If you enjoyed this interlude, please figure out the HTML for the jump function?

Posted by Lizzie on 01/18/07

For reasons that may or may not ever become clear to you–not that we give a crap–we’re finally publishing a poem on our blog that also remains on permanent loan to our dearest friend Mr. Balk, as long as he wants it. (No, Alex did not make the poem up to make fun of us. He is much funnier than that.) We wrote this many years ago in college for a friend who was being dicked over by an evil, unkind mana 26-year-old. That man is now a dutiful, loving husband and father. See the power of poetry? Especially when it RHYMES?

There’s a jump in here for the old folks. Don’t jump, old folksThe "jump" function is missing from our WYSIWYG for some reason. You’re going to have to get THE WHOLE THING AT ONCE! (Rimshot! We love saying "Rimshot!".) If you are related to us, do not read past stanza 4. Everyone else–we don’t know why you even read this blog in the first place, so whatever.

Ballad Of The Love-Scorned Anywoman

Would it trouble you, at my behest,
to put a stuttering heart to rest?

This trouble’s neither great nor tall–
So look at me, at least, or call.

My number’s listed in the book,
and much is said with scattered look,

or not. Not operating, then
fling out that stevedore, and pen

a captive letter, deeply felt,
as lush and fired as African veldt.

God’s love, we never had a fight!
We Walked in Beauty like the Night!

or somesuch. As you used to say?
perhaps that was another day.

Perhaps you listed me along
with All Else In My Life That’s Wrong:

the idling sound that’s not quite sound,
the ruined roast, the basset hound

you wanted but never seemed to get.
And you had studied to be a vet!

Perhaps I’m left in flounced heap
with all else limitless and cheap.

Or backyard flung to sootwashed bin,
with other snot-strung cherubim.

But I digress, and I’m forlorn.
My hands are weeping, chewed-off, torn.

I’d send them to The One I Love,
If Hallmark made a helpful glove.

My needs are drippy, short and clear:
could you last lilt out, "My Dear?"

Can’t do? Be kind, if we’re to be free.
I sucked your dick; be nice to me.

Filed under: poesie, Sex-ish | Tags: | Comments (2)

Also, many cute earrings

Posted by Lizzie on 01/16/07

neda.jpgIf you are not a) a New Yorker, b) a girl, c) someone who cares about jeans, or d) someone who cares about jeans, New York, girls, or caring, simply skip this post. But if you ARE, we must take one moment to sub-blog and inform you of the wonders of this Court Street store, where we witnessed not one but FIVE miracles today, FIVE, viz. our trying on five pairs of jeans–yes, ladies, five pairs–all of which not only fit, but were also two sizes too small, and LOOKED GOOD. It’s like a goddamned bizarro-world J. Crew flagship store. We kept thinking of the scene in The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe wherein Edmund, seduced by the White Witch, keeps eating Turkish delight and never gets full, not realizing his actions are complicit in imposing a permanent winter over the land. We are totally okay if Aslan or Atlantic Yards or the world or whatever has to get sacrificed over this.

Go ye forth, try on some jeans, and witness the wonders for yourself. Just don’t buy that red dress; we can’t decide if we want it.

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Why did the radio have such small hands?

Posted by Lizzie on 12/28/06

Wee paws for station identification!

Etc. Which is to say, although it hardly needs noting, if you haven’t noticed, we’re on vacation until the New Year while the former BOOG finishes upgrading WordPress and fixes the photo upload feature–since, lord knows, if we can’t do stuff like this 90 times a day, life is not worth blogging.

A brief coda: Since in the past six months, we’ve already done ANYTHING we intend to do for the next three years and are only resolving, in the New Year, to hook up our DVD to have yet more unproductive time wending couchward, we would like to take this moment instead to thank the many former BOOGs of note. In the past few months, they have, only mildly complainingly, a) provided technical assistance of all kinds, b) vetted various jokes for publication, c) informed us when their step-aunt or milkman read something we’d written, and d) promptly replied "You’re the most beautiful girl in the world" everytime we demanded they tell us we’re pretty. Gentlemen, we would make a sandwich for each of you anytime, if we hadn’t already made 6,000 sandwiches for you. Make your own sandwich.

