Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sketch in my Notebook (Part 14): Safehouse (Part 1)

This week we get back to the story of Frank MacGuiness, aka the infamous Dr. Necropolis, now an escapee from Sing Sing prison.  I’m excited because when I started this story, this was the chapter that I outlined first.  It’s taken eleven chapters to set the idea up, but now--finally--it’s almost time for sex, violence, and utter mayhem.
If you want to start the story from the beginning, click on the Sketch in My Notebook tab.  You’ll find it there.
While we’re talking, I have stats that show that a bunch of folks checked in to read last week’s entry.  If you were one of them, do me a favor and let me know a little about yourself.  I don’t need your name, but believe it or not, it helps a lot to have a general idea of who one’s audience is.
Thanks in advance!

The Return of Dr. Necropolis

Chapter 11: Safehouse

Frank was down for three full days with a fever.  He was lucky, he knew, because he’d managed to get all the way to his old Mott Haven safehouse before the fever laid him out, giving him a chance to ditch the ambulance and its drivers on a North Bronx side-street and then catch a subway line south.  The subway ride had been a misery, but he’d managed, and anyway, his obvious illness had at least kept other passengers from looking at him too closely.  Since then, he’d lain flat on his back in utter misery, shivering while his body fought itself and surviving on a diet of ten-year-old ramen noodles and cans of vegetable soup he’d put away against just such emergencies back in better times.  His dreams were fevered and confused, haunted by memories of Jaynie and prison.  Images of his cell in Sing Sing mixed with the Hell of swimming the Hudson River at midnight in late fall.  Thoughts of Jaynie interspersed with those of the Owl or Scott-fucking-Grossman.  Orange jumpsuits and black lace.  Handcuffs and beatings.  Pain and heartbreak.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Lawyer's Answer

I'm reading Rick Atkinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the U.S. Army in North Africa, An Army at Dawn. I've mentioned this before.

I was discussing it on the train just now with a guy I know, a successful Midtown lawyer.  I said that I found the book heartening because of how screwed up everything was back then, how despite the fact that we think of those guys as The Greatest Generation, they damned near lost the war in 1942 in North Africa.  And my friend says, "The greatest lesson of history is that it's all about personal relationships.  I'm sure somebody there said something to somebody important, and that's why we won the war."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Reading Room: Tell me why we played Stanford again?

It's been a few weeks since we've run a "reading room" post, so maybe now's the time to look around the Internet and see what's what.  I'm still a little sad and hung-over from Army's crushing loss yesterday, so we'll start there.

No. 15 Stanford rebounds from loss to USC, shuts out Army (ESPN)
"The defense might be as good any Stanford has had during its recent run of success...

[WR] Devon Cajuste caught a career-high three touchdowns and finished with 52 yards receiving, and Ty Montgomery had two TDs to help the Cardinal (2-1) overcome a sluggish start on offense. Stanford led 14-0 at the half before overwhelming the Black Knights (1-1) in the final two quarters.

The Cardinal outgained Army 415 to 207 yards."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Offseason Swim Workout #2

I caught a little flack on last week’s post from a Master’s swim coach in Connecticut who told me that he thought my speed workouts were liable to get swimmers injured.  I have my doubts.  
I agree that if you’re a mediocre swimmer, speed work is not the way to go.  You should first learn to swim comfortably and correctly, using proper form.  That said, swimming is a non-contact, no-impact sport.  Swimming hard may make you sore, and it’s vaguely possible that you’ll even get a little overuse injury from doing too much too soon.  That’s possible in swimming the same way it’s possible in any other kind of sport.  However, swimming is an order of magnitude safer and less impactful to your body than many other sports, and no one’s telling you not to do something like CrossFit.  This despite the fact that CrossFit involves complicated movements with heavy weights that can definitely lead to injuries if not done correctly.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five Things on a Friday: at Stanford

Happy Friday!  Let's get to it.

Schools have increasingly siphoned money from need-based financial aid that has traditionally helped middle and lower income students and reallocated cash to merit scholarships for wealthier students. One reason why schools are throwing merit awards at rich teens is because they are more likely to help institutions fare better in the rankings game.
These affluent students tend to have better academic backgrounds and higher standardized test scores, which are highly correlated with income. You can learn more about how this policy is devastating for disadvantaged students by reading Undermining Pell: How Colleges Compete for Wealthy Students and Leave the Low-Income Behind by Stephen Burd at the New American Foundation.
Yes, it’s that time of year again.  U.S. News and World Report just put out its annual college rankings.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Army Football Preview: at Stanford

Army opened last week at home against the University of Buffalo Bulls, and it was glorious.  Not a perfect game by any means, but easily one of the most entertaining contests Army fans have seen in several years.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sketch in my Notebook (Part 13): The Other Shoe

Last time we saw Frank MacGuiness, aka the infamous Dr. Necropolis, as he made good on his escape from Sing Sing.  This week, we check back in on FBI agent Tiffany Trujillo, once the superhero Titania, and her new partner Blaine Winters, aka the new Centurion, as they try to recover from the ass-kicking they got at the hands of Frank's old partners, the Siberian Tiger and Gun Girl Gracie.

You can read the story from the beginning using the Sketch in My Notebook tab above.


The Return of Dr. Necropolis
Chapter 10: The Other Shoe

Tiffany came awake slowly.  Her eyes were glued shut with tears, her mind was stiff and drowsy, and in waking, she felt as if she were crawling from the abyss of the grave.  She was twisted into something, and there were straps around her arms with tubes rising up above them.  Her vision cleared, and she saw pale pink walls alongside long bars of light running across the ceiling behind frosted glass.  Something was beeping off to the left side of her head, softly but steadily.  
A heartbeat monitor.