Thursday, February 23, 2006

M & M

Last night I went with Cathleen and her mother to hear Maile Meloy read from her new novel. She is a pretty woman with red hair, a wide smile, and a shy demeanor. She mostly seems as though she'd rather be curled up alone in deep armchair with a book, rather than standing behind a podium with one in front of a bunch of strangers, but she was very charming.

During the Q&A, she was asked about the origin of the name Maile. "It's Hawaiian," she said. "People always think it's Irish because of Meloy." [longish pause] "My friend says it sounds like 'Molly Malone' after six pints."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Um...okay. I promise.

From a recent fortune cookie:

You are a perfectionist. Don't spoil it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dear John

Today being Valentine's Day there are multitudes of those chalky little candy hearts to be had. You may remember these from elementary school. They say things like "Cutie" and "Be Mine" and "Love Ya". But today I picked one up that said "Good Bye." Ouch. That's a break up that's going to require a little therapy.

"Yeah, I thought things were going really well, you know? We had planned a romantic valentine's day-- I brought her flowers and she gave me a bag of candy hearts with little messages. Cute right? But turns out that every single one said 'Good Bye'. Then she walked out."

Third time's the charm?

I write this knowing that it may not reflect the new millenium sensitivity that we are meant to display towards any type of difference, but heck.

In a later chapter of Nick Hornby's delightful book, he references a book about autism written by the mother of two autistic sons. The author also has a third son who does not have autism, which presumably makes for a nice change. The thing that I find absolutely flabbergasting though is that the boy without autism is the youngest of the boys.


1. First of all, if you already have two autistic sons, how do you imagine you will have the energy to raise a third child at all? How would you have the energy to have even, say, a goldfish?

2. If your first son was autistic you might perhaps think, "We love him, of course, but this is not entirely what we imagined. Let us have another child who may let us fulfill our original vision of parenting." Fine. I can see this. But when your second child is also autistic do you really roll your genetic dice again?

I am baffled by this. And yes, I am a terrible, heartless person. Obviously.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Love for a friend, love for a stranger

My friend Cathleen, whom I love because she is witty, ridiculously smart, literary, dramaturgical, and a snappy dresser, just loaned me The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby, whom I love for many of the same reasons. Now, let's be clear. I don't actually know Nick Hornby, so I have to hold out on a couple of things. First of all, I don't think he's a huge theatre fan and, having never seen the man, I have no idea how he dresses.
So far, if you're keeping score, that's Cathleen: 5, Nick Hornby: 3.

However, funny? He's got funny nailed down. To wit, his musing on Zoe Heller's Desperate Characters:

Toward the end of the book, Otto and Sophie, the central couple, go to stay in their hoilday home. Sohie opens the door to the house and is immediately reminded of a friend, an artist who used to visit them there; she thinks about him for a page or so. The reason she's thinking about him is that she's staring at something he loved, a vinegar bottle shaped like a bunch of grapes. The reason she's staring at the bottle is because it's in pieces. And the reason it's in pieces is because someone has broken in and trashed the place, a fact that we only discover when Sophie has snapped out of her reverie. At this point, I realized that with some regret that not only could I never write a literary novel, but I couldn't even be a character in a literary novel. I can only imagine myself saying, "Shit! Some bastard has trashed the house!" No rumination about artist friends--just a lot of cursing, and maybe some empty threats of violence.