Neff Hall

I’m in a student lounge in the J-school? Except my computer science class is in this building? On a weirdly non-password protected newish iMac with a filthy keyboard. I went back to school, Rodney Dangerfield style. Today’s the first day of classes. This morning involved the self-inflicted horror of going to the pre-lecture lab of a computer science class that’s above my level and feeling totally hosed. I don’t know why I thought I could skip the prerequisite class. Because I know what FTP stands for? Please.  I learned my lesson and in 20 minutes I’m going to the intro to programming course I should’ve settled on in the first place.

The campus is filled with ambling students. They mill, they stand, they sit. It’s muggy and mild. A little overcast. Lots of shorts, sandals; every T-shirt has a different way of saying the name of the school.

FEMALE STUDENT: I was born in 1993. You were born in ’92?

MALE STUDENT: Yes! How did you know?

I want to somehow mention that these two students were Asian, except it’s not relevant. An hour or so later, two semi-formally dressed young white men walking purposefully together appeared to be making fun of the way Japanese people speak. After that, two students were walking very close behind me talking about playing football, the various merits of their teammates’ throwing ability.

—[Something something TK] roommate. He’s a black guy? We looked in his room and there was a scratch pad, like for a cat.

—Aw, he’s got a cat?

—Yeah, what real man has a cat?

—Actually, I had roommates once and they had pretty hot girlfriends and they had a cat, so…

I turned and looked at the speakers for the first time. One was obese, which surprised me because they’d been talking about playing sports. Forgot that football and obesity aren’t mutually exclusive.

There’s more but it’s time to attend the lecture. In my classes today I’ve been making intensely thoughtful facial expressions. I am 10 years older than everyone in the world.

misc hex dump

JEB: Big sale at Nordstrom’s going on here

CLONE 1: Nordstrom’s possessive?

JEB: Nordstrom’s singular. Just the one up on Geary.

CLONE 1: You’re in San Francisco?

JEB: For a tick.

CLONE 1: What for?

JEB: Involved in a professional creative endeavor that brought me out here.

CLONE 1: But I thought you just moved?

JEB: I did. I’m back for a few days to tie up this loose end.

CLONE 1: How’d it go?

JEB: Today was one of two. Went bad. I knew it was pointless for me to come back here, but they wanted me to, and they paid for my airfare, so I did. It’s a film shoot. I was in the way and trapped feeling all day, going apeshit on the craft services table, chatting up the P.A.s. I ended up going into the office there — unrelated, mostly, to the reason I was there — and asking if I could just do miscellaneous work for them, just to be useful. I ended up editing some blog posts.

CLONE 1: Weird.

JEB: Around four I felt that my alienation had sort of topped out, so I left without saying goodbye. I just got a text from the guy being like, “Where are you? Did you go back?” Made me feel like a stoned fearful teenager. I’ll go back tomorrow. Sorry.

Then I went to Nordstrom’s because I had a gift card and bought a shirt.

CLONE 1: Your bag says Barney’s.

JEB: I changed the name because I was embarrassed.

CLONE 1: Don’t be embarrassed. You went to Barney’s because of the gift card. You didn’t ask for the gift card.

JEB: Walking through the Mission with a bag from Barney’s is much worse than walking through the Mission wearing a shirt from Barney’s.

CLONE 1: How much did the shirt cost?

JEB: More than the gift card.

CLONE 1: How much more?

JEB: Does anyone in San Francisco want to get a quick beer? I’ve got dinner plans at 8:00 or 8:30. It’s about 6:00 now.

CLONE 1: What else?

JEB: I wanted to do a misc hex dump, Dad.

CLONE 1: What are you waiting for?

JEB: …for you to turn up the background

CLONE 1: ok. go

JEB: where’s my beat

CLONE 1: boom tss tropp

JEB: well,

CLONE 1: people now peoplesoft grab a garabedian

JEB: soft pomeranian lefkowitz insaneian

CLONE 1: lobestar rodeo for Rudy (1993)

JEB: Banagrams w/ Rufio’s the only Lucky Peach you’ll need after the sex-change operation.

JEB and CLONE 1: [together] Whoa!!!

