Thursday, September 25, 2008


"Kafkianamente, i licenziamenti seguiranno l'ordine alfabetico delle iniziali del nome: le prime a cadere sono le J, poi le K e così di seguito...." —Il Sole on Maledetti Colleghi


Will you judge me, harshly, if I watch Made of Honor on my laptop (with headphones) on the subway on the way to work today? I'd like to return it in today's mail.

Corrections: I Put In 5 Miles at the Office

"Walking 9 to 5" Or, "How many times would I fall down each day?"

An article last Thursday about desks that include treadmills stated that Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, invented the first known treadmill desk. After the article was published, Seth Roberts, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, pointed out that he had created such a desk in 1996, eight years before Dr. Levine.

— New York Times, September 25, 2008

* I Put In 5 Miles at the Office (NYT, September 18, 2008)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

EP at Brooklyn Book Festival

On September 14, EP read from Personal Days at the Brooklyn Book Festival, joining fellow debut novelists Charles Bock and Chuck Klosterman. (Here's what the Columbia Spectator had to say.)

(Photo: Restless Reader)


Personal Days scrambles back onto the paperback fiction best seller list at Brooklyn's Book Court.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Two more readings

Next month, EP will be reading twice in New York:

1. Authors for Obama (10/19), with Paul Beatty, Nick Flynn, Elissa Schappell, Gary Shteyngart, Anthony Swofford, and actress Lili Taylor

2. Asian American Writers' Workshop (10/23), with fellow debut novelist Monica Ferrell

Saturday, September 20, 2008

*Personal Days* cribsheet

A handy guide to sorting out who's who in PD.

(List created by Soo Youn for KoreAm)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The casual Crow

"The use of causal reasoning to solve problems was previously thought to be something only humans can do. But new research suggests that crows are capable of it too. University of Auckland cognitive scientist Alex Taylor and his colleagues devised an experiment to test New Caledonian crows' causal reasoning. Turns out, they were able to succeed where even chimps fail. I, for one, welcome our new feathered overlords." —BoingBoing

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Snooker Hinge Palin"?

Today's time waster: the Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator.

Smells like team spirit

From: [...]
Date: September 15, 2008 1:13:10 PM CDT
To: [...]
Subject: Suggestion - "Spirit Committee"

Good Afternoon!
It seems that company morale has been a topic of conversation as of late, and I have a suggestion to help our efforts to make [...] a great place to work.
Study after study has shown that what workers want from their jobs is not better benefits or more money. Rather, it is the small things that make them feel commitment to their organization. One study shows the top three things workers want are: interesting work, full appreciation for the work they do, and a feeling of being in on things. Baxter Labs recently asked their employees, worldwide, what they could do to make things better for them. The resounding answer was that employees wanted to be "respected as whole human beings with a life outside of work."

What seems critical, then, in workplaces today is for leaders to respond to workers as human beings and to foster an atmosphere that is inclusive, caring, creative, appreciative and joyful. People are looking for a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in their work and, above all, they want to be respected and valued.
A [...] "Spirit Committee" could be formed, and meet on a monthly basis to brainstorm about new and creative ways to make [...] a better place to work. Ultimately, the goal would be to help the staff feel appreciated. Some suggestions…
- Ice cream day – self explanatory and yummy!
- $50.00 Gas cards – a way to reward those going above and beyond their normal duties to get the job done. Managers
submit qualifying names each month. Those names are them entered into a drawing for the gas card giveaway.
- Once a month encourage senior managers to do something creative for all employees, or for employees in their divisions:
cook them breakfast, bring around an ice cream cart, serve them doughnuts and coffee, or even take them all to lunch. These small acts of appreciation will be remembered and talked about for weeks!
- Have a "Laugh a Day" bulletin board where you display appropriate cartoons and humorous writings. You may also want to keep a fishbowl of cartoons and jokes in the reception area of your organization so that visitors, too, can have a smile while they are waiting. Research has shown that the most productive workplaces have about 10 minutes of laughter every hour.
Anyway, just a few suggestions from me. I'm sure with all of our creative folks, we could come up with TONS of great ideas.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Head cabbage

A review of Personal Days's Italian incarnation, Maledetti Colleghi (Fazi).


"Jenny says he heard head cabbage (or the Boss Russell, from which Brussels and cavoletto Brussels) singhiozzava, with the office door socchiusa. Jonah has accused of wanting to humanize the enemy. 'Maybe laughed' , Says Laars, but we all know that the laughter of head cabbage not like a weeping. Remember rather a ululato. " We are a company in Manhattan where employees consume their days with the terror of losing the place. If the boss calls you and commends you, confident that after a short time you will be sacked.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

For the birds

"Part of the wicked fun of Ed Park’s Personal Days is finding out the significance of the crow on the keypad." —The Daily Blague

Monday, September 8, 2008

Times essay — Brooklyn Book Festival

1. “To forget we must not know we are doing so, or else we are not forgetting”: Read Ed's essay on 9/11 in the New York Times.

2. For the second year in a row, Ed will be appearing at the Brooklyn Book Festival. On Sunday, September 14, at 5 p.m. on the Mainstage, Ed will join fellow debut novelists Charles Bock (Beautiful Children) and Chuck Klosterman (Downtown Owl).

Photo of EP (with Rob Sheffield) by Adrian Kinloch, from last year's Brooklyn Book Festival.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sargent Prize Shortlist

Personal Days is one of seven books shortlisted for the Mercantile Library's John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize.

(Read more at Galleycat.)

Two interviews

1. With Dylan Foley, for the Newark Star-Ledger.

2. With Lilit Marcus, for Save the Assistants.

The Woodentops

My obsession with computers (what an infancy they're in, and how it charms!) is a kind of nostalgia for the future. I long to be half-man, half-desk.
—Don Paterson, Best Thought, Worst Thought

When I stand in my office, my limbs slowly turn to wood, which one longs to set fire to, so that it might burn: desk and man, one with time!
—Robert Walser, "Helbling's Story"

Simply the best

Wink's secretary sends out an inspirational e-mail.

Monday, September 1, 2008