The Universe is Expanding & All I Got Was This Lousy Haircut

Okay okay, catch your breath – I know it’s a shock that I’m FINALLY writing. It really shouldn’t be – I always wait months in between posts on a blog that I claim is updated “regularly.” It’s a simple formula really – surprised you haven’t figured that out yet. Hmph. I thought you were supposed to be a nerd.

I am currently undergoing many changes. So many changes in fact that it’s like puberty at 28, with less hair & more schadenfreude. Lest you stop recognizing me amongst all the other oh-so-recognizable Bay Area actor-comedian-blogger types, here’s the run-down of all the things that are in flux or that have just recently come out of flux, or that are about to change so rapidly that I’m just gonna call them “what the flux?!?”

But rest assured that none of these change the fundamentals of me. I’m still the only Bay Area actor-comedian-blogger type that can directly reference Freud & then a split sentence later obliquely reference Spielberg, whose name is of course German for “storied jew”, and bring that circle to a close.


Flux Element #1: I’m about to be a father. May 3rd is the official ETA, but any daughter of mine would totally wait 48 hours to join us on Cinco de Mayo & let the world enjoy all the pinata jokes. So let’s call Cinco de Mayo de Diez the day my life changes. FOREVER. And more than in the way everyone’s life changes everyday blah blah existential hooey blah. A FRIKKIN’ FATHER. Buckle up.

Flux Element #2: I’m way more productive these days… and my focus is somehow able to spread over multiple areas without stretching thin. Working, husbanding (not the animal kind), running, acting, prepping for Baby Girl Hansen, and let’s see what else OH YEAH being awesome. I’m like Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, without the accent, abs, orange skin, or pathetically under-developed vocabulary. Wait… so… the only thing left is the fact that he nicknamed himself “The Situation”. So I should mention that heretofore I shall be known as Brian “The Current-Set-Of-Circumstances” Hansen.

Flux Element #3: My nickname is Brian “The Current-Set-Of-Circumstances” Hansen.

Flux Element #4: There may be a marked shift in my creative efforts underway; I’ve been considering the ‘writing’ part of drama/comedy a lot more often. Aside from my ill-fated attempts at using the word schadenfreude in the world of blogs, I’m usually WAY more capable of being funny in writing than I am in person. As proof, here’s a recent email survey that a beloved friend & sometimes-mentor asked me to fill out about my thoughts on bilingual education, which is to be used for one of her MBA projects. Note my oh-so-effortless use of racial profiling, stereotypes, and things that could be offensive but aren’t because I’m Brian “The Current-Set-Of-Circumstances” Hansen. (Hmm… that’s getting annoying to type. Can I abbreviate that CSOC, pronounced “sea sock” or potentially “seize hawk”? Is that legal? Wait, what am I asking you for? I’m frikkin’ CSOC.)


(1) How old are your kids? Negative 2 months… she’s still baking.
(2) What language(s) do you speak at home with them? The only two I speak – English and Bad English.
(3) Do you have family members / an au pair / nanny who speak in a foreign language with them? @#$* no. Those people are @$&*ing expensive.
(4) Are you interested in your children being bilingual? Yes!
(5) If so, why? (And, if not, why not?) Because a) I truly believe learning two languages expands the mind’s ability to think critically and recognize patterns in analysis mode; and b) this world ain’t gettin’ any smaller, and it’s unrealistic to think that US hegemony will continue much longer – meaning English may soon pass out of the “major” tongues of business & political discourse; c) I want her to be able to order off the Five Dollar Menu when McDonald’s sells out to China and becomes McKimCheeWongHsuTsong.
(6) What products (if any) do you use for your children to learn another language? (Example – teaching materials used at home like workbooks and DVDs up to immersion school or special classes). None yet, other than my spotty understanding of Dora the Explorer’s teachings of Spanish culture (“Always abra la puerta when you go to the potty!”) and what I’ve learned from my disco lessons – disco’s totally a different vibe, sheila.
(7) How did you select which language to teach your child? I declared my Aladdin puppet the “Arabic & Middle Eastern tongue” representative, I threw Miss Piggy in the ring to represent Hebrew (I heart irony), and drew some slanty-eyes on a stress ball to represent China (the irony there is that the stress ball was made in Taiwan… HAH!); I threw all three into a death match together – Aladdin strapped dynamite to his own chest, ululated a little, and then threw himself on the the porcine princess with only a three-second fuse. The stress ball survived the explosion because it was bouncy.


