Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm not easy to please.


I cough, I wheeze. Yes, I wheeze. I pant. I am overweight. I am out of shape. And my body does these things to remind me.

It came as something of a relief when my doctor reminded me that Lexapro can cause weight gain. I have been taking a mild dose since September of last year. We chose to cut that dose in half around six months ago, because I was having difficulty making it through the day awake. And about a month ago we agreed to end the treatment, to wean myself from it slowly.

I never chose to take antidepressants before. Whenever it was suggested that I should, the fact that I am an "artist" was always an issue. Would chemicals stem my creativity? Yes, well. Whatever. By late last year my production was near zero. What could I lose? And it helped, I could concentrate, I could work.

But this had to come to an end. Running used to be my exclusive exultation medication. And with this medication, I didn't feel I needed it very much. And that's not good. Not good for me at all. So I stopped, and the withdrawal symptoms have been very challenging. The kids call them reboots, a sudden flash in the brain, not like flash of light or pain, just a sudden disorientation that takes a moment to recover from. They are also called brain zaps, though I prefer to think of them as brain farts (or brarts.)

These have nearly faded, I felt them only slightly yesterday and today. So we shall see. I have already found myself enduring mood swings, but they are usually caused by something, they don't come out of nowhere.

And this is how I shall begin the New Year. Overweight, unmedicated, and with a lot to prove.

Best of 2011 Playlist
Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) - Katy Perry
Na Na Nothing - Mike Doughty
Ok - The Beastie Boys
Too Dramatic - Ra Ra Riot
Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz ft. Ludacris
The Creep - The Lonely Island
Like a G6 - Far East Movement
2012 (It Ain't The End of the World) - Jay Sean
Firework - Katy Perry

Distance: 3.1 miles
Temperature: 27º
Weight: 182.5 lbs.
Weather: snot-like sleet + sub-zero temp = treacherous pavement

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My feet are running like the wind.


Taking a gander of my runs during the second half of 2011, you might get the impression that I only run when I am away from home. Let's analyze this. You know, for Christmas.

Distance: 4.25 miles
Temperature: 48º
Weather: Beautiful and sunny out, too breezy and sun in my eyes back.

Beginning a couple months ago, my wife and I tried an experiment. We were each unsatisfied with how writing was fitting into our daily routine. Work and parenting takes all of our day. Really, it does. Maybe we do not manage as well as others, maybe we are poor at delegating between the two of us; we both like to participate in bedtime, for example.

Evenings were not working at all. I do not write at night, not really, not with any success. Blog entries, maybe, but that's not getting the job done. And my wife has forks in too many stews as it is, and she frets over those things at night.

So we agreed to rise at 5 am. Coffee, water, bundled up, each with our laptop, crunching through. And it has been successful, 90 minutes concentrating on the work a day. One of the days, when we're making the big money, there will be more time. But that day may never come. For now, 90 minutes a day, which is 90 minutes a day more than before.

As a result, bedtime is the end. I clean up the house before I pass out and she still sweats the details (PTA, public events for work, paying bills.) Where do running fit?

It do not. Not really. And this fall, I have been all right with that. I hit Marshall's for as many pair of 34" pants as I can reasonably afford. To wit; I give up. I am playing Hercule Poirot this winter anyhow, I do not need to be svelte.

And so, time away, "vacation" time means more time for everything, including me.

There is more to this story, that involving my mental well-being, peace through chemicals, and "brarts." But more on that tomorrow.

Best of 2011 Playlist
Ritual Union - Little Dragon
Life's a Happy Song - The Muppets OST
Rocketeer - Far Eats Movement
Wavin' Flag (The Celebration Mix)* - K'Naan
Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
Make Some Noise - The Beastie Boys
Like Em All - Jacob Latimore
Blue Tip - The Cars
Dynamite - Taio Cruz
Tightrope* - Janelle Monae ft. Big Boi

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Your man won't dance, but I will.


Changed things up tonight, starting at the Rec Center, then running to Peden Stadium and back, so I could make it a short drive to Kroger's for cake supplies. I mean, I am a CRAZY MAN!

National Cake Day Playlist*
Cupid Shuffle - Cupid
Flathead - The Fratellis
She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
New In Town - Little Boots
1901 - Phoenix
The Girls - Calvin Harris
Great DJ - The Ting Tings
It's Tricky - Run DMC
Animal (Fake Blood Remix) - Miike Snow
Na Na Nothing - Mike Doughty

*Playlists from the last three days are a selection of the most-played tracks on my iTunes. Using the Genius function they pop up all the time. I will now "uncheck" all of them, I do not want to hear any of them again for a couple of years.

Distance: 4.25 miles
Start temperature: 66º
Weather: cool. lovely.

Would you like some cake?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sunset over South Green


My calves hurt. That is all.

Evacuation Day Playlist
Situation - Yazoo
Dance Wiv Me - Dizzee Rascal
Shine - Take That
Dust In The Wind - Gabriel & Dresden
Mansard Roof - Vampire Weekend
We Want Your Soul - Adam Freeland
Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny) - A.R. Rahman ft. The Pussycat Dolls
Shining Star - Earth Wind & Fire
Fireflies - Owl City

Distance: 4.25 miles
Start temperature: 62º
End temperature: 59º
Weather: cool & bright ... and then dark.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness.


River Hocking flooded. I suspected part of my usual run from Peden Stadium would be flooded, so I began from Habitat for Humanity on Union. I was right, the drainage ditch just past Stimson was impassable. Still, the additional section made my run much longer than I had expected. Almost six miles. I can still do this. Without pain. Thankful.

Tuesday morning I sat in front of my laptop, striving to recreate a moment from a very long time ago. This would be nothing unusual for me, except it was one of those moments I choose not to spend much time with. A moment of shame or embarrassment. A beginning which would eventually lead to a humiliating end. I have written about the end. The beginning is more interesting.

(Wow. Just made a connection. The last time I ever saw the person in question was at The Nine. Forgot about that. It was a bitter reunion. That was also a very long time ago.)

In any event, I failed. Or rather, I began and did not know where to go. There may be no there there. Or there might be, if I can create, rather than document. It will be a challenge. Tuesday it produced one page. Sixty minutes. One page. The one page was produced in five minutes, with another fifty-five spent sighing.

Thanksgiving Day Playlist
Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye ft. Kimbra
Hips Don't Lie/Bamboo - Shakira
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
Mothership - Kid Beyond
Steal My Sunshine - Len
Bulletproof - La Roux
It's My Life - Talk Talk
Start! - The Jam
Oxford Comma - Vampire Weekend
Dynamite - Taio Cruz
Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) - Beyonce
Uninvited - Freemasons
Before the Worst - The Script
Hold Me Now - The Thompson Twins

Stretches
Safety Dance - Men Without Hats
Push The Button - Sugababes

What does it mean to run the same route, again and again? Well, that can be a metaphor, can't it? Running this track by my old school inevitably lets my mind revisit events past. But with repetition comes a flattening out of such thoughts. They do not cease, but they lose their edge.

Sigh. Trite. What was I saying?


Co-eds on the Hocking.

There was a route I used to run in my neighborhood which pissed me off. Even when I did not run directly past the house in question, just running in the vicinity of the house in question made me obsess about a certain person, and that would induce anger.

