Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Its almost fun again...almost

Long time no post. Ive been very busy with sell in, running(sweet!) and basically staying away from the computer when i dont have to be on it.

Running wise things have been going amazingly well. my long run has gone from 77min to 90min in the last two weeks and i have felt more fluid and relaxed on nearly all of my runs. Sell in is always hectic and usually i take more zero's then days run but so far ive gotten in 6 days a week. The 50m weeks havent come but they have been 49, 46 and 47 miles on 6days so i will definately take that.

Work wise i see the drawbacks finally of selling quarterly as we are consistently 2 months behind on showing product. Its much easier for people to write orders all during the time frame they see the majority of their brands.

Seeing as ive spent loads of time in the car here are some of the albums ive been listening to non stop. Nearly all of them are of the chill out mode.

None of those records are relatively new but believe me when i say they are all amazing in their own way. 12 angry months is honest and raw and tells of a great cycle of a year long relationship in tatters. Heartbreaker is in the same league although its quiter, softer and just a beautiful album. Being there is a double shot of warm alt country ballads and rock. It brings me back to the days when i used to sit by the fire drinking 30pks of Miller High Life after fleeing Decatur, IL and the student i was teaching for a weekend back home with my friends. Neko's record....i just compel you to listen as her voice is angelic. Boxer is simply the best record of the last few years by one of the best bands making records these days.

I guess the theme is mostly breakup and lament records and something you can think about while spending endless time on the road and in shit hotel rooms. Another thing they all have in common is they are complete records, meaning that they dont have just a single and some filler. These are records you can put on and listen to straight through over and over.

One last note--- I did my first 2 a day run that felt good since possibly 2006. Unfortunately im not looking forward to slipping around on the ice. I may be getting the gym membership like my compadre KK in an effort to stay healthy and not tweak anything in the frozen tundra of Chicago.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Road Warriors and MickyD's Coffee

The last two days i have been up WAY before 6am. Once to run and today to hit the road to Madison. I was leary of this trip because i wasnt confident i would be able to get myself out the door to run once home after being in the car for 7hrs and there was no way in hell i was running at 4am.

I went to one of my favorite accounts and came away with a sweet old school t-shirt similar to this logo:

Not being a fan of tech shirts(which is probably a damnable offense) i have found myself collecting store shirts from what some may call "old school accounts". I also dont want to pay Urban Outfitters $65 for their knock off race t-shirts.

I digress...i moved on from Madison to Milwaukee for another appt that went very well(albeit no shirt) and then hammered home. Its spitting snow, dark and my blkbrry says i should anwser a few emails before i consider taking a jaunt. Then there is the matter of walking the dog. I quick trip around the block and hes happy, sending out some RA's and some accounts are happy. Now do i really want to run? I feel hungry despite eating 3hrs earlier and slamming some Mcdonalds coffee---which i kind of like, especially at 1$.

I made the 1st move to get dressed, a big step. I found my new whips:

And put on an old playlist while deleting Mercury Rev. I came across some songs that at first glance made me groan....that shit is so played. Here are some of the highlights:
1: Cracktown- Prairie Cartel. Campy and fun but it speaks the truth about hispter chicago.

2: Ice Cream- New Young Pony Club. This song makes me feel like Nuke in Bull Durham when hes deciding if wearing the garters makes him gay. Does liking this song make me gay?

3: Daft Punk is Playing....-LCD Soundsystem. Yeah I know, its not "all my friends" and its been played to death. Its still the shit.

4: Guilty- Assassins. its like an awesome Duran Duran B-side. That said they are kind of douches.

5: Jique- Brazillian Girls(PC remix). She makes me want to stab drug needles into my arms...i dont even know what that means.

6: Stars and Sons- Broken Social Scene. It makes me want to show Half Nelson to every girl that coos over ryan gosling in the Notebook.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Best Week Ever...since last July

Bring out the champaign as I had my biggest week since July. Unfortunately it totaled a paltry 49miles. Good news is that i made it all 7 days, managed a long run of 77min and nothing is broken...more so than it was before.

