Saturday, November 28, 2009

The World Is a Vampire

Another Sexy Boy Vampire Playlist
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
Bullet With Butterfly Wings - Smashing Pumpkins
Reckoner - Radiohead
Do You Want To - Franz Ferdinand
Brand New Colony - The Postal Service
The Sound of Settling - Death Cab for Cutie
Chelsea Dagger - The Fratellis
All I Need - Radiohead
Breakeven - The Script
Wake Up - Arcade Fire
No Surprises - Radiohead
Great DJ - The Ting Tings
Blue Light - Bloc Party
Mrs. Robinson (interlude) - Simon & Garfunkel
Walcott - Vampire Weekend

I think I figured out the Twilight Hate ... listening to today's playlist - which was generated by the GENIUS feature of iTunes - I realized that today's plump and balding Gen X-er's are hellapissed that vampires are no longer GOTH. I mean, vampires pre-existed Goth culture - Goth was an offspring of vampire culture, to be sure - but any mother can produce varied children. Today's "vampires" descend not from Peter Murphy and and Poopy Z. Brite, but from a different branch of the family tree.

From the bourgeois, from white trash, from America - not Europe. They are no longer pretentious. They are the kind of ordinary embraced by, well, Sarah Palin supporters. They aren't special. They are repressed. They are Puritan.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Distance: 6.15 miles
Temperature: 50º
Weather: cool and clear
Pavement: Uneven

A weekend at the rents, my brother and his family are in town from Minnesota. It's a big, small child weekend in Lakewood (missing the fifteen year-old in London whose birthday is today!) Took that lap around the west side of town ... West Side of Cleveland, that is, the run is the length of Lakewood and back, usually I go down Lake and Clifton, this time it was the other way 'round.

My right arm aches, I can only imagine it is from poor weight training. Every now and then I use it, but these day I mostly don't. In my imagination I do sit-ups, but in the real world, I don't. Josh told me about a study that indicated that thinking about exercise can actually be as effective as doing it. Well. Works for him (Ooh! That stings! Good night, Cleveland!)

Tomorrow, by the way, I will be performing on the stage of Severance Hall, playing Dvorak as we explain the origins of the New World Symphony. Come and check it out, it's fun.

Anyway, my arm hurts. I hope tonight's physical activity helps. Now back to eating like hell.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Top 10 Chunkiest Hits from The Decade Just Past

(2001) Weapon of Choice - Fatboy Slim
(2003) Toxic - Britney Spears
(2002) Work It - Missy Elliott
(2004) Chase Me - Hexastatic
(2008) Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) - Beyonce
(2000) Music - Madonna
(2009) The Fear - Lily Allen
(2005) Touch the Sky - Kanye West
(2007) Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) - MIKA
(2006) SexyBack - Justin Timberlake

Facebook Chat:
OATMAN: Any word?
PENGO: I got it.
PENGO: It is cool.
OATMAN: I'm working on a new play.
PENGO: What's this one about?
OATMAN: A three hundred pound black guy who runs a marathon.

(And then I laughed so hard I got a hernia.)

Distance: 5.15 miles
Temperature: 52º
Weather: rainy
Weight: 157.5 lbs.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Top 10 Dance Tracks from "The Last Ten Years" (Part 2)

(2001) Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Daft Punk
(2009) This Must Be The Place - Miles Fisher
(2003) Brand New Colony - The Postal Service
(2007) The Girls - Calvin Harris
(2000) Idioteque - Radiohead
(2005) Badass - The Crystal Method

I realized earlier this week that the media just gave up - this decade will have no name. And that's only proper, it was a kidney stone of a decade. But no one even attempted to come up with a name that would stick. There was chatter about it at the beginning of "The Decade" - will it be "The Ohs" or "The Naughts" or "The Nil Set" or what have you. But once that died down, nothing had been decided.

It's like that point in history when everyone was talking about the names of generations. And those who controlled the media at that time - Baby Boomers - came up with names for generations going back centuries. They weren't happy with naming cohorts of a certain genre or way of life - the Lost Generation, the Beat Generation - they were dead set on proscribing when these generations began and ended, and everyone fell into the same category (everyone white and middle-class, anyway) and called their parents the Greatest Generation, themselves re-branded as Boomers and lowly old us as Generation X.

And then, apparently ran out of ideas. (Gen Y? Gen Z? As the kids say, for real?) Or interest. Because it doesn't really hold up well.

So we have no name for this decade. As Top Ten Lists are created, they are sheepishly referred to as "The Top Ten Songs Of The Past Decade" or "Of The Last Ten Years" ignoring the fact that this is going to make it very difficult for lite contemporary stations to sell their playlists. Know how pop stations play the hits from "The 80s, the 90s ... and Today!" Next year they will be playing "The Hits from Today ... and yesterday!"

I heard some guys on the radio bickering about whether next year will be called "Two Thousand Ten" or "Twenty-Ten." Well, duh. People are going to call it both, and no one is going to be punched in the face for it.

I think my favorite turn of phrase was when someone referred to their upcoming season as the "Oh-Nine, Oh-Ten Season."

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 50º
Weather: cool & leafy
Weight: 159 lbs.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Top 10 Disco Songs from What Ever You Call This Decade (Part 1)

(2009) Bulletproof - La Roux
(2002) Breathe - Télépopmusik
(2004) No Expectations - I Am the World Trade Center
(2008) Paris Is Burning - Ladyhawke
(2006) Tracking Treasure Down - Gabriel & Dresden

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 53º
Weather: cool & dark
Weight: 161 lbs.

