Thursday, July 31, 2014

And you can tell the world that you're tired.

Morning marked by malaise ... I have had an unhappy relationship with sleep since we departed. Hotel bedrooms co-sleeping with kicking children is one thing, I do not know why my comfortable bed here has been keeping me up nights.

By my wife's recommendation I took allergy medicine before bed but was still up several times, and worse, with sinus pain. I slept later than everyone else, which I hate. I prefer to read and write before the kids are awake so as not to deprive them of vacation-based attention.

However, so it went and my wife took the kids out this morning so I could sit by the fire, or the porch, and read and scribble and eventually, to write. By noon I was ready to move.

Whither July?

Temperature: 63°
Climate: bright and warm
Distance: 3.8 miles

Pompeii Playlist
Salt Skin - Ellie Goulding
Landfill - Daughter
Without a Word - Birdy
Not Fair - Lily Allen
Calgary - Bon Iver
I Predict a Riot *  - Kaiser Chiefs
California English * - Vampire Weekend
Still Life * - The Horrors

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lemon Shoal

Reading happens.
Deep long morning, brief heavy rain. Much reading and a struggle to create a fire. I chose the porch, to enjoy the downpour.

The everyday life of a professional theater artist in Jacobean England. Where did I acquire these old books? The aging paperbacks with prices like "2-95" marked in pencil. It is as though I have squirreled them throughout my young adult years, with a pretension that I required them if I were to fashion myself a true scholar of Shakespeare. Only years, decades later I have found them to be actually useful.

This, How Shakespeare Spent His Day and previously, Shakespeare's Audience, these are thin books, from the mid-century (1963 and 1941, respectively) packed with verifiable information. Recent epics like Will In the World and 1599, heavy, heavy books that anyone would be proud to have seen on their shelf, outlined in fact and inflated with fancy.

Temperature: 66°
Climate: overcast and humid
Distance: .9 mile

In my more wistful moments, I imagine my daughter reflecting upon our relationship, and making note of how kindly encouraging I was to her in all things, even when she was choosing to be difficult and aggressively petulant.

Today, I blame myself. I had encouraged her to come and she was game, but she did ask to run one mile and I neglected to create a route. She was done and unhappy about it by the time we reached Crystal Pond ... which as it turns out is nearly a mile. If I'd know that we could have gotten that far and walked back with a feeling of accomplishment, instead of my trying to make conversation while she stared straight ahead, occasionally remarking that her shoes are wrong and her knee felt stiff.

Distance: 1.3 miles
I have never had great upper body strength. To put it another way, I have never had upper body strength. Occasionally I have worked to remedy this, but it comes and it goes. Wii Fit has helped through the winter, but that's really the only time I use it.

Recently, I have been waking to feel a pain in a particular region of my left tricep. No idea what has been causing that. The stress of the amusement park rides (no, seriously) seemed to have exacerbated this and on Monday I needed to take pain reliever, driving became so unpleasant.

Yesterday the boy asked to go kayaking, and our journey went much farther afield than I had expected - all the way around Pa's Island. It was near high tide, and there were many swells caused by passing lobster boats, and those waves that crash upon Lemon Shoal. We were each in separate kayaks, but the boy kept close as I called out calm and (I hoped) reassuring commands. I was waiting for the moment he might become anxious or begin to panic but he never did and though it was arduous, it was a successful journey.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's a shame you don't know what you're running from.

Brunswick Diner
This is living. This is living.

My birthday marks two-thirds of the summer gone. Memorial Day is the starting gate, the Fourth we are in high-gear. I remind the children not to think to the future, not to wish for Maine. It will come, and when it comes, it means we are in the homestretch. Be here now. And they are, they have been. It has been a long, full summer.

We took our time this year, the most relaxed and engaged I have felt on a road trip in some time. Of course, that can be expensive, but those are bills we will have to pay (figuratively, literally). We haven't taken two nights to reach the Cove since the children were very small, usually we push through in two days.

This year we had a special stop at Six Flags New England, where our two careful and wise children took some risks and rode the roller coasters. It was an amazing family experience, and honestly, I was the scared one. Not for me, but for them. I can't help it. I live from moment to moment waiting for the next disaster.

We settled into Flood's Cove last night without even unpacking. Taking our time is the rule of the day, and we will be here for the better part of two weeks. I have spent this morning reading, writing, and chatting with my brother, as it should be. An eleven a.m. run is not out of order.

Temperature: 70°
Climate: bright, beautiful and hot
Distance: 3.8 miles

Last night after the sun went down the girl put on a hoodie, grabbed her music and a flashlight and announced she was going to sit on the dock. My child, alone, on a wobbly dock floating on the ocean, in the dark.

She is eleven. I walked this cove with a flashlight, on my own, ages before that. I nodded and she went.

When I was just shy of thirteen, I sat in a hammock for the better part of two weeks, using my father's new Walkman to listen to a mix tape I had made of all my new 45's from that summer. Same 90 minute tape, both sides, over and over. Dreaming of being a teenager.

Pompeii Playlist
Summer Skin - Death Cab for Cutie
Radio - Lana Del Rey
Your Biggest Mistake - Ellie Goulding
Believer - American Authors
Animal - Ellie Goulding
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - The Smiths
I'm Not Alone - Calvin Harris
Atlas Hands * - Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Cousins * - Vampire Weekend

Me and my cousins and you and your cousins. It's a line that is always running.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I live and breathe.

For René, who can't google.

