Sunday, April 30, 2006


God, I was tired, but I made it. I completed the 22-mile run Saturday. My feet didn't blister. It didn't rain. We ran at a faster pace than our last few long runs. It was awesome. My running buddy gave me shit about calling him "my running buddy" in all my blog posts. His name is Jeremy, by the way.

So, I'm in the tapering part of my training. One 10-mile run and a 5-mile tempo is all that's left before the race. Rock. On.

Today: walk (STRETCH!)
Tomorrow: walk

Friday, April 28, 2006

Thank you, Comcast (sort of). Also, Ozzy doing "Mississippi Queen"?

9:25 a.m. The phone rings.

Me: Hello
Him: Hi, this is Alex from Comcast. How do I get up to your apartment?
Me: (Tells him how)
Him: I think I fixed your service already. Check your TV.
Me: (stumbles into living room, turns on TV and is greeted by Matt Lauer's confident smile, thinks to self that Lauer looks like Tim Pawlenty's doppelganger)
Him: Yeah, it looks like someone just unplugged your service.
Me: Pulled the plug? Why would they do that?
Him: I dunno.

A couple minutes later I signed a release form and we were done. The best cable company experience of my life. Much better than last fall when I told a Comcast rep that I would never, under any circumstances, ever let one of their contract employees into my home ever again. I don't want to get into it.

Anyway, 22 miles tomorrow. Eating a lot. Nervous about the run. Etc. Etc.

I heard a version of Ozzy singing "Mississippi Queen" over the PA at Safeway this morning when I swung in to pick up some groceries. Anybody know anything about this?

Today: 60-minute walk
Tomorrow: 22-mile run in Olympia

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Damn you, Comcast. Plus, all I want is to drive to Portland and stay out all night.

My cable is broken, and so is my high-speed Internet. Until at least Friday between 8 a.m. and noon. It's really no good. Expect the usual "I'm nervous, I'm eating a lot, but I will endure" post sometime Friday. I really hate Comcast right now.

I ran six miles this morning outside and it felt really good, lower leg injuries aside.

The marathon is only three weeks away, and I can't wait. I'm sick of training and eating and not being able to get out of town for the weekend without worrying about staying out all night and rocking out. Don't get me wrong: the training and the running and the whatnot has been incredible, I'm just looking forward to having some of my old life back. You know, the part that goes to Portland once a month, drinks lots of dark beer and ogles hot indie rock chicks.

Today: 6-mile outdoor run
Tomorrow: Walk

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

And we're back...

I dropped off my friend Amanda at the airport this morning. She came out from Minnesota late Thursday and we hung out over the weekend. We had excellent, excellent weather. As is, 70 degrees, sunny, no clouds, no rain, etc. Awesome. Lots of walks, and we saw Thank You For Smoking, which rocks and features two appearances by my cousin's husband. (I was surprised. I get giddy when I see him in commercials or movies. FYI: He was in Ernest Goes to Camp(!))

Saturday's run was fine. Ran it in record time. My running buddy and I have sort of agreed on having a time goal for running the marathon -- three weeks from Saturday, by the way. We think we might have a shot at 4 hours and 30 minutes.

My body is feeling okay this week. My blisters are mostly healed from the 20-mile run. Just in time to get a whole new set of them Saturday! My legs feel okay, however, my lower right leg still sucks. I'm resigned to it not getting better until the training and race is over.

Today: walk
Tomorrow: 4 or 6 mile run

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I just peed myself a little bit.


"it's official, The Smashing Pumpkins are currently writing songs for their upcoming album, their first since 2000. no release date has yet been set, but the band plans to begin recording this summer."

The band is using the old SP logo. I feel all tingly.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Where'd that guy's statue go?

There's a large white house at the other end of my block whose owner is nutty as hell. I assume he's a man because no woman would do half the stuff this guy does.

I've never seen him, but I'm sure he's seen me. See, he has motion-detector flood lights that are so sensitive that when I walk by on the sidewalk, and it's after dark, they switch on and temporarily blind me.

