Hello, neglected legions of glob fans. I come to you today with a whole new level of respect for people who hold regular, full-time jobs AND somehow magically keep up with writing their blogs, or anything else. I can't even get the dishes done. I guess that's what weekends are for?
Good news: In mid-October I secured an emergency post at the Oregon Public Health Department (an emergency for me, not for the health department). I took it because it's thematically relevant to this glob (and because I wasn't sure my parents were really all that excited about the idea of me moving back in). I've been writing about the Illness Formerly Known as Swine Flu, or hini, which is very serious and not to be mocked. Here you'll find what little evidence there is against the popular and not outlandish view that I fritter my days away watching soaps and eating bonbons.
Anyhow. Here's some of what I've been up to besides that:
As hinted in a nearby post, the mighty sfrc voted me in as its newest member. The hazing and branding were painful, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. (Of course, on hearing this news, my motorcycle instantly died, so I've been riding a Vespa kindly loaned by Bradford ever since.)
What else? I interviewed Joe Sacco about his new book, Footnotes in Gaza. He had a cold but was very nice. I tried not to make my hero worship obvious, but I think he might've picked up on it a little at the end of the conversation, when I said something like "I've read ALL your books and everything you do is AWESOME and I think you're just the BEST and do you think maybe we could be friends?" (Sigh.)
I've also reviewed a couple of other things for BookPage, including two graphic novels, Nylon Road and Stitches (see below), and the new short story collection by Amy Bloom (good book, lame review). More of those lined up for the next couple of months -- I get to interview Sam Lipsyte, which should be cool, and do another graphic-novels roundup for spring.
Had another show on KBOO, in which somehow I lost control and admitted that as a youth I enjoyed reading the sort of books in which many of the characters were dragons. I still don't know how this happened. (It's true, though. Might as well get used to it.) I think the next show will be our end-of-year/decade favorite movie lists, but I'll put mine up here, too, because the funny thing about me being on the radio is that my tiny little munchkin voice cannot actually be perceived by the human ear, so it's all kinda futile. Better to write it down, I think, for people who really want to know.
Oh! Also, I tried out for the Mt Hood Ski Patrol a few weeks ago. It was a lot of fun, although I didn't make the cut this time. I think I bombed the interview. But I did get to fulfill a lifelong dream of bumming around with Ski Patrol guys all day, and as a bonus, at the end of the day, I saw Glen Plake. (I think I forgot to tell you that, Karl.) He was shaking hands and signing autographs in the parking lot, part of a tour of small ski areas on the West Coast. Awesome! Anyway, I think I'll try out again, maybe in February.
I spent Xmas Day on a Wong Kar-Wai marathon. Hard to beat.
That's it for now. Apologies again for the wimpy updating! Guess what one of my New Year's Resolutions is going to be?