Friday, July 29, 2005

Memememememememememememe. And me.

Lisa tagged me with this meme, and while I certainly have things I should be doing instead, here I am. (This is a classic example of one of my "5 bad habits" below.)

- 10 years ago: I had either just undergone or was about to undergo surgery for a detached retina, which caused me to have to begin my senior year of high school three weeks later wearing a gauze patch over one eye.

- 5 years ago: I was at the Denver Publishing Institute, summoning the courage to move to New York and try my luck at getting a job in big-time publishing. I had also just read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and been enthralled.

- 1 year ago: I was having a terrible, terrible week and preparing to go on vacation out west. (Just like this week, actually. . . . Maybe the last week of July is cursed for me.)

- yesterday: I attended the New York City Child_Lit lunch at the Old Town Bar & Grill to discuss Half-Blood Prince; I wrote a letter to our sales reps about The Book of Everything for Spring 2006 Sales Conference next week; I talked to the brilliant David Small about a picture book we're working on, and went over layouts for it with our creative director David Saylor; and I saw two movies with Jeff -- "Hustle and Flow," which I really enjoyed, especially during the scenes where they were putting the raps together, and "Wedding Crashers," which has a great premise but can't decide if it really wants to be a raunchy slapstick sex comedy or a realistic romantic comedy and ends up being merely stupid, long, and tedious. (It does have Owen Wilson, though, who I've never found very interesting before this movie, but suddenly -- Owen Wilson! And also Bradley Cooper -- the much-lamented Will on "Alias" -- in a very un-Will-like role.)

- tomorrow: I am going to do laundry, start cleaning my apartment in preparation for having Jeremiah and 2.0 over for dinner Sunday night, try to read the first pass of The Tenth Power, and see "The Conformist" with Ben at Film Forum. If I get three out of four of those things done, I'll be satisfied.

- 5 snacks I enjoy: MoonPies, plain-chocolate McVitie's (biscuit of the gods), stroopwafels, oatmeal creme pies, Pirate Booty (arr)

- 5 bands/artists that I know the lyrics to most of their songs: This is hard because I don't have the complete albums of very many artists . . . But I know a lot of the Dixie Chicks, Rogers & Hammerstein, John Mayer, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and Stevie Wonder.

- 5 things I would do with $100,000,000: Buy a brownstone in Park Slope; endow the Carleton Quiz Bowl team and English department (or whatever the school needs most); take all my friends shopping for glamorous clothing of their choice (I myself would probably get a BCBG or Morgane le Fay dress), then out for an excellent dinner and activities afterward, all chauffered in a private limousine about town; donate a great deal to breast-cancer research; buy a first edition of a Jane Austen novel.

- 5 locations I would like to run away to: Paris, Hawaii, Australia, Sweden, Scotland

- 5 bad habits I have: Procrastination, incredible mercuriousness (is this a word? Here, let me go away from this now to look it up . . . ), work avoidance/lack of discipline (different from procrastination), perfectionism, competitiveness

- 5 things I like doing: Reading, baking, playing Scrabble, having a long lovely dinner and nosh with friends, dancing

- 5 things I will never wear: Heels more than two inches high, a skirt or shorts that don't cover my butt (eww), a clown costume, false eyelashes, lederhosen. Well, maybe the lederhosen.

- 5 TV shows I like(d): "Gilmore Girls," "Alias," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," "Moon Over Miami" (does anyone remember this? It ran for about three months in the fall of 1993, I think, and it starred Ally Walker and Billy Campbell in a sort of updated, more literary "Moonlighting" -- it was *great*)

- 5 movies I like: "Sense and Sensibility," "Head On," "It Happened One Night," "Singin' in the Rain," "Speed"

- 5 people I'd like to meet: Jane Austen, Eleanor Roosevelt, Kate Constable, R. J. Anderson, and George W. Bush, so I could kick him.

