Thursday, February 26, 2009

Only a douchebag would drink a light beer instead of a Hefe-Weizen

I've been reading up about the calorie content of my favorite beers and alcoholic beverages as I move forward in my always-ongoing quest to maintain my girlish figure (hence all the running, the yoga, the bicycling, the walks on the beach, the hoola hooping) and still eat and drink the foods I love. Fortunately, I don't drink any soda, so I can devote all of my empty drinking calories to beer, wine, and spirits!

Let's just take it for granted that about four nights a week I have a glass of wine with dinner--but now we'll leave talk of wine aside (it needs a separate post) and move on to beer and spirits.

Tetleys and Boddingtons have become my favorite beers for weeknights, when I typically have no wine with dinner and only one drink in the evening after yoga (about 150 calories per pub can, if you're wondering). However, a Paulaner Salvator doppelbock is one of my favorite beers in the entire world. Drinking it makes me feel holy (but let me be clear, I have never been baptized). The Paulaner brewery is named after monks who revered St. Francis of Paula, and the monks were known as, yes, Paulaners. When fasting, the monks used to drink an earlier version of doppelbock to sustain them--doppelbocks have a lot of calories and high alcohol content. If I really want a beer but can't spare the calories, a Hefe-Weizen is my go-to beer, and of course Paulaner brews a good one.

Those of you who know me know that I love scotch. Old Pultney and Talisker are my current favorites, but I don't turn my nose up at Jonny Walker Red when I'm in a bar or need something to put in my flask for traveling. Scotch tastes fabulous, and when I go out I can have one or two over the course of the evening, enjoy myself, and watch everyone else get bombed. At 100 calories, a pour of scotch is quite healthful. However, I don't always want to endlessly savor my drink in the way that scotch encourages. So, what to drink then?

A gin and tonic used to be my favorite mixed drink. It's quaintly imperial very nostalgic. The quinine in the tonic prevents malaria, and as someone who once had to take the malaria pills of the 1980s (which made me hallucinate and vomit), I find quinine to be quite gentle (it's also good for nocturnal leg cramps, which I occasionally suffer from--especially in my calves). As healthful as it is, tonic has calories, and, sadly, I'm loosing my taste for it. It's too sweet, and it's pretty much impossible to get a good gin and tonic at a bar, where the tonic that comes out of the hose is nasty and syrupy. Soda water has no sugar, and no calories. And since I no longer live in tropical climes, I frequently enjoy a Hendricks (or perhaps Beefeater) and club soda with a slice of cucumber or lime.

And if I don't want a gin and club soda? I might have a brandy. Or I might have a whiskey and soda. On it's own, I often find whiskey too sweet (I'd rather have scotch), but mixed with soda, it's kind of perfect.

Monday, February 23, 2009

And I speak three languages and can do handstands

I am definitely going to be in the MFA program at UCSD next year! I was very ambivalent about applying, but now I'm genuinely excited and looking forward to being in the program. I still have moments when I think something like

Why do I need an MFA when I have a BA and an MA and 4 years of teaching experience and a book coming out and special collections in Canada collecting my random chapbooks and visual poetry being shown in international exhibitions?

There are several answers to this question.

1. I don't actually need an MFA.
2. If I want to be eligible for jobs, I should have an MFA, which will barely make me eligible and I don't think it should matter but it does etc.
3. The job market sucks and I won't have a degree from either Harvard or Iowa, but going to UCSD does nothing to impact that particular problem.
4. I will have studied with Rae Armantrout, which will be cool.
5. An MFA will help me focus on my creative work in a different way, which I need.
6. San Diego is a community wasteland, so having a teeny bit more community will be, in theory, nice.
7. I may get to work in the library or archive, which would be great, and I've often wondered if library work would suit me. I used to think I was not "detail oriented," but that's crap. I just need to understand the larger context a bit before I can understand details.
8. I am looking forward to a change in my work life.
9. Now I won't have to imagine that all the people with MFAs think they are better than me while at the same time thinking how stupid this imaginary feeling I atribute to them is.
10. I think it will probably be fun.
11. It is fully-funded.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Skull Panda & Yo Gabba Gabba

One of my students has an ipod-cover that looks like raw meat. It's very cute and very gross, and it made me think of the gurlesque and it occurs to me that I really want to quiz some of my students, especially my Japanese students, about different kinds of kawaii--I vaguely remember someone once using the term "kawaii-noir." But also, maybe the most relevant pop culture to gurlesque isn't so much Wonder Woman and Charlies Angels as it is Happy Tree Friends or South Park's "Woodland Critter Christmas" or Skull Panda (I so want a Skull Panda T-Shirt!) or, or yo gabba gabba:

or Teen Girl Squad:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mark and I celebrate Valentine's Day week every year as a kind of anniversary... part due to a Valentine's Day/anti-Valentine's Day party that a friend hosted 9 years ago. So, yes, we've been together for 9 years.

This picture, which is a picture of a picture in one of our photo albums, is from summer 2001. We're in Washington, DC, of course, and we've just finished playing a softball game and have gone up to the Post Pub for "Office Hours," a regular Wednesday happy hour hang out and talk about poetry. I'm doing a kind of fake swoon, and Mark looks like he usually looks when he's thinking or about to say something funny and/or biting. I love this picture because look like ourselves, and we're in the middle of a very ordinary activity during an ordinary week that was all very happy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Koala

My sisters and family have left Adelaide and moved to Perth, but this Koala can't move, and was trying to get some respite from the heat. Before they moved, my sisters told me that people all over Adelaide were putting out water for Koalas during the heat wave.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 09, 2009

Happy Birthday Bryan!

It's my brother's birthday, and since I couldn't reach him on the phone, I will offer my birthday greetings here (and in the card that I think has already reached him)!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I've been having very lucid dreams recently.

A few nights ago, I dreamed that Mark and I were at the Embarcadero in San Francisco to meet Nicholas Manning (someone I only know, to the extent that I know him at all, through blogland). The Embarcadero was more like a souk--a lot like Fez, actually. While we were wandering around, I saw someone that looked French. This was my dream logic, because I can't actually describe what Nicholas looked like in my dream. He only vaguely looked like his blog picture, but when I saw him in the dream, I knew that he looked French and I walked up to him, touched him on the shoulder in a very formal way, and said "you are Nicholas Manning." He had a friend with him who had glasses but other than that was completely inconsequential to the dream.

After this greeting, the four of us walked outside to the deck of the market, but instead of San Francisco bay was a beach that looked more like the Carlsbad State beach. The light, sand, and water were a kind of rich golden color--a dreamy sort of late-afternoon pre-sunset color. Nicholas said, with great drama, "Ah, it is the Nile! Let us bathe!" In my dream, I had a moment of Wait, this isn't the Nile. Oh, maybe it is. Why not? I was reluctant to swim but then eventually did.

After that, we went back into the market/souk, and Nicholas began talking about rabbits and cats. He said something like "there is no animal better matched to the cat than the bunny. They are equals in every way, especially strength and ferocity." In response to this observation, I pulled out a series of wallet-sized, color holographic images of all the animals I've ever known--pets, friends pets, animals I've seen and remembered, etc. I put these pictures out on a card table in a way that suggested I was telling someone's fortune. We all examined the pictures.

I noticed that there was a bird sitting at the end of the table. The bird was Lester and also a tiger-colored tomcat I used to know named Benjamin. I noticed that the bird/cat had some pin feathers, so I reached out to scratch his head, and this is how the dream ended.

I'm not sure why Nicholas showed up in a dream--I rarely dream about poets, especially ones I don't know. I think it might have something to do with a post he wrote a few days ago about being 210 days away from finishing his PhD, about starting the process of becoming a French citizen, and ended with a description of his dream living/work space. Something I've been thinking about a lot recently.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Agitprop Reading Series, CARMODY & PLACE, Saturday 2/7, 7pm

After a winter hiatus, the Agitprop reading series is back!

We hope you can join us this Saturday, February 7 for the next reading in the Agitprop Reading Series featuring VANESSA PLACE and TERESA CARMODY. We often serve wine and snacks, and donations to thegallery are always appreciated.

Please note that we are in a different venue for this reading than is usual. For this event only, the Agitprop Reading will take place nearby at at ART Produce Gallery on 3139 University Ave,on the corner of University and Herman, next to Cafe Carpe Diem.

Vanessa Place is a writer and lawyer, and co-director of Les Figues Press. She is the author of Dies: A Sentence (Les Figues Press), a 50,000-word, one-sentence prose poem; the post-conceptual novel LaMedusa (Fiction Collective 2), and, in collaboration withappropriation poet Robert Fitterman, Notes on Conceptualisms (Ugly Duckling Presse (2009). Place is also a regular contributor to X-TRAContemporary Art Quarterly, and is collaborating with Los Angelesconceptual artist Stephanie Taylor on the film, “Murder Squaredance at the Spiral Jetty.” Her nonfiction book, The Guilt Project: Rape and Morality will be published by Other Press in 2010. Place is co-founderof Les Figues Press, described by critic Terry Castle as “an elegant vessel for experimental American writing of an extraordinarily assured and ingenious sort.”

Teresa Carmody is the author of Requiem (Les Figues, 2005) and two chapbooks: Eye Hole Adore (PS Book, 2008) and Your Spiritual Suit of Armor by Katherine Anne by Teresa Carmody (Woodland Editions, 2008).Other work has appeared in various publications, including emohippusgreeting card 1 & 2, Bombay Gin, Fold, Slope, American Book Review, LAWeekly and Stolen Purse. She was one of the organizers of the original Ladyfest in Olympia, Washington, and co-organizer (with Matias Viegener and Christine Wertheim) of Feminaissance, a colloquium on women, experiments and writing at the Los Angeles Museum ofContemporary Art. She is cofounder and co-director (with Vanessa Place) of Les Figues Press.

We hope to see you there and for all festivities afterward!


Saturday, February 7. 7:00pm ART Produce Gallery
3139 University Ave. San Diego, CA 92104
On the corner of University and Herman, next to Cafe Carpe Diem in North Park

Friday, February 06, 2009

Friday Lester

Acrobatic Lester

And final bonus snow bunting:

February in North America, even in sunny (currently rainy) SoCal, is a good month for flipping out.

I am making macaroni and cheese this evening, but a kind of fancy one, with manchego and leeks.

Today, if I had an extra 200,000 Euros, I would buy this.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I'm okay with death, but aging is not okay

Today I miss Washington, DC. This does not mean that I am unhappy or dislike San Diego. But today I miss the biannual reading series organizing meetings at Brickskeller and elsewhere, and the relative ease of organizing events there in general--a relative ease created through plenty of work and years of relaxed socializing and friendships, but still. Here in San Diego, we work harder for less art.

I miss major rain storms, even though we are in the middle of as major a rainstorm as ever happens here. And yes, I miss thunder. I miss humidity and green. I miss cherry blossoms and the tidal basin and the monuments at night. I miss the public transportation that took me to all those places.

I miss Bridge Street Books, teaching at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, and Moby Dick's House of Kabob (the original Georgetown location). And I miss being able to go for beers after a reading and sit next to Carolyne Forche and talk to her confidently without having any clue who she was. I miss living within walking distance to the Black Cat. I miss writing while having donuts and coffee at Sparky's cafe on 14th street (which I think has closed) until being driven out by all the chain smoking or the random appearance of my MA thesis advisor. I miss the prostitutes.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I've never been to Perth

Well, my blog fast is kind of over, and I'm feeling some combination of sluggish and wall-punching. This has been a week of highs and lows, ups and downs, rights and lefts.

I tried to send my little sisters postcards today, but I realize that I don't know where they live. Are they still in Adelaide, or have they moved to Perth?