Various updates

This Thursday’s Chicago reading: will be a benefit for Literacy Works and not some other organization, despite what you may have read on a couple of events listings somewhere. Literacy Works does all kinds of fantastically swell stuff like train ESL teachers and volunteer tutors to help adults learn to read, and while presumably the other organization is devoted to good things as well and not, say, into playing cruel literacy-related tricks such as hiding rubber cockroaches in books, tearing out the final pages of mystery novels, and recommending House of Leaves, they are nonetheless not the same organization as Literacy Works, on whose behalf I am reading on Thursday. So come to Hyde Park! And bring ten dollars! Or more!

(It’s hard not to be nervous about the attendance. For most readings, having a lousy turnout simply means that I’m pathetic. When it comes to this reading, a lousy turnout means that PEOPLE WILL BE DENIED THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE THROUGH READING, and that I’m pathetic. So do what you can.)

Last Thursday’s New Jersey reading: was fine, except for all the apocalyptic rain. From my rental car along the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey looked very, er… smeary, though I’m sure it’s way nicer when it’s dry. This state has lovely radio stations, which are great to listen to while you’re trying to find a place to turn around on the highway.

My cold: is much better, thank you. You needn’t have worried at all.

The Beeping Thingy ceased its daily beeping two days after I wrote about it and I KNEW THAT WOULD HAPPEN. I still have no idea what the hell it was.

We did, however, catch a squirrel in my office building today, after the thing came down through the ceiling this weekend and ate some of the office M&M’s. Working for a children’s book publisher means you are always surrounded by enchanted animals. And by “enchanted” I mean “awesomely freaked out on sugar.”

Bootsy the Fish: Still alive after a year and three months. Sort of. He seems to have swim bladder disorder. (Look it up.) From what I’ve read this won’t kill him, but it’s killing me to see him lying listlessly at the bottom of the tank like a junkie, flopping his semi-useless fins around like a thalidomide baby Smurf. I mean, you can’t have a fish “put down,” can you? Something dignified and fast. A tiny harpoon I can shoot into him, maybe.

Weight Watchers: Oh, you shouldn’t ask right now. I’m only mentioning it because I know you want to know, which is my own damn fault for telling you I was doing it again in the first place. You get where I’m going with this? Yeah? There you go. (And this may not be up for discussion, inasmuch as I can control that.)

But never mind that. Most everything else is good.


  1. says

    For what’s worth, I’d attend the reading if that were physically possible. Make your way across the world to the Borders or Kinokuniya over here and I’d even bring friends! I’ve seen Mimi Smartypants’ book prominently displayed, but haven’t run into yours yet. Hmmm…I’ll have to look around to see where your book is hiding. Singaporean ladies are all about watching their waistline but they’re generally trying to get from a size 4 to size 0. Seriously, I have to e-mail you photos of the giant cardboard diet pill displays that feature a pregnant woman in the before shot. They can’t even find a legitimately tubby woman to pose for them.

    Glad you are feeling better!

  2. Andi says

    If you decide not to go the humane route, all you have to do is put another Betta fish in the bowl with Bootsy. They’ll fight to the death, and if he’s already weak, well…

    I don’t recommend this, really. I used to have a Betta and he was very sweet. Hopefully Bootsy will pull through just fine!

  3. says

    I’m with you on the not asking. I’m on my umpteenth “journey” (sigh) and I regret telling anyone anything. because well-meaning people always check in. in a well-meaning way. but unless i’m vanishing before their eyes, i really don’t want to talk about it.

    and I love your enchanted animal stories…in my mind, the animals always have velvet-painting eyes and can talk.

  4. says

    Re: fish euthanasia–wow, that gave me a reality check. Really, I don’t think Bootsy is in pain or anything, he’s just kind of crippled. Maybe he’ll swim to the Rainbow Bridge on his own!!!

    Re: House of Leaves. I read about half of it before I gave up. I’m all for complicated stuff, but not when it comes with diminishing returns. For me the problem wasn’t that it got too complex but that as it did it became more shrill and overwrought, as if to try and keep my attention, and that put me off. And you really need to buy the premise in order to read the simulated academic articles and footnotes, and I just couldn’t.

  5. says

    Bootsy may be constipated … I know gross, but sometimes that’s why fish get swim bladder problems,either that or overfeeding. Try feeding him a pea in case he is constipated, or just let him fast for a little while. He may recover this way!

  6. Nicho says

    My ex-boyfriend kept a lot of fancy goldfish. One of them had a tendancy to get this swim bladder problem. One thing that helps is feeding them raw and de-skinned peas (run them under water and squeeze so the outer skin comes off). Seriously. One or two is fine. It really helped if you can get them to eat them.

  7. Ms. I says

    There just is not enough klonopin in the world for a sommelier with a bi-polar ten year old to deal with counting points or eating only polenta, spinach and nasty assed fat free kraft swiss singles. At 5’10” and 160, I lost 10 pounds after having a shrieking bout of viral pneumonia using turn around (yeah every now and then….) but lost it when Cher started the national ad campaign. The creepy thing is I was using about 8 points a day for wine and now I am using full fat cheese and still have not gained anything. What is up with core Polenta? Does WW have some strange marketing agreement with the Po Valley? Oi Vey!!
    My son loves the WW cards becasue there are curse words involved.

  8. says

    Wendy, I felt the exact same way about House of Leaves. It was one of those books I was secretly planning to like, too (in a pretentious way), so that was extra disappointing. Your book, howevs, I had no plans about . . . and I loved, loved, LOVED it.

  9. says

    I’ve read a couple of your posts about the beeping thingy. I am having the same sort of problem! The beeping in my home office only happens about once every 2 weeks. It goes “beep beep beep” really fast and that’s all I get. I have torn this room apart and there is NOTHING in here that should beep! I’m almost convinced that it’s something in the wall.
    Let us know if you ever figure out what your beeping thing was!
    Peace, Becky :)

  10. says

    If your animals are enchanted, that fish could be around for decades. My sister won a feeder fish from a fair twelve years ago. Five years ago he developed fish rot. Both eyes now are completely clouded over with the disease, Sometimes he lies listlessly at the bottom of the tank and we think he’s going to die, but he always lives another day.

  11. says

    Maybe the mysterious beeping was a fire alarm with a bad battery back-up that maintenance came in and fixed?

    And squirrels are evil bastards. Sure, they look all cute and fluffy, but when you’re not looking, they’ll chew through your brake and/or transmission lines. Or pull the wires of your turn signal out (this happened to me). Nothing is creepier than opening the hood of your car to hundreds of little squirrel-prints in the dust. Hmm…now that has horror movie potential…