- 5 biggest joys at the moment: My wonderful girlfriends, the prospect of next week's vacation in the Rockies, Famous Ben's Sicilian pizza with mozzarella and fresh basil (on the corner of Sullivan and Spring Streets in Soho, incredible marinara sauce), air conditioning, fresh flowers

- 5 favorite toys: iPod mini (nicknamed "Nutmeg of Consolation"), digital camera, my new little matchbox SmartCar and Mini, running shoes, library card

- 5 tagged: Okay, what five people do I know who read this, have blogs, and might be willing to do this? Melissa, Will, Nadia (see! I find out you're alive after four months and I'm giving you things to do already!), Rebecca, and Jeremiah. But only if you want to -- no obligation.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Annoyance List and Yippy Dogs

I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week, and in an effort to make myself feel better, I am going to present the Annoyance List (the opposite of my Happy Lists) and then stomp on it. (Yes, bad moods do give me the right to behave like a two-year-old, thank you very much.) Therefore:

  • Magazine subscription cards
  • Being stuck behind people who walk slowly
  • Fluorescent lights in bathrooms and dressing rooms
  • Having the blinking light on my answering machine turn out to be a wrong number or dial tone
  • Zits
  • Headaches
  • "U" for "you," "RU" for "Are you," "l8" for "late," etc., anyplace except text messages
  • Mistakes in books I've edited (this one qualifies for the Hate List, actually)
  • George W. Bush and his Administration (ditto)
  • George W. Bush's face, voice, and style of speech
  • Everything George W. Bush has done for the past five years (cf. Karl Rove)
  • The Republican political leadership in general (cf. Karl Rove)
  • Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who give rational and loving Christians a bad name
  • Glib, hypocritical, unsympathetic conservative political commentators
  • The scent of urine in public places
  • People who, upon finding out that I work on the Harry Potter books, tell me immediately that they disapprove of the American translations, especially the "Philosopher's" -> "Sorcerer's" change on the first book. Do I immediately tell *you* I find your work condescending and unnecessary without understanding or really thinking through the reasoning behind it? No, I have better manners than that. You should too.
  • Losing at Scrabble because the person who played the last letter gets the value of my tiles and I lose those points
  • Car and pharmaceutical commercials
  • Dust from opened Jiffy padded mailing envelopes
  • Karl Rove (cf. zits)
*stomp* *stomp* *stomp*

That does feel better. But I reserve the right to stomp a little more, or to move to Australia.


In any case, one of the few good things this week was going over to Melissa's house Monday night and having our enormous HBP download conversation at last. J. K. Rowling announced in her interview with Melissa that Ron's Patronus is a Jack Russell terrier (don't worry, spoiler-haters, that has absolutely nothing to do with the plot), and Melissa and I proceeded to have the following conversation off this interesting fact (my recollections based upon hers):

Cheryl: A Jack Russell terrier.
Melissa: Yeah.
Cheryl: So it kind of makes sense because Jack Russells are loyal and you know, Ron is nothing if not loyal. But still, it's small and -- yippy.
Melissa: Ooooh, I'm a dementor, I run at the sight of a small yippy dog! AGGH!
Cheryl: [with hand motions] Yip yip yip!
Melissa: I am wearing my big black cloak of doom and can suck out a man's soul and -- AGGH! It's a small yappy type dog! [Melissa's note: Eddie Izzard lovers, the rest of this conversation is done in a really bad impersonation of him.]
Cheryl: [chortles]
Melissa: I --I am trying -- to suck the soul -- and -- goddamn it -- I suck the -- I can't get the dog -- off my robe -- I shall suck the soul but the dog is stuck to my robe -- be gone, yappy dog, be gone!

At which point we collapsed laughing and drank more wine. Good times. Small dogs. Yip!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Of Horror and Harry

This weekend I visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. It is excellently done, which is to say it is terrifying: that such madness and inhumanity could grip an entire country for a decade and a half makes one doubt the concept of humanity altogether. There were charts showing “acceptable” hair color, eye color, and nose width as opposed to those that displayed signs of “racial impurity”; there were Nazi children’s books depicting Jews as rapacious, hook-nosed unnatural monsters; there were accounts and pictures of life in the ghettos, of the Nazis’ deliberate fostering of disease and starvation . . . and that was all before you reached the main second-floor exhibit on the concentration camps themselves, where I walked under a cast of the gate of Auschwitz (emblazoned with the famous ARBEIT MACHT FREI) and felt as if I were passing through the very gate of hell. While I had read much about the camps before, thanks to Night and Fragments of Isabella and The Hiding Place and QB VII, the gate, the cattle car, the bunks, the scale model of the gas chambers and crematoria, the heaped-up mass of shoes and human hair made it all as real as the bed on which I sit and the computer on which I type.

