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To give you Five Norwegian Chaps Singing a Parody Version of Wham!'s "Last Christmas" in nonsensical German:

(Via [ profile] justinhowe.)

Happy Glockenspielen' Holidays.
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1. I am one of the interviewees in Locus magazine this month. Lest that make you reluctant to pick up a copy, the other interviewee is Connie Willis, so.

2. Paper Cities, the World Fantasy Award-nominated anthology in which my story "The Somnambulist" appears, is now available on the Kindle.

3. Not so much an announcement, but I will be dropping by the Twin Cities Book Festival tomorrow at some point, so if you're going to be there let me know and we can look for each other.

4. This is funny:

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I'm not sure why this popped into my head today, but it kills me every time I watch it:

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Post title has nothing to do with anything except the fact that I read the book recently. Yes, Shaft was a book first. It is extremely macho. (Yes, that is actual cover copy above.)

I would like please for my subconscious to stop sending me dreams in which I am berated. Seriously, they're worse than nightmares. At least I wake up from nightmares with an adrenaline rush. After these dreams I wake up feeling like I'm back in junior high.

I kind of love Black 20 News. It's funny.

A new installment of the Secret City went up last night, in case any of y'all missed it.

RE: the Secret City, for those of you who have been following it. I'm interested in hearing whether y'all have questions that you hope to have answered in future installments; any particular characters, phenomena, or subplots that you're curious about? I won't promise anything, but so far this thing has been steered by my whims. I'm happy to keep that up, too, but if any of you would like to toss your whims into the mix, feel free to do so below.

Is all for now. Am in final stages of the novel, and I really want it to be done.
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So I called up my friend Kiljoong to ask him if he wanted to go see Volver, because it's Almodóvar and I like Penelope Cruz when she's acting in Spanish. (For some reason her voice grates on me something awful when she's speaking English. I realize that I am insane.) He doesn't pick up so I leave him a voice mail saying, "Blah blah blah Century Centre Thursday or Friday would work but if that's no good for you Sunday would be fine too." (As I'm typing this I'm realizing that tonight wouldn't have worked, actually, but it turns out not to be relevant.)

A couple of hours later he calls me up to tell me he's sick as a dog.

"Do you have finals?"

He laughs. In all the time I've known him, the only time Kiljoong ever gets sick is during finals week. Like clockwork. He put so much pressure on himself and works so hard that he invariably develops a debilitating cold. Since he's been in school for most of the time I've known him--he's working on his PhD now--it's become a regular cycle.

No, he tells me, he doesn't have finals. Furthermore, Thursday and Friday are no good for him, and am I SERIOUS ABOUT SUNDAY?!?!?



". . . oh." The Super Bowl.

"What the hell is wrong with you?"

I start laughing, which is perhaps unwise. "I don't pay attention to football, you know that."

"Dave. It's the Bears. You live in Chicago."

Both good points. And of course I see the Bears stuff every day on the TV and the newspapers and the streets and OK everywhere. But it's part of a reality adjacent to my own.

Kiljoong tries to talk me into going to some Super Bowl party with him.

"I wasn't planning on watching it."

"Don't you watch the commercials?"

"Sometimes? I guess? If they put them online."

He sighs, and asks me if there's a showing before the game. I ask him what time the game starts. This sets off a whole new round of apoplexy. I can hear him shaking his head at my apathy.

"If there's a 12:00 show or something, I'll go. But you'll have to understand if I'm tense."

"Think of me as a calming influence, since I'm not worried about it."

"You're indifferent. It's not the same thing."

Suddenly it clicks. "Oh my god! That's why you've got a cold! You're so stressed about the game that you've made yourself sick!"

"Shut up."

"You're pathetic. God, what if it was the Cubs?!?"

"If it was the Cubs," he says patiently, "I wouldn't even be speaking to you."
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Of course, the arguments have absolutely nothing to do with swallows, as anyone who understands the language of the two Tartars can testify.

"Of all the people I know, you are the biggest cronk," Calac says.

"And you are the biggest pettifor," Polanco says. "You call me a cronk, sir, but it's obvious that you've never boneyed your face in a mirror."

"What you're trying to do is start a fight with me, mister," Calac says.

The two boney each other with a fearful mulgh. Then Polanco takes out a piece of chalk and draws a zott on the floor.

"You are the biggest cronk," Calac says.

"And you're the biggest pettifor," Polanco says.

Calac bulls the zott with the sole of his shoe. They seem to be at the point of maphing each other.

"You're the biggest cronk," Calac says.

"And you're the biggest pettifor," says Polanco.

"What you're trying to do is start a fight with me," Calac says.

"You bulled my zott," says Polanco.

"I bulled it because you nicked me as a pettifor."

"And I nick you again, if that's what we've come to."

"Because you're a cronk," Calac says.

"A cronk is a lot better than a pettifor," Polanco says.

Polanco takes a terfulgh from his pocket and sticks it on Calac, who doesn't remune.

"Now you're going to reboy me for saying I'm a cronk," Polanco says.

"I'll reboy you for anything you want and I'll bull any zott you have," Calac says.

"Then I maphe you with this trefulgh in the mondong."

"And you'll still be a cronk."

"And you a poor little pettifor."

"And for a cronk like you every zott will be bulled, even if you pull a trefulgh with six stars."

"I maphe this trefulgh on you," says Polanco, who boneys it very tight. "Nobody bulls my zott or goes around nicking me for a cronk."

"The blame for what happens will be yours because you nicked me first," Calac says.

"You nicked me first," Polanco says. "Then I counternicked as you deserved and you bulled my zott and reboyed me by saying I'm a cronk."

"I reboyed you because you boneyed me first."

"And you, why did you bull my zott?"

"I bulled it because you were boneying me in an ugly way. No pettifor boneys me even if he pulls a trefulgh on me."

"All right, all right," Juan says. "It's getting like a session at the disarmament conference in Geneva, I can tell you from first hand."

"Didn't you ever maphe that trefulgh?" asks my paredros, who always acts if he knows what's going on.

"Watch out," Polanco says. "Put it so that it will rust on me later with all it's cost me to keep it in shape. Arms are a delicate matter, you know."

"My chest will be silver sheath which that filthy thing doesn't deserve," Calac says, "Go on, put it back in your pocket, because what you like the best is the fuzzy kind."

- 62: A Model Kit,
Julio Cortázar, tr. Gregory Rabassa


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