But I won't heed the battle call...

Yeah, it's been nearly a week. I go on tears anymore... several days on and several days off. Oh well. At least I'm back in time to celebrate Snippet Wednesday. Wouldn't want to miss that.

In the class Katie is taking right now, they have a project where they are supposed to analyze a movie that is appropriate for teenagers. I'm not sure entirely what the analysis entails, but it's a project I'm more than willing to help with simply because it involves, well, movies. Last night, one of her fellow students presented on the movie she had watched. It was Grease. During the presentation, you are supposed to show a scene or two from the film that supports your analysis. Katie has never seen Grease and never wanted to. Last night, she walked away from having watched one of the musical numbers and said stuff to me like, "this is one of women's favorite movies? Why?" and "are we all sure John Travolta's not gay?"

I love my wife. And her disdain for this movie is the primary reason why I'm willing to forgive her for not having seen Star Wars. If she was one of those women that watched Grease repeatedly and dragged me into it, I guarantee she'd have every line from the holy trilogy memorized by now.

I've decided something... running outside sucks. I don't know why, but I just can't breathe outside. Maybe it's the allergen factor or something, but everything just closes up and I can barely run about 20% the distance that I do on a treadmill at the gym. I am actually able to run five miles on a treadmill and, yet, I think my max-out distance before I feel like keeling over and dying outside is a mere 1.1 miles. I can understand the uneven terrain and inability to control your speed will have an effect, but that freakin' much??? Yeah I see no races in my future unless they start the world's first treadmill-based virtual race. Now that would be cool.

Laces However, despite my disdain for outdoor running, I must say that I do absolutely love my new running shoes. I went to an actual running store, Naperville Running Company, and got a pair of New Balance 769s. I never realized how lightweight shoes could be. And the heels are like running on pillows. But even cooler than the weight and the cushioning are the laces. Yes, laces. I love these damn things (see right; I have the silver and blue version of those shoes). Instead of being the regular or even the barrel laces that are so common on athletic shoes, these ones kinda pill out so they look like a fabric version of a dogtag chain. The purpose is to keep the laces secure without double knotting them. And they work! New Balance apparently holds the patent on this style of lace and don't sell them in stores separate of the shoes, but I have a pair and I love them. Simply because I hate double knotting shoes and sitting there forever trying to unlace them.

Holy crap! I actually finished a book that wasn't either a Twilight novel or a graphic novel! Last night, I finished Dennis Lehane's fantastic historical novel The Given Day and this is probably one of my first completed books in nearly a year if not longer. My reading has been pathetic as of late. I just can't motivate myself to do it so finally tearing through this 700-page beast felt good. Sure, I was struggling at first even with this book, and, all told, it took me a couple months to finish. But the final 450-500 pages were just in the last couple weeks. So that's a marked improvement. Now I just have to write the review over on Goodreads. Next is Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth. Bought this one a little more than a month ago and I'm finally going to read it. I love Jhumpa Lahiri.

I did take some photos from this past weekend's Swedish Days festival in Geneva. And, despite being such a beautiful day, it got a little wicked that night, so I also have some photos from the looming storm. Enjoy.

As always, you can hit up the photo albums over on Flickr as well - Swedish Days 2009 and Under a Blood Red Sky.

Previous Post

Don't cry for me, Argentina...

Jun 25
Just a brief one for you, today. Sorry if you were expecting something grandiose, but c'est la vie. This exchange happened this morning as Katie and I lay in bed watching Today Show reports on South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford:...
Next Post

Oh say can you see...

Jul 3
I'm having a lot of trouble wrapping my brain around the idea that not only is tomorrow the U.S. Independence Day, but that we're already halfway through 2009. Just another half to go before we're making contact with the alien...


You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Running outside is SO hard, it's because you have to actually pull with your leg muscles along the pavement. when you are on a treadmill the ground moves beneath you.


Admittedly, Grease is a total cheesefest, but that's part of what's fun about it. I usually can't stomach the whole movie, but I like most of the music (can't stand 'Hopelessly Devoted'), and I love knowing that they had to sew Olivia into those pants for the final number.


I actually really liked Grease as a kid. Except for the soppy songs. I preferred the more upbeat ones. It's basically a fun/entertaining/laid back sort of flick.

The one thing I really hate about running outside are the bugs. You know how your car's windshield will stop the bugs (splat the bugs?) from coming any closer to you? Well, when you run it's really your face. Ick.


Running outside is definitely harder. Try running slower than feels normal at first. If you stick with it, you'll be going the distance you want, and then you can start boosting your speed again.


