Tag Archives: cheez doodles

Third Annual Sophomore Novel Angst Google Search Jubilee Extravaganza Celebration

Ahoy fine people.  Remember how in my new year’s post, I said I might have to move?  Well, I did!  And I got a two-week-long Death Flu on top of it!  And I don’t want to find out how this transition could possibly suck more, because I’m not sure I’ll survive it!  But, thankfully, I am in my new digs, and yesterday I even kept down some solids.  So, baby steps.  Meanwhile, it’s April!  Besides taxes and sinking the Titanic, do you know what that means?  That’s right!  It’s time for me to give out the awards for our Third Annual Sophomore Novel Angst Google Search Jubilee Extravaganza Celebration.  The following are all google searches that reached my blog.

I continue to be a reliable hit for skittles, weird sexual acts involving horses, and cheez doodles.  Once again, dear public, please do not feed cheez doodles to your infants.  This year I have also become a great web resource for everything toothpaste (probably because of this post) and kidney stones (definitely this post).  If you have reached this blog because you are about to pee a solid object, let me offer my condolences.  And no, as far as I know, 7-UP has no magical kidney stone-killing properties.  The only possible use you can get out of 7-UP at kidney-stone-passing-time is to use it to swallow a shitload of Percocet.

Meanwhile, the “You’re Darn Tootin'” Wisdom Awards go to the following searches:

  • life can be a bitch
  • heresy grows from idleness
  • authorial intent is a fallacy

• The “I love Bob Ross Too” Award goes to: little birds gotta have a place to put their foots.

• Salient Questions:

  • worst writers with novel angst? All of them.
  • why is sex so perverted? Look up the answer for “why is sex so damn fun?”  That answer basically applies to all questions that begin with “why is sex so.”.
  • how in the fuck am i going to pay for college?  If you go by the axiom that the answer to most questions is contained within the question itself, the answer is clearly prostitution.

• “Why, Thank You” Award: damn i love you so much.  “Why, Thank You” Honorable Mention: good luck with shitting.

• “Do They Offer Better Service than PPO boobs?” Award: HMO boobs.

• Best Foreign Language Feature: imagen de jesucristo en un sandwich 2012.

• Cutest and Most Apt Typo Ever: are guys inbarest when they get boners by a girl.

• “Elmer Fudd Apparently has a Citrus Fetish” Award: number of wemon fucked in lifetime.

• Paradox World-Exploding Google Search Award: not googleable.

• “Please Get Off Google and Consult a Medical Professional” Awards:

  • spay gone wrong tied off ureters
  • my husband wants to grow breasts
  • there seems to be an earthquake inside my head

• And finally, would the following searchers please, please contact me and explain what exactly you were looking for?

  • one hour away from being the crazy horse lady
  • magical submission pants
  • you will approve of this animal





Second Annual Sophomore Novel Angst Google Search Jubilee Extravaganza Celebration

A while back I wrote a post about the various google search terms that people used to reach my blog.  Looking at the date–yipes, that was over a year ago!  Let us waste no further time, and begin the Second Annual Sophomore Novel Angst Google Search Jubilee Extravaganza Celebration:

• Favorite misspelling of my name and book title: 13 routerays by helena shipiro.  I think this one came in shortly after my radio broadcast so it was probably someone trying to guess the spelling phonetically.  I heartily commend google for actually finding me with this!

• Inadvertent Poetry Award: golden apple music box memories.  Honorable mention for: tulle as snow.

• Many people have reached me googling something about cheez doodles, which I consider a great honor.  A couple of searches found me attempting to find a French translation for “cheez doodle.”  I will be reporting you to the French Consulate and/or Académie Française for Culinary Sacrilege immediately.  However, the most alarming cheez doodle-related search has to be: when can baby have cheese doodles.  Please, please do not feed this to your infant.

• Early on in the life of this blog, I wrote a post about the Crazy Horse Cabaret in Paris.  This has caused a truly horrifying number of people to reach me searching for footage of people doing unmentionable things to horses.  People.  Horses are our friends, not our lovers.

• “This Sounds Kind Of Sexy” Award: i will write a story in french then translate it slowly.  Rowr.  Call me.

• “Why, Thank You” Award: elena mauli shapiro is a sex goddess.

• Salient Questions:

  • how does my immigrant experience relate to the person i am? In many untold ways, my friend.
  • so are you saying that we’re all just, like, really excellent sheep? Yes.
  • four phases of vagina? They are: prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.
  • simile for indeed? I think you may mean “synonym,” and the answer is “forsooth.”  You’re welcome.
  • why do sophomore novels suck? Generally because the author is scared shitless of failure in a way that they weren’t with the first novel, which causes them to freeze up and fail.  Life is awesome like that.

