RSS Feed

Category Archives: commentary

Run Before G.R.A.V.E.

Good things happen all at once.  Just when this blog ought to become All G.R.A.V.E. All The Time, I find it also must become All Fireman 5K All The Time.  Yes, this Saturday, Oct. 14 I shall run a 5K in the morning and act in a murder mystery in the evening.  I know, that’s not a huge lot on my plate (I know YOU probably do more before breakfast) (you know who you are), but you know how easily I get flustered.  I just got back from running and must study my lines for tonight’s rehearsal.  However, I shall first attempt a Running Commentary post in order to avoid Wrist to Forehead Sunday later.

It was pouring rain when we got up this morning.  I was guiltily happy to postpone my run.  I even wondered if the rain would keep up enough to make an indoor run on the mini-tramp eligible.  For one reason, I never finished watching the John Barrymore silent of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that I started watching the last time I ran on the mini-tramp.  However, the rain soon stopped.  When I stepped out on the front porch to get the newspaper, I noticed how muggy it was. Yikes!  I hate a muggy run, and it’s October, for heavens’ sake!  However, after Steven left for work shortly before nine, I suppressed my feelings of ill-usage and got into running clothes.

I sought out the loosest shirt I could find, which was a large, low-cut, sleeveless t-shirt I wear when I go swimming (for a bathing suit, I wear spandex shorts, a sports bra, and that shirt to cover my fat gut).  My sports bras showed, so I made sure I wore colors that didn’t clash with light pink: hot pink and grey.  I know I will never look like anything but a plodding, overweight middle-aged lady when I run, but at least my colors are coordinated.  I further decided to run with a bottle of water in my hand.  I felt desperately thirsty by the end of yesterday’s run.  Also, I planned to run to Herkimer College, which would bring me right near the spring, for a re-fill.

Oh, it was warm and muggy.  There were puddles to dodge around.  I had taken the precaution of wearing an older pair of running shoes, so that was all right.  Still, I don’t need all that dirty water splashing up my legs, so I dodged.  I felt tired and ploddy, so I decided to run up to the college the back way.  It is longer but less steep.  Also, it is in a wooded area, so there might be shade.  I treasure shade.  By the way, I do not care if ploddy is a word or not, it is how I felt.

As I approached the road I wanted, I noticed a new sign saying “Do Not Enter.”  Score!  I could feel like a rebel! The little sign below said, “Authorized vehicles only,”  so I figured it was only closed to vehicular traffic. I thought they would not object to a ploddy, overweight, middle-aged lady, especially on a Sunday.  As I plodded up the road, moving just fast enough that I could pretend to myself it was a run, I saw they are doing work on it.  I made a note to myself to keep running this way on occasion, so I can mark their progress.

My body was not loving this run.  However, one must persevere, especially when one has a 5K to run in less than a week (yikes!).  Actually, you can ignore that parenthetical comment;  I have no reason to “yike,”  I am in plenty good shape for a 5K.  I don’t expect to get a good time, but I feel sure I will have a good time, if you see what I mean.  As I often observe, one must push through the bad runs to get to the good ones. This run was not horrible, at least, not yet.  I continued on up Reservoir Road, which is uphill but more of a gentle slope.  I still struggled a little, but you’ll have that.  Finally I was crossing over and starting on my way down.

And that was when it got horrible.  The sun had come out and was reflecting off the wet pavement like a wide, bright beam of headache.  If I had been wearing my polarized sunglasses and wearing a hat with a brim, I’d have been fine.  As it was, yikes (here I have good reason to  “yike”)!  Still, I didn’t see anything I could do but keep going and hope for a cloud.  Twice I was able to in the grass and take advantage of the shade offered by a row of trees.  Ah, I love to go off-road on occasion (I know some people mean something different than that, and I like those runs too).  At last I got to Lou Ambers Drive, where the trees offered some shade.

Of course the shade did not last.  However, a handy cloud gave some temporary relief, and as always, I tried to count my blessings.  Another blessing is the wide shoulder on that road, because a couple of cars were coming up it.  This is why I like to run on sidewalks when possible.  Occasionally the wind would pick up, and that was another blessing.  It was not enough to dry my sweat, but I was sweating profusely.  Sorry if that gives you an unfortunate mental image (but not real sorry).

