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,