Home-Schooled By a Cackling Jackal
2004 - 2009
Monday, February 28, 2005
Friday, February 25, 2005
I Know I'm Late to the Game . . .
. . . but if you haven't already, check out Tony Robinson's Poetry Dailier.
No Tell Subs
For those of you who sent submissions to No Tell Motel and still haven't heard from us -- you will sometime in the next week. I wanted to get all that stuff out of the way by early February, but obviously that didn't happen. We got a huge crop of subs in November, December and January and have been making some tough calls.
What I've Been Doing Instead of Blogging
Made offerings to angry baby in hopes he'll sleep a little longer -- below are some of the gifts C. Dale & Jacob sent this week. Although it's looking like Chicken Man may require an actual animal sacrifice to satisfy him.
Did a one week old photo shoot, which apparently just pissed Gideon off:
Gideon with sassy red baby blanket, courtesy of Molly Arden.
Photographed sleeping with sheep at such an early age! Baaahhhh. Oh the shame.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Since some people are concerned with "what are we going to call" the son we named "Gideon" (I guess for some that too much to say in a single breath), I'm pleased to announce he's earned his first nickname: Chicken Man. He's a skinny little dude. 8+ pounds sounds like a pretty big baby, but he's 21.5" inches and that's long. For anyone who has an issue saying/pronouncing "Gideon" you now have a second option. Chicken Man.
For the first time since his birth, I've felt maybe there is hope I'll eventually get the hang of this. I think I worked out a system how to feed him which has been my major concern. We'll see how everything goes down in two weeks when Chris goes back to work.
I'm hopelessly behind (and will be for a while) in everything else. This evening is the first time we listened to the messages on the answering machine since before we went to the hospital. I've only had time to answer e-mail from family, messages regarding No Tell and a few miscellaneous others. If I owe you an e-mail, I will get back to you. Eventually. Promise.
Now I'm going to try to check out the latest issue of Drunken Boat.
Monday, February 21, 2005
This Week at the No Tell
Cami Park devours secrets this week at No Tell Motel.
Friday, February 18, 2005
He's a Biter!
They say you get what you deserve.
Gideon Hart Morrow
February 16, 2005
8 pounds, 2 ounces
February 18, 2005
On the ride home from the hospital
February 17, 2005
Mr. & Mrs. Phatback
So happy together
February 16, 2005
Yes, I look tired.
Tender Buttons, aka "Uncle Fucker"
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Yep, Yep, Yep
Well, I'm off. Due at the hospital at 7. Thanks for all the well wishes, supportive words, kind thoughts. If you have a speedy delivery dance, feel free to bust a move.
That is not a frightened bunny rabbit curled under the blanket!
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida/ Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C.
Sometimes intense discomfort and the inability to sleep can give one the extra kick in the newly wide and flat ass to finish embarassingly long overdue projects. For instance, I finally finished an article about No Tell Motel for the Carnegie Mellon English department alumni newsletter. I was supposed to finish it sometime around, hmm, Thanksgiving. But I was all anemic and sleepy and when I was awake I was working on No Tell or trying to write poems or finishing home projects or writing this goofy blog or reading your goofy blog or playing Warcraft.
So what do you think of the title: "How Personal Crisis Begat No Tell Motel"?
I'm not even sure if they'll be able to use it. I may have squandered that opportunity which would be a shame. But I finally finished it and I do feel a little satisfaction. One less thing for me to think about. There's still those literary journals I received in the fall that I read, but didn't write reviews for NewPages. I wonder if they keep an active shit list? In July I promised an editor of an online pub that I'd write a critical piece for their fall issue. A few nights later during a fit of insomnia I wrote out a bunch of notes about Foucault and other theorists being shoved down my throat as undergrad and how it fucked up my writing (my life?) for years. The next day I read my notes and well, the anger and instability frightened me and this was during my "Mommy shouldn't be nutty" or "Mommy should brush her hair every morning" period. Don't worry, I've moved past that and decided Mommy can indeed be nutty and mussy.
One of the few coherant bits from my notes go:
it was a way for people who had no true appreciation and found no joy in literature to become literary scholars. Maybe these people wanted to write novels and poems and plays, but couldn't so they decided to disassemble it all in the name of "studying" it. Even a Porsche isn't that impressive broken down into 500 parts. Or it's like seeing a beautiful woman. A normal hetero man would (properly) stand in awe of her loveliness. Only a demented serial killer would dissect her, lay all her organs out on a table and say "Not that pretty now, is she?"
Maybe I should write an essay about agreeing to write essays and then welching.
