Monthly Archives: August 2009

YASSO 800 Emile Capouya Read the Russians

Just dropped a YASSO 800.

3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace     3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace

3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace     3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace

3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace     3 minutes @ 6 min mile pace

3 minutes @ 5:56 min mile pace     3 minutes @ 5:52 min mile pace

3 minutes @ 5:27 min mile pace

Good flow, decent pacing. I think the Yassos are legit (many do not; they just can’t comprehend how a session 1/52nd length of a marathon can have a relation to the actual event) and key to a solid race. If you are going to run this workout, I suggest you DO believe in its results. What I mean is psychology. When you are out there mile 20+, in the mental and physical Sally, the tunnel, the off-world of blurry white rabbits, this workout is something you can recall as a positive experience, as fuel for the finish.

(One time running the Memphis Marathon [2:53, 27th overall, thank you very little] I ran with this older gentleman early miles and then I surged off ahead and he yelled out, “Mile 7 is not mile 17, my friend!!”

Indeed.)

10742-P0000-000014-0850

*

I have been reading Emile Capouya. This guy is amazing, as an editor who fought for serious books during the culture change and conglomerate takeover of publishing houses; and then later as a writer.

It’s been since the Russians that I have read work like this, flowing, lyrical sentences, but always philosophical, wandering into reflection and close examination. The structure is almost Sebald, the way its reflections weave through imagery and place, story suddenly appearing, going under in reverie, then reappearing elsewhere. I almost felt like I was reading Turgenev.

Fascinating work.

turgenev

A Hunter’ Sketches is online. Wow. You should read this, no doubt.

*

Speaking of has anyone been reading Ian Frazier’ two-part “Travels in Siberia” in the NYorker? Wow. The Nyorker is so odd. It will drop four damp issues then send out a sizzler. I am beginning to think the magazine is like a boat or a swimming pool–better to have a friend with one, than to actually buy the whole thing yourself. Get a friend with a subscription and then borrow the best issue every few months.

This Siberia essay is Great Railway Bazaar feel, with a touch of Amis. Very funny writing, and the sentences astound. I am going to have my students read it during my sentence variety lecture.

S


10 Things About the Shane Jones Phenomena

1.) Where can I get this book by Shane Jones?

I know one thing. I’d like to own one of the 200/300 (I never did get an exact number on the printing of the 1st edition.  I asked this drunk woman in Chicago AWP and she said 20014) copies of the PGP original copies of Light Boxes. Wouldn’t it be sweet to have one now? Like you would have hipster cred (leave it out, atop your Sony turntable or your skinny jeans) and a possible investment for Ebay down the road.

Where were you in 1957? Some of you were vapor. But some of you were kids. And you could have gone to the store and bought a medical book by a doctor, The Cat in the Hat. It is now worth 20,000 dollars, although the shipping is free.

imps_lightboxes

Have you seen this book?

2.) The Shane Jones Phenomena has been under-blogged.

I am introducing that term into the language: under-blog. Meaning an event or instance clearly not blogged up to its due level of recognition.

(At least we are finally getting some news media type net coverage…)

If you want to option the film rights to the super hero, Under-blog, contact me at leapsloth14@hotmail.com. Under-blog is a flying opossum that battles Dan Rather and the NBA. His sidekick is a red shoe.

BTW, The word blog was introduced in 1997, by an employee of Pyra Labs named Evan Williams. Williams was that dude that always brings his soda to work wrapped in aluminum foil. BLOG means weblog (the early version of the word blog), a log being a record, like a ship’s log. Blog can be a noun and a verb, and a person who writes a blog is a blogger.

No shit, Sean.

3.) Is Shane Jones a phenomena?

Uh, no. I was luring you in with that title. I have held (some briefly) 21 jobs by my unreliable count and one involved a radio station. That title up there was a TEASER. Many Indy books/music/films have gone mainstream in the past, and will in the future. But for Indy Lit, Shane Jones is refreshing and hopeful and exciting and real; and has been under-blogged.

4.) Is Shane Jones a sell out?

WTF? Didn’t I just say he was real, folks? Here is your Dave Eggers rant about selling out. Go ahead and read this link then get back to my list here that I am writing while drinking oily coffee. Man this coffee tastes like old dogs smell.

