Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm Sorry I Was Caught

CNN has obtained the June 11, 2007 police report detailing Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's disorderly conduct arrest in an airport bathroom.

And what's even funnier than a Senator prowling for action in an airport toilet? He presented the cop his business card identifying himself as a U.S. Senator, and demanded, "What do you think about that???"

"Do you know who I am??" rarely, if ever, works out well for the identification/business card-wielder. Just ask Mel Gibson.

Larry Craig is sorry. He's soooo sorry. That he was caught.

Michael Vick's apologists call the intense response to his abhorrent cruelty to animals "racist." It would somehow be more palatable to the public if it were a white guy torturing dogs? One guy on Fox News yesterday (and I hate Fox News, it's just all we can get sometimes) stopped just short of calling the whole ordeal (dogfighting and the attendant animal cruelty) A Black Thang, and shouted indignantly that the Duke lacrosse players hadn't been proclaimed guilty in the public arena before all the facts were in.

Really? That's not how I recall it. The prosecutor, the press, the university, and every talking head with a microphone decried the rich, white guys' behavior and could scarcely hide their glee in predicting long prison sentences. Larry Craig is white, and his career is outta here like last year.

This is all just the modern equivalent of being put in the stockade in the public square. Shame is a very powerful tool and I hope it never lets up for hypocritical, homophobic, self-righteous Senators or anyone with the stomach to torture an animal. When you accept a job or contract that places you in the public eye and you profit from the spotlight, you have to know that the seedy underbelly of that profit comes in the form of intense scrutiny, and that you can and will be open to ridicule and condemnation when you screw up.

Michael Vick is also sorry. That he got caught. I wonder if he asked the arresting officer, "Do you know who I am???"

Neither of these trespasses was isolated--the dogfighting wasn't something Vick got mixed up in, kind of by accident and just this once, and I cannot imagine Larry Craig learned the mechanics of soliciting gay sex in a bathroom kind of by accident and just this once. Neither of these yahoos can say they were drunk at the time and check themselves into rehab, thus garnering the public's sympathy. Does that ever work? Didn't work out so well for Tom Foley, as well it shouldn't.

Our legal system is far from perfect, and neither is the court of public opinion. But I rarely feel any sympathy for those convicted in either. The recent exception, of course, is the Duke lacrosse players--they really were handed a shit sandwich. But they really were innocent, and didn't apologize; why would you, if you're innocent? The only reason for an apology is to diminish public scorn...and that's usually spot-on.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dirty (My Same Age) Man

I work with a guy who never ceases to scandalize everyone in earshot, damn near every time he opens his mouth. Just now, in the hallway outside my office, at full volume:

"She's (so-and-so)'s WIFE?? Now I really want my guy to fuck her in the ass!!"

Don't ask what the conversation was about. It's not important and anyway, I don't know.

I stared at him, blinking. The funny thing about this guy, is that he's not some testosterone-riddled, buzz-cut jock. He's kind of a dorky guy wearing most unstylish glasses and a full beard who has a photo of his family on his desk. Not unusual, only in this particular picture, D and his two young sons are wearing the same picnic-tablecloth checkered shirts with big collars. I swear I'm not making this up. It's very incongruous with the guy in the hall whose next yelled line was, "I want him to shoot his big wad in her ASS!!!"

I was deployed with the Infantry last time I was here and never heard such a thing. I ducked behind my computer monitor, laughing to the point of tears as he went on and on in this vein.

Don't believe that sanitized crap you see in Alias or 24. The intelligence field is largely populated by the weirdest people you've ever met.

I mean, look at yours truly!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Kick (My Ass) Boxing

Several of the men I work with have noticed my workout, which is the following: 1 hour on interval setting on the elliptical trainer, which is two minutes at a higher resistance and two at a lower. You pick the resistance settings, and mine is 13 for high (up to 14 or even 16 for a couple of them, just to mix it up), 9 for the lower setting. I built up to it--I wasn't in very good shape when I got here, and it took about a month to build up for this ass-kicker.

Mike walked up to me as I was beginning this workout, and motioned for me to take my headphones off. I was rocking hard to some Lucinda Williams.

"Hey, I wanna do your workout. What is it?" I told him, and he took the machine next to me. I was about five minutes into mine.

I occasionally glanced over at him as the hour wore on--sweating profusely, bent over the machine, glaring at me, but determined to finish.

My hour ended and I went to the back of the room to stretch. Several minutes later, he joined me. "That kicked my ass," he said. "You do that every day??"

The next morning, he leaned on the stair railing and glared at me as I bounded past him. "Damn you to hell!" he called after me.

So I've been pretty confident about my fitness level, and agreed to join Terri, the petite, adorable 50-year-old admin lady with one of the best Southern accents ever, for kickboxing. One hour, taught by a very fit-looking young woman.

It started out easy enough, some running in place, a couple of pushups. Then began the "Jane Fondas." Spread your feet out past shoulder-width, toes turned outward at about a 45-degree angle, reach down and grab your heels, and bounce your ass up and down. Doesn't seem so tough, huh?

Now do a couple hundred of them. And jump up, do pushups, lift some 5-pound weights over your head for 50 counts, more pushups, more punches, lunges, and repeat this sequence for about forty minutes in a 95ยบ room.

After about the second sequence, I could barely lift my arms. I had to ditch the weights. Terri, in front of me, kept plowing right through it, never even went to her knees on the pushups.

It was like a Basic Training flashback, only no one yelled, there was music, and several other first-timers just plain quit, most of them male. One of our Infantry guys on the security team actually puked. Well, I thought we'd get through this one without anyone puking! the instructor singsonged, barely having broken a sweat. Happens all the time, apparently.

Then came the "cardio." This is my lane, I thought, I'm home free.

Not so much. There were all kinds of sequences and turns and hops involved, punches and kicks, like a dance routine. I fumbled through them best I could, but I felt like a horse's ass. I took Tae Kwon Do in Korea and could not quit putting my fists by my sides, and that screwed me all up. I kept bumping into people, as the group moved together up and down the length of the room like a school of fish...with one fish all screwed up and going the wrong way. I started laughing...it felt like a movie or a stupid sitcom. I kept trying and kept not getting it, laughing the whole time. Everyone around me was also laughing, fortunately, although I'm sure several of them were annoyed as hell.

The next day, I could not even sit down in my chair without grabbing onto the arms like an old lady lowering herself into her Hov-A-Round for a quick spin around the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Stairs? Forget it. I live on the fifth floor in a building with VERY tall ceilings, and had to drag myself up the 100+ stairs.

I saw Terri bound up the steps as I leaned on the railing, groaning and pulling. "Damn you to hell!" I called after her.