Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Here it is, the last day of November. The marathon is just around the corner and the fundraising bell is about to ring. Tomorrow I'm going to make a last ditch email effort to raise enough and break the $10,000 mark. It can be done, I know it. Hopefully I can reach the hearts of just a few people (10, at least) who can put us over the top.

Thanksgiving weekend has passed and I am thankful, indeed, for the great things that have happened to us this year. Besides the financial gains and the prospect of seeing another script made into a movie, I'm more thankful that Jake has remained healthy for another year and that he is growing up to be a "typical" little kid. Sophie is excelling in school (she's receiving an award on Friday. I'm so excited to find out what it's for) and she is maturing (a little too fast) into a gifted and loving little girl.

I have the most awesome wife. I don't say that enough. There are so many times that I'm lost in my thoughts driving to work (or home) and she'll call to check in and see how soon I'll be home, or how the day is going. This little gesture is a simple reminder of how much she cares for me and that she wants to share her day and wants me to share my day with her. That we don't get to spend so much time together is often worked out on the weekend. I think we have a routine, but we try to keep our life fresh. And we still laugh a lot, at each other and at things the kids have done. I am such a lucky man to have Julie in my life.

I can't imagine my life without her in it. And I am so thankful that I have Julie in my life.


The Christmas lights went up on Friday after the feast day. We spend turkey day at Kathy Coyle's (Karyn's mom's) and hung out with the Gardners, Christensens and the Malchus'. Sophie helped me with the Christmas lights and I must say that I really enjoyed having her hand me nails and the hammer as I hung clips that would hold the icicle lights outside. Saturday, we put up out tree and decorated it. Before that ritual, though, I ran my last long run down in Pasadena.

I only did eight miles that morning and I wound up running most of it with Robert. I was pretty tired to begin the run, but the last 5 miles flew by and I felt outstanding finishing up. I was a little sad that it was the last run. Robert and I had an excellent discussion about trying to nationalize a CF marathon-training program. We decided that if we chose a single marathon for runners to come to next year (perhaps the OC Marathon) we could entice people from across the country to train and come out to California. It would take a lot of work. Robert is really gung ho about trying to get something up and running and he thinks I should help spearhead this idea. I would love to really be able to get more people to do marathon fundraising. I believe that this is a missed opportunity for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. However, I'm not sure how we would go about getting everything organized. We will talk to Rebecca this weekend.

The rest of the weekend (which was actually five days off for me) was spent relaxing and just spending quality time with the family. It was so much fun and I dreaded going back to work yesterday.


Back at work, Monday dragged. I have contracted that same damn cold that's been floating around our house. It's not so bad. But I'm battling it. I can feel myself a little run down (ironic since I just spend five days being a couch potato).

I went for a walk in the morning. It is getting COLDER. In fact, this morning when I went out for my run, puddles were frozen over. I can't recall ever seeing ice here is Southern California. Seriously. I can only imagine what it's going to be like in Ohio.

I am so behind with my "Thank You" cards. I have been putting them off, which is just wrong. I know I'll get them out by the end of the year, but I wished to have them done before the race. This is one of the things about feeling burned out that I hate. Little things keep getting put off.

One remarkable thing has happened: I began taking a supplement for my knees a couple of weeks back (the day before Peter Pan) and I can really tell a difference. There isn't any pain at all, lately, and I have much better flexibility. It gives me so much hope for the race on Sunday.

Sunday. Wow.

Has it really been all of these months since I began the training? Where did the time go? I know th3e answer to that one, though. I can see the time in my children and how much they have grown. It amazes me.


PS I know I haven't spoken much about music this training period, but I have discovered to exceptional Pearl Jam songs: "I Am Mine" and "Man of the Hour". Both are found on their greatest hits cd. These songs haunt me and inspire me every time that I listen to them.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A solid 4 miles this morning and my leg feels pretty good. I'm surprised at how loose and pain free it has been the past few days. And let me tell you, I don't care if you're in Ohio or Southern California, if you wake to run only to find frost on your car and the grass and you can see your breath, it's pretty cold.

