Wednesday, May 30, 2007

You have too much stuff

The next Freecycle event in NYC:

Spring Cleaning? Don't throw it away!


A Spring Cleaning FreeMeet!
Saturday, June 2, 2007, 11am-4pm
Harlem YMCA-The Little Theatre
180 West 135th St. at Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (7th Ave),
New York City

Directions: M2 Bus, 2, 3 or C to 135th St.

New Yorkers discard some 12,000 tons of waste each day that is
exported to landfills and incinerators in other states! Here's your
chance to help NYC reduce waste and keep our environment clean
by finding new homes for your old stuff, and getting some things
you can use in the process.

WHAT TO BRING: Items that are no longer useful to you, but can be reused
by others. You don't need to bring anything to take anything (though a
tote bag might help). Bring friends and family too!

WHAT NOT TO BRING: No furniture/large items, drugs/medications,
weapons/dangerous objects, adult movies/magazines or pets/pethair
covered items.

For more information, visit www.RecycleThisNYC. org/freemeet
or call 212-788-7989.

Be there!

No More to Roam, for now

Portland, OR:
gyros, stumptown, other people's crushes, the world's tiniest adult shop, Grundel!, arts and crafts architecture, plant wowsers

Road, rock, road, sleep, road, Best Western

Ellensburg, WA and beyond:
bands, wind, cold, sunscreen, "historic downtown," tension, bad food, wavers and butt watchers

Road, tension, drive-by Seattle, road, rock, road

Portland, OR:
other people's work, pizza, hybrids, more plant wowsa, baby lust, mexican, painful math, goodbyes, cool school, bed, breakfast, heat, Powell's: disappointment, then redemption in the comix (I love the nineties) and small press sections (will I like Gary Lutz? Everybody else seems to), Chinese garden not for free, gyros, tea, tea, tea and airplane.

New York City:
sigh, water plants, sleep, sigh

Back to the books!

Monday, May 21, 2007

One of the things I have been doing instead of reading books for fun is working in my garden. Thursday, instead of wrangling words I felt like showing some dirt who’s boss. While being bossy I managed to get filthy and slightly sweaty before the FedEx guy came with a box of more plants that I ordered during a recent, financially unwise spree. Then it was all over for the blank spots between bulb plants. I have another two orders coming in and then I will be able to sit back and enjoy, at least until fall.

My first clematis flower of the season bloomed! It is fuchsia!

I succeeded in waking a number of dormant plants with TLC!

“Muddying up” has now been added to my vocabulary!

I am pretty sure I saw a worm poop!

A number of flies were buzzing around my compost heap and my increasingly filthy body during the hours that I was out there, I saw a giant shiny blue one and a few medium-sized jewel green ones and even a bunch of zebra-striped ones with giant red eyes all of which I would likely consider quite beautiful if I didn’t know that they were feeding off of the corpse of my hipness.

Recently I have read a few good things and many mediocre things, most of which I am working on writing about for other places. I have, however, been trolling the blogs of literary import and have come up with a few statements:

1) Of course newspapers say silly, uninformed stuff about lit blogs.
2) I am confused as to why litbloggers care about the above.
3) Things are not often the way they are supposed to be.

The last bleeding heart:

This weekend, due to traveling and my own forgetfulness, I have read many articles in The Believer. As usual, despite enjoying one or two long articles in each magazine (the May 07 Rick Moody piece on W.G. Sebald’s books comes to mind, especially his bit on textual compulsion and creating reading spaces for each literary obsession), the overall product left me feeling a mixture of envy and a bit shortchanged.


I really love the sense that Believer writers have the freedom to fail, to fail to reach conclusions, to fail to be constrained by objectivity, to fail to be wholly entertaining. It is a very similar feeling to the one I get when I doodle through the blog roll. I am envious of the beautiful design of each issue and the large pool of artistic talent they seem to be able to draw from. The consistent feeling of fun the magazine maintains is its biggest draw and I am one thousand percent behind fun.

But, at the and of an issue, I do feel a nagging lack of satisfaction, like my Kool Aid was switched with bug juice, but I AM NOT EVEN AT CAMP!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Tomorrow, there will be what sounds like an awesome event at Rocketship. I will be on a train, so you should go in my place.

8PM @
208 Smith Street
718 797 1348
Take the F or G to the Bergen Street stop

lauren Weinstien will be reading (i think) "Horse Camp," which is kickass and Ariel and Tania Schrag will be doing the slideshow reading thing too. The book they are promoting is Stuck in the Middle – 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age, edited by Ariel Schrag. According to my sources, there will be food and drink too.

