postmodern post in chicago

September 23rd, 2008 | Uncategorized

Photo 289

This is me on the stage of the auditorium at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I will imminently be giving a lecture. Out front, they have a computer set up with my blog on it. So I thought I’d make the blog be about the event.

I would like to have posted a picture here of the blog on the computer outside the auditorium. But I couldn’t manage that because I don’t have my camera cable, and my computer, with its magic internal camera, is all hooked up for the presentation. But I was able to use the magic computer camera  to take this picture of me and the auditorium screen, which WAS projecting the camera image of me…but it got washed out at the moment the photo was captured.

Could you follow that?

Is anyone at the SAIC looking?

59 Responses to “postmodern post in chicago”

  1. DeLandDeLakes says:

    I got the first comment! Snap!
    But seriously, I have no idea how to help you. Even your description of your predicament has me confused.

  2. shadocat says:

    I also have nothing to offer. I just wanted to say guess what made “the list”?

  3. Cynthia-Symp says:

    Surely any folks at SAIC would all be looking at you, not at this blog. (I mean I know schools are wired these days, but priorities, people, priorities!)

  4. Amy says:

    Uh, I live in chicago– how did I miss that you were coming here? Did I miss a memo, or a list, or a group, or something?

  5. Amy says:

    Well, hope it was a good ‘un– must do better Time Out events reading next time! Thanks for coming through!

  6. Cicada says:

    There was a blurb in the Reader about it that I found totally by chance last week. Guess I wasn’t looking for it on the blog since the Fall booksigning info is separate.

  7. kris dresen says:

    Amy, I was thinking the same thing. How could I have missed Alison was bound for Chicago? I would have totally made an effort to attend. That’s what I get for letting my Time Out subscription lapse a few weeks ago. Sigh.

  8. M-H says:

    Such a postmodern dilemma… Hope it went well.

  9. Ready2Agitate says:

    Check the “Appearances” link in the upper right of the blog.

  10. April says:

    Wow, AB, that’s so self-referential!
    Who needs the Large Hadron Collider? Your post-modern self-negating-self will cause the fabric of space to warp and bubble like CDs in a microwave.

  11. Jaibe says:

    Well, with respect to your $10 reading at Harvard Book Store, maybe that’s why their still open despite being independent & paying Harvard Square rents! I’ve never been to a reading there, but I bet there is less space for reading then people who would turn up. I find that a deeply dangerous bookstore where you always wind up with a stack of books you don’t have time to read… it’s usually crowded even without a reading, but maybe they have a talk space somewhere.

  12. andrewo says:

    Um, you lost me going past the Moose Lodge.

    (Hope someone gets this reference.)

  13. Feminista says:

    shadocat–I’ve read 30/75 on “the list.” Do I get a prize?

  14. Dana D says:

    I think I’ve followed you… but I wasn’t there. I’ll be in the audience this evening, though! Very excited to have you visit the ‘castle.

  15. Look who came to the talk last night! Our own Ginjoint! Looking very hale and hearty indeed. It’s always a little jarring, but in a nice way, to meet people from the blog. The word made flesh.

    ginjoint in Chicago

  16. June says:

    What a great picture!

  17. Dr. Empirical says:

    Wow, smart AND cute!

  18. Andrew B says:

    Re the Cambridge, MA, event — if you follow Alison’s link you’ll see that it’s actually being held at the Brattle Theater, not the bookstore. There will also be a short film about the making of the book, and a band will play during the signing — quietly, I hope. All that makes it easier to understand why they’re charging for the event. The important thing to remember is that the event is at the Brattle, not the bookstore. (Alison/Katie/Gahlord, if you get a chance you might help someone get to the right place by fixing this on the “Appearances” page.)

  19. Ginjoint says:

    Yeesh. What a lecherous grin. But I’m very glad I fit into the reality of the evening.

    Aw, thanks, Dr. E and June! Alison, it was a delightful and insightful presentation. One of my favorite parts was when you projected your rejection letter from SAIC. Damn snobs. (Can you tell I went to the poor kids’ art school down the street?)

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Alison. I hear from Maureen Seaton that you will be appearing at Women and Children First the same night she’s reading from her new memoir – which is a great double bill. For those in Chicago, myself included, who didn’t even know about the SAIC event, here’s another chance to see Alison. I believe the date is November 13.

  21. Anne Laughlin says:

    Oops. I’m the anonymous from above. Forgot to include my name. I also see that Alison has her appearances neatly posted under, uhm, Appearances, so sorry if it sounded like I was posting a news flash about the Chicago gig at Women and Children First.

