Saturday, December 20, 2008
My friend Jonell sent this vid to me about two years ago. Back in ancient times, you could link a Youtube video without it being censored or copyrighted by some large corporation who might be losing ten cents if you watch it on my blog instead of downloading it for 99 cents onto your Ipod or Blackberry. Jesus, am I becoming a curmudgeon? I am, aren't I?
Anyway, this is the single reason I'll never hate JT. Yeah, I used the initials. Do you want to fight me? I'll poke you in the eyes.
Happy Holidays, my friends.
Friday, December 12, 2008
And if you feel like purchasing a Nathan Graziano book then, dammit, get down with yo' bad self. If not, then try to live with the fact that you're crushing my heart into fine particles and snorting it off the framed picture of my children I'm sending you for Christmas.
And a Merry Christmas to you, Uncle Scrooge.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I have some new poems on Mannequin Envy. They're new and sparkly and fun for the whole family.
At this point, it's safe to announce that I have a new collection of poems scheduled to be released by sunnyoutside press in Fall 2009. The collection is titled After The Honeymoon, and it picks up where the chapbook Honey, I'm Home left off. In fact, in many ways, it's the full-length version of the chapbook, including some of the same poems. In the meantime, sunnyoutside will be releasing new books from a couple of my friends, Tim Horvath and Rebecca Schumejda . So keep an eye out and buy their books while they're new.
When I was in 8th grade, I lost my girlfriend to Jordan from The New Kids On The Block. Perhaps I should clarify. This was circa 1988, shortly before I'd start sporting my new mullet, and my girlfriend, who we'll call Bitch Who Ripped My Fragile Young Heart Out, bought a new glossy folder with a picture of The New Kids On The Block "hangin' tough" on the front AND back. After several days of staring at the folder, BWRMFYHO decided that she preferred the presence of Jordan on her new folder to me.
Shit, she was probably right.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
During the years of 2001-2002, I would receive long letters from Dave, typed on his old electric typewriter, and fire letters back zealously. Today, when I returned home to New Hampshire, I went through a box of personal items---poems and stories I've written that never saw a second-draft and many of my old letters from writers, friends, ex-girlfriends, etc. Since the dawn of our technological age, e-mails seem to have made the art of the epistolary form obsolete; and digging up Dave Church's old letters and reading through them this afternoon, soaking up the wisdom, heart and honesty that went into them, it seems to me that this is more than a damn shame.
Maybe some other time I'll write about my experiences visiting Dave in his attic apartment in Providence, the characters and improbable episodes that unfolded, but right now, it doesn't seem right to eulogize him with fancy or funny anecdotes. I can, however, say this: I learned as much, if not more, about life and writing from talking and corresponding with Dave Church than I have in most of my MFA workshop classes (and I've had some fabulous workshop professors). Sadly, for the last half-decade, Dave and I lost touch, and consequently, I missed out on an education, at a time when I most needed his perspective. I want to post a poem that Dave sent me in a letter dated 8-14-02---every one of Dave's letters came to me with poems, fliers for readings, or audio tapes---and if this poem has been published somewhere or is copyrighted by someone else, please let me know, and I'll take it down. But it seems to me, right now, to be especially apropos:
"And I'm The Star"
The same movie has been playing in my head
for three nights now. It's called
THIS IS YOUR LIFE!
In the beginning
there's plenty of action---
a babe on both
sides of me,
on my lap.
The middle moves along
in an ordinary way.
The action is packed
with more corn
It's the ending that bothers me---
God bless you, my friend. Rest, I hope, finally in peace. And, by the way, you've been right in all of your advice. All of it.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Strangely---and I'll admit this was a bit disconcerting---when I searched "Nathan Graziano," which is the name I publish my work under, it did NOT come up on the drop-down menu. Why? Thus are the mysteries of the universe. But, hell, I'm not complaining.
I also have some new poems up on Word Riot. I gave you the link, but I'm sure if you Google-searched "Word Riot" and my name, it would come up.
Rock and roll! Hello, Cleveland!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
I don't care how many times The Red Sox have come back in an ALCS Series, (and, for the record, the answer is twice) for lifelong Red Sox fans, you never, never shake the feeling that they'll break your heart. For this new generation of Red Sox fans, these pink hat cheerleaders, the come-back has become routine, a final theatrical act. But for those of us that remember Buckner and Boone (and Bucky and beyond), and the winters of heartache that followed, Thursday night seemed be fixing toward a merciful exit: The Sox soundly beaten by a better team.
