Wednesday, December 24, 2008

christmas is cancelled

hey you guys, i'm trapped in chicago! i tried to go home yesterday but they turned the bus around b/c the roads were closed because there was an ice storm or something. and now everything for today and tomorrow is sold out. why isn't the literati all iced in and in my apartment? come over.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"As I Said," #1 Chapbook Bestseller

Kathryn Regina's beautiful chapbook, As I Said, was just published by Publishing Genius.

Kathy is modest, so I have set a goal for her, which involves selling 1 million copies of her chapbook, thereby making it the bestselling chapbook in history, and making the folks at Publishing Genius instant millionaires.

Basically Kathy will become the next Stephen King or Dean Koontz or one of those dumb chick lit bitches, except she will be waaay better than them because she is Kathy, she is smart, and she writes things that are good. This chapbook will be a miracle! This chapbook will be like Barack Obama! There will be a coin made of this chapbook with Kathy's face on it--there will definitely be commemorative dishes and stamps as well.

All of this will surely make As I Said the first-ever chapbook selection for Oprah's book club, and Kathy will go on there and the whole audience will get free copies and Kathy will get a car (because I am tired of Kathy taking the bus everywhere). I feel like Oprah won't understand As I Said, but she doesn't read any of her book club selections anyway. She will get a good, funny feeling from the whale, whether she understands it or not. She'll want to know all about the whale in Kathy's interview, but Kathy will be too busy playing with her new car to discuss the whale.

People, seriously, let's make us some chapbook history.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You can't tell me what to do.

When someone's email says "Before printing, please think about the environment" at the bottom of it, I instantly get mad at the sender for preaching to me, even though I agree with the sentiment. I think a picture of a pretty little tree would be more effective.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Uses of Columns in Literature

I'm kind-of reading a novel called The People of Paper, by Salvatore Plascencia. I don't know how I found this book; in the blurb on the back cover, George Saunders says it's reminiscent of Borges and Calvino, but it is reminiscent of neither of those. Really this Salvatore is no legendary anybody: he's just one of George Saunders' former students.

Anyway I thought this book was going to be experimental. I was excited about that. But really it just has a strange shape, and a voice exactly like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who I used to love but who I now just think is sort of boring--and it is especially boring to imitate his voice.

Also the text runs in columns down the page, like Hotel Theory. There are columns for each character, though--and you have to read them in order so I don't understand why there are columns. I think they are columns for the sake of columns, and for the sake of making something appear experimental.

One of the columns is brilliant, though: it is pitch black. It is the character of Baby Nostradamus, a baby whose mother thinks he will someday make predictions just like the original Nostradamus, but really he is just retarded. So there is an inside joke with the reader via the pitch-black column. I think I will read just that column from now on. It makes me giggle.

Also in this book are people who are made of paper, and a child who is addicted to limes, whose mother was also addicted to limes. I think that is supposed to make it surreal and experimental also, but so far there is nothing very interesting about the characters.

This is not a nice review. I feel sad. It is winter. I hate when I get super excited about a book and then it disappoints me.

Over winter break I'm going to write a scholarly book called "The Uses of Columns in Literature." The sections will be called "Doric," "Ionic," and "Corinthian." The Corinthian chapter will just be pictures of Wayne Koestenbaum, who is the only person on the planet who can write an experimental novel that impresses me. Oh, and Selah Saterstrom. But I will save that so that I actually have something to post next week.

Monday, December 8, 2008

i think maybe i was trying to be kaitlyn but i'm not sure

last week i wrote a christmas-themed newsletter at work and it led to this recording. i originally posted it on my own blog but then took it down because i decided it was too dumb. but not too dumb for my venom literati!

you're welcome.

twas the night before christmas.WMA -

It is like you are in my head.

I am back to my old library plan, which consists of me going to the New Arrivals section and just choosing three or four books that look like they might be okay.

This is what I have read in the last three weeks, as a result:

Personal Days by Ed Park. This seems to be exactly the same book as And Then We Came to the End or whatever that other book that was written in first person plural was, except it's funnier. I award this book one Wayne Koestenbaum.

Truth and Beauty [a friendship] by Ann Padgett. This is the one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other book because it's non-fiction, and also not brand new, and read because of someone's recommendation. Also, it involves the phrase "[a friendship]" in the title, which makes it sound like it will be mainly about helping your bestie apply eye shadow and get through the tough times with manfriends. But it's actually pretty good because it's also about facial deformity and severe depression and heroin. Two Wayne Koestenbaums.