He's got an old video camera with a large, red Christmas tree light bulb attached to the bottom. It's supposed to make you feel like you're on camera on the time, but it just looks sad and fake.

The old man has a sign in the front window of the house that boasts: "SAME OWNER 42 YEARS." I really want to ring the doorbell one day and say, "Wow! Congratulations on paying your mortgage and staying in the same place; it's quite a feat, sir." There's also a sign that hangs of a wooden real estate sale sign that says: "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. IT WILL DRIVE HIM CRAZY"

The other night on my walk back from the grocery store I noticed there were two new signs in the yard. One reads: "STATUE OF INDIAN THAT STOOD HERE FOR 40 YEARS STOLEN" The other: "THE OWNER HATES THIEVES. HE'S MAD AS HELL AND WANTS THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO KNOW IT"

So, in the end his forceful, printed announcements, high-intensity Metrodome-quality flood lights and faux security camera couldn't keep people from plucking stuff from his yard. I'm not advocating for property theft, but, if you ask me, this guy asked for it by being such a security nut. Who ever stole the Indian statue knew it would mean more if they pulled it off because the security in his yard is higher than in the yard next door.

Today: Ran 4 miles
Tomorrow: rest, ice, etc.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The concept of "totally owning" something. Plus, anybody watching Big Love on HBO?

With about six miles left in Saturday's 20.6-mile barnburner, I explained to my running buddy the concept of "totally owning" something. I picked it up at one of my many previous jobs. The boss would try to rally the troops by telling them they "totally owned" something. I always thought it was a really funny phrase, so I've worked it into my training, as in "I'm totally owning this run right now." Okay, maybe you had to be there.
In other news, I'm still watching Big Love in HBO every Sunday night, but I'm still on the fence about the show. It's not *that* good, but it's certainly not bad. Last night's episode took an interesting turn as Bill blackmails Harry Dean Stanton's creepy-ass character. Also, the oldest son, who's 16 or 17, is falling for his dad's third wife.
If you haven't seen the show, it's about a non-Mormon plural family in Utah -- polygamists for the non-PC crowd. It's a husband, three wives and, I think, six kids, who range in age from 1 to 17-years-old. They live in three adjoining suburban houses, and the husband is a successful home-improvement store owner. The show revolves around the family, the outside world -- who they try to keep in the dark about their unusual family situation -- and each of the adults' deeply religious polygamist families. This religious clan lives someone outside the city, and it's never stated, but it's implied that they're Mormon.
The show seems a little too cutesy sometimes, and focuses a too much on the topic of how three women and one man split their bedroom time. But the last few episodes have shifted into how the arrangement can lead to loneliness, jealousy, etc.
The best part of the show, hands down, is the intro, which features the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows." Such a great song. (My theory is the show is named after the Pixies' "Gigantic" -- "Our big, big love/Our big, big love")
Anywho, I'll keep watching because what else am I to do with my life?

Today: 45-minute walk
Tomorrow: ?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Or, my feet are absolutely revolting right now.

The sensation hit me about two miles into the run: my legs muscles were exhausted. I felt like I had run 10 miles already. I contemplated turning around and heading back to the store, but decided against it.
I completed the 20.6-mile run on Saturday, but I'm not sure how.
All week my right leg was giving me trouble. Sore, tight muscles that wouldn't relax and wouldn't heal.
I had shoe problems. I had sleep problems. I tried icing. I tried laying off the training.
But in the end nothing worked, and I ran the nearly 21 miles anyway. The pain below my right knee subsided, but I gained a dull ache in the rest of my leg, my hips, my butt, etc.
Most of my toes are blistered, along with the side of my feet. It's very disgusting, and why, right now, I'm so glad I live alone. No one should be subjected to these feet.
So, it's on. 20 miles down. 22 miles, and then a marathon three weeks later, to go.
Can't stop. Won't stop. Won't ever stop. Dude.

Today: nothing
Tomorrow: easy walk

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Damn these legs!

