In case you were wondering where I am - and I would not blame you if you were, for I frequently am unsure, and I keep tabs on me, -- I am in Melbourne, the one in Australia not the one in Florida. I am staying with my friends Peter Nicholls and Clare Coney, and am here with my wife, who is going to be doing all sorts of rock and roll things in Australia for the next few months.
I got here last week and promptly did an event for the Wheeler Centre, at the Atheneum Theatre, which was, despite the jet-lag, enormous fun, and even more fun because I got to spend time with Tom Stoppard, who I met back in 2007 in Brazil, and like enormously.
(Here's a photo taken in the Green Room beneath the stage, by Alison Croggan, who interviewed Tom.)
And with that done, my work here (the bits that consist of turning up on a stage, anyway) was 1/3 over. On the 28th I'll be at the Factory Theatre in Sydney for a Sold Out show, and on New Year's Eve I'll be part of Amanda's rather astonishing-looking Party. It goes from 8 pm until 2 am, features Amanda and me and Meow Meow and the Jane Austen Argument and all sorts of amazing people, and I'm planning to write something new and New Year's Evey for it. It's a small venue and is, Amanda assures me, her way of making sure that she goes to a New Year's Eve party that she loves. There are a few tickets left at http://www.revoltproductions.com/melbourneevents/byevent/NYE1
The episode of Selected Shorts in which I read TROLL BRIDGE has gone up at http://www.selectedshorts.org/onair/, with a direct link to the audio here. It's lots of fun, and there's a Jorge Luis Borges story as well.
Cat Mihos is doing something really nice over at Neverwear.net. She's giving something from the store away each day, to the person who has done something cool to deserve it. Some people are nominating themselves, some are nominating friends. You can read about it at http://kittysneverwear.blogspot.com/
In addition, she's giving $5 off each item in the store, with the code nice-kitty.
It's the time of year when I like to link to this Independent article I did a few years ago.
I do not recall lobbying for anything, as a boy, as hard as I lobbied, with my sisters, for a Christmas tree.
My parents objected. "We're Jewish," they said. "We don't do Christmas. We do Hanukkah instead."
...This did nothing to stop the lobbying. Anyway, Hanukkah was no substitute for Christmas. My parents, unlike my grandparents, didn't always remember to keep Hanukkah, and even when my mother remembered the festival, we children could see that a menorah and candles were not a Christmas tree. My parents kept kosher, went to shul on high holy days but that was the extent of things in our house. My grandparents were properly observant Jews. My parents were not particularly observant Jews, while we children were, quite simply, bad Jews. We knew we were bad Jews because we wanted a Christmas tree...
The "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" special goes out on the 23rd of December, on NPR and on TV. I'm told that there's a lot more of me on the radio than there will be on the telly. "I think once everybody got a look at it, they realized the throne thing we put you in was a terrible mistake," explained Peter Sagal.
There are two new books up at Neil Gaiman presents, and I'm thrilled about both of them.
ANITA was a book I remembered from my teenage years. It's a book about a young witch in the 1960s. It has the best grandmother in fiction in it, better even than the one in the Addams Family. It's funny and sweet and creepy and moving. There's a sample of it at http://www.audible.com/pd?asin=B006L7BA6O&source_code=NGAOR0002WS101911 - Nicola Barber reads it, and I think her reading is excellent.
If you loved the audiobook we did of Keith Roberts' Pavane... I'm afraid this is nothing like that at all.
Oops. Out of time. You will have to wait to find out about the other book. (We are going to see The Terminativity tonight. More tomorrow.)