What It Is: 9/14/09

What I’m reading: This note about the 400th anniversary of the death of Rabbi Loew inspired me to re-read Introducing Kafka (mainly for R. Crumb’s drawings & strips). I also read Locas II, a huge collection of Jaime Hernandez’s comics. Occasionally I forget how wonderful it is to live in an era when artists like Xaime are doing such fantastic work (and making great illustrations).

What I’m listening to: A great B.S. Report podcast with Patton Oswalt, and an okay one with Bill Hader.

What I’m watching: The Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2009 induction ceremony, in which I learned that John Stockton can be kinda funny, Vivian Stringer had a tough life, Jerry Sloan has enormous hands, and Michael Jordan cannot handle retirement. Also watched a ton of NFL, and the Vandy-LSU game.

What I’m drinking: Cascade Mountain & Q Tonic.

What Rufus is up to: Meeting a ton of greyhounds at the annual grey-picnic in Bridgewater, NJ on Sunday. Pictures to come. (Here’s one from my wife!)

Where I’m going: No plans! Got any ideas?

What I’m happy about: Writing those Gary Panter & Gillian Welch posts last week.

What I’m sad about: Norman Borlaug’s death. He did have a full life, reaching 95 years and saving countless lives, but still.

What I’m worried about: Not my conference next week. At least, not as much as past years. We’ve already taken care of a lot of the things that usually get taken care of late in the game — the USB drives are much better than last year, for example — and our attendee count is surprisingly good, esp. given the economy. I’m sure something crazy will happen that throws everything askew, but I’m less nerve-wracked about things. Now I just gotta hope all 11 speakers actually show up for their sessions.

What I’m pondering: Whether I’m too old to start a band called Umvelt of the Dog.

What It Is: 8/24/09

What I’m reading: Moby Dick and The Jew of New York.

What I’m listening to: The Lexicon of Love, by ABC, and Give Up, by The Postal Service.

What I’m watching: Inglourious Basterds at a 1:30 p.m. matinee on opening day. I enjoyed the heck out of it, but it really wasn’t about the Basterds and the baseball-bat-to-the-head marketing of it. I don’t really get the spelling thing, but “Variations on Interrogations” probably wasn’t commercial enough. And, yeah, Christoph Waltz’s performance is fantastic.

What I’m drinking: Cascade Mountain Gin & Q Tonic.

What Rufus is up to: Meeting his cousins in New England! (pictures to come)

Where I’m going: Up to Wappingers Falls next weekend for my friends’ 10th anniversary bash. Rufus will have to deal with another longish car ride (as in, over an hour).

What I’m happy about: Having dinner with an old pal from grad school, getting to see my cousins in CT, and seeing an old college friend, all in the span of 65 (or so) hours.

What I’m sad about: That the position at which I lie on my loveseat in order to rub Rufus’ belly and still read from my laptop is wreaking havoc on my neck/shoulders.

What I’m worried about: That realism isn’t realism.

What I’m pondering: What it means that the only book I’m interested in from either of these previews (1, 2) of next season’s releases is R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis.