brothercyst: November 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

WRONGFRED WINS CONTEST, GETS SHORT IN TIMES SQUARE

Wrongfred, who made the trailer for Midnight Picnic, won a contest for a short commercial that's now being played on a massive building in Times Square. Here's a New York Times post about it. Wrongfred is the same fellow I went to Nicaragua with a while back. Congratulations, my friend.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

PORN BLOGS; LONG KNIVES FOR INSURANCE EXECS; DREAMS; PHOTOS; more

  • I've been busy lately but accomplished very little. Half the day I just read blogs. This famous model killed herself and all the coverage (NYMag, Gawker, Daily Beast, etc) mentioned her blog and how witty and intelligent it was. I tried to read it (it's blocked now) but it seemed totally incoherent, like it was written by a kindergartner on acid. On the other hand, another blog directed me toward the blog of the former Penny Flame, an exceptionally talented porn star who went to "sex rehab" and now writes about it, and it's surprisingly cogent and well-written.

  • Speaking of which, I don't think I ever mentioned this here, but I believe a story I had published on Nerve a while back is anthologized in Smut: Volume 2, their book. So if that's your thing, go to it.
  • Cigna and Ceridian have informed me that my monthly rate for health insurance will go to ~$600 in April. Okay, then! I'll have to figure something else out. So it goes. Cigna and Ceridian executives, if I ran the world, this is you:



  • I finished reading Todd Grimson's Stainless, a strange & surreal vampire novel that reminded me in a lot of ways of Midnight Picnic. It's eerie, lasting, and not like any other vampire novel I've read. Features a silent film actor who becomes a vampire and, many decades later, still lurks around L.A. cutting off heads and making them talk to each other. Brand New Cherry Flavor is still my favorite Grimson, though. I now need to read his first novel.

  • I did a photo shoot yesterday with a charming author photographer whose apartment was remarkable. It reminded me of Grace Paley's apartment, which I was in once (well after her death--a friend was living there--but it was essentially preserved)... one of these ancient NY apartments, incredibly packed with books from floor to ceiling (a tinderbox, really), and halls so narrow they reminded me of nightmares I've had where I'm trapped in very close spaces. I have those nightmares all the time, about corridors and doorways and staircases that are much too small. The photo shoot was interesting/fun. I liked the pictures of me. Nothing's more flattering than a picture that makes you look better than you really look. (Although the photographer did say I have "duckling hair," which is kind of true... ever since I shaved my head, it's grown back much more thin & wispy. Since none of my genetic predecessors have this condition, I worry that it's related to Adderall use in the first 7 or 8 months of this year...)

  • Years ago, a friend of my ex-girlfriend was in London at a photo exhibit and was startled to see a photo of her in one of the exhibits (this photo). The friend took a picture of the picture, which we later saw; D. had no idea that the photo had ever been taken (although it was clearly her, in the place where she'd grown up) and the friend couldn't remember the name of the photographer or any other details. Then later I came across the same photo at random looking through online photographs. I emailed the photographer--who was thrilled to find out who his subject was (and that, years later, she was a Yale student and not a prisoner or martyr or something), since he'd been receiving questions about the photo whenever it was displayed. It all comes back to mind now, because he just emailed her to say that he still constantly gets queries about it.

  • My style of dreams was inherited from my mother, I think. I can remember breakfasts at home when I was a little kid... my mother sitting down and saying things to the effect of "I had this dream last night: I was in a huge mansion, but the center was all open space, so you could see up to the upper floors. And there were panthers up there! Big, dangerous panthers, covered in jewels. And they were talking in angry voices, but they didn't see me..." or "I was swimming in the ocean, this really beautiful blue ocean, where the water was crystal clear... and there were sharks everywhere! Huge sharks, thousands of them, so many they were bumping into me and each other..." [I actually had that exact same dream, much later.] Other people sometimes tell me they have boring dreams. I'm glad I have dreams like my mom.

  • I'm going to Maryland for a few days, to eat Thanksgiving leftovers and relax. ASB is going to meet my parents. I told her don't worry about anything, just be aware that my parents are slightly old-fashioned and they don't like women who wear pants.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

BABY LEG NIGHT

Very sunny outside today, but cold (the way I like it). Yesterday I did a good amount of work, just enough to not feel bad about. In the afternoon, Ned came over and we had a pizza. Then I went to Carnegie Hall with a free ticket from my friend Miriam to see the fado singer Mariza, a great performer whose theatricality reminded me of the opera singer with the blue tentacles from The Fifth Element. Afterward I went home and roused Ned from his pizza-nap on my couch and we went to the Tyrant's party for Baby Leg by Brian Evenson. I didn't want to spend money so I didn't want to both pay the entry fee and buy the book. I bought the book and read it in its entirety. It's good! It's also a beautiful book artifact, with gold leaf and cloth-bound hardcovers. Hel. O. posted this short "worst swearword" vignette on Facebook. Cute story. I took a short nap and then my roommate texted to see if I wanted to meet up at a bar where the SNL after-afterparty was, and I did. I avoided spending much money on drinks. I fell asleep at 7-ish, and now it's noon and lovely outside, and I'm reviewing entries in my dream ledger.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

