Archive for April, 2010

Words of Wisdom

April 26, 2010

My friend sent me this monologue she transcribed from Weeds in an attempt to help me understand life a bit better, and what do you know, it worked:

look silas, life is just blah blah blah
we hope for blah
and sometimes we find it
but mostly it’s blah
and waiting for blah
and hoping you were right about the blahs you made
and then, just when you think you have the whole blah damn thing figured out and you’re surrounded by the ones you blah,
death shows up, and blah blah blah
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Funny Things Friday!

April 23, 2010

Things that I thought about that made me crack up to myself today while walking down the street probably resulting in me being labeled a neighborhood crackhead:

1. My friend met a dude at her business school (B.S.) orientation whose name…I can’t say it of course, but sans an accent, it sounds like something you could be criminally charged with.

2. Insult from the cult classic Sleepaway Camp:
“Eat shit and die, Rickie!”
“Eat shit and live, Bill.”

3. The poetic lyrics to “Ignition” by R. Kelly:

It’s the remix to ignition
Hot and fresh out the kitchen
Mama rollin that body
got every man in here wishin
Sippin on coke and rum
I’m like so what I’m drunk
It’s the freakin weekend baby
I’m about to have me some fun

4. That cartoon within a cartoon on Animaniacs where a giant chicken does human stuff and nobody notices except for one dude and he’s always like, “It’s a GIANT CHICKEN!  He can’t cook gourmet French food!  HE’S A CHICKEN!  WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!”

SPAM

April 19, 2010

Every once in a while I putz around my Spam folder in Gmail to see what the Google Gods have determined is bullshit.  Now clearly I know none of this is true, what I’m wondering is what IS the truth behind it?  Is there really a Venera from Russia?  If I responded to her personal email address, what would happen?  Could she, in fact, visit me?  Do people fall for this shit?  How does Google know immediately that it’s Spam?  If there is some legit Venera who wants to pimp herself out to an American man who has not the wife or children, how did she end up writing to a twenty-five year old female with little-to-no bisexual leanings?  Technology just makes everything more blurry in the end, doesn’t it?

Subject: Life is Life           (How great is that, btw?)

Hello My Friend!
I write to you the letter, and I hope to receive the answer from you.
My name is Venera.
I the young woman, me of 29 years, I the blonde live in Russia, city Vologda.
My city is in 479 km from Moscow.
And if you wish to get acquainted with me, I shall be very happy to answer your letter.
And I would like to tell why I write to you.
The matter is that in 2 weeks I shall visit the USA.
But I have no friends or relatives in the USA.
And while I at all do not know what state better to visit.
In WHAT STATE OR COUNTRY YOU NOW LIVE? We could have our meeting?
Tell to me more about your country or state? What interesting?
I shall have the tourist visa, and I can visit your country.
But main my purpose, it to find the good friend for me.
The man for serious attitudes and if you are now alone?
You have not the wife or children I ask you to write to me the letter.
And we could learn better each other.
I have not boyfriend, and I have not children.
To write to you the letter, I have addressed in agency of acquaintances, and to me give yours e-mail.
It not a spam or other bad things. So, please, answer me!!!
My letter, this offer to acquaintance and to learn better each other.
In my letter I send you my photo!!! I hope my photo well?
And I would like to receive your photo too.

Please, answer only my personal e-mail: VeneraHaihello@rambler.ru

The best regards,

Venera

THE BEST regards!   It’s unfortunate for her that her name will most likely remind English speakers of one thing…

Swallow Broach

April 18, 2010

I heart bird motifs.

Writers’ Tools

April 17, 2010

I need a pseudonym generator –– an engine into which I can type a name and it will give me back one  that evokes the same characterizations but is different enough that a reader won’t be able to recognize the real person behind it.

A Proposal to Wander

April 14, 2010

Dear T,

I hope you are the right person to contact about this.  If not, please forgive my intrusion.

Shakespeare & Co is a storied establishment (no pun intended) so I assume you’re accustomed to receiving emails rife with cliched declarations of love both for your shop and the city it calls home, but forgive me if I add one more to your inbox.  Three years ago, I made a friend during a two month study abroad program in Paris.  We became inseparable and sought to fulfill our insatiable appetites for all things Parisian together.  We basked in the summer sun in the Jardin Luxembourg, drank red wine and ate steak at Cafe des Flores, left fire red lipstick marks on Oscar Wilde’s grave and feted in the streets as Zidane led France to one World Cup victory after another until the head butt heard round the world.   At this point in my life, I was already married to writing.  I was finishing up with a creative writing and English literature major at Columbia in New York and was intent upon becoming a slightly odd and definitely obsessive wordsmith.  I knew that my professional ambitions (“To write”) were seen as cute, at best, and naive and delusional and anachronistic, at worst, but I felt, and still feel, that this was not my decision to make.

