Monday, December 31, 2007

12 x 10

Here's a list of books that stuck with me this year. Not all of them were published in 2007, but I read them all for the first time in 2007. They're in no particular order. Just 12 by 10 authors.

1. Elaine Equi, Ripple Effect
2. J. Allyn Roser, Misery Prefigured
3. Chase Twichell, Dog Language
4. Charles Wright, Littlefoot
5. Rebecca Loudon, Radish King
6. Jean Valentine, The Door in the Mountain
7. Peter Pereira, What's Written on the Body
8. Virginia Chase Sutton, Embellishments
9. Virginia Chase Sutton, What Brings You to Del Amo?
10. Ted Berrigan, Sonnets
11. C. Dale Young, The Day Underneath the Day
12. C. Dale Young, The Second Person

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Baltimornin'




Frantic packing tonight, then work, then a morning nap, then off to Baltimore and Brian for a late xmas visit that is going to be too too short. The time crunch is a downer, but it's a chance to see the boy and get a double dip of Christmas; so ultimately it's to the good.

Minimal blogging, if any, until I'm back; unless of course the good folks of Charm City have seasonal Virgin billboards or there's something just too good to pass up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Best. Christmas. Song. Ever.

Run DMC's, "Christmas in Hollis."


Merry Christmas!



Here's hoping that you and yours have the merriest of Christmases--without ending up drunk in an alley.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Verklempt



Ashley drew my name for our Secret Santa exchange. She made me this gorgeous collage/painting piece based on one of my poems, "In Transit." I can't wait til after the holidays to get it framed and hanged. It was perfect: unexpected and lovely.



"In Transit"


"In Transit" detail a


"In Transit" detail b


"In Transit" detail c

Pile O' Pressies...Stack O' Stuff Edition

The caption contest is over. Last week was intense--a flurry of writing, rewriting, rejecting and anxiously checking vote totals. Congratulations to Shanna for the fierce final round. Special thanks to CDY and Jacob for the sponsorship. And a bigger especial thanks to those who voted during the whole smackdown.

A quick moment just for Brian who said: "So you are the Jeffrey, not the Santino of Project: Caption."

~*~

The other day my mom wanted to talk about politics--usually not something she does. I'm obviously not always sympathetic to the GOP, and finally neither is my mother. She's a classic old-school conservative: minmal government invasion, low taxes, fiscal responsibility, yadda yadda. She has to vote in the GOP Primary here and is wondering how. But come the general she's definitely voting Democrat. Anyways--we're talking and she says "I'm really drawn to Joe Biden. I don't know why, but I am." Now I don't know if this means she likes his policy positions...or there's some other thing going on. Frankly, I don't want to think of my mom having the hots for him.

~*~

Some time last week I'd started a post going on about how I hadn't gone all crazy for Christmas this year just because I hadn't gone hog wild decorating and turning into the more feminine, less felonious Martha Stewart (that's for you Tommy.)

When I broke it down I realize that yes, yes indeed I had gone a little nuts, again, for Christmas (with my mother's help, we broke up the duties and each tackled specific things.) A quick breakdown of the final goody production:

19 dozen cookies baked
6 lbs of candy
2 quarts of spiced mixed nuts

And 5 stockings made from scratch. We decided to do a Secret Santa this year, but each gift was supposed to be hand-made. I drew Eric, but since I was overcome with holidizzy, I made one for Tommy and Ashley and a couple of others as well (just in case I needed a last minute pressy for someone.)

Eric's Stocking


Ashley's Stocking


Tommy's Stocking

Oh, the Eighties

I wore out a 45 of this song as a tween. It's over the top, self-important, rhetorically flawed...and yet...I can't help singing along when I hear it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Annie Lennox and Al Green, "Put A Little Love in Your Heart"

OY!

Yesterday was crazy--all sorts of last minute things to do, plus sleep, then a dismally long night at work. I totally forgot to put up one of the xmas vids.

This is Tiny Tim's singular version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Ukulele and all. It's track 2 on A John Waters Christmas. Not as bad as the Chipmunks' "Sleigh Ride" but not as stirring as Roger Christian's "Little Mary Christmas" or Rita Faye Wilson's "Sleigh Bells, Reindeer and Snow."

