Tag Archives: literature

On preferences

Someone is a Big Girl all of a sudden. No, not me. I remain incompetent. Two nights ago, we thought we would add a second book to bedtime since we got a few for Festivus. A ybab pitched an unholy fit, so we stopped and went for trusty Goodnight Moon. She shrieked and squealed and was riveted as usual. Goodnight mush! No, I really mean it. You have a great night, mush. Who leaves mush out on a bedside table? That sounds like a recipe for botulism.

The next night, we explained that we’d still be reading Goodnight Moon after the new book. She grudgingly tolerated What Shall We Do With the Boo-Hoo Baby (Pickle her! String her up! It’s really hard not to editorialize.), but she also lolled back until she was totally upside down with her foot in her mouth. Then Mr. H picked up the other book and started to read the title. She popped straight up instantly and screeched with glee. I guess we have at least another 750 readings of Goodnight Moon left, each. I’ve tried sneaking in made up verses, and this also doesn’t fly. It wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t one ridiculously showy identical rhyme. When we’re really vamping at the end, sometimes we read the ISBN and Canadian price.

brain in a jar, that’s the life for me

Whoa people, you don’t want to know what’s been coming out of my head lately. This is the sick that just won’t quit. It’s the time of the year when I start obsessing, thinking I must have HIV, oh why oh why did I ever do those things with all those sailors? Then I realize “ohhhh, I get ragingly ill every single year at this time, and every year I convince myself I have some dreadful auto-immune problem.” I have this sick schedule down. First we start off with a cold in October. Then the first two weeks of December are a total wash with some sort of strep-like thing. Finally, things cap off in January or early february with a bout of bronchitis. Sure, one year I bucked the trend and got pneumonia in November, but really that was just to get out of going to the symphony. I had an assignment to review a performance of some Mahler, and damned if I didn’t end up getting to review Being John Malkovich instead. Make up work, boo yeah. Lower culture, holla back.

Speaking of culture, I read a book. It happens. It was pretty good, even with all the Writing. Middlesex. I am sure Sofia Coppola has already optioned it. I shed a wee tear at the end. One little detail just absolutely killed me. No, I’m not going to tell you what it was. Freaking read it, then maybe we’ll talk. It’s got Detroit, it’s got incest, it’s got hermaphrodites, it’s out in paperback. What’s not to like?

That brain up there really is mine. I used to volunteer for any medical study involving an MRI in college. I love x-ray vision. I’ve been thinking a lot about what a bummer it is to be human meat. I’d totally go for being a brain in a jar, except then I couldn’t play at being attractive on weekends. Although the MRI tech did say I have lovely, perfectly formed ventricles. I have another shot that shows them. They look just like butterflies.


Ooh, it’s shakin’ (It’s electric)

This morning I was thinking of a friend from high school who won’t be able to travel from LA for the wedding. I will miss my plucky Tibor* dearly, but then again we do get into trouble when we are together.

We used to sit next to each other in an English class. We had to take an essay test on A Passage to India, a tedious endeavor at best. By page 3, my energy was flagging. Right in the middle of a paragraph on the Marabar Caves hoo-dee-doo, I wrote “I know who you are, you’re my toothbrush.”

I kicked Tibor and pointed to my page. At the top of his third page, right in the same spot, he wrote “No I’m not, I’m electric.”

We forgot about our lark until the following week when we got the tests back. Teach came by our desks and asked “What IS this about? I even went back to re-read that chapter to see what you were referencing!”

“Well, you’re one up on me,” I said. “I rented the movie.” I still got an A-. Everyone loves a weasel.


*name sort of changed, but I’m sure you can figure it out, you are ever so smart!

The stars at night are big and bright


Today’s theme: piddly celebrity encounters! It is partially inspired by the new Gawker Stalker column, and partially because I was just talking about Cher. And someone rightly pointed out that I’ve met Cher! I used to work at Tower Records during school, which afforded me access to such luminaries as Cher, Ozzy, and…Joe Jackson. Oh wait, and Jay-Z. He was rather confident. His visit meant hearing “Hard Knock Life” approximately 13,000 times, in a loop.

