Running with Rage

Eric Rutin discusses running, life and other semi-important things

Archive for the category “Other semi-important things”

My Pet Peeves

May 2, 2014

eric rutin's pet peevesEveryone has them.  You have them.  Your neighbor has them, your significant other does. You parents, your kids.  Even Eric Rutin does. Oh wait, that is me.  People that talk about themselves in 3rd person is one of mine, but that isn’t a top 10.  Below are Eric Rutin’s, errrr I mean, my top ten pet peeves.

10. Saying you will do something then having to be reminded –  Some might call this nagging, but if you say you will do something, then do it.  Or just say you won’t.  My issue isn’t whether someone does something, or not, it is creating the false expectation.

9. Mushrooms –  They are fungus.  Or fungi. Whatever the proper name, mushrooms are gross and should not be eaten.

8. People that do something wrong, then get mad at you – I can’t count how many times while running someone does an illegal turn and then gets mad because I am running through the intersection.   This has also happened while driving when someone tries turning left in front of me and when they get stuck, they flip me off.

7. Dallas Cowboys, Notre Dame and Ohio State fans – Do I really have to go into an explanation? They are even more annoying than the team.  The Cowboys and Fighting Irish are extra annoying because a vast majority of their fans have no reason to like them.

6. Business websites that aren’t mobile optimized – Yes I work in marketing, but it isn’t a professional peeve, it is personal.  When I am trying to find a business when I am lost and I can’t navigate their website it drives me to their competitor.  I can only pinch and pull so much.

5. Antiques – Come on, usually it is just old crap.  If you like that stuff, come by my next yard sale.

4. Air hand dryers – It is soooooooo annoying to hit that button and rub your hands together with basically no results.  Even the crazy high powered one leaves me wiping my hands on my pants.

3. Idiots – I lump most political people or worse people that think they are political because they watch Fox News.  These people have no idea what the principles of our country are and usually place their misinformed ideology higher than the good of the country or humanity.  For example, is universal health care really a bad idea?  Now you can debate the best way to implement it, but to fight against it is simply ludicrous.

2. Urinals across from the door in bathrooms –  It seems like I have public bathroom issues, but still, what are they thinking when the urinal is placed right where the entire establishment can see you peeing anytime someone opens the door?  Yes this is silly, but it is annoying and that is what a pet peeve is all about.

1. I could care less  – It is I could NOT care less.  I especially hate it when people in the media slaughter this.  They are paid to be communicators. They should get it right.  There are a bunch of other ones such as people that say supposably, but I won’t list them all.  One other I do need to call some attention to is from my professional life.  Media is a collection of communication channels, mediums is a collection of people that communicate with the dead.   Get it right, especially if you work in marketing.

Well there you have it. I probably sound like a grumpy old guy that will tell you the country is falling apart and that it was better growing up in the 80s.  Well it was!

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How I would make the Winter Olympics better in 2018

February, 23, 2014

Like many people around the globe I have spent a good deal of my time the past two weeks watching the Olympics in Sochi.  Despite all the issues with the hotels the games seem to have gone pretty well.  But I think I should be made the new Olympic Tsar for the Winter Games because I know three ways that will transform them from good to great.

Sex, guns and jumps.

Why?

Well the biathlon has been my favorite event.  I don’t think people realize how insane it is to be in a full-out sprint then being able to calm your body to hit a target the size of a grapefruit.

The snowboard and skicross are awesome because there are wipeouts galore and anything can happen until you cross the finish line and usually does. Just ask Lindsey Jacobellis how safe a lead is.

And has anyone else noticed that the winter Olympians are an unusually good looking group?  It is almost criminal that they only hold the Winter Olympics every four years when you look like this.

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Sex

One of my major sweeping changes would be to make more sports co-ed.   It seems to work for ice-skating.  Take that sex appeal and spread it around.  How cool would it be to have a co-ed snowboard relay? Actually pretty much every even other than hockey should have a mixed division come to think of it.

Think about the bobsled.  The woman could be in the back yelling at the male driver about how poorly he is steering. Instead of tucked in behind you would see her head peeping out to each side the occasional swat to the helmet as they speed down the track.

The two “man” luge would take on a whole new meaning.  The more traditional teams would have the woman on the bottom while some of the more progressive teams would allow the woman to be on top.  I would love to have Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski providing analysis and insights into the this one.  In my Olympics they would commentate on all the sports. They know when to talk and when to be quiet and damn they know fashion like no one’s business.

Weir Lipinski clearly the best sports announcers in ANY sport.

Lipinski/Weir clearly the best sports announcing tandem in ANY sport.

And lets not even talk about curling when the men can yell at the women to sweep, sweep, sweep.  Yea chauvinistic I know, but still would make for good TV.

Guns

Why limit the shooting to just the biathlon?  Lets add shooting to more events.  How about skeleton on to opposite tracks that end 50 yards apart?  As soon as the racer hits the bottom they then have to shoot the opposing racer.  Obviously not real guns or the silver and bronze would need to be awarded posthumously.  Instead, each person heads down their track with a paint gun strapped to their back.

Have targets on each side of the ski jump and while the skier flies through the air they are shooting skeet. Distance plus number of targets equals the winner.

Imagine curling with the opposition shooting at the sweepers rather than passively awaiting their turns.  Overnight curling would become an adrenaline junkie game.

Jumping

Once again, other than hockey, every sport should have jumps in it.

Watch this and there will be, can be no debate that jumps are frickin awesome and need to be added to EVERYTHING. After you watch it. watch it again, it that cool.

The skeleton needs to ditch the track and go down the mogul course.  Zipping down that head first like all of us that grew up in snow climates did as a kid.  I mean come on, both luge and skeleton are just glorified sledding so lets return it to its roots and make the athletes take some jumps. Then we have a sport.

Think how exciting the bobsled would be if it ended with a nice 20 foot ramp? The sport needs something to make it more competitive. Winning by .01 seconds isn’t something that should be celebrated.  A few years ago this would be a tie.  Now if they launched themselves at the conclusion, we have a real sport worth watching.

If all goes well I will be appointed the new Olympic and 2018 will be anointed the XY Games. 

14 Best Movies for Valentines Day

February 12, 2014

Eric Rutin's Most Romantic MoviesOK, you have two days to get your gifts and plan your evening for Valentine’s Day.  In my generous and benevolent mood, I am providing a list of the best romantic movies you can hit Netflix, Redbox, OnDemand, or whatever means you use these days to rent your movies to enjoy with your loved one on Valentine’s Day.  Some may say this is biased, but I assure you it is based on extensive research and this ranking is purely objective and undebatable.

