Ducking at Birdsong, Elsewhere, etc.

Posted by Lizzie on 03/23/07

timescouplets.gifDue to various exigencies of life and our possession of something like 18 jobs of late, we think we have remembered to mention to approximately none of you that we have been doing these over here for the past few months or so–viz, fucking around with Friday’s Times headlines because God in his infinite wisdom did not see fit to give us actual skills of any kind. In any case, you’ll find today’s official poem by clicking here by five-ishy today, but today we had some overflow poetry that was too gnomic and plaintive to inflict on New York magazine’s online readership. Not too gnomic and plaintive to inflict on you, though, dear reader! We have no idea what it all means, but feel free to offer analysis. We just liked the ducking at birdsong thing.

A Relaxed Approach to Life, Up for Sale

Duty Wears on the Soul.
Citizen of the World,

You Can Call It the Little Easy,
A Road Trip Back to the Future,

New Coin of the Realm
When the Snow Begins to Fall

He May Not See It Stop.
Does Soprano Get Whacked? Does He Get a Banana Split?

Expert on Bird Talk,
When a Bird Sings an Aria, You’d Be Wise to Duck.

Walking Out to Sea
The Only Constant Is Change,

Lands You Can’t See in a Guidebook.
Who Else but an Old Buddy Can Tell How Lost You Are?

* Logo courtesy of Daily Intel. One hopes.

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Teaser and still again Teaser: Margo Rabb

Posted by Lizzie on 03/20/07

hearbreak.jpgOne of the things we have always loved about other writers is that often when they write, we don’t have to. But that is only a small teeny reason we
are delighted to welcome our friend Margo Rabb and an excerpt from her new novel, Cures for Heartbreak, to Old Hag. But before we begin–things you should know about Margo:

1. Her stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Zoetrope: All Story, Seventeen, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, New England Review, One Story, and elsewhere, and have been broadcast on National Public Radio (more here)

2. She is the author of a lovely series of mystery novels for young readers (more here)

3. She lives around the corner (more here)

4. She is, unlike some people, able to unselfishly share a freaking cupcake (more here)

Margo has generously offered three signed copies of her new book to three lucky winners. BUT THERE IS, OF COURSE, A CHALLENGE. Margo has posted her own cures for heartbreak on the Random House site. At Miss Rabb’s suggestion, we would like to now solicit yours. The Old Hag, for instance, leans towards sitting on the couch and whimpering, then getting momentarily distracted by the fact that her gmail’s adaptive filter is now filtering spam correctly. This probably shouldn’t fall under “cure”, but whatever.

Excerpt below, as well as Margo’s blog tour dates. Winners for Heartbreak and this will be posted Friday; feel free to strike anywhere in the meantime. Please enjoy!

World History

Four days after our mother’s funeral, my father decided that my sister Alex and I should go back to school. I was reading in bed when he knocked on my door, peered into my room and repeated, as he’d been doing at regular intervals, like a public service announcement, that we needed to go back to the way things were before. On Monday he’d re-open his shoe repair shop, I’d return to the ninth grade, and Alex to the twelfth. Things had to go back to normal.


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Teaser returns

Posted by Lizzie on 03/15/07

acceptance1.jpgUPDATE: We now have two copies to give away! Can you say “waitlist”?

We liked high school. We did well in high school. We like books about high school. So we tried to read that Marisha Pessl book. Well, we didn’t try that hard. We read the first page and a half and said NO WAY, NOT IN THIS LIFETIME, IT’S NOT HAPPENING. So thank God for Susan Coll’s Acceptance, which elbowed the Pessl off the bedside table with a digusted thump.

We could go on and on about how actually fine humorous writing is often discounted and overlooked, as is a deft satire, but then we’d say more things like “deft satire” and you’d be bored. We could also go into the marvelous plot, but it’s been months since we read the galley and excitedly emailed the publicist and were like WE LOVED THIS, so that’s pretty much what we’re left with at this juncture. LUCKILY FOR YOU–FSG has very graciously allowed us to post a bit from the start of the book, and has also offered one giveaway copy to a lucky Old Hag entrant.

We thought long and hard about what the challenge should be for all of you, and decided it was easy: just write us with the school you wanted to get into and didn’t. Then we’d laugh, and give it to one of you, so you’d finally have something you tried for in your miserable life. So that’s the challenge.*

But this book gave me great pleasure, so please enjoy, and if you don’t win, please buy:

Grace reminded herself that she had resolved not to get sucked into this snakepit of parental competition. (more…)

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Something about “Cause” here, we’re busy

Posted by Lizzie on 02/28/07

The Rebel Issue is up!

