Saturday, April 30, 2016

I was hit by something last night in my sleep.

¿Dónde está el Siete Madres?
Long night of strange dreams. I have an impending performance, so there was the obligatory performance anxiety dream. Because I have doubts about whether I should ever be producing anything in public, anywhere at any time for any one, naturally I conceived of and had widely promoted a one-night only, script-in-hand reading of Tennessee Williams' controversial, three hour drama, Camino Real.

When I say controversial, I mean that it is widely unliked and when anyone produces it, people burst into such controversial arguments as, "Why did you choose to produce this play?" or "What were you thinking when you chose to produce this play?" or even "Who do you think you are, choosing to produce this play?"

I had tapped a friend from college to play "the Gypsy" and ran into her on the street the day of the performance and when I asked her if she were ready for the reading, she said she didn't know what I was talking about. I had entirely neglected to contact her about the event.

Distance: 5 miles
Route: Boulevard/Noble Loop
Temperature: 57°
Climate: overcast & cool
Weight: 161.5 lbs. (-1.5)
Mood:  much better

Later, my family was heading into someone's house, filing through the back door the way you do, one person at a time. My mother was in there, the kids, my wife, and father. I knew when I saw him, his back (he was wearing his long coat) the back of his neck, his head, that he wasn't really there, that he was a ghost. Someone was in my way as I entered, I wanted to get through the doors to reach him, to touch him.

By the time I reached the front room he was gone. I woke up, or I think I woke up, my wife got up before me this morning, she was in the shower. I was in our bed crying, but then I woke up again and my cheeks were dry.

What's That Lyric?
Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Give me light, give me action.

Iguazu Falls
Still taking it easy, not clocking my time this week. Feeling better,much better, but also weak. Weather is not helping. Wish it weren't so cool. My mind retreats, reading a new book now, also thinking of a certain time in a certain place, who I was, who I wanted to be.

Working some new writing. Thinking, playing, tossing ideas back and forth with myself. Free writing, or just thinking. Divorcing myself from social media, as best as I can. When I am unable to check in with all my friends, time expands and I realize exactly ill prepared I am for what comes next. Available time unnerves me.

Distance: 3 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Glad I ran, but I was not going to attempt my appointed five miles. Can't risk it. As it is I feel light-headed, but the rain was nice and there was no wind so I did not feel particularly cold.

Keeping my feet straight, using the toe separator, I have not felt pain or tingling in my right foot for some time. Meanwhile, I am attempting to work off some nasty callouses which have built up. I have always developed callouses next to the second joint of my big toe, on both feet, but more on the right. This no doubt because of the way I turn my foot out.

Temperature: 48°
Climate: light, gentle rain
Weight: 162.5 lbs. (-0.5)
Mood: addled

Iguazu Playlist
Two Tribes (Extended Version) - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
99 Luftballoons - Nena
Let the Music Play (Extended Versio) - Shannon
Dancing In The Sheets - Shalamar
Living On Video - Trans X

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sitting idle in our boat while everyone else is down the stream.

Los Angeles, 1991
Ugh. Just ugh. Every day getting up is very difficult. I have just been sick. I was hoping, last week, when I only felt it in my throat, that it was allergies. But this is a cold, plain and simple. And it makes me cough and my head is heavy and some mornings I take a pill which clears my head, a little, and makes me hyper and I don't know which is worse.

Monday I actually put on my kit, stepped out and started running up the street. After about fifty yards, I thought, this isn't good. By one hundred yards I had stopped. I hadn't felt like that yet. Maybe a little ill, but not weary, not like that. I thought, three miles? Surely I can run three miles. But no. Why? If I felt like I hadn't felt before, that should be enough to tell me not to do something. I turned around and got through the day. Yesterday I didn't even consider running.

However, Monday afternoon I went to the doctor, for previously scheduled appointment, basically the end to a year-long intervention. In March 2015 I had my "annual" physical exam, about five years too late. I was about twenty pounds overweight, and had dangerously high blood sugar.

I lost the weight, I changed the diet. I was told to have a colonoscopy, which I put off for almost a year. I made the appointment before dad died, but as the time came so soon after his death, my wife suggested I postpone. It was for the exact same reason I kept it.

And I am clean. My colon is healthy, blood work taken last month indicates that my prostate is clear, I am at low risk of cancer. As long as I keep my weight where it is, I do not have to be concerned about diabetes. If I gain weight, well then, I will have to be concerned. Odds are good in that case. So, my path is pretty obvious.

