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Kev's Life Update

(The story so far)
Due to popular response to these, I have decided to post my "Life Updates" on my web page here. I write and distribute them every 6-12 months, and they are always fun to write. I hope you enjoy reading them. :) One of the best things about sending out my Life Updates is receiving emails from you with your own life updates (usually not as verbose as mine... fortunately!). So, let me know how you're doing!
Quick links are directly below.
1 - late 1995
2 - 1996 January
3 - 1996 September 12
4 - early 1997
5 - 1997 October 6 - 'story' time
6 - mid 1998
7 - 1999 February 1 - verse AABBA 8-8-15-15-6
8 - 1999 October 31
9 - 2000 July 1 - verse AAA..., BBB...
10 - 2001 January 31
11 - 2001 September 1 - verse AABBA 8-8-15-15-6 (with breaks)
12 - 2002 March 31
13 - 2002 December 1 - verse AAA..., BBB...
14 - 2003 October 1
15 - 2004 December 1 - pyramid syllables
16 - 2005 September 1
17 - 2006 July 1
18 - 2007 May 7 (05/06/07 @ 08:09pm) - verse AABBA 8-8-15-15-6 + CCC... DDD...
19 - 2008 Jan 2 (2008 1/02 @ 3:04pm)
20 - 2008 Dec 2 (2008 12/02) - verse AAA..., BBB...
21 - 2009 Nov 1
22 - 2010 Nov 1
23 - 9/10/11 @ 12:13pm
24 - 8/10/12 @ 10:08pm - themes
25 - 4/1/12 - haiku & tonka
26 - 2013 Dec 1?
27 - 3/14/15 9:26pm (GMT)
28 - 11/13/15 17:19pm
29 - 7/17/16 15:14
30 - 3/31/2017 - verse AAA..., BBB....
31 - 4/1/2017 - 1/1/18 @ 11:18am
32 - 1/1/18 @ 11:18am - 8/18/18 @ 8:18pm
33 - 8/18/18 @ 8:18pm - 5:55pm 5/5/2019
34 - 5:55pm 5/5/2019 - 2:02pm 02/02/2020

This is the reconstructed maiden installment of Kev's Life Update, as best as it can be remembered. DeKalb and the rest of the midwest is quite different than the northeast, but then again, graduate school is a lot different than undergrad. Things have started both hectic and slowly, as there is much to do, but it seems much to do to get caught up with. Nevertheless, there are some great people that I have already met, and I am having some fun also amidst all the work in grad school. There are indeed parties, and I was told I had the "most daring costume" at the Halloween party. So that I can dispel any rumors that may (or may not) be circulating, I was wearing my black trenchcoat buttoned all the way down, white cotton gloves, a brown felt fedora, a silk tie, socks, and nothing else. Putting it all together, I was a reformed streaker. I thought it was pretty creative! In addition to classes and parties, I taught two intro psychology classes as my assistantship, having 42 and 55 students in them. I also started learning quickly my way around the kitchen, and at least _I_ don't seem to mind my cooking, and neither did any of my guests at my first after-thanksgiving-dinner held on the friday after thanksgiving! Through all of these great changes, I seem to be getting used to things. Well, except for that they call soda "pop" out here, and the common phrase "Come with?" is leaving its participle dangling, and a lollipop is called a sucker. But I won't worry too much about that (except for the beating that I have been threatened with if I ever use "pop" instead of soda in the northeast, thank you Chris T).

This is the 2nd "installment" of "Kev's life update!" I thought I would update everyone as to how my life has been going so far way out here in DeKalb, Illinois.

Well, last semester was a strange one (are there any that aren't?). It took some time to get adjusted, and it almost seemed like most of that semester was spent that way. But I did make some good friends and I feel great going into this semester. I ended up getting very good grades as well.

Winter break was AWESOME! A friend (thanks Melissa) in the clinical program here (whose parents live in Staten Island, NY) and I drove back on 17.DEC (Sun). We drove all day and she dropped me off at Newark airport terminal A (which I am very familiar with, after having flown all across the country last year for interviews) that evening. So I went inside to get a bite to eat and THE TACO BELL WAS CLOSED!! UGH! Right in terminal A next to TCBY and it was CLOSED! , the only constant in my life being inconsistent!

Anyway, I found some food (don't worry- I PAID for it) then took the bus through downtown Newark to the train station, then the train station to Trenton station, where I was greeted at 12:13 that night (thank you Linda K). That night, and until Friday afternoon, was spent at Trenton State College. I was given food and places to sleep (thank you Chris T, Kathy F, Dara M, Matt Z, and Dani M) and ended up MAKING money that week, coming out ahead (and it was perfectly legal, kind of, right Linda?). I ran into so many wonderful people, and I looked for all of you that might have been there, though I didn't find everyone. Sorry if I missed ya.

BOTH New Year's parties were great (thanks for the invitations Chris T and M-Gray)! I forgot how much fun it was to stay up until 5am! And if any of you are still unsure, I only had HALF of the big bottle of Mad Dog. (well, okay, other drinks too, but they weren't as poisonous as Mad Dog.)... I also FINALLY got to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show (with free tickets & transportation, no less)! If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend it.

I got to see the most snow I had ever seen, when Jackson got ROCKED with about two (insert colorful metaphor here) feet! We then left (thanks again Melissa) on 10.JAN (Wed) before the other possible dumping of snow came (which I heard never did?) and arrived that night in DeKalb.

This semester promises to be a busy one, which has basically been the case with me for the past several years. I again am teaching two intro psych classes! But this year, instead of having two full classes (55 students max), I have one with about 43 and the evening class with 11! Quite a switch! But I do enjoy teaching. And it is interesting to see things from both a student's and a teacher's perspective! My own classes seem very interesting- some more than others, of course. Actually, some MUCH more than others! I will probably also be seeing one client in the psych clinic as part of my training! The weather here is getting QUITE COLD! But I am holding up, as is my car (good thing in both cases).

Remember, I too like getting email. AND especially phone calls and postal mail (which I LOVE, even if your handwriting is bad). With that I will close. Until next time.

Thu 12.SEP.1996
Well I figured I would fill all of you in again with my bi-annual report of my life (or something like that). This is "volume 3" or whatever you wish to call it (behind my back). If you would like the 1st two, I cannot give it to you since in the infinite wisdom of NIU computing, my email dated through May 1996 was purged, so if any of you have either or both of them, please email it to me. I thought I would give you pieces from various times during the past several months. I hope you are enjoying this time of year. This email ALSO serves a dual purpose as a request for correspondence from you!

In terms of school, in the spring I again taught 2 sections of intro psych, the evening section having only 8 students! I conducted a few intake sessions in the clinic, did well with grades, and was awarded a graduate fellowship for 1996-1997. Due to the fellowship, I only need to work 10 hours per week for funding instead of 20, and I am doing research related to anxiety disorders with one of our new clinical faculty, which may be what I focus my thesis on. I managed to write a few articles for the AIDS Encyclopedia and for APA Divisions (thank you for collaborations).

The last day of spring semester, I met a woman, 27, who is getting her Master's in December in Education for the Visually Impaired (hi Steph S!). I then went to Chicago (finally) and wandered around, ate at the original Pizzaria Uno (where deep dish pizza started) and played on a $70,000 Baldwin grand piano. The day I left for the east coast, I broke a toe on my left foot. Don't ask me how, it is not much of a glamorous story, though you can pretend I injured it saving a life or something!

Once in the east, I was able to see cities including inner Trenton and Philadelphia. A bunch of us (hey Jeff V & Dani M & Gail D!) drove down to Orlando from NJ to meet four others who arrived by plane, those wimps! (hi Scott P & Kathy F & Kah S & Chris T), going everywhere including EPCOT (where my friends made me use a wheelchair for the day due to the toe, and I got good at using it & had a great workout (arms, hands, fingers) and educational experience), Pleasure Island, and Blizzard Beach; went to Cocoa Beach, Florida to go in the ocean and visited the 2nd Ron Jon Surf Shop (the 1st is on LBI in NJ!); drove from Orlando to Atlanta & had dinner (thanks Dani M) before driving back to NJ (hi again Jeff V). Interestingly enough, I had deep dish pizza in Orlando exactly 1 week after the one in Chicago. Needless to say, the Chicago one was better!

I got to spend time with family near Baltimore and had fun with a chainsaw (pruning trees, ok?) and went to several graduation parties including one on the beach in Wildwood NJ, on the coast guard reserve (hi Dawn M). I was in heaven when I finally went to "my" beaches including Sea Girt, Belmar, and Spring Lake, and almost drowned in Sea Girt, but managed to save myself by dragging myself to shore holding on to the wooden "jetties," cutting up both legs plenty. Now I understand why they put these things there every few hundred meters or so. The day before leaving the east coast, I also finally got to wander around Manhattan, going to the UN Building, in a club in the village, in the Empire State Building, the NYC Public Library, and the music shops in midtown where I bought a harmonica.

Once back in DeKalb, I took 2 summer classes (and did well with grades). I got my hair wrapped & beaded, went to Rockford & found one good store there (The Peace Store) as I was exploring inner city, visited friends in Madison (hi Marc & Michelle B!), went to a CO river-beach west of Madison a couple of times, and saw much of beautiful Wisconsin (as compared to ugly Illinois). I moved down Normal Road (don't know what that signifies), got the hair wrap chopped off (please take good care of it Katie O!) for the fall semester, co-hosted the 1st party of the new academic year (hi Todd H), and am already busy in the clinic with intakes & therapy. Should be an interesting semester!

My new address and phone (and PLEASE check even if you think yours is correct):

I hope to hear from EACH and EVERY one of you.
Be safe & have fun,

Well this was going to be some fancy and elaborate account, replete with rhyme and puns and everything. But-- that will have to wait some indeterminate amount of time. Anyway, This past semester went okay. In terms of my graduate career thus far, it wasn't too exciting in terms of classes. However, the clinical work went very well! I conducted many intakes and had two clients for the semester. They both have continued into the current semester, both making progress, and am about to terminate with one of them because therapy met her goals. I only have to work 10 hours per week on my assistantship instead of 20 since the fellowship I received is from August to May 97. That gave me a little time to get started on anxiety/panic studies, which is hopefully where my thesis will take me (studying them, not having them!).

Halloween again was fun, going to two parties this year. This time I believe was the most "abstract" costume of them all. I dressed all in blue and painted my face blue and went as Picasso's Blue Period! I went with Steph S (my girlfriend at the time) to one of the parties; she was dressed as a Blue Crayon, and so I simply told everyone that I was really a white ghost, but Steph, replete in all her grand blue-ness, was all over me (NO COMMENTS Chris T & Scott P & Kathy F), so I turned out to be Picasso's Blue Period. ;-)

On my (limited!) personal life, my 2nd After-Thanksgiving-Dinner-And-Caribbean-Vacation (well, not the vacation thing) was a big success (it better have been after all of the cooking I did for two days until the dinner on Sunday!). I am also single again, after ending the 7-month relationship (which turned out nicely (hi Steph S), with us remaining good friends).

Once the semester ended, I took a train trip from Chicago (thanks Bob W) to Trenton. I had never done a long train ride before so I thought I would try it. Besides, the price was good and I figured that since it was a 19-hour overnight ride, I would have plenty of time to read some articles and novels (which I did). There was little else to do (couldn't go outside for a walk, or a game of tennis anyone?) so it worked well, and furthermore, the seats were quite comfortable.

It was once again nice to see everyone at Trenton (though I don't know if I will be able to do it this way again) and I thank all of you who fed me & housed me (Gayle C and Kathy F and Suky P and Kat E) and drove me (Katie O and Suky and Tristan C). The New Year's Parties (thanks Heat D and Chris T, and I'll try not to arrive at 11:40pm next time Chris) and all of the rest (thanks Kat and Dip M and LisaBelle H) were great & it was enjoyable to be back in the northeast.

Of course I went to Manhattan, partly to see Phantom of the Opera. Since the agent & theater messed up, we didn't get to see it (but thanks for the backstage tour LisaBelle H) but as "consolation," I got 2 free tickets to see Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews that night (I'm glad you enjoyed Stinky J) which was a great show, especially from 3rd row center! Finally went into St. Patrick's Cathedral (Wow!) and into Central Park for the first time in over a decade. After staying over (thanks Cuz) I had a wonderful poppy bagel with cream cheese (thanks again Cuz) at 8:30 in the morning (hey- its the little things right?!... especially at 8:30 in the morning!) and went in the public library and visited Albert Ellis's REBT clinic, before visiting a friend for lunch in the Empire State Building (thanks Rosa-G and for the free books too) before FINALLY heading home, and then taking the next few days visiting friends in the Jackson area as well as relatives. Didn't nearly drown at the beach this time like last summer, which makes perfect sense since I didn't go to the beach in the winter.

I made it back to Chicago and then to DeKalb (thanks again Bob W), where I started up a week before classes set to get research done. And I thought it (sorta) ended there.

Well... not quite. I went to visit a friend (hi Steph S) in Illinois 6 hours south for the Martin Luther King holiday-weekend. Well, I drove fine for the first 4 hours, but instead of drowning in the ocean like last summer, I had a different situation when my (formerly) beautiful spotless 1995 dark green Saturn SL2 (affectionately called Sadie in reference to the hardest jazz song (Sister Sadie) I ever attempted to play) decided it wanted to try out for a stunt movie, and proceeded to take a curve on ice and roll over into a ditch, ending with the driver-side facing up. Needless to say, I was not pleased. After all, there were no movie scouts there or anything to witness it. Fortunately, I was unharmed (wear your seatbelts please) but got a ticket for driving "too fast for conditions" even though no one was there to gauge how fast I was driving, and even though the next day when we were passing the area, another car was in the ditch in the same spot. So my friend (thanks Steph) drove up two hours to get me, and then we drove south the next day. Since I had no transportation, I stayed the week there, awaiting the fate of the car. But I got to see Paducah, Kentucky (and I had a Peducah Hot Brown sandwich, one of the best sandwiches I EVER had) and did enjoy my stay in southern Illinois (thanks again Steph). Well, they finally declared it totalled, but I will be getting a nice insurance settlement (I should crash a car every two years if I always get such a nice settlement). So I then took the Amtrak train into Chicago and got a ride into DeKalb (thanks John-O K). We will have a funeral for the car next Friday. In lieu of flowers, send me money. ;-)

So I suppose I should start getting some work done. And of course do the usual and customary "pleading" for you to contact me! Email is always easy, but I do so love getting postal mail and phone calls (weekends are the best times to call, and evenings as well; and I go to bed around 2 am Central Time so you can call late). Incidentally, if any of you have in your email archives my 1st or 2nd "updates of my life," please forward them to me. If you want the 3rd, let me know. My address & phone & email are still the same, but in case you do not have any or all of them, here they are:
As Always,
Kevin Eric Gruenfeld

06.OCT.1997 (Mon)
When last we left our fearless, courageous hero, he was left mourning in the evening for Sadie, the automobile which was so good to him and he so good to it, until they had that little disagreement and it decided to crash. What will become of him and his grief? Will he ever be able to function as a mere mortal again? Fortunately, the insurance check helped him get over his woe, being a good thing since there was little time for grieving with all the work that needed completion!

Work in the clinic was busy as usual. That same gallant, fearless, courageous hero co-led a 12-session panic disorder treatment group as well as individual therapy (conducting that too, not as a client), gaining valuable experience. Classes for the semester went well as usual, and our hero boldly ventured out of the department to take two classes in the ed/counseling psych department for the summer. Surviving without a car was not as difficult as may be imagined, since he braved the elements and walked to classes, and either took the university buses or rode his 2-wheeled pedal-powered vehicle to the bank & grocery shopping. Lest there be no excitement in his life, he even managed a minor accident with this new-fangled contraption.

Despite all this, in late March or so, the same aforementioned hero had to throw in the towel and made the decision of dropping out of the PhD clinical psychology program at Northern Illinois University. After many discussions (much thanks, Al W, Steph S, Tracey T, Dave S, Stinky J, and Steve G), the best course of action was decided: a 12-month leave of absence, which can be extended another year. But our tale gets ahead of us. Let us return.

He led a 2-person (hi Steph S!) expedition through Missouri and Arkansas (even managing to touch into Mississippi) to Memphis and loved it! Memphis is a great city, especially for music, especially for Blues music (were it for country music, he would not have dared; bravery has its limits!). Also, during the summer months were not one, but two excursions into the Windy City. First for the Taste of Chicago festival (hi Laura L, and thanks for the food, Paddy M), then for the Grand Gathering of Psychologists (sometimes called APA) where he again visited the original Pizzario Uno to sample deep dish pizza (pretty good, huh, Stinky J?). Somewhere in between all that were his 5th annual birthday party complete with many home-made desserts, and visits from those brave souls who traveled afar (thank you Heat D, Steph S, and Kat E). Shortly before leaving the mid-west, the final trial and/or tribulation was overcome: completing the comprehensive exams to earn the Master's degree (still like the idea of how to address people with a Master's degree, Todd H?) and then celebrating at a good soul food restaurant (yes, right in DeKalb!). From there he surveyed the landscape with the generous lodging of friends (thanks Andrea V and Jeff & Kris M) and transport (thanks Jeff M) before leading yet another crusade (hi Stinky), in mid-August, to the east, traversing several regions from Illinois and stopping once for the night in Columbus (thanks Alicia D & Sean S) to collect bearings (he owns the whole set now) and twice for food (in Michigan and in a town known as Wheeling, West Virginia) before arriving at his destination of New Jersey. Once back in NJ, he spied several cars before nodding at a "ruby" 1994 Nissan Sentra XE.

Without wasting any time, our hero (was it mentioned how valiant he is?) departed for lands unknown (at least to him) on the 18th of August, with a quest to explore the northeast territory of our lands. The first stop, after passing through New Jersey, New York, and Mystic CT, was Newport, Rhode Island. A very tourist-y town with plenty to do and see. Most exciting here was the "World Famous" Cliff Walk, made yet more exciting by the torrential rain, since one was but a few feet from the edge of the cliff on this 3.5 mile trek, with sometimes but a few inches of a poor-excuse-for-a-barricade between you and the ocean, 10 meters below. Fortunately, there was no wind to whisk our champion to those depths & possible death. Fortunately also was the heater in the car to counter the rain when he arrived at safety. And finally fortunately was the best, fresh, home-made New England clam chowder back in town.

After one night and two days, the journey continued through Providence RI and, by accident, Worcester MA before arriving a little west of Boston. Two nights were spent here (thanks Chelle C) while the days were spent in Boston, seeing the Da Vinci exhibit at the Museum of Science, Harvard Yard, Boston Common, this awesome sheet music store on Tremont Street, and sharing Banana Rumba for dessert. It's a challenging city to drive around in, but the subways are good. Before departing, our conqueror saw fit to dip his feet in the Charles River.

He traveled up the coast of New Hampshire and Maine, indulging again in a quick dip in the ocean in each of those states before having a spicy meal (with plenty of water), the "Drunken Noodle," in a Thai restaurant in Freeport ME. Heading northwest he continued the passage toward Canada for several hours before settling down at almost 1 in the morning to sleep in the sleepy town of Jackman ME, about 15 miles south of the border.

On the 1st of September was the next step, crossing the border into the province of Quebec in Canada. Being the careful, deliberate (obsessive-compulsive personality) person that he is, on him were his birth certificate (very important) and driver's license to get through customs. Discarded (or, more accurately, eaten) were any foodstuffs such as fruits. And of course were no firearms and illicit drugs. There were two lanes to get across, one in English and one in French. Unfortunately, the English one was closed, but the pleasant border guard spoke both languages, so our hero was not resigned to use his broken French (it's being fixed as we speak).

Originally planning on spending three days in Beauport, Quebec (at Quebec City), five days were needed (merci, Anik D) since it was so beautiful. Yes they mostly only speak French, but our courageous hero managed just fine with his limited knowledge of this language (and friends who spoke both languages). Sites seen were Montmorency Falls ("taller than Niagara" is the claim!), Laval University (and its unique & fun to watch, major-specific "hazing" of 1st-year students), Parliament (which was in session... but (sigh) in French), most of downtown Quebec (by walking and the buses), Le Cosmos (the "in-spot" restaurant according to the visitor's guide, right next to the tower with the revolving restaurant on top) which served the best French Onion soup as well as poutine, and much more, leaving our defender almost an expert of the city.

That Friday, he left for Montreal and met people from Japan, Australia, and New Zealand at the hostel. Interestingly enough, the man with the lower bunk under his was also from New Jersey!! He chanced upon an Egyptian restaurant with the menu in Arabic, but it was translated... into French! Upon the recommendation of the waiter (who spoke English), feves was (were?) ordered, with kounafa for dessert. Both were quite good, although he was unsure how to eat the feves, which was served as two gyro-like pitas, a bowl of a mush bean-concoction, and some tomatoes and hot peppers. Despite being asked twice how it is supposed to be eaten, the waiter said to eat it however he liked, so he ate them like burritos, hoping not to offend anyone!

After the one night in Montreal, he headed to Albany NY. The U.S. border guard was meaner than the Canadian one, but there was no trouble. From Saturday to Friday, he was in and around Albany (thanks Stinky J) eating at a great Indian restaurant called Shalamar's, going into Vermont and having a car key (but not his!) break in the lock, exploring SUNY-Albany, meeting tons of people at a party, and generally not causing too much trouble.

From there, he traveled through Pennsylvania and Maryland and arrived in Washington DC, but didn't stay there for long, for that Friday evening until Sunday was spent camping with 18 people (of the Traveler's Circle) on Assateague Island MD, but a few hundred meters from the ocean with wild horses running free (really!). Aside from going to the beach (is he that predictable?) and seeing dolphins and pelicans in and around the water there, Saturday evening was spent in Ocean City MD. Our hero spent the following week in DC (thanks Cassandra J & Todd H) going to parties, riding the subways, eating at a great Thai restaurant, and seeing the sites: National Zoo, FBI Building, National Archives (where the Constitution and others are held), Smithsonian Castle, National Holocaust Museum (researching Theresienstadt ghetto where his great-grandfather was), and Capital Building (with the Senate in session... and this time in a language he could clearly follow). He will save the Supreme Court, White House, and Pentagon for the next visit. ;-)

On Friday he took his leave of DC and headed to relatives in Gaithersburg MD, where he rested & recuperated until Sunday, when he traveled back into Pennsylvania, a little north of Philadelphia, for a late lunch which included sharing some time as well as peanut-butter pie (hi Debbi!) before heading just further up for the night (thanks Jen T, especially with such short notice, and I hope you weren't too tired the next morning).

Then on Monday was the trip to Trenton area to visit his old college. He stayed there until Thursday (thanks Heather M), running into many friends as well as professors of psych & english, sharing black tie mousse cake (thanks Heidi W), other meals (thanks Melissa K) helping with a Kappa rush which went smoothly despite the fire drill during set-up, and generally having a great time without getting into any trouble. On Thursday, the 25th of September, after 2242 miles, 4 weeks, around $450-500 (the biggest expense was buying gifts for others, especially those who provided lodging!), 13 states, provinces, and districts, meeting over 80 people, beaches in four states, and 12 sleeping arrangements (only three nights for which he had to pay!), he returned to Jackson, New Jersey, at 4pm.

The month & a half from mid-August to late September was certainly a busy one, seeing 18 states/provinces/districts, having 16 sleeping arrangements, and trying soul, Thai, Egyptian, and Indian food (and the fresh home-made New England Clam Chowder)! Since this past January, there were even five more states! Quite busy, but ever-changing times. Currently, the plans are to find a full-time job in psychology in research or counseling, with possibly teaching as an adjunct psychology professor. Once that is stable, an apartment will be found. This will all be in the NJ / eastern PA / lower NY area, though most hopeful is somewhere between New Brunswick and Philadelphia. In addition to the actual paid-work, he will finally start composing, as well as teach himself Spanish, get more involved with some sports & fitness, practice some of his musical instruments some more, and other fun things!

Thus ends the 5th installment of the epic saga without a name. What may befall our hero when next we take up our legend? In what new pitfalls will he find himself? And what new fortunate happenstances will enable him to escape? With whom might he be smitten, what misfortunes that smote him down will we be reporting on next time, who might he smite who will thusly be smit, will some other smiter end up smiting someone else leaving him or her smitt, and will our dauntless hero learn to make more reasonable New Year's Resolutions than that which is partially satisfied with this current sentence? I have no clue; I am merely your humble narrator who has decided, just now, to finally use 1st-person in this narrative. But I too must take my leave, leaving none other than how to reach him. I remain,

Kevin E. Gruenfeld

Indeed it has been many moons since last your humble narrator spun his tales. Ne'er shall you fear, for there is much to be told, as the moon above continues waxing (or waning, or anything in between depending upon when you are finally getting around to read this).

So 'twas, the first noteworthy account to fall upon your humble narrator in this here 6th volume was the AIDS Walk in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, in October. I thank thee all for thy kindness and generosity, for amassing nearly $200 for the crusade! Little did I know that the same aforementioned city and I would cross paths several times betwixt then & now. Before 'twere to happen again, however, a weekend excursion to DC transpired, which included seeing Cassandra J & Todd H for their pumpkin carving party (we'll need to get the motorcycling in next time, eh?), Mem P for a night on the town, and the rest of the T.C. group.

The Third Annual After Thanksgiving Dinner And Caribbean Vacation was planned and executed with no irreparable harm (and no permanent tissue damage). Undying gratitude to Scott & Kathy P, for use of their dwelling-place. And I thank thee all for attending and the rave reviews of my cooking (and 1st prize to Jacquie P for not only bringing my favorite wine, but my favorite label as well, with the fine bottle of '95 Sutter Home White Zinfandel)!

A few more excursions to Philadelphia ensued, including one to see a former roommate's play be performed in December, complete with a pre-show tour of the city (thanks, Craig C, for the ticket, tour, & transportation, and other words beginning with the letter "t"). To not make it feel bad or jealous (as most inanimate objects so go-eth), the next month included a trip to New York City to see The Capeman, the new musical by Paul Simon, on pre-opening night (I hope you enjoyed, Danielle M, and thanks for the lodging, cuz!). The show was good and the music has few claimants to its superiority, indeed! Unfortunately, most people disagreed with me and the show has since closed, but this then makes those witnesses to it a rare happenstance (so far as animate objects go). In between these shows was an occurrence quite rare in these here parts for January: I took a short sojourn to the beach (the "shore (shaw)" for all you out-of-towners) with a friend (hi Vikki I!) I hadn't seen for years. It was not too wintry that day for the boardwalk on Seaside Heights with a jacket playing Skee-ball, Air Hockey, Miniature Golf, and Ms. Pac-Man (nearly DOUBLING the high score, thank you very much), but we skirted the water (yes, yes, it did take some restraint on my part). I also became quite familiar with inner-Trenton (lucky me) after visiting the state library for job-hunting research, and with parts of Philadelphia near the Free Library (is it for sale?) for the same purpose.

This is when the excitement started (as if it weren't there already). My first interview, with Pfizer pharmaceuticals in midtown Manhattan went well, and the interviews with ARBOR, a market research firm just southwest of Philadelphia went well as well. In between, Nessie, my nice 1994 Nissan Sentra XE had some problems. Not so much the attitude problem as Sadie (remember her wanting to try out for a stunt movie against my self-proclaimed better judgment), but premature signs of old-age. However, after some time (and much $), she was magically restored to her (somewhat) youthful splendor and I expect no comments (or at least no loud noises) from her again! In between the ARBOR interviews was a trip to Lincoln Center in April to see Madama Butterfly (hi Mistress Theresa O & Heather M) in Italian (thanks again, Cuz, for lodging). Excellent performance! And a very interesting pre-show conversation with an elderly well-dressed gentleman near us who was extolling the virtues of marijuana grown specifically in Victoria, Canada! Afterwards was a weekend trip to DC-Maryland area to see relatives. (Interestingly enough, another trip to see relatives, this time in latter June to Baltimore for the 1st family reunion of a great-great-grandfather, led to discoveries that some of my ancestors not only came from Vienna and Odessa as I previously knew, but also from Minsk.)

Another trip to DC commenced in May, corresponding (not coincidentally) with the APS conference. Loud greetings to Monster Dave S, John-O K, Bob W, and Jenny W (it's got to reach DeKalb IL, you know) as well as Roger C from NJ (now CT). I'll have you all know, that I actually got a flat tire in center-city Philadelphia and drove all the way down to DC on my doughnut JUST so that I would be there in time for you all (but I don't suggest you try this at home... or on the road). Thanks again for lodging, Cassandra J & Todd H, and I'm glad we all were able to go trouncing around DC. And Dave... Alligator is not part of a vegetarian diet (even though it DID taste good)!

Around this time & shortly following it were interviews with the National Board of Medical Examiners, National Analysts, and Executive Solutions, the latter two being market research firms, the former two being in Philadelphia, and the latter one in Long Island, which primed me for a nice visit to see relatives in Lido Beach (and yes, as if you need to ask, I did go in the water). Phone interviews were conducted with Unilever, among others, but didn't have the opportunity to progress much further, due to a very good reason resulting in me withdrawing my name from their list as well as the list of others. In the process of these many phone interviews & placement firm contacts, I was actually able to meet the acquaintance of (on the phone) Igor Stravinsky's (great?)-great-grandniece (well, -I- thought it was exciting). Not quite as exciting (but eliciting a greater response) was my father (age 54) being admitted to the hospital (not for an emergency) for double heart-bypass surgery in latter May. Somewhat puzzling, since he is in excellent shape and his heart is at least fine, but two arteries were not, hence the surgery. However, now he need not fret too much about those two arteries since the surgery was very successful, and he has been recovering well (so well, in fact, that he is back to driving us crazy and we want to return him to the hospital... to a different wing!).

And then, on the 1st of June, 1998, I was NOT ONLY offered a job at National Analysts as Operations Manager (where I started on the 10th) right in center-city (if I were much more in the center, I would be working in City Hall!), but for all those who have been gently (and not-so-gently) inquiring, I got a date just a few hours prior. The job and I seem to be well-matched (said Kevin, deftly evading the romance questions), and the total commute of around 100-110 minutes each way wasn't even that bad, it was WAKING UP TO LEAVE AT (insert colorful metaphor here) 6:30 in the A.M.!

However, as of the 26th of June, I moved into my nice studio apartment in the West Germantown / Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia (1 block from the Upsal stop of the R8, for those Philadelphia-train-savvy people), allowing me to slumber oh-so-late and not leave for work until nearly 8 am (and this of course is one of the best justifications). (The slogan of Philadelphia, by the way, is "The Place That Loves You Back," a slogan for which it is FAR TOO EASY to make wise-cracks, so I will respectfully refrain.) An 8-story hi-rise containing my 420 square feet where visitors are always welcome (provided I buzz you in... which I will, don't worry) and free parking as well! Now I just gotta find the rest of my furniture!