14. Crossing Delancy  – This is a little known movie from the 80s that takes the classic boy gets girl out of his league story and makes it purely enjoyable and fresh.  Peter Riegert’s best work outside of Animal House.

13. Love Actually – This of course is one of the best movies regardless of the qualifications. In fact I was trying to justify it as an action movie to my son the other day.  The only reason it is lucky 13 and not higher is because, in the spirit of objectivity, it doesn’t focuses on Valentine’s Day but rather the Christmas holiday.  But it is a collection of compelling love stories which makes it perfect for Valentine’s Day.  And is there a more romantic gesture than Mark standing outside with signs professing his love to Juliet?  Oh yea there is – Jamie asking Aurelia to marry him in the restaurant in broken Portuguese.

12. Boxing Helena – Yea a love story, of sorts.  Everyone expresses their love in their own way.  Some give a box of chocolates, some chop off the limbs of the object of their affection and boxes them.  If your Valentine is uncomfortable with the message of this flick, you can always try Fatal Attraction.

11. Better Off Dead – Most would probably pick Say Anything from the John Cusack collection, but Better of Dead depicts teen love even better.  What is tougher, standing in the front yard with a radio over your head or taking on the K-12 for a French exchange student?

10. Magnum P.I. Season 7 Episodes 1-2, 18 – Magnum meets Cynthia and falls in love.  First reason, Magnum P.I. is the best TV show of all time and secondly, Cynthia was played by Dana Daleny who was my PIN in the 80s.   And the saxophone music is too awesome.

9. The Wedding Singer – Awesome mullets, great 80s story line, Adam Sandler is not annoying and Drew Berrymore is adorable.  What else do you need?  Billy Idol?  Well it has that as well.

8. Dirty Dancing – Nobody puts Baby in a corner.  Enough said.

7. Notting Hill – Boy meets mega movie star girl. Boy loses mega movie star girl. Boy gets mega movie star girl in a grand gesture. Plus isn’t the scene at the end of Hugh Grant laying on Julia Roberts’ lap on a park bench reading what we all aspire to have?

6. When Harry Met Sally – A place almost all of us have been when you realize the one person you love is right in front of you.  It was a toss up between this and Some Kind of Wonderful.

5. Edward Scissorhands – Even hands of blades can not stop love.  Makes any excuse we may have for not pursing love seem insignificant.

4. For Love of the Game – Perfect blend of a  love story and a sports story.  Some may choose Bull Durham but not me.  This is a movie that no matter how many times I see it I always get nervous as the innings progress and cross my fingers for Bill Chapel.

3. Last of the Mohicans – “You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you.”  How we have all wished we had said that to a girl at some point in our lives.  And yet that still isn’t as moving as Uncas and Alice Munro in the final scene.  I challenge anyone to find stronger depiction of true love outside of The Princess Bride.

2. Definitely, Maybe – If you need me to explain this to you then I suspect you would prefer #12 on this list.

1. The Princess Bride – First of all, it is the best movie regardless of what list you are talking about.  Period.  Secondly, It is the best movie regardless of what list you are talking about.  Just had to say it again in case you didn’t get it the first time.  Lastly, “as you wish” is the best line in any movie. Period. And there are 100 almost as good lines in the movie as well.

Well there you have it.  Pick one of these or binge on the whole list and your Valentine’s Day is sure to be  success.

Do you think I left anything off?

Eric Rutin versus Sigmund Freud

January 11, 2014

topSigmund Freud believed that nothing you do occurs by chance; every action and thought is motivated by your unconscious at some level. Well Dr. Freud meet Eric Rutin.

For those of you that don’t remember Freud’s id, ego and superego theory from your Intro to Psychology class, the id is basically your subconscious which runs free in your dreams, your superego keeps it in check through a variety of of coping, deception and trickery techniques and your ego is your rational self.  Without your superego we would be walking around feeling guilty or shamed by the primal impulses and unchecked urges running through our heads.

Well my superego is slacking.freud

Lately I have been having some unexplained dreams. As like everyone I have had my share of funky dreams.  As a runner I have lead several nocturnal marathons, beating both Kenyans and Ethiopians until I inexplicably am stuck navigating the tourist traffic on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and am somehow lost in a mirror maze. These dreams usually happen as I approach a marathon and can easily be dismissed as anxiety about the upcoming 26.2.  I used to have similar dreams back in my golfing days needing a par on the last hole to break par when my swing was restricted due to errant shot landing in a closet.  Regardless, my superego was doing its job as my ego was able to adequately processes the absurdity and rational behind such dreams.

BUT…

Recently I am pretty sure my superego decided to go to the Turks and Caicos to escape the Polar Vortex as I simply can not explain what is happening to me after I go to sleep.

Dream One

Eric Rutins Dream oneI am at work and need to go to another department a several floors above me.  So I head to the elevator with a co-worker.  A couple of things already wrong.  First my office is contained to one floor and secondly I have now idea who this coworker is.  Well we get into the elevator and all is fine.  On the second floor the door opens and some people get in.  Same thing on the third floor and forth floor.  By the time the door opens on the fifth floor the elevator is pretty crowded but five or six people wiggle their way into the elevator and now it is crammed.  Too crammed and my claustrophobia takes hold and I panic.  I panic so badly that I wake up and am breathing rapidly and completely stressed out unable to go back to sleep.  What exactly kind of dream is this?  I have had the crazed man chasing me or being in war dreams that caused a similar reaction when facing cetain death, but riding a crowded elevator?  This doesn’t count as a nightmare does it?  I mean if you are going to have a claustrophobic nightmare you had better be getting buried alive by a psychopath not crammed in an elevator with a bunch of people dressed in Brooks Brothers carrying folders and binders.

Dream Two

All of a sudden with no warning I am a running back in a goal line drive with the Oakland Raiders.  Terrell Pryor hands the ball to me as I am supposed to dive into the end zone off left tackle.  I should be feeling mighty good.

BUT…

First of all I am not dressed in my football duds, rather red plaid pajamas and secondly as I get the ball I refuse to take one hand out from between my legs and I try running without abandoning the fetal position.  Needless to say, I am mercilessly tackled.  So what do the Raiders do?  They call the same play.  This time I realize I have a better chance of running if I remove my hand from between my legs and as I do, I slip by the approaching linebacker and sneak into the end zone.Eric Rutin does NOT like the Raiders

Now I guess I should feel good that I have scored a touchdown.  There are very few of us that have actually scored a touchdown in the NFL and I am part of a pretty select crowd now.  Yet, somehow I am just left confounded.  Why the Raiders, a team I have no affinity for in the least bit?  What do the pajamas mean? And as a marathon runner and someone that is basically athletic, why am I trying to run in the fetal position?

