July 15th, 2006

D*U*C*K and Cocktails

Just finished proofreading D*U*C*K. I found a couple of continuity errors and a bunch of weird formatting screw-ups where I'd used accented/French characters (crème, façade), but it was otherwise pretty clean. Besides that, I didn't do a single thing of value today. Meant to go over to the house and pack books, but I am sore as an old lineman and out of every single painkiller in the world except plain old liquor. I'm ashamed at how fast I went through that Vicodin prescription. I've just never been very good at not taking pills when I have them. Ah well, pain or no pain, tomorrow I'll be back over there hossing freight.

Next week will mostly be taken up with the Tales of the Cocktail festival, where Soul Kitchen will be making an early debut before its official release on July 25. On Thursday, July 20 at 5:30 PM, I'll be signing books and serving a cocktail of my own invention -- bourbon, 7-Up, and lime; I was going to call it "X on Your Door," but decided that was too tasteless; I think I ended up calling it the "High Water Line" instead -- at the Hotel Monteleone's Cocktail Hour. Chris will be one of the featured chefs at this event, serving the prosciutto-wrapped figs in Calvados from Liquor. Later that evening (8:00) I'll be the featured author at a cocktail dinner at Morton's Steakhouse. I'm not sure what my purpose is at this dinner, as I was never consulted about the menu and it doesn't exactly reflect my tastes. Filet mignon, indeed -- the mushiest, girliest, most tasteless cut of beef there is. Give me a big old cowboy ribeye, thanks. Oh well, I'll probably manage to have a good time anyway.

Saturday, July 22 I'll be signing books with author Phillip Collier at the Hotel Monteleone's Carousel Bar from 4:00 to 6:00. This is my first signing since before the storm (the one on Thursday doesn't count, as it's really just a big drunken clusterfuck) and I'm nervous, but the Carousel Bar is one of my favorite watering holes, and if nobody shows up, at least we can drink. On Sunday at 2:00 I'll be on a panel, "The Flavor of New Orleans," with food goddess Lorin Gaudin, chefs Bob Iacovone (Cuvee) and Jared Tees (Bourbon House), and at least one or two other people whose names I've shamefully forgotten. And that is Tales of the Cocktail. It's drunken, it's fun, and I think it's maybe a little under-attended this year, so if you can possibly come out and support one or more of these events, please do. I'll post reminders of them later in the week as they draw near.


Why I Hate John Updike

This is just one of many reasons, actually, but it's a dilly.

I've been reading a bunch of "literary" magazines, trying to figure out where I might send the stories I've been writing that don't contain elements of horror or mystery or any other damn thing I can identify -- they're just stories about people. And, to be honest, I'm really not enjoying these magazines very much or feeling very excited at the prospect of publishing anything in them, assuming they would even have my popular-fiction-writing self. And I'm innocently flipping through one, and suddenly I come upon the first stanza of "An Ode to My Hurting Left Hand":

Why has arthritis, a disease of wear
attacked you, when the right, your counterpart,
has done the work? Oh yes -- I guess in golf
you gripped the club the tighter, and at night.
to love myself to sleep, I bade you grip
my stiffened nether member while I dreamed
of copulation with an unsteadily
imagined lady, whose obliging charms
opened the path, perhaps, to drowsy calm.

Mr. Updike, I'm sorry you have arthritis. I truly am. Both my grandmothers suffered from it, I suspect I have a touch myself, and I know it is no picnic. Sometimes it's torture. In spite of everything, I wouldn't have wished it on you.

BUT WHY, O WHY, O WHY, O WHY, O WHY do we have to hear about your STIFFENED NETHER MEMBER?

I mean, I once had the misfortune to read a never-produced screenplay that contained the phrase "tidal wave of daddy-acid," and I thought, nay, hoped that was the worst sequence of words I would come across in my lifetime. But I really think "stiffened nether member" might trump it.

And, while I'm at it, I'm really not all that interested in how you held your damn golf club either.