Posts Tagged ‘anthologies’

Reading 50 books by people of color: a blog challenge

Earlier this year I signed up to do the 50books_poc challenge, to read 50 books by people of color.

Part of the fun of this has been noting other people’s books and reviews, getting leads on good books to read that I’ve never heard of, and participating in discussions. Today I saw a question about history books by POC especially focusing on history of Asian countries or regions. So I contributed a bit by looking at my own bookshelves. While I have mostly fiction – and an entire bookcase full of mostly-fiction from China, Korea, Japan, and India – I picked out some histories, historical fiction, and stories that are kind of political or that I learned history from – especially socialist realist fiction, which I love.

Here is my list of recommendations for history,

Korea Unmasked, a comic book history of Korea, very odd and interesting, by Won-bok Rhie. I particularly recommend this as a view of Korean history and China and Japan that you will not get from a Western source.

A New History of Korea – Ki-baik Lee This is the most tolerable in style and authoritative feeling history I have found in English. I would love to see comparably well-sourced and annotated Korean history books but written for a mass audience or maybe sort of more pop/journalist storytelling style of history.


Feminist Cultural Politics in Korea
– ed. Jung-Hwa Oh. A collection of academic essays. Very interesting!

Korea Forty Three Centuries by Tae Hung Ha. (A bit dull and textbooky like so many English translations of Korean history, but full of interesting details.)

A Handbook of Korea Extremely boring AND YET STILL INTERESTING. It is a very “official publication”.

And here’s a few interesting novels which sort of, well, have a lot of history in them:

The Sun Shines over the Sanggan River by Ding Ling (really, anything by her that you can find in translation to English is pretty awesome.

My Innocent Uncle – Ch’ae Man-Shik (short stories)

A Ready-Made Life: Early Masters of Modern Korean Fiction (more short stories, again heavy on the politics)

But I have more to say as I gaze fondly over my bookcases, with a full heart!

So, a few years ago I went on a reading spree and sought out books from China. I read some of the major classics like The Scholars, Outlaws of the Marsh (or The Water Margin, or The Marshes of Mount Liang), Journey to the West, and Story of the Stone (Dream of Red Mansions or Dream of the Red Chamber). They are very huge long complicated epic novels. I read them in multiple translations. As well as all the “classic” scandalous books I could find like Golden Lotus and The Peony Pavilion and The Carnal Prayer Mat. Ranging backwards in time, I read some translations of Sima Qian (or Ssuma Chien), The Three Kingdoms, The Pearl Blossom Fan, and whatever stuff Arthur Waley translated, some buddhist scriptures, and translations of Mencius and Confucius. And the Columbia Anthology of Traditional Chinese Literature. And a lot of other random stuff that was quite old, that gave me more background to understand stuff going on in the epic novels. Moving into the 20th century, I read translations of both versions of Rickshaw Boy. They are quite different – one with a happy ending kind of tacked on. Then, a completely wonderful anthology which I highly recommend, called Literature of the People’s Republic of China. It is crucial if you want to get a flavor of literature in 20th century China! I read other authors like Ding Ling and Gu Hua and I’m sure I’ve mentioned him before, you should read Wang Shuo’s Playing for Thrills if you are going to Beijing to get a good unhealthy dose of modern cynical street thug postmodernism. (This balances out the socialist realist novels about love and wheelbarrows.)

That isn’t even counting the poetry and I have read rather a lot of Chinese poetry as well. Maybe best for another post.

Basically, I have this secret self-taught degree in Chinese literature which I never particularly get to talk about or share. It was a reading kick that lasted many years. I still re-read the long epics, which I love the best because they suck me into a completely different world full of hundreds of characters and they last a good long time. (I read fast, so a regular paperback novel is over in a couple of hours.) I have a lesser knowledge of classics from India but have read multiple versions of the Mahabharata and Ramayana, Pancatantra (one of my favorite books ever) and I read every single Penguin classic from India as well like the Rg Veda, Upanishads, Kathasartsagara, and so on. And I have a similar middling depth in Norse sagas which have a similiar feeling of epic scope and a huge cast of characters.