See? Funny. And I came up with that in ten minutes (all except the ‘English & Bad English’, which is a credit to my man-crush Bruce Willis in ‘The Fifth Element’), much like I used to write my Movie Quote of the Week (MQotW) emails. More often than not, I can sit and make up funny stuff. I haven’t learned how to tell a funny story with plot points and characters to save my g-d life, but after talking to my screen-writing sister & her acting boyfriend, I’m convinced that’s a skill I can learn. So learning & honing that skill may soon come into laser focus for CSOC.

Flux Element #5: I’m back on the roads, running regularly & loving it. Several contributing factors, but I’d say the biggest one is that I finally bought into the idea that setting goals will create the motivation to accomplish them. In November, I set a goal to run 50 miles before Thanksgiving. I had 8 days. I did it. Then I kinda stopped – I recently realized it was because I had no goal. I also believe that actually publishing those goals outside of the whiteboard in my brain doubles down on that bet, so: last Monday I laid out an albeit ambitious but still realistic goal of running 200 miles before Tax Day. Two months to run two century bike races. It’s been a week and I’ve already logged 24.5 miles. Almost entirely on pace – would be AHEAD of the game if the weather had cooperated yesterday. That’s right. That’s how we do it… CSOC style.

Flux Element #6: I’m doing less. That’s right. LESS. I recently read & highly recommend the book “The Power of Less” by Dr. Leo Babauta. I’ll let you ferret it out for yourself, but my biggest take-away was the power of purposeful planning. So I now set up each work day with THREE (and only three) Most Important Tasks. I get those three things done at work, and everything else for the day is 100% gravy. I’ve also used it on the personal side of life, but with less success – because I always make extremely grand plans for all my free time, and can’t seem to limit my lists to only three things – but that’s mainly due to the fact that I haven’t really applied my ‘Set A Goal’ philosophy to most of my activities other than running. I’m not worried about claiming to do less at work – because my productivity has actually soared in the last month or so. I’m no longer overwhelmed, my sense of direction & motivation at work is no longer changing every day, and I get far more frequent doses of a sense of accomplishment – when none of those things were true, it frequently meant a frustrating & unrewarding day at the office. Yes, I still think there are other jobs that would be better for me out there, but at least my approach to THIS job is no longer a liability. That makes this job, ANY job, way more tolerable, because I’m no longer relying on other people to give me that sense of direction or that sense of accomplishment. Seriously. “The Power of Less.” Check that sh*t out. CSOC style.

… That’s six fluxes. That’ll do.

Immersed But Not Extinguished

WOW.  I think you all would have left me by now if not for microblogging.  It’s been SO long… yet some of you still come by every once in a while; I appreciate that.  I appreciate even more that, in the last week, I’ve had three friends tell me they read the blog & that they want a new entry.  Let it never be said I don’t give the people what they want.  Unless, of course, by ‘people’ you mean John McCain, and by ‘what he wants’ is my vote.

