NOT TODAY. Today it means the most horrific dig out of cars you've ever seen. The snow on the front of my car was OVER the hood by about 2 feet thanks to the drifts. And the last guy out is the big loser because there's just nowhere to put the snow you're shovelling, so you conveniently pile it up on the next guy's car! Luckily someone came by with one of those little frontloaders called a Bobcat and helped me get my car out. It would have taken 4 hours otherwise. I was just standing there laughing when I first took a look at it. Think we've had enough WINTER yet!?!?!?!?!

Monday, February 17, 2003

Take Some Mick And Call Me In The Morning

Only reasonable medicine for a storm like this is eat chips, watch Mick Jagger on HBO, pray the lights don't go out. We're going on 12 inches here in Boston and they keep saying we might get another 12 to go with it.

Thanks Gnome Girl

Just wanted to say thanks for the traffic you've been throwing my way by adding you to my blogroll. Then I go to your site to find YOU'RE STRANDED IN OUR FAIR CITY! Shit! So sorry to make you a prisoner of this blustery, freezing, cold East coast waste land. Just hope to hell you're dressed in MORE than that cute baseball shirt and bikini bottom featured on your site. Wishing you a safe escape from Boston, and bring that baseball bat back with you next time -- I'll get us tickets for a Red Sox game and we can both go dressed like that -- along with 10 or 20 of our favorite Boston bloggers!

How To Become An Alpha Male in 18 Lessons: Lesson 11: Take Me

There was a boy I knew in France, we were both sixteen and he didn't have a car. All he had was a bike, but he had a lot of imagination and a terrific smile. He was an apprentice to a butcher and you should have seen his hands, a new nick or a cut or a big ominous bandage every single day when he came by after work to take me out. There were other guys with motorbikes and some even old enough to come by in cars, but I didn't let them take me off like I let this boy take me. He wore that butcher's apprentice heavy white cotton side-buttoning jacket, a bit like a cook's bleached white linen jacket and his pants were cotton as well, a tiny black and white gingham, again, a traditional French uniform, they fit snug at the hips loose at the ankles, a bit like sailor's bellbottoms. He'd removed his apron by evening and most of the blood on it, though now and then you'd see a flick of red here or there. He'd rush to see me and didn't care to change first. His chest was strong, made you think the jacket buttons might just bust. He had a jolly face, young and handsome and had two great dimples. It was easy to take his hands in a motherly way and examine them for new cuts -- but he'd have none of it -- he's shoo-shoo my attention away, throw his arm around me and explain in French that he wanted to take me somewhere. He only had a bike, but he loved to put me up on the bar and ride me around town. And he knew he could take me anywhere this boy. This was the kind of boy who didn't have to say much to get you to go anywhere with him. I suppose he showed me carnivals and churches and the river and men fishing and cafes, but I honestly don't remember. Mostly he showed me his enthusiasm and his imagination and his great love of life and of course, he was only taking me places to kiss me and I remember that.

And there was another guy in LA who would call me up and say, "Hey, let's ditch out of work early and I'll drive us up the coast, we'll find a place to eat fish and lie on the beach, whattya think?" and he had a nice car, not a sports car, not a convertible, not the best car in the world, but he was funny as hell and he knew how to take me places. He'd drive us out of the city, from Beverly all the way out Venice Boulevard, swore it was the best way to get used to the ocean smell, up Pacific Coast Highway through a low fog, the sun would burn a path for us, past old summer shacks, barely hanging on the sides of hills in Malibu, past beaches with nannies and kids and surfers and we were talking and laughing about horrible stupid excuses we'd made up to tell our bosses why we wouldn't be there that afternoon. We'd make it nearly to Santa Barbara before we'd turn back to see if the coast was clear -- and it was -- and we'd use whatever impromptu late spring beach blanket we could scrounge from the back of the car -- usually some mover's blanket made of brown quilted cotton with a red edge -- and if we didn't have bathing suits he'd dare me to wear my undies and pretend they were a bikini and I would and he'd wear his white Jockey briefs and look even more like some guy in his underwear and we'd laugh about it when people walked by looking at us. He roll us up in the blanket for privacy and we'd kiss. When it got dark, he'd take me to the Reel Inn for grilled salmon and beer and on the way home I'd fall asleep on his shoulder as he drove.

Alpha Males take you places, they just know how. Sometimes it's a risk. They know they might get turned down, but they try it anyway. They don't need the best wheels. They don't need the best road. They don't even really need to know where to take you, they just need to take you. All they need's a little imagination and a little desire. Some have taken me by train to Winter Park to ski. Some have taken me to Seattle by plane just to eat crabs. Some have taken me by limo up to Greenwich for the day to leave the hot city behind. Some have taken around the corner for pasta. The best even let me take them by the hand, lead them down the hall to the bedroom and when I ask if they'd like to take a nap, they say, "Sure." You see, some of these guys I'm quite taken by. And whether I take them, or they take me, they all know one thing, a fine day takes a little imagination, a little fun, a little risk and they always take the chance.

Boston Snow

I'm finally digging out from under the blanket drifts on my bed -- I've been sleeping non-stop since yesterday because my flu came back, the nasty thing -- and now that I dug my way out of the covers, it seems the snow is really beginning to hit us hard here -- so I'll dive back under. I've been reading and managed to make myself some lunch -- macaroni and cheese -- first thing I've eaten in days it seems like.

It's one of these sideways storms, the snow doesn't just fall down, but blows in sideways with such force it looks like they're sandblasting the the side of the building. What a winter this has been. Get those spring dresses with the flirty skirts ready and slingback shoes -- give me some warm April weather and a summery spring evening in a cafe, barelegs, pretty sandals, painted toes, enough of these wool socks and boots.

You Can Always Get There By Bike

Fiets -- Vanuit de hele regio is het een aangename fietstocht naar Keukenhof. U passeert de beroemde bollenvelden. Aangekomen op Keukenhof kunt u uw fiets parkeren in de fietsenstalling naast het parkeerterrein.

So Much For Back In The Saddle

My flu returned and I've spent two more days flat on my back. Not that there's anything to do or anywhere to go when it's 6 below zero and soon we'll be in a foot of snow. Someone remind me there is something called 'Spring." I've heard of it but it seems the most remote possibility these days.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

First Things First -- Work Out

I was sick while I was travelling so I didn't work out for a week. This, for me, is like not breathing for a week, it's gotten to be so basic for me. Wish me luck this morning as I make an attempt to get back into the groove. I feel lazy, I feel fat, out of shape and all around weak and useless. I know I shouldn't beat myself up about it, but I also know it will probably take a month or so to get back to where I was physically before I went away.

