Monday, December 29, 2014

It's bad enough just getting old.

Geese crossing.
Stress. Tension. Anxiety. Poor sleep patterns, uneasy relationship with alcohol and children. Outside creeping in. This is a vacation, spending time in Athens, in peace and quiet, with dogs and fireplaces and big comfortable chairs and lots of time spent in movie theaters. And yet, I also have to spend this time with my mind, and he is always a difficult house guest.

Temperature: 34°
Distance: 2.85 miles

Brisk run. No people. Lots of geese.

Right Action Playlist
Dangerous - Big Data
Youth Without Youth - Metric
The Mother We Share * - CHVRCHES
Diane Young * - Vampire Weekend
Still Life * - The Horrors
Money Maker - The Black Keys
Take It Or Leave It - The Strokes

Sunday, December 28, 2014

We could run away to paradise.

The extended family have returned to their corners, and we remain, indulging in the hearth and patience of Chris & Con. Three movies already, in as many days. Hikes in the woods, Guinness on tap at the Skull, and evening's playing foosball, pool, and Machi Koro.

And we have three more days. The girl does her nails, the boy takes a long bath, the wife rests, and I will stretch my pampered bones.

Temperature: 38°
Distance: 4.25 miles

What are the plans for 2015? With the lowest run count since I was taking antidepressants, what place does running continue to take in my daily routine? I have a colleague whose interest rises as mine wanes, he wants to run a Half Marathon in the next year, I have been thinking of feeding off of his excitement for the endeavor to spur my own.

Also, I bought a most excellent blazer at Athens Underground. So that's cool.

Europa & The Pirate Twins Playlist
I Love You Goodbye - Thomas Dolby
Are We Ourselves?- The Fixx
Legal Tender - The B-52's
To Live and Die In L.A. - Wang Chung
Desperate But Not Serious - Adam Ant
The Mayor of Simpleton - XTC
That's Good - Devo
Cool Places * - Sparks ft. Jane Wiedlin
Talk Talk - Talk Talk
Destination Unknown - Missing Persons

Cool, damp, misty day by the Hocking River. I felt good, spirited. Untroubled and well-rested. There were only a few others on the path, sets of runners, a walker, and lots and lots of geese.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

We're here tonight and that's enough.

Christmas at the Wolf Homestead. The house is full of family from the neighborhood, Chicago, Columbus, Nantucket, and of course, Cleveland. The Christmas Eve meal was vast and absurd, turkey and ham, thrice-baked potatoes, and a number of pies which I believe were to be saved for tonight, but oh well, you know?

I took it easy on the drinking, one cocktail, thank you, not two. And limited wine at dinner. Here, as at my parents' house, the humidity or heat makes my head unhappy. My beloved spouse brought me water several times in the middle of the night, which was very much appreciated.It did not help that there were children who were finding it difficult to sleep, what with Santa arriving and all, and our tight full bed was crammed with three.

The morning was a delightful celebration of thoughtful gift-giving. I am always surprised by the creativity and grandiosity. My father-in-law gave us a handmade "hat-track"designed specifically for our new garage -- and that is exactly where it will go.

A couple hours spent leisurely in the Skull, I don't think I paid for a single drink. Speaking of which, the out-laws have made special "Saloon"-free Smiling Skull hoodies for the kids, so they can wear them to school without violating dress code!

The weather is cooler, but remains mild. The nights have been raining outright, but this day is too calm and bright not to take advantage.

So grateful. So thankful. So peaceful. These are times to be remembered.

Temperature: 41°
Distance: 2.85 miles

Oh ho, Father Christmas was deceptive. The skies were bright and the air was calm as I headed out, but in a short time the clouds rolled in an it got very breezy. I decided to break the run short. Besides, after all the consumption of the past twenty-four hours, and lack of sleep, I want to be sure I do not have to crash too early. Going to see Into the Woods this afternoon!

Holiday Run
Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
FaLaLaLaLove Ya - Nikki Lane
Snowman - XTC
San Valley Ski Run - Esquivel
Last Christmas (Pudding Mix) - Wham!
Wonderful Christmastime - Straight No Chaser ft. Paul McCartney

Listen to how Akrons' own The Waitresses came up with "Christmas Wrapping".
WCPN 90.3 FM Ideastream

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My holiday's complete!

Stay young. Dine with young people.

So the water things lasted about two days. You just have to think about it too much. Also, though I have not been stretching my back in the morning and after two weeks my lower back is still complaining. The pain has eased off, but yesterday I drove for three and a half hours straight to get to Athens (my family headed down without me Monday morning) and I got out of the car feeling like my injury was fresh, or mostly fresh.

It's Christmas Eve. Run we must.

Temperature:  55°
Distance: 4.25 miles

Glorious, cool day, damp pavement. The city has the detour signs set out next to the bike path, ready to block the way when the river floods. Last night it probably had.

