Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In a sense, I am Edward Gorey.

An excerpt from Floating Worlds: The Letters of Edward Gorey and Peter F. Neumeyer:
Of the two men, Gorey emerges as the more avid correspondent, and the more confessional — a startlingly out-of-character turn, given the solitary artist’s notorious evasiveness in interviews and disinclination to answer mail or, for that matter, return calls. In Elephant House, a book of photographs of Gorey’s home, the photographer Kevin McDermott recalls “boxes of opened and unopened mail, much of it from fans,” surrounding Gorey’s sofa. Typically, Gorey replied to such letters, if he replied at all, with a postcard of his own design. Featuring a Gorey cat dozing on top of a mound of correspondence, it informed the recipient, “You’ve written me to no avail, because I never read my mail.” The novelist and critic Alexander Theroux notes, in his memoir of their friendship, The Strange Case of Edward Gorey, that the artist’s “doors lacked knobs, and I am convinced they were intentionally left that way.” When the telephone rang, Gorey was often heard to shout, “I am not here.”

Indeed, I am not.

(Also, I may have once memorized The Gashlycrumb Tinies.  But I've since forgotten most of it, and that's a different story altogether.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I know there's a perfect West Wing quotation to put here, but I don't know what it is.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012


So, having driven cross-country and dropped off the car, my original plan was for Road Trip 3 to begin.  However, I find myself without an actual car, and that makes road tripping a little more difficult.  I'm planning to spend some time out here slowly making my way down the East Coast nonetheless, visiting friends from NH to FL.  First stop:  the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, NH.  Closed for the season, but we found the yellow wood anyway.

Stats, stet, take two

Road Trip 2 of 3 Complete! 

Number of nights spent at friends' places: 2 (in OK and IL)
Number of nights spent in motels: 6  
Number of states visited:  11! (AZ, NM, TX, OK, MO, IL, IN, OH, PA, NY, MA)
Total miles driven: 3400 (almost exactly the same as trip 1)
Minimum total number of Diet Cokes consumed: no really, you don't want to know
Number of gas fill-ups (but not full tanks): 10
Highest price paid for gas: $3.99/gallon (lower than trip 1)
Lowest price paid for gas: $3.32/gallon (also lower than trip 1)
Average miles per gallon:  29 (in someone's early-2000s Honda Accord)
Number of hours of the audiobook of Game of Thrones listened to: 7 hours, 20 minutes (arrgh)

Number of hours of the audiobook of Clash of Kings listened to: 5 hours, 29 minutes 
(Number of hours of the audiobook of Clash of Kings still to go:  31 hours.  Not gonna happen.  Maybe.)
Number of college campuses visited: 1 (Harvard)
Number of New Jew alumni met, on the other side of the country:  1
Number of speeding tickets received:  0 (Thank God)

So, I completed Trips Up and Over.  Now for Down... and maybe Back!

(I mean, yes, Back, but that'll probably be a flight, not a road trip!)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012



Also:  finished listening to the last ten hours of the first book of Game of Thrones and let me say this:  Fuck you.  HOW ABOUT WRAPPING UP EVEN ONE LITTLE STRAND OF SOMETHING, IT'S CALLED THE *END* OF A BOOK FOR A REASON OMIGOD.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Stats, stet.

Road Trip 1 of 3 Complete!

Number of nights spent at friends' places: 13
Number of nights spent in motels: 2 (one on the way up, near Redding, CA, and one on the way down, near Medford OR)
Number of states and provinces visited:  4 (CA, OR, WA, BC [Canada])
Total miles driven: 3300
Minimum total number of Diet Cokes consumed: you don't want to know
Number of gas fill-ups (some only half tanks, though): 11
Highest price paid for gas: $4.39/gallon
Lowest price paid for gas: $3.79/gallon
Average miles per gallon:  33.82 (in my 2001 Toyota Corolla)
Number of hours of the audiobook of Game of Thrones listened to: 22 hours, 45 minutes (still not done, but close)
Number of speeding tickets received:  1 (AARRRRRGGGHHH.  For SUPPOSEDLY going 82 in a 65.)
Number of former students visited on their college campuses: 3 (Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Puget Sound)
Number of books bought from and signed by their authors:  2 (the previously mentioned Enlightening Moments by Gary and Radha Bello, and The Rabbi Wore Moccasins by Arthur Gross Schaefer)

Total number of nights I slept in my own bed until Road Trip 2 of 3 began this morning:  5

Here we go!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Literature is like DNA..."

My last full day in the Bay Area was spent, again, Visiting Former Students At Their Universities.  I went to see the lovely and talented Hannah at UCSC - supposedly the University of California at Santa Cruz, but I can see now why it's often called UC Summer Camp.  Totally different view of the campus than I got at the beginning of this trip when I visited another friend there.

Took some of the apparently requisite Mom-pics...

 I took Hannah with me to dinner with good friends and then dancing at Loui Tucker's Monday night Israeli dance session (yay!) and there, Aaron gave me another lesson:  How to Poach A Pear.  This guy came seriously prepared! 

Which one is the college student?
On Tuesday, I went to my first-ever 8:30am college class, because when I was actually in college, I dropped every single class that started earlier than 10am.  (Nope, still not ashamed.)  I fit right in, no? 
Before hitting the road, Hannah taught me the guitar chords for "Nights in White Satin", one of my all-time favorite songs, and thereby ended the Northwest edition of the Teach Erica Something World Tour.  So happy, so satisfied, so ready for the Cross-Country edition!