Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Snap your fingers in front of my eyeballs. I'm not here.

I got a jack-shit's* worth of sleep last night. I'm in a puppy-kicking mood. About to pass out. Or I might, possibly, forget to close the stall-door in the ladies room where I go to sit on the toilet to power nap. If I pull my scarf forward, taut, it's a face-pillow. But I have to hold it -- hmm -- really, it's a simple matter of tying it to something without hanging myself if I do fall asleep. Strike that. Bad idea.

This woke me up a little. Nellie McKay, the rare jazz-rap chanteuse. I swear the girl doesn't breathe once during this song.

For those keeping score of my cat-sitting escapades, I will be in charge of Nomar Rasputin Kittycat Mofo Garciaparra this holiday weekend.

* [1 jack-shit = .65 liquid dram]

Saturday, November 22, 2008

question of the day (in which marisa attempts and fails to provoke discussion in the comments)

Have you ever been tasered by the cops?

If yes, would you consider it a low point in your life or "just something that happened after, like, five white Russians and whatever I had after that."

let the right one in

O, Sweden! You have a place in the cockles of my heart. Cockles furnished with Ikea furniture and an endless snowy carpet, blood-spattered, not vibrant red but gooey red-black; some days, bleak winter days -- ah cripes, it's only November -- the whole world feels like a post-war, pre-fab, modernistic wasteland suburb of Stockholm. Let The Right One In is kinda-sorta a young love story between a boy with a terrible haircut and 12 year old (more or less) girl (more or less) vampire (spot on). The boy is bullied. The girl is hungry. Both are lonely. I'm no vampire connoiseur. I know the basic lore, whatever. Never questioned why a vampire can't enter a home uninvited. This movie at least answers what happens if they do. It's kinda gross (see above). Anyway, if you see one Swedish vampire movie in your lifetime, this is probably the one to see.

Monday, November 17, 2008

this is why I don't run in real life as well

Here's a game: http://www.foddy.net/Athletics.html

I keep flipping backward and landing on my head.

I give up.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

books to read by the fire (no fireplace? set something on fire and read by its flickery light [before the smoke detector goes off])

Thank you for your novel recommendations! I went to the Wilmette Library on Monday and struck out in my search for a few of the recommended titles ("Material Checked Out" D'oh!). I'll give the Chicago libraries a try soon. I had been up in Wilmette for a dentist appointment, the dentist I've been seeing since junior high. My mom received a phone call from his office saying my dental records were about to be banished to the dungeon because I hadn't been back in awhile. My mom being my mom spared my dental records and made an appointment for me to get my teeth cleaned. Oh Fine! The first few minutes of getting plaque scraped off my gum line is a little hair-raising, but then I start tasting blood and my mind wanders. Look, I keep a clean mouth! Brush, floss, Listerine! That plaque is the stuff of life and it's been scraped away. I walked away from the chair with no decay, no cavities. I got new X-rays taken, so I have to refrain from biting anyone because those pics can be used as evidence in court.

Wait, I was talking about books.

I like bookstores that tack hand-written employee recommendation cards to the bookshelves. So here are Chainsaw Calligraphy reader recommendations. I can't vouch for anybody's personal taste, but if you're looking for something to read, here's a list to chew on. I'll chew on it with my clean teeth.

Tony recommends:
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Betsy recommends:
Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Secret History by Donna Tartt

David recommends:
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
(Geek Love is one of my favorites too)

Scott recommends:
Time and Again by Jack Finney
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
(I did read your copy of Time and Again. When we moved out of our apartment, I considered "accidentally" mixing it up with my books so I could take it with me)

Paul R recommends:
Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
Martin Eden by Jack London

Joe J recommends:
World War Z by Max Brooks
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Anonymous recommends:
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Eric Pf recommends:
Like a Hole in the Head by Jen Banbury
Towelhead by Alicia Erian
King Dork by Frank Portman
Salterton Trilogy by Robertson Davies
The Short Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Alexis D recommends:
Stoner by John Williams

Sarah K recommends:
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Eric Z recommends:
The Human Stain by Philip Roth

Losi recommends:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

Anthony recommends:
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass

Monday, November 10, 2008

got any novel recommendations?

