Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Biannual Post

So, I definitely have not posted in a while. Below are a few of the things I have been doing:

Backpacking the Porkies in the very North-Western part of the UP with my dad and friend, Ajani:

Kayaking (The second one is my dad--click on it for a better view):

Tigers Game with my brother Steve, my dad, and my grandpa:

So, the summer has been great. It is even better, though, to be back in school. The semester started last Monday, which means I am back to teaching, back to studying, and still writing. Also over the summer, I read Pynchon's 1973 masterpiece Gravity's Rainbow. It took me most of the summer, but was well worth it. I also was able to sneak in George Saunder's Pastoralia, David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, and Lee Siegel's latest, Love and the Incredibly Old Man. I am not sure if I mentioned it in a past post, but I've been in contact with Siegel, having written my MA thesis on his incredible and exhaustive novel, Love and Other Games of Chance. So, I actually received the new novel in the mail from Hawaii, from where he sent it to me in advance of its release. He kindly enscribed it to me with encouragement and warm wishes. If you have not yet had the chance to read Lee Siegel, you should certainly do so soon.

This semester I am teaching Freshman Composition again. I am also taking a Fiction workshop and a directed study with Stephen Burn, and my friend, Elizabeth. The study is on Metafiction and the Novel. I anticipate a lot of good things to come from it. The course basically consists of reading ten metafictional novels, beginning with Laurance Sterne's 1759 masterpiece, The LIfe and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, which has had me laughing aloud the past few days as I've been reading it, Vladimir Nabokov's 1962 novel, Pale Fire, and eight other novels of our choice, which, for me, will be including Richard Powers, John Barth, Robert Coover, B.S. Johnson, William H. Gass, and probably some more David Foster Wallace.

In addition to these fine activities, I am golfing eighteen holes every Wednesday night, grilling often on the back porch of our lovely, new apartment, jogging thrice weekly, working at the food co-op, and riding my bike just about everywhere. (Yesterday, Stacey bought me a small luggage rack for my bike so I can ride it to campus and to the co-op without the burden of my bookbag.)

I hope you've all enjoyed my biannual post. I must turn in now. The morning will be coming very early tomorrow.