25 August 2014

0 um... i do not know what this means

we have color alerts on our rain?!
is it like the terrorism rainbow?
presumably orange would be worse??

24 August 2014


how does one even go about conveying the exquisite strangeness in book-form?


21 August 2014

0 here's how it went down

1. i read there was a bill cosby biography coming in september.
2. i read the excerpt which was all about pudding pops.
3. now i really really want a pudding pop. 
4. a craving this commercial (despite acting as though pudding were "wholesome" and something that we need to clarify is "real") is in no way easing. 

0 FJ: on leonardo “SUMMER OF MY LIFE” dicaprio’s manbun

hey, you know my forever love leo dicap‘s manbun?
leonardo-dicaprio-man-bun-gettyi mean, if you know my man leo dicap then YEAH.YOU.DO.

19 August 2014

0 it is a tragedy of sorts

for the writer that the reader only gets the end. a final product. finished and polished off. because that isn't the experience of the writing.

would that we could write books that read like the writing.

and so a chunk of coherent story on the weird historical collision of the moon landing and jackie's 40th birthday begins with a logical parallel between a speech jfk made in houston in 1962 and the lyrics of the fifth dimension's "age of aquarius." and moves into discussion of existential fatigue and space as man's greatest adventure- reenforced by a quote from jackie referencing the same 1962 speech- and jackie's 40th birthday as the locus for astral anxieties- an argument solidified by a 1962 norman mailer article on jackie that explicitly identifies her as a central figure in an age where we are all like broken satellites. all tied up with an image of jackie in the newspaper connected to an image from a 2006 bright eyes lyric about how once the satellite's deceased/ it blows like garbage through the streets/ of the night sky into infinity.

ok. maybe it sounds like a mess here, but it reads seamlessly.

which upsets me for some reason.

a reason that is probably the fact that this is the first chunk of story from the jackie book that i'm going to be reading aloud to real live people in the autumn and that-- THAT. it feels like the beginning of an end. the initiation of my letting go and handing her over...

and so this weird little piece that began last april has, in these last days, assumed an enormo significance. which makes me want to lead workshops on it and write pamphlets and posts and give presentations to explain its architecture. to explain how, since that first moment on that train where i linked the jfk speech and the song from hair, it has been a long, slow slog towards completion.

because biography doesn't come together like critical theory. with theory, there's a visceral, beautiful mind-style coming together. last week, i wrote a sentence that bridged two paragraphs on the 8th page of an 18-page document and instantly knew IT IS DONE.

but, with biography, i do not know that one feels that same sense of completion. critical theory is like laying bricks. biographical writing is like painting. you get the base on and then there's just layer after layer after layer after layer applied on top. so that it comes together to be a picture and the brushstrokes aren't even evident, but MY GOD. the emotional investment, the personal melodrama involved in each one.

so that i remember being on the train when that jfk/"age of aquarius" connection clicked. and i remember sitting in my flat, how i randomly googled "jackie kennedy space" and happened upon a random mention in the transcripts of the schlesinger interviews. and later, in the british library, reading through the entire, often annoying, mailer article on jackie and catching the amazing, incredible ending of it, which supported everything i had gone out on a limb to say.

three things. 5 months. 6 pages that are the beginning of the end. and take maybe 20 minutes in total to read.

16 August 2014

0 re: failure

this article in the nyt on failure as writing's constant companion is both a total downer and TRUTH. read it. 

especially this...

As you get older, rest assured, you accept failure as part of your writing life. You realize the many forms failure can take: There is sentence-to-sentence failure, in which the words fly from your brain out the window or throw themselves on the page like suicide bombers. There is the failure to get on the page what is in your head. There is a failure of will. There is organizational failure, in which you wind up collapsing. 
You develop strategies to deal with it all. You develop a kind of sixth sense, a detective’s intuition about what will fail and what won’t. But above all, no matter how much you fail, you still sit down at your computer every day, and you keep going.