• “Who you gonna call?  Ghostbusters!” Award: vaporous specter fuck off (Seriously though, I’m sorry about your specter problem.)

• Hilarious academia-related searches: the word other as a verb, difference between sign and signifier.  It should be no surprise that these things lead to: post “qualifying exam” syndrome.  Do get that looked at, or it might very well lead to “Fuck This, I Am Going To Clown College Instead” Syndrome.

• And finally, would the following searchers please, please contact me and explain what exactly you were looking for?

  • arachnid tradeshow dallas
  • women shitting pants waiting for elevator
  • حصان مع حصان سكس




Allegory Explosion

You guys!  There is.  A lot of stuff.  Going on.

I was on live radio Monday of last week.  It was a bit intimidating but pretty fun.  The best part was when I flustered the hell out of my husband, who came with me because it was President’s Day so he had off work.  The host, Denny Smithson, asked me something about who I was writing the book to and I said my husband.  Denny observed that he was in the studio with me, and I pointed the mike at him and said, “wanna say hi?”  My poor baby just about died. Turned a high shade of crimson and shook his head no.  Who knew he was this shy?

Then I had a couple of readings, one on home turf at Davis and a luncheon thingy in Pleasanton.  Both were thoroughly awesome and made me miss teaching terribly.  (When I mentioned how much I missed teaching, a friend who is currently eyeball-deep in a pile of grading asked me what the hell is wrong with you? It’s true, I don’t miss the grading part.  I just miss goofing around with a bunch of curious young sparks chatting about books and how irredeemably fucked up human nature is.)  I have another reading tomorrow night!  It’s at 7 at Diesel Bookstore in Oakland.  Come say hi if you’re around.

I’ve also been busy collating the collective unconscious for In the Red.  It’s just been me blasting my neurons with Romanian history and folk tales.  So, in the past week, I have pumped a few rounds into Nicolae Ceaucescu’s chest as he sang L’Internationale and I whacked a wood nymph who dared give a prince “a flower from her girdle” (wink wink nudge nudge) and I galloped across a snowy wasteland with an exiled Phanariot voivode and I had Dracula drink blood from one of his impaled victims in what was basically the Holy Grail and it’s all been very busy in my braincase lately.  It’s just been Allegory Explosion around here.  Last night I had this incredibly vivid dream about a dark pond filled with alligators over which fluttered a big cluster of panicked parakeets.  I remember so well the flapping sounds of their tiny wings and all the pretty jewel tones of their varied plumage.  The ridges of hard, wet, gleaming scales on the long sinewy backs of the alligators.  How fast they were when they lunged out of the water for the parakeets and snap–one swift bite and a bird was gone.  The birds being swallowed one by one out of the air before even having a chance to squeak–I woke up totally traumatized.  Poor little birdies!

Then I got up and wrote about trees haunted by the restless spirits of murdered babies.  Really.

Also, somebody reached my blog today by googling “what does a cheez doodle look like.”  Here, let me help you out:

domesticating subversive elements

From the Awesome Files: more people have reached my blog in the past month by looking up “Cheez Doodles” than my name.  This is due, of course, to this post.  Plus there has also been an uptick in public Cheez Doodle curiosity due to the fact that Morrie Yohai, Doodle Creator, died recently.  His life was kind of awesome.  I recommend googling him.

Lately I have been chatting with the English editor about the UK edition of my book.  There will be a few textual differences, plus the afterword will be a foreword because their copyright laws over there are intense.  You have to be really careful when writing a work of fiction based on actual artifacts, so much so that they are trying to cram my lyrical, dreamy-eyed background story full of painfully awkward legalese.  Ouch.  Such is life.

Lately I have also done a whole bunch of messing around with this blog.  If you’ve visited more than once in the the past couple of days, you’ve probably seen the color scheme change.  For a while I had it set up as white text on a black background.  It looked kind of sexy and made photos really pop, but I received such vociferous objections to its illegibility that I backed off into this cream-and-blue color scheme.  Not quite as striking, and thus it should prove less offensive to certain visual sensibilities.  Oh, and guess what?  I added an “events” page!  Because I am starting to get booked for events!  Very exciting.  I also added a placeholder “press” page.  Do check it in you’re in the mood for goofiness.  If you click on the photos, you can see them in their full-sized glory.