I stopped running that way. But I do, on occasion. Thoughts of disappointment are entirely overwhelmed, nay, destroyed, by associations with the children and their elementary school, located nearby. Much the same way my niece's birthday has subsumed the date of my first wedding.

Distance: 5.8 miles
Temperature: 40º
Weather: cool, cloudy.

So. Tuesday. I'm making breakfast for children, packing lunches for everyone, listening to The Current. I am struck by a track that sings to me. Slightly retro, sounds like something I would have been big into during my younger days. There's a vocal refrain reminiscent of Sting. I immediately download the song from iTunes -- I never do that anymore.

I listen to it over and over again on the drive down Chester to work. I never do that anymore. A song about an ended relationship, frank, naked, blunt. Well-crafted song. Stirring production.

It's like that old saying; I do not miss you. I miss the person I was when I was with you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Maybe I'm just like my father.


What does it feel like not to have run or done exercise of any kind for one month and ten days? It feels bad. It has taken less than three years, you know, to gain thirty pounds. The flesh on my hips is spongy and soft. This week I made a commitment to bigness and bought size 34 jeans.

This has not been out of any intention neglect. Life has moved into the way. More time spent on work during non-business hours. More time spent writing, and dealing with the children's extra-curricular activities. And there has been death.

My wife's grandmother died last month, which while not entirely unexpected, required sudden action, traveling to and from Athens in the middle of a work-week. And even more overpowering, the sudden and entirely unexpected death of her aunt who lives on Nantucket. My wife, her aunts and uncles and cousins gathered there for a weekend while I stayed at home with the children.

There was Halloween, but I took no Halloween-themed run. Harris successfully ran the NYC Marathon (5:10.46 -- two-thirds of it on an injured knee, way to go, man) with no celebratory at-home run on my part.

Great Lakes Theater's 80s-flavored production of The Taming of the Shew came and went without my having the chance to enjoy the following tunes from the show:

The Taming of the Shrew Playlist
Destination Unknown - Missing Persons
When Doves Cry - Prince and the Revolution
Broken Wings - Mr. Mister
Wild Boys - Duran Duran
It's My Life - Talk Talk
Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield
The Reflex - Duran Duran

My brother has been struggling with his colitis pretty much ever since I visited him at the beginning of October. My father joined me for a show at the State Theatre a couple weeks ago, and he is moving so much slower these days. My mother may or may not join us for a movie this afternoon, she has been having rapid heartbeats lately -- something she claims she used to get as a girl -- and stopped in at the hospital this morning for an EKG.

And I have had a cold, the kind which has lingered for two weeks and has been complicated by inexplicable stomach pains.

So I have been coping with sorrow and fear. Not every day, not all the time. But I am trying to keep my head up and what I see can worry me. When I look at the children and all of their friends, I can't help but thinking that part of the reason to have kids is so that not absolutely everyone you know and love is old and dying.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Temperature: 63º
Weight: 178 lbs.
Weather: cool and breezy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

On our way to some other place.


Sunflower Genius Mix
Sunflower - Paul Weller
There Goes God - Crowded House
There She Goes - The La's
World Where You Live (Live) - Crowded House
Fall At Your Feet - Crowded House
All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You) - Paul Weller
Sound and Vision - David Bowie
In The City (179 bpm) - The Jam
6:38 AM ...
Me: What are you doing?
Her: I am doing yoga and checking my media.
Me: Wow. (pause) Can you
do that?
Distance: 3.3 miles
Temperature: 61º
Weight: 174 lbs.
Weather: cool. but humid.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Don't ever fade away.


Good Lord, I am a tub of goo. My scalp aches, my blood is weary, I am stuffed with salt and fat and sugar and msg and caffeine and alcohol and I do not want to go running, no I don't.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Temperature: 63º
Weight: 174 lbs.
Weather: more humider.

Tremendous feeling. Felt better the minute I began moving. Must always stretch after a run. Must drink more water. Must stop putting everything in my mouth.

That's Good Genius Mix
Radio Free Europe (154 bpm) - R.E.M.
Head Over Heels (157 bpm) - The Go-Go's
Man In A Suitcase (Live) (159 bpm) - The Police
Sugar On My Tongue - Talking Heads
The Fanatic - Felony
Digital (169 bpm) - Joy Division
Contact - The Police
Let's Go - The Cars
Blind - Talking Heads

Apparently R.E.M. broke up. I also learned recently that Elvis is dead. Okay, enough with the jokes. They did make a good album.

But seriously, like most dudes my age I appreciated that they made the mid-80s considerably sugar-free.


Pop Song '89
Karl Dee & Hogg

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Do you remember?


Brent's parents called us The Troublemakers. He was the jokester, his twin the one I remember I could be serious with. I remember their room, Wacky Packages on every surface. Star Wars sheets. Rock And Roll Over. The Westlake Municipal Dump was our playground, where we played Vietnam, and found Playboy magazines. We made cigarettes from their older brother's rolling papers and dried Sassafras leaves from the tree in our yard, and smoked them in the attic over my garage. We ripped off K-Mart, over and over and again, stuffing our jackets with Micronauts and heading out unmolested into the parking lot through the Nursery.

I watched The Interception in their living room.

Hot Rod Lincoln. Cheech and Chong. Pee-Wee Herman. Big Chuck and Little John. Disco Duck. Space Invaders. Pop Muzik. Uncle Vic. Battle of the Planets and Star Blazers. They had cable first, and we watched every movie my parents would be horrified to know I was seeing. I made the most hideous mixed drink ever from their mom's liquor cabinet - like maybe, Vermouth & TAB.

We climbed through the sewers. We investigated all the new houses that were being built near our elementary school. We listened to that bit in Love Rollercoaster a hundred times and debated whether that was really the sound of a girl getting raped. We walked the pipe. We read the graffiti. We bought "near" beer. We stole candy from everywhere. We kept mice. We talked about the girls.

They had a way with girls that I did not. Once he helped me out after a disappointing (for me) game of Spin the Bottle by politely suggesting to his girlfriend that she give me my first tongue kiss, you know, as a favor. And she did. I still think that was entirely awesome.

We met in second grade, the Bicentennial. By 1980 it was as though we had known each other all our lives. Middle School was the most terrible place on earth for me, but I feel my association with them kept it from being the living hell it was for my older brother. By eighth grade, however, the differences were just too great. Their new friends hated me, the "trouble" we were getting into was losing its appeal to me, or it was just getting too deep. I was afraid, and they all knew it. Our friendship never officially ended in any kind of "break up." We just started "seeing other people."

In early 1996 we reconnected briefly ... I cannot even remember who got in touch with whom, or why, but I went over to their house with The Scroll, a fat roll of paper towel we snuck out of the bowling alley and started using as a journal, sharing it at each of our houses. But I was the one who wanted to be a writer, so it ended up with me. The twins told me they didn't really have any artifacts from their childhood, and they wanted to look at it again. This was when we were in our late-20s. I told them I would be happy if they kept it, and they were pleased at that.

His brother Burt told me later how surprised he was at the ending, when I was writing about all of the disappointment and confusion I was feeling, with our friendship ending. I no doubt sounded like a self-righteous little shit, but he understood that, and that it was coming from a thirteen year-old, and that it made him feel better to know that it was important to me. That they were important to me.