So did this: When you arrive at the museum, you are given a card with a name, number, picture and short biography of a real person who experienced the Holocaust, and invited to track his or her life through the course of the atrocity by entering the number into computers set up throughout the exhibit. This is a brilliant move on the museum’s part, as it transforms the too-vast-to-comprehend ten million Jews and others who perished in the Holocaust into the one you hold in your hand and identify with. Mine died at Auschwitz. Her name was Hannah. She was 53.


Afterward my thoughts went back—and I hope this will not sound horribly trivial or disrespectful, as I certainly don’t mean it so—to Harry Potter. Partly this was because Melissa was once asked what the series was about and she said “ethnic cleansing,” and I think she's right. Lord Voldemort’s desire to wipe out any “impurities” in the wizarding world is an echo of the Nazis’ obsession with bloodlines, and the series’ entirely casual multiculturalism (where Harry likes Cho, Ginny likes Dean, werewolves and giants can be good guys, and wizard-Muggle unions are praised) is in every way a rebuke to that and a celebration of diversity. (Though my mere use of the words “diversity” and “multiculturalism” makes this sound more didactic, cheesy, and heavy than it actually is in the books, where it’s just life.)

But more I was thinking about the use of such a museum and the painful emotional experience I had going through it, and likewise the use of the deaths in HP4, 5, and 6—what purpose those painful emotional experiences can serve for readers. We received a letter this week from a woman whose child had been deeply upset by the death in HBP, and she vehemently objected to the fact that her child had been made to experience such trauma. I had little sympathy with this, partly because, as an editor, I love emotion, I love trauma—while one part of me is cowering at my desk with my hands over my head, as I was the first time I read the ending of HBP, the analytic part of me thrills to the fact that I’m being made to experience such emotions and positively rubs its hands in glee at the effect that it’s going to have on readers.

And then I disagreed with it because I believe in reading as an act of emotional normalization: It rescues you from solipsism, prepares you for the occurrence of certain emotions in real life, equips you to deal with them, and, in ideal cases, engenders sympathy and compassion for others. While this is not fiction's primary purpose and never should be (for pleasure is), in every intense emotional situation of my life, I have sought comfort in the experiences of the fictional people who have been there before me; during a break-up this past year, I pulled out Middlemarch, Sense and Sensibility, Bleak House, and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason for the comfort of the authors putting words to my feelings and the reassurance that Dorothea, Marianne, Elinor, Esther, and Bridget had survived—and so would I. With HBP, this child will at some point in the course of real life lose someone he loves (however much his mother may deny it): and how much better to know that Harry has too, and come through just fine, with those who remain bound even closer to him and his will to survive and defeat Voldemort stronger than ever. The Holocaust Memorial Museum offers no comfort—there isn’t any—but from its depiction of depravities and the horror they cause in the viewer, it creates a resolution that’s stronger still: Never again.

And that is worth a little trauma.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Shopping rant

Or clothing rant, or fashion rant, or something. My sister Melissa came to visit this weekend, and in the course of her trip we inevitably ended up at Century 21 and then Loehmann's (the two inextricably linked in my mind because every time I go to the disorganized and overpriced Century 21, I think "Why didn't I go to the quieter, better-arranged, and altogether more reasonable Loehmann's instead?", and then I do). While we were there, Lissa looked at cool clothes while I looked at the clothes I liked, which were usually comfortable as opposed to cool; and then she ridiculed my lack of coolness in the time-honored tradition of little sisters everywhere. (She once wanted to get me on "E! Fashion Emergency" -- an offer I embraced because I'm willing to put up with five minutes of embarrassment in exchange for a new $1000 wardrobe, though I don't think she ever did anything about it. Now she wants me to go on "What Not to Wear.") Melissa and Rachel have announced that I need at the very least:

  • A pair of sexy jeans, ideally Lucky or Sevens
  • Black flats
  • An actual pair of heels
  • Another blazer
  • At least one or two more pretty or ironic t-shirts a la Brooklyn Industries or Urban Outfitters
  • No more khaki pants, or at least ones that are long enough

I understand why they think this; I agree with them to some extent (probably on the jeans, definitely on the khaki pants); but I also rather resent it, because the vast majority of the time I just don't care. I like pretty clothes, of course -- today I wore the linen skirt with ribbon detail that I have on in my picture with Lisa below, and I love it, and I like looking good, looking feminine, feeling cool, all that. But in general I would be delighted to go to work every day in the summer in a jeanskirt (I own three), shirt, and sandals; I decided when I moved to New York that I'd rather spend my publishing salary on my lovely-but-expensive apartment than trendy clothes; and I have better things to think about, dammit, longer-lasting and more important and more interesting things, than whether this shrug goes with that skirt with sequins and that tank top when I can't wear any of the pieces come October and they'll all be outdated next summer anyway!

