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.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

you are even hotter than mr. magoo

my new missed connection is you are even hotter than mr. magoo. this missed connection is about a real person that i saw at the goldstar on thursday night with meghan. he was dreamy. so i tried to write a sincere missed connection, but i only wrote about three lines before the nonsense kicked in. sincere missed connections are boring.

also, look at what someone wrote in response to my "you had rain on you" missed connection. ah, internet love. tao lin must not be angry anymore.

in other news, our iowa city correspondent john gillette has these new posts:
i am sorry i stepped on your dog
i lost you at the silver spider

look what I picked up Saturday night outside the Beachwood

I've really outdone myself this time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

sick and bitchy

hi. my posts are so complainy lately.

i am sick and bitchy today. well, really on the cusp of sickness where you're just really tired and irritable. i keep smoking cigarettes anyway. i have become a daytime smoker again. i can no longer cling to the title "social smoker." it is a total lie.

last night i watched e true hollywood story about hugh hefner. i have always thought he was too dumb to have as much money and as good of a magazine as he has. i thought, "hey, i'll watch this and maybe i'll realize i was wrong." but no, i still think he's too dumb. he's so dumb he doesn't realize how dumb and pathetic he looks partying at the playboy mansion, sandwiched between two bleach blondes, grinding on one while spanking the other. he just looks like a grandpa on too many painkillers at a senior home mixer, where the two blondes are a by-product of his drug-imagination. (sarah can probably relate to this.) also, his two teenage sons are the spittin' image of him, except totally socially awkward. they will never have sex in their lives, except maybe with each other.

There's no such word as "businesswoman"

This missed connection afforded me jillions of replies, including one from someone who is fairly prominent and used his real name (unless that dude has an enemy who's subtly trying to bring him down with missed connections):

You remind me of my Daddy, with your pin stripes and your sleek seal's head.

When I look at you, I think of that future morning when we take the Ferrari downtown together instead of rubbing up against less ambitious strangers on the crowded train.

I saw you on the red line at the Grand station today. Let's take over the world together. I would love to be the woman behind the man. And under the man. And on top of the man.

But these two, Alleyway and Stomped Foot, got me nothing (more or less). Except I like them better. They do not make me feel gross, like the one above.

Part of the pleasure of writing these is the responses--but even (or maybe especially) in missed connections, there is the lowest common denominator.

And so we writers of missed connections must make the ultimate choice: the slobber (and other bodily fluids) of the masses or the appreciation of a few. (Please read that last sentence/paragraph in a somber, snooty voice. And then sigh for a long, long time.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

today the sky was yellow and not in a good way

in the city, extraordinary things like rain bring people together. that's what i'm hoping for in today's missed connection: you had rain on you.

i made this one less weird in hopes that people will start responding to me. nobody effing responds to me! the internet is turning out to be exactly like real life. that blows.

is it because megan said that we are smarter than tao lin? megan, i told you that tao lin controls the internet. do not anger the tao.

Drugs that I am on plus breast cancer month equals confusion

My back stopped working on Tuesday morning because I bent over. I became the monkey-man before homo erectus on the evolutionary chart. I became someone who could not round her back, nor twist.

Needless to say, it interferes.

Now I am on muscle relaxers and pain killers. Partly, this is wonderful. I have never slept so much in my life. I have never had such vivid dreams. I am incapable of stress.

Except that lots of times I'm not sure if I'm really seeing things or not. Like, I just saw this commercial I'll call "Be My Bra." I think it was about breast cancer. I think being a bra means being supportive. There were lots of people saying, "I am your bra." People of all ages, races, creeds, sizes and shapes. They were all being bras. Was this real?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Soul Man

Some of my students have been Lost Boys of Sudan, and they wrote interesting essays about killing lions and marching for years. When I heard Dave Eggers was writing a novel about Sudan, I said, oh no. Aren’t there any navels left to gaze at in Brooklyn? Isn’t that some kind of literary blackface? And then I was waiting for someone to write a smart article about it, but no one smart did. And I can’t bring myself to read the novel and write one. Now this novel is out in paperback and the black face of Dave Eggers is everywhere. It’s creepy. Will someone please read it and write a smart article before Benjamin Kunkel becomes a Chinese person?