Distance: 3 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 46°
Climate: cool and bright
Weight: 163 lbs. (+2.0)
Mood: searching

Twenty-five years ago I was enduring my brief residence in Los Angeles. So, why not an appropriate playlist? Something to inspire me, at long last.

But dude, if your time in Los Angeles was so regrettable, why will this playlist be "inspiring"? Good question. Because the station was awesome, and listening to KROQ in the car were the times I was my happiest, traveling from one place to another. The anticipation of doing something, accomplishing something, getting there, that was a positive feeling. Actually being anywhere in Los Angeles was inevitably a let-down.

KROQ91 Playlist
Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey) - De La Soul
Round and Round - Tevin Campbell & Prince
Head Like a Hole - Nine Inch Nails
The Other Side of Summer - Elvis Costello
Valerie Loves Me - Material Issue
Unbelieveable - EMF

88 Lines About 44 Women - The Nails

Sunday, April 24, 2016

He had 2 run away, his pride was 2 strong.

Prince or Poe?
DAD: ... then he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, so folks called him The Artist Formerly Known as Prince or sometimes just "The Artist" --
BOY: The Artist sounds cool.

Distance: 10 miles
Avg Pace: 7:51
Duration: 1:18:33
Route: Lakeview to MLK Jr. Blvd. Loop
Week Seven Total: 28 miles 
Training To Date: 155 miles

Did not run to Gandhi, for my usual ten mile. Instead, I wanted to go through the cemetery on my way out, and around Wade Oval in University Circle for a water break before heading down to MLK and the entrance to the Cultural Gardens before heading more or less straight back to make a clean 10 mile run.

If I can run ten miles, half of it uphill, and still average less than an eight minute mile, I must be in some kind of good shape. Beautiful day. Beautiful run.

Temperature: 37°→52°
Climate: cool, then not so cool
Weight: 161 lbs.
Mood: good

Prince Playlist
My Name Is Prince
Gett Off (Purple Pump Mix)
I Feel For Your (remix) - Chaka Khan
Can't Stop This Feeling I Got *
The Glamorous Life (Club Edit) - Sheila E.
Electric Chair
Nasty Girl - Vanity Six
Kiss (Anon Mix) - The Art of Noise ft. Tom Jones
Alphabet Street
Girls & Boys
When Doves Cry - Quindon Tarver (from "Romeo + Juliet")
Let's Pretend We're Married
The Beautiful Ones

I am so tired of breaking into tears. But I cleared ten miles just at the climax, and walked, and craned my neck to the sky, through the budding trees. It was cloudless and blue.

I may not know where I'm going, babe. I may not know what I need. But one thing's for certain, baby.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Those who run seem to have all the fun.

This tragedy isn't about me. But I am finding this year very difficult to take. It is as though all the doors of my life and closing behind me.

Distance: 5 miles
Avg Pace: 7:39
Duration: 38:15
Route: Boulevard-Noble Loop

For those who forget, it was (allegedly) the song Darling Nikki from "Purple Rain" that so scandalized Tipper Gore and motivated her to pressure her husband, Senator Al Gore, to hold congressional hearings to look into the deleterious effects of song lyrics on the minds of our young children.

Apart from having the opportunity to watch Frank Zappa make a complete ass out of our highest legislative body, the most significant result of the whole affair was that corporate music caved in and created the entirely arbitrary "Parental Advisory" label for records with questionable content.

The song Darling Nikki makes reference to masturbation. If Ms. Gore took the time to watch "Purple Rain" she may have understood the song in context, though it couldn't have made her any less uncomfortable. The Kid (Prince) is on stage performing at First Avenue and sees his flame Apollonia enter with his nemesis, Morris (and isn't Morris Day everyone's nemesis, after all?)

The Kid flies into a jealous rage and orders his band to change up the set, to perform that most lascivious of songs. He growls and whines and bumps and grinds and Apollonia gets what he's doing, and she's hurt and she leaves. Also, the manager of the club is pissed, but that's a different story.

The point is, The Kid was being a dick. He was wrong. We know he was wrong. But that was one part of the larger narrative.

The film "Purple Rain" was released the day after my sixteenth birthday. We listened to this album (and danced to it in driveways) and watched the movie on video over and over throughout my junior year in high school. The man made an indelible, unforgettable impression.

