Friday, June 29, 2018

That little souvenir of a terrible year.

Full moon rising.
The beach house, this year, is located way at the the north end of Topsail Island. Previously, we had stayed at the south end. There was one house in particular the family rented for five (non-consecutive) years. It is located on the south end right next to the pier, across the street from the miniature golf.

Granted, I was only to make three of those years, but the place is impressed in my memory. It is where the children spent so much summer vacation joy. The decor there has nothing much to lend itself, I just remember the deck, the view, the proximity to things. There's a hot tub, which others used but I did not.

This place is away from everything, which I like those some do not. The wife misses the ability to walk to a bar, a restaurant a shop, the ice cream stand. I prefer the layout here. It's true, you can't get from the upper deck to the beach, you need to go back inside to do that on a lower floor.

But I like the layout of the upper floor much better. Before it was like a huge, long room, from kitchen, to dining area, and then a sitting place with TV and couches -- you need to walk through one area then the next to get out onto the deck.

Here, all the areas are next to each other, like a circle, from the kitchen counter clockwise to the dining area, and then to the sitting area It's smaller, but people can be doing anything, cooking, doing the jigsaw puzzle, watching the match and talk to each other, all in one space. You walk through the middle to get outside.

We have made journeys to the south side; for dinner Tuesday night, again yesterday when I took the girls shopping. I glanced at the rear of that other place, it's nothing to look at. The street view is not the point. We did not choose not to be there intentionally. It wasn't available when we made the reservation, very little was. This was a last minute decision.

Because when such decisions were to be made, we were mourning a loss, having a funeral. Not thinking so much about fun and summer and relaxation. All five of those summers, in that building, were spent with Chris. We are glad to be here, but I think we should be glad not to be staying there.

Distance: 3 miles
Pace: 8:46
Route: Topsail Beach
Temperature: 83•
Climate: hot & sunny
Mood: all right

Barefoot run, last of the season. Maybe I'll run tomorrow, but this morning I did it, I ripped up my toe. Basically I hit a stone on my way out, a small-one, well-placed. Didn't impede my momentum at all, just hurt, knew I'd separated skin. Anyway, no big deal.

Beautiful though, fast, running in the surf. Sprinting almost, in places. It was gorgeous. When I got back Is tripped down to my shorts and jumped in the surf. I floated on my back in the sea. I still live.

Exercises: yes

Can I also say my choice of music for running this summer has been almost maudlin. Yet, I like it. That's just where I am this year.

What's That Lyric?
Here's Where the Story Ends - The Sundays

Thursday, June 28, 2018

You seem to me like a man on the verge of running.

Actual size.
Early morning, the wife and I rose to catch the sunrise. After running, exercising (I failed to do so yesterday) and showering, I made bacon and pancakes for everyone.

Well, the adults, anyway. The children, if you can still call them children, slept late.

Yesterday I received some unpleasant professional news; I won't go into it, but it was disheartening to say the least. Not earth-shattering, just disappointing. I do not understand some people.

Distance: 2 miles
Pace: 9:16
Route: Topsail Beach
Temperature: 75°
Climate: warm & sunny
Mood: not good

Easy run today, in shoes. The tide was high and I am holding on. Sad to think tomorrow may be the last run here of the season. Are we almost through with Topsail for the year? Is the summer progressing so fast?

Exercises: yes, fuck yes.

What's That Lyric?
99.9° - Suzanne Vega

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The wisdom on your face denies the number of your years.

Anniversary dinner.
Difficult days. It is hard to understate my distress over the national situation, like being under occupation yet the oppression has not yet struck me directly. What are we supposed to do? Get in the streets? Which streets? And when? Things are not yet so horrible for enough people to have created the conditions for drastic action.

We spent so much time protesting cabinet positions and knitting hats, and now that families are being torn apart and the borders are closing based on religion, we're just keeping our heads down and bitching on Facebook.

Anyway. This is why I don't want to talk about it.
"I'm fifty, mark you ..."
- Long John Silver
Treasure Island (1883)
Yesterday we celebrated our nineteenth wedding anniversary at the Beach Grill, sitting at a table on our own two tables away from the rest of the gang. It's easy to remember the date of our anniversary because it's one month from my birthday ... which means I turn fifty in a month.

What the fuck have I done?

Anyway, I'll have to change the banner of this blog.

Distance: 1.5 miles
Pace: 9:26
Route: Topsail Beach Run
Temperature: 76•
Climate: partly cloudy & sun
Mood: Good, you know? In spite of everything.

Barefoot run in the surf. Kept a straight back, hitting the sand in the middle of my foot. When I lean forward, I then dig with my toes. This is how the blisters start, and the abrasions begin. Anyway, I will run with shoes tomorrow.

