Oh, hai. Remember Digby? She’s the fat good one, with the fatness? She’s hilarious and super photogenic? Her eyes are big stupid cashmere teddy bears stuffed with starlight? She’s, like, more my MUSE than Erwin is (though he’s the one who always comes and hangs out with me in the bathroom while I pee, so please don’t take this as favoritism or anything; they’re both special little guys in their own way). Anyway: Digby. You remember her.

Well that cunt has motherfucking HYPERTHYROIDISM. And you know what? Being the kind of person who says things like: “Ahh, sorry, I really have to hurry home. I have to give my cat a pill once every twelve goddamn hours,” is, you know, not great. But the thing that’s worse? That thing is how it’s taken like four months (So far!  And NOT DONE YET!) to try to figure out the correct dosage for her of these stupid pills, and how the once-monthly blood tests that she has to get to check on this dosage cost A HUNDRED AND FIFTY GODDAMN DOLLARS EACH, and how that also doesn’t include the charge for that one day when she puked 30 times during the day and you thought she was dying so you scheduled an emergency Sunday appointment and it cost you a TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS for the vet to say: “Well, she doesn’t have anything stuck under her tongue. Do you have any lilies in the house? She’s probably okay, but WHY DON’T I GO AHEAD AND GIVE HER ANOTHER FUCKING BLOOD TEST JUST TO CHECK, GODDAMNIT.”*

I have spent more on Digby’s medical care in the past four months than I have on my own medical care in the past four years. (Thanks, Obama!!!)**

Anyway, remember Digby? SHE FUCKING SUCKS SOMETIMES. But she’s also still running one of the best book clubs in Brooklyn, tho.

The Complete Stories of Truman Capote
Ughghgghghhh MAN, Digby would like to discuss these with someone!!  Because she thinks they were GREAT, frankly!  But she also thinks that for the most part, they were really really really skillful copies of things that Capote knew were also popular at the time?  Oh, man, she thinks maybe this book is actually worth its whole own separate blog post, really.  Because, like…this book is the very epitome of unrealized potential.  This motherfucker wrote ONE SINGLE BOOK which Digby thinks was an original idea and not just a fame- and/or money-grabbing ploy, and that is certainly her FAVORITE of his books, and man, she sure does wish he’d written MORE things that weren’t just him trying to sell, like, Carson McCullers stories or J. D. Salinger or…I don’t even know…someone else?  Blag.  I am bad at making this argument.  (I mean DIGBY is.)  But…they all sound like…someone else?

Anyway, Digby liked this book a lot and she would like to talk to you about it if you have also read it K THNX.

The Color Master, Aimee Bender
Okay, Digby didn’t actually read this one yet.  She let someone else read it immediately after she checked it out.  But people she trusts have recommended it to her and she likes Karen Russell and Kelly Link and apparently it’s, um…well I mean it appears to be pretty huggable?  So, uh.

TOO MANY BOOKS TO SIT ON!!!  Also these should be their own separate post, too, actually.  I recently bought three different collections chosen/edited by (“by?”  I would LOVE to know how involved Alfred Hitchcock actually was in these) Alfred Hitchcock, and it turns out I (Digby) fucking LOVE THEM.  Omg they’re so fucking good for reasons I won’t bother with right now but it’s INTERESTING and it’s NEW [to me] and it’s I don’t know whatever but also Digby is so fat that I didn’t even realize she was sitting on TWO OF THEM AT ONCE for like the first 8 or 10 photos I took so.

Maaaan. Look how annoyed she is when I bother her during her book club time to try to photograph her. Poor Banana.

PS – Yes fine sometimes I will set a trap and it doesn’t work I DON’T CARE YOU GUYS I ADMIT IT.  (Also, this dude teaches at the school where I just got accepted to start taking classes and I’m trying to decide between his class and two other prof’s classes next semester.  Is this my answer???  Is Digby my Magic 8 Ball???)  (Okay, no, she’s not, but also, if there’s space available and I can get in, I am technically leaning toward a different class, anyway.  But I liked this book very much!  So, you know, thanks and good job to the author who I am too scared to name-check, because I don’t want him to ever find me if I am his student, and I know how many people read my blog closely for these sorts of things, especially publishers and academics and things so you know.)

