14. The Mercy Journals — Claudia Casper
15. The Hatred of Poetry — Ben Lerner
week sixteen — 57.1
week seventeen — 43.9
To date: 974 km
I left the house for something other than running and ended up at the Paper Hound bookstore for a poetry reading hosted by Amy De’ath featuring Jeff Derksen, Danielle LaFrance, Juliane Okot Bitek and Tim Atkins, and along with Anne Carson’s behemoth chapbook collection Float and some really fantastic bits and pieces Tim brought from Crater Press I also picked up a cheap copy of The Hatred of Poetry because it was a poetry reading after all. It was also a part of the too short farewell tour for Amy and her partner Sean O’Brien as both prepared to evacuate Vancouver at the end of April. I regret not getting to know both of them better. I knew [of] Amy from publishing her work in The Capilano Review, but I actually met Sean first. He and Amy hosted a lit gathering of sorts one September evening. I remember it well as Colin Smith had just approved the final typesetting and design I’d done for Multiple Bippies and gave to go ahead to send to press. Donato Mancini, CUE Books’ guest editor for the collection, suggested we go celebrate at a friend’s place nearby mine in the West End. Sean answered the door. Donato did his best tidsoptimist impression. A couple years later, and Vancouver’s loss. Such is life.
I’m on the taper according to the schedule and it seems from the people that I follow on Strava that seem to be gearing up for the same event that I am I am the only one. It’s become difficult to trust the training plan but I’m doing my best. And I’ve been trying something new: yoga. Not really yoga. Stretching. I don’t ever stretch but I’ve started so now don’t ever is a lie. I did a Google search for yoga for runners and I found this article 5 Yoga Poses You Should Do After Every Run in Women’s Running and I’m pretty fine with gender neutrality plus I don’t think Utthan Pristhasana knows or cares if between my left and right hip flexors there is lady or dude stuff. Anyway, I like it. It hurts and I am the least flexible but it sure feels good afterwards. I ended my run today near the corner of West Pender and Bute near what will in one week be the finish line of the BMO Marathon. It also feels good. I think I’m ready.
59. Friendly + Fire — Danielle LaFrance
60. Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs — Henry Carroll
this week — 48.4
to date — 2,049.15
I’ve been casually looking for a decent book on photography for a long time and this is definitely the best one that I’ve come across. I found it in the gift shop on the modern art museum / architecture and design centre in Stockholm. It seems a weird choice of souvenirs, but I bought it anyway. The best part of the book is that for each tip and lesson there is a photograph that exemplifies what is being taught, but not some crap pic from iStock. Rather some of the best photographers and some of the most iconic photos. Anyway, it’s a good book and I want to take better photographs. I’m not sure it’s working but that’s mostly because I don’t bother practicing enough. PS most of the photos on here are, ahem, appropriated. I’m avoiding writing about LaFrance’s book because it is amazing and I love it and people way smarter than me have written smart things about it. You should get it though. And follow her on Twitter because she is very entertaining.
Sending the Christmas holiday in the provincial capital and cruising people’s Strava activities for running route ideas (thanks Karmen Jay). Today I ran by the legislature and over the blue bridge, forever to be under construction. It’s very cool and crisp and there’s little wind and so far no rain. I don’t think it’s cold enough to snow. I’m not sure Victoria can handle snowfall any better than Vancouver, who sucks.
7. Burqa of Skin — Nelly Arcan
8. species branding — Danielle LaFrance
this week — 20.27
to date — 92.03
I’m slowly reading my way through Nelly Arcan. It’s not an easy journey. I love her writing style, though I feel like she makes me work hard. And the content isn’t exactly uplifting. Burqa of Skin is a collection of writing predominately reminiscing on an abhorrent (she had a few in her too short life) experience appearing on an episode of Tout le monde en parle (I think that’s the name of the program) on french CBC. I watched bits of it on YouTube, but I don’t understand french, much less Quebecois french, so I was left with trying to read body language. It would be interesting, though interesting is perhaps not the appropriate word, to watch it with English subtitles. I’m also slowly making my way through the CUE Books catalogue–an embarrassing admission, given that I was its managing editor for a little over two years. I didn’t plan on following Arcan with LaFrance’s species branding though the works seem to complement each other in their exploration of the treatment of women, sex workers, and marginalization. I thought species branding was great and deserves a wider readership and critical analysis. I know where you can get a copy, ahem…
Three bouts of physiotherapy and my knee is feeling much better and I’m starting to reramp-up my running to make up for lost time. My physiotherapist seems to agree, and suggests that I don’t need to see her again for a few weeks unless knee takes [another] turn for the worse. I feel like I’m behind. I know that I’m behind. I’m nearly to the end of January and I haven’t broken 100 kilometres yet, and I need to be somewhere near 150, although I expect to be running farther frequently come autumn. Still, I feel like I should be further along, though I really don’t want to hurt myself any more and make things worse. The weather has been cooperative for the most part, although I don’t mind running in poor weather; at the least it ensures fewer meandering idiots on the sea wall for me to run into. Which is nice.