Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Hat Says: "Deny Everything"

I've spent the last couple days on the road and then briefly in Washington, D.C. covering a rally for the newspaper where I work. I'm tired. I understand that's more important to me than to you, but, all the same. I'm tired.

It was my second trip to D.C. and both have been job-related. I've walked right on by so many places and things I'd like to stand for a bit and enjoy. So this time, I took a few minutes and went across the street from where the rally was staged in Russell Park and had a good, close look at the Capitol Building. It was like that scene from National Lampoon's Vacation, the grand canyon scene with Chevy Chase in the cowboy hat clutching his wife's shoulder and bouncing a few minutes and then taking back off to the road.

I've finished a first draft of a review I've written of Shya Scanlon's IN THIS ALONE IMPULSE. It's a rich book, tasty and strange. It's a meal like I've never had. More on this later.

I received a copy of Mel Bosworth's GREASE STAINS, KISMET, AND MATERNAL WISDOM in the mail last week and purposely waited until my D.C. trip to read it. I wanted a friend with me on the ten-hour bus ride, you know? Anyways, Mel had me turning pages so quickly I ended up facing the possibility of spending the next nine hours with nothing to read. I didn't even bring anything else, which was okay, because I'm going to write about GREASE STAINS, too, so I just read it again and again in intervals until the bus stopped.

I bought a hat at a shop in Union Station (I'm addicted to buying, wearing, staring at, holding hats) that says "Deny Everything." I bought it in a gift shop, but it's a hat sold primarily at the International Spy Museum. I like it, but wearing it makes me feel somehow accused or already guilty or shady. My hat says: "Hi. I will lie to you." But I like it.

Nicolle Elizabeth contacted me through Fictionaut and asked if I'd like to talk to about A-Minor. I said yes and then answered the questions she sent and shot a message back. Now I'm worried I might have sent something else besides my originally intended list of answers. I don't know why. It's a nagging feeling, like I accidentally sent her a list of movies I'd like to watch in the next month or something.

I'll leave you with this interesting fact: Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.


  1. no more head banging, shel. just sleep.

  2. enjoyed reading this. right there with you. would like to see some of those hats (i'm an ex-hat-addict).

  3. Damn it! I wish I knew you were here,especially for that rally! I work for a labor union, and almost went to that rally. Crud.

  4. I wish the same. We would have took D.C. by storm. I spent most of the time just hanging around in Russell Park after I'd finished my whatevers as a journalist. We could have rocked.


let's talk about it

Lincoln in the Bardo: George Saunders wrote a fine book that could have also been a fine short story but was a fine book afterall

George Saunders's Booker Prize-winning book  Lincoln in the Bardo  is a powerfully good book. One of my favorite reads this year ...