The Korean history books I list at the top of this post are from Rook’s completely separate reading kick over the last 2 or 3 years – I have read some of them but not all.

My goal in doing all that focused reading was to get some real depth in something that was not my background and not what I was being taught or that everyone around me assumed was true, so I could have a better picture of reality, history, truth, human nature, and the nature of stories. That has been a driving force for me since I was a teenager and began to read as widely as possible. The beautiful thing for me is that there is always so much more out there – infinitely more amazing literature than I could ever manage to read in a lifetime.

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The mildest of adventures in London

Already I’ve lost track of the days but I didn’t want to forget lying on the leather couch in the trendy-empty bar looking out the window at some blue sky and the brick building across the narrow lane. The bricks were sooty gold with red-brick stripes and the outline of what seemed to be a ghost building underneath. The window and door frames, dark green, strangely the same color paint as the bar’s interior metal beams. I thought about the history of the building, and what it would be like to maintain it now as a facilities person or trying to run cable through it. I wondered why there were doors in a row on every story leading out into the street. Did there used to be a hallway? Zond-7 came back from ordering at the bar and said no – it was a factory and look up higher, there’s a winch. For winching out the finished websites perhaps since that’s what they make now, in the factories. We made up silly things, like the ftp man doing his rounds. “Bring out your files! Bring out your files! Uploads for downloads!” The telnetster in traditional garb, mostly superseded by the ssh man in his dapper uniform and neat-brimmed hat. Sad, really.

Later we figured out why that bar (so nice – called Cantaloupe) was empty – there are like 50 other trendy-ass bars but with patios and on hoxton square just a couple of blocks away. Not that that should matter since every ratty bar and pub is crowded here even on a Tuesday night.

street angel

We spent a whole extra day recovering and working from bed, only venturing a few blocks from the flat to grab some food. I have the very-local geography down, now, and know where to buy food and how to go find a taxi and the tube station and what other directions might be good to explore.

I am really enjoying c. and a.’s flat in every way. It’s so cute and perfect and cosy! I did my conference call from the hammock. The next door kids are cute as hell and it cheers me to hear them playing. I enjoy their art and funny kitschy stuff… and how cleverly they store all their crap… their million-page FAQ about their house and office and neighborhood, and their lovely gleaming red espresso machine (kitchenaid) and let’s not even go into how nice I think the damned washlet is. hahahah! Washlet!! I’m not super in love with having a million stairs, but on the other hand I can take my time, treat it as physical therapy, and it’s probably good for me. I’m trying to think what I can do in return or what would be nice to leave them… stock them up with nice groceries… nice coffee etc. And in general I have good “letting people crash at my place” karma so really the thing to do is to keep passing that on.

Observation, people in Britain do not say Hello or anything at all to strangers on the street. They take this so far that they don’t even look at you in the face, which makes it damned hard to tell which way to barrel forward in your speedy wheelchair.

fruit at night

Today I left Zond-7 sweating over his deadline while I ran off to the British Library for a couple of hours. I felt like I had to break a little barrier of going places by myself. Thought about taking the Old St. tube to St. Pancras or King’s Cross or whatever but then realized it was a bit late, I was tired, screw it, it would then become all about sweatily going through miles of tunnels and ramps and being ill natured at railway employees’ passive aggressive “help”. So, a taxi.

London taxis are AWESOME! I said this before, but here it is again. If you are in a wheelchair and have money to spend like water then just take taxis everywhere. All the black cabs are mega-accessible. The back doors slide open like a van, a ramp comes out, there are hand rails, seats swivel and fold down if you need that, and the back seat is huge with a big empty wheelchair-holding space.The taxis stop for me! They don’t fuss or freak out too much. A little bit, but not bad at all. I don’t need the ramp and I can pull my chair up into the taxi, without having to take it apart or fold it up.

London taxi access

You see what I mean about mild adventures. Hey you’re on your own in a strange city! What will you do! OH I KNOW I’LL TAKE A TAXI TO THE LIBRARY. Okay! Yes! In fact, that is what I always do!

Then I wander around and take photos of graffiti and street art and bricks and manhole covers.

The British Library (the giant new brick building) has very good wheelchair access. I especially appreciated the signs, big, high up, frequent, and very clear, pointing me to ramps and elevators.

