Selfie game at the Museum of Design Atlanta. Text Me, the exhibition currently on view served as a nice design geek out session a few weeks ago, especially combined with Making Africa, currently on view across the street at the High.
Another interstitial urban space. It was late enough walking past this time that I didn’t have to dodge eager drivers wanting to get the hell out of parking deck as quickly as possible.
This morning was the first time it really hit me, emotionally. Watching the Chicago Marathon, that itch started, the desire to be out on a course, running. And next Sunday the Seven Bridges Marathon will start, and though I registered for it, began training for it, I won’t be there to run it.
In August I set off on a 15 mile training run. It was midday, not the best idea, but it was mild for early August. It was a normal run. My friends on the patio of Good People having a beer took great pleasure in my suffering—something all runners do, knowing next time it will be themselves suffering. After finishing, it was a normal evening, everything going according to plan. I woke up Monday and everything was wrong.
My neck, my shoulder, my upper back. It all hurt. A lot. Work was difficult and by Tuesday I was sitting in a sports medicine office being diagnosed with an aggravated nerve, likely C5 / C6 in my neck. A couple of weeks of rest and muscle relaxers, an MRI, and confirmation of a slightly bulged disc. More steroids and the beginning of PT. And just like that it had been three weeks of no running. The emotional and mental equivalent of going off antidepressants cold turkey. I was an unpleasant human. With some time, my brain chemistry managed to rebalance a little, and I was able to supplement with rowing and cycling before finally getting the go ahead to continue running. Easy. Low distance. No training.
I accepted fairly early on that Seven Bridges wouldn’t happen, but maybe I could get back in the swing of things and run the Four Bridges half instead. But no, getting the go ahead, but only easy low mileage, that was pushed off the table as well. Again, not a big deal, always another race another day. This morning was just a bit difficult. Last year I was in Chicago to watch a friend run. It’s one of the best spectator events in sports. It’s wonderful. I was training for Memphis at the time. A race that didn’t go as I’d hoped, a race I was hoping to make up for in Chattanooga at Seven Bridges. So, it all circles around.
Not everything about this experience has been negative. It’s been a time for reflection, rethinking the role of running in my life, exercise in general. As soon as I was allowed to return to running, I was more thankful for running than I have been in a very long time. And, as my physical therapist pointed out, I’m hitting the age where running alone isn’t enough. It’s time to consider my core strength, especially considering the long, and delicate neck, I’ve inherited. I’m learning how to stand again, with correct posture. Same for sitting. And running. It’s all new again as I focus on form in a way I haven’t in years. It’s a little awkward, sometimes frustrating, but in the long-term, hopefully it will make me a better runner. And help me avoid further injuries.
I used to post something along these lines and decided to restart it, but with a little less content. This will mostly just be a list of the things I read, watched, listened to over the last week or so.
#NotRacists Be Like: The Top 10 Phrases Used by People Who Claim They Are Not Racist
It’s hard to avoid conversations about race in America right now, and sometimes humor can help open eyes and perspectives a bit.
Why do whites oppose the NFL protests?
Something of a rebuttal to our president’s claim that his attack on NFL players who are protesting isn’t racially motivated.
Telling Time: Ta-Nehisi Coates On The History That Continues To Haunt America
I’ve listened to a few interviews with Ta-Nehisi Coates recently. I really appreciate Joshua Johnson’s approach to interviewing. And we all need to listen to what Coates has to say. His patience is rather impressive, as is his composure while being elevated to this position of “America’s conscience regarding race.” He cuts through so many of the tropes and defenses that white America tries to use to maintain a position of privilege. If only people would listen, truly listen, and consider the things he, and many others, are saying.
Hanged, Burned, Shot, Drowned, Beaten
Speaking of that history that we all need to be reminded of, and remember daily.
Thoughts on Vegas, and Why Men Keep Doing This
I’m tired of these shootings. I’m also tired of a society that beats boys and men down, stripping them of their emotional capacity. This author hits a lot of the salient points, and the documentary he links to, The Mask You Live In, should be required viewing. We’re living through the negative consequences of a patriarchal society that devalues what are perceived as feminine traits and trains young boys that the only emotion they are allowed to express is anger and rage. When the emotional toolbox of men consists of anger, rage, isolation, and they have access to weapons, every problem begins to look like a shooting range. And the argument about psychopaths, evil people, etc, are bullshit. Every one of these shooters is a mirror to this society and we’re afraid to confront it.
A Strong Nominee. A Divisive Opponent. But Can Democrats Win in Alabama?
Are you telling me there’s a chance? I’m realistic and cynical enough that I fully expect Alabama to send Roy Moore to the Senate. But, a little glimmer of hope is on the horizon, and maybe, just maybe, we can avoid the nightmare that Roy Moore would be.
Alabama doesn’t have to destroy its future to make a point
Seriously. Moore is not a good person. On a basic, fundamental level. And I don’t say that out of my general animus towards organized religion. He’s just not a decent human.
Randall Woodfin wins: Now comes the hard part
And in contrast to the state, Birmingham has elected the progressive candidate for mayor. By a landslide. Seriously, it’s frustrating the rap that Alabama gets (as deserved as it often is) while living in Birmingham, a solidly liberal enclave.
“Like Sonny Liston”: An Appreciation of Tom Petty
A lovely remembrance of Tom Petty by Patterson Hood of the Drive By Truckers.
Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Watched in preparation of Blade Runner 2049. Realized I’ve only ever seen the original theatrical cut. Still a great film, but I’m still not a huge fan of the soundtrack. Parts of it are brilliant, but some of the more intentionally noir-ish synth-sax just kills me.
Blade Runner 2049
Go see it. On the biggest screen possible. I’m still soaking it all in and pondering it. There are a lot of great little ticks and references to the original. But it is of it’s own, which is smart. Denis Villeneuve continues to be one of my favorite working directors, certainly when it comes to large studio work.
New work for the Downtown Running Club. Five years strong, I decided it was time to make something more representative of the club’s vibe. The custom type is inspired by downtown sidewalk brickwork and it’s laid on top of a Birmingham manhole cover.
A detailed post documenting this project might eventually happen. Leave it at this for now: designing maps is a tricky wicket. Everyone reads maps differently. People have varied spatial reasoning abilities. There is little consensus on priorities, which is actually a little surprising if you think about it. Needless to say I’m a little on pins and needles waiting to get a week’s worth of feedback from visitors and coworkers. I have a near allergic reaction to “design by committee,” though iterative beta testing isn’t quite the same, it’s a little unnerving.
And, to make it trickier, we’re renaming the floors of the Museum. Instead of “1, 2, and 3,” we’re hoping “Ground, 1, and 2” will make more sense to the visitors. Of course it means some janky testing while we wait for new elevator buttons to come in.
Manhole covers. Just can’t quit. Eventually I might have finished work detailing all of the places I’ve been thanks to my obsessive documentation of manhole covers in almost every city and town I visit.
Waverly, AL. Standard Deluxe, the Fall Boogie. ‘Nuff said.
Found type in Waverly, AL.