Friday, June 30, 2006

Fireworks, anyone?

Hey hey hey! Happy Independence Day! Oh that I still thought we were really still free in this country but okay, I refuse to discuss religion and politics because I hate them both and know I won't change anyone's mind so if you do not feel the same and insist on talking about either with me, I'll ignore you. (Ha ha - unless of course you agree with me, said the way liberal pro-choice anti-Bush agnostic)

So a bunch of cool stuff is going on here in the Slick household as I get ready to say good-bye for the summer to both Julie and Eric -- both of whom, as you know from my prior one million posts -- are taking off for Nashville on Monday morning to hang out with Adrian Belew for a few days before opening night of their tour in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday, July 6, 2006. Oh how I wish I could be there but I ultimately decided not to attend the first few shows and will catch up with them either in Europe or on the east coast portion of the tour which starts in New York City on August 8. I did see that a new show has been added on August 18, 2006 at the State Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida - details here.

Also, I believe next week will see the release of the above pictured anthology in which my story "Daddy Left Me Alone With God" appears and of course as soon as it's available, I will furnish you with a link because this book contains short stories by some absolutely incredible authors and I promise you won't be disappointed.

Speaking of short stories, I know I said I was on Neil Gaiman hiatus but I just received my copy of Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't As Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn't Quite Finish So Maybe You Could Help Us Out from McSweeney's Books, which cost me a big $5.00, and I absolutely guarantee you that this is the best $5.00 you'll ever spend. It's even a hardcover edition! Besides containing a short story by Nick Hornby, the brilliant author responsible for like my favorite movie/book EVER about rock music and relationships, High Fidelity, this book also includes "Sunbird", the story for which Neil Gaiman just won a Locus Award as best short story 2005 and trust me, it is.

I know Susan Henderson is in South Africa right now but I find it hard to believe she won't be near a computer for two weeks so I'm doing this for both of us:

Susan, that is Neil being attacked by a flamingo (shades of Anansi Boys) in Poppy Z. Brite's apartment.

Not being a horror fan, I didn't know who Poppy was but now I'm addicted to reading her daily journal and I love her so much I wish I was her girlfriend. Or her boyfriend. I'm not sure. If one is to believe Wikipedia (and in this case I do because Poppy herself addresses this many times in her journal archives), though "born a biological female, she has gender dysphoria/gender identity issues. She identifies more as male than female but makes no attempt to dress or appear male and also does not expect to be referred to as "he". Brite is comfortable with the term "non-operative transsexual".

She's a kick-ass writer and funny as hell, which is all I care about. Okay, I'm lying. She's married to a (male) chef named Chris and oh my god would I love to question her about her sex life. After which I would adore eating at Chris' restaurant.

Okay, what else. It's finally sunny here in Philadelphia, which, if you watch the national news, has been flooded for the past three days. Things like that just don't happen here. We have shootings galore, yes, but natural disasters, no. Kelly Drive, which is adjacent to the Art Museum and where we ride our bicycles and walk the dog, etc., was completely under water courtesy of the Schuylkill River overflowing its banks. Luckily my house is up on a hill facing the Art Museum or I suspect I'd have sump pumps going full steam in my basement right now. But Eric put me through a real scare on Tuesday. He went to New Hope, Pennsylvania to jam with some members of Ween which is where the Ween house/studio is located. He had an absolute blast except for the fact that New Hope is now completely under water and he got out just in time...right before they closed the bridges. I was watching the news that day with my heart in my mouth. Yeah, so getting back to Ween, Eric jammed with their guitarist and bass player - Dean Ween and Dave Dreiwitz, who are doing a side project with Chris Harford. Assuming Adrian Belew has no plans for Eric to tour or record in October...and it looks like that's the case because Adrian is touring for a few weeks with Robert Fripp at that time...Eric will be touring with those guys for a few weeks opening for Trey Anastasio. And then in November Eric and Julie will be joining Adrian Belew again for a swing through Texas and the west coast.

Can I trade lives with them?

Nah, I'm pretty happy these days. Disgustingly so. Revisions/edits to my novel, Baby Boomer, are going really well and in a perfect world will be ready to be shopped around at summer's end. And ta-da, I've finally updated my website. Okay, I'm lying -- Eric did it for me. I'm totally hopeless at web stuff which is why I love this blog. Anyway, it's still a work in progress but I really needed to get rid of old news and dead links. So right now it's bare bones but Eric was kind enough to link my blog to the site which is what I really wanted and I'm still playing around with the idea of adding photos and some other stuff. But since I'm surrounded by clutter in the real world (big pack rat here), I kind of like the idea of a stark, minimalistic website so that's what I have at the moment. Anyway, here's the link. As I said, I'm still tweaking it but it's a start.

Anyway, if for some reason I don't make it back here until next week, have a Happy 4th of July! Sob...this is our first one without Julie and Eric and Gary will have no audience for his illegally purchased in Maryland yearly fireworks display -- the one which keeps me in the house shaking, waiting for one of the kids to run back in screaming "Call an ambulance! Daddy blew off his arm!" -- but I suspect he'll round up some neighborhood kids and have a little party anyway just to continue the tradition of me here at the computer a total mess with one hand on the phone ready to dial 911. And getting back to said Independence Day, again, I would love to get on a soapbox right now and tell you how dismayed I am about our current lack of freedom (Can you say Patriot Act?) but well, you know, I did say I refuse to discuss politics, so...