Archive | May, 2011

If you have to ask…

26 May


I know it’s hard to believe now that we’re schvitzing all over our summer blazers, but a few months ago it was fucking cold in this city. I remember one day in January, it was particularly frigid, and I felt like little ice elves were scratching their poorly trimmed fingernails all over my face and it stung!
I ran to the corner of 14th St and 6th Ave, desperate to get underground, to the safety and comfort of the subway platform (I know, when your cozy, safe place is a subway platform, that’s how you know you have weather issues). I basically sledded down the stairs, my hair was all a-frazzle, and my skin was all prickly, and these two girls with legs up to their necks strode by me wearing teeny-tiny dresses, open-toed shoes, and NO pantyhose!
I would have screamed at them, “Where is your mother? I’d like to have a word with her!” but my vocal chords were all stuck closed like a frozen car door.
What is with young women in New York City not knowing how to dress appropriately? It’s especially bad in Williamsburg where I regularly see girls wearing men’s overalls without shirts underneath, or an adult diaper instead of pants to really compliment the irony of their vintage Rugrats t-shirt.
I’m all for expressing yourself — it’s one of my favorite things to do — but your clothes are also the first thing people see. Try to make a good impression, and spare us from seeing more than we want to. So, next time you’re just running out to BestBuy to pick up a new Breakfast Club DVD, don’t make the same mistake Taylor Momsen did. Put some clothes on. Handy chart, after the jump.
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All Tomorrow’s Parties

26 May


People are praising Jennifer Egan for her incisive take on the music industry in her 2010 bestseller A Visit From the Goon Squad. In her review on the Fiction Writers Review website, Jackie Reitzes says, “At the novel’s heart is the role of music as both an agent and a subject of nostalgia. Rock acts as a bygone era and the conduit on which we may resurrect what has been lost.”
(very minor spoilers ahead)
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BEA Party PSA

25 May

For writers and publishers and their hangers-on, the week of Book Expo America means long days under the  fluoresent lights of the Javits Center and longer nights of debauched partying.  Most events are insiders-only, but the good people of EvilReads have compiled this  list of worthy fetes for those looking to make depraved book pitches while under the influence of several shots of Jagermeister purchased by your would-be agent.

If you’ve somehow managed to miss out the plasticized nametags and endless stream of free swag that is BEA, my experience of the first two days can be summarized thus: Continue reading

William Burroughs Goes to Church

17 May

The spandrels glutted with slaphappy nuns who cling to the carved marble faces of cross-eyed saints, each projecting ear or crook or staff a fingerhold. “Just hoping to get closer to the Big Guy!” they cry as they try to gain purchase on the stages of the cross in bas relief. The whole cathedral splashed over with the Lite-Brite candy colors of the clerestory windows, smudgy scenes of Appropriate Touching and Godliness Next to Cleanliness and Peter and the Seven Earnest Girlscouts.

Front row of pews, Sweetie McGuffin eats pack after pack of Chuckles. She saves all the licorice ones for her dad, so thoughtful, stuffs them down the sides of her socks for him when she gets home. She’ll whip them off when he looks up from his Reuben with extra dressing in front of the gameshows and hold up his surprise confectionaries, “Ta da!” He knew there was a reason he sent her to that church school. Continue reading

Flash Fiction Contest

11 May

Such an exquisite pairing of words and images as that between Lorrie Moore’s fiction and Issy Magowan’s photography is why we started Dreamboat.  We wanted to take superb art and writing and put them together — we want them to complement and inspire one another like a long happily married couple.

So, we are holding a flash fiction contest.

The prompt is this photograph by Issy Magowan:

There are no guidelines.  Just give voice to the story you think this picture is telling.  You have the illustration, now write the text.  Oh, and they say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but I think this one’s actually about 700 so please, keep it to that limit.

We will publish the winner on the blog and send them a secret prize.

E-mail entries to margaux@dreamboatliterary.com.

A calling, an urge, a delusion, an unfortunate habit

11 May

Longtime readers of the Dreamboat blog know that we love the photography of Issy Magowan.  I thought this shot of hers was a perfect accompaniment to an excerpt from Lorrie Moore’s “How to Become a Writer.”

At undergraduate cocktail parties, people say, “Oh, you write?  What do you write about?”  Your roommate, who has consumed too much wine, too little cheese, and no crackers at all, blurts: “Oh, my god, she always writes about her dumb boyfriend.”

Later on in life you will learn that writers are merely open, helpless texts with no real understanding of what they have written and therefore must half-believe anything and everything that is said of them.  You, however, have not yet reached this stage of literary criticism.  You stiffen and say, “I do not,” the same way you said it when someone in the fourth grade accused you of really liking oboe lessons and your parents really weren’t just making you take them.

Insist you are not very interested in any one subject at all, that you are interested in the music of language, that you are interested in–in–syllables, because they are the atoms of poetry, the cells of the mind, the breath of the soul.  Begin to feel woozy.  Stare into your plastic wine cup.

“Syllables?” you will hear someone ask, voice trailing off, as they glide slowly toward the reassuring white of the dip.

Kiss Me Down By the Broken Treehouse

9 May


I know it’s funny that I’m about to be a total copycat right after I bitched and moaned about unoriginal thought just last week, but the difference here is that I’m giving credit to my inspiration.

The Hairpin (which has replaced Jezebel as my go-to bored at work site) ran a compilation of 101 MTV Movie Awards “Best Kiss” Nominees…In Order of Hotness.

So, I’ve decided to list the 40 best movie kisses OVERALL, in order of hotness:
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