Friday, December 30, 2016

I'm a little bit slow.

Home again. Long morning not-writing, scheduling opps, thinking about maybe running. It was a long, leisurely, pleasant vacation with the outlaws. Planning for the New Year is, in spite of everything, exciting. Once you have faced failure, what is left except to work for success?

The kids are well and in a good place, and so, I think, is the wife. It is freezing out, which is all the more reason to get moving.

Distance: 3.5 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:12
Duration: 28:44
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Pavement: wet, dusty snow
Temperature: 28°
Climate: windy
Weight: 172.5 lbs.
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: leaning forward

Running in the cold, it works just fine. Thinking about Chicago, October 8. Wonder if there are tickets to Hamilton available, that would make the journey worth it, amirite?

It is a fact that the wind, when it blows, blows down Monticello from west to east. This is why both times I have run out to 271 and back (12 miles) the return trip is completely miserable. Fool me once, etc. You may have noticed I have not done that again, not since 2012.

So, heading out to the park was arduous today, but hoped the wind would be at my back on my way home, and so it was. Never realized was great, fast bpm "Wedding" has, but it also laid me out a little. The final tracks kept me going, however.

The Obama Years have yielded some amazing music - especially from women.

Obama Years (2009-2016)
Batches & Cookies - Lizzo ft. Sophia Eris
Believer - American Authors
Burn It Down - Sims
Cake By The Ocean -DNCE
She's Not Me - Jenny Lewis
Giving Up The Gun - Vampire Weekend
Wedding * - Poliça
Rolling In The Deep - Adele
Starships - Nicki Minaj

Thanks for the extra push, Nicki.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

You run on fumes.

Yeah, this made me laugh.
The kids took us to see Moana yesterday, and by that I mean they had both seen it already, with their aunt, at Thanksgiving time, and insisted on our seeing it with them. The girl takes particular interest in strong female protagonists, they are both in love with the songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

At Christmas I am disappointed if we do not see at least two movies in the theater. But I also need time to complete the script I am working on, the story is all there but still needs a beginning and an end.  The wife's cousin's fiancée observed it's like McCartney's bridge in A Day In The Life, wanting for someplace to come from and somewhere to go to.

Distance: 4 miles
Avg. Pace: 7:45
Duration: 31:14
Route: Hocking River Bike Path
Temperature: 45°
Climate: bright & cool
Mood: all right

A tad bit overdressed, winter hat, gloves. Glad I was wearing shorts though, the sun was bright enough to make me sweat. I was the weariest I have been this week, running swiftly against the breeze, running fast.

Obama Years (2009-2016)
Burn It Down - Sims
Drive By - Train
Bad Blood * - Ryan Adams
Feel So Close - Calvin Harris
Derezzed - Daft Punk
Something Good Can Work - Two Door Cinema Club
Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny) - A.M. Rahman ft. Pussycat Dolls
I Gotta Feeling (FMIF Remix) - Black Eyed Peas ft. Dave Guetta
Harlem - New Politics
Na Na Nothing - Mike Doughty
New In Town - Little Boots

Monday, December 26, 2016

You got yourself some action.

So I started by writing about George Michael, and it turned into a much longer piece, better suited for my writing blog, so here that is.

The wife and I went out, she to walk and I to run to the smooth stylings of the late twentieth century's greatest crooner.

George Michael Playlist
Freeek!
I Want Your Sex - Part 2
Last Christmas
Shoot the Dog
Star People '97

Thank you, Spotify, for providing me an impromptu playlist.

Distance: 3 miles
Avg. Pace: 7:50
Duration: 23:32
Route: Hocking River Bike Path
Temperature: 61°
Climate: fantastic

Three days in a row. I feel it in my shins, hobbling down the hallway in the middle of the night. But I feel much less sluggish and sloppy. And the day has only begun, it's time for movies and friends and more forced merriment.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

To romantic places.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah. Day two of the new running schedule, we shall see how long this will last. Temperatures in the fifties make it a bit easier to work up the courage.

It was not a ridiculous evening, I was able not to overindulge though I can't speak for how well I will behave today. We already loaded up the coffee with Baileys this morning before several Guinness at the Skull. I have had a nap already and it's only just past lunchtime.

Distance: 3 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:20
Duration: 25:02
Route: Hocking River Bike Path

I felt a bit weary at the start, that is what happens when you jump back into exercise two days in a row, and also when you spent the morning drinking. Didn't stop me however, I built speed as I ran and three miles was just the perfect length. I never even felt like stopping.

I don't usually listen to jazz on the run but I'd generated this playlist and thought I would try to out. That may have been what kept me from running any faster than I did, which is a good thing.

Pavement: dry
Temperature: 52°
Climate: perfect
Mood: joyful. right?

Gifts have been opened, everyone is sitting around, watch the Cavs, relaxing. Best to you.

Christmastime Is Here Playlist
Skating - Vince Guaraldi Trio
Kathy's Waltz - The Dave Brubeck Quartet
These Foolish Things - Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra ft. Billie Holiday
My Baby Just Cares For Me - Nina Simone
Cold Cold Heart - Norah Jones
Christmas Time Is Here - Diana Krall
Dance Me To The End of Love - Madeleine Peyroux

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Knowing just where you are going.

The weather, the activity ... you know? Forget that, I haven't been running because I haven't wanted to run. Not once, not at all. And I've gained weight and my legs hurt and I feel flabby and unwell. So there's a choice I have to make. Am I going to attempt o remain fit, have a healthy diet and exercise regularly or not?

Yes, it's the holidays. So? No excuse. I need an early New Year's resolution. I want a change. With so much uncertainty in the world there's (excuse the reference) I am the one thing in life I can control.

Distance: 5 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:19
Duration: 41:38

For the record, I am sick and tired of people treating the year "2016" like it's some kind of mummy's curse of a year because people keep dying, like Alan Thicke or Bernard Fox. I can't tell if people are being serious or actually superstitious, but people fucking die, every single day. Some of them are innocent nobodies and not Z-list celebrities you haven't even thought of in decades.

No, the year 2016 sucks because that's when my father died. Alan Thicke can suck a dick and die twice for all I care.

Route: Hocking River Bike Path
Pavement: wet
Temperature: 46°
Climate: cool
Mood: sanguine

Cool by the river, not an unpleasant breeze. Just wet, no snow, very few others on the path the day before Christmas. So, why not? I went five miles instead. And it was easy. Tomorrow it may be a bit more challenging but I'll do it, no matter what. The temperature is supposed to spike to the sixties by Monday, too. It's my vacation, and I will run if I want to.

Also, if you are in Athens you can plan on seeing me at the Skull around 10 AM.  Join me!

Christmas Wrapping Playlist
The Power of Love - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Echo Beach * - Martha & the Muffins
Oliver's Army - Elvis Costello & the Attractions
Golden Brown - The Stranglers
Golden Touch - Razorlight
Winter Wonderland * - Eurythmics
Weather With You (Live) - Crowded House
Planet Earth (Night Mix) - Duran Duran
Parklife - Blur
Wild Wood * - Paul Weller
2000 Miles - The Pretenders

Yes, now that you mention it, why the hell isn't Paul Weller in the Rock Hall?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Moving on, forward.

Why not run? Concerts to attend, social events, writing to be written. We've seen an awful lot of plays this season. Last night the wife an I had a rare night on our own, attending a performance of the sold out run of Cabaret at Blank Canvas.

Tiny house (90 seats) set in the middle of a vast warehouse on the edge of downtown. That warehouse, 78th Street Studios, was last night crammed with craftspeople for the Cleveland Bazaar, and loaded with holiday shoppers.

This was my dream of the early 90s, we would stage events in strange spaces in the city and, yes, we would draw a certain number of folks to whatever it was we were doing but then it would be over and the places would once again be vacant and these moments would be few and far between.

This my hope for the future, that we continue making things happen in the city. Things are worse than they have ever been, things are better than they have ever been.

Did I mention the show were were seeing was Cabaret?

Distance: 3.3 miles
Avg. Pace: 9:03
Duration: 29:41
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Pavement: dusty snow

Snow, yes, even through the park, but it's still light and not packed, not crusty, not yet. Was able to chug my way around. It woud feel good to do that more often, though my knees are already in pain. That's what happens when I run in snow, too much twisting of my legs, too much landing on uneven ground.

Thankful for a great set of winter gear. Got this jacket from L.L.Bean during the summer of 2012, that was planning ahead. My brother gave me these pants over twelve years ago. No holes, both the zippers and the elastic in the cuffs still work.

Still. Weekend headaches. Went to bed after midnight last night, we had a post-show meal at Toast. She loves that places and I do, too. The waitress asked if we wanted the speaker near us turned down, but we didn't. Two funky young theater artists whom I dig were sitting two tables away talking shop and using the word "fuck" a surprising amount, but I didn't want them turned down, either.

Temperature: 27°
Climate: cold, nice
Weight: 171 lbs. (+2.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: disbelief

Obama Years (2009-2016)
This Must Be The Place - Miles Fisher
Pumpin Blood - NONONO
Giving Up The Gun - Vampire Weekend
Voices In My Head - Bob Mould
Down By The Water - The Decemberists
Happy - Pharrell Williams
Something Good Can Work - Two Door Cinema Club
Love Sex Magic - Ciara ft. Justin Timberlake

Saturday, December 03, 2016

It struck me that the two of us could run.

Got my mittens, got my hat.
I wonder where the snow is at.
Joyeux Noël. 'Tis the season. The elves still visit though they speak with greater maturity to the teen and near-teen. The advent calendar is out, preparations are being made for annual holiday events. Taking the girl to rehearsal for the winter recital at CIM this morning, this evening is the reception for the winners of the writing contest at Playhouse Square.

Tomorrow, we hold the first of what we hope will be a series of salons in our home. No idea how many people will attend. Kind of freaks me out, actually. But what will be will be.

Rose early, wrote, thought, planned, sent the boy to a robotics competition. The wheels turn.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 37°

Been a good morning, then got a headache right in my temple before heading out. Right then. Not fair. But I made it, breathing cold air deeply through my nose to clear my head. It still hurts, but I am glad I pushed through.

Standing straight, running down the sidewalk, and looked down at my feet. They looked so small from up there.

Climate: cool
Mood: my head hurts

Obama Years (2009-2016)
Wide Awake - Katy Perry
Fascination - La Roux
Run - Vampire Weekend
Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
Mute (Jokers of the Scene Remix) - The Brash
We Can't Stop - Miley Cyrus
Bury Our Friends - Sleater-Kinney

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

You're better up and running in another direction.

When the air is unseasonably mild and I do not have or take the opportunity to take a run,even a brief one, it can throw me into a depression. Is this what we Americans so inelegantly call Indian Summer (the wife has just informed me the British call it St. Martin's summer) or the result of global climate change, I cannot say.

What I can say is that I ran once over Thanksgiving weekend, which is excusable in so much that we were all pleasantly occupied with family and friends and writing and such. Eight runs in November is the recent average.

Distance: 3.3 mil;es
Avg. Pace: 7:55
Duration: 26:08
Route: Forest Hill Loop

They say there will come steady rain. Today was very nice, and I am feeling strong and motivated. Every day there is a new depression, you can't have an interaction with anyone without the election being part of the conversation ... I guess attending a lecture in which Tony Kushner and Sarah Vowell discuss the legacy of Abraham Lincoln (as we did last night) such a conversation is inevitable.

But we do have solidarity. We weren't defeated, we only lost. But it would be too easy to dismiss, it may not hurt me, or my family, but it will cause damage to so many other lives, and we will never lose sight of that.

Temperature: 55°
Climate: cool and breezy
Weight: 168.5 (+1.0)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: still anxious

Snuck through Thanksgiving weekend just a little heavier, can I tread lightly before all the cookies emerge?

Obama Years (2009-2016)
Compared To What - John Legend & The Roots
All You Need Is Now - Duran Duran
Don't Wanna Fight - Alabama Shakes
Break Your Heart - Taio Cruz ft. Ludacris
Rumour Has It - Adele
Happy Idiot  - TV on the Radio
Hi Friend! - Deadmau5 ft. MC Flipside

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I'm in need of something good right now.

Do as De La does.
Beautiful Thanksgiving Day with family, watching the parade on TV, then a long walk up Radar Hill. Why run? Why not now crack a beer, sit and chat?

Stress without name. I have to do something. I have to get out there and move.

Mom says, oh. Wasn't this walk enough exercise for one day? No, ma. It really isn't.

Distance: 3 miles
Avg. Pace: 7:38
Duration: 22:54
Route: Hocking River Bike Path

Beautiful day down by the river. Feared it might rain, didn't. No students, just middle aged guys, walking. I passed all of them.

Temperature: 57°
Climate: overcast & cool
Mood: thankful?

Obama Years (2009-2016)
HandClap - Fitz & The Tantrums
South - Hippo Campus
When Love Takes Over - David Guetta ft. Kelly Rowland
Change of Time - Josh Ritter
Last Friday Night (TGIF) - Katy Perry
FloriDada - Animal Collective
Giving Up On You - Wild Belle

Good times.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Vote for me and I'll set you free.

Join a full-scale protest in Public Square after work or enjoy drinks with co-workers? Modern problems.

Last one in before the storm

Distance: 3.3 miles
Route: Forest Hill Run
Temperature: 54°
Climate: ideal. perfect.
Weight: 167.5 (-0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: forward.

88 Lines About 44 Women Playlist
Nemesis - Shriekback
Ball of Confusion [Extended Version] - Love & Rockets
Destination Unknown - Missing Persons
The Jam Was Moving - Debbie Harry
Birds Fly (Whisper To a Scream) - The Icicle Works
Just Got Lucky - JoBoxers

That was a pick-me-up. It will snow, and I will continue to run.

The past couple years, November has been a good month for running. I think that's because of the holiday, but the weather has also been very mild.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Touching from a distance.

Butcher Billy
Friday they expect a high of seventy. And then winter blows in for the weekend. It's nice to have that kind of warning, especially when it means getting additional runs in.

It also means making time to bring the deck furniture, bring up the awning, clear the yard of stuff. Pack up summer, pack up fun.

You know. Forever.

Okay, that was dire. Time to move.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Route: Forest Hill Run
Temperature: 48°
Climate: cool and overcast
Weight: 168 lbs. (+0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: pissed

Wondering what will become of my daughter as she begins her high school years, which will be overshadowed by the Trump administration.

Artists tend to react strongly to fascists, and while some in this country (not a majority) would take offense to that description, if you look at his rhetoric that is the platform he chose. Peace through strength. Sit down and shut up.

She says she wants her septum pierced. Once I would have objected to that, but who knows? The Thatcher Era created the punk scene, and her parents do go on about how the late seventies was the very best time in music.

No Love Lost Playlist
No Love Lost - LCD Soundsystem
Transmission - Joy Division
Ceremony - New Order
Run, Run, Run - Velvet Underground
White Light, White Heat - Velvet Underground
Rusholme Ruffians - The Smiths

Into the dark. Actually not a wallower, just wanted something aggressively pessimistic today. Then I get to spend the rest of my day bringing light into the world.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon.

I'm not giving up and neither should you.
What, again? I have to run again?

Yes, little Pengo. Yes, you do.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Avg. Pace: 7:50
Duration: 25:47
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Long pants, gloves, cold weather hat. The world still spins.

Temperature: 36°
Climate: cool and sunny
Weight: 167.5 lbs. (-0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: same as everyone

Wrote a thing about Kate McKinnon's cold open of SNL the other night. Check it out.

And One (On One) Playlist
And One (On One) - Lilys
Cannonball - The Breeders
Stutter (175 bpm) - Elastica
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi - Radiohead
Drunk Girls (Holy Ghost! Remix) - LCD Soundsystem
Everything In Its Right Place - Radiohead

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Gotta get up, gotta get up. Move.

"Oh, shit."
Hey. Remember when Cleveland was up three games to one in the World Series, it was seventy degrees out and the polls predicted an electoral college landslide for Hillary Clinton. Me, too. Good times.

I can't even articulate the feelings, but I'm working on it. Unlike so many of my friends, colleagues, over half the electorate, I have not posting my thoughts on the past week in emotional bursts on social media. I do not have a problem with people who do, so many have been articulate, heartfelt, and good. It's a way of coping. I just can't, anything I might express feels inadequate.

If anything, I have been avoiding Facebook because ninety-nine out of one hundred posts have to do with the election. I dip in from time to time, but it's just too much. Weeping and wailing is good, but there's also so much to do.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Meantime, I have been ill. Literally sick and tired. Weak, headachy many days. Yesterday I realized I had been squinting pretty much every day since November 8, like the world was out of focus. All of my thoughts have been about what just happened, I can't attend a meeting or have a conversation without thinking, What? What happened? What does that mean? What happens next?

Then realizing I just missed the last minute, or two, and trying to concentrate on what is right in front of me.

This morning I rose early, I had a headache but it went away. I sat by the fire and wrote a children's play. I wrote for an hour, by hand, creating a tale, a conversation between two women. There is a conflict, one which is resolved through communication and understanding and assistance which results in reward.

There is another play I am working on, which will end in violence and horror. That play relates directly to our present moment, but I can't focus on that right now. Now I am looking for the helpers.

Temperature: 43°
Climate: cool
Weight: 168 lbs. (-0-)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: not great

Cool and brisk, using gloves, not sure I needed them. No wind, that makes a difference. Cleared my head a bit, I mean literally, that's where the congestion is. My nose, my ears, my sinuses. Still, the usual rise I have in my chest after running is serving to amplify the same anxiety which has possessed it the past few days.

I hope having done this does not make me feel any more ill. Sickness like colds take much longer to shake as I get older. At the very least I need to run, and run often. You can't do if you are not able.

We are not defeated. This is very wrong, historically wrong. A friend said, well? If she had won, we'd all be so happy and go back to sleep. My white colleagues and confounded. My black colleagues ... they are sympathetic, you know?

Wake up. Back to work.

What's New Playlist
Move - Saint Motel
Satisfied - Sia ft. Miguel & Queen Latifah
Run Sister Run - Cass McCombs
Cruel World - Phatntogram
New Song - Warpaint
My Shot [Rise Up Remix] - Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Heart's like crazy paving.

You can say it happened in Cleveland.
Like so many in this city, we were up pretty late. What can you say, that was a tremendous series. I am looking forward to sensible bedtimes and less stress. Not an absence of stress, we still have an election to get through and the family will be knocking on doors this weekend and driving folks to the polls on Tuesday.

This must not happen.

Last night I thought I would miss the entire game, anyway. We had a rehearsal scheduled for tomorrow evening's reading. That was a much more enjoyable way to spend an evening, the process of creation (like sitting in a shop window, writing a new play) is considerably less stressful than sitting, witnessing, and worrying.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Brisk, strong run this morning. Dawn run in light rain, no jacket.

Feeling well, in spite of the exhaustion. What am I running for anymore? The keep this heart alive, for one. I didn't run three marathons because dad ran two. I ran three so that I could run four.

This weekend is the tenth anniversary of my first, in New York City.

I understand Chicago is very beautiful this time of year, and that the people are very happy.

Temperature: 57°
Climate: rainy and cool
Weight: 168 lbs.(-1.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: not bad

The Honeythief Playlist
The Honeythief - Hipsway
Talk Talk - Talk Talk
Shiny Shiny - Haysi Fantayzee
Birds Fly (Whisper To a Scream) - The Icicle Works
Rattlesnakes - Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
Some People - Belouis Some
Don't You (Forget About Me) [Extended Mix] - Simple Minds

We were so fucking suave.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Hurry, boy. It's waiting there for you.

The girl states the holidays have begun and now we must listen to Christmas music. I told her we have a baseball season to close first.

Last night we had lots of kids at the door for Halloween, it was a pleasure. Our children were across town, trick or treating with friends. The girl designed her own Benny's Burgers T-shirt so she could go as Eleven from Stranger Things.

Check #StrangerThings on Instagram. Some of the costumes are amazing, who knew there were so many Dustin trucker hats. Can't keep the David S. Pumpkins suits on the shelf, but there's all these red, white and blue trucker hats.

Let me say it again, she made that shirt. My daughter is a better artist than I have ever been, and that is a wild understatement. My son is already better at the drums than I ever was. And I never suggested that they do either of those things.

Distance: 3 miles
Route: Boulevard Loop

Brisk run, fast ... in spite of the moody music. All the emotions this season. The election, the World Series, the middle school. Work, play, plays. And yet, as a family we hang together very well. We spend so much time together, there is a lot of bickering, occasional shouting, but there's so much love here. I don't know how that happened.

Temperature: 52°
Climate: overcast and cool
Weight: 169.5 lbs (-0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: still anxious

This hat is too tight at times. Makes my head hurt. I need a different hat.

Stranger Things Playlist
Should I Stay Or Should I Go? - The Clash
Heroes - Peter Gabriel
I Melt With You - Modern English
Atmosphere - Joy Division
Waiting For a Girl Like You - Foreigner
Africa - Toto
White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane

Sunday, October 30, 2016

I just keep hearing you running on up my stairs ... but you're not there.

Good Lord, Cleveland is one game away from winning its first World Series championship since 1948. What the hell has happened to my town?

