Monday, October 20, 2008

Notes from the Surrealist Oracle

Q: Steve, what drives you to write?
A: A noise like a cross between a duck's quack and a slap across the face.

Q: Chance, what is your deepest, darkest secret?
A: I use the power of ...SCIENCE!

Q: Sara, how did we get to this screwed up stage of things?
A: Love is fickle.

Q: Ruth, what happened to Godzilla?
A: Ghostbusters.

Q: Floris, what is the ideal form of government?
A: Pinnochio.

Q: John, why did we elect George W. Bush twice?
A: J. K. Rowling.

Q: Aliette, food and sex. Magic, or mistake?
A: It may be closer than you think.

Q: Jeff, mermaids or witches?
A: I doubt that it is physically possible.

Q: Deanna, what do you think about the Singularity?
A: Look within; see, don't know.

Q: Ben, what is your comfort food?
A: Every happy ending ever.

Q: Floris, what do you think of porn?
A: Late period Rembrandt has better lighting effects.

Q: Ruth, is there a place where we all will experience total bliss?
A: Turn the knob as far as you can to the left.

Q: What do you get when you cross a block of cheese and a remote control?
A: Pure unadulterated pleasure.

Q: What is the secret of a good life?
A: A gently declining standard of living.

Q: Rochita, why is there so much misery in the world?
A: Just because there is no sun doesn't mean it's cold.

-- from Villa Diodati 3, Nice, France

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

An easy morning

Things go so much more smoothly with the kids when I am, say, Nurse Bruce Gumption Bruce than when I am me.

This is because, where I would hiss in an angry stage whisper "It's not yet 9 AM and you are being loud again -- after I asked you twelve times to stop!", and feel enraged, and guilty for being enraged, and like a failure...

...Nurse Bruce just says, in his sprightly, somewhat fey Southern accent, "Now Mr. Rosenbaum, some of our other residents on the lower floors are still sleeping, I'm going to have to ask you to be a little quieter, mmkay?" and feels sanguine and businesslike about the whole thing. (Oh, you know how it is with these residents! Nurse Bruce thinks.)

And it's so much more effective, too.

Never underestimate the power of a little method acting.

(Tonight, however, I was me again, which meant things were much more fractious. We did have a very interesting conversation about competition, Steven Hawking, black holes, gravity, light, Kenyan runners, and airplanes on the bike ride back from the grandparents' house; but we got home after bedtime and there was much fussing and carrying on and yelling, some of it even on the part of the kids.)

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ant King in the Washington Post Again

This time a review (free registration seems to be required) of The Ant King and other stories... as opposed to the earlier profile of me. It's part of a Science Fiction and Fantasy review roundup.

"Benjamin Rosenbaum is a fierce talent whose knack for genre mash-ups is represented well, if spottily, in this debut short story collection. The title story is an exuberant knockout: a dot-com parable featuring life-altering role-playing games, gumballs that provide existential succor, and rumination over whether or not "Wile E. Coyote is the only figure of any integrity in twentieth-century literature."...."
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Monday, October 6, 2008

Reading in Basel

Remember that little progressive Jewish congregation I stumbled upon last year and ended up running? Well, the book club there, led by the vastly able Chava (without whom Migvan would swiftly collapse) has invited me to read from The Ant King and other stories at the end of this month, and even arranged for a bookshop to come sell copies in the back. Yay!

Monday, October 27th
7:00 pm
Frobenstrasse 30
Basel, Switzerland

Hope to see you there.

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