I plan to spend the day at home tomorrow. We're only supposed to work until 3:00, but Jake is fighting that cold and Jules has to go into Sophie's classroom in the morning. Thus, my holiday weekend begins a day early. Man, am I looking forward to 5 days in a row being at home and just being a family. We plan to hang the lights on Saturday and put up the artificial tree we were given by our friends the Inmans. Normally we would purchase a real tree for Christmas, but because we're going to Ohio, well, you all understand.

One more week until the marathon. I can't believe it's almost here.


Monday, November 22, 2004

The play was great yesterday and the whole turned out to one of our best family days in a while. We went to lunch then drover into North Hollywood to catch the Metro Redline, which dropped us right across the street from the Pantages. The weather outside was chilly, but the warmth of the performances filled our bodies. I was impressed that the producers did not edit any of the text to accommodate the current "PC" climate that is riding high in our country. There audible gasps when Peter Pan said that Tinkerbell called Wendy an "ass". Good for them not to kowtow to the hordes of people out to protect us.

After a drive home, we went to BJ's, a local restaurant/brewery that is fast becoming a hot chain. One of the owners of BJ's is on the CF board with me. His daughter has Cystic fibrosis (she began college this fall). At BJ's they serve a delectable desert called the Pizookie, which is an eight inch round cookie cooked in a pizza pan, served with ice cream on top. It's awesome. And one dollar from each pizookie sold goes toward the fight against Cf. I think it's awesome that the people at BJ's are using their corporate resources to help in the battle. This is the kind of thing I hope to do someday when/if I have the power to hold premieres for my movies.

This morning I decided to walk instead of ride my bike. My knee has been pretty much pain free the past few days. But it steels feels like there is a mass of goo on my kneecap when I walk. Nothing new. I've kind of had this feeling since I had the surgery twenty years ago. Still, it is more noticeable these days. The knee also feels weaker when I take the stairs. That's what scares me the most. The5re are times when it feels like it won't hold me up.

I am worried about Sophie and how hard she pushes herself. Whenever she gets something wrong or something doesn't work out, she blames herself. She says that it's "her fault" and that she can do better. I worry that these feelings stem from something I have said or from my reactionary behavior at times. I tried talking to her tonight before she went to bed. I asked her not to get so upset if she gets a wrong answer. Sophie told me she wants to be "really smart". She is often so critical of herself. Even when you compliment her for her nice drawings, she says that they aren't very good. I hope this is just a passing thing. I would hate for her to get stressed out like her father.

Jake is fighting that cold, still, and has been placed on an antibiotic. He has to take it for two weeks. Julie said that she's beginning to feel the effects of the cold, too. I believe it is the same cold I was fighting a couple of weeks ago that Sophie then caught before passing it on to Jake. Now it's Jules' turn. Sorry, hon.

One final note: I received a generous donation from and old high school buddy, Phil Sprague, a guy I haven't really spoken to in seven years, maybe, and I know I haven't seen him in almost ten years. It really touches my heart when people reach out like this. In some small way, I feel like this fundraiser has reconnected us with some of those friends and family that went astray. Oh, it was not by anyone's choice... just life happening.

This fall has been an excellent season for music. I discovered The Jam, received some great punk music in the form of two box sets, and picked up Mellencamp's greatest hits and Pearl Jam's greatest hits. Listening to Pearl Jam reminds me of my long lost friend Matt Brookshire. I often think of what he must be up to now and where he must be. I haven't spoken to him in two years. Oh, I know I could easily call his parents or his brother and try and get a phone number. But something... Pride mostly... always gets in the way. We've sent the CF letters and Christmas cards every year and we get no reply. Maybe he's moved and the cards don't get forwarded. Rude, but possible. Or maybe.... who knows. I think this will be the year I track him down again. Mat was the basis for one of the characters in "King's Highway". In fact, the original script was closer to some of the crap that went down between us. But that's in the past. I would just like to see how he's doing. Tis the season, after all.


Sunday, November 21, 2004

I'm always surprised when I log in and I haven't written in several days... and I think that I did write. Could have sworn I checked in on Thursday or Friday.