And my son wonders why I scream at him like a banshee when he doesn't wear his hat and mittens and all when he goes out in this BELOW ZERO weather. He gets sick, I get sick, he misses school and I miss work to take care of him, then I miss work because I'm sick, it's like a house of cards ... boom boom boom everything falls apart.

Back In The Saddle Again

My life's a lovely jumble of yellow roses, pink tulips, white baby's breathe, dark and light chocolates, camo green military tanks at Heathrow, a half empty plastic bottle of bright red cold medicine in a half open suitcase, lots of laundry now washed, almost folded and the damnedest cold weather you ever saw -- even got a flat tire yesterday on Valentine's Day -- and a sweetheart who patched it up for me!!

But now I'm back and can get my head around what needs to be done here and even what needs to be written around this place -- like another chapter of Alpha Male. Soon soon soon. Those European men gave me a whole new perspective. This jetlag is almost under control. Well, sort of, I mean, ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Whoops, back to bed.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Home Sweet Home

Back in Boston and now off to work sweet work. Thanks Jeneane for the proxypost!

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Security Level Dropped From Orange to Mauve

And why not?

Halley's back in the States--she just called to say she landed at JFK and is en route to Boston. I'm assuming she's bringing plenty of packages with her. Halley, what'd ya get me? She promised more stories when she gets home. Stay tuned.

Proxyblogged by Jeneane.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

It's Only Love

Heard this in a pub and these Beatles lyrics keep rattling around in my head in London tonight --

I get high when I see you go by, my oh my
When you sigh, my, my inside just flies, butterflies
Why am I so shy when I'm beside you?

It's only love and that is all, why should I feel the way I do?
It's only love and that is all but it's so hard loving you

Was it Rubber Soul or Revolver? I can never remember. Hell, I was only 9 years old when it was new. Wait, isn't that supposed to be "easy loving you" in that last line?

Went To The Bank With Lance

Actually not to the bank, but to a restaurant called Bank this morning with Lance of Davos Newbies. As he explained, it's an old retail bank branch (one of many in central London) that's been converted into a restaurant.

Excellent company, conversation and blogging gossip. Thanks again!

In London Tonight

Getting ready on a rainy night to head home tomorrow. Really didn't need Tony Blair to send military tanks to Heathrow for me ... but I do appreciate the thought. Glad I'm not a worrier. Wish all safe passage whereever they are tonight and I expect to enjoy the same tomorrow.

The Personal Courage of Alpha Males

I've been thinking long and hard about the personal courage of Alpha Males. Some of you know just what I mean. I'll be writing about it soon. It crosses into areas of leadership and love and loyalty and longing, so I've got to sort it out, but will be back soon on this.

Lindsay House

Good lord, JP, it may take me about 50 years to recover from that incredible dinner last night at Lindsay House!!! I barely know where to begin when it comes to describing it. I'll just post some key points so I can come back and flesh it out later, okay? But can I say a giant thank you for an evening I will never forget!

1. The London Times arrived at my hotel room door BEFORE I did -- try a dinner that begins at 7PM and ends at 2:AM.

2. There's a scene in Dr. Zhivago where a elegant diplomat wines and dines Julie Christie in a insanely POSH place with a very private dining room with red wall paper -- well, Lindsay House makes that place look like McDonalds.

3. What meal that ends with a 45 minute cell phone call with Rageboy in Boulder could be anything but great?

4. Richard Corrigan's food is so incredibly terrific -- no comment required. Delightful to meet him.

5. JP -- your analysis on the current economy w/your metaphorical connection to the Vietnam War -- I want this in an essay, it was amazing.

6. Brian Millar, another darling who shared our fantasy evening. WERE WE REALLY THERE? Loved meeting you!

7 On a cold London night to be served a delicious warm lime souffle in a pretty white ramekin with a tiny dish of icy lime sorbet for my own personal dessert -- were they just trying to reduce me to tears! Ohmygod!

8. JP, do you know everyone in the whole wide world, the world wide web or BOTH?

9. Why didn't you guys tell me that all I had to do to find out the real secrets of Alpha Males was come to Europe? ,p>10. Thanks again, brilliant evening.

Blog-lag, Jet-lag, Doc-lag

A number of people asked me why I didn't bring my Sony Vaio with me to London here, but after finally catching up on some blogs here the Meriden Waldorf's business center and finding out DOC'S COMPUTER WAS STOLEN, I can tell you maybe my thinking was pretty right on about leaving my sweet Vaio at home. My two killer apps, blogging and email run off of Blogger and Yahoo respectively, so I don't have to drag my hardware along for someone to swipe.

Sorry to hear that bad news, Doc.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

QWERTY Where Are Ye Now?

Think posting is easy when the damned quotation mark is switched with the @ key on these English keyboards? Ever use the quote marks in blogging?! It's driving me crazy!!!!

We've Decided War Is Not Inevitable

We decided this on Saturday. More on this later. But try it, walk around for a day with the idea in your head. You might at a minimum find, at least as an American, that we have been sold this idea. Just as we are sold Vanilla Diet Coke, which by the way, is a much better idea than nuclear war. You might even notice a certain NUMBNESS in your body where you had to place that weird notion that war was inevitable. You might choose to rethink that numbness. You might start rejecting the idea and feel slightly lively all of a sudden.

I think Bush is making us believe that war is inevitable instead of a private father-son conflict that's best kept in the Bush family and facilitated NOT by diplomats, but rather a few good psychiatrists familiar with the Oedipus complex.

He's also trying to make us think nuclear war is a big economic stimulus package. There's something to that. So your friend down the street who lost his job will get a new job on Monday after the war begins but by Friday we'll all have been blown to smithereens. Hmmm ... well, he won't have to spend much on drycleaning those new suits he bought.

Where Am I?

And well you might ask, I'm in Richmond, about 40 minutes out of London and in a lovely internet cafe. In many ways the UK is so way ahead of us in implementing really great technology into their lives. It's been an insane treat to spend time with real people who really live here and see what their "embedded technologies" are -- that is the technology they expect to be seamlessly integrated into their lives.

My blogger friend Gary Turner picks me up in a Mercedes which he instantly starts apologizing for because the bloody thing doesn't have "SatNav" or some mysterious word he uses. I ask him what the hell he's talking about when he says this word, "satnav". His BMW apparently has a satellite navigation system where a sexy woman gives him simple and convenient directions to wherever. As we drive from his home in Northampton to visit with our co-blogger, Euan Semple in ... I forgot the town, sorry ... Gary makes it clear in the nicest way possible I'm a lousy replacement for Miss SatNav.

