Still Calling

Odds and ends

It’s a lazy-ish Sunday, and I’m overdue for a little writing, but not up for some long involved piece.

NEWS ITEM: Ever since mentioning my purchase of a vintage safety razor, my buddy Buddy has been pushing me on the benefits of wet shaving, and gifted me with a cake of soap, a brush, and some high quality blades. I typically wear a scruff all over my face, which I keep tamed with a clipper. But I have recently grown my beard/moustache combo back…



…so shaving has become a thing I do again, because my cheeks don’t grown in very well at all. Buddy (and a few others) have been telling me it’s the best shave I’ll have in my life, outside my barber.

I should also add that, in general, I don’t like shaving. No matter how many blades I use, it’s a pain in the ass and I usually wind up with a nick somewhere, especially in the fleshy areas where my jawline meets my ears. The idea of a shave that takes longer to accomplish? Not my idea of a good time.

You can see where I’m going with this. It totally fucking sucked, like I expected.

PSYCH!!

It was actually, for real, one of the best shaves I’ve had IN MY LIFE, *AND* it didn’t really take much longer than a regular shave. My cheeks feel great, they are super-smooth, and I didn’t get any nicks or razor burn. Maybe that’s beginner’s luck, but still: an auspicious beginning.

NEWS ITEM: I leave for Queretaro, Mexico on Friday for a wedding, and then will spend a week in Mexico City with the bride and groom.

This is kind of an interesting story: back when I was in Philadelphia, I started renting out a room in my house as an Airbnb. My first guests were four 20-somethings from Mexico, and we all hit it off immediately. In fact, they were the most fun guests the entire period I was renting out the room, calling me from every bar they went to, and we wound up staying in touch on Facebook. Natalia and I in particular became friendly, commiserating over politics and international relations, and she invited me to her wedding a few months back. As y’all know, I spent a little time in Guatemala last year, which was great. But Antigua is small, and although I lived with townies, it’s primarily a tourist destination. Mexico City, on the other hand is more like New York or Chicago or Philadelphia: it’s a city filled with people who have nothing to do with tourism, and the chance to experience daily life, with a couple that lives there, is incredible even if it IS just a few days.

NEWS ITEM: I started seeing a fellow runner, who I met while training for the Nashville Rock-n-roll Half Marathon. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t mention that aspect of my life [and seriously, I know a lot of y’all read me on Facebook, so be warned that any prying questions will be deleted immediately because I am generally very private about that stuff] but for the fact that we’re training for a marathon in November, and frankly… I think she’s trying to kill me.

I… I am not not a morning person, it’s just that I’m… slow to get moving. The only time I get up before 8:00 or 9:00 am is when I have to pick up Sam, catch an early flight, or run a race (which at least rewards you with a medal). Tennessee is hot as hell in summer: for example, it was in the high 80s at 9:30 AM this morning. I know this not from looking at the weather forecast, but because she had me out running at that ungodly hour. And twice in the past week, she’s had me out at 6:30 in the morning for a 2-6 miles.

It’s just like any other morning, except instead of starting with a nice cup of coffee, you make yourself feel like you’ve been hit by a train. That said, I don’t entirely mind it. The other choice is often to run around 7:00 or 8:00 pm, and by that time I’m more interested in beer.

Goofing around aside, holy fuck! I’m. training. for. a. fucking. MARATHON. I’ve already got a 13.1 tattooed on my left arm for my first half, and now I’ll be able to get a matching 26.2. If I survive that is. We’re on a 30-week training schedule, which is pretty lenient. I’ll be spending weeks 9-13 (14?) in Rhode Island and Philadelphia where the summers are significantly cooler (and the geography a lot less hillier) than in Nashville, but August is going to be a BITCH and a half. It’s consistently in the 90s and higher, and with the humidity it’s like breathing through a hot, wet, wool blanket. You sweat out at least a liter of water just walking a few blocks (not that we have sidewalks here), so its no wonder we drive everywhere.

On the other hand, Space Coast is a great choice for a first (and in my case, probably “only”) marathon. It’s a mostly flat course, the weather is likely to be in the 60-70 degree range, and there should be a breeze off the ocean/river.

Anyway, if I abruptly stop blogging again after the 26th, just assume I expired.

NEWS ITEM: Speaking of expiring, my Subaru gave up the ghost a week or so back, and now that I’m back in the hills I wound up buying a truck. It’s even got four-wheel drive. This week I’m buying a camper top. Yes, feel free to make jokes about that’s what happens when you move to the south.

Back when I lived in Massachusetts, I drove around in a tiny little Mitsubishi (the Mighty Max). It was a nice truck that brought me to a lot of Phish shows, but the clutch arm had a habit of breaking. So it’s kind of fun to be going back to a truck. Also, with festivals and mountains nearby, it’s going to be great for camping. Gas mileage sucks though.

NEWS ITEM: My glasses have been broken for about month though, and although I found replacement earpieces, the past couple of weeks have convinced me I need to get bifocals. I need them primarily for distance, like reading signs on the highway, or menu boards, or really anything more than 6-10 feet away. When it comes to using my computer or reading though, my prescription makes my eyes hurt. On top of that, the few grey hairs I noticed a year or so ago have advanced and are poking out everywhere. Aging: it’s a thing.

And that’s it for now: I still have two longer pieces pending (if I ever get to them). One is about the death of my friend Omar who was pretty much everything you see on this reddit thread from the good, the bad, to the ugly. I wanted to kill him the first day I met him, and later I came to look forward to our interactions. The other is about how I think that, as a performer, I am completely over and done with bluegrass music, and why.

Tune in next time, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel. And safe travels to you, Adam West! You were my favorite Batman.

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