Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sharing is Caring

How have I never heard of Blonde Redhead?

I discovered the group when I watched a Miranda July video (you know: the one where she goes through the motions and strikes many a pose). I was more taken with the tune than with the art piece(sorry M.!).

Anyway. Here's a sample of Blonde Redhead's awesomeness:
"Misery is a Butterfly"


I love The Pixies, and though I've never danced ballet, I have a special fondness for the artform. Additionally, I used to live with two dancers, and we'd have dance parties to both The Pixies and The Spice Girls. Now that I think about it, we were like the PoMo version of a frat house, but that's another story.

As seen on Boing Boing

New Roots!

Man, it's like The Roots are like hip hop's version of a jam band: they're freakin' awesome live. I mean, I know the following is a taped version of their work, but lord if it's not amazing. I like the direction they're taking their music, and I love their collaborations. How can you not dig a hip hop where the cats play their own instruments? How can you not dig hip hop where horns and scatting saunter on centerstage? Anyway: I love how the group always looks like their having so much fun.

Read Between the Lines

When I was in elementary school (shoutout to Chambers Elementary!), I was really into reading. I mean, it seems as if all English majors or Liberal Arts brats were into reading. Do you all remember when Pizza Hut gave out personal pan pizzas if you read a certain amount of books? Man. I was all about that: I think I even have my button somewhere at home (i.e. you had a button where star stickers signified how close you were to cheesy glory). I mean, I read for more reasons than a person pan pizza, but boy if that button and that prize didn't make the deal that much sweeter (oooh: I'm restraining myself from making a pun; consider yourself lucky).

Anyway, now there's another kind of literary encouragement (coughbribecough): If kids read a certain amount of books, Barnes and Noble will give them a FREE book.

How It Works:

1. Kids read any 8 books.

2. Kids use the Summer Reading Journal to tell us their favorite part of each book. A parent/guardian signs it when it's complete.

3. Students bring their completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 29th & September 2nd, 2008.

4. We'll give them a coupon for a FREE book! They choose from a list of exceptional paperback titles."

Man. I would have been all over this. Why can't they do this for adults? I think it would be cool for National Poetry Month (so more peeps could read the classics) or to promote history and other business. Still: good job Barnes and Noble.

PA Primary

The Oppression Games!


I've been M.I.A., but let's be honest: I wish I'd been hanging with M.I.A.

I'm back! Rah!
(No one cares: Golf Clap.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Islands in the Stream

A cover of the classic "Islands in the Stream" by Constantines + Feist

(Who else loves the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers version?)
(Also: I love that the Bee Gees wrote it! Exclamations! Yes!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

More Bookshelves that Rock!

Um. How can you not smile when you see a robot-themed bookcase?
I think these sculptures/furniture are pretty darn amazing.
I like how some of the robots seem to dance.
Maybe the bots have some Lucille Clifton plugged into their heads.

The bots' artist is Kazmierz Szmauz. You can buy the pieces here.

Paid Vacations

Um, I'm kind of in love with Hotel Fox. They have the coolest rooms. Too bad Hotel Fox is located in Copenhagen. OH WAIT: This means I have an EXCUSE to travel there! YES. Now: I just have to decide which of the rooms to choose (and to spend a fortune on).

As seen on Ohdeedoh

Lupe Fiasco

I like hip hop, and I am a feminist. WHAT. No. Seriously. I love it. I see it as a language of rebellion, a language of hope. My friends have come to expect and hate my hip hop rants. I like socially conscious hip hop, but I also like some of the mainstream stuff. I like a good beat, a nice flow, and some linguistic acrobatics. It's hard to find the whole package. Sometimes I'll love the beats, but the lyrics will be lame, or I'll like the lyrics, but the beats are lame.

Yeah, there's some misogyny (women hatin') in hip hop, but that's present in many genres (even the self-labeled political business has a covert parade beneath the image). Anyway. I like Lupe Fiasco. He's a young bird associated with Kanye West and Jay Z. He's got some great lyrics, stellar beats, and a B Boy flow (a throwback to the sing-songy 80s bits). Still, there are parts that kind of remind me of spoken word night (not slam poetry exactly but people who'd sing parts of their poems: did you all have that?). His lyrics have a way of sticking with me: it's something to do with his rhymes and his flow (delivery, cadence, matching the words with the beats, etc.).

