running


20
Feb 19

Free lunches taste better

Had lunch here on a gift card thanks to the kindness of a colleague.

I had the chance to use a little Spanish and a few of the phrases I remember from German and Italian as well, and all for no particular reason. Top that, rest of the day.

The rest of the day could not top that. It tried, of course. It was a game effort, but really.

I ran a 10K this evening. It was chilly, sure, but not so cold that I could stay inside:

Probably I was just after this:

Not that I can talk about mileage …

A television show the students shot last night:


13
Feb 19

He said prolonged eye contact with a bear in the wild

Oh, look, the morning show crew brought back an old favorite game show.

Sure, it is The Dating Game, but local in all of its local glory. Plus college students! I watched them shoot this last week. The original run ended four years ago, at least, which means this particular set of people had never done this show before. They did a pretty nice job with it. And the guests were fun! And tarot!

My favorite part might be the “interesting thing about you.” As ice breakers go, it is a classic. Some are better than others and sometimes the ice breaker itself goes over better than others. I’m always intrigued by the things people say. You’re all interesting and all of us have varied experiences. I’ve no doubt that, given a minute or two, anyone could pull one or two or four notes from the memory banks with which to wow us. Now, the bear thing, from the title, that’s in the video. As interesting facts about a person might go, that’s pretty good. I am always intrigued by how a person arrives on sharing their particular tidbit.

Anyway, one of the station’s managers dug up some old archives of the original Big Red Love. It was a different studio, which was in the basement of a dorm. It featured different production values, a Barkeresque microphone, delightfully awkward interactions and a cubicle wall that “separated” bachelorette from contestants. It was a wonderful college television show. If they brought this new version back and streamlined their production, it would be an even better and more wonderful college television show.

This evening we went for a run on campus. Because hills! Hills are great to run in concept, and I am lousy at it in execution. The Yankee was done with her day a bit earlier, and wanted to go a bit longer than I did. So she started out, looped back and then picked me up. Here we are at the top of the very last hill for the day:

I was four miles in and she was about, or so. I finished with six and she finished at 10. And, also, it was about 30 degrees.

A young woman with flaming red hair passed us earlier in the run. She was so fast I couldn’t figure out if she was saying something encouraging or suggesting we get out of her way. Her voice dopplered very quickly because she was fast. And she had on a little cape. She might have been an actual superhero!

Generally, we avoid amateur nights. In a college town this includes New Years, St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s. Part of that might be because we spent so many years not in the same town on Valentine’s Day. (I started counting that and then stopped.) Mostly it is because we generally observe today as the anniversary of us being a couple.

It was a friend group, you see. There were about six of us who were all in the same grad school cohort and then within the group there were the two of us palling around all the time. People, in our group and in the larger cohort and some of our professors too, started thinking of us as a couple. Where there was the one there was the other. And then we realized that’s what people thought and so on and so forth. And that realization came today, 14 years ago. So we celebrate today. And the celebration is typically a low key dinner at the hibachi steakhouse because it is a tradition at this point.

So there we were, at 8 p.m., cleaned up after our run. The local place had two people sitting in the hibachi side of the restaurant. They didn’t look a day over 15 and one of them looked almost exactly like my second-cousin. His wife, I assume they were married, was an over-sharer. A nice couple, but before the man had wheeled out his cart to spin the spatula and pour the sauces and cook for us, we learned they had a 4-year-old. The cart comes out, the cook makes a great deal of noise with his cutlery, cooks the food, does the flaming onion bit, busts out the little squirt joke the restaurant likes so much, cleans everything up and thanks us again and again. As he leaves I said, “So a 4-year-old, huh?”

To which she immediately launched into a 20-minute speech about the dogs, and their territorial habits and, here, check out some pictures. Oh, and finally here’s one of our daughter. Who does she favor?

That’s always a loaded question for some reason or another, of course. We all know that. But she obviously favored the dad, who looks almost perfectly like my second-cousin. Only the kid isn’t his, biologically. And this is an intriguing conversation to be having with someone over fried rice. Oh and she had just had her gall bladder removed and he doesn’t eat anything green and … they were nice, truly.

Also, I can now tell you where to get the best sushi in town, and where you should absolutely not get sushi. No one had asked.

Anyway, in the back of the restaurant, by the restrooms, there’s a door into the kitchen area. And this is on the door:

If it ever said anything other than “Your uniform hangup” then I’m just going to assume it has a story to tell. I guess we’ll just have to keep going back until we figure it out. Oh, darn.


