Saturday, March 30, 2013

Probably should get out there and clean up before the Easter Egg hunt...

The turkey vulture eyeballing me
through the bedroom window. 
 I woke up this morning feeling beady eyes gazing longingly at my forehead. I think I heard the smacking of thin yellow beak lips. A turkey vulture menaced me through the bedroom window.

He had obviously flown in for the vulture jubilee on the grass out front. A forelock here, a ribcage there. Is that floppy thing a pancreas?

Turkey Vulture Jubilee
Further investigation revealed a trail of blood dripping up the driveway and over the yard. I'm a jot leery when it comes to predators who can spread their main course over a fifty foot radius. Am crossing my fingers that our dinner guest is nocturnal or this Easter Egg Hunt could go horribly wrong.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sam Lipsyte, Mike Doughty and Myself at Le Poisson Rouge : "The Fun Parts" Book Tour

Thanks for the heads up
Michael Goodson

 I was way too drunk for only 9 pm. Nonetheless, Tom said I won the Q&A. We were front table and center at the Sam Lipsyte "The Fun Parts" book event, which also featured Mike Doughty wearing a suit. Sweet and sexy Dave Hill, moderator, completed the trio on stage. 

A lumpy woman flailing her arms around in the corner earned the first slot in the Q&A. She began, "I write for a living also…" and paused dramatically, toying with the edge of a cream-colored scarf rakishly tossed over her head. It hung like vanilla frosting dripping off a danish.

Two hundred writers within earshot synchronized an intricate eye rolling sequence. I took the lull as an opportunity to order more bourbon.

Sam bustin' a move
It is my firm belief that there is no need to suffer the absence of self-awareness when you can rejoice in it. Accordingly, Writer Woman continued, "I write non-fiction since I'm a historian. But I imagine writing fiction must be a lot easier. You see, I have to ascribe to a reference standard."

There was a moment of dead silence. Sam said, "Jesus."

Dropping my empty rocks glass, I stared at Writer Woman in mute admiration and because I'd lost track of my arms. What glorious moxie. If you are going to hold a little celebration for yourself, you might as well bitch-slap the the person of the hour while you're at it. It's hard to imagine she could be so out of shape considering the number of times townspeople must chase her around with torches.

Sam replied, "My standards are I guess pretty low. I think it is not easy to get life on the page in language. What are you talking about? It's fucking hard."

I smirked. The judges would of course disqualify Writer Woman from the Q&A competition. She didn't even manage an actual question.

From there, the caliber of the blood lust advanced. A slender gentleman who had been full on arm wrestling with his girlfriend earlier in the evening muscled into the fray: "Elaine Blair wrote that your work makes misogyny seem literary in the same way that Rush Limbaugh makes fascism seem funny. What is your response?" 

Sam won that riposte. "Fascism… I'm still thinking about where I stand... It's not garbage juice sexy."

Tom whispered that I should definitely come up with a question.  It was good timing as I had just reached my blood alcohol pinnacle. 

I raised my hand and asked, "What is the hardest lesson to teach... but the most necessary for your students to learn." 

Right in the middle of my question, there at the dot-dot-dot ellipsis, I lost my spot in the time-space continuum. I felt a thousand eyes watch me explore a crease in the universe, for about an hour, while nearby air particles throbbed and convulsed like epileptic woodpeckers.

In real life, I'm pretty sure this did not happen. Luckily I had rehearsed my question a few times, in a very quiet voice that could barely be heard above the barroom scuttling. I think my subconscious mind saved my ass because no one appeared alarmed, like I'm assuming they would appear if they had recently observed someone disintegrate into a non-corporal entity orbited by spirit woodpeckers.

In spite of the mid-sentence drunken astral sprawl, my Q&A victory was assured after someone asked a follow up question to my question. Oh yeah. That's me, sticking the landing.

Sam Lipsyte answered me with one word, "Revisions." He said no one who is really a writer doesn't revise until they're at the point of ruining it. He quoted a writer he knows: "you never finish, you just turn away in disgust."

Mike Doughty in a suit
After a lot of back and forth dedicated to giving my seminal question its rightful due, Mike Doughty mentioned that he had finally completed a life goal. He finished reading Moby Dick and the key to his success was that he was able to read it on his phone. He said it was like reading a really long text.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Music Reviews on the Short : Vinnie Carauna, Alt-J, Tame Impala, Divine Fits

This might be my new thing: reviewing albums in ≤2 sentences. My quest for brevity is no slight on the effort or artistry exerted to make the music. It is more a commentary on music reviews. I feel they could be shorter.

An Awesome Wave by Alt-J
Reviewed after 673 plays.

An eerie, juicy and awkward wildebeest straddled by a lead singer I imagine has a large adams apple. Fucking awesome.

Buy Alt-J on Amazon




City By the Sea EP by Vinnie Carauna
Reviewed after 269 Plays

Nothing is sexier than a punk-guy singing about his feelings and his fear of dying in his car. At first, his gravely voice distracted me, but then it didn't and I'm fully in love.

Buy City By The Sea



Lonerism by Tame Impala
Reviewed after 343 Plays

Wispy and watery, Lonerism is hard to grab onto. You have to wait; it seeps into your bloodstream on its own time. Prepare for a slobbery addiction.

Buy Lonerism at Amazon



A Thing Called Divine Fits by Divine Fits
Reviewed after 277 Plays

Knocks out a snappy beat, but without commanding much of the space-time continuum. Solid trio of songs, the rest I wish were longitudinally greedier.

Buy A Thing Called Divine Fits on Amazon

Sunday, March 03, 2013

This cherry has a weird pitt. Why are you laughing?


One of my favorite bearded, tattooed Swedes has resided in the United States since 2000. Last Saturday night, he leaned on the pool table, chalked up his cue and said conversationally, "You know what I learned this week? The word 'sweatpants.' For fifteen years I've been calling them 'soft pants.'

"Oh," I replied and jammed a cocktail napkin up my nose because I was laughing so hard it had started to run.

The Swede grumbled that no one, fifteen years worth of no ones, had bothered to correct him when he announced, "I'm off to the gym in my soft pants." Or, "I wish I had a hoodie to match these bitchin' soft pants."
Kort ≠ Kåt

It is no secret that I don't exactly have the high ground on foreign language vocabulary. In Swedish, I can turn a phrase that makes the back of your knees sweat. Luckily, I tend to get fast feedback. I know it is quite likely I've erred when a friend begins shrieking that I did not mean whatever I just told everybody.

Like the time I was standing in a bar amidst a bunch of tall Swedish dudes and casually noted, "I am very short." Except I didn't say I was very short. I mixed up a vowel and informed them all I was very horny. My popularity skyrocketed for the three seconds it took Camilla to clamp her hands around my neck and drag me into the ladies room. 

I've also made memorable proclamations mostly involving deviant sexual behavior, body parts, punching random objects and cherries with strange genitalia.