Attention!!!!!!!!!!!

I need book suggestions!

For some background information, here are the books (not counting poetry for work) I’ve already inhaled these last few months:
-This One is Mine by Maria Semple
-Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
-America Pacifica by Anna North
-Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
-Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
-Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
-Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar by Kelly Oxford
-Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
-American Gods by Neil Gailman

Books can be beach-read-y (as all of the above are) or they can be high-brow, but until I finish Infinite Jest, no DFW. Have any of you actually finished Infinite Jest? Does it get easier? Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing this to myself and then I remember I invested like $100,000 into my English degree and I SHOULD BE ABLE TO READ/ENJOY/ENDURE DAVID FOSTER WALLACE. Ugh.

Also, this is a picture of me and my best friend in high-school driving around town in prom dresses and cat ears/Russian hunting hats. We have made a pit stop at Borelli’s, home of the best baked ziti in the universe,  to visit J-Schott.

Is anyone here an Amy Gerstler fan? Let me know if you are, because I’m writing an essay on her life’s work. Amy’s great. At first I loved her. And then I became disenchanted because her poems were so enchanting and I wasn’t sure I liked the concepts of her later work, but then I read Bitter Angel and it was so, so good, so now I’m in love with her again and am willing to tango with her supernatural/mythic vibes.

Other good books I’ve read lately:

Megan Falley- After the Witch Hunt
Lauren Zuniga- The Smell of Good Mud
Karyna McGlynn-I Have to go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl

And as far as fiction goes, I’m almost done with American Gods. And I’m super ambivalent about it. Because really, it was my vacation read. And once that vacation turned more into a stresscation and gradepaperscation, I abandoned it and then returned to it out of empathy with a very blank protagonist, and now I’m like 600 pages deep with 100 to go. What can I say. I hate not finishing books.

What’s on my to-read list:

Stevie Edwards-Good Grief
Allison Benis White-Small Porcelain Head
Maria Semple-Where’d You Go Bernadette
William David-Wheat Belly
 (AS IF I need anything else to inform me that everything I have eaten my entire life is poison! )
We Have Always Lived in the Castle-Shirley Jackson
Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar-Kelly Oxford

And well, basically A TON more, which you can check out on my Goodreads. Are we Goodreads friends yet? Why not. Let’s be.

Other news..

I’m going to be Poetry International’s assistant social media coordinator, which is great, because I’m a social media junkie.

I’M GOING TO BE PUBLISHED IN PANK MAGAZINE IN JULY. Um, this is probably the greatest accomplishment I’ve had with my poetry thus far besides getting into a Masters program. PANK is an AMAZING magazine. I am so honored. And HAPPY.

I have “re-decorated” my blog. Because I felt like it.

I am turning 23 in less than two months.

I recently discovered I like pistachios a lot.

I really hate these list-y things.

That’s probably it.

xo,
Gina

Hey.

So, I realize I’ve been absolutely terrible about blogging lately. I swear I just have a lot on my plate right now and as soon as I’m through with school this semester, things will go back to normal.

As a side note, does anyone know of any graphic/web designers who want some work? I’m thinking about creating a professional website and need someone to help me create it. I’ll totally pay in you in American dollars and virtual hugs. E-mail me at gina.vaynshteyn@gmail.com or comment below! Thanks.

p.s. if anyone wants to talk about The Walking Dead and Shameless finales, I am here. For you. For us. Let’s get into it.

xo,

Gina

Grape Juice is the Sweetest Juice! (a poem by Mindy Nettifee)

All preachers’ daughters know this.
After small lifetimes
of tasting it doled out in thimbles,
after pretending to understand it
as some sort of stand-in for pre-crucifixion toasting,
some faux wine hired to re-enact savior blood,

all it takes is the hottest day of the summer,
in an old church thick with mildewed hymn books.

All it takes is the Mildreds and the Rubies
and the Irenes to turn their backs long enough
for you to slip through the swinging kitchen door.

If you can get to the fridge door unnoticed.
if you can use your entire body weight to pull open the door,
its rubber seal sticking with Sunday school popsicles and ancient Tang.

