Sunday, June 29, 2008

Best.  Celebrity.  Sighting.  Of.  All.  Time.  (So.  Far.  I'm.  Sure.  I.  Will.  See.  Many.  More.  In.  The.  Future.  But.  This.  Is.  The.  Best.  So.  Far.  Because.  It.  Was.  The.  First.  Time.  I'd.  Seen.  A.  Celebrity.  On.  Whom.  I.  Have.  Had.  A.  Crush.  At.  One.  Time.)

Yep.  Stood right next to her on the subway.  Could've snapped a surreptitious pic but chose to play it cool—I didn't want to be that guy.  She was with her husband and cute little baby.

In other news, I think someone just fired a cannon in my neighborhood.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I love how people call it "late capitalism". Seems like wishful thinking. What if capitalism lasts another 10,000 years? Of course, it's unlikely humanity will survive another hundred, so maybe that's why it's "late": at this point, everything is late.

By the way, I heard something on the radio yesterday morning about how the global economy would collapse if oil hits $200/barrel. Hear that? The GLOBAL. ECONOMY. WOULD. COLLAPSE.

Welcome to the 21st century—having fun yet?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Okay, now for my new new computer.  First of all, the camera isn't working.  The effing camera is not effing working.  I will wait till tomorrow to deal with this.  I spent a half hour at the Apple store tonight already, where I learned that my old new computer had a bad RAM disk or something.  I don't know, all I know is, it was working fine until last night when it crashed.  When I tried to restart it it only gave me a blue screen and an alarmingly loud beeping tone.  I thought the sucker was gonna blow.

I thought
the sucka
was gonna

So, unless this camera problem is something that can be easily fixed, this new new computer may only be a way station en route to a new new new computer.

Anyone know any good anti-curse remedies?
It feels good to have made an appointment. I've had my computer for twelve days and already it's dead. Wonderful. At least I know it wasn't my fault. (Unlike last time, ahem.)

Oh, by the way, for anyone who might have been wondering what the definition of "shuttle" is...


a. Regular travel back and forth over an established, often short route by a vehicle.
b. A vehicle used in such travel: took the shuttle across town.
c. A route used by a vehicle in such travel: the Washington–New York air shuttle."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The word concretize has been stuck in my head like a song these last couple days, so I looked it up just now and found this illustrative sentence: “The need to simplify and concretize . . . was hardly acceptable to a mind fascinated by the . . . suggestiveness of ideas” (Arthur A. Cohen).  I don't know who Arthur A. Cohen is.  Is he related to Chester A. Arthur?  Anyway, I think Arthur A. Cohen had my mind in mind when he said what he said.  Make it my epitaph.  The ellipses are especially appropriate.

I'm kind of disappointed to learn that I didn't invent the word concretize.

Yesterday on the way home from a reading in Brooklyn I wrote this in my notebook, which because I was in a certain kind of mood (a good kind) I wrote as lines of poetry:

             Like anyone I sometimes get these flashes of insight
             as I'm walking around or
             sitting on the train or something but I don't like to
             write these things down, to concretize them the way everyone advises
             in books about how to write.

Then I wrote some other stuff that wasn't very interesting.

I wish I was smarter.  I probably don't even know what concretize means.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

View Larger Map
I walked this today, making a stop for dinner on 8th St, then I took care of some business on 5th Ave., then I hung out at Barnes Ignoble on 66th.
Is Ladytron ruling the world yet? Look, I ask because I'm old. I'm 26. I can't keep up with what the kids are listening to these days. I propose that Ladytron should rule the world. If Ladytron is already ruling the world, please let me know so that I don't look like a jackass. Maybe you're a high school kid who knows about these things. If so, please inform me. Please help me be informed. I want to be young again. Please young me. Please help me be young again.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Abrams story is getting at least a teeny weeny bit of traction on the Free Exchange on Campus site. Pretty neat.
Professor Abrams (see a few posts below) has posted his account of his tenure denial here, which he had to do because the original blog was censored.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

An ironic tidbit concerning one of the players in the Dickinson debacle.
If you're a fan of academic freedom, you might want to check this out. It's a somewhat lengthy piece, but the basic gist is that Richard Abrams, a psychology professor at Dickinson College, was denied tenure because he curated a poetry reading series that included experimental poets, some of whom were Flarf poets.

It's pretty involved, so just read about it, or I'll be here all night recapping it. In the meantime, I encourage anyone who might read this to boycott anything involving the Dickinson English department. (As if you had actually heard of Dickinson in the first place, right? Ha.)

UPDATE. You might have discovered that the link above no longer works. GEE, I WONDER WHY. Read the next best thing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Congratulations! (To me.) I am the proud owner of two bouncing new pairs of Dockers brand casual dress pants! One is a "Washed Chino", black, pleated, relaxed fit. The other is an "Original Khaki", gray, pleated, classic fit. Both are machine washable. Both are 30x32. The total cost was $49.97. I used a $50 gift card. Reader, I did not plan this. I couldn't have planned it if I tried. I was sure that the cost of two pairs of casual dress pants would be more than $50.