Cher was promoting her memoirs. I had to stack a gigantic pyramid of them, beneath a Chairman Mao-sized soft-focus portrait of her. She was demure, wore a purple streaked wig, and was mobbed by men in hot pants who stood in line for a very long time. She also graciously received the gift of a fruit platter.

Ozzy was just shopping with a small entourage. This was back in 1999, and no one cared about Ozzy then. In fact we all thought he was some deinstitutionalized psychotic, until I noticed his knuckle tattoos. He was peeved because we didn’t have the Monty Python DVD he was after.

Another time I put on dark glasses and stormed through LAX while my friend ran ahead of me, jumped out of the crowd, and snapped my photo, yelling “Over here, over here!” It was a long delay.

But other people’s celebrity encounters are always better than mine. For instance, a friend has seen Douglas Coupland eat a cheeseburger! I would have swatted it out of his hands. After that last stinkeroo of a novel, some fasting for atonement is in order. Clearly she has more restraint than I do. She also met David Sedaris, who told her that her nicotine patch was “disgusting” and that he’d rather smoke. And she had a chance to club Dave Eggers to death with a skullcracking work of 485 pages, but she didn’t do that either. I say opportunity only knocks once. I still rue the day I didn’t kill Carrot Top. Among others….

In beautiful people, another friend had a class at NYU with Christy Turlington. Still another person used to always wait on Gwyneth at a coffee shop. Gosh, I have a lot of friends!

Last and probably least, I sat next to Creed and some hangers-on in a euro-trash bar at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. I would rather meet Richard Simmons I think. Or Siegfried and Roy.


Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue


I am reading my sister’s telenovela, and it’s coming right along. There is a mustachioed villain, who ties a poor orphan to some railroad tracks, and then there is a guest appearance by Cher, who teams up with yet another orphan to save the day. I wish all those things I just said were true. Actually, it’s a lot of thinly-veiled autobiographical material. I think I am the the fussy older sister, except I don’t fucking shop at Target. And I don’t power-walk with little ankle weights, I do Pilates!

Anyway, we are on an unbearable memory lane promenade. So much of what she’s brought up is simply horrifying. For instance, she reminded me of all the gaping voids in my cultural knowledge. We didn’t have a TV until I was at least 8, maybe 9. Compound that with being home schooled until the age of 12 (breastfed until 3!), and you have a real freak on your hands. Lately I’ve been thinking of taking up sharpshooting for fun.

But when the TV did finally arrive, on a faux wood finish rolly cart, I rightly set out to cram as much pop culture as possible. I knew they were holding me back with their crunchy weirdness. Our mother and father had this delusion that we were only going to watch educational programs. There was much squalling and complaining, so they amended that to include anything they’d already seen that they knew wasn’t “insolent.” They last had a TV in about 1975, before their crazy “drop out of society” experiment of 1976-1986. So that meant I could watch all the Bewitched, Green Acres, and I Dream of Jeanie that I wanted. All fine, parentally approved stereotypes. “Oh Master!”

Insolence, if you were wondering, included Charles in Charge, Growing Pains, The Facts of Life, and so much more. Also objectionable: Alvin and the Chipmunks, because of their whiny little voices. What were these people thinking? I ask myself that to this day. If you ask them that very question, there is confused blinking, as if you are shining a painful light directly on them. At least they finally allowed that the Golden Girls was a pretty great show. For some reason, Small Wonder, with the robot daughter, was also OK. Then my mother eventually became hooked on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reruns. She would tape it so she could fast foward through the commercials. She became so wrapped up in the character that when we told her that she might like to see Six Degrees of Separation, she jumped at the chance. But then after she saw it, she was nonplussed: “MY Will would never do those things!”

What was I saying about shooting?

