Friday, December 28, 2007

Attention all hot air balloonists

Lightning is effing scary. Last night Abby and I watched part of a special called "When Lightning Strikes" on PBS. I tried to find a link to it, but couldn't.

However, this article can work up some decent paranoia for you. I am never going outside again if it's cloudy. Grand mal seizures. Eep.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Did you know that negative ions can rid your body of toxicity?

Me neither! But then I saw this truly disgusting commercial about foot pads that you wear overnight, and when you take them off in the morning, it looks like your feet pooped in them. Voila--no more heavy metals!

I am so going to buy them because I am a complete sucker for all as-seen-on-tv products. Also, then I can use the foot pads in Art. Not sure how yet, but I'll work them in.

P.S. How was everyone's Christmas? Yeah, mine too.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dearest Poisonous Glitterati

Everybody knows you can get Jack Morgan's new chapbook, Dearest Children of the Revolution, I Am Pleased to Announce my Resignation, yes? I just got mine in the mail, and these are a few of my favorite lines:

Children are easy to kill.

They're softer than gold.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

i like pictures, i like chairs

our missed connections friend and general compatriot neil kubath has posted some of his photographs on this chair photograph is my favorite. i also really like the church one and the self portrait at the end. although, i'm pretty sure he doesn't really smoke and just has that cigarette in his mouth to make him look cool. it worked. he looks hot.

so what do you think? the artist would appreciate feedback of any kind. i would appreciate it if your feedback was absolutely absurd. but that's just me.

oh also, i like the song on his slide show. it is called "human thing" by the be good tanyas. also, i just discovered that french singer soko and i love her. also, gingerbread coffee creamer is delicious.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

samuel beckett was a looker

dear glitterati and friends,

meghan austin is in failbetter! it is an excerpt from her book of short stories, soon to be published by penguin classics and featured on the oprah show. meanwhile, i like that samuel beckett quote that failbetter took their name from. but then i thought, was samuel beckett a looker? because if he wasn't, then everything he said no longer matters.

turns out, he's pretty awesome lookin'. AND his fashion sense is inspiring. i sort of expected him to be filthy and dressed in rags, like his character in molloy. not at all. he could totally dazzle the red carpet.

but my he smoked a lot,


Holiday re-branding proposal

What if we changed our name from Venom Literati to Venom Glitterati, just till 2008? It would make us all feel sparkly.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I wish Christmas were funner

Christmas is also my birthday, and when I was little, the two had to be separated (Jesus' birth (and Santa) in the morning and my birth in the afternoon) because I would get sick with excitement.

Yesterday, I was watching this old woman walking through the snow toward Jewel, and she was going so, so slowly that probably most of her waking hours were taken up by getting groceries, and I thought three things:

1) How awful that this is going to happen to me someday.

2) How awful that I am now able to process the idea that it will happen to me someday when not so long ago I thought maybe aging would be nice, or at least okay.

3) Maybe it actually is kind of nice. You wake up, and you go to the grocery store, and that is your day.

I've never been someone to spend my birthday bawling in the bathroom. Maybe because Christmas has been distracting enough that it's interfered with my ability to self-obsess. It's going to need to get funner, though, because I'm getting better and better at thinking only of me, me, me.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Reggie Bush: the Ultimate Celebrity Crush

Wait, I was so wrong the other night when we were lamenting our lack of celebrity crushes. I DO have a new celebrity crush. It is my first crush on a professional athlete since Joe Montana. I don't usually have athlete crushes, except for like five seconds on foreign tennis players whose names I can never remember.

Backstory: Football season=my boyfriend becomes attached to the couch, covered in this ratty-ass Ohio State blanket he's had since birth. This blanket must also remain on the couch, much to my chagrin, during the entire season, which is like, half the year. (This was part of an effort to "compromise" by two people who hate compromise.)

I have a problem that whenever my boyfriend is home I want to hang out. I don't want to read books or do anything smart or productive. I suddenly have no identity. I just want to do whatever he's doing, which, during football season, means lay around and yell at the TV. You can see where this is going. I have been laying around watching football all the fucking time--and I had to find a way for it to be entertaining, because most football games aren't.

Then one day an angel sent down Reggie Bush. He's a....wait while I look this up...running back ...for the New Orleans Saints. I don't give a fuck about his athletic resume, but he did win the Heisman...sometime recently. The important things about Reggie Bush are as follows:

1. He is smokin' hot. You can witness this in Subway commercials where he is shown half-naked in a lawn chair biting into some giant, meaty sub. They also show him lifting weights, which is way less hot than watching him bite the sub.

2. He really has transcended from athlete-celebrity to just-plain-celebrity. There is a rumor that he's dating one of those fucking Kardashian people, and another rumor that he's dating Ciara. Either of those are disappointing. But they make him a true celebrity, which is better than just an athlete-celebrity, and definitely better than a lame-comic-book-celebrity like Dr. Manhattan, my previous celebrity crush.

3. He is currently injured...something with his...knee? Which means anytime you watch a Saints game, you get constant closeups of his face. I think they should put him in a lawn chair on the sidelines and just leave the camera on him, because it would be way better than watching a Saints game.

4. My boyfriend is totally jealous of my crush on Reggie Bush. Anytime the Subway commercial comes be, he says, "Oh, there's your boy, there's your boy," or "Oh, Reggie, oh Reggie, you're so hot," in a mocking tone. This is the most awesome thing of all. I think he'd try to kick Reggie Bush's ass if they were in the same room. And that would be totally hot to watch my boyfriend get his ass beaten by Reggie Bush.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I hate the Merriam-Webster word of the year

It is w00t. Supposedly this has something to do with Julia Roberts as well as that l33t speak thing the kids do.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hail Sarah, Full of Grace

The other day I realized I get embarrassed for other people in situations where they should really be the ones who are embarrassed. Or else neither of us should be.

