leoncrawl: What’s the equivalent of “the reason for my call” when you’re writing an email? “I am writing to ask for your help…” I would say “I am writing to ask if you would be so kind as…” but Bob Woodward schooled the WaPo interns back in ‘05 that if we ask someone “for their help” it plays into a Christian guilt thing that is otherwise...
Trying to make my random life in music journalism... →
How I feel about computer-induced insomnia:
From “Nature Poem” by Bukowski … there is a white flower laying against my screen like a whore like a cat like a white flower I could not go to work tonight because I could not stop living and now I am lying in bed looking at the white flower.
Rally to Restore Sanity drew “bigger turnout” than Inauguration. Also, fewer porta potties
MY LIFE JUST GOT SO MUCH BETTER
course descriptions uppp: EngW 8110 Seminar in Fiction Plot: Artistry and Potboilers Instructor: Charles Baxter,10 seats,TH 3:35-6:05 pm This year we’ll be investigating certain features of heavily plotted stories and novels, particularly those that border on, or actually enter, slightly disreputable genres such as melodrama, gothic horror, crime, and romance. I am interested in...
Backstory KILLS me
How do people live without it? And with it? Oh god, it’s dragging my story into the weepzone. In the spirit of The Part I Edited Out… CUTTTTT…. He had become a man like all the others, his trousers stained with grease from the mill, walking back through the pass with the workers eating the small, sweet apples that they had found along the road. He had looked up at her – standing...
I Delete Me: Can we just talk about this thing I... →
looseteef: ideleteme: Can we just talk about this thing I am thinking entirely too much about? Yay! Okay, so when we were standing outside of the bar smoking, someone who worked at the bar told us we should probably move to the other side, because the person who lived above sometimes dumped hot water onto bar people… I am actually still thinking about this. This is what I want to read a Talk...
Kill Your Darlings / The Part I Edited Out
The only benches were wet with mist. And so Margaret suggested that instead, they play croquet. They began by clearing the field of the other team’s play: dropped mallets, Scotch glasses, a corsage descended from some woman’s dress, complete with the little blue ribbon and initialed pin. It was a frail, stupid thing. But she could imagine the thrill of the pin-prick. For that was the point of a...
Insecure texts about my current story:
“it reads like a 14yr old girls impression of a lifetime movie” … “okay, but to solve plot prblms i introduced financial crisis, love affair, and a death”
Someone give this woman a book deal. →
They would call and talk about puppy videos they had seen. A dog typed on a laptop; a cat drank beer and fell over; a kitten ran up a slide, endlessly slipping back down. There was a puppy who tilted his head, a bunny who swam in a pool. What could not be communicated through the videos? Nothing. It was they who typed on laptops, who drank too much, who felt that the world was an endless conveyor...
Dickens on Philadelphia:
Philadelphia - It is a handsome city, but distractingly regular. After walking about it for an hour or two, I felt that I would have given the world for a crooked street. The collar of my coat appeared to stiffen, and the brim of my hat to expand, beneath its Quakerly influence.
New Favorite Word?
“Gauloises.” I like that they’re this uber feminine sounding romantic thing which is actually fatal/self-destructive/more poisonous than Marlboros. So yeah, this is replacing my former favorite word, “to stevedore,” which replaced my first favorite word, “bubbles” — a word which had sounded so like itself.
On Being There/Not Being There
I lived my 22nd year away from America, and missing it. To feel at home I’d climb into my headphones. There were two bands that year that I devoured, their records on repeat as I jogged around the peak in HK or biked, iPod on armband, around Dongzhimen. The first was LCD Soundsytem, whose “Someone Great” was the soundtrack of Hong Kong angst. The second was Hot Chip, who Alex...
“The Mask of Flesh peers into Kagome’s window and sees the two Shikon Shards sitting on her desk. Outside two young people are on a date. The man is telling his girlfriend about the rumors of a ghost woman in the area when suddenly they hit the Mask of Flesh’s body with their car. Kagome hears the crash and realizes its 2 AM and she hasn’t been studying. In the past...
my victorian research
The word etiquette is derived from the old French verb estiquer, which means to attach. It first became l’estiquette, describing the list of rules attached to a post in courtyards of castles and palaces. … A lady should never join in any rude plays that will subject her to be kissed or handled in any way by gentlemen. ie: If a hand reaches out to admire a breast pin, draw back and...
must own →
Standing on couches
leoncrawl: Tried to talk my way into the “Runaway” movie screening at the Sunshine last night by picking out Kanye’s new fashion consultant from the crowd outside and telling him I was the guy who wrote “Yaliens.” Didn’t work. Every noun in this post is completely amazing. It’s funny also to note the writer of that sad post piece was probably assigned it because yep, she also went to...
