Saturday, August 30, 2008

Training update

I didn't head into Pasadena to run with the training group this morning. I drove three times to work this week and decided to hold off on spending more money on gas. Besides, the run was only 5 miles. That said, it was an okay run. I had a completely miserable run on Wednesday night due to outside influences. I couldn't clear my head of all of the shit going on in our lives. And on Thursday, I missed my run because of back to school night. Thus, I only ran once this week, and that was Monday morning.

Still, I managed to finish okay, even though I forgot my water bottle. The weather in the morning is starting to become a little cooler, though the days are still unbearable.

I look forward to getting back with the team next Saturday.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


When I was in the Boy Scouts, what I took away from the organization wasn't how to tie knots or how to shoot a bow an arrow. What I took from my years in Troop 664 was a pride in my nation, a sense that you can do anything if you put your mind to it (something I proved by earning my Eagle Scout award). I gathered a sense of loyalty in the Boy Scouts and a feeling that it is our responsibility to look out for our fellow man. Although I have had a personal falling out with the Scouts due to their noninclusive, prejudicial policies, I still hold the things I took from those years close to my heart.

It was these themes that I heard over and over again in one of t most brilliant speeches I have heard in my lifetime tonight. Never have I sat captivated before the television to hear a politician speak like I did tonight when Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for the Presidency. Everything he said echoed my true feelings about America and what makes this country great.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Best (albeit unintentional) Prom Picture Ever

Matt swears he was caught off guard when the photographer took this. He's no longer with us to defend or refute the statement, so I will continue to believe this was unintentional. For one reason, he really loved the girl he's pictured with. It may have been high school love, but those feelings are real. It's been 20 years since this was taken. After Matt died I carried it around in my wallet for awhile, that's why it appears so beat up.

Miss you, brother.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rode the train this morning reading the LA Weekly on my lap and listeningf to Journey through the headphones. I'll tell you what, that Steve Perry, if he plays his cards right, the kid may have a future as a singer.

Across the aisle was a man in his 40's with his long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. There were three or four rubberbands holding the locks in place. He had a goatee and a face weathered by years of experience. The tattoos on his neck and all over his arms gave the impression that this was a hard man and that you wouldn't want to cross him for fear that his tan leather work boots might plant themselves in your face. Then, as I was getting my shit together to get off the train, his phone rang.

He spoke on the phone to someone in a tender voice. I got the impression that it was a child and he was calmly explaining that he was on his way to work and that he was on the train. I smiled and stepped down the steps to head to work.

Testing, Testing

I trying out a new keyboard for th laptop. It's basically a piece of rubber with raised digits. The action of he keyboard is good, but it's strange not having a big, clunky piece of plastic to pound on. Then again, I can pound the crap out of this things and it won't wake up Julie and t kids in he middle of t night.

Anyway, if you see a bunch or typos, that's the reason. It's definitely not because I can't spell or that I'm lazy and haven't gone back to correct by errors.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Russell's definition of rock and roll

"It's not what you put into it; it's what you leave out. Listen to... you listen to Marvin Gaye... A song like 'What's Happenin' Brother.' There’s a single 'woo' at the end of the second verse - you know that woo - that single 'woo'… That's what you remember. The little things, the silly things. The mistakes... there's only one of them, and it makes the song. It's what you leave out. Yeah, that's rock and roll."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My favorite article in the past week.

Guys take notice and tell your wives or girlfriends or boyfriends. The title to this article says it all:

"Use It or Lose It: Yes It's True"

Read on...

New look, new features

Well hey everybody!

So, by now, if you're still reading, you can tell that I've made a few changes to the old thunderbolt. Besides the new template, I've added a slew of links and a list of blogs I like to frequent.

You'll also notice that I've added links to every Basement Song entry and some of the other things I've written, either at Popdose or on this blog or the old Marathon training blog. I figured, since some of you may not be reading Popdose, here's a chance to catch up on all of the songs I've written about. I've also included the entire breakdown of my last marathon, the OC Marathon. It may look daunting, 13 or so entries, but it reads fast. No, really, it does.

Anyway, I've decided to take a little pride in what I'm doing here. If I like something in particular, or if there is an old entry I come across that I would love to share to new readers (like, say, that time during my first marathon when my bowels nearly exploded), then I'm going to create a link. Why not. At least it gives frequent visitors something to read when I'm not writing.

That's another thing. I'm really going to try and keep up with this journal. Looking back at the original blog I created, I wrote a lot! I need to get back in that habit.

(I know, I know, I say that all the time)

Half Marathon fundraising letter

Hi all, below is the letter I have sent out for the half marathon fundraiser.

I am running for my son.

That is the mantra I repeated to myself in times of exhaustion when I was training for my first two marathons back in 2003 and 2004. The early morning runs, the aching joints, the self doubt, all of these things played a factor in wearing me down and making me want to quit. But then I would repeat those six words to myself and I would find some buried reservoir of energy and continue moving forward.

I am running for my son.

The reason behind my sudden urge to run a marathon was raising money to find a cure for cystic fibrosis, the deadly disease that Jacob was diagnosed with when he was barely a month old. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene causes the body to produce thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. To combat the disease, Jacob must do daily breathing treatment with a nebulizer and a machine called “The Vest,” which vibrates his chest to break up any mucus build up in his lungs. Additionally, he must take enzyme supplements to help him digest food. Jacob takes a total of 13 different medications daily to keep him a healthy little boy who loves to play with his older sister, Sophie.

After a two year hiatus, a simple jog through a rain soaked parking lot last Thanksgiving lit a spark in me to begin running again. Between 2003 and 2006, over $20,000 was raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through the marathon fundraisers I ran. The time felt right to make another go at it. New shoes were bought, a slow steady regime was adopted, and on November 16, I will participate in the Pasadena half marathon, just two days after Jacob’s 7th birthday.