I learned many things from Prince, about the fluidity of sexuality, about passion and humor and humility. Grace and funk and just amazing music. How to love, and sometimes how not to love. And maybe even about God.

Temperature: 61°
Climate: warm!
Weight: 163 lbs. (-0-)
Mood: After 40 minutes running to Prince? Pretty good, actually.

All the hippies sing together.

Prince Playlist
Starfish & Coffee
Take Me With U
Paisley Park
Erotic City
Love Song (w/Madonna) *

... what?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Run away and hide from everyone.

Oh, ah. I have a cold or something. Thought it was just allergies yesterday, but this morning I just feel terrible. Yet the work must continue. Tonight I have to curate a playwriting contest, there are meetings to be met, rehearsals to be rehearsed. Love to take the day off. Can't.

Then there's running. How slow can you go?

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Pseudoephedrine is a strong motivator. Hope I don't regret this later.

Temperature: 61°
Climate: overcast, cool. very light rain
Weight: 163 lbs. (-1.0)
Mood: sick

What's That Lyric?
Don't Answer Me - The Alan Parson Project

UPDATE: Jesus. Well, bet you can guess what I will be listening to for tomorrow's run.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sun's coming up like a big bald head.

Awesome five miler on a perfect running morning. Cool with a little sun, wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirt. Pace is high, and the music's good.

Here's a question; can I write a story of running that is not so obviously about running? Like, it's about running, but not about running. Follow? No idea. Might be a good exercise.

Heh. "Exercise." Good one.

Distance: 5 miles
Avg Pace: 7:31
Duration: 39:15
Route: Boulevard/Noble Loop
Temperature: 50°
Climate: cool, partly cloudy
Weight: 164 bs. (+0.5)
Mood: good

Bay High Years
Sharkey's Day - Laurie Anderson
The Whole Point of No Return - The Style Council
Faron - Prefab Sprout
Burning Down the House (live) - Talking Heads
New Day - The Cure
Swamp (live) - Talking Heads
Fake Friends - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Instrumental Montage (from "One From the Heart") - Tom Waits
Handsome Devil - The Smiths
Just One Kiss - The Cure

Monday, April 18, 2016

I was young once like you though I know I don't look it.

On my second mile, I took a breath and felt as though I had inhaled something, like a gas or smoke. There was no smoke, there was no gas. Perhaps I just suddenly dried out the back of my throat, It was unpleasant. I was swallowing and clearing my throat, and then coughing, almost choking.

Thank goodness the great folks at Cain Park had turned the water fountains on! Yay, Cain Park! Thank you Erin and all your little people!

Distance: 4 miles
Avg Pace: 7:47
Duration: 31:37
Route: Cain Park Loop
Temperature: 57°
Climate: warm & sunny
Weight: 163.5 lbs. (+1.5)
Mood: positive

Why Me Playlist
Face The Face - Pete Townshend
Sausalito Summernight - Diesel
Radioactive - The Firm
Why Me? - Planet P Project
I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You - The Alan Parsons Project
Swallowed By The Cracks - David & David
I Robot - The Alan Parsons Project

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Congratulations on a race well-run.

ICYMI ... earlier this week I posted in my writing blog about Hamilton and all those things it made me think about. So, you know. Check that out.

Two weeks ago I ran nine miles to the first act. Today, the second.

Distance: 9.37 miles
Avg Pace: 7:40
Duration: 1:12:24
Route: Lakeview-Uptown Loop
Week Six Total: 25 miles
Training To Date: 127 miles

Warmer weather, faster pace, slightly longer album - more distance. I was under the impression that this, more complicated side, while my favorite of the two acts, might be less inspiring the run to. I was mistaken. And anyway, there are more songs with appropriate beats per minute for me to make time to.

So, there you go. You can run to Hamilton. All of it.