Ah well, the Browns are still 0-7. The Cleveland Browns keep us real. Chicago has the Cubs.

Big weekend. Today, among other things, we are creating the Day of the Dead altar. So many important figures lost, so close to us.

Distance: 3 miles
Route: Boulevard Loop
Temperature: 50°

Nice, strong run. Perfectly cool. Not the last day in short sleeves, I do not think so.

Climate: damp & cool
Weight: 170 lbs. (+0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: anxious

We head into conspicuous consumption season and have not moved the needle at all. It's the doughnuts. the carbs, the sugar ... and tomorrow is Halloween. Big sigh, Charlie Brown.

Erie Effusion - LIVE on WRUW
Hanging Garden - The Cure
Something In My House - Dead Or Alive
This Corrosion - Sisters of Mercy
Join In The Chant - Nitzer-Ebb
... And This Is What the Devil Does - My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult
Everyday Is Halloween (Remix) - Ministry

Rest in peace, Pete Burns (Dead Or Alive) who massed away one week ago today. I requested the Nitzer-Ebb, thanks for playing that DJBG ... and for the "X" cover of Wild Thing from the movie Major League.

However. If we win, let us never speak of that shitty movie ever again.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Because you move so fast.

Daffy.
There are times when there's so much going on, all four of us. We're up late, we rise early, the four of us are just so active, so busy, so occupied that we can't sleep and we don't eat, but we keep moving, getting the work done, creating the art, watching the events - live or on TV - attending the practices and the performances and the games, the memorials and the parties.

These times are called 2016.

I am thinking ahead to the new year, to January, when the weather will compel me to run every day, because that is how I deal. But why not now? Because of all of the things.

Distance: 3.64 miles
Avg. Pace: 7:56
Duration: 28:54
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Feels good to run. Great to get out. Not feeling it these days, though. That much should be obvious. This morning I rose early (no headache) and sat in front of the fire to write, and I did. Working on the witch scene. Then the boy came down and we sat and talked.

The plan is to keep moving, many things to do before to cold weather sets in, including plans for our Day of the Dead altar. So many to remember this year. Too many.

Need to keep my head up, totally missed the leaves in the park.

Temperature: 59°
Climate: cool and overcast
Weight: 169.5 lbs.
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: all right

Watching the games. Eating the snacks. Drinking the beer. It's what you do.

Teenage Kicks - LIVE on The Current
To Look at You - INXS
Blue Jean - David Bowie
Second Guessing * - R.E.M.
Halloween - The Dream Syndicate
The Ghost In You - The Psychedelic Furs
Down In The Tube Station at Midnight * - The Jam
The One Thing - INXS

They spliced DNA from Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison, gave it a case of serious teen acne, and called it Michael Hutchence.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Still life.

It is autumn, what Tom Robbins called "the springtime of death." Saw an old friend at his father's funeral yesterday. We hadn't seen each other for nearly nine years, It could have been nine minutes. He wrapped me in a big hug after the service.
HIM: What are you doing here?
ME: Oh man, what are you doing here?
HIM: Does it get better?
ME: I don't know.
HIM: Don't say that.
ME: I'll let you know in six months.
After the reception I was compelled to visit my father. Literally wiping fallen leaves from my father's stone with my bare hands. I told him a couple things. I never thought I would do that, talking to a cold stone in the ground. It's a little dramatic. But I felt bad before and I felt better after.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 50°
Climate: cool and clear
Weight: 169 lbs. (+0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: good

Writing two plays, and editing a third. It's the editing which has been giving me anxiety. I have been listening to suggestions, waiting for the clue, waiting for the right direction to drop in. Just started saying that yesterday, I wait for the idea to "drop in."

Last night I spoke with my most trusted advisor and she asked me the questions I needed to answer, and the answers came cleanly. They may not be the right answers, but at least I know what the questions are.

Feeling unsettled and listless, I invited the boy to come bike with me. I haven't run in a week. That was good for both of us.

And ye gods, when was the last time I quoted Still Life With Woodpecker?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

2016 Fall for Forest Hill 5K

Beautiful news: Last night I attended the Talespinner Children's Theatre annual benefit Harlequinade where it was announced I will be composing a new play for their 2017 season. Red Onion, White Garlic is based on a traditional Indonesian folk tale, the poster art Ali reveal last night is stunning.

Fall for Forest Hill 5K
Start: 9:00 AM
(Un)official time: 23:32
Place Men 45 - 54: 2nd

Absolutely beautiful October morning, race in the mid-60s. Lots of friends and neighbors in participation, friends of both my kids. Great Heights run in my favorite park.

Very glad the water was handed out in small Dixie cups, which I was able to drain, crumple and stick in my pocket instead of drop on the ground. I live here.

While I did not clock the race myself, several of my colleagues report the course was actually between 3.2 and 3.3 miles. My first mile was well under seven minutes, my second below fourteen. There is no way the last mile-point-one took ten minutes.

This is an "H."
However, I have to admit that last mile I began to weary and doubt. I was actually out ahead of the pack the entire race, maybe in the top ten (there were maybe fifty runners?) but I was passed by this guy and I knew he must be in my age range, and it was true, he took the top spot in our division. Wah.

But it was good. Kari asked if I had a monogrammed hat, until she realized it was the Under Armour logo. Not anymore, to me that bad boy is now an "H."

UPDATE: I came in third overall. Jesus.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Let the music move your feet

Have not been drinking. Or mostly not drinking. It's not abstinence, it's the conscious decision to have something else. Tea works, tea works very well.

And the sleep is better. It's even better when we both don't drink.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating, I'm not talking about drinking. I'm talking about any drinking at all. One beer, or one cocktail. It makes a difference. The closer to bedtime, the worse I can't sleep, and when I do I wake, and I wake, and then I wake.

Not so the past week.

There's also the calories. Trying to exhibit some kind of self-control. Yes.

Distance: 3.6 miles
Avg. Pace: 7:48
Duration: 28:10
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Tonight, however, I am alone. The boy at band practice, the girls shopping and working. I will make dinner, and enjoy one beer, and take a run.

Today is Prince Tribute Day in Minnesota.  Local Current is playing his catalog from A to Z.

Damn. The Artist makes daddy run fast.

Temperature: 52°
Climate: perfect. cool and clear.
Weight: 168.5 lbs. (-1.0)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: high

So far, so good.

Prince A-Z - LIVE on Local Current
Future Baby Mama
Future Soul Song
Get Loose
Get On The Boat
Get Yo Groove On

Sunday, October 09, 2016

As long as I can feel the beat.

Are you following Song Exploder? You should. I am not a musician, but you know I love music. And regardless of my particular skill set, I love learning about how artists collaborate and how the sausage gets made.

Hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway (who also co-hosts The West Wing Weekly, which also totally makes the podcast world go round) each episode of Song Exploder is made up of interviews with artists about a single song, breaking it down into its production components, and culminating with the entire song so you can rediscover the piece knowing better how it was created.



Also, twenty one pilots was really good on SNL last night.
This week features Phantogram's monster single You Don't Get Me High Anymore which is my favorite song of right now. Just taking in the sample from Hook & Sling by Eddie Bo blew my little mind. Check it out.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Running on an empty stomach. This after poutine and ice cream last night in Gordon Square. A little winded but still a good, brisk run. 5K in the park next week!