Revolution Revolution

So at the library I got my reading pass. They get you to line up and ask if you have ID and details of what you want to see. They don’t really care what you want to see and you don’t have to prove anything to them about your research project; they just want to know that you know that there’s a specific thing in the library that they own, that you want to look at! So they ask “Do you have something written down or printed out” … but mostly to rule out the people who should go to the public library to check out a mystery novel or look something up in the encyclopedia or whatever. I had jotted down the names of a couple of poets and began to open my notebook and they waved me through. If you don’t have “details written down” then they shunt you over to some computers where you can look in the catalogue and come up with a list of books. After this queue I filled out a web form (nicely accessible computer with huge monitor and huge font) and then waited till my number was called. A few questions later and a photo… now I have a nifty 1- month card! So I will be looking at a bunch of books by (and about) Emilia Bernal, and some suffragist newspapers and I might also look for women’s newspapers from 1830s France as I suspect they might be in there and it will give me a thrill.

I figured out by scouting it out physically that it will be easy to take the tube there and then harder to get back (because of having to come up the Old Street ramp) so it’ll be better to take a taxi back.

After a bit more work at “home” we went out to an indian restaurant on brick lane. I took a lot of photos of great street art.

It’s exhausting to wheel up and down all those curbs. they are oftn very low but even an inch up and down is tiring. My hands hurt like hell. Also… holy hell… bricks and cobblestones are hell on my back, it’s like the vibrations from “Wages of Fear“.

In the library as there wasn’t enough time left to order any books, I went to exhibits. There was a great exhibit of chinese, korean, & japanese color wood block printing on the 2nd floor. I wrote down a bunch of them to look up later. A lot of the bird ones I wished I could show Minnie. Here are my notes

- Ten Bamboo Studio 1634
- Soken Sekisatsu 1768 Hojakuchu “Dazzling simplicity in … prints”
- a literary and artistic gathering 1839 chikutenzan
400 artists and writers with names. i sat there a while and counted the women. there were 22. many facing each other or sitting in groups, not isolated from each other
- shin kawazu (..awase) 1820 New Poetry Competition of Frogs nifty anthology/collaboration
- kawa… bumpo = awesome
- The gifts of the seas umi no sachi 1762 mica used in ink for prints for fishy sheen!
- kimpaen’s picture album 1820 (bumpo, same guy) Kimpaen gafu. Birds birds birds!!!
- Wang Cheo pictures of foreign things 1998 made me think of “woolgathering”

chocolate for women, right?

Then saw huge Ramayana exhibit which made me think of talking with Neha (nehavish) about Surpanakha (who i did not find in the exhibit though i didn’t see all of it and she is perhaps not in every version) but mostly in this exhibit I was excited to see books written on palm leaves. One of those things I’ve often read about and wondered what it is really like… it is like thin flat fan blades about the size of an 8 inch ruler, with 2 holes drilled in rolodex style, polished smooth maybe with some varnish or sizing, and very small delicate writing.

Swooned at lovely book binding, maps, illuminated manuscripts exhibit. I thought of how lucky i felt when i worked at the geology library and dennis let me look at the super rare illustrated books he kept back in his office. amazing french books with taxonomy & botanical illustrations & fossils… The book that blew me away today and got me to tears was a persian one from 1610 ad , Anvar-i Suhayli which is a version of Kalila & Dimna / Pancatantra. written by Husayn … v…. Kashifi (can’t read my own handwriting!) for Prince Salim who became the emperor Jahangir. Now anyone who has bothered to read this for the last N years knows I’m obsessed with the Pancatantra and all its derivatives!

This might sound very exciting but consider that most of my time in London so far has been spent within a 3-block radius of this bed where I am lying 90% of the time peacefully Computing the same as I would anywhere else in the world, in the midst of a small mountain of used kleenexes and allergy meds, reporting intermittently that my legs and knees and back and hands hurt like hell and that I need more chocolate.

flyers

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Return of the ulcer; productivity!

Apparently I have taken far too much Celebrex and my stomach/gastritis/ulcer problems are back. For the last 3 days I ‘ve been taking Prilosec and laying off the NSAIDs. I just ate lunch with some excitement thinking the pain was gone, but it hit me hard just now… so… I have to quickly shift onto some sort of very mild diet, and remember not to eat very small quantities even if I’m hungry…

Meanwhile, I’m filing papers, throwing away huge stacks of paper stuffed into grocery bags, and shovelling whatever’s left over into a heroic attempt upon the file cabinet. Past half-assed organizations, excavated, collect in the drawers, so I have about 5 different “bills” files and several “medical” from different years; all were in different drawers or stacks or shoved sideways into the zine bookshelf in the closet. I’m not weeding closely, so far. Just gathering like-meets-like.

My new top categories are “official” for all the official papers, in the top drawer.

Then 2 drawers of my own junk, which is as follows:

Conferences
* ALTA, BlogHer, Gaming, Potlatch, SWSW, WisCon
Contacts
* cards, addresses, letters
Ephemera
* flyers, stickers, postcards, brochures that are nifty
Grad school
* official papers, junk, my own papers, other people’s papers, teaching
Job info
* a scrapheap of hiring documents and old resumes
Poetry
* a million different folders, to evolve into my own poems, drafts, other people’s poems, presses, contracts
Research
* a bunch of research for my anthologies, biographical info on poets I like, xeroxed things, other projects
Translation
* my translations, drafts, stuff i want to translate, papers about translation
Tollbooth
* my small press
Zines
* my old press with all its zines; some letters are here; manuscripts/xeroxable originals
* many boxes and tubs of old zines and letters are in the shed! ack! no room

(bottom drawer)
* unfiled (huge)
* Milo papers
* maps
* warranties and manuals for things going back 15 years

There is a foot-high stack of papers left to go! I’ve thrown *so much* away!

After that stack is filed away I could either
- go through the whole cabinet in a final pass to weed and consolidate
- go through the closet shelves of zines also to weed, and organize
- move the bookshelves around to put the bed on the other side of the room and make more room
- go through the 2 giant shelves of my project binders and figure out wtf is going on there

This is going to help my whole life to get this stuff under control, and let me know where all my projects are, and where to find things! I’ll dig up projects that are 80% done that I have forgotten all about! I’ll find whole completed manuscripts I’ve also forgotten, and talks from 2001 that are super awesome, and the drafts of essays that I might still like, and letters unanswered that will fill me with pleasant melancholy.

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The realm of goodness: Maureen Owen

Meanwhile I’m reading the good books too, and the great. Maureen Owen’s Amelia Earheart! ZOMG! I would put it together with airplane and feminism poems that i know and have translated, in a big anthology. Here is some mad poet speak for the middle of the night for you all.

I get so mad at Maureen Owen.

The other day I was at hazelbroom’s house while she was giving Zond-7 a massage and in between sitting at the sunny kitchen table with city backyard noises outside and her partner’s paintings half finished through the doorway into the laundry room, I must have gone to pee about 6 times from all the coffee and chai and water and massage. And in the bathroom was one of my favorite poetry books, Living in the Open, and I thought about how many years it took me from high school onward… I read it in maybe 1986? 87? to get beyond writing under that shadow though often it was only a few lines or a feeling of stolidity and stompy earnestness and jangledy language-loving. I do still take many lines to heart, like “living open to love in the leafy flesh”. Who couldn’t like that! No matter if it and other great things are embedded in peanut butter and middle class hippie crystal garden mystique.

I only found Owen’s poetry last year and had the deafening realization that I was writing in Owen’s shadow and didn’t know it. And I don’t mind, really… While I minded horribly about not being able to get out from the echo of Piercy, which fascinated and yet often repulsed me — unnatural to all that is rambling & inchoate. It is like the moments of greatness that Judy Grahn gets to. I love them so. I love them fiercely! But then I’m like NO FUCK NO don’t take that wrong turn! Get outta proseville! Get your head out of your ass! The finality of my final lines were what people liked in their piercyishness and yet they were FALSE and I knew it. I know about 1993 I was working like mad to get out of that precious little box, but I got out.