Last night my parents told me they saw Brent's obituary in the paper. I don't know yet what I am going to do about that. And I have been mood-swinging about it for twenty-four hours now. When I met him I was only slightly younger than my daughter is now. She seems so much older than I think of myself being, meeting him. God, we did a lot of illegal shit. Dangerous shit. And we had so much fun, before video games, before VHS and DVD, before MTV or much more than four TV stations. Suburbia was our playground, and we survived that.

I didn't play with my brothers when I was a kid. Henrik was always a school ahead of me, Denny (who turned 50 today) was practically an adult. Brent, his brother, our friends, defined my childhood. They were my childhood. We were boys. We were troublemakers. And that was awesome.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Temperature: 68º
Weight: 173.5 lbs.
Weather: nice. humid. at least it's dark.

September Genius Mix
September - Earth Wind & Fire
Let's Go Crazy - Prince & The Revolution
On & On (Live) - Erykah Badu
Got To Give It Up (Part 1) - Marvin Gaye
This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
Let's Hear It For The Boy - Deniece Williams

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Do The Hypocrite!


Very moody lately, unsettled. Waiting for big things to begin … disappointed at big things whcih have not. Feel it as a rise in my chest. About to get angry. Or cry. So I do neither.

This morning we rise at 6:30, later than planned. She suggests a run. Ridiculous. There isn’t enough time. She suggests a short one. I do not like short ones. Because Why?

Because it isn’t enough? Is none enough? Doesn’t make sense. She is right. And so I run. And the rising in my chest … lowers. A little. Enough. For now.

Distance: 2 miles
Weight: 173.5 lbs.
Weather: Wet pavement, cold air, good morning.

That’s Good! Genius Mix
Space Age Love Song - A Flock of Seagulls
Dance This Mess Around (153 bpm) - The B-52’s
The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) - They Might Be Giants
Slippery People (Live) - Talking Heads
Don’t Change (164 bpm) - INXS

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Assessment


September is the longest month. I have not run in two weeks, in which time we have started a new school year for the children, commenced rehearsals for the residency program, rehearsed and performed an original scene for a massive theater benefit, thrown a birthday celebration for the wife, attended curriculum night at the elementary school and today -- a wedding!

Today I watched a man with a goatee get loaded onto an ambulance. He was perhaps ten years older than I. He was sitting up. We hope for the best. I also ran past a funeral procession. Two weeks is too long between runs. Too many excuses. Must sleep more. Must move more. Must write more. Must read more.

More more more. How do you like it?

Distance: 3.3 miles
Weight: 173 lbs.
Weather: Cool and perfect.

That’s Good Genius Mix
That’s Good (152 bpm) - Devo
Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go-Go’s
Girl Frim Ipanema Goes to Greenland - The B-52’s
Dazzle - Siouxsie and the Banshees
Alex Chilton (164 bpm) - The Replacements
Senses Working Overtime - XTC
Angst In My Pants (156 bpm) - Sparks
Fredom of Choice - Devo

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Running with Libertarians


For Labor Day weekend we journeyed to Athens; the kids started school this past week, on Tuesday the good work begins again for the residency program at Great Lakes. For now, grilling and relaxing and drinking a little too much. I did not need that second Margarita last night (having already enjoyed two beers prior to that happy occasion) and going to sleep in fairly muggy discomfort on an air mattress with the commencement of a headache, I knew I would be waking with a hangover.

And yet. I had four glasses of water and four Ibuprofen and lay on my back with a cold cloth on my forehead to bring down the swelling, and woke in the middle of the night feeling pretty all right.

We had invited some friends down from Cleveland to join us; they had come for Thanksgiving last year and may have been more excited about spending time at my in-laws places than we were. Our kids were friends in pre-school and we’ve stayed in good contact over the years now that the children have grown. Chris asked if I still run, if I was planning to run, and if he could join me. So, uh, yeah, all right, I guess.

Running is a ritual that involves getting down with my disco self and my badass playlists, but running with a partner, occasionally, can be a good thing. The pacing is better, it is generally more interesting, having conversation slows you down in a good way, and there’s always a good excise to walk.

His running kit was amazing. Cotton T-shirt, cut-off jeans with boxers (ouch) and a pair of ten year-old sneakers with no socks.

I got to know Chris latest of their unit of four, he travels a lot and basically doesn’t like to come downtown. Last fall they joined us for some Oscar Wilde at Great Lakes, and he struck me as not so much bored as distressed at the concept of seeing a play. Then there’s the politics thing. I don’t generally relate well to libertarians. They ask too many questions -- “But don’t you think ..?” “If that’s the case, then ..?” And they have a general distrust of government that switches me off as much as anyone who has a general mistrust of religion. You can’t just write off any species of communal organizational unit that most of humanity is inevitably drawn to.

What I have come to admire about Chris is his open-mindedness, his begrudging optimism, and his sense of humor. This morning’s run turned out to be really enjoyable. And lunch was hilarious, and he wasn’t even drinking.

Distance: 4.25 miles
Temperature: 68º

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This is what you came here for.


82º? But ... it's 10 o'clock ...

Goodness. I forgot it was August.

Distance: 5.2 miles
Temperature: 82º
Weather: balmy and breezy
Weight: 171.5 lbs.

Lord. I just took a brisk, cold bath but the blood will not cool in my face.

We are not vegetarians in this house, but I believe we consume a higher percentage of vegetables and fruit in our daily diet than most Americans. I mean, we have to. Especially this time of year, when the wife picks up a big bag of City Fresh once a week. She is better at manipulating squash and zucchini than anyone.

Monday night she left it to me to create the creamy zucchini soup. You wouldn't know it was zucchini when I was done with it. Last night it was a faux beefaroni with cheese. We do eat a lot of cheese.

Tonight as I am halving the main vegetable in preparation for roasting, the girl sees what I am doing and delightfully squeals, "Butternut squash with butter! Okay!" It was an acorn squash, but she was so cute.

Do What U Like Genius Mix

Dust In The Wind - Gabriel & Dresden
Fire - Ferry Corsten
LA Ride - Tiësto
Closer - Gabriel & Dresden
Hi Friend! - Deadmau5 ft. MC Flipside
Smack My Bitch Up - Prodigy
Kalifornia - The Crystal Method
Dangerous Power (Gabriel & Dresden Extended Mix) - Gabriel & Dresden

Monday, August 22, 2011

You got the moves. So let's see them.


After more than a week, I was yearning to go for a run. I had become depressed and unhappy. But by evening last night, my eyes were aching, and my ears felt stuffed, my head full of painful density.

But I suited up, and headed out. The first ten paces were wonderful. Then I felt the weight of my stomach, I felt heavy and unwieldly. After a few houses I was overwhelmed by fatigue, and the pain behind my eyes, weighing on my head beginning to swell.

I knew that if I could just keep going, this would pass. I turned the corner, and my temples began to throb, and them my entire head was biting with pain. I slowed to a walk, pulled off my kerchief, rubbed the space between my eyes, breathed deeply and step by step I headed home.

Four pain relievers, two Benadryls, and a trippy night's sleep. When I woke the pain was still there.