JEB: Veiled bra reduction soft is cancerous and bleeding

CLONE 1: Delete the softest tone in that tone poem’s loft hearth

JEB: label labia libel sokal hoax got supersoaked

CLONE 1: mysql childhood?

JEB: radio

CLONE 1: pornstar.

JEB: prada-paseo prado

CLONE 1: destinos,

JEB: reflectos

CLONE 1: island culture deaf squad

JEB: vegan squab; Thanksgiving

CLONE 1: gypsy marijuana trailer coat is dusty warm and febrile

JEB and CLONE 1: [together] Cool!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrw00Amyl5s]

Zombie Night

I cannot sleep
O wakeful maidens of the night
I read the first 50 pages of The Rest Is Noise
I have a painful physical ailment too mundane and homely to name
I live inside the eyeball of a blind guy who once read Mallarmé. TV pilot about a poetry-reading duck who pranks people on TV: Mallar’d. No. People complain about the little Critic (Jon Lovitz, 1995) in their minds. My bigger worry is the noxious accurate fictional vituperative web-only first-time writer’s gloss on my weird experimental hemmhhroidde that they find out about in NY and covertly fedex back to my alter-ego who’s managed to forget his body in a whirling cloud of NYC oxidized mercury children’s museum vegan baloney epiphany swirl.
If it weren’t the middle of the night, I’d fix this for you. But C. Debussy, et al, forget it, miffed and restive maidens of midnight, vexed vixens of the porch-crawl, next time I click on you, you will feel clicked upon. Naked. Girlfriend, I’m not blogging about pornography, I’m applying to an MFA program in Drama, and this is my best shot. Will this work as a pitch as a first-time writer for the web-only category of the n+1 website? I want to write about the way that certain ahh forget it. The problem with nightblogging is all the assholes only read it during the day, or else they’re the kinds of assholes who have noon brains in the middle of the night. Perfect for big-city living. Can I download a widget that only lets you read this when you’re out of sorts and awake when you’d rather be asleep? I don’t get off on knowing about things that you don’t know about. I’d rather we both know about them perfectly equally. That’s my idea of heaven. We both open the perfect book together and understand it without trying. That’s why I feel the soft blade sliding up the curve of my big belly: the editors want me to try harder. The one thing that keeps me going, maybe, is that you still get points for emotions. So if you fuck up and skid out and scarf the last of the libretto jelly watching real youtube of your closest female relative flirting with her best friend joking about placenta breakfast, but you don’t get it, but you feel it like the worst thing, high school play with a boner, wet spot obvious, that helps. You get financial aid for that.

the party

I love my dad. I don’t know if he reads this blog. Tonight was his birthday party. I went with my fiancée, Gerhard Richter’s Daughters.

 

GRD: It was weird. This one woman was mean to you.

Q:

GRD: And then Henry ate your headphones.

Q: Henry is our dog. These were the $2 Virgin America headphones I bought on the plane.

GRD: She … I don’t remember. She wasn’t making that much sense. First she thought you had to figure out what you were doing and get a job. Then she kept saying that farmers were going to ask you what you did with your life. Then she said your dad didn’t love you.

Q: Who the fuck was this lady? She was the wife of one of my dad’s golf buddies. At first it seemed like she was being playful, I went along with it. Then it turned nasty, and circular, and weird, and hateful. I did the thing I sometimes do in those situations, where I exaggerate and amplify the worst of what they’re saying, at my own expense — e.g., “no, you’re right, I don’t even know if he’s my real father. We all have chronic diarrhea.” Tell me about the lady with the daughter.

GRD: The lady with the daughter, who I hadn’t even met, stopped me and said, “hey, let me know if you need any advice about having a baby and a career at the same time.” That other woman asked us if it was our first marriage. And then Henry ate your headphones.

Q: My stepmom asked me if there was enough for me to eat, since I was vegan, in a tone of voice implying that vegans cannot possibly nourish themselves properly. The hateful golf wife also mocked my dietary choices, and called the magazine I used to work for “crunchy,” though she didn’t know anything about it. She said she was shocked when she found out my father had a son. She must hate my father. Do you think she is crazy?

GRD: Yeah. I don’t know if I think she’s crazy. I think she likes to talk alot and doesn’t think about what she’s saying and people think she’s funny or fiesty so she gets away with it but it doesn’t make sense or sometimes it makes sense but was confused about this issue. She’s been divorced twice and seems unhappy in this marriage and so she has a lot of strong feelings that were getting in the way of her logic.

