There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Scenes From a Jane Austen Novel

So when I got home last night after a grease-inducing six hours of public transit I found myself pretty exhausted and a little bit hungry. Whenever I take public transportation after an exhausting day/night/weekend, grease is seriously the word. I've tried to figure out why it happens, in much the same way I tend to get greasy when I stay up late drinking soda and eating candy; generally my m.o. before paper writing, but I've not written a paper in a long time. In spite of my tired, greasy, and hungered ways, I had a compulsion I often feel: to run. I know, I know, I think my last entry was about running, but I mean, it's my blog and sometimes I run a lot.

There had been a weird and thick fog in the air when the bus crossed the bridge into Chinatown, and when I finally got home the promise of thunder-showers in a warm fifty degrees added some electricity to my compulsion for motion. And somehow my body found the energy to not just drag, but even bound in a fairly spritely fashion through the largely deserted streets of suburban Jersey. Of course, somewhere around ten miles my right ankle was trying to tell me the length of my run may have been a mistake but I knew I needed to keep going, and it would have been an awfully long walk at eleven o' clock at night. With less than two miles to go, the skies finally opened, bathing my scantily-clad body in a refreshing rain. My t-shirt clung to me and became translucent as only fifteen-plus year old over-washed cotton can, drooping slightly to make my shorts look even shorter.

When I finally got to my door, all I wanted to do was bask in the moment, the rain beating down on me, but it had slowed and my body quickly chilled. I thought nothing of it until I went inside and felt shivery like a character in a Jane Austen novel might after getting caught out in the rain. Luckily I didn't find myself bed-ridden a la Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility. Not yet anyway. Bum ankle and all, I still required no Colonel Brandon to make it home. I wanted to shower immediately but I was so hungry I changed into my rarely-used terry cloth robe and ate some cold stuffed shells, salad and cookies, and even had a couple of tugs of some Bailey's for Old Greg's sake. I was so hungry that on one bite I bit firmly down onto the tines of the fork and, though it hurt, couldn't help but smirk at my asshattery. I took a shower I never wanted to end before emerging to stare in front of this very computer screen. I considered posting something to this very effect last night, as I feel it would have captured a very different energy, but alas I was losing a battle of wits and eyelids. I'm waging that battle again, knowing that even if I succumb to sleep now it will result in an all-too early rise and perhaps some nightmares.

I was just looking through my wallet for something only to find an ATM receipt belonging to some stranger for a $60.00 withdrawal made on 3/19/09 at 1:52am. This isn't too extraordinary except that his (or her, but I am quite certain it's a male for some reason) checking balance is listed as -$58.52, meaning the individual in question had a stellar $1.48 in their account at the time. And that, that sucks.

And now, my wisdom of the day: Burning bridges can be tough unless you are just flame retarded.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Run, Drink, Repeat

In my many days of running and drinking, I've stumbled upon a theory that may or may not hold water. I mean, it certainly holds booze...Dating back to my earliest college days, I would often limit my drinking to Saturday evenings for the sake of maximizing my training. Early, or as early as I could muster (sometime between 10AM and 12PM), on Sunday morning, I'd head out for thirteen miles of fun Sunday long run. By and large, I always felt surprisingly good on these. It began to dawn on me that, after a dozen or more drinks and generally some late-night grub, I might secretly be loaded with gobs of early morning energy.

Of course, I think the state of my body does a lot to cloud my perception, making me feel as if I'm moving much quicker than I really am, but sometimes the watch doesn't lie. Okay, the watch never lies I guess, so I really mean it helps support my somewhat Swiss cheese thesis. With similar conditions weather-wise, I completed the same thirteen-and-a-half mile run these past two Sundays. Preceding the first I had a good quantity of beer as well as late-night pie, and preceding the more recent run I had merely had a dinner of pizza, Sprite, and ice cream cake. One thing about me, I'm always a pillar of fitness and health. Anyway, though quite similar, I completed the post booze run about a minute faster than the boozeless run, which equates to a solid 4.5 seconds per mile or so.

This morning then, fresh off many delicious drinks and some late-night pizza, I headed out for eight miles of glory. It was drizzly and 45°, but because I don't like clingy wet clothes while running (I kind of love them otherwise) I opted for shorts sans shirt. The result, not surprisingly, was a healthy dose of heckling. Of course, with my iPod blaring, many of these went unheard, but I'm pretty sure I caught a "Put a fucking shirt on" from some lady in a car. She was probably just jealous of my triangular chest hair and the strange daddy long-legs hairs populating my shoulders. But mixed with heckles, sometimes I get encouragement and hey, either way I consider it totally worth it.