So Dr. Freud you claim every bit of one’s subconscious is relevant; I challenge you or any of your disciples to explain what is going on in my noggin. My superego is clearly derelict in its duties of managing my id leaving my ego with no explanation as to what the symbolic significance to these dreams is.

Anyone?  Anyone?

Rutin...Eric Rutin

Eric Rutin has New Year’s Resolutions?

January 3, 2014

Eric Rutin LOVES Calvin and HobbesWow, it is actually 2014.  I know most talented bloggers probably already shared their resolutions by now, but I wanted to wait to make sure mine were right.  I created a long list of personal, professional and running goals versus resolutions for 2014.  I think by having clearly defined goal provides a more realistic path for success than the typical resolution that is typically forgotten by Groundhog Day.

In the past I have made a variety of resolutions, most which I think I forgot within a fortnight.  Only three have lasted.  I gave up red meat in 1992.  In 2006 I resolved to eat read meat.  However this is only if I am served it at someone’s house to be a gracious guest.  I was tired of being asked at every BBQ by the host if they really needed to buy one special chicken breast just for me when everyone else was having filet mignon. (That being said, I would appreciate that chicken breast still) I vowed to drink more red wine sometime in the mid-2000″2 as well, which I was technically able to achieve by drinking one glass since I previously never drank any.  I usually down around three glasses of the red stuff each year.  I never said I set the bar very high.   I never actual wrote my resolutions down and certainly never developed an actual plan for success.  Rather I would white knuckle it until I could forget what I was trying to do.  Like I said, typically a less than a fortnight effort.  This year is different.  They are written down and I am working on a formal plan for each.

I am not going to share the personal and professional goals, but I do have a few running goals that I am allowing everyone to hold me accountable to accomplish.

1. Run every day in 2014.  I considered running 2,014 miles but realized I was nowhere near in shape enough to average the 38.73 miles per week needed to achieve this milestone.  So my slothful 2013 attitude has me committed to running 364 days this year despite rain and snow and even sleet.  Of course since I live in Arizona the 110 degree summer is probably the more likely troublesome weather.  So even if it is unbearably hot or the day after a marathon or I am incredibly busy or even if I fear traveling more than 15 feet from the bathroom, I am still going to run – every day.  2013 was not kind to my running with injuries, apathy and the impact of the Boston Marathon Bombings taking a toll on my consistency.  But it is 2014 and that is all in the rear view mirror.Eric Rutin runs the Reykjavik Marathon

2. Run a marathon. Yea I have run nine already but I haven’t run one since PF Changs two years ago.  It is time.  Right now I am thinking the Reykjavik Marathon in Iceland.  This is in late August so that means I will be knocking out 20 milers in the heat of the summer.  Joy, joy, joy.

3. Break 23 minutes in a 5K.  It isn’t close to my PR, but a hell of a lot faster than I have been running them.

4. Run my age in a 10K.  I will be using old Boston timing guidelines for this so I get the full 59 seconds on the 46 or 47 minutes.  47:08 is my PR, so this is going to be a tough goal to accomplish.  But that is why I am doing goals and not resolutions.

5. Volunteer at 5 events.  I called out splits at the Phoenix 10K and  handed out the race t-shirts at the Desert Classic last month.  It was fun sharing with the runners’ excitement.  It is also a way of giving back to this sport that has given me so much.  Plus I get $5 in Arizona Road Runner bucks each time I volunteer.

Eric Rutin old Supernova Classics6. Find a shoe I like.  I have been searching and searching since adidas stopped making Supernova Classics in 2011. I have found shoes that sucked and shoes that I didn’t mind, but I haven’t found a shoe I love and committed to. (I just got a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspires today – fingers crossed)  I ran in Supernova classics for 9 years as my primary shoe.  LOVED them.  Miss them.  But is there really only one true love for each of us?

7. Blog at least once a week.  I am not sure if this is welcome news for everyone or not, but it is on my list so I have to attempt it.

That is it.  I think some are tall orders, but good goals regardless to keep me motivated and focused.  I am glad that 2013 is over, there was just too many negative events that I personally experienced or affected people I knew.  Some pesky and some downright tragic.

I know I said I wasn’t going to, but I am going to share one of my personal goals anyhow.  I am going to teach my incredibly neurotic dog, Molly, how to catch a Frisbee.  She is an Australian Shepherd mix and is supposed to be innately predisposed to catch them, but instead just the sight of a Frisbee sends her hiding.

There you have it.  Lets check back in 362 days and see how I did.

Eric Rutin will toss the frisbee

Running reduces the risk of breast cancer

December 12, 2013

Eric Rutin supports Rave for the CureThose who know me know I am a fanatic about running for a myriad of reasons.  Talk to me for 10 minutes and I guarantee running will somehow come up in the conversation.  If you are a runner, I will talk all night long if you don’t abandon me which, despite my wonderful personality, actually happens.  Some of you may also know that my mom died from breast cancer over 15 years ago.  This has been why I have always been a huge supporter of the Race for the Cure; it allows me to combine two passions that are part of my core.  Though I must admit I wish that I, nor I imagine anyone else for that matter, never had to even concern myself with breast cancer.  It would be a much better planet if the cure was simply discovered and breast cancer was eradicated.  But until then it is about education and preventive behavior to help at least reduce the risks.

That very notion brings me to the point of today’s blog.  While checking out my timeline on Facebook  I saw a post from Runner’s World sharing an article on how running has been linked to reducing the risk for women getting breast cancer.  41% less of a chance to be be exact.  The amazing thing is it doesn’t even take that much effort to reap these benefits, just under 5 miles a week.  This is not the kind of commitment that requires a woman to drastically adjust her lifestyle to accommodate ultra marathon training training milage or anything.

Eric Rutin is a stick figureI know most of you that read my blog are runners already and 5 miles of weekly running can be knocked on Monday morning before heading to work.  If that is the case, on Tuesday you will be reducing your risk of heart disease, Wednesday you will be lowering your blood pressure, Thursday you will adding around 3 years to your life, Friday will put you in a better mood (a recent study showed that running can have comparable results to antidepressants), Saturday you will be preventing  losing your mind. literally (exercise reduces age-related mental decline) and on Sunday you will be letting youself splurge on cheese sticks and wings as you watch football (preferably the Lions or Steelers).  If you look at it collectively, that is a pretty solid week of accomplishment.