Hamilton (Act II)
I thought of this gag on my run, then found out someone already made it.
What'd I Miss – Burr, Jefferson, Madison, and Company
Cabinet Battle #1 – Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison
Take a Break * – Eliza, Philip, Hamilton, and Angelica
Say No to This * – Hamilton, Maria Reynolds, James Reynolds, and Company
The Room Where It Happens * – Burr, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, and Company
Schuyler Defeated – Philip, Eliza, Hamilton, and Burr
Cabinet Battle #2 – Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison
Washington on Your Side – Burr, Jefferson, and Madison
One Last Time  – Washington, Hamilton, and Company
I Know Him – King George
The Adams Administration – Burr, Hamilton, and Company
We Know * – Burr, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison
Hurricane – Hamilton and Company
The Reynolds Pamphlet – Full company
Burn – Eliza
Blow Us All Away – Philip, George Eacker, Hamilton, and Company
Stay Alive (Reprise) * – Philip, Hamilton, Eliza, Doctor
It's Quiet Uptown – Angelica, Hamilton, Eliza, and Company
The Election of 1800 – Jefferson, Madison, Burr, Hamilton, and Company
Your Obedient Servant * – Burr, Hamilton
Best of Wives and Best of Women – Eliza, Hamilton
The World Was Wide Enough – Burr, Hamilton, and Company
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story – Eliza, and Full Company

Full, active weekend. Moderated a discussion on drinking last night at the Hanna, today the boy has his first soccer game of the season!

In four weeks, we race.

Temperature: 57°
Climate: warm and sunny
Weight: 162 lbs. (-1.0)
Mood: good

Took my time rising today, that was good. Had sunbutter and eggs on English muffins for breakfast (not mixed together) and plenty of water. No, I was not in the mood to carry water, but I made it through all right.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Heaven helps the man who fights his fear.

Good morning!
Last night I dreamed of rain and sleet. It had snowed again. Sheets of shingles had been blown back from our roof, front and back -- in the dream our house was much bigger, but that just means the water damage was greater.

It was a joy to wake early to the promise of a beautiful spring day.

Distance: 4 miles
Avg Pace: 7:20
Duration: 29:21
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 61°
Climate: glorious
Weight: 163 lbs. (-0.5)
Mood: excellent

160 - 164 BPM Playlist
I'm Not The Only One - Sam Smith
We Prick You - David Bowie
Digging In The Dirt - Peter Gabriel
Thank You - Dido
Physical (You're So) - Nine Inch Nails
Come Together - The Beatles
I'm Free (Heaven Helps The Man) - Kenny Loggins

This is the sweet spot. It's a run, but it is not exhausting. I was a bit winded on an incline during mile three, but mostly it was beautiful sailing. Bright sun, clear skies. Time to break out the screens.

Tomorrow I will attempt a nine mile run. It's supposed to be seventy degrees, so I will remember to bring water. Guess what I plan to listen to?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Two steps on the water.

Action in stasis. It has been some time since I have written something. This was a doubt that I was living with two years ago, just before I started massive writing. Fallow periods, but they aren't fruitless. There are plays to be rehearsed, others to be edited, designs to be pursued, an entire summer of activity and events that require my attention and concentration. It could even be, uh, "fun."

There's also the big race which takes place one month from today. Chris and I are partners in this, his long runs appear almost daily on my MMR feed so I know he's on top of it, and so am I, if not so aggressively. We are discussing just keeping with the eight minute group. My average pace in the Twin Cities was 8:30, can we do this for a half? I think we might.

Distance: 4 miles
Avg Pace: 7:02
Route: Cain Park Loo

Temperature: 54°
Climate: bright and sunny
Weight: 163.5 lbs. (+1.5)
Mood: good

165 - 169 BPM Playlist
Foundations - Kate Nash
She's Long Gone - The Black Keys
Hounds of Love - The Futureheads
All Wrong - Kaada
... And Then You Die - The Receiver
Young Americans - David Bowie
About You Now - Sugababes
The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul - XTC

How far, how fast? False start at 170 - 174 BPM, I couldn't make that today. What I did was brisk enough! Hope to try that again tomorrow.

God, I love Spring.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pump up the volume (along with the tempo.)

Getting there. Still too cool. God, I hate to complain. But I am trying to move here, and I also need to concentrate on rolling through my right foot, realigning my calf muscles, keeping it straight.

It makes a difference. And when I am leaning forward, not paying attention, that's when I can hurt myself. And I am seriously anticipating the day I totally mess up my right foot.

Distance: 3 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 43°
Climate: cool
Mood: angsty

White Lines Playlist
I Know You Got Soul - Erik B. & Rakim
A Roller Skating Jam Named "Saturday" - De La Soul
New Jack Hustler (Nino's Theme) - Ice-T
Boom! Shake The Room - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Mind Terrorist - Public Enemy
Night of the Living Baseheads - Public Enemy

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

You have to do it running.


