Archive for March, 2009


a couple of interesting things going on at my old place of intern… BOMB Magazine.

  • the newest edition is now on news stands! check it out!
  • BOMB’s Fiction Contest: Deadline April 15th! It’s judged by Jonathan Lethem, and the winner gets $500 cash money and publication in BOMB
  • BOMB’s Artist Draw: original signed drawings by 14 acclaimed artists. Raffle tickets are $250 but you’re guaranteed to win a piece. Maybe an investment for those upcoming tax-refunds?

also, with the interest of being a supportive roommate and friend, my lovely roommate Lauren‘s place of work is also having a fiction contest.

no, i am not employed by either establishment. yes, this is free publicity.

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i’m moving. yup, away from the city, the crowded streets, the pollution and cramped apartments.

after some angst and tears, i couldn’t be more excited (!). and nervous. for some reason texas teaching fellows thought it would be an excellent idea to entrust young children in my care (?).

but what’s not to love about Austin? great mexican food (tex-mex AND the real thing. i may die. or gain five hundred pounds.). the home of whole foods. it’s bikeable. the weather is amazing (almost too amazing. supposedly it gets to be like over 100 all summer long).

plus like, you know, music and all that “other stuff” that austin is known for.

ANYWAYS hopefullly i’ll be driving down, jack kerouac style, and my father suggested that i buy a Volkswagen Thing:

is this real?

vw_thing_74_in_s2this is like the barbie car that i never had.

thanks for the suggestion dad.

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go ask alice

downloadblog2I recently watched “Alice,” or “Neco z Alenky,” yet another filmic adaptation of Alice in wonderland. This one is filmed by Jan Svankmajer (yes, he is a crazy czech director and yes, his name seems unpronounceable), and it is really amazing.

alice is in a room full of discarded toys, the rabbit comes to life, and she follows him through a mysterious writing desk into another reality.

this is the beginning of her adventure into wonderland:

as you can see, parts are slow moving. it is more a movie focused on the image than on the plot (which is one way to overcome the challenge of such a universally known story). and even though i’d heard a lot about how “annoying” the constant clips of alice’s mouth narrating the dialogue: “alice said,” or “the rabbit said,” or “the queen of hearts said,” i actually thought that it just added another level of eerieness, forcing me to remain distant as the viewer. and it’s in stop animation, which is great and makes it even creepier.

coraline_movie1there are a lot of versions of alice in wonderland, and i haven’t even seen close to half of them. (i’ve really only ever seen the disney version, and this one now. and the book itself. i’d like to see the tim burton version, which comes out in 2010). but i did recently see coraline, which i thought had a lot of similarities. especially this weird thing with eating. in the svankmajer version, alice keeps putting wierd stuff in her mouth. like ink. and sawdust. and in coraline, her “other mother” is totally obsessed with feeding her. but i will spare you any sort of psychoanalytic analysis, and leave it at that.

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ah! how exciting! i finally saw the mega-amazing poet and fiction author Sherman Alexie (!). He’s one of my favorite writers. maybe ever. He’s written all sorts of things, (all amazing), not to mention he’s super impressive because he was first published at a RIDICULOUSLY young age of 23. (intimidating and inspiring at the same time). Lauren and I saw him at the Poetry Project with poet Jayne Cortez (who i’d never heard of or read before).

While I am clearly ecstatic, not only because i was able to bask in the man’s presence, or because he was near enough to me for me to have a (very) brief converstation, BUT he also signed his new book of poetry, Face (published by Brooklyn’s own, Hanging Loose Press). The only problem is, it’s completely, and utterly illegible. I was too awed, starstruck, and just plain shy in his presence to look it over as he wrote it. Later, sitting just feet away, I remembered that he had inscribed something in my very own book:

(image to be posted)

I’ve only gotten as far as To: Emma. Seattle Wow!!! and after is a series of curly, handwritten words that may involve the word port, or as my father suggested, could be in French and involve the word puer… which makes even less sense.