Yesterday was my last "long" run of 10 miles before the marathon. As I ran the course I've created for myself up here in Santa Clarita, I was tired, uninspired, and a little nostalgic for I truly believe this will be my last marathon. Ask me about running in a year and we'll see.

The week ended with a great run Thursday morning and then I was so uninspired to do anything remotely good for me on Friday that I didn't even do yoga. Thus, when it came time to get up and pound out 10 miles yesterday, you can imagine how excited I was. The fact that it's getting colder and colder (we had a hail storm last night) makes it more difficult. Still, I know my mission and even if my knees buckle under me in two weeks, I'm completing this marathon.

One of the recurring thoughts I have when I'm running is that I'm so tired of asking people for money. I want to take a brief reprise from constantly asking folks to shell out fifty bucks for our cause. I always come back at myself with, "if not you, then who?" But I feel like we've been working really hard for three years raising awareness and money. We need a little time to recharge our batteries and come up with some fresh ideas.

I was just thinking about this particular fundraiser and the fact that I am so close to raising $10,000 again this year. I doubt we'll get there, but it’s, still a good accomplishment. What amazes me once again this year is the number of people who have opened up their hearts and pocketbooks for us. In some instances, we are complete strangers to these people. I can only attribute this to my limited writing skills and being able to convey our life. It gives me hope that when / if I am able to create a film that deals with Cf, the lives the film will touch will help bring in more money to help find a cure.

But I hope I never have to make a film about Cf.

On the personal front, we received some exciting news about our Ohio trip. My closest friend, Steve, and his family will be making a trip to Ohio, too. Although he and I talk regularly and send emails almost weekly, I haven't seen him in person since 2001, just before we moved into the house. This vacation to Ohio is looking to be a busy one... but unlike trips in the past, I'm looking forward to seeing so many people. There are a lot of them that I need to thank.

We're off to see "Peter Pan" this afternoon. My running friend, Peter, had 4 tickets for a show downtown this afternoon and he couldn't use them. So he gave them to us as a gift. Sophie is pretty excited. We'll see if Jake can sit through the whole performance. It will be a nice change from hanging out in the house all day.

We have a short work week and Thanksgiving is this Thursday. Man, this year is flying by.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Not much to report today. I am having a difficult time concentrating on writing. It's not just the blog. I'm working on a script and I can't find the right frame of mind to sit down and write. I know it's the anticipation for the run. It's only two weeks away. I very glad that Thanksgiving is next week. That will distract me from thinking about 26 miles.

I don't plan to run with the City of Hope group this week. There is a big event at the Rose Bowl and Robert has relocated the long run. In addition, the whole group is doing their 20 mile run, so I would only run part of the way with them. I will run 10-12 miles up here instead.

Received several checks in the mail today. That was pretty uplifting. I believe we'll reach $8,000 this year, which isn't too shabby.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Barely eked out 30 minutes running this morning. My head was full of crap and I felt a weight on my chest. The rest of the day perked up and I'm feeling better. I need new insoles for my shoes and I'm hoping that this will give me a little lift in my step. The old insoles have been with me since June, so I feel like they've served me well.

I have found out that there will only be 5 of us running for CF in this marathon. I'm a little disappointed to find this out. I wish there was some way we could get the word out about marathon training as a way of raising money for CF. I mean, people could run any marathon in the country, as long as they had a training program and a coach. Robert seems to be doping the right thing by expanding his company, 26.6, to other areas of the nation. I just wish there was some way CF could be more involved.

I guess the "responsibility" of running this marathon is pressing me. And it's at odds with desire to be done with the training and to get away to Ohio for Christmas. Though, I don't know why I'm excited about getting to Ohio. I*('m cold now, and it's only in the 60's. I am in so much trouble come December 20th.

Jake is fighting a cold. He had some green snot this morning. That's our big fear. If his nose is just running and it's clear, we aren't as nervous as opposed to the green indication of infection. Jules has given him extra treatments the past couple days to help keep his lungs clear. And there's not much we could do. This cold has gone around the house and Jake is the latest to catch it.