Not the legs in the photo. *My* legs. They hurt again. Just from the knee down. It's a dull muscle ache. I walked for an hour on Monday night, but didn't do anything yesterday. I plan to not work out tonight, and might skip tomorrow, too.

I've been icing and elevating them everyday after work. Not sure if it's doing anything, but it can't hurt.

As you might remember, I had this problem the week or so before the 18-mile run. One of the runner store trainer's said it was an overuse injury. So, I rested and the run went well. I'm hoping that will be the case again.

Today: nothing
Tomorrow: ?

Monday, April 10, 2006

40 days and 40 nights: Electric Boogaloo 3

The marathon countdown clock on the right-hand side of this here blog says I've got 40 days until the marathon. Wow.

I'm feeling pretty good today, and I'm starting to prepare for Saturday's 20 miler. My biggest fear is somehow injuring myself in a way that screws up the whole thing.

But I can't wait to have my weekends back. Seriously. This upcoming weekend is all but shot, and it hasn't even happened yet.

Eat. Eat. Eat. Eat. Sleep. Eat. Run. Run. Run. Run. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

Today: 60-minute walk
Tomorrow: not sure yet

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Encyclopedia Brown and the case of the tinfoil hat

Me: So, who killed Kurt Cobain?
Him: (dodge, spin, weave, followed by rant about MTV, corporate media)
Me: Tell me again, why did they kill him?
Him: For his money, obviously.

Lather, rinse, repeat. So it went for about 15-20 minutes.

I took a field trip to Kurt and Courtney's house in Seattle where KC's body was discovered on April 8, 1994. It was on my to-do list since moving to Washington, and I figured the 12th anniversary would bring out some interesting folks to the former Cobain estate.

We couldn't find it at first, so I ducked into a bike store on Lake Washington, right across the street from where we thought it should be. I walked it and told the guy I had a weird question for him. Without missing a beat, he said, "You're looking for Kurt's house aren't you?" Yep.

We started driving again. We rounded a corner and looked to the right. There it was. Right next to a park. The park where Courtney wandered around in the days after, wearing Kurt's bloody clothes, and handing out some of his personal possesions to fans. People have actually worn a dirt trail in the grass in a big circle around the lot. It comes within about 5-10 feet from the fence that separates the park from the house.

The house looks different. It think it used to be gray. Now it has wood-colored shingles as siding. And the greenhouse/garage where he died is gone. Courtney had it knocked down in 1996 or 1997. I'm still shocked that the city let her do that, considering the house has historic value. It belonged to the Denny family (famous in Seattle; I'm not sure why) back in the day.

We noticed the bench in the center of the park right away. It's covered in markered scribblings, candles, cigarettes and two Miller High Life tallboy cans. (Classy. I bet the people across the street in the $10 million brick home that has instant access to Lake Washington are *THRILLED* with the park and the parade of deviants every April.) And then I noticed a man holding a video camera -- with himself partly in the picture -- narrating his footage.

I walked closer to get a look at the bench. And I then I talked to the man.

Me: Hi
Him: Hi
Me: What are doing with that camera?
Him: Oh, I've got a public access show. I film a documentary about Kurt Cobain being murdered. It's the longest-running documentary in history. (Laughs) Even longer than the entire Perry Mason series.

Whoa! This guy knows how long the Perry Mason series is ... in hours, I thought. Freaky.

I kept talking to him, and he started filming me. It turns out his name is Richard Lee. He's had a show on public access since 1994 in King County called Kurt Cobain was Murdered. He seemed offended that I didn't know who he was. I told him I was relatively new to the area. Plus, I don't live in Seattle, and I generally don't watch public access shows where dudes talk about their conspiracy theories.

Richard and I continued to talk. I found out he hates: MTV, the Democrats, Courtney Love, MCA Records, Seattle police, the county medical examiner's office, the media, etc. Additionally, he believes: Cobain was murdered, Courtney was in on it, the police and the medical examiner's office covered it up, the media followed along.

