On a Heater

I’m short on time but I’ve been on a heater this week and feel a post is order before things potentially turn south. I had a really good track workout for the first time in a while that makes me excited for my race today. On Wednesday I went to the dentist to get my tooth fixed and it looks great. You can’t even tell that it was chipped before. Last night I went to Penn Relays with Amos, Sarah, Bogdan, and Ang. It was actually a really great time. We got some dinner first at this really nice place with incredible food. We got to the track around 7:15 or so and stayed until 10:30 or so. I got to see some big names in track including Vin Lananna who I’ve never seen before and I got to watch Henry Lelei absolutely destroy a 5k in ~13:40. Watching it in person is so much more impressive than watching it on live or something. I also got to see Chuck race his 5k which was the last event we stayed for. Also, today I found out that I was nominated for the “Life of the Party” senior superlative which I take as a very high compliment.

But perhaps the biggest and best news is that I am officially employed. I owe Sam G so much for how much he’s helped me out over the past few years (and Chad). I’ll be starting a week or two after I graduate. It was such a relief to see the email that finally confirmed it. I definitely haven’t been tight with my money over this past year, I’ve actually spent way more than I thought I was going to, but I wasn’t too worried about it. Now that I know I have a steady source of income for the future I see no reason to go HAM in these next few weeks. Like hoenstly, spending a few hundred bucks in two weeks would make that time so much more exciting and memorable but in the long run it’s not going to mean anything. Why not just spend some money now to make my last two weeks in college that much better?

To cap things off, I just crushed my psych test. 50 questions and I was done in 12 minutes, a PR. Hopefully that’s not the only PR I have today because I’m racing the 1500 and 800 at West Chester in a few hours. This is my last chance to PR in the 15 probably for the rest of my life. I’m in decent 1500 shape so I’m going to go balls out and just see what happens, there’s no point in playing it conservative to run a 4:20 or something. The weekend should be a blast as we get to party both days. I promised I would buy 10 liters of Tortilla Gold or Silver when my job was confirmed so I’ll follow up with that shortly.

No Vision

For no particular reason I decided to go the last 12 hours without my glasses or contacts. I wore them only when driving for safety reasons but not at all other than that. My eyes are very bad, my right eye is -7.5 and my left is -7.0 in terms of contact prescription. In this time I attended two classes, went to wismer twice, pooped five times, got my tooth fixed, ran six miles, went to the diner once, played guitar, browsed the internet, and leisurely hung out in my room watching TV. It was an interesting experience and here is what I observed;

  • I have to be roughly 6 inches away from the computer screen in order to read clearly. This causes me to lean forward and bothers my back
  • People continually acknowledged the fact that I have to hold papers really close to my face or get really close to food to see what it is.
  • I have trouble seeing where I’m writing if I’m taking notes in class. I kept going through the lines and couldn’t actually see what I was writing
  • I couldn’t read the projector at all, like zero percent, so I was writing down what I heard
  • I didn’t think this would be a problem but I was constantly forgetting what I just wrote down and couldn’t see it to remind myself
  • I have to hold the TP after wiping very close to my face to tell how clean it is. This was unpleasant
  • People on the Perk come up out of nowhere and extremely quickly
  • I stare at strangers frequently because I can’t tell who people are unless I’m within ~6 feet or so.
  • When people say hi to me I can’t tell who it is unless their voice is very distinguishable. I was completely caught off-guard a few times, especially by the one girl in the library
  • I can’t tell the notes apart in Guitar Hero when they’re too close together, I also can’t play Diablo well at all
  • Watching the NBA playoffs on TV was completely useless, I couldn’t see the players or the scoreboard

It’s funny because after a few hours I just got completely used to it. I obviously still couldn’t see anything but it would honestly slip my mind that I wasn’t wearing glasses or contacts. Things just began to seem normal.

Running Connection

Slade said to me yesterday that he had to write a paper and then he would come over. The paper was about the novel Slaughterhouse 5. Slade came over shortly after dinner and said something along the lines of “I should read books more often because I just destroyed that paper.” He then said if he hadn’t read the book the paper would have been near impossible and all bullshit, but because he read it, he was able to answer and analyze everything.

