Monday, April 30, 2007

Estella's Really Revenging....

Blogger has been positively putzy on the formatting front the last few days. Getting Estella's Revenge online-ready has been painful, but I think *most* of the kinks are ironed out now.

It's a fantabulous issue this time 'round (I know, I say that every time) with interviews from Joshilyn Jackson and Louis Theroux, not to mention Melissa's interview with an independent bookseller, articles on everything from Oprah to historical fiction, a barrage of tasty columns, snazzy stuffs, and a heap of tasty reviews.

Go see it and I promise I'll shut up.

In other news, thanks so much for all the well wishes and congratulatory words on my thesis. I know I still have a ways to go yet, but I'm thrilled to be done adding major content. If I had to write one more chapter I would've speared my eyeballs out.

Today was a positively luscious book day. I spent the morning teaching a wooonderful children's novel...Skellig, by David Almond. I then spent an hour grading quizzes and response papers before I came home and kicked back with Kitchen Confidential (Anthony Bourdain) for a bit, and then I started The New Yorkers, by Cathleen Schine. While I was lounging, another review book landed on my doorstep...Dark at the Roots, by Sarah Thyre. While I'll be releasing The New Yorkers to the ER crowd to snag, I had to take a few minutes to read a bit. Excellent so far.

Tonight, I finally celebrated my thesis semi-completion with a yummy Southwest Cobb Salad at Applebee's and a Triple Chocolate Meltdown dessert. I'm South Beaching with gusto, but the dessert was strictly celebratory. No mas carbs for mama this week.

Coming soon: a restaurant meme that Tanabata tagged me with, and a book meme from Bookfool.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

DONE!


DONE!

Done with "My Fuckin' Thesis"...it's offcial title. That is to say that I'm done adding content. I sent it off to Thesis Director, and I suspect I'll have to do some mild revision. Then it'll go to the committee who might then come back with minor revision requests. Then I can defend it. Then I can send it off to the graduate school. Then they'll tell me to tweak the formatting.

So, I'm done for now. I'm done with the bulk.

I'm going to bed.

Send cookies.



And for fun:

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dance wit me!

I'm within five pages of finishing my thesis. HOT DAMN! I'll still have some minor revision to do, but the point is, I'M ALMOST DONE!!!

When I post next, my life will be far more relaxed!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ask me anything! And a thesis disaster!

I'm in hell, so I'm doing a meme'ish interviewy thing. My jump drive freaked the hell out this afternoon and I lost 2 hours worth of revisions on my thesis (even though I'd saved them), so I refuse to write any more today unless it's fun. And this is fun. Thanks to the lovely Lulu for her probing questions...

1. You study children's books. How and why did you decide on that as a field?

I didn't go into graduate school expecting to study Children's Lit. I'll start with that. Children's Lit. is sort of the bastard stepchild of literary study. Many people look down on it as "too easy" or it's considered a "chick" field (kinda like obstetrics in med school...ever see that episode of Scrubs?). In my first semester of graduate school, when I had every intention of focusing on 20th century American Lit., I took my very first class with my now mentor/thesis director. While she scared the ever-lovin' crap out of me at first, I soon realized what a fantabulous class I was in, and the whole thing felt very natural. I loved the stuff we read, I had a great idea for a term paper that I thought could be turned into a thesis (which it is, if I'd stop LOSING PIECES), and thesis director and I got along famously. Ever since, it's all I've wanted to do. Children's Literature is deceptively simple for the most part. It's a great vehicle for ideology and all the problems that entails, and I love picking it apart. Not to mention teaching my students to do the same. It's a ton o'fun.

2. What are the 5 books you remember most from your own childhood?

I read total crap as a child. I could not be any further from all those people that say they read Gulliver's Travels when they were 8, The Lord of the Rings at 10 and Jane Eyre at 12. Not me. Oh nooo. I was reading nothing but horror. R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, L.J. Smith and Stephen King into my teenage years. It was when I hit 9th grade and read Great Expectations that I really realized what a wonderful world "classic" literature could be. But enough digression....

1. The Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith (cheating here and lumping the series together as one)

2. Remember Me, by Christopher Pike

3. The Mortimer and Arabel books, by Joan Aiken

4. The Ramona books, by Beverly Cleary

5. George's Marvelous Medicine, by Roald Dahl

3. Describe your ideal reading situation, where, when, what you are listening to, eating, drinking, etc. Ideal reading experience.