Terri Gross interviews Schwartzman on Bored to... →
I was finally the oldest person at a concert. Things that made it worse: 1. Avi Buffalo sang a song with a chorus that repeated “You’re Too Old For It” 2. As I had gone alone, I decided to read between sets. The book: Death in Venice. 3. Someone was older than me — but she turned out to be the mom of a girl in the opening band. Next: Death.
Sarah Laskow: Not sure how I found this essay on... →
slaskow: Not sure how I found this essay on John Updike, Nicholson Baker, and David Foster Wallace, but it’s great. Here, Barrett Hathcock gets at a real key to DFW: When Wallace criticizes Updike, he does so on moral grounds, that despite his talent he is not being responsible enough; he’s being too… This is funny because I met one of DFW’s former Pomona students, a boy...
When you are a twenty-something writing a story...
You have to google things like: + Invention of cigarettes + Types of carriages 19th c + 1870 skirt length + popular dogs 1870 I am thinking this is not how Kazuo Ishiguro wrote Remains of the Day.
My favorite Fitzgerald
Re-reading Fitzgerald this week and last and am onto The Last Tycoon, where I found, high-lighted, my all-time favorite Fitzgerald passage. This is when Stahr and Kathleen take a drive and then get hungry. She convinces him to duck into a low class drug store: “They sat on high stools and had tomato broth and hot sandwiches. It was more intimate than anything they had done, and they both...
covering all bases
mymopinion: Doing another stand-up set on Monday 10/18/2010, Comix NY (www.comixny.com), 7 p.m. show. New material, probably midterm election stuff. My very funny friend James Marceda is also performing. Ah… do one when I’m in town, Maureen!
more course descriptions
these are really fun to write QUIET ON SET What goes on back there, in Hollywood’s backlots? From F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final novel The Last Tycoon, to Nathanael West’s Day of the Locust, to Chandler’s The Little Sister, American novels have been obsessed with how the glam and glitz of Hollywood sours when you head backstage to the prop room. In this course, we’ll discuss film’s role in...
The Books...they must be in La Jolla
From the Raymond Chandler wiki: After a respite in England (Chandler regained US citizenship in 1956.), he returned to La Jolla, where he died (according to the death certificate) Yes, I am writing course descriptions using wikipedia.
If she spurned gifts from fate or God or some earnest substitute, she would never feel it in that way. She felt like someone of whom she was fond, an old and future friend of herself, still unspent and up ahead somewhere, like a light that moves. — Lorrie Moore, The Jewish Hunter
macau canadian dancers story start →
Bored to Death keeps getting better… “Our boys are using these in night operations in Iran” “Don’t you mean Iraq?” “A little less Sundance channel there, Park Slope.”
Almost always there are passionate book lovers like Carla Cohen and Barbara...– The Millions : Carla Cohen, You Will Be Missed (via housingworksbookstore)
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OBJECT EVER PUT ON CRAIGSLIST →
Yes, Belle & Sebastian back to weepy former glory! →
Philip Seymour Hoffman at Gristede's
During that one summer when DPR & Rachel & Catherine and I were all strangely friends and David was working in like his uncle’s law firm shuffling papers, he had met up with us at some movie and excitedly told us he had just come from Gristede’s. At this Gristede’s — behind the deli meat counter — Phillip Seymour Hoffman had been slicing meat. He had checked...
Best Part of Being a Teacher So Far:
Googling for plagiarism, finding it, circling a big fat “F.”
i just saw king khan, which i know is old, but...
…I had shoved my way up right near the front of the stage — and that was the only place to be in this set, totally enmeshed in the weird red and green world of the Shrines, the howls of voodoo rock, blarts of trumpet, the slow soft dancing of the woman in red and Khan, lording over, bending down and shaking his sweat off onto us amid the tinny reek of marijuana. When Khan plays a show,...