* The Cupboard Summer Sale - it's ending soon. $12/subscriptions, $3/volumes.
* I've been reading through these poems all morning instead of finding a place to live. I'm really good at not finding places to live.
* Yesterday in coffeeshopping, a man came in with a Starbucks cup and turned on a TV that was in the corner. This was not a Starbucks. The man then flipped channels until finding Hidalgo which he seemed really excited about. Unfortunately, the barista then came over, yelled at the man by name, and told the man he was sick of this. The man then left without asking the barista what exactly he was sick of. The TV watching? The Starbucks? The Viggo Mortensen? It was the most exhilarating 30 seconds of my day.
* In order to understand this, I had to wikipedia Twitter and find out what RT and hashtag meant. Still, #edibleshortstories is fun. I would go with "A Good Day for Bananafish" but that's, you know, already the title.
I Need to Post Something
Because that last post is depressing me. Here are things happening right this moment that aren't depressing me:
The team of businessmen at this coffee shop loudly plotting a convenience store
The barista's apparent love of bongo-driven percussion
The prospect of newborn convenience stores
Spelling my students' names
The sentence "Do we really need that much Keystone Light?"
Now That I Have an Apartment
I still need the following:
* A less embarrassing sink
* The will to read Montaigne
* A place to sit that's not the floor
* One dog
* Better Scrabble letters
* Anything to eat
* Something to place hypothetical food on
* Friendly yet private relationship with neighbors
Pynchon on Barthelme & Houston & Himself & Houston
But behind Barthelme's own slick city-sophisticate disguise still lounged, alarmingly, this good old Dairy Queen regular in some conspicuous hat, around in whose backseat opened containers had been known to roll, harboring the mischievous daydreams of a Texas rounder, not to mention a lengthy stretch of DNA dedicated just to locating and enjoying various highly seasoned pork products. On the principle that you can take the boy out of the country but not vice versa, Houston, Texas, his hometown before New York, must have caused Barthelme some lively internal discomfort over the course of a love-hate affair with the place that went on, it seems, for most of his life. From what I remember of Houston at about that same time, it could have provoked the one emotion just as easily as the other, and in Texas-size quantities, too. The Astrodome was brand new in those days. Air conditioning in the city was ubiquitous. There were schemes afoot to put a dome over part of downtown and air-condition it, creating what today we would call a mall. Entire boulevards were dedicated to churches, side by side, one after another, allowing you to drop the family car in low and actually cruise places of worship. The nearest venue for dope, sex, and rock 'n' roll, then as now, was Austin. The new NASA space center out by Buffalo Bayou was hiring heavily, while from the marshlands around it, mosquitoes were busy spreading an encephalitis epidemic. Sir John Barbirolli had fashioned of the Houston symphony an exquisitely first-rate instrument, while teenage musical heresy focused on California surf culture -- though the Gulf only had surf during hurricanes, all kinds of kids could still be observed driving around with some stick in some woody, flaunting boards that never caught a wave, as if trying to make it all be California. Anyplace but what it was.
From Pynchon's introduction to The Teachings of Don B. You can read the entirety of the introduction right here. Highly recommended.
I still don't have an apartment, but what I do have is a fantasy football team name. So there's that. In years past I was this and this and this and this. And now:
The Annotated Rex Ryan. I feel pretty good about this. Not about playing fantasy football or talking about it in public--that I still feel terrible about--but the name works, I think. I look forward to writing embarrassed yet oddly self-congratulatory posts about it from the library where I'm living.
The Cupboard Summer Sale!
For a limited time--probably defined by how long it takes Dave to get internet access--The Cupboard is running a sale.
* $12 for a year's subscription - This price means we're not good at business. That's 4 volumes, mailed right to your door.
* $3 for back volumes - Pick up volumes by James Brubaker, Caia Hagel, Mathias Svalina, Michael Stewart, and Joshua Cohen. I think I can say objectively that this offers a compelling ratio of greatness to dollars.
We'd sure appreciate it if you took a chance on us. Or helped us spread the word. Or smiled politely in our general direction.
