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3 Prong Jumpstart [Mar. 2nd, 2013|02:31 am]
[Current Mood |groggygroggy]
[Current Music |Thundersticks of Chinese Taipei]

Yeah, you know, that guy that ran his first marathon last October.  Where is he?  J and I are both mush, mentally and physically right now.  He's burnt out on work and school, and I'm a bit burnt out with life in general.  Today we got together for a run, only deciding on a 5K, and running the thing at a snail's crawl.  Then we made excuses for it being slow with the ice and snow, and shrugged it off like it didn't matter.

I've been jump-starting myself with a few random personal projects.  I started wondering the other day why I waste so much time reading books that educate me about things of the world, and not enough time reading books that teach me how to do things.  So, I'm going to take a crack at spending some time with some how-tos.  I brewed a batch of beer last year, so I can do that.  I figured now that I know what to do, I'm going to learn why you do everything, and learn some more of the science and art behind it.  I'm going to graduate from kits to formulating my own.  I'm going to learn styles, equipment, ingredients, and anything else I can.  Basically, I would like to have a conversation with my friend Jeff about making beer as a semi-equal.  Do I have grandiose dreams of running my own brewery?  Of course, but not in any realistic sense.  I don't expect anything to come of it.  I just want to know what I'm doing, and if Prohibition shows up again in my lifetime I can be really really popular.

Also, I have 5 guitars upstairs.  I inherited 2 (my mom's classical and a friend's broken electric Squire that I repaired with pick-ups that put it way beyond its initial incarnation).  I bought one (Fender) acoustic, hated it, and replaced it with another.  Then I bought a really nice electric.  I spent a lot of good time learning songs via tab, but I've kind of set it aside for several years here.  A big part of that is because it was what I'd do when I was bored, lonely, or just down in general, and the three of those just don't happen much.  I usually have something to do anymore, and being sad and lonely doesn't happen with my wife around.  Even if she's gone, the Corgi or Cat will do something silly and make me laugh.  If that fails, the internet has become so much more efficient and making photos and videos of really stupid things to make you laugh.  Anyway, it makes it really hard to live up to my LiveJournal namesake, because who listens to The Cure when they're fairly happy all the time?  I mean, there's always Wild Mood Swings, but that's not even that great of an album.

I'm not saying I don't get frustrated and just completely overwhelmed with life in general.  I do.  When you're not living for solely yourself, there's a lot of pressure, especially when you know you're soon to be out of a job.  However there's just as much to pick you up.  It's like being in a state of constant panic, while content, and I don't even have kids yet.  I'm looking forward to that, and stabilizing this job situation so we can do that, but I don't think I'm looking forward to all the second-guessing of myself that will come with it.

Anyway, back to topic.  As I was saying, I have guitars.  I can do things with them.  The truth is, though, I have no idea how actual music works.  I was never in band, so anything regarding the technical aspects of it, and I'm lost.  People have tried to explain it to me, and eventually my eyes gloss over and I go into a "Huh?" coma.  So I've decided I'm going to try to slowly teach myself some of the theory and structure to it, maybe learn some of those scales that people talk about.  I don't know.  I've started, sort of.  It's going to be slow-going, but it's something I'd like to understand.  I like to believe I have a good "producer's ear" (inside joke), and if I know that stuff, I might actually get some use out of my instruments.  If not, I still plan on starting a horrible ska band in my neighbor's basement (not really, but we keep joking about it, and calling ourselves "The Assless Chaptones").

So we have beer and music.  I thought I should add in something that's more practical, and I've always wanted to broaden out my computer knowledge.  I've dicked around with HTML at times, but never really tried too hard to understand it for anything more than editing a MySpace page back when those were a thing.  Anyway, I've decided to throw in a little bit of computer learning.  I've always thought it was above me, or beyond my grasp, or that my head was not evolved for it.  Usually that was the kind of thing that would make me dive into something immediately.  I'm going to start small with some HTML material, and work my way around to other things.  It really can't hurt too much.  Every workplace needs an unofficial non-IT "IT Guy."  You know, someone that just sits next to you and knows the stuff, but has no official computer worker title.  People love that guy.

Should I be taking on new projects?  I don't know.  The idea is that this will jump-start some of my other things.  Once I get on a roll of accomplishing things, it kind of takes over on its own.  It feels like it's helping.  Hopefully it will keep me fresh and positive while I make a push in the job search and get back some of my running motivation.  I don't want to run another marathon at the weight I did it last year.  It was brutal.  The training was brutal, and just the amount of everything needed to maintain shape and through Detroit's 26.2 hurt too much.  I'd like to knock off time by towing less, not by running more.  Also, you don't realize how much your abs and arms hurt after one of those things.  I need to round out my training.

