Tengo sueño, yo soy dueño

Hola. No he practicaba mi español. Fui a Londres. Fui a San Francisco. Ví mis amigos Californianos. Hice nuevos. Mi esposa esta embarazada. No quiero decir eso en “Facebook”, pero en español en mi blog, pienso que es OK. Anoche no pude dormir. Esta mañana me levanté a las seis para viajar a la granja. Que granja, Andres? Mi CSA. Que es un “CSA”, andres? Es mi fucking Community Supported Agriculture. Agricultura con Apoyo de la Comunidad: AAC? Sin embargo, me gustaría mucho. Las personas, las verduras. La tierra. Pero mucho trabajo. Después regresé a mi casa nuevo — nuevo, Andres? Si, mi esposa embarazada y yo acabamos de comprar UNA FUCKING CASA. Una casa viejo y stucco. Una hipoteca. La tasa de interés es muy bajo ahorita, pendejos. En Missouri, es posible comprar una casa si no tienes nalgas de oro. Mi esposa tiene un feto — un bebe creciendo — en su cuerpo. ¡Milagro! ¡Ciencia! ¡Amor!

Entonces despues de regresar de la granja de CSA fui a mi casa nuevo con mi esposa embarazada y su padre. Su padre es un dueño real — un maestro de casas y madera. Madera madura, si? Me entiendes, pendejo? LOL. Mi suegro me enseñó como usar instrumentos basicos de construcción — taladros, sierras, etc. Despues, compramos una cama! Y por fin, fuimos a fucking Buckingham Smokehouse para BBQ. Despues fuimos a Andy’s Frozen Custard. Fue 91 grados a las 9 por la noche! Una dia Missourieño, sin dudo. Para un hombre — un esclavo de ordenador como yo, esta dia de manos y masculinidad fue agradable. No hablo español. Te amo.

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.


If you arrived at this web-page by googling “what is heterosexual food?“, I’d just like to say:

Stick around!
Click around”!

I hope you enjoy my home-page!

And perhaps find the answer to your question.

Kind regards,



mostly because her name sounds like a Martin Amis character’s name. She also has nice hair

I accidentally shat in breadstixxxx’s oatmeal just now. I am going to go to jail on tax fraud. Jail is going to suck so badly, I’m worried.

this isn’t that bad, is it? I guess it is if you needed to dial 911 –



GET IT????

“Monty Pynchon”

why didn’t I buy this book directly from SPD when I was in Chicago?

I’m stressed out and not paying attention to this blog post

I’m never smoking pot again

My thoughts about “B. Francis’s new band” TBD. it’s not in bad taste that his wife is channeling kim deal, because… kim deals not dead. this single sorta sounds like “seether.” scratch it, she’s channeling Veruca Salt. I feel like I am very far from home, and I miss all my old homies, except I am at my desk, I am sitting at work, I am right where I should be — what gives, Lord?

at the Center for Curatorial Studies/
Hessel Museum of Art there is a show that opens this Sunday, April 19th.

Changing Light Bulbs In Thin Air
Including works by Christian Andersson, Tauba Auerbach, Brian Clifton, Zak Kitnick,
Runo Lagomarsino, Adam Putnam, Matthew Sheridan Smith, Mungo Thomson, and Garth Weiser.
A constellation of works by nine artists interested in shifts and breaks in the flow of comprehension and perception.
Curated by Summer Guthery

there is a free chartered bus on April 19th that leaves New York
from 10th Ave and 23rd St at 11:00am and returns from CCS at 4:00pm.



CROWD: We love ya!

OCAMPOS: Wha–? [adjusts bathrobe]

CROWD: You’re a mentor!

OCAMPOS: [fumbles in bathrobe’s pocket for a cigarette. Pulls out a slightly bent, unfiltered Camel. Fumbles for lighter. Farts silently. Wind blows across his pelotas. He peers down at the crowd from the patio. Mild panic at a sudden mild tumescence in his “loins.”]

[A PARTICULAR WOMAN in the crowd makes eye-contact with Ocampos. She is the one. He is the one. Ocampos looks pointedly away. An URCHIN hurls a bouquet onto the balcony. It is damp and dirty and grazes Ocampos’s bare, hairy shin.]

CROWD: Come down! We want to devour you!

