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Monthly Archives: October 2005

Danny Tanner is not gay

Started off the final weekend in October with a night out on the town. Started off at BD’s Mongolian BBQ in Cleveland Heights. Always a good time, especially when it’s buy one, get one free (get yours simply by signing up here). The Coventry area was packed, but surprisingly we did not have to wait to get seated. Great food as usual, especially since they added some salmon to the mix.

After that, we headed down to the Improv in the Flats for the late night show. We got there early, which was fortunate since the show ended up selling out. Even though we were seated early, we had like the worst seats possible, all the way near the back. Since I paid just as much as anyone else and there were tons of open seats at that point, Kristy & I simply moved up to a closer table for two that had an unobstructed view. I kept waiting for us to get asked to move, but fortunately that time never came. Yeah! Living on the edge! 🙂

For once, I can honestly say that all 3 comics on the bill were good. I forget the name of the first opener, some young guy who was the MC for the evening who had a funny set to open things up. He was followed up by Nick Griffin, who apparently was just on Letterman earlier this month. He had a very dry sense of humor and a very relaxed approach which is something I always like. He was a great opener for the main act, Bob Saget.

Yes, most of you know Bob Saget as the dad, Danny Tanner on ‘Full House’, or as the host of ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ for all those years. Well, the stand-up comedian Bob Saget is much different than the network TV Bob Saget. Some of you might have seen this other side a few years ago when he had a cameo in ‘Half Baked‘ as a coke addict. To give you a sample of what his set is like, he’s a joke he had:

“A lot of girls come up to me now and say “I grew up watching you on TV.” To which I reply “that’s cool, now you can go down while watching me.” (gesturing towards his crotch)

Not quite the guy you remember from ‘Full House’, eh? His set was full of dirty jokes, potty humor and lots of cursing. It’s like all of those years of lame network television left him so repressed that he has to let it all out now. He was very funny, though hard to follow at times since he talked like a mile a minute and often jumped from topic to topic like a kid with bad ADD. He ended the set by doing a few tunes on his guitar, including the song “Danny Tanner is Not Gay”, which was set to the music of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way”. If you ever get a chance to see Saget perform, I highly recommend it.


shape up!

I gave into the reality that winter is coming (despite the great weekend forecast) and signed up for the fitness center at work today. It’s not very cheap like one would suspect, but it is much better than the Broadview Heights Rec Center that I had been a member of the past 4 years. It’s bigger, cleaner, and has a lot more equipment that is a lot nicer. Also, they have a lot of fitness classes that are free (as part of the membership). I’m interested in trying a spinning class sometime, which I have heard give you quite the workout. I plan to stick primarily to the cardio machines, mixing in some weights only to keep a little bit of tone. I have zero interest in bulking up.

Today I kept it light and just did a 5K on the treadmill. I had a really great run on Wednesday out on the towpath, covering 4 miles in 31:39 (7:55 mi pace) which is a great time for me. But it was cold and my legs were getting pretty tight near the end. I plan to do a lengthy run on Saturday, followed by a bike ride on Sunday to enjoy the nice weather (sunny and 60’s in November?!).

As for work, I plan to workout during the week after work. Apparently the peak time of the day is lunch time, but I have no interest in getting all sweated up and then having to clean up and go back to work. Same thing goes for getting up early and working out prior to work.

And who ever came up with the notion that exercise makes you more energetic? Either that’s a crock, or I’m doing something wrong because a lot of nights after I work out I feel sluggish and tired much earlier than usual. But I know it’s good for me. And going to bed earlier would be a smart idea for me.

lunch and a movie

Had a nice departure from the daily grind today. My boss took our department (10 of us in total) out to a nice lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, followed by a movie at the local theatre. Lunch was good. There were some good conversations and I learned more about everyone. Since I’ve only been there a little over a month, I’m still learning new things about my co-workers every day. I had the Thai Chicken Pasta, which was good but nothing amazing (like you would find at an actual Thai restaurant, of which there are quite a few good ones in the area). Instead of having a limited menu of things they do very well, the Cheesecake Factory has a huge menu of things they do OK. And of course no meal there is complete without some cheesecake. Out of the 30+ varieties they offer, I was boring and got the plain cheesecake with strawberries. Good stuff.

Following lunch, we headed to the theatre to see ‘Domino‘, which somehow narrowly won the office vote (my guess is the lure of some Keira Knightley eye candy influenced a few votes) . I think it’s safe to say that no one left the movie very satisfied. Knightley plays some rich girl turned bounty hunter (sounds bad already, eh?) who is so good at catching crooks and looking good while doing it that she gets her own reality show. It is based on a true story…well, loosely based…very loosely based (basically the real person was a female bounty hunter, and it sounds like that is where the similarities end). From there on are a bunch of plot twists and some poor attempts at adding humor to the mix. The movie was shot with the intent of appearing “raw” and “hip”, but the style over substance approach leaves it falling short in both areas. Not to mention that Knightley’s anorexic appearence and tough girl haircut do not do much for me. How Roger Ebert gave this thing 3 stars is beyond me. Sometimes he really baffles me. But I will admit that I did enjoy the movie more than I would have working for those 2 hours. Plus we got to go home aftewards! I can handle that.

hello couch, we meet again

Not much new to report. It seems that during the past two weeks it has rained about 90% of the time here in northeast Ohio. This is typically my favorite time of year, but it has been hard to enjoy this year. Hopefully the rain drys up soon and we’re able to enjoy a few fall-like days before winter arrives for good.

The change in weather for me means a change in behavior. Instead of being Mr. Outdoors and working out, I pretty much become a couch potato. I did so this past weekend when I watched two movies on Saturday, Jet Li’s “Unleashed” and Nicole Kidman/Sean Penn’s “The Interpreter“. Unfortunately, neither of them were that great. Nothing awful, but nothing I would recommend, particularly ‘Unleashed’. It is a really silly premise and I should have known better. So now that it’s cold outside, I’ll get my money’s worth from Netflix once again. Coming up next is season 2 of ‘Arrested development‘, horror flick ‘High Tension‘, and director Gus Van Sant’s Cobain-inspired ‘Last Days‘. I know ‘Arrested Development’ will be great, but hopefully the movies can provide some quality entertainment.

marathon on wheels

Originally uploaded by thespacerace.

The weather finally cleared up today unexpectedly, so I was able to dust off the old bike and go for a ride. What started off with the intention of being just a normal bike ride turned into so much more. 35 miles more.

It was a nice cool mid 50’s, mostly overcast and I had enough layers on to keep warm. As you can see, the fall colors are very close to hitting their peak, so the scenary was awesome. I would stop every so often to take some pictures (which you can view more of here). Before I knew it, I was down in Akron and even ended up biking a stretch of a couple miles that I ran during the Akron Marathon. After I had travelled over 17 miles south, I finally said to myself “hey, that’s really far…you still have to ride back home, remember?”

Well, those first 17+ miles were much more enjoyable than the 17+ back that followed. My thighs felt like mincemeat and my upper back was killing me from leaning over for hours on end. I did manage to make it back without incident, though once I drove home it was a little tough to walk for a bit. But now it’s a few hours later and I’m feeling pretty decent.

So the moral of the story is that when you go bike riding, or running, or anything along those lines like I did, if you’re going in a straight direction, remember that you have to go back the same distance you go forward to get back to where you started. I was very tempted to change that and call someone to pick me up, but I toughed it out.

photo obsession

One of my favorite places to visit on the web each day is the photo site, Flickr. There are some truly amazing photos posted on there everyday by regular people. I’ve had my digital camera for about 3 years now, but I’ve never really taken any “artistic” photos. I seem to have only mastered the art of the snapshot, and primarily end up taking pictures at baseball games, concerts, and of my cat Oscar (who thankfully is very photogenic).

A good way to explore Flickr is to go to this page which shows the “most interesting photos from the past 7 days”. It shows 9 images, and then you can just keep reloading new ones by clicking the ‘Reload’ button in the bottom right corner. It is a worldwide site, so there are pictures from across the globe. It’s refreshing to see actual good photography instead of the boring pictures that grace most newspapers and magazines these days.

To see the pictures I have posted on Flickr, go here.

on the run again

After laying low for a few weeks, I’m trying to get back into running. I did my first post-marathon run back on 10/8, exactly a week after the marathon and I ran/walked about 5 miles just to get my legs moving again. I then took another week off and did another short weekend run, and actually felt worse that time. It felt like I had not run in for six weeks instead of just six days. This past Monday, I tried out the park across from work and while the paved path was short (3 miles) and not very well marked in terms of miles, it was nice to unwind right after work and drive home post-rush hour. The run was pretty relaxed as I tried to keep my heart rate down.

Today I headed back to the towpath and decided to do the equivalent of taking the car out for a spin on the highway after not driving for a few weeks, to get it up to speed and blow out any cobwebs. I finished my first mile in 8:08, and decided to try to do my own little 5K race. I picked it up a little in the 2nd mile, finishing in 7:48. The last mile I really kicked it in, finishing in 7:08, for a total of 23:04. It really helped to loosen me up, though it did drain my energy for a bit. I walked back about a half mile, and then ran the 2.5 miles remaining at about a 9:20 pace. So it was nice to get a good run in finally. I was starting to wonder if I’d have to start over from square one after the marathon.

As far as my ongoing training routine, I’m not really sure. The weather is starting to get cold, and my lungs are not a big fan of sucking in cold air. I plan to join the fitness center at work and hit up the treadmills, but I have trouble staying on those for more than a half hour. I’d love to do a spring marathon (April), but I don’t know how realistic that is given the limited training options provided by a Cleveland winter. There is a possibility I might do a 5K in about 2 weeks on the Case Western Reserve campus. And then I might do a half-marathon in a month, as long as I feel that I can do such a long run in the cold.

Don’t worry readers, I don’t plan to document all my future running endeavors on here, besides any races I might do. I know it’s pretty boring stuff. I might start up another blog for myself just to serve as a running journal. I’ve decided to just leave be My First Marathon, and let it live as a document of my marathon preparation. Since that time has passed, I don’t feel it’s right to keep adding to it. Hopefully additional first-timers will find it and gain some insight and inspiration like I did reading others documenting their efforts.

bring on the cake

Yes, it is true. Today is my birthday. So thank you everyone who sent me happy birthday wishes. I am now 27, and nearing that point where I will just acknowledge my birthday but not broadcast my age. Allegedly this puts me over the hump from “mid-20’s” to “late-20’s”, though I think I should wait at least 6 months before officially conceding that one.

The past year has been a good one. Of course the highlight being the marathon that I spent a good part of the year training for. I also celebrated the two-year anniversary of my relationship Kristy, which is a milestone relationship mark for me. Things are going great and we couldn’t be happier. The year also saw me change jobs yet again, hopefully for the last time for a while. Today is actually the one-month mark of being at my new job, and things are going great.

Hopefully this new year in my life will bring about even greater things. I will most likely be (finally) moving away from home this year, which will be quite a change for me. I am also planning to continue running and do at least my 2nd marathon. And hopefully I can take a fun vacation or two along the way.

a weekend away

Originally uploaded by thespacerace.

This weekend I escaped the usual routine as Kristy took me to Put-In-Bay as part of my birthday present. Although it’s only about 2 hours west of Cleveland, it really felt like being on an actual vacation. We took the ferry over to the island and walked around for quite a bit (the island is only 4 miles long, so you can pretty much walk anywhere) before checking into our hotel.

We then decided to rent a golf cart (as seen in the picture), which is the most popular mode of transportation on the island. We tooled around for a few hours, checking out the parks and various area attractions. We visited the Heinemans Winery, which has some great wines. After dark, we walked into town and had a tasty lobster dinner at The Boardwalk. We then checked out some place that once held the record for the world’s longest bar, where we enjoyed seeing some Chachis trying to mack on the ladies, which is always amusing. It was like a 10-to-1 male/female ratio, so there was a lot of competition, and none of it was good, despite their best efforts. We ended the night with a few hours at the Put-In-Bay Brewing Co. which was a very cool, relaxed bar that brewed their own beer.

Overall it was a very nice, relaxing weekend. Even though we did not go very far, it felt like we were very far from our regular lives. There were no interruptions, no traffic, no internet, no schedules and no rush. It was my first time visiting the island, and will likely not be my last.

would you like to buy a piece of paper?

Went to the local Best Buy yesterday to check out the iHome stereo from my iPod and decided to pick it up since I had a 10% off coupon. Found it no problem and went to the cashier who was eagerly awaiting my arrival. Of course the first thing out of this teenage girl’s mouth is “do you want the extended service plan with that?”. But of course, it’s not just a simple question like that. It’s a minute plus speech about what it is, why I need it and how dumb I am if I don’t get it. Despite my 3 or 4 “no” responses, she made it all the way through her spiel unfazed, awaiting my definitive response. And instead of just giving in at this point, she turned to her supervisor, another teenage girl who also tried to sell me the service plan. She was even more bold in her attempts, essentially telling me the product would most likely break in the course of 2 years. So much for quality merchandise. I should have just said “well, if it’s a piece of junk like you say it is, I don’t want it”. But I’m nice and merely responded “no” for the fiftieth time and proceeded in the transaction. Of course they found some way to make my coupon not work. The girl kept pointing out that it excluded iPods, to which I replied it’s not an iPod, it merely interacts with an iPod. She then pointed out that the coupon excluded Apple products, to which I pointed out that it was not made by Apple. Finally I managed to escape with my product, vowing never to return there again because these cashiers just keep getting more and more aggressive each time.

I know they’re just trying to do their job, but people in retail these days are what make me keep making more and more of my purchases online. If I want help, I’ll ask. And “no” means “no”, not “hmm….I’m listening….”.