Thursday, December 31, 2009

Some Things That Have Me In It

1. Impromptu conversation between 'Shlay and myself on her show You Can Take It With You. (Begins roughly 1/4 of the way through.)

2. Video I made this past summer to promote my van project, for which I learned how to use iMovie. video

3. SmokeLong Quarterly, Issue 25. I was so proud of this this year!

4. The Ding Dong Lounge later tonight. To ring in 2010, you silly.

5. 2010 itself.


2009 was a year of hard work that I look forward to seeing the fruits of in 2010. I had roommates, walked bunches of dogs, stayed in other people's homes. Eventually I found a new job and sank my teeth all into it. I DJed -- oh boy, did I DJ. Perhaps I DJed too much. Still and all, I'm satisfied with having worked my tail off. (I almost just wrote something there about having had a vestigial tail and now that it's completely off, being 100% human. Should I leave that in?)

I celebrated Mikey Solomon's marriage. WFMU, my favorite cultural institution, became a bigger part of my life as I started to volunteer there regularly and visit with staff. My li'l sister, upon graduating college, finally made me realize how alike we are, how much fun we are going to have together now that we are both adults. I went to Princeton to pester Amanda B. a couple of times. I went to Chicago to help Vern sell books about Nelson Algren, meet inspiring minds, and reconnect with lovely writerfriends. I joined Twitter, which was ridiculous. God, I used a lot of public transit. I went to rock shows that I didn't drink so much at that I forgot any detail of them. Many people made me glad. How many is "many"? I'm going to say about twenty-five.

That is a pretty high number if you understand how difficult it is to make anyone glad; how much we all struggle to attain gladness and see ourselves in the faces of others. Thank you so much, those people, and best wishes for a wonderful healthy New Year filled with love.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Four-Day Workweek

Tuesday is like Friday for me, because I have off on Wednesday. But then, since I go back to work on Thursday and then work through Saturday, Friday is a little like Tuesday. Now Saturday -- Saturday is the one that's really like Friday.

Whenever I write musings like the above, the sentiment I want most to close with is, essentially, "Soon I will be dead and none of this will matter."

But that would be wrong, yes? I have a tentative New Year's resolution to stop being saturnine.

Monday, December 28, 2009

On The Housesit

Living "in the middle of it all" during holiday-time has its advantages, even though these dogs shake me down every five minutes for rubber toys stuffed with food. Last night I was able to run to the bookstore and be back in ten. On my way to the bookstore I chanced to meet Jonhayro, who was dressed in a suit and looked less like a bedraggled punk than anyone I have ever known, prompting me to puzzle over why he is still friends with me at all. Though I did not question it aloud. It was great to see him.

This morning aka just now, I swung by the coffee cart on 87th and Broadway which is staffed by my favorite coffee cart guy in the whole neighborhood/city. "I got a new job!" I told him. "That's why you haven't seen me around!" He smirked and replied, "Ah, you brightened my day, so this one is on me." And he gave me a free coffee. Last week, apparently, he gave each customer a free plastic car with a lotto ticket in it.

The dogs are so cute, too, a lot of work tho they be. They are good company.

There is no scanner here. I was going to post a rerun BPGOIT of him standing empty and telling his associates he "just doesn't feel up to it," but didn't, seeing as the drawing did not reflect my mood.

I AM SAYING THAT I DO FEEL UP TO IT.

All my love,
Amanda

Monday, December 21, 2009

Nonvisual BPGOIT Toon

The Bipolar Glass of Iced Tea has a mistletoe harness around him. In panel 1, he remarks that the mistletoe harness looks damn good. In panel 2, he goes on to state his belief that it's important to look damn good 'round the Holidays. In panel 3, he says, "Because then you can get luuuu-hu-hu-huuuve." In panel 4, he says "A whole lot. Of it." In panel 5 he does not speak. Panel 6 has him apologizing for being drunk on fruitcake onto which too much rum was poured. FIN

Below, an hilarious portrait of the BPGOIT wearing a mistletoe harness.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bread

Today at work I wrote about a countdown show that spotlighted the twenty greatest ads of the decade as chosen by, I assume, a panel of Brits. (I write market research questions about prime-time programming that airs in the UK.) It was fun, and made me think a lot about my friend Bob O'Brien, one of the only people I know who really knows advertising. Back when we worked together as copywriters he taught me a lot about why certain ads work: color schemes, celeb appearances; not just concept. (Of the T-Mobile ads that were airing at the time, I remember him saying, "I don't like Catherine Zeta-Jones doing those -- she 's too famous." And I kind of feel the same way now that Luke Wilson is doing AT&T ads. You know you saw a phone company ad that used Luke Wilson, but you're not sure which company it was, because you were distracted by the spectacle of Luke Wilson.) Anyway, I didn't know many of the ads that were in this countdown and I was happy to learn about them. The one wherein bakers made a car out of cake, for example. And the one where parts of a car (a different one) are a Rube Goldberg device that eventually starts the actual, put-together car. The two ads for a Sony flatscreen that do things with color: one sends thousands of Superballs down an empty San Francisco street; the other makes paint explode all over a drab tenement building.

The ad that won the title, ultimately, of "Ad of the Decade" was for Hovis bread and was an homage to a classic British Hovis ad from the seventies featuring an old-timey delivery boy. For this version they reenacted things that might have happened on streets throughout over a century of history (uniquely English things: celebrating after the 1966 World Cup, carrying belongings after the Blitz, etc.) and ended with the kid coming home to eat bread in his house. This is the ad and this is the classic ad it was based on, directed by Ridley Scott.

Monday, December 14, 2009

True True

I am a fan of the advice column Fxck Feelings. I just read the header before the advice-givin' in their most recent installment, and it put my previous blog entry into perspective in a big way. Luv u, everyone around me who is wonderful and significant. Really.

http://www.fxckfeelings.com/2009/12/14/the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving/

Sunday, December 13, 2009

And To All A Bad Time

Okay, I like the Holidays sort of. I like getting together with my friends and family, to see them, to be comfortable in a festive setting. I do like that. But I do that a lot casually anyway, during the rest of the year. So... yeah.

Around the holidays, I am usually working. This year, as has been the case for the past like five Christmases, I'm going to be looking after a couple of dogs in a fancy apartment. Please note: I enjoy doing this. But it's hard; it demands a lot of my time and attention. I won't also have a lot of time to go out and meet all the friends and family members who are clamoring to unwind Holiday-style with me. And of course, this is pathetic and makes me feel sad. It makes me feel like I have a weird life that other people don't understand.

Also, during the Holidays (I don't know if you were aware of this or not, but just FYI) a lot of money is spent. So during this time when everyone else is running around with giant bags from American Girl Place and Macy's and shit, I'm all like, "I love you! Here's a mix CD I made that doesn't have very good sound quality!"

And relatives always want to know things. (Again: you, reader, may have already been aware that this goes on.) They want to know what my plans are and whether I am ever going to move up in the world. This is information I can't give them right now.

So, yeah. I'm inclined to hide and not see anyone this Holiday Season. What I'd rather do is take advantage of the relative quietness in the work sphere and be by myself, maybe write a little, draw a little. But of course I won't, since that would be improper.

In summary: Ughhh. Even though I DO love you, and I WILL make you that shitty mix CD. Do you see what I'm saying here?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Post Office Days

1. Went to the post office carrying a lot of different parts of an application, as well as a huge ginormo envelope I had just bought at Duane Reade.

2. Exited the post office to find a stapler. The woman behind the counter at Bookculture, the bookstore directly next door, had one. I stapled my documents.

3. Stuffed application form and manuscripts into the envelope haphazardly. Everything got kind of bunched up (not literally wrinkled, but would have arrived at the place creased and unprofessional-looking). Took everything out, sat on floor of post office, replaced everything. Sealed the envelope.

4. Realized that the address I needed to write on the envelope was on a piece of paper that was now now inside it. Used 411 lookup and called the organization while standing in line. Found that nobody was in the office.

5. Called my friend Alison Klein, who can be counted on to be near a computer and with whom I don't have a complicated relationship. She looked up the address and gave it to me.

I feel totally awesome now.

***

Monday, November 16, 2009

You Don't Know How It Feels...

I wanted to say something today about how I just discovered that all the episode titles of "Cougar Town" are Tom Petty songs. (Look at the Hulu page for the show, and you will see that I'm right.)

But then I realized that people probably already knew that, so if I said anything about it I would be exposing myself to not just one or two, but several different kinds of embarrassment.

So I decided not to mention it.

***

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What else?

I want to write some more deeply engrossing and important stories and essays now. So that I'm, you know, not a failure.

So leave me alone, please, so that I can go do that.

Okay, no, I didn't mean RIGHT NOW.

Hey dudes, I know it's been a while since I wrote anything here, or posted a cartoon or anything else riveting or delightful like that. I'm sorry. Blogging will return to normal soon. It will!!!

Love,
Amanda

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Grocery Listery

I have blogged about this before, but it's drawn sufficient interest to warrant another mention. Last summer I compiled a bunch of my friends' grocery lists and published them in a zine that I called THE GROCERY LIST LIST. Two pages from said zine appear below.

I thought making it would be an interesting way to bring together my friends from different regions, whose tastes were different -- I mean, no matter what you choose to eat, you have to shop for it (unless you grow/raise it yourself, and the people I consulted did not). Based on each list, I tried to create a little scene telling the story of the food-buying excursion in comic-strip form.

OK, so, do you want a copy? They're free; I'll just send you one if you email me your address. Please indicate, also, if you'd like to submit a grocery list of your own for inclusion in a possible future incarnation of this.

Lists from a whole bunch of people, like over 20, would make for a highly entertaining read, I believe.

My email is: amnazz@gmail.com

***

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Naming Names

I'm working on a personal essay right now which I like. It's almost finished. I'm feeling like the next thing I need to do, before I can make any home-stretch-type edits, is change the names of all the people in it, who are of course real people. Doing this is standard practice in nonfiction writing for a lot of reasons, legal and literary and not-feelings-hurting. I imagine nonfiction writers (I think of myself as primarily a fiction writer) re-name their people at the beginning of the essay-creation process so they don't have to go through this painful step later. I'm a little wet behind the ears on this and gotta say, I'm finding it hard to change these names of these people I like so much both in the narrative and in real life. But I look forward to the freedom the resulting narrative distance will very likely afford me.

That was a very nerdy thing to talk about.

***

Since I was delinquent in Bipolar Glass of Iced Tea last Monday, I am posting a BPGOIT today. And will do another tomorrow, if all goes as planned.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The 3 Things I Learned Today From The Appliance Repairman Who Was Here

1. A "circuit breaker" is not the same thing as a "fuse."

2. The broken part in my dishwasher is called a "drain impeller."

3. There is a Christian dance party named "The Gate" happening tonight at Times Square Church.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mondayze

I still have a shit-ton to do. Johnny had a birthday. Andrew had a birthday a couple of days before that. A nice person whose email I didn't know has commented on my blog and left an email. Possibly soon I will hang out with her. I will delete the comment so not everyone sees her email. I ate a basket of corndogs at Union Hall last night and lived to regret it. Since then I have had fruit.

It's Monday, so you get the BPGOIT, you lucky duck.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Few Things

Meh, I kind of hate when my blog becomes a to-do list or, like, a database of "Okay, today I'm going to focus on this and that, so that tomorrow I might do/feel/think the other thing." And that is why I haven't posted anything here in a while. I'm busy to the extreme until the end of next week. But, the things anyway:

1. Stay tuned for some information about the mobile radio project, if you're a contributor to it.

2. I have a really big problem with Bejeweled Blitz 2 now. I'd rather not say any more about that.

3. Over last weekend I got a surprise piece of mail: a copy of Marshall McLuhan's Understnding Media, on loan from a friend. I haven't even started it, because I'm still reading John Barth, but I'm excited to start it soon.

4. More to come. Soon enuff.

Monday, September 28, 2009

For Fall,

Yep, I'm definitely going to need to go shopping for nice outfits and start getting my nails done. And all that kind of thing. I guess it will be a fun activity. But what I'm pretty much saying is that I need to look nicer, fancier, and more "put-together" so that I might finally be taken seriously.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dream: September 22, 2009

I was at a Q & A panel about a movie, featuring the lead actor and one other person who I think was a producer. All of the attendees at this heavily-attended event (besides me) were actors, pretty men and women wearing clothes that were brightly-colored or sequined or otherwise attention-getting. Eugene Mirman was there, I think he was curating it. While answering the questions, the actor and producer seemed uncomfortable and like there were aspects of the film they didn't want to discuss. Finally someone asked both of them about their relationship with the film's director (who wasn't there), and they hemmed and hawed and looked extremely mad and uneasy. I interrupted and said something like, "You know, maybe you were both just nervous about being around so many people, especially so many writers -- a screenplay always has a lot of writers -- and that contributed to whatever went wrong." Immediately, everyone in the audience looked at each other like they were suspicious of something, and then people started leaving the room. Everyone left very quickly and it was clear that the event had abruptly ended. On my way up a staircase to a different room, I remarked to Eugene Mirman that the talk had ended rather suddenly, and he replied, "Well, yeah, because of that thing YOU said. Why did you have to say that?" Until then I'd had no idea it was because of me. Glittery sparkly-dressed people were climbing the stairs all around me and I stayed where I was. Finally I saw a friend of mine standing at the bottom of the stairs and complained to him. He told me I shouldn't worry and that everything I had said was inoffensive. I was so grateful that I kissed him on the mouth. Then he said he was being sarcastic and he actually did believe that my interjection was kind of stupid.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sittin' and Thinkin'

I just realized that I was sitting in the exact same pose as Rodin's Thinker. It made me remember the animation of the Thinker at the beginning of Mr. Wizard's World where the statue has a thought balloon above his head with a light bulb in it and is saying, "Hmm... hmm... a-ha!" and when he says "a-ha!" the light bulb turns on.

If I post BPGOIT today it will have to wait until the evening, as today is jam-packed with activities. Just an FYI.

I'm working on one new essay and one new story. I like them both but I'm also staring down the barrel of an extremely busy two weeks (that is two barrels, I guess), and I doubt I'll be able to finish either one before those weeks end. It pisses me off. However, I'm grateful for all the work and the social-butterflyness, which feel appropriate for the beginning of fall. Right?

Yay?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lil Puppet

My stepfather called me yesterday to tell me that he recently met a woman who was preparing to compete in a rapping puppet show. She was at a party that he and my mom went to. Apparently the woman has been a puppeteer for a long time and her puppet is a 9-foot-long snake made of fabric and papier-mache.

Now, I assume this is how the event unfolds: ventriloquists and other puppeteering hobbyists get together with their puppets, and make all the puppets rap, using the format of an MC battle. The thing is ("This is maddening!" he said), my stepfather didn't know where or when the battle was going to be held, only that it was in New York. He claimed the snake-puppet lady "got away from him" before he could quiz her on the details.

I'm sorry I don't have more information about this.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Late Summer

Yes, I had a nice Sunday (yesterday). Vern and I biked across the Manhattan Bridge and almost fell off our bikes when we went over the two giant bumps towards the end of the bridge span, right where it starts to go downhill and you start to pick up crazy momentum. It was scary and exhilarating. Will's band, the Octagon, were playing in Gowanus in a weird venue that looked like an art gallery and I think was. They were great. Then I went home and made some fried corn-off-the-cob and ate it and took a shower, and then I went to see Howlies AGAIN (at the Mercury Lounge) after already having seen them on Friday but this time Jonhayro came with me. I then gossiped with Jonhayro about work, family, and dating -- he is always good for that. Howlies drummer Aaron W. told me all about their trip to Graceland and showed me his TCB-in-a-lightning-flash necklace. It impressed me. Later, the guy at Bereket stuffed my sandwich so full of grilled lamb that the pita split open in the cab and grease and meat spilled all over my lap.