OCAMPOS: [Inhaling deeply on the cigarette] I’d love to, I really would. It’s just that — the medicine — I don’t think— my breakfast—

URCHIN: Come down! I wish to devour you!!

OCAMPOS: [Turns back toward the door to his bedroom. The breeze has picked up. His hair now points southeast. His ass looks pretty good to the crowd, through his terrycloth bathrobe. The URCHIN throws a digital meal from Castlevania onto the patio]

note: meal not visible
meal not visible

[The SPECIAL WOMAN has wrapped her face in a cheesecloth and bustles rushédly into the building. The security guards look the other way. She is wearing a little bit of makeup.]


26 Valencia

On Valencia St. just now: attractive semi-rocker work-out lady (27?) and mean-looking/strong-looking short-necked fitted-cap guy walking down the street together, on their way to or from awesome weekend sex that their pit bull sits in their one-bedroom’s kitchen in order to avoid. I was surprised to hear that the woman (blonde) had a thick accent. It could have been Eastern European or Brazilian; it was hard to tell from the one fragment I heard her say:

“They were brown-shing!”

Pretty sure this word was brunching. Bronching. Made me happy.


Who is Bohumil Hrabal? Bad “netiquette” to link to literary essays you haven’t (yet) read? [UPDATE: please read the Whitehead. It’s hysterical.]


On Friday, walking back to the office from a mail/salted-nuts run, I saw the 26 bus coming down Valencia. Even though I was 2 blocks away from my desk, I still had to suppress the urge to board and pay the fare, since it’s such a rare delight to see the 26 coming in the direction you’re walking. Just then, a crazy guy, who also saw the bus coming, started dancing on the sidewalk and shouting, “26 letters to the word!!!” I was impressed.

Speaking of “26”, you can read Part One of 2666 by Wednesday night no problem. 160 pages. Do so, and join Tommy’s Book Club! I wonder if Tommy is mad that I’m jocking his book club so hard on this mangy square of the Internet’s carpet.

In college, there was an intranet thing called MyBlackboard where you posted discussion questions for classes. Also, I’m feeling more and more the deeply regrettable impulse to just post everything I think and smell and eat onto the internet, for better or worse, why not, maybe someday I’ll be stranded at the Santa Teresa airport and wish I had my notes for Part One of 2666 online. So, without further delay, I’m going to type out my notes to Part One of 2666 in the interest of remembering and clarifying things. If you’re planning on reading the book, or if you think I’m not illiterate, or if you hate me, or if you don’t care about me, I urge you not to read these notes, or this blog, or El Pais. Page numbers are from the ARC.

I see now that it would be pointless to type out all these wee fripperies. Instead, I’ll just “share” a smattering of thoughts that will be useless to anyone but my insomniac bachelor pit-bull, who is called Pouncey.

Is there a strain of homophobia running through 2666? What about the derision that Pelletier and Espinoza have for the publicity director at Bubis, Archimboldi’s German publisher? “That faggot is the closest thing to an eel I’ve ever seen,” Espinoza says, and Pelletier agrees with him despite himself (25). Later, “They discovered, or believed they discovered, that the bond between the Chilean professor and the dean’s son was more socratic than homosexual, and this in some way put their minds at ease, since the three of them had grown inexplicably fond of Amalfitano” (130). Why would Amalfitano’s homosexuality mitigate their fondness for him? Perhaps this is just realism — that is, these are real and honest homophobic feelings that these particular European literature professors  have.

There aren’t many references to music, which makes the few that do appear relatively dramatic, cinematic even. In particular: The African drums that can be distantly heard from Espinoza’s Madrid apartment, and the Salzburg hotel’s “constant musical hubbub in the hallways and on the stairs, sometimes louder and sometimes softer, as if the musicians never stopped humming overtures or as if a mental (and musical) static had settled over the hotel” (36).

I couldn’t agree more with Wyatt Mason re: the wonderful, evocative effectiveness of the occasionally “statistical” or quantitative narration.

Natasha Wimmer’s translation is awesome. The sentences are long and lucid and lyrical. They’re funny, melancholy, and sharp. Politics, literature, sex, philosophy, etc etc etc all feel alive and real in the characters and in the narration, and the dialogue… works.

