Friday, February 29, 2008

Go Ellen!

Ellen's message about Lawrence King. It's so rare for her to politicize her gayness, but she does it in a big way. And listen to what she says about the vote!

http://www.redlasso.com/ClipPlayer.aspx?id=f144dedf-06a7-45a4-9b11-f07d9ebfaae6

Bodies

I got to attend a great roundtable discussion at CUNY today (part of the ESA's "Talking Trash" Conference"), with Eve Sedgwick, Mary-Ann Caws, Mario DiGangi, Stephen Krueger, and Talia Schaffer. Best quote went to Eve:

"When you're sitting in the oncology ward, waiting for chemotherapy treatment, surrounded by all these other people waiting for chemotherapy treatment, and they all look like shit--some better than you, some worse than you--all you can think is: 'Bodies. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.'

Can't argue with that.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lawrence King

Click on the link to read about Lawrence King, the 15 year old in Oxnard, CA, who was shot in the head by a classmate because he was gay. The article goes on to discuss LGBT violence in New York City (which is largely unreported on).

http://www.theroot.com/id/44971

Drafting

It feels good to be finally starting on book 2. There was a lot of research and other prelim stuff to do beforehand, but when I finally started writing the first chapter, everything just spilled out. So I don't think writer's block is going to be a problem here. Now I just have to balance the research with the plot so that nothing comes off too heavy-handed.

Also, must have dinner. Why has the kitchen not magically produced dinner yet?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Angry Dance

I feel like this a lot on the inside:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I farted at the gym tonight. I didn't mean to. I was doing crunches--the kind where you have to dangle upside down--and it just slipped out. It wasn't very loud, but I know that the tall, skinny girl lifting weights next to me heard it. I'm sorry. I had rice and beans for dinner, and it was inevitable.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Casting Call

I'm bored at Brooklyn Label cafe, waiting for my laundry to dry, and I'm thinking to myself: what if NIGHT CHILD were a TV show? Who would be cast? In reality, authors have absolutely no say about this. But what if they did? So here is the list off the top of my head:

Tess

So, so hard to choose. But a few actresses spring to mind. Amy Ryan, from The Wire, although she's a bit old for the role. Ellen Muth from Dead Like Me if she dyed her hair. Alyson Hannigan, but only if she could be hardcore all the time. Oh, Lauren Ambrose from Six Feet Under. Oh My God, Lauren Ambrose would be amazing.

Derrick: He would have to be a queer actor. Oh wait, they're all blond twinks, except for Peter Paige and TR Knight. I guess it would be a toss-up between TR Knight and Zachary Quinto from Heroes. Although Ben Foster from Six Feet Under could work too. Or Joseph Gordon Levitt, who was amazing in Brick and Mysterious Skin.

Lucian: No contest. Gael Garcia Bernal. Yesterday, Today, and Forever.

Selena: Sonja Sohn from The Wire, or Gina Torres from Firefly.

Mia: Ellen Page. Who else?

Sabine: Robin Weigert, from Deadwood. In my dreams, it would be Linda Hamilton.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Signifying Chain

I lost my bracelet today. It was silver and engraved, and I got it 6 years ago from my oldest friend as a birthday present. I've taken it off maybe twice in that time, just to clean it. Once got into an argument with an airport security guard because I refused to take it off before going through the metal detector. It's one of the few objects in my life--rather than something that I own--that I consider irreplaceable. And now I'm really sad that it's gone. Really, really sad. And how weird that I would lose it after having such a great week. I'm not sure why bad and good things always have to happen in clusters.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Spivak vs Atwood

This is amazing. I want to see a hockey game with Team Spivak and Team Atwood. "You don't deke Margaret."

I'm Sorta Speechless

I got to listen to a dialogue between Gayatri Spivak and Peter Hitchcock today at the grad center.

It was in the basement, which was a little odd. What surprised me most about Spivak was how self-effacing she was. She had this interesting way of being humble and incredibly self-assured at the same time.

Her and Peter talked a bit about her new book, Other Asias, which is actually a volume of previously-published essays.

The first question that Peter asked her revolved around the subaltern, and this really annoyed me. It just seemed quite decontextualized, given the specific topic of "critical regionalism" that she tries to approach in Other Asias. I had to wonder why we were talking about her famous 1981 essay again. Not that it isn't an amazing piece that needs to be continually discussed--but I was hoping that we'd start with something a bit more current. This, of course, produced a long and slightly incomprehensible question about what constitutes a "technical subaltern" from the crowd, and I found myself shifting uncomfortably in my seat. It seemed like, even after 27 years, academics were still trying to nit-pick this argument of hers, which even she admits to not quite understanding in the first place. I was really interested to hear her talk a bit about how the piece was actually written about her great-aunt, which made it personal for her. I hadn't actually known that before.