Today i was up at 530am to wobble out the door at 545am to knock out 6miles. I had an appt with my biggest retailer at 9am and was hoping to squeeze in a few more plus get the car ship shape to knock out 3-5000 miles in the next few months. New tires, wipers and an oil change took half a paycheck out of my pocket but it beats sitting on the side of the road during a blizzard in Minnesota at 2am. Trust me kids thats no fun.

After my long run saturday(77min)with Britton i was pretty spent and laid around the house and when not doing that i was hobbling to and from the fridge gulping down liquids. My hips and glutes were trashed, my foot throbbed and i was doubting being able to run the next day. I took the blue pill....two of them and much to my surprise i felt pretty good sunday and went for an easy jaunt around wrigley, a very comfy 6miler. During that time I finally gave a listen to Mercury Revs new record and have to say that its growing on me. Imagine Sigur Ros at the club singing in american/british accents with lotsa keyboards and there you have it.

I think its worth a listen. Madtown and Milwaukee tomorrow followed by more road warrior traveling in the next week should have some more music teviews and hopefully just as many running dailies.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Still Truckin

Since ive gotten back from sales meetings ive done one race that was used as a hard workout/effort. Thats been followed up by a 6, 7, 6 and 8mile days. My hips and glutes/piriformis are flaring up and im pretty sure its due to not doing any core for the last month. I had been doing 100 situps a day after the run and felt solid and straightened out but for some reason i took one day off...then that became about 30.

I have also been diligently listening to the shuffle on my runs. Running in the grey sky, rain and wind has not been fun and inspiring. The playlists have been heavy on the mellow side featuring the National, Wilco and the new Ryan Adams which is pretty shitty. There have been some bangers thrown in including the Rapture, Crystal Castles and one of my faves Kasabian.

On the work front many of my accounts are in Dallas following Sir Keith around so sell in time has been slow but thats ok since catalogs/apparel has yet again arrived predictably late. I wouldnt be too worried except thanksgiving is coming up and it gives retailers an excuse to be awol from their stores.

Onward and upward.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

left coast fun

Its been to long...ive been lazy...ive been busy...ive been drunk. What can i say?

Well i left off with one of the best weeks of running ive had in some time. i was on pace for mid 50's then missed a day due to an lazy postman then had a 4mile day because I made poor decisions the night before and could only muster a drunken shuffle before a flight. I wish that was the least of the poor decision making.

This week i have been in Portland for sales meetings. Monday was a check in day so i ambled 5miles around Portland. As is true with most cities running on MLK drive is never a smart thing. That night was pretty low key as myself and some friends congregated in the hotel bar to discuss the merits of such amazing movies as "Red Dawn" and Micheal Dudikof's acting chops until about 1am.

The next morning we met in the lobby at 6am for for what we hoped would be an easy hour. We started a bit late and ran out on the river path an easy 28:00 and came home in 24:00 which felt uptempo but i was glad i got a good one in. I was bummed that as soon as we returned we had to hustle to shower and make the bus to the village for meetings. Once there we saw some cool videos that talk of our brand and what we have done in the past 3months. Despite my struggles within the past month we've won a world series, had a slew of top draft picks and NCAA Champoinships, tennis, nascar and on and on and on....hopefully it will be my groups time again to be on top.

We were supposed to have a suprise group bonding day and there was no timeline for return that night. The company gave all free reign as it was election night but I had a friend in town who was playing a show i wanted to see. Anyways word circulated that it was paintball in methtown ~40miles away from Portland.

It was raining and we were mostlty in running tights and fleeces. Taking a direct hit to the groin was a big concern. We started late and it was getting dark quick and coupling that with a mask that fogged up within seconds you had a recipe for disaster. First game we won and i was unscathed. Second game i took a hit to the finger and cried like a schoolgirl. Third game i ran downhill, tripped on a root, faceplanted then got shot in the face. By the end of the game(pitch black and pouring on us) we were all complaining about how sore we were. Pretty sad.