It was all run-of-the-mill "Kurt was murdered, Courtney's the devil" stuff. Except for this: he says there was no blood around Kurt's body. That Kurt wasn't shot in the head. And that he's seen tape of the scene -- with the body and everything -- that proves this. He refused to tell me where he got this footage.

Today, I spent some time on Richard's web site, trying to figure out who this guy is. It turns out he's been harassing Courtney, Krist Noveselic, et. al. for 12 years now. He was arrested a while back at an L.A. County courtroom where Courtney had her court apperance du jour. She even mentioned him *by name* on Howard Stern's show.

This guy's a major player in the Kurt Cobain was murdered machine. All I expected to find were some mopey teenagers bashing out "On a Plain" in honor of Kurt's death day.

Yesterday completely exceeded my expectations.

Today: nothing
Tomorrow: 60 minute walk

P.S. Thanks to Cassie for the photos. And for not laughing in Richard's face.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Where did my day go? Plus, why my new shoes look almost exactly like my old shoes.

This was one of those days where, at the end, I thought, "What the hell?"

I ran errands for a couple hours (!) this morning -- boring insurance stuff, quarters for laundry at the bank and new running shoes. I ate lunch when I got home and started a couple loads of laundry and got to work cleaning my apartment. I watched Degrassi at 5 before I realized that I had somehow spent an entire day doing absolutely nothing enjoyable or fun. Ever done this? Sure my apartment and dishes are clean, but ...

So, anyway, about my new shoes: my previous shoes have been discontinued, so I was forced to buy the new model. They don't have the same support structure -- which I desperately need for my weak-ass legs and IT Bands -- but they pretty much look the same, which is more important to me than you'd think. The salesman had me try on another couple brands, and was sort of pushing me on them. He seemed sort of disappointed when I bought essentially the same pair of shoes. I'm not sure why.

Cassie asked me on the phone tonight if I'm superstitious about my running routine, etc. I'm really not, it's just that I feel like I've got a good formula and I don't want to screw it up. I'm cautious about what I eat and haven't introduced anything new into my diet. And I feel more comfortable wearing shoes that look almost exactly like the ones I've wore since November.

Much of this training has been psychological rather than physical. Sure, there's mental toughness I need to run the distances and make sure I'm training and eating right. But there's also a comfort-level I've created with my routine, my gear and my food that I'm scared to death of monkeying with. Know what I mean?

Today: 40-minute run
Tomorrow: 5-mile tempo run in Olympia

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I've seen a million faces, and I've rocked them all.

From McSweeney's:

- - - -
- - - -
Attention, all law enforcement in the region:

I realize many of you have become cynical about the all-points bulletins issued for dangerous criminals. I'm sure you think they're essentially all the same and that only the names have changed. But I urge you to pay close attention in your pursuit of Mr. Jon Bon Jovi. He's wanted. Wanted dead or live.

Who is Bon Jovi? Well, to begin with, he's a cowboy. Granted, it's fairly routine for cowboys to run afoul of the law, especially in the winter, when the work and money dry up and they've got time on their hands. Plenty of petty-theft and lewd-behavior calls. But that's not what we're up against.

Bon Jovi is no regular cowboy. He rides a horse made of steel. A steel horse. I am not shitting you. And don't think this is some sort of comical clunky robot horse with whimsical hydraulic sound effects and extraneous flashing lights. This thing is exactly like a Thoroughbred, only much larger and made from an incredibly resilient alloy. Bullets can't even penetrate this horse, much less stop it. Bon Jovi is also armed with a loaded six-string that he carries on his back. Reports differ on whether he uses it as a sort of crossbow or whether it's actually a guitar that he plays with such shocking mastery as to render victims helpless. Regardless, take heed.

