Friday, January 30, 2009

Me at the Special Orange Alert AWP Reading

So what are you doing Wednesday, February 11th, say around 7:30 p.m.? Want to hear brilliant people read brilliant writing in an engaging and entertaining way that will make you cry and laugh and rend your clothes? Would you like to see one of the readers humiliate himself? Well then, be at the THE BOOK CELLAR (4736-38 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625) for the Special Orange Alert AWP Reading, brought to you by the hard work of Jason Behrends. Here's a list of the killer readers (and me):

Blake Butler
Barry Graham
S. Craig Renfroe
Stephanie Kuehnert
Jason Jordan
John Domini
Allison Eir Jenks
Peter Schwartz
Ben Tanzer
Molly Gaudry

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Me on The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature


So my story with the ridiculously long title "The Ostrich that Cured Johnny Cash of Drugs & Booze Dies of Old Age" is up on The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. The magazine is, of course, named after the fact that all good Southern lit has dead mules in it. Blood Meridian, for example, has hundreds...maybe a thousand. My story has none. But it does have dead ostriches, so that should be good for something. Also, The Dead Mule asks for a Southern Legitimacy Statement. Mine includes my much loved, infamous relative Steve Renfroe, who I also, probably incorrectly refer to as Stephen Renfroe.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Things I Learned on Inauguration Day

  1. Most of the last presidents (4-5) have been lefthanded.
  2. Former presidents get a secret service detail for only 10 years after leaving office. The idea being that though they don't get paid CEO salaries in office, they can cash in once out with book deals, speaking engagements, espionage, etc. And so, they have to pay for their own security after the 10 years.
  3. Cheney in a wheelchair feels appropriate.
  4. Biden's wife was an English professor...go, English professors!
  5. Despite my abiding jaded, jading, jade cynicism, I can still feel this thing called patriotism.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Me on 3:AM Magazine, Again


My story "Strip Ouija" is on the incomparable 3:AM Magazine. That's right, it's about that spooky game marketed by the people that bring you the evils of capitalism via Monopoly. But this time it's okay because there is nudity involved.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Queens MFA Reading Bonanza

So it's the first week of school, and I'm dreadfully tried. But I have made it out to the readings. I saw Sally Keith and Kym Ragusa Sunday night, and I saw Katherine Min and Morri Creech last night. Tonight, I plan to make it out to see Elissa Schappell and Andrew Levy. Good literate times.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Apocalyptic Banana Cannibalism


If you've read these ramblings, then you know the obsessive eye I cast over bananas. For example, you learned that most of the bananas we eat are clones of one single banana. Or something like that.

Well, now my friend Karen has revealed the unsubstantiated truth that human DNA is 40% similar to a banana. Now, also being a paranoid. I can only take this information and assume that something terrible is going on here. To begin with, if we are this similar to bananas and we are eating bananas, then aren't we essentially committing cannibalism? If we're eating clones of one banana and we are 40% of that banana, then aren't we all 40% of one another? If so aren't, we eating ourselves?

I needed help, so I Googled this, and the top 4 or 5 results varied the percentage from 40 to 90% shared DNA. But one site cleared it, saying it's sequencing, not composition that matters because since we're all made of the same stuff, we would be 100% similar to a banana, looking at it that way. So we are all bananas.

But then I remembered the BBC report that said that Googling something twice creates the same carbon impact as an electric tea pot (it is BBC, afterall). Google has let me down again! You can Google it. Wait, don't. Because of the global warming it will create. Killing all the bananas--most importantly the bananas that are us.

I need a paper bag....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

An MSR Reading: Or Why I Don't Like Southern Women


I am soooo living up to this new year's resolution. But though I haven't been diligently blogging. I have been doing some stuff literary. For example, I went to a great reading at Main Street Rag Publishing Company's headquarters featuring Suzanne Baldwin Leitner and Dannye Romine Powell.

Powell read from her new poetry collection A Neckless of Bees. Some wonderful stuff about being an only child. Leitner read from her novella Sessions with a Cheater's Wife.

And here's where the subtitle of the post comes in. Leitner read this passage describing some Southern women that completely resonanted with my experience: "My mother the lunatic is also female and southern. But she's that annoying kind of southern. The kind that always points out, loudly, the brutality and coarseness of the rest of the world, looks down her nose at it in fact, but would skin a live cat if it would win her some sort of meaningless social standing.... I can't tell you how many times I've seen her smile right into a person's face whom she utterly despises.... My mother is the kind of person who uses 'etiquette' as a weapon of intimidation, which means, of course, she isn't using etiquette at all."

I especially like that last part about etiquette. So, of course, I was using a bit of the hyperbole before because it's not all Southern women I don't like, just the ones described above (note my own mother is not one of these Southen women, nor is this woman).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Resolution: More Blog Posts!


That's what I resolved Dec. 31, 2008. And you can see how that's worked out! God, I love breaking New Year's resolutions. The blog is over a year old! Happy birthday, blog! So at a year, it should be able to what...talk?....walk?....crawl, at least?...screw it, have a drink, blog...

So I'm back. Didn't even know I was gone, did you? And on my way back, cruising down once and future interstate 74, I realized the stretch I was bopping along was ceremonially named Andrew Jackson Highway. I blank for a few miles, only to notice the next memorial stretch is called "American Indian Highway." To be followed by...yep, more Andrew Jackson Highway. That's right...irony...happy new year.

(not pictured: American Indians & Andrew Jackson)