Friday, April 18, 2014

Birds are great, love them, and squirrels too

Squirrel had a nut in its mouth and saw me as a threat. I was talking to it - on the approach. In tail-wagging fear (whether wagging the tail constitutes fear I don't know, they do this a lot), the thing darted up a tree and then cruised out on a branch. The squirrels here, I have noticed, love to jump and launch themselves across giant voids and this one was no different. But the branch didn't have enough strength to support it and started to droop. Still the squirrel leaped and not surprisingly it missed! Fell right on its face fifteen feet or so down. I stood there in shock. The squirrel didn't think anything of it though and didn't make a noise (acorn in its mouth). Ran up the telephone pole with the acorn in its mouth. They are a dominant creature and I sometimes see five at a time, two of which, maybe three, will be chasing each other around a tree, while I'm outside chuckling into my drink.

It was a blustery, near-dusk night, the other night, we had been getting tornado warnings, but not on this night, there was thunder I think and a dark sky and I glimpsed a gorgeous bird, brown, yellow, its coloring was superb, a yellow band on its tail shining like fresh paint. I was on campus in the writing office on the third floor, making copies with no one else in the building, which is somewhat atmospheric and I went to get a closer look. In the tree to the right was a treeful of these birds, who soon flocked to a tree along the next building, nibbling on the red fruit present in the picture below.

Then two days ago, I saw a blue jay. My first sighting. They're mean, my friend tells me and I told her I did hear a squawk as it zoomed by my office window.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lordly Mexican and he still likes the books

I have wanted to post about this now for some time, but don't believe I was capable. See similar to an architect who doesn't design a great building until he's ready to die of old age, I feel I did not have the necessary weight of world experience behind me that I could make a statement of the kind that I am about to make with any reasonable authority. The grilled streak tacos are delicious to behold at El Tequila. We were alarmed to discover that they will no longer be doing their $1.75 margarita specials however. Still it is the place to go in Milledgeville. In other news,  Dustin and I are going to Atlanta to the High MUseum of Art today. Actually I need to arouse myself. I am already notoriously late in life, but this time I need to be ready like my life depended on it. It will be swell to get my brain charged on something that's not the books, though I still like them.


32 oz of magic


Monday, March 10, 2014

Striving towards the upward reaches of mediocrity; goddamn it bill

It's perhaps worth me considering my worth in this community. So far this semester I have contributed two worthless documents and an increasingly wild hairdo. One that is worth salvaging perhaps, the work on the other hand is not even something a dog would like to nibble on. Nevertheless I am here, striving to mediocrity. I can afford a martini once a night and wahtever. I am not an intellectual because I am too much fun. Will my brain grow larger than it is. My teacher told me to stop using notes!

Dave Graney told me to do that too, or he would look at me with bemusement, when I attended his radio show with Lady Clarkey. So I used my notes in cass this time because I didn't know what I was talking about and I needed them, but the notes were worthless they didn't say anything to me. My arrogance to teach the class William S Burroughs was inexcusable. I stared at my notes. The class was silent, jostling uncomfortably. I wish I had today back. It was one of those days I would do differently for sure and there aren't many of those days that I have much anymore except right now!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dear Fredd Blogg

Last week I laid down next to Flannery's grave.


Today I saw a lizard that was more human in its expressiveness than a lot of the people in my writing program in Milledgeville and that's not to say that they are inexpressive (full disclosure: my first submission was eviscerated like the plague), just that this lizard was unexpectedly lifelike. That said, there's not a lot of expressiveness occurring among the writers - everyone gives off a sort of terrified countenance and that is kinda neat. I am keen to win them over.  I'd be crazy not to try. Furthermore, Flannery would have hated my story and there I am posing seductively over her grave.

OMG so there's a band called History of Apple Pie. What can I say the history of music just got a whole bunch interesting.

My teacher bought me a beer to cheer me up after workshop, but i was already drunk. The film Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed in Georgia. My friend Sarah served me them the other night.

The rap group De La Soul just made all their stuff available for free. How fresh is it? It is so fresh. I am astounded with their taste. I am identifying the dopest samples that I only recently discovered. Fried GGreen Tomatoes.


