As some of you are aware, Brandi and I signed up for the Grandma’s Marathon this June. We are both way behind on our training, but even if we don’t ‘run’ the whole thing, I’m sure we’ll be happy just to cross the finish line. It’s the first marathon for both of us, so if it proves to be too difficult, we’ll make up for it by running the entirety of the Twin Cities Marathon next fall. It’s just proven to be unexpectedly difficult to train during the winter months when it’s always dark and cold after work.
However, now that’s it’s beginning to warm up a bit, and it doesn’t get dark until around 7:30/8:00PM, we have both begun to start getting back in the swing of things. I’m comfortable at 5 ½ miles now, and I think I could push it up to around 8-10 miles tonight when I try to run from my house to Lake Harriet and back.
Last week, I conquered Lake Calhoun, which from my front step, is roughly 5 ½ miles. While I might not be in as good of shape as I was this fall, I definitely think some of my training from the half marathon we ran in the Black Hills has carried over/stayed with me. It took me a good month or so of running every day to get up to the point that I’m at now. Of course, I was starting from scratch back then, and I haven’t been smoking nearly as much so far this spring.
Anyway, while I finishing up my run last week around Lake Calhoun, I said something that I cannot get out of my head. I was actually on the very last leg of my run returning to my house which brings me past the eastern side of Lake of the Isles. Walking towards me was a younger couple with 3 enormous dogs.
I’m not sure what breed these dogs were, but I’m leaning toward to Scottish Wolf Hound. It’s not so much that the dogs looked heavy, but they were definitely the tallest dogs I had ever seen, and the fact that there were 3 of them just added to their enormity. Seriously, these dogs were abnormally large, as in, if I saw a picture of them on the Internet, I’d forward it to you (or post it here). Or, if I was my brother Ryan, I’d take a picture with my phone and send it to me so that I have to connect to the goddamn Internet via my piece of shit phone and rack up a $2 connection fee.
So, the dogs were big. Now, I’m at the point in my run where my mind starts acting a little bit funny. For those of you that have never exerted yourselves for that long, the feeling is akin to having a strong fever but being on awesome pain killers, or the half awake/half asleep but still drunk from the night before feeling you get on Saturday morning. So when I see these 3 monstrous dogs, I start thinking about how much meat these dogs must eat. Each one of them easily outweighed me, and I eat a lot of meat. That’s got to get expensive right? I’m thinking that the couple who owns these dogs spend a fair share of their waking lives feeding these animals.
Now, remember, this conversation is happening in my head as I’m running toward this couple. The etiquette on the lake paths is that when you pass someone going the opposite direction, you make eye contact and greet them with a “hey,” or a “how’s it going,” or, if you’re in the middle of a strenuous workout, a simple head nod. So as I’m running toward the couple, I make eye contact with them, then I stare at the dogs, and having had the above conversation with myself, with a look of amazement on my face I look back up at the couple and say…
“That’s a lot of meat!”
…which makes total sense if you’ve been privy to aforementioned story. But, if you happen to be anyone else but Andrew Pederson, who was the only person who knew what the fuck I meant at the time, there’s only so many ways to comprehend that statement. The most obvious of which is that I was commenting on how much meat was hanging on the bones of these 3 animals. Oh, and that I was thinking about eating their pets.
The “What in the FUCK!” look that crossed their faces was noticeable to say the least, and I’m pretty sure the lady began to transition into a “that’s fucking sick!” expression, but I couldn’t confirm this as I had already passed. That also means that they never saw my “I didn’t mean to say that” face, which probably would have gone a long way toward transitioning between an extremely uncomfortable moment to an extremely hilarious moment, but it was never meant to be.
I didn’t have time to explain the stream of consciousness that had lead me to, “that’s a lot of meat!” so I’m sure they’re still thinking about it. I’m guessing that they told the story of the runner who wanted to barbeque their dogs to their friends/family over the weekend. And I think it’s a story that has enough legs on it to travel a few friend circles away. Who knows, it might just end up at your door one day.
I’m also betting on seeing them again at some point in the near future as I’m bound to be running around the lake at the same time as they’re walking their dogs. That should be fun. I could stop and try to explain what I meant, but that would be really awkward. Well, either way it’s going to be awkward, so I might as well just push it to the limit.
The next time I see them hounds, I’m going to look ‘em up and down, and then look up at the couple as I’m licking my lips.
