Thursday, November 22, 2012

A career littered with ankle injuries.

This, from a man who thinks bacon is a food group.

Stayed over at my folks house last night, so we could all hang out later with my brother and his family. My parents' house, for some reason, is like a giant dehumidifier. I have developed more searing headaches spending the night here than I care to remember, and the only thing that cuts them short is getting up in the middle of the night to have a large glass of water. Which I did.

However, my right knee was aching -- again -- and I am trying to discern what is up with my right shin. And my right ankle. And my dorsum ... which, for those of you who have ever wondered, is the name of the top of your foot. These things are sore. True, my running has slowed, due to obligations, weather, and a general sense of weariness. But why, now, these pains in this place?

Temperature: 63°
Distance: 4.1 miles

Beautiful day today. My four year-old niece, her parents, and my whole family went to the zoo.  The parking lot was packed (free admission) and yet, the park did nt seem any more crowded than usual. It was fun. It was perfect.

'Twill snow on Saturday. Man, Lakewood smells good today.

Thanksgiving dinner. Bring it.

Losing My Edge Genius Playlist
Losing My Edge - LCD Soundsystem
Lotus Flower (Jacques Greene Rmx)  - Radiohead
Ankle Injuries - Fujiya & Miyagi
Need You Now - Cut Copy
Drop - Cornelius
Infinity Guitars (158 bpm) - Sleigh Bells
Blind - Hercules and Love Affair

Sunday, November 11, 2012

How can hatred uplift a race?

So that happened.

Election week hangover. There are those divided into two camps, those who do not wish to talk about politics anymore ... and those of us who can't stop. But I will. Feeling it today. Oh, the scuttlebutt -- did you hear, Romney and his team were in complete denial of their slim-and-none chances of getting elected? Shocked, stunned, credit cards ... okay, it has to stop. Hurricane, Heights high school musical, postponed trick-or-treat, packing up Day of the Dead altar, waiting for election results ... and scene.

Tomorrow we resume rehearsals for one of the new works I will be producing next year. There are auditions to be had for others, and lines to memorize. And work. And play. And, who knows, maybe exercise. Yesterday was just like a beautiful spring day, but I was not interested. Yard work, house work, sure, but not running. My wife is taking the kids to visit friends in Chagrin this afternoon. And it is still glorious outside.

Temperature: 63°
Distance: 5 miles good.
Knee bends: 20

Last weekend I skipped the knee bends, my knees have not been waking me up for a month or more. Monday I woke and was stiff-legged like I have not been since North Carolina. That may have had something to do with the three hours of canvassing I did Sunday afternoon, walking around the Oxford neighborhood.

Was it worth it? Apparently it was.

This winter I must play four roles in a single one-hour show. I will need to shave. My beard provides the illusion that I have a chin, but even when I am thin (which I am not, currently) my face is sagging, developing those genetically predetermined jowls. One of those ageing English faces like McCartney or Bowie. I'd say who cares, only one of the characters I have to play, what I wrote, is a young lover. Or at least, a younger lover. He is supposed to be foolish. It was not my intention that he be creepy.

So I have scanned the internet for face-tightening exercises. There are quite a few of them, and I will give them a try. Also, too: chewing gum.

The Cactus Album - 3rd Bass (1989)
Sons of 3rd Bass
The Gas Face
Monte Hall
Oval Office
Soul In The Hole
Triple Stage Darkness
Wordz of Wisdom
Product of the Environment
Steppin' to the A.M.

Wordz of Wisdom (II)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

It's time to fix your clock.

Where do 30 years go?

Man. Headachy and tired. These two runs have been miserable, I have had to walk bits of it, especially on inclines. Yesterday, it was a nail in my head, today I was just exhausted. And when I stopped my head hurt, again.

We have had relatives in for the weekend, and the girl participated in the high school musical. Too much rich food, too much alcohol (though I did not drink after dinner last night) and bizarre sleep patterns. It all combines to make me a dull boy.

