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.