Category Archives: thee environment

Solo Dad on Toast

This is a recipe given to me by my wonderful friend (and one-time nemesis) Savitri Chandran, who makes it much more fruitily with granulated gnum-gnumb beans sprinkled on after the fact. I have omitted those beans here, but the dish still retains an exhilarating zest.

  • 7 white mushrooms
  • 2 english muffins
  • oil
  • pb&j
  • mirin
  • soy sauce
  • old, old quarter of an old avocado (refrigerated)
  • the red hot chili peppers feat. salt n pepa

Make sure your wife is delivering a paper on Simone Weil at a comparative literature conference. You are alone with your son, a toddler. Put two whole-grain english muffins (I use Ezekiel brand, so named because of the passage in the bible where god says, “And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger [plus whole-grain muffinzz, this line may have been added by King James]” and then shoots a screaming Frank Whaley in the head as acoustic desert nomad surf music starts, sounding not unlike the new Tiniawaren album but more surfey than bluesey and the opening credits roll) in the toaster oven.

The english muffins ought to be vegan — most brands seem to contain powdered milk. Are you seriously that insecure that you think having the powdered milk of some artificially inseminated factory farm cow destined for the meat grinder is going to make the nooks and crannies of your little vegetarian muffin taste any better? No. Your milky muffin is poor. Buy a better muffin.

(Also hey I want to know why the cows that make the powdered milk in your [and ok not infrequently my] muffin are lactating. You think they decided to finally take the plunge and have a baby and they read that the longer you breastfeed your baby calf the more immunities and ADHD-resistance it builds up, so they have all this extra cows milk for you? Fact: dairy farmers block their cows’ access to all third-party websites, including Slate, Salon, Mother Jones, and other outlets that might educate them about the benefits of longterm breast feeding. No but seriously dairy farmers spend a lot of time keeping those cows as pregnant as possible as long as possible and then when they can’t anymore they get chopped into cheap chili. Buy a fucking peace muffin, OK, let’s get back to breakfast–

You don’t need to toast your son’s muffin so much — just loosen it up because truth be told those Ezekiel muffins can be kinda bricklike before they’ve warmed up. Slather some PB ünd J on his and cut it into quarters, like a little time-piece. Noon to 3 p.m.: muffin. 3-6 p.m.: muffin. 6-9: yes, muffin. 9-12 midnight is muffin time. Do you understand? The sandwich will distract the child whilst you attend to your half of this meal. Now is a good time to decide that later you’ll write a blog post about breakfast, even though you have more or less stopped blogging in favor of, whatever, working, reading, writing sad diary entries that lack the zest (and embedded video) of a blog entry since you know no one will ever read them.

It’d be easy enough to just slap your muffin with hummus and move on to more pressing matters (becoming an activist, making the bed, etc). But it’s going to be a long morning, no matter how deep the reserves of fun you and your child will explore,  and you deserve more than hummus today. It’s Saturday.

Hey: Why do people frown on dads who smoke one hit of pot after their kids are asleep for the night, the baby monitor flickering quietly like a 19th-century candle? Seems hypocritical whilst these same people smile upon those selfsame dads who drink four high-octane seasonal ales after the kids are in bed. Is it safe to admit here on the barely occluded blog that Last night while my wife was out with Gerhard Richter and his extended family I tried to treat my degenerative retinal condition with illegal medicine? Before watching Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects on Netflix I had some spooky fun times with Dodie Bellamy’s new semiotext(e) pamphlet, printed on the occasion of the 2014 Whitney Biennial. It’s called The Beating of Our Hearts, and it’s animated by (among many others) these two YouTube videos by Andrew Kenower:

If I were to try to respond with any interpretive substance to Bellamy’s essay I think I’d run out of time and brain cells and tiny dudeman would wake up from his nap and you’d never find out what to do with your muffin, now nearly toasted. Put oil in the pan or, more likely, spray it for nine tenths of a second with a spray-can of oil even though people who subscribe to gimmicky nonsense like spray-cans of oil tend to be fatter than people who just pour a little oil in the pan but know when to stop eating or who can skip meals without feeling “deprived” or who can go six hours without eating without thinking constantly of food. Cut up the mushrooms, probably not local, probably not “ethically sourced.” Throw em in there. Pour in some mirin. Mirin makes everything taste great when you sautee with it. Soy sauce in there. Salt. Pepper. Enough chili flakes so that if this were on the menu at a restaurant they’d need to put a little icon of Flea’s face or Anthony Kiedis’s wang in a sock next to this item.

