Monday, June 30, 2008


I am home, and don't have a single future flight booked. Woohoo! I got back yesterday from a weekend in Montreal, at the Association of American University Publishers meeting. University press people are a strange bunch, my friends.

The conference was capped off by a ridiculously decadent meal here, where we ate more foie gras than is healthy or sane. My coworker and I brought along Lianna and her coworker, who then proceeded to shock the crap out of us. Here is Lianna before we realized what we were in for:Sweet, right? Well, somewhere in between the oysters, the poutine, and the pig's feet topped with foie gras, we got blasted. There were Wellesley lesbian jokes, there were Asian jokes, there were scatological comments that were not even jokes. Highlight: when he decided to tell a neighboring table that he had slept with his mother, just to see how they'd react.

It was a Category 5 Shitshow.

And yet, I wound up having an ok time. The food was fabulous, and we ended up the night at our hotel bar with about 20 other university press people, all of whom seemed delightful.

And then I got on a plane again. But no more! For the next few months I am not going to work weekends, I am not going to hang out with publishers, and I am not going to try to empathize with middle-aged men. So there.

Boggled again.

I just received an announcement for a backpack drive at work, which specified: "For safety reasons, please note that the organization can't accept red or blue backpacks for 7th-12th graders."

Jesus H.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I guess it is kind of lame for me to love Google jokes/gags/pranks

But I do, and I am going to share some with you. Not only that, but one of them is going to be a Chuck Norris joke, too.

1. Google "Find Chuck Norris" and hit "I'm Feeling Lucky".

2. Go to Google and click "Preferences" next to the search box. Choose one of the following languages from the "Interface Language" dropdown: Bork, bork, bork!; Elmer Fudd; Hacker; Klingon; Pig Latin. Click "Save Preferences" and enjoy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Seriously? Seriously???

This article is an inspirational enough bit on alternative methods of schooling, and I would have rolled right through it if I hadn't hit this line: "Last year’s graduation rate was 63 percent, Mr. Fisher said, nearly triple the rate of the old Bushwick High School, which once occupied the same building. The citywide average is about 50 percent."

50 percent???? Really? Is there a way to explain this to make it any more sane, or is it true that 50% of New York City's public school kids don't graduate from high school? At the risk of sounding naive (too late, right), this is insane! Maybe a decent percentage of dropouts get their GED, but it's still mind-boggling that half of the future (and maybe current) adults who grew up going to New York public schools do not have high school diplomas.



From Publisher's Lunch:

Rapper Sets Up Imprint

Rapper KRS-One is creating an I Am Hip Hop imprint with powerHouse Books that will launch in spring 2009 with his own THE TEACHA'S GOSPEL OF HIP-HOP, "a 600-page manifesto documenting the genre's core tenets laid out like, what else, a Bible." The announcement says the line will "publish work of a number of different types with photography, philosophy and novels among them" and "serve as a home for cutting-edge, positive material related to the true culture and philosophies of Hip Hop."

Relocation: like vacation, but less fun.

My bosses are pressuring me to relocate to New York. Why they didn't hire me there in the first place, I don't know, but I'm settled in here and don't want to leave just yet. So far it's not a do-it-or-else situation, but it would involve a relocation bonus, cost of living increase, and housing stipend for the transition period. Which would be a sweet deal, except that I am no way no how ready to move back to the East Coast. Blargh.

It's just like Wellesley said.

