Sunday, March 25, 2012

Running the New York Half Marathon in Flushing Meadows Park



3/25/12 22:54 Malvern PA

What was it like to run a half marathon? It was my first. Considering the weather was cool yesterday morning, no rain, and the course was essentially flat. I finished the run just under two hours. It’s hard to believe I finished, but even more, I ran without stopping for a bathroom break or to relieve a strained muscle. Starting at 0900, the plan was for a slow start. The race was open to 5,000. It took a few minutes to pass the start. Passed slower runners, walkers bull shitting with their friends on a stroll through the park, get off the course! Run you bastards. After the second mile – open it up until I felt comfortable. This meant running past other joggers and getting beat by even more joggers. This kid came by with a knap sack, wearing heavy jogging shoes, easily galloped to the finished line. Another man came out of the clear blue and took me, but when I saw this woman who wore the new fangled running shoes that look like feet, when she took me I picked it up a little in an attempt to see her sweat. She kicked my ass. Way to go over achieving fashion queen with your long brown hair. I started the race with Rolland a buddy of mine from work, but felt a little sorry for him since he did not have time before the race for a coffee or to release the kids. He was huffing as we approached mile 8 and I made a motion that I was going to get around some slower runners. He let me pass and that was the last I saw of him till he came to collect his bag at the drop off. He had to stop for a bathroom break. At the end of the race, I received a large medal. Rolland and I went to the beer garden and had a Michelob Ultra Lite. It was warm and tasted liked water at the bottom but beer is beer. I thought I would be more tired than I was. In fact just before the 12 mile I felt I could run a marathon. With the other runners around me and those who finished, cheering us slow ass fucker, there was the motivation to finish. A few times I kept my head down and would look out on the lake or Arthur Ashe stadium, even the sparse crowd was exciting to see as they clapped and cheered all of us on. Running that race motivated me to run a marathon – next year. I can do it. Not yet. When I got home, I was hit with the wave of exhaustion. I had a beer and popped some Ibuprofen, showered and napped for an hour with the window open as a cool breeze blew in the bedroom. I could rest knowing the race was over.

Time: 1 hour 54...9 minute pace...

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Mid Life Crisis that slips towards darkness


. I ran ten point seven miles today and thought I broke the eleven mile mark, but no. It’s amazing how close I was to ten point six from two weeks ago. I’m feeling beat. I can’t imagine how I will accomplish 13.1 on Saturday but with some coffee and will power I can do it. It was so warm today I ran without a shirt on. My back is feeling a little tender from the sun. Midlife crisis, I looked at the CD’s I bought and most are punk bands from the eighties. I remember Ron Phillips and his collection which I’m slowly putting together. The Germs record I lent to some kid back in the late eighties that I’d like to get back, maybe this is my Rose Bud moment? The collection consists of albums I’d never purchase before for instance Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and The Misfits. I know more about Black Sabbath, but the Misfits have always been a mystery to me. Margo Scwardon had a rare 45 of The Misfits back in 1884, the colors of the eyes were colored with magic marker. But the sense that they are evil and like Black Sabbath and AC/DC is an issue I have wrestled with for years. When I was an impressionable young teen my brother and I watched a Christian program. The speaker was young and looked cool and we could relate to him. His message was clear, there are bands that are evil and we shouldn’t listen to them. AC/DC for instance stood for Anti Christ and Devil’s Children. KISS, stood for Kings In Satan’s Service. Rush was evil and so was Van Halen, Running with the Devil was his example. So, my brother and I lived sheltered lives. Walking home in junior high I listened to Back in Black with John Zuenges on his hand held ghetto blaster, disturbing the neighbors as we slowly walked past their sedated homes. Ozzy was evil and I saw the effects on the impressionable minds in my youth in the opposite direction, there was a gang of kids in high school, Knights of the Black Circle who had painted pentagrams on the back of their faded blue denim jackets. Later that summer there was a murder in our town. I knew both the victim and the killer who committed suicide in jail. While he was high on angel dust and stabbing the victim, he told the dying boy to say, I love you Satan. Before he died he sat up and said, I love you mom. That was a summer that changed my life and saw how the power of drugs and evil can corrupt an impressionable mind. The town became synonymous with the killing and for years held the stigma. I will listen to the music without judgment. May Gary rest in peace.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Henry Rollins hits Philadelphia...if you saw him last year save your money


