So New: In Which I Run A Trail Marathon (43 of 90)

“But the fact of the matter is: Bones heal. Chicks dig scars. And the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world!” — Captain Lance Murdoch, The Simpsons

Three months ago, I started my 90-in-90 Something New (#SoNew on Twitter) project. The goal: explore the state I live, finding interesting things along the way. The reason: in year three of my sobriety, it’s time to get busy living.

There’s more to it. You can read all about the exploration here if you want, but what’s been more exciting for me is seeing this ripple out to my friends, my students and my Twitterverse. The 90-in-90 challenges have become a part of my life in ways I never contemplated.

Today ends the Something New project, and while I didn’t quite get to do something new every day, I think I did as well as I could. But you can be the judge.

My last Something New: the Tecumseh Trail Marathon, a 26.2-mile romp through the woods of Bloomington, Indiana.

So New: In Which I Go to The Daily Grind in Nashville (42 of 90)

The minute I pulled into Fondulac Farms in Nashville, my father started sending me Facebook emails with things to do.

Mind you: Nashville, Indiana is exactly 4 blocks long. There’s a visitor center. And everything in the downtown was pulled out of the cutest Christmas movie you’ve ever seen. (Seriously: fudge shops, candle stores, a little train that goes through town.)

Great Thor, though, my parents get around and – like me – they want to share their knowledge. They want you to have as good a time as they did only without all the fumbling and bumbling around. I’ve learned to accept their wisdom.

So New: In Which I Stay at Fondulac Farm (41 of 90)

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicI love cabins.

Since I moved home in 2006, I’ve probably spent 6 weeks staying in either Hocking Hills or General Butler State Park. I love to get away from work, get away from students, get away from my life and just chill out with my writing.

I wanted to get out of my rut and routine, though, so I poked around for new places to stay. I found Fondulac Farm in Nashville, Indiana.

A few notes:

  • Nashville, Indiana is the cutest town in the world, like an old-time version of Madison, Indiana, itself an throw-back to a simpler time.
  • The cabin and the town are designed for couples, not for a single writer (although let’s face it, what is really designed for a single writer).
  • The cabin and farm are in the middle of nowhere, and it’s set up so that you never really have to see the owners. You just come to their property and stay, a phenomenon that could only happen in the Midwest I’m convinced.

So New: In Which I Take The Bean Out (40 of 90)

Two years ago, I dated a woman with a 16-year old daughter. That was a first for me. I’ve certainly dated single moms before, but never one with a kid who would really remember any interactions we’d have.

I fell in love with her immediately, the way in which adults fall in love with children. She was this beautiful, funny, engaging, shy, nerdy, awesome love-able kid. We had our ups and downs, most of which I was prepared.

(Of course, I was wholly unprepared for the strength of the emotional outbursts – both good and bad – that come with being a teenager. Even as someone who has taught teenagers, it’s hard to gird yourself for that inevitable one-on-one clash.)

Still, in the short time The Bean’s mom and I dated, I developed a bond with her. One that I was devastated to lose when my relationship with her mom ended.

I kept in touch with The Bean through social media, although I checked in with the ex to make sure that it was okay. I’m very cognizant that she’s not my child and I wouldn’t ever want to over-step my bounds in that way. Still, I really wanted to catch up with the nugget in person. There’s only so much Twitter can do. I ran the idea of taking The Bean out past the ex, and she graciously agreed.

So New: In Which We Write in Cafes (39 of 90)

I’ve been derelict in my writing.

I wish I could say that I haven’t been avoiding it, but the reality is I’ve let my life and school get between me and the words. It’s created a weird angst within me, the calling that usually comes before I cut the reigns and find myself roaming the countryside looking for what’s next.

I’m trying very hard to avoid that this time. I have a good life here in Indiana and the opportunity to do some amazing work.

So my former student Tiffany dragged me out into the city for a night of writing at cafes. Her charge: find us places to wander throughout the city. I have to say: she did an amazing job.

Our first stop: Henry’s on East Street. (See my Yelp review here.)

The ever-diligent Tiffany had printed directions for us, which we promptly ignored as we got lost. We somehow turned a 1-minute walk into a 20-minute escapade, although truth be told those are usually the best times. Only the ominous skies kept it from being entirely enjoyable.

But we made it inside before the rains came.

We plugged in and started working at 3:30 and stayed until just before closing at 7 pm.

So New: In Which We Go To Bonge’s Tavern (38 of 90)

I’ve been plotting a trip to Bonge’s Tavern for a few weeks, but my plans kept falling through.

That fact was disappointing me because I’d heard nothing but amazing things about this place, which is odd considering it’s in the middle of nowhere.

How in the middle of nowhere, you ask. Check out this map and see.

It’s roughly 45 minutes from downtown Indianapolis and 45 minutes from Muncie. Which doesn’t seem so out of the way until I give you two more pieces of information.

The first: it’s an hour from downtown Indianapolis to Muncie, which means the trip to Bonge’s is 30 minutes out of the way; the second: it’s buried off the main drag, along a series of state routes that eventually lead you to a telephone pole with a hand-written sign on it that says “Bonge’s Tavern” to let you know you’re not lost.

Let me tell you: the wait was worth it. (Read my Yelp review here.)

