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What it’s like: My first book signings

This past weekend I had my first two book signings. “Book signing” is a bit of an overstatement in regards to my signature, so let’s call it “book defacing.”

The first was in Greenville, Ohio, one of the small towns I refer to as my hometown. When you grow up in the country you really don’t have a hometown, you have 10 acres surrounded by fields and neighbors a mile or so away. My travel column “Travelin’ Light” once regularly appeared in the local paper, and I still get people who come up to me today and say, “Aren’t you that boy who was always traveling?” Between that, and my family’s deep roots in the area I was busy the whole time.

I think I did…

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Review on Matador Travel

Eva Holland wrote a great review of Where Am I Wearing? on Matador Travel. It’s great when people get what you wrote 100%.

So if WAIW? isn’t an anti-sweatshop rant or a regurgitation of global labor statistics, what’s it all about?

In a word: People.

Now, go read it or I’ll make a point to track you down and write an expose about how you decided not to buy your grandma something for Christmas this year….

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More slaves today than ever in history

I came across an enlightening piece on slavery today in Foreign Policy. It’s written by E. Benjamin Skinner, author of A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-day Slavery.

The article leads with a description of Skinner negotiating for the purchase of a young girl between the ages of 10-12 for domestic duties and sexual ones. Later while discussing his research he says, “I did not pay for a human life anywhere. And, with one exception, I always withheld action to save any one person, in the hope that my research would later help to save many more. At times, that still feels like an excuse for cowardice.”

I can completely relate to that. Many times during my trip I wanted to single out a worker and…

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When does a trip to the bookstore become an appearance?

When you sit in front of stacks of your own book and hope the heck someone shows up to buy a couple so you can deface them with your signature that hasn’t changed since 3rd grade.

Anyhow, my first bookstore “appearance” is this weekend. Actually I’ll be doing two.

SATURDAY
I’ll be at Readmore’s Hallmark in Greenville, Ohio, from 11:30 to 1:30.

SUNDAY
I’ll be at Books-A-Million in Muncie, Indiana, from 2:00 to 4:00.

I also have plans to doing signings and/or readings at Indiana University, Purdue University, Louisville, Palm Beach (FL), Wright State University, and maybe some others. I’ll keep you posted….

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Some folks are really passionate about their disposable underwear

Today, someone left this comment in response to my OneDerWear piece on WorldHum:

This is about as stupid as the author.

I don’t mind being called stupid, but I would have much preferred for the commenter to have expounded a bit more.

But alas, this isn’t the first time I’ve been attacked for my stance on OneDerWear. (See In defense of OneDerWear). And it probably won’t be the last.

As John Cougar Mellencamp said, “You’ve got to stand for something, or you’re going to fall for anything.” It just so happens I stand firmly against OneDerWear.

Here’s a shot of me demonstrating the one good thing about OneDerWear: You can decorate them and not worry about ruining a perfectly good pair of underwear because they are neither perfect nor good.

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Journalism?

If this is journalism, I’m glad people think I’m just “some guy” and not a journalist.

I’m not saying the company, who I can’t mention for obvious reasons, is the best place in the world to work, but this story is so one-sided.

Questions that I would like answered (note: many of them are answered in the story’s comment thread):

Do workers know the hours expected of them? Come on it’s Christmas. Who in retail isn’t working like a dog? In this economy any of us will be lucky to have a job in a few months. If you’re getting paid overtime, best be padding that savings account why you can.

What benefits does the company provide? In the comment thread there is something about a wellness…

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The Church of Stop Shopping & the Christmas Revolution

Reverend Billy from the film “What Would Jesus Buy” is preaching about a Christmas Revolution this holiday season on his blog:

The big ritual of giving is changing. We have thousands of reports coming into Revbilly.com. Families are approaching the holiday as an open experiment, often in step with other families in their neighborhoods or in their places of worship. In this Christmas Revolution, we ignore the veiled threats from the media that we’re bad Americans if the retail corporate grosses sink. We are returning to the very seed of the whole thing: the act of giving.

…commercial Christmas resembles a kind of indoctrination, since these images of happiness are very similar to one another. We call this the Demon Monoculture! The fiercely happy families on the glossy boxes are,…

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