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Odd Words July 27, 2012

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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I have almost finished McSweeney’s No. 38. That means I can move onto McSweeney’s 39 and 40. It is a quarterly. You do the math. I have a stack of The Believer at my bedside. The more time I try to find to read the further I fall behind. It doesn’t help that the weeks my son is with me we spend entirely too much time watching old television series on NetFlix. We have been sucked into the Battlestar Gallectica otherverse, and found a good stopping point and have moved onto Breaking Bad Season Four. I just sent off my tuition reimbusement form for two classes for the fall semester, only two because Moloch is going to renew my contract. No English courses, mind you. I finished most of those 30 years ago. It’s all those pesky electives I kept dropping to spend time on the newspaper. In another few weeks it will be Biology 1053, a required science course for dribbling Liberal Arts idiots, and a sophomore survey of cultural anthropology. I miss Geoffrey Chaucer already. My reading priority has been The Rumpus Poetry Book Club selection of the month, and a valiant attempt at whatever’s on my book night stand before I fall asleep.

Once my son goes home Sunday and before I have to start to crack a text book, I will have two weeks to make a major attack on the stack of McSweeney’s and Believers, and a dent in my unread list. When he is here I have begun cutting off the Netflix series of the week somewhere between nine and ten at night giving me a window of at least an hour to read. Once school starts both my son and I will have other things to do, and the transition from biology to a book will be as natural as falling asleep a few hours later. When I will get to Infinite Jest, Against the Day and a close re-read of 2999, well, I’m thinking of buying Powerball tickets to use as bookmarks.

It’s another quiet week but everyone is storing up energy for Satchmo Fest in August, an endurance test for festival-happy New Orleanians approaching a triathlon of dance, eat and drink all in the August sun. However, keep in mind that the local bookstores and libraries have what the signs used to call “conditioned air.” If you are as overwhelmed as I am, a quiet hour in a cool and quiet bookstore is more tonic than all the gin and Schwepps a hot summer evening might require. And if I buy that copy of Against the Day and place its 1,000 plus pages on the nightstand where it will glare back and me morning and night, at least I have a fighting chance.

& Join Octavia Books at Tales of the Cocktail® 2012 where we will be operating the book store in the lobby of Hotel Monteleone at the most spirited festival this summer. Browse the expansive offering of spirits literature and meet the world’s most accomplished cocktail writers, including this year’s Spirited Awards finalists and Tales of the Cocktail® from A to Z. You will you be able take home signed copies of spirited titles you can’t get elsewhere. And, for the first time this year, along with the books, we will be offering a wide selection of bitters from around the world, including rare and hard-to-find labels. 10% of all sales will go to the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society. The on-site bookstore hours are Wednesday – Saturday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Sunday from 10:00 AM till sometime in the afternoon. Tales of the Cocktail is an internationally acclaimed festival of cocktails, cuisine and culture held annually in New Orleans. At the Hotel Monteleone.

& At the Maple Leaf on Sunday Poet Anthony Olawo, visiting Robertson Scholar from Duke University at the Ashe’ Cultural Arts Center, originally from Nairobi, Kenya, will read from his work. Sunday, July 29 at the Maple Leaf Bar. Sunday July 29 at 3 p.m.

& Spoken Word New Orleans Speak Easy Sundays Poetry at the Club Caribbean 2441 Bayou Road at 7 p.m. Cover. Visit their website for updates on other spoken words and visiting artists all around town.

& Ryan Holiday, author of TRUST ME, I’M LYING: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, will be at Octavia Books on Tuesday discussing his expose of the machinations behind the manipulation of the media by the marketing industry. Ryan Holiday is part Machiavelli, part Ogilvy, and all results…this whiz kid is the secret weapon you’ve never heard of.” Tuesday, July 31 at 6 p.m.

& I want to get out these Monday Black Widow Salons early as seating is very limited. On Monday Aug. 6 Uriel Quesada (San José, Costa Rica) is the director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Loyola University. His areas of interest are Central American and Caribbean literatures and cultural studies, U.S. Latino studies, Queer studies and Latin American Popular Culture studies. He has written about Central American detective fiction, Latin American masculinities and travel writing. In 2009 he co-edited a special issue of the academic journal Istmo devoted to the study of gender and sexualities in contemporary Central American literature.vAs a writer of fiction, Dr. Quesada has publised seven books, including El atardecer de los niños (short stories, 1990; Editorial Costa Rica Award and Costa Rica National Book Award 1990), Lejos, tan lejos (short stories, Áncora Award in Literature, 2005), El gato de sí mismo (novel, Costa Rica National Book Award 2006) and Viajero que huye (short stories, 2008).

The Moloch laptop calls with its WWII-era Model K-41 electro-mechanical submarine klaxon guaranteed to rouse me from a lunchtime nap when I should be reading. It’s time to help shovel innocents into the maw of 21st century finance.

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