Oh, the great turn of the season.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Temperature: 66º
Weather: lovely.
Weight: 171.5 lbs.

Good Lord. That was much better.

Do What U Like Genius Mix
Do What U Like - Bad Boy Bill
Rocket Ride (160 bpm) - Felix da Housecat
Derezzed - Daft Punk
Feel It In My Bones - Tiësto ft. Tegan & Sara
Cascades Of Colour - Ananda Project
Gypsy Woman - Crystal Waters
The Launch (Rollercoaster's Pumped Up Mix) - DJ Jean
9 PM ('Till I Come) (Signum Remix) - ATB

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Let the man go through.


What an amazing day! It is truly astonishing what my family and I can accomplish around the house when we have absolutely nothing else to do. I cannot remember a Saturday in the past several years when there hasn't been something to do.

...

... we forgot a birthday party, I know it.

Anyway, we were all sorting, bagging, putting things away -- in my case, safely getting mold off things. It was a great success. Then I whipped together garlicky kale and whole wheat pasta and we all watched Project Runway.

"Little House on the Gay-rie." How's that?

Distance: 5.2 miles
Temperature: 75º
Weather: Full moon!
Weight: 173 lbs.

Okay, he's something running relevant. I ache. Ever since I was running those hills and uneven roads in Maine, I have been hurting. My knees, my back, but in a very odd and unpleasant way, my hips. Not in the socket, the was it hurt during training for example, but behind the iliac crest -- I believe I have that right. Not my hip, really, my pelvis.

Um, should I be worried about this? Is it because I am carrying more weight these days? Or just because I am ageing?

Tonight's run was awesome, by the way. Full moon, not ridiculously humid (by Cleveland standards.) And people were sharing the sidewalk for a change.

The Distance Genius Mix
The Distance - Cake
The Sound of Settling - Death Cab for Cutie
Add It Up - Violent Femmes
Super Bon Bon - Soul Coughing
Under the Milky Way - The Church
We're Going To Be Friends - The White Stripes
Hang Me Up To Dry - Cold War Kids
Jerk It Out - Caesars
Radio Free Europe - R.E. M.
Hey Jealousy - Gin Blossoms
The Beginning of the End of the Beginning - Smashing Pumpkins
The New Pollution - Beck

What is up with all this rock-pop crap? Daddy needs techno.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Last night I dreamed I had burning hands.

I guess that this must be the place.

Running just before sunrise in the middle of a cool break in August. Cool as June (but not this June.) Getting up early enough so that there is time to stretch out there where it's nice before coming in to prepare for the day. Pack lunches. Make breakfast. Send everyone off to camp. Vacation is over for me, but summer isn't.

Dreamland Genius Mix
Dreamland - The B-52's
Other Voices - The Cure
Dazzle - Siouxsie & The Banshees
Like A Stranger - The Psychedelic Furs
That's Good - Devo
Hold Me My Daddy - XTC
Never Let Me Down - David Bowie

Distance: 3.35 miles
Temperature: 72º
Weather: cerulean blue skies (with white fluffy clouds)
Weight: 174.5 lbs.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Back and forth across the sea.


Five days. Five runs. Bright and clear, smelling of salt and low tide. My right hip aches, but you will excuse me for sounding trite, it is an ache that makes me feel alive.

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 65º

What You Need Genius Mix
Obsession - Animotion
Love Is A Stranger - Eurythmics
Rapture (Special Disco Mix) - Blondie
Don't Get Me Wrong - The Pretenders
Lay Your Hands On Me - The Thompson Twins
Burn For You - INXS

Thursday, August 04, 2011

I see a ship in the harbor.

Me and my cousins, and you and your cousins.
It's a line that is always running.
Overcast and cool ... but deceptive. Humid. Waiting for the rain that never arrives. Waving hello to a passing truck or SUV or Prius. Calling out "Mornin'!" to dogwalkers and old people, even though I can't hear them over all the New Wave pop.

In North Carolina my neck seized and I developed a bizarre digestive illness, here my side aches. I am impressed I can feel my arms after rowing for an hour so the boy could fish.

The extended family gathers, my cousins and their kids -- and now their kids. The eldest of my first cousin's offspring was born in 1980, my brother's girl born in 2008. Their generation spans 28 years.

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 69º

What You Need Genius Mix
I Want Your Sex - George Michael
Overkill - Men at Work
In Between Days - The Cure
Poison Arrow - ABC
Blue Monday - New Order
What I Am - Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians
Psycho Killer (Live) - Talking Heads

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

That makes me sweat.


Every day's forecast says tomorrow it will thunderstorm. Yesterday was darker than usual, with threatening rumbles in the distance, but nothing but a little rain here, briefly. Right now, gorgeous, again.

Running, every day, is glorious, but wearing. The hills are exciting and I never get tired of this short route. But my shins are singing, and my back hurts. The wife reminded me to stretch right after the run, which I usually don't bother to do.

What You Need Genius Mix
Don't Stand So Close To Me - The Police
Need You Tonight - INXS
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
We Got the Beat - The Go-Go's
Saved By Zero - The Fixx
Call Me (Debbie Does Dallas Mix) - Blondie
Wild Wild Life - Talking Heads
Why Can't I Be You - The Cure

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 67º

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Captured here in my "quotation marks."

Martin's Point Run

Still a bit hazy out ... but a little late for the cool part of the morning. It was wondrous humid. Still. Delightful. Keep your head up, you might miss something.

What You Need Genius Mix
Driven To Tears (Live) - The Police
I Can't Wait - Nu Shooz
Watching the Detectives - Elvis Costello
Pump It Up - Elvis Costello
Everyday I Write the Book - Elvis Costello
I Got You - Split Enz
Fragile (168 bpm) - Sting
Sowing the Seeds of Love - Tears For Fears

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 68º

Monday, August 01, 2011

Got motion.


Most of my running this summer has not been in the city in which I live. Discuss.

Following two days of highly effective and pleasant driving (my children are a blessing, they truly are) and reading almost half of Chamber of Secrets aloud (the first time I rolled out my Alan Rickman I made the wife snort) we arrived in Friendship, ancestral rental site of my kin.

There's a diner in Brunswick, one car, busted jukeboxes on every table but it's clean, terribly authentic, with one surprisingly hot waitress on at 7 pm on a Sunday night. I have been there a few times in my life, the wife had been looking forward to the place all day, and we made it just in the time, our only restaurant meal of the day. To jump the crazies out, she took them all out into the patio for calisthenics to the delight of the retired couple a few booths down. The American road trip continues to please.

Slept late -- the cabin is full right now, almost all rooms occupied, several with children. There was a bit of a mid-night circus happening for about an hour, odd snores, lone, single pleas from five year-olds, the grinding teeth of the girl. Trips to the bathroom. Another snore. I slept latest of everyone this morning, and hit the road after eight, just before the morning mist was about to burn off.

Fishing with the boy. Dogs. Sandwiches. The girl reacquaints herself with friends made last summer like they were never apart. Flood's Cove. The world continues to turn.

Distance: 3.8 miles
Temperature: 67º

What You Need Genius Mix
What You Need (Extended Mix) - INXS
Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go-Go's
Kiss Off - Violent Femmes
Union of the Snake (The Monkey Mix) - Duran Duran
Brass In Pocket - The Pretenders
You May Be Right - Billy Joel
You're All I've Got Tonight - The Cars

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We ran in the night.