The Hotel Crystal by Olivier Rodin. This book is sort of homage to Georges Perec and the reason for the Wayne Koestenbaum rating system in this post. It is one part spy novel (sort of) and one part descriptions of hotel rooms. Enjoyable, and simultaneously boring and funny. Just like me. Three Wayne Koestenbaums.

Vacation by Deb Olin Unferth. This book made me feel sad. I liked it way too much. Three Wayne Koestenbaums.

Right now I am reading The Girl on the Fridge by Etgar Keret. It has a nice cover.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Useless in an emergency. Or a semi-emergency, anyway.

Last night I had a prolonged and almost insurmountable panic attack because my favorite kitty had a prolapsed rectum. (We took him on an emergency visit to the vet, and he's totally fine; he just has to eat pumpkin to help his constipation. Which of course he won't eat.)

It looked really weird, like a cross between an earthworm and a pencil eraser. Anyway, it made me think of that scene from Cremaster 3, where the guy's in the dentist chair, and then he basically poops out a flesh sack of teeth, which didn't make me think of partly-formed parasitic twins then, but it does now. There's a snippet of it in this trailer that I can't embed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Last night Abby and I were talking about our fitness goals. I am aiming for a boys' size 10. She is aiming for infants' 12-18 months. Soon she will only wear onesies. We will save tons of money on both food and clothes and use that extra cash for IV drips and as-seen-on-TV products, so the fruit we buy and don't eat never goes bad.

Is it necessary for me to say I'm just kidding? Are we going to gain an eating-disorder-tween following? The internet takes everything so seriously.

Monday, December 1, 2008

the megabus is not as bad as being on a train bound for a concentration camp and you should feel bad about that

you guys, i totally cried in the lobby of a movie theater yesterday. the source of my sorrow was the megabus. it was weird. especially because i didn't feel embarrassed at all. people were looking at me and i was like, what? i'm crying. get over it.

everything is fine now, although the rides to and fro indianapolis were markedly unpleasant. here are all the things that went wrong on the way home: 1. they moved the bus stop without telling me so even though i was really early i had to run to the bus when i realized i was in the wrong place, and then i didn't get a window seat, which is key to bus comfort. 2. the passenger next to me had strikingly bad breath and yawned for four hours. 3. a man behind me talked on his cell phone the entire time. 4. it was cold 5. i was hungry. 6.the girl in front of me made her light shine bright in my eyes while she knitted all the way home. 7. someone kept farting.

whenever i am in an uncomfortable travel situation i automatically think of the scene from night by elie wiesel where he and his father are on a train to a concentration camp and everyone is naked and they all have to stand for like 20 hours because the train is so full that no one can sit down without being trampled and they're all pressed up against each other and i'm sure it didn't smell good and also a baby was crying. and then i think, this bus is not nearly as bad as that. and then i feel guilty.

i saw elie wiesel speak once. he won my heart. he was so calm and sad. he is like the absolute center of calm sadness. if i were ever to take to the rode and follow someone grateful dead-style it would be elie wiesel.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

things to be thankful for

Everyone in the world has seen the the commercial for the anti-psychotic Abilify with the bipolar lady wandering dangerously close to a cliff. Or you have seen the Abilify commercial that pretends that Abilify is an anti-depressant.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful that less airtime will be available for deceptive mental health marketing. The Abilify commercial lady will (hopefully) pull a George Bailey, making room for better bipolar role models, such as the manic and depressed Heat Miser and Snow Miser from The Year Without a Santa Claus.

What are you happy for this horrible holiday season?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Octopi are awesome

First of all, Wild Chronicles is my new cable-free favorite show. Second, this video does not show the best part of this segment, which is where the octopus waits until all of The Scientists have gone home for the evening, slithers out of its tank, across the room, and then hoists itself into the crab tank for dinner. But it does show a 600-lb. octopus squeezing through a tube the size of a quarter.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I want to know what you're looking at

I think it's important that we tell each other what our gmail themes are. I will go first. Mine is Tea House. It features an adorable fox who currently is sweeping his house, but earlier was playing with birdies in the bird bath. It is only a matter of time before I start cross-stitching big-eyed kittens on my high-waisted, tight-rolled mom jeans.

Also, this weekend we watched a movie called Brothers of the Head, which is about conjoined-twin rock stars. It was much better than I was expecting. Don't let the Netflix description get you too pumped though: The additional head growing out of one of the twin's shoulder is only rumor. Remember when I wanted to have a conjoined-twin party? Gosh, that would have been great.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Something more interesting out of something that was only mildly interesting

Everybody has seen those Rosie O'Donnell spots about her new show, right, and we all agree that she has had an aggressive facelift, yes? Well, Abby and I were especially freaked out by it because we think that now she bears a strong resemblance to Dawn French, who is awesome, and how this makes Rosie's stock rise a little bit simply because now we can pretend she's Dawn. So I was looking for a facelifted image of Rosie to do a side-by-side comparison and couldn't find one.

