Monthly Archives: April 2009

Boston Marathon Blog then Let’s get Back 2 Writing!

I guess we start at the start. But not really. We begin with recon. April 19, day before, Mom (caps for respect, always) and I went to scout out the course, and naturally the finish–the actual goal of the endeavor right? The End, my only friend, and so on. Mom and I took a train into Boston. We ate 3-cheese pasta and Mom had an espresso martini (big-time jealous me, mouth salivating) and we took photos of race stuff/sites and picked up my race number and T-shirt (brilliant yellow–I am somewhat Irish and look Jaundice in yellow) and bought a shit-load of marathon/running gear at the expo.

(So did everyone else) (What recession?)


I spent a lot of cash. I was thinking, “This is Boston. This is the Superbowl of running. The Mecca. The Kelly Clarkson. The day you just float on a 3 inch layer of enjoyment off the ground. Fuck the recession.”

The buzz of the expo was like a drug, a powerful drug. Cocaine mixed with a Goodwill coat and served with French vanilla ice cream, like that. What a scene. The runners I have adored from afar for years–Steve Jones, Bill Rodgers, tons of others, etc–were in front of me, signing posters (now hanging in my Man Room) and talking with me, shaking my hand, even advising me. (About my training while injured and under-trained for the marathon, Mr. Jones said: “You will finish A to B, but much slower, much slower than you think.”)

A great prediction. I qualified with a 3:02:01 marathon, but what would I actually run the next day, on the notorious Boston course?

Stay tuned.

I think the greatest runners are like the greatest writers: they could walk down the street and not one person would stop them or notice, with rare exception. That’s OK, both groups keep their charm inside, their glow. Both activities are basically solitary acts, carved from days of hammering out alone (words or miles, miles or words), and both groups are fine with this, seek this life, or fight it, for a while, then return, to find themselves there anyway, alone and pounding away their word-age and/or mileage. From what I have seen, both groups are gracious, helpful, usually very hip (in its old, true sense), or at least kind. Please don’t think up the exceptions that prove the rule. I did add the qualifier usually.

Also people think writers and runners are talented. That’s funny.  ALL the top runners in a marathon run 100-150 miles, maybe more, per week. Do the math folks. Talent? You might want to put ass in seat, and write. And write. And write. Put your mileage in, freak.

Runners are always skinnier than writers, but I digress, and skinny is often overrated. They both seem to drink a bit more than the average person. Not sure why. I am just reporting what I have observed.


Back to the motel for me…hydration and eating of oranges and hydration. Lots of water. Then rest. The AC unit clunked on. I like to keep my hotel rooms cool, like glacial, and them just pile on, pile on, pile on the blankets. I like to burrow. I am all about burrowing.

I donned my jacket and went to the lobby to get Mom a coffee. She wants her coffee all day and night. She loves her coffee. I bought a bunch of Starbucks stock in her honor once; it costs me hundreds in losses. Did I mention my Mom bought me the sweetest vintage jacket at the expo? You don’t wear this unless you finish, but I let her buy the jacket.

I knew I would at least finish.


But when?


The day dawns.

The big story this year: Could the Americans win Boston? Finally. We haven’t won since 1983! It’s on our own turf, on Patriots Day, the most legendary marathon in the world, and the U.S. can’t even win the thing. But this year the buzz is on two runners…everyone talking and writing and TV-ing. The pressure must be incredible. Everyone just knows they can win. I already feel for them. It’s hard enough your first Boston. Let’s meet our runners:

Ryan Hall

Advantages: He toes the line with the fastest marathon time of all the competitors at Boston for 2009. Dude is FAST, with a 2:06:17 PR. Also Ryan has been training at altitude on a simulated Boston course at Mammoth Lakes, California (7,000 feet). He is also one confident, disciplined dude.

Disadvantages: A Boston rookie. Boston is a strategic race, with high winds and torturous hills. Speed isn’t going to do it alone here. You must know the course. Ryan is also super-Christian. That’s cool, but sometimes Christians can lack the killer instinct, especially if they actually live the faith, as Ryan does daily. All that meek, turn the cheek, etc., can sometimes hold an athlete back. To win Boston, Ryan will need to go Old Testament. He will need to turn the Kenyans to mounds of salt, and throw in a frog plague or a river of blood for good measure.

(another disadvantage for Ryan might be the number of African runners lining up alongside him…Such as, oh, maybe Robert Cheruiyot, the 4 time Boston winner, defending champion, and world record holder at the course!!!)

Kara Goucher

Advantages: She placed third in her try at this distance, the 2008 New York Marathon. She can obviously dance with the big clogs of running. Her coach is Alberto Salazar, a total bad-ass. Lastly, her home is the track, really. So has a big finishing kick.

