Archive for March, 2013

Tender Buttons

March 28, 2013

I was just telling my beloved that I find my ability to get jealous of other people’s ideas quite unnerving.  It’s not like there is a limited number of good ideas in the world, or that I have never had a good idea myself (PUH-LEASE) and yet still, when I see other people cracking great stories or doing excellent projects, I bristle and think, “Stupid me, why didn’t I think of that?!”

This goes too for the new edition of Tender Buttons, illustrated by Lisa Congdon.  My jealousy is doubly meaningless here because I am not an illustrator.  But when you look at the wonderfully whimsical drawings below, can you blame me for envying her talent and idea?



Although come to think of it, I do have a pretty good idea involving this book.  Admittedly, when I was in college and read TB in a graduate school seminar, I was a bit befuddled by it.  I was trying to find the meaning behind the words, not allowing the prose itself –– the rhythm of it, the feel of it in your mouth –– to give me pleasure.  One day, a fellow student said a friend of hers had given the book to her six-year-old daughter, and that the girl had read it with great delight, and she realized that perhaps the best way to read the text was as a child would.  It was a lightbulb moment for me, and has made me want to re-read the book ever since, which I have yet to do (someone buy me the Congdon version?)  I’m thinking maybe there should be an audiobook of TB read entirely by kids under the age of ten.  Imagine this in a kindergartener’s voice:


A season in yellow sold extra strings makes lying places.


The sudden spoon is the same in no size. The sudden spoon is the wound in the decision.


Coloring high means that the strange reason is in front not more in front behind. Not more in front in peace of the dot.


A light white, a disgrace, an ink spot, a rosy charm.


A star glide, a single frantic sullenness, a single financial grass greediness.

Object that is in wood. Hold the pine, hold the dark, hold in the rush, make the bottom.

A piece of crystal. A change, in a change that is remarkable there is no reason to say that there was a time.

A woolen object gilded. A country climb is the best disgrace, a couple of practices any of them in order is so left.


A pleasant simple habitual and tyrannical and authorised and educated and resumed and articulate separation. This is not tardy.

Auditions will be held this summer.  Reach out if you’d like to pimp out your child for this.



All this invocation of the word “tender,” by the way, has made me reflect lovingly on the Disney cartoon Recess, in which the kids use “tender” as a synonym for “awesome.”  Great idea: spread this habit.

Mantras for Nervous Writers

March 27, 2013

If Naomi Wolf can get through Vagina, you can get through this.

Emails from Friends

March 26, 2013

From: AW

To: KM, ID

Subject: C Word

You know who seems to be an out of touch contemptuous cunt?  Gwyneth Paltrow.

The end.

This is weird to say in an email with the c word in it but my grandmother died on Monday.


March 25, 2013

The best looking bar in the world, two posts below, is located in Portland, Oregon!  It’s actually a creperie as well as a bar!  Must. visit.


March 25, 2013


I can’t find another mention of this portmanteau out there although a) I’ve been using it for at least a year,  b) I’m sure that the good folks over Vulture have written about it at least once and c) there is a blog called Hipster or Hasid? and they, at some point, should have figured out there is such a thing as a creature who is BOTH a hipster AND a hasid.  World, greet the HIPSID:

h/t –– what else? ––

h/t –– what else? ––

Usually Hipsids are Lubavitchers, but there might be a rebellious Satmar or two out there who wear a sleek little fedora and a blazer instead of a kaften.  If you live in Park Slope, Crown Heights or Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, this term should come in especially handy.  If you live pretty much anywhere else, you’ll be lucky to use it twice in your whole life.  Hipsids like:

1. Bulletproof Stockings

2. Colorful sneakers

3. Basil restaurant in Crown Heights

4. Tweeting the parsha

5. Jewcy

6. The Yiddish Farm program

7. The Hester

8. Biking

9. Prospect Park

10. Nebbishy plastic eyewear

Shout out to the lovely Elke Reva Sudin, whose painting series, “Hipsters and Hassids,” inspired us all to think about the way these groups interact and overlap.

On that note, everyone have a chag kosher v’sameach!

Terrible Insomnia

March 24, 2013

Wish I could be at last call at this little joint.

Le Happy, where are you!?

Le Happy, where are you!?

I Am Moving to Vermont

March 22, 2013

Last September, about 60 Vermonters met in the chambers of the house of representatives in Montpelier to celebrate the state’s “independence spirit” and to discuss the goals of “environmental sustainability, economic justice, and Vermont self–determination.” The speaker of the house had given up the space free of charge for the one-day conference. First at the podium was a  Princeton-educated yak farmer and professor of journalism named Rob Williams, one of the organizers of the event, who at 9 A.M. opened the proceedings by acknowledging what he called “some unpleasant and hard truths.” Amid the twin global crises of peak oil and climate change, the United States was “an out-of-control empire.” It was “unresponsive to the needs, concerns, and desires of ordinary citizens.”