Instead, I found this website: It is hilarious. It tells you what stars (probably) smell like. For instance Anjelica Huston smells like beef bouillon, brass door knob, and black grapes, among other things. Michael Phelps like anti-fungal foot cream, dill pickles, sticky poker chips, and much more!

I wish I smelled like oranges, grape koolaid, grass, gasoline, and almond extract.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

i'm pretty sure the devil is manufacturing diet coke

i want diet coke all the time, even when my stomach feels like a bomb. do you guys ever read my blog? i never see you on my activemeter. grading papers is not enjoyable. i want to make quilts. i want a book about the quilts of gee's bend. i will probably order it after lunch. i will probably eat a bagel at dunkin' donuts for lunch and a diet coke. this is because there is a dunkin donuts right next to this building. this building is roosevelt university. i might not get classes again. ew, papers. i wish i would go outside and see hundreds of balloons in the air.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I am pretty sure the devil is manufacturing Quorn

It's been a while since I ate chicken, so if someone (or a company that manufactures fake chicken, for example) tells me that something tastes like chicken I'm likely to believe that person or company.

But damn. Seriously. I just had a Quorn "chicken" cutlet and it not only looked and tasted like chicken, it also shared chicken's weird striated, fibrous texture. This is not a commercial for Quorn. This is freaking me out.

I do not understand how they are doing it. There are eggs in it, but unless eggs is a euphemism for chicken that shouldn't make any difference. Are they test tube chickens? And why can't they do this with steak?

I heard a rumor that it was made of mysterious fungus that no one really knew the long-term effects of eating, but that turned out to be a lie (probably propagated by Tyson). I keep feeling like there must be something wrong with it. It's because I cannot let myself be happy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Overheard on the way to the union

"Yeah sorry I've been so sleepy the last few times we've talked. I've been sleeping between all of my classes because I wasn't eating anything so I was really sleepy. And then I got really dehydrated and stayed up till 5:30 in the morning."

Ah, those were the days, when you just sort of experimented with your body to see how it would react to extremes. Also, is dehydration like caffeine, or speed?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yesterday I watched a baboon eat a baby gazelle

It was on television. I almost died. I had to cover my eyes and make la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la noises so I couldn't hear the pretty little bones crunching.
I am learning a Haydn sonata for piano for the first time in 15 years. I am suddenly very interested in finger placement. It makes sense to me in a way it did not 15 years ago.

I have to find a picture of a baby gazelle on a piano now to connect these two thoughts.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Abby's famous

You guys, Abby and I were out to dinner the other night, and this woman came up to us and said, "Excuse me, I'm sorry to interrupt, but weren't you in that extremely depressing play?" And Abby got all skittery and shy--but gracious!--and said, "Um, yeah." And then the lady started gushing about how wonderful she was. It was really weird. I feel like Felicity's handyman husband who looks like her twin brother or Julia Robert's cameraman husband or the dude from Lost's wife who wants to open a salon.

I can't wait till she appeals to all of middle America and then I can live in a hammock on a beach somewhere off the spoils of her labor. Actually we could probably do that now, if only she would recognize her calling as a seaside bartender. She could search for doubloons with a metal detector in her spare time to keep me in mai-tais.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Holograms are Awesome

The best part of the election coverage last night, other than Barack's speech, was definitely the hologram-people on CNN.

I don't know what to say about the hologram-people, except that it was hilarious to watch Anderson Cooper holding conversations with people who weren't really there.

I think I like the holograms mostly because they were completely pointless, counterproductive, and absurd--why would you prefer to talk to a transported, pretend Jessica Yellen in the newsroom when she was in the center of the excitement in Chicago? Well anyway I love it. There should be more hologram-people in the world. I hope this is at the top of Obama's list.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I have to vote at 6 a.m. tomorrow

You know how when you vote in Chicago, you go to the church gym, and there's like 20 ancient people there, and they shuffle you through the line in a surprisingly efficient fashion, and then you vote, like, immediately?

Apparently, that is not the case here. People keep knocking on my door and telling me that if I early-vote it will only take 45 minutes. Which means that it's projected to take much longer than that on Nov. 4. Which means that I am getting there as soon as the polls open because if I wait more than 45 minutes in line and then I don't get to go on a rollercoaster, I am going to be angry.