Bah. There are other factors on both sides here -- the argument for fashion from About A Boy by Nick Hornby, which is actually quite a good one; and how much my scoliosis (which makes it hard to find clothes that fit sometimes), my pride, and my Millicent Min-like neurosis about being smart vs. being cool play into all this. But I am going to bed instead. More visitors come to town tomorrow and will occupy me till next week, so have a great week and weekend, everyone! May you all find the perfect jeans for you. :-)


Four other things:

  • If you've finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (and ONLY if you've finished it), R. J. Anderson has some very interesting theories on Book 7, and Melissa will be posting her post-book interview with J. K. Rowling on The Leaky Cauldron in pieces throughout the week.
  • My friend Will is writing alternately or simultaneously frightening, funny, and surreal dispatches from his study-abroad program in the West Bank.
  • And Jeremiah is on vacation this week, but his webcomic Five Bucks to Friday is still getting new installments, and it's as hilarious and character-driven as ever. Check out the Archives too.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

And then, the payoff for an editor: "New Harry Potter Book Lives Up to Hype Surrounding Its Release, Gets Rave Reviews," on the news crawl outside the NBC Studios in Rockefeller Center, 6:10 p.m., July 16, 2005. My sister Melissa and I saw people reading it all over the city: on the subway, at Tiffany's, in line for Mexican food with us at Grand Central Station . . . and if these people had to pay attention to other things, like ordering enchiladas, they invariably showed the mark of the deeply involved reader: one finger holding their place in the book while they attended to the small unimportant details so-called "real life." It was fantastic. Posted by Picasa

The Toys 'R' Us screen in Times Square, 12:18 a.m., July 16, 2005. Posted by Picasa

Me and my babies in the Toys 'R' Us at Times Square, 11:32 p.m., July 15, 2005. They let the first wave of people in about ten minutes later, and the Scholastic staff gathered near the front window at 11:55 to watch the countdown on the Times Square JumboTron, ticking off the last 30 seconds aloud, exactly like New Year's Eve. It was so cool to watch people run for the books, get them, clutch them to their chests -- their babies now -- then flip them open and read desperately, as if the words were air. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 15, 2005

July 15, 2005

At last! Thank God! In less than 24 hours you all can know everything I know and we can talk about it! I can't wait. I'm going to the Scholastic party in the early evening, then meeting my sister's train from Washington at Penn Station at 10:30. From there I plan to go to Toys 'R' Us in Times Square for the actual release at midnight -- it's like New Year's, that moment, all the waiting over and the anticipation released, even if you don't actually have the book in your hands yet. And when you get the book in your hands, ah . . . all the story and all the secrets, yours yours yours, at long last. I hope it lives up to everyone's expectations and look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Of course Melissa Anelli will have the book at 7 p.m. UK time, and I fully expect her to call me and scream several times in the course of the evening. And R. J. Anderson always has interesting theories on the HP series (as well as by far the best fanfic I've read), so I look forward to seeing her thoughts too.

A little Arthur A. Levine Books boasting: Arthur was profiled in the Baltimore Sun here. (The picture, incidentally, must have been taken with him sitting on the floor in the Scholastic hallway, as that's our hall carpet (printed with the Scholastic mission statement) in the background behind him.) I was listed as a source in two USA Today articles about Harry Potter, here and here. Thanks to the truly heroic efforts of the marvelous Rachel Griffiths, our imprint website is finally fully up and running here. Thanks to the likewise brilliant efforts of Lisa Yee, she, I, and Scholastic CEO Dick Robinson appear in a photo (taken at ALA) on the Publishers Weekly website here. And this is as good a time as any to make the announcement: I have been promoted to Editor, Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, and I'm very pleased and proud. (Rachel and I went and got pedicures in celebration, so my toenails are currently a pearlescent aqua, the better to coordinate with the HP5 shirt I'm planning to wear tomorrow.)

