Thursday, March 25, 2010

A quick update and more people who rock

I was happy to finally get out today and put in a fast eight mile run.  I feel pretty good but I would be happier if I had been able to train a little harder over Ithe last two weeks.  As I have mentioned before my family life is in a bit of turmoil so it has taken most of my strength just to keep from curling up in the fetal position and sobbing like a 6 year old girl.

I hesitate to say it but I think that things may be starting to improve (slightly) so maybe the last 3 weeks will be productive.  I still hope to get in my 16 mile run before it gets too late.

One thing that is going a little better is my fund raising.  Donations have been coming in fairly steadily and that means it is time to acknowledge some people who rock.

First off, I need to make a couple of corrections to the last list of people who rock.  Number one I erroneously spelled my niece's name wrong.  It's Jenny not Jennie.  It is important to point out here that she said nothing to me about this.  I just realized that I am an idiot and I need the whole world to know about it.  Secondly, I said that Pattie Corbin was a friend of my wife from high school.  They actually knew each other from college.. You may ask who gives a crap and to that I will say ...meh...I don 't know and I don't care.

Now do you know who rocks?  Well I have a cousin and her name is Karen Wright and she is married to Jeff, the biggest Boston Celtic fan that I have ever met and here is how much Karen rocks.  Not only did she donate to my run but due to her inability to properly post  a comment on facebook she was able to turn a cryptic status update into a plea for donations.  The plea worked and I received donations from her friends Carrie Kerpen, Jenna Lebel and the last name-less Christine.  Do realize what this means?  That's right these people rock!

Next up is an old business collegue named Eric Ferguson and his wife Cindy.  I've never met Cindy but I do know that Eric rocks so I am sure that Cindy does as well.

I was recently in a play called Two Into One and I had a co-star named Pamela PinterParsons and as it turns out, she rocks.

And while we are talking about co-stars, I was once in a production of Plaza Suite with a lovely woman named Rose-Marie Lyon and coincidently she rocks as well.

Another theater group friend that rocks is the ever beautiful Ilene Hamm.

There is a family in my home town named the Farringtons.  That would be Geoff and Amy and they most definately rock.

Two of my closest friends are Angie and Joe (or is it still Joey) Correia and I knew that they rocked a long time ago and now you know too.

I mentioned my niece Jenny earlier and because she donated to my run I am going to mention her again and I am going to mention that she (and her alter ego Toothpick Girl) rocks.

Finally, although my sister-in-law Julie has stated, on my donation page, that I rock I feel it is my responsibility to point out that she is wrong.  It is not me who rocks but it is her.  And make no mistake about it she ROCKS!

Thanks to all of these people who donated.  I do really appreciate it and they really do ROCK.

If you would like to donate please do so here and you will rock as well.

Til next time...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Random Things

It has been a difficult week for me and for alot of the people I care most about.  My father-in-law is in the hospital for a pretty serious reason and it has thrown my already ridiculous life into even more turmoil.

But I'm not going to talk about that today.

I am going to talk about some more mundane things.  I forgot to mention in my last post that I was able to get in another 6.5 mile run that I was pretty happy with. I ran pretty fast (for me) and I felt really good afterwords.  I do have a 16 mile run mapped out but I'm not sure that I am going to find the time to try it. 

I do want to ask (beg, cajole and plead) you to donate ANY amount of money that you can to help us find a cure for Neurofibromatosis (NF).  My oldest son Max suffers from this indescriminate disorder and I would love to be able to wipe it out in his lifetime.(Of course I'm not the one who will actually find the cure but maybe you already understood what I meant)  If you want to learn a little about Max and the affect NF has had on our family please read this speech that I gave at a fundraising dinner a few years ago. 

You can donate at my donation page (that's convenient) or you can visit the NF Inc. NE website and it will tell you where you can send a check if you're afraid of the interwebs stealing your bank account.

...and now some other random thoughts.

