Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Soooo Smooooothe

NOTE: In order to properly have the full sensual experience intended by the author, you must hit play on the video included herein:

Music Videos by VideoCure

Gentle reader, beware. If you have a mild constitution, this post may be way too hawt for you. It involves raw sensuality and sex appeal the like of which is rarely experienced, even on the internet.

If you hit play, as requested, you are already experiencing the hot, Latin rhythms that are Caremen Tequilo, my heart, my one an only, my bicycle. Well, it is almost time for the first big dance of the season, so my baby needed to get all dolled up. I took her to the bicycle equivalent of Nordstroms and a spa for the ladies who lunch. She was cleaned, washed, given a new cassette to enhance her climbing prowess, and most importantly, I bought her the tri-bike equivalent of a little black dress, thong, and FMPs.

Are you sure you can handle this?

You have been warned.

Wait for it.

Behold. And try to restrain your lust.


Yes, my baby has some Zipp 404s--speed weaponry. Carmen Tequilo is ready for Wildflower.


Hopefully her meager, anglo Studlito will be able to "perform" when the time comes.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Controlled Burn

smokey Montgomery

Unlike the past several weeks, the air was quite still this Saturday. According to the calendar this was the 18th Saturday in a row that I've had a long bike ride or a long bike/run brick. My enthusiasm, however, was damp as the air. Some of the excitement of beginning has waned. I wondered if I would meet Officer McBreakfast Taco again, and my hostility was probably weighing me down--that and my digital camera and a laminated copy of pertinent provisions of the Texas Transportation Code.

Yeah. Ask me if I know the rules of the road and I am likely to show them to you--chapter and verse.

But there was work to be done and miles to cover in the heavy air. That air, humid and still, hung like a curtain, woven from smoke and fog and ambiguity. I kind of wondered why I was out here. Again. By myself. To ride a bike. For a race in which I won't win, place or show.

What's the point? Will this one bike ride make a difference? What if I just run 30 minutes off the bike instead of an hour? I could feel myself equivocating. That usually doesn't happen until about half-way into a long workout.

I guess more out of habit than anything, I clipped in and got going.

As I headed west out of town, I started to smell the wood smoke. A few minutes later there was a sign:

Smoke Ahead

The smoke was from a fire, one that was intentionally set inside the Sam Houston National Forest.

You see, there is a time in Texas, before the summer drought comes, when it is safe to burn. During that time, the foresters come out and set fires in the underbrush, to burn off waste and fuel that would become a destructive conflagration if it received a spark during the hot days of summer. So, during those smoky and wet days of late spring, the forest endures the fire--giving up its waste to the flame in order to save what it dare not lose.

Then, there is me. Riding through. Running. Swimming--sometimes even when I don't want to. Sometimes when none other go with me. Am I burning the waste? What am I leaving behind? What is being put to the flame? And for what purpose? What am I preserving? What about you?

Caution. There's smoke ahead.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I Fought The Law . . .

. . . and I won. So far. Sit back. It's quite a ride.


**The events that follow are absolutely true. As a result they are not pure. There is some foul language, and I am not acting like the nicest nor even the wisest person. I hope I did not set back cyclists rights in the process, but in my defense I was pissed and my reactions were completely authentic, which is all any of us can be.**

I think my personality must have been poisoned somewhere along the way. Maybe it was the ink in the m-dot tattoo or something snapped after being harassed one too many times by ignoramuses behind the wheels of cars, but in the words of that immortal poet, Sheryl Crow:

I ain't takin' sh*t off no one,
baby, that was yesterday.

Motorists who cross the line and try to bully you off the road are just bullies. And the thing to do with a bully, in my view, is confront them. Today, I met a bully with a badge and a gun, and I confronted him, and I backed him the hell down.

I was riding one of my customary Montgomery County routes, southbound on FM149 from Richards towards Montgomery, about 4 miles outside of town. There is only a narrow shoulder at that point that is not truly suitable for riding, so I was positioned between the right tire tread mark and the white line at the side of the road when a pickup passed me intentionally too close and honked like motorists do when they are trying to harass and endanger cyclists. I instictively let fly an f-bomb and shouted a comment on his ancestry and preferred, maternal sexual partner.

The pickup, however, was a constable. But he did not act like a constable is supposed to act.