Monday, November 15, 2004

So I'm back training for the final leg of this marathon. Woke up this morning and rode the bike about 4 miles. Boy, was that tougher than I thought it would be. But it's good to be back in the thick of things. I was looking forward to getting up early last night (is that sick or what) and I'm so glad I did. I am also very eager for this marathon to be over. I am so burnt out on training and my knees are barking at me with every step I take.

The past weekend was so wonderful. We celebrated Jake's birthday on Saturday with a party and a Scooby Doo jumper. I'll tell you, you don't need a lot of activities when you rent one of these jumpers. Kids spend about 3 hours in there. Mom and Dad got in Friday evening and I think Sophie was going to explode with excitement. She loves seeing here grandparents so much it really touches your heart. And Jake has started to be less tentative around them. Once he warms up, though, he is a ball of love and energy. Saturday morning it rained for a brief time, then the skies opened for a glorious sunny afternoon. You couldn’t ask for a better day for a party.

Yesterday Dad and spent most of our time cursing and replacing two faucets. I am so grateful that he was there to help, out. Although it is relatively easy, figuring it all out would have made my br4ain melt. Of course, he paid for all of the hardware. These little "gifts" are so appreciated. I know Mom and Dad wish they could help us all of the time like this. Our family is very fortunate to have folks watching out for us all of the time. I only hope that we make up for it spiritually so that our karma evens out in the universe. And I hope that all of that karma goes directly to Jacob.

For obvious reasons, I thought a lot about the day Jake was born this weekend and all of the turmoil surrounding his birth. I can't believe that it was three years ago that it all happened. My how we have all grown in that time. Not just physically, but spiritually as well. With all of our struggles, we know that we have each other. And as this weekend reminded us, once again, we have a core group of family and friends who will always be there for us.

As I lounged around on the couch after returning from the airport last night (Julie and the kids were sleeping) I dwelled on how much I love our life. I love our house and I love having a beautiful, strong, loving wife, and two children who are compassionate and full of so much life. It was a great weekend indeed.


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The past week saw my birthday and Heidi's birthday come and go. I can't believe I'm 35 already. You know how you have these images as a kid of what you're going to be doing by a certain age? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. As I take stock of my life, I did think I'd be married and have some kids by this age, so I guess I'm on track, huh?

This year's birthday was very nice. Some pretty cool gifts and some surprises. Sophie bought me "Daddy Day Care" on DVD and I think that's my favorite gift of the bunch. She wanted a movie we could watch together. God I love that little girl. Such a big heart. Steve also sent me a pretty rad cd box set containing music from the 80's underground movement. Bands like the Minutemen, Husker Du, Replacements and The Smiths take up four discs worth of space. It's good mood music to write to.

Steve and I have been communicating frequently. Each week I send him a new song via email (don't tell the record companies). Ever since his parents moved to North Carolina, Steve and his family don't venture up to Ohio anymore. I believe I miss hanging out with him (even for a night) the most when we go back to visit. Some friendships are fleeting and some fade away with time. But the friendship that Steve and I have was forged in stone. He's such a bright guy. I swear he could run for office and get elected (although he's a Democrat living in North Carolina... might be kind of tough). However, he always tells me he could never subject his wife, Marianne, and their two kids, Jack and Grace, to a life in government. That's why I believe he's a good man. He places the welfare of his family and friends before himself.

Steve's made mention that he might try to come up to Ohio while we're in North Olmsted for two weeks around Christmas. Boy, would that be great. We'll see, though. I know he has a lot to deal with in NC.

I've agreed to speak at a CFF function next week. I'm never quite sure what I'm supposed to say at these things. I want to be positive, but part of the purpose of showing up at these CF dinners is to inspire people who don't live with the disease to come and give money. However, I'm not a hundred percent sure what exactly this dinner is all about. I guess I should look into it a little further. Rebecca, my friend from the Cf Foundation asked me to do it, so I'll do it no matter what.

