Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Almost twenty.

One more before departing, joined the wife on a run out behind South Green. She is very close to a complete twenty, we took a one minute walk after ten.

With five minutes left she expressed her physical desire to stop, with an intent to continue which is what we did. It was important to stop when we did. It was important to keep going. It is important to obey your body, but sometimes your body need to obey you.

Distance: 2.18 mile
Duration: 29:17
Avg Pace: 13:23
Route: Hocking River Bike Trail

Time to clean up and pack. Thanks to MP and Chris and everyone else on the tree. We will return as soon as we are able.

One more before New Year's? We shall see.

Temperature: 45°
Climate: cool and bright
Mood: positive

Monday, December 28, 2015

In the road before us stood a weary grayish man.

Don't be that guy.
Then the rains came, plunging our corner of the world into something a little more like winter, or at least that part of fall when it is rainy and cold. There were a number of wonderful outdoor activities we had planned for the boy (several presents involve geocaching) which had to wait.

The wife and I need to work, too, which is nothing unusual for this time of year She must grade papers, and write, and so do I. The reveling has been low-key this time around, but we've still enjoyed sleeping in. This morning, however, we rose before the kids so sit by the fire and relax and think before ... I'm not sure, what comes after that?

Distance: 3 miles
Avg Pace: 7:57
Route: Hocking River Bike Trail

Solo run today, the wife went off with her sisters to see Sisters. The temperature is twenty-five degrees cooler than yesterday, the wind of a kind which makes my uncovered ears ache. But it felt good. That pain I had reported no longer troubles me.

The kids and I are headed Uptown, the girl wants to do some shopping! The boy will have to deal.

Temperature: 45°
Climate: cool, windy
Mood: all right

What's That Lyric?
How Beautiful You Are - The Cure

Sunday, December 27, 2015

It's the end of the world (as we know it.)

Books are such wonderful presents. Some I request, but many are complete surprises. Mother-in-law surprised me with The Theater of War by Bryan Doerries (or What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today.)

The author begins with a brief description of his education at Kenyon, an autodidact desperate to push beyond perceived limitations in his academic abilities (for example, a mild dyslexia necessitating slow and careful reading) and his innate desire to attract and maintain appropriate mentorship.

He also describes his relationship with a woman with cystic fibrosis who perishes in NYC the evening of March 20, 2003. I cannot say for certain where I am on any given day but I can say for certain where I was on that evening, celebrating the loss of one life while carefully monitoring the progress of a new one.

Also, the Iraq War, which was born that day, and which the prologue of this book suggests will come into play. I've only read the first fifty pages.

What if we had not lost the boy? Each Spring Bad Epitaph had presented a classical work, Hamlet, Lysistrata, The Alchemist. It was my desire to attempt Oedipus next. No one knows that and it hardly matters now. I had no basis for this interest, other than the act of doing it. Story of my life.

Mentorship, university, drama, CF, New York City, the Bacchae, self-production, war, alcohol, the death of children, a little Greek and no Latin, all within the first fifty-five pages. No wonder I cried.

Partner Run
Distance: 2.3 miles
Avg Pace: 12:59
Route: Hockhocking Bike Trail

Solo Run
Distance:  2 miles
Avg Pace: 7:34
Route: Hocking River Bike Trail

The wife and I ran/walked away from campus, got a little turned around but had a very nice run on a day which might be described as "unseasonal." She is working to make the transition from eight minutes + eight minutes with a walk in between to a straight twenty minute run. We will get there.

After she read a book, seated on a bench facing the river and White's Mill while I put in another two miles headed toward the Convo.

My left inguinal ligament has been sore these past two days, no idea why. Lack of regular exercise, sure. Perhaps the drive down ... driving a stick for long distances has become increasingly troublesome. Now that the kids are older we can make the entire trip without stopping, which is great, except for the bits that aren't. Anyway, I was looking forward to a fast run and I got one.

My brief playlist consisted of college music. I don't need to listen to songs from the late 1980s when I run the bike path by South Green, but I do like to. Memories have been tormenting me this year, but when I listen to those songs running through that place, I feel absolved. Or if not, then at least understood.

Temperature: 70°
Climate: overcast and warm
Mood: much better, thank you

What's That Lyric?
It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas morning surrounded by family. The children received many fascinating gifts, and they were truly grateful for them. There comes a point in a child's life when they grow from "I am so glad to have this," to "I am going to use this!" Both are joyful feelings, but I love to see to look of inspiration in their eyes upon receiving.

My mother-in-law gave the girl a pocket, leather-bound, unlined notebook. She was delighted, and very delighted. The girl told me she's apprehensive about putting anything into it, because it's so nice. I said that's why she needs to start right away, fill it up. Make your work part of it.

