“It’s like rain on your wedding day – Alanis Morissette “Ironic” from Jagged Little Pill
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
And who would’ve thought? It figures”
On December 7, 2019, my wife and I went to see Alanis Morissette live at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. My wife Corinne is a huge fan, so I bought tickets and excitedly surprised her with really good seats. I had seen Alanis years earlier on August 8, 2004, at the Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts in Mansfield, MA. That was The Au Naturale Tour, and she performed with The Bare Naked Ladies. It was a terrific show, but what I remembered most was Alanis Morissette’s fantastic performance. She rocked, and even though I had always appreciated her music, style, and emotional power, I was musically transformed by her show.
Since my wife had talked of her wish to see Alanis live and the fact that we have connected almost from our very first date through our similar taste in music and musicians, I was excited when the opportunity presented itself. But Alanis Morissette’s show acted as a culmination of years of musical connections between my wife and I. Now, with the COVID pandemic canceling concerts and live events, it seemed a perfect opportunity to think back to that shared appreciation of music. So, break out the record player, dust off the vinyl, and hit play.
“Roger: My name is Braff Zacklin. I was an international racecar driver. One day a baby carriage rolled out onto the track so I had to swerve into the retaining wall to avoid it… I was that baby.”– Roger in “Haylias”
There is no show I watch more than American Dad on TBS, with steaming of episodes on HULU. I mean, it has come to the point that when the television is on and American Dad starts and I hear the first sentence uttered I can quickly identify the episode, season, and immediately start laughing. My wife and I watch the show on our living room television, our iPad in bed, and the car, on our iPhones, as we drive to NY to see family. It is a show that at one moment makes us belly laugh to the point of spitting out our drink, and then next can make us feel a sense of comfort in a comedic decompression from everyday life. If we are upset, worried, or stressed from a hard day of work, we know that the cure for our momentary blues is just a streaming click away.
“Archie Graham: We just don’t recognize life’s most significant moments while they’re happening. Back then I thought, “Well, there’ll be other days.” I didn’t realize that that was the only day.”– Field of Dreams
In June 2016, I took my dad to the New York Yankees Old-Timers’ Day game. It was the 70th Anniversary of the event, and we were celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday. We decided to make a weekend of it. So, we enjoyed the city, ate good food, and prepared for a full day of baseball. At the game, we saw many of our favorite baseball players from years past. Still, we watched the old-timers’ game and a regular-season game while sitting in Championship seating at the new Yankee Stadium, which my dad had not yet visited. Free food, comfortable seats, close to the field; it was terrific. We’ve seen dozens of games at Fenway Park and the old Yankee Stadium and sat in basic fan seating, but after years of Yankee games, we finally enjoyed this new stadium in luxury seating. We watched baseball in style, even as we reflected on all those games we sat through before.
“Batman/Bruce Wayne: You’re vigilantes. / Henri Ducard: No, no, no. A vigilante is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed, or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely. / Batman/Bruce Wayne: Which is?/ Henri Ducard: A legend, Mr. Wayne, a legend.– Liam Neeson & Christian Bale in Batman Begins
Those of you who have frequented my blog know about my need for POP! Culture comfort. Whether it is gaming with my brother-in-law Kyle, movie chats with my brother Jeff, or, as you will learn in future blog posts, my LEGO builds, golf outings, and addiction to the television show, American Dad. Today’s blog post, I will jump back to my weekly movie chats with my brother. There I will continue to explore the podcast that inspired our conversations, Bill Simmons’ The Rewatchables. More importantly, this blog will examine the best and most time-consuming category, “Best Heat Check.”
In my previous post, My Top 4 Half Marathon Races – Part ONE, I discussed my top three half marathons. Shipyard Half Marathon in Portland, ME was #4, Denver Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon was #3, and San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon was #2. All of these half marathons were fun, exciting, and unique. Each offered beautiful race environments, great courses, perfect travel destinations, fun activities to do in the city, and importantly flashy finisher medals! But, which of the 16 half marathons I have run takes the crown as #1. As the title says, the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon in Springfield, IL.
With no half marathons held and those I had wanted to run canceled I have begun to reflect on the ones I have run since 2014. I have recently tried to consider which one was the best, most unique, was in the best location, had the best expo, and so on. Therefore, in this post, I will give my thoughts on the Top 4 Half Marathons I have run.
For this list, I will go backward from 4 to 1, with my number one race separated in another blog post. This ranking is not to disparage any of the races I have done, or those that are ranked lower, but instead to credit those four half marathons I feel were the best overall! I analyzed the beauty of the course, the success of the Expo, the medal’s awesomeness, whether I enjoyed the city hosting the race, the accommodations, and the overall experience the “runcation.”
As I wrote in my Half Marathon Travel page, I have run 16 Half Marathons in 13 different states plus Washington, DC. All of them have gifted me with memories of travel, fulfillment, and progress. I started running half marathons in 2014, and the itch has never stopped. I am constantly looking for new races, especially those that can I can plan a travel vacation around—what a great way to jump-start a travel idea. Look for fun races in cool places; register, book it, prepare, and go!
So, without delay, let’s get to my top 4 half marathons that I have run, so far…