This epiphany struck me as unusual yet extremely common. I would venture to guess that less than 50% of Ursinus students read the book for their CIE class, yet every time they go to write the paper they’re dumbfounded and trying to fathom how in the fuck are they going to fill the paper requirement. I can’t argue with this because I’ve done it so many times. This concept however applies to many other things and specifically in my mind running.

Reading the book is like training and writing the paper is like racing. You train and train to get ready for one important thing. You’re teaching your body to be ready for what’s about to come. If you’ve trained hard and put in the work, race day excites you. You may be a bit nervous that all the hard work might not pay off but in general, race day is seen as the reward. The hay is in the barn and now you reap the benefits of your hard work. It will likely be a positive and enjoyable experience when you reflect on it. If you haven’t been training very hard you’ll probably be very nervous, not know what to expect, and not really look forward to the race. It will be a negative experience all around.

When you read the book, you’re doing the training. When you think you know the book well, you can go and crush that paper. You may even look forward to it. The paper acts as a reward, it’s a chance for you to share your knowledge that you gained from your reading. You’ll likely get a good grade, look back afterward, and realize that that wasn’t as bad as you thought. When you haven’t read the book, you’re just screwed. You go in knowing that you most likely won’t get a good grade and that writing the paper itself is going to be a long and strenuous task.

I think this logic applies to many aspects of life and rightfully so. Put in the training and when race day comes you won’t be nervous or upset, you’ll be excited to show what you can do. This makes the experience infinitely more enjoyable and you’ll feel accomplished and good about yourself afterward.

Some Thoughts on Graduating

I’m at a very unusual point in my life right now. In less than three weeks I will officially be a graduate of Ursinus College and likely be done all forms of formal education. I will exit childhood for good and enter adulthood. This is the last week of classes and it’s really starting to hit me now that I’m almost done. I lounge around for the majority of the day and just think to myself that I won’t be able to this anymore. I won’t have this type of free time and I won’t be surrounded by my best friends all the time. College has been an incredible experience and it’s very weird that it’s over. My lifestyle will change so dramatically over the next month. It’s funny because I remember last year around this time of year when I was telling Nick Pane he only had a few weeks left and was asking him how he felt about it. I think I’m living it up as much as possible right now but time is flying and I’ll be out of here before I know it.

I keep asking myself if I think I’m ready to graduate and in all honesty, I think I am. I’m ready to move on with my life. There’s obviously pros and cons to graduating but for whatever reason the pros stick out more to me than the cons. I don’t necessarily think I’m super mature and all grown up but there’s an appeal to growing up and taking on responsibilities. It seems apparent to me that in a few months I will probably read this and wonder what the hell I was thinking but for now I’m not sad that I’ll be graduating. There were a lot of alumni that were back this weekend and they all had a lot of fun. Although my lifestyle may change drastically it’s not like I’ll be completely out of touch with how I’m living now. My teacher said to us that we’ll all come back in a year and wonder how we lived the way we do now. I can absolutely see that happening. My room is more or less a shithole right now and the suite is in even worse condition. But ya know, that’s what I’ve grown accustomed to.

In the words of Dr. Seuss “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Chipping Away

So yesterday was a pretty good day all around. I woke up and went for a very enjoyable 8 mile run with the team. During the day Amos, Adam, and I went to Appalachian Brewing Company for a couple of hours to grab a bite and sip some quality beer. Shooting the shit like that with those two was great I must say. There was talk of a crate race with Sig Pi but that fell through which I had no problems with. Yoko decided to join in on the fun and he drove up here around 6:30. Him, Adam, Slade, Wacker, and I went out to dinner at elevation burger and shit shooting continued. These were very enjoyable times.