My goal is to be the foggiest, most disheveled person at my polling place. I bet I will say "wait, what?" a lot. I hope the ballots are clear.

Friday, October 31, 2008

My favorite vampire movie

"Vampire's Kiss" starring Nicholas Cage. A friend of mine once said this movie is to Nicholas Cage what "River's Edge" is to Crispin Glover--a chance to really let all their weirdnesses loose.

He kills someone using plastic vampire teeth. Jennifer Beals is in it. He eats a cockroach. He only thinks he's a vampire, when he is not really. It's the best.

Also, you know how Leonardo diCaprio is suffering from Tom Hanks Disease (serious widening of the face with age)? Nicholas Cage is suffering from Chevy Chase Disease (suddenly looking like a silent movie actor).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today in Starbucks in Target

There was this woman who was standing in front of me talking to her friend, and she said, "And Kate has lung cancer," and then she opened her eyes really wide and nodded like she-totally-deserves-it, and her companion tightened her lips, and I was all whoa, is this indicative of the stoic and hardy and judgmental nature of natives? but then she went on to talk about Sami, and I figured out she was re-capping the plot of a soap opera. Then she started talking about one or the other of the presidential candidates and objecting to the fact that he didn't say "under god" in some speech or something, and I was like, no wait, this is indicative of the nature of the natives. And then I felt ashamed for judging the natives.

Then I debated with myself about whether it was worth four dollars to figure out what a salted caramel hot chocolate would taste like. I decided not.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Great Books that look and sound terrible

The Dwarf by Par Lagerkvist (translated by Alexandra Dick) is one of my favorite books, even though it has the ugliest cover art I've ever seen and even though some people claim it is an historical novel. I cannot stand historical novels or books which stand for anything. You do not need to know anything about history, dwarves or symbolism to enjoy this book.

* The cover art is so ugly that it cannot be represented here. This is a Velazquez painting of a dwarf.

* The Dwarf is narrated by an homicidal dwarf named Piccoline.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I know I already murmured about this

But I'm still thinking about the similiarities between John Carpenter's Vampires and Harry Potter.

Both Harry's and James Woods' parents died at the hands of a creature that they must now destroy or else the world will fall to evil. In both stories, both sides are searching for a soul embedded in an object. Both Harry and James were present for the ritualistic soul-return thing in rather cinematically similar settings. Both of them are fighting the evil in a trio, which is two boys and one girl. In both of them, the sidekick boy gets the girl. The sidekick boy in both is a member of a huge family of boys (think Ron Weasley, think Daniel Baldwin). Also, the evil, evil villain's name begins with a V in both.

J.K. Rowling, you love John Carpenter. You, like, totally want to marry him.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yip yip yip!

I'm so excited to come back to Chi-town that I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to communicate in sentences or even words as the day progresses. I'll probably just yip.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Best lesson plan ever

This one actor girlfriend of mine (you might know her) had to walk down the hallway at 1% speed for an hour to...I was going to say concentrate on how her body moves, but I'm not sure if the same thing could be accomplished at 5% or even 10% speed. However, there are a lot of things I don't understand about acting.

Anyway, the point is that this is brilliant. Just think of the practical applications! If there's a better way to make your students focus on word choice and sentence structure, I don't know what it is.

Plus, it frees up all kinds of time for you, as an instructor. Your students concentrate wholly on a tiny thing for a really long time; you do what you want. Also, I totally already planned this lesson for you, so you don't have to work this weekend.

If my high school history teacher had known about this technique, then I feel certain that we all would have been pretending to be crusading children at 1% speed for a whole year instead of watching movies about the lives of the saints.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't worry: It was stuffed.

On Sunday I visited a log jail. On the second floor, there was a two-headed calf.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Illness plus lack-of-good-cable=boredness

I have a very low threshold for the flu bug. This is what I've learned about old sitcoms while ill:

Cheers totally holds up. It is still funny. So is Frasier. I think I might have a celebrity crush on Kelsey Grammer. Or is it Grammar? Not funny anymore, or perhaps ever: Coach, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Two and a Half Men, The Honeymooners, Seventh Heaven.

Also not funny ever: Political ads. Living in a battleground state blows. All of the candidates' voices are like cheesegraters on my face.

I have a favorite HSN lady. She has enormous eyebrows and jokes inappropriately with the "real-looking" models. I don't know what her name is, though. I had a dream about her last night. I was swimming the 100 meter IM against her and the helmet-haired local news anchor with the permanently surprised expression. I totally won. I could even do the butterfly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Upsetting things

1. I finally got my tax returns for the last two years, and it turns out I'll be getting back way less than I thought. I have concluded that my tax dude is wrong. I am getting a second opinion.

