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The MLB All-Star game is coming far too late this year. It ought to be as close to the midpoint of the season as possible. You want to look at a guy with 16 home runs and 52 RBI and think, "hmmm, he's slated for 32 home runs and 104 driven in."

I must be getting in pretty good shape now. 777 days without a drink. Call Northside. No one is going to get that joke. Call Northside 777. Punchy little noir from 1948 with James Stewart. He didn't do much noir work.

Yesterday I ran three miles, walked ten, and climbed the Monument five times. I also took in a screening of Hereditary. It was execrable. There is no movie there. In baseball, there is a term: a dead ass team. That means a team with no life in it. Cinema is dead ass, presently. I was going to say that it's not worth saying anything about this garbage, but it occurred to me that it's worth writing about why it's not worth saying anything about this garbage, so I'll likely do that and try to sell the piece. The vogue these days is for films that have no point, no direction, that toss in a lot of random bits that have nothing to do with anything in the picture, which is so lazy, because they expect the sheep--and the sheep oblige--to say, "Wow! This is so deep!" People are confusing absolute dreck/shit that has no business trying to be a film with substance. One of the worst things in our culture. You see it in publishing with these awful writers--and we'll soon be talking about some of them specifically--with absolutely nothing to say, who bully people into being in their little following, with work that has zero value, zero need to look at it for a second. But some publishing people pretend there's something in it. (The noxious Literary Citizen unwell person-so-desperate-for-community/belonging/fake acceptance culture has something to do with this, too.) There is more in whatever goes down your drain when you take a shower. Hereditary is a film that if it came out in 1974, it would just be some shitty horror movie you went to because it was playing and you were bored on a Friday night in a small town, and you had seen 200 other shitty horror films like it, and would again. But now, it's supposed to be buzzy. There's nothing there. I'll go into it more later.

Prior to the screening, I took in two new exhibits at the MFA, both wonderful. One centers on painting during the time and place of Casanova. This is Francois Boucher's Are They Thinking About the Grape? from 1747. No, they are not!

The other exhibit was of French pastels. How I enjoyed this. Pastels, like watercolors, are a favorite medium of mine. Lots of Degas, also lots of Millet, whom I referenced in a recent Rolling Stone piece (I would imagine Millet has never been referenced in Rolling Stone, but who knows). Some Millet pastels here:

This is the bar at the Boston Common Theatre. I wonder how many people get this reference? (Hitchcock, by the way.)

Yesterday on my run, I was going past two guys, normally dressed, like tourists, outside a bathroom kiosk. Heavyset guy steps towards me, as I’m running, and rudely asks (more like demands) me for a dollar in order to open the kiosk. This works out as you’d expect. As I continue on, the guy says, “See, everyone is an asshole here, like that fucking dick.” You know...So now I have to stop, run in place, and opine that maybe he should have dispensed with that fifth tureen of nachos last night. I don't get this. I don't get the flagrant toxicity. Well, I do: people are horrible. A good person is truly hard to find. A truly good person. But on top of that, I'm a tall guy, solidly built, I look like I'm training for something, and if we're talking a deep, penetrative gaze, well, sometimes I'll catch my own reflection in a window when I'm walking and I'll do a double-take upon seeing my eyes. The night before, a forty-two-year-old woman, on a dating app, who has two kids--not that I'm keen to date someone with kids--and who teaches at Northeastern must have got into the wine, because she writes me, and since I say that I don't really want to get one word notes from people--you know, a stock "Hey"--as a means of first contact, she tells me to get a gun and shoot myself. Out of the blue. Not a word from me. Decides to send that to a perfect stranger. Not uncommon. But men are the worst, right? Some news: men aren't the worst. Women aren't the worst. People are people, regardless of their gender, and it's pretty lousy on both sides of the ledger right now. People are people are people are people are people. It's the fashion to hunt men right now. Granted, they can suck. Obviously. Underline that. Color it bright red. Render it in 3-D. But they don't suck any more, on balance, than any other group you care to name. Hamburglars, for f's sake. I have a memoir coming down the pike. We'll talk about what some people have done. It's time to bring back being human. Being a flawed person, being open about that, growing, not pretending that your life is always a magic carpet ride to Happy Land. And I'm here to help bring back being human. With my work, with my life, with how my life will be out there. In work--art--that is as far removed from the kind of work I mentioned above as Neptune is from your Facebook feed, and back again, and back again, and back again, perpetually. Not measurable. Just real.

Today I got up and set off on a thirteen mile walk, because part of what I do these days is keep myself fit to outlast the people in publishing who seek to suppress me, blacklist me, make sure I'm nominated for nothing, don't get reviewed, etc. My intention was to do all of the stairs at Harvard Stadium near the midpoint of my walk, before heading deeper into Cambridge to Mt. Auburn Cemetery. But upon scouting said stadium, I concluded it was too easy to wreck, especially if you don't have small feet (tiny steps to descend down). I can't afford to have my hands get hurt with what I do. I'm also scared of heights. (Also, sharp things. I've never shaved with a non-electric razor. I'll freak.) Which doesn't bother me in the Monument, because I'm enclosed. Actually, I'm like a daredevil in the Monument. I haul coming down. People go gingerly, scared to fall, clinging to the rail, but there I come, bombin down from the top, bouncing pretty freely. I feel at home inside that bad boy. But coming down steps in an open space, the ground kind of rushes up towards me, and I can get a little wobbly, I figure. Didn't wish to chance it. I could have walked the steps of each of the thirty-seven sections, as a lot of people were doing--one woman was bellowing out Oasis' "Wonderwall" as she went--but with where I'm at right now, cardiovascularly, that would have been diminished returns. So, I continued on to Mt. Auburn Cemetery, took this photo of Boston from the top of the tower there:

Then walked all the way back home, upon acquiring a lavender latte--had never heard of such a thing; muy delicioso!--and picking up some preseason NFL and college football publications, and thought I'd test myself by doing five Monument climbs after walking thirteen miles. That went well--no problem. So, for the weekend, three miles ran, twenty-three walked, ten climbs. Decent.

And now I will venture back to the Starbucks and read some more of this, which I was cherry picking through last night. It's one of my favorite ballet tomes. How I love ballet. Not only is this a great book, but if you're new to reading about ballet, it will tip you off to books in full that you should check out (given that a lot of what is in here takes the form of excerpts).

I think I had something come out in Salon on the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, but I haven't checked. You're going to see a lot coming out in a short amount of time, and, more than that, a lot is going to be created in a short amount of time, because I can feel my abilities getting stronger again.


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