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May 27, 2012

Weekend Ramblings

"Down, down, down, down, it gets me so -

Down, down, down, down ..."
- Blink 182, "Down"  (video after post)

You could say it's been something of a down week around this little corner of the Internet.

I guess that's what you get when you combine the height of training season, a frenzied end of the school year, exciting new work opportunities, and a laptop-shaped void where my most familiar writing tool used to reside.  (That last one's a long story I'd rather not re-tell.)

To top it all off, I got knocked on my tail by a nasty illness this week - the kind that makes you want to crawl in a hole so the world won't be bothered by your whimpering.

Consequently, I'm spending much of my holiday weekend passively taking in the world around me - and over the past several days, a few items seemed interesting enough to pass along.  I hope you appreciate them, as I'm probably infecting my wife's keyboard in order to publish them here.

Coincidentally, the first item comes from my wife, who had the privilege opportunity obligation to chaperone the final 8th grade dance that doubled as a "So long, middle school!" party for all the kids heading off to high school in the fall - one of who happens to be our son.

This story isn't about our son, though - it's about the girls at the dance, about whom my wife commented afterward, You should have seen the heels these girls were all wearing, before demonstrating by holding her thumb and forefinger about 5 inches apart.  Considering that one of my top-5 father goals is to prevent my daughters from ever wearing high heels, this was certainly a discouraging report. 

However, the next part of my wife's account cheered me up immensely:

The funny thing was, right after the dance started, almost all of them just took their shoes off and spent the whole night barefoot.  The ones who didn't were walking around in pain by the end of the night.

So maybe there's hope for me after all - and one day, females of the world will come to their senses and outlaw those foolish contraptions once and forever.  For my part, I'll raise two girls who are ready to join the crusade.

This one's a quick link, but a lengthy must-read: Caballo Blanco's Last Run, as seen in this week's New York Times.  It's wonderfully written, and a fitting tribute to a reluctant ultrarunning legend.

This one took me by surprise, as I initially dismissed it as just another skater/shredder clip.  However, the piece stands out for a few reasons:

- It features Jeff Ament, who until this week I only knew as the bass player for Pearl Jam. 

- In the piece, he speaks about the ways that skating satisfies his soul in much the same way I often talk to people about trail running.

- It portrays how Ament was able to spread his passion in a heartfelt act of generosity that could have positive ramifications on an entire community.

The clip is a bit on the long side, but you'll be glad you watched.

"Pass the Bucket With Jeff Ament" (click to play):

And hopefully we'll resume regular programming in the next few days, assuming I can get myself up from being so down.       

Blink 182, "Down" (click to play):

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Anne 5/28/12, 4:06 PM  

Let's face it, the fashion industry has way too much sway with young women. Though I'm sure your girls will dutifully wear and evangelize flat shoes even when their friends refuse to wear them to proms, etc. Just don't let them walk down the aisle in Vibrams!!

Donald 5/28/12, 9:30 PM  

@Anne: No Vibrams, huh? Maybe plain old barefoot instead.

Gretchen 5/29/12, 7:00 AM  

Barefoot is actually quite a popular way to get married. Or maybe that just says something about the people I hang with? (I mean hippies, not barefoot runners.)

I'm curious as to your other top 4 father goals. ;)

Julie 5/31/12, 2:08 PM  

It is quite possible to grow up not wearing heels without it being a big deal (unless they are really into dance performance or competition). Patagonia makes an awesome, super lightweight thin sole shoe that works great with a dress called the advocate lattice. I live in that when other girls are wearing heels and get a million compliments! (It looks way better in person than on the website.) I even wear it during orchestra performances. :)

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