2. Ollie effing loves sleeping on my beautiful white loveseat, which is now my beautiful gray loveseat. I must vacuum it every day.

3. It is going to get cold tomorrow.

4. I'm pretty sure Tyra had a nosejob. Not me, the real one.

5. All of my new local news anchors are unattractive in serious and frightening ways.

6. I have not been paid for any freelance work in the last three months. Not for lack of doing it.

7. I just ran out of books to read.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

early voting has started in Chicago

We need some balance

Because Anthony Bourdain is such an alpha-male character, what with his well-placed meaty femur, here is my super-female celebrity crush: Joan Holloway from Mad Men.

Friday, October 10, 2008

we also need more anthony bourdain

I have a new celebrity crush, and it's another chef: Anthony Bourdain. I realized this after recently becoming obsessed with "No Reservations," his Travel Channel show where he just travels around to other countries, eats lots of food, smokes cigarettes, drinks, and assaults people with his sarcasm while having hangovers. He has all the qualities I have admired in previous celebrity crushes all rolled into one, plus he supplies elements that other of my celeb crushes have never brought to the table.

1. Foreign last name/heritage. (See former crushes: DiCaprio, DiSpirito, etc.) I'm pretty sure I heard that Anthony grew up in the French countryside. That is so adorable.

2. Rebellious nature, evident in black leather jacket, boozing, and chain-smoking. (See: James Dean, Luke Perry)

3. World traveler to the point of basically being an expatriot--(See: Gertrude Stein, Henry Miller, other artist ex-pats) Anthony far trumps Jon (known to those with less intimate relations as Dr. Manhattan) in this regard--abandoning one's entire planet out of a sense of alienation is just not that attractive; it's pretty wussy, but traveling the globe in order to eat food and get wasted is totally hot. Being in the US as little as possible is always totally hot.

4. Hedonist--perhaps my most important crush quality. (Why Jon failed after 4 hours as a crush) I want to roast meat over an open fire in bed with Mr. Bourdain. Then eat it in bed with our hands. There will be gigantic winejugs alongside the bed, and some Playboy bunny types, only French and more natural-looking, bringing us pile after pile after pile of meat.
5. Gigantic ego--a must for anyone I am ever attracted to, including myself.

5. Hot body--(See: Daniel Craig, Holly Madison, etc.) This one reflects my often-extreme vanity: I had great concern about what Anthony would look like naked, since he drinks and smokes so much. I was counting on him having "old man body" underneath the leather jacket, so that while his sarcastic charm could probably woo me for a couple of years into our marriage, after that I would develop a wandering eye. I was pleasantly surprised to find this here naked picture, in which he has a totally hot body for being an addict.

I'm pretty sure Anthony Bourdain is the total package. I'm pretty sure he's my Renaissance Celebrity Crush. Despite my fantasy, however, I am rather disturbed by the presence of that enormous meat in the picture. I am scared of it.

we need more videos

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I wish I were crafty

I think I am too impatient to be crafty. Like today, for instance, I got the regular dishwashing soap out of the cupboard instead of the dishwasher dishwashing soap, and I seriously considered just using that, rather than putting it away and getting the right soap out. To save time. Really.

Today I went to the Fine Arts Library, and I saw lots of familiar artists' books and lots of other ones I'd never seen before, and I remembered that old feeling of wanting to make artists' books, too, but I just can't do it. Because I do not want to go out and get a ruler. Or other tools. I can't do things that require a lot of instruments. Or steps.

One of the familiar books I saw, High Tension by Philip Zimmerman, is all about symptoms and supposed remedies for extreme stress. The weird thing is that the last time I saw it (in grad school), I thought it was funny. But I had almost all of the symptoms last year, which, today, made me feel stupid.

Also, I am bad at being consistent, so knitting is out of the question.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

robot girl

Well, the debates were boring, but at least we don't live in Japan! A company in Japan is about to begin mass-producing a creepy robot girl, to assist "disabled" people. That's right folks. The world's most sophisticated robot is a 5-year-old Japanese girl who speaks in baby voice. I would've seen this coming if I hadn't been so stoned during Spirited Away.

Friday, October 3, 2008

new book

I have not had time to buy any new books in weeks. I keep re-reading Robert Lopez's Part of the World, but mostly, I just absorb every single newspaper, magazine, blog and video site that might have Sarah Palin saying something ridiculous. Someone suggest a book please! Anything banned from the Wasilla library will do!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Your star sign is dry-hoppy

Like you, I have spent many sleepless nights wondering how to unlock my potential. I instantly fell asleep after reading this, so at peace was I. My new excuse: It isn’t me; it is my beer that hasn’t been ambitious enough.

Find out how the stars say you should drink.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This Proves My Existence, Yes?

I am feeling nonexistent lately. It's because I haven't blogged in so long. If you don't exist on the internets, you don't exist at all. Also if I don't exist within the Literati, I don't exist at all.

Right now I exist in various ugly classrooms with carpet like steel wool and no windows. It would be good for me to go ahead and move in; then I could save my rent money for a Jamaican holiday, or for when I have to permanently evacuate the country because John McCain accidently gets elected.

I sort of like feeling nonexistent. All I do is read and think about things. I have that "college-feeling" that I haven't had in so long, where your mind sort of expands. It is just because I am unhealthily living vicariously through my students. This does, however, make me feel smarter.

On the other hand, sometimes Garrison and Gato yell for me when really I'm in the same room with them. I've suddenly become invisible without realizing it, and when I say, duh, you idiots I'm right here, they don't hear me. That is kind of depressing.

Monday, September 29, 2008

existentialism / pickles

Recently, the other Megan and I went to this really cool used bookstore in Lincoln Square (does anyone know the name of it? I think it's Ravenswood Used Books), and I bought a book called Dostoevsky Kierkegard Nietzsche and Kafka by William Hubben. It's great, despite an alarming smell.
When my miracle car finally dies, I'm going to sign up for an I-go car and enjoy the amazing luxury of working turn signals. I will drive to Seminary Co-op bookstore almost all the time. Lately, high school kids have been breaking into my car and it smells like pickles, and I smell like pickles. I don't know what they're doing in there, but it can't be good.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I love Alan Alda now

Because cable here is more like "cable," I watch a lot of Home Shopping Network and Public Television. Not only do I crave a diamonique tennis bracelet, but I have discovered that Alan Alda does endlessly fascinating things. For instance, did you know that people who go blind due to macular degeneration will be able to see like robots in the future? It is true. Alan Alda taught me that.

Today, Alan found out he is a supertaster. I'm pretty sure I am, too, mostly because I want to be just like him. Then he was walking on a beach, and I sighed: "That looks like Oak Street Beach. I remember the way the sand halos around your footprint there." It was! Alan Alda was chillin' with science nerds on my fave beach, talking about the cosmos.

I have heard that Hef is setting Bridget and Kendra free. I cannot help but feel that they should probably just go and live with Alan Alda instead.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Come in: We're not ready

A couple of years ago when we were visiting friends in Queens (holla, EggBoy), we met his neighbor, whose name was Jerry. After he left, EggBoy said, "That's Jerry. From 'Grey Gardens.'" And we were all like, "Wha? Who?"

Last night we watched Grey Gardens, and if you haven't seen it, get yo' azz over to the Blockbuster or start manipulating your queue. These two ladies are ca-razy and they live in a decrepit old mansion in East Hampton, and I'm pretty sure they eat cat food at one point in the movie. Also, I love them. So vain. So enamored of tube tops. So tolerant of raccoons eating their walls.

That's Little Edie.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My watch is too smart for me

You guys, I can't set my watch. As far as the instructions say, I tap its surface, and then a magical fairy appears and sets it for me, but I have tapped the face with varying degrees of hardness (including once with my fist) and nothing has happened.

It's a Swatch Touch. I am still wearing it, but I have to remember to subtract an hour every time I look at it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Everything is adorable

Lots of stuff (like stores and restaurants) here is in old houses, which makes me think of the first time I met Abby's mom. For some reason we had to go out to tea alone together at this place called The Unicorn. It was chock full of twittering fussy old ladies and filled an entire Victorian-style house. I don't know if I'm remembering this correctly because this was in a small town in Iowa, and I'm not sure how they could fill up a space that big with that many women who wanted tea. There's really no story beyond that, other than I felt uncomfortable.

I just had breakfast in a house that over-hollandaised my eggs (hooray!), and last weekend, I went to Boxcar Books (in a house) where I purchased The Coast of Akron by Adrienne Miller and a vegan Indian cookbook. The Coast of Akron is like three years old and is that frothy novel that I was looking for earlier. It is still smart though. I have heard it ends disappointingly. I am prepared for that. But Boxcar is excellent. It's sort of like Quimby's, but all non-profit.

And I am not becoming vegan. And Abby and I had dinner last night with a couple who saw John Cougar Mellencamp out and about. He has enormous hair, they said, and did you know his wife is the Almay supermodel?

