Saturday, September 29, 2012

Run around, around and 'round.

The 90s didn't really begin until Clinton took office. The 80s hangover of the Bush I years included some of the most unfortunate clothing, hair and music choices of the 20th Century. At least, it did for me. During the 1990s I was hyper-conscious of living in the now, that these were THE NINETIES. And so was everyone else.

Of course, I spent a lot of the 90s wallowing in the 70s, but that has to do with rediscovering my childhood, which was a Gen-X pastime in the 90s. It wasn't until 1997 that I was suddenly obsessed with the Millennium.

Stereolab - Dots and Loops (1997)
Miss Modular
The Flower Called Nowhere
Diagonals (167 bpm)
Prisoner of Mars (171 bpm)
Rainbo Conversation
Refractions in the Plastic Pulse

Stereolab was my portal into the new century, maybe because they used it to advertised the reintroduced VW Beetle, maybe because it sounded so trippy -- but it was still retro, the early 1970s idea of what the 21st Century would sound like. It made me nostalgic for the future, an idea of the future that I had forgotten existed. Positive and hopeful, melancholic and doubtful.

Temperature: 62°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Knee-bends: 20

My knee was not hurting for almost a week, until last night or the night before. It comes and it goes. The zero drop shows have done astonishing things to my calves, and to my abdomen, which feels tighter, albeit under a layer of fat. Yesterday, I was having back issues. Standing up was challenging. Just yesterday. Don't know what that was about. But just getting out of a chair, or out of my car, I was doing the old man thing.

Speaking of old men, my father has gotten so old. My brother and I (he turned 51 on Tuesday) had a conversation earlier in the week. He doesn't get to see my dad as often as I do, and was surprised at how slow he is walking, the assistance he needs on uneven ground. I should be grateful he has spent a good deal of time fighting against entropy, either running -- which he can't do anymore -- or walking, which he still does, only now my mom goes with him. Last month he fell down, he falls down now, and banged up his face pretty bad.

My father is only 77. He himself makes dark jokes about the average life-expectancy of a white American male, and how his time is almost up. But I am not okay with that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Everyone was having fun.

Everybody thought I was crazy.

Already wrote about the significance of this album. The boy has expressed great interest in this act, he wants me to play Technologic over and over again. He is a savant. Or just an idiot.

Daft Punk - Discovery (2001)
One More Time
Digital Love
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
High Life
Something About Us

Temperature: 63°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 177 lbs.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall! Fall! Fall! Fall! Fall!

Worst. Cover art. Ever.

I can't keep up. Not enough running, and I do not sleep through the night. I toss and turn, bedeviled by sharp pain in the outside of my right knee.

In spite of one of my co-workers kind observations that I lost a lot of weight since last fall, the fact is I have put a lot back since last spring. I got a big, slack belly. The pants no longer fit. These are also bad things for a weak back and pained knees.

Did some knee bends, like I did so successfully during training last winter. Sit-ups would also be smart.

If the posters in the window at Tommy's were to be believed, Soul Coughing played Cleveland a total of fifty-two dates in 1994.* And yet I did not see them until they had a "surprise" gig at the Euclid Tavern in 1998 where they unfortunately played nothing but tracks from their upcoming and least regarded album, El Oso.

It is also entirely possible that Doughty was extremely high.

Irresistible Bliss - Soul Coughing (1996)
Super Bon Bon
Soft Serve
White Girl
Soundtrack To Mary
4 Out Of 5
Collapse (157 bpm)
Sleepless (162 bpm)

The Idiot Kings

The alt-funk stylings of Soul Coughing are very enjoyable to run to. Less plodding, more sailing. I love my new clown shoes.

Temperature: 50°
Distance: 3.25 miles

* This is an exaggeration.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Someday I think I will be dignified and old.

I'm losing my edge.

The Modern Lovers (1976?)
Astral Plane
Old World
Pablo Picasso
Dignified and Old
She Cracked
Someone I Care About
Girl Friend
Modern World

The wife has this "theory" that "lack of exercise" is bad for my "knee". She encouraged me to run this morning. Two days in a row! Running! I like that.

And we continue our exploration of the album. The wife prefers Spotify, which might interest me if I didn't find their interface so irritating to look at. She says she can listen to entire albums that way, that she is tired of mixes all the time. I think it's too much trouble, if she wants to listen to an entire album, why can't she get CDs from the library and rip them like everybody else does?

Temperature: 59°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Throw me away.

My face is swollen, my head is stuffed, I hurt. I did not sleep well at all, knee and back pain kept me tossing and turning before finally getting up for an hour or so around 5 am, reading Little Nemo. Back to bed until almost 10 but they were not happy hours. Just another fall Sunday, allergies, age, and children who cannot be subdued.

Run we must. And we must press our luck through a questionable choice of music.

Released September 22, 1992

Broken - Nine Inch Nails (1992)
Help Me I Am In Hell
Happiness In Slavery
Gave Up
Physical (You're So) (160 bpm)
Suck (182 bpm)

Astonishing. I thought I was tempting a migraine, playing that so loud. An amusing counterpoint to the bright, clear, beautiful we have. My head, too, is clear, or clearer, anyway. Taking a cold show, the swelling in my head and face went down. Things are good. I have a vision for the week which is full, active, successful and, perhaps, happy.

I really like these new shoes.

Temperature: 70°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I have not slept well in weeks. My right knee, I notice did not hurt last night, but my back did. Tossing most of the night, I was fully awakened at around 4 AM and did not get any kind of real sleep after.

Nike Flight Headphones retail at around $40. My last pair lasted a very short time, I had stored them improperly during all of our travel this summer. I found a new, unused pair on eBay for $12. One of the kids was permitted to use them -- twice, now, without anyone thinking to ask me -- and they are already starting to short.

I do not feel like running this morning. 

Temperature: 54°
Distance: 2 miles

Nope. Still angry.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Get some colors on.

Folks gave me spending cash to finally get a pair of Vibrams Five-Fingers, but a very helpful young man at Second Sole totally sold me on a set of NB Minimus. I did try on a part of five-fingers, but I did not like them, they were too bulky, which I thought was the whole point. I put these puppies on (yes, that color - they look awesome) and I felt like an Indian chief.

Temperature: 70°
Distance: 2 miles
Weight: 177.5 lbs.

Like running on the beach. The so-called "zero drop" sole approximates barefoot running, without all that skin damage. Hitting mid-foot makes for a shorter stride, and straightens my posture. It takes more effort, and at rest know, I am beginning to feel it in my knees. Thought I should keep my run brief. The man recommended going without socks, and I did, but I may try them next time. Or not.


I Created Disco - Calvin Harris (2007)

Merrymaking at My Place
This Is The Industry
The Girls
Acceptable In The 80s

I have had my mid-life crisis. It included a last-ditch attempt at professional acting, drawing pictures of naked ladies, fear of never inspiring admiration in my children, and having a vasectomy.

After seven years of maintaining a solid sense of self, who I was, what was important, and where we (my wife and I) were going, I suddenly (it felt like suddenly) believed I had made all the wrong professional choices, and that there had been a point somewhere in the near past where I should have jumped, but didn't.

I am not talking about my marriage, or having kids. That I felt solid about. It was all the stuff that defined my image of myself in the larger world. The "big-man" stuff.

This would last until I turned forty, more than a year later. In that time I would also suffer a torn meniscus, which made me feel even older, but also it was the period where I recommitted myself as a playwright -- not an actor, not a director. And whereas I have no illusions about making a living solely as a writer, ever, at least I know who I am, kid.

Why all the reflection? Because, as part of my continual desire for regeneration and immaturity, I like to keep up with modern dance music. Listening to Capital Radio (London) I got turned onto this guy, and picked up his first album in a record store in Plymouth. Dude wrote a pop song about what was acceptable in the 80s, made a video featuring a stuffed otter. And I fell in love. Calvin Harris, I feel so close to you right now.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

I can take humiliation.

Today was really awful. And that's all I have to say about that.

Temperature: 77°
Distance: 5 miles

Skylarking - XTC (1986)
Summer's Cauldron
The Meeting Place
That's Really Super, Supergirl
Ballet For a Rainy Day (156 bpm)
1000 Umbrellas
Season Cycle
Earn Enough For Us
Big Day
Another Satellite
The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul (168 bpm)
Dear God
Dying (158 bpm)
Sacrificial Bonfire (151 bpm)

 Change must be earned.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Summer has come and passed.