Barreling through the Hacidic district on the beginning of my run I nearly gave an elderly Hacid a heart attack, but I can't say why. He just had this horrified look on his face and seemed unable to move. Sorry old dude. On the return journey, a little deeper in the heart of Hacidum, a guy headed into his building took a look at me and yelled "Ironman!" encouragingly. I gave him my preferred props-point and he gave me a nod. Then, closing in on the busier bits of Bedford Ave, I spotted another runner about my age, running in the opposite direction. He gave me a strong high-five that, with the force of our opposite momentum, nearly took my arm off. It was so worth it though, because for every high-five another runner has bestowed on me running (this being my second ever...the first also administered in Williamsburg, at McCarren Park), probably four-hundred runners have given me dirty looks. Seriously, aren't we supposed to support each other out there? Nothing like smiling at someone to have them frown back at you.

And really, I promise, I looked less toolish than this pair I might have referenced in my last post...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Things That Chafe

After seeing a ridiculous picture of Miley Cyrus running in cut off jean shorts, aviators and some other interesting garb with shirtless boyfriend in tow, I had posted something relating how much I would be heckled in a similar situation but, hey, when you're a celebrity, it's cool. But then I hadn't saved it and my browser crashed and you know how sometimes it feels, hm, off, to try to replicate the energy you had when first writing something? I mean, you know when you have a good idea, and then you don't write it down, and then you can kind of remember the idea later but it lacks that punch? Maybe not.

Anyway, today I went out for a little 13.5 mile jaunt and I should have known it was coming with the mildly damp and cool weather but boy did I chafe myself good. Yeesh. Also, since I generally do all my runs these days with my iPod and I just restored it (meaning all my tracks were wiped), I took it as an opportunity to switch up my jams a little bit. While I keep on rockin' out to The Killers' "Human" and "Spaceman" a little too much, I threw this priorly ignored Ingrid Michaelson tune in there. Tee hee.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Get Ya BM Pancakes Here!

Last week after my first ever Shamrock Shake, my buddies and I passed an IHOP with a sign that read "never-ending BM pancakes." Now I don't know about you, but the first thing that comes to mind when I see the letters "BM" is bowel movement. Just what in the Hell IHOP meant sadly eluded me until my friend texted me "BM=Buttermilk" the following day. It was so obvious and yet, without his message, I probably would not have figured it out, all the more because I like the way it sounds my way.

I remember quite well the first and last time I stepped to IHOP's never-ending pancake deal. Some friends had come up to visit me at school during my sophomore year of college and somewhere around eleven at night we decided it would be a good idea to see how many pancakes we could handle. We nearly hit a roadblock since not all IHOP's are twenty-four hours, including our first stop. None of us knew where a twenty-four hour IHOP might be as we were in foreign territories of Connecticut, but luckily the cook leaving his shift at that IHOP was on his way to another shift at a twenty-four hour joint. Not only did he lead the way and have us follow him, he also got us a huge discount on our check. The real beauty there is that you get to leave an extra generous tip, which is what really matters.

So there we were, sitting down to our $2.99 never-ending pancakes and, yes, that was the real cost...2003 was clutch like that. Now, with competitive eating there are a few factors that are always essential for me: 1) eat quickly before your stomach can tell you it is full; 2) be hungry but not starving as you otherwise fill up too fast; 3) variety; too much of any one thing without variety can be difficult to manage. Pancakes are brought out in stacks of three, so in order to satisfy the first criteria, you have to order the next stack pretty much immediately upon working on the previous. When I eat pancakes, I also cut up every single piece before my first bite. This might slow me at first, but greatly increases my pace thereafter.

The second criteria was fairly well satisfied, but with the third I was going to encounter problems as all I was eating was pancakes. Now here is where I may have slipped up, attempting to switch syrup flavors in an effort to interest my palate with variety. As sweet as syrup already is, I found all of the flavors other than original far too sweet and otherwise revolting. I quickly changed back, but the damage may or may not have been done.

Now, out of curiosity I had weighed myself before the pancake effort, a healthy 158 pounds. Thirteen pancakes later I had ballooned to 163, admitting of course that some of that was probably water weight and pancakes can be spongy. Still, I considered it a rather unprecedented turnaround when I awoke at around ten in the AM and managed to produce a BM that put me right back down to 158 pounds. The manner in which my mind typically operates, coupled with this strong pancake dump memory clearly influenced my reading of that IHOP sign but can you honestly say "buttermilk" is what comes to mind when you see BM?

In light of the fact that pancakes tend to make me really sleepy and put me into a short-term diabetic coma, and prompt me to utter statements like, "I'm never eating pancakes again," I think I'd like to take one more shot and see if I can't break into the upper teens (say seventeen) pancakes. Probably silly, but then so is the Cy Young Award winner only signing to a $650,000 contract...
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