Thursday, September 01, 2016

For Your Eyes Only. Or a few things I learned on my morning run.

"Goodbye Mr. Bond, I trust you had a pleasant... fright."
~Ernst Stavro Blofeld

OK, this post really isn't about James Bond. It's about running. Something I love to do.

I run with Zombies, Run! (ZR), a fitness/running app. (I talked about it back in 2014 in my post, Zombies, Run! Comes to Google Glass.) I've had my ups and downs with the app, both for technology reasons (What app doesn't occasionally get buggy with updates?) and content reasons (I personally like my zombie-themed fitness app to have actually zombies in it so I took exception to one of the seasons - you know who you are, bad, bad season!). But the folks who put together ZR have been on their game lately and I have been enjoying a most definite UP in running to Season 5.

The missions (as they are called) are usually named after song titles and Season 5, Mission 27 took it's name from a song from Bond. As in James Bond! Namely, For Your Eyes Only. (See? It makes sense now, right?!?)

I have no idea why this got me fired up for my run, but there it is.

Sure, For Your Eyes Only featured Carole Bouquet as Melina Havelock.

And Lynn-Holly Johnson as Bibi Dahl.

But neither of them is very zombie-like. So...

There was some running in For Your Eyes Only. But not in a significant way. But when I saw the title of the mission I got really excited. Maybe it just resonated with the 10-year-old me. The 10-year-old me really, really liked Lynn-Holly Johnson.

I decided a Bond-themed mission deserved a Bond-themed playlist. So between the juicy story and while running away from zombies I listened to "Goldfinger" by Shirley Bassey, "Thunderball" by Tom Jones, "You Only Live Twice" by Nancy Sinatra, "We Have All The Time In The World" by Louis Armstrong, "Diamonds Are Forever" by Shirley Bassey, "Live And Let Die" by Paul McCartney & Wings, "The Man With The Golden Gun" by Lulu, "Nobody Does It Better" by Carly Simon, "Moonraker" by Shirley Bassey, "For Your Eyes Only" by Sheena Easton (of course!), "All Time High" by Rita Coolidge, "Never Say Never Again" by Lani Hall, "A View To A Kill" by Duran Duran, and "The Living Daylights" by a-ha. (BTW, Shirley Bassey knows someone, you know?)

All-in-all it was a great run. And I learned a few things that I thought I would share:

1) Even though running through the golf course may seem like a fabulous spur-of-the-moment idea at 5 AM - Because, hey! no golfers at 5 AM! - you have to keep in mind that there are also no frickin' lights at 5 AM. And golf courses are dark. Very dark. Staring as hard as you can at the ground to keep on the path is fraught with perils, including low hanging tree branches.

It looked kind of like this:

Although the darkness does add a realistic ambiance to the whole running away from zombies in a post-apocalyptic world feel, the effort required to keep from falling on your face is just over the tipping point into "too much".

Also, thinking that it will be easier to see on the side of the course where you'll get light from the cars on the freeway is a very false assumption. Glaring, moving headlights cast weird, disorienting shadows on the hilly landscape of a golf course that make you feel like you are going to fall into black chasms and never be heard from again.

2) In the dark and semi-dark of predawn, you may discover that the adorable cat and her kittens are actually an adorable skunk and her kittens. Moving off the path to give them a wide berth is wisest.

Going home smelling like a skunk, which could be analogous to smelling like a rotting corpse (eg, zombie), is not a proper way to start off a busy day.

3) Apparently 5:28 AM is a great time to turn on the sprinklers in the park. And there is nothing you can do about it when you are equidistant from all the sides.

Trying to find the silver lining, had you been skunked, a brisk morning shower might have helped, although unless you packed tomato juice I think you'd be stuck with the skunk funk. (We don't ever find canned tomato juice on the missions...weird...)

4) Telling a cyclist, "Sorry, running away from a horde of zombies" does not, apparently, ease the sting of having a runner pass them on the trail. And they are bitter. Oh so bitter.

5) All zombie chases will commence right as you hit that bridge or hill. And, oddly enough, right after ZR informs you that you have just picked up a car battery or a tool chest.

6) My supposition that a James Bond-themed ZR mission would be best done to a soundtrack of Bond theme music - especially the Connery and Moore years - was 100% correct.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

630,720,000 seconds & counting...

"What a happy and holy fashion it is that those who love one another should rest on the same pillow."
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

What can I say? It's been an exciting, breathtaking, amazing journey with this woman I call my wife and best friend. 

Two thousand and sixteen in many ways is a long way off from 1996 when we said our "I do's" before God and family and friends. Even further away from 1990 when we met and I immediately fell in love with her kindness and her humour and melted into those bluer than blue eyes.

And yet, what're 20 years?

A blink of those blue eyes.

A flash.

Just a moment.

A glimpse of the eternity I want with someone who seems to know me better than I know myself.

She's made me a better human. Infinitely better. 

Wiser. Stronger. More self-assured. I'm more comfortable in the aspect of adult and far less of the ingĂ©nu. Her confidence in me brings about a very real intrepidity and spirit that I do not think I would possess without her support, her love, her faith.

Yes, sometimes she is impossibly stubbourn. But then so am I. And it works. She gets angry and I get angry. But it is rarely at the same things, so we calm each other down. The things that scare her I can face and vice-a-versa. It makes for a wonderful balance of feeling the protector and the protected. And that is a nice combination in this world. (I'll give you an example: For her I swim in the ocean. She doesn't know it's because of her. I am deathly afraid of deep, dark water - thalassophobia is no joke - but I get into that ocean or lake and swim. Not to impress her or because I think she expects it of me, but because somehow that overwhelming, smothering dread I feel when the ocean or lake floor drops away is softened with the knowledge that she believes I can do it. And through that belief in me I am braver.)

That is me in the flippin' Pacific ocean.
I still like holding her hand. I think she likes holding mine. She's the first person I think of when I wake up and the last person to float through my mind when I go to sleep. Making her happy makes me happy. Thinking about her makes me happy.

This is terribly maudlin and I do not apologize.

We can talk about anything. Anything. (Politics, religion, death, sex, morality, fear, Brexit, bleu cheese. (Yes, even blue cheese. Which she still loathes and I still love.)) And sometimes we can not talk at all and so much is communicated. It's rather amazing. 

Come to think of it, there is a lot around this woman that is amazing. A lot around us that is amazing. And I am grateful. Grateful to her for letting me share in her life, her adventures.

I raise my glass to this wonderful, sublime, woman and to the 20 years I have called her "wife". (And to the 26 years I have called her friend.) 

I love this woman. 

I love her more than I can express. She's pretty special. And for some reason she seems to think I'm pretty special, too.

Happy anniversary, my love.  What say you to another 20 years to see what happens?