Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Photos for Tuesday

The four windows to follow were all photographed last night on Morris Street...The houses are almost all right next to each other. I imagine that one person made this elaborate Easter window with lights and then the person next door was like, "Well, you're not going to show me up like you tried to do on St. Patty's Day..." And so then he made his window light up even brighter and the next one did the same, etc.

I'm a little weirded out by the bunny in the photo below because the carrot has a certain phallic-like appearance that makes me uncomfortable.

So sweet when bunnies kiss.

And in this one, they went all out and hence, it's raining Easter, y'all!
Tuxedo kitty in the window wants your blood.

Philly mural off of Broad Street.

The Stepford bunnies all in a row.

Jesus and Mary flanked by dapper chocolate bunnies.

I love glitter pants on a rabbit.

I appreciate the whimsical symmetry here. This is a house I would like to visit.

And this is not my taste, a little too Victorian, but still nice.

Random ice skate.

My favorite, favorite photo by far.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fame and Fortune

The class I teach for Philadelphia Stories got profiled in a piece by Carlin Romano in The Philadelphia Inquirer today. You can read the article here. Everybody sounds really intelligent and interesting. I passed out the registration forms for the next class (beginning in May), so maybe I will get to teach it again. We talked last night about Flannery O'Connor's short story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and there was some debate about whether or not O'Connor means for us to read the grandmother's last moment as one of redemption or condemnation. I, of course, have my own opinion and had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from shouting, "I am right!" Next week, we'll talk about Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants." I am not a huge fan of Hemingway, but that doesn't mean I can't see why other people are. Maybe I should give them an exercise to write bad Hemingway prose. There are actual contests that exist for that very purpose.

And here is a link to one of my new favorite blogs (because it confirms my own irritation with the public transportation system in Philadelphia), SEPTA Fail.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Public Transportation

For the last two mornings, I've run into the same older ladies from South Philly while catching the bus down Morris to the Broad Street line. Both women are in their late fifties, dressed for the office in that kind of generic way (khaki pants, sweater, walking sneakers), and have hair styles that are too young for them (long, dyed blond hair). Yesterday, one of the women was describing her day to the other and I couldn't imagine why: "Then she comes over to the house and does my hair up, cause she does my hair on Tuesday (pronounced "Tues-dee") and we watched the shows. Then I send a couple of emails and talked to my daughter and checked the fridge to see if we needed anything at the Acme cause Joe was going up their for lottery tickets anyways. Then we ordered Chinese and I went to Lane Bryant for these pants." The other woman said, "Well, I watched Fox News. I always watch Fox News because they have that investigative reporting show on and I like that." Today, they were joined by another woman who said she walked home from work every day and other two were like, Oh, Lord, we can barely walk down the subway steps, Jesus!

On the way home from work, I watched a really f-ed up young couple bickering while waiting for the train. The girl had her hair pulled back in a tight bun and wore black eyeliner and skinny jeans. Both were slurring their words and moving slowly, but the girl was still in a pissed off, aggressive mood. She got mad because another woman was trying to get around her and asked her to move. She told the guy, "I didn't know she was behind me. People are fucking rude!" They sat across from me on the train and I pretended to be listening to my music, but instead, tried to hear what they were talking about. Both of them had candy. It took her about five minutes to get her candy package out of her purse and then she opened it up and said, "You're a fucking pig. You ate all of these sweethearts!" I don't know what they were on, possilby just really stoned, but more likely some kind of pain killers b/c of the slurring. Or herion, I guess. It didn't look to be particularly fun.

Friday, March 13, 2009

5 Plus Photos on Friday

I will tentatively make the claim that I'm going to try to update more regularly, starting with the return of South Philly windows. This, of course, could change at any second. But anyway, we are back to cats. Big orange cats with cranky faces. This cat look like he's frowning and going, "I say!" in a British accent.

And this here is what you call a tuxedo cat though I like the term Holstein cat better. Or, in this particular case, Groucho Marx, since he appears to have a mustache.

