The Collagist and other festivities

I have a story up at The Collagist this week (“Field Reports,” a look at the softer side of VD), as does my friend Brian Kubarycz. One thing: Matt Bell, editor of the magazine, says in his ed letter that he’s put out 17 issues this year. I am astounded. Especially because I’ve read most of them and they’re consistently fantastic. One year at The Collagist is like 10 at other journals. Dog years. Proud.

In other news: The race to get the holiday spirit is in full swing. Dad was in town last weekend and we found a tree and lights and some cheapo ornaments at Lowe’s which we’re hoping the dogs won’t eat. Matt likes the super fat oldie timey bulbs. I am more of a fairy lights person myself, but I’m coming around on his style. For one thing, the oldie timey bulbs come in primary colors, which I like a lot better than the faintly pastel fairies. Then M and I and others went to see the Nutcracker last night, which was pretty sweet. One (of the five!) kids seated behind us complained to his parents that he couldn’t hear what they were saying. That, I realized, was one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much–a total break from language for a couple of hours. I think I could, now, seriously get into ballet for this very reason. Ballet West is putting on Dracula next fall, which could be awesome or terrible. Also, apparently Englebert Humperdink has written “Hansel and Gretel” the “opera.” I am almost flummoxed enough to go, but tickets are not so cheap.

A week ago I turned my radio station to 106.5, all Christmas all the time, and I haven’t switched it since. I walk through Smith’s fingering hideous bearded wooden santas and printed cloths and various gold-painted candelabra-like items and consider buying them because they are festive! And also already on sale. The holidays are an excuse to be a cheeseball. The holidays, for me, are also a holiday from taste. This is freeing. I will know some sort of bottom has been hit when I finally break down and purchase a Mannheim Steamroller album. Stay tuned.

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