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.