Saturday, May 24, 2008

We've Got Hamlets to Visit, We've Got Trees We've Yet to Live In

This weekend I am going to a mysterious "place" upstate where I am told we'll be playing a game called "Manhunt," which involves running around in the dark w/flashlights and touching others with physical aggression. I just set myself up for a lot of really good jokes, I can't even decide, I choose both/neither. You decide, it's a contest, the winner gets a free slice of Key Lime Pie from the Denny's restaurant closest to their home.

Maybe it's not a joke, maybe it's a reality TV show, check it: there will be no internet and my traveling companions include Caitlin, Alex, and Alex's entire family who I will be meeting today.

Also by "place" I mean "house." And by "mysterious" I mean "I am a melodramatic person."

Alex feels it's possible that Cait and I's arrival will be much like Paris and Nicole dropping their credit cards on silver trays before trucking off to hicksville in The Simple Life, but little does she know that basically I am a woman of the wilderness like Robert Bly, Pam Houston, Jim Harrisson, etc., and that I also went to school in the woods for a long time and have, as evidence of that period, the following "poems" on my hard drive: "First Snow," "How to be a poet," "Hearing," "Smell," "Returning to Earth."

Also, "Banana Dreams" : "All the teenagers wanted / to be rock stars, / but you wanted a boat, / an isolated island, you wanted / horizons." What was I talking about? I don't know. I was 17. I was in the woods. I wanted HORIZONS!

This just in! Marie Lyn Bernard and Stephanie Whited reading at "In the Flesh." I don't look at the audience at all, which is cute/not. I stumble on the words twice, because of The Drink. Otherwise, great video, watch it!

Part one:

Part two:

One more thing before I retreat -- I finally read Emily Gould's NY Times article. I loved it. She said so much of what I've been thinking about lately. I also have always enjoyed her writing -- her voice reminds me of me sometimes. I started writing about it -- and about truth, and novels, and art and entertainment and emptiness and fulfillment and lip gloss -- but what I started writing is a mess, so I'll save that for when I return, at which point I will be the 30,000th voice to do so. But let's be honest, mostly I'll just be writing about myself, which is a brand new undiscovered topic rich with gemstones of delight, like a pirate chest.

The biggest shock was realizing on page 6 that Heartbreak Soup was her, primarily 'cause I'd really loved that blog and therefore had a meta moment to see that name dropped. I found them 'cause they linked to me ... secondarily because clearly I'm the worst reader ever, as I never picked up on the many hints dropped about Emily's identity/workplace.

OK! Y'all have a nice weekend, don't forget to Memorialize something unless you live in another country, in which case, um, I have no words for you. HORIZONS! That's all.


e. said...

When I was a kid we used to play a game involving darkness and running and sneaking and flashlights, but we called it "Mission Impossible". I was usually the smallest one playing; I hid in the ditch a lot, trying not to rustle and watching the flashlight beams swinging in wide arcs above me, it was terrifying/awesome. I occasionally wonder what it would be like to play it now, as a pseudo-adult. (My guess is, still terrifying/awesome.)

Also. Your story is brilliant, clearly. I've seen a couple reviews for the anthology, and everyone's basically like "The best story in here was "Fucking Around" by Marie Lyn Bernard", and I'm like, "Well yeah: good job, critics." And good job with reading it, too. You had great line delivery and actually looked up at the audience at least once.

eric mathew said...

We used to play manhunt at camp. i wasn't really a fan...obvs. i would have rather made sure the s'mores were okay.

A. said...

That game plus the drink is going to equal a "Guess who had to get stitches on Memorial Day?" post.

stephanie w said...

I'm glad the video is out! I was worried maybe something was wrong with the footage. that was so much fun. thanks again for asking me. holiday weeeeekend!

Dave Lozo said...

you're going to play Manhunt and you don't reference me in a joke at all? we're growing apart. i believe the proper form when you capture someone is, "Manhunt, Manhunt, 1-2-3, come with me peacefully." i miss being 12.

the reason i came here was to see if your blog still existed. i had a dream last night that you deleted the whole thing, but someone else had your url, and the blog was all purple. which is weird, seeing as how your YouTube clips have purple borders.

LiztheLovingLass said...

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

I loved the reading. Los Angeles sounds thrilling.

Emily Gould is my hero. But she doesn't know it.

riese said...

e.: We never played Manhunt, actually, though just being in the silence w/the crickets was pretty much enough/awesome. I think I could've benefited as a kid from spending more time in ditches in the dark.
Re: reviews, I'm torn between developing an ego ("every single reviewer likes MY story the mostest!") and declaring the failure of all the reviewers to read the acutal book ("my story is the first one in the book and therefore quite likely the only one they actually read").

eric mathew: FYI, Caitlin is a s'mores expert and gave us a lot of good advice about how to make perfect s'mores. My hands got sticky.

a. I do have a band-aid on my toe, and seven people just got shot about a block away from my apartment ... can I do a "guess who got shot in harlem on memorial day?" post? I miss the country. I love the drink.

stephanie w: thanks again for doing it, you were (obvs) amazing! My favorite part is when you bust out with Detroit voice. and I had fun as always being the most obnoxious people there. wheeeeeeeee!!!

dave lozo: Actually, I did reference you in the first paragraph the first time I wrote that post (you know how I compulsively edit in the 15 minutes following the post, and also between text edit and the computer), like I for real had your name in there, but then I thought, I maybe talk about Lozo too much, and I don't think he actually reads my blog anymore so much. I love purple.

lizthelovinglass: Emily Gould is my hero too. I'd let her know it, but I imagine it'd get lost somewhere in a pile of misogynistic aggro communications. Los Angeles does sound thrilling.

Dave Lozo said...

i don't read you as much anymore because you don't blog as much anymore. it's all videos and links to things that are blocked at work. you know how much i love to read too.

riese said...

1. When I do write actual blog posts, you don't read them, so don't play that card, poker-man.
2. Re: videos ... those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, I think Jesus said that maybe. Oh wait, I guess they didn't have glass houses then. or videos. Anyhow, at least I made mine.
3. I love the sport.

Dave Lozo said...

1. i do too read them, book-lady.

2. i never said i had any problem with videos. i just said i can't read them. and jesus lived in a house made of straw and it was blown down by the romans who later nailed him to a cross and went wee wee wee all the way the home. i get my fairy tales mixed up.

3. and the sport loves you

eric mathew said...

I was watching a sports thing on HBO about bloggers and was hopping to see David (Lozo), but he wasn't there and I was sad.

i guess fuck them?