Miss You, Johnny

As I remember it, I started playing with Johnny Rydell in my freshman year of high school. I started playing bass because I wasn’t that great at guitar, and hey, I wanted to be in a band.

First we were the Jackals, playing ‘Horror Business’ in Johnny’s bedroom. Then FCC. Then we had a few other great people join the band, and we needed a new name. We became Nameless For Now.

It was in Tim’s basement where I learned how to be a musician, as I was surrounded by super talented folks. We would sometimes turn all the lights off, save for a blue light in the corner, and just improvise with noise and dynamics. God dammit we were good.

He was John Frusciante good. ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ came out in 1991, when we were just starting this thing, and we did a killer cover of ‘Give It Away.’ God dammit, I still remember playing that on stage at the Sherman Theater in like 1994 or so.

Johnny was that good. He filled any space, he brought us together, he was a monster on guitar.

Found out yesterday, Friday May 28th that he passed away.

We went out separate ways after high school. Him and the band left for Philadelphia to make it. I stayed home with my lame full time job at a grocery store.

And it all leads back to today, in a world without the magic of Johnny Rydell. Rest In Peace, man.

Head to the Hills

I woke up today and my Whoop band said I was 95% recovered, my highest ever. So I set off a new route, with lots of hills, and felt… GREAT.

Since I’ve been doing around 50+ miles a week on Zwift on the bike, this run felt secure. Like, when it was starting to hurt, the miles and hours I’ve been riding have sort of shown me that I could handle it.

That’s the thing with running and biking and hiking – it’s not entirely easy. That’s what makes a different from eating a pint of ice cream (which I also did this week this weekend – it was my birthday).

There’s balance, too.

Eat the ice cream, just not every night.

Go for the 5.5 hilly run, just not every run.

Strain, rest, recover, repeat.

Report on an Unidentified Space Station

I love this story:

“Once again our estimate of the station’s size has been substantially revised. The station clearly has the dimensions of a large asteroid or even a small planet. Our instruments indicate that there are thousands of decks, each extending for miles across an undifferentiated terrain of passenger concourses, lounges, and restaurant terraces. As before there is no sign of any crew or supervisory staff. Yet somehow a vast passenger complement was moved through this planetary waiting room.”

From ‘Report on an Unidentified Space Station‘ by J. G. Ballard.

‘Present Tense’ by FACS

“Wasn’t the spring time cruel,” asks ‘Strawberry Cough,’ the second song from FACS‘ new album ‘Present Tense.’ Cruel, indeed.

Don’t Grind

The week of May 3rd I didn’t run one mile. For whatever reason running felt off. I wasn’t in pain, it just stopped being fun.

For a bit.

Weeks prior my mileage was down. Glad I bought a trainer and a Zwift subscription, just to keep moving, to keep the heart rate up.

On Saturday I had a nice hike / run, up and down and up and down a nearby mountain here, a nice 1,400 of climbing total.

Two days later I had tonight’s solid four mile run.

It’s probably that I’m getting more sleep. Drinking more fluids. Eating a tiny bit better. Less work stress.

Sure, there’s been times when I just got up and ran. Hell, I had a 70 day run streak earlier this year.

But there’s also time to back off. Smell the roses. Ride a bike.

Vital by BIG|BRAVE

This came out in April of this year, but just discovering ‘Vital’ now, in May.

“We’ve always been vocal, but even more so now, because we feel very strongly about what we’re speaking about, and it’s also a way to a way to reach out to someone,” said vocalist / guitarist Robin Wattie.

Here We Are Today

Lots of good offline conversations lately, at least out of the public eye, I guess. These conversations happen over email, DMs, and such, but they’re not out there in full display. A wonderful thing, really.

Been trying to be more present, and acknowledge than like 99.9999% of the time everything is fine. I have food, shelter, warmth. No one knocking at my door, no angry boss, no one is throwing shit at my windows.

Very simplistic, I know, but here I am. The CDC just said that if you’re vaccinated you don’t have to wear a mask anymore, but for fucks sake, THE OPTICS.

If I walk into a store right now with no mask on I’m gonna get the side eye, big time.

As if the work of retail employees hasn’t been hard enough during “these trying times,” now they have to navigate the “oh, but I’m vaccinated” crowd, without ever really knowing if they’re telling the truth or not.

The fun never ends.

Some Miles on the Bike

This week I ran zero miles. I can’t remember the last time I ran zero miles in a week. I’ve never been this burnt out, where every run is just horrible. I’ve talked to other runners about burn out. Every run for the past few weeks has just felt labored. Like I took six months off, and I’m just trying to “get back into running.” Not a fun feeling.

In the last few weeks I set up a bike trainer and a Zwift account. I don’t have to think about the weather, the wind, nothing. And it feels good. Like, even hard efforts. They feel good.

I rode 104 miles this week. Six and a half hours.

I don’t think I rode that much back in my Bike Nerd days.

That’s more hours than I usually run each week.

Also started doing some dance workouts, too. They’re silly, sure, but they’re fun and quick, and feel good.

I’m pretty sure the running will come back. In the meantime I sure am glad I got this bike set up.