Tuesday, September 30, 2003

(Our home computer is acting kind of funky... and not the Isaac Hayes "Shut your mouth/Just talkin' 'bout Shaft" kind of funky... so I wrote this one out long hand for Saturday. SM)



Saturday 9/27/03



Easy 10 this morning.



It wasn't easy last night. My stomach was turning because I was so anxious about the run. Were my legs going to hurt? Would I be able to make it without my feet flaring up? That nervousness carried over to this morning.



Got up, got out of bed, ran my hair across my head. Went to the kitchen and I made myself an egg, opened the newspaper and I went into a dream...



(Ahhhhhh, ahhh ahhh ahh, ah ah ahhhh ahhhhhh ah ah ahhhhh.... BUM BUMBUM BUM BUMP!)



Okay, enough Beatles. It was freezing this morning, like, Ohio embarrassing THO cold. It took awhile to warm up, about 2 miles or so. But the run was good-- no, great, especially the last three miles. After struggling to find my stride, low and behold it decided to make an appearance! And best of all, we did a negative split on the return five miles. I was (and still am) stoked.



Before we ran, Robert gave us a quote from a motivational speaker he'd seen last week. The speaker said, "If you're in hell, run through it."



It was, like, the perfect thing to hear as I've been fighting my self-doubts for a couple of weeks. That comment, and the things Denman wrote in his email, has really helped me get through this rough period. I'm reinvigorated. I'm actually looking forward to next week's 14-mile run.



This all brought back memories of that time during my sophomore year at Bowling Green when I hit a wall. I wasn't sure I was going down the right career path. My parents didn't quite get what was going on with me. I think they've lived their lives making decisions they were sure about and my questioning whether I should be a filmmaker made no sense to them (for the record, I was thinking about film journalism).



I went to see my adviser, a great teacher named Dr. Jack Nachbar, who headed the Film Studies program in the BG Pop Culture School (he's since retired). I explained my dilemma, and he kind of chuckled and smiled.



"So, you're experiencing the sophomore slump, huh? Well, everyone does. Tell you what, ride this thing out and come back to me at the end of the semester. If you still feel the same way, we'll figure something out."



And in that instant, because he had understood me and validated my fears and feelings, I knew I still wanted to write and direct movies, and I knew I was going down the right path. It was as if I just needed to hear that someone had been there, and that they'd gotten to the other side safely. It gave me a huge relief then, and I was back on track.



That's how it was this morning. I've been in hell, and this morning I got through it.



Aloha

Friday, September 26, 2003

It's back...



In the CD Player this week:



Don Henley, "End of the Innocence" (at least, until I got to the 2nd side and I got sick of his slick, cynical singing. Jeez, Don, you make a lot of money, don't whine so much)



Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris "Western Wall, the Tucson Sessions"

(featuring some awesome harmonies by these two pioneering women of country/rock music)



Billy Squier, "Don't Say No" (C'mon.... who doesn’t love the Bill-ster. "Lonely is the night...")



The Kinks, "The Ultimate Kinks Collection" (I don't know about the title of this one. It's sorely missing some of their later 70's and early 80's radio hits. But, it DOES have "Ape man", "Don't Forget To Dance", "Living On A Thin Line" and "Victoria" all included here. Pretty good collection, but really, isn't it about time someone puts out a Kinks box set?)



Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, "Foxboro, 8/1/03" (Just got this bootleg and it sounds great. I ordered the LA show this week and I waiting on the edge of my seat. Don't tell Budd).



So, we took Jake to a gastro-intestinal doctor this past Wednesday and they're trying to determine how much he is absorbing and mal-absorbing. The doctor told us to basically give him anything he'll eat... French Fries...are they back to being called French Fries?...Pizza... milk shakes. This basically contradicts what our old Nutritionist from Children's Hospital told us. However, I've learned that almost all of these doctors contradict the other doctors. It's like no one is really sure what the right answer is. It's frustrating, to say the least.



