Category Archives: running

The Lonely Dads of Noe Valley

Even though I quit my job of eight years I am not unemployed though I am certainly not overemployed and there are things I should be doing but today it feels impossible to do them. I have been scooping the internet too hard and now my voice is stuck in this breathless Tweety Drescherian whine.  I went for a run and then took a bath even though I tell myself I care about California water issues. It’s my hippie landlord’s fault for installing, in the 1970s, a bath with no standing room. Now I’m going to get a haircut. What will my kids think? They’re so ashamed of their father. I finally opened the 80-oz pickle container I bought in a moment of ecstatic hysteria from Safeway last month. Part of the problem is that after reading this terrific interview I decided to give veganism a shot even though it’s a colossal pain in the ass. Then I realized that there was a whole breathless funny vegan hemisphere of the internet that wanted tapping and so I hit it. Now it’s 4:24 p.m. Time for a haircut? Can I buy a vegan pot cookie from you?

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Let This Hangover Be Not Wasted

I’m in a book club with a whole bunch of pseudonyms: Jeremiah’d, Paulie Groundphones, Li’l Broheim, Shampoosie, et al. Maybe their pseudonyms should be taken from the book we’re reading, instead of from the jovial thin air above, since the book is already populated by hundreds of perfectly named minor characters. But I’d want an hour with Hilary Spurling’s Invitation to the Dance to produce halfway decent analogues for each of my book club’s members. Last night was one of our most rollicking meetings to date: The spirits flowed liberally, and by the time Shampoosie had to leave for her engagement, the atmosphere had (sonically speaking) pleasurably devolved into this sort of vibe:

I got vague half-permission to record the meeting’s minutes here. I was astonished by how much beer I’d been served, and how easily it flowed into my massive gullet. Just before he was shrouded and bundled off to bed, Li’l Broheims, our hosts’ beatific infant son, staggered around the cacophony clutching a baguette nearly as tall as he was, grinding fine cheeses and flatbreads into the fine carpet. Maybe a less-hungover observer than I am could turn a nice analogy comparing Li’l Broheims to a drunken British soldier like those depicted in Anthony Powell’s Valley of the Bones, the book we’d met to discuss.

His pose is supposed to subconsciously remind you of Lou Reed holding his guitar in the video above. And it's cute to picture him as a moustacioed infant with a giant baguette cannon. I know this isn't an English soldier's uniform. Manet's painting appears with kind persimmons from Manet's garden © SKRONK, INC

But not this guy. Because I AM TOO HUNGOVER TO DO ANYTHING. Which is all I wanted to say in the first place. So today being a low-volume work day I’ve just sat here hitting the internet harder than I have in a long time. 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., I’ve probably stood up three or four times, once to retrieve a pallet of Thai food from the overpriced (dance-club atmosphered) restaurant next door.

Among the many things I clicked on today, I finally had the chance to read Elif Batuman’s review of Mark McGurl’s book on the rise of MFA culture, “a study of Planet MFA conducted from Planet PhD.” Then I read Molly Young’s review of James Franco’s debut collection, which in turn linked me back to Batuman’s review of the 2004 and 2005 Best American Short Stories. I don’t have anything interesting to say about any of these book reviews. In both of Batuman’s essays, Joyce Carol Oates comes off as an exception to the rule of timid, tepid, guilt-imprisoned contemporary short fiction. In both essays, Don Quixote is the canonical first novel that successfully performed the literary innovations that four hundred years later are still being called innovations. And in both essays, she urges fiction writers to expunge the guilt and shame in being a contemporary writer in the face of global suffering, to shun the imperatives to write about

(A) nostalgic and historical subjects; (B) external, researched subjects, also sometimes historical; © their own self-loathing; and/or (D) terrible human suffering

[N.B. as a lover and collector of typos, that copyright symbol is about as awesome as it gets—unless it’s some kind of metadroll joke I’m too hungover to get?]

