Monday, March 30, 2015

Palm Sunday

Yesterday was a full day.  I attended church and we conducted the early part of the service in the frigid cold outside before retiring inside after receiving a palm shoot, where we listened to readers reading a biblical passion passage in lieu of listening to a sermon.

Then I went home and disposed of a pile of Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure t-shirts I found on a shelf in my closet.  This outfit is merely a political anti-woman's choice campaign and not an actual charitable cause (I used to do a lot of these races before I discovered the organization's true purpose) so I slit the logo on each shirt, rendering it unwearable, and dropped the pile into the charity clothing bin nearby so the material can be sold by weight as mere rags.

After that I ran a virtual 5K race on the W&OD Trail behind my house, in simulation of a real race on the trail later that day that I was going to be absent for but which I had been running every year since my return to running in 2011, when I had sixty extra pounds to lose.  I ran the 3.1 miles hard and finished in 25:57, huffing and puffing in the biting morning air.

To cool down after the run I walked around the 'hood and saw to my chagrin that a neighbor's house is for sale, owned by a man in his late sixties who has lived in the house since the early seventies but can no longer afford the property tax in Falls Church of over $7,000 annually on his snug but small workman's home, in addition to storm water fees, an impervious surface fee, inspection fees and decal fees that amount to many hundreds more each year.  The Little City's war on seniors; I'll be following him out of town after I retire when I won't be able to afford on my diminished income the avaricious, always-growing local taxation.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

New Times

DC has wonderful running venues that often present wonderful sights.

There are open vistas, water, monuments and great cloud cover sometimes.

It's a runner-friendly place, where the cars mostly look out for you and some of the bicyclists actually call out when they're passing you.

The weather hardly ever prevents you from running, although this past winter was a challenge.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Happy happy Sharon as you crawl through your sixties

Hard truisms adhere to the institution of divorce that while sounding like cliches are absolutely true and immutable like No Good Deed Goes Unpunished and A Lie Repeated A Thousand Times Becomes The Truth.  You have to consider the characters involved in divorce, which is inexplicably an adversarial legal process set within an intimate family setting, absolutely inappropriate because the law is driven by the lowest common denominator, hence the saying that The Law Is The Minimum Of Morality.

I wouldn't wish divorce upon anyone, it is a society-sanctioned unbridled assault upon family, character and decency, driven by bottom-dwelling pariahs of the legal profession who provide the most hysterical and unbalanced personality in the mix with a vehicle to vent that person's spleen, while the law firm eviscerates the family's corpus for the lawyers' own gain and they utterly destroy the family members' lifetime associations which provides, I guess, an added rush of heady adrenaline to these bottom-feeding intellectual bullies' pathetic, warped existences.  Divorce is so bad that it exposes western marriage as the failed institution it is, although nobody's listening.

My divorce was final a decade ago yet it still impacts me everyday.  My three children had their wills overborne as impressionable minors by their Mother and her coterie of "professionals" and not a one of my children has spoken to a single family member of mine in over a decade, or me in over seven years.

They are adults now so their actions are upon themselves, but as children they were subjected to the irresistible machinations of the supposedly loving family member who obscenely capitalized upon the position casually given to that self-absorbed parent by mere societal custom, by the court acting upon mere gender perception that the primary caregiver would act "in the best interests of the children," a destructive phrase that has been the cause of untold damage to impressionable young minds.  Acting in conjunction with that narcissistic person were other reprehensible adults, avaricious money-driven or spiteful agenda-driven "professionals" who created the children's current barren tableaux.

Monstrous adults.  We have met the enemy and they are us.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


I've spoken about my friend Trevor before. He works the corner at I-66 & Rte. 29 in my home town.

I caught up with him recently.  I discovered he regularly gets visited by the mother of my children, who lives nearby, on her walks with her current husband meekly in tow. 

Apparently this first-grade public schoolteacher spouts religious platitudes to him, all the while she eschews in my opinion the basic tenets of Christian faith of forgiveness, truth, love thy neighbor and honor thy parents. But it gets weirder still.