Jesus, how many times am I going to see articles about this simple fact?

I will say, however, that if you run correctly, it helps keep your stomach flat.

Big, flat stomach.

Distance: 5 miles
Avg Pace: 7:46
Duration: 39:17
Route: Forest Hill Loop

My right foot has been bothering me. Aches in my arch, callouses I can't control. Feels like I have been splaying again, turning my foot to the outside as I run, or just running with my foot turned a little to the right. It affects my calf, too. I need to more consciously roll through my feet. Keep my toes straight.

Temperature: 39°
Climate: bright and cool
Weight: 162 lbs. (+1.0)
Mood: getting there

Bright morning, gorgeous. Tired of cold, tired of wind, really. At least the pavement is clear again. Appears as though the temperature is rising for the near future. I will drink that in.

One of These Things First Playlist
One of These Things First - Nick Drake
Sunset Soon Forgotten - Iron & Wine
Fair - Remy Zero
Save Me - Aimee Mann
The District Sleeps Tonight - The Postal Service
Mistaken For Strangers - The National
Mansard Roof * - Vampire Weekend
A Lack of Color - Death Cab for Cutie
Do You Realize? - The Flaming Lips
Expectations - Belle & Sebastian
Faust Arp - Radiohead

Mmmm.Mellow Gen X music. The lighter side of the 00's.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Move on.

First things first, please visit my GoFundMe page and make your plans to see I Hate This at Talespinner Children's Theatre on Saturday, May 7.

Thank you.

Distance: 6 miles
Avg Pace: 8:18
Route: Cain Park/Noble Loop
Week Five Total: 21 miles
Training To Date: 102 miles

Snow on the ground. Just another weekend I can throw up my hands and say, well! You can't expect me to do any yard work today. Housework, however, is being done. It has not been a rough winter but it doesn't take much for this place to become a seedy warren.

Temperature: 36°
Climate: cold, windy and unpleasant
Pavement: Fuck you guys.
Weight: 161 lbs. (-0.5)
Mood: fine, I guess

Ugh. That was awful. Not just cold and windy, but the sidewalks were all clogged with ice and snow. Was going to do seven but I was near enough to home I just said fuck it. My knees and ankles hurt. Guess I'm just spoiled this year, this stuff is normal for January, February and March.

Nobody Needs To Know Playlist
Nobody Needs To Know - "The Last Five Years" Original Cast Recording
Hindi Sad Diamonds - "Moulin Rouge" Motion Picture Soundtrack
The Origin of Love - "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" Cleveland Public Theatre
All I Care About - "Chicago" Motion Picture Soundtrack
Superboy and the Invisible Girl - "Next to Normal" Original Cast Recording
In The Heights * - "In The Heights" Original Cast Recording
Move On - "Sunday In The Park With George" Original Cast Recording
Skid Row (Downtown) - "Little Shop of Horrors" Original Cast Recording
Friends On The Other Side * - "The Princess and the Frog" Motion Picture Soundtrack
What Would Brian Boitano Do? - "South Park" Motion Picture Soundtrack

Once again Lin-Manuel Miranda has ruined my day. So, I was looking up Hamilton lyrics on Genius and find that the phrase "Nobody needs to know," in Say No To This is a direct, intentional and authorized reference to the song of that title from the musical The Last Five Years.

People have been telling me to listen to Last Five Years for some time now. Like, for some reason I give people the impression this is my kind of musical.

So last Friday I started by listening to Nobody Needs To Know and got profoundly depressed, so then I watched a pirated video of Norbert Leo Butz performing the song off-Broadway, which was devastating, and so I finally listened to the song in German and just hung my head and cried for the rest of the morning.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Send David To Alaska

Here's the big news:

One night only, Saturday, May 7, 2016, I will present my award-winning solo performance I Hate This (A play without the baby) at Talespinner Children’s Theatre, 5209 Detroit Avenue.

This autobiographical, one-hour play describes the experiences my wife, Toni, and I had before and after the stillbirth of our first child. He was born 15 years ago this March, and I’ve hoped to have an opportunity to share the piece again in 2016.

Recent productions of I Hate This in Manchester, England, and at Hartwick College in New York, featuring other actors playing me, have encouraged me to try some new things in telling this story that is so important to us.