* I guest-edited the most recent edition of NOÖ Weekly which you should check out right here. Great work from people I like: Dave Madden, Angie Hume, Jeff Downey, Laura Eve Engel! Those are some heavy hitters. Go.
* I'll be doing this tonight in Austin. Music and readings and Texas.
* The Cupboard will be having a summer sale starting...today? Tomorrow? Soon, anyway. $3 single volumes and $12 subscriptions. I'll probably post the announcement here, but get ready for it.
Artifacts from Here
Sometimes I think my ancestors robbed a passing wagon train in the 1850s and have decorated using the plunder ever since. I'm not making fun of anyone, of course. I just find all this stuff amazing. Like, if you asked me where to get a wicker chicken, I wouldn't have the slightest idea. Or at least I wouldn't have before. Now I know: my new apartment.
And thanks to the Randian spirit of my new roommate/business partner/chicken, I've already reserved the URL for my Houston-based apartment listing website: Realty Bits.
Okay, very little of that is true.
Today in Apartment Searching
"Big, separate living and dining room, the original REALITY BITES building, hardwoods." --from a building's description.
It's been years since I've seen that movie--and even then I don't think I ever saw it from beginning to end, more like the way I've seen Die Hard II over the course of 28 unique and out-of-order TBS viewings--but apparently Reality Bites took place in Houston. Incidentally, learning this sort of solves the movie for me. I mean, I've got a pretty good idea why reality bit.
I don't even know if they're serious or not, but either way it's pretty great to use a 15-year-old movie about malaise as a feature, as if it's a dishwasher or something (the apartment does not, notably, have a dishwasher, thus ensuring another disaffected generation).
Either way, I want to believe Ethan Hawke's character is living there. I want to believe they call him Okie, and every time he's carrying his groceries up the steps his apple-cheeked neighbors beg him to tell stories about the Candlebox.
Where I Live Now
"There is one tenant 'Okie' who has lived there for many years." -- from the middle of a very helpful real estate agent's description of a potential building.
I don't care that this place is too small, doesn't take dogs, and has yellow carpet. If you need me, I'll be whittling on the stoop with Okie listening to stories about the gold rush.
That's what I'm doing instead of writing some long celebration of how Jose Guillen is both no longer on the Royals and no longer barred from marrying whomever he wants in California. Okay, so both of those things aren't fully settled but indications are good. Jose Guillen can now strike out alone to explore a more loving society.
And it's too bad I'm searching for apartments because I'm full of other Jose-Guillen-is-terrible and marriage equality-related wordplay: Hopefully everyone on the right side of the playing field has seen the error of their intolerance. If Guillen doesn't like the direction we're moving in, he should get on the base about the poor showing. This swing-for-the-fences decision made a double play for his heart and his mind. He can no longer run from acknowledging the public's shifting opinion. Sadly for him, he didn't have the power to change yesterday's outcome. He's bad at baseball.
I'll admit the wordplay sort of broke down there at the end. But a good two days for everyone all the same.
It's family week here at SPM. Well, not really, but I'm at my parents' place. So far this morning I've:
* Listened to someone debate Ann Taylor customer service on the telephone
* Spent more than an hour trying to get an inkjet printer to work despite its insistence on a new cyan cartridge
* Learned the complicated rules for bottle recycling
* Learned the complicated rules for coffee ground disposal
* Counted the number of icons on a parent's computer desktop: 82
* Agreed that it's going to be hot out
* Been asked to raise the thermostat anyway
* Engaged in speculation over what my sister is doing right now
* Prepared myself to discuss routine car maintenance later
* Explained facebook and the advantages/disadvantages of joining it
I'm not sure, but I think I might have gained some insight into my teenage years. All I want to do is listen to grunge and drive around town. Maybe later I'll write lyrics to an emo song and promise myself I'll learn to play the guitar this fall. Any Taylor Loft/you've all gone soft/etc. Basically, I'm going to re-form the New Radicals before 3, get kicked out of the band by 5, and change my oil at 6.
Things This Baby Can't Do
* Beat me in arm wrestling (twice in a row)
* Appreciate French New Wave cinema
* Coherently defend his support for a flat tax
* Rent a car
* Pull off an ironic mustache to match his natural fauxhawk
* Keep wearing white after Labor Day