For a man who grew up knowing that the pretty girl's smile is never followed by a kiss, I refuse to get strung along. The anomolies of 2004 and 2007 were the most unlikeliest of lays. Those were the "I smiled at the beautiful woman and it just so happened she was so drunk she slept with me" moments. It was the baseball version of Knocked Up. Twice.
Yes. I want to see Josh Beckett be the Josh Beckett of 2007 tomorrow night. I want to go out and feel proud when a drunken fan tells me I look like him. But I don't expect it. And I never will.
Here's the deal: I went to bed. I was convinced they lost.
Part of growing up as a Red Sox fan was learning, at an early age, to deal with disappointment. I'm not sure if this is an Eastern or Western idea, or something I stole from a Bukowski poem, but the only way to assure that one is not disappointed is to NOT have expectations. I've learned that much as a Red Sox fan---although I feel like a shit-heel saying this in the presence of any Cubs fans who might be reading this.
So I expect nothing from the Sox tomorrow night. Logic and statistics tells me that James Shields will be nothing but "Big Game James." Recent history tells me that Beckett is hurt, and the Sox brass are mum. Will The Sox win tomorrow? Will we see another Bloody Sock?
If you jumped on the bus in 2003 or 2004, when The Idiots became vogue and a pink hat became sexy, cue up your Neil Diamond and Dropkick Murphy's CDs and wait for a celebration. Call your up B.U. buddies from Long Island, or text them, tell 'em that you're having a playoff party. "And, hey, did you hear, Cody got tickets!"
For the rest of us, we'll chew our thumbs and know Longoria and Upton and Shields aren't accidents; we'll know that comebacks are both magical and whimsical; we'll try to realize what Gatsby never learned: you can never recreate the past.
And in the process, we'll throw the middle finger at Manny and Damon and Nomar, who are all at home, bathing in bucks, watching the game with us.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The Philadelphia Phillies. Other than the fact that Ryan Howard may be one of the largest and most dangerous black men since The Sandman in Mike Tyson's Punchout---does anyone remember that son of a bitch? I blame my inability to show love in my adult life on the beatings I took from him---I really know very little about this team. Let's see. There's Chase Utley. Has there ever been a whiter name than Chase Utley? He sounds like he should doing crew at Phillips-Exeter Academy. "Hey, Chase, can you explain to me what a sub-prime loan really is?" But The Phillies took The Mets out of the playoffs, so they get props for making the city of New York a little more miserable this winter. Other than that, I got nothing. Like I said, The NL is not a real league. For me, they might as well be Hobbits competing in some strange game that involves a wicker basket and a yarn ball where Leonard Nemoy does both the play-by-play and analysis.
My pick: The Dodgers in 6 games.
The Tampa Bay Rays. What happened to the Devil in the old Devil Rays? I liked the Devil, loved him even. Now the Devil is gone, and in its place is this strange team that seems to have come out nowhere. Actually, that's not true. At first, I thought they were sent by some Prime Mover who controls all that is good and evil in the baseball world (hence, the dumping The Devil) simply to teach The New York Yankees a lesson about avarice by having The Rays finish ahead of them. But as I waited and waited for their Lindsay Lohan-like collapse, it never happened. Now they've become analogous to that girl in high school who was pimply, a little overweight and on the bad side of butt-ugly, who shows up at the 10-year reunion trimmed-down, made-over and showing her enough cleavage to make you painfully aware of the fact that she'll never, regardless of the circumstance, ever sleep with your sad, flabby, drunken ass, nor any of your now-loser buddies who are organizing a Beirut tournament at an afterhours party. Did I say never? Oh yeah, and she changed her name, too. I spent the past ten years making fun of the Rays, now I'm staring at the very real possibility that they might eliminate my Sox, dash their dreams of becoming the first team in nearly a decade to win back-to-back World Series (I can't remember the last the team). To finish my analogy, let's say Crawford is the left tit; Longoria the right one; Carlos Pena the bush (groomed to a landing strip); Garza the left leg; Shields the right; Kazmir the tight ass; and shimmying in a little slink dress, pulling it all together, there's Joe Madden. Okay, Joe Madden's face on a female body just ruined it. Reciprocally, I hope I just ruined The Rays.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Okay. Despite the fact that I spend a good portion of my free time cursing and belittling and attempting to emasculate The New York Yankees with a plethora of sophomoric homosexual snipes, I have to stop now to honor Yankee Stadium. As a baseball fan, you're a moron if you miss tomorrow's game. The history and the drama (think 2004 and bloody socks) that has gone down in Yankee Stadium is simply ponderous. Gehrig and Ruth and Joltin' Joe and Mantle and--- cough, cough---Jeter and Rivera. As man with a modicum of literary tastes, I'd be a fool to turn my back to this event.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Generally speaking, I use this blog to jest---to share things I think, see, or find funny. However, with the polls showing the election to be in dead heat right now, and people popping boners everywhere over Sarah Palin, maybe it's time we take a closer look at the guy The Republicans are running for president.
