#295: Jordan Castro
Jordan Castro on His World-Famous Ice Cream, Walking Quickly Backwards Up a Hill, Praying the Saint Francis Prayer, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Jordan Castro to share a taste of his taste on Perfectly Imperfect.
Jordan Castro is a New Haven-based writer. His first novel, The Novelist: A Novel, came out last Summer on Soft Skull Press and follows an unnamed protagonist as he attempts to work on his novel over the span of a single morning. It’s clever & sincere and one of my favorites of the year. Jordan was also the former editor of the highly influential alt-lit publication, NY Tyrant Magazine. He also tells me that he can squat 410, deadlift 440, and bench 265. Hell yeah. Lucky for us, Jordan is here to tell us what he’s been into.
Without further ado
Jordan Castro (instagram, other instagram, twitter)
🦶💆♂️ Happy feet
Before I go to sleep, I put on my Happy Feet—socks, according to their website, “designed to separate, stretch, and align your toes”—and I wear them for ~30 minutes. People never think about their feet—unless they are some fetishist, which is, I’m afraid to say, perverse—but 25% of the body's bones are in the feet, and, according to Reflexology, parts of each foot correspond to different body parts. There have been times when, suffering from a headache or backache, I put on my Happy Feet and the pain goes away almost instantly.
🍨🥇 My world-famous ice cream
I call this my “world famous ice cream,” despite only my wife Nicolette and I having eaten it, and despite her disputing my claim that it is, in fact, “ice cream.” Now, at least, due to this newsletter, it will be world famous.
Ingredients (in blender): 1x avocado, 4x raw pasture raised egg, 1.5x cup raw milk, 1.5x cup frozen berries, 1x scoop chocolate protein powder, 1x cup greek yogurt, 1x scoop almond butter, a little maple syrup or honey, cinnamon. I’ve never actually measured any of this, so these are just estimates.
🤗 My ‘feeling lazy’ ice cream
Easier, lower effort, “ice cream”: plain greek yogurt, maple syrup, a little chocolate or cacao sprinkled on.
In our time, when despair and nihilism are rampant, and the future appears only dimly like a hole through thick fog, Praxis is building a city. I have always been attracted to autistic totalizing visions, and brazen intellectual ambition. It is increasingly rare to imagine a specific, better future and to work toward it, and Praxis is doing that. They also have a journal, where they are publishing essays.
🎩🎶 The first ~1:30 of this version of “Farnace, RV 711: Sinfonia: II. Andante-Allegro” by Vivaldi
The first few movements of this song are nice. It’s like one of Carly Rae Jepson or Taylor Swift’s more emotional songs. Poppy and bright; kind of emo.
🏋️🐓 Heavy squats
The other day, I squatted 400+ pounds for the first time, and the Asian kid deadlift behind me literally told me, “You’re awesome!” I tweeted this, but it bears repeating: people just treat you differently when they know that you can carry the weight of three art student corpses on your back no problem. Imagine having sturdy, girthy, succulent glutes and quads beneath your torso as you go about normal activities… It’s powerful. Squatting weight that could crush you is a spiritual activity. Guys, at least, as a rule, should have to do one hard physical thing every day.
My friend Patrick wrote a script about John Wilkes Booth. It’s totally thrilling and psychologically compelling. Would make a great major motion picture. Email email@example.com if interested.
🚶🏔 Walking Quickly Backwards up a Hill
I recently hurt my knee while squatting, and have been doing this for recovery. It’s kind of fun—constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re not going to run into anything, or not looking and vaguely anticipating running into something.
My brain feels like it’s getting pan seared every time I try to read a PDF on my laptop. Printing things uses a lot of paper, which gets scattered all over; buying and replacing ink is annoying. The Remarkable 2 is a sexy tablet type thing, with no blue light or other apps, that you can upload pdfs and ebooks to. You can mark stuff up with the “pen” that comes with it, then transfer the documents back to your laptop, or email them. Plus, people think it’s cool. Every time Nicolette uses hers, people ask her what it is, and then they get it. People don’t ask me about mine because I don’t often leave the house.
☦️🧎♂️ Praying the Saint Francis Prayer
When I “didn’t believe” in God, and hated everything about the “God concept,” I started silently asking for help in the morning, and saying thank you at night. I had no belief, or faith, or anything other than a semi-open, but still mostly closed, mind. Over time, it became the most important part of my life. Prayer is something that can only be understood through the act. If you want to try it, do it every day for 2-3 weeks. You can make the prayers longer if you want to, or do a pre-written prayer, like the Saint Francis Prayer. Worst case scenario you’re just talking to a wall. See what happens.
Follow Jordan Castro on Instagram, his other Instagram, and Twitter.
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