For instance: If someone says something, and I don't understand what they said and need them to repeat it, I feel embarrassed. But, if I am in the same situation on the other side (the one saying the thing that can't be understood), I am also embarrassed.

In future, I am going to be filled with grace. No one will ever feel awkward in my presence. I will make others feel at ease, and I will also feel that way. It is going to Change My Life.

By the way, I am already incredibly physically graceful. I am like a cross between a martial arts expert and a leopard and a beautiful ballerina.

Monday, December 10, 2007

if you have writer's block, too...

you can read this New Yorker article, subtitled: Why Writers Stop Writing. Kathy and I are reading it right now, in unison, rather than working.

I totally have writer's block. This article will make you want to puke all over people like Trollope and Joyce Carol Oates, if you don't want to already.

I'm not done with it but maybe it will make me feel better.

Space is neat

I have been changing my wallpaper every day to a new Hubble telescope photograph. They make me happy. Maybe they will make you happy, too.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Jury duty

Samuel Johnson is Indignant is not our next book because I think we'll like it. However, I am going to write about my jury duty experience yesterday in the form of Lydia Davis' story "Jury Duty" as homage.


A. The smoking room had been converted into a "quiet room." There was better furniture in that room, like a sofa and a full-sized desk that made you look like the king of jury duty if you used it. Except nobody used it. Probably to prove they weren't better than anyone else. I thought about using it, but didn't want to draw attention to myself and encourage others to speak to me.


A. I did not utter a single word throughout the day to any of my fellow jurors. Once, when someone asked me a question, I nodded.


A. [nods]


A. These two older women talked for six hours straight. One looked like Cloris Leachman. Maybe not six hours straight. I don't know if they went to lunch together.


A. Well, it was the middle-of-nowhere suburbs, so there weren't many options unless you had a car, and since I was silent I hadn't made any friends with cars or otherwise, so I was stuck going to the Off Track Betting palace across the street. Old men love the ponies. I thought about asking one of them how it worked, but my attractiveness points shoot up in the suburbs and several of the old guys were staring at me open-mouthed, so I didn't want anyone to think they had a chance.


A. A portobello mushroom and spinach salad. I think the dressing was steak sauce.


A. I know! Like it's not like they tell you not to drink during your lunch break, but when it's two hours long and the only place within walking distance is this OTB place, it's really hard not to drink. They probably feel like they shouldn't have to tell you.


A. Diet Coke.


A. Whatever. It's over now.


A. Stop asking me questions. I have to make up for all the work I missed yesterday.


A. [Silence]

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Have You Noticed I Love Lists?

This is all I got. List of ten unrelated items from my life:

1. My semester is over. My students won't be able to eat my life for another 6 weeks or so. Also I will finally be free on weeknights to watch bad television.

2. Speaking of which, I watched I love New York 2 last night. I was sad that the entertainer got the boot. Yes, he lives in his mama's basement, but clearly he was the best possible candidate. Plus I hate that Buddha guy.

3. My car got towed yesterday so I ate popcorn and brownies for dinner. In bed. It did not make me feel better.

4. Why don't people who go on mass shooting/suicide sprees try killing sucky political figures instead of random Nebraskans at malls? a) they would be more famous, and b) sucky political figures, even if they don't die, will have to live in fear.

5. I don't like writing things these days.

6. Christmas is stupid this year. I have gotten nothing in my stocking as of yet. Also I am obligated to go to a stupid going away party for someone I don't like on Saturday, which I am upset about.

7. What is this newish book by Kurt Vonnegut? Did I make that up? I should have married Kurt Vonnegut.

8. Who can Venom Literati jointly marry? I still like the idea of going on a reality show as one unit. I wish we were hotter (ie: had bigger tits) because we could all just become Hef's bunnies. I guess we could get each other fake boobs for Christmas.

9. I bought Love in the Time of Cholera last night. It will be lovely. My ex-boyfriend hated Marquez. No one who hates Marquez should be trusted, loved, or fucked. Yalls better love you some Marquez. I bet New York loves her some Marquez. As for Buddha, I don't think he can read.

10. Some of the Metra ticket-takers are hot. My standards have plummeted into the toilet. Remember when you used to think you could do Everything and then some? Do some of you still think this? Because I want to think this again.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

How do you breathe? I don't understand.

If you're feeling particularly nerdy or cold, or, you know, like attacking someone in extreme weather, then this is the product for you.

Finally, a novel we can feel conflicted about and avoid finishing

As the self-appointed board of directors for Venom Literati, I have to take the hopes and wishes of the people in mind when I force you to read some new book which you will like but feel guilty about liking with such abandon. I listen to the people. And the people are so tired of being pleased; they want to dislike some things. So I propose we read Chris Adrian’s 700 million page book The Children’s Hospital in this, the season of novels the same thickness as the snow drifts (Don’t worry, there’s more clumsy figurative language to come in this book! There’s one particularly cringe-worthy metaphor about a peeled banana).

Here are my reasons why you will feel happily conflicted about this book.

1. The author went to Iowa, and it clearly ruined him.

2. The point-of-view is very workshoppy, with sections in first and a close yet annoyingly knowing third-person. The first-person section is narrated by an extremely stupid angel voice. I’d suggest skipping all of that.

3. It is too large to read anywhere but balanced in your lap above an electric blanket.

4. I’m a sucker for hospital novels (Lanark, Secret Rendezvous). If you skip the first-person sections, there’s some dialogue that’s not bad, not bad.

5. At least it’s not Proust.

6. I’ve only read about 100 pages. I don’t really know what else.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hate the sin, not the sinner

Also, it doesn't help that Kathy threw out her neck/back and is now lying at home staring at the ceiling instead of sitting across from me.

