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Friday, September 11, 2009

Word of the Day!

fecund [fee-kuhnd, -kuhnd, fek-uhnd, -uhnd]
-adjective
1. producing or capable of producing offspring, fruit, vegetation, etc., in abundance; prolific; fruitful: fecund parents; fecund farmland.
2. very productive or creative intellectually: the fecund years of the Italian Renaissance.

You Lied!

Now, I don't intend this blog to be extremely controversial or political but I feel like having a blog in modern America and not mentioning the Healthcare debate is a little like dining with a bunch of naked people and making a point to only talk about the relative scrumptiousness of the potato salad. So, rather than regale you with my highly intellectual and astute observations on the whole matter I'm choosing rather to offer you the intellectual and astute observations of people that actually get paid to observe these sorts of things.

*In this piece Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone talks about all the ways all 5 of the healthcare bills in front of Congress are complete jokes and will only screw the American people in the end. Furthermore he contends that the "debate" over the healthcare bills pretty much signals the end of American Democracy as we know it. So, all in all, a pretty upbeat piece.

*On the flipside, David Goldhill of Atlantic Monthly talks about the current Healthcare bills and the ways in which a public option won't actually solve anything. He posits a decidedly more conservative--and radical--solution than any before Congress right now...do away with insurance altogether and let the Market sort it out.

*For those of you who are concerned I have neglected to offer a defense of the Public Option** just go to the New York Times Op/Ed page just about anyday of the week for a good defense.



**Which is, BTW, my personal solution of choice, given my understanding of all the options floating around out there.

On the Plains of Marathon

So recently I decided, amongst other things, to start training for a marathon. Of course I'm not training in the traditional sense of like following an actual regime or hiring a trainer to wake me up with blowing whistles at 5 in the am or even signing up for an actual marathon so that if I don't do it I will feel really bad about myself. Instead, I've decided to go about completing this little Bucket Listian achievement in my normal Tres-Crow-half-assed manner by running a little bit more every week until I can eventually run 24 miles in one go. I'm not even sure I have any intention of ever actually running a marathon with like other people; I'm much more interested in simply doing it, for myself. Running is such an individual activity--a lot like writing actually*--and the goal of running a marathon is such a personalized goal that it seems sort of weird to desire the gaze of other people while I do it. I mean, what are they going to say that will make it more worthwhile to me than the exhausted euphoria I will already feel? Will they like clap me on the back and go, "Good job with all that arm-pumping and leg-thrusting and sweating and grunting and thought-thinking." and then suddenly I will feel even better? I dunno. Thoughts?

Anyway, the point of all this exposition is to introduce you, dear reader, to another new feature of DEC--The Plains of Marathon--in which I will update you weekly on my progress and even let you know when I will actually be attempting my Great Run so you can come cheer me on (ah, there I go, already belying my deep-seated desire to have the approval of others) or wish me luck via Twitter or Facebook or thought bubbles or whatever means you see fit for cheering others on.

So, without further ado, I present to you "On the Plains of Marathon".

Week One:
Goal: To run 3 miles per day, culminating in a long run of 4 miles on Saturday, 12 September, 2009

Mile Total: 19
Actual Miles Run: 9 (it's only Friday people, so I haven't done the 4 mile run yet)

End notes: So, as you can see this whole Marathon-running goal has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start, but in my defense I have had to contend this week with a slew of time-consuming distractions that have kept me from my work-outs. The main distraction has been the recent development w/r/t my 3-and-a-half-month-old son, Collins, who lately discovered the joys of rolling over and now takes it upon himself to do a tumbling routine everytime he's laid on his back. It's really cute, natch, but it's also terrifying when you lay him down, step away for about 2.5 seconds and come back to find him about 5 feet away from where you just laid him. And, of course, he thinks it's the funniest thing ever to scare the bejeesus out of OC and me. The whole time he's got his big ole' toothless grin beaming up at us so that no matter how terrified we are we can't possibly be mad at him. We are the fiddle's strings and he is the Devil's highly-trained fingers, to turn a well-known phrase.

But all this relates to my marathon training because apparently his tumbling practice isn't just a day-time activity. No, he really wants to be good at this so he practices all night in his crib too, and his crib, being only a 3x5 foot box of wood essentially, is not an ideal place for high-skill-level acrobatic training so every few hours my little gymnast wakes up because he has wiggled himself into an uncomfortable face-in-wooden-slat sleeping position, which in turn wakes me up because I am evolutionarily incapable of letting my own son yell for very long without turning into a wild save-my-child-at-any-cost-type animal. So, after waking up several times throughout the night to soothe/congratulate Collins I find myself mysteriously disinterested in getting up at 6 in the am to go for a 3 mile jog before work.

And after work a strange inversion of the night-time practice sessions occurs, in that I find myself so missing the little guy, after nearly 10 hours away from him, that I have this compulsive urge to eschew my marathon-practicing duties for a little tumbling action in the living room in Schmoo-pie.

So, while this is all just an excuse, at least my excuse is really adorable and keeps me thoroughly entertained day and night. Check back next week to see whether I conquer the Cutie-pie-Demon and actually do the running I'm supposed to do.


Week Two
Goal: To run 4 miles per day, culminating in a long run of 5 miles on Saturday, 19 September, 2009

Mile Total: 25


*Since the stated objective of this blog is to discuss any topic related to the expression/dissemination/absorption of creativity with special attention paid to how it relates to my goal of becoming a fabulously wealthy fiction author, I figured this post falls under the rubric of the previously stated goal because getting in marathon shape: gives me lots of time to think about stories and the means of creating them, works my body and mind into a more healthily unified fiction-creating factory, and also will hopefully make me look sexier in promo photos for the dust jacket of my first New York Times bestselling novel and the subsequent rave reviews in People, Esquire, and Playboy magazines. The essential question being: If sex sells then what do beards do?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Word of the Day!

What writer worth his salt doesn't love words? The endless array of sounds as they roll off the tongue and the eyes and the cortex. The myriad definitions and the subtle ways those definitions can be bent and combined in order to create levels upon levels of understanding. Words are the alveoli that allow every story to breathe life and to grow and to thrive, and without them...well, there would be no stories, would there? So, in honor of these most humble of literary devices I will dedicate daily an equally humble, but important, slice of DEC to bringing another beautiful, incredible word to center stage.

Today's word:

refulgent [ri-fuhl-juhnt]
-adjective
shining brightly; radiant; gleaming: Crystal chandeliers and gilded walls made the opera house a refulgent setting for the ball.