Baby It’s Code Outside

March 1, 2008

I’m a baby. I’m a mess when i’m sick. I hate being sick.

sniffles.jpg<–remember Sniffles?!

I’m not really that sick but I have a bad code cold. I’m all congested, my head feels

like it’s going to expwode explode. I’m sniffling, sneezing. Blowing my nobe nose all day.

Thankfully, i’m not really feeling too terrible, just stuffed up, so i’m being very productive.

Yesterday I cleaned my office.

Last night I watched a movie on Tivo: The Skeleton Key, that Louisiana Bayou hoodoo- voodoo thriller starring Kate Hudson and Gena Rowlands. It wasn’t too bad, and it had one of those ‘shocking’ twists ala The Sixth Sense at the end. I’m usually pretty good at calling these but this one I didn’t see coming. (speaking of scary movies, a week ago I went and saw “The Signal”— a low budget/indie horror film that was told in three parts; each part had a different director. The first part is the best. Though I did love the movie’s grindhouse feel– grainy film, unrelenting violence, very low budget special effects –it even began as somewhat of a homage: the main character is watching a ‘vintage’ grindhouse horror film when everything goes horribly wrong. Some genuinely creepy moments in the first section and good performances). It’s worth a look if you’re a fan of the genre.

pigs-n-a-blanket.jpgI made soup and Pigs N A Blanket (a low-cal version from Hungry-girl.com).

I finished the book Three Junes by Julia Glass. I know, finally, right? She’s a remarkable writer, but for some reason my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t dying to get back to it every night. Maybe if I had read it at a different time (like in June? hahahaha). I don’t think i’ve ever taken so long to read a book (except for Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives, which I never finished). Glass’ book is incredibly detailed and layered but maybe it was the confusing jumping around in time within the chapters. I enjoyed the middle section the best.

(my next read is The Road, by Cormac McCarthy)

I went through some of my newest postcards, including these:

beauty-queens.jpg frosting.jpg sound-of-muzak.jpg

They’re just screaming to be made into collages. What do you think: A Monkey in the middle holding onto the beauty pageant trophy, a slab of meet in place of the cake, a flying saucer or Godzilla behind Maria/Julie Andrews (any other suggestions?).

Then today I cleaned the bathroom.

I worked on a grant proposal that is due Tuesday (I think i’ll be able to send it tomorrow).

I began writing my three pieces for the Photobooth reading i’m giving on March 13 at the Whistle Stop in San Diego (more on that later).

Tonight i’m going to make some Oatmeal Brownies and start reading the new book.

Maybe I should get a code cold more often?

ps– thanks to Lee, Angie, and Jeffrey for the fabulous 6 word memoirs you left in my comments on that/previous post, and Amy— aren’t they a great activity for students? (by the way, Amy, I so can’t wait for your book How Far is the Ocean From Here).


Six Little Words

February 26, 2008

three-little-words.jpgThree Little Words, is an MGM musical from 1950 that tells the true story (meaning it totally fictionalizes) of songwriters Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby (together they wrote “Who’s Sorry Now,” “I Wanna Be Loved By You,” and “A Kiss To Build A Dream On” among others). Kalmar is played by Fred Astaire, Red Skelton is Ruby, and the musical numbers are splashy (in glorious technicolor), featuring a pert Debbie Reynolds (is there any other kind of Debbie Reynolds?) as Helen Kane (the girl who goes “boop boop be doop” in those old cartoons), Vera Ellen (marvelous dancer), the flame-red haired Arlene Dahl, and one of my favorites, singer Gloria De Haven, playing HER OWN MOTHER (and singing “Who’s Sorry Now”).

dehavenportrait.jpg gloriacloseup.jpg<–Gloria DeHaven

Click to see Ms. Dehaven sing a torch song in 1994. She still had it then (and she’s still going strong now).

six-word-memoirs.jpgSix little words are all it takes to write a six word memoir. I had my creative writing class write six word memoirs and used the book Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Famous and Obscure Writers (from Smith Magazine). Got the book from Felicia Sullivan (thanks again!), who knows a thing or two about memoirs (she has a knockout memoir, The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here, just out– more on that in another post).

