Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We had a rather large earthquake yesterday. the scariest part was being away from Julie and the kids while it happened. But everyone is okay and there was not damage to our house.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I've kind of slacked off on the first thought of the day. For Yesterday, my first thought actually was, "Man, I'm glad the Dodgers picked up Casey Blake." My first thought today was , "Damn, The Dark Knight was phenomenal."

First the Dodgers. The Indians traded blue collar workhorse Casey Blake to the Dodgers on Saturday. As luck would have it, Sophie and I were going to the Dodgers game that night. Sophie is a HUGE Casey Blake fan, having rooted for him during the Indians playoff run last fall. She was bummed that he wasn't going to be on the Indians anymore, but excited that we'd get to see him play that night. Mr. Blake was 2-3 with a double and a run scored. Not bad for a guy who walked off an airplane, got fitted for a uniform and played his first game on his new team all within a three hour span. Casey should also be happy to learn that he has a fan club up in Saugus. The next morning, when his picture appeared in the Times, Jake saw it and exclaimed, "Hey, it's Casey Blake!" Saturday night, I bought my first official Dodgers cap, not some knockoff you get in the parking lot, but the real deal. For those of you who know me, it's taken me 14 years to be able to make this purchase. 14 years to feel like I'm not being disloyal to the Tribe. But the Indians are done for the season (Sophie still holds out hope, God bless her), so why not root for our other team, the Dodgers. Besides, I needed a new lid.

Yesterday I saw The Dark Knight and I have to say that it was an exceptional film. Not just for entertainment purpose, but on a deeper level. Christopher Nolan has crafted one of th most exciting, heartbreaking and thought provoking films in popular entertainment since the Lord of the Rings movies. Heath Ledger lives up to the hype. Christian Bale continues to display why he's one of the most talented actors of this generation. Aaron Eckhart gave a very solid performance (and that Two-Face makeup was horrifying). Finally, Gary Oldman delivered one of th most emotional and understated performances in the film. If you only associate Oldman with psychos and weirdos, you will be surprised by what he does in The Dark Knight. I've already heard the backlash begin: It's too long; he plot is too complicated; it's just a super hero movie. I'm telling you, there is something going on in this film that gets inside you. It is a study in what makes us evil and how we handle tragedy. Oh, and th music is so haunting, I can't get it out of my head.

Had a decent run Saturday morning with the Pasadena training group. I had forgotten how rough the terrain down there by the Rose Bowl can be. My 5 mile run took 10 minutes longer than I have don near home. Still, I'm glad I went and plan to attend as many group long ruins as possible. Tonight I had a great night time run. I am in love with my iPod Nano and what it is capable of giving me... music wise. Come one people, get your heads out of the gutter (oh wait, that was me). That new Coldplay album is at the top of my listening list. Good stuff.

That's all for tonight.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Last night I went for an incredibly awesome run at 10:00 PM. I overslept my 5 AM wakeup and was pissed throughout the day until deciding to makeup for the missed morning marathon and exercise at night. It was the best decision I've made in a while. With my legs awake an loose from a full day of activity, I had no problem getting right into a groove. I found a great pace and was able to maintain it for most of the run. Additionally, I ran a longer distance than I have in some time. Without the pressure of getting home in time to see the kids off to school and get ready for work, I was able to relax and push myself a little bit. I hope that I will be able to continue running at night up until the half marathon in November. Granted, it was dark out and there were a few nerve racking moments running through underpasses, but I certainly enjoyed myself a lot more than I have in ages.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A decent run this morning considering I haven't been out jogging for almost 3 weeks. The new knee support was great, I love the iPod, and my back didn't bother me one bit. I completed 30 good minutes (a little plodding, but consistent) until the burdens of my mind began to press down on me and I lost the will to continue. Some personal things over the weekend are taxing me right now, personal things I don't care to discuss on thunderbolt. Still, I'm glad I made it out today. It would have been far too easy to sleep in and put off the running for another day.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Well, here it is, the weekend is half over and I'm still up hoping to catch some Indians highlights and really considering the purchase of the Perfect Pushups. Did you know you can get BIG ARMS, a BIG CHEST and RIPPED ABS! There's no wasted effort, just perfect pushups. Designed by a Navy Seal, no kidding, yeah, and only two payments for 20 bucks.

That's not too funny, though. I vividly recall a night when I was up with Jake, it was around 2 in the morning, and I was feeling pretty low about myself. Next thing you know I was ordering a series of Yoga VHS tapes. I'll give you three guesses how often I used those tapes. Actually, there is one tape that I pull out on occasion. I've used that one tape some ten times in five years. The other four sit in a box collecting dust.

We were supposed to go to the beach today but Jake woke up with a 102 degree fever. He fought it all day and now, at about 11:30, it appears to have broken. We spent the day indoors, venturing out to The Candy Factory for some sweets and another time for some Tylenol that Jake refused to take. Sophie and I played some handball.

I spoke with Dana, my manager, this morning and she had some notes for my teen script that has a character with CF. She pretty much told me that the script was ordinary and that the focus should be the family with CF. Now, normally, having your script being called ordinary could hurt a writer's ego, but I've never... never received any notes about this script. The only comments I've ever gotten were "nice" and "well written." Yada yada yada bullshit. It's nice, no, refreshing to get honesty like that. That's why I signed with her. So, I have a lot to think about. As soon as we hung up I started visualizing how the script could be changed to alter the main storyline and make it work the way Dana proposed. This is the part of writing that I love, the editing and revising process. When everything is clicking, and so many ideas are flying around like little gnats and you have to swat them away, I get a great buzz. I'm on cloud nine, folks.

Friday, July 18, 2008

First Thought of the Day 7.18.08

My first thought carries over from yesterday. I'm surprised that I'm not sweating bullets and worrying that people don't like King's Highway, especially with two awful reviews on Netflix ("worst movie ever" was one of them). Am I so far removed from the movie after it being so many years that the criticism can easily roll off my back? Have I matured enough to take any one person's opinion with a grain salt (I mean, come on, "worst" movie? Have they seen Navy S.E.A.L.S or The Forgotten?)? Or do I just not give a shit because I know that the acting really is good and the editing by Vill is outstanding?

Maybe I'm blinded because I've lived with it so long. Still, I've had people I REALLY respect commend me on the movie, people who would not hesitate to tell me if the movie really was crap. People are entitled to their opinion. At least they watched the movie, right (except the one reviewer who was afraid they wouldn't get to minute 13).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

First Thought of the Day 7.17.08

I hope the basement song entry I wrote today isn't shit. I feel like I had something to say with this one, but I also feel like I wasn't as full speed. My mind and body still feel like their in a daze, slowly coming back from vacation. Each night, coming in from work, I'm wiped. Why is that?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

First Thought of the Day 7.16.08

Tired. I just can't get going in the morning. The heat at night and the fan blowing on me as I sleep seems to suck my energy out of my body. I remember always feeling this tired during the summers of my youth. I thought I would outgrow this type of exhaustion, this feeling of being wiped out. My whole being seems to need a detox. No coffee. No Coke. No high fructose corn syrup. Maybe then I won't go through sugar and caffeine crashes. Maybe then I won't feel so tired.

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Thought of the Day 7.14.08

My whole body hurts. Not sure I'm going to doing much running of any kind, let alone a marathon, any time soon.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Last week I had the great pleasure of spending the afternoon with Matt's brother, Elliott. Our last visit together had been... uh, not so great. But on a Sunday afternoon in North Olmsted, we hung out in his mom's living room, watching old SNL videos, playing the Wii and sharing a few beers. There were moments during those couple of hours when he lit up talking about music and music theory. Man, the guy should be teaching music. He could inspire so many kids to rethink how they play guitar. I know he made me rethink music. I started listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan again after watching a live performance of Stevie play "Riviera Paradise."

"Listen to the way he makes his guitar cry. It's the end of the story he's telling with the strings." All of these years I hadn't heard this song in quite the way E. described it to me. It was awesome.

I spoke to him on Friday to tell him how much I enjoyed our visit. I realized that night that The Band will forever remind me of E. I was glad to be able to associate some music, separate from Matt, with Elliott. As "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" played over his iPod, we just bobbed our heads and listened to Levon sing.

"The niiiiiiiiiiight, theydrove old Dixie dawn."

I'm glad that our friendship is moving beyond the two of us commiserating about Matt.