Almost finally, the AIDS Encyclopedia was FINALLY published, all 1000 pages of its glory, costing $135! I can get reduced prices for anyone interested in viewing the articles I (and anyone else) wrote.

I thank thee all for the parties (and often accompanying sleepover) for which I was invited: Cassandra J & Todd H's pumpkin carving, Suky P's Halloween, Cuz, Gayle C & Jen V & Kate O's apartment warming & birthday, Dawn M, Chris & Jen T's new year's (just 1 this year... & ask me what my new years resolutions are), Lindy T & Chrissy Lynn S's Superbowl, Heat D (& I'll try to make it to your new year's party next year... just don't make it so far away!), Dawn F, Heather M, Jeff V, Scott & Kathy P, and Craig C's apartment burning. Special thanks are due to Al W for the opportunity to work on the research project & the accompanying pay. And nods of acknowledgement (and big hugs!!) to those of you I FINALLY saw after years (MANY years in some cases) of absence: Vikki I, Chrissy Lynn S, Heidi H, Melissa K, Dawn M, Ed B, Kah S. If by chance anyone were left out, know that any omissions were due to faults in my memory and not in my friendship.

Finally, the following lists ALL my contact information:

Operations Manager
National Analysts, Inc.

I remain,
Kevin E. Gruenfeld

[1999, Feb 01]
My Life Update #7,
(In verse) sincerely, Kevin.

"Indeed," he said, "the time is here
To weave our tale, but ne'er you fear.
It has been going on for some time now as you may know it
And this here 7th part will thus allow me to you show it
So gather 'round, my dear."

"Our tale continues, naught a scare,
When warmer weather filled the air.
'Twas summertime, mid-year, I say, in nineteen and ninety-eight,
He had just started at a job and this he considered great.
It was, he thought, quite fair."

"But O, I must your pardon ask
Throughout this lengthy, festive task
If I skip around and this tale seems it is desultory,
It's just because there's much to tell, these details of the journey,
So in its spirits, bask."

"His annual birthday party,
The sixth (in August?), finally,
Was a success (the fourth) and was the other celebration.
Were you there you'd agree!"

"National Analysts, his job,
Involved a nice bonus, don't sob!
A positive 6-month review left Kevin pleased and jesting,
Increased responsibilities led to his first Pre-Testing:
'It's done,' he said, 'no prob'.'"

But HE has his own perspective
Which avoids being invective
And he would tell if not for your narrator's verbosity
(Make sure you use for your car the right oil viscosity).
He'll now his OWN tale, give.

MY apartment is now complete.
This daunting task was no small feat!
New computer with (for composing) electronic piano:
Yamaha Clavinova CLP300, when, O
Will I have time, my sweet?

To get the piano from afar
Was not easy, I must declar'.
It disassembles, though. I must assure you it was no myth:
I DID travel throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania with
A piano-- in my car!

This past year's Halloween costume,
One of the better, I presume
Had rolled down white socks, hair-tail, jams that fit from jr high school,
Walkman and headphones with eighties tunes (hey, one had to be cool!),
On my shoulder box-boom.

Def-Leppard tee shirt was there, too,
Sun/moon temporary tattoo,
Old sneakers added to an "80's dude" was rad and gnarly,
No neon... yet rounding out was a painter's cap of Pepsi
From 1982.

Presenting at the end of year
A chance to help and volunteer
Delivering hot meals to those with AIDS the day of Christmas,
Next winter I'll consider a vacation on the isthmus
(It will be cold, I fear).

Along that topic, furthermore
Was the AIDS Walk, which made me sore.
Nearly $300 was raised in Philadelphia
(I don't advise you all, my friends, to buy a car called Kia)
Good cause, this walk, was for.

And late last year, I'm pleased to say
(Despite the fact no Kurds eat whey)
To me, for writing part of the AIDS Encyclopedia,
(Inscribed, no less, by my editor on this print media):
Three hundred bucks as pay!

Moreover, then, I even learned
How to hem pants, and I discerned
The intricacies of this craft which, added to my knowledge,
Brings to three the list of things that I did since leaving college--
(Of sewing skills I earned).

Readings on R8 train commute
(I take it so I don't pollute):
Goethe, Poe, Burgess, Christie, Williams, Doyle, Nabakov, White,
Rostand, Darwin. For my quest for improvement and knowledge plight
It sure does contribute!

Classes I took were, if I may,
Ballroom Dance (tango, merengue,
Rumba, swing, cha-cha, fox-trot, waltz), First Aid/CPR (makes sense),
Commercial Voice Overs. Soon to start is Streetwise Self-Defense
And Aikido (oy vay!).

There were, I'm glad, parties galore
(Keep having them, I do implore):
Labor Day weekend beach house, Halloween, Independence Day,
Housewarming, football, beach birthday, Super Bowl, New Year's (hooray!),
Bachelor party, and more!

Thanks are due to certain friends who
Helped to my endeavors pursue,
To Dani for being my partner learning Ballroom Dancing,
To Chrissy Lynn, for trav'ling down, furniture-delivering--
(She knows a cow says, "Moo.")

And for the opportunities
(I assure no impugnities),
Thanks to Craig "Duck" for my work as stage crew at The Brick Playhouse
And lunch at unique restaurants, rarely leading to a grouse.
We'll continue this, please.

Furthermore, congratulations!
Newlyweds: Felicitations!
Heidi/David, Scott/Kathy, Gail/Mike had all said, "Marry us!"
Why must I choose the hardest one to rhyme amongst various
Of the salutations?

To friends "long-lost," a warm greeting,
Many years without a meeting,
To Mr. Adam, Sarah, Annette, Janelson, Rachel, Ness,
I must admit: This poem is fun to write, but, ach, I digress;
Proceed with your reading.

I've been to Washington, DC
Through work a few times keeping me
Involved at kick-off meetings, plus training interviewers down
In Orlando as well as more pre-testing right here in town.
It gets rather busy!

Also for fun I'm composing,
Spanish-learning, and, yes, running
(But NOT barefoot on pavement anymore), stairclimbing, plus weight,
Biking, and since it's in my regimen, stretching (which I hate),
And Philly-exploring!

Reach me in Philadelphia
Or visit so I can see ya:
xxxxx x x #210 (I do intone),
PA 191xx-xx25, or telephone:
215 area,

There are sev'ral ways to reach me!
Now xxx@xxxx.EDU is fine,
Or call at work xxx-xx37 (direct line)
It's in Center City.

And so I must this story end,
You shall receive (I first must send!)
But don't you fret this hiatus is just one temporary
And though it takes up time writing is a task voluntary,
I will be back, my friend!

For similar beliefs are held,
Thoughts of not writing will be quelled,
So you should correspond with me! I wish you the best in kind
In all you do. May what you're looking for, find. Yours truly, signed,
Kevin E. Gruenfeld.

1999 Oct 31
Welcome to the 8th installment of "Kev's Life Update," otherwise titled "How I try to make my life exciting in some way all the while learning new things and having new experiences (and old experiences too), concurrently trying to enrich and enliven the lives of my friends (those receiving this email (though some of those that have not received it are friends too (they just don't have email))) and make this world a better, happier, more content and satisfying place both as a whole and also within each person!" I'm not sure which title to use; your vote (and additional title submissions for this epic saga without a name) are welcome. :-) Way long time ago, it was the beginning of March of this year. Now it is the end of October (ironically, still also of this year). Here is what happened in between to me in some undefined order (define the order-- accurately-- and you win a prize!):

My 7th annual Big Birthday Bash in April was successful, as was my "Early Summer First Time Since 1990 That I've Been At One Address For More Than One Year Party," which was called "one of the best" and "the most bizarre" party by the reviewers (a.k.a., partygoers). Of course, this was the intent! Attend the next birthday party and you will find out why! The 5th annual After Thanksgiving Dinner And Caribbean Vacation will be approaching soon, and my Grandmother, who gave me the Viennese Linzertorte recipe, gave me some more recipes that I may try.

Another trip to Orlando (being picked up at 5:30 in the AM!!!!!) for business ensued in August, where I tried excellent Conch Chowder Soup (similar to Manhattan Clam Chowder (much better than New England Clam Chowder!) but richer & thicker... about as thick as I make my Minestrone soup!) & Key Lime Pie (which I then felt compelled to make myself using fresh Key Limes from Key Biscayne, Florida (thanks Jill W!)). For a "local dish," I brought boiled peanuts home with me... a few hours before Hurricane Dennis sort of hit. I will be in Orlando later today for the third and final trip of this interesting project. Other trips were the 1 or 2 day trips to DC (happy birthday, Todd H) & Manhattan (to see the opera Kovanshchina at the Met & to see people like Lish S & cuz). Of course I also made it to the beach twice at Sandy Hook (hi Guru V & Heidi H & Brenda H!) resulting in some sunburn (Grrr), and even took a tour of the (oldest continuously operating) lighthouse there! And let's not forget the evening trips to my birthplace, Jackson NJ, to see the marching band competition (Go Jaguars!) and to Trenton for the original silent Phantom Of The Opera with live organ accompaniment (I told you I would make it to one of these, Jacquie P!), as if Trenton isn't scary enough without it!

Philadelphia has been treating me quite fairly. I've been having a LOT of fun rollerblading on Kelly Drive in Philadelphia. I don't know what possessed me to try this-- I was so bad at rollerskating (not too many of you witnessed my attempts at this 15 years ago! You might have, Mitch F, Mr. Adam S, Michelle B, Janelson N, Stu-Maaann G, Teri-Resa G, Rach R, Scooby S)-- but I am doing quite well with this! I appeared on television on Memorial Day when I biked to the Liberty Bell (perhaps 10 miles each way)! It was only for a second- I suppose they wanted more footage of Mayor Rendell, so I graciously let him steal the camera... I'm such a pushover! Besides rollerblading and biking, I've also made it to a pool several times, and have been running (yes, barefoot sometimes, when I am feeling particularly masochistic!). It's growing cold now, so I will be starting again with the stairclimbing (my goal is the (equivalent) of the Sears Tower in Chicago - 110 flights... I made it to 63 last season!). But I was outside for the recent AIDS Walk... and I proudly raised $250 for this!

I've also been to Independence Day parties (Judy R, Jill W-- watching fireworks over the Art Museum), a poker party (go Guru V!), a picnic (Kappa), a graduation party (Heat D), dinners (Suky P, Kat & Ed B), sleepovers (cuz, Kat & Ed), an engagement party (cuz), a swing dancing wedding (Kat & Ed), an in-town-for-a-few-days party (hi Laura C... thanks Holly H!) and others! And since I suppose it fits here, congratulations on your engagement to Anik D & Francois G and to Dani M & Mike E!

The Aikido class months ago went very well, I'm pleased to say. I was also recently certified in SCUBA diving (Hi Shara N!). Ballroom dancing (Jitterbug- Hi Debbie W!) just ended, and black & white darkroom photography is drawing to a close (I've developed & printed my own photos... now I can take all those risque shots of people since I don't have to send them out anymore!). I also learned to juggle with the Juggler's Club of Philadelphia and was also able to help out much more at The Brick Playhouse (and even managed to work at The Wilma Theatre for a night) and look forward to more theatre experiences soon, now that I am officially a "Theatre Artist" at The Brick. One of my favorite accomplishments was repairing my 10-year-old clock-radio-phone-answering machine, which I love for several reasons including the PRIVACY button. I was NOT about to junk it to get a new one... I have a closer relationship with this inanimate machinery than with some people (though not you receiving this email)... perhaps that's why I'm not meeting more women!?!?

Starting in April, I write restaurant reviews for work (after all, they gave me a generous raise!). They are a lot of fun to write (and to dine at)... and I even mentioned some of you (Kate L, Craig C, Rose O, Theresa O, Kah S & Andy W, Stinky J) in them! Thanks to Dara M, Ginny D, Dip M, & Ed B for help with the languages (when I write these reviews, I include some words & phrases in the current language to spice them up (pun intended). I was fine with the Japanese, French, Spanish, but needed help with Italian, Chinese, Hindi, Gaelic, German). Philadelphia does excel in restaurants, and I was able to try escargot, snapper soup, & other stuff somewhere in all the busy-ness... including a Linzertorte which, in the opinion of TWO impartial people (okay, one of the opinions is mine) is not as good as the one I make (thanks, Craig)! Also right here in Philadelphia was The Marriage of Figaro (well, the opera... hi Dawn M!), West Side Story (nearby... hi Ray C!), and performances by (Edgar Allen &) The Poettes!

The apartment looks even better, though I may move to Center City in June/July (we'll see). The dining chairs have been reupholstered (thanks Andy W & Kah S) & the leftover fabric is now placemats, and I sewed on new burgundy & black fabric to the bamboo furniture. More of my photos abound my walls, including new ones of Philadelphia! For the future, I will continue learning Spanish, composing, playing piano, stairclimbing & other fitness stuff, & perhaps resume learning harmonica. I may take trips to Quebec CANADA for a wedding in December (I will try, Anik D!), Cozumel MEXICO in February (just off of Cancun for SCUBA diving- we'll see Shara N!), and places that strike my fancy- probably something in Manhattan, maybe Boston, probably DC, skiing somewhere, and any other suggestions!

So this is what I remember in my life. Everything else is either boring... or has been repressed! If you are looking for my Life Updates #1-7, contact me. I've got them archived here somewhere! Now, HOW you contact me leaves you several options. You can write to me (or visit!) at xxxx Greene St #xxx, Philadelphia PA 19144-xxxx. I like visitors... and I've been known to cook elaborate meals for them! You can call me at 215-xxx-xxxx. Or you can use x@x.x to email me. Skywriting messages to me is not highly recommended. Smoke signals and semaphore I would also caution against. I still remember International Morse Code, alphabet signing, and a few letters in Braille! But... we'll see just how creative we all can be!

My best to EACH and EVERY ONE OF YOU,
Kevin E. Gruenfeld

#9 From Kev, commencing on 1999 November 01.
As per the Reverend's King of Hearts, I'll continue until I come to the end, then stop. This is a long one. Bist ahf ain fus?

And so it journeys on this tale of mine,
number nine, number nine:

When, here we found ourselves at the start of November, although,
Granted in this case ourselves refers only to me, just one, in Orlando,
Yet sometimes the telling of the story gets in the way of standard grammar; but I mustn't get too tangential right in the intro,
Such as recounting the tale I read while in Quebec by Harriet Beecher Stowe,
Still, the research taking me to Orlando 3 times has ended with a bang (I hope the same effect holds, T.S., for your show),
And I returned a few days later, having enjoyed sampling plantains and the warm weather, but relieved to be back where there is not a bad taste avec l'eau,
Though I didn't complain (too loudly) for I gaman shiro.

I have not gone out to see a movie in over a year, though if you're wondering why this does not leave me in a state of contrition,
Or seeking the aid of a psychological clinician,
It's because I've had a lot of theatre exposure and shortly after returning from Orlando worked for the first time as stage manager and the first time I landed a theatre paying position.
And I continued to help out there, at The Brick Playhouse on South Street in Philly, landing in March another paying job as sound technician
(though actually helping as stage crew) and again in April and June putting me in a good position.
How's THAT for something I was wishin'?

With water water everywhere why should I find myself under as much as 78 feet of it?
Or another pressing and yet somehow related question to be asked is why did I wake up at 3:45 AM to just on a airplane sit?
Well, it's because I happened to be SCUBA diving in Cozumel (way down in) Mexico in mid-February (11th to 14th) on my first real vacation in about 2 & 1/2 years and making 6 dives seemed to be the best thing for which I saw fit!
During the exploring through the open water and caverns, not once, though amidst huge (3-foot) grouper, a Splendid Toadfish, crab, a stringray, fire coral, queen angelfish, lobster, barracuda, and actually touching fish, was I bit!
I do have photos of the trip (and Shara N!) and even a videotape of one of the dives, although for my underwater photos the color came out rather blue because of the way the sea is lit,
And while there I had a tangerine as big as a grapefruit because you know of course I could not dare to eat a peach (with its pit)!
And while there I also had conch meat, conch soup (what befell your conch, Piggy?), real churros (only 10 pesos), homemade (actually boat-made) guacamole, tortilla soup, Yucatan lime soup, and even a hamburger, this last of which actually had a slice of ham on top...I suppose they take their German translations quite literally... else I suppose in their eyes it wouldn't be legit.
And also while there I coerced someone from our dive center to sing karaoke the night before I left and ended up singing myself to Bob Marley and Elvis Presley (no comments from you: Stinky J, Kah S, Heidi C) since I wouldn't be called a hypocrite.
And returned with several onyx items, such as candlesticks, coasters, and checkers to go with the chess set, as well as Kahlua for only $7 a liter (but only 1... such is the customs limit).

January was an interesting month, breeding, for the first time ever on my system, hooking up my digital piano to my computer on the 8th, a frabjous Saturday,
And now, the computer will notate on the screen everything the piano transmits and all I have to do on the piano is play!
I also officially started my new exercise program and then for the first time since about 1993 I used my modem (hooray!),
Although granted I had Internet access at work, but now I can access it another way.
Also, I went swing dancing for the first time (lessons notwithstanding) and enjoyed (hi Kristin F and Heidi H and Mike P) enough to return four months later and after asking will you won't you will you won't you join our dance, I will take some of you with me next time, if I may.
But before the dancing that evening, I was able to fiddle around at a piano factory nearby on their $107,000 Bosendorfer 91-key grand piano (but didn't celebrate with any Ginjoshu Sake).
Then, late in the month, as some of you remember our mega-hit of snow leaving the city in disarray,
I took it upon myself, feeling particularly masochistic, dare I say,
To head to the center of city, making use of the office closings, to take some nice photos, some of which I will add to those adorning my walls and look forward to any comments you have on them (though not formally as in a survey),
That perhaps, upon the request already made, I can make reprints to give them away,
Though granted if photos I will purvey,
I, of course, will, as included in the request, receive some pay,
Although reading further you will find it would not have been wise of me to add more photos to the walls just yet since in this apartment I did not stay,
Come May.

One of the highlights since the last "life update" installment occurred around my 27th birthday on April 22,
Or, to be more inclusive, between and including the 20th and 24th when out I flew
Not to Peru
Or Kathmandu,
Out instead visiting three (if you count DeKalb) cities (and shooting some great photos) of Pittsburgh and Chicago (the latter of which for some time it was my quest to pursue),
Where I met up with Scott K (after nine years of absence), who
Took me around town for a cajun chicken sammich at Primanti's where they put the fries & sorta cole slaw right on it (quite a chew)!
And then off to Chi-town for some Ollie's custard, Pagliai's & their beer nuggets, Thai Pavilion, Chicago style Polish hot dogs, and a great birthday supper (on my birthday, too!)
At Rosita's with the crew
Of Monster-Dave S, Je T'aime H, Jeff M (and Trish), and our sassy waitress Vicki, the latter of whom, when she brought out fried ice-cream for me (my surprise), also brought out seven other waitresses in Spanish waitress outfits to surround and sing to me happy birthday, and my reply was spoken, as I fleetingly looked at the burning candle in the dessert, that now I don't even have to bother making a wish anymore(!), but Miss Vicki did not forsake us, as we each sipped on our respective brew,
Asking if I needed anything else despite all the gratification and satisfaction in me this all did imbue,
To which I replied and requested some more of those cute waitresses to return for me to woo,
And witnessing one coming back to see that I asked for her and quickly ducking back away as I am sure her face must have started turning a red hue
While we finished up laughing hard for hours before it was time to say adieu
At least for that day, since I then went to downtown of the Windy City to (again) sample deep dish pizza at the place where it all started, the original Pizzeria Uno at Ohio & Wabash (and realizing, just now, that it probably would have been easier to simply write this in the form of a haiku)
And visiting Buckingham Fountain, the Hancock Observatory, and the Sears' Tower, and playing Ms. Pac-Man at the bus terminal getting a 99,740 score demolishing the previous high on that machine, it's true,
The other players on the machine hadn't a clue.
And as the plane took off and it's altitude grew,
To Monster-Dave, for the rides and the lodging, much thanks to you.

On 1 May I moved into my new apartment, in Center City Philadelphia, at xxxx Arch St #xxx (zip code 19103-xxxx, phone 215-xxx-xxxx), marking the first time ever that I lived above the 3rd floor,
Making it even easier for those to visit and stay over with all my extra space when (requestfully) I implore.
And the higher rent I can endure
Since from work I am but two blocks times four
And barely 15 minutes from door to door,
So to walk it is not a chore,
And furthermore,
Being in "the center of everything" makes it easier to find whatever one wishes, from a Philadelphia tour
With all its folklore,
To a paramour,
Though a visit to me will bring naught a bore
But more likely a roar
For sure!

In addition, I have for my apartment some nice new plants,
Although this stanza really has nothing to do with that and the rhyme was just a fortunate happenstance...
I was a course marshal for the US Pro Bike Race in June, cheering for the U.S. Postal Service team, albeit with the absence of Lance,
(Since he was training for the Tour de France),
Wearing my radioactive green MARSHAL shirt, having been necessitated to wake at 6 AM that day leaving me for a little while in a trance,
But also watching attentive as the racers climbed the Manayunk Wall (cyclists & Philly people will know), finding out what happens when a racer needs to go to the bathroom DURING the race, and meeting the mayor of this fair town when I took my eyes off the race and saw him nearby when I looked askance,
And also meeting the president of, and furthermore getting into the restricted hospitality tents of USPS (Hi Allen & Syb) and, all nice grants!
Then finally I escorted the wife and 7-week old baby of the winner of the men's race to the winner's circle (I happened to be near them, by chance)
And walked away with a tough sunburn and exhaustion (but not needing any transplants),
The shirt, and gifts from the USPS tent as souvenirs, which primed me to get my new bike (thanks Shane Z and Anik D & Francois G), a Trek 7200, a hybrid like yours, Nance,
As you all continue listening to my raves and rants!

In November, shortly before my 5th annual After Thanksgiving Dinner And Caribbean Vacation, I discovered the great Wissahickon Trail
But didn't at the dinner serve any kale
Nor any quail,
Or snail,
Though nevertheless it was a success; I would not fail!
Having it take nearly three days to do the cooking, I would not bale!
(As my blood pressure is 110/70 and pulse is 56, I am not frail!),
And also spent, unrelated, time reading Malory's tale
Of the grail,
But also hosted my 8th annual big birthday bash & apartment warming come as you AREN'T party (and thank you to those who followed "the rules") with even more twists than the June 1999 party (and thank you Michelle P for the spanking on my tail),
And also attended Heidi's Monty Python party, end of kappa blowout, both of Gary S's retirement parties, George W's and Kat & Ed B's new year's parties, birthday parties, the provocative question pollyanna trade at the theatre, and many others including Adine's surprise birthday cruise all set to sail,
But a cinematographer's party it did not entail,
And though I missed some, including the wedding of Anik D & Francois G in Quebec, my absence does not my warm wishes curtail.

Not too long ago came events that to some brought many a tear
With the deaths in February and March of Donna D, Uncle Eddie, Claire R's Mom, and Ginny D's Dad, I fear,
But also brought the engagements of Cuz & Dorit G and Kah S & Andy W with all the cheer,
Plus, somewhat unrelated, yet also bringing applause, was traveling afar to see Porgy & Bess (Hi Kristin F, Theresa O & Ray; next time Ginny!), since it was not near,
But I was away, seeing that aforementioned opera just one line up, at the time of the stairclimbing contest, so for that I must wait until next year,
Furthermore, I once again witnessed a performance of (Edgar Allen &) The Poettes, in Philadelphia, right here,
And was able, for Habitat For Humanity, with my expertise in survey research, along with Tim S and Jill W, to volunteer.

I took classes on retro swing lindy hop/jitterbug and simple bike repair/maintenance, received my AED certification (to add to CPR), got my PA driver's license, bought a passport and a chess set to add to my stash,
As I methodically plan out my next birthday bash
Offering to those of you who visit, then or anytime, plenty of room if you wish to crash,
Just don't you try anything rash!
And I tried Moroccan food with Ginny D, Burmese & Greek & other types with Craig C, a buffalo burger in New Hope with Brenda H & Dianne B & Justina, and plantains in Orlando (though one of my favorite flavors of ice cream is pistach'),
Extending any apologies due, from this poem, to you, Mr. Nash.

So There, Ludwig, now I too have 9 complete,
But you are dead and thus can't compete,
And when my friends visit then my friends I will greet
And encourage them despite the heat,
Especially to the droogs I've just seen after up to ten years, I do entreat,
Provided I am not being indiscreet!
To Kirsten-poo P, Mike P, Scott K, among the elite
And to Sarita F, Melanie W, Johnny D, Wally Y, Mike L, Dawn J, Lisa Bocca, Brian Mojo, Andy V, and thanks to d-d-d-Gary S for retiring and thus inducing us all to meet!

Kevin E. "Little G, G, The Kev-in', Grunie, Vejur" Gruenfeld
2000 July 1

2001 31 Jan (Wed)

We resume our tale (now in prose, not verse), this being the 10th installment of Kev's Life Update, on Saturday, the 1st of July, 2000. At this time, I had been in my new apartment for two months, enjoying the expanse of room, which many of you have already been privy to see (and for those who haven't visited- shame on you!). I've filled much of this space with three dozen plants, new furniture, my enlarged photos on the wall (reprints are for sale, and thank you Kah & Andy for purchasing the first, Independence Hall In The Snow), and other stuff.

It was a usual busy past several months. It started with the U.S. Independence Day celebration, and I met our mayor again at city hall (for the Healthy Walk & Fitness Expo), shortly before WALKING to the famous Art Museum for their concert & fireworks.

Not only is City Hall .91 miles from me, and the Art Museum .80 miles from me, but I was able to explore much of the area near me. I added tree climbing to the list of fitness things to do on Kelly Drive, along with running, bicycling, rollerblading, walking, and then bought more weights for weight lifting (who said Philly is the "fattest" city, or even the 3rd?!).

This several-month time period certainly had an interesting mix of parties! I enjoyed at those of my company picnic (complete with swimming & volleyball), Jen V, Heidi & Dave's hula party (of course on the same night as Danielle & Mike's wedding), Jacquie & Don's housewarming, Philly's Logan Square neighborhood block party, ALL 4 Halloween parties (George, Shane, Logan Square, Brick Playhouse, the last of which was the only one where I arrived in costume, a re-enactment of the controversial 1st year grad school one from 1995), 1/2 of Heidi's end of 3rd decade bash, the company December holiday party (with the great meal, desserts, and dancing) followed by (that same evening) Dawn's holiday party, Mike & Angie's pollyanna open house, the one for my group at work, both New Year's Eve parties- Heat and M-Gray & Sir Tristan, and my own parties- the little 10,000 day old sleep-over and my very successful 6th annual after Thanksgiving & Caribbean vacation (23 people) & thanks for your generosity of raising $20.46 for charity, to Rya for Habitat For Humanity.

These past several months were for several people, "family-building" ones, with all the marriages and births! First the five weddings, to Danielle & Mike, Cripes Kristen, Sue(ba tuba), cuz & Dorit (my new "cuz") near the beaches of Long Island (had to mention the beaches), and Lisa & Dan, my congratulations! And then the six babies in even fewer months (5 girls and 1 boy), to Ruth & Jeff (Isabella), Lisa & Suzanne (Eva), Stacey & Kim (Hope), Anik & Francois (Margarite), Melissa & John (Jenna), Kat & Ed (Ciaran), plus to Sue & her man (adopting an 8 & 9 year old brother & sister), equal congratulations! And best wishes in advance for 2001 to Linda & Dennis, Adine & Ben, Marta & Gene, Joe & Rachel.

There were several interesting events in my life in & around the city. Edgar Allen & The Poettes performed during The Fringe, the Republican National Convention was here in Philly in early August, where I made it a point to position myself right in the middle of the protests in all the excitement (the city was absolutely buzzing, so much "electricity" in the air!). Everyone knew what the indoor speeches would be about and what the results would be (what are the odds... "The state of Illinois is gonna go way out on a limb here and nominate Pat Buchanan"), so I avoided all that and saw the REAL "power of the people" at the protests, just a few blocks from where I live!

A few days before that, thanks to Adine & Ben, I joined them in the lighted boat parade to start the RNC, aboard the Riverboat Queen, an 85' paddle-wheeler after our deluge (of rain). It wasn't until most of the way through that we realized the lights and decorations on our boat were to represent Mississippi (there was a boat for each state). My thanks to the same folks for the "Center City on the Silver Screen" limousine scavenger hunt (thanks for helping, Monique). I missed the Johnny Walker Scotch tasting, but I did meet (again) the World's Fastest Reader (at your wedding cuz & Dorit). I also was able to again see the great Mummer's Parade on New Year's Day (ahh reminiscent of those marching band days... but where is the brass?!), and the Rocky Run the day before, both only a few blocks from my home.

I ventured to the west to see my blind cousin's Bar Mitzvah in Denver (my first time to that city), had plenty of fun dates, demolished my previous high score on Ms. Pac-Man (see my update #9), and then broke the new record that same night after dinner, ending at 145,120, and this time I have Stacey A as a witness! Back in the city, I explored the mint, Chinatown, Old City, Rittenhouse Square with Frisky Prisky, started composing the Techno-Swing song with Monique (and her killer voice), sold my first photo print (yes, I know I mentioned it already but I am quite proud of this), donated my 25th pint of blood to the American Red Cross (although by MY records, they took 27 pints... and I gave 9 more through Heartland in Illinois!), and FINALLY had my 1st physical exam in 2.5 years! (I'm in GREAT health, and in fact received many compliments on my health from the nurse & the doctor; I haven't received that many compliments in 1 day in a long time... and this from someone who saw me naked!).

Continuing with the interesting foods tradition, I enjoyed Jamaican with Heidi H, vegetarian Moroccan with Brenda, New Orleans, Afghan, & much else with Craig, Burmese with Dawn M, sushi (including a sea urchin and eel) with Adam, Igor, & others, caviar with Patrice (thank you), my own Oriental noodle concoction for Stinky and Kate (thanks for the visit late at night), & others.

Recently, I joined the Logan Square Town Watch, was nominated for inclusion in Who's Who In America for 2002, saw Hamlet with Catherine, had a snowball fight right outside my apartment one late night (with Igor, Adam, and Dawn), went ice-skating in town (without falling!), saw ComedySportz (the other good comedy improv here in the city... just a few blocks from home), and have basically been enjoying! Tonight, I leave on my vacation for Carnaval Bonhomme in Quebec (the largest winter festival in the WORLD). Soon after includes a visit/tour of the Johnson House (a stop on the Underground Railroad) within walking distance of where I used to live in NW Philly, a meditation class, skiing, more ice-skating here in Philadelphia, weddings, births, and much else, which I will be writing about in several months! If you are interested in any of these events, let me know! Before that, I must make up for lost time (up to 12 years?), with greetings to Nicole K and Cripes Kristen!