Was Nirvana a sell-out when they left Sub Pop for DGC? No, because they were real. They didn’t change; they simply took full advantage of all DGC had to offer (technically, talent, publicity, drug connections, on and on) and then released an important album in the history of music, Nevermind. This one album made Axl Rose go away forever and then return with corn-rows and 18 pounds of baby fat. Hair bands went from sexy to glossy to gross. Why are grown men wearing garish teenager makeup and screaming at me? Dude, spandex don’t come in silver. Etc.

Did Mozart sell out when the aristocratic patron and fellow Mason prince Karl Lichnowsky paid for all his travel, food, nachos, bail money, and whores during the infamous “Berlin Journey” series of concert performances? Uh, no, and don’t forget it was during this time that Mozart soundly beat the king of Prussia in a piano duel.

I can kid because the question is a loaf of soap water. Jones isn’t going to write a holiday cookbook next (though he does make a mean mint soup), folks. His writing originates from his soul, a decent one it appears.

Dennis Cooper started as a punk, in the true sense of the word. He was a bad-ass then and he’s a bad-ass now, Harper Perennial or not. Also his blog kind of kicks exponential chainsaw. Be careful if you open this link; you can get lost in there for days…

0x0_921779

5.) Last night I was sitting in room B, right by the doorway leading to room A. In room A a friend typed on a computer.

“Have you ever heard of Shane Jones?” I asked him. I was going to tell him about Shane Jones.

He mumbled, “No.” He made zero eye contact.

Then I start telling him about Shane Jones and the movie option thing and about Penguin and I’m about 7 minutes into this and my voice is clearly inflecting in a Hey-I-Am-About-To-Say-Something-I-Find-Interesting tone and I notice he hasn’t even looked up from the computer, like I’m talking to a fucking zombie, or a lab coat or something. He does not care, to put it plainly. So I just stop talking and he hardly notices that either. Jesus. Where is the intellectual curiosity in this world? Do people even listen to one another anymore? I am trying to talk about a book that emphasizes empathy and community, and now I felt like a boulder next to a Wal-mart.

I said, “You don’t even care, do you? You haven’t even looked up from the computer.”

He got annoyed I was annoyed. This annoyed me. We were in a stupid human cycle.

He said, “Go ahead and tell me then.”

I didn’t tell him. I decided I was going to be stubborn. I should have taken the high road here but my ankles were bleeding by this time. And you know what? He didn’t care. He never even followed up with something superficial like, “Really, I want to hear it.” He just went right back to that little box. I could see the blue glow off his face, the whirl of his eyes. His eyes looked like pinwheels.

This story doesn’t have a point. I am just writing things about Shane Jones. See the title. I went to bed about level 4 depression last night, but this coffee is working now.

6.) How much money did Shane Jones get?

Lord, what the hell kind of base, petty question is that? I hope you don’t have a mirror in the house. OK, I’ll be honest, I thought it too, but only a for a few minutes. I am trying to increase my decency quotient and Light Boxes is such a decent, empathetic book that I felt like a real ass thinking that. But I am human, too.

Don’t write to a market, folks. Shane says writing this book was like “playing on a jungle gym.” He was having fun. He probably spent his time while not writing thinking excitedly about where all this was going, this February balloon thing he had on his hands. This fun thing.

(Bookslut interview here)

He should buy the first round of beers for the next 6 months, though, just as a matter of protocol.

7.) Is Light Boxes worth a damn?

It really is. I was going to review it big time a few days back, but then read all the reviews, and what was I going to add? Serious people took this book seriously–that’s what you want. I will add a few thoughts in a second.

Here is the main web page for the book, if you want to know more that way. I say “that way” because why don’t you read the book? Oh, because you can’t find a copy. Well, Penguin will take of that, my friend. So wait. I bet you wish you had a first edition though. Penguin won’t give you a first edition.

This is where I add a few thoughts:

I think Light Boxes falls under a category of empathetic literature. That’s why it worked for me. I think Chekhov is God. He’s the well-spring for literature that can actually move and shape and make us, make us better. Or at least make us think of the idea.

Here is an excellent example, and a father of Shane’s February, no? See how the snow IS the grief?

George Saunders is Chekhov’s son, and Shane’s brother. Read Saunders and you are reading Chekhov, and isn’t that odd, on a syntax/sentence level?

Do you understand me? This Sherman Alexie story is Shane Jones’s sister, sister of Light Boxes. Yes, Alexie sometimes has dialogue that sounds written, but please stop now and read the damn story, all the way through. Did you feel the empathy?