But, the nature of the disease is that it's different t for everyone who has it. Some cases are so mild, people aren't even aware they have CF.



True Story: We met a couple who have triplets, 2 of which were diagnosed with CF. This couple had had difficulty conceiving, but felt blessed to have their children. Obviously, both parents carried the CF gene, but what the father did not know (nor was he ever diagnosed with) was that HE HAS CF. The guy is well into his 30's. He looked as healthy as an ox (and kind of chubby too) and he had never had any serious health issues.



Whenever I think about this man, I have my hope for Jake restored.



But you see what I mean, don't you? Nobody has this thing completely figured out. ARGH!!



This GI doctor wanted us to collect samples of Jacob's poop and deliver them to their office tomorrow. So for the past few days, we have literally had containers of shit in our refrigerator. Kinda of humorous. Never a dull day in the Malchus household.



Got up this morning and rode my bike for about a half hour. God I love that bike. I originally bought it as a mode of transporting Sophie to daycare when we were living in North Hollywood. Julies' old VW Fox died in the middle of an intersection on the way to daycare. THAT was one of the worst days ever. Anyway, Soph and I would get up and ride, like, 2 miles to her daycare every morning (she loved riding in the seat on the back of my bike) and then I'd catch the train to work. God, it sucked being that poor. But, we made it through those difficult times.



I think Soph and I really bonded back then. We'd sing all the way to daycare. Strange that that was three years ago. Jake is about the age she was when we were the mad bike riders for about six months. That seems like ancient history.



Anyway, I rode my bike, then walked for about a half hour. Didn't take the MP3 player today, though. I wanted to have my thoughts with me this morning. All I could think about was, "Man, I really have developed some endurance since the last time I rode my bike." Some of the hills I take used to knock me out. Reminded me of those years I was on the North Olmsted Paint crew during my college summer breaks. Steve and I would begin the summer barely capable of making it a quarter mile without heaving and huffing. By the end of the summer, we were gliding to work on our bikes. (Actually, I should only speak for myself. Steve was always in better shape than me).



I also went to see the chiropractor this morning. My back feels better and I have positive feelings about tomorrow morning. I mean, it's only ten miles, right? I can do that in my sleep.





Aloha.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

So I just gave the doctor a call and I see him tomorrow morning. Let's see if this can help.



You know, one of the things I think a bout a lot is how this blog has really gotten me reacquainted with some old friends. Take Jeff, for instance. I haven't seen the guy since, wow, probably since 1988. Yet, we've reconnected because he started reading the blog and he wanted to offer support for my training and fundraising.



I think that's the thing that keeps me going. I know there are many people out there who have my back on this one. And that is something I use when I'm running. I need anything I can get.



This morning was the first time I thought, "I can't wait until this marathon thing is over."



As the days are getting shorter, it feels like I'm spending less time with the kids, especially in the mornings, as my runs are getting longer. And now that I have to hang out at work later... well, it sucks.



I come home and I'm beat from the horrendous drive out of Hollywood, and I want to eat, and the kids are ready for story time, and Jake has to get a treatment, and then it's off to bed.



I miss them.



Strange thing to say. But I feel like Sophie is growing and I'm missing some of it. I hate that. Hate it.



Aloha

50 minute run this morning. I took my "standard" course, which takes me through my neighborhood, down Bouquet to Newhall, then up McBean to the bike trail that runs parallel to Creekside, the road with every single car dealership you can think of. Then I hit Valencia Blvd. Let me tell you, that's the worst stretch of the run. You're running against traffic, so you get all of this wind resistance, and on top of that, there are a lot of trucks and buses that pass by. Yummy, exhaust fumes. Finally, it's back down Bouquet and into the neighborhood for a walk home.