I hope you enjoyed reading this 10th installment of my life update. The whole story is on my almost 6-years-old website ([deleted]). In closing, you can reach me at [deleted] or at work [deleted] (direct line) or [deleted]. Use [deleted] for email. You can also write or visit me at [deleted] Philadelphia PA [deleted]. I always have time for my friends!

Most sincerely,
Kevin E. Gruenfeld
Philadelphia, 2001 Jan 31

[2001 Sep 1]

Life Update #11,
(In verse) sincerely, Kevin.

It started in the wintry cold
Teeth chat'ring almost uncontrolled.
From the frozen depths waking up in Albany, New York with
Thanks, Stinky, then to Quebec: le Carnaval Bonhomme (no myth!).
It's lure on me was sold.

Though it's cold was not defeated,
With French I was not impeded
In this world's biggest winter carnival, with a night parade,
Temps 22-C below and "sweaters" for the horns, portrayed
Some warmth! I entreated.

Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre Basilique
Had skating by torchlight unique.
Here more imposing than St. Patrick's; The ice castle quite grand:
Forty feet high, one ten across and the sculptures (snow, not sand!)
Would succeed a critique.

I tried the wine called Caribou
(Heated and strong) and poutine, too,
avec Anik, Marguerite, et Sylvie before rejoining
Le Carnaval for soapbox derbies and snow races using
each team in a canoe!

After Le Chateau Frontenac,
To Montreal! Then quite a whack
Of snow heading back home (after time with Kat, Ciaran, and Ed)
In the worst driving conditions I've had, wanting warmth instead:
I wished home I was back.

At this point the reader might ask, "Just how bad were these driving conditions?"
Being the time of the megahit of snow giving some people their hellish commute home on a Monday, I can assure such readers that it was bad
indeed, as I was scared doing even under 20mph on an Interstate highway.
In fact, it took me 6.5 hours just to get to Albany, which should have taken 3.5 hours.
And I thank you, Stinky, for letting me stay over on such short notice in Albany.
I should have listened to you, Kat, and stayed the extra time IN Montreal, rather than driving away from it!

The Underground Railroad, a Stop,
With Catherine, in town, Be Bim Bop
Is a Korean dish not served at The Johnson House of course!
Near the Meditation class I took (just one, but no remorse),
Plus Jitterbug, on top!

On top, more dance lessons with Jen
And Laura. Pro bike race in Tren-
Ton- course marshals (Philly- Courtney) with Jacquie & Don (then shown
Me leading the Conga Line at the March wedding of Wax-Sohn)
Who've seen the River Seine

But I got my own cycling in
(And can celebrate with White-Zin)
Doing 66 miles for the Freedom Valley Bike Ride,
Plus with Susan the Ride For Hope, two hours through, he decried,
Hurricane Allison!

An R700 Raleigh,
My new road bike (makes me jolly)
From Adam, riding with the Philly Bike Club and Stacey with
Team Tania conquering the Manayunk Wall, certainly pith,
Fueled from a bialy.

But running I shall not neglect,
Else I may become nervous wrecked
With Shari and the group, I met a winner of the Boston
Marathon / editor of Runner's World, and tips he tossed in
Made sense; we're not perplexed.

Indeed, my running also took off this season, as I raced my first 5K race, Race For Clean Air, with a time of 22:09, finishing 99th out of 601, as well as my first 10K race, for Vietnam Vets, with a time of 45:54, finishing 58th out of 326!
Though admittedly, that formidable Manayunk Wall is one of the most famous city-climbs in the world for cycling!
And the volleyball with Jeff & Adam shouldn't be forsaken.
Nor my occasional in-line skating,
And the draw of these opportunities brought out the editor of Men's Fitness (which rated Philly the fattest city in 2000, then the 3rd fattest in 2001, and I get this magazine), who I met.

This city has its share of arts
Many of which I've taken parts:
The operas Werther at Academy of Music, great seats
(Thanks to Catherine) and Carmen at The Mann with Ginny, both treats,
Their music tops the charts.

With Heidi, Catherine, saw Show Boat.
Saw Rocky outdoors, we would gloat
Since it played at OUR art museum, we were interactive!
Then Stormed The Bastille with Jacquie, Don, Jen, somewhat didactive:
Before, French could not vote.

And other Philly traditions
Led me to some good positions
Such as Hoagie Day, Summer Mummer's Parade, Fourth of July
Ceremony at Independence Hall, with those none too shy,
Declared suppositions.

The Brick Playhouse right on South Street,
I helped again and was discreet,
And saw Edgar Allen & The Poettes, and the birthday bash
Of Ben Franklin Bridge, Danielle, Mike P's party, Dip's new job splash.
Each one for me a treat.

Logan Square, my 'hood, Town Watch, I
Joined. With some neighbors we did fly
A picnic: Adam, Igor, Jeff, Kieran, Michelle, after my
Ninth annual Come As You Aren't Birthday Party (no lie),
I served my homemade pie.

Of course let us not forget the fun company picnic,
And the Kappa picnic, organized by Scott & Kathy and hosted by Jacquie & Don.
Neither will I fail to mention that I was able to attend my first bris (well, technically my second, but this time as an observer not a participant!) thanks to Adine and Ben.
And, before I forget, a long-term (in-person!) hello to Sarah B!
But let us conclude the story.

Returned yesterday from a cruise,
My parents, a trip they could use.
To celebrate their 35th anniversary I sent
Them to Alaska (that is, including airfare back, I meant).
Soon I will hear their news.

I finally got to the beach
(It's life! ((just a figure of speech))
At Sea Girt. But, back in Philly took photos from City Hall
Tower (ate cuisines: Cuban, Persian, French Crepes, sushi, Thai, all).
The view it will enthrall.

My high school reunion, a blast!
The fun that night was unsurpassed.
My best to Teri-Resa, Rosa-G, and for the first time
In ten years to Chrissy (from nursery school!), Siwei, and more prime
Friends who I had amassed.

I also took a Car-Care class
For the Non-Mechanic, alas,
Those two seminars didn't help when my alternator died,
Although I got in CPR/AED re-certified.
I learned them both en masse.

My half Marathon's coming soon
At a time not inopportune,
But the week before is a Century Ride: 100 miles
In one day on bike, for me, both certainly tough trials
Amongst the big platoon.

Plus the annual Logan Square
Block Party now planned with great care,
A Sandy Hook beach trip for this weekend, and more help at Brick
Playhouse for the renowned avant-garde Fringe Festival, my pick.
I'll be at all foursquare.

And that's the truth with lies dispelled
My thoughts in print I felt compelled
To write, and thus number eleven has now come to an end,
(Boring parts excluded!) and now write to me I recommend,
Kevin E. Gruenfeld.

[2002 Mar 31]

Well well well, here we are again! No poetry this time, as planned for this, my Life Update #12 (although you can claim credit if you want from your complaint, Aerili), but there is a pattern here!

When we last left off of my missive, it was the 1st of September, 2001. Let's skip ahead. After thinking about it for a few years, I finally took my southeast U.S. tour, hitting Charleston SC, Savannah, Atlanta, and Charlotte NC on November 1-10. In Charleston, I ate okra gumbo & jambalaya at Poogan's Porch, raced the 3rd annual James Island Connector Run 10K (the toughest race in Charleston they say, even harder than Cooper River Bridge!) placing #29 out of 253 with a time of 44:29, went in the ocean at Folly Beach on Folly Island, took two tours of the city including a great ghost tour (ask me about Philadelphia Ave and the innkeeper in her wedding dress and the 5' spikes), and also ate she-crab soup with Sherry on top (the local dish), shrimp & crawfish etouffee, and fried green tomatoes.

In Savannah, I took a ghost tour (ask me about the dead ringer and being saved by the bell, two expressions originated here) and my own walking/driving tour, ate more crawfish and she-crab soup, ate at the famous Mrs. Wilkes boarding house (and went up to Mrs. Wilkes-- they think she's about 95 years old-- and introduced myself) for their famous southern hospitality, tried the local dish of lowcountry boil (pronounced /bol/) on Tybee Island (yes, I did go in the ocean at Tybee Beach and did see the lighthouse), and entered Bonaventure Cemetery (the setting of Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil).

Then there was Atlanta (I passed Vidalia, but Vidalia onions were not in season). I toured Buckhead, Underground Atlanta, the Martin Luther King historic site (including the Gandhi exhibit), his birth house, and his grave site (and collected chestnuts from the surrounding trees; you can't get THEM in gift shops; if you want one, please let me know). I took a tour of the city which included the Margaret Mitchell house and the 350' Cyclorama, ate a "Philly Cheesesteak," touched into Alabama (18 states to go!), had lunch at the rotating Sun Dial in the Westin Hotel, the tallest hotel in Western hemisphere (hey, I didn't think they would let me take photos from the 72nd floor if I didn't eat there). I also met the Atlanta Singles Running Organization for a 6.5 mile run + dinner (hi Yvette!)

After that was Charlotte, staying with my cousin Warren. I ran a 5K here, though it was my only disappointing race of the season at 22:59 (though I was still #50 of 229, so I guess others had an off day as well). I tried Vietnamese for the first time, along with a BBQ sandwich with slaw, Brunswick stew and hushpuppies, and ate at Fuel Pizza (from the movie Shallow Hal, shot here). I also wrote the plays that I submitted to The Brick Playhouse while here, before returning to Philly, logging 2,405 miles for my much-needed vacation!

As I recall, several events were looming on the horizon back in September. The first was the Scenic Schuylkill Century, one of the largest bicycle rides in the area (hi Stacey & Steve!). My cycling goal of last season was this 100-mile trek. I ended up doing 115 miles that day (ask me why), finishing an hour before the Logan Square Block Party began (which I attended, with muscles that I didn't know could get sore, sore). The following week was my running goal: The Philadelphia Distance Run, a half-marathon. I was very proud of my chip time of 1:43:55 (and Shari's time), placing me #1828 out of 5927. The Philly Marathon was in November, but it's no secret that I don't like colder weather running. However, running a Marathon might happen for me this year. After all, according to Dara L, I'm now a hard-core runner since we ran in 26-F in the snow in January!

It was a great time for the performing arts. My first time in Walnut Street Theatre, the oldest theatre in the country, with Laura B and Kelly; the Kimmel Center grand opening with Jen Vi; the Academy of Music with Laura B for Handel's Messiah. After about two years, I finally went to the movies, for Harry Potter (thanks, Jeff S) and A Beautiful Mind with Brenda C (starring Monique... well, not really starring, but she had a part!). I of course went to The Brick Playhouse as usual for the IT series. In February, however, I became more a part of the creative arts process, when they accepted the two first plays I wrote for their annual Night Of 1,000 Plays series.

I was quite satisfied with my debut, "All Natural," and the second, "CK One." Judging from audience reaction (and your kind comments) they were both great successes! Thank you for attending, Craig, Pease, Monique, Allison, Helene, Stu, Jen Vi, Kelly, Mom, Dad, Ron, Jeff S, Kieran, Michelle T, and the half-dozen other friends of yours that I met. There's a meal on me for the first person to determine the deliberate significance of the names of all four people in the first play (and I'll give the scripts to anyone who asks)! I'm trying to get the videotapes of both plays.

There were also many varied parties during this time including my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary (a month before Grandpa's surgery, which was successful), The Brick's Halloween party (with my same provocative costume as last year), my 7th annual After Thanksgiving Dinner & Caribbean Vacation with 25 people (thank you!) & 103 pounds of food (yes, I weighed it as I cooked it!), parties from work including the holiday party with Jen Vi & the group party & Mike G's party, The Brick's holiday party, those of Jill T, Michelle T, & Adam G (the 8 parties in 2 weeks I somehow made it through), Adam G's Superbowl & related gatherings, and Jacquie & Don's end-of-winter dessert party!

Other related events included Terror Behind The Walls @ Eastern State Penitentiary, Ben F's 2nd annual Center City on the Silver Screen limousine scavenger hunt from City Hall (and the Press Party a few weeks prior), and the 20th annual Beaux Arts Ball with Shari (two black tie events in 3 weeks!). Ironically enough, the location of the latter is along my Art Museum-to-Valley Forge bike ride (take note, Don and Stacey & Steve!), so I talked my way past security into having a look inside this building during a ride. The building was not finished and had no carpeting yet, so, since I didn't have too much time to walk around the huge floors, I actually rode my bike around inside, all in my cycling gear! ONE WEEK LATER, I was in a tux, complete with black top hat, white gloves, & white scarf!

Other non-related events included ice-skating, swing dances with Catherine and Heat, and attending my first mural dedication here in Philadelphia (and meeting Philly's own very sweet Grammy-nominated Jill Scott). I encourage you to go to a mural dedication... there are enough to pick from in Philly! I served my first jury duty, with Judge Eugene Maier, the Judge featured in City Paper this March (both defendants were guilty on all six nasty charges). It was actually an educational, enlightening experience! Testimony included the best example of a can-you-guess-the-answer-to-this question (reproduced here backwards, for the squeamish: "revirdwercs a fo dne prahs eht htiw selcitset eht ni uoy debbats eh nehw leef ti did woh").

I finally put my photos on a CD, in addition to the portfolio I assembled two years ago, both of which you may borrow. I can email photos to you, too! This is something I'm quite proud of, as I've already had a few purchases. I met Cecily Tynan of channel 6 at the first meeting of the Tri-State Multisport Association, went to my first pro hockey game, tried an Ostrich burger here in Philly, made it to 23rd Street Cafe for their jazz, had deep dish pizza at Pizzaria Uno and then had a colleague bring me back a frozen one from Chicago(!), and finally tried our Malaysian place, Panang. This city has so much to offer- take advantage of it! For example, anyone wanting to teach a non-credit course/seminar in Mt. Airy, there are opportunities available!

For the future, I'll continue at The Brick Playhouse (and you are welcome as well!). The 5K Race For Clean Air is the 20th of April (this was the first race I ran, last year, and I am planning on doing it again with several of you!) and my 10th Annual Big Birthday Bash will be that evening. The Broad Street Run is May 5, too early in the season for me, but I plan to volunteer for it, as well as for the First Union Pro Bike Races culminating in Philly on the 9th of June for which I was a course marshal before (I strongly encourage you to volunteer for something like this- it's a great, exciting experience!). I made the next cut for Who's Who In America, but I'm not in yet... I just get the "privilege" of ordering the book at over $300 off! Hmm... maybe I'll start a business like this and sell the books for over $600!

There are plenty of swing dances to attend (and I can teach ya, as I've already taught a couple of people). You can do Town Watch with me, can join the new running club that Dara L and I are starting, and can get involved with Philly Young Professionals that Jen Vi is starting (email me for info on these three). Perhaps also, we'll get to more improv comedy shows, the Mummer's Museum, the Mutter Museum of Medical Oddities, and the National Liberty Museum, and of course the running races and long bike rides. Hey, most anything keeping us active taking us away from the television is a good thing!

Congratulations to the seven couples now engaged, including Teri-Resa, Laura Mc, and Dara L, and the seven expecting, including Ted & Rubi, Jacquie & Don, Heidi & Dave, and Michelle & Stan! Almost finally, greetings and salutations to cover up to SEVEN years to Laura Mc, Emily & Dev, Jen Vo, and Meghan! Finally, you can reach me at 1-215-xxx-xxxx or at work (we moved in November from 17th & Market to 19th & Market, now only six blocks from home!) at 1-215-xxx-xxxx (direct line) or 1-800-xxx-xxxx. Use x@x.x for email. You can also write or visit me at xxxx Arch St #xxx, Philadelphia PA 191xx-xxxx. I always have time for my friends!

Most sincerely,
Kevin E. Gruenfeld
Philadelphia, 2002 March 31

#13 From Kev, commencing on 2002 April 01

Number 13 is here, and follows below for you to read,
Continuing the tradition of my "life updates" indeed.
For those who don't know, I send out these emails of my life, from 1995 was planted the seed,
This time commencing on 2002 April 01, through now, is a long story, but enjoy it I plead.
So, go ahead, proceed.

There were several events or achievements I did after much planning, waiting, something else, or at least some anticipation,
Such as hearing our Philadelphia Orchestra (one of the best in the world) in their new home, the Kimmel Center, with Chris G, for a Beethoven & Wagner evening, without much syncopation,
Or visiting the Mutter Museum Of Medical Oddities And Artifacts with Allison, Helene, Igor, and Kieran, which included the skull collection, perhaps one of which was Haitian,
And joining Bugles Across America, a fine organization
That plays Taps at funerals for veterans (I played "Taps" on September 11th for an American Legion Post here in Philly, one way to serve my nation),
Then watching me on channel 6 for a TV interview after climbing (cycling) up the infamous Manayunk Wall, for which I have the videotape (thanks Jen L & Mom) which we watched at Jen's celebration.
I finally took my Circle Line 3-hour boat tour of the island of Manhattan and visited the Empire State Building observatory (with great photos!) on my latest trip to NYC (though unfortunately missed cuz & Dorit), taking the train after driving up to Trenton Rail Station.
I was actually accepted into the 2003 publication of Who's Who In America... but I need to borrow a copy from one of you because our library here (the first in America, by the way) in Philly doesn't have it, although they have about all the other Who's Who books (go figure, someone should start an investigation),
And it didn't take too much convincing to sing Karaoke to "Love Shack" with Ben & Ellie (with Jeff S, Kieran, Dave, and Jen L as witnesses) even though the last time for me was in a bar way down in Mexico, I assure you such a thing was not such an aberration.

One of the most industrious and rewarding undertakings was, with Dara L, the inception of a Center City Running Group,
Starting with just the two of us and now having 159 members (and post-run dinners & brunches), many of us during our group runs doing the "loop,"
Since running is a good way to stay fit, which is important, according to the Surgeon General, (one of whom was Philly's C. Everett Koop).
And, running with such a group is a good motivator, for me to achieve my three running goals this season of placing in the top 10% in a race, placing in my division, and completing my first marathon, the last of which I needed plenty of time to recup-
Erate, after doing Steamtown Marathon in Scranton PA on 13 Oct in 3:18:28, #196 of 1,354 finishers, before that on 28 Sep the Riverside NJ Run From Drugs 5K with Chris G, Jen L, and Nicole H, winning in male 20-29 with 4th place overall (though 3 seconds behind #3 and a trophy!) at 19:36, and before that the Philadelphia Distance Run 1/2 Marathon on 15 Sep placing #658 out of 7,011 with 1:35:32 (with a bunch of friends from the group) followed by a complete fast starting that evening (and I recommend against such crazy things), but which was preceded by Helen's pre-race pasta party, which did not include soup.

My congratulations go out to several friends who had achievements of their own during the span of this email,
To Ben F and his Casino Night fundraiser, a switch from the past two years, but I knew he would not fail;
To Jen Vi and her many Philly Young Pro's events including one where we all were able to try many a Mediterranean cocktail;
To many in Stacey's cycling group, who reached their own goals while helping me to reach my own cycling goal #2 of the season, cycling 1,000 miles this season in almost any weather (though not hail),
And conquering the Philadelphia Marathon by Jenny S, Karen, Brian S, Sean, Laks, Steve G, Sue W, Becca S (and others I'm sure), hearing at times an occasional wail,
I knew for each their training would not curtail,
Plus for my psych friends their dissertation and PhD related accomplishments (or individual steps) to Monster Dave, Todd, Jeff M, Jenny S, Dara L, and Miriam (and Igor too, though outside of psych), right on the nail,
And now all those above will have an interesting tale.

Unfortunately, there were many events leading to great pain
With the deaths of too many, including my old friend Mike Lacey, for why, it is hard to explain,
Yet the circle of life did maintain
With several births including those to Heidi & David, Jacquie & Don, and Stan & Michelle, and impending to Nicole D (and I hope I didn't miss anyone), to their family, they would all gain
Since watching the little ones are sure to entertain,
And to the wedding of M-Gray & Sir Tristan (and engagements to Stu-Maaann, Michelle T & Paul, Ben & Ellie), a toast of champagne.

In late May, from Claire, I bought a Saturn SL2 car
With stick-shift, very much the same as the Saturn SL2 I had before the Sentra, the differences were not too far,
Then sold the Sentra a few months later, and though I paid more for the Saturn than I received for the Sentra, getting the lump sum months later gave me the illusion that I had all this money, how bizarre,
Though not enough of course to buy a Renoir,
Or to take a long trip to Cote d'Ivoire.
Nevertheless, I decided to put 10% to charity, a few hundred dollars in the "jar."
The interesting thing is that I don't miss the money at all & encourage y'all to try something like this to raise the bar!

I've found there are so many annual events in which to take part in Philly, this fair town, here,
In April, My 10th Annual Birthday Party (30 people this year,
Right after the 20:49 5K Race For Clean Air with Em, Laura B, Kier-
An, Shari, Dara L, Karen, and Leah R), then in June the First Union Pro Bike Races in Trenton & Philly, I again went to volunteer
Where I met several pro's while admiring their gear,
Then in July the Independence Day Fireworks (from the roof of Kieran's building, to the celebration we were quite near),
(as well as those in Alexandria with my cousin Adam and other family down on the frontier)
And, shortly after, Storming The Bastille with Jen L, where the public Ms. Antoinette did not endear,
Following, in September, the aforementioned Philadelphia Distance Run, the Scenic Schuylkill Century bike ride (my cycling goal #1, doing 115 miles again this year; with Jen L, Sue W, Ralph & Ann, Shara), and that same day the Logan Square Block Party, where they did indeed have beer,
With much more than that at the black-tie Barrymore Awards (Philly's version of the Tony Award's in October) with Carolyn, offering plenty of opportunities to cheer,
Continuing to the end of the month, with the Logan Square Halloween Party and the famous: Henri David's 34th Halloween Ball (again as a reformed flasher, with Maggie as a cigar-cigarette girl, a 1st place to Becca F as a Calder sculpture, and over 1,000 others) with plenty to revere,
And yes, Henri David did appear to appear
As a chandelier,
Culminating, yesterday, with my 8th Annual After Thanksgiving Dinner & Caribbean Vacation (with a total of 30 & 1/2 people (the 1/2 being 6 month old Ashley, (which still puts this as my 2nd largest party by a 1/2 (with thanks to Natalia & Jen Vi for helping (and thanks to everyone for helping to raise $40.77 for charity))))), which as usual to put on I had to persevere.

Only three times this year did I make it to the beach (don't call it the shore
I do implore),
At Sandy Hook with Brenda C, then with Maggie to Belmar in September and Seaside Heights in October (leaving December as the only month that I've never been in the ocean... though that will happen for sure),
Which left plenty of time for Ben & Ellie's bowling & Italian Bistro night, Jen L & Karen's birthday party, Em & Dev's housewarming, Karen's farewell dinner, the neighborhood's 2nd annual picnic, the NA picnic, Susan B's smoothie birthday party, the Marathon parties of Brian S and Sean, continuing on Logan Square Town Watch, and much more,
Such as finally seeing a show at the Prince Music Theatre, with Catherine, where I've never been before,
And the many shows at The Brick, which I adore,
Though I did not make it to many swing dances at Penn's Landing, which is too bad since they are not going on anymore
(Well, at least, until next summer of course), but furthermore,
There are other locations and events galore
To explore,
Such as the Young Friends of the Philly Opera, and its great dinner at Cibucan, though without any soup de jour,
It still certainly was not hard to endure.

For the future, now that my running and cycling goals that I had set I've been able to do,
I can (and this is one of the reasons why I recounted all that) have my life return to some semblance of normalcy yet, since although it kept me busy, I do not need to rue
Or feel blue,
Since this means, my friends, that now I can spend more time with you,
My crew,
And those for whom I hadn't seen in a while, some for many years, Beth L, Tammy, John H, Jason, Audrey, Jessica, and others (all technically due
Mike L), Jeff V, Frisky-Prisky, Mistress-Theresa, and Wil (all at Crystal, thanks Wil), Suky, and Cassandra, friends true,
And thus pursue
An additional goal of finally starting re-learning French, so tell me if of this language you have a clue,
(To conveniently insert some French phrases to help with my motivation) since much of it to me will still be new,
And pester me to compose those swing songs too!

Now #13 is just about done,
But if you want previous installments of this life update thing (including the 7th, 9th, and 11th in verse, plus the fun 5th), let me know; I've kept them all since I begun,
So I will conclude by telling that you can reach me at home at 1-215-xxx-xxxx or at work at 1-215-xxx-xxxx (direct line) or 1-800-xxx-xxxx, and use x@x.x for email, or if for phone and email service you've got none,
You can also visit (or write) me at xxxx Arch St #xxx, Philadelphia PA 191xx-xxxx and we can even go out for a run,
Or listen to some music by Henry Mancini (he composed the theme from Peter Gunn),
And thus I close; I've had my fun!
Sincerely, Kevin E. Gruenfeld, Philadelphia, 2002 December 1.

Get A KLU (Kev's Life Update) #14

It's been 10 months since I wrote another "Kev's Life Update." But here, after the longest gap since I started, is #14, commencing on the 1st of December, 2002.

As I recall, we had just finished the 8th Annual After Thanksgiving Dinner And Caribbean Vacation (with plenty of photos)! Never fear, for many more came to follow. Milestone parties/outings were for Brenda H (35), Aunt Harriet (80), Adam (30) & his sushi, Helene and her Thai (30), Maria-Paula (30), the surprise for Craig (30), Kelly and her Indian (25), and me (30) hosting 32 & 1/2 people in late April for my 11th annual birthday party (more photos!)! Other birthday celebrations were for Kieran, Jen L, Mike Do., Jeff S, Sue B & with Meg for their musical housewarming party. Farewell dinners were for Ben & Ellie and the surprise one for Dara L and Matt. Weddings were for Ben & Ellie, Stu & Margie, Jenny & Mark, Dara & Matt. Congratulations to them & to Miriam at her graduation party! We also had our "formal dinner" at Twenty21 (an almost $1,200 check... and photos!). There were parties by Nicole H, the NA Holiday party with Brenny & BBR group party, The New Year's Eve parties by Adam and with Catherine, Louis, Jeff's Shabbat gathering, the annual Logan Square Block Party with Mayor Street & Councilman Clarke, and the annual Philly Runners pre-PDR pasta party Sep 20 (raising $114). Wow, what a long paragraph of celebrations! I like mentioning y'all!

But there's another long one of athletic stuff. I saw an orthopedic surgeon in November for my left knee, but it was inconclusive, though after taking it easy for a bit, it hasn't bothered me (it curses at me in Greek sometimes though!). Still, I haven't done much long distance running, saving a Boston qualifying time for next year! I started with my bike trainer late December, then slowly added running mileage, including the Philly Runners infamous 14-F degree run (with 14 people!). Still, the short races were good: the 22nd 5K Race For Clean Air with a time of 19:54 (#51 of 652) and later the PDR 5K with 18:35 (#23 of 532) & post-race lunch (thanks Bridget!), plus the Philly Runners outings (and now that Dara "fled" Philly, Seth & Kelli & Bridget are running this with me... of 294 members!).

The cycling season started with a Team Tania brunch. Then, Roy installed clipless pedals. In June were the pro bike races where I was a course marshal in Trenton & Philly (Don & Courtney know!) where I met several pro's and even rode with the Jelly Belly pro team for what THEY called an "easy ride" (the Manayunk Wall isn't part of MY "easy ride")! On my long Sunday rides (with Stacey & Steve, Jen L, Roy, Elena, etc.), I set a new speed record of 43mph. It wasn't all smooth sailing when I biked my annual 115-mile day, when "oblivious woman" at mile 80 caused me to have an accident, but I'm fine now. I'm almost at my cycling goal of 1,500 miles for the year, but it's getting cold, and I still have 148 miles!

I sampled just a tiny portion of all the opera & classical music in Philly, including the Haydn trumpet concerto, the best performance of Rite Of Spring, and a great performance of Beethoven's 9th (hi Chris G), all by the Philly Orchestra. The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra was in town as well (thanks Dara G) which I heard with Laura B: Dvorak 9, Beethoven piano concerto 4. I raced home early from the Trenton pro bike race for Barenboim's performance of four Beethoven sonatas (next time, Audrey!) and an autograph afterwards. All these were great seats too! Tracy's Young Friends of the Philly Opera was busy as well (giving me my first event at the Pyramid Club), and that's gearing up again. Thanks to Monique's prodding, I FINALLY composed my first swing song. It ain't great, but it's fine for a first attempt (let me know if they are going to use it!).

The theatre was busy as usual at The Brick Playhouse, especially at the annual Night Of 1,000 Plays when Magpie, Kieran, Jen, and Roy saw my "CK Two" there. I'm busy writing more for next February's N1K, though in the meantime, there will be other IT performances (maybe we'll see Mike Do. act again?) as well as The Dive/The Waitstaff. And, since this is the participatory performance arts paragraph (?), I did end up singing Karaoke with other Philly Runners folks (Queen's Crazy Little Thing Called Love Roy Orbison's Crying). What's next?

However, we shan't neglect mentioning the ice-skating, the snowball fight, bowling, a Union League tour (hey, you donate blood there, you can sweet talk someone into giving you a tour!), watching Matt (with Dara & Kieran) perform at the Laff House, a tapas tasting (and other Philly Young Pro's events), the CCPA 25th Anniversary in City Hall (thanks, Ben F), helping several people move (Sue & Tom, Susan B, Seth), and but one trip to the beach, Sea Girt of course (and didn't come anywhere near close to drowning this time)!

Don't you see all that's here for you when you stop watching television!

For those who actually saw me in the past couple months, you'll note that the long hair is now gone! Cut off June 27 and donated to Locks Of Love (they make wigs for children with hair loss). Yes, some people who have known me for several years have never seen me with short hair. I basically don't even have to comb my hair now! Ahhhh. :-) Katie, make sure you save that hair wrap I gave you in 1996! I have photos of it chopped off too!

Due to our war, I was asked to play Taps for a kid at Drexel U who was killed in Kuwait in April. This was actually aired on channel 10 & I have the tape. Anyone who can play trumpet may be part of this volunteer organization (ask for info). If any of you happen to have recorded the channel 29 news on August 17 (hmm... what are the odds), let me know, since I'm on there for about 10 seconds. Since it fits no where else... a revision from a previous email, Who's Who In America -IS- at the Philly Library (so don't order one for the low low price of some $300; just photocopy the page you want). Watch for me in the next edition! I certainly am NOT buying a copy!

My last day at National Analysts was earlier this year with a great farewell lunch. I decided to take off a few months, but am now job hunting (with a degree in clinical psych & experience in market research) for research based positions, social policy, statistics/psychometrics, grant foundations, etc. (in case anyone has any leads!).

