oh i see now

Look, I know you’re thinking: Wow! That’s a really racist name for a color of clay, Fimo!

But nope, you’d be wrong! No, THIS is a REALLY racist name for a color of clay, Fimo!

Happy birthday, Digby!!! Digby is exactly ten years old today! (OOOOOOLLLLD.) To celebrate, here is a very special episode of Digby’s Book Club! As a gift to Digby, Erwin has given her the day off, and is running her bookclub for the day!

Maybe The Elements of Style, illustrated by Maira Kalman?

I’m not sure actually what this book was. But it looks like The Elements of Style. If it is, that’s a great book! And a great edition of it, too! And Erwin looks super duper comftorbullz, right? Four stars, highly recommended, would nap on top of it again.

The Doom that Came to Providence, by a bunch of douchebags

LOOK. This was a very cute idea, and it was okay-ly executed, and the stories were FIIIIINE, and it has one of those covers that feels really really nice, like soft dusty rubber or something? But Providence is still a burning shithole of badness. It doesn’t even out. This book SUCKED to nap on.

Look at Erwin, all not giving a FUCK about that fucking town.

A magazine of some sort?


Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, by James Tiptree

Oh, look! It’s Digby, making a special birthday appearance to say just a few w-

Oh. Hi, Erwin. Yes, no, it’s very helpful. We’re all very glad you’re here. Maybe, though, you could just come back la-

Or, yeah, no, I mean, sit. Yeah, no, totally, that’s great, sitting is great, too. Thanks, Erwin. Good job. No really. Best birthday ever.


PS – Her Smoke Rose Up Forever is super duper duper good, though.

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I almost didn’t want to use the real name of the place I went to this week in this post – “Dead Horse Bay” – because Dead Horse Bay is suddenly maybe my second-favorite place in New York now. And I don’t want the trammeling hordes of all 6 people who read my blog to overrun it and ruin it now if I tell you about it. But the name itself – Dead Horse Bay, you guys!! – is so fucking great that I couldn’t not actually use it.

So. You have to promise me you won’t pick up all the gross things off of this beach without me, if I tell you about it? But: Dead Horse Bay!

Eh, other people explain it better. Basically: it’s a bay where, because, like, tides or something? All the upstream flotsam tends to wash up onto the beach and collect. And the things that were upstream from this particular bay make up a list of shooting locations for Guillermo del Toro movies: turn-of-the-century mills and horse rendering plants and ancient Brooklyn garbage incinerators and a landfill that was filled during the 1920s-30s and a tuberculosis ward for haunted orphans presumably. So the beach is littered with old glass cosmetics bottles and broken shards of super-intricate dishware and pretty trash and well also lots and lots of shoe soles for some reason and tires and a few plastic tampon applicators but what are you gonna do; life can’t be all Doug Jones writhing and hissing all the time. (But oh a girl does dream.)

To get to Dead Horse Bay, you take an hour and a half’s worth of bus past the Toys-R-Us to an airfield, which apparently Brooklyn has. Then you walk blindly down an unmarked path into the woods by the highway until you come to this thing:

(If you can’t read it, it says: “‘Barren Island’ derives from the dutch for “Before the Canarsie” Name is Equendito – but there is no evidence that a tribe established a presence here.” Which is…really literate and calm and sane-sounding for a thing you’d find written like this in the middle of the woods, isn’t it?)

That post marks the place where three different paths diverge. And then you just CHOOSE one of them and you go DOWN IT like that’s even OKAY at all. Eventually you get to the beach. The day I went it was windy and grey and overcast and only slightly chilly, but then, I kind of assume that’s what it’s ALWAYS like at Dead Horse Bay.

When was the last time Clorox came in glass bottles? These were too big to take, but I got a couple of smaller ones that have “Clairol” on the bottom.

These are probably underground jails for ghost pirates, I think?

The highlight find of the day – which I did not take home…but…god I think maybe I kind of wish I HAD, right??

Those are motherfucking PICKLES, you guys. Like, fresh-looking, green-ass, lovely, edible (PROBABLY!!!), fucking PICKLES. Two of them. Yeah, okay. It’s definite now. I DO wish I’d brought them home.

Anyway, I picked up many disgusting things from the beach! (Including HORSE BONES which are STILL THERE for some reason, but which I didn’t take any pictures of. But they look like horse parts, but without any of the horse around them; you can just imagine it, I’m sure.) It was good stuff. But you should not go there because Horse Head Bay is mine.