Recent cultural events: Last night I went to the Housing Works Used Bookstore and Cafe to see a taping of the Air America show "Liberal Arts," starring Dar Williams and the very funny Chuck Klosterman. Chuck looks exactly like the stereotype of the pasty overgrown rock geek with big glasses -- an impression confirmed when he compared each of his past girlfriends to a different member of KISS -- but his previous book, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low-Culture Manifesto, made me laugh and nod in recognition more than any other book in 2003, and based on the excerpt I heard last night, I look forward to reading the new Killing Yourself to Live for the same reason. Dar performed three songs from her forthcoming album, whose title I unfortunately cannot remember, but I liked the one called "Teen for God" the best . . . and she was just as interesting and articulate in person as she is on "Out There Live."

And tonight Ben and I went to the Jewish Museum to see the Maurice Sendak exhibit, which I commend to anyone in the New York area before it closes on August 15. Being an editorial dork, I got most emotional and excited about the manuscript of Where the Wild Things Are with Ursula Nordstrom's comments on it, but there is plenty of interest to anyone with even the mildest interest in children's books, Jewish literature, or artistic interpretations of the Holocaust.

Finally, if you will indulge me in one last evil laugh for old times' sake: hee hee hee. :-) Enjoy Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, everyone!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Fish Fish Bang Bang

Courtesy of Maud Newton Blog and Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is writing a book called It Takes a Family, in which he proclaims single mothers shouldn't go to college, Wal-Mart is a good corporate citizen, and children who graduate from public schools are lucky they're not weirder.

I've started to type all sorts of things like "Commenting on this is like shooting fish in a barrel," and then erased them, because (1) that's a cliche and (2) it smacks of liberal glibness and smugness, and there's enough glibness and smugness on both sides of the political divide without my adding more. So instead I'm trying to tease out what exactly it is I find so disgusting about Santorum and his Republican colleagues, and I think it's chiefly the lack of empathy for anything beyond their privileged (and for the vast majority, white male heterosexual) viewpoint. Racism happens. Sexism happens. Financial and medical bad luck happen (and are often linked). Not everyone is born rich and connected. People from the same gender fall in love as deep and true as that between people from opposite genders, and often experience hate and hurt because of that affection. All of this pain is real, and deserves compassion -- and from the government, as much consideration and protection as it can grant without stepping on other people's rights. Republicans often somehow seem to forget anything beyond their bubbles exist, or act in deep denial of that fact. (George W. Bush quite possibly has never known.)

And then when they claim this is Christian behavior (like the man I met in Pennsylvania last year while I was canvassing for John Kerry, who insisted he was against welfare because he was a Christian and "when you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day" yadda yadda) . . . Well, this was the reading at church yesterday -- Isaiah 58, verses 6-10:

Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of God shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and God will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.
If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.

I love the promise in the last verse here: If you act for justice, speak not evil, share your food with the needy and your mercy with the afflicted, your light (which I read partly as personal happiness) shall rise, your gloom dissipate. And if we could all do that . . . Creating a better world takes more than just one family, Rick. It takes empathy. It takes humility. It does, in fact, take an entire village of people working together for the good of all, and thinking about more than their own egos and power and the next political race. It is perhaps impossible to ask that of a modern politician -- but I would be delighted for a Republican to prove me wrong.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Happy List, Episode IV: A New Happy

(also known as the Happy List, Summer 2005 edition)

  • Sliding my bare feet through grass
  • Pedicures
  • Sparkly nail polish
  • Sandals that don't hurt my feet
  • Movie previews
  • Watching baseball
  • The International House of Pancakes
  • Postcards
  • Long Island Iced Teas
  • Marty Markowitz
  • Finding things on the street in Park Slope (two recent notables: a plastic foot attached to a stuffed leg and a record from the Cornelia Street Cafe reading and music series)
  • Stoop sales
  • See's candies
  • Bliss toiletries
  • Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Lying in the sun talking/drowsing with friends
  • Being incredibly smug and annoying about Harry Potter (a pleasure I have for only six more days)
  • Smart action movies
  • Sunglasses
  • Rice pudding; also chocolate, vanilla, tapioca, and bread pudding (but not bubble tea)
  • Fresh-grilled meat
  • Fresh-made s'mores
  • Rain on the roof
  • Sitting in the park reading/writing/editing
  • The park in general, actually, and doing just about anything in it . . . I say this often, but I think heaven will look like a New York City park on a sunny Saturday afternoon in June: The whole diversity of humanity eating, drinking, napping, rollerblading, running, making music, listening to music, playing Frisbee and baseball, reading, tossing tennis balls to dogs, grilling, sitting in lawn chairs, getting ice cream, strolling, all in utter peace and harmony and beauty, and I feel so lucky to be a part of it.
  • The way a box fan makes one's voice sound funny when one speaks into it
  • Croquet!

