Drake sophomore spends spring break at Wal-Mart

Like, he didn't leave the Windsor Heights, Iowa store. He walked around, bought food and ate it, watched a lot of movies and videogames, and slept sometimes in the restroom, sometimes in the lawn and garden center. Until the "greeters" caught on.

Freaking Genius

I so want this for my living room, it's not even funny.



Salad Fingers

Bizarre, demented, awkward, addictive short cartoons by David Firth ... starring Salad Fingers.

Episode 1, "Spoons"
Episode 2, "Friends"
Episode 3, "Nettles"
Episode 4, "Cage"
Episode 5, "Picnic"
Episode 6, "Present"
Episode 7, "Shore Leave"

Charles d'Ambrosio lecture, David Lynch in Iowa webcast


4pm today -- Pappajohn W401, "How to Write Dialogue"

9:30-10:30am Saturday -- If you didn't pony up the $115 registration fee to spend the weekend meditating and eating vegetables with David Lynch (try the DAILY WEATHER REPORT or, if you dare, CONTINUE and look at the TRAILERS) at the Maharishi University of Management in nearby Fairfield, you can watch his Q & A tomorrow morning for free on the Web. Mr. Lynch, who credits his insanely creative imagination partly to meditation, will be discussing "Filmmaking, Consciousness, and the Creative Process." (Not his first time in Iowa, btw -- remember The Straight Story took place in Iowa.)
I meditate in the morning and in the evening, for half an hour each time. I don't know what my life would be without meditation and I never have missed one session anywhere. I've meditated every day for the past 23 years... the idea of that is to expand consciousness by clearing the machines of consciousness, which is the nervous system, and the greater the consciousness, you know ... I think in the analogy of fishing, the deeper your hook can go to catch the bigger ideas. And it's very important to get down in there. Sitting comfortably, in a chair, drifting off, not trying to manipulate what's in front of you, sometimes you can drop into a beautiful area or bounce up to higher, whichever way you want to see it, into a beautiful area and catch ideas.


Buried Gore documentary up on Google

See Spike Jonze's 13-minute handheld record of a day with the Gores before the 2000 Democratic Convention. The film is available on McSweeney's Wholphin DVD, but you can watch it now for free. (Via)


"Gleason" by Louise Erdrich

New Yorker fiction -- March 20, 2006 issue

green light
Wouldn't surprise me if this became one of those rich, compact, anthologized classics we're all forced to study, the kind that make you despair of ever reaching a certain level of skill. It's all rollicking plot from beginning to end, making it hard to discuss the events without too many spoilers. Just read it. Not much about it is new -- the plot itself borrows heavily from Fargo (surely she saw it?) -- and the characters are minimally rendered, but Erdrich's careful use of language creates a deceptively plain lyric sound with the sparest economy. All the fat has been trimmed from these sentences, but none of the meat, and you can feel the bones jutting and solid beneath. Plot turns do not flatter themselves with ornamentation or literary trickery. They just roll out in the same subdued voice as everything else, adding a note of sincerity and truth to an already convincing neutrality. Pay attention to the character of Carmen. It's pretty amazing the transformation she undergoes in just 14 columns of text. A lot to be learned here.


Charles D'Ambrosio lecture

The Writers' Workshop lecture series, launched last month by Dean Young, continues next Friday. Charles D'Ambrosio will deliver a talk called "How to Write Dialogue" 4pm, March 24, at 401 West Pappajohn. Note the much-needed larger space this time.


And in Pope news...

Since Charlemagne and I work for God, I thought it time to give a report from the front lines.

Item 1: Pope Benedict gets an iPod. His reponse? "Computer technology is the future." Pithy.

Item 2 (Charlemagne gets credit for this delightful discovery): Get your Pope merch! I happen to know the Big C has his eye on the "Papist" trucker lid.

Kevin Brockmeier reading tonight

Prairie Lights, 7pm. Reading from his novel The Brief History of the Dead, which deals with events in a land between life and death, where people are dead but alive in someone's memory. A review is here.



Supreme Court Strikes Anna Nicole Smith from the Record

William James on Iraq

Okay, not exactly, but workshop grad and pal Chris Hallman has an op-ed in today's Boston Globe pointing out the philosopher's thoughts on the Philippines, the Iraq War of his day. Seems not much has changed in 100 years.