Anyway, two videos of two tracks I love:

"Daydreamin'" featuring my girl Jill Scott

"Hip Hop Saved My Life" featuring Nikki Jean

Recylced Rolodex

Remember the Rolodex? Yeah, before you had your Blackberry or IPhone or newest gadget, people had a Rolodex. Well, this cool crafter makes recycled ones from those annoying magazine subscription cards.

Folk Take on the NY Times Book Review: It's a Ringer!

Well, I review books. I do. I review for both blogs (Great American Pin-Up, Feminist Review, and CutBank Reviews) and for print magazines/journals (I won't be an ass). I list the names because I hope you check some of the places out: they're pretty darn awesome. Before I begin, you should know that I both like and dislike reviewing.

Likes include: working with some
awesome editors (I'm not sucking up: it's the truth); I'm sent free books (come on y'all: I'm a freelance writer working in her pajamas; this is very much needed); and I discover some really great writers (i.e. Edward Palvic!!! Janet Holmes!!! Selah Saterstrom!!!). I like how reviews can pique a reader's interest and push them into new work. I like the various literary communities.

Dislikes include: striking a balance that isn't too nice or too mean; how the literary community is pretty incestuous (the more I wade into its waters, the more I see how everyone knows everyone and people review their friends' books
all of the time); reviews at "top dawg" publications are all about networking and politics and ridiculousness (no, I do not want to drop Foucault's name while drinking wine; no, I do not want to talk about writers who are "overrated").

Now, as I said, I work in my pajamas and hate name-dropping: do I
look like the type who networks? Yeah: I tried it once and had to excuse myself so I could throw up in my mouth. So anyway, I love it when reviewing (or literary criticism) is thrown into the ring and the boxing gloves come out. The following are some recent left and right punches thrown towards the reviewing community.


Bitch Magazine enters the ring:

Sarah Seltzer's "Hard Times: At the New York Times Book Review, all the misogyny is fit to print"

"The New York Times Book Review has never exactly embraced passionate advocacy—unless it was promoting Pynchon’s and DeLillo’s place in the postmodernist canon. Even worse, it has become the place where serious feminist books come to die— or more accurately, to be dismissed with the flick of a well-manicured postfeminist wrist.


And then we have, The Literary Saloon:

Michael Orthofer takes on the NY Times Book Review for focusing on English-only titles
(i.e. taking a dump on translations)*

"We recently discussed the New York Times Book Review's coverage (or rather: lack thereof) of translated titles, and note that the streak continues with the 6 April issue, in which 15 titles are reviewed (all in full-length reviews) and not a one was originally written in a foreign language.
That makes three of the past four issues in which there hasn't been a single review of any title originally written in a foreign language. So much for Douglas Kibbee's observation that: "Now it's rare to go a single issue without having a translated work in it."

*Note: the blog has been covering this for some time. Poke around if you want to read all of the pieces.


Literary Kicks weighs in too, and they take on specific reviews (the crowd goes OOOOH!)
(and they provided me with the links listed above, though I had already read the Bitch piece).

I hate intellectually lazy and self-satisfied critics, and I hate a book review that reads like a blurb.

There are no prime offenders this week, but there are a few minor examples. Terrence Rafferty's cover piece on The Journey Home, a novel about disaffected young Dubliners by Dermot Bolger, is a rave, but I feel an undercurrent of yawns throughout. The book's big conflict is that the young suburban characters 'can't get a grip on what it means to be Irish anymore'. Okay, but that's hardly a riveting plot, and in fact somebody already made a halfway decent movie about something like that called The Commitments. Dermot Bolger's novel sounds fine, maybe even a book I'd try to read, but Terrence Rafferty completely fails to convince me here that the book is seminal or unique enough to deserve an NYTBR rave cover review."


I guess the NYBR is now "da man" of book reviewing.
Interessant (do you care that I'm relearning Deutsch?).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Here, Bullet
If a body is what you want,
then here is bone and gristle and flesh.
Here is the clavicle-snapped wish,
the aorta's opened valves, the leap
thought makes at the synaptic gap.
Here is the adrenaline rush you crave,
that inexorable flight, that insane puncture
into heat and blood. And I dare you to finish
what you've started. Because here, Bullet,
here is where I complete the word you bring
hissing through the air, here is where I moan
the barrel's cold esophagus, triggering
my tongue's explosives for the rifling I have
inside of me, each twist of the round
spun deeper, because here, Bullet,
here is where the world ends, every time.
--Brian Turner

Source (Note: the poem was originally printed in The Washington Post and is said to be "A poem currently being passed around among American soldiers in Iraq.")