I resent your injury, Kathy, but not you.

People I selfishly resent

1. Megan's students

2. Meghan's students

Yeah, yeah, I understand you're, like, the future, 1. and 2., but when you're eating Megan's and Meghan's lives, the Venom Literati blog is a lonelier place. And I am selfish. So there.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Meeting Minutes: The Revisionist

Um, yeah. Actually we didn't take any minutes, and we barely talked about the book because we all really liked it and didn't have anything to complain about. Also, we may have done some drinking.

Next time, we need to pick a book that isn't good. Or at least, we need to pick a book that we aren't all pretty much guaranteed to like. Something controversial. I don't know what this book is. Suggestions are appreciated.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

sorry for snake

dear literati and friends,

i have been meaning to tell you something. i have been very cold. also, sorry for snake is out! it was published by jack morgan and sarah mumolo. i like them both. everyone knows how we feel about jack morgan. i really like the poem in it by tao lin. and i like jenny drai's poems. and i like the other poems as well. if poems were electric blankets i would have told you about this much sooner. you should read it! borrow my copy or order it from stormy petrel press. it is only 4 dollars.

here there or in the air,


Friday, November 30, 2007

"They were entrenched in so many contracts it would take the dexterity of a contortionist to escape."

i like this paragraph in The Revisionist:

"The seeing-eye dog walked around and around her legs. Her clothes unwound and floated into a spiraling vacuum above her head, created by the peregrinations of the seeing-eye dog. Her hair unfolded in a fan formation. Her pupils spilled open, submerging her retina in black ink. The seeing-eye dog continued his circumnavigations. The woman gradually floated into the air. She revolved in a tight catatonic orbit, forming the central axis of a wider concentric circle whose outer limit was delineated by the circling seeing-eye dog."

when the sun starts setting at 4:15 i feel angry and sad. i do not know what to do.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sometimes the best way to get something out of your head is to just talk about it.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about marauding rats. They’re decimating the population of seabirds on Alaskan islands, causing famine in an Indian state by eating tons and tons of flowering bamboo, lying dead in the corner of the steps of one of my favorite local lunch spots. What’s next?

Once a former roommate of mine had a rat as a pet. While I was staying elsewhere in the summer, it lived in a terrarium on my headboard. Its name was Aurora. It was white. It died before I came back. I was glad it died. That does not make me a bad person. I just do not approve of rats as pets.

Rats are most scary when they’re masquerading as pets, or as mice by concealing their naked tails in shadow. They are trying to make you trust them. You should not trust them.

Here is something else about rats that is just terrifying.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So Many Mirandas

Friday, we meet.

In preparation, we must choose a ridiculous and somewhat awesome celebrity (or demi-celebrity) to invite to the meeting, and we must write a letter to Miranda Mellis.

My vote for ridiculous demi-celebrity is the recently ousted Domenico from A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila. He probably doesn't have much else to do.

Here's a beginning to the letter:

Hey Miranda,

Do people ever call you Randy? Somehow I doubt it. But who am I to think I know you just because I read your book?

Please continue in the comments.

Monday, November 26, 2007

*exciting new column* meghan's favorite thing at Quimbys this week

This week at Quimbys, I purchased an exciting video called Yoga for Indie Rockers, which I thought was pornography. It was an actual workout video. The people in it look like vegan west coast porn stars, but they are doing yoga. Maybe it's a two DVD set and I'm missing something. I guess I would recommend this video for a workout. My cats liked it. I don't know about Pilates for Indie Rockers. It just seems dirty.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

happy holiday from alby the albino deer

An important holiday message from Alby the Albino Deer: the original Sesame Street from 1970 is out on DVD and you should watch it with your whole family as you contemplate life in the inner city and how much more depressingly exciting television was back when all the writers were totally stoned.
Also: meat is murder, kids., especially in this article written by my friend Novella. Happy fucking holidays!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

From instant famemaker to hobby (and possibly failure)

I spent the weekend with my family. Like 40 hours in, I realized that we were chatting in a very surface-y way, and--feeling the need to make a real connection with my blood--ran through the list of things that matter to me that we could safely discuss.

I settled on this book I'm working on. Previously, when I have brought up my writing, there has been rampant speculation among family members about exactly how famous and/or rich this new work will make me: When will it be ready? Who will publish it? Will it be turned into a movie?

Not this time though. It was like, "Yeah, yeah, we're all working on books--difference is, none of us had a crazy pipe dream before. Yours must have died by now though cuz I ain't seen a blockbuster with your name on it."

I'm paraphrasing. It was actually mostly silence and then my dad started talking about his own writing, which is done in isolation. I am his audience.

At first, I was all like, "Hey, wait! I'm an actual writer! A real-and-true one! I'm working on a book that I will send to people, seeking publication!" That was in my head, of course. And then I was like, "Wait just one more second...this is nice. Pressure's off." Also in my head. Aloud, I nodded.

And now, both of those thoughts are engaging in fisticuffs in my head.

Monday, November 19, 2007

friday nights make me want to die

I think Friday nights make me want to die. Last Friday, for example. What did I do? I spent Friday night shopping for a frickin' love seat, eating KFC for dinner, watching Basic Instinct because I had never seen it before, and falling asleep early. Here are further details on why it made me want to die:

Love Seat Shopping: We went to those two godawful liquidation furniture stores on Clark Street where everything looks nice but in reality is flimsy and cheap. At the first store no one would help us. Marshmallow (G's new nickname; you can imagine how much he loves this) said it was a race thing, and probably it was, so he was cranky after that. I said, "Oh, Marshmallow, don't be cranky," which obviously didn't help. At the second store the salesman tried to bond with us by comparing our kittycat to his kittycat. Then he tried to connect with us further by showing us a rug that was the size of our entire living room and featured--yes--a gigantic portrait of a lion's face. He really thought we should, and would, buy this rug. All of the love seats there looked like they had been dragged up from the basement of a high school party. Every time he showed us one, I said: "No, I hate that one" without feeling bad at all. He also tried to show us a puffy purple chair that was like a throne, and also several futons, which he seemed to be implying would somehow substitute for a love seat. Then his boss came out from the back room where he probably lives, and said: "You like love seat. You buy love seat right now. You take it right now. Right now." He sucked even worse than the first guy, so we went back to the first store and ordered one from the racist salesman for too much money.

