Archive for October, 2012

Fiona Writing Poetry

October 31, 2012

Due to the travels of Super Sandy, I am gloriously shut up in my room like a voluntary Anne Frank.  In this time, I have been writing and blogging all the random shit I had planned on making good on for months now.  Here, below, is the full poem that served as the title for Fiona Apple’s second album, which is most often referred to in shorthand as “When the Pawn…”


When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king

What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight

And he’ll win the whole thing ‘fore he enters the ring

There’s no body to batter when your mind is your might

So when you go solo, you hold your own hand

And remember that depth is the greatest of heights

And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land

And if you fall it won’t matter, cuz you’ll know that you’re right

Is it Haughty To Say She Reminds Me of Myself?

October 30, 2012

Eudora Welty, at 23, asking The New Yorker if she can work for them. Thanks, Letters of Note.

March 15, 1933


I suppose you’d be more interested in even a sleight-o’-hand trick than you’d be in an application for a position with your magazine, but as usual you can’t have the thing you want most.

I am 23 years old, six weeks on the loose in N.Y. However, I was a New Yorker for a whole year in 1930-31 while attending advertising classes in Columbia’s School of Business. Actually I am a southerner, from Mississippi, the nation’s most backward state. Ramifications include Walter H. Page, who, unluckily for me, is no longer connected with Doubleday-Page, which is no longer Doubleday-Page, even. I have a B.A. (’29) from the University of Wisconsin, where I majored in English without a care in the world. For the last eighteen months I was languishing in my own office in a radio station in Jackson, Miss., writing continuities, dramas, mule feed advertisements, santa claus talks, and life insurance playlets; now I have given that up.

As to what I might do for you — I have seen an untoward amount of picture galleries and 15¢ movies lately, and could review them with my old prosperous detachment, I think; in fact, I recently coined a general word for Matisse’s pictures after seeing his latest at the Marie Harriman: concubineapple. That shows you how my mind works — quick, and away from the point. I read simply voraciously, and can drum up an opinion afterwards.

Since I have bought an India print, and a large number of phonograph records from a Mr. Nussbaum who picks them up, and a Cezanne Bathers one inch long (that shows you I read e. e. cummings I hope), I am anxious to have an apartment, not to mention a small portable phonograph. How I would like to work for you! A little paragraph each morning — a little paragraph each night, if you can’t hire me from daylight to dark, although I would work like a slave. I can also draw like Mr. Thurber, in case he goes off the deep end. I have studied flower painting.

There is no telling where I may apply, if you turn me down; I realize this will not phase [sic] you, but consider my other alternative: the U of N.C. offers for $12.00 to let me dance in Vachel Lindsay’s Congo. I congo on. I rest my case, repeating that I am a hard worker.

Truly yours,

Eudora Welty

New York Magazine Article “Is Everyone on the Autism Spectrum?”

October 29, 2012

Summarized: Yes.

Find here.

Upon Hearing of the Website “Idealist.Org”

October 29, 2012

NG: i very nearly said something to the effect that i had no ideals and was there a job site called “cynic”?

Carl Aubock

October 28, 2012

A few days ago, the Times Magazine ran a little piece about a book forthcoming on Carl Aubock, the Viennese designer.  Shamefully, this was the first I had ever heard of Aubock, but now I am coveting all the wee oddities he’s fashioned over the years.  Below, a selection of random pieces of his you can snap up online.

Paperweights, on 1stdibs.

Foot keychain, on Ebay.

Feather tray, via Original Berlin.

A New Book, Thank Goodness

October 27, 2012

“Of course, the survival instinct is the most vulgar of all human instincts.  And naturally, like Jesus, I felt a greater pull to crucifixion.  But where I was going to find Judeans ready to condemn me and witness my martyrdom with the appropriate gusto?  And there can be no martyrdom without an audience.  Which is why, in the end, I chose to go shopping instead.”

~ Viola di Grado, 70% Acrylic, 30% Wool

Melissa Broder

October 26, 2012

I saw Melissa Broder read her poetry at apex art space in Tribeca last year and was instantly in love.  Cute as a shiny new button, Broder read her poems with a twinkle in her eye and a lilt in her voice, and after reading the dark gems below, perhaps you’ll see why that might be compelling.



A lamp powered by blood is called

a miracle and a legend

powered by blood is called a church.

I am not against anything

not even infinity I

just don’t want to be made to watch.

