Sep 29, 2007

My goodness. I have never put a crying baby to sleep before, but tonight, since I am writing anyway -- and this is my last free weekend until December! -- I am watching Aoife so that Tink and Joe can be out on a date. But just now she cried and cried when I put her down and I found myself singing all kinds of ridiculous songs to her until she went to sleep.

I never sing, so I am very impressed with myself.

Sep 28, 2007

My friend Massie has a brand new jewelry business, Hera Mostest, which will soon have a glorious website. I am her first customer and last night she gave me my first order. I am quiiite besotted and smitten. Look!

An extremely Wonder Woman esque bracelet plus earrings with birds in them.

PLUS a medallion necklace with swallows swooping down, and a necklace with a locket that contains many many mysterious things. And possibly weapons.

Here you can see the bird earrings better. The locket has the same star on it that the bracelet has, thus doubling my Wonder Woman powers.

Normally I am crying and spitting. This jewelry made me smile and laugh and say things like "Good morning!" to perfect strangers.

I got many other necklaces and earrings too, including ones with large beetles on them. You may also admire my new 5 inches shorter hairdo magnanimously granted to me by LANA. 

Massie and I also spent many hours writing yesterday eve at the SOY LUCK CLUB and I am extremely extremely excited as I came up with a whole new series of chapter books for kids and I love it and I don't want to work on anything else. There is even a very evil German movie star named Marlene Harlow, who bakes very evil strudels.

Sep 16, 2007

Oh, AND on my way homefrom LaGuardia today I stopped by Rob and Bonnie's because Mark and Jen had stopped by on their way back to Philly from Montauk with their new baby ANNA, who has guilt tripped me for weeeeeeks about coming to see her.

Just get a gander at this vixen:

And now some food for thought:

The end.
Ok so I really really loved Omaha.

I got in Friday morning and the wondrous and generous artist Wanda Ewing picked me up from the airport and spent the whole day showing me the town.

We looked at thought provoking art:

And we went to this amazing huge collectibles place where I bought the best and klassiest cake holder ever even tho I don't bake or eat cake. It was so cold in Omaha I had to borrow a sweater from Wanda, which you'll notice is not unstrawberrylike in and of itself. Coincidence?

There were many nightmare-inducing dolls and mannequins at said collectibles place, as it happens. I think I saw their eyes evilly following me as I elegantly glided past:

Somehow we made it out alive, and were able to admire all the cool old brick warehouses in Omaha with words in white paint on the sides and tiny glittery windows. This one is being converted into a museum (a museum of his OWN WORK) by the big Japenese ceramics artist who lives in Omaha but I forget his name. I am going to start planning the Carolyn Turgeon museum this very night, by the way.

I especially appreciated Omaha's cool old warehouse buildings when scads of nearly naked boys were running past in bright neon lime green shorts for no apparent reason. How can you not love this place?

I also deeply appreciated sights like this one: old fashioned painted words referring to fruits and vegetables, positioned smashingly and quaintly next to lovely flower shops:

Anyway, we had lunch at a restaurant with very exotic fare:

Here is my new best friend Wanda, who has very good taste in rings and also seems to have an angel (or devil?) on her shoulder as she waits for her lamburger. I also ordered a lamburger. Mmmm.

Later, we ended up in the coolest bar ever, where the walls are lined with bottles. How cool is this bar! They also serve food like roasted chicken, and sell things like jams and olives.

I was so overcome with joy and amazement at my new favorite bar that I sat for many long minutes plotting my inevitable move to Nebraska.

In the midst of my Machiavellian scheming, in wandered Timothy Schaffert, authors in tow, clearly shirking his duties as founder and host of the downtown Omaha Litfest in a most objectionable yet impressive manner.

A group of us drank wine and ate cheese and behaved in a generally booze-loving, literary, duty-shirking fashione, which is what all behavior should be like, really.

Then we were off to Naked Lunch at this cool theater that had been playing Double Indemnity the night before, and the movie was followed by a panel on authors in the movies. As discussed earlier, this involved much trauma to the delicate eyeballs (and heart) of yours truly.

