Friday, October 31, 2003

Short day at work. It's Halloween!! Sophie is SOOO excited that it just runs over and everyone gets excited, too.



Did not run today. Not sure about tomorrow. I feel like I'd like to take a couple extra days off just to let my body overcome some of the burnout I've been feeling. And then I can start again fresh on Monday.



Sophie's going as "Jasmine" from Aladdin tonight, and she looks soooo cute. I wish I could post pictures.



That's all for today.



Aloha.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

The fires are dying down up by our house. This is a huge relief. Hopefully by the weekend the firefighters will have extinguished all remaining flare-ups in the Santa Clarita area. As for the San Bernardino Mountains and San Diego, that's another story altogether.



As far as I can tell, Tony and Cindy’s house hasn't been lost yet. All news I've been following makes no mention of the area near their home that I am familiar with. I can only hope and pray.



Tony and his daughter, Brianna, stopped by Klasky this morning and I gave them a tour of the animation studio. I think it was more a distraction than anything else. I'm sure their whole family is getting stir crazy staying at their cousin's house for so long. I know I would.



With the air quality as terrible as it is, our 18-mile run has been cancelled for this weekend. That means that next weekend is supposed to be the 18-miler. Guess I'll have to figure a way to do it on my own in Bowling Green. I ran on the treadmill at work this afternoon. 4 miles was so easy on the treadmill. It's funny, I can gauge how far I've come by how I feel coming off that machine. When I began my training back in April, I would hit the treadmill (I wasn't gonzo about the frigid weather back then) and I could barely do 2 miles without getting tired. Now I can run off 4 miles at a pace twice that of what I was doing back in April and it feels harmless.



If I was feeling kind of down about my progress, this was a minor pick me up.



I'm not sure what I'll do this weekend. Perhaps the air will clear up enough for me to run out by our house. I doubt I can do 10 miles, but at least I can get an hour and a half of running time in. We'll see. I'm looking forward to going to see a movie with Julie and the kids. I'm bummed (and a little miffed) that this new Disney animated film "Brother Bear" has scenes of death and violence in it. Sophie has been looking forward to seeing it since they began advertising back in, what, January (sure seems that long). When I found out it was unsuitable for her (I mean, come on, parents are killed in it... what's with Disney and killing off the folks. It's almost becoming a cliché: In westerns, you have the hooker with a heart of gold; in Disney family films, you have a young character whose parents have been killed. Good clean family fun.



Anyway, we're going to see something called "Good Boy" which has talking dogs in it. The main talking dog has the voice of Matthew Broderick. Hey, Ferris Bueller as a pooch can't be all that bad. Can't be any worse than the horrific "Ferris Bueller" TV series from years ago.



Alas, I'm beginning to ramble. So I shall bid you good day.



Aloha.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

It's Wednesday. I've caught up.



Came into work and everything seemed fine by our house. A couple hours into the day, though, and all hell broke loose. Part of Interstate 5 (which I must take to get home) was close off by our house and there were major flare-ups around Six Flags Magic Mountain, a popular amusement park by our house.



Julie is freaking out just a little. And with good reason. I'm going to leave work early to fight traffic and try and get there to be with my family.



I feel terrible for my friend Tony. Today was the first day he said he felt like he had no confidence that their home would be spared. The fires in Lake Arrowhead are literally a hell on earth and there is no way they'll be able to stop those fires because there are just TOO many dead or dying trees up there. On top of that, the smoke has become too thick for planes to fly overhead and drop water/retardant. This is a tragedy.



I've sent out word to Robert (my running coach) to get his opinion about training. The mail has even been held up because it's unsafe for anyone to be outside walking around.



Needless to say, Vill and I had to cancel the final audio layback of "King's Highway". There is an optimistic part of me that says that all of this will pass and that soon everything will be restored as it was before. But then I look up at where Tony and Cindy live and I feel betrayed by those feelings. My stomach is turning as I write this.



I'm also a bit concerned about this trip back to Ohio. What if I can't go? And what version of the film will I be screening? These are meaningless in the grand scope of everything that is going on. I know.



Here is just a tidbit about what has happened today. This is from the LA TIMES website...



*************



By Zeke Minaya, Mary MacVean and Marisa Lagos, Times Staff Writers



A firefighter was killed and two others were critically injured today while battling flames in the Cedar fire near the mountain community of Julian, northeast of the city of San Diego.



Meanwhile, in San Bernardino County, blazes were overtaking the Lake Arrowhead area and charging through miles of mountainous terrain around it. The fire was also approaching the city of Hesperia in the High Desert.



