Monday, October 03, 2005

Tonight and tomorrow: Neil Gaiman visits my two favorite cities!

That's my official Zoetrope bio photo, of which I am inexplicably proud. Zoetrope Virtual Studios is the baby of Francis Ford Coppola, who created this incredible venue for writers to collaborate. It's where I hang out, and where I have met some of my very best friends, both cyber and in the real world. In fact, let me say Happy Birthday to one of them, Steve Augarde, who has been my closest virtual drinking pal for the past couple of years. Steve has a new novel coming out next month courtesy of Random House. It's called Celandine and it's the second book in a magical, wonderful trilogy. The Various, which was the first in the trilogy, has won some prestigious awards in the UK and deservedly so. It's one of my all time favorite books.

Sorry about using the Zoetrope bio photo, which I know many of you have seen ad nauseum but as usual, my kids aren't around to help me upload anything new. Actually, I don't mind because I really do love that photo since it's me in Bad Doberan, East Germany, paying homage to Frank Zappa with a bunch of strange guys looking on. What's so cool about it is that the bust of Zappa is in their town square, in a place where any other city or town would have a statue of a war hero or something. But in Bad Doberan, they have Zappa, and how fucking insanely hip is that.

So in Neil Gaiman news, he must be a heathen just like yours truly because I see he has signings tonight and tomorrow night in my two favorite cities in the universe, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. Yes, Seattle, Washington, where just a few months ago I had pizza with Eddie Vedder. Hahahaha - maybe some day I will stop bragging about that and the fact that my son played drums with him, but I doubt it. Anyway, getting back to Neil being a heathen, since Rosh Hashanah starts tonight, I can easily make the above assumption. So. Just why aren't you going to be in temple tonight, Neil? Ha! For further information on where and when he'll be, follow this link!. Seriously, if you are in either city, you should really go and get his autograph. I've just ordered almost everything he's ever written, even...gasp...the graphic novels. For those of you as uncool as I apparently am, graphic novels are comic books. This is recent news to me, that comic books now have a politically correct title. Funny story about that, speaking of Zoetrope. About a month or so ago, one of the writers there posted an inquiry as to best publishers for graphic novels and I automatically assumed he was talking about a genre in which I oocasionally write - fiction which contains graphic sex. And so I replied to him, telling him that, and giving him the name of my publisher. Christ, did I feel like an idiot when I found out he meant comic books.

Hey, I just realized I'm lying when I say I don't celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Technically, I do, because I eat chicken matzoh ball soup both nights, which my 100% gentile significant other stayed up until 1:00 a.m. last night cooking for me because he loves me and he's worried sick. What's so funny about that is he makes the absolute best chicken soup in the world, even better than my late Jewish mother and grandmother. Every Jew who has ever tasted it says the same thing: "Gary, Gary, how do you get those matzoh balls so light as a feather? Oy, they are so delicious I could plotz! Where did a goy learn to cook like that?" Heh. He's Jewish by insertion, I guess. (Sorry, sorry, I can just see my kids shudder as they read that because after all, they were both products of the immaculate conception). (And P.S., I just inadvertently learned his light as a feather matzoh ball secret this morning when he let it slip. After all these years, I know the truth. All I can say is: No wonder they are so fucking good. And still Kosher yet!)

So back to a couple more Zoetrope related things: My pal Myfanwy Collins, mentioned here in a prior post for her brilliant writing, has a brings tears to the eyes and made my whole body shiver essay published at one of the most top tier literary magazines around, Agni, and if you want to read something that will blow you away, just follow this link.

Another Zoe friend, Jordan Rosenfeld, has a radio show called Word by Word where she interviews writers...oh my god, she interviewed TC Boyle last night...and you can listen on line as well as order up archives of past shows with amazing authors such as Aimee Bender. She now has a Word by Word blog devoted to this and other projects, and the link is right here.

And Theresa Boyar, who is one of the most interesting and lyrical writers ever (plus, she loves Frank Zappa!), has a fantastic piece, Sea Girl, at Avatar Review. Okay, I'm not certain if it's in this issue or will be in a future issue because at the moment, their site is down. But keep checking. I read Sea Girl and it was fucking awesome!

Sadly, I have no new music news -- well, I do, but both Julie and Eric have very cool stuff coming up later in the month so no sense posting it yet. Oh wait...I know what! For those of you who get the Guitar Center catalogue in the mail, the October issue has a story about the winner of 2005 Guitarmageddon in LA and a photograph of Julie, Eric, and Teddi Tarnoff performing there this past summer. Unfortunately, the Guitar Center catalogue is the size of a very slim paperback, so the pic of the kids is the size of a postage stamp. But, it says in the catalogue "reprinted from November issue, Guitar World Magazine". So I just sent Eric to Borders with money and told him to pick up a bunch of copies if the photo is even a little larger. Okay, I told him to pick them up anyway, as long as there's a photo. The one of Teddi is gorgeous; there's a nice profile shot of Julie and a cute one of Eric.

Finally, for all of those of you sending me emails and calling me on the phone regarding my health, please just read the blog for updates. Yeah I feel crappy; my stitches hurt and I'm scared. But if there is one thing I despise, it's people who talk about their health, and I refuse to be one of them. I don't want to talk about myself and I for sure don't want to talk about your (I'm willing to bet it's unrelated) medical history, either, even though I'm sure you mean well. I'm always the lucky gal who goes out to dinner and the minute I begin to attack my salmon the people at the table next to me will say something like "Oh, poor Stanley. It spread to his lungs; it's probably in his brain. His only symptom was heartburn...the doctor said it was just acid reflux and he gave him Nexium and told him not to worry...oy, I went to visit him in the hospital...he must weigh 90 pounds..."

Yep, I sit next to that table every time. I alternate between wanting to attack them with my cutlery and worrying about the fact that I always have heartburn, too.

If I'm lucky enough to escape that crew, then I get the woman who feels the need to douse herself in perfume before going out to eat. Yeah. Actually, she's usually on my other side. My salmon begins to taste of fucking lilacs while I'm getting the tumor talk from the other table. That shit should be banned, except for the bedroom, and even there, ask most men what they prefer on their tongues and they are gonna say woman, not Chanel No. 5.

Okay, now I'm ranting. Sorry. I'm through. I think I'll go have a bowl of chicken soup now and celebrate something. Like Delay being indicted. Yeah!!!