Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My boy, you got to keep that chin up.

All relaxed and shit.

Tuesday doldrums. We arrived a week ago. On Wednesday, I couldn't keep the boy away from me, he had to do everything right now. Fish, kayak, play RISK, then go fishing again. We would end one project and he would immediately ask to do the next thing. It was maddening, but I strove to handle it with grace, or at least an even temper.

By yesterday, he was much more subdued, content to sit and stare at a screen for a while, playing a game or watching a video, and I had to remember to motivate him to get out into the air and take action ... much like I had to remind myself to do the same.

Because I have a big show coming up, the performances of Double Heart at FringeNYC, and I could refresh Google a hundred times waiting for some new announcement that has something, anything to do with the festival, in hope of some mention.

Someone (yes, I actually know who) posted a very positive, and strongly-worded personal review on the NYTimes website today. That was very cool. But it also meant making sure everyone on my social media sees it. The day is sunny and clear, and I am huddled in front of a liquid crystal display.

It is a little warm already for a run, but I feel I must. I must motivate, get out, sweat for a change. Then, perhaps, I will be ready to resume the relaxation part of our vacation.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: sunny! bright! hot!
Distance: 3.8 miles

It is common courtesy for pedestrians to wave at passing cars, and vice versa. Likewise, I tend to remove my headphones when passing other pedestrians to actually say, "good morning" and/or "afternoon" depending on the time of day.

Passed a bearded, elderly man walking two dogs on my way out. On my way back, he only had one.

"I thought you had two!" I said as I approached. He shook his head sadly.

"We got fo-ah," he said.

Nothing Decade
American Dream - Jakatta
Flathead - The Fratellis
Blow It Out - Features
Hold On - Holy Ghost!
A Thing For Me - Metronomy
Heavy Metal Drummer - Wilco
Get A Shot Of The Refrigerator - Stereolab
The Fear - Lily Allen

Monday, July 29, 2013

What gravity brings to the ground.


I think I broke my little toe on my right foot last night, shuffling around before bed, headed to brush my teeth. Just crammed it into the door frame, nobody got time for that.

We have been lucky the past several years, seemed every day in the cove was sunny and warm.  That is not how I recall the vacations of my youth, there were always several cool, rainy days thrown in. And as in the days of old, we have managed those by loading the kids into somebody's car and taking them somewhere, to keep them from murdering each other in the cabin.

On Friday, it was the Knox Mansion. Yesterday, it was the Wiscasset, Waterton & Farmington Railway Museum. Charmed by the docents at each location, at the first a senior dressed entirely in a Revolutionary War uniform (the children admired his black Velcro sneakers with shiny buckles pasted on) and yesterday the conductor took all the children through their paces on a handcart and changing line signals. The girl also got to ride the diesel engine -- not as charming as the steam locomotive which was, alas, not in service this weekend.


There have been numerous cocktail hours, multiple recipes which involve peaches, the boy and I each caught a fish off the dock at the exact same time (ardently catch-and-release, the boy has not yet understood that not eating the fish does not make his pursuit "cruelty-free") and there has been much kayaking, reading, and even writing.

And running. Even on a broken toe.

Temperature: 63°
Climate: fog burning off, overcast and still
Distance: 3.8 miles

No bruising, no pain on the run. No, I do not believe I broke anything. Just sore.

And this is not the earliest I have had a beer.

Nothing Decade
No Tomorrow - Orson
Do What U Like - Bad Boy Bill
Enemy - Gabriel & Dresden
Close Your Eyes (Faze Action Mix) - Bebel Gilberto
Hang Me Out To Dry * - Cold War Kids
The Perfect Drug * - Dkay.com
Down To Earth - Peter Gabriel

Thank you, Michele. Your photos are better than mine.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

2013 Friendship Day 5K

Flood's Cove and Martin's Point are there to the left.

Never do sleep well when I have to rely upon my cellphone as an alarm clock. Has it ever not gone off? No. But then, the wife up in the middle of the night, and I was fretting that the alarm would work, and wake her, and then there were all the micro-dreams where I imagined I checked my phone and it was later or earlier or what have you, I eventually had to open my eyes and find out what the time really was.

