Monday, December 27, 2010


No, I have not run since Thanksgiving weekend. There has been absolutely no exercise going on here. I do not weight any more than I did (holding steady at 167 lbs.) but I have changed shape. I have had daytime fantasies about doing a push-up, but it's always when I am walking from one place to another, when I am in a relatively private place and not in motion, it never occurs to me.

I need to drop in the middle of the hall in the Bulkley Building and give a good twenty crunches. Everyone would love to see that.

There are good reasons - actual, true, non-pathetic excuse good reasons not have run during large parts of the last month. I have been ill. Maybe you do not wish to read any further, but it is running and general health related. Previous I had a battle with extreme and entrenched Plantar warts, which grew all out of proportion and threatened to take over the world. I actually ran the 2006 NY Marathon with a mosaic on my instep and a smaller one on my big toe. The things we do for love.

With the assistance of talented doctors (unlike that quack who used to be my GP and tortured me when I first asked for her help in this matter) they were vanquished in 2008. I have actually blogged about that.

Recently however, I found a new on on the pad of my right foot (same foot! same, poor foot!) and decided that, rather than ignoring it as I had done with the previous incarnation, I would take matters into my own hands and treat it vigorously with medication left over from the previous skirmish.

Sorry for all the war metaphors. It is the only fighting I do. Me against skin viruses.

However, this time I was defeated by the medication. FORMALAZ is simply a solution of formaldehyde. And after a few weeks of successful treatment, one evening my foot blew up like a balloon. My left, too, puffed up and I could not sit up or walk. I was put on a series of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs and told not to exercise for a while. So I didn't.

It is possible this story has a happy ending - the wart may be gone. I am not sure, it's a wait-and-see game. But it is no longer an excuse not to be running.

Also, I have been writing. Actual writing, the first draft of the new script is largely intact, if not complete. Time I spend in the early evening or early morning is spent with children, being Christmassy, washing dishes, making excellent meals, being homebound and happy.

And again, there no longer exists a compulsion to move. My serotonins are successfully entering my neurons. I am without crippling anxiety.

However, this must stop. It is not healthy for me to be sedentary. I do not fit comfortably into my jeans - this has more to do with shape than weight. But weight is an issue. I have a target of 155 and intend to hit it by April 7 - if that is the opening date of my solo performances, though it may change, we haven't gotten final word on that.

A new year approaches. I want to join a gym and do running indoors, I think that may be a motivating factor. Resuming the outreach tour always makes me drop a few pounds. And once the holidays pass there will be more time.

Ha ha, that was a little joke. There is never more time.

But I am optimistic for 2011. How could I not be? The past year has been an emotional challenge, a professional challenge, a personal challenge, and a global challenge. I am pissed off and thrilled and confident and boy am I busy. And I like busy.

I also like running. I should do something about that.

What was I talking about?

Friday, November 26, 2010

I used to feel super

I have this bug, I think. It laid my wife out for a week last week. I do not feel ill, not too ill ... but I do have a low grade nausea from time to time, this has been going on for several days. And when I eat, I do not need to eat too much to blow up like a balloon.

Thanksgiving we drank too much. Yes, we did. But the eating was under control, just a modest plate. Which made me blow up like a balloon. The night was seriously unpleasant.

There were a lot of people in the house yesterday, getting away for a run would have been rude, so it was just as well that it rained, non-stop, every second of the day. This morning, though surprisingly cold, was bright and gorgeous.

I was geared for it, and set out along the bike path with nostalgia music in my ears. Soon enough it became apparent that the cold was not going to be any issue. My abdomen, however, would be.

I had had a piece of bacon for breakfast, and three silver dollar pancakes. Normal stuff. I had had my coffee. But absolutely anything makes me feel huge. But my stomach muscles remain in decent shape. Nothing approaching six-pack territory, but there is muscle. It was pissing my physician off last week when I had my physical exam, she kept trying to poke and prod and kept demanding I relax. "I know you have this runner's stomach," she'd say, "but give me a break." Runner's STomach I like that.

However, though I have used "sausage casing" as a metaphor far too many times in this blog, to describe numerous points of expansion, the feeling of this expanding stomach held in by muscles working during the act of running ... it was exhausting and made me short of breath. Unpleasant. But not unpleasant enough. There was no one on the path (well, one or two others) bright, beautiful, autumn colors on the hills, waiting geese. It was lovely.

Ohio University Nostalgia Mix
No Myth (Damascus Mix) Michael Penn
Flute Interlude - Duran Duran
The Sweetest Taboo - Sade
That's Really Super, Supergirl - XTC
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
Pet Sematary - The Ramones
Oxford Street - Everything But the Girl
Garden of Earthly Delights - XTC
I Want Your Sex - George Michael
The Gas Face - 3rd Bass

Distance: 4.25 miles
Weather: cold & sunny

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My head is full of space junk

Eleven days since my last run. I have developed kinks in both knees, and a hip. Entropy, man, get a clue. The good news is the ideas are coming, the words flow, I am motivated, inspired and it feels good to be alive. The bad news is ... well, you can see what the bad news is.

I had my first complete physical exam last in four years. I am in excellent shape. My blood work is awesome, my cholesterol is very good, my weight, good, ekg, lungs, musculature inside and out, I am in fine shape. Could use more Vitamin D, but my wife says that's what everyone is saying these days.

Recent Acquisitions Playlist

Space Junk '97 - Wang Chung
Teenage Dream - Katy Perry
Sympathy For The Devil - The Rolling Stones
Get It Get It - Girl Talk
Come (Live) - Queue Up
Zombie Nation (Dave Clarke Remix) - Kernkraft 400

WARNING: Horse-eating Zombies

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 61º
Weather: cool & lovely
Weight: 166 lbs.

One hundred and sixty-six pounds? How does he do it! It's simple really - I eat anything. Anything at all. And we're in holiday season. The office will have a new basket of cookies, chocolate from the guys who publish our programs, there will be pleasant odors coming from everywhere. Can I resist? Will I exercise more? Who knows! Stay tuned and find out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bleeding forehead

Wow. Wow. I did not want to do that. I have never wanted so badly not to do something that I went ahead and did anyway. I really did not want to run today. Thought I did, but motivating myself to actually do it, that was nearly impossible. In theory, great! Let's run! In reality, really? Do I have to?

Huh. Kind of like writing.


Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 52º
Weather: cool & bright
Weight: 162.5 lbs.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Witness the fitness

Good luck to my brothers and sisters running the NYC Marathon this weekend!

(And to the wife, who is going to see Paul Weller at the Apollo.)

Yes, my wife is flying into New York on a huge travel weekend to the City. Am I nervous? You bet. But it's Paul Weller. At the Apollo. I did not want to stand in the way of that.

At least, not when I thought she would be driving there.

A Beautiful Mine Genius Mix
A Beautiful Mine - RDJ2
Witness (1 Hope) - Roots Manuva
Bring The Noise - Public Enemy
Hip Hip Hooray - Naughty By Nature
The Rain - K-OS
Fit But You Know It - The Streets
Me Myself And I - De La Soul

The Big Question: Will I apply for NYC 2011? I suggested on the day after the big race in 2006 that I might want to try again in five years. I even had two aborted attempts in 2008 and 2009 to get back. Should I apply? I do not forget how difficult training was. And that was with an infant and a three year-old. The demands today are greater, not less.

But this is all about me, right? I mean, any marathon has to be.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 39º
Weather: wet and yes, a tiny bit of snow
Weight: 164 lbs.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Tonight out on the streets

The good news ... medication allows me to write. I have written more in the past month than in the past year. I have more patience. I have not been depressed, not seriously, not worth mentioning, in some time.