Is this video propaganda? You bet. But it also gives pause. Or it should, assuming you give a shit.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
- After Barack Obama's stirring and evocative acceptance speech Thursday night, if Grandpa Munster and Miss Alaska are elected over Obama and Biden, then it's time to call it quits. There really is no hope for this country. The rich, stubborn and stupid can claim a thorough victory over anyone with a heart and/or a mind.
- The Tampa Bay Rays are for real. After months of labeling it an aberration, it's finally time to face up to the facts: they're good and can't lose in The Trop.
- The Olympics were a lot of fun to watch. From the China's 8-year-old gymnasts, to Michael Phelps making swimming seem somewhat cool, to NBC's losing out on their ace-in-the-hole All-American story with Shawn Johnson (I went to college with a guy named Shawn Johnson who once cut a wart off his...forget it) for a weirdly incestuous story about an ex-Russian Olympian vicariously living through his American daughter, it was intersting to follow. I do, however, have one bone to grind. When the hell are they going to include the doggie paddle in the swimming events? I am one bad-ass dog-paddler, and my dreams of the gold were dashed by an Olympic Committee prejudice. Fuckers.
- I have some new poems in the September issue of decomP Magazine. Check 'em out.
- Manny found "peace" with the Dodgers, who are currently trailing the mighty Diamondbacks in the mighty NL West, baseball's most pathetic division. After walking out ground balls, faking injuries, and making himself seem like the most misunderstood man since Jesus Christ, he left Boston for LaLa Land at the trading deadline. I say, See you later, buddy. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. Jason Bay cares, and it's made all the difference watching it. As a fan. I can only imagine the relief his teammates have felt.
- Chris Adrian's new book A Better Angel is the best short story collection I've read since Jesus' Son. I'm writing a review of it this week, but don't wait. Seriously, you need to read this book. It kicks ass!
- Speaking of a better angel, may God bless New Orleans. I wonder if President Bush will be on the horn with "Brownie" this time? Is God trying to say something to The RNC about global warming by ruining their little party? But Democrats are getting screwed, too. Where else are we going to find white men with sticks the size of telephone poles up their asses trying to dance on prime time? God, are you trying to rock that Old Testament image again?
- It's the last year of historic Yankee Stadium, and Hank Steinbrenner's (who seems to be every bit the douche his dad is) $200 million stable of overpaid lumps of shit are not going to see the post-season. When the lights go out in Yankee Stadium for the last time, it will be in September against the Baltimore Orioles. Maybe, finally, Yankee fans will stop yapping about their 25 World Championships and catch up with the new millennium. Here's a hint: buying an All-Star team won't buy you success in baseball. And shame on you, Detroit Tigers, for falling for that con, too.
- Every time I flip over to Fox News, I feel myself getting dumber.
- Joe Biden could possibly be the one person I'd most like to have a beer with. But it would have to be in dive bar with football on the tube and Springsteen on the jukebox. I bet Joe could throw the F-bomb with the best of 'em. Is that gay of me?
- I reread The Book of Revelations one day this summer. If the Jehovah's are correct, we're all in for a serious ass-kicking.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
First, my poem "The Thrift Store Shopper" appeared in the Spring 2008 of the venerable Nerve Cowboy. This is a small press staple, an exceptional journal of accessible and enjoyable poetry. It's always a treat to read.
My poem "The Frat Boy I Was (The Idiot I Am)" was published in Issue #6 of the iconoclastic Fight These Bastards. It's a newer zine and very intelligently written and tastefully done.
