Friday, December 15, 2006


So, I'm good to announce that Superpowers is going to be published in the UK by Vintage Originals. Check out those covers! Gorgeous stuff. I'm going to be working with Beth Coates, who has great taste, obviously. W00t! Thanks to Beth, to Shana (natch), and to our UK agent consult Will Francis, who gave the book my favorite tag description yet: "Superpowers is the weirdest, saddest, funniest, bleakest coming of age novel I've read in a long time."

As an aside, I must note that it's been slightly odd to have everyone involved with the book refer to it as a "coming-of-age" story, since I wasn't thinking of it like that as I was writing it. I was pretty much thinking it was just a story, about people, who did stuff. Not that I have a problem with the description, at all. It's just strange how perspectives differ. As in, probably, they have some, and I don't.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Some Sort of Update

Austen Update: I've finished all the novels (except for Mansfield Park which I gave up on) and I think Persuasion may be my favorite. Either that or Pride and Prejudice. The thing is, while Jane may have felt rushed to complete the former before she, um, died, the result of that haste is (IMO) something paced a little more along the lines of a modern reader's expectations. Anne Elliott is less snarky than Elizabeth Bennett, and in the end Elizabeth is probably more fun at parties, but Anne is also less happy in her existing situation, which made her eventual attachment to Captain Wentworth more emotionally satisfying. She just felt so lonely before that, with her horrible father and sister. What is it with Austen's mothers, anyway? They are all dead, clueless or barely there. Anyway. Am now reading "Lady Susan" and plan to segue into re-reading The Jane Austen Book Club in the next few days.

This Charlie Brown comic done for the U.S. Department of Health where Sally has to wear an eyepatch? Dude, that was me. Except that I only got to wear the pirate eyepatch at night. During the day I had to wear this flesh-colored adhesive bandage which fit over my eye socket and probably made me look, from a distance, like a kid WITHOUT AN EYE. This was supposed to force my nearsighted ("lazy") eye to work harder, but all it did was make the good eye, which I wasn't using, farsighted. So, yes. One of my eyes sees near and the other sees far. Now you know . . . and knowing is half the battle!

Little known fact: Chumbawumba was approached to do a soundtrack for "The Passion of the Christ." Also, Panda sneeze!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Not That He Just Wrote Novelty Songs -- "King of the Road," Anyone?

Today, for no reason whatsoever, the lyrics to two songs by Roger Miller. You really need to hear his delivery to get the full effect, but even without it this stuff is classic:


Chug-a-lug chug-a-lug
Make you wanna holler hi-de-ho
Burns your tummy don't you know
Chug-a-lug chug-a-lug

Grape wine in a Mason jar
Homemade and brought to school
By a friend of mine after class
Me and him and this other fool decided that we'll drink up what's left
Chug-a-lug so we helped ourselves
First time for everythin'
My ears still ring

Chug-a-lug chug-a-lug...

Four H and FFA
On a field trip to the farm
Me and a friend sneak off behind
This big ol' barn where we uncovered a covered up moonshine still
And we thought we'd drink our fill
I swallered it with a smile
I run ten miles

Chug-a-lug chug-a-lug...

Jukebox and sawdust floor
Somethin' like I ain't never seen
And I'm just goin' on fifteen
But with the help of my finaglin' Uncle I get snuck in
For my first taste of sin
I said lemme have a big ol' sip
I done a double black flip

Chug-a-lug chug-a-lug...

This next one is so unapologetically fucking weird that you have to love it:

"My Uncle Used to Love Me but She Died"

My uncle used to love me but she died
A chicken ain't chicken till it's licken good fried
Keep on the sunny side
My uncle used to love me but she died

Who'll give me quarter thirty cents for a ring of keys
Three sixty-five for a dollar bill of groceries
I'll have me a car of my own someday but till then I need me a ride
My uncle used to love me but she died

My uncle used to love me but she died...

Hamburger cup of coffee lettuce and tomato
Two times a dime to see a man kiss the alligator
One more time around free on the ferries wheel ride
My uncle used to love me but she died

My uncle used to love me but she died...

Apples are for eatin' and sneaks are for hissin'
I heard about a huggin' and I heard about a kissin'
I read about it free in a thirty cents illustrated guide
My uncle used to love me but she died

My uncle used to love me but she died...

Well my uncle used to love me but she died...

Man, I love me some novelty country . . .

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mama's Cooking Chicken and Collard Greens, These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Two tunes that put me in mind of the holidays: Coltrane and Run-DMC.