Gender is a mo-fo social construct!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Brennans are torn asunder once more

My brother flew out yesterday. I am sad he is gone, but we really couldn't have sustained that level of gluttony for much longer. While he was here, we:
  • drank a sick number of PBRs at the Wiretap show
  • hosted an impromptu sake-bomb party at Fly Bar
  • had an epic picnic in Dolores Park
  • spent Saturday playing various sport in GGPark
  • went to the Secret Slides!!!
  • had a Family Dinner at our place that involved unimaginable amounts of food, mojitos, and caipirinhas
  • rode our bikes across the bridge to Sausalito and took the ferry back. I made Ian and Mike come with me to the Tiny Stuff store (not it's real name, I don't think). Find of the Day below.
  • ate sushi and drank sake until we moved with sloth


It smells like burning all the way from San Francisco down the peninsula. California's propensity to self-combust takes some getting used to; as a kid, Smokey the Bear's message seemed more theoretical than anything else. Dry Christmas trees and faulty electric heater wiring you can control; drought and lightning, not so much.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Victory = modern urban sustainability

I bet you did not know that. I bet you also did not know that they are about to plant a vegetable garden in front of city hall, either!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Please be my friend.

From a blah NYT blog post on a whole mess of high school girls that made a pact to get preggers: “'We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy,' the principal says, shaking his head."

Commenter/future friend:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When I am grownup enough to have real dinner parties

I will have these pop-up placemats.

More from Damascus

Where my parents' house is going to be:

My shoes are famous

From today's DailyCandy, the first of these emails to contain anything of actual interest to me:There is a story behind these sandals. When Meg and I were in Athens last October, it was a ridiculously rainy day, we had spent the night before sleepless in a tiny ferry cabin, and all we wanted was to be back on an empty beach on Paros or in a real bed. But we had shopping to do, and Meg had read that there was a renowned sandal shop somewhere nearby, so we got ourselves good and soaked walking up and down creepy lanes looking for this sandal making dude.And, glory be, we found him in his musty shop, with his John Malkovich face, surrounded by crazy artwork, leather sandals, and a big gray ponytail. He gave us his book of poetry and told us about his dad's art and the famous people who were always coming into the shop. He and his assisant had us pick our style, then fitted the leather to our feet and put the sandals together right there. Meg and I both went with #13, "Hermes", and if I lived anywhere other than San Francisco I would be wearing them every day now. And if I had any sense, I would recreate the photo above with myself and Meg, as a tribute to the man who so gloriously shod our footsies.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Damascus PA

So I really like Apartment Therapy and its blog sisters. I like design, I like small spaces, and I like having bite size chunks of pretty that I can look at during the day. Today they posted about the West Coast tour of a Tumbleweed House, and guess what - it's stopping at the Goog!

I'm trying to talk my parents into buying one as a guest house to set up near the (soon-to-be-blasted-into-the-hillside) pond on their new property. Oh, and in case I haven't talked your ear off about it yet, here's a photo of that pristine land right now:

Skip to my Lu

So now that I am home and able to wind down a little bit, Lucy's death is seeming more real. My parents had to put her down two weeks ago, and none of us are handling it particularly well. She was an amazing dog, and young, and smart and affectionate and drop dead gorgeous (as far as dogs go). I miss her, and so do my parents and brother, and most of all, so does Skip.

I think Skip's inability to function without Lucy is best evidenced by my father's photo below, in which Lucy is bored and ready to move on to things like torturing cats and eating vermin, while Skip is excited to be representing Ian's place of education:
Lucy: Don't look at the camera, he'll think we're enjoying this.
Skip: Hi, Dad!
Lucy: Now you've done it.
Skip: What? What? This is exciting! Smile!
Lucy: Jesus, Skip.

What a dog.


People that are maybe possibly probably if I have anything to say about it MOVING TO SF IN SEPTEMBER:
Some of my favoritest people!

I have a confession.

Last night on the plane I watched "27 Dresses" - and enjoyed it.

My brain is turning to muuuuuuuuuuuush.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I just got the following email from my thesis advisor. Her second novel was published by a small independent house, and then the paperback rights were bought by Random House, which is a huge score.

Now comes this:

Hi Genevieve,
My book has been chosen among 6 summer reading books by the Richard & Judy show in the UK which I hear is the equivalent of being chosen by Oprah. They're printing 200,000 more copies, putting ads in the underground stations, etc. etc. I'll attach the news article about it.
Talk to you soon,

Holy sheet!