I ran for 44 minutes, which was last week’s time.  Normally I try to up it by 10 percent each week, but today I must recruit my energies for this afternoon’s G.R.A.V.E. rehearsal.  Additionally, it should take me less than 44 minutes to run the 5K, so I can feel confident about that.  If the headache the bright sun gave me goes away (can’t say the sun never gave me nuthin’), my life will be perfect.

For more information about the East Herkimer Fire Department 5K, visit their Facebook page.  For more information on A GR.A.V.E. Murder, visit its Facebook event.  And Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

Advertisements

Graveyard, Nosferatu, What’s Not to Like?

I was feeling better than I felt yesterday, so I went running.  I was going to do a Running Commentary post, but in the first place, the run was not that memorable.  In the second place, my headache is back and I have to start thinking about dinner.  As I was looking through Facebook, hoping for a little inspiration (oh, don’t give me that hoary cliche that inspiration follows writing, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes you do so get it before you write).  Where was I?  Ah yes, I found a monster movie picture, and you know how I love to make a post of monster movie pictures.

SO atmospheric! I love it!

It is from the James Whale Frankenstein.  It reminded me of another picture of a cemetery in another horror movie.  I knew I had seen it on Facebook at some point but could not remember what page.  I went to The Golden Age of Monster Movies, a group I am in, and began scrolling through their photos.  Of course I could not find the one I was looking for, and I do not have all night to search for an obscure picture.  However, I soon found a shot of my favorite guy, Nosferatu.  I must share Nosferatu.

I remember this shot from the first time I saw this movie, when I was in the sixth grade. I was scarred for life, but, you know, in a good way.

So I gave up on doing a graveyard theme and just looked for a couple more pictures I liked.  I soon found the following:

We recently watched this one. I should write a blog post about it. I haven’t written about a cheesy horror movie in a long time.

 

I have no idea what this is from, but Peter Lorre, Vincent Price, a severed head, what’s not to like?

So this is my Wuss-out Wednesday post for the week.  I don’t say I won’t have another day of monster movie pictures and silly commentary, but at least I won’t call it Wuss-out Wednesday.  As always, thank you for tuning in.

 

View from the Bottom of the Hill

Wrist to Forehead Sunday indeed!  I cannot even type in one coherent sentence!  Never mind why; it is not that interesting.  I have not had a particularly an interestestetring

That was when I gave up and stopped typing.  How embarrassing!  On the brighter side, it seems I spelled embarrassing correctly the first time for once.  It is early Monday morning.  It has happened a few times that I miss my daily post so do it the next morning as early as possible.  I actually could have done this one at 2 a.m. when I woke up and could not get back to sleep, but I like to stay in bed and keep trying. I often meet with success, as I eventually did this morning.  Ah, but will I meet with success in making a blog post?

Probably not.  As I was about to type when I became quite disgusted with my clumsy typing, I did not have a particularly interesting weekend.  I enjoyed it; it’s just nothing to write blog about (get it, like “nothing to write home about”?).

I did see a cartoon on Facebook that caught my attention and my thoughts.  It showed a person at the bottom of hill carrying a bicycle on Monday; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were spent struggling up the hill; Friday was a happy person at the top of the hill starting down; Saturday zipping down; Sunday reaching the bottom and into Monday in an endless cycle.  I thought, “Yes, that is exactly what I feel like, only without the bicycle.  I feel like I’m pulling myself up a vertical incline with only my fingernails for tools.”  Seriously, that is the exact image that has been coming to my mind lately, even before seeing the cartoon.

However, the point of the cartoon was, “Don’t be like this.”  I commented, “How, how, how can one accomplish this?”  So far nobody has replied, although I got a couple of Likes (on Facebook as with the blog, I love to get Likes).  So now I appeal to my blog readers:  How can one accomplish this without changing one’s job, going back to school, or otherwise completely disrupting one’s life?  Any ideas?  Anybody?  Bueller?

Full disclosure:  I am not feeling particularly ill-used by fate this morning.  I actually feel in a pretty good mood right now.  Is it the coffee?  Or the blog?  Maybe I should start waking up with the blog on a Monday.  It may have a positive effect on my life.

