Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Take me out to the ballgame!


Went to the Cubs game yesterday with Sergio and Jay from work.

The fun started when I met Jay for a pleasant lunch at Standard India, my favorite Indian buffet restaurant.  The yummy butter chicken, spicy soup, and lamb vindaloo prove that good ethnic food is sometimes possible in yuppie neighborhoods.

After a couple of hours of bar-hopping we caught up with Sergio at Sheffields for some pre-game beer and cigars.

I finaly got to try the beer from Three Floyds named after one of my favorite cartoon characters, Gumballhead the Cat.

Jay-ism #1:  Store your cigars in a humidor.
Jay-ism #2:  "It's a wheat beer."

We arrived right before the national anthem and managed to get (relatively) good bleacher seats in the fourth row, center-right field.

The game got off to a depressing start with the Marlins scoring 3 runs early and making the Cubs look like bozos at every opportunity.  The Cubs came around to make a good defensive effort, but remained shut-out for most of the game.  Fortunately I smuggled some rum into the ballpark and used it liberally to keep my spirts up.

Things changed dramaticly in the bottom of the 8th inning when the Cubs, possessed perhaps by supernatural forces, scored six runs with no outs.  The bleachers went apeshit.  Jay wore himself out from jumping up and down on the benches and I nearly lost my voice from screaming when Jacque Jones' three-run homer cleared the left field wall.

"We're having some fish for dinner!"

There was much celebrating on Waveland Avenue as Sergio and I mingled amidst the throngs of drunken celebrants (many of whom were asking, "Do you know the Bulls score?").

Jay's pose on the outfield wall got a lot of attention from Security, who quickly and forcefully removed him from the stands.

We had to walk several blocks to find a sports bar that wasn't too crowded after the game.  It then only took one more beer for exhuberance to give way to fatigue and the night to end early.

To my concerned friends and loved ones reading this blog post, you needn't worry.  I'm going to try not to become a Cub fan.  Too much work.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Kelly & Jim at Liar's Club

Friday, April 21, 2006


Happy Birthday Manh Le!


Running & Bar Training with Jay

Here I am with Jay at the Twisted Spoke on Grand Avenue.  It was good night to sit up on the rooftop and enjoy some buffalo chicken sandwiches.

We had just done six miles on the lakefront path (four miles of which was actual running) and Jay was nice enough to keep me company until I had to go to work covering my old midnight shift.

After Twisted Spoke we went to Clark Ale House and promptly lost track of time.  I ended up rolling into work a few minutes late and still wearing my track suit.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Pizza Hut: the Diet of Champions (not!)

I made the mistake of ordering a pizza from Pizza Hut on Easter Sunday.  I was by myself and bored and had a coupon for a free pizza of my choice (earned ironicly from all my complaining about their bad pizza).

Unfortunately pizza (particularly cheap, lousy pizza) contains several ingredients I am allergic to and therefore I managed to screw up my practice run the next day; Instead of a comfortable four miles, I endured a painful three miles that left me feeling like the "old" me.

[If I were to insert a sound clip into this blog post it would be of me panting.]

I know that even though I need to take in more calories these days, I also need to make smarter choices.

So if any of you, my dear friends, spot me out on the street eating pizza or tacos or some other crap, please feel free to beat me upside the head with my running shoe.

Thank you.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Grandma's Thoughts on Dieting

Celebrated Passover Sedar at my Mom's house with my mother and her partner Jim, Justyna, and my grandma Gert.

For those of you unfamiliar with Judaism, Passover is the annual feast when we thank God for freeing the Hebrew slaves from Egypt by eating and drinking way, way too much.  Given my own recent overconsumption as my body fat percentage continues to drop (now at 12% and falling), an evening of tender brisket and cheap sweet wine was soemthing I was greatly looking forward to.

The annual Passover combination of food and family has nurtured a tradition of my grandmother retelling the same anecdote about her father:  Many years ago grandma (then a young woman) and several other ladies were discussing their weight loss efforts at a family gathering.  This prompted my great-grandfather to chime in, "How soon until you weigh nothing?"

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Salute to Doublevelvet


Like art?  Detest censorship?

Check out the works of my favorite artist on FLICKR, Doublevelvet.

The bastardos of the FLICKR/Yahoo! Taliban have systematicly censored this artist's photostream for being offensive, or as they put it, "not safe in public areas."