There were no official tallies, but as many as 300 homes in San Bernardino County were thought to have burned this afternoon alone, including in Cedarpines Park, Cedar Glen and Running Springs.



The San Diego death brings to 18 the number of people killed in the 10 wildfires that have ravaged about 900 square miles of Southern California in the past week. The Cedar fire, the most deadly, has claimed 12 lives so far. Assessment crews discovered one body this morning in the community of Alpine; the other 10 were discovered earlier in the week.



More than 2,000 structures have been consumed by flames in the four counties affected by the wildfires.



A San Diego Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said that she did not have details on today's casualty, but that the firefighters were not from a San Diego unit. Personnel from Julian, Del Gato, Sacramento, Montebello and Compton were also assisting in fighting the blaze.



About 3,330 firefighters have worked around the clock to keep the Cedar fire - which has devastated more than 233,000 acres of San Diego County - away from the historic downtown area of Julian, once a gold-mining town.



Authorities appeared optimistic this afternoon that they could save the small center of the town, but as many as 300 homes have been destroyed by flames in the surrounding area since the fire began its run in that direction two days ago.



But at 3 p.m., the winds were shifting and the fire was racing toward Julian and westward, in the direction of Ramona and Country View Estates.



In San Bernardino, blazes that entered Lake Arrowhead this morning were "engulfing the Lake Arrowhead area" by 3 p.m., said Carol Beckely of the US Forest Service.



With the situation so dire, there is not an accurate tally of destroyed structures, but she said close to 300 homes have burned this afternoon in the mountainous area.



Homes were also ablaze this afternoon in Cedarpines Park, west of Lake Arrowhead, and were approaching Hesperia to the north. There were no official estimates, but fire authorities said the damage in Cedarpines Park was comparable to that in Lake Arrowhead.



At 2:30, a fire had settled into the northeast corner of Lake Arrowhead. U.S. Forest Service spokesman Dennis Cross stood at the Mountains Community Hospital parking lot, warily surveying the plumes of dark smoke rising above the area.



"What's also troubling right now are these erratic winds," he said. "Some of them are blowing to the south. That's not good."



Cross was referring to the fact that there are more homes south of the fire. The fire was situated on the edge of a heavily populated area.



Several fires were also burning on the east side of the lake, about a mile from the shoreline.



Strike teams and sky-crane helicopters were attacking the flames.



The crews were drawing water from a Lake Arrowhead reservoir in order to fight the wind-driven flames, said U.S. Forest Service Spokesman Dennis Cross.



Evacuations have been ordered in more than 25 residential areas, including southern Hesperia, the Oak Hills-Summit Valley cluster, Telephone Canyon and Las Flores.



Overall, more than 900 buildings have succumbed to flames from the San Bernardino County blazes.



The fire is also rampaging in Cedar Pine Park, she said. "There is extensive damage there as well," Beckely said.



About 10 miles to the east of the lake, another flank of the Old fire was pinned down in the Santa Ana Canyon, held back from mountain resort towns in the Big Bear area.



Lake Arrowhead is nestled in a forest of pine, cedar and dogwood at an altitude of 5,100 feet, draws people year-round for camping, swimming and skiing.



Also today:



— Shortly before noon, authorities asked residents of Sunset Point, a neighborhood just south of Stevenson Ranch in northwestern Los Angeles County, to either leave or to stay inside - for safety and to keep out of firefighters' way. Fire closed in on homes along Interstate 5, which was closed in that area and where the thousands of homes in the Stevenson Ranch were built.



About six miles of Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita, a major north-south route, were closed for a few hours, but reopened this afternoon.



— Although the weather in Southern California continued to cool today, an increase in onshore winds prompted the National Weather Service to issue a "critical fire threat" in the foothill and mountain areas of the region early this afternoon.



Those winds, blowing from the west, were forecast to exceed 30 mph in the mountains on Thursday, which could render firefighting aircrafts ineffective.



— Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger was in Washington, D.C., a trip planned as a victory lap but transformed into a plea for aid in the fires.



Across the region, schools and businesses remained closed in many communities, as health authorities warned of the dangers of the poor-quality air. Thousands of people stayed in temporary shelters.



In San Diego, as 11 damage assessment teams fanned out throughout the county to record the destruction, officials said the number of homes destroyed by the Cedar and Paradise fires - about five miles apart this morning - is expected to exceed 1,200. Some areas were still considered too unsafe for damage assessment, officials said. A third fire, the Otay fire, was fully contained by this afternoon.