[Pointless Full Disclosure: I recently purchased from this writer her “favorite red chair, as well as two lamps, an ottoman, a saucepan, a carpet steam-cleaner, some geranium-scented laundry detergent, and approximately eight pounds of rice.” I’m also babysitting her car for a few months, it seems SUPER relevant and important to add. Buying a writer’s soap or borrowing her car unfortunately doesn’t transmit any of her intelligence to their new owner — although I wonder if some reptilian part of my brain wants to pretend that it does. The same goes of course for adopting a great writer’s dog, something I also did with no improvement to my critical faculties. Or, shit, I bet lots of editors, myself included, egoistically and falsely absorb some of the brilliance of a piece they’re editing, even if their edits mostly involve the introduction of typos and tautologies. The connection between leading a good life and thinking and writing well — I wonder how big that gap needs to be. It fluctuates. Brilliant assholes; generous buffoons; everyone in between. Eating Elif’s rice won’t help me think clearly about literature. Neither, apparently, will getting an MFA.]<—– (<(“the ghosts of deleted paragraphs rattle their chains from the margins.”)>)

[Once I’ve fully left my job,  I wonder if I’ll start writing Tao Lin–style fan fiction about Keith Gessen, or hosting this blog on a domain with my full name on it, etc.]

[What would that last “etc” refer to, I also wonder? Going on the Tao Lin diet? Buying my own car? Moving to Alaska to teach comp at Juneau Community College with Gerhard Richter’s Daughters? Starting a weekly jogging club with Benjamin Cheever, Sam Frank, and Haruki Murakami?]

[Please don’t make me try to say anything else about anything I’ve read. Please don’t say nasty things about me on the internet. Or about Ariana Reines.]

[Paul Groundphones recently demanded that I read Jacob von Gunten as soon as humanly possible, which I did, and I can’t think of a better example of a work of art that’s feels simultaneously both “pointless” and essential; that’s quite so beautiful in its pointlessness. I love the wry, skillful incompetence of Walser’s narrators. I haven’t finished the novel yet. I’ve never read Stendhal.

EXTRA CREDIT:

  • My novel will read like a press release — for life itself!
  • What do you guys think about psychoanalysis!
  • Goodbye!!!!!!

Familiar Feelings

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

Monday/////Detroit

—unhappy

—why

—work

—it’s not that bad.

—you know, being hungover at work is the WORST, but somehow days like today when I brought my lunch and slept 7.46 hours and drank a few rounds of earl grey on the same teabag and practiced zazen for 15 minutes and caught up on the news and went for a run and had a fun weekend make me even MORE antsy than the days when I’m sitting here like a puddle of burrito’d underslept overworked lardo crapulent etc

—hmm. i wonder why

—i think it might have something to do with the peaceful healthy lifestyle making things “clearer”: things like … “emotions” …. can shine through more brightly when yr treating yrself with dignity rather than treating yrself like a frat-house hand-towel

—hm

—and so the bright light of dignity is painful or at least uncomfortable and annoying as opposed to the crapulent hand-towel lifestyle which while totally untenable and heinous does have a degree of “comfortably numb” insulation to it

—hm

—do you think i should quit my job and move to oakland and move into a house with thirteen other people who like Tyvek and buy some really oversized glasses and stop eating three meals a day and glue corn kernels to my face and so on?

—no, definitely not, you are a yuppie, you will miss san francisco’s reliable supplies of truffle oil

—that’s not true I’m not a

—oh shut up, i’m just teasing you yuppie

—does HTML Giant own a compound in detroit yet? like a big fort thunder wham city kinda house where young literary drop-outs can rent rooms for $166/mo. and sit in filthy-couch common rooms hand-rolling cigarettes, composing writerly emails, etc?

—i don’t think so, but if such a compound existed I would be tempted to go. although it’d probably be gross.

—whatever, it’d be like a co-op, it’d be fun

—i’m nearly 30.

—so am I. People would be up late reading tolstoy’s what is art? and smoking drum tobacco, having sex with each other, making spicy grilled cheese

—the kitchen situation would be weird

RP Runner’s Daybook Dot Com

About Me

I’m a 29-year-old production manager for a monthly industry newsmagazine called Doarke Physicals that covers various non-academic “service-industry theory” communities in the Bay Area. I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative retinal condition, when I was twenty-one years old. After my old boss committed suicide eight months ago, I’ve been allowed to blog at work. I currently have most of my central vision, but some days, like today, even my central vision feels wonky. At night my tunnel vision “comes alive”–that is, in low-light situations, my vision is heavily impaired. One of my main social-function mantras–the phrase I repeat over and over while navigating the twilit bars and bistros and sexy drug-alleys of our city–is straightforward, and searchingly utilitarian: I have severe night blindness. Naturally, and a little annoyingly, this phrase often begins a conversation, rather than heading it off, as I’d hoped. I wish the phrase I have severe night blindness operated more like a LifeCall bracelet: you see it, and you know what to do.

