Wales

—Here, you don’t have a job?

—No, I’m all alone, on a computer not hooked up to the internet, drinking a craft beer out of a can, composing an email to you.

—It’s almost like we’re having a beer together.

—How romantic.

—How are your studies?

—You mean the life of the mind?

—How is your life?

—My mind hurts.

—How is your salad duty?

—I’ve been making bad salads. Bag salads.

—How is your girlfriend?

—I had a dream that she died.

—But she’s alive?

—She’s working on a new translation of Émile Zola’s Germinal (1885). It’s an experimental translation where she takes liberties with the text. Instead of mineworkers, her version of the novel centers around a group of flowers.

—Anthropomorphic flowers?

—Is there any other kind?

—Yes

—Non-anthropomorphic flowers?

—The flowers take place in an election year and the gummy part of my car’s tyres.

—Huh. I think Uncle’s gone into one of his Tish-rages again, Paulice–

—Right. Grab the corduroy. A wide wale will be wanted for tonight. Oh, hush, Uncle; please don’t. Stop fussing. It’s Auld Hallow’s Ween, for aunt grable’s sake. We musn’t brackish the whoolinancy — I mean the whoolery.

—Genre’s got a beer-boner for stoners tonight, Barbara. Barbara.

—I can’t tell if you want this exclamation mark.

—I don’t want just any exclamation point, Mark. [Pause, applause.] I want yours. [Renewed, sustained applause. A child is born.]

—This boner’s gone free.

—Now that you’re a dad, and a city councilman, you mustn’t post pseudohomoerotic flash fiction on your blog. You must only post outspoken 5 point rejections of Romney’s 5 point plan and so forth.

—You remind me of the news.

—Witch part?

—The fuzzy part with no skin.

—That’s called the Purloined Lettuce. [A mouth.] I am studying Botany with your Aunt.

—My nude aunt?

—I have a newborn baby. A child. I haven’t slept. No longer drink coffee. Go Tigers.

— I expect you’ll want to tell me about your craft beer in a can, now.

—Yes. I bought it at the supermarket with some hummus and the halloween candy. Came in a six pack just like a set of Diet Dr. Pepper, but in fact it’s an intensely hoppy microbrew from Whole Foods, Colorado!

—Durango. That candy’s not vegan

—Let’s get personal. I know writing on your blog makes you miss San Francisco.

—Of course. Who doesn’t? But the thing San Francisco doesn’t know is that I took all my shit with me to Missouri so I still have it so if I want to look at my shit like my books or the only one person I love more than anything

—Hang on, there are trick or treaters at the door. [Inaudible] [Audible] [Inaudible]. Fucker just took my last Krackel. [Pause.] Nice costume… What are you?

—Desert clown.

[Doug Liman, director of Swingers (1996), The Bourne Identity (2002), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Jumper (2008), and Fair Game (2010), walks in with Studio Monitors around his neck. Curtain.]

My College Radio Application

Dear mom and dad,

I went to college from 1999-2003, where I lived, ate, breathed, and smoked college radio (WOBC-FM) all day every day. Then, with a year left, I dropped out to move to CA to work for a magazine. I worked there for the next eight years. Then I fell in love with a beautiful woman and she got a job in town, so I decided to follow her here and finish my B.A. To my intense delight and surprise, this makes me eligible for a show on [yr station]. When I dropped out of college, I cryogenically froze my radio show and now, eight years later, [cue music bed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_tVZFZ5PR4] my beloved show is going into the industrial microwave on MEDIUM for 6-8 minutes and dragging itself through the halls of the academy once again!

My show (TITLE TK: “WEIRD OLD GUY?”) will be freeform radio at its finest, pushing into the red w/r/t innovation and FUN. Fun must never be sacrificed to innovation. And vice versa.

