Thursday, November 30, 2006

This weekend

Don't forget that this weekend is the Independent and Small Press Book Fair.

The suggested donation is one dollar my friends, cheaper than coffee or crack.

This panel on Saturday sounds like some fun:

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
In an era of corporate consolidation and bottom-line mandates, how do fiction writers negotiate their careers? Indie hit novelist Joe Meno, elusive best-selling writer T Cooper, and San Francisco renegade Peter Plate discuss their approaches in a conversation moderated by the editor of the Believer, Ed Park.

So does this one on Sunday:

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm; Assembly Room
They look so easy. They’re short. Not a lot of text. Simple, straightforward prose. Anyone can do it, right? Wrong. Picture books are deceptive in their simplicity. Writing, illustrating and editing them is a craft. Join author Emily Jenkins, illustrator Tomek Bogacki, author/illustrator Meghan McCarthy, and editor Erin Clarke as they share their experiences and advice.

I can't be held responsible for any paychecks spent.
See you there.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I need to write something. Instead I will tell you of my birthday book presents:

Norwood by Charles Portis
I Like You by Amy Sedaris
Ulysses (!) by James Joyce, in a nice Modern Library edition

I love presents. I like them especially when they are given for no reason. Some of my best friendships have been littered with small gifts and when I find them, I feel good.

I am truly not a fan of gifts given by rote, however I will always accept cash.

I have gift giving on the brain because it will soon be my boyfriend's birthday. What to get the man who works too hard, cleans up the kitchen after various gloppy meals, and is rarely visibly embarassed by me? I have a few ideas, but do you have any?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I just saw some asshole riding a Segway the wrong way down 10th Ave.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Since Ms. Moonlight Ambulette demanded a new post, and my booky post isn’t done yet, here is a hodgepodge of mish mash in list form for the motley crew.

1) I love my own chili. I am empowered. I made a big batch of it last night, but the Whole Foods whole canned tomatoes were too sweet. I ate a bucketful anyway. I put carrots, celery, tomatillos, zucchini, whole tomatoes, black beans, red beans and whatever spicy pepper I have around into my chili, plus garlic, onions and seasonings. It is healthy, but let me tell you, after two bowls and being tired and too much TV, you will not be having sex. It might be worth it if you love chili as much as I do.

2) I am sad that it gets dark so early. It would be a lot cooler if there were bats and other twilight creatures flying around to make things more interesting. Also if I had ever finished the lighting in our apartment.

3) I often respond to the comments you leave me in the comments. Check back if you want to see what I think of your pathetic attempt at wit.

4) Anyone know where I can get charcoal in Manhattan so long after summer?

5) I wish Amtrak weren’t so expensive. I spent a very costly late night coming back to New York on Saturday. It was kind of awesome- in a dimly lit cafĂ© car that looks a little like McDonalds in the eighties, hot tea, eavesdropping and maybe seeing an semi-famous artist, reading a giant book, and nodding off a little here and there- feelings I remember fondly from childhood, but the cost was insane for the comfort. Anyone want to start a competitive train line? Maybe with a library car, clean toilets and hot conductors? Sleeping compartments that don’t suck? We could have one cross country line, one West Coast Line and one East coast line to start. In fact I would be satisfied with just an East Coast line…

6) I apologize to everyone I owe letters to. It will happen soon, I promise.

7) I miss my brother. He is fading from my mind. I guess that is healthy but it hurts so much, especially when all the people around are talking about the families they are going to visit, their new nieces and nephews.

8) Nephew is a weird word. No, seriously, look at it:


Read any good comics lately?

Monday, November 13, 2006

book 38: Girl Stories by Lauren Weinstein

Girl Stories- I have them, you have them, someone you know has them, and yet, when it comes to mainstream storytelling, people don’t care so much about our stories unless there is a lot of chances to show violence, teen titty (or violence plus teen bodies) or maybe horses*. All of those things, of course, are parts of many of our stories (mine too, sans horses) but sometimes it feels like unless the girl characters in question are victimized, they are worthless, and lack compelling narrative power. That is an ugly bind for girls and for the women we have come to be.

Girl Stories is a collection of comics that invite us ladies and our gentleman friends to just laugh and enjoy girlhood through Lauren Weinstein’s fabulous depiction of her childhood self. The comics were originally made for and the intended audience was, yes, girls. Luckily for us adults, Weinstein’s stories work on many levels and don’t require complete identification with Lauren and her friends to be funny and compelling.

