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Entries in running (7)


True Confessions You Never Wanted To Know About Me

I’ve been a little pint-up over the past few days.

Recently I’ve felt like a kitten chasing a red laser dot all over the house, slamming into walls, and frustrating myself until I pass out in a sleepy ball just steps away from where I messed the floor.

Maybe I’m just starting my period a few days early.

Or maybe I’m hitting my mid-life crisis at a really inconvenient time in life.

It could be all this stress of the impending date-dodging rapture. I brace for May 21….now I’m clenched for October 21….or maybe Baby Jesus conspired with the Mayans and now we have to wait till 2012?

It’s freakin’ exhausting.

So, I took all my clothes off, walked out into the harsh thunder and lightning last night, threw my face towards the dark skies above and waited for an answer.

And that’s when it hit me. I need to unburden myself of needless, brain and conscience-consuming matter.

I need to confess!!

I need to turn my blog into a creepy, dark, wooden, confessional booth with you lucky readers on the other side of that screen that doesn’t hide you from seeing the other person.

So, grab a stiff drink and you’re favorite blanky cause you’ll need it. I give you:

10 Things You Really Don’t Care Or Want To Know About Me But That Are Going To Make Me Feel Less Like I’m Stuck In A Dark Closet With A Zombie Clown Eating My Brain And Juggling My Sanity

1) I masturbated in a public library. It’s true. I got a D one year in a class, so my father decided to drop me off at the local library every day after school for three hours to study. I used my time wisely one day by finding a special place where I could “interrogate the suspect.”

2) I vandalized my own car when I was 16. I finished drinking a 40oz of Old English and threw it out the car window….only the car window was still up. I quickly grabbed some of the glass, threw it on the passenger seat, and found a good sized rock and tossed it on the seat. The next morning I was all, “holy shit someone threw a rock through my car window!!”

3) I used to blow my nose in my sheets. It was before I was a teenager, but old enough to know better. But yeah….there’s not really anything more I can say about that one…except….sorry mom.

4) Five years ago when I lived in Virginia I was on a 8-mile run early one morning when my colon let me know I had exactly 1 minute to drop trow and unleash the fury. I had no choice. I pooed on someone’s front yard as I leaned my back against a tree and tried to cover it up with the dirty leaves I used post-explosion.

5) My mom caught me masturbating. Oh yeah…I already wrote about that one.

6) In eighth grade I carved my girlfriend’s initials into my arm (very tiny.) My parents found it and you would have thought they found me shooting heroin while having sex with my grandmother and feeding a baby bourbon. Actually, now that I’m a parent I’m pretty sure I’d freak-the-hell-out too.

7) When I was volunteering as a tour-guide one day at a historic home, I had to poop extremely badly. And so I did. In the historic bathroom. Minutes before I had to tour 25 people through the house and the newly soiled bathroom. I blamed the smell on the fact the bathroom used well water. No one believed me. I still have nightmares about that day…and I’m sure they do too.

8) The very first concert I ever saw was Paula Abdul. Just saying that makes me want to throw myself in front of an ice cream truck. It’s true. But I did it for my girlfriend at the time because I was weak and hoping that she’d let me touch her boobie through her shirt. She didn’t.

9) In eighth grade I came to school with no underwear on and wearing a very short pair of Umbros. Don’t ask why…I was a teenager  in the late 80s damn it! Anyway, my decrepit 80-year-old teacher took me in the hallway and told me “you’re going to have to keep your legs closed the rest of the day. I can see your personal area. And I’m sending a note home with you for your parents about it.” The note never made it home.

10) I Favred my wife two years ago and she almost divorced me. I was living alone in Chicago while she was in Virginia with the kids waiting for our house to sell. So, thinking the wife probably longed for a pic of my man-part, I took a picture of it and pic texted it to the wife. Eagerly I waited for a return pic text. Instead, I got a call…from the wife…threatening to divorce me if I ever did that again. So…I did.

OK…that should be enough to lighten my load for at least a few hours.

Thanks for letting me vent and if you’re a psychiatrist and want to give me free session, my email’s on this blog page.



I Used To Sneak Out

Let me start this post by noting that my mother reads my blog. She occasionally leaves me little messages on my personal Facebook page putting me in my place after reading posts like the one about her chasing my brother and me around the house with wooden spoons.