(You can see her pill bottle there on the shelf!)

PPS Hyperthyroidism in cats causes peeing in places like your broom’s upright dustpan; on the recycling bag full of old newspapers and cardboard that you had out in the living room because you were cleaning; and on both of my pairs of New Best Jeans That Make My Butt Look Actually Pretty Fucking Good, Thanks. So…in other words: my recent Target purchases have told a kind of saaaaaaaad story of late. Being single is full of peril. You might totally choke to death one night on bread when Chris is out, or you might look sort of silly maybe in front of a 19 year old check-out person at Target. LIFE IS HARD.

* “Also, I notice she hasn’t been updated on her rabies shots in a while.  Do you just want to go ahead and do that now, too?”

** Not sarcastic, though.


I think I thought that Conjure Wife was going to be a silly fun old-fashioned-y sexist romp, or even possibly a secretly-feminist bit of proto-whatever, like, along the lines of Rosemary’s Baby or The Stepford Wives. I definitely had in my head that it was somehow some kind of CLASSIC (…in its tiny sub-genre, and, like, probably only assuming that tiny sub-genre includes a hefty dose of camp).

Anyway, uh…I was wrong, yo.

It wasn’t secretly-feminist, and it wasn’t fun-sexist. It was just banal and sincere and mean about it. Of COURSE women are drawn to witchcraft, because of how they’re so irrational and illogical and bad at THINKING about things. And, anyway, even if witchcraft really worked, that’s only because, like, when you think about it, witchcraft is actually a lot like physics, except for how physics is better, because men do it. And women don’t want men to know that witchcraft exists, because they’d be better at it than women are and they’d take it over. (And that is, indeed, proven to be the case – once this husband finds out about magic, he applies MATHEMATICAL LOGIC to it, and totally PWNS all the other witches and does it way better than all the women, who have been doing it for, you know, ever.) Also, this conversation, when the narrator is in public shaking and yelling at his wife, and a crowd of men steps in to intervene:

One of the men holding him retorted, “Nobody’s got a right to treat a lady that way.”
The other slackened his grip and asked Norman, “How about it? Did you have a reason for doing that?”
“I did. But it’s my business.”
Grumbling, the two men let him go.


And MAN, was this guy the original mansplainer! He suuuurrrrrrre does take a 20-page break in the action, while they’re riding a train for a couple of days, to give his powerful witch of a wife a loooooooong diseration on how witchcraft fucking works.

Also, I don’t know if I’ve ever read the word “neurotic” more times in 200 pages. I genuinely kind of love books from the 1930s and 40s and 50s that don’t QUITE trust psychiatrists, but where the author or narrator or whoever is willing to tell us that THIS ONE is actually pretty reasonable, or that THIS PARTICULAR THEORY really does make sense, so you can trust it, because I’VE thought about it quite a bit, and reasoned that shit OUT. This should be a genre, too, actually. King example of this genre is Wicked Angel. Do people out there have other examples of these books? I want them, please!

Again, though: some really good covers. The one I own is the one up there, but I am suuuuper jelz of the version of it that’s the cut-out!!


That bottom-right modern-looking one I only even included because of the line there at the bottom: “The classic of urban fantasy.” What does that mean! I would have thought that “urban fantasy” was something very very different than “feuding white male academics at a small New England college and their euchre-playing social-ladder-climbing wives.”

(Also though it’s also kind of super duper good. Chapter 14, man. It’s worth the first thirteen chapters, is all I’m saying, is all. Also the description that something was “the coloration of physical injury.” That was nice.)

Anyway, that’s all, ho hum boopeydoop. Witchezzzz!!

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Today, at the library, I was looking for this one particular non-fiction book about a murder written by this one dude who I knew through some other means that I don’t remember now but who was compared to Mary Roach who I really like, and yadda yadda yadda, and it was a weirdly BUSY little aisle of the library, and as you may or may not be aware, EVERY SINGLE PERSON at the Brooklyn Public Library is crazy and scary, and then I became aware that I was literally standing in the “true crime” aisle, and I was BLOCKED IN ON BOTH SIDES of the aisle.

And then I looked up.