I want to be a crazy rich person.

I cannot adequately communicate how cool and bizarre I think this is.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Holy crap

My coworker, it turns out, is the former editor-in-chief of Playboy Brazil! When he told me, I actually squinched my arms up like a tyrannosaurus and waved them around with glee.

Ok, I'm all in.

Ganked from Nicole:

Mike's famous!

I mean, sort of, a little bit, not exactly. But Project Hot Seat is!

Oh wait! Here he is on the Project Hot Seat homepage - scroll down a bit and his pic is under "Hot Topic".

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I am not a nice person.

I just saw an old, significantly braless lady on the subway in a tank top that said, "Luscious" in rhinestones. Just thought you should know.

Publisher's Lunch is peri-menopausal

Publisher's Lunch comes to my inbox every day, telling me all about the book business and the people in it. I used to love its job listings, then I loved its who's-working-for-whom-and-where section, and now I get revved up by the weekly deal summary. It lists what publisher has bought what book by what author and for roughly how much, and what I have learned is that 99% of books sound super stupid when boiled down to a two sentence description.

Still, I find a lot of books that I may very well buy for people some day. Keep in mind that these guys seem fantastic compared to their brethren, which tend to be described in ways like "CUM LAUDE, set on a small college campus, following a cast of characters who meet at freshman year orientation and cause big drama for one sheltered town in Maine, as shifting alliances, unrequited crushes, and a tragic murder add up to a year that will change their lives forever". Yes!

For Besha:
"Dexter Palmer's THE DREAM OF PERPETUAL MOTION, set amidst a steampunk metropolis and the rise of the mechanical future, the tale of a decades-long love affair thwarted by an evil genius obsessed with inventing the perpetual motion machine."

For Elise:
"Two-time Pulitzer winner and WSJ economics editor and columnist David Wessel's THE BIG PANIC: Greenspan, Bernanke and the Race to Save the American Economy, analyzing the extraordinary events of the past year, including the near-collapse of the financial system, as backdrop for breaking through the opacity of the Federal Reserve and drawing the lessons of the crisis."

For Teppi:
"Former veteran W magazine reporter and recent W European Editor Jessica Kerwin's THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE EXQUISITE, a highly idiosyncratic compendium of narrative paeans to life's wondrous pleasures, from the histories of saffron and milk baths and confetti to the origins of the bob and italic."

And for everyone I ever hate:
"Grey's Anatomy and Party of Five writer Mimi Schmir's untitled novel, pitched as Bridget Jones meets Nora Ephron, following the misadventures of a woman in the wake of a divorce from her philandering husband as she tries to come to terms with being a newly-single, 40-something, peri-menopausal mother of two rambunctious boys (Roo and Mr. Handsome), and dating (beginning with Hot Birthday Party Dad) as well as juggling a start-up business."

Monday, June 9, 2008


I am in New York, and it is H-O-T. It also smells like garbage and pee, but I am happy to be here anyway.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I want it

If Guitar Hero had sex with a roller coaster.

Thank you Judith Warner

On sexism and Hilary's candidacy. And Sex and the City, which continues on its high-profile course of suck.

No matter how spot-on or off-track you thought Hilary's campaign was (and I'm not at all comfortable with how she approached racial issues), the way that people felt that they could talk about her was despicable. I'm not saying that her gender needed to be ignored, but just because we've gotten past the no-woman-no-way argument doesn't mean some nasty misogynistic stuff didn't go down.


Amazon is down! I'm sure they'll get it back up again soon, but this is big news in books.

Update 1 p.m. PDT: It's back up, but was down for 90 minutes and lost money at a rate of $1.8 million per hour. Ouch!