He slammed on his brakes and pulled across my path, including the minimal shoulder on the side of the road. I grabbed my brakes, skidded, and managed to stop without injury. Even if I had been riding the center line buck naked, smoking pot, burning an American Flag and pissing on the Texas Constitution, there was no call for that.

Having been placed at risk of my life for no good reason, and by someone who is sworn to protect me (and knowing full well that I would be in jail on a felony charge had I done the same to him) I exercised my Constitutional rights under the 1st and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitutions to comment upon the conduct of governmental officials.


**See generally Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971) (defendant's conviction for disorderly conduct for wearing shirt that said "fuck the draft" held unconstitutional abridgment of his rights to free speech).

Whereupon, this exchange occurred, as best I can recall it:

**indecipherable shouting from the cab of the constable's pickup**

I move up to the door and open window: "WHAT??!!""

Constable Shouting: "Don't you 'WHAT' me, you understand me?"

Me: "WHAT??!!" (Because I cannot freekin' believe what I'm hearing, because I take lectures from no man, and because I'm just pissed)

Constable Shouting: "Don't you 'WHAT' me, YOU HEAR ME??!!"

Me: "Oh, I HEAR you"

Constable Shouting: Do you know the rules of the road?

Me: Yeah, I know 'em and I was exactly where I was supposed to be. You got a problem??

Constable: You're NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE ROAD. You're supposed to be on the right side of that white line as far to the right as possible.

Me: That's wrong. Bicycles are vehicles that are entitled to use the road. I was riding exactly where I am allowed to ride. If you think I am wrong just give me a ticket and we'll go talk to the judge about it and let him decide.

(Inside my head: Oh, no Briar Fox. Don't throw me in the courtroom. I'd hate to have to cross examine Officer McBreakfast Taco within an inch of his life with only a junior baby DA assigned to traffic court to protect him. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me a ticket. Better yet, arrest me. You're in my house now, asshole.).

**back and forth of disagreement ensues, whereupon I have calmed myself a bit but he keeps interrupting me because he is NOT going to be contradicted, especially by a cyclist. Bad combination, a bully and a know-it-all.**

Me: Look. Hold on. Just wait [attempted interruption]. I SAID wait. Look, I'm not trying to pick a fight with you. You're just dead wrong and you've got no cause to act this way or to be holding up traffic. Look, if you think I'm wrong just give me a ticket and be done with it.

Constable all defensive and shouting: I will. You git off the road or I'm gonna give you a ticket.

Me: Fine. Do it. I'll wait.

Constable: I will. I'll give you a ticket.

Me: Give me a ticket. (In my head: Sh*t or get off the pot, fatso)

Constable: Git off the road.

Me: I am entitled to be on the road and I will continue to ride exactly where I was riding.

Constable: Git off the road or I'll give you a ticket.

Me: do it.

**Officer eventually drives off in a huff, but all the cars behind him no doubt feel more empowered to pick on cyclists. **

I believe the officer was from Montgomery County, Precinct One. I have enough information that I can identify with officer. When I do, I will publish his name and badge number so local cyclists can beware. In the interim, be forewarned that he drives a reddish maroon pickup with gold lettering "Constable" on the tailgate. He is overweight (big surprise) possibly Latino, black hair, not close cropped, and mustache--sort of an 80s porn look. I have initiated a complaint with the Precinct One Constable and will keep you updated on how things proceed.

I'm not much of a rabble rouser, but if we can't count on law enforcement to protect us, we've got no shot against the Gomers in the pickup trucks. Here are the possibilities I am considering and I would be interested to know what you think should be done in the interest of "cyclists rights."

A. Identify the officer publicly

B. Demand that a complaint be placed in his personnel file

C. Demand that the officer take bike cop training and be schooled on the actual rules of the road. (He could use the education and the exercise by the look of it).

D. Demand a written apology from the officer.

E. File a formal disciplinary complaint.

F. File a felony complaint against the officer for aggravated assault.

Again, I would be in jail on aggravated assault charges right now if I had done that to him. Aggravation legally comes from using a deadly weapon, which in this case is a pickup. Even if the charge is dismissed because the DA doesn't want to get cross ways with the constable, he will have to explain it on every subsequent job application and attempted promotion.

So far, I have written to the Constable's office trying to be constructive and demanding A through D, but expressly holding out the possibility of E and F if there is foot dragging.

