28 July, 2009

Back Into It

Category: Biking,Body,Exercise,Food,Government,Running,Stress,Swimming,Work — Moose @ 9:17 pm

Training, that is. Ran and swam yesterday, biked this morning, running a long run tomorrow. Definitely feeling it tonight; almost didn’t do laundry as planned, but managed to get off my butt and get it done (yay for clean sheets). It’s a good kind of tired though – good, honest physical exhaustion from exercise.

Work’s nuts, which seems par for the course these days. I wonder if all political transitions are this crazy or if the economy being in the crapper has substantially added to it. I’d prefer not to find out for a while. What would be nice is to stop stress eating (why couldn’t I be one of those people who can’t eat when they get stressed instead of the opposite? silly body).

Long run planned for the morning, first in a while. Was prepping things for it tonight (water bottle, etc.) and I think I need to hit Conte’s or the like and pick up nutrition this weekend – down to two gels and two things of shot blocks. Not enough to make it through training or the two races, by a long shot.

26 July, 2009


Category: Body Electric,Mood,Motivation,Music — Moose @ 11:09 pm

This particular song by Alanis came on in the car tonight, and it ended up meaning a lot more than on previous listens:

“I am someone easy to leave”
“Even easier to forget”
A voice, if inaccurate

Again: “I’m the one they all run from”
Diatribes of clouded sun
Someone help me find the pause button

All these tapes in my head swirl around
Keeping my vibe down
All these thoughts in my head aren’t my own
Wreaking havoc

“I’m too exhausting to be loved”
“A volatile chemical”
“Best to quarantine and cut off”

All these tapes in my head swirl around
Keeping my vibe down
All these thoughts in my head aren’t my own
Wreaking havoc

“I’m but a thorn in your sweet side”
“You’d better off without me”
“It’d be best to leave at once”

All these tapes in my head swirl around
Keeping my vibe down
All these thoughts in my head aren’t my own
Wreaking havoc

Ah, negative thinking, how much you run through the brain and won’t let it keep moving. Another breakthrough today, and something else to think more about, post-DLOC. One wonders where these thoughts come from, and why they’re taking so much of my energy with them. I think the DLOC journal will be getting some more writing this week.

19 July, 2009


Category: Coffee,Food,Friends,Government,Health,Home,Work — Moose @ 10:47 am

Cold’s still here, but better. Not feeling the need for quite so much sudafed to keep the sinuses in check today, more like just the normal allergies dosage. Let myself sleep in, and now I’m sipping coffee from my SF Zoo mug this morning and missing my boys out in San Francisco. And as much as I love my apartment and my neighborhood, it’s times like this when I wish I’d bought a place up in northwest so it were easier to get out & about to places for things like “food”.

Brought some work home this weekend, so that’s what I’ll be doing most of the day. The newest political in my chain of command came from the private sector (with no gubm’nt experience), so I think his expectations don’t quite match the reality of being a federal attorney. He’ll learn. But in the meantime I’m going to try and redo this memo such that it doesn’t suck completely. 17 pages? I don’t think so. 5. Maybe. Note to field counsel: footnotes and glossing are your friends, especially with a busy management chain.

Anyway, off to go give y’all more gubm’nt than you’re willing to pay for.

15 July, 2009

Down a Bit

Category: Health — Moose @ 10:38 pm

I love when the body decides it’s time to slow down. Took today off from work to recuperate from a head cold that’s currently driving me nuts. The down time did give me time to finish up the last sock and start a new pair (I’ll take pictures later), and get the laundry done (clean sheets!), but otherwise it’s just been annoying (mainly because of the excess snot being produced now).

Did figure out patient zero this evening – a friend I saw out at a party on Saturday evening had something similar, and since the symptoms cropped up Sunday, that seems to be the likely vector. So far I don’t seem to have it as bad as he did, and am keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t get worse. Last night was the usual sleepless night, so should be on the upside soon.

Hopefully it’ll die off soon so I can get back to training. One month until the next race and I’m completely unprepared at this point.