Come close as you can to burning the mushrooms without burning them: Near-crispy. Spread the top of your halved muffin with the last slices of a dying avocado like the avocado had come out of a tub of vegan fruit spread. Avocado is always already a savory vegan fruit spread (in a compostable wrapper! Just kidding). Remember: Avocado is Already™. Respectfully lump the mushroom sautee on top. Retain your dignity. Don’t put anything in your mouth until you’re sitting down. Your son is almost done with his breakfast by now, having eaten his way through about “6 hours” of the “muffinly timepiece” you “wound” for him. But he’s been learning that Daddy Needs to Eat Breakfast Too (how old until he points at your middle and replies, “Not by the looks of it, Bro”?), so gently bring the muffin to your mouth, over and over, until it’s gone, as your son turns the pages of a book on the floor, quietly identifying each dog that appears there.

Serves 2.

Afternoon Insomnia

(It’s 4:52 p.m.) I have the feeling of panicky middle of the night why can’t I get back to sleep insomnia even though it’s working (and not sleeping) that I should be doing and seemingly cannot do. I blame: Facebook. Facebook is a Crisco-covered pig always ready to run; you just open the gate and it tears out squealing and skronking and it’s at least 45 minutes until it’s back in the pen again. Another persistent feeling I have is that sitting in this chair clicking on you guys over and over again is fine as long as I’m quiet, but the moment I open up this WordPress text editor (Barbara, this just refers to the thing I use to write blogs [who is Barbara?] [She’s my fictional grandmother; all of my nonfictional grandmothers died before I was born;] [my wife has an email subscription to this blog so that even though posts aren’t technically “letters written to her,” in effect they all are, because I post them and then maybe six to twenty seconds later I hear the chime that indicates she’s got new mail (cf, Barbara, the Nora Ephron [not related to Zzac Efron — who is Zac Efron? I just Googled him, he’s something called High School Musical; I’m pretending not to know what that is, and that I didn’t notice the initially accidental second z in his name] (I realize you realize this is an absurd number of nested brackets [which is fun to write because “brackets” is the word the English use to refer to our “parentheses,” so I can maybe elegantly or pseudo-economically refer to both the brackets AND the braces (the English word for brackets) in one simultaneously ambiguous and unambiguous word] and I am simultaneously proud and embarrassed to admit that by about line twenty of all this I pasted us out of the WordPress text editor (Barbara) and into TextMate, a piece of software designed for writing code (HTML; PHP; C++; what have you) I optimistically purchased earlier this year when I was more unemployed than I am now that has the useful-to-programmers feature of making it easy to see which left-facing bracket goes with which right-facing one. So when you type a parenthesis, TextMate automatically (“automagically,” my CS TA said last semester about some dumb feature of Visual Basic, the language we used to learn the basics of Computer Science) prints two facing parens or brackets (it does the same thing with single quotation marks [and all this bracket/parenthesis/brace alternation makes me think of the way the English invert our nested quotation mark conventions, starting with the single quote and then nesting a double within that and then if you’re going double-nested reverting back to a single (to say nothing of which side of the law their commas fall on)] (I imagine if I ever did find myself in an MFA program this is the sort of “piece” that would lose me friends and create long and hateful afternoons of people deriding  and condescending and deploring me in a workshop, when really all I want to do is post this on my blog for my own sake, jazzing around having fun, high fives cool see you later, knowing that my wife will have a nicely formatted version emailed to her for her to read at her leisure only if she wants as a hopefully diverting distraction while she’s on a break from William James or Facebook or some fresh piece of health-care legislation), and sets your cursor in between the two, and if you run your cursor over one bracket it highlights its spouse, sort of the typographical equivalent of the device on many contemporary car keys that makes your car chirp when you’ve lost it in a garage) (though since I have such poor peripheral vision it can be tough to find the tiny flashing brace in this sea of type, and sometimes I can’t tell if running my cursor back and forth over a brace doesn’t result in a spousal highlight