Thursday, December 06, 2012

A brand-new review of the Cactus Eaters, in this month's Memoir Journal (this blog journal entry was thoroughly updated on Monday, December 17)

. I just found out that this month's Memoir Journal, featuring this arresting cover photograph and a Wild interview with Cheryl Strayed, includes a brand-new (and as it turns out, very positive) review of my book, The Cactus Eaters. It's nice to find out that reviews continue to trickle in at this late hour, especially now that I've settled down, bought myself a CPAP, and stopped all my adrenalized wanderings and pulse-pounding adventures at least for the time being. Unless you include  going to the corner store and attempting to buy organic prunes without getting mugged by some idiot. See entry below. Addendum to this blog posting: I finally read the review. They loved The Cactus Eaters, and described it as a companion to Wild. One particular line in the review made me gasp when I read it, but I've decided to just let you read the review for yourself (rather than perpetuate the line by putting it on my blog.) A bunch of people asked me why I don't just post a link to the review. The answer is, the magazine does not, as far as I know, exist in an online version so you will need to head to a bookstore and pick it up.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

What is Cactuseaters, anyhow? A compendium of links regarding this blog, various writings, Catamaran Literary Reader information, updates, uncensored book reviews and more

             I'm still stewing about that prune incident, and I'll have more to say about it soon.

In the meantime, here are some links and other readings for you to consider, especially if you're new to this blog. Here is a new story about Catamaran Literary Reader, which employs me as contributing editor, and another recent news report.  Here are links and uncensored editorial reviews about my first book, The Cactus Eaters, which is a true story.  I have gone ahead and republished and updated The Cactus Eaters FAQ. Also, here is story about my unfortunate run-in with the people at the Pain Quotidian bakery. Here is a podcast of my Catamaran talk with TC Boyle.  And here is a blog post about my neighbor, who wants his housemates to touch him on the knee. By the way, I used to have a whole bunch of Catamaran and Cactus Eaters links on my home page, but I somehow pressed the wrong button and they all went away. That accidentally pressed button resulted in an instant unwanted streamline and instant redesign of my blog, which is looking a little too 'aspirational yuppie" for my taste.  I'll have to call the good folks at Blogger and ask them how to bring my blog back to its old, clunky self and restore those missing links.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Some idiot just tried to mug me in the middle of an organic health food store!

Alternate title: "Some idiot just tried to mug me at the Food Bin"

You won't believe this. On Sunday at 1:30 p.m, I was set upon by a loud, anti-Semitic, near-toothless mugger, right in the middle of a health food store. To be precise, he tried to mug me in front of the shriveled apricots.

That afternoon, I stopped by the Food Bin & Herb Room (you know this place? In Santa Cruz, California? It's this endearing if dark and dingy little throwback of an organic food store with "like, dude'' cashiers and interesting produce. ) I stopped there to get some dehydrated plums. They have really good ones there, for some reason, and just as I was loading up my little plastic bag, I saw this guy behind me with only four teeth, in the lower part of his jaw. He was probably in his early 50s with a smeary coat and a black beard.

"This is when you give me some money for a few of these goodies, brother," he told me.

 That got my hackles up right there. When a stranger in Santa Cruz calls you 'brother,' nothing good will ever come of it.

When I just kept on shopping and ignoring him, he grabbed me by my shirt, gave me a little shove, and he said, "You're not understanding me, brother. This is NOT a yes or no question."

When I brushed his hands off, and got in his face, and told him, "you're getting no money off me, brother," he called me a word that you generally do not want to call any Jewish person (I just so happen to be Jewish) if you want to leave a health food store with your four teeth in their rightful places. I explained to him that this was a highly offensive term and that he would now have to leave. Although he took several giant steps toward the door, he stopped in front of the bulk food aisle, at which point he indignantly told me I couldn't kick him out "because I used to work here."

Anyways the management finally, sort of, came to my assistance and told him he should leave and he finally did, so the whole thing came to a nice, non-violent conclusion.

I'm proud to say he didn't succeed in mugging me, and I'm glad I told him off. So it all ended well. Still, I'm buying my prunes from Staff of Life or New Leaf Community Market next time. Security  there  is generally good, and you don't have to worry about people shaking you down for lunch money in front of the kale display.