Look, if you don’t see what I’m saying by now, maybe Light Boxes isn’t for you. Are you the person who never buys the round when it’s your turn then meets your friends the next day and says, “I didn’t spend much money last night at all”?

Are you that person?

I’ll try one more time, using Chekhov’s words…

Literature that “…opens us up to the possibility of tenderness.” Note, the qualifier, possibility. Chekhov wasn’t stupid or naive. Some people will never be better to each other, meaning to their self. But many will. Or might.

8.) Do you know Shane Jones personally?

What is this, a gossip column? Yes, I saw Shane with his 8 kids beating up a wounded owl. Etc. Ok, ok, here’s my Shane Jones story.

I was in this big-ass room full of books in Chicago and I see this guy who looks pretty hipster, like hipster beard and one of those shirts and I said hi and he said hello and I got this vibe that he was really nice, I was thinking, This guy’s quiet and nice and polite it seems.

Not too exciting a story, huh?

9.) I worked for years as a psychiatric RN in hospitals, treatment centers, and in an ER in Denver. So the scientific part of me enjoyed Light Boxes as a discussion of SAD (seasonal affective disorder), where February really does kill people and a light box is an actual, very effective treatment modality.

The light enters through the lens, charges up the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (a tiny section of the brain’s mid-line found in a shallow impression of the optic chasm), stimulating the Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal ganglion cells, thus, obviously, leading to an improved hormonal and neural balance (which we all need).

Rondo_sad_light2

Fuck off, February…

10.) You actually thought I didn’t own a first edition of Light Boxes???!!!!!!!!

I love/support/prefer Indy Lit, peeples!

scan

Of course he signed it! I just said he’s a nice guy.

Look for this copy on Ebay in 2044.

What?

Are you people even listening?

This copy I am KEEPING in my hands and heart like July.

S

wigleaf Goodness Ace read Business of Books

Me got some new words in wigleaf. Go read it and you will be happy like corn or something.

*

ace!!!

Ace yesterday at Pieradise, hole # 18. Aces make me feel like corn. This man (Alen Pier) turned his farm into a disc golf mecca and we are all better for it.

*

“Obviously, what we hope and we see with the small, independent publishers that there is a younger generation that is not going to buy into the money culture and that has decided that some of these values still matter to them.”

Andre Schiffrin

I just finished this book:

23761751

It talks about how media conglomerates have destroyed book publishing. How thoughtful, intellectual, engaging literature and essay and so on have been pushed aside for glam and glimmer and $$$.

It made me thankful to all the awesome Indy publishers out there. There are still people who care. Half the writer/bloggers I truly enjoy more than likely wouldn’t have their books out by mainstream publishers. Blake Butler, Shane Jones, Molly Gaudry, on and on and on. Exciting, sometimes difficult (in a good way. I’ll take my art hard like a knife edge thank you) work I am so happy to be ABLE to obtain, read, pass on, discuss, enjoy.

This is an important book. All readers and editors and anyone else who believes arguments and inquiries and art/art/art are CRITICAL to a democratic society, to a people, pick it up. I think it makes the argument for why writer/bloggers, indy publishers, all of this buzz and whirl and everything going on right now on the net acts as ESSENTIAL.

S

wigleaf Spencer Dew all Elvis all Billy Mays all Time to Submit Words

I just ran 15.5 miles. I actually feel pretty good but have a case of the yawns. I sweated like a knife tucked into a bra.

The long run is so essential to the marathon, physically and physiologically. Your body’s glycogen (fuel from your muscles, obtained from food) stores can actually be increased by gradually elevating mileage. Then your body starts learning how to burn fat. Next, your heart’s stroke volume increases; your heart muscle gets stronger. This is important. The heart is a pump delivering good stuff to the muscles in the blood, then shuttling away bad stuff as the muscles undergo stress.

My resting pulse is around 40, basically bradycardia, not unusual for a distance runner. (This is why every time I go to the doctor, they take my vital signs, pause and think a moment, and then go, “Are you a runner?” And I say, yep. And they answer, “OK. Good.”

The heart doesn’t work harder or faster; it works better. (Now if I would care for the rest of my body a bit more…)

Not to mention the long run is mental. I said mental. Mental. Mental I said. Did I say something? Mental. What was that?

run

*

Was Billy Mays actually Elvis? Valium, hyrocodone, oxycodone, Xanax, tramadol, and just a smidgen of cocaine…OK. Many of these were prescribed, but, as your friendly RN, can I say that taking them all together with a G & T (he also had alcohol in his system) might be a little problem. It is interesting that the cocaine made the headlines, as opposed to the others. I guess cocaine is one of the last drugs that has any chance of freaking people out. It seems a rich topic for writing, American’s JUST SAY NO vs the amazing proclivity for “legal” drugs taken daily, to, uh, make it through the day (for example, I am on caffeine right now and it’s 8 in the morning).