The mornings are starting to get harder. I'm really wracking my brains trying to figure out what I can do to make these early runs easier. I'm stretching after my runs. I'm trying to hydrate myself regularly. There just seems to be so much stuff going on in my head and the fun isn't there like it was a couple of months ago. My friend Jeff (Marsick) suggested I check out a chiropractor. Since he is a chiropractor himself, I think he may know what he's talking about. Unfortunately, I can't go see him because he lives on the east coast.



Still, I've been thinking about seeing good old Dr. Good (his real name) again, Dr. Good is this cool chiropractor I've seen in the past when my back has been bothering me (screwed it up on this LOOOOOOOW budget movie I worked on years ago called "Lifeform". Maybe you've heard of it, it plays on the Sci Fi Channel all of the time, and it stars Ryan Philippe.... I digress).



Anyhow, I like Dr. Good. He's a drummer. We always end up talking about really bad bands of the late 70's and 80's and their drummers... at least, I think the bands are bad. I think I'll give him a call....

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

This morning proved to be one of those mornings that was more rewarding after I completed the run. About halfway through it, though, I was ready to throw in the towel, again. I took the DeCoro hill in an attempt to do a full 60-minute run. Halfway up the hill, I swear I was going to keel over.



My body is really beginning to feel the change in season. I never really paid attention to it, but this year it's like I can't avoid the Fall's pull. I'm tired and my legs can feel the weather starting to shift.



It's those old football injuries. No seriously, stop laughing. I really did play football when I was a kid. Played right up to the first game of my freshman year of high school. I knew I was going to quit after that year. There were several factors involved: 1. I had stopped growing and suddenly I wasn't taller than everyone, I was shorter... and skinnier. I wasn't going to survive. 2. I was going to have to choose between football and marching band. Although my folks said they'd support me no matter what I chose to do (and I really appreciate them for that), I knew my heart was in music and not getting crushed by guys 150 lbs. heavier (and spending most of my Friday nights on the bench or on Special Teams). 3. I hated most of the guys on the football team anyway. I mean, they called all of my friends (who were in band) "band fags". 4. All of my friends were in band. 5. I was more popular in band (i.e. girls actually liked me). 6. I'd lost the "edge". Stop LAUGHING! See, I was fearless up until that freshman year. Call it a lack of self-confidence, but I used the aggressiveness of football to get out all of my frustrations. And boy, was this a great release. As soon as I began using my drumming as that release, I wasn't that interested in getting knocked around.



Alas, I didn't have to make that choice. I ripped my ACL on my right knee in the first game (1st half, even) and my playing days were done. So my right knee is kind of funky; my left knee, which took the brunt of the wear and tear while I was on crutches, is creaky; and my ankles, both of which I screwed up 9MAJORLY) in pick up games in college, hurt ever now and then.



I'M AN OLD MAN!!!!



How did I get on that rant when I was just talking about my run this morning? I guess my point was that it's getting colder in the mornings and the old body isn't getting warmed up as quickly.



Aye yi yi yi yi! I've lost my train of thought.





Aloha

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Oh yeah.



I saw an interesting documentary last night called "Hell House". This church in Texas outs on a haunted house each year in which they depict every day "horrors" for thousands of paying customers. Among their scare tactics are abortion, homosexuality, drugs and suicide.



I hardly agree with what they're trying to preach because I wouldn't call it compassionate (especially their views on homosexuality). However, the film itself is very well done and compelling in that it zeroes in on one particular family and shows how Christianity pulled them through some rough times (a single/divorced father raising four kids, including two that are disabled... now that's a noble).



It's available through Netflix (which is an awesome website).



S

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Sunday night.



I just wrote some 500 words and somehow deleted it. DAMN!



Let's try this again, shall we.



Yesterday I ran 12 miles. I was really hurting by the end of the run. My feet were killing me and my legs were really tired. If this is what it's like after just 12... I can't imagine the full marathon. I have some serious questions I need to answer in the next week. First thing I'm going to do is look into new insoles for my shoes. That's a start at least.