At least 30,000 customers were without utility service today in San Diego County, with some transmission lines expected to be fixed later in the day. Public safety officials also warned drivers that many traffic lights were out, and roads and guardrails were damaged all over the county.



More than 4,000 firefighters fought the blazes that stretched the length of the county, from Valley Center to the Mexican border. More than 300,000 acres have been blackened in San Diego County.



County Medical Examiner Glenn Wagner said he expected the county death toll to rise above the current 13 as investigators searched isolated pockets of destruction.



Ventura/Los Angeles



And the Los Angeles County Fire Department has 55 engines and hundreds of firefighters trying to halt the Simi fire, along with several aircraft that dump water.



The wind picked up today, gusting up to about 15 mph, giving momentum to a curtain of flames. Embers blew ahead of the fire and toward the larger development of Santa Clarita, which is northeast of Stevenson Ranch and about 35 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The best known landmark in the area is Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park.



Still, officials said they believe they can hold off the blaze. "We don't anticipate any homes going up in flames," said Edward Osorio, a county fire inspector.



Besides threatening homes, the fire at Stevenson Ranch endangered the Old Glory oak tree, where an activist spent 71 days nearly a year ago in an effort to save the tree from a road-widening project.



Times staff writers Faye Fiore, Louis Sahagun, Jesus Sanchez and Daryl Strickland contributed to this report.





*********



I know that’s a lot for one entry, but I wanted to make sure this moment was recorded, somehow.



Let's pray for a better day tomorrow.



Aloha

This is for Tuesday.



I ran in the morning and it felt pretty good. You could see the air getting darker. Had a lot of things on my mind and it was hard to concentrate on the run. Decided on a new story (or an old one) to pursue) and that gave me some new confidence. And hope. This is an idea I've been meaning to write for a long time and just deciding to go forward with it has given me renewed excitement in writing. Of course, it isn't commercial and wouldn't be an “easy" sell, buy it's something that I feel like I WANT to write, and that is more important at this juncture.



Got to work and spent the day worrying about the fires up by our house. Those worries proved to be justified when Karyn and the boys came over to our house to spend the night. Parts of Stevenson Ranch were voluntarily evacuated. I came home early, a little worried and stressed. You can see ash floating around in the air, covering cars and just about everything else.



My sister Beth and my mom both called and offered to buy plane tickets if we felt like we needed to get Jake out of the area. I think that really started to drive it home that even though our home may not be in danger, there are the other side effects that are equally as dangerous.



Beth's son, Zyg, saw the fires on TV and was concerned about how Jake was going to be able to breathe. What a kid.



Not sure if I'll be running any time soon this week.

Monday.



Did not run but got up and did some Yoga while Jules went to her gym to work out at 6:15. The kids, of course, woke up too. I think they're a little off because of Daylight Savings time (which was on Sunday).



Anyway, while Sophie and Jacob watched the Wiggles, I did a little Yoga. Not as much as I'd like, but it turned out to be enough to ease my soreness from Saturday.



Went to work with a little confidence. The network has picked up 10 new episodes of our one show. There should be a little job security, right?



As the day went on, it became evident that the fires are not going out any time soon. I spoke with Tony, briefly, on my way to work and he said he is going back and forth between being bummed and having an attitude of there's nothing you can do... it's in Mother Nature's hands.



I'll tell you, I don’t know what to say to him. I can't imagine being faced with the possibility of losing your home. They have a beautiful place that they've lived in for almost ten years. It's one thing to move, it's another thing altogether for someone to rip it away from you. And I say "someone" because the fire that has ravaged San Bernardino is the cause of Arson.



Two men are being sought for destroying the homes and lives of so many people. This fills me with so much anger. Where's the thrill of being so destructive? How can you be so heartless?



I know Tony and Cindy Gardner are strong, but I wonder how long they'll last before the stress and the anguish and worry will topple them.



Meanwhile, those fires in Simi Valley were getting closer to Stevenson Ranch, where Budd and Karyn live. Still, we all had some confidence that it would never reach their community....

Just viewed when my last posting occurred. Yikes, it's been a week.



Anyway, as I said, the fires in San Bernardino had begun burning uncontrollably. On Sunday, after Church (Julie's first day singing in the choir), we went to a Halloween party at Budd and Karyn's. Every year Karyn throws a party for the neighborhood kids on her street, plus our kids and Vill and Heather's kids. My legs were a little sore from the 10-mile run, but all together, I felt pretty good.



The party was great, but a black cloud literally hung over our heads all day. A fire in Simi Valley could be seen in the hills. You could see the glow from the flames and it made the presence of danger felt, at least, I felt it.