I met up with Danny Mackey and his brother to go see Local H(with Electric 6) downtown. Scott was nice enough to toss us on the list and even though nights out with him are pretty wild i was expecting to call it quits relatively early since we had a 515am wakeup. Kenny got us some PBR tallboys so we waited till go time. Scott was in a good mood due to Obama sealing the deal. Pretty lively show and when it was done we hung around to grab some drinks and bullshit with Scott. Danny wisely bailed at 12 and kenny around 1am yet i was coaxed into strippers and kareoke. Ive never done kareoke and my selection of Billy Ocean's "get out of my dreams and into my car" my go down in being the most terrible thing ever done. That was followed by a trip to Union Jacks finest and finished off with a bacon/glazed donut from voodoo donuts

The next few days were spent looking at product, riding mechanichal bulls and going to an adidas sponsored house party. I will say i got the itch to think maybe i want to work in modern originals but this next running season has to be the strongest line shown in the past 5yrs.

The last night was a blur and with a 4am wakeup to hit the airport i didnt go to bed, instead deciding to take in all of portland that i could. It wasnt until i got home via cab and tried to find my car to go get food that i realized how much rest i needed. Last sunday i drove myself to the airport. Smart ryan...very smart.

Running wise the week was a bust. Its pitch black out and barely 5pm. Hoping to get out for an easy 30min and then do 5-8m tomorrow and get back into running mode on monday. Should be fun with sell in.

More pics to come and more regular posts.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

sick of samples

Today i finally waded downstairs and tried sorting through my samples to return. This is the absolute one thing i HATE about my job. They show up late, incomplete and in no sort of order whatsoever. Im confused why i have to waste my time to then put them in order and send them back proper, nice and neat. I also am confused that without giving away or keeping anything ive come up about 15 pieces short.

The day started off well enough...canceled orders, revised some and placed none.

Managed to get in a short 5miler when it was dark. Today on the shuffle I listened to a mix of Dandy Warhols songs, Caviar, The Rapture and a few others. Not too shabby.

On another note I saw Zeppelin wants to tour...without Robert Plant. Could there be any more damning of an idea on how to kill the legacy of a band? They could become like the doors and be playing Joes on Weed Street for 5$ pitcher night.

Go to to read more about it.

Any bets on who is going to breakthrough at NYC Marathon this weekend, thoughts on Goucher?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hard 8 coming out

Uneventful day. Cancelations, revisons and the never ending go around of trying to get ahold of my CS.

Ended up wanting to do 6miles easy on the lake and somehow felt good and went 8. effortless, slow for sure but i feel as if i didnt run. Maybe thats a bad thing.

After a lunch of quiznos i ordered pizza and garlic bread and washed it down with a couple of stellas. Probably negated every minute of that run and put me further behind. The rest of the night is trying to catch up on emails, this blog and actually playing a little guitar.

Cant wait to get to Portland to run some different routes but im never as tired as when i go to sales meetings and i dont even get stupid like i did in my tech rep days.

The main song i was learning tonight was house of jealous lovers by the rapture but this is why i started playing.

For those that want a good read and go more in dept on running other than "i am fueld by fast food and beer" go here. Some great stuff and he kind of knows what hes talking about. Masters degree, Olympic Trials qualifier and former teammate/roommate of yours truly. Check it out:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Charlie Brown Halloween

While waking up the past few weeks and trudging outside to walk the dog the weather has had that sharp chill and smell that says "today would be a great day to spike up and race xc with the boys..."