Fireside Chat

In which our Lambchop displays great Sincerity


We love David’s blog. Such a wag! That’s why I could not help but write when I noted that he condemns the word “smooch”. Since I often leave this word like so many rose petals in my wake, I had to know what there could be, in his opinion, to offend:

“…I wonder at the truth of “smooch” being your least favorite word! Do you prefer “osculations”? I like to throw “smooch” around when I don’t really want to offer or imply something so sublime as “Kiss”. Please explain your anti-smooch stance.”

and David responded so:

“My dear, it is not the concept I oppose, it is the word itself. To me, smooch is oily, falling in the same category as ooze and schmooze. It is dishonest and terribly, terribly wrong. For the act itself, I prefer kiss with a lesser inflection; even buss and peck have their charms. I stand my by aversion.”

Well, your lambchop has been guilty of many things, but this is a first for oily. Mother would be proud- her assertion that I am every bit as intolerable as Father (and by that I mean excessively charming) has once more been vindicated by a complete stranger. But I want to assure you, my attractive and well-paid readers, when I “smooch,” I truly, truly mean it.

I only want to add that it was extremely clever of David to reply with such an oily phrase as my dear. I nearly choked on my Batard-Montrachet.




I’m done with being a scrappy newsie. I just don’t have the energy these days. I’m reinventing myself as a symbol. Refer to the floating feather meant to indicate Dan Quayle in Doonesbury. Yes, I’m just that sluggish. I feel like someone is reading a narration of my daily activities in the voice of Goliath from Davey and Goliath. “Oh Davey…”

My horoscope for yesterday said “There seems to be some danger from a weapon or sharp object and you can also burn yourself or receive a bite from a dog. Avoid situations that are risky. Disappointments may be indicated especially in financial matters if your expectations are too high.”

Jeez. Why get up? But then someone sent me this link: Man complains bad rope spoiled his suicide, and I had to giggle. I thought of one of my favorite Dorothy Parker poems:

“Razors pain you;

Rivers are damp;

Acids stain you;

And drugs cause cramp.

Guns aren’t lawful;

Nooses give;

Gas smells awful;

You might as well live.”

Anyway, horoscopes are for shit. Because yesterday I made it through wholly unscathed! And I got an unexpected check in the mail for an invoice I forgot I sent! But today, jebus. It only warned against going to the bad areas of town. But so far I’ve managed to cut the inside of my mouth with a piece of bread (why aren’t people boycotting Au Bon Pain and their hazardous French crusty bread?) and get embroiled in assorted other dramas not of my creation.

My mouth hurts. This entry is approaching LiveJournal-like banality, eh? Speaking of crappy blogs…check out www.ragingcow.com. Dr. Pepper is behind this as part of marketing their new “Extreme Milk” beverage line. I shit you not. Some people are all up in arms about blogs being exploited for marketing purposes. To that I say “sign me up!” If the makers of Fancy Feast want to contact me to talk about how much their product changed my cat’s life, swell! How about this, I’ll extol the virtues of your product for US $5 per mention. Any product. Clorox, Tampax, Exxon, you name it. Bring it!


Author, author!

I hereby enjoin Cara to publish her magnum opus, “Che es signoro Smith?” It’s a rollercoaster of suspense and drama, about a polar bear who disguses himself as an Italian and kills people. Cara worries that her writing peaked in 8th grade. I say “that’s ok, Orson.”

We spent a year of our life working on an epic called “The Possum Waffle Saga.” I hope my mom still has those old Word Perfect files. That was without a GUI, just F-keys. Old School, ya hear? Anyway, TPWS was set in Broadass Creek, West Virginia. It featured Bubba and Lurleen Bippus, a common law married couple who came up with a unique food marketing idea for roadkill. They had wacky adventures with a cast of thousands, including Japanese tourists, Elvis impersonators, and even Punxsutawney Phil. Each chapter was a self-contained episode, except for one cliffhanger surrounding the groundhog. Oh, memories. I think I was 11 and she was 8. Or we might have been younger. It was a big deal to say “ass.”