The bad news is I do not want to run.

I do run, I have run, and when I get out I enjoy running. But I have finally noticed that I have ceased to obsess about running, to plan running, and to get depressed when I am not running.

I am amazed, following the almost non-stop sugarfest of the past several days that I have not gained five pounds. But my belly has gone slack, I can feel that tingling sensation in my thighs ... when I ran this evening, my lower back began to seize up.

The weather may have had something to do with this. But it was lovely last week. The fact is, it is difficult to run and have time for other things. It is almost 11 pm now. And I want to do some playwriting. That makes for a late night.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 43º
Weather: very cool
Weight: 163.5 lbs.

Most Played Songs On My iTunes
This Must Be The Place - Miles Fisher
Mothership - Kid Beyond
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa - Vampire Weekend
Oxford Comma - Vampire Weekend
15 Step - Radiohead
Tigerlily - La Roux
Tracking Treasure Down (Gabriel & Dresden Club Mix) - Gabriel & Dresden

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Radio ON!

I have been ... sleepy. Wistful. Calm. At peace. Tired. I yawn a lot. I go to bed at a reasonable hour. I am no longer compelled to stay up as late as possible. I have been writing. I focus. I accomplish.

Unless it involves running. It has been cool in the mornings ... except the last few days when it has been blissful. And still, getting out of bed before 6 am is simply not an option. Or seven on weekends. And by the end of the night, I am done.

And of course, tonight, as I step out ... it begins to rain.

But really, two weeks? Where am I? Where have I been? And I felt this lack of action. In my right knee two days ago. In my left knee yesterday. In my ankle this evening. Now that I have finally broken the spell and pushed it for five miles, it burns. BURNS. Burns good.

Distance: 5.15 miles
Temperature: 74º
Weather: well ... rain
Weight: 161.5 lbs.
Time to retire those tapes. Sony has said that it's stopping production of the Walkman, due to lackluster sales of the outdated music player ... (more)
Well. I mean, it won't be missed. Strange to think it was released in 1979 - thirty-one years ago? Really?

I used to run with a so-called "sport" Walkman in the mid-90s. I would need to re-adjust the earphones every few steps and had to wrap the cord around my hand ... you had to hold it, you see, there was a belt clip, but I mean, who runs wearing a belt? And they had a fannypack strap which, I mean, I said it, right there ... that word. That should be enough.

But still. For walking. Strutting. Dancing with yourself. Staring at the ocean. Lying in a hammock. It was like having an additional sense. It was a teleportation device. I'm not sure I could describe it to someone who grew up always having it, man. It was a revolution.


Cherry Bomb Genius Mix
Cherry Bomb - Joan Jett
TKO - Le Tigre
Do You Wanna Dance? - The Ramones
Accidents Never Happen - Blondie
Rock Me Tonight - Billy Squier
Cretin Hop - The Ramones
Trash - New York Dolls
Christine Sixteen - KISS
Let's Do It - Joan Jett & Paul Westerberg
Fake Friends - Joan Jett
Light of Day (161 bpm) - Joan Jett
Dream Police - Cheap Trick
Roadrunner - Joan Jett

Chicks with mics. Yes, last night we watched The Runaways. My wife wants to start and all-girl rockabilly band. And she loves Joan Jett. I am not making excuses, I wanted to watch it, too. Perfect date movie.

Seriously, however - Kristen Stewart, this is for you, honey.

SNAP OUT OF IT. Cut the dose. Wake the fuck up.

Okay, I'm done.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's not about how you do it, but why you do it.

A deer, waiting for me in my front yard.

What a beautiful weekend for running. Shame I didn't do any running in it.

This weekend was an unhappy bitch. The headache began creeping up shortly after I woke on Saturday. I'd had one beer the night before. For that matter, the last beer I'd had was the previous Saturday. Two beers in two weeks. But I got to bed after eleven (there was a sleepover going on at my house) woke at 1:30 with an unhappy child who I had to sit up with for a half hour. Then all the children were awake by six.

How many hours of sleep is that? Who knows. I should have gone running. Instead, I made pancakes.

The wife afforded me a few small naps to catch up, that and pain reliever did better work than it should have. But I missed the kids' soccer games, on what may have been the last best day of the fall. So it goes.

Podrunner: Ballistic (149 bpm)

Saw a show at CPT this weekend. They are seriously pushing video as an element of every production. This is also true of convergence-continuum. Must include video. My shows have video ... but I feel pressured to include MORE video.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 60º
Weather: just great
Weight: 163.5 lbs.

It's very simple. When at some child's birthday party, there is no excuse for eating the food. Don't eat the food at a kids' birthday party. And no cake, seriously. Do not eat the cake.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sweet spot

If I hadn't left my wristwatch next to the bed, I might still be in it right now. Given the option to get up at 5 or sleep until six (having gone to bed at the proper hour of ten o'clock) all I could think of was 1) warm in here 2) cold out there and 3) I didn't sleep much this summer, did I?

Tick ... tick ... tick ... tick ...

So I got up. Because I can't deal with that. And blessed be that I did.

Podrunner: Activator (159 bpm)

Well done, sir. Check that one out, loving the horns at the start but it goes some incredible places. And 159? I can do that for hours, rock steady.

Going without lyrics frees my mind, and I make connections that I do not with songs. And besides, I have heard all of the songs. The past two nights I have been doing something really weird. I have been writing.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 54º
Weather: light, refreshing rain. delicious.
Weight: 162.5 lbs.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Watching the wildlife

Running Euclid Heights Blvd. at 5.30 am is all start and stop as skunks rise up and wobble across the sidewalk - it's like playing Frogger. Raccoon on Monticello. Deer on Compton. My crepuscular friends.

Podrunner: Under The Sun (179 bpm)

My head has normalized, so much so that the lack of apparent weirdness left me feeling listless and depressed. That and homegirl Valerie Mayen got auf'ed. I do yawn an awful lot, all day and whereas I usually sat up nights staring at Facebook and not going to sleep, well, now I go to sleep. And if I have the chance I stay there. Deep sleep. I have never been a deep sleeper. Right now, I am.

A scene has formed, in my head. A year's worth of reading and research is beginning to pay off. Yes! I have ideas. I need to write them down.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 50º
Weather: beautiful and cool
Weight: 161.5 lbs.

Headed off to shoot a piece for Kill Will this morning. I get to be in Kill Will!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back to life. Back to reality.

Monday continued as these days have ... strangely. I was mostly calm, though by 5 pm I was terribly sleepy. I did see a 45 minute performance that evening during which I was remarkably non-fidgety.

Tuesday morning was laconic, no problem, no stress. It felt as though I was in a haze most of the day though I was functioning appropriately. Ask the people I interacted with, they can tell better than I. That evening I attended a dinner party where I was self-consciously low-key, I just did not have too much too offer and lack confidence in the little I did say. For another evening, in spite of its availability, I avoided alcohol.

Today I should have gotten up for a run, but I have been very tired and thought I could use the extra hour. I did need to extra hour - and more than that, but oh well. During the day I felt more like myself than I have in a week.

Tonight, however, the stars came into alignment. And off I went.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 63º
Weather: awesome
Weight: 163 lbs.

I Like To Move It Genius Mix

Get Ready For This - 2 Unlimited
Connected - Stereo MC's
Disco Inferno - The Trammps
All That She Wants - Ace of Base
Back To Life - Soul II Soul
Missing - Everything But The Girl

Goodness. I could have kept going. Cool, refreshing evening and nothing hurt (until now, little twinge in my left knee.) Seriously, this medication is not supposed to be in full effect for a month. Placebo effect, right? Or maybe I have just gotten over a mild bug. But I feel pretty all right. And now I don't need to get up early.