I am writing a book.  Well sort of.  To say that I am writing a book would indicate that I am actively writing on a regular basis.  That is not entirely true.  I started writing this thing a number of years ago and I have written the first 8 - 10 chapters but I haven't had the oomph to continue.  If you want a taste you can read chapter 1 and let me know what you think.  If you like it I will link to more chapters in the future.

I would like to see some more votes (on the left here) on how long it will take me to complete the marathon.  Be brutally honest.  I can take it.

I need a job...badly.  If you know of one let me know.  Here is my resume.  Send it out to whomever you like.  Like I said...I need a job.

My twin boys were AWESOME in their first on stage performance.  They are workhouse boys in the Millis High/middle/elementary school production of Oliver.  They sang "Food Glorious Food" and chased Oliver around the stage.  They are complete Hams.  I have no idea where they get that from.

Well it is Sunday and it is going to be the last nice day for a while so I better not waste it on the computer.  I'll have more random thoughts soon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another whine...Sorry

Let me ask you a question.  How much can the human mind actually take?  I mean, at what point do you just finally say "screw it, I'm done!"  I imagine that the answer is different for different people.  Some people have the patience of Job and handle every nasty little indignity that comes their way with a smile on their face and a song in their heart.  While others find themselves either at the bottom of a bottle or at the top of building.

It remains unclear where I am at the moment.  I feel like at the end of my rope.  It is never a good sign when you wake up in the morning and, instead of thinking I hope something good happens today, you think to yourself I hope nothing bad happens today.  Now, contrary to what you may have observed in this blog or on my facebook page, I am generally a happy guy.  I'm not blessed with tremendous wealth or a big house or athletically gifted children that will one day be able to buy me a mansion with their endorsement deal money from Nike or Gatorade.  But I really don't care about that.  I like the house I'm in and my kids are AWESOME.  I don't need anything more than a happy and healthy family and enough money to provide for them, to be happy.

The problem is that, as you may have read in an earlier post here, nothing seems to be going right for us and lately it has taken a turn for the worse.  Last week I thought that we were turning a corner.  I had, what seemed to be, a sure lock on a good job, the kids were finally over the seemingly endless coughs and colds, and it felt as if we were going to get our lives back.  Kristen could go back to doing what she wants to do which is be a stay at home mom and I could go back to providing for my family.  Then, on Thursday of last week, the twins caught a throw up bug.  Max followed suit on Sunday night and if that weren't enough my father-in-law was sent to the hospital with bleeding in his brain.  This is a condition called an AVM and it is so rare in a 79 year old man that there may be medical papers written about him. 

Now, any of you that know my wife Kristen know how close she is to her father.  She, already had the weight of the world on her shoulders and now this is more than she should be able to take.  She is handling things as best she can but put yorself in her place.  How do you think you would hold up?  So it has been very difficult to watch the woman that I love carry the wait of this on her already over burdened back.

Now, in case you are wondering, I love my father-in-law.  He is the most caring and generous man that I know.  Sure he is a pain in the ass but that is part of his charm.  I am very worried about him and I want nothing more than for him to be back to his old self.  Whether it be warning me to put new batteries in my smoke detectors or reminding me to get the oil in my car changed, I want him to get well. 

So I'll ask again, how much can the human mind actually take? 

If you figure it out will you let me know?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Dirty Little Secret

I was very happy with my eight mile run today.  It was a little cold and a little wet but I did run the fastest mile that I have ever run.  I ran one of the eight miles in less than eight minutes and I was pretty proud of myself for that.


I have a secret.  I am not proud of this secret but I'm afraid it is something that can't be helped.  I know that there are some people out there who will want to turn their back on me but I hope that you will all forgive me.  Ok here it is.  I don't really like running.  It's true.  I usually find it to be, at best, tiresome and uncomfortable and at worst, something just short of torture. 

When I started running in January of 2007 I did it in hopes that I would shed an inch of two of the man-boobs that I had developed.  I would talk to people that ran and they would look whistfully into the air and say how much they liked getting out at the crack of dawn and running for miles with just the sound of the early morning birds and the steady whap whap whap of their sneakers on the solitary pavement.  They told me that after I ran for a while that I would catch the fever.  I would fall in love with running.  My life would become all about getting out on the road.

