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