My own writing!

Damnable weather. No run in over ten days for a variety of reasons, temperatures in the nineties may or may not be one of them. Happy to say it was my wife who encouraged me to get out at 5:30 ... only to find the atmosphere remains hot and humid.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 82º
Weather: I sweat.
Weight: 165.5 lbs.

Since my illness in North Carolina, I have been plagued, on and off again, with intestinal distress. Nausea. Had it two weeks ago, had it last week. So I examine my behavior. Poor diet, eating too much. Serious lack of sleep. And the heat.

Took care of the diet, for the most part. Nausea helps with that. More water. Lots of vegetables, much less meat. And my wife has, as much as she can, helped me to get to bed earlier. Five, six hours a night were slowly destroying me.

And the heat. No air conditioner in my car, driving home in the late afternoon can ruin me for the rest of the evening. So she has loaned me her car. And it makes a difference.

Trying to remember why the date "July 20" was so important. Knew it wasn't the moon landing. That's right, five year ago yesterday, while I was keeping him, my son fractured his skull. Five years ago today they put his head back together.

Cold War Dance Party Mix
Dissidents - Thomas Dolby
The Gap - The Thompson Twins
Road To Nowhere - Talking Heads
New Frontier - Donald Fagen
Party At Ground Zero - Fishbone
I Melt With You - Modern English

Top Running Blog

Who knew?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

You always seem to make me feel at home.

Route: Lakewood Park Loop
Total Distance: 4.15 miles
Temperature: 89º degrees

Another writing vacation at my parents' house in Lakewood. You know what goes poorly together? Strenuous yardwork in 90 degree temps followed by two Christmas Ales at a cookout, and hitting the sack at midnight in your folks' poorly air conditioned and (for some reason my wife and I have yet to understand) terribly dehydrating home.

But rise I did. Write I have. And I continue to, though it was necessary to first of all, run, which I have not done in a week (goodbye ocean, hello lake) and to visit Root Cafe to spend that Groupon the wife bought almost a month ago.

Meantime, the wife sent this reassuring link:

10 Ways of Thinking That Lead to Writing Procrastination and Rebuttals to Those Thoughts

Thought #11: I have to tell everyone about this in my blog.

Rebuttal: Who do you think you are?

Romancing the Stone Genius Mix
Romancing the Stone (12” Mix) - Eddy Grant
Johnny Come Home - Fine Young Cannibals
Forever Live and Die - Orchestral Manouvers in the Dark
I Don’t Want to Be a Hero - Johnny Hates Jazz
Union of the Snake (The Monkey Mix) - Duran Duran
Saved By Zero - The Fixx
Are We Ourselves? - The Fixx
It’s My Life - Talk Talk
One Night in Bangkok - Murray Head

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Pirate ships and fairy tales.

Route:
Topsail Beach (1) - 4.15 miles
Topsail Beach (4) - 2.37 miles barefoot.
Total Distance: 6.5 miles
Temperature: 71º degrees

Yesterday brought me crashing down, it was a physically overwhelming day, too much light, heat and wind for me. I would have preferred to stay up late - again - listening to what must be the best miniature golfing soundtrack in the country (Sinatra, Dylan, Chuck Berry - as well as Diana Krall, Stereolab and Beth Orton) but instead had to retire early (10 pm) with a headache.

We spent a good part of the day on the beach, in the surf, out of the surf, managing children who cannot get enough of simply being here. We found two large, feisty blue crabs, a few flounder, and a ray in the tide pools. I made a sand castle on a sand bar and watched it wash away. Tonight, like most nights, we have eaten tremendously well -- grilled grouper and swordfish, corn-on-the-cob and red potatoes, and of course beer, wine, rum & coke and daiquiris.

I have been reading Shakespeare's Henry VIII (All Is True) - backwards. I started reading it from the beginning but found it a little dry, so I read the fifth act first, then the fourth, and that has been very exciting. It's an old hardback Arden edition, one of Calvin's. His books that I have include the best margin notes, this one doesn't have as many as, say, Hamlet does (that one has index cards of notes stuffed between the pages) but they are good for a laugh. I'll be reading a stretch of surprisingly tepid prose, glance at the margin and there will be Calvin's cramped hand reading "Fletcher?"

Get it?

Playlist: Gabriel & Dresden - Gabriel & Dresden

Got my final run of the trip in early. (71º? Really?) There's sand in the camera, boo. All in all, a very relaxing (oh yes, don't let me confuse you) vacation. The children have been in heaven. The boy caught a black bass around 5:30 am this morning (the wife took him this time, bless her) and the girl had gorged herself on card games, wave jumping and cable TV.

I will miss this place, but I am also looking forward to normal life. And that's good, too.

Just a drop of water in an endless sea.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Back on the mic is the anti-depressor.


In spite of my having spent a good part of Tuesday in bed (ugh) today was the laziest day by far. Time in the surf, to be sure, and a nice, long walk with the wife down a sand bar and back. And then ... reading. Writing. Even a short nap. MIL looks fetching with a bandana around her head, she's a pirate. Little too much Disney Channel going on here, we all stayed up until 11 PM last night watching Lemonade Mouth.

OMG.

Since getting over whatever stomach virus I had, I have developed a really painful kink in my neck. This evening the wife stove her toe on the beach. The ex-wife has informed me she is somewhere on this island. This vacation has become the Voyage of the Damned. Still, nice night for a run.

Except for the gnats. Gnats at twilight, just a tip.

Route: Topsail Beach (3)
Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 81º degrees

Far East Movement. Because the time between Black Eyed Peas albums is just too long.

Dynamite Summer 2011
Breakthrough - Lemonade Mouth
Tightrope - Janelle Monáe ft. Big Boi
2012 (It Ain't the End) - Jay Sean feat. Nicki Minaj
Make Some Noise - Beastie Boys
Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz ft. Ludacris
Rocketeer - Far East Movement
House of Love - East 17

Bridget Mendler, Triple Threat. Can't act. Can't sing. Can't act like she's singing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm doing one hundred on the highway, so if you do the speed limit, get the f*ck out of my way.

As my man Kurt C. says, "Fish don't have feelings."

Route: Topsail Beach (2)
Distance: 3.08 miles
Temperature: 76º degrees

Playlist: All Day - Girl Talk

First full day was disorienting. The run took a lot more out of me than I could have expected, the weirdness I have been feeling since Saturday had not abated, my neck is sore, and I have been feeling generally exhausted. Not weary, like I want to go to sleep, just a general sense of lethargy. This is very disappointing to my daughter, who wants me to leap into the surf with her and generally act all crazy.

I have been leaping in the surf, and working on the crazy. We have also done a good bit of fishing off of the pier, because the boy demands it. Rod rentals expire at 6 am, so we were out yesterday morning at 5 am to get another hour in. Who's a good dad? That's right.

Meanwhile, my guts were roiling, intermittently. Don't know why that was. UNLESS it has a direct relationship to my doctor and I agreeing to cut the dose in half for the time being. It was my idea, I have been alarmed at how tired I get every evening and how much that affects my ability to do creative work.