Don't know if it was switching from the 3/1 to the 4/1 halfway through, or it was my down mental state, but the end was hard. VERY HARD. This was the first time running that I actually questioned whether I was going to be able to complete this thing. And that doubt has had me pretty upset.



I have a lot going on in my head right now. I feel like there are like all these people wanting something right now. Someone wants this written, and someone wants this other thing put together, plus work, and the family and then the marathon. I'm exhausted before I even get out of bed.



Yet, I constantly feel like I'm not doing enough. I feel like if I say "no" to any one of the people coming at me I'll either miss an opportunity or let someone down.



That's all for now. Not excatly everything I wrote earlier. I guess I'll touch on that tomorrow.



Aloha.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Overslept this morning. Guess I was a little more exhausted than I thought yesterday. Went to bed early, too.



Tomorrow I'll do a light run and some cross training, maybe some yoga.



Kind of a sad day today. My co-workers last day. It'd be different if she were leaving for a new job. That'd be a happy occasion. But as it is, she was laid off. And with her leaving, it only makes me think that my job may be over soon, as well.



When I think about the 5 years I've been at this one PLACE, and that I've seen the same faces for all of that time. There are people who have known me since Sophie was an infant and who were there when Jacob was born.



And the women in this department I work in, well, they were the first people I turned to when I hung up the phone with Julie the day we found out about the CF. They’ll be forever etched in my mind and heart because of that. Kind of like knowing where you were on Sept. 11 or the day the jury came in for the OJ trial.



I look around my cubicle and see these photos of Sophie in the various stages of her life. It breaks my heart to think about not having her being able to come to work with me and sit in the cubicle behind me, pretending that it's HER office and computer and phone. It's at times like this in my life that I feel blessed. I'm blessed that I have a wife who loves me despite my many flaws. And I have two of the most wonderful children a parent could ask for. I'm blessed, despite the CF.



I've been driving around with Springsteen's "New York Serenade" stuck in my head all day, in particularly the last few bars on the piano and the strings that play so beautifully. Can't get it out of my head and it's driving me nuts. I even tried listening to Hall and Oates (Say, say, say, say.... Say it isn't so, so, so...)



That didn't work.



Everything seems up in the air right now. The only thing that grounds me is my family.



Tomorrow is another day. We'll see what it brings.



Aloha

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Trying not to fall behind on the blog.



Woke up and ran an easy 40 on Monday, pushed myself a little harder than usual, but it felt good.



Took the day off yesterday, as scheduled. Did some ADR editing last night after work and didn't get home until 1:00am. Yesterday was a bit of a drag because I learned that KH was rejected from that Ohio Film Festival I felt so confident about.



I just don't get what they're looking for.



But, Ryan and Tony both have people interested in seeing it (i.e. distributors) so we have that going for us. Now, we just have to reload it into the computer. See, there was a minor technical glitch the other night and the final edit was erased from our hard drive. Vill was having a heart attack, but I stayed relatively calm as I realized we still had the DV master.



Today I still got up at 5:30 and ran for 50 minutes. I'll tell ya, it's getting pretty darn cold in the mornings! The run started off pretty rough (let's face it, I was tired). But I finished strong. It's a good sign when you want to KEEP running when your time is up. That's how I felt this morning. Felt like I could run a couple more miles.



Jake is fighting another cold or virus. He sounds pretty horse. Sophie woke up all stuffed up too. Funniest thing this morning, Julie comes out of the bedroom carrying Jake and he's wearing Sophie pink heart sunglasses. Seems that when Julie put on her glasses this morning, he HAD to have his on too. That kid's a nut.



Aloha.

Monday, September 15, 2003

The weekend:



Ran 6 miles on Saturday morning. I ran with two people from the City of Hope team. They ran at a little bit of a slower pace than me, but it was nice to meet new people. They did not know what CF is and how it affected its victims, so at least I was able to pass along some information. These two folks were running 8 miles, so I turned around at mile 3.



