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


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


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.



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 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.