Of course, my being fatigued may also be directly correlated to the fact that I never sleep.

In the end, I ingested a great deal of Pepto Bismol ... which stanches the diarrhea, but that just leaves you with a big, distended belly and no release. I'm sorry, TMI? You're reading the wrong blog. I'm in my 40s, I don't care anymore.

Baaahhh...

Today I woke feeling MUCH better, and even spent time alone out in the surf, riding the waves. Practically insane, and glad to be without pain. In the evening we all got nice and tight, and my MIL fell on her face bringing dog food in from the car and is currently on her way to Wilmington to have her forehead stitched up.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Keep your eyes on the road.


Route: Topsail Beach (1)
Distance: 4.15 miles
Temperature: 78º degrees

Playlist: Drive - The Crystal Method

Last summer my MIL reserved a beachhouse at Topsail Beach, NC and invited every one of us in. My family, her other kids and their significants, my wife’s aunt, and her son who was on leave from Kuwait. Everyone was there.

Except me, I was still required for theater camp. That was fine. I seem to remember enjoying the peace and quiet, a little. MIL was so pleased with the experince, she’s done it again! This time several of the others couldn’t make it - but I could. It’s my turn at Topsail Beach.

Since we started dating my wife and I discovered a mutual appreciation for the highway, for roadside attractions, regional diners and honky tonk. Okay, not that last one - she liked honky tonk, and I needed to develop a tolerance and then an appreciation as one does for tobacco or bourbon or pot liquor or oral sex.

Saturday, however, as we were in the homestretch of packing, I began to sdduenly feel despondent and anxious. My back seized a little. I was depressed. The first leg of the journey was a challenge, sitting in the passenger seat, trying to just stare out the window, or maybe read, listen to music. Not try so hard. Don’t think about deadlines. Just be here, in the car.

Tamarack cheered me a good deal. It shares an offramp with a rest stop, but stands separately, a large circular structure which plays home to wide selection of products created by regional artisans and business people. Wood carvings, coal carvings, enormous lollipops and soap. I was impressed and surprised by the vast selection of CDs and books by and about West Virginians.

Beware the Mothman.

They also have a nice cafeteria at Tamarack.

The wife is also very good at bargain hunting online and made a real good reservation just before we left for a Microtel which was book solid by the time we got there. You don’t think of small towns of the highway as being anyplace large numbers of people would choose to spend the night - but that’s the whole point. They are the small towns on the way to somewhere else, by the highway. Duh.

As anyone who has known us long enough is aware, we are inordinately proud of our pledge to never eat at a chain restaurant on road trips, journeys to Athens do not count. We established this rule for our first road trip in 1995 and have stuck with it ever since.

Did I mention yesterday was our 12th wedding anniversary? Thank you.

It’s a daunting task sometimes, when you are hungry, getting off the highway, seeing all those familiar signs. Instead, we press on into town, sometimes a mile or two or three from the highway. Time away from making time, trying to simultaneously enjoy the unfamiliar surroundings, but also try to divine the closest potential location for a diner or family restaurant.

Hmn. Maybe it’s time for an iPhone.

So we got off in the Wake Forest University area, and found Jimmy the Greek in a strip mall. If living in Cleveland Heights has taught me anything, it’s that excellent independent restaurants can certain be found in a strip mall. And there’s nothing to confirm the quality of a local establishment than to see the parade of satisfied, multi-racial families still dressed up from church streaming out just past lunchtime.

Chicken and waffles AND souvlaki? Yes, thank you, ma'am!

This morning was a beast, I even sat up once to get me run on and just lay back down again. My sinuses, my head, aren't right. So it waited until 8:30. Glad to say I am not the only lunatic choosing to run with the sun high, and the humidity deep. By the time I was through my chin was no longer up and I could not longer wave at every passerby.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Like I'm on fire.


Fire Genius Mix
Fire - Ferry Corsten
9 PM (‘Till I Come) - ATB
Mass Repeat - Gabriel & Dresden
Strobe - Deadmau5
Lonliness (MUC Remix) - Tomcraft
Hi Friend! - Deadmau5 ft. MC Flipside
LA Ride - Tiësto
Uninvited - Freemasons 
Dangerous Power (Extended Mix) - Gabriel & Dresden

Distance: 5 miles

A few years ago (2006) there was a trend of sampling one single line from some really familiar song by a white pop star from the 1980s and using that as the basis for an entire house mix.  Call on Me by Eric Prydz.  Tell Me Why by Supermode. Proper Education by ...well, Eric Prydz.  Last week on Pandora I caught this one that I had never heard before - Fire by Ferry Corsten.  What was particularly interesting was unlike those other tracks, the lyric from a single from the least popular Duran Duran record ever made.  I thought I was one of two people who knew or was fond of the song Serious from the album Liberty.  But apparently Ferry Corsten likes it.

Lakewood, Ohio, your sidewalks are awful.  Oh, I have been known to complain about sidewalks in the Cleveland Heights, but the sidewalks of Clifton Boulevard and Lake Avenue are a horrible clown show.

Beautiful, cool morning.  Happy Father’s Day.  Almost had an accident, thank heaven for Lakewood Park. Mmm. Toilet.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just 'cause you're hungry doesn't mean that you're lean.


Radio Disney Top 13 of 2011
2012 (It Ain't the End) - Jay Sean feat. Nicki Minaj
Breakthrough - Lemonade Mouth
Drunk Girls (Holy Ghost! Remix) - LCD Soundsystem
Tightrope (168 bpm) - Janelle Monáe ft. Big Boi
Like Em All - Jacob Latimore ft. Diggy Simmons
Derezzed - Daft Punk
Dynamite - Taio Cruz
Firework - Katy Perry
Too Dramatic (166 bpm) - Ra Ra Riot
Like a G6 - Far East Movement
Make Some Noise - Beastie Boys
Shake It Up - Selena Gomez & The Scene
Blue Tip - The Cars

Ladies and gentlemen ... 44 Playlists for 44 Years.

Distance: 5.75 miles
Temperature: 66º
Weather: warm. nice.
Weight: 172.5 lbs.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My heart starts beating like a big, bass drum, alright.

The last several nights have been a breeze, running 3 miles or so, feeling like I could farther but choosing not to. Tonight my knees hurt. Now that I am resting, my ankles and feet hurt. I've been on my feet all day for a change, at drama camp, that might have something to do with it.

It should not have taken so long to complete 44 playlists for 44 years. The last time it took this long (longer, actually) it was because I had a torn meniscus. And back then I started in February, not January.

Three runs in March? I know the weather was bizarre, that's no excuse.

One run more to close it out. Music from this year. Expect a lot of stuff from Radio Disney, because that's the only station I get to listen to.

1971 Playlist
Life On Mars? - David Bowie
What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
Roundabout - Yes
Bitch - The Rolling Stones
Tokoloshe Man - John Kongos
Joy To The World - Three Dog Night
I Feel The Earth Move - Carole King

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 66º
Weather: cool. sunset.
Weight: 169 lbs.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It's hotter than I've known before but I feel so cold and I don't know why.


Perfect late spring day. Fantastic. Cool, bright, awesome utterly.

This has been a tremendous weekend, marked by what was achieved and also by what wasn't. I wish we could have been two or three places at once. Our family is a well-functioning collective, and negotiations are pretty easy.