We got back around 8 and began to casually drink. We had two liters of Tortilla Gold and Yoko bought a liter of Montezuma tequila to see which one was worse. Both were priced under 10 dollars but it was very clear that Tortilla Gold was better. Amos showed up and the festivities started. We were all going back and fourth doing shots and playing card games. It was just a great time. I owed ~100 seconds of drinking from the pyramid game which ended poorly. I knelt down and Yoko began pouring beer into my mouth. Beer was getting everywhere and my clothes were soaked so I went to take a shower. The beer hit me in a pretty bad way though and shortly into my shower I yacked.

Somehow after I got out of the shower everyone just began spitting water all over the room. I believe I instigated it but I was not spitting it on anyone in particular. However, all those participating felt it was necessary to spit water at me directly.  Anyway, the night continued on and lols were being had by all. No one was too drunk but everyone was drunk enough and just having a great time. At some point I grabbed Wacker’s conch and began blowing it outside. I was giving the conch to others for them to try and blow and blowing it at anyone that walked by. It was a hit. This is where things get bad.

One girl in particular was no pleased with my conch blowing but we semi-friends so it was funny. I would follow her around blowing it as much as possible. She went to go into her suite and I went to follow with the conch equipped. She closed the door hard and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The door slammed shut on the conch which then slammed into my face and slightly chipped my front right tooth and gave my lip a cut. The girl opened the door and was somewhat freaking out. We went into her suite where another girl was there and they were giving me gauze and other stuff to put in my lip. After a few minutes the bleeding stopped but the damage was done. I don’t really blame her for what happened, it was kind of just a freak accident and I somewhat had it coming.

After I recovered six of us decided a diner trip was in order. Satchel and I were craving Eggs Benedict. When we got there however he abandoned the Eggs Benedict idea and got a burger instead. I informed the waitress I wanted an Eggs Benedict with extra Benedict and that Satchel’s medium burger needed extra medium. She was somewhat amused. The food was incredible and the manager guy was there who I’m getting to know decently well. He seems to like us so that’s always a plus. That was pretty much the end of the night. I never got too drunk and made it to ~4 in the morning. Aside from the chipped tooth it was a high quality night.

130421-154258

What Happened

The past few days have not been challenging or anything, I don’t know why I haven’t updated but I just haven’t. I’ll start with yesterday. We had a home meet which is always nice. I was running the 1500 and the 800 and was pretty excited to see what I could do actually. I ran a 4:22 at the first meet of the season in the snow so I figured I could PR (4:17) at some point this season and that this was as good a shot as any. The race went out and right off the bat I knew I was screwed. My legs were hurting way more than they should have and I was slow at 800. Amos passed me with 500 to go and I just had no answer. I ran it in for a 4:26 which is bad. I know my breathing is bad. I’ve been somewhat taking this inhaler for the past few weeks which is right when my breathing starts to get shitty. I’m going to stop taking it completely and we’ll see what happens. Anyway, the 800 was next and I somehow got put in the slow heat. The fastest seed in my heat was ~2:20 so I was set up to win the heat. I went through the 400 in 72 which was 3 seconds slower than the first 400 of my 15. With 300 left I threw on a Miruts Yifter kick and blew the heat open to win by 9 seconds. I close in a 63 for a 2:15 which was better than I was expecting. Finally, we set up two distance 4×400’s for fun. I led off against drew and got crushed. I went ~57 flat and he was just under 54 but that was to be expected I suppose. My team ended up losing but it’s always fun to do stuff like that.

So last night was fated where everyone dresses up nicely and comes to the suite to have a good time. There were plenty of alumni here which is always fun. We were drinking heavily early which is always a formula for success. Adam had some home brewed beer which was ~10% and absolutely delicious. For one reason or another Slade and I rocked it out and the loser had to bong a 24 ounce keystone ice. I honestly don’t remember who won but we both decided we’d bong one. This is where things begin to go blank. I just had a really solid black out where I don’t remember anything. I can recall some very quick glimpses of what was going on but nothing else.