  22. says:

    Hey Alison! I work for Square Books in Oxford, MS. Check out the cover of our bimonthly newsletter:

    We are screening the film tonight…there are tons of people in town for the very first debate, so there should be a pretty decent audience. Would love to see you come to our store sometime!

  23. says:

    Oops…the pic didn’t show. Here’s the link:

  24. Alex the Bold says:

    My head just exploded trying to follow that.

    Now I am to know — freedom, freedom — what George W. Bush goes through — food on your family, Norman, coordinate — feels like all the times.

  25. Halloween Jack says:

    Is it still possible to get a copy of the DTWOF newspaper? The… Daily Dish, was it?

  26. Ian says:

    How delightfully opaque and non-clarificial (I just made that up). Is there some book that tells you what those prefixes and suffixes actually mean?? Why you should use indigestible instead of undigestable? I missed that lesson.

    Wow. So nice to finally see a pic of Ginjoint! Looking very good n’ happy, which is very nice to see! Am glad you had a good time GJ!

    By the way, don’t know if anybody saw this, but some of the pastafarians have been doing some sterling work against the Phelps clan: God hates shrimp as well as fags apparently …

  27. June says:

    Sarah, I hope Oxford gets its debate on Friday. Lots of shenanigans happening, but surely the debate must go on?

  28. shadocat says:

    Feminista- If there is a prize for reading 30 of thos books. I want it too!

    Ginjoint- You’re looking marvelous!

  29. Jain says:

    Speaking of appearances, I see we still have November 8 or 9, Wordstock in Portland, OR. November 10, Booksmith in San Francisco. I’m still lobbying for Portland November 9th, Eugene November 10th. We’re conveniently located on I-5 just south of Portland, en route to San Francisco.

  30. Kate L says:

    Veering wildly off-topic, after hearing dire warnings on the economy from John McCain, Sarah Palin and now George Bush, am I the only one getting tired of what AFL-CIO chief George Meany once called “government by surprise”? He was talking about the Nixon administration, but I think his phrase applies here, as well. All this doomsday economic talk is enough to make me turn to the internet for some comforting common sense (i.e., Rachel Maddow on the feed), and this little parody from Spencer Ernst… .

  31. Ready2Agitate says:

    OK I’m at 19 on the list, but if I count other books by the same author (e.g. One Hundred Years of Solitude instead of Love in a Time of Cholera) I’d be upwards of 30, I think.

    Lecherous, Ginjoint? I’d say adorable. Two babes in hot glasses! :).

    ps The news today made me feel totally barf. Thx Kate L. for that link – an antidote to the total barfiness of the day. Yo, I could use a D2WO4 ep. right now!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Good heavens. I went to SAIC and lived in Chicago for 14 years. I came out in Chicago, and DTWOF was a huge part of my ‘process’.

    I moved away from Chicago 8 days ago, to a moderately ‘red’ state. The cosmic dance goes on.

  33. sk in London says:

    ginjoint, you look fantastic!!

    nice to ‘see’ you…

  34. Alex K says:


    And the obsessive mindset that blames me, as I count, for managing to have missed thirty-seven.

    Ginjoint is a lovely piece of work, and I write this having thought that about her mind already for quite some time.

  35. Ian says:

    Hmmm, it seems that having your pic posted on D2WO4

  36. Ian says:

    [CONTINUED – SORRY] It seems that having your pic posted on D2WO4 makes you seem more attractive if the response to Ginjoint’s fizzog going on display is anything to go by. Note to self: must get pic taken with AB at some point … I may then be able to secure a mate.

  37. Sarah says:

    June-yes, loads of shenanigans. As I type this, the guys right outside the store keep laying sod and hanging the flags and bunting. Nobody can believe it might not happen.

  38. Noominal says:

    Believe it or not, I know why your large screen image got washed out at the moment you tried to capture it.

    Macs with iSight cameras built-in use Core-Image technology to capture, then display images, and while you could see the image displayed in both places, the minute you used an Apple app to try and grab the image you saw on your laptop… it lost it’s secondary display (the big screen) because the big screen display is a nanosecond behind (or ahead?) of what you saw on your laptop. The big screen displayed the “flash” or click of the grab, I think. Kapish?

    Similarly, you cannot “grab” an image displayed in the DVD player using Apple apps… you get a bluescreen. It loses its mind for a second because it can’t do that many things at once successfully using Core-Image.

    You needed to grab what you see displayed in both places with a third party application (such as Snapz Pro, iShowU, etc) that does not access the same Core-Image capture/display that you are currently utilizing…

    Anyway, this is a moot point now, but I hope this helped explain the problem.

