September 9, 2007

I am Angry In New York

First off, props to Apple on the new Nano - it is cool. Props to my mom, for buying one for me for my upcoming birthday - she is cool, too. :)

Second, apologies to all the other runners whose blogs I have not been reading or not commenting on. Not having much spare time, blogs are the first thing to go, I'm afraid. But I hope to catch up and get more connected with my blogger friends, even though I may have alienated most of you by now.

I have been having a difficult week/month/year, outside of running. I'm finding myself grappling with a whole lot of anger issues lately; stuff that's been boiling for months and I don't know how to resolve any of it. The vacation didn't do it, that's for sure. In fact, the title of my story that will run in Thunder Press is called Angry In Alaska. People who work at the main office keep calling and telling me what a great piece it is - even though they're only reading the edited version. From over 14,000 words (and that's without really discussing my fellow riders much or any mundane details or even bothering with chronology) it got cut for length to about 6,000, from what I'm told. I'm honored they like the piece enough to run it as a two-parter, but that doesn't help me with my anger. (If I can get my shit together enough to re-do my website, I'll post the full article online and put a link in this blog.)

I'm a bit angry at myself today. I mean, WHAT WAS I THINKING?? I should have been out of the house by 10 a.m. - my goal was 6.7 miles - the typical Prospect Park loop I've run dozens of times. I woke up once when I heard my upstairs neighbor go out the front door and looked at the clock - a little after 8 a.m. I shut my eyes to get another fifteen minutes of sleep, or so, and the next time I came to consciousness, it was 11:45!! Was I in that much need of sleep? (hell, yes)

So I got out around 1:15. It was 87 degrees. Woof. My run quickly got truncated; for the first time in several runs, I simply couldn't breath. I was walking a lot just trying to suck in enough oxygen. It felt like there was a band around my chest and it wasn't exercise-induced asthma, I didn't think.

I ran up to the park and back, plus about six-tenths of a mile inside the park, to bring the run to four miles. On the way home, I took my shirt off and I could breathe easier right away. That shirt goes in the trash - its simply too small for hyper-inflated lungs.

Good news is: my legs felt great, and I mean GREAT. Before, during, and after, my legs are treating me right - perhaps because I'm not over-abusing them with too many miles. Or maybe the cross-training by biking to work is helping. My plan tomorrow is to bicycle to work, run the four-and-a-half miles after work down to the Brooklyn Bridge again, and perhaps even start over the bridge, get a five mile run in. We'll see.

In the meantime, it's been a bad week in other arenas. I took a show I shouldn't have and it has left me feeling dirty and soiled. The producer didn't know what the fuck he was doing and let me, the audience, and the performers down badly. I ended up running the light board myself for the whole three performances. We barely had an audience the first two runs, though today was a pretty good audience - family and friends, mainly. As David Shayne (John Cusack) screams out his bedroom window in Bullets Over Broadway, "I'M A WHORE!!!" But money is money, right?

Well, maybe not right. Some money isn't worth the trials to earn it. And, truth be told, I'll be surprised if I even get paid. My list of questions to ask before I accept a show is growing.

The real pity is, it was in a great theatre - or what could be a great theatre with the right leadership and even a small amount of funding. It's one of the only theatres I've worked here in New York with a full fly house, a full basement below the stage (they could have traps and some really neat effects) and easy load-in access off the street through a straight passageway with double doors all the way. 299 original seats, too. It's a dream layout - but the building is just this side of being condemned because the owners don't know what the fuck they're doing. And THAT makes me angry. Theatres in unknowledgeable hands not only pisses me off, is not only a should-be crime, but is actually dangerous. They have some safety concerns there that, if I ran the theatre, would prevent any actual use of the stage until they were addressed. It's not that anyone's life is in danger by simply being in there, but rather that if they don't know what they're doing, they can get hurt - there's no safety lockouts, the fly system is in poor repair...I could go on. It's none of my business, right? But I can't help but deem a near future in which I'm called as an expert witness in a massive lawsuit a DISTINCT possibility.