Temperature: 57°
Climate: cool and bright
Weight: 169.5 lbs (-2.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: good


Nailed it.

Playlist for today.
You Don't Get Me High Anymore - Phantogram
Hook and Sling - Eddie Bo
Heathens - twenty one pilots
Cheap Thrills - Sia
Lime Habit  -  Poliça
Subways - The Avalanches
2AM - Bear Hands

Friday, October 07, 2016

He's a smooth operator.

Weekend has arrived. So much busy. Saw All the Way yesterday, there are two plays we are going to see in the next two days. Last night we celebrated a friend's birthday at Lola, the streets of Cleveland were packed for the playoffs.

The November 4th reading has been cast. The outreach tour has been cast.

Today I turned in the first pages of a new work. A new work. Caught people off guard, I don't usually do that. At the same time, I have been messaging all day with a few of the folks who traveled to Spain with me thirty-two years ago. The few of us reconnected almost seven years ago, but now we are obsessed with finding everyone else.

My life stretches out before and behind me.

Distance: 3.6 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 75°
Climate: glorious evening
Weight: 172 lbs.
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: much, much better

Fast pace, wish I'd timed that. It's enough to be able to maintain a brisk pace without feeling winded. Rounding a blind turn, the tall grass hiding a mama deer with three fawns on the Great Meadow, I had to look around to make sure there wasn't a stag heading straight for my back. There wasn't, I was good.

And speaking of stags ...

Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005
By David A. Fahrenthold The Washington Post, 10/7/2016 at 6:04 PM

Well. This one's for Donald.

Smooth Operator Playlist
Fast Love - George Michael
On Broadway - George Benson
The Right Thing - Simply Red
Sussudio - Phil Collins
I Didn't Mean To Turn You On - Robert Palmer
Smooth Operator - Sade

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

She ran away.

The Best Time To Exercise To Lose Weight
By Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times 1/23/2015
"There is some evidence that working out on an empty stomach ... prompts the body to burn more fat and potentially stave off weight gain ..."

This just popped up on my nytimes.com (in spite of being over a year and a half old) but I was a bit shocked, and not for the reason you might expect.

When I was twenty-two and first started running with any kind of fervor, I was desperate to lose a lot of weight. And I noticed that when I ran on an empty stomach I felt a burning sensation which I thought, entirely without scientific basis what so ever, must be helping me to burn away fat.

It was also probably burning away muscle and the lining of my stomach. But to find that there is a certain truth to this childish theory comes a quite a surprise.

Of course, this is what they warn you when you are training for a marathon that you won't lose weight. Because if you are training properly, you are taking in fuel to burn as you run, and recovery fuel afterwards. So, no weight loss. Just good, healthy running.

You want to lose weight? Exercise and don't eat anything. That's what I used to do. I used to smoke, too. I used to do all kinds of stupid things.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Fall For Forest Hill 5K Run/Walk, Sunday, October 16 at 9:00 AM. Who's in?

Temperature: 66°
Climate: cool and humid
Mood: good. okay? I'm good right now.

Honey taking her run at soccer practice where the kids are. Things are good. Right? Yes. Yes, they are. Keep telling yourself that.

Sunshine Superman Playlist
Season of the Witch - DonovanRunaway - Del Shannon
Sloop John B - The Beach Boys
Ferry Cross the Mersey - Gerry & The Pacemakers
Tequila - Champs
Hang On Sloopy - The McCoys
Good Lovin' - The Rascals
Magic Bus - The Who
Windy - The Association

YOU GUYS. Ever run to Tequila? That is my shit right there.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Mind is a razor blade.

Great Lakes Theater presents "Twelfth Night"
Overheard while canvassing ...

CITIZEN: You look familiar.
ME: I get that a lot.


Happy 5K this morning. Huh. Completely forgot about that. Well, whatever, it's not in my neighborhood so I won't accidentally run into it. Maybe next year.

Distance: 3.6 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Glorious day, after the rains. Feel full-strength, though flabby. Breezing in the breeze, the thoughts kept coming and coming. Ideas; dark ideas, good ideas. Must keep running. It's the only way I can think.

Temperature: 61°
Climate: bright, clear, sunny and humid
Mood: better

Teardrop Playlist
Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? - Moby
6 Underground - Sneaker Pimps
Heartbeats - The Knife
Bodyrock - Moby
Distractions - Zero 7
Midnight In a Perfect World * - DJ Shadow
In The Waiting Line * - Zero 7

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Running through emergency rooms.

Ugh. Allergies. Woke this morning feeling sluggish, I hate that. The weather turns, which is great for running but awful for my head. To think, I am looking forward to the fall.

Distance: 3 miles
Route: Boulevard Loop

Oh, CHRIST, that made it worse. Thought a run would clear my head, instead my headache has settled into my eyebrows, where it will stay for a unpredictable future. God, I hate my head.

Temperature: 61°
Climate: over and cool ... but humid
Mood: my head hurts

But fast, yes. I ran fast. And the ideas I had, all the thinks I was thinking. How can I make the running play happen again? Where, when, and for what purpose? Because in my mind it is changing, Martin Denton said he wanted "to understand why running is so fundamentally important" to me. I may finally be able to answer that question clearly.

What's That Lyric?
You Don't Get Me High Anymore - Phantogram

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Gotta run for shelter.

The era of the Nike Fight headphone has passed. For ten years this has been my favorite model, they have been discontinued and while I have been able to get them on eBay for a while - without paying any extra - they have become rare. Ah well.

Got the Puma branded Reactor Sport Earbud om sale at Marshall's. It was listening through a cardboard tube. I actually headed back after half a block to fetch the phones my brother gave me a few years ago.

Distance: 3.6 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

There was a piece I was working on, making notes for, delving into a subject I find distasteful but also urgently current, but then I stopped. Just stopped writing about, thinking about. Why did I stop?

Well, certainly because my last entry on the subject was the first week of February. I may have come back it before now but fate intervened. I think I am prepared to return to that now.

Temperature: 64°
Climate: warm and humid and perfect
Mood: feeling better

You know else has been making me depressed? The election. Okay, there. I said it. Funny, even four years ago, it was also about Trump. Last night's debate, while nothing to get complacent about, was at least a boost of positive energy. It's still six weeks to the election, but that shimmy though.

What's That Lyric?
Too Hot - Kool & The Gang

Glorious run. Energetic. We can do this. We can do all of this.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Let my mind do the walking.

Graphic: Butcher Billy
So she asks, what goes on in your head when you run? Do you just zone out, or ..? And I tell her, No! Running is when it all happens, that's when I am free to think. I have directed entire scenes in my head when running, and written scenes, made mental and emotional connections, even with music blasting through my 'phones, because of it, often.

I had forgotten. It's not just the emotional uplift, it's not just the heart and the muscles and everything. It's the way my brain works when I am running that is so important, so necessary. Making time for running is so necessary.

Distance: 3.6 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Today was the first Saturday in many, many weekends when I had no responsibilities, no meetings, no events. And I took it, I worked in the yard for hours, and I completed one major project. There are so many others, but if I can complete one at a time - plan, procure, prepare and execute - I can keep my feelings high.