28
Jan 19

But wait! It gets worse!

This was tonight:

And it wasn’t that bad, really. I’m running in tights and a t-shirt and over that there is a special lightweight running jacket. You wouldn’t think it would do much by appearances, but on the inside that jacket has some special material that basically turns you into a baked potato.

Once you get your heart rate up you’re basically running 20 degrees warmer than the ambient temperature anyway, so that’s about 38. And that jacket is good for another 15-25 degrees I figure. Look! I’m sweating there at the end of that brief little run.

Also, after a time, you don’t even notice the frozen fog anymore which is a concept as alien as an alien coming down to the planet’s surface, running a quick evening 5K with me and saying “This frozen fog isn’t noticeable like it is on Kerplax 7.”

Which is precisely the sort of thing the alien would say. Between deep gasps, because the oxygen content isn’t exactly perfect for him, and there’s some gravity issues relative to other planets this alien athlete is accustomed to. But he’d say that, maybe, and none of this would be nearly as weird as me thinking Huh. I didn’t even notice the frozen fog..

So the weather wasn’t that bad for an evening run, really. But it is going to get worse.

If you need me I’ll be on Kerplax 7.

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15
Jan 19

So much was accomplished!

Woke up this morning for a run. The windchill was 22. There were snow flurries. I ran through something the National Weather Service called freezing fog. I don’t know what that is, meteorologically speaking, but let’s say what I ran through fit the bill.

It fit the bill.

Here’s one of my views, from just under halfway through my run:

This little field runs down into a man-made pond. I bet it is frozen right now.

I do not know what is happening.

All of the pavement was dry. But I did run on a path next to the local middle that was iced over. It seemed a bit inexplicable. Either the soccer field above the school had been storing up a lot of moisture and released it in sub-freezing weather or some middle schoolers had a little fun in the hopes of shutting things down.

They did not shut things down; the local educators are a hardy bunch. The pranksters, or the weeping field, only succeeded in slowing down my run.

My run didn’t need the help in slowing down.

Hit a grocery store for a few essentials, and wondered once again how it is that people can’t be bothered to put away their shopping carts. It is a small store, and is most decidedly used more by regulars than one-offs. Especially thoughtful is the person who routinely parks their cart in the handicapped parking spot. You know who was really appreciative of that soul? The elderly lady who climbed out of her SUV while I was moving that cart. She had to shuffle around the frozen snow piles on her cane, because she couldn’t park in the handicapped spot.

That’s at least the third time I’ve seen that happen there. I’m counting now. Last time I saw a guy actual leaving his cart there. It was a nice move, seeing as how he was in his work truck, covered in company livery, at the time. We had a pleasant conversation about it. For my part I complimented him on his ability to at least push the cart away from his own quarter panel.

Anyway, in the studio tonight:

Meredith, Caroline and Andrew have the latest stories and weather covering campus and town. That episode should be out in the morning.

Tonight I visited a tailor because there are alterations to be made to pants and, really, I needed the new adventure. Two pairs of slacks are getting taken in, and they’ll be ready for me next Tuesday. Whereupon I might take a few more pairs of slacks, as well. It was, as you might surmise, a great big ol’ party.

The nightcap was spaghetti and zinc and vitamin C chewables. And if I stop this here, I’ll have established a trend of finding my way to bed earlier and earlier.


14
Jan 19

It snowed

At least it was on the weekend, making it the best kind of snow. We stocked up, hunkered down and got about four inches.

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A snowy Saturday.

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

The roads got cleared, the sidewalks got warm and then it rained on Saturday night. It’s style around, and a little bit crunchy and icy, but pleasant enough. And this is why: It didn’t slow anything down, but also allowed us to slow down.

Only, she goes fast:

It was a brick workout. So she road her bike, indoors of course, and then had to head outside for a short run. It’s all about challenging different muscle groups in your legs. Me? I simply shot a few photos as she raced by.

Later, she made banana bread.

So the snow can’t be too bad, then.

We went out for a longer run yesterday afternoon. This was at the very beginning, still in the neighborhood, because running when the ponds are frozen seems like a sensible idea.

Somewhere along the way I started taking accidental photographs. This would have been before the “Why? This is cold.” And the “This hurts in more ways than one.” But it was well after the triumphant feel of running. It was a 10K, which leaves you just enough time to get in your head too much.

So I guess that’s my new art.

Here’s right at the end of my run. Most of the roads and sidewalks and roads I enjoyed were perfectly dry. But this was another new kind of thing.

I do not know what is happening.