Any contribution toward my journey to LFTC will be greatly appreciated, but I would be so happy to see you at the performance May 7, by which time I hope – with your help – I will have made my goal.

Click here to visit my GoFundMe page and make a donation and reserve your seat for May 7!

Distance: 4 miles
Avg Pace: 7:39
Route: Cain Park Loop

More cold. Bear with it. Speaking of bears, I wonder what how safely I can run in Valdez. Run in packs with jangly keys, I imagine. Headphones would be a very bad idea.

Temperature: 34°
Climate: cool and windy
Weight: 161.5 lbs. (-0.5)
Mood: not bad

Odd playlist, Genius generated, nothing I would have put together for myself, and it was awesome.

Mother Sky Playlist
Mother Sky - CAN
Penetration - The Stooges
I Don't Wanna Be Learned/I Don't Wanna Be Tamed (demo) - The Ramones
Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin' Bout That Girl - The Kinks
Banned In D.C. - Bad Brains
Give Him A Great Big Kiss * - The Shangri-Las
Urban Guerilla - Hawkwind
Dopesmoker - Sleep
Shake Appeal * - The Stooges
Mod Lang - Big Star
The Court of the Crimson King - King Crimson

Jockstrap broke during my run. That's new.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

When I look back upon my life it's always with a sense of shame.

Don't know about you, but I can watch the Taylor Swift treadmill ad all day. Except I don't get that bit where she says she hates cardio. Why you got to be like that?

Distance: 5 miles
Avg Pace: 7:44
Duration: 38:43
Route: Boulevard Loop

Sure, two runs in the past fourteen hours, I felt draggy at the start. Chugging along. Also a bit over dressed, rain jacket, gloves, long pants. Thought it might rain, didn't.

But then, here is the breakdown:

Mile One: 7:53
Mile Two: 8:13
Mile Three: 7:56
Mile Four: 7:22
Mile Five: 7:16

So, I guess it depends what your definition of "draggy" is. Mile two is the incline, by the way. Guess I am doing better than I am able to conceive.

Temperature: 43°
Climate: coolish
Weight: 162 lbs. (-1.0)
Mood: angsty

Before school the boy and I were rough housing and I poked him in the eye with my thumb. I was wearing my knit running gloves, so he's got a scratched spot in that tender spot below the eye. Freaked him out for a few seconds, but then he was fine. I mean, it hurt, and I felt terrible. Got him ice, pain reliever, drove him to school.

One day. I need one good day.

What's That Lyric?
It's a Sin - Pet Shop Boys

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Run with the creeps.

Something just broke Sunday night. It began when I was in father's office, accounting of his things. In the week following his death we sorted his clothes, because that was what mom asked us to do first, to get those out. But when it came to the several and varied items in his dresser and desk (Swiss army knife, a watch) I thought it would be best to leave those, to write them down and then decide their fate later.

And so there I was, a month and a half later, doing that. I was making notes of items, lacquer college society pins, penknives, and so on, and I just felt like there was so much nothing. It didn't feel worth writing down, just cart it all up and take it to a junk shop or something. Good Lord, what the hell am I keeping in my dresser?

That night was "Second Easter". We hadn't been with mom for Easter, we had been in Athens. It was important to anyone at the table, Easter, not anymore, anyway. The absence at the head of the table was suddenly very strong to me, and I found that hard to take.

Distance: 3 miles
Avg Pace: 7:07
Duration: 21:22
Route: Boulevard Loop

I am continuing to avoid Facebook. It is apparent to me the extent to which I can use it to avoid doing others things. The boy plays Minecraft, I used Facebook. I have gotten much more done in the past week, and I do not miss the negativity, but I realize there is also a lot of positive energy there, too. I feel very alone without it.

Temperature: 55°
Climate: WIND, man.
Weight: 163 lbs. (-1.0)
Mood: so much better

Weather this afternoon and evening has been absurd. The boy got off the bus, walked a few steps, and suddenly he was being pelted by hail. That lasted for about fifteen seconds as he ran down the street, then it just stopped, and turned into light rain.

I kept checking the temperature, it remained in the mid-fifties, but the wind was crazy, I was sure snow was going to blow in any second. But it didn't. Hard run, and by that I mean I was hard. Fast and fierce for three miles. It was a blessing.

