Thursday, October 30, 2008

Events Upcoming

Next weekend, November 7-9, is WHFR fest. Washington Heights Free Radio will be having a showcase of its fun-ness, lasting the whole weekend and culminating in a Sunday full of live shows which will be recorded and re-broadcast. Even before this, on Wednesday 11/5, our own Ryan Lynch is hosting his Bye Bye Bush Bash down at Ace of Clubs, at which a few of us will be DJing between live sets. The flyer here!

Then on Friday the 7th there will be a party at my home, featuring WHFR personalities and probably my bathtub appropriated as a cooler.

After WHFR fest, on Tuesday Nov. 11th, I will be DJing in a much more austere and dignified way at a benefit for Paris Press. This is a wonderful small press that's doing a lot to help bring to light the lesser-known work of women authors. The benefit should be a fun time with lots of beautiful (I was going to refer to it as "wall candy," but that feels wrong somehow) art on the walls. Details here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Daze Off

Today is my day off. I'm going to the doctor and then volunteering at the Washington Heights CSA pickup site, putting vegetables in bags for people. I am really looking forward to both these things.

The Washington Heights CSA is a co-op that gives people in the neighborhood food from a farm in upstate New York. Vern and I have been getting our produce from them since June; it's always fun to see what grew during the past week and what can be cooked with it. They have a website here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Insulting Self-Portraits

I had the idea to make a bunch of insulting drawings about myself, and then I drew these today while sitting in the dog run. My style does not lend itself very well to "insulting," I guess. If anyone else feels inclined to make a drawing of me with ten dicks in my mouth or something like that, and send it to me, I invite them to.

Record Fair Happiness

Joe M.: "Finding out you bought the same record I was almost going to buy is giving me the same feeling I had the first time I ran into someone I knew randomly on the street after moving to New York."

The record: The Cowsills' first album, in beat-up condition, for a dollar.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We Have Bullshit Lives

I love my friend Sarah S. She is amazing. Today we were at Karolyn and Bryan's shared birthday party, basking in the glow of their hospitality and happy-couplehood, and we talked a lot about our loneliness. Sarah and I have both been single a while; it's getting to the point where we're both wondering if we will remain single for always. Like Sarah said today, "You know, you hold out for a long time, and it doesn't happen, and you feel awful, and then finally, juuust when you think all hope is lost and you want to pack it in, it still doesn't happen." Why is Sarah lonely? Doesn't she deserve love? What the fuck is going on here, in this life?

Who knows. Maybe the answer is just... misery. I have been miserable in relationships and out of them. But I'm tired of pretending I don't need to be in love in order to be happy, because it's just not true.

But the funny part, now: Sarah said I should take a photo of myself drinking a milkshake with two straws in it, with nobody on the other end of the second straw. I love that idea, that image, so much that I may actually take that photo.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Latest Thing I Don't Like

These days I find myself irritated by "sooner than later" and "sooner rather than later." Dog walkers use this phrase a lot when talking about doing a walk on the early end vs. the late end of the time window the client has given them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dream: Oct. 19, 2008

I hung out with Bill, who owns the Ding Dong Lounge, for a while and he said, "You'll be here on Friday? Are you going to stay late?" He had glasses on, which I had never seen on him, and a crocodile-skin vest like Crocodile Dundee wears. I was uneasy around him and didn't want to agree to stay late on Friday. Jeff was palling around with a woman named Marina who doesn't really exist. The two of them left to go to a show somewhere, but first they wanted to get free frozen yogurt in a secret locale I didn't know about. So I followed them. The free frozen yogurt stand was in a patch of overgrown lawn, surrounded by families of skunks walking around its perimeter. It was dawn and the sky was that royal blue it becomes just before the sun comes up. I made my way into the frozen yogurt stand but found no frozen yogurt, only a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy in a birdcage hanging from the ceiling. The dream ended when I released the puppy and played with it and cuddled it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

LG, Revealed

"me" is me. "Amanda" is Amanda B., who lives in Princeton NJ.

