Monday, April 25, 2005


1. I've returned to San Francisco only to discover that something from Asia returned with me. I first noticed it as a series of blood red spots on my lower legs. I dismissed it as a minor rash or as an insect bite (this is when you let yourself briefly imagine a shiny but terribly tentacled thing crawling up your pantleg before you shut down that avenue of thought altogether) But it turned out to be a bacterial infection and when I noticed it was starting to grow and spread, I called my doctor in a panic.

Its always struck me how there are so many different diseases out there and although some are rare and others are not so rare, they make up such a huge population that all of us somehow have to take our turn at hosting one or two, doing our statistical duty like being forced to quarter enemy soldiers.

2. In my volume of Icelandic fiction,, the author writing the introduction presents us with a vision of Icelanders as leading many lives, brightening their society with their multiple facets:

If it sometimes seems that everyone is a writer in Iceland, it must be noted that most Icelanders juggle several jobs - the only way to run a full-blown state and economy with fewer than 300,000 people, maintaining all the while the illusion of cosmopolitan city life in small-town Reyjavik. The mailman moonlights as a veggie chef, and the DJ teaches kindergarten during the day. Both have a couple of books of poetry out.

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