This is just the beginning. We call information and ask for a number an old lady with the sweetest grandmotherly British accent says, "I've just sent that to your cellular as a text message, sir." I know some people have these technologies in the US, but you can tell they are much more entrenched here.

So come back here with me to this internet cafe. You buy a cup of tea or any 50 variations of coffee drinks, buy a little chit that gives you an hour access to an internet terminal and sit in a place that's clean and pretty and convenient and let's you do your email or blogging as long as you bloody well please. Not bad, eh? These Europeans are leaving us in the dust guys.

Jetlag? Try Sleeplag, Meallag, Pooplag

I am and have always been drastically thrown off by jetlag, but was thinking about it this morning. Jetlag actually has three component parts that conspire to make your life hell. It's not just the sleeplessness, but one big part of it for me is I'm NEVER hungry at the right times and always hungry at the wrong times when I jump time zones -- call this "meal lag". I seem to have a primal reaction to this problem. I get absolutely cranky like a toddler when I'm hungry and there's no meal in sight. And when they sit you down to eat a lovely big meal and you are not the least bit hungry, I want to yell, "get this crap out of here." Speaking of crap, ... well, let's just say the other part of jetlag might be discretely called crap management -- or the more scientific term, "pooplag". Until you get that going on a regular basis your trip is a bit ... how to say ... of a pain in the ass.

So I'm happy to report after being here 4 days, these lags are under control, just in time for me to be slammed broadside with my son's perfectly dreadful flu/cold/plague, whatever the hell it is. I'd been trying so damned hard to dodge it, but it caught up with me, once I slowed down a bit. I called a client this morning and discovered as I tried to talk ... nothing was coming out. Finally something very sexy (a la Lauren Bacall) did manage to hit the airwaves. Glad I packed the Robittusin Nighttime which I've been swigging like a red martini both day and night for the past two days.

I Miss Dutch Guilders

Not even sure if that's the right spelling. The new Euros (only new to me since I haven't been here since they did the change to the new currency) are great and I have a pocket full of them to bring home to my son as a "show and tell" subject, but there's something culturally jarring, even for me, not to see guilders and francs and marks and lira listed on the Change Bureau black felt board. Even the crazy pile of lira you had to assemble to pay for the smallest things in Italy is gone as a kind of cultural joke.

What is a country without it's original currency? Well, I guess it's just what they wanted ... an United Europe. It makes the Brit's decision not to convert, all the more prominent. At first I thought they were being pig-headed about it, but I have to say, I'm kindof glad they stuck by their pence and pounds. I understand from my friends here in the UK (yes I'm back in London) and in Holland that it may only be a matter of time when they go Euro

Holland Is Ready To Bloom

I'm a bit nutty for the Netherlands, so it was great to get over there. It's about a month from tulip season. I have to figure out a way to get my sister and brother-in-law and son over with me on the next trip. They are florists and gave me the lovely pink silk tulips that decorate my desk at work.

If you want a great early spring trip, get a cheap flight to Amsterdam -- and they are still very cheap since this is off season -- and go to Keukenhof where you'll have rows and rows of tulips as far as the eye can see. The small villages around here give you a real feeling for the Dutch -- again, I think they are great. And THEY ALL SPEAK EXCELLENT ENGLISH as far as I can tell. They put us to shame in terms of being REALLY GLOBAL.

I also got to meet a new friend and fellow blogger, Niek Hockx, the Dutch photographer. Check out his pictures, they're great. Check out his site -- his pictures are great. He's a terrific guy, a fantastic photographer and made the photo shoot easy, which believe me, is a big deal since I can't sit still for more than 12 seconds. But I must say, (wink), he has quite an imagination. He took some great photographs of me and seems to think they were very sexy. You decide -- check them out here. Being a Bostonian Puritan you might notice I'm not exactly dressed like his other models.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Amster, Amster, Dam, Dam, Dam!

Heading to Amsterdam tomorrow. These countries are so delightfully compact, you can slip a few in your pocket and go on to the next. Can't wait to do Holland.

Wonderful day with Euan, Penny, Gary and Fiona. And BIG THANKS Gary for the picture which demonstrates you can conveniently drive a small truck or LORRY through my mouth. Yikes. Penny -- let's kill them, they didn't post the cute pix of us sticking our bosoms and butts out. Christ, you just can't get these guys to do anything you want. Just a hot bed of Scottish Alpha Males over here. h

Still No Yahoo Email

Weridly, I can get on the Net but I can't get into my Yahoo email. Let's hear it for Harvard though -- my work email is working -- it's hsuitt AT hbsp.harvard.edu if anyone needs to reach me. I'm not writing it out properly with the @ sign because then every spammer in the world will crawl it and be crawling all over me I figure. Cheers.

Friday, February 07, 2003

Tea -- For Me!?

I just love the tea tray you find in hotel rooms here, with little cute biscuits and great half-and-half they simply call HALF FAT milk ... make no bones about it! It's the real thing -- complete with a china tea pot, two tea cups, your own hot water pot, cream, sugar, real strong brown tea that leaves those brown stains in the cup -- they don't mess around here. This is an island where the tea drinkers have won the war! They dominate! And being a tea drinker, this is NIRVANA!

It was such a welcome treat when I dragged my sorry tired-ass carcass into this Marriot in Northampton, I nearly cried! Lovely tea, lovely bubble bath thanks to The Body Shoppe and drop dead crash nap for 5 hours, waking to wonder where the day had gone.

Gary Turner -- Call Me Call Me Call Me

CAN get on Blogger, but can NOT get on email for some reason. I've got your phone number and info on email, of course and NOT in my Palm Pilot -- whoops.

Anyone who reads this, please send Gary an email and tell him to call me. After a 5 hour nap (and no sleep last night on the night flight from NYC) I'm awake and ready to party with you, Fiona and Cameron. I have a massive amount of pink fuzzy baby clothes to unload. I feel like some drug dealer to even traffic in PINK baby gap clothes -- what an illicit thrill -- instead of the usual BLUE clothes I've gotten used to.


I Love London

Wrote a perfectly LOVELY post this morning when I got into town at a BT public Net terminal, a grey wet rainy 50 degree London morning -- they do grey so well. -- but the post promptly crashed.

Epidemic of red double-decker buses here, but I'm sure it can be brought under control. Everything looks do damned British around here.