What if those flames come our way? What will the air quality be like? What should we do with Jake? Things like this may never occur to parents with regular kids, but when your child has a lung condition...



The Gardners were spending the night at Karyn's sister's house (Ginger Christensen). I was very nervous about what was going on in Lake Arrowhead. I had been up to visit them the week Julie was in Ohio and I saw the damage the bark beetle infestation has done to the trees up there. There are thousands of dead pines. Thousands of dead trees ripe to go up in flames.



I said some prayers for them that night. Not sure where the Gardners fall in the whole belief of God thing, but I know how I feel, so maybe he can help out.



Last thing we did Sunday night was write up invitations for Jacob's 2nd birthday party. It's only a couple of weeks away!!

It's been a crazy couple of days so I'll do my best to update everything in order....



On Saturday we ran 10 miles and it was a little tough for me. My legs were kind of stiff and I think that because I didn't begin with a 4/1 and jumped right into a 5/2, my legs have a little rough time getting set. Plus, I forgot my Advil, so when the achiness set in, I didn't, have anything to help ease the pain. Still, I finished with a better time than I did our last 10-mile recovery, so maybe we did something right after all.



The rest of the day was spent cleaning up the house for dinner with our neighbors and watching Bowling Green defeat Northern Illinois in an important Mid American Conference football game. The game was televised on ESPN from BG, so it was really neat to see the old football stadium on TV. Later, our neighbors, Steve and Missy Miller came over with their twin daughters, Sophie and Hannah for lasagna dinner and we had a real nice time.



It was really nice to have them over. We've been in the house for two years and we've never had any of our neighbors over for anything. The twins are a year older than Sophie, but the three of them get along great. The family (which includes an older sister, Chelsea, who was away at Brownie camp) lives three doors down and whenever we are leaving the house, Sophie is always looking to see if the girls are out so that she can wave to them. We were surprised to learn that the twins do the same thing.



I think back to my childhood and how our street didn't have anyone my age. But Steve and Matt were close by, so we were over each other’s houses every day. I hope that Sophie gets to have friends like that, especially in the nice little neighborhood we live in.



After the kids went to bed, Steve and I watched the film, "28 Days Later" at his house. It's a creepy film, and it puts you on edge. I liked it.



Budd and Karyn went to a party at her sister's house. We learned that the Gardners, close friends of ours (actually more like family) had to evacuate their home in Lake Arrowhead. The fires out in San Bernardino were getting out of control and the dead trees up on those mountains made it unsafe...

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Ran again this morning. I switched my days so that Jules can go check out this workout facility tomorrow morning. The run was okay, but I kept psyching myself out worrying about getting home in time to see Sophie off to school. I believe that this has been one of the things tripping me up all of these weeks. I just didn't realize it until today. Still, I managed to run the Decoro hill and get home in 55 minutes. Next week I'll combine the Decoro hill with the last 3/4 of my usual morning 4 miles, just to give my legs a little more push before the 18 mile run.



What a great birthday that will be.



We are completing the final sound mix this evening and I am so excited that it'll all be over soon. Peter is amazing with the sound edit and has transformed some of these scenes back to how they originally were intended. We should have no problem having this new version done for the Bowling Green screening.



Seann is really kicking butt and may be able to get my ticket reimbursed. He has surprised us with his dedication. I am really looking forward to hanging out with him that Friday night and seeing all of the work he has done.



Got to get back to the editing room.



Aloha.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Ran this morning and it felt great for the first time in weeks. I mean, it felt like I remembered it feeling like all those months ago. I ran a 4/1 for the first half then switched to a 5/1 for the last part of my run. With Springsteen blaring in my ears (man, is it ever time to switch out the tunes on that MP3 player) I cruised home. Like I said, it felt great.



After I got home, well, that's a different story. Sophie had a dentist appointment and she WAS NOT happy about that. Poor Julie had to take Soph with Jake en tow. However, they all lived through it. I, on the other hand, had to suffer through some of the crappiest traffic in memory to get to work. I had randomly picked three albums for the ride this morning and made it 90% of the way through Bob Dylan Unplugged before Zimmerman's haggled voice drove me to the brink of smashing into the car in front of me.



Okay, it wasn't that bad, but close.



Work today was fine.



Sent off a nice big picture of Jake and some CF literature to Seann in Bowling Green. Sold another hat to a guy who just got a job at an animation studio in New York. He leaves this weekend to start on Monday. Man, I have no concept of what it would be like to just up and move on a moment's notice like that. Our lives are so settled here in Los Angeles that the notion is just beyond me.



