Monthly Archives: July 2004

Barack Obama: The Scone Chronicles

michaelopalmer: “It’s been a great convention,” said a smiling Obama. “Though not one for anyone on the Atkins diet — I think I’ve eaten about a dozen scones. And counting.”
lockloct: HOLY SHIT!!
lockloct: This guy just keeps getting better!
michaelopalmer: Yes!!!!!
lockloct: email miller, please
michaelopalmer: Obama, who entered this convention a modest State Senator from the Land of Lincoln, but will now leave it the party’s new favorite rising star, continued talking about the fruit-filled pastry often associated with the United Kingdom. “Donuts have so much sugar, you crash a few hours later. Danishes have no lasting power. A scone — now, that’s a pastry that gets you through the day.”
lockloct: A++++
michaelopalmer: this guy is incredible!
lockloct: unreal. is that real?
michaelopalmer: yes!!!!
michaelopalmer: Obama’s tone turned from embracing to protectionist, however, the second the senior senator from Illinois — and Obama’s likely future colleague — Richard Durbin came into the Green Room. Obama grabbed about five scones from the craft services table, and turned his back to Durbin. “Don’t let Durbin have any of my scones. He always eats my scones. These are my scones. Mine.” Durbin, for his part, professed that he’s a cinnamon bun man. “Those scones might work fine in Chicago, but down in Carbondale, we like a good sticky bun.”
michaelopalmer: i’m writing a check for $500 to obama right now
michaelopalmer: any man who loves a good scone deserves our support

Virtual Book Tour: MJ Takes Over

[As noted, MJ Rose takes over today as one stop on her Virtual Book Tour for her new novel, The Halo Effect. Take it away, MJ!]
2004_07_halo.jpgI am a native New Yorker who has never lived more than 40 minutes away from the heart of the city and Manhattan is also at the heart of all of my fiction. The city offers me endless metaphors and moods for my books. This is especially true in THE HALO EFFECT, the first novel in a new psychological suspense series.
As one of New York’s top sex therapists, Dr. Morgan Snow sees everything from the abused to the depraved, from couples grappling with sexual boredom to twisted sociopaths with dark, erotic fetishes. And the Butterfield Institute is the sanctuary where she helps soothe and heal these battered souls. In THE HALO EFFECT, Snow gets involved with a hunt for a serial killer when one of her patinets goes missing.
Snow lives around the corner from E.A.T.—Eli Zabar’s uber eatery that happens to have the best—and most expensive—mac and cheese and BLT’s in the city. (Both favorites of her 12 year old daughter.) Most mornings Snow walks to work the Butterfield Institute. The building I chose to house the institute is on 65th St and once housed an Embassy. (Embassy was on 65th between Mad & Park on the North side of the street)
While Central Park‘s bandshell, the Zoo the boat house and the Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly exhibit are peaceful respites in the book—the same way they can be to those of us who live in New York, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and its gift shop are the setting for a chilling meeting with the killer:

Like the shops in museums, commercialism had taken over the church with the same voracity as it had taken over the art world. For all the people who stood rapt in front of a Van Gogh, there were two dozen who bough the coasters for sale in the museum’s store. For the all the people who came to this grand cathedral to reach out to our Lord, hundreds more worshipped in the small shop buying medals, prayer cards, bottles of holy water and any one of the dozens of rosaries offered for sale.
No one would remember the man who purchased the black rosary. No one would think it odd that he had been there once a week for the last few weeks, each time buying the exactly same prayers beads. And no one noticed that he managed not to touch the beads with his fingertips but only held on to the tag when he handed it over to the saleswoman. [—from THE HALO EFFECT]

From a tenement apartment on Avenue A—where Snow lived as a child—to Café des Artists where she and Detective Noah Jordain spar over the crimes being committed—to clues searched for at Madison Avenues most exclusive jewelry stores, Graff and Fred Leighton, New York is not just the backdrop in THE HALO EFFECT—but one of its characters.
· The Halo Effect []
· Excerpt from The Halo Effect []

Virtual Book Tour: The Halo Effect

Today, this space is turning itself over to author MJ Rose as part of a gala, one-day-only Virtual Book Tour for her novel, The Halo Effect. Some have called The Halo Effect “a true erotic thriller”—and, hey, a book that fuses sex with the streets of Manhattan sits well with us. Welcome, MJ, to the seedy streets of downtown Manhattan. (A word of caution: the bar steak at Schiller’s isn’t quite as good as one might hope.)

Why, of all the weblogs in this great big world, has MJ chosen this one to drop by? Because, as she puts it, “New York is not just the backdrop in The Halo Effect—but one of its characters.” In this space, MJ will explain the New York locations in the book and why she chose them.

While our guest readies herself to enter our world, check out her simultaneous appearance at eight other sites, most far more literary and upstanding than we’s is here: Zulkey, The Elegant Variation, Confessions of An Idiosyncratic Mind, Written Road, Gothamist, Hello Typepad, Big Pink Cookie, and’s Contemporary Lit Guide. And thanks to Kevin Smokler’s Virtual Book Tour for making it all possible.

Siberian Chic

First there was Maria Sharapova—well, okay, first there was that giant killer asteroid, and then the Gulag, but we digress—and then there was our cab driver on Saturday night in South Beach, a Siberian native and big fan of the place. Apparently—and we’re just parroting him here—it’s delightful. And so, it must be asked: is Siberian Chic the next big trend?

Russians Invade The Villager


This has got to be the greatest media story of our lifetime: “A group from several Russian weekly and daily newspapers visited the offices of Community Media on Monday, seeking to learn more about American newspapers.” (Community Media, for those not tracking these sorts of things, owns The Villager, Downtown Express, and Gay City News. You know, the very embodiment of American media.) Notes:

1) “The Russians noted they don’t have much of a gay press in their country… They enjoyed watching the Gay Pride March on Sunday, however, and, in fact, one woman from their group even joined the parade.”
2) “They said they see Greenwich Village as a ‘symbol of the intellectual and artistic expression.’”
3) “The phrase ‘neighborhood newspaper’ was unfamiliar to them, seeing as one of their well-known proverbs is, ‘Ask about your neighbors, then buy the house.’”

Sweet Jesus. Thank God we started drinking early today.
· Russians will see if The Villager’s ideas translate [The Villager]