But there was a sale, so that's why it was less.
Last night I ushered a bee from the world of the living. It was buzzing about my ceiling light, and I desired that it should come away from the light in order that I might trap it between a hard surface and a large book, thereby ending its reign of terror. The question was, how would I lure it away from its

Oh fuck it, enough with the fancy-talk. Here's what happened: I turned on my desk lamp, tilted it up, then turned off the ceiling light. The bee went straight for the lamp and got hurt real bad when it hit the bulb (hot hot hot!). I held a book over the lamp, trapping the bee inside the bell, letting it cook. But I think I felt sorry for it so I took the book away. The bee flew around some more in a punch-drunk way, flopped around on my bed, then finally came to rest on the side of my heat pipe, where I smacked it with the book.

Reader, it did not cream. The bee remained intact and fell to the floor. I was grateful to the little fellow for not messing up my book, so I took great care (okay, a moderate amount of care) when I picked him up with a paper towel and wrapped him in his death shroud.

Must have gotten in through the air conditioning, perhaps looking for shelter from the storm. Sad, really. Bees are in enough trouble as it is.

Later I killed a roach.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Post in which I inexplicably address my readers by a weird and derogatory term

So far I'm the only person I've noticed who has the new blogger blogroll. It's blogtabulous. People are listed in order of the most recent update. Join the party, ho-bags.
Since none of you total strangers offered to help, I was unable to buy pants this weekend. I might make the attempt alone tomorrow. (Today is too hot for shopping.)

There none of you total foreigner offered to help, were not capable I of buying to trousers this weekend. I could form the attempt alone tomorrow. (Is today for buying. too hot)

There no of you adds the offered foreigner to help, was not able I of the purchase to the trousers this weekend. It could form the attempt only tomorrow. (It is today for buying. too much it warms up)

There not of you l' adds; foreigner offered to help, n' was not I capable of l' purchase with the trousers this weekend. It could form the attempt only tomorrow. (It is aujourd' today for l' purchase. too much qu' it heats)

There not you l' it adds; foreigner proposed to help, n' there was not I capable l' you will stock up with the trousers this weekend. It could form attempt only tomorrow. (This aujourd' today for l' purchase. there are too many qu' it [nagryuet])

There not you l' it adds; the foreigner props to help, n' l' did not have me; capable; you will storage above with the pants this weekend. He could only give form to the attempt tomorrow. (This aujourd' today for l' purchase. it has qu' others; it [nagryuet])

There no you l'? it adds the supports of foreighers that they help, n'? l'? with had capable storage above with the underwears this Weekend. It could only give the form in the effort tomorrow. (This aujourd'? today for l'? market. it has qu'? other this [nagryuet])

Friday, June 6, 2008

Handwritten note found inside just-purchased copy of Matthea Harvey's Sad Little Breathing Machine, dated June 24, 2006:

"Dear Danica,

I bought your book, A Late Freeze at MOCCA and loved it--it is such a beautifully strange story. I bought the Circus Song from you online [and] loved that too, so I thought your brilliance warranted a fan letter. Thank you for your work!

I'm a poet so I'm sending you my 2 books (just in case you like poetry).

All best,

I wonder why Danica didn't hold on to this.... Intriguing.
For those of you in the New York area, I'll be shopping for pants sometime this weekend, if you want to help me pick them out.
Shittiest band heard on KEXP: The Voom Blooms. Man am I sick of them. Even their name is terrible.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Are you like me? Do you remember the days of the great salmon liners? Huge ships transporting nothing but salmon—tons of them—up and down the coasts of this nation. I practically grew up on a salmon liner. I was shaving salmon on these salmon liners at the age of four. But why do salmon need to be shaved? I'll tell you. But first I'll distract you with an irrelevant anecdote about my days as a styrofoam coffee cup. Yeah, I was inanimate there for a while back in the mid-seventies. About four inches tall, white, cylindrical. Come to think of it, I still inhabit those qualities in my human form. But as a cup, I was more pure in these aspects.

As for the anecdote, I've already forgotten what it was, so let's go back to the salmon liners of my youth. The one I remember spending the most time on was a converted aircraft carrier. I don't remember its name. I only remember that I was...