  39. Anna in Albuquerque says:

    I wish we still had a bookstore in Albuquerque you could read at. Sigh. I still miss Full Circle Books.

  40. Jaibe says:

    Ah, and the Brattle is desperately trying to raise money to stay open. So Alison is a big enough draw to be part of a fund-raising effort? how cool is that (if it’s true that’s what’s going on!) Anyway, thanks Andrew B!

  41. Ginjoint says:

    Noominal, you just pretzeled my brain.

    Kate L, I love that parody – especially how the creator even got McCain’s head all yellow. Check out the Madonna one too (it’s in that list to the right).

    Alex K, that’s the sweetest compliment I’ve ever been given! (Well, I’ve had people say “You’re a real piece of work, you know that?” to me many times, but I like the direction you took it better.) And thank you to all youse guys, as we say around here, for your kindness. As we all know, one of the hardest parts about cancer is dealing with the aftereffects of the treatment on one’s body(thankfully, I was never at a stage where the disease itself was wreaking havoc). So your sweet words are very much a balm. Thanks again to the denizens of my favorite blog. *mwah!*

    Also, I bought State By State the other day, and I’m very much enjoying it. I’ve hardly made a dent in it, though. Alison, I especially liked your entry. It was charming and personal, yet conveyed the flavor of Vermont – a place I’ve never been, but would now very much like to visit. (And remember that moose that Alison drew? Wait ’til you see how little it is in the finished product! The Goddess of Detail and Specificity strikes again.)

    For the cartooning fans, Alison’s is not the only graphic entry – Joe Sacco “does” Oregon. As I had hoped, David Rakoff’s take on Utah was hysterical, and unexpectedly understanding. One more thing, then I’ll shut the hell up – Dave Eggers, of McSweeney’s, covers Illinois, my home state. It’s very funny. Check it: “Illinois gave America Abraham Lincoln, a man who was at once humble, morally unshakeable, courageous, and preposterously eloquent.

    “Speaking of Barack Obama….”

  42. Eggers on Illinois was astonishing.

  43. Noominal! Thanks for explaining why the mac screen couldn’t see its own self. Fascinating.

  44. Uh…only 22, I’m sorry to report. Well, 23 counting mine.

  45. Ginjoint says:

    Of course the Illinois essay is wonderful, because we are Number One in essays.

    Tragically, I’m at…well, it’s more than 10. Here is where I completely disavow any responsibility for this, and blame the sexist schooling I received at the hands of a patriarchal government, in which all we ever read was stuff by white guys. Yes, yes, of course I could start reading those books now, but…there’s blogs to read.

  46. Ellen O. says:

    I’m at 33 and a half, largely because I’m an English major and have belonged to a book group for 20 years. I’m 150 pages into Middlemarch but stuck there. I read Pride and Prejudice, but what I remember about it is more from the movies. Nightwood is a blur, even though I wrote a short paper on it in graduate school. Ah, memory.

    The list is also a good reminder to read books I’ve meant to, but haven’t gotten to, like White Teeth, Possession, Wild Sargasso Sea, and Frankenstein.

    I would have added some Carol Shields though. And Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping.

  47. Ginjoint says:

    A book group that’s lasted for 20 years?! That’s astonishing. Is it a group of people who were friends already, or is it through a bookstore, or some other organization?

    I love Housekeeping too. The movie’s terrific as well.

  48. Ready2Agitate says:

    …And the winner is… the fabulous, inimitable Ellen Orleans!!! – give that woman a book!

    Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. I was lucky enough to have a a prof in college who taught a course called “Women Writers of the Other Americas.” (At 19, I was like, “other” Americas? Whatzat mean? …I don’t get it.) Anyway, said prof, one of my mentors and someone who deeply impacted my life, Veve Clark, passed away last year. Here’s to Veve for assigning books on the Top 75…..

  49. Ellen O. says:

    Thanks, R2A, but I bet there is someone reading this who has read many more than me!

    It was fun to see books from different parts of my life. I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn a dozen time in my teens; I just read A Good Man Is Hard To Find earlier this year. And it was all of you here who suggested Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

    Yes, it is astonishing that my monthly book group has lasted so long.To answer your question GinJoint (and now I know what you like, which makes all this more “real”), it’s a group which meets in member’s homes. Most of us knew each other, at least loosely, before we began and we are all lesbians. While several of the women are partners, overall, for whatever reason, we don’t socialize a lot outside of book group.

    Our long-standing rule was only books by women, but this year we added queer-themed books by men. Our first book in this category is Middlesex, which I’ve also read and enjoyed.

