Bring it February

Wow January is gone. It seems like just yesterday we were all opening Xmas gifts and listening to Auld lang syne. Right?

So how’s 2014 treating you all so far? I can say that I feel at peace with how things are working out for me. (more importantly for my family)

As far as my challenges/goals(resolutions) are concerned I’m happy with my batting average. I took on several and well I figured if even one of them stuck through out the whole month I could carry that momentum into February and then some.

So reading: 4 out 25 books already read. As of typing this about halfway done with book 5. I’ve been even thinking about pushing the bar a little higher. Or maybe I should wait till I get to the bar.

Running: I kept my streak alive and today marked day 65. The mileage total for January alone is 130 miles and since the streak & more than double that since the streak started back on Thanksgiving Day. I’m 35 days away from the LA Marathon so at the very least I’m pushing the streak goal out to 100 days.

Drinking: I kept it dry. I can’t make this one last through February because I will celebrate both my 12 year anniversary and my 33 birthday with some alcoholic beverages. I’ll go back to dry in March (not an easy task with St. Paddy’s mid month. Then in April back to the booze. Ah I see a pattern, and I like it.

Some that didn’t fare that well. Daily picture about being grateful. Daily writing in personal journal. (With that said I’ve been able to write here to you folks daily everyday of January).

So here’s to hoping I can keep all those going for February. Especially since it’s a short month. Bring it February

 

Reading is like watching a movie no one else can see/hear

I previously wrote about the amount of books I owned. My wife and I obviously disagree as to how many is normal and why I need to own even a few of them. I will be the first to admit that I’ve bought some books simply because of the hype around them. Right off the top of my head “Casual Vacancy” comes to mind. I LOVED all the Harry Potter books and they were exactly what I needed to read at that point in my life. This J.K. Rowling was not the one I came to love and I knew that going in and still I dragged my feet while reading this and it took me forever. Even derailing my reading for some time because I felt drained. That being said I own the book and so it sits on my book shelf.

There are also books up there that I’ve read so many times I have to use my toes if I wanted to actually count digits. Night is one of those books and although I could only imagine the horrors that books describes it really does hold a special place in my heart. Both of those books belong up there. One because I hope one day my kid reads it and for that moment in time be at the exact location I once was. Physically and emotionally via the ride that books take you on. The other because I hope to read later on in life when I’ve live a little more and perhaps I enter the demographic she intended it for in the first place. I refuse to believe that it was simply my geographical location that made it lose some of it’s flavor.

As I mentioned before I finished my fourth book this month so far. “For one more day” “Second Chair” “The Reader” “Colder than Hell”. I am really on a roll and at this pace and this method I might be able to hit 52 books in a year. I though that was too big a task but I’m well on my way and if I can bang out four more in Feb I don’t think I will lose much steam after that. Yet it’s been a while since my last trip to B&N. (My candy store). So I scoured the book shelves trying to decide what book I would reread. Even just browsing the book spines in my hunt I went on an amazing ride. Happy, Sad, even mad about some of the twist in a couple of books that I hated reading the first time. I enjoyed the book but sometimes books shatter our world and it’s sad when no one around me is feeling the same thing.

I was lost in that emotion and thought when I casually walked one of the many trilogies that I’ve bought. Yes I read all the Hunger Games books. Which got me thinking about the next group of books to get the film makeover and how so many more will be exposed to this stories. So I will reread Divergent. That is before we watch the movie later this Spring. I’m only about 140 pages in and already I can tell that since I first read this I view things a little different. I guess I might also add that I know what some of the characters will look like in the movie so I’m picturing them in my mind instead of the what I may have pictured the first time.

What books have you re read? Do you re read things right away? Have you ever gone back to a specific book years later and thought completely brand new thoughts about specific things life may have shown you to be different? As for the books, do you keep large collections? Why or why not? I also read on the iPad and have found it too be pretty great for when I want to read with out being judged. You always hear you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover. That should also apply to the person reading a book you may not like or agree with.

“Have you met Ted?”

This weeks episode of “how I met your mother” was the 200th episode. In celebration there was special title credits and the name was “how your mother met me”. The first scene sent us back to September 2005. I knew exactly where we were when this episode aired. My wife was about 7 months pregnant and just a little over a month later we met our little boy. Obviously we always related to the Marshall & Lily characters on the show. Having been together since earlier than they were. They only met in college we were high school sweethearts.