KFC: We got a bucket of chicken and a gigantic bin of mashed potatoes and another gigantic bin of macaroni and cheese. I love KFC mashed potatoes because they taste like paste--I really think this makes them delicious because it makes the gravy seem gourmet. The cheese sauce is also frickin' amazing because it is orange as a sunset or a popsicle and obviously super-artificially colored and flavored. The receipt said that I could win 1,000 bucks if I called in and did their survey, so I did it because I know no one ever does those surveys and I was certain I would win, just like how I think I'll always win the Little Lotto because I don't think anyone would play that either. I didn't win anything, though, and it made me way angrier than it should have. Especially because I gave them a perfect score on everything, which should not have been the case.

Basic Instinct: This is my new favorite movie, I think, except for the ending with the icepick under the bed, which ruins the whole thing. I had somehow never seen it before. I'm sort of scared that I think it's awesome, because I have a feeling that it's probably a really bad movie and everyone knows this except me. If it were in French, and subtitled, it would be even better. It is the only movie I've ever liked Michael Douglass in, although I still can't figure out why anyone would ever want to fuck him. He looks like a game show host.

"The moon orbits around the earth every 27.3 days, until 1976, when it becomes memory."

i just read the november issue of elimae. good. here were my favorites:

Astronomical Society of the Pacific by Jimmy Chen
Houses by Merida Gorman
i feel even smaller than my 4 foot ten frame by Prathna Lor
The Anaesthesiologist by Jefferson Navicky
Captions by Scott Garson

i also have a poem in there.

hey guess what? the nonstop grey rainy cold weather is making me want to die! other things make me want to die too! i wish something exciting would happen!

i am going to quimby's tonight to buy my copy of roy orbison in cling film. let me know if you want me to get you anything.

you. i'm talking to you.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"The satisfaction is unparalleled by anything in my previous existence."

This is a fascinating book about a man who, along with his terrapin Jetta, repeatedly and completely wraps Roy Orbison in cling-film. I have thankfully given away the plot of the entire book. It’s touted by the narrator as, “the only book about wrapping Roy Orbison in cling-film you’ll ever have to own.” They have it at Quimby’s on the front table. You can read several of the stories at Ulli’s Roy Orbison in Clingfilm site.

Here's a review of the book that uses the author's real name (not even wrapped in a transluscent layer of clingfilm, because wrapping himself in clingfilm would be against his nature!):Review of Roy Orbison in Clingfilm novel

Friday, November 16, 2007

the winner of the lame poetry contest

apparently bruce springsteen can't be bothered to announce the results of the lame poetry contest, so i'm taking matters into my own hands. here is the winning poem:

Steve McQueen is Smokin' Hot

But not as hot as your mom
Because your mom is hot
Also, Steve McQueen is dead which
introduces other factors like

maggots and

and deep sea diving. Also, nuclear power
is not to be trusted especially when
in the hands of children. Never ever
open packages wrapped in

swiss cheese and
barbed wire

and sealed with boogers. Steve McQueen
died of a heart attack following surgery.
I die of a heart attack when I look at him.
And then I drink tea through my nose.

Tea anybody?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Speaking of Africa

Investigating why we haven't gotten our copies of The Revisionist, I visited the Calamari Press site. They are totally in Africa. I'm not sure if it's all of them or just the folks responsible for fulfilling orders, or what, but they have pictures of baby gorillas up on their blog. One of which is pictured here. The picture is of a baby gorilla, not of a blog.

Anyway, they'll be back from Africa in December. So I guess we have a bit of a break. I am totally happy to take a break so someone else can hang out with gorillas. I mean that.
Let's make Venom Literati Press and then go spend a month in New Zealand. Everyone will understand.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

when you are a mime pretending to be a tree you have to stay perfectly still or else people will not believe in jesus.

the sun starts to set at 4:30 now. that is terrible. i know what it makes you think of. it makes you think of how imminent your own death is. that your life is slipping away just like the clouds turning red and then fading into blackness at the premature hour of 5 o'clock.

i know what will cheer you up: gmail chats!

here is a gmail chat that i had today with vinnie lacey. backstory: vinnie is auditioning to be a second city host for a cruise ship.

me: will you have internet on the boat?
or will we just not hear from you at all for six months?

Vinnie: I think it's sporadic

me: i am going to write you a letter everyday. and then they're going to start piling up so that on the day that you get mail, you will have like 30 letters.

and you will be embarrassed in front of your friends. that's what my mom did to me when i went to africa. when i was in high school.

Vinnie: please sign them "venom literati"

me: nope, i'm signing them "mrs. vinnie lacey."

Vinnie: haha
you went to africa? to prosthletize?

me: yes, you know this.
i dressed up as a mime.

Vinnie: I forget

me: yeah, i went to botswana for a month and we did a mime drama that was an allegory of the story of the gospel.

and remember that one time there was a horsefly biting me for a good 10 minutes but i didn't move at all b/c the leaders told us if we moved the audience would question our commitment to god and they wouldn't be saved.

so i just stood there, with a single tear running down my face.

and afterwards, all the other mimes on my team were very impressed.