I Love the World.

This video is amazing. It's a spot for The Discovery Channel! It's a cute lil' take on the world. My favorite part? The bit about Egyptian Kings and arachnids.

Source = Gem Sty

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sweet Enough to Give You a Toothache

come on now: this is a baby that loves obama something fierce. i promise this is "real": this kid is my close friend's niece.

You Stressin?

Are you stressed?
Do you need some relaxation?
Do you like bubble wrap?

If so, click HERE.

Yes We Can

Okay, I like Obama enough to phone bank and canvas and vote and all that jazz. I'm not going to preach about it, but I like the guy, especially his Domestic business.

Anywayz. This video/dance was made by members of The Hollins University Dance Company. Yeah, it's my alma mater. Yeah, I think it's amazing. You should watch even if you dig a different candidate.

ING Direct

I want to share the love about ING Direct.

I recently opened an ING Direct Savings Account (and one of their CDs,) and loved the experience. It's super easy, and the site's interest rates are competitive (even with the Feds. playing Zorro with interest rates). Right now, the Savings account is at 3% interest and the 12 month CD is at 3.3% (they were higher before the interest slaying).

In fact, when I opened my Savings Account, I received a free $25 because 1. my pal Jessica sent me a referral and 2. I deposited an initial $250. Free money for saving? Come on now. That's awesome.

The whole thing is super legit (check out the dozens of forums and financial blogs that rah rah rah about ING Direct).

Click here for more information.
Also, if you'd like me to send you a referral, email me at
The following project makes sense if you think about poets and their obsessions with light. Props to Craft Magazine for posting about the poetry pavilion (!!!).

"This park pavilion designed by Jiyeon Song uses a complex arrangement of perforations to display different lines of a poem in its own shadow throughout the year. From the site:

Using a complex array of perforations, the pavilion's surface allows light to pass through creating shifting patterns, which-during specific times of the year-transform into the legible text of a poem. The specific arrangements of the perforations reveal different shadow-poems according to the solar calendar: a theme of new-life during the summer solstice, a reflection on the passing of time at the period of the winter solstice."

There's also a time-lapse video! Ah!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Remember Your Old Yearbook?

The yearbooks my from my elementary days have NY-style mullets (don't let people tell you southern folk are the only ones who had a party in the back). Me? I look pissed even when I smile. Seriously. Well, except in 5th grade: I saw my teacher stumble and gave a real grin. See? Rebel with a cause.

Anyway. This is amazing:

"In his project "Excelsior 1968", John Martz of Robot Johnny turned the photographs of every single person in his mother’s 1968 Toronto High School yearbook into cartoons:

'Last year I redrew my mother’s entire high school yearbook from 1968—over a thousand heads. Good cartooning, to me, is all about simplification, and this was a fun experiment in distilling each person’s likeness down to a simple cartoon version and learning to draw efficiently, with both speed and as few details as possible.'"

Kanye West's Blog

He has one. It's as over-the-top as his persona (that's right ladies and gents: he's playing a role because he's brilliant and knows hip hop's roots are based in bravado and color and intensity. if you hate on the cat because he puffs like a peacock, you're missing the point).

you should visit it (he talks about his upcoming tour, some amazing art, and things he hears about). i find it really interesting (and i rarely read the celebrity blogs: to be frank, most of them boring). then again, i hear john mayer digs ron paul, and that's a rant i'd read.

"fire works on lake michigan...": go to mr. west's blog!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

An Alternative to PayPal

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

It's pretty sweet, and the $25 is legit (I've got mine!). Even if you don't decide to sign up, it's nice to know there's an alternative.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A New Take on Recycling

I won't even talk about the pyramid my friend once made from a get-together's "trash."

Want one?

Tejas Home

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


This cat who runs The Wolverine Daily doodles a drawing of the X-Men character each day, and, as he states on the blog, he's not exactly sure why he does it. I love this site because the drawings are sweet and hilarious. I like to think of the work on this blog as found comics: taking an established character and making it new while winking at the old. Oooh: do you hear the literary buzzer ringing? Yeah: I just upped my dork factor by combining comics with blogging and poetry. Yeah. If only I could make a Trekkie connection....My true blue geek friends say I fail because I've never seen Labyrinth. I'm sure it'll happen one day. Until then, here are some sample drawings from The Wolverine Daily: