2018 week four

Book Read:
4. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House — Michael Wolff

Kilometres Ran:
week four — 19.1

To date: 164 KM

I read this like the train wreck that it is, and then set it aside because it rekindled the paranoia and/or revulsion I have at the prospect of visiting the United States, all the while planning a short few days relaxing in Palm Springs. I just returned a few hours ago, still aglow no doubt from the full body scan I received for trying to leave the country to return to this one. A ton has been said about Wolff’s book, much of it critical of Wolff’s style of journalism — what I learned was called “back-door” back around journalism school day one. We could have a discussion about rights and multiple wrongs, but that seems boring. Most of the book’s criticism (that isn’t centred on Wolff’s method) seems to stem from readings of the released excerpts rather than an actual reading of the book, and the voracity of those excerpts. Missed in all this is the framing found in Wolff’s Author’s Note at the beginning that I think is paramount to properly understanding the book. He writes:

Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. Those conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book. Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true.

Many (most?) critics read excerpts, clearly having never read the Author’s Note, and declared all or part of the excerpt untrue and therefore the book as a whole must be rubbish, sufficiently satiating the Trumpian right that was [also] never going to read the book anyway. It’s not great writing and most of the bombshells were excerpted before the release, but it’s entertaining as an insight into what was going on for the first 100 days or so, or at least what those dumb enough to spill on- and off-the-record (PS – off the record doesn’t exist) to Wolff believed was going on. And that’s enough about that.

As you can see from my numbers this week I didn’t have much of running week because my physiotherapist put the fear of breaking my tibia in half and never being able to run again if I insisted on running with this medial tibial stress whatever so I didn’t run a whole lot — just Friday and Sunday in the warm, dry, breezy Palm Springs air i.e., the polar opposite of what’s been going on in Vancouver. The Forerunners First half is two weeks away, and after barely managing a 5 min/km pace for 10 KM this morning rusty doesn’t begin to describe how I’m feeling. My second offically-timed half marathon is my slowest; this February First Half will be my fifth 21.1 and is in contention for that dubious distinction.

2018 week three

Book Read:
3. Nick Cave: Mercy on Me — Reinhard Kleist

Kilometres Ran:
week three — 30.9

To date: 145 KM

We could have a debate about whether or not a graphic novel count as “a book” for the sake of reading 95 or 52 books in a year but there doesn’t seem to be much debate amongst the #95Books crowd whether poetry books count, and I’ve read and “counted” chapbooks that took a lot less time and effort to read than Mercy on Me. I even “read” and counted a collection of concrete poetry (Clean Sails). Though, I did not count Christian Bök’s MCV. I had to draw the line somewhere. And speaking of drawing lines, I really enjoyed Kleist’s visual biography of Nick Cave. I consider myself a Cave fan, though reading Mercy had forced me to confront the fact that I’m rather thin on Birthday Party knowledge, which has piqued my interest to revisit. I’m also now curious about Kleist’s Johnny Cash book (ahem, graphic novel), although I doubt any Cash biography is going to better Cash. Also, and no surprise, I learned that Cave is kind of a dick. I suspected, but don’t think I cared before. I don’t think I care now. I like his music and as a grown up I’m capable of separating his art from his inreallifeness. But I admit that most of what I know and like is contemporary to when I started listening to him i.e., Grinderman and late 2000s Bad Seeds. I went as far back as Murder Ballads because you have to. But aside from the appearance of “Higgs Boson Blues” Kleist’s Cave biography doesn’t cross the millennium. But for me to complain about that would be like complaining that Cash doesn’t focus enough on the American Recordings stuff. But for different reasons.

Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment

I went to physiotherapy this week for a check in on my knee and while there I mentioned in passing that I was having a pain in my left shin, which turns out to be medial tibial stress syndrome, which is just the fancy word for shin splints, which apparently if not properly cared for could lead to a stress fracture, which has forced me to reconsider the timeline of some of my 2018 goals. Burn the whiches. Dr. Physio believes that I’ve aggravated my left calf by (consciously or subconsciously) compensating for my right knee, and the treatment is more exercises and less running. Suffice it to say, very frustrating with less than a month until the First Half half marathon. Suffice it to also say, I will not be running a sub 1:30 half marathon on February 11. Also throws a wrench on the sub 3:15 BMO Marathon training plan. Other than that it’s been a great week.