This morning was not much different as it seemed like a good day to maybe hit the lakefront for a long run but after last nights overindulgence of PBR and a dinner of poptarts I laid this plan to rest and worked on a new plan that included coffee and brunch. Smalls was my partner this morning...actually noon... and after tossing around some ideas and driving around aimlessly we decided on Schubas. I have been there many times for shows as its the best small music venue i may have ever gone to but have never sampled the brunch(

After coffee, oj, biscuits and gravy, bacon and grits i came home to again walk the dog and possibly nap but by this point it was 230pm and seeing as how i consider running every day a big accomplishment things such as rain, snow, wind and darkness can be a large deterrent. I finally suited up and did a light 6miles up around my old apartment and North Park University. It felt easy and there was not much pain in my foot. Its no better but no worse so ive just gotten used to feeling 70% on all my runs. 70% is the new 100%.

The one disappointment in this run was how it went from 60 and sunny at noon to 43 windy and rainy by 5pm. Tomorrow is a low of 30 with a chance of snow. I'm definately not ready for this and i know my foot wont handle slipping and sloshing around in the winter. This should make for excellent Boston preparation.

Some new purchases or music that is in heavy rotation is below:

National-out for some time but Boxer is simply the best thing ive gotten all year

Blitzen Trapper- havent given a full listen but i like it

Calexico(Carried to dust)- solid

Local H(12 Angry Months)- great breakup record plus good on the shuffle while running

The Teenagers- total shit

I also needed a book to read on the recent flights to ad from LA and i was somehow drawn to "I hope they serve beer in hell..." I will say i absolutely hate this guy but cant stop reading his lurid and debauched tales. You can save money on the book and go to his website as most of the tales are online + many more.

This is what i will leave you with from the Halloween Party from last night. Imagine getting locked out of your house wearing this costume.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Back More Times Than the Who

One of the other main intentions of this blog is to entertain my legions of fans who tell me to try to make a comeback to competitve running, do drills, eat better....dont get fat and die soon.

I have worked within the running industry since 2004 and throughout those years have been in awful shape 2004-2005, good shape 2006 and again awful shape 2007- middle of 2008. My current shape is if i lined up to race would be a kickass fun runner. Dont believe that i was once a world beater as i was only what i would consider respectable but like all other before and after me i still hold onto the notion that if things come together i can still run some good races and set PR's....IF alot of things come together.

Of late I have been roped into races/events while in less than stellar shape and instead of being smart and continuing to log the miles i say what the hell, ill take a chance and hopefully come out without a scratch. The last time i said this was the Hood To Coast Relay and i got the dreaded Leg 1. A 6mile vertical drop downhill that left me unable or even wanting to run for a month. This news was followed by the suggestion/demand from work that we train for the Boston Marathon.

So while ignoring my coaches plan of tempo's, long runs diet....i have instead decided to follow my own plan. Simply put: Run everyday, dont get drunk as often, only 2 Wendy's triple stacks a week and lastly STAY HEALTHY.

So far there was a 27day streak that was broken after a long flight from LA and then just 2 more consecutive days after that.

Today--with the advent of the blog i will tell you i did my Wrigley Field 5mile loop and then sat down to eat a bowl of leftover Thai food. 2 beers in and contemplating doing a race or sleeping in. The halloween party shall be the decider.

I share with you this nuggett. Have a good night ladies and gents.

On the flipside~RH

Kelrock should Be Here Now

I have decided to start my blogging adventures complete with spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and historical inaccuracies thanks to a text message arguement with my good friend Keith who you can visit at his just off the ground blog at The basis of this disagreement stems around his opinion of the new Oasis record "Dig Out Your Soul".

His main argument is that Oasis does not evolve and progress their music such as Radiohead and this is compounded by Noel Gallaghers constant slagging of Thom Yorke. To this I will somewhat agree and say that Oasis is always going to sound like Oasis no matter what direction the band goes.

It has been 10yrs since "Whats the Story..." came out and since that record only Liam and Noel remain from that lineup. Their last epic record was "Be Here Now" was a let down despite outselling P-Diddy and Mase back when both Keith and I were dressing up in Dockers, sweaters and putting cologne on trying to pull ass while grinding on girls to the Puff Daddy/Jimmy Page collaboration from Godzilla(talk about not evolving).

