Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Video: My Reading at Essay Fiesta

So last month I had the privilege of reading at Essay Fiesta, an awesome monthly non-fiction reading series.

I read a very very abridged version of an essay I've been working on about the name Willy. Let me know what you think!

Special thanks to Pat and/or Melyssa for taking the video (not sure which one of you actually recorded it).

Willy's Essay Fiesta Reading - The Book Cellar May 16, 2011 from Willy Nast on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

All Signs Point Toward Home

On my arrival in San Francisco, I held my GPS device to the steering wheel with one hand, thankful that there were satellites in the sky guiding me. The roads there worked in three dimensions: north-south, east-west, and up-down. I put my trust in technology to keep me from getting lost, took a seemingly random series of turns, and miraculously arrived where I was supposed to go.

For the most part, the memories of my two-day visit in San Francisco blurred together like the cryptic directions on my GPS. I blindly went where I was told to go. But two particular experiences stick out, both of which occurred on public transportation. I should preface these stories by saying that I have grown very accustomed to the unwritten laws of riding public transport in a big city, where getting from one place to another is a serious, silent business. But not so in San Francisco.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Now You Can Say Wow

Alex Trebek narrated the bus ride to Hearst Castle. He wasn't there in person, of course; his pre-recorded voice played through the bus's PA system. And although it seemed fitting to hire the world's foremost expert on trivia to recite tedious factoids about the size of the hill we were climbing, about the number of years it took to build the road (a seven-mile stretch that is jokingly referred to as Hearst's driveway), about the menagerie on the side of the road that once housed polar bears, it also struck me as touch excessive. (I was the only one who laughed when Trebek reminded us to keep our arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.) Then again, the construction of Hearst Castle, the one-time residence of late newspaper czar William Randolph Hearst, was a 28-year labor of excess.