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[Your Joke Here; We're Tired; This Was a Long Post]

Posted by Lizzie on 02/14/07


(Click to enlarge…and be enlightened!)

So the results of our first offical Old Hag Reader Can You Even Handle This Action Survey are in and….wow! You guys absolutely do not have enough to do. You should get on that. But we were unsurprised to find that, in planning the rest of our year, a) most of you wanted us to do reviews for which we do not get paid; 2) pretty much the same amount of you were perverts, lazy, in love with Leonardo Dicaprio, or poetry-seekers (hard to choose, right?); 3) Podcasts and Pride & Prejudice people insisted on being tediously alliterative, 4) almost the same amount of people wanted more real-world reviews as didn’t know who we are. That’s fine; the people who read the reviews don’t know who we are either.

Since you apparently have nothing better to do than hang around here and click on things, you won’t mind if we take these one by one.

1. Speedreaders
Coming; we have a few real-world reviews first and then it’s going to all happen for you.

2. Real-World Reviews
See “Speedreaders”

3. Podcasts
Coming; don’t care if you want ‘em

4. Poetry
Incoming shortly; check out our porn haiku in the meantime.

5. More Leo fakeouts


Duh. Done. DIRTY LEO. Grrrrr.

6. Who is Old Hag?

7. Pride & Prejudice

Fucking done….most ardently!

8. Seriously, who is Old Hag?

9. We avoid working

10. Porn? No porn?
We’re the only pervert around here, sorry. But here’s that Old Hag/Young Woman picture all the rest of you are looking for.

11. More pics of adorable nephew (Write-In)
We’ll do you one better. Three things to note: a) This might take a sec to load; b) yes, that is Marketwatch; it’s never too early, and c) seriously, you might die. DIE!

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We wish a blog could actually make a “schnap” sound

Posted by Lizzie on 02/12/07

She might as well have written a few thousand words about how she’s just noticed that young people seem to be wearing strange padded beans in their ears everywhere they go, touching tiny, space age-looking pods that light up and seem to respond to their touch, oblivious to the daily noises of life around them; that she’s heard these devices contain digital music, and how shocked, appalled and saddened she is that these young fools are not at home cranking the Victrola, doing the jitterbug and listening to real music.

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Pandering to the masses

Posted by Lizzie on

This week on perennial fave Five Chapters: a Blog Laureate.

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Posted by Lizzie on 01/29/07

If they told you I’m mad, then they lied.
I’m odd, but it isn’t compulsive.
I’m the triolet, bursting with pride;
If they told you I’m mad, then they lied.
No, it isn’t obsessive. Now hide
All the spoons or I might get convulsive.
If they told you I’m mad then they lied.
I’m odd, but it isn’t compulsive.

What Poetry Form Are You?

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Posted by Lizzie on 01/24/07

Sacrilege. [Via Galleycat]

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Take Five

Posted by Lizzie on 01/21/07

header.jpgThose of you that ever pay ANY attention to what we do may recall a year or two or so ago–we’re over thirty now; who cares anymore–our trying to get together something called "Teaser" that would print first chapters from forthcoming works. We did, like, two before we were informed that Pride & Prejudice needed repeated watching. Though we still maintain our very wonderful teasers will whup any kind of behind, Five Chapters is attending a little more diligently to a similar project–in a weekly fashion, yet! At this brilliantly simple site, one story is serialized over a work week; a new author arrives each Monday. This week is J. Robert Lennon; you can check out the archives here. (They include Thisbe Nissen, Anthony Swofford and Vendela Vida, just to start.) We actually have a very hard time reading print online (we know, we know, a vegetarian butcher), so we hope the wonderful editor, David Daley, considers adjusting the grayscale text for us old folkspeople who need glasses. The "Print" function is a start–maybe consider a formatted downloadable PDF, or, we don’t know, something with a pretty cover we could buy in a store? Whatever. Live it up, you twentysomething bastards.

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Our Asberger’s needed a feeding

Posted by Lizzie on 01/16/07

It has been a long time, Slate. A long goddamned time! But finally, a goodie from Daniel Bosch:

Would this be ambience, or atmosphere?
I hadn’t expected such an emptiness!
An empty nest.
Do you open up before or after a good pandering?
Book, Web site, infomercial. Edginess must be catching.
So let me be the first to congratulate—
Too late.
What is it people seek in your utterances?
Other answers.
You knew Mozart. Before he decomposed—
He composed.
And Freud was your plumber. Conscious or unconscious?
Kein Anschluss.
But have you ever crossed over? You know, necrophilia?
Celebrities! They run to sarcasm.
Our chasm.
How do you do it? I’m already way off course.
Of course.