The current Lineup steadied their feet with the mediocre Heathen Chemistry(4 #1 singles in UK) but with standouts such as Force of Nature(stooges), Stop Crying Your Heart Out and Hindu Times(thank you Stereophonics). This also marked the first proper songs written by Liam other than the not even good for making an effort Little James off Standing on the Shouler of Giants.

Dont Believe the Truth featured songs written by all members of the band excluding the drummer. While this record is probably one of my least favorites it gets back to proper pub rock with Lyla, Mucky Fingers, Meaning of Soul and possibly one of my favorite Oasis songs, The Importance of Being Idle.

That brings is to the newest record and as with every record since Definately Maybe this one is touted as the best record they have ever done but true to form they have already begun talking about the next one saying they will throw everything but the kitchen sink in for that.

To compare Radiohead and Oasis is to talk of two different bands although both are equally important. Radiohead makes thought provoking, heady music that pushes the limits of what you can do within a studio and how you can recreate that into a great show. While recording an album in typical R-Head fashion it is not uncommon to read reports and interviews of how thr process is draining, a bummer and may be the last record they make as the band is on the verge of breaking up. Have you ever really put on a Radiohead record(not you Keith) for the intensive purproses of getting fired up for a night of drinking Guinness, striking out with the ladies and passing out with a half eaten burrito on the coffee table while your dog sleeps on your stomach? Actually not many have but i usually feel proper bummed out after listening to a Radiohead record.

Oasis makes straight ahead rock music. The lyrics are usually shite save a few of Noels more serious songs but its the hooks, the chorus and the vibe of the songs that pull people in. "Some Might Say" is a great single but many fail to notice the words "the sink if full of dishes/she sleeps with the fishes" line and who can forget "walking down the hall like a cannonball". Both of those were smashes on both sides of the pond. Their records are anthemic and get the crowd to want to go out, have pints and pogo around. Have you ever seen anyone pogo at a Radiohead show?

Did the Stones evolve much, U2, Coldplay, Zeppelin? No, they kept it simple and did what they do---which is play rock music, not make artistic statements and try to push the boundries.

Liam Gallagher/Noel Gallagher may be the last true ROCKSTARS. Dont get me wrong, there are many rockbands and and many that are probably better than Oasis but there is not one frontman who oozes the ROCKSTAR definition that they do. Bono could but he is too busy saving Darfur and being on Oprah. How can one go from the excesses of Zooropa and Zoo TV tours and now talk about excessive spending and the environment.

Back to Dig Out your Soul (I'm sidetracked watching "teen witch " and eating leftover Thai food on my couch with an ex trying to blog about me to keep a coherent thought). The record starts off with 4 straighahead rockers. Keith, are you telling me Bag It Up isnt a top tune? That Waiting for the Rapture doesnt have a great Noel vocal? I will concede that the Lennon sample is lame but shit, we have known for over 15yrs they pray at the alter off the Beatles so take it as it comes i say. Its also easy to see how Liam has grown as a songwriter. Nothing eartshattering but go back to the last few albums and you can see his growth.

Falling Down in my opinion sounds like every unreleased Noel demo ive heard in the past 10yrs. Acoustic with ominois lyrics about growing old and packing it in. The record to me drags after the first 4 songs then picks up at 7-finish. Your killing me Kelrock--to say the groove on To Be Where There's Life is something youve heard before is stretching it.

To conclude this long winded and discombobulated post i say you cant compare the two. Oasis is growing as a band(new lineup is just getting its legs) with the increase in songwriting responsibilites and the others stepping up at the boards. Having Dave Sardy do the record as opposed to sitting in the English country side knob turning is also a nice step as opposed to their last records.

As for being irrelevant. I see they have sold out the largest concerts in Ireland and have to add dates to accomodate their fans. More popular than ever it appears.

That said House of Cards is my favorite song from the two bands this year.

I want a rebuttal