Okay. Now who’s free to hook up the DVD?

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They say the parent eventually becomes the child, but this is ridiculous

Posted by Lizzie on 12/06/06

FOOG (Father of Old Hag) just wrote us an email comprised entirely of the word whatever.

Filed under: WTF | Tags: | Comments (0)

The Searchers

Posted by Lizzie on 12/05/06

We’re going to tire of this back-end exploration* very soon, but since for reasons we can’t go into at present, we may be switching to the exploration of other back-ends** very soon, we wanted to take one last minute, pre-Xmas, to thank Old Hag readers for our welcome discovery: many of you come here for not completely perverted reasons. Which is to say, we thought items like “free videos of teen girls being spit roasted” (TRUTH) would make up the majority of our search strings, but we are very, very wrong. Some of you want to find out about books! Sorry about that. But, since December’s searches are, in their strange and fragile manner, in the words of our good friend, like “a beautiful poem”, we will post them below in the hopes that some of the OH readers who can read can help some of the other OH readers who apparently read. Back to Top Chef.

cliff notes for charm city by laura lippman ***
what piece does lizzy try to play at pemberley
jorie graham married
spare room portland poet
the main character in boys and girls by alice munro
busy person poem
has foetry closed
on beauty smith concert
literary blogs curtis sittenfeld
digging to america new yorker
mr darcy action figure
francine prose guided tours of hell book review
bloody mary does she really deserve the name ****
the secret charm of the kgb by author marjorie ross
cliff notes on the american psycho
bret easton ellis pdf
consider it brought *****
all saints and callanan
horses symbolism in boys and girls by alice munro
effect of child narrator in to kill a mockingbird
to kill a mockingbird-scout as a narrator
a most beloved sister darcy elizabeth casey
friends moving away poems not cheesy ******
alice mattison in case we re separated paperback
book critique summer guest by cronin
sniffing aspiring 1984 novelist us
doctor zhivago spoiler for the entire movie
special topics in calamity physics spoiler
when did the comic strip cathy firs debut


colin firth & hot
i love my husband more than i love ********


lizzie of old hag adam says hi ********

* Out. of. the. gutter.
*** For christ’s sake, what is it with you young people–are your brains set to go to sleep every fifteen minutes like the screen on your Dell? Just READ IT.
***** This is not literary, we just think it’s awesome.
****** Oooo! Carolyn Forche, “As Children Together.” You know, with fucking.
******* Really? Try:

******** Hi Adam

Thank you for your patience.

Filed under: Lit-ish | Tags: | Comments (0)

They can conveniently add the author’s heart after the first round of reviews

Posted by Lizzie on 12/04/06

Boy, when Google says snippets, they really mean snippets. (Scroll down.) If only they’d reached this* in time to create a cathartic graphic.

* Semi-related: The lost O.J. subtitles!

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Won’t you be my reading recommender?

Posted by Lizzie on 11/27/06

We have an unconscionable amount of work this week, and not enough black-and-white cookies in the universe to see us through. (Although our street has the bomb ones.)* Those of you who follow our travails also know that all of our stuff is in storage. That’s why we’re asking for your help, meaning, why don’t you get off your lazy asses and do some work around here, FOR ONCE. In honor of the Times Notable Bestest Notable Books Better Than Those Black & White Cookies Even GODDAMNIT, we would like to hear what you thought was the best book of the year, meaning, what should we steal from the piles of review copies lying around the apartment of the guy we’re subletting from.**

And not to get even more touchy feelier than we already are, why don’t you leave us something about yourself–who you are, what brought you to this blog today, who you think would take the crown in Joyce Carol Oates vs. Jonathan Safran Foer, UFC style, three rounds max in the three word name starting with J, second name ‘a’ sound, third name ‘o’ weight class. We’ve never asked you to tell us anything about yourselves, but we finally learned how to scroll through our referrer logs and, frankly, we know much more about you than you want us to already. (Oh, yes,, on the Firefox 2.0 platform with 4.67 megabytes of bandwidth–we’re looking at YOU.)***

We won’t be here for a week. Have fun. One woman’s evening hangs in the balance.