Give One, Get One in November

The one-laptop-per-child program wants to send laptops to kids in developing nations, or in other words, Megan and my future students. Starting mid-November, if you send a laptop to one of these kids, you’ll get one for yourself too . These laptops use open-source software, so you will not be subjecting the world's poor to Microsoft Vista colonialism or a shoddily constructed ibook that will explode three times like my ibook did. Already have a laptop? Send your get-one to David Markson. I hear he’s a total luddite and uses an obsolete system of novel writing (popularized by Nabokov) called: notecards.

i am not afraid of fire dancers or love

dear literati,

guess what, i am working with text and image. i am a real artist now. finally. my missed connection yesterday was fire dancer on my morning commute, and it was partially inspired by these photographs by neil kubath, or as he likes to be known, "neil guy awesome."

here are some other missed connections to tickle your gullet:
helping you stretch in the office makes me so happy
i followed you into the girl's bathroom at borders this morning
it is your birthday today

my fire dancer missed connection made me kind of sad. i think the girl in it really is philophobic. that's why she says she's not. that is sad. or maybe she used to be philophobic but she got over it. that is good.

are we meeting on friday? i vote yes. even though i am only 1/3 of the way through the book. why do all you bitches read so fast.



Tuesday, October 16, 2007

chach bag writers

I fear I already posted something with this title. But whoa, David Markson's The Last Novel totally makes me feel *GREAT*. Because other writers throughout history were WAAAAY bigger chach bags than I will ever be. For example, my coffin will never arrive in Moscow, nor will it accidentally be labeled "oysters" like Chekhov's was. I will never have a mother that is as much of a chach-bag as Schopenhauer's. I will never be as big an asshole as Gaugin. I will never urinate on my own sculptures "to add patina."

I will probably, someday, be so drunk as to leave a dinner party via fireplace, like Tennyson, though. And I am definitely Novelist, "tossing his keys into a drawer--without having opened the drawer." And I agree with Stravinsky that my art is best understood by children and animals. And I hope someday I am seen as enough of a chach-bag that someone will publish all my chach-bag quotes about masturbation.

I also love to talk shit about other writers, but now I feel sort of good about it since David Markson proves that every writer ever has done this, because we are all sniveling bags of chach with no self-esteem. I need to come up with better insults, though. Like when Mark Twain says about Jane Austin "It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death." Yeowch!

I also now LOVE John Updike for his description of critics as "Pigs at the pastry cart." Just by saying this, he has completely redeemed himself and all of his books that I hate.

What really disappointed me is that there is no more Savoy, "for poor people, sick or lame, or travelers--which also saw fit to take in struggling authors." Now only places like the Art Institute take in struggling authors, and you have to pay them to do it. That is some bullshit if I ever heard it.

Let's open our own Savoy and we will be the charity cases and we can pee on anything whenever we want to.

Also, at our meeting, can we just read this book aloud? Because it demands to be read aloud.

orange you glad i didn't say banana?

yesterday my aforementioned missed connections mystery man neil kubath wrote you helped me with my oranges and then i wrote this in response. we are adorable.

i typed my missed connection in outlook yesterday and it capitalized "Steve" against my will. and i didn't notice until i had already published it. and it bothers me so much. damn you, microsoft. you win again.

Monday, October 15, 2007

another CTA doomsday scenario

If our fine mayor had any sense at all, he would hire Nicholas Hayes to write CTA doomsday fiction. At least then, we could entertain ourselves during our eternal wait.

Things to do in Denver when you're drunk

1. Attend the Great American Beer Festival, where you will meet some of the skeeziest nerds on the planet.

2. Spread the use of the word "chach bag" to people from out of town, so that Venom Literati's global footprint increases in diameter.

3. Go to Starbucks.

4. Go to La Boheme, downtown Denver's most high-end strip club, where you can gaze upon 165 (for the most part) extremely skinny young ladies clacking their transparent stacked heels in the air.

5. Spend all night performing a carefully choreographed dance with your hotel mates that revolves around bathroom use and the effects of mixing 47 billion different kinds of beer.

6. Develop an aversion to the phrase "milk stout."

7. Play EightBall, an intricate and just-invented game (by EggBoy and me) that will make pretty much everyone (but EggBoy and me) want to kick your face off. (For rules, email I am an EightBall evangelist.) Hint: It does not involve billiards.

8. I just realized I should have made EightBall number eight. But I am too lazy to switch it.

9. Recognize that people you like tend to marry other people you like, and then be happy about that.

10. Play The Game (known to some as Circle of Death) and feel the restorative effects of watery beer on a body battered by "good" beer.