Disadvantages. Another Boston rookie. She also has a nagging self-confidence problem. She says things like, “I am drowning” and “I have lost faith” when discussing her running. She tends to run with a dark miasma of doubt. Every day is a Tuesday in February. The Boston course is no place for self-questioning.

Another problem (the same as Ryan’s) would be the defending champion. Dire Tune (wicked-ass name) is fast, smart, and, uh, Ethiopian. All the African runners have strong kicks, too, so maybe Kara’s track advantage not so great. We’ll see.

Lastly, the king of Boston, Bill Rodgers, is racing this year! Folks, America used to actually win this race. In fact, Americans use to stop for water and re-tie their shoes five times during the race (WTF, Bill?) and still kick everyone’s ass…


la dee da, think I’ll just pause here a second….


Yep. That worked.


Ok, on to my race….Here are 26.2 miles for you.

I wake, anxiety in my stomach like a double helix staircase of fake nails. Mom takes train to finish line. I eat. Pre-race meal is:

One Berry Blast Smoothie Powerbar.

One bottle old-school orange Gatorade.

One can sugar-free Red Bull.

Two cups black coffee.

THE START: I stand here freezing. Goosebumps. They load me into a corral. I am cattle. They say, “Don’t leave your corral!” Two f-16s flyover loud and close. I see a Kleenex at my feet, speckled with blood. A woman next to me says she is from South Africa. A man says he is from Hawaii. I say I am from Muncie, Indiana.

And we are off!


1.) Holy trampling. If you stop, you die. Some dude bites it; he tumbles like a wind-blown sitcom.  Everyone yells, “Man down!” My body begins to heat. I feel like a memory for a moment. People throw sweatshirts and gloves and hats into the air, into yards and road shoulders. The road is lined with thousands of crazy cheering humans. I take off my gloves and throw them at a small child’s forehead. The first mile is odd. You think, “Well, 25 to go.”

A woman yells out, “Almost finished!”



2.) Wow, we are flying downhill! We pass TJ’s Food and Spirits, a biker bar. We see bikers and their biker-women. (One of the biker-women looks like Cher if Cher was a cactus. She isn’t wearing much clothing, either.) Ten in the morning and they are loud and sloppy and drunk. They scream cigarette-horse screams. They hold out beers and some red drink in cups and a bunch of shot glasses to the runners. I see no one take the drinks from the bikers. We are really hurling downhill. If I let myself go, I will pay later for running too fast now. If I brake too hard, I will crush my quads into ravioli filling.

3.) I forget what happens at three. I guess I feel OK or something. I see a guy dressed in a flowing orange cape, but not sure why. A woman passes me wearing the smallest shorts I have seen in my life. There is a man running in a full Batman costume. All the kids scream out, “Batman!”

For a minute I am jealous of Batman. But then I refocus. I have a job to do here.

The sky is the color of cold Stephanie.

We pass 143 Subarus. There are Subarus everywhere in Boston. Crazy. But we all know the Subaru is a liberal car, so I guess it makes sense.

4.) We reach a small stretch of scrubby woods and maybe 200 male runners leap into the shrubbery, take the stance, and begin peeing. I think, “What do the women do? Surely they over-hydrated all morning and also need to pee.”

5.) Run over some train tracks. More train tracks. It was here, in 1907, a train came through during the race. That was fine with Tom Longboat, a Onondaga Indian from Canada. He was so far in the lead that he beat the train, while the rest of the runners were forced to a halt. Tom won the race that day, my friends.


You wanna say something about it? Huh, huh?

6.) Course finally flattens out. And 6 is a psychological big deal for a marathoner. I think, “OK, only two ten milers to go.” I grab some Gatorade (I am drinking every mile, water/gator/water and so on). This old man says, “Stay on the left at the water stops. Always the left.” Good advice. Humans have a natural tendency to merge right. The left water stations are much more open.

A row of green Port-o-Johns. Two women exit. That’s where the women go to pee, the Port-o-Johns.

I pass a man who looks like Christ. He is holding a Coors Lite.

7.) A giant sign is hanging from a fire-station. In huge letters it reads OBAMA SAYS YES YOU CAN BUT STILL A KENYAN WINS.

What in the hell kind of sign is that?? I mean how many possible interpretations are there, and why is it on the side of a firehouse?

8.) We pass Henry Wilson‘s Shoe Shop. He would leave shoes and go onto be vice president in the Ulysses S Grant administration, for what it’s worth. Speaking of, we pass a frat house here with a major kegger going on. I see a couple in their underwear kissing. I see a guy doing a keg stand and a girl passed out under a yellow wheelbarrow. More offers of giant cups of beer. Again no takers. One fat guy is double-fisting beers and yells out, “You pussies!”

