55. You Are Not So Smart — David McRaney
this week — 51.36
to date — 1,810.47
I read You Are Not So Smart when it first came out in 2011 and I was reminded of it when I came across an article by David Ignatius in the Washington Post back in August called “Why facts don’t matter to Trump supporters” so I thought that McRaney deserved a revisit. My mother cancelled Christmas. It came via email the other day. Seems that she got into a bit of a squabble with my sisters when she announced that she was/is a Trump supporter. Is “squabble” racist? I don’t think my sisters have read Ignatius or McRaney. I don’t think it would have mattered. A couple Christmases ago my mother gifted me a copy of Steven Galloway’s first novel Finnie Walsh, while lamenting that she wished that she could have gotten him to sign it for me, alas. I asked her if she read it and what she thought and she said it was fine but she really found the foul language off putting, as if she imagined Steven and I were still seven years old playing K9 cops with his two pure-bred german shepherds back in Kamloops in his yard that neighboured my grandparents’ pink house on Parkcrest Avenue. There’s nothing better than a conversation without room for any nuance. Like everything is black and white. Zero shades of grey. You’re either with us or the terrorists. Or the racists. Or the child pornographers. Or the apologists. That copy of Finnie Walsh is my signed copy that I lent my mother to read. Too bad Christmas is cancelled. I guess that war’s over.
I ran, and I’m tired.
Books Stuff Read:
New Yorker, November 14, 2016
this week — 56.34
to date — 1,759.11
The nice thing about the New Yorker‘s app for iPad is that I get issues a bit before newsstands and mailboxes. So that’s nice. Donald Trump is president-elect of the United States of America. That’s not very nice at all. And for some reason in the wake of that reality, that Trump will soon have the nuclear codes and select the next one or two or three seats on the US Supreme Court and some other equally horrifying facts, the left decided to pick a fight with, well, itself, over a safety pin. And it can’t seem to figure out how Trump could possibly have won. It’s mind boggling. I liked Jeffrey Toobin’s op piece Another Round about the link between elections and drinking. I did a lot of drinking this week, and I’m not even American. But if I see one more gawddamn map redrawn with California, Oregon and Washington states as part of Canada I might throw a whisky tumbler. Empty or not.
So clearly the calming affects of running have worn off though I suppose that just means that I need to run more and longer and farther and faster and I’m trying. Though, I didn’t quite match last week. Still I think I need to average 40 kilometres per week to reach my goal and with 110 ish over the past two weeks I think I’ve put myself in a good spot. Keeping in mind that I’m staring down five days in Victoria over Christmas, which is going to potentially wrench my plans. I wish that Strava was better with community stuff, like wouldn’t it be great to log into my account and search a city or neighbourhood and see people’s favourite routes, without having to go and “follow” them. I wish there was an app for that. There probably is, but I haven’t found one yet that is friendly and useful. Maybe it’s out there. Maybe Strava will read this and think it’s a good idea. It would be especially handy for traveling.
49. The Missionary Position Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice — Christopher Hitchens
50. In the Garden of Beasts — Erik Larson (in progress)
week thirty four — 49.69
week thirty five — 35.21
week thirty six — 67.32
to date — 1,375.12
Last post I wrote that I really wanted to get back into writing weekly and less weakly. That is to say that I really wanted to break this habit of combining multiple weeks into single post. And then I decided not to write anything for three weeks. Weakly indeed. There are 16 weeks left in 2016. Let’s see if I can write 16 times. On Sunday, September 4 the Catholic Church made Mother Teresa a saint. So that pretty much trumps all the “cool pope” stuff that I have to read in social media and old-people media since Jorge Mario Bergoglio changed his name to Frank and started wearing silly(ier) hats. And who can avoid such an opportunity to revisit one of the greatest polemicists of our time. Not I. As for the Larson, well, suffice it to say that I’ve met a perfect storm of laziness in my reading habits of late, coupled with a book that is far denser than it appears on a book shelf. And I’m enjoying it, as much as you can enjoy reading about the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s and find it all eerily similar to Donald Trump’s rise in the political ranks in America. Rank indeed.
For all the concerns that I expressed in my previous entry about burnout or piquing or some other such nonsense it seems that the relevant word for the running part of this piece is the same as for the reading and the writing: laziness. I don’t know if it was complacency or boredom or what, and I don’t really know what changed, but since writing about how I seem to be getting slower I have achieved a successive string of personal bests at 10 km and 12 km and on a couple longer runs. The trick was to actually push myself rather than do entire laps of Stanley Park only breathing through my nose. Next weekend is the Eastside 10 km and I have a goal in mind that not long ago seemed ridiculous but now seems within the realm of possibility. I’ll let you know how that goes.