As my bio reads in their premiere issue, I once had a pet hamster by the same name. Nibble (my hamster's name was Nibbles) recently published my poem "Crash". In an age becoming more and more dominated by the e-zine, this is throw-back to the old school, tangible zine (or at least "old school" for me). It has a clean design and layout and contains some enjoyable short poetry.
The shocker came when I received a package from England the other day with "Printed Matter" on the envelope. I opened it and, at first, I thought it was one of my wife's glossy fashion magazines. Wrong. It was Phoenix, the arts magazine of Imperial College London, who solicited a piece of flash-fiction from me titled "My Real Hair." This is a gorgeous, professional production with kick-ass photography and some damn fine writing. And there were no advertisements. Imagine that. In England, they must actually fund the arts. What a strange concept.
In e-zine news, I have a poem titled "The D-Word" in the new issue of The Orange Room Review. Check it out if you have a minute.
Also, my review of David Guterson's new novel The Other is in this week's Hippo Press. I saw that it has the book editor's byline, but my name is at the bottom. I assure you, I wrote it.
I've been a little out of touch lately. I'm working diligently on a couple of new projects and laying low this summer. It's never a bad thing to take the phone off the hook and disappear every now and then. I think I ripped that line off a Billy Joel song. Wow. What's worse? Ripping off someone else's words, or the fact that it is Billy Joel?
P.S. Check out my Bush Backwards clock on the bottom of the page. I was very proud of myself for figuring out how to post it. It was something I did after watching CSN&Y: Deja Vu On-Demand the other night. I thought it kicked ass. My wife wasn't as pleased. Definitely worth watching though.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I'm reading at Breaking New Grounds in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, tomorrow night with Lo Galluccio. If you're in the area, try to check it out. The reading starts at 7 p.m. Portsmouth is a very cool place to spend a summer night. Hope to see you there.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
This is a movie I made of the poem "It's a Girl" from the collection Honey, I'm Home. Sorry about the poor quality, but it was the only size I could fit on this site. Thanks to Dan and Gregg for the use of their tunes. Enjoy.
P.S. I just posted an acerbic Fourth of July liberal rant then realized what a cliched little bitch I was for doing so and removed it. Let's keep it positive this year.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
This incredibly kick-ass live cover of "My Back Pages", which includes some of the most influential and rockin' musicians of our time (or any time for that matter)---i.e. Neil Young, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Roger McGuinn, the late-George Harrison, and The Man, himself---was part of the 30th Anniversary Bob Dylan tribute concert in 1992. In 1992, I had a mullet, which many of my friends consider to be on the later-end of mulletdom; thus, making me incredibly un-hip, backwards and behind the times. I finally severed my mullet in 1993, shortly before entering college. However, it's worthy of mention, I quickly replaced the mullet with a spider plant, pseudo-Cobain doo, where I kept the top long and shaved the sides and the back, which, in retrospect, was an even bigger douche doo. Then I grew it all out and became the sensitive ponytail man, an even more ridiculous hair-persona. Basically, I sucked throughout my formative years and beyond. Actually, I'm still a douche with a Supercuts Special.
However, my point for posting this clip is to exonerate myself. Look carefully. George Harrison--- a fucking Beatle, for God's sake!---and Roger McGuinn have mullets. And if you examine this even closer, Neil Young has a little bit of bangs, hence, a mullet. You see, I wasn't a complete turd if Neil friggin' Young was rocking the mullet, too. My mullet had some street cred in 1992. So, hypothetically, were you to visit my parents' place in Rhode Island and see my high school senior portrait framed on the wall in their den and say something like, "Hey, look at Graziano and his lame-ass mullet five years after mullets were popular," I'd say, "Lick my ball-bag, dickwad. George Harrison had a mullet, too."
With enough coaxing, I might post a pic of my mullet on this blog. Maybe. Then again, I'm a public school teacher. Let's change that to doubtful.
Question: Can anyone make out a single word Bob Dylan is singing here? I'm not entirely sure he's singing in English.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
My daughter graduates pre-school tomorrow. Her class is singing Mountain's "Mississippi Queen" a cappella. Rockin'.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
On that note (meaning the note that involves "me"), I watched the movie Top Gun for the first time in years last night. There is sooooooo much machismo, latent homosexuality and pure 80s cheese that I found it beyond satisfying. Since I don't have a pilot name, I'm just going to start calling myself Pete Mitchell.