We were at the Skull by eleven. My wife took the picture at right and posted it on social media. Some snark, they say smile why don't you. Look closer. That is contentment.

Distance: 2.16 miles
Avg Pace: 13:25
Route: Hocking River Bike Trail Walk/Run

The wife and I took a run down by the river. It is her plan to run every day we are her, mine as well. Perhaps tomorrow I will run on my own, she apologizes for "slowing me down" but honestly, walking or running with her is what I would always prefer to do.

Merry Christmas.

Temperature: 55°
Climate: cool and damp
Mood: positive

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

God loves His children.

Cleveland, December 23, 2015
Photo by Christopher Compton
How Exercise May Help Us Fight Off Colds
by Gretchen Reynolds, NY Times 12/16/2015
... Our immune system reacts to invading microbes through a variety of cells. Some of these cells don’t directly combat the infection, but instead promote the development of inflammation. When we think of inflammation, we usually think of fever, swelling and redness. But inflammation can also be a good thing, helping the body to heal itself as it fights invading microbes ...

Distance: 3.2 miles
Route: Boulevard Loop

A damp evening, with temps in the mid-sixties. Yes, this is truly odd. I took my usual run, in shorts and the long-sleeved shirt I had had on today. The shirt was a bit too much, I would have preferred shorts sleeves.

We had friends over for a Christmas party last night, and spent part of it outside on the new deck.

The holiday party with the actor-teachers required our opening the windows.

Tomorrow we will join our extended family in Athens ... tomorrow and Christmas Day will be muh the same as it has been here today. And on Boxing Day it will be 70°.

Temperature: 63°
Climate: yes. warm
Weight: 162 lbs.
Mood: a mite cheery

Yes, one sixty-two. That cheese dip has to go someplace.

What's That Lyric?
Paranoid Android - Radiohead

Sunday, December 20, 2015

For the sake of locomotion.

Black Stache & Smee
Christmas in effect. Every day. Last night we attended Peter and the Starcatcher at Dobama Theatre. It lived up to expectations and truly exceeded them. The entire company is strong, but Chris Bohan as Black Stache so entirely steals every scene he appears in, but then if Black Stache does not steal every scene he appears in you have definitely cast the wrong guy.

Having said that, Andrew Gorell has the momentous task of playing his straight man Smee and is also dynamite. I can't recall laughing so hard and long and loud for a very long time.

Tonight, a party. Tomorrow, caroling. Tuesday, friends. Wednesday, actor-teacher party. Festivities 24/7. But first, a run!

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hills Loop

The holiday will be spent editing Twelfth Night for a 45-minute performance this summer. The theme is 1980s romantic teen comedies. Because that's what you do.

Bit slippery on the run after the snow, but it is all melting now and will continue to do so. Supposed to be in the mid-sixties in Athens for Christmas. Ah, well. That just means the wife and I can safely enjoy a run on the bike path together.

She's not going to run in the ice or snow this winter, and is concerned about staying on top of what she has already accomplished. I am also concerned about the cold stuff, as I do not currently own a pair of shoes that can handle it.

Temperature: 41°
Climate: brisk and bright
Weight: 160 lbs.
Mood: up

What's That Lyric?
Locomotion - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Love is like an energy.

In 1984, the hottest Christmas single in the nation was Do They Know It's Christmas. But not among our friends. That honor would be given to The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Not to be confused with the Huey Lewis song that would come out the following summer, this was the penultimate track on Frankie's first album, Welcome to the Pleasuredome which was released in late October.

Unlike the previous singles which were (to this boy) surprisingly homoerotic, the video for this song was what appears to be an entirely sincere depiction of the Nativity... featuring the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

It went to number one in Britain, but didn't chart in the United States.

Distance: 3.2 miles
Route: Boulevard Loop

Today I had six cookies. So that's how it's going to be, is it? Regardless, on a nice, breezy night like this it's so easy to run fast. I still feel good. I need to give myself a break.

Temperature: 52°
Climate: windy
Weight: 160 lbs.
Mood: good

What's That Lyric?
The Power of Love - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Sunday, December 13, 2015

It's not the cities, it's the weather we love.

House of Blues
Wednesday night we saw Sleater-Kinney, the greatest rock band in history.

No, seriously.If there is one hallmark of live, popular music, it is that at some point during any show, I wish I wasn't there. It's just too long or gets tedious. There's always this break where someone wanders off the stage for a bit, I wonder, why do they get to go to the bathroom?

I didn't really know this band when they were first on the road, in the late 90s and early 2000s. I knew their name. They were an all-girl punk band, or whatever. They weren't on the radio, or if they were I didn't know it was them.

Their recent album, No Cities To Love received a lot of airplay on The Current and I thought wow, this is really good. The wife asked for the CD for her birthday, we never ask each other for CDs anymore, so it was must-have. Then the concert was announced. We got tickets.