I wish more things operated like LifeCall bracelets.

About this Website

HarperCollins recently gave me an $80,000 advance for a book idea. It’s tentatively titled Food Diary: A Novel–the core of the book is a more or less straightforward and factual food diary, but almost right away the entries become festooned and adorned with digressions, “magical” realisms, mystical sex scenes, metaphorical depictions of graphic drug abuse, real-sounding zoological and other science terms, etc. My agent pitched it as “Susan Powter meets Gilbert Sorrentino–picking up her son, a pre-adolescent Mark Leyner, from daycare!”

So in the interest of promoting–and actually writing–my novel, I’ll be posting full menus of everything I eat every day here on the site. I’m also an avid long-distance runner, and the original—and continuing— purpose of this website is to serve as a resource for other blind or partially blind runners. I decided to start this site earlier today, in 1997, when I was out on an intended six-mile jog.

It was an “angry run”–these are runs where I set out in a terrible, desperate mood–moods which are only worsened by the (very contemporary) feeling  that my desperation and depression are entirely unearned, in light of the resources (material and otherwise) that are available to me, and unavailable to others (awesome mom, perfect salt cod brandade in a compostable container, 15-inch Powerbook). I often feel angry or upset when I think–as I do today–that I can notice my vision worsening. Feeling stressed out and behind at work (also true today) is another cause of an Anger Run. The idea is that usually, hopefully, by the time I trot sweatily back to my doorstep, some of that superficial narrative of displeasure and discomfort looping in my brain’s reel-to-reel player has been chopped and blended by the jog’s exertion, like a fucking chocolate-dipped frozen banana getting a few rude pulses in the food processor.

One of the salient features of Anger Runs is violent fantasy–jogging along, I’m visualizing friends, enemies, and strangers getting impaled or decapitated. (In truth, I most often imagine friends. It’s always me doing the wounding, with a diversity of swords, scissors, and knives.) I also do a lot of muttering–usually a whimpered, elongated “Fuck you” as I remember something embarassing I said or did, or something I have to do but have been putting off. I’m not proud to admit I also hiss the “c-word” to myself (Nota Bene: this is not as bad of a word in the UK).

I was about two and a half miles into the run (I recommend MapMyRun.com for calculating mileage), in the leafy and charming Duboce Triangle area, when I saw two unattractive women getting out of a car. Another feature of Retinitis Pigmentosa is that it becomes increasingly, degeneratively difficult to recognize faces at a distance. This also complicates the already fraught procedure of sexually appraising fellow pedestrians. Even with blinkered vision, the most obvious signifiers are still evident: She’s wearing leather boots and a miniskirt and has brown hair; She has a canvas totebag filled with British novels and her lips are enormous; and so on. But actual eye contact is impossible until you’re very close, and if it happens to be someone you know, you’re not going to realize it until it’s far too late.

I couldn’t really see the woman getting out of the car very clearly, but I could tell that she had none of the obvious hotness signifiers mentioned above. (Apologies to Kate Roiphe and all women everywhere for trying to write about the hotness of women. “Denise at 32 was still beautiful.” This woman was maybe 39. I will be muttering with shame over this paragraph on a future Anger Run.) Regardless, something about her interested me, and I found myself peering as I bounced by. As I’ve mentioned, the effect of Retinitis Pigmentosa is a gradually narrowing tunnel vision, which usually doesn’t effect me much during the day (yet), except for when things come whizzing out of my periphery. Or when things are only knee-high and don’t register in my field of vision. I slammed into one of those ridiculous and relatively rare knee-high abbreviated concrete columns that are designed, who knows, to prevent cars from driving onto the sidewalk? even though there’s a perfectly nice curb already in place for that purpose. I’m writing this in English, even though my native language is Croatian, I hope that’s OK. Now that a classical music composer has been elected president in Croatia, I think Nico Muhly should run for US Congress. In Delaware.

