I woke up at 6 something again, my body is being weird. I don’t normally function on six hours of sleep but that seems to be the norm in the last week. So I did some editing since I was awake.
Today I went to see Neil Gaiman at the New Yorker Festival. I was looking forward to this for a while and I was really happy that it lived up to all my expectation. Really worth the $30. He is an awesome speaker. This was a conversational interview with Dana Goodyear, a staff writer of the New Yorker, and he was funny and intelligent as always. This is the first time I’ve seen him live, but I read his blog and I have seen interviews on line. It was, of course, much better live especially since I got there early enough to get a seat in the first row on the right side and it wasn’t a large theater. So he was right there. I was feeling off and depressed this week and the ninety minutes this afternoon listening to one of my favorite authors talk really just made me feel happy again.
• Coraline - he talked about his daughter Holly being the inspiration behind this book because of the kind of stories Holly wanted to hear as a child and the kind of story she made up herself at age four. He also talked about the adventure of trying to actually publish this horror story for children and how it came about – a daughter of the publisher pretended not to be afraid of the story to hear the ending and the publisher thought it was safe for children. (Coraline was the first book of his that I actually read, right before reading the first Sandman volume.)
• Doctor Who – what he could reveal about his upcoming episode: some old character is wearing a new face and the episode will reference at least one classic episode. He also told a wonderful story to illustrate the importance of the show to British cultural consciousness and why for him a chance to write for the show was so awesome. One of his early memories as a three year old was taking a milk carton with a straw at lunch at pre-school-type place and pretending it was a Dalek. He made “exterminate” sounds.
• American Gods – there are enough stories for another book. Which will happen eventually. He talked more about how the book was the reflection of his immigrant experience of coming to America.
• Sandman – they showed some covers and explained the collaborative work with the artist; many covers have Gaiman’s altered image on them. He really looks like Morpheus in person too. (I only read four out of eleven Sandman volumes, I need to save up and buy more.)
• We were also the audience for the American premiere of “Statuesque,” a Neil Gaiman directed short silent eight minute film starring Bill Nighy and Amanda Palmer that only aired in England. It was cute.
The Q&A section was great too – good questions. What really impressed me was how awesome he was at the end of the event. He simply got off the stage and just started sighing books (and a leather jacket of some guy with signatures on his jacket). He really didn’t have to since it wasn’t official signing, but he wanted to get as many things signed as he good before the theater kicked everyone out. I got my copy of “Fragile Things” signed since it is one of my favorite short story collections. It takes me a while to get to Manhattan but it was really worth it.( pictures of Neil Gaiman signing stuff )
Before I had to be at the Festival event, I stopped by to get some food at a café close to Carnegie Hall. They had brunch and I got eggs and toast and potatoes and it was very delicious.
I discover new things every time I go into the city. Today it was a new statue in Battery Park (where you can get on a boat to visit Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty) called “Immigrants.” I took some pictures; it was really interesting and beautiful.( Immigrants statue picture )
This morning, as I was traveling to the city, I read the National Geographic article on Jane Goodall. I still find it amusing that this comes out just as I’m finishing teaching an article by her in my class. I love the photo
of just her seventy something face – she just looks beautiful and her face really shows a life well lived. She did stumble into her career quite by accident, although having a mentor like Louis Leakey does help in the long run. One of the pictures of the chimps in the article is a little explicit and would not be publishable if it were a human (I don’t think it is online).
Cross stitching works really well with watching “Real Time with Bill Maher” – I don’t have to actually watch the screen intensively to hear the conversations between guests. ( Dexter S5E2 )
My grandmother Tanya died eleven years ago today, so I wanted to take some time and remember the most wonderful and amazing person I have ever met in my life. This was my blog entry
a year ago.