Friday, October 31, 2008

Earthquake quiz

This quiz has some handy tips about what to do if an earthquake hits. Keep gas in your car, cash in your wallet, and your arms protecting your head and neck. Excellent. And have a bunch of Go Bags, whatever they are.

Take it - it's useful. And cool looking.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ciao, October

Caitlin got in last Friday, and in the last several days we have hiked in Marin, biked to the beach, danced our asses off at a one-hit wonders party (I was Lisa Loeb, Mike was Soul Asylum, and Cait was I'm Too Sexy), and danced our asses off again at the Girl Talk show at the Fillmore.
We have also eaten a lot, in various locales, and with varying company (including my old boss). And now comes our greatest challenge: Halloween.

What the hooey am I going to be?

Gentrify, gentrify, gentrify

Check it out: apartment listings searchable based on their proximity to gentrification signals - yoga studios, vegan restaurants, farmer's markets. 
I do not even even want to know what my neighborhood's gentrification quotient is.

Told you so!

This NYT article discusses the similarities between the current election and the Santos/Vinick race on The West Wing. 

"The parallels between the final two seasons of the series (it ended its run on NBC in May 2006) and the current political season are unmistakable. Fiction has, once again, foreshadowed reality."

It's not terrifically surprising that TV writers would want to pit a telegenic upstart against an established moderate Republican - as we're seeing these days, that matchup = Drama City. But there are some weird parallels too: the choice of veep candidates, for example.

Or little details: "In both “The West Wing” and in real life...the Phillies played in the World Series during the election campaign." Eeeeeeeerie.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I just can't help myself

"It took a multimillion dollar lawsuit, two years of tense negotiations, and an awful lot of scanning. But yesterday the publishing world stood on the threshold of a digital era after a US deal paved the way to transform publishing."

"IMHO, this is a good deal that could be the basis for something really fantastic...Under the agreement, 20% of any work not opting out will be available freely; full access can be purchased for a fee. That secures more access for this class of out-of-print but presumptively-under-copyright works than Google was initially proposing. And as this constitutes up to 75% of the books in the libraries to be scanned, that is hugely important and good. That's good news for Google, and the AAP/Authors Guild, and the public."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No Comment coverage

I'd like to note that I have been at work since 6 a.m., and have had a few mimosas in the interim. But here's what's going on:
And news coverage: 

No Comment

No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment No Comment

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ok so Germany: let me bring you back to the subject...

I was kind of hoarding the delightfulness of the Frankfurt Book Fair for a while, handing out only occasional anecdotal nuggets. Yes, nuggets. But I am now prepared to relate the two most splendid/bewildering events of the fair.

1. Friday night at the Spritzerhaus. A small bar with a stage up front, presided over by a few guys from an American comic book publisher. After a short set, The Best Cover Band ever takes the stage. They do U2, they do the Boss, they do Robbie Williams, they do Green Day, they do Oasis, they do Nirvana. They do every song you never even knew you know the words to. But you DO! Or at least, I did. And my 24 coworkers did. And so, for 4 hours, all of us - American/Japanese/Chinese/French/Italian/German/Scottish - danced like complete maniacs and sang and sweated and had a more fantastic time than I would have thought possible. It was EPIC.

2. Saturday night at a fancy Greek restaurant. A waiter gets on a chair to announce that a delegation from the Chinese Foreign Ministry (or Ministry of Culture? something like that) is in the house, and hosting a star of the Peking Opera. Said opera star dude proceeds to get on a chair and sing, earsplittingly, for a minute or two. The singing style was very traditional, by which I mean, an acquired taste, ahem. The waiter asks if anyone else would like to perform. My entire table, all 20 of my coworkers, pound the table and chant my name. I realize this sounds like the kind of thing I would love, but it is important to note that only a few minutes before, I had poured red wine down my all-white outfit. So singing in front of a restaurant full of people was not on my itinerary.

