Dec 28, 2006

Here are all my upcoming book tour dates planned right now, in all their unearthly glory. It looks like I shall very likely be making sojourns into Iowa and Arizona as well, and I am especially excited about very very possssibly flying into Phoenix to do a reading at my friend Amy's lovely gallery with Jerry Stahl some time in the spring.. !! Also, Boston and Baltimore, I think... !

Saturday, January 14, 2007 – San Francisco, CA
4:30 p.m., reading, talk & Q&A, with performances by Victorian clown Dizzy Decimal and friends
Cody’s Stockton Street
2 Stockton at Market

Monday, January 15, 2007 - Portland, OR
8 p.m., reading, with performances by juggler extraordinaire Rhys Thomas, wandering burlesque chanteuse Veronique Chevalier, Lana Guerra's Power Circus, and several more
Someday Lounge
125 NW 5th Ave

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 – Portland, OR
7:30 p.m., reading & signing
Powell’s Books
1005 W Burnside

Friday, January 19, 2007 – Marshall, TX
Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend
11 a.m. panel on Saturday, "Authors who Have Mastered the Art of Storytelling" HA!

January 26-28, 2007 – Chester, VT
Misty Valley Bookstore’s New Voices 2007 Program
receptions, outings, reading, and signing (with Layne Maheu, Charles Davis, Alex Berenson, Bruce Bauman, and Kris Holloway)

January 28, 2007 — Brattleboro, VT
4:30 p.m., reading with Layne Maheu, trapeze perfomance by Cody Schreger
Nimble Arts Trapeze and Circus School
New England Youth Theater, corner of Flat and Elm Street

Friday, February 23, 2007 – Chicago, IL
7:30 p.m., reading & signing
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.

Dec 27, 2006

The flyer below, which I ingeniously split in half--here it is in its natural glory--is for the amazing night my friends Lana and Noah and their cohorts are putting together around my book for January 15 at Portland's Someday Lounge. !!
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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Dec 26, 2006

I LOVED Volver. I think I might love Almodovar with my whole heart, ever since my mom forced me to watch Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown in high school (she also made us see Blue Velvet, in the theater!) I think I've seen all of his movies in the theater, except Matador, and I can't even evaluate his movies the way I might other people's, I just love entering into his crazy womanly hyper-dramatical world with all those colors and byoootiful songs. Plus everyone always talks so emphatically and is always tearing up or about to throw something! AND: Penelope Cruz in this movie is possibly one of the most gorgeous women I've ever seen. Tomorrow I am going to see Perfume. That amazing book, and the Run Lola Run guy directing!

I am really trying to finish my book this week and over the long weekend. No wild New Year's plans for meee!

Dec 24, 2006

My family and I saw this incredibly intense, gorgeous, erotic musical on Broadway today, Spring Awakening, that my friend Eric has been telling me about for months now. We also had Injun food for lunch and played Canasta all evening. And for dinner, deviled eggs and ham! I can't believe deviled eggs aren't a regular and dramatic part of my daily existence, as they might possibly be the perfect food.

Last night we went to see Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall and I thought I was going to die of boredom. I glamorously whisked myself to the downstairs cafe for the last act and worked on my novel. I would have liked to be swept up in the music and all transported, like the crazy head-bobbing lady in front of me -- bobbing her head and swaying back and forth! -- but alas. I was immune. Even thinking about that hour and twenty minutes of the first act, me sitting there counting down the songs until I could make my escape, gives me a headache. At one point I took out binoculars, thinking they might make everything more interesting, but as I attempted to unlatch the velcro case the man in front of me darted his head back to me in disapproval. I tried to unlatch it more and back his head went. A little while later a man in the same row whispered something to the woman he was with, and the awful woman next to me leaned over and said "SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. BE QUIET!" Them Handel fans are feisty.

Tomorrow my parents and sister are coming to my abode to cook turkey, and after we're seeing Volver.

The end.

Dec 19, 2006

From Publisher's Weekly:

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Also, on Sunday January 28 I will be reading at the Nimble Arts Trapeze and Circus School in Brattleboro, Vermont, with Layne Maheu, who will also be at the Misty Valley New Voices thing with me the couple days before and who wrote this gorgeous gorgeous book Song of the Crow, which is the story of Noah's Ark told from the perspective of a crow. This event will have a trapeze performance, too, so it will be a lovely leetle afternoon about flying and flight. And cider and cupcakes, of course.

Dec 18, 2006

Today I bravely confronted a truly terrifying vegetable that came into my abode via Fresh Direct--not to mention the devil.

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Also: I was afraid that Lou Reed's Berlin at St. Ann's would be flat and a shadow of the album but instead it was one of the best things Ive ever seen, if not the best thing. I wept through the entire thing. Just imagine that whole album, that album that starts in hopefulness and rapture and goes through all this harrowing loss and disillusionment and devastation, live with Lou Reed AT HIS BEST and a full choir and an orchestra and this gorgeous set designed by Julian Schnabel, all glimmering and golden, and a huge screen behind Lou Reed projecting all these nostalgic haunting images, this beautiful woman, this child running around in wings, all sort of dark, images from memory or dream.. It was so intense. I kept feeling chills and shivers move through me and I cant remember ever sitting through anything where I was openly weeping. My friend Pete cried a lot, too. I dont know how anyone could not. Julian Schnabel introduced the show and called Berlin the most romantic album ever made; I love that.