Finally, long-lost hellos to Marissa (the record at 10 years) on the DC trip Feb 1 (the Columbia tragedy) visiting on a trolley tour of the Washington monument, Lincoln Memorial, Aquarium, Georgetown. Also to Sabine, Erika, Danielle H, Tammy, Stu-Maaann. It's apparently migration season with farewells on their moves to Dawn-dear to Japan, Kieran to DC, Ellie & Ben to Montana, Dara & Matt to Hoboken, Jilly to Ridgewood. Best wishes to you!

Next time, #15 will resume in verse. Ouch! Contact me and tell me what you thought!

Most sincerely,
Kevin E. Gruenfeld
xxxx Arch St #xxx
Phila PA 191xx-xxxx
01 October 2003

Get A KLU #15 - in verse, 01 oct 2003 - 01 dec 2004

(Kev's Life Up-
Date) installment
#15, Com-
mencing 1 October
2003, in
this tempora-
ry format.
for my

ning sea-
son kept up
as usual
with the AIDS Walk 10-
K race in October,
3rd out of 104,
39:33 the time.
That was to be my last race (for now),
as I was injured in April. Since I
was still able to ride (and lift, which I start-
ed the previous July), I set a lofty
2500 mile goal for 2004 (I
met my 2003 goal of 1500
miles on November 2, ending November
17: 1526.2).
In June, I also did a warm-up
ride with Jelly Belly pro team
and again was a course mar-
shal for the pro races
(and met some pro rid-
ers) in Phila-
and Tren-

day, 3rd
met with a con-
tact from Philadel-
phia City Council-
man Michael Nutter, after
seeing Philly Runners Seth and
me in a Philadelphia Dai-
ly News article by PR Jenice,
itself from the club's weekly email I send.
The results were the Fairmount Park Safety meetings,
involving the city's managing director, po-
lice commissioner, Fairmount Park director, and other
high-ups. Philly Runners also volunteered at last year's and
this year's Philly Marathon (over 20 of us racing!) in
November, Broad Street Run in May, and Philly Distance Run in Septem-
ber, all with our pre-race pasta party (no low-carb diets!) and post-race
celebration (thanks for hosting Joyce, Laura G, English Mike), plus staffing a
water stop at Penn Relays in April. We again proved that "the runs are never
cancelled" with our regular Saturday morning run on January 10
(9 days past our "Hangover Run, my 1st run after taking December
off), where we had twice as many runners (12) as degrees (6-F)! With
15mph winds, the "real feel" was -12! Two weeks lat-
er was just a balmy 17-F... but snowing! Weather
extremes did not hit us again until our regular
Tuesday evening run on September 28 through
Hurricane Jeanne (it was more like a duathlon,
with water at times up to our lower calves)!
March was Philly Runners' 2nd anni-
versary! Our custom coolmax shirts
arrived after. Our message board
was up in May. And, we con-
tinued post-run eating/
drinking at Bishop's
Collar plus ice-
cream and hot

1at the age
of 95 my
Grandmother died. If those
of you have tried my Vien-
nese Linzertorte or Blueberry
Heidelberen, these were her reci-
pes. If you've ever listened to Beethoven,
Mozart, Johann Strauss (junior OR senior), you
have an idea of the musical her-
itage of Vienna, the city
she was from. My Grandparents fled
in the 1930s what
was becoming Nazi
Germany, leaving
their bank accounts,
but preserv-
ing their

bid fond
farewells to
George, then Seth (who
is back... already!)
and to Alie & Hel-
ene (even though Helene has
not left yet)! Then were the visits
by Catherine, Dawn-dear, and Alie. In
between were Miriam & Paul's wedding,
cousin Leah's graduation, Rachel S
& Dave's apartment warming, and Wendy & An-
dy's housewarming and musical extravaganza
(with me on guitar, strangely enough). Interspersed with them
were the birthday parties/gatherings: Uncle Sol's 85th,
Meg's dinner (39), Laura B (25), Don's 40th
surprise, Francisco & Leida's surprise, Adam's dinner (31),
Dad's 60th, Keith's dinner, Maria-Paula's surprise, Jen & Helene's
dinner (followed by an outdoor viewing of Rocky on the art museum steps
with Rachel), Danielle's party for Trish, Chase's party for Craig, Susan B's dinner,
and Igor's dinner (30). Of course, mention must be made for the other parties. In
2003 were the Logan Square Spooky Gathering Halloween Party (also in
2004 with the first neighborhood parade!) and the Henri David party (the
largest private Halloween party in the country) with Danielle, Miriam, Jeff
S, and Keith. We did not attend that one in 2004, but I ventured
to Heather's Halloween party instead (I wasn't too creative this
year, as I reprised a past costume, wearing all blue with blue face paint;
I did add the cardboard sign "PLEASE - No Flash Photography. Thank You"
and went as Picasso's Blue Period). Adam had an Ea-
gles playoff party and a pot luck dinner/poker night,
Jeff S had two parties including a billiards par-
ty, I took Rachel to Laura's "copious" din-
ner party, Albert co-hosted a big par-
ty (with PRs Sari, Erica, and
Seth in attendance), the annual
Logan Square Block Party was in
September, and Heather had
her most excellent sol-
stice celebration
in June that Rach-
el and I

were plen-
ty music/
theatre goings-
on, too. The Brick Play-
house had their yearly Night
Of 1,000 Plays (I'm fran-
tically for 2005 writ-
ing a few), and hosted English Mike's
plays. ComedySportz was fun. The Curtis
Institute recitals (one of the best con-
servatories in the world, a few blocks
from me) were amazing as always,
and the Mann Center performance,
Opera In The (Rittenhouse)
Square, and the Young Friends of
the Philly Opera
events were en-
as al-

ty Bell moved
to it's new home
and I was there tak-
ing photos of the move!
Philly Runners had a soc-
cer game, our annual dinner,
Ian's WHYY vol-
unteering, the Schuylkill River cruise, and
the Schuylkill River Development Corpo-
ration focus groups. Restaurant Week in Janu-
ary led to Brasserie Perrier, Founders, and
Le Bar Lyonnais, returning to the latter for our
2nd Formal Dinner. Winter events included ice-skat-
ing and the first skiing I've done in well over a decade or-
ganized by Seth. The new Schuylkill River Park path extension was of-
ficially lit by Mayor Street and other high-up city officials,
and the Free The River Park advocacy group to fight CSX
to keep access was formed. We again Stormed The Bastille in the sum-
mer (yes, we ate "cake" Don). I now coordinate Logan Square
Town Watch, and recruited Jeff S (and maybe soon Raymond
and Lisa). I reported for jury duty, but
this time was not selected. As part of Bugles
Across America, I played Taps at mil-
itary funerals twice this year so
far. My blood donations went on as
usual. They love my O-pos-
itive blood (O plus, Alie?),
and piercing my veins is
easy as I'm "a
dream" accord-
ing to

& Leida threw
a birthday dinner
for me, the first time some-
one ELSE hosted ME for my
birthday in many years! The next
day was my 12th annual Big Birth-
day Bash with 38 & 1/2 peo-
ple (easily my 2nd largest party)!
My 9th annual After Thanksgiving Dinner
& Caribbean Vacation fed 31 hun-
gry people last year, and we just wrapped up my 10th. I went
to tbe beach three times this year. The first was with Rachel to Sea-
side Heights plus overnight camping & then kayaking. The second
was with Susan B & Stephanie to Spring Lake. The third was alone
to Spring Lake/Belmar which included my 10-mile 6-town boardwalk run to
Asbury Park's Stone Pony & back! I've been doing computer consulting
since late June but am still looking for research-related positions. For
those of you who did not know, Rachel & I parted amicably
after nearly five months (thank you for the set-up Susan B). Last
year October, based on my restaurant recommendation,
Phyllis visited Square On Square and gave it a great re-
view, mentioning me twice, in the South Philly Review.
Of course, this press did not compare to when Jenny
became the big winner on Wheel Of Fortune!
Still, read the Philadelphia Style mag-
azine March issue for my inter-
view on running. Not sure though that
it compares to when Matt did
the MRI on me
for his research and
my brain over-
loaded the

I have
15, like
you Dmitri
But there's more to come...
at some future date. In
the meantime, call (215-
xx), write, and vis-
it! Best wishes
to you all.
Love, Kev-

KEV'S LIFE UPDATE #16, 01.dec.2004 - 01.sep.2005

I was actually asked about sending another one of these out recently! I started these "life updates" when I moved to Illinois for grad school in 1995 and write 1-2 per year, some in verse, some in prose. This is prose year. If you want any of the previous ones, go to the top link at (my web page) or simply ask me for 'em!

Kev's Life Update (Get A KLU) #16 begins innocuously enough, at one of many Curtis Institute of Music recitals with Heather, hearing Alma & others, then 10 days later at the same place but with Igor, Chris, and Liz. I was to hear Alma again in February.

Before that though was another performance of the Mummers, on a balmy January 1. You who haven't seen this don't know what you're missing! Other Philly staples are the Flower Show in March, the first time I saw this (with Serena) largest indoor flower show in the country. And of course The Brick Playhouse's Night Of 1,000 Plays in February. For that one, I had 3 of my plays performed (I digitally taped 'em all if ya missed them), including my first playwright collaboration, with Rachel (with Lippe acting!). It also technically marked my debut theatre performance, as I did the off-screen "announcer" voice-over each night for one of my plays!

Even closer to home, I now coordinate Logan Square Town Watch. Anyone in my 'hood who is interested in this, let me know! I'm also on the board of directors for the new Lower Schuylkill River Park Trail Users Association (Free Schuylkill River Park) and we've met with City Council, so tell me of any concerns for this. An affiliate group (SRDC) had free movies & bands during July & August on this beautiful new path!

Philly Runners, the best running club in the world, had plenty of activities (aside from running)! We went skiing at Blue Mountain for the 2nd year in a row thanks to Seth, played snow football thanks to Marita, went ice-skating, had our annual awards dinner with a snowball fight afterwards (it was Saturday January 22, when we were hit with the most snow of the season), had a Caesar Rodney pre-race dinner at Marra's thanks to Marita, got most excellent new coolmax shirts, had a pre-race dinner for Broad Street thanks to Rachel & Dave, had the largest club run on May 10 with 52 people, staffed a table at the EPA Health Fair (Rachel, Serena, and I), and on May 22, after a visit from Cuz, had our first inter-club soccer game vs. Wissahickon Wanderers where I twisted my left ankle at the end of the game, on top of the strain I had been nursing. >:-( It was just about healed when I twisted it again this past Tuesday, 19 days before the famous Philadelphia Distance Run half-Marathon. Grrrrr. I STILL intend to race.

On more of a personal note, my first race in a year & a half was my usual, the Run For Clean Air 5K in April. I had to run with my left ankle wrapped, the first time I ever raced like that, as the strain from last year resurfaced & I was icing it to coax it to heal. I was able to eke out 19:35 (34th place of 967), but still 6 seconds slower than desired. I was vindicated though by captaining our team, which took 1st place men: Phil E. Runner and the Iliotibial Band. Also exciting was being interviewed in the Spring 2005 issue of Philadelphia Style Magazine for running (and yes I have a scan of the article if you want it)!

Yet cycling was not neglected with that other Philly staple, the Pro bike races in June. I was a marshal again for the Trenton & Philly races, spoke with Councilman Nutter and Cecily Tynan at the latter, and also at the latter took a lap in the back of a pick-up truck to assist the other marshals, seeing the entire course (during the race) for the first time! The Team Tania brunch was held earlier (thanks, Stacey and Wild Child Michelle) and the tour d'Omelet later (thanks, John), and we were able once again to see what we actually look like sans head & eye coverings and lycra! A couple weeks ago, I set a new speed record at 46mph on the famous Umbria Hill!

Ah, but there were plenty more musical performances in the city! Chris got great Philly Orchestra seats (even if only Mozart!). Opera In The (Rittenhouse) Square was better than ever. Live-8 had Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Will Smith, Destiny's Child, Linkin Park & Jay-Z, Kanye West (there were others that I missed). They Might Be Giants played at Penn's Landing. Total cost for all + the Curtis Institute + the Flower Show + The Brick: $0.00! I doubt I can manage that one again!

The many parties were of Albert, Fran & Dominic's Christmas, English Mike's New Year's Eve, Grandma's surprise 85th, Rachel & Dave, Miriam & Paul housewarming / birthday / superbowl, Adam's birthday dinner, Keith's happy hour birthday, Laura's birthday, my birthday party on the 16th of April (with 55 people, after racing the Clean Air 5K that morning). Yes, it surpassed the beach graduation party to be my largest one ever. :-) There were Tim's birthday, Rabbi Rachel's graduation, Heather's birthday / summer solstice, Marita's birthday / pre-triathlon, Melissa's new job / housewarming, Brian's birthday fete, and English Mike's flatwarming bash. Thank you all for the invitations!

I made it for the first time to the beaches of Delaware when I visited my Aunt & Uncle at their new home in Bethany Beach. I took a beach (NOT shore) trip in July, rollerblading for the 1st time in two years, through my Sea Girt (where I later went in the water), Spring Lake, Belmar, Avon, Bradley Beach, Ocean Grove, and Asbury Park, NJ. Now that it's early September, my favorite time to go (the water temp is warmer than early July, and it's not crowded at all), I want to get there again. Let me know if you want to join me!

I've been keeping up with the blood donations and somewhat with weight-lifting (not at the same time!). Blood supplies are pretty low now, as you might know, but they love my O+ blood & my veins (and because of this I once received the most unusual compliment!). Just yesterday I found I've been accepted in Who's Who in Finance and Business. You too can buy a copy for the low low price of only $340... yet I apparently can get you a discount of up to $90! Oh, but don't forget $23.95 each for shipping! I think I'll photocopy my page from the library's copy. :-)

Good luck with the various moves: Seth to France (then no, then yes again), Rachel to Baltimore, Elena to somewhere in Pennsylvania, Heidi back away to the midwest, Carrie to Seattle, Wild Child Michelle to Virginia or so, Christian to NC (I think), Dara back to the northeast, M-Gray & Sir Tristan back to the northeast. And, congratulations to various engagement, weddings, and births: Heather, Audrey, Cathy; Jamie, Alex, Heidi, Jen Vo; Brennie, Miriam & Paul, Todd & Carrie, Lisabelle & Dan. And of course, anyone I foolishly forgot to mention (and if I did, please tell me!).

So there, Dmitri, I now have one more than you with this #16. Got to watch out for them dead Russian composers who abstractly but emphatically attack the oppressive regime though; we may find some hidden scores yet, and no one likes a public reprimand from the government!

Coming up in the next update, whenever that may be: results for captaining the co-ed team for Philadelphia Distance Run half-marathon, my first distance race in almost 3 years (I've been doing step intervals at the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art's "Rocky Steps" (3/4 mile from home) instead of speedwork to be kind to my ankle). Then, if it goes well, a fall Marathon, possibly Philly in November. This would mean modifying my 11th annual After-Thanksgiving Dinner & Caribbean Vacation, which I've threatened to do for 2005 anyway... but you'll get details. I also hope to visit some of the great restaurants that popped up in my neighborhood: Italian, Thai, Mediterranean, Thai, and more.

Thank you all for reading! Now go follow-up with a phone call (215-xxx-xxxx), email (x@x.x), or visit (xxxx Arch St #xxx, Philadelphia 191xx-xxxx)! I hope to hear from and see ALL of you, and wish you all the best.

Kevin E. Gruenfeld

Get a KLU (Kev's Life Update) #17: 2005 Sep 01 - 2006 July 01

You can in part blame George for this, my latest life update. Were it not for his return from Kazakhstan, Trish would not have thrown the party. Had the party not happened, Jacquie & Don (with Ashley) would not have asked me about anything exciting going on in my life. Not that these life updates are that exciting (to you, perhaps!), though I do leave out most of the boring parts!

It's also a minor tribute to Marissa. She's the one always whining about how these are sometimes in verse. ;-) Well Miss Marissa, I planned to rhyme this one too, but hadn't the time. So, I'll give you credit for that... although it wasn't you taking up so much of my time preventing me from rhyming... you never call, you never write (oh wait... you DO call sometimes. Oops!). I need to jab you though now that your Phoenix (and that of Thuan... who moved there from here, and of Heather D) has overtaken my Philly this week as 5th most populous city in the country.

This life update starts (after the previous two paragraphs) last summer -- September 1, 2005 -- so since it's already this summer, allow me to fill ya in. In September I attended my first US Postal Service First Day of Issue celebration at CHOP for the Child Health stamp. Pretty interesting if you can ever make one. There are a few dozen each year... but scattered throughout the country. The next day was a beach trip to Spring Lake and Belmar, two usual spots (where I plan to go this year!). My favorite time to go to the beach is early September (but I'll go anytime now... just call!). Since then, much has happened!

Plenty of neighborhood stuff goin' on! Our Logan Square block party was in September as usual. The month after was the Schuylkill River Park Halloween parade as well as the Logan Square Halloween block party (no Henri David party for me in 2005... but maybe 2006). Speaking of the neighborhood, Logan Square Town Watch is seeking more members (I'm on it, and I do the scheduling... so be nice to me & I'll give you the best schedule!). I'm also on the board of directors for Free The River Park / Lower Schuylkill River Users Association... and we can use a couple more folks for the board + support!

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation 'think outside' advisory committee meetings continued, concluding (so far) with their press event (thanks for joining me, Shanley). Watch for the commercials for visiting Philly, and you'll see the results. Councilman Nutter's Fairmount Park Safety meetings finally resumed in March with real progress! It was for him that I attended my first political pseudo fund raiser / information session (for his run for mayor) in a neighbor's home. In other community news, after no activity on my part for a while, I played 'Taps' at Memorial Day ceremony in Philly.

Bill Cosby walked by me at 30th Street Station June 19... but since I was on my back with a needle in my arm (donating blood, that is... you can do it every two months too!), I'm sure he'll forgive me for not getting up! Speaking of health though, I went to Fit Fest with Amanda on April 23 and managed to walk out with good levels of blood glucose, cholesterol, and lung capacity, despite it being after the debauchery associated with my birthday party the night before! Make sure you get your screenings for preventative health! On the same topic, my Grandfather on May 24 had double heart bypass surgery and a replacement valve, at age 89. Surgery was successful.

My bank was robbed with me in it on May 11, a few days after the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival with Amanda. There was no confrontation or violence at all. I didn't even know it was robbed until the bank officials didn't let us leave before giving contact info and a statement to the police. Too bad I had my back turned filling out a form! Just don't tell my parents or grandparents any of this! :-)

Tons o' parties in the past 10 months! Thanks to Deb H for her dessert party, Jen T & Nat & Megan's Pimp & Ho-Ho-Ho party (for Christmas of course!), Kanwal's farewell party, Adam's sushi party, Heidi & David's Christmas Eve party, Sari's New Year's Eve party, Aunt Harriet & Uncle Sol's 60th anniversary party, Rachel & Dave's party (with my cousin Leah), Adam's birthday dinner, Andy's birthday party, Chris & Shameem's gathering, Trish's welcome home for George, and the various ones associated with the running club.

My own parties were the 11th annual after-thanksgiving dinner and Caribbean vacation (modified, since I couldn't cook for a week while recovering from my 2nd marathon!) and the 14th annual big birthday bash (which wasn't too big this year with 26 people). Thanks everyone for attending... and make sure you attend the next ones! They are exhausting to put on, but very rewarding. I was also happy to host a small dinner party on March 15 for Curtis Institute of Music students, with thanks to Laurie for helping and Twisted-ankle Alma for helping to organize, and thanks also for joining, Johnny, Matt, and Cindy.

Speaking of the venerable Curtis Institute of Music, thanks go to Igor, Chris, and Shameem for attending some of the free recitals with me. I was there a whopping 8 times in the span of this email, hearing amazing performances of Beethoven's Appassionata sonata (my favorite), Schubert's Sonata 959 & Wanderer Fantasy, Khachaturian's violin concerto, an all-harpsichord performance, an all-modern performance, and an all-Alma performance (her graduation recital). :-)

The Brick Playhouse performed one of my plays, Just Noticeable Differences, at their annual Night of 1,000 Plays. Too bad the director mauled it, but too good that the actors/director aren't receiving this email! I do have this and most of the past ones (most were done well) on computer if you want to see them! Thanks for attending Heather S, Amanda K, Seth, Sari. I plan to submit a few for next year's performance. On a related note, I saw my first IMAX movie thanks to Chris.

Note: big running nerd section ahead. If you can't stand running, run to the next part. :-)

September brought the Philadelphia Distance Run half-marathon, as it always does. Due to injuries, I hadn't done this since 2002, so I was itchin' to set a PR (personal record). We had a pre-race pasta party at Lloyd Hall on famous Boathouse Row. I captained a team 'Phil E. Runner & the Iliotibial Band' consisting of Helen, Rick, fickle Elizabeth, Steve S, and me, WINNING the co-ed division, destroying the competition! Great job, team! I placed #366 of 8,600 with 1:29:17, a 6+ minute PR... although Brian S beat me by 2 seconds! I unfortunately couldn't stay and chat since I had to rush up to north NJ for the unveiling of the headstone at my Grandmother's grave.

Later on instead of racing, I was again the pacer (on my bike) for the wheelchair competitor at the Parkway Run 5K. Desiring a test before committing to a Marathon, in October I raced the Set The Pace To Educate 5K, finishing #8 of 110 in 18:50, placing 3rd male age 30-39, earning me a cash award for the first time, winning my registration fee back! Does this make me a 'professional' runner?

My only Marathon to this point was Steamtown in Scranton, in 2002, and it was time for another. I managed to get in my 21.4, 22, 23, and 24 mile training runs despite a couple weeks of subacute plantar fasciitis on the right foot. I also got in plenty Rocky steps intervals to prepare. It worked! After the pre-race pasta party hosted by Kevin J & Christine, on November 20, I ran 3:09:52 (#362/5887) qualifying me for Boston, as Pola so graciously told everyone! I'm racing Boston in April 2007... watch out Katie, Rachel, and George! Hopefully 2006 will be the year that many others will qualify, so we can run together in Boston. I wrote 'race reports' for PDR and marathon if anyone wants to read (as if all this info isn't nerdy enough!). I even met a past winner of the Philly Marathon a few months later (you know him too, Alie)!

I ran a total of 918.65 miles in 2005! In January, we had our annual awards dinner at Wok, where I was given a generous gift certificate for service to the club. Much thanks!!! March brought me volunteering at the NERRC Winter 10K with Amanda, and Marra's pre-race dinner thanks to Marita, then April 1 had our 'multi-club run' to celebrate the first, on the 1st, that King Drive was closed to cars in 2006. On the 15th was Run For Clean Air 5K (the first race I did, 2001) and I captained our club's team (same name as before) to 1st place in the men's division (good job, English Kevin, John W, Raymond, Andy, Seth, Xiao, and Gary S), Elizabeth St did the same for our women, and Ryan captained our co-ed team. I surprisingly won 3rd in my division with 19:25.8 (#55 of 1,136 finishers)!

Later in April were the Penn Relays at Franklin Field, which I attended for the first time to watch Olympic Development/College Championships. One week later in May I started my speedwork on the same track and then for Broad Street Run hosted a pre-race pasta party, with Andy and Craig managing post-race picnic festivities. One week later, Amanda and I volunteered at Race For The Cure. Two weeks after that was volunteering at the Liberty To Liberty Triathlon (New York to Philadelphia!). In June I managed to eke out 19:18 in the scorching heat at the Run 4 Your Life 5K, placing 34 out of 911.

And, after founding Philly Runners with Dara on March 27, 2002, and leading it since, I have finally resigned effective today, after 4 & 1/4 years!

As for cycling, after hitting my 2005 goal of 1,800 miles with 1,878.9, I took advantage of the warm temps in the winter of 2006 to get outside sooner (rather than being on the icky trainer). I again was a course marshal at the pro bike races on June 11. Yes, things changed this year, but the races were amazing.

Congratulations to the various engagements, weddings, and births: Chris & Shameem, Rachel & Dave, Keith & Karen, Ali & John (who MET in PR!); Gelman; Jenny & Marc, Heather, Gail & Mike. There's also a new one in my family from Cuz & Dorit with baby Maxwell (named, in part, after our Grandfather Max), and Maxwell even has a new Aunt with Cousin Adam's wedding!

Good luck to the movers: Thuan to Phoenix, Julia to Florida, Cassandra to Africa, Kanwal back to England, Bella back to Germany, Dip to Buffalo, and Alma to New Haven. And, a shout out (and yes, good luck, too) to the move-backers: Heidi D, Seth, and Jen Vi.

'Long lost' (and semi-long lost) greetings to Jenny W (& Bailey), George, Trish, Guru, Scott & Kathy, Bill B, Chris T, Wendy & Andy, Darrel & Karin, Wendy & Dave, Holly & Rich. My apologies if I forgot anyone!

Thank you all for reading this mini-marathon of a story! You're most welcome to follow-up with a phone call (215-xxx-xxxx), an email (x@x.x), or a visit (xxxx Arch St #xxx Philadelphia 191xx-xxxx)! I hope to hear from and see ALL of you, and wish you all the best!

Kevin E. Gruenfeld
2006 July 1

Kev's "Get A KLU #18" Life Update 07/01/06 - 05/06/07 @ 08:09pm
It's been ten months since last I sent
"Kev's Life Update," this document
"Get A KLU" number 18 takes its start July 1 '06,
(Since a blog I don't have) this must suffice, if you get your kicks,
This is but my intent.

And, through 05/06/07 @ 08:09pm, it goes,
Though it took some time to compose.

So many parties to attend
Thanks to you all I do contend,
Scott & Kathy, Raymond & Lisa, and Petra housewarmings;
Chris & Shameem's wedding (and witness) plus (but no barnstormings!)--
I MC'd it, my friend.

The date I will remember long
'Twas Kelly Jean's day too, no wrong,
And most directly affecting me was the 40th year
Anniversary for Mom & Dad, all on the same day, hear?
(Please continue along.)

With thanks to Theresa and Laurie
To some of those above, accomp'ning me
At festivities celebratory,
Including Heidi & Dave's Island theme (my favorite one is Hawaii),
Ben's post marathon party,
Andy's pre-race pasta one (of which my favorite might be capellini
Or maybe linguine),
Monika's birthday party hosted by Elizabeth and Al's Superbowl party (no, he didn't serve brie),
And the most meaningful to me (at the "kiddie" table), my Grandpa's 90th birthday jubilee!

Though I shan't forget those of my own,
To me, at least, they are well known.
My 12th annual After Thanksgiving Dinner (with 18 people), a few pounds I must have grown,
And my 15th annual Big Birthday Bash (with 33 people), lasting until 3:30am, it was a fun zone.

Plus those events in Logan Square:
The block party, a great affair,
Halloween gath'ring, and holiday party (at the Franklin
Institute), and Andy's City Council kick-off party (win!)
A chance, he stands, there fair.

But it must be mentioned that within my neighborhood was more
Such as the LSRUA 3rd annual Halloween Parade that you couldn't ignore,
The Logan Circle (within Logan Square) rededication, now better than before,
Town Watch, from which the neighborhood I continue to explore,
And a summer fire in my apartment complex (though we weren't in any danger, we just walked out the front door).

It was a good year for running
With times, some were (to me) stunning
My first miler, night, and track race I hit in 5:19, true
Wissahickon Wanderers hosted, this I was overdue
These meets I'm not shunning

Yet more had come, with Franklin Field
Where I would train, and this would yield
18:55 at Set The Pace To Educate 5K;
Roman Run: 18:25 (3rd in division, both): yay!
10-sec. PR I sealed!

Broken from year 2003!
Then took time off (for rest you see),
Sprained my toe...

With regret I state I can't participate here
although tempting it is with the promise of beer.
You see this past Monday I happened to injure
My left-most little piggy, which would undoubtedly hinder
Doing any running despite my desire
since I shan't risk a further injury to acquire
(Granted I've nine others, yet none can I spare,
I must give the broken one tender loving care).
And so to good health I'll be nursing it back
At least, for now, such is my plan of attack.
Yet there lies the possibility I'll show
Since racing I can't; to volunteer's apropos,
Since one must not think my heart's "two sizes too small"
(Did you know Kathmandu's the capital of Nepal?),
From that book by T. Geisel we all know it well
But that blasted hurt toe, it continues to swell!
I hope Sunday won't make my condition worse
Else I will most certainly seek out a nurse,
Or an orthopod (I hear there's one out in Devon)
But, good luck to the racers! Yours, sincerely, Kevin

... then started to train for the Marathon (Boston)
On Lemon Hill and Forbidden Drive (and injuries tossed in),
For my marathon three.

When I went to New York City (for the 1st birthday for Maxwell), the first time in a while,
I was able to meet up with Philly Runners co-founder Dara for a run: 18-mile
In the smaller Central Park, the run was worthwhile
During my stay on the isle,
Though with blisters included; having also tried yoga and pilates back home (and not just because they're in style)
And along those lines, in 2006, miles I ended up running were 837.6, sure to give me a smile.

While I didn't race it this past year, the Philly Marathon I did volunteer
(And wrote an article on it for Liberty Sports Magazine) and made sure loudly I did cheer
Yet before that, after four and a quarter years, my club Philly Runners that I led and held dear
I gave to a committee (though afterwards I didn't disappear!).
And made it a point to lead the run, with Seth, during the anniversary: the fifth year!

But the Boston Marathon deserves special recognition
As the most storied marathon one may run, just to qualify takes much ambition
For this tough competition,
I finished, during the weather conditions they predicted as almost apocalyptic, without needing a physician,
And after all that traveling, I walked out of my final train in Philly, almost into long-lost Kelly Jean, in my condition,
Even went rollerblading, the first times after two years, which helped my recovery (with of course, proper nutrition)
Much thanks to Amanda and Rachel for their hospitality during this mission!

Beethoven, Schubert, and more at
(Johnny, Gabe, Sonja, Cindy, Matt:
performers) Curtis Institute of Music, few blocks away
(With Seth and Amy), nine recitals, smashing talent were they
And all of them low-fat!

But, straight from Jackson, there was more!
My high school marching band, in store,
For Philly's Thanksgiving Parade (the oldest in the country)
Not once, but twice, they played, and the applause (they got the brunt, see)
Great music there, galore!

However, The Brick Playhouse to
Which I submitted three plays new
(Well, not all) for their annual Night Of 1,000 Plays fest
Chose not to produce any plays this year, so I acquiesced...
Next year is overdue!

My first two times (thanks Cliff) sailing
but hopefully not curtailing,
(Once with Seth, too) 30' "Kimo Sabe" in years to come
Along with two beach trips this year, the lure I always succumb.
Jellyfish, I'm ailing-

When one stung me at Sandy Hook;
A Key Lime pie that I did cook
Was in my car en route to Bill's pool party for Dani, though
my other trip (to Spring Lake) with my bike (I had to... I know)
Long ride I undertook-

For 20 miles through 10 beach towns!
But back in Philly, site abounds:
Academy of Natural Sciences (evolution talk),
Civil War Museum, (my first time to both), all just a short walk
Their stuff sometimes astounds.

