Wednesday, March 31, 2010

(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Eat Hearty)

Headed out for a 9-miler while listening to the Beastie Boys. I was no more than a 1/2 mile from the start when it hit me: I gotta fight for my right to eat (and drink!) hearty.  So here it is, my running theme song: (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (t'eat Hearty)

(Power chord)

Stretch it!

You wake up late for runs, and there's ice and there's snow
You hit the snooze thrice, and your mate says, "Go!"
You ate two T-bones and deep-fried pork
And your trainer kicks your ass like you're some kind of dork

You gotta fight... for your right... t'eat hearty!

Your scale caught you cheating and it said, "No weigh!"
That damn gadget smells two feet a day
My knee is bundled up in some kind of rag
Now my wife threw away my 2-pound chips bag. Busted

You gotta fight... for your right... t'eat hearty!

Don't put weight upon that knee unless your asking for despair
One more step upon that foot there'll be some kind of tear
Your friends on the run chimed in, "What's that noise?"
Aw, dudes you're just jealous it's just techno toys!

You gotta fight... for your right... t'eat hearty!

Now enjoy the good version ...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Damn Red Meat!

Last night's run was preempted by a final visit to the soon-moving Bartolotta's restaurant Mr. B's. For those that don't know, Mr. B's is a steak joint and I greatly looked forward to dining with some new friends and enjoying a fine chunk of well-seasoned red meat. The meal was fantastic and the conversation engaging, however, whenever I eat a meal where more than 70% of the consumed mass is meat, I'm in for a long night of crazy dreams. Dreams if I can sleep at all, that is.

Last night was no exception, I constantly zoned into and out of consciousness. Dreaming continuously of rock-and-roll stardom, little green people, and the always recurring one where I'm stranded without clothing in my high school gymnasium. The problem is, sometimes, even after the alarm clock goes off and I'm out of bed, the wacky visions continue.

So this morning I headed out the door at 5:30 for a 5-miler. It was tough to get moving, but fortunately my cigar-chomping, big, pink panda bear friend Louis kept moving me along. He said that he could accompany only as far as the Forest of Forever, but after that, a band of Snotlings would lead the way. Those Snotlings are hilarious, but they're shit at directions. After wandering around the forest for a couple of hours, we finally came upon the Temples of Syrinx. At last - the Sun! But who knew this was also the lair of Manticore - the giant vicious lion-like creature, with a human features and a scorpions tail. Manticore charged me and was just about to impale me with his poisonous darts when an army of popsicle-stick men loaded me into their catapult and launched me many miles back to my doorstep in Wauwatosa.

Whew! What a run, but tonight, before bed, I'm just going to have a bowl of Weetabix and a glass of warm milk.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What a Great Run!

Commencing tonight's run, I was a little concerned about the onset of heartburn from this afternoon's chili. However, within a half mile of home, I was more concerned about the twinge in my left Achilles tendon. As I ran, the pain slowly crawled up my left leg, through my sacroiliac joint, up the my spine, before finally settling just below my the right side of my cerebral cortex. No matter, I just smiled and pushed through the pain on this gorgeous Wisconsin Spring evening.

After loosening up, I smiled, cranked the tunes, and let out my stride. Unfortunately, I was feeling so good I didn't notice the hole in the wooden bridge crossing the Menomonee River. Sure enough, my right leg went through the hole and I fell until my crotch halted my fall with contact against a loose 2x4. Happy that it wasn't worse - I could have fallen into the river! - I pulled my skin, scraped leg out of the hole, pulled out splinters, washed off the blood with my water bottle, and continued on my merry way.

I wasn't the only one enjoying this evening. Now that it's nice, the bicyclists are out. Unfortunately for me, I never saw the Floyd Landis wannabe crossing the trail in front of me and he collided with me at about 25 miles per hour. We laid moaning in a heaping pile of brush, metal, sweat, and flesh for a few moments before collecting ourselves. I pulled his rear Derailleur out of my left calf; he, my water bottle belt out of his helmet, we exchanged apologies, smiled, and continued on our journey in opposite directions.

I'm all for energy conservation, but these over-sized, 5-passenger golf carts (hybrid cars) are problematic. You can't hear 'em! My route took me through a church parking lot just as Wednesday night's service was dismissing. I never heard Father O'Malley as he backed up his Prius right over all 10 of my toes! Yeow! I yelped. I also discharged more cuss words in that church's parking lot than have ever been said before. Father O'Malley, due to his quiet Prius, heard every one. He shook his head and told me that he'll look forward to seeing me next Sunday. After shaking my feet to get my circulation back, I popped an energy gel and continued on my way. It was after all, still a gorgeous evening.

I never considered that my skinned and bloodied legs made me smell like a meat wagon to every carnivorous canine in the neighborhood. Brutus, well-known as the toughest dog in the pit, couldn't take it. I must've smelled like a walking Porterhouse to him as pulled free of his chain and made a beeline straight for my left leg. His teeth sank deeply into my left leg just below my knee. Fortunately for me I have strong bones and Brutus's owner was nearby to coax Brutus to release his powerful jaws from my limb. I thanked Brutus's owner as he scolded me harshly for leading his dog into temptation with my meat-smelling, medium rare legs. Again, I offered a short thank you, turned, and continued on my journey.