The class LOVED doing these. And they were so good at it. It was only the third week of class, so many of the students are still somewhat tentative, shy, and reserved about sharing their writing, or at least reading it aloud. But this really brought people out of their shell.

I’d love to share some of their six word memoirs, but I didn’t get permission from them (and actually I don’t really publicize my blog when i’m teaching). I encouraged them to submit their six word memoirs on the Smith Magazine website (very cool website). If you haven’t seen the book, check it out in the bookstore or order it.

BTW: Felicia– I couldn’t find yours in the book– what page is it on? You know i’m getting old; me eyes ain’t what they used ta be.

Here are a some from the book:

Dad died, mom crazy, me, too. — Moby

Born in California. Then nothing happened.– Mark Harris

Mushrooms. Clowns. Wands. Five. Wig. Thatched. — Amy Sedaris

He Wore Dresses. This caused messes. — Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Many hands have kept me afloat. — Nick Flynn

Quietly cultivating my inner Lynda Carter. –Joanna Sheehan

Here are a couple I wrote in class the day I assigned it to my students:

Wanted a monkey. My life story.

I wish I had invented mustard.

Child star by eleven. Never happened.

(I wonder if they make sense to those who know me?)

**Now you try it.


I Left My Cellphone… In San Francisco (sing to the tune of the Tony Bennett song)

February 23, 2008

Not really, I actually lost my cellphone at the college where I teach, but that didn’t have the same ring to it (no pun intended, really). Maybe I should have called this post, I Bought a Crappy Temporary Cell Phone in San Francisco, (because I did). Anyway, it took the person who found the phone on campus 4 days to turn it in to the lost and found. The person had even called my best friend, Eduardo (they re-dialed the last call I had made), to find out who owned the phone.

Eduardo, bless him, told them (i’ll try to recreate his Mexican accent): Ju better turn in that phone. It belongs to Rob Williams (he thankfully remembered at the college level, my name is not BOBBY), he ees a professor dere, at the school.

So much for scare tactics.

Well, by the time I left school on Thursday it still hadn’t been turned in. (yes, the person DID turn it in but I was already on a plane to San Francisco at the time). Why would they not turn it in? It totally bugged me for those four days. What numskull would hold onto a phone that they know belongs to an instructor at the college where they are attending and where they found it? Who doesn’t understand how frustrating it is to not have your cell phone when you need it?

Ok, i’m done with the rant. Now on to San Francisco.

Ahhhh. San Francisco.

I’ve decided I DO love it there. I mean, i’ve always liked it. I’ve always had fun there. But this time I think I really fell in love with the city. Probably because we didn’t do the typical ‘tourist’ things this time (not that I have anything against it). But we hung out in neighborhoods, went to local galleries, went to a party of famous drag queens (who were out of drag, actually), saw some great performance art, met up with old friends, TALKED to people.

san-fran-feb-08-the-mission.jpgI’ve also decided that The Mission is now my favorite neighborhood in San Fran.

In the Mission we visited City Art Gallery— a coop art gallery that our friend Kevin had a couple of pieces in. His pieces were the best (and no, i’m not biased).

Here’s one of them.

kevinmosley.jpg It’s called “Boys”

In the Mission is also where Ted bought these:

sing-sing-dinner-tray.jpg singsing.jpgAuthentic, indestructable (and probably deadly) Sing-Sing Dinner Trays. Ideal for eating in front of the telly! You can buy them here.

rob-and-ted-rooftop-sf.jpgIn the Mission we also met up with Ted’s longtime friend (and former Newsweek office mate) Tom. We had drinks and apps at Medjool Restaurant/Lounge, on the sky terrace which overlooked the city.

stellas-at-medjool-sf.jpgIncredible.