Alamo Square success

Alamo Square Movie Night was a blast - Mike's friend's band opened (Jeff was dressed as Marty McFly, and Aaaaadum [anyone remember him?] played bass), and there were Wiretappers all around. We had Little Star pizza and wine and I made a peach/apricot/strawberry cobbler. Plus the setting was gorgeous:I got to see my new neighbors Meg and Ed, and Hartz, and Umbro. Also, Back to the Future is fantastic! If you haven't seen it in a while, rent it, and watch it intoxicated. Preferably bundled in blankets with 200 other people, all of whom cheer anytime a character says "flux capacitor".


My friend Lianna's blog, i am neurotic., was mentioned in Gawker - the big leagues. Hopefully a book deal is next!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

And you wonder why I am so happy.

Next week my team is hosting a meeting that will involve powerbrokers from several fields. My boss sent out this official schedule to all attendees:

10:15-10:30 BREAK
12:00-1:15 LUNCH
3:15-3:30 BREAK

What I have been doing all week.

Watching Friday Night Lights.

Seriously, that's it. I lost my voice over the weekend, and since Mike's in DC I'm lying low to try and get it back (mission accomplished). Netflix Instant has Friday Night Lights, and I have watched the entire first season in the last week. I love football (really), I love Explosions in the Sky, and, by dint of living with Mike, I love Texas. This show wraps it all up into a soapy teen package, and I have copious amount of warm feelings for it.

But I am also kind of glad that only the first season is on Instant, as I was getting a little OOC and am glad to have my life back. At least until Mike gets hooked, and then I watch it all over again with him.

ALSO, the same guy does the music as did for The West Wing. W.G. Snuffy Walden, I love you.

You really need to check this out

Turns books into PowerPoint presos so they're safe to read at work. At my work, of course, this got passed around as an example of how we can show publishers that people are willing to read in non-traditional formats...

But really, it's brilliant.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Estoy de acuerdo

I really haven't been reading the NYT columnist pages long enough to know what each guy's shtick is, but I sure agree with Thomas Friedman here. From a talk he gave at Book Expo:

Friedman's presentation focused on reading aloud excerpts from his manuscript, but his more spontaneous moments were the most enjoyable. At one point he mocked the "phony revolution" of fake or easy "green" solutions: "Exxon is green... GM is green... Yeah. That's not a revolution friends, That's a party. We're having a green party. But it has nothing to do with a revolution. You'll know it's a revolution when somebody gets hurt. When companies have to change or die."

Compare and Contrast

A chat with Mike regarding his job:
Mike: the Senate's debating the Climate Security Act, Brazil is extending a moratorium on soy production in the Amazon, and an Arizona Rep. has signed onto the Safe Climate Act
Me: woah


A chat I just had with my coworker:
Coworker: they took [new employee] to a hooters equivalent for his welcome dinner!!
that is pretty much the best thing ever
Coworker: the woman crushed a boiled egg on his forehead and drew blood!

People Across the World Have Already Tested THIS

This made me laugh out loud. Well, the first few paragraphs did, anyway.

Attention, People Who Live Near Me

This Thursday: Alamo Square Movie Night!


I know that Kingsley Amis turned out to be pretty crazy, and I'm guessing Martin is going to go the same way, but I still think they'd make interesting dinner guests. And I want this book.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Holy crap...

We have a nominee.

Am I the only one who thinks it's pretty cool this went on so long? I thought it was encouraging people got so into it, and felt so strongly. Not saying it didn't cause problems, but there's a lot about it that made me feel damn good. And now, let's kick some butt.

So hard to decide!

The worst album cover ever contest.

Word Up

Women's colleges are recruiting more from the Middle East.

Aside from the lede, which makes it seem like single-sex ed is languishing (hold on, what's Wellesley's endowment again? oh right, a gazillion dollars), it's a cool article.


Back from LA, and it was N-U-T-S. I will relate anecdotes off the intertubes.

Interesting tidbit for the day:

Hatmakers in the 19th century were often exposed to high levels of mercury in the process of treating felt; the trembling and excitability that resulted led to the phrase "mad as a hatter."

Sunday, June 1, 2008


LA is weird

I am exhausted

Book people are insane

I love my job