Monday, June 30, 2008

Going Green

Not environmental (why bother when we all know the environment is going to be destroyed by grey goo...or zombies), but Irish. That's right, I'm in Ireland. Possible home of some of my corrupt genetic material.

And here's a picture of The Hairy Lemon to prove it. Probably you can't read it, but that sign...the small and blurry one...that says, "The Hairy Lemon." Trust me, it does.

Friday, June 27, 2008

100th Post Blow Out!



That's right, kids, the blog has reached a "certain age." It has come into its own. Has noticed changes in its body. Has reached its 100th post. And to celebrate let's take a look back.

The people that made it possible:

Heather
Melody
Derek
Ben
Anonymous, especially Anonymous

The best video:





The best gag ever.


The best pic:


Random link

Well, that's it for the celebration and fond look back over the last 99 posts. It's like it was only a few months ago that this all began. And here's to the next 100...unless I get bored...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

WARNING: Grey Goo


Have you ever wondered will the world end in fire or ice? Had you wondered this you wasted your time because the world will, in fact, be ending in grey goo. How do I know? Because of the wonders of the Internet (A quick aside: I used to get worked up over having to capitalize the Internet, but now I realize it is a proper name for that space where all the weird, terrible, wonderful urges of the world get refined into points of light, and so just as you capitalize Kalamazoo so should you capitalize the Internet). Anyway, so I was going to my goto site Google, though I have documented our rocky relationship, and though I have a Google bar right there in the top right hand corner of my browser, I still type in the site, but this time, instead of clicking down to the auto-fill Google, I hit enter on "goo." Instead of sending me automatically to Google or to some page trying to sell me Goo.com, I wound up on the Wikipedia page for "grey goo." Naturally, I took this to be a sign and was intrigued.

What is grey goo? Why it's "a hypothetical end-of-the-world scenario involving molecular nanotechnology in which out-of-control self-replicating robots consume all living matter on Earth while building more of themselves (a scenario known as ecophagy; eating the environment)." Of course. So apparently, nanotechnology will just turn us all to a grey goo byproduct in it's heedless lust to reproduce. One more thing for me to be worried about. What is wrong with machines and their carnal programming?

The only answer: we must teach nanobots abstinence.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's a Book Montage

S.Craig's book montage


How to Be Bad: A Novel
American Tabloid: a NovelGravity's RainbowAre You There, God? It's Me. Kevin.Lucky ManKings of Infinite Space: A NovelThe Ubu Plays: Includes: Ubu Rex; Ubu Cuckolded; Ubu EnchainedThe Bridges of Madison CountyThe Secret HistorySongs of InnocenceJonathan Strange and Mr. NorrellPyresReading the West: Snippets from My Life and a Few Brazen ThoughtsRiders of the Purple SageHondoGhost TownAfter the Revolution: Profiles of Early American Culture
Nickel and Dimed: On  Getting By in America
A Short Guide to Writing about FilmOn Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing NonfictionThe Body Electric: America's Best Poetry from The American Poetry ReviewAmerican Scripture: Making the Declaration of IndependenceWaterlilyGalileoDog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage BlockheadBone: One Volume EditionMaus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds HistoryCerebus Book 6: MelmothCerebus Book 5: Jaka's StoryCerebus Book 4: Church & State IICerebus Book 2: High SocietyCerebus Book 3: Church & State IThe Education of Little TreeA Streetcar Named Desire


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Um...sort of? It's really just not working for me. A book F? A book row or six? Anyway it's colorful. And booky. Arty? I give up...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Big Water


It's here and packed with watery goodness: Big Water, The 2008 MSR Short Fiction Anthology. With writers like Eric Voorman, Sam Howie, Julie Townsend, Charles Rammelkamp, Darren DeFrain, and Nicole Louise Reid, how could you go wrong? And it's edited by yours truly, but don't hold that against it. Buy it here. Read more release notices at Creative Loafing and the Charlotte Observer.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bananas in the News


You know how Heather's well-documented obsession with bananas has seeped over into my blog, and now I see bananas everywhere. If I were one to use puns, I'd say I'm going bananas--I, however, am not one to use puns and rather dislike them so I won't say that. But here is the news in bananas:

The Associated Press (you know you can trust those associates) reports that two men near the Costa Rica-Panama border were caught with $372,000 and when asked what they were doing with that much cash, they claimed to be "banana brokers" looking to buy bananas. Sometimes life is just too good.

