I’ve been home from my most recent travels for a little over a week. I thought I was leaving winter behind in the Midwest & East, but as I type the wind is so loud outside that if I didn’t know I was inland I’d swear I was hearing the ocean.
When I was in Philadelphia I went to the Mütter Museum and took a few photos on the sly. Tweeted this first one and will repeat myself:
Appropriate subject juxtaposition on handsome old card catalog drawer.
Shadow of a skeletal torso on the fancy carpet.
I also made a pilgrimage to the excellent comic shop/gallery/publisher Locust Moon. If you’re in Philadelphia go thou and do likewise. I bought a bunch of stuff:
And enjoyed the aquarium,
the locusts & moon,
and the conversation, not pictured.
I saw some street art!
I signed a whole bunch of copies of Bad Houses!
And drew wall-eyed owls in many of them!
This is my friend & co-worker Lucien; yes that’s right, he is a Portland person but he came to Philadelphia for my signing! (N.B. that is not really why he came to Philadelphia.)
While in Philadelphia I got some swell news: in the fall I’ll be presenting along with Sara Zarr, Jo Knowles, Lauren Myracle, Matt de la Peña and Coe Booth at YALSA’s Young Adult Literature Symposium!
Finally, unrelated to any of the above: I can’t stop listening to the new Against Me! album Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Here’s the title song:
— ?estlove, Mo’ Meta Blues
A friend recently introduced me to the idea of old year resolutions: considering how you want to leave a year as well as, or instead of, how to begin it.
We had this conversation right before the holidays, and the old year resolution that came to my mind was this: Make up stories about characters, not about the actions of others.
Of course, it’s a nearly impossible goal. So much of human interaction is based on guesswork and oracle-like acts of interpretation; why’d they say that, why’d they do that, don’t they know, didn’t they think?
But I like my old year resolution as a reminder of where to focus my energy.
And the day trip: we went to the Mount Angel Abbey. I didn’t know much about it, except that my friends had been before and were enthusiastic about it, and described the abbey’s museum as a wunderkammer. Indeed.
We got to talk for a while to the affable and erudite monk working in the museum. The words on his knuckle tattoos also serve as an appropriate resolution, old year or new: HOLD FAST.