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.


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.


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