My favorite part of the article is that it ends with "Bananas cost about $1.65 a pound in Costa Rica." That's right, the reporter is daring you to figure out how much bananas you could actually buy with 372K. Follow along kids: laundryed cash divided by Costa Rican banana rates= 225,454.55 lbs. of bananas.

Now those are banana brokers!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Art of the Book


Lately, I've been thinking about the book as a work of art.

  1. I got my copy of Michael Chabon's Maps and Legends published by McSweeney's. And Heather can't get over how good the book looks. She's even told other couples at dinner engagements, like she's bragging on her child, which I, of course, find cute. And McSweeney's always has killer books, things so crafted I sometimes fear I'm ruining them in the reading. But hell, a good book should be worn in some way--the way all the best people have a kind of haggardness about them.
  2. Melody sent me a link to BOOK, a website about a group of artists that trade a sketchbook back and forth (pictured). Not to mention that Melody introduced me to the author I think of when I think of the book as artwork: Alasdair Gray, who designs and illustrates his own books.
  3. I have this yearning to commit art. The phrasing is intentional as it would feel and probably look like I committed murder.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Page from an Old Book I Found

Here's a page from From the Tower Window of My Bookhouse Five (1921) edited by Olive Beaupre Miller--looks like illustration is by Donn P. Crane:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Google Let Me Down

So a friend sent me the cryptic message: Brueggacino. I know this is probably in reference to a drink that will be like the drink I was addicted to in Greece, but I did what I always do: I Googled it. But when I hit Google Search, I got only this in return: "Your search - Brueggacino - did not match any documents." Not even a "Did you mean...."

I just stared at the page, dumbstruck, realizing how long it had been since Google didn't have the answer. I didn't know what to do. My world didn't make sense anymore. Is there a God, I wondered. I hit the search button again. Nothing. I went to MSN and did a MSN search but, of course, they had nothing. I almost cried.

Not only that, but here's what came up on Google Images when I searched for the promised kitten/puppy deathmatch:
Thanks, Google, thanks for nothing....I take it back, don't leave me, Google....

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Other People’s Writerly Advice Tip #4 (Celebratory Edition)


So it's been a busy weekend, plus some. Mainly because Heather graduated with her MFA! Congratulations to her! Now, she's official. Officially...well she was already a poet...officially a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry, I suppose.

Which brings us not to The Twilight Zone, though it might as well be because we come to that popular party question: why get an MFA anyway? That's the subject of our advice today. Mike Kobre gave part of the commencement address, and in his remarks he delivered a great account of Melville's friendship with Hawthorne. Melville's literary star was fading while he worked on the ultimately doomed novel The Whale (a.k.a. Moby Dick) which would kill his career until it's brilliance was "rediscovered" years after Melville's death. What kept him going was his friendship with the more popular Hawthorne. And Kobre would say that is the kind of unquantifiable benefit of an MFA: a community of writers.

I would have to agree. Though I do owe a lot to UNC-Wilmington, what matters in my day-to-day life now are the friends I still have: Melody Clayton and Derek Nikitas chief among them. But even ones I don't see or talk to that often offer help in the dark night that is writing. Eric Vrooman, for example, just returned my manuscript with the kind of comments and close line readings that you should have to pay thousands of dollars for.

With this post and the last, I feel like I'm getting too sentimental. I promise to kill a kitten or a puppy in later posts to make up for it. Maybe a cute animal caged death match. Stay tuned.