11. Pet cute dogs.

12. Be disappointed by what Denver has to offer, in terms of culture and cuisine.

13. Be interested in the seeming contradiction of the representative Denverite's basic philosophy, which can be boiled down to, "It's fun to shoot things and also think about peace."

Yoga Zombies

We totally missed starring in a yoga zombie video this weekend.

Friday, October 12, 2007

why am i not in a hot air balloon right now

my missed connection today is called sorry i didn't catch you as you plummeted towards the earth.

also, here is the saddest missed connection i have seen so far, and here is the strangest/dirtiest/funniest one. it is from iowa city.

what's that? you don't care about missed connections? well you better start, mister.

you better start.

The downside of believing in logical solutions

I have spent this week “learning” Microsoft’s new operating system, Vista. I just got a new computer at work, which would normally be exciting, except for the fact that it operates on Vista and Vista has proven to be my arch-enemy. I spent one entire day this week at work unable to do anything on my computer. My screen likes to go completely blank, except for my wallpaper, at random moments. The shared drive (which contains pretty much every file that I ever need to use for my job), only works on occasion. And this makes me want to bang my head on the wall and then cry in the corner for the rest of the day. But I don’t.

Instead, I restart. Or I call the IT guys and they fix it temporarily. Or I copy and paste what I’m working on into a brand new file. And then everything works fine. But I am not satisfied. I apparently believe that Microsoft would not release a system with so many inherent problems and that this system should do most everything it does for a logical reason. Or, if not, then there should be some sort of logical fix for major problems. Why on earth would I have such blind faith? I don’t know. I shouldn’t. And this also makes me want to bang my head on the wall and then cry in the corner for the rest of the day. But I don’t.

Instead, I go home and try not to spend another minute thinking about my computer until I get to work the next day. My brain no longer works when I am at home. I can hardly talk. I can't read more than five pages and expect to comprehend anything I've read. I can’t even understand TV. Not even a show as stupid as Bionic Woman. That is sad.

I heard recently that something like 60% of people spend more time with their computers than with their significant others. That is also sad.

I hate technology today. Evil computers, scary dancing robots that we will all one day marry…it’s awful.

I’m tired. A computer is eating my brain.

if this were funnier, it would be a poem about us.

I love this poem. It reminded me of ya'll.

The Broken, WS Merwin

The spiders started out to go with the wind on its pilgrimage. At that time they were honored among the invisibles--more sensitive than glass, lighter than water, purer than ice. Even the lightning spoke well of them, and it seemed as though they could go anywhere. But as they were traveling between cold and heat, cracks appeared in them, appeared in their limbs, and they stopped, it seemed they had to stop, had to leave the company of the wind for a while and stay in one place until they got better, moving carefully, hiding, trusting to nothing. It was not long before they gave up trying to become whole again, and instead undertook to mend the air. Neither life nor death, they said, would slip through it any more.

After that they were numbered among the dust--makers of ghosts.

The wind never missed them. There were still the clouds.

I wish WS Merwin were funnier sometimes. He is never funny. This is my terrible rewrite, entitled:

The Busted-Hearted

The literati started to go out with Wayne on his pilgrimage. At that time they were honored among the brilliant--prettier than Alan, smarter than Tao, trampier than Miranda. Even DeLillo spoke jealously of them, and it seemed as though they could go anywhere, even to the mall with Wayne where they would buy turtlenecks as awesome as his. But as they were traveling between office and mall, sadness appeared in them, appeared in their limbs, and they stopped, it seemed they had to stop, had to leave the company of Wayne for a while and stay in one place until they got happy and famous, moving clumsily, drinking, moving clumsily. It was not long before they gave up on trying to become famous and/or Wayne, and instead undertook to become Dr. Manhattan for Halloween. Neither life nor death, they said, would slip through them anymore. After that they crushed everyone to dust--makers of bloody piles of stupid people. Wayne so missed them. But there was no more Don DeLillo.

That robot is HOTT

So, apparently someone in the Netherlands was just awarded their doctorate after writing a thesis about humans marrying robots. Yes, according to this person, in the future humans will turn to robots in their quest to find suitable mates. I guess men are already turning to “real dolls” instead of real women for relationships. So why not robots?

These robots are amazing dancers. Just think what they might be able to do in a few years…

I’m scared.