BUT I am a ham, and I couldn't resist the will of the crowd. Throwing dignity and professionalism to the wind, I got on the chair and rapped a few stanzas of "Shoop." I was too flustered to remember the beginning, so I dove right in with

Let me bring you back to the subject
Pep's on the set
Let me get hot let me work up a sweat
When you skip to my lou my darling
Not falling in love but I'm falling for ya
Uh uh uh...

Etc. And then, THEN, after sitting down, unbelievably humiliated, Opera Star gets back up on the chair! And sings again! I was saved from having to do the chorus of "Gin and Juice" over and over again when my Chinese coworker told me he was just saving face, and I could stay seated and let him feel good about himself. 

But it was pretty thrilling to think that I almost started an opera/rap battle. Singing star vs. drunk American with wine all over herself and little to no rapping ability. International incident? Oops.

Afterward there was cheers-ing all around, and photo-taking, and general merriment between our table and the Chinese Foreign Minister. It was as surreal as it gets.

I have photos, if you are interested.

Housing FYI

A friend at Oak and Pierce has a room in a 4-bedroom apartment opening up, $666 a month. Pretty sweet!

Frankfurt

Here is what I did on my work/vacation.

MCT

Last night Mike and I had dinner with my thesis advisor MCT and her son Ben. She's in town to do some book promotion, and in true good-mom fashion, she decided to stay by Fisherman's Wharf so that Ben feels like he's getting something out of the trip too. MCT, aside form having all kinds of interesting here's-how-many-copies-my-book-has-sold stories, also has a fascinating personal (by which I mean, love life) history. 

Some highlights:
  • She dated one of the founders of Sun Microsystems.
  • She was proposed to by a Nigerian businessman, but said no. The woman he eventually married was subsequently blown up by a car bomb.
  • Her college boyfriend played for the New York Jets.
  • She once placed a personal ad in the New Yorker and got "several hundred" responses, including one from a Middle Eastern oil baron who flew to New York to meet her.
  • She grew up around the corner from Bob Marley in Kingston, and "hung around" with him. That was enough to get Mike to be an MCT superfan on the spot.

If all of this sounds improbable, you have not met MCT. So fabulous!

Caitlin!

Gets here today! She's going to be here for a whole week, so feel free to give us a call and say hi. Weekend plans include hiking, biking, and a one-hit wonders party.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I look exactly the same.

A recent email from Pa Brennan included the photo below. Please note the Gusso nose, the Cabbage Patch Kids shirt, and the chocolate ice cream stain.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Godinegodinegodine

Yeah David! He gets some great coverage in this New York Times article about foreign rights acquisitions at the Frankfurt Book Fair. I have a TON of stories to tell about the fair, but to keep this Godine-centric, he blew into our booth late Saturday afternoon, in the waning hours of the fair. He plopped down and started on a tirade about how much richer I am than him (not true), how he talks to my father on a daily basis (not true), and how he doesn't need to know what's going on with Book Search because I can just do anything I want with the Godine account (true).

He ended the meeting by making a dinner date with me for next Sunday, and saying he was going to continue to be rude to Mike because he is jealous of the men in my life. He demanded to know who at the booth was my boss, because he is and always will be my true boss. The he headed off to wheel and deal some more, leaving all of my current coworkers laughing nervously. It was priceless.

Interesting note: The Prospector, LeClezio's book that Godine published a long while ago, had very few views in Book Search until 8/28, when it had several dozen. It then saw no more views until 10/9, when LeClezio won the Nobel Prize and traffic to the book went crazy. David is convinced the views on 8/28 were the Nobel committee - how cool would that be?

My professional life has never been boring.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

This darn world of ours

I know that this is a serious situation, but the story and names are completely out of a book. A boy kidnapped for the sins of his family? A grandfather named Clemens Tinnemeyer? An abductee named Cole Puffinburger? 

I hope they get a movie deal.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yay poetry

Frank Bidart is a National Book Award finalist! Good for him, man. I hope he wins a lifetime supply of Arizona iced tea. And Luna bars - he always bought those at El Table, even though they are designed for women. And taste gross.
More info on him and his book on the National Book Award site.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hi look that's me!

