Sedaris on recapturing travel experiences

David Sedaris is at it again in the New Yorker. And here I figured that it would probably be awhile before he wrote for them again due to the intrusive nature of their fact-checkers.

When you’re young, it’s easy to believe that such an opportunity will come again, maybe even a better one. Instead of a Lebanese guy in Italy, it might be a Nigerian one in Belgium, or maybe a Pole in Turkey. You tell yourself that if you travelled alone to Europe this summer you could surely do the same thing next year and the year after that. Of course, you don’t, though, and the next thing you know you’re an aging, unemployed elf, so desperate for love that you spend your evening mooning over…

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WAIW Reviewed in the Key West Citizen

I just stumbled upon a review of WAIW in the Key West Citizen.

Do you know where your clothes were made, by whom and under what conditions? Do you care? Should you care?

There’s at least one journalist and travel writer out there who thinks you should.

In his non-fiction debut “Where Am I Wearing,” former Keys resident and Ohio native Kelsey Timmerman contemplates the tag in the back of his favorite T-shirt (it reads “Made in Honduras”) and decides to visit the places where his clothes were made in the hope that he might meet just a few of the people who had produced them.

Key West is where I got my start as a writer. It’s less romantic than it sounds. I didn’t write with a mojito at…

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Russell Athletics and Union Busting

The latest ire of the anti-sweatshop movement is Russell Athletics. Activists have convinced major universities to cancel apparel contracts with the company.

From Forbes.com:

According to the Workers Rights Consortium, a group that monitors labor conditions abroad for colleges, Russell spent two years trying to intimidate workers who attempted to unionize before closing the factory when they did.

“They’re well on their way to being the first company in history to be kicked out of collegiate sports because of their labor practices,” said Scott Nova, the executive director of the WRC. “I can’t imagine their affiliates will be too happy about that, which includes the NBA and the NFL and others.”

Russell says it announced the closure of the factory last October due to falling demand for the fleece sewn there….

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Travel makes the headlines hit home

(I was going to post on some recent headlines that hit me kind of hard. When I started to write about them, I realized I was just rewriting something I had written already. This is that something. I wrote it 5 years ago, but it’s still how I feel.)

Visiting a friend who is a fine wine and cheese kind of guy, he asks me, “What’s your favorite cheese to eat with red wine?”

I turn the question over in my head searching for the perfect cheese or at least one that sounds like it: American, Swiss, French (is there French cheese or only dressing?), Colby, cheddar, smoked cheddar with bacon, Velveeta. “I don’t know? I’m just a simple small town kinda of fella. I actually…

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Yesterday, what a laugh

Yesterday I was asked about the theoretical structure of “Where Am I Wearing?” I gave an answer that involved my underwear. I don’t think that plays well in Academia. What I wanted to say was this…

“WAIW isn’t an academic work…people actually enjoy reading it!”

And in bigger news…

Harper laughed!

I’m out of town for one night and I miss her first laugh. Annie gave me the news last night. I’m not sure what time she laughed, but I wonder if at that exact moment her father was being asked about the theoretical structure of his book….

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David Sedaris Ball State recap

Last week I saw David Sedaris speak at Ball State University here in Muncie.

Nothing is off limits for his wit. Israeli-Palestinian conflict – cracked me up. His family’s love for off-beat taxidermy – killed. At one point he was talking about the preserved severed head of a South American girl from the 15th century and I’m sure I wasn’t alone in my struggle to keep from laughing aloud.

One of the stories he read was about his decision to put out a tip jar during a book tour. He did it to be funny, but soon he was pulling down $200 – $400 per night and, regardless of how great the crowd was, he started to judge them on the amount they tipped him. I…

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You know that you've made it when…

…you are a local cake judge. That’s what I am today at Kennedy Library in Muncie.

I’m one of the judges in the libraries annual Edible Books Festival:

Entirely edible creations should feature books, a literary theme, stories, authors and/or characters. That’s right, all entries must be created of edible materials. Cakes, pies, vegetables, nuts, bread, popcorn, juices, candy and other food stuffs are great. Just make sure it doesn’t melt or get yucky before the Festival is over at 4 p.m.

This should be fun. Unfortunately, because of health code stuff, there will be no eating of the cakes. So I’ll be judging books that can’t be read and cakes that can’t be eaten.

Last night Annie made an Edible Book based on Where Am I Wearing?. (I…

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Bangladesh to ban begging

Bangladesh Beggar

From the Guardian. (I saw the link on Relevantmagazine.com)

Bangladesh’s newly elected government plans to eradicate begging from the streets of Dhaka and five regional cities during the next five years, after pushing an anti-begging bill through parliament this week.

The heart of the issue:

Farah Kabir, ActionAid Bangladesh’s country director, said: “The [Bangladeshi] government needs to spell out how it will achieve the ambitious target of eliminating begging in five years. We need to see the plan. We will welcome it if the plan is to move people out of poverty, to provide beggars with an alternative livelihood. But the question is, will it just be a measure to make the poor invisible? This was tried in the 1980s when beggars were moved to…

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Where Am I Wearing Wednesday: PJ's

It’s neither one hour before bed nor one hour after, and I’m wearing pajamas. I realize that this is totally unacceptable.

Like drinking alcohol before noon, wearing pajamas after noon is a sign that you have a problem.

I have a problem.

Or do I? Maybe it’s these darn social norms, these social sensibilities regarding fashion, that are the problem. Why is it that I can’t be at my most comfortable all the time?

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone just wore pajamas?

Think about it. Folks would be happier because they are more comfortable. Crime would go down because most pajamas don’t have pockets to conceal, say, a switchblade. I was going to say that we would all be more equal without expensive suits and…

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