My day can only get better (I just got chomped by my own cat!)

I am going to take a break from blogging for a while because typing is almost impossible right now. My cat took a huge bite out of my finger! It’s not his fault.Here’s what happened. My cat has not been feeling well — he’s been fighting off an infection — so I had to go to the vet in San Jose and get these gigantic, stinky brown pills for him. You wouldn’t believe the size of these pills. Maybe they thought I said “moose” instead of “cat.” Anyhow, he refuses to eat them on his own, even if I stick them in a “pill pocket” that is made out of smelly cat food. Following the doctor’s instructions, I had to stick the pill directly down his throat and push. That meant opening up his jaws, gently nudging my finger beneath his razor-sharp teeth, and inserting the pill into his throat…

More on whales

As it turns out, that crazy whale photo you’ve been seeing in newspapers and broadcasts across the country is by Santa Cruz’s own Shmuel Thaler, “complete with misspelled name in the photo credit.” His whale image recently made the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Thanks, Shmuel, for sending in. If it wasn’t for people sending in, I’d have no content at all. Still waiting for advice on the pie.

Thanksgiving draws near. Time for me to make another inedible, goopy pecan pie

I’m just looking at the calendar and noticing that Thanksgiving is creeping up on me again. For me, this means one thing: friends and loved ones will soon be gagging on my overwrought, undercooked chocolate-pecan pie. Every year I screw it up in a different way. One year I burned it so badly that the outside was black as pitch, and yet it was raw and glutinous in the middle. No one wants to hurt my feelings, so everybody ends up choking down one piece — and in some cases, more than one piece — of my mucilaginous, viscid baked product. Another time it was so hard that you could barely pry the pieces apart, even when you used a sharp knife and hit the handle as hard as you could with your fist. Last year it came out OK, but for some reason I accidentally added mint flavor so…

Cactuseaters on True Fiction Radio

Thanks again to my brother Phil for finding this and sending it along. I knew it was about to be posted online but didn’t know it was already up! Anyhow, here is that free podcast from True Fiction Radio, including brand-new readings by Wallace Baine and Richard Stockton, and also a brief reading by me (from the Cactus Eaters.), recorded recently in town. If you’ve got access to iTunes, download away. I’m part of the radio show #12, podcast on 10/30/11.

Joan Didion coming to the Bay Area

She’s going to be in conversation with Vendela Vida at the Herbst Theater. Go if you can. (I can’t.) I went to a fantastic Didion event in NYC some years back. She was in conversation with New Yorker editor David Remnick, and it was all going well until someone in the audience asked Didion a truly dumb and appalling question at the very end.

Skyhopping whales, part two

In case you aren’t following the local news, certain Santa Cruzans have lost their minds in regard to this surge of humpback whale sightings. Kayakers are going right up to them and practically rubbing the creatures’ noses. I think this is a good time to remember that humpback whales can swim 16 miles an hour and have the combined weight of 350 humans. In other words, annoying them is a very bad idea …