So how is your day? Maybe you’re having a lousy day today. Or else, maybe you’re having a very good day today. Perhaps today your day is so good that you can hardly stand it�SO good that you feel almost silly, silly and happy, like the biggest, bestest balloon you ever saw nudging higher and higher in the brilliant sky, and you’re wondering if there’s anything that’s ever going to bring you down.

So will it help if I tell you there is a DYING GOOSE right outside my office at the moment?

Update: make that a dead goose.

Yes, I work in the suburbs.

Lame-ass checks in

This photo and caption made me laugh and laugh this morning. I really should try to meet the guy who does this Big Happy Funhouse site, whoever the hell he is.

It’s been quiet here this week, and it’s going to be like this for awhile longer, I think, since I have a big deadline next month that I’ve been working towards even as summer rages. I’d go on hiatus but I keep hoping Bootsy will provide all kinds of highly amusing freshwater fish anecdotes. So far I’ve got “Bootsy Continues To Live” and that’s about it.

He has a bigger tank and specially treated water now. I tried to get him a filter but I think it’s too big for the tank, because when I plugged it in he started to swim differently and with a certain grim determination, like a child sitcom star. I thought, lighten up, fish, but then it occurred to me that maybe the filter was too strong, and when I dropped in some food pellets and they stuck to the filter tube, I realized I had to turn the thing off. Bootsy wouldn’t talk to me for the rest of the day. Now I change the water once a week and Bootsy lives.


The guy I’m now dating just complained that I haven’t updated my site lately. Like it’s MY FAULT or something.

Where I'll be Saturday

…at the Abbey Pub, watching pretty ladies at the Gurlesque Burlesque show . (The show’s going on tonight, too.)

Be warned that the above link is slightly “not safe for work.” Remember, Corporate America hates tits!

Bootsy bulletin

More than one reader has written in to inform me that my fish is a guy.

Well, good, because I like guys.

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit

Paula Danziger died last week. I read three or four of her novels when I was a kid. Sometimes, because of my job, I get to meet the authors of books I loved as a kid, and I always hoped I�d meet her.

I don�t know how old I was when I first found The Cat Ate My Gymsuit. The main thing I remember is that the book had a fat girl on the cover. I can�t recall if this made me want to read it more or less; at various times in my life either reaction was possible.

I know I read the book more than once and I liked the story, which was about a lot of things, but what struck me most is that it wasn�t all about the fat girl being fat. And the cover mesmerized me. My memory made Marcy fatter than she really appears in that illustration; in my mind she was really fat, and when I looked at her face I could see that her size was both the worst thing in the world and utterly unremarkable, as ordinary as the typeface on the front of her English textbook. There were plenty of details to contemplate. I didn�t want to be as big as her but I liked her I-don�t-give-a-shit expression. And she had that rumpled look about her that a lot of the protagonists of 70s teen novels seemed to have: on the covers of Paul Zindel and Norma Fox Mazer books, kids were always thoughtfully slouching around in grubby-looking jeans and seemed somehow more compelling than their 80s counterparts.

I know I�m talking more about the cover than the book here, but the book didn�t disappoint. I remember she got a new outfit that she liked even though she was fat; one night she turned down a bowl of ice cream and kept checking the mirror to see if she was thin. I loved that. And I think it’s worth noting that Marcy has never been shown as fat as she was on that old cover in subsequent editions, and that reviews and summaries often say she thinks she’s fat; funny how that sort of changes everything. I wish I could have asked Danziger about that. And what does it mean that I didn’t think the girl in There’s a Bat in Bunk Five was the same Marcy–that I didn’t buy that she was suddenly thin for the sequel? I didn’t feel cheated but I simply chose to disagree. But I think I am going to have to re-read these books now.

(Thanks so much to Eliza Lou for providing a nice big scan of the much-sought-after old Gymsuit cover.)