Then, after the Berlin album, there was this tiny break and then the band came back and did three more songs. It seemed extraneous at first, like how could anything be as good as what we'd just seen? But then he did a gorgeous, soft version of "Sweet Jane," and THEN he had Antony (who had been sitting there singing back up the whole time) sing "Candy Says" and MY GOD that boy's voice is not of this world. Ive never heard anything like it. Like a ghost or an angel. And then Lou Reed started singing WITH him, moving in and out of his voice, and to hear a voice as brittle as Lou Reed's against Antony's crazy angelic voice was just so beautiful. I left feeling totally wrecked and exhilarated. I can't even believe I almost missed it.

I also saw a reading of my friend David's play on Friday at the Public Theater, with Joi and Eric, and it was pretty stunning, the whole story of Jerry Siegel and Superman and the Holocaust. I had read the play and marked it up the week before, so it was so cool to see how it actually came off in a reading, with some things working way better than I would have thought, and some things way worse. Overall, it was really smart and engaging and hilarious and sad. David's one of those writers who can make you laugh and break your heart at the same time. It makes me think of this quote I love from the director Faith Akin, who did the amazing Gegen Die Wand:

Germans try to categorize films: in a comedy, you just laugh and in a drama, you're not allowed to laugh. I don't believe in that, sometimes we laugh and cry in the same hour. It's dangerous when you have a drama and you put humor in it. I think it's the opposite, the funnier it is in the beginning of such a story, the more dramatic it can become. Because when an audience is laughing, that's opening their souls somehow, and when you have an audience with an open soul, it's much better to hit them with a knife.

Dec 14, 2006

From my friend David Bar Katz. Ha!

"What Philip Roth did for liver in Portnoy's Complaint, Carolyn Turgeon does for the circus, and then some!"
Oh and yesterday, at the very last minute, I decided to put an ad in Bust, since it is the best magazine ever and I want all the smart girls to read my book and then one leeeeetle space just opened up, so my friend Bonnie put it together last night and I sent it in this morn and taint it loooovvvvely:

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I also just noticed that you may, oddly, buy my book along with a TOM WAITS CD COLLECTION for 61 dolla on Amazon. I mean, really. I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF A BETTER BARGAIN THAN THAT.
So yesterday eve I met my friend Eric and his dashing boyfriend Shax and his sparkling, brilliant parents at the newly reopened Russian Tea Room, which is my new favorite place--very old school and glittery and dark with big red booths and very large gold birds everywhere that seem to swoop down onto the tables. And weird displays with pinecones as big as two hands and Christmas-ornament-covered chandeliers. And clocks! Big weird old-timey clocks that you want to stick in your pocket. Eric gew up going there, and I am very jealous. The magical place from my childhood was the Traildust Steakhouse in Dallas, with a salt-covered dance floor and a slide right in the middle of it and cut-off ties lining the walls. Which is slightly less glamorous. I now secretly resent Eric for putting on suit jackets and eating Chicken Kiev while I was doing the cotton-eyed joe; I mean, he's out of a Judy Blume book! I was so jealous reading about those New Yorkly kids hanging out in Central Park and being named after candy. And eating Chicken Kiev! Which is of course what I ordered. It was put back on the menu by popular request. You cut into it and all kinds of untoward liquids ooze onto your plate, not to mention your heart. And I do not have the linguistic repertoire to describe the loveliness of the Borscht, or the clear masculine diamond-y Russian Margarita I drank. I normally only like red wine or foofy drinks that come with umbrellas in them, but this drink I had a secret affair with and might possibly see again. Anyway, it was all very delightful, even HANDSOME. The kind of place that is handsome, like a regal older woman with her hair in a bun.

Tomorrow night I am going to meet Joi to see a reading of my friend's play about the creator of Superman, at the Public, and before that stop by to see Ms. Molly Crabapple read. Look!

Oh and my friend Eric got me tickets for Lou Reed's Berlin on Saturday night and I'm going with my old friend Pete, who was one of those way cool older guys in my town who gave me mix tapes when I was a teenager with the Clash and the Jam on them, so he's sort of the perfect person to go to this with. Berlin has been my favorite album, I think, since back then. Unfortunately, "back then" seems like a VERY VERY LONG TIME AGO.