Vinnie: yes
I just...
sorry, I can't stop laughing
I just forgot it was Africa
or didn't put them together

me: actually, you're right, that happened in hungary. it was the summer before. but it was the same thing the next summer, just in botswana.

but there were no horseflies in botswana. although someone did throw rocks at me, and i couldn't move, so they just hit me in the face.

they were small rocks though so it was no biggie.

Vinnie: hahaha
please stop
why is this not a blog, too

me: perhaps this will be the next g-chat installment on venom literati.


I am performing a groundbreaking study

Isn't the word groundbreaking gross? So violent and messy. Poor ol' mother earth.

Anyway, this is the crux of the study: Does exercise correlate with improved mood/creativity? The answer so far is a resounding "yes."

Last night I ran and did yoga, and the day before that I rode the recumbent bike (affectionately referred to hertoafter as "The Cumby"), and the day before that I did the second workout in the Bikini Body Bootcamp series.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I will soon be like 20 times hotter than I already am. Actually no, what I'm saying is exercise makes me happier. Today I feel like a chirrupy little chipmunk who wants to write creatively. Also, work is less crushing.

We'll see what happens when the temperature drops again, but for now--hooray!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Things I Learned From My Students Yesterday

I have been so absent lately because my students are eating my life. This is a good thing. Everyone should have something that eats their life. Sometimes I'd like at least a little nibble of it, but then I'd just get depressed, so it's better that they go ahead and devour it so I don't have time to think. Beachwood is probably eating Missy's life right now. Whenever we are sad, we should all feed our lives to Beachwood and she can digest them and expel them in the form of sunshiney Beachwood farts.

These are things I have learned from my students yesterday:

In Latin America and probably elsewhere, soccer teams choose the colors of their jerseys according to what their countries produce. Wine=purple jerseys. Corn=yellow. Coke=white, as in Columbia. (I am making that up. Can we have a week where everything we post is made up?) The Chicago Fire soccer team chose red as a reminder of that gigantic fire caused by the cow way back when.

Children should not be given candy at movie theaters because it causes them to spaz out and disrupt everyone during the movie. Candy at movie theaters should be banned.

People who ride the bus, especially members of specific ethnic groups, smell bad. Children at homeless shelters are dirty and they smell bad, too, but they still have fun on Halloween.

When many of my students were young, there were these lollipops from Mexico that had your fortune printed on the stick. An example of a Mexican lollipop-fortune: "You will have six children." I think that is an inappropriate fortune for a young girl. But I'm jealous that I didn't grow up on fortune-lollipops.

At AA meetings, people may look tough and scary, but really they are good people who believe in God. Gangbangers may also look tough and scary, but really they have nicknames like chicle (bubble gum).

That's all I learned yesterday. I love my students. They can eat my life whenever they want.

Monday, November 12, 2007


My upstairs neighbor is moving out soon. I think she is a knitter. I've never actually seen her wearing a knitted sweater or knitted anything, but I wouldn't be surprised. Sometimes I see her around Wicker Park on one of her seventeen retro bicycles and she has a delirious grin on her face. I assume she is daydreaming about knitting, or about her cat Sasha who lives on my air conditioning unit and is my cats' mortal enemy. I don't really know that much about my neighbor, aside from the knitting, which I made up, and the fact that her living room is covered in a ginormous electric loom operated by robotic spiders, which I might also have made up. She doesn't do laundry very often. I like that about her. If you are a knitter who owns more than a week's supply of underwear, you should call my landlord and arrange to be my neighbor.

RELATED: Some nutjobs who were probably my neighbors at some point are knitting a coral reef to like, make a knitty commentary about Global Warming(via Gawker). Yeah, like that's not going to end up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I'm going to build an
alpaca out of seashells and send it to them.

Now Meghan must be entertaining

Meghan commented in one of the previous posts that she refused to be entertaining until seeing more pictures of Beachwood. So blog away, Meghan. Entertain us all! Beachwood will inspire you!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Energy valley

This is for realsies; you can make fun of me as much as you want: I have trouble adjusting to Daylight Savings Time. There, I've said it.

I have been doing my damnedest not to go to bed at 9:30 every night this week, and for the most part, I have failed. Also, I just feel tireder.

We did not blog very much this week. I'm going to posit a theory that the whole of Venom Literati has been affected. We are tired? Perhaps (and this is a big perhaps), I am not so strange after all.

After researching the reasoning behind this governmental need to screw with my internal clock, I feel kind of bad about whining. It is to save energy. And everybody wants that. Saving energy is nice. Also, it reduces traffic accidents. Nobody likes traffic accidents.

But I still do not like Daylight Savings Time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

i would not mind giving birth to something evil as long as it was exciting

the following is an excerpt from a gmail chat that i had this morning. tao lin would be so proud. also, i edited it to make it more "skimmable." businesswomen everywhere would be so proud.

me: hey have you heard about that 8 limb girl in india?

Vinnie: yes, just watched a video on cnn actually
and she's a goddess, so watch yourself

me: parasitic twins!

Vinnie: that makes you happy?

me: sort of.
i just crave excitement. in any form.

Vinnie: as in not doing work
I get it, I get it

me: like, yesterday i was having this extended daydream where i realized i was pregnant, but clearly that's impossible, so the holy ghost must have impregnated me with the anti-christ.

and then i thought, "god, that would be exciting." and then i teared up a little.

Vinnie: oh, please write that as an episodic short

me: okay.

but i'm being serious, it made me a little bit sad. because i want so much for my life to be "about" something really big. even if that something is totally awful like giving birth to the anti-christ.

Vinnie: please blog this
and use that sentence

me: okay.