***

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Twugs!

I believe in tarot cards, all right? The reading I did for myself the other day ended with the Ten of Swords, the card that depicts a dead guy lying on the beach with ten swords in his back. Does this mean that I, who have spent much of the past year feeling like the heroine of a Lars von Trier film, am to experience ANOTHER shitty episode that will make me temporarily wish I were dead? I really hope that doesn't happen, especially because I thought things with me were finally starting to go okay.

Pfft, I know the superstitiousness is dumb. Feel free to berate me for it, especially since we're on the eve of destruction and all.

(I love songs about nukes and the world ending. Some favorites: "Eve of Destruction," "Atomic Power," "Political Science," "Five Years.")

It should be obvious to everyone that all that remains to be mentioned now is Donnie Wahlberg's Twitter feed. He's always enticing people to "twug" him and to "twug it out" when there's drama or stress or something; also, he calls his fans "soldiers" and himself "D-Dub." Let's all be more like him. A LOT more.

Awwww, "Then He Kissed Me" just came up on the iTunes shuffle. Awwwww.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

UTOOBZ

I have two YouTubes to share, since A. Bock has abdicated her responsibilities in this department. Both of them came from her via another source. Both have started to loom large in my legend.

First, this. Notable for being sent to me by Matt Burnette-Lemon mere hours after Bock sent it, so I suspect it's "viral," unlike most of the diamonds in the rough I get from her.




Next, this, by the pop group Green Leaves aka GREENL. The catchiest song you have heard in a long time, and also I defy you not to be completely delighted by the video. My sister and I can't stop singing "Yatta!" to each other (often while doing the dance), and neither can Amanda Bock and I, or Diana and JP, or Heaven only knows how many other duos and groups of people. Look, even that old lady loves it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Food Has Inspired Us

Melissa Range, my very excellent poet friend, is now a professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia and has decided to arrange her creative writing class around the theme of food/eating. That is wonderful, though its wonderfulness is hardly surprising, considering how cool and inventive Ranger is, at her core.

But guess what else! She has decided to teach, as one of her texts, THE GROCERY LIST ZINE. Can I tell you how happy that makes me, that a little photocopied Elmer's-glued shitass DIY job like that -- MINE! -- will actually be distributed to Melissa's students to help them learn!?!?!?

Oh wow, it makes me happy indeed. Thank you, Melissa. And thank you, other writers who contributed your grocery lists and let me use them as a (this is a cliche by now, but still) "jumping-off point" for my boundless if slightly frazzled creativity.

Yay?

***

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You Should Know It

I just put a bunch of new MP3s of shows up on the WHFR site from this week and last week. More are coming, I assume. See, once uploaded from the WHFR computer they appear on a list we site admins have, as if by magic, and I get to make them public for you people.

Do you want to listen to them?

***DO IT***

Monday, August 17, 2009

LG Stands For Life's Good, They Tell Me

I was eligible for a phone upgrade, so I got a new phone! This happened last week. I am telling you about it now. It is still the cheapest phone available, but for me it's wonderful, being so much better than the cheapest phone that was available four years ago. IT EVEN HAS A CAMERA IN IT.

The most noteworthy development in the my-phone realm is that I've changed my personal banner to "Amnazz" where, on every phone I had since my very first phone in 2000, it used to read "Eat a Dick." A little part of me has died, but at least now I won't sweat bullets if I ever leave my phone at my boss's house.

***

Dave Madden's book is getting published!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dave is one of the sweetest people I know, and has been steadfastly dedicated to his project ever since I met him. The last time we saw each other, he had just spent all day in the Museum of Natural History looking through archives for research (we then sat outside at the Hi-Life with fancy cocktails and felt very New Yorky, which I know he appreciated though for me it's all just so dull anymore). I'm really proud of him. Read more about this fantasticness here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blog Readin'

For the first time in months, I just clicked on all the blogs on my sidebar. What a joyous and also humbling experience! Chad and Jamie both said complimentary things about my SLQ story, like, a while ago. Kim wrote an inspiring entry inspired by the Sewanee conference, which is where she and I met last year. Kevin Wilson boosted my van project. In addition to promoting emerging writers Scott Garson continued to talk a lot about rock music, which I always enjoy. Ryan Call's blog is not even really a blog in the traditional sense anymore, and must be seen to be believed. Amanda Bock's blog ceases to exist. I can't ever say enough good things about Helen's photos, so I will say again that they're great, and I got to look at a few more that I hadn't seen. And Joe M. posted the best video EVER of a bunch of suburban Dutch kids dancing around their mopeds at twilight. (He also made his font enormous, so elderly people can read his blog now if they would like to.)

I apologize to you all for not having visited your blogs in so long a time. I'm really glad I did it tonight, because it made me appreciative and grateful that we have a friendship/association/admiration. Yes, I am sober writing this, though the can of Pepsi I'm drinking may have made me a little over-ebullient.

Updating my blog links now.

Well, I Never

Can you believe the filth they're selling at Home Depot these days?


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Seeing-Eye Candy(...?)

First off: the reading was wonderful. A few of our writers had never read in front of an audience before, and they did SO WELL! (Maybe even better than those of us jaded performer types who read all the time? Hmm.) We got compliments galore from the curators of the series and spectators. Our heads are swelled to death. We need to do it again sometime soon, because -- as I always knew, but appreciated seeing in evidence in a new way last night -- we are good.

Second off: I just drew this. Did I inadvertently steal the idea from somewhere? I feel like it's been done before.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Perchin' It

Here is the homepage of the Perch, where I and the rest of the Hi-Fi Group will be reading this evening at 7:30 whaaaaaaaat!

Yes, it's true. Our group, consisting of six talented and very, very good-looking writers, has been convening at the Hi-Fi Bar on Avenue A for two years to swap manuscripts and chat about the writing life. It's been a gas. Now we are getting on a stage and showing the rest of our friends all the stuff we've been doing all this time. And we are diverse! One of us is writing a thriller about Shakespeare scholars, another a novel-in-stories about a punk construction worker, and another a multi-voiced novel set in the Netherlands in WWII. AND THERE ARE MORE. I hope you, reader, come out and have funtimes listening to us.

***

This BPGOIT cartoon is late and I apologize for its being late. I had been in Princeton eating pancakes and buying Squeeze LPs that cost a dollar, and the thrill of that happy experience caught up with me and I didn't get time to post yestermorn.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Word Twist Is The Joy Of My Life

Seriously, what would I do without Word Twist? How long would it otherwise have taken me to learn that NIFF and PARA are real words? And how else, living as far away from them as I do, would I be able to consistently antagonize Amanda B. and Steve without fisticuffs?

To properly express the elation I feel the moment I realize the 7-letter bingo in the WT game I'm playing is something naughty, like RAMRODS or TITBITS, would be impossible.

And it's the perfect -- THE PERFECT -- activity to perform while drinking iced coffee and listening to music, on a Saturday morning OR AT ANY OTHER TIME OF THE DAY OR WEEK. You, people who drive, speak often of the peace you feel when driving around and listening to music. For now, Word Twist provides me with that feeling. For now.

Scramble is also pretty fun.

I don't do crossword puzzles anymore, but I really should start that up again too.

***

Here, again, is the link to the grants site where you can put in your pledge for the DJ van. I'm sometimes whimsical in my tone and diction when discussing the project, but I am actually serious about this -- I need help to raise these funds, and I hope I get it. Thank you, so much, in advance.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Stolen!

Stolen from my friend Guy Gonzalez's Facebook page, that is. He uses it as his personal quote, whereas I use an arcane reference to the Beatles' Christmas record from 1967. Again I say: Sighhhhhh.

***

"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn’t require any."

