Friday, March 07, 2008

The Year of Self-Indulgence

Saw Jennifer Michael Hecht last night for the first of her three lectures for the UA's Astrobiology and the Sacred annual series. Pretty mind-bending stuff. One of the more eloquent athiests I've heard. Compelling visions, hers.

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Saturday evening my older daughter and I will attend Kitt Peak National Observatory's Nightly Observance Program. Should be an interesting experience, and cold, too. I hope to work the experience into an essay on vision, of a sort.

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Sunday through Tuesday I'm off to the Superstition Mountains with compadre Scott Calhoun, and others, for a few more days of wildflower photography. This is turning out to be the Year of Self-Indulgence.

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What else is self-indulgent? Last week I spent $100 to join The Police Fan Club so I could advance purchase $111 tickets to see The Police with Elvis Costello up at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside Denver on July 22. I've been a lifelong fan of The Police, and while I've seen Sting in concert, never the trio. Much to my chagrin, Billie and the girls will be back in school (our year-round schedule). I hope I'm allowed to bring in my camera....

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Speaking of camera, another self-indulgence: I recently purchased a new wide-angle lens, and have ordered the new Canon Rebel XSi, too. Patience is not one of my better virtues.

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Conversely, I haven't done our taxes yet. We'll owe this year, I'm afraid.

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Grandpa Bill and Grammie Gloria are coming in next week. Between the wildflower jaunt and working late, I probably won't get to see them much, which is my loss.

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More self-indulgences, you ask? I'm home typing this instead of at work so I can catch the girls' talent show on their last day before spring break. I thought that actually less indulgent than going to work, which was my original plan.

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After the Wildbranch Writing Workshop in Vermont in June (assuming I get in, and if I go that's certainly another self-indulgence) and after the July issue of Terrain.org launches (Understory / Overgrowth), I'm hoping to make this the summer of poetry. There's something on the horizon in that context, but it's way out on the horizon and solely depends on me putting pen to paper and finding poetic success. Always an unknown.

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On the nonfiction front, still lots of submissions out there, though nothing new from a publishing perspective to report. But my friend and fellow UA MFA nonfictioner Ben Quick has an excellent essay in the current issue of Orion on Agent Orange. Way to go, Ben!

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Listening to some old grunge favorites lately: Screaming Trees, Pearl Jam, Singles soundtrack. All really frickin' awesome. What about Nirvana? All in good time, my friends.

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Finished listening to Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials triology (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass). Very well-written, very intriguing. The last one had one braid that was notably less interesting than the main story, and the ending was a bit mushy, but otherwise a great set of books that are in theory oriented toward children, but are really for adults (and young adults I suppose). Great narration on the CDs.

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Off to the talent show now. Look for photos from the wildflower trip mid-next week.

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