Monday, September 27, 2010

You can't break me, 'cause I'm already this way

Socked with another terrible headache yesterday, this time on the left side of my sinuses. This is distressing because I am trying to judge the effect of this new medication and it comes exactly at the change of season - when I traditionally get killer migraines.

I felt it coming on when I woke up. I do not believe 8.30 is sleeping in, and this never happened over the summer when I would occasionally get some extra sleep, only when the weather cools.

40 degrees. Jacket weather. Downing a "Jet Blackberry" GU I found in my kit box. Doesn't expire for a year but it seemed more appealing to me this morning than a banana.

Until I ate it.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 40º
Weather: awesome
Weight: 163.5 lbs.

A second piece of quiche? No, thanks. A beer? That's okay, I'll just drink this. Mn, no popcorn, not tonight. Let's see how long I can keep this up.

Future Sightings Genius Mix

Future Sightings - I Am The World Trade Center
Brakhage - Stereolab
Watch The Tapes (153 bpm) - LCD Soundsystem
Divorce Song - Liz Phair
Girl and the Sea - The Presets
No Expectations - I Am The World Trade Center
Ticker-Tape of the Unconscious - Stereolab

Ah, the skunks of Cleveland Heights. Okay, I am just waiting for a knee to blow out. Really. Because one must, right? Could be either one. I have no idea what is going on inside of me. I guess there is not much to be done about it except to keep on until injury, and keep taking omega-3s, being kind to myself, etc.

A lot of talk this weekend at the censorship symposium at CPT about my shows this Spring. At least, a lot of talk in my vicinity. Really, can I see a show at CPT without Raymond calling me by name - twice - from the stage? (Am I complaining? Of course not.) But I did get to sell the piece to a number of people.

Now I need to work on it. Actually technical work, of any kind, is on hold until KILL WILL goes up ... my entire crew is working on that. But though I have the edits in my head, I have not spent much time actually making them. I get some writing time this Sunday, if I can focus I could dedicate that time solely to these pieces.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm never gonna stop 'til the sun comes up

Thursday was a nightmare. My car does not have air conditioning, and sometimes driving across town (just to work and home - 25 minutes) can leave me exhausted, dehydrated, and sunblind Even gulping a large bottle of water and wearing sunglasses.

I was having migraine symptoms before visiting my physician and obtaining the new medication. But I began it that evening, and was socked with a criminal stab to the face. It was as though my right sinus were closed and my right eye was receiving a terrible, shooting pain.

Yesterday, day two of medication, was spent with my son at home. He had a fever which was occasionally spiking, and I was the victim of a surprisingly tenacious migraine-hangover. By evening things had leveled off, and I felt mostly normal by bedtime. It remains to be seen whether the medication had anything to do with this ordeal.

I have had no alcohol since Tuesday, opting instead to reach for the kettle. This morning I have already had a large glass of water, and coffee, and a slice of bread with sunbutter on it. Now for a lovely run ... right?

PODRUNNER: Sunchaser (169 bpm)

That is an amazing sunrise mix, sir. I will be using that again soon.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 62º
Weather: perfect
Weight: 166 lbs.

Bad things currently in my house: ice cream and potato chips. It doesn't matter if I cut the extra calories in beer if I find them somewhere else. The doctor warned me this new medication may cause weight gain - though not nearly as much as previous versions of same.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Get away from the bar. Tell your boyfriend hold your jar.

Welcome to Fall. Next up: Anti-depressants.

Lamppost at the end of the street burned out again. Two years on a bulb? That really ... sucks. The area around my house is terribly dark when that happens.

Watch this. Everyone else has:

2010 Summer In Review Run
We No Speak Americano - Yolanda Be Cool + DCUP
Dance Wiv Me - Dizzee Rascal ft. Calvin Harris
Song For No One - Miike Snow
Sunrise - Simply Red
Animal - Miike Snow
Sexy Bitch - David Guetta ft. Akon
Fireflies (179 bpm) - Owl City

179 bpm? One of these days and it won't be long they are so totally finding me collapsed in the gutter.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 83º
Weather: breezy
Weight: 165 lbs.

Really? Really, 83º?

Really? Really, 165 lbs.?

Resolved - no beer on weekdays. Seriously. We're out, anyway, and I can use the extra cash. Plus, reintroduce the concept of the sit-up. I would like to fit back into my new pants without any puckering.

Regardless, I need new running shirts. These are all almost five years old.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Garbage scow

What is challenging to me about keeping a running blog is that I usually forget whatever it is I was thinking about on the run. It seemed real important at the time.

I have not run in over ten days. I feel my knees ache. The night before I felt tingling n my thigh (not the good kind, the bad kind.) There have been times when i have considered running and thought - what a terrible waste of time.

There has not been time. There has been a lot of work, at work and at home. Special events to celebrate, and trips to the emergency room for my wife (she is, we believe fine.)

Last night I needed to go from my neighbor's house back to my house after dropping off their kid. I ran, for a few yards. It was like being transported to another place. I place where I move through the air, instead of merely wandering through it. Energy was different. It felt good.

I will go now and feel that again. It is the best time of year from running. I shouldn't miss this, it doesn't last very long.

PODRUNNER: Restless (139 bpm)

Thank you, Mr. DJ, for getting me back on my feet. Again.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 53º
Weather: breezy
Weight: 165 lbs.

Yes. 165 pounds. A shame. My mouth is a garbage scow. This cannot stand.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

You must have heard the cautionary tale

The boy starts kindergarten today. The girl has a new pair of twinkle shoes.

Yesterday I took advantage of a big sale at Fabulous Footwear and bought not one - two pairs of dress shoes. They are perhaps the dress shoes I have ever bough that fit. I have always bought shoes that are too small for some reason ... and then there's the fact that my feet have expanded a half size since I began running regularly.

Cleveland Rocks Genius Mix
Cleveland Rocks - Ian Hunter
A Million Miles Away (158 bpm) - The Plimsouls
Face the Face - Pete Townshend
Five O'Clock World - The Vogues
Light of Day (161 bpm) - Joan Jett
Someday, Someway (153 bpm) - Marshall Crenshaw
He Can't Love You - Michael Stanley Band
Sausalito Summernight - Diesel

My. That is a Cleveland playlist.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 69º
Weather: breezy

Sunday, September 05, 2010

If I start acting stupid I'll shoot myself

Spent the night at my parents house, reading Howard the Duck comic books until past midnight, then got up for a morning run listening to songs from 1976. The goal is to write the first draft of an entire play by seven o'clock tonight. I need to get back to that.

Hilarious. Trapped on deadline, needing to produce a new monthly issue after collaborating on the "annual" (extra) issue of the title in question, as well as insisting on doing his own writing for at the daily comic strip that had just begun running in several cities (including Cleveland) among other responsibilities, Steve Gerber interrupted the storyline to provide a writer's block/exhaustion-inspired treatise called "The Zen and Art of Comic Book Writing" for Howard the Duck #16. It is entirely typewritten prose, describing the author's relationship to writing and other forms of mental illness, and is illustrated with previously published drawings.

This audacious affront went on to be nominated for an Eagle Award. Reminds me of my own life.