–Russell Baker


(Russell Baker is a satirist and memoirist, the author of Growing Up -- which at the time of this posting I haven't read, but now would like to.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

OK, Yeah

...I feel better now. Here is a photo of a sculpture of "Gloppy" (the Molasses Monster) from Candy Land, which I just made into Amanda Bock's Gchat avatar.


And here is the icon she chose, reciprocally, for me to use.

Send Confidence

Today is weird. I'm thinking about good things, like teaching myself how to play guitar with the nice guitar Mike Solomon loaned me last week and little baby bunnies. But I'm also kind of anxious and nervous. What if everything I've ever tried fails? How do I set aside the time to do the work necessary to prevent said failure? Have I shot myself in the foot by wanting (and trying) to do a million different things, rather than abiding by the old "do one thing and do it well" saw? Life is really tough sometimes. Isn't it.

In my work, I'd like to think I am motivated by the light of truth that lives in us all, but manifests slightly differently in each individual and that's why everyone's voice is unique. Not by panic or the fear that if I don't do something people won't like me.

This happens to me every few months. To you too, maybe. If it does happen to you, I want to know -- but if it feels like too emo a subject for the comments section I of course understand.

I'm now going to post a YouTube of something ridiculous, to leave you with a residue of glee.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Atlantic City Business

I was in Atlantic City yesterday (Sunday)!

Barry Graham is a very nice guy, and I'm really grateful to him for inviting me down and letting me read. It's too bad that my work schedule didn't allow for a longer visit, because the writers who were already there seemed to have had a rollicking weekend full of guerilla-style word-sharing and weird-smelling beach that I'm sorry to have missed. Everyone I met there seemed cool.

OK, so, I made it down to the boardwalk in the nick of time for the reading to begin, having taken the new "ACES" train that expresses between AC and NYC on the weekends. Thumbs up to the ACES train, by the way. While writers gathered in the bandshell behind Bally's, beside the Korean War memorial, the sky darkened scarily. We decided to walk a little ways down and stand under a small rain shelter instead. This proved wise, and also dramatic, as thunder, heavy rain, and high winds punctuated everyone's performance. We all stayed moderately dry. The piece I ended up reading was a draft of this strange story about a girl who thinks she has herpes; I hadn't read it anywhere before and I'm not sure how great a choice it was for a venue like that (or was it perfect?). Anyway, everyone else did awesomer and was nice to me, though I'm sure they all wondered if I had herpes. Afterward I hit the slot machines for hours and hours -- ended up down about forty dollars, but I'd gambled so much that it felt like I had won. I'll get the whole "slots" thing figured out soon enough.

Today, my Facebook account got hacked and posted spam on everyone's walls that I know. I was monumentally pissed about it; it almost, almost ruined my day. I'm over it now, thinking about ordering Mexican for dinner. I think that brings us up to speed.

OH EXCEPT! Dave Madden, a talented and handsome friend of mine who has a book about the history of taxidermy, and who is probably forty IQ points smarter than me, has written about the Nazario Scenario mobile project for a brand-new "Third-Person Blogging" feature on his site. Check the interview, etc. out here!

The Bipolar Glass of Iced Tea strip below is a rerun.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

That Is All.

I am so tired of dogs today. Also, I'm noticing a spike in usage of the phrase "That is all" for comic effect/emphasis at the end of an otherwise banal announcement.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ay-See

Hey! Atlantic City, NJ is a crazy place where seagulls dive out of the sky to eat your funnel cake. I am going there this weekend, to participate in a reading sponsored by my friend Barry G. and DOGZPLOT. Unclear yet as to where the venue will be for Sunday (which is when I'm up), but below is a link to the flyer with the info for Friday and Saturday. If you're coming, just get in touch with me and I'll tell you where to go.

It promises to be bizarre and frightening.

http://tinyurl.com/nxwl54

Monday, July 27, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dream: July 23, 2009

A nice man was driving me over dirt roads through an overgrown area in summertime. There was sunlight streaming through the windows. Next to the man, occupying the driver's seat with him but not driving, was another, weirder man who had written a novel that he made me look through, and which he kept wanting to discuss with me. The two men were brothers, and I liked the first one and kept leaning forward to hug his shoulders through the driver's seat. The second one was just annoying.

We pulled into the driveway of a farmhouse. There was a litter of adorable puppies playing on the porch with their parents, which were a pit bull and a standard-sized Dachshund. Each puppy was a different color and they were very friendly. I jumped out of the car and began playing with them, saying, "O the puppies that captured my heart! Each one prettier than the last!" and similar rapt exclamations. Suddenly my mom and stepfather were there; they led me to a boardwalk-type structure with a giant gaping hole in it. I jumped over the hole and we came to a spacious, scrubby field that reeked of pigs. I was holding a white puppy. We didn't stay in the field long because my mom said she was allergic to the smell. On the way back the hole in the boardwalk was bigger. I threw the puppy across it (it landed safely) and gained a foothold against a water pipe/water pump-like structure on the other side, so that I could cross. Once back across I played with all the pit-Dachshund puppies and talked to them. The nice man and his weird brother sat in rocking chairs looking down at me indulgently.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Not Overwhelmed With Anything

My family's gone (snif!) and it is once again "my time." I've come to realize that a few of my record albums are missing, presumably because I forgot them at the Ding Dong sometime lately when I was there. So I have to go there when they open today, to see if they are still there. And I hope they are. This is the only thing I'm currently overwhelmed with, if you can even call it being overwhelmed. "Whelmed," more like.

The three missing record albums:

J. Geils Band, Hotline
The Cowsills, The Cowsills
A.C. Newman, Get Guilty

I'm sure there are more which I will discover sometime soon are missing and then I'll get angrier. For now I have to cope with the possible loss of these three and not FTFO about it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Overwhelmed With Stuff

I'm overwhelmed with stuff. My mom and sister are on their way into the city to help me rearrange my bedroom before my new roommate comes in, and that is good. I like my mom and my sister. But I hate getting all my stuff all messed with. It makes me crazy.

Later today I have writing group, for which I will need to travel downtown a ways. This will happen after I get off work.

The grocery list zine is finished, except for the part where I glue everything down. Instead of cleaning my apartment, I would like to be gluing everything down.

I started a new short story and a new essay. Now I don't know when I'll have time to write more of them.

For about a week I have had that weird feeling you get like there is a lump in your throat. That is to say, I have had a lump in my throat. I've heard this is a symptom of not being able to express yourself or having feelings that you're suppressing.

***

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fundtimes!

I am weirdly trepidatious about this, because it involves asking for money. But I wouldn't be trying it out if I didn't think it were a really good idea. Please take some time to read my grant "pitch" on Kickstarter, and please give some money soon. If I show them I can raise ten grand by October 15th, I'll get it and it will ALL be sunk into this project.

Here it be!

In a nutshell, I'm looking to buy a van and DJ out of it. The more I think about the idea the more I like it, but without the money there's just no way.

Thoughts? Happy/sad? I'm pretty excited, and pretty confident that I can raise the funds if I get EVERYONE's support. (An aside: Kickstarter is a wonderful organization to help entrepeneurs do this type of thing; you might want to try them out if you have something in mind that needs financial backing.) Please let friends and family know, too!

Thanks in advance. Really.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Long Form

Yeah, I've been doing a lot of stuff lately. This blog has gotten slightly neglected, because I'm so busy and because Twitter has sufficed for the info quick-fix. I hereby resolve to give it the attention it deserves again, though. Let it be known that the long form is still a friend of mine; to serve as proof, here's a vignette that is just barely too long to be encapsulated in a tweet in any satisfactory way.

This afternoon I met Justin at Cafe Provincia for his lunch break. I didn't want to eat anything, but I bought a China Cola and went to the counter to pay for it before sitting down. Now, Cafe Provincia is known by me for playing pretty good music, making it a better lunch spot, atmospherically speaking, than most others in the neighb. Last couple times I was there, if I remember right, I heard Stevie Wonder and the Bee Gees. Today they were playing CBS-FM.