So New: So Far, a Map

Two months ago, something changed for me.

My world had slowed for me in a good way, a way I hadn’t experience since I quit drinking nearly 2 1/2 years ago. For most of that time, I was simply trying to find my footing in life, carefully watching each step to make sure I didn’t slip back into the alcohol.

I still needed to watch my sobriety, but I was itching to get back into life. Into the adventure that my life had been.

So I decided to explore, something I had not really ever done in my life before. I decided to set about finding new places to go, finding new adventures to go on and meeting new people to go with me.

I’m now two months into my Something New 90-in-90 challenge. I’ve not kept strictly to the something new everyday paradigm, but I’m okay with my progress never-the-less. Here’s a fun map of the places I have gone:

So New: In Which We Have a Night of Dinner and Jazz in the City (37 of 90)

I love jazz.

In every city I’ve lived, one of the first things I do is seek out the jazz clubs where you can have dinner, a few drinks and an evening of jazz. There’s simply nothing better in the world.

I’ve been lax so far but this weekend I re-started the search.

My friend and I headed to First Friday, the monthly downtown art walk, but the snow and cold weather scattered most of the vendors. After a few brief stops, (my art bank Yelp review and my The Frame Shop Yelp review), we went to Agio (see my Yelp review) for dinner. I’d eyeballed the place the last few times I’d been to Massachusetts Avenue. There’s always some torch singers playing and I’m a fan of that. And the interior looked intriguing in a Roaring Twenties way.

The food was okay. The company was wonderful. The best part of the place: the lounge bar with the singer. I wish we’d have just stayed there.

Fortunately, there was more good music on the horizon.

So New: In Which We See The Rocky Horror Picture Show (36 of 90)

A few days ago, I wrote about the special place The Rocky Horror Picture Show holds in my family’s lore. So tonight as my friend Hillary and I settled in to the festivities at the Irving Theater, I was pumped.

Rocky

But I don’t want to rush through the story, which began during this week’s Glee episode that features seven songs from the movie.

As soon as the show ended, I began searching for places that still showed Rocky in the Indianapolis area. No problem, I figured, since it’s Halloween.

Ball State was having a showing, but I wasn’t too keen on hanging out with a bunch of students on campus this weekend. I posted as such on Twitter and in just a few minutes, a work colleague posted a link to a showing at the Irving Theater. I sent a message to Hillary, who was down for the show and the plan was in motion.

Rocky_Brad

After a great dinner at Capri Ristorante (see my Yelp review), we made our way to the theater. The doors opened at 10:30 pm, but I was told we might want to get there a bit early to avoid the line. So we did just that, where we were promptly marked as Virgins since it was our first time at the show.

(Aside: I have an amazing picture of Hillary that I have been banned from posting. She looks awesome, but you are now subjected to my silly ass picture. I apologize for that.)

So New: In Which We Get Fancy in Indy (35 of 90)

I’ve come to accept that I’m a little bit snobby.

I don’t know how this happened or why this happened. I only know that it did happen. I’ve accepted it, embraced it and moved along. But I’ve been hard pressed to find people who are willing to join me on these escapades as a Fancy Lad in the City.

Fortunately, I’ve met some neat folks in the area and last night, a friend and I spent the evening bouncing around Indianapolis indulging in such snobbery.

We started off at the Corner Wine Bar (see my Yelp review), a cute little place in Broad Ripple. I’d been through the place last month when I met up with a few Twitter friends in The Wellington, a bar attached to the wine bar.

It really is an amazing little place. I’m positive I’ll be dragging my laptop down there this weekend for some writing. If I can’t be in Europe, I may as well go to Euro-places.

So New: In Which I Run 20 Miles (34 of 90)

Thirty-seven weeks ago I quit smoking. Thirty-six weeks ago I started running. In just a few weeks, I’ll be tackling the Tecumseh Trail Marathon in Bloomington, Indiana, which has 3,500 feet of elevation. I’m a little concerned at the moment.

All I can do is train. Today was my first long run: 20 miles.

The day started like all my other runs at the trail head where I begin my runs five times a week. The weather report said the rain wouldn’t come until 4 pm. I took this picture at 1:15. If all went well, I should return just as the rain hit.

start

So New: In Which We See Nosferatu at the Embassy Theater in Ft. Wayne (33 of 90)

Zombie_Brad

My friend Katz and I headed to Ft. Wayne this weekend to be a small part of the Fright Night festivities. We had the chance to see Nosferatu, a German Dracula knock-off (the filmmakers couldn’t secure the rights from Bram Stoker’s estate). We saw it a the Embassy Theater, a 90-year old theater complete with an organ from the same time.

In truth, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing when I purchased the tickets. It was difficult to follow what was going on. For instance, there was a tour of the catacombs beneath the Embassy that I thought I booked, but apparently I hadn’t done that.

Oh well.

The magic show before we cute (although not great) and the kids were all excited for the show, which made the night fun.

Needless to say, we had an amazing time. Check it out.

Brad King's Newsletter
If you're interested in keeping up with my writing projects, I’ll overlook your bad judgement on that and instead say thank you. A writer's life blood is readers. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason. So not to put any pressure on you, but everything now depends on you
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