UPDATE: A gentle reader suggested it is hopeless for us to ask any of you to lower your exhausted digits onto a keyboard without a sizable carrot at the end of the QWERTY. FINE. Free copy of our favorite book of the year (secret!) to a randomly chosen entrant.

* Last night, we also discovered that you could get off the subway, get a slice of pizza, walk three blocks, decide you needed another slice of pizza because you had not had your daily serving of vegetables, and get a slice of broccoli pizza with ease. It’s not good, when you’re using pizza to get your daily serving of vegetables. On the plus side, it’s not vodka for the carbs. Yet.

** Speaking of the plus side, at a reading for the very talented and kind Stephen Burt, whose work you should examine, we also discovered that, OH YEAH, WE NEED READING GLASSES. This morning, we hit Ctrl+ not once but twice to get our browser text up to speed (tonight we enlarge not once but twice….wouldn’t it be awesome if you could do that for cookies, as well as various other items of import, like pizza and get your mind out the gutter?). Reader, mark this day, this sad day, this day of reckoning. Our masthead is no longer ironic.

*** This referrer log stuff is addictive. Fear not; we really can’t see who you are. HOWEVER, if you come from a law firm or publisher or school or anyone that hosts its own server, we can see that you’re visiting from, say, MIT. (And why are so many of you visiting from MIT? We are not Old Mathematician.) In these cases, we can also usually see the name of the computer, often something engagingly gaming and nerdy like, say, Myth117.

Why are we engaging in this incredibly boring object lesson, you ask? For one reason. The reader from a major publisher (don’t worry, we won’t say which) who has named her computer worstwordho IS OUR NEW HERO.

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And, as always, forgive us

Posted by Lizzie on 11/16/06

If you’re getting popups on the site today, we apologize. We have no idea what scrap of idiocy we linked to/installed that’s making it like AOL circa 1996 up in here, but we are trying to get to the bottom of it. In the meantime, for God’s sake, install Firefox.

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And…insert “full of shit” joke

Posted by Lizzie on 11/07/06

As a very important person, we generally try, on this blog, to steer clear of personal minutiae, adventures in consumerism, or information–cute and otherwise–about the pets in residence. However:

Our cats’ litterbox has a goddamned spiral staircase.

Thank you for reading.

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Not that you care, but…

Posted by Lizzie on 11/02/06

We’re back. And sorry. We’re sorry! We haven’t blogged in NINETY-SIX THOUSAND YEARS and damned if we really don’t have an excuse–except for being, despite recent assurances to the contrary, a, you know, bad person. But all that is over now! We are happily or in any event ineluctably ensconced in C.-Gard, Brooklyn, where the collective surrounding weight of other writers promises to ensure we will never write another article, to say nothing of a book, until we are 57. (Do you know we wrote ELEVEN BOOKS IN BALTIMORE? Eleven. We had like eleven boyfriends too. And there were CRABS, for chrissakes. What in the motherhell are we doing here–we better have a Sarsgaard sighting immediately.)

Anyway, we just wanted to let you know–did you catch it the first ten times?–that we’re back. Publicists, please check out the About page for our new mailing address. We will post some reviews soon, although every book we have read in the past six months has been so godawful we’d break Speedreader if we tried to address them all. (You know what is awesome though? Us. And Top Chef. And, weirdly, that Rachael Ray! She’s spunky.)

In lieu of actual content, we thought we’d just present a letter we recently received in our inbox, somewhat annotated for, you know, clarification. The letter is from our former landlady, whom we screamed at for deducting from our security deposit a charge to clear a drain that had been clogged OUR ENTIRE TIME IN THE APARTMENT DESPITE NUMEROUS PLEAS FOR SNAKING. (Ooo! Rude, rude.) The backstory: IT WASN’T OUR RAZOR CAP, OKAY?