The next day, Wanda and I ate at this awesome rundown diner and the whisked ourselves to the festival, where yours (even more) truly spoke so profoundly and alluringly on three separate panels about living on the edge, fairytales, and fashion that I am quite sure that many lives were changed and are changing still as a result.

Oh I forgot to mention that yesterday was SO COLD and wintry that Wanda loaned me not a red sweater, but a full on leopard print CAPE, which I modelled in a very fashionable and nonchalant manner in her driveway:

Exhausted from an afternoon of the highest literary profundity -- not to mention one truly awesome poem by a Portland poetess about sitting on Kyle MacLaclan's face and one truly awesome story by a Brooklyn novelist about the complete fulfillment one experiences when sleeping with two mens at once, oooolalala! -- I went with Ron Hogan, my new best friend Andrea Portes, and my other new best friend Alice Kim to a fancy steak place where we had much red wine and filet and creamed spinach and my god even potatoes au gratin. It WAS the Midwest!

After was a party and some performances. Andrea, Alice and I bonded in a most girllike manner and even at one point all held hands and wished each other spectacular futures. I ended up with Alice at this great, vast warehouse bar place that reminded me of the Someday Lounge in Portland, and we just talked there and then at her amazing house for many hours, about New York and Omaha and soup and baking and writing and everything else girls talk about when they're trying to shape their lives as beautifully as they can. Then I went back to Wanda's, slept for 50 minutes, and went off on an early morning flight back to New York. Wanda actually got up and drove me to the airport at 5am, because that's how awesome things are in my new favorite place and future home Omaha, Nebraska. The end.

Sep 15, 2007

So for the fairytale panel I am on today I was trying to remember what my favorite fairytales are, since that's one of the questions, and all I could think of was a mash of feelings and images but nothing specific enough, and then I remembered a book that made a huge, gorgeous impression on me when I was young but that I had forgotten about entirely. The fairy tales of Oscar Wilde, which are so unbelievably beautiful and so enormously sad. It's one of those books that's so strange to look back on because you know it's had such an impact on how you see the world, and who you are, and I can't believe I had forgotten it! I think one of the questions on the panel is how the stories we hear as children shape us. I don't have any idea how to answer a question like that! I feel like the stories I heard as a child are who I am, and the stories I've heard ever since. I don't know how to think of these things better than that.

Anyway, this is my favorite fairytale: "The Selfish Giant" by Oscar Wilde.
Also: I think that even though I am in a very very cute house owned by a very lovely artist and even though I'm going to sleep across from a fireplace in a room filled with gorgeous paintings and off of which a large sunporch juts into a Midwestern lawn, I'm going to have nightmares about cockroaches and I blame my nemesis David Cronenberg.

But still: I do very much love going into the world and falling in love with new places and people and not even David Cronenberg can change that. It's so cool here!!

However, I hate the movie Naked Lunch.

Many fascinating and exotic pictures to come.

Also, it is very cold here and today I bought a cake pan and some glitter birds and have a new favorite bar where the walls are lined with bottles.

Sep 14, 2007

I am really very opposed to 6:30am flights, especially ones that stop in Memphis before heading to Nebraska.

Sep 13, 2007

I feel like posting some of my favorite songs lyrics, as I am wildly generous and full of love for you all. Plus, it is fun.

Seems So Long Ago, Nancy by Leonard Cohen is my favorite song, the most beautiful song I know:

It seems so long ago,
Nancy was alone,
looking at the Late Late show
through a semi-precious stone.
In the House of Honesty
her father was on trial,
in the House of Mystery
there was no one at all,
there was no one at all.
It seems so long ago,
none of us were strong;
Nancy wore green stockings
and she slept with everyone.
She never said she'd wait for us
although she was alone,
I think she fell in love for us
in nineteen sixty one,
in nineteen sixty one.