My consort’s head is burning hot

so I take it off. This is not

how compassion works but it works.

What of next? Next the headless man

and I go dancing on a death

til we’re dumb dumb dumb and blonde blonde.

Oh how I love a dumb blonde neck.

No universe tells it to stop

and put an apple in its mouth.



Gold Lipstick and the End of Summer

Who knows what old ladies are?

They want their copies back

Some cannot recall past lives

This must be satisfying

I must be lazy

I can barely grow old

I am hiding in the bottom drawer

All my girls are there


Aloha girls

Road-stained warrior trucking girls

Ski holiday village girls

Girls with forks of fat

Saintly girls on rosary hum

Disco marigolds

Gingerbread goodie-goodies

Little punk rabbits.




October 25, 2012

Ain’t nothing I love more than simple, obvious advice.  Here are some pieces of wisdom from Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, which he sends in response to queries sent to him via text.  Aviner is considered one of the spiritual leaders of the religious Zionist movement.  (Not all his answers are so brief and wise, be warned!):

Soldier on Train

Q: Is it permissible for a soldier to ride the train for free (in Israel) when he is not wearing his uniform?  I did and the inspector warned me that it is forbidden and the next time I must be wearing my uniform.

A: You already received an answer.

Overcoming One’s evil inclination

Q: How great is the reward for someone who overcomes his evil inclination?

A: Very, very great.

Tooth that Fell Out

Q: What should one do with a tooth that fell out?

A: As you wish (See Rashbam on Berachot 5b.  Shut Yabia Omer vol. 3 Yoreh Deah 321.  Shut Tzitz Eliezer 10:5 #8).

War with Iran

Q: I saw quotes from the Zohar that Persia will rule over us and many will be killed.  What should we do?

A: It has nothing to do with our circumstances.  No need to be concerned.

Arab Insults

Q: What should I do if an Arab insults me?

A: Ignore it.

Umbilical Cord

Q: What should be done with the remains of the umbilical cord when it falls off the baby’s belly button?

A: Throw it in the garbage.

Wedding Dress

Q: Is it permissible for a bride to wear a cream-colored wedding dress instead of a white dress?

A: Yes.

Telephone Call in Restroom

Q: Is it permissible to answer an urgent cell phone call in the restroom?

A: Yes, but not while using the restroom.  Piskei Teshuvot 3:3.

Maybe I Can Find Better?

Q: I have been dating a young woman for a long time.  It is going well and we have decided to get married.  But I ask myself: maybe I can find better?

A: No, she is the one. Believe in Divine Providence.


Q: Is it permissible to take Ritalin on Shabbat?

A: Yes, if it is needed for a person to function properly.


Q: Should one not to have an epidural during childbirth in order to “experience” the birth?

A: If a woman is suffering she should certainly have one, and even with it, she will experience the birth.

Okay Now You’re Just Blatantly Stealing

October 24, 2012

skinny house!

So when I heard that a Polish architect had volunteered to build a really skinny house in an alleyway for Israeli writer Etgar Keret, I of course immediately jumped on that shit.  Below is an email I sent to his publicist over a year ago:

Dear AD,

Apologies if you’re the wrong person to reach out to about this (I also emailed Ofer Ziv.)  I’m a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn, New York, and a longtime fan of Etgar Keret’s work.  A colleague sent me a link to this story about the “Keret House” that is being constructed in Warsaw.

I’m wondering if, first of all, Mr. Keret is still planning to participate in the project (is he going to live in this slip of a thing?!) and also if he does still want to invite writers and creators into the space when he occupies it.  I think it would make a fantastic story,kind of a no-brainer On Location piece in Home and Gardens section of the Times, though maybe there are already scribes lined up to cover it.

Your response is greatly appreciated!  Hope you are well and having a lovely week.

And lo and behold, what is the “On Location” article this week in the Times?  You guessed it.

Riddle Me This

October 23, 2012

Why, if Netflix knows what I’ve recently watched, what categories of movies I may like (“gritty”) and also where I left off in the most recent TV show I had playing, do they continuously ask me to do things like rate Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never?

I just don’t understand this little box Netflix always displays on its homepage.  What’s the marketing reason behind this?  (Everything is a marketing ploy.)  They tell me to rate what I’ve seen to discover suggestions for me, but then right beneath it, they let me choose “haven’t seen it.”  Why are you trying to trick me, Flix?  I know what I’ve seen.

Technology is up to something –– and I’m thinking it’s no good.