Yeah, That didn't happen.

When I ran the marathon last year I was somewhere around mile 22 or 23 and I distinctly remeber saying to myself I am NEVER putting myself through this again.  Worse than that, I have been on runs this winter of eight miles or less and thought This Sucks!  I'm cold, I'm tired, I'm Bored and my feet hurt. 

Now, the wierd part is that I look forward to running and I am always happy with myself and satisfied when I am finished but the physical act of just sucks.

So that's my dirty little secret.  What's yours??

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

People who Rock!

Before I get to my list of people who rock, I want to say that yesterday was among the top 10 of wierd days for me.  I won't go into the specifics just yet but I might have more details next week.

Now...I wanted to take a moment to recognize several people who absolutely rock.  As you know I am running in the Boston Marathon this year to raise money for NF Inc. Northeast.  I am suppose to raise $3,000 dollars in return for NF Inc NE getting me a number and paying my entrance fee.  This is always a difficult task because, quite frankly, I don't have a lot of rich friends.  This year has proven to me more difficult because, let's face it, nobody has a lot of extra cash lying around.

Which is why I want to recognize some people for reaching into their wallets, their purses, under their mattresses or into that jar buried in the back yard and donating.  Their generosity means so much to Kristen and I and I never really get a chance to thank them to here goes.

First off the are the local friends:

The Fischers
The Lanes - Dawn and Dave (Dawn, I will be expecting that shrimp casserole)
The Berminghams - Matthew and Patti
Sally Madison
and our old Eden Street friends Terri and Dominic Rizzo (and I haven't forgot about Vito either)

You guys ROCK!!

Next are our families

My mom who always rocks
as do my mother and father-in-law who rock harder than almost anyone I know
My sister-in-law Bethie and her husband Mark who have rocked as long as I have known them
My brother Jim who can't help but rock
My sister Mindy and her bongo playing boyfriend Bill who do nothing but rock
My other sister-in-law Julie, her husband Jim and their two rockin' kids Maddelini and Toothpick Girl Jennie. This is a whole family that rocks.

..and finally here are some random people who also rock

Dawn Anderson who is a talented director that rocks
Jesse Stearns - An old friend from my Gillette Stadium days (you guessed it...he rocks)
Eric Harrop - One of the few co-workers that I still keep in touch with (and I'm glad I do because he rocks)
My old collegue Mark Warsofsky from one of the best trucking companies around, M & M Transport Services
Cheryl Skeates who is a friend from a million years ago when we were both in high school and she rocks so much that even the fact that we haven't seen each other in 17 years she still donated.
Patti Corbin who is a person that I don't know and she doesn't know me but she was a friend of my wife from high school.  Now that rocks!

I can't thank these people enough for their support and their generosity.  I am going to continue to thank people as we get closer and closer to the marathon. (and hopefully get more and more donations)

If you are a person who rocks and you would like everyone to know about it please donate to my marathon run.  You can donate by credit card online by going here.  Or you can donate by a check made payable to the following:

NF Inc. Northeast
9 Bedford Street
Burlington, MA 01803

Please note on your check that it is for my marathon run.  You can send it to another person that rocks so much that it's ridiculous, Karen Peluso who is the Executive Director of NF Inc NE.

Thanks for your support and for listening...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Let me take a break to whine...

I realize that I am a pretty lucky guy.  I have 3 great kids who are relatively healthy and happy.  I have a beautiful and amazing wife who puts up with my crap on a daily basis (no small feat) and is a fantastic cook to boot.  I am really thankful for all of that. 


My family and I have been wading hip deep in crap for the last 14 months.  You see, I have been unemployed for that stretch of time.  I was an economy related casualty at my last job.  I have been on several interviews in the last 14 months where I honestly thought that I was going to get the job only to find out that the job had been put on hold (happened twice) or that the company decided to fill the position internally. (also happened twice) The  most recent example was with a compnay in Foxboro (Nice and close) that when they called to give me the news they told me that I was the one that they wanted to hire but because of the economy they decided to combine two jobs into one and give that job to someone that already worked there.

So everytime I saw the light at the end of the tunnel it turned out to be a train.  To go along with this, we also have had a car die as well as a pet.  We have had plumbing problems and a rodent infestation.  We were collecting food stamps for a while which was great but then they decided that I was getting too much money from unemployment (yeah, they were really showering me with money) so they pulled the plug on that.  I was working part time at Gillette Stadium to pick up a couple extra bucks but there is no work in the off season so that income stopped. 

Now, because I have been collecting my massive unemployment checks for a year I was told that I had to re-file for unemployment benefits.  So they have stopped paying me until they can contact the company that I worked for last year and verify that I am unemployed.  You read that right.  They have to make sure that a guy that has been collecting unemployment for a year, because he was laid off, is still unemployed from the company that laid him off.  So that leaves me with absolutely no income for an undetermined period of time. 

Honest to God...I don't know how much more I can take.  This has put a strain on everyone in the family from my wife (who wants nothing more than to be home for the kids) to every last one of the kids (who are so disappointed that we can't go on vacation or even get take out once in a while.

It's just not fair.

Sorry for the whine but thanks for listening...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Today's training run and the people in your neighborhood

Today I decided to be a bit ambitious.  After running 6 miles yesterday I decided that I would put in a long slow run today.  So I headed out at about 12:30 this afternoon for a 14 mile run.  I decided that I would run relatively slow so that when I hit the last mile that I would have some legs left.  For the most part my strategy worked.  I felt pretty good for the entire run.  Although, on the last mile I felt and looked about 75 years old.

I did run into a good friend and a REAL runner, Jonathan Steeves.  Jonathan was in the middle of a 16 mile run and he slowed down so that we could talk for a couple of minutes.  We discussed our runs and then because I was slowing him down he wished me luck and went on his way.  As I watched him fade into the distance in front of me I started to think about the people that I run across when I'm out on my runs.  First of all, because I am an unrepentant attention whore, I love it when cars honk at me.  It gives me a little charge.  I can't really explain why but it does. 

There are three categories of people that you come across (that are not in cars) when you are out on a run.  First there are the dog walkers.  These are usually pretty nice people that are friendly and curteous and will hold onto their pets a little tighter as you run by.  This still wont keep me from crossing to the other side of the road when the woman with the two dobermans is out.  Some may call me chicken but I like to think of it as self preservation.

The second type of people are other runners.  These folks are you brothers in arms.  You share a mutul respect and admiration.  They will always say hi and you might even get a look that silently says I feel your pain

The last group is the cyclists.  For the most part, these people will not acknowledge your exisitance.  With their ridiculous day-glo spandex and wrap around sunglasses, the look at you with thinly veiled contempt.  As if the fact that you are out on the road without wheels is an offense so egregious as to make you less than human in their eyes.  Now I don't know why this is the case but I ran across no fewer than 8 people on bicycles on my run today and I smiled, waved and said hi to each one of them and not one smiled back or spoke a single word to me.  As George Costanza once said "We're living in a SOCIETY"

I don't get it.  But what do I know?

Til next time...

...and now a shameless plug for donations

One of the reasons that I started this blog is because I am raising money to benefit NF Inc Northeast.  They are a wonderful group of people headed by the remarkable and tireless Karen Peluso.  Karen is the one who makes sure that I get a number for the marathon each year.  NF Inc NE pays the entrance fee and all they ask in return is that each runner raises $3,000 in donations.

Kristen and I (and when I say Kristen and I, I mean mostly Kristen) have tried to come up with different ways to raise money.  Last year I set up a booth at the Millis Fireman's Muster and raffled off gift   certificates.  We ended up raising over $600 that day which we were both pretty happy with.  We have also held a few dinners that we called the "Faces of NF" dinner in which we had large raffles and silent auctions.   During these dinners we always had a family member give a speech about what is was like to have a family member with NF.  The first year we had the dinner I was the one who gave the speech and you can see that speech here .