On the way back, I went for a negative spilt and pushed myself. I didn't make it back any faster, but it was still.... refreshing, I guess is the word, to work it without anyone else around and no headphones on.



The rest of the day Saturday was spent hanging out. We went to the Cruz' for Rebecca's birthday party, and Budd took me to this classic car show the city of Saugus was holding. I didn't think I'd really enjoy looking at old hot rods, but I really dug looking into late 60's, early 70's Chevys (Chevelle).



Budd said I could easily find the money to buy myself one of these cars. I said I'd get myself one of the muscle cars when they find a cure. He smiled and we walked on.



******



On Sunday I watched the Browns get humiliated by the dreaded freakin Ravens (aka the old Browns). I paid $100 for this? Ugh. Fixed the front door and we looked into buying the kids new mattresses. Jacob WILL NOT sleep in his crip anymore. He only goes to sleep in our bed. Greaaaaat.



Had a conference call with those guys about the horror movie and we worked out some ideas. I'm supposed to come up with a treatment in the next couple of days.



That's the weekend update.



Aloha.



S

Final Friday notes...



Steve gave me a call late (for me) Friday night. We had a wonderful heart to heart. We hung up around midnight, three in the morning his time! I miss him.



Someday, when the kids are older, I want to go get Mom and Dad's old Apache trailer and drive around the country, stopping off in many of the locations where we have family. We could stop in Colorado (though, Heidi and George may be living in Arizona by then) and make our way through the south (Florida, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina). The end of the trip would take us into Ohio (of course).



Steve and his family are embarking on a vacation, but the incoming Hurricane/Tropical Storm may cause delay.



Hope you guys stay try.



Aloha.

Follow-up for Friday...



Got home from work and was greeted by a package from Brian McMahon, old college roommate. Brian and I met freshman year when we were both in the bass drum section together (there were only four of us). That friendship carried over into Kappa Kappa Psi, in which both of us didn't take anything too seriously, and then into our sophomore year when Brian came on board to live with Dan, Brad, Hurley and myself.



I have to say that throughout college, I was closer to Dan than I was to anyone else. But Brian is of Irish and Italian heritage, so once you're in good with him... well, let's just say he takes the word "brotherhood" to heart.



Brian and I have grown closer since graduation and our move out here. He came to visit once and that was great. The one thing that really touched me occurred last year at Bob's wedding. During the reception, he took me outside on to the streets of Cleveland and wanted to know how we (Jules and the family) were doing. And he asked heartfelt questions about how Jake was doing and how we were hanging in there. I have to say, this type of concern surprised me, not because it was Brian, but because no one had ever really taken me aside like that and posed the questions in that way. From that night on, I've really tried to keep contact with Brian.



That's the back-story. When I got home on Friday, Julie handed me this wonderful, touching letter from Brian. He had decided that he wanted to help and he collected over $1100 for the marathon. I was blown away. Far and beyond the call of duty, Mr. McMahon.



I am constantly being blown away by how much support and help I am receiving on this fundraiser. I am blessed on that end.



Aloha

Friday, September 12, 2003

Sorry I didn't write yesterday. I ran a good 4 1/2 miles in the morning and even felt up enough to lift some weights while Sophie was doing some artwork at the kitchen table. All before 7:00 am.



The rest of the day was typical up and down for me. Work was pretty mellow, but then I learned that KH wasns't accepted to another film festival. I shouldn't be depressed, but when people keep telling me they like it and we can?t get our foot in the door anywhere?. Sheesh.



I would have written an entry last night but I didn't get home until close to 1:00am. We did one last ADR session (I swear) and I had a meeting with Ryan and the director of the horror movie they want me to write.



Got home, fed the cats, went to bed.



This morning was one of those mornings in which I felt guilty leaving the house. Not because Jules was making me feel that way. Hardly. Instead, I just feel crappy when I come home late at night and then have to get up and rush to work the next morning. I know she's tired and stressed.