Lydia Davis is a superstar

The Kore Press Short Fiction Award is going to be judged by Lydia Davis this year. Davis’ novel The End of the Story is pretty much my favorite French novel that happens to have been written by an American in English.

The prize is open only to women and awards $1,000 and chapbook publication of the winning "story". The only thing that confuses me about this contest is that the “short story” must be between 4,000 and 12,000 words…which hardly seems short. Maybe it helps if the author is short. October 31 (deadline).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Oh Christ...I couldn't care less."

That was Doris Lessing's response to winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. Which is kind of awesome.

Say it to yourself in a British accent. It's very satisfying.

i suck this week

i suck this week. i have nothing to say. i have thought about nothing. my mind is empty as a mummy's mind. i have been teaching and grading papers rather than visiting our blog. it has made me stupid.

i apologize in advance for this stupid post about life savers. for reasons unknown to me, i just bought a roll and was thrilled to discover that they got rid of the lemon and lime flavors, and replaced them with raspberry and watermelon, which is awesome.

cherry is not as good as i remember it being. i used to buy whole boxes of luden's cough drops because it was like winning a roll of all cherry life savers. they were so delicious. but now the cherry ones just taste like a cough drop to me.
what an awesome name for a candy, though, and what if they really did what their name suggests?

mr. wizard was kind of hot when he was in black and white

dear literati and friends,

look at my missed connections! the one i wrote today is called you: short balding man with pet bear at rossi's.

the one i wrote yesterday is called you are even hotter than mr. wizard. i wrote this post in response to i was on my way home from the science fair which was written by neil kubath, a friend i made on missed connections! he is funny. he also wrote you: female cookie monster us: children of cookies. it is good.

and the fake missed connections craze is catching on. my friend john gillette in iowa city wrote lost you when i stopped for grilled cheese. it features a rhinestone encrusted eye patch. now you're hooked.


when i first started writing missed connections i made them quasi-believable, and even though they were weird i still got some responses from people wanting to hook up. now i hardly get any, except for one yesterday. it is in response to my mr. wizard post. it is:

"Do you have a photo of you in the kitty kat sweatshirt? I'm 30 and live on the northside. I have a photo to send in return."

sarah and i were just talking about how weird it is to get sincere, straightforward responses to our posts, even though the things we write are clearly made to sound like they were written by crazy people. i believe we could write a case study and sell it to an academic journal firmly committed to phenomonology and laughs.


here is an archive of all my other missed connections to date in case you are a giant nerd and want to read them. i know you do.

i need someone tall to help me put the dishes away
and then someone wrote this in response
you're so funny
if you play the harmonica i would like to give you two dollars
sorry i threw up on you

"I have photos of him that could break your heart"

While I’m pretty sure I won’t be allowed into this exhibit until I pay my library fines from five years ago, we should all go see the Jasper Johns: Gray exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago starting in November. Here’s a little background on Johns and Rauschenberg.

Photo credit: Jasper Johns. Target, 1958. Collection Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Saul. Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo: Jamie M. Stukenberg / Professional Graphics Inc., Rockford, Illinois.

Redline redhead: Today - w4m - 19

I read somewhere that women are more likely than men to fantasize about sex on the train. Today you were my fantasy. Redheads always make the best lovers.

Me: Artsy chick in a tight shirt reading Ayn Rand. I'm studying to be a snake charmer, and I love dressing up in traditional ethnic costumes for fun. Join me?

[This is my favorite reply]:

My gf and I are developing an adult site and we're networking with people that would be willing to help us with the project, whether doing scenes or video/photo work. I've found that art students tend to be a bit more open about these projects, and wanted to ask if you might be interested in helping us out.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

brown eyed boy on the blue line - wfm - 25

Reply to:
Date: 2007-10-03, 4:11PM CDT

You: Brunette cutie looking bored and adorable on the blue line
Me: Shy shorty reading "What Not to Eat: Diet Lessons Learned from Ancient Incan Child Sacrifice Rituals." As soon as I saw your neutral facial expression I couldn't read another word.

All I've done all day is run a google image search for "hotties of the blue line" but your picture never comes up. I think you need to improve your search engine optimization strategy. If you love David Lee Roth, Wayne Koestenbaum and mummies send me a smoke signal tonight at 8pm.

I will be watching the sky,


• Location: division stop
• it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 439237998

My favorite response:

Well I fit the description: I have brown(ish) eyes and I'm always bored and adorable on the train but likely this isn't me because I didn't happen to notice any girls reading Incan Atkins books.

But HI anyway! =D

Other responses:

is this for real? because sadly enough a brown eyed guy with a neutral face expression pretty much defines my demeanor on the train. and i ride the blue line through division regularly

Wow this fella really impressed you, huh?? about what time did you see this stunner?

Weirdest response:

short caring books

Belmont El Stop, piercing blue eyes - w4m - 26

Reply to:
Date: 2007-10-04, 9:30AM CDT

You: Clean-cut business type with relentless hungry gaze, listening to iPod. Blue shirt, black pants, just a hint of manly stubble.
Me: Pretty, petite blonde who could not stop imagining burying my face in your chest. Could you tell?

One possible problem: Was that a wedding ring? It doesn't matter to me if it doesn't matter to you. I bet I'll do things she won't.

  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 43906878

These are the responses:

Hi. Good morning!

It may have been me. But there are so many hotties at Belmont, how's one to know? Just in case I am your missed connection, I thought you might enjoy a better glimpse at that chest of mine. I do fit your description, so perhaps I'm the one you're seeking. And I'm glad it doesn't matter to you, cause it doesn't matter to me either...

[Description of photo]: Hairy headless torso; jeans undone just enough to show nothing.


Was a wedding ring, she won't know


Hey there,

Could you tell me what time and day did this happen??

Thanks and I hope your having a good day, I am a little tired from last night..


Could be me, though probably not. Black pants, blue shirts and blue eyes are a dime a dozen on the El. But I am a clean cut business type who rides in from Belmont every morning. And I do have blue eyes. So who knows. When was this? Morning? Evening? What day? Anything else you can add?


What kind of hair, and color

long, short, balding?


Manly stubble. Funny, I always figured you guys thought it was cheesy.......

Time and direction details?? As the description is close.......and I do remember one particularly attractive individual.



Wow...I have never read these before, and my first time browsing through, and I think your post is about me. I was at the Belmont station all week for some work around there. My only question is...there were alot of pretty, petite blondes...which one was you? Well a little about me to see if Im the one your thinking of...6'0, Blue eyes, brown hair, athletic, 165 lbs, 26....and although it may have appeared to be a wedding ring...actually it was not.


I transfer at the belmont stop everyday and I dress for the office. I have blue eyes and short blond/light brown hair, and am about 5'10''. No ring though so maybe not me. I keep a short beard or stubble or whatever you want to call it.


Did you find your man?I was there on Tuesday around 7pm ... I had the black pants, blue shirt,blue eyes, iPod and the wedding ring, but if you are who I think you are,that won't matter.

Top Secret Project Number Seven

Last week on Tuesday, I, Venom Literati, took over Kathy's and Sarah's brains and insisted that they write fake Missed Connections to draw out the creepiest businessmen and the most interesting boys in the greater Chicago area.

They will post one (with responses) each day for the next week. So I have commanded. So it shall be done.

Mark your calendars, ladies

Tuesday, nine o'clock central time: "A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila."

If you don't have cable, you are coming over to my house to watch. Your incentive is lime rice and pinto bean tacos. Also, you can watch our cats tear chunks of fur off one another.

This show may signal the apocalypse. We need to be ever vigilant.

Here, there, or in the air.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tupelo Press Dorset Prize

Poets, you can now send those things you’ve been working on with all of that white space to a special prize that rewards that sort of thing. $10,000 is the reward. Also included is international fame among poets and a book launch, probably attended by a bunch of other poets who may or may not correct your grammar as small talk. (One of my first parties in grad school involved a poet who shall remain nameless saying I could not use the expression “accidentally/ on purpose” because it wasn’t “proper English.” Poets can be chach-bags too. And make money, apparently. I learn new things every day.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I Can't Decide if I Hate the City of Chicago or Myself

I sort of ran the marathon yesterday, in the sense that the po-po stopped me at mile 16, and kept making that scary gesture where they cross their arms in front of their bodies and yell, "Stop!" which makes you think about handcuffs.

There was no water provided by the city by the time people in my starting category got there. They had run out at every single official hydration station, except for the first one. Spectators were providing water, and also charity groups, I think, but not until about mile 10.

Normally, I have a two-hour period when I'm running where I'm really happy about it. I'm not thinking about anything. My body is just moving, and it feels nice. Except this felt awful from start to finish though.

I was in one of the first groups of people they stopped. If I had been going just, like, a minute faster, I would have been allowed to keep going.

