It’s that time of year…

…we’ve picked the turkey carcass clean and are now getting over our triftafen [correction–Sliwa says “tryptophan”] hangovers. I’m already getting psyched about the Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich I’ll be bringing with me to work tomorrow (turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry relish between two slices of toasted whole wheat) and this afternoon I’m going to load up my iPod with CHRISTMAS MUSIC! Yes, that’s right, super cheesy stuff from jazz to motown to the O.C. Christmukkah soundtrack. While I hate the fact that most stores started putting out Christmas decorations and playing carols after Halloween, now that Thanksgiving is over I’m ready to glut myself on yuletide cheer and start spiking my cocoa with peppermint schnapps.

For those of you who like to get festive, here are my top 10 favorite Christmas songs of all time:

  1. Stars – What the Snowman Learned About Love
  2. Ray Charles – Baby, It’s Cold Outside
  3. The Raveonettes – Christmas Song
  4. Stevie Wonder – That’s What Christmas Means To Me
  5. Ella Fitzgerald – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  6. Sufjan Stevens – O Come O Come Emmanuel
  7. Louis Armstrong – Christmas Night In Harlem
  8. Hem – Just Like Christmas
  9. Otis Redding – Merry Christmas Baby
  10. Leona Naess – Christmas

Ron Sexsmith’s “Maybe This Christmas” is also pretty good:



The Conchords fly again…

Required Reading — Kathryn Davis

My favorite book that we’ve read in my “Contemporary Fiction” class is Hell by Kathryn Davis.hell

In it Davis inhabits four worlds simultaneously: a suburban family in the 1950s, the ramshackle cottage of a “domestic icon” of late 19th century, a doll house with a life of its own, and Napolean’s mad genius chef, Antonin Careme. Wuthering Heights, W. W. Jacob’s “The Monkey’s Paw”,  Hoffmann, Poe, and Little Women are also invoked throughout.

It’s a challenging book to read–Davis pulls the reader through time and space, sometimes within the space of a sentence. I’m not usually drawn to such difficult novels (my professor, Chris Bachelder, referred to it as an “anti-novel”) but the writing is so beautiful it really pulled me through. Also, the subject of domesticity and female experience is always appealing to me.

Here’s how the first chapter ends:

Out the window the town of X, all the houses haunted, even the meanest of them, for it’s common knowledge misery breeds tenacity–just ask my mother. The houses haunted and the pond perfectly smooth, except near the dance pavilion where someone has just stood, wobbled for a moment, dizzy, to wade through the sickeningly hot water at the pond’s edge, leaving a fan of black creases. A strand of bright green algae wrapping around one ankle. A barking dog. The ruined chimneys of Moss Cottage looking down like sentinels, all that remain of the shake-shingled hideaway where Edwina Moss delivered herself of the single endless sentence that was to be her last word on household management, after she lost her husband, her daughter, her mind.

I dare you to not want to keep reading.

Hand On Your Heart

The other week I was at the Montague Book Mill buying too many books that I probably won’t have time to read. Leigh Anne was visiting from New York and we split a bottle of wine at The Lady Killigrew and as the sky darkened they started playing the newest José González album and it was exactly what I wanted to hear.

He does an amazing cover of Kylie Minogue’s “Hand On Your Heart” and the music video is equally gorgeous.

Sunday Readings


Michael Snediker and John Vincent are reading tomorrow as part of the jubilat/Jones Reading Series. The 3pm reading is preceded by a 2pm “Community Poetry Swap” led by Dara Wier and yours truly in the Trustee’s Room. Ben Kopel and Zach Savich will host a “Youth Poetry Swap” in the Amherst Room, also at 2pm.

Evening! christy_jack_lily

The ever-gracious Ari and Sara are hosting a reading by me and my roommates. Come by! I am gearing up to read poems inspired by Scandinavian folk tales, spam email, and haute couture.

What do you say when you meet Ira Glass?

My friend Vanessa who works at WFCR is amazing! She got me tickets to see Ira Glass speak at the Calvin Theater tonight and I get to meet him beforehand too. I have no idea what I’ll say…


My friend Sarah Sliwa suggests “OMG you wear glasses? I wear glasses!!!!!”

UPDATE – 11/16: Things that we learned about Ira last night. 1) His fans flock to him like an intellectual rock star. 2) He is insanely nice. 3) If you invite him out for a drink, he will show up. 4) Ira likes Jameson’s on the rocks.