Friday, June 23, 2006

What should I eat first?

No, no, I'm not going to eat Neil Gaiman -- this pic is for Susan Henderson, who is leaving for Cape Town, South Africa on Monday and made a special request because, well, she knows I have a knack for giving good Gaiman. Hey, Sue, aren't you happy I know how to upload photographs to this blog full size now so that we can use our little mouses to click and enlarge? Ha ha, too bad I don't have a stat counter to monitor how many times we both do that today.

And oh that we could click and enlarge in real life.

Now, now. You saw that one coming, didn't you? And more stuff on Mr. Gaiman below, by the way...I have to get it all in now before Sue leaves on her trip.

So yeah, Susan is going to South Africa to give a reading of her brilliant work with the equally brilliant Liesl Jobson. Liesl lives in South Africa with her husband and graciously invited Sue and her family to stay with them for two weeks. I'm so jealous! Meanwhile, I'm usually skeptical about people who claim to have psychic powers though I try to keep an open mind, especially as I have those little flashes myself -- you know, where you sing an obscure twenty year old song in the shower for no apparent reason and then you're sitting in a restaurant later that day and the same song comes over the sound system; or maybe you start thinking of someone you hardly ever see and they either call you ten minutes later or you walk down the street and there they are...stuff like that -- but Liesl, man, she is scary. She once did a quick reading for me via AOL instant messenger a few years before I started this blog and she knew things about me she couldn't possibly much so that when she offered to do a full reading, I chickened out because Liesl tells it like it is and if there's a gruesome, horrifying death in my future, I didn't want to know. Psychic talent aside, she's just an amazing writer and the link I gave you is her Google listing so that you can treat yourself and read some of her incredible short stories.

ETA: Actually, as Sue just posted in my comments section, she is not staying with Liesl. She's staying with Mr. Henderson's childhood friend whom they haven't seen since he put traffic cones in their hotel room on their wedding night. Now you know I need details on that one and I've asked Sue to provide them in the comments section so you might want to check there later if you are as curious as I am.

In other news, today is my first day back on real food since this whole sordid tooth affair began two weeks ago.

Strangely enough, I don't feel like eating anything unhealthy. I've lost so much weight I may as well really go for it so I can experience life as a skinny person. Oh god, this means I have to make room in my closet for about a thousand black wintery long sleeved blouses and sweaters because I've been using all of my exercise equipment as seasonal clothes racks for the past five years.

So even though it's not even 7:00 a.m., I've got a craving for miso soup and sushi. Hey, the Four Seasons Hotel is a mere eight blocks from my house and they have Wa-Teishoku, which is a traditional Japanese breakfast. It's to die for -- here's what you get:

Yakizakana – Grilled Salmon
Ni Mono – Vegetables Simmered in Chicken Broth
Tamago – Coddled Egg
Tsukemono – Pickled Japanese Vegetable
Gohan – Steamed Rice
Miso Soup
Nori – Seasoned Dried Seaweed
Japanese Green Tea

Yep, I should go there now but I still have a low grade fever, damn it. I wonder if they have take away? Oh, Eric....

Poor kid. He's probably still asleep because he spent yesterday in New York City hanging out with Keith Emerson, Jan Hammer, and Roger O'Donnell of The Cure. The lucky bastard got to sit in on a song at B.B. Kings last night, too. He has such a tough life, my son. Actually, he ended up spending the night in New York but he told me he's taking an early train home so he should be here in a few hours.

Speaking of Eric (and Julie, too), Adrian Belew has added another show to the tour. This one is in Pittsburgh on August 12 at The Club Cafe. Eric just played there last month as drummer for Project Object and he said it's an amazing venue.