PS – I was very excited about this photo, because I am 12 years old. So I had to at least share it.

I saw Ta-Nehisi Coates and the NYPL.  I continue to be great at selfies. (Um. Like. Because: I took this picture standing in line waiting to go to this thing. That’s why that’s there. They kind of are related. Whatever.)

I hadn’t actually read Between the World and Me yet before I went. I’m reading it now. I know no one has really said this yet, so I hope this doesn’t sound too out-there, but it’s a good book. It makes me want to go back and reread other stuff, too.



Things I Learned When I Attended a Taping of the Daily Show with Trevor Noah:

  • Trevor Noah is just as handsome in person as he is on tv.
  • You know that trope about how during commercial breaks, the make-up lady comes by and leans over and brushes a little bit of extra powder on the tv person’s nose and forehead while he cranes his eyeballs over to the side so he can continue talking to some other tv person in a headset giving him notes? THAT REALLY HAPPENS.
  • You know that big black globe thing that the camera swoops up away from at the very beginning of the show? That’s just an actual giant plastic globe, which is sort of beat-up and dingy-looking, that they wheel out onto the floor for like 30 seconds, and then push off to the side of the room again. (Okay, so I didn’t actually get a photo of it, and it’s weirdly hard to find one online, but when you image search for “Daily Show set” you get this photo:
  • Apparently, that’s Parker on the left, and Ally on the right.)

  • That one white guy is super tall.
  • I am super good at selfies.
  • The REASON I didn’t get a photo of that black plastic globe thing is because they were super super super strict about NO PHONES AT ALL ARE ALLOWED IN THE STUDIO YOU GUYZ except they actually weren’t, and then they were running late, so to placate us, the intern/producer/whatever even was like, “Okay, guys, everybody whip out your phones and take your selfies NOW!” Because she knew we had all cheated and brought our phones, anyway. (And she was right, of course; we had.)
  • Things underneath the desk:
  • Water bottle
  • Box of Kleenex
  • Nothing else
  • Have you ever heard the phrase, “He sure knows how to wear a suit?” Goddamnit, Trevor Noah is a handsome man.
  • You can’t see it, but the audience is totally always standing up when you hear them cheer. Every time. They teach you how. You practice it. It’s embarrassing at first, then you kind of learn to accept it. Yes! You ARE a really great audience! Thanks, Intern with the Cute Shoes!
  • (They were Chinese Laundry, and very comfortable.)
  • When a correspondent does one of those video segments, it’s not like they get the day off, then! They still have to come in (in street clothes, which was a little WEIRD, Hasan Minhaj, I’ll be honest) and after the segment, they like go over to the desk-huddle with the guys with the headphones and they seem to be getting notes or something? They should get the day off, I think.
  • You could just fill Trevor Noah’s dimples with warm champagne and swim around naked in them for days.
  • Like seriously super, super good at selfies.
  • I bet Trevor Noah thinks so, too.
  • (Trevor Noaahhhhhh.)
  • Handsomecop!

    All of the ads I see on the subway for new tv shows look like parodies of tv shows. Like it’s all actually one big meta-advertising-campaign for a reality show where advertising students compete to see who can prank tv executives the best, and then, like, Niki Taylor comes out and they discuss where it all went wrong.

    This one stars a lady’s hair as an FBI agent.

    She’s a bad girl!

    This one is not real life.

    It doesn’t even make sense! “Blindspot?” Why? Because, like, she can’t see the ones written on her back? Just get a mirror, lady.

    This one is ALMOST right, but they should have tried harder to make the guy’s name/name of the tv show a PUN, right?

    “Morris Chestnut is…Jack Handsome!” Or: “Morris Chestnut is…Coppin’!” Or: “Morris Chestnut is…Weiss! (but pronounced the German way and then also he works in the “Vice” department, see, get it??)”

    Also, the name “Morris Chestnut” sounds like it was made up, too, doesn’t it?


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    That’s one of those posts that’s going to get me fired, right? Or, like, accused of terrorism or violent threats or something? Look, guys, I was only CONSIDERING it, in an ACADEMIC FREEDOM SORT OF WAY.