Williams, who wore a T-shirt that said “U.S. Out of Vermont,” did not advocate revolution. He was looking for a divorce. He wanted Vermont to secede. “Nonviolent secession,” he said, “the detaching from empire and exercising our rights to independence, a deeply American right first expressed in the Declaration of Independence, is a right that demands re-exploration today.” Williams noted that Vermont is one of only three states, along with Texas and Hawaii, that ever existed as an independent republic—in Vermont’s case, from 1777 to 1791—and that as “a national leader on progressive political issues,” the state was “uniquely poised to lead this national conversation on self-determination.”

The murmuring response from the crowd suggested they’d heard it before. Williams and his fellow travelers—who constituted not quite a movement, he said, but more “a network of critical observers”—had been calling for separation from the U.S. since 2003. They had gathered in the ornate rooms of the state house to spread the word in 2005 and again in 2008 and now in 2012. Vermont had not yet separated, but the secessionists who were calling for a “Second Vermont Republic” had gained notoriety, and some small influence, across the state.

The conference’s attendees included an ecofeminist named Lierre Keith, co-author of Deep Green Resistance, who reported that “capitalism is literally insane” and urged the collapse of industrial civilization; a man in a kaffiyeh who enthused over a recent story about a rural Vermonter who, faced with police harassment over his use of marijuana, mounted his tractor, drove into town, and crushed seven sheriff’s cruisers under the treads of the behemoth machine; a musician who sang a tune called “Totalitarian Democracy”; a thespian garbed in 18th-century blouse and boots and cravat who re-enacted Ethan Allen, the farmer-soldier who led Vermont’s war of secession against New York in 1777; and a troupe of female dancers from the radical Bread and Puppet Theater, dressed all in white, who chanted a series of poems about “upriser calisthenics.”


–– From an article in American Prospect entitled “U.S. Out of Vermont!”

What Happens When You Try to Gchat With Your Friend Who Just Had a Baby

March 20, 2013
ID: how does it feel to be on the G?
MH: harried!

ID: ha
as in, people are chatting you a lot?
or like, you need to get off?
MH: gg!


March 20, 2013

I got at my work email a rather spammy sounding email from a publishing company advertising a new work by a man named Mikhail Armalinsky.  No other information is required.

M. Armalinsky was born in Leningrad, USSR in 1947 and resides in Minneapolis, USA since 1977.
He is called the King of Russian Erotic Literature.
Mikhail Armalinsky is not just another talented Russian author, but the revolutionary profit of erotic religion. No Russian author reached the depths of human sexual mentality as Armalinsky did.

His new book has just came out in Moscow

by Mikhail Armalinsky
Short stories and essays. (in Russian)
Ladomir Publisher, Moscow, 2012
528 p., hard cover
ISBN 978-5-86218-503-4
The book comprise Armalinsky’s short stories and essays written from 1999 to 2010 that have originally appeared in his blog General Erotic (GE). Includes his controversial works like:
Einstein as a Fucker and I as Einstein,
Ideal Rape
The Benefit of Sexual Pleasure for Children and others.

Armalinsky is also the publisher of Russian authors of erotic literature
He is the editor of the following collections:
Children’s Erotic Folklore
Russian Shameless Proverbs and Sayings
The First Almanac of Russian Erotic Literature “Copulation”

Armalinsky has translated and published first complete Russian edition of “Philosophy in the Bedroom” by Marquis de Sade.

Since 1999 Armalinsky publishes General Erotic Literary Magazine (in Russian) on Internet
The New York’ Museum of Sex has acquired genital flag by Mikhail Armalinsky. The title of that symbolic art piece is “United State.”
In 1989 “United State” flag made the cover of “Screw Magazine”.

You are welcome to read the translation from Russian of Mikhail Armalinsky’s essay on prostitution “A She-Savior” that was published in Moscow edition of his Selected Works. The translation is made by the prominent Slavic scholar Dr. Brian Baer.

The main idea of the essay “A She-Savior” is that the legalization of prostitution must be based on a return of its divine, sacred character, so that prostitution will be considered the most honorable profession, the one closest to God, the holiest.

Here are the chapters:

A Short History of Prostitution
A Comprehensive Definition of the Prostitute
Why Young Men Need Prostitutes
Why the Lonely Need Prostitutes
Why Married Men Need Prostitutes
Why the Poor Need Prostitutes
Why Old Men Need Prostitutes
Why the Sick and Deformed Need Prostitutes
Why Every Man Needs a Prostitute
The Prostitute and the “Proper” Woman
The Causes and Incentives of Prostitution
Hatred of Prostitutes
The Future of Prostitution

I would be happy to provide you with more information.

A Tweet

March 20, 2013

Lena Dunham looks like Jackie from the 7-Up series at 14 years old.