Bicentennial Playlist
I Wish - Stevie Wonder
Dancing Queen - ABBA
Silly Love Songs - Wings
Pasties and a G-String (159 bpm) - Tom Waits
Judy Is a Punk - The Ramones
Livin' Thing - Electric Light Orchestra
Fernando - ABBA
Let's Dance - The Ramones
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead - Warren Zevon
Rich Girl (165 bpm) - Hall & Oates
Blinded By The Light - Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Crazy On You - Heart
Hot Line - The Sylvers

Music is indeed inspiring. Lakewood, not so much.

Distance: 6.15 miles
Temperature: 60º
Weather: cool and bright

Friday, September 03, 2010

I'm feeling good, you know I'm gonna work it on out

How are two in a couple caught in a bout of insomnia at once? Several times last night I found myself lying awake, going over ... God, I cannot even remember what. May have had something to do with rehearsal. My wife is teaching a sophomore level English class at CSU, I know what she was thinking about, and wisely she bailed around four to work on lesson plans.

When I did get to sleep, children would come and go through the room, and then they would fail to sleep. I got up at 5.30 and maybe should have tried sleeping again ... only I knew I wouldn't. It's time to hit the road.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 79º
Weather: hot ... less humid
Weight: 161.5 lbs.

September Gurls Genius Mix
September Gurls - Big Star
The Ballad of El Groodo - Big Star
Blue Suede Shoes (169 bpm) - Carl Perkins
Helpless - Sugar
Someday, Someway (153 bpm) - Marshall Crenshaw
Search and Destroy - The Stooges
Gimme Danger - The Stooges
I'm Waiting for the Man - The Velvet Underground
Trash - New York Dolls
Metal Firecracker - Lucinda Williams

Woo. Melancholy Morning Power Pop Mix. Thank you, Alex Chilton!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Do you remember

Mmmmm ... carrying some serious baggage, like plodding through soup ... stitch in my back ... it's going to be a long month.

September Genius Mix
September - Earth Wind & Fire
I'm Coming Out - Diana Ross
Low Rider - War
Got To Get You Into My Life - Earth Wind & Fire
Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder
1999 - Prince

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 76º
Weather: humid
Weight: 162.5 lbs.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I see more than you think

Creating this promotional video got me a little excited. It's been a year since I performed this show, I had forgotten how much ground it covers (get it?) and how physical it is. Just the music reminded me.

I am a mess, physically, but not as much as earlier this summer. A little more rested, a little more focused. The summer truly ends now, it is time to get back into the swing, training actor-teachers, getting kids ready for actual school (Second Grade? For real?) But I need to run more than once a week, I need to have a regimen, something that fits, something I can stick to. My body will thank me.

Can I go twenty-four hours without eating something fried? It's a question.

The girl wanted a special place for her "Spy Club" and asked for help. When I was a kid, my hiding place was the attic over the garage, so naturally I thought of our attic. And this is great, because that place was due for a major overhaul anyway. We have a fantastic walk-up attic, someday I will insulate it and make it another room (probably for the girl when she gets into high school) but for now it has languished, full of boxes.

Boxes of what? Well, I have, up to this point, hated to throw anything away. Because I will be a famous cartoonist or writer or something, and who knows what my archivists will want to see to divine the nascent genius developing in my adolescent brain?

Well. It's crap. Really, all of it. I started flipping through twenty, twenty-five, thirty year-old notebooks. There is nothing there. Doodles, notes for comic strips, protestations of non-existent faith, letters never sent. No one needs to read this. It's all going to Athens on our next trip to see the grandparents and I will have a bonfire of one and send it all up. I already have a half-dozen large bags of the stuff. It was a busy Sunday afternoon.

Most of it will go up. Not all. The serious materials stay, that which is evidence of actual achievement. The books, the published material, articles, programs, scripts.

And things like this. I found my number (623) from my very first race, July 4, 1980. Written on it was my time. Not bad for an almost-12- year-old who had never run a race before in his life. I thought I did a lot of walking during this race, but apparently I didn't.

Time: 46:35
Weather: Hot

Some things you keep.

It's All True Genius Mix
It's All True - Tracey Thorn
High Noon - Kruder & Dorfmeister
Love - Air
We Share Our Mothers' Health - The Knife
Small Town Girl - Tracey Thorn
Disappointed - Electronic
Disco Heat - Calvin Harris

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 72º
Weather: just before dawn warm
Weight: 159.5 lbs.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I sleep in a fever

This has been a challenging day.

Woke late - went to bed late, the last one up, doing housework, and more housework, until 11. Already I was feeling headachy and dehydrated. A small boy woke me at 6.30, I was not feeling well then, then the girl came in ... I got up to take aspirin, but my lack of sleep and the stuffiness of the room was doing its damage. Sleeping in is also bad, still dehydrated, now no caffeine or food. By 9 AM I was not refreshed, but had sinus pain and was well on my way to a full-blown migraine.

By ten (I forced myself to drink and have a banana, but I felt so bloated and ill my system was rebelling) I realized I could either a) lie in bed miserable all day or b) try taking a run. It would feel like I was in Hell - but I wouldn't have to stay long.

I ran a good part of two miles. The running cleared my head, but walking let me know I was seriously taxing myself. My head throbbed, and I was shivering and sweating. I then lay down on my back, propped up for an hour ... and the world began to come back into focus. By one o'clock, I was ready to take the kids out for a movie. I think I made the right decision.

Distance: 2 miles, running & walking
Temperature: 81º
Constitution: feverish, sweaty & shaking

This has been a challenging week.

Returning from New York City, I picked up the bug the girl had during the weekend, which made her vomit all night long. Tuesday night, I got to vomit all evening long, and shiver in bed all Wednesday. My wife had picked it up by Friday night. I did not sleep all night Friday, nor Saturday morning. Now you understand why going to bed last night at eleven was not a wise choice, and how I have suffered for it.

Meanwhile, while I admit I have gained a few pounds recently, Tuesday night's bug-fest has left my belly distended. I lost weight as a result of that night's toilet-oriented festivities, and yet I still feel and look like I have a melon in my stomach.

This has been a challenging summer.

Why? Funny, you might think that taking time off from work would give me more time for running. And yet look at the stats - 8 runs in the entire month of July, most of them Fridays. Guess I really am putting that grant money to good use.

But every morning has been like swimming to the surface, and every night ... well, there's either something to clean or something to read. And oh yeah, write. There's that. It has been a long summer. And rich, and full, and wearying and fantastic and special. There's that, too.

Oh, and I took a proper run tonight. Like emerging from dull torpor into graceful lucidity.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 72º
Weather: hot, but oh so cool.
Weight: 162 lbs.

Living In A Spanish Disco Playlist
Street Dance - Break Machine
You Take Me Up - The Thompson Twins
Breakin' ...There's No Stopping Us (Club Mix) - Ollie & Jerry
I'm Free (Heaven Help The Man) (160 bpm) - Kenny Loggins
High Energy - Evelyn Thomas
Dance Halls Days (12" Version) - Wang Chung

As God is my witness, I have been trying to find this song for 26 years. Seriously. That whistling refrain has been stuck in my head and I needed to get it out. Yes, that whistle has been going around in my head for a quarter century.

In 1984 I visited Lugo, Spain as part of an exchange program. We spent a lot of time in the disco, and I have a nostalgic fondness for the songs they played there, even (especially) the really awful ones. But I completely lost track of this one-hit ditty by the end of the year.