I don't know, maybe taking up these three things is already working.  I started making a few resumes catered directly to a couple job openings yesterday.  I did actually run with Jason today, when I could have said "screw it" when I got held up at work and cancelled.  I even spent my Friday night doing oil changes on both cars.  Not bad for a Friday, even if I'm now only typing this and watching Chinese Taipei play Australia.  Still though, first LJ update in forever.  Count it as a win.  Plus, I need to write more about life, even if it's fairly benign and not overly exciting right now, this might be a snapshot of some of the best years.  We never really know for sure.

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Patti [Oct. 14th, 2011|01:47 am]
[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

I just went to what was supposedly a "lecture," but what turned out to be mostly music with a little commentary featuring Patti Smith.  With the Tigers game on (which I almost went to as well and would have for very cheap if Stub Hub hadn't pulled tickets off their site) and Ghostbusters on the big screen nationwide (including here) it's hard to go to what you think's going to be just someone speaking, but it's Patti Smith and I love her enough for that to trump those two things.  Besides, I live it Flint, MI...not Chicago or some other cultural mecca city that has things like this ever time you turn around.  I can't pass up seeing Patti Smith in person for free at a place that nearly borders my property line, even if she wasn't actually playing music (or so I thought).
So I went expecting just a nice little talk, and maybe a song or two at most (if we were lucky).  It ended up being a 1 1/2 hour show with a little bit of commentary here and there.  I saw her rock out in full force a few years back and realized that the older generation can still kick the crap out of almost anyone our generation has produced live.  This time, it was great to see her in a more stripped down, softer format.  It was very basic with just her (occasionally with an acoustic guitar) and her daughter on piano, other than closing with a full band of MCC students on "Because the Night."   After they were selling paperback copies of "Just Kids," and she was signing those and pretty much anything else you had.  Was lucky enough to stay and meet her and have her sign 2 things for me.  Pretty happy about my day, and not a bad draw for a lecture at a community college.

The music geek in me that used to obsess over set-lists and do show recaps died several years ago, for the most part.  Lately I just enjoy shows and sit back and forget what happened, but I found myself emailing myself every song name as she went along for a recap from my phone.  So here's that in order:

My Blakean Year
Mother Rose
Beneath the Southern Cross
It's a Dream (N. Young)
Pissing in a River
Peaceable Kingdom
People Have the Power
Because the Night (w/ Mott Students)

I'm glad my Stub Hub thing for the game tonight fell through, and I'm glad I'm not a lame sports dude that would shove off doing something like this to watch a game on TV.  I think that guy's a little dead too.  I'm still watching a bit, but it's way down the priority list these days.  I just have stopped feeling the need to put my time, energy, and money into it.  I can use those things for my own benefit rather than hang it on some millionaires playing for billionaires whose winning only ends in Detroit's residents partially paying for a parade for teams they probably can't afford to even take their families to.  The face value of the Tiger ALCS tickets were $100+ per.  How many Michigan residents can pay that and not have to think about how it will affect their budget?  The only way I was going was because Stub Hub dropped to $10-20/ea and I thought it may be nice to see what's probably the last game of the year with our best pitcher and kinda hang around the park for cheap.  They're all still a great games, I've just soured on the players, owners, and the public money/politics/government involved in pro and college sports, and I think blindly contributing makes it worse.  So I'm limiting my contribution.
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Omer Canoe Trip 2011 [Aug. 9th, 2011|01:16 am]
[Current Mood |amusedamused]

I haven't written in a while.  Sure I've been moonlighting on the running blog, because, despite the fact it may not be all I'm doing in life, it is definitely changing it.  Instead of going out and hanging out late on Fridays, I've spent a lot of them just resting, hydrating, and taking care of myself the night before a race.  I'm  also losing my sleep in day on Saturday, sometimes getting up earlier than I do for a work day.  For some reason getting up to run is much more motivation to get out of bed than work.  I think I'm officially on the hook.

Anyway, that's now what I'm here to write about, and I'm not here to write about anything else but our canoe trip last month, before I completely forget about it.  It's been a month already...

Ken and Jen got a bit of a head start, because I had to work Friday, and didn't feel like taking a full day off just to sit at a camp site for a day.  The whole point is night time, fire, and the canoeing, so getting there early isn't worth anything.  Jessi and I packed a majority of our things the night before, and just packed blankets and tents when I came home.  

As is tradition, I packed only horrible horrible "vacation clothing."  First up for Friday:  horrible STP tie-dye shirt from 1996

We got up there and immediately ran into Joe who arrived just minutes after.  We checked in and paid our part back to Ken that fronted the money for everything.  I gave him a little extra, as usual, because I know how much of a pain it is getting all your money back and making sure everyone pays you.  I'm usually that guy.  

After that, I went to park my car by the sites.  Every camping trip has a mini-incident.  It's just inevitable that something bad will happen at some point.  Well, I christened us for safe sailing from the start of the trip.  While maneuvering through a few trees, I looked back at a small one and figured I had it cleared so I ignored it, and then *boom*, I clipped it enough to put enough pressure on the plastic to where it just kind of popped.  It sounded awful, like I completely destroyed the back of my car, so I was happy that was all that actually happened.  It was a complete man-failure on my part, though.

With that out of the way, we could enjoy the rest of the trip.  We got the tents all set up without any problems.  Justin arrived shortly after, followed by Mike S., and then other Mike F. and Katie.  So we got the fire going and let into the hard cider that Mike S. and I bought from the orchard out in Flushing.  If you've ever had JK Scrumpy or JK Solstice Cider, it's made here.  It's kind of a big deal, and both are organically delicious and gluten free.  Solstice is my favorite because it tastes (to me) like those apple cider donuts they make during the fall time.  We bought about $70 worth for the camping trip and I only have 2 bottles left now.  It was a good night of burning stuff, drinking, and discussion (which Mike and I somehow hijacked into a comparison of obscure American presidents and their policies, which eventually led to our exile for the night).  However I did get a chance to burn those horrible wooden tulip lawn ornaments that the previous owner of our home left for us.

The next morning we got up early to get ready for the canoe trip.  We went and got breakfast at a little diner in Omer called Ma's Girl Cafe, and the omelets were fantastic.  We stopped by a party store to pick up some canoe beers and I saw a bucket of lost toys they were selling out of (with each toy being 2/$1).  I thought our canoe needed mascots, so I ended up with these two.

Nick arrived shortly after, complete with a story about how, after denying money to a homeless man, his bag of clothes and towels for the trip were stolen from his car when he went back into the apartment.  His matching hat was not stolen, so we were able to remain hat twins.  Note my new horrible shirt outfit (which was actually after canoeing).  I'm sporting a Humani-tee with tree frogs, and a dress shirt with Fender engineering diagrams (awful, i know).  What you don't see is my actual canoe outfit which consisted of a t-shirt with sunglasses and a backstage pass printed on it for some oldies cover band that was teal and pink and a button up shirt with sunflowers printed on it.

The canoeing went well.  We spilled a few times, but nothing too horrible, and the water level was so low that most of the tipping was just because of sand bars or risky maneuvering around drunken tubers.  Everyone lost it at some point, even the perfect Justin and Ken.  The only real bad thing was how much of a hurry everyone seemed to be in.  Listen guys, we paid for a certain distance that usually takes people 4-5 hours, there's no cookie for getting there in 3 (even after we stop to play around with a frisbee mid-way).  Stop paddling so hard, and enjoy the nature.  Jessi and I, obviously were last.

After that we showered off the river and the sweat, then we took a nap.  Jessi, Katie, Mike F., I got ice cream.

Then came another nice night of drinking beers and grilling brats after a few short rounds of volleyball with the other campers.

After a pretty late we listened to the neighbors fight about the one site's dogs (who just were let loose to run wherever they may).  It's not like they were dangerous, but come on, they  were annoying and disturbing everyone around them.  We let it slide most of the day, but it got real old real quick.  Buy a fucking leash.

About 4am I was hearing something  rustling the trash near our site, and figured it was a raccoon or whatever, but then i heard something that sounded more like footsteps at our site.  So I'm getting mildly paranoid.  Is it a person?  Is it a big animal like maybe a cougar or bear (we do, in fact, have them as rare as they may be)?  Is it just actually a raccoon shuffling the gravel around enough to sound like a person? 

I've seen enough horror movies to know not to turn the light on or go out unprepared.  So i flip out the big knife and wait.  Then i hear a knock on the tent and Mike F's voice say "Brent, it's Mike, I think we've got a creeper."  So  I step out and we look at the trash that's been rustled around.  Obviously there was an animal at it, but we still both were half sure there were human footsteps.  So we shined the flashlights all around the site, and did some perimeter checking.  While we were doing this, if anyone was watching us, all they saw was one man walking around with a huge knife and the other walking with him carrying a shovel.  

Eventually we came to the conclusion  it was probably the stupid neighbors retrieving  their dumb dog.  We heard nothing more the rest of the night.  I'm hoping they saw us walking around and said "we better keep our dogs locked up....these guys aren't gonna fuck around." 

I woke up early to go to St. Michael's in Au Gres.  Pretty sure I've been  there before.  When i came back we packed up everything and headed up to East Tawas.   I found some nice red tape for my tail light and finally got legal (and classy).

Once again we showed up when a classic car show was going on.  I actually saw a few old 40's Packards, which seem to be going away and are my personal  favorites.  I guess they're just not cool, so the only people with them are usually quite old.  So when they go, it seems so do the cars, especially since the parts are getting more expensive and rare.

After getting a wake-up coffee from a local shop, instead of MIke S. who whipped across two lanes to take a left into a Tim Hortons, we went to G's pizza, and got our usual photo by the Hippo (we couldn't convince the children to vacate).

Justin, Ken, Jen, Mike S., Jessi, Me, Nick, and then children.

After that we headed home, traffic was a bitch like it always is coming home late during a Michigan summer weekend, and a few days later I visited a junk yard and replaced my headlight assembly, so there was no permanent damage.

The End

Mike got a shot of my sunflower and ugly shirt ensemble

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(no subject) [May. 6th, 2011|03:12 pm]
[Current Mood |frustratedfrustrated]

Life right now basically boils down to me not knowing what the hell to do about anything.  The terrible two right now are wedding things.  So let's cover this first.

The first thing is this "who is going to marry us?"  question.  I'm a Catholic, Jessi's an unbaptized agnostic, so we have a whole Nacho/Esqueleto tag team thing going.  Of course things like this require a fairly liberal priest and a dispensation, and that's not exactly easy.  We're also kind of late on the timing for this, because every church is insistent about the whole 9 months prep thing.  We'll barely be engaged that long when we're married.  The other part of this is that neither of us are really too keen on getting married inside a church anyway.  Personally, the only two churches I go to are kind of bummers for me anyway.  If I were to get married in one, it's the place where we had funerals for nearly every person that has influence on my life and isn't here anymore.  St. Robert's is out, because of that.  I can't do it.  The other church is where my best friend got married and since he's divorced now, I personally don't want to make him have a ton of direct contact with the place.  So that's a bummer too. 

Outside of that, I don't know the priests around here.  I'm kind of a wandering Catholic.  I don't belong to any church, officially, but I would at least like to have a semi-legit, though non-sacremental wedding to "keep my crossin' legal."  Honestly, I'd rather not get married in a church at all, and do it outside and have a separate ceremony to go legal, if necessary.  I don't know, even signing up for the classes would be problematic since it asks for both our addresses and I'm pretty sure they're not cool with both being the same.  I don't know, it's complicated and upsetting for me, because in many considerable aspects, I knew Jessi was my wife from the beginning of us.  I don't feel any guilt for how we're living, and, let's face it, we're going to make it a lot longer than most of the couples the church will marry this year.  That being said, I'm not willing to throw out the whole religion just because of the disagreements that I've pretty much had this entire time anyway.  Am I the only person that's less interested in the actual details and ceremony of getting married than I am being married?  Those people that are all focused on the event itself and don't think out what marriage is going to be, I can't even figure out how to get into that state of mind.  You know who I'm talking about, the people that get married because it seems like a "pretty" or "fun" thing to do or want the attention that one brings.  I can't even wrap my head around that way of thinking.  The divorce rate should be zero, because who would want to go through this with any doubts at all?  I can't understand it.

Of course I keep joking that there's the "roundabout marriage blessing."  This is where you get married without the church's permission and you keep confessing your sexual escapades with your wife to the same priest.  Eventually they get tired of you and get the bishop to grant you a dispensation.  It'll work.  It's just too bad, because overall Jessi has more values than most of our people do, and it actually makes me a better person.  It's just sad to know it would have been easier to marry that one Catholic girl I dated instead of Jessi, according to their rules, and that girl was actually Satan.

The other problem is, I don't know how to pick groomsmen.  There's Nick and there's my brother, but the rest is impossible to separate.  I never thought it'd be such a problem to have this many friends that mean so much to me.  It's impossible.  I have a group of 5 friends outside that who are probably all equal, and I have a few other friends that have been around for forever, and yeah, maybe we don't get together as much, but it doesn't make them mean any less to me.  What do you do, leave out someone you've been friends with from 4th grade?  Throw out someone that's just as close to you as the other people in the same friend group of 5?  Even taking out the aspect of thinking about them being let down, and trying to make it a militant thing of "who do I want?" it sorts out the same (not at all).  It's not the case that I'm trying to be overly inclusive, overly civil, or have someone in there that doesn't belong either.  In all honestly, I could line dudes up 15-20 deep, and still not be at the point where I consider anyone an acquaintance and not a close friend.  I don't even know how this happened.  I'm not even that friendly or likable.  Eight years ago, this would have been a lot easier.  Who makes close friends in their mid-20s, seriously?  My mistake.

Of course there's plenty of other considerations going on, but it's those two that I'm just lost in finding an answer for.  Resolution or not this is happening Sept. 3rd.  So what if I have no idea how to get ahold of my Dad's family and who to invite, that's in the secondary problems.  That I can sort out in a day.  I just need to get those other two done, or just abandon one, and have a random live computer draft for the other with everyone present.  I need a resolution on this, but every time I move to make one, something gets in the way.  The whole thing's made me a little off and everyone is wondering what's going on with it, since Jessi has her people.  With one of the girls being friends with me too, now half the guys I'm considering for all this just assume they're not in, and if it goes any longer, that may become its own problem.  Didn't I used to have almost all female friends?  What happened?

Yesterday, we were going to talk to a priest, but when I called, I was basically told not to bother because their pastor is only cool with pairing up two Catholics, and even then we would have had to call 9 months ago.  I thought maybe we would stop by after work yesterday, so I blew off Jason and running to open the afternoon for that.  When it didn't happen, and we talked about what to do next with no real answers, it got a bit overwhelming for me.  It was getting dark, and I had to blow off some steam.  It was getting dark so I didn't have time to call Jason and run so I went for a solo trip. 

I basically told Jessi I was going out running until I was worn out, it was dark, my mp3 player ran out of charge, or at least until I felt better.  It ended up being until the blueberry man print on the front of my shirt rubbed my nipples raw and it was dark.  I don't run very well when I'm emotionally compromised.  I need my calm bubble to do well.  When I'm upset or pissed, it still serves its purpose.  However, if I'm doing an emotional run, I usually get burned out about 35-40 minutes with my harsh form.  Last night, I was out 65 minutes, and had there been more light, if I wore a softer shirt, or did the Marshall Eriksen nipple lube it would have been longer.  There seemed to be this guy on a bike casing me out to rob me at a couple points along the way, but he realized I probably didn't have a wallet on me.  I'm pretty sure in my state at the time, I wouldn't have been a very easy target anyway, but maybe I was just being paranoid.

Anyway, I'm about to get out of work here.  Jeff's coming in for the weekend, so I know I'll blow off some steam tonight, for once.  Friday has really lost its freedom lately with me being so behind on everything, work being so demanding lately (hand-loaded 44 drums of oil waste today due to our four 10 hours days and a friday scheduling...so I'm wiped right now) and making me too tired to go out.  I really shouldn't even do anything tonight, because we're going cross-state for the tulip festival, and I'm supposed to run in the race tomorrow morning, but screw it, I need this.  The house stuff can wait, the laundry can wait, and so can everything else.  It's Friday, crank the Rebecca Black.  Seriously, I missed the boat on that one.  "Pancake Breakfast" should have been on that track.  It would have been fitting.
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While I'm bored at work... [Feb. 18th, 2011|03:17 pm]
[Current Mood |boredbored]

Poor LiveJournal getting ignored in favor of the running blog.  In all honesty that stuff is starting to rule my life anyway.  I have to be the most dedicated fat runner in a 60 mile radius by far.  Yesterday's run actually had me baffled at my improvement on the short 5K distance, but it shouldn't have, given I just blew away my best 8K time by about 3 minutes (with half of it in the snow).  Anyway, enough of that, because I've already thrown the link for it up here. 

In other athletic news, I'm really getting disenchanted with sports here.  All the public money going into them has pissed me off.  I've pretty much pulled myself away from attending MSU basketball and hockey because they're killing me.  I'm just donating the money to the International Studies Program for their study abroad in Cuba.  Anything to make relations with them better so I can get some cigars has more in it for me than going to those games right now.  I've cut out a ton of watching hours lately, and if I'm paying any attention at all, it's on radio while doing something else.  Other than English Premiere League Football, I'm starting to really lose interest and I have better things to do.

We also had our annual FVD celebration after designing our shirts for this year (a broken heart in each hand of the Spirit of Detroit made into a motivational poster...pic later maybe) while watching the movie Pervert!  Basically, if you're looking for a good sexploitation flick with a former California gubernatorial candidate and a claymation penis, it's surely for you.  We did Detroit again this year for Nick's sake.  Usually it rotates back and forth, but he's in grad school and it was during the week, so we could cater to him.  Detroit was dead on the 14th.  The lovebirds were sparse everywhere, other than the casino. 

We went to Nikki's (best pizza and greek food in Detroit) with our matching shirts and nobody was there.  There were 2 people other than the 7 of us before we got there and only 2 couples showed afterward.  It was bizarre, but maybe everyone escaped to the fancy suburbs.  I really don't know.  I do think, though, that we have the holiday right.  I mean, sure it was birthed out of a cynicism of me being lonely and Valentine's Day being the date my father died, and just a general hatred of the day, and one year, where I just said "fuck this, I'm sick of feeling sorry for myself," but despite it being birthed out of being distraught over an exclusionary holiday we've never used it to take it out on couples that are enjoying it as such.  We're not out to ruin other people's V-Days.  We've just modified it, and even though some of us are with people, we've decided it's still better to have a holiday where we get together with all friends, single or in relationships, to enjoy the night.  I didn't abandon it because I got a girlfriend.  I just think it's horrible to force people to feel like some sort of freak because they're alone that day.  What we do is better than the holiday, and it grows every year.

We followed up Nikki's with a trip to the old Shillelagh, which I haven't been to since I was 21, because it's elbow-to-elbow at all times.  We walk in and there was nobody there but a 4 seat string of Woo Girls dressed up looking for a Valentine (or some dopes to buy them drinks all night).  We burned through several pitchers of Sierra Nevada, Strongbow, Noble Pills, and a few other odds and ends, enjoying the night.  Illy Mack, a local Detroit artist, ended up sitting in a corner with a budweiser sketching people at our table and we kindly gave him a donation for his work.  He's like a local celebrity and until last night we've never had the pleasure of running into him.  It makes us a little more legit as city-goers down there. 

As the night wound down, the girls at the bar eventually cursed out our table on their way out for not buying them drinks, to which Mike replied "We're Not Interested!"  Jessi and Jen went to the restroom after them, and apparently one of them shit a belt, because there was one in the toilet.  This left us alone with the bartender, and while the Gipsy Kings version of "Hotel California" played, Joe and Mike pantomimed "The Jesus" wiping down his bowling ball.  He stopped the music, and said, "I always play this song until I see someone do that, and then I gotta shut it off and tell them to stop."  That led to pretty much the entire Big Lebowski being quoted as we were wrapping up the night there. 

After, we headed out through Greektown Casino, a song that we used to close down our nights with at Karaoke/Bowling wednesdays played through the casino speakers as we went to the elevators to leave (Journey "Don't Stop Believin"...yes, we are lame caucasian stereotypes).  Sometimes you have moments that let you know you're right where you belong at that time, and I think that was one of them for all of us, especially Mike.

Can't believe I wrote all this without something coming up at work.  I have some big things going here, but everything is on someone else right now.  I cleared my plate Thursday, and today's been dead except for a few non-haz soil shipments and a few invoice entries.  I'm in the 2nd month of my new contract and if my current suggestion is implemented, it will mean the end of our #1 hazardous waste stream, and an estimated $30K savings (that's being super-conservative to the point of insanity, but I don't promise more than I can deliver).  That would completely take care of the savings I'm supposed to give over the next 3 years and then some (not to mention I've already set in place two, for sure, $13K reductions already this year).  There's no way it will get rejected, it's just too good for cost and a huge reduction in environmental impact and future liability to not send the stuff out for reclaim.  Who says being green costs too much?  Recyclers for almost everything are popping up all the time, and a lot of them will give you money for things these days.  Most of them depend on industrial and commercial business to get the bulk of their materials anyway, and they're not that hard to find here anymore, especially with a tier 1 supplier that helps me find them.

Only 15 more minutes sitting around listening to the radio until I can leave and go get some Fish and Chips with Jessi and her dad.  Maria and the Swiss Kicks tonight, and a return to Churchill's after at least a 6 month absence (pretty sure I haven't been there since Back to the Bricks).
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Memory Wipe [Jan. 21st, 2011|10:43 am]
[Current Mood |sicksick]

Well, as of now, it's looking like my running blog over there on blogger got wiped out.  There are still remnants of it and I seem to be following it in the dashboard, so I have faith the Google people will figure out what the heck is going on and set it right.  They're kind of big brotherish, so I'm sure they can find anything.  If not, I guess that's what I get for giving in to them.  All beliefs that they're evil have to go to the wayside when they make a browser like chrome, though.  It's just so much more effective than anybody else's (that I'm aware of at this point) that it can't be denied..

Apparently I'm not the only one with the problem.  Though, I wouldn't yet call it an epidemic either.  I'm kind of curious to see what happens.  It's been going on for over 24 hours, so obviously it's not a simple fix.


Anyway, while we're at it, the new year has been pretty good so far.  I rang it in with the usual Local H show and the usual people.  I don't think we did a day after thing, though, or at least I wasn't there and didn't hear anything about it.  Oh well, I probably wouldn't have been great company after watching Saban dismantle MSU like an NOVA dismantles SAINT robots with personalities.  How embarrassing!

I'm sick again now.  I think being out running in the cold for the Snowflake 10K did me in, and it probably didn't help that in the midst of feeling bad, I still went out jogging yesterday.  Anyway, I'm looking forward to a new year of races.  I'm doing one that's going to be real "Crazy Town" in July.  Jessi is actually somewhat paranoid of me breaking a limb for our wedding because of it. 

Yes,  I did get engaged, and honestly, I don't know how that's happened considering where i was 5 years ago.  Obviously, it was a foregone conclusion this would happen to almost everyone including myself.  That's why when we first started dating it had to be a concious decision to go through with it, knowing that it would be the end of my single life, eventually.  In the end it's a good thing, though.  I'm happier, and, unlike any time before, being with Jessi is less stress, more fun, and just effortlessly easy.  Obviously all that can change on a dime if enough life is thrown at two people, and you lose sight of enjoying each other, but it's hard to think of as even a possibility right now.  As far as the details of the proposal and all that, the important part was that I brought my A-game, she said yes, and I was finally able to get it done after chickening out two times prior (one in mid-flight with a self-imposed "Abort Mission" flag raised by my brain).

Anyway, the Warrior Dash does look pretty hard core in a Nu Metal sort of way, but it looked like a good mix of fun and fear for me.  I don't like heights or climbing things at all, so the cargo nets will be a challenge, but Jason has a fear of water and he's doing it, so I manned up and signed in for the same time wave.  Mike and Pat are going as well.  I know Mike's in good shape, but Pat better start training with us by (at the latest) May, if he wants to make it.  I know it's only 3.3 miles, but it's 3.3 miles, plus obstacles, and I'm sure they're not as easy as they look.  Nothing ever is.

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Santa Run [Dec. 6th, 2010|01:56 am]
[Current Mood |mellowmellow]

Can you see me?

The Santa Run was a blast.  I ran about 30:30 5K with all that gear on, which is only my 3rd best time ever.  I had a slight wardrobe malfunction about a mile down where suddenly I felt something around my ankles and it just happened to be my Santa pants.  Mike blew a hole in his along the way.  My family came out to see me run, and I waved to them as I went by.   We had beers at the Torch after and completely undid our entire work-out.  It was a pretty fun time.
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In case you wondered... [Sep. 1st, 2010|08:53 pm]
[Current Mood |pensivepensive]

If you feel like reading about my Crim run.


If you want the short version, it's pretty much:  I ran 10 miles in 1:50:25 and I'm fairly happy with myself.

In the meantime, there's a lot of family shit going down right now, none of it good and none of it that I can do all that much about.  I really don't want to get into it unless it gets bad enough that I need to vent, or all works out and I can be relieved.
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In case you've missed it [Aug. 19th, 2010|12:18 am]
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

On Saturday August 28th, I will be running in a 10 mile race in my home city of Flint.  I've been wanting to do this for years, and it's been some pie-in-the sky goal for a long time.  Most of that time, it was only a dream and I've never been even close.  Even at my lowest weight, circa 2004, I was running 2.4 miles every other day, and the goal was to step that up to 5 the next year, then 7.5, and finally 10 in a four year plan.  Well in 2005, this happened...

2006 - Tried to get back running in April, ankle ligaments supposedly fully healed, but rolled an ankle.  Backed off, hurt it again in July.

2007 - Tried to run again after gaining some weight.  No good places to run in stupid apartment subdivision too far away from any roads that weren't packed with cars.  The apartment complex had a treadmill.  Hurt myself on that contraption

2008 - Same story as 2007, quit trying after July, too much overcompensating with the other leg, and too much general soreness to bother trying to start again in the winter after a few treadmill attempts

2009 - Didn't bother until July.  I decided I was way too fat, and started training for a 5K.  I didn't run the full distance until the week before.  I took things slow, and my legs sat idle long enough.  The ankles feel equal after not pushing them to do anything for over a year.  Ran the entire Crim 5K without walking and finished in 35:28.

2010 - Goal: Run an 8K race at the Crim Festival of Races.

Al Kayner St. Patrick's 5K: 34:15
Heart of a Spartan 5K: 33:22
Flushing Evening Road Race 5K:  32:17
YMCA Retread 5K: 32:55
Volkslaufe 5K:  32:39
Great Pizza Challenge Run: 32:43

To Be Determined:
Montrose Blueberry Festival 8K
Crim Festival of Races 10 mile
Big House Big Heart 10K
UM/MSU Tailgate Challenge 5K
...and likely more.

I planned on training for the 8K and trying to train for 10Ks and work up to The Crim next year.  Jason and I have pushed hard this month, and we ran The Crim path without the water stops on Sunday.  We also ran today for about 10 miles in Davison on the trail today.  I'm a year ahead of schedule, and I can't hold back now.  You never know what can happen, and I may never be able to do this again if I get hurt or lose my will.  My goal is to finish the 8K and 10 mile without stopping to walk, except maybe a few steps to swallow some water at the stations.  The goals don't stop at the Crim.  I need to break the 5K under 30 before this year is over, if possible.  I have it in me, I just really suck at the 2nd mile whether the race is 3 miles or 10 miles.  It might help if there's not some debacle on the course and I don't do a distance run the day before like the last 3 times. I'll probably pass on the donuts and beer on the course at the Crim, unless I can get two at mile 9 and Stone Cold them at the finish for the cameras.

I think that iron-willed Brent is coming back, not just in running, but life in general.  I can't wait until the 28th.  We may even have a sponsor for our race fees.  More details to come as I nail this fucker down...


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Vacation 2010 Bullet Edition [Jul. 27th, 2010|10:30 pm]
[Current Location |United States, Michigan, Swartz Creek]
[Current Mood |calmcalm]
[Current Music |None: Watching South Park]

-Had another Garcia's burrito and joined the CPC (Clean Plate Club) there for the second time.  It's tough when the thing is the size of a small infant, but probably more delicious.  I don't know, I don't think that way, and I realize that "A Modest Proposal" is facetious.  Also taunted Jeff into finishing his Chorizo one.

-The long-standing Chorizo war ended when I finished the Chorizo omelette that Jeff has been egging me on (tee-hee) about since I couldn't finish it last time.  I killed that sucker and ate pancakes.  No more Chorizo challenges.

- Finally saw Pavement live.  Sadly, I was mildly disappointed.  It was a 3.5/5 performance, and there just was a lot of oversight of really good songs.  I know this happens, but Jeff and I have been counting down for this for months.

-Major Lazer was totally madhouse.  I'd see them again.

-Jeff made plum beer for us possibly based upon my comment about nobody loving them since the 80s

-Got home from Chicago 11pm Monday.  Left for "Up North" at 5am Tuesday.

-Got in the campground the first day.  No Old Man Field Campsite this time.

-Found a new beach

-Swam as much as possible

-1 1/2 inches of rain Thursday and we got our tent, clothes, and everything else soaked.  Even the fire pit was completely full of H2O.

-Went to Short's Brewery and grabbed a growler of Pandemonium as well as a 6pack of Black Licorice Lager.  Sampled everything I could before I was too tipsy.  Even the fruity Strawberry Short's Cake was delightful.

-Jessi's parent's came up, and her dad wouldn't let me pay for anything.  I need to try harder...

-I ate some Buffalo

-We did the Scenic Drive nearly every night, again.

-We saw the place where we will likely get married, and got a tour from a nice lady named Barb.  It's on a big hill which involves ski lifts or golf carts to get up there, and I see that as a nightmare waiting to happen, but I fear heights a lot.

-We stopped in Beulah and I bought another Wizard of Id Sir Rodney Glass so I can actually drink out of it, an old copy of Ayn Rand's "Fountainhead," and a Stay Puft Marshmallow man figurine. 

-We got home and unpacked, and didn't realize how smelly we actually were out there.

The End
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