While on my bike I met Lynn Swann.
Since he had taken it upon
During his run for PA governor, to ride with a club
But as exciting was my club, Team Tania's foray for grub
"Tour d'Omelette," Thanks John!

And while my 2006 cycling goal of 1,800 miles was surpassed by 40.2,
And in 2007 was able to enjoy riding outside in January- to the weather due
And enjoyed the team's annual brunch with all the friendly feelings it did in me imbue
To team captain Stacey, a speedy recovery to you.

My group Free Schuylkill River Park
(I'm on the board) we caused a spark,
Our "Runnin' On The River" race was a success (my idea!)
And our group achieved total victory, so there I'll see ya,
"Access for all!" bench mark.

To Adam with his marriage to Lynn, Congratulations!
And to Heather and John (the second engagement for those who met in the running club... for the third we have expectations!).
But sadly to Craig and Bill B with the death of their Dads, along with my Aunt Bernice, there defies some explanations.
I continued to play "Taps" and did so locally on Veterans' Day, one of my self-imposed obligations.
And was an election day volunteer watchdog, ensuring our democracy for future generations,
Timed my racing well so I could continue with my blood donations,
Helped my neighbor Phyllis with her restaurant review of Sabrina's (I have the link), relying heavily on our observations
Visited my old employer for a pre-test thanks to Chris, at National Analysts (where I used to work Operations)
As my car turned 13 this year, I'm having a Bar Mitzvah for it, and you are invited to the celebrations!
Saw the famous "Penn Relays" races, where we had many hilarious conversations,
And am offering to you my phone (215-587-xxxx) and address (xxxx Arch Street #xxx, Philadelphia PA 19103-xxxx), for whatever your motivations,
Will hopefully be one of your destinations!

Kevin E. Gruenfeld

Get a KLU (Kev's Life Update) #19
05/06/07 @ 08:09pm - 2008 1/02 @ 3:04pm

Call it nearly 8 months of blogging into one semi-concise email (if I had a blog) since 1995 when I started these!

I got me a grad student... sorta (I know, just like that; apparently there's no gestation period for them!). In early-mid 2005, I developed a better mathematical model to predict running race times and sought a local professor to collaborate with, which, thanks to Sue M, I found at Drexel U in the Dept. of Physical Therapy (and his grad student). Possible publication in 2009. On that subject, I'm preparing April's new Schuylkill Mile Time Trial ( which had a successful test run thanks to Pacemaker Seth, Meg, Steve H & Naomi, Elizabeth St, Ben, Laura R, Gary, Wendy L (and Sam for trying).

My own 2007 running (of 1,189 miles) was a bit unusual (in between minor issues with my right iliotibial band (my least favorite band!), left Achilles tendon, and left outside mid-foot). After Boston Marathon, I didn't race 'til the wonderful Wissahickon Wanderers track meet in August for my 2nd ever miler, 5:16.6 (3 seconds faster than 2006). Franklin Field (circa 1895!) speed workouts proved effective at my race of the year: Philly Distance Run Half-Marathon, shattering my previous best by 4+ minutes (that's a big deal!), to 1:24:54 (top 3% of finishers) with a great post-run picnic organized by Seth for our club at Schuylkill Banks. It's amusing watching healthy, fit runners hobbling around sore- including me! But, if the race is the ceremony, the picnic was the reception (I'm not sure what next morning's soreness is... here's where the analogy falls apart), and both were rewarding! I was thrilled, repeating "1:24" throughout the week (not out loud... I hope!). I have photos of me from Boston and the Half if you are interested. October brought Guts & Glory 5K for 8th place, but near-record heat & humidity induced poor race times. To "avenge" this race, the Roman Run 5K served as my coliseum, also earning 8th place, but a respectable 18:26. While 1 second slower than my best time (same race last year), it was enough for a division award.

A great Broad Street Run multi-club post-race picnic was in May. Volunteering was at Set The Pace To Educate 5k, Philly Marathon (both of which I've raced before) with the club as course marshal and blanket volunteer (plus at the expo with Laura R), and the Liberty to Liberty triathlon with Amanda G. I encourage all to volunteer for a race! The day before the marathon brought the 4-mile Run With The Olympians (with three former Olympic runners). I served as Grand Marshal, overseeing 20+ volunteers, for Runnin' On The River 5K race, which I helped found last year. Thanks to Amanda G, Jill S, Reese, Caroline, Annmarie + racers Seth, Danielle (first race!), Sam, Laurie, Renea, and award-winning Laura R. Watch for the 3rd annual this fall. Even Chris & Deirdre's 1st "chug & run" in December was excellent (despite the cold)!

The neighborhood continues to provide, with the most recent: a cruise to Bartram's Garden with Jill S, the always captivating Opera In The (Rittenhouse) Square, (James Joyce) Bloomsday Celebration, free outdoor movies at Schuylkill Banks (a few blocks away) with Jill S, Seth, and Susan K. Sabine, Seth, Jen Vi and others Stormed the Bastille and Aviator Park re-opened, in July. All, save the first and last, have more to come in 2008 I'm sure. Can't forsake the Curtis Institute of Music, and aside from the music excellence, I saw Gabe (performing) and Susan K (well, sitting next to me, accompanied by my favorite Beethoven sonata ... or is it the sonata accompanied by Susan?). And, in an unrelated (non musical) note, as blood is always in high demand (especially O+), I made sure to donate (please do so!).

Other neighborhood happenings include Logan Square Town Watch (new members needed!) which I coordinate, and the board of Schuylkill River Park Alliance (/LSRUA... formerly FSRP). A documentary filmed this summer on the park should be released soon; I hope some of the interview & action shots (running) of me survive past the cutting room floor! Though my fellow SRPA board member/neighbor Andy Toy wasn't elected to City Council, Michael Nutter was elected mayor. He's the one that I worked with on Fairmount Park safety, so was glad he was victorious. Cliff & Gloria again graciously took me (and Laurie) sailing. I reported for but wasn't selected for jury duty in September (for a murder case!). Thanks to Laurie, Annmarie, Reese, Jeff, Susan B, Elizabeth St, Jill S, and Stacey for your willingness with the Olympic torch (it-was-an-honor-for-just-the) nomination!

This was my first in years not volunteering for the pro bike races in June, providing the luxury of sleeping late and enjoying more (it's a direct correlation). Stacey continues to valiantly lead Team Tania on Sunday mornings... and others interested in cycling with us are welcome... in the spring when the weather warms up. A highlight amongst my 2,106 miles for 2007 was our annual July 4th ride (ask to see my egg-cellent souvenir). Bike Philly was inaugurated in September, finishing a few blocks from me, so I had to volunteer for it... just before the Russian Festival at Penn's Landing... itself just before Seth's biodiesel fuel booth at Green Fest. My favorite rides may have been my solo beach ones while visiting relatives in Bethany Beach, Delaware (down to Ocean City, Maryland), and in Monmouth County, NJ. For the latter, nothing surpasses riding through over a dozen beach towns from Sea Girt to Monmouth Beach (yes Dara, Max's in Long Branch remains, though I didn't stop in since hot-dogs mixed with long-distance cycling... well, it's not known as a performance enhancer!). Cooling off in the ocean in Spring Lake post-ride (or anytime, really) in September was ideal. Come on: combining the beach (NOT the shore) and cycling? Forget salacious bachelor parties, THAT'S what I want for mine!

Thanks to the party hosts: Pat & Andy's Memorial day barbecue, Mighty Marita's post-tri, Heather's blue moon, Sarah & Rob's July 4, Ryan, Reese's deck party and his 80's themed Halloween party (yes, I won best male costume, somehow!), Scott & Kathy's party by Trish for George and Gayle, LSNA's annual block party, SRPA's Halloween Parade with Susan K, LSNA's Halloween gathering, Adam & Lynn's game night, Jacquie & Don's welcome home for Wendy R, and my 13th annual After Thanksgiving Dinner & Caribbean Vacation (and yes, some dessert leftovers remain in the freezer)! My Saturn turned 13 last year, and I held a (virtual) Bar Mitzvah for it. Hosting was easy, getting a car to read Hebrew, now THAT was difficult! And we just thought it needed a new muffler!

Congratulations to those who were wed: Rachel & Dave, John & Ali, John (a different one) & Heather, Keith & Karen, Amanda K; engaged: Shanley & Patrick, Helena and (a different) Patrick, Albert & Andrea, Laura G & Jeremy, Katie, cousin Leah; had kids: TC Mark, Brian & Adrienne, Stu-maaann & Margie, Jeff & Tricia, Kat & Ed; expecting: cousin Adam & Michelle, cousin Gary & Dorit. Plenty of moves: Jenny (Ohio, it was inevitable I suppose!), Ian (Brooklyn), Brian & Stephanie (NY), Barbie (DC), Raymond & Lisa (Roxborough), Emily J (somewhere!), Sam (back to Berkeley), Amanda S (Switzerland), Jeff S (Ardmore), Jen O (Canada), Jim & Elisabeth (West Chester), Amanda G (here... well, downstairs!). Long-lost greetings to DC Kieran, Indiana Duck Craig (continuing our lunch tradition), New Haven Monster Sells, George W, South Korea Gayle, cousin Warren in Charlotte, NC, Wendy (back from Pakistan) & Dave; I hope I haven't missed anyone, but if I have, if it compels you to call me, or email, or visit, or write to correct me, then I'm okay with the omission! :-)

I look forward to 2008, and I hope you are, too. There have been many of you that I haven't seen or spoken with in a while, so one of my resolutions is to rectify that! Another is to find a job! My degree is in clinical psych (M.A.) and I've done market research, computer consulting, and other stuff, and am casting a wide net. Research-based (public/social policy) would also be a good match. The good is that there are plenty of areas which excite me and, please pardon the boast, I think I can greatly contribute to. I also have plenty of connections, so to all of my friends -- if you're receiving this email, definitely count yourself in that category -- who are also looking, let me know, and I'll see how I can help too! I'm not used to asking for assistance, but perhaps a little interdependence amongst friends ain't the worst thing in the world!

Happy New Year!

Kevin E. Gruenfeld
2xxx Arch St #xxx, Philadelphia PA 191xx

Kev's Life Update #20
2008 1/02 @ 3:04pm - 2008 12/02

"Get a KLU" (Kev's Life Update)
Number 20, is here, for you to debate,
From the second of January through the second of December, 2008.
These are fun to create,
So I hope you have fun and can somewhat relate!

It was, as a whole, a good running year!
But let me first mention the many chances there were to volunteer.
First with Amanda in March (in weather much colder than were we to compare, say, to what would be expected in Zaire)
Then in May at the Broad Street Run (with thanks to new dad Chris for organizing), our 10-miler premier,
(Followed by a Philly Runners picnic), then Anne's 20in24 ultra-marathon, to race one must (as Pam did) persevere,
And finally, with many friends racing, the Philadelphia Marathon, watching them all kick it into high gear,
(Having worked the expo the previous two days, having recruited Emily and Alyssa (with thanks to Lola for the opportunity) all those Clif Bars they did commandeer)
Getting a rush each time we were able to cheer!

There were a few related events that for me were especially worthwhile,
Having started them (or helped to); one was the 6th birthday of Philly Runners which, just before making a cameo appearance to lead the run on two days, toasted with a shot of vodka and kahlua (which I had hidden, since we were in a public outdoor place after all, and I had to exhibit some guile)
Then next month, with wonderful special guest Edwin Roberts (two-time Olympic bronze medalist runner) I directed (having founded it months before to plan) the 1st annual Schuylkill Mile
Time Trial,
With thanks to tons of people that helped (you can read more here:, despite the weather, on many a face was a smile.
My research collaboration with Drexel University (a prediction model) is finally getting data for the file,
And in September, the 3rd annual Runnin' On The River to benefit Schuylkill River Park Alliance (on whose board I sit), garnered the most participants to date, as I again was volunteer coordinator & race grand marshal, for which I realized, to do it efficiently, one must be quite versatile.

My first race of the season was a 5K in April, the Run For Clean Air
(Which followed by two months the Philly Runners' annual dinner at Mexican Post, a fun affair)
How fast I was actually running, at times, I was unaware,
To my best ever time it could compare
(Just 4 seconds slower, with an 18:29, placing 19th out of 1,485, easily my fastest time for a spring race), but giving just as much satisfaction, a great men's team I did prepare
Of Rick, Joe, Kevin, Ron, Sebastiaan, Jeff, Eli, with me captaining, winning 1st place, and earning each a medal, a photo with Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz, and free running shoes (to be exact, each a pair).
Though coming so close to my best time and not surpassing in that effort, I would not despair,
As it took my other 5K of the year, in November, with Alyssa, to achieve my best 18:06 with the Roman Run serving as my coliseum, putting in the hard work all through the year with the Franklin Field track workouts, was I there
(Plus even on Schuylkill Banks, thanks to Chris and Deirdre, the latest Chug & Run, which if not executed right, gives a cause to beware)
And at a similar venue, having a blast at the annual Wissahickon Wanderers Track Meet at Roxborough High School track with Pam, getting in my fastest ever mile (5:12) and more than replenishing any calories lost with the award-winning barbecue made with care,
Then racing the Philadelphia Distance Run half-marathon, also my fastest time (1:24:29) by 25 seconds, my drive to break last year's record was foursquare.
So now since the racing season is over, my body, exhausted from wear
I will let repair.

There were no shortages of performances live,
With the Curtis Institute of Music taking center stage (literally), I attended one more than five,
Hearing performances by Gabe, Johnny (including graduation recitals for them both), Patty, Mari, Ben, and Korey, we know in their music careers they will thrive,
Which of course Seth, Laura, and Alyona, who accompanied me, to the same conclusion they will arrive.
Along with Seth (again!), Dennis, Madeleine, Meg & Salvadore, Laura, and Julie (with the spirits of Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky, and Mendelssohn), at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, the classical concerts that I've
Always liked to attend, though very importantly, was Stan & Michelle's grand opening of the Walking Fish (including their autographs on my CD of theirs, " New Jersey "), to that area, bringing theater alive.
And thanks in part to the co-hosting duties of Laura, I was able to have over the Curtis percussion department (Gabe, Patty, Ben, Mari) plus Korey, for those small dinner parties I was able to revive
(A little idea that I was able to contrive).
Finally, the other outdoor events started along the park from the Schuylkill River Development Corporation: "The Princess Bride" with Pam (though we sat a bit too far back and thus to hear we had to strive),
Continued with Reese's coordination of friends watching "Rocky" on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (and since it was so close, I didn't even have to hop in my car, which as you may know, does not have automatic drive),
Concluding in October with Bruce Springsteen's free concert on the Parkway (since we did grow up in towns next-door to each other, where, for my first 18 years, I was able to survive).
At last, my first concert given by him, for which no one would deprive.

Just short of 1793
Aside from the year in which Beethoven started his lessons with Haydn in Vienna (and composed sketches for the unpublished piano sonata in D)
Where my Grandmother is from, though in 1939 with my Grandfather had to flee,
Since they would not have remained free,
Is the current annual cumulative mile tally
I've ridden on my bike, barely
Eight short of my 2008 goal, though achieving that goal I can reliably
Even though it's getting quite cold and thus a mug of some Korean ginseng tea
Upon my arrival should be waiting for me,
With a driving force, and credit for the Team Tania brunch through the "cycling from all ova" (both annual events), to captain Stacey.
Though no trip to Hershey,
Although I did not volunteer (though attended) the pro bike races in June, I did for the 2nd annual Bike Philly
(Since I did last year, I figured I'd be a returnee),
And showed up for the Bike To Work Day at City Hall with Mayor Nutter and others, in the rain, a miserable day, might have said he.
But the best, even with the day I tied my bike land-speed record at 46mph (which can be scary),
Which more than compensates for the nasty bruise I still have on my left hip from a spill on wet leaves recently,
Was the 41-mile round-trip jaunt (though not in a Ferrari)
Or, keeping with the theme of the stanza, neither in a Bianchi,
But instead on my Raleigh
At the beach (don't call it the shore! I hope you'll agree)
From Sea Girt to Sandy
Hook (and back), culminating in communing with my beloved Atlantic Ocean at Spring Lake, all in September (the best time to go), my personal annual best jubilee.

Starting in March I am working for Cameo Style, a business to business wholesaler photo gifts (for their own end-users) company, doing programming, tech support, and other miscellany, thanks to Adam, with the offices a short walk away,
Or, at least, they were before moving to Newtown , PA ,
Though I will now be doing most of my work from home (nearly everyday),
The impetus for getting my new laptop (hooray!).
For which if being used for work, then in part for the laptop they will pay.
But much else took place, including reconnecting with The Collaborative, when I was able to play
A game of soccer and of dodge-ball, the first in a long time, I must say,
Performed on my trumpet, Taps, for both Memorial Day
(At Schuylkill Banks, for Navy Appreciation Day)
And at Washington Square , for Veterans' Day,
Continued with Logan Square Town Watch, including a long awaited meeting and recruitment flyers, as a presence in the neighborhood, it is good to display,
Was commissioned to conduct a research project for Schuylkill River Park Alliance (in addition to the analysis, interpretation, and report, I wrote the survey),
Donated blood as usual, leaving me (though in a different way,
From my October collision with a forklift) in a slight disarray.
Attended Rob's photo exhibit (with a still image of my feet/running shoes on a postcard)... and don't worry, none of the photos would be interpreted as risquť,
At Penn's Landing, saw the Russian Mosa-
Ic Festival, and at the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Free Schuylkill River Park documentary, including perhaps 10-15 seconds of me, cut from about 10-15 minutes of footage, but hey,
That's okay!
Finally, in August, for the first time, I ate a jellyfish (don't worry, a prepackaged one like a ramen noodle packet), not just to try something new, but in part revenge for getting stung at Sandy Hook last time en route to Bill's party (and for those times in Manasquan in the 1980s), though it didn't have the most pleasing bouquet.

For those who
Hosted parties, my thanks to you:
Adam's birthday, game nights, and Phillies World Series gatherings (with Susan and Alyona, including the night of the final win when they finally came through)
It was long overdue,
Kathy's (with Scott) Thanks For The Mammaries party, for the cancer she overthrew,
With thanks earlier for them copying a couple VHS tapes onto DVD (though no Kung Fu),
Plus Trish's Atlantic City party and Laura & Julie's red wine party (where, after imbibing non-copious amounts, my knowledge of those grapes did accrue),
Then later on the Karaoke Night at Yo Darkroom, where I was somehow coaxed into singing "lead" on Blue Moon, plus others, with thanks to for backing to Chrisbarr and Laura, perhaps her Philadelphia singing debut.
The neighborhood hosted Rittenhouse Spring Fest, Logan Square Neighborhood Association Block Party (and Halloween Spoo-
Ky gathering) followed by the Schuy-
Kill River Park Alliance Halloween Parade (where I was drafted into
Judging the adults, while the judging for the kids and pets was left to
The other two
Judges, who did not misconstrue
The true meaning of the day, providing for the kids (and parents) to have fun (and, once reaching the judges, winning prizes) along their marching queue.
I suppose it could be inclu-
Ded here, since pretty much a catered affair would in this category fall, this time a bris in NYC for my cousins' new-
Born baby boy, the second (okay, technically the third) I've attended... but the (drastically different) party that I hosted, my 16th annual Big Birthday Bash, with gratitude, celebrating with my crew.

Congratulations to newlyweds, Barbie & Radosvet, Michelle M, Shanley & Patrick, and (this coming weekend) my cousin Leah & Wes
The latter, not only do I not mind seeing family, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice to go to warm Florida, especially in December, I must confess
Even if it means some fancy dress
For Leah of course I will acquiesce.
(Although it's the closest to actually satisfying the "...and Caribbean Vacation" aspect of my 14th annual After Thanksgiving Dinner, for which I thank all of the attendees, and a long-lost hello to Bella, but I digress)
Best wishes to new (or again) parents, Chris & Shameem (their 1st, a girl), Laura & John (their 2nd), cousin Adam and Michelle (their 1st, a boy), Cuz and Dorit (their 2nd and 3rd), and impending for Danielle, Kelly Jean, and Alaina (get ready for some stress!)
I just hope I left no one out, but if I did, to me please express.
To Seth with his Happy Earth Auto (shown at his booth at Green Fest), Annmarie's new Fleet Feet running store, and Stan & Michelle's Walking Fish Theatre mentioned above, I wish the most success,
And a farewell to Laura on her move to NYC and to Melissa and Olivia on their moves to DC (just be sure to send your new address).

And thus #20 now draws to a close
With my revealing to you the fun it was to compose!
Please make sure you write down my address ( 2xxx Arch St #xxx , Philadelphia PA 191xx-xxxx ), phone (215-xxx-xxxx) and either email ( and, so if you have old info, with this superimpose.
As for when the next Life Update will occur, who knows?
But don't worry; the next one will surely be in prose.
My best wishes to you all, the author now bestows.
-Kevin E. Gruenfeld

Kev's "Get A KLU #21" Life Update 12/02/2008 - 11/01/2009

Dear Friends,

KLU turns 21 today, so in its honor and newfound privilege of alcohol, we're buying it a Red Death. Not sure what that is? I'll mix ya one at my 15th annual Thanksgiving dinner and Caribbean vacation on Saturday, November 28 (or before, if you visit!). :-)

For those that don't know, "Kev's Life Update" (Get a KLU) is a semi-longitudinal life snapshot, conceived my first semester of grad school for those asking me what was going on in secluded DeKalb, and it's thrived since. If ya don't wish to receive, tell me, and I won't be offended. I haven't spoken to some of ya in a while, so if it motivates you to email me back, or call, or visit, then it served its purpose! :-)

KLU #21 commences on the 2nd of December, 2008. Because nothing interesting happened to him that day, we'll jump to the 7th. It was on that morning that his cousin Leah and Wes were wed wonderfully in West Palm Beach. A few hours prior to the wedding in Florida, to finally satisfy his quest to be in the ocean for every month of the year, and since he seldom encounters December temperatures in the mid-70s, he planned the seven mile round-trip run from the hotel. I departed with a cell phone, small towel, and hotel key, but no water or food. Why not? I know where all the water fountains in Philly are, and it had been 30 degrees, so I wouldn't need much water. Silly me, 'twas no longer 30 degrees like it was for the prior day's run in Philly, and save for an immense body of salt water that I'd encounter at the exact mid-point of my run, I knew where no water was to be found. If only there was a refreshment table en route! Coincidentally, I literally ran right into the Marathon of the Palm Beaches which just so happened to be running that morning! Where there are marathons, Gatorade and water are sure to follow, and so I ran alongside the racers, offering encouragement, and received permission to imbibe in the fluorescent brew.

Upon arriving at the ocean (with low-70s water temp) a mere 20 minutes after low-tide (!), I waded in to my knees, coexisted with the ocean for several minutes (the ocean doesn't care, and generally ignores you), before the wisdom of the little face towel I brought was evidenced, as I wiped the sand from my feet before sliding on my socks and shoes to run home, again through the Marathon with refreshments, in time to shower, change into a nice suit (I clean up quite nicely on occasion), eat a quick snack, and procure ideal seats for the return flight home the next day, content in not only satisfying my 12-month ocean mission and a great run through a marathon, but the wedding was good, too! I haven't learned to write shorter sentences, though. One of the best ever training runs.

One of my favorite powers vested in me by the KLU committee is to ACKNOWLEDGE all the party hosts since the last KLU: Meg & Salvadore's birthday party with Kimiko (and my guitar & harmonica), the Cameo Style party, Chris & Shameem's gathering, Adam & Lynn's New Year's Eve party and their E-A-G-L-E-S party and Adam's birthday sushi, Chanukah in Jackson, Laura's wine party, Ilya's party (displaying the photo they bought at my exhibit on their wall!), Passover in Maryland, Rahul & Mukti's gatherings, Reese's deck parties, Jacquie & Don's Kappa party, Meg K's party, the Smedley twins graduation party, Heather's solstice celebration, Andrea's outdoor party, Veronique & Chrisbarr's sendoff, Trish's Atlantic City party, and Francisco's farewell dinner. Much thanks to you all. My own 17th annual big birthday bash in April had 22 & 1/2 people.

RACE-wise, it wasn't a great year: April's Run For Clean Air 5K gave me 19:06 (and the first time of four I captained a team that did NOT win 1st... we won 2nd), Wissahickon Wanderers' track meet resulted in a 5:18.57 mile (though it was #4 of 33 overall), and the Marine Corps Marathon last weekend in Washington DC gave me a top 8% finish with 3:35 (with special thanks to family for cheering + Colleen for driving down with me). All somewhat disappointing, but if fully recovered, my swan song of the year is a 5K next weekend, where I vie to erase 7 seconds from my best time to eke out under 18 minutes. We'll see!

But RUNNING involves much more than just racing, and there was plenty occurring over the past 11 months. 2008 ended with 1188.4 miles, and 2009 quickly took root volunteering at the NERRC Winter 10K, then later at the Philly Triathlon, then at Anne's Back On My Feet 24-hour race. Volunteering for a race is so rewarding, I encourage y'all to do it if you can't race. Credit to Chris G for again captaining a volunteer team at the Broad Street Run, the largest & fastest 10-mile race in the country! I again coordinated volunteers for Runnin' On The River 5K in September, and did the same for our venerable Philly Distance Run the week prior. My training included the take-no-prisoners track workouts at the famed Franklin Field (c.1895!), the ridiculously long Saturday runs followed by agonizing ice baths (really!), and finally, after three years, resuming a bit o' weight-lifting (with my first run-weights brick workout as well as double-days with running and weights). Annmarie even hosted the Fleet Feet North Wales grand opening run!

PHILLY RUNNERS, the best running club in the western hemisphere, added official Thursday evening hill runs to the repertoire. I led the 2nd one, as well as our 7th anniversary runs in March. The club also hosted great post-race picnics/barbecues, an annual dinner, and at the general meeting in April, we finally officially purged the mostly ineffectual large committee who had replaced me to lead the club, and replaced them with a small committee that is actually doing something to benefit the club, and in whom I have confidence.

Other related PROJECTS included the 2nd annual Schuylkill Mile Time Trial ( that I founded and direct, with special guest Meg. Oddly, the day before, I collided with an unleashed dog on Kelly Drive. Yes, I was *running*. Yes, I had Kevin B and Seebo with me who had my back. I also established with the journal issues to follow soon. Much thanks to double-bronze medal Olympic runner Edwin Roberts for allowing me to interview him for the inaugural issue.

CYCLING in 2008 ended with 1827.7 bike miles (yes, the year Beethoven died), with much thanks to MS-150 City To Shore Team Tania, captained by Stacey, for motivation, and the annual February brunch. It was with the team during this summer where I met Colleen, who I've been dating the past two months. Other organized rides were the Mayor's Bike Ride, Bike To Work Day, Ride Of Silence, the pro bike races (no, I didn't ride in them!), volunteering at Freedom Valley (my first organized ride, eight years prior!) and Bike Philly. Since I ride little in the winter (and the indoor bike trainer is mind-numbing, Pilates replaced it in part February-April, but I still have some time to achieve my 2009 goal of 1700 miles (less than normal due to Marathon training). I was able to explore Cobbs Creek Park, especially with my new tires, new arm warmers, new neoprene socks, and new wind socks. Woo-hoo!

As usual, the ARTS were alive and well in Philly. First was the awesome 10-minute play festival "Fresh Fish 2.0" at Stan & Michelle's Walking Fish Theatre! Summertime brought the free outdoor screening of Ferris Bueller's Day Off at Schuylkill Banks with Faith, as well as the free lawn seats at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Faith, Seth, Kimiko, Alyona, and Susan joined me for the Beethoven concert, and Kimiko, Laura, and Julie joined for the Stravinsky, Mozart, Vivaldi, Sousa concert. The esteemed Curtis Institute of Music hosted their usual free concerts in the spring and fall, and I made it to one by their Percussion Ensemble and an all-piano concert of Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, and Messiaen this past week, with plenty more to follow (please join me!). Thanks to Veronique, I had my first photo exhibit at Yo Darkroom, December 19, 2008 - January 31, 2009. Much thanks to Ilya & Solomon for purchasing a print that I not only shot, but developed as well, and to the several friends who visited the exhibit. Those photos are back on my walls (but I can easily make ya inexpensive reprints or can email them to ya). :-)

Other LOGAN SQUARE goings-on include Logan Square Town Watch (and beware, Igor may soon be on it!), Schuylkill River Park Alliance executive board, "Completing the Schuylkill Trail" at the Academy of Natural Sciences (where Darwin was introduced to America), a new polling place to vote starting this May, "Coalition for Philadelphia's Waterfronts" at Schuylkill Banks, Fairmount Park merger meeting, the Galileo Exhibit at Franklin Institute with Susan K, Indian/Hindu Fest with Colleen, the annual Logan Square Block Party, and yesterday's Spooky Gathering for Halloween. Colleen dressed all in pink with a shoe on her head and went as the bubble gum on the bottom of a shoe. Taking a cue from her, and of course dressing to the woman, I wrapped a Marathon mylar blanket around me with tin foil on my arms and head and went as her gum wrapper. :-)

PHILADELPHIA also provided Scrapple Fest at famous Reading Terminal Market. Yes, it was the first time I tried scrapple, as well as turkey scrapple and vrapple (vegan scrapple). The best of 'em all? Vrapple! The annual Green Fest supplied me with the newly legal absinthe... which I likely won't try again. I made it to only one cultural festival at Penn's Landing this year, but Mexican Independence Day was a good one. I did make it to my first 76ers game in March with Laura, thanks to Adam. I finally did get my overdue physical exam last month with positive results. I mean, that is, I didn't test positive for anything, but the doctor was pleased with my results. Positively. And, since it fits neatly in no other paragraph, I did comply with over a dozen requests I received and joined Facebook on Christmas Eve. And speaking of books, most notable was reading my clinical psychology grad-schoolmate Paddy's "The OCD Answer Book." I'm sure it would be strange irony to laud it by staying that I'd read it again and again and again, but knowing Paddy, I'm sure it's better than "Cats."

Other amusing anecdotes including having six computers in my home at once (Four left, and I'm selling two desktops + monitors + printers quite cheap!). Even more amusing (and rewarding) is currently having my Yamaha Clavinova (which is now interfaced with my laptop) and Roland sound bank being joined by Ensoniq SQ-1 and Yamaha DX-27 (my former DX-7's little brother) synthesizers! A neighbor was discarding them, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and got 'em both working. I know I don't need those, I know I ought to sell them (and I will), but how often do we get to be a kid in a very expensive candy store while we're adults?

My previous EMPLOYER, after moving from around the corner to Newtown (even though I worked mostly from home at that point), Cameo Style (thanks to Adam for the lead) had to lay off pretty much all employees, but thanks to Veronique, in June I started with Bernstein Architects & Associates. Possibly the best boss I've had, and I can *still* walk to work!