We did venture into other areas of SF. In fact, we stayed in SOMA, South Mission (he he). Thanks to our lovely friend Jon, we had a super apartment all to ourselves all weekend (Jon was out of town).

kevin-and-karl-sf.jpgWe were also close to our friends, writer K.M. Soehnlein and his fabulous actor/performer/all around wonderful guy fiancee, Kevin, who welcomed us to the city the first night with an amazing dinner and desert and conversation (as we gave them some ideas for their upcoming nuptials).

gilbert-and-george-1.jpgThe next night we were VIP guests (not officially but we got in anyway) at the opening of the Gilbert and George exhibit at the De Young Gallery in Golden Gate Park.

kevin-living-statue-sf.jpggilbert-and-george-and-living-sculptures.jpgKevin was performing as a living sculpture (something Gilbert and George are famous for) at the gala opening and so we got to follow them around, even enjoying chi-chi appetizers in the green room and standing not two feet away from the legendary artists (and long time companions Gilbert and George). Kevin and his crew walked around the entire G&G exhibit, holding portable iPods with little speakers, lip-synching to songs; Kevin’s was Rufus Wainwright’s “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise,” and I have to say, it WAS paradise seeing him perform– he’s effing brilliant. Look for him as a featured extra in Gus Van Sant’s upcoming bio of Harvey Milk, “Milk.”

dusty-corners-gilbert-and-george.jpg This piece, called Dusty Corners No. 13, from 1975 is probably one of my favorite of theirs. They often feature themselves in the art and utilize this grid format.
After the show we went to a birthday party thrown (and attended) by some of the most legendary drag queens in the business. The thing is, they were all out of drag! But it didn’t stop us from recognizing icon Lady Bunny.

We had a great dinner at Bossa Nova in S. Mission– a hip, loud, Brazillian lounge and restaurant that seemed to have an abundance of hot looking people. Definitely the place to go if you want to feel like a superstar.
caipirinha.jpgAt Bossa Nova we tried a tasty new drink: Caipirinhas (with Leblon Cachaca, Lime, Agave Nectar). It was like a Margarita crossed with a Mojito. Delish. Check it out.

san-fran-feb-08-with-derek-me-and-kevin.jpgNaturally we hit up the Eagle Beer Bust on Sunday– it was something called Bear Rendezvous this weekend so it was PACKED. Saw our friends from Lazy Bear, Derek and Kevin (yes, another Kevin, who they say looks like he could be my younger brother). He’s on the right in the pic.

ted-and-sean-at-440-castro.jpgWe also got KM and his Kevin to meet us out and hung out with new friend Sean (who’s moving to LA in a few weeks).

Monday before we left we had lunch with my high school (actually we met in junior high school!) pal Sloane and her hubby Ron and their two ADORABLE blonde/blond twins. Sloane was my theater buddy (and has a featured role in my first book, the one I wrote in grad school).

sloane-and-bobby-1986.jpg sloane-and-bobby-2008.jpgHere’s a pic of us on “Nerd Day” in high school. And then one of us today, 22 years later. Sloane is still as beautiful, smart, zany, and fun as she was in high school– and she’s found a great guy who really seems to appreciate what a gem she is.

the-kraft-family.jpgSloane’s family: Ron, Sloane, Michael and Ellie.

rob-running.jpgHere’s a pic of me chasing after Michael. (hmmm, is this foreshadowing my future…?).

rob-and-ted-in-sf-2008.jpgWe came back tired and broke but it was such a good time. And probably the only vay cay i’ll get this Spring (during my Spring Break I start teaching at UCSD, so no Daytona Beach for me).

To see all of the pics from our SF trip go to my Flickr on the right.


Meaty Matters

February 20, 2008

Been away from the blogosphere for several days now, sorry.

Ted and I had a fabulous time in San Francisco– more on that (and pictures!) by the end of this week. But the recovery from our little vay-cay has been long.

In the meantime, in between time, here are a couple of pictures of a terrific gift sent to me by fellow blogger (and mom to the adorable Dash), Tonya (of Happydash).

This wacky, zany sausage recipe book from I believe the late 60s or early 70s.

meaterrific.jpg Isn’t that the sickest, most wonderful thing you’ve ever seen?

Here’s the front cover. The second pic is the back cover.

meaterrific2.jpg

Inside are tasty recipes for dishes such as “Minced Cold Cut Nibbler,” “Overnight Sausage Soufflet” and “Salami Omelet”–Glaaa!