Here is an Elvis flash for you. I write Elvis flashes, as many of you may know (right):

It was snowing the night they say I lost my mind, and I never shot no damn TV. It was too much Budweiser on top of codeine on top of Valium on top of methaqualone and an argument with Sonny West about him cheating in racquetball that afternoon. Really it was just about me losing to a man so grossly out of shape, about self-image. I just looked in the mirror and something snapped. I tore the mirror from the wall and jumped on the bed until the bottom fell out and opened my big window and hurled all of this and one hell of a hi-fi set into the frozen swimming pool below (we never did get the cover on that year). Then I tossed a big blue lamp—some kind of glass sculpture thing—followed by a silver serving tray and a chair made to look like a leopard standing on its hind legs (given to me by Zambia’s Tourism Minister, Frederick Mwanawasa). It was all fine until I found my revolver. They’d removed the bullets (wrapped them in duct tape and hidden them in the downstairs freezer I found out later). I ranted and raved—“Where’s my ammo!” They held me down, until I passed out. The next afternoon, after I woke up on my bedroom carpet, I gave them all hell, my voice thick as cough syrup.

“Where’d my life go?” I demanded.

“In the swimming pool,” Sonny said, the rest of them nodding along.

“Oh.” I thought a moment. “Well, go get it.”

—-

back

Subaru trunk, April 2009

*

Almost submissions season, people (autumn). Get your stuff tight and your envelopes Lolly and your email all 72.3 degrees. I suggest you revise THEN send, not the other way.

A few contests you might wanna slay soon. I am biased to Flash Fiction so will show that bias here:

Second Annual Donald Barthelme Prize for Short Prose.

Newport Review Fourth Annual Flash Fiction Contest.

The Wilda Hearne Flash Fiction Contest.

*

Moving on.

Like many of us, I remember Sept 11 2001 clearly, and not. I was awoken by a phone call, this right after the second jet, etc. I called my dad (a federal employee, to ensure he wasn’t going into work. He was not.). I did go into work, at a local organic/health food store. I had two bosses, a couple formerly married who now still ran the business together. There was a grainy TV set in the office with all the horror and misinformation and general dread of the day.

Boss One (up in my face, very intense): “See? See? This is what happens when all these people get on the internet!!”

(This was an odd thing to say, but this was a very, very odd and anxious day. Though I didn’t agree with this general idea, I certainly understood the urge to just yell out things.)

Boss Two was concerned about the tiny American flags we had stuck into the flower pots outside. We were the only location in the entire city for anyone Middle Eastern (or any other foreigners in this Alabama locale) to purchase anything near to the food items necessary for an authentic meal. Would the flags somehow keep them from shopping? Would they be hesitant to enter the store? Again, an odd argument (the flags stayed; and the customers arrived as usual), but not so unusual on a day like that one.

I remember three other things, one ugly, one just weird, the other sad.

Ugly: A woman shopping in the store that afternoon approached the cashiers. She was clearly angry. She pointed at my nose and shouted out, “Is that terrorist music?!”

Like many organic food stores, we also sold “New Age” books and art and items from many countries and so on and we had literally thousands of CD’s from across the world we played on the speakers. These were popular with customers, from Zydeco to Moroccan flute, etc. These were not “terrorists music” as far as we knew, whatever that is.  The music the woman was yelling about was from Japan. The lamest part is that our boss switched out the CD.

Weird: You could look at our floor-to-ceiling windows and see the gas station across the street. Cars snaked out of the lot and down the street. Honking, engines roaring. People stood outside their cars with jugs and gas cans. This frightened me, the visual. I remember my heart kicking up; I remember saying, “Why are people buying gas? Why is that the response?”

Sad: The clearest thought I recollect is this; “We are now going to enter into perpetual war.” That thought settling on me in a low, cold cloud. That’s all I could think. And, well, here we are.

We should read Spencer Dew’s “Some Themes of the Second Bush Administration.”

