Thursday, August 29, 2013

Four, five meters running round the bend.

You're number one, Louie.

Okay, so? I finally started watching Louie on Netflix. I have heard Louis CK on radio and in TV interviews, heard little bits of the show on Fresh Air. He's hilarious, I know that. I just don't get to watch that much TV.

People have told me on occasion I look like him, which doesn't bother me. It's odd, I don't look like him, but whatever, it's better than when they were telling me I look like Chris Elliott.

But do they also mean I have Louis CK's attitude? Not that I am funny like he is, but is that my vibe? That wouldn't bother me, either. But is that it? Anyway, it's a question.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: humid, but slightly cooler
Distance: 3.25 miles

Him: You know I run for you all, right?
Her: Oh yes, we know that.
Him: Good.

Summer 2013 Playlist
Blow Me - Pink
Clarity - Zedd ft. Foxes
Can't Hold Us - Macklemore ft. Ray Dalton
Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell & T-Pain
Get Lucky - Daft Punk ft. Pharrell
I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons
Diane Young (180 bpm) - Vampire Weekend

Charging down the street, the homestretch -- and the darkest part of the journey. Three houses from home, I hit a dip, and almost lose it. What would that feel like, smashing my knees and palms against the pavement, tearing skin, cracking bone, probably hitting my face against the street.

How fast am I running when I meet 180 beats per minute? Be more careful, asshole.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Your perfect verse is just a lie.

It was the left knee.

We move forward, slowly. I feel as though I have been locked into one state for the past seven months, focused on one single task. And now I open my eyes and see so many wonderful opportunities lay before me.

And children. I see children.

I believe the pain in my left knee was some freak thing, but it's exactly the kind of thing I worry about. It has been five years since my operation, and I have been running full-steam since then. But for almost half a year I was deep in the doubt I would ever run again, and that was very, very challenging for me. I worry about what will happen to my brain if I am ever taken off the road.

Speaking of which, my new running gear is all black. Not the best choice for a before-dawn run.

Temperature: 75°
Climate: light rain
Distance: 3.25 miles

That was difficult. Getting up was difficult, getting out was difficult, the run itself was difficult, deciding what to write was difficult. And I really do not like using the word 'difficult'.

Underground Playlist
Selfless, Cold and Composed - University A Capella
Clark Gable - The Postal Service
Message To My Girl - Split Enz
One - Aimee Mann
Better Be Home Soon - Crowded House
Baby's Got Sauce - G. Love & Special Sauce
Jane - Barenaked Ladies

Difficult. Difficult. Difficult. Difficult.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I am slowing down as the years go by.

My neighborhood. My life.

Yesterday was the annual block party. Our fifth, so much has changed since 2009. 

The block party marks the end of summer.

A summer we were subsumed by rain at a minor league soccer game and hid in the bathroom.

When the boy finally got a proper-sized mitt.

We toasted Eric Coble at Dobama, staged testimony in support of marriage equality at the Play House.

Met a new school principal, held a yard sale, went swimming.

Ran races in Bay Village and Friendship.

The girl grew two feet taller.

My wife got a new job, and in a way so have I.

Friends were married, new plays were begun. 

We drove to Connecticut, Maine, Salem. I drove to New York and put on a show.

And then, the block party. One season. Excuse me, there is something in my eye.

Meanwhile, my son sings the chorus to Summertime Sadness under his breath. That's just weird.

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

Never Let Me Down Playlist
Cuts You Up - Peter Murphy
Hold Back The Rain - Duran Duran
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before - The Smiths
Sinking - The Cure
Perfect Kiss - New Order
So Alive - Love and Rockets

Friday, August 23, 2013

Why put up with painful corns any longer?

The Oatmeal

Okay. The Oatmeal nailed it, again. I can stop blogging now, you read that and everything will be made clear to you. My work here is done.