(actually, somewhat sexually suggestive, no?)

Fancy the plain Frankfort!

it says in bold, sausage-red print toward the end of the book.

I so can’t wait to get back to making my postcards and collages, and this was just the inspiration I needed.

meatpaper-december.jpg Recently I queried the crazy, brilliant new print magazine Meatpaper— fresh out of San Francisco (articles include: Chris Cosentino on eating beef heart, a guide to high-cholesterol cinema, the glory of gluten, the truth about your fear of pig’s blood, and… Meatpaper’s first recipe!)— to see if they would be interested in my Meat Series Collages. This is an insanely original new journal/mag that has some incredible articles and art and interviews, all about MEAT.

I got no answer. Not even a rejection. But maybe their busy?

In any case, it’s time for me to get back to the collage series. I have some super new ideas for the series that will definitely take the collages in a new direction.
Thanks Again Tonya!

** By the way, I recently discovered someone’s reading (and translating) my blog in German! To my German readers, a hearty Willkommen! Willkommen!


Photobooth

February 13, 2008

I’m giving a reading in mid-March at The Whistlestop Bar in South Park, San Diego.

photobooth-andy-warhol-museum.jpgI read there a few months ago (my essay from Pindeldyboz, “Son of Kong”). This time i’ll be reading (with three other people) about Photobooth photo strips. You know those booths that they have at malls, and stores, and fairs where you pull back a curtain and sit down and get to try four different poses and then a few minutes later a strip of photo comes out with those poses. (photobooth pic from the Andy Warhol Museum and this person’s Flickr acct). Apparently they’re really big at weddings now. I guess we just missed that bus, huh Ted?

Anyway, we put up a Craigslist Ad last week asking for people to scan their own photobooth photos and email them to us so we can put them up on the screen during our reading. Four writers will respond to a series of chosen Photobooth photos– in quick, sharp readings. We’re also going to have a DJ playing groovy music, possibly our own photobooth set up where for $1 the audience members can take their own pics. Cool, right?

renasphotobooth1.jpgWell, as of today we haven’t gotten a single photobooth photo from that Craigslist Ad. We have had various friends send theirs to us, and I even sent a few that I found in an old photo album of my mother’s from the 1950s. They are of my mom’s cousin Rena– a woman I never met (in fact, I don’t think I ever knew anything about her). That’s Rena on the left, though. Pretty cool chic, eh?

Ted and I are leaving for San Francisco tomorrow–YAY! (i’ll blog about it next week but just a little va-cay for us)– but we (the organizers and readers of the Photobooth reading) are still looking for Photobooth pics so if you have them send them! You can send them to me, or to Jess, one of the readers who is putting, with her boyfriend, Jason, the graphics/photobooth program together.

Here’s the Craigslist writeup with more info:

Photo booth Project- Send us your photo booth pictures!

Local Djs the Deadbirds have teamed with a group of San Diego writers to present a night of Photo booth Pictures, Thursday March 13th at the Whistle Stop Bar.

The concept is that locals (though anyone is welcome to send pics) send us their photo booth strips (in their entirety please), then the writers will choose the best photo booth strip to respond to by writing a narrative. The stories based on the pictures will be presented on March 13th at the Whistle Stop. There will also be a visual provided will all of the photo booth pictures. After the reading, the Deadbirds will spin 60s, Britpop, and Indie.

Please send us your wackiest, funniest, and most inspiring photo booth pictures this week. We will be accepting entries until Friday, February 15th.

March 13th will be a great night with three different mediums presenting their reflections on the art of the photo booth. Can’t wait to see what you send us.

The readers are:

Rob Williams (that’s me!)

Jess Jollett

Sydney Brown

and

Ryan Griffith

So, again, if you have any photobooth pics (WHOLE STRIPS PLEASE, IF POSSIBLE) scan them and send them to us! If you’re in San Diego, come by and see the show Thursday March 13 at the Whistlestop. And if you’re not in San Diego, still send your pics so we can laugh at you!
Send to me at: rob@robwilliams.org

and i’ll forward them on to Jess. Come on, you know you wanna!


