Running To Stand Still

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great New Year’s and that if you’re the resolution type you’ve gotten a good start on yours.

I have a couple but the most important one is that I’m starting running again. In my second senior year I ran nearly everyday and didn’t eat between meals and didn’t drink beer and lost 30 pounds. I’m hoping to do that again, because I actually need to lose 40 pounds to be where I was at that time, but I can live with having 10 more pounds on me than I did when I was 22. Seriously. I’m OK with it.

But I’m running again, every other day I head to Retro Fitness get on a treadmill and run for about 40 minutes (including cooldown.) Now, for me the most important part of running is my playlist, because if it isn’t right I’ll get bored and slow down instinctively. My current running playlist is increasingly epic and completely embarrassing. I should note that I don’t listen to it in this order. I put it on shuffle:

  • Stronger – Britney Spears: Because you know what, I am stronger, than yesterday. It’s nothing but my way. Honestly Britney is great running music because it’s like 30% bass.
  • The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga: Again with that bass. I am all about it. (Not on the playlist)
  • Roar – Katy Perry: The white girl work out anthem! We require this song to exercise. I also sometimes start punching the air when this comes on. Like I said this is embarrassing.
  • Straight Outta Compton – NWA: Sometimes I’ll be getting ready to quit and go right into cool down because I am very lazy and I’ll hear simply “You are not about to witness the strength of street knowledge.” And I go. I keep going, because I am also a crazy mutha fucka from the streets (I am absolutely not that at all.)
  • Brand New You – The Broadway Cast of 13: This song isn’t even in the show, it was cut and then sung as an encore. But it’s wonderful. And I put it on most playlists because of how much fun it is.
  • American Girl – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Another White Kid motivational song. We like this one. Mostly for driving but it works for running too.
  • The Call – Backstreet Boys: This is their best song and also it just moves, and has no weird slow breakdown like most of their songs, thus making it great for running.
  • No Surrender – Bruce Springsteen: NO RETREAT  BABY!
  • No Apologies – Empire Cast: Uhhh…how did that get here…no just kidding. In case you need to feel motivated ever having Jussie Smollet shout-sing “I’m a loose canon!” will do it. Also, you can just blame it on Tiana!
  • Song For The Lonely – Cher: Look, you’re standing on the edge of nowhere, there’s only one way out and your heart’s gotta go there. I just love this song a lot.
  • The Bitch Is Back – Elton John: Another good come back song. And while I am not “stone cold sober as a matter of fact” all of the other lyrics pertain quite well to me.
  • Ease on Down The Road – Shanice Williams & Elijah Kelley: Oh come on, I’m trying to motivate myself and there are definitely times when I wish I wasn’t born, and I KNOW the Shanice and Elijah version being here instead of Diana and Michael is kind of a terrible blasphemy , but I adore the purity of Shanice’s voice.
  • The Schuyler Sisters – Hamilton: Look, I could probably just run to the Hamilton Cast Album (and when I start doing longer outdoor runs in the spring I have every intention of it) but when I had to choose just one song for the short runs, well, it had to be this one. Among other things it literally reminds you to “work” every third line about.
  • Main Title and Attack On the Jakku Village – John Willaims Star Wars: The Force Awakens: I picked this opening so I can think about Oscar Isaacs being adorable while I run. That is the only reason it isn’t the version from Episode III which is actually the most motivating post opening theme piece.

So that’s what I’m listening too while I run! For now, I’ll be shifting things into and out of the list. I want to keep it at about 50 minutes, which is why “Mercy” by Duffy is already gone (I also just kind of got sick of it.)

And I’m not running for no reason. I’ve decided that the only way to keep myself motivated is to give myself a final goal. And that goal???? I’m doing a RunDisney event either late this year or in 2017. Depending on how my training goes I may go for the full marathon, but I’m more likely to do one of the half marathons or 10ks. Whether I do Disney World or Disneyland will depend on timing. I figured this was a good way to get myself motivated and to get my ass back to Disney! (or to California for the first time ever!)

We Built This

Straight Outta Compton

I didn’t really know what to expect when I went into Straight Outta Compton, since I’m basically a hip hop philistine, am super white and about ten years to young too remember NWA as a unit (though obviously, have thoroughly enjoyed the talents of both Ice Cube and Doctor Dre, as I am a human being who is currently alive.) But I do really like music bio pics. (I think I’ve seen Walk The Line about a hundred times.) And I’d heard really good things about it.

Straight Outta Compton does a really good job of telling the intertwined and then divergent stories of Doctor Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy E. It contextualizes their music in it’s time and place, and makes a compelling argument about the power of popular art. Great art leaves you feeling unsettled, which is why it makes sense that Straight Outta Compton reminds us that NWA’s most lasting work is “Fuck Tha Police,” which is all about unsettling feelings.

The movie is beautifully and lovingly crafted by F. Gary Gray (who also created Friday, and thus the Ice Cube that many people know.) and paints the guys in broad almost archetypal strokes. Dre is a driven genius, who just wants to focus on creating music, caught up in a world that facilitates his art, but also distracts him from it. Cube is a world class story teller and activist who no one understands. E is a doomed hanger on, who rode to glory on the other guy’s coat tails.

If that sounds like a condemnation, I don’t mean it as one. It’s a brilliantly accessible way into this truly singular story. The young cast inhabits these legends very well, and look eerily like the real thing. In the case of O’Shea Jackson Jr. this is because he’s actually Ice Cube’s son, which is kind of a strange choice. Jackson lacks his father’s ability to take up the entire room with his presence but gets his quiet intensity right on point. I’d actually love to see a sequel staring Corey Hawkins about the Aftermath years, but it probably won’t happen. Jason Mitchell makes Eazy E so damn likable, you want to root for him, even when he’s alienating everyone

The movie is well done, and I’ve had “Fuck Tha Police” in my head for the past week.

Rankings!

  1. Straight Outta Compton
  2. Ant-Man
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road
  4. Inside Out
  5. Trainwreck
  6. Tomorrowland
  7. Jurassic World
  8. Ricki And The Flash
  9. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  10. Minions
  11. Fantastic Four
  12. Terminator: Genisys
  13. Entourage
  14. Pitch Perfect 2

Trailers:

Creed: Creed! Creed, Creed, Creed! Creed, Creed, Creed. Creed, Creed, CREEEEDDDD!!!! (You should be reading that to the tune of “Eye Of The Tiger.”) It looks so good. Michael B. Jordan is the best. Rocky is training him! Phylicia Rashad is his mom! GOING TO BE SO GOOD! Seriously though, this trailer is amazing, and I love that we just barely hear “Gonna Fly Now” straining at the end.

Ride Along 2: I actually thought to myself as the lights went down, “Huh, I wonder what movie Ice Cube is in this fall, I bet there’s a trailer for it.” Here it is. He’s going to hook up with Olivia Munn! Good for him!

Crimson Peak: Again. Love it.