B and I, along with the rest of our French Culture class, were taken to S & Co on a field trip by our teacher, MB, a jolly, round black man who was almost eerily fond of me.  Bruce was living in Paris on some type of academic scholarship (I believe he taught at Colby College in Maine?  I could look it up but I’m the last person in the world not on Facebook.)  He had the enviable itinerant life of a professor, and he introduced us to his favorite spots in the city: Montmartre, the Holocaust Memorial, Kilometro Zero, and S & Co.  My bibliophiliac heart skipped three beats upon entering and seeing rows and rows of colorful tomes.  My fingers danced lightly over the bindings.  I swooned at the sight of the love wall adorned with unabashed confessions of affection.  I thought of the Borges quote, “I can only sleep when I am surrounded by books,” and thought of the depth of REM I would surely achieve if allowed to slumber in that little cubby.

My last week in Paris, BA had gone home and I was aimless, as a good young American in Paris should be.  It took me a few days to muster up the courage to get back to S & Co.  I felt the way toward the shop you would toward an adolescent crush that didn’t know you existed, and so I put myself in the periphery of it and hoped to be noticed.  I watched the lovely, lanky kids carry a new bed into the shop and saw Sheila (I believe that is her name…small, slight, blond?) flit around speaking in English and French, shuffling papers, smiling widely.  I wanted to say something to her, but what could I say?  “I’m enamored of all this”?  So I wrote a note on a scrap of paper in my miniature handwriting and left it on her desk.  The last line was, “I hope you’ll have me some day.”

Cut to: three years later.  I’ve been writing in one capacity or another since I graduated from school.  I’ve been slaving over a book for a few years, which in the next year or so will finally come to fruition.  I’ve done tiny freelance work, written bar reviews, worked for a literary agent, contributed to magazines, helped transcribe and edit interviews for the souvenir book for the Broadway musical Xanadu! (That was actually pretty hysterical, and if I ever get famous I think someone ought to “discover” that piece and declare it my unsung masterpiece.  I can send it on if you want, which you know you do…)   I just wrote a piece for a New York-based magazine called Ghost about hunting Burmese python in Florida’s Everglades, as I’m living in Miami right now with my boss, a very successful, very Italian true crime writer who has Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  My duties for him are numerous: edit, take dictation, research, act as surrogate child for him and wife, feed and clothe and operate ventilator as needed, boost ego every 1-3 seconds, and answer phone in case one of his pals, most of whom acted on The Sopranos, calls (art imitating life imitating…)   Imagine Tuesdays with Morrie if Morrie were a wannabe mafioso.  Actually, BA suggested the title of my book about this experience be Tuesdays with Fucking Morrie, but we’re both assuming Mitch Albom would sue.  For her part, Becca has been nurturing the the souls of tomorrow teaching nursery school up at our alma mater and writing a column about love and relationships (yes, like Sex and the City, sans the insipid questions.)  She’s beginning work on her PhD in clinical psychology in the fall and wants the chance to scribble down all the short stories that have been brewing inside her brain before she has to turn her attention to papers and theses.  She can think of no place better to write without limits than in the city that most inspires her, in a place whose very foundation is inspiration.

The point: we desperately want to come stay at Shakespeare and Company.  We will sleep in any of the little beds in the shop, and in fact, will only take up one as a pair.  Consider us one blond sprite, not two.  We are both very small and nimble and willing to work late hours pouring hot tea for thirsty bards or ringing up purchases made by silly American college students who remind us of what we used to be, once upon a time.  We will pray to the texts originally owned by Sartre and de Beauvoir, and cry tears of literary joy by the banks of the Seine at night.  We will be oh-so-grateful to add this to our poetic resumes (between “hunted for twenty foot snakes in swamps in the name of narrative” and “fell in love doing the Proust Questionnaire in the wee hours.”)  We are lucky to have sampled once from the movable feast while we were young, but I hate to say it: we’re still hungry.

So…will you have us?  And if so, when can we come?  We can be ready at the drop of a pillbox hat.

Regardless of the answer…

Nous t’aimons,

ID and BA

PS If it would increase our chance of being welcomed, we’d be happy to print out this note, soak it in tea bags to give it that antiquated look, spritz it with perfume (Guerlain?  Chanel?) and deliver it by mail.

I Know What I Want to Do

April 10, 2010

I want to be Karl Lagerfeld’s errand girl…

Yeesh

April 8, 2010

It is said that when Buddha’s son Rahula was born, the sage muttered, “Rāhu jāto, bandhanam jātam,” which means, “A rahu is born, a fetter has arisen,” thus naming his child the equivalent of “fetter” or “chain.”

A Question I’ve Asked Many Times But Never Had Answered

April 6, 2010

How long do you have to spend in one place to say that you have “lived” there?  Is it different for each town, metropolis, mountaintop?  Or is there a standard?  “Three months.”

Thank You, HA!

April 1, 2010

For this lovely gift on Whatever Wednesday…