Tuesday, July 24, 2007


So away from the office to go for a swim. Wonderful swim; I am (for me) slicing through the water like a hot knife on watermelon. THEN the tri-dicks arrive. They have four of the five lanes in the pool reserved for training. They number about twenty, about a dozen guys and the rest ladies.

I continue swimming, unconcerned and unaware; certain that my new speedo has gifted me super powers as I splash merrily along. A cluster of the biggest, least-clad male members of the group cluster in front of my lane (the remaining one of five, inhabited by myself and a couple of old Asian guys cheerfully frog-paddling), chatting in a semicircle - given the hand gestures (I hear nothing, being underwater) I assume they're talking about their abs and groins.

Then they hit the lane next to mine and proceed to hammer full-out, arms akimbo, warp speed. Nearly half the total group (I count seven during a breather and yes, they're all guys) take the lane next to mine and proceed to embarrass me with their wake. The remaining members scatter throughout the three lanes NOT next to me.

I'm sorry, did I pose a threat? Was I amusing to the "real swimmers"? Did they have some overwhelming need to put the poser in his place? Um yeah, I get it.

The tri-dicks: stubbled middle aged men with shaved legs who travel in packs and always park their exorbitantly expensive bikes next to the least pretty bike in the space. They wear matching jerseys and preface their conversations with "well, Cal says" and "have you tried" and "I really saw my time go down when I waxed my balls".

These spastic, inbred, bison-haunched leatherback ballcupping mouthbreathing droolers of impact-magazine-suggested-training-technique Coach-Cal-anus-sucking FUCKS make me retch on my cheap Louis Garneau's. Oh wait, no...effort and the determination to bitch slap members of Critical Speed do that.

Well listen up, you high-school football "glory day" jock dinosaurs: I'm walking away from a job you call a career to finish my manuscripts and read poetry. My tall, blonde, younger girlfriend is hot AND smart - and she pays her own rent (and may someday pay mine!). I've not only done Ironman, I quit the upcoming one because of a scheduling conflict. I founded a magazine. I can run your ass into the ground with a stress fracture in my femur, I know that shaving my legs does not make a bicycle go faster (it's all about the decals), I can make people laugh, cry and shout in under a minute, I've been a race announcer, radio personality, television writer, corporate sales manager, publisher, award winning IR project manager, lover, hater, traveler, teacher, learner...and I'm still seven years away from going to work for a living. My next book should be out some time next year.

So the next time you drop six grand on a bicycle and bitch about your boring job that you can't afford to walk away from, remember: some of us have chest hair (and the women in the far lane were swimming faster than any of us).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Brief Note About Failure

A brief note about failure.

On Sunday I grabbed my bike and went hill climbing. Nothing crazy; the hill I was doing laps on is less than 2k in length and never exceeds a six or seven percent grade. By the time I started my fourth lap, the burning in my thigh was excruciating and I pulled out halfway to ride flatland for a while before heading home.

On Sunday night I decided to pull out of Ironman Canada. My swim is strong (for me) but both my ride and run are well below what I hoped for despite the hamstring injury and the stress fracture in my opposing femur. The injuries have cut my training time and intensity and drastically reduced the strength with which I can push on hills and in the kick.

Ironman’s schedule, like so many of my usual races this year, directly conflicts with more important events and, given the possibility of seriously worsening my injuries, it really only makes sense that I withdraw and focus on the impending move to Montreal and Grad School.


I enjoy calling myself a triathlete. I enjoy being an “ironman”. I enjoy it so much I’ve let my writing wither, sacrificed time with my partner, ignored my friends and spent all the money I need to live on while I pursue my writing career. That’s unhealthy ego and I really don’t regret pulling out. It’s a long time coming and I’ve had a lot of trouble motivating myself to train this year.

But I’m quitting one of those rare things that makes me different and, in my eyes, special. There’s no good reason for doing it – it wouldn’t have been my first and may not even have been my fastest – but I’m a little less me, now. And that…that’s too bad.

Enough of the pity party. Bleagh. Tastes like shit.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fest Thought Express

Stampede is over and you are wondering what to do this weekend. Why not experience something different? Come see the wide variety of culture that Calgary has to offer. Calgary isn't just "cowtown" anymore.
Thought Express is an artist run company focused on bringing like-minded artists of different mediums together through collaboration and community. An artist run, performance company, that has been hosting monthly events since its inception in the spring of 2006. Thought Express showcases a variety of crafts and each of our shows is influenced by the cabaret style of performance. Within any given event, the audience would be prevy to a varied program of performances and in some cases a collaboration of mixed mediums. Having poets, dancers and the visual arts collaborate on a single piece is a common feature at a Thought Express event.
This summer we are proud to be hosting the first four-day festival in the downtown core. Highlights include Ken Swift (Dance) from New York and Members from the Canadian National Slam Poetry Champions. Below is a breakdown our events. Please take the time to come and support your local artists. Come to the Auburn on Friday Night to witness a true Thought Express event. The purpose of Thought Express is to encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration between artists. This sense of community enables our performance company to flourish and sustain itself within a growing market like that of our city. Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are the three major cities in Canada. This is usually the common census of all Canadians. The argument begins when Canadians are asked which city is fourth on the list of major Canadian cities.Ottawa, Quebec City, Calgary, Winnipeg, St.Johns, Victoria or...Edmonton? I am excited to be in Calgary and know that in the coming years, this city will be recognized as a world class city. I see this festival as an integral part of Calgary's progression and predict in the years to come that music, culture and art will help define this.

July 19th Event #1 Thursday night at the Well

Music by Roofeo and Mama Miche

Introduction to the festival. Volunteer party and Media Releases.

DKenvy and SHE lingerie

Art by Sonia Rakchaev and Photo by Heather Saitz

free event

July 20th Event#2

Fri july 20th at the auburn $10

Music by Roofeo and Rocky the Vinyl Idol

Lady Mot, Brian Batista, Shone Abot, sabo, Swallow a Bicycle Performance Co-Op, Oroonamamu, Jocelyn Grosse, Micah Stone,

Dance by Jaimie Marr, Ed Mitchell, Latin Corner, One Circle, Ken Swift, Cuban Casino,

Literature provided by Oxfam

July 21st/22nd Event #3

Saturday/Sunday afternoon at Eau claire market

Get Down 2007 Dance Workshops and Capoiera Gingativa

Indoor and outdoor showcases

Ken Swift and the Seven Gems


July 21st Event #4 at the Broken City

Spoken Word in conjunction with afternoon jazz jam 3-7

readings by Vancouver Poetry Slam, Sean McGarragle, Magpie Ulysses,Fernando Raguero, Chris Gilpin , Christain Bok, Jesse Switzer, Emily Elder

free event

July 21st Event #5 at the Broken City

Saturday night at 8pm. $5

Readings by James Dangerous, Melanie Haywood, Moe Clark, Sean McGarragle, Magpie Ulysses, Fernando Raguero, Chris Gilpin

Dance by Wilson Dance Projects, Ken Swift, Full Flava ,Triple7movement, Capoeira Gingativa

July 22nd Event #6 Sun and Salsa Kensington and the Latino Festival Olympic Plaza

Sunday afternoon


Come visit the Thought Express

Dance includes Latin Corner, One Circle,Cuban Casino

July 22nd Event #7 at the Tequila NiteClub

Sunday Evening $22

Music by Del tha Funky Homosapien, Grand Analog, Roofeo

Dance by Ken Swift, Latin Corner, Original Rudes,Aviva Fleising, Caroline Fraser, Wilsondanceprojects.

Readings by Wakefield Brewster and Sabo