Since most of you are already runners, let us look at this as an opportunity to encourage those around us to run as well.  My daughter Emma (her middle name is Jane after my mom) did her first Race for the Cure when she was still in her mom’s womb.  Her next in a Baby Bjorn, then baby jogger, then walking before eventually running on her own.  She was an excellent runner through 5th grade when the brilliance of Arizona cross country with their August through October season and afternoon meets in 108 degrees soured her on the joy of running and instead converted running to a slow-roasted toaster torture for her.  I have been trying to get her off the couch and away from Netflix ever since without much success.  In PE she is always one of the top milers, she has to do running as ocnditioning for badminton and softball, but running for the joy of running has long since went dormant in her being.   So I was excited when she texted me a picture of some cute Nikes she wanted to start running again.  While I am probably not going to run to Runner’s Den or iRun and buy the $135 pair she wants before she demonstrates her commitment to running at least a couple of times a week, I am going to get her a cool pair to get going and encouraging her to knock out at least 4.75 miles a week.  I have even offered to run with her on Saturday morning though oddly she doesn’t seem as keen on the idea as me.   In addition to a  fierce independent spirit, I want the only similarity that Emma ever shares with her grandmother to be her name.Eric Rutin daughter Emma

So during this holiday season I encourage everyone to look around and see which of your loved ones you can get out the door and run a little.  Lets take it upon each of us to help reduce breast cancer (and many other health issues) in any way we can and to make our loved ones healthier.  Besides, runners are just cooler people.

The history of concerts according to Eric Rutin

November 10, 2013

This is a list of concerts that I, Eric Rutin, attended in my life.  I will admit, that I have not been to a concert in ages and at this point in my advanced life I really don’t see attending another unless its with my kids as parental supervision.  That being said, Cade is already older than me when my parents dropped me off at the gate of Pine Knob to see my first solo concert.  More about that in a moment.  I am sure I don’t remember all the concerts, some due to their absolute horribleness, others due to alcohol consumption and others just to a fading memory.  I encourage any of my friends reading this to add any that I may have missed.   Some of the concerts were life changing and others I am pretty embarrassed to admit I went to but all in all there is a wide array of musicians and genres.  I have debated different ways of arranging from chronological, to quality to frequency but I couldn’t come up with a clear winner.  I will present in a loosely chronological manner with a sprinkle of randomness tossed in.  (sorry about the dangling preposition)

Electric Light Orchestra  (ELO)

This was my first concert I attended. It was at the Pontiac Silverdome and I went with my friend Eric.  So It was Eric Rutin and Eric Somethingoranother.  It was 5th grade and we LOVED this band.  We called them Eric’s Lovable Orchestra, pretty clever for 11 year-olds. We even had t-shirts made. All I really remember was the band had a huge spaceship that opened up and out they came.  Totally Spinal Tap style.  But the bigger memory was the priest sitting behind us in full priest attire.  He opened his bible and inside it was cut-out for his pipe and stash.  Deception would later come into play for myself.

The Guess Who

I saw them on family weekend when we went to visit my brother at Michigan Tech.  I actually attended this with my parents.  It was on the floor of some arena.  I remember them playing These Eyes, I was wearing a Mork from Ork ski vest and that I feel asleep.  This also would come into play later.

The Beach Boys

This was my first venture to Pine Knob, the greatest musical venue ever.  It has some corporate name now, but I was fortunate to grow up in the 70s and 80s before everything was so blatantly corporate.  I blame the Rolling Stones for changing all that with their 1981 “final tour”, but that is neither here nor there.  I am not sure who I attended this with but it was some sort of friend and parent supervision.  We were allowed the freedom to roam  and the Beach Boys were still pretty hip. This was sixth grade.

Joe Walsh

I was now a 7th grade and obviously ready for my independence.  I went with some friend I don’t recall.  (I actually have a pretty crappy memory of pre-1981)  I look back in horror that, not only were my parents completely comfortable dropping me off at a concert at 12 years old, but a frickin’ Joe Walsh concert none the less whose fame was built on glorifying sex, drugs and rock and roll.  But my parents were not as hip as I am.  They had no idea who Joe Walsh was.  I am a cool dad that belts out Icona Pop effortlessly while my parents listened to talk radio or Nat King Cole.  Regardless, all I really remember was the joy of independence and being around all the drunk and stoned people, though I myself was a goody two-shoe.  This is how I kicked off the summer of 1980.  I remember my friend wanted to go see the Doobie Brothers but I was too afraid to say Doobie in front of my parents, so that was my only concert that year.

The Who/The Clash/Eddie Money

This was the first final farewell tour for The Who way back in 1982.  I was a boarder at Cranbrook by now and I was finding out how important music was to an adolescent. I listen to lyrics, they spoke to me personally, they gave me the voice to say what I was unable.  I listened to Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, The Police, Buzzcocks, and other early 80s punk, but the two big influences were The Kinks and The Clash.   Ray Davies was simply a brilliant song writer and The Clash touched my inner teenage angst like no other.  The Who announced their final tour that was on a Thursday night, a particular dilemma for a boarding student.  The year before Cranbrook didn’t allow boarders to attend the final Rolling Stones tour and had a backlash of parent anger.  So the doors were wide open with a parent’s permission slip for me to attend the The Who.  I liked the Who plenty, but it was The Clash I absolutely had to see.  I went with John Packer who’s dad owner a Pontiac dealership as well as a box at the Pontiac Silverdome and my freshman RA, John Berger.  We hung out in the box enjoying libations and being tormented by Eddie Money.  Then came time for The Clash.  John and I slipped past the security guards that were preoccupied pummeling other people hopping the wall to notice us casually walk down the steps to the general admission floor level.  Somehow I randomly connected with Scotty Lebo who was attending with some of his other friends.  Scotty is the only other person I know that likes The Clash as much as I do, so I was happy I was going to experience the greatest concert ever with him.  We made our way through the packed crowd to about 15 feet from the stage, so close the fire hose they were using to cool the crowd hit us with an uncomfortable velocity.  This was incredible.  They opened up with London Calling and my famous or infamous infant bladder came knocking.  I was not about to leave my precious spot for a mere bathroom crisis. I pulled out and peed right there on the floor or more aptly on the leg of this big biker guy standing in front of me.  Fortunately the fire hose already had him wet so he didn’t notice a little more wetness and besides I figured he deserved it for preventing me from being 13 feet from the stage.  When they started playing Should I Stay Or Should I Go (not my favorite by a long shot) when the crowd started chanting GO..GO…GO.  WTF?  So Mick Jones in a haste, flipped off the crowd, unplugged his guitar and walked off the stage.  Show over.  For The Who, despite being a pretty big fan of them, we retreated back to some empty seats and as they played in what was at the time record decibel levels, I proceeded to fall asleep.  Must be something about bands called the Who that causes narcolepsy in me.3340293178_417fb37f35

I cant really tell you what my next concert was so I will get random for a while taking a trip through the rest of high school and college.

