Thursday, June 22, 2006

Power (or Lack-of-Power) Post

This has been a long and tiring day. The mentally and emotionally tiring part was figuring out what I want to publish, the best way to publish it, and how to get everyone else on board with it . . . just like it is most every day: reading, and feeling, and interrogating those feelings, and then thinking, and writing, and talking intensely, all in the service of books I hope other people will read and then feel and think and write and talk about intensely too. It is a lovely job, but it can be exhausting, and today was one of those days.

The physically tiring part was that I ran the Chase Corporate Challenge. The CCC in NYC is a 3.5-mile run through Central Park, from 72nd St. just above my beloved Cherry Hill, over the Reservoir, up to 103rd St. or so, down past the Metropolitan Museum and the Boathouse, and finishing up this year at Cherry Hill again. Teams from various corporations compete in the run, each decked out in shirts with the company logo and sometimes a cute saying or other corporate branding. I've run on the Scholastic team for the last four years, and I have a Harry Potter 5 shirt (which says "Ready. Set. Fly." on the back), a Geronimo Stilton ("It's a rat race out here!"), an It's Happy Bunny ("I may be slow, but I'm in front of you.") and now Bone ("C'mon, Grandma!"). Half the entertainment of the race for me is indeed reading the other companies' shirts and seeing how they represented themselves or worked running into their corporate communication clothing:

  • Sotheby's: "Going - Going - Gone"
  • Hallmark Channel: "It's not the victory that's important, but the journey" (or something rather more elegantly phrased than this, but no less sappy)
  • MoMA: [the MoMA logo on a gray square as seen from behind, as if you were looking at it through a glass window]
  • Some investment firm: "Making It Happen . . . One Step at a Time"
  • Some law firm: "Going the Distance for Our Clients"

(There were other, better, ones, but my brain feels lightly sauteed right now. Yes, with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.) Anywho. The weather was steamy, and I had no goal beyond completing the whole course without walking. But not very far from the beginning of the race, an overenthusiastic young person was cheering for the various shirts that ran by -- "Yeah Informa! Yeah Bear Stearns!" This immediately made me start brainstorming Scholastic cheers, and I came up with:

S, S, S-C-H

And then of course the chant was stuck in my head the whole race, in various permutations:

S, S, S-C-H-O
L, L, L-A-S-T
Let's go

I also started:

Clifford, Clifford
He's our dog
If he can't do it . . .

But then I was stumped. "He's a frog!"? "I won't blog!"? Your suggestions welcome. Anywho again, when I wasn't cataloging t-shirts or reciting cheers in my mind like the cheerleader wannabe I am, I was trying to compute my pace and what I'd need to do to maintain it (because any mental activity is a blessing during a run, even math). I ended up at a slightly-better-than 10:45/mile average, coming in at 37:14 -- not as good as last year, but whatever. I'm getting older. After the race ended, I drank my free power waters, ate my free power bars (actually two Prias and an Atkins Advantage), and gratefully came home to a power shower, power takeout sushi, and soon my beloved, much-longed-for power bed.

End of tired story. Here's wishing you all lots of power and fun t-shirts -- but no annoying rhyming chants -- in the days to come.


  1. Dang! You did have a day!

    How about

    Clifford, Clifford
    He's our dog!
    He can do it
    in a jog!


    Clifford, Clifford
    He's our mutt!
    He can kick you in the...
    last five minutes of the race if there is kibble involved. I'm not Keats,

    Get some rest,


  2. Clifford, Clifford
    He's our dog!
    Before you've started
    he's reached Patchoque?


  3. Okay--
    I'm such a sap when it comes to a challenge... so here's my first thought...

    Clifford, Clifford,
    He's our dog,
    Race you
    To our catalogue.

  4. your comment about "cataloging t-shirts" (go figure that's what popped out at me...) made me think of Howard Besser's T-Shirt Database

    /cataloger's dorkery