There is other information I need to share with you about Bon Jovi. And no matter how callous you think you are to the attributes of criminals, you may want to brace yourself. Bon Jovi has almost superhuman abilities. Sure, sometimes he sleeps, but sometimes he can go for days without doing so. Days! To compensate for this interruption in his circadian rhythms, Bon Jovi has evidently crafted some sort of alcohol-based calendar, where he can actually tell the day by the bottle that he drinks. Additionally, he's been known to drive all night just to get back home (his house has an adjoining cybertronic-horse barn), so we're casting a pretty wide net. Also, according to intelligence we've gathered, sometimes when he's alone, all he does is think. That's not a criminal act, mind you, but good to know.

So why are we looking for Bon Jovi? Why is he wanted, wanted dead or alive? A spree of face rocking. Estimates vary as to how many faces have been targeted-some say 800,000, some say 1.2 million-but it is accepted as a fact that he has rocked every single face he has seen. Every one of them. We're not even clear on a motive for this mass face rocking, although there are reports of Bon Jovi complaining of faces that "are so cold." Will he stop at a million faces? How many will be enough? We can't afford to find out.

Now all this being said, if you should come in contact with Bon Jovi, do not look into his face. He will only rock it. And call for backup immediately. Bear in mind, the man has been everywhere, he stands tall, and he rides a steel horse.

Good luck to you all. At this point, I have to be honest, we're living on a prayer.

Sgt. H. Locklear

Sonic Youth: the only band that's ever mattered?

T minus two months until Sonic Youth releases its new one, Rather Ripped. Such an awesome album name. Hopefully it's in the vein of the band's recent stuff: more straight-ahead, more structured, more muscular, etc.

I haven't seen them since the 2002 Murray Street tour. Saw 'em at First Ave, and I think I went by myself for some reason. They played *really* early stuff when I caught them in '98 at St. Kate's in St. Paul -- Death Valley '69!

I read today that they're playing a couple West Coast dates with Pearl Jam this summer. Sadly, PJ is going solo for their Washington show. Oh, well, I'm not sure I'd want to put up with PJ fans and Vedder's moan in order to see the Youth.

I'll cross for fingers for a SY-only theater tour.

Today: nothing
Tomorrow: 60-minute walk

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I feel good. Plus, why MySpace is better than a high school reunion.

My recovery from Saturday's 18-mile run has been incredibly easy. I'm not sure why. It seemed like the days after the 16-miler were hell on earth -- ache-y muscles (and break-y heart. just kidding.) and general exhaustion. My legs were a bit sore Sunday and yesterday, but I iced 'em and they feel pretty good today.

I didn't work out yesterday because I wanted to give myself another day to get my strength back. I will hit the treadmill tonight though.

In other news, I've discovered some of my college friends on MySpace in the last few days. I've also found people from my high school, which was a strange and thrilling experience. I don't have my high school listed in my profile, and don't understand why any adult would do that, but I'm sure glad 78 people did. I scanned through them last night, looking at their photos and paging through their friend lists for other people I tangentially know. There are more people living in the Twin Cities suburbs and serving in the military than I would have guessed. Other than that, not too many revelations. However, I much prefer this method of finding out where people live, where they work and who they're friends with than actually having an awkward discussion with them. Is that a terrible thing to say?

In other even more random news, Dan sent me this Nickelback link, which proves that they wrote the same song twice and people actually made them hits.

Today: 60-minute treadmill
Tomorrow: 60-minute run

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Hard won, but won nonetheless

I survived the 18-mile this morning in Olympia. My legs ache, and I'm tired, but I made it. My running buddy and I got lost in the woods near The Evergreen State College. There were at least two intersections involving the same two streets. How does that happen? Not sure. But we ran an extra 1/2 - 1 mile because of it. The back end of the run was pretty hilly, too, which really kicked our asses. But it didn't rain, we weren't the last ones to finish the run and we didn't pass out from exhaustion/the pain. That's success, in my book.

In other news, I heard the best three-song set ever in commercial radio history tonight.
1. Ramones, Rock and Roll High School
2. Madonna, Music
3. Guns, Welcome to the Jungle.

And speaking of Guns, here's a essay Klosterman wrote on the long-awaited new record: