First thing!

I have a story called “The Next Day and the Days Ever After” in the newest issue of McSweeney’s Quarterly (issue 57, the 21st anniversary issue) and I am extremely excited! The story is an appealing combination of roofing, athletics, power, surprising charm, and a hint of obscure magic. The issue is a tri-fold full of stories, comics, letters of wisdom, pie charts, and other treasures. Every issue of McSweeney’s is an art object, and I highly recommend ordering one while they’re available!

Two additional things:

  1. This weekend I attended a dinner, presented as a tasting menu, that included 11 courses (12 if you count the “Norman Hole” which was left mysteriously unexplained until served, but turned out to be apple brandy) and lasted 8 hours, and it was one of my more remarkable recent experiences (not least because a friend cooked the whole thing, he is remarkable in patience, ambition, and culinary skill).
  2. Last night—and I feel like this must be somehow related—I dreamed that I took part in something called the “All Butter Power Hour” and when I woke up I couldn’t WAIT to tell Dave, because that sounds like his exact perfect hour. We have also been watching the new GBBO; it’s possible rough-puff pastry is responsible for this.

Actually, here’s a third (fourth?) thing, though a thing unrelated to butter: for a long time, Dave has maintained that he will periodically be in our back yard and hear a man shouting—very quietly, as if in the distance—”God damnit to hell! God damnit to hell!”—over and over again.

I have been skeptical of this person’s existence, because I’d never heard it, and it seemed possible to me that Dave’s inner frustrations were finding a slightly off-kilter manifestation in our shared reality. But today, as I was drinking morning coffee and idling through the internet, he SPRINTED into the kitchen and shout-whispered, “Come here! If you want to hear the goddamnit-to-hell man!”

I followed him into his office, to the open window, where we waited with breath withheld. There was nothing. I looked at Dave, and he crumpled into hysterical laughter, fully cognizant that he now seemed even more guilty of mild auditory hallucination. BUT THEN. “Goddamnit to hell,” I heard. “Goddamnit to hell.” Regular as a a damn metronome.

Dave and I, at this point, both began laughing hysterically.

So. Magic is real. Magic is alive. It is an angry man doing expletive reps on a sunny Wednesday morning. It is a story in one of your favorite journals. It is shared experience. It is the All Butter Power Hour.