Santana

This was where I applied the knowledge I learned from my first concert experience.  Yet another concert at Pine Knob. We sprung the extra couple of bucks for the $18 seats versus the $12 lawn seats. I filled a two-liter bottle with 7-up and Seagrams borrowed from my parents full bar and tossed in in my backpack along with some powdered sugar donuts, a couple of ding dongs and other delicious goodies.  Pretty much the essential concert eats. When we went through security we watched as booze bottle after booze bottle was confiscated. When the burly guy got to me, he opened up my backpack and pulled out a bag of donuts, and saw the scattering of other junk food and laughed. He handed me back my backpack and said “knock yourself out kid”.  We then enjoyed 7 and 7’s while listening to Oye Como Va.  I think this stratagem was originally executed in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.

The Grateful Dead

I always thought that being a self-proclaimed teenage rebel (disregard my upper-middle class upbringing and the fact I attended boarding school) and that I should like The Grateful Dead.  It was kinda like Jack Kerouac.  But truth be told, I didn’t like them at all, but Liz, my first girlfriend, liked them and I liked everything she liked so she would like me. Normal teenage rational.  I went with Liz and I think her friend Norah, but it could have been someone else or even two someone elses.  Well without going into too many details, the security showed Liz and I the exit for doing what I considered perfectly appropriate Grateful Dead behavior (no, not drugs).  So Liz and I had to sit outside the gate and wait for the concert to end to collect the third wheel that I think was Norah but maybe wasn’t.  Maybe the fourth wheel too.  This just confirmed that I simply didn’t, nor do, like The Grateful Dead.  Nor do I like endless riffs.  I wish I had saved the $15 I spent on my ticket.  While I still can’t say I like Kerouac, I can at least say I appreciate him.  Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is far better than On the Road for what it is worth.  Oh wait, I digress.

The Monkey’s Reunion

Back to music.  I went with Andy Wildermuth who looked a lot like Peter Tork and a couple of other Fac brats.  Yes I went to a Monkeys concert. Deal with it.

pine knobSimple Minds and The Pretenders

The best concert ever, but not for the music, which wasn’t bad, but for the experience.  I went with most of the Fac Brats, Rose Domas, Margie Goldman and Beth Grossman.  Before the concert we hung out at my house getting properly liquidly enthused.  As we were driving to Pine Knob (surprise) Christopher started one of his legendary rants claiming if he had to get a girl pregnant in high school and have to marry her, he would want that girl to be Helaine Scholnik.  Disregard that Helaine had been spending the summer skillfully avoiding him.  It wasn’t just a random comment, he kept repeating it and adding more  and more detail, more sure each time.  But one thing for sure, Helaine was the one.  We got to the concert and found a place on the lawn to spread our blankets and enjoyed the music.  The sun had set and Simple Minds had concluded.  The guys got up and went to pee on the perimeter fence (an advantage to being a guy) still listening to Christopher’s love rant.  Upon concluding our pee, we bumped into some girls.  Christopher hit it off with one of the girls remarkably fast and before we knew it, was making out with her.  She came back to our blankets and the two of them obliviously mauled each other for the entire Pretenders set.  If this was the Grateful Dead they would have been tossed.  The music ended and Christopher took down the girl’s phone number before she left to reunite with her friends.  We all walked off in awe.  But we had no idea what awe actually was until Christopher, without missing a beat, resumed professing his love for a hypothetically knocked-up Helaine.

The Clash

This time there was no The Who, no Eddie Money, no John Parker no burly biker to pee on, just Scotty, Ned, Tony and me (and of course maybe others I don’t remember) and the intimate Fox Theater.  Someone may have opened for them, but who cares, I don’t remember, I was there to see The Clash finally.  It was the best concert of my life.  It was raw. It was loud. It was hard. It was The Clash.  No pissed off Mick Jones.  There were also no side stories or antics, just a couple of guys getting to see The Only Band That Matters.

Simon and Garfunkle

This was their reunion tour and a trip back to The Silverdome.  Scotty and I went with Margie Goldman and Beth Grossman.  It was a pretty good show and  little historic.  Kinda like Kerouac for me.  Didn’t love it, but appreciated it. Afterwards we went and got Marty’s Cookies.  Yum.

urlINXS

I am sure I went with some of my friends, but I just remember going with Chrissie Mathias. The significance of this was I was on a date with the one and only babysitter I ever had. Maybe it would have been more appropriate going to the Simon and Garfunkle concert with her.  Coo Coo Ca Choo.  As Mrs. Robinson as this sounds, Chrissie was only two years older than me.  She was the girl that lived down street that I had my first middle school crush on that also worked at my dad’s pharmacy.  For some horrifically inexplicable reason my mom decided that at 13 I needed a babysitter one night and they picked 15 year-old Chrissie for no other reason that I can imagine other than to permanently scar me with unrepairable embarrassment.  My parents that believed in teaching their kids independence had been leaving me at home alone for years and yet this night they had to get me not just a baby sitter but Chrissie.  Well five years later I was actually on a date with my babysitter.  It was cool and without a cent of therapy, I someone recovered some of my shattered esteem.  Oh yea, it was Pine Knob.

Bruce Springsteen

This was my first high priced concert.  It was the Born in the USA tour and Rose got four tickets.  I forget who the other two tickets were for but they bailed so we decided to scalp the tickets.  I think we got a hundred bucks for them (huge money in 1985).  The concert was his return to Detroit on a world tour right before our senior year.  The seats were directly stage right and we had as good of a view of the roadies behind the stage as we did of the band.  While it was nice that Rose sold the tickets at a little profit, she sadly sold them to a guy that turned out to have a 350 pound friend that sat next to me.  Well, he more sat on me. He oozed over the arm rest and I had to wait for him to stand before I was able to.  (there I go with the dangling preposition again)  While most people found Springsteen’s endurance, providing a 3 plus hour concert, amazing, I was praying for the show to end as I was tired of being sweated on by the large mammal next to me.  But I discovered Bruce will do an encore even if only one person in the back row requests it.  No Cortney Cox dance along either.

U2

This was down in Tucson at the Convention Center.  I went with Jill, Dan, Liz, Erich, Michelle and Michele.  I am still to this day 25 years later reminded that we didn’t bring Mark along.  The concert was filmed and Bono acted like a cowboy.  That is all I remember other than I liked it and we went to Red Robin before.  I had a Red Robin Monster Burger.