I’m a bit lucky that so far she hasn’t sent me a gift from this website

But, I think after this post my luck will run out. So, mom…get up and just walk away from the computer. Go on….leave woman!!

Is she gone? OK, let’s do this.

So, I used to sneak out of my house with such regularity as a kid you’d think I was practicing for an Olympic gold medal in it.

I knew my parents nightly routine like the back of my hand.

9:10 – 10:36 p.m. – Fight like cats & dogs

10:36 – 11:21 p.m. – Father takes his drunk ass upstairs to watch HBO late night softcore porn

11:22 – 11:48 p.m. – Father passes out, mother follows suit.

12 p.m. – The house falls silent and the countdown is on till the coast is clear.

Waiting till the coast is clear for sneaking out is the hardest and longest time of your lives. I can’t tell you how many times I’d wake up to my alarm going off at 6 a.m. and screaming, “SHIT!!!!”

But one day I was digging through an old dresser in our guest bedroom and found this old-school clock that had an alarm only a mouse could appreciate. I set the alarm, put all my faith in it, and at 1:01 a.m. it went off.

I quickly snapped the alarm off and sat straight-up in bed listening.

My father was in his regular deep deep slumber which sounds like a mix between a 1920s broke-ass sawmill and two constipated virgin elephants trying to make sweet love.

My mother, she always slept like a rock. I can’t tell you how many times as a kid I’d run into her room frantically trying to wake her up  to impart upon her the very exciting news that I was about to throw-up all over this lovely house of ours. By the time she woke up to my childish nudging and whispering, “mommy… I think I’m going to...” I would inevitably puke all over the floor and bed beside her.

A smile crept across my face as I knew I had found a way to get in sleep while also being able to escape for a while in the middle of the night.

The next piece was huge. Putting together the elaborate mental puzzle I’d created that when put together, revealed the exact locations to step when walking down the carpeted L-shaped stairs to freedom.

The key to it all…banisters. After three steps I could place my hands on both banisters and swing my anti-gymnastic-skilled-ass passed five steps and a half-landing.

The last three steps always squeaked the loudest so I had to turn around and take those them backwards so I could steady myself with my hands.  

At that point…it’s game-on and I was out of there.

I never really had a purpose to sneak out at night. Very rarely would I meet-up with a friend. When I did it usually ended with them saying, “why in the hell are we doing this? I’m tired dude!!!”

My brother used to make the journey from time to time with me. But again, why? We get to hang out all day every day. Why waste sleep and risk getting caught to do it under moonlight?

So, I’d just walk or ride my bike. I’d go to the lake nearby and throw rocks from an old decrepit concrete pier. I’d occasionally leave a tennis ball in my girlfriend’s mailbox so she’d find it and think I was a badass rebel.

I experimented with smoking and alcohol.

But most importantly I was living that very moment of my life exactly how I wanted to live it. There were no rules. No parents. No one was watching.

Parents weren’t fighting. My father wasn’t asking me to make him drinks.

The escape I’d created in my room with music, my piano, writing poems, and reading lyrics had gotten so much larger. It was now filled with fresh air, endless roads and no boundaries.

But despite all the freedom and time alone with my brain, there was a tiny little piece of me that found motivation to sneak out of the house from the idea that I might get caught.

I figured, if I was caught, it would show my father that I was in control of me and capable of leaving his tiny kingdom whenever I wanted. I could defy him. I could break the chains whenever I felt like it.

And like that the night would be over. It was time to head home.

There was always this one corner that was six houses away. As soon as I turned that corner I’d have a clear shot of my parents’ bedroom windows.

Light on – I’m screwed.

Light off – Home free. Just make it through the front door and the rest can be explained by sleep walking.

In all the times I ventured into the night, I never came home to find a light on.

I never came home to find my mother and father sitting downstairs holding the letter I left on my pillow every time I snuck out that read:

Dear Mom:

I am OK. Nothing bad has happened to me. I snuck out of the house to just go for a walk and be alone. I know it’s very dangerous for me to do and I’m sorry.

I love you and will be home very shortly. I hope you will not be too mad and if you found this before dad woke up all I ask is that you don’t wake him or tell him until we talk.