Today is only Saturday which is always night. I plan on drinking pretty hard again tonight but I don’t want to black out in the same manner that I did last night. I’ll have to be a little more careful. Home-brews can hit you really hard when they’re high percentage and 24 ounce keystone ices are trouble makers as well. We’ll see what happens I suppose.

I’m aware this wasn’t a good post but it’s better than nothing.

Songs I’d Play

The following songs are ones that I imagine would give the singer the best chance to score with some desired woman. If I were a female, I would wish these songs were about me. Obviously everything is situational so I tried to pick songs that weren’t all that similar. Here’s my list, narrowed down from 18 to 6. Feel free to contribute.

Change the World – Eric Clapton


This is the song that inspired the post. Clapton has a number of ones that could fill this roll (specifically thinking Wonderful Tonight as a runner up) but this one takes the cake in my book. His smooth guitar playing is great in this song but in my opinion it takes a backseat to the lyrics. Everything this guy says is regarding the girl he’s talking about is gold. He acknowledges that everything he thinks right now is just a dream but that if he could change the entire world, you would be the most important part. Not world hunger or terrorism, you.

Just Fine – G. Love and Special Sauce


I guess I would say that if you once had a girl but you fucked it up, this song would give you the best chance to make a comeback. G. Love is a human-being just like anyone else and he fucked up. There’s no use in denying it, come out and admit when your wrong. Acknowledge that there’s no real reason you should be taken back (because there’s probably not) but that humans make mistakes and can learn from them. You thought getting girls was what it was all about but you’ve come the realization that that’s just not the case. True love trumps promiscuity every time.

Wonderwall – Oasis


This is the definition of a panty-dropper. Liam’s voice is so raspy but it gives this song a certain touch that it wouldn’t have if Noel had performed it (although I’m sure I’d be saying the same thing if Noel decided to sing this instead). If your sitting with your acoustic guitar in front of a girl she really doesn’t have a choice. The funny thing is that this song wasn’t even written about a girl which most people assumed. Noel actually wrote the song about his imaginary friend who’s “going to come and save you from yourself” and it was just assumed that he meant it for his then girlfriend. The biggest problem with the song is the ridiculous looking music video.

The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson


The reason this song is on the list is mostly because it’s Michael Jackson. He was the guy in the 80’s. He had it all, he could sing, he could dance, he was a good lookin’ dude who was smooth as silk in every possible way and there was likely no girl in the world who would turn him down. He’s not trying to hide his emotion at all, he’s in hot pursuit of a girl and he’s being totally alpha and going for it. There’s no sappy love song here about some girl he’s dreaming for, he’s being TM (the man) and making it happen. That’s just how Michael did it back in the day.

I’m Yours – Jason Mraz


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if a guy says he doesn’t like this song, he’s probably lying to save face. This is also a panty-dropper. The feel of the song is so uppity and positive but not too over the top (Hey Soul Sister comes to mind), it’s just right in my opinion. The lyrics show he’s not scared to embarrass himself. He’ll be the fool in the cutest way possible but still keep this smooth swagger and every girl would die if he were singing this to them. I specifically remember in high school, this pretty attractive Jewish girl in two of my classes was absolutely obsessed with this song.

Thank You – Led Zeppelin


Led Zeppelin is a rock band, perhaps even a hard rock band. The girl who can turn these rockers into lovers must be a keeper and this song shows that. It’s a very pleasant sounding guitar piece and the singing is spot on, especially the harmony of “Little drops of rain…” It’s just saying that when the sun blows up and the earth is destroyed, we’ll still have each other. This is obviously a little iffy because they’d probably be dead but the message is that true love is eternal and whoever is receiving that message from Robert Plant would not decline.

 

 

Remembering Boston

I thought this Onion article about yesterday’s events was worth a read. It just goes to show you that low-life behavior can come in more forms than one. Not to suggest that the news people at the NY Post are the equivalent of terrorists or what they did was even close to as bad as what happened, but you understand the point.

