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.