because its flashing counterpart is in one of my eyes’ degenerating “dead zones” or because I messed up and it’s a stray bracket whose spouse has been deleted (or it never had a spouse to begin with; it, like you, unmarried reader, was typed into this world as a horrible extra, a soul without a mate, cursed to wander the internet reading the self-satisfied blogs of happily married gradually blinkered midwestern acid casualties until you die, happily, well-sexed and alone, in your loft apartment surrounded by paperbacks), enclosing nothing, adding an unnecessary and syntactically confusing (though to be honest how could things get more syntactically confusing than this, which almost immediately abandoned any attempt at readerly syntactical amnesty) layer of padding, like a package wrapped with an excessive amount of tape and very irritating to open (right about here the student in my MFA workshop, in reference to the “email to my wife” line, might say, with a tea-tree-oil toothpick turning to pulp in her mouth, “I mean, is this how you treat your wife? She likes getting this sort of email from you?” and I try too strenuously (it’s no longer 4:52, we’re now post-dinner and I’ve had a beer, I no longer care about getting work done or the perils of Facebook [though I’m still happy to be here; I’m settling in]) to explain that I’m writing this for me, not for our professor or my wife but it doesn’t matter) [even with the aid of TextMate I’ve now totally lost track of the nests, and can’t bring myself to untangle this right now… Maybe I will start a Kickstarter campaign to hire a freelance copyeditor to iron this out for me, or perhaps announce a reader-contest where I send my almost entirely unread hardcover copy of Steven Moore’s 2010 alternative history of the novel (Continuum) to the third person to offer their professional services to make the syntax of this blog post perfect])) writing it down on the internet brings my thoughts into the realm of “politics,” because, I don’t know. Maybe it only makes me nervous about angry strangers reading this, and my nervousness comes from insecurity, and I’m insecure about “politics.” The ensuing paranoid fantasy usually manifests itself as this text appearing on the screen of some politically “active” sad young literary type who has recently Occupied something and then zestily coupled with another politically active and attractive young person, even though in my experience this sort of person despite their “fearsome” (to me, a Jewish American princess who tries hard to leverage compassion and thoughtful engagement into his life but constantly fails, as I imagine the zesty couplers succeed) political intelligence and engagement still tends to harbor tastes and pleasures that are totally unpolitical. Like what? Like food that’s more delicious than it needs to be (truffle oil), or jokes that don’t strike a fatal blow to the ruling elite, or literature that doesn’t do — and doesn’t try to do — same. Smoking pot, getting drunk? Indie rock. And so saying anything about my aimless click-diverted workless afternoon of privilege and leisure “reifies” (Barbara, meaning it makes real, into an object) the spoiled fermenty gas that is my consciousness and creates a permanent (though many these days argue that the internet and the servers it lives on is impermanence reified, that “digital” is synonymous with “virtual” with “evanescent,” though our [my] experience of it is that something I write on a piece of paper gets seen by no one, not even my deeply beautiful wife in the other room, or if I publish a poem (“How many / little dickless / little sparrows / swallow cocks, / swallowcocks // May I scat for u”) in Pleuperfections, a well-respected university press’s literary journal, then NO ONE WILL SEE IT, whereas this is at least going to end up in my wife’s inbox (which is of course what most Facebook activity is, messages ostensibly sent to one person that are really messages sent to everyone [which is more or less what all writing is, unless you’re really writing something private, under the kind of shadowy dangerous exigent privacy that only politics or illicit sex can create]), and will at least be read by Max Tabackman Fenton, who is my internet guru, who I hope by posting his full name here I’m ensuring that he’ll read this, since I imagine him to be the sort of person who Googles himself at least once a year (or more likely has a Google Alert for himself, or has subscribed to this blog in one of the many ingenious ways he has devised for keeping abreast of everything at once), (which is not to say he’s egotistical, because he’s not, only that he’s savvy) maybe right around the end of the year, which is tomorrow, and so might see this then.) object.