As stuff continues to unfold I’ve become somewhat fixated on the 8-year old boy who fell victim to the bombings and was killed yesterday. His name is Martin Richard. People who knew him described him as full of life and a fun loving, energetic kid. I find myself staring at this particular picture for minutes at a time. This kid is so young and innocent. The idea of terrorism or hurting others is probably so far from his mind yet he of all people is one of those hurt the most by the attack. He couldn’t wait to see his dad cross the finish line of the marathon and from one moment to the next he’s gone. The entire family will never be close to the same.  His mother is undergoing brain surgery because of the blast and his sister is having a leg amputated. What is the father thinking when he wakes up the next morning? That’s an unrealistic question to ask because there’s likely no way he’s slept at all since the incident.

Obviously the world keeps spinning but how does life go on for people like this? Ten or twenty years from now he’ll look back and remember what could have been of his incredible 8 year old son. He’ll likely be numb to the horrible feelings that come with it but there’s no doubt the thought of his son and what happened that day won’t cross his mind every day for the rest of his life.

It’s really just crazy. In a week or two I’ll likely forget about the whole thing only to revisit it once in a while. I realize the world keeps spinning and since what happened didn’t have a direct effect on me, I don’t have that difficult of a time just moving on from this, but there are many others who aren’t as lucky.

I don’t really know how to close out a post like this. Thoughts and ‘prayers’ only go so far. I’d guess almost everyone sympathizes with this situation but no amount of thoughts and prayers or donated money will take back what happened… and that’s what’s fucked up about the whole thing. This little kid, under no circumstances, deserved what happened to him yesterday.

martin

2013 Boston Marathon

Very briefly, I’ll talk about the actual race since it was one that I was very interested in. It was nice to see Hartmann up there mixing it up with the top guys for the majority of the race. However, when the break was made he didn’t really go for it. Granted he ran a smart race and picked off the guys who went with the move and died, but there was no way he was going to win by doing that. With that said, I can’t blame him in the slightest. Realistically he’s a 2:08-2:09 guy at best going up against multiple 2:04-2:05 guys. He knows as well as anyone that if he goes with that surge, he’s toast. So props to him for repping America while none of the big names could and coming in a very respectable fourth. Shalane also ran really well. She put herself in the position to win if she had it in her legs but just didn’t quite have enough. There’s no shame in fourth place and putting it all out there. Goucher also ran really well for sixth. Both races were exciting all the way to the finish.

Now obviously everything that happened in the races were completely overshadowed by the bombings and rightfully so. I just can’t even grasp the idea that someone would take an event as innocent and joy filled as the Boston Marathon and turn it into a terrorist act. Then again, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to do any terrorist act but this one seems especially bad. The Marathon is a time for people to come together as a community and cheer for their loved ones and just enjoy the day. It doesn’t matter if someone has dedicated the last four months of their life to this race and is gunning for a sub 2:30 or if they’re a hobby jogger who’s just hoping to finish without having a heart attack, the event is a celebration with absolutely zero bad vibes or negativity. The hugely diverse group of people here have nothing in common other than the fact that they’re here for the race and they want to have a good time. No one bombing would be targeting a specific group of people here, someone did this strictly to kill innocent people who have done nothing wrong.

What I think is crazy is that when those bombs went off and you saw the terror on the faces of everyone around, there was someone or some group who was thinking “Perfect, this is going exactly as planned” and likely without any regret in their mind. How can that be possible? What type of environment does this person or people have to be brought up in for them to actually do this.

Obviously again, when something like this happens people always say it “puts things in perspective” but it’s true. I saw a picture of a guy with his one leg blown off (this happens to be the same picture shown in my brothers blog post). It was said that he ran a 2:33 PR and was waiting for his wife at the finish line when the bombs blew up. He was probably looking forward to this day for months upon months and when he finished he was probably ecstatic with how he ran. He couldn’t wait to share the moment with his significant other and boom. Running goes from the biggest thing in his life to something he’ll never do again. At this point though, he probably doesn’t even care about running, he’s probably just happy that he’s alive. The things you think are extremely important likely aren’t that important. It’s a shame that it takes a tragedy like this to point that out but it seems to be true.