It seems so long ago,
Nancy was alone,
a forty five beside her head,
an open telephone.
We told her she was beautiful,
we told her she was free
but none of us would meet her in
the House of Mystery,
the House of Mystery.

And now you look around you,
see her everywhere,
many use her body,
many comb her hair.
In the hollow of the night
when you are cold and numb
you hear her talking freely then,
she's happy that you've come,
she's happy that you've come.

Asleep and Dreaming
by the Magnetic Fields is the sweetest:

I've seen you laugh at nothing at all
I've seen you sadly weeping
The sweetest thing I ever saw
Was you asleep and dreaming

Well you may not be beautiful
But it's not for me to judge
I don't know if you're beautiful
Because I love you too much

I've seen you laugh at nothing at all
I've seen you sadly weeping
The sweetest thing I ever saw
Was you asleep and dreaming

I've seen you when your ship came in
And when your train was leaving
The sweetest thing I ever saw
Was you asleep and dreaming

Any Old Wind that Blows
by Johnny Cash the most generous:

Lord, she's restless
Like cotton candy clouds that sail the day
Slow an' free
And she possesses
A mind that can't resign itself to stay
For long with me
Tho' I've tried and tried to keep her tied and satisfied
Until she really needs me
Yes I do
But when that certain look comes on her face
I can't replace it, and she leaves me

She's a butterfly in mid July
Who just can't wait to try her brand new wings
On brand new things
And she needs no rhyme or reason, when she goes
Her mind is on what lies beyond that wall of blue horizon
I suppose
And heaven knows
She'll go sailin' off on any old wind that blows
Yes she will, yes she will
She'll go sailin' off on any old wind that blows

I know she needs me
About as much as I need someone else
Which I don't
And if need be
I swear someday I'll up and leave myself
Which I won't
Even if she loved another man, I'd understand it more than I do
But I know the only reason
That she ever had for leavin', is she wants to

by the Modern Lovers the most romantic:

When you get out of the hospital
Let me back into your life
I can't stand what you do
I'm in love with your eyes

And when you get out of the dating bar
I'll be here to get back into your life
I can't stand what you do
I'm in love with your eyes

I can't stand what you do
Sometimes I can't stand you
It makes me think about me
That I'm involved with you

...But I'm in love with this power that shows through in your eyes

I go to bakeries all day long
There's a lack of sweetness in my life
And there's pain inside
You can see it in my eyes

There is pain inside
You can see it in my eyes
It makes me think about me
That I've lost my pride

...But I'm in love with this power that resides in your eyes

You live in modern apartments
Well I've even got scared once or twice
Last time I walked down your street
There were tears in my eyes

Well now these streets we all know
They help us cry when we're alone late at night
Don't you love them too?
Is that where you got your eyes?

Oh I can't stand what you do
Sometimes I can't stand you
It makes me think about me
How I'm involved with you

...But I'm in love with this power that shows through in your eyes

Your world---it is beautiful
I'll take the subway to your suburb sometimes
I'll seek out the things that must've been magic to you little girl mind

Now as a little girl you must've been magic
I still get jealous of your old boyfriends in the suburbs sometimes
And when I walk down your street
There'll probably be tears in my eyes

(I knew it would happen)

I can't stand what you do
Sometimes I can't stand you
It makes me think about me
That I'm involved with you

...But I'm in love with this power that shows through in your eyes

So when you get out of the hospital
Let me back into your life
I can't stand what you do
But I'm in love with your eyes

These lines from Famous Blue Raincoat by Leonard Cohen I think are the most painful:

And you treated my woman to a flake of your life
And when she came back she was nobodys wife.
Well I see you there with the rose in your teeth
One more thin gypsy thief

Well I see Jane's awake --
She sends her regards.

And what can I tell you my brother, my killer
What can I possibly say?
I guess that I miss you, I guess I forgive you
Im glad you stood in my way.

If you ever come by here, for jane or for me
Your enemy is sleeping, and his woman is free.
Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good so I never tried.