Grabbed a morning train out to Northampton which is very countrified and nice. A bit like visiting New York and then going out to Connecticut to visit friends.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Great Lunch and of course

You can't NOT have the oyster stew -- it was so good I wanted to take all my clothes off and take a bath in it. Lovely cream, paprika, and those juicy oysters.

And after lunch, you can't NOT go ice slkating at Rockefeller Center. Did you see me there? I love to skate, but I have to say I hate rental skates -- my left blade was not sharp -- and I missed my usual skates. And you can't NOT skate to Frank Sinatra singing "New York New York" -- anything more completely GOTHAM than that? I loved the windy rattle-ti-tat-tat of the flags against the flag poles -- a rainbow of flags from all around the world and nearly everyone watching the skating rink hailed from one of those countries.

And if you go to Teuscher chocolates, you can't NOT have the champagne truffles for your birthday!!

New York is cold (22 degrees) but clear as a bell today. Marching back up Fifth Avenue, I couldn't NOT go into Saint Patrick's Cathedral and light a candle. I love the way the candles shimmer yellow flames in their red glass jars, flickering quietly in a silent glow in the big quiet cathedral against noisy NYC traffic outside.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

And It's A Big If

If I fell in love with you
Would you promise to be true
And help me understand
'cause I've been in love before
And I found that love was more
Than just holding hands

If I give my heart to you
I must be sure
From the very start
That you would love me more than her

If I trust in you oh please
Don't run and hide
If I love you too oh please
Don't hurt my pride like her
'cause I couldn't stand the pain
And I would be sad if our new love was in vain

So I hope you see that I
Would love to love you
And that she will cry
When she learns we are two

If I fell in love with you

-- The Beatles

Plaid Burberry Rain

So it looks like -- BIG SURPRISE -- rainy rainy weather in London for my trip. Here's the thing -- I really want to get a Burberry trench coat and some wellies. What's cheaper -- buy them here or buy them there?

I like the artwork on their site -- especially the way they use Flash (is it?) to assemble their plaid brand when you first pull up the site. What do you think of the cool fashion photos with the splotches of bright paint colors on them? I like them. The site, however, is deadly slow.

Of course, they'll need to do some brand extensions once everyone stops wearing clothes -- what with trend towards nudity being your best dressed look these days in Europe. They'll need to do more hats, maybe set up some Burberry tatooing salons for some real branding, and of course, some suntan lotion, tiny plaid thongs and more boots.

Feel So Good Today

Just so excited about going to Europe! Can't wait to see Baby Turner. I think I better get that tiny supermodel something mega-cute like this or this or this!

Also big thanks to Rageboy for the MANY introductions to the coolest people in London. Rageboy's world rocks and doors open (or are quickly locked, I'm not sure which) when he goes knocking.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Everything Is Different Now

She said "I don't care what you do for a living."
She said "I don't care what kind of car you drive."
"All I want to know right now is what you believe in
And what it means for you to be alive.
Will you stand here in this fire with me?
Are you ready for another life?"
So I bit that bullet, and took that vow
And everything is different now
Everything is different now

-- Don Henley

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Wifely Duty Undone

Speaking of Valentine's Day, check out this sobering article about modern marriage in The Atlantic. Sounds like a big drag for all parties. Tell me marriage isn't evolving ... Alpha Males know better. After a Hard Day's Night, who needs this?! Okay, just call me the Surrendered Blogger. Thanks for the link from Bacchus at Erosblog and Alina.

Give Me A Ticket On An Aero-Plane

Ain't got time to take a fast train My new friend, Carl, writes about the OBVIOUS fact that any terrorist worth his salt should just go ahead and buy a round-trip ticket if he's planning to die anyway. What are these guys, tightwads?

As for best practices in travel, Carl should know -- he's the founder of the last standing, very successful, high-growth dot com that sells travel to students. Check it out www.studentuniverse.com

Pink and Red and Hearts and Flowers and Romance and Valentine's Day

If you haven't done something for your Valentine yet, better get cracking! And don't forget the boys! [Ed. Note: Do click on the "larger view" button.]

Church is Just Fun

I don't know why it is, but church is always fun. The friends I've made there are great. The way we come together and work on different projects is like no other place in my life -- work has too many stresses and too much competition to be so relaxed. And I also like being somewhere with a wide range of ages -- from 2 to 72. It reminds you of the Wheel of Fortune. You slowly turn from child to teenager to a young person to a middle-aged person to an old person and it all makes sense.

More than anything else, there is no place in my week where I can grapple with things like good and bad, right and wrong, being strong and being weak. The minister today spoke to how weak we are, how we are always messing up and it's just that way. She talked about granting others "undeserved forgiveness" which sounds like an oxymoron in some way, but nothing could be more worth granting, forgiveness that someone seems not to deserve, but you make the magnanimous gesture to stop judging whether they qualify for your forgiveness and rather, you just give it. That's a holy place to be.

Bed Bath & Beyond My Teapot

Back from church and I have my new black teapot on my desk next to me, drinking Irish Breakfast on this Sunday afternoon. It's black ceramic. Has a no-nonsense feeling to it. Let's me think straight. Let's me sort through what matters, what doesn't. So much doesn't matter I think. A few things do.

In Memoriam and Carpe Diem

My prayers, wishes, sorrowful thoughts go out to the familes and friends of the Shuttle heros lost in the blink of an eye and to the rest of us, carpe diem, use the day to forgive and get closer to those you love, to those you loved and to those you would love to love. No time like the present.

Saturday, February 01, 2003

How To Become An Alpha Male: Lesson 10: I Second That Emotion

Honestly, I think I'm taking my Alpha Male for a bit of a joy ride, so to speak. That is, I'm taking my Alpha Male and asking him to see things in a slightly new way. I'm asking all the best Alpha Males to follow me down a road, take a little ride to a new way of thinking, a new way of living and a new way of loving. Of course, only the really evolved Alpha Males will even consider getting in my red convertible to take this ride, because they know if they let me take them for a ride to the beach, they won't come back the same way. In fact they'll never be the same. They will want to keep living that luscious day at the beach again and again and again. So I suppose I'm asking them to let their skin get a little burned, to let their hair down, let the ocean ring in their ears. I want them to lay back on my blanket and feel something. Feel something good. Feel something great. In fact, I just want them to feel ANYTHING.

If you play at being an Alpha Male long enough, you stop feeling, or worse, you really only feel a very few emotions -- like anger and sometimes fear which many men express as anger and sometimes love or lust which many men express as anger ... I'm sorry, I just had to say it. Seems like early on when men are boys they are told somewhere along the line that expressing anger is somehow manly but nothing else is. This is a shame -- rather like living in a world with only one color -- flaming red.