Music is the bedrock of the show, and I plan to make the most of [yr station]’s rock library, in addition to my extensive personal vinyl/CD/MPEG collection. The best rock — from oddities, novelties, classics, forgotten b-sides, to brand-new singles and previews of bands coming through town. But sprinkled throughout the music will be the true jewels of the show, the multiple talk-based segments. Possibilities include:

• “Walking the Line”
Each week, a different writer (from creative writing profs, to visiting poets, to MU poetry/fiction PhDs and even undergrads) brings in one line — a line of their own poetry, or their favorite poet’s, or a sentence from a novel, or from a piece of journalism, anything — just has to be one line of “literature” for us to discuss.

(Each of these segments will have its own musical intro. Maybe Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines” for this first one? Or Johnny Cash, sure)

• “Comics Digest”

A weekly verbal recap of what happened this week in the comics page of the Missourian

ex: “It’s been a tough week for Lois of ‘Hi & Lois’; she’s been home with the measles and her little brother won’t leave her alone!” etc etc

• “Vibin’ with the City Council”

Each week I get a Columbia city councilperson on the phone (pre-recorded, most likely; I have a ZOOM H4N I can produce several of these segs in advance, but I’ll always cue and introduce them live) and ask: what’s the vibe of the city council like this week?

• deranged/brief Self-interviews; fake interviews with pre-recorded interlocutors

• I might try a recurring feature about being a 30 year old dude taking computer science with freshman; I will probably rip lots of samples from my DVD of Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School for this (maybe rent Happy Madison, too…). Find other old undergrads and ask them about their lives, what it’s like here for them

• I have an MU football-related idea that I’ll only tell you if you give me a show with a legit timeslot

• Reviews (with field recordings) of frat party bands (!!!!!)

• as many opportunities for live call-in segments as possible (TBD)

• Guest singles (a guest — anyone from the dean of grad studies to that girl who works at Sparky’s brings in 5 singles and we play them and talk about them)

• tiny, hilarious 5-minute radio dramas

• even tinier, even more hilarious 2-minute radio dramas in foreign languages feat. students in various MU language departments

• Much, much more

• Seriously, so much more you have no idea

• And, as I mentioned above, all of these segs, some of which may happen every week, some once a month or so, will all be sprinkled like cherries and chopped nuts over the wide swath of whipped-creamy dark-chocolate sets of top-shelf weird/funky/great music. Wire, the Fall, Olivia Tremor Control, Pixies b-sides, Unrest, Big Dipper, Deerhoof, Beefheart, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, Truman the Tiger’s Drug-Hell Singers, Is That a Real Band?, That Would Be Amazing If So, Go Betweens, Soft Boys, Soft Machine, Soft Cell, Soft Bulletin, Don Cherry, Destroyer, Cluster, Tyvek, Essential Logic, Glasser, Wreckless Eric, Nick Lowe, Sparks, Magazine, Melvins, Cardigans, Acrylics, Pterodactl, Fela Kuti, R. Stevie Moore, et al!!!!

Please let me know if you have any questions. I love you.

3/16/10

JESS: In last night’s dream someone talked about how a typeset page is rigidly ordered and composed, but still sometimes contains the smeariest formal derangements available to art.

CLEM: Same as a rectangular canvas. This is all so obvious. This is 100-level. You think better when you’re awake. “Intellectual” dreams are rarely worth relating to the waking.

JESS: Thank you. I learn so much from you. Every day. Maybe we could write an entry-level textbook about “thinking” sometime. Together, like the Krugmans. From a laptop in a bed in St. Croix

CLEM: Emily Gould quotes Sam Lipsyte in Vice on being a young writer before the Internet was what it is: “there was no real record of when you were a dumb, scared, angry baby who didn’t know how to write yet.” I like that. You totally are a dumb, scared, angry baby who

JESS: I’m not that angry. I’m too comfortable to be angry.

CLEM: You sometimes get angry about how comfortable you are. I want someone to murder part of you. Then you’ll be scared, and you’ll give some of yourself up, and you’ll start helping other people.

JESS: I dislike talking about the world in abstract psychological terms. What the hell is a “part of myself”? My leg? What does it mean to “give up a part of myself”? What does it mean to be “scared” about “opening up”? If I say I’m “vulnerable”—vulnerable to what? Lyme disease? I know these aren’t meaningless expressions. I wouldn’t prefer an Orwellian law that required everyone to only talk about themselves in nutritional terms. Still. I’m not afraid of opening up. I’m just selfish and comfortable and unshowered.