At the conclusion of three decades I have held - or attempted to hold - a commemorative theme party. Ten years ago we had what may very well be the last (adult) theme party we ever have, the 20th Century Revival Party.

Ten years before that was the 80s Revival Party, and I even tried to get our Christian Youth Group to turn the 1980 Halloween party into a 70s revival party, but none of the other 12 year-olds were into it.

But ... I mean, seriously, an 00s Revival Party? That's bleak, man.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Podrunner: 152 BPM - Sonorous

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 55º
Weather: cool & dark & perfect
Weight: 162 lbs.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Okay. So. At right you will see today's intake. High in fat, to be sure, carb heavy. But the portions have been controlled, and posting it there, at the top of the page, I have shamed myself into avoiding dropping down to the cornershop for M&Ms, Coke or Doritos. That's what I ate, and all I ate.

It's also made me keep a glass of water on my desk at all times (which I did not record.) I do not drink enough water. Right now I am enjoying Harris' Replenishing Elixir ... with a dose of pineapple juice and Grenadine to give it some flavor.

Great run. Shaking off the lethargy. My knees ache a little, though. It's getting cooler out.

Podrunner: 162 BPM - A Running Thread

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 51º
Weather: cool & dark & perfect
Weight: 159.5 lbs.

See? Mac and cheese for dinner and I still lost half a pound a weigh in. I must be doing something right.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Sunset across the Heights. A magnificent evening run. Listening to a favorite old running mix, it was as though old smells came back to me ... training for the marathon got me in touch with the urban outdoors like nothing ever has. It was musky, with leaves and earth and pavement and exhaust, and the air was clear and cool.

Listening to: Drive: N*ke+ Original Run - The Crystal Method

Apparently I have not run to this since July 07. It's like an old friend.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 58º
Weather: gorgeous
Scale says I'm 152 lbs., which is nice and all, but it's wrong.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Podrunner: 132 BPM - "EASYGOING"

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 54º
Weather: lovely
Weight: 161 lbs.

Unhappy morning. Attended a reading last night, went out with Brian for one beer and a chat. Had to stop by the grocery store, in bed by 12:30. This, after several days of getting up at 5 am to sub for one of our people. Late night, sleeping in, too warm, recipe for a headache, and I got one.

Thought a nice run would help, it often does. Didn't. Rather than allowing my mind to wander over writing ideas or other pleasantries I was obsessing over political argument and just being upset about the pain shooting down through my left eyeball every time my feet hit the pavement.

I need to begin recording my diet, publicly. Knowing that I have to write it down where anyone can see it might prevent me from stealing any more of my kids' Halloween candy or buying 99 cent bags of Doritos from the cornershop.

I was so proud of the weight I lost at the beginning of the year. But that's nothing to pat myself on the back about - I was on a physical therapy program for my knee, and suffering from self-imposed privation as a result of reassessing our finances (this before the wife started working again) which apparently we've gone back to not caring about.

But regardless of what I eat, this running once a week thing does not work. My legs ache, my muscles have slackened, and I generally feel tired, unhappy and listless.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


If you don't see it, I can't explain it to you.
To Some, Winner Is Not American Enough - NY Times 11/3/09

As soon as Mebrahtom Keflezighi, better known as Meb, won the New York City Marathon on Sunday, an uncommon sports dispute erupted online, fraught with racial and nationalistic components: Should Keflezighi’s triumph count as an American victory?

He was widely celebrated as the first American to win the New York race since 1982. Having immigrated to the United States at age 12, he is an American citizen and a product of American distance running programs at the youth, college and professional levels.

But, some said, because he was born in Eritrea, he is not really an American runner.
No, it is more important to cling to your fear and racist pride than to embrace a breath-taking national victory. There are those of us who say that suggesting the President was born in Kenya is racist hate-mongering. And there are those who say that to suggest such is racist hate-mongering. So which camp am I in if I say the "birther" story and this story are the same story?

If you are Black, you are not really American. That's the message folks. If it makes you sick, speak out.
It's telling that a story about a marathon runner reminds us that we still have a long, long way to go. - Rob Cottingham
"He is an American citizen thanks to taking a test and living in our country...Nothing against Keflezighi, but he's like a ringer who you hire to work a couple hours at your office so that you can win the executive softball league."
-- CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I love this record, baby.

You do not want to read this.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 46º
Weather: cool
Weight: 159.5 lbs.

I sh*t you not, I just took a dump and dropped a pound and a half. But come on, Pengo - pushing 160? This will not pass.

(drum fill)

Thank you.

This does not bode well for the holidays. There are already cookies on the front counter at work almost every day. Or chocolate-covered peanuts. Tomorrow there will be left over Halloween candy. I seriously have to get this under control.

On a different note ... this might be transparent to anyone paying attention, but all the whining about being a failure as a graphic artist in spite of my best intentions - especially since the resumption of my efforts in early 2007 - I have written four plays in that time ... which is four more plays than I had written in the previous five years.

Twilight Playlist
15 Step - Radiohead
Just Dance - Lady Gaga
4 Minutes - Madonna ft. Justin Timberlake
Full Moon - The Black Ghosts
Spotlight (Twilight Mix) - Mute Math
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
Go All The Way (Into the Twilight) - Perry Farrell
Mothership (176 bpm) - Kid Beyond

Yeah? So? Shut up.