At work on a Sunday, having been at work on a Saturday, having etc. Not complaining. Possibly burned out, but not complaining. Entire body sore. A healthy sun-baked cousin to a headache echoes hours after running 8 miles. To the ballpark and back. I’ve returned to Hal Higdon. I haven’t had coffee in about a week. This is my personal webdiary. Lack of coffee kinda kills the blog impulse. A friend “stole” a line for a story from a blog post I wrote. The story is now to be published in a university-based literary journal. When I’m finished with my copy of the journal, I will mail it to the first person who guesses (in the comments section of this post) which line she “stole” (really, she asked permission). What a megalomaniacal contest! And so on. My tone. My library. I made hummus from Bittman. I was surprised to drop a tblsp. of paprika in there. I doubled the amt of garlic and lemon called for. I am a liar. There are several blogs that report on book culture, in the US and abroad. Animals don’t think of zoos as prisons, because animals don’t know what prisons are. They don’t really think at all, in the way you’re thinking of. I waited too long to pick up my copy of Emmanuel Bove’s My Friends from the SFPL so they threw it back into the stacks. The words loaves and loathes are similar, but that doesn’t mean you should hate bread. It does mean you should never eat meat or drink alcohol or do drugs ever again. It does mean you should never pay more than $11 for a haircut. Oh not this again. Soon he’ll be asking “readers” for suggestions of books about gentrification. Soon he’ll be like Victor Bâton, “without friends, without luggage.” A friend is bored so he’s likely moving back to San Francisco. What was wrong with the farm outside Santa Cruz? Didn’t they have the internet there? I know there are lots of yoga classes, but are there any classes in the Bay Area I can take where I learn how to shapeshift? Wouldn’t mind being a dog for an afternoon. Have I ever showed you this? Hahahahaha. I hope you’re feeling better. I liked Greenberg. I hope my email full of platitudes was of some use. I hope your banana fever subsides. Dear Emily, thanks for FedExing me the granola I liked! I hope you have fun at school tomorrow
Announcing Episode Six of Paparazzo, a radio show about culture broadcasting from Paris, France. Didn’t think this one was up to snuff, don’t think any of them are up to snuff, snuff is a distant impossibility, but thanks to the support of noted radio producer and power-DJ Baro “The Cloud Hammer” Palma, I’ve decided to free Episode Six from the hard-drive prison where it’s been mouldering for the past three weeks.
I stopped drinking coffee again. My brain floats belly-up in a thin broth of turkey.
Nicholson Baker—sorry, no, his protagonist Paul Chowder—sounds like someone with insanely twinkly eyes.
JESS: In last night’s dream someone talked about how a typeset page is rigidly ordered and composed, but still sometimes contains the smeariest formal derangements available to art.
CLEM: Same as a rectangular canvas. This is all so obvious. This is 100-level. You think better when you’re awake. “Intellectual” dreams are rarely worth relating to the waking.
JESS: Thank you. I learn so much from you. Every day. Maybe we could write an entry-level textbook about “thinking” sometime. Together, like the Krugmans. From a laptop in a bed in St. Croix
CLEM: Emily Gould quotes Sam Lipsyte in Vice on being a young writer before the Internet was what it is: “there was no real record of when you were a dumb, scared, angry baby who didn’t know how to write yet.” I like that. You totally are a dumb, scared, angry baby who
JESS: I’m not that angry. I’m too comfortable to be angry.
CLEM: You sometimes get angry about how comfortable you are. I want someone to murder part of you. Then you’ll be scared, and you’ll give some of yourself up, and you’ll start helping other people.
JESS: I dislike talking about the world in abstract psychological terms. What the hell is a “part of myself”? My leg? What does it mean to “give up a part of myself”? What does it mean to be “scared” about “opening up”? If I say I’m “vulnerable”—vulnerable to what? Lyme disease? I know these aren’t meaningless expressions. I wouldn’t prefer an Orwellian law that required everyone to only talk about themselves in nutritional terms. Still. I’m not afraid of opening up. I’m just selfish and comfortable and unshowered.
CLEM: Have you thought about therapy?
JESS: Have you thought about ESL training?
CLEM: Have you—-Hey, my boss just showed up. Gonna get back to work.
JESS: OK, love you
CLEM: Love you too.
…it’s that time of year again!
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I am 63 and live in Leeds with my wife. After Yorkshire I worked full time in the paper trade for Wiggins Teape, where I had worked every winter since school even when playing. I became branch director but had to stop in the mid-1990s after getting retinitis pigmentosa, which slowly leads to blindness, and became quite ill with depression. I later joined the Yorkshire committee and getting back into cricket helped my health quite a bit but I have had to retire from that too. I am registered blind and need a guide dog. I give time to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and by arranging Chinese banquets, golf days and concerts have raised more than £100,000 for charity.
I have the same retinal condition as Geoff Cope. When I am his age I will arrange Chinese banquets and live in Leeds with my wife. I maybe shouldn’t have a Google Alert set up for “Retinitis Pigmentosa.” All this is too confessional and sympathy-fishy for the internet. I should restrict myself to Korean noodle recipes and flash fiction. (Last night in my dream someone served me sub-par Naengmyeon. I’ve contracted Breadstixxxx disease. This means I simultaneously love and hate my job. That is too reductive; Breadstixxx’s feelings are more complicated than that. I’ve changed all the commas to periods in this heinous weepy blog post. It used to be a breathless intentional run-on, and now it’s a muted/clipped/obnoxious livejournal webdiary.) Someday I will need to retire because of my failing eyesight, just like Geoff Cope. I will sightlessly record avant joke-poetry into a little microphone and post it on the Blastoweb or whatever exists at that point. You should come to the Chinese banquets I will arrange in Leeds in 2044 because they are going to be sick. We will have loads of crazy organic English Ales and microbrews, quintuple IPAs, the whole schmear. Kabbalah Moo Shu. Infinite apologies.