I addicted to listening to NPR (of course I am; I’m a pretentious, middle-class, college-educated, white liberal). I like the feeling of being connected and up-to-date with current events while I’m getting shit done. I listen to NPR when I’m driving, when I’m working, when I’m cooking, washing dishes or folding laundry. On any given day, I probably listen to 8+ hours of NPR. It’s literally become my only news source since I’ve been too busy at work to check the news sites, and television news (especially the local news) is about as valuable as my personal checking account.
Now, one of the downsides of working in an old converted warehouse is the radio reception. The thick brick walls make it impossible to get a clear signal, especially since I’m listening to a shitty radio with a manual tuner. I can move the antenna and turn the dial all day and not get it to tune just right. And if I move around my cubicle, my body screws up the signal even more. Long story short, I usually have to make a choice between static, or tuning in two separate stations at the same time.
As with many other metro areas, the FM radio frequency spectrum in Minneapolis/St. Paul is packed tight as can be with shit. The grossly over-simplified reason for this is that there are a limited number of frequencies available in any given area, and since real-estate is limited, it’s also valuable. So valuable, in fact, that the only folks who can afford to lease a chunk from the government are generally large, nation-wide, media companies.
These media companies buy up all the frequencies in every major market throughout the country and cut costs by broadcasting the same programming on every station, depending on the genre. What that means for you and me is that when we turn the radio on there’s a good chance you’ll hear one of three things on the FM dial: shitty watered down rock, shitty watered down pop country, or hip-pop/R&B.
All 3 of which appeal to the lowest common denominator, which means advertisers get the widest possible audience. The business model is simple, and effective. Get cozy with the major record companies through kick-backs and payola, play the same ‘wilco’ bands over and over again, in every major marketplace nationwide, and watch the advertising dollars and album sales explode.
A major consequence of this model is that if you’re looking for something more local, or independent, or unique, or specialized, or anything outside of the 3 major categories of watered down shit, you’re out of luck. Unless, or course, you lucky enough to have a healthy Public Radio organization or Campus Radio Station broadcasting in your area.
In Minneapolis/St. Paul, we have both. In fact, we have one of the greatest Public Radio organizations in the country. MPR not only has an excellent news station, but a great classical station, and 89.3 The Current, which has been God’s gift to cool uptown kids since it went on the air. And, as I discovered recently, the U of M’s student-run radio station, Radio K, has begun broadcasting on the FM spectrum which is great because their playlists are much more varied and current than, well, The Current. The only reason I didn’t listen to it before was because it was on the AM spectrum, and if there’s one thing I hate it’s AM music.
I think it’s time to address the AM/FM debate. AM radio is good for one thing in Minnesota; Twin’s Baseball. That’s it. Otherwise, AM is just talk radio (because of the sound quality), and talk radio is the modern suburban equivalent of a KKK rally. Garage logic my ass! Just admit it, you think that all Black people are lazy and dangerous (which is an amazing combination if you think about it), that all middle-eastern fella’s got bombs strapped to their balls, that the Mexicans are taking over our country one restaurant kitchen at a time, that gay people are trying to convert your kids, that public school teachers are all secretly rolling around in big piles of cash all summer, and that Jesus is coming back tomorrow to lift you your family up to the rockingest Shania concert ever.
ANYWAYS…I get shitty radio reception at work (remember the beginning of this rant?), and I have to choose between static, or listening to two radio stations at the same time. It just so happens that the overlapping radio frequency with NPR is a country station. Red state, Republican, NASCAR, God-fearin,’ abortion-hatin,’ gay-bashin,’ radio.
Think about that mix for a second; NPR, and country music.
So, during the course of my day, when I’m hearing about the latest car bomb explosion in Iraq, I hear Toby Keith’s “boot in yer’ ass!” song. It really puts it into context, let me tell you. Yep.
And that, my friends, is how you build up a story that has little-to-no payoff at the end.
I’m no good at this blog thingy. I’m too busy at work to find anything worth a damn on the internet, and I’m too sick of staring at a computer screen to do it when I get home. Not to mention that I’m running out of things to say.
I’ve been pretty involved at work lately. The upside of that is the days go by faster. The downside is that I’m exhausted. I’m a one trick pony. I’m on or I’m off, nothing in between. If I’m invested at work, I’m not paying attention to anything else. If I’m enjoying life, I could give two shits about my job. Either way leaves something to be desired.
I’m a bit high strung as well. I’m wound up real tight. I’m a nuisance to most people who have to deal with me on a daily basis. Just ask my mom. She made a simple little joke and I blew up on her, in front of other family members. Who does that?
I’m getting a bit sick of the cold. I’m starting to take it personally. It’s difficult not to.
That’s about it. Again, I really don’t have much to say right now. I’m tired.