    I went to my orientation for new students last week! Orientation was from 6:30-8:30, and then there was a mixer/reception thing at a local bar immediately following. (A local undergrad bar, which is well-known for its vast array of frozen margarita flavors which all kind of taste like those popsicles in the long thin plastic tubes? It was a…strange choice. Before I went to the orientation, I was practicing in my head what I would say to anyone who I had somehow accidentally become friends with, if that person asked me if I was going to the mixer afterward. I pretty much immediately dismissed any lie as too boring to have to think of, and what I was practicing was how to say: “No, thanks. I don’t want to.” In as bland a manner as possible, so as to convey: “No really; I have no fucking interest in doing this thing at ALL,” but also: “But it’s not because I particularly HATE you PERSONALLY, so please don’t look so offended that I have to feel guilty for the rest of the night for having actually said that.”)

    I hadn’t realized that that 6:30 start time meant that I would actually be joining the international students in their orientation-already-in-progress. I don’t know how long they’d been there, but THEIR orientation also included a campus tour, and a tote bag, and a trivia game, and who knows what all else!! (None of which, obviously, I would have been able to live through, so, like, I’m GLAD and all, but STILL. To not even be INVITED!) So as it turns out, the two hours that they needed ME to show up for consisted of 1 hour and 30 minutes about the sexual violence policy, and 30 minutes about what the email address for the advising office was.

    I have already gotten the official presentation on the university sexual violence policy. I got it for the first time when I was first hired as an employee, then a second time when I was promoted to a new level in another department, and then a third time when they changed it because so many people were talking about how shitty it was and they were afraid donors would get mad. I also heard about it when I worked in the Women’s Studies Department, and when I read about it in major national media outlets, and when the Vice President talked about it, and when I tried to do stuff to support the student groups trying to change it, and when I helped with the letter that the faculty signed against it, and when I went to that art show about it, and every time I read the student newspaper.

    And then I heard it again last week, for 90 minutes, while sitting directly behind three blonde white (German?) 24 year old boys.

    At one point, one of the presenters mentioned that among the effects of sexual violence could be an urge to “consider suicide or homicide.” I have never heard the “homicide” part of that included there, I think. (SO I GUESS I DID LEARN SOMETHING NEW THIS TIME AROUND AFTER ALL YAY.)

    But I believed it, sitting there behind those three blonde white 24 year old boys.

    They did a lot of soft whispering to each other in German, followed by stifled snorts, when each new slide was presented. Of course, I was never sure that they were giggling ABOUT the slides, right? Because I don’t speak German. Or maybe, actually, they were ALSO sexual violence advocates, and so they already knew all this, and they were only snorting because my university’s sexual violence policy sucks so much. Maybe! At one point, one of them made a big “Pfffftt!” face at the other two, then he PUT ON A PAIR OF SUNGLASSES.

    One presenter (he was an INVESTIGATOR!!! which means…who fucking knows what!) kept referring to “men and females.”

    The head speaker guy, following those presentations, said: “Give yourselves a hand. That was 100% better than last year. No one left. That was really great, thank you!” WHY DID PEOPLE WALK OUT LAST YEAR?? I WANT TO KNOW THE STORY ABOUT LAST YEAR!

    I considered suicide or homicide.

    But anyway now I am full of school spirit GO LIONS ETC fall is a magical time.


    I have half-written two different kinds of posts about the past 3 1/2 days in Providence for Necronomicon 2015 (happy 125th birthday, Howie, you sad, racist/sexist/xenophobic, complicated fucking hassle), and I don’t know whether to hit “publish” on one or the other or both? Because I have a whole bunch of cute little hand-written notes in my notebook about, like, the chandeliers in the rooms where the lectures were given, and the funny jokes, and the silly whatevers, and my outfit for the Ball, and how quickly my phone now auto-corrects to “eldritch.” But also, the whole thing started off on a semi-shitty note with one of the speakers at the Opening Ceremonies saying something that was slightly-under-the-radar racist/sexist/xenophobic, and then that bringing all the rest of the under-the-radar-ish – but absolutely, vastly fucking pervasive – racist/sexist/xenophobic things about the whole thing to the super-bright spotlight. And then this other fucking stupid shitty frankly scary thing happened while I was there (and I keep wanting to downplay it to be either hardcore or because, you know, nothing HAPPENED and it’s not a big DEAL and blah blah BLAH, but I literally went and HID in a public place and was texting updates about my whereabouts to a friend for the rest of the night in case I DIED, so), which obviously colored my perceptions of everything else. And then the response to the Opening Ceremony grossness wasn’t good, and somehow it very much felt like THAT thing wasn’t-good in the same way that the other thing wasn’t-good, or that they both grew out of the same place or reasoning or whatever. And then the Hugos made me sad, and I’ve been reading about THAT now, and that’s right after talking about the Howies stuff this weekend and hearing the stupid-at-best, blatantly-awful-at-worst things some of these people (who kind of look like you and are into the thing that you are into and who you maybe identified with and who definitely OTHER people will identify you with because you’re all at the same fucking conference celebrating the same fucking dead old racist writer) had to say about all THAT. And I’m very riled up about all of this and it’s very bothersome personally and I think it’s important, too, but also I want to talk about my goddamn DRESS and I want to tell the funny JOKES and I also want to be an unfazable BADASS and also I don’t want shitty things to happen and also I don’t want to have to put bitter angry things on my blog, but also I don’t want to NOT put it on my blog because somehow then I’m letting someone get away with stuff or something, but with WHAT? RACISM? Like I’m FIXING RACISM by bitching about some douchebag sci-fi editor that no one has ever fucking heard of on a blog that 12 people read? I could just text each of you this exact same story, if you’d like.

