December 31, 2005
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Just a few hours left in 2005. Nothing too exciting planned. Dinner out and heading over to a friend’s house for a bit. That is if the nasty cough I developed from my afternoon run clears up. Just when I start to convince myself that I don’t really have asthma, my body decides to send me a reminder.
The race itself went pretty well. I shaved 37 seconds off my previous (and only other) 5K time, finishing in 23:23. The course was a bit hilly, though not nearly as bad as the other 5K I ran before. I felt pretty good throughout the run and even afterwards, but within an hour after I developed a rather nasty sounding cough. Nothing really hurts, but it pains myself and others to listen to this cough. Oh well. I gave myself a good workout and had a fun time.
Have a Happy New Year everyone!
December 28, 2005
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I plan to spend the last day of 2005 doing one thing I did quite a bit of this past year….running. I have signed up to run in The Great New Years Eve Race, a 5K in Stow this Saturday afternoon. My running over the last two months has been very inconsistent. I have only managed to get around one 5 mile run in most weeks. It has been hard between the move, the winter and my busy schedule. Not to mention that running on a treadmill is no fun, regardless of what is on TV or the radio. So I signed up for the race to close out my big year of running and lead into 2006, which I have big running plans for.
My main goal for now is to participate in my 2nd marathon, the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon on May 7th, 2006. I’m still deciding on my training program, but I will most likely start a 16-week training program in about 3 weeks. I have heard nothing but great things about the Flying Pig, and it sounds like a lot of fun. It is also much larger than the Akron Marathon, with well over 10,000 participants last year. I also plan to run a few warm-up races before this, including the Capitol City Half Marathon in Columbus on April 1st and the Hermes Cleveland 10 Miler on April 22nd. This will really help me get in marathon mode as running these organized events is quite a shift from running on one’s own.
Does running a spring marathon mean that I’m going to take the summer and rest of the year off after that? Nope. If things go as planned, I will also be running a fall marathon. While I wouldn’t mind running Akron again, I think it would be more fun to try something different. I am considering both the Twin Cities Marathon (a highly regarded race in Minneapolis) and the Chicago Marathon (one of the 5 biggest races in the country). But all of this is tentative. I could decide a few weeks from now that I am sick of running and take up some other crazy personal challenge. We’ll see what happens. Next week I will probably start a new blog to serve as my personal training log for all of this (so as to not bore all of the readers of this blog with the details of my runs, which aren’t even that interesting to me). It just helps to keep track of all of this stuff and get the occassional feedback from other people.
So while 2005 will most likely be remembered by myself as the year of the running, it looks like 2006 will easily steal away that title if things go as planned.
December 27, 2005
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Had a very nice holiday weekend so I’m feeling pretty good to start the week. All of the family gatherings went by with no drama and were more enjoyable than expected. Spent a lot of quality time with friends and family, some of whom I had not seen in months. All of the shopping stress paid off as everyone seemed to enjoy their presents. I also picked up some nice stuff that will keep me occupied over the coming months, particularly gifts involving cooking, something which I am being strongly encouraged to take up (though I am proud to say that in the 2+ weeks I’ve been out on my own, I have yet to order pizza or chinese, or stop off for fast food). So I’m very happy to have all of that shopping and holiday headache behind me. I will not miss the crowds at all of the stores and having the need to buy things instead of just browsing.
I watched the documentary “Murderball” this evening which turned out to be pretty good. It’s about quadriplegics who play this crazy full-contact wheelchair rugby (also known as ‘Murderball’). Most of the film revolves around Team USA as they prepare for the Paralympics, to compete against 16 other countries. The film had a nice balance of personal stories and footage along with following the team’s progress. It did a nice job of not trying to put these guys on pedestals but rather showing them as real people with real struggles, having both their good and bad sides. I was a little worried when I saw it was produced in conjunction with MTV Films, but it was good stuff that reminded me how much I enjoy watching documentaries.
December 22, 2005
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Yes, I have survived my first week and a half of living on my own. I have not had much time to enjoy my new place yet and get settled in though, as I’ve been busy with work, running, and Christmas shopping. I got a slow start on my shopping this year and have been franticly trying to get it done over the past week. The hardest part for me is remembering what I have already gotten for whom, and how much more I need to get. I will be very happy to see the 25th pass by.
My biggest frustration since moving has been my internet connection. My apartment has a contract with some small company called My E-Suite to provide “high-speed” internet. Basically it’s all wireless and they’re broadcasting across the apartment complex, and you give them your device info and they allow it to connect. As I mentioned before, it is far from high-speed. My new Centrino laptop has repeatedly had connections dropped, and even when I do have a connection it’s almost always really slow, or my page loads time out. And my wireless adapter for my Xbox has yet to been able to pickup a signal.
I called their tech support the other day and told them of my troubles and the guy didn’t seem to believe me. I told him that I was seeing “2 to 3 bars” on my connection which is the equivalent of “poor to average” connections. He says “you should be able to surf the internet at that speed”. Well, I can’t. If and when the pages actually load, they are taking longer than if I had friggin dial-up! I also mentioned that only certain spots in my apartment seem to be able to pickup a signal. He then asked if I had anything “obstructing the windows”. I have the cheap window blinds that came with the apartment, but what, am I supposed to open all blinds when I want to connect to the Internet? Maybe I should crack a window while I’m at it? He then, of course, went ahead and made the most commonly used tech support suggestion: “try rebooting your computer”. Oh, ok. That will magically make the internet connection work? Should I do it while standing on my head and rubbing my stomach too?
I called the phone company today and got a quote for a phone line (which I really have no desire to have) and DSL service, since that is my only alternative. It is going to be pretty costly, but at this point it seems necessary if I want to be able to rely on the internet in my apartment. *sigh*
December 15, 2005
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Between the cold weather outside and my lack of progress in shopping for Christmas, I’m feeling a tad cranky at the moment. But one thing that brightened my day is this story about how my favorite TV show, ‘Arrested Development‘ might live on despite being cut by Fox. Apparently both ABC & Showtime are interested in picking it up, with Showtime being the more hotly rumored suitor. It seems as though the series’ high production costs (a HUGE 1.6 million per half-hour episode!) is the big stumbling block. These rumors came out last month when Fox cut their order on this seasons episodes from 22 to 13, but I figured it was just wishful thinking. But this new story appeared in a number of papers and websites today, so obviously something is going on. Hopefully the show will continue on somewhere.
December 14, 2005
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Well, I can finally enjoy the comforts of high-speed internet in the privacy of my apartment. So far the “high speed” part is not quite living up to it’s name, but I guess it’s better than nothing. I also had my table and chairs delivered today (though I was told my a co-worker that they really are not necessary for single guys besides being another spot to stack things up on). So the apartment is starting to look more lived in, which is good because it was starting to look rather deserted.
– Thanks to Will for the head’s up on my favorite comedian David Cross’ hilarious “Open Letter to Larry the Cable Guy“. Apparently Cross has found himself in a feud with the multi-millionaire, not-really-from-the-south, imitation “redneck” comedian, and responds to the remarks that Larry found necessary to include in his new book, “Git-R-Done”. I don’t know what makes me cringe worse, watching that guy’s act or knowing that there are millions of people out there enjoying it.
– I am somewhat sad to hear that The Odeon concert club located in the Flats in Cleveland is slated to close on March 1st. While it has been a while since I have been to a good show there, I have many fond memories from my teen years going to dozens of shows there from Soul Coughing to Death Cab For Cutie, Ben Folds Five to Sonic Youth, and many many more. While the Flats have been slowly dying over the past few years, it sounds like the year-old House of Blues was the final nail in the Odeon’s coffin. Now that the East Bank of the Flats is almost deserted. I wonder how long it will be before the West Bank goes dark once again.
December 13, 2005
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Well, the move has come and gone. So the “living in my parent’s basement” jokes can come to an end (though I was usually the only one making them, and also I never actually live in the basement). All of my worldy positions fortunately fit easily into the back of a small U-Haul truck which Josh, Kristy and my parents helped me to unload pretty quickly and easily on a nice chilly, snowy Saturday morning. No injuries, arguments or broken items to report.
Sunday saw my first cooking attempt in my new pad, a good ol’ frozen pizza (likely the first of many to come) which my oven prepared quite nicely. I’ve yet to have any luck getting my internet setup thanks to the shady no-name internet company my apartment contracts with. Unfortunately my only alternative would be to get a phone line and order DSL, which would likely set me back at least $50 a month. Hopefully they’ll get it working in the next couple of days, though I am liking this free wireless internet here at the lovely new Twinsburg Public Library. Too bad they close at 8:30.
So now that the move is complete, I can look forward to many other new “grown up” things in my near future, such as my first utility bills, rent checks and inevitable maintenance calls. I can hardly wait…
December 3, 2005
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Don’t expect to see too many posts in the next couple of weeks. I am currently in the process of getting ready to move. That’s right, after 27 years of living in the same house (with the exception of my 4 years at school), I’m finally moving out on my own. Yes, I realize that it is long overdue, but I get along well with my parents and have managed to build up a very nice nest egg. So I have no regrets for waiting this long. As far as the house vs. apartment argument, I opted for an apartment at this time. Moving out is a big enough change for me that I think having all the additional worries of a house would be too overwhelming at this time. After a year out on my own, I’ll reevaluate my situation.
So I’ve spent much of this week gathering my things around the house and going furniture shopping for the first time. I think shopping for furniture is one of the worst things a person has to go through. I’ve sat on hundreds of couches this week and they all seem to blend together. I find one I like and then have to think “now is it better than that one I liked 20 minutes ago and the one I saw the other day at the other place?”. And most of those furniture salesmen are like hawks that pounce on you within moments of setting foot in the store and trail you around like a lost puppy. I’ll be glad when all of this is over. So wish my luck and hopefully I’ll be seeing all of you soon.