Nels and I played a rock concert as Sick Ridiculous and The Sick Ridiculous at Brianne's birthday party. We were all jazzed up for this one and then beset by a series of runtime failures. Like, in the first song there was feedback (normal, tolerable) and then I got a text message while the song's backing track was playing through the PA off my phone (blunder, but funny) then I broke a string on my guitar, and though I had a spare set of strings I only had the other 5 because I had just replaced that one two days prior. I learned that when a string breaks the whole guitar goes uniformly out of tune (makes sense, since the tension on the neck is reduced); we thought it was Nels so he disappeared to tune and then the next song we were totally not calibrated to one another. But we couldn't give up during that song because that song is about not giving up. We forgot words but that is pretty normal. It was really hot in there too. These are not complaints or excuses, but humorous anecdotes. It seems like it'd be impossible to disappoint these party crowds filled with our friends. In invisible failures: I wasn't recording directly off the PA for the first few songs, and then my guitar mic was off(!) for the rest, so there aren't a lot of usable videos soundwise. This one is just us singin' on the phone:
(Like before, I recommend clicking through to view the HD version or download the original AVI, for maximum quality.) When we are permitted to play a party it is our now publicly proffered deal to write and a perform a new song for the occasion. Usually we just finished writing it so we don't know it and totally blow it in the first performance; this video is our second performance of Unfairbanks. We wrote this for our departing friend George Fairbanks's friend-departing party. It's about the credit crisis. You should know that Sick Ridiculous and The Sick Ridiculous has a good track record of forecasting financial events. This song was written in May. At the end you hear my advice to "sell the shit out of" your stocks, even if it's after hours. Following that advice could have saved you from the worst week of market losses in history. However, past performance does not indicate future gains. (In truth, our only forecasting strategy is whimsical pessimism.)
The song we actually wrote for this event is called Birthday Control, since it's a birthday party. When I'm linking these up, they are links to recorded versions, sure as hell not our live ones. And then there's our new song Sick Day, which actually is a "live" recording of my favorite of our new songs. Live just means one take in my bedroom in this case.
Okay, we'll make this one quick. I spent a lot of time this summer training for races, which cut into this project to run every street. I still occasionally made some progress on that, and now that I'm back in town without any races coming up I'm on it full-time. Like I mentioned last time, the name of the game now is to finish up those scattered spots I've missed and eliminate neighborhoods one at a time, concentrating on the more distant ones first. Newly added to this list are all of the Oakland neighborhoods and Squirrel Hill South, which is the largest neighborhood in the city (by area), and really hilly. Phew! The finished neighborhoods are darkened in above and pink are individual marked-for-death roads. It certainly looks like I'm almost done, huh?
Total distance: 2208.5 miles. Total time: 12 days, 15 hours, 15 minutes.
Phew! That was freakin' brutal. But I did it: I got under 40 minutes (this time safely under at an official 39m33s) in this mostly-downhill 10K (6.21 miles). I prepared and trained a lot for this race (maybe not as much as the marathon, but still I took it pretty seriously) and yesterday was my first 29th birthday so I didn't really behave myself on Friday night, but I'm really glad I got my goal time so I can retire from the 10K distance. I hate that distance. Super long distances are painful, but not because I run at an uncomfortable pace, just that I do it for hours. I like that better. 5K is fine because you suffer bad but it's over in 20 minutes. 10K I feel like I am pushing just as hard (indeed my 5K split in this race was my fastest ever 5K and my time was less than twice my Run Around The Square time), just for twice as long. Pukey. The whole long uphill parts on 5th Avenue and Boulevard of the Allies I was continuously doing that giving up game, like literally visualizing myself pulling over to stop at a specific spot coming up twenty yards down the road, really succumbing to it, but then when I get to that point declining (it's really more like forgetting than declining). I don't know how to explain this, really. Anyway, it was definitely my hardest race. I'll run it again, but I currently don't feel any need to improve or match this time.
I don't have any race plans in the near future (basically, I'm heading back to full-time Pac Tommery) so you won't have to see this template for a while, but I must:
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED Official 10K under 40 minutes