Dec 12, 2006

Here is an essay I wrote for

I also meant to mention that I read Jenny Pollack's Klepto last week. Jenny is in the workshop I've been in for over 4 years, with the inimitable Jennifer Belle, tho she goes a different day of the week so I only saw this book in glimpses. Still, it was very cool to see the finished thing and I couldn't put it down! A really fun read, very funny and quick and glimmery. And the book itself is so adorable you want to eat it! Or stick it in a bowl in the front hallway.
Right now I am reading The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter, which is so gorgeous and whacked out, just stunning and loony and weird and dreamy. I mean: "Such a round moon. Trees laden to the plimsoll-line with a dreaming cargo of birds. The dewy grass licked her feet like the wet tongues of small, friendly beasts; the grass seemed longer and more clinging than during the day. Her dress trailed behind her; she left a glinting track in her wake. The still air was miraculously clear. Shadowed objects--a branch, a flower, stood out with dark precision, as if seen through water. She walked on slow, slient feet through the subaquaneous night. She breathed tremulously through her mouth, tasting black wine."


While I'm at it, I should mention that this is one of my favorite books--extremely dark and hollow and vicious and amazing--and possibly my favorite book cover ever:

Dec 11, 2006

I am very sad because I haven't been paying a whole lot of attention to things that are happening, and now I open my damn New York magazine to see that a stage production of Lou Reed's Berlin, WHICH MIGHT BE THE BEST ALBUM EVER, is on this weekend at St. Ann's Warehouse and now it is tooooo late and there is no way to fix it, not ever. Tho I will admit that I have not enjoyed Lou Reed in concert. But to see "The Bed," live, in that weird space!

I did see the new David Hare play last week, Vertical Hour. Julianne Moore is so amazing in movies, but not on stage. It was like seeing Juliette Binoche a few years ago--she was so bland without a camera right up on her simmery, franchy face.! Bill Nighy was very charming tho, but the play was just weak, characters spouting not-very-interesting ideas in completely unbelievable dialogue that makes you wonder why the playwright didn't just write a (boring) essay. I think I just put myself to sleep writing about it, in fact.

MUCH more lovely and enjoyable was going to Molly Crabapple's reading at Bluestockings on Friday night. The Dr. Sketchy's Rainy Day Colouring Book is big and fat and full of wonders, and Molly read beautifully, and when the model began a-modelling, I gamely drew her many times in bright crayon even tho it looked like many tropical birds had died on my paper. I soldiered on, however, and even held up my drawings after in hopes of winning a free book. Unfortunately, Eric cheated by drawing effortlessly and artistically and cruelly stole the prize from me. I think Joi was in on it as well, but I can't prove it. Yet.

I also went to my first baby shower, at my sister's apartment, with many many girls and balloons, and then after, exhausted, my sister and I ordered in food and watched Being Julia and In the Cut. I will admit that I love the movie In the Cut, which I saw in the theater. I love Jane Campion, I think Mark Ruffalo is unbelievably sexy and am in denial about his real-life (short) stature, and I even love Meg Ryan in the movie, tho until I saw her in it I thought she was the anti-Dietrich and sort of everything that is wrong with the world today. I do not like Jennifer Jason Leigh in it, however, as I don't like her in anything, ever. I saw her in Proof a few years ago on Broadway and my ears are still ringing.

In other news, I have been on a huge health kick and cooking much more than usual. Sadly, I have killed many undeserving vegetables in the process. I keep putting artichokes or brussel sprouts in pans and only remembering them when a terrible smell of smoke and death has invaded my apartment. I think there is some evil force field around the doorway of my kitchen that makes me forget everything the moment I step past it, but I am determined to defeat it with my latent superhero powers.

Dec 2, 2006

Today I have locked myself in my apartment Rapunzel style to write, my hair hanging and gleaming out the window should someone wish to climb up it and rescue me, but unfortunately my main accomplishments thus far seem to be watching a few episodes of my favorite show LAW AND ORDER: SVU and listening to Devotchka, which might possibly be the best band in the world, excluding those that are better. I think I have listened to them every day since Lana played the CD whilst styling my tumbling tresses last May. When I got the "How It Ends" album, I think I played the hearrrtt-wrenching song "Dearly Departed" about 500000 times in a row, crying in Garbo-esque manner. And the Devotchka show I saw this summer in the Spiegeltent was amazing--like a Lorca poem, but one that walks around and plays the accordion and tuba! The lead singer wore ruffled shirt and full suit and held a bottle of red wine in one hand and a tambourine in the other. Everyone was stomping on the wooden floors and I kept thinking we were going to fall through, but that it would be worth it.. I have also been listening a lot to Domenico Scarlatti sonatas; I think I read many moons ago that he spent years teaching a Spanish princess to play the harpsichord, I think Paul West talked about it and made the word "Scarlatti" sound so enticing that I bought a CD and used to listen to it all the time, then forgot about it until last week. The music is so delicate and melancholic, sort of dizzying.

Just now, while I was writing this, my friend Mark called from Philly to say he and his wife Jen cannot come up today as they'd planned because he has to finish sheetrocking his hallway. Now, have you ever heard a lamer excuse? I told him I was going to mention it here, and he asked if I was going to begin using this blog for passive aggressive purposes.

Of course!, I said. What other ones are there?