Sunday, February 02, 2014

Photo of campus



I'm going through all the different ways to have a dry martini, but first..

I lay in bed and listen to the ladybugs fall into my hair.

tch...tch

My roommate, I call him my roommate instead of my housemate because this is not a house, but or do we share a room. Still it is not a flat, or else he would be my flatmate. I use to tell Philip's friends in London that we lived together and he immediately said, oh nooooo, we share a flat.

I left a drunken message on my Swedish friend's voicemail when I heard she was losing her apartment. Sorry about the flat! I texted. I'm such a cultural dilettante. I'm enjoying this beefeater martini: two parts gin, one part extra dry vermouth. Maybe less vermouth next time and a spanish olive.

Daniel loves vodka martinis. No vermouth, just the dirty olive mix in the shaker and a surplus of olives. He even has an array of colorful straws and toothpicks. His socialization skills are astounding.

I have a great apartment and tonight has been good for reading and making comments on facebook.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Year in Reading 2013

I plowed through so many flipping books this year I don't see the point in ranking them all. I won't rank the ones I reread every year because I reread them because they are favorites and what is this list but a list of favorites and the twenty that I list here will be ones that I read for the first time and will reread again aside from longer reads like The Ambassadors, Freedom and Under the Volcano because those take the kind of commitments that I might not have as I encroach my years of grave sickness and destitution. I am reading more non-fiction and more women. Found my soulmate in Dawn Powell, who I write nothing like. Wish I could because she is a comic genius.