“Nothing is ever behind us.” (Morini reading Liz Norton’s email, 44)

The “rigorously academic standpoint” re: which of Pelletier or Espinoza is a better lover is brilliant and hysterical (and of a piece with Mason’s “statistical” observation above). I had to look up corpography COPROPHAGY [thanks to “reader” “Threadbare” for alerting me to this heinous typo], which is, literally, the eating of shit. (Has any writer ever described a grin as “corpographic COPROPHAGIC”?)

Lotsa classical references — both E. and P. are Ulysses (46), Gorgons, etc —  I’ll let Tommy sort these out. 😉

Savage Detectives–style invented (?) artistic movements: The New Decadence; English animalism (53)

Rodrigo Fresán is an Argentinian novelist and was a friend of Bolaño’s. FSG published his novel Kensington Gardens, which Natasha Wimmer also translated. I was excited to recognize him making an appearance in a scene near the Peter Pan statue in London, thinking I’d made a nice discovery (60). Then I went back to check the Believer article (also translated by Wimmer)  I see that in a footnote, he says:

In 2666 I show up as myself in Kensington Gardens taking notes for my novel Kensington Gardens. I show up again as myself in his book of short stories, El secreto del mal.

Who cares? Well, this is interesting maybe in part because of the way Bolaño includes real writers in his work alongside fictional ones. Archimboldi, for instance, is compared to Günter Grass, Thomas Bernhard, Peter Handke, and so on. This is maybe even more important in the Savage Detectives, which is stuffed with “the names of internationally eccentric poets & writers,” some of them fictional, but many real.

What is a “Pottery Lane musician”? (33)

Fun Spanish slang: badulaque: a “fool of no consequence” (67)
(is this for real? could easily be fictional slang)

More on narrative style:

And then all they managed to say was: stop the cab right here, we’re getting out. Or rather: stop this filthy car, we’re not going any farther. (74)

This happens a lot in Bolaño’s sentences, where one way of saying something is reported, to give you the gist, which is immediately followed by what they really said, for the sake of accuracy. Why not just say what they really said? It creates a richer effect. In this way, you feel like you’re getting both the summary and transcript; the story and the language, the content and the style. Maybe. I don’t know. Tommy? [Sips tea with fury; glares at the other book-club members]

The beating of the Pakistani cab-driver (75): maybe this can be linked with the homophobia questions above. What of the ugliness of P. and E., and, maybe to a lesser extent, Liz Norton? It’s unsettling, to say the least, to have your protagonist display such brutal acts of xenophobic violence. [Stomach makes involutary growling sound; crosses arms over gut; drinks and chews tea-dregs; farts silently. Glares at other book-club members]

I’ve never heard of Azuela, whose novel Mangy Parrot is referenced

“he’s a typical Mexican intellectual, his main concern is getting by.” (121) This is followed by Amalfitano’s amazing riff on shadowless intellectuals on shrinking stages with indescribable mines or caves behind them. “A person can go out reasonably relaxed, with his shadow on his heels, and stop in a park and read a few pages of Válery. And so on until the end.”

PRI vs. PAN? Time to learn about Mexican politics. “…the silhouettes of industrial warehouses, the horizon of the maquiladoras.” (130)

A lot of dreams are described in this section, and the characters’ dreams echo each other’s. Sometimes fantasies or reveries, daydreams are described, which can be as surreal and involved as the dreams.

Rafael Dieste book hanging on a clothesline, not to dry, evoking “deep, boundless sadness” in Amalfitano (134) = awesome

“A person can speak a language badly or not at all and still be able to read it. In any case, there were lots of dead women” (138). That pair of sentences astonished me….

I sort of hate having read reviews of this book before starting it, because it’s so deft and gradual the way it leads into the murders. You do have the sense that the whole book will revolve around Norton or the literary mystery of the reclusive author, Archimboldi — and who knows, maybe it will. But I wanted to be more suprised by the growing focus on the murders. The Part About the Critics feels like it’s preparing you to read 2666 by having you read about people whose lives are devoted to an author and his books so that the non-literary business of the murders has all the more impact. Maybe? But I shouldn’t conclude anything until I see where the rest of the book actuall goes. [Spills scalding tea all over poorly ironed khakis, vomits tinily into breast pocket of Oxford shirt]

coincidence and fate in 2666 — cf the coincidence of Liz Norton going to the Johns retrospective, and Johns’s comments about coincidence in the Swiss asylum. Also holy shit the self-portrait with the hand of the artist? But I’m outta steam. See you Wednesday.