a collection of interesting and not-so-interesting things. including information on current & upcoming projects.

Monday, October 29, 2007

For those about to write... we salute you!

Today begins my PhD Candidacy Exams. Quite the daunting task. I thought I would begin by posting an inspiring anecdote, for those of you completing your thesis... maybe you are an MA student planning to continue onto a PhD program, like I did. Well, here is your anecdote:

"A rather large edition of [E.J. Pratt's thesis] was printed by a local publisher; and Pratt enjoys telling how for many years whenever he wanted to start a fire he would toss in a copy or two of the thesis...." --E.K. Brown, On Canadian Poetry

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Martin Magic!!

The best magic act ever?

My Favourite Comedian

I love comedy and comedians. Sometimes I am asked who my favourite comedian is. The answer, hands down, is Steve Martin. People are often surprised by this answer, because in recent years Steve Martin has been in the habit of making lousy movies that aren't very funny. But Martin's style shines through best in his early stand-up and television appearances. Go spend an hour or so on YouTube with Mr. Martin and you'll see.

Below is a three-part Tonight Show appearance by Martin with Johnny Carson. First, you'll see Martin doing his stand-up. Then a brilliant two-part interview with Carson in which he really puts the average guest to shame.

Bush Declares War on Zombies

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fast Fictions by Kevin Spenst

A recent acquisition, worth blogging about, is a slender little booklet entitled Fast Fictions by Vancouver writer Kevin Spenst. Kevin has been writing a short-short story a day for, oh, about 1000+ days. Recently he wrote his 1000th story and celebrated with a clever tour (50 venues in the same day) reading from a the aforementioned booklet which contains 25 of the best stories (in Kevin's opinion). Martian Press devotees may recognize Kevin from his inclusion in the first and only Martian Press Review, or from his short films as part of the Narcoleptic Videographer collective in Vancouver. Anyway, the book is a great little collection of "freak show short-short stories of the sad, bizarre & beautiful" (to quote its cover). You should e-mail kevinspensty@hotmail.com to arrange purchase of your own copy for a mere $7.

The latest from McSweeney's is also short-short stories, One Hundred and Forty-Five Stories in a Small Box, which is essentially three short-short story collections: Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape by Sarah Manguso, How the Water Feels to the Fishes by Dave Eggers, and Minor Robberies by Deb Olin Unferth.

Short-short stories are running rampant! They must be stopped. I recommend purchasing them all as the best method to contain this madness.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

talk about crazy

So, here's something crazy and unexpected... my ex-girlfriend (and still friend), the reporter/poet Lindsey Wiebe pops into my messenger box today, to tell me she is in Afghanistan. The Winnipeg Free Press sent here there. She wasn't allowed to tell me anything else. But here's her Afghanistan blog with what she is allowed to tell you/me. And another article here.