Tomorrow summer theater camp begins. I have been commissioned to write three plays at once. Yes, three. And there are books to read and trips to the pool and driving vacations.

Today, and tomorrow, life is good.

1981 Playlist
My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone) - Chilliwack
Super Freak - Rick James
Bad Reputation - Joan Jett
Behind The Lines - Phil Collins
Hungry For You (J'aurais Toujours Faim De Toi) - The Police
Freeze Frame - J. Geils Band
Hold On Tight - ELO
Sat In Your Lap - Kate Bush

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 61º
Weather: bright, cool n' humid
Weight: 169 lbs.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What are you looking at?


Ladies and gentlemen ... Master Robert Jeffrey, age 9.

1991 Playlist
Too Much Passion - The Smithereens
The Other Side Of Summer - Elvis Costello
Why Should I Cry For You? - Sting
Crazy - Seal
Enter Sandman - Metallica
Unbelievable (Boot Lane Mix) - EMF

Lawsy. In spite of any distress the past several runs have caused, I must say I have gotten used to running five miles. Three-point-two-five seems all too brief. Still it was well after 10.30 pm when I took off, and who knows, maybe I will have the opportunity to run tomorrow night.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 73º
Weather: yes, humid.
Weight: 175 lbs.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Put your body in motion.

"Smoking is very glamorous."

Ten years ago the wife and I boarded a plane for a two-week visit to London. And I stopped smoking forever.

2001 Playlist
One More Time - Daft Punk
Can't Get You Out Of My Head - Kylie Minogue
By Your Side (Ben Watt Remix) - Sade
August Day Song (King Britt Mix) - Bebel Gilberto
Start the Commotion - Wiseguys
Hindi Sad Diamonds - Nicole Kidman, John Leguizamo & Alka Yagnik

That summer I was in my second fourth childhood. Being around young people can do that, spending time with the company members of my wife's play which was gearing up for a trip to New York. It's not just them, however, it's the music. We're doing some bulk mailing thing and Dan is playing that Daft Punk album (which my wife cannot stand) and I get a copy and suddenly, for some reason, I am spending long hours playing illegally downloaded 8-bit video games from my adolescence and wishing I could do Ecstasy.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Temperature: 82º
Weather: humid ... but dark.
Weight: 171.5 lbs.

Got into a fender bender today, kid hit me from behind. I think my neck is all right. The run warmed it up, I have taken a handful of naproxen. Must run after dark, can't stand the heat and sun together.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

... in the midday sun.


Men of a certain age like Kate Bush. Discuss.

Distance: 5.15 miles
Duration 45 minutes
Pace: 8.7 min/mile
Temperature: 88º
Weather: stupid.
Weight: 168.5 lbs.
(I sweat away 3 lbs.)

Hot. Thirsty. HUNGRY!!!

I swear it was only 81º when I took off. I still would have gone running, on this hot and sunny day, as insane as that may be. The wife is in Tuscon this weekend, and right now the kids are at friends' houses. This is my time. So I run.

WARNING: Groin talk.


The other day -- National Running Day -- I really pushed it out. Today was wearying (check that pace, I had to stop twice to walk a block-length) but Thursday I was making myself miserable. And that night my right hip ached the way it hadn't since I was in training, five years ago. That night, while defecating (warned you) my varicose vein started flaring up. It hasn't done that in years.

The wife says I need to lose weight. And she's right.

1972 Playlist
Crocodile Rock (149 bpm) - Elton John
Superstition - Stevie Wonder
I'm So Free (159 bpm) - Lou Reed
Rock On - T. Rex
Do It Again - Steely Dan
Pablo Picasso - The Modern Lovers
Blockbuster - Sweet
Rocks Off - The Rolling Stones
Rock and Roll Part 2 - Gary Glitter
Hi Hi Hi - Paul McCartney & Wings
Jimmy Loves Mary Ann - Looking Glass
Suffragette City - David Bowie


Best. Perp walk. Ever.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Not to try to push our bodies any faster.

I love the neighbors' kids.


Distance: 5.15 miles
Duration 41 minutes
Pace: 7.8 min/mile
Temperature: 81º
Weather: hot! humid!
Weight: 172 lbs.

How many have you killed today, National Running Day?

My Lord, that was HORRIBLE. No one to blame but myself, I can handle heat. I can handle humidity. What I cannot handle is two servings of pesto pasta inside my fat belly before all the heat, humidity and direct sunlight.

For the first three miles, it was just like carrying a baby in my belly. Okay, I know, not just like that. But you know. Like that.

My head began to swell. I desperately wanted something to drink, in spite of having had two glasses of water before heading out. But there is nothing on this five mile route for me. No water fountains, nothing.

Then ... the burps. I need not continue.

AND YET. The final mile, THOUGH it was into the sun, THOUGH it includes the ups and downs of a half-dozen curbs and final, mild incline, finally, at long last, I hit it.

It took five miles. But it was worth it. Thank you, National Running Day.

Now I must vomit and shower.

1982 Playlist
Desperate But Not Serious - Adam Ant
Let's Pretend We're Married - Prince
Situation - Yazoo
The Chauffeur - Duran Duran
Beat It - Michael Jackson
Hungry Like The Wolf (Night Version) - Duran Duran
It's Nearly Africa - XTC
The Hanging Garden - The Cure

Monday, May 30, 2011

Can I kiss you on the boob?


Observations While Running ...

DUDE: You know how birds make that "V" formation then they fly? You know why one side of the "V" is always longer?

ANOTHER DUDE: No, why is one side longer?

DUDE: There's more birds on that side.

I love that joke. Thank you, Chris Bohan.

Running by the Hocking, however, I saw something I'd never seen before. One flock of birds (not sure what they were) flew up from one band, as another flew up from the far bank. Each was in a single, opposing, diagonal line. The two lines came together gracefully over the river - creating a "V".

Here's a reminder for runners who sit by the pool or wear the flip-flops. Put sunscreen on your feet. Because they can burn. Yes they can.

Every now and then I get numbness or tingling in my fingers when I run. Not all the time. Today, for example, and a week or so ago. Answers? Anybody?

Bumper sticker of the weekend:

When evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve.

Thank you, Athens. Time to head home.

Distance: 4.25 miles
Temperature: 69°F


1992 Playlist
House of Love - East 17
Girlfriend - Matthew Sweet
Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover - Sophie B. Hawkins
Nearly Lost You - Screaming Trees
Steam - Peter Gabriel
Rump Shaker - Wreckx-N-Effect
Springtheme - Ween
Free Your Mind - En Vogue

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hold the other cheek brave.

The aroma of pre-treated raw sewage always takes me back to my pre-adolescent romantic yearnings.

Distance: 4.25 miles
Temperature: 76°

The morning is for families and disgruntled golfers. Packs of families on bicycles, baby-wagons in tow, maybe mom is pedaling with dad on a pair on in-line skates. Everyone wearing wide-brimmed floppy hats and reeking of sunscreen. Meanwhile, dudes by the river, trying to get a putt in wait, survey, wiggle their hips, look up, get this pissy look on their face and wait a little longer.

2002 Playlist
Spectral Mornings - Cornershop
Cry Me a River - Justin Timerblake
Heavy Metal Drummer - Wilco
Bring Me To Life - Evanescence
The Man Comes Around - Johnny Cash
Let's Go Again - Telepopmusik
Ug (178 bpm) - Mr. Scruff

Hot. Sweaty. Sunshower, mmmm. Dr. Bronner's. Sundried. We're all going to the pool!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday night's all right.

Exhausted. Eye-strain. Slightly nauseous. Dehydrated? Big glass of water. Banana. Feeling bloated. Two days of troubling digestion. Beautiful in Athens. Time for a run.

Distance: 4.25 miles
Temperature: 79°

Late afternoon run by South Green. Undergrad couple having a picnic by the Hocking. I've been there, I've done that. I look at the parking dock behind Wray House, and the one next to it, can't remember its name. Twenty years ago this weekend I flew home from Los Angeles to go with my girlfriend to a three-day pagan festival in Indiana. Seriously. Two decades.

Awesome run. Every symptom I reported at the beginning of this post? Forget about them. I feel spirited.

Time to eat grilled burgers and swill iced mojitos.

1973 Playlist
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting - Elton John
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five - Paul McCartney & Wings
Living For The City - Stevie Wonder
Free Ride - The Edgar Winter Group
Stuck In The Middle With You - Stealers Wheel
Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder
Blockbuster - Sweet
Heartbeat (It's a Lovebeat) - The DeFranco Family
Keep Yourself Alive - Queen

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How does it feel?

Running from dusk until dark, the temperature is high but the breeze is cool. Deceptive. Muscles relax, warm, I fly down the street. I am not even trying.

I have not run for ten days. It never lets up. Grants to complete, birthday parties to throw, houses to clean and laundry to do, classic novels to adapt (no time to read) meetings to attend, notes to take ... I am not missing anything, but I am hitting everything. So much to do. But as long as the rain holds and the air is good.

My head is clear. The seasons have changed. My head does not hurt, my sinuses are free. Remember this feeling. Be glad. You can breathe, and think.

My basement is seeping. The garage is falling over. When I am dead these things will not matter. My girl stayed up past 10 PM to finish her science project. She is so dedicated to her work, whatever it is.

The boy and I played baby pat-a-cake games from a book ... I have seen this book on the shelf for years but never opened it, not this one. He said the book is really for little kids, but he didn't care. He's going to be big so soon.

Let the basement crumble. Let the garage collapse. This day will never come again.

1983 Playlist
Don't Let Go - Wang Chung
Leilani - Hoodoo Gurus
Young Guns (Go For It!) - Wham!
I Love You - Yello
Kiss Off (177 bpm) - Violent Femmes
Just Got Lucky - JoBoxers
Blue Monday - New Order
I Don't Remember - Peter Gabriel
Someone To Talk To (158 bpm) - The Police
Undercover of the Night - The Rolling Stones

That was a really good year for music.

Distance: 5.15 miles
Temperature: 70º
Weather: GLORIOUS
Weight: 169 lbs.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

They're terribly, terribly, terribly moody.


The Full Cleveland in Four Minutes

The answer is no, I am not running The Cleveland this weekend. I actually entertained the idea of running the Half - once again - but in the interests of not doing serious damage to, well, any part of me, really, I would have insisted on doing at least a modicum of preparatory runs but they never happened. 10 miles two weeks ago? 8 two weeks before that? Just too much else going on.

I am a little happier with the route. They keep altering the route. Now it's back to up the Shoreway first, and West Cleveland then through Ohio City & Tremont before coming back through downtown - and up Euclid, which is entirely new. It's still six miles flat out of tow, only now with a jog North on 55th Street to Chester before hitting MLK and the horrible run into the wind, back into the city.

Euclid Avenue means -- PlayhouseSquare! And Cleveland State University! And ... eventually ... wait for it ... past a bunch of brownfields ... don't like the look of that guy ... here we go ... and ... The Agora!!!

Here's to all my homies on the run tomorrow. I'll put in six for you on my own.

1993 Playlist
Too Much Information (12" Jellybean Mix) - Duran Duran
All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
Human Behaviour - Björk
Rebirth of Slick - Digable Planets
Macarena - Los Del Rio
None Of Your Business - Salt-N-Pepa
My Sister - Juliana Hatfield Three
Step It Up - Stereo MC's
That's What I Think - Cyndi Lauper
Nuthin' But A G Thang - Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg

Distance: 5.15 miles
Temperature: 66º
Weather: rain ... humid ...
Weight: 169 lbs.

Had my gear on yesterday, and it came down hard, so I decided not to. Then it stopped, and I suited up again, and it rained again, so I gave today. Today I was all ready to go, and it started to thunder and pour.

I started out anyway. And it stopped after 30 seconds. Thor can suck on it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just 'cause you feel it doesn't mean it's there.

After the rains ... Cleveland Heights smells like ... freshly peeled potatoes. That's weird.

The George Gund Foundation employed world-renown, award-winning photographer Amy Arbus to capture images of artists from Cleveland arts organizations they support, including Cleveland Public Theatre, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Karamu House, GroundWorks DanceTheatre and the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. I am honored to have participated. All of the photographs are beautiful, and make me proud of Cleveland's cultural arts scene.

The weather is turning. I have been wearier of all of the carping about this winter than of the weather itself ... but it has been grueling. A lot of snow. A lot of cold. A lot of rain. And here we are. Almost makes it worth it.

2003 Playlist
Zombie Nation (Dave Clarke Remix) - Kernkraft 400
Milk Shake - Melis
There There (The Boney King of Nowhere) - Radiohead
Krazy In Luv (Junior's Dance Radio Mix) - Beyoncé
Toxic - Britney Spears
Sunrise - Simply Red
Burning Down The House - Tom Jones & The Cardigans
Mainframe - Kaada
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight - The Postal Service
The Way You Move - OutKast Feat. Sleepy Brown
Slow (Chemhical Brothers Remix) - Kylie Minogue

Distance: 5.15 miles
Temperature: 61º
Weather: what i dream about when i dream about running
Weight: 170 lbs.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Bet you'd sell your mother.

Tweeting about eating.

In the mid-morning, I hunger, and feel ill. I try to stanch the feeling with water, maybe coffee, or a piece of gum.

At lunch, at last, I eat. By this time I have snacked, hopefully on something good I have brought with me, like carrots or an apple.

Regardless, I feel bloated and unhappy. I need to unbutton my pants. I have gas. I become lethargic, less productive. I struggle.

When I eat a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie, I see the face of Jesus.

When I have 99 cent bag of Doritos, it tastes like ground glass. When I tuck into a Family Sized bag, all is right in creation.

So much housework, no time to run. Feels pointless, anyhow.

Eating is easy. Making time for me is hard.

1974 Playlist
Stone Cold Crazy - Queen
The Wall Street Shuffle - 10cc
Loose Booty - Sly & The Family Stone
Chameleon - Maynard Ferguson
In The Cage - Genesis
It's Only Rock N' Roll (But I Like It) - The Rolling Stones
Boogie On Reggae Woman - Stevie Wonder
September Gurls - Big Star

Distance: 4 miles
Temperature: 64º
Weather: warm and lovely
Weight: 170 lbs.

Happy Mom's, yo.