This past summer, we visited family in Ohio and I stuck with my training as best as possible. The very first morning, as I cut a path through the memories of my childhood jogging through the neighborhoods where I grew up, an epiphany hit me. I vividly recall a Coldplay song chiming through my headphones and I had a clear vision of the future. Jacob and his loving sister, Sophie, were sitting together on a swing, reading, he with his head on her shoulder. They were older, in their teens, and the sun was setting behind them. In this vision, I stood, observing, feeling blessed for the wonderful life I have and the beautiful family I love. And it occurred to me, suddenly, that I am not just running for my son.

I am running for my family.

As this thought came over me, I had to stop running, gasping for air and trying to hold back tears. Any passerby would have thought I’d injured myself. CF affects everyone in the family. As parents, that daily routine of 13 different medications can get overwhelming. But we do it because we love our child and would go to the lengths of the earth to ensure his good health. And then there is Sophie, our precious daughter, who sometimes seems to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. She loves her brother so much is brings tears to your eyes when you observe the way they interact. I dread the day the two of them begin asking questions about the statistics like median life expectancy and the fact that only half the people with cystic fibrosis live to be in their mid-30’s.

I am running for my family.

This new mantra has given me renewed strength on my weekly runs and when I am in need of an extra push, the lyrics from that Coldplay song echo in my head.

“The sky could be blue, I don’t mind / Without you it’s a waste of time.”

Without my family I’m a waste of time. That’s why I asking for your help.

That’s why I’m running for my family.

We need your support. Please consider making a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by clicking on this link and scrolling to the bottom of the page. We are not asking for much, 10, 20, maybe 50 dollars, whatever you can afford. Every little bit helps; every little bit goes a long way in finding a cure for this dreaded disease. It truly is a matter of life and death for people with CF.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Last Saturday was a spectacular run (I know, how "spectacular" can a 6 mile run be?). I was unsure how my body would respond to a morning run. I love running at night, plus last week's 6 mile-ish run really did a number on me. Anyway, I started out a little tight, but I set goals for myself, essentially chasing two different groups of runners and trying to pass them and finish my run before them. Something clicked around the 3 mile turnaround and I fucking cruised home! I even skipped a walk in order to catch and pass my unsuspecting victims.

This training for the half marathon has been some of the most spiritual and refreshing running since before the first marathon back in '03.

Today I began, in earnest, to write my fundraising letter. I feel like it's not very good. I hate writing these letters. Boo frickin' hoo, right? Write the damn letter, crybaby, and raise some money to wipe out this damn disease.

Man, I'm fired up.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I've been meaning to post these pictures since I received them from Bob weeks ago. One of the best parts of our visit to Ohio was the afternoon I spent with my college friends, Bob, Dan and Brad. While bob and I are continually in touch, Dan and Brad and I haven't spoken in years. It may have even been 5 years. The last time I actually saw them face to face was at the "King Highway" screening in Bowling Green back in 2003. Since then, we've all had our share of ups and downs. Most recently, Brad had quadruple bi-pass surgery... and he's only 37! I'm glad to report that he's in good health. We were all in great spirits that afternoon. The only person missing was Brian, our fourth musketeer.

Man, I don't realize how much I miss these guys until we see each other.

The four of us.

Bob and Dan

Brad and me

Just wanted to go on record that Bud Light Lime is one of the worst freaking beers ever. Might as well be a wine cooler. Blech.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Happy (belated) Birthday, Dad!

A happy belated birthday to my dad, Budd Malchus, Sr., who turned 71 on Saturday. Although we don't always see eye to eye, I challenge any son to tell me that he and his father always meet eye to eye. My dad and I have grown closer as he's gotten older. Perhaps my favorite experience in recent years was last October when he came out to help paint our house. As we cheered the Indians on to victory over those damned Yankees, he shared many stories about his youth and growing up in rural North Olmsted, Ohio. It was during that week that I decided that I'm going to begin videotaping him and my mom. Our family needs to know the Malchus and Lamb history. Mom and Dad were in Alabama for a wedding (from the Alabama side of the Malchus family). I got to speak to him yesterday and wish him a happy b-day. As usual, we ended our conversation with me saying, "We love you, Dad," and him responding, "Same here." Some things you never outgrow. I can't recall the last time my old man actually said he loves me, but after so many tormented years in my childhood of feeling unloved, I have no doubt that both he and my mom love us all dearly.
This morning, Dan Patrick, on his syndicated sports radio show, made a comment regarding a mini- controversy with ESPN sideline reporter, Erin Andrews. Regarding Andrews and the scrutiny she's suddenly under for the clothes she wears, he said, "You go from 'we don't know who you are, but we like you... Then they know they build you up, they tear you down. That's the way this works in the media, unfortunately."

My first thought was of Obama.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

This afternoon we went to a CF Foundation event, the Brew Ha Ha, a beer tasting event. We met a very nice couple who have a two ad a half year old with CF. The wife is a writer and the husband is studying to be a respiratory therapist. She writes a nice blog, Froggy Mama, which I checked out for the first time. It always amazes me how many comments people receive at certain blogs. I am lucky to receive one or two a month. Then again, she seems like a better writer than I am. She writes in complete sentences. Unlike, you know. Me.

The beer tasting festival was great fun. I discovered a great tasting beer out of Paso Robles, CA, Firestone Walker. Smooth beer, my friends. Very smooth. Of course, BJ's provided some excellent food, as did several other fine restaurants, including Stone Fire, which has a place up by us.

Dinner just arrived. Gotta run.