On my blanket, one Alpha Male at a time, I'll remind them of the ecstacy of feelings they enjoyed in that garden of boyhood carelessness they may have forgotten. They will feel longing. They will feel sad. They will feel relaxed. They will feel happy. They will feel young and free and funny. They will feel everything and best of all, they will name the feelings. We'll have a langourous language lab -- I'll write the words in the wet sand with a stick for them. They'll nod their heads when they read, "g-r-i-e-f" and "p-r-i-d-e-f-u-l" and "u-n-c-e-r-t-a-i-n" and "t-e-n-d-e-r" and "l-u-s-t-y" and "a-m-b-i-g-u-i-o-u-s" -- they will be excellent students all.

And at day's end, like every kid after a day at the beach, they will be spent. They will be full of the subtle colors of those emotions, changed forever in every way. They will return to rule whatever roost they rule, these Alpha Men, but return with a heart full of feeling, a heart that lets others in more easily, lets others out and off the hook more quickly with generousity and forgiveness, and lets them love with a finesse and a passion they had not imagined. Not a weaker heart, as they were warned against as boys, but a stronger, wiser heart that will sustain them and warm those around them, draw others to them, help them lead us all down a path they have trod and are no longer afraid to take.

Friday, January 31, 2003

Please, Uncle Gary, Take Me To Cadbury World!

I'm flipping! Gary Turner's taking the family to Cadbury World and that means me and Fiona and Cameron all with chocolate smeared from one ear to the other! Really looking forward to my trip to the UK next week and who needs Disneyworld or Legoland when you've got Cadbury World!

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Two Lessons On Alpha Male-it-tude Coming Up

I've written Lessons 10 and 11 and I'm just fussing with them. They are both about what can really bring an Alpha Male to his knees -- I mean bring him down, ruin him, wreck all the great alpha momentum he's built up. One is about anger and one is about women. Both can be lethal to an Alpha Male. Especially women.

When 30 Degrees Feels Like Aruba

Pretty frightening what you can get used to. A good part of this week it was as cold as 7, 8, 9 even 10 degrees with wind chills making it a lot lower. Today it's 30 and I swear, it feels like a warm spring day at the beach. And the worst part is to realize how you can get used to something DREADFUL and make it your "new normal" all too quickly. My son's Little League sign-up sheet came in the mail today. Baseball, yeah, right, sure, I think to myself. It seems about 8 months off now that we live in Siberia. I'll have to see it to believe it.

Ruminating on Young Beta Males

I've been getting some very interesting comments about the Alpha Male series from guys ages 18 - 35. I'll call them Beta Males for no good reason, except like a lot of beta software they are busy testing and testing and testing all limits and all established ways of thinking and working and living. And yesterday I heard Warren Bennis talk about his new book which discusses the way his generation (he's a brilliant vital sexy 77 years old) defined and lived their lives and how that generation of younger folks is currently living and how DIFFERENT many of their choices are. This younger group is very concerned about striking a balance between work and life. In fact, it occurred to me that if you really want to know "What Ever Happened To Feminism" ask guys ages 18 to 35 -- they are egalitarian, they are progressive, they are vehement about a balance of fun, work, learning, sex, parenting, travel, sports, love, passion on all levels.

As I listened to Warren talk and especially as he presented an interview with Crandall of American Airlines, a prototypical stern, austere ball-breaking Alpha Male who spoke about "work-life balance" as if it were something perfectly REVOLTING in his mouth which he'd like to spit out and wash down the drain, I suddenly wondered -- were these the fathers of that younger generation of men who abandoned them? Were these the alpha male dads who were never home, never at little league, never affectionate and has that shaped these younger men's attitudes about what they want from work and family? They seem more keen on this than women of their generation. I feel off of their emails a sense of loss about their fathers and no interest in repeating the absentee dad/alpha male at work role.

I think they may lead us out of the woods these smart young caring guys. I can't wait to watch what they do in this new world they are building. Bennis talks about "the crucible" -- that is, the difficult situations that form a generation. Imagine the crucible of 9/11 and the go-go-fall-flat internet boom-bust years. Unlike Crandall's post-depression and post-war generation, these younger folks have gone through even more devastating losses in some ways. They will not chose the lives of their fathers, these young men. And these young women will not live like their glass-ceilinged moms or any other generation of women before them, because they will have AMAZING men to live and work with.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Back To The Beach

I knew I was doing all those abdominal crunches for some good reason. Heading out to the beach soon. Yes, it's bikini weather again.

Hey, Lady

At Christmas I decided to give a few people who don't make a lot of money big tips, instead of giving a lot of my friends who are getting by well enough more gifts they don't need. One person I figured deserved some money was my son's bus driver. I count on him to be there and get my son safely to school and with my schedule if he weren't there, I'd be late to work all the time and my whole day would be a mess, so I really appreciate what he does. He's a bit of a curmudgeon though and rather cranky with me and my son now and then, because we're often dashing down the sidewalk to make the bus and nearly miss it about 3 mornings out of 5 and probably throw off his schedule.

On the last morning before Christmas vacation, I put $50 in a christmas card with the message "Thanks for all your hard work," written on it and put it in an envelope and sealed it and stuffed it in my pocket and ran off to the bus stop with my cute 2nd grader. We weren't even late. I was excited about the envelope in my pocket and figured no one else was giving him much of anything that day and he would really appreciate it.

He pulled up and didn't look very happy, despite it being nearly Christmas. "Hey, Lady," he started, as my son got in cautiously, "your kid is nothing but trouble in my bus. He won't sit down, he won't listen to me, he's constantly jumping around ..." he goes on and on, really giving me hell in front of the kids and other parents at the bus stop. In my pocket, I'm picking at one corner of the envelope, thinking twice about giving it to him, even thinking twice about taking the thing out of my pocket. Finally he's done and about to close the folding doors on me as I step up into his bus and stand on the first step.

I hand him the envelope and say "I'm sorry, I'll talk to my son, but here, Merry Christmas," I say. I exit quickly. I can tell from his face he's thinking, "great, another lousy christmas card I don't need."

The bus pulls away and I start walking back to my house. And I start grinning, because I realize when he finally opens the envelope he is going to be just dying to realize he'd balled me out and I'd taken it and I still gave him the card and the money. And then I started laughing out loud, wishing I could be there when he opens it.

