Sunday, September 28, 2014

You got too much soul.

Last night I dreamed I was at a party where I was the least interesting person there. No one wanted to talk to me. Also, I was wearing one of my daughter's bedazzled black hoodies.

Last night I was at an actual party where I was talking to many people, though I cannot account for any interest I may or may not have generated. I spoke with a colleague about his great success in dropping forty-five pounds through the past year.

I knew he had been trying to control his weight, he's been working at that for some time now. What was stunning to me was the recent day where I looked at him and suddenly realized he'd done it. To me, it appeared like he'd done it overnight.

He was so happy, telling me about the day he realized he just had to do something serious and exactly what that was, not just about eating too much, but all the casual drinking, and complete lack of activity. So, he changed his habits. He decided to change them, and here was the result. He looks great.

I mentioned how I have put on more weight than I would like to have, and he politely remarked that I don't show it, I'm too tall, I carry myself tall. That was very nice to hear but it doesn't change the fact that I am in my mid-40s and carrying a tire that as I age becomes increasingly difficult to burn.

As I bounce ideas back and forth inside my head (artistic ideas, you know, we do that) I have considered revising and reviving the marathon play. So many changes in the past five years, I feel that it is not finished. In order to play it, however, I would need to lose twenty pounds. Performing it last in 2011, I was at least that much heavier than when it debuted, and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack one night.

No heart attacks, please.

Temperature: 68°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Sunshiny morning over the Heights, and humid. Feeling good, but breathy. I think this fall the designated beverage at home will be tea, sweet herbal tea. The children have started requesting tea as a regular beverage, and can prepare it themselves. We should make a lot of it at a time and enjoy it all evening.

Sleep has been an issue, all year, all summer long. My sleep patterns have been horrible. Too much caffeine, all day, and any alcohol at all. Friends send me links on meditation and yoga, and perhaps I will visit those articles some day. One thing at a time.

It has been almost a year since I began my experiment in writing, which has been successful beyond imagining. The running happens, but not the races. Four runs in September? It's the second best month for running in the entire year.

The best is, of course, October.

Jane's Getting Serious Playlist
Jane's Getting Serious - Jon Astley
Valerie - Steve Winwood
The Oogum Boogum Song - Brenton Wood
She Bop - Cyndi Lauper
Do You Really Want To Know - George Michael
Save Me - k.d. lang
Straight To My Heart (165 bpm) - Sting

Yes. We are wistful and nostalgic, but also troubled. I wrote a ten-minute play last week. It's either awful or just about an awful thing. We'll read it Thursday and find out which.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I know you'll want to run around.

"If you could give one magic pill that would improve physical health, mood, reduce weight," this would be it, [Dr. Robert Waldinger, psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University] says. Federal health officials recommend 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every day.

Best To Not Sweat The Small Stuff, Because It Could Kill You

NPR - Morning Edition, Sept. 22, 2014
A few years back some "friends" chose to share with me this report which suggests there is no empirical evidence that exercise helps with depression. Except the other day NPR tells me, as part of their ongoing reports on STRESS (which I should tell you are very stressful to listen to) that physical exercise can improve physical health and mood.

So there's that.

Temperature: 73°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Big, beautiful night. Numerous runners and walkers and others.

What's the word for that awkward moment you have to pass someone who is almost but not quite just going as fast as you, and then you speed up because you want to put a lot of space between them and you and you notice your shorts are stuffed up your buttcrack?

There has to be one.

The Current Playlist
Dangerous -  Big Data
After the Disco - Broken Bells
I'm Only Joking - Kongos
Youth Without Youth - Metric
Harlem - New Politics
We Come Running  - Youngblood Hawke
Pumpin Blood - NONONO
Right Action - Franz Ferdinand

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My pulse is racing.

No seriously, I haven't run for a long time and I am not happy about that. It's golden hour, the fall, when the gear is still at a minimum but so is the sweat.