Today I read this rather interesting article on Slate called “The strange comforts of reading Mark Twain in the age of oppositional defiant disorder.”  It does offer some cheer with its sweetly quaint observation that children have always been the same, before their behaviors were pathologized with excessive medical diagnoses.  I didn’t buy the pat faux-nostalgia at the end of the article though.  Things were better for rowdy children in the nineteenth century because they could grow up to strike out into the wilderness?  Please.

Yes, the way we castrate the brains of unmanageable children with medication is shameful.  But it wasn’t any easier to be different back then.  Shaming and brutal corporal punishment don’t sound all that much more humane than Ritalin to me.  The truth is that society always has and always will attempt to smother subversive elements.  That is a great deal of what education is for.  Do you remember, I mean truly remember, how awful school could be?  I recall quite vividly sitting in science class in ninth grade, so painfully bored that my very personhood was slowly unwinding like fraying rope.  I was stuck there on my awful little hard stool between two shitheads too vain to get glasses who constantly tore mine off my face, without request or warning, when they needed to read something off the board.  I was quite convinced that when I entered that room, some lever was pulled that actually warped spacetime to make one hour into five.  One day it was so terrible that I wept, quiet and unseen.

This sort of dehumanizing, life-draining bullshit is what they do to prisoners to break them.  We do this to our children, every day.  Before I went to college, school was a veritable Calvary.  The most stimulating classes were, at best, barely tolerable.  They did teach me something valuable: how to float outside myself, how to ignore authority in a way that looked like cooperation in order to be left alone.  Most children are not gifted with my strange little mystic tendencies, however.  They will make their suffering known.

You might ask how I wound up working in, of all places, the educational system.  One of the reasons is that I wanted to give my students little glimmers of life from inside the grinding guts of the machine.  You will not believe how gratefully students react when you tell them something true, something a little wild that they are not used to hearing inside a classroom.  Literature is full of subversive elements, and bringing those out in an institutional setting can be liberating, thrilling even.  You don’t have to destroy the tidy little box society tucks you into, but sometimes–sometimes you really have to give it the finger.  Just that, just this tiny gesture of fuck you, I will not want what you tell me to want can be enough to stay alive.  I assure you, there are few things as wonderful as watching a room full of exhausted students domesticated by an oppressive educational system realize this.

Cheez Doodles for my ego

“13 RUE THERESE is a puzzle-novel and gave me the same fizzy satisfaction as completing a Sunday crossword.  It will light up your brain and your heart.”
–David Ebershoff, author of THE 19TH WIFE

Pretty spiff, no?  This here is my first blurb.  I hadn’t even known the publisher was gathering them when I received this, since galleys aren’t out yet.  I will get typset pages  at the end of next week; I’ll have three weeks to turn them around like I did the copyedits.  Then the galleys will materialize on August 6, and the book will start to look like a book!  There will be much squeeing.

Other good news: the London Book Fair has borne fruit.  13 rue Thérèse sold in Russia, Poland, and France.  On top of the previous UK and Italy sales, that is five foreign markets so far.  Sweet.  I hope more are forthcoming; I love the idea of having a nice stack of the same book differently iterated, as I love the idea of not being able to read my own transmogrified prose.

A special Godspeed goes out to the French translator, who will have to translate my translations of French letters that are reproduced in the text.  Good luck with that.  Since a lot of the metafiction in the novel happens in the way Trevor chooses to edit and translate those letters, the French version of the novel will present a huge tension.  The target language will be the same as the original, making the changes especially naked, and also making it obvious that Trevor himself was translated back.  This will make the translator extremely and unusually visible.  I am not opposed to the translator playing around with this bizarre situation, like maybe adding his own set of weird footnotes.  We’ll have to see.  It makes my brain tremble to fathom it.

Speaking of translation, did you know that in England, book blurbs are called “puffs?”  I find that word both apt and adorable.  Plus it makes me kind of hungry, it makes me think of Cheez Doodles.  Nom nom.  Cheez Doodles for my ego.  More please.

Meanwhile I’ve been telling my husband that I’m going to bust some heads if no critic calls my prose “luminous.”   Ooooh, let me tell you one of my most depraved fantasies…  It is to write a terrible book, I mean horrid–the vilest excrescence my suffering body could ever push from itself–and then have it printed with ink expressed from firefly abdomens so that the prose would quite literally be luminous.  Aaaaah I am so perverted.  Maybe in a previous life I knew Huysmans.  Maybe in a previous life I was Huysmans.  Did you know that towards the end of his life, he became a huge Catholic?  That too, I find both apt and adorable.

Huysmans would approve of this. It is definitely in the decadent spirit.