Alas, I may never know. But hey, i’ll take it. it says my name. and we totally made eye-contact. plus, i still have this amazing new book of poetry to read. i’ll probably live.

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is this actually a thing? everytime i hear this phrase, even from our revered, newly elected and newly inaugurated president, i do happen to wonder. is this possible? who would have thought?!?!?! will it turn out that the substance that we stopped using years ago because of it’s harmful side effects really is bad for us?

while working it out at the gym today, i saw this lovely commercial about clean coal. yes, it may be a little ridiculous, and it may be a little ad absurdum, but i think it kinda gets at the point of how impossible it all is:

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what i’ve learned today so far, thanks to dictionary.com’s word of the day:

spoonerism: the transposition of usually initial sounds in a pair of words.

sounds crazy, right? it’s NOT. it’s actually something that people do all the time. who knew there was a word for it!?!?! here are the examples from dictionary.com:

We all know what it is to have a half-warmed fish [“half-formed wish”] inside us.

A well-boiled icicle [“well-oiled bicycle”].

Is the bean dizzy [“dean busy”]?

Let me sew you to your sheet [“show you to your seat”].

pretty smart.

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salvation-armyi have to admit one small-ish (and by “smallish” i mean rather sizeable) addiction: the endless racks of second hand clothes at any number of thrift shops in the city. over the past five years, i would say that i’ve “discovered” quite a few (although by no means all), but i have to say that i am consistently pleased with the salvation army. i almost never go away empty handed.
the two salvation armies that i most often frequent are on 3rd avenue and 11th street in Manhattan, and also on Bedford avenue in Williamsburg (brooklyn). You’d think that this last one would be picked over as it is right in the middle of hipster-dom BUT they always have a lovely selection. For example, today i bought four sweaters, all of lovely quality, one cashmere, one merino wool, and a lovely button down.
of course, there have been the times that i bought the ridiculous 80s sequined dresses and muumuus just for the fact that it was there, and all under 20 dollars. however, the number of amazing things that i have bought there BY FAR outweighs any sort of lost money on novelty items.
* i particularly love the possibility of “pay by the pound.” while back visiting my family in seattle, i went to one of these. let me tell you, it was pretty much heaven. pay by the pound! at like 69 cents a pound! ah! *

in summary: i love the slavation army.

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Spending some quality time on the internet this evening. Some interesting goings on in the world of books:

  • French people are so good at protesting that they can turn reading classic literature into a form of protest (the guardian).
  • Obama has alread commited to a third book deal, this one for after his presidency (USA today).
  • Look out for the upcoming (and much delayed) first edition of BOUND, co-edited by my other roomie and myself. (wanna contribute? email boundzine(at)gmail(dot)com.)

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i also have to say that i am bummed that lily allen decided to drop out as and Orange prize judge. she would have been perfect for it (the guardian).

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i don’t think i’m being a femme-bot by saying that this list in USA Today yesterday is slightly offensive to women who read. Which is a lot of women. this list is only four books long, and all are fluff. the first novel of the list, True Colors, is Kristin Hannah’s 16th book in the series (seriously?), and is described as follows:

Brainy Winona, diplomatic Aurora and beautiful Vivi Ann grow up and soldier on through tragedy and triumph, hunkering down over pints of ice cream and shots of tequila. Their bonds are tested when Luke Connelly, an unrequited love from Winona’s past, and Dallas Raintree, a ranch hand, come to town.

I’m sorry. Hunkering down? pints of ice cream? shots of tequilla? DALLAS RAINTREE? it may just be an adorably cheesy romance novel, but whoever wrote this blurb is really going for it here.

In contrast, the Orange women’s fiction long list has recently come out. With writers such as Toni Morrison, I would argue that the list is still very much “feminine,” and (apparently 9 of the twenty authors are American).

Really, USA Today? If a prestigious award that surveys “all” English Language literature by women in the past year is almost 50% American, why does it seem like women’s lit. is so limited to certain authors (16 books!) and stereotypes of women’s lit?

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