Vinnie: also, I hear you
I got the same problem and look at me, I'm weeks away from being broke with a BA degree and no direction for my life

I'd love to piss out the anti-Christ, even if it felt as bad as kidney stones

me: i'm glad that you understand. that makes me feel love for you.
i will blog it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

This is, like, for real

Those of you that know me well know of my obsession with parasitic and conjoined twins. Seriously, check this out.

Also, I really do want to have a conjoined twin party at some point. You will not be required to be fused at the pelvis to attend.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

John Yau is as Awesome as Victor and Alen

I love John Yau. Do you? This is one piece of his that is in the most recent Tarpaulin Sky. I also really like this magazine. I am sad because they are not taking submissions right now and every other magazine hates me. Like Jubilat and Sentence and New American Writing.

I got one nice and encouraging rejection from Diagram which means now I will stalk them and send them things until they are forced (out of the sheer volume of my psychotic submissions in their inbox) to publish something of mine.

Friday, November 2, 2007

box woman

The Sun-Times had an inane review of the Diamanda Galás show at the MCA last week. The reviewer (hopefully an intern) wasted half of her meagre word count grading Galás on punctuality. That was followed by attempts to describe the indescribable, complaints that the songs were not in English and an incorrect use of the word "ironic." Kirk and I thought the show was fucking amazing and are making plans to move to New York and live in boxes (a la Kobo Abe's The Box Man) and convert Galás to homosexuality. I think she would like that and find it flattering. When are we going to see Jasper Johns?

Another way to make it through your day

For some reason, I got on some mailing list for the National Vocabulary Championship (for high school kids). So far, they have given me a word-of-the-day calendar (today's word: pettifogger (a petty, quibbling, unscrupulous lawyer)), and this game.

If I don't get into the top 50 by the end of the weekend, I am going to do something drastic, like take Monday off so I can play until I do.

Play at the risk of obsession.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

i was a bumble bee and you were steve mcqueen

i love halloween missed connections. i was going to write one but now i am too tired. maybe i will write one in december. i could say i walked into a glass door and have been in a coma all this time but when i awoke, you were the first thing that came to my mind. i love you, man in pink bunny costume...

marlon brando
does anyone know this vagina?
killer banana
hot bodies are all that matters when it comes to love

Noises from above...

There are three boys that live in the apartment above mine. I hate them. They are extremely loud at all hours of the day. Either they have completely different schedules and are all equally loud, or they are all meth addicts and do not sleep. Or both.

They move around at 6am and at 3am and most of the time in between. The only thing I can think of that people do that requires them to walk around for hours on end is cleaning. If they are cleaning all day every day, then they are definitely meth addicts. I know this because of an anti-meth commercial that used to be on TV years ago, which of course I found on YouTube because YouTube has everything.

This is what I think they do at various times of the day in their apartment (when they are not cleaning):

- Bowl

- Stand in a squeaky spot and rock back and forth

- Play some sort of elaborate game that requires them to drag large pieces of furniture around the apartment, then pick them up and drop them

- Saw and hammer

- Drum their fingers in surprisingly good rhythm on any piece of furniture that is suitable, or on the floor itself

I fear I may have to become a meth addict myself in order to live in this apartment until June.

Beachwood may have to become a meth addict too, because she is scared of the noises from above. Of course, her energy level is kind of insane, so maybe she’s been sneaking upstairs while I’m at work and getting meth from the boys.

I just hope Beachwood doesn’t start to look like these people. If she starts to get really bad acne or Frankenstein hair, I will know the truth…

Poetry Just Got Lamer

As if poets aren’t insular and weird enough to begin with, now there’s an article praising a new contest system whereby some guy personally select poets who will win his contest, based on what they’ve published. Wow, revolutionary!

I’ve decided to open my own lame poetry contest. Send the lamest poem possible to: I will also accept flash fiction, if accompanied by an appropriately lame cover letter that uses the word “craft” as a verb and a noun. In fact, your work should also be titled “Craft.” The winner will be someone I personally select as best and will be published on the blog. I will paypal the winner the current market rate of a can of PBR in at your local bar (not to exceed three dollars, dirty hipsters). Also, you will change your name to The Winner. Okay, go!

Update: If you are my friend, be sure to write I AM YOUR FRIEND in the subject line, in case I forget. If you are an attractive woman or a cat, be sure to include a photo.

The Only Cool People at My Job are Victor and Alan

Everyone at my workplace sucks, except Victor and Alan. Allow me to introduce you.

Alan has chicken-blonde hair and is older than me but looks like he is 19. He speaks dramatically about everything he hates, especially the workplace, in the tone of a gossipy mom. He teaches research methods to art students at Columbia, which would be the most hilarious and awesome job ever. I barely know Alan, which is why he is cool.

Victor I barely know also. Victor is adorable and Asian. He giggles a lot. He is a supergenius and always degrades himself anyway. Like he pretends he doesn't know how to use PowerPoint for the benefit of my self-esteem. Victor is so smart and nice. I should have invited him over yesterday when I was trying to refill my ink cartridge in a cheapskate way: with one of those 10-dollar universal refill kits. I just got ink all over my hands. Then I thought I had gotten it to work, and all my printer did was print blank pages.

Jessie is not cool. For one, he is a man and spells his name like that. For two, he scowls around weasel-like all the time. I think he can spin his head completely around like an owl. He should to live in the woods. That way his family can be free of him.

Wow, it is gratifying to talk about people by name. I blame David Markson for this new love.

When Venom Literati becomes a press, Victor and Alan can be in charge of administrative duties. We will not have to ever get to know them, therefore they will be the best and cutest employees ever.

Okay, so we're not psychic.

Those tests on that TV show were rigged. Like there must have been some kind of subliminal flicker that suggested the correct answer.