Please take a few minutes and read this speech.  It will give you an idea of how NF has affected our family.  When you are done, if you can, please make a donation.  Any amount will be appreciated more than you will ever know.  You can donate using the link on the left or you can send a check directly to NF Inc NE.  The address can be found at there website which is also linked at left.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

What's so great about The Boston Marathon?

When I was growing up in the small, southern Worcester county town of Oxford I never thought much about the Boston Marathon.  I, of course, knew when it was on because it seemed like every one of the 5 TV channels we got were covering it from beginning to end.  I never understood why so much time was spent talking about people running.  The newscasters seemed to be so excited about, not only the elite runners, but also the tens of thousands of other runners, all of which had absolutely no chance of winning.  Now keep in mind I'm talking about when I was between the ages of 10 and 18.

Now let's flash forward several years.  I met and started dating a lovely young lady from Natick, MA.  She would get, what I considered, disproportionately excited when the marathon came around.  She would always drag me to Natick center to stand and cheer on the runners. 

I thought this was ridiculous.  But there we were every year. Standing and cheering. I just didn't get it.

And then I made the decision to run in the marathon.  The people standing and cheering were amazing.  They lined the streets from Hopkinton to Boston and they never stopped cheering.  The first year that I ran I was near the back of the pack so I didn't get to Heartbreak Hill until about 4 hours after the start.  But there were still people on the side of the road calling out my name and urging me up the hill, telling me it was all down hill and that I could do it.  Now I should mention that at this time I was in absolute agony.  Everything on my body hurt.  Every step was pure torture.  But those people kept me going.  One of my favorite stories that first year, is when I was at about mile 22 or so  I was walking with my head down and feeling generally miserable I heard someone call out my name.  I looked over and I saw a group of about 4 or five college aged kids.  The guy that called out to me stretched out his arms and said   "Scott...I got a hug for you."  I looked at him, shrugged my shoulders and ambled over.  As I got there the whole group hugged me, patted me on the back and shouted encouragement to me.  It was a very surreal experience.  After all these were strangers and I was a sweaty old guy.  But the fact is that when I got there I was walking and when I left I was running again.  THAT is what is so great about the Boston Marathon.

Well I think it is time for me to get off my ass and put in a couple of miles.  Please see the poll to the left and let me know how long you think it will take me.

Til next time...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Here is where it starts

Welcome to day one.

I have always been one of those holier than thou boneheads who mocked people who blogged saying that they were self involved d-bags who think that every thought that races through their attention starved minds needs to be heard by the entire world.  I am still going to mock those people but I am also going to spend some time in their world.

I'm starting this blog because we (and by we I mean my wife who is infinately more technologically savy than me) thought that this would be a good way to educate people about the neurological disorder Neurofibromatosis or NF and to publicize the fact that I am running the Boston Marathon to raise money to help fight this disorder.

Why am I raising money for this particular disorder?  I'm glad you asked.  My oldest son Max, who is almost 14 years old, suffers from this indisciminant affliction.  He is a remarkable young man that has been dealt a difficult hand.  He suffers from some learning disabilities, small tumors that have grown on top of his skin, a more complex tumor (called a plexiform neurofibroma) that has grown underneath his skin on his elbow, gross motor skill problems, fine motor skill problems and a level one astrocytoma on his brain.  The brain tumor caused a back up of fluid on his brain that had to be corrected with surgery.  So you see life hasn't been easy for him. 

So that is why I am running the Boston Marathon.  If Max can live his entire life dealing with his problems then I think I should be able to abuse my body for 26.2 miles.

So join me for the next 6 weeks while I train to beat last years time (5 Hours 21 Minutes and 29 Seconds).  I'll try to make it at least a little interesting.

Oh and before I forget if you want to learn more about the charity that I am raising money for you can visit them here  or if you want to learn a little more about Max you vsist this site that Kristen created.

Thanks for listening.