As I was speaking with my man, his sharp eyes noticed her driving by in her distinctive Mustang, headed back towards her house, shortly after she had passed by him while walking away from her house, just a few minutes before I happened by and stopped to chat with Trevor while jogging on the W&OD Trail.  I wonder if my ex saw me, doubled back quickly to her house, got in her car and drove around in a bigger circle, coming back in the "anonymity" of her vehicle to check up on my associations?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Leopard's Spots

In 2009 I was elected president of the DC Road Runners Club, a post for which, coming into it as club director of training, I had a lot of ideas that I hoped to implement so the club could become more inclusive of and welcoming to ordinary runners.  I immediately ran into  buzz-saw of opposition from a group of 20-somethings on the board led by Brian Danza, who hated my style (from the training side of the club, not the Alpha side) and my age and within a year I resigned when one board meeting nearly ended in a fracas between me and him and three of his cronies.

I have always regretted that, not the near-fistfight in the restaurant (they totally dissed my friend John Braden at the meeting who was there as my guest) but the whole sorry mess of trying to run underwater all those months.  I learned that you need your people on a board, it's not enough just to do good work and think that people will adhere to long-standing custom and common civility.

I moved on from the club and I rarely speak with anyone from it.  Brian subsequently became president and then recently, after some particularly outrageous remarks dissing ordinary runners that made it into the Washington Post, someone else was elected president (selected would be a better word), from the training side.  : )  Over the weekend, out of the clear blue sky, I received this email from Brian in my personal account:

Hey Peter, long time no see/talk, 

I think I spotted you on the C&O canal today, well actually you were on Cap Crescent, and I was on the C&O. 

I was so concentrated on making it to the bathroom at Fletchers that I didn't notice you until you were directly beside me. 

How's your running been? Still have nagging injuries? You look like you are in the best shape since I've known you. 


Here's what I sent in reply a couple of days later:

Good to hear from you Brian,

No that wasn't me on the C&O, this weekend I was on the W&OD. It must have been my doppelgänger.  

Take care,


People don't change but I suppose they can mature.

Friday, March 13, 2015


Running on the Mall one workday at noon with two friends from work, one of them wondered about a hidden memorial to American GI's in the forties reputed to be somewhere close by as we ran past the World War II Memorial.  Sort of a secret history of monuments in DC type of thing.

I told him we'd take a look as long as we were there and we went around the outside back of the memorial until we were stopped by a construction fence next to some stairs. "I dunno, and now we're stuck," I told him.

My friend glanced around one last time, perplexed, and then suddenly, there it was! The secret tribute to Kilroy.

My friends thought my little joke was pretty funny.  Now another secret is that there isn't only one but there are actually two of these memorials to GI's in the Good War down there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Is it you my blue-eyed son, my darling young one?"

I was riding the rush-hour Orange Line metro train to work and I felt someone looking at me.  I glanced up from my seat and the young man standing by the door with the heavy backpack who entered the car in Arlington, wearing the sweat shirt saying "Washington Basketball," adjusted his earphones and lapsed into blank mode.
I looked at him--thinnish, tallish, with stubble on his face and sandy-colored thin straight hair.  Hmmm.
I know that my estranged oldest son Jimmy, whom I haven't seen in seven years, lives in Arlington.  I saw a picture of him recently, in an article about his current entrepreneurship, and I realized then that I would no longer recognize him if I met him, or any of my three estranged sons, because of the time lapse from when I last saw any of them, when they were adolescents, to the present, now that they would be grown men.
I had studied that photograph, and I had finally recognized aspects of the young man pictured, the detached look in his eyes when he was distracted (his partner was speaking), his cleft chin.  I studied the young man in the railway car--he looked familiar yet he didn't.
The nose didn't seem quite right, too large.  Then I saw a cleft chin on the man.
I got up and went over to him. "Excuse me, sir," I said.
He ignored me. I got more front and center to him and said again, "Excuse me, sir."
He bared an ear.  "Yes?"
"What's your name?"  Without hesitation he answered, "Paul." 
"I'm sorry, you look like someone I used to know."  "No problem." 
He replaced his earphone and went back into blank mode.  I went over and stood by the opposite door.
I watched to see where he got off.  He exited the train at Foggy Bottom with a mass of GWU students.
I know Jimmy has never attended college, so it probably wasn't him.  Maybe next time.