New Chapbook Review issue is out. Very wicked site, if you don’t know already.
Smart site. Smart idea.
I went to Nash-Vegas for 4th. Almost made it in time to see The Dollar Store Summer Tour, but, alas, no go. A mixture of traffic and then me thinking: If I go see Blake and Aaron and Jac (of the awesome rejection blog, she rocks) read, I will drink a lot of beer. And I can’t drink a lot of beer on that Friday. Why?
The fuck you looking at? One dollar. All of it.
Road racing. Ran the Run for Music City 10k race. Results here: I got 3rd overall. It was hot as fuck. It was hilly. I forgot Nash-vegas could be hot and hilly. I wasn’t happy or unhappy with the time. This is basically the shape (or not shape?) I am in right now. My body hurts a lot. My body goes crump-O. Lash. I keep thinking of one advantage to getting older, and haven’t yet got there. Wisdom? Are you shitting me now? I think my hamstring is permanently tight. A stretched rubber band. Twang. Guess I’ll just live that way. Sometimes I flow like a wrench. Flow like gravel, or maybe disposable camera plastic.
250 soldiers in Afghanistan ran the race “with us,” same start time, same shirts, numbers, all that. Interesting. And a NAVY Seal did win the race in Nashville. Usually, military guys are in shape but not so fast, so I was surprised.
So I guess that’s how I roll on the 4th. Patriotic people usually scare me, but I’ll do anything for one morning a year. If I said it wasn’t cool to run with 250 soldiers across the planet I would be a liar. They should have done a flyover (they did in Afghanistan). Maybe next year? They did a flyover at Boston. Whenever I see a military jet flyover low I think it’s pretty cool, and then I think of bombs.
The race started about a block (and within nearly the same time it seems) from where Steve McNair and his girlfriend (rest in peace, seriously) were being killed, in downtown Nashville. I guess she shot him and then herself, but we’ll see. I’m certainly not going to make assumptions. I guess the story will be twofold: McNair the football player. McNair the married man with four children shot down by his 20 year old girlfriend. I’m a Titans fan and a flawed human fan, so can only hope and pray the vultures have their say quickly and the next new sparkling story/glittering thing sends the media pack/flock elsewhere.
Seems a rough stretch for the celebrities, folks. Started with Carradine to Ed McMahon and Farrah and MJ and the dude who screams at you to buy things and on and on and on…I think I forgot some. But I’m not really into celebrities that way. I find them sociologically fascinating, but as for their daily lives/photos of, I’m not sure I get it. OK, that’s a cop-out. I get some of it.
I guess they show us WE DO NOT KNOW ANYONE. Not really, from Steve McNair to your neighbor Fred Fredly, to, uh, you. But this seems an obvious lesson. How many times are people going to go “Hike the Appalachian trail” before we understand, people?
Appearance over here.
Reality over here….
(speaking of literature. This is the terrain we mine)
And, yes, celebrities are clearly our gods now, so I suppose a lot of people’s lives are rocked by all these deaths. Or maybe their lives aren’t changed one single meaningful iota. There’s an essay about this somewhere, fermenting.
About toy dogs.
And about hair.
And about iPhones. I just attended a party where all the adults stared into their PHONES and didn’t talk with me. Maybe they didn’t want to talk to me, or even like me or want to like me, but it just felt really Twilight Zone or maybe worse than that and was the first party in a while that kinda freaked me out. (The last party to freak me out was a Halloween years ago. I entered this house and every room was blue, this eerie subterranean lighting. And every person was on the floor, most of them hugging, or embraced somehow. Room after room of this. Weird. I walked through each room, each one silent, just people on the floor intertwined, and then I just walked out, over to another house, where there was normal lighting and talking and beer.)
Back to this 4th. People kept checking their weather radars online and posting on Facebook and who knows what, but they sure weren’t mingling with me. Oh well. So I attended a party and met no one, not really. OK. Well. I guess I feel depressed about the whole thing. Like now we have three (or 4, 5? I know people have multiple online IDs) identities.
1.) The I Have My Shit Together Self. This is the identity we use during a lot of the day, at work, when meeting others, while ordering a veggie burger at Burger King, etc. This is a false but usual identity. Sometimes things actually get done while in this mode. For all of our faults and mistakes and stumblness, the human can occasionally have their shit together, for real. For a short while. Usually not though. This is the identity that asks people, “What’s up?” or “How are things” and this same identity always answers, “Good” or “I’m cool” no matter what the interior/exterior events of the actual life being lived. I suppose this identity is necessary, but does come with consequences. (the mirror? A superficial existence and then it’s too late? On and on.)