Pro-tip: tuck your headphone cord into your running shirt or jacket. As I was standing at an intersection waiting for the "Walk" signal, a speedy little Honda coupe blasting Salsa music made a ripping fast right turn right in front of me. My headphone cord caught on the car's right side passenger mirror and savagely yanked my ear buds from my head. At one point, I recall my left eye squarely looking at my left ear lobe before the bud released from my ear. My ears snapped back to the side of my head like a wet towel in the boys' junior high locker room. Fortunately, albeit painful, I was able to reconnect and reinstall my ear buds without missing a single verse of O La Paloma Blanca. Still, what a great night for a run.

But here's what really ticked me off: my shoe came untied twice! Each time I had to stop and tie it costing me valuable seconds on what was certain to be a personal record tonight! What a pain in the neck. Man, I'm gonna just tie them in a square knot next time.

Thanks for reading and your encouragement.

P.S. The bees are back. Don't ask...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Burl the Snowflake

Immediately upon departure from my doorstep, a pleasant, plump little snowflake named Burl introduced himself to me. He asked, "Do you mind if I accompany you on your run, friend?" I enthusiastically replied "Yes!" as I was running this one alone and figured the company would keep my mind off of the distance. As I ran, Burl danced happily alongside my right shoulder regaling me with stories of his life as a snowflake. He explained his crowning achievement was being the tippy-top snowflake of a child's snowman from the 1st week of January through the 2nd week of February. He chortled heartily when he saw the perspiration forming on my brow. He said, "Friend, looks like you've got some future snowflakes forming there!" We both laughed and laughed.

Sadly, at about mile 6, Burl said, "Mike, I'm sorry I have to leave you, but it's time for me to hit the pavement. But don't worry, my time there is short and soon I'll be resurrected as a snowflake again. Until then, safe travels my friend!"

Burl was laid to rest at the Greenfield Golf Course clubhouse just along the Oak Leaf Trail. I stopped for a short moment, shed a small tear, smiled about our good times, and turned and headed for home. Here's where the story takes a tragic turn...

You see, Burl was loved by many other flakes, and because I had befriended their beloved pal, they were jealous and upset. Even though it's 2010, I guess the snowflake world just isn't ready for snowflake/human relationships. As I progressed towards home, millions of angry snowflakes slapped, spanked, and swiped my eyes, nose, and cheeks. Battered was I; there were just too many of them for me to fight back. My only choice was to put my head down and plow through the little bastards as I forged my way home. I was fortunate enough to have one secret weapon: LCD Soundsystem. The little icy shits never saw it coming for LCD Soundsystem gave me the strength of 10 men! Finally, after battling the little jagged ice crystal creatures for 6 miles, I triumphantly returned home. My clothes wet and stained with the innards of the little vermin.

The moral of the story? Never make friends with a fat snowflake unless you're headed for home.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Best Monday Night Ever!

Anybody who knows me knows my last couple of Mondays haven't been the best, however, this Monday's night was one of my favorite evenings ever. I am trying to refrain from being over-the-top, but I really think it was. For tonight I had the opportunity to watch and listen to a fabulous songwriter/musician in the comfort of a living room. It wasn't my living room, but it was in friends' beautiful Wauwatosa home. Also got to share the experience with a bunch of new acquaintances and friends.

The musician? Strand of Oaks [or Timothy Showalter]. Tim writes simple, yet beautiful melodies and performs them with transfixing guitar work and fronts them with strong vocals. Together, in the intimacy of a candlelit living room, it was pure magic. Credit for promoting and bringing Strand of Oaks to Milwaukee goes to Ryan Matteson and Anthony Van Hart - some of the early Milwaukee believers in Strand of Oaks' powerful music. Strand of Oaks' next stop is SXSW in Austin, Texas - where I'm certain people are going to stand up take notice.

I also have to give a big thanks to many great new friends that contributed to this wonderful evening: C.J. #1, C.J. #2, Alicia Hanson, Rochelle Van Hart, Julie German, Eric Benjamin, and many others.

Now back to the man who contributed the most to this magical night: Timothy Showalter. My favorite song - among his many good ones - is 'End in Flames'. He performs it beautifully in this YouTube video. Watch and enjoy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hey, Shut Up Down There!

[Note: Extracted from my DailyMile post where I post my near daily efforts to train for my first marathon.]

Experts say you should listen your body, but my brain has such a big mouth it never lets anybody else talk. However, last night the din was too loud to ignore.

First, my left knee - with his usual abrasive tone - threatened, "Hey! Yo, Boi! Lay off or I'm gonna bust a cap in your cap. Got that, Holmes?!"

Then the nipsy twins in their inimitable sarcastic manner said, "Why don't you just take a rat-tail file to us? It'd be a lot quicker."

And lastly, Mr. Left Calf with his impossibly proper English brogue chimed, "Pardon me, old chap. I sincerely hope that I am not interrupting your endeavors, but I wish to implore you to consider my well-being. I realize that, of those that are calling your attention, I am the farthest distance from your intellectual center, however, I am under great strain and not feeling altogether well. If you could be kind enough to grant me a day of tea, crumpets, and a good book, I would be forever in your debt. Thank you for listening, kind sir."

OK guys. Tomorrow you get your way. Knee, imbibe whatever it is that you smoke, drink, or snort. Twins, the martini's on me; just don't be too flamboyant though; you remember what happened last time? Mr. Left Calf, my I suggest George Watt's Gift Gallery and Tea Room on Jefferson Street? Enjoy your Friday.