15785708171_4f43d0e647_z What was one of your favorite songs when you were a kid? What is one of your favorite songs now? Wow, as a kid…probably Weezer’s “Buddy Holly”—The Blue Album was the very first cd I owned (a present for my birthday), and I played the hell out of it, over and over to the annoyance of my folks. To this day it’s a regular on any mix cd I put together (and yes, I still put together mix cds!). Probably one of my favorite songs (period) of the last five or so years is “Side of the Road” by Big Black Delta. It’s so funky and dance-y and I listen to it in some form nearly every day (seriously). Check it out: so so good.

Link us to a favorite online story/a story you read and couldn't stop thinking about. I’m going to cheat a bit: The best book I’ve read this year has been Matthew Gavin Frank’s Preparing the Ghost—I can’t stop thinking about it, can’t stop revisiting it; it’s been making me re-think my own approach to the written word in and what I’m able to do on the page. Anyway, there’s an excerpt of it up @ The Nervous Breakdown, a great primer to get you ready for the world he's created, I think.

You travel a lot. Tell us about one of your favorite places in the world. Okay, so this is tough. I usually reference Paris in some form, since it’s my most favorite city, but I’ve been thinking about Up North—that’s what we refer to the great swathe of green that makes up most of the upper portion of Michigan’s lower peninsula. Specifically, the Traverse City area, dense green potted with the bluest lakes you’ve ever seen, each only a stone’s throw, winding roads that zip you across Lake Michigan’s gorgeous shoreline, through three story-tall sand dunes. I’m thinking, specifically, of these little beach towns in the early summer months, ever so quiet (before the tourists flood in), how at peace I feel up there, among all that green, all that natural life. It’s a wonderful place in the world that I (try to) visit often—and wish I was there now.

What is (one of) your favorite word(s)? Tell us why. The word “oak." I don’t know what it is, I just find it to be this beautifully pure word…maybe it’s the way your mouth forms this luscious “oh” that leads to this hard “k” and how it all comes together…perhaps, too, it’s just for what the word presents: a stately tree, a tree known as a “storehouse of cosmic wisdom”…strong and tall. And maybe none of those things. I really can’t say, but I love it.

What is your favorite candy? Swedish Fish. I don’t eat a lot of candy, but I could mow bag after bag of those beauties.

Tell us about your favorite article of clothing. Tell us why. I have this old gray tee-shirt (a staple of mine) that I’ve had for years, through good times and bad. I wash it and beat it to hell and yet, it still exists. It still feels as comfy as it did the day I bought it, it fits like a glove, and something about it, slipping it on, makes me feel safe, comfortable, like nothing in the world can harm me. Bombastic, I know, but that’s what a good piece of clothing can do, I think—protect you from the world.

What is your favorite animal? The elephant. My, they’re majestic and wise and just wonderfully intelligent creatures. I sort of (now and again) collect elephant statuettes, too.