Pink and Refined as a Cameo

February 11, 2008

cameo.jpgI’ve got to finish Julia Glass’ Three Junes by this week as I have Felicia Sullivan’s The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here next on the queue. I’m assigning an excerpt from Felicia’s book (the first chapter) for this weekend’s reading (from a packet that includes an essay by Alice Walker, an excerpt from Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and an excerpt from Nick Flynn’s memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City). Such good and deserved company.

I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to get through Three Junes. I love it. It’s incredibly rich and satisfying.

Favorite new line from the book– Fenno, the narrator, describing his friend Mal’s mother:

“You! You! I am so glad to meet you!” she cried, and her small oval face, pink and refined as a cameo, spread into a tissue of delicate lines, a human blueprint of joy.

Sigh.

(I did get to some writing today, speaking of joy. It’s all part of my new regiment: up at 7:30, quick check of email, gather my stuff, get off to school, start writing until my class starts. Wish me luck…)


Step Up 2: Hermia Boogaloo

February 10, 2008

stepup2.jpg

A few weeks ago Ted and had to deal with something very serious.

Our cat, Hermia, is getting old.

young-hermia.jpgReally. She was born April 14, 1991 . She’s going to be 17 years old in two months. (these pictures are from around 1992).
young-hermia2.jpgI got Hermia from my friend, Sydny, who had gotten her as a kitten. Just a couple of months later he got a new roommate, who he said was only temporary, and he asked me if I would take Hermia for a few months, maybe 6 at most.

That, as you all know, was 17 years ago.

Now I can’t imagine life without her. She talks all the time. She takes up half the bed and REFUSES to move an inch at night. On laundry day we have to move the sheets around her just to wash them. She hisses at the other cats, Jack and Betsy, when they come near her, but secretly she searches them out when they don’t come by for a few hours.

But you know what? She’s always been here. I could always depend on Hermia– for entertainment, for a warm little body in the bed, for a $600 vet bill…

So the last few months Ted and I noticed that it would take her a little longer to hop up on the bed (which is only a little over a foot off the ground). She would do that ONE-TWO-THREE/READY-SET-GO… ER, WAIT, I’LL TRY AGAIN sort of attempt. She was getting on, but you could tell it was a strain for her. Arthritis.

The A Word.

We thought about getting some steps for her to get her up onto the bed more easily. But the only steps they had at the pet stores were hard, and looked cheap and ugly– as if they should be steps outside of your motor home or trailer.

I did a google search and came across this website: Puppystairs

They had exactly what we were looking for. Soft, but sturdy ramps for pets (yes, though the website is called puppystairs, they are for cats also… maybe they should change the name to be more inclusive?). We also found one that was on clearance.

hermias-ramp.jpgThe ramp came in less than a week and is beautiful. It’s made of a really durable triangle of foam, but you wouldn’t know it’s foam. I could sit on it (though I won’t). It’s covered in a washable, lovely heather gray felt-like slip cover.

hermias-ramp-2.jpgIt took Hermia a few days to really get used to it, but now she goes up and down it like a pro. She even occasionally jumps off mid way down the ramp just to show us how sprightly she still is. (to see more pics of Hermia and the ramp go here).

Sure, with shipping it cost almost $100, but we feel better, knowing she isn’t hurting herself when she climbs up on the bed. Knowing that what could be the last few years of her life are spent in comfort (though we do suspect she might just be around another 10 years… the Tina Turner of Cats). $100 is a small price to pay for someone who has been a fiercely loyal, oddly verbal, perpetually dandruffy, occasionally matted, bed warming, mostly love-able (except when Jack and Betsy are around), zany, strangely compelling friend.

hermias-ramp-3.jpg Hermia contemplates the ramp (should I go down and get some kibble? After all, it has been ten minutes since my last feeding…)


Now We’re Cooking

February 1, 2008

I love to cook. Truth be told, though, I think Ted is probably better at cooking than me. And actually, I think I enjoy the process/prep of cooking more than the actual result.

