Sunday, March 30, 2014

Well, I'm not the world's most physical guy.

Domino run.

So, shortly after we went running yesterday the temperature dropped, and about four inches of wet, heavy snow dropped on the ground. Now it's all melting everywhere.

Sorry. Oh, so sorry. Weather, weather, weather. BORING.

Time to get into the bright, sunshiny slush and beat feet around the neighborhood. Fifteen runs in March.

Temperature: 36°
Distance: 1.75 miles

A bit winded. Tired of this, had to stay in the street in my neighborhood. One day soon, I will take the girl with me on my traditional 3.25 miles route. That will be a good day, indeed.

1970 Playlist
Domino - Van Morrison
Canto de Ossanha (Let Go) - Astrud Gilberto
Mama Told Me Not To Come - Randy Newman
Everyone - Van Morrison
Lola - Kinks

Saturday, March 29, 2014

All the heaven’s in motion.

Feels like I have not run in a long time. It has been since Sunday, and that is too long. Much to do, no time for myself. Yesterday we had something like a Spring day in the morning, my drive to work left me irritable, because I knew it wouldn’t last.

Hate this part, waiting for the better weather. Not today, not tomorrow. Tuesday should be in the sixties. You read this? Living for the future … but not in the good way.

Temperature: 34°
Distance: 4 miles
Weight: 173.5 lbs.

Shabbos. Time to accomplish something. Filling a notebook with words, in my terrible, terrible handwriting. With pages I can go back and forth in time, taking brief glimpses of rubbish constructed in half-sleep, and entire sheets of dialogue which doesn’t suit but can be edited.

What did we lose by abandoning the typewriter? Composing everything, errors and all, then thoughtfully correcting with red pen, for a final rewrite. Two sheets of paper. Today, I print the margins wrong and print it again to find I spelled the recipient’s name wrong. That’s three sheets of paper and I’m not through yet.

I’m not speaking in the abstract, that happened yesterday.

1990 Playlist
New Power Generation - Prince
Vogue - Madonna
Mama Said Knock You Out - LL Cool J
World In My Eyes [Mode To Joy] - Depeche Mode
Tokoloshe Man - Happy Mondays
Now I’m Following You (Part 2) - Madonna
Groove Is In The Heart - Deee-Lite
Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe

Never trust a big butt and a smile. Word.

Had a cramp for the first time in I can't remember how long. Flared up in my back, inside my left shoulder blade. Just keep running, that's all you can do. Hurt at the time, can't feel it at all now.

Girl Run
Temperature: 36°
Distance: .85 mile

Made a to-do list for such a day, things to do with kids or on my own which are both helpful (for example, chores) or just for fun. Board games, mopping floors, reading, organizing the attic. Also on that list was “go running with girl”.

We keep pace together, she is running very well. Her breathing very good. She has been diagnosed with asthma, but it doesn’t flare up often and she rarely uses her inhaler.

We took a quick lap of the block, so much more easily than last time when the sidewalks were chock-a-block with mounds of ice and puddles. If the weather were nicer I would have encouraged her to take another lap.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Talk about moving.

Ran past a fat-breasted robin on Euclid Heights Blvd. with a worm dangling from its beak. Reals.

SOON ...

Temperature: 21°
Climate: Snow. Sure. Whatever.
Distance: 3.25 miles

Cold day, but bright. Some days it's just about the running, or the music. Today it was all thinking, turning over words I have been reading, or writing. People I plan to engage in conversation, and what I will ask them with the precious time allowed.

Longing for better weather, and longer runs. I want to reach the India pavilion on MLK, to commune with the Mahātmā. Today we slept in late, which was odd and refreshing. No writing this morning, just rest. And that is a good thing, too. But with warmer weather I will be inspired to earlier runs, and I look forward to those.

Time expands, thoughts churn and define themselves. Two weeks ago I thought I had no story. Now I have one. Soon I will have two, and then three. And then the great work will begin.