So I was up a little after five, Michele's husband Bob was up at 6 and we headed out together to find out where a 5K in Friendship, Maine would actually take us.

I have been coming to Friendship since infancy. My children are the fifth generation from my family to visit here. I know Flood's Cove, I do not know most of the geography of town of Friendship at all.

20th Annual Friendship Day 5K
Start: 7:30 am
Official time: 22:52.5 (I think.)
Place overall: 15 (?)
Temperature: 70°


A little confusion at the finish. Some claimed to have been placed in the wrong order. I was not even placed on the board, but had confirmation from the person who came in just behind me that I had, in fact, finished just in front of him. They had been collecting the tags the old-fashion way, and someone was recording times with an electronic-timing device at the line, so the times and the places weren't being kept together. Also, the tag pin and the electronic timer changed hands a few times, so who knows what mine or anyone else's time was.

Regardless. It was not a qualifying race.

The race started at the Advent Church, where they were already hosting the pancake breakfast. We headed around a block past the Friendship Village School (where the finish line would be set up) and then back onto Rt. 97 or Harbor Road. This is the main street through town, it features the market and the post office, the fire station, library and a number of churches. it's all on Harbor Road.

Now, I knew a race to something called the "Harbor Loop" and back would feature a downhill going out and an uphill coming back. In fact, that's the entire run -- a steady downhill for half the race and I passed the post office thinking, wow. I wonder what it will be like running uphill for half the race.

And you know what, it was not that bad. I do pretty well on hills, I think. During some of the steeper downhills I remembered the words of a marathoner from some podcast a couple years ago. Heading downhill he didn't try to stop himself, he just let his leg swing effortlessly and thought, "No effort. No effort. I am banking this. Saving it for the uphill." And that's pretty much the way it felt for me. Nice, effortless run. Nothing record-breaking, but something to be proud of at the age of forty-five.

Harbor Loop

After the race we cleaned up and all the families headed out for the parade, an arts fair, lobster rolls, games, bouncy houses and touch pools. 'Merica!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

If the fish swam out of the ocean.

July 26, 1982

Who makes the peach fritters? Dad makes the peach fritters.

Okay. A run today, none tomorrow, rise fresh and early on Saturday for the Friendship Days 5K. Sound good? Besides, tomorrow is my birthday. Man, when was the last time I was in Flood's Cove for my birthday? I always used to hate that, yippee, away from my friends.

Except when I turned fourteen, that's when I learned I was getting an Apple II+.

Temperature: 66°
Climate: overcast, cool & humid
Distance: 3.8 miles

There has been fishing, kayaking, playing of board games, visiting with relatives ... well, the wife tells it better.

Nothing Decade
Exquisite Corpse Hedwig & The Angry Inch (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Under Control (170 bpm) - Parachute
Let's Get It Started (Spike Mix) - The Black Eyed Peas
Love Today - MIKA
Three-Way - The Magnetic Fields
Boom Boom Pow (Guetta Mix) - The Black Eyed Peas
Black & Gold - Sam Sparro
Daft Punk Is Playing at My House - LCD Soundsystem

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

You can do anything you set your mind to, man.

Maine is Magic.

First morning in Flood's Cove. The boy has been obsessed with getting to fish, and fish we have. Not the way he wanted, not out in a boat. It is too foggy to go out, even at noon. But he caught an eight-inch mackerel off the dock, so that is something. 

As I prepare for my run, I can hear him and my father on the porch, Dad telling stories, the boy asking questions, which lead to more stories. I cannot recall when the two of them have had such an in-depth conversation.

These are the conversations I entirely neglected to have with my grandfathers.


Temperature:77°
Climate: foggy, then sunny
Distance: 3.8 miles

Familiar route, new experience with the clown shoes. Always a new adventure, and always a pleasant one. Running up the first hill out of the Cove was surprising at first, then surprisingly easy.

Friendship Days is this weekend. There is a 5K on Saturday. Looking forward to that.

Nothing Decade
Shine - Take That
Breakeven - The Script
Fire - Ferry Corsten
SexyBack - Justin Timerlake
Wavin' Flag - K'Naan
Close Your Eyes (Faze Action Mix) - Bebel Gilberto
Lose Yourself - Eminem

Monday, July 22, 2013

On a hot day sip on iced latte.


