Christopher Hitchens

Sad to hear today’s news. Then again he lived and wrote about 17 lifetime’s worth. I don’t agree that he’s our Orwell or our Mencken. I think of him as a complete one-off, and while I’ll enjoy reading his work for a long time into the future, I’ll miss his timeliness and topicality. I won’t be able to read about some demagogue or invasion without wondering what he would have said about it. Regardless of what you think about his positions (Falkland Islands, Iraq War, etc.), you have to admire someone who doesn’t care about the politics of consensus, isn’t afraid to make you mad, and is willing to put his opinions on the line by going on some truly scary talk shows and TV programs. (Sean Hannity, etc.) I’m also amazed that he kept cranking out the essays and columns up to the very end (including a beautifully written…

Nikki Giovanni in Santa Cruz

I just had a great, free-wheeling phone conversation with Nikki Giovanni, who will be here in Santa Cruz in a few weeks. Among the topics we covered: Martin Luther King, Jr., space travel, Occupy Wall Street, Prince Charles, writing pedagogy, and the importance of poetry. I will post that here once I’ve distilled it down to a Q and A. Be patient. It takes time to put it all together. In other news, I’ve got a slamming headache from watching the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” video on YouTube.

The anthology has arrived (and I survived cat bite.)

I just received (in the mail) The 36 Hours/150 Weekends anthology book published by the New York Times and Taschen, and featuring two of my recently published travel pieces. Please go out and buy it but don’t drop it on your foot. It must weigh five or six pounds!!! In other news, I don’t have rabies. Also, I just wanted to know that my pecan pie turned out fine. However, my pumpkin pie was a gelatinous horror that sent people running from the table. Sorry for the bad food, everybody. There’s always next year. I also want to apologize for the small type. I bet you’re experiencing eye-strain right now. I tried to increase the font size but the button isn’t working.