Monthly Archives: July, 2011


D.H. in an e-mail: only on page 33. and laughed out loud twice. K.K. on Facebook: I’m in a swoon over my favorite old Junker. DeWitt Henry reviewing on Amazon: Amongst the charm, the spleen, the flapdoodle and lived personal and literary insights there are two deeply moving thoughts of mortality that are worthy of [...]

Staff Recommends

Meanwhile, I bet  you can’t guess where this guerrilla marketing stunt took place:

Melchester Cathedral

Never mind why Jude is called Obscure or why I was reading that grimmest of late Victorian horror stories. Although I will tell you why I googled “Melchester Cathedral,” because it was bringing me down. Melchester Cathedral You’re bringing me down You stood and you watched as My baby left town You could have done [...]

Hard to See

Michael Kimmelman bemoaned the poor visibility of the Last Supper last week in the NY Times. The Mona Lisa, of course, is the worst. Always surrounded by crowds that have streamed through the approach corridors (oblivious to the several Leonardos, etc. on the way). With flashbulbs reverberating like gun shots off the protective plastic. The [...]

Pie vs. Cake

I’ve always known myself to be a pieman, and that self-knowledge was reaffirmed by last Saturday’s Cake Contest  at Omnivore Books. There were some good ones. (Click and then click again to enlarge.) But they were, after all, merely cakes. It’s the difference between crust and icing. Between filling and “cake,” gluten-free or not. A [...]

One-martini Lunch

The author and the publisher enjoyed a one-martini, celebratory lunch at Spruce yesterday. There were also a few business details to discuss in as much as the publisher is headed off for the summer to his ranch in Wyoming tomorrow afternoon. Shared were: a Caesar, graciously pre-chopped; plus GOLDEN POTATO GNOCCHI MAITAKE MUSHROOMS, PEAS AND [...]

Launch Party

At a party at the publisher’s home in the Presidio yesterday, the author listens pensively as the publisher makes some introductory remarks. Readers follow along as the author reads out loud. After signing a few copies, the author pauses, sighs in relief.

O Dogshit

A dog was shitting on the sidewalk, so I asked its owner, who was standing by with a blue plastic dogshit bag, why she didn’t pull him over to the curb or the bushes. I can’t control him, she said of her ancient tawny Lab. But he’s on a leash, I observed. If I interrupt [...]

Ai Weiwei, Jeff Nunokawa & Me

Ai Weiwei’s Blog: Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009 was published earlier this year by MIT Press; it covers the same period as An Old Junker. In the July 4th New Yorker, Rebecca Mead reported that Princeton English prof Jeff Nunokawa offers a daily “note” to his 3,000 Facebook friends (mostly his students). He began [...]

How Blogging Saved My Life

I never could have written a book without blogging it first. A book seemed too large an effort, too comprehensive. Maybe a “book” is not as awesome a thing as it once was, but for most of my life it seemed like something other people could do, but I would be well advised not to [...]

Take a Seat

Instead of sitting around all day reading Stone Butch Blues (an incredibly powerful book I had somehow missed, but was reminded of by a Pride Week list of books-that-meant-the-most-to-me), I went down to Fort Mason to see the Seat show. My fav, the exquisitely crafted Japanesque-environment by Paul Discoe (double-click on image to enlarge):