Because Abby and I tested each other's psychic ability at dinner last night by making faces at one another in the following manner: There were four faces we could make (sticking out tongue, scrunching lips, open mouth, buck-tooth); we counted down like rock/paper/scissors and made our faces, goal being that we make the same face. We succeeded once out of maybe 50 times.

That show duped me into feeling special, which makes me feel especially not special. You can go back to calling me Plain Old Sarah now. Or Average Sarah. That works, too.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Guess what? I'm totally psychic.

So last night, Abby and I watched this program on the television where they find the most psychic psychic in America, and there were all of these little tests in between segments, and I am sooooo psychic.

I knew the girl was going to choose the pink dress. I knew the lady was going to choose the red nail polish. I knew everything. Because I am psychic.

In response, I am changing my life. Everyone is to call me Supersensory Sarah from now on. Also, I am going to start a business in which I find lost objects. Megan, your hair clip is under the kitchen sink. Kathy, your dignity is in outer space.

Also, Abby's psychic, too. I predict that she will be indignant in the comments section. Possibly Kathy, too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This is Beachwood. This is Beachwood on drugs...

So, there was some catnip in the scratch pad that came with Beachwood. I picked up the scratch pad and moved it at some point last night and apparently spilled a significant portion of the catnip on the floor. I didn’t notice, but Beachwood did. She proceeded to roll around and act like a maniac for about 20 minutes. Everything in sight became her enemy and she attacked with ferocity: fingers, hair, toys, blankets, rug, couch, her own tail, her own leg.

Then she went to sleep.

In the past 10 days, Beachwood has been mentioned in 8 posts on this blog. She is taking over. We are becoming people who blog about cats. I will try to limit my blogging about my cat. But she’s just so damn cute…

Monday, October 29, 2007

guilty, guilty, guilty

Now that Beachwood and her delicate musical sensibilities have found a home, the cats and I are back to blasting Diamanda Galás and sending our upstairs neighbor into a frenzy of high-heel clicking. We can’t tell if the clicks are out of delight or horror (both?), nor do we care.

We’re also reading The Revisionist, which arrived in the mail already (yay, Calamari Press, you’re way better than the rubber band looking fish dish of the same name) and I’m eating vegetarian candy corn, which is just as delicious as regular candy corn, with 100% less horse hooves. If they only made those miniature pumpkins out of pure sugar, my life would be complete.

Yay For Auntie-dom

I am an auntie for the first time ever! This is SO good. Upon moving in with boyfriend and his kitty Mr. Cake, I instantly went from "weird girl who steals my space in the bed" to "mommy" with no buildup to mommydom whatsoever. Of course I also went instantly went into controlling mommy mode, where Gato was not allowed outside by me, and where I became very preoccupied by his grooming (ie: why don't you put on a dress? why don't you fix yourself up, sweetie?), and where, even though people who do this drive me crazy, I can't stop talking about that damn cat wherever I go.

I have never wanted to be a mommy. I have only wanted to be an auntie. A cool auntie. I never really had a cool auntie. I have one weird estranged auntie who always came late for Thanksgiving dinner and then stayed for like half an hour and drove the four hours back home. That one had cool aunt potentail, because she dressed way younger than she was and always talked like she was stoned. Then I have another auntie who is semi-cool and semi-artsy and makes super-greasy, weird tacos and buys Mis and I matching pajamas for Christmas. But I only see her like once a year.

But now that I'm an auntie, I am going to be cool and buy Beachwood special treats and ridiculous toys to spoil her with, and go hang out just to play with her. I'll never have to discipline her at all, and I will be eternally beloved. I can let her take the car out for a spin when she isn't old enough and get her drunk every once in a while, too. Yay for Beachwood, just think how cute she'd look all dressed up in a little racing helmet drunk-driving a red sports car...

Oh, don't worry, Mis, I promise to never buy her outfits.

The Racing Brain

I currently have a Dorito lodged sideways in my throat. It will just dissolve, and I will be okay, right?
I spend a lot of time convincing myself that I have done enough. I say: I cannot possibly wring another creative droplet from the washcloth that represents my brain. I write for half an hour, and then I am done writing. Or else I will...turn into a pineapple? Forget all of my pleasant childhood memories? Never again be able to enjoy the taste of chocolate?

It hurts to swallow. The Dorito will not break down.

But yesterday, after the Top Secret Project Number One meeting, I came home and re-read everything and pulled out the stuff I want to plagiarize (with permission, assholes) and outlined a couple of new sections. I did this for approximately two hours.

Afterwards, I could not sleep because I had The Racing Brain. I could not stop thinking about TSP#1. When I fell into half-sleep, I dreamed of miniscule murder-mansions.

The question is: Am I limiting my writing time because I know that if I do a lot of it, I'll just want to do more; whereas, if I do it in only small bits, I can't really commit?

Basically, my writing habits are like this Dorito stuck in my throat. No, they aren't. Like, at all. I was just trying to tie it all together.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Real Heroes

If only David Markson had attended. Or David Lee Roth. Or Beachwood.

well hello, mr. cake

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tee Minus, comin' atcha

First off, I have a new signature. I got totally jealous of Kathy's supercool sign-off (k+), so from now on, I am Tee Minus.

Awesome, yes? Yes.

Second, here are a couple of Missed Connections I wrote this week.

The parking garage one made me almost unbearably sad because nobody got the joke. (It's an Automated Voice, folks. Get it? Maybe it's just not funny.)

This one about someone's teensy hands also makes me sad because Abby really did say that my new perfume smells like a hamster cage. And Kevin really did say it smells like sneezes. And Jeff really did say it smells like baloney.

I am going to make each and every one of you smell me at tomorrow's meeting and assess.

Also, I would like to point out that this is the Halloween meeting, so everyone needs to dress like Dr. Manhattan.

Time for tape ball.

