reading at Litquake

I recently recited an original short story for Litquake, San Francisco's really great annual literary festival. Images for the story were projected behind me on stage; here are a few:

The reading went pretty well. I was a little nervous since I've never performed a story before, but the instant gratification of laughter and applause was really great. It was also nice to seize control of the pacing of the story, since that can be very tricky to maintain on paper. I hope I get a chance to do this again sometime.

My friend Lark was also there and gave a great reading. Later we headed over to Books, Inc. for the reception, where we signed copies of Flight Volume Four, which we both contributed to.

Here Binny plays the Blue Guitar--a collector's item for sure...

Thanks again to Robin Ekiss and Rosie Levy Merlin for granting me the honor of participating!


Who knew "salvific" was a word? Joseph O'Neill.

I'm trying very hard not to finish this immediately:

Binh and I visited the Charles M. Schulz museum (I've been meaning to go for about three years!):

Binh is making beautiful daguerreotypes from photos he took recently in Vietnam:

The radio listened to me:

(I got to spy on the local NPR studios in San Francisco!)

"Ordet" reviewed by Ebert


stills from Ordet

For several years, I've been trying to persuade friends who care about movies to watch Carl Th. Dreyer's Ordet, surely one of my top-5 favorites. However, I've also had to warn them to be careful to read nothing online about it, which doesn't help the case to check out an obscure foreign film from 1954. Finally, Roger Ebert has written a review this movie truly deserves--he interestingly avoids criticism or any discussion of where the plot heads (which ruins it, in so many books and articles) and simply describes the experience of watching it, only up to the point that's necessary to convince you that it's worth seeing. They ought to give him another Pulitzer for casting some more attention on this film.

As much as I enjoy reading Ebert (if not for his actual recommendations all the time), I'm sad to learn that my favorite film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has retired. If you're unfamiliar, there's a nice list of selected reviews and a YouTube interview with him here, courtesy of the Chicago Reader. I credit him with greatly influencing my taste and will miss his film writing very much--though hopefully this will pave the way for new great works from him.