But it's creepy.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Headline of the Day

From the Yahoo Front page.

Seasons Greetings



Since the photo retrospective of christmas decorations didn't work out, I decided I'd spend the next week posting the christmas tunes I just can't live without each year.

First up is the classic David Bowie, Bing Crosby duet "Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth" from the late 70s. Drunk Crosby and Coked out Bowie...what else could more truly capture the season?


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rejected Captions for Round 3


Here are the rejected captions I generated for the last round of the Caption Contest Throwdown,

From T'was the Night at D. Beckham's
His Y fronts were stuffed with the tenderest care,
In hopes that the nanny soon would be there.

The L.A . Galaxy's equipment manager couldn't understand why they were always ordering new balls.

Rupert Murdoch uncovers the mystery of Posh's missing breast implants.

His nickname in the lockerroom was Taras Bulbous.

Early on Becks had to inform Posh that "poly-orchid" had nothing to do with botany.

Hernia trusses have never looked so sexy.

Bulge it like Beckham.

Whatcha gonna do with all them lumps, all them lumps down in my trunks. My trunks, my trunks, my lovely laddy trunks.

Bryant Park, Baby!




The final votes are in for the Caption Contest Showdown. What a squeaker.

For everyone that voted for me--thanks!

Brief IM Transcript:

Brian[8:35 P.M.]: so are you the santino of project caption?
Me[8:36 P.M.]: I'm the Jeffrey
Brian [8:36 P.M.]: hehe
Brian [8:36 P.M.]: he was the bottom 2 going into bryant

I'm the Jeffrey, the Angry Peanut, of Season 2 of Project: Caption.

And my boyfriend likes to bust my balls. Oddly, I'm blissful just now.

'Tis the Season




One of my plans for Yule blogging was to drive around town and get pictures of some of the more notable Christmas displays people do. Usually this town is reliably tacky--there used to be an entire road where everyone threw lights onto any stationary object, it was sort of Christmas cum Outsider Art, but they stopped years ago--but this year, lights-wise it's slim pickings. I don't know if it's because of the cost of electricity or what--but it kills one of my favorite traditions--driving people around and showing friends and newcomers the best of the worst. Even my cousin Pat, whose house is generally done up like Macy's Santaland's bastard cousin, is underdecorated. Best laid plains, yadda yadda.

*

So, while I figure out an alternative to the local front yard "Christmas Town," I'm going to pimp one of my favorite tracks from A John Waters Christmas. "Happy Birthday Jesus" by Little Cindy. This is just startling. An earnest spoken word piece, with some of the funniest lines regarding the birth, life and crucifixion of Christ that you can imagine. More startling? There's actually a YouTube for it. Sadly, embedding has been disabled. But you can check it out here. Seriously, do it. It's worth it. You'll thank me.

Thunderdome! Thunderdome!



The next round of voting is up for the Caption Contest Throwdown. There are four of us left and none of us escape unscathed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Waiting for the Man(uscript)

In Anne's post that I mentioned below (scroll down if you want...I'm too lazy to do the linky thing) she wondered if editors cleared off the desks and their submission business for the holidays. I've been wondering that too. Mainly because I'm obsessing about the last packets I sent out. Usually I'm fine for about the first six to eight weeks...then after that I start wondering. At 10 to 12 weeks I get slightly more neurotic et cetera et cetera.

A lot of this I attribute to the first time I sent out a bunch of poems while in grad school. We had to do it as part of our final portfolios for a creative writing class. The gist was this: choose three magazines you really admired and wanted your work in. Do up a cover letter and submission, making a copy to reserve for the instructor's comments later. This was 1996 or 1997. I can't remember two of the magazines that I chose for submitting, but the third was Colorado Review. I was in my Jori phase then.

About a month later I got my first rejection--a sort of fortune cookie rejection: skinny skinny strip of paper, wide as a letter sized sheet, but maybe 3/4" tall. Seriously. That means they could reject approximately 14.67 poets per page depending on margins. About two weeks after that I got my second. It was about the size of a postcard. No notes, no sign really that the entire thing had been touched by a human hand except to reinsert my stuff back into the SASE.

