Monday, August 31, 2009

Manic Monday Sings A Siren Song

It's a little known fact that in fact, Manic Monday was not an original Bangles song. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure they had original songs. Probably they did. I just don't care that much to investigate. I can tell you this much.

Manic Monday was written by Prince. Appelonia (or however you spell it) first performed it and she butchered it so much that he revoked the song and later, her career. (Thank you Prince..or whatever it is that you are going by these days!) Shortly after his wanna-be gal pal ruined the song, Prince started crushing on the lead singer of the Bangles. He thought he would impress her by giving her some used up old crappy lyrics...Manic Monday. Talk about sloppy seconds, but the truth is, it worked. The song, that is. Not the relationship.

Either way, today is a Monday. And a manic one at that. I'm pretty much doing absolutely everything to avoid running today. What exactly is my body telling me? Drink vodka, I'm afraid...just teasing!! I have hit a sort of running wall.

Of course, I'm simply beside myself wondering when the next hazy shade of winter will appear before my eyes. That's another Bangles smash hit. Written by Paul Simon and originally performed by Simon and Garfunkel...it was a song that the Bangles resurrected nicely. Thank goodness for girls and accessories, I always say.

Throttling Toward Your Own Sort of Marathon

Throttling? This unfortunately little verb actually has nothing to do with rocket science. Instead, it's a new buzzword describing a class-action suit brought up against movie rental folks because the claim is that certain avid movie watchers are feeling that they have been mistreated by companies like NetFlix, that mails movies out to subscribers. To throttle someone is to hold their movie back as they sit on their comfy couch - extra-buttered popcorn standing ready for consumption - with the lights dimmed and pillows appropriately propping up their heads so the only real movement is between the thumb and the remote control. And maybe a little seat rearranging after the first movie marathon session...

Oh, I don't know. It all sounds a little embarrassing. It would be slightly embarrassing to have to take the witness stand and complain that you feel the need for financial compensation because you had to wait to watch a movie. In the comfort of your own home. With extra-buttered popcorn. Because there is only so much injustice a person can withstand in this world. Wah. Wah. Wah.

Then again, it's rather embarrassing that a company would make a product that they hope only gets just so successful. I mean, if this idea of renting movies via snail-mail takes off, these companies may actually have to hire more people in order to service more people. It's a viscious business cycle that only can be met with strategies of sabotage, no doubt. I understand the idea of a point of diminished returns, but come on people. How lazy are we? Do we want to own successful businesses? Do we want to be lazy bums? How many of us are going to run 5 miles today in preparation for an upcoming (and fastly approaching) half marathon? How many of us are wasting time right now?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Run For Your Life

So why is it that when someone - especially an adult - from our childhood dies, it is such a rare and odd thing? It stands to make sense that the older we get, the more funerals we will face unfortunately. Especially, as I said, for those folks who were adults in our childhood. It's almost like our brains can't comprehend a natural aging process unless we see the entire spectrum. Take, for instance the fact that when a person who we know well and have always known, dies, it's common to say and think the following: "I've known her since she was a little girl." "I remember the day she graduated from junior high." "I remember that time she tried to say she was already 21." And so on.
Then when an adult from our past dies, we say that, "I can't believe he was so old." I I can't believe how he aged." "I didn't think things would happen this way."

It's almost as if we are surprised that things work out the way they do. We are born. We live for a little bit. Then we die.

Now going back to the adults of our childhood, try this...close your eyes...remember back to your first athletic coach...was it Coach Williams or perhaps Coach Sidell or maybe even Coach Thompson (or any other fictitious name that perpetuates a certain stigma most high school coaches have...that of a douche bag.)

Anyway, so this Coach Bags, we'll call him. Remember what he looked like? Or what she smelled like? Or the color around her eyes? Or the color of her eyes? Or the way he laughed and raised his leg up only to balance his weight on one foot and lunge forward over crossed arms as real men-coaches do? Remember all those stupid little details about this person? Remember their first name and the one thing they told you when you needed to hear some sort of good athletic news/lesson/pep talk in order to go on? That certain something that stayed with you until now.

You know why you remember all those little ridiculous details? Because that certain someone had an impact on who we are for the rest of our pathetic lives. Imagine that...one minute, one semester, one year...and you have the chance to become someone who lives on long after they die.

So I just found out my old track coach just died. I won't be able to attend his funeral and I think I feel slightly guilty about that. Not that he would remember me. But his harsh tactics and super short shorts with long socks obviously impacted me, so I feel a tinge of sadness or remorse when I think about my chance to say good-bye to the man who made me cry back when I first discoverd the art of long distance running. It was a bittersweet relationship to the say the least. See you at the finish line coach.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to the Bacons

Okay. I can die now. I have officially seen it all.

And so can you...see it, that is. Let's save boring things like [insert yawn] sleeping, doing housework and shopping for groceries for another time...like after we die.