We have been in rehearsal for the residency program, which makes for early mornings, long days, and many of them (we rehearse on Saturdays, too) and my wife has begun her second year teaching high school English, so my evenings are largely housework related -- and spending time with my children, who have suddenly exploded into the larger world.

Then there's the change of season, allergy, feeling headachy and sick thing.

Gripe, gripe, gripe (the boys are marching.)

Temperature: 75°
Distance: 3.25 miles
 Let's Cool It In The Bedroom  
by Gretchen Reynolds
New York Times - July 17, 2014

Woke just before 3 am, certain I would slide into another sleepless night and wake in pain. I could feel my head expand and tighten. I crawled out of bed for water and pain reliever, and threw off the covers to sleep cool.

The NYTimes link provided above, and which I read during the summer, does not actually relate to my personal discoveries about sleep, though it is interesting. All I know is staying up late, sleeping warm, sleeping in (thereby missing out on morning caffeine) and even modest amounts of alcohol, combine to create a really awful morning. You may call it a hangover, but it happens whether I have had anything to drink or not, and always on the weekend.

I woke again at 7 am, feeling much better, and ready to just roll over, when it occurred to me to make coffee, which I did, by which time I was a little awake. I have not written in two days, not even nonsense. Lately I have been fretting - a lot - about my ability to write anything, ever, of any value, ever again.

Coffee, morning birds and a blank sheet of paper, combined with a half hour of thinking and rotating my wrist and I have the beginning of what may be a 10-minute play, which is great because I find those to be most difficult of all.

Then I went back to sleep for two hours, the best sleep I've had in over a month. It is 11 am, everyone is gone for the day, and I have housework to happily tend to. But first, we run.

Under Pressure Playlist
Under Pressure - Queen & David Bowie
The Ocean - Led Zeppelin
Roundabout - Yes
These Are The Days of Our Lives - Queen
Stone Cold Crazy - Metallica
I'm Free - The Who
Living After Midnight - Judas Priest

Bright and warm, but cool and breezy. This is fall. I feel good, I need to resume cross-training, these slacks won't put themselves on.

So glad we live in a universe where Under Pressure happened. When you are putting together that memorial video for me after my death, please use this song, it's kind of everything.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

I'm never gonna live again.

What's in the jug this year?
Last week I snarked about my hometown, and their penchant for intolerance and feckless cruelty. It was a little out of left field, and as is normal when I lash out with provocation I usually feel a little bad about it. So, thanks for proving me right this week in such spectacular fashion. You people are fucking terrible.

Temperature: 70°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Long week of rehearsal, but satisfying. Boxes get ticked, the work continues. The only setting my teeth on edge is that in those quiet in-between moments, on my own time, I don't know what to do. Writing happens, but we are in the non-formative area (in which I used to constantly live) where the words swirl but the ideas are not compelling.

This morning there are many house jobs to tend to, but even at 10 AM I am bleary, unfocused a little pained, stiff and unsettled. Time for a run.

If I Can't Change Your Mind Playlist
Tears of a Clown - The Beat
Back of a Car - Big Star
Feel - Big Star
Nearly Lost You - Screaming Trees
And We Danced - Hooters
Holidays In The Sun - Sex Pistols
Everyday Is Halloween - Ministry
September Gurls - Big Star

Neighborhood association coming up with ideas for a 5K this fall.  Time to ask the city how best to close down these streets for a morning.

Monday, September 01, 2014

If I tell you what I'm doing today will you shut up and get out of my way?

In this house, Labor Day is about housework. No planes, no picnics, just cleaning up and planning for the future. Feeling adrift ... so many endings, too many beginnings. So we run.

Temperature: 77°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Hot, sweaty, bright (no sunglasses), wearying but good.

Middle School Playlist (1979-81)
I'm a Cult Hero - Cult Hero
Clampdown - The Clash
Got The Time - Joe Jackson
Love This Life - The Blue Nile
Forever In Blue Jeans - Neil Diamond
Life Begins at the Hop - XTC
That's Entertainment - The Jam
Rock Lobster - The B-52's