Friday, May 29, 2009

At least they didn't use the word "shrill"

Some recent me things:

* Ryan Manning interviewed me on Thunk. Thanks, Ryan Manning.

* Nathan Logan reviewed That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness. Thanks, Nate Logan.

* I have a prose poem in the new and great-looking Salt Hill. It comes right after the Mary Gaitskill interview, which I was excited about. Maybe she'll read it? I recently read Veronica, which had its flaws, but so does my poem. I think I would have liked it more had I not just finished The Quick and the Dead by Joy Williams, which is one of the best books I've read in the past five years or so. Her sentences are so tight and perfect that Gaitskill's seemed kind of sloppy in comparison, but I think the looseness was by design (she chose to tell the story in the voice of a rather flaky, vapid narrator ... which I'm sure had some elusive purpose but kind of annoyed me ... wow I hope Mary Gaitskill doesn't read this. She is, of course, awesome.)


Surprise, surprise, Sotomayor is getting Hillary Clintoned. "Testy"! I love the NYT's very carefully veiled sexism here: she is "not shy about" and, later, "not afraid of" asking lawyers a lot of questions—not so much to keep them honest and on their toes as to "ensure that she fully understands their arguments." Read: women are shy, scared, and dense.

Applicably, Kathy just wrote in an email (about a review, not the Supreme Court, "but still"): "No press is bad press. Some press is dumb press, but still." Some press is dumb press. "Nuff said." (Allen wrote that in an email. I mean every email.)


I can never believe when people say they don't like summer because it's too hot. Probably the same crazy assholes who like shoveling snow. (Just kidding. I kind of like shoveling snow.) I like summer so much that before it even arrives, it's already half-ruined by my dread of it ending. Like basically the only part of "summer" that isn't tainted for me is the first 20 days of June that are still technically spring, because I think, "This is so great, and it's technically not even summer yet!" The summer solstice marks my inward turn toward despair and hopelessness. Trudging around, hungover and sweating and chewing on the straw of my watered-down iced coffee getting cancer.

Yay, summer!


  1. "No press is bad press, some press is dumb press"--that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    And speaking of dumb press, though Sotomayor clearly *is* getting the HC treatment, if you do a Google search for "sotomayor sexist" you come up with a bunch of hits from such reputable outlets as claiming that Sotomayor is the sexist one because she once said, in a lecture on law and cultural diversity at the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

  2. Yes, I love how conservatives think women are the sexist ones, and minorities are racist. It's the only time they ever throw those terms around outside the context of "I'm not racist, but [something bigoted]"

  3. I know what you mean about the way things can be half-ruined before they begin because of knowing they will end.

    Whenever Lorraine and I go on a trip, the moment at the start of the trip when we get on the plane or the train, we say, "Oh well, that a was great trip. Too bad it's over."

    And if that isn't bad enough: consider Three-Month Syndrome: that we are always, in our minds, about three months ahead of where we actually are. Ergo: in your head, it's already the end of August.

    Sorry. I wouldn't do this to you if I didn't already suspect that you understand. I hope you enjoy these final August days.

  4. I don't get it re KRo's comment. Are we saying
    i) The quoted statement is not sexist/inflammatory
    ii) The quoted statement is inaccurate or incorrectly ascribed to Soto
    iii) The quoted statement is maybe a little inflammatory, but pretty weak if that's all you can dig up for a public figure, and come on, it's ChristianityToday?

  5. Oh I get it, b/c it was a lecture on "law and cultural diversity"? b/c it was taken out of context? Give a brother a hand here

  6. Yeah I think citing "ChristianityToday" as a reputable source means she's being sarcastic.

  7. Don't worry Mark, I doubt you could make me more cynical/broken than I am.

    I think of summer as the year's weekend. Although the weekend is of course the best part of the week, Sunday is my least favorite day, because it's so saturated with over-ness. Similarly, August is the absolute worst, the Sunday of the year. This creates all kind of paradoxes. Like what I'm afraid of is the end of summer, and yet, September ends up being pretty OK.

    Nothing beats Friday afternoon (pre-summer June).

  8. I've always considered August the Sunday of the year, with late August the Sunday night of the year.

    And the Sunday night before I return to school: it's the Sunday night of the Sunday night of the year.

    I sometimes prefer Thursday night to Friday afternoon. Reasoning: it's closer to the Monday that has passed than to the Monday that's arriving. By Friday, that's no longer true. By Friday, it might as well be Monday.

  9. regarding time and the seasons, i know what you mean. and lately what i'm trying to do is pretend i'm a buddhist, and imagine how a buddhist would feel about these things. from what little i've read about buddhism, i imagine a buddhist would feel content with every day of the week equally and be not at all bothered by good things coming to an end. so even though it's hard for me to feel that way, i try to pretend to feel that way, and if successful, i end up actually feeling that way.

    but yeah, sunday is the worst.

    imagine what it must have been like for people back before the seven-day week was invented... every day had equal weight... nothing was numbered, not even years... must have been nice...

    but here's what i realized recently: more days of the week are closer to the weekend than are farther away. thursday is only two days away, and then you have friday and the weekend, four days total. the other three days of the week are at least three days away from the weekend.

    (i admit the logic of that thinking feels a little off somewhere, but i'm happy not to be able to put a finger on exactly where.)

  10. So you and your ex were swingers! I knew it.

  11. Chad! Hey now, I said I was delighted, not that it was true.