1980 Playlist
Pretty In Pink - The Psychedelic Furs
Take This Town - XTC
She's Lost Control - Joy Division
Funkytown (12" Version) - Lipps Inc.
Red Light - Linda Clifford
Games People Play - The Alan Parsons Project

Afternoon update:

Girl On The Run
Temperature: 23°
Running: 2.2 miles
Walking: 1 mile

When I got back from my run, I remembered I had promised the girl a run today. We headed out to the track, and I was impressed that she could run one mile without stopping, and then after a short water break, a second. We walked a mile, I gave tips, she filled me in on her partners in GOTR, and then a final lap to make a complete 3.2 miles.

The GOTR 5K is on May 18th, which is also the boy's ninth birthday.  She hopes to make the entire 3.1 mile course without stopping, and I assured her that at this rate that will not be a problem.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I was just some towhead teen.

Last week one of the younger people I work with was stationed at my alma mater. He must have been seriously bored, because he went through all the yearbooks in the library, found pictures of me, then posted them on Facebook.

I was impressed. Not merely because I didn't know I looked that good in high school, but also by the photos themselves. It wasn't until I moved into the larger world that I realized how many people I went to school with were obsessively good at what they did. Our yearbook had higher quality layout, photos and design than the New York Times.

Temperature: 37°
Distance: 3.25 miles

As the wife put it, today was a real Cleveland day. The ladies went to orchestra rehearsal at CIM, then we all took the Rapid to Tower City for the Cleveland International Film Festival, for a series of family-oriented short film (several of which were horrifying and made children howl to leave the theater) and the feature-length Anina, which was really super.

You know what's depressing, though? We knew Tower City was a boondoggle - because all shopping malls are eventually, often sooner than later, vacant, depressing hobo traps. However, I did think it had been that long since I have visited Tower City, and what appalled me is the fountain. At the very least, the fountain was always something to look at and enjoy. But it's broken, several spouts are spraying harshly, the waters no longer dance. It's just like this insane, over-sized middle school water fountain.

Anyway, the cinema was bright and festival and very-well organized, and crowded and exciting. So bravo to those guys. After, we took the train back and had big dinner at Tommy's.

So I just ran on an M.R.4 and a my share of a plate of fries. I like running, but forethought would have been nice.

Still waiting for that nice, cool Spring weather. Apparently I will be waiting until Thursday.

2010 Playlist
Fuck You! - Cee-Lo Green
Down By The Water - The Decemberists
Cynthia - Millionyoung 
Melodia de Semba - Killamu
Firework - Katy Perry
Hello - Martin Solveig & Dragonette
Like 'Em All - Jacob Latimore ft. Diggy Simmons

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I'm not here. This isn't happening.

2000 Playlist
- or -
"Kid A" by Radiohead
Everything In Its Right Place
Kid A
The National Anthem
How To Disappear Completely

Temperature: 36°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Happy first day of Spring.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

They're generating steam heat.

Girls On The Run
Temperature: 38°
Distance: 1 mile

The girl brought a friend along and we hit the track - this time, five laps. Thought it was fifty degrees, but apparently not. Gonna do another quick two before taking the boy to drum practice. No time to reflect.

Distance: 2 miles

Five day forecast: Rain, snow, rain, snow, sun. Cleveland!

1976 Playlist
Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
Rip Her To Shreds - Blondie
Teenage Depression - Eddie & The Hot Rods
Dancing Queen - ABBA
Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones
Beat On The Brat - The Ramones
Car Wash - Rolls Royce

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Well, you may run on for a long time.

We will ruin everything.

1966 Playlist
Run On - Elvis Presley
Substitute - The Who
Goodbye Sadness - Astrud Glberto
Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones
The Last Train To Clarksville - The Monkees
Sock It 'Em J.B. Part 1 - Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers
Sunshine Superman - Dovovan
Barefootin' - Robert Parker
Wouldn't It Be Nice - The Beach Boys

Temperature: 21°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Is this it?

Last night I saw [sic] presented by Theater Ninjas at the 78th Street Studios. I really enjoyed that, it was an excellent balance between good text and great movement, and my experience was joyful.

What I noticed last night was the manner in which the text and the way it was played were so carefully thought out I find it difficult to imagine seeing the played performed some other way. The people living off the same hallway in an apartment building (city unknown, irrelevant) and the way they interact.

Representing each apartment, a raked platform. Each has its own personality, the requisite piece or two of furniture to suggest that character. The base of each platform featured a post, on which to knock, like or door, or lean on, as in a doorway.

Leaving their apartment, each would catapult, or spring into the hall. Discovery was, therefore, abrupt. Returning “home” required the effort of will to launch of the platform, but then slow. As if being alone brought each to a point of stillness.

So, about my shoes. Unlike my previous zero drop shows, these have a bit of a lizard-like sole which grips the pavement. Yesterday I did much better in snow with them than with my traditional shoes, or with my other zero drops, which would have slid around like saucers.

One thing I am theoretically missing in zero drop shoes is the launch pad which is the basis or most modern running shoes. You stand on a slight incline. When you run, you are vaulted forward, the shoe does some of your running for you.

What you don’t do, can’t do, is lift your toes. This is what I am constantly doing, whether I think about it or not, in zero drop shoes. Either pair. As I have mentioned previously, running takes more effort. The shoes aren’t working for you, they are encouraging you to work, and basically just protecting your naked feet from the pavement. Or in the case of these new shoes, assisting merely by making solid, firm contact with the pavement.

Temperature: 37°
Distance: 4 miles

Weight: 172.5 lbs.

My second Saturday unplugged. The boy attends School of Rock, he began this year and has been working through 101, which is the band for newbies. Apparently he is doing all right. Previously, I have waited for him (90 minute practice, no point in driving home) by going to a coffee shop, ostensibly to write but more likely to fuck around on Facebook.

Last week, I went grocery shopping. So I did today. Returning home I went out and did yardwork. Three years ago I planted our first son’s brick, the one that used to be in front of CPT, in the front bed. Since that time it has been stepped on by villainous children, and pressed into the earth and when it rains one corner creates a puddle and that makes me unhappy. I have no idea whether there will be snow on the ground on Thursday, his birthday, so I cleared the weeds and brought that edge up so the rain with wash away and down the front walk. And that was a very satisfying thing to do.

2006 Playlist
Punkrocker - Teddybears ft. Iggy Pop
Team GoGo - Harold Barefoot Sanders III
Guess What - Keyshia Cole ft. Jadakiss
Fire - Ferry Corsten
Sketches (Twenty Something Life) - La Rocca
The Bitch of Living - "Spring Awakening"
Say It Right - Nelly Furtado
Buttons - The Pussycat Dolls
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse

Friday, March 14, 2014

A pretty piece of flesh, I am.

Come on, you can't run in that shit.

Anxiety has gripped me tight. Things are well. My resolutions hold firm. I read, and I write, every day. Obsessively. Maybe it makes me unhappy that I am not enjoying what I am reading. I find it interesting, but irritating. The facts are those I need to learn, the writer is really terrible at sharing them.

You can write a book about Shakespeare without finding a corresponding quote from Shakespeare to accompany every single paragraph. I find a song lyric to provide a title to every blog entry, but that's only because I have to call them something and using someone else's words is easier than being creative.

This is not why I am anxious.

The weather disturbs me, and yet I hold fast. The news disturbs me, and yet I hold fast. The family unit holds, we talk and play and watch and read, together. These things are good. The work continues, and yet I am anxious.

Last week I "unplugged" from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. It was a national thing I heard about during the day, on Friday. And I thought I would try it. It was challenging, but I was successful. And I learned a lot. And then plunged back into the internet and became maudlin.