So enjoy Pete Mitchell's new poem.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
So here it is, the top three Classic Rock suck-ass bands according to my own uninformed, bitter, and judgemental opinion.
3. Fleetwood Mack. Already, I've gotten in heated arguments with close friends over what we call "The Fleetwood Mack Issue." And, yes, you Mack-heads are probably lacing up your umbrage gloves from what you consider the sheer audacity of their inclusion in this list. My response to you, in the words of Izzy Stradlin in the Gun 'N Roses classic "It's So Easy": fuck off. First, I have a hard time considering Fleetwood Mack a rock band. Basically, they're the television show Friends with instruments. But what about Rumors, you say? Rumors, according to Rolling Stone, is one of the best albums ever. Big fucking deal. The band paired up and broke up and if I wanted relationship drama I'd go to a Danielle Steele novel. Lindsay Buckingham, a great musician, should have been banging groupies, not the group. And Stevie Nicks, in all her smoking hotness, was NOT worth the headache. Personally, I don't want a chick in a flowing white gown standing in front of a bay window. I want the trash, the leather miniskirts and the stripper pumps and the fishnet stockings and the low-cut blouses with their breasts falling out. And as a rock star, you're entitled to that. Why, dear God, get involved in relationships and write crap-ass songs about it? Fleetwood Mack is the musical equivalent of a chick-flick. In the name of all that is sacred and rocks, in the holy name of Black Sabbath, please spare me the pain of listening to "The Chain" and "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" ever again. Amen.
Note: The ONLY thing keeping The Eagles off this list is Joe Walsh and the fact that The James Gang existed.
2. The Moody Blues. Instead of persevering, allow me to quote this little spoken word poem at the end of "Nights in White Satin":
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one;
Lonely man cries for love and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles her son;
Senior citizens wish they were young.
A new mother "suckles her son"? Could you force a rhyme any harder? Listen, there's nothing wrong with being gay and being in a rock band. Fine. But, for the point of comparison, let's put Rob Halford at one end of the spectrum and The Village People at the other. Where do The Moody Blues fall? Here's something I can guarantee you will never hear passing my lips: "Let's get some beers and crank up The Moody Blues." I don't get them. I don't get their appeal. I don't get their raison d' etre. See? I start writing about them and already I'm using gay-ass terms like raison d' etre. I'm disgusting myself. Between Fleetwood Mack and The Moody Blues, the next thing you know I'm going to start talking about my feelings. As if I have feelings. Why don't I just go downstairs and ask my wife if we can have a heart-to-heart and discuss our relationship, how I can be a better husband, and whether or not her hair looks better back or down on her shoulders? This, my friends, is what happens when you listen to suck-ass bands with pussy-boy lyrics. Not good. No,no, no. Very bad.
1. Foreigner. I'm not sure this is even subjective. This might be a veritable fact. What the hell happened here? What sort of cultural breakdown occurred in the 70s and early-80s that allowed this total lame-ass, turd-sucking shit band to sell millions of albums? At what point did the listening public decide "Hot Blooded" was acceptable for the airwaves? At what point did deejays decide that "Jukebox Hero" should be spinning in the studio? The truly amazing thing about Foreigner was their tenacity at sucking. And it's not like Chicago, who rocked in their early days then fell off the deep end and started cutting tracks for The Karate Kid movies. Foreigner sucked from the start and just steadily kept sucking more and more. "I've Been Waiting For a Girl Like You." Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, anyone who bought the album with that track on it is complicit in this crime against humanity. Mick Jones, shame on you. And Ian McDonald should have been banned from playing in public venues after The King Crimson debacle. And Lou Gramm flat out sucks the big donkey wad. I realize that 99 percent of pop music is simply insufferable, and Foreigner was a pop band. Fine. And people at the time were wearing nut-hugger jeans and denim jackets and this could possibly explain the absence of decency. But why do people continue to play this shite on the radio? Why is this band frequently considered Classic Rock legends? More importantly, why have taken all of this time to compile this list? Seriously. Homeboy needs his head examined.
Note: Anyone who would like to reprint this list, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It's important that we all work together to STOP THE SUCKING.