American Idiot - Green Day (2004)
American Idiot
Jesus of Suburbia
City of the Damned
I Don't Care
Dearly Beloved
Tales of Another Broken Home
Boulevard of Broken Dreams (167 bpm) 
Are We the Waiting
St. Jimmy
Give Me Novacaine (154 bpm)

Extra Lap
Wake Me Up When September Ends

Yesterday, I was dining on my own with the kids and Two Tribes came on the iTunes. They wanted to know what the song was about, which led to a condensed history of Cold War politics, which in my case meant beginning prior to the Crusades leading up to the present, with of course a recap of the events of 9/11 (hence, the Crusades.)

They wanted to know what wars had been going on since they were born, which was an uneasy conversation -- not because I wish to hide unpleasant matters from my children (I mean, I do, but they deserve to know) but because I do not like to make complicated matters simplistic AND I want to be sure they understand.

They bad, we good, does not really tell the whole story, and will lead to problems later on.

In any event, I concluded by lamenting that whereas the Cold War, Vietnam, World War II, have all inspired some wonderful protest music, the Iraqistan Wars did not.

But I had forgotten American Idiot. Enjoy the air show.

Temperature: 86°
Climate: Blazing hot sun ... and rain?
Distance: Who knows. Four miles?
Weight: 175.5 lbs.

For several weeks now, I have not had a decent night's sleep. First it was my right knee, which begins hurting in the middle of the night. Pressure from the left knee onto it when lying on my right, or worse, lying on my left with my right leg slightly bent towards the bed, and it hurts enough to keep me awake.

I have tried different ways of twisting my back so that my right knee rest without anything over it, but then my back hurts, and the last three hours of the night are spent half-awake, turning this way and that.

When I lie on my back I snore, and then the wife wakes me up.

My hip hurts, my knee hurts, my back aches, I have gained every pound I lost in training (did I lose weight during training?) and this is nothing new. It means I have stopped running.

Running past Boulevard School, the wife and the boy were watching the girl practice soccer, I stopped by to say hello. The boy wanted to run home with me. A little too far, and he was wearing jeans, and it was over eighty degrees. But I obliged him with a lap around the soccer fields.

Tomorrow rehearsals begin for the Great Lakes Theater School Residency Program. Summer 2012 is officially over.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

You didn't run that.

Now it's personal.

This week, the Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan recently stated in an interview with radio personality Hugh Hewitt that while he no longer runs marathons due to a bad back, his personal best is "Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something."

Runner's World ran the numbers, and called him up. Ryan qualified his statement, stating: "My brother Tobin—who ran Boston last year—reminds me that he is the owner of the fastest marathon in the family and has never himself ran a sub-three. If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three. He gave me a good ribbing over this at dinner tonight."

 The only evidence that exists is that Paul Ryan has run one marathon. It was in 1990, and his time was 4 hours, 1 minute and 25 seconds. As one guy posted on the New Yorker website:

"I ran a 4:01 marathon while in college, over 30 years ago. It has bothered me ever since that I couldn't have run a 3:59 and while a cringe when people ask, I always tell them the 4:01 time. It's unforgettable."

That is so true. It is unforgettable. Only I ran 3:56.19. I will never forget that.

Now, I don't need to suggest that Senator Ryan intentionally lied about his fact, to make himself look more impressive, or that that should be interpreted as his being a pathologically dishonest person -- though Josh made that claim today. People brag about shit they didn't do. So common as to be normal. But traditionally, when they get called out on it, they are not allowed to forget it.

When our current VP, Joe Biden, ran for President in 1988, he was plagued by accusations of plagiarism. Supporters call this failing to give proper attribution. So, should Paul Ryan be held up to a different standard? I will suggest not. But Joe Biden's reputation was harmed by this accusation, and it stuck with him for many years. He did not become President in 1988, it took twenty years for him to attain his present position. Looks like he learned from his mistake, and I hope Paul Ryan learns from the mistakes he has made in the past several days, making shit up.

And maybe in twenty years, he will deserve to be Vice President.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: misty (Play Misty For Me. Get it?)
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 176 lbs.

Hounds of Love - Kate Bush (1985)
Running Up That Hill
Hounds of Love
The Big Sky
Mother Stand For Comfort
And Dream of Sheep
Under Ice
Waking the Witch

New headphones. This time, they're white!