Um, so, okay, [legendary New York oldies station] CBS-FM plays songs from the eighties now? And, like, that means ALL of the eighties. As I attained the counter and put my money on it, the song playing was wait for it wait for it "We Didn't Start the Fire." And so of course, since I do sing along with the radio, the lady who rang me up for my China Cola had to add this to the list, no doubt substantial, of indignities she suffered during work today: me looking her in the eye and going, "Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide. Foreign jets, homeless vets! AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz!" I couldn't help it, because that is what was on at that exact moment. And because that is how I am.

Everyone: I'm sorry.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Very Hilarious

Dramatis Personae: Me, a little seven-year-old girl, and two little boys who I think were brothers (not related to the girl), one her age and one slightly younger.

Setting: West End Avenue, yesterday.


GIRL: I fell off the bunkbeds, but I didn't break my arm! And I didn't break anything!

BOY 1: You didn't break your knee?

GIRL: No.

BOY 1: You didn't break your elbow?

GIRL: No.

BOY 1: You didn't break your --

BOY 2 (interrupts): YOU DIDN'T BREAK YOUR PENIS?

ALL 3 KIDS: (uproarious laughter)

(At this point I start laughing; the younger little boy notices me, smiles slyly, and continues to look back at me to make sure I am still laughing.)

BOY 1: You didn't break your... hair?

GIRL: No!!!

BOY 1: You didn't break your butt crack?

GIRL: No.

BOY 1: You didn't break your butt... cheeks?

GIRL: No.

(I was walking the other way, so unfortunately I was unable to hear the rest of this exchange.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Coffee Quit Fail

Today was the first day in many, many days that did not begin for me with a cup of coffee. Instead, I got up and walked Tug, then returned here to his home and fed him.

Then, unwilling to do anything else for the couple of hours before my brunch appointment, I went back to sleep.

I slept through my brunch appointment and called and cancelled it. I felt bad that I had to cancel on the nice person who I'd made the appointment with.

Then I went back to sleep.

I had a dream in which I took a scary cooking class with chef Alton Brown where everyone had to shell and fry up a different type of seafood, but many of the seafoods were grotesque facsimiles of mammals. One kind looked just like little blood-red babies and were called "demons." "Ooh, Bruce just made a nice broth with bear shrimp and demons," someone said. My assigned seafood was clams, but I never got to cook or eat any of my clams because they were so hard to open. Chef Alton Brown knelt in front of me and asked me, "Do you have heartbreak?" Then he asked the date I had brought to the class, "Why is she weird?" My date said, "We're both weird," and I noticed that he looked all grey and sickly. My mom was there too.

I woke up and felt sad. I walked Tug again. Then I turned on the radio, returned to bed, and listened to the radio for an hour while snoozing.

Then I arose and made myself a cup of coffee, which I am drinking now.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

When It's Time To Change, Then It's Time To Change

This is not an interesting thing to talk about, but I will say right now that, now, after a couple of very fun writing years post-MFA, I need a change. Stay tuned for updates for the next few months on how grand and sweeping the change is.

Part of the change will involve my getting a driver's license. Just, you know, FYI. I also may try to give up coffee. (I can't believe I just said that last sentence. I think there need to be quotes around some of those words.)

***

I am this week listening to the Romantics, owing to the fact that Sunday I was walking back to the PATH train from Helen's place and heard "What I Like About You" coming out of the shoe store on Newark Ave. Why did that song pique my curiosity right then, though I have heard it ten thousand times before over the course of my entire life and am completely desensitized to it? This phenomenon cannot be explained nor understood.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Amen Break

Ryan Lynch put this up yesterday and I listened to it. I have been thinking about it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Monday Monday

Thanks, those who reminded me that I have to post a new BPGOIT cartoon today. Here you go.

SOMETHING ELSE ABOUT JAMIE

Travis set me up on a blind date with the woman I would call The Cackler. Her power was that, when drunk and she laughed, her voice was the sound of comets colliding, if they did so in an atmosphere of oxygen, nitrogen, and the lovely ill-fated trace elements, where organisms lived that could hear the cataclysm.

That's a passage of Jamie Iredell's that I like a lot. Seriously, you should read this guy.

You can now pre-order the delightful chapbook WHEN I MOVED TO NEVADA, written by that same very talented Jamie, through this link right here, and you should. You might remember my mentions of his previous books BEFORE I MOVED TO NEVADA and ATLANTA, both of which I endorse heartily. Yes?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Matt: How It Will Happen

Great news to wake up to this early morn! My story "Matt: How It Will Happen," which is very short so you should read it, is up now at SmokeLong Quarterly along with great work by Darlin' Neal, Dorianne Laux, Dan Chaon, and many more. I'm proud of this one, yessir. The hunky drawing that accompanies the piece was done by Summer.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Drawing Is The Panacea.*

So, we know that lately I've been down in the dumps. Yes? We all know this? OK, good. Today I decided, nudged by some unseen hand or other, to look through a file in my file cabinet that I have kept for 10 years or so, full of cartoons and notes. In it is a 2-page comic strip called "Un-Thought-Out Funnies" that's just a bunch of vignettes from the summer right after college, when I was roommates with Gabe. It is so, so touching and good (maybe just to me; hopefully not). I thought about posting it here, but I'd like to save it for another time, when I'm brave enough to compile all those real-life cartoons into one volume. And also, I think now is the time for me to draw another Un-Thought-Out Funnies similar to the one I did back then -- updated, still good, maybe better. And now I feel happier.

Anyway, yeah, it's odd that I should just say that: "Uh, I looked at something I did once! You can't see it!" but it bears mentioning, I think, for some reason.

___
*I had to look up the word "panacea" to make sure I was spelling it right.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Bipolar Glass of Iced Tea


By popular demand I've decided to re-introduce the BPGOIT and draw more comics about him. Watch this space on Mondays for updates.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

This is What OK Cupid Said About Me But I Will Say Now That I Did NOT Join OK Cupid, Because Internet Dating is Weird

All right, so, Helen wants me to try OK Cupid, and I don't want to. I find dating stressful as it is, because I'm so busy and because I fear things like intimacy and heartbreak so much -- internet dating would ramp all that way up, no? On the flipside, I imagine that if you didn't really *like* your dates, it would just be annoying.

And plus, shit, I am NOT hurting for dudes interested in me right about now. No sir. No ma'am. Lest you think. Law of attraction. Serious. (Weeps silently)

But anyway, internet dating: it's there. I am considering it but probably won't do it. All the same, OK Cupid had me take a test to determine my "dating personality" and their results were "scary accurate"! Read on! Pay close attention to the final sentence!

***

Loving, hopeful, open. Likely to carry on an romance from afar. You are The Window Shopper.

You take love as opportunities come, which can lead to a high-anxiety, but high-flying romantic life. You’re a genuinely sweet person, not saccharine at all, so it’s likely that the relationships you have had and will have will be happy ones. You’ve had a fair amount of love experience for your age, and there’ll be much more to come.

Part of why we know this is that, of all female types, you are the most prone to sudden, ferocious crushes. Your results indicate that you’re especially capable of obsessing over a guy you just met. Obviously, passion like this makes for an intense existence. It can also make for soul-destroying letdowns.

Your ideal match is someone who’ll love you back with equal fire, and someone you’ve grown to love slowly. A self-involved or pessimistic man is especially bad. Though you’re drawn to them, avoid artists at all costs.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tiredest

I am much, much too tired to be writing anything here right now. I will die soon. It will feel wonderful.

Dan Brooks Has A New Blog!

My favorite thing that happens during hanging out with Dan Brooks, who is my ex-boyfriend, is when I tell him one of his own jokes that he made up years ago but forgot. He guffaws and applauds himself. It's the only type of joke I ever tell him that really makes him laugh. For example, he had a character called the Rhyming Pope, who illustrated the Catholic church's lesser-known powers of magic and sorcery. "If eternal life you seek, attend confession once a week!" The bit I reminded him of last night at dinner involved Dan sending pictures of his dick to literary journals. "Dear Paris Review, Enclosed please find a picture of my dick. This is a simultaneous submission. Pictures of my dick have been seen or are forthcoming in: Ploughshares, Atlantic Monthly, McSweeney's (internet)..." He went mad with glee, I tell you. I'm worried he might start actually doing that now, especially since I suggested that his dick could get nominated for a Pushcart.