Two weeks later on the first day back to school, the bus pulls up and there was one very appreciative bus driver there to greet my son and thank me and his sheepish look was worth so much more than the fifty bucks.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

A Sexual Sea Change: Women Who Cheat

From the Goose/Gander Department, Elle Magazine has a piece on infidelity in marriage and it's NOT about straying husbands.
I see women today deciding to have affairs the way they decide to go back to school or get a job or have a baby: If you don’t get what you need completely from marriage, you go and get it from a lover.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Spring Forth

I saw it this weekend -- lovely, lovely weekend -- at the spa getting my toes and fingernails painted Easter Egg pink pre-partying. I saw the spring just bursting forth. A pile of women's fashion magazines with glossy covers showing off bare legs, miniskirts, pretty sandals, sling-backs in pastel pink and blue and lavendar, sexy mules -- those cute little shoes girls wear that look like they're just about to slip off.

We're currently buried in ice and snow -- as I swam in the blue pool I poked my head out the tiniest bit to look out the window at a winter landscape of black, white, grey, ice, snow, bare branches and thought of Dorothy in Oz leaving that murderous house of hers, one minute in black and white and the next in a riot of color and I suddenly realized that's just what we're about to see. Deep in the earth the bulbs were sucking down the winter sun like liquor and the buds were hiding nestled in those bare branches, tiny bouquets of palest pink all ready to burst forth with brazen blossoms and rain down flower petals, littering the streets with a swirl of pretty girls in flippy, flirty skirts of spring defiance. I saw it. I saw all the girls getting their toes painted in pinks and corals and peaches and reds and I can't wait to watch them sashay down the boulevards on the way to meet someone at a cafe. It's coming. A swoon of spring headed our way.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Alpha Male Links -- Lessons 1 through 18

I keep getting requests for the links to the earlier blog posts of my "How To Become An Alpha Male in 18 Easy Lessons" series, so here are all the links so far:

Lesson One: Getting It -- January 3, 2003

Lesson Two: Giving It -- January 4, 2003

Lesson Three: Why Alpha Males Get Pussy Galore -- January 5, 2003

Lesson Four: Stag Films -- January 7, 2003

Lesson Five: Confidence Game -- January 12, 2003

Lesson Six: Alpha Males Have Things--January 15, 2003

Lesson Seven: Pretty, Pretty, Girl --January 15, 2003

Lesson Eight: How To Get An Alpha Male -- January 17, 2003

Lesson Nine: Do The Right Thing -- January 23, 2003

Lesson Ten: I Second That Emotion -- February 1, 2003

Lesson Eleven: Take Me -- February 17, 2003

Lesson Twelve : The Post-Alpha Male -- March 11, 2003

Lesson Thirteen: The Real Alpha Male -- March 13, 2003

Lesson Fourteen: All About Size -- April 17, 2003

Lesson Fifteen: You Must Remember This -- May 11, 2003

Lesson Sixteen: Power Play -- May 18, 2003

Lesson Seventeen: Love Letter To An Alpha Male -- July 3, 2003

Lesson Eighteen: My Alpha Boy -- August 19, 2003

Friday, January 24, 2003

This Just In -- Marketing 101

Where do these nutty internet jokes START anyway ... and if they're funny, why doesn't the author want his name out there to get a little credit?

> People often ask for an explanation of Marketing.
> Perhaps the following analogies will help clear it
> up:
> You see a handsome guy at a party.
> You go up to him and say, "I'm fantastic in bed."
> That's Direct Marketing.
> You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a
> handsome guy.
> One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at
> you says, "he's fantastic in bed."
> That's Advertising.
> You see a handsome guy at a party.
> You go up to him and get his telephone number.
> The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in
> bed."
> That's Telemarketing.
> You're at a party and see a handsome guy.
> You get up and, Give eye contact.
> You walk up to him and pour him a drink.
> You say, "May I," and reach up to kiss him, and then
> say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed."
> That's Public Relations.
> You're at a party and see a handsome guy.
> He walks up to you and says, "I hear you're
> fantastic in bed."
> That's Brand Recognition.
> You're at a party and see a handsome guy.
> You talk him into going home with your friend.
> That's a Sales Rep.
> Your friend can't satisfy him so he calls you.
> That's Tech Support.
> You're on your way to a party when you realize that
> there could be handsome men in all these houses
> you're passing.
> So you climb onto the roof of one situated toward
> the center and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm
> fantastic in bed!"
> That's Spam

How To Become An Alpha Male: Lesson 9: Do The Right Thing

My Poor Alpha Male. He seems to be getting the shit kicked out of him around here. So many people are telling me he's just a selfish, egotistical, sex-obsessed, narcissistic cad. Not so, I say! Not so! You think my Alpha Male spends his day with a front-row seat at Pussy Galore's Flying Circus, saving the world from nuclear annililation, racing around in his Aston Martin, BMW and Q Boat, when he's not ducking Odd Job's razor-sharp steel-rimmed hat? No, he's got more heroic work to do -- like paying the mortgage and making sure to take out the garbage. My Alpha Male knows how to do the right thing.

Watch our hero in action. At dawn, he's waking next to his wife, or maybe not. He's endowed with that most unusual gift -- an erection -- but chances are, no matter who he's next to in bed, unless he's 17 years old, he'll get little chance to enjoy it. He's just got to get up -- not get it up, or keep it up, or get off -- his mistress is the Sony Clock Radio next to the bed and if it's anything past 7:00 am, he's already late. If he's a new dad, he's got a toddler already jumping on top of him and the slightly melancholy thought "hey, I remember when this bed wasn't a kid's trampoline!" races through his head. If he's an old dad, he's got enough worries with college bills, refinancing the house, running a meeting or making some flight to some damned place in the next hour, that it would make anyone want to crawl back under the covers. So what's he do ... don't forget he's a hero ... he drags himself out of bed and faces the day. Gotta love that guy.

At breakfast, he's doing 2nd grade math with his daughter who's braiding Barbie's hair and doesn't care much about carrying. She does light up when he scribbles the answers next to the problems and lets her copy them in her scrunchy writing in the right place. His coffee isn't the way he likes it since they've run out of half-and-half. Watch what our hero does -- does he think, SHE forgot to get half-and-half and adds one more disappointment to his list of wifely misdeeds -- NO! He looks over at her and sees she's up to her ass in alligators as well, packing lunches, writing notes to teachers, dashing for school buses. She's half dressed and not the sexy girl he married by a long shot. No, she's not Dr. Holly Goodhead, but he goes over and gives her a hug and says something terrific like, "what's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?" and tells her how great she is. Wow! This guy knows how to do the right thing. When he gets to work, he mysteriously finds three pieces of Oreo O's breakfast cereal in his briefcase.