Man, there really were a lot of quickie R&B-Lite pop songs about breakdancing that summer. We even caught a free "drive-in" movie (actually projected onto the broadside of Westgate Mall) of that Lorenzo Lamas classic Body Rock. Awesome.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gotta get me back down to street level

Larchmont Hotel to the Angel (and back)
Distance: 8 miles
Temperature: 65º

These things I know:
1. It is painfully hard for me to go to bed before midnight in New York
2. Running is the only way for me to "keep up" when I am in New York

So I get little sleep. I am sure if I lived here I would be able to work that out.

Hit Park Avenue promptly at 7 am. Okay here's a thing; Hell is Other Runners. I like running with friends, but when strangers try to speak to me, it gets awkward really fast. This happened during the Cleveland Half this year. Guy makes an observation. I respond. He says something else. Awkward silence. Now we're running in lock-step, but really, are we going to have small talk? Now?

Today, just as I began running in the street, a young woman (who, like me, was futzing with headphones) said quite excitedly, "Isn't this great?" and I said, "Yeah!"

And you know the rest. After a block of silently running in proximity to each other (I was trying to be faster, then she got faster, I slowed down) she turned off which made me think she was thinking what I was thinking. We need to get away from each other, this isn't "great" at all.

Very few other runners, all the way to Central Park. Called home from Bethesda Terrace, then headed back, but not before stopping in on 68th St. to see Harris, Liz and the kids. They were so kind to let me flop in their apartment this time last year. This time last year? Weird. Liz was really pregnant then, and they have this toddler running around. Couldn't have pulled that off this year.

A cup of coffee and a New York Bagel Event later, I was heading back Downtown. Many more runners - and even more cyclists. I can only imagine how stuffed with bike riders Park Avenue is going to be in another hour. Glad I hit it when I did.

Summer Streets 2010 Playlist
Dance Wiv Me - Dizzee Rascal ft. Calvin Harris
New In Town - Little Boots
Just Dance - Lady Gaga
Moar Ghosts 'n' Stuff - Deadmau5
TiK ToK - Ke$ha
Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) - Shakira
1901 - Phoenix
Animal (Punks Jump Up Remix) - Miike Snow
Shout for England - Dizzee Rascal
Sound of Silver - LCD Soundsystem
Single Ladies - Pomplamoose
I Get Around - Dragonette
Lisztomania - Phoenix
Fireflies - Owl City
Rude Boy - Rihanna
My Moon My Man - Feist
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse

Ripped all of these songs since last summer. Amazing.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

We keep on running for the thrill of it, thrill of it.

Chilly morning. We swam, fished, went boating, ate lobster, drank, grilled, beach combed, star gazed, made new friends, went for a treasure hunt, took a walk in the moonlight ... all in five days,

Six mornings, five runs. Nice vacation.

Tigerlily Genius Mix
Tigerlily - La Roux
Let's Make Love And Listen To DFA (Calvin Harris Mix) - CSS
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You - Black Kids
Paris s'enflamme - Ladyhawke
Walking On A Dream - Empire of the Sun
Lisztomania - Phoenix
Fascination - La Roux
Lights & Music - Cut Copy

"Running isn't sport, it's a pathology."

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 46º - 52º
Weather: misty

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I got this f---ing thorn in my side.

Big day yesterday, drive out the Salt Pond, Pemaquid Point - and lunch at Shaw's Lots of sun, wind, heat and salt. Woke this morning feeling crappy, headachy, ugh. Had a big glass of water, forced myself through a foggy morning run, feel much, much better.

But I need more water.

Enough about me, however. Watch this video with me in it.

Touch the Sky Genius Mix
Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Mix) - The Beastie Boys
Triple Trouble - The Beastie Boys
The Way I Am - Eminem
One Call Away * - Chingy
Set Adrift on Memory Bliss (Richie Rich Mix) - P.M. Dawn
Why (Remix) - Jadakiss
Sabotage * - The Beastie Boys

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 70º
Weather: misty

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Cove

Facebook album of Martin's Point Run photos

La Femme D'Argent Genius Mix
Lebanese Blonde - Thievery Corporation
Acceptable In The 80s - Calvin Harris
The Girls - Calvin Harris
Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? - Moby
Wandering Star * - Portishead
Moments In Love - The Art Of Noise
Emerge - FischerSpooner
Ooh La La - Goldfrapp

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 70º
Weather: overcast

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I'm home.

My memories of the Barnstable, the cabin where we stay, stretch back to pre-childhood. My family has come to Friendship for over a hundred years, my children are the fifth generation to visit this place. This is the one place on earth where I do not like change. Twenty years ago they installed fresh running hot and cold water and a shower, we used to have to sponge bath and go down to the pump at WInnie Spring for fresh water to drink and cook with.

In the past two years the bathroom in the the tackle room was renovated to include a stainless sink and a new, modern countertop. And more shocking still, such a sink and counter in the kitchen, with a new window. Most radical, however, was the complete rebuilding of the tackle room. Gone the sinking floor and the built-in wood shed, the shelves stacked with fishing poles, lines, buckets, life jackets, and so on.

It is now a large, clean room, open and airy, with windows looking out into the thick woods beyond. A table, chairs, a cupboard (salvaged from the previous room) and a heater! A woman, she said she was an artist, had requested the room, claiming she would stay here in October if these changes could be made. The changes were made. She stayed three days. It is very cold here in October.

At first I rebelled - this is wrong! This is my grandfather's room! But it is true, he died a very long time ago, and it had become a junk room, wasted space. It is now bright, cheerful, and a great place to do jigsaw puzzles.

It is a very attractive idea, staying at the Barnstable in October to work. Clean space, view of snow covered pines, wood burning fireplace. It puts one in mind of The Shining. Better to come alone, without the family. Still, I might come down one morning to find my grandfather sitting by the fire.

There is a house at the end of Martin's Point road, a one-story house, small. It is for sale, the sing says "water access" even though it is across the road, not cove-front property. That's my turn-around point, it is the end of the public access road. I wonder how much that house costs. Sell everything, buy that house, relocate. Become Native.

And freeze to death in the hedgemaze.

Sausalito Summernight Genius Mix 
Sausalito Summernight - Diesel
A Million Miles Away - The Plimsouls
Ah! Leah! - Donnie Iris
Lonely Boy - Andrew Gold
Twilight Zone - Golden Earring
Whenever You're On My Mind - Marshall Crenshaw
Freeze Frame - J. Geils Band

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 63º
Weather: overcast & cool

Monday, August 02, 2010

Summer people

Martin's Point Run

Ten days. That is enough time to begin to feel the effects of non-exercise. Aches in my thighs which I have not felt in months, maybe years. With every movement, I can feel how parts of me have gone slack. I feel like a bag of junk.

Part of this discomfort is due to the fact that we just took two days to drive to Maine. This is my vacation (the rest of the family have had several this summer already) and I just want to relax and not think.

Which is impossible. But I did just run, so I am feeling - physically - much better. Sunny, clear, not very hot, the sun is sharp across Hatchet Cove as I run past the homes of summer people on Martin's Point. The best places are the small ones, right on the water. A little bizarre are the modern monstrosities (one went up in the two years since I have been here last - three garages!!!) that exist across the narrow road from the waterfront props. What are they doing, making up for their lack of direct water access with gargantuaness?

Here is hoping I can make a run every morning. The first hill out of Flood's Cove is a little intense, but brief and nothing I can't handle.

Red's Eats

Hilarious. Just as we are headed out of town, the Times runs a piece on this famous lobster roll shack, right on Rt. 1. I know Red's, I have passed it many, many times in my life. Even stopped once to say I have. WTF? Lobster and mayo on a hot dog bun for $14.99? (I didn't pay that, I think when I went several years ago it was still closer to $12.) Summer people are so dumb.

