Archive for July 2008

Jancee Dunn “Don’t You Forget About Me”   5 comments

Jancee Dunn, my inimitable best friend’s new book is ON SALE NOW!

The Los Angeles Times says, “Dunn’s deft sense of pacing and her old-fashioned niceness make “Don’t You Forget About Me” a breezy, entertaining summer read that never insults the reader’s intelligence. This is a seemingly modest achievement that should not be underestimated.”

So run, don’t walk, go get it!

Don’t You Forget About Me

Posted July 30, 2008 by julieklam in Books

The Inquisition with Patrick Brown   Leave a comment

I just got back from the beach and my eyes are burning from over-exposure to the sun, but not so much as to prevent me from a little self-promotion.

Recently, I had the honor of being interviewed for the Vroman’s Podcast by my close virtual friend, Patrick Brown.

Patrick has a sensibility so similar to mine it’s kind of eerie. Though I balk at sincerity, I mean it when I say that meeting him has been one of the best things about publishing my book.

Without further ado, The Inquisition with Patrick Brown.

Now I need to go put some cucumber slices on my eyes.

Posted July 28, 2008 by julieklam in Podcast

Parental Sacrifice   3 comments

The other day, Violet picked out a Barbie activity set at Costco–her present to celebrate Tuesday. It included stickers, a dvd of Barbie movie trailers, and a “book.”

Barbie Magical Moments Storybook is so bad it makes me feel like I’m committing child abuse. It’s the literary equivalent of feeding your child pixie sticks, bubble gum cigarettes and Pepsi. I’ve read it now about 50 times. The “illustrations” are computer animated stills from the fine Barbie “movies” and the “stories” are novelizations of these cinematic gems.

Today I was reading Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses, in which Barbie portrays “Genevieve” the prettiest of a dozen princess sisters and that’s really all you need to know about the plot. On the second page of the story, two consecutive paragraphs begin with the words “That night,” and then the following two paragraphs start “Back at the castle.” I was rapping it, “THAT NIGHT, THAT NIGHT, BACK AT THE CASTLE, BACK AT THE CASTLE!” Call me Michiko, but can’t they find an editor? I mean they’ve got Barbie’s money behind them, they should be able to hire Jonathan Galassi. I just hate the idea that Violet’s going to grow up thinking not varying the start of paragraphs is okay. I’m getting off my high horse now.

If you see my brain anywhere, please email it back to me.

Posted July 24, 2008 by julieklam in Summer '08

Inspiration #1: David Rakoff   3 comments

This a new feature of the Julie Klam Blog. Novel, right? I thought of it the other day when I was asked by an interviewer who my influences were and I drew a complete blank. “Uh… like uh… smoked turkey or something?”

I’m always a little leery of talking about anyone who has blurbed my book because then everyone says, “Oh right, they’re friends, that’s why he/she did it.” I did meet Mr. Rakoff one time, he was brilliant, hilarious and kind while I was doofy and tongue-tied making jokes that fell flat. That’s what happens to me in the presence of genius. I start trying to show my worthiness and end up looking like a schmuck.

David Rakoff, who in his wiki-pedia entry is described as a “Canadian Jew,” is the author of Fraud and Don’t Get Too Comfortable and a frequent contributor to This American Life . I am not overstating it when I say I believe he is the funniest person in funny today. Funnier than any other writer. Funnier than any other David.

When I first started reading Fraud, I panicked because it was the only David Rakoff book around and it wasn’t that long and when it was over, I’d have no more David Rakoff to read. So I parsed it out to two pages a night, like a special flourless chocolate cake. And then I read it again and again and everything that made me laugh the first time cracked me up again on a totally new level (working under the assumption that there are seven levels of jocularity) and I would read parts out loud to an individual who had been looking forward to reading it to himself and was not appreciative of my constant onslault of spoilers.

So there it is. Except one more thing; David Rakoff looks a lot like the British singer Robbie Williams.

David Rakoff….. an inspiration.