It is expansive, but it is not fulfilling. I can check my email every five minutes, but there is nothing there but advertisements.

Tonight I will do it again, because I want to, not because it is a thing. I will observe social media shabbos. I do not impress this upon my family, they can do as they like. But I will switch off from sundown tonight (7:31 pm) to sundown tomorrow (7:33 pm).

Tonight I will see a play, alone. Tomorrow I will see another play, also alone. These events will bookend my day of media rest.

It remains cold. I do not wish to run. And that is why I must.

Temperature: 36°
Distance: 3 miles
Weight: 172.5 lbs.

Oxygen. Motion. Elements. Thank you.

1996 Playlist
Midnight In a Perfect World - DJ Shadow
Cinnabar - Tipsy
Female of The Species - Space
A Pretty Piece of Flesh - One Inch Punch
On The Edge - Queue Up
The Idiot Kings - Soul Coughing

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

We were liars in love.

Daddy says the Devil looks a lot like you.

Oh ... hello, 1986. Last night I held the first reading of a new play I wrote in the middle of my sleep earlier this year. The first scene takes place twenty-eight years ago, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Coble said he had nothing to say about it because he kept trying to remember who he was dating then.

One of our readers had car trouble, so I gave her a lift to and from the reading. I couldn't shut up about this stupid script. (Valerie, I am so sorry.) I had thought this play was about one thing, but in my stream of consciousness rant after the reading, I realized it was about a million things, many of them worse than I had previous remembered. (I am so very, very sorry.)

But it was a very successful reading. I want Corey sitting next to me every time I see a suspenseful movie, he is delightfully reactive.

Temperature: 42°
Distance: 4 miles
Weight: 172.5 lbs.

Storm's coming. See you on the other side.

1986 Playlist
Happy Hour - The Housemartins
And We Danced - Hooters
The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades - Timbuk 3
The Pleasure Principle - Janet Jackson
Breakout - Swing Out Sister
Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
The Boy In The Bubble - Paul Simon
Crazy Mixed-Up Kid - The Smithereens
Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel

Ensemble Theatre presents the World Premiere of "The Way I Danced With You," through April 7, 2019.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Running around 'cause I'm filled with fear.

These. That is all.

Temperature: 41°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 173 lbs.

2011 Playlist
Houdini - Foster the People
Brazil - Eric Bobo & Latin Bitman
Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People
Run Right Back - The Black Keys
Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men
Sick of You - Cake
Too Many Rappers [New Reactionaries Version] - Beastie Boys ft. Nas

5:30 PM UPDATE: After work, the girl asked to lap the block. She wanted to run two laps, but I think with the idea of going that far she intimidated herself. We ran one with a few walk breaks.

She asked to sprint the last several drives. Sprinting freaks me out, especially on the sidewalk. Too much opportunity for injury.

On our way out (lovely 55° evening!) the boy asked to join us and I had to put him off. He was a little difficult about it, but this is one of those situations where I have found it is better to have all of your attention on one kid. After the girl and I were through, the boy and I ran down to the corner and back.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

With our children at our feet.

The girl asked to run at the track, the middle school track, soon to be her middle school track. The last time we had attempted this, she might run one lap and then want to stop and breathe before continuing. Today we went four laps without stopping, or even talking much.

Unfortunately, we both thought that was a mile. It's not, it's a two-tenths track and so later I had to tell her we had only gone eight-tenths of a mile, and so I got the look.

Oh, well. Five laps next time, I know she will be up to it.

Girl On The Run
Temperature: 27°
Distance: .8 mile

Traditionally I would be going through post-tour depression, but there's just too much going on. Also, the ice is breaking, the snow is melting. Tomorrow I don't care if it is pissing down dumpsters, if the temperature is above fifty I am on the pavement in my new Batman shirt.

