Friday, June 01, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen

I just got back from Atlanta last night. It was a whirlwind trip. We headed out Wednesday morning. Our first stop was a manufacturing facility about 70 miles south east of Atlanta near the Alabama border. The facility itself is unremarkable other than it used to house a Playtex cross-your-heart bra factory. What I found lovely was the slloooowww pace of life down there. We stopped at a gas station on our way in so I could pee. I poked my head inside and a little old wrinkled man with a smokin' stogie hanging out of his mouth was sitting in the corner. He said, "key's ovah thar" as he pointed straight ahead. I grabbed the key, amazed at the Mayberryesque scenario. I opened the door and was amazed that the little lavatory had probably last been cleaned when Mayberry was a popular primetime destination! We met with an Alabamian accountant at the facility. He opened the door of our rental car for me on our way to and from lunch! How sweet is that?!

Theoretically, I don't like gentility. I don't need help--I can do just about anything myself. But, there's a part of me that really digs this kind of thing. There's something so charming about recognizing differences between male and female. It doesn't have to be that female is weak and needs the door opened. It can just be something nice that a man does for a woman just like how it's nice that I bake cookies and make pb&j's for mrp just the way he likes them. I'm still all about female empowerment, as I flutter my eyelashes and twirl my parasol! I've got my running shoes under that hoopskirt, remember.

Anyway, after that little adventure, we headed back to Atlanta to our hotel. To my delight it was two blocks from Piedmont Park. This was great, as PP's a good place for an out-of-towner like me to get her run on, but it's also a place I have read about. One of my all-time favorite books is the underappreciated A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe. Sure, the actual plot is somewhat anticlimactic, but the characters are hilarious. I love how TW is so old white dude about naming his rappers and writing rap lyrics. His characterizations are so on, yet so off. I don't know. I loved that book and couldn't put it down. The point is, he sets up a wonderful scene in and around Piedmont Park. He juxtaposes Freaknik with the Piedmont Driving Club. Imagine the possibilities! Read the book sometime and see what I mean.

So, after we got to the hotel and I went my separate way from my co-workers, I headed out to PP for a short easy run. I front-loaded my running during the beginning of the week so I would only need to run two easy runs while on the trip. I had planned to do the 5 miler, but it was stinkin' hot and I was tired from travelling and the workout the day before, so I just did the 3.5 miler. I ran around the park and discovered that Dave Matthews was playing a concert in the Botanical Gardens later in the day, but it just so happens he was rehearsing as I was running. So, I entertained myself by running the hilly road up and around the Botanical Gardens listening to the rehearsal. I'm not particularly a fan, but I got a kick out of it nonetheless.

Later that night we went to dinner at a great place called South City Kitchen. If you're ever in the midtown district of Atlanta, it's definitely worth checking out. The next morning I ran 5.5 miles with 5 x 100 strides in the middle just to stretch the legs out. It was much nicer than the night before since it was about 15 degrees cooler. It was pretty uneventful really.

This morning I did an easy run from home and tonight I have a 5 mile tempo to do in the oppressive late afternoon/early evening heat and humidity. It will put hair on my chest--well, I actually hope not! But you know what I mean. Yeah, make me tougher. Or something.

3 comments:

Quinto Sol said...

I am sure mrp will find you attractive even if you DID grow hair in your chest ;)

I read 'A Man in Full' only because it got rave reviews... for such a long read, it was quite entertaining. I don't remember the plot. I do remember the alleged rape by the star football player.

I don't like Tom Wolfe because he strikes me as being a snob. A damn good snobby writer.

Joe said...

If I open a door for a woman, it's not a man-woman thing. I do it for men too. I think it's just good manners. Of course, the women seem to appreciate it more and I even get the occasional wink or a sexy-voiced "thank you".

How's your calf?

Chelle said...

I was just looking around for a book recommendation too...good timing.

Hey, this totally sounds like an ad, but have you seen the website athlinks.com? I'm been entertaining myself on it this week. They've collected all these race results and cross referenced them so you can see everyone you've ever raced against. I found you and we almost raced in the same x-c 5k a couple of years ago, but I bagged it. Anyway, it's amusing if you find yourself with some free time and want to check it out. I'm adding everyone I know to my friends group on it before the novelty wears off and I never look at it again (just like I did with friendster, myspace, facebook, etc!)