In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys

What was I doing this Saturday that I wasn’t blogging?

I was going to Campbell McGrath’s birthday and book launch party. Party on the rooftop with Campbell!

This is his book, which came out today but has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. So for all you lonely poets who hate being reminded that you’re lonely, this one is for you. I bought it on February 11. Special privilege for being friends with Campbell ^^

It’s beautiful, lovely, wonderful to read. The font is pretty too. As a bit of a font nerd, I appreciate it. You really should read it. I think it might be my favorite, even more favorite than his last collection, Seven Notebooks. Come on, people. Don’t these lines just draw you in??

So….remember my last post in which I described that Campbell’s favorite book was The Essential Haiku? At the party, before the cutting of the cake, a bunch of Campbell’s former students and his son, Sam, recited a couple haikus each, because that is his favorite poetic form ever. You had to have been there to fully appreciate it, except that his son, who wanted to show us that writing is only a small part of his father’s life, shared these lines with us: (disclaimer: they may not be exactly accurate. possibility of faulty memory.)

sci-fi, lit, beside these things,
poetry is shit.

Here is what I gave him at the end of the party, as we were all about to go home because Miami was about to freeze over. It’s a coaster. We read this haiku in class last Wednesday. Considering his book was about to come out and he did just turn 50, I thought it was appropriate. And he drinks a lot of iced coffee, which sweats on his desk and threatens all his papers/books.

I love giving gifts when I can think of good ones (which is rare, so carpe diem, gift-givers!), don’t hate, anti-gifters. It’s practical. I’m all for practical gifts. I’m a terrible gift-giver, and feel awkward giving/receiving them, but I love giving/receiving them also.

Disclaimer on gifts: People don’t have to like the gifts I give them. I don’t expect them to. Campbell doesn’t have to like this, or use it. He could conceivably hurl it into the ocean. But I like the IDEA, okay, people? I like the ideas behind gifts, and hope that comes across in my awkward “here, Campbell, I brought you a badly-wrapped (in stiff, hopefully and probably recycled commercial packing paper) birthday gift even though I didn’t have to and I’m probably not considering your delicate position as my professor, but whatever I like doing nice things for everyone, especially on their 50th birthday” gift.

Also, there was cake. I’m not a huge fan of cake myself, especially specifically birthday cakes because they tend to be spongy but dry, and bland but with overly sweet, unnaturally fluffy frosting. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for fluffy frosting. But not UNNATURALLY fluffy frosting. There’s also the decision: DO I WANT VANILLA OR CHOCOLATE!!!!  *gasp* D: and you don’t want to be that bastard who asks for half of each slice, because then someone else has to eat half of each or have a tiny piece, and what if everyone else at the party loves cake? You’ve screwed up the cake-slicing system! But this cake. This cake. Was. Good. The entire giant cake had vanilla AND chocolate layered together THE WHOLE WAY THROUGH! The choice is made for you! You can now have your cake and eat it too! 😀 I was happy. And the frosting was naturally fluffy. How could I have doubted the wonderful hosts at the Betsy Hotel?

On a personal note, I made a monster smoothie. It’s green. Think the Hulk of smoothies ripping through all that instant ramen you made last night. Think spinach, frozen bananas, and PEANUT BUTTER! :9  The recipe is here.

I recommend it for its peanut buttery deliciousness. Peanut butter is one of my favorite foods. I eat peanut butter by the spoonful. I do. Ask my mother. She used to buy me my own jar of Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter, which is the best kind, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. I’m really not trying to lose weight. I promised myself I would learn to cook and eat healthy things that are cheap and don’t taste like pasta (hence, don’t cook pasta). But it is fast and good, and I love using blenders. I have my grandmother’s, a really old square one which is difficult to wash but still works like the mammoth it is.

Yes, that is my desk. I love postcards. Yes that is Batman giving me the Uncle Sam point and saying, “Quit procrastinating. Work on your art.”

Yes, that is a Macbook Pro. I’ve only just converted to the dark side, but they have nicer user-friendly interfaces, so I think I’ll stay here a while. Besides, as an editor for Print Oriented Bastards, I need something that will allow me to sanely do my work. Speaking of work, I have work…


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