Though I am sure the story featuring Morrissey will stir many a heart, my favorite two have to be ‘The Incident’ and ‘John & I Go To The Movies.’ The former tells a tale of revenge with a side dish of poop. I like how Weinstein shows the anxiety of burgeoning friendships, and then shows how sometimes it can be worth just trusting your instincts. The latter is mostly wordless, and when Lauren’s dad shows up to her date unexpected, the line he delivers is crushing; Weinstein manages to show all the conflicting feelings of being someone’s child: pity, embarrassment, protective love and exasperation, in just a few lines. That is why I love her work.

Though Girl Stories lacks the delightful nastiness of Inside Vineyland (seriously, my eyes light up when I think of that book), it is well worth checking out. Buy it for a smart girl you know or an amazing lady that needs a boost. If you have no friends, buy it for yourself and then tell a stranger about it. If they don’t run away the second you say “comics,” you might have found a keeper.

* I recently saw Weinstein read at Mo Pitkins for the Grace Reading Series Comics Showcase. She read a story called 'Horse Camp.' It was so awesome that it transcended girl + horses= awww + subliminated sexuality. I loved it.

If you live in NYC and can’t afford to buy Girl Stories the NYPL has 63 copies. Go to their website and request that GS be sent to your branch library ASAP. The Brooklyn Public Library seems to have none. Obviously someone needs to write a letter. If you don’t have a library card, what the fuck is wrong with you? And GO GET ONE!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I just ordered Bugbear #1 and Mattie & Dodi by Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing. I'm having an urge to buy comics, zines and tiny art. Any good leads?
This is very nice.

Thanks Mary for taking a chance on me. You are my A Number One! Now you can be one other thing besides Bryan's girlfriend. Doesn't that feel good?

ETA:(from Gothamist: "Bryan Bruchman, of New York band Man in Gray, and his girlfriend Mary..." ew.)


Uh oh! A meme! But you and I, not some faceless douchebag in the internets, cobbled this one together and gave it life. Use it yourself if you like. Thanks to Jenine and Mary for their questions.

1) What books do you open for comfort when you've woken up from a nightmare?

When I wake up from a nightmare, less often now, I tend to gravitate towards whatever I am currently reading. I like getting re-caught up in the story that’s on my mind. If I am not reading anything at the moment, I might start right then, either with a new book I know is going to be brain candy, or an old sci-fun book like Quicksilver, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or Norstralia.

2) What are some books that make you laugh inappropriately in public places?

Nothing jumps immediately to mind. I know I laughed out loud at Superfuckers #1 by James Kochlaka, I’m sure I had a giggle or two with Douglas Adams and Nick Hornby in the wayback.

3) What book do you read when you cannot fall asleep for long periods of time?

This is a tough one. I am compelled for some reason when I have insomnia to read big, dense books that can be somewhat boring. This is a bad strategy because I get distracted from the narrative and become re-obsessed with whatever is giving me insomnia in the first place. What works much better are comics compilations like Mome or Kramer’s Ergot and short story collections like McSweeney’s. It makes the brain skip around. The added bonus of McSweeney’s is that you can be blown away by one story and get all huffy and critical on the next.

4) What book would you lend someone upon whom you were crushing?

The thing about giving crushes books is that you want to tell them who you are, and how cool you are simultaneously. Well, that book used to be The Wind-up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami. It is excellent and has a million things going on, plus it is quite long and a good test to see if they like you back. Or maybe Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, but now Dick is everywhere (!) and I am less defined by my love for creepy scifi. Now, I am not sure. I’ve gotten a lot more possessive about my books. I think I would tell them to get David B.’s Epileptic. It is long, beautiful and sad and emphasizes the unique bond of siblings in a way that I have not really seen before. That’s kinda where I am at now, plus it is a comic! Which makes me hott!

5) What book goes best with burning urination?

Nothing goes better with crotch pain than reading angry, mean writing by 90s post-punk zinesters and faux- NeoNazis. That’s right kids; I’m talking about AnswerMe!, by Jim and Debbie Goad. I had an old compilation of the first three issues that I got a million years ago. In retrospect, it is a difficult book to get behind, but with the lists of 100 best serial killers (with a helpful key of the criminals defining characteristics for easy identification) and 100 best suicides and bite-sized articles spewing rage (maybe real rage, maybe not), it is the perfect companion to a day spent on the toilet, cursing the day you were born.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

a life lesson learnt 2: in haiku

oh internet why
does a coke shower answer
make sense before day?

shampoo has nothing
on you Dawn, dishes beware
of multi-use friends

sticky hair sadness
a goth without eyeliner
in the mirror, ugh

Procrastination, I think I hear my mother calling!
Anymore questions for me for the upcoming franken-meme? Only a little more time until I need another break...