Anyway, I've hesitated to announce this, because Dan is widely known for starting blogs that he abandons a few months later to everyone's profound chagrin. But he does have a "new" blog. It's called Combat! and is incisive/funny. I'm keeping the old one on the sidebar for now, which was about fatwas and also quite funny, but the new one is more current and... less incendiary? Wait, sorry, "more" incendiary. Meh, you be the judge. Here it is.

By the way, the Rhyming Pope is now operating on his summer schedule. "Vatican in month of June, office hours nine to noon. Vatican in month of May, office open all the day."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Kate Beaton Also

You really should read Kate Beaton, also. Thanks, Ryan T., for showing me the way.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nemi


At the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) fair Sunday, a Norwegian guy passed me a free Nemi comic, and he was very cool and nice to me and I appreciated this, even though his niceness was mainly in the service of promoting Lise Myhre's Nemi, a good comic strip about strong adult women. But Nemi is actually great. I now love it/her.

Nemi feed

Nemi Wikipedia entry

Monday, June 8, 2009

WHFRstuff

Hey! Reader! If you have never heard Nazario Scenario before, you should try and listen to it sometime maybe. An archive of my shows from the past year and a half-ish is here.

The "comments" section on WHFR shows is relatively new, but today is, I think, a good time to promote it. So: listen to a show, then try clicking on the show's description to leave a comment. There is plenty to discuss, because I love to play music about which I'm misinformed, and technical errors abound also. That's not meant to be funny.

Also, I am going to be DJing at the Ding Dong Lounge this Wednesday (6/10) and next Friday (6/19). You should come out.

Also, here is a map I made recently because Steve and I were talking about this particular geographic area.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Two True Pop Stories

I. Just now, I started writing a list of "Rap music that white people know all the words to (Play at weddings, etc.)". I came up with ten items and considered posting the list here. Then I wondered if people would be offended. Then I decided not to do it. Then I felt despair.

II. I have been listening to the new Green Day album in this, my hour of need, and I have to tell you all I find it magnificent. Is it actually good, or is my 1990s nostalgia so pronounced by now that I can't separate "good" from "having a pop-punk harmony"? You know what? I don't give a shit. The songs on this make me feel all jaded and sad and terrified and triumphant. It fills/articulates a void I suspected was in me but didn't know for sure.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Have No Idea Why I Never Mentioned This Before

The Weekly Dog was the newsletter I published when I was in fifth grade. I spent every Wednesday night doing it and it came out on Fridays, distributed to everyone in my class. It was basically a gossip rag about the dogs in my neighborhood; there were also personal ads in the back which said things like, "8 y.o. Schnauzer mix, male. Looking for a young female Dachshund to take my mind off my troubles." The other day, for some reason, I remembered my vice-principal pointing to that drawing and saying, mainly to himself, "See him? He's looking for a young female Dachshund." Looking at it now, I see that it's to some extent a disturbing retelling of the social lives of these dogs' owners (living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the late 80s), filtered through the mind of a child. This is an important totem of my weirdly adult childhood and a lot like everything I still do, in some ways.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

No, Not Love, She Said

"I know a lot of things that you don't. You wanna hear some?"

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ain't She Sweet


Her work is, likewise, pretty sweet. Here are some highlights from my sis's senior show -- some of you may recognize Stella and Tilly, my parents' dogs, who frequently model for her. Congratulations, Alex!


Monday, May 25, 2009

So There Is Something Here

My wifi signal is in and out right now, so I am not going to post anything mejor. My sister, Alex, has sent me a bunch of really great photos of her work, which I'll be posting soon enough. The paintings are beautiful and mostly of dogs and very cute.

I'm all sleepy and lazy. Been taking magnesium pills before bed again; this is supposed to make your dreams better and your sleep sounder, and ensure you get enough sleep. I guess it's not a surprise that they make me feel like going to sleep all day long. Normally I do not sleep very much. Since starting the magnesium regimen I've had a few awesome, vivid dreams. In one, I was taking the President's daughter out to lunch and during lunch received a phone call and was on the phone for a long time. The President came by to check on us, found me basically ignoring his daughter, and scowled disapprovingly at me. In another dream, I was a dowdy farm-girl type married to a guy who took me on a roller coaster ride for a treat, and the roller coaster got stuck at the very top while we were upside down.

I put my bike together and have been riding all over uptown. Today I want to do a Central Park loop.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How To Make A Firing Squad Execute Me

Get 10 - 15 bottles of a new flavor of Gatorade that most people haven't heard of yet. Get the same number of rifles as there are bottles of Gatorade. Load the rifles.

On the rifles, install metal "water cages" of the type found on bicycles. Put the bottles of Gatorade in the water cages.

Set me up on a busy street in the middle of the day, ideally against a brick wall. Offer a free Gatorade to anyone who would like to be in the firing squad. Keep offering until as many people accept as there are Gatorade rifles.

Line all the people up in front of me and make them execute me. A film crew might make this look more legitimate, but I think enough people would do it anyway.

After that I don't care, everyone can do whatever the fuck they want.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hang It All


I bought these two small linoleum prints at the senior art show at Alfred University, where my sister is right now graduating. My sis had her own work on display, too, as did all the seniors. She is SO GOOD. Her paintings of dogs embarrass my doodles of dogs.

The guy who made these showed a wall of them, over 2000 little prints each the size of a dollar, held up


with thumbtacks. You were supposed to take one down and leave a dollar in its place; his goal was to have an entire wall of dollars at the end. When I talked to him at the end of the day he was nowhere near that, but I still thought it was a good idea. And aren't these pretty? I'm glad I couldn't choose between them, because they look good together.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Updatery

The grocery list book: it's going to be so swell. I am still accepting submissions -- mail or email me your latest grocery list, correspondence and explanations optional. The writing center is closing up for the summer after this week; thereafter I'll work on the grocery lists more, having the book all ready before the end of June if all goes right.

***

Last night at WHFR, our friend Liz (who is the best) told us about Food'lebrities, the blog that her brother and his bandmates have started. Six of us gathered 'round her laptop to look at it while she scrolled down every single page of the site. It made us laugh, applaud, boo, and, a couple of times, fall to our knees. Said Joe M. afterward, "That's one of the only times I've ever read every page of a blog. It was SO worth it." Note that they are accepting submissions from outsiders, too.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I Am Linking To This

This is important. It concerns something that interests me deeply. I am linking to it. It was in the New York Times yesterday, so everyone has already seen it. I don't care! It's important enough! You will read this!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How I Met My Wife

Just found this old Shouts and Murmurs in the New Yorker archive. It says you have to register in order to read it, but I think the full text is actually there -- just disregard the first two sentences. I read it in the dentist's office once when I was young, and it touched me with its simplicity and sweetness. I quote it to people a lot, but this is the first time I've read it since then.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

If It Ain't One Thing, It's Another

I have been to the Zapp's Potato Chips website to enter the daily drawing for a free Zapp's/TABASCO® T-shirt, as instructed by the back of the potato chip bag. However, nowhere on the site do I see any info about this daily drawing, or indeed anything about a Zapp's/TABASCO® T-shirt.

Must my life always be an exercise in disappointment?

Least these is some good chips, man.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fractious + Kaboom Zine Fair TWO!

Check out some info about and photos of the zine-selling event I participated in last month. There's going to be another one soon, so send Fractious an email if you want to stake out a table, or perform, or anything! It should be another great time.