Read the rest. Also, try this Jennifer Clarvoe…from many years ago.


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Back to Sloth

Posted by Lizzie on 01/03/07

We’re a little late on this–lust, sloth, gluttony, etc.–but Boldtype’s Deadly Sins issue is up.

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Children of the Zune

Posted by Lizzie on 12/18/06

After Niki, Ms. Roizen’s daughter, became proficient at World of Warcraft, her mother took her to visit Perpetual Entertainment, a game company in San Francisco she had invested in. Niki had some criticisms of the company’s game, a role-playing epic called Gods and Heroes, telling its developers that it seemed unpolished and choppy. The game makers, taking advice from Niki and others, improved the product by the time she visited again. “When she picked me up, she said, ‘Did you like it? Was it more fun?’ And I said yes, the whole car ride home,” Niki said.

We could not remember why this Times article about exploitingasking your kids for investment advice on digi-gadgets sounded so creepily familiar. Then we did:

As for the nursery, thought George Hadley, it won’t hurt for the children to be locked out of it awhile. Too much of anything isn’t good foranyone. And it was clearly indicated that the children had been spending a little too much time on Africa. That sun. He could feel it on his neck, still, like a hot paw. And the lions. And the smell of blood. Remarkable how the nursery caught the telepathic emanations of the children’s minds and created life to fill their every desire. The children thought lions, and there were lions. The children thought zebras, and there were zebras. Sun -sun. Giraffes – giraffes. Death and death.

We’ll await the inevitable, "I Fed My Parents to World of Warcraft, and All I Got Was This Lousy Portfolio" tee.

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Busy busy busy

Posted by Lizzie on 12/11/06

But never too busy for the revelation of "bitch-perfect"!

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More Help For Search Strings

Posted by Lizzie on 12/10/06

fuck my ex boyfrined never loved him poems

Here you go!

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Did you check if you said “Off the Record”?

Posted by Lizzie on 12/07/06

David Rosenthal, the publisher of Simon & Schuster, dismissed Mr. Stein’s claims. “We’re confident in his work,” Mr. Rosenthal said of Mr. Carter. “Do we check every line in every book? No, but that’s not the issue here. I have no reason to doubt President Carter’s research.”

Things Simon & Schuster did do:

1. Decide trim size;
2. Choose dingbats for headers;
3. Resolve the debate on centered, justified folios.

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More like “first base” mirth than “deep-throated mirth”, but call us anyway

Posted by Lizzie on

Why, this is the funniest thing we have read in years. [Via Maudie]

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Oh, we love this one

Posted by Lizzie on

More dictionary verse.

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Commenter, hie thee to the nearest bar and grope a woman immediately

Posted by Lizzie on 12/06/06

Sadly, we cannot give our books away to be scanned to Google Book Search or Microsoft’s Live Search Books, lacking, poor souls that we are, an ISBN. (Buy it here, though–there are only 10 copies left! No joke.) But the Powells books blog has a funny:

Never one to be outdone by lesser mortals, Microsoft is going head-to-head with Google by launching the beta of Live Search Books, its own book search engine, today.

Somebody, somewhere, is very excited about this whole book-search-on-the-Internet trend. Me, not so much. But this caught my attention:

As part of its defense in the U.S. lawsuit filed by The Authors Guild, Google has subpoenaed several other companies that have book scan projects, including Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon. While Amazon and Yahoo have issued objections to the subpoena, Microsoft has not yet issued a formal response…

What’s that all about? It’s like Dr. Doom subpoenaing Lex Luthor, Doctor Octopus, and the Joker to testify at his trial that his plot to conquer the world is no more nefarious than any other master villain’s scheme.

A commenter points out:

Um, dude, like, the Joker can’t be in the same trial as the others, dude, ’cause, like, he’s DC and the others are Marvel…unless this is, like, a crossover series, dude, with collectible covers and stuff…

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A Winner’s Tale

Posted by Lizzie on

Once we cleared away all the people with whom we a) regularly break bread , b) grew up, c) have done naughty things, and d) are blog friends, we were left with a lively assortment of the non-nepotistically tainted, the harder to choose among, since we HAVE NOT READ any of the books in question and you’re all so *cute* to help me out, etc., etc., ad infinitum. We finally went with the lady (gentleman?) who had something we want right now, viz a cuppa tea. Please send address, cuppa, and you will receive our fave book of the year! Oh great and powerful Cotton-knower, you too will receive OH’s FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR presently. The National Book Critics Circle also has good recommendations, although, Skloot, Freeman, tag for chrissakes. What is this, 1923?

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