Soapbox: Runners in the Streets

Let me begin my rant with a disclaimer:

I am a runner. After a long winter of being confined to running indoors on treadmill the urge to be one with the Earth, and feel nature, is irresistibly strong. You walk out the door, MP3 player ready for the latest motivating playlist, GPS training device primed and ready to record the activity for the day, cool air fills your lungs, and off you go. You are filled with an energy you haven’t felt since the previous season.

With that having been said, I understand the desire to get in an early morning run. I understand that in some cases the particular course you’ve chosen to follow that day may lead you to areas where running the street will be necessary. Most know that when running in the street you run as relatively close to the curb, and on the opposite side of the road; against the flow of traffic so you can see on-going vehicles.

There are street runners in my neighborhood all of the time. There are times where it’s more than obvious being in the street is a choice; while others it is a matter of necessity. My housing area was built in the early 1950’s. On most streets there’s only a sidewalk on one side, and on some there are none.

Now, to me, common sense would indicate that even if you’re on the proper side of the road, when you encounter an on-coming vehicle you move as close to the curb as possible, if not even the grass until said vehicle has passed. This helps with safe passage for yourself and the car.

*****

On the way to the store early this morning I turned down a main thoroughfare and saw about 50 yards ahead of me a group of 5 runners out for an early morning workout. Given that it was just after 7am I can recognize the reasoning that there aren’t many people driving about yet so running side-by-side would be safe.

However, one would think that this group would have formed a single file line when seeing a car approach.

They certainly made a fool of me. As I drew closer they didn’t move.

One.

Single.

Inch.

They just kept on running straight ahead, side-by-side, 5 people across from curb to the center line of the road. What was the result? I had to drive in the entirely opposite lane to continue on my way.

Does that make any sense to you? Imagine if another car would have been coming in the other direction. If this running group would have continued in their 5-wide formation I would have had to come to a complete stop. In the world I like to call Rational Thinking World, wouldn’t have it made better sense for them to form a single file line on the curb? This would mean that they could keep on moving, the other car could keep on moving, and even I could keep on moving.

Rational…right? It’s efficient.

*****

Here’s the deal Street Runners. You can keep running in the street. When you do please remember to be safe, be courteous, and remember to follow the rules when faced with oncoming traffic. Above all else remember this one thing:

Streets were made for vehicles, move your ass to the curb.

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© Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photos, videos and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Good things come to those who wait

…and wait…and wait…and wait I have.

My level of patience has often been revered. Traffic? No big deal, that’s why I have music and radio. Lines at the grocery store? There are magazines to make fun of, or temptation in the form of chocolate-covered whatevers to consider; that I will inevitably talk myself out of purchasing.

Ferris Bueller may be right when he says that life moves pretty fast, but it doesn’t mean that I have to.

When it comes to my life experience with dating, and even relationships, I’ve certainly wrestled against the frustration when something wouldn’t work out and I’d be left pondering, “Will I ever meet someone who could be a true contender for taking my last name?” (No, this is not a direct quote)

While typically trying to remain optimistic a vast majority of my dating experiences in the past decade often increased the level of doubt to this ever-present question.

That is until I met her almost a year ago:

CaliTrip (10)

No, I didn’t meet her in a subway. This is from a trip we recently took to visit my old home of Los Angeles. In fact, let me briefly entertain you with some pictures from said trip.

Here we have a foggy shot of my home-away-from-home when in LA – the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica:

CaliTrip (4)

We also decided to visit Hollywood:

CaliTrip (2)

The Universal City Walk (near Universal Studios Hollywood):

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There were even a couple of visits to one of my favorite donut places, that have the BEST old fashioned EVER:

CaliTrip (7)

But one particular place we decided to visit was my absolute favorite from this trip. We did a wine tasting in Malibu. I can assure you that during the pictures that follow neither of us were drunk, or really even slightly buzzed.

CaliTrip (5)

CaliTrip (8)

CaliTrip (3)

This is also where I ultimately decided to then do this:

CaliTrip (13)

Which resulted in many gestures like this for the remainder of our trip:

CaliTrip (9)

So that’s it.

After 33 years of patience I was finally able to trick some poor woman into accepting the invitation to put up with my crazy shenanigans for the rest of our lives.

This is FAR from the end of the story, and not even really the beginning. You see, we’ve decided to start a blog together where we can share our own personal experiences during the entire wedding planning process. We are stuck on what to call it though, so any suggestions are welcomed with open arms.

Otherwise stay tuned for information on the name, and web address, for the new blog where the fiance and I will share stories…past, present, and future.