The Specials

The Specials played on the mall on a makeshift stage at U of A’s Spring Fling festival.  It was officially a concert but I think I was the only person that was actually standing still listening to them and not simply passing by on their way to something else.  It was a good night for me despite going alone.  I also met Christine Applegate during her Married with Children glory days.  Oh yea, it was free.

Jimmy Buffet

I will lump the four shows together.  1st show was college. We drove up in Erich’s 1972 Monte Carlo to Phoenix.  He got a speeding ticket in Casa Grande on the way back to Tucson.  Second show was at the Hollywood Bowl that I went to with Michele.  Then two shows at Desert Sky Pavilion.  I used to be a Parrot Head and they were all equally awesome.  I am not a Parrot Head any more.

LA Guns and Megadeth

Our buddy Andy Alkire was a bouncer at Tucson Garden, a rock bar in Tucson.  They needed extra security for the show, so of course they asked all 140 pounds of me to protect the stage.  Along with the half a dozen other ill-equipped security we locked arms stood in front of the stage, speakers prematurely reducing my hearing capabilities, and leaned forward holding back the pressing crowd.  The music was awful but I was paid $50 bucks and given free drinks afterwards.

Exposé

Yes I saw them.  Jill took me. I tried talking my way to get back stage to meet them.  Not my proudest moment.  At least they were better looking than The Monkeys.expose-2008

The Guess Who and BTO

Back at the Tucson Garden but this time paying I went to this with Tucker Wildermuth and Dan.  Not sure what Tucker was doing in Tucson. There were only about 50 people there so getting close to the stage was not an issue. For two hours there was no bigger fan of either band than myself.  I was given the set lists from each band and the pick from the lead guitarist for The Guess Who.  I also was able to break the cycle and I stayed awake for the whole concert.

Lilith Fair

I admit I am pretty much a lesbian when it comes to much of my musical tastes.  I enjoyed Sarah McLachlin, Jewel, Indigo Girls (not really), Sheryl Crow, Tracy Chapman, Fiona Apple and Natalie Merchant.  I was also one of I think three guys attending.

Depeche Mode

I went with some people from work.  I don’t hate them, but I can’t say I like them.  Not even sure I appreciate them really. What I like most about them was how my next door neighbors my freshman year had convinced this annoying kid you pronounced it Depashay Mowday.  I made the mistake of wearing a red polo shirt to the concert. They were work tickets given to us by a radio station so of course they were good.  I was more of an unicorn at this concert than at the Lilith Fair not wearing all black and sans eyeliner.  I was standing as everyone else was, but anyone who knows me, I don’t dance, and certainly not in a crowd with out signed waivers by anyone near me.  Half way through the show this goth girl grabbed my arm and asked “excuse me sir, are you OK?”  I assured her I was. I didn’t tell her I would be better when the show was over.  Thank God they didn’t subscribe to the Bruce Springsteen school of encore etiquette.

The Dixie Chicks

Michele was pregnant with Emma and we were invited to the box of local country station, KNIX.  Emma loved them and spent the entire show rocking out in the womb.

Dave Matthews Band

I went to this concert with Carolyn.  We were way late and couldn’t find parking.  We were frantically looking for a spot and ended up parking quite far but still close enough we could hear the music.  As we were making the long walk to the gate listening to them play Crush.  Well this is when I learned that Dave Matthews likes his riffs.  A lot. It took us at least 15 minutes to get there and they were still playing Crush. We got though the gate, past security and found our seats and they were still playing Crush. In fact, I think they are still playing it.

Spin Doctors

This was the last concert I saw.  They were playing in Chrystal City after the Marine Corps Marathon.  I was looking for my usual post race tuna sub at Subway.  I have no idea, why I need to have that overly mayonnaise saturated tuna delight when I finished a marathon, but I do. I never eat them any other time, but damn I want them after 26.2 miles.  Oh yea, Spin Doctors.  Well when I got down to the “strip” in Chrystal City looking for my sandwich I discovered the concert.  Well it was was called a concert at least. It was about 7 people standing on the street listening to Two Princes.  I made 8.

There it is. I am sure I forgot some concerts.  Confused some people that attended.  But regardless, this is the best I remember.  If you made it through all of this just remember, The Clash is the only band that matters.

Other good reading

Top 25  Best Movies of All Time

15 Must Songs For Any Running Playlist

21 Best Movies of All Time

March 17, 2013

Hello.  My name is Eric Rutin.  You came to my blog.   Prepare to have your mind exploded.

I had previously posted the best songs to have on your running playlist and that seemed to create a stir.  The list was a pretty good objective account that oddly some didn’t agree with.  Kinda confused me as I have outstanding taste in music.

So here I go with another list.  Usually as you know I talk about running in some sort or another, but today I am going to share the 10 best movies of all time.  These are the flicks that you can watch again and again and rather than get bored, you pick up a new line or discover new plot or subtle twist.  A lot of the critics have movies like Citizen Kane and Gone With The Wind, but mine is less pretentious.  Those are movies critics think you should like and while they aren’t always horrible, I could not imagine watching them every time TBS runs them.  If you read this and don’t agree with at least 9 of them I have but one word to say to you.: Inconceivable!

Last-Of-The-Mohicans-still

21. (500) Days of Summer – You will notice a theme pretty quickly. I am not above the romcom.  I think the movie is clever and fun.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt was perfect as Tom and Zooey Deschanel is always great.  This may raise some eyebrows, but really, it is impossible not to get a warm feeling when introduced to Autumn?  It lets me know life will always work out if you let it.

20. Can’t By Me Love – Patrick Dempsy in his finest role.  I have to admit there were a couple of other classic 80’s movies that were battling for this spot, The Sure Thing, Better of Dead and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but this one inched in front of the others in a dead heat probably since it was filmed in Tucson.

19. Sixteen Candles – Staying in the 80’s I had to have John Hughes represented, but this was his best.  I was in high school when this came out and related more to the Geek than Jake Ryan.  I am sure Long Duk Dong is incredibly racist in today’s politically correct world, but he was hilarious.  Best line: No more yankie my wankie.  The Donger needs food.

18. Crossing Delancy – Probably the least known movie on the list, and yes, yet another romantic comedy, but this movie is touching and just makes me feel good.  If you haven’ seen it, plan date night and watch it.

17. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Classic Clint.  Do I need to say anything else?  Oh yea, great sound track.  Who doesn’t recognize that music?