Nice breeze, cool surf, shore birds. My son on Instagram telling everyone I was drunk last night.

Exercises: not yet, there's time.

What's That Lyric?
Gypsy - Suzanne Vega

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The rhythm is the power to move me.

Duran Duran's fifth studio album, Big Thing, was released thirty years ago this October. It is an underappreciated masterpiece.

It is true, no music holds as much significance as that which you loved when you were twenty. And my twentieth year was significant; I had my first major depression, positioning myself at odds with those who were closest to me.

That fall I felt deeply in touch with the disaffection (and volume) of "I Don't Want Your Love" and still misogynist enough to embrace "All She Wants Is" for all the wrong reasons.

That spring I took a solo road trip to Florida to visit my dying grandfather, and also an old girlfriend. Listening to the entire album, numerous times (I had a cassette player on the passenger seat -- skipping tracks in those days was not even an option) I was subsumed by the atmosphere of the second side; stirred by the lush "Do You Believe In Shame?" and stimulated and inspired, chain smoking, putting down miles of open highway, windows open, taking in the final tracks, "The Edge of America/Lake Shore Driving."

On Route 98, you can say you are actually on the edge of America.

I saw Duran Duran in concert once, at Blossom Music Center in 1993. They did not play one single song from this album.

Big Thing - Duran Duran (1988)
Big Thing
I Don't Want Your Love
All She Wants Is
Too Late Marlene
Drug (It's Just a State of Mind)
Do You Believe in Shame?
Interlude One
Flute Interlude
The Edge of America/Lake Shore Driving *

We have been sleeping until we wake these past two days, but the wife gently woke me to watch the sunrise this morning. It is our wedding anniversary. The deck was nice and cool after the rain, a beautiful start to what may be a (literally, not emotionally) stormy day.

Water, coffee, rest, run.

Distance: 5 miles
Duration: 44:48
Pace: 8:58
Route: Topsail Beach
Temperature: 75•
Climate: overcast & hot
Mood: good

Gorgeous day on the beach. Running earlier helps, it's still cloudy, no direct sun at all. Dog walkers, though. Come on. assholes. I ran past them on my way out, came to back find little gifts along the way. Who the fuck do you think you are?

Breathless and parched. Finished strong, if a little woozy. Sipped water slowly as I did my exercises, started talking to my son and got very dizzy. Strange. More water. Then food. Nick's making potatoes and eggs!

Exercises: yes! all the exercises!

Monday, June 25, 2018

While running on empty.

We eat a lot. We drink a lot. We also exercise, do stretches. Sit in the sun, and in the shade, and read and write. Games are played, more drinks are made. Groceries are shopped for, and forgotten beach items. Iced coffee is greedily consumed, with or without alcohol added. Storms roll in, and out again. We stay up late, make love, and if we're lucky, we run on the beach.

An entire vacation is had, all on a Sunday. What else will the week bring?

Distance: 2 miles
Pace: 8:40
Route: North Topsail Beach
Temperature: 78•
Climate: hot & sunny
Mood: good

With shoes this time, did not wish to tax my feet -- nor my back. With shoes I stood straighter. Felt good. Wind in my face heading south (9:04 pace) at my back heading home (8:15). Sun on my face heading back, too, but that was lovely.

Complete round of stretches after, including the plank. Eating so much crap this week, I'd love to hold some of it in, if only to make it into my shorts.

Exercises: yes!

Those don't sound like stretches, the wife observes. They sound like exercises. And indeed they do. She invited me on a walk on the beach, I hadn't even gotten out of my kit, but I wasn't wearing my shoes. Perfect! Walking down stairs, however, my thighs were trembly. That is what we are working on.

The walk was relaxing, investigating tide pools, conversing with seabirds. Time now to write, time to read. Time for nothing at all.

What's That Lyric?
Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk - Rufus Wainwright

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Don't like to feel out of control.

Two days on the road, I was able to drive and be a passenger without much discomfort. There was six of us in a borrowed van (many thanks to Kelly and Josh, we would have had to take separate cars otherwise) bringing the kids and a friend each back to Topsail Beach.

They have not been in two years. I have not been in three. Last year there was, as they say, "too much going on." The yer before I went to Alaska, and could not afford to spend so much of the summer away from the office.

Barefoot running is something I have not tried in a while. I decided to take it easy this morning, so as not to tear up my feet. The girls did last night, they said they must have run two miles, if they went to the pier and back.

I have been much more diligent in the new exercises I have been recommended by my chiropractor, but they do take a lot out of my thighs. So? Muscular, sore thighs.

Distance: 1 mile
Route: Topsail Beach
Temperature: 80•
Climate: hot & sunny
Mood: all right

Good run, a little pain in my left hip. It can be a bit of an obstacle course, avoiding shells, moving to the appropriate sand consistency, hardness. There's a lot of weaving, it's a trial. One mile, that's enough. I can already feel microabrasions in my soles.