It is in wigleaf’s Top 50, first pubbed in Pindeldyboz, and is an example of fiction bringing truth. I found it captivating. I found it made me think of the long day I describe above. So then I had to revisit some of my feelings. I found myself reading Dew’s piece more than once.

I haven’t seen so too many solid short fictions from that time. (There are several book-length works, DeLillo to Updike to JS Froer. And M. Amis did write the one controversial short story from the POV of an actual hijacker [a hell of a story, period]). From that day and all its residue (still with us). I like Dew’s approach. As a writer, he dives in from a slant. He turns the stone in the light. He tosses the stone in the air (it falls back and strikes us in the head). He hops about, close to, afar from the sting–he juxtaposes while mourning. He shows us something,while the something is sliding into, sliding away…Obviously, his milieu here is memory, its kin, trauma.

I said I can remember 9/11/2001, and can not. What? But pieces are missing from that day. My mind did something, maybe shut down? I couldn’t tell you one fact past noon, several hours after the actual event. It’s like a lost echo. A dream where you wake and grasp at curling wisps in the air, crackles…

My thoughts on Spencer Dew’s fine fiction went like this:

I first saw this title and thought, “Oh boy, here we go.” Heavy-handed. Didactic. I was, as is often, wrong. The title is one of three disruptions of our expectations, all colliding in the opening:

1.) Essay-like title [with an expectation of some persuasive argument against easy target Mr. Bush].

2.) A brief anecdote about a news item concerning a Cleveland man wedging his car into the side of a mosque, the man found sobbing and babbling into a phone. (actual news story here)

3.) A note on how the narrator’s girlfriend, Kathryn, “at the time” was translating Sanskrit, specifically the tale of a demon masquerading itself to kill a god by placing sharp teeth around its vagina and seducing the god into having sex. (actual myth here)

A lot of information here, in different forms, data, symbol, thought; mythology with journalistic accounts, rhetoric with character (Kathryn will act as thread to hold this fiction together, and spin it apart). It is an effective and fair beginning to this text. This is that day, that time, the one you dis-remember even now. Can’t quite grasp. Can’t understand, not really. But–in one way or another, you were present.

How did you/I/we respond? Not respond (a response itself)?

The characters seek oblivion: “What I wanted was to drive my car into something solid, a hate crime against myself. I wanted to feel that final smash and puncture, then a clammy blackness, an end. What my girlfriend wanted – she said as much, after she read the thing aloud, her translated passage, straddling me, freshly shaven – was for me to do her that way. If I could make her blackout, that was a plus, she said, just no marks that people could see when she was wearing clothes.”

Then…”October came…”

We move on, don’t we? Uh, no. Nothing moves on, ever. Remember how “Everything is going to change.” Uh, no. Remember how we were told we would no longer hold celebrity and commerce as our own seductive gods, how suddenly the new religion of “reality shows” would fade, shows about reality shows would fade, shows about shows about reality shows would…oh man (of course, we ended up gorging ourselves on more of them, and still do). We were going to be serious America now. Right?

So, October came.

Let me give you the following text as a poem, jump-cuts. Let things accumulate. Let things join and split apart.

chap stick, apple festival, flags

excess of hugging

home gyms, kitchen gadgets, so drunk or stoned

dining

clubbing

coffee drinks, centipedes

On and on. Dew captures it, doesn’t he? He’s grabbing those little wisps of smoke in the air and he’s tying them in knots (for an instant) and they are strumming and licking and he’s weaving them and he’s got his fingers all caught up together and he’s tangled and who-has-who now? And he’s trying for the impossible: memory. Memory. What does it mean?

“Kathryn and I had centipedes at the place we were living, which was her family’s place, massive and nice enough, with views of things that we thought might get blown up next, depending. We had antique furniture, Egyptian cotton sheets, seven shower heads, and centipedes scuttling across the walls or crouched up along the tuck-pointing. We’d see their shadows scurry across the floor. Twice I found them on our bed, running across a pillow, dashing under the sheets.”

Sometimes I write too much of metaphor. I am not going to write too much of metaphor here. I want you to sit with the above passage. I want you to get out a blank sheet of paper and make a note of ever centipede you felt and have felt and will feel about that day.

Time is a lost thing in these words, a skittering gasp.

