Friday, January 30, 2009

Overdue...

...but here is a link to the food blog of author Tom McNamee, who wrote a biography of chef Alice Waters, books about wolves and bears in Yellowstone Park, and much else too, and is an hilarious man. He is my godfather. http://tomfoodery.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Would Read An Entire Book Of This

Just found these pages in my bookshelf. They are from a brainstorming session of sorts -- I use the term "brainstorming session" here in the most tongue-in-cheek way possible -- that I had with SB sometime in the spring of my senior year at NYU, where we were studying playwriting and screenwriting.



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Once Upon A Time You Dressed So Fine

Last night I met a kid who said he knows of a publishing house that's currently optioning ("trying to option"?) Bob Dylan lyrics so that they can turn them into graphic novels.

Yep, that is what he told me.

I didn't want to forget that piece of info, so I took my notebook out and jotted it down. The kid and his friend then dared me to draw a graphic novel based on a Bob Dylan song. First verse and chorus of "Like a Rolling Stone" appear below.

**

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Soul Patch

I was freezing my nuts off in the DJ booth at the Ding Dong last night. Hugh, the guy who books me, came in and said, "Hey, what happened to the soul?"

I thought he was chastizing me for the brief soul set I had just played, which I think ended with "I Second That Emotion." So I hemmed and hawed and apologized and cued up Ding Dong Lounge-style punk rock and played it. When I made a trip to the bar for a glass of water, he asked me again, "So where's the soul?" I was like, "Huh?" and he was like, "Yeah, I bill Monday night as soul night. That's why I booked you for a Monday."

Ran back to the booth. Played Bettye Swann, the Drifters, Sam Cooke.

Well, there weren't a lot of folks in the bar last night, so the misunderstanding was water under the bridge. Furthermore, I'm totally flattered that anyone thinks I can/will do soul Mondays in the future. Soul records sound great late at night, and they magically sound good on any sound system, and people often start dancing around to them.

This realization -- that I know enough about soul music to host a soul night at a bar -- gives me a happiness akin to the one I felt when I went to a place and realized they were going to let me hook the equipment up myself, possibly because I was the only person in the room who knew how.

Now I should probably go back to Good Records and buy Peggy Lee's version of "The Dock of the Bay" which I have been obsessed with since I almost bought it there over the weekend. NOBODY GO BUY IT TO SPITE ME NOW THAT YOU HAVE READ THIS.

I hope this talk about DJing is not dull. If it is, I apologize.

***

This book, I like it. It is dirty and sad and maudlin in good ways.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sketch Capsule

Jeff Parker had this sketchbook of mine for almost a year, and I was beginning to worry that he'd lost it and it was in a Russian or Torontonian landfill. (Though I bet landfills don't exist in either Russia or Canada, for different reasons.) But last week it returned, along with a couple of great chapbooks that I am already reading and enjoying. Thank you, Parker!

It is funny to flip through this book, received as a gift Xmas '06 and documenting mundane life activities of the early part of '07. Some things have changed, but most have remained satisfactorily the same.







(Sorry about the bad scans -- I did not want to rip pages out of the book so some light got in under tha scanna)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stressed Out-ish

Just looked through my current notebook and found a draft of a short-short story that I jotted down two weeks ago and then totally forgot about. I hereby pledge to work on that story this weekend and submit it out! Sigh, that makes me feel better.

A diagram to accompany previous post appears below. Note that "passionate" is a plane, whereas "dispassionate" is a line -- there are no degrees of dispassion, it just is or isn't.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Paradoxical

I remember being twelve and coming up on my own with the quasi-philosophical tenet "the opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference." Just last night as I was falling asleep, stuffed with great birthday food and appreciation for my family and friends, I felt proud of myself for having realized that so young.

But then I thought, well, if the opposite of love is indifference, what's the opposite of hate? Is it also indifference? And if so, are love and hate the same thing?

You'll be happy to know that I decided they are not.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Miss Reading

A symptom of my life being too crazypants: it's been weeks since I read anything. My Goodreads account is covered in cobwebs (or so I assume). I was enjoying Best American Short Stories 1998 for a while, given to me by its former owner Cristin, but stopped in the middle of my so-far favorite because the book was too big to fit in the purse I was carrying. This is silly. I'm going to take a bunch of books to the housesitting gig I'm starting tonight, and think about reading them all, and feel smarter and better about myself even though I will probably not get beyond page 5 of the first one.