Strange, I just had a thought... I don't know exactly what my involvement with the Foundation will be once the marathon is done. At this point, I don't plan to run again (at least for a year). I know I'm on the Board of.... uh, whatever, but even at those meetings I feel out of place. I'm the youngest guy there and I don't have the type of business contacts they're looking for (because show biz people are kind of flighty, I've learned).

I guess my best way to get across the message about CF is through my writing. Alas, I'm 35... time feels like it's ticking away on me.

Jake's birthday is this weekend. My parents are coming into town for it. We're having a party on Saturday with a Scooby Doo jumper (my God, Jake LOOOOOOOOVES Scooby Doo. It's enough to drive us mad... if we weren't already a little loopy). The party keeps getting bigger and Jules is a little stressed. I think it will all be fine, unless it rains.


Monday, November 08, 2004

It’s the day after my 20-mile run and I’m both content and a little worried. I finished this run feeling better than I did after last year’s long run, but I still have the same fears I had back then. At one point yesterday I questioned how I was ever going to complete the marathon. Part of these doubts stemmed from the sudden change in weather, and part was from the psychological games I was playing on myself.

I was running in the Santa Clarita Marathon. Originally registered for the half marathon, I ran those first 13.1 miles at a 3/1 pace. It was a comfortable enough run, a little slower than what I did in San Francisco, but I was trying to save some energy for the last portion of my run. Luckily, the course was around our neighborhood, so I knew where I had to go in order to pick up the last 7 miles of my run.

I had my MP3 player filled with 5 hours of music (and let me tell you, I thought it would be easy to come up with 83 songs to run to… it wasn’t). The weather was great. And best of all, Julie and the kids met up with me around my 14th mile to cheer me on. I felt like I was going to cruise through the latter part. But, by mile 17, the weather turned dreary fast. It got cold and it began to drizzle. That’s when my knees started to lock up and my hip started to ache. By mile 19, I was headed for a turn around and I passed what was my mile 20 marker. The last mile took forever. I kept thinking the end was near… for a good 20 minutes.

Still, I came away feeling satisfied that this run was done. I’ve decided to take this week off to recover and allow myself some time to catch up on some writing. There is only a month left until the marathon and despite my fears yesterday, I know I’ll finish this marathon. There were a couple of times during the race in which I nearly broke out in tears. Some of the songs I selected (in particular a Badly Drawn Boy track from the ABOUT A BOY soundtrack) gave me inspiration and reminded me of why I’m doing this run. I know I shouldn’t need reminding, but when you’re out there and your muscles are killing you, sometimes that little spiritual kick keeps you going.

I regret that I did not write last week. I was depressed over the election outcome. I have said that I don’t want this to be a political blog, but I have held back and I know it has kept me from being as open as I like. I think it’s obvious which way I vote. I have been pretty liberal for a number of years and this particular election has really brought out that side of me. Those of you who know me must realize that I am for equality for everyone and that we need to help our poor and unfortunate. Love thy neighbor as they brother is the saying and I take that to heart. With our family situation, I know this to be so true. With strangers and family members helping us out during various hardships in the past three years, I would feel like a hypocrite if I did not try to send some of that good will back out into the world.

I do not feel that this current administration has those same intentions. Although they preach it, I do not see it in their actions. And I am not close-minded about this. I have spoken to numerous Republicans and heard what they have to say. I have made an attempt to hear their fears and beliefs in an attempt to understand where they’re coming from. Some of those people are in my own immediate family. Do I resent them for what they believe? No. Have I tried to sway them into what I believe? Sure. And they have done the same to me. These are not heated arguments, though, merely exchanges of ideas. Our country was founded on free thought and the exchange of ideas. Too much lately, though, it’s either one side or the other. I had hopes that this election would mark a change in tone and direction the country was headed. Sadly, I do not feel this will happen. Some of you may feel differently. I would love to hear your thoughts.

On a positive note, though, Proposition 71 here in California passed. This was a controversial Stem-Cell research proposition that would open California up to doing more stem cell research. We do not know what the future holds and what cures may be found through stem cells, but as a parent with a child who has a life threatening illness, I am in favor of this type of research.

That’s all for now.