Spoke with one of my other college roommates, Brad, this afternoon. I haven't talked to Brad since last year, Labor Day (Bob's wedding). He and his wife sound like they're doing very well. They're planning to come on out for the Bowling Green screening. It will be interesting to see who makes it. I'm getting kind of excited about the whole thing. I hope we get a nice turnout. There's a part of me that doesn't even want to know how many tickets get sold. Who knows, I may end up showing this thing for just family and friends. That would be cool, but in a way suck too.



Have to remain confident, though.



Feeling a little nervous about reaching my ultimate goal. I thought for sure that I'd receive more donations after the 2nd letter was sent out. I guess I should be patient.



Oh, and I received the coolest letter from my cousin Ed. Ed is notoriously quiet (but one of the coolest guys I know) and he wrote this really nice, compassionate letter when he sent a donation. I was blown away. It turns out that his college roommate his senior year was diagnosed with CF... that year. Crazy. The guy must have been, like, 21. I don't know the full details, but it just goes to show you how the disease is so varied.



On the other end of that spectrum, I was sent an email from my cousin Kenny, whose son, Brandon, died from CF. I don't remember Brandon that well, just that he was sick a lot. He passed away before they discovered the gene. Kenny was one of the first people to call us when we learned about Jacob's illness and he's been nothing but positive and so supportive since then. I know I don't take him up on his offer about calling and using his strong shoulders to lean on, but I know that he really means it when he says he's there for us. I can’t imagine what he must have gone through. I know that I live with the fear of losing Jacob, but I still have hope. You have to have hope.



Kenny wrote a quick but nice email and I was so glad he had checked out this journal. I don't know what will become of all of this writing when I'm finished, but at least for a short period of time I have gotten in contact with folks I haven't heard from in ages. That's been worth it.



Aloha

Monday, October 20, 2003

I did yoga this morning. I had previously written (about 5 minutes ago) an entire rant about the sadistic nature of yoga instructors, but I somehow lost the whole thing. Seems my karma was watching out for me. Whatever. Like I said I did yoga this morning and it has made my legs feel great. I look forward to it on Wednesday and figuring out new breathing techniques to help shift the focus of my pain during the marathon.



We walked Sophie to class today. She made a card for one of the boys in her class. She was so cute when she went to give it to him. She was nervous, but smiling. I don't think he quite understood that she might have a little crush on him. She always talks about this boy and wonders why he won't play with her. Soph hasn't quite grasped the whole separation of boys and girls at that age, yet. Why would she? She's grown up playing with Max and Zach and Jake. There weren’t any other girls around.



God, when she was going up to give him that card, I was so nervous I had to look away. All I could think about was when she's 10 or 11 years older and how she'll handle her first heartbreak. Rather, she's going to break hearts. She is so beautiful.



And then there's Jake. That little guy is going to break other things, like bones and other people. He is unstoppable. He finally got a new tooth. Thank God. It's been a LONG time (I hate to say a year.... but it could be that long).



I run tomorrow and maybe I'll throw in some weights tomorrow. The BG screening seems to be coming along and we will be selling hats there too. I am $450 from my ultimate goal. When I reach it I think I will finally be happy.



Aloha.

Just tasted the most digusting candy ever...



From the makers of my favorites, "Hot Tamales", comes Mike and Ike's Buttered Popcorn flavored chewy candies.



Don't know what I was thinking. I may be ill...
Sorry I didn't write over the weekend. Our computer is now in the shop so I'm writing from work.



Saturday was the 16-mile day. I was pretty jacked up to go and run this one. The intimidation I felt before the 14 mile run wasn't there at all. In fact, I was ready to go out the gate and felt like I was running a really strong run up until, like, mile 10. At that point, my legs started to feel fatigued, but I managed to finish. For this run, I teamed up with, essentially, four other people: Sebastian, Irene and Tony, who are all running for City of Hope. I had run with Tony about five weeks ago. He's a great guy who is training to climb Mt. Everest.



Sebastian runs a 5/2 pace so I decided it was better to run with a group for 16 miles at their pace than to run 16 by myself (that would no have gone well). In the end, I believe we completed the 16 miles in a time that was close to my time for the 14-mile run. I have to check into that, though.



I think that breakthrough I had last week about the 3/1 was true, too. We began the run on a 4/1 pace. I felt great until I twisted my ankle (I may have sprained it, it's still pretty sore). After that we switched to the 5/2. I liked the 5/2 up until the end, and then those 2 minutes actually seemed to go on a little too long. We got a bit too comfortable in the walking phase. Sebastian set a good pace, though, and I may consider running with him again.



