Monthly Archives: July 2006

Stuff On My Mind

Quote of the Day: “The world exploded into love all around me/And every time I take a look around me/I have to smile…” — Bob Schneider, “The World Exploded Into Love”

Those of you who read The SPB Q regularly already know about my fixation on Daniel Alarcon, the East Bay-based writer who’s brilliant, sad, visionary War By Candlelight rocked my world last year. He has an essay in the Washington Post this week. This brotha can write, y’all; it’s always exciting for me to find a fiction writer whose non-fiction can be as layered and fascinating as his stories.

One of Alarcon’s stories can be found in a great new book out in August called A Fictional History of the United States (With Huge Chunks Missing), co-edited (and with short stories by) by Adam Mansbach and T Cooper. Other writers featured include Amy Bloom, Kate Bornstein, Alexander Chee, Ron Kovic, Paul La Farge, Tommy O’Malley, Neal Pollack, David Rees, and Sarah Schulman.

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Gotta tell you how much I enjoyed the current issue of Vogue, from the timeless photo of Linda Evangelista on the cover to the tight profile of Ellen Barkin, the hottest divorcee in town. I was one of those shallower-than-thou early-to-mid-90s boys obsessed–yes, I was, believe it or not, sort of a “modelizer”– with supermodels and runway shows and designers, so this issue, in which Anna and crew “celebrate” the old girls and the graceful way they go about aging, gave me a hard-on for the old days. Like the Ghost show that opened with Naomi waiting at the top of the runway for Donna Summer’s groans to get us wet enough for her to start her strut. Like Isaac’s show in the hot warehouse on Lafayette Street back in ‘92, when Veronica was a hot girl who used to ride her bike around the East Village and meet us for brunch at Time Café. Like sharing Marlboro Lights at the U2 concert with Christy Turlington. Yes, kids, I know…I’m name-dropping. But I’m an old man now, cherishing memories, so it’s okay…That pic is from a book we passed around back in the day, a fun secular “bible” of sorts.

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According to Playbill.com, Tony-winning actress/singer Adriane Lenox will be bringing her cabaret show back to The Triad in late August. She was the bomb in Doubt on Broadway a coupla seasons back and is about to go on tour with the play. Check her out if you can.

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Congrats to the great Sarah Weinman for her Anthony Award nomination for her continued smart, funny, necessary work over at Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind. Anyone who reads mysteries and thrillers should go to Sarah’s site everyday for the latest and greatest on the field. Sarah also reports on the book industry over at Galleycat with Ron Hogan, who’s also a pretty cool kat.

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Reasons To Be Cheerful, Pt. 2

Quote of the Day: ” Keepin’ your head above water/Making a wave when you can…” — Good Times theme song

Last November I did an entry called “Reasons to be Cheerful, Pt. 1″…Thought I’d revisit that theme, as things seem to be going fairly well, even if it is just about 100 degrees outside and I won’t be in Oakland til August and I’m starting a new book and…well, you get the idea…sometimes you have to appreciate the great things. Here’s to the great things in your life; maybe we share some reasons to be cheerful…

• My Beyonce cover story in GIANT magazine.
• My Yanks…half a game outta first place…enuf said.
Shadowboxer. The new film by Lee Daniels, starring Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding, Jr., which features the greatest performance you’ll ever see Mo’Nique give. No fucking lie. A royal, at times brilliant, mindfuck of a movie, seriously like nothing you’ve ever seen before…call me after you see it so we can go have a drink and talk about it…(I’ve been waiting to write that last sentence since late last year!)


• The single of the year: “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. Smart, funny, edgy, nerdy-cool, ol-skool & new…It’s lingered in my brain since I first heard it up at Atlantic Records months ago and still I can’t get enuf of it… I know that if I play the song one more time,my iPod is probably going to toss itself out of my pocket and do a full-scale, play-something-new-already fit on the streets of NYC.
HUNG coming out in paperback in September—tell all your friends who didn’t buy it in hardcover (and a big fat thank you to all of them who did)
• Living on the Upper West Side. Back where I belong. Big-ups to the kids who remember the lazy, hazy, crazy days of 96th and West End…
• Ipeleng, for helping me to re-discover Uncanny Alliance’s sublimely funny “I Got My Education”


Big Brother 7: The All Star Edition…Kaysar and Janelle are back…Go Season Sixers…Y’all got my vote. P.S. I don’t know why anyone’s stressing Howie’s man crush on Dr. Will…wasn’t Howie the main one trying to look at the black dude’s “chocolate pee-pee” last season????
• A TV pilot season that’s rare in it’s fabulousness—look out for three particularly hot shows this year: ABC’s Six Degrees, Betty the Ugly, and CBS’s Smith
Project Runway’s back in full effect…don’t know who I’m rooting for yet, this is my first full season, but I’m hooked, no doubt.
Finally figuring out a title for my new novel
Shining City—one of the most fascinating, haunting, and best-acted, plays I’ve seen on Broadway in a looong time.
• My planned trip out to Oakland in August. Shouldn’t every place on the planet be that lovely and fun?
Carr’s Ginger Lemon Crème tea cookies
• My upcoming interview with Janet Jackson
• The music, beauty and elegant song stylings of Lizz Wright…big ups to JMF…


• Reruns of The Jeffersons and Good Times late at night on Channel 11, when I should be working instead of watching TV.
• That big beautiful collection of Joan Didion’s writing coming soon from Knopf.
• The September release of The Winter of Frankie Machine , the new novel by Don Winslow (If you love laugh-out-loud thrillers and you haven’t ever read The Death and Life of Bobby Z. , go do so today. Please. You’ll thank me.)
• Dishes on 45th Street. Good hot food. Great salad bar. The funniest cashier staff on the East side of Manhattan. So fresh, so good—the staff and the food…
• A nice dog named Faye, the wonderfully chatty canine who reigns supreme on Adelphi Street in Fort Greene
• Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer: Believe the hype.

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