I should have came up with something else. The invitation to write the critical piece stemmed from his rejection of some poems I submitted. He could have just said "no thank you," but he was all "no, we can't use these, but we could use . . ." and that was nice and who am I to be turning my back on these opportunities? There may come a day when the only opportunities waiting in my inbox are by foreign businessmen, royalty and widows who will reward me handsomely if only I lend them my bank account number.
Monday, February 14, 2005
This Week at the No Tell
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Smoke Him Out
Last week when I ate Chris' turkey chili I had some partial contractions and thought it would just be a matter of hours before I went to the hospital. We decided to give chili another try tonight and had dinner at the Hard Times Cafe. Only just now did the irony of the restaurant's name strike me.
Jill Alexander Essbaum sent me some interesting information about the 14th, 15th and the 16th (the date I'll be induced if nature is stubborn).
As we all know, the 14th is Valentine's Day, the patron saint of love, lust, sex and all things wonderfully naughty. But the 15th is St. Claude de la Combierre--patron saint of toymakers. At least that's what Jill said, the online info I found said that was June 6, but I couldn't find much on it. I'm a little freaked out by who shares my son's potential birthday. I don't want him to share a birthday with Kim Jong Il (16th) or worse, Jaromir Jagr (15th).
Got news that MiPO's guest editor Gabe Gudding selected one of my poems for the "weird" issue coming out this summer.
Good news is always good news and always welcome, but come on, don't be coy, let's get this show on the road already. Mama wants to walk up a flight of stairs!
4 New Poets at SOFTBLOW
ALICIA SUSKIN OSTRIKER, author of nine poetry collections & winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize, the San Francisco Poetry Center Award, her books were also finalists for the National Book Award & the Lenore Marshall Nation Prize.
ARISA WHITE resides in Massachusetts where she is a graduate student in poetry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
SUSAN CULVER is the editor of Lily Literary Review.
ARLENE ANG lives in Venice, Italy where she edits the Italian pages of Niederngasse.
Saturday, February 12, 2005
The Hump in the Front
I stayed up until dawn this morning reading about eating five small meals a day, how to dress for a Type A body (assuming that's what I'll get back) and how to purge my closet. This morning I dreamed about ice people living underground, battling for Earth's warm surface. I also dreamed that Paris Hilton worked as a cashier at Babies R Us and wasn't much help carrying large packages out to my car.
Friday, February 11, 2005
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (with matching stuffed toys)
William Shakespeare Action Figure (with removable quill pen & book -- oooh, they have an Oscar Wilde one too!)
From Kelly Cockerham. Thank you!
Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding by Eileen Behan, R.D.
Get Your Body Back: Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Fit After Having Your Baby by Anita Weil Bell
The Pocket Stylist by Kendall Farr
The Lucky Shopping Manual by Kim France and Andrea Linett
Still waiting for From Baby to Bikini : Keep Your Midsection Toned SAFELY during Pregnancy and Flatten Your Abdominals FAST after You Have Your Baby by Doug Stumpf, Greg Waggoner
Anytime now Amazon!
Obviously I'm starting to think about the direction of my new mommy persona/style. I had originally been thinking the "healthy/energetic mommy with mussy hair and big hoop earrings" route, but as each day goes by I'm getting a little more bitter. Now I'm seriously considering "desperate for attention, age-innapropriate-dress mommy" -- you know, start wearing the latest teen trends, fronting my stuff and asking Gideon's friends things like "How old do you think I am?" and "I still got it, don't I?" I can hear myself saying it now, "Mrs. Livingston was my grandmother. Call me Rebbie. Would you like a Zima?"
I swear, if he makes me wait until the 16th to get induced, he'll be in plaid blazers and bow-ties until he's 12.
Sure, if you measure progress as extreme bitchiness.
For those of you in the D.C. area, be sure to attend Friday night's (Feb. 11) reading by The Lucifer Poetics Group at The Flea in Friendship Heights at 7:30 p.m. Readers include: Marcus Slease, Todd Sandvik, Chris Vitiello, Tony Tost, Brian Howe, Ken Rumble, Tessa Joseph, Randall Williams and E. V. Noechel.
As much as I want to attend this reading, I don't think I have a potato sack big enough for me to crawl into.
Another cool reading I'm sure to be missing:
Monday, Feb. 14, 9 PM at the Black Cat. Poetry and Music for the Verse Press anthology Isn't It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets. Readers include: Cathy Eisenhower, Lorraine Graham, Mark McMorris, Carly Sachs, & Rod Smith.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Didn't happen. I told Chris that if he brought me home a box of candy Gideon would arrive. I ate the candy and Gideon made a liar out of me. We are not starting off on the right foot here.