The Message Playlist
The Message - Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
King of Rock - Run-D.M.C.
All the Lifestyles - Beastie Boys
Witness (1 Hope) - Roots Manuva
The WildStyle - Time Zone

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

I got up this morning, put on my shoes. Tied my shoes.

Difficult day yesterday, little unbroken sleep the night before. Complete mental relapse, into maudlin unhappiness. It's a challenge. You would think I do not have anything better with which to occupy my mind. I continue to avoid Facebook, and I have to say I do not miss it. I hope no one takes that personally.

Today I am contracted to coach students in Shakespeare, this evening I get to witness a workshop performance for something, no idea what it is but I hope it ill be good. Meantime, I need to commence fundraising for the Alaska trip. There's no time for dragging.

Oh, and I am still in training. Yesterday I seemed to forget that.

Distance: 3 miles
Avg Pace: 7:58
Duration: 23:52
Route: Forest Hill Loop

Confused. Delirious. Exhausted. I just can't seem to catch a break. Two nights ago I woke countless times. I must have been asleep at some point because she woke me up for snoring.  So I stopped snoring.

Last night I took a Benadryl and slept pretty much all night. Hate medicating myself to sleep, but as I see it, those are my choices.

Temperature: 25°
Climate: cold
Weight: 164 lbs. (+2.0)
Mood: sour

Trashcan Playlist
Trashcan * - Delta Spirit
I'm the Man Who Loves You - Wilco
Grown So Ugly - The Black Keys
All I Want - LCD Soundsystem
Coney Island - Good Old War
Money Maker - Rilo Kiley

Helpless Blues - Fleet Foxes

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Why do you write like you're running out of time?

Freak snowstorm last night, this morning it is bright and crisp and shiny. We, all of us, slept in until 9 AM today. This was a long time coming, at least for the wife and I, and well-deserved. It would be easy to settle down with the boy to watch a movie (I am giving him an education on the Civil War in film, beginning with Gettysburg, then Glory, next up Lincoln -- I make a point of making historical the inaccuracies clear) but then again. Training.

Training in sub-freezing weather. The wife asks if I am bringing water on this trek. Hmn. I really don't want to do that, I don't want a leaky water bottle in my hands today. Meanwhile I am writing this post in advance of my setting out, in the hopes that coffee and gravity will result in some backfield action. I do not wish to have an incident Uptown.

Distance: 9 miles
Avg Pace: 7:50
Duration: 1:10:31
Route: Forest Hill/Lakeview/Uptown Loop
Week Four Total: 26 miles
Training To Date: 81 miles

Water, water everywhere - in the form of crystallized condensation. Yes, I found fresh snow in off-the-path places and melted it on my tongue. Right?

Almost wiped out in Forest Hill Park, some paths were clearly melted, others not so much. Did not, for example, sprint down the hill past Rockefeller's monument.

Temperature: 28° → 32°
Climate: cool
Pavement: deceptive
Weight: 162 lbs. (-1.0)
Mood: awesome

The plan was to run eight miles. For obvious reasons, I was compelled to run nine. And get this, I ran exactly nine miles. With a final sprint - check the beats per minute - I crossed the nine mile mark right in front of my house, precisely on the final cannon of act one. (That's true.)

Keeping pace with Stay Alive brought me all the way up through Little Italy, followed by Ten Duel Commandments where the pace dropped just a touch where I needed to get over the top. That was amazing, too.

Hamilton (Act I)
Alexander Hamilton – Full company (except King George)
Aaron Burr, Sir – Hamilton, Burr, Laurens, Lafayette, and Mulligan
My Shot – Hamilton, Burr, Laurens, Lafayette, Mulligan, and Company
The Story of Tonight – Hamilton, Laurens, Lafayette, Mulligan, and Company
The Schuyler Sisters – Angelica, Eliza, Peggy, Burr, and Company
Farmer Refuted – Samuel Seabury and Hamilton
You'll Be Back – King George
Right Hand Man – Washington, Hamilton, Burr, and Company
A Winter's Ball – Burr, Hamilton, and Laurens
Helpless – Eliza, Hamilton, and Company
Satisfied – Angelica, Hamilton, and Company
The Story of Tonight (Reprise) (164 bpm) – Hamilton, Burr, Laurens, Lafayette, and Mulligan
Wait For It – Burr and Company
Stay Alive (160 bpm) – Hamilton, Washington, Charles Lee, Laurens, and Company
Ten Duel Commandments (156 bpm) – Laurens, Hamilton, Lee, Burr, and Company
Meet Me Inside – Washington, Hamilton, and Company
That Would Be Enough – Eliza and Hamilton
Guns and Ships – Burr, Lafayette and Washington
History Has Its Eyes on You – Washington and Company
Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down) – Hamilton, Lafayette, Laurens, Mulligan, and Company
What Comes Next? – King George
Dear Theodosia – Burr and Hamilton
Non-Stop (182 bpm) – Hamilton, Burr, Eliza, Angelica, Washington, and Company