12 July, 2009

Notes on the New Bike

Category: Biking,Commuting,Exercise,Friends,Geek — Moose @ 9:50 pm

First, I’m loving not having to shift gears. You just get on and start pedaling – no worrying about whether you left it in the right gear, whether it’ll be too loose or too tight to get going, you just go. If there’s a hill, it’s harder to pedal, if it’s downhill, it’s easier. Simple.

Second, it has a kick stand. I cannot express how awesome that is. For years now the “cool” bikes did not come with kick stands (and probably still don’t). And certainly, if you were using your bike for racing (which I’ve done on each of my other bikes), you didn’t want a kick stand, for practical as well as “cool” reasons. But being able to prop the bike up on its own while I fumble with getting the lock and cable out and in place? Priceless.

The brakes are still a little noisy, especially on a quick stop, but I’m sure that’ll work out as they get worn in.

The other bike store I tried also did not have shoes in my size (grrr!), so it looks like I may have to order some from online. Not my favorite choice, as my feet seem are odd enough that I pretty much always want to try shoes on right in the store to ensure proper fit, without endless back and forth shipping of shoes. Blah. But not having clips on the pedals, while not fatal, was kind of annoying. I wanted the increased power of being able to do the full rotation of the pedal and not just mash down on them; I’m definitely far more comfortable being clipped in as it gives one a better control over pedaling and balance.

Anyway, so far so good. Won’t be able to bike to work tomorrow as I have a long night planned with my friend Drew beginning right after work, but I do look forward to trying it out on the morning and evening commutes.


For some reason the reintegration back into real life has been a bit difficult. There was the inevitable backup of work at the BGA (“vacation is its own punishment”), breaking things off with someone I’d been dating, adjustment back to east coast time (which means I have to try and fight my normal nature to be a night owl), and just doing the little things like unpacking everything and putting it all away, sorting mail, grocery shopping, etc. Still haven’t done the grocery shopping, so I’ve been subsisting on ever-shrinking supplies of staples from the freezer and cabinet. Not a bad thing, it’s good to clear those out every now and again, but not perhaps the healthiest meals I could be eating.

One thing I’ve been doing to integrate some of our practices from DLOC has been to post “appreciations” over on FaceBook. Just little things to acknowledge those things I’m appreciative of for whatever reason. It does help to make one more mindful of what’s going on in your life, which has made it a useful tool for me.

Past that I’m trying to find my motivation to get back to tri training for my last two races this season, and finish up my commitment with the club’s volunteer work this month. “The Pile” of books has grown since coming back, including some re-reading of classics I feel the need to reexamine in light of the DLOC and SF experiences (The Ethical Slut, the Tao Te Ching/Dao De Jing). I’m about 1/2 an inch from finishing sock #2 on pair #2, and I have another pull ball ready to go on the next set, but the one sock’s been sitting here unloved as I try to work myself back into life.

Picked up another bike yesterday. I wanted something a bit better for zipping around town than my mountain bike (which is a good bike, but not the best for commuting). I went in a slightly different direction, a single gear, and put “campus pedals” on it (clipless on one side, regular pedal platform on the other), so I don’t have to throw on bike shoes just to zip somewhere if I wish to bike out. My goal there is to bike about more to things in town, and sweat be damned. It even came with a kickstand! I feel so retro with a kickstand on a bike – I don’t think I’ve had one of those since high school. With the bike, though, comes the last big purchase for the year, I think. Need to back off and pay off the remnants of vacation and the bike and plan for the end of the year and Giftmas. And to plan for the next body electric workshop next year, of course.

It’s hard to fully describe the changes wrought by DLOC, but I’ll be working on them this year.

6 July, 2009


Category: Stuff — Moose @ 8:55 pm

Bought myself a new shiny while out in SF.


Seems to be becoming a habit, commemorating a body electric event with jewelry. A habit I kinda like.

5 July, 2009

Dear Love, 2009

Category: Body,Exercise,Health,Leisure,Massage,Mood,Motivation,Queer — Moose @ 10:06 pm

I still have a lot of stuff to process from this past two weeks. Dear Love of Comrades (DLOC) was simply amazing, and precisely what I was needing. It revealed a lot of things to me which I needed to see and experience to help clarify where I am in my life and where I might want to go. But it’s going to be difficult to reconcile those with my daily practices. There are changes I will need to make, and I’m not entirely sure where I’m going to make them yet.

