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.


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.


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


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


Wednesday, April 1, 2009


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.