TheBirdsRavens-73388816. The Birds – This is the scariest movie I have ever seen. Now I will confess and say I don’t watch slasher flicks or movies with creepy kids so my pool of scary is limited.  But this movie freaked me out and still does.  Where the special effects bad? Of course.  But the premise totally could happen.  I get a chill down my spine anytime I see a group of birds hanging out on a power line plotting.  I can also say that of the great directors, I really do think Alfred Hitchcock has done a lot of remarkable movies.

15.  The Graduate – A great great great movie that I am sure I don’t understand completely.  Plus I think coo coo ca-choo Mrs. Robinson may personally be responsible for sending me into puberty.  Best line: Mr Braddock: Ben, this whole idea sounds pretty half-baked.  Benjamin: Oh no it’s not. Its completely baked.

14. Last of the Mohicans – Daniel Day Lewis seems to have won an Academy Award for every other movie he has been in, but this is his best.  By far.  The movie is a thrill ride thanks to a great story and an even better soundtrack.  And if you haven’t figured out yet, I am a sucker for a love story and a little piece of my heart is ripped out every time I see the final battle between Uncas and Magua.

13. Caddyshack – The second most quotable movie on this list.  While some think it is just slapstick and silly, it is actual brilliant.  Especially when you know how much of it was ad lib, including basically all of Murry’s classic  Cinderella Story.   Was Rodney Dangerfield ever more funny?

12. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Hmm, back then 2001 people imagines technology continuing into space rather than the world wide web.  The movie is hypnotic and just as with the graduate, I am sure I only understand half the symbolism. A question that constantly nags me, is Hal evil or not?  A little trivia: it is Stanley Kubrick ‘s breathing in the suit scene. hal-9000-1920x1200

11. Groundhog Day – Yet more Bill Murry.  Equal parts cute and funny. There is no particular reason why I like this movie so much, but anytime it is on (oddly it plays a lot on February 2nd), I watch it and thoroughly enjoy it.

10. This is Spinal Tap – Oh wait, is this the second most quotable movie on this list?  I envision people in forgien lands watching the movie and just not realizing how deep the satire drips from this movie.  The songs are catchy despite the absolutely hilarious lyrics.  Which is the best song?  Big BottomStonehedgeLick My Love Pump?  Best Line (maybe the best line in all cinema): “These go to eleven”.

9. Jaws – Second scariest movie of all time.  As with The Birds, it is scary because it totally could happen. And sharks scare the crap out of me.  It was probably not a good idea for my parents to take me as a seven year old to see it.  Scared for life.

8. Monty Python and the Holy Grail – Not sure if this would have been a more appropriate movie for my parents to take me to in 1975, but probably would have scared me less.  As with Caddyshack this movie would be so easy to just pass off as a silly movie, but it is brilliant.  The jokes aren’t afraid to take anything on and this just might be the second most quotable movie on this list.  Best scene (and this was very hard to narrow down): King Arthur and the Black KnightTheBlackKnight

7. Grosse Pointe Blake – It is an 80’s high school reunion. It takes place in Detroit.  It is sardonic. John Cusack, one of the best actors of my generation had to be included somewhere on this list. Oh wait, he is in Sixteen Candles. But the biggest reason?  It has a great soundtrack.  Some may mock 80’s music, but not this ska inspired soundtrack with oodles of The Specials and The Clash.

6. To Kill a Mockingbird – This was one of the best books I read growing up and the movie is its match.  Georgy Peck is amazing and he is simply the man and father everyone wishes they should be.  The story is also incredibly bold and progressive for the time.  Atticus Finch is the man and father we all wish we could be.

5. Saving Private Ryan – The landing on the beaches of Normandy is so realistic that I found myself leaning to dodge bullets.  I felt the claustrophobia of attacking the beach under the spray of German machine gun fire.  The rest of the movie is a great story and the claustrophobia of war never lets up. Most war movies glorify it, and while Saving Private Ryan certainly shows the soldiers’ heroism, it does a greater job showing the senselessness of war.

4. The Matrix – The special effects of this movie are mind-blowing.  The movie is supposedly loaded with symbolism, but I don’t think that deeply.  I just enjoy the action and the special effects.  And well, Trinity is bad ass. Best scene: Neo and Trinity going to save Morpheus.

3. The Shawshank Redemption – This has to be on everyone’s top five list.  It might be a perfect movie. The cast is spectacular.  The story is a masterpiece.  The film is outstanding.  Try and find a flaw.

2. Love Actually – I HAVE to watch this every Christmas at least once and also sneak a couple more times in through the year.  It might not be fair because this isn’t really one movie but rather at least eight stories all intertwined.  I can not decide which story I like best and just when I decide I almost as quickly change my mind.  For now it is Jamie and Aurelia.

princess_bride1. The Princess Bride – THE most quotable movie on this list or any list.  There is not a line or word wasted in this movie.  It took me a while to see it as I mistakenly assumed it was a trite kid’s movie. But I am so glad I finally did.  It is a rare movie that just gets better and better with each viewing.  The story is simply about true love, a theme subtle as a club  over your head woven throughout.  And I if I could narrow it down to one best line, I would.  But there is great line after great line throughout.  Just go out and buy your own copy and watch it. And then watch it again.  Then again.  Two things to think about.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was offered the role of Fezzik and Whoopie Goldberg wanted the role of Buttercup.  How different would the movie had been with those castings?

Well there it is.  The top 21 movies of all time.  If you think this list is in any ways anything other than perfect, all I can say is inconceivable.  Or perhaps that doesn’t mean what I think it does?

Top 15 must songs for any running playlist

October 23, 2012

The following fifteen songs are ones that I, Eric Rutin, feel should be on anyone’s iPod or iPhone when heading out for a run.  I know that playlist choices tend to vary based on the length or type of run.  I have a very upbeat short list when I am doing speed work and a long list of pretty mellow songs that I load up for the 20 milers.  I typically don’t wear the earbuds when I race, but the same rules probably apply for a race list.  I would probably make a marathon playlist that was pretty mellow until the 20 mile mark then some good driving and inspirational music  to propel me though those final miles when the mind is telling me to quit and the legs are dead.

OK, so some of these songs you may totally agree with and I am sure some of them you will disagree with (but you would be wrong).  I also want to make a note that this is not a list of songs that I actually like.  There is a big difference between songs I would put on a road trip mix and the ones I load on a running playlist.  These are songs that I think simply connect to the appropriate neuron impulses that help me run better, faster, and longer.  Heck, some I am even embarrassed to admit I own, but here I go.