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Old Hag, in Extra-Large Pixels

Posted by Lizzie on 08/10/06

bluepoppyThe always remarkable bluepoppy kindly asked us to sit down (email down?) for an interview on our poetry with her, and we were happy to agree. Our numerous dangling participles—it was an email interview, damnit!—can be found here, along with one unpublished poem. (No, not this one.) As always, people: buy the book. Or a drink. Or just, you know, a candy bar. LISTEN, WE’RE VERY EASILY PLEASED.

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Isaiah Achille (Noth) Skurnick, June 23, 2006

Posted by Lizzie on 08/08/06

We know what some of you are thinking.
That was fast.
Actually, if we calculate correctly, the happy couple waited a full two months.

An evil friend suggested the picture below of aunt and child was all about the tan. He was mistaken.

Welcome to the world, Isaiah. We’re going to blog the SHIT out of you.*

*Confused by the delay? Experts agree it is best to wait six weeks before exposing babies to the harsh postilence of the blogosphere.

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The Firefox and Flock

Posted by Lizzie on 07/26/06

We’re currently away on a writing residency here, but in lieu of actually writing or whatever we’re testing this new Flock thing for blogatory purposes. Incidentally, on our drive down Virginia’s Route 29 today, we saw a restaurant named “The Pig and Steak.” We know, the red states are wrong. But sometimes they’re so, so right.

UPDATE: Hello, Flock! Goodbye, Firefox. You heard it from the inane early adopter here.

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Just by the way, we….

Posted by Lizzie on 06/07/06

….are not dead. To briefly sum up, we broke up with our boyfriend in January and it made us much too sad, we had to launch a website at work, we had too many reviews to write, we moved to a whole goddamn new house, we had to hook up our wireless and screw holes in things and update our Windows and figure out the stereo and we STILL HAVEN’T HOOKED UP THE DVD, THANKS A LOT, LIAM, and we are currently here, where they bring you your lunch in a little baggie and make eighty-course dinners and deer run about and cows stop when you jog by and when we come back we are going to post some pictures that will make you SO FUCKING JEALOUS YOU MIGHT DIE, in a Brokeback full Proulx swoon kind of way. We will also show some pictures detailing the gruesome alphabetizing of 5,000 books, which was aided by someone lovely named HELEN, and we will show some pictures of AWP that we never got around to posting, too, in which writers are literally dancing in the streets, we will post some light verse we wrote for the radio, a fascinating interview with Miss Curtis Sittenfeld AVEC GIVEAWAY, and we will choose books for the winners of this contest, who were, ironically enough, two people who THOUGHT OF THE SAME THING AT THE SAME TIME, WHICH WE KNOW BECAUSE THEY WERE BOTH CAUGHT IN OUR APPROVAL QUEUE, MIRABILE DICTU. Whassup Don Cheadle. We also have a tote and some journals from a hot new publication to give away; someone will be symbiotic and literotic. We would also at this point like to give a shoutout to Nellie McKay, Gillian Welch–two ladies who pronounce their names in unusual ways–and the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack, all of whom and which GOT US THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT TIME. Goodnight, ladies.

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Less where that came from

Posted by Lizzie on 02/14/06

For our own part, we are generally not in favor of the apologetic duck in the face of an intense non-posting situation. However, as explanation and information, we’d like to let you know that the cause of our absence is romance-related and terribly final. We’ve been needing to assemble a lot of IKEA furniture for our new apartment, watch Kill Bill and Ocean’s Eleven over and over for no particular reason, not cook, and have anxiety attacks over how technologically retarded we are on our own, to say nothing of how we are on our own in general, which is grist for another mill. Anyway, we’ve been gone and we’re just going to be gone until we’re not. Congrats to all our pregnant friends, and commiz to all in the midst of terrible divorces. Kudos to the recently moved-in-together; we are big fans. And goodbye, our favorite webmaster, goodbye.

