Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Chick Lit is closing.

Apparently the forums are staying open and that is good news for some. I'm not a fan of forums really, but I loved Deborah's writing, and usually loved the writing she posted to the site.

Now I feel like a jerk for not pitching more...


Monday, August 28, 2006

losing it/ loosing it

For the last few days it has been raining in New York. I truly enjoy the rain. It makes me dreamy and okay with being at home and doing the things I need to do like writing and cleaning.

One down side to all the sleepy slowness of these kind of days is how pleasurable it is to stay in, make tea and just read all day, the kind of reading you do instead of TV, the kind of reading you won’t remember when the sun comes out. Doing the crossword and eating kimchi instead of showering and taking care of bills is a pitfall not to be lightly ignored on a damp day. It is also easier to daydream about projects that require much muscle and clanking tools on rusty nuts than it is get a current apartment ready to be vacated.

Something I’ve been thinking about during these recent rains is what I am doing with my reading and writing and the conclusion is that I need to slow down. I need to counter my voracious appetite for reading with more concentration on what I am actually consuming. That is maybe harder than it sounds here on the screen. My mind has been boiling with plots and characters and clever phrases to categorize it all- usually a pleasant distraction from obsessions and sad thoughts- but now nothing is coming from that mess but confusion and unmet obligations. I realize that it is hard for me to remember what I got out of all that time spent bent over all those pages, and for someone who lives and breathes (and writes about) books, this disconnect between pleasure and utility is disturbing.

Not as disturbing as the exploding glasses in my kitchen cabinet (discovered after an unexplained THAWUMP in the night), but a lot less easy to fix.

As always the comments are open for you guys to commiserate and advise. Please do.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New Post and Snot

1) Verizon is not having service providing today. No cell phone, slow DSL. James Earl Jones is wiping away a single tear now.

2) I am procrastinating. I can't seem to clear my head. Ugh.

3) Does anyone know of any good books set in/ about the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood?

4) So much snot! Miles of piles of mucus in my face.

5) Low bookswap interest is getting me down.

(sad face)

What the most exciting thing about today for you?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dumb and Dumbo

Is your Google stuff, i.e. Gmail and Blogger, not working properly? What is up? The superbrains better not drop the ball now-- it's deadline time!

Are you DumboBooks at yahoo? If so, the listing you sent me was interesting, but what do you want from me?

I have so much to write about. Right away, let me tell you that Girl Stories was excellent.

In other comics news:

Awhile ago I read a beautiful book by called Christina and Charles by Austin English. English apparently works at my local Forbidden Planet. I am amazed at how deeply he managed to get into his characters' brains and give us a taste of what it is like to be them-- not just the usual "I went to highschool too!" claptrap.

Yesterday I went to Rocketship and almost cried, but I also bought three icecreamlandia comics and that made me feel much better. I feel like perhaps the images are from found photos, but I am sure the words are from a genius.

More comics!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

There are no books for that

Sometimes I am awake. Sometimes I am dreaming.

Sometimes I say, “you’ll have to excuse him, he’s dead.” Sometimes I say, “you’ll have to excuse me, I’m dreaming.” Sometimes I say, “you’ll have to excuse me, I’m dead.”
One time my brother sat next to me on a train and defended my choices to strangers and kept me company in a yellow t-shirt and glasses. He was dead, but I had to excuse him. One time he came to my apartment in the middle of the night, dressed in black, and banged on the window and whispered to be let in. He was alive and I excused him. One time he left dirty clothes, red, black and green, all over the floor and I had to clean up. I was dead and no one excused me. One time he was dressed in black and would not say a word to me. He was dead and I couldn’t excuse him. One time I broke my brother’s glasses in a fight under a yellow and white polyester afghan. I was barely excused, but he was alive.

Now I dreaming and more alive than dead. I find that there are no more excuses for me, and no one left to dispense of my burden.

This will be the case for a long time.

Friday, August 11, 2006

quick click

Check me out here and here.

Still need crappy day suggestions.

Monday, August 07, 2006

down in the dumps

I should be writing letters, but instead I want to talk on the phone.

I feel bad. I miss my friends and their friends and projects and conversation and stopping by and Rittenhouse Square and and and.

What do you do when the spookies won't quit?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

catch up 2: books and books and books...

The fact that yall were expecting some sort of Electric Boogaloo joke shows how we all need to GO OUTSIDE sometimes.