Who to hate? Usually, the answer is "myself" (said in a mopey voice), but today I'm thinking I blame the event coordinator. If you would have given me water, I would have been going faster, event coordinator. See? Not my fault.

Now my knee hurts and I have a cold. I am going to submerge myself in ice.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Saturday, October 6, 2007

you won't find this at Barnes & Noble

I love Butt magazine, and not just because of the catchy name and the fact that I am secretly a male homosexual. Every issue has interviews with hilarious gay writers and directors and some with random tramps and the occasional Icelandic dairy farmer. You can buy a bunch of Butts collected in an aesthetically pleasing pink book (published by Taschen, of course). There are a lot of photos of male genitalia, so be sure to cover those up with cat stickers of appropriate size if you plan on mailing photocopies to Beth Nugent. Buy the Taschen book of Butt at Quimby’s.

A Major Offense Involving Barnes & Noble

Ugh, Literati, I fear I have committed a major offense. Yesterday I bought David Markson's The Last Novel at Barnes and Noble, rather than ordering it from his awesome publisher.

My reason being that I freaked out and had to have a book to read immediately and then I was in Barnes and Noble and, well... See, the other book I am reading is called The American Prose Poem: Poetic Form and the Boundaries of Genre. It is sort of awesome, but I hope you can understand why I needed something else to read pronto.

Please know that I did not take the Barnes and Noble cashier's advice and get their stupid card that makes you buy everything there because you can save, like, 3 cents every time you use it.

Oh Literati, please forgive me. I will sincerely apologize to David Markson in our letter, and address myself as a "chach-bag writer," to use my new favorite term, coined by Meghan Austin.

(See pretentious picture of our favorite chach-bag writer above. I will also send David a picture of myself in this same pretentious pose, but in front of Burrito House or something.)

Friday, October 5, 2007

A little cleavage and a lotta tooth.

I think if you want to get anywhere in this world you gotta show a little cleavage and a lotta tooth. DEFINITELY not the other way around. Too much cleavage is folly and little teeth are just creepy. If you have little teeth--- I am certain that you are a failure. The bigger the teeth....just look at Heidi from the O.C. or Laguna.....NO! The Hills. Definitely The Hills. That chick has big-ass goofy f#*cking choppers and she has a successful TV show and a handsome, back-biting douche of a boyfriend! Jealous?

Look how good I look in green. I can wear a big, baggy, shapeless sweater and still look smoking hot because I chose the color of my big, baggy, shapeless sweater wisely. It brings out the deep, soulful green of my big and beautiful eyes. It's like that song....I am "PASSION'S LADY" but I am not dressed in love as Sugarloaf says. I am dressed got it...a big, baggy, shapeless sweater. Smart.

I ate three pinto bean and lime rice tacos last night and I feel like a million bucks! I think I will eat pinto bean and lime rice tacos EVERY Thursday from now on. And Wednesday. Maybe Mondays too. But definitely not Sunday because that is reserved for Veggie Korma. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. I love Veggie Korma! I think I'll have some tonight even though it's Friday. I'll just switch things around and have cheese pizza on Monday.....wait that's gonna be for pinto bean and....uggghhhh!!!!! I give up on life!

I have to remember that I am a grown-up

I'm never sure if my blog posts belong on my personal blog or on this one.

I think I got them reversed today.

Dear Venom Literati,

Does anyone else have trouble taking a stand? Do you feel scared that someone else will steal your happiness if you do?

Also, do you ever feel like everyone else is always right when you're in an argument because You're Just Not Like That? (Apparently I should be taking notes on life, which can be used later.)

And plus also too, when you finally take a stand, shouldn't you feel, like, empowered, or some other bullshit word that means something like that? Because I don't. I just feel scared. But I'm a grown-up and what I say matters just as much as what other people say.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Water, Shoes, Shoehorns, Iowa: Meaningless Tangentials

So I am trying to drink more water lately. I feel like my insides are full of gunk and that they need to be rinsed or watered down or whatever. It is so difficult for me to drink water, except in the form of coffee. I can drink coffee-water all day, but I have had the same glass of water sitting on my desk all morning and I've barely made a dent in it. The only time I can force myself to drink water is in the middle of the night. I don't know why this is, but it's a super bad idea because then I have to get up and pee a hundred times.

