Writings and video clips for “Zooknoone”

I am putting together some of David’s video clips and writings as a tribute to him. (I should have pointed out to his various fans that David is perhaps best known for his performing and songwriting nicknames, “Zook” or “Zooknoone,” which date back to his college years at UC San Diego. For the life of me, I can’t remember how he picked up those monikers. If you knew him from UCSD, you can set me straight on that.) If you send me an email in a couple of weeks or so, I will try to send you links to these things so you can enjoy them and share them. For various reasons, I don’t feel comfortable posting all of these materials directly on the blog. I want to thank everyone for your words of encouragement and support. That’s all for now. (P.S. — friends and family will probably recognize this…

In loving memory of David Gordon White, September 19, 1965-March 27, 2009

I am planning an online celebration of my big brother, David, a humorist, excellent writer, folksinger and family man who died on Friday after open heart surgery. He was only 43. My family and I raced up Highway 50 toward Carson City to be by his side, but it was already too late by the time we got there. On Thursday, dozens of his friends and colleagues will be joining my family to celebrate the life of David. Many of you who check this blog on a regular basis already know about his hilarious YouTube and MySpace videos — and the stunning final video that he shot just before his surgery. All of us miss him terribly. There is so much more to say about him, but for now, I just want to send my prayers for David and good wishes to his family. http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Last call!! (UPDATED)

Wow. After asking the ‘lookie-loos’ to send in their bios to my “Cactuseaters readers in the news digest,” I received an absolute inundation of emailed submissions — so many of them that I am wondering how I’m going to squeeze them all into the next column. Thanks for stepping up, everyone. I’ve got at least enough material for two digest columns. I’ll start putting them together next week. http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

First wilderness excursion!

Yesterday, in the middle of my spring break, I revisited the Forest of Nisene Marks outside Santa Cruz with J., the newest family member. We saw three unicyclists, thousands of ferns, a dead star-nosed mole, dozens of dogs on leashes, and second-growth redwoods reaching to the sky. J. slept through about 90 percent of the outing, but she had her eyes wide open for about five minutes, taking it all in. (I am still technically hibernating. This entry doesn’t count.) http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

The blog is in a brief hibernation (but not the author!!)

Cactuseaters blog will be asleep for a very brief spell, but feel free to keep leaving emails etc. I will still check every couple of days or so. Thanks, by the way, for the great submissions to the “Cactuseaters readers in the news” digest. I need two more to achieve a critical mass so don’t be bashful. In other news, I saw this article about the fate of a Chappaqua, New York neighborhood bookstore in the Sunday Times. It’s a sad story — but I was inspired by that paragraph about a group of local residents in New Canaan, Conn., who put up money to extend the life of Elm Street Books, “more as a civic gesture than an entrepreneurial one.” (By the way, I wanted to include a photo credit and copywrite info on this photo but couldn’t find it in the web. If you took this picture, let…

Commiserate with nature!

One of my students once wrote that every American needs to take more time out of his busy schedule “to commiserate with nature.” I couldn’t agree more! Here are sketches from two recent adventures, at Muir Woods in Marin County, and Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz. http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Desert still life with vulture

Lately I’ve been spending some of my time outside doing nature sketches to train my “eye” for future projects that involve landscape description and nature writing. Here is one of them, although it’s not “from life.” We’ll definitely talk about some of this stuff during the walk/hike in Santa Cruz on April 18th. (see earlier blurb below.) http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Coming soon: The ultimate list of disgusting backcountry camping “treats”

All of us have fond memories of those backcountry delicacies we love to hate the most: space-age freeze dried ice cream in a bag, sulfurous logs of “summer sausage,” Squeeze Cheez and boiling cauldrons of Hot Tang. Very soon, I will give you the ultimate list of backcountry camping “treats” from today and yesteryear. If any of you have suggestions for this list, please send them to cactus.eaters@yahoo.com as soon as you can. http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Cheap Thrills in Neighborhood Bookstores, Part One: “A Swinger’s Club For Books” at the Booksmith!

I have several close friends who have joined the Witness Protection Program just to escape their awful book groups. That’s why the Booksmith’s new “Found in Translation” reading group is such a welcome new development. “It’s like a book club but without the commitment,” says Constance of the Booksmith. “Think of it as a swinger’s club for books.” But that’s not the only reason why the Booksmith’s reading group — which kicks off tomorrow with Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya — is a nice change of pace. The reading group is also unusual in the sense that it features contemporary translated literature. Christin Evans, co-owner of the Booksmith, explains that the group emphasizes “a certain category of books that get overshadowed, amazing writers who are published in translation and don’t get a lot of publicity from American publishers.” Moya — the first featured author — was born in Honduras, grew…

Cheap thrills at neighborhood bookstores!

I’m starting a new feature, profiling neighborhood bookstores and some of the interesting, unusual book discussion groups and events that they are organizing this year. The idea is to emphasize the fact that bookstores — and books — are cheap, sustainable forms of entertainment and enrichment in these utterly wretched economic times. The first featured bookstore in the series will be The Booksmith in San Francisco. Stay tuned. And if you are the owner — or an employee of — a neighborhood bookstore that is putting on an interesting, unusual event, anywhere in America or in the world at large, shoot me an email at some point and I’ll try to get you into the ‘cheap thrills’ column at some point. http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default