Jacob is in this phase in which he doesn't want to eat anything. So not only are we facing the challenges of trying to feed a typical 2 year old, but also we're worried he's not getting everything his body needs to stay healthy (thanks to the CF). I think I've mentioned this before.



I'll admit I never reread anything I write in here. It's kind of stream of consciousness. So, if I repeat myself on certain things, sorry.



Looking forward to the weekend. The Cruz family is having a birthday party for their daughter, Rebecca, so we have that to go to tomorrow. Our long run in the morning is only 6 miles. It's called a recovery run.



Wait a minute, did I just say "only" six miles. Listen to me, thinking I'm Steve Prefontaine or something.



Aloha.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Ran 55 minutes this morning and decided to take that Decoro hill again. They say that Decoro Hill is one bad mother fu---- shut your mouth. Just talkin’ ‘bout the Decoro hill. We can dig it.



Okay, enough with the Shaft references. The run was a good one. Started out with a 4/1 ratio and worked my way into a 5/1 by the end of the run. I really got a lot out of running with Robert last week. It was great picking his mind for the 2 hours we were on the road.



Got some bad news about Rebecca. Her foot injury is worse than we expected and she won’t be running with us for the next three weeks. She’s still determined to run the marathon, though. That takes guts. My friend Wes, who is running for AIDS LA, has also been getting over a leg injury. It’s pretty cool when we get on the phone and we don’t talk about work or animation. To actually have an interest in running that someone else has, and to be able to give information back and forth, I find that pretty cool.



Talked with Cousin Dave about the hats some more. We’re working on a new slogan for the back of the floppy hats. We both felt that a hat that said “Team CF” and “Jacob’s Team” would sound a little redundant. Right now, the frontrunner is “Jogging for Jake”. If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to email them to me before Friday.



(Of course, no one will email me, but, what the hey, I thought I’d give it a try.)



Today was actually a pretty good day. I would like to think that not every day, or week, will sound as depressing as I have been writing the past week or so. I guess we all have our ups and downs.



That horror script appears to be “on” again. And I’ve had some interest from a couple people to see “King’s Highway”. Little things like that can really change your day, you know. Just a little validation is all that I’m asking.



Okay, that’s it for tonight.



Aloha.





Monday, September 08, 2003

What ever good feelings we had going into the weekend were pretty much gone by last night as we both tried to get to sleep and deal with our ongoing concerns with living as parents of a child with CF. This nagging fear of what we’d do if I lose my job and how we’d manage care for Jacob (let alone Sophie) has created a pretty good size pit in my stomach. And Julie was just plain sick of waiting for the results of Jake’s culture and blood tests which we should receive this coming Friday.



We went to church twice yesterday. One was the regular service, the second, in the evening, was for “Rally” day, basically a social gathering they have each year to kind of get families back in the habit of going to church. Going to church is something I’ve been doing more out of habit and out of a search for answers. I have been done a spiritually challenged road ever since Jacob was born. I have questioned why God would inflict such a horrible disease on an innocent child. I have never been satisfied with the “God has plans” answer. It doesn’t cut it for me.



I do believe that, yes, we were chosen to raise a child with a terrible illness. I believe that we’re strong people and that we’re resilient. I believe that we’re full of love and will raise him to be the best he can possibly be. Blah, blah, blah. I’d like to believe that any parent would be that way. But, alas, I know that that isn’t true.



I have been content to travel this path on my own, trying to keep Jules off this road. But I now know that she, too, is having something of a spiritual crisis of her own. And I don’t know what to do for her. I could tell her to pray, but I would feel a little hypocritical. I don’t have any answer for her because I have yet to find the answer myself.



So you can see how getting up at five in the morning was pretty damn hard to do this morning. Running without the mental blocks was pretty hard. It was a pretty lame run and I barely ran, like, 2 miles. Usually I’d chalk this up as one of those “Monday” morning runs, when my body’s still trying to remember what it’s like to run again, but it wasn’t that. No, it was everything that’s weighing on us that was causing my legs to get tired and my lungs to resign.



