Dribs comma drabs.

Went for a long bike ride yesterday. Temperature: low 90s. Humidity: Merciless. I felt like riding fast and hard, so I did. About halfway through I started noticing people looking at me. Normally people don’t look at me. I’m no head-turner on my best day, and have fully arrived at that state of middle-aged female invisibility where you begin to blend in with the wallpaper. (I’m convinced I could walk into a bank, enter the vault, fill my pockets with cash and walk out unnoticed. At least if the bank is anything like the deli counter.) But I was turning heads. Pigeon crap on my forehead? The vile jiggling of my thighs? A bloody nose? The hint of cleavage even my hydraulic sports bra cannot contain? I turned the final corner, slowed for a cooldown and thought, “Hmm. I don’t think I’ll be cool by the time I hit the driveway.” Parked the bike, went inside, checked a mirror. My face was the color of an overripe tomato. I mean, not just a flush, not just a healthy glow, but the alarming shade people get before their head actually bursts into flames. I looked about to sustain a cerebral hemorrhage.

Ah well — exercise isn’t for sissies. I drank a quart of water, filled a ziploc with ice and sat with it on my head a while. It still took 45 minutes for the flush to clear. I wonder how close I was to actually passing out.

You know those ads that always say, “See your doctor before starting any exercise program”? And how you say, “Yeah, right”? Well, there’s a reason for those, and I think I’ve found it. Onrushing decrepitude is no longer a vague concept; the fragility of one’s body is a fact that must be faced. Your entire youth was the writing of a check that is now being presented for cash.

On the other hand, look at Jack Lalanne. Please. (And note well: Nice package, Jack!)

Speaking of “stakes” at the movies — we were, weren’t we? — I’m looking forward to the new “Die Hard,” if only to see what’s at stake. The first one touched off a furious round of movie-heist inflation, as I believe Alan Rickman was angling to steal something like $600 million in bearer bonds. (For a long time I was convinced “bearer bonds” were a Hollywood fiction, as they seemed such a convenient stand-in for cash and turned up in so many movies. But no, they really exist.) In the second “Die Hard,” I forget what the bad guys were after, except that it involved a squirrely Latin American dictator and perhaps a planeload of drugs worth considerably more than $600 million. And in the third installment, we all remember Jeremy Irons’ plan was to steal all the money in the world. Seriously; they were carting it away in dump trucks — the gold that backed all the G8’s paper currencies. The bad guys evidently planned to enjoy their wealth in a world where money was worthless, and they held all the precious metals.

As far as I can tell from the previews, in the newest “Die Hard,” Timothy Olyphant is threatening to take away everyone’s e-mail and internet connections. Which means the stakes are terrifyingly high, indeed.

As a former Hoosier, of course I took note of Richard Lugar’s big splash yesterday. I always felt conflicted about Dick when he was one of my senators, for reasons that, to fully understand, you had to live here. On the one hand, I took him as he presented himself: Smart, sober, conservative-but-not-crazy Republican who at least seemed to understand that the rest of the world existed, and conducted himself as such. Like so many Indiana office-holders, he is cemented in office. Democrats ran against him for reasons entirely divorced from the crazy idea that they might take his job — name recognition, street cred, whatever. The whole exercise was simply a more polite version of stretching your neck under a guillotine. On the other hand, I remember one year when he actually bought TV ads — I guess he needed to spend some money — and they featured him in a flannel shirt, proclaiming himself a man of the soil. While always a safe message in Indiana, it creeped me out. Donald Trump is more a man of the soil than the brainy Rhodes Scholar Lugar. It suggested there was a cruder sort of calculation inside that silver head. I didn’t waste a lot of time worrying about it — there’s always the point at which you think “at least he’s not Dan Quayle” — but there it was.

Fortunately Doghouse Riley, who still lives there, puts his finger on it pretty squarely:

Somehow nobody asks “Why is it a moderate Republican, a respected foreign-policy expert, takes five years to recognize and moderately object to an utter fucking Republican foreign policy disaster?” Dick Lugar had the opportunity to be the William Morse of his day and party, or at least its Bill Fulbright; his Hoosier seat would have stayed warm, or at least body temp. Instead he goes on providing cover for dingbats at risk of getting mussed in the next election.

Oh my, look — someone stood up to Ann Coulter. (Well, we knew it wouldn’t be Chris Matthews.) Nothing like putting the mother of a dead child up against a fortysomething bullshit artist to say, “Stop making cheap cracks about my dead child” to make some great TV. Coulter plays it cool, but be not fooled — she felt the need to flip her hair about 60 times once she knew who was on the phone. Playing with her long, blonde locks is her tell. Maybe someone will point this out to her (Coulter), and she can make a crack about how at least she HAS hair, unlike that chemo-crone Elizabeth Edwards.

The best writers tell you about something you don’t really care about — in this case, a dead pitcher — and make you care. Jon Carroll on the late Rod Beck:

I loved watching Rod Beck. He was the closer back when the Giants were good. He had a body that did not appear to have encountered the wonders of Pilates; he had an amazing, unapologetic Fu Manchu mustache; he had a mullet so large it seemed to be a separate creature that had agreed, in exchange for considerations, to spend some time on top of his head.

He looked badder than you; he looked badder than anyone. His entire attitude on the mound was aggression. Just the expression on his face as he leaned in to take the sign was malevolent. The hunch of his shoulders was frightening. I saw major league batters bail on a Rod Beck pitch before it was halfway to home plate. “Life is too short,” I could almost hear them muttering to themselves.

Posted at 10:16 am in Current events, Movies, Same ol' same ol' |

15 responses to “Dribs comma drabs.”

  1. ashley said on June 27, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Rod Beck and John Kruk made beisbol worth watching. No more.

    And I swear, Coulter is just an ugly version of Vincent Schiavelli — Marfan’s and all.

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  2. Michael said on June 27, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Re Lugar: damn straight. (Disclosure: I’m a Hoosier and still here, even though Bloomington is a little … different.) As you know, we Hoosiers don’t like to change things very fast, and Lugar is a fixture and will continue to be a fixture until he kicks over dead — and he’s no dummy.

    So I’ve often wondered just what the GOP has over his head, that he refused to acknowledge the utter idiocy of this war from the get-go. He’s certainly never going to *lose*.

    Pisses me off to no end.

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  3. Laura said on June 27, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Well, Chris Matthews did stick up for those of us with chubby legs.

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  4. Ricardo said on June 27, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    That Heritage Foundation teen standing behind Ann should be a warning to all young men joining right wing organizations as a way to meet babes. Someone should find Ann Coulter a husband.

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  5. garmoore said on June 27, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Doghouse Riley’s piece on Lugar is right on the money (He meant Wayne Morse, not William Morse, didn’t he?). The good senator, like Captain Renault, is shocked, shocked to learn that our Iraq policy is a failure.

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  6. Jolene said on June 27, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    This is not news, but I just have to say: Ann Coulter is just so, so awful. Guess I’m naive. It’s hard to believe that a person could actually say such things for the sake of making money, and it’s even harder to believe that there are people who stand and cheer for her.

    Awful, awful, awful.

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  7. nancy said on June 27, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Yes, I’m sure he meant Wayne Morse. These things happen when your editors arrive after you hit Publish.

    When did Chris Matthews stand up for the chubby of leg? Or was he talking about chickens?

    And as for Annie, as someone wrote me recently about James Lileks: I don’t think she’s a very happy person. At all. Not that that’s any consolation, but it might explain a few things.

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  8. LA mary said on June 27, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    She seems miserable; I agree. Her responses to being challenged are so formulaic, and it can’t be much fun for her anymore. I’m glad Elizabeth Edwards went after her. EE is pretty impervious to whatever BS AC is handing out.

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  9. Scout said on June 27, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    I am also of the tomato faced persuasion when exercizing in anything over 85 degrees. I’ve found that any benefit of the workout I had is nulled by the all day recovery required. Swimming, now there’s a summer sport I can get into. Heh heh.

    Coulter. God, I just wish she’d shut up. Knowing that will never happen, I wish she’d stop being given face time on national teevee. I actually blame her enablers more than I blame her for these ridiculous displays of idiocy. EE’s grace was the perfect antidote to AC’s disgrace.

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  10. nancy said on June 27, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Absolutely, Scout. Which is why I rank Chris Matthews far below her these days. Even before that fanboy drooling over Fred Thompson.

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  11. Laura said on June 27, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    In a follow-up question to the EE/AC exchange, Chris Matthews asked AC why she felt the need to talk about Hilary Clinton’s chubby legs (in a book? column? not sure). She said he needed to read the whole sentence; he said he had, but he still didn’t get the context.

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  12. Kim said on June 27, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    Ann C. is just a hateful beeyotch. That she remains alone is a bit heartening — could the only man hateful enough to be her match be a guy already married (I’m thinking Dick Cheney here).

    And, really. Who would go after a parent whose child has died? Or a woman — a mother, for God’s sake — who is fighting for her life? (Nance, I’m so with you on the hair flips being her tell)

    Life, as our tomato faces (and Rod Becks) tell us after a hard ride, is too short.

    Maybe we can talk about Brian Stouder some more.

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  13. Totally Cool Brian Stouder said on June 28, 2007 at 8:51 am

    Ask and ye shall receive. I love Ann Coulter.

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  14. Jeff said on June 28, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Lugar actually has always (directly) helped run his family farm in central Indiana; he can drive a tractor, and no, i don’t mean one of those new air conditioned, automatic tranny tractors. Ask him on any given day between ForRelCom mtgs what the bushel price of corn or beans is, and he’ll tell you. To the penny.

    I still can’t figure out what he’s calling for, other than Bush’s head, in terms of a policy recomm., but i’m sure his office will have a detailed release out shortly — and the five sided puzzle palace boys will pay attention. Wishing he’d done it sooner is wishing he was someone else, and he’s not. But what he calls for is worth paying attention to, if only because of who will be paying attention ‘cross the Potomac.

    And Nancy, get a bp test. Please. Did you know Lisinopril is made from the venom of South American snakes? Learning that made me enjoy taking it much more . . .

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  15. Marcia said on June 28, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    — Marfan’s and all.

    I love me some Ashley.

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