brothercyst: November 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Richard Grayson reading; deranged vagrant at B&N

Christ, I am bored at work.

I saw Richard Grayson read last night. His story was excellent ("it's like a choice between hedonism and Hasidism" is one line) and I ate some crab and artichoke dip. You should read this collection by Grayson, and this one.

Afterward I was very far from the subway so I decided finally to walk over to KGB. There was a reading there but I didn't really like it. Then I went to Barnes and Noble to look for a book. As I walked in, two skinny girls about my age were in front of me. They weren't my type (their hair was deliberately grubby and they wore those spectacularly unflattering, supertight tapered hipster jeans that you used to see only on severely mentally disabled children) but they were young and cute enough that I noticed them. I also noticed them because a deranged vagrant was following them and hollering, "Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna follow you, yeah, yeah." His tone wasn't lascivious or mocking; he seemed to think they were friends. He was walking too close and they looked freaked out. This odd trio went up the stairs to the cafe (this was Astor Place B&N) and the girls tried to find seats where the vagrant couldn't sit by them, but he grabbed a chair and dragged it over, yelling, "Here, I got one for you, sit down, sit down." By now the whole cafe was was watching. The girls looked profoundly embarrassed. What I really wanted to do was grab the vagrant by the arm and exclaim, "Dad! I've been looking all over for you!"

Monday, November 27, 2006

What is the healthiest food you can eat?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

saturday in DC, at the Phillips

Back in New York as of late last night. Managed to pirate wireless signal while in transit and spent part of the trip going over final text layout of Fires.

A large part of Saturday was spent in Washington, D.C., wandering with parents and brother. The Phillips Collection is one of the better art collections I have ever visited. (It caused my mother to say what she says whenever we go to a gallery: "Huh, this makes me want to go do art.") We saw some memorable Paul Klee pieces like

The Witch with the Comb:




and

Figure from the Oriental Stage:



Another piece that made me happy was Fugue by Nicolas de Staƫl, but it is useless to post an image, which can't convey the pleasing texture.

Friday, November 24, 2006

less violent than thanksgiving football, technically

If you're between the ages of 15 and 30 and you grew up anywhere near skateboarders (that is, pretty much anywhere in America) there's a decent chance you've seen this obnoxiously scored video clip of pro skater Mike Vallely getting into a parking lot brawl with "4 [j]ocks" who called him a "skater fag."



(Trivia: one of the guys standing around who breaks up the fight is Tony Hawk, and the cameraman is Bam Margera.) The clip is notorious for Vallely's apparently unflinching reaction to facing four aggressors and how quickly and brutally he knocks the grins off their faces. Now
here's one of the "4 [j]ocks" on the news, years later. He has a lot of gel in his hair. Apparently he just heard about the video and decided to sue, claiming he and his friends never said anything to provoke Vallely. I don't know. Vallely seems like an unbelievable hothead. But I find the guy's claim hard to believe. As one of the Youtube commenters says, "What a crybaby. If Vallely had been the one who started the fight, those douchebags wouldn't have all been circled around him with dumb grins on their faces."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Distribution

Fires, it turns out, is going to have good distribution and be at the very least available all over the place. So either it'll be on hand in your local bookstore, or you can order it from your local bookstore (and of course online)... anyway, excellent.
Been exhausted for the past week. No more than five hours of sleep any night until Sunday. Dylan concert and Guggenheim opening (Spanish painting; EJ and I proved our philistinism; her observation re: a nude circa. 1800--"Look, she's had a Brazilian"; my analysis of a gorgeous Dali--"Makes me want a pomegranate") were much-needed respites from work but still contributed to exhaustion.

Struggling to create decent jacket copy for Fires even as publication date approaches. So excruciating to summarize one's own novel. Must get it done so the motherfucker can be published, though. Fell asleep on the subway this morning.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Not a 007 fan, but not only is Daniel Craig a superb James Bond, Eva Green is without peer as a Bond girl. The final act of the flick, though, is tedious. Except for the nail gun thing.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bob Dylan at Meadowlands + Jack White

Saw Dylan play last night with Jack White--of the White Stripes--and the Raconteurs.* Very good show: Dylan turned "It's All Right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" into a grinding, cruel hard rock song that was probably the single best number of the night. "All Along the Watchtower" was terrific, too. He played about half the new album. It was harsh, alive. White did a rambling, grimy cover of "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)." The difference in styles between the two performers was extreme. White hops and jumps and jokes all over the stage like a natural rock star, while Dylan still does his stoic bluesman act, never moving from his keyboard, not even really facing the audience, and not speaking except to introduce his band at the end. His voice is in stronger-than-expected shape, however, and at least to my untrained ear, both his band's playing and the arena's sound system were absolutely tops.

