Saturday, August 30, 2003

Hey. Three days of work after a vacation and I'm definitely ready for this long weekend. Finally got to the gym yesterday after two weeks of no lifting--no reason, just didn't have the time or was out of town. Played some street hockey, too, which was fun. Today, I ran for the first time since I strained my calf last Sunday. Did seven miles and felt okay, although between the humidity and the week off, I was sucking wind. It's amazing how quickly you lose that fitness you work so hard to maintain; last Friday, I was kicking butt.

Anyway, we had a lunch in Marblehead at a park by the water, and then in the evening, Deb and I went to see "The Secret Lives of Dentists" with Campbell Scott and Denis Leary. Good movie. Scott's always been a good actor. Although we rarely get out to see movies, inevitably we get some annoying people sitting nearby to worsen the experience. Tonight, it was an old couple behind us that were yammering throughout the flick. I fought the temptation several times to turn around and tell them to shut the hell up. Finally, about three-quarters through the movie, they just got up and shuffled out. Maybe Matlock was on.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Home sweet home, as Vince Neil once caterwauled. We got back last night after 11 hours on the road. Back to work today.

The vacation was good. We told everyone that we were expecting child #2 in March, so that was fun. We took Hannah to the zoo, went to a wedding, I saw a Blue Jays game (they lost), hung out with my cousins, disrupted Hannah's sleep patterns with late nights out, saw people we hadn't seen in a long time, saw the condo my mom plans to buy, I ran three times before injuring my calf, etc.

Good to be back in my own bed. I can't believe it's almost September. Deb's back to work next week when school starts, and Hannah's back in day care. The Leafs are expected to name John Ferguson Jr. as their new GM--nothing like taking all summer to pick your man, you bozos.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Well, we're here in Toronto. The drive wasn't bad. Tuesday night, the worst traffic we hit was on 128 in Peabody. No problems on the rest of 128, the Mass Pike, or the NY Thruway. We got to Syracuse by 11:30, and as we were checking in, Hannah woke up. She was all excited to be in our room, which was so humid the carpet was damp, that she was running all over the place. We finally calmed her down sometime after midnight. We hit the road around 8, got to the border around 10. No lines, no waiting, no problems. We stopped at Niagara Falls and checked it out for about an hour, then left for Toronto. We got here around 2:30, then just hung out with Mom for the rest of the day. Hannah was happy to see her and very playful. Spent the evening watching the Jays game and getting to bed early.

This morning, I ran six loops on Sandhurst Circle near Mom's building. I clocked it in the car and found it was 1.4 miles long, so I ran 8.4 miles. I plan to do the same the next two days and Monday. I figure it's not realistic for me to do a long run of 17 miles this week, since I don't really know the area, but I can at least get my miles in while I'm up here.

It's pretty hot today, pushing 90 (or 30 degrees Celsius, as they say up here). So far the power supply seems to be working fine, although you can see that businesses are trying to conserve. We were at a nearby mall in Wal-Mart and they didn't have all their lights on. And some of the mall escalators were out of commission to save energy. So after the mall, we hit the Toronto Zoo so Hannah could check out the animals. I hadn't been there in over 23 years, so it was cool for me, too. Hannah got a little antsy at times because she didn't want to stay in her stroller, but she had fun seeing the elephants, giraffes, monkeys, etc. We stayed three hours, but we were all pretty fried from the sun by the time we left.

JP gets here tomorrow night. I'm psyched to go to the Jays game Saturday--it's Paul Molitor bobblehead doll night. No, really, that's a good thing.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Yeah, it's been a few days. Had a busy weekend. Matt, Tricia and Danny were in town for a visit, which was fun. In between, I ran 14.7 miles on Saturday, much of it spent in gastrointestinal distress. Not fun. Finally my route brought me past the Y on the way back, where I stopped to use the facilities; I left for my run at 5:30, so the place wasn't even open the first time I passed by. But I got through it. Then we had a doubleheader in softball that afternoon, and Deb gave me the okay to actually partake in post-game celebrations. Of coursee, the celebrating was done by the other team, which beat us by a run, but that's okay. On Sunday, we had a makeup game, which we won handily.