Yesterday we drove all the way from Cleveland to Westport, and are staying in the new home of our friend Harris & Liz. It has been four years since I last stayed with them and their son, in their apartment in the Upper East Side during the 2009 Fringe. Since then they have had many life changes, including a new girl and each of them deciding it was time to leave Manhattan.

This morning (which is almost over) we have had a big, leisurely breakfast, a swim, and started a game of RISK with the boy which may take all day to complete. Also, the wife slept in until eleven, which she richly deserved, as she hasn't slept in about three months.

Location: Westport, CT
Temperature: 75°
Climate: overcast & humid
Distance: 2.6 miles

Harris sent me down RT. 33 to the train station, but that is a two-lane highway with little room for runners, so I turned off at the first available street with a sidewalk. Running was accomplished, up and down hills, which was fun, but also some great sightseeing, including a short walk through King's Highway Cemetery.

Love worn, 18th century headstones. Not many in the Midwest, but even here where they would be plentiful, they fade and crumble and break and return to earth. The ones that are legible are such a treasure. The 19th century stones appeared to be chiseled, they look stamped, even, as thought they were typed on. But if the date of interment begins 17-- the text inevitably looked etched, handwritten, almost. And they are much more likely to have a small picture on it.

Nothing Decade
Human After All - Daft Punk
Dangerous Power (Cicada Edit) - Gabriel & Dresden
Everyone Is Someone In L.A. - Felix da Housecat
You Use To Hold Me - Calvin Harris
Triple Trouble - Beastie Boys
Golddigger - Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx
Beware - Punjabi MC ft. Jay-Z

Running was happening at the start of July, and then things got hot and busy. People were complaining about rain, the girl bemoaned in June how the weather wasn't summer weather. I said, "Wait."

Every moment ... work, family, house, Fringe. Then maybe time for sleep. The wife said goodbye to her former employer on Friday. I have a new title at work and new responsibilities. We can think about those things later. Right now I am hot and sweaty, and finally in the mood to get into the pool.

Double Heart at FringeNYC: Tickets now on sale.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I put my faith in something unknown.


When I was thirteen, and vacationing with my family in Maine, I waited for the mail to come. In particular, there was a girl I liked and my brother who was at home told me over the phone that she had sent me a letter and so I knew it was coming, but not on which day. All morning I would wait, anxious, expectant.

When I did not arrive, I was despondent for a time, but the anxiety dulled until the next morning when it rose again and I walked out to check the communal mailbox every half-hour starting at 10 am. The day it finally arrived, what a charge!

When I was a twenty-three year-old, I was on a bbs with a small number of like-minded internet pioneers. I would check that every hour or so, to see who had posted what recently. Days might go by without anything, but the idea of there being a message, a thought, an argument to become engaged in, it was like Christmas, every day.

Checking my email, on a regular basis. Or sitting on Facebook, for hours. It satisfies the same desire, for connection, to know someone likes me, wants to communicate with me. I don't like FB flame wars, they make me miserable and sad. I want to be charming and witty and admired. Every moment. All the time.

Running also makes me feel like I am liked. After my five-mile race last Thursday, driving home from Bay Village, I was feeling a little disappointed, less than satisfied. And I thought, you know what would make me feel better? A run.

Running makes me feel like running.

Temperature: 72°
Climate: sunny. nice. summer.
Distance: 3.25 miles

Running in daylight. More people on the sidewalk, cars on the street. More glare, hard to see.

Dreaming of New York.

On the Tens Playlist
Na Na Nothing - Mike Doughty
Sweet Nothing - Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch
Tightrope * - Janelle Monáe ft. Big Boi
Dynamite (Mixin Marc Remix) - Taio Cruz
The Walk - Mayer Hawthorne
Rolling In The Deep - Adele
Somebody That I Used To Know (DJ Mike D Remix) - Gotye ft. Kimbra

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Running like we outta time.