When was the last time I went to a rock concert? Sorry, Elvis Costello doesn't count, that was some kind of easy listening. We all had seats.

So, I don't really know their catalog. I've seen Carrie Brownstein in Portlandia, that was most of my preparation for Wednesday night's show, which was truly awesome. I knew the new album, not by heart, and they played pretty much all of that. Point is each song was interesting, full of energy, exciting. There's no flash, no tricks (Brownstein did hop up onto the bass drum, that was straight-up rock and roll) just straight forward, fast, loud punk rock.

The opening act, Waxahatchee sounds like a 1990s alt-rock girl group only all their members were born in the 1990s. They were good, too. It was a sweet evening.

Distance: 4 miles
Duration: 32 minutes
Route: Cain Park Loop

Today it is sixty degrees. Yesterday it was seventy degrees, but there was work and family and little opportunity to sleep.

Also, my last pair of flight headphones fragged on the last run. What are your favorite headphones for running?

Happy Hanukkah!
No Cities to Love - Sleater-Kinney (2015)
Price Tag
Surface Envy
No Cities to Love
A New Wave
No Anthems
Gimme Love
Bury Our Friends
Hey Darling

Thirty-three minutes of rock and roll perfection, neatly accompanying a four mile run on a fine spring day.

Temperature: 63°
Climate: cool and overcast
Weight: 160.5 lbs.
Mood: Awesome.

Photos: Cleveland Scene

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

All there is and ever was.

Actual size.
iPod Nano Silver. My former model had 2G, this one has 16.

Sixteen! GET IT?

Next year is Twenty-Sixteen. That's it. That's all I meant.

Started this blog on January 10, 2006. Have already signed up to run the Cleveland Half Marathon (yes, shut up.) Next year also signifies thirty years since I graduated from high school. No idea if I will be attending the festivities.

Perhaps if they arrange a 5K ...

Part of all this angst about working out the music situation on my iPhone is that I want to start the year with my annual list of playlists.

This year there will be fifty. 1967-2016.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hills Loop

Here's a first. My house key actually made its way out of my shorts pocket. Always worried that might happen, because I worry about losing things. Never has. I was in the park and realized that that was exactly what had happened.

Instead of worrying about it, I thought, well. Nothing I can do about that, and kept on running.

Found it lying on the sidewalk on my run home. See? Nothing you can do about that.

Temperature: 48°
Climate: cool ... oddly cool
Weight: 161 lbs.
Mood: not bad

Great Lakes Theater's A Christmas Carol Writing Contest was broadcast on WCPN 90.3 yesterday. Have a listen, this is a lot of what I have been up to the past several weeks. Have a listen, it's pretty sweet.

What's That Lyric?
The Shade - Metric

Saturday, December 05, 2015

What can you buy that lifts a heavy heart up to the sky?

Nine years ago the wife got me an iPod nano for my birthday. It was first generation, 2G. It has worked like a dream the entire time. She had inscribed on the back Daddy Runs Fast - To NYC and Beyond! because I was training for the NYC marathon. It has, indeed, taken me far beyond NYC.

I tried to replace it with my new iPhone this past spring, because I wanted to use the phone to track my runs. Also, it was convenient during long runs to have a camera.

But you can't load tunes into Apple Music that you haven't purchased from the iTunes store. Some have suggested apps I could obtain, but most would necessitate transferring my song library into their desktop program. Also, with all the different apps available on what is not, by today's standards, a phone with very much memory, using it for music just seems inconvenient.

I've been using streaming services - Spotify, AppleMusic, even The Current - which have actually introduced me to a lot of new music I don't own. But sometimes what I want is what I have, to choose the exact songs I want to listen to on a given day.

I was ready to go back to using my trusty, old iPod. Unfortunately, our desktop Mac died this summer, and to save money, and because my wie has developed a serious hatred of Apple, we bought a PC.

Whether it is the PC, or because she's right and Apple is entirely evil, this new version of iTunes on my PC will not recognize my dearly beloved iPod nano.

However, when I tried finding a solution to this increasingly irritating quandary, I learned that there was a recall of first generation nanos dating back to 2011 - which is still in effect. Apparently some early nanos had batteries which could and did overheat. So I applied for an exchange, they sent me a FedEx box, and I have returned my beloved to the manufacturer.

What will they send me in return?

Distance: 3.27 miles
Avg Pace: 7:44
Route: Forest Hills Loop

The holidays, so busy! Every night a school event, a work event, dinner with family, dinner with friends, plays, plays and plays. I even learned how to make soup. No time for running.

A Christmas Carol Writing Contest awards reception is this evening! I must go iron a shirt.

Temperature: 43°
Climate: cool and clear
Weight: 160.5 lbs.
Mood: better (after running)

What's That Lyric?
Restless - New Order