A loss

Got word yesterday that a classmate from high school died. She was at a family reunion, reportedly got up to play a game of volleyball and collapsed. We didn't know each other well, we were involved in a lot of the same extracurriculars, spent a lot of time in each other's presence working on the same projects a very long time ago. She married her high school sweetheart (another person I knew a very long time ago) and they have two children together. I am finding it difficult to articulate my feelings. Sadness, pity, helplessness. Wanting to reach out, not knowing how.

I look around here ... my brother is here, and his family. My family. My parents. There are cousins around we have not seen yet (we just got here last night at dinner.) We must be careful. We must be kind.

The Power Genius Mix
Everybody Everybody - Black Box
Smalltown Boy - Bronski Beat
Kids In America * - Kim Wilde
Pump Up The Volume - M/A/R/R/S
What's On Your Mind - Information Society
Pop Muzik - M

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 57º
Weather: idyllic

Friday, July 23, 2010

Let it all out

Truly the longest summer ... in a very long time. (For the record, the summer of 1994 started in May and ended in November, but that is a long story for another time.)

There is too much to do and never enough time. We have these kids doing so much. I would fear the overprogramming thing ... only most of their neighborhood friends have been on vacation for a month. If we sent them outside to play, they would only sunburn and beat each other to death.

We go to the pool a lot, to cool down. Big pool summer. Both of my kids have learned to swim this year! The girl, suddenly, went from fear of putting her face underwater to moving, head-down, like a fish. And face-up, like a seal. The boy may not actually travel much distance, but he throws himself horizontal, face-down, and thrashes like hell for ten seconds at a time, going about a yard. I am so proud of both of them.

The pool is very different here and now than it was in my youth. I can only assume things got out of hand during the past. No radios, no music, no splashing, no dunking, no piggybacks. "What do they do?" Sarah-the-Caregiver asked before taking them there yesterday.

Marco Polo, of course.

My knees hurt when I left this morning. I can never run on the weekend, you might notice, so it has to be at 6 or 6.30 on a weekday. Eighty degrees! Not supposed to let off until at least Sunday. But anyway, my knees. Felt great for weeks, suddenly, my knees. Both knees. Ran anyway. Need to soak before the kids get up.

Too late.

The Reflex (Club Mix) Genius Playlist
The Reflex (Club Mix) - Duran Duran
Save a Prayer - Duran Duran
Do You Really Want to Hurt Me - Culture Club
Shout - Tears For Fears
Who Can It Be Now? - Men At Work
Hold Me Now - The Thompson Twins

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 81º
Weather: hella sweaty
Weight: 161.5 lbs.

Monday, July 19, 2010

You're going as fast as you can after your daydream

This summer is crushing my body and soul. Air conditioning at my various research locales is drying me out, making me ache, the humidity makes me swell up and slow me down. We are over-programmed, too many hours a day spent working, then playing with the kids at preassigned events, planned well in advance, and paid for. And look, I'm even gaining weight.

I was looking forward to the hiatus, but it isn't a hiatus it is working away from work, and now all I want is to get back into the office where things are organized and articulate and then a week away with no obligations to anyone but me. And the family. And the extended family.

It's not even eight, and I am defeated.

Fireflies Genius Mix
Fireflies - Owl City
Fences - Phoenix
Under Control - Parachute
Let's Dance To Joy Division - The Wombats
Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) - MIKA
The Show - Lenka
Lisztomania - Phoenix
Pony (It's OK) - Erin McCarley

Most of today's selections brought to you for free from iTunes. Thank you.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 73º
Weather: muggy
Weight: 162.5 lbs.

Friday, July 16, 2010

And the words in the script seem to fit 'cept we have some surprise

So much time in and then out of air conditioning. My neck aches, my back aches - and now the front of my neck, my jaw is tense and pained.

The constant hot, humid weather, late nights and early mornings, I have little desire to run, much less to move. Last night I had dreams, about unrequited loves, and about dead people.

Today I will write. Write and write and write. At least, that's the plan.

Homosapien Genius Mix
Homosapien (12" Mix) - Pete Shelley
Turning Japanese - The Vampors
TV Party - Black Flag
Everyday Is Halloween - Ministry
Someday, Someway (153 bpm) - Marshall Crenshaw
Helpless - Sugar

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 74º
Weather: hot
Weight: 161.5 lbs.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Harvey Pekar

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 79º

Friday, July 09, 2010

... then you think again.

Following a tearful session with a new therapist, it is traditional to eat the larger part of a family size bag of Doritos on the drive back home.

Isn't it?

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 72º
Weather: very sweaty
Weight: 160 lbs.

Sound Of Silver Genius Mix
Sound Of Silver - LCD Soundsystem
Girl and the Sea - The Presets
FM (Tensnake Remix) - Junior Boys
Let's Make Love and Listen to Death from Above (Calvin Harris Remix) - CSS
Herculean - The Good, The Bad And The Queen

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Nothing really matters very much

Last night's facebook feed:
PAUL If I'm lucky I will run 6-8 miles tomorrow...
PENGO Advice: Go to bed. Get up early.
Welcome back to summer. It has been in the 90s for several days - it was in the 90s in New York the weekend before and I was delighted to come home to 70 degree temps. These days however, woo.

Will be spending the day in air conditioned discomfort at the Cleveland Public Library. It troubles me that I have to bring a change of clothes to the library.

When in New York, I pick up the habit of always having a water bottle in my hand, and refilling it at every available water station - water fountains, sinks in any passing bathroom. That did me very well, and I was wearing pants. It is a habit I should have here, and I find difficult to keep.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 75º
Weather: nice ... for now.
Weight: 157 lbs.

Dragonette Genius Mix
Pick Up the Phone - Dragonette
Phil - The Bird & The Bee
Heads Will Roll - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Take Me To The Riot - Stars
One Day - The Juan MacLean
Paris Is Burning (Paris s'enflamme) - Ladyhawke
Cousins - Vampire Weekend
Armour Love - La Roux
I Get Around - Dragonette

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Cleveland Public Theatre Announces 10-11 Season

I Hate This and And Then You Die in repertory by David Hansen
Directed by Alison Garrigan
Storefront Studio
April 7 - 23

David Hansen performs his two award winning solo shows in rep. One is an exploration of personal loss and recovery, while the other is about obsession and victory. Both shows were developed in CPT's Big [Box] and have gone on to successful runs at the New York Fringe.

CPT's Entire 2010-11 Season

Very excited about this. The script needs some work, there are revisions which are obvious and have already been made. The character is less sympathetic - less apologetic, I have tried to just let him be, and the let him off the hook fewer times.

It was 80 minutes, and I need to get it down to 60. Costume changes are out, I will be wearing a black running suit for the entire show. That cuts five minutes out of the show right there, seriously.

I wonder how it will come off, paired with I Hate This. Worried that may piss some people off. It's a risk.

Good morning, Mr. President. Happy Independence Day. Took a run through the Lakeview Cemetery this morning. "The Chauffer" came on as I headed for Rockefeller's monument, and I found myself sprinting up the hill, and dashing through tombstones. Very odd.

Stopped to gaze at the John Hay monument. Now that is a guardian angel. It is my favorite statue in the park, bar none. Beautiful, majestic, forceful, peaceful. Ancient, too, stone cracking at its base.

Rio Remix Run
New Religion (Carnival Version)
Hold Back The Rain (Remix)
Rio (Carnival Version)
Last Chance On The Stairway
The Chauffeur (165 bpm)
My Own Way (Night Version)
Lonely In Your Nightmare
Hungry Like The Wolf (Night Version)
Save A Prayer

Distance: 5.5 miles
Temperature: 65º
Weather: sweaty
Weight: 157 lbs.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Coming soon ...