I was walking around the library last week looking for something to read. All I could think was: oh, goddammit. All these books.

Last few novels I've read have been okay, but can't say I completely enjoyed them. I was more satisfied with finishing the book than I was with the story, or the writing, but mostly the story.

Got a novel you're always trying to push 'cause it's a great story and you didn't want it to end because it grabbed your brain and your heart and smashed 'em together like a little kid smashing two Tonka trucks together in a sandbox? Been awhile since I read something like that. Yeah.

I'm looking for a novel to read. If you have a recommendation, drop a comment.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

cats + boxes = weird

I don't dayjob [verb] on Friday, so I'm not usually downtown on Friday. But I am a bonehead and forgot to sign and deliver a contract in a timely manner, so I had to go downtown to drop it off. I have a habit of putting important papers on my desk and then piling less important stuff on top of it and then thinking the important thing has been taken care of (the unimportant stuff is frequently half-completed Red Eye sudoku puzzles because my Metra ride is not long enough to complete a puzzle, or at least that's what I tell myself so I don't feel so stupid when I'm owned by a one-star sudoku). My disappearing stuff-on-my-desk problem is kin to the way I respond to e-mails in my head, and then somebody follows up with "I never heard back from you about such and such." And I'm all, "I responded to you in my head."

On my Friday downtown, I ran into an old friend from high school at the corner of Dearborn & Randolph.

I bought a tall mocha at Starbucks.

And took some pictures.

Pigeons in Daley Plaza take a break from pecking at garbage to pay their respects to dead soldiers. I can't look at an Eternal Flame without bustin' out a chorus of The Bangles "Eternal Flame"

Starbucks unleashed their red Xmas cups after Halloween and now this.

New banners around City Hall. Mayor Daley is very excited (earmarks!!! "overhead projector" for the planetarium!!! olympics 2016!!!)

A lot of people ask me, "Hey Marisa, where can I buy a pair of earrings made with metal so cheap it will irritate my earlobes until they drip with pus?" I send them to Claire's in the Ogilvie Transportation Center. I don't understand why there is a Claire's in the Metra station as I don't figure too many 13 year old girls are commuting downtown for their 9 to 5. My photo doesn't do justice to the pink-ness of this store. It is very pink. My retinas fizzed and now I am blind.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Scout Tufankjian, the photographer who has been with the Obama campaign since the beginning. Cool photos: http://www.scouttufankjian.com/main.php

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Of all the important issues in this election, remember that you are voting for the next man to be turned into an audio-animatronic figure and bolted to the floor of The Hall of Presidents at Disney World.

And they can take down this banner...

"I think people passing a law against people wearing sagging pants is a waste of time. We should be focused on creating jobs, improving our schools, health care, dealing with the war in Iraq, and anybody, any public official, that is worrying about sagging pants probably needs to spend some time focusing on real problems out there. Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants."-Barack Obama on MTV

Saturday, November 01, 2008

"Wegrzyn...needs medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder"

I know I said I wasn't going to make a habit of posting bad reviews, but I seem to enjoy posting dickhead bad reviews; if you read the last section of the review in the right light, it sounds like he'd rather see a play written by chimpanzees than by women. Those who have been following the hot topic female playwrights discussion on the interwebs will get a kick out of it: http://www.broadstreetreview.com/article.php?idc=3&ida=1135

For the record: I do not need to be medicated for A.D.D. There are plenty other mental illnesses that may have been more accurate, like, I don't know, maybe I'm a weepy drunk prone to violent outbursts, or I'm OCD about making sure the stove is turned off even if I haven't cooked in a week; also, the pilot light makes me nervous as hell.

Here's a better review in the big paper: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/magazine/33347679.html. Never did make it to Philly, but sounds like they did a good job with the play.

A flickr gallery of Robocop on a Unicorn: http://tinyurl.com/3v22hu