Cactuseaters readers in the news, episode II

It’s time for installment two of “Cactuseaters Readers in the News,” in which you, the readers, step out of the shadows and talk about yourselves. Send in a brief bio of what you are up to, and what you are working on and I will try to cram it into a “digest” column that will appear anytime between two weeks and a month, depending on whether you are forthcoming and bold (or shy and reticent.) Feel free to send in whatever you like — just keep in mind that this isn’t an advertising site, so I won’t let you hawk bamboo steamers, cleaning solvents, etc, through Cactuseaters. Keep them rolling in!

Marathon aftermath (I can’t stand up)

My legs feel like they are made of warm gelatin. I can barely move. Part of the problem is the run itself. Part of the problem is what I consumed on Sunday while running up and down through the entire city: about 10 tablespoons worth of sugar, one Starbucks coffee in a can (with artificial sweeteners), four bananas, 10 gloopy carbohydrate blocks and two packets of coffee-bean-shaped instant energy boosters. I feel like Keith Richards in 1973. Nevertheless, I have zero regrets. I’m planning to run at least one more before the year is out. (marathons are addictive; once you start, you really can’t stop)

A runner’s lament: “Man, I wish I was stoned.”

Well, I managed to finished the SF Marathon. I had a nice time, although I practically crawled the thing. I could tell, from the first mile, that it just wasn’t happening for me this time. My legs felt heavy even in that first stretch along the Embarcardero. The Golden Gate Bridge was spooky and fogged in, but it slowed me down even more — it was a real traffic jam in there. Although I went quite slowly and hit The Wall the entire time, there were many highlights: 1. The man trying to hand out free Bloody Marys and beers to runners at the race. I saw no one partake. 2. A strange man clapping for us and wishing us well on the sidelines. The strange thing was — he was facing away from us, not toward us, while cheering us on. Really odd. It was almost as if he…

Run along with me (virtually) this Sunday in SF

Now here’s an expiriment, and I’d like to know if this works. I’ve posted a link here that lets you plug in my name and see how I’m doing in the SF marathon, which begins for me on Sunday at 630 a.m. — I’m in one of the ‘slow waves.’ I will have a GPS sticker thing on one of my shoes. Two of my friends will be meeting me with water, etc, at Golden Gate Park; this should give them a pretty good sense of when I’ll be running through the GGP. Here, by the way, is the map of this crazy course. I’m a little edgy about that rather daunting-looking hill after we complete the Golden Gate Bridge.

Controversial/polarizing choices for your book groups

Here are some books that will do more than just bring spirited discussion and debate to your groups. These books will cause actual feuds. Your book group will then split up and you’ll get a break from it all, and then you can reconvene with all new members (except for you, of course; at that point, you will be the only original member.) Here are the choices: Nicholson Baker — The Fermata. My prediction: If you have seven people in your group, six will hate it and one will like it. Christopher Hitchens — God Is Not Great. Slightly different split: I predict five against two. Or maybe four against three. Sarah Waters– Tipping the Velvet. This book is a beautifully written, ribald period romp, but it’s bound to rub some people the wrong way. The leather object scene will easily take up 98 percent of the discussion.) Predicted split:…

Summer reading (in six words or less)

White Heat by Brenda Wineapple. Will Thomas and Emily hook up? The Forever War by Dexter Filkins. He almost died for this book. Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen. Ignore the noise; read for yourself. Farm City by Novella Carpenter. Up with the pigs!The Lost City of Z by David Grann. Better him than you. The Selected Letters of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder. Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder. Notes on a complicated friendship. Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart. Stay out of your garden. All Over Coffee, Paul Madonna. A cartoonist/walker in the city. The Indifferent Stars Above, Daniel James Brown. Donner Party = not funny! The Selected Works of TS Spivet. Reif Larsen. Tween cartographer rides rails, maps all. Also: Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Good reading group selection;super-short. Autiobiography of Red, Anne Carson: Try this dragon memoir in verse. Nickeled and Dimed. Barbara Ehrenreich. More relevant now…

Marathon course: they’re closing down (part of) Golden Gate Bridge!

Look out. From 6 am to 9 am, about 20,000 people will storm across the two northbound lanes of the Golden Gate Bridge (there will be a third “buffer” lane between the runners and traffic.) In other news, there is an outside chance that i will post a special link that lets you follow my progress — or lack of progress — in running the marathon. More on that front later on.

It’s on!

I’ve just registered for the SF Marathon. This means that I will be among the thundering herd that starts out at the Embarcardero, crosses (and re-crosses) the Golden Gate Bridge and makes a long, slow parallelogram through the city. A couple of my readers were slightly worried about my doing this, but I’ve trained well (with incremental distance runs and raw-chicken resistance weights.) I don’t expect to have a great time but I’ll do my best (and try not to walk.) This will be my fourth marathon, and my last one for at least the next four months or so. I’m hoping to do two marathons a year from now on if I can.