Saturday, March 31, 2007

Eight Miles and No Writing Gas

Met Ernesto at the Rose Bowl. His hamstring continues to heal slowly while my half-marathon rapidly approaches. So we ran different paces and distances and met back at the start line. During my run I encountered Faith and Sarah, former Fall '05 teammates with Ernesto and I.

The hills swarm with TNT alumni.

And now more writing. The script I'm working on is due Sunday, postphoned from Friday when I ran out of gas. Knowing my draft will be picked apart by fussy executives saps all initiative. I look for ways to avoid writing. Hence, this post.

However this morning I was bummed about my running and felt weak and slow. I psyched myself up mentally, then went out and performed well.

I may have to do something similar to get up for this script. Perhaps a cheer?

Space bar, space bar,
Fast and funny,
Finish this script,
And pocket the money.

Don't you care,
What they think.
They're executives,
Silly with drink.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Pre-Phoenix Marathon Photo 2007

Campaign manager Melissa of the Winter Team just posted this photo from Phoenix. It is probably around 5:30 AM. We're gathered in the lobby of our hotel, waiting to be bussed to the marathon start line. We already know it's stinking cold out. We don't yet know it's 29 degrees and that we'll be milling around outdoors for over an hour waiting to run.

I love the lights and reflective glow stuff. It's like we're at a convention for Radioactive Runners.

Deadline Fatigue

Mentally sapped. Since Sunday I've written 36 pages on two animated scripts and a short story. Prose fiction averages about an hour a page. Animated stuff I can usually do much faster. In any case, I haven't been sleeping well and that's affected my running. Tried to do a five-mile tempo run yesterday and simply gave up after mile three. I went home, ate dinner, wished my wife well as she sped out to her writers' group, and crashed early, drool rolling down my chin like a great torrent.

My training schedule for the half-marathon unravels more each week. But I'll press on and adjust as necessary. My goal is Chicago in October and I still have time.

And a tidy income once all my invoices are paid.

Then more sleep.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Meeting Mr. Sulu

This morning, Nick and Ernesto joined me for a race in Griffith Park. (In 1995, I did a 5K there. That turned out to be my last 5K for eleven years.) Small field, very informal. I finished in 25:18. That's an 8:09 pace. Not what I wanted but slightly better than my 1995 time. And I smoked back then. I wonder how my running career might've gone if I'd eased off the Kents sooner.

Today George Takei was Master of Ceremonies. A nice guy, he sat at a table and signed autographs for free. (Many celebs charge.) Naturally we lined up. Nick just turned 30. He had never seen Star Trek and that included the original series as well as the movies. He knew George Takei from the Howard Stern Show. Ernesto knew about George and Star Trek but dug him on Howard Stern. I overheard a teacher say her students only knew George as Kaito Nakamura on Heroes.

Well, he'll always be Mr. Sulu to me. I asked him to please sign my picture: "Live Long and Perspire." He laughed and did so, asking me about running. George finished up and I thanked him. As I left he told me to "live long and perspire."

God willing, I shall, and the same to you, Mr. Sulu.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thoughts on 300

My wife and I just returned from seeing 300. Based on a graphic novel, the movie featured enough stabbing and beheading to make Braveheart look like Remains of the Day. A handful of six-pack-abbed Spartans stands against the hordes of a giant, fruity Xerxes. The historical Xerxes was something of a logistical wiz. He moved a massive army from Asia to Greece across a boat bridge and pre-positioned supplies in their path. Subsequent armies well into the 20th century floundered on the march far worse than the Persian troops. What's more, Xerxes practiced early disinformation by bribing the Oracle at Delphi to put a negative spin on Greek war prophecies.

A few years back, author Steven Pressfield covered the same material in his book, Gates of Fire. The story of Leonidas and his Spartans was told through the character of a Spartan servant, found gravely wounded at Thermopylae, who relates the tale to his Persian captors. Gates covers the culture and politics of Sparta as well as other city states, divided on whether to resist Xerxes. Pressfield's descriptions of the Greek phalanx, or shield wall, are particularly riviting. (Essentially a big shoving match with spears.)

A few large historical liberties, but overall 300 was a fun film.

Did I mention lots of stabbing, rending, and slashing?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Erin Go Bragh

And a Happy St. Patrick's Day! God bless all, especially my dear Irish family, living and dead.

Truncated running with Ernesto today. His hamstring ached from playing basketball and he bailed at the mile mark. I only ran three today because my calves hurt from overtraining. I juggled running days around this week because of work and ended up piling on mileage as well as speed. A proven road to injury. No one sets a personal best who doesn't first reach the start line.

Work continues intensely. Scripts and development. One show I'm writing is rather difficult. My scripts draw lengthy executive notes implying I can't write. Solving creative problems becomes a true test of patience and a clear sign that I need money. But I'm almost done.

And better projects await.

A parting St. Paddy's day joke:

Q: What is Irish alzheimers?

A: That's where you forget everything but the resentments.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Red Hot Running

Met Ernesto yesterday for a six-mile run. We spent the first mile dodging triathalon bikers as they sprinted around the Rose Bowl.

We passed friendly TNT faces as the Summer Team notched their first ten-mile run. There was a "double digit" barbecue afterwards and we exercised alumni priviledges by scarfing their chow.

Went out this morning for an eight-mile clip and passed Melissa and Naveena breezing along on their own long run. Hot, dry weather dehydrated me by mile 3. As in Hawaii, my brain screamed "quit," even though I wasn't running particularly fast or far.

I did what any self-respecting runner would do: I lied to my own brain. I said water aplenty waited at the finish. The brain bought it and I ran my scheduled pace the rest of the way. Just to show I'm a nice guy, I delivered and slugged down a 16-ounce Aquafina.

Another 14 pages of animation the last few days. They say strike while the iron is hot. But this stinking iron is volcanic!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fine Whine

Still underwater with all the writing. Fatigued now. I'll stop and lie down for a few hours than back at it. I just turned in another short script (20 pages) and am waiting for the next assignment.

The L.A. Marathon was Sunday. Congrats to the Spring TNTers, especially Raul who broke 4 hours.

On Monday I commence training for my own sub four-hour marathon in Chicago this fall. Phase One will last 9 weeks and end with pring a half-marathon. To that end, Coach Katie has proscribed track workouts. Coach Melissa has taught me plyometrics to improve speed and ladders to increase foot turn-over and quickness. In addition, she's been running with me on Mondays as I add another running day to my week. After resting up, Phase Two will begin in June. I'm not sure what it'll be. But I bet there's lots of running.

And now back to what I do best.