For N12, we interviewed our contributors on their lives outside the notebook.
Writer Aaron Simon reflects on college football and the cured meats of Sardinia.
How do you take notes on the road?
I like to carry a little notebook with me most places I go. I tend to record things I hear and jot stuff down as it happens as opposed to recapping a whole day after the fact. I also misunderstand things I hear quite a bit, which provides extremely good material for poetry.
What’s the worst place you have ever traveled to?
I’ve been to some real shit-holes so it’s a tough one. Columbia, South Carolina, in late August is pretty awful. Also, I spent a few days in Mobile, Alabama, when I was driving cross country once. There’s a giant uncleaned chemical spill nearby so the whole place smells sulfuric.
What are your favorite “travel” books?
Is there a better travel book than Moby Dick?
What was the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?
I saw Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood.” It wasn’t the game-changing film that critics have made it out to be, but it was enjoyable at times. I was more interested in the evolution of the parents (played by Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette) than the boy’s arc. They were actually great in their roles, and I thought Linklater’s daughter (the boy’s sister) was pretty fantastic too. Most of the time, however, it kind of felt a bit too heartwarming – like a three hour episode of the NBC show “Parenthood.”
What do you do every day to keep yourself entertained when not on the road?
It really depends on the time of the year. Around now — late August to early September — I watch a LOT of college football–and read college football blogs, articles, etc. I also cook almost every day, so I’d say that keeps me pretty busy during down time. My (financial services) job is in a real-time industry, so it’s a 9 to 5 gig. Writing is also great entertainment!
Where would you move if you could and why?
Sardinia. I was there a year or so ago and it really got under my skin. It’s not Italy, and definitely not Sicily or Corsica — it’s not really like any of its Mediterranean neighbors. There are traces of a 4th Century BC civilization that lived there, but besides their mysterious necropolises and nuraghi (ziggurat-like tower fortresses), nothing much is known about them. Today’s Sardinians are kind of isolationist and mysterious themselves. That’s probably what I like about them. And their cured meats and cheeses.
Read Aaron Simon’s story here and the rest of N12 here.