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© Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy, 2010-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photos, videos and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Lost in the City of Angels

Have you heard of 30 Seconds to Mars?

If you watched the Oscars, and saw Jared Leto’s win for Supporting Actor, you have likely become familiar with his band.

I’ve been following this musical group since 2005/2006. However, there is one thing that has sucked me in deep into their fandome…the music videos. They are movies/documentaries all on their own.

This video has been my recent repeat-play lately:


Sort of makes since considering I just recently returned from a vacation to Los Angeles.

This is also another one of those cliché’ posts apologizing for having not written anything lately. Things have been (more or less) busy. I’d lean more towards the more than anything else.

There are dozens of drafts that will hopefully be finished. To find some writing motivation I’m going to begin a 20-30 day writing challenge.

AND…there will be a creation of a new blog. It will be closely related to this blog, but with a few differences that will make it worth reading both.

Stick with me people. Things are about to get a lot more interesting!

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© Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy, 2010-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photos, videos and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Lessons from an unexpected teacher

Previously on Inside the Nice Guy – The greater the risk, the greater the gain.

Though most of the specifics during the trip through Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, are lost, I’m sure most of my time was spent listening to various music compilations burned to compact disc, guzzling down astoundingly large amounts of carbonated caffeine drinks, and trying to avoid thinking about how bat-shit scared I was.

Sure, I had saved up a decent cushion to help finance part of my move, and enable my ability to provide man’s basic needs for survival. That would only last so long. What would happen if I didn’t find a job before I ran out of money?

When it came to having a place to kick-up my feet at night…well…luck was gracious enough to strike and provide a solution to that particular dilemma.

At the time I knew less than a handful of people in Los Angeles. Of the few I was still in touch with were a couple of girls (sisters), whom I had gone to school with through high school, that had moved out there a few years prior. They referred me to another fellow previous classmate who moved out there for film school.

Coincidentally, the estimated dates I was hoping to move were the very same when his roommate was moving out. It didn’t take long to consider this opportunity and tell him to call off his search.

We were expected to arrive in L.A., mid-morning. Plans had been made so my roommate would meet up with us to let us in, and help unload our vehicles. As we approached the city I gave him a call to let him know we’d probably be outside of the apartment in 15-20 minutes. He was away doing some location scouting for his senior thesis film, but confirmed he would be there not much longer after us. He recommended we wait near the parking garage to the complex, which was underneath an overpass for ‘the 10′ freeway.

Sure enough we beat him to the complex and parked our cars.

If you are not familiar with the city, Los Angeles has a rather large homeless community. A popular location to take shelter is underneath an overpass, where you can sometimes see the construction of “little cities” made of boxes, shopping carts, and anything else stable enough to provide shelter.

Within my first 15 minutes of being a Los Angeleno I experienced two events that stick with me to this very day.

The first was the simple act of a homeless woman getting up from her blanket, walking over to the curb, dropping her pants, squatting, and taking a literal piss on Los Angeles. Though some could say she was making a political statement; I tend to believe she simply needed to pee.

The second event is a little more profound, and perhaps slightly poignant. At the time my father was a smoker. (He no longer is; proud of you Dad) After having lit up a cigarette a homeless gentleman approached him asking if he could get a smoke. As my father handed him one from the pack, this gentleman tried to then exchange it for a quarter.

He was going to pay my father $.25 for the cigarette.

Witnessing this was probably the best thing I could have seen during that particular time in my life. Plus, it made for a much better following-up to the witnessing of the previously mentioned voiding of the bowels.

That quarter could have very well been the only money this guy had. He was willing to part with this for a simple smoke. Some may criticize saying, “Well, there’s the reason he’s homeless/poor/etc.; he doesn’t know how to manage his money.” Blah, blah blah.

That’s one way to look at it, sure.

But here’s what I took away from it.

Up until this point in my life I have been around smokers on a frequent basis. From my experience it’s not rare that when one person lights up another may want to, only to realize they don’t have any on them. This would then result in a complete stranger asking to “bum a smoke.” Smoker #1 then typically hands one over willingly; where Smoker #2 simply says “Thanks.”

In most of those scenarios, I had never seen said stranger offer money in exchange for the cigarette. But here was a man with very little (to our knowledge) still willing to provide some sort of compensation to my dad; a person who has the means to buy his own cigarettes, provide for himself and his family, and help his son move hundreds of miles away from his childhood home.

Maybe it’s my eternally optimistic disposition towards life, but it was that very moment I saw one of the best examples ever that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and that kindness can be found in even the most unexpected of places.

-to be continued-

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© Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy, 2010-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photos, videos and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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