As are these from Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere by Nick Cave:

If I could relive one day of my life
If I could relive just a single one
You on the balcony, my future wife
O who could have known, but no one

And these from Lou Reed's Caroline Says Pt II:

Caroline says
as she gets up from the floor
You can hit me all you want to
but I don't love you anymore

And I think these lines from Malcolm Middleton's Loneliness Shines are smart:

I think I’ve cracked it
We are what we do
We’re made up of actions and there are no rules
But don’t stand on heads to get higher, listen to your angels,
And spread through life like a fire

And I love these lines, from Antony and the Johnson's Hope There's Someone:

Oh I'm scared of the middle place
Between light and nowhere
I don't want to be the one
Left in there, left in there

Sep 12, 2007

Every day I receive in my mailbox a depraved woman writer of the day, courtesy of the downtown Omaha Litfest. Here is today's:

Legend has it that when JFK was assassinated, Jacqueline Susann fell into a depression; when she was told not to take it so hard, she snapped, “Don’t take it so hard?! My book tour’s been cancelled!” But Susann’s success brought her many book tours in her career. After “Valley of the Dolls,” she published “The Love Machine”; for that tour she traveled in a hot-pink plane. (She also typed her novels on a hot-pink IBM Selectric.)

Sep 11, 2007

Alright so since it's September 11th I must relate the weird leetle sequence of events from my morning six years ago. I may have said this before, I forget.

So I had done some freelance work for Fodor's and that morning was meeting the editor girl in Grand Central at 8:30am or so to hand her a disk. Said disk was handed, and then I went cross town to work. I stopped in the Sbarro's on 33rd and 7th to get some scrambled eggs to go. Then I crossed 7th Avenue, hearing a bunch of sirens but ignoring them as one does, and I swear I then passed a sidewalk cart, in front of which a woman was standing who proceeded to yell to me, "Get a free bagel from Robert Urich!!!" I glanced up and there was Robert Urich smiling out of the cart. Traumatized, I hurried up to work in One Penn Plaza, eggs in hand. I go to my desk and write an email to the editor girl, thanking her. I hear some dorky coworkers (I worked at a different place then) start yelling about something in the sky and saying "let's go see if we can see it!" For some reason I thought they were talking about a blimp and I said to myself, WHAT DORKS TO BE SO EXCITED ABOUT A BLIMP. I glanced out the window but didn't see anything, just Madison Square Garden, as always, since we were only on the second floor.

Then the phone calls and talking started and radios started blaring from outside and things went craceeee.

The end.
Some delightful things from yesterday:

1) I saw 2 Days in Paris and I loved it. Totally charming and hilarious and sweet and smart.

2) After a lovely dinner at Gobo, my sister and I wandered into C.O. Bigelow and I was looking at sparkly Nars eyeshadows, drawn like a moth to flaaaaaaame, when the wondrous and fabulous boy at the counter suggested I put the Heart of Glass pale blue shadow on my lids. I recoiled slightly, and glamorously, but he said to trust him and that blue eyes like yours truly's need the pure light of such a resplendent color. I stroked it on and oh my friends, it was like the best makeover moment from all those teen romances I used to read, where the girl turns to the mirror and gasps.

Mine eyes, they are like jewels!

3) I spent three and a half hours drinking pinot noir in the Tribeca Grand Hotel lobby bar with the economist, having the most intense and cool conversatione about our deepest, darkest hearts, our romantic failures and burning ambitiones. It is strange, the people we can recognize ourselves in. At one point he said I would be far richer than him (that was not the soul searching part of the evening) and I said YOU ARE SOME DAMN RIGHT and told him to give me three years. We now have a date to meet in that very same lobby on September 11, 2010, to stun and amaze and bedazzle.

The end.

Sep 10, 2007

Joi is now trying (and failing) to argue that pears are a far superior fruit to the kiwi.

I think this argument is ridiculous and misguided for many reasons.

1) Only nerds love pears.

2) Pears are hard and have stone hearts inside them. Only unemotional people/nerds could love them.

3) Kiwis are soft and lush and glamorously and exuberantly colored. If the kiwi were a starlet it'd be Rita Hayworth.