A few times a year when I can’t sleep in the middle of the night I’ll get up, toss on the running gear and go out for a short three-miler. As my feet pound pavement I look at all the rows of houses dark and filled with slumber and I feel free again.

Free like a 14-year-old boy gliding through the streets of his neighborhood at 1:30 a.m. without a care in the world and nothing to lose.



Snapshots From the Life Of A 35-Year-Old

Tomorrow’s my birthday!!

July 3 will mark the 35th year I’ve kicked around dirt on this lovely spiraling rock. I’m five years closer to that magical number 40. And, as a someone nears that age their forced to take a moment and reflect on everything they’ve done since they were born.

So here’s my reflection. Snapshots of my life over the past 35 years:

July 3, 1975 I’m born! Holy shit it’s bright out here

Age 1 - What’s up bitches!! I can walk!!

Age 2 - I don’t wanna poop in that thing!

Age 3 - Mine!

Age 4 - Is this a losth toof?

Age 5 - Why is the sky blue? Why do birds fly? Why does daddy’s butt make those sounds?

Age 6 - Can you turnaround while I get dressed?

Age 7 – Mommy, can I have a Garfield lunchbox?

Age 8 – My first record – The Beach Boys, Surfin’ USA

Age 9 – My first kiss.

Age 10 – Double digits bitches! I’m an adult and now! I know everything!!

Age 11 – My mom makes me Jams that are too poofy in the front so I look like I’ve got a butt-in-front.

Age 12 – I love every girl that looks my way and masturbation is so AWESOME!!!!

Age 13 – Iron Maiden, Meggadeath, MTV Headbangers Ball

Age 14 – My first heartbreak.

Age 15 – Music obsession reaches a new high.

Age 16 – I start dating my future wife.

Age 17 – This writing thing is pretty damn cool. Maybe I should obsessively write a journal and poetry…

Age 18 – I can drink, party all night, go to class when I want and my parents aren’t around? I LOVE college!

Age 19 – Long hair and living the grunge life-style.

Age 20 – I guess I’ll major in journalism and minor in professional writing.

Age 21 – I sell my car for $50 and my best friend almost murders me over it.

Age 22 – Why hello there real world…damn this sucks!

Age 23 – I marry the wife and place my balls in jar never to be seen again.

Age 24 – The wife and I contemplate moving to Washington state for the hell of it. End up in Virginia instead.

Age 25 – My first house! Now I’m all grows up!

Age 26 – Let’s start taking this running thing to a whole new level!

Age 27 – It’s a boy!! Let’s name him Grayson!

Age 28 – I just….want….to…..sleep. And I run my first marathon!

Age 29 – It’s a girl!!! Let’s name her Macy!

Age 30 – I just….want…to…sleep.

Age 31 – Oh sweet vasectomy how I love you!!

Age 32 – No more diapers! No more cribs! And everyone’s sleeping! Could this be real?

Age 33 – Alright family…let’s pack-it-up and move our asses to Chicago!!

Age 34 – Wow…this four-months being unemployed sucks…. Oh hey new job!

Age 35……..

What a wonderful ride it’s been.



It's Fantasy Father's Day Time

So Sunday’s our big day dudes!! This is it…our time to shine. Our time to throw our chests out like we’re the hardest working hooker on the block.

It’s Father’s Day!!

For some reason I always get my hopes up for this holiday - like a kid before Christmas. I imagine it being an epic holiday and find myself getting more and more jazzed as the day approaches. Then…well, the reality of fatherhood slaps me in the face.

Here. Let me illustrate for you. Take a gander at my fantasy Father’s Day versus the real Father’s Day.

Fantasy Father’s Day

Wake up to a warm, naked wife with freshly brushed teeth kissing me while her hands wander about under the sheets.

Reality Father’s Day

Son with ass-breath standing inches from my face saying, “DADDY!!! Wake-up daddy! I’m hungry. Can I have breakfast pplllleeeassse!!!?”

Fantasy Father’s Day

Wake up from post-sex morning nap to find my wife handing me a warm cup of coffee and the Sunday Times. She says, “hey, I’m gonna take the kids to the grocery store, why don’t you go for a nice long run, take a shower, then I’ll give your feet and legs a good rub-down.”