We live here, and we love living here. Improving on the house and the yard is a gift to everyone here, and to my neighborhood and community. I do try.

Temperature: 64°
Climate: humid, beautiful evening
Mood: all right

Also, the tile work in the kitchen. We had a guy come in, he did a great job. I look at the mess in my backyard, but then I look at the garage, then the deck. We move slowly but we move. So much has to do with the kids. Now that they're more independent, there's more time for that kind of thing.

Speaking of which, the girl and I started watching Stranger Things together. She's thinking of going as Eleven for Halloween.

What's That Lyric?
World In My Eyes - Depeche Mode

Feeling somewhat winded tonight, but it was not bad. Big family barbeque at the pavilion. Open, clear skies. Now that rehearsals are complete for the residency I may be able to create a more regular pattern of exercise.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dusk Bike/Run

He bikes, I run. I did want to listen to music, but he was in need of focus and activity. I invited, he accepted, we set out.

Distance: 3.28 miles
Avg Pace: 8:33
Duration: 28:00
Route: Forest Hill Loop

He asked how fast I run. Right now? I said. I thought of my recent outings. They have not been impressive. Eight and a half? I ventured, hopefully. So I was, in a way, committed.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: hot and humid
Mood: better

Making our way through the woods he observed how dark it was getting, he's never been in these woods after dark.

Recently my wife got this headlamp, which was using in lieu of an actual lamp, in bed, because mine was broken. I imagined using that for a run after dark. What would I encounter? Skunks? Punks?

Just then I realized I wasn't really looking very far ahead of me, distracted in my thoughts and keeping my feet safely on the path. I looked up and saw a large deer, several yards ahead, swiftly make its way out of the path. It was glaring at me.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

If it's uphill all the way you should be used to it by now.

Two weeks without a run. Not even caring to. Not sure yet if this is just a low point or part of an on-going trend. Don't even want to write about it.

Distance: 3.6 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 75°
Climate: overcast and humid
Mood: not good

Plodding along, but at least I did not stop. Perhaps we can begin again. Keep hope alive.

What's That Lyric From?
Moving the River - Prefab Sprout

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Wondering if I'll sleep.

She made this.
Thirteen runs in August, which is not remarkable ... but I ran eleven times in July and also in June. So that surprised me. Why? Because I have felt so exhausted and depressed this past month. And yet, we run.

That was the discussion on the drive down yesterday, why is daddy so tired all the time. After the fact mother noticed that my father had been tired all the time, and that she should have done something about it, that maybe that was a sign of his unnoticed heart problems, which eventually killed him.

There is nothing wrong with my heart, seriously. Not now, not a chance. And yet. I am always so tired.

The wife knows that when I am depressed I have a tendency to check out physically, and there may be something there. There are things I desire, that I desire to accomplish ... I was on track with a few of them until the beginning of July. It has been a busy if somewhat bewildering summer.

Distance: 4.42 miles
Avg Pace: 7:51
Duration: 34:44
Route: Hocking River Bike Path

Went to bed last night around 10 PM. Finally got out of bed after 9 AM.  This is not normal, but then when do I ever have such an opportunity. Made the mistake of not bringing my sleep mask to Maine, as in I intentionally decided not to bring it.

"Rise at dawn," I thought, "it will be fun," I thought.

Instead I got used to taking a clean sock to bed and slapping that over my eyes just to rest until seven.

My in-laws dog died last month, so my sinuses are considerably less troubled and while I did not wake with a headache I was not exactly rested, regardless of eleven hours of sleep. I tossed about a great deal, my hips ached on the unfamiliar mattress. My dreams were wild and disturbing.

Wrote for a little this morning, read the Times. MP took the wife and all the kids to the hotel for swimming, but I opted to go for a run by the river. It has been a very long time

Temperature: 81°
Climate: hot, bright & beautiful
Mood: maintaining

Was a gorgeous run down by the Hocking, only too hot. Surprised to learn it is only eighty degrees, but the air is so still and the sky without clouds, it felt much hotter.

My first run on this trail was almost thirty years ago, in spring 1987. My first blogged run was ten years ago, a nine mile, training for New York City. At that time I was not so conscious of how much older I was than the students. Who is that old guy, running on the path? What am I, a professor or business owner? Not to be mistaken for a grad student.

Eat For Two Playlist
Eat For Two - 10,000 Maniacs
Like Cockatoos - The Cure
Peace Train * - 10,000 Maniacs
Mr. Jones - Talking Heads
Twisting - They Might Be Giants
See A Little Light - Bob Mould
Letter Never Sent - R.E.M.
Skyway * - The Replacements
Beyond Belief - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Bushfire - The B-52's
Radio Song - R.E.M. ft. KRS-One

That is some kind of college music playlist. Suits me. Also has my brain picking to bits Scene Three. We are here, among other reasons, for a baby shower for my brother-in-law and his family. Baby blankets and baby shoes, baby slippers, baby spoons, walls of baby blue. Perhaps I missed my window but I hoped to write a little once my brain was settled. It is not the season for thinking.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Some people work very hard.

School residency rehearsal began today. I came home and slept for twenty minutes, woke and felt like I could sleep for the rest of the night. Just exhausted, and I don't know why.

Distance: 2 miles
Route: Horizon Loop

Longest two miles I have ever run.

Temperature: 73°
Climate: hot, but nice
Mood: bad

What's That Lyric?
Beginning To See The Light - Velvet Underground

Friday, August 26, 2016

Jetting.

Came home and took a nap. One hour later, I needed another nap. Hell with it, took a run instead. Holla Jesu Christe, this summer has been the most exhausting of my life.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Cain Park Loop
Temperature: 79°
Climate: hot & bright
Weight: 170 lbs. (+0.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: apprehensive

I'm not losing shit until I start getting the salad again.

Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey) Playlist
Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey) - De La Soul
Turn This Mutha Out - MC Hammer
You Be Illin' - Run DMC
Set Adrift On Memory Bliss (Richie Rich Mix) - PM Dawn
She's Crafty - Beastie Boys
Wild Thing - Tone-Loc
Don't Believe The Hype - Public Enemy
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll - Ian Dury & The Blockheads

When I think old school, I think Ian Dury.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I just want the summer to end.

Back to school.
So tired this week, or these weeks, or for several months. I was already using a blindfold to block out the sun on Saturday mornings with the idea that it was sunlight which has been giving me headaches on Saturday mornings all these years.

But it wasn't until Alaska and when I began using a sleep mask that I discovered the true effect sunlight has on my sleep even when I work to blot it out. It is as though it gets into my skin.

Even in bed in Maine, I was aware of the sunrise, and so, to at home, the encroaching dawn. These late summer weeks we have stayed up late, and very late, since the Finals, late show comedy show coverage of the conventions, finally the Olympics. It's not just me or the wife, but the kids. We cannot settle down.

We must settle down. I took a nap after work, I am still tired. You've been unusually tired, observes the wife, am I all right? I said if I were to speak to the doctor and told her I was exhausted, she would ask me how much rest I am getting and I would say five or six hours a night and she would reply, well that's your trouble right there.