4) In contrast, pears are a cross between yellow and brown and have weird discolorations on them. If the pear were a.. Oh, I think we all know a pear would never be a starlet, just an old crone.

5) A kiwi looks so helpless and hairy from the outside, but when you cut it open... it is like a jewel!!! A wondrous surprise of a jewel, like a pearl inside an oyster.

6) Pears look ugly on the outside. Oh, and on the inside, too. Yawn.

I leave you with this final pictorial display of a) lush erotic splendor (I almost feel I should put a robe on this fruit!!!), and b) cold virginal austerity. Come on, those pears might as well be wearing nurse's shoes that pad across the floor.



I think I've made my case.
I just ate two extremely sumptuous kiwis.

Now that they are gone, I feel bereft.
Rob and me lying on a hammock

I am very excited to fly to the heart of the heart of the country this weekend for the Downtown Omaha Lit Fest, which is dedicated to depraved women writers and features gorgeous quotes like the following on its website:

“Three possibilities for her,” he thought. “Throw herself into the canal; wind up in the madhouse; or… at long last, plunge into depravity headlong, stupefying the mind and petrifying the heart.”
--Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

It might be my perfect literary festival!! And I might never leave.

These are the panels I will be on:

1 pm
The Devil in Miss Jones: The Panel about Women Writing on the Edge. What possesses women writers to write with such vitriol, to spew such spit and vinegar, to be so utterly… unladylike?
Featuring: Monica Drake, Jessica Kennison, Andrea Portes, Carolyn Turgeon.

2 pm
The Grimm Reality: The Panel about Reinventing the Fairy Tale. Contemporary authors inspired by classical tales. Includes a discussion of the new anthology, Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales.
Featuring: Susan Aizenberg, Debra Di Blasi, Timothy Schaffert, Carolyn Turgeon.

4 pm
Don’t You Look Swell!: The Panel about Writing about Fashion. Writing about style with flair for magazines and blogs.
Featuring: Megan Berry Barlow, Lauren Cerand, Wanda Ewing, Alice Kim, Carolyn Turgeon.

In other news, this weekend I attended an all-day BBQ in Long Island at which yours truly played badmitton and other summery sports on a lawn with a hammock on it, and I came up with many screenplay ideas that were sent to a lovely would-be manager, and I worked on my book revision whilst imbibing green tea lattes. I think that is all, unless you count the cooking of fish and the cleaning of lovely Queens apartments and the recovering from food comas not to mention the coma that sets in after one spends a whole month's rent on dinner.

Today I finally get to see my sister, who returned from her exotic travels yesterday, and afterwards I got a hot date with my crazy genius world-hopping economist. The end.

Sep 8, 2007

So last night I took Eric and Shax to dinner at Jean Georges, and we all had the classic tasting menu, and we had lovely cocktails -- I had a glowing golden sidecar in a martini glass rimmed with sugar -- and we had a bottle of some fancy red wine that the sommelier described to us as a beautiful, soft elegant bouquet and many other things that I don't remember because his words sort of fell over me in this gorgeous shower. I want to go back just to force him to describe every bottle of wine to me on that multi-page wine list in similarly ecstatic and poetic terms.

So our meal started with this amuse bouche of this creamy homemade mozarella with fig (I think) and this county-fair-like corn cake with big kernels of corn in it and this bit of cucumber soup in a leetle glass.

Then we had this egg caviar. One perfect egg balanced on a pile of salt, with the top cracked open to hold the softest, creamist, lushest scrambled egg you've ever had topped with a pile of caviar. I think the waiter told us to "delicately explore the inside of the egg" with our spoons, this giving the whole experience a distinctly erotic cast. Sigh.

Then we had sea scallops with caramalized cauliflower -- like two thin cauliflower silhouettes like fossils on the scallops -- and caper-raisin emulsion.