FICTION
  1. Memoirs of Hecate County by Edmund Wilson
    Subsequently saddened that it wasn't all true, but still I pretend. Surprise hit of 2013 from 1946.
  2. Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs
    An astounding achievement. Here's a story: I was housesitting over at Jeff's. Dogsitting really. Jeff had a dog and a snake. I had been asked to turn the snake's light off, it's a python really, off at night and back on in the morning. The morning I went to the python's room to turn off the light, she was not in her cage. My heart pounded when I looked down and saw the python darting between my legs. Reminded me of the time my brother frightened a snowflake eel from out under a rock and between my legs in the Cook Islands. Turns out it was the zipper tassel on my fanny pack swaying around and not Jeff's snake. I called Jeff who said the snake had its own balcony that is not visible from the front. Told timtam for it was she who had brought me the fanny pack as a gift from Vegas and she said what does the python transport itself into a balcony from another dimension? I just hung out pondering this, while working up an appetite for next door by reading Naked Lunch and its scenes of horribly detailed fantastic gay sex.
  3. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    Probably VN's best.
  4. Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
    Tequila-sodden. Electrifying prose that has the DT's. 
  5. Life on the Missisippi by Mark Twain
    Love Mr Twain. Sui generis thing of wonder.
  6. Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis
    Read during a heartbreak and chuckled like a drunken doofus! High praise for the high priest of the folksy parlance.
  7. Ninety Two in the shade by Thomas McGuane
    Crushing 60s vibe, when the buzz well and truly died, coked-up to the gills, like Fear and Loathing.
  8. The Golden Spur by Dawn Powell
    Frothy like the Dud Avocado and my coffee when properly heated.
  9. Freedom by Franzen
    Rivals the best of Philip Roth.
  10. The Fun Parts by Sam Lipsyte
  11. Badtime in Civil Warland by George Saunders
    Deserves several thoughtful praises every second by those of the corporate world who have good sense.
  12. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson
  13. Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
    Underappreciated, I reckon. 
  14. The Violent Bear it Away by Flannery O' Connor
    With love, it's her bleakest.
  15. Personal Anthology by Jose Luis Borges
    More mystery and detective work that you could shake a stick at. Held together by the most enchanting, swinging prose.
  16. The Easter Parade by Richard Yates
    I think the artist Grimes may have taken her name from the sisters in Richard Yates because she's really good and that would be really cool. I liked The Easter Parade a lot and could stomach the devastation and emotional brutality of their tragedy better than a lot of my friends, who I reckon are way less sensitive than me.
  17. Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St Aubyn
    Awesomely bleak but not a patch on Yates remarkably.
  18. Speedboat by Renata Adler
    Weird and wonderfully experimental.
  19. Maggie by Stephen Crane
    Powerful appreciation for gutter-strewn sex workers. 
  20. A Way of Life Like Any Other
    I loved Darcy O Brien's funny, sad fictionalized memoir of Hollywood Babylon with Dad George O' brien star of Murnau's Sunrise.
Other lesser works include Men's Club by Leonard Michaels, a novel that's not a scratch on his short stories, Dalva by Jim Harrison, noble in its ambitions, but (Dalva) thinks too much like a man. Jim's The English Major is one of his best. A retired biology professor takes a former student (highly-sexualized, of course) on a road trip to rename state birds. Overrated was Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr particularly once the entertaining slapstick turned into a dystopian futureworld. Black Spring by Henry Miller was good, but unmemorable. I liked the poetry collection Play the piano... by Charles Bukowski an awful lot and thought The Second Coming by Walker Percy was good, but dogmatic in the way it beat you over the head with its faith. The Watch and In the Loyal Mountains by Rick Bass are good, but came off as second-rate Barry Hannah probably because Rick and Barry run in the same circles and have the same hobbies that introduce them to the same types of people even though Barry does a better job of pushing the berserker envelope. Sea Wolf by Jack London was kind of a slog for the same reason I didn't think too much of the Bob Redford sinking yacht movie and Malcolm by James Purdy was a good strange, eccentric, then disturbingly strange in not a good way, but then its ending was so poignant, I must revisit this weird fairy tale. The Ask by Sam Lipsyte prompted me to question the state of the comic novel and eager to revisit Portnoy's Complaint because Lipsyte's book was irritatingly ranty in ways that I never felt with the Roth book. His stories however are instant classics for me (The Fun Parts), using sarcasm as impressive high comedy, but probably don't overstay their welcome like the novels or the people who deploy sarcasm frequently do. A couple things make McGuane's most recent novel (his last?) Driving on the Rim by different from his other nine. For one, the author hasn't used first person since 1978's Panama — not everyone's favorite. In fact, critics gave him hell for Panama, a little unfairly, I reckon because I loved the sad, funny story about the price of fame starring a burnt-out case with a brain fried so dearly on cocaine that he can't remember his dog's name. Panama was loosely autobiographical, while the new one isn't. In fact, B. Pickett, is about as far from T. McGuane as H. Humbert is from V. Nabokov. The Heart of a Dog by Bulgakov is minor stuff. The Ambassadors by Henry James was super dense and mysterious. I liked it. The Absolutely True Story of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie was a charming kid's book and gifted to me by a nifty Navajo. Letters to Yesenin by Jim Harrison are poems to a Russian poet who killed himself while thinking of killing himself and it is these poems that he writes to a long-dead poet that saves his life. Play it as it lays by Joan Didion is so spooky and creepy, it makes me happy to be east of the west. Expected to glean creative inspiration from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, or at least surprise. The absurdity and nonsense seemed old hat.


NON-FICTION
  1. Just Before Dark by Jim Harrison
    Essay collection full of beautiful prose and a searching hilarious mind who really cares what he thinks and eats.
  2. An Outside Chance by Thomas McGuane
    Essays from the greatest mind that I have ever had the pleasure of getting an email from.
  3. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
    Nails the harsh essence of the Southwest in lean muscular prose and gives indirect advice on how to go about experiencing it.
  4. Lunches with Orson Welles and Henry Jaglom
    From one of the greatest minds to ever live in an age without an ability to email me. His candor and unfiltered style is why I enjoy Bret Easton Ellis's twitter.
  5. Fran Lebowitz Reader
    What a lady. Mostly superb satire.
  6. Killer by Nick Tosches
    Pulpy fever dream. 
  7. Every Love Story is a Ghost Story by DT Max
    Page-turner about David Foster Wallace that confirmed my suspicions that he is someone that I would have never enjoyed being around. 
  8. Nathanael West/ His Life and Art by Jay Martin
    Exhaustive biography of a unique and compassionate ironist