Saturday, May 30, 2009

What I blah blah blah

I do not read enough. I think I read more than the average American, but I read far less than Americans who read.

When vacationing in Maine, I read a book, at least one book. That happens. I can remember titles, and when i remember titles, I usually remember years, and then I remember other things, that have nothing to do with the book, but were then tied with the book.

I read when sitting in the kids' room as they doze off to sleep. I have been reading the Schulz biography for months. A few pages at a time. This is not a good way to read,and its not that it is an uninteresting book, actually the opposite. If I say I have not had time recently, that would be almost true. What I mean is, I do not have the focus or concentration to dedicate to a book, I need those for something else.

Which is not how it is supposed to work, focusing on reading should help me focus on other things. But I am easily distracted. It's all the high fructose corn syrup.

I have returned to What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, which I never really started when I received it during the holidays. I will strive to give that a half-hour a night. If I could work in fifteen minutes of doodling a night, I might be onto something.

Write for an hour in the morning, relax with reading and drawing in the evening. Nice.

Now excuse me, I have to take a run.

Listening to: PODRUNNER Classic - Exultant (152 BPM)

Hey, cool. That one had a piece of Sydney by G&D in it. Knew I'd find them if I went back far enough.

And hey, something I'd forgetten ... Podrunner lets me think! Music with lyrics makes me concentrate on the lyrics! Man, how dumb is it I never figured that out before?

Geez, what a beautiful day.

Am I schizophrenic in here, or is it just us?

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 67º
Weather: warm & bright
Weight: 155 lbs.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Which photo makes you want to see this show?

Comp 1

Comp 2

Comp 3

Comp 4

Comp 5

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Random thought generator

Listening to: PODRUNNER Classic - Step Into Summer (130 BPM)

Serious people, if you are a runner, spinner, walker, whatever, I seriously hope you have taken time to check out Podrunner. For three years DJ Steveboy has been putting together incredible mixes for workouts.

I am still working my way up from the beginning, but I will reach 2009 eventually. I mean it.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 65º
Weather: cool, after the downpour
Weight: 154 lbs.

Hey, you know what I love about Cat's adaptations of the Breaking Point strips? She's makes Kael look like herself.

The other night we had some friends over for dinner, and I had occasion to ask what the best restaurant in Cleveland is these days.

The girl didn't miss a beat, she shouted out "Tommy's!" quickly followed by "Dewey's! The Chinese restaurant!"

That's my daughter's top three restaurants. I don't think I need to point out how proud I am the myriad eating places that were not on that list.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

There is nothing that can stop us!

Ladies and gentlemen ... 42 Playlists for 42 Years!

2009 Playlist

Rehab (162 bpm) - Glee Cast
In Step - Girl Talk
Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny) - A. R. Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls
Paris Is Burning - Ladyhawke
A Thing For Me - Metronomy
Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) - Beyonce
The Fear - Lily Allen
So What - Pink
The Start of Something - Voxtrot
Cooldown: Pony (It's OK) - Erin McCarley

A beautiful, cool morning. And since February 1 I have been looking forward to this day, through snow and rain and painful knees to complete 42 playlists. No idea what I will listen to now.

Distance: 3.95 miles
Temperature: 63º
Weather: cool & clear
Weight: ???

I HATE THIS (a graphic novel)

Product Details

Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse; Pap/Cdr edition (March 20, 2003)

Language: English
ISBN-10: 1563890119712345
ISBN-13: 978-156389011612345
Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.6 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: ****
Reviews 5 star: (5) 4 star: (0) 3 star: (0) 2 star: (0) 1 star: (1)
See all 6 customer reviews...
See all discussions...

3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews) Sales Rank: #1,925,619 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)

This graphic novel does for stillbirth what Harvey Pekar did for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma or Art Spiegelman did for the Holocaust.

- Charles McGrath, New York Times Book Review, 8/14/04

See: Pengo's Biography - a fictional work-in-progress.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Live fast ... cuz it won't last.

(How I Ran A Marathon In 26.2 Years)

Big Box performance photos
Thanks, Josh!

* Just a note to my lurkers who manage the NY Fringe - check out how important the screen is.

1979 Playlist

Tears of a Clown (166 bpm) - The Beat
Birdland (157 bpm) - The Manhattan Transfer
Ready for the '80s - The Village People
Die Young Stay Pretty - Blondie
Train In Vain - The Clash
Boys Don't Cry (169 bpm) - The Cure
Look Sharp! - Joe Jackson
Ring My Bell - Anita Ward
Cooldown: Does Your Mother Know? - ABBA

And with that, I am one playlist away from completing 42 Playlists for 42 Years.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 64º
Weather: bright & sunny
Weight: It's Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sometimes it's so easy

Tagline: It's 26.2 miles from East Oakland to anywhere they wanna go.

