A few of my favorite things...

...about Ann Arbor. 1. Walkability, my friends. 2. Three - count 'em - three NPR stations 3. Giant quarts of Michigan raspberries at the Farmer's Market 4. Cafe society meets wireless internet access 5. Spending mornings in bed with my husband, doing crossword puzzles*

*This may not happen to everyone in Ann Arbor. No promises.

It is, quite frankly, the most gorgeous day outside. Not to boast - and certainly never to those still battling 90-degrees and humidity in St. Louis - but we're looking at a ridiculously clear blue sky, high in the mid-70s, gorgeous breeze. Turns out that despite years of protest, I may be an outdoorsy person afterwards - just not in St. Louis.

For the next couple of months, Tuesday evenings will feature presentations by two of the KW Fellows followed by dinner prepared by two other fellows. It's a chance to get to know everyone's story a bit and, of course, eat. Although what makes anyone think a bunch of journalists are fit to cater to a gang of 30-odd folk is beyond me. Apparently, it's been working for years and a couple of the gang here are real gourmands so I think we'll be in for fabulous treats. I'm surprised at how busy we are here, especially since I'm not even taking classes. There's just a wealth of stellar opportunities to take advantage of and this week seems jam-packed.

This afternoon, before the fellow's presentations, there's a talk at the Wallace House by Dan Okrent, the recently retired "public editor" of The New York Times. He's in town for a conference at the Sweetland Writing Center at U Mich this weekend, and will be giving us a private audience to talk about, among other things, how the paper handled the Jayson Blair affair.

Which is all in keeping with the conference, which is entitled "Originality, Imitation & Plagiarism: A Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Writing." Pardon the pedestrian exposition, but there's some very cool stuff offered and if you're a writer - or, I suppose, a plagiarist - you may wish to browse the offerings. I've got sessions earmarked for practically all of Friday, much of Saturday and Sunday morning.

I just got an email too about about a talk David Lynch is giving Sunday night about meditation and the creative process. I'll confess I'm not the biggest fan of Lynch's films but I'm intrigued enough about meditation that I consider this a must-see. Here's the description forwarded to me:

On Sunday, Sept 25, 7 pm, at Power Center, the Program in Creativity and Consciousness Studies at The University of Michigan is happy to present the renowned film director David Lynch in a talk called "Consciousness, Creativity, and the Brain". Lynch will be joined by the physicist John Hagelin, who appeared in the film "What the Bleep do We Know", and the neuroscientist Fred Travis, who has done extensive work studying the neurophysiological aspects of meditation. Lynch will discuss the impact of his long-term involvement in meditation on his creative work, and the impact of meditation on the brain will be demonstrated by a meditating subject linked to EEG monitoring equipment.

And did I mention all of this - the conference, the Lynch talk - is free? Knowledge! For free! Better make that item number six on my list of things I love about being here.