Hark!  Could this be a political post?  Nay, dear reader.  I only spice up the intro with the occasional buzz term to increase my popularity with web robots who have no idea how boring I can be.  Case in point:  Sarah Palin, Tina Fey, BARACK OBAMA IS MY HERO, I Want to Be A Plumber, Al Smith.  See?  Simple.  Part of me is even tempted to use the words BREAKING NEWS STEVE JOBS HAS REALLY DIED to see if Bloomberg picks up on it, publishes it, and causes yet another stock dive for AAPL.  (Mentioned that on the podcast, which is going well, by the way, and we’re recording episode six on Sunday morning.)
No no, you’ll simply get the update.
Job:  Going well, if at a BLISTERING pace.  For a while we were actually back to the work schedule I kept on a regular basis at Corporate HQ in New Brunny.  My boss is gone, and still not replaced, so I’ve been able to step up and take on some new responsibilities and some more ownership.  I’m the only guy on this huge trade funds project now, and that’s the thing that’s been keeping me there so late – yes it’s huge, yes it’s important, and yes I’m the owner, but no, it’s not exactly filling me up with the sense of purpose or fulfillment that I’d feel if this was what I really loved to do.  But on the upside, I have learned that I get more enjoyment out of projects that I feel I can own – and projects that I can own & understand, more importantly.  So the trick is to learn things quickly & then start to own them as soon as possible.  Seems intuitive, but then so does your choice for our next president, and at least the middle portion of the country will still manage to vote for their prejudice instead.
Wyf:  Doing great things at her job; health could be better, and it actually has gotten better in just the last two weeks.  Was quite rough & tumble there for a bit, and we still have lots of follow-up appointments to check off, but for now we seem to have emerged from that dark cloud.  We just celebrated our first anniversary by going down to SLO for a quick weekend getaway; we had an awesome time, stayed at an awesome place for two nights, and even got surprised with a dinner reservation at a great spot in downtown SLO.   But you know that rule about not drinking while in a hot tub or a jacuzzi?  Yeah, there’s a reason that’s a rule.  Almost collapsed like a naked sack of potatoes.  Twice.
Running:  did the Bridge to Bridge 12K, and it was probably my least favorite race experience to-date.  eading up to this one, I basically gave myself a bye on regular runs because I had just ran the SF Half Marathon about 5 weeks earlier & figured there couldn’t have been much lost if I just warmed pine for a while.  I was wrong.  1) I ran pretty slowly during a race when I really should’ve been able to cruise along much closer to an 8-minute mile; 2) I ran alone – Wyf was supposed to run it too, but hasn’t been feeling up to snuff for training for something like that, so we decided abstinence was prudent; 3) my form was off and I got a pretty bad feeling in my right hip flexor, which I’ve never really felt before unless I was running lots of hill repeats.  The bright side is that it’s probably one of the worst experiences I’ll EVER have at a race, because I learned not to run alone & to make sure I keep up with regular short/medium distance runs even if I’ve trained well over the distance of the race.  Plus, now I have a ‘bad race’ under my belt, and you only need one of those.  Check.
Improv:  this is a completely blank slate this time, and I have no one to blame but myself.  If I was REALLY craving it, I would’ve found a way to make it happen even with all the crazy work hours.  I let it be disposable, and thus it became disposable; yet I refuse to dispose of this part of my life.  I definitely let myself get immersed in work, but this little light o’ mine ain’t extinguished yet.  Another upside to the long work hours is the improved work environment:  because most of my team has put in some longer hours, we’ve gotten closer & I feel more comfortable joking around with them & working on some routine material (more on that soon) while at work.  So I’ve been able to augment work to fill a little bit of this void, but it’s still a big gaping hole in the middle of my psyche.  This means my psyche is donut-shaped, which also means my psyche is delicious.
Podcast:  thanks to TechGuy’s limitless patience & flexibility, we’ve actually managed to get these recorded on a regular basis.  We record #6 this weekend.  I’ll admit that I feel so self-conscious about whether or not I’m just a rambling idiot on the show that I still haven’t listened to any of them after they’ve been uploaded to iTunes (hint hint: go subscribe to it!).  But we have a ton of fun doing it, even though I think it has more of a ‘wung’ quality to it than TechGuy’s probably comfortable with.  For all the technology out there, we still haven’t found the Doc Brown that lets us create more time (or go back in time to drive a sweet Studebaker), so none of the three of us really have time to do tons o’ research & scripting beforehand.  I think it’s fine – feels green, organic, wind-powered.  And we’re THIS close to getting sponsorship!  ;-)
Goals:  I think I need to look up what this means.  Based on my current definition, I count 19,818 ‘goals’ that I’ve yet to achieve.  (Actually, that’s Excel’s COUNTIF function.  One of the 407 goals I’ve actually achieved was to ‘Put Goals in spreadsheet for ease of tracking.’  Suck on that one, Propensity to Procrastinate!)  Makes me feel like I fail a lot.  Which, as we’ve all learned, is okay.  But I’ve yet to find anyone who goes & tells people about all the things they failed at.  (That’s Goal # 15,722:  Find the one guy who only has stories of extreme failure that isn’t a Bush.)  So I think I need to start whittling down the list and make it at least all fit on one page.
That’s the key though, I think.  Focus.  Pick three elephants to juggle & do it the best you can until you do it well enough to add another.  Never been something I’ve been great at – look at this blog entry, for example.  Three political jokes, minor cultural references, and a bunch of randomly generated “topics” to fill in my readers & try to drop knowledge (see! minor cultural reference!).
So before the wyf decides to go to our date night dinner establishment without me, let me wrap up by picking the next three things on my list.
1)  Figure out a viable next step in the Career.
2)  Keep physically active until such time as you’re inspired to create a more audacious goal, like a Marathon.
3)  Finish writing a solid 5-minute routine of open-mic material AND JUST GO DO IT ALREADY.
Oh… and just one more thing:  watch this space for a new idea I have that’s very related to #2 and possibly something I could craft into accomplishing #3.
Also… thanks for coming back.  Good to see you again.  Did you bring me anything?  ‘Course not.  You never do.  And now you expect me to let you watch our new 52″ LCD HDTV that I got for half price at Best Buy.  You are SUCH a Republican.