Nice trailer. I am going to be checking this movie out soon and I will tell you all about it.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 73º
Weather: sunny & cloudless
Weight: 154 lbs.

Some days, it just doesn't hurt. Maybe that will come. A band of tension around my left knee - I am not stretching enough. Some, not enough. Great day, though, I would have loved to stick it out for another two miles, but I need the rest.

Industrial film this morning, conducting a wedding tonight. Busy, busy, busy.

1989 Playlist

She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
Eye Know - De La Soul
Back To Life - Soul II Soul
Sowing The Seeds Of Love (170 bpm) - Tears For Fears
No Myth (Damascus Mix) - Michael Penn
Kinda I Want To - Nine Inch Nails
Imagination - Exotic Birds

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nothing's that simple

Ladies and Gentlemen - The A-List.

Five years ago, I Hate This was one of maybe two shows on the I-List on the website. However, what's really important is the printed program that gets scattered all over Lower Manhattan. That's alphabetical from beginning to end - and Sarah Morton's show 4 Minutes To Happy was right up there near the top (numerals being listed before letters.)

I did not have order in mind when giving this piece a title ... but hey!

Distance: 2 miles
Temperature: 62º
Weather: dawn
Weight: 155 lbs.

1969 Playlist
Come Closer Together - The Beatles vs. Nine Inch Nails
I'm Free - The Who
Everybody's Talkin' - Harry Nilsson
Baseball Theme (166 bpm) - Vince Guaraldi
Chelsea Morning - Joni Mitchell
All Together Now - The Beatles
Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) - Peter Sarstedt

Wow, I never imagined a playlist from the 60s would be so enjoyable to run to. Seriously, that was a perfect dawntime set.

I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. My knee hurts for a few days, and then it lets up for a while. Twice in the past five years I have had my running regimen derailed at the beginning of summer when running in the early morning and late evening are the most convenient and enjoyable. Two years ago I broke my heel in an accident, and last year it was my knee.

I have resumed proper workouts, more or less. I have to return to a wise diet - it's okay to gain a few pounds, its where I get them that matters. Usually when I dip this low I get used to eating whatever I want, which lasts for about a month and then I can't stop eating and I start back up again.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I might not last the day

Wow. Am I tired. And booked. That's why I am running anyway. Busy, busy week - auditions, interviews, evaluations, peer reviews, just your basic end-of-the-school year stuff.

And our registration materials have been received. We can start in on marketing business. Thank you, Josh, Brian & Bubbles! God, it helps to have literate friends.

WARNING: Jeff Goldblum.

1999 Playlist
Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) - The Offspring
Dimes Make Dollars - Lilys
Smooth - Santana
Theme from Futurama - Danny Elfman
A Tale - Cirque du Soleil
Thank You (160 bpm) - Dido
Temperamental - Everything But the Girl
I Want You to Want Me - Letters to Cleo
Honey - Moby
Jumbo - Underworld

Distance: 3.5 miles
Temperature: 69º
Weather: night
Weight: 156.5 lbs. (Oops.)

No, I did not run the Cleveland - but the boy (whose 4th birthday was yesterday) is taking a drumming class, and his teacher, Chris, called the night before to invite him to play drums by the tennis courts off MLK and 105th from 9 - 10 am. So we went.

The boy was the only of Chris's child students to come - and even then the boy refused to play anything. However, Chris also teaches physically and mentally challenged persons to play, and two of those students were there, and I picked up a djembe and we had an hour long drum session while the boy happily watched all the runners go by (the 3 hour through 4 hour participants.)

Damn. My knee has been hurting. Same knee, same place. Worrying, very worrying.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I want to do something that matters

Edit the blurb! I need to have a punchy, accurate, 40-word description of the show. At right is the current revision, I need to trim four words.

(Oh, and please feel free to re-write the entire thing.)

Welcome Sabrina - our Authorized Company Representative!
Every show at the Fringe requires one person in the company who is not involved with the actual performing of the show - can't be an actor, stage manager, what have you - to represent the company during a performance. You know, in case of emergency or other issues the participants can't deal with right then.

But ACR's do have other responsibilities as well. Last time Brian P. was our ACR, and while he handled absolutely everything with aplomb, there were a couple of issues regarding the performance site and other issues which may have been better handled by having someone in New York City to deal with them. Live and learn.

Sabrina is a professional theater artist, and was even a member of the ANGST:84 company, way back in the dewy mists of time.

1994 Playlist
(Only five years to go...)
I Do Not Want This - Nine Inch Nails
Loser (171 BPM) - Beck
Sure Shot/Sabotage (167 BPM) - The Beastie Boys
Supernova - Liz Phair
Metropolis - Alloy Orchestra
Gel - Collective Soul
Locked Out - Crowed House

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 47º
Weather: sunny
Weight: 155 lbs.