*Thanks, EJ.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Lost mind today. Work so excruciating...endless avalanches of numbers...what the fuck do I know about finance. A thirteen hour day...hours to come...then swimming...line-editing of Love Misery coming along...losing mind again and again...Transparent Things pleasing on the subway. Fuck! Darren Aronofsky last night, good talk at the Apple store. Reading Jen Banash's book too, almost done. What do other people like to read when they write?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Left eyelid has been twitching uncontrollably for about eight hours. What does this mean.
Left eyelid has been twitching uncontrollably for about eight hours. What does this mean.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

reading, artemis

So, reading tonight. Come see. Thanks.

***

Memorable night. I'm taking off work today (mostly because I have a ton of stuff to do, including go to the doctor, go to Fed Ex, and pick out a scene to read tonight, but also because of my toxic-of-late work environment, where I am stuck in an office alone with an ex-girlfriend for eight hours a day) so I was able to stay out very late last night. Ned and I went to a party at the Hotel QT, which is a great place to go because unlike a normal bar, this one is adjoined by a swimming pool and sauna, so you can go swimming, then walk through crowds of elegantly-dressed people while barefoot and wearing nothing but dripping swim trunks (or in Ned's case, boxer shorts) and no one bats an eye. We had wandered into a birthday party for some short gay guy wearing a beret who knew lots of really tall women. We met a couple of particularly interesting people. One or two we may meet again. Early on in the evening I took a break from the party to talk via cell phone to Willy Blackmore of Impetus for a while about final design details.

After we left, we were sitting on the train when this guy beside me started yanking some of the subway advertisements out of their metal and plastic cases. After the second one, I said, "What are you planning to do with those?" and Ned said, "Yeah, are they valuable?" And the guy says, "Soon to be!" Then with a blue ballpoint pen he starts sketching us on the back of one of the posters. The whole time, he's talking about Picasso and how this is what Picasso use to do--scribble a lot of lines, and then the lines would come together. He also mentioned his admiration for "that hispanic guy"--it turned out he was talking about Basquiat. Oh, and his name was Artemis. Artemis finished his sketch just in time, as we reached Chambers Street, and then I offered to buy it from him, an idea which unsurprisingly he didn't reject, and we continued talking for a bit.

He said, "You know how it's like, you go to the airport to get on a plane, and you go to the desk, and they like, 'That's your flight that you got to get on,' and you like [whispers with skeptical face] 'That ain't the flight I was planning to get on.' [Eyebrows raised, voice low.] That's the plane to hell."



I'm the one on the left that looks like George W. Bush. Ned is on the right, bearded like young Santa Claus. Don't we look gentle? Not a bad sketch, considering that he did it in roughly eight minutes, sketching with one hand while gripping the paper in the air with the other and holding a rapid conversation the whole time.

***

Considering that control of the Senate has now come down to Virginia, I'm particularly glad I spent some time in the past week calling Virginia voters in support of Webb, who is ahead by about 8,000 votes right now. His Republican opponent, George Allen, is "a bigot and a bully," as Hendrik Hertzberg wrote in
The New Yorker last week. Hertzberg also perfectly described Allen's selective use of violent or sexual passages from Webb's novels to smear him as "a tactic that combines prurience with philistinism."* Now let's hope the cabal of Republican lawyers that have surely already descended on Virginia will not manage to drag 8,001 elephants out of their hats.


* Hendrik Hertzberg. Bigot bully. Prurience philistinism. Did I stutter?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

curriculum

I am told Fires is going to be taught in some Intro to Lit classes this spring alongside Less Than Zero, which is highly pleasing. (No, not at Yale. At a large midwestern state school. I will post details at the beginning of the spring semester. Superstition discourages me from doing so earlier.)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

reading & release date

Two things. If you're reading this you probably got an email about the reading I'm doing next week. Info below. The Boxcar Lounge is small and strangely shaped, so arrive on time for decent seats.

November 8 - New York, NY
Class of 2007 Reading Series @ Boxcar Lounge
w/Nick Antosca
Tyler Antrim
Jami Attenberg (Host)
Ellis Avery
Bob Powers
8 PM


The other thing is that in the email I sent out, I got the release date of the novel wrong--it's not in two months, it's in like five or six weeks, so before Christmas. Like December 15. Cool.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fidelity

This is a great music video--and she's beautiful--except that it's a mistake to have a second human face appear. They should have made the guy who shows up at the end wear a mask.