Check it out: bacon-flavored dental floss.

'Nuff said, right?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Something or Nothing

A rerun of Sex and the City has Carrie typing away until she reaches the point where she ponders aloud...

"Why does it always have to be something?"

Ummm...because everything is something. Even when it's nothing, it is something. Right?

That's what I tell myself when I sense that I am about to hit that wall of defeat. That portion of my weekly run where I get lost in thoughts in hopes of finding my place. Of identifying direction and gaining momentum.

Truth be told, lately that pondering prose has led me down more paths of indecision and confusion than moments of clarification and self awareness. In addition, I'm hitting that wall. You know the one. The one that tells a peron to stop running and start living.

I wanna do both.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Trains, Plans and Colorado

So I am training for a marathon, training a puppy to not poop in the house and shopping for a train tour for an upcoming trip to Colorado.

Oh, and there is that nasty little thing called, "looking for a job..."

I would rather the dog poop in the house...

I found myself on the treadmill the other day wishing for death around mile 3. That's when it hit me. I need some change. Right. Like I need a new puppy. Doh!

So the puppy and me...we gotta see eye to eye. We need to realize that 3 am is not a good time to be strolling around the neighborhood looking for friends. And 6 am is not a good time to eat breakfast after being up at 3 am.

Anyway I look at it, training for a marathon and training a puppy should never be a simultaneous activity for any household.

On the job front, things are rough at best. I have been sending out resume and applying to Linkedin jobs and joinging user groups all across the globe. Of course, I'm still married to the idea that Conde Nast will come knocking at my door, but until then, I gotta eat. So I'm figuring out how to best use social media networking for things like finding email addresses of hiring people and making friends with folks who draw a regular paycheck from a place that seems not at all half bad. If I don't have a contact at a business, I'm figuring out how to replace that sort of personal touch. It's not an easy adventure, but here is a short list of things that I have done"

1. Created a Linked in profile that also stands as a living resume; including links to previously published works and references

2. Cleaned up my Facebook page and removed all the nude photos and f bombs

3. Stalked other people via Facebook, twitter and linkedin until I find their work email...then send them my resume and ask for help sending it to the hiring people at their organization.

4. Joined groups and clubs (Linkedin) and made connections with connections in hopes of connecting with someone who has connections.

5. Complained daily to anyone who will listen about how much it sucks to live off unemployment (the dog seeks revenge for all this nagging by laying her own example of disguist and discontentment. trust me...I get much worse than I give...)

Anyone else looking for work? Anyone else have creative ideas to share in regard to the following:

1. training for a marathon

2. potty training a puppy

3. getting a job

4. taking a trip to colorado (this just in...)

Monday, August 10, 2009

To train or not to train...for a marathon

Changing your job, losing your religion, finding new love...running a marathon??

Ahhh...we all have demons to face and surely some of them we are allowed to run away from, right?

But to properly train and out-strategize said demons...that is the goal, I do believe. Thanks to the internet and many before me, I have a few handy dandy marathon training tricks and tools at my fingertips. Without further adieu...

1. Hal Higdon's training.

2. Here is runner's world rendition of training for a half marathon, which includes words like "economy" and rest and relaxation and lazy and things like that to encourage a non-running runner to pick up the speed and further it farther.

3. Finally, anything with the word rookie should at least be examined if you are rookie enough to indeed, look up a training marathon guide for training for a half marathon... http://www.marathonrookie.com/half-marathon-training.html

What I'm going to do is read all I can about running. Take a long and careful nap. Eat half a bag of chips using only two fingers. Drink some girly flavored fruity beer product. Race to the store and stock up on perspiration-wicking socks and what-not. Drive slowly past the gym. Walk the dog to the end of the driveway. Twice. Unless she pees out her butt again, then we will go it once and only once. And not at all if the neighbor is out because I don't even know HOW to clean up super duper liquid poo without having the worst gag-reflux ever. Seriously.

Then after all that, I'm going to watch the television broadcast special of Running the Sahara, the story of the three young men who ran across the Sahara in order to raise money for a charity that is helping to get clean water to places that need it most. It's an amazing thing. Inspires me to want to run...

Random Rants and Some Pop

On the go, getting ready for back to school....check out these bags. Cute and modern little bags for your little boogers! But still, really, really, cute, right?

Speaking of reasons to celebrate, be sure to check out today's Groupon. A groupon is a coupon-like deal that offers special rates and discounted product and services to a certain amount of people. If a certain amount of people take part in each day's offer, the coupon is activated and everyone gets to enjoy a little some-thing-something for a little less than normal. If not, no big deal, your credit card is not charged. I have used this service for a few things and I love it! PS. Today's groupon is for $40 worth of celebrating at Pop's in downtown Chicago for only $20. Not bad if you like decadent food and champagne.

In other news, I have officially decided that I will do anything to work at Conde Nast.

And, I just signed up for the Chicago Half Marathon. Gulp.