The 10th is another day. I was out Wednesday evening and reminded that it was Ash Wednesday. I'm not Catholic, but decided to give up being pregnant for Lent. Life has been a little less fun since I "dropped" a couple weeks ago. It would be nice to have at least one shirt in my closet that didn't fit me like a mid-riff when I raise my arms. Or pants that I didn't have to wear way beneath my belly. It would be nice not to sport so much crack when I (attempt) to bend over. I'm like Chris Farley's "I live in a van down by the river" character constantly pulling up my pants.
Oh well, that's what I get for making such a big production out of it.
Here's a suggestion for all you editors of print journals (and poets peddling chapbooks), accept PayPal payments! It's really easy and free to set-up (yes, they'll take a small percentage of the sale). I'm on a few mailing lists and read tons of blogs. Often I come accross a journal or chapbook I'd like to buy, but the only way I can get it is to send a check. This almost always ensures I'm not going to buy it. I'm not making some grand stand against sending checks, but instead of clicking on a couple buttons and going on my merry way I have to do all of this:
1. Move my laptop off my lap and stand-up (Ok, this is a bigger deal lately than usual)
2. Go downstairs to my desk and get an envelope and slip of paper
3. Write a short note requesting the item and include my address
4. Find my checkbook
5. Write the check and make of record of it
6. Address and stuff the envelope
7. Go to the dining room china cabinet where I keep the stamps
8. Walk the envelope to the mailbox
Now, if it's something I really want, I'll do it and honestly, the whole getting up, walking up and down the stairs agony is only a temporary issue. But it is always an issue for whim purchases, which is often the case for me when it comes to checking out a new journal or chapbook. What goes through my mind is "Oh, I've heard/read about that pub and I'm curious and would like to see it." If it's really easy to get (i.e. the Buy Now PayPal button), I usually get it. If there's an address, it means I have to go through my 8 step process and I usually won't stop what I'm doing to bother. It may get filed into my "To-Do list," a never-ending, continiously priority-changing monster full of good intentions, but little action.
Accepting PayPal doesn't mean you can't accept checks too. It makes sense that if you're going to use the Internet for its ease and effectiveness to publicize your publication, you might as well utilize it to make the transaction easy for your potential audience.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Everyone Is Getting Their Good News Today
Suzanne Frischkorn is one of the winners of the 2004 Aldrich Poetry Competition. Congratulations!
Ivan is doing the happy happy dance in Florida. Christ, that's all he's been able to talk about for the past couple of years. That and what ten bucks will get you in Brazil.
Oh, and Shanna has to rub it in that an important man in her life has a birthday today. Watch your blog, sister!
Hey, anyone out there win the lottery? Share your good news here.
Project Get the Hell Out of Mommy's Body
I am visualizing labor. Mind over body.
There's my astrologer's prediction that the birth will be connected to the number 9.
And then there's my numerology report:
February 9: Exercise leadership today, and don't hesitate to push your ideas and agenda forward. Others will look to you for direction. You're also likely to meet someone new. Today is a day of progress if you don't let fear get in the way.
I will not hesitate to push. I will not be afraid. I'd love to meet you.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
A few more fake-out wanna-be contraction-like something or other late this evening. I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow morning and will see what she says.
Sunday night I sent out submissions to a couple online journals, figured I might not have a chance to get stuff out for a while so might as well do it now. I heard back from one place in just a couple hours and this evening received galleys! To think Molly and I brag about our 2 - 6 week response time. The editor said the poems will come out in April.
Happy news, a good way to start a potentially stressful week. Of course, I don't know what will be more stressful, going into labor or waiting around for labor to happen.
The nursery is officially 100% complete. Picked up the otterman this evening at Buy Buy Baby.
Been working on some thieving blog poems, but haven't been pleased with what I've ended up with so far.
Monday, February 07, 2005
This Week at the No Tell
Francis Raven erupts from the blowhole of a gray whale this week at the No Tell Motel.
Sunday, February 06, 2005
All Quiet on the Eastern Front
There were a few hours last night where I thought I might be having some early stage contractions, but they stopped around 4 a.m. and haven't come back. Maybe it was just the turkey chili Chris made for dinner. Tender Buttons reminded me that I definitely don't want to go into labor on Superbowl Sunday else my doctor will be drunk. Good point.
I finished programming No Tell up until March 25, just waiting for the last poet to approve the galleys. Molly and I are still going through many of the December and January submissions.
Chris is reading the instructions on how to install the baby car seats. He suggested I walk on treadmill for an hour today to speed things along. I made a few suggestions to him.