I learned that he is a geneticist at City of Hop, so he knew quite a bit about CF screening. We had a good conversation for a while, until we got too tired and had to concentrate on actually finishing the run. I will say this; man is not designed to run 16 miles, let alone 26.6! Those people who can complete a marathon without stopping are freaks of nature and my hat's off to them. (I'm only being half sarcastic).



Needless to say, I was completely exhausted all day Saturday and was very sore yesterday.



Aloha

Friday, October 17, 2003

While running yesterday, I had a breakthrough. I feel like this wall I've been challenging started to build when I went down to the 3/1. Before then, I was up to a 5/1 and felt great about my running. Since then, I can feel myself looking at the watch, hoping that my time is almost up and I can walk again. I hope this is the breakthrough I've been looking for. I believe that this fact and reducing my runs to 2 a week are going to help a lot.



There are still so many mental hurdles to overcome. But at the end of my run yesterday morning, I felt strong and confident, something I haven't felt in weeks. In fact, when I got up this morning to ride my bike, I wasn't thinking, "Oh God, I wish I could go back to bed." Instead, I was looking forward to it.



I'm a little anxious about tomorrow and the 16-mile run. After what I went through on the 14-mile trek, I hope I am better prepared. Advil and almonds will be on hand, as well as an ample supply of water.



Mom and Dad are in town for a couple of days. It's great seeing them. Sophie gets so much more out of these visits than she used to. That makes me very happy. I never felt like I had a real close relationship with either sets of grandparents. I believe age was a real factor. But mom and dad are so good with the kids.



GREAT NEWS: The hats are done and I've begun selling them. I've already sold 4 (and have 1 on hold for someone else). They are $12, which I think is fair (considering we have to cover the cost of the hat). Dave did a great job and I'm pretty stoked on how nice they look.



Anyone reading this who wants a hat should email me and I'll set you up with one.



Okay, I have to get going home so I can have dinner with everyone. Still unsure what my future holds at Klasky Csupo. Doesn’t feel good.



Aloha.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

So I'm still in shock over last night's Cubs game. Having grown up watching Cleveland teams choke in the last minute, I feel for the people of Chicago.



I have switched my running schedule. The morning runs have grown longer and I don't have enough time to run 6 miles and get into work on time. Plus, I really want to help Jules out with the kids on the mornings Sophie has school. They have to leave by 7:45 and if I don't get back from a run until 7:30, well, it places all of the responsibility on Julie and that's just not fair.



I checked in with Robert and he said that 2 days, at 40-50 minutes each will be fine and, of course, the long runs on Saturdays. This is a great relief. I have hit another wall. I hit a similar wall back in late June. I get to a point in which I don't even want to be running and I feel like it's just a labor and no longer a labor of love. I hate having that feeling. The mental aspect is bogging me down, even though I can run 5 miles in my sleep.



So, yesterday was the first day of this new schedule and I'm actually excited about it. 40-50 minutes means I can run my 4-mile route that I have come to enjoy. And with all of the things I’ve learned in the past couple of weeks about the long runs, I am not concerned about running 16 miles this week.



But yesterday's run was hard. Again, it was the mental crap that was weighing me down. I'll be honest, Jules and I had a bit of a row on Sunday night and I've been thinking a lot about what we got in the fight about. I'm not going to go into details out of respect to our privacy, but some of the things she said have really made me stop and look at who I am and how I've been acting. That's one of the reasons I wanted to switch my run schedule.



Even after 10 years, no marriage is perfect. There are always going to be aspects of the relationship that need to be tended. Love is a garden, and it needs proper care or it will dry up and become hard... infertile. As many of you know, it can be difficult. Throw CF into the mix and things get extra complicated. All I know is that I was acting like my parents did when I was a child and I never want to see myself like that again... ever.



Aloha

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I have really fallen behind.



I spent the rest of last week recovering from that cold. I didn't run again until Saturday morning. We worked on the movie again last Thursday and it's almost done (again). Hopefully we can meet tonight and finish up.



The run on Saturday was fine. I didn't go all out and could really feel that I hadn't run all week. I ran with a woman, Lucy, whom I never ran with before. When I got to the training site that morning I was hoping to run alone. I'm glad I didn't. Even with a running companion it took over 2 hours.



The rest of the weekend was spent straightening up the house in preparation for Julie and the kids returning home. On Saturday night, I drove up to Lake Arrowhead and spent the night with the Gardners. Tony and I drove around the town and he showed me the devastation from the bark beetles and how all of the pines are quickly dying and being cut down. It gave me some great material for a new story idea.