My College Radio Application

Dear mom and dad,

I went to college from 1999-2003, where I lived, ate, breathed, and smoked college radio (WOBC-FM) all day every day. Then, with a year left, I dropped out to move to CA to work for a magazine. I worked there for the next eight years. Then I fell in love with a beautiful woman and she got a job in town, so I decided to follow her here and finish my B.A. To my intense delight and surprise, this makes me eligible for a show on [yr station]. When I dropped out of college, I cryogenically froze my radio show and now, eight years later, [cue music bed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_tVZFZ5PR4] my beloved show is going into the industrial microwave on MEDIUM for 6-8 minutes and dragging itself through the halls of the academy once again!

My show (TITLE TK: “WEIRD OLD GUY?”) will be freeform radio at its finest, pushing into the red w/r/t innovation and FUN. Fun must never be sacrificed to innovation. And vice versa.

Music is the bedrock of the show, and I plan to make the most of [yr station]’s rock library, in addition to my extensive personal vinyl/CD/MPEG collection. The best rock — from oddities, novelties, classics, forgotten b-sides, to brand-new singles and previews of bands coming through town. But sprinkled throughout the music will be the true jewels of the show, the multiple talk-based segments. Possibilities include:

• “Walking the Line”
Each week, a different writer (from creative writing profs, to visiting poets, to MU poetry/fiction PhDs and even undergrads) brings in one line — a line of their own poetry, or their favorite poet’s, or a sentence from a novel, or from a piece of journalism, anything — just has to be one line of “literature” for us to discuss.

(Each of these segments will have its own musical intro. Maybe Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines” for this first one? Or Johnny Cash, sure)

• “Comics Digest”

A weekly verbal recap of what happened this week in the comics page of the Missourian

ex: “It’s been a tough week for Lois of ‘Hi & Lois’; she’s been home with the measles and her little brother won’t leave her alone!” etc etc

• “Vibin’ with the City Council”

Each week I get a Columbia city councilperson on the phone (pre-recorded, most likely; I have a ZOOM H4N I can produce several of these segs in advance, but I’ll always cue and introduce them live) and ask: what’s the vibe of the city council like this week?

• deranged/brief Self-interviews; fake interviews with pre-recorded interlocutors

• I might try a recurring feature about being a 30 year old dude taking computer science with freshman; I will probably rip lots of samples from my DVD of Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School for this (maybe rent Happy Madison, too…). Find other old undergrads and ask them about their lives, what it’s like here for them

• I have an MU football-related idea that I’ll only tell you if you give me a show with a legit timeslot

• Reviews (with field recordings) of frat party bands (!!!!!)

• as many opportunities for live call-in segments as possible (TBD)

• Guest singles (a guest — anyone from the dean of grad studies to that girl who works at Sparky’s brings in 5 singles and we play them and talk about them)

• tiny, hilarious 5-minute radio dramas

• even tinier, even more hilarious 2-minute radio dramas in foreign languages feat. students in various MU language departments

• Much, much more

• Seriously, so much more you have no idea

• And, as I mentioned above, all of these segs, some of which may happen every week, some once a month or so, will all be sprinkled like cherries and chopped nuts over the wide swath of whipped-creamy dark-chocolate sets of top-shelf weird/funky/great music. Wire, the Fall, Olivia Tremor Control, Pixies b-sides, Unrest, Big Dipper, Deerhoof, Beefheart, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, Truman the Tiger’s Drug-Hell Singers, Is That a Real Band?, That Would Be Amazing If So, Go Betweens, Soft Boys, Soft Machine, Soft Cell, Soft Bulletin, Don Cherry, Destroyer, Cluster, Tyvek, Essential Logic, Glasser, Wreckless Eric, Nick Lowe, Sparks, Magazine, Melvins, Cardigans, Acrylics, Pterodactl, Fela Kuti, R. Stevie Moore, et al!!!!

Please let me know if you have any questions. I love you.

