Sunday, January 25, 2015

I been up, I been down.


Light snow, freezing temps. We have a crust which cannot be shoveled.

Today the boy would play with his band at the Beachland, but he woke with great pain in his left knee, the one on which he has been hobbling. Tomorrow we see an orthopedist at 9 AM. I am sorry it has taken a week to get him to see one.

It makes me sad, I am currently unable to lift, which means it is difficult to help him limp from one thing to another. He is such a big boy now.

We shall see about the gig. He is currently in the bath.

Temperature: 27
Distance: 3.5 miles

Why a run, why today? Because it is Sunday. Because I can. These short runs are place holders until the weather breaks, and hopefully, my own physical difficulties abate. I will make another appointment with the PT, to see what the next step should be. The pain is not what it was, but it has localized, and not disappeared.

Also, there is time, at the moment, right now, to do this. No idea what will happen later.

1975 Playlist
Kashmir * - Led Zeppelin
Rhiannon - Fleetwood Mac
Island Girl - Elton John
You're My Best Friend - Queen
Tush - ZZ Top
Squeeze Box - The Who
S.O.S. - ABBA
Rock and Roll All Nite - KISS

Wow, Sir Elton! I've never listened to the words before, but that song is really fucking racist!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I gotta get me get up and run.

The boy and I both love this one best.
The back exercises have been very successful. The past few days I have been largely pain-free. My physical therapist believes I should eventually be able to bend at the waist without pain. At present, however, that is the move which most makes me hesitate, that of bending over at all.

Certainly, leaning forward and down to retrieve anything can hurt ... or not. Depends. Driving my car no longer leaves me stooped over. Well, a little. Sometimes. Sometimes not. That's improvement.

This is a major improvement over last weekend, when the exercises were difficult, becoming painful (from sheer repetition) and leaving me despondent. Will this be the new normal, constant feeling of pain in my lower back? I guess not. Lucky me, again.

However, the kind of work which caused this herniation, lifting heavy objects, I feel should be avoided. And that makes me unhappy. I like working in the yard, and do not want to fear re-harming myself. Be careful, I guess. Move slowly.

The boy injured his hip during soccer practice a week ago Friday. He was unable to perform in his rock show last Saturday. We went to his lesson Tuesday night, but he still can't hit the bass with his right foot.

They fixed him with a double bass pedal, he started learning the bass line he's been practicing with his right foot for three months with his left. And he picked it up with no problem. It's like putting in an understudy for opening night after six weeks of rehearsal with someone else.

I have been there, too. You are anxious, even disappointed in the change. But you should be so happy for committing, and for continuing, for moving through. Nothing is perfect. Everything changes.

Temperature: 27
Distance: 2.25 miles

Man. Too slippery. Stressful.

1974 Playlist
Jackie Blue - Ozark Mountain Daredevils
You Haven't Done Nothing - Stevie Wonder
The Life of the Party - The Jackson 5
Oye Como Va - Santana
Stone Cold Crazy - Queen
Verb: That's What's Happening - Zachary Sanders

Monday, January 19, 2015

What's coming round the corner?


This morning I have decided to run first, then do my back exercises. Yes, sure, why not. It has been a low-key, four-day weekend, by design and also accident. And that is all right with me any my wife. Last night was not a late one, spent largely editing a work of Shakespeare and Middleton.

There's a lot of verse afoot, and I am trying not to take any of it very seriously. Right now I am also reading something from K.W. Bromley which I have not picked up before, and that is helping me keep it unreal.

Temperature: 36
Distance: 1.75 miles

Okay. So? Mistakes I have made this morning:
  1. I neglected to eat anything first. Making breakfast for the girl and her sleepover friend, I did not think to prepare any for myself.
  2. Never had a glass of water. Taking care of the right now.
  3. The sidewalks of a sidestreet clogged with icy mounds of snow, I jogged into the street, hit a patch of ice and tumbled to my hands and knees. In the street.
No damage, not even my cold weather pants. You know, I have had this one par if pants for ten years, I think. I think my brother got them for me for Christmas in 2004. They hold up.

What I have not mentioned is that there was a car heading in my direction. It was not close, it was just turning the corner up ahead about a thousand yards. But I saw it as I fell and scrambled quickly to get my feet, to move. I looked up, it was still far ahead, moving slowly, but so what? What if it hadn't been?

The driver slowed to ask if I was all right. I was, except for the fear. And my knees sting a little. My back is okay. I was foolish. I must make such careless mistakes several times during every single run.

1973 Playlist
Travelin' Prayer - Billy Joel
Skokian - Hot Butter
5.15 - The Who
Living For the City - Stevie Wonder
Mother of Pearl - Roxy Music

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Do you remember the shape I was in?

Who is he ... and what is he to you?
Plans fall hard. The boy injured his hip somehow at soccer practice on Friday. No harm, no foul, just drills. Suddenly, he couldn't walk. Took him to the doctor, had an x-ray and everything. Nothing, just a pained hip. He was supposed to play with his rock band yesterday at the Beachland, but the doctor doesn't even want him getting around too much. Made the day a little different.

This morning he and I each got to sleep in while the females went off the her soccer game. The boy with the bad hip, the man with the bad back. Some have asked if I am considering surgery, the answer is no, no thank you, things would have to be considerably worse for me to consider back surgery, we haven't gotten there yet. Who knows, the physical therapist may be correct, I may be able to alleviate this with regular exercises.