Hmmmm. I'm pretty easy to please. My favorite reading spot is in my bed, preferably on my tummy with a pillow scrunched up under my chest so that I can comfortably hold the book out in front of me or lay it flat on the bed. I swear that one day I will have a big squishy chaise where I can do all of the above or sit up. And no one will be allowed in it but me. My favorite time to read is lazy afternoons with a big honkin' Diet Coke by my side. I've begun to get old, so I can't deal with noise--no TV or radio.

4. There doesn't seem to be a Mr. Andi in the picture, what 7 characteristics does a guy have to have to win your heart?

Actually, there is a Mr. Andi in the picture. Although not an "official" (as in married) Mr. Andi. B. and I have known each other for about 8 years and he's not terribly keen on this whole blog thing. He's a very private person and thinks my splashing my business all over the internet is a little...umm...odd. So, out of respect for him, I prefer not to discuss any of our goings-on here--save the occasional random nugget.

To win my heart....

1. Must be intelligent

2. Must be witty and make me giggle

3. Must not be pretentious

4. Must be able to joke with me like we're 12

5. Must be family oriented

6. Must respect (or tolerate quietly) my book obsession

7. Must be significantly taller than me (Shallow? Yes. But so true.)

5. You've decided not to pursue your doctorate right now; assume you can't get a job teaching, or in a book-related field, what kind of job would you look for?

Hmmmm, very good question. In all honesty, if I'm being realistic, I'm not marketable for much besides bookish things. So, if I really can't find a job in education or books or writing I'll probably apply for PR or marketing positions. I have experience in e-business and marketing, so that would be the next most likely fit. Not my favorite thing, but it pays the bills so I can pay off my loans. If all else fails I'll have my eggs harvested. No, really. If I was looking or a dream job outside of my norm, I would go to culinary school and be a chef.

Directions: Want some questions of your own? Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me”I will respond by e-mailing you five questions (if your email is not on your profile, email me your desire to be interviewed so I know your address). I get to pick them, and you have to answer them all. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Review: Blue Angel, by Francine Prose


Finally! I've finally finished a book that I wanted to read. A book read for pleasure, and it was quite a book. I have no idea how I heard of Francine Prose's Blue Angel. I think it was a short mention in a review I read somewhere, or maybe a quick word in the New York Times. When all was said and done, it was the cover that sealed the deal for me. What a promise of mystery and naughtiness. With a touch of kitsch. Yum!

The novel lived up to the cover's promise. It's about a professor, a writer-in-residence and novelist. With a cushy life teaching one class (with 9 students) and a beautiful wife at home, Ted Swenson seems to have everything going for him, but he suffers from a restlessness and a number of questions clogging up his head. He's all but burned out and given up on writing after his first novel was a respected hit. He's never cheated on his wife in all his years of teaching ripe--if less than talented--young writers. Even while his colleagues basked in their positions of power, Ted has always done the "right thing." Until a very talented--if less than attractive--student comes along. One talented student and his world begins to unwind.

At first I was put off by Prose's style. The whole novel is written in an odd 3rd-person, present tense mess of a style....

Swenson waits for his students to complete their private rituals, adjusting zippers and caps, arranging the pens and notebooks so painstakingly chosen to express their tender young selves, the fidgety ballets that signal their weekly submission and reaffirm the social compact to be stuck in this room for an hour without real food or TV.

However, I'm willing to admit when I'm wrong. By the end of the novel, I can't imagine the book having been written any other way. What this particular perspective does is wrap the reader tightly, and uncomfortably, in Ted's experience and confusion. Should he? Shouldn't he? Did she? Didn't she? The reader feels Ted falling apart.

Prose's novel is a scathing look at academia--the potential pitfalls, snobbery and inane policies--and at times Ted did things that weren't entirely admirable, but that I would bet any academian has wanted to do at one time or another. Ted is the master of screwups, and they're not always so serious. A drunken rant at a dinner party, a cracked tooth in the middle of awkward sex, a completely disfunctional relationship with his editor. There is indeed much humor in the midst of all the mess.

I'm really glad I picked this novel up, and I highly recommend it. It's creepy, funny, snarky and ripe for discussion.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Feverishly...



When I googled "feverishly" because I've been feverishly applying for freelance jobs, I got Pat Boone. Hell if I know.