Today’s Taper Run

Feel good today. Neighborhood smells like laundry.

Did I Mention…


Just thought you should know. Maybe you’ll help me keep accountable to training for it. I still plan on publishing my training calendar here, but I need to figure out a proper way to do it. (Anyone with hints/suggestions, let me know.)

This is the marathon I signed up for (had to change from the Big Sur Marathon because of Choi’s stateside wedding reception):

Trail-ish, lots of redwoods… and it’s in Humboldt County, which is famous for… well, you look it up. ;-)

Today’s LONG Run and my missive to The Guy In Charge

Alright, so we stayed up ’til 2 last night with Mike & Tina, which obviously made the 8am start time with Punchie an unreasonable expectation. He graciously agreed to wait ’til 9, but my head was closer to 10. So I did, unfortunately, punk out on my running partner today. BUT, importantly but not more importantly, I did NOT punk out on the long run. I did 8.5 miles, all by my lonesome… and I didn’t walk. At all. I stopped 4 times for a 30-90 second stretch break, which at a minimum added 15 seconds to my pace, but then I kept going. So it wasn’t a GREAT pace… but it’s better than I’ve been doing. And what do we always say is the most important thing? (“Breakfast.” “No, family.” “Oh, I thought you meant of the things you eat.”) Going the distance. Pace & effort & elevation & heart rate can suck it. Distance is what matters when you’re going for the twenty six and two.

Let me also say it was f’ing WINDY on the way to Hopper’s Hands. And of course, by the time I got turned around to come back with the wind, it wasn’t freakin’ there, and I had a word or two with The Guy In Charge Of The Weather. Because he also happens to be The Guy Who Already Engineered My Body Not To Be Able To Do The Things I Want To Do But If I Maintain Dedication And Train Consistently I Should Be Able To Do Them, I asked him what the f was up with the wind holding me back on the way out and not helping me out on the way back. He wasn’t online, of course, being it’s his “day of rest” or whatever. But man will he get an eyeful when he opens his email tomorrow. That frikkin’ guy. I question whether or not he truly has my back.

Dear Guy In Charge,

Do you have my back? You f’ed me up with the wind today, and then you didn’t even hit me back on the flip side. What the f? And don’t say it has anything to do with the fact that I say ‘What the f’ all the time – you know as well as I do that the words themselves are only given meaning by the emotion behind them, and you know damn well what my emotions are: occasionally passionate but never evil.

If I’m going to accomplish this feat of human dedication & physical conditioning, I would APPRECIATE it if you’d just lay off with the frikkin’ wind. And the rain. In fact, if you were a TRUE friend, for the next 3 months you’d turn off as many of the less-than-beneficial-to-my-training parts of your weather system as you can. I’m not asking you to cause droughts or make the flowers bloom artificially, but to the extent that you can just let a brother get his training in & give me a pleasant frikkin’ environment, a STABLE frikkin’ environment to do it in, it would be much appreciated.