Posted July 22, 2008 by julieklam in Inspiration

Writing a Bike   Leave a comment

My perfect husband has been spending weekends teaching Violet how to ride a bike. Before I was a parent, I used to see people teaching their kids to ride bikes and think, “I’d like to have a kid, but I don’t want to have to teach it to ride a bike.” When Paul brought his big Schwinn [insert Beavis and Butthead chortle] to our first date, I knew I’d found a man I could procreate with. So yesterday in the million degree (not including humidity) weather, they were out for three hours riding so that I could do some writing.

I have a lot of work to do and zero time to do it during the week. But instead of using the three hours of quiet time prudently and responsibly, I watched this commercial over and over and over.

Posted July 21, 2008 by julieklam in Summer '08

House Arrest   Leave a comment

It’s really hot in Manhattan today (think the middle of a grilled cheese sandwich) and it doesn’t look like me and my gaoler are going anywhere. So far, I’ve read aloud over thirty picture books (I had to take a lozenge mid-way through), had to play with Disney Princess Polly Pockets–spent 45 minutes trying to get Cinderella’s head back on her body with a screwdriver– (I hoped I’d accidentally jab myself so we could go to the infirmary), and was told not to sing whilst scrubbing the broiler. If she goes to sleep, I’ll try tying some sheets together.

Posted July 18, 2008 by julieklam in Summer '08

Thank you, Edan!   1 comment

Here are the latest picks from The Millions , a great literary blog.

You should bookmark this blog right under Vroman’s Blog, and Fresh Direct.

Posted July 16, 2008 by julieklam in Blogroll

The Smell of the Ballpark   2 comments

Today’s New York Times has a piece in the Sports section about what Major Leaguers won’t miss about the soon to be evacuated Yankee Stadium— the tiny clubhouse, low ceiling in the dugout, and the smelliness of the park.

I’m not a Yankee fan so I did my Nelson from The Simpsons snickering as I read, “Ha ha! Yankee Stadium is stinky.”

But the last line of the piece hit me like a smack in the face, “Diamondbacks Brandon Webb said he would miss another departing New York ballpark even less….“I think Shea smells worse,” Webb said.”

Wha??? Huh???? Shea Stadium smells? This is like finding out people think your house smells like kitty litter and beef stew. I felt humiliated for my team and then I started getting really steamed. All these yahoos from Podunk think New York City ballparks smell bad! Sure, they like the brand new ballparks with no history! This is why I have decided to leave my family and go on a tour smelling baseball stadiums. I will report my findings at a later date.

Just kidding. But don’t you think it’s kind of racist or something?

Posted July 15, 2008 by julieklam in Baseball

I’m back from the hell that is Nature   3 comments

I was at my parent’s house for 13 days. Other than no high-speed internet, here’s what I saw: bugs like from crazy bug movies, snakes –I lost count at 675, turtles, frogs, newts (or as Violet calls them nukes–she’s like W.) and a bat sitting on a chaise lounge. We thought it was dying or had rabies because it wouldn’t fly away, but just crawled little bits here and there, but the next morning it had flown away (or was eaten by something that’s now really sorry).

Also, Bea our lil’ dog got Lyme’s disease.

Posted July 14, 2008 by julieklam in Complain-y

Insight into the cuckoo’s nest that rests on my neck   Leave a comment

I just got back from 2 weeks at my parents –more on that later — but while I was there I went on my mother’s dial-up computer with no web browser except AOL to read my mail. In a mysterious moment, three e-mails from people who were lovely enough to write me kind words about my book were suddenly gone; sucked into the vortex that surrounds my mother and her kitchen.

As someone who has so few things to take great pride in, I am killing myself for not writing back to these people. I ALWAYS WRITE BACK when someone sends me a note and now there are three people in the world who think I’m as rude as a stain. I saw each of their e-mails for a few seconds and am tempted to go to a hypnotist to see if their addresses can be recalled in a trance state.  I think one of them was named Nancy ….  and the others were Frank and Joe Hardy.

Stupid head, think!

Posted July 13, 2008 by julieklam in oy