Anyway, all hail the lovely lines of AE and the grandness, the rambling, her words float over the page and mind, the total unfalseness, fucking FREEDOM, and the deep engagement in imaginary spaces. Nothing namby pamby humdrum coffee table in THAT noise. No little wrapup hmmMMMmmm moment neatening that package with a tightass doubleknot of meaning nailed home to obviousoland. I wish I knew where she was.

I meant to say I get so mad at her for being so fucking awesome of a writer.

At best Wanda Coleman gets there but not the rambling – more with a laser-dense tapestry of confusion and noise. Diane Wakoski is awfully good but does not float free. I read her and go with it, and then want to pull out a bigass sword and cut her chains. I love poetry best that unanchors me, unanchors language. & most of all doesn’t do what i expect it to and must hover on the edge of sense and jump like bounding on other planets, like low gravity.

Maureen is the best when she’s at her best. I get high on that stuff.

Plus just hearing her on a recording going STAND UP! in a young-ish voice is another kind of high.

Poets that good fill me with hope and relief.

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Rambly jumbly hodgepodge of stuff

What is this radio silence from the Badger! Uncertain shifting boundaries, being busy, being spaced out, doing some offline scribbling, writing letters & chat, not posts.

A general shifting-ground feeling at work and in life…Which I can’t explain yet but will try to do that soon, in some way that is tactful and okay and honest. If I were to have followed it all online the past few days it would be alternating between ranting, flipping out, and burbling happily… you will have to imagine it.

Walking is up and down. I have popped back from the relapse of a few weeks ago, but am still in and out of the wheelchair. It’s heartening! And luxurious and nice!

Moomin likes Lego camp and has built a different motorized working robot car every day.

Susan Kitchens gives me some book recommendations:

contemporary: Lenaing into the Wind: women write from the heart of the west. isbn 0395901316 … and pioneer women, ed Joanna Stratton. She finished an anthology started by her great grandmother, so you get writing by Kansas-Territory-era women and later. Great stuff. Link: http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-Women-Joanna-Stratton/dp/0671447483

My parents are gone back to TX and I miss them and wish we had gotten to do anything fun together… instead I was going back and forth between driven & exhausted. They did build me some good shelves which I totally appreciate.

martinemonster is here visiting from Norway and she is superawesome… I wish I could slope off and take her to the beach and do fun stuff… I love to play tour guide!!

I long for the beach and to bob around happily in the waves with a little surfboard and wetsuit and feel all shiny clean salty new – I’d like to be cold and then lie in the warm sand and smell a sandy seaweedy smell in the sun – but I am afraid to hurt my back worse and cannot quite picture if I can walk in sand or not and don’t want to disappoint myself with tantalizing ocean if I can’t get to it. Still maybe a good expedition for Sunday.

And meanwhile I am already dating someone else which I know makes me look fickle and hasty and perhaps annoying. But since it is obvious anyway I might as well at least allude to it shyly. I can’t figure out how to write about it yet.

I had my work event the other night and it went okay…. i was flipping out that no one was going to come but then they did. Still I am not quite doing event promotion right… I guess it has only been 4 months and I am still learning.

I am reading all the birds of prey comic books, a lot of poetry, I finished Carnival and started Whiskey & Water (which is good but I don’t like it so madly (yet) as I do Carnival). And realized that I had not finished the end of the Education of Fanny Lewald, so I started that again last night trying to figure out where I had left off reading.

This morning full of energy and coffee I made pancakes and washed all the sheets and blankets and helped Moomin clean his room. He came in and told me he was cleaning and organizing his room – and asked me for help! Man! No one could resist that. Now my back is twingy and little sheets of flame are going down my leg that didn’t hurt at 9am.

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Wiscon!

Here we are all at Wiscon!

Debbie Notkin is introducing Kelly Link, one of our Guests of Honor. She’s going to read The Cinderella Game, coming out in an anthology in 2009. Babysitting. Step-siblings home alone. Hilarious. True-feeling. Suburban. Ominous. Kid voices also ring true.

I will buy this book just for this one speech:

“If I’m Cinderella then you have to go put the toilet seat down, and I get your playstation because Cinderella doesn’t have any toys, and you make me a peanut butter sandwich with no crusts, and …”

I also liked the bit about the kid knowing that everyone was waiting for him to mess up.