Of course as is always the case with these TV shows there is a little of all of us in all the characters and I assume when the writers decide who will featured on any given episode that’s who we can relate with. From Ted and his quest to find his true love and the problems that come with finding yourself while being the person someone else will want. Barnie the perpetually “single” “best” friend that claims to not want to settle down but does hang on to friends in relationships because who doesn’t want someone to share their life with regardless of the difficulties that come with that. Lets not even get into “introducing new characters” (children).

Last season on the very last episode we finally caught a glimpse of “mom” after about 8 years of waiting to meet her. Everyone thought it was kind of a let down and not a bright way of setting that up but I couldn’t disagree more. Instead of introducing her on the last episode of the last season which really would have been like driving our “bus” into a wall. They instead let us see her and then let us all think about her all summer until we finally met her and I swear I was skeptical of how she would fit into the is awesome group of friends. After all the last addition always seemed to be somewhat of an outsider no matter what. (sherbotzky). She was Ted’s ex. Lili’s friend (so Marshall’s by default) and now ultimately Barney’s wife.

This entire season we’ve fallen for her a little bit at a time and tonight as I watched this weeks episode she surely play her ukelele into everyone’s heart. I for one couldn’t help to think about when I fell in love with my wife and as cheesy as it sounds it was right around the first time I laid eyes on her. It was only natural then that the writes would place Ted right next to her to listen to her sing. I love when it switches to the voice over and it’s the oddly calming voice of Bob Sagat once again talking to the children. (He’s been talking to them for 8 years). So listen to her and let me know what you think. Are you a long time viewer? Or are you new to HIMYM?

Quality not quantity of miles make for a good race

I ran 3 miles last night. The schedule said 4mi. Since I’d ran the 12 mi the day before I told myself it would be OK. Today I needed to get back out there. I’m on day 62 and all I could do, is one tonight.

I think I couldn’t have gone much farther, just because I planned for a mile. I’ve been running for years now and well it still amazes me how I can go as far as I think I can go.

I still made this 1 mile hurt. When my mile was done it was 6:37 a mile pace.

There are only 38 days left before the la marathon. I will be stepping up to the start line for the 5th time and as it gets closer I have to really test myself/training. I want to deal with the usual doubts before I have to try and best my time from last year.

Anyone else running the LA Marathon? If not racing here in beautiful So Cal where are you racing?

 

 

Reading is continuous in this household

I’m just about done w/ my 3rd book of the year. I had challenged myself with reading 25 books for the year. I figured that was 2 a month with a 3rd thrown in somewhere in there. I figured if I got the jump on it in January I could manage before I felt burned out about it. I’m now considering squeezing in a 4th book this month. See what I’ve been doing is figuring out how many pages a book has and then dividing that # by 7 ensuring I read it with in the week. At that pace I could more than double what my goal was. Now do you think that goal is too ambitious? Should I stick to 2 or 3 a month and perhaps take the last week of the month off to do other things besides reading because I think I’ve literally been reading any free moment I’ve had when not working(or running).

That said I guess what’s really bothering me is the struggle that getting my son to read is becoming. I suppose he does read the occasional book but nothing at the pace in which he used to devour them. I have been trying different methods but then wonder if it’s going to cause more harm than actually help. You see his bed time is at 8. I’ve promised an extra 10 minutes on top of that if he makes MY bed, (as a daily chore). an extra 5 when he takes down the trash and a min per page of reading with a maximum 30 pgs earned. So he has the control of his bedtime and can potentially stay up until 8:45 which I think is not too bad and he’s reading quite a bit more. Fast forward to tonight and my son was in bed by 8. He clearly was either exhausted from Monday.

I’d appreciate any other methods you may have used. Now back to MY book.

Even your breathing is a bit of a tune

Music.

I thought the only way to write a post on how I feel about Music is while listening to some of my favorite tunes.

So queue the Spotify and off we go. I think the best way to describe what I listen to is everything. Yet I see how it’s impossible to really make any type of argument for what that means. I guess there’s some genre I prefer over the other but as I look through my feed. I can’t really get a great feel for it because I think it’s only in the order in which I’ve added music.

I switch over to iTunes. I figure any music there I’ve gone out of my way to purchase so if I did at one point it must have meant something right. Each song just had to. See for me it’s like a moment in time frozen in a picture. That is what music does for me. It transports me back to either the first time or another memorable time I heard that specific song.