3/16/12
Last night the one and only Henry Rollins marched onto a bare stage, with bright lights shining, he performed a spoken word performance at the Union Transfer in Philadelphia. The venue is new for Philly opening last September, what used to be a spaghetti manufacturing plant. The interior was rustic and spacious with dark wood, think an wild west bar smacked in Philly. It was a sold out audience for one of the few East Coast stops on Rollins new tour, The Long March Tour. He came out wearing his typical black t-shirt, black Dickies pants and black boots. For most of the two plus hours he spoke, he kept in one area on the stage, the cord wrapped around his hand, sweat balls dripping off his left elbow, though he did not take a drink of water, and cracked a smile now and then. It was my third time seeing Henry perform; I was curious how this new show would be. It began with perceived threats to the United States, as an example a lesson on Abraham Lincoln and his address before the Young Men’s of Lyceum that he gave in 1838. The speech theme was; our country's threats are for the most part self contained. There is an ignorance and violence permeating within the ranks. He shared his knowledge of the constitution and the role of state’s rights. We live in a young country compared the Europe or Asia Pacific which can share a multitude of centuries. His impressive knowledge of history was impressive. But, he repeated stories from last year’s show, for instance his trips to Korea, Tibet and of course the trip to Vietnam and the classic punch lines from Mr. Kahn, you can call me anything as long as you don’t call me late for dinner. “John McCain is an angry man.” Another story which was repeated and I remember this one clearly at World CafĂ© was the story of when a girl lost her eye at a Black Flag show in New York. I waited and heard the gasp from those who have not heard or read the story in his book Get In the Van. While I’m at it, he did repeat the rent boy story last year. It is funny, and he added a little more, weighing which was a better candy bar for the money - a Snickers or a Three Musketeers. The story converges with another story which took place in New York City when two homosexuals fought on a sidewalk. So I asked myself, why was I there and would I attend another Rollins show? This was billed as a new show, so I was a little piqued. I expected to hear new stories, but Rollins rehashes his monologues, performances around the world. He shares how he loves the audience and has to always be on the move, he performs approximately 150 shows a year. He does not want to be home. His words, “I am a work slut” permeates his writings. There were some new features this year, but I have to say last night was one I didn’t have to see and I felt this way after the second show I saw last year in Philly, the night before I saw him perform in Harrisburg. It was almost the same show word for word. If you have not seen Rollins, I would recommend getting to a show. What impresses me is his selfishness when meeting his fans, and I am a fan of his. Last night he signed autographs, hugged some women, took pictures and answered all of the questions. His point, he comes from the punk world and there is no difference between him and us and that is the attitude his has. Of course I brought my pile of his books and I had the opportunity to tell him how much his work means to me. I’m close to a year of reading Rollins and my goal at one time was to read all of his books. His work has helped me cope with Ali’s cancer and other distractions. He thanked me for bringing the books and we shook hands. Before he left I asked if there was a possibility the Rollins Band would get back together, “No. We’re done. I’m too old for that sort of thing.” There are some faces I will never forget, the woman posing with Henry as if she was a model and his expression of his amusement. The two brothers with glasses, the one who didn’t shut the fuck up, and Henry nodding and saying, it’s alright…whatever bullshit they were talking about; the speckled kid was on speed since he could not tell Henry was trying to patronize them and move away. Maybe they were all reflections of me as I shivered in the cool mist and waited for Henry to sign my books, but barely could utter sentences. Knowing me, I will see him again since I respect who he is and what he stands for.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Del Fuegos at the Bowery apologies for the delayed posting but here it is

2/24/12 21:00
Last night I met Chris Plaut and Mike Sweeney in the city, we had some burgers and beers at Gastsby’s on Spring Street. I guess I had too many of the Belgian blue label Charnay which has an alcohol content at 9%. We headed over to the Bowery to see The Del Fuegos. It’s the first tour in more than twenty years, only eleven dates so if you are a fan this is the only time to see them. It was my first time. One of my favorite albums to this day is The Longest Day, I lived and breathed each song but never got a chance to see them. There was a guilt which I'd share with you. I am friends with the Del Lord's drummer and I never was honest to say I signed with the Fuegos from Boston a little more than The Lords from NY City. There I said it. Still, I was dismayed by the small crowd at the Bowery and yet Dan Zane told us this was the biggest crowd they played to in New York. They played well together, seemed like the whole group were having a great time on the stage. They have a new EPP as they were referring to it, and I bought a copy for $10. After the show I was like a kid, got the drum sticks from the drummer, got my CD signed and a poster. I asked Dan if they planned on coming back, but he said this tour was it. There was my answer, the first and last time I would get to see the Del Fuegos, and then searched a few blocks in drunked steps to locate where my car was. It was on Prince Street. I found Mott and eventually found where I was, bought a coffee and headed home. Looking back on my decision to drive, it was probably not the best decision I made. Not to say I was stupid drunk, but I had a good buzz going. I drank some coffee and headed home and got into bed around 02:30. I changed the alarm and slept till 7 with the intention I would drive into work. I gave Bella her medicine at 8, Joe told me that he would make sure that she would stay awake. This was the day when Ali slept in so I wanted to make sure she slept as long as possible. She called me to thank me for giving Bella her medicine. I was hurting. I have not had a hangover in a long time and with the lack of sleep oh Lord I was really hurting. I only made it till eleven when I called to say I was leaving. It was raining today and it was hard to keep my eyes open as I drove in lost sleep fog. After an hour or so back at home I vomited. What caused it? I don’t know, but I slept on and off today. I answered a few emails but by 5 I was off the clock and fell asleep for a couple of hours. I’m not sure if it’s a bug or the hangover, but there has been no more vomiting. I’m weak and my head hurts. Tomorrow is basketball, but if I feel like I do today, I’m not heading in.

Talking Bella out of school to see The Mets

5/10/17 20:53 This was one of those events which took years to accomplish.  Three years ago, we were at church.  I was with Bella ...