BR Myers:

Most of us consider it a virtue to maintain our principles in the face of social pressure, but in the involuted world of gourmet morals, constancy is rudeness. One must never spoil a dinner party for mere religious or ethical reasons. Pollan says he sides with the French in regarding “any personal dietary prohibition as bad manners.” (The American foodie is forever projecting his own barbarism onto France.) Bourdain writes, “Taking your belief system on the road—or to other people’s houses—makes me angry.” The sight of vegetarian tourists waving away a Vietnamese pho vendor fills him with “spluttering indignation.”

The Lonely Dads of Noe Valley

Even though I quit my job of eight years I am not unemployed though I am certainly not overemployed and there are things I should be doing but today it feels impossible to do them. I have been scooping the internet too hard and now my voice is stuck in this breathless Tweety Drescherian whine.  I went for a run and then took a bath even though I tell myself I care about California water issues. It’s my hippie landlord’s fault for installing, in the 1970s, a bath with no standing room. Now I’m going to get a haircut. What will my kids think? They’re so ashamed of their father. I finally opened the 80-oz pickle container I bought in a moment of ecstatic hysteria from Safeway last month. Part of the problem is that after reading this terrific interview I decided to give veganism a shot even though it’s a colossal pain in the ass. Then I realized that there was a whole breathless funny vegan hemisphere of the internet that wanted tapping and so I hit it. Now it’s 4:24 p.m. Time for a haircut? Can I buy a vegan pot cookie from you?

Liveblogging our reading of the Official Voter Information Guides for the General Election (SF, CA), Nov. 2, 2010, 7 a.m.–8 p.m.

Good Jobbbbbbb’s 2010 Endorsements

Before I became faithful to this blog around 2007 I was a member of a group blog called Crude Futures with two friends. A post of mine from 2005 now makes me cringe (along with pretty much everything else I wrote there, or anywhere else, except for select emails that have since been deleted by their recipients). “Liveblogging my reading of the Official Voter Information Guide for the Special Statewide (CA) Election” [2005] betrays my near-total lack of political consciousness, but it’s a drop in the bucket of my own sub–Ben Franklonian attempt to better myself, a nice way to force myself to learn a bit about the issues at stake in the election. So, in honor of whatever shreds and dregs of democracy I rescued by doing it in ’05, I have resolved this cloudless, moony Sunday afternoon to do it again! Then we’re going to go see Escape to Witch Mountain at the Castro.

NOTE: Elucidations, corrections, and solidarites will be provided by my girlfriend/flatmate, Gerhard Richter’s Daughters (GRD). She holds the pamphlet, I hold the keyboard.

Happy Halloween!

Prop 19

Nineteen is Gerhard Richter’s Daughters’ lucky number! She is teaching the second chapter of Infinite Jest in her class on “waiting,” and one of her students wants to discuss this statewide ballot measure in his final paper!

19 legalizes marijuana under CA law. GRD keeps sneezing. It’s OK to “transport” weed for personal use? I guess that means if you need to bring it to your uncle but don’t want to smoke it yourself. 19 will bring hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue to the state and save lots of penal cash. We are already intimidated by the size of this pamphlet. There’s too much to go through. As adorable as it is, maybe this isn’t really a couples activity.

The Mothers Against Drunk Driving are also against Prop 19. “Allows drivers to smoke marijuana until the moment they climb behind the wheel”? Looks like there’s no breathalizer test for mj. My stepfather told me in full seriousness when I was 14 that he thought being stoned made him a better and more careful driver. Rimpletide told me that whether 19 passes or mj becomes legal in some other non-distant future election, the big tobacco companies are going to swoop in and I’ll be drunkenly buying “Marlboro Greens” from the corner store and smoking them alone in my bus stop shelter at 3 a.m.

Can’t tell how prop 19 will jeopardizes jobs or school funding as “con” argues.

We’re voting Yes on Prop 19 [Laughter]

Proposition 20

Redistricting congressional districts. GRD: “I don’t understand how you’re supposed to know who to believe!” I take some grapes out of the fridge and put them on the table. We both eat some grapes. GRD: “MUNGER JUNGER IS THE SOLE BANK ROLLER OF 20”!!!!