Before the attacks…

We never visited campus anymore…

She called last week…

There is so much here. I don’t want to discuss it all; I want you to read it all. I think a good fiction is equal to, or maybe more, than a good essay (and maybe the title is coy here, in a smart way). A good fiction, in an infinite variety of methods, styles, ways, brings a feeling, yes, but then an argument and inquiry to the page, an in-depth look at something not fully known. It shakes me, this text, because it makes me think. I still don’t know the answers of that day, but I know more answers. And I don’t mean facts. Oh, facts. I mean fiction, as in human, as in it did happen; as in true.

S




Boondocks Farm Disc Golf Post Thingy Like Pain-Throwers.

If you don’t like disc golf, don’t read this post. I’ll get back to writing topics eventually. Go drink a table, or write a poem on a sheet of water. Something.

I went to Boondocks Farm to pet the sweet corn and buy a llama. They had disc golf. They are run by Christians and will sell you anything. They had a huge wooden cross so I could think about the crucifixion while I played disc golf. They had signs with all types of slogans, like this:

hell

I warmed up with some light calisthenics and fifteen minutes of kick boxing. I opened one of two Budweiser. It tasted good to me. The can sweated and I sweated and thought about beginning.

Hole 1 (244 feet) I threw the disc like a radio show. It almost went into the basket. I was now one under par. My ribs did a happy, sticky laugh. I felt like I owned something.

hole 1

Entry shot into hole one. A great pin placement. My disc is right behind the basket in that clump of bread soup.

Hole 2 is 221 feet uphill. The photo I took was so fucking professional your retinas would explode into dust right now. So I won’t post it. I threw the disc way past the hole on my drive and had to settle for grainy porridge. A wasp stung me on the ass, left cheek.

I screamed out, “Holy Mr. Kenny Toes!” Then calmed down and thought about buying a salve.

Hole 3 is a 331 foot gnu. Nasty. There are pens behind it full of condemned animals with very small lives left on the planet Earth. All around the pens are these giant blue barrels that frighten me. Teethy woods on right. Out-of-bounds corn on the left, but who is going to throw it there?

hole 3

Prepare to launch!

corn

Crap. I bogey and am back to even, balanced, neck to neck parallel. I mean par. Now I feel purposeless, like a lost ant. I rip off an ear of corn and throw it into a low cloud. An incredibly red beetle bites my ankle.

Hole 4 352 feet.

Uncorked my new X Step here and BOMB one into a thorny ravine. My disc lands 25 feet from the basket and possibly the longest drive I have cater-cranked this year. I dig my disc out of the crunk and get three thorns in the fleshy part of my right hand. Blood. I miss the putt. I curse everyone I don’t know. Par.

Hole 5 I took a photo of the tee sign, as metaphorical possibility. See how it’s all peeling and flaked and kind of Sally? A lot of Boondocks is like that. I came out here one time and hole 14 had a giant cooler of rotting meat in the center of the fairway. Another time hole 15 held three caskets. I shit you not.

hole 5

(Who is Jeff?)

I par the hole. It is a L to R tucked into people camping or something. I see a cat eating a blue jay. You can tell it’s a farm cat because I whistle and it takes off running. I stub my toe on a house of bees. There are a lot of bee houses but no bees inside. I have heard all the bees are dying in the U.S. This might be true.

Hole 6 is major Kelly Clarkson! Why? Because you can try to shoot the chute with a mid-range like Alice, or go big-ass Hyzer bomb bottled ice code-talking driver over the top. I go big code-talk, clip a limb, but land near the basket, in a kidney of darkness. I dig out my Wraith, miss the putt. Sigh. Still par.

hole 66

(How cool is this hole? Can you see the routes?)

Hole 7 is a big ol’ 290 L to R with out of bounds like spots on sun. This is the last field hole before we ENTER THE FOREST!

I drive it here with a forehand, thank you very little.

hole 7

I miss the putt. I thought I was supposed to be getting better at putting?

HEY EVERYONE HOLE EIGHT IS OVER HERE!! Can you see it? Oh look, the tee pad is about ten feet behind the helpful sign telling you where the tee pad is….Hey everyone we think you might be stupid or something! Whipeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

hole 8

Where is hole 8? Oh, there it is.

Forest, woods, gnurkly, tech, tech tech. I love tech! I park my drive by a deer stand.

deer one

Par this hole easily. Since we now enter my favorite part of the course, I do a little elven dance and drink my second Budweiser. I am now ready to humor like Kafka. My shins are bleeding.

Hole 9 is a 220 techy dream. If you don’t have a hammer shot, get one. This is the type of D golf I prefer.

hole 9

Can you see the basket? I go all magic Sophie and hammer a birdie for back to one under. Word.