Friday, February 04, 2005
No, I'm not talking about that. Rest assured, when that happens I won't be rushing to my laptop to blog about it, despite what certain members of my family may think. What I mean is that we have yet another plumbing issue. Why not? We haven't had any water-related problems for two weeks. At 2 a.m. I noticed a bunch of water underneath our kitchen sink. I called Chris who was upstairs hanging up the new shower curtain in baby's bathroom. He said the pipe seals were screwed up and tried to tape them, then after the water stopped coming out of the faucet and a break-down in communication between him under the sink and me reporting what was happening above it, he decided that tomorrow he'll just repipe it.
The curse of the aquarius continues.
I didn't write my thieving blog poem on Thursday. I slept in, read some e-mail, ate a banana, did a load of laundry and took a long nap. At 5 p.m. Fed Ex arrived with a package from my friend Alisa in Oregon. Alisa is someone I hung out with a lot as an undergrad (we were frat bimbos/lushes) and while I haven't seen her in probably seven years, we keep in e-mail contact and the occasional phone call. She's very busy raising her toddler daughter and managing her husband's career (he's a comic book artist, something I don't know much about but apparently he's very good, TB said they dropped his name on a recent episode of The O.C.). Despite having so much going on in her life, she was the first one to send a gift for the baby -- beating even the zealous grandparents to the punch. I told her in September that I was pregnant and two days later the high chair and a bunch of other items off my registry where on my doorstep. Today I received enough baby clothing (among other things) from her to cloth Gideon for the first year of his life. A lot of it fancy boutiquey stuff. I pulled all the stuff out of the box and stared at it, totally bewildered. There was more clothing in that box than I received in total from any one shower -- more than I've purchased. Just ask Tender Buttons, she'll tell you we have lots of stuff. Who knows, maybe he'll have non-stop explosive diarrhea and will need 6-8 outfit changes a day. Oh, to be that lucky.
Again, this outpouring of thoughtfulness and generosity from so many people, overwhelms me. In addition to family and friends who have all been wonderful -- people I don't know particularly well (or don't know at all) sending gifts, e-mails, leaving comments on this blog . . . talk about "feeling the love" -- I feel it!
But dear bloggers, don't fall into a lull of false security and think your blogs are safe. It's 4 a.m., the world's most spoiled not-yet-born little boy has a serious case of ants in the pants, I'm wide awake and my mood has a tendency to swing wildly as of late. I could turn on all of you -- in a snap.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Lock Away Your Daughters
I'm on the prowl again this evening. Meow. No blog is safe.
Hopefully I'll get something finished before I'm whisked away. My doctor thinks it's very likely I'll be giving birth soon (like in the next few days). Of course it's difficult to say for sure. Medical science says the 14th. I dreamed it would be the 4th, my astrologer said the 9th, my two friends born today are hoping for the 2nd.
Hearing the doc's prediction threw me in a tizzy so this morning I got my hair and nails done so Gideon's first impression of his mother won't be too grubby. I'd hate to someday overhear him saying, "Gosh, I love my mom but if I ever had to see her in a bikini . . ." (followed by a shiver). You know, kids say those darnest things.
Tender Buttons came by this afternoon with cookies and vacuumed my stairs (since I'm not doing so well in the bending department). She gave Gideon a lamb rattle and WVU socks. I gave her one last glimpse of my belly.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
"Morrow has an enormous one"
Um, duh, why do you think I married him?
From Safe: The Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World by Martha Baer, Katrina Heron, Oliver Morton, Evan Ratliff (Harper Collins, 2005):
From page 92:
Chris Morrow has a graceful solution. Morrow is an advanced system security manager for phone giant MCI, which owns, operates and leases many of the Internet's main arteries. Its customers are companies such as Earthlink, which in turn provide their own customers--homes and businesses--with connections. MCI owns one of the largest and most expansive networks in the world, with more than 98,000 physical miles of terrestrial and submarine cables spanning 6 continents and reaching directly into 140 countries. It's a big job for a guy of 31, who needs a shave and wears loose jeans as he ambles down the third-of-a-mile long hallway at corporate headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia. But in the world of electronic networks, especially in these upper echelons of it, brains are the ticket, and Morrow has an enormous one.
Then it goes on to describe a "backscatter" technique Chris and another engineer developed to "save" the Internet. The writer uses a spaghetti metaphor and well, if you're really interested, go read the book. I'm off to go ponder the author's question on page 95: "How can Chris Morrow keep 11 hackers accountable each day, when he's used so much creativity just to track them half the steps to their hideout?"
Hmm, I have a better question: Can Morrow put his enormous organ to rest for just a few minutes and round up some supper for his starving wife? It's 8 p.m. What a jerk!