I'm sorry, I just—I can't continue. The memories are welling up like water from a well. So sorry! Let's reschedule. Are you available Friday morning? Say 5:30? Just stay up the night before so that you won't oversleep and miss our appointment. I look forward to meeting you. Should we go to a movie or something? All day I've been thinking about salmon, I mean movies, about going to a movie. But which one? I think I heard about a documentary on salmon liners. Or maybe it was just a documentary about salmon. Or maybe it wasn't a documentary at all, perhaps it was the second half of a doubleheader between the Braves and Marlins. Nothing sounds less interesting. Ooh! I know, we could go to a doubleheader, maybe one between the Twins and Angels. No? Well, you think it over. In the meantime I need to go shopping for some soft luggage.
After breakfast one morning, Wilbur learned from his cardiologist that a fire hose is useful to have on hand when trying to put out a fire. The water from the hose, explained Dr. Lewis, comes into contact with the fire and prevents it from continuing to exist. The same principle applies to rifles and organisms.

"Life," the physician continued, "on Earth has been evolving steadily for the past three hundred years. Most people alive today are relatively happy, compared to their primitive ancestors. We have more in the way of frivolous distractions, yes, but these are mitigated by our intense focus on doing what is right at every moment when the question of right or wrong comes into play. I, for one, am proud to be alive and kicking today, as today is preferable to the whole of history."

Wilbur shrugged and turned back to his video game. "I don't know if I believe you, Morley. Rather, I don't believe that you believe what you're saying, though I agree with some of it wholeheartedly. It sounds to me as if you're merely outlining the feel of a worldview, not unlike the way a SCUBA diver outlines his memoir before composing it." Wilbur paused to execute a tricky maneuver on his controller. On the screen before him a thug was thrown over the side of a bridge by Wilbur's avatar. He then resumed his tirade, if you could call it that. "Take as example my cousin Horace, the blind commodities trader. He lived by instinct, not innuendo. Why can't you be more like him?"

The doctor was unable to answer, having left the building some minutes before.

"Oh well," said Wilbur to the room. "Let's see what Montel is talking about today." He saved his game and switched the TV from "video 2" to "cable". It was 1:56 PM. Montel came on at 2 PM every weekday, so Wilbur would have to wait four minutes to learn about things from Montel. He passed the time by watching the end of Divorce Court, which came on right before Montel every day. He was not very interested in Divorce Court, so he made time go faster by thinking about sex. Four minutes later he was on the floor, pantsless, not even thinking about Montel.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It took a while for the elevator to start moving again, and when it did, Amber's world was in shambles. Shadows played basketball on her face when she arrived at the lobby. Somewhere in her purse was a pocket pack of two-ply Kleenex brand facial tissues. (In the same purse was a lock of her own hair, from when she was a girl in Ypsilanti.) She didn't know the tissues were in the purse, so she grabbed a few paper towels from the nearby ladies' room. Every paragraph in her brain was on the cusp of becoming a Pop Tart.

Outside she tried to hail a taxi, stepping off the curb with confidence and raising her arm in a taxi-hailing motion. She remembered, as she watched and waited, learning one day many years ago in seventh grade that plasma is rare in the universe. Her arm ached. Matter consoled her with its Newtonian heft, the purse hanging heavy and growing old as a tree.

Slumped five minutes later in the backseat of her taxi, she wondered how to respond to the message she'd received. How to proceed? She thought and thought. I've got to weave, she finally decided. Then she asked herself, Weave what? Am I saying I want to learn how to weave things? Baskets? Rugs? No, she realized. She had meant "leave". She wanted to leave. But leave what? She was again confounded. Leave the city? Leave the metropolitan area? Leave in some metaphorical sense? As in, stay in the city but "leave" my old habits or desires behind or something?

Amber's thoughts were cut short, momentarily, by the words of her driver, who said, "Hey. Hey hey, lady, where you say..." But the driver's words were cut short, permanently, by a blood clot that had been traveling toward his brain and now stopped there. Five minutes later police and EMTs were on the scene, and Amber was looking apprehensively forward to a holiday that hadn't been invented yet.
Today is the first wedding anniversary of everyone in the world who was married on the third of June, 2007.
I purchased a haircut last night. I washed the clippings out of my hair this morning. Last night some of the clippings got inside my shirt, where they touched my body. Today that will not occur, as all clippings have been washed away by this morning's shower. The hair that I have now is not as short as I would have liked it to be after a haircut, but it's shorter than it was—an improvement. The cost of the haircut was eighteen dollars. The tip I left was three dollars. The tip I left was a sixteen and two thirds percent tip.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Another perfect flight. It was scheduled for 2:00, and the wheels left the ground at 2:00. I managed to choke down half an Updike story in last week's New Yorker, then realized life was too short to finish it. Got home in time to do laundry at the same time I always do laundry on Sunday. Back to thumb-typing.

Arrived to find a new roommate moving in, also named Matt. The guy helping him move was yet another Matt. For a few minutes there, there were three Matts in this apartment.

Matt Matt Matt. Where will it end?

Saw this movie produced by this guy Val Lewton. The Seventh Victim. Then a documentary about Val Lewton. I need to find his movies and put them on my Netflix, and so do you.