I am a Dennis Lehane freak! His books always manage to keep me interested.My favorite is "Shutter Island". No book has ever surprised me with such a twist....and I have read many books!


I can't wait to hear your review of Jhumpa Lahiri's book. I love Jhumpa! And I'm always looking for book recommendations. (Don't tell the stack of books waiting to be read on my bedside table. Shhh!)

How did Katie get away with not seeing Star Wars and Grease growing up? I thought we HAD to see them as a rite of passage? ;-)


I agree with Caitlin, you need to start off running slower outside. Also, if you aren't tracking your speed you might find that you're running faster than you think without the treadmill to control your speed.

Both of the books I'm currently reading (my aNobii shelf) are taking me quite a while to get through. Neither has really sucked me in at this point, though I think I'm about halfway through each of them.


That's true, but I wouldn't expect that huge a difference.


Sew her in? Literally?


Consider the bugs a protein infusion. ;-)


I have absolutely no concept of speed out there. That makes it tougher.


You should check out this book. It's an historical novel. True setting and events, but with some fake people. Really cool how it's all woven together.


Somehow she managed to avoid them all. Dunno how.


Incredible photos.

And those laces do rock. I may have to look at New Balance for my next pair of running shoes. For now, the Asics I have are awesome and light. I am amazed at how light yet how incredibly comfortable a pair of shoes can be.


I have no idea how to track speed without spending a boatload on some fancy watch get-up. Just spent $100 on the shoes so the watch ain't happening anytime in the near future. Any suggestions? As for the books, this one did suck me in to it right away. Incredibly well written. But I just couldn't bring myself to commit to the concept of reading at all.


Thanks on the photos. Asics were a couple of the pairs I was checking out when I bought the NBs. They were good too, but I always wound up with an issue with one of them. Usually something small, but the salesman told me that a small issue becomes a bigger issue eventually and can make running miserable.


With running shoes, that is true... a small issue can become bigger, especially the more you run and in various conditions.

Now I'm more curious about these laces. Maybe a trip to Big 5 this weekend may be in order to curb my lace curiosity.

Sybil Law

I loathe Grease. I hate when people get all squealy over it - GAH.
NB shoes are some of my favorites - Asics coming in 2nd, and Nike being the 3rd. However, I don't run (unless someone is chasing me to kill me) so I am no help there.


I haven't tried New Balances yet. But I love how fun and colorful running shoes are. I am happy you found a pair of shoes you like. Sometimes it takes a long time!


You can use RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) as a guide. (Just picked the first site I found on Google: http://www.smccd.net/accounts/mcgill/RPE.html) If you're breathing so hard you wouldn't be able to have a conversation with someone running next to you, you're going too fast.


..Naperville, huh???

WOW... I could have been in any one of your photos... and you wouldn't even know it!

I could be behind you at Target... I could be getting gas at the Mobil across from you... I could be peering in your patio doors L@@King for those nickers...

But then again... you'd know it was me from the drowling down the front of my shirt.

Steve Bellock

you should try to download some military running cadences, they can help you keep a pace. If you call them back in your head or under your breath people won't think you are weird.

Kevin Spencer

A bloke I work with went to the High School they used when filming Grease. They could watch the filming from afar but didn't see anything of note.

Those Under A Blood Red Sky photos are all kinds of awesome.


I say give it a shot. They're very cool.


You and Katie would get along so well. And she runs in Asics.


The trial-and-error method that NRC uses was very cool. Made it much easier to tell what I did and did not like.


I should be able to talk? Really? Interesting. Thanks for the link!


I only bought my shoes in Naperville. Nothing else. ;-)


That's actually not a half bad idea. Thanks!


I'd only watch the filming if from VERY afar. Thanks on the photos. I was ridiculously happy with how the Blood Red Sky shots turned out.


As you get started, you'll feel like you're going really slow. But once you build a good distance base (maybe 15-20 miles a week), you can start building speed, and then you won't want to be talking and running at the same time. You can check out coolrunning.com for some good training advice, and there is also a free Podcast on iTunes for the c25k program (couch to 5k) that helps you get to 5k continuous running. Helps prevent injury and keep you on track.


Is it sad that I see that URL and all I can think is "Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up! It's bobsled time!" Sorry. I will definitely check out that podcast. Thanks!


Wow. I read this in my reader and didn't see the pictures until now.

I'm making the "Under a Blood Red Sky" series my desktop.



Oh one more thing (I'm really like Columbo). I read somewhere that if you want the treadmill to mimic actual running conditions, you should incline it one degree. This makes you exercise your upper legs more, as opposed to running on a flat surface makes you train your lower legs muscles.


Cool pics. : )

The comments to this entry are closed.