I could be describing what it’s like being a parent raising a child with CF. There are many mornings when you wake up, thinking you’re ready for the challenges that face you. Like running, you know what you’re supposed to do. It’s a routine. You run down the street, around the corner, down the bike path and then on home…. And you get up, give some enzymes, hope that your kid decides to eat this morning, and then give him breathing treatments and try and be a good parent.



I guess, like any good jog, you’re going to stumble and possibly even fall on your face on occasion. It’s just so much more difficult to get on your feet when it’s the CF, as opposed to a skinned knee.



It’s very tiresome. You never get any rest from it. The disease is always there. And that is the most taxing thing about it all. Unlike, say, cancer, which can go into remission, CF is always there, lurking in the shadows. Waiting to pounce.



I want to positive. I want to have hope and be the optimist again. But that feeling that “everything’s going to work out” is so foreign to me now. I can barely remember what it’s like to feel that way.



Now it’s just “wait and see”.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

10 miles this morning. We met down at the Marina and, with just a group of four; we took off on our course. It was great with the small group because Robert, our coach, ran the 10 with us. It was cool to hear what he had to say and to be able to keep his pace. We finished under 2 hours, which I think is pretty darn good. I didn't have enough for breakfast, though, and I was starving by the time we completed the run. Besides having a larger breakfast, I'm going to begin bringing something to graze on during the long run, raisins or nuts or a Power Bar.



Running on a different surface was a new challenge as well. On the Pasadena course, we're on a good mix of sand, dirt and asphalt. Down by the beach, it's all asphalt. My legs were pretty tired by the end. I also believe that skipping my cross train day yesterday affected my performance as well. This is something I have to keep in mind as we get closer to the marathon. Some sort of workout for my legs will be vital the day before.



I've gotten to learn my body pretty well in the past month and a half. I'm pretty impressed with that.



It was a strange experience being down by Venice Beach this morning. I can't remember the last time we've been there. It's such an unusual, crazy hangout for people of all different walks of life. I bet it was before Sophie was born that we went down there. I can't imagine going down there with the kids. I would be too paranoid about their protection to really enjoy myself. There are way too many unstable people in that place.



Jules and I have talked about what I will do should I get laid off from Klasky Csupo. This week I'll explore my options of getting a masters or at least teaching credentials. That is the one occupation I've always talked about doing if I wasn't pursuing my movie career. It's not that I'm giving up pursuing the movies, but I have to have something stable to make sure the kids are taken care of.



That's all for now. Big Ohio news was that Bowling Green (my alma mater) defeated Purdue in football this afternoon. Purdue is ranked and BG is not. This is a great victory for the team and I can only imagine how insane it may be on campus right now for football fans.



S

Friday, September 05, 2003

Ran 4 miles yesterday. My legs were like logs, tired from pushing myself so hard on Wednesday. But I don't regret it. I like having at least one hard day in my training. Makes me feel like I'm really working it. I took the Decoro hill, that one I wrote about a month ago. It's killer going up, but I know it will help out for the marathon.



Didn't do anything this morning. No weights. No bike. No yoga. The body ached and I knew it didn't want to do anything. So, I listened.



Tomorrow we're running at a different course, down by the marina. We're supposed to run 10 miles. On one hand, it will be cool not to have to take the treacherous hills of the Pasadena course (which we never end up running, just walking); on the other hand, not knowing the course adds something of a mental burden that can be very taxing.



Steve's folks sent a nice donation and a wonderful letter that I received yesterday. I'm about $450 from my goal. I can't believe I'm going to make it so soon. I only hope that more of the people I sent letters to respond. I have to get on that 2nd letter to send out. There are a lot of people who may have already forgotten.



Also have to get on those "Thank you" cards.