So? This morning I slept in, unsure as to whether I was up for training. It's almost noon, and I have already achieved much, the wife and girl are working, the boy out in the now-above-freezing weather on his ripstik. I feel alive and ready for the week.

Would I have been a successful, dedicated runner without the modern mp3 player, without the iPod, without the motivation I personally require, the motivation inherent in music? Probably not. How lucky we are to be alive right now.

Let's go.

Friday, April 01, 2016

I'm not falling behind or running late.

I am the one thing in life I can control.
Ladies and gentlemen ... 50 Playlists for 50 Years.

2016 Playlist
Lazarus - David Bowie
Wait For It - Leslie Odom, Jr. & Company
Lime Habit - POLIÇA
Snakeskin - Deer Hunter
Cake By the Ocean - DNCE
Voices In My Head * - Bob Mould
Life On Mars? - Lorde & David Bowie's Band

One day soon I will write the Hamilton essay for Cleveland Centennial. I have avoided doing so because I fear the result will be a mess (so is independence) of half-completed thoughts based on all the million things I have been reminded of when listening to the soundtrack.

What is most significant about this moment in history is that this is the first time all four of us in my family have discovered the same thing at the same time. The girl is obsessed with it. We all conspire about getting an apartment in New York and trying the lottery every night until we've hit the number - twice - so we can all experience it at the Richard Rogers.

Each year I have this period in which I am running playlists from all the year I have been alive, and so I guess I compel myself to engage in a protracted assessment of my life, my decisions, the roads taken and those not. At the beginning of 2016 I was struggling to continue, feeling unhappy, getting older, unsatisfied.

The death of my father ended that for a time. No time to manufacture self-pity when you are hit with true emotions of loss and bereavement. Wednesday night the wife and I were talking about this and she said she noticed the change. Though I have been in mourning I am no longer dragging myself around. Life is too important, the work is too important, all these people around me are too important.

Wait For It is such a powerful song and the one I most relate to. Burr is strong and justified and so pathetically deluded. Expectation and legacy have left a man who never had parental guidance in a state of perpetual stasis. When he finally acts, it is empty and vacuous, and inevitably tragic.

I have often whined about having received no guidance from my father, and while I have also been ashamed at these emotions (he was, after all, right there, and emotionally present, all the time) it came as something of a relief to hear my brothers express the same sentiment, or to even read in the remarks of others my father's own concern that he had never done anything to move us along.

What can I say I have ever accomplished that wasn't in some way inspired by him? Not in spite, or in opposition, but because of his gentle example?

Distance: 4 miles
Route: Cain Park Loop

Mad run, dashing through freezing rain. Shorts, yes, am expecting my knees to be in pain shortly. Also, wore a hat and not a hat so my ears hurt. But damn, great playlist. What a journey. Many thanks to Fil for the Bob Mould suggestion, that thing has most excellent BPM.

To the girl with the mousy hair.
Lorde sang with Bowie's band at the Brit Awards on February 24, it was a tribute that I appreciated much more then Lady Gaga's performance at the Grammys. I actually think Lady Gaga did a wonderful job, an exciting, flamboyant, upbeat medley of Bowie's greatest hits. Totally acceptable. But I wouldn't bother watching it again.

Choosing Lorde to sing Life On Mars was an example of matching the song to the artist. I mean, Life On Mars could have written by Lorde. It wasn't a flawless performance, but it was perfect.

Climate: rain
Weight: 163 lbs. (-0.5)
Mood: not bad

New set of Nike Flight headphones arrived in the mail today. Why can I quit you? The model is continued but I can still find a pair at a reasonable price. The set I have been using produce a better sound but they don't stay in my ears and I am constantly futzing with the chord. These sacrifice just a little sound quality for convenience.

Putting in eight on Sunday. One guess as to what I am going to listen to.