Behold the Japanese Fox Village

“Located near the city Shiroishi in the mountains of Miyagi, Japan, the Zao Fox Village (Zao Kitsune Mura) is a paradise for fox lovers. Open since 1990, the village is a sanctuary for over a hundred animals, including six different breeds of foxes who roam freely.” Source: My Modern Met

foxes

Me and a Squirrel

  

Dog Tired

IMG_1063Yesterday was the first truly warm day of the season, and Bones was outside and on the move start to finish. Our son had a friend over to the house; the yard was full of mud and sticks and birds and good vernal stink; the National Guard was training in the field across the street; people kept strolling, running, or walking their dogs in front of the house; there may have been cats at any moment; snacks were had; we enjoyed a barbecue at my parents’ house; Bones’s uncle Howard (a dachshund) also had spring fever; and it was really just nonstop excitement for fifteen hours. We’re taking it easy this morning.

Goodreads Giveaway for BELL WEATHER

Henry Holt and Company is giving away another 35 copies of my novel BELL WEATHER.

goodreads

The earlier giveaway is also still active, and you can sign up for that one at BELL-WEATHER.net.

The Family Stinkbug

This is the family stinkbug, Bob. “How large is this magnificent arctic stinkbug crawling toward the backyard hammock?” you ask. Oh ho, quite small, of course, and photographed here on the kitchen window.

Bob has been wintering with us all season. He was commonly seen in the upstairs bathroom but has, of late, been venturing downstairs. We cannot let him out because of the cold, and because we would miss him, and he us.



Things I Can Say About MFA Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One

After eight years of teaching at the graduate level, I grew increasingly intolerant of writing designed to make the writer look smart, clever, or edgy….I told a few students over the years that their only job was to keep me entertained, and the ones who got it started to enjoy themselves, and the work got better. Those who didn’t get it were stuck on the notion that their writing was a tool designed to procure my validation. The funny thing is, if you can put your ego on the back burner and focus on giving someone a wonderful reading experience, that’s the cleverest writing.

from Ryan Boudinot’s essay, “Things I Can Say About MFA Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One“.

Welcome to Night Vale

Very late discovering this, but the podcast WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is the greatest thing ever. The family and I just listened to the first two episodes by the light of our wood stove and were instantly addicted.

Weasel Riding a Woodpecker



Via Buzzfeed

Owls Can Swim

Random Thoughts About Godspeed You! Black Emperor

  • gybePost-rock is a term for music that could also be called post-symphonic.
  • The apocalypse sounds interesting.
  • Sometimes visionary bands get so ouroborosy about their work, their music is overshadowed by how annoying they get while rejecting common praise, but somehow this hasn’t yet happened with GY!BE, because their music remains fantastically good.
  • Some wives, and I’m not necessarily talking about anyone specific, will accompany their husbands to a GY!BE concert at the now-defunct Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ and take years before admitting that yes, GY!BE is a good band.
  • We could perhaps call it metamorphic rock.
  • It’s worth noting that certain husbands will suffer tinnitus after accompanying their wives to a Dinosaur Jr. concert, which is so loud he never actually perceives a melody, so let’s call it even.
  • One of their LPs is called F♯A♯∞ (pronounced “F-sharp, A-sharp, Infinity”), and the second side of the vinyl edition ends with a closed groove, so the needle will keep playing a drone forever.
  • In an age when almost no decent band on Earth retains any degree of mystique, GY!BE still sounds like something you’d accidentally hear on a fuzzy radio at 3AM, or on an unlabelled mix tape you found in the street.
  • One afternoon I didn’t even realize I’d been listening to the infinite vinyl drone for 30+ minutes.
  • They have a new LP coming out in March.
  • I went into a tiny record store last year, looking for a copy of the latest GY!BE album, which they didn’t seem to have until I asked the clerk, who coincidentally had a single album — the one I wanted — under the counter. He and I were both a little weirded out by that, and a little delighted.
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