And I intend to ride that same road in the same manner wearing the same gear every weekend so he will recognize me.

Stupid bully. Give me a ticket, you coward.

Oh, and I road 94 miles, notwithstanding Officer McBreakfast Taco. Bring on Wildflower.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wherein I Show I Can Be competitive, Mean And Petty

Well my peoples, my fine, fine peoples. The final, peak period of Ironman training has begun. Do you know how I can tell?

Because this morning Tanita told me that I weighed 139 pounds.


That is all.

Monday, April 14, 2008

MS150: A Few Thousand Words

MS150 001
Riding buddies

MS150 003
Riding buddies

MS150 006
More than buddies

MS150 007
With a little help from my friends

MS150 009
Traffic jam in Bellville

MS150 011
Texas Wildflowers

MS150 015
The road goes ever on and on

MS150 018
Why we ride

MS150 022
A well-earned meal

MS150 026
A well-earned rest

The Triathlete Spirit--This Kid Rocks

I don't currently have time to do a proper report on the MS150, but I saw this little dude (who has already raised $8400 to fight MS) and wanted to share his story with you rather than maintain radio silence. Even at 10, this guy embodies the triathlete spirit that we see in our blogger friends who use their own health to fight diseases like cancer and MS. Donate if you can.


Ten year-old cyclist dedicates BP MS 150 to ill mother
Small in stature, big in heart

* * * *

In the truly Texas-sized peloton the BP MS 150 has become, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. Still, one tiny rider wearing an ExxonMobil jersey might be conspicuous. But don't let Cian McConnell's 4-3 3/4 , 60-pound frame fool you. This young fellow has been around the block a few times.

"I'm grown up in age," he said, "just not in size."

Indeed, Cian (pronounced Key-an) recently turned the big one-oh. And, at 10, they let you try the MS 150 as long as a parent rides along.

* * *

Move over, Lance

At 7, when the family was living in Singapore, Cian completed his first triathlon — a half-mile swim, a 20-mile bike ride and a 5K run. He also had started religiously watching the Tour de France on TV and decided Lance Armstrong might be a good cyclist to emulate. On a training ride, Cian had gotten way ahead of his parents — Doug was having mechanical problems — only to crash after roaring down a steep ascent.

A park ranger who happened upon Cian noticed his bloodied arm and knee and suggested they go find some medical help. As his dad recounts the story, Cian looked at the man like he was crazy. "He told the ranger," Doug said, " 'I'm not going back to the car. Lance Armstrong wouldn't quit, would he?' "

Good news and then bad

About that time, [his mother] Helen began suffering brutal headaches. At first, the doctors dismissed them as migraines. Then one day, when [his father] Doug was on assignment in Nigeria, he got a call. Helen had become lost and disoriented and couldn't find her way home. The doctors looked deeper and found a tumor. She had brain cancer.

* * *

Chance to help someone

An aggressive, cutting-edge regimen of twice-daily chemotherapy pills plus one arduous visit to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center each week have kept Helen reasonably ambulatory, but when she speaks her words often get jumbled up and, Cian admits, casting his soft blue eyes downward, "Sometimes I can't understand what she's saying. It makes me really sad."

Said Doug: "He's having a tough time with it. But we made the decision to not keep anything from him. His response has been, 'We'll do the best we can to help her out.' Now that he's finally old enough to get on his bike (in the MS 150), he's like, 'Let's get on with it and go help somebody.' "

* * *

"I've wanted to do this ride since I was 7," [Cian] admits. "I'm ready. I'm nervous, but I'm also confident. I just hope my dad will help me and I can at least finish."

Doug laughed.

"I'll be drafting off him," he said. "Cian won't let me get in front."

Friday, April 11, 2008

MS Blows--Really

OK, now a step back from the melodrama. Sorry 'bout that.

We roll out tomorrow for the BP MS150, which is good because if we rolled out today, we'd likely have a 15+ mph headwind in our face. The front that rolled through last night has interrupted the prevailing winds that usually blow us across the Katy Prairie into Belville and beyond.

Rolling out tomorrow, we're likely to have crosswinds of 15+ mph. But has been known to lie.

Like a rug.

About wind.