Getting ready for our trip to Toronto. We leave tomorrow night after I get home from work. We're stopping in Syracuse for the night, then finishing the trip on Wednesday. I've got a ton of work to do tomorrow--my newsletter deadline is the day after I get back to work. I already know it's going to suck. People haven't been calling me back, so basically I'll be pulling this issue out of my ass, so to speak.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Things got pretty weird today when a huge power outage hit a big chunk of the Northeast, but not most of New England. NYC, Toronto, Cleveland, Michigan all lost power because of a power grid problem around 4 p.m. Checked in with my mom in Toronto and she was fine--I was just glad she didn't get stuck in the elevator of her high-rise. Deb's brother Matt and his family still didn't have power in NJ as of 10 p.m. The images of people flooding the streets of NYC certainly reminded me of September 11, although everything stayed pretty calm and orderly.

The Radiohead show last night was awesome. They played two hours and I thought they were better than the show I saw two years ago, which was pretty damn good itself. Thom Yorke played a lot of guitar and was all over the place, jumping and shimmying and spaz-dancing. They're one of the few bands I'm willing to travel to the Tweeter Center to see. It takes forever to get in and out of there. Didn't get home til 1 a.m., and my buddy Andrew still had to drive up to Kennebunk, Maine. Well worth it, though. Radiohead is one of the few truly great bands out there right now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Werd. Getting psyched for the Radiohead/Malkmus show at the Tweeter Center tomorrow. Should be great. I saw Radiohead almost two years ago to the day at Suffolk Downs, which is a crappy place to see a band. Hopefully we won't have any thunderstorms tomorrow night.

I also spent part of the day mapping out our drive to Toronto. We're planning on staying in Syracuse next Tuesday night, then hitting Niagara Falls on our way to Toronto the next day. Splitting up the drive definitely makes it easier on Hannah, not to mention me.

Even though their season's going down the tubes, I'm excited to see a Blue Jays game next week. It'll be my first baseball game since last September, when I went to a game while in Atlanta for work. I haven't been to a game at Fenway in two years for no particular reason. It's a great place to see a game, but I've been lazy about ordering tickets and they get snapped up quickly. Can't believe Springsteen's playing there next month. The whole stadium might collapse.

I think I forgot to mention the 5K I did last Thursday in Beverly. It was my fastest ever, at 21:30, a 6:55 pace. I just figured I'd see how fast I could go and ran all out. Most of the time, I pace myself a lot better, but it was fun to kick out the jams.

A so-called shout-out to my buddy Jay Breitling, who's getting married this coming weekend in Pennsylvania. I won't be able to attend, but some of our fellow ex-Webnoizers will be there. That's one wedding that's bound to be a blast.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Hey. Just got back from a weekend in lovely Ringwood, NJ. No, really, it actually is lovely. It's a small town on a lake in northern NJ, about 45 minutes from NYC. We were down visiting Deb's kid brother and his wife, who were throwing a big second birthday bash for their son, Danny. The drive down was annoying. It usually takes four hours, but we had to add two more on because of a seemingly endless string of traffic jams. I had run 13 miles in the morning, and sitting in a car for six hours didn't feel great. Then that night, we got little sleep because Hannah woke up around 1:30 and didn't crash until 5 a.m. It was rough. On Saturday, it was sunny until right about the time the party started, and then the rains came. There were something like 20 kids there running wild. Insanity, but fun.

The ride home went a lot smoother, thankfully. Although as we drove through Hartford on I-84, we drove alongside a strange-looking convoy of white unmarked vans with Colorado plates. They were led by an SUV and they all stuck together, leading me to assume they were all members of some cult going to a big meeting. Either that, or a church group driving to Fenway for the Sox game.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

California is the place to be right now. Arnold Schwarzenegger is running for governor, as is Gary Coleman, Gallagher (you know, the guy who smashes watermelons for a living), two porn stars, and Arianna Huffington. I hope C-SPAN carries some of those debates. There should be some lively political discourse going on: "Hasta la vista, Coleman." "Whatchoo talking 'bout, Terminator?"

If Arnold wins, and he just might, the speeches alone will be worth it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Just read an article in the Boston Globe about an ultramarathon held last weekend in Vermont. Whenever I get impressed with myself for running marathons, I remember that there are crazy bastards out there who do ironman triathlons and freakin' 100-mile ultramarathons, and it puts me in my place. I can't even comprehend training for an event where you'll be running for 24 hours or more. That is truly insane in the membrane.

So last night I decided to shave off my goatee. I'd had it for two-plus months, which is a long time for me. I just get bored after a while. Plus it's too damn hot for facial hair. It's funny, whenever I shave off some facial growth, I look like a little kid. Well, a little kid with graying hair, but you know what I mean. Anyway, here I am thinking I look radically different, and I go to work and nobody noticed. Not that I'm expecting a party to be thrown in my honor, but you'd think someone would notice. It's kind of a subtle change, I guess. Of course, I could grow another one in a couple of days if I wanted to. I am what is known in the business as a "hairy bastard."

Monday, August 04, 2003

Feels like we're living in Florida. It's muggy all day and night, with constant showers popping in and out. And it's supposed to be like this all week. We had three softball games rained out over the weekend. As my good friend Briggy likes to say, "Enuff Z'nuff!"

I've come to the realization that when playing with my daughter, I should wear my hockey facemask and cup. I've taken a few choice unintentional kicks to the groin and eye jabs in the past week--it's getting rough.

Ben Affleck and J.Lo's new flick "Gigli" was a total bomb at the box office over the weekend. From reading the reviews, it sounds like one of those movies that's so bad it's good. Guess that means it'll turn up in heavy rotation on VH-1 in a few years. That station was pretty decent a couple of years ago, with the "Behind the Music" series and "Pop-up Video" in the must-see category. Then somebody got the bright idea that people would want to watch "Showgirls" with commercials and more importantly, without the nudity. Ditto for Demi Moore's "Striptease." And other cinematic gems like "Staying Alive," the sequel to "Saturday Night Fever," and "Grease 2." They call them "Movies That Rock." A more accurate description would be "Movies That Suck Total Ass, But We Don't Have Any Other Programming to Fill This Time Slot, So This Drivel Will Have to Do." And despite all that, I'd still rather watch VH-1 than MTV, which continues to run "Real World"-"Road Rules" marathons on a continuous loop. Fascinating.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Hola, nerditos. Another quiet Saturday night. Five years ago, I would have been out drinking beer at a bar somewhere. Now, it all revolves around little Ms. Hannah. Most of the day was spent playing with her, or letting her smack the bejeezus out of me. I did manage to squeeze a 10-mile run in, and Deb and I finally got to see a movie for the first time in months, "Bend It Like Beckham." Very entertaining. It's always cool to see an intelligent portrayal of Indians on screen, even if most of them are done in England. It did a good job of capturing the struggle between first-generation Indian kids and old-school Indian parents wanting to keep traditions going. My parents were never so much into the tradition part, but they were strict, and that led to plenty of conflict. Not that I was that much of a rebel or anything.

We're attending an Indian wedding in a few weeks in Toronto. A guy I knew as a kid is getting hitched. Should be fun. It's a Hindu ceremony since the bride is, so the whole thing will take much of the day. There's a lunch, the ceremony itself, and then a reception later in the day. We just attended my cousin's wedding in May that was the same way. Long, but always fun.

Halladay finally lost a start last night. Oh well, 15-3 is nothing to sneeze at. Too bad the Jays are totally going in the tank. Tickets shouldn't be a problem when we get up there.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Okay, it's been a few days. You didn't think I was going to post stuff every freakin' day, did you?

It's August...summer's speeding by. Time to get serious about my training regime for the NYC Marathon in November. For me, it's all about the long run on the weekend. I'll do 10 tomorrow and add a few miles each week until I max out at 22. Although I'm not sure what I'll do when we go up to Toronto in a few weeks--don't know if I'll be able to get a 16-miler in while I'm up there. I'll figure something out. Three months of hardcore running and I'll be good to go.

We had another softball game rained out tonight. That's three so far this summer, although we're making one of them up on Sunday. Stupid rainy weather.

Watched "Say Anything" on HBO tonight for the 17th time. Damn, that's a great movie. Cusack is the man. About the only negative thing I can say about it is the fact Cameron Crowe had to let his wife Nancy Wilson throw some sappy-ass ballad shit in there. The soundtrack is awesome...Fishbone, Replacements, Soundgarden, Chili Peppers, Living Colour, and then he messes it up with some crummy Nancy Wilson song. Now she's a babe and all, and she did some decent stuff with Heart back in the '70s, but damn, dude. I guess if I was in his shoes, I'd do it, too.