I have to add that I listen to soo much music. As you know I run. I run a lot (incidentally today is day 60 of my #runstreak I thought 12 miles was a good way to mark that milestone) and unless I’m running with a partner or an official race I’m running with music in my ear. I also listened to music back in 2003 when traveling across the desert in Iraq. It was early March but even Christmas music made the cut. Sinatra was also a staple. I can’t even begin to explain how much music has been there all the years in between.

Often times I hit shuffle on my iTunes and I know it’s not the most popular music but like mentioned before it takes me back. Any specific song take you back? Or what times in your life absolutely require music?

Here are the first 3 songs to play tonight when shuffle is hit:

Right off the bat iTunes know I need to here some Sinatra to relax after a long day. “The way you look tonight” I thought after 12 miles the only way to make it a better Sunday was to take the family to six flags. I’m sure that’s another 5 miles of hiking(walking) around the park. Worst of all after almost two months of no rain in SoCal we get our first rain of the year. Yes I know some will argue we need it but did it have to happen today. So Frank takes me back to a much calmer time in my life when I thought grown ups had there lives figured out and a drink was not self medicating. I also love this song because it was in one of the very first RomComs I watched with the wife “My Best Friends Wedding”.

Next song comes on and I hear the words “I give her all my love, that’s all I do” Yes The Beatles. I don’t think there’s anyone out there with internet access to read this that hasn’t heard of The Beatles and I’ll go further to say that everyone also has a favorite Beatles song they love. I suppose with the younger generation they may just not know who they’re listening too. Like my generation loving the them song to Married w/ Children and not realizing they were listening to Ol’ Blue Eyes(Sinatra).

Third and last(just because I could keep going on and on about this and these post I imagine shouldn’t get too crazy. The Carpenters “They long to be, Close to you”. This you might think is an old addition to my list but first I’m not THAT old. Secondly I heart it on an episode of “How’s of Lies” The version on the show was done in a very thoughful way and nothing like the version I now listen to regularly but nevertheless it led me to the Carpenters. Surely I had been missing out but no more.

Now the music will play on but in just about 13 minutes my mood has completely changed and well. What else in your life can you say does that for you. I can’t right now but maybe I can update this post soon w/ links to the youtube videos of these specific songs. I want to know how many other folks like these? If you haven’t read the about page yet how old do you think I am?

 

She was the strongest woman I ever met

Dearly departed – Write your own eulogy.

I’m curious to see what other people wrote for their own eulogy. I don’t think I can write one for myself right now. Perhaps one day, but not today. It did get me thinking about what people (my family) would say about me if I died today.

So instead the ‘good-bye’, I’d like to write(give) is the one for my maternal grandmother, I guess you could say I wasn’t happy with the one that was given on that sad day and there’s so much I wish I had said to her.

Good bye grandma. For the rest of my life I will live with the heavy weight of not having said that to you before you left us. For so very long we prepared ourselves for this good bye and yet no one was ready.

I was running my 3rd marathon when we got news that you were ill. It wasn’t too long after that when the call came out to come say good bye. I wrestled with the idea and knew that I would live with my decision for ever. yet I now know that’s probably why I chose to stay away. I will forever live with that and in turn your memory will stay with me forever.

You were part of my life since I have reason. In our little town (in a big city) Atwater, you were everybody’s grandma. Everything to everyone. I remember you always said that you were completely OK with aging. Every part of your life an adventure. You may not have enjoyed your childhood because circumstances cut it short but you definitely made it a point to live life to the fullest.

You enjoyed your children and the baby in your family ended up being my mom. Making me and my siblings the youngest grandchildren. You also lived with us so I don’t care what anybody says I know we were your favorite. Even when your mind started failing you. You would forget your children but never did you forget my face. You met my son and your interaction with him always made me wish I was a little boy with me and that our good bye wasn’t so near.

It breaks my heart that you never met my little girl. Yet it warms my heart when she makes faces that remind everyone of you. I can only hope that she grows up to be a strong woman like you were. You may not have come from money but no one had more class than you.

___________

I have to stop for now and not sure I can continue this because I can’t begin to explain how much I miss her. Yet will publish this as is. I could probably keep this going forever so maybe some other time.