Due to some unfortunate freak scheduling, which was no one's fault though I feel horribly responsible, I have not seen my children in two and a half weeks. I went to New York on 8/8, and when I returned ten days later they had already been taken to their grandparents' in Athens for a week-long excursion, as part of the annual scramble to occupy the kids at camps and on vacations and min-vacations while two parents try to work.

No, it's not like being in the military, two and a half weeks. But I miss my children powerfully. It is depressing. I have grown accustomed to their faces. Hearing certain recent pop songs remind me of car trips back and forth to summer camps listening to Radio Disney.

There was a bar in Avenue A which was playing virtually every top ten song of 2013 for the couple of hours we were in there. Really? Clarity makes me misty?

To cheer myself up today I bought a new running kit. New shirt, shorts, eyeglass strap and that other thing men need to run with.

Temperature: 71°
Climate: muggy
Distance: 3.25 miles

Woke this morning with a band of pain below my left knee. I think this has to do with the new seating arrangement in my new office ... or just that I have been sitting a lot the past several days, after walking non-stop for weeks. It has been a while since either of my knees hurt.

Glenview Playlist
Brick House - Commodores
D.I.Y. - Peter Gabriel
Step Right Up - Tom Waits
Follow You Follow Me - Genesis
Lady Marmalade - LaBelle
Don't Worry About the Government - Talking Heads
Dancing Queen - ABBA
Surrender - Cheap Trick

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yesterday is history.

Later, FringeNYC.

I have not had a run in Cleveland Heights since July 11. In Connecticut, Maine and New York, yes. But not at home. How bizarre, how bizarre.

That last run in New York ... so disappointing. It was all right. Perhaps there is no crazy thrill about it anymore, it is too familiar. That's depressing, isn't it? Oh, well. Nothing can overwhelm forever.

Running down Park Avenue from 68th Street in 2009, listening to Halo. That sent chills down my spine. But you know, just last week, listening to Good Life while running down to the Brooklyn Bridge and back, that was also thrilling. I may be reading too much into this.

I was tired, it was a little overcast, and there was no there there, I ran from First St. up to 51st Street and back. No loop, no destination, no symbolic turnaround point, just out and back. In a (more or less) straight line. Is what it is.

Temperature: 68°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Yesterday was very difficult. Back at work, yes, like the day before, but so tired. I don't mean drowsy, that happens, I mean functionally exhausted. Active, but insane. I pushed through as best I could, but I also developed scalp pain, which I thought had previously been limited to the left side of my head. Yesterday, the right. Not a headache, an ache along my scalp, from the (original) hair-line back to the neck. By dinner, even the skin of my right ear hurt.

I went to bed at 8:30 PM. Woke at 6 AM. I have been running on fumes for two weeks. It was time for this.

The Playlist 
I Love It - Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX
That's Not My Name  - The Ting Tings
Houdini - Foster the People
A New Error - Moderat
You and I (Deadmau5 Remix) - Medina
Mirrors - Justin Timberlake

There is more dog shit on the sidewalks of Cleveland Heights than New York City. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I need that new vacation where nothing that's spoken is known.

Another fringe festival, another symbolic victory lap in New York. We begin with Summer Streets and so we depart, only not yet. There is one more show to perform and we head out tomorrow.

Did not sleep very well last night, we could have used the AC. It has been cool the last few nights and in spite of the constant honking of horns and increasingly bizarre wailing of sirens, I preferred the fresh air moving across the apartment than feeling boxed in and blasted with freon.

That and like every other night this week, we got to bed late, and I knew I would need to get out early to make a run and be relaxed for costume load-out at 11 AM. Our final performance of Double Heart is at noon. Noon on a Saturday? Well, pre-sale is good, and besides, being the first show of the day means the stage lights haven't been on for hours and hours already.

I set my phone alarm, and as is always the case when I do that, woke up in fits and starts several times before it went off and finally just got up and turned it off.

Headed north today, up Lafayette to Park Avenue, under and through Grand Central Terminal and onto 51st Street. Yes, I could have gone further, I longed to reach the park, but not this time. We will return. The streets were full of bikes and runners and walkers and very small dogs on leashes.