Based upon's past record of performance, I think we can count on being blown off our bikes with a special wind we have down here in Texas. It blows about 15 mph while not gusting to 30 mph. It comes from every direction at once and singles out cyclists. Native Americans named it, "the Wind of Many Names" but after contact with European civilization it very quickly became known by its English iterations, most of which are words of four letters, the best of which rhymes with "Duck."

Of course, I won't be alone. The BP MS 150 is the largest charity bike ride in the country--involving 12,000 cyclists riding from Houston to Austin over 2 days and raising $14 million dollars to fight MS. So, I'll have 12,000 of my closest friends with me, many of them riding for the first year and straggling all over the road in the cross winds.

But truly, I won't be alone. Combining my online total with offline pledges, I have raised ALMOST NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS so far. And of course there's still time to DONATE!! Each of you that have donated are definitely riding along in spirit. I am so touched by the comments and the donations.

But there is a special, celebrity blogger who is here with me in person. The official bestest friend of the Greyhound clan and Superounce's adopted big sister, the International Triathlete of Mystery, Curly Su, is riding with me, and we're doing it the Ironman way. Instead of stopping at La Grange for the traditional overnight, we thought we'd get in a decent training ride. Hardly worth getting on the bike if you're not going at least 120 miles

in the wind.

I wonder if C-Su will let me draft?

So we're riding to Bastrop on the first day and meeting the Greyhound clan at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort, 'cause that's how I roll. You get at least four stars if you ride with me. There will be much Lazy River-ing by the Superpounce, and probably some spa treatments for the ladies. On Sunday, we jump on the bikes for a couple hours, ride on to Town Lake in Austin where we will run off the bike with a certain Little Miss who has Runner Pants.

It's going to be a fantastic weekend!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

No Words From Me

Just watch this. If any words are necessary, read those of this patient's 12 year old son, Jake:

"I'd walk forever for you mom! I love you. Jake."

MS Sucks. Click here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pride and Fear: A Personal Note

This is another MS150 post, and of course I urge you to hit the fund raising
But this one is a little different. Usually, I keep a pretty firm barrier between my blogger self and the interior life of my true self. Here, the barrier is pulled aside a tad, so feel free to move on if that's not your thing.

I mentioned in passing that Mrs. Greyhound has been having some difficulties with her Multiple Sclerosis that she has not had in years. She has been experiencing hot and prickly sensations on one side of her body and in her feet that she describes as "ant bites." It has been uncomfortable to be touched by the cat, the dogs, clothing--

and by me.

But something is different this time. These past several months, she has been engaged on a program of physical exercise, guided by Maria Gratia. She is now up to five hours of aerobic exercise (vigorous walking) per week, plus a program of strength training. In times past, she might have shut it down upon experiencing these symptoms. Not now.

She is militant. She will not be deterred from getting her walk in. She is even talking about maybe doing a 5k road race this fall, and I have promised to be by her side every step, no matter what pace she runs. I am so proud.

Frankly and honestly? I'm also scared sometimes. This is what Multiple Sclerosis can do to mobility, and note, the woman in this video has improved her mobility due to treatments that are now available:

It isn't even my body that is diseased, and I should have more courage. But, the prospect of this happening to my partner scares me. On the selfish side, that's not what any of us, including me, wants for our lives. When we get married, all young and fresh and healthy, we want to travel and run spontaneously in the surf, and make love and stay out wrapped in beach towels drinking cheap wine until the sun comes up. No one dreams of hauling walkers in a minivan and dealing with debilitating fatigue. No one should have to.

On a nobler note, one hopes not to come up wanting in a test like that; but, many good people do. I don't take for granted that I have the fiber not to fall short.

Anyway. That may be more than you want to think about right now. But it occupies my mind sometimes when I fail to distract it.

THREE MORE DAYS. MS SUCKS. Donate if you can.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Living with MS

The MS150 is upon us. We roll on Saturday. In the run up to the ride I wanted to post some things for you to think about, especially if you are considering whether to support the effort.

I found this video on YouTube. It's not long, but the interesting thing to me is the discussion of this couple about how MS changes an entirely family--your plans, your dreams, your expectations of life and the future. The patient is not the only one "living with MS."

That is what is so frustrating about MS. A chronic and incurable disease, it is like a thief that never really goes away. It takes your future if you let it, and just about the time you think you have adjusted, new symptoms arise and your expectations are frustrated again.