1. Garageland – The Clash:  I know it is not a surprise that I lead off the list with a song by The Clash, after all they are the greatest band of all time.  I was debating back and forth between several songs and it finally came down to Garageland or Complete Control so I just flipped the proverbial coin.  But the bigger point is, choose Garageland, Complete Control, London Calling or I Am Not Down – just make sure you have some Clash on your playlist. More the better in fact.  I would even begrudgingly accept Rock the Casbah or Should I Stay or Should I Go rather than no Clash.

2. So What – Pink: Pink rocks plain and simple and So What is the most complete song in her collection I think.  I have several Pink songs on my iPhone and I seem to be continually adding them as quickly she releases them, but So What just keeps the legs pumping the best.

3. Don’t Stop Believin‘ – Journey:  “…Just a city boy, born and raised in  South Detroit…”  enough said.

4. Cliffs of Dover – Eric Johnson:  Obviously I can’t say the lyrics are inspiring, but the guitar riffs just seem to harmonize with my muscles and my legs just seem more lively, even late in long runs.  The song just perfectly creates a nice balanced cadence that defies exhaustion.

5. Redemption Song – Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer:  No, not Bob Marley and yea you may accuse me of cheating and backdooring another Clash song on the list, but this is a great cover. Neither Cash and Strummer will ever be confused with Pavarotti, but this gritty song is just what I need when I am toughing it out, pushing myself past my comfort zone.  It doesn’t seem like it would do the trick since it is neither  poppy nor does it have a certain undeniable power to it.

6. The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga: Yea, maybe I should be embarrassed but I am not. Regardless of if I am feeling fresh or plain exhausted, this song just inspires me to run.  Great beat, great lyrics, just a song that was created to be a great running song.

7. Hello – Martin Solveig & Dragonette: I can’t say I even like this song. It was downloaded by my daughter and just appeared on my iPhone one day.  I was going to delete it (along with her entire collection of One Direction songs) but I discovered that I was literally incapable of not picking up my pace when the song came on.  I questioned it and figured I had to be imagining it, but I actually twice actually timed my pace and I sure enough ran at least ten seconds faster than my run pace while listening to the song.  To be honest, I find the song kind of grating, but who am I to argue with results. (The video is kinda funny as well)

 8. Just Like a Woman – Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan may not be for everyone I admit, but on long runs, I could just put Bob on repeat and knock out mile after mile after mile.  Like with The Clash, I could really have picked a myriad of songs and kinda just threw a dart and without worrying about going wrong.

9. Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs: This song is just plain awesome.  It is so haunting and full of melancholy, and that incessant guitar just drives my legs through anything.  No pain I feel on my run is comparable to the pain in this song.  It is almost as if the lyrics are are my body talking to me telling me to not worry about my brain and all of its negativity and doubt, assuring me it will get me to the  finish no matter how exhausted I feel.

10. Promiscuous – Nelly Furtado and Timbaland: This song is at least rated R, but damn it is a great running song.  I don’t think I ever liked it much until it came on during shuffle mode one day.  Though I haven’t read it, I think it is probably kinda like having 50 Shades of Gray on an audiobook.  The music is great for a running song and the lyrics are definitely make you think of things other than tough miles.  I have one question for you – Is your game MVP like Steve Nash?

11. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley: It is kinda a song like Maps combined with Edge of Glory.  Haunting and driving and pure inspiration.

12. Human – The Killers: Pure pop.  It is a fun song and a total sing-along that just fits any length of run – short or long.  The big debate in the Rutin household is what the hell the lyrics actually say, because neither makes sense.  “Am we human or are we ????????”  Are we what?  Dancer or Denser?

13. Hey Yeah – Outcast:  There are just some songs you can’t help but enjoy.  I guess you can maybe say this is included for all the same reasons as Human but without all the lyric confusion.  I think it is just a fun song that I find myself getting lost and just enjoying.  Before I know it I find a half mile disappeared by the time the song ends. “Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor!”  Not much confusion in these lyrics.

14. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen:  Do I really need to explain this?

Eric Rutin thinks is cool15. Hey there Delilah – Plain White T’s: This was a tough one as it was the last song on my list and there were still plenty of songs that I could include and not lost any sleep over.  But for the final song, I figured I would go with a fun song that is actually about a runner – Delilah DiCrescenzo.  And a steeple chaser none the less which means she is bad ass. So it figures to be a good finale.

I am sure you all have plenty of songs you think are absolute musts that I missed just as I am also sure there are one or two of these that you think I must be insane for including.  So let me know what I missed or should have skipped.

Super easy Tortilla Soup

June 29, 2012

OK, I will admit, I have been very lazy this week and haven’t run since Tuesday.  I am sure I will be paying for it when I run the ARR 4th of July 4 Miler.  I guess before I start training for Philly in two weeks I am getting the laziness out of my system.  Or maybe it is the 112 degree days with the low being a nice cool 93.  Kinda blows to wake up before the sun and it is still over 90, but hey, I guess that is what I get for 75 degree January days.

Tastes better than it looks?

So today I am going to share my recipe for Tortilla Soup that is so easy it is almost embarrassing.  If it didn’t taste so damn good, it probably would be.   Here we go, but the recipe is a little loose and requires you to adjust to your personal taste.  These are my quantities:

Super Easy Tortilla Soup (Serves 4 normal people or 2 hungry ones)

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts cubed

1 box of chicken broth

A bunch of cilantro (more the better in my opinion)

15 oz can of diced tomatos with green chilies

7 oz can of corn (drained)

Handful of jalapenos

Package of taco seasoning

Tortilla strips (I like the multi-color ones to add some visual appeal)

Monterrey Jack cheese

Sour cream (optional)

Directions

Mix everything together (except for the chips, cheese and sour cream) in either a big pot or crock pot.

If you are cooking on a stove, you want to cook at medium high for 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

If you are using the crock pot, cook low for 6 hours or high for 4.

Of course make sure your chicken is cooked thoroughly before you dive in.  Rare chicken usually is not a good thing.

Be warned, it will smell really good and you will be tempted to start sampling when you stir.  Don’t. (see above warning)

When timer dings, pour into bowls, grab a handful of tortilla strips and scatter on top, then grab another hand of cheese and then layer that on.  If you are like Carolyn, you will want a couple  dalops of sour cream as well.

There you have it. Simple yet absolutely delicious.  Though I have been learning I don’t know much about nutrition (Carolyn recently informed me that pancakes were not a healthy food, who knew?), it is my understanding this actually is not horribly bad for you (though the cheese, chips and sour cream may have something to say about that).  For those that know better than me, let me know if I am right or not.  Well maybe not, sometimes it is better to live in ignorance.

That is the basic recipe as I make it, but feel free to experiment. Enjoy!

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