First Thought of the Day

Glad my family is coming home tomorrow.
It's late, or early, depending on your frame of mind. I've just returned from an evening out with my neighbor, Kevin, and I'm listening to the new Coldplay album. Kevin is a writer and an actor, and just recently, a producer. I really enjoy going out with him for drinks, usually to this crummy place called The Greens. It's called The Greens because there is a putt putt course. In the past, when I've been to this place, there have hardly been any putt putters. Tonight, they were out in full force. At one point, I got hit in the back with an errand golf ball. Apparently some putt putter was swinging a little too hard.

I really do love this Coldplay album, Viva La Vida..., I think the band has achieved an new level of greatness. They set out to make an ALBUM, and not a collection of singles. It works. Sure, you can hear their influences throughout the record, but who cares. There are some wonderful emtions here, real power. One song stands out above them al, "Strawberry Swing." The first time I heard it, I was swept up by the chiming guitars and lyrics of optimism and love. One morning while running in Ohio, I was listening to the song while jogging and I had an epiphany about my marathon fundraising. I'm not just running for my darling boy, I'm running for the whole family. I'm running to keep us as a foursome. We are that close.

I just listened to the song and I had to stop writing to go play an imaginary acoustic guitar and sing and cry and cry. A long time ago (though, maybe not that long ago) I stopped professing to be a praying man, yet each time I hear this song, "Strawberry Swing," I cry out to God and the heavens to keep my boy safe, keep my Jacob healthy, keep our family safe and intact. I'm sure everyone reading this has the same feelings about their own families. I hope you do.

Oh how I wonder what Doodle, our cat, must be thinking as she peers in through the living room window. Pleading for me to open the door and let her in for the night, instead she has to watch a crazy may dance in a circle strumming his imaginary guitar across his belly. And she has to witness him squeeze his eyes closed and cry. And she has to watch him sink to one knee and cry. And she has to watch him struggle to stand, not from the beers but from the anguish and the fear... the god damn fear. My life is full of fear and worry. Will it ever end?

Will it?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's my fourth day with the family in Ohio and I'm functioning like a human being again. I've become a little more motivated as my initial depression over being alone has subsided. Having done a bunch of errands yesterday really set me back in the right frame of mind. Still, it only take entering Jake's room for my shoes or looking and one of the hundreds of drawing Sophie has done to feel a pang of sadness. It sucks when they're away.

First Thought of the Day

Nice. The Indians traded C.C. (I'm sorry, CC) Sabathia and they decide to start hitting the damn ball again. Not that they're going to turn the season around (although, wouldn't that be a great story), but it is fun to see them wallop a team positioned well in the standings like the Rays.

Friday, July 11, 2008

First Thought of the Day

It's sometime after 8. Of course you know that. Took a Tylenol PM last night. Need to see a chiropractor this morning.

My first thought of the day is this: If I never hear another damn cat meow I will be a very happy man.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Perspective. That's what any vacation I take gives me once I've returned home and slip back into the grind. Julie and the kids are still in Ohio but I'm back in Saugus, trying to get myself mentally equipped for the work day.

Having returned late Tuesday night, yesterday was a daze, made more so by the fact that my office is moving. Thus, on top of getting caught up to speed, I had to pack up my crap for the big move that begins this afternoon. Woke up this morning and just couldn't get going. I started to make a list of things that I have to do JUST to get out the frickin door and I had a chilling thought: Is this what I would be like if I was not married with children? Would I be this lethargic every morning? I envisioned a house littered with post-its, telling how my life was supposed to go.

I don't do well when my family is away, especially after vacation. After spending a week and a half bonding with them, getting reacquainted, so to speak, I'm in a foreign world on my own. I need them to survive.

Lately, I have been reflective on that aspect of my life, my need for companionship. There have been very few periods since my adolescence when I wasn't dating someone. I think the universe has a way of guiding us into the path of adulthood we are destined to follow. Does this have something to do with a childhood feeling unloved? Someday I may wish to explore this deeper. For now, I will continue to tap into my own insecurities and "issues" from growing up in order to be a better parent to Sophie and Jacob.

Ohio was nice. It was an excellent trip. Someday, I would really enjoy going on a vacation that didn't take me back to my roots, back to my hometown. The trouble with going home every time you go on vacation is that you always look inward and into the past. There's no getting around it, at least not for me.

Like I said, perspective.