Kind of a crappy day at work. One of my co-workers was laid off. Besides the fact that it sucks she was let go, I know that my job may be on the line, as well. Not sure what the hell I'm going to do if that happens. I already talked about his, but I really don't know what I'm qualified to do. I've practically spent 10 years as an assistant and trying to write.



I feel like I've chosen the wrong career move time and time again, and yet I chose those moves for the better of my family.



Better start working on my resume.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Ran a hard 4 miles this morning. It felt good. Having those 3 days to sleep in had an effect on my body, though; I couldn't get up at 5:30 when the clock went off. Woke up at 6:15 and ran without anything in my stomach. I don't know whether that was too smart, but I found myself pushing harder just to get home and eat something.



Not having a great day overall.



Don’t know what my deal is, I'm in a funk today. I feel like my world is passing me by, that I'm stuck where I am and that I'll never achieve the kind of success I've always dreamed about.



Why do I get this way? I just wish I could sit back and say "Hey, you made a movie that's been well received." But then I think, "But people in Maine can't see it and it doesn't get into any festivals."



I should be able to sit back and say, "I have two wonderful children, a wife who loves me, and I have a steady job." But it doesn't have anything to do with that. I've invested so much time and energy into achieving this damn dream that whenever there is a lull, I feel let down. I feel like a failure. Ridiculous. There are people freaking dying out there and I'M WORRIED ABOUT MAKING MOVIES... again.



Pathetic.



I think it's this creative restlessness I have brewing inside. I want to write something, but it can't come out fast enough. And I don't have the energy to write a while script in one night. Or even a short story.



Jake had an appointment at Children's yesterday. This was his first checkup in 67 weeks. He gained 3/4 of a pound. Wait a minute; did I just write 3/4 of a POUND?? He didn't even gain a pound? And the doctors were pleased with what he'd gained.



3/4 of a pound.



This is what it's going to be like. The little guy is really going to be just that, little. I swear to God that if anyone ever makes fun of his size I'll find them and kick their ass. On a brighter note, he grew in height and is now, barely, in the lower third percentile for children his age. He, like, just made it on the line.



I have this CF related story I've been developing for about six months. It just kind of came to me suddenly and a lot of the elements seem to be falling into place. Should this be the next thing I work on? I don't know.



I've been questioning what I’m really supposed to do with myself. I used to think that God gave me these gifts of writing for a reason. I felt that I was supposed to use these gifts to make the world a better place. Is this what he's telling me? Write about the CF? Write about something human and shy away from the genre stuff?



A sign. That's all I'm asking for. Something simple to lift me up again.



S



Monday, September 01, 2003

Labor Day. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what this holiday is all about, but I appreciate the day off.



Ran 40 easy minutes this morning. Slept in a little, though. It has been nice having a couple of days in which I didn’t have to rise at the crack of dawn. I don’t run tomorrow, so that will make three days in a row. I’m trying to get back into my limited weight training routine. Pushups, situps, some curls and rows. Nothing monumental, but enough to provide some additional power when comes time to get through the last six miles. I heard somewhere that a marathon is only a six mile run… the last six miles.



After my run we went out for breakfast at the local IHOP about a mile away from us. When we were explaining to Sophie where we were going to eat, Jules said, “Remember when we went to the beach (Santa Barbara) and we went out to breakfast with the pancakes? It’s that place.”



Sophie replied, “But that’s a long drive.”



She’s so smart.



The rest of the day was spent with, yes, that frickin’ screen door I’m trying to get up. My neighbor, Larry, came over and spent two hours with me sanding and planning the damn thing. Then, Vill helped me chip away space for the hinges. I didn’t feel like I accomplished much.



Maybe I’m too hard on myself. Two weeks ago, during the 8 miles run, Beth (my teammate) told me I was too hard on myself. And she’s only known me for, like, a month. Am I?



I get restless. I expect to accomplish so much, and I feel like time is running out.



Jake has an appointment at the CF clinic tomorrow.



S