I haved missed all the Weinstein this week and I am so, so sad for myself.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dark as night; the internet lives

Outside the sky is dark, yet I still have over an hour of work to go. I believe that this is only a result of having such a wonderful day yesterday.

After weeding the garden as thoroughly as my mild OCD required, I put on some ill-fitting shorts and began walking over to the big buildings as my love for lunch with B requires. As usual he was delayed so I took a detour to Bryant Square Park and who should I see but Amy Ambulette blinking in the sunshine with her boss. I tried to pretend that I was overexposed in the leg-al region and was perhaps on some secret businessy business, but this lasted mere nanoseconds before I possibly endangered Amy's financial welfare with various spoken emoticons and curses. Sorry, lady! clown hat smiley face!

After she went back to slave away in one of the area's towers of power, I went in search of a place to sit down and instead found the Bryant Park Reading Room, an outdoor area supplied with books for people too cool to bring their own props for across the bench romancing. I was apparently so charming that I nabbed a 50-something Slovenian man's attentions, but not before I looked at a giant book of Bresson photos, a SF journal from the 90s and marveled at how many NYBR titles they had. Though many of the volumes were suspiciously dirty, it was still a treat to be able to browse around while waiting to meet B. If I had known I was going to be there for upwards of three hours, I would have worn pants and brought my own book.

Still, on a day that promised to be not more than nice, I had a great time in a park that rivaled many of my times in the world's best park, Rittenhouse Square. I managed to not be overwhelmed by my terminal nostalgia and plan on spending many more sunny afternoons in the park.

After the rain stops, of course.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Back now, still no books

In response to The Big D's post about tunes in one's head, here is my list:

Laid by James
Sexy MF by Prince
"starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam" by Prince
"when you rock n roll with me, there's no on else I'd rather be, nobody down here can do it for me, I'm in tears" by David Bowie [the album Diamond Dogs is always coursing through my brain from the opening howl. I guess I need a little love in a doorway.]
Dreamer's Ball by Queen
This House that I Call Home by X
"wiggle it til it works" by the Knitters
"if it feels this good gettin used, well then keep on usin me, till you use me up" by a guy I can never remember

I'd take the songs in my head over an iPod anyday...

And you?

Roadrunner by The Modern Lovers
I'm Straight by The Modern Lovers
Lady Stardust by David Bowie
and also format it up...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Sometimes it is just better to stop. I am in the middle of Found in the Street by Patricia Highsmith and for the first time with one of her books, I just don’t want to finish it. Something about the sentences feel labored and worked over and Highsmith’s usual slow burn is just a limp this time.

In a bookstall near NYU I found this kicky little British paperback. I snapped it up and promptly put it away behind a chair on top of a stack of my boy’s Believers, far away from all the other books and destined to be forgotten until a time of need. Well, that TON was last week after a string of disappointing reads. I wanted something creepy but distant seeming, like Poe, but smart like Shirley or Shelley Jackson. I also happened to have that chair in my sight line. Satisfaction was guaranteed, except, well, not exactly.

The main character, Jack, is a man fascinated by the women in his life and he idolizes them ridiculously. Every behavior this guy shows seems to be a rationalization; a reaction to an agreement about “freedom” he made with his wife and child’s mother, Natalia. Say it with me kids, Natahhhhleeeaaaaaaaaa. Natty, by the way, is supposed to be beguiling with her art and possible bisexuality and all, but she just comes off as a somewhat heartless scenester. These flaws don’t deepen the character as they do in, for example Strangers on a Train, they seem like tics on Highsmith’s part or like she was trying to explore something that didn’t work out and just published the B-grade remains.

In particular, this book’s physical character descriptions of women are so weird it is distracting. “She was at least forty-five, and some needed makeup, but underneath, as they say, she was not the made-up type.” Who is they? What do they say? So-and-so doesn’t wear make-up, so-and-so wears this kind of make-up, so-and-so is a natural beauty who didn’t need make-up. Whaaaaaa? Part of this may be that though this book was published in the 80s, it has a distinctly sixties feel, even with a mention of AIDS and an out out out character. She was presumably living overseas when she wrote this, having left America in disgust in 1963, and the New York in this book seems frozen during that time of bohemians in the Village and dirty little secrets just peeking out from under the buttoned-up denim of America.

Maybe sometime I will have the patience to finish this book, disappointing as it is, and just enjoy the tiny bits of Highsmith charm that pop up here and there, but for now: ABANDONED!!!