First things first: It has returned to my attention that the 37th Annual Atlanta Open Orthographic Meet will be held this Saturday, February 17th at 7PM. This is alarming, because I leave for vacation on Saturday morning, meaning that I will miss the spelling bee (with beer and burgers) for the second year in a row. It is an amazingly fun event, and I am bummed to be missing it. I’m looking for a volunteer to attend on my behalf and file a report with us. BGB’s Weezie (also out of town this weekend) wrote this account of the 2005 meet. (This post explains her “penuts” reference.)
In other book news, I had the most unexpected literary experience of the year last week. Our city buses now have televisions on them that blare inane crap that annoys me to no end while I’m trying to read on our way to the train station (the TVs are provided by a service that touts the “captive audience” for ad space – grrr). The fare usually includes trivia (my favorite question asks “Who am I?” while showing a picture of Abraham Lincoln and facts about his life are slowly revealed), weather forecasts for out of town sporting events, cooking tips by two jackasses that dress up in different outfits and speak in different accents depending on what they’re cooking, etc. Anyway, the other day on the bus, I stopped reading for some reason and looked up to find that Mark Z. Danielewski was being interviewed about his book Only Revolutions. Flabbergasted. I challenge you to come up with a more random and WTF? (but true) unexpected literary moment.
Finally, Dave Eggers and Valentino Achak Deng will be reading from Eggers’ fictional autobiography of Deng, What is the What on March 18th at the Center for Southern Literature. I’m there. Make sure to reserve your spot.