My favorite story in Best American '98 was "Wayne In Love" by Padgett Powell.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Protestations of Love

Tuesday mornings when I don't have to walk dogs early in the morning, I love you. Internet word games and Cheap Trick's In Color, I love you exactly as much. You too, Cafe Bustelo. This is an example of a blog post that might have been on Twitter instead, greatly abbreviated, but that I didn't want to put there, for reasons still unknown to me. It's funny how that works.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Why Can't You Be Like Endicott

Just watched You Think You Really Know Me: The Gary Wilson Story. I have really liked that crazy/disturbing/genius album for a while, like five years or so? Six years? My ex-boyfriend had it in our place, and I took it off the shelf and listened to it one night when he was away on a six-week business trip and I was really lonely. It was then the only thing I wanted to listen to for the whole rest of the time until he came back. A couple of nights ago when I was at Vern and Joe's I discovered that Joe had the movie (about the re-release of "You Think You Really Know Me" in 2002 and the producers' quest to find Wilson and meet him), so I borrowed it.

Wilson has played in New York a couple-few times since that re-release, but I missed him.

The documentary is all right. The main thing I come away with from it: Gary Wilson's hometown of Endicott, NY is like others in upstate New York I've seen -- towns that have, sadly, been on the wane for decades. If you're a kid growing up there, there is very little to do but see horror movies and make art. Like Mark Borchardt of American Movie did growing up outside Milwaukee. (What was it again that Proust said about boredom being the great catalyst for art?) Gary and the Blind Dates are lucky that they started so young, and that they had the talent to see that one album through. The secondary thing I come away with: Gary Wilson seems like a really nice man, eccentric and a bit shy, but articulate, polite, all of this. No weirder than your not-very-weird single neighbor. I'm not sure why I hadn't expected that, but I hadn't.

One last thing: all this Gary Wilson nostalgia reminded me of the place where I first read about Gary Wilson, a site called Show and Tell Music curated by a guy named Will. Just went back there, after having been away for years, and found it's been overhauled and Show and Tell Music is now a record label. That's cool, Will.

My mouse is acting all screwy and not letting me highlight things, it just moves the window around. Thus, I cannot make any words be links to URLs that are not those words. So: http://www.showandtellmusic.com/

ATLANTA

JAMIE IREDELL is my friend, and he has a new chapbook out called ATLANTA. It's being released as part of the ACHILLES CHAPBOOK SERIES. You can GO THERE NOW to buy it, and I HOPE YOU DO.

I haven't bought it yet, because something is wrong with my Pay Pal account, but that is the ONLY reason why I haven't bought it. I realize that's a flimsy excuse. Please understand that if I can't figure out the Pay Pal problem by tonight, I will buy the chapbook ATLANTA with my regular credit card, which is something you can also do.

ATLANTA contains stories and prose poems. Jamie is smart and funny in a forthright, brazen way. He comes out with guns a-blazin'. You will like his words.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Birthdaying

Okay, I've decided that this blog is the best place for announcements about my birthday, which is next Sunday the 18th. Such announcements will not appear anywhere else.

Last year, I almost killed myself throwing a party for everyone I had ever met -- booked a venue months in advance, had my family bake 300 cupcakes, displayed cartoons on the wall of the venue. It ruled. But I'd rather not do this again this year.

Luckily, I have two DJ engagements next weekend! So I will be at these places anyway, and you can come too, to one or both. I guess the involvement of you, the guest, will not increase or decrease from last year, but to me it sounds much easier.

FRIDAY 1/16 Here in Jersey City

SATURDAY 1/17 Here on the Upper West Side
***CAKE WILL BE AT THIS ONE!***

I do not start DJing until like 10 PM, but come whenever you want to.

***

AWP plane tix are bought! Now I MUST go to Chicago!

Friday, January 9, 2009

An Internet Vacation...

...is something that, at this point, I am pretty sure I would not be able to take. Maybe in a few years? But this morning, for example, I put my radio playlist up on my MySpace blog, updated my Facebook and Twitter statuses, bought plane tickets online, and am posting here. My boss told me yesterday that she's been without internet access for a month. That was something I could not get my head around.

It occurs to me that, just as working in media made me burn out on internetty and TV-y and other stuff, being in grad school and writing has burned me out on fusty elbow-patch intellectualism (something I do usually enjoy a lot). Social networking and Blackberry culture, etc. are over the fence somewhere being like, "Come back! We've always been here for you!" The same thing discourse on Henry James was saying back when I worked for Bloomberg LP. I worry that I'm dumb for even bringing this up; that a lot of writers, publishers, and academics have already figured out how to integrate everything. Yes, I still like books -- for Pete's sake, I continue to make paper zines, even.

