Don’t Taint Your Run! A Marathon Packing Checklist

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Pro tip: For better results, bring a matching pair. Failing that, bring one for the left foot and one for the right.

So you’re not only doing something as foolish as running 26.2 miles on your day off, you’re going out of town to do it. Since your already-addled brain has probably been made worse by a combination of Taper Crazies, race anxiety and stress over that one stupid thing at work, I thought I’d help you with this packing list for your out-of-town marathon.

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Back to the Beginning: Hamptons Half Marathon

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 5.10.33 PMI’m running the Hamptons Half Marathon in Southampton tomorrow. It’s sort of a return to the beginning for me.

Prior to running it for the first time in 2010, I had actually run the New York City full marathon twice. But the Hamptons was the first time I ran a race with Team in Training. And it’s where, thanks to the kick-ass coaches of Team in Training, I learned the proper way to train for a long-distance race without doing something stupid or hurting myself.

2010 was a hell of year.

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How is the Brisket King’s brisket?

It was one of the more Texas things I’ve seen. The big guy walked into the place and took off his jacket, exposing the holstered pistol on his hip. He joined his two friends, each of whom were working on an $80 prime-rib steak. The big guy sat down to a rib that looked like it had come off of a T-Rex rather than a cow.

I’ve seen plenty of guns before. I’ve used guns before. I have family members who walk around their own houses with guns in their pockets. I’m okay with guns. But I kept stealing glances at this one.

Because I wasn’t in Texas. And the guy wasn’t wearing a cowboy hat. The big guy and his friends were all wearing yarmulkes.

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Review: ‘It’ (or Rated R ‘Goonies’)

IT_Pennywise

In the 1980s, a rag-tag group of misfits band together for an underground adventure in order to save themselves — and their town! Come for the journey, stay for the laughs — and the scares! You’ll laugh, you’ll scream — you might even cry! I’m going to type a complete sentence — and then set off another related sentence with a dash!

You may have heard of the runaway success of this small indie film, “It.” It’s based off of one of the less-well known works of a relatively obscure short-story author who sometimes dabbled in horror and science fiction. Previous successful movies based on his work– “Stand by Me,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Misery,” “The Green Mile” — came mostly from his more literary work.

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The Brilliant Insanity of ‘Claws’

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Photo courtesy of TNT

Last night, I took a break from binge-watching Season 1 of TNT’s “Claws” to watch “Game of Thrones.” After a perfectly fine episode of “Thrones” — and by fine, I mean one in which numerous ridiculous decisions are made by characters who are supposed to be leaders, as well as Arya being a total snot and neither she nor Sansa actually mentioning the name Littlefinger, which would TOTALLY clear up their issue — I went right back to “Claws.”

I actually started watching “Claws” because of actor Hunter Burke’s tweets about the show. Hunter plays Jew for Jesus Hank Gluck on the show. Who’s Hunter? He’s a multi-talented Hollywood type, but from Louisiana and, in an appropriately Southern connection, he’s my brother’s wife’s sister’s boyfriend. Or something like that. (Actress Teri Wyble, who’s currently in “The Sinner” and was in “The Walking Dead” and more, is my sister-in-law’s sister. Does that sound simpler?)

I figured I’d catch an episode or two over the weekend, but ended up watching the entire first season.‪ Why? “Claws” is like someone huffed three kilos of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen (and some coke) and then decided to write about a multi-ethnic group of women who work at a nail salon and are involved with the Dixie Mafia’s Florida chapter. And this particular chapter is led by a crazy, over the top, bi-sexual Catholic guy with rage issues.

I know Hollywood likes to describe a thing by comparing it to other things, so let me take a stab at this. It takes the best elements of “Dexter,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Get Shorty” and swirls it all together.

It’s entertaining as hell, completely bonkers and I don’t think there was a bad episode in the bunch. It’s funny, disturbing, sexy and even touching — I got misty-eyed by Harold Perrineau’s autistic character more than once. While Perrineau’s acting is great, the women are the ones who make this show. Niecy Nash is the leader of the crew that includes Jenn Lyon, Carrie Preston, Judy Reyes and Karrueche Tran.

All of these people should be getting Emmy nominations, but I won’t hold my breath. Not only because it’s a really diverse show (that doesn’t make a point of yelling “We’re really diverse), but also because it’s classified as a drama. I guess if it’s an hour long, it’s a drama? Sure, it’s plenty dramatic, but it’s also plenty funny (apparently, it started off life as a half-hour comedy pitched to HBO).

But when it comes to marketing, execs like their labels and boxes, I guess. Even if humans repeatedly show that they not only can handle some mixing and matching, but actually love it.

I’d been told a couple times over the last two years that Elmore Leonard-type books are a hard sell for publishers these days. Which is sort of odd, considering half the good shows on TV (and there are a lot of good shows on TV, Netflix, etc., these days) seem like they’re based on Leonard-type books. But that’s just me. (And, yes, I have a Leonard-type book I’m trying to get published. Could you tell?)

At any rate. Go watch this show.

 

 

A Thousand Words on Patricia Lockwood’s ‘Priestdaddy’

On one hand, we have a female character who’s dad is, somehow, a Catholic priest. On the other hand, we have Patricia Lockwood’s “Priestdaddy,” billed as a memoir about growing up as the daughter of a Catholic priest.

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 7.46.19 AMIf you know me at all or if you’ve read “The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival,” it’s pretty damn clear why I’d be drawn to Lockwood’s book. In my precious little baby of a first published novel, Father Steve meets and befriends Vicky, the daughter of the priest he’s come to Grand Prairie to replace.

On the surface, that’s where the similarities end. Vicky’s fictional father and mother were never married. We don’t see any of her dad in the book, in fact. Vicky is more of a no-nonsense sort, a nurse rather than a wandering poet. She’s also firmly Gen-X rather than Millennial. Oh, and obviously, she’s a character in a work of fiction.

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Random Observation: Night Moves

Spent a few days in a car. Which means radio. Which means classic rock. Which means Bob Seger’s “Night Moves.”

Man. A song that was sort of groovy, slightly hormonal background music when I was younger now strikes me as melancholic look back at youth bordering on genius. Getting old does things to you.