shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


Listening to Morning Edition this morning on the way into work, it was confirmed. Mafia is dead. But at least they interviewed Shelley Jackson, who was able to call the little tangent about mafia's popularity being related to anxieties over Sept. 11 the nonsense it is. (Puh-leeze. Dubya is SO mafia.)

(BTW, that link won't be active until after noontime Eastern, and if it's not right then, just search mafia on Surprisingly, I believe this is the only mafia-related story they've done lately.)

A nice weekend if a very busy one. Casa de Nueva continues to take shape, albeit very slowly. The designated dining room remains decorated with boxes and there are repositories of empty and full boxes elsewhere. Christopher spent his entire weekend, more or less, painting the trim in our offices (the two front rooms). But, at least it's done now and the furniture is mostly arranged. Maybe we can finally get our so-called DSL connection up and running this week. Maybe. He's talking about writing stories though, which is a very good thing, and as always we should all harrass Christopher into writing more. Email him at and tell him, "Write, fool, write!" (Sorry, sweetie. But you know it's for your own good.)

Now we must make those really hard decisions like which art to hang where. I think I'll put my Kelli Bickman painting "The Ringmaster" in my office. (There used to be a pic of it up under illustration, but I believe it's down now, replaced by newer stuff that may still be for sale. It was one of the best presents I ever got.) But of course, there's all our newly framed art. Maybe I will take some pictures and stick them up here, because the Lynda Barry "Outer-Space Head" is really something. We have too many walls.

Friday night we went bopping around the Gallery Hop. Saw a few paintings that I liked a lot, some others that were eh, some that were bad funny, and many that were just plain bad. Christopher managed to avoid insulting an artist who does naturalistic rural images by asking if it was a political statement that she'd left out the tobacco in a barn painting, that was in the photo she was working from. Turns out she's just not done yet. And will make $1500 for it. Who am I to judge? (Okay, it's a bad painting no matter what it costs. That's who I am to judge.) Best thing about Gallery Hop? We can walk to it now, which means we can drink all the passable free wine we want. Oh yeah.

Stopped outside the Starbucks to hang for a few minutes as things were winding down, and to be a sympathetic audience for two teenage boys with acoustic guitars (and a keyboard) who had no audience at all. And, wow, they turned out to be really good. They both had really nice voices, even unmiked and untutored. They sang Bob Schneider and Rufus Wainwright songs. Christopher wrote them an encouraging note with some advice and I scrawled on the back of it too. It was one of those things that just stops you short and reminds you that you may in fact be surrounded by people that are capable of amazing things at any time.

The rest of the weekend was just work, and not worth mentioning here. I read a couple more Jincy Willett stories, Glen Hirschberg's "Strummwelpeter," and Paul J McCauley's "Naming the Dead"--all of which were excellent reads. And some of Leonard Cohen's poetry too, which may be better than you think but only if you think it's not that good.


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