So, yes, I've been feverishly applying for freelance jobs because I'm terrified of moving and having no money. Elise and I schemed ways to make a quick buck yesterday, and so far the leading ideas are 1) selling plasma 2) having our eggs harvested. I have more than enough eggs to go around.

In other news, a very odd thing happened last night. First I had a hell of a time sleeping--not odd at all for me lately--but I finally drifted off around 1am. At 2:15am I woke up upside down in bed. That is to say, my head was at the foot of the bed and my feet were sort of half crossed under me, half on the pillow. My first thought, because you all know that I'm always calm, collected and rational, was that I am possessed and had obviously been fighting the devil in my sleep. Nothing to joke about, I know. Especially since I'm not Catholic, and I'm almost positive that the Baptist pastor of my youth could do absolutely nothing to help me. But then I realized I had no scratches or other lesions on my body, there was no pea-green vomit to be found, and nothing jumped out of my chest when I made the sign of the cross as a test. Or maybe it was Pat Boone.

In any case, it's very 0dd to wake up at 26 (almost 27) and find yourself backwards in bed. It's just not right at all.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Habitual? Oh, yes.

My profile is currently featured at The Habitual Reader. Check it out!

I also have a feature in April's new 'zine, Della Donna. It's under "Politics and Social Issues."

Friday, April 20, 2007

TGIF never sounded so good...

It's been a breakneck week, poppets. Today was the awards banquet where I actually received my $1000 scholarship (the last one was a pre-award, so to speak). My mom surprised me with congratulatory flowers at my office, and we went on to the luncheon from there. It was fun having her along to make things a little more....spirited? Yes, that. She broke up the academic monotony.

My day would've gone smoother, but I had a bit of a hangover for my luncheon today.

I'm feverishly trying to finish the thesis. I'm happy to say, 3 chapters down, one (short one) to go. I'm ready to get the hell outta here.

I haven't posted about my reading lately because there hasn't been much reading-by-choice going on. I'm reading mostly for assignments and the Children's Lit class I'm team teaching. We've had some good books lately, though:

Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
Parvana's Journey, by Deborah Ellis
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
Skellig, by David Almond (I'm teaching it all by my lonesome week after next)

....two weeks to go and then I'll be reading whatever I want. High on the want-to-read list:

finish Blue Angel, by Francine Prose
Specimen Days, by Michael Cunningham
Only Revolutions, by Mark Danielewski
The Brooklyn Follies, by Paul Auster

...and about 200 more. But who's counting?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech

It's been really hard for me to decide if I should say something about the shootings at Virginia Tech. Mostly because the media will inevitably (and already is) inundating the students, professors and administration with stupid questions, and the finger pointing is in full force. However, I suppose that's ultimately why I have decided to say something about the incident.

As a long-time student and teacher (8 years, I realized today) in higher education, a member and lover of the academic community through and through, my biggest response at this point, a few days after, is anger. Anger for the parents who lost their children, the wives who lost husbands, the brothers who lost sisters, all the people who lost their friends. I'm angry that one student was so arrogant that he thought his problems justified the taking of 32 lives.

I walk into classrooms every day for my work and my own education, and the thought of having that safe space destroyed makes me angry. I stand in front of a class of 6 and a class of 22 and a class of 18 four times a week, and I look at their faces, and while I often get really irritated at their laziness or their apathy, just as much of the time, I'm proud of them and see their potential. For someone to take that away makes me angry.

I'm proud of the students and faculty who risked--and lost--their lives trying to protect others. As a teacher, I have to wonder if I would do the same? And quite honestly, I know very few teachers and students who wouldn't do the same. For that, I'm proud.

I'll walk into my classrooms today, and I'll have to decide what to say to them, if anything, about this event. And while I've been sitting the fence about it since Monday, I've decided that I will say something to them. To pretend like it didn't happen, especially on a university campus, feels wrong to me. I'll tell them that they are a part of a very large community that stretches far beyond the boundaries of this university. They are part of the academic community at large. They're a part of the community of our classroom. And, while I might be a hardass most of the time, I enjoy knowing them. They're good people with lots of potential, and sometimes they need to be reminded that they're appreciated.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blogger's Block

I have a wicked case of blogger's block (though, at this point, the official writer's block hasn't kicked in). So I'm very thankful that April from These Words tagged me with the question:

"What's Your Favorite Type of Writing?" And I should mention, your favorite type of writing to do as opposed to your favorite type of writing to read.