Friday, July 08, 2005

"To A Terrorist," by Stephen Dunn

For the historical ache, the ache passed down
which finds its circumstance and becomes
the present ache, I offer this poem

without hope, knowing there's nothing,
not even revenge, which alleviates
a life like yours. I offer it as one

might offer his father's ashes
to the wind, a gesture
when there's nothing else to do.

Still, I must say to you:
I hate your good reasons.
I hate the hatefulness that makes you fall

in love with death, your own included.
Perhaps you're hating me now,
I who own my own house

and live in a country so muscular,
so smug, it thinks its terror is meant
only to mean well, and to protect.

Christ turned his singular cheek,
one man's holiness another's absurdity.
Like you, the rest of us obey the sting,

the surge. I'm just speaking out loud
to cancel my silence. Consider it an old impulse,
doomed to become mere words.

The first poet probably spoke to thunder
and, for a while, believed
thunder had an ear and a choice.

-- from Between Angels (Norton), 1989

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Essaying Forth

For those who might be interested, I recently wrote an essay about editing the English-language translation of The Legend of the Wandering King by Laura Gallego Garcia, and you can read it here. This was one of those manuscripts I just fell more and more in love with the more I worked on it, so I get a little carried away at the end, but it truly is an amazing book -- history, fantasy, and philosophy of life all rolled up in one beautiful, fabulous (in the sense of fable-like) package. I am proud of it.

A note on when I refer to something as "my book": The books I edit are not really *my* books -- books belong to their authors, and they're mine only insofar as the author trusts me to help him/her achieve his/her vision and share it with readers. But I love all the books I work on quite passionately, so I feel both the reader's love for a great story and the artist's pleasure in taking part in the creation of something new and wonderful; and thus often I slip and call the books "mine."

BMG Music Service called tonight and seduced me back into joining with a "Buy 1 CD, Get 5 Free" offer. The first CD had to be ordered on the phone, so I asked about, in order, Dar Williams (whose "Out There Live" seems to be my album of the summer); Modest Mouse, pre-"Good News for People Who Love Bad News"; the Beatles (not carried by BMG); Al Green (because I need more funk in my life); and finally Mary Chapin Carpenter, whose "Between Here and Gone" I settled on at last. So now I have to buy one CD and I get four more free ones . . . I need more Cassandra Wilson, definitely, and maybe I will get that Modest Mouse, or some Nina Simone at last. Suggestions and recommendations are gratefully appreciated.

Thus goes everyone to the world but I, and I am sunburnt.* I may sit in a corner and cry heigh-ho for a husband.**

* Truly -- the one negative effect of my weekend of Harry Potter / Fourth of July decadence. Aloe vera gel, anyone?
** Ten points to the first non-Katy reader who recognizes the reference. :-)

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Posting from my lovely friend Melissa's house on the Jersey shore, where I am having a great time hanging out with her family, reading trashy magazines, swimming, eating, and successfully avoiding answering questions about "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." The methods they have used thus far to interrogate me include

* Home-brewed alcohol
* Abrupt changes of subject meant to catch me off-guard
* Subtle streams of questions designed to lure me into a false sense of security (e.g. "What's your favorite food?"; "Where did you grow up?"; "Who's the Half-Blood Prince?")
* Extremely cute children making puppy-dog eyes at me
* Vast quantities of delicious food
* Kidnapping threats. (Hey, they're Sicilian.)

But we're less than two weeks away now. I shall stand firm. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

Happy Fourth!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Cheryl, Lisa, and STANFORD WONG FLUNKS BIG-TIME Posted by Picasa