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Class notes

Sunday 7/18/21

I read through all of "Girls of the Nimbus," made a few minor changes, a couple points of clarification. A small amount of fine-tuning for something that needed very little of it. An unbelievably powerful work.


Someone said to me, speaking of Granta, "Even if they didn't hate you, how could they put your work next to any of the work they run? It's so different than all of it. There's no comparison. It stands out so much. They don't know what to do with that."


Someone else said: "So many of these places are like stores selling shit, and along you come with the bottle of perfume, and they refuse to stock it, they hate you for having it, and they dash it to the ground, even as they lose money because no one wants the shit, and they become increasingly irrelevant, if that's even possible with some of them. When what they should be doing is being grateful that they've been offered something amazing that can help lead to much better things."


I ran 3000 stairs.


Today marks 1848 days, or 264 weeks, without a drink. I saw a study that essentially said that if you drink, you're far more likely to get the cancer. The numbers were diabolical. Then the researchers added that the numbers were probably even higher, because the study didn't factor in people who used to drink but then gave it up. Which obviously worried me. But whatever--hopefully I didn't do that kind of damage. I will certainly never drink again. I should re-double my efforts with the lemon water and the milk thistle pills.


Things that bother me that shouldn't: this guy today in a winter coat, with a porn 'stache, sitting on the side of the stairs the entire time I was running them, playing with his phone. Something else: a different guy yesterday, standing at the top of the stairs the entire time I was running them, doing nothing, his enormous belly hanging out from under his shirt, no attempt to even cover it. Something else: the woman who tends to the hallways in the building singing loudly, oblivious to the existence of anyone else, off-key, like she's drunk out of her mind. And lastly: the guy yesterday at the CVS, with music playing so loud on some kind of contraption fastened to his belt. And truly awful music at that. It's never like Miles Davis's Porgy and Bess, is it?


Pitched something on that upcoming Mets docu-series.


The things people report to the college alumni magazine--which then show up in the class notes--are totally bizarre to me. "He was recently cited in the Chicago Tribune." Okay. "Sally Cunningham enjoyed a ski weekend in Aspen with some friends." Um, all right. "Reggie Owens enjoys fishing for brown trout and following those Red Sox." You have to report these things to someone. You're sitting there, and you decide to email the individual who puts together the class notes for your class. "Tell them about this," you say. Absolutely blows my mind. One of them reads, "Thomas Sawyer would like you to know he is still married, still employed, and still alive despite the pandemic!" A forty-six-year-old man actually thought, "I know, I should send an email saying I'm still alive despite the pandemic, that can go in the class notes!" The P.S. was funny, though: "And yes, he still loves anal!"


The first Thomas Sawyer quote was an actual verbatim quote. You'd have to ask him about the anal.


Ah, the emptiness of most human lives.


Something I notice in these notes: people retire far too early. They don't have any interests, and then they die. Never retire unless you have passions. Relaxing or taking it easy is not a passion. Sitting on your ass is not a passion. It's quite stunning to me how early these people retire, and then how early they subsequently expire. But I also think, "what did you expect to happen?" Laziness kills, and so does lack of purpose. The latter kills over the majority of a person's life, and helps get them earlier than they otherwise might have been gotten.


I'll be ninety-seven if this ever changes for me and I don't kill myself and I'll be right here in these pages documenting the masterpiece I wrote that morning.


The common beaver has greater purpose than the average human.


Feels like a good 30% of the sports posts on Twitter are about officiating. I will share a truism of life: rarely is it the refs' fault.


Watched Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962). Mildly amusing. Best sequence was when Jimmy Stewart was out boating with his boy and the fog comes in and the weather gets rough and there's real alarm whether they'll make it back. Actually, the taking of said vacation could have gone into some class notes.