THOMAS LIGOTTI

I keep hearing about this guy, but peripherally. His books look and sound pretty fascinating. Strange/surreal horror. No one I know personally, however, has read him. Is he good? Should I be buying this stuff ASAP?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

BOOKS I'VE BOUGHT

I just bought, but haven't yet read:

The Other by Thomas Tryon
Under the Dome by Stephen King
and (after a conversation with a friend who edits YA)
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

also, after seeing the National Book Award nominees read last night, I intend to soon get/read:

Far North by Marcel Theroux. The section he read was awesome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

HAVE I MENTIONED I HAVE A CRUSH ON SOMEONE



Elizabeth Lambert, feisty defender on the University of New Mexico women's soccer team. I love this girl. She's spirited and unwilling to take shit from catty, passive-aggressive Brigham Young girls. Watch how the BYU player subtly grabs the front of Lambert's shorts and yanks them up--and then Lambert is like FUCK YOU and instantly yanks her down by the ponytail, leaving her crying on the field. That's what you get for frontal wedgies.

And here's a big NY Times article about her... in which she says she's seeing a psychologist "to better understand what caused the hair-pulling incident"?? What!?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

BEST BEHAVIOR

Noah Cicero posted a comic novella, Best Behavior, on his blog. It concerns his trip to New York at the end of 2008. Contains caricatures, sometimes grotesque, of numerous indie lit figures in or on the periphery of the same "community."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

WHICH LIFE?

I'm supine in bed with my laptop in an empty apartment, gnawing a large chunk of chocolate I got at Brooklyn Larder (they're cheap and they last a long time). Thinking about how I can get through today without spending any money at all, except for a drink later. I had an amazing dream that was a fully-formed narrative last night. Involved being trapped in a labyrinthine mansion, menaced by enigmatic older brunettes and a ten-year-old with an axe. Woke up with a euphoric jolt around 2:30 to write it all down.

Perhaps you saw the article in the most recent New Yorker about F. Scott Fitzgerald's miserable final years in/around Hollywood. I just wrote an email that made me think about writers whose lives I really wouldn't want to have had. Off the top of my head--
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Dostoevsky
  • Proust
  • Marquis de Sade
  • Hemingway
And those whose lives I would want to have had.
  • Nabokov (this is almost the only person in history about whom, if you said, "Want to give up your life and have his?" I would say yes)
  • James Salter
  • Thomas Malory
  • Orwell
  • Hemingway
Thoughts? What writer's life would you most like to have, or dread having?

I just realized there are no women on my list. Hmm.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

STEPHEN KING'S NEW NOVEL

Under the Dome

Length: 1,100 pages.

Inception to completion: “Nov. 22, 2007 - March 14, 2009

UPDATE: Also, it weighs a couple pounds.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

WHITE'S PRECIOUS REVIEW

I gave Precious a positive review for the blistering performances alone, but I love Armond White's review. White has a reputation as being a contrarian (see this incredible chart, and this for more background), esp. w/ regard to Brian de Palma films and race-related Hollywood productions, and he wrote a deliriously loony shredding of District 9, my favorite movie of the year. If I remember correctly, he was in the same screening of Precious where I saw the film, back during the NYFF -- he cuts a fairly distinctive figure, with his distinguished graying beard and his cane.

Worse than Precious itself was the ordeal of watching it with an audience full of patronizing white folk at the New York Film Festival, then enduring its media hoodwink as a credible depiction of black American life. A scene such as the hippopotamus-like teenager climbing a K-2 incline of tenement stairs to present her newborn, incest-bred baby to her unhinged virago matriarch, might have been met howls of skeptical laughter at Harlem’s Magic Johnson theater.

Wow.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

NEW PRESS: ARTISTICALLY DECLINED / NEWS

Check it out: an interview with Paula Bomer, of Artistically Declined Press. I know and like Paula, so I'm psyched about this. Life seems promising. Jackie Corley and Giancarlo DiTrapano are good acts to follow...

More casting news about the adaptation of Ned Vizzini's It's Kind of a Funny Story... a real thing, happening soon. Very cool.

Here's my new favorite Wikipedia page:

List of People Who Disappeared Mysteriously

I've been meaning to write about sleep. What a headache it is. I got some good news today but it was almost in a dream--I'd just woken from a nap. Actually it isn't even that good, on second though--just good compared to all the other news. Good night...