Friday, April 29, 2011

Shark Man

Most neighborhoods have a token crazy person. The fun kind of crazy. At least that's my experience. And please note: I'm not referring to folks that make puppy skin pocket books and hack up bunnies. But a milder level of crazy....perhaps bizarre, eccentric or quirky are better (more PC) descriptives. Their expressions of nuttiness come in different levels and flavors. Extreme excessive lawn art/statues/knick knacks are probably the mildest but most common flavor. You know behind every yard adorned with multiple mirrored balls, gaggles of plastic geese, snow white's seven dwarfs, and mobs of stucco deer lie a crazy person....a crazy awesome person!!

Anyway...yesterday I was delighted to snap pics of this place - yipes!! The home of "Shark Man". He lives a few houses down from a buddy of mine. She said he's into "all things shark"....Understandable. I mean heck, we need sharks up in these Tennessee hills. All we got round here are a buncha' catfish n' crappie! 

I'd love to hear his story, maybe catch him out in his yard one day. Hopefully he'll grant me a tour of his lair.

Better hide your yappy ankle biters (on second thought, don't hide them).....these guys are hungry for blood! 

Shhh, they're having a shark off.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Race Is On

Hello lads & lassies! 
It's unfortunate I didn't have my camera on hand during last weekend's Knoxville Covenant Health Marathon (half marathon for me). You know magnificent photo ops abound anywhere you find thousands of folks in tight clothes. For instance, I'm looking around while bending down stretching at the starting line and see this vast forest of ankles and new kicks. I was literally standing in a $600,000 sea of that's a bunch of sparkly mesh and rubber! "Staying Alive" would've been the perfect theme song for this concrete disco ballroom of tiny reflective lights bouncing from one shoe to the next. A still photo, cool as it might be, would never do this scene justice. And of course the accompanying mixture of traffic sounds, laughter and thousands of chattering voices added an exhilaration factor no photograph could produce. 

Ok, moving on. People ask me if I ran with an mp3 player...wouldn't that make the time go by faster etc?  Well yes and no. I do love music, but then I'd miss all the fun chit-chat swirling about. People hearing is no less entertaining than people watching. Talk of injured body parts, pronation, inflammation, syndromes, weight gain, weight loss, carb loading, power gel shots (gross or delish?), their dog's awesomeness, how much cake they're gonna eat, and BEER...lots and lots of beer. The undulating (and often cracking) vocal pitches produced by pavement pounding was def an added bonus. And you can't forget the wedding singer-esque cover bands at random mile markers. Oh man, the guy singing around mile six (not sure) full-on destroyed Tommy Tutone's 867-5309/Jenny. 

As for me and my performance - sorta slow, but happy. My last half marathon was in 2008 and I was SO not ready for this one. A slight foot injury and other random lower body pains kept me from properly training (and perhaps a touch of laziness). I happily hobbled through the last few miles on nerves and adrenaline then booked the last half mile...the best part! Billy Joel says, "don't forget your second wind" and I didn't (thanks Billy). The finish line was located on the Neyland Stadium football field and your name's announced over the loud speaker upon arrival. A nice perk for me since I've never attended a single UT football game in all my 34 years. At least I got a little slice of UT football fun (enough to tie me over for the next twenty years). Oh, and I LOVED seeing my family wave from the stands..♥.. Can there be two best parts?