Sunday, December 26, 2004

Stunned this morning by the earthquake news. Tidal waves have long been a nightmare of mine—a recurring dream of running up toward the towering wave and then away again, but never fast enough.... Emily's friend Benji Feldman is vacationing in Thailand and we're worried about him. Benji, if you read this, phone home.

We're off to New Jersey today for my stepmother's world-famous day-after-Xmas dinner, then going to Philadelphia tomorrow to hang out with my dear friends Mr. and Mrs. Noz, plus two MLA job-seekers, Richard and Brian. Glad I'm not doing it this year.

Christmas is always a weird time for me. We celebrated it when I was growing up in a spirit of ecumenical confusion, so I do have the usual associations with early morning excitement, stockings, the tree, etc. But my evolving Jewish consciousness has left me somewhere between indifferent and alienated. Even more significant of course is the fact that my mother died a few days before Christmas when I was 21 years old—so probably the holiday would have been ruined for me even if I wasn't a Jew. I'm often depressed this time of year and it's a relief to have the whole thing over with and Philly to look forward to. We had a nice enough day, though, especially toward the end, when we discovered a genuinely good Chinese restaurant right here in Ithaca with our friends Aaron and Bibliogal. Saw Kinsey afterwards, it was awright.

Not sure how much blogging I'll be doing in the coming week, if any. Hope to see some of you poetry types in or around the MLA conference. I'm looking forward to the gala reading Wednesday night at the Highwire Gallery on Cherry Street: it's a stellar lineup. Also to meeting my new publisher and, with any luck, Mr. Christian Bök himself. Happy solstice, y'all.

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