Marathon Effort!

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On Sunday, I’m either going to run 26.2 miles, or else I’m going to die trying. I could potentially win, if something really awful happened to everyone else. The thing that is so great about running is that it feels so good to stop. Nothing feels as good as stopping running, and I’m looking forward to that as much as anything else. I have been training for this race for 8 months, which is three months longer than I spent preparing to get married.

I discovered today that any interested parties can keep track of my progress on their telephone by signing up for updates on this website – click on the Portland Marathon link. We can enjoy the day together- you get up, flip through the paper, note that I’m on mile five, have breakfast in bed with your European lover, laughing together about the amount of time it took me to get to mile 12, bathe, get dressed, complete a 500 piece puzzle and watch two movies and note that I have finally finished and know that I am out there somewhere, cursing and wearing a  Mylar blanket.

My running bib number is 261, which you’ll need if you want to get updates- if it behooves you to drop me an encouraging line or give me advice on what else should be Vaselined, please do, but please don’t write me about your friend who started a marathon as a healthy and productive member of society but later fell across the finishline on two bloody stumps.

Thailand- There’s Condoms in the Mini-Bar!

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Sign in Boots drugstore in Bangkok: MEN-CONDOMS.

Yesterday the office building I was in got a visit from Prince Andrew of England, who is in town for the celebration of the Thai King’s 60th anniversary, and that was odd because they closed down the lobby and I was kind of milling around on the mezzanine with hundreds of Thai people. I was thinking of Prince William, the naughty-boy prince, but this is Fergie’s ex-husband. No word on why he wanted to go to Empire Tower, possibly he just wanted a quick Starbucks.

The Thai people are setting off fireworks and wearing yellow t-shirts that read “Long Live The King” in Thai. The streets are teeming with people, every one of them in yellow. There are reports of price gouging because of high demand on the special shirts. Lance Armstrong would be jealous.

My favorite sign on the train is a little yellow sticker on the end seat saying “PLEASE OFFER THIS SEAT TO MONKS.”

One night in Bangkok will make a hard man humble, but I have seen many more hookers than chess games. Stephin Meritt of the Magnetic Fields is in the Bangkok Post today, it is a reprint of a story from the NYT where he is called a racist because all his favorite music is by white people- it’s funny to read about him in Thailand. Also, since I went to Stephin’s DJ night at Beauty Bar, I consider him a close personal friend, despite the fact that I was too shy to speak to him.

Bangalore, The Silicon Valley of India!

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I’m writing from Bangalore, where your 6:45 AM (Pacific) is my 7:13 PM. It’s the extra half hour that fucks with your head.   Here’s a beautiful and intricate Hindu temple we saw. The Hindu people have blue, multi-armed gods and are vegetarians, so they’re my favorite religion at present.

In India, you just see cows and water buffalo hanging out by the side of the road, and I saw a momma cow and a calf together, and that was awesome. Sometimes there are traffic jams because a heifer decides to lay down in the middle of the road, and people carefully drive around it rather than honk or try to disturb the animal. It is interesting to think about how “Sacred Cow” and “Holy Cow” come from somewhere.

All fans of the Grown-Ups, Denton’s finest ska band featuring a dancing Stormtrooper, will appreciate the fact that every time I saw a Bajaj, (the name that Vespa used for the South Asia market) I was stuck with “Bajaj in the Garage” in my head for the next half-hour. My favorite ad was a billboard with a motorcycle reading “Bajaj: Feel Like A God!”