Can run 20 miles through the streets of New York, no problem. Three miles in the Heights, and my knees are shouting at me.

Europa & the Pirate Twins Genius Mix
Europa and the Pirate Twins - Thomas Dolby
Friend or Foe - Adam Ant
Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream) - The icicle Works
Whammy Kiss (158 bpm) - The B-52s
King For A Day (12" Version) - XTC
Peekaboo! - Devo

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 58º
Weather: nice
Weight: 157 lbs.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Everyone you know someday will die

Last run in the Park. Big today, schlepping my bags to Brooklyn and back. Last night I witnessed a rehearsal of Bromley's new play in Gowanus, today it's northern Brooklyn (neighborhood?) to see Maidman's studio. Then I don't know where the hell I'm going.

It's a six o'clock flight. I can catch a cab at 3. It's not going to be such a long day in the city anyway.

Not as many people lined up to see a Tuesday night performance of A Winter's Tale. But can you blame them?

Distance: 7 miles
Temperature: 75º

Still feeling empty. Not getting used to it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I'm an angel. I will take you to Jesus.

Headachy and a little queasy this morning. That, children, is why it is bad to sleep in on Sundays. End of sermon.

Temperature: 77º

Hard to say exactly what I ran. A little stuck this morning, I didn't really want to get up but I wasn't sleeping. This was between 7 AM and 7.20. Got up, ate yesterday's bagel (they have refrigerators in the rooms here, which is so cool - I have had bananas waiting for me every morning, and a cool post-run Gatorade) and tried to figure out what to do. Show starts at 3.30. Leah and I were talking brunch last night but I haven't been able to reach her.

So I suited up, and headed out around 8 AM. My head was swelling, which is a bad sign. I tried drinking water before I left but my stomach rebelled, and now my throat was dry. It was muggy, threatening to rain - but not raining. This would be bad. I made it through what I thought were a larger than normal number of tourists to get to the Park and went in. Then my phone rang.

It was Andrew! Shit, I'd forgotten about Andrew. Brunch? 11? West Side? Sure. Sitting and talking, after running a mile and a half, I felt a lot better and kept heading through the park. I had no intention of going around the Reservoir. But there was some race going on, and I had to navigate that.

Damn. I really need to check the race schedules before I come into any city. A 5-miler for charity beginning at 8 AM? I could have made that.

I stopped at Bethesda Terrace. Hello, angel. A sax player was keeping us company but there were otherworldly voices coming from beneath the lower passage. A sextet of children, singing in harmony to classic music. I had no change for them, but I listened.

The race made the next part of the journey a lot of stopping and going and eventually I was clear and free and left the park to return here. I am now clear-headed, showered and shaved, and ready to join Andrew for brunch.

The Y has great facilities, I am really enjoying my stay here. You can see the treadmills and the elliptical machines from the lobby - they are the backdrop for the check-in desk. Wide-screen TVs. Air conditioning.

I don't get it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Good morning, New York. Please don't hurt me.

Calvin Harris my boy. This is the best song ever.

International tourists are sick as pigs - I am the greatest traveler ever! Honestly, however, credit is also due to my wife, who made my reservation at the Vanderbilt YMCA, and to the Transportation Security Administration. It took the most heinous terrorist attack on American soil to get the people of this great nation to learn to plan ahead and organize their shit.

I opened my carry-on (because really, if you need to check a bag for a four day trip, you are filthy rich or a total slob) and everything was plainly visible including 1. my plastic bag filled with tiny bottles (because really, did you need to lug the entire gallon jug of Head & Shoulders with you?) and 2. my plastic bag filled with cables and chargers.

Yeah, there was a two-hour delay in Philly but I got in before midnight, the room is tiny by the a/c works, I brought my white noise generator and slept ... for less than six hours.

The past several days I have had a low-grade crud, makes me dizzy and cough. It's, you know, a cold or something. Allergies. I should rest, but I can't. So I set out for a seven-miler around the park at 6 AM.

Vanderbilt YMCA Circle
Distance: 7 miles
Temperature: 74º
Weather: warm

Heading back I saw all the people waiting in line for previews of The Merchant of Venice with Al Pachino. Long line. I would like to see that, only I will be seeing a lot of other things while I am here. Then I got a stitch in a strange place, in my back, on the left side, not the right side, and in the center. I tried breathing through it as I ran but it wouldn't stop, and then I began to feel it in my left arm.


So I stopped running, and the pain went away. So after a hundred yards of walking I started running again.


If I collapsed right here ... well, there's my iPod, that has a serial number. Oh, even better - I had my phone with me. And my key to my room. Yeah, I could die right here, they'd figure out who I am.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My heart is going to pop

When I am alone, I do not eat. I think I just forgot about lunch yesterday. For dinner I saw this new bag of lettuce in the crisper my wife got from City Fresh. That's exactly the kind of thing that would have gone ignored in an earlier time - I hacked up half of it, shredded a carrot, celery, cubed two slices of soft bread and tossed the whole thing with bleu cheese dressing.

For dessert? Pudding. Made with dry milk.

Distance: 5.5 miles
Temperature: 78º
Weather: hot
Weight: 157 lbs.

L. has friends in town who are staging a thing this afternoon. I'm going to see if the intern I am driving to and from camp today is interested in witnessing it.

New In Town Genius Mix

Tigerlily - La Roux
Shark In The Water - V.V. Brown
Paris Is Burning - Ladyhawke
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You - Black Kids
Zero - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Chelsea Dagger - The Fratellis
The Show - Lenka

Sunday, June 20, 2010

2010 Lantern Award Finalist

This is a blog about running. But it also a blog about a play about running, and that play was just nominated for a Lantern Award.

For years what was formerly known as the Poets' and Writers' League of Greater Cleveland (now The Lit) held a biennial where area writers were selected and honored at a performance featuring famous Cleveland celebrities (local TV personalities, familiar radio voices, politicians - very few thespians) reading their work.

In 2004 I HATE THIS was selected, and the scene Rocking Chair was read by (now) Senator Sherrod Brown. It was not an "award" per se, because they didn't call it one. It was an honor, a celebration.

The Lit (former the Poets' and Writers' League of Greater Cleveland) recently decided the event needed a higher profile, have renamed the event, and are singling out one work in each category for a Lantern Award, which will be presented September 11 at the Palace.

The finalists in Playwriting/Performance also include Raymond Bobgan and Chris Seibert for their production Cut To Pieces and Michael Oatman for his play about Tupac, Eclipse. I have tremendous respect and admiration for all three of them, and am honored to be in their company.

Distance: 5.5 miles
Temperature: 68º
Weather: hot
Weight: 159 lbs.

Happy Father's Day. To me! Took another run with L. - we run two and a half miles, but it takes a mile and a half for me to run to her house.

This Must Be The Place Genius Mix
Giving Up the Gun - Vampire Weekend
Hurtful - Erik Hassle
Radio Head - Talking Heads
Lights & Music - Cut Copy
FM (Tensnake Remix)- Junior Boys
Keep It Goin' Loud - Major Lazer ft. Nina Sky and Ricky Blaze)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The less we say about it the better

I am alone this week. Really, for a week, at home, alone. I do not believe this has ever happened. I have gone away on my own, and my wife has gone for a spell and left me with the kids. But this is highly unusual.