(I actually thought this was the best thing I heard all day, only because it was in no way encouraging.)

9.) We pass a lake. The wind is a wounded llama now. Brutal. I pass a man who is pulling an oxygen cart behind him. He has tubing connected to his mouth and nose. Apparently, he is running (more shuffling) the marathon while on oxygen. OK. Is that doping, or just awesome?

10.) Ten is a bad time for me. I have it blacked out. I can’t remember. I can’t remember shit.

11.) A rangy dog skitters away and across the road. Maybe three runners leap over him. I can not stress how narrow this road, a road holding 26,000 + runners. Dog almost got Niked to death.

In 1961 a black lab ran with the lead pack of the marathon for 12 miles. Pretty cool, right? Yep. Right until the dog tripped up leading runner (and former champion) Johnny J Kelley, leaving him shaken and bloodied. Kelley lost the race. The dog ended up in Maine.

Did I mention 1947? This time it was a fox terrier and leader of the race, Korean student Yun Bok Shu. Yun just punted the puppy, launched that little sucker into the Massachusetts air, and ran onto victory.

I told you this race took strategy…


By the way, if you were reading this in real time

Americans Ryan and Kara are leading the marathon

at mile 10!

12.) This is it: The famous screaming women of Wellesley!! 2400 screaming college students! They hold signs saying, “KISS A FRESHMAN!” and “KISS A SENIOR” etc. I don’t see any runners kissing the students. They are VERY loud. This is one of the most energetic times in the race so far.


WOW!! If you aren’t fired up here, head back to the beige house of your soul.

13.) Water station. A lanky woman runner finisher her cup, crumples it up, and throws it right into my chest. She looks Russian to me. She apologizes, and I say, “No problem.” We run together for a few strides. Maybe it is destiny, me and this lanky Russian, maybe we will run from our current lives and strike out on a new, stranger, bolder path and–then she accelerates and is gone forever.

Probably best.

14.) Fourteen is my favorite number. I took a photo with my phone. I have never taken a photo while racing before, but this is Boston. I am thinking my favorite number will make me run well. I am feeling good right now. Marathons are odd that way–you feel way down, then floating way up.

I like to play red 14 in roulette over and over, all night.


15.) I am floating way up now. I feel like a piece of unclaimed sky, or a pigeon on microwave popcorn. A giant orange sign says SHORT CUT with an arrow pointing into a bar. That’s kind of mean. I would love a beer, a well-chilled one with also some nachos. My mind is wandering…

16.) A runner in front of me does a fucking cartwheel. He’s doing cartwheels while running the greatest race in the world. He’s testing the gods here. Don’t test the gods, dude.

Kara is still leading!!

Ryan just got caught….damn.

17.) Passing Newton fire station! So? So. It is time for the Newton Hills. This will include the infamous HEART BREAK HILL.

I am not scared of hills. I run hills well, always have. I’m not scared of hills. I am not. I am. I.

They are passing out Power Gels! I grab two of them. I brought two with me, also, so will ingest four of them during the race.

A woman in the shape of a gourd holds up a sign reading: YOU ARE HURTING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE YOU ARE KICKING ASS!

18: People start falling. A young woman stops and crumples. “I can’t breath,” she says to a volunteer. A man runs straight into a Subaru.

19-20: Holy hills. Wow. Up, up, up, down, down, down. I just focus, focus, one step in front of another, stay light on your feet, stay light.

Down goes a man in yellow. He sits on the curb and grabs his head. He’ s not going anywhere.

Robert Cheruiyot drops out of the race!! Hills zapped him. He won’t be defending that crown….

Kara is still leading!

Ryan is fading. You went out too fast, Ryan!

21.) I am past Heart Break Hill and thinking, “I got this. I am finishing this thing.” We pass a train station and a cemetery. Hmm.

A man stumbles into a tuba player. Both collapse to the ground as if shot.

22.) In 1997 Jean Driscoll was trying for an amazing 8th victory in a row in the wheelchair division, but it was not to be. Why? The train tracks right here at mile 22. She snagged a wheel, blew a tire, and went tumbling.

A chipmunk tries to cross. Nope.

There is the famous Citgo sign.

The air smells like leaves, or bologna boom boxes.

A woman drops to her knees and topples over. Is she sleeping on a manhole? Yep.

23.) Two runners entangle–legs all pasta–and lasagna themselves right into a dumpster.

24.) A kid tries to cross! What? Three runners hit him. It’s like pinball. Kid bounces from a shin to another runner’s head to another runner’s stomach. (I mean abdomen. The stomach is an internal organ, as you know). OOph! Kid made it across, though.