me: you called me, slut?
Amanda: yes, you sloppy courtesan!
i was calling to talk about laundry guy
me: ah yes. you mean peter
Amanda: how do you know his name now?!
me: jeremy told me. the bartender I tried to have a crush on for a second
Amanda: ah
me: I decided not to have a crush on him, but he did tell me the name of laundry guy.
Amanda: did he tell you what laundry guy does for work? this is what i was calling to speculate about
me: ahhhhh. no, he did not tell me this! I don't know if anyone knows!
He was dressed like someone who works at kinko's
Amanda: !!!!
me: but his shirt did not have a kinkos insignia.
Amanda: that would be awesome
me: he had on a blue button down shirt and khakis
Amanda: you could get LG to xerox zines for you for free
me: duuuuuuuuuuude
Amanda: you could dog walk his dog in exchange
me: but LG is so gross, seriously
Amanda: you love LG
me: his face is so ruddy and crater-y
Amanda: ew
me: and his beard has grown longer
Amanda: i dont think ive seen LG up close
oh no!
last time he just had some stubble
me: yeah, dude, he's not for you.
Amanda: oh, i think he's your man
me: now he has like a three-four-inch goatee
Amanda: it's not like he hangs out in the yankee doodle taproom
that's where i roll
me: well, we'll see what transpires between me and laundry guy. it might yet happen.

How It Is To Be An Amateur DJ

I don't know anything at all except that Nick Lowe is great and his cuts from the Stiffs Live LP (which I just bought) are unassailable. Um, I also got Sunshine by the Archies and can't wait to play the song "Over And Over," which sounds exactly like "Little Bit O' Soul" by the Music Explosion. The question that's killing me right now: would it be improper to play "Little Bit O' Soul" immediately after the Archies song? It's moot anyway because I don't even have it, but I have the Ramones version that I like pretty well. I have played "Little Bit O' Soul" by the Ramones the past three or four times I've DJed and I don't want people at the bar to notice that I keep playing the same song on multiple nights. I do have a version of it by the Meters but I don't like it at all, it sounds all crappy like it has a drum machine. Anyway. This is the kind of thing that I think way too much about on a day when I'll be DJing later on.

I'm going to play the Ian Dury cuts from the Stiffs Live LP too. Probably I'll end up playing that whole album.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Best American

You should go get Best American Comics 2008. Evan Larson is in it!

The story behind my knowing E.L. is: we both listen to WFMU a lot and met over the accu-playlist for the Evan "Funk" Davies Show. (The accu-playlist is a list of songs that have been played on the show, with space for listeners to post comments and talk to the DJ and each other.) I was confused at first when E.L. began emailing me, because I didn't know why he was calling himself "Evan," Evan being the name of this radio DJ, but then I figured out that they're both named Evan. I added the two Evans to my two Joes and billion Ryans and then everything was copacetic. But anyway, E.L. is a really swell artist and his blog will tell you more, including that he is funny and has impeccable taste in rock music. He is awesome. He and his fiancee Ann are coming into town pretty soon and I can't wait to meet them IN PERSON.

This Is The Only Thing I Would Ever Make A Map For

One advantage of knowing the Upper West Side/Morningside/Hamilton Heights/Washington Heights section of Manhattan so well: I see the same people a lot, and exactly two of these are cute boys.

Below is a comprehensive, non-interactive map of the neighborhood I live and work in (and am always in), with a sampling of places where I have seen Adam and Jeff. It would be cool if I found other boys cute enough, and frequently-seen enough, to note where I saw them, but sadly there aren't any more. I don't include boys who are really close friends of mine. They are cute, but it's not the same.

(ADAM used to work with Joe M. at the Kim's video outlet on Broadway and 115th, until this closed down last month. At the Kim's-is-closing party, he hugged me while drunk and then asked, "Wait, what's your name?" In addition to going to CCNY Adam lives in the west 90s, which is my dog-walking beat. He is tall and skinny and has cool bristly black hair. I don't know how old he is but I'm sure he's very young, still being in college. He has a lot of girls around him a lot of the time, walking around with him, flirting with him at the video store, and texting him on his phone. I surmise that that building he lives in is his parents'. It's unlikely that he will see this, because we aren't friends.)

