Mar 31, 2010

A teeny, tiny Mermaid snippet:

“Stop it, all of you!” Nadine said, lifting a heap of jewelry from the chest and tossing it out at them. Heavy gold and silver, jewels of every color, streaking across the water. All manner of sea creature appeared suddenly, from under rocks and among the coral, attracted by the flashing gems. “It’s over. Lenia’s back. We’re arguing over nothing.”

Bolette laughed as a bracelet knocked against her cheek, then fell onto a tentacle of a passing squid. And then they all began to laugh, twisting onto their sides, batting jewels and stones and coins, hundreds of coins from the bottom of the chest, back and forth.

Just like that, the argument was forgotten.

Only Lenia remained quiet, watching as an eel slinked by, catching a twinkling silver ring in its open, gaping mouth.
Henry Rollins is just so good.

Mar 29, 2010

So I'm so excited today because I just randomly remembered about the existence of WEEKI WACHEE SPRINGS in Florida, the weird old mermaid roadside attraction that was huge in the 50s and 60s, that MS JOI BROZEK roodly told me about only just after I last returned from Florida a couple years ago, causing me much grief and sadness as you might imagine... Now I'm going back there in late April with my mother and sister to visit my grandmother and uncle--which is really the only reason I ever go there--so I just looked up Weeki Wachee and saw it's two hours from where I'll be and will indeed be open... There will even be a little mermaid show based on the original Hans Christian Andersen story, justa like my next book. Which, as it happens, I am now doing the last last last final draft tiny edits on and will be done with forever on Thursday. And I might have possibly said that before but this time it is really, really true and not just semi true.

Anyway, WEEKI WACHEE! Some snippets from the website:

In the 1950s, Weeki Wachee was one of the nation’s most popular tourist stops. The attraction received worldwide acclaim. Movies were filmed at the spring, like “Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid.” Sights at the park included the mermaid shows, orchid gardens, jungle cruises, and Indian encampment and a new beach. The mermaids took etiquette and ballet lessons.

In the 1960s, girls came from as far away as Tokyo to try out for the privilege of becoming a mermaid. The glamorous mermaids performed eight shows a day to sold out crowds -- as many as half a million people a year came to see the Weeki Wachee mermaids. Weeki Wachee Springs employed 35 mermaids, who took turns swimming in the shows and captivating the crowds by playing football and having picnics underwater. Some of the mermaids lived in the mermaid cottages out behind the attraction. The mermaids wore one-piece suits and were treated like royalty wherever they went in Florida.


By the way I own Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid if you'd ever like to come over for a Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid party.

Here's a video from Weeki Wachee in 1952:

And some photos, old and new. The first is from 1947, by Toni Frissell for Harper's Bazaar.

Admit those are amazing. I am hoping to lure my grandmother there and then we can all go, but I might possibly go by my lonesome or with a friend who'll be in Orlando then. My grandmother has a pool down there that my sister and I used to swim in all the time as kids while my grandmother told us we were like little Esther Williams es. To this day I have never seen an Esther Williams movie so I have now proposed that we all watch an Esther Williams movie or two before spending the day at WEEKI WACHEE. You're supposed to go to Florida for theme vacations in my humble opinione, and I really can't think of one that's better.

I mean really.

In other news, tomorrow I'm seeing Henry Rollins and Wednesday I go back to bellydancing class after more than a year (next up: accordion!). Then Thursday, the unbelievable glamour of CINCINNATI.

I know.

The end.

Mar 26, 2010

I have become very bad at writing on here due to the gorgeousness of Facebook, where you can tell almost all of your friends (that you've ever had, ever! and even all of your acquaintances!) something in two seconds, not to mention the ungorgeousness of my own attention span... but anyway, two quick things involving two of my favorite things, glass and ICE!

First, I am completely in love with the glass dresses of Ms. Karen Lamonte, like this one at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian that my friend Brien went to see yesterday. He sent me the link and I done lost my breath. Gorgeous and strange and haunting and ethereal... everything I love, like out of some spooky fairytale. I hope to go down to DC in the near future for the DC reading of one Ms JEANINE CUMMINS, whose first novel The Outside Boy is about to come out, so  I can see it in person. Plus Karen Lamonte has got some amazing stuff at the Corning Museum of Glass.

I don't know why I'm so in love with glass. But glass, snow, ice, water, rain, glitter... all of that makes me swoon. I once dated this art collecting guy who had this unbelievable table that was like a swoosh of glass, just a mass of glass that went straight across and then swooped down on one side, like some frozen waterfall, or a glacier, and he also had these glass balls that hung from his ceiling, tons of them, at different levels, so that in a certain light it was really unbelievably ethereal. And he lived in this Tribeca loft so you could see the glass from different levels and angles. Amazing. Of course, this man was completely insane. Sigh.

Anyway, speaking of glaciers (and insane men, most likely) I am incredibly excited to be going to ALASKA this summer, where I've never been, and among other things I shall be visiting this FAMOUS GLACIER that you see in the distance here:

You can take a one-hour boat ride to get up close and personal with said glacier, and I shall be driving myself over within hours of getting off the plane. I'm going to Alaska in the first place because in July I'll be teaching at the University of Alaska at Anchorage Low-Residency MFA program, which holds this two-week long summer residency each year where all MFA students and faculty (including the wondrous Jo-Ann Mapson, who thought of me for the job) gather in Anchorage and have 500000 workshops and lectures and readings. (For the rest of the year I'll mentor a few students from afar, via email.) I got my plane ticket yesterday and tacked on an extra week and made a car reservation so I can see me some Alaska and befriend me some moose, all by my lonesome. I'm excited -- for the MFA stuff, and the moose! And then for that week I can do whatever. I might do a ten-hour road trip to see my old friend Erika in Haines, and/or I might just drive around looking for polar bears and hidden treasure and sleighs.

The end.

Mar 13, 2010

So today I went and met this most gorgeous peregrine falcon named Isis. Isis has some missing feathers and can't fly properly, so she is kept by a local wildlife rehabilitator named Robyn, whose house and rehab center I visited today. I also met a very pretty little skunk who likes to hide in cabinets and who bears a shocking facial resemblance to my parents' pet poodles, as well as a sumptuous pair of turtles named Fred and Wilma, plus a bunny and a kestrel and a snake and a blind squirrel. Oh and a teeny owl named Sam who looked like a toy and who I'm quite sure secretly wanted to come home with me. And an almost-albino robin who was a quite elegant show-off shade of white, like Meryl Streep's Oscar dress. All of them are injured in some way. Many by cars, some in more horrifying ways. And the skunk was rescued from the pet trade! The skunk pet trade! Who knew.

I felt like SNOW WHITE in the forest hanging out with all her friends.


Anyway, look at this glamorous lady:

Ain't she stunning? Now I just need to find some real falconers. If you know one or are one, email me this minute!

In other news, I'm now on the last, last round of MERMAID, just cleaning up some last little things, and in a week or so I'll be done with it forever and ever and ever... or at least until the copyedits come. And I am brainstorming  like crazy all the next things. Just you wait!

Oh, and last week I had the most lovely whirlwind trip to New York, mainly to see Max Raabe at Carnegie Hall with my sister and the fabulous artiste Mr. Michael Kaluta, whom I suspected would be completely swept away by it. Which he was. I also have never sat in a box seat before and I half felt like I was in an old movie and half felt like I was immediately going to pitch to my death. My friend Jill from LJ who is the house manager there even arranged for me to go backstage but I was afraid I would faint dead away if I did. Really, it was a very treacherous evening, but all the best evenings are.

The end.