Temperature: 67°
Distance: 6 miles

The Playlist
Get Lucky - Daft Punk
Cousins - Vampire Weekend
Somebody - Jukebox the Ghost
Stronger - Kelly Clarkson
Poker Face - Lady Gaga
Carry Out - Timbaland ft. JT
Not In Love - Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith
Like a G6 - Far East Movement
Blind - Hercules and Love Affair
Teenage Dream - Katy Perry
Uprising - Muse
Let Me See You - Girl Talk
Blackout - Breathe California
Dance Yrself Clean - LCD Soundsystem

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

To my friends in New York I say hello.

I got some pictures on my phone.

Trailblazing today, straight down Houston to the river, and south to the Brooklyn Bridge. Big, bright, urban day. Full of anxiety this morning. We have three more performances, but really, we are done here. I know how this goes, the next four days are going to fly by like nothing happened.

Okay, that's a little dour and self-pitying. The next three performances themselves will be great, I am looking forward to them. They will be the final three performances of Double Heart, at least with this company. I hope it has some kind of future.

It was not my intention to go running this morning. Getting back to the apartment last night at 10:30 PM, I still did not get to sleep until almost 2:30 AM. This place is like a college dorm. Beers to drink, snacks to eat, stories to be told. James, Annie and I split off yesterday to see friends, Emily and Diana went uptown for salsa dancing. We all converge here, chat, get into sweats and shorts, and suddenly it is one in the morning.

Brooklyn Bridge Run
Temperature: 60°
Distance: 5 miles

But the light through the window -- and the sirens -- had me up early, and I just had to move. I love a riverside run, especially when graced with iconography. And water stops.

Got to keep my spirits up. People are counting on me. Time to get out and give palm cards to people on line at the Delacorte.

The Playlist
That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings
I Gotta Go - Robert Earl Keen
Good Life - OneRepublic
This Is The Remix - Girl Talk
Ghosts 'N' Stuff - Deadmau5
Every Morning - Basshunter
Thrift Shop - Macklemore ft. Wanz
Five Seconds - Twin Shadow
Hometown Glory - Adele
Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz ft/ Ludacris

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Summer Streets 2013

"I'm walkin' here."

Double Heart (The Courtship of Beatrice and Benedick) opens TODAY at the Connelly Theater in the Lower East Side, as part of the New York International Fringe Festival!  You know what that means?  

Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg -- three Saturdays every August they close Park and Lafayette Avenues from 72nd Street all the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge. When performing And Then You Die in 2009 I ran from Harris & Liz's apartment where I was staying to my performance space at Astor Place and back.

As much as would like to get a run in in Central Park (and may yet) today I wanted to try something new, and so Annie and I set out for the Brooklyn Bridge. It's a really nice day, not too hot, always a lot of shade, especially in the financial district.

Lots to talk about running with a partner. Annie was telling me about visits she has taken with her brother, and movies that were filmed here, and just about running in general.

Distance: 5.75 miles

Running past the new One World Trade center was moving. I mean, there's just so many emotions there, everyone has something to say or think or feel about that. The best I can say is that the final design is much more attractive than whatever weird thing that was they said they originally going to build.

We also walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, which was a first for me, and in spite of the great views it's something I do not necessarily need to do again. Not, at least, during Summer Streets. We were hardly the only two people clogging a narrow thoroughfare to get our pictures taken.

We discovered during tech rehearsal yesterday that we are missing wig caps for the ladies (I do not use one) and so part of mine and Annie's journey was to locate a beauty shop of Walgreen's so we extended our run up to Astor Place, so I got to point out where I performed four years ago and we each entirely failed to find wig caps, but apparently Lisa is on that.

So, between the walk across the bridge and all the running, we spent about two hours out in the streets of Downtown New York. After the stress and tension of the past couple of days, worrying about arriving, checking in, performing our technical rehearsal, and all of the promotional events, I feel relaxed, calm, confident and peaceful.

Now it's time for a great run!