My impression right now is that there's a line drawn in the sand (I think Twitter is that line, actually) and people I know fall on one side of it or the other. But it's interesting to see the variety in who believes and doesn't believe.

***

Is Rick Nielsen going to be my celebrity crush of 2009? He's an improvement over Seth Rogen in 2008. But my mom told me she doesn't want me to like men who are older than her. RICK NIELSEN, OLDER THAN MY MOM.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Things

1. I never noticed before that the individual wax-paper squares the coffee cart guy uses are called "Handy-Wacks."

2. There is this other dog walker who works around me, who is really super friendly. For some reason, I hate him and cringe when I see him approaching, knowing he is going to greet me and make hokey comments about the dogs I am walking. Why should I hate this person? It's baffling.

3. Last night I had some technical problems at WHFR and fucked up slightly, not just once, but a few times, and I was upset about it. But then I got a nice email from a friend who said it was no big deal and he had fun listening. This made me feel good. Feedback like that (as opposed to feedback of the type I had because I was talking too close to the microphone! ZING!) is very very important. Constructive criticism is also very important, so if anybody who listens to my show has any, I want to hear it. But mainly I want to hear compliments.

4. If I can get enough money together in the next few days, I am going to AWP. I have to go to AWP so I'm not a miserable failure at everything I do in life, but also because a lot of my far-flung writing friends will be there assembled. If I don't go I won't see them all, and that will make me sad.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I... Use Twitter Now?

I use Twitter now. Please nobody make a big deal out of this.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More Sidebar Fodder

Pretty soon, maybe even right now, I'm going to revise my blogroll. I don't like the way it looks with the names jumping to the top as soon as the blogs are updated. At first I thought I would like that, but I don't.

I'm not going to remove any names unless the people have blogs with URLs that don't exist anymore. If you want off my blogroll, please alert me. I will be offended, but only a little bit, because I understand how these things are.

More excitingly, there will be tons of NEW people on my blogroll. I'm going to put Daniel Bailey there, as his reward for liking my Secret Santa gift. I'm going to put Evan "Funk" Davies there, because then I will have three Evans on my blogroll in addition to three Ryans. Many good things will happen. If you would like to be on my blogroll, let me know. If I have met you, even if it's on the emails, I will probably say yes.

I'm using the little portable record player I just bought as a "home unit," testing the claim on the website of the store I bought it at that said I could do this. It has standard RCA output. "Mystery To Me" by Fleetwood Mac sounds fine on it! This confuses me, because when I took it to the Ding Dong and hooked it to the mixer there it sounded all distorted and crappy. Audioheads, please advise.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Also,

I CANNOT WIN AT WORD TWIST ANYMORE. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME THAT MAKES ME UNABLE TO SEE THE WORD "PUREST."

State of Things

This weekend, I inquired about playing records in a new place, where I had just had a delightful lunch with Helen and my little sister Alex. If I get the gig I will be really happy and may make a move away from dog walking. Also this weekend, I bought a crap-ton of new music and am heading back downtown today to buy a portable turntable.

In a record store I overheard a mean crusty guy tell another mean crusty guy, "That woman shouldn't be buying all that stuff." I was going to put some of it back, but because I heard that I went upstairs and bought all of it. I'm not sorry. I think I might return today to buy the Ventures Onstage Around the World and the Vanilla Fudge album I saw. (Yes, I was stuck in the "V"s when I decided to leave.) I wonder if whispering mean things in record stores is really a strategy to get stubborn people like me to buy more records.

I downloaded Mojo, which allows you to take songs from friends' iTunes libraries without leaving the comfort of your desk chair. I can't get it to download anything i.e. function properly, but I'm having fun window-shopping among other people's iTunes libraries. Download Mojo and add me.

I continue to write and draw. Right now I'm still working on personal-essay-type stuff, about which I'm pretty happy and excited, but talking about that makes me miss writing fiction. I feel now like I should start writing more fictional stories. An older lady whose dog I walk keeps asking to see some of my work, and the thing I most want to show her is this term paper I wrote a couple of years ago about Chaucer.

This is not a very interesting blog post.

***

I think I'm not getting my mail, or at least not packages. If you sent me something and I haven't said anything about it yet, it's because I never got it because my mail hasn't been coming.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

NYE



Happy 2009, everybody!