We watched two low budget horror movies as well. One was so bad; I can't describe in words how appalled I was that this movie found video distribution. Seriously.... It was the worst thing I have ever seen. The second movie was soooo much better, and very original. It was called "Campfire Stories." The stinker was called "13th Child, the Jersey Devil".



Everyone got home safely on Sunday. I'm so glad they're home.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Good Lord, I am whipped.



Monday night's sound mix went until 3:00 am and I didn't get to be until 3:30. I was dog tired yesterday and with my immune system weakened, a cold saw its opportunity and pounced. Ugh.



I did manage to get up at 6:30 and run the Decoro hill this morning. It wasn't physically hard, but it was difficult fighting back all of the cold related crap in my head. But, I am glad I ran. I was this close to sleeping for another hour. Probably should have.



Jules and the kids sound like they're having a great time back in Ohio. Sophie appears to have come out of her shell and is going up to Grandma and Grandpa and just playing with them. Her "shyness" seems to be fading. Maybe it's because she's so popular in her preschool class. I don't mean to say that like I'm Joe Bragging Guy (you can tell I'm sick when all I can come up with is that LAME name), but she's always getting requests from other moms to have play dates. I can't tell you how happy I am that she's making friends so easily. That has always been one of my big fears, that she'd end up lonely in class. Had a little of that when I was a kid. It hurts being excluded.



Jacob, on the other hand, isn't going to have any problems finding friends. The kid is the first one out of Julie's arms when she gets someplace and he's just so friendly. When we were at the airport on Monday, he was proudly pointing to his Sesame Street shirt and identifying the characters for strangers. "Coco... Elmo...Ehrnie..."



God I miss them.



The Movie sound mix is coming along wonderfully. We got a good chunk of our work done Monday night and we're meeting again tomorrow. Hopefully we'll finish up then, transfer everything to the hard drive next week and have everything done in time for the Bowling Green screening.



Keep you fingers crossed.



Aloha

Monday, October 06, 2003

CD's from last week:



Springsteen, 8/17/03 Dodger Stadium- Dude, I was right about this one, even though the bootleg is poor quality (sounds like they're under water sometimes---where does that guy come up with his rating system?) the show was awesome. The band was T-I-G-H-T and Max had a killer night. Can't wait to see Budd's face when I give him his copy.



Kinks "Ultimate Collection" - Don't you just love "Dedicated Follower of Fashion"



Shawn Colvin "A Few Small Repairs" - Forgot how moody and sad this album. Colvin wrote most of these tracks when she separated from her then husband. I once heard her say in an interview that she wanted to write songs like Springsteen's "Tunnel of Love" (another breakup masterpiece). I guess she got her chance.



Eva Cassidy "Songbird" - The only version of "Over the Rainbow" and "Fragile" I will ever listen to again.



Men at Work - "Essential Collection" - I am cursed. I woke up before the 14 mile run with "Be Good Johnny" in my head. "JOHNNYEEEEE-YE-YE-YEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

Monday. I didn't run this morning because I drove Jules and the kids to the airport. They�re en route to Cleveland for a week and I already miss them. I didn't realize how much I was going to be aching until I heard "When You need Me" by Springsteen in the car on the way to LAX. My eyes are a little misty right now.



You know, before I started this whole journey to complete the marathon, I would have been a little excited to have a week to myself and just go see movies and act like a bachelor, knowing that they were coming home. But going through everything and making the effort to write about it has changed me. I miss them terribly.



During the last trip they took I finally figured out how to get to sleep at night. I just crowd all of the pillows in the bed against my back and sleep on the edge of the bed. Amazingly, I sleep like a baby (just like I do when I have Soph's knees in my back every night).



It's going to be a quiet week.



After doing a little cross training on Friday, I woke up and went off to run 14 miles on Saturday. It was a struggle, to say the least. Besides the physical challenges, there was a mental challenge as we were running our course in reverse. So, as we came up to the "turn around" point, I felt like we should have been completing our run.



My legs hurt badly by the end. I'm definitely going to be carrying some Advil on the runs from now on. That may be the key to getting through this monster because I know my feet were swelling up, and my legs were just so sore. Surprisingly, I wasn't as "tired" as I have been at the end of past runs. I mean, I could have gone the whole day without a nap. Alas, Julie forced me to lie down and sleep. Damn that woman!