So now what do we do? Read in the sun, I think. Who knows?

What's That Lyric?
Just a Ride - Jem

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I need a moment to deliberate.

Welcome home.
Long week already, and its only Tuesday. Made a girl cry at camp. I am a terrible human being, and I have no idea what this play is that I am trying to write.

I want to take a nap, but it is six in the evening. So instead I will run.

I need new shoes.

Distance: 3.31 miles
Pace: 8:39
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 76°
Climate: hot & beautiful
Mood: bad

Also, I am a fucking terrible father. I want this day to end.

Stretches: yes

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 163 lbs. (-0-)
Goal: 160 lbs.

What's That Lyric?
Uninvited - Freemasons

Sunday, June 17, 2018

This gotta worth the miles you made.

Cressida & Troilus
Alex Belile, Photographer
Met Chris at the rec center for a run through the park. We took an interesting course to find a water fountain, when we did we stood and talked in the shade for a while before continuing on. It's hot! But I like hot, and so much less irritating than runs in the cold and wet.

Distance: 5.57 miles
Pace: 8:57
Route: Forest Hill Run
Temperature: 82°
Climate: hot & sunny
Mood: good, thank you.

So, it's been over a week since my last run. Not surprising, I have had both theater camp and dress rehearsals for Troilus & Cressida. The latter opened successfully Friday evening, so my nights are once again free.

Very pleased with how the show turned out, the camp, too. Summer is now well underway. I wonder how much running I will get in when we travel to North Carolina. Will my sciatica make beach running impossible? I know enough now not to rip up my feet the first morning out.

Stretches: yes

Two weeks with the chiropractor. I need to do my new regimen of stretches with greater regularity. They are harder, because each require more muscle work in my right arm.

Perhaps I will explain in greater detail in the future, but I am arching my side to the right, both standing, with my arm resting against the wall, and also on my side. Doing it right means my side and right arm are getting quite a lot of work.

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 163 lbs. (-1.0)
Goal: 160 lbs.

What's That Lyric?
Let's Make Love and Listen To Death From Above - CCS

Saturday, June 09, 2018

We're safe for the moment.

Tuesday morning I banged my little toe on something upstairs ... some of the team has been using the transition to summer to clean house, which means emptying your own room into the hallway. It's fucking dangerous. Just navigating the path means twisting this way and that, it's irritating.

Distance: 3.25 miles
Route: Forest Hill Loop
Temperature: 70°
Climate: overcast & hot
Mood: all right

Started seeing a chiropractor on Thursday. Totally new approach to dealing with my nerve issues, new exercises, electric muscle therapy. It's all very interesting, we shall see how effective/expensive it becomes.

Stretches: yes

Hot run in the park. Good run. Bit of a pain in my side. Need to do those new stretches. Cavs lost. What's past is past. Moving on. Perhaps a parade today? Plans for a play that opens in less than a week. We're safe, for the moment.

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 164 lbs. (+1.5)
Goal: 160 lbs.

Troilus & Cressida Playlist
Someone Great - LCD Soundsystem
Like Eating Glass * - Bloc Party
Get This Party Started - Shirley Bassey
You're Beautiful * - James Blunt
Let's Make Love & Listen to DFA (Calvin Harris Remix) - CSS
Lebanese Blonde - Thievery Corporation

Sunday, June 03, 2018

I'm so pretty.

Cavs in 5?
"I am tired of the changes." That's what my wife said Friday morning as she headed off to work. And I am, too. I am conscious of the changes, and they make me sad. I am not looking forward to turning fifty, not because I am not looking forward to being fifty, but because I have to reflect on time passing and realize I may come up short. It's not the time spent, it's the time left.

Distance: 5 miles
Pace: 8:30
Route: Forest Hill Run
Temperature: 71•
Climate: hot & sunny
Mood: good

Chris and I met up at the rec center and took our time around the park. Much stronger run, more enjoyable. Love the heat. Got to catch up a bit, which was good.

Getting out during the week is difficult, due to rehearsals. We made a plan to get together again next weekend.

Stretches: yes

I have been eating everything. You know how I was trying to cut out sugar? I have, compared to what I used to consume. And yet, I come across dessert every day. Or make room. Yesterday I had an ice cream cone, because I had to drive to Akron and back. See? Reward. I was not happy I ate it.

Later I had a cookie. I mean, come on. I don't need any cookies.

Wait. I had two cookies. God dammit.

Baseline: 178 lbs.
Today: 162.5 lbs. (-0.5)
Goal: 160 lbs.


What's That Lyric?
This Is America - Childish Gambino