And made eye contact with ANOTHER person across the shelf, like, through the books, who had totally already been staring at me.

And then I died and that is why I am a ghost right now the end love Jessica.

Also, I was looking for short story collections of like those British drawing room murder mysteries or locked-room mysteries or whatever they’re called? And I finally thought I had found a couple that actually were collections of lots of different authors, like I was looking for – one was called Murder Intercontinental and another was called Murder Most British – and I was very carefully copying down the call numbers for them, and it was only after I was halfway through writing down the second one that I realized I was just writing: “FIC MURDER” twice.

Anyway then I died again and that is why I am a double ghost the end BYYEEEEEEE!!

Hey! Apparently, I paid off all my student loans back in May! [Good for me, yes, thanks!] I found this out like two weeks ago. They never, like, sent me any sort of message telling me I had paid my loans off, but they DID send me a message telling me that because of some holiday or something, any payments I paid were going to go through a day late. When I actually clicked through to read that message, though, I also noticed that my bill had been $0.00 for the last two months. So.

Another thing they did NOT message me to tell me about? The fact that, for the last $127 of my loan, they changed my automatic payment plan from $150 per month to $20 per month. JUST SO THEY COULD SQUEEZE THAT EXTRA 17 FUCKING CENTS INTEREST OUT OF ME. Because they are the WERST.

You know who else is the worst? Sprint. Or, at least, salesmen who work in Sprint stores. Ugh. My phone bill is like my medical insurance: It’s too confusing and it’s too hard to deal with and I just want some amount of money to disappear from my bank account every month in exchange for NEVER HAVING TO USE IT OR DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT, EVER. Sprint broke that agreement by letting my contract run out a couple months ago. Doesn’t that mean I get a new phone, like, for free? For some reason I was under the impression that meant I got a new phone for free. Instead, it means I get to go to a series of Sprint stores and talk to salesmen who say things like: “Sprint doesn’t do contracts anymore,” and “No, the S5 isn’t for sale,” and “It’s cheaper to lease it for $20 a month for 24 months than to pay $250 outright.” (Though, does bad math count as a lie, exactly?)

So I just keep not having a phone, now, out of spite, I guess. (Maybe I’m going to keep sending money to the financial aid people, too! TAKE THAT!)

EDIT: Okay, or else I just half-drunkenly, fully-over-Claritin-ed-ly and hot and grumpily and allergy-ridden-ily and pissily, decided to totally double-down on some jumping-ship, T-Mobile-ass shit. Um. Take that, Sprint? I’m SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK. And I’ll have a new (well: pre-owned!), presumably working phone in like 2-3 business days (if UPS actually delivers it to me, which it hasn’t yet as far as the turtle food that my turtles were tewwwtelly expecting like two days ago, as far as that’s worth, goes). So. Phone!

EDIIIIIIT: You know what? I think I look pretty with allergies. My eyes are all bright and shiny and naturally eye-liner-ed (read: surrounded by bruises and dark circles). My lips are swollen and pink and glistening from mouth-breathing. Boys would want me, if I wasn’t sitting atop a leaning tower of used Kleenexes. Also even so. I’m pretty, you guys.



Okay, I went back to the MoMA again (Membership! That’s how I getcha!) and it turns out the Yoko Ono exhibit is fucking FANTASTIC. (Oh my god so fantastic.)

Fun Fakt: Did you know that Yoko Ono is the best? True story! Who knew! But: the thing with the ladder! The thing with everything being half a thing! The thing nobody was willing to step on, except some people were, and those people were generally assholes! The other thing with the ladder! The (admittedly super-creepy and probably also actually physically gross) audience-participation performance art bag dance thing! The butts! Omg THREE SPOONS. Also omg, Grapefruit!! Grapefruit was SO GOOD! (And…too expensive, right?! It’s a goddamned book. Like, $14.95, maybe. $24.49 if you’re being fucking fancy. But COME ON. But I WAAAANNNNT IIIIIIIIIIITTT.)

The other day, I forgot that I was on an express train, and so I wasn’t paying attention and I just sort of never got off. This happens…not infrequently. But as long as I’m not already late to important things or whatever, it’s actually not that bad. It’s not a crazy-long walk from the place where I always finally figure out what I did and get off, and whenever it happens, it somehow usually leads to ADVENTURE!!