While I'm talking about music, assuming this stupid fever goes away and I feel nice and healthy after my Japanese breakfast (I'm dead serious about having Eric swing by The Four Seasons and pick one up for me. I just realized if they have room service, they have take away)...I'm supposed to see Robin Trower Saturday night at the TLA in Philly. Yeah, yeah, I know. Once a stoner guitar god fan, always a stoner guitar god fan. But of course my musical taste is all over the place and oh how I wish I could post MP3s on this blog. That's the only thing I like about My Space but alas, it's not enough to keep me really active there. I just can't get into it nor can I figure out how to navigate it properly. I mean, I've never once ended up in the same place twice when I click "Home". Just how many "homes" are there on that site, anyway? But there is one cool thing about My Space and that's the fact that all of these strange and unknown-to-me writers keep inviting me to their sites and I've read snippets of some really interesting new books which I'd never have found on my own. So I guess it's just a matter of working the system. Once my mainstream novel is published and I'm out there promoting (notice how I say that with such conviction?) I will use it to network but I'm way too afraid to push erotica there. I'm finished with erotica now, anyway...though every time I make that decision, I get an email about a contest or a cool new anthology and I can't help myself. Which reminds me. Another Bite of the Apple should be out any day now. What can I say? Writing erotica comes naturally to me. And yeah, yeah, of course I read Neil Gaiman's journal entry about it the other day and because I was still on pain meds when I read it, naturally I assumed it was written just for me. Hahahahaha - seriously, I'm just messing around but I did read it with great interest and was quite pleased by what he wrote. But then again, when aren't I pleased by what he writes?

Wait - did you see this link on his blog yesterday? Oh my god, that's the most...never mind. I probably should not have posted it but it's just so bizarre I couldn't resist. So yeah, I highly recommend you click on that link because it's kind of entertaining in a very disturbed sort of way. Good lord! While you are on that page, make sure you visit links such as this though I think I just made my daughter nauseous because I just IMed her said link. (She's at her boyfriend's house which is why she isn't being sent out to fetch me breakfast)

Okay, enough Neil. I really am putting him to bed (oh god) for a while. Especially with Sue away in South Africa for two weeks. It just won't be fun without her.

Let's see. What else? Right. There's an acoustic guitar album, “Imaginational Anthem Vol. 2” which is very, very cool. Pitchfork Media reviewed it pretty favorably and here's the link. The reason I am writing about this today is that IA2 is currently on tour to support the release, and they are in Philadelphia tonight to perform at First Unitarian Church. If you are in or near Philly and reading this, you know what a cool venue that is, so why not go and support these fine guitarists? To quote the late, great Frank is the best!

Meanwhile, I can't believe that Julie and Eric are leaving for Nashville to rehearse for a few days with Adrian Belew one week from Monday and then they are gone until the end of summer. Well, that's not entirely true -- they have a week off between the time they get home from Europe at the end of July until the east coast portion of the tour begins in early August. They never went to overnight camp as kids and I went with them on all of the Rock School tours so this is my very first taste of empty nest syndrome. The only upside is doing any requested edits/revisions to my novel without distraction, if I don't count the construction next door. Just when I thought it couldn't possibly get any worse, yesterday I hear thunderous crashing and banging that was so intense I had to open my front door and see what the hell they were up to. Oh my god, they ripped the entire facade off the house! So basically the people who bought it shelled out a ton of money just to live on my street because they are building an entire new, custom home. I'm still having a very hard time digesting how gentrified and yuppified this neighborhood has become. Maybe I'm still living in 1980, but to me, if you pay a million dollars for a house you should at least get a nice plot of land and a single home without adjoining neighbors. But because we are within walking distance of downtown Philly and right adjacent to the Art Museum, all of a sudden I'm living in this wealthy neighborhood and I can't believe it. When I first bought my house at age 24, it was mostly blue collar people who'd lived here for generations and worked at the old Schmidts Brewery but we were part of the pioneer movement -- artists and writers and musicians who bought homes in the area because of its proximity to downtown.

I should probably think about selling this place and taking the money and running but where would I go? I love Philadelphia, and while I'd really adore living in the UK, whatever profit I made would be worth 50% less so that wouldn't make much sense, would it. But oh oh oh, to live in England. I dunno. Maybe when empty nest syndrome happens for real.

And why am I even talking about stuff like this? God help me, being surrounded by yuppies is getting to me after all. They're trying to convert me and succeeding! Help!

Speaking of that...

Oh, Eric...come need to walk to the Four Seasons and get your mother her Japanese breakfast...

Har har.

Ooh ooh. One final thing. I have this hunky oh so hip friend, writer Dennis Mahagin, and he's running a very interesting promotion over at his blog. Go check it out! Here's the link. In case he adds something additional, it's the post dated June 22, 2005 which says "Shhh...". Dennis will probably blush when I say this, but he reminds me very much of a favorite poet of mine, Gregory Corso. Hey, please visit that site as well so you can hang with the cool kids like Dennis and me.