When I cook I often turn it into this production– as if I have my own cooking show. I like to chop onions with more flourish than usual, talk to myself, cheat to the camera, throw minced garlic into a pan with enthusiasm, ooh and ahh at the sizzle of olive oil.

It’s kind of like what I used to do as a kid– pretend I was on a talk show like Merv Griffin or Mike Douglas (Gawd, does that age/date me???). I would sit on the shabby gold couches in our wood-paneled living room and pretend I was being interviewed about my career and my life, stopping off and on for station identification and to sip water from a mug.

I thought I was the only one who did this but a few months ago when I took a creative writing workshop night class the fabulous instructor revealed that she sometimes envisions herself being interviewed by Terry Gross–her with the soothing, intelligent voice– and I had to laugh: I do that too! Sometimes on my way to school, or coming home from school after listening to Terry I imagine myself being interviewed by her, what she would ask me, what I would say.

Am I crazy, or what? Does anyone else do this?

Anyway, here are some pix from some recent cooking ‘shows’ of mine.

hi-monkey-masthead.jpgOh, and by the way, have you seen this TOO CUTE FOR WORDS website, hi monkey.net? Which stars a tiny stuffed monkey– he makes crafts, food, cookies, travels to exotic countries, hangs with monks. It’s my new web obsession.

ahi.jpgWe get most of our fish, like this Ahi, from Trader Joe’s. Yes, it was already marinated, but I added more stuff, like sesame and light sodium soy and of course ginger.

ginger.jpgEverything’s better with ginger, and mary ann. har har. ok, not funny.

bok-choy-1.jpgI’ve recently started to cook more Bok Choy. Bok Choy is the ‘white cabbage’ and is soo tasty with just a smidge of garlic and ginger and scallions and broth.

onions-and-beer.jpg hey, how did that Sam Adams Light get there?

corn.jpg I’ve also rediscovered corn. Corn on the cob especially– with Smart Start Butter. Did you know you don’t have to boil corn in a pot of water? That you can steam it more effectively in just an inch of water. MMMMmmmm.

Last week we had Ted’s sister in law, Laura, stay one night with us (she was at a conference in LA and drove down). She’s wonderful. We met Eduardo out for a drink and then saw this funky fun band that played 60s surf music (think BeachBlanket Bingo but with an EMO twist) . The band was named Monsters From Mars and they were so much fun!  They did an instrumental Beach-Blanket-Bingo version of Britney Spears’ Toxic that was outta control. I wish I had bought a T-shirt.

Anyway, for Laura’s visit I made a Weight Watchers Bruschetta that was deeelicious. And only one point per serving.

tomato.jpg of course I used the freshest tomatoes and basil.

ww-bruscetta.jpg

But I also made a low-cal Hummus (that was Weight Watchers approved!) from a website called This Mama Cooks! 2 points per 1/2 cup. yowza!

ww-hummos.jpg I added sliced bell peppers to give it a bit more flavor.

ww-hummos-2.jpg Gotta love appliances like the Cuisinart (a wedding gift).

Speaking of gifts, I meant to post some of the recent Christmas gifts I either gave, or received this past holiday, like this awesome Ice Crusher from Tonya’s shop–called The Happydashery on Etsy:

ice-crusher-from-happydash.jpgI gave this Ice Crusher to Ted for Christmas. It’s one of my favorite gifts. So cool and vintage, black and shiny.

Tonya seems to find the funky-est, funnest stuff. She’s also got a great website which often features pictures of her ADORABLE son, aptly named Dash. And this week she’s doing a giveaway on her blog featuring one of her funky finds. Check it out. And while you’re at it, check out her hubby Neil’s blog (he’s doing a giveaway too). I’m telling you, the three of them are so cute they should be modeling for JCrew (or JCrafts?). Cuteness all around.

Ieduardos-bar-set.jpg gave my best buddy Eduardo this super neato bar set from Cocokelly on Etsy. It was their last one, but Tonya does have one in her Etsy shop, so check her out.

owl-lamp.jpgFound this gem– Owl Lamp on Etsy as well, from Dandelion Girl’s shop. I couldn’t resist!

beards-not-bombs.jpgAnd finally, my most recent T-shirt came from Etsy, too– from the shop Secret Lovers. Gotta love a shirt that states: Beards Not Bombs.


goodreads(.com)

January 30, 2008

I’m back teaching now– two classes that I absolutely love: Advanced Composition and Introduction to Creative Writing. Thus i’ve been a bit lax on posting the last few days, sorry! But i’ll get back into the swing of it by the end of the week.