(JEFF is a bartender at the Ding Dong Lounge who also works at the bookstore with Ryan T. He's applying for a degree in library science and this is very cute. I should be careful with what I say about Jeff, because we do actually know each other and I want him to keep being nice to me on my DJ nights, pouring me shots I never asked for. Jeff is from Pennsylvania with big shoulders and cool glasses. He has a beard, which might make you think he's 30 or so; in fact he's a lot younger, though he could pass for 30 easily, because of being gruff and sarcastic yet also quite polite and decorous. He has fifty girls all over him at all times. Jeff told me he knows how to butcher animals. You can probably tell that of these two dudes I like him a little better.)

Experiment/Weird shit

I am conducting an experiment that's driving me crazy so far but that I think is working. Normally I write longhand a lot -- stuff that isn't part of anything, more like diary stuff, logging what is going on in my life, how I feel, etc. Right now I'm making myself not write longhand at all unless it's a part of this new and very cruel story I'm working on. Everything has to be in the same notebook, sequential, and in the story. Since I've implemented this rule, not only do I have a lot of the story done, I'm also doing a lot of emailing and bill-paying and drawing, things I can do instead of writing longhand when I feel the impulse to do the diary thing. Writing in this new blog is also a by-product of that.

Weird fucked-up shit is happening in my building where I live at. Yesterday my super, whom I've known ten years or so, broke into someone's apartment to rob them. He got arrested and is now moved out of the place, and our front door locks have been changed. This is the latest in a string of extremely unfortunate, inconvenient, sad events that have happened in my building very suddenly. I'm not fearful for my safety, but the whole thing is eerie and is creeping me out. I'm tired of seeing cop cars outside my door all the time. I want something funny or otherwise delightful to cheer me up.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This Is My Friend

I say this a lot: I like the writing of my friends because reading it replicates the experience of spending time with them -- or it even takes that experience and distills it down to its best qualities. If you don't agree, that's fine. You probably just wouldn't like my friends that much.

Fred Seidel is my friend. I walk his dog and sometimes housesit at his apartment, the one mentioned in his new poem that's in the New Yorker now. I've met some of his family and been to a cocktail party at his place that took place, conveniently, on my birthday two years ago. And so I really loved reading that poem, which I didn't know was going to be in the magazine until I opened it up and read it. I like to think I'd have liked it anyway, even if I didn't know him. That's another aspect of reading someone's work who's alive and accessible to you: if you don't know them and you like the thing, it makes you wish you knew them.

The same thing happened a couple of months ago when I happened upon a poem in the Sun by Katrina Vandenberg, a Sewanee friend I'd just seen like a couple of weeks before.

Have I ever read any of my friends' work that makes me wish I didn't know them?


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Floss Or Gums Will Bleed

Word Twist Dictionary

STET is an acceptable word.

DELE is not an acceptable word.

DUN is an acceptable word.

MERLE is not an acceptable word.

Dream: Oct. 10, 2008

I was living in an apartment that belonged to my boss, but that she didn't use too much, only she sometimes boarded dogs there without staying there herself. I had the foldout couch and was waking up, still lying around on the outfolded bed, too lazy to get up and arrange the room the right way. Vern was living there too -- she was in the kitchen making food, then she left on an errand. SAMSON was there, an adorable black dog I used to take care of whose family moved down to Memphis a couple of years ago. There was one other dog there too, I think it was Ruby the Greyhound. The place was messy -- there were stains on the floor from where dogs had peed on the rug and it had not been cleaned up all the way. I wasn't sure whether that was my fault or not.

Eventually I put the couch together, because my boss was coming over with some friends and they were going to play Word Twist for money. A couple of the friends had college-age kids who were also there, walking around drinking and acting dumb. Because of them, the Word Twist game never got underway, and I was frustrated about this because I had really wanted to play Word Twist and kick everyone's ass in it. I noticed a giant heap of dog shit on the kitchen floor, with a beer bottle on top of it, and spent about an hour cleaning that up. I woke up thinking about Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat (sp?), for some reason.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Welcome to this blog!

The main news is that I'm going to be in New South, which is a very fine journal out of Georgia State University. The story that's been accepted, "Darling Darling," was part of my MFA thesis at City College and is, as such, very dear to me. I'm all proud and stuff. The next issue won't be out for a while, but go ahead and pick up the current issue too. Why shouldn't you?