Distance: 3.58 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Oh God! What a difference a Dave makes. Feeling downright despondent after dinner, helpless, listless. Everyone was out, kids at soccer practice, the wife with them. geared to take a run while they are there. And me and my work. What to do?

I took a nap, a fifteen minute after-supper nap. Put on my gear, and had the strongest, fittest run in some time. Beautiful evening, sun setting over the Rockefeller estate, Folks taking walks in the park, in their yards repairing their cars, working in the garden.

This chemical imbalance, these effects, which make my head ache, my skin itch, my brain unhappy. They are all problems to be solved, issues to be patiently dealt with. Everything. Everything.

Temperature: 77°
Climate: warm, humid and gorgeous
Weight: 169.5 lbs. (-2.0)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: all right now

Summer 2016 Playlist
Thank God For Girls - Weezer
Brazil - Declan McKenna
Clearest Blue - CHVRCHES
Subways - The Avalanches
The Less I Know The Better - Tame Impala
You Don't Get Me High Anymore - Phantogram
Endless Bummer - Weezer
Don't You Give Up On Me - Lissie

Well. That pretty much describes my entire summer in one playlist. Check out my Summer 2006 Playlist, created ten years ago this week. It is also chock full of awesome.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

When the wind blows.

Thank you, Rio!
Muggy days, though not as hot. Tomorrow is the first day of school. Yes, the biggest of all summers draws to a close. Both kids now in middle school. And where am I?

Distance: 3.58 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 73°
Climate: cloudy, beautiful, and a little rain

Exhausted just heading out. Lousy sleep last night, too cold from air conditioning, then too hot. Developed a terrible headache, first in some time. The wife is out of town for the night, a work-related retreat. The kids are big enough to fend for themselves, even to serve me. Brought me the paper in bed, coffee, I just spent the whole morning in bed. That never happens. If it weren't for the headache I would never have let myself.

But it was a good day, hoping for a run. They each had soccer games today, I wanted my exercise, too. Nice, breezy night. It will be cool again soon. I hope its not one of those autumns where I miss the great weather.

Weight: 171.5 lbs. (+1.5)
Goal: 165 lbs.
Mood: heavy

Modified goal. My run was after a dense supper (cheese soup, with bread) but I am not making headway here. Far too many snacks. Looking forward to a normally paced week.

Erie Effusion - LIVE on WRUW 91.1 FM
We Got the Beat - Go-Go's
I Think It’s Me - Go-Go's
Out of Sight, Out of Mind - Dickies
Big Bird * - B-52's
Friend or Foe - Adam Ant and Ants
Sunshine In The Shade - The Fixx
Short Term Effect - The Cure
Mother’s Talk (12" Version) - Tears for Fears

Friday, August 19, 2016

All this running around.

This is me.
At least my weight has normalized at 170 lbs. I have gained or lost any weight for several days. If I can just for example not eat a big ass piece of cake at lunch, I may actually make some progress.

Distance: 3.58 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 84°
Climate: rain & bright hot sun
Weight: 170 lbs.
Goal: 160 lbs.
Mood: anxious

On this date, ten years ago, I ran fifteen miles, training for the New York Marathon. It was my first trip all the way down MLK Jr. Drive to the highway and back. Every run that summer was a new discovery, not all of them good. Check out the playlist, a salute to the early 90s.

Felt a bit winded on my way home today, shouldn't be too surprising. Stepping out it started to rain, and it became heavy rain but that was all right, because it was hat and I hat a hat to keep the rain out of my eyes.

By the time I reached the park, the clouds had gone but I could hear thunder back the way I had come. My wife worried about me out here, but I was never beneath the thunder. Then it became quite hot and sunny. So I had been chugging at a pretty brisk pace in the rain, and then I was pretty tired.

Last night we attended a dinner party with a small number of he wife's writing and teaching friends and the subject got to running, who enjoys it, who hates it, who does it regardless, and me, the freak. But it was decided (not by me) to find a 5K some time this fall for all of us, or at least most of us the participate in.

Ship To Wreck Playlist
Ship To Wreck - Florence + The Machine
I'm Only Joking - KONGOS
Let It Happen - Tame Impala
Animal - Ellie Goulding
Happy Idiot - TV on the Radio
The Mother We Share * - CHVRCHES
Birth In Reverse * - St. Vincent

Monday, August 15, 2016

I trip on my feet

Three meals a day, that's it. Not easy to do. Good breakfast, Grape nuts, yogurt, fruit both dried and fresh. For lunch, leftover stir fry and tomatoes, plus I went across the street to the convenience to get a banana.

Then the long afternoon, which included a trip to the library and grocery store to find that the dinner dishes from last night had not been washed. By the time that was cleared up and dinner prepared, I was a bit delirious.

No, I would not have chosen pierogis, but the wife took ill today and I know how soothing she finds potaties. A load of carbs and yet I am still a bit woozy. Not starving, just used to consuming so much more.

This is how I do this.

Distance: 3.2 miles (.8 with the girl)
Avg Pace: 8:45
Duration: 28:01
Route: Neighborhood Loop

Girl sees I'm suiting up, she asks, "How far are you running?" I sai Im running three miles - I've got to run three miles. She says she can't make that.

I say, he. How about a run around the block and then I'll do my rest. She says, that's point-eight miles, yeah, let's do that.

And that's how we do that.

Temperature: 79°
Climate: quite humid
Weight: 170 lbs.
Mood: good
Good God, I am sick of these articles.

Boyz Playlist
Over and Over - Hot Chip
Dance Dance Dance - Lykke Li
LDN - Lily Allen
Knock 'Em Out - Lily Allen
Boyz - M.I.A.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Neighborhood Walk/Run

Decided not to run the cemetery race this morning. Waking at six I thought of how I could spend the morning, out in the world, with strangers, for several hours, or home in the comfort of family, taking a slow morning of reading papers, writing down ideas and, you know, perhaps sleeping in a few hours first.

However, upon waking the wife suggested I join her on a walk/run, part of her Couch to 5K training. When someone asks you to run with them, you say yes.

Wife Walk/Run
Distance: 2.08 miles (1.11 running)
Avg Pace: 14:16
Duration: 29:45
Route: Neighborhood Loop

The wife is doing a wonderful job of sticking with it. She has been working with C25K for a year and a half, she'd gotten far but then life intervened, because that is what life does. Running and walking with her today, I am aware of where I have been, and the struggles I endured to make running a daily event.

People ask when it gets easier. I don't have an answer for that. The best I can offer is you must have a reason to keep going, and focus on that.

Temperature: 75°
Climate: muggy
Weight: 170.5 lbs. (+3.0)
Goal: 160 lbs.
Mood: decent

Sweet Jesus.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Girl, you better run.

The electricity was out for virtually everyone in town after the big storm. We were just heading home when it happened, no power for a day and a half. When we arrived, fortunately for us, the power was back on, air conditioning running, but we had no way to know how warm the refrigerator had gotten. We said goodbye to pounds of locally sourced beef and a wild salmon steaks.

However, this presented us with a rare opportunity to clean the entire fridge and to solve the problem of why water has been pooling throughout. Yes, we packed the freezer too tightly and when it defrosted water wen where it could, not where it should. Anyway, yay! It's like a new fridge.

