just another work conversation, part 26

intern: I think I saw you running yesterday.

me: And you didn’t run over me?

intern: I wasn’t sure it was you.

note to self: be nicer to interns.

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life is funny, part 361

I run at noonish. Given my geographical lot in life, that means my summer runs vary between way too hot and oh my god just kill me now. Luckily, I don’t think it’s done too much damage to my brain.

Did I ever mention I run at noonish? Given my geographical lot in life, that means my summer runs vary between way too hot and oh my god just kill me now. Luckily, I don’t think it’s done too much damage to my brain.

I’ve been reading a lot about how to deal with the heat. The prevailing theory seems to be to drink a lot. This is a problem for me in that I work in a profession that no longer allows the whiskey bottle on the desk. What to do, Daddy-O? Mo came up with the perfect solution: Fred.

Fred is a water bottle. In the never-ending flood of water products, Fred’s niche is that he comes in a recyclable flask. I’ve never been big on drinking water unless it comes with nutrasweet, at least three kinds of acid and some bubbles. But come on, HIS NAME IS FRED! I love him.

I went to the website and read all the save the planet new way of drinking water blah blah fluffy mumbo jumbo. Whatever. IT’S A FLASK!!! At last I can walk around the newsroom, throwing back shots of water and mumbling about the good old days when deadlines were deader and Family Circus was funny. OK, I just made that second one up.

I took a big swig from Fred. And then another. We bonded. I had that moment of zen that Jon Stewart always alluded to shortly before they went to the late-night knife commercial. And then.

As I sat contentedly with Fred, sipping away, I read the back of the bottle.

“Natural spring water.” Lovely. “From Alpine springs.” Naturally. “In Rockland, NY.”


Yes, I was drinking water from New York. Probably from the East River, which supplies the Alpine springs with its water source when not clogged up with corpses. I’m the guy in the Pace commercial happily eating his salsa when the cowpokes cry out “NEW YORK CITY???”

I will surely die. I ate the last of the bootleg Blue Bell in hopes that listeria would put me out of my misery, washed it down with a Shiner Prickly Pear and hoped for a quick death.

The moral: Never trust anyone named Fred, unless it’s 4 a.m. and you’re watching “I Love Lucy.” Never trust Mo. Cadmium in the meat loaf. You’d think I would learn.

But mostly, avoid Family Circus. Except maybe the ones where Billy swerves all over the place going somewhere. It reminds me of the way I run here when it’s hot.

Life is funny …

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just another late night conversation

me: You bought $80 worth of stuff at the grocery store and there’s nothing to eat?

mo: Alcohol.

me: Oh. Never mind.

I think I remember reading somewhere once that Bill Rodgers had nothing but Shiner and popsicles on the road to his first Boston win.

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running dilemmas

1. I had just started my run yesterday when I noticed that Mr. Neil Young was busking near the Halley’s Comet sign. If you are a fan of Neil Young, you will remember the video way back when in which he did the same thing back in the 1970s in Glasgow, which is very similar to Corpus Christi, so this did not surprise me at all. He was playing “Heart of Gold” as I went by. I stopped for a moment to listen, but I was far enough into my run that I couldn’t bag it for later and just sit and listen. Besides, he had announced earlier in the day that he was yanking all of his music from Spotify. This just a week after I finally coughed up the bucks to pay Spotify so I could listen to all his music on Spotify. But, still. It’s Neil Young. Playing on my course. And then, by the time I got back, he was gone. What should I have done?


2. Jenny, my VRB, has become enamored with the Superfood. It’s an energy bar that Deuce sent from the Great State of Taiwan. It’s really good, and she must have more. I investigated, and it costs $1,080 for a box. Yes, I realize the ad says NT (no tax), but still. A thousand bucks for a box of 12 works out to something like $8.50 per bar. I don’t know for sure. Never went to Jenster Math Camp. Worth the price? Or wait till he smuggles them through customs on the way from Taiwan to Portland, get him to pass to Mild Sauce, talk her into running Cornbelt 24 hour run in Iowa where she gives them to El Señor, who then hands them to me next time he appears in a vision? super 3. I’m thinking of joining the campaign to change the term “transgender,” which has traditionally made people a little nervous, to “trans-jenner,” which evokes warm, fuzzy memories of Wheaties boxes. Yes, our Wheaties were fuzzy. They generally stayed in the back of the pantry too long till the Cocoa Bombs ran out. The problem: Does campaigning for acceptance of a reformed decathlete somehow imply that I’m in favor of the javelin throw? Because I don’t like that feeling of being impaled during invervals. OK, maybe the last interval when you just want to die anyhow. Should I embrace the social reform movement, or go to the store and get some Cocoa Bombs? Could be the cure for Beanee Weenee withdrawals. Running is more complicated than they lead you to believe in the brochures.

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just another morning conversation, part 64

me: You’re in luck! The New York Times says that cool people used to look down on nerds. Now cool people PRETEND to be nerds.


me: ummmmm

I thought she knew. I hope vacation ends soon …

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what i have learned in 59 years on the planet: an essay

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The National Beans and Franks Day Beanee Weenee 4 Mile Run & Hurl

It seemed simple enough. Why do these things always seem simple enough? In honor of Camper Van Beethoven’s Beanee Weeniepalooza, eat four cans of Beanee Weenees while running 4 miles. Brilliant!

But then.

I got to the track around 6 p.m. There was one serious runner, a couple of joggers, some class with ropes and kettle balls and free weights and jumper cables hooked up to a car battery. But nobody was packing beanee weenies. I suppose it has to start somewhere. Even the Boston Marathon started out with just one guy out lost trying to pick up chicks at Wellesley College.

I lined up my cans and my secret beer (I’m not sure if beer is welcomed on high school campuses. I remember we drank beer back in my high school days, but only during algebra class. I took the silent vow to do some algebra in my head during the run. Or maybe convert mile splits to kilometers.)

After the national anthem, a brief invocation (dear Lord, bless our underwear), a song by an up-and-coming country singer accompanied by hundreds of earnest but out-of-place junior high students, four commercials and some brief commentary from the booth, the race commenced.

It was fairly simple. Hit the start button on the watch, then eat a can of beanee weenies. The run a mile. Then more beanee weenees. Then another mile. Four cans, four miles. USA USA.

We began.

The first mile was actually pretty comfy. I felt no ill effects, other than it was hot and I’m old and the gravitational pull on Earth seems to be stronger when you’re near the ocean. Something to do with the tides I suppose. And then it was over and time for round 2.

Again, not awful. I was feeling a little heavy, and I could feel the 1,700 milligrams of sodium pumping through the tiny veins in my forehead. But a guy was doing 400 repeats in lane 2 and I couldn’t hope to look as bad as him, so on I went. And then, round 3. Sadly, a camera glitch left me with but a small portion of that pit stop. But I didn’t barf during it, so basically you missed me making faces and eating. But I was starting to feel it. And not in a good way.

On the third mile, I walked a little in hopes of not having a calamity on the track. There were a lot more folks out than I expected, and beanee weenee barf, while admittedly an attractive concept, might have been deemed impolite in lane 4. But it wasn’t tooooo awful.

And then, the fourth can.

It was really, really, really, really bad. And I stop there only because i got really, really, really tired of typing really. Really. I had that one second where I started to gag in the way that happens when your pal says “No, that really isn’t a Power Bar that really IS dog poop don’t eat it” but you know he’s playing an elaborate joke so you chomp into it and realize it’s either not an elaborate joke at all or maybe one of those Epic paleo bars.

I started out on the fourth mile. And I felt bad. And then I felt worse. But then with about 800 meters to go, something happened. All of a sudden, I still felt bad. And then as I started to kick it in for the last 200, out of nowhere, I still felt bad.

But I finished, and I didn’t barf. I finished under an hour, which was actually better than I had hoped for. And two hours later, my heart hasn’t exploded. And I will never, ever eat Beanee Weenees again.

At least not till next July 13. See you then!!!

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