 

Random Essay for Wuss-out Wednesday

Here is a little-known fact about a famous Shakespearean tragedy:  Romeo snored.  Of course, most of us snore at least sometimes, but the entire Montague family was known for their loud, incessant, obnoxious snoring.  When the whole family slept in the same castle, their snorkeling, snorting, gasping, grating, grinding, endless nighttime symphonies would have rattled the windowpanes, if they would have had glass windowpanes in the 16th century (I looked this up after I wrote that: glass window panes became common in the 17th century) (Phew!).

In fact, according to one source (OK, it’s me), that snoring was the original cause of the whole Montague/Capulet fracas.  The families used to be great friends, spending Sunday afternoons together.  One Sunday when Capulet was in the middle of a long, boring story (don’t judge; you’ve told them yourself, we all have), Montague fell asleep.  Capulet could never be brought to believe that the warm weather and heavy Sunday dinner were to blame, or that the ensuing noise was quite natural.  He always held to it that Montague was only pretending to sleep and made all that racket just to poke fun at Capulet.  Nothing could convince him otherwise, because all the Montagues were afraid to fall asleep in front of him after that.  Just imagine all the years of hostility that could have been avoided with a simple sleepover.

Romeo, naturally, inherited the tendency.  It is a pretty safe bet that Romeo and Juliet did not waste any time sleeping during the one night they had together.  This is unfortunate, as things turned out, because if Juliet had gotten a load of that honk, she may have been more amenable to taking Paris as a substitute.  I understand his family was rather gentle in their nighttime sounds, although Juliet would naturally have had no chance of finding that out beforehand.  I know, some of you are going, “Bu-bu-bu–” in your anxiety to get out a defense of True Love, and you know, they were married.  Yes, well, let’s leave the philosophical discussion for another day (perhaps Lame Post Friday, my traditional space for half-baked philosophy, and don’t try to tell me yours is fully cooked, I won’t believe you).

Incidentally, you may remember that Romeo’s mother died offstage before the end of the play.  Some have hypothesized that since theatrical companies at that time had only three boys who could play female roles, you could only have three women onstage at a time.  Well, that could be, but the fact of the matter is, she died from lack of sleep.  Being a Montague only by marriage, she just couldn’t handle the buzz saw.

 

The Million Dollar Question Is…

You know, I am really, really sick of Facebook memes that ask if you would do something for a million dollars: live without the internet, stay in a haunted house, slap your cousin (watch out, Mary Beth!).  You would be amazed at all the stuff you can supposedly get paid a million dollars to do.  OK, now everybody, even though you have already spent your millions (I’m guessing most of you would do more than one of the above-mentioned or other chores), listen to me carefully, I’ll put it in bold caps, in case you need the emphasis:

NOBODY IS GOING TO PAY YOU A MILLION DOLLARS FOR DOING ANY OF THOSE THINGS!!!!!

Yes, I felt it needed all five exclamation points.

I have expounded in this space before about my abhorrence of hypothetical questions.  If only I could remember the titles of any of them, I could make a ping-back (something I have become very adept at doing) (Under the heading It Takes So Little To Please Some People: I get so proud of myself whenever I can do anything on the computer).

I know, I know, these questions are conversation starters, meant to stretch our brains in unaccustomed directions.  I guess it seems kind of silly for an alleged fiction-writer such as myself to rail against asking a questions that have no basis in reality.  After all, what is fiction but finding different answers to questions that begin, “What if…?”

Well, I stand by my grumpiness regarding the million dollar question.  For one thing, on no Facebook post I have seen has it ever, EVER engendered a lively conversation, just a whole bunch of people saying, “Yes,” “F***, yeah,”  etc.  The last time I saw it (today), the million dollar task was to stay in a haunted house.  I commented, “You are more likely to find someone willing to charge you big bucks for you to stay in the purportedly haunted house.”  Everybody ignored me, as, indeed, they ignored other affirmative answers and both silly pictures (a Ghost Busters t-shirt and an actual ghost).  I’m not miffed at being ignored; I’m just pointing out that this was no conversation starter.

Anyways, this is my blog post for today. You will note:  I did not whine about not being able to write a decent blog post.  I contend that I did not whine at all, grumpiness notwithstanding.  I’m going to call it a Bad Attituesday and drive on.

 

Why Can’t I Celebrate Father’s Day Like a Normal Blogger?

Let me preface this post by saying that I have a terrific father.  He is fun, he is funny, he gives great advice and he is always there for me.  However, I wanted to make a kind of a different Father’s Day post, perhaps involving pictures, so I thought I would discuss a couple movies in which fathers play a key role.  Spoiler Alert!  I may give away a few salient plot points along the way, so if you have never seen The Wolf Man or Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, you may like watch them before reading this.

Last night we watched a movie involving a rather sad father and son story, The Wolf Man with Claude Rains and Lon Chaney Jr., as the father and son, respectively.  Chaney returns home, because his elder brother has died.  There is a nice scene where Chaney and Rains discuss how they don’t talk about their feelings and so are not that close, but that they are going to try to do better in the future.  Then, of course, Chaney gets turned into a werewolf and comes to a bad end, and it is very tragic, in addition to being a scary monster movie.

“Holy crap, I DO look like hell first thing in the morning!”

I can’t find a good shot of Claude Rains, but here is Lon Chaney, Jr., looking stunned and horrified at what he has become.  Bela Lugosi also has a small but pivotal role.

Not as slick as when he played the Count, perhaps, but, still, Bela.

Another movie I watched recently in which the father plays a pivotal role, although not nearly as large a role, is Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte.  In fact, Victor Buono, as Charlotte’s (the incomparable Bette Davis) father, is listed as Guest Star on the DVD cover.  He is an extremely important character, however.  In the opening scene, he orders Charlotte’s married boyfriend to break things off with her.  When the boyfriend is subsequently murdered, the father whisks Charlotte off to Europe, so she is never forced to face charges for a murder she may (or may NOT) have committed.  Dear old Dad is dead for most of the picture, but his shadow looms over the proceedings.  One thing that cannot be denied is that he loved his daughter, and she him.

Clockwise from top left: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotton, Mary Astor, Victor Buono, and Agnes Moorehead.

And, just for me, here is a shot of Davis, chewing the scenery divinely:

“Don’t you tell me to hush!”

I know, you all thought I was going to talk about Atticus Finch or Spencer Tracy.  I don’t know why you thought that, but never mind.  I will repeat that my own father is an awesome human being, and I wish a Happy Father’s Day to him and all fathers.

 

 

Run then Rationalize

As soon as I started my run today, my legs were not happy with me.  I had been up and had coffee but nothing to eat.  Well, if I would have eaten something, I would have wanted to wait a little while for it to digest, and then it might have been to warm and I’d have had plenty of time to talk myself out of it.  I told myself I did not have to run as long as I ran yesterday.  After all, last weekend I ran 67 minutes Saturday and only 45 Sunday.  I had upped my time by the recommended ten percent to 74 minutes yesterday.  It might be a good idea to ran the same today, but I do not always follow the idea course in my running.

I wasn’t going to run any hills, either.  I had made up my mind to that, although I confess I was not as comfortable with that decision. There are a lot of hills on the Boilermaker (that is the 15K road race in Utica, NY, I am signed up to run on July 9, for anybody just tuning in).  I don’t have to run hills EVERY day, I argued.  A little voice in my head said, “Oh, just start running, you’ll talk yourself into it as you go.” As soon as I started running, my legs informed me that we were NOT going to run any hills and we certainly were not going to run for an hour and fourteen minutes.

Cutting right to the chase, I’ll tell you:  I did not run any hills but I did run for an hour and fourteen minutes.  I crossed State Street and ran on a bunch of streets I don’t usually run on, so it was a very interesting run.  I’ll have to walk it sometime with my Tablet and take pictures to share.  I probably won’t be doing that today, though.  It’s not that my legs would object (they LOVE to walk), but it is supposed to be close to 90 degrees and sunny today.  I’m kind of a vampire.  I admire a sunny day, but it doesn’t pay me to get too close.

As I was running, I was narrating in my head.  It seemed pretty interesting at the time, but now I’m not so sure.  Then again, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday.   I think this brief description of my run will suffice.  Now you have time to read other blogs.  Isn’t that generous of me?  Yes, yes, I know, that is only a rationalization, but rationalization is not always a bad thing.  To prove this I will end with a quote from the movie The Big Chill:

Jeff Goldblum character:  Don’t knock rationalization, where would we be without it?  I don’t know anybody who can get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations; they’re more important than sex.

Tom Berenger character: Nothing’s more important than sex.

Jeff Goldblum character:  Oh yeah?  Ever go a week without a rationalization?

If I do not have the lines exactly right, sorry.  I don’t have a rationalization for that, but I hope you will forgive me.