At work he spends a good part of his day trying to dodge the bullets of getting fired, trying to climb the ladder to a promotion -- only now it's an escalator that used to go up but looks more like those endless automatic walkways in airports -- stretching flat for miles with occasional rises -- and when he's not losing heart over his own circumstances, he's called on to help other guys and gals deal with the same disturbing business terrain, which he does with good humor, courage and generosity. He's a hero after all. He gets a call from his brother-in-law mid-morning who's really in dire financial straits and against all better judgment, sends him money. He gets word of an ex-colleague who's drinking problems have taken him out -- or taken whatever life he had left after his ex-wife took everything first. It's a grizzly story, best counterbalanced by a quick trip to the Starbuck's counter to see if the blonde from Michigan is serving today. Ah, she's there. Okay, shoot him -- he likes to flirt with her -- but look at her, especially in that way too tight buttons-might-just-bust-if's-he's-lucky blouse. For goodness sakes, he IS an Alpha Male, let him think about her that way as she offers him "Whipped cream?" for his mocha.

The sunset out his office window isn't so bad. He's got a view at least. Days near an end and he's not looking forward to the evening his wife's arranged with some people he doesn't like who do nothing but put his wife down (how can she NOT notice?), tell them how much smarter THEIR kids are, and always manages to steer the conversation around to how much less they paid for their house down the street which is identical to Alpha Male's humble abode. The office seems a much more welcome place right now than home. He watches a few last guys heading out. And then that crazy new kid, Jones, comes flying in. He's such a kid, so young, but look at him. He did it. He's back with a contract from that son-of-a-bitch client -- he actually got the deal! jones is nearly falling across his desk with a high five. The rest of the guys come out of the woodwork. It's great. High fives all around and they all grab their coats. That contract deserves at least one beer at the joint down the street.

Jones is really thrilled to get his attention. And in that moment, our Alpha Male suddenly sees what power he holds. His life flashes before him -- his wife at breakfast with a sly sexy smile after he was nice to her, the mocha girl, that last turn to smile goodbye to him -- he got under her skin, he saw it, -- his brother-in-law's tone of true gratitude -- his daughter's happy smile to see him help her cheat on her homework while she braided her doll's hair -- his older, tired-out boss rolling his eyes up as Alpha Male heads out with all the young Turks to celebrate, as if to say, thanks, someone needs to do it and I'm just too beat -- and me, did you see me as you led the gang over to the bar on 6th, you passed me on the sidewalk, I gave you a quick smile and look of gratitude, because you make this world a much better place. "My hero" I whispered as you walked by, "You always do the right thing."

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Goofy Internet Jokes

Couldn't resist. It's 8 degrees here. Maybe we just need to LAUGH, instead of complaining about how damned cold it is. And if you go outside, don't do what these Eskimos did.

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly; but when they lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

Two peanuts walk into a bar One was a salted.

A jumper cable walks into a bar. The barman says "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

A sandwich walks into a bar. The barman says, "Sorry we don't serve food in here."

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."

Two aerials meet on a roof, fall in love get married. The ceremony wasn't much but the reception was brilliant.

"Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green Grass of Home.'"
"That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome."
"Is it common?"
"It's not unusual."

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this Taste funny to you?"

Two cows standing next to each other in a field, Daisy says to Dolly "I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you," said Dolly. "It's true, no bull!"

A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only Glad Wrap shorts. The shrink says, "Well, I can clearly see you're nuts."

Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive..."

Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bullsh#t before.

A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet and says, "My dog's cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him? " "Well," says the vet, "let's have a look at him" So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth. Finally, he says "I'm going to have to put him down."
"What?, Because he's cross-eyed?"
"No, because he's really heavy"

Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. And there are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It's either my mum or my dad...or maybe my older brother Colin. Or my younger brother Ho-Cha Chu. But I'm pretty sure it's Colin.

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.

I went to the butchers the other day and I bet him $50 that he couldn't reach the meat off the top shelf. He said, 'no, the steaks are too high.'

My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. He was pulled in by a strong currant.

I went to a seafood disco rave last week.... and pulled a mussel.

What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says "dam"

Two fish are in a tank. One says to the other "I'll man the guns, you drive"

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

When You're Longing For The Caveman Of Your Dreams

Wow, finally the Alpha Male debate gets into high gear, as the BBC reports women on the pill (Alpha Females, perhaps?) like the Fred Flintstone type while on the pill and go for the sensitive poet when off ... or something. Thanks to Brian for the link.

Boys Don't Cry: Shame

Perhaps I'm taking a walk on the other side of the Alpha Male moon here today. I came across this book on Amazon while I was looking for titles by Terence Real (a great writer and psychologist Rageboy turned me onto.)

Alon Gratch's book called If Men Could Talk caught my eye and I sure love Amazon's killer app: LOOK INSIDE.

Gratch says the Number 1 Reason men have so much trouble communicating their feelings is Shame. Take a look inside at his writing, it's interesting. Reserve the right to COMPLETELY DISAGREE with it and me. And read my post at the bottom of this page about the futility of defining men, at all, in any way whatsoever.

I Don't Know What I Feel: Emotional Absence

Again, Alon Gratch seems to be hitting the nail on the head here. We spend so much time telling little boys NOT TO FEEL ANYTHING, is it a surprise they grow up into men who aren't sure how they feel? Especially when feeling can be considered so weak and a waste of time. Don't feel (we tell boys), just do!

This is the Number Two reason men have so much trouble communicating, according to his in book, If Men Could Talk.

I'm Tired Of Being On Top: Insecurity

The Number 3 reason men find it hard to communicate -- so much pressure to be on top, to have it together, to be the big man (shall I dare say, the Alpha Male?) and the insecurity this can cause.

Now, wait a second, I kinda LIKE being on top. But that's a whole other story.

See Me, Hear Me, Touch Me, Feel Me: Self-Involvement

Hey, hey, I didn't say men are self-involved, I swear. I mean I have had a few drinks in a few lovely lounges with a few men who take the first 50 minutes of an hour telling me all about how great they are and then serve up the classic, "So tell me, how do you feel ... about me, that is."

Just teasing. This is Reason Number 4 Alon Gratch says men have trouble really communicating in his book If Men Could Talk. I don't know Alon, haven't read his book, but I think he's got some interesting things to say.

I'll Show You Who's Boss: Aggression

In his book If Men Could Talk, Alon Gratch says Aggression is the number 5 reason men have so much trouble communicating their feelings. Ask any wife. Something about that, "I'll show you who's boss" thing at home that really gets the frying pan flying towards the male cranium.