I need to visit soon.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Frances Johnson music video

Some smartypants named "Chioubacca" made a music video of Stacey Levine's book Frances Johnson!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Surprising thing

College students still totally love Dave Matthews. He is practically the new Bob Marley if Bob Marley weren't still so popular amongst the houses that blast the music. And Jimi Hendrix. They love him, too. Still. I haven't heard any Phish yet. I am waiting with ba(i)ted breath. omgwtfbbq I'm punny.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Guidance Counselor?

Did any of you squeal when Brenda walked into the Peach Pit and interacted with both Nat and Kelly? I did. I am not ashamed. My observations are as follows:

1. I am having trouble figuring out who The Steve is. It seems like The David and The Steve have been melded into one character. Also, where’s The Donna? Are we to understand that the play girl is The Brenda, based on her haircut? Except the Kansas girl is clearly The Brenda? Wait, is Silver supposed to be The David?

2. The current Peach Pit/Peach Pit After Dark combo is lame. There is no way Nat owns those places now. He’s been strongarmed into giving away his share in the business without Brandon there to protect him.

3. Clearly that is Dylan’s child. I can’t wait for Dylan to come back, and all of the guitar riffs that will accompany him.

4. Brenda looks ridiculously old. This makes me feel ridiculously old. Actually this whole post is making me feel old. Why does the space in her teeth keep moving around?

5. I don’t know any of the new people’s names except for Silver.

6. Two hours is a long time.

7. My friend Peter has a theory that the formerly-of-Melrose-Place-new-Jim-Walsh-fathered mystery person will be someone we know from before. I don’t think there was anyone in the appropriate age group.

8. I like that The Brenda and The Brando have a connecting bathroom. But, I think that the whole set, except for West Beverly High, is left over from The OC.

9. oh two one oh, what what.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: bad for polar bears, bad for America

The new presumptive Republican vice presidential candidate hates polar bears! That's all you need to know, people. She isn't even qualified to teach composition at my community college. You need a Master's to do that, not a bachelors in "communications." And finally, are Alaskans even allowed to vote?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nancy Pelosi, Still Dreamy

With so much attention on Michelle Obama's (kind of boring, I'm sorry) speech, hardly anyone has noticed that Nancy Pelosi, our country's third in command (not counting Oprah), is out kicking ass again, this time about abortion rights. Nancy is such a firecracker.Here's the Saturday Night Live version of Pelosi, in which she recommends Palomino as a safe word.

Blog Crush!

You guys, I love Eliza Skinner's blog. She's funny. She's a nerd. (She says so herself; I am not passing judgment. Okay, even if she hadn't called herself a nerd, anyone who memorized the fear mantra from Dune is a nerd. i did too.) We should all read it regularly. For starters, though, you can check out the thing she recently wrote for Cracked, called The Real World Fears Behind 8 Popular Movie Monsters.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Let's celebrate our birthday with a new book

What shall we read next? I want something sort of frothy.

That reminds me: I recently read Gold by Dan Rhodes, which sort of falls into that category (not life-changing, but pretty good), and then I was unpacking my books and realized that I'd had Anthropology by the same Dan Rhodes on my book shelf since forever. I never read the whole thing because I thought it was boring before. But I read it last week, and it's kind of hilarious. This makes me wonder about my former self's taste.

I think we should read whatever Meghan is reading. I'm certain she's reading something weird.

Why the hell didn't we have a big BLOW-OUT?

WITNESS! Venom Literati-ans CELEBRATING!

Why the hell didn't we have a giant blow-out for the 1 year anniversary of Venom Literati?????? Good question! If Sarah and I can put on gold masks and tiaras and shake our oh-so-sexy boo-tays for my tired old dried out 33rd birthday then certainly we could have donned something and done something for the soft and squishy collagen-filled 1 year b-day of the smartest and best-looking literary collective in the nation and possibly the world!

HELL we all had a TOGA party for no DAMN reason at all! I look gorgeous, I might add.
And check out this party-action from.... that one all remember! Whose boobs are those? Was she even invited? More importantly, whose hand is that and why do I have this picture at all? [Photo removed at request of panicky Sarah, by panicky Sarah, acting as Venom herself. Please note: They were clothed. Still.]
Now I don't want to continue lest this post become too wild and unsavory...I know all of you have real jobs now. BUT I think my point is CLEAR!
Get in a car...(Jen's is the coolest) and get down here for a PARTY before another year flies by! I also suggest that you go back and read some posts from the very beginning and have a good giggle, cause they are funny-funny.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I am not taking notes from you.