(Er, okay, only being able to link to one single example here is kind of lame. I thought I had also blogged previously about at least this one other time when it happened right after one of those big snowstorms, and I had to make the walk through like 4 feet of snow, including up the meeeeeeelllion super-steep stairs you have to walk up when you cross Morningside Park, so they were like this crazy sheer snow-slope and were suuuuper fun to climb and there were a bunch of us doing it and giggling and it was one of those NYC Moments ™. So I thought I was going to link to that post, also, but I guess I didn’t actually blog about that? But the two snowy photos in this post are from that walk. So.)

But so there was nothing in particular I had to do right away that day, and it was nice out, and Jessica likes ADVENTURE, so I was not too terribly upset by having to walk an extra ten minutes to work. So I get to the suuuper tall steps, and I find myself walking up them right next to some dude carrying a big plastic baby bathtub. It was already very hot out. There are a LOT of steps. We were doing that awkward thing where we were exactly in step with each other. People probably thought we knew each other. I knew that at any moment, one of us was going to HAVE to turn to the other and go, like, “Phew!” and chuckle, and the other person would have to chuckle back and raise their eyebrows and nod. Wanting to avoid this bit of human interaction at ALL FUCKING COSTS, I decided to take a forking path off of the usual one I’ve always taken before. It went around this pretty vine-covered stone tower thing. It was narrower. I could not see where it led, but it appeared to lead UPWARD, at least. So…ADVENTURE!

So I took the new path. It was very pretty, and super quiet and hidden, and there were, like, birds and shit. There were those tall bushes of weedy daisies, and I picked a bunch of them for my desk, and then decided that ACTUALLY I would give them to this buddy I have at work who had just come back from having surgery, so I was feeling all virtuous and charitable, too, on top of all that. There was a dude standing on the path a little ways ahead of me, sort of leaning with one hand against the stone wall. “Oh, sorry,” he said. “Excuse me, Miss.”

He sure was masturbating!

Split-second-New-Yorker-thought: “Yes, but he’s very polite about it and you don’t want to look phased. Just walk AROUND him.”


But then after one stuttered half-step I realized: OH MY GOD THAT’S NOT A GOOD IDEA DON’T DO THAT, YO. “That’s okay!” I said, and turned around and started to walk back down the path.

“Sorry!” he said again.

“No problem!” I said.

And you know what? It wasn’t. It reminded me of a story that Chris told me about this one couple we know who have a daughter who’s just learning to read, and so she’s super-into reading the “Courtesy Counts” signs on the subway and then, apparently, also correcting all of her fellow passengers when they break the rules. But her dad has been trying to teach her that this one in particular is a bad rule and she shouldn’t correct people who don’t follow it:

And I totally didn’t get it and had never thought about it before, but this guy’s lesson to his kid is that nobody WANTS to eat on the subway. People who are eating on the subway are doing so because they HAVE to: because they’re rushing from one job to another job, or just because they don’t have a place to sit down and have a nice meal. I think that’s how it was for the dude on the path, too. It’s certainly entirely possible that he was hoping-against-hope that somebody would see him doing this, and that that’s the whole reason he was doing it there, but…he seemed very genuine in his apology! And he WAS pretty hidden. I think he would have very much preferred to have NOT been masturbating in the park, you know? So I guess then I felt pretty virtuous and charitable about that, then, too: about, like, not being offended by public masturbators? And about chatting with them and calmly walking away from them, instead of freaking out and running and telling on them? Or…something?

You know how, like, Henry James’s notebooks and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s notebooks have been published? Well, if I become superfamous and respected and fancy, please feel free NOT to publish this entry in my published journals, okay?

Okay, cool, thanks.


