Showing posts from February, 2008

toward seriousness

Last night Jamie and I sat in on a reading and Q&A with Anne Carson and Peggy Shumaker at the Geffen Playhouse. Neither poet was miked, so their gorgeous, striking, playful poetry had to compete with the sound of my corduroy skirt moving when I crossed and uncrossed my legs, which I did a lot because I’m the most fidgety person on earth. Peggy had a very quiet, polite reading style, and Anne had an “I don’t really care what you think” reading style. This was also the way they answered questions. People had more questions for Anne, who kind of brushed them off in a funny, stylish sort of way. I wanted them to ask Peggy more, since she seemed so eager to help, just the way you’d imagine someone named Peggy would be. I didn’t ask either one a question, though, because when it comes to poetry, I just shut up and listen. Both described themselves as voracious and sloppy readers. Anne reads Proust in French over breakfast, but she started on volume five. I read Vanity

i’ve now used 6:54 of my 15 minutes

Hey kids, remember this story ? It takes place entirely outdoors, so it seemed like a good choice to help launch my friend Bronwyn’s guerillareads series, in which emerging authors (for now that would be me and Bronwyn) read site-specific work with the help of a tiny workhorse of a video camera and Bronwyn’s very impressive DIY editing skills. It occurs to me that some of you out there in Blogland have never seen me live-and-sort-of-in-person. If you thought I had a sexy, gravely voice or eyebrows that did not move at random like a crazy person’s, then what you’re about to see might disturb you. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the transportation-themed mural in the background: Now check out Bronwyn and her normal eyebrows:

for my own protection

I’m all for the paperless office, and for identity theft protection, but these online security questions are way too complicated, especially for those of us who have trouble providing a one-word answer to anything : What is your spouse’s nickname? I’m not married, and I call AK “AK.” Where did you go on your honeymoon? Um, still not married. What was the last name of your first girlfriend/boyfriend? Okay, that’s easy: “Ko.” Error: Answers must be at least four letters long. Fuck you. Some people are Korean. What was the name of your first roommate in college? Amber , but I’m so not going to be reminded of that girl every time I want to check my Visa balance. Next question, please. Who was your arch rival when you were growing up? Hillary, this girl who made it into advanced gymnastics a whole year before me and went on to be bitchy to me on our high school cheerleading squad , but I’m not sure she knew she was my rival. I’m pretty sure

team gato and the great outdoors

For weeks, it went like this: A few minutes before I leave for work, I pick a cat—OC or T-Mec—and hold the front door open a crack so he or she can get out without letting the other out. Chosen cat says, “Outdoors! Awesome! I’ve been hearing about this place.” Sniffs patch of weeds under outside stairs for approximately two minutes. Puts paws up on wrought iron fence separating yard from yard next door and says, “Hey, doesn’t Ferdinand usually leap through this fence and have all sorts of adventures?” I say, “Yes, but Ferdinand is much skinnier than you and has been going outside for years. I realize these things may be related, and that’s part of the reason I’m letting you go outside. But my worrywart heart can’t make the leap all at once.” Cat slinks around the backyard, admiring such sights as: plastic tarps shielding our weirdly banked house from the rain unopened can of Tsingtao decomposing lemons from the next door neighbor’s tree upstairs

yes we can look really cool in a fedora

I finally saw the Barack Obama “Yes We Can” music video today. It’s a pretty amazing specimen—a (sort of) grassroots political creation that has the look of being inspired by a Gap commercial that was inspired by a grassroots political creation. I totally teared up as Jamie and I watched it in the office. When it was over, I told her, “I’m really inspired to vote for Barack Obama and believe in things that seem impossible and maybe buy a pair of jeans.” Of course wherever inspiration goes, parody follows: . (Thanks to Nicole for the link.)

vacation, all i ever wanted

If you've been reading a lot of Bread and Bread recently, you know that, when I'm not busy voting for Barack Obama, I've been spending my time being all stressed out. This weekend, I discovered an amazing cure. Get ready: It's called vacation. It can be as short as two days and as close as the nearest major city (San Diego, in AK's and my case). We drove down Saturday afternoon and met up with Lenise, who's good at knowing all the fun things to do, even in a city she hasn't lived in very long. Look how much fun she is: First stop: Ray at Night . I know L.A. has dozens of little gallery walks, but I've never been to one. Maybe they'll become like cable TV, something I only indulge in out of town. Here's a painting by one of Lenise's coworkers. He's a tech guy, which sort of makes sense--this painting reminded me of those PBS specials you see about mathematical patterns found in nature. AK and I both loved the work of Veronica Gonzalez, an

have you hugged your reader today?

There’s a patte rn to my reading list lately, which is Books That Give Me A Big Hug , like the one I wanted to give Hillary (the hug I wanted to give her, not the book—although giving her a book would be less likely to get me slammed to the ground by the secret service). The latest hug book is The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty. It has a picture of a girl’s face and a flower on the cover, and promises “an endearing [narrator] with a wholly refreshing way of looking at the world.” My friend Daisye gave me the book years ago, saying something along the lines of, “It’s a good book, but not the kind you need to keep after you read it.” Also, there’s a blurb on the back from O, The Oprah Magazine. I thought, So it’s that kind of book. And yes, it reads like a book O, The Oprah Magazine would like—charming and plucky—but it’s also much more tightly structured than it seems initially, and it advocates deeply for kindness toward people who are dealing with more than they ca

suspenseful tuesday

In the end, I went with Obama. Whereas Hillary is a bit of a moderate who’s rabidly despised by Republicans, Obama seems like a progressive who’s managed to convince people he’s Mr. Nonpartisan. Also, he’s worldly in the most literal sense, which I think we need right now. But even as I inked my ballot, I wanted to give Hillary a hug. My polling place —an Eagles lodge in Eagle Rock (how American is that?)—was pleasantly busy, making me realize how not busy the polling places in my two previous neighborhoods ( West Adams and Mid-City) usually were. I could observe that both those areas were poorer and more heavily African American, whereas Eagle Rock is pretty mixed and middle class, and I could speculate that the lines were probably really long in Santa Monica . But this election is all about optimism, right? So let’s assume that voter tu rn out is high all around the city today, that my previous polling places—a Baptist church and a Presbyterian church—are packed right now wi