Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010: The Year of the Half-Marathon ...

Last year, one of my goals was to run four half marathons. For various reasons (all of which boil down to the fact that I am, apparently, weak sauce), I only ran one.

This year, I'm kicking the goal up a notch to five (and possibly a marathon ... still deciding about that one).

And to make sure I reach that goal, I've already done the research and selected the races. So, in chronological order, here are my half-marathons for 2010:

(1) Garden Spot Village Half Marathon, New Holland, PA (April 10);

(2) Trail Triple Crown Half Marathon, Newark, DE (April 24);

(3) LEAD Strong Half Marathon, Freeland, MD (May 1);

(4) Double Creek Half Marathon, Dover, PA (June 19);

(5) Suncrest Mountain Race Half Marathon, Draper, UT (Sept. 12).*

Farewell sweets; hello asphalt ... just call me Rocky.

* NOTE 1: This last half marathon may be switched or postponed if I decide to run the Top of Utah Marathon in Logan, UT (Sept. 18).

UPDATE: Half-marathon #1 is paid for and ready to go. Boo-yah!

Friday, December 11, 2009

At the Back of the North Wind ...

There is something truly, breathtakingly exhilarating about winter winds.

Though these cold blowing breezes may sting your toes and bite your nose as over the ground you go (to Grandfather's house, of course), I tend to take Shakespeare's view of things (at least the part about letting that ol' winter wind blow):
Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly.
In all honestly, I love to feel the chill air ... to let the northern breeze gust around me. At those moments, I feel wonderfully, truly alive and connected to the world. It's just so rare to be able to experience such a sensory explosion.

And that, my friends, is one of the reasons I love Winter!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sexy Vampire, I'm Falling in Love ...

The books were a phenomenon ... the movies have become an epic, record-setting event ... love 'em or loathe 'em, you just can't deny the raw emotional effect of the Twilight series.

But you can mock it.

Oh, how you can mock it.

And that's just what Peter Segal and the rest of his ever-ready pack of pop culture cronies (I say that with deep love and respect) did on last week's episode of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" (Best. Radio News Quiz. Ever.).

So here, for your reading pleasure, is that lovely little send-up:

Peter Segal: With Twilight movie number two, New Moon, the series continues its redefinition of vampires. Instead of horrible monsters of the undead, they are unemployed Abercrombie & Fitch Catalog models who sparkle ... They SPARKLE!

And instead of human blood, I believe they drink Red Bull and Vodka.

In this new movie, the vampires are opposed by some monsters from a rival modeling agency. It ends when all the creatures of the night realize what they've been repressing and move in together in a loft in Chelsea.

I'm worried because I'm afraid for our children. What if they ever run into a real vampire? You'll find them lying there on the ground, drained of blood, and they'll be saying, "But I thought he would sparkle ... "

Crony 1 (Old "Never Heard of Twilight" Crony): These Vampires don't bite, is that right?

Crony 2 (Twilight Roadie Crony): Well, they do, yeah ... they have to use restraint with those who they love not to bite.

Crony 3 (Clueless Blonde Crony): What's the sparkle part? I'm so old, I don't ...

Crony 2: When they're in the sun, they sparkle ... What's the matter with you?

Peter: Apparently, these vampires, they don't disintegrate and die in the sun ... as vampires should!

Crony 1: Well, do they have that whole element of driving a stake through the heart ...

Crony 3: ... and garlic and crosses ...

Crony 2: No, they don't have that.

Peter: You see what I mean? Look, you've got to feel bad at this point for, like, the traditional vampires, like Nosferatu ... I mean, he can't get a victim. All the girls are like, "Oh, I'm sorry, I can't let you bite my neck. I think of you as my best, horrific-looking friend. You're the vampire I can talk to ... you know ..."

Crony 2: I think, really, that position was already taken by the Count from Sesame Street, don't you?

Oh, the joys of impromptu mockery.

As if that weren't good enough, though, the segment ended with a clip from a nice techno vampire love fest of a song that included the following lyrics (click here for Youtube music video*):

I forgot to wear my cross tonight, I left my garlic at home
It's so dumb, but it's so fun to wander 'round the city alone
I'm runnin', fallin' down, chase me all around this town
And now you've finally got me ... what am I to do?

Sexy Vampire, I'm falling in love
So just bite me, baby, and drink all my blood (oh yeah)
Sexy Vampire, I'm falling in love with you
So do what you want to do

Let's hear it for Team "Whatever I Can Get!"

* NOTE 1: I haven't watched the Youtube video yet, so no guarantees.