    Our group has grown smaller since 1988, when there were 15 of us. We’ve lost members through moving away, moving on, and of course, break-ups. It’s tricky for new women to feel comfortable because we have so many in-jokes and know and lovingly tolerate each other’s quirks. Still we have two recent members who seem to be sticking around.

    Our secret? We really do discuss the book. We hold the first 30 minutes for arriving and socializing and then dive into the discussion. We are enthusiastic readers with good literary training, so we’ve learned tricks for a meaningful discussion, including the fact that some books, while good reads, don’t make for a great discussion.

    We read a mix of old and new fiction, biography, occasionally poetry, and non-fiction, including some science-related works. (One of our members was on the team that won a Nobel Peace Prize for their work on climate change.)

    Well, this was longer than I intended, apologies for that, but I strongly recommend book groups; they are a fabulous way of building friendships and widening minds.

    Does anyone else belong to one? I’d love to swap stories.

  50. ksbel6 says:

    Ginjoint…awesome to see you…and I agree with the others, you look great!!

    OK, so I’ve only read 18 of the books, but I’ve read most of the authors and I’m actually in the middle of “The Group” right now! Not bad for a mathematician I think…

  51. Dr. Empirical says:

    Um, eleven?

    Obviously, the list is gender-biased! Whom do I sue?

  52. M. is for Maia says:

    Anne, thank you! Please don’t apologize for being redundant — it’s not redundant to me!

    I was just in the process of kicking myself for missing AB’s appearance, and kicking myself especially hard and in especially tender places because:

    (1) Being a former grad and instructor at SAIC, I get daily emails with events listings, and routinely delete them without reading.


    (2) I was at the Art Institute ALL DAY on Tuesday for a graphic design conference, and left the building at 5:00, not realizing what was about to take place next door!

    -and let’s not forget-

    (3) I read this blog all the time, and NEVER check the Appearances page. Oh, and I have a subscription to Time Out.

    So thanks for cross-pollinating, Anne. I appreciate it, and I’ll see you November 13th at Women & Children First!

    Looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of State x State. As an Alaskan by birth, I have such a fondness for moose, although I have to admit I’ve never field dressed one. Just chased them out of the garden. They love sugar snap peas.

  53. Feminista says:

    Well,like nearly everyone here,I’ve been an avid reader since,well,first grade. I loved historical novels and biographies. In high school I discovered James Baldwin,Camus,Sartre,Paul Goodman,and A.S.Neill.

    Plunging into feminism and then women’s studies in the early seventies continued to open up my world;Sartre & Camus gave way to de Beavoir and Emma Goldman. Later I was an adjunct instructor in women’s studies for about 9 years. In the mid-70s one study group tackled among others Mao,Lenin,Sheila Rowbotham,and Eli Zaretsky. In the early 80s I was chair of a socialist feminist study group which read books such as Capitalist Patriarchy and the Case for Socialist Feminism. Then I was in a women’s book group for 9 years which focused on working class white and women of color;it broke up because of our varying life circumstances (1 divorce,3 marriages,2 adoptions,3 in grad school,and many job changes).

    Now I write book reviews focusing on those “on the edge” for our local progressive paper The Portland Alliance,and have recently started going to 2 Meetup book groups. And belonging to the same women’s writing group for nearly 3 years helps me keep the pen moving,and we also laugh a lot. Write on!

  54. Ian says:

    Ok, I’ve read 4 books on the women’s list. I’m sure I’ve read Anne Frank for school but I can’t remember it, which would give me 5. And there are far better Agatha Christie books than “And Then There Were None”. Being a pale male, I decided to look at how many of Esquire’s list for the men I’d read. Do you know what, I’d only read 1 of the unashamedly butch 75. I now don’t feel literate enough to read this blog.

    Do you get half a point for having seen the movie? 😉

  55. I got 9 on the men’s list.

    Jeezum, I gotta lot to read.

  56. Ginjoint says:

    Aw, Maia, that sucks. You were so close. I feel bad now that I didn’t mention anything in comments about it, but the Appearances section had been brought up recently, so I didn’t. I’m sorry. The one time I don’t open my yap…

  57. Ready2Agitate says:

    Sheila Rowbotham… been awhile since I heard that name. I was assigned her in college too – that was 1985.

  58. Donna says:

    Just read something by a writer who gobsmacked me. Found out she’s on the faculty at SAIC–Sara Levine. Anyone heard of her? The essay, “The Essayist is Sorry for Your Loss” has got to be the smokin’est thing I’ve read in a while. And it’s meta, an essay about essays, which is another theme running through this thread. Glad to have a reason to compliment her in a semi-relevant forum. Usually I have to start from the bottom with this stuff when I try it on friends and family. SAIC, meta, and reading are already on the table in this thread.