I crashed spectacularly to the ground. I fucked up my knee. I bled a little from my hand. I had “gnarly road rash” on my knee and leg. The woman I had been mysteriously peering at asked if I was OK. I said “Yeah, yeah, I’m fine” in a resigned tone of voice one might use sitting at one’s computer trying to come to terms with the fact that everything’s just been erased. I was in a lot of pain; at this very moment somewhere in the world people are being abused or tortured. I sat, dazed, on the ground for a moment, then pulled myself up and sat on the blasted, functionless knee-high column. A large double family walked by. A little kid looked back, concerned. When the pain became more manageable, I began limping home. A block later, an attentive, overweight hippie woman noticed my gnarly road rash and asked if I was OK. I gave her a resigned, computer-guy “Yeah.”

I walked for about a mile then jogged the rest of the way. Made lentils and brown rice and dabbed gingerly at my leg. Marinated and baked some tofu. Ate too much. Listened with horrible intensity to NPR’s Says You! Came into the office. Started this website to trade tips with other blind joggers. Sold my book to HarperCollins. Ate a Cornflakes-flavored RitterSport bar. Drank a mug of water.

Domo Corpusti

OCEAN: The black flag wavers for a fucking second, not safe for work, a grand glugging gets going and the waters of the world drain away.

BUSTY CACTUS: They drain? Don’t you think they’d evaporate first?

OCEAN: Naw. No. They drain. Through mine anus. Through mine geo-bio-tunnel. Which, I should add, can be quite sensitive. There is a monolithic crustacean scurrying back and forth there right now, and it’s driving me fairly batty with Enchrodinicius [flutters his eyelids]

B.C.: Aight

O: Yepp

B.C.: Wanna tangle

O: Nope

B.C.: Cooking school vacation?

O: Naw

BC: Comic book store

O: Naw. When I feel like this, all I can listen to is stuff from Apraxia records.

BC: These guys?

O: No. Where did yo find that.

BC: Tee hee the internet

O: You’re a terrible person [stabs the busty cactus in the face with a pen knife]

BC: [horrible screeming (sic), cactus blood everywhere. this is a nightmare. weeping, moaning, awful]

O: [horrible screaming]

BC: [horrible screaming]

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Continue reading

welcome!

If you arrived at this web-page by googling “what is heterosexual food?“, I’d just like to say:

Welcome!
Stick around!
Click around”!

I hope you enjoy my home-page!

And perhaps find the answer to your question.

Kind regards,

———”Quilty”

I LOVE ROSIE SWASH


mostly because her name sounds like a Martin Amis character’s name. She also has nice hair

I accidentally shat in breadstixxxx’s oatmeal just now. I am going to go to jail on tax fraud. Jail is going to suck so badly, I’m worried.

this isn’t that bad, is it? I guess it is if you needed to dial 911 –

THE GREATEST INTERNET POET OF ALL TIME:

ROBERT “LOL”

GET IT????

“Monty Pynchon”

why didn’t I buy this book directly from SPD when I was in Chicago?

I’m stressed out and not paying attention to this blog post

I’m never smoking pot again

My thoughts about “B. Francis’s new band” TBD. it’s not in bad taste that his wife is channeling kim deal, because… kim deals not dead. this single sorta sounds like “seether.” scratch it, she’s channeling Veruca Salt. I feel like I am very far from home, and I miss all my old homies, except I am at my desk, I am sitting at work, I am right where I should be — what gives, Lord?

at the Center for Curatorial Studies/
Hessel Museum of Art there is a show that opens this Sunday, April 19th.

Changing Light Bulbs In Thin Air
Including works by Christian Andersson, Tauba Auerbach, Brian Clifton, Zak Kitnick,
Runo Lagomarsino, Adam Putnam, Matthew Sheridan Smith, Mungo Thomson, and Garth Weiser.
A constellation of works by nine artists interested in shifts and breaks in the flow of comprehension and perception.
Curated by Summer Guthery

there is a free chartered bus on April 19th that leaves New York
from 10th Ave and 23rd St at 11:00am and returns from CCS at 4:00pm.