Alas, though the weather has calmed down and most of my deadlines have been met, I am inside on this Saturday, supporting my life partner and feeling all shaky and nauseous. Can you OD on bacon? I hope not, as bacon is one of the only things I can eat when my appetite is all fucked up.


I have some advice for all you book bloggers out there. Don’t wait too long to post about your reading. You will not have quotes because books have gone back to the library or disappeared in your apartment. You will forget plots, you will forget characters, you will forget whole books and then have to create a review from vague feelings and crusty clich├ęs. [Insert a self-deprecating joke here. I am too tired to flog myself cleverly.]

Now that that quasi-disclaimer is out there please enjoy the second batch of shriveled ol’ backlog reviews.

33. George Bush: Dark Prince of Love by Lydia Millet
Lydia Millet can imagine with the best. Her idea of a lone American, buoyed by a secret emotional bond with 41, is a great one. The execution was too jacked up for my tastes (the scenarios became increasingly one-two-punch-y and tired me out by the end of this short book), but Millet’s grasp of presidential politics and the history of Bush 1’s reign are totally impressive. I wish there had been more sly satire and less exploding fancy, but even so, GB: DPL was a fun read, and I am so happy that I found it at Housing Works for a few meager cents on a lunch break from my last job. I need to read her newest, a book about the creation of the A-bomb, but I keep getting distracted.

34. Bigfoot Dreams by Francine Prose
Oh Francine! I love you so!
This book chronicles a lost New York, where you could get by writing for a tabloid where they actually had a staff, a photographer and two editors all up in a musty elevator building in Manhattan. The main character, Vera, is a thirty something woman with a ten year old and a long mostly-lost husband and a creeping feeling that something is missing. When she writes a story that comes true, everything goes to shit in a spectacularly amazing way.

Prose can really write characters. Even her bit players become plump and real. If you want to, you can easily imagine their lives as they fall off the page. This book is worth reading merely for its picture of a looser NYC, but I stuck around for Prose’s Commie seniors, burnout out BFs and subway screamers. Only one character stuck in my craggy craw, the Vera’s daughter Rosalie. She reads unevenly—sometimes like a twelve or thirteen year-old, sometimes like a sixty-year-old. I know Prose was trying to capture that dichotomy between innocence and wisdom that so often exists in precocious kids, but it didn’t totally work.

Read it anyway.

35. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
Steam punk ahoy!
Mieville creates a giant, London world sans digital for this book. I’ve never read anything by CM before and I had no expectations when starting. I just wanted a giant book to read and that is what I got. If you like sprawling stories, full of philosophy, violence and crannies, you will very likely like Perdido Street Station. If magic, flying and humanoid races with occasionally annoying dialects make you crazy, you will hate it. He kind of lost my rabid interest half way through, but I kept reading because the story remained moderately interesting and I wanted to see how Mieville would tie it all up.

I got PSS for a buck, which made the deal all that sweeter. I read it on trains and on floors in sad houses and it is a great traveling book, even with its giant size.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Make Mine a Big One

I am back from a short, hot vacation to Chicagoland. What I saw of it was neat, and I’m sure what I didn’t see was even better. I went to Quimby’s and bought some comics, as well as the Summer 2006 issue of The First Line. I even fucked up their bathroom twice with no comment but an eyebrow raise from the cashier. Now that’s customer service.

While there I had lunch with my father’s friend. He is very sweet and funny and his wife is a librarian. He told me to go for it. (For those of you not in the know, I have been toying with the idea of getting an MLS for a year or so now, but I am kind of chicken). I love a man who loves librarians.

I didn’t finish Antic Hay and I didn’t even touch Robinson. I ended up reading magazines and the story Wild Child by T.C. Boyle from the last McSweeney’s. It was set in France in the 18th century and tells the tale of a “savage” boy found in the forest who is made an experiment by a group of teachers/scientists at a deaf mute school. It was okay, but I waned to know more about the last teacher beyond just a sketch of his motivations and frustrations.

In other fantastic news:

While I was away and email-less I got a message from Lauren Weinstein about my review of Vineyland. It was very cool of her to write me. Thanks Lauren! I now need to run out and but her newest, Girl Stories, and so do you.

Check out my story of a love song ruined at Ruined Music. Mary is one of the editors and she is the nice lady who told me about Freebird and writes me long emails even when she is moving.

More retro-reviews soon.