For the FUTURE, I'm continuing my survey research consulting side job (whenever I can get a project, and I have references) along with my regular work at Bernstein, progressing with my race prediction calculator research collaboration with the vice-chair of the department of physical therapy at Drexel University (where last year's grad student presented at a Drexel colloquium in the spring to partially fulfill the requirements for her doctorate, and this year, we have *two* grad students!). I was also able to maneuver my blood donations around my running race schedule. Only about 5% of eligible donors actually do it. All the cool kids do it... you want to be cool, don't ya? First one's free... actually, they are ALL free, and they provide free refreshments, too! If you come on over post-donation, I'll even cook for you. I also humbly request you also check out the National Marrow Donor Program (I received my kit and just need to return my DNA... actually, just my inner-cheek swab). And, in four weeks is my 15th annual After Thanksgiving Dinner & Caribbean Vacation on Saturday, November 28th. Okay, no Caribbean aspect, sorry, but your presence is most welcome!

Too many to keep track of, CONGRATULATIONS to all those who were engaged, wed, and had children... and also to those impending births and marriages! Aside from this email, you can always phone me at 215-xxx-xxxx (cell: 732-xxx-xxxx), and visit in lovely center city, Philadelphia! I hope you do, it would be great to hear from ALL of you.

Kevin E. Gruenfeld

Kev's "Get A KLU #22" Life Update 11/01/2009 - 11/01/2010

Hi friends!

I know, the 'schedule' calls for the latest Life Update to be written in verse, but I wish not to delay this longer, especially since a few of you have asked about it, so prose it is. No, I won't write it in Pirate Speak, or Yoda Speak, or the in the delicate stylings of the Archdean marriage officiant from The Princess Bride, even though I'd be laughing uncontrollably! Admit it, so would you! If you don't want to receive these (sent 1 or 2 times a year), tell me. Previous installments are at (

This latest update starts by walking to my first shareholder meeting for a fund I own. Since it was just a few blocks away, I thought, why not? Aside from staff and their legal team, I was the only actual shareholder there, so was treated quite well! It lasted but 15 minutes, but I encourage y'all to attend one if you can.

While 2009 brought about 1,828.6 miles on the BIKE (the year Schubert died, surpassing last year's by one, the year Beethoven died), 2010 has been prolific and I hope to hit 2,400. This included plenty o' miles with Stacey's Team Tania, Philly's Naked Bike ride with Don (and many others) amidst a 2-day record total of 135 miles, and of course my annual September beach trip pilgrimage riding lighthouse to lighthouse and beyond, Sea Girt through Sandy Hook! It now grows chilly, but I am not finished.

Other CYCLING events included Team Tania's annual brunch, the 422nd Tour D'Omelet organized by John (the legend of the Tour was finally hastily written/transcribed/translated by me and others), the pro bike races in June, and Bike To Work Day. This is Team Tania's final year, but over $1.6 Million was raised to combat MS!

The 3rd annual Schuylkill Mile Time Trial RUNNING race (I am founder/director) was again a success, raising money for Schuylkill River Park Alliance and Schuylkill Banks. Runnin' On The River 5K was a tough course, but the volunteers I coordinated did a great job! Between the two, thanks to Special Guest Heather (director of Students Run Philly Style), volunteers Kimiko, Reese (both races), Julie, Andrea (racing 1, volunteering 1), Annmarie, Seth (both races), Ron, Alyona, Lee, Dinko, Mukti, plus racers Jess (both races), Ilya, Anton, Flo, Devon, Kelly, Jeff, Matt, and plenty others.

My own RUNNING earlier in this life update was tougher. My left foot was bothering me since just prior to my October Marathon in DC, and finally I switched out the running shoes, got my first ever cortisone shot at my podiatrist-friend Art's office (after the x-rays were negative, fortunately), fastidiously iced the offending area, and took some time off. Success! Although I probably won't hit the 1,074.1 miles I ran in 2009, I plan to break 1,000, and this includes the 100-F temperatures with Philly Runners (to complement the 6-F temps years ago)!

Still, if one can't always run, VOLUNTEERING at a race is always a viable and rewarding option, and I did once again at the Philly Marathon with Colleen, NERRC Winter 10K, Students Run Philly Style 8K, Wissahickon Wanderers annual track meet (where I finally, again, got in a few barefoot miles), and of course again with Chris captaining the Broad Street Run Gatorade stop, followed by the Philly Runners celebration picnic. Of course, if you can't volunteer for this, you can always (shameless plug) donate blood every two months!

The LOGAN SQUARE neighborhood association hosted the association's annual block party (with Susan), Spooky Gathering Halloween party, annual meeting, and Town Watch. There were no shortage of other nearby events such as the Schuylkill River Park Alliance board meetings, SRPA's costume parade & pet promenade (I didn't judge this year) which I missed in 2009 due to the Marine Corps Marathon, the movie Rocky on the outdoor steps of the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art with Team Tania, watching Romancing The Stone outside at Schuylkill Banks with Faith, the Greek Independence Day parade, Franklin Institute and the Body Worlds 2 exhibit with Heather and Andy (I have 1 free ticket to the Cleopatra exhibit for any who wants), the Comcast 3-D holiday show with Colleen (then walking around the neighborhood wearing the 3-D glasses), Love Park's "love-fest" with Heather, and doing The Twist with Chubby Checker... WITH him, as in, he was there leading the 50th anniversary party!

Stretching outside the neighborhood, sometimes outside walking distance (gasp!), brought about the (East) Indian and Russian Festivals at Penn's Landing, Katrina's soccer game vs. Drexel, Curtis Institute of Music's percussion ensemble (go Ben!) with Rahul and Mukti (with plenty more to come of Kelly, Ben, and others), a restaurant review with neighbor Phyllis in Rittenhouse, the National Liberty Museum, and wonderful sailing with Cliff & Gloria in their 30' sloop with Alyona on the Delaware, piloting under the Ben Franklin Bridge and alongside the USS New Jersey (no, we didn't fire on it).

At home, I strangely had three minor colds in 2010, the most in a very long time, coupled with allergy-imitating clogged nose and poor sleeping. But, that's behind me. Within my apartment complex was a fire earlier this year, with fortunately no one hurt. But more important was collecting old electronics to pass along to someone for recycling, and I'm proud that thanks to Mike C, Igor, boss Ed, Madeline, Albert, and Barbara via Edward for donations, we saved 31 pieces for electronics recycling, including computers, printers, monitors, fax machines, TVs, and phones!

A noteworthy accomplishment is Stan & Michelle's theatre achievement of winning a coveted Barrymore Award! Further note is bestselling author and fellow TCNJ alum Holly Black autographing my Spiderwick Chronicles! Finally, and more personal, is Philly Runners celebrating eight years of existence on March 27. Dara, did you think it would be so successful? We celebrated the club in October at our annual dinner. A slightly more established milestone was also commemorated: the 2,500th anniversary of the Battle Of Marathon! Quite apropos for a running club to celebrate... and even with homemade baklava! Also to celebrate, the running research collaboration I have with Drexel University was again presented in the spring. And, though less of an accomplishment, I now have fingerprinting training. Hm!

Since it's been 365 days from the last life update, there were plenty to thank for their PARTIES: Ben's pre-marathon pasta party, Christmas and the Ocean City (NJ) First Night New Year's Eve festivities with Colleen and her family, Adam's birthday dinner, Rahul & Mukti's brunch and Indian Diwali, Igor's farewell party (but he's back!), Andrea's party, Perri's Team Tania pre-Independence Day party, Ashley & Dana's Independence Day party, Brian M's post-PDR PR BBQ as well as his party following one of the two Chug & Run races, Adam's pizza & Pictionary, Trish's annual Atlantic City Kappa party, Reese's Spaceballs party, Julie's pool party, and Dorit's Rosh Hashanah party. Of course, lunch with lost long Craig (okay, we know he's in Indiana) and the visit from Floridians cousin Leah and Wes aren't parties... but there's no better place to insert them than this paragraph!

I have only two annual PARTIES, and my 18th annual big birthday bash in April was fun as usual with 23 & 1/2 people. The 15th annual After Thanksgiving Dinner brought up an interesting question- since many people are away Saturday evening, some suggested holding it Sunday afternoon. How does this sound to you? I think more people can take part in the festivities. Plan on Sunday, the 28th of November.

An interesting incident occurred when I repotted my plants in the courtyard of my building, which the daycare (2 & 3 year olds) uses. The kids marveled at what I was doing, so I enjoyed teaching them the three things that plants need and allowed all who wanted a chance to scoop some dirt into the new pot while watching them fall over each other to watch, just like kittens... they haven't a sense of personal space yet, and it's adorable being with them and seeing them all wave goodbye to me!

The winter was extreme, not just for record-setting amounts of snow to shovel, and Colleen and I breaking up after 1/2 year as a couple, but more importantly the deaths of Colleen's Grandmom and my boss Ed's wife. But for the future, congratulations with engagements/weddings to Alie, Em, and Cassandra & Todd, and hopes for continued recovery to my admired, nearly 94-year old Grandpa!

I'll close by mentioning that I had two opportunities for which I played Taps, including at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day for Daughters of the American Revolution. Very rewarding. And timely: don't forget to vote!


Kev's Life Update #23, Philadelphia, PA, USA 11/01/2010 - 9/10/11 @ 12:13pm

Good afternoon, all!

Keeping in prose (versus verse), allow me to present my 23rd Get A KLU (Kev's Life Update), covering 11/2/10 - 9/10/11 @ 12:13pm. I send these out once or twice a year and would love to hear about your life update, but if you don't want to receive 'em from me, let me know.

First off, thanks to Scott & Kathy, Trish, Perri & Dave, Heidi & Emily, Andrea, Jeff & Elizabeth, Jill, Seth, and LSNA for various parties including barbecues, fireworks, brunches, beach, holiday, new home, farewell, new year's, and any others I may have missed. It's always great to attend! I was happy to host my own 19th annual big birthday bash and my 16th annual after thanksgiving dinner.

Congratulations to Cassandra & Todd on their wedding, then to them, Shanley & Patrick, and Helena & (a different) Patrick for the birth of their baby boys!

Long-lost greetings to Craig Duck from Indiana and much appreciated visits from Heather and Trish. Lost-lost greetings also to priazza pizza with Susan after years without!

The past winter's unprecedented amount of snow led to the hottest month ever in Philadelphia in July, then to August, the rainiest ever, which included not only an earthquake, but then Hurricane Irene causing the Schuylkill River (1.5 blocks from me) to surpass the 11.0' flood zone to crest at 13.56', and rain from Hurricane Lee in September pushing the river to 12.53', but no flooding reached me (although it lapped at 23rd Street).

Amongst the most exciting events was getting a plot in April at the new Winter Street Community Garden (as did Rahul & Mukti). I produced corn (the best I've ever had, picked/cooked/eaten in under an hour), prolific Bibb lettuce, Simpson's lettuce, escarole, bachelor's button flowers, chives, and beets. For a fall harvest, my broccoli and lettuce seedlings will go in the ground (if it ever stops raining) on Monday, carrot sprouts and chives are thriving, spinach was just planted indoors, and radishes will be sewn later. I'd love to show the garden to y'all. In the same family, I repotted some plants this spring while in my building's courtyard, used in good weather by the daycare, with a dozen 2 and 3 year olds crowding around to watch (and participate), falling over each other like kittens, with me teaching them the three things that plants need and one girl getting excited and jumping up and down cheering one of them, "dirt dirt dirt!" And, this just in (yesterday evening), we won first place in the Community Vegetable Garden category of the 2011 City Gardens Contest!

Thanks to many people for volunteering for so much! Igor joined Logan Square Town Watch (at first with our all-member event with police) to continue keeping our neighborhood safe with me in our 11-member force. A crew from Philly Runners again handed out finisher medals at the Philly Marathon... a thrilling task! Chris once again captained an award-winning volunteer group at the Broad Street Run with Don & Ashley (cheering on Jacquie), Trish, and a few from the club, culminating in the post-race multi-running-club picnic organized by Seth. And, for the Run 4 Your Life 5K in June, Seth, Phil, Ron, Shanley, and Veena joined me to volunteer.

In a similar vein (pun intended), I was fortunate to be able to donate much blood, once with Faith, and I helped Andy with his City Council campaign with time and materials (I wasn't knocking on doors or phoning). I'm also thankful to Rahul & Mukti, my boss Ed, and others for giving me old or broken computer equipment that I was able to donate for recycling!

On a personal note, the 4th Schuylkill Mile Time Trial (with my inaugural golf cart driving) was the most successful one to date thanks to Ron, Sebastiaan, Susan, Dinko, Seth, Dennis, Kimiko, Lee, Alyona, and Michelle & Stan at Walking Fish Theatre for donations of time and/or supplies/prizes, and Kevin, Devon, Jim, Ilya, Brittany, and other racers! All proceeds go directly to the park (yes, the one that was flooded from Hurricanes Irene and Lee!). Mark your calendars for the next race: April 1, 2012!

The Logan Square / Rittenhouse Square neighborhoods always have plenty going on. The first Science Fair occurred in April in the rain on the Parkway, but fortunately, the outdoor screening of Spiderman on Schuylkill Banks with Susan (and the visit to her rooftop pool) provided better weather. The Beethoven piano concert at the Curtis Institute of Music with Igor, Susan, and Kimiko, and Kelly's clarinet graduation recital with Kimiko at the same venue were most excellent! Not excellent at all in the neighborhood was my car window getting smashed in July, and instead of going sailing, I spent the entire afternoon getting it repaired, but it's done and behind me. Still in town, along with the regular job, I've been doing plenty of computer consulting (one-on-one training and web design) and keeping up on market research. In an unrelated note, thanks to Igor for teaching me about gun safety and shooting.

My own running had but one race, my first in a year & a half, April's Run For Clean Air 5K, in a disappointing 19:26; however, I'm hoping to shave 7 painful seconds off my fastest time in an upcoming 5K to finally break 18 minutes! Speaking of pain, I organized the 2nd ever Philly Runners multi-club soccer game with Seth, Ilya, Sebastiaan and others from our club; it took days for the soreness to subside! Still, 2010 ended with 1,020 run miles, including some barefoot, and many instances as run leader for the Philly Runners club (including today at 9am), with long runs, short fast runs, and plenty of speedwork and hillwork, and 2011 is providing many rewarding runs and great company.

Cycling certainly did not take a back-seat, with 2010 ending at 2,401.5 miles, and 2011 comprising the annual Team Tania-esque winter brunch, Philly's Bike To Work Day and the Ride Of Silence memorial ride, and the 1,022nd annual Tour D'Omelet triathlon of ride-eat-ride. As if this weren't enough excitement, August brought my 3rd collision while on bike in Philly (with a witness), from the fault of the runner (no major injuries to me or bike), and then in what is becoming a tradition (just in its second year), my Labor Day weekend o' riding with a 2-day cycling total of 143 miles (my most ever, after July produced 453 miles, also my most), which included the Philly Naked Bike Ride (over 1,000 riders!). I'm hoping to break last year's mileage total, and maybe reach 2,500! My club rides on Sunday morning from the art museum, so come join us before it gets too cold (in which case, I substitute some weight-lifting and Pilates).

On September 6, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of Grandma (age 91) and Grandpa (age 94)! A bit different than Trish telling me that it's the 25th anniversary of The Color Purple... and me responding, "How old are the other colors?" Grandparents now live in Jackson, five minutes from my parents. We also had a family vacation in Maryland (sans Grandparents) which included a great run to Turkey Point Lighthouse.

My annual September pilgrimage to the beach is forthcoming, up and down the Monmouth County coast on my trusty bike, lighthouse to lighthouse (Sea Girt to Sandy Hook), my third time in the beach this year. Later today, I have GreenFest and a Dragon Boat Festival, and tomorrow, if I'm asked, I'll play Taps at any 9/11 ceremonies. I'm part of Bugles Across America, a volunteer organization that performs Taps at military funerals and similar. This year, I played for the Coast Guard in the snow in January, and in 92-F temperatures to again play on Memorial Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Philly for Daughters of the American Revolution (including a quick call-to-attention call that I composed at their request).

A few upcoming events for which I hope you can join me: Sunday the 18th is the famous Philly Distance Run Half-Marathon and Philly Runners has a celebration barbecue afterward, and Logan Square Neighborhood Association has our annual block party that evening, the doo-wop festival is on the 17th, and Runnin' On The River 5K is on Saturday, October 1. I'm volunteer coordinator, so I hope you can either race or volunteer.

When you have a chance, call me, email, or stop by!

Kevin E. Gruenfeld

KEV'S LIFE UPDATE #24 9/10/11 - 08/10/12 10/08pm

9/10/11 - 08/10/12 10/08pm
In a departure from previous Get A KLU's, #24, covering 11 months, is wrought with drama. And, to shake it up, each has a theme. I gave up even trying to make it brief, since we all know I can't do that! I do enjoy writing these, but you don't have to enjoy reading them, so if you wish not to receive, let me know. When last we left our story, I had just led the Philly Runners Saturday club run.

--- Theme: Acknowledging friends, parties, and other visits and misdemeanors
This is usually my favorite section. If I'm going to brag, it's to say that I have such a great group of friends!
First off, I was happy to host Kelly for her half-Marathon in September, then Veronique (with Melissa and Amanda) in May, then Gayle in August. I've got plenty of space for anyone who wishes to visit!
My own parties, as usual, were my 17th annual After Thanksgiving Dinner with a total of 25 people, and in April, my 20th annual big birthday bash with 19 people ending at 1:30am. Thank you for singing two songs to me!
I was happy to help move Adam back to the building, and to lunch with Craig Duck in town from Indiana, both in December, but sad to see Julie S go with her farewell party in May.
Although I couldn't make it to Boston in March, congratulations to Rachel & Dan on their wedding! And to Faith & James and Jen & Wes for their impending babies! I probably neglected to mention some people, but attribute that to a lapse in memory and not in friendship.
I only got to the famed Curtis Institute of Music once, but was able to hear Sara (and others) on trumpet. It will be a while before the free recitals start up again, but y'all are welcome to join me! Still, thanks to Sara for helping me coordinate my 3rd Curtis dinner party.
May brought George's surprise 40th birthday party in Philly and Scott & Kathy's regular party. Following was Elaine's dinner party, Perri & Dave's Independence Day party, and Trish's beach party.
In addition, long-lost greetings to Heidi & Dave, and to Kimiko at her party (with Susan). Speaking of which, thanks to Susan for a rooftop pool visit, with hopes that we can get another in real soon.
A final nod of acknowledgement to Rob Stuart, mover & shaker in Logan Square, who died young in October. Rob directed the documentary (that I'm in) of the park and helped start the community garden.

--- Theme: Dip-dip-dip-dip-dip-dip get a Job(s) - The Silhouettes
Plenty of changes since the last KLU! Thanks to Ed, I was aware of an IT position at Philabundance, to which I applied. I interviewed in October and was offered the position the day before Thanksgiving, making for a great holiday! Also a busy one, as I had to write a good job description and ad to find my successor and lead every step (except making the offer). I posted on Craigslist and received 119 responses before I closed the ad after 72 hours. For those job hunting, I posted on my Facebook page the items that worked and didn't work when you send in your resume and cover letter, since I served as hiring manager (and not for the first time), along with some of the most amusing mistakes and lapses of judgment from the candidates!
I interviewed candidates for my old job and gave my boss my ranked order (he hired my #1), ended my tenure on December 9th, then started at Philabundance on the 14th. Three weeks later after some training, I moved to my permanent location at our north office (although I make it weekly to the other offices when the north office lets me escape!). Never a dull moment, and the holiday party at Lucky Strikes as well as the occasional company happy-hour is something that I'm glad I have back in my life. Since I'm doing IT, I wanted a laptop with Windows 7 on it, so I purchased one the day after Christmas. Also, since I'm IT and need to be able to respond to emails remotely, they issued me an HTC smartphone (I ported my old 732 cell phone number to it) so I can now receive unlimited texts, etc. Knock yourself out. :)
Along with this, I continued tutoring my regular computer client and had some related consulting work (web development and computer fixin'), but in June, I also received referrals to two more clients, which came in handy to offset the spent money (see the Car Saga section).
A few other little jobs I was recruited for included helping Clifbar at some race expo's as well as apartment building related stuff, but finally ended the once-a-month inventory position in May... I was too busy and would rather have a few extra hours than a few extra dollars... to me it's all about finding the balance (in case you're ever wondering about the significance of the scale above my TV).

--- Theme: We can make it if we run - B. Springsteen
Late 2011 brought a great Philly Runners barbecue, doing a bit of work for Clifbar at the Philly Marathon, coordinating volunteers for the 6th annual Runnin' On The River 5K with thanks to the many friends who volunteered or raced (Distant Early Warning: the next one is October 20), and volunteering with Philly Runners at the Mile 11 water stop of the marathon!
In November, I raced a disappointing 19:06 in the Roman Run 5K, a minute slower than my fastest ever (from the same race a few years back), but in consolation, I was the 7th finisher out of 171, and everyone that beat me was half my age! I ended 2011 with 1,207 running miles! A shout-out to friends who recently caught the running bug themselves, it's always gratifying to hear of your fun and progress.
In 2012, I started running with Penn Running Club on the occasional easy Monday evening, and ended up sacrificing a bike day for a run day. We'll see if it pays off, but 2012 may be my best training year! I think there are three contributing factors: the extra run day, the mild winter, and the stable job situation. This was exemplified in April at the Run For Clean Air 5K. I had three goals: sub-19 time, age-division award, and 1st-place team. I built the strongest 5K team I've ever captained, and this held true, earning 1st place! I fulfilled the other two goals, placing 3rd in my division with 18:22.9, the 2nd fastest 5K I've ever run, and it implants the idea of running Philly Marathon this November in my mind, although I also want to break 18 minutes in the 5K.
Other run events included the Philly Runners Team Joey dinner, volunteering at the NERRC Winter 10K, volunteering with Philly Runners and Chris G at the famous Broad Street Run (and being judged one of the best water stops), then the always awesome post-race picnic, thanks to Seth, and leading many club runs. Training continued with speedwork on Kelly Drive, Lemon Hill work, getting to Penn's Franklin Field and, for the first time starting in July, Temple's track. It's but a mile from work, so I can't squander that opportunity.
But the two main run events so far in 2012 included one of my babies: directing the 5th annual Schuylkill Mile Time Trial with thanks to Seth, Ron, Nan, Sandy, Leslie, Ed, and others who raced or volunteered. The most noteworthy, however, was the 10th anniversary celebration of Philly Runners! This is the club I founded with Dara back in 2002, and I can't be a prouder father.

--- Theme: I want to ride my bicycle - F. Mercury
In September, I was asked to play TAPS for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks before Bike Philly in Philly with an audience of around 1,000. I then jetted off to the beach (NOT the shore) at Spring Lake for my annual pilgrimage to ride up and down the eastern coast of Monmouth County, 47 miles round-trip from Manasquan to Long Branch. Got to the beach again in October, but sans bike, and communed with the ocean for some salt water (psychological) therapy!
Since my main office is only 4 miles away (3.5 by bike), and since I have to arrive by 7:30am when the temperature hasn't risen much, and since some others at work do it, it wasn't a difficult decision to bike commute starting in April, about once per week. For a while, I had little choice (see the car saga section), but it wasn't too bad and I enjoy it. Takes only 3 minutes longer than to drive there, and even faster than driving to get home.
May brought the first Manayunk Wall climb of the season with Rob and Laura, as well as the Ride of Silence. June has the annual Pro Bike Races and plenty of times biking to work. July had the 73 & 1/2 annual Tour D'Omelet. Philly Naked Bike Ride is late August. 2011's bike mileage was 2,316. I don't expect to hit that this year, even with the bike commuting, since I'm riding (for recreation) two days a week instead of three, having ceded a day to running, but I'm over 1,100 so far.

--- Theme: The continuing story of a rocky relationship with all things cars, OR, the perfect storm of laziness, incompetence, and bureaucracy - Lennon / McCartney (sort of)
The short version (honest!). Had a flat tire on my wonderful manual transmission Saturn SL2 needing replacement in February. Had ordered an air compressor through American Red Cross (from donating blood rewards... ironically also donating 2 days before the flat... they love my O+ blood), but it didn't arrive. Still waiting, 22 weeks later (I bought another and ordered something else). Two days after my birthday in April, it had transmission issues, which were fixed (with a related issue) after over $500. A month later, at 11:01pm on Thursday, May 31, it was stolen. We can be exact because of video footage which I found (police didn't spend any time on my case, otherwise they would have at least spoken with insurance, since they told me not to call them because they would instead, which delayed insurance by a week). In June, I inspected cars of two friends and ended up with QT's Mitsubishi Lancer ES on June 19. Itís in good shape, but itís tough getting used to driving automatic transmission! Received the Title shortly afterwards... with my last name spelled incorrectly. This is a big problem, and I contacted the State of Pennsylvania and they said that if it was their fault (it was), they would replace it free, just mail in the current Title and fill out a form.
I didn't want to mail in my new Title. The last one I mailed in was for the stolen Saturn, along with my keys, to the insurance company, to get the insurance check. I took it in person to the post office, in an envelope with cardboard backing on both sides for protection, and the address on both the outside and inside in case the outside got dirty. Paid extra for Certified Mail, and it was lost in the mail for two weeks before arriving, a mere two hours away. Would have been faster to bike it over myself! I was polite but firm with the State of Pennsylvania and sent them a copy of the Title. I figured, this was the only Title for which I knew its exact whereabouts, even if spelled wrong, and I wanted to hold on to it. I wrote, "I will be happy to shred the misspelled title upon receipt of the correctly spelled one. There is NO ONE by the name of ďKevin Eric Gruenfield,Ē the [incorrect] name listed on the current title, in the entire country and so there is no danger of someone with that name breaking into my home, finding the hidden fireproof lock-box, extracting the title, and using it for nefarious purposes before I shred it." It worked, and I got a Title that they didn't screw up. Also got a nice insurance check.
The last issue is fixing the air-conditioner. Pep Boys couldn't pinpoint the problem with their free a/c check and believe it's an electrical issue. Been there 4 times, and made 5 subsequent phone calls. More to come, I'm sure. Meanwhile, July 2012 was the hottest on record.
Received multiple apologies from American Red Cross, State of Pennsylvania, U.S. Postal Service, SEPTA (the local transit authority, which I had to take while sans car, and they finally sent the refund), Pep Boys, and Firestone (including a refund). I'm noticing that businesses are quite good at saying they are sorry... but not quite good at not screwing up in the first place. No apologies from insurance company and police for their laziness. This really IS the short version. If you're having a bad day, ask me for the details, as it might lighten your mood! If you want to see a short video clip on how the thief stole my car (with images of him), I can send to you.

--- Theme: Be there or be Logan Square - Anon.
My little neck of the woods (even though it's big, urban, and possibly other body parts) always provides. The annual Logan Square Block party in September, the Spooky Gathering in October, and the holiday party in December (where I won a poinsettia... and it's still alive!) not only had excitement, but provided many taken chances to catch up with neighbors and to try to recruit them to join me for Logan Square Town Watch. I also continued on the board of Schuylkill River Park Alliance.
I was fortunate to help again at the 8th Parading On The River Halloween event, and even ventured outside Logan Square to attend the Hawai'ian themed Flower Show with Meg in March and the Rittenhouse Festival in May, and saw plenty of colleagues at the Philabundance stations along the festival.
On the other side of town, the Memorial Day ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Washington Square was once again blistering hot in a dark suit playing Taps and a Call To Attention (there's about 1/4 second TV footage of me), although it pales in comparison to the sacrifice of those we were commemorating.

--- Theme: Get some rest. If you haven't got your health, then you haven't got anything. - W. Goldman (or S. Morgenstern?)
The contact lens model that I've used for over a decade has been discontinued! Not to fret, a newer Ciba Vision has since replaced. I'm not averse to change... unless my favorite whole wheat pasta or running shoe is discontinued! Since work supplies dental, I had to switch dentists, but still no cavities!
Contracted shingles in January! Hm. Related to chicken pox (I had an unusually severe case as an infant) and herpes (which I never had), but it ran its course and my body fought it off valiantly, faster than average. Physical exam in July was all negative. That is, all test results were negative, positively. Some things are even improving!

--- Theme: But all the gardens of spring and summer were blooming - D. Thomas
Last September, after most of my first ever harvest was, well, harvested, I planted broccoli, romaine and Bibb lettuce, radishes, and spinach. The latter two didn't do so well, but that's okay, I did get some bounty! The Winter Street Community Garden group met in March to plan, and have met since then for garden pot-luck dinners (and if you ever want to be my guest, let me know). Almost 3' of chives talkiní as well as some Bibb lettuce seeds (dropped from the previous lettuce crop!) survived the mild winter, and I followed that in May with (Princess) Buttercrunch lettuce, (so) rad-ish, beet down and beet it (two rows), multicolored bell Dr peppers, cornholio, scallion battalion, escaroley-poly, (billions and billions of) Cosmos, (Big Bad Bill Is) Sweet William (Now), dill, basil, and parsley. In June was radish and more lettuce. Right now, the lettuce and dill are all gone. Flowers, beets, radish, and escarole are mostly gone. Corn and peppers are getting there, and parsley, basil, and chives are still plentiful, so please take some of them off my hands! I'm planning broccoli, lettuce, carrots, spinach, and possibly radish and beets for the fall. I'd love to take you for a visit into the garden. In a related vein, I also have some extra houseplants that I propagated, if you're interested.

--- Theme: For I dipt into the future, far as the eye can see - A., L. Tennyson
Shall I race Philly Marathon this November? Do I dare to eat a peach? If so (with the former), I hope to finally break a 3-hour marathon as well as break an 18-minute 5K this year! Iím also planning my annual pilgrimage to the beach (not the shore!) with my bike in September (the best time to go), to ride the entire eastern coast of Monmouth County. Iím taking a week off from work in mid-September, so I have some time to visit ya!
And so this KLU ends as it began, leading my baby the Philly Runners club run tomorrow morning. Following that, a bunch of us are volunteering at Philabundance tomorrow, the 11th, 12:30-3:30pm. If interested, call me! Best wishes to you all, and I hope to see all of you real soon.
2xxx Arch St. #xxx, Philadelphia, PA 191xx-xxxx

Kev's Life Update #25 08/10/12 10/08pm - 4/1/2013

Kev's Life Update #25
08/10/12 10/08pm - 4/1/2013
In haiku and tanka form!

August 11,
Led Philly Runners, then Phil-
abundance volun-
teers: Helen, Nate, Emma, Seth
Kimiko, Bina, Laura.

Philabundance filmed
a commercial, summertime.
Few seconds of me!
Annual review was glow-
ing! Bowling party was fun!

I'm fed well at our
Chef training facility
I service. Back to
a 3-person IT team
with March's new hire I'm training!

