Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Walter Mitty: some thoughts


  1. Just when you think Sean Penn can't get sexier...BAM! (that "BAM!" should be in 3-D and it would smell like wood smoke and musk and be soft flannel jeans and eyes like a volcano and it would be purple blue and so so loud).
  2. Ben Stiller is also adorable. Those eyes. Hello!
  3. Could Kristen Wiig be any cuter? (trick question...NO!)
  4. What is the deal with people thinking that a movie is a short story? IT IS NOT. It is something different, which is why a short story written in 1939 (1939 people!!) is not a 2013 movie. See? Two things are not one thing.
  5. The soundtrack. Go right now and listen to it. JUST DO IT!
  6. While these thoughts may seem a bit bossy, they are really just thoughts. Back to the thoughts.
  7. I'm blogging because yesterday I read a bunch of my blog posts from 2008 and they made me sad. SAD.
  8. Time passes.
  9. I must now add Greenland to the list of places where I want to go, which already included Iceland, so now I'm all like Iceland already!!
  10. Low expectations + matinee + friends = joy
  11. I don't want to ruin any of it for you if you haven't seen it, so I think you should just see it. But that's just a suggestion, you know, if you want to.
  12. If you haven't heard Jack Johnson do The Pina Colada song, you should. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Writing on Writing: More Writing!

I have been inspired by Hightouch to try to blog...at least a little bit.....
But, alas, what to say?
Firstly I have to say that this semester is a motherfucker. (Pardon my swearing! I like to swear!). What is the nature of this M-Fness? Hard to say.
Mother Fucker Nature, let me list you:

  1. Teaching a New Class: This is not as hard as it sounds, but harder than it should be. For some reason, I have these little over achievers submitting writing to me constantly. CON-STANT-fucking-LY. Whose idea was this? Mine, apparently.
  2. Working on Committees. If there is a BANE to any existence it is the creation and subsequent meeting of this and or that committee. One may actually love some of their compatriots on this committee but that does nothing to dull the mind-numbingness of just the sheer fucking actuality of BEING on a committee. Enough said.
  3. Writing. Am I writing? Hells no. But I have forced myself to write for fifteen minutes each night for say the last week. So I have done _some_ writing. (If I could make the font of the word "writing" smaller so as to indicate how little I do, I would). 
  4. Anxiety. This, friends, is the hobgoblin of little minds. Namely, mine. I worry the shit out of everything. This, however, does not prevent me from watching more TV than is perhaps advisable, and, somehow I manage NOT to worry while actually watching TV (and maybe drinking wine, I won't lie...) but watching TV does not make the anxiety go away. It just distracts it for a bit. What is this anxiety about? Not working on my novel. But, hey, whatever.
  5. TV: I watch some/bit/a lot of TV. To wit: Brooklyn 99 (Andy Samberg, what what?); New Girl (not as good as it used to be, but Schmidt! He does Crossfit!); The Mindy Project (um, hello?? hilarious, also Morgan!); Modern Family (tight suit!); Parks and Rec (please don't talk to me about the small number of episodes before I have to wait until January....); Continuum (netflix). I think that's it....
And so, friends, my fifteen minutes comes to a close. If you want to know what else I am up to, re: thinking, I will just say sonnets, earthquakes, Pangaea. You're going to have to do the rest of the work yourself. 
(Did I mention my neck is fucked up? My neck is fucked up! Tomorrow: massage!!)


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

My Bookshelves

Awhile ago, Hightouchmegastore posted this to her blog. A little something about her bookshelves, which made me want to do it, and now, finally, I'm gettin to it. So, it only takes me a long time, it turns out, to get around to stuff. Because I have a lot of stuff going on, okay? Don't be like that.

So here is an assortment from my library. What I'm reading and what not.

Mr. Palomar by Italo Calvino

I borrowed this book from a friend because I read two of these shorts in a creative writing textbook and I loved them. I have been reading this book very slowly, and enjoying it. Apparently it has a structure to it, each little chapter, such as "Mr. Palomar does the shopping," has three parts which are visual, cultural, and speculative. But you don't need to know that. Some of the sections are better than others, but they are all slightly strange and alienating and also beautiful.




Spectacle by Susan Steinberg

I bought this book at AWP at the Graywolf table. I have read and liked Steinberg's stories before. I do like this collection/linked stories/novel. The writing is interesting and has all the hallmarks of her other work: a disjointed narrative, focus on female experience, possibly disturbing events, theorizing on the meaning of things. Some of them are clever, or meant to be clever (based on their titles, like "Signifier"). But, as with her story collections, I feel like most of the stories hit the same note. But, I'm going to finish it.



This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

I just bought this book today. I'm reading it for one of my book clubs, so I want everyone to know I bought it and Yes, I'm going to read it.








The All of It by Jeannette Haien

I am supposed to read this for my other book club, which doesn't meet until May, so that shouldn't be a challenge because the book is only 145 pages. I include it here because it is one of those books I have known about for almost 15 years and have just never read, for whatever reason. So I look forward to reading a very short book.






As you probably assume, my house is filled with hundreds more books that I have not yet read, but plan to. I will do my best to keep  you updated on those.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

AWP redux: Boston!

I have (very) recently returned from Boston, the land of snow & chowdah. & lobstah & some writers.
First let me say that I did not sleep either very much or very well, so my disposition on returning home is cloudy (inside the head). But, I am glad to be home and I am also glad I went.