I'm Such A Loser: Self-Destructiveness

Number Six from If Men Could Talk. Alon Gratch is eloquent on how you can shoot yourself in the foot, so to speak.

He worked as a psychologist with the NYPD early in his career and tells a fascinating story about removing police officer's guns from cops who were considered suicidal. Needless to say, removing their gun was according to him "tantamount to public castration" and often pushed a patient closer to suicide.

I Want Sex Now: Sexual Acting-Out

Number Seven on Alon Gratch's list of the seven male attributes that make it so hard for men to talk about their feelings. His book If Men Could Talk is pretty interesting. He writes about sex in a very interesting way. He figures most sex is not about sex. Remind me, when is a cigar only a cigar?

Needless to say, though this might be interesting, I figure no book exists that will ever explain the wonderful, crazy, sexy, charming, powerful, mysterious thing known as "a man."

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Only The Lonely Know The Way I Feel Tonight

I thought about this last night for a long time. I think all of us are a lot more lonely than we fess up to. Blogging is helping bridge that gap as families fall apart, re-form, change, or stagnate. I know I can get so damned lonely. And I really appreciate my friends who pull me out of it. Thanks.

Strangely, when I talk about why I decided to get divorced, I often say it was because I felt so lonely in my marriage, which I did and it is not uncommon. You can find yourself living in a world populated by many living, breathing, live-action, real people but feel rather like your walking through a cemetary of stone monuments for all the life they give off. Again, I don't blame any other parties -- I was dead in my skin too -- but you have to wonder sometimes how it can get that way. When and where does the rigor mortis start? What does it mean to be alive?

Monday, January 20, 2003

Hey Si, As Time Goes By

The fundemental things apply, Si. But you know I've been getting a lot of email from guys your age and up to about 30 who are BIG TIME disagreeing with me and I'm going to blog about that soon. I like what they have to say. They don't think all these games need to go on. I'll send you a questionnaire on this, you can fill in a form for me -- need your input. Thanks for blogging me:

Halley's recent posts on Alpha Maledom have stirred mixed feelings in me. First, the exposure of trade secrets is somewhat unsettling; second, I have a deep-seated urge to find, hunt down and kill the informers; and third, I NEED to direct about half of my friends to read this stuff so they can stop pestering ME. Now if Halley can get up some posts about Alpha Females to take care of the other half...

Poem: Is Yonder The Man?

We fall
again and again
for the wrong him,
for the wrong her,
like As You Like It,
and try to right our wrongs,
by thinking our way through
and turning our backs on a longing heart.

We believe
again and again
that we can contain
a feral love,
like an unruly toddler in a playpen
but our hearts break free,
leaving all asunder,
seeking the soulful source of their delight.

We know
again and again
that if all we have is love,
it's all we need have.
It's all we've come here for
and we should bow before it,
but don't -- so instead,
we are brought to our knees by it.

We pretend
again and again
that we have some say,
that we are the masters and mistresses
of our love's mastery,
but learn we are merely players
in this comedy of haphazard hearts.

Bed & Absolutely Terrific Breakfast

We lucked in with a last minute cancellation near Ascutney, VT where we like to ski. The Millbrook is run by Kay who is just about the best cook I've ever run into. The breakfasts were out of this world -- homemade bread, rolls, pastry, terrific omelettes, eggs, home-made apple sauce, maple butter, on and on and on I could go. Even better at 4:30 when you're done skiing she makes these great soups and other treats -- minestrone w/grated parmesan yesterday, and homemade pizza -- and chile with salsa, onions, cheese, chips the day before.

Honestly, I'd gotten really sick of bed & breakfasts and don't visit many, but with "no room at the inn" in most places for this weekend, it was just a fluke we ended up there and IT WAS TERRIFIC.

Just looked at the title. The bed was great too -- a very comfortable king-sized bed in a romantic and pretty room -- which I shared with my 7-year-old son. How can one kid take up so much of one bed? Another family came with us with their 7-year-old boy as well and took an adjoining room. Remind me, are there any 7-year-old boys in the world who think it might be a good idea to CLOSE THE DOOR behind them, or do they all leave the door hanging wide open so the parents are on display while parading around in various pieces of half on-half off ski long johns?

BTW, Ascutney is a great place to learn to ski or take kids to. I only started skiing LAST YEAR and thanks to my son pushing me to keep at it, I'm getting pretty good.

The Unexamined Life Is Like Totally Not Worth Living

I see Scoble has jumped on the Alpha Male bandwagon with MUCH MORE HELPFUL ADVICE to women who want to get an Alpha Male than I offered here a few days back. I was particularly interested in point number 2, especially his invocation to "Know Thyself."
2) Know yourself and what pleases you. There's nothing as dull as a woman who says "I have never masturbated." (And you know Alpha males will eventually get around to asking such personal and prying questions). First off, she's probably lying (alpha males really don't have time for liars or people who play games). Second off, how can you know how to please an alpha male if you don't even know how to please yourself?

Get with it girls. Needless to say, all the really excellent links to good vibrations and other such sites can be found at www.rageboy.com.

Try 22 Degrees Below Zero

Back from skiing in Vermont. Okay, I rushed off Friday, not bothering to check out a certain key piece of data -- the weather report.

On the way up, I'm noticing a lot of ice on the car windshield. My son's in the back seat doing the kind of things 7-year-old boys like to do, drawing on the window, but it's making a slightly weird noise. Like he's scraping through ice to engrave a message for me. The heater's on full blast, the heat of our bodies is keeping us warm and then I suddenly GET IT -- it's not ice just on the OUTSIDE of the window -- there's also a lot of ice on the INSIDE of the window. I think, "Hmm, must be pretty cold out."

We get to our bed & breakfast late Friday night. We get out of the car. "Hmmm," says I, "it's a little chilly." Chilly like you breathe in and you feel like your lungs are getting cryogenically preserved for the next 1000 years or so. Hey, I figure, it's Vermont, it's supposed to be cold up here.

Next morning, I try to start the car to head over to the ski rental joint. VERY SCARY NOISE. I have never heard my car make such a noise -- rather like an animal shuttering and begging not to leave the barn. I think "Damn, now my car's falling apart." I have to warm it up a long time.

Get over to the rental place early -- hate the lines. Weirdly, there is NO ONE there. The local boys in those wool jesters hats are teasing one another about not even bothering skiing today. I ask them what's up. They look at me like I've arrived from Mars -- "Lady, it's 22 below zero." Aha!

Did we ski? You betcha.