“He tried to feel relieved about this, but instead he just felt guiltier.”

“Slowly… she wiped her hand against the princess dress until there was nothing left to see.”

A beautiful last sentence in a story that gave me chills!

Debbie introduces Laurie Marks.

Rather than read from Water Logic, she is going to pick out one of a series of folktales from Earth Logic. It’s the one told to explain a piece of the landscape that is inexplicably inhospitable, called “The Walkaround”. It’s a wasteland… once farms… this story explains why. The forest was called “The Walkaround”… A stranger comes and boasts of his woodcraft. “Go into the forest then, for it’s obvious that even your mother won’t miss you.”

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Droolworthy stuff at the Macworld exhibit hall

I’m having massive gadget lust in the exhibit hall at Macworld and figured I’d drop by the “blogger lounge” … the microsnarft guy at the booth entrance condescendingly explained to me (very ahem-ily in a tone of voice to warn me off) that it was “for bloggers only” and then what a blog was. thanx dude! anyway the free soda and couches are nice. Now a dude in an EFF hat… named … Mike? is telling me that “we need more women bloggers” and complains that there are no women bloggers in NYC and they don’t come to the meetups. Waaaah! And they don’t come to Gnomedex! And despite Dave Winer’s best efforts the women don’t come! I am baiting him shamefully, switching back and forth between extolling the virtues of SXSWi’s diversity efforts and then explaining to him that all women bloggers are having secret lesbian sex orgies and not letting him in and that’s why they’re not at Gnomedex. BWAHAHAHAHA.

People want to photograph me a lot at this conference, do you think it’s the hair? 8-)

Here’s my product picks for amazing coolness! Stuff I want! I’ll add the links later. Best first.

- Circus Ponies Notebook. This is the thing I will very likely buy here, probably tomorrow after I download it and try it. For one, OMG Ponies!!!!111!!! For two, I need something beyond mindmap software, and a step before ecto, for taking notes as I websurf, think, and grab stuff for blogging and that sort of thing. Notebook looks extremely nifty! For fuck’s sake, though, where are the cool stickers? They are missing the cool sticker potential. (The price is so much better than mindmap software.)

- Handle for macbook that screws into the case screws! 50 bucks, 20% off. Leather handle on top of lightweight metal that folds down to be a sort of stand, if you like.

- The incredible planetary flythrough/ astronomy planet flight simulator thingie. I have to go back to it and get their name and flyer and url. (Update: It’s called Seeker, and is by the same company, Bisque, that makes an astronomy program, TheSkyX. Seeker is around 100 bucks. Planetariums use it…. You can script your flythroughs on other planets, moons, asteroids, dock with space stations, and save the results as quicktime movies and stick them on your blog! Yeah! It only needs an open source api so that we can build games on it and make things explode!

- Radtech backpack with solar panel array, charge up battery beltpack for phone, ipod, etc. Within 6-8 months there will be a 3x more expensive backpack with solar chargeable laptop battery!

- Voyager 4 astronomical software. Fly around the solar system while everything is orbiting. Neat! Not quite as neat as the other astronomy thing, but still very cool; it did different things, and was great for grokking orbital motion and looking at the whole solar system working together. I think this is the one for serious astronomy geeks who want 1 million years of accurate simulation of the night sky and the precession of the Earth’s axis.

- ScanSnap, document scanner thing, small enough to be portable, not too expensive, has a bag for easy transport, sucks in something like 20 pages a minute and pdf-s them. Yowza. Still can’t scan a book in a library, the holy grail of scanners for me. Yet… with this, I could do the xeroxing I already do, then feed it into the scanner later at home and get rid of the huge amounts of paper I accumulate. (Mostly poetry in Spanish, so who knows if the OCR would work well with it; I’d like to test some day.

- laptop cases with amazing stuff, designs, patterns, laser-etched dragons, etc! THey had a peacock diamond one.

- Gelaskins doohickeys for ipods, neat looking; comix on your ipod skin.

- All the mind map software. Novamind, Mindmanager 6, Omnigraffle. I want them all! Or … just one! No, all of them. All too expensive for a person like me.