And what a tough question it is. I'm very torn. I think I'm most effective at academic writing at this point. I have the whole research/synthesis thing down to an art, and I think that's one of the reasons I get so nervous about the idea of trying to freelance and write creatively. While it is wayyy outside my comfort zone, I think I'll ultimately be OK. I just like writing...and I'm pretty good at it. Like all things, it takes practice.

I think my favorite type of writing at this point in time is review writing. While I don't know why anyone would want my opinion (and they may not), I love reading a piece and--hopefully--spreading my admiration for it. And, quite honestly, I like getting free books. SCORE!

Next up: creative writing. I'm going to dive headlong into my novel this summer

I'll tag Heather from A High and Hidden Place and Bookfool from Bookfoolery and Babble!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The day's observations....

  • I'm completely overwhelmed and utterly mindfucked.
  • I haven't told you all that I'm moving back to North Carolina after I finish this semester. Now ya know.
  • There's a lot of horrible, nut-twisting-to-read swill out there in indie Literary Journals (some good stuff, too).
  • Keep an eye on this 'zine in the future: Conceit
  • And this press: Blackbird Press
  • My first PopMatters review will be out this week .
  • I have a lot of stuff (clothes, books, movies, purses, shoes, papers, photos).
  • My thesis is almost DONE! (helps explain the mindfuckery).
  • Sleep is futile.

Dark Ages...

I've given up and embraced the natural curl. Thirty minutes of straightening every morning, when I could be sleeping, is for the birds. And, I think the dark makes my eyes go *bloop!*






Thursday, April 12, 2007

These are the days of our lives....

I'm not dead, I just haven't had any motivation, whatsoever, to blog. I've been running here and there, writing papers, reading theory, talking on the phone, etc. But, amidst all the daily crap, I found the inspiration for this-here post.

Routines....

We're probably all a slave to routine in some way, even if we strive to maintain a more or less routine-free life. I know I do. In some ways. One thing that used to drive me crazy was the mundane nature of my corporate job. I was an intern in a large e-business department for a Fortune 500 company in Dallas, and they hired me part-time to continue my web design work after my internship was up and I was working on my B.A. in New Media (which, neatly enough, became my minor and I changed to English halfway through my Junior year). What drove me from my creative computery stuff? Routine. Simply.

My day then consisted of getting up at 5:30am, hitting the road by 6:15 in a vague (and usually unsuccessful) attempt to avoid Dallas traffic, beginning work at 7:30 and cutting out at 4:30 in another attempt to miss the traffic on the way home. In between there was routine after routine: get to office, put things away, get big thermos of ice water ready for the day, eat muffin for breakfast, surf Amazon until fully awake, clear as much work off the desk as possible by noon so Amazon surfing invokes less guilt, take a smoke-free smoke break with my mom and her work friends (we worked down the hall from one another), more work, lunch with mom and friends, more surfing. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I thought teaching would be a good way to break up the monotony. I just didn't realize at the time that high school teaching was NOT the way for me to do that. I know many people (some of whom read this blog) who are amazing elementary, middle and high school teachers, and they love it. However, I did not. More routine. Kids need routine. Teachers need routine to stay sane. And the whole bloomin' scenario made me want to disembowel myself with a yardstick.

So I switched over to community college teaching, and VOILA! I was happy. That's not to say that there's a lack of routine, but it's certainly very different. This is fancy routine. Routine with raisins in it (stolen haphazardly from Lulu's blog). OK, not really. It's just short, more spread out routines, which allow me to trick myself into thinking that the routine is gone. And it changes every semester. And they're my routines.

For instance, this semester I teach at both the university and the junior college. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I'm at the university teaching from 10-12 and having office hours from noon to 1:30. On Tuesday and Thursday I'm at the junior college from 2:25-4:30 on Tuesday and 2:25-3:40 on Thursdays. Thursday nights I take my one course for the semester (4:30-7:10) and the rest of the time is spent doing other things: grading papers, doing my own work, working on Estella, and attempting a social life (although, I've been unusually hermitty this semester). I often get to change things up--have my students do work online instead of meeting in person, spending office hours in the Writing Center instead of hole up alone, doing whatever I want in the times in between. That's why I chose my profession: freedom.

But, amidst all the routinelessness, I still cleave to routine. The tiny routines, the ones that hang on day after day, year after year. The little anal retentive Andinesses that can't be gotten rid of. For example, I have a computer routine. When I sit down at my computer (home or work) I begin with a routine of e-mail checking that I've had for years and that I just seem to keep adding to as I stack up more e-mail addresses. It goes something like this:

Hotmail e-mail used for people I know in real life and my school/work listservs
Yahoo #1 for online book group participants and other bookish peeps and blog comments
Yahoo #2 for various services like BookMooch and such
Gmail #1 for university students and my own writing projects (PopMatters, Bust)
Gmail #2, the Estella's Revenge account where we receive submissions and communicate with the writers, authors, publicists, etc.

Every day. Several times a day, I engage in this routine, and to deviate from it gets me all befuddled and makes me forget things.

So, to make this an interactive post, what are the routines you would love to get rid of and what are those that you can't dispense with?

And in the news: I found out today that I will receive the Distinguished Master's Student Award on April 20th. It's awarded to one M.A. student out of all the Master's programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and it comes with $1000!!!! Woot! I like money. Have I mentioned that?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Productive weekend, you say? And edits.


This pic of Marilyn Monroe wasn't quite what I had in mind when I googled "writing frenzy," but it was certainly the most attractive option of the sad results.

I'm happy to report, for the first time in ages, that I had a productive weekend. After Saturday's hangover recovery and lot of doing nothing, I've made up for it today.

First, I went to an Easter egg hunt with 30 of my closest family members. When I finished freezing my extremities off and came home, I graded a buttload of papers (technical term) and started applying for teaching jobs. I got my teaching philosophy written, my CV updated, cover letter written, and got some transcripts requested.

Tonight I could no longer resist the mad urge to write a piece that came magically to mind last week while I was sacked out reading (this is where we return to Marilyn). Of all things--sit down if you're not--it's a piece of erotica that I think will be perfect for Bust Magazine. The idea was just too good not to explore. I will be using a pen name, but if it gets accepted and you're a Bust reader, if you can figure out which one is mine, I'll buy ya a book.

On the docket for tomorrow:
Honor's Day Luncheon (up for Distinguished Master's Student award)
Finish chapter 3 of my thesis
Read and write for an assignment due on Thursday

I'm going to attempt to set a thesis writing record: write 2 chapters in just over a week. Cross your fingers for me. It's gonna be an asswhip.
Edit: Got rear-ended this morning. I'm ok. The other drive was ok. What a way to start a Monday, eh? More news later.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

I lived to tell...




I survived another girls night, and I have to tell you, it's not as simple or easy as it sounds.

Yesterday was actually quite a busy day. I started with a migraine that would've liquified the sturdiest brain (I didn't have a chance). Excedrin didn't touch it, stretching and massages didn't touch it, sitting with my head still and hoping the dark whirlies would disappear didn't touch it. You get the point. It went away on its own sometime around 4:30...just in time for the gathering.

Before the gathering could begin, I got my hair cut! No more shaggy, weird curls for me. Now I have short, sassy, very-dark-brown-with-caramel-highlights curls.

As for girls night, as much fun as it was, there's not much to tell. 1) because we always sort of do the same thing--eat, drink, talk 2) we did a lot of the aforementioned drinking which made me forget what we talked about. Undoubtedly, the star of the night was the Cookie Dough Delirium cake from Coldstone Creamery that I picked up after my hair appointment. It came home with me. We're getting married and having little ice cream cakes as soon as possible.

On the sadder side of things: Gene Yang declined my interview because of a wealth of other committments. I'm not bitter (yes I am [no, I shouldn't be {but I am}]). No, really. I'm not bitter.

I need to work on my thesis today and clean up my bedroom (looks like my closet vomited everywhere). All I really want to do is write and finish reading Blue Angel.

Review and hair pics forthcoming.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Introducing....


Meet the newest book reviewer for PopMatters.com!!!! I got word tonight that I've been accepted, and I'm tickled to start receiving material to review.

If you're not familiar with PopMatters, go take a look! Here's a little blurb about them.

PopMatters is an international magazine of cultural criticism. Our scope is broadly cast on all things pop culture, and our content is updated daily, Monday through Friday. We provide intelligent reviews, engaging interviews, and in-depth essays on most cultural products and expressions in areas such as music, television, films, books, video games, sports, theatre, the visual arts, travel, and the Internet.

PopMatters has been profiled and/or namedropped in all of these reputable sources: BBC, New York Times, The Times (London), The Guardian, Slate, Salon, Entertainment Weekly, Financial Times, NME, CBC, Variety, The Globe & Mail (Canada), Scotland on Sunday, Daily Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Times, USA Today, Newsday, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, and Curve among others.

Two-day blackout...and some poetry.

Don't mind me. I've just been asleep for two days. I didn't realize how worn out I was until I fell asleep watching porn (kidding [or am I?])

At any rate, April is National Poetry Month, and while I don't spend much time talking about poetry on this blog, I do love it. Unlike some others I know, I am a reacreational poetry reader as I find that I often just don't get it the way I "get" novels, short stories, comics, etc. Poetry is my own personal bastard stepchild literary nemesis, but I still like to tackle it, take it for a ride, and see what I get out of it. And, more importantly, once the affair begins with a particular poem, I will love it loyally until the day I die.

In honor of the Billy Collins interview in the April issue of Estella, I'll start the April poetry lovefest with one of his poems. I don't remember the day or year I discovered Billy Collins--one of his two stints as Poet Laureate, I'm sure--but I do know he did a reading on The Today Show. The poem was "The Lanyard," and I found it disarmingly simple, funny, and charming. As I've read through his books I would still choose those three words to describe his work, but I certainly don't mean to imply that his poems are low on "literariness." The simple ones often hide a wealth of complexity.

One of my favorites, and fittingly so:

"Introduction to Poetry"

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide.

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to water-ski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

If you're interested in doing something special for poetry month, go to Poets.org and sign up to receive a poem a day in your e-mail inbox. Their offerings for April are all from new works, so it won't be a barrage of the classics you've read a dozen times.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The dastardly deed is done....


I sent the letter. There's no going back. I have to figure out what to do with my life. No shortage of ideas I'm glad to report. I've been scoping out teaching jobs (plentiful) and writing gigs (also plentiful).

I landed a review with Louis Theroux, author of The Call of the Weird, which I reviewed for this month's Estella. He's quite a character, so I think it'll be a good interview. Also working on an interview with Deborah Rodriguez, author of Kabul Beauty School, and Gene Yang who wrote the first graphic novel to be shortlisted for the National Book Award, American Born Chinese.

Not to mention the piece I'll be writing for the new webzine, Della Donna and the piece I have a mind to submit to Bitch Magazine. Oh, and did I mention the four novels floating around in my head, hammering away, trying their damndest to get out? Yeah, those.

And I still have some academic work to try to get out there.

Middle Tennessee State came through with an assistantship of $14,000 a year and a tuition waiver. Good deal, but I'm turning them down, too. I'll be too busy teaching and writin' like a mofo.

*jumps for joy*

Oh, and how could I forget? I submitted some work to PopMatters in an attempt to join their book staff. Wish me luck!

I feel like the weight of the world just came off my shoulders. I'm back, bitches!

Listening: "Maybe I'm Right"...Pete Yorn

The Nashville Wrap Up

The last day or so in Nashville centered largely around food adventures. I'd seen the downtown area and I had the 'zine to get online, so I spent my days pounding away at the laptop and my nights hovering in the hotel restaurant with a book and a big appetite. Here are the two meals that were the culinary highlights of my trip...


3-Course Special

Starter: French onion soup piled high with melted cheese and croutons

Entree: Ahi tuna steak layered with a spicy New Orleans crawfish sauce and nested on a bed of plantains to cut the spice. Rosemary roasted potatoes and grilled eggplant were served on the side.

Dessert: Chocolate covered strawberries and fudge brownies all drizzled with caramel.


A Lighter Night

Entree: Pecan-crusted salmon in an orange juice reduction sauce with mushroom risotto and grilled asparagus and carrots.

Dessert: Creme brulee napoleon...two "slabs" of creme brulee with a filo dough layer in the middle and topped with toasted coconut, almonds, whipped cream and a strawberry garnish. It looked something like the pic, but fewer strawberries.


Honestly, kids, I don't know if I'll ever look at food the same again. It was that good.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Estella's Revenge - April Issue

The April issue of Estella's Revenge is online now, and I hope you'll go check it out. We have interviews with Billy Collins, Sara Gruen, Stacey Ballis, Melanie Lynne Hauser and lots and lots of features, columns, and reviews.

Enjoy!

I'm safely back on the ground in Texas, and I'll be back soon with the final report on Nashville.