25.) Pain. Tunnel vision. Focus. Pain. Pain. I can’t remember much. I kept repeating over and over: “You are going to feel pain, but are you going to suffer?”

We pass the famous (or infamous) Kenmore Square Station. I hate to give a cheater any pub, but this is most likely where Rosie Ruiz leaped from the crowd, into the race, and on to become the winner in a new record time. She sure didn’t look tired at the finish, someone noted.

“I never see this woman,” said 2nd place Jacqueline Gareau.

Of course not, Jacqueline. She was at home eating Twinkies during the early miles. But how did Rosie qualify for Boston? By running the New York Marathon. Uh, by riding the subway and jumping into the last mile of the New York Marathon.

This is why we now have major video surveillance of all runners. And we wear microchips. Oh, Rosie. Oh my, Rosie. too much.

A man leans against a YIELD sign. He’s not moving. I see a cloud in the shape of Bill Murray.

More crumpling runners. They fold like playing cards.

Kara is still leading! And she ran the whole way. Could this be the year?

Here is a photo my mom took of the overall winner…


Uh, apparently Mom underestimated the speed of a professional runner.


One more step!


Mylar blanket. Water. Power Bar. Water. Get my medal. Can’t find mom. Found mom. Whew.

3:21:39. My slowest marathon to date, but that’s cool. It is Boston.

Bill Rodgers took over four hours. I beat a Boston Champion!

Ok, look. Did I mention? Bill Rodgers is 61.


In the train station with my medal. They say you look ten years older at the finish of a marathon, but I think I only look 8. It tastes like victory to me.

But what about the Americans, Sean?


Ryan went out like a jackrabbit. And was devoured by a lion named Deriba Merga. Ryan got caught, but battled back for third place. Good work, Ryan. And he’s 26. He shall return.


Ryan thinking: Uh, this hurts.

But what about Kara??


Does she look happy to you?

And is that a runner collapsed in the background?

Yep. An Ethiopian runner. One Dire Tune, defending champion. She got 2nd and headed right for the hospital, on a stretcher.

When she awoke she asked the nurse, “Who won?” The nurse said, “Salina Kosgei.” “Oh,” said Tune, “then I am going back to sleep.”

What happened to Kara? She got third.

Cheer up, Kara! Kara, quit thinking, “My life is a meaningless sandstorm of doom and smelly socks.”

Boston has been here 113 years. It will be here waiting for you.

I am sore.

I am sore.

I am sore.

Time for nachos…


(pic courtesy of Ander Monson. He’s eating nachos with the Sonora Review crowd…good job, people. My nacho essay appearing in their pages soon.)



26.2 Miles Later…

Too shredded to blog right now (my legs feel like two highway dogs fighting over a strand of barbed wire), and so will enjoy a long-honored Boston tradition: drinking a big-ass Sam Adams (or 3).

But I will say this about my race performance: There is only one way to get this glittering hardware…

(except for Ebay or mugging someone scrawny, like me)


(Check that one off the Life List, folks)


1 day until Boston…Frak!

I am in a hotel, possibly motel, outside Boston, about 4 miles from the starting line. My room smells like chin stubble and a decent sized squirrel, with a hint of Lysol. Nice people here–marathoners all over, intense skinny fuckers, fidgety, looks like most of them want to get this thing underway tonight, as in NOW. I get that. Nice people, big-time. They really helped with all the logistics of getting to a starting line of 25,000 runners and gods know how many hundreds of thousand spectators, etc.

My mom is here with me and is trying to figure out how to get into Boston, for the finish line. Her journey involves a train, a subway, a little luck. I can tell she is nervous.

Honestly, I am scared.


I am under-trained and inured and have spent hours reading blogs about people who run Boston. This is its 113th year! Wow.


They use words like heart break, agony, blood-letting, ambulance corridors, and PAIN.

“A marathon is the hardest thing in life,” said Cheruiyot. Uh, OK. Dude has won Boston 4 times…

(here is the man in action at Chicago.)




Quote summing up most blogs: suffer in relative solitude..”  They all basically meet this tone and mood. Inspiring.


I am worried. Have never been this under-trained before any race.


“The marathon can humble you.” Bill Rodgers.

Now Bill, people have run them fine for years.



Well, do what we can, eh?

Did I mention I have developed a cold? Could this affect me?


“To describe the agony of a marathon to somebody who’s never run it is like trying to explain colour to a person who was born blind.”

Jerome Drayton

(He won Boston in 1977, after a wild ride of a career. I like this quote: “It must be noted that Drayton after much deliberation was found to have a serious leg discrepancy which became severely effected the further he ran during an event, it is due to this problem and the nature of the Boston course that he was never able to display his full potential at this event.)




