Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday Roundup

Uh, it IS Monday, right? The days run together at my age. I return to overnights tonight (a two-week stint) and on cue, I woke up this morning with a sore throat and congested brain. It sounds like the height of hypochondria, and in reality it's probably just coincidence -- more a product of absurdly fluctuating weather and an unhealthy lifestyle.

What isn't coincidence is the depression that hits when I realize I'm coming back to this shift. Normally, I'd say I'm a cheerful, witty guy (back me up here - anyone?) -- hit this shift and I'm goth, baby.

But, just two weeks (with six days off in between), and once through the darkness, I'm just one week away from a trip to Colorado.

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Friends and acquaintances have been in overdrive lately, trying to find me the proper girl -- in one evening of Seinfeldesque absurdity, two girls each told me, sotto voce, that I should date the other. Not sure why it's kicked up a notch recently, if I just appear more desperate than usual (and I live my life at a high level of desperation), if it's just the season, or if my recent birthday was a reminder of my mortality.

It's unquestionably been a dry spell lately. A few months since I even went on a date (by choice), longer than that without sex (uh, not entirely by choice), and longer still without meeting anyone I'm really into (not by choice).

So it was with great pleasure the other night that I actually met someone of interest, at a bar, no less. I'd long since really given up on bars as a good opportunity to mix, but with my online dating experience becoming the world's longest unfunny joke, this is a welcome relief. Of course, it's a sign of how bad it's been that getting a phone number was treated like a Super Bowl victory, and we're still a ways from ending any of the above losing streaks, but since the only thing I usually get on a Saturday night is drunk, it's a nice change.

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After missing most of them, the Olympic men's hockey medal games actually made it to channels I get, so I was able to watch parts of the last two -- and man, if the stuff I missed was this good, I really did miss out. I'm not sure how exactly the Czechs managed to hold on and win bronze -- well, yeah, I am. Tomas Vokoun played like Tomas Vokoun. In the final period there, the Russians looked like the world's most dangerous team, a group assembled with the sole purpose of kicking ass and scoring goals -- and somehow Vokoun stopped everything. Why he's not more often accepted as one of the absolute best goalies, I know not.

The Sweden-Finland game began at 8 a.m. locally, at which point I was still deeply unconscious, sleeping off Saturday night's excesses. So I only saw period three, in a hazy bleary pain, kept alive through coffee. And it was some of the most entertaining hockey I've seen in a long time. Tight game, a clearly overmatched Finnish team staying in it against all odds but ultimately falling short. Since there's no commercial breaks in Olympic hockey (and I take back anything I've ever said negative about commercials -- I needed one, badly) I was on the edge of my seat for the full thing. Sweden looked flawless, and while I was rooting for the Finns, I have no ideological differences with Peter Forsberg, Mats Sundin, Henrik Lundqvist and the rest. Great stuff, and seeing the team singing along lustily to the Swedish anthem afterwards touched my black, shriveled heart.

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Courtney is in Egypt, and blogging it MySpace style from there. Check it out -- hopefully will inspire, say, me to get going on planning a trip to someplace cool.

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Now reading: "The Life of Graham Greene, Volume 1" by Norman Sherry; now listening, "Thank the Holder-Uppers" by Claw Hammer; now watching, "Pepe Le Moko," which was excellent and featured a hot, feisty gypsy girl who looked like Rula Amin, so five stars!

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