“Jim Crow economic districts”!??! We are going with our guts on this one. Munger Junger seems wrong. Carl Pope says no on 20, so does George Soros. This is as bad as just blindly following the Bay Guardian.

No on 20. No on Munger Junger. Oh well.

Proposition 21


GRD: “Proposition 21 is fun. Ready?”

State parks! Wildlife programs. Best part? Free admission and parking at all state parks! Boomtown!! “Why would you ever not want that”? Con says park funds get diverted to other things. Oh well. Fuck cars, yay parks, happy halloween, yes on 21!

Proposition 22

This one sounds confusing and boring. Silence descends.

It says that states can’t take local gov and transportation funds. OK, we’re done, that sounds good, but wait, “this is one of those propositions that sounds good but is filled with hidden provisions that hurt taxpayers.” Ouch! “Schools lose over $1 billion immediately”! Also firefighters get shafted? Health-care hit? Yowch! What about those local gov and transportation funds!! “Don’t be mislead by opponents’ scare tactics”!! fuck!!!! Firefighter against firefighter! You can’t fight firefighter with firefighter! We are lost.

Just tried to read through the legislative analyst’s analysis. GRD suggested we use a “life-line.” I will restrict myself to whoever is on gchat right now. I am relatively new to using gchat so there is usually a kinda paucey krew. Let’s see:

me:  hey rimpletide

I am on a game show right now
and I need your help answering a question
[Laughter]
[conversation redacted; he didn’t know anything about prop 22! we’re still lost]

Just reread the longer pros and cons. still can’t decide. Leaning toward yes on 22, but it’s shaky. In the interest of getting it all on paper let’s give prop 22 a provisional yes.

UPDATE: Rimps comes through! “prop 22: allows cities to keep redevelopment and transportation money safe from state government borrowing. some local governments (and police departments) are for it, but almost everyone else (teachers, firefighters, against). looks likely to fail.” so, um, we are voting NO on 22 [?]

Proposition 23

Seems pretty slam-dunky. Times are hard but the clean air laws should only be getting stricter, not the other way around. GRD and me say NO on 23!

Proposition 24

Knee-jerk says yes on 24: let’s stop tax breaks for wealthy corporations. The con is confusing: they aren’t really tax breaks? Voter fatigue is setting in. Yes on 24.

Proposition 25

Mean mommy-law to stop legislators from being late with their budgets. They will miss one (1) yummy dessert for every budget that is late in getting passed. The stakes feel low on this one. GRD’s apathy is a mirror for my own. “My brain hurts.” Yes on 25. Maybe. Yes.

Proposition 26

I am a knee-jerk liberal? Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Phillip Morris funded this measure, which will allow them to not pay fees that address adverse health effects of their products? What? GRD and I are overwhelmingly opposed to Prop 26. Happy Halloween.

Proposition 27

Mungo Jerry is back!

Maybe not.  But this one is related to the Charles Munger Jr. measure re redistricting from before — ole Prop 20, that classic chestnut. Knee-jerk reactions differ here: GRD has fallen hard for Prop 27. I smell the same gambits and ruses I’ve always ferreted and sniffed out in my long and distinguished career as a legal cartographer. No but seriously folks, no on 27, I have no idea why. GRD dissents. [UPDATE: checking our work against the SFBG. We’re doing pretty good. They say YES on 27. I defer to their and GRD’s wisdom]

U.S. Senate

GRD: “Will you tell them that I hate Carly Fiorina?”

Me: “Tell who?”

GRD: “The world” [Spits hot chocolate all over my leg]

Do not vote for Carly Fiorina. Big Bad Barbie Boxer is the clear choice. 400,000 emails from Obama in your inbox can’t be wrong.

Governor

Why are there only four jokers we’ve never heard of listed in the governer’s race page? Are we missing a page? What’s happening?!?! Ah: Jerry and Meg are candidates who haven’t “accepted CA’s voluntary campaign spending limits and therefore have the option to purchase space for a candidate statement.” Bummer. Go Jerry!!!!

Lieutenant Governor

He lives kinda near us? 4104 24th St? Right next to Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers. I’ve never seen him in Noe Valley.