No, I did not run the Cleveland Marathon this morning. Are you nuts? It's cold out. Besides, I saw the route. It's not really the Cleveland Marathon this year, it's the Don't Look At That, Look Over Here At Lakewood! Marathon.

It amuses me that while combating the Denebian slime devil, James T. Kirk had this song playing in the soundtrack of youthful memory.

But then, he doesn't say "sabotage." He says "sobataghe."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I feel like I win when I lose

Spent pre-dawn writing, editing the script. It was a little frustrating, I don't seem to have any progression to my drafts, every copy (on paper, on my computer) has more recent edits that others do not. I intended to get the finished performance version down before I forgot it, I do have them on video but I didn't want to watch myself on t.v. this morning.

There were also places where I knew I needed to cut, even if I hadn't performed that way in January.

Original word count: 12,535
Last pre-performance word count: 11,446
Present word count: 11,245

Two hundred words is not much, but it's a good start.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 63º
Weather: rain
Weight: 153 lbs.

1974 Playlist

Killer Queen - Queen
Lady Marmalade - LaBelle
Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo - Rick Derringer
Doctor Who Theme - BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Verb: That's What's Happening - Zachary Sanders
Promised Land - Elvis Presley
Waterloo - ABBA
Aguas De Marco - Elís Regina & Antonio Carlos Jobim
You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet - Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Still putting together the application materials ... they must be postmarked by Friday (May 15.) Kelly has the unenviable responsibility of trying to second guess where we may eventually have our show produced, and create priorities for what we would most want to be provided vs. what we can provide ourselves.

Will I get to run circles around the audience? Probably not - is that as important as having a venue which provides its own projection system? No, not even close. But these things need to be decided upon, recorded and sent in.

New (to me) this year are marketing "Speed Dates" where their people help us brush up our promo mats before we submit them. Now THAT'S extremely generous, helpful and a step up from previous experiences with any festivals.

People in town get face-to-face encounters, the rest of us get "virtual" dates online. I sent in my pre-existing blurb, the one I used for CPT:

What races through a man's mind as he runs for his life? Hit the road in this comic and revealing solo piece about a cartoonist's pursuit of the finish line in the Big Race - dashing through relationships, hurdling over heartbreak, and making his way through the Five Boroughs in a record quarter of a century...and time is running out.

I wasn't expecting to hear back so fast, but I did within the hour, and not only did I get reassurance that we'd have our date after this weekend's live interviews are over, this blurb already got a once over, pointing up repetition (runs for his life vs. time is running out) info that will already be incorporated into the listing as part of its classification (i.e., solo performance, comedy) and gave me this:

What races through a man's mind? Hit the road with cartoonist (ENTER CHARACTER NAME HERE) in pursuit of the finish line - dashing through relationships, hurdling over heartbreak, and making his way through the Five Boroughs in a record quarter of a century...and time is running out.

I am impressed!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Take me out of this messed up world

Good news ... Josh updated the ATYD promo video:

Bad news ... my cat died. He was an 18 year-old cat, he had been struggling with failing kidneys for what seems like ages now. He's soiled carpets, spent evenings yowling me awake ... but this weekend he truly took a turn. He stopped eating or drinking entirely, wasn't using the cat box (or any other part of the house) and he was getting very wobbly. Last night the wife and I took turn sitting up with him.

My wife stayed home today to work and look after the kitty. We held him non-stop for the better part of the past two days, finally she just let him sit outside in the sun. He liked that. He always wanted to be an outdoor cat. I wish I had let him be one.

We took him to the vet at the end of the workday today. It was a testament to his illness that being there didn't send him entirely around the bend. I was afraid the doctor would suggest interventions, which I would feel cruel refusing - knowing full well that interventions would make the boy miserable beyond belief - but the doctor said his body was shutting down. We "put him to sleep."

I am surprised at how much I cried, and how I did not want to leave him. Honestly, I think there was alot more going on there than one dead cat.

I got that boy when I was only 22 years old. I've buried an infant since then. The Great Speaker for the Bereaved, but I still don't get it and I'm terrified. I'm afraid of my own demise, but the death of those around me has me far more scared.

2004 Playlist

Call On Me (Eric Prydz vs Retarded Funk Mix) - Eric Prydz
Broken Glass - The Crystal Method
Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
Rocket Ride (160 BPM) - Felix da Housecat
Air - Owls
Future Sighting - I Am The World Trade Center
Beware - Punjabi MC ft. Jay-Z

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 57º
Weight: 154.5 lbs.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Been running so hard when what I need is to unwind

A lot of anxiety today. The day started well enough, Mother's Day, special breakfast, squirrely children. But I have a number of things that have just mounded up on my heart ... rude neighbors, a number of difficult communications I am trapped in middle of (can I be more vague than that?) lack of social grace and just a general sense of I am f*cking up.