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Blessed Are the Poor in Technological Aptitude

Posted by Lizzie on 02/04/06

We know most of you are writers and/or bookish like ourselves and therefore useless, but we need some help. We’ve set up our router and it is forty times slower than our direct cable connection. We updated the firmware, we investigated those mbps thingers, we said WHAT THE FUCK and gestured towards on high. It’s all firewalled and everything. Anyway, what could it be? What should we do? TELL US HOW TO MAKE IT FAST, BY GOD. THIS BLOG IS DYING HERE.*

* It’s an SMC barricade, if you care.
** Send emails to theoldhag ATTABOY theoldhag DOTMATRIX com. Yes, we’re trying to confound bots.

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Gay Cowboys Are My Weakness

Posted by Lizzie on 12/27/05

Upon seeing “Brokeback Mountain.”

Old Hag: That movie’s totally going to sweep the Oscars.
Sister of Old Hag: Do you think?
OH: Were there any other good movies this year?
SOOH: I don’t think so.
OH: We have to find them. We have to rent them if there were any.
SOOH: I don’t want to see any movies that aren’t about gay cowboys.

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Thank You and Goodnight

Posted by Lizzie on 10/28/05

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of my excellent guest bloggers — Liam Callanan, Tayari Jones, and Casey Greenfield — for giving me a three-week break. (more…)

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Advertiser Love Train

Posted by Lizzie on 10/06/05

We would like to take this moment to thank our new advertisers, who, while not quite providing us with the scratch to enable a husband to quit his job, still come through with the equivalent of very good pair of shoes and a fish taco each month. They are:

* Doug Psaltis’s The Seasoning of a Chef (Psaltis. SALT IS! SEASON! Shake it here)
* Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and The Whale, in which it appears Laura Linney may yet again disable the hotness
* Dancer and author Rachel Howard’s memoir The Lost Night, which tells the true and unsolved story of her father’s murder, and is beyond with the five stars on Amazon (Buy it here; Rachel’s blog here)


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Not the most-linked post in the blogosphere

Posted by Lizzie on 10/05/05

We are pretty handy with the, uh, metaphors.* However, of late, the meager power of even this simple coin amidst the poverty of our talents** has fallen to the asphalt with a deafening clang. Recently, we had a very unpleasant interaction with a person of some standing** that has prompted umpteenth people to ask, “What happened?” And, though we would usually hit back with a, She was as dumb as Carson Daly with a mouth full of duck tape or a She had the managerial acumen of a salt shaker, we keep coming up with this.

See, we’re okay with the metaphors, but we’re not great with the “Not the (optimal state of thing) (thing) in the (where thing generally resides). But our brain, she wants, she wants! So we try, She’s not the shiniest pair of Saccos at the Nordstrom Rack. She’s not the best-clumping kitty litter at Petland Discount. She’s not the most full-bodied box wine at Trader Joe’s. We’re shooting blanks here, people. We’re cooking our meat without marinade. We’re, ah…hitting “Reply All” to single-addressed emails.

So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to award one free, signed copy of Check-In to the commentor with the best comeback in the “Not the sharpest knife in the drawer” vein. (You can get extra credit for some, “She’s as dumb as…”, but stick to the Prime Directive here.) To give you some actual incentive, we will also award the winner one free poem in which YOUR NAME IS PROMINENTLY FEATURED.**** We will also promise to never, ever read to you aloud.

Hit us with your best expression of distaste in a humorous and unlikely form!

* This is neither an expression of pride nor a double entendre nor an assertion of the primacy of metaphor over good shoes or daily hygiene, just another sad expression of how, in sentence construction, as in life, you gotta work with what you have.
** We will never ever approach the genius of this one: “He’s about as interesting as a rock in a coma wearing a Von Dutch trucker’s hat.” Zach, we can only dream.
*** To paraphrase Wonkette, in Baltimore, this is akin to calling someone “the tallest short person”, but, again, working with what we have over here.
**** Actual results may vary.

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