Also, while we’re on the subject, enough with the digestive instability. Make me regular again. I don’t mind the burping and “turning on the afterburners” every so often whilst running, but having to stock so many ponds with brown trout is beginning to affect my sunny disposition. That’s all I have to say about that.

I don’t want to end on a sour note, but I did want to make sure I said what needed to be said. I know, in the end, you’re a friend to be counted on. And you have REALLY great ideas & intentions most of the time. (I still think the whole “Women Shall Have Breasts” thing was your finest hour.) But I’m trying to accomplish a Life Goal here, and I just think you forget that sometimes. It would just be nice if you paid a little more attention & were a little more aware of the results of your actions.

Anyway, hope you’re enjoying your day of rest. Hope we’re still solid. R sends her love. Thanks for including us on your holiday card list – we’ll return the favor next year.

Rock On,

Today’s 5 Miler

Below is a map of today’s 5-miler that I did with Punchie (or Mr. Smith). Definitely a gorgeous trail out there along the ocean, but the knee has got to get better if I’m going to keep doing big climbs or staircases. Coming back down hurts. But at least I didn’t have to stop to drop trou after the 2nd mile. More than I can say for some people.

The Next Step!

I frikkin’ did it, people. I signed up for my first marathon.

Big Sur’s International Marathon was a reco from my friend Punchie, and was one of his first marathons. It’s a great scene, there’s plenty of fun friendly people, and it’s full of awesome views of the Monterey Bay / Big Sur area.

I have until April 27th to get my ass into gear to run my first 26.2. I know I’ve talked about this all before, and the idea of finishing in less than four hours or whatever. Well, that’s still a goal, and a great one, but honestly, I’ll consider it a successful first time out if I cross the finish line in less than 6 hours (a deadline I have to hit if I want to be counted among the official finishers).

Twenty six point two, kids. Where am I at now? Max I’ve ever gone is 11.2. And that was 6 months ago. I’m closer to 4-5 miles on a regular basis these days. But that’s why I have almost five months to put this thing together.

Stay tuned for Training Plans, Training Updates, Inspirational Words, and Photographic Evidence (meaning, you won’t just take my word for it – I’ll find some way to prove to you that I’ve done the distance/time that I’d put on the Plan on the day I was supposed to do it).

Now… my challenge to you, dear readers. Come out to visit & run this sh!t with me! Everything, including training for this thing, is more fun when you are doing it with support. We can even do it long-distance if we have to. If you’re in the Bay Area (which probably constitutes about 5 of my 10 regular readers but whatever) and we can put some miles behind us together, then let’s figure out a way to make it happen!

If you’re NOT in the Bay Area, the end of April’s a GREAT time to make a visit out to SF. Weather will be warmer here than most any other place in the country at that time, and it will be after rainy season but before foggy season! And if, y’know, you decide you can’t possibly train for this without my support and you wanna move out here, that’s something we can arrange too. No dream too big.

I’m not going into too much more here just yet, but let me just say that this will be one of the things that I actually DO in the year of ’08. There will be other things that I’ve said I’ve always wanted to do that I actually DO in 2008… and you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out what that means.

And yes, I do owe you an apology. I have NOT been keeping you abreast of life’s happenings, and I know how much you all like being breasts. I am sorry, but here’s the good news: I’m too busy with work, but am actually ENJOYING (at least a little bit) what I’m doing these days. There’s lots of big things happening in the ice cream world, and I’m involved in … wow, in almost all of them. I’d tell you more, but for fear of saying something I’m not supposed to say, I’ll just leave it with the fact that my job is busy for a reason.

As I move forward with training, I’ll either do a way better job of keeping Wyltie in the loop, or I’ll find some other vehicle through which you can keep tabs on my (or, better yet, OUR) progress towards twenty six point two.

But GET EXCITED PEOPLE! The Fat Kid’s gonna run a marathon! WOOHOOOOOO!

Back in Action Question Mark

I have 18 minutes before the weekly staff meeting is supposed to start. The BRIEF update:

Just got back from the Sales Rally in Vegas. Had fun. Lost money (surprise!). Very little free time. Sampled lots of new products, some of which you’ll love. Met lots of great people, already feeling more at home there than I did at any big meeting of non-Financey people in health care.