Usually I just go to the closet and pee on my boyfriend's shoes. He has way nicer shoes than I do, and gets upset when he is out in public and people accidently step on or scuff them. He also puts the tissue paper stuffing that comes in the toes back in the toes of the shoes when he is not wearing them. And he has a shoe rack in our closet, which I think is super weird. It seems like something my dad would do.

My dad, I remember, had shoe horns, and also this weird shoe-stretcher apparatus...I don't understand what either of them did for the shoes. Maybe he bought too-small shoes and had to stretch them out? The shoehorn I am clueless about. He also had a ridiculous amount of shoe polish, even a white canister for white sneakers, which is so weird. He was always making me buy suede-protectant for my shoes, which never worked and when my shoes got splotchy he would get angry because I hadn't keep up on the applications. The shoe polish was in this ugly wardrobe that later became the illicit substances drawer when Lala and I lived together in Iowa City. My Dad's shoe polish was next to his underwear (tightie whities), next to which was the top half of a Trivial Pursuit box with a bunch of pennies and cruddy rolls of BreathSavers and--I know you want to know this--a lone condom that was there for years and is probably still there.

Will water help me? Will water save my gunky insides? How can I drink more of it? What are shoehorns and shoe-stretchers for? Please oh please let me know.

Books and Television - my two favorite things

Book Television has some previews up of their reality show based on the 3-Day Novel contest, which obviously, is the coolest contest in the world I can’t believe the nicknames these people have apparently chosen for themselves (the Freak, The Streets, The Rookie, the Toronto, etc). I wanted to be the Toronto!

Judge Melissa Edwards is a superstar, and I’m not just saying that because she published Shannon and my book and is like two feet taller than me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

500 years old is not very old

so this one guy discovered 3 inca mummies that were perfectly preserved in ice. this happened yesterday or today or something. read about it on yahoo and watch the related video to see the 15 year old girl mummy who i thought was alive when i first saw her. i have issues with all of this.

1. they are calling these mummies "ancient incas" even though they are only 500 years old. 500 years old is not ancient. i am practically 500 years old.

2. these children are not really even mummies because they weren't mummified, right? they were just left to die and then preserved in ice which is why they look like they're still alive.

the first picture is the inca girl that guy found yesterday or today. the other two pictures are mummy mummies. there is a difference.

People Who Missed Their Calling As My Boss

1. Tina Fey

She may be kind of a ball-buster, but she would be doing it in the name of quality. Also, she would make me laugh, and we could go shopping for glasses frames during our lunch hours.

2. Morrissey

We could take naps together, talk about our feelings, and then be snarky to people without them realizing we were being snarky.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I can't stop changing my wallpaper

I change my computer's wallpaper at least twice a week. Some notable guests have included Wayne Koestenbaum in that cute red turtleneck, and The Only Gay in the Village from Little Britain.

Right now it is this man who looks like rotisserie chicken. Seriously, he looks edible.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I'm not doing anything exciting ever again until I finish this book

I wrote a book in May and June during my month off from teaching. The book keeps getting shorter and shorter. By the end of the day, there will be nothing left and it will be perfect.

Update: The book is finished. It is about explosions and hallucinatory visions of Gumby and contains an experimental Gorgonzola called The Thirty-three Strokes of Midnight. Some of it will be on around November. That’s probably all you need to know.

Heather is Waaaaaaaayy Better than Bret Michaels

I watched my first and last entire episode of "Rock of Love" last night. Bret Michaels is so gross. He is the reason why neither David Lee nor Bruce ever show up at any VL meetings. They are scared that he will be there, and that they will have to give him an insulin shot in his ass, or just watch him raunchily make out with us for 2 hours. The amount of kissing footage on that show is effin' revolting. I think 75% of the footage is kissing. And the other 25% is of Bret's blood sugar disasters.

I did love the moment where Bret asked both finalists to be his girlfriend. Even though it was clearly an oh-so-clever Bret-trick, both the girls were too stupid to figure out it was a trick, especially that Heather, who I sort of love. Mostly I love her because when Bret was having a blood sugar disaster in the dunebuggy, she didn't give a shit; she just kept saying: "No, I wanna drive it! I wanna drive it!" and then nearly killed them both. I also loved her outfit for the final showdown. That yellow dress plus the hair was freakin' awesome. I felt bad for Heather. I really feel like she and Bret are soul mates.

We should apply for Heather's friendship on myspace, which is where I found that pic, in which she is misrepresented and looks sort of good.