If you can unscrew the lid without dropping it:

one big swig
from the Welch’s grape juice glass bottle
will make your head swim,

will teach you things about holiness,
they didn’t want you to know

There is News

1. The semester is almost over. Which is sad, because that means only two and a half more years to go till I have to face the real world. Then again, there is always the PhD program, right? I can hide behind cal grants and books forever!

2. A few weeks ago, The Rumpus published my review of Jericho Brown’s book of poetry. It’s the same one I wrote for the Poetry International blog, but I decided since I already had this thought-out essay, why not try and submit it elsewhere? Call it lazy; I call it opportunistic.  I’ll be working on some more poetry reviews over the winter break. You can see my review here.

A few days ago, I was informed that The California Journal of Women Writers has accepted four of my poems: “Destroyer,” “The Perks of Anti-Regret,” “Swim To,” and “To Feel Whole Again”. I’m super proud and excited to be getting more and more of my work out there. I’m a little bit nervous about “The Perks of Anti-Regret” because it’s about my dad’s cancer and a dead-end relationship with a really close friend from high-school. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to keep it, but I sent it off before I even really thought about it, so who knows? Maybe I’ll get some good feedback from cyber space. In any case, the first issue should be available online super soon!

This is me reading

This is me reading “The Economy is Really Bad” and finally wearing those heels I bought last year

This last weekend, Poetry International had its bi-annual release (kind of) party at La Gran Tapa in downtown San Diego. There was an open mic, but more importantly there was sangria. A lot of sangria.

4. It’s only been a week and I’m finished with season one of Walking Dead. Oh, and I’m totally hooked. Mischa and I have been discussing our fantasy plans if the zombie apocalypse actually happens, like, which of our household items would we use to smash zombie brains? (the sink, table leg, lamp). Also:

Me: Why do zombies HAVE to eat humans?

Mischa: Because they’re zombies.

Me: Why can’t they eat grass or something?

Mischa: Because  then they would be weird, dead lawnmowers.

5. The people I intern with at Poetry International always have either wraps or baklava from this Lebanese cafe called Mama’s in North Park whenever I’m in the office. I’m always a little bit jealous, so instead of awkwardly asking if they could grab me some lunch, I just went with Mischa this weekend to check it out. Not only are their wraps freaking so good, their baklava tastes like honey, cinnamon, sugar, carmel, and about 300 calories worth of sweet dreams. Um, I’m in LOVE, you guys. I ate one at the cafe and then bought four more.

Seriously. If you live in San Diego, you need to go and get Mama’s baklava. And then give some to me.

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Winter Book List

If I’m not reading something, I feel kind of anxious and unproductive. Especially if I’m sitting at the doctor’s office and the only thing I have to read is this month’s issue of Medicine Device & Technology or a 2009 People magazine that exposes Mischa Barton’s undisclosed hospitalization. So yeah, I always have a book  to read. Right now I’m reading my professor’s book of stories, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen and it is super awesome. Here is my super ambitious reading list for winter. Let’s see how much I actually get through.

1. Grapes of Wrath-Steinbeck (I know! I haven’t read it yet! Who do I think I am???)

2. Play it as it Lays-Didion

3. The Feast of Love: a Novel-Baxter

4. Where’d you go, Bernadette-Maria

5. Gone Girl-Gillian

6. Gurlesque: The New Grrly, Grotesque, Burlesque Poetics-Glenum, Greenberg (umm..how AWESOME does this book sound?)

7. New Shoes on a Dead Horse (poetry)-Sierra DeMulder (this is currently being shipped to me!)

8. I Love You is Back-Derrick Brown (also being shipped to me. come faster, Amazon!!)

Any thoughts? Recommendations? I’d love to hear some.

 

And then Sunday we Celebrated Mindy Nettifee’s new Book, Glitter in the Blood

glitter

I made the happy trek to LA on Sunday after work to meet up with Caitlin, and together we ventured several miles down south to Long Beach, where Mindy Nettifee was hosting her book release party at {open}. {open} (Am … Continue reading