Reality Father’s Day

Walk downstairs to a destroyed kitchen with cat puke on the floor. Step on one of my daughter’s Zhu Zhu Pets, find there’s no more cream in the refrigerator, and roll my eyes as I answer the boy’s same question six times in a row.

Fantasy Father’s Day

Walk downstairs after my foot-rub and my living room is filled with all the top dudes in my life, a keg, and golf on the big screen TV!

Reality Father’s Day

I don’t get a run in, the kids refuse to eat their breakfast and start breaking down when I click off their favorite TV channel.

Fantasy Father’s Day

Golf’s over and a party van rolls up in front to the house to pick up the dudes and me. Once inside we realize all the wives got baby-sitters and we’re all gonna rip Chi-Town up for the night!

Reality Father’s Day

The girl pee’s herself, the boy’s hamster has escaped, and the wife “really wants to take advantage of that sale at Kohl’s tonight.” I open the refrigerator to find only one beer and it’s a damn Milwaukee’s Best and we’re out of wine.

While my fantasy Father’s Day would be bad-ass…I admit, I’d take the reality Father’s Day any day because without it, I wouldn’t have earned the right to stick my chest out in pride that day.

I’m just kidding…Give me the Fantasy Father’s Day!!! It’s just one day I’m asking for!!

Happy Father’s Day dudes!!!



The Dog Days

The Spring is such a wonderful time of year. It brings the people-folk out of their houses. The runners start training in mass for races, bikers create that cloud-like blob along early-morning road sides, and dogs with their owners begin making longer journeys around the neighborhood.

I was on a run yesterday when I passed a number of people walking their beloved furry animals. I couldn’t help but remember just over a year ago when the wifey and I made the collective decision to bring a dog into the family.


It was late fall, the family had just moved from Virginia to Chicago to be with me after waiting months to sell the house. We had already bought a cat and everyone was settling into a good mid-western big city routine.

I’d just finished reading the amazing book The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (yeah it’s an Oprah Book Club book but I didn’t read it because of that…you wanna fight about it?!!!). I suddenly got a hankering to bring a dog into the family thinking in my head, the kids would love growing up with a furry bastard around the house.

It was like being a teenager all over again…I wanted something that I knew was no good. I wanted to bring a dog into a three bedroom, one bathroom house, already equipped with one brand new cat, a backyard no larger than a postage stamp, long winters hovering around 0 degrees, and a wife I knew damn good and well would not walk this beast.

We went to the SPCA as a family. We met dogs. We walked dogs. We played with them on shit-covered sheets of ice. We finally found the “perfect” one! Five minutes later the SPCA worker was quickly removing him from us after he tried to eat my daughter’s face off.

Two days later we brought home a large doggie. We loved that bastard. But holy shit no one in his short life had even begun to train him. And when he stood up on his hind legs, he was the same height as my beloved wife at 5’1”.

This is the same wife who for the first time since she was 14 years old, wasn’t working a job. She was staying home with our children, in a new city, hundreds of miles from any family and friends while her husband was gone from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the work-week.

We named him “Odie.” Most of his short life in our home he spent chasing the cat, leaping on counters, tackling our children, trying to eat my wife, and sparking calls from the wife to me at work that sounded a lot like “I can’t handle the two kids, this winter, and this damn dog!!!”

I took him on walks. I read up on training and implemented the tips as best I could. I set up an appointment with a trainer but had to wait a month for a new class to start. But every day I came home it was the same. House trashed, the dog crated, wife frazzled and crying, and kids swinging from the ceiling.

A few days later I came home to the wife in tears again and mumbling, “I just can’t handle it!”

I asked her to put the kids to bed, I grabbed the dog, put him in the car and headed back to the SPCA. It was the worst feeling I’d had in years. I knew I was taking him back to prison after experiencing our wonderful family. A lot of other people would have made a different decision, but I knew we were not the ideal family for this dog that had lived in our house for four days.

Later we explained to the kids that I took Odie to a farm to be with tons of other dogs where they could run around and have so much fun.

We kept track of Odie on the SPCA website and a week later he was adopted and never returned. Looking back at those pictures the wife and I miss him. We wished he had found him at a better time in our lives.

But…we’re confident he’s enjoying his life on that farm with all those dogs…