The MIL scheduled a vacation in North Carolina for the extended family, but I have work. And this is fine, really, I think I need some solitude. This afternoon I folded laundry and watched Fantastic Mr. Fox. I went for a run in the middle of the day because, well, why not? And now I am going to see a show at convergence-continuum. I am living it up in style.

Tomorrow I will spend a few hours in the office. No kidding. And looking forward to it.

Took the Cain Park route today. Kenny Loggins was doing a sound check.

I'm all right. Nobody worry about me.

This Must Be The Place Genius Mix
This Must Be The Place - Miles Fisher
Sax and Violins - Talking Heads
Diplomat's Son - Vampire Weekend
Dance Dance Dance - Lykke Li
Surprise Hotel - Fool's Gold
Animal (Fake Blood Remix) - Miike Snow
Meteor - The Bird & The Bee

There are limitations to Genius mixes ... I get an awful lot of repetition when I plug in a familiar track. Nothing surprising, I can almost guess what I'm gonna get. I need to put in something unusual - like Miles Fisher - to get a playlist as interesting as today's.

Good gravy, I am an overheated fool.

Distance: 4.3 miles
Temperature: 75º
Weather: hot!
Weight: 159 lbs.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The deer of Cleveland Heights

Bad news ... Britain's new PM has been going out of his way to teach the military the wrong way to run.

"Too upright"? Please. He's British.

Picked L. up for a trip around South Central Cleveland Heights. She texted me last night to let me know she's in town, and would I like to run.

Yes. I am a 41 year-old man and chicks text me. Suck on that.

The days this summer have not been long - but active. Summer camp is much more ... enjoyable this year than the past three. It makes a difference when 1) the campers want to be there 2) there are fewer of them and 3) they don't stay long. Short (two hour) high impact sessions with kids of a like age (6-8 year-olds in one, 12-14 in the other) with other instructors handling the other three sessions.

Driving back from Berea at 4 in the afternoon, however, I have a tendency to fall asleep at stoplights. I do not know if running at six in the morning with improve that situation or not.

Saw a deer on Compton. The Deer of Compton. DWA.

Distance: 5.5 miles
Temperature: 64º
Weather: coolish
Weight: 157.5 lbs.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I can give you life. I can take it away.

Late start. Later than I would have liked. Started wobbly. Late night last night, later than I would have liked. Early morning, could not sleep any longer.

We turn on our a/c as late in the season as possible. It has not been turned on yet.

By the end of the run ... flying. Flying home. 179 bpm. Might I hurt myself? When I feel like that, I cannot care.

I got news last night. I hesitate to call it good news, because I do not enjoy good news. I learned at a young age not to enjoy my accomplishments, not to hope, never to dream. Nothing has changed.

Buddy Holly Genius Mix
Buddy Holly - Weezer
Sleeping In - The Postal Service
Last Night - The Strokes
The Distance - Cake
You Only Live Once - The Strokes
Nothing Better - The Postal Service
Banquet - Bloc Party
Breaking the Girl (179 bpm) - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Cooldown: We're Going To Be Friends - The White Stripes

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 78º
Weather: quite warm
Weight: 158.5 lbs.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


For the first time in some time, Ms. Jacobs has been brought to my mind. I came home to find one of neighbors' kid's bike was still in our yard, so I headed up the street with it to drop it off. It's late, he's four, he shouldn't have to come down here and get it after dark.

And I ran into his mom, and the parent of another child my girl goes to school with. And we chatted a little about summer plans, camps and so on. It was a brief conversation, but when I turned to walk away I realized how different I felt a few minutes earlier when I had been running down the same path.

I do not run these days. I am flying. Walking reminded me that I have been flying. And I want to remember this feeling so I never forget it again.

And Ms. Jacobs? She used to live up the street, and moved maybe two years ago. She had these little dogs she walked, one was named T-Rex, that was a joke. She new everyone's business - in a good way. She knew who was moving in, and what they do for a living and how people's health was ... this was before I knew anyone else in the neighborhood except my immediate neighbors.

She would say "hi" to me when I was running, which I would hate. Because I was running! This was when I would thread through my own neighborhood, and not take off in a loop around the city. So I might pass her in the middle of my run, as I went by my house again. And it would ruin my time - not my timing, my Time, capital "T", my time I get to be in my head, running.

Now I know the people in the neighborhood. And we all seem to know each other better. And we have block parties. And we make cookies for each other.

I wish she were here to see all of this.


Shout For England - Dizzee Rascal & James Corden
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) - Shakira ft. Freshlyground
Hi Friend! - Deadmau5 Feat. MC Flipside
I Get Around - Dragonette
Moar Ghosts 'n' Stuff - Deadmau5
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Daft Punk
Ready 2 Wear - Felix da Housecat

I am trying to be all International with the kids, so we're trying to get in as much FIFA action as possible. I just love Stupid World Cup Theme Songs.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 72º
Weather: warm
Weight: 160.5 lbs.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Old friend

A migraine! Wow. No, I haven't missed you at all.

Managing my head has been relatively simple. I am lucky. It's usually a dose of Sudafed and a handful of Ibuprofen. Not today. And sometimes it just feels like sleep, like there is something pulling me to the floor - literally feels like pulling my body down - and keeping myself up makes my eyes water, my head hurt, my nose closes up ... and then the nausea. Yes, it has been a while.

Got a blessed late-afternoon nap. Hard to wake up. And then imperative to run.

The "I Was Born In Croydon" Mix

Regret - New Order
Enola Gay - OMD
Love Is The Drug - Roxy Music
Sunflower - Paul Weller
It's My Life - Talk Talk
Me Ship Came In! - The Style Council
Love Action (I Believe In Love) - Human League
Is There Something I Should Know - Duran Duran

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 68º
Weather: warm & overcast
Weight: 159.5 lbs.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Wudy the Wabbit

The children have brought too much Memorial Day Parade/birthday party candy into this house.

As the weather has gotten warmer, and the kids prepare for summer fun, my own memories of summers' past come flooding in. I made the above tribute video in less than an hour, and I think it shows.

I had a passing reference to "Wudy the Wabbit" in the Big Box presentation of ATYD, but dropped it in New York. Running is such a big part of Meatballs, it is a shame I do not mention it anywhere. There's always next year ...


When I Was a Nappy Headed Boy Mix
I Wish - Stevie Wonder
1999 - Prince
Work It - Missy Elliott
Boogie Wonderland - Earth, Wind & Fire
In My House - Mary Jane Girls

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 65º
Weather: deceptive
Weight: 159.5 lbs.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Reunion Run

Peden Stadium to Rec. Center (and back)

Pretty much every trip to Athens includes a few runs on the bike path from Peden Stadium (4 miles RT) or White's Mill (6 miles RT) to the Rec Center and back.

The weather on Saturday morning was glorious.

It was a late kind of run, already 9 AM, so the sun was full and bright, and the air already quite hazy.

This bridge is not for pedestrians or runners or anyone except Golf Majors.

The back end of South Green (see the pig bobcat?)

Students clear out on Memorial Day weekend. No sunbathing ladies. Sorry.

Stimson Avenue Bridge.


I see. No problem, then.

Beneath Rts. 50/33.

The public toilet near the rec. center. Christmas runs I can count on this to be locked and the water fountains shut off.

Time to head back.

Bong Hill.

Good run. See you on Labor Day.

(That was 4.5 miles - today's stats are as follows:)
Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 71º
Weather: sultry
Weight: 161 lbs.

Damn. Running alongside my five year-old, who has suddenly gotten the hang of two-wheelers with training wheels, I get a big massive scrape on top of my dome from a low-hanging branch. That's going to look stupid at work tomorrow.