Go Gavin!!!

I guess that’s his campaign headquarters address. Still

Secretary of State

Weird how Christina Tobin (Libertarian) wrote her statement in the third person. Marylou Cabral (Peace and Freedom) wants to lower the voting age to sixteen! Debra Bowen (Democrat) seems fine. GRD: “She’s NOT fine, and you wanna know why? Because she already has the job, and the state’s falling apart!” Let’s go for the green party civil-rights lawyer down on Snowbond St. in San Diego. Ann Menasche, give her a shot, why not? VoteAnn.org!!!!!!

Maybe Bowen’s doing an OK job. In all honesty, I’m probably gonna vote for her when the time comes. GRD might give it up for Ann, though. GRD: “She’s cute.”

Controller

GRD: “Oh, this is the person who’s doing a bad job.” Takes care of all the cash. OK OK OK we’ve been doing this for HOURS LET’S JUST PICK ONE

Andrew “Andy” Favor: “Pro-business, freedom. Frugal.” That’s the entirety of his statement. Libertarian. Evokes the old Nuprin ad campaign. Except it’s funny how there’s a comma after business. Are pro-business and freedom linked? Frugal is kind of its own thought? Maybe stronger to change that comma to a period: “Pro-business. Freedom. Frugal.” Do yourself a “Favor,” buddy! 😉

It’s all about the democratic incumbent, John Chiang. He’s the bomb. Love that Chiang. Always

Treasurer

Maybe somebody from Twitter could be Treasurer. Just kidding, GRD is hogging the voter guide. She can’t stop talking or thinking about Robert Lauten (American Independent). He sounds like a minuteman to me. The sun is setting. This forest isn’t safe after dark. Please let’s just pick one and move on. GO BILL LOCKYER (Dem.), GO!!!!

Attorney General

Kamala Harris doesn’t have a statement for the same above-stated reason Meg and Jerry don’t. Oh well. She’s got my vote! Nota bene commenting will remain OPEN on this post, let me know if you disagree with these “assessments”

Insurance Commisioner

Where to begin. Dave Jones. The end

Superintendent of Public Instruction

A nonpartisan office! Which will keep GRD and me honest. We have to actually look at these folks’ statements.

I think Larry’s statement was stronger, more convincing. Tom wants to expand Phys. Ed requirements — a big strike against him for GRD. Larry Aceves has our vote [wink]

Board of Equalization

Looks like we’re in District 1.

Betty T. Yee! “Yee yee”!!! District 1 is the best!!

Justices of the Supreme Court

This seems impossible to decide based on the data this pamphlet offers. Tani majored in Rhetoric at Davis. I am going to break the rules and see what the SFBG says. [Pee break] Uh, they don’t even have it on their list of endorsements? I’m going to decide in the voting both. Or text WholeFoodzzzz

OK, time for da local measures! We’re going the distance! We’re getting punchy!

For the local stuff GRD will be typing and “I” will hold the book. This is scary!!!!!!!

Continue reading

Let This Hangover Be Not Wasted

I’m in a book club with a whole bunch of pseudonyms: Jeremiah’d, Paulie Groundphones, Li’l Broheim, Shampoosie, et al. Maybe their pseudonyms should be taken from the book we’re reading, instead of from the jovial thin air above, since the book is already populated by hundreds of perfectly named minor characters. But I’d want an hour with Hilary Spurling’s Invitation to the Dance to produce halfway decent analogues for each of my book club’s members. Last night was one of our most rollicking meetings to date: The spirits flowed liberally, and by the time Shampoosie had to leave for her engagement, the atmosphere had (sonically speaking) pleasurably devolved into this sort of vibe:

I got vague half-permission to record the meeting’s minutes here. I was astonished by how much beer I’d been served, and how easily it flowed into my massive gullet. Just before he was shrouded and bundled off to bed, Li’l Broheims, our hosts’ beatific infant son, staggered around the cacophony clutching a baguette nearly as tall as he was, grinding fine cheeses and flatbreads into the fine carpet. Maybe a less-hungover observer than I am could turn a nice analogy comparing Li’l Broheims to a drunken British soldier like those depicted in Anthony Powell’s Valley of the Bones, the book we’d met to discuss.

His pose is supposed to subconsciously remind you of Lou Reed holding his guitar in the video above. And it's cute to picture him as a moustacioed infant with a giant baguette cannon. I know this isn't an English soldier's uniform. Manet's painting appears with kind persimmons from Manet's garden © SKRONK, INC

But not this guy. Because I AM TOO HUNGOVER TO DO ANYTHING. Which is all I wanted to say in the first place. So today being a low-volume work day I’ve just sat here hitting the internet harder than I have in a long time. 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., I’ve probably stood up three or four times, once to retrieve a pallet of Thai food from the overpriced (dance-club atmosphered) restaurant next door.

Among the many things I clicked on today, I finally had the chance to read Elif Batuman’s review of Mark McGurl’s book on the rise of MFA culture, “a study of Planet MFA conducted from Planet PhD.” Then I read Molly Young’s review of James Franco’s debut collection, which in turn linked me back to Batuman’s review of the 2004 and 2005 Best American Short Stories. I don’t have anything interesting to say about any of these book reviews. In both of Batuman’s essays, Joyce Carol Oates comes off as an exception to the rule of timid, tepid, guilt-imprisoned contemporary short fiction. In both essays, Don Quixote is the canonical first novel that successfully performed the literary innovations that four hundred years later are still being called innovations. And in both essays, she urges fiction writers to expunge the guilt and shame in being a contemporary writer in the face of global suffering, to shun the imperatives to write about

(A) nostalgic and historical subjects; (B) external, researched subjects, also sometimes historical; © their own self-loathing; and/or (D) terrible human suffering

[N.B. as a lover and collector of typos, that copyright symbol is about as awesome as it gets—unless it’s some kind of metadroll joke I’m too hungover to get?]

[Pointless Full Disclosure: I recently purchased from this writer her “favorite red chair, as well as two lamps, an ottoman, a saucepan, a carpet steam-cleaner, some geranium-scented laundry detergent, and approximately eight pounds of rice.” I’m also babysitting her car for a few months, it seems SUPER relevant and important to add. Buying a writer’s soap or borrowing her car unfortunately doesn’t transmit any of her intelligence to their new owner — although I wonder if some reptilian part of my brain wants to pretend that it does. The same goes of course for adopting a great writer’s dog, something I also did with no improvement to my critical faculties. Or, shit, I bet lots of editors, myself included, egoistically and falsely absorb some of the brilliance of a piece they’re editing, even if their edits mostly involve the introduction of typos and tautologies. The connection between leading a good life and thinking and writing well — I wonder how big that gap needs to be. It fluctuates. Brilliant assholes; generous buffoons; everyone in between. Eating Elif’s rice won’t help me think clearly about literature. Neither, apparently, will getting an MFA.]<—– (<(“the ghosts of deleted paragraphs rattle their chains from the margins.”)>)

[Once I’ve fully left my job,  I wonder if I’ll start writing Tao Lin–style fan fiction about Keith Gessen, or hosting this blog on a domain with my full name on it, etc.]

[What would that last “etc” refer to, I also wonder? Going on the Tao Lin diet? Buying my own car? Moving to Alaska to teach comp at Juneau Community College with Gerhard Richter’s Daughters? Starting a weekly jogging club with Benjamin Cheever, Sam Frank, and Haruki Murakami?]

[Please don’t make me try to say anything else about anything I’ve read. Please don’t say nasty things about me on the internet. Or about Ariana Reines.]

[Paul Groundphones recently demanded that I read Jacob von Gunten as soon as humanly possible, which I did, and I can’t think of a better example of a work of art that’s feels simultaneously both “pointless” and essential; that’s quite so beautiful in its pointlessness. I love the wry, skillful incompetence of Walser’s narrators. I haven’t finished the novel yet. I’ve never read Stendhal.

EXTRA CREDIT:

  • My novel will read like a press release — for life itself!
  • What do you guys think about psychoanalysis!
  • Goodbye!!!!!!