Sunday, October 19, 2014

No time for fear.

This post has nothing to do with Ebola.

The time between runs is expanding* and so it is difficult to explain what has happened between then and now. And it's only been a week. If I am going to develop a true understanding of the effect my diet and general intake have on my sinuses and sleep patterns, I would need to take serious notes, and to stop just concocting theories.

Depressed, I am, that I was unable to participate in yesterday's first annual neighborhood 5K. Life with developing children piles up, the girl and wife away at a soccer tournament, the boy with music lessons and I needed to take him directly from that to a pre-show discussion at work. My absence there would have been noticed, as I had a miscommunication with the guest speaker which resulted in my having to create a lecture on the fly.

It seems there is always an excuse not to run these days. You would think I was back on antidepressants. This has to stop.

Temperature: 52°
Distance:3.25 miles

Well. That was difficult Very winded, had to walk several times. It is a bright, beautiful, virtually cloudless early evening, cool and perfect. In spite of that, it was a very challenging run, huffing and wheezing. This is not who I want to be.

Diet can change, what is missing right now is the exercise. However, between my schedule and her and hers and his, I am preparing three meals a day, between that, additional housework and time for writing, there are few moments in the morning or evening to move.

Beat of Love Playlist
Beat of Love - Voice of the Beehive
Def. Con. One - PWEI
Brave New World - Michael Penn
I Predict - Sparks
Skidmarks On My Heart - The Go-Go's
Nemesis - Shriekback
Detour Through Your Mind - The B-52's

* and so am I! (drum fill)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Accepting applications at University.

The 3 Way - Lilys (1999)
Dimes Make Dollars
Socs Hip
Accepting Applications at University
And One (On One)
Leo Ryan (Our Pharoah's Slave)
Solar Is Here
The Spirits Merchant
The Lost Victory
The Generator
A Tab For the Holidays

One afternoon in August, 2001 my brother and I were in a record shop in the East Village. There was a time I would walk into a music store and browse, leisurely, and pick up something, anything, that looked interesting, that I might like.

This was when a) I had more time and b) I had more money.

I have had few experiences with my brother in record stores, which is a pity because I have always been impressed with his taste in music, and in his music collection. Actually shopping for discs with him is something I should have made an effort to do more often before it was too late.

He's not dead or anything, the stores are.

However, after wandering around for about twenty minutes, without satisfaction, I asked the guy behind the counter what the hell we have been listening to, and bought that. I am reminded of that scene in High Fidelity when John Cusack's character targets a customer, and brags that he can sell a Stereolab CD in less than two minutes, puts on Lo Boob Oscillator, and bam, of course, he's right.

This guy must have seen me coming a mile away. An obvious nod to The Kinks, this adventure in Power-Mod-Pop owes almost as much to the Style Council or even late-model Stranglers, describing in lucid, liquid detail parties I wish I had attended and drugs I wish I had taken.

Upon departing the record shop, I didn't listen to the disc until I had returned home to Cleveland, but upon doing so I realized the music had been ringing in my ears during our entire experience in New York that summer, especially And One (On One), possibly the best love song to cocaine ever written.

Cousins at the O.U. Homecoming Parade
Temperature: 59°
Distance: 4.25 miles

We are spending something like 36 hours in Athens this weekend, what we could squeeze in between work and a 2 PM soccer match in Strongsville tomorrow. The girl made a special request, to head to the Skull and then just walk around and shop Uptown before having lunch at Casa.

Funny. That's exactly what we wanted to do.

Parade, Skull, shopping on Court Street, and then about three hours in Casa Nueva - time spent both waiting for a table for eleven and then enjoying sitting at it. By the time my wife and I departed in time to make a 4 PM coffee date with one of my professors, I had just about had it. Too much alcohol, caffeine, sugar, salt, fat and BOBCATS.

I am not a big, rah rah, Old Mother kind of guy. Thanks for the degree, for the wives, but you can keep the alumni, I come back to lounge in the hills. Dodging students and graduates laid out flat on the sidewalk before noon was enough of an unwelcome sight, the SOUND was positively overwhelming, indoor and out. It made me dizzy.

Meeting Dr. Faricy and sipping tea at Donkey for two hours was enough to settle my nerves and by the time we parted it was about sundown and I had been hoping for just one run while I am here. I mean, it's only been a week.

Man, was that a good idea. The weather was perfect, and so was my timing. I couldn't have parked at Peden Stadium any earlier if I had wanted to, the final stragglers from the game were only just pulling out of the parking lot.

The lights on the bike path were coming on, and the sky over the hills were turning deep, turgid colors. Few were on the path, a couple runners, only one bike passed me. It was odd. Like I just missed everything, which was what I wanted.

It felt good, not winded at all, just a little sniffly from the cool air. Relaxing into the evening, my abdominal muscles sing a bit, no drinks tonight, we have to leave early tomorrow. I hope to sleep well.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Sweet little boy with oh such a big mouth.

Exercise Is ADHD Medication
Physical movement improves mental focus, memory, and cognitive flexibility; new research shows just how critical it is to academic performance. 
- James Hamblin, The Atlantic 9/29/2014
In other news ... No shit.

The babysitter chased me out of the house to take a run.

Temperature: 70°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Tried going dry for a few days. Four days, when I came home at night and thought of beer, I made tea. Decaf tea. A special drink, just for me.

Yesterday a friend asked me to Happy Hour at Hodge's. She asked if I felt any different. I think I did. I can't remember whether I slept any better ... which means I probably did. I do know I had an anger attack on Tuesday, which may or may not have been related, it probably was.

So, anyway, Happy Hour. One drink with a drink, another over dinner with the family. Woke up with a sinus headache. Which may have been because bad weather is coming in. Or not.

Tonight we are going to see Les Mis at the Hanna. I'm drinking tap water.

Jane's Getting Serious Playlist
Adult Education - Hall & Oates
Fortress Around Your Heart - Sting
I Missed Again - Phil Collins
Hard Day - George Michael
Constant Craving - k.d lang
Happy - George Michael
Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes

"She'll lay you on her throne." Missed that when I was thirteen.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

You got too much soul.

Last night I dreamed I was at a party where I was the least interesting person there. No one wanted to talk to me. Also, I was wearing one of my daughter's bedazzled black hoodies.

Last night I was at an actual party where I was talking to many people, though I cannot account for any interest I may or may not have generated. I spoke with a colleague about his great success in dropping forty-five pounds through the past year.

I knew he had been trying to control his weight, he's been working at that for some time now. What was stunning to me was the recent day where I looked at him and suddenly realized he'd done it. To me, it appeared like he'd done it overnight.

He was so happy, telling me about the day he realized he just had to do something serious and exactly what that was, not just about eating too much, but all the casual drinking, and complete lack of activity. So, he changed his habits. He decided to change them, and here was the result. He looks great.

I mentioned how I have put on more weight than I would like to have, and he politely remarked that I don't show it, I'm too tall, I carry myself tall. That was very nice to hear but it doesn't change the fact that I am in my mid-40s and carrying a tire that as I age becomes increasingly difficult to burn.

As I bounce ideas back and forth inside my head (artistic ideas, you know, we do that) I have considered revising and reviving the marathon play. So many changes in the past five years, I feel that it is not finished. In order to play it, however, I would need to lose twenty pounds. Performing it last in 2011, I was at least that much heavier than when it debuted, and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack one night.

No heart attacks, please.

Temperature: 68°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Sunshiny morning over the Heights, and humid. Feeling good, but breathy. I think this fall the designated beverage at home will be tea, sweet herbal tea. The children have started requesting tea as a regular beverage, and can prepare it themselves. We should make a lot of it at a time and enjoy it all evening.

Sleep has been an issue, all year, all summer long. My sleep patterns have been horrible. Too much caffeine, all day, and any alcohol at all. Friends send me links on meditation and yoga, and perhaps I will visit those articles some day. One thing at a time.

It has been almost a year since I began my experiment in writing, which has been successful beyond imagining. The running happens, but not the races. Four runs in September? It's the second best month for running in the entire year.

The best is, of course, October.

Jane's Getting Serious Playlist
Jane's Getting Serious - Jon Astley
Valerie - Steve Winwood
The Oogum Boogum Song - Brenton Wood
She Bop - Cyndi Lauper
Do You Really Want To Know - George Michael
Save Me - k.d. lang
Straight To My Heart * - Sting

Yes. We are wistful and nostalgic, but also troubled. I wrote a ten-minute play last week. It's either awful or just about an awful thing. We'll read it Thursday and find out which.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I know you'll want to run around.

"If you could give one magic pill that would improve physical health, mood, reduce weight," this would be it, [Dr. Robert Waldinger, psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University] says. Federal health officials recommend 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every day.

Best To Not Sweat The Small Stuff, Because It Could Kill You

NPR - Morning Edition, Sept. 22, 2014
A few years back some "friends" chose to share with me this report which suggests there is no empirical evidence that exercise helps with depression. Except the other day NPR tells me, as part of their ongoing reports on STRESS (which I should tell you are very stressful to listen to) that physical exercise can improve physical health and mood.

So there's that.

Temperature: 73°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Big, beautiful night. Numerous runners and walkers and others.

What's the word for that awkward moment you have to pass someone who is almost but not quite just going as fast as you, and then you speed up because you want to put a lot of space between them and you and you notice your shorts are stuffed up your buttcrack?

There has to be one.

The Current Playlist
Dangerous -  Big Data
After the Disco - Broken Bells
I'm Only Joking - Kongos
Youth Without Youth - Metric
Harlem - New Politics
We Come Running  - Youngblood Hawke
Pumpin Blood - NONONO
Right Action - Franz Ferdinand

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My pulse is racing.

No seriously, I haven't run for a long time and I am not happy about that. It's golden hour, the fall, when the gear is still at a minimum but so is the sweat.

We have been in rehearsal for the residency program, which makes for early mornings, long days, and many of them (we rehearse on Saturdays, too) and my wife has begun her second year teaching high school English, so my evenings are largely housework related -- and spending time with my children, who have suddenly exploded into the larger world.

Then there's the change of season, allergy, feeling headachy and sick thing.

Gripe, gripe, gripe (the boys are marching.)

Temperature: 75°
Distance: 3.25 miles
 Let's Cool It In The Bedroom  
by Gretchen Reynolds
New York Times - July 17, 2014

Woke just before 3 am, certain I would slide into another sleepless night and wake in pain. I could feel my head expand and tighten. I crawled out of bed for water and pain reliever, and threw off the covers to sleep cool.

The NYTimes link provided above, and which I read during the summer, does not actually relate to my personal discoveries about sleep, though it is interesting. All I know is staying up late, sleeping warm, sleeping in (thereby missing out on morning caffeine) and even modest amounts of alcohol, combine to create a really awful morning. You may call it a hangover, but it happens whether I have had anything to drink or not, and always on the weekend.

I woke again at 7 am, feeling much better, and ready to just roll over, when it occurred to me to make coffee, which I did, by which time I was a little awake. I have not written in two days, not even nonsense. Lately I have been fretting - a lot - about my ability to write anything, ever, of any value, ever again.

Coffee, morning birds and a blank sheet of paper, combined with a half hour of thinking and rotating my wrist and I have the beginning of what may be a 10-minute play, which is great because I find those to be most difficult of all.

Then I went back to sleep for two hours, the best sleep I've had in over a month. It is 11 am, everyone is gone for the day, and I have housework to happily tend to. But first, we run.

Under Pressure Playlist
Under Pressure - Queen & David Bowie
The Ocean - Led Zeppelin
Roundabout - Yes
These Are The Days of Our Lives - Queen
Stone Cold Crazy - Metallica
I'm Free - The Who
Living After Midnight - Judas Priest

Bright and warm, but cool and breezy. This is fall. I feel good, I need to resume cross-training, these slacks won't put themselves on.

So glad we live in a universe where Under Pressure happened. When you are putting together that memorial video for me after my death, please use this song, it's kind of everything.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

I'm never gonna live again.

What's in the jug this year?
Last week I snarked about my hometown, and their penchant for intolerance and feckless cruelty. It was a little out of left field, and as is normal when I lash out with provocation I usually feel a little bad about it. So, thanks for proving me right this week in such spectacular fashion. You people are fucking terrible.

Temperature: 70°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Long week of rehearsal, but satisfying. Boxes get ticked, the work continues. The only setting my teeth on edge is that in those quiet in-between moments, on my own time, I don't know what to do. Writing happens, but we are in the non-formative area (in which I used to constantly live) where the words swirl but the ideas are not compelling.

This morning there are many house jobs to tend to, but even at 10 AM I am bleary, unfocused a little pained, stiff and unsettled. Time for a run.

If I Can't Change Your Mind Playlist
Tears of a Clown - The Beat
Back of a Car - Big Star
Feel - Big Star
Nearly Lost You - Screaming Trees
And We Danced - Hooters
Holidays In The Sun - Sex Pistols
Everyday Is Halloween - Ministry
September Gurls - Big Star

Neighborhood association coming up with ideas for a 5K this fall.  Time to ask the city how best to close down these streets for a morning.