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Posts tagged ‘writing life’

chasing bike racers


Wiggins downplayed the perception that there is conflict between Froome and him. “We’re just two very competitive guys going for the same spot,” he said. He also acknowledged the team’s attention has switched away from him to Froome. “I don’t want to say I was abandoned, I think that’s the wrong word,” Wiggins said. “But I look after myself now and I go out and train and stop at garages and fill up water bottles and things like that.” — Wiggins captures California, unsure of what lies ahead.

the atlantic on women writers

The rarity of spouses like Vladimir Nabokov’s, who dedicated her life to supporting his career, may be hindering gender parity in literature.

Women writers can’t get ahead, because they don’t have a wife to help them out, says a story in the Atlantic. Vera Nabokov is the example the story uses of a woman who dedicated her life to her partner’s art. She edited Nabokov’s work – including the famous Lolita, sorted the bills, and ran the household.

There’s an element of truth to this argument: Writers are more productive if all they have to do is write. Certainly, I saw plenty of partnerships like this in academics. The men steadily ascended the academic ladder, publishing and doing research, while their wives kept the house and raised the family.

In a few rare cases, I met women whose male partners provided similar support. These women wrote and researched and went to conferences, and generally did all the things required for academic success, while their men stayed home, did the laundry, and got the kids to school on time.

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I didn’t write today

A Russian novelist, whose name completely escapes me at just this moment, once published a collection of journal entries, letters, half-written stories, and other fragments. He called it, I didn’t write today, as it included all the things he’d written when he wasn’t really writing. He should have had a blog.

I didn’t write today either. I did laundry, went to the bank, paid some bills, went to the gym. I opened the file containing my current project. Then, I opened the internet. Maybe I shouldn’t have paid the internet bill. Maybe I’d actually write something if they turned it off.

People seem to like to tell John and I their stories. We were at the beach this weekend, and a pair of older men struck up a conversation.

“In 1950, I was in Santa Monica,” the first one said in a still-heavy New Jersey accent. “I’d just gotten out of the service. We used to body surf at Santa Monica.”

The other started to say something.

“No, don’t interrupt. I’m telling my story. New Yorkers!” said the Jersey boy, rolling his eyes. “I came from Jersey, I’d been the Shore, but it was nothing like this,” he said, gesturing toward the water. “I’d never seen anything like California. The guys in Santa Monica, they used to put on long underwear, the tops, you know, so they could stay in the water longer. We didn’t have wet suits yet.”

He’d been in California for over 50 years, and he still held his accent. In 1950, he would have been in the Pacific War, and perhaps also Korea.

“In 1947,” said the New Yorker, “I was in Waikiki.” He was also in the service, probably at Pearl and almost certainly in the Pacific War. “I rented a surf board. In those days, they were big. It must have weighed eighty pounds. The Hawaiian guys, they yelled at me to get out of the way. I was small, a little guy. I surfed all day. The next day, I was sore all over. I could barely move.”


Ich bin ein Berliner. I am a jelly donut.

The letters are wearing off my keyboard. There’s a blurry black splotch where the n is supposed to be. Same with the e, and the s, d, and c are catching up real quicklike. This is a regular occurence in my life, almost as regular as the wearing out of chains, cassettes, and other shiny moving parts made in Italy. For a while, I had a keyboard that had hardly any letters left at all. I could see all the numbers and those funky function keys, but no letters. This one’s still got some life left in it, though. It looks well-used, broken in, like a favorite pair of jeans with the perfect rip just starting to show in the knee.

Letters, shmetters.

Saturday, someone told me I’m funnier in blogworld than in real life. Funny? This blog thingy is serious business, dammit. Of course, if I were to be funny, it certainly would never happen before 10.00 am. Just because I’m riding my bike doesn’t mean I’m actually awake.

Pass the espresso. Yes, thank you, I’ll have another.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of two hours from home on Saturday’s ride, I broke my zipper. Of the lengthy list of things that can break on a bike ride, the jersey zipper ranks relatively low on the severity scale, somewhere between funny and annoying and a long way from expensive and catastropic. One does not, after all, have to walk home with a broken zipper. Nor is a cell phone necessary. But the weather was a tad on the chillier side of warm and while a base layer works really nice as, erm, a base layer, it did not work nearly so well as an only layer. My boobies froze.
Where was the old man standing by the side of the road with his Gazzetta? I needed that guy.
Spare tube? Check. C02? Check. Bonk money? Check. Safety pins? Um…

Shopping list:
Safety Pins.
Full-zip long-sleeve jersey.

That should just about cover it.

Blame the Cat

Cycling Revealed has begun their annual winter trivia game.
New questions show up every week until February.

So trivial.

I scored 7 points out of 15 on this week’s edition. Some of the questions
are like kinda hard and stuff. They’re grading on a curve, right?

Yes. I am a total dork. But you like so totally knew that already.

I had big plans for this post. I was going to write something witty, profound, even earthshatteringly brilliant.
But my cat is sleeping on my arm. I really can’t type so well. Which puts brilliance a little out of reach.

It’s always the cat’s fault.