De nuevo

17 October 2013

I’m resuscitating this online journal (I’ve always hated the word “blog”) for two primary reasons.  First, I feel I’m on the cusp of actually becoming decent at this trail running thing.  Half the fun of running these races when you have no chance of winning – well, maybe a third – is drafting the blow-by-blow race report.  All the talented runners blog their race reports; if I blog my race reports, I’ll be a talented runner.  QED?  It’s probably too late for Oil Creek, but Mountain Masochist is right around the corner.

Second, the arrival of my thirtieth birthday today gave me a renewed sense of adventure.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but I feel like I’ve got a lot of energy I want to burn in the next five years or so.  Next up is the trip to Colombia with some high-altitude trekking, but also on the list are a R2R2R, a Presidential Traverse, some Fourteeners, a re-creation with Kevin of the Chesapeake Bay kayaking trip he did a few years back, and a Fiesta de San Fermin.  God willing, I might even accompany Grant on one of his Alaskan expeditions someday.  Proper adventures require proper narratives.  I’ve been inspired by a lot of the books I’ve read lately – Annapurna, City of Djinns, the Paddy Fermor and Wilfred Thesiger biographies – and hope to do similar justice to my own excursions.  

I might occasionally write about other interests – language, the elite trail racing scene, music and such – but I’ll try (try!) to keep my reactionary politics and social observations to myself.  These previous posts below are just as pretentious, but not nearly as embarrassing overall, as I had feared.  Much like my Twitter habits, I don’t care so much that these posts may never be read, so long as they get written.  


Guilty as charged

23 October 2009

…while a love for Hemingway belies a weakness for the sauce.

Fun article though.

Drama City

23 October 2009

In keeping with the theme of making non-controversial statements on this public space, I’ll post the following paragraph with only minimal comment.

Anyone who’s lived in D.C. is aware of the city’s dirty secret: it essentially operates under an unwritten form of apartheid that the wealthy northwest rarely engages with the swathe of low income people who share their city.* In general, affluent, college-educated white folks with decent, steady incomes are clustered in the northwest quadrant. Their needs are serviced by a massive underclass, consisting largely of underprivileged immigrants, African-Americans, and Hispanics, that inhabits the remaining three quarters. Visitors to the city rarely glimpse this side of the city because there’s little reason to venture beyond the fancy hotels, restaurants, and attractions.


Suffice it to say, I think this is rubbish.


11 October 2009

I finally watched Machuca, after intending to do so for some time now.  I was very impressed, but, as always, I find it impossible to disentangle my critical faculties from the strong feelings of nostalgia I have for Chile.  (Hearing that Chilean dialect – so frustrating to master – is always music to my ears.  I recall how I ridiculously excited I got on my old bus route whenever I heard a Chilean drop a “po” into conversation.)

Here’s the New York Times review from 2005.  One thing I’d add is the impressive cinematography of the film, at least to this uninformed observer.  One scene that stood out was the one in which Gaston received his comeuppance from one of the slum students in the schoolyard.

The coup of 1973 is difficult to address in a completely even-handed manner, and I agree with the Times reviewer that the director did an admirable job despite his obvious sympathies.

We are alive in marvelous times

9 October 2009

…for DC hip hop at least.  Diamond District is re-releasing their excellent album In the Ruff.  I was just listening to the clean version earlier today but I’ll definitely pay for a legit copy.

Me Talk Pretty One Day

6 October 2009

My last post considered an expansion of the language; here, The Economist seeks to correct some common mistaken allusions.

(I admit that I’m a too-frequent transgressor.)

A Very Important Lexicographical Development

6 October 2009

See here.

And don’t forget to feed the fish.

The Art of War

20 September 2009

I suppose I could spend tonight studying the factual issues for tomorrow’s debate, but I’d much rather study Schopenhauer’s Thirty-Eight Ways to Win an Argument.

Numbers 8, 29, and 38 are particularly appealing.


15 September 2009

Must resist temptation to quote Frost.

Read the rest of this entry »

Exercises in Poor Journalism

12 September 2009

This article, subtitled “[South Carolina] Has a History of Rowdy Politics, neglects to mention the mother of all South Carolinian altercations.