2.) The Actual Self. The actual self doesn’t really Have My Shit Together so much. Not near as often as Self #1 tries to present. This self comes out with authentic friends, some family, right before you fall asleep in night thoughts, or when staring into flames or a deep river or maybe Big Wine or right after some life event. But that’s OK. This self doesn’t walk around in Bad Faith. This self Keeps it Real. It’s probably best to increase the % of this self as you grow older, and that is usually the way it goes. You don’t want to spend too much of your life in identity #1. It’s an existential math problem, but now we have a new data set, new numbers screwing up the equation:
3.) The Online Self. WTF? This self has a lot of “friends,” quite a few they don’t even know. Have never seen. What’s up with the obsession with the weather? When has the weather become the new pink? Can I say one thing about Twitter? There is not one human being I care what they are doing minute-2-minute. Not one. Sorry. And if you care what I am doing minute-2-minute, you must, must, must go to Ebay and bid on, buy a life. Friends. Add a friend. Delete a friend. Friends. Newspapers gone. Blog this. Tweet. I’m feeling mossy, like a Sun, Sun System, Youtube lost half a billion dollars last year. Etc.
Online is awesome. Great place to do many great things. But this identity online thing is unraveling, absorbing, f’d up. And it is only just beginning. We don’t know what we don’t know. Or something.
(the irony of writing all of this while online, while blogging, the irony of….loops and loops, helices)
How to justify a blog? Try to help others. Try to report on others. Try to elevate writing itself, not a writer? Try to…I just hope people are asking. This thing is too young for answers. But we have to ask. I’ll be back to you.
These are thought-notes and way too long.
(Cool thing is when identity two leaks through identity one: woman with loud, crazy laugh; dude giving presentation is clearly hungover, etc. Again, aren’t I discussing literature here?)
Back to the road race. Actual physical movement. Foot on earth. Sweat on face. Pain (never virtual).
I didn’t take my dig cam to the road race, so just use your imagination here:
Mile 1 and 2, we cross the Cumberland River, huge hills, massive bridges, and I let the whipper-snaps and rabbits go on ahead. I know I will see them later. How cool is that bridge, though? Looks like a concrete rib bone. Hills. I just shorten my stride and keep my knees high. Pump, pump. I think about all the miles I put it on my treadmill with hill workouts.
Running Tip: Train on hills. Most people don’t. Then, when you race, GREET a hill with PLEASURE, not with fear and pain. Think: Hills? I’m about to kick some exponential ass.
Mile 3 and 4, I reel people in. See that guy in the orange singlet? He’s dying now, and I am going to fold him up like origami. That’s how I always race. I wait and reel people in. I sustain. I’m not that fast, but one of my earlier coaches told me once, “Your strength is your strength.” Meaning: I can grind. Grind. Grind. Maintain pace. Also, the course was two 3.1 mile loops, so I mapped out where to surge, make moves on others while running lap one. By lap two, I knew the course.
Run tip: You are getting tired now. Your form is falling apart. How do you know? Because correct running form is basically silent. Now you hear your feet slapping a bit? So sharpen your form. Let your arms and upper body correct the posture. Relax your mouth, let it fall open. If your mouth and chin are relaxed, the rest of your body will follow.
[If you hear an opponent’s feet getting loud, throw a surge on them. Dust them like a crop]
(Tip inside tip: This is why you do weight training, as a runner. Your upper body can carry your form for you, when things get tough in the leg department.)
[When you surge past someone, when you pass, surge WELL PAST, like ten more yards than you need to pass them. Why? It psychologically devastates people to get passed. Then you go even further! Don’t even look tired? They see that and they’re done. You won’t be seeing them again until much later, when you will have to say “excuse me” to ask them to move as you walk up to get your award).
Note how I bring it home strong here, legs pumping, hands loose, fingers curled like I am cupping/cradling an egg? But I missed getting second by ONE SECOND. Well, hell. Couldn’t catch the dude, what can I say? Honestly, I didn’t realize I was in 3rd.
Brandi Wells has the best text in the new deComp. It is a 4.35 out of 1-5 scale.