Then we had young garlic soup with thyme, and sauteed frog legs on the side. As the waiter spooned the soup into our bowls, over a little pile of herbs, he told us to not be shy to use or fingers for the frog legs since we'd be able to wash our hands after. The soup tasted exactly like a piece of garlic bread turned to liquid, which is of course a magical thing.

Then as our plates were cleared away the waiters brought us each a silver bowl full of warm water with large flower petals foating on top, to dip our hands in. We all looked like Palmolive ladies about to get manicures but that was one luxurious bath for my mitts and I obviously need to invest in some silver bowls and some petals and fete my hands on a daily basis.

THEN we had a plate of my new favorite fish, turbot, with a chateau chalon sauce, and the fish was perfect and melty and gleaming white, and the sauce was the color of ginger and completely gorgeous.

Then we had a plate of lobster tartine with lemongrass and fenugreek broth and pea shoots.

Then we had a plate of broiled squab with onion compote, and a corn pancake with foie gras.

And THEN we got menus to choose our dessert tastings. Eric had the summer one, I had the market berry one, and Shax had the strawberry one, and we each got these large plates with four little dessert combinations on them, and the best things were this raspberry and rose water soup I had, and this tomato-basil sorbet Eric had, and this strawberry ice cream with lavender leather on top of it that Shax had. I also had a berry tart with some pistachio creme stuff, and some raspberry sorbet with a flaky cake thing, and this chocolate-covered berry concoction on a stick with gold leaf.

And THEN you get another dessert course, and it's this plate of chocolates, and a plate of sugar-covered little jellies, and a plate of tiny various-flavored macaroons, and best of all, a plate of homemade flavored marshmallows that they grab for you in strips out of a large glass jar they wheel around, and cut for you into pieces with silver scissors. So we each had a piece of mint marshmallow, vanilla marshmallow, and I think lemon but I forget. When I picked up the first piece it felt so lovely and soft and wonderful that I didn't want to eat it, I wanted to sleep on it. The mint was the best, and it's so soft and luxurious and it melts in your mouth.

We also all had cappuccino.

And then they give you a little bag with a box inside containing two lavender-tissue-wrapped chocolates like jewels.

And the restaurant itself is beautifully lit and elegant and there is this huge golden lighting sculpture things swooping from the middle of the ceiling that looks suspiciously like an octopus.

Despite said sabotage, I am now going to get extremely rich so that I can eat there once a week until I die. Even if I die from overspending and overeating and overindulgence generally.

The end.

Sep 5, 2007

Joi's cat Elly is a true friend, unlike you posers

Sep 3, 2007

So my friend Heather, who resides in my favorite house in this world with her husband George and many cats, called me Saturday to say that their house was struck by lightning. Turns out there was a violent thunderstorm in central PA, and that Heather and George took advantage of it by engaging in wanton acts on the hammock outside. Shortly thereafter God smote their sinfulness (and house) with one flaming bolt of lightning that took out their stove, computer, and many other appliances besides in one fell swoop, and it was bad enough that the fire department and police showed up.

I think there is a lesson in there for all of us.

In other news, Eric forced me to tape the Damages marathon on FX today, and now I am addicted.
Tink and Aoife:

Sadly, you will just have to imagine the cool shades yours truly was wearing.

Sep 2, 2007

So Massie is at my apartment with her gorgeous and wondrous dog named Mutep, who is one of my one true loves in this world. Mutep spent the afternoon basking underneath my desk watching an artful Japanese film while Massie and I worked for several hours in the coffeeshop nearby, and then wooed and wowed us with her presence as we made a delectable dinner and as we now work into the evening in my fashionable living room. Right now she is lying under a very haute couture TV tray with the autumnal season painted over it.

It is a good thing that Shameless has been whisked away to DC for the weekend, as his heart would surely be lost the moment he set his lovelorn eyeballs on this eternally feminine creature known to her friends as Mu.

In other news, the octopus haunts me still. I walked into the coffeeshop bathroom today and the following evil, supernatural sight glided into my vision.

Sep 1, 2007

I am home writing.

But I think there is a baby octopus ghost staring at me from the corner of the room.