Fall garden crop was-
broc, lettuce, spinach, carrots.
This spring, indoor start
with chives, scallions, escarole,
now growing in my window.

Will add radish, beet,
lettuce, spinach, basil, dill,
parsley, and flowers.

Got back to theatre:
Fringe Fest with Adam, Elaine,
"Real Housewives Of South Philly"
by "The Waitstaff" troupe.
and Yasmin's Fringe play as well.

Curtis Institute
Of Music with Igor, James.
Rob. Playing trumpet:
Sara. La Boheme at In-
dependence Mall with Christie.

Logan Square offered
Town Watch, Holiday Party,
Halloween Party
& (with Susan) Parade, Rob
Stuart's memorial bench.

And, a haiku break:
Took a week's vacation in September for my annual pilgrimage to the beach (NOT the shore!). Started Friday afternoon with Philabundance's annual picnic, catered by our own chef training facility. I take my bike (sometimes my running shoes, once my rollerblades) and ride up and down the entire east coast of Monmouth County, NJ, near where I grew up. September is the best time to go, and my rides lengthen each year! I rode up and down between Sandy Hook and Manasquan and got some ocean time at Spring Lake before returning to Philly with fresh figs that my Dad grew for Logan Square's annual block party. Ran intense speedwork on the track the next morning, then went to the chef training facility for a great elaborate meal at day #1 of their week-long catered Practicals, then had a computer client that evening. Biked almost the same amazing ride on Thursday followed with great boardwalk pizza and ocean time at Sea Girt. If you ever have favors to ask, wait until I'm at the beach. I'll likely say yes to anything. Vacation ended with planting in the garden and the Philly Runners post-half-marathon picnic on Sunday!
Now, back to haiku.

PC Consulting
tutoring / fixing: going
well. Need PC help? :-)

Ran intervals at
Temple's track: 400's x
8: 75's!
5:32ish for mile
x2. Parkway Run was next.

18:08. Won-
Gift cards to Modells and brunch
(took Susan). Next was
Philly Marathon- goal 2:
59. Many ice-baths! :-)

Running injuries,
Achilles tendon, IT
band. No Marathon. :-(
Still, 2012 run miles:
1 1 1 4. Good enough.

More events: Mara-
thon expo: Clifbar with Paul
and Danielle. Philly
Runners run leader, volun-
teering, annual dinner.

5K Runnin' On
The River (I'm a board mem-
ber) on the new Schuyl-
kill Banks connector bridge!), just
before Hurricane Sandy.

Another event:
Holiday Lights Run, aiding
My Philabundance.

2 2 3 7
Miles on the bike last year with
Team Tania's offshoots.

Bought cold weather gear
for cycling. But before that,
Philly Naked Bike
Ride, with Don, Eve, A.M. and
many hundreds more riders.

Grandma and Grandpa's
71st Anniver-
sary! Grandpa's health
at age 96 is now
failing. I'm visiting more.

Thanks to Trish, Adam,
and Andrea for their beach,
New Year's Eve, and 10-
course birthday dinner. This next
line available for rent. ;-)

Long-lost visits from
Francisco; Craig; Katrina,
Lauren, and fam - thanks!

6th Schuylkill Mile Time
Trial, I'm directing on
Sun, April 7.
Volunteers needed for this
one mile race. Contact me please!

Later that same day,
Sara's free trumpet grad re-
cital at Curtis.

Eighteenth annual
After Thanksgiving Dinner.
Move to Saturday?
My 21st annual
birthday bash - April 20!

Still donating O-
pos blood, Broad Street Run volun-
teering, want to help?
Coming soon, my Secret Giv-
ing Project on Schuylkill Banks.

Hope you're all having
a great year and hope to see
y'all soon. Love, Kevin

Kev's Life Update #26 2013 Dec 1

Kev's Life Update #26
4/1/2013 - 12/1/2013

THE PAST EIGHT MONTHS, spent with many of you, have been fun & exciting, with many reasons to give thanks. First off were Adam's parties, Trish's beach party, Irene's birthday party, and a visit to the northeast from long-lost Alie! And the opportunities to give back: volunteering at Philabundance again this August with Seth, Nate, Antonio, Randy, John & Pam, Don, and Stephanie D (with a long-lost surprise visit there from Linda K!). Volunteering with Philly Runners at Broad Street Run (thanks to Chris for organizing) and handing out finisher's medals at the Philly Marathon. Donating blood (it's easy), helping to coordinate Logan Square Town Watch for over a decade, again playing Taps at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day, and of course opening up Philabundance's new location, a nonprofit grocery called Fare & Square.

I'm still recovering from last evening's 19th annual AFTER THANKSGIVING DINNER... I contemplated cancelling, but was convinced to hold it, just on a smaller level. In an ironic twist, it became one of the larger after Thanksgiving dinners in recent years, but I didn't mind one bit! Thank y'all for attending; next is the 22nd annual birthday party (the 21st was this past April).

PLENTY GOINGS-ON IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. The Amazing James Randi spoke at the Franklin Institute and I got his autograph after attending his talk. Emily B. helped me storm the Bastille (let there be Tastykake!). Ellen accompanied me to the National Constitution Center, which I highly recommend. Logan Square hosted the annual block party in September and the Spooky Halloween Gathering. And Sara had a great graduation recital at Curtis Institute of Music in April, then Aliah accompanied me to one of the best piano recitals there I've ever experienced. After a gap of a few years, I was finally able to get sailing with Cliff and Gloria on the Delaware in their 30' sloop!

IT'S BEEN THE BEST YEAR FOR CYCLING, which included the great Team Tania brunch and the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride with Don (and several hundreds of others)! I met my goals of bike commuting to my north office 10 times (I'm there only on most Mondays) and surpassing my former annual record of 2,401 bike miles! I hit 2,622 miles (exactly 100 Marathons) and have continued, helped by cold weather cycling gear.

Instead of just one ANNUAL BEACH RIDE in September, this year I did one just before Memorial Day and two in September (giving me 532 bike miles for the month!). Each year, the ride lengthens, but I used up the entire east cost of Monmouth County through Sandy Hook, so I ventured beyond Manasquan through Point Pleasant and into Bay Head. The ride a few days later was a mostly Ocean County ride (born and raised!) from Spring Lake to the southern tip of Island Beach State Park. Saw the devastation from the recent Seaside fire and rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Sandy. I also discovered a better route to get to the beach from my parents' home- 18 minutes to Belmar.

MANY RUNNING EVENTS IN TOWN: the 6th annual Schuylkill Mile Time Trial which raised money for Schuylkill Banks park, the multi running club Boston Marathon solidarity run, the post-race Philly Runners picnics for both Broad Street Run and Philly Distance Run, and our annual club dinner at Marra's. I was also able to run with The Collaborative's running club and Penn running club. While I didn't race this year due to overcoming injury, I was able to resume speed work with Philly Runners and hope for good things next year.

THIS YEAR'S GARDEN had chives, scallions, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, radish, beets, parsley, basil, dill, carrots, escarole, and some flowers. Thanks to Irene for accompanying me to one of the garden gatherings. Any suggestions for next spring's crop? In a similar vein, I have a few extra plants/clippings that I propagated, so let me know if you want.

Along with opening up the additional PHILABUNDANCE location, I twice visited our chef training facility for their practical assignments... attend their free elaborate luncheon, and all you have to do it critique it! These occur quarterly, and they seek more subjects- errr, lunchers, for their next ones this week! Interested? We also had a great summer picnic (usually catered by the chefs in training) in Fairmount Park. In case you don't know, I'm on the IT team at Philabundance for nearly two years and am currently studying for my CompTIA A+ Certification. I also have computer consulting clients on the side (thank you Kimiko for a referral). In order to maintain balance, I have very few clients, but have room for a couple more if you know someone who needs computer help!

I FINALLY SPENT MONEY ON MYSELF (I tried last year, but ended up just writing more checks to charities), so if anyone gets a check engine light in their car, I can diagnose. And if the new mattress passes muster, I'll have a clean high-quality full-size used one available. The next big purchase may be a car. My Mitsubishi Lancer (which replaced my stolen Saturn) is an automatic, and I yearn again for manual transmission. If you happen to know of a smaller stick-shift car available, tell me!

After many months of being mostly bedridden, Grandpa died peacefully on November 8th at age 96, 1 & 1/2 months before his 97th birthday. After each visit, knowing it might be the last, my final words to him were I love you. I gave a speech at his funeral and played Taps on my trumpet. He was one of the strongest positive influences in my life and one of the people I most wanted to emulate. I've been wearing the fedora he gave me years ago and his watch that Grandma gave me the day after, and eating at least one spoonful of ice-cream every day for him. Grandpa didn't drink, so raising a glass might not be the most in line; instead, his love of ice-cream was legendary. If you want to pay tribute, you have permission to stray from your diet for ice-cream (but just one scoop!) to raise a spoon to Grandpa, with my gratitude. For those who don't like ice-cream or can't have it, for some reason, he also really loved onions! I will stick with the ice-cream. :-)

STILL TO COME: the Philabundance chef training facility free lunch event this week, a Curtis Institute of Music free concert (with Mendelssohn's amazing violin concerto) on Wednesday evening, the Logan Square winter party on Sunday the 8th, and the multi running club to see holiday lights through the streets of South Philly with accompanying food drive to benefit Philabundance on Thursday the 12th. Join me!

Kevin E. Gruenfeld

Kev's Life Update #27 12/1/2013 - 3/14/15 9:26pm (GMT)

Good evening and happy Pi minute of the century! This is my 27th life update (Kev's Life Update... get a "KLU"), which I started early in grad school to let friends know back in NJ what had transpired during my first semester there, since I was too busy to keep up with everyone to the extent I had wanted. I like writing these to tell y'all the details, plus it helps me keep things organized in my mind.
It was a period of new stuff. A new bed. Stocking up on new running shoes (Brooks Adrenaline) and bike tires (Michelin). Books, and new cars. Yes, two of them. About that...

The last chapter of the never-ending car saga was when I bought the Mitsubishi Lancer to replace my beloved stolen Saturn SL2 in mid-2012. In a departure from my norm, the Lancer is an automatic, but I needed a prompt replacement and I got a very good deal from an acquaintance. As expected, the charm of automation wore out quickly, and I was in the market for a manual once again. Initially seeking a late-model used vehicle, costs for new were barely higher, and after consulting multiple reputable sources, I winnowed it down to potentially drive these cars five: Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra, and VW Jetta (I once owned an old Sentra, but these were much improved). The Elantra was thrown into the mix thanks to Trish's experience and endorsement.
Took an Elantra road test near Atlantic City, and although their guaranteed advertised price was anything but, I did relish driving a manual again and seeing Jeff who accompanied me to the dealer. Bummed at the price, I waited a couple weeks then ramped up the hunting. After extensive research, I spoke with several dealers, got credit pre-approval, and road tested a Jetta, Focus, and (the winner) Elantra GLS, taking delivery of Baby H from Burns Hyundai near Cherry Hill in February 2014. I shunned the lowball trade-in offer and sold the Mitsubishi myself for a great price after setting the two interested parties into a bidding war.
I was very happy... until less than three months later when my neighborhood had the worst flooding in roughly 15 years, and Baby H was a total flood loss. Ironically, Emily had reported on the area about 20 minutes before I discovered the damage. Erie Insurance was superb. I then spent the weekend scouring the Internet for an identical stick-shift and found only a dozen in all the NJ / DE / eastern PA Hyundai dealers combined! Phone calls and plenty of negotiation and I ended up with New Baby H2 from Freehold Hyundai at a lower price and lower finance rate than Baby H. It had its first diaper change in November.
So if you need any new car buying advice, well, I did it twice last year.

One of the best parts of these life updates is thanking so many friends! For Paul M's party, Ken's and Adam's Superbowl parties, Jacquie & Don's party for George & Martha, Gail & Mike's party, Irene's and Adam's birthday parties, Adam's potluck, Irene's and George & Martha's New Year's Eve parties, thank you all. My birthday party was last April, and my after Thanksgiving dinner was held after my first Thanksgiving in Delaware, and loved hosting you.
Big shout-outs to long-lost visitors Heather, Katrina, Ian (30 years?), Craig Duck, and Heidi during Baby H2's 1st oil change trip. On the other hand, Grandpa would have been 97 this past December and I miss him; we unveiled his headstone in October.

Logan Square and environs continue to entertain, with our own winter party, block party, Spooky Gathering, Rittenhouse Festival with Adam, Paulette, and Eileen, three garden gatherings including one inside at Rebecca's, plus plenty of planting and harvesting days with Annabelle, Emily, and Ruth, the Schuylkill Banks boardwalk opening with Annabelle, my first swim in a city pool with Ruth, Mummers with Irene, Curtis Institute of Music's Beethoven piano sonatas 30-32 (and meeting former president and concert pianist Gary Graffman) and Beethoven/Rachmaninoff piano concertos with Kathryn. There are plenty more of all of these, so I'm hoping to meet up with some of you there. Also met the vibrant Morris Dees at an SPLC talk and he signed his own book for me (yes, it's now on THAT shelf)!
I was able to give back by continuing to coordinate Logan Square Town Watch and donating my O+ blood (achieving my goal of six times -- the most possible for whole blood in a year -- in 2014), including biking to the donation center. Played Taps twice: the usual Memorial Day ceremony for Daughters of the American Revolution at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington Square Park, and in 21-F temperatures at Independence Mall for the two slain NYPD officers.
And voting, of course. My friend and former colleague George withdrew his campaign for City Council, but I think I might look forward to the throes of the next general elections where the attack ads on television supplant the current ads for all the drugs I should ask my doctor about, coupled with how I'm entitled to cash because of alleged damages of something someone had previously asked about!

I couldn't participate in some of the main bike rides due to weather, including the Philly Naked Bike Ride and Labor Day weekend rides. My annual September pilgrimage Monmouth County NJ beach tour was rained out, so I ran 9.3 miles from Spring Lake to Asbury Park and back, duplicating my first beach pilgrimage perhaps 15 years ago (and was even recognized!). The previous day, I biked the entirety of Long Beach Island for the first time ever, entering Barnegat lighthouse and going in the water in Surf City. Still managed 2,550 miles in 2014, and new record 2,703 in 2013!

In some form, I ran with Penn Running Club, Let My People Run, South Philly Striders, Fishtown Beer Runners, and of course Philly Runners. Some minor nagging injuries, especially right Achilles tendon, but we'll see where that leads. At least the Dentist and Optometrist visits show no cavities and the same prescription, although my glasses lenses were showing signs of wear. Optometrist recommended the $419 pair (just the lenses) but I received them instead via mail order from Replace A Lens in Denver for about 12% of the cost! I'm due for a physical later this year as well.
Philly Runners celebrated our 12th anniversary on March 27! Unfortunately, I decided to stop the Schuylkill Mile Time Trial after six years, but instead resurrected the multi-club run on the Schuylkill to commemorate the annual closing of King Drive! There were plenty of PR events including Broad Street Run volunteering (organized by Chris G with Antonio, Annabelle, Marci, me, and others representing) and post-race picnic, our Odyssey 1/2 Marathon picnic, our September Half-Marathon picnic, the annual dinner at Pietro's, and volunteering at our Marathon handing out finisher medals after working for Clif Bar at the expo. 2014 closed with 829 run miles and shortly thereafter a farewell to Sanna & Luke upon their return to Sweden.

Philabundance has treated me well these past 3+ years. I attended the chef training facility Practicals December 2013 and 2014 plus April and September of 2014. The previous winter incurred the most snow closures/shortened days ever, but it did also bring our bowling party, and I was able to commence bike commuting the day before my birthday. In 2013, I biked in 10 times (I'm in the north office only on Mondays) with the goal of doubling in 2014; I hit 21!
Thanks to Don P, John S & Pam, Seth, Annabelle, Jan, Irene, Emily B, Clare, Susan B, PR Carol, Ivan & Betty, and Beckala for our third volunteering in August! In addition were the December multi run club holiday lights runs in South Philly with a food drive (I represented Philly Runners and Philabundance with a short pre-run speech). In between was a Phillies game with Emily from tickets donated to Philabundance, conversing with gracious Hall Of Famer Ryne Sandberg and his wife, and our epic Beet Hunger Bash fundraiser at the Simeone Auto Museum. If you're into classic cars, please go and you will love it!
Mid-2014 was spent studying for two exams to achieve CompTIA A+ certification. Out of 900, the first exam I needed 700 to pass, and the second, 675. Got 809 on both to be certified (and celebrated the next day at the beach of course, for the first time in perhaps a decade actually taking other people -- Annabelle and Emily -- with me!)! Around the same time was our company picnic where many of us receive "shout-out" awards; I was awarded one of two special "most-nominated shout-out" awards! The certification, award, and actually going on an interview led to my promotion at Philabundance to Desktop Support Analyst. We just had our winter all-staff breakfast and meeting where many of us received more "shout-out" awards.
In other related news, I took on another I.T. client, but I continue to keep the number of clients low so I can give them close attention when needed. If you know of someone needing desktop computer help, send 'em to me!

What does the near future have in store? Now that we've persevered through the brutal winter, there are plenty of items on the horizon. The garden is beckoning me (and you're welcome to help!) and I'm going to get the Philabundance Herb Garden up and running. My baby, Philly Runners turns 13 on March 27. Bar Mitzvah ceremonies will be held the next day, Saturday morning 9am, in front of the art museum! My birthday party is tentative for April 25, the week before Broad Street Run and its continuing opportunity to volunteer with Captain Chris G and Philly Runners, and it may even inspire me to return to racing provided I'm not injured. And I may just take Ben up on his drumming lesson offer. But first, next Saturday evening, Kathryn and I are hosting a cheese tasting I've contemplated for a while, called the FÍte ŗ Cheese. And Monday will start with my first bike commute this year. Looking forward to it all! Hope to hear from you all soon!

Kevin E. Gruenfeld

Kev's Life Update #28 3/14/15 9:26pm (GMT) - 11/13/15 17:19pm

Get A KLU #28:
signifies the start and end date:
3/14/15 @ (GMT) 9:26pm,
11/13/15 @ 17:19pm
of this Kev's Life Update.

Some of you I haven't seen or
corresponded with you all for
quite a while, so these email updates recount my tales of yore,
in hopes that my future absence shan't be tried forevermore
By Judge Sotomayor.

Those who hosted parties, thank you
Kevin B's pig Spitapaloo-
za on Lemon Hill, Irene's farewell to Jamaica (both with
Kathryn), Ken F, my own birthday party attendees, no myth,
good thoughts they did imbue.

Schuylkill Mile Time Trial race passed
to Paul, amidst the runs recast:
3rd Springtime On The Schuylkill all-club run, I owned "RunningIn" now "" wherein
it's all been unsurpassed.

Philly Runners' proud Bar Mitzvah
celebrated all that glitz, ya
ought to join; I stayed as a Run Leader. Philly Mayor's Cup-
first place women! ODDyssey picnic, John's pre-Broad Street Run sup,
All fun, I admits. Ya.

Broad Street: also volunteering-
(we watched racers persevering)
Captain: Chris, gave water / Gatorade, Philly Runners gath'rin';
First runs, with Emily: Boxer's Trail and on Bridge Ben Franklin,
Paced Tina, with cheering.

Exciting food / drink... wild pear tree:
(hard Cider Fest with Emily),
in Valley Forge and Manasquan, Whitemarsh: wild raspberry,
FÍte ŗ Cheese (cheese tasting, co-hosted with Kathryn) jubilee.
Great food discovery!

Summer's abundant garden fill:
peppers, lettuce, basil, beets, dill,
parsley, chives; gave Emily clippings- (and have more) pothos plants,
Saw my first McLaren at Point Beach (My Elantra...) by chance
(...turned 1, never been ill).

More beach rides this year than ever
leads to my bike miles endeavor
of 3,000(!), while wading in Bradley Beach, Asbury Park,
Sandy Hook, Avon, Ship Bottom, Belmar (no threats of a shark).
Too cold now. Whatever. :-(

And rode the Henry Hudson Trail,
ate Long Branch Max's hot dogs, they'll
slow you down, but still hit 80 miles on another ride; we
(rode from parents' Jackson home to Belmar) escaped from Philly-
Pope Francis made me bail.

Also, Philly Naked Bike Ride
with Don (and some sunscreen applied).
September's record 613 miles, long rides, many a trip,
lugged my bike through the sand at Sandy Hook for an ocean dip
(sans wet clothes) at high tide.

Goings-on in/near Logan Square
(besides aforementioned (tree:) pear),
with Kathryn, Annabelle, and Emily at garden gath'rings,
block party and (with Emily) Halloween; my trumpet sings-
"Taps" at Washington Square

Philabundance, approaching four
years employed there. I don't abhor
birthday Phillies game with Kathryn, pool/picnic, bike commuting,
truck route ride-along, chefs-in-training luncheons, not disputing
all of them I adore.

After all my blood donations
I'll now be among the patients.
Physical showed transient anemia, colonoscopy
needed, and with internal bleeding, upper endoscopy.
Then evaluations.

It's been a time of starts and ends
The latter with Kathryn, now friends.
My first race, 5K (thanks, Paul), under 19, in 3+ years;
After Thanksgiving dinner (November 28), for cheers-
Take part, womens and mens!

And thusly ends Kev's Life Update
Hope you liked #28
Call me! 732-xxx-xxxx or
visit at 2xxx Arch Street #xxx, for
Good times they shall await.


Kev's Life Update #29 11/13/15 17:19pm - 7/17/16 15:14

Welcome, all, to Get A KLU (Kevís Life Update) #29, the once or twice a year recap of stuff going on in my life, with special notes of thanks to many people over the past many months as well as invitations and suggestions for future events! Our latest installment commences 11/13/15 @ 17:19 and runs through 7/17/16 @ 15:14. Let us begin.

Latter November brought two important events, the first being the Philadelphia Marathon. Many Philly Runners (including me) volunteered by handing out finisher medals. Thanks to John & Pam for hosting the pre-race dinner. The other, Thanksgiving, brought two noteworthy events. The oldest Thanksgiving parade in the nation hosted the marching band from my alma mater Jackson, NJ, followed two days later with my 21st annual After Thanksgiving Dinner & Caribbean Vacation! Okay, I finally admit, there never was a Caribbean Vacation. But I can still be thankful for all my friends!

The end of December saw the highest annual bike mileage, with 3,015, and 1,220 run miles! And long-lost visits from Rachel and Amy and their respective families!

January brought my first medical procedures and general anesthesia since infancy, trying to determine the cause of the (hopefully transient) iron deficiency anemia. No symptoms 'cept for being unable to keep up as well with all the fast kids at the clubís Tuesday evening runs, and being occasionally beaten during the Thursday evening hill runs, a particular strength of mine. I thought I was just getting old! I traced it to my frequent whole blood donations (iron-rich O+ blood), and the low iron was caught during a routine physical in July 2015 (have you had one recently?), three weeks after my last donation, although Red Cross didn't mention the low iron, which steadily decreased each subsequent donation of 2015. Ceasing donations brought some labs (and energy levels) to normal in October's deeper testing. The colonoscopy and upper endoscopy were unrevealing. Huge thanks to Emily for escorting me home when the anesthesia had (mostly!) worn off. Thanks also to Ed, Perri, Seth, John, Jan, and Adam for offering as well. A capsule endoscopy followed revealing some small intestine erosion. Hm. What happened next? We have to wait until March for more labwork. But before that was the fun annual dinner of Philly Runners!

In February, we sought someone to join our work I.T. team, since the junior guy took a position near his home, saving an hour commute each way. I donít blame him, although it would be three months before we filled the position. In the meantime, Adam had his birthday party (sushi, of course), and I bought a Dell Latitude E6430 laptop to match the models we have at work...although I specíd mine out to ludicrous speed! I figured, I never get anything for myself, and colonoscopies and upper endoscopies donít count!

In March, following 2015ís FÍte Š Cheese (cheese tasting), Emily co-hosted HACK-Fest 1.0 (Hard Apple Cider @ Kevinís Festival) with 12 people and 27 ciders from 9 states and 5 countries! Our #1 rated cider is from Tennessee, tied for #2 from England and Wisconsin, the next two tied, from Pennsylvania and New York. Interested in more details, or in HACK-Fest 2.0 with all new ciders? Let me know! Follow-up bloodwork indicated that all my labs were back in healthy range or on the border (except for one that's been chronically low for 20 years or so). The disappointing 5K race from November, my first race in three years, now had a medical explanation. But now that Iím physically healthy to race, I need to ensure Iím also ready psychologically. We find out in April. Before that, though, was the 14th anniversary of one of my favorite accomplishments: Philly Runners! Starting from nothing, I recruited my friend Dara to start the club on March 27, 2002. Runners of all skill levels are always welcome to join us.

April brought the 4th annual all-club Springtime On The Schuylkill run that I direct, plus I saw Nicole for the first time in over a decade! The Clean Air 10K gave me healthy labs, more training, and more psychological preparedness than the November race and I finished as 4th male (5th overall), with Emily right behind me as 2nd female (6th overall), Madelena as 3rd female (10th overall), Brittany as 4th female (22nd overall), Bill in 38th, John in 71st, and other friends Iím sure in a big field of 890. Unfortunately, the course was mis-measured and so the finish time is meaningless. However, it was a better race than my November race. And we were so proud of Baby H2 Elantra as it turned 10,000 miles old (I have over three times as many miles on my bike!)!

May started with the famous Broad Street Run. A few of us volunteered once again, thanks to the captaining of Chris, but in relentless pouring rain. The pre-race gathering the day before was again ably hosted by John & Pam, but the post-race barbecue was postponed due to the rain. However, I held my belated birthday party in May, which I enjoyed. And Baby H2 turned 2. Closing out May was my annual performance of Taps @ Washington Square for Daughters of the American Revolution Memorial Day ceremony, including my own compositions for the processional and recessional. And after three months, we hired a new third person in my I.T. department (she was one of my choices to bring in for an interview!).

June had follow-up labs, similar to those in March. Looks like Iím back to normal! Cleared to resume donating blood, but havenít yet. Various group running stuff occurred, including the ODDyssey half-marathon (I staffed our table at the expo along with Seth and Ivan) and post-race picnic, a visit from Philly Runners co-founder Dara, and the 2nd multi-run-club Spitapalooza pig roast in Fairmount Park thanks to Kevin, Ferdinand, and Dave. I raced the Gary Papa 5K on Fatherís Day, finishing 2nd male (3rd overall) out of 943 racers in a strong performance, but once again, the course was mis-measured. This is unusual, and disappointing that for both of my races, I would have run my fastest times for each distance. Paul and Emily ran the 10K, also mis-measured, and finished 3rd male/overall and 2nd female (12th overall) out of 233 racers. And congratulations to Paul for the birth of his first child.

July started with Independence Day weekend that brought free admittance to a bunch of local museums. Although not an avid museum-goer, I visited the African American Museum, the National Constitution Center (I loved this one), and the National Museum of American Jewish History. July also brought reunions with cousin Leah + Wes + Wyatt, Heidi, and Heather.

Recurring events included more visits to Pennís legendary Franklin Field track, leading plenty of club runs, more bike commuting to work, and attending our companyís chef training facility for their ďPracticals,Ē where the it is turned into a mini-restaurant. Plenty of gardening, with thanks to Emily. Two types of lettuce were in overabundance, and I'm finally successful with oregano. Others include flat-leaf parsley, dill, always-present chives, flowers in bloom right now, radishes, beets, and peppers. Want some? Come and get it!

What will the future bring? For now, Iím healthy and will get in more racing (going for sub-18 in the 5K and maybe even my 5th Marathon, aiming for 2:59), the next garden group gathering is forthcoming and I'm starting to plan the fall crop, and I may finally donate blood again... although that will revolve around my race schedule. I'm also doing freelance I.T. work for anyone that needs something repaired, tutoring, or other technical help. Summer and autumn in Philly brings a lot to do, so I hope you can visit sometime soon!

Kevin Gruenfeld

Kev's Life Update #30 7/17/16 15:14 - 3/31/2017

Resuming our tale, Kev's Life Update commences on the 17th of JULY,
With another of Adam's parties (this time in West Philly hosted by Mike) on which you can rely,
And a garden gathering potluck at Rebecca's to bid this month good-bye.

Then AUGUST brought a visit from Jamaica by Irene,
And my fastest ever (when timing it) ride to Valley Forge (1:09:15) and to my Norristown checkpoint (52:39; anything under an hour I consider on target!) that ever I had seen!
Plus a smaller garden gathering hosted by Mukti and Rahul (though no one grew a garbanzo bean),
And my work, Philabundance, where we took off one day, but for our picnic would we thus reconvene.
I went to the newly completed Mormon Temple a few blocks from me to tour, a nice educational experience, for I am not a philistine.
My right heel issue (plantar fasciitis) sidelined me from running a bit (although I compensated with bike time)... I feel for the heel I want to take a guillotine
Or shout out some words obscene,
And as such I achieved a new highest bike mile month with 673, demolishing the previous record of 613
Set in September 2015
(While generally avoiding caffeine),
Which itself demolished the previous record the month prior of 538... and for all I must have worn plenty of sunscreen.
John & Pam hosted another pre-race dinner, this one for next morning's Mayor's Cup, with tasty cuisine
With a strong showing from Philly Runners despite the brutal weather conditions we can't contravene,
And then, for Emily, I was able to intervene
When she finally conceded she wants a bike, so we went to Bikesmiths (my most trusted shop) where she purchased a pretty keen
Two-wheeled machine.

SEPTEMBER drove, along with Don and Ken, over a thousand joining at the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride,
Which I'm sure, despite the title, many riders had applied
Titanium dioxide.
And later another excuse, with Emily to Greenfest, a chance to be outside.
Plus late garden planting with Annabelle and Emily: lettuce, spinach, radish, beet, carrot, and maybe a few unidentified!
The annual Logan Square block party as usual left none dissatisfied,
Philly Runners Philly Distance Run picnic was the best, city-wide.
I started at a new optometrist, Dr. Toscani, since with my previous one I was dissatisfied.
Of I course I went down seaside
(That is, the beach (don't call it the shore!)), to my seldom visited Long Beach Island and hopped in the water at Brant Beach, perhaps during low tide,
Although no free ice cream this year at Custard Hut, thanks to Heidi I now know the location of the public bathrooms (that information is now declassified),
Then took my longest ride in years, 81 miles (1 more than last year's) covering Sandy Hook to Mantoloking (hopping in the water at Spring Lake) since my pilgrimage beach rides, especially Monmouth County, my favorite ride world-wide,
Shall not be denied.

OCTOBER wasn't as bustling
With only a gentle garden gathering rustling,
Though the running speedwork got me hustling.

Starting off the month of NOVEMBER was a visit to Don while recovering from his successful surgery on All Hallows' Eve,
Shortly after, Emily accompanied me to the Ursinus Track Meet where in a 5K an 18:11 I did achieve,
Followed but a day later with Mom & Dad's 50th anniversary party, my brother, Ron, and I they did conceive.
At the Philadelphia Marathon, Philly Runners volunteered medal distribution, we've
Done it many times, with John & Pam's pre-Marathon dinner the previous night (and we didn't want to leave).
Thanksgiving again at my Aunt & Uncle's in Delaware, from cooking I had a reprieve.
I finally resumed donating blood two days after Thanksgiving, with my hemoglobin back up to 16, which serves to relieve.
I bought a used rowing machine, to try something new; in New Jersey I went to retrieve.
And finally cleaned up the garden with Emily, although we knew it would come back next year so we did not grieve

Then in DECEMBER and to close out the year,
Lou's Dim Sum (though not the premier),
Adam's party we all did appear,
Plus the multi run club annual Holiday Lights Run to benefit Philabundance (and there are plenty of opportunities here
If you ever wish to volunteer),
And the Kane's in Philly, then to their respective states did they disappear.
The year 2016 gave 3,138 miles (5,050 km) on the bike for which I did persevere,
Forty bike commutes to my north office, since, let me be clear,
It is so near,
And 1,166 run miles in, despite the weather, I adhere,
I continued to many times serve as run leader for Philly Runners, which I hold dear,
Oddly enough three colds, which I jeer,
(Except for those colds) which I, all of them, cheer!

George and Martha ushered in JANUARY at their New Year's Day party with their new mademoiselle,
With a Groupon, I bought a 15-visit pass to Sweat Gym for some indoor winter activities, where I often meet with Annabelle
And sightings of Lynn, by the stairwell.
Our first Philabundance IT/MIS lunch went very well,
I added one to my I.T. clientele
(And did you know that since we use them at work and I bought one for home, I can get you a great deal on a Dell?),
And then during freezing temperatures and a short but fierce snowstorm just before boarding my first Frontier Airlines plane (and witnessing my first de-icing!), to Philly I bid farewell,
Heading off to the (thanks to cousin Adam) Marriott Residence Inn hotel
In New Orleans! For the music and food and the warmer climes in winter, for some time to me it did compel.
I took a three hour bus tour which included beignets and a cemetery excursion which was all pretty swell,
Ending at famed Jackson Square (with the Mighty Mississippi River on one side and the sweet sounds of street musicians on my other)... commemorating heroics reminiscent of William Tell,
Ate red beans and rice, jambalaya, and crawfish etouffee, none of which were a hard sell,
Then rented a hybrid bike, and through the Garden District and Audubon Park it would propel,
And after each number performed that evening by the amazing Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which instilled in me new respect for the clarinet, we would appreciably yell,
But the tale continues into next month since down in NOLA for a bit longer I would dwell.

FEBRUARY continued my New Orleans adventure with a local bike club's tour, then some solo riding, 40 miles that day compiled,
Then the French Market for alligator and muffaletta (and gumbo later on), don't worry, the spiciness was mild,
Joining a local running club plus the bar after (with a solo running tour of the Garden District before the club for more miles) after a dip in the hotel pool, which was not tiled,
Plus also a hurricane (just a wine cooler, though), a Blackthorn cider, pralines, a snowball (finer shaved water ice / Italian ice), and roast beef debris (which looked defiled),
Took the ferry to bike Algiers before returning to the rental shop, then a bus to rent a kayak, then a streetcar (named Canal) for a music tour of the city, led by (of course) Stella who frequently smiled,
Listened to so many more talented street musicians, each in their own way styled.
On the last day, I visited the Confederate Civil War museum, the local Marathon expo, the (combined) U.S. Mint and jazz museums, then to the airport I filed.
Once back, Ken's birthday party with many in attendance beguiled,
Then Adam's birthday gathering, where at his place many friends piled,
And another of Lou's Dim Sum, all reconciled,
And while I bought a new bike helmet, since head injuries are generally reviled,
Rahul and Mukti had their second child!

A long lost welcome in MARCH to Sandip, that old misbehaver,
Then after having only the rotary kind, I finally bought a Remington foil shaver.
Went in for a follow-up capsule endoscopy, although I didn't need a lifesaver.
And my baby, Philly Runners (with extra thanks to Dara and Seth), celebrated our 15th anniversary (!), and for all this time we remained steadfast and did not waver.

And now for the future, what will it bring?
Tomorrow is the Springtime On The Schuylkill #5 multi-club run that I started, held, of course, every spring,
Garden planting is imminent, and we're all looking forward to all the bounty's coloring,
Then on Saturday, April 22nd, my Birthday party fit for a king!
I'll have more testing to hopefully rule out this Crohn's thing,
Possibly throwing my name for my division's nonpartisan Judge Of Elections into the ring,
My friends' Spitapalooza 3 will be in June, sans any bellyaching,
And HACK-Fest 2.0 (Hard Apple Cider @ Kevin's Festival) around late June; hopefully you've enjoyed this Get A KLU #30's word string!

Kevin E. Gruenfeld

Kev's Life Update #31 4/1/2017 - 1/1/18 @ 11:18am

Happy New Year, everyone! Despite the cold (for most people receiving this), I hope 2018 brings you peace and joy and warmth. I present Kev's Life Update (Get a K.L.U.) #31. There are runs, bike rides (in various stages of dress), parties, gardening, medical testing, volunteering, ceremonies, visits, tours, hard apple cider, a pool, beaches, a zoo, a solar eclipse, a focus group, voting stuff, wild grown food, and blood! Please join me for them in the upcoming year! Well, except for the medical testing (but don't neglect your own annual physical)!

APRIL started with the 5th annual Springtime On The Schuykill all-club run + picnic, which I started and lead. Garden planting with Annabelle and Emily followed. My initial diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia from a routine physical in July, 2015 which led to a colonoscopy, an upper endoscopy, two capsule endoscopies, multiple samples / lab work, and a diagnosis of Crohn's drew to a close. The last testing this month revealed nothing wrong and led the docs to conclude: you're normal, case closed... which made for something to celebrate at my birthday party (thank you all for attending)! Hopefully, I'll be able to excise the false diagnosis from my charts before any new medical laws are enacted! American Red Cross has now changed their minimum hemoglobin levels for blood donation, which would have caught me early rather than this whole rigmarole, so perhaps some good has come of the ordeal.

Philly Runners hosted our annual post Broad Street Run picnic with other clubs in MAY. No volunteering this year, but Chris (who captains it) has been healing and should return to lead next year. I again played Taps (with my own compositions for the processional and recessional as requested) for a Memorial Day ceremony at Washington Square Park for Daughters of the American Revolution.

JUNE was quiet, with the Westminster Arch sidewalk sale, a visit from cousin Adam, and going to prison with Emily (Eastern State Penitentiary tour). But, I did submit five plays to the resurrected Night Of 1,000 Plays (they previously performed seven of my plays) and, thanks in part to Ed, Todd, Emily, and Annabelle, eleven submissions to the infamous Bulwer-Lytton contest. Unfortunately, N1K has been indefinitely postponed and the deadline for Bulwer-Lytton closed early, which I found out after my on-time submissions were entered, so that at least will be considered for 2018.

But JULY was busy, starting with visits to the One Liberty Place observation deck and Trish & Neil's party, about 0.6 mile from where I grew up (and where my parents and brother still live). Harvested some coriander in the garden for the first time! Next was a tour by the CEO of Original 13 Cidery, producers of the very good Sir Charles cider, a few blocks from my north office right in Philly, a prelude to hosting HACK-Fest 2.0 (Hard Apple Cider @ Kevin's Festival) with Emily's assistance. The top ranked cider was from France, the next best from Washington State, then Massachusetts, then Vermont. Beating them all was the only non-cider in the mix, an apple beer from Belgium! Come join me for HACK-Fest 3.0 next fall! The next day brought Kathryn's birthday brunch. Since I hadn't been running as much due to the heel issue, I was able to hit the highest bike miles in a month with 683, beating the previous record by 10!

In AUGUST, shortly after Don used it for his first triathlon, I finally made it to Kelly Pool, one of many free (outdoor) pools in the city, regarded as one of the best public pools in the country! Philly Runners again participated in the 3rd Mayor's Cup and while we didn't win 1st place women like the previous two years, we did win 2nd place men! Finally went kayaking again (on a date) at Bartram's Garden (North America's oldest, c.1728). Also finally made it to the Philadelphia Zoo (America's first, c.1874) with Philabundance, and just three days later was the solar eclipse with the same group, although not in the path of totality (which is definitely the name of any band that I start!).

SEPTEMBER brings some of my favorite bike rides of the year (which produced the second highest monthly bike miles with 668): the all-turns ride (modified from my regular Sunday morning ride, but taking all routes), the Philly Naked Bike Ride with Don, and the beach rides. The LBI ride was fun as usual (along with finding sand dollars!), but the marquee ride is the Monmouth County beach tour, my #1. Got in the water at Beach Haven, Sandy Hook, Spring Lake, and Belmar. The month also brought Greenfest, Ken's party, the LSNA block party, and the LSNA focus group. While I'm not patrolling for town watch anymore (though still coordinating it), I underwent official training for Philadelphia Election / Machine Inspector. And, to add to food I discovered growing in the wild (raspberries north of Manayunk, pear trees in Valley Forge and Manasquan), I stumbled upon chestnuts behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art! Remind me this coming September so we can gather together!

OCTOBER first brought a visit to see Emi in rehab for a spinal cord injury, then the Pour The Core hard apple cider fest with Emily for the second time (the inspiration for my HACK-Fest), the latest Philly Free Streets where miles of roads are closed to auto traffic, and plenty of gardening.

NOVEMBER had John & Pam's pre-Marathon party, volunteering by Philly Runners at the Marathon finish line handing out medals and heat sheets, seeing my hometown high school band in the oldest Thanksgiving parade in the country before heading to Delaware with family, and donating blood for only the second time since all that blood work and procedures... hemoglobin is still normal!

DECEMBER's first half brought the annual multi-club holiday lights run in South Philly. As it was the beneficiary, I represented Philabundance (now tenured six years), as well as Philly Runners, and said a few words before we started. Two days later before our first burst of snow of the season, I pulled the rest of the garden: carrots, beets, radishes, and chives. The second half was packed with parties: Lou's latke party, Lisa & Roger's open house, LSNA holiday party, Adam's pot-luck vegan festivus party, Adam's other pot-luck vegan party, Carol's pre-NYE party, and Scott & Kathy's NYE party. Sorry I couldn't make yours, Ken!

Overall, 2017 was the busiest year with clients since 2013! I hit my goal of 30 bike commutes (when I'm at the north office on Mondays) and ended with 7,502 kilometers (4,661 miles) exceeding last year's record by around 50%! Running was hampered by the plantar fasciitis, especially earlier in the year, but I managed 422 miles.

I've got plans for 2018, including resolutions for the new year. The Philly Runners annual dinner is nigh, and I hope some of you can join me for ice-skating in town soon and for visits to the public pools this summer. My birthday party will be in April and HACK-Fest 3.0 in the fall. Running (including as run leader for Philly Runners), cycling (hopefully including 30 bike commutes), and gardening will take up plenty of fun time, and studying for the Microsoft Windows 10 certification will be ever-present.

I endeavor to be better as responding to emails and Facebook posts, do my plantar fasciitis rehab stuff, go on more dates, and be more social & accept more invitations & be available for my friends more without asking. And remember that Caribbean vacation I keep threatening with my after-Thanksgiving dinner? Well... this late January / February, either on a cruise or a little island hopping from San Juan / St. Thomas!

Yours sincerely,
Kevin E. Gruenfeld

Kev's Life Update #32 1/1/18 @ 11:18am - 8/18/18 @ 8:18pm

Good evening all, and welcome to the 32nd installment of Kev's Life Update (KLU), the only periodical mass email that lets y'all know that I'm still alive (with hopes that I'll hear from you as well)! I'm not always good with communication, so I hope this mitigates that a bit. If you don't want to receive these, let me know, no problem. The most noteworthy event (so far) this year was the Eastern Caribbean Norwegian Gem 10-night cruise with Heather, Andy, Jake, Genna, and Violet, from Manhattan to Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Nevis, and St. Thomas in February. But wait, there's more...!

Philly Runners celebrated our 16th birthday! So far this year we've had our annual dinner, participated in the 6th Springtime On The Schuylkill all-club run, went to John & Pam's pre-Broad Street Run dinner, volunteered (thanks to Chris G) at Broad Street Run (with many other PR's racing) and enjoyed our picnic afterwards (thanks to Seth), bid farewell to Nicole at our dinner, and raced (captained by Lindsey) / volunteered / picnicked (thanks again to Seth) at the 4th Mayor's Cup all-city club-vs-club competition, placing 10th out of 30 clubs. We ( are an all-skills club (founded by Dara B and me) that runs from the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Tuesdays (6:30pm), Thursdays (6:30pm) and Saturdays (9:00am). On a personal note, I tried City Fitness with Carol C (great gym) in the winter, ran in 2-F degrees, and my plantar fasciitis improved enough to resume long Saturday runs and have been running well enough to consider racing this fall! I've been cycling less due to more running, but it's a better balance. The Valley Forge / Audubon / Perkiomen routes continue to be beautiful, and some of my favorite rides are approaching: Philly Naked Bike Ride on September 8 and my beach rides in Monmouth County (#1 of the year), northern Ocean County, and Long Beach Island also in September.

August brought Irene's long lost visit from Jamaica with Kerri; two months prior from Dara M at the Philly International Festival of the Arts + Lou, Kathryn, and Hannah; three months before that from Sandip (no Mad Dog was consumed, despite the rumors he will likely spread!). In between was Philly's Women's march in January, Adam's birthday party in February, March's Punch Line comedy club visits organized by Adam with Mily, Annabelle, Lynn G, Kathryn, Lou, and others; Ken's party; my own birthday party in April (there were 25 of us); again playing Taps at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier @ Washington Square on Memorial Day for DAR; Independence Day festivities with a visit to the partially restored First Bank of the USA and again to the Mutter Museum of Medical Oddities and Artifacts; and Megan C's Cape May beach house party... which was fun until the flat tire! Many newer cars come with a tire inflation kit with green slime sealant in lieu of an actual spare. I'd have none of that nonsense and purchased a spare tire + tools separately, which saved much time, money, and aggravation since the sealant would have been useless on the sidewall damage. KLU #32 top advice: if your car doesn't come with a spare tire, get one!

The neighborhood gardening club sprouted quickly this year, with multiple garden gatherings and pot lucks. Crop success was mixed but flowers thrived, and I'm already planning my fall crop... any requests? Indoor plants flourished sufficiently to be able to provide aloe and pothos plants to Mily, Faith, and plenty of colleagues. I expect to have more plants next spring if you are interested.

On the cruise... we departed Manhattan, and after a bite to eat, my friends Heather & Andy's 11-year-old, Genna, said she wanted to visit every free restaurant on board with me because, "Kevin is awesome!" Sunday evening was the Superbowl, made especially relevant since our embarkation point was between Philly and Boston, the contenders. It was shown in three locations via satellite (possibly from Jamaica), including the big theatre. After any major play, a shout of joy erupted from the fans, while a smaller contingent of groans accompanied. Both Boston and Philly were well-represented, though I think Eagles fans outnumbered Patriots. After our triumph, my favorite post-game moments on the ship were fans of opposing teams shaking hands. On the final day before land, I ran on the outdoor track, had my first Polish hot dog in years, summoned courage to compete in the Mr. Sexy Legs contest, saw the SWING show, and had my first of several hot tub visits.

My first Caribbean island was Antigua. 'Twas an active excursion: bus tour to a speed boat to kayaking, then more speed boat to snorkeling, a short hike, an isolated island beach, more speedboat, rum punch & banana cake, then a bus back. Ran a few miles from the ship to Mistic Beach / Runaway Beach and enjoyed a good comedy show that evening. While in port, work paid for that day's cell phone access, and it was nice to catch up on the outside world for a bit after several days.

In St. Lucia, our group's favorite, I opted for a long bus tour into the crater of La Soufriere Volcano (you can drive in!) by the Pitons, and part of the rainforest area. Climbing up near the volcano, the lady behind me in our group asked if I was a cyclist because of my calves. I answered in the affirmative, despite (grr... spoiler alert!) NOT winning that Mr. Sexy Legs contest (it really wasn't about legs)! She then asked if I am a *pro* cyclist (okay, I'm now absolved from not winning!). Ran later from the ship to the amazing Vigie Beach, next to the airstrip where one can watch takeoffs and landings.

We needed to anchor off St. Kitts and tendered to shore. Made loose plans with the bike rental place, but the owner wasn't too informative via email and I couldn't find it, so I took a separate 45 minute ferry "Caribe Surf" to Nevis. That bike shop guy was helpful but it was too far from the ferry port so I just walked 10-15 minutes (passing the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton) to Pinney Beach. I arrived before 11am and no one else was present. I fully grasped the weight of my situation and realized I likely will never again be on a small island in the eastern Caribbean with my own beach! Drank a peardrella before the return ferry ride, then bought my first fresh passionfruit, then my first sugar cane back on board.

The next day I sent Mom & Dad (and others) a postcard from St. Thomas USVI, their honeymoon spot! Hurricane damage closed the nearest beaches so I ran my hilliest long run to Abi Beach which was wonderful. I downloaded my emails that morning and found that I placed 3rd in our company's "most spirited" Eagles fan photo contest! From a photo of me donating blood around Thanksgiving, I edited the blood green! Filled out a Vacation Hero card for our cabin steward, Junmar B from Philippines and the main pianist, Asumi from Japan. She is just dancing on those piano keys and is a joy to watch! I want to play but guests cannot.

At sea, I climbed the rock wall for the first time. Stardust Theatre hosted the comedy juggler. Finished reading the 2005 Dover v. Kitzmiller court ruling on teaching creationism in public classrooms in Pennsylvania, the first full ruling Iíve ever read. Spinnaker Lounge on Deck 13 fore hosted a Q&A with senior ship staff. Someone asked how often someone goes overboard and the Captain said he's encountered it only once. I asked what sensors are there to detect it, but it's only visual/cameras. Stayed in Spinnaker and appropriately read Treasure Island by full length windows on the side. To the left was the ocean that we approach; to the right, the ocean we leave behind. They look identical but are worlds apart. Spinnaker also hosted the cute cake decorating contest. Later was the ship's crew spotlight jam, like an America's got talent music contest (though way more multinational). Maybe I can jump in on piano? Nope, crew only! Saw the ship's 70s musical... it was pouring when we walked to the theatre via an open air deck; post-performance, we were now rudely awakened to how cold it is: "What the hell was that!" I said after we got back inside. The morning we docked was very cold. When the NYC skyline came into view, lots of passengers took photos as we passed Lady Liberty, though very few did for Ellis Island despite the similar enormity of what it represents. Total island count including the uninhabited island near Antigua (and Manhattan) is seven!

It's now 8:18pm on 8/18/18. What will the future hold? For me, it's HACK-Fest 3.0 (Hard Apple Cider @ Kevin's Festival) on October 13, running races (aiming for a sub-18 5K), a physical exam (let's see if those iron issues are resolved for good), and the aforementioned most excellent bike rides. Want to run sometime? Join us at Philly Runners! Hard apple cider? Tell me right away if you want to join HACK-Fest 3.0. And don't forget your own physical exam! I'd love to hear what the future holds for all of you; let me know!

Best wishes,
Kevin E. Gruenfeld

Kev's Life Update #33 - 8/18/18 @ 8:18pm - 5:55pm 5/5/2019

The concluding paragraph of KLU #32 discussed the near future: (1) HACK-Fest 3.0 (Hard Apple Cider @ Kevin's Festival), (2) running races (aiming for a sub-18 5K), (3) a physical exam (to see if those iron issues are resolved for good), and (4) some excellent bike rides. But after those four, another event occurred overshadowing them all.

Mom was diagnosed with double pneumonia and ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) in late March and she spent over a month at Ocean Medical hospital in Brick, NJ, much of it in ICU/CCU. She died shortly after noon on Friday, May 3. We had some time to prepare and were fortunate to have had the final words said to each other to be, "I love you." She was just 73; her own Mom died age 98 in September.

I can deal with this, but since my Dad is now legally blind, and Ron is mildly autistic, they can't drive and were partially dependent on Mom. I'm going to have to deal with the state of NJ to figure out Medicare for Ron. I'm there every weekend, but those in the Jackson area who have extra time could help by giving rides. Their physical health is good, fortunately. Condolences can be sent to Dad (Norman) and Ron at [deleted]. If you send something, please indicate how you and I know each other and Ron will read it to Dad.

Speaking of health, according to the doc from my physical in November, my iron issues have resolved. I kinda knew this, but it's nice to see the labs. I still donate my O+ iron rich blood (but not six times a year anymore) and encourage you to as well. No change at the optometrist as well. Please be sure to take care of your health (and write your living will; Mom did and it saved us much stress).

Speaking of family, Max had his Bar Mitzvah in February, then I saw Leah, Wes, Wyatt, and Hope in West Palm Beach (in time for Leah's birthday!) before flying to Aruba for a bit. Had a great day tour including Arikok caves and Baby Beach (and also went to Surfside, Fisherman's Hut, and Druif beaches). Rented a mountain bike (Pennsylvania's own Cannondale), ran, picked wild aloe, saw the Norwegian Gem in port (my ship from exactly one year ago!), ate great food including keri-keri pastechi, yucca, poffertjes, guanabana (soursop) and passion fruit juice, and more. Next was Miami with Veronique and included Wynnewood Walls park/art, Lummus Park, and lots of great Cuban and other local food before returning to the cold rain of Philadelphia. Got in plenty of reading on the tablet, too!

HACK-Fest 3.0 (Hard Apple Cider @ Kevin's Festival) was again a rousing success! The third iteration of 27 new ciders crowned Bold Rock IPA from Virginia as the best, then Sir Charles from here in Philly, then Doc's Draft from New York. We have now tried 91 different varieties from 15 states and 10 countries! HACK-Fest 4.0 Omega: The Final Round will occur in early fall comprising the top ciders from previous HACK-Fests. Interested? Let me know. Space is limited.

I wrote a race report (ask me for it!) for the Parkway Run 5K from September 30 that I ran with Emily B, Dieter M, and Faith C with my 12-year old goal of breaking 18 minutes. Super short version: 17:59.21! Yeah, I cut it pretty close. Of 1,887 racers, I came in 8th and the 1st person age 40+. Did a November track miler in 5:15 in pouring rain @ Ursinus College. In April I captained a Philly Runners team for Clean Air 10K with Emily, Dieter, Madelena R, Connor S, John S, Alayna R, and Jackie P. Although disappointed with my 39:47.61, we handily won 1st overall team and I took 1st Master's! Total 2018 miles = 904.

My Raleigh R700 bike (nicknamed Speedy Red or SR) was showing its age so I bought a used, nearly identical (7005 aluminum, Kinesis carbon fork, headset, etc.) Motobecane Vent Noir ("MoBe"), though I see it as a filler bike since it has 105 components instead of my preferred Ultegra like the Raleigh, but I got an indoor wind trainer that I plopped the Raleigh on while watching I.T. training videos over the winter & when raining. September brought two of my favorite rides of the year: the long "All Turns" ride and the short Philly Naked Bike Ride with Don. While I didn't get in fall beach rides, I did during a warm day in March while visiting Jackson. Total 2018 miles = 3,012.

The club I founded with Dara B, Philly Runners, turned 17 on March 27! Seth W continues to ably lead, while I lead many individual runs. Are you a very fast runner? A very slow runner? Anywhere in between? All are welcome at Philly Runners, with no dues to pay. We participated in the Mayor's Cup club vs. club all-city races, volunteered at Philly Marathon and at Broad Street Run this morning at Mile 7.8 Gatorade stop thanks to Chris G. I paced Mily in Rock & Roll Half. Helped lead the Holiday Lights Run benefitting my workplace, Philabundance. Enjoyed the annual club dinner and Jackie's "final Friday" club happy hours. In April, I led the 7th Springtime on the Schuylkill all-club run which I had founded.

My 2018 garden had possibly the most successful season with flowers, although the rest was mixed. This spring will have Brussels sprouts for my first time, and a return to chives! I also brought in nearly two dozen pothos clippings to Philabundance for the "green team" initiative. Philabundance also provided the PCK Practicals, the winter party, Emotional Intelligence training for all, and a fond farewell to Ed W.

And a few things that don't fit in any other paragraph: introduced my parents and Ron to real Philly cheesesteaks from Tony Luke's, took Mily for her birthday to the Brandywine Zoo, and watched Chrissi O on Jeopardy! Locally, I became an election machine inspector for my Ward/Division with another election later this month. What a great way to participate in the democratic process!

Enjoyed so many opportunities to get to see many of you at parties hosted by Jacquie & Don, Jenn H's art exhibit, Lou's party + dim sum + Passover Seder, LSNA summer block party with Lou and Regina + winter party. I postponed my birthday party (ironic, since Mom is most responsible for my birthday). But I still want to host a party celebrating life. She'd definitely want me to have it. Your presence is especially requested this year. Details to follow when I select a date.

But my life has now monumentally changed with Mom's death. We buried her just a few hours ago. I need to set up autopay for many accounts for Dad and Ron, the Subaru Forester will be sold soon (anyone interested?), we need to go through the state of NJ for Ron's services, I need to set up grocery delivery for them if possible, bank accounts need to be updated, credit cards cancelled, etc. I was hoping to have another decade or two before I'm forced to know this, but we rise to the occasion I hope.

From my Mom I learned many important things, including compassion, listening, taking an open minded approach, and I can't fathom how anyone could love anyone more than she loved us. I hope all of you get to experience something like that.

I fulfilled one of my new year's resolutions by ice-skating this winter (with Ken and Megan at Penn's Landing and then again in West Philly also with Jeanine). I hope you can help me satisfy others, especially since many of them are social which I probably need right now: get to the city pools in the summer, be better as responding to emails and Facebook posts, do my plantar fasciitis rehab stuff, go on more dates, accept more invitations & be available for my friends more without asking, see more local theater, study intensely for my I.T. certification, and take SEPTA / Uber more to get to places in town to see you when walking, cycling, and driving aren't practical.

John Donne's "No man is an island" is especially relevant to me now, as is the modern updating to "It takes a village." The bell certainly tolls for me right now. This KLU ends on a somber note, but there is hope for the future with your help and the interconnectivity of us all.

Kevin E. Gruenfeld

Kev's Life Update (KLU) #34 - 5:55pm 5/5/2019 - 2:02pm 02/02/2020

KLU #34 2019/5/5 @ 5:55pm Ė 2020/02/02 @ 2:02pm

Step right up to see what's in store,
Get A KLU #34,
(Kev's Life Update) recounting nine months of my items of note
From May 5 through now, dear reader, each with its own anecdote.
My hope: it will not bore

Huge cycling year, both good and bad,
Collision on the bike, I had.
In Seaside Park an SUV backed out from a parking space...
An Ambulance ride to the E.R.: 12 sutures in my face.
I wore my helmet, Dad!

Had my right hand checked out, bought an-
ti-scar sheets (thanks, Alie, good plan),
Bike needed some repairs (Cervelo R3 Ultegra car-
bon, bought in June!); shattered my monthly bike miles record by far
(Like SUV's rear wan-)

Dow!) With 861! But prior,
(On my new Vredestein tire)
Team Tania's Tour d'Omelet, the Philly Naked Bike Ride with
Don, then Monmouth county beach ride (my fav. of the year, no myth),
Great joy, I acquire!

Gardening ventures: beets, chives, lett-
uce (Mily and Liss would abet),
Furthermore, Pepper, carrot, radish, zinnia, escarole.
In July, discovered wineberries on King Drive on the knoll
And Liss's garden, met!

Donated my O-pos blood twice,
Please consider, is my advice.
Served on jury duty and was voted foreman 9-2-1.
Twice served as nonpartisan voting machine inspector. Done!
Experience was nice.

Philly Runners, the club I led,
Sometimes we have events instead:
Volunteering: Marathon finisher medals, not a prop,
And (soon to celebrate our birthday) Broad Street Run water stop
(Eighteenth!), we forge ahead!

Twenty-three times I led the run
In 2019, I'm not done:
Post-race barbecue, annual dinner, and the Mayor's Cup,
South Philly Holiday Lights Run for Philabundance. Fun? Yup!
Our club's for everyone!

At your gath'rings, nice to see y'all
With good food, some with alcohol,
Birthdays (Kathryn, Hannah), Ken & Megan (with Jeanine, it's true),
Jacquie & Don, John & Pam's pre-marathon party. Thank you,
Such great times overall!

And those I've not seen in a while,
Visits to Philly are in style-
Jacquie & Don, Sandip, Rachel & Nora, and my nearby
Jaunt to Heidi & Ellie for breakfast to end the year by,
With more next year! Meanwhile...

Happenings in the neighborhood,
Twice at city pools (more, we should),
Green Fest and Opera On The Mall (La Boheme) with Liss and my
Phantom Of The Opera bandages from that ride gone awry,
But healing, understood?

LSNA holiday par-
ty, block party (great food, great bar),
And Halloween Spooky gathering with my fractured U.S.
Constitution costume, won "scariest" at work, I confess
This climate is bizarre.

Sandy Hook, Spring Lake, Belmar beach-
es, my fav'rite trips I won't breach,
My HACK-Fest (Hard Apple Cider At Kevin's Festival) 4
.0 Omega (tasting). Should the fifth this year be in store??
Your feedback, I beseech.

At work, Philabundance, were two
Ice-cream socials and talks: how to
Eat healthy + running (all led by me), three bike commutes, sum-
mer rollerskate, winter party (karaoke Ė I'd succumb),
And winter pot luck, too!

On Memorial Day, played Taps
At Tomb of the Un- (with no lapse)
known Soldier for Daughters of the American Revolu-
tion, plus City Hall for International World Day of (true)
Remembrance, no collapse.

Ended up in 2019
Just 364 run miles seen,
Huge records: 5,175 bike miles (no shortcut!)
And 52 weight lifting sessions, it's not a bad sport, what
Will 2020 glean?

Many friends have mourned a loved one
When Mom died in May, it did stun-
She would have turned 74 on my belated birthday
Party weekend. Trying to cope beyond her death. In the fray
(I, as her younger son)-

In tribute ate Mom's faves, these three:
Eggplant parm, lobster tails for me,
Pepper steak. (Rest In Peace wishes for my friend Phyllis). Assure
We can lean on each other; for those who lost, I wish in your
Mourning, solace to thee.

And so this KLU has reached its end,
You will receive (I first shall send).
My hope to you is 2020 brings you comfort and joy
And know that life is short... so harm none and do what you enjoy
And fare thee well, My Friend!

Kevin E. Gruenfeld
Philadelphia, PA

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