Monday, December 11, 2006, 10:18 PM - Travels, Sex, Politics, Dancing, Snow, George, Friends, Food, Books, Technology, Art, Los Angeles
I've been terribly neglectful of this little enterprise post-election - mostly because the last thing I wanted to do was spend a single additional second looking at a screen. (I've read three novels and am reveling in Against the Day now, which will slow down my book-devouring rate considerably). The beginning of November was a frenzied adventure- although we were better prepared than in 2004, things as always slid just under the wire (on election day people were making 40 calls a second with our tools - it was amazing to watch people swarm through our lists)...then election night was blissful, and the morning after even better. It felt wonderfully fulfilling on 11/9 to come back from a run along the Seattle waterfront (the first sunny day since I'd arrived) and see Rumsfeld getting the axe. I'm sure that our program turned out more votes than the margin of victory in key races (MT senate, several house contests, probably VA Senate as well) - of course we were only part of a larger progressive effort, but it's exciting to know we had such an impact. I've been on an extended episodic victory tour - multiple DC parties, and little celebration cocktail evenings in SF and NY, which were all great fun. I've been to one disjointed, we-were-still-too-tired-to-think official debrief, and one enervating multidisciplinary free-for-all that was loads of fun. I'm back in LA, wrapping up my work at GCI - getting ready to dig into all the data from Call for Change as part of a team of people working for MoveOn to make sure we understand what we did and learn as much as possible for next time. It's always a little hard to go from being so thoroughly consumed by a project back to a more balanced life, and I'm a little nostalgic for that laserlike focus, but this is infinitely more sustainable. Dad came out and Angela and Erik and Aurora came down for Thanksgiving and we all had our first Angeleno holiday - lots of sitting in the sun and as many revisionist recipes as George would let us get away with. I've been rediscovering the pleasures of cooking and reading the New Yorker and spending whole afternoons with friends. It's nice to remember that I like to eat in fancy restaurants (have had tasty dinners at Frankie's 457 in Brooklyn and Joe's in Venice and Lucques in LA) and go see art. I have done some dancing, but I need more of that. There are, as always, intriguing new and resurfacing romantic possibilities, which will at minimum be interesting to explore. I hope to get into some of that abundant early-season snow soon, too. What I'm not particularly motivated to do is keep writing this - it's been quite enjoyable, but I'm going to keep my personal ramblings a little more closely held. I think it'll be healthy, although probably less entertaining for many of you. I'll likley start some sort of painfully geeky political data diatribe after the holidays, that only I'll read. And I'm sure there will be the occasional tidbit I won't be able to resist posting...we'll see. Love and mounds of appreciation for everyone who helped with Call for Change and let us all find out what winning an election feels like. I'll try and make sure we get used to it.

New Pynchon Novel Expected in December!!! 
Friday, June 23, 2006, 02:06 AM - Books
And at that point I might actually have time to read it...
I am astonishingly excited about the idea.

Women for a New Los Angeles 
Friday, May 19, 2006, 08:38 PM - Politics, Books
Today (at the lovely Amy Wakeland's invitation) I attended the Women for a New Los Angeles/ Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy luncheon. It was such a great surprise to open up the latest issue of their newsletter and find a full-page spread on MomsRising! Plus Barbara Ehrenreich gave a great powerful acceptance speech for her award, and she seems interested in the MomsRising project. Last night I went to see David Sirota in a sea of westside liberals and got stuck in a funny conversation between Wendy and Tom Hayden... the old guard LA progressives are an interesting bunch, to say the least. David is touring to support his new book, Hostile Takeover. I think the most useful point from his talk is that us lefties need to stop being afraid of sounding angry - there's definitely a lesson for MomsRising in there somewhere...maybe a way to get women to vent and share their frustrations and obstacles in balancing work and family... and generate ideas for non-legislative focused action.

Tristram Shandy 
Thursday, January 26, 2006, 02:41 PM - Books
Is one of my favorite novels. And I have to admit that I'm feeling like I was so ahead of the of my two favorite undergraduate products was "Why Tristram Shandy is a Postmodern Novel". Who wants to go see the new flick with me?

Little Miss Zapata 
Tuesday, January 24, 2006, 05:41 PM - Friends, Books
My dear friend Eric Martin is reading Thursday, February 2nd at The Lab - he kicks things kick off at 7:00. He'll be reading from his book-in-progress Little Miss Zapata (or whatever he ends up calling it). I've heard him read from this one before, and it's delectable stuff. You may remember him from such wonderful novels as Luck (recently out in paperback) and Winners (for when you want to get your Foreign Cinema dot-com nostalgia on). He tells me: "I don't know what I'll read from yet but you might
get a glimpse at the lost tribes hiding out in 400-year old sewers, a teenage girl in drag chased through Mexico City's rock n' roll market, or a Texas cowboy fighting a peyote lord of the north."

Other folks reading include Juvenal Acosta (who just finished a book about the last Mexican vampire), Stephen Beachy (who broke the J.T. Leroy story), Marianna Cherry (whose name is never far from the word "erotica") and Charlie Girl Anders.

Would you vote for a gnome?  
Tuesday, January 17, 2006, 03:20 PM - Politics, Books
Larry Bogad (friend of Andrew Boyd's who I met last summer) wants to tell you why 38,000 fed-up Amsterdammers did, when given the option in 1970. He's reading from his new book Electoral Guerilla Theatre: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements on Wednesday evening at Modern Times (1/18) and Monday 1/30 at Black Oak in Berkeley, both at 7:30 PM. I'm going to go on Wednesday, but I'll probably be late. More on the book:
Across the globe, in liberal democracies where the right to vote is framed as both civil right and civic duty, disillusioned creative activists run for public office on sarcastic, ironic and outrageous platforms. With little intention of winning in the usual sense, they use drag, camp, and stand-up comedy to undermine the legitimacy of their opponents, and call into question the fairness of the electoral system itself. Bogad looks at satirical campaigns around the world, including the GNOMES, who won 5 seats on the Amsterdam City Council, much to their own surprise. then the real pranks began...
Buy the book here. And in case you were thinking that I'm an out-of-touch idealist, Thursday night it looks like I'm going to a book party for this: Making Meaning: How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences. Don't ever try and tell me I'm not multifaceted. Good thing one of my academic friends recently sent me a hypergeek journal article on the futility of the search for individual fulfillment through consumption, so I'll be ready.

Finite Jest 
Thursday, December 29, 2005, 02:19 PM - Books
I really have to hand it to someone who gets me to read (and sometimes delight in) 980 pages and 400 footnotes and refuses to provide more than tiny little hints of narrative closure. (Well, OK, I guess Orin was effectively closed out). There's some similarity between my reactions to this book and to Confederacy of Dunces - strangely more side-splittingly funny in retrospect than during the experience of reading....the hilarity of the premises is sometimes drowned out by the form. I loved the dead Incandenza patriarch and the mind-numbing drug detail and enjoyed how Wallace anticipates the (valid) criticisms of his novel by developing the critical debate about said dead patriarch's entertainments. I am such a sucker for hypercomplex novels, how could I not enjoy it?

masochism bedtime reading 
Saturday, November 5, 2005, 12:51 PM - Books
despite the fact that it will no doubt leave my chest concave, as a reward/punishment I started Infinite Jest this morning. I am not quite enthralled just yet, but will let you know.