Hole 10 is a 200 foot L to R upshot. I throw into Cher’s bodysuit, but recover well and par.

Hole 11 some jack-ass put a fuse box in the fairway. There basically is no fairway. I was tempted to go to Walmart on that fuse box like Ander Monson did once in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The hole drops away at the ending, into a deep cavern-like area. Could be cool as silverfish if a jack-ass had not, you know, you know, put a fuse box in the fairway.

fuse box 11

Hole 12 (235 feet) is a nasty little shot down a steep and narrow cutaway. This be tech like community college, folks.

12 chute

Wow. I throw a tad bit high, to my disappointment. Being able to release at a low and odd angle when at elevation is a tech skill, and I pride myself on tech skillzzage. Not this time. I can’t find my disc. I can’t find my blue baby-baby Beast! Argh..stumble, crumble, hot hot, thorns and stinging nettle, fucking ticks, argh, thorn, tumble into stump, stagger, swat, sweat, swat, sweat, argh…

lost beast

Never mind. Found it. It is actually OK. Par.

Hole 13 is a crazy tech hole. I chunk my approach into the lettuce but then make this uphill putt for par. Whew. Still at 1- for the day.

made putt

(putter in basket, word)

Hole 14 is another 220 feet tech chute. I par.

Hole 15 is a glide of nachos! Love this hole. A blind tech shot over a massive ravine. The best thing to do is hammer like Rob and listen for chains!

hammer 15

hammer result

I told you….Now I’m -2.

Hole 16 is disgusting. Long techy, and has a huge overgrown shrub right in front of the tee pad. I see another cat, with a lizard in its jaws. Cat gives me a look like maybe I’m the one destroying the delicate predator/prey symbiosis of the local ecology. Cats. What can you do? I par.

Hole 17 has a cabin and a wheelchair and a hot tub sitting on the fucking tee pad. Christian farmers are crazy.

wheelchair tub

I have an urge to sit in the wheelchair but I find it to be really bad karma to go around sitting in wheelchairs. I par.

Hole 18 is impossible. There is no fairway. I’m not even sure if this is tech. What is this?

hole 18

I try a hammer. It bounces off the forehead of a tree, off a tractor tire, off a bridge with its back broken like a chicken bone, then lands here:

18 weeds

Hell actually is a bad place to visit. But I get out of here, and par. Two under for the day, people. I feel so good like woven eggs in a basket of remediation.

Boondocks, I love you. Your cross is a big cross, my friends, and I thank you muchly. I will now go apply various salves to my various wounds. I am holy.

cross

Self Improvement Week Day Four, READ BOOKS PLAY DISC GOLF

bilde

I am reading books and playing disc golf and reading books and playing…

This morning I read The Business of Books by Andre Schiffrin. It be fascinating and sad.

I finished the draft of my essay about fortune, destiny, and happiness. The essay includes a kid with gigantic eyeglasses and also jager shots. I give it a 5.

NOTE THE SWEET DIAGRAM SHIRT I AM WEARING!! Get your own here.

tshirt-dpd-small

*

S

*

Does the internet make us only read the material we want? Like, years ago, to read SPORTS, we had to at least glimpse a paper (actual paper, yo, I know yawn, Papyrus, etc. ) full of news and life and classifieds, whatever, etc. Now, you surf online to site-2-site, all of them interested in what you are interested in, relatively (that’s why you clicked there). So then years pass and your worldview is narrowed? Note the question mark. Does this make sense? I keep wondering am I living a media life where I only read online what I already like? Am I seeking out ideas I already have formed?

It’s weird, people.

That’s not growth.

I want to address this later. I am going all post-lite tonight. Tired. Have this excellent bottle of llama I will soon drink.

Been self-improving all week. Well, knackered.

*

What? I just got bad generational news: director John Hughes died. I am going into a mini-depression for a short while. I don’t even like movies very much, but I will enter an 80’s cocoon for a short while.

So:

EAT MY SHORTS.

Any parent forgetting their kid’s birthday rocks!!

ETC.

(Sixteen Candles so connected with me. My mom elevates her kid’s Bdays into national holidays (in our/my own small mind). So what? It means I should recognize my mom, as Good Person. The movie taught me that. And I still feel that way today. My mom doesn’t “remember” her kid’s Bdays. She fucking explodes shit and throws Coke cans and Jessica Simpsons at joggers and wakes you with nachos.)