Today, in the parking lot was one of the most ass-wad bumper stickers I have ever seen, so that cheered me up.


Hey, Ass-wad of the Month. If you place this sticker Pharisee-ing to all about how for one month of your life, or your kid’s life, was voted (by whom, a collection of your moms??) an upstanding citizen for a whole 30 whatever days, then by definition you are NOT an upstanding citizen. What a freaking Spam can, green tortilla, big-ass urn (gleaming on the outside, ashes within).


What’s that ringing? Oh, the phone? It’s A Life calling, for you ass-wad–wondering when you might want to answer.

Nice Explorer though. Great car.



Wack-Ass Kooky Linens and Towels Road Post, Loose. WARNING!

Warning: I am in a hotel in Seneca Nation.

Warning: A quick road-post. You know those can be whack. Loose as __________.

People un-become themselves on the road. Like when I am in an airport, any major airport with architecture and red balloon-like seagull razor-wing sculptures from the ceiling and piped-in music like a feather falling, all that, and I always get a stiff drink at the bar, and while drinking–in the spiraling blue blur of strangers, coming, going, coming by, going–all this LIFE in flux–I get this idea/wish/un-wish that I am a character in a novel of my own twisted devising–zombie versus spy versus romance versus existential Important work of the canon (boom!).

A person who does not feel detached in an airport is not a person.

I will not drink with thee, lady. Or with you, sir.

Square still, as a stranger in an airport? Now that is truly square.

I will not cackle with you, or play Sharpie-Jenga (each wooden brick a command/request), or even watch your little dog as your large niece is battling that awful man Fred.



Warning: If you, like most rational humans, think disc golf is fucking dumb, do not stumble further. I LOVE disc golf. And still, realize it is most likely fucking dumb.

To be honest, the only disc golfer I detest in my life was this braggard-ass dude in Mobile, AL, years ago. He had a disc printed up to look like an 8 ball. What? I mean it looked EXACTLY like an 8 ball. Ok. Then he threw it, and he sucked. It hit the ground like a radish, meant for earth, never flight (as in its purpose). And this guy with a $50 disc he paid to get dyed like an 8 ball. Wow. It reminded me of the ball-golfers with $1000 titanium drivers who shank it into the landscaped pond of Koi. The pharisees like urns, etc…blah.

Here is a picture of Ander Monson playing disc golf today. Actually today. It is so weird and dorky-ass as a pic I kind of actually like it. To me, it was all WestWorld. I mean I thought he was actually riding some form of horse. I texted him. I said, “Are you riding a horse?”

He said, “No.”

That was just perspective, and even the crisp, anesthetic dig-cam has not quite figured out perspective.

So surprises still happen, thank gods!!

I mean art. So.



Hey, what’s that Crystal Gavel magazine all about? I heard a relatively major publishing company texted a member of its editorial board. There was money mentioned. I heard a certain company might want to make the joke into a concept, an “idea,” with lawyers and beautiful people ( no one beautiful is involved now, only a few interesting people).  And that the “board member” kept that like a crystal secret for a long while. Like 16 days, by my count.

Who is the joke on now, MotherFraker?

But I digress.

I could go on further, but let’s keep this blog clean as a full-sink-basin-2-shave, a feline in the rucksack (for now).




I disc golf today. I played a course in Buffalo NY that was apparently sculpted by Dante. Are you kidding???

Como Lake Park.

Devised by the insane….

Here is hole, uh, 14.



1.) Even the tee sign is bullshit. It diagrams a fishing pier into the shot…(more later).

2.) Throw across a river, a vertical river (meaning banks go straight down into inky deep water-absolutely no chance of someone getting their disc back). (Aside: Most “water” disc courses I have played you can get your disc back. The water is shallow, or clear and most disc golf players play with bright discs, white or pink or whatever–u can see them underwater. Only an ass-nard would play with a dark disc, like navy blue, or worse black. Black discs can be lost against anything–green fields, under brown leaves, etc. It’s a matter of light, of contrast. But you can not predict the human mind. I met this dork once on a beginner course in Alaska [Birch Hill] and he actually played with every discs blue or purple or black, including a disc in the shape of an 8 ball.)

3.) The sign for the hole actually directs us to throw over a “fishing pier” and also to eat chicken fingers at McDonald’s before we start the round. Huh? I don’t eat at McDonald’s and chickens don’t even have fingers, not really. Also, I think to have a disc golf hole where you throw over a fishing pier, across a lake, through trees,  just as everyday normal play of the round MIGHT invite confrontation. Let’s see: disc golfers versus fisherman…hmm? Fillet knife versus water bottle? Catching your own dinner versus Mexican restaurant and a discussion of seasonal beer…?

