All in David Himmel

The High-Maintenance Problem with The Atlantic’s Revisiting "When Harry Met Sally"

High-maintenance doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Owning a boat requires high-maintenance and I love owning a boat. Being a parent to a toddler requires high-maintenance and I love being a parent to a toddler. Flying a plane, driving a race car, being a professional athlete at the top of your game… all things that are high-maintenance. There are those who don’t want to deal with that sort of stuff, and that’s perfectly okay. Driving a Honda Civic while wearing a baseball hat because you didn’t style your hair is pretty low-maintenance. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

The Mysterious Crack House Tavern

This bar was not the disco party we expected. There was no music. There was no dance floor. There were no tables or chairs or barstools. There was a small bar at the back with a light machine resting on its corner. About a dozen-and-a-half people meandered the open floorplan or sat on the floor with their backs against the wall watching the lights. It was eerily quiet. The most prominent sound was the whirring of the light machine.

Long Train Running: A Chicago Marathon Story | Chapter 5 — Thoughts Per Mile

The decades that have passed. The experiences that came when I was tender and new. Experiences that have happened since and may happen again, but they’ll never feel quite like they did when they were the first time or when there was less to lose and far, far less scar tissue. As I clip past the miles, it becomes clear to me that life experience can have a way of dulling life’s experiences. Like running a marathon, it takes a lot of strength and self-awareness to overcome that mopey thought and figure out new ways to enjoy familiar wonder.

My Old Man and the Sea, and Me

A blackened city looms ahead
With foreboding consequences obvious in the darkness.
Behind us, a bright sky and calm waters and the time I feel we used wisely.
“We would have been home if you hadn’t been so anal,” my old man says.
“It’s better to fix and fully prep your vessel in port,” I reply. “Helps us avoid trouble at sea.” 

The wind arrives in furious fashion.
The knots speed up — they tighten and strengthen.
We’re under motor but that don’t matter none.
The tiny and mighty storm has found our little vessel.
We might as well throw the wheel overboard
For all the good it’s doing.

Long Train Running: A Chicago Marathon Story | Chapter 4 — Why We Run

Jim Von Handorf ran marathons for the same reasons he climbed mountains: to escape and to conquer.

A career fireman in Nashua, New Hampshire, Jim was an outdoorsman to the fullest. He climbed mountains, bouldered, swam, bicycled and ran. His daughter, Amy explains that her dad could never really sit still. That he had a constant need to just go, go, go. He grew up in a small, Boston apartment with a lot of people. The bustling tightness of the city drove him to get out. It was always in his nature to escape. He was into Thoreau and Kerouac. He needed space. So he headed into the wild. His mountaineering expeditions he made with his buddies took him to peaks all over the country where he would test his mettle against the elements and his own limits.

He even showed esophageal cancer that he was not one to go down easy.

The Sinking of Uncle Joe

And, Hey! Uncle Joe worked with Barack Obama!
He’s got black friends. He’s not a racist. Just ask him. 

And he’s not a close-talker or a personal space-invader.
Just ask him.
He’ll put his hands on your shoulders and whisper:
“Hey, now… I’m your Uncle Joe. Remember Obama?” 

Then, sadly, and unexpectedly, before you can answer or squirm away
He’ll say mostly to himself with disappointment, “Yeah… me, too.”

What We Learned from the First Democratic Presidential Debate

Initial media reports are naming Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) as the debate’s winner. More and more, Warren gains favorable ground in my eyes. I like her thoughtful, thorough plans. Yeah, they’re boring and require us to follow the bouncing ball as she walks us through them, but they’re tangible plans, even if she doesn’t repeat them in Spanish.

The biggest difference on the stage last night was not between any of the candidates but the color between Castro’s top and bottom teeth.