Spammers beware

Lately I have been getting large, smelly piles of Spam in the “bulk file” section of my Cactuseaters inbox every morning, so I need to institute a brand new policy. Spammers, please read this carefully. 1. From now on, all senders of Spam (messages starting with “dearest,” people offering me millions of dollars from fake sweepstakes, etc) will be subject to seven years of bad karma. 2. Not only that, but their teeth will turn green, their hair will fall out in ragged clumps and they will have halitosis for the rest of their lives. I don’t wish to implement this new policy but the Spam has gotten out of hand. So Spammers, please print out this message and put it somewhere close to your computer terminal and read it before you send.

Read these too…updated yet again

R. Crumb’s Genesis will make your eyes bug out. I’ve heard people describe it as irreverent, while other people say its literal-mindedness is a form of reverence. You’ll have to decide for yourself. It’s best taken one small bit at a time. I don’t advise plowing through the whole thing at once. I loved At Swim, Two Birds by Flann O’Brien, nee Bryan O’Nolan. What a riot. To read this book is to find yourself caught up in an elaborate prank. Sometimes you’re in on the prank. Other times, the joke’s on you. This novel feels very contemporary, so it’s a shocker to look at the publication date. I also enjoyed Flannery, by Brad Gooch. Flannery O’Connor once said, “As for biographies, there won’t be any biographies of me because, for only one reason, lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make exciting copy.” She was…

Cactus Eaters FAQ

Here is a compendium of frequently asked questions. I removed some out-of-date information and made a couple of additions. This has been updated slightly. I should tell you right now that this contains some spoilers so stop reading right here if you haven’t finished the book. What is your biggest single piece of advice for PCT hikers? Use a rolling resupply bucket (my book goes into detail about that) and always remember to hike your own trail. Everyone’s out there for a different reason. If people are out there to bag miles, don’t make fun of them because that’s their goal. By the same token, if you’re taking it slowly, you don’t have to feel bad about the fact that you’re only going a few slow miles a day. There’s no ‘wrong’ way to hike the trail as long as you aren’t harming the trail or the environment or other people (or…

Disclaimer: 3D won’t make you vomit

I’m in trouble (again) because someone read my recent Cactuseaters post and was scared to let her mom see “Avatar” because she thinks the 3D sensation will make her mom seasick and nauseous. For the record, I did not feel dizzy or vomitous during the movie. It’s worth mentioning, because I once saw a movie, “The Blair Witch Project,” during which five people in the audience fled the theater to throw up. Seriously. I think it was the herky-jerky hand-held camera style that did it.

Scolding people accidentally during “Avatar”

Good movie. But 3D can lead to social problems. You can get so caught up in the screen, and what’s going on in the movie, that you lose sight of the people sitting next to you, standing in front of you, or scooting between the aisles, trying to get to the restroom. Yesterday at the Kabuki, someone butted in front of me during an intense scene, and I yelled out, “Oh, give me a break. Get out of the way,” without realizing that I did this until after the fact. Also, I almost spilled my drink on someone. (Sorry.)

My first 3D movie ever

Today is my big day. I’m going to the Kabuki Sundance Theater to see you-know-what in 3D. But I don’t know what to expect. The last time I saw anything in 3D, it was a short feature at Disneyland, starring Michael Jackson, a bunch of dancing people in space outfits and a poorly rendered “meteor” that looked like more like a giant levitating baked potato. So these are my questions and concerns. Where are you supposed to sit for the best results at a 3D movie? Are you supposed to find the ‘dead center,’ like the old Grateful Dead shows? Will the glasses give me a headache? I already have glasses. Am I supposed to put the 3D glasses over the glasses? Do I have to give the glasses back when it’s all over? Does the theater provide air-sickness bags?

Signing the Cactus Eaters on Kindle –“This bespells doom.”

The other day, someone asked me what I would do if asked to sign a copy of The Cactus Eaters on Kindle. I was stumped. How do you sign a Kindle? With a Sharpie? Can you hack into a Kindle and place an electronic ‘signature’ on a book file? Or burn the author’s initials into the Kindle using a cordless Craftsman soldering iron? But as it turns out, it can be done. Check out this article in the New York Times, and find out how David Sedaris dealt with this.