Time to watch every cheesy movie I own 2night. 1980s. Oh, the people who do not know, do not know, do not know that glittery/Atari/Leg Warmers/Koosh Balls/Friendship Bracelet/ Valley Girl/Pee Wee Herman/Pac-Man/ Snow Lights/Depeche Mode, on and on and on on and on and on……………………………………………….: the 1980s.

Gladly.

S

Self Improvement Week Day Three, RANDOM ACTS KINDNESS.

OK, people, if you didn’t fast for a day, fine. Neither did I. I FAILED (caps generally mean emphasis). Read the earlier blog post; we can parse words, but I failed.

That’s fine.

happy-birthday

And maybe you didn’t exercise yesterday, day two of trying to be better. I did. That hurt me, in the buttocks (a funny word. What makes one word funnier than another?) and kidney, a bit too much exercise. I did it, yes, and WHEW, but I have no problem that you did not, though if we met at a party with hardwood floors I can’t discuss marathons with you now.  Or pain. A major interest of mine at a party is the ability to discuss marathons or pain. But C’est la vie.

BUT PAY ATTENTION NOW!!

This is a BIG DAY. Do this. I have a lot of work/learning to edit/lame writing try/study to do  today, but am going to weave in a world that helps others. What if we all had a day like this, on the same day? Maybe the Earth shivers? We drop a giant red spot/storm on the Jupiter of Do-Nothing. The Saturn of Why-Can’t-I-Do-A-Little-Thing, with its rings of Why-Try?

What’s up with the planet metaphors? Shut-up, Sean.

Let’s begin. Here is how I roll today, with updates:

1.) Mail random cards with uplifting sayings. I mailed three cards before leaving the house. I just randomly selected three addresses from the phone book.

DSC01132

OK, I am putting these in the mail. More later. This day will blossom.

*

2.) I went to the school nearby and stopped my car and dumped all the change from my ashtray on the ground. I was thinking about how good I felt as a kid whenever I would find money. A happy glow like Kelly Clarkson. I am hoping someone finds this money and uses it for cigarettes or candy or maybe to buy the month of July and then rent the month of July out to people.

DSC01133

3.) I then went into a vending area near the university and placed a dollar in every machine. Then I left. Now when people approach the machines later today they will be surprised to get free drinks and food. This will make them think they are lucky. I think to feel lucky for a second will make them believe in dolphins or something.

bjenj_b16

More later. I need to go edit an essay I wrote about bathtubs.

*

OK. It is early evening. Let’s continue.

4.) I went to Burger King. Go to Burger King and get a veggie burger. If we do not eat the veggie burgers, they will go away. Support the veggie burger.

(Yes the very burger Heather Mills was paid SIX MILLION dollars to promote. Damn! It’s good but not that good.)

I told the woman, “The car behind me. I want to pay for their meal, too.”

“What?” she said.

“Put the car behind me’s meal on my bill.”

“Why?”

“Why? Because I want to.”

“I can’t do that,” she said.

“What? Why not?”

“You’ll have to park and come back.”

“What? Just run my card twice. Pay my meal then pay for theirs.”

“I need to talk to my manager.”

(I almost yelled at the woman here, then thought: calm, calm, Sean. How can you be kind all day and then yell at someone?)

Manager: “Why would you want to pay for someone’s meal?”

(BTW, the wait is getting long. So I am angering people behind me. This kindness thing can blow right up in your face, folks.)

Me: “No reason. I just want to randomly do something kind. That’s it.”

Manager gives me a look like my head is made of Velveeta. She looks at the line of cars. Obviously, this is a new situation for her and it’s gonna take judgment. But, come on, she’s a manager. Manage!

Me: “Why can’t you just run my bill? Then just run the one behind me.”

Manager: “I guess we can do that.”

They do. Finally.

BK

These people in the red car got a free meal today. The lady had on those big-ass dark Darth Vader glasses people wear when they are old, or just back from eye dilation.

5.) There is an overgrown trail people take. People hate that it is overgrown. They keep saying, “Why don’t the city ever clean out this trail?”

Here is the before pic of the trail:

before

BEFORE.

Now I show up with a machete and go all Tonya Harding on that shit.WHACK WHACK. Oh, it felt good but I kept looking around for cops. This is a busy area. I am wielding a huge sword on city of Muncie property.

after

AFTER. Now people can walk through without itching.

Well, wow, that’s enough for today I think. I am going to eat nachos now.

S