The Devil’s Music

by Kieran Healy on July 31, 2005

I’m gradually making my way back to Tucson from Australia. Free advice: if you can avoid taking a flight across the Pacific oecean with a small child suffering from a cold and teething pain, go right ahead and avoid it. I am presently at an undisclosed location in the Pacific Northwest. Outside the hotel is a little plaza. A band has been playing Christian rock music to a small crowd. Lots of terrible, low-quality, saccharine power ballad stuff, complete with sexualized double-talk. (“There was a man in my room last night … ” Guess who it was.) Like Creed on valium. Hard to imagine, I know. They just closed out the show with a version of “I’m a Believer.” By far the liveliest song they’ve played, but with the lyrics changed. (“Then I saw _his_ face,” etc.) I suppose _something_ has to counterbalance the fact that a large chunk of the best music ever written is Christian music.

Training to run a 5K

by Eszter Hargittai on July 31, 2005

Inspired by Chris’ posts about PledgeBank, I decided to set one up myself [password: running]. The silly part about mine is that my pledge has no collective action problem since one person making a decision to take on the action would achieve its intended goal, which is to add some additional exercise to one’s life. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by the service so I gave it a try.

My pledge has to do with training to run a 5K. I have been meaning to take on running, but have never had the necessary enthusiasm. I thought if I had a group of people training at the same time that would offer the inspiration I am lacking. I thought a dozen people training together – not in any geographical proximity per se – would do the trick.

I sent the pledge around to friends a few weeks ago. I have “only” gotten five to sign up. I need six more and the deadline is tomorrow. It’s not that my friends are lazy. It’s actually the opposite. So many of my friends are already running marathons (no joke!) that this pledge is irrelevant for them. I thought I’d see if any CT readers have been contemplating such an exercise regime and wanted to come on board. Any takers?