After that, she talked a bit about statism and human rights as an "alibis" that could be "philosophically inaccessible and useless" when not framed with real people and material politics in mind. Here are some paraphrased highlights for me:

"What is in our hearts must be protected from the deeply embarrassing experience of having it become public."

"Everyone at Columbia thinks I'm a space-cadet."

"Long after the material structures of imperialism have faded, the epsitemic structures last. The affective structures last."

"I won't ask you to be like me. Just don't ask me to be like you."

"When they [Foucault and Deleuze] talk about high theory, they are incredibly sophisticated--but when they talk to each other, and when they talk about literary texts, they're sloppy. Plot summary, themes, characterology--it's not sophisticated at all. And [pointing to the audience] you all shouldn't do that either, there's no excuse!"

"When we read a text [as academics] we look for those points of transparency, those points of misalignment, and we can turn them around, turn capital around, as if re-writing, until it [is as if] we in fact did write those spots because they seem to speak to us. Not just re-writing, but seeing something by Derrida or Heidegger as having been already written by us [because it resonates]."

"I'm not very well liked on the mainland."

In response to a student who asked a question about statist human rights: "It's like being in an eye doctor's office. You ask big questions like that, and it's like staring at that big poster and trying to see the letters. Can you see 'E?' Ok, I can see 'E,' but that's about it. The vision of these states who claim to be helping just isn't good enough. And if that's too confusing, then I'm sorry, but I can't un-confuse it."

Other high points included: a story about her getting mugged, having a concussion, and showing up the same day for a lecture with an empty briefcase and no notes; describing Who Sings the Nation State? as "the book that Judy and I wrote--you know, Judy Butler"; having her cell-phone ring in the middle of answering a question, then exclaiming "Jesus!", getting up to answer it, then sighing: "One missed call. And this isn't even my cell-phone"; and desribing a postcolonial critic as "my homeboy." Also, I have to say, her deep maroon sari with an emerald hem was seriously ass-kicking.

As if the afternoon wasn't surreal enough, as I was writing this blog, Eve Sedgwick walked into the computer lab, said hi, and asked me how my semester was going. We chatted about Proust for a bit, since she's teaching her Proust course again next year, and I told her how weird it felt to read Swann's Way on a Greyhound bus from Toronto to New York. Her reply: "I don't think Proust cares where you read the book, as long as you read it."

So there you go.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Choo-Choo!

So far, I've managed to get two indie bookstores interested in NIGHT CHILD. Pretty good (pats self on back). Publicity train, here we go!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Already Dead






















Best vampire thriller/noir I've ever read. So good it's scary; so scary it's good. Made me laugh, shudder, squirm, and even cry. And Charlie Huston is a cool New York writer who supports awesome independent bookstores like Partners & Crime.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Cranky, snark, snark, I hate my cane!"






















Seriously, could Hugh Laurie be any hotter? I love Fry and Laurie. When Stephen Fry came out in the late 80s--unheard of in Britain, except for Rupes--Laurie was a huge ally and consistently worked with him in movies. In my mind, they are BFFs with matching bracelets, like Marty and I.

Couch Trip

I love routines. I'm kind of OCD that way. ("Kind of?" Shut up, Matt.) Of course, I'm also a Gemini, which means that I like to spontaneously develop new routines, and then practice 3 or 4 at the same time.

Lately, I've settled into a nice hamster wheel routine. Get up, feed the cat, check my email, and then go to the Greenpoint Coffee House. As a cafe, they're perfect for me. Even when they get busy, they don't care if I sit in the corner with my laptop. Mostly, they just serve you and forget about you, which suits me fine, and their homefries rock my world. Now that their wireless is fixed, it's nice and fast, which is awesome. And their food is more reasonably priced than Brooklyn Label, although I do still love my Label (mmm...oatmeal).

Just finished reading way too much about tactical vests, gun ejector ports, and ballistics gel. Going to head home, do my ASL lessons (I usually do 2 per day), and then maybe go to the Village for a bit. Might visit Oscar Wilde and drum up some publicity for the novel.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I'm F*ing Matt Damon

This rocks. I laughed my ass off.