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Writer's Block: Reading Aloud

One of the highlights of going to a literary festival is hearing authors read from their own works. What author, living or dead, would you most like to hear read?

Writer's Block: Forbidden Reading

From Judy Blume to V.C. Andrews, there's always a book circulating among teens that their parents don't want them to read. What favorite book did you have to hide from your parents?
My parents never tried to censor my reading.  The closest it came was with "Portnoy's Complaint", by Philip Roth; they suggested that I not read it until I was older.  (This was probably when I was about 10 years old).  After a year or two, I decided that I was old enough, and read it; I didn't advertise this to my parents because I wasn't sure that they'd agree.

My usual raciest reading was James Bond novels.  And, at one point I read a copy of "Playboy" my father had (this was not a typical thing for him to have in the house); I didn't understand one of the cartoons so I asked him about it.  It showed two buxom women and a girl; the girl's t-shirt said "Watch This Space" on it.  My father explained, although he was clearly slightly embarrassed.

My first attempt at a poll. Enjoy!

Just three questions.  It won't take long.  It's somewhat philosophical in nature.


Why not?

Why ME?

Because you're perfect.
Because I'm busy.
Because it might be booby trapped.

Knowledge is...

The opposite of intelligence. If you know everything, there is nothing to figure out, so thought becomes impossible.
Prerequisite to intelligence. Thought requires a baseline of knowledge, to have something to think about.
Very, very depressing. If you're cheerful, you clearly don't know what's going on.
Very, very reassuring. If you're worried, you've lost sight of the bigger picture.

Writer's Block: Transportation

In the past they promised us jetpacks for the future. We’re still waiting. What is your ideal mode of transportation? Has it been invented yet?
I think  I'd like a flying surfboard like the Silver Surfer's.
Knowing beforehand that you wouldn't fail, what would you attempt to do?
I would attempt to fail, of course.

Self Portrait


Today we came home with our puppy.  She's a three-month old black standard poodle who we've named Storm.  One nickname I call her by is "Perfect Storm" -- she's amazing.  She's calm and friendly, and very bright -- today's the first time she's been on a leash, and she's doing a rather good job of heeling already, as of the first time we tried to get her to.  Her fur is amazingly soft, and she's very gentle.

I haven't had a dog since my teenage years in the 70s, and that one was (put bluntly) an idiot, although good-natured.  This is going to be great.

Writer's Block: God For a Day

If you could be God for a day, what three things would be at the top of your to-do list?
1)  I would send detailed report cards to each of my creatures indicating how I felt that they were doing.  On a case-by-case basis, I would make these public, so that the world could see my opinion of certain people who delight in taking attributing their twisted ideas to me.

2)  I would try to explain why I've left things as cryptic as they are.

3)  I can't list #3 here; it's inappropriate for public viewing.  Sorry.

Most Influential Film of the decade?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing what I suspect will be the most influential film of the decade.  I believe that it will have a significant impact on the 2020 elections.


This dark children's animated film has the most powerful message directed to its audience that I've seen since the anti-hunting message in Bambi.  It is about a very basic truth: Humanity has created, and continues to create, an incredible mess, and we can't get away from it.  We have not only the responsibility, but the need, to fix it.

Any child who sees this film is going to be *extremely* suspicious of agendas which gloss over this.  They're going to watch this film over, and over, and over again, and they will not forget.  Unless the right wing literally cleans up its act, this generation will have a very hard time voting any way but liberal when they come of voting age.

Korean Drumming Lessons!

My Dojang (Tae Kwan Do school) is offering us traditional Korean farmer's drumming lessons throughout August.  Naomi, Polly, and I are all going to take the eight lessons.  I'm excited; this should be fun.