  1. Number of meals/etc. with Nikwalk: 3-ish? One might have been drinks that bled into dinner, so maybe I could count that as two? Whatever the answer, it was awesome!! But I could've handled more. 
  2. Stuff learned: some. I got some good ideas for my novel writing class and I learned some things about Book Arts, which is relevant to the Publication Class I'm teaching now. The other panels were sort of blah ho hum.
  3. Number of readings attended: Three. It seems like more. Don DeLillo. He is awesome. As Lisa B. said, he is like someone's old Italian grandfather. He seems like a reclusive curmudgeon with a dry sense of humor. I could have listened to him talk for hours. The person he "conversed" with was interesting, but I found her fiction too detailed. It reminded me of the Lynn Emanuel poem where she says she doesn't want to write fiction because she doesn't want to describe the carpet. I want to write fiction and also not describe the carpet
  4. Best thing ever: Jeanette Winterson. I felt like I was at a TED talk. She walked around and read and took off her glasses and used interesting voices. She talked about how important art is, and I love that. Also she is petite and she seemed really friendly.
  5. Best meal: I don't know. I'm too tired to think about it. I think I liked the tapas at Toro best, because you know I am a sucker for tapas.
  6. Most overrated thing: Bone Marrow. What is that about? Sorry, Nik.
  7. Best thing in life: sleep.
  8. Best excursion: MFA. I love art! It made me remember that I need to be more involved with art at home. I got to see one of my favorite paintings, Millet's "The Sower." So I'm happy about that.
  9. I have some good stories to tell, but you'll have to see me in person to hear those. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Dog: The Interview

Me: Gus, why are you neurotic?
Gus: (staring intently into my eyes) Bark!

Me: But I took you to the park? Remember? Snow? Birds?
Gus: (tilting his head from side to side as if listening to music in the distance) urwr?

Me: Why don't you lay down and stop pacing the living room?
Gus: (appears not to understand the question)

Gus: Bark! bark! Bark!
Me: But I already fed you and took you outside.

Me: Gus, what is it you want?
Gus: (responds by backing into the space between my knee and the couch)

Me: Gus, could you kindly relax?
Gus: (takes the opportunity to leave the room)

I have learned much from Gus, the German Shorthaired Pointer, but not the answer to any of my very practical questions. Except, the question What do you like? the answer to which is Everything that fits in my mouth.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sick Sickness, The Sick Edition

So, as many of you know from the FB-verse, I have been sick for some, if not all, of 2013. Much of this illness covers that last week or so, and some of it covers whole swathes of January, but never mind. I am not here to praise sickness, but to bury it under a list of things I have done, so that I can feel that, indeed, Sickness, you have not buried me under a mountain of used Kleenex and cough drop wrappers. No, I will rise again!! (sniffle, sniffle, cough!)

  1. Watched "Pitch Perfect"! Finally! Why didn't everyone beat me with their fists and plead with me, nay, beg me to watch this the minute it was released, and then again and again? Because it really was *that good*. And I say this even while wondering (if by wondering you mean beating one's chest and looking skyward) why, oh why, do funny movies have to have disgusting bodily function scenes. Can anyone tell me why?
  2. Tried different medicines. I want to know, for example, if the liquid green Nyquil (which tastes like Jagermeister and burns) is better, in terms of healing function, than the Sinex capsules which are also an eerie nuclear green, but have no taste, but almost get stuck in my throat. Do I know? I do not, really, except that maybe, maybe the capsules give you less of an "I just drank a bunch of Jagermeister" dry mouth effect. Also, there are these daytime Tylenol cold pills which are minty (why? I'm just going to swallow them. I don't need minty in my esophagus) and they seem to work, but they also make me feel like someone just poured plastic into my sinuses. That is, they work, but do they work by just stopping all sinus functions which will just come back fourfold when they wear off? These are the questions I need answers to.
  3. Drank a Mexican coke. I don't have to explain this one, do I?
  4. Ate some soft chicken tacos. Hightouchmegastore made me.
  5. Drank too much wine. This has nothing to do with anything, per se, but I was starting to feel sick again (a sore throat) and I had already invited people over, and what to do? So I told myself I wouldn't drink too much and then I did, and then what happened? (See #s 3 & 4).
  6. Drank a shit ton of tea. I have to say, that I'm a little sick of tea. Which is why I drank coffee today. Sometimes you has to do that.
  7. Blew my nose like 8.3 million times. Bought more kleenex. Blew my nose. You see where this is going.
  8. Had an idea for, and then wrote an essay. I think under 1,000 words is my sweet spot and by that I mean attention span. Also, the way I write works that way and when I try to make it longer...let's just say Silly Putty.
  9. Did not work on some grant applications. That is for suckers and people whose heads are not stuffed with cotton and Nyquil.
  10. Deleted a shit ton of email. Why, dear readers, do I not just delete it when it arrives so I don't have to go back and delete it later? Why??
  11. Read almost nothing. When sick, even reading seems like too much damn work. I want someone to come and put the words in my brain while I lay here with my eyes closed.
  12. Did no prep work. See, I had this great idea at the beginning of the semester and I made a schedule for the first 5 weeks of the semester, and, you see, the first five weeks are rapidly drawing to a close and, my friends, what will I do??
  13. Spent a shit ton of time on-line. It has not made me smarter, friends, it has not.
  14. Bought my husband a sandwich. He can't say I didn't help.
  15. I may have to go out and get chicken pot pie for dinner. I just might.