Dear Internet,

This morning I walked like 2 whole blocks behind a lady pushing a baby stroller and stared at her butt. (SIDENOTE: I just realized that I am doing that thing where I accidentally start writing / thinking in the style of the author that I am currently reading. I hate it when I do that and I CANNOT STOP. I’m reading The Folded Clock, by Heidi Julavits, which is pretty good [Really good! I shouldn't hedge. Really awesomely well-written, like, jealousy-inducingly well-written, and also very smartly observed and all that. But it's driving me NUUUUTTZZZ in that way where, like, it's TOO sort of exactly what you think in a way that isn't quite smart ENOUGH? Like, all I can think is: "Well, fine, YEAH, if I ALSO was rich and had rich friends and was paid to write and had writer friends and stayed in villas in Germany for the summer, I could have written this, TOO." Which maybe is, like, the untalented wannabe writer's equivalent of "My kid could paint that?" It's an embarrassing thing to do and I don't like it, but. Also, maybe it's mostly just diaries that do this to me, because I was sitting here trying to think of other examples of books that I've thought that about, and the one that I first thought of was The Red Leather Diary, by Lily Koppel. (Er, edited by? Somehow that's part of what's annoying about that one, too?) Also, am I sort of annoyed because the person who wrote The Folded Clock works at the college where I work, which makes makes me super self-conscious about reading it on the subway or while walking down the sidewalk on the walk from the subway to my building. Especially because, in the book, she keeps making a really big deal about coincidences (or - maybe actually she doesn't really make a big deal about them, but a bunch of coincidences keep happening to her). And I guess it's not really some kind of crazy coincidence for a writer who works at a university to see a person on that university's campus reading one of her books. But anyway, I keep sort of nervously imagining some woman (I have no idea what she looks like; there is not an author's photo on this book, and I am for some reason determined not to look one up!) on the subway sort of asking me, casually, what I think of the book, and then after a few minutes' discussion, revealing to me that she wrote it! Or NOT revealing it to me! Just walking away without saying so! (Also, she works in the program I am considering maybe applying to, which makes it more nerve-wracking, because I will have to say something very intelligent and impressive to her when she asks me about it on the subway! For some reason.)].) She was wearing a tailored pencil-skirt type skirt. Not really a pencil-skirt, maybe, because I get the feeling those are long-ish, and this ended at or just above the knee, but that sort of tailored zippered professional-lady-looking skirt, you know? And it wasn’t twisting around sideways or kind of riding up her hips or anything. It was staying nicely and neatly in place, exactly where it was supposed to, and it looked very trim and neat and professional and nice. And mine NEVER do that! They always twist around sideways, or get two inches shorter by the time I’ve gotten where I’m going. I think this happens whether I buy real ones at the store or sew my own. I suspect some of the twisting problem has to do with wearing a purse on one shoulder that, like, rubs against one hip with each step? But the lady pushing the baby was also wearing a purse on one shoulder that rubbed against one hip with each step! So my question, Internet, is: Why do they do that!! Are they too small? Are my hips just super-weirdly shaped? Do I need a belt? A slip? A safety pin? Spanx? Wtf is going on with my skirts, Internet!?

I almost took a picture of this lady’s butt, so that I could examine it more closely later on, at my leisure. I DIDN’T.

(Also I should add, just so I don’t, like, libel anybody or whatever, that the thing I was doing that sounded like this book was just starting that paragraph with “This morning I….” I don’t want to imply that she does these awful totally self-consciously-over-cute long sentences and nested parenthesis or anything. Because those are TERRIBLE, and I don’t know why I’m doing that right now. She doesn’t do that.)




Gosh, we sure do have a lot of *-A-Ritas in this house, and nothing better to do with our lives. You know what that means.

Sigh. It’s a live blog, motherfuckers.

So, in alphabetical order, we’ve got:

Milwaukee’s Best (because Milwakuee’s best gets to do whatever the fuck it wants, yo)


It’s…pretty good!

Chris: “It tastes like alcoholic cranberry soda.”
Jessica: “it’s pretty good! It tastes like what I remember MD20/20s tasting like. And the DIDN’T; they were actually much worse. But this is how I REMEMBER them tasting.”
Chris: “It’s okay!”

I slayed the can and collected its parts for my trophy:



Chris: “It tastes like every bad hard lemonade that’s been on the market. It tastes like Schmirnoff Ice, which is shitty to begin with. Though for full disclosure, I had at least three full cans of it at Run the Jewels a couple weekends ago.”
Jessica: “Shrug. It’s gross, but not OFFENSIVELY so. It’s just minorly gross.”



Chris: Are you ready for Limarita?
Jessica: I guess? We both had this one before. I remember HAAAAYYTING it the first time.
Chris: Yeah, because I just got Lime and Strawberry that time!
Jessica: [Plays along with the idea that that might make a difference.]
Chris: Also, I don’t think I like the color of this one.

Chris: It tastes like margarita mix!
Jessica: YES! It’s VERY BAD!
Chris: No, Eriwn, we’re not talking about you! I’m sorry!



Chris: I think I hate this one.
Jessica: I don’t hate this one?
Chris: Yeah, maybe it grew on me.
Jessica: [Breaks necklace.]





We have started to measure the dosages out in our by-the-ounce measuring cup, just to be safe.

Chris: The COLOR of this one, though! [Checks his dosage of Razbarita very carefully.] I thought you might be trying to shirk your razbaduties.
Jessica: What do you think!
Chris: Of the Razbarita? It’s fiiiine. I guess I might have guessed that it’s just a not-as-good-version of the Cranbarita?
Jessica: The Cranbarita was pretty good. I miss the Cranbarita.


Oh em gee. Strawbarita. THIS IS THE LAST ONE!!!


Jessica: To margaritas! Strawberries! Marga- Straw- to-
Chris: To a test of endurance!
Jessica: Okay!

Chris: Hmm. Well, that’s all right.

THE END, thank goodness.


PS OMG MILWAUKEE’S BEST THOUGH!!!! (It was put away. Maybe later.)


*Blog of Museum of Modern Art, jeeeez!

I went to the MoMA this past weekend! It was a Saturday, so it was suuuuuper crowded, and the line to get in was looooooooooooong. So, uh. I just bought a membership, instead. (That’s how they GETCHA.)

So now that I am a Fancy Art Person, I take Fancy Art Person notes in my Art Person Notebook.

This is the painting that was about.

It’s called “Girl Attacked by a Strange Bird,” which is an absolutely fantastic name for a thing. It’s by this dude named named Rufino Tamayo who I don’t think I’d ever heard of before, but his stuff is neat and creepy.

This note is TRUE. Basquiat is indeed kind of scary. And he draws good heads and skulls.

This note is ALSO TRUE. I don’t remember for sure which Max Ernst I was thinking of specifically when I wrote that, but it might have been this one, which I did see while I was there and which I like a lot.

MoMA has these “Art Card” handout things for little kids. They’re silly and neat. And speaking of how the scary things are the best? Di Chirico’s paintings are all in a minor key. How does that work! And ALSO! They moved “Christina’s World!” It used to be in a stairwell. Now it’s in a hallway by a bathroom. I can’t tell if these are good places of honor, because they are high-traffic, or if these are shitty hidden places, because…you know, they’re in stairwells and hallways by bathrooms. Their little info card or whatever by the side of it calls it an example of “magical realism,” and says that in this style, “everyday scenes are imbued with poetic mystery.” That’s not what magical realism is, is it? Isn’t magical realism when magical, not-real stuff really happens in realistic settings, or is treated in realistic ways, or whatever?

And I saw all the Campbell’s Soup paintings! Warhol is kind of a douchebag a lot of the time, but standing in that room, he seemed really FUNNY, too. Like, I get (and LIKE!) all the high-falutin’ concept-y stuff about him, too, but also…I think part of it HAD to have actually, seriously been just that he was being kind of a smart-ass. Which I also appreciate.

There was a bunch of Yoko Ono stuff there, too. I didn’t care and I didn’t go see it and I had to lie and said that I HAD seen it to two different people so far and I didn’t lie very well and they totally caught me and it was embarrassing. But now I have a MoMA membership! So I can just go back and see it! (But I won’t because it still seems boring.)

EDIT! Awwwww…Okay, but…I was super super super wrong about that. It was fucking AWESOME. Good on Yoko Ono, man. Nice video of lots of people’s butts, man.

It’s not a typo. It’s not a typo. It’s not a typo. It’s not a typo. It’s the most intriguing plot summary I’ve ever read and the most effective bit of book advertising ever.

UPDATE JULY 4, 2015:

This makes it better, right? GOD I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK.

Oh wait. That’s “fud,” not “fut.”

Either way. I’m mesmerized.


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