Boy Bike/Run
Distance: 3 miles
Avg Pace: 8:56
Duration: 26:47
Route: Forest Hill Loop

The family has spent the morning doing all sorts of housework, I have been working in the kitchen. These kids start school again way too early, and after all the rest and relaxation today is definitely a day to work on making our house ready for the fall.

Trying to keep the boy active, we suggested he ride his bike rather than, say, playing Tanki X for another hour. He asked if I wouldn't run with him. Sure, right? I can't say no when anyone asks me to run with them.

Hot day, very hot. Exhausting. But fun. Listening to the President's playlist, even over the phone's tinny speaker, helped keep momentum up but I told him I planned to cash out at three miles.

Temperature: 88°
Climate: bright, hot, sweltering
Weight: 167.5 lbs. (-3.0)
Goal: 160 lbs.
Mood: anxious

How does one lose three pounds in eighteen hours? Have a light breakfast and then run before lunch. It's all water weight, I am sure it will be back up to 169 tomorrow. Hopefully no more than 169. I was very good yesterday and today at not shoving whatever I saw into my mouth.

It also helps that there is currently no food in the house.

The President's 2016 Summer Playlist: Day
II B.S. - Charles Mingus
Rock Steady - Aretha Franklin
Man Like That - Gin Wigmore
Classic Man - Jidenna ft. Roman GianArthur
Elevator Operator - Courtney Barnett
Me Gustas Tu - Manu Chao
LoveHate Thing - Wale ft. Sam Dew

So, anyone up for the Run Through History 5K at Lakeview Cemetery tomorrow?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Never gone run.

Nicholas Christopher and adoring fans.
Yes, saw Hamilton. The tickets were an end-of-school-year surprise for the kids. The girl practically cried when she received them last June.

Our journey home took us from Lexington, MA to Westport, CT to stay with Harris, Liz and their kids. Monday we spent the day at Coney Island with them. Tuesday was a full day in Manhattan for our family, the four of us taking in Fifth Avenue, the Met, Times Square and then the main event.

We knew when we got these tix in early April that few if any of the original cast members would be performing in mid-August. Doesn't matter, the show is the thing, and we were in, as the say, the room where it happens.

The kids hung out at the stage door hoping to get a few autographs, and were greeted by Nicholas Christopher who stood in for George Washington that evening. He was truly outstanding, just outstanding. His performance of One Last Time almost lifted me out of my seat, I am not kidding.
Want To See A Faster Olympic Marathon? Move It To The Winter Games
By Christie Aschwanden, FiveThirtyEight (8/11/2016)
We're also watching the Olympics, and a lot of it. It was all fun and games until US Women's got crushed this afternoon, that truly sucked.

Distance: 2 miles
Avg Pace: 8:05
Duration: 16:14
Temperature: 88°
Climate: hot, threatening storm

Hot evening run. Kept close to home, in case of rain. The girl was at soccer practice and I did not want to abandon her in case of a sudden storm like which struck the city A couple days ago. And rain it did with distant thunder and I cut my run short.

Weight: 170.5 lbs.
Mood: unsure

My weight is veering dangerously back into its previous territory. This is how it happens. I ate anything I wanted through the entire vacation, and plenty of it. That stuff, too. I need discipline. I need a plan.

I also need to write. There has been very little of that.

The President's 2016 Summer Playlist: Day
Tightrope (The Solo Version) - Janelle Monáe
Don't Owe You A Thang - Gary Clark, Jr.
Forever Begins - Common

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Lexington run.

This has become an annual thing, stopping into Lexington to visit old friends from the Heights, eat pizza drink beer, enjoy a cool summer's evening and hit a cineplex to watch a truly horrible superhero movie. Last year it was Fantastic Four. Last night it was Suicide Squad. Next year it will be the reboot of Howard the Duck.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Avg Pace: 10:18
Duration: 34:01
Route: Lexington Loop

Beth took me for a beautiful run through the town, along narrow, winding streets, a short trail run, across Park Meadow and some historic old buildings, including the Hancock-Clarke House. Sytze and Toni took a one mile run on the bike path I ran last year when I was here.

Temperature: 81°
Climate: warm & sunny
Mood: good

Friday, August 05, 2016

Who knows when we shall meet again.

August 5, 2015
One final day in the cove. People are moving onto Martin Point for the weekend, many people, too many cars, they can't be staying for the week. But a breezy, perfect day to run out the end of the point and back. And I felt good, too. Running fast, feeling strong, like I could keep doing this running thing for a while longer now.

So happy I did not actually have a stress fracture. So happy to be with my family, to take my time to run and also sit and think and read. So glad to be alive.

Distance: 3.5 miles
Route: Martin Point Run
Temperature: 73°
Climate: Cloudless, breezy & beautiful
Mood: wistful

Why Me? Playlist
Time - The Alan Parsons Project
Turning Japanese - The Vapors
Just Another Night - Mick Jagger
Black Coffee In Bed - Squeeze
Talking In Your Sleep - The Romantics
The Stroke - Billy Squier

Wrote a blog post about this place and the deep, entwined relationship with pop culture it holds within me. These "Why Me?" playlists would make the perfect soundtrack.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Where do we go from here?

Been out on Martin Point Road three times today already.

Wife Walk
Distance: 3.5 miles

Easy morning. Quiet house. Finished a book, started writing my book report. The wife and I took a walk. It has been cool the past two days, today it is a bit warm again. Another summer I may have gone for a run first, but this year I am allowing the days to be a bit more shapeless. So? A hot afternoon run.

Solo Run
Distance: 3.5 miles

Why Me? Playlist
The Voice - Moody Blues
Games People Play - The Alan Parsons Project
Destroyer - The Kinks
If I Didn't Love You - Squeeze
New World Man - Rush
Swallowed By The Cracks - David & David
Abacab - Genesis

You might notice the playlist this week, a computer generated list based on the song Why Me? by Planet P. You know, there are songs which only I remember (or so I'd like to believe) which have fallen off the Gen X oldies station radar.

On our drive here, we were in a gas station when they were playing My Brave Face by Paul McCartney. Released in 1989, it was co-written by Elvis Costello for one of McCartney's albums. The same year Veronica was a single for Elvis, also co-written by McCartney. They each had airplay, only you might hear Veronica on the radio from time to time. but never My Brave Face.

Honestly I can't remember hearing it since the very early 90s. I had entirely forgotten it had existed. And it's a good song, fun to listen to, well-performed and produced, not irritating in any way. The question is not why did this song disappear, it's why did this one when so many other minor hits have not?

Why Me? is a song I will never forget, but also one I never hear played anywhere but on my iPod. Possibly the song that was on MTV the first turn I switched it on in my own home in early 1983. It's not exactly new wave, more just this synth-heavy, rock-pop song with a video that featured a lot of NASA b-roll.

But this mix is crazy, it's so entirely my teenage years. Exactly what I needed for this trip, just randomly early 80s.

Girl Run
Distance: 1.5 miles

The girl came home from a shopping trip at Remy's with her friend. I'd promised her a run before the trip was announced, that just kind of happened. But when she came back she asked if I would run with her. I could say no, but I didn't have a reason why. How could I say no?