So the semester goes on, still nothing back from CR . My instructor was really pleased that I hadn't heard anything back by the end of the semester. I was the only person in the class at the point with work still being considered someplace. Blah blah blah...there were moments I was a little proud of that, but at the heart of it, I just wanted to know. The semester ends, I relocate back to WV. Later that summer I sent a query letter , it had been about seven months since I submitted, including a new SASE with my updated address and went back to my life. No response to the query. So I just wrote it off and went on with classes and drinking and dying my hair. My poems changed, my reading changed, I didn't think much about the whole thing, when almost a year later I got my last SASE back. With a hand-written letter. Over a page. Thanking me for my poems, apologizing for the length of time they held them and for ultimately not being able to fit them into the magazine. I had that letter tacked up above my writing area for a couple of years and moves, eventually losing it about 5 years ago. I've been wracking my brain trying to remember who the editor was that was kind enough to do that and I'm coming up blank.

Considering it was my first time at the rodeo, I feel sort of lucky--I got the entire range of editorial response. I've kept that in mind the last couple of years while submitting--not everyone's going to get it, or like it. Time and resources are at a premium. But I do keep track of how they choose to respond (or not.) I have yet to decide if the fortune cookie rejection slip is worse than just getting my poems shoved back in an envelope or not. But ultimately, that doesn't matter. I look at the poems and I send them out again.

Stuff

Things worth reading this morning:

Rebecca's Fashion Corner.
Peter Pereira, Pundit.
Anne Haines asks a damned good question.

And by morning I mean 1:00 pm eastern time when I woke up.

*
Most of my xmas wrapping is done. I'm still waiting on a few things to arrive in the mail and then it's all done. I've tried not to go crazy this year shopping for Brian...but I see random little things and just immediately go all "Shiiiiny" and have to make myself not grab it.

Christmas cards are another beast entirely. Which is pitiful, because I only mail out 6 or 7 a year. I usually buy "Season's Greetings" ones or "Happy Holidays"--something generic that if it gets there between Xmas and New Year's it still fits the bill. This year I committed myself to "Merry Christmas." They must be done tonight and go into the mail tomorrow.

*
What the hell is a "Dirty Santa?" I've been hearing people talk about this a lot lately...when I'm out I eavesdrop. At first I thought it was Dirty Sanchez....and that's what got my attention. Two late-middle-aged ladies with perfectly set salon perms in the wal-mart talking about Dirty Sanchez. Alas, no. But then I've been hearing it more often the last week.

IDQoTM--This Wheel's on Fire

Siouxsie and the Banshees covering the Band's "This Wheel on Fire." And yes...it's also the AbFab theme. It's a confluence of fabulosity. Check out that Laura Antipova meets Cruella DeVille outfit.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Charm Free




I got caught up this afternoon on the last couple of Project Runway episodes. Every week I find myself wanting to hunt down Tim Gunn and assault him for that line in the first episode about the breadth and depth of talent in this pack of competitors. Horse hocky.

I can understand the production company wanting to steer away from persona heavy drama this season--rather like Top Chef did this past season. Give us strong creative people with points-of-view and let their work speak for itself. Fine--it's a good idea. In Top Chef's case it worked this season. So far, for me anyway, Project Runway is falling flat . Except for Christian and crazy Elise, these people seem to need drugs or serious personality implants. Ok--Victorya is a passive aggressive bitch but that's not personality and it's not why I hate her (her first two outfits are all the reason I need. Metallics and coordinating flower/bow/knot things...gag. If you can get to a Steve & Barry's and see her winning design for the Sarah Jessica Parker challenge do it. It looks like a burlap sack raped a painter's smock. Hidjeous. The racer back vest is almost cute. Almost. But there's maybe 5 people in the western hemisphere it would look good on.) Ultimately though it's the sheer boring clothes that makes me stop part-way through and think "Why am I watching this again?" I can't remember from week to week who did what. There's no fear of Nina or Kors going off on clothes being too editorial. It's all safe middle-of-the-road bleh.

Yesterday's Horoscope was wrong.

No bingo. No dollars. No toilet paper cozy. Though there were plenty of people on-site last night who probably thought they'd be good gifts.

Karaoke filtering downstairs into my right ear (the worst karaoke you can imagine... I've committed my fair share of karaoke karnage and have heard a good bit too. But what I heard last night coming from the upstairs party--wowza.) Live music from back in the bar filtering up into my left ear (his set included a Roy Orbison medley, that didn't suit his range; a Johnny Cash medley, that didn't suit his range...etc etc. Plus Neil Young, the Beatles and Van Morrison. It's hard to be a man and not sing tenor nor bass). It was stereo hell.

The upstairs party had a great time. Hokey pokey and everything (structural integrity of the floor be damned). Stunningly, it was a dry event.

On the upside, I had poetry in the mail when I finally woke this afternoon.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Horrorscope

Tonight you'll take the lead in a bingo tournament, and come home with a pocket full of one dollar bills, and a crocheted toilet paper cover with a doll's body on top. Things just don't get better than this.


From their mouths to god's ears. I've been wanting a toilet paper cozy. All the relatives that used to make that stuff have passed on.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

What Immoral Hand or Eye

Loni Anderson

+

Hungry Koi

=

Jessica Simpson


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rejected Captions


Now that the latest round of voting for C Dale's Caption Contest Throwdown is done, here are some of the also rans I came up with.

Four heads no waiting

Free Valtrex with every 8 pack.

My secret? I puke.

Wait 'til you see how I open the second one.

Not to be outdone by Screech, Mario finished his sex tape with the "Dirty Lopez."

Corona: Strong enough for a man. Made for a wanker.

From Mario Lopez and the makers of Has-Been comes the new fragrance for men: Chunder.

Always ready to please his
Dancing with the Stars fans, Mario reenacts his Paso Douchebag triumph.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

IDQoTM--Peek-A-Boo

My Siouxsie Sioux gateway....from waaaay back in 1988.


Vote or Die




The next round of CDY's Caption Contest Throwdown is up.

Go check it out for some Mario Lopez and Project Runway-inspired snark. Peter and Aaron have outdone themselves.

Frankly, I think they should do all the major lit prizes this way.

WA-FUG?

It is now exactly two weeks until Xmas and it's supposed to be 65 degrees and cloudy here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dreck the Halls

The other night, Eric, T-Shuffle and Shlee and I were sitting around after gorging on cookies, discussing xmas carols and songs we could live without.

There are few things worse than the execrable "Christmas Shoes;" oh, I know there are novelty songs and overwrought renditions of classics foisted on us every yule. But really, this five minute nugget of maudlin crap makes me want to slit my wrists. It's like someone took the plot of a Lifetime movie and set it to music. You can find it here if you're reeeeallly curious. I'm not going to inflict it on anyone.

What's your worst?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Perils of Pauline

In which Pauline goes to a youth group meeting and sees boys in diapers held by girls and spoonfed.

Praise Jesus and read the rest here.

Get Ur Fat On

Snarky the Snowman--ganache amok.


It's that time: forget the shopping, the songs, the decorations...I pretty much hate all that shit. Except bad light displays. My favorite part of the whole Xmas Xtravagaaaanzaaa is the food. Maybe it's the 'mo in me or the Appalachian...I dunno. But I'll probably spend great parts of the next two- and-a-half-weeks baking and tasting and sneaking off to grab a cookie or some candy when I should be eating something with vitamins, anti-oxidants, fiber and minerals instead of shortening, butter and chocolate.

Hopefully, not all of them will turn out as evil looking as Snarky did. I kept him for myself.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Supplementary Inner Drag Queen of the Day



I am a friggin spirit of vengeance today. I'm channeling my inner vengeance demon. It's a Buffy thing. But yea--I'm out to take bitches down.

Oh Those Brits and Their Stiff Upper...

The understatement in the emergency call floors me. From the BBC.

Fire crew aid in penis operation

Firefighters helped operate on a man who was rushed to hospital after getting a metal ring stuck on the end of his penis.

Doctors at Royal Wigan Infirmary in Greater Manchester put out the alert after fearing the man faced amputation as the ring cut off his blood supply.

Two firefighters used a mini hand grinder to cut through the ring during a 20-minute procedure.

It is understood the man, aged in his 40s, was given an anaesthetic.

The firefighters placed a thin sheet of metal around his penis to protect the skin while removing the ring, which appeared to have been cut off from the end of a pipe.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service confirmed fire crews were called to the hospital at around 12.10 GMT on Thursday to "deal with a situation".

A spokeswoman for Royal Wigan Infirmary said they were unable to comment about the incident.

EW...I Just Puked in My Mouth a Little

Sometimes I wonder how we manage to survive, given all the shit (literally) that we're exposed to in our air, our food and drink. I'm not even talking the (now and scarily) normal sort of food and product recalls. I found this on AOL news this morning.

Restaurant ice cubes dirtier than toilet water

A recent study in Chicago found that an alarming number of restaurants, more than 1 out of every 5, has more bacteria and fecal matter in their ice cubes than in a random testing of toilet water.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Stuff

Xmas shopping is nearly done. Yay. I just sucked it up and hopped online last night and clicked away. The only person who's getting something that's not ordered yet is my mother. She's always a last-week-before-Xmas sort of buy. She is nearly impossible to shop for--and I refuse to cave in and just resort to gift cards. She never wants anything. She always deflects by saying "Save your money, I don't need anything." What do you do with a mother like that? I should confess, as Brian can confirm, I have a variation of the same behavior: "I don't really want anything." Usually if pressed, I just say books.

~*~

To everyone that voted for me in the last round of CDY's Caption Contest Throwdown, thank you.

~*~
Why aren't FedEx men the objects of lust that UPS men are?

Inner Drag Queen of the Month

Siouxsie and the Banshees, "Kiss Them for Me."



For Aaron

Pity it's not Daniel Craig....



Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Driven

I am hyper-reactive...I know this. Prone to panics, to fits of pique, to fly off the handle and to want to crush you like a bug if you cross me or one I love. That character flaw is why I'm so driven to maintain stability.

Why even when I was porking up on prozac and gorging on butter and cream I didn't care, because I felt even. Because the jackhammer heart slowed; the vomitting stopped; the urticaria stopped.

Tonight, driving to work, for the first time in years, I felt that out-of-control, beyond-my-control, instability. The roads were wretched, a good 1/2 inch of ice, frosted with snow. No sign of center line. Uneven and rutty. Truly, truly, wretched. I never went above 30 mph and tried to touch my brake as little as possible. By the time I got to work and turned off the ignition, my hands shook in that old panic attack way. Almost like palsy. The body resisting its own stability. All I could do was sit until it passed. I made a quick call to let folks know I made it safely. I let the cold seep in.

Someone Call Project Runway

I can just hear Heidi (it'd have to be done via voiceover) telling the designers: For this challenge you got 100.00. You had 24 hrs to use your fabric from Mood and taxidermied rats to make lingerie for your tranny models. Let's start the runway.

I bet Rickie wouldn't cry that episode--unless he was really into rats.

Click here for the madness.

Caption Contest Pandering

C Dale Young is running the final Caption Contest of the Year--previous winners are being voted on. I'm up this round against some pretty funny shit, so send a little e-mojo my way by going to Avoiding the Muse and voting.

Snow

We've gotten our first real snow here yesterday. Lovely little fluffy white snow... covering a layer of ice. We got more over night and it's still snowing intermittently now. Schools are closed today, releasing early, the whole nine.

I ran around yesterday morning doing errands, buy catfood, run to the bank, blah-dee-blah-dee-blah. No biggie. Trying to go through the bank drive through, I noticed one side was closed. So I decide I'll just do a u turn an it should be fine, I can get back into the open side, deposit the money, get on my way. As I'm about to enter the street, I apply my brakes. I don't stop, I just slide. A Head Start school bus is passing directly in front of me, I'm still sliding. It feels like I'm going to push through the floorboard trying to get the brakes to engage enough to stop me. Finally, once the burning brake smell wafted up, the car stopped. About 4 inches from the street. The tail end of the bus had just gone past.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Inner Drag Queen of the Month

I've been obsessively listening to the new Siouxsie Sioux album, MantaRay this week. It makes me wish I'd bought that riding crop I saw in a porn store once.