    Also, Providence fucking SUCKS in general, and somehow I also blame all of this on Providence itself. Here’s a joke I wrote this weekend: How many Providences does it take to change a light bulb? NONE BECAUSE BURN THAT FUCKING SHIT HOLE TO THE GROUND. Here’s another one though: Why did Providence I DON’T CARE FUCK THAT FUCKING TOWN FUCK IT. Providence keeps all their goddamn food trucks parked right in front of this pretty little park where like 50 homeless people live. Who fucking goes and gets organic food truck pulled-pork tacos and then goes and sits down in this fucking park for a nice picnic in front of all of the homeless people? Who DOES that? You know who does that? People who live in Providence, because they are the WORST.

    UGH. I mean I definitely probably shouldn’t hit “publish” on this one, either. But if I don’t, I will “cool down” or whatever and NEVER do it, and probably never publish ANYTHING about this weekend, or I will but it will ONLY be jokes and my dress and I will pretend I was never annoyed by any of it and I kind of don’t want to do that, either.

    Someday I will be dead, though, at least.


    The end!


    You know what ELSE I forgot that I hate about Providence?

    Yes, those ugly fucking sculptures on the side of a car park, right; but ALSO? You know what ELSE??

    The fact that when you’re waiting to cross the street, cars will, like, stop for you, so you can cross. Even if you’re genuinely super-seriously just WAITING VERY PATIENTLY for an actual LIGHT, and there are a whole bunch of other cars behind them, so they’re holding up the traffic for NO GODDAMN REASON. Or if the street is super duper empty and you’re just waiting for THEM! Why would they do that! Just GO! You’re making this worse for EVERYONE, yo! Because I of course can’t trust that every single car is going to do it, so I HAVE to wait, and I HAVE to wait long enough to make SURE, and if you hadn’t slowed down and stopped and waved me on, then you’d already be GONE and I would be on the OTHER FUCKING SIDE OF THE STREET, already! And that way, I also wouldn’t have had to, like, smile and wave thanks and half-jog across so that it looks like I’m super-nice and am trying to hurry for you, in return for your largess. Because I HATE YOUR LARGESS. FUCK YOUR LARGESS! Stop screwing with the traffic laws! There is a reason I am supposed to wait! Just…it’s fine! Just go! SRSLY!!

    Also, how is this place known for their restaurants? Why do people think that? That’s DUMB. The restaurants in this shitty, waterfire-infested city fucking SUCK. (Except for, I guess, Geoff’s [and I am LITERALLY guessing at that: I have not gone there again so far on this trip, and I probably won't] and, hopefully-still, Farmstead. I haven’t been there yet, either, but it’s the only one I give a shit about trying to go to. I went to Meeting Street yesterday, and it wasn’t as good as I remembered. It was just the best available at the time, apparently.)

    Whenever anybody asks, I always say that Providence has really nice spooky haunted-looking architecture and other people who I generally trust really like it a lot and there’s a big art scene and a big music scene (I don’t say: “‘big,’ not ‘good,’” but that’s what I mean), and it’s a fine place to visit for a weekend, but that I kind of hated it. I’m going to stop saying that from now on. It’s not a fine place to visit. It’s a shithole through and through. And while it might be true that I “kind of hated it” while I lived here, I have become much firmer in my opinions on the matter in my advanced age.

    The architecture is still actually really good, though. And I’m definitely keeping my shit crossed for Farmstead. DO NOT FUCK ME ON THIS, FARMSTEAD.


    We’ll fucking see.

    Goddamnit, Providence.

    UPDATE, 8/22/15: Fucking this fucking shit hole town, seriously.


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