What if the fishermen cast a lure full of hooks over our heads while we drove each hole, disc-golfers?

Is that copacetic?

4.) I have no number four (4) and I am tired. But I do have a photo of my drive over number 8.  I hope this photo proves everything I have had to say about this course…Could you work in these conditions?




Lastly. I just got this in the mail today…I love it!


Onto Boston.


Writing Process of the Super Wham-O Unknown.

People keep asking about my Writing Process. They email and request, as if I carry some talisman made of win-win boneless ribs (oxymoron) and a glowing black light (oxymoron) of words in a secret pocket of my soul. Example, from the last week of my inbox.

From Worm14: “What is your writing process? I mean can you write if on a train?”

From 99PRIORITYDawg: “The chair is against the wall.”

From PinkGurl777:

On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Engr.Jochen Kruger. I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter were returned undelivered. I wish to notify you that late Engr. Jochen Kruger made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Thirty Million, One Hundred Thousand Dollars (USD$30, 100.000.00) to you in the Codicil and last testament to his WILL. This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. Engr. Jochen Kruger until his death was a member of the Helicopter Society and the Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers. Please if I reach you as I am hopeful, endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job.”


Here it is:


1.) I etch symbols in chalk.


2.) I revise and revise. Writing is a process of removal, so I usually revise by wiping away some of the chalk with my sleeve. Or I might clean out a gas station of all its red licorice (oxymoron). Or I might take the trash barrel full of future mothers-in-law to the curb. I might even go to a local dive bar and drink nine tequilas, a cup of ice water (oxymoron), and a beer the size of Broadway, then stagger myself into the bathroom to pick a fight with anyone leaning, or maybe even the greasy mirror, or even toilet-tossing, an activity I have perfected (the key is momentum; once you have the toilet above your head, don’t stop)–all these activities a type of removal.

Note: If you ever find yourself impaled (and don’t we all eventually?)–on a tomato stake, gear shift, Bowie Knife–do NOT remove the instrument. Leave that up to the ER.

3.) I email the revised draft to my brother, who reads it aloud over the phone to my mother. I tell him to make any revisions he wants as he reads the text over the phone. My mom jots down the full text and removes the word fuck.

4.) I get her copy (snail mail) and insert the word fuck back into the text. I then remove all adverbs, mentions of dreams, head injuries, zombies, or talk shows (oxymoron). I find any instance of the word creamy and replace it with the only English word with the letter combination UFA (manufacture).

5.) I print out three copies of the final draft. One to set afire. One to wipe up the ashes off my kitchen floor. The third to send to whatever magazine I enjoy.

Example, nimble.


Baking dish nachos? You go, girl.



Just received goodness, Matt Bell‘s How the Broken Lead the Blind. I will read this during my Boston trip and give you some review-ness later.


Off to Boston. Will bring my dig-cam and my stumbling shoes.


Easter Stumble Novella Nacho Dinner Crunky Oates.

Wow. The Mother of all Novella Posts by John Madera. Thoughtful, forceful, catastrophic, kick ass and non-feebly clap. Beautiful woman or man or blizzard, or other untouchable  wondrous giddy kid-like glow things I read it like. The day I flung the sling-shot into the church window, etc. The day I rejected bourbon and hurled vertical, thrice on skimmest of gas station milk. Backwards-ass sentence feel, often by owl-light or hallucination or photograph of Loved One. I wish I had been born in Iceland, I really do. I feel tiny. I wish I was in Iceland and also larger, especially the hands, which would make me throw the disc golf disc further. Maybe. Iceland.

I want to run…

Thanks, John, now I have about fifty new books on summer list. Oh well.

Me like Sean Kilpatrick’s List.

Me like Dermot‘s list.

Me like Joyce Carol Oates‘s list. She is clearly on a mission. Amazing.

Here are my 2 cents…spend them well.


I did run the Rabbit Race, the Bunny Race 5k thing, for The Children, always for The Children. The Children are bareheaded in the hot sun. Michelin tire worthy. Bo Peep soap-bubble, honest curse words, dancing for no one but themselves, all that stuff I enjoy. If you are not into The Children, you were just born selfish and cold like oxygen. All that. The Children are important. As in significant. As in critical. All that. The TV. The TV, and The Children. And the TV. Etc.

I tried to go holy, I tried to go holy, I did, with another seventh place finish.

7 seals in revelation.

7 angels of doom.

There are 7 notes in the musical scales, for what it is worth. It is worth nothing.





Sean Lovelace




I did not run so fast but I am running the Boston Marathon in a week so am not really 5k training. Boston should be a problem, a big one. My R hamstring has been killing me, my L foot has been sore, and my longest run has been a 16 miler. I will reap what I sow at Boston, peoples. And that will be one big-ass crop of PAIN.

Let me tell you a little secret about running. No shortcuts. None. Ever. Not for those who under-train, who laugh clever through injuries and incompetence galore.

Only PAIN.


Look at Lovelace go tumbly…


I ate lunch in Memphis. Memphis is one of the last real towns. What I mean is that if you wander one alley off the path I clearly told you to take, you might meet up with a rusty bottle pressed against the soft flesh of your neck. Etc. A kneecap chipped, all that.

This is my family eating lunch in Memphis. We decided to order corn chips with some form of toppings–they call it “nachos” in Memphis, a regional treat, I suppose. Anyone with sense ordered nachos. Anyone with verve. What is a nacho? Why did I demand every person at the table order them or I would leave, take the beige Camry, and ram beige Camry into a cul-de-sac (cool word) wall of shrubbery?

Because I KNOW.


Wow. Goodness.


Jesus Beer Greg Oden is Clinically Depressed.

The face of Jesus…?



The Hobart Baseball issue is good coin. What should I suggest here? Well, I adore all persona fiction, so let’s start with Manny.

I would also hit this. Very Martone. I like.

Ah, Hobart…



My brother has been a loyal reader of professional basketball player Greg Oden’s blog and has often sent me links and tidbits. We both notice that Greg Oden is clinically depressed. Since I worked for years as psychiatric RN professionally, I am concerned. I thought I would add a new feature on my blog that tracks and comments on Greg Oden’s clinical depression.

First thing, Greg, drinking cheap wine from a box (while you are supposed to be rehabbing an injury) will only increase your depression. This is just a fact of serotonin and self-remorse. I will say your pals are clearly hip guys.


Now let’s analyze that blog.

Here is Greg’s post from the All Star break

I love the All-Star Break. I had so much fun, got so much rest that i feel refreshed. I have sleep to 2 in the afternoon everyday almost, i told people to not wake me when i sleep ill wake up on my own, thats how i know i slept as long as i could. I keep my phones on vibrate all the time anyways so that wasnt a problem at all. I am in Indiana so im away from all the maddness that was in phoenix. I did have to go for one day though, and i had a blast. The rookie and sophomore game i was selected to play in. I didnt participate because i am nursing a knee injury. I still got to go enjoy the festivaties. The game was cool except the rookies lost, and since im considered a rookie i lost. Other than that everything was cool and fun. While i was there I had a appearance with Spalding an unvailing of there new item. The IHoop which is a very cool thing, its a basket with a ipod dock and speakers on it. It has to be plug up though but its really cool i hope they send mine to my moms house soon. It wont be coming out till this summer but its really nice, i advise people to check it out. Now i will enjoy my last day of break by doing absolutely nothing.

1.) Greg obviously suffers from hypersomnia.

2.) Greg seems to “sleep ill” in his own eloquent wording.

3.) Greg feels life is “maddness”

4.) Greg feels he “lost” in a game he didn’t even play. That game is obviously Greg’s life.

5.) Greg shills product with a little less than zeal…I wonder what his sponsors think? The IHoop “has to be plug up” and I get the feeling this annoys Greg. Greg does not like anything he has to plug up, and you know this must make his daily life hell.

6.) The final line is a classic, and a certain sign of crushing apathy.

Greg Oden, I hope you get some help.




Nachos as Big as Your Ass.

The reader pics are rolling in!

Ken Baumann brings it!


Words in Place drops a little cereal on us…


I’ll add a great parking sign from Guam.



Toronto, November 4 (UPI): The new dancing Diagram can be worth over a thousand pounds sterling to their owner and can make more money on a good day—over a hundred pounds sterling—than the average Bulgarian would earn in a month. There are thought to be approximately 25 new Diagrams in Bulgaria, all of which have been poached from the wild or bought from disreputable zoos. Typically, the new Diagrams were taken when young cubs and forced to undergo a training regime, being pinned down and staked out on the ground while their noses were pierced with a thick iron ring on a chain. From that day on, the new Diagrams have been slaves to the whim of their owners, with the slightest movement of the chain causing them agony and enabling their owners to make them perform a “dance” in a desperate effort to avoid the pain of the chain.


I had disc golf tourney on Saturday. I won swag. I love swag. Free is the new pink. Swag. Swag. The casserole of swag.




The doorbell just rang, making my heart tremble. It’s a weird world where someone coming to your door freaks a person out, but that’s the very world we live in. I thought about doing the ignore the doorbell act, but went ahead and answered. Some guy wanted to cut my trees. He said something about overhanging limbs, something about pulp, some other terms I didn’t get.