Last night I had a dream that Zac Efron called me and told me he was putting on my story as a play. I said I couldn’t remember sending it to him. He said it would need a lot of revisions. Then he came over so I could read for the part of The Waiter. As soon as he got there, my sister writhed all over the floor trying to get his attention. I threatened her so she would leave. Zac Efron referred to a piece of scrap paper that said I was “funny-ish.” Then he gave me the embroidered pillow on which The Waiter’s lines were sewn to read. It was a concrete poem. I told him I couldn’t do it.

I am pretty sure almost all of this swam up in my brain because I’m reading A Streetcar Named Desire.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pre-Order Stacey Levine's book!

Stacey Levine's book The Girl with Brown Fur is now available for pre-order on Amazon. This is not a girl with brown fur. It's a monchhichi from the internets.

Monday, August 18, 2008

bloggers on bloggers: ryan manning will hurt you with his enormous sentences

ryan manning is an online treasure. he enjoys leaving blog comments in the formula of "the asian (insert name)." oh, everyone loves it.

he also wrote a poem with my name on it! he writes poems with people's names on them. some of my favorites are this one, this one and this one. i wrote a poem with ryan's name on it:

let's go to a puppet show
the puppets will be wearing delicate shoes
it will make you sneeze a little
it will be funny
there will be a kitten puppet and a monkey puppet
they will do a floating waltz
i will think about my grandmother
and her giant goldfish and feel a little afraid
and wish the sun wasn't setting
the puppet shoes are small enough to fit on my finger tips
that is not relevant
we will still have a good time
and then we'll go to sleep

something you may not know about that you need to know about is that ryan manning wrote a remix of tao lin literature, called this little piggy went to nyu. it's more than just parody. the tao lin allusions lend humor and homage, but the poems themselves are all ryan manning: sweet, delicate, vulnerable, obscene. i like it a lot. here are some of my favorite lines from the first poem:

"a cashew is a kind of nut that can make me cry
especially if i'm already sad about something else

but if i really only love sad things from a distance

i'm going to get away from the first half of my life
and if you are trying to get meaning from this poem
i am tired of living; and i do not want to go back to school
therefore britney spears knows how to create long distances
and i'm going to distance myself from this poem
and create an enormous sentence that will hurt you"

here are some other online writers with sentences that will hurt you:

Blake Butler writes about Mike Bushnell
Brandon Gorrell writes about Colin Bassett
Chris Killen writes about Ken Baumann
Colin Bassett writes about Chris Killen
Connor O'Brien writes about Tao Lin
Gena Mohwish writes about Sam Pink
Gene Morgan writes about Noah Cicero
Jereme Dean writes about Blake Butler
Jillian Clark writes about Kathryn Regina
Justin Rands writes about Matthew Savoca
Kathryn Regina writes about Kendra Malone
Ken Baumann writes about Jereme Dean
Kendra Malone writes about Brandon Gorrell
Matthew Savoca writes about Gena Mohwish
Mike Bushnell writes about Zachary German
Noah Cicero writes about Shane Jones
Sam Pink writes about Justin Rands
Shane Jones writes about Jillian Clark
Stephen Daniel Lewis writes about Two Tears Boy
Tao Lin writes about Gene Morgan
Two Tears Boy writes about Connor O'Brien
Zachary German writes about Stephen Daniel Lewis

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Best Segment Host Ever: Mary Carillo

I know I said I'm not a sports person when I was talking about The Thorpedo earlier, but the more I think about it, the more I believe that I actually am a sports person. I am just a sports person who does not like to watch football or basketball, which limits my options unless I get a much more detailed cable package.

Case in point: Mary Carillo has long been my favorite tennis commentator (except for the truly awesome John McEnroe). Her deep man-voice soothes me. Much to my glee, she is on at ten to nine (ET) every Olympics night, teaching us about China. She is...practically undescribable, but I'll try:

1. She dresses like a plainclothes nun.

2. She has the kind of sense of humor that makes you feel embarrassed while you're watching her.

3. She truly established rapport with the world's tallest man.

4. She is always only pretending to do things (like eat scorpions or cuddle with pandas).

5. She is credited with coining the phrase "Big Babe Tennis" to describe all of those massive ladies who dominate the court (that's from Wikipedia).

Also, I'm pretty sure that Bob Costas has a longterm, unrequited crush on her. I can see it in his eyes.

Poets cheat, too--just like underage Chinese gymnasts

That title is a stretch. But check out all the evildoings of poetry contest judges on this foetry page. It is no surprise to me that Jorie Graham is most scandalous of all. I heard she makes applicants to the workshop submit a photo with their application. I always wondered why the male poets were all so hot...