Q: She was telling us not to get married.

GRD: I don’t know. It was confusing. I think she ultimately gave us her approval.

Q: If somehow my father or stepmother reads this, it’s not your fault. I love you. You have your faults, and so do I. I was irritated by this woman at your party, and now I’m writing about it on the internet. Henry ate my headphones. The farmers hate me. The other people at the party were kind. I was strongly reminded a few times — this was a party in Marin, Calif. — of The Serial (hat-tip blufugate)

Fatty

Hey Cutie! Well, if I’m not blogging, I don’t know who is… Best anagram for great is always Greta. I had to write this thing so I took care of other fake-important business and finally barnstormed my way out the house by maybe 1:15. Stopped at cafe number one, where my internet doesn’t work. Drank a single Americano and wrote the thing. It only had to be like 600 words, I just needed to finish a draft, whatever, right? Pay attention to what, ladies, am I right? If only the sports section were full of field hockey, long-distance running, rock-climber recipes, and so forth. Mountain Bike stats, info-graphics about how commercial horseradish is made. Then I’d read it… Ate a clam-filled Peasant Pie. I try to be vegan, and then I stop trying. While I waited for the pie to heat up, I read 2/3 of a framed Dan Leone column about Peasant Pies on the wall that begins with a non-review of a Mark Richard book. (Mark Richard is a Gordon Lish guy. What does that mean? I heard Dan Leone is a Gordon Lish guy, too. What does that mean? I guess technically L.E. Leone would be a Gordon Lish gal. Maybe it just means they took Lish’s class, or were edited by Lish. Code-name Quoinstone’s love for Dan (now L.E.) Leone made me give her a closer look. Those columns are a boon. Real boons. San Francisco is lucky to have L.E. née Dan Leone writing about food in the pages of its best alternative newsweekly. Future generations may shake their heads in wonder.) Moved on to cafe number two, more coffee, realized the draft was fine, realized they didn’t offer internet — it’s more of a bakery than a coffee shop. Plenty of people on laptops, but no internet. This is a shameful description of my current life between full-time jobs. I have a part-time job that requires me to squeeze out 600 words every week or so. [Glances at Jawbone, smiles, casts +4 wagon spell. Begins whistling The Man from Laramie.]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc4TDx_0k9Q]