I said, “I’m good.”

He talked some more.

I said, “I got it. I’m good.” (This time I did a nonverbal, a wave-off)

He said, “Why are you wearing one shoe? Did I catch you undressing?”

Now that was a bit much. I closed the door.


I’m still not sure why I was wearing one shoe.


I am 14 days away from Boston and have R hamstring problems and L foot problems but besides that I am all good.



David Sedaris Read About Nachos Tonight!!

He really, really did. Wow. I was blown away. His entire reading blew me away–it’s so rare for someone to have this build up, this rep, this aura, and then you go see them and you’re like, “Well fuck me. He IS the real deal.”

It reminded me of the Warren Zevon documentary I saw when I was living in northern Guam, “Keep Me in Your Heart,” about Zevon, an accomplished singer-songwriter, and the final year of his life battling lung cancer. There is a scene in the film where Bruce Springsteen shows up to play a guitar riff for one of Zevon’s songs. And Springsteen picks up the guitar, thumbs it a bit, and then just wails–I mean he fucking goes off! He just bangs this guitar into some magical space, some place of crazy notes and mediation and BASE jumping all wrapped into one; and then–sudden hum of silence–he stops. Stillness in the studio. A couple pro musicians just mouth open looking at Springsteen, all these guys who thought they were jaded, who had pretty much seen it all, all of then dangling there after his last note, stunned.

And Zevon deadpans, “Man, you are him.”

Sedaris is the real thing. This is no Pyrite I am preaching. I went. I saw. The man kicked some exponential dinosaur ass.

How did it happen?

I ate lunch. I didn’t know what to have for such a big night. Anxiety settled on me like a technical specification. I felt the manual of my soul. I grabbed things. I grabbed corn tortillas, soured creams, pickled jalapeno peppers. I thought, Will this work? Will this please me?


It pleased me yes.

I taught class, went home, opened a new disc golf disc in the mail, petted my rangy dog, hugged the kids, put a pizza in the oven for the babysitter, and D and I were ready to roll.

What will we drink? Will it be cloudy and true?



The entire reading was high quality, with my only complaint being the couple directly behind us. You had the whole NPR crowd thing going on–slinky young hipsters, slouching aging hippies, everyone wearing the skinniest fucking eyeglasses in the universe–and that’s cool (I heard there was even some guy in his thirties trying to pull off a ponytail), but this couple over my shoulder would not shut the hell up. They were classic Over-Laughers. Anything out of Sedaris’s mouth and it was guffaw time for these two. Sedaris could have said, “Dry sock, dry sock or wall” and this couple would have been rolling.

I think they were insane.

David Sedaris Highlights:

1.) Sedaris read only works-in-progress. In fact, he had just written many of these drafts, and explained that giving readings is how he works and reworks material. He actually stood there with a pencil line-editing the pages as he read aloud. Very cool, and I hope my students noticed the process. I also hope they heard him say, “My essays need about 12 revisions. I usually give revision # 9 to my editor.”

2.) Sedaris read a few longish essays, and they were OK. But then he went to what he called “my diaries.” Wow. This was inventive, quirky material. He read to us about making cheese out of breast milk and about stealing a kid’s toy dinosaur and then addressed the men in the world who sleep with other men but claim they are not gay. Sedaris said, “If you put the dick in your mouth, you have to accept the word that comes with it.”

Funny, edgy stuff.

3.) Listen to this! Sedaris read a short piece about a woman who loved the taste of communion wafers, but could never find them in bulk to snack on. The church wouldn’t help her; they said, “You can’t buy the flesh of Christ.” So the woman took things into her own hands. She changed her sex to become a man, went to seminary school, and then joined the priesthood. Why? To have access to wholesale quantities of communion wafers. So then she buys them in bulk and melts cheese on them and adds salsa and I quote Sedaris…



Easily the highlight of the night for me. I glowed.

My final thoughts on Sedaris were these: Before the reading, I kept thinking, “Why would David Sedaris come to Muncie, Indiana?” It isn’t the money, or the couple hundred books he’ll sell, and sure as hell isn’t the incredible flatness and persistent wind. Etc.

Now, after seeing him, signing books for hours (before and after the reading), reading for hours, chatting with readers, up there on the stage answering questions, all of this with an open personality, a friendly grin, a shrug and handshake, and so on, I know: David Sedaris loves readings. Period. This also explains why he has been writing about giving readings so much lately. This is what he does! Even his writing process is now meshed with these readings. Amazing. An amazing guy, really.

If you have a chance to see him, GO.

(since he reads perpetually around the world, you will have a chance eventually)