>1. Weather. It’s snowing. Finally.
2. Name dropping. It’s no longer a rare occurrence, but I still get a kick out of seeing people I know in the New York Times Book Review—either the reviewer or the reviewee. This week there are two, back to back. First, Lorraine Adams (the Fellow in my workshop at Bread Loaf in 2005) reviews The Bastard of Istanbul, by Elif Shafak. I can’t read the review until later, though, because I also acquired an advance copy and am about half way through; I don’t want Lorraine’s review to influence me. And second, on the very next page, Amy Bloom (with whom I worked at the IU Writers’ Conference in 2006) reviews a biography of Masud Khan. (Bloom describes him as a snob and a menace to the vulnerable, among other things, and I believe she knows whereof she speaks.)
3. Books. Occasionally I become upset that my new book acquisitions outpace my reading and adopt a policy (only loosely enforced) of allowing myself to buy just one book for ever two I read. But now that I have long since run out of bookshelf space and there are dozens of books piled in the guestroom (dozens being a conveniently elastic sort of counter), a new policy is in order. As of today, I can only buy a book if I (a) read two books AND (b) dispose of two books. It will still take a me a good long time (think 2037 or so) to read all the unread books on my shelves but at least I have some hope of reclaiming the guestroom by year’s end.
4. Football. Conference championships today. Usually I’ve lost interest by this point in the playoffs, but this year I have a link to 3 of the 4 teams and that 4th team is everybody’s underdog, the Saints. I grew up in Indiana, so I can claim to be a Colts fan. I went to school and lived in both Chicago and Boston, so I can claim the Bears and the Patriots, too! Unfortunately, thanks to Dish TV’s legal troubles, the only network I currently get is CBS, so I’ll be able to watch the Colts-Patriots, but not the Bears-Saints. Go ColtsPatriotsBears!