However, at the moment ... last night my wife and I took in a rare double feature at the Cedar-Lee. Birdman and The Imitation Game. The last ten minutes of the former irritated me, pretty much all of the latter irritated me, and sitting in a movie chair for four hours was by far most irritating of all. You can only sit straight up with your feet flat on the floor for so long.

However, spending six uninterrupted hours with my wife (we started with dinner at Lopez) was certainly worth every moment.

Temperature: 37°
Distance: 3.5 miles

Running is pain-free. Sun even broke across the skeletal neighborhood trees. The streets are wet, sidewalks choked with crusty snow where it had never been shoveled.

I have a goal to run at least 10 times in January, because any less would be absolutely lame. At this rate, and with the forecast for the week, this is a doable thing.

1972 Playlist
Who Is He? (And What Is He To You?) - Bill Withers
Rock and Roll Pary 2 - Gary Glitter
I'm So Free - Lou Reed
The Ballad of El Goodo - Big Star
Get On The Good Foot - James Brown
I Wanna Be With You - The Raspberries
Hi Hi Hi - Paul McCartney & Wings
Stairway to the Stars - Blue Oyster Cult
Roadrunner - The Modern Lovers

Saturday, January 17, 2015

You get nowhere.


So. Ha ha. Yeah.

I have a herniated disc.

After dealing with this lower back pain for a month, I finally saw a doctor. I mean, come on. The holidays and everything else. But I saw her and she saw me, and sent me to a physical therapist who said, yeah. You have a herniated disc.


On Dec. 8, I was in the back yard felling trees and must have harmed myself. It didn't hurt until the next night, but he's pretty sure that's how it happened and I guess I am, too. The physical therapist does not believe it is permanent, that it is something I can take care of with a regular set of exercises which I have been carrying out diligently as prescribed since Wednesday.

And it has helped, though it has not made the pain disappear. But the difference is remarkable, as of Wednesday morning (pre-visit) it felt like I hadn't made any progress at all, and I haven't felt anywhere near that poor since.

So wish me luck. And listen to my wife.

Temperature: 46°
Distance: 2.7 miles

Running in shorts. The breeze was biting, but blimey that was beautiful. Running isn't a problem. Bending over and picking things up is a problem. Today is a good day, though, and I can only hope they will get better.

1971 Playlist
You Shouldn't Do That - Hawkwind
One of These Days - Pink Floyd

Two songs in twenty-two minutes. Those were the days.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Just as fast as my feet can fly.


I can deal with old man jokes. I work with people half my age. I was born when Johnson was President ("What, Andrew Johnson?" Chennelle asked last night over beer at Parnell's, ha ha ha) and tell stories about when everyone smoked and Tremont was cutting-edge.

What I cannot stand, or to put it another way, makes me very unhappy, is when I feel old. Actually feel it. As I was approaching my fortieth, I had blown my left knee, my meniscus was torn, it was swollen and difficult to bend, could not run. Under these specific circumstances, I was not thrilled to receive the inflatable walker. Lucky me, I had the operation, and felt "normal".

A little over a month ago, I did some strenuous yardwork. It made me tied, but I did not feel injured. The next day I participated in a television interview for WVIZ and shortly thereafter felt as tough I had thrown my back out. It still hurts.

It feels better, it feels worse. I thought it would pass, it has not. Driving long distances in my car aggravates my back terribly. Being in a refrigerated school auditorium for a week has complicated the pain, and even today, there it is, deep in my lower back.I have to stoop to pick things up. I have to hold onto something to sit. Getting up I have to bend slowly and stretch.

Every now and then I catch my reflection, and I see the stereotypical old man pose, walking bent, stooped, with a hand or two on my back to stand. Big sigh. And I don't have a sense of humor about it.

Temperature: 16°
Distance:1.75 miles

Running is easy. Standing up is hard.

Much warmer than than last time. No, seriously, every degree is a noticeable difference. Get above twenty degrees, to me it will feel like a crisp, fall day. Especially after all this. The first half-mile feels cold, then it stops. feeling that way. Face is flush, feet are warm. Kids are making chicken wings. Time for supper.

1970 Playlist
Mama Told Me Not To Come - Three Dog Night
The Man Who Sold The World - David Bowie
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours - Stevie Wonder
Up Around the Bend - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Spill the Wine - War ft. Eric Burdon

Thursday, January 08, 2015

I'm in at the deep freeze.


These days afford little time to run. I can deal with cold. What I cannot deal with are these terrible
sleep patterns. I am not tired, actually, surprisingly, but the evenings have been challenging, with diffuse, disparate family, work and personal responsibilities occupying my forebrain. Makes it difficult to consider braving the cold.

Just a few moments outside, walking in this weather, can be wearying. After a few hours out in it, walking streets bundled up, getting groceries and other errands, I found by the mid afternoon I was listless and spent, almost dazed. No, I do not wish to run. Except that I do, very much.

Temperature: 10°
Distance: 1.75 miles

Yes, that was it. Thank you. A short run in the sub-freezing temps, I burn like furnace.

1969 Playlist
Your Good Thing (Is About To End) - Lou Rawls
Grits Ain't Groceries (All Around the World) - Little Milton
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) - Simon & Garfunkel
Sally Simpson - The Who
Cold Turkey - John Lennon

This summer I be will directing some Shakespeare in the park. Last time, it was modern, corporate, everyone clinging smart phones. This time it will be 1970, collegiate and groovy.