Solo Run
Temperature: 30°
Distance: 2 miles

1971 Playlist
Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
10538 Overture - Electric Light Orchestra
Roundabout - Yes

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Homo Superior in my interior.

1981 Playlist
Five Miles Out - Mike Oldfield
Hard Act To Follow * - Split Enz
Everything's Gone Green - New Order
Splintered In Her Head - The Cure
Homosapien - Pete Shelley
Sat In Your Lap - Kate Bush
Kids In America * - Kim Wilde

Tonight we celebrate by watching X-Men.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Is this the road that you take till the end?

by Jason Stein, Heights Observer, March 1, 2014

A little late in the season, but appreciated nonetheless, CH-UH Councilman addresses one of my pet peeves, my fellow citizens' inability to or disinterest in clearing their damn sidewalks.

As I have already pointed out, the perpetually frigid temps mean that snow which is not cleared when it falls remains and hardens, making what was merely inconvenient to travel downright dangerous.

The fact that I have had no safely available paths on which to run is not everyone's concern, but the councilman points out it also means children and the elderly have resorted to walking in the streets, so it isn't just me.

A reasonable man, the man lists several reasonable proposals. Here is to hoping that one or more are actually initiated, if not this year then by next winter.

Girl On The Run
Temperature: 36°
Distance: .85 miles

The girl and I took a run around the block. She started Girls On The Run (GOTR) yesterday, she said today she could do maybe a half-mile. I said a trip around the block was little more than that, and she did fine -- in spite of the mounds of melting snow.

Got my new shoes yesterday, they are actually a half-size larger than the green shoes. But those shoes can make my small toes chafe, so I am going to stick with these.

Distance: 3.25 miles

Today we packed up the tour, dropping off costumes, the set and props, and returning the van. This afternoon I met with one about about possible new writing project, and two about a reading of a new work next week.

A door closes. Jump out the window!

1991 Playlist
The Globe - BAD II
A Roller Skating Jame Named "Saturdays" - De La Soul
Volte Para O Seu Lar - Marisa Monte
Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless) - Crystal Waters
There's No Other Way - Blur
All This Time - Sting
International Bright Young Thing - Jesus Jones

Oh man. I usually wear the clown shoes without socks ... but these new shoes cut me during my brief run with the girl. So I put on socks. And now I can reasonably declare that these are the best shoes I have ever worn.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

You should make your shoes.

The girl has joined a running club at school, Girls On The Run. Ominous nomenclature, and yet. Very glad she has expressed her own desire to do this, and for obvious reasons.

This morning she reminded me she needs new shoes before the club begins this week. We were waiting for the boy to get out of band practice, and there was a sporting goods store right next door, so why not? She wears a size six, and found a black pair of shoes that made her happy. I told her to wear them around the house today, so they aren't brand new her first day out.

Meanwhile, I checked out some shoes myself. My folks gave me a gift card for this store for Christmas, and I hadn't used it. I found a pair of cranberry zero drop shoes, these with a rugged tread, unlike the clown shoes which features a sole more like pads.

The guy said he didn't have any in my size -- according to him, zero drop shoes just don't sell. We are truly freaks. I came home and shopped online. Shoes, supporter, a new shirt, the entire order (free shipping) was under $100. This came as a pleasant surprise.

Temperature: 41°
Distance: 3.25 miles
Weight: 173 lbs.

Diane Van Deren is one of the best ultra-runners in the world, and it all started with a seizure.
In this short, Diane tells us how her disability gave rise to an extraordinary ability.
(Thanks for this, Sara B.)

2001 Playlist
19-2000 (Soulchild Remix) - Gorillaz
Voyager - Daft Punk
Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Mox - Radiohead
Samba Da Benção (4 Hero Mix) - Bebel Gilberto
Pop Muzik - eX-Girl
Traveller (Kid Loco's Once Upon a Time in the East Mix) - Talvin Singh
By Your Side (Ben Watt Remix) - Sade

My playlist slaps your grandma.