Robert let us all know that 14 is the killer training number. He said that 16 and 18 will be easier. I don�t quite know how that's possible. Yet, each week I learn something new about the training and what it TAKES to finish the marathon. When I began the training I thought, "I'm just going to run the whole thing" (Remember that? Bwa ha ha ha! What was I thinking?) And I didn't have much faith in the whole "carry water and snacks with you" philosophies. Well, now I know. All of these little things are going to help me survive.



Trying to figure out whether I'll run tomorrow or just pick up on Wednesday. I'm supposed to work on the sound mix again tonight, so it might be a late one. Plus, my legs hurt this morning. When I told Jules, "My leg kind of hurts, don't know what I did." She replied matter of factly, "Uh, maybe you ran fourteen miles."



There's this wonderful Jayhawks song playing right now, from that same album I keep returning to. "Loving you for all the right reason..."



Can't wait until Jules and the kids get back.



Aloha

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Ran again this morning, but didn't complete the 4 miles I was trying to run. These new insoles were bugging the heck out of my feet. So, I bought new ones... again. I wore my running shoes to work to try and break in the insoles. They feel a lot better (should have went with Dr. Scholl's in the first places).



I was pleasantly surprised to find an email from another of my college buddies, Brad, this morning. I haven't spoken with him since Bob's wedding last year. He said he's going to come to the Bowling Green Screening in November.



Have I told you? That’s on. I have my plane ticket and Seann has everything in place. I sent out word to some of my Ohio relatives and friends and I predict that there will be more advertising in the next couple of weeks. I need to work all of that out. I'm pretty excited about the trip. Hopefully we can sell out the theater and raise over $1000 for CF. That would be fantastic.



I'm on my way out the door. More tomorrow.



Aloha.

The results of Tuesday's late night had a direct effect on me Wednesday. I woke up at 5:00 on the dot, but forced myself to go back to sleep (oh, that was real tough, honest). Got up at 6:00 and went running by 6:30. I did 4 solid miles (instead of the scheduled 6) and it felt good.



The rest of the day I was spent, though. Couldn't much get my brain to work, although that could have been caused by the fuel line leak in my car.



Talked with Tony a little more and I'm going to spend the night up at their place in Lake Arrowhead next week. I'm sure we’ll discuss the job opportunity a little more.



Got home and Jake was sounding barky like he has the croup again. Perfect, just in time for their trip back to Cleveland.



Haven't done any reading or writing in awhile. Have to get back into the swing. Kind of occupied with KH, though.

Sorry I haven't written all week. It's been a little hectic (mostly mentally). Monday was a strong run. Felt great. Tuesday I didn't run (day off).



Tuesday night I was in a sound mix for "King's Highway" until midnight-ish. I didn't get home until 1:00 am.



The remixing is coming along great and I'm very excited about the improvements. This man I'm working with, Peter Carlstadt, is so awesome that I'm so thankful when we get together because he's doing this all out of the kindness of his heart.



Tuesday was also a mentally crazy afternoon. The layoffs continue here at the animation factory and I really feel that my days are numbered; despite the assurances I have received. With that thought weighing heavily on everything, I've started sending out my resume. I also had an enthusiastic conversation with my friend, Tony Gardner, whom I worked for before coming to Klasky Csupo. He has a big job on the horizon and the timing seemed serendipitous. I was pretty thrilled and called Jules about the prospect of working with Tony again. She thought it had possibilities, but her major concern was the lack of benefits.



I hadn't really thought that one through. Maybe we could get private insurance. Well, no insurance company is going to take Jacob. The kid has a life threatening illness. And the costs for him would be out of this world.



Damn! My first reaction was that this couldn't happen at a worse time for me. Here’s an opportunity to move on and possibly get the filmmaking into high gear. I was pissed. I was so mad about Cystic Fibrosis. And I was defensive when Jules asked me about any other resumes I may have sent out.



Basically, I was being selfish.



It's not about me, you know? It's about Jacob and Sophie and making sure they're taken care of. While it would be grand to go from job to job like I used to and maybe become with that film community again, can I take that risk? Can I mess with our lives like that? The answer is no. I have to make sure they're taken care of right now. While Jules is at home with them, I can't be off switching jobs all of the time.



Yet, if I lose my job here, what happens then? There are scarce jobs out there, especially ones that will pay me what we've budgeted for our lives.



There's an elephant sitting on my chest while I try to figure this one out. Oh, it's not as bad as earlier this year when I was having chest pains (that's another story for another time), but I'm feeling tired from it all.



Jules is looking into California Children's Services as an option for Jacob. We didn't qualify last year because we made too much money. Let me tell ya, that ain't the case anymore. We'll see where that can lead us.