CLEM: Have you thought about therapy?

JESS: Have you thought about ESL training?

CLEM: Have you—-Hey, my boss just showed up. Gonna get back to work.

JESS: OK, love you

CLEM: Love you too.

JESS: Bye

Paraffin Wax

Hey gang,

Just found out this week that a Real Dude and a Mountain to Sound found out about this website, which totally fucking sprayed me in the face with self-consciousness such that now I have to lay another chilling-effected QuiltJammer over the (wh)ole enterprise for a few months until things cool down.

Countdown to infinity:

  1. Open letter to Ian Parker:

    Can you write a 10,000-word-or-so essay about comedy in Zimbabwe, focusing on the sitcom Paraffin?

    (Also, did you know about MyZimTube??)

    Thanks Ian!!!
    Kind regards,
    Andrew L.

    Age 14
    Las Cruces, NM
  2. Has anyone written about all those paintings of girls reading? Or even the subset of those paintings that are titled “Girl Reading”? I could use another couple hours of sleep today
  3. most important was cousin mo
  4. I felt this
  5. I ate two bags of Fritos today [Note: yesterday]
  6. Lloyd Mintern is my spirit animal
  7. Henry Green did not plagiarize J.D. Salinger on YouTube
  8. a “dysthyst cast in amethyst” on twïtter
  9. tbr via jawbone
  10. tbr w/r/t rimps
  11. let’s make “maudlin” a verb: I was just maudlin’ round the taqueria, waiting for 11:33 a.m. to roll around so I could order a non-breakfast burrito in ‘good faith’
  12. I had a dream last night that my “boss” was telling me that he tried to read Being and Nothingness and hated it because of all of the inscrutable phenomenology jargon, and I was like, “Dude, sir, you should check out Being and Time! It’s even worse!!!” We “bonded” about how difficult it is to read Continental philosophy. AND THEN I WOKE UP

Believer Film Issue Press

I’m going to collect Believer Film Issue press mentions on this web page. If you don’t yet subscribe to the Believer, that’s OK — why don’t you just subscribe to Ploughshares?? Actually, no, why don’t you sign up for that Organic Box that delivers organic produce to your house every week??? Sure, you’ll only end up eating a third of what they deliver, but WHO FUCKING CARES? I SURE AS HELL DON’T!!!

Whoa, dude, are you OK??

  1. Ourobotically: tha dizzies
  2. IFC blogg
  3. The Oberlin Review
  4. SlapChopNews.com

this page will be updated as the media shitstorm intensifies!!! stay toon’d!!!

rogerrabbit

death of the crippled ballet

This morning I finished Ian McEwan on Updike and started Hilton Als on Milk while eating a lox bagel and drinking a heavily sugared coffee at Java Supreme on Guerrero and 19th Street, occasionally glancing up to watch adults stride by in the rain. I was happy. I am Jewish. Last night I found out that the next New Yorker has an article by D.T. Max about David Foster Wallace’s forthcoming unfinished novel, along with an excerpt. Back in the office, I started reading Charles McGrath on John Cheever and then saw that I had only read page one of six and so decided to write a snotty little mournful little ‘blog-post’ in order to remind myself to finish it at a time when I’m not “supposed” to be working. More stressful work dreams last night. I was on a patio in some ski resort trying frantically to train a young female designer to make a spread for me — a magazine spread, I mean, doctor, of course, ha-ha, how much time do we have left? I have to cancel next week’s appointment–while the printers waited via sattelite uplink phone for us to finish. There’s more.

sonic67

11:15 a.m. restaurant

Sometimes I walk by a restaurant and want to go in even though I’m not hungry.

Today I had the same feeling toward a laundromat. It was the wash-fold place The Bone used to go to. I had an urge to go in and pick up a heavy parcel of clean, folded laundry.  I was relatively far from home and didn’t have any clothes to bring them. My hangover feels like it’s frozen under a huge block of translucent ice, like that dinosaur in Travel in the Mouth of the Wolf.