Monday, April 30, 2007


It's the part of my job I hate the most.

It doesn't matter how graciously you word it or how seasoned a professional you are dealing with. Feelings are always hurt. And then bad blood is generated.

You see, writers (and the agents who took them on) get SO touchy about their work. Not that I blame them at all. When you pour your heart and soul into developing something--especially something creative, which can only be judged very subjectively--it is almost impossible to withdraw and admit that your project is basically unmarketable in the modern bookselling arena.

Proof that no one is immune to hurt feelings: if anyone should know better about creating something unmarketable, it's me, who spends her waking hours trying to delicately cut people down to size. And yet I've fallen into the exact same trap and tried to write/publish a book no one (besides the conscripted) in their right mind would read. And then I was surpised by a series of rejection letters.

Somehow this knowledge/experience still doesn't make tactful rejections a walk in the park. I wonder if they get any easier with practice? Or maybe we just develop more elaborate ways of lying to one another? (My current method: blame Robert the Publisher for bad taste.)

Saturday, April 28, 2007


The apartment is almost visitable!! We unpacked, scrubbed, folded, hung, stacked, and danced around to the Pixies all morning. We took out 6 bags of trash (and two boxes).

Now you can come over for tea and cake.

note from my new friend Ari

The moon rat is a distant cousin of the hedgehog and known by the Latin name, Echinosorex gymnura.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

i'm a racist white bitch

I gotta admit, one thing I WASN'T hoping for when I left the office at 1:44 am this morning was to chug tiredly on the D train for 45 minutes only to be followed from the Popeyes on the corner home by a belligerent crackhead.

I never turned around to look at my new buddy but from the timbre of voice I am guessing it was a woman (although there's room for self-doubt here)(as everywhere). At first, "she" just trailed me (I was walking at a clip) muttering unintelligibly. But the muttering got gradually more distinct and pointed until she was obviously shouting at me. "Getting all up in HERE. You don't want us down THERE and now you think you can come up HERE. Racist motherfucker. White bitch. Go ahead, walk fast, racist white motherfucking bitch. Gonna kill you and kill your sorry ass mother and kill your sorry ass father, racist motherfucker. What you want to come around HERE for with your motherfucking white ass."

I was very sleepy and in my state wanted nothing more than to turn around and reason with her. "Look, ma'am, I hate to point out the obvious but racism is variously defined as prejudice or persecution based on skin color. I think if we analyze this situation we'll see that in fact YOU are the racist because you are harrassing and threatening me and making judgments about ME based on nothing more than the color of my skin." But then I realized I didn't actually KNOW if it was a ma'am or a sir. And that I didn't want to get stabbed, shot, or raped. How very white of me.

Sigh. The saddest thing about the whole situation is that I sympathize with her. Really.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sanjaya Malakar

I just want to say this--

I love you, Sanjaya. I rooted for you all along. I loved you FOR your hair, not in spite of it. And I liked your voice, too. You were the consummate entertainer. And come on, what does America REALLY want, anyway? (Apparently it doesn't know itself.) I loved you even more from crying openly when they told you to leave. You're an honest, emotional soul, Sanjaya. We need mor people like you.

I wasn't there when you needed me--I got home too late to see your performance the night you were voted off. And for this I shall never forgive myself.

But if you come out with an album, Sanjaya, I will buy it. Yes I will.

Anyone who thinks or hopes this post is sarcastic can kiss my ass.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Book report: Amy Tan/Saving Fish from Drowning

Dear Amy,

I know we've fallen out of touch. Perhaps you felt betrayed because although your most recent novel came out more than 2 years ago I only recently got a copy for myself (and yeah...I didn't pay for it. I think Robert the publisher bought it by accident, for it turned up in an Amazon box and no one would claim it. But then again, when you have as many millions as Robert the publisher it's difficult to keep track of them all).

But Amy, I have to say *I* felt betrayed by BONESETTER'S DAUGHTER, which was a cheap regurgitation of the same exact themes you had so charmingly excreted in THE JOY LUCK CLUB and THE KITCHEN GOD'S WIFE. Hence my reluctance to give my relationship with you another chance.

But when a free book falls into one's hands it's bad karma not to read it. And I have to admit--I was really pleasantly surprised. Your thin characters were effete yet entertaining and I learned a lot of semi-true fact about Burma. I was inspired, at any rate, to look a lot of things up on Wikipedia.

But I was disappointed in the end, Amy. Your resolution was weak. The whole book dissolved into caricature and the plot became comically unrealistic. Especially sad was how you left the narrator, Bibi--you had set her up for such great things, then just wasted the character by having her amount to nothing at all.

So Amy, I'm gonna be honest here. I think we need a break from each other. A clean break. Although no one has to know how often I happen to revisit your past masterpieces.

Goodbye, Amy. At the very least thanks for driving me to Wikipedia. Always an educational experience with lots of click-throughs.

Rattily yours,


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I cooked!!!

Thanks to Susan, and before her, Jamie Oliver, o naked chef extraordinaire. I made halved chicken fillets, pounded, olive oiled, salted, and peppered, with mushed banana pressed between them like a banana sandwich. These were placed on a glass baking tray (Martha Stewert line, acquired on flooded Sunday when I was the only shopper at KMart) filled with corn kernels, butter beans, and milk. I covered the chickens with strips of bacon, baked for an hour, and served with brown rice (cooked effortlessly in my new rice cooker, Martin Yan endorsed, similarly acquired Sunday from KMart). Joy joy joy!! Have I mentioned butter beans are perhaps the best things in the world?

Alas it was the first time I had tried to use the oven in my new apartment, and of course the moment I opened the oven door to put in my beautifully decked-out tray of raw chicken and bacon it became clear that THE OVEN DIDN'T WORK. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth but eventually the Super issued forth from his den and there was banging and pounding and a horrible sulferous smell and then everything was working properly. Which was excellent. Now all I need is a toilet that flushes. And windows that don't leak. And a sink that drains. And a bathtub, while we're at it. And a bed to sleep on. A couch. Some chairs. My clothes back from my old apartment and from Melanie's, where many of them are living.

In the meantime, I DO have leftover chicken. Which is almost as good as the rest of it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I hate Word.

I hate automated formatting. I hate hidden buggy code in my text document. I hate that for some reason this manuscript I've been painfully editing for the last 4 days is suddenly in TWO COLUMNS!! because I deleted a chapter that the author created incorrectly. Hate hate hate.