But it doesn't have to be that way. I am half way to my fund raising goal, and the medical researchers are much further than that. The breakthroughs in research and treatment are tantalizingly close. There is even a custom vaccine, engineered from one's own genes and immune system, that is in the works at Baylor Medical Center here where we are "living with MS."

This is important to me--made all the more so because Mrs. Greyhound is having difficulties this very week that she has not had in several years. No fancy words. No artful persuasion by a professional writer. MS Sucks. With all that is in me I urge and encourage you to hit the fund raising link, and link arms with us as we show our defiance to this condition.

Monday, April 07, 2008

So That's Why I'm Tired (The Tale In Pictures)

Just when I think I'm over the whole race picture thing, some decent shots come through and the narcissist in me takes over. These pictures, from the Lone Star Quarter, also give a hint why my body is so cooked after training through this effort.

Swim Exit 1
Swim exit: note how the Greyhound is HOOFING IT up the ramp with one leg totally flying behind and ripping the swim cap off. Running from the water is atypical for the old dog.

Swim Exit 2
Another of the swim exit: note here how both of Greyhound's feet are airborne as he motors with superhero like speed to the strippers. Wetsuit strippers, that is. In Houston, you have to be more specific. Note also that way in the background is another swimmer with the same color cap as Greyhound. Again, atypical.

Start of Bike
And here is Greyhound screaming out on the bike, banking, standing and hammering out of a turn. Banking: an indication of speed perhaps? Who knew?

End of Bike
And hammering along the sea wall to get back to transition. Note the red face and bulging veins. This is what 24 mph in the wind looks like. Who is that guy and what have you done with Greyhound?

Running off the bike at faster than 8 minute pace in the heat. Who the hell are you, and where is the mushy, suburban dad who got winded at kiddie soccer practice? (Oh, and Bolder, note the forefoot strike).

And finishing: again, both feet going airborne with high knee lift. Who knew this old dog could motor?

All kidding aside, I wish I had some "before" photos from four or five years ago. Although I was never huge, I was way soft and 30 pounds heavier than this. No ink. No arms. No quads. Mushy belly. I am not the same guy. And the biggest changes are not in my body, but between my ears and in my heart.

Wildflower awaits.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Battery Level Warning!!!

Not working, brain . . . scrambled.

Sleep. Need.

And Food.

Train train train. All the times. Training

9.5 hours last to days.

er, too days.

damn. Two days.

In the week? 19.



Tired? Thank you Mr. Understatement.

Work work work. All the times. When not training.

In the week?



Two briefs due Tuesday.

Not sleeping.

Elevated. Heart rate is.

Thumping in my ears. Body still. Heart not.

Mush legs

Hips stiff. Sore, back is.

Complaining shoulders.

Short term memory? Forgot.

Long term . . . long . . . what . . . were we talking about?

Tomorrow? No train.

This week? Recover.

I hope.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Shoot

I'm not really sure how to take all the comments to the effect that my post on Tuesday was not legit. Either you think that I'm not hot enough to disrobe or not brave enough to do so in front of strangers. Either might have been true in the past, but I've been trying to make a new self that is braver, and hopefully hotter too.

So, with a little tightness in my chest, I parked in the numbered lot to which the professor had directed me at U of H. It was a little like pre-race jitters, but a lot more personal.

The building was not a location in which one would expect nakedness--very academic, broad hallways with florescent lighting reflecting in orbs off the waxed industrial tiling, people moving about on their own errands with backpacks, talking or listening to ipods.

Anyhow, I found the room without much effort and the professor immediately turned me over to a teaching assistant whose very appearance made me feel unartistic. He was a cadaverously skinny boy with spikey black hair and sideburns, probably dyed, wearing a black t-shirt over his concave chest, black jeans, and Doc Martin boots. Top it off with an eyebrow piercing, a soul patch and a tatoo on his skinny arm and you get the picture.

Today would be nude photographic portraiture. We walked into the studio where there was a backdrop and some lighting already set up and some students fiddling with their gear. They all looked so young, and yet really weathered. They had the smell of tobacco (or other kinds) of smoke on their clothing, and the quotient of alternative hair styles and body modifications was very high. I tried to hold a confident body posture and make eye contact with the students, knowing I was anything but confident.