Tee Minus

reading and prowling

Beachwood and I read the new Tin House in the kitten room last night. We read Stacey Levine’s story, and Beachwood would’ve meowed, but she doesn’t know how to meow yet. We also liked a story by Miranda Mellis,who wrote a book called The Revisionist
that we now want to read.

There were several stories we did not feel like reading, either because they seemed annoying or were written by women who seemed annoying or did not contain enough cats. Suddenly, it was time to fly through the air and practice prowling.

This'll Get Us Through Winter

So, I had this zen phase last winter during a mental breakdown, during which I subscribed to "The Daily Om." They send you cheesy zen articles (such as this one) which are awesome. I know several of us suffer from SAD, but we don't have to! All we have to do is "Keep the Sun Inside" like the article says.

Power, Beauty, And Warmth: Keeping The Sun Inside

Anyone who has endured a long, dark winter can attest to the power the sun has to both invigorate and relax body, mind, and soul. It can be daunting to begin the months of fall and winter, knowing that we may not see as much of the beautiful sun for quite some time. But it is important to remember that even during the darker days of fall and winter, the sun is still there shining, as beautiful as ever. Just because it is hidden behind clouds or setting early in our part of the world, does not mean that we cannot access its power, beauty, and warmth.

One way to do this is to find a warm spot in our house where we can sit or lie down in peace. Closing our eyes, we imagine that it is a very warm summer day and that the sun is shining on us, allowing it to warm our body. We may feel as if a small sun has taken up residence in the area of our solar plexus or our heart.

If you live in a part of the world that loses a lot of light in the winter, you might want to do this exercise each night before retiring. You could also do it at the beginning of each day, giving yourself a chance to plug into that great source of energy. Keeping the sun inside of you when you are missing it on the outside is a way to say hello to the sun and let it warm your soul.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

which hills?

i have been sitting in front of my laptop at the kitchen table for too long. i can't feel my right arm. my missed connection is bordering on delirium. it is called you do not know what "the hills" is. that is adorable.

i actually also wrote a sincere missed connection called hot bartender at the underground wonder bar. my goal is to have 100 online boyfriends. nay, 1,000.

someone wrote a stunning response to my mr. magoo post. read it!

Dear Novelist

Hiya David Markson,

You are invited to our meeting.
So said Venom Literati, just before they tried to leave the internet through the fireplace.

We have questions only you can answer. If you like, you can bring many notecards filled with quotes from other people and answer our questions evasively--or even at random. That could be fun.

We just want to see your sunshine-y face.


Edit and add at will, ladies.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

i am a crazy cat lady

beachwood the kitten got vaccinated today and will be returning to my apartment tomorrow to parade her new worm-free cuteness until someone adopts her. Prospective parents and fans can visit beachwood in my yoga room any time.


Today, I chose this picture because I am so intensely-sort-of-annoyed! The city broke me today. It made me weep. I am a child when I am frustrated and I will scream and bawl and carry on and whine and caterwaul and squall and yammer and for a finale...........PISS AND HOLLER!
But! I'm also in a good mood as determined by my insides. I asked my shrink why I am not in control. She had no easy answer so I walloped her.
I am going crazy trying to park downtown so I can see her. But I feel it would be crazier to just give up. I have been rewarded lately for not giving up. My heart gives me medals and my brain shakes my hand. I feel less weak if not a little strong.
I was just distracted by my picture.
My mother taught me how to hold two opposing ideas simultaneously. I try to be one person all the time. That is not boring. It is preferable. But my insides don't know from preferable and just do what they fucking want anyway. So, I have decided to distract them with as many burritos as I can find. And CHIPS TOO!

Remedy #3,562

I ordered another thing yesterday that will definitely change my life. It is this little blue light box, to counteract my SAD/winter insanity. Other life-changing remedies I have recently subscribed to include B Vitamins, Fish Oil, and various cheap aromatherapeutic agents that all smell the same. I don't think any of these really work, except to cause people to flee from me because of my fishy burps or overwhelming lavendar smell.

The blue light box, however, will obviously work. Plus it will make me as tan as this lady in the picture. (Although she does look like she's gritting her teeth, doesn't she? Maybe she hasn't used it for long enough yet.) I hope that just my face gets tan and not my neck or any of the rest of me, because that always looks awesome, like when my mom puts on her peachy makeup and then her face is a totally different color than her neck. Or like in Junior High when spring arrived and we'd all slather on the self-tanner that made our legs orange. Or it will burn my face off, like that sun lamp my Homecoming date my sophomore year of high school used, that made his face was all burny and peely-looking in the pictures. I was so pissed. I tried not to go, and then to not have our pictures taken. That relationship was weird; I sat on his lap like a little kid a lot but we never made out. Not once.

If it doesn't work, I'll bring it to winter meetings and we can still sit on the back deck and pass it around as a source of warmth and pretend we're in Mexico or someplace tropical. Or use it as a Speak and Spell because I think it is obviously a recycled Speak and Spell/Light Bright.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Writers: They're Just Like Us!

I read The Last Novel yesterday and the day before yesterday, and very much liked it.

There's something really comforting in reading about other writers saying and doing stuff that is either mean or dumb (or, your know, smart or insightful).

It's sort of like that spread in celebrity magazines where we see Heath Ledger picking his nose and Kate Hudson making out with that dude with girl hair in the produce aisle.

Also, it is very depressing to recognize that I have a spot in my brain for Heath Ledger, and can find out loads of information at him with but a few key strokes, but nobody will tell me if they've recently spotted David Markson wandering the streets of New York City.

Let's start a magazine. We'll put Wayne on the first cover, of course. In the red turtleneck, even more of course. We'll invade writers' privacy and elevate them to the level of, say, an Owen Wilson or a Miley Cyrus.

We'll take gentle stalking to the next level.