What else to do ... but run?

A LITTLE LATER: The girl asked to go running with me. We took a short run up and down the street. It doesn't get much better than that.

1984 Playlist
This Charming Man - The Smiths
High Energy - Evelyn Thomas
Head Over Heels (157 BPM) - The Go-Go's
You Might Think - The Cars
My Ever Changing Moods (12" Version) - The Style Council
I'm Free (Heaven Helps The Man) (160 BPM) - Kenny Loggins
Don't Box Me In (160 BPM) - Stewart Copeland ft. Stan Ridgeway

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 50º
Weight: 153 lbs.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Running away from what you don't understand

Yes, my friends. We WILL be taking AND THEN YOU DIE (HOW I RAN A MARATHON 26.2 YEARS) to the NY Fringe!

Step one: Clearing it with work.
Step two: Raising the $550 application fee - which was accomplished in a mere three days.
Step three: Everything else.

I will keep a running (get it?) tally of funds that are raised and exactly how they will be spent. Money raised in the past three days covers not only the application fee, but the better part of the cost of 2,500 flyers that will be distributed over Lower Manhattan, by hand, by us, during the Fringe.


1991 Playlist

Rusted Pipe - DNA ft. Suzanne Vega
International Bright Young Thing - Jesus Jones
Losing My Religion - R.E.M.
Mysterious Ways - U2
I Wanna Sex You Up - Color Me Badd
Kiss Them For Me - Siouxsie & the Banshees
Breaking the Girl (179 BPM) - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Cooldown: Twin Cities (The Green Plains A Capella Mix) - Everything But the Girl

Watched the show today, the Big Box production. Opening night. Man, they laughed at everything that night (thank you Brian, Kristy and yes, my stage manager) I am glad I had two more performances to find out what an audience who doesn't laugh at everything is like.

That's a lot of words. And action. From the moment I began physical therapy until the show I was doing weight bearing exercises almost every day. Uh, yeah. Didn't keep that up. I seriously have to do more than run to re-tackle this show.

Jesus Christ, I feel tired right now.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 66º
Weight: 151.5 lbs.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mellow as the month of May

WOW! My friends are incredible! In the past 24 hours I have received more than half of the donations necessary to cover our admission to the New York Fringe. I need to throw a party or something. And write thank you notes.

If you have never been to the New York Fringe, it's a trip. The last time I participated was in 2004 - see my FringeNYC 2004 Diary. It has its ups and downs, performing in New York is by no means a guarantee of success ... at least, not obvious success. Not right away.

There is an awful lot to do in preparation, not least of which is going back over the script, changing the bits I meant to change, and staying in shape in all ways physical and mental. The mental part is harder.

1971 Run
I Feel The Earth Move/Smackwater Jack - Carole King
Meet Me On The Corner - Lindisfarne
Devil's Answer - Atomic Rooster
Oh Yoko * - John Lennon
Baba O-Reilly - The Who
Roundabout - Yes

Quiz: Which song on today's playlist features a convicted murderer singing back-up?

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 60º
Weight: 151.5 lbs.

Naked in New York

I got accepted in the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival!

And I need to raise $550 by May 15!

Hit the DONATE button - please!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

So hot right now

Since I first began 1) being skinny and 2) working on my feet all day (this was back in 2001) I started developing a recurrent muscle pain in my back, just inside my right shoulder blade. It is a constant area of tension.

In addition, and this part is weirder, I will occasionally have a sharp pain in the muscles of my abdomen, a small pain, a "spot" pain, just below the ribcage, off-center right. I believe I am a man entirely out of balance.

Bad news, of a sort. I let the May 1st deadline go by without signing up for the 09 NY Marathon. That is all right, it is actually a relief not having that also clamoring for attention inside my head. As it is I am up at 5 am for a Sunday morning run, and I am pleased this is by choice, and not by compulsion or schedule.

In other news, I may be headed to New York this summer, anyway. Stay tuned.

2001 Playlist
Samba Da Benção (4 Hero Remix) - Bebel Gilberto
This Charming Man - Stars
Start the Commotion - Wiseguys
August Day Song (Château Flight Mix) - Bebel Gilberto
Crescendolls - Daft Punk
Get the Party Started - P!nk
Lucky and Unhappy - AIR
Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box - Radiohead

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 48º
Weight: 151.5 lbs.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Too tired for having fun

1981 Playlist (12 years to go ...)
Working In A Coalmine * - Devo
Under Pressure - David Bowie & Queen
My Own Way (Night Version) - Duran Duran
Super Freak - Rick James
Just Can't Get Enough - Depeche Mode
Demolition Man - The Police

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 64º
Weight: 153.5 lbs.