The teaching assistant showed me around to the other side of a screen where I was to take off my clothing and put on a robe--which I thought was a little odd. These folks are about to see me naked anyway. Why the formality against seeing me undress, then why the robe, only to undress again? All these conventions about the context of nakedness. Skinny dipping is hilarious fun, having a therapist massage your naked glutes is fine, but posing for an art class? Getting undressed in front of them? What of a nude beach? Clothing optional vacation? They're all different, but you wonder why sometimes.

Anyhow, I noticed (thankfully) that the room was warm--all the better to prevent goosebumps or "shrinkage." But then I thought about things that shrink when they are cold . . . or when they are . . . uhm . . . shy.


But it was time. I slipped out of my Ironman sweats (call it a security blanket if you will), checked in my nervousness on how "it" was all "hanging," put on the terry cloth robe, and walked out from behind the screen and in front of the neutral photography background. The professor gave some instructions concerning the class assignment and the compositional points that they were trying to achieve, turned out the overhead florescent lighting with a snap and turned on the studio lighting.

It was time. With my heart in my throat while 12 college students looked on, I dropped the robe and posed as the professor and the students in turn directed.

I supposed some people completely forget that they are naked. I never did, although my heart rate did eventually descend into zone 1 and comfort with the concept waxed and waned. Thankfully, nothing else waxed or waned inappropriately and before too long, they were finished.

They have asked me back next week, and I am inclined to do it. In the meantime, I have a few of the raw, digital shots before retouching if you want to see them. They were very tasteful, although I gotta say, the camera does seem to add 10 pounds, even if you are 9% body fat.

So, without further ado, here is the Naked Greyhound.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

We Interrupt This Blog . . .

We interrupt this blog to call something very special to your attention. You see this little spit of a girl in the pink running skirt? Other than being "cute as a bug's ear," is there anything special about her?


She's not "a little spit of a girl" and she's no shrinking violet. She's an Ironman with an indomitable spirit, and she's 11 days from her second Ironman race. She's also a leader in my tri-club who gives much more than she receives. Her Ironman racing is selfless as well. This year, in smashing through PR after PR and forming herself into what she calls the "New Kathleen," she has been racing in honor of a list of people who suffer from or who have already died due to cancer. She is raising money through the Janus Charity Challenge, and she is creeping up on her goal. Kathleen is tops on my list of "good people." Read her story here.

I know you have been touched by cancer. Everyone has in some form or fashion. If so, then you should go here and give Kathleen your support, no matter how big or how small your gift, and give her some comment love.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful

The Ironman tapeworm has officially arrived, and I am enjoying it too much to feel guilty about those who have sworn off Cadbury Eggs in favor of protein shakes.

I am always hungry and eat everything I can get my hands on--with some small effort to remain healthy. Even so, if it has calories and it's already dead, it is fair game. I may even start killing things and roasting them in my office if I can find somewhere online to buy a rotisserie spit that can be powered by a computer USB outlet.

Even with all this eating, I can't keep on the weight. I have now exhausted the smallest hole on my smallest belt that I bought during my first tri season after losing 30 pounds. The waist on my smallest suit is gapping. The sides of my trim-cut, tapered dress shirts are sagging over my belt like they're being worn by a cadaver.

And yet I can't buy smaller clothes because my shoulders and my quads and my glutes are larger while my belt-line is smaller.

I think Mrs. Greyhound is liking it, when I can stay awake.

And so, one of the side-effects of Ironman training is that the shy kid who never went out for sports because he loathed his own body and the thought of locker room nakedness terrified him
has become a wee bit more confident about his birthday suit.

Yet, it still came as a surprise when I was approached by a professor from the U0fH art department after swimming on campus. I guess I knew that the university used nude models to teach its art students about drawing, sculpting or photographing the human form. Still, I never thought I would be asked to disrobe.

She might have been flattering me, but she said my low percentage of body fat and muscular definition made me an ideal candidate, and she asked me to consider it. All sorts of questions immediately arise. Shave or wax or not? If so, shave what? What does it feel like to be naked in a room full of strangers? What if other things . . . er . . . arise?

But screw it. Enough with the habitrail and the cage. I told her I'd do it. So I need your advice on appearance, decorum, etc. I mean, I haven't thought about how "I" should look since the Second Reagan Administration before I got married.

And I'll post some of the artwork on my new blog, The Naked Greyhound.