Monthly Archives: January 2012

Look like Nebraska should have stayed in the Big XII

Look at this map – the Big XII is practically the only conference not rife with dead zones. Look at all those happy green dots spread across Nebraska. (Though my hometown out in the west rates only a purple dot.) The SEC and Pac-12 – you’re screwed. The B1G is mostly screwed, too.

Well, I guess it will be on the Husks to keep the B1G going. With some help from Iowa, evidently.

A word is required

In 2001, I was living in Tokyo and there was this girl.

In 2002, I left Tokyo and there wasn’t this girl anymore.

In 2003, I wrote a story about her and us. Cheap loop-de-loop tricks obscured the story itself. It was sent to hard drive exile.

In 2010, I cut the crap and got to the story.

In January 2011, the story was published at Night Train.


In November 2011, the girl found me on Facebook and we friended one another. Now we exchange messages and are talking about Skyping one of these times.

Last night, I was sipping bourbon and thinking about Tokyo and her and that story and posted a status indicating as much on Facebook.

This morning, she liked my status.

This morning, I am writing about all this here.

I don’t know what word captures the moment of (inter)cultural possibility that we have arrived at here. I think we need one.

Welcoming in the Year of the Dragon

It is very usual for Civiliz’d and Polite Nations to look upon all others as barbarous … Europe now being the seat of learning, and Science, wherein learned Academies are set up for the Discovery of Hidden Secrets in Nature, we take all the Rest of Mankind for meer Barbarians: But Those who have Travel’d into China and Japan, must confess those People far surpass us in the endowments, both of body and mind.

-Jean Crasset, 1705


The Museum, ten thousand years from now

When those creatures of my imagination, the Galactic Museum-Keepers, look back on our past, with the objectivity of a vantage point near the edge of the universe, ten thousand years into the future, they will center their display on China, and cram Western civilization into a corner of some small vitrine.

– Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

Ringing in the new year with a rejection-o-rama

Since its last update, I’ve been rejected an additional 14 times. Most of them have involved that same long story that The New Yorker and Paris Review liked but didn’t take. That one has been rejected 30 (yep – thirty) times so far, and is awaiting dismissal at 8 other places as we speak. When some editor finally sees fit to grab hold of this story, it’ll rate its own post on its own long strange journey.

Not going to go relive all the rejections, except to say that the turn-downs from Needle (I WILL CRACK THAT MARKET SOMEDAY, GODDAMMIT) and Shimmer and The Pedestal and Unstuck and CutBank were encouraging. Not nearly as encouraging as an acceptance, but hey.

The Failure list has been updated.