I didn't get to talk to that naked guy; he was all the way across the room from me the whole afternoon.

http://www.fractiouspress.com/dingdong

Embracement

Feeling cranky and good at the same time. ("I'm happy AND angry!" -Ralph W.) In my last tutoring session, I saw that a guy, a native Spanish speaker, had written the word "embracement" in his paper when he meant, I think, "acceptance" or "resignation." I argued with him for a couple of minutes, insisting that "embracement" wasn't even a word -- but to confirm it, I went to the dictionary and found out... yes, it is a word. Boy, was I embarrassed. And not at all embraced.

Embracement

Em*brace"ment\, n. [Cf. F. embrassement.]

1. A clasp in the arms; embrace.

Dear though chaste embracements. --Sir P. Sidney.

2. State of being contained; inclosure. [Obs.]

In the embracement of the parts hardly reparable, as bones. --Bacon.

3. Willing acceptance. [Obs.]

A ready embracement of . . . his kindness. --Barrow.

***

Coming soon to my WHFR show: my dumbass friend Joe D., this hyperactive type from New Jersey, will be talking to me and playing whatever songs you listen to while you're hoarding cans of discontinued Sparks with Ritalin and trying to impress punk girls by doing skateboard tricks. Perhaps he will shotgun a Sparks during the show. I have tried to say nice things about Joe, but he prefers to be insulted.

Oh no, wait, I like those kinds of songs too?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Can of Worms

Joe M. just sent an email to all of us WHFR-ers announcing that we're getting a new computer, which can be used for, among other things, sound effects. He asked us for SFX suggestions, first saying, "I've already got it set up with some applause, some laughs, a rim shot, a boing, a sproing, an old-school ambulance siren, a wolf call, and a fart."

I think you can probably imagine that I responded immediately with 19 submissions. My favorites are, I think, the "stab" (that horn-like noise popular in '90s dance/club music production), the Klaxon horn, the scary creaky door opening, and Macaulay Culkin saying "I don't think so."

Ryan T wants a shotgun pump ("ch-chk"), and I second that.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ow

I was out of coffee, so I drank black tea, a teabag of it. My mom and stepfather are European and brew loose tea twice a day, but I don't have any (or a teapot!) so PG Tips would have to do. PG Tips is a brand of English tea that comes in teabags; it's like a "working man's" tea. My stepfather calls it "PG Tits." In our family, calling it this is completely acceptable and inoffensive. (I was going to include some more of my stepfather's indelicate nicknames for things here, but I think it better to parcel them out slowly over my long, long writing career.)

The thing about PG Tips is that it makes my head hurt! Every time I drink it, as now, I get this bad headache in my third eye chakra. Oh, don't pretend you don't know where that is. Why should this be? I know that some tea has more caffeine in it than coffee, but if this is the case with PGT I don't think that's the reason for the headache. More like tannins or preservatives or somethin'. Fudge, I don't know. But I should stop drinking it, and I would if this 20-year caffeine addiction didn't have me so firmly in its thrall.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Queenie In Trouble

I'm not usually very hip to things like this on the internet right when they are released, so I realize that a few of you may have already seen this a long time ago. I myself saw it for the first time last night, and since then it has become very important to me. Please watch it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dream: April 16, 2009

Jessamine and I were walking around the waterfront of a very decrepit, possibly post-apocalyptic city. She had a slip of paper in her hand with an address on it. At this address there was supposed to be a brunch party. We found the building, which was a tall skinny high-rise that was swaying looking like it would fall down, and went in. When we got to the proscribed apartment, one of the hosts was this guy from Wisconsin I used to date but haven't seen for many years. He pulled me into the bathroom and we started making out more or less unsuccessfully. Later, the party switched venues to an outdoor bazaar-like place that was basically a parking lot with a tent over it. There was a mind-boggling array of food and drink, and new guests kept driving up and unloading more. Wisconsin took me aside and said he didn't like any of this food and wanted chips and dip. I left the party to go buy some. Once the party was out of my sight, the city turned into a wooded valley with tall, slippery, treacherous outcroppings of stone and a voice-over started telling me about its history. Some heroic personage was once hanged there; the original monument to him had been destroyed but a tree shaped like a cross had grown in the monument's place, and that tree had been preserved. If you crawled all the way to the top of the cliff/stone and put your head in between two square rocks, you could hear crows calling a cry that sounded like, "Hang! Hang!" I did this, and heard the crows, and felt thrilled and amazed. It was raining.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nazario Scenario Talk

I just listened to an old, very spotty Nazario Scenario from over the summer that had not been archived on the WHFR site before. Part of me wants to just delete the recording now. It's pretty embarrassing. Here's what's embarrassing about it: Long pauses between songs as I navigate the cassette player. VERY LOUD BED MUSIC + mumbling very far away from the microphone. Extremely "bold" or polarizing or unpopular song choices mixed in with songs that were played frequently on WFMU shows I listened to that month. I really, really hate that I let myself do all this.

But also, I'm happy that my podcast has gotten so much better in this short a time. I'm going to leave the recording up for now. You can listen to it, in case you have ever felt like doing something like this but figured you weren't good enough. I am not good enough, but I do it anyway. You too?

***

Adam Robinson is cool. I'd believe that even if he weren't currently using one of my illustrations as the Publishing Genius web banner!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bakery Talk

It's about to be Easter. I find it interesting that my local standby, EuroPan, carries hot cross buns during Lent only, but makes/sells hamantaschen, which are a Purim food, all year. I remember well when you couldn't get a fresh-baked hamantasch anywhere except for around Purim, and that that's what made Purim so special for silly Gentiles like me. You also could get hot cross buns only the weekend of Easter -- many Christians say they are just for Good Friday. My wish to deprive myself of baked goods during the time when they are not seasonally appropriate: is this a religious impulse, or a reluctance to break with tradition, or a sign that I'm fearful of change, or an obsession with playing by the rules... or what? I will also say that, while both types of baked good mentioned above are delicious, hamantaschen are better than hot cross buns because they're filled with stewed fruit. To fill hot cross buns with stewed fruit would not be very Lenten.

Loving pastry is a trait I get from my father. (Others include daydreaming and getting really angry when we spill things.) When I was a kid, on weekends when we were together, he would make cappuccino and go to Lafayette bakery for a feast of danish; our faves were cherry-cheese, prune, almond, and the spiral-shaped raisin. My memories of drinking sweet milky coffee and eating danish at my dad's apartment, in front of Saturday morning cartoons, are very fond.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Weird Day

I hope I'm smart and not a fraud.

Oh shit, the song "Stuck Between Stations" by the Hold Steady just came up on my iTunes shuffle.

I will always love this song.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Why I Otter

If you're already a devotee of Cute Overload (for which I shall NOT provide a link here), you have seen these photos by now. But I don't regularly look at that site, for the same reason why people in AA don't hang out in bars. Instead, you'll note, I hang out in bars.

But okay. My friend Jessamine sent me these a couple of days ago, of the two otter pups recently born in the San Diego Zoo. At first I resisted looking at the links, for the same reason why a yeah exactly. I finally succumbed tonight, and, swear to God... I LAUGHED for about five minutes. Has anything ever been so cute that it just makes you laugh uncontrollably? No? Well then, I submit for your consideration:

Photo #1
Photo #2

Huh?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

REMEMBER THAT JAMIE IS GOOD

Hey, remember when I told you Jamie Iredell was good and you should buy his chapbook ATLANTA? Well, now that you have done so, and this was already a couple of months ago, you're eager to read more of his stuff, right?

Today, you can breathe easy. There is a "prequel" to ATLANTA, entitled BEFORE I MOVED TO NEVADA, out now on Publishing Genius. It can be read online here. The cover art was done by Christy Call, who is extremely good also.

***

I have just gotten an acceptance letter from SmokeLong Quarterly -- I'll be in their next issue. SLQ is one of my favorite journals, either online or off, and I'm very happy.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What To Say?

I am going out soon. My oven does not work, but it works a little bit, so there is a slice of pizza in there being reheated currently and taking a long time.

Like drawings? You got it. This is a lost classic from deep down in the Pictures folder.



I'm almost done with The Crying of Lot 49; I think I would have loved this book ten years ago when I thought joke names and novels where everything in it was basically supposed to be a joke were the coolest ever. But now, I yearn for something sweeter and simpler. Like Jonathan Richman, I plead for tenderness.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Eyes Have It

(How many people my age and younger saw the joke headline "The Eyes Have It" for years before they ever heard the expression "the ayes have it"? I can say the same for "Hair Apparent"/"Heir Apparent." And, to a lesser extent, "Hail to the Chef.")

I do not have very good vision. Yesterday on the subway I squinted at a philosophy quote on a SubTalk poster for ten minutes to make sure it was attributed to Immanuel Kant and not Emmanuel Lewis. Finally I realize: for the past year I've been messing up more of my time-sheet errors at work, leaning ever closer and more tenderly into computer screens, and taking longer and longer to cue records up. Why has it taken so long for me to notice that? Answer: you get used to things looking blurry, and you work around it. Like old people do. My bad vision also went undetected for a while in childhood, so it's nuthin' new. How pathetic. All this to say, BE IT KNOWN ON THIS 26th DAY OF MARCH IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2009 that my next big wad of paycheck is going to the eye doctor. And until then I'll wear my glasses, which have a stronger correction than my contacts. Friends, make sure your own eyes are okay too, 'cause I don't want to collide with you in the face.

(Okay, maybe I do with a few of you, but not painfully.)

***

Keep the grocery lists coming! The ones I'm getting are a lot of fun. Again, please send me an email if you need my mailing address.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Soul Night

I'm doing that tomorrow night at the Ding Dong Lounge (tonight, by the time most of you read this), Monday March 23. I am right now listening to some wonderful stuff by Solomon Burke, on loan from my friend Will Glass, which I will use then.

Tonight was great. We had a party because WHFR has turned 5 years old. There was fondue of three different types: cheese, chocolate, and vegan. Also, there was a group photo. I'll be going to sleep happy and satisfied. Thanks, people in my life, for being so good to me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grocery Lists



I'm collecting the grocery lists of people I know (and maybe people I don't know) for inclusion in a new chapbook. You can mail me one, or send me a good -- a very good -- scan of it. I'd prefer to get it in the mail, because then I'll have the artifact and will be able to enjoy it for the rest of my lonely life.

You should do it! It will be fun. I'll accept the lists for a week or two and make the book as soon as I have enough.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Paddy's!

I thought of two lines for a limerick. "There once was a woman named Amy / Whose crotch smelled exceedingly gamey." I think the last rhyme at the end should be "pay me," but I am disinclined to write the rest of this limerick -- I feel weary.

Tonight I am going grocery shopping and cooking dinner at home. Because who wants to go out on St. Patrick's Day? Not I, said the cat. I will put on Gilbert O'Sullivan's "I'm a Writer, Not a Fighter" and enjoy my extremely non-festive solitude.

This blog post has been a failure. Begorrah an' it has. Come here til I smack yis.

One more thing: My personal favorite piece of Celtsploitation is the Fitzgerald and Fitzgerald law firm's ad on the subway. "We fight for kids' rights!" it says, over a silhouette of a leprechaun or leprechaun-looking guy with his dukes up.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Sad True Story

I fell in love with a man on the subway this morning, in the space between 110th and 86th Streets. He was carrying a long cardboard tube, which I'm guessing contained a neon light bulb. After I had fallen in love with him, but before I said anything to him, he exited the train. I am going to make the presumption, based on almost nothing, that he went into Mike's Hardware on 88th -- but I do not know for sure, and I never will.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dig Deeper

Give a few dollars to WFMU, won't you? This is the freeform radio station to which so many other stations are indebted, its unusual content and discrete personalities being an inspiration to all who listen. (Count our own Washington Heights Free Radio among the inspired: certainly not all, but many of our DJs volunteer for FMU and there's some HFR/FMU dovetailing in friendships and music-related jobs.) They celebrated 50 years on the air last year and are beloved around the world.

You have probably at least heard of WFMU, but if you have never heard it, take a listen to their web stream at their site here, where you can also put in your pledge.

WFMU's annual pledge drive "marathon" is going on now. This station remains good and true because it has never advertised; 100% of its revenue comes from the public. You should give them a little money, get a little cool prizes, and enjoy doing something a little important for once, you slob.

Monday, March 2, 2009

But Not A Robot, Yah?

My pallie Jessamine told me she thinks of me as a "writing machine." It feels nice to be thought of that way. Thanks.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Please To Let Me Know

If you heard that someone was eating chocolate-covered pretzels for dinner, what (oh what) would you think of her?

And if this same person dipped the chocolate-covered pretzels in peanut butter before eating them?

What then?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Precocious

Every semester the writing center gets a lot of undergrad "customers" in clusters right when a certain psych paper is due, about stages of human development as defined by Erik Erikson. In this, my fourth semester as a tutor there, I'm now pretty familiar with Erikson's theories because I've read the same paper so many times. And I like them. As I just told a student, it's interesting to me that a psychologist wouldn't necessarily need to stop charting someone's social progress once they reached adulthood. If an adult at age 55 still valued "finding a soul mate" (intimacy vs. isolation, stage 6) over "living a life of meaning"(generativity vs. stagnation, stage 7), this might be seen as a red flag on par with a teenager still sucking his thumb.

It occurs to me that I and many people I'm friends with, at our tender age, are seesawing between stages 6 and 7, leaning a little more toward 7 -- though Erikson would posit that we wouldn't be ready for that for another 10 years. Is that a writer thing? Does it go along with the emerging theory that humans are getting smarter? It's all quite a delightful mind-bend. The Wikipedia article here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Need A Roommate Pretty Bad

Hey, come live with me for March and/or April. Do you want to? I'm loath to go to Craigslist for this, being so naive and advantage-taken-able, so I'm putting out the appeal to all my blog-reading friends (and also their friends).

I have a nice one-bedroom in the area just north of Columbia University, close to Dinosaur BBQ and Fairway. You, the roommate, would get the bedroom.

Email me and I'll tell you more. amnazz at gmail dot com.

***

Also: If you haven't taken a look at WHFR's new site, you should. Bangbay, under the supervision of Vern, worked extremely hard on it and both should be congratulated!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Admonition/Your Life Is Bounteous

Men interested in women: Don't try to get a woman's website URL by telling her, "Show me yours, and I'll show you mine." It is not sexy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Andrew

Last night while I was DJing, Andrew got into the DJ booth. As I hugged him he said, "Don't hug me, I'm dirty." He showed me that he had tar all over his arms. He said that he was exhausted from mixing drywall all day, pouring tar, doing other things, and smoking pot, also all day. His coat smelled like pot.

Later, he came to the sill of the DJ booth and put his arms on it and his head on his arms. He said, "Can I come home with you? Do you have clean socks and a shower?" We talked about Dungeons and Dragons. He instructed me in how to make salmon burgers from canned salmon. He said, "Do you have breadcrumbs? Are they flavored or plain? Do you have an egg?" then fell asleep with his head on the sill of the DJ booth. When he woke up he took pliers out of his pocket and fiddled with the mixer, grounding the speakers.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bulletin

New South is out! One-Page Stories is also out (up)! I am in them both, and very happy to be.

Nevertheless, I feel very agitated and dissatisfied today. I wish something new would come along to fill me with bliss.

I'm writing a new story about the M4 bus, and wishing it was not raining.

I saw my poetfriend Todd Colby last night for the first time in about ten years, and saw him read, and thought it was great guns. Todd is just about the nicest person in the world. He edited the Heights of the Marvelous anthology (learn more about that by visiting the link ---->), which I had some work in, which work I refer to on my sidebar as "crap," but I don't mean "crap" in the sense of "dreck," I mean it in the sense of "stuff; material." This happened in 1999, a more innocent year.

If I had some donuts or other type of pastry right now, I think I'd feel happier.