13 August 2014

0 FJ: NYT obituary smackdown: lauren bacall vs. lorin maazel edition

if celebrities play out our societal anxieties, hopes, dreams, blah blah blah on a conveniently more manageable, individualized scale then obituaries do the same for biography.
it’s all here, gang. i’ve said this before and i’ll say it again: we write women’s lives differently than we write the lives of men. EVERYWHERE. even obits. (btw, this inequality isn’t gender limited, obvi. it extends to race, class, region, etc. but i write about life writing and gender so this is about life writing and gender.)
exhibit A: bacall.

12 August 2014

0 for the weather junkies amongst you

so hey, apparently that torrential rain that kept me home from church the other day was a hurricane.

except not really, because it's england and we're all polite and correct so even the file names of our graphics specify that this was in fact  an EX-hurricane and, thus, what came after us sunday morning and afternoon was "ex Bertha". proof:

which sorta makes it sound like someone's angry ex-wife was out to get us. which she pretty much was.

fear not! the island is still here, if a little extra-puddled. the baby blown onto the tube tracks survived (so far as we know). the woman wearing the hammerpants saved it. the totally oblivious dude in the blue shirt appears to have remained totally oblivious. life goes on...

and now this'll be in my head all day...

11 August 2014

0 uk in america

this british foods aisle lindear found in nashville is uh-mazing:

let's itemize: 

some sort of seasonings in hot, medium and mild next to something "smooth and rich" (and presumably scary) which is next to a random tub of marmite (because, yes). next to a tea, next to some mint, next to some sort of canned tuna (dear GOD, why would you buy british tuna in america when you could just have chicken of the sea???), next to stuffing and what appears to be the hamburger helper equivalent of shepherd's pie. and that was just the top shelf!

2nd shelf: instant coffee (again, why?), something to do with custard (?), drinking chocolate (ie. hot chocolate), "aunty's steamed puddings" (WALK AWAY!!!!!), and what appears to be either jams or chutneys or perhaps a lemon curd. 

3rd shelf: a panapoly of biscuits! cadbury mini fingers, hobnobs and rich tea and digestive wheats and then... heinz spaghetti-os (why?! when everyone knows that mulligatawny soup is "the nation's favorite"...), and then ANOTHER cookie in farley rusks. (wtf are the spaghetti-o's doing there?!) 

4th shelf: fruit shoots, mint balls, tavener's proper sweets and toffees. (tee hee.)

5th shelf: cadbury orange, bounty, something i can't read, yorkie (in america it would be round), several varieties of aero (which is like whoppers in a chocolate bar, i think) and something by mars. 

6th shelf: $7 "salad cream" (ie. miracle whip except GROSS), seasonings or jams or chutneys of some kind, jammie dodgers (the jellied doughnut of the cookie world), things with a font meant to suggest india next to something that claims to be "original" but looks rather like olives. 

lastly: what i can only assume are meant to approximate mushy peas but which look like "marratoga" peas, heinz classic tomato soup (again, ?), pure ambrosia (???) + more digestives (but of course).

so would we call these "fine british foods"? um... no. salad cream will never ever ever be a "fine food". but, were you to curl up with a copy of pride and prejudice, a cup of earl gray and some jammie dodgers you'd be doing pretty well. 

09 August 2014

0 FJ: immediate thoughts on the trailer for the new behind the scenes of “saved by the bell” lifetime movie

hey, remember them?
remember all your fond childhood memories of them?? yeah, there’s a made-for-tv movie coming along to destroy whatever dustin diamond’s memoir/sex tape/stints on celebrity fit club and hulk hogan’s celebrity championship wrestling hasn’t already killed.

08 August 2014

0 things from the jean paul gaultier exhibition i clearly need

this dress made entirely of ribbons...

this dress made entirely of ties...

this wedding gown with a skirt comprised of a hussars coat worn backwards and a top of necklaces...

this leopard skin dress where the leopard is entirely made of beads...

plus the hat, but of course.