1999 - Prince (1982)
Let's Pretend We're Married

Temperature: 37°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Some kind of madness.

Last Spring I was contacted by an organization which claimed to be producing a series of videos for the 2012 ING NYC Marathon. Here was the pitch:
We're putting together a short web series about preparing for
the Marathon, featuring a group of runners representing a 
range of backgrounds, styles, and levels of intensity.

We're currently casting the series, and wanted to see if you 
were interested in being one of our personalities. I loved 
your running site, and it would be great to have a man of 
letters involved.
Very flattering. I am a man of letters! And here was the hook:
3 day shoot in NYC with all expenses paid

Accommodations for the race itself

If you aren't already running in the Marathon itself, we'd
also get you in!
I told my wife I'd really like to do this. Not to be in the videos, that would be fun. Maybe a little weird. Was this all pre-event stuff, or would they also follow me during the race itself? Whatever, always a new experience. But what I was really interested was getting to run the New York again. And for free! Too good to pass up.

I hadn't even run the 2012 CLE yet, I didn't know if I could run another marathon, how I would do. I would be committing to two marathons in a single year ... could I really do that?

Expressing my interest, I was asked to make an introductory video, talking about what running means to me, etc. etc. So I did, and they said they would get back to me. But I never did hear back from them, not even after contacting them to once to ask about the project. Now, I know in theater, for auditions, sometimes you do not get a call either way. But as it was they who first contacted me, a response would have been courteous.

I haven't really thought about this potential offer since summer, but I was reminded of it during the past several day as controversy rose as whether to hold the 2012 NYC Marathon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. What would Pengo do? I harbored illusions that the citizens would rally behind this annual event, one for which they show such pride and enthusiasm. I knew things were difficult in Lower Manhattan, but I didn't realize the lasting extent of the damage in Staten Island, and Brooklyn, and elsewhere, and the dire circumstances for those left without power, food, and water. This was Thursday.

I remembered October 2001. I had made plans to see a friend in a play festival, and got tickets to a new Broadway show, prior to the events of September 11th. I had plane tickets. After 9/11 my friend cancelled her production, and I thought I would scrub the whole trip. But Mayor Giuliani said, "Come to New York. See a show. Spend money." That was my original plan. So I went ahead with it, and I was rewarded with the gratitude of my New York friends, and was happy to visit this city that I was just learning to love, that had been so hurt, but that was keeping calm and carrying on.

But my visit was three weeks after the fact, and a functional normalcy was in place. Not so yesterday, which began with some seriously angry voices on facebook, discussing the mayor's announcement that the race would go on. Even when these cries rose to a fever pitch, and the announcement was made to cancel the event, numerous snippy huffings of "at last -- sanity" conveyed such resentment. Most of these comments weren't even coming from New Yorkers.

One thing I have noticed through all this is the outrage expressed towards the runners themselves (sometimes referred to as "joggers" which I do not have to tell you is really irritating) as though what we do is some goofy lark and not an actual athletic pursuit. Would this situation have been spoken of differently if a vast natural disaster have struck the site of, say, the Super Bowl? And wouldn't drastic action be taken -- for the sake of American dignity -- to make sure that game went ahead, somehow?

The first New Orleans Saints game following Hurricane Katrina was extremely emotional, a time of great celebration. This year's marathon, taking place as it does in, around, over these scenes of devastation, and so close (a mere six days) from the actual disaster, make this situation very different than the one I hypothesized. But I am willing to suggest that it was that desire to fulfill the human attachment to our games, and what we get from participating in them as actors or spectators, that Mayor Bloomberg and marathon organizers had in mind when the suggested going ahead with the race.

 Closing arguments.

End of the World Playlist (2012)
Starships - Nicki Minaj
All Your Gold - Bat for Lashes
Five Seconds - Twin Shadow
Skyfall - Adele
Madness - Muse
Gangnam Style - PSY
Somebody That I Used to Know (DJ Mike D Remix) - Gotye ft. Kimbra 

Temperature: 41°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Running with a headache sucks. There are worse things that could happen.