(A Bit of Nonsense and) A Request for Your Requests!

Well good evening.  I am happily done with another agonizing Monday and am now comfortably ensconced on the couch with the dog, listening to the music of the late (sniff), great Miriam Makeba.  RIP, lady.  You went out singing.

In other news, I had to buy my poor, suffering dog a new harness today because I discovered that his old one was giving him big, raw blisters on his chest when we went for walks! The poor little dude! His chest looks like I have been torturing him with cigarette butts or something equally horrid.  Anyway, I bought him one of these, which was ridiculously priced but looks quite cushy and has nothing but soft, padded stuff under the chest area. I also bought a matching collar, because why the hell not.

"New collar. Pfffbbbt, I say."

“New collar. Pfffbbbt, I say.”

Because he has thinning hair on his whole undercarriage, I have to be careful of his skin there.  If we were still living in a place where it snows or the grass frosts in the morning, he’d have to wear a sweater to keep his naked chest and belly (which hover only inches above the ground — inches, I tell you) from freezing when he goes outside.  It’s lucky for him, I guess, that we live in this muggy-ass, swampy-ass place.

Speaking of the miserable weather here, you’ll all be happy to know that it was in the mid 60s today — cold enough for knee-high boots to be worn.  It remains, however, in the upper 70s in my apartment.  Effing apartment. (This, incidentally, is why I have to disrobe as soon as I get home and why there is a trail of shoes and sweaters from the front door all the way back to the bedroom even now.)

Also, look, let me just say that I know the quality of posts here during this 30-posts-in-30-days NaBloPoMo thing is abysmal at best.  There’s no thematic coherence and I have digressed to complaining about the weather and my dog’s quirky behavior/hair loss. You must be thoroughly impressed with me as a writer, no?  How about tomorrow I tell you what I had for lunch or describe in detail how I do a home pedicure?  Or how about not.

How about I request your help!  Do you have any Zemblan questions or Grammar questions or Alfina questions you’d like answered? Is there anything you’d like to hear my opinion on?  I freaking LOVE giving my opinion, as you may know.  Ask me and I will reveal all!  Seriously, please.


  1. Hey, I work with http://www.mochaclub.org, a non-profit that works in Africa. I saw that you were on the NaBloPoMo list, and we’d love for you to blog about our new campaign on Nov. 24th. The campaign is centered around this idea – at Mocha Club, we have always cared about building an accurate perception of both the challenges that Africans face, and the BEAUTY of Africa. We need bloggers to help get the word out. Please email me if you would be interested in hearing the details!


  2. Um, how about an easy one: tell us how you came up with the name “Zemblan Grammar” (I’m thinking in all it’s literary, detailed glory). If that is an old post, I’m sorry I don’t recall it, and perhaps it could bear repeating. If no repeat, well, you get to edumacate all us non-Nabokov scholars.
    Also, I need help with this.


  3. Which Nabokov is most accessible for those of us who are reasonably intelligent, but not particularly large fans of LITERATURE and MEANING?

    I say this not to demean your profession, Dr. Vague, but only to indicate that my own preferences hew much more toward the sci-fi and plot-driven than the abstract and fanciful — which is a little weird given that things I love deeply (science, economics) are also abstract and fanciful — pulp…it is for me! I blame Steinbeck for my condition, and the horrible high school English teacher who inflicted his goddamn symbolism on me from the very first page of Of Mice And Men to the very last goddamn scene with the snakes and the pond and the SHUT UP!


  4. OMG, please try to block that horrible Steinbeck experience out of your mind. Steinbeck is the worst, the absolute worst. I hated my high school Steinbeck experience, too.

    Anyway, the pulpiest Nabokov is of course Lolita, although without enjoying it for it’s language and story structure, it might wind up being simply offensive. Nabokov is the kind of writer whose surface stories are all good, but they deepen wit further examination. No “symbolism” malarkey or anything, but appreciation of wordplay and game play in general will make reading him worthwhile. Another great story of his is Pnin, although it’s more about character-based comedy than any truly gripping plot.


  5. It sounds like if I can love Moliere (I DO!) that Nabokov will be enjoyable. How can a person not love wordplay? I am glad to know that I am not alone on my Steinbeck hate, The Pearl is probably the worst book that gets any serious attention. It’s a truly horrible thing.


  6. Request: what is the job you would want if you did not do anything literary and why? Also, if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? (The first question is serious.)


  7. T – OMG THE FREAKING PEARL. Horrible! The only thing that makes it less horrible than The Grapes of Wrath is that it is so much shorter. Bleh.

    G – Oh, good one! I have a whole list of things to think about there…


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