New boss starts today. MyLinh (mee-‘lyn). Met her in Vegas, seems nice, just moved here from Minneapolis. She’s already nervous about managing our VP, already scares me into thinking she’s going to kill us both to make sure he’s got EVERYTHING he could possibly need or want. Which means I’m already nervous that I might start hating life here too. But just nervous.

Got lots of friendly emails over the past week I’ve been incommunicado. May not have time to respond to all of them immediately, but between the blog and what emails I CAN write, you should be relatively informed as far as my life is concerned.

Wife’s birthday is coming up in 3 weeks. NO idea what she wants. Pretty sure she doesn’t expect a whole lot, but c’mon. Any ideas, let me know.

Next improv class starts next Wednesday; can’t wait for that.

And for those of you who rely on WYLT for all your worldly news, THIS WEEKEND is the weekend you get an extra hour of sleep by turning your clocks back an hour at 3am on Sunday morning.

Wow, that was quick. Had I known I could get through all that in 8 minutes, I might have also planned a deeper thought for this morning. But alas, I haven’t.

OH, but I did want to catch you up on the running goals. So I was trying to get to 45 miles before Thursday. I’m at 21. So that means either two very long runs beginning at 4:30am the next two mornings… or that I’ll miss the mark. And (here goes…) I’m okay with missing the mark. (Admission of defeat! Ownership of failure! Woohoo!) I thought it was a fairly realistic goal, and honestly, I did GREAT for the first three days I was in Vegas. Then the lack of sleep caught up with me, and I haven’t run since Thursday afternoon.

But this is one of those opportunities where I can either dwell on f***ing up, or I can own it and move on to the next scene, which is training around 30-40 miles per week by Christmas. (That means building up to that distance by the time we peace out for Kiwiland, not running 30 miles next week.) I want to get back on that regular schedule. Keep me honest, folks. Could’ve used your help last week, but the blog went dark so I can’t really fault you for not checking in. But grazie to Mr. anonymous poster, warning me about the perils of shooting for a minute:seconds goal per mile at my first marathon. That’s a good reality check, assuming you’re a runner yourself. If you’re not… maybe your my art teacher from 3rd grade who never wanted me to succeed and sent me to the school counselor for anger management. I still hate you a little bit for that, Mrs. Ressler.

More later, but I’m back.


I’ll get back to the wedding stories soon. In the meantime, before I lose my inspiration, I want to tell you that I’ve decided that I’m going to run either a half-marathon or a full marathon in May 2008. I’ve even come up with my personal training plan to get me to that distance, without worrying about my pace, before May. First milestone: hit 45 miles total distance between this past Wednesday (10/17) and November 1st. Since Wednesday, I’ve already logged a little over 11 miles, which is super. While I’m in Vegas next week for the sales rally, I really shouldn’t have a problem fitting in 3 miles a day, and it’ll for sure be cheaper than gambling.

I wanted to put that milestone up here so you guys (all three of you) can keep me honest, and you can ask me how my training’s going, and I’ll be more motivated knowing that I have to report back to my blog if for some reason I don’t hit a goal. R’s a great accountability partner too, but there’s something about the faceless guilt that you, dear reader, can impose upon me that I want to avoid even more than the wrath of my wife (!).

So keep me honest, bitches! I have 5 months (plenty of time) to learn how to run 26.2 miles without dying. But I only have 11 days to run another 34 miles, and I plan to take tomorrow (Sunday 10/21) off so that I don’t go too crazy too quick.

In case you’re interested, I did 5.5 miles today, along this route. It was definitely one of the clearest Saturday morning runs I’ve ever experienced; you could see the bolts in the GGB from the Marina Green. AWESOME. Love this city.

I’ll let you know when I pick my race and hopefully figure out a pace / time goal. The way I’ve been going, it looks like it might take me over 4 hours to finish. But if I can manage to get in some speed work and pick up the pace a bit, I can MAYBE manage to break 3:30. We’ll see where I am after the honeymoon (we get back on Jan. 2nd). If I can finish a 10-miler in less than 90 minutes by then, I should be able to pace it up to 8 minute miles, getting me to a 3:30 finish for the 26.2. But we’ll see.