It's my father's birthday, and he's not within phoning range, so everyone yell: "happy birthday, Douglas's dad!"

Just got back (a few hours ago) from Fire Island, where Lisa and I had gone for a weekend-long party put together by her friends Peter and Matthew. I had to return to work on a presentation for class Monday (you don't want to know--okay, if you happen to know something about Leon Battista Alberti and the idea of historia, feel free to drop me a line--I am currently skipping the Suran Song in Stag performance at Barnard because Alberti is remaining stubborn), so I only got to indulge in a couple of fine meals, a quick walk along the heavenly pale beach (carefully avoiding the splattered jellyfish that looked like eroded-smooth chunks of glass bottles), and a group viewing of Margaret Cho's I'm the One That I Want (my second, so this time I got to concentrate on her comic timing and the way she structures her routines instead of just shaking helplessly with laughter, not that I didn't do some of that--I still haven't seen Notorious C.H.O., but everyone says it's not as good). And a couple of trips on the ferry, on which women are conspicuous by their near-total absence.

I ripped open a whole bunch of packages today, and when they'd been reduced to a neat stack of CDs and a tattered heap of orange paper and bubble wrap on the floor, I noticed that there were two CD-Rs with no packages: one labeled as "MP3: The Jack Benny Show," and another, to which I'm listening now, called "How To Throw Your Voice," which is just plain mysterious. I'm not sure who sent them to me, and I think it might've been Jad Fair. Must look into this.

At the NAJP party the other night, Jason Little told me that there were four comics I absolutely had to see that had been premiered at SPX: Jason Shiga's "Fleep," the new Kevin Huizenga thing, and two more that I don't remember. I went to Jim Hanley's Universe today and picked up "Fleep," and I hadn't been steered wrong. Shiga's done some really interesting puzzle-comics in the past, but this one's just a straight narrative--originally serialized as a weekly strip, it looks like--and it's terrific. It's actually a story defined by its formal restrictions, pretty much (the entire thing takes place inside a phone booth, with only one character who appears on-panel); those Oubapo folks are on to something. Freaky and charming.



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