Moreover, I hate the area the theatre is in. It's populated by idiots. I ended up giving vent to my general anger by getting angry at two drivers who nearly killed me and screaming at them. Had they gotten the guts to actually get out of their vehicles and beat the shit out of me, I would have welcomed it - or at least welcomed the chance to return the physical abuse. Drivers here just don't know what the fuck they're doing, pure and simple. They have NO concept that pedestrians have right-of-way at all times, and ESPECIALLY when I HAVE THE FUCKING GREEN AND THE WALK SIGNAL! I'm no idiot: me v. SUV will end badly. But give me the all clear to start dragging drivers out of their fucking cages and slamming their bloated heads into the curb, and I'll be all over that, whether or not I have the muscles to succeed or not. Road rage? From a pedestrian? The irony is, I am extremely zen when I'm actually driving my motorcycle - other drivers' idiocy rolls right off my back. But as a pedestrian, I feel I have the right to protect myself as I stroll through this city - by force if neccessary.

Oh, and fucking VISTA. "Activation code no longer valid" "Activation code already in use" Where's the fucking PHONE NUMBER to call Microsoft and get some help?? Don't get me started. THIS bullshit is why I switched to Mac long ago. I don't have my fucking goddamn overpriced, bug-ridden, bloated, slow, memory-hogging, pieced-together-bits-of-pirated-software-having, complete-Apple-ripoff OPERATING SYSTEM shut itself down when I'm on my MAC. You want to know why YOU should switch to a Mac and ask for your work to do so, too? Because Microsoft isn't worth supporting. Their products are bloated shit - and "but I've always used Windows" is a poor excuse for continuing to support the evil goliath.

Shit, it's not that I want everyone to live and work and think like me. I don't even want them to walk a mile in my shoes; it's just that I want them to start thinking CLEARLY. Sure, I'd love it if everyone saw things my way, but that wouldn't make for a very interesting world. So, yeah, drinking the Kool-Aide is optional, but a little bit of adherence to the social contract would go a long way. But no, people are just assholes; and in the Land of Assholes, the biggest dick is king. (Which sort of begs for a segue into national politics, but I'll digress.) And everybody - EVERYBODY - feels the need to be the biggest dick.

Top all this anger off with the horrorshow anniversary of 9/11 and this coming week is looking very dark indeed. I hate this time of year. I just want to turn it all off and tell the world to move the fuck on. I'm not in denial of the event or the need to respectfully observe its anniversary, but I think my fellow NY'ers are addicted to their pain and don't actually want healing. (Is that the pot calling the kettle black?) THAT's the reason we don't have a new WTC built yet; THAT's the reason there isn't a memorial done and finished; THAT's the reason every other news story during the month leading up to 9/11 is about PAIN.

That's all they're all about, so don't be fooled! There's endless stories about the heros of 9/11, their family members, their best friends from high school, their best friends' girlfriends father's ex-wife's second cousin, people who "were there" (from halfway across the country), people who "still feel their pain like it happened yesterday", etc etc etc. Constant documentaries on the towers coming down. Pain, Pain, Pain. Medicate us, they cry, worship us, pity us, euthanize us, though not in so few words. Give us palliatives, give us restitution, give us a pat on the hand. Piss and moan.

And the reporters LOVE IT. The editors say, go out and get us a new angle on our pain. Every fucking story. "No news is good news" to the consumer, but to the reports, "good news is no news." (Sorry Derek.) Props to the ACTUAL survivors, though - they manage to keep themselves out of this. It's a rare story that features an interview with someone who walked out of the doomed towers; maybe they recognize the way we're treating this event is somehow wrong and don't want to be associated with the tabloid-style reporting that 9/11 has engendered in even our most respected outlets. It's a very subtle FUCK YOU to the reporters, the editors, and the sick fucking consumers that eat this shit up. Yeah, that's right, I'm blaming YOU the consumer - the fat American so in love with thrillers that you can't tell the difference anymore between The Stand and 9/11. Demand and supply. Supply and demand, motherfuckers. God, I hate people. I really, really, really hate people.

So, where're the silver lining articles? Where are the articles on what has come out of the tragedy that is good and right? Where's the deep reporting that can finally lead to some incisive analysis of this tragedy and how it has affected, changed, and evolved the New York megalopolis?

Or is there nothing?

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