Kael's Monster Mix (side two)
Let's Go To Bed (Extended Mix) - The Cure
Don't Let's Start - They Might Be Giants
Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) - Squeeze
Rock Steady - Sting
Beating of Hearts - XTC
I Got You - Split Enz
Nightclub Jitters - The Replacements
Lady Madonna - The Beatles
Voice Of Harold - R.E.M.
A Japanese Dream (remix) - The Cure

Kael's Monster Mix (side one)

For those completionists among us, Peter Gabriel's Walk Through the Fire belongs after Beating of Hearts, but for some reason did not make it onto the iPod. No matter, this abbreviated side lasted for almost the entire route.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Time to move forward.

This is a dream I had.
So drinking a gallon of water a day is a thing. We were talking about this at work the other day. I have tried a few fad diets in my time, not many. We ate rice a lot for a week maybe twenty years ago (my wife has to keep reminding me that not everything happened twenty years ago).

Apparently, if I drink a gallon a day, my skin will clear up, my general feeling of energy will rise, and I may even lose weight, no doubt through displacement.

The truth is, I certainly do not drink enough water. My pee is often like tar sands oil. So any kind of encouragement to hydrate is a good one, especially when our rehearsal space is on the tenth floor and often the water that makes it's way up those ancient pipes looks like, well, like it came from the black tar sands.

Yesterday I drank half a gallon before 10 AM, I was so inspired, which made the rest of the day kind of normal. The question is whether or not retaining so much water makes it 1) better to run, because hydration, yay or 2) harder to run, because I am bloated like a baby beluga.

One colleague remarked how giddy I appeared yesterday afternoon, but I think that was simply joy that I was making it through a day without the crippling migraine I had developed on Thursday. It was simply a joy to be able to think.

Temperature: 31°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Our year draws to a close. I am collaborating with the girl on the holiday cartoon - yes, I said it, this year there will be a cartoon. It's been five years. They are a lot of work, but they are worth it. They've both grown so much in 2014, they grow all the time, but it seems like we are a different family now. And that is good, too.

2014 Playlist
United State Of Pop 2014 (Do What You Wanna Do) - DJ Earworm
Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating in the Future - Mike Doughty
Everything is AWESOME!!! - Tegan & Sara ft. Lonely Island
Accident Report - Eric Lualdi
Figure It Out - Royal Blood
Dancehall Domine - The New Pornographers
Two Bodies - Flight Facilities ft. Emma Louise
Do You - Spoon

Half a gallon before 10 AM. Waiting for the change.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A hymn called 'Faith and Misery'.

Several months of concentration and preparation culminated a week ago Monday with a rather stressful video recording session and as a result, all the tension I had been holding back hit me rather hard in my lower back. Like, really low, I don't usually have back pain that low. It has been a painful week.

Heat, cold, tiger balm massage, and lots of ibuprofen. Still hurts, even today. Snows are coming. Got to run.

Temperature: 45°
Distance: 3.25 miles

Dialogue while running:
BENJAMIN Shakespeare would have supported this war! Band of brothers, the Feast of Crispian an all that!
CLEMENT Crispin Crispian? The Battle of Agincourt?
CLEMENT Agincourt was a war of convenience! We attacked them!
Holiday Run
Fairytale of NewYork - The Pogues Ft. Kirsty MacColl
The Little Drummer Boy - King of Clubs
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon & Yoko Ono
The Closing of the Year - Wendy & Lisa
Come On Home * - Everything But the Girl
O Come All Ye Faithful - Pomplamoose
Holiday - Green Day
My Favorite Things * - John Coletrane

And so it's 5:30 ... and what have you done?

Sunday, December 07, 2014

I'm in a mood for you, for running away.

Not me.
And bad mistakes ‒ I've made a few. There was a number of colleagues at school who announced they were planning a winter break journey to the Bahamas. This was in 1988, and of those who signed up to this unofficial field trip, there were one or two close enough to call friends. Also, traveling used to give me great anxiety. So I passed.

The fact that I would make close friends on the trip hadn't occurred to me. I spent that winter break at home in Bay Village, cold, alone, contemplating my own demise and just generally regretting every decision had ever made to that point.

However, part of me was in the Bahamas that miserable holiday break ... a mix-tape I had made for myself, which I gave as a present to those who were going. Legend has it they were very happy with my mix-tape, playing these same nineteen songs over and over again. Something else the kids today will never understand. 

Everything third song or so was followed by a brief sound bite from a movie or television program, lines like For God's Sake, Mrs. Robinson! - and - It's all right lads, I always poo before I get up. - and the ominous - (Wife) There's a young man here, he says he wants to use the telephone. (Writer) Well, I suppose you'd better let him in.

But the music was at the fore, of course. I found the original cassette I had made for myself and made this angst-ridden playlist for you.

Kael's Monster Mix (side one)
A Japanese Dream - The Cure
Close (To The Edit) - The Art of Noise
Thinkin' About Your Body - Bobby McFerrin
Sunday Papers - Joe Jackson
Balloon Man * - Robyn Hitchcock
How Soon Is Now - The Smiths
Perfect Kiss - New Order
The Ghost In You - The Psychedelic Furs
Nothing Looks The Same In The Light - Wham!

Temperature: 32°
Distance: 5.15 miles

Christ, was gloriously perfect morning. Crisp, clear and bright. Should have joined the Reindeer Run.