Barista at coffee shop number one asked older woman I didn’t really turn to look at what she was doing today; woman replied, loudly, “I woke up at one, now I’m going to the Legion of Honor. They’ve got the Magna Carta there.” A pause. “I don’t really know what the Magna Carta is, But I’m going to check it out.” Barista: “It sounds like it has to do with the Founding Fathers.” Onward to the Mission Branch of the SFPL. Sent off my thing. Yelling match, crazy dude, “You stepped on my foot and then took my turn on the computer. I want your name, so I can give it to the spiritual registry of offenders.” Patrons yelled for him to shut up. Elementary schoolkids yelled the same thing at each other an hour earlier on the street. Sent the emails. Went to therapy. If I woke up at one on a Wednesday and didn’t know what the Magna Carta was, I wouldn’t say it so loudly. But this blog entry is essentially the same thing. Confessions. Bought and ate a large container of wasabi-soy almonds. Stopped into a new bookstore called, I think, Press Works on Paper? Can’t tell if there’s more punctuation in there. The store is mightily well-appointed, particularly considering they opened less than a week ago. The table in the center was covered in books lain flat: Andy Fitch’s Ten Walks; amazing-looking Al Columbia book from Fantagraphics; Witz; something old by Blake Butler; something old by Anne Carson; plus I think Nox; a journal called Paul Revere’s Horse whose editor and whose editor’s fiancée I ran into in Whole Foods with my fiancée yesterday. We discussed the price of avocados. I feel like I’m trapped inside a club remix of a Leonard Cohen song; Heather Christle’s The Difficult Farm; Rachel B. Glaser’s Pee on Water; Thin Kimono; the Wave book of James Tate prose poems with Bee in the title; Matthew Zapruder; something by that poet with three names who has a new book I just got an email about. All on this one table. On the shelves were things like The Age of Wire and String and Stories in the Worst Way, a twine-wrapped set of old Penguin Paperbacks, Knopf-published Field Guides to Birds/Sea Creatures/et al. Expensive Japanese and German stationery. Fine-looking art books and prints and bookbinding materials. I told the guy at the laptop/register that I was pretty bowled over by their selection. I think it’s the most fussily — that’s not the word, I don’t mean to be negative, I was impressed by this store. Assiduously? -curated bookstore I’d ever been to. The spectre of Flying Object, or do I mean Walser & Co., I honestly don’t know the difference, and I faltered trying to explain them to the kind dude, suffused the place. Not that I’ve been to either of those places, but I wanted Northhampton to drop-ship a passel of chapbooks to this place. It also could’ve used more from Siglio and Picturebox, but AS I SAY, they’d been open five days.  Nothing from McSweeney’s, either, but apparently that’s because PGW turned up their nose at this store. It also might’ve been nice if they’d had print-outs of Helen DeWitt’s and Bill Knott’s blogs stacked somewhere. I’ve never read a poem in my life. Then I stepped on the foot of an old traveler (angry survivor of the 60s) as I exited, fishing for my almonds. He made an aghastly sound and I said, quickly, “I’m so sorry, I’m nearly blind.” Which is true. I no longer drive during the day. (Haven’t driven at night for a few years.) Tuesday morning around 6 I googled “blind martial arts.” Apparently vision’s not too important once you’re in close contact. Jiu-Jitsu.  I might begin (being is the preferred anagram) Asian grappling (?) once I move to Missouri. I don’t want to buy a gi unless I’m sure. Tonight, packing for tomorrow’s wedding-trip to  Chicago, I am glad I haven’t gotten rid of my leather dress shoes in a fit of vegan indignance. I still feel vegan diffidence even though at this moment my belly is full of pork. Yes, after the coffee and the clams I crashed and caved even deeper. It’s not full of pork, but the pork is in there.

“Spilling Juice On Me Like You’ve Got Someplace To Go”

SHANNON: Can I borrow your yoga mat

BETHANY: Keep your voice down, I don’t want those boys to know I do yoga

SHANNON: What boys? Who cares?

B: Yoga is a bourgeois activity. Also I feel like a girl doing yoga

S: U are a girl

B: I know

TELEPROMPTER: Hey girls I’m a journalist writing an article about the author of this blog. Mind if I ask a few questions?

B: OK!

TELEPROMPTER: It won’t take a minute.

S: Sure. Go ahead.

TELEPROMPTER: What is your relationship to the administrator/owner of this blog?

B: He my daddy

S: Yes

TELEPROMPTER: Do you have any financial relationship with the owner of this blog?

B: He makes me dinner a lot

S: He buys me lunch sometimes

TELEPROMPTER: Do you have a sexual relationship with the owner of this blog

B: We snuggle

S: It’s not like that

TELEPROMPTER: should children descry etc

B: Aw, you seem tired. Come sit.

S: Sit here next to me. This couch is cool.

TELEPROMPTER: I am feeling tired. It’s facebook. Facebook depletes me.

B: It’s also your diet. And your posture. Have you ever done yoga

S: She’s a yoga fiend!

TELEPROMPTER: I got into yoga for a while. I felt great, but I couldn’t keep with it.

B: The owner of this blog isn’t lazy, but there’s something about him that reminds me of what you say.

S: Yeah, it’s not laziness but there is a kind of lack of backbone or something

B: A caveyness

TELE: Cageyness?

B: no, cavey. like he starts something and then it gets hard and so he caves.

TELEP: Anything else?

S: I named the network’s printer “harold printer.”, isn’t that cute?

B: i love that

tele: OK thanks gals that’s plenty. here are my lynx:

  • stoya reads there is no year
  • stosuy talks to stoya
  • sam frank’s essay from the failure issue of the rcf is full-text online. Helen DeWitt‘s isn’t. Read both of these essays drunk and exhausted on an airplane. Frank’s slayed me. DeWitt’s scared me. I highly recommend that issue of the journal. i even took notes on it. maybe i’ll suspend my facebook account and write a thoughtful response to the issue. i wish I were capable of writing a thoughtful response to something