To those who would say that art is "not safe," I would respond, "Go back to Afghanistan (and have a Starbucks) you bastardo!"

Tip of the lunchbox to Doublevelvet

tags: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Taking the Plunge


I've taken the plunge and signed up for the Chicago Marathon.  It was a spontaneous decision and it cost me $90.

I had been hesitating with signup due to lingering concerns about work and my generally being a wimpy chickensh*t.  But I figure these are obstacles that can be overcome, and with only a slight risk of injury.

To train for this event I will be running upwards of 30-40 miles per week, with my higher mileage starting in July.  This means that I will be very busy this summer (on top of whatever work throws at me) so I hope that you all will forgive me if I'm not a lot of fun on Saturday nights.

My motivation is the need to accomplish something truly meaningful before my 40th birthday.  This year's Chicago Marathon is on October 22, two days shy of my 38th birthday.  My ultimate goal is to run in Boston before I turn 40.

Yeah, I know I'm nuts.  But I figure I might as well plan ahead for my eventual midlife crisis.

Wish me luck.

(And forgive me if I pass out on your sofa.  Especially you, Jeanne.)

P.S.  Today promises to be my best 5 mile run yet.  I'll be covering the Jackson Park back trail (by the Japanese garden) and then running west up the Midway Plaissance, north through Washington Park, and finaly east on 57th to Medici.  Here is the route I plan to take.  Anyone in the Hyde Park vicinity around 3PM today is invited to join me for a pizza.

tags: , ,

Monday, April 10, 2006


Where to Run Today?


People of these United States, I know that many of you are still nurturing lingering resentment that your vote in the last couple of presidential elections didn't really count.

But rest assured, here at pugpaw.com your opinion still matters!

Today I need to run 4 miles, which is never fun on a Monday when I am tired and cranky.  To make things more interesting, I've been trying to plan an interesting route.

But which way to go?

Here are the choices...

Option 1: Home to South Chicago

This route would take me east to Rainbow Beach and then south along the site of the old South Chicago steel mill.  The final portion of my run would take me through the Buffalo Street corridor, a little corner of Chicago that even the street gangs don't know about.  My final destination would be the 95th Street Metra station at the end of the South Chicago Line, where I would catch a train home.  If time permits, I can eat a torta.

Highlights: Buffalo Avenue

Nuisances: Buffalo Avenue

Distance: 4.01 miles

Option 2: Home to Chatham Ridge

This route would take me west to the ghetto Ballys.

Highlights: chance to do needed situps at Ballys

Nuisances: busy streets, boring scenery

Distance: 4.37 miles

Which route should I take today?

Cast your vote by leaving a comment.

(Note that I didn't include a lakefront path route because I am running that tomorrow.)

tags: , , ,

Monday, April 03, 2006


Shamrock Shuffle

Yesterday I participated in the Shamrock Shuffle, the first event of the Chicago summer running season, and my first ever outdoor competition.

There were about 25,000 of us with nothing better to do than get excited about running around the Loop on a cold, wet morning.  Thousands of spectators were on hand to get excited about our excitement.  There was much shouting of encouragement; the psychic energy projected from all directions as I crossed the starting line was something I had never before experienced.

I think I may just be hooked.

My official finish time was 0:45:51, placing me 8179 out of 20,408 finishers.  It's a better time than I expected, and is the fastest I've ever run indoors or out.

This week I will begin training for the Northshore Half Marathon by running with Jay on Wednesday and with CARA on Saturday morning.


UPDATE:  I forgot to mention one important detail...

My participation in the 2006 LaSalle Bank Shamrock Shuffle was dedicated to my friends Kathleen and Shea on the occasion of their wedding anniversary.  Their love for each other has positively influced my life.  They are the world's greatest married couple.  Kathleen & Shea, I ran for you.

tags: , , , , , , ,


Happy Birthday Dave!

Happy Birthday, Dave!

Erika and Justyna pulled off an April Fool's Day / Birthday potluck suprise party for a happily astonished Dave Kamper.

There was much playing of Cranium and gorging on Erika's cooking.

As for me, I followed the examples of Dave and the pugs and passed out on the sofa.  It's what I tend to do at parties these days, and it allowed me to get enough sleep before the big race the next day.

Photo courtesy of Antonia, who took a lot of other great pictures that night.

tags: , , , , , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?