I have a post on the Content Central blog! It's a new corporate blog for anyone that provides us with content - so maps data, video, printed material, etc.

Aside from the Curious George-esque title and the cutesy random ending, I am pretty happy with how it turned out. By which I mean, I feel like it doesn't actually seem like I drafted it in 15 minutes. Which I did.

And if it does, please do not tell me so. Kthx!

Monday, October 13, 2008

German Starbucks WTF

I have endured 7 hours of 90's hits, Celine Dion, and soft-rock versions of blues songs. And now: Joanna Newsom?

Ok, Bonn Starbucks: we can consider a truce. Depending on what you bust out with next.

UPDATE: Dixie Chicks. And not one of the fun, violent songs either.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oh, Germany

There are a lot of things I like about Germany: the people (namely, Amanda and Franz), the bicycles, the beer. There is, however, one thing I don't like about it: the language. Or, rather, that it is a language that I do not speak. Here are some embarrassing things I have done as a result of not understanding German:
  • fumbled around on my hands and knees under my barstool looking for a girl's scarf for a quite a few minutes after she had (apparently) told me that she had found it
  • spit beer back into my glass in order to follow what I thought were the German rules of toasting
  • tried to use the men's room at a beer hall
All in all, though, having an excellent time. More updates later.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Congratulations!

To my former employer, David R. Godine, who now has a Nobel prize-winning author on his list! J.M.G. Le Cl├ęzio was just named the Nobel laureate in literature - hopefully this means that sales of The Prospector (which is super-backlist) will go through the roof. I'll be tracking the traffic to the book via Book Search, of course.
The question is, why couldn't this have happened while I was Godine's sales manager?

Hindenberg shmindenberg

Um yes, I would like to take a trip around the Bay Area in a zeppelin! I sure would!

In addition to being novel and romantic, zeppelins have the added benefit of sounding like both an Italian pastry and an ice-smoothing machine. Magical combination.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy happy happy

I am sitting upstairs on a plane! A lady just gave me a glass of champagne! I have a lie-flat seat with built in massagers! Selling out, I love you!

Scattered

Today I go to Germany. I have spent the last several work days toiling over a slide presentation that I (and my coworkers) will have to share with at least 30 publishers next week. I am already sick of it. I have a sore throat, and the only cure (according to my doctor) is avoiding booze, getting enough sleep, and not talking. HA!

Also, I am in the United business class lounge, and it is not nearly as fancy as the Lufthansa one in Frankfurt. I didn't eat breakfast in anticipation of delicacies! 

Last weekend was Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and it was perfect - sunny, beer-ful, and filled with good company. This weekend I will be in Bonn with Amanda and Franz. I am sad to leave San Francisco when it is so sunny and beautiful, but I bought a sexy trenchcoat to battle the German rain. 

I miss my cat.

Guten tag!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Who the hell gets pink eye?

I do, apparently. Me and the 9 year olds of the world.

I swear to God I wash my haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaands!

Friday, October 3, 2008

My thoughts on the debate.

I can't take four more years of nuc-u-lar. I just cannot take it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Seriously, no seriously

This is my last Palin post. For now. Maybe. I present: Palin's Facebook page. Glorious!

Back to the future

Search the 2001 internet! It's another one of the Goog's 10th birthday features. My vanity search returned these results:
  • Montgomery Township Board of Ed National Merit Scholarship semifinalist list - fascinating. (Also on the list: Ben Bernanke's son, my high school boyfriend, my best friend, a wolf shirt girl who is now a super hottie, and Harland T. Westgate, who had the most pretentious name in the school district.)
  • An interview for lacrosse in the Princeton Packet in which I say "I am excited" at least five times.
  • My really sad time in the Run for Aimee 5k (29:21 - a 9.5 minute mile average, boo).
And that is IT. Oh, the dark ages of the intertubes.