Two of the big things that were revealed were the extent to which I have let fear dictate so many of my actions. Fear of change and fear of my body being at the top of that list. And then, as I dwelt on those, the incredible sense of anger I felt at how I’d let that fear dictate things, and especially anger at my body and how it sets me aside from the norm (more specifically the lactose intolerance and all the problems associated with that, and the extensive history of cancer in my family and how that affects me and my behaviors). Most of this was revealed on Friday, first during the daily movement practice before breakfast (an exercise where we were visualizing our obstacles and chopping, pushing, dropping them, and then pulling toward us what we wanted in our lives), then in a large heart circle we had before and after lunch.

I knew there were emotions that were going to be revealed as part of the week – no one gets through Body Electric without some sort of emotional experience, large or small – but I don’t think I expected these particular ones. Of course, my previous experiences with Body Electric have all been ones where I felt this overwhelming joy at the connections made. I got a lot of that joy during the week as well; the big draw we did on Wednesday was the most intense, and the most intensely erotic, that I’ve experienced to date. Unlike last fall where I felt the build up of energy in me, but didn’t know what to do with it, so released it, this time I held the energy, moved it over and around my body with my hands, and claimed it as my own. It was incredible to hold that much energy and be able to channel it rather than simply releasing it into the cosmos. I did laugh again, from giggling to full body, shaking laughter. Even thinking about the experience now, a week and a half later, gives me goose bumps. There was one moment where the masseur was working on my lower body and one of the assistants came over and put his hands under my back, helping me arch up and throw my head back as I lost track of where was up and down, simply concentrating on how awesome (and erotic) the whole thing felt. I spoke first when we were done, describing the marvelous experience I’d just had, and started by repeating the word “wow” over and over again (when asked to breathe into it, the coordinator said to breathe into “Wow to the ninth power”). I don’t normally speak first for those, but it just came bubbling out this time.

Comparing that amazing experience and connection to the much more mellow and introspective weekend after Friday’s revelation feels somewhat unfair, but they’re part and parcel of the same body of experience. There is incredible joy to be found in the connections with other people, but there are barriers I’ve erected to fully giving myself over to the connections I could be making, and I need to change that.

One of the hardest things about coming back into the Bay area from up on the mountain in Guerneville was the lack of practiced movement. Each morning at DLOC you got a choice between a walk/hike or practiced movement (yoga, sufi meditation, etc.). All but one morning I did the movement exercise, all of which were wonderful (and, as written about above, cathartic in one case). Even when we were getting together during the day we were able to move and dance and stretch, experiencing the wonder of being fully present in (and thus mindful of) our bodies. Wandering around SF I kept wanting to stop and drop into yoga poses when the feeling arose, but of course even in SF there are expectations of behavior (and public sidewalks aren’t conducive to yoga). I had to content myself with stretching my arms above and to the side when I was able, and that just wasn’t the same. I suspect one thing I’ll have to do more is that type of spontaneous stretching during the day – close my office door and take a few moments to stretch out and be present in my body. It can’t hurt, and I’m lucky to have that freedom to be able to close that door and take a brief break, even in work drag.

One thing I’ve already brought back into my life is posting those things I appreciate, both to FB and to my main countfour blog (it wasn’t like there was anything else going to it!). Just noting something every day which I’m thankful for has been a good practice. It helps to focus on the positive, and to be more mindful of the experience of living.

The school set up a yahoo group for our class, at first to share rides up and otherwise coordinate travel, but also to keep in touch after the experience. Thus far it’s been pretty busy, with folks posting regularly to describe their transition back to “normalcy”. I’m glad to have this group of men, and this forum to stay in touch with them. It’s all too easy to let these experiences slip back into the background and fall back into old patterns, and I don’t want that to happen if I can avoid it. I can’t go on living as if this had never happened; I’d be miserable if I did.