Easter has arrived in full force in S. Philly. Chicks and bunnies abound. This rabbit looks as though he's pouring over a leafy cauldron, preparing to cast evil spells (by the way, I heard this story on NPR's Wiretap last night about a guy who can't stop eating rabbit food. Very convincing and it makes me almost want to buy rabbit pellets, but I'm pretty sure it's fiction. If only I knew Jonathan Goldstein well enough to phone him up and ask).

Blue yet hollow-eyed embroidered bunny.

Oh, okay, this is one of the beautiful buildings I walk past every day on my way to work. You can't see the full scope of it and the day was dreary (note that the streetlamp is one though it's only 9 a.m.), but it's huge and green--a castle. I believe it was used as the home of the Addams Family in the film of the same name (a nod to Charles Addams, who studied at Penn).

Hick bunnies in love.

I like the multitude of different rabbits in this window, especially the African American rabbits (one in the forefront and one peeking from behind the bunny on the far left).

Oh, and last but not least, this white cat I saw on my way to work the other day. I considered it good luck for the rest of the day. Her eyes exactly matched the plant.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Link to "What Not to Submit"

Hey, I just found this article I wrote for an early issue of Philadelphia Stories. It's a list of story ideas that you shouldn't submit to literary journals (i.e. basically just a list of my story pet peeves). You can read it here.


Fred is the name of the beta fighting fish that we have in our office. You'll note from the photograph that he also works in an office. It's sort of a metanarrative (?). I made Fred a label yesterday so everyone would know who he is...Like a name tag at a fish convention. I wonder sometimes if Fred is lonely, but the thing is, you can't buy him another fish because he will kill it. That's his nature.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Mess Known as The Bachelor

Hi, yes, I know that it has been weeks and weeks and that I haven't said anything about the big Bachelor debacle; have needed time to process it completely, I suppose. I feel negligent about not doing the real time blogging during the last three episodes, but I'm teaching that class Monday nights and so it wasn't feasible. AND the next class starts almost immediately following the one I'm teaching now and it's also on Mondays. BUT (how about if I just start capitalizing every first letter in each sentence?) we did move the time of the class so it runs now from 6:30-8 p.m. which means if I take a cab, I can be home by 8:15, thereby only missing the previous episodes recaps. How does that sound?

In any case, for those of you who don't waste their lives on reality television of this sort, what happened was that Jason (Ty's baby-daddy) asked Melissa (the Dallas cowboy cheerleader and the one I liked the best ) to marry him. She squealed and twirled in her banana yellow prom dress and said, Yes, ABSOLUTELY I will marry you!!! The delight lasted a mere five minutes in commercial breaks as we were told that the wrap up show After the Final Rose was so dramatic that it wasn't taped in front of a live studio audience. Part of me kind of hoped that someone had died. No such luck. Instead, it was Jason breaking up with Melissa because he was still in love with Molly of the large jaw and bobblehead. Melissa didn't handle it well, saying something like, "I hate you and I hate your fat face!"(If you can name the move that line comes from, you win $100). It's not like it was a total surprise, because when Jason said goodbye to Molly in the season finale (part 1), he ended up sobbing and vomiting over the side of a building. Then they brought out Molly who was poised and didn't comment on the fact that there was not one single person in the audience. I kind of feel like maybe she suspected something was up. Anyway, so Jason came out and asked her to go for coffee and she said okay. The following week, they aired After the After Finale Rose Ceremony (part 3) wherein Molly and Jason came back as a couple. I got confused because all of it is presented kind of as being in real time but it's not, so there's something like 6 weeks that have actually happened between shows so like Melissa and Jason's short relationship happened over Christmas but now Molly and Jason have been together for two years. I don't know. Anyway, the new Bachelorette will be Jillian, the Canadian we love because she pronounces again like "a-gain."

I'll try to be better about blogging but now that my work day starts later, it's harder to get to for some reason.