- Mariner software products looked good!

- Lightscribe cd/dvd etching thing. Wowie… and it is only 99 bucks. Okay this is damn cool. I want it just to play with, but it would also be useful for my small press poetry stuff. Their samples were amazing – You can design pretty much anything and it will etch it onto the surface of your cd. Complicated scrolly vines and flowers and engravings with very fine detail. It looked GREAT.

- Pen-it note taker drawing thing. Really a digital pen. So, no tablet necessary, you just draw on paper with a working pen and it has a usb thingie. I wished I could get this for my sister.

- I was excited about Readiris but it didn’t turn out to be quite what I would wish. only 1 step up from a cuecat as far as my purposes go. Not useful for scanning a book in a library

- iCliplite looked neat. I should try it along with the omg ponies Notebook.

- Intelliscanner. WTF gadget thing for obsessive compulsive people who scan in their groceries. Seriously, cans of food…!? along with your comic books and wine collection. People make fun of me for being obsessed with LibraryThing, but, CANNED FOOD? haha! This seemed to have a nifty design and nice software and I have to admire it. Anything that nerdy and that obsessive, just wow. Sparks many thoughts of how as a culture we are obsessed with our Stuff.

- Etch-a-mac SF place that will etch cool designs into your laptop case.

- Extremely cool laptop bags and cases. Sumo, Crumpler, bbp. Scosche; backpack with built in speakers. Lexie Barnes designer laptop bags, super cool and amazing. Flowery. Girly. Yay!

- Microreplay – sell your used computer through/to them

- Good info from Disc Makers with a booklet that, while it’s a big magazine-sized ad for them, is also super informative & useful. They will make 1000 DVDs in cases for $1.79 each, which sounds like a good deal. I assume CDs are cheaper to make. You know, I burned 200 CDs one by one for the anthology of bay area poets that I edited! And swore if I did that again I would do a run of 1000. Even my tiny zines are selling out of 500 copies in a couple of years. And the book was way more popular than I had thought – I moved almost 200 copies of it in no time flat – and my co-editors sold the other 200.

- Techshell laptop case things – very strong, different colors, see-through.

- Lineform – a drawing program that I also wished I could get for my sister. From Freeverse.com.

- Optix – a document management thing that looked interesting and slick.

- I would like to give something called “imeem” a mention as an example of marketing that radiated maximum lameness. Lame myspace clone trying to sound hip but completely failing; schizophrenic “check it out” “can you dig it” “celebrities & hipsters & models” language mixed with buzzword speak… “combines the best of instant messaging and social networking.” complete with re-invention of the word “group” with their own company name. Here at Blurgh! we’re so cool, like models, that we are going to send each other “emails” but we call them “Blurghs!” because that’s what cool people do!

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Happiness in the library

First of all, thank you to anthology editor Naín Nómez for being conspicuously amazing and non-sexist. Wow – just wow.

SECOND I am about to fall over in a dead faint. Seriously I’m going to explode with freaked-out happiness at a 3-volume anthology that basically DID my project and then some. Though I have a few they don’t have… but, imagine you have been working passionately on a giant feminist research project for 3 years and then found a huge huge project that was very similar but went way far beyond it. (Though, not in translation). THANK YOU to the editors of Trilogia poética de las mujeres en hispanoamérica: Pícaras, mística y rebeldes and… even more amazing so that I’m full of gratitude… an email address for one of the editors is included in the book. I’m jealous a little of course but so happy. I’m absolutely stunned.

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Morning in NY

I got up and walked all over Washington Square, immediately getting lost on my way to look for the Think Cafe. Somehow, I ended up exactly where I started from as I circled around the east side of the park. It was a nice getting lost. Passed & looked at an art exhibit at NYU of Katrina/New Orleans paintings & photos. Ended up at the Bruno Cafe where I had a good cappucino and prune hamentaschen… The croissants were not as good as Quilty SAID they were. (I’m spoiled from that one place on Cole in SF with the best chocolate croissants.) I felt pleasantly anonymous; no one spoke to me or even really looked at me. Off to the subway – I found Christopher St. with no problem and went into the tiny triangular park and nearly fell over to see the same exact white statues as I see all the time at Stanford. I’ve seen those things at Stanford and never gone right up to them so I had no idea they were all about Gay Liberation. Cool. I like them better now that I know that.

