25. Hysteric — Nelly Arcan
26. Chinese Blue — Weyman Chan
27. Forthcoming organized labour history book
week thirty — 58.3
week thirty one — 56
week thirty two — 69.7
week thirty three — 56.6
To date: 1,922 km
So rather than read and write about it I decided that since I’ve barely read anything there wasn’t much point in writing about how I’ve barely read anything. So I didn’t. As you can see. Does anyone enjoy reading Nelly Arcan? Are you even allowed to enjoy reading her? I think I have two left to read of hers. Her work is so good but so heavy and depressing. I got to see and hear Weyman Chan read at the Talonbooks launch for Human Tissue, which I also purchased along with Chinese Blue but haven’t read yet. But I will, not least because Chinese Blue is so damn good. Trudging through nearly 400 pages of MS Word manuscript is rarely enjoyable, but I find the subject matter very interesting. I hope it gets published. And properly edited. You know, unlike this blog.
In three week I fly to Copenhagen for the Copenhagen Half Marathon on September 17 and I’m pretty excited about that. Travelling gives me an excuse to update my wardrobe, so travelling for a race must mean new running gear, right? It’s not like I need a new pair of racing flats but that didn’t stop me from picking up a second pair of the Adios 3. Plus they were on sale. I’ve been very curious about On Running shoes since their propaganda somehow started ending up in my Gmail inbox. They’re a bit pricey to just take a chance on, which makes me lament that there’s no test drive for running shoes. And then, as if my mind had been read, on Thursday at Forerunners on West 4th’s sunset run On was supposed to be on hand to demo their line up so I showed up. On, however, did not. But I had a good time anyway, with a short 9 km out to Spanish Banks and back to the store. The group is really friendly, and the run met at 7:30 p.m. rather than the typical 6:00 p.m. that every club seems to love but precludes me from being able to participate. I make it sound as if I would if I could. I’ve written here before, and numerous times, how I enjoy running for its solitude, But once in a while it’s nice to get out and be around people that also like to run. I do not know very many.
47. Installations – Nicole Brossard
48. Hysteric – Nelly Arcan
these weeks — 73.4
to date — 1,222.9
I need to break out of this new habit that I’ve formed of coupling multiple weeks into single posts and get back into a habit of posting once per week. Though that depends as well on me reading enough to have something to write about reading. Running doesn’t seem to be a problem, although having something interesting to say about running on a weekly basis is getting a bit trying. Anyway, two weeks, and two books with nothing in common except that they are both excellent reads, by women, originally written in french, from Quebec, and in translation. And I swear I didn’t do it on purpose. I took the Brossard along for some fill between the shouting matches I was dutifully stenographing at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation offices, as is one of the things that I now do in order to purchase food and wine and housing and books. I don’t know why I chose to pick up the Arcan afterwards. It’s not a happy book, as none of them are, but her writing is so great. It’s a beautiful train wreck. I have two of her books left to get to and through. I just don’t think I can do them in a row.
Week thirty three was really rather thin on the running side of things, partly because I’ve been really focusing on swimming and minutely because I went to Kelowna for the weekend for my sister’s wedding and didn’t run at all. A really terrible excuse. Anyway, for all the complaints that I have about the accuracy of Fitbit and Strava they do both seem to be relatively consistently inaccurate, which is interesting when I look at Strava especially, because Strava likes to do this subtle shaming thing (in my case) where it looks at similar runs/routes and shows an overall trend. And my overall trend in Strava is that I piqued sometime back in February and my pace has slowly but steadily declined ever since. It has made me wonder if this is a product of age or because I don’t actually train or because I’m wearing myself out by running 40 to 50 kilometres per week without really giving myself a break. So I’m giving myself a bit of a break and I’m going to see what happens. Take a few days off (I can’t remember when I last took more than two days off in a row) and then go out and just see what happens and how I feel and then try to interpret that result. I’m curious, though regardless of what happens I’m sure I’ll find a way to overthink what it means. I’m good at that.
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.