For the most part, I am focused on my self. But I’m feeling particularly altruistic today. So please allow me to promote, or pretend to promote my some of my friends, while actually using them as launching off points to talk about myself.
Let’s start with my friend, Mat Honan, who basically got a book deal by telling his wife a joke (see book title) that he astutely turned into a website that attracted a publisher. His book, Barack Obama Is Your New Bicycle: 366 Ways He Really Cares, is a compendium of all the wonderful things our next president has done to make himself such a lovable guy. Don’t forget that “Barack Obama left his W-Fi network open in case you wanted to use it,” and “Barack Obama folded you an origami crane,” and are you sitting down for this, “Barack Obama found out your ex was going to be there and warned you ahead of time.” How can you not love him for that? So, if you were uncertain what to get that Obamaniac in your life in celebration of this week’s Democratic National Convention, this is the gift. Or, for that person who treats their bicycle as the be all and end of life (is this everyone in SF?) and is looking for a change in obsession, then perhaps Barack Obama can be their new bicycle.
About my relationship with the author: I traveled with Mat and his wife, Harper, for two months in Asia. Highlights of our time together included two days of discomfort in a motorized dugout canoe traveling up the Mekong River, listening to Bush’s State of the Union address using Mat’s short-wave radio in an electricity-less town in Laos, and my bringing Mat and Harper french fries while they recovered from Dengue Fever in a Bangkok hotel. Traveling with Mat was like having my own wireless Wikipedia by my side; he knows shit about everything, which is why he’s a journalist. He currently edits and writes for Wired Magazine and wrote a damn good feature story in the August issue about coffee and an $11,00 machine that brews by the cup.
Another friend of mine, Cynjai Robinson, has a couple novels (is comic noir a literary genre?) coming out in 2009 and 2010. It may seem like a long time before you can have a copy of The Dog Park Club in your hands, but she just sent me the URL for her new website, which means you can get to know her before then, or pick up some tips on what a good “author’s website” looks like for when you need to pre-promote your next novel. There is a blog component and reading it reminds me of hanging out with her at a bar. Mostly I laugh, but I also just have to nod my head at the words that are too big for me to understand. I had my very first class (a six-week autobiography intensive) in the University of San Francisco MFA writing program with her. I remember reading that first submission of hers; “Oh,” I thought to myself. “That’s writing.”
And finally, my yoga teacher’s web site.
I. Love. Janet. Stone.
I’m not quite sure what to say about her since we’re not really friends. But I, along with over a hundred other people, am comforted by her words and poses, support and love, teachings and wisdom, every Friday night. I will buy her video and I will dream of following her to India.