Into the subway – admiring the tile mosaics – Quilty gave me her Metrocard – Took photo of the plaque for “the bohemians”, another mosaic I didnt’ have time to snapshot before the train came. On the subway car, some dudes got on and sang us “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep” in classic barbershop quartet style. I gave them a dollar, but everyone else ignored them. Their singing was beautiful… Next to me, people were holding or reading:

- The Lunatic by Winkler
- The Optimist’s Daughter – Eudora Welty
- a Chinese newspaper
- a New York Times
- Notes from the Underground
- a complicated looking musical score
- a box of stuff from a bakery
- a clear plastic envelope with some stuff in it, marked “Biohazard”
- a notebook filled with tiny handwriting repeating “Om Sri Sa Ram” or something like that

Butler library rocks. I like the mural by Eugene Savage at the entrance, and the explanation next to it. They have a cafe and a Lounge, and free wireless. I’m putting together my plan of attack on the 1900-ish spanish language anthologies, armed with copy card. See you on the 5th floor of the stacks in the PQs, and the 10th in the 800s. As usual in the library, I’m flying colors (today, rainbow flag in back left pocket) hoping for that perfect porn story moment to occur, well, not really, but it makes me feel cheerful and giggly anyway so I always do it.

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List of projects

- Wittig book. T. will publish it. Needs… several weeks of intense work. Will not really pay. But I’ll like having it out and done. Someone will like reading it.

- C.B. translations. I have a batch of maybe 15-20 poems of hers. Some will get published soon so I have to work on them for sure. Others seem very promising – I think people would want them. Must get in touch with her. I could very well do a complete book of hers, either selected poems or everything in “A M3dia Asta.” will she be nice? Will she like my translations? Time scale: ??? I could get a grant for this, maybe, or query a publisher, or both. (U-see-I grant? though they are snooty as hell). Other sources? Grant first, then publishers? Or the other way around? Would this project establish me better/easier as a translator? (Also, I lean towards it since it’s new and shiny and I love the project.)

- j. de ibar. book. Also would need… a month, 6 weeks, two months? I have a lot done. around 150 pages of poems. But they would all need to be gone over carefully and there are also many others not done that i’d like to do. My research into her life is okay, but not hugely thorough, but i might not need it for the press that expressed interest over a year ago that I have not followed up on.

- giant anthology. pitch it to many places? query letters. i want to keep doing research and expand it. a grant? a selection from it: maybe the cubans?

- my own work which is this enormous manuscript which I need to update. (One unfinished long poem that I would have to spend a while working on, which involves some down time along with the plain old writing.) Send this off to various places.

I would like to go to Cuba, and Argentina, and Uruguay, and Chile. Especially Cuba, to go to the libraries and look at whatever I can find and to buy books. Investigate cultural/research channels to get there? (Then, my language ability would improve and I could reapply to grad school and get a phd eventually.)

I need to get translations published here and there in journals, so I can qualify for grants, which I still don’t, because there is a particular bar of page count and over half of them must be from not-online journals.

So all those things are possibilities and they’ll all get done eventually. Which to focus on first?

OR… completely different tack. Should I instead be volunteering or interning at some techie place that I like and love? In order to try to get a job? Because none of the jobs I see seem likely to hire me without more recent actual experience.

OR… should I be getting some crap job, part time or full time? Just to have some income at all? (I lean against this because then I fuck over my long term “career” possibilities and then M. goes into squalid non-educational daycare for not a very good reason. But, then I am less parasitical, and earn social security, and maybe feel less guilty, though I would be miserable and bitter. And yet I see secretary/temp jobs come up and think, “well, then i’d get paid for something. I shouldn’t be so spoiled.” )

OR… should I be setting up as a consultant? I feel like I could do this but I’m not sure how to start. The ghost-blogging job would have been so ideal.

OR… should I be applying for rather hideous looking part-time lecturer pool jobs, in composition, that I probably won’t get…? (since they seem to want a composition certification).

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