Just some quick notes for now.

Joined Goodreads— so cool to see what my friends are reading (and, of course i’m feeling so lame for not reading as much last year as I should have!). fer sure.

three-junes.jpgCurrently reading Three Junes by Julia Glass for our book group (the last book we read was The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz).  So far i’m enjoying Junes; i’ve still got plenty to read of it but what strikes me most is the quiet longing and hurt in the tiniest of descriptions–notably with the father (Paul) character, who, in one section of the book, taking place in 1989, is on a tour traveling through Greece shortly after the death of his wife.

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Three Junes here.

thesky.jpgOh! and I just received in the mail (after threatening Amazon with a lawsuit because my book hadn’t yet been delivered when everyone else was getting theirs…jk) Felicia Sullivan‘s memoir: The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here. I even put a mention of Felicia into my Intro to Creative writing Syllabus– I didn’t have time to incorporate her entire book into my class plan (definitely next semester!) but we’re going to read an excerpt from the book in a couple of weeks and i’m going to push push push the book to my students (not that i’ll need to; once they read her devastatingly beautiful, lyrical prose they, of course, will rush out and buy it themselves). I can’t wait to get into her book, and to find out more about this person who, though we both went to the same graduate program, at roughly the same time, I always felt we were just on the peripheries of each other’s lives. I knew of Felicia– I admired her smarts, her gusto, her adorable/chic cardigans and the fact that she could work a red lipstick like no one else in our program– but I don’t think we ever had a class together. I remember getting an email about her just-started literary journal, Small Spiral Notebook, and then I remember not seeing her for a while… though of course I had my own personal demons, my own dilemmas. In any case, i’m eager to find out more about her– especially now, years later, when we are out of the program, now blog buddies, admiring each other from afar (and there is much to admire, believe me– I don’t know how she did, er, does it all– blogging, working, writing, socializing, networking, publicity/marketing her book, connecting people, inspiring people).  I’m sure i’ll find out, though, as soon as I read her book. Definitely check it out if you haven’t yet!

(hmm, maybe I can talk our book group into reading Sky next?!).

By the way, if you’re in NYC, you MUST, I repeat MUST go see Felicia read:

Next Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7pm Barnes & Noble Chelsea (AARGGHH! I wish I could be there!)

(and yes, i’m talking to you: Aaron, Lee, David, Vestal, Miss W, The Other Rob, et al).

Felicia’s tour schedule is here.  We’re still trying to get her down to San Diego (but i’m thrilled she’ll at least be in Los Angeles–just a hop/skip/jump away from us) so we can take her to the beach and eat fish tacos (wait, I wonder if she even likes fish tacos?)
Also, SO cannot wait for the new issue of A Public Space! (issue 4 is STILL sitting next to my computer, I’m STILL loving it, reading over stories/essays and poems i’ve read three and four times already).

constipatecard.jpgBeen totally flaking on making new postcards for the .PostDue. exchange. Actually, I haven’t gotten any updates from them– no new exchange partners. Have I been excommunicated?  I guess I don’t need no stinkin’ exchange to make art, right?

*Fear not: I am still reading Madame Bovary— and actually see the light at the end of the tunnel, but i’m putting it on slight hold this week while finishing Three Junes.


Resolve The Skirt

January 25, 2008

Did you catch Project Runway this week?

Sweetpea finally got some recognition. Go Sweetpea!

tim-gunn2.jpgBut the best two moments in the show were the lines delivered in typical deadpan by Tim Gunn:

“Resolve the skirt”

and

When he told Sweetpea that her first attempt at a Denim Wedding Dress looked like

“Happy Hands at Home Granny Circle”

I think “Resolve The Skirt” is going to be my new motto/mantra.

(photo of Tim from tifaux.com)