Weddings in Tremont. Significant personal anniversaries. Low-budget performances of Romeo & Juliet. Yet, there is far too much going on now to be wistful.

Temperature: 72°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Night time run at the end of productive day. Been reading a biography of Jim Henson. It's a bit fawning, and every page is steeped with ominous predictions of his early demise, which makes the entire book feel less like the celebration of a happy genius and more like a race to imminent death. But the details are very interesting.

I like biographies about artists, and he was a giant.

1994 Playlist
Get the Message - Electronic
Get Ready For This - 2 Unlimited
Closer to God - Nine Inch Nails
Night In My Veins - The Pretenders
Blueeyed Devil - Soul Coughing
It Could Be Sweet - Portishead
Buried at Sea * - MC 900 Ft. Jesus

Friday, July 18, 2014

A little wine and a moan.

Weather has been ideal for running, and yet. Since we returned from vacation, the days have been long and inaccessible, at the service of work, children and home. Baseball games, soccer practice, music lessons, tending the injuries, enjoying movies and television, and the company of friends.

But no running. Evenings end around midnight, the mornings spent either writing or sleeping in ... but usually sleeping in.

There has been yardwork, however. More proud of the front beds than I have in some time. Moved a ton (literally!) of earth last weekend, weeding and planting and making all nice. At least, in the front yard. Don't go in the back yard.

Sitting at my desk for eight hours a day, and not exercising, makes me torpid and dull. Again with the right vastus lateralis, always a pain when I am off the road.

Temperature: 77°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Better any run than no run at all. It's Boy Camp this weekend, I am about to pick him up from goalie practice and we are going to see opening night of Cleve Shakes Romeo and Juliet BECAUSE WE ARE CRAZY LIKE THAT.

Friday Night Playlist
Friday Night - Lily Allen
Bryn - Vampire Weekend
Smile - Lily Allen
Golden Touch - Razorlight
Shine - Take That
Pizza, New York Catcher - Belle & Sebastian
Henrietta - The Fratellis
Pumpkin Soup - Kate Nash
Not Big - Lily Allen

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

How ... insensitive.

Face painting is supposed to be happy.
Yes, this summer is totally slipping through my fingers. One match remaining in the 2014 World Cup. One road trip through, several camps down. House repair is happening. Independence Day really is the mark at which you evaluate exactly how much you planned to get done before the school year, and how little time is left.

Have you ever really tried to write a play? Just asking. I'm writing and writing, writing in circles, chasing my tail. And yet ... have you ever read H.G. Welles The Time Machine? It's really fun.

I got nothing. Go Argentina.

Temperature: 72°
Distance: 3.25 miles

To Brazil, With Love Playlist
Bananeira - Bebel Gilberto
Dindi - Astrud Gilberto
Samba e Amor - Bebel Gilberto
Desafinado - Stan Getz & João Gilberto
Bim Bom - Bebel Gilberto ft. Daniel Jobim
Insensatez - Stan Getz & Luiz Bonfá ft. Maria Toledo
Who Needs Forever - Astrud Gilberto (Thievery Corporpation Remix)

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Sleeping on the sidewalk.

Blowed up real good.

Low-key Fourth, spent lazing at mom and dad's place in Lakewood. We are not a big fireworks family, we tried taking the kids but every year it seemed they were less and less interested or impressed. We asked if we should skip this year and they were all for it.

Fun driving home along the Shoreway, the sheer amount of people gathered along the north side of Detroit Avenue surprised the boy. One year (only one?) they shut down the Shoreway for fireworks and my wife and I sat on the median with so many others.

Guess I don't get out much, but the sheer tonnage of illegal fireworks being discharged in a half-mile radius from the intersection of Superior and Euclid last night was truly stunning.

This three-day weekend leaves me a little at loose ends, artistically, physically. Thursday night we turned in after midnight, and slept in ... rendering me with a major sinus headache which plagued me for the entire day. Just no fun, sometimes I truly hate my head, desiring to drill holes through it to relieve the pressure.

Meanwhile, work continues on a new script. No idea where it's going, but I know where it has to lead. This morning when the boy is at band practice I will hole up with a notebook and torment myself with the blank page. Nothing to do but fill it.

Temperature: 68°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Strangely unsatisfying run, despite the cooler temperature and what promises to be an entirely beautiful day. On Thursday, I had a good run, and then took a walk up and down North Coast Harbor, which left my Achilles tendon feeling very sore, and it still was today. Generally, I felt dispirited (in spite of the music) and logy, and largely uninterested in running.


Lust For Life Playlist
Lust for Life - Iggy Pop
Train In Vain (Stand By Me) - The Clash
Sheena is a Punk Rocker - The Ramones
The Man Who Sold The World (live)  - Nirvana
Search and Destroy - The Stooges
London Calling - The Clash
The Passenger - Iggy Pop

Thursday, July 03, 2014

You're running with me.

My grandfather (center) in 1909.
Happy birthday, sir.

Deceptively cool outside, so a spontaneous run is in order. We are home now, yet not everything is as it was. The children are not in any camps this week, why sign up for a three-day camp? But I have work to be done, and by God I am doing it.

I do not believe I will be running the Bay 5 Mile tomorrow, or that I will be until a certain girl feels capable of joining me.

Temperature: 81°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Deceptively cool. Positively sweating.

Slave To Love Playlist
Slave to Love - Brian Ferry
Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush
Dance Away - Roxy Music
Save a Prayer - Duran Duran
Here Comes the Rain Again - Eurythmics
It's My Life - Talk Talk
Sledgehammer - Pater Gabriel