Hurry up and wait. Crazy waiting time. The fundraiser has passed, the free, public performance has been performed. The set is safely stowed, the costumes are in for repairs. The 2013 New York International Fringe Festival opens one month from today -- Double Heart opens at the Connelly Theater one month from tomorrow.

Nothing more be done.

In the meantime, there is work at work, children to be shuttled back and forth to camp, and otherwise fed, kept cool and entertained. And I have a new scene to write.

Yet this is my fourth run this month already. Last year I ran four times in the entire month of July. The year before that, three times. I must stay active, in spite of the humidity.

Tonight it rained, again, another big rain. Lots of those. That brought the temperature down a smidge, as the boy would say. Where did he pick up an arcane word like smidge?

Temperature: 75°
Climate: breezy and humid
Distance: 3.25 miles

On the Tens Playlist
Die Young - Ke$ha
Lights - Ellie Goulding
Cousins (176 bpm) - Vampire Weekend
Paddling Out - Miike Snow
Five Seconds - Twin Shadow
What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction
Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) - Shakira
Sick Of You - CAKE

Sunday, July 07, 2013

So many miles away.


Outlandos d'Amour - The Police (1978)
Next To You (172 bpm)

So Lonely
Roxanne
Hole In My Life
Peanuts (178 bpm)

Can't Stand Losing You
Truth Hits Everybody (164 bpm)


July 7th, and we have not yet turn our a/c on, not once, not yet. That has to be some kind of record. It is sticky in here, but it just keeps cooling down in the evenings and we haven't felt the need.

Temperature: 72°
Climate: sticky
Distance: 3.25 miles

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Never gonna quit it.

"Chocolate." It's not about chocolate.

Did I mention my PR 5 Mile on Thursday was my first race in the clown shoes? Yes. Yes, it was.

Bad night's sleep, up at one and again at 4, reading and Facebooking. Surprisingly it was a very good morning, until after breakfast, that's when my head began to ache. I used to think that was because of the syrup with pancakes, or whatever else we were eating that was packed with sugar, but we don't do that often any more. It was an omlette with beet greens and cheese this morning, full of protein and iron and fat and good things for the morning.

Also, too: dehydration. Yet I was drinking water, all night, every time I woke up, which was a lot. And all morning.

But still, at 11 o'clock on a Saturday, bam. Headache. Ran with it, it hurt, irritating, less than happy. Right now, however, it is a little better. Water, water, water.

Temperature: 77°
Climate: overcast & humid
Distance: 3.25 miles

It's New! Playlist
Diane Young - Vampire Weekend
I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons
Get Lucky - Daft Punk ft. Pharrell
Chocolate - The 1975
A New Error - Moderat
Sex - The 1975
Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell & T-Pain

The 1975. Because every three years we need a band that sounds like that.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

2013 Bay Days 5 Mile Run


39th Annual Bay Days Run
Start: 8:30 am
Official time: 36:16.4
Place in division: 4
Place overall: 120
Pace: 7:15

Clock set for 6 AM, I woke at 5 when the cats decided to have game of Chase the Shit Out of Each Other. The chase woke me, the surprising gash one of them left in my right calf as they tore across the bed got me up. It was raining, but who knows. I got my kit on, packed fresh clothes, and drove all the way across town to where it all began.

Well, not exactly where it all began, the course used to be much more interesting and shaded. Now it is predictable, with far too many turns, no hills, and just flat, flat, flat. For a brief moment prior to start the clouds opened and temperature jumped up about five degrees. Luckily, the clouds moved in again and it was merely very humid, but not bright.

Used to get so anxious prior to a race, having to pee several times, forcing a movement. But now, shoot. Five miles? That's just ordinary. Only the pack freaks me out.

I did feel a bit queasy by the fifth mile, pushing to make a personal best, which I believe I did. I can only find records for my 1980 and 2007 Bay Day runs, six years ago it was 37:01. I don't do these every year, that may have been the last time I did.

Bay High Playlist
Relax (New York Mix) - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Don't Box Me In - Stan Ridgway w/Stewart Copeland
Rock Me Tonight - Billy Sqier
The Glamous Life - Sheila E
Save It For Later - The Beat
We Close Our Eyes - Go West
? (Modern Industry) - Fishbone