Monday, May 26, 2008
7. Aerosmith (post-rehab). Listen, if you're in a rock and roll band, it's never a good idea to go into rehab. I can't think of a single band whose music didn't suffer because of it. It's best to either overdose or drink yourself to death and leave a rocking legacy (a la Hendrix, Joplin, etc.). Aerosmith is unique in the sense that just continue to suck and suck and suck some more. Prior to rehab, you had a band capable of pulling off a cover of The Yardbird's "Train Kept A 'Rollin" and following it with a jamming version of "Mama Kin." What do we get after they go clean and sober? "Angel" and "Love in an Elevator". At what point, when they were laying down the tracks for "Dude Looks Like A Lady", did they not look at each other, perfectly sober and coherent, and say, "Wow, this song really blows"? Jesus, Mary, Mother of God. Where is their sense of decency? Will someone please give Joe Perry some heroin? And Steven Tyler, you have officially reached "freak of nature" status.
6. Rod Stewart. If Rod Stewart's entire musical career consisted of the song "Maggie May", he would not be on this list. Unfortunately, for all of us involved, he decided to continue recording. I'm not sure I can say anything that would compare with South Park's ribbing of this King of Suck-Ass songs. Tight pants and a British accent does not a rock star make. Fuck off, Rod.
5. Heart. If you happen to be a feminist, please skip ahead to Number 4. I'm going to start this with obligatory disclaimer: I'm not a misogynist, BUT chicks really have no business being the frontMEN in a rock and roll band. Chicks are groupies; they've always been the groupies. THAT is their role. Chicks are blues singers with booming voices, like Joplin, and on rare occasions, bass players (think Talking Heads). But they are NOT the centerpieces of a band that kicks ass and takes names. I don't get. Were Robert Plant, David Bowie and Mick Jagger not sufficiently feminine enough? What made the Wilson sisters want to sully their pretty selves (before becoming blimps) in the business of hard rock? And can someone please explain the song "Barracuda" to me? Heart stands as evidence that you don't need testicles, only a guitar, to suck huge ass.
4. Meatloaf. Ugh. Meatloaf. Really, do I have to say more? When I hear "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights", it goes into extra innings---an infinite, insufferable game of Little League baseball where there are never clean base hits, only error upon excruciating error. Why didn't the game end after The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Please, God, tell me that. Why didn't the bat of Hell just stay there? I don't understand. Meatloaf. Ugh. Meatloaf.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Okay, some of you may be wondering why I slipped Billy Squier in there. Again, ball-bag, tongue, lick...
However, there are some bands that have become ubiquitous on Classic Rock stations that make water-boarding seem preferable to having to sit in a car listening to their musical and lyrical diarrhea shart out from the speakers. This list, I realize, is highly subjective, and I invite anyone reading this to feel free to chime in with their dissent.
So here it is: The Ultimate List (every list of anything Classic Rock starts with the words "the ultimate") of Suck-Ass Classic Rock Bands.
10. Bad Company (pictured). Originally, Paul Rodger's group was an orphan that Led Zeppelin's Swan Song label tried to save from suck-dom, but their Jimmy Page knock-off riffs and painfully cheese-filled lyrics are too much for any rational human being to tolerate. Despite the fact that one of my first carnal experiences occurred with the song "Rock Steady" playing in the background, I can find little that is redeemable about this band. However, I have noticed that the word "lunch" can be substituted for word "love" in the title of any of their songs with, perhaps, significant improvement in the content, i.e. "Feel Like Making Lunch," "Ready for Lunch" or "Can't Get Enough of Your Lunch." Did I own 10 from 6 as a teenager? Yes. Yes, I did.
9. The Steve Miller Band. Okay, so who hasn't gotten high at some point in their life while listening to "The Joker"? And, yes, it was oh-so amusing when Homer Simpson did it on The Simpsons. But even if you try to make a case for a few of The Steve Miller Band's songs not sucking the pulp out of a lemon, it is instantly off-set by the song "Abracadabra." And few classic rock songs make my soul hurt quite "Take the Money and Run" or "Fly Like the Eagle"; the latter of which posts a cliche only matched in its lack of imagination by the music itself. If you're between the ages of 16-19 and looking for some decent stoner music, try The Mothers of Invention. As for Stevie "Guitar" Miller...excuse me, I just burped up my dinner.
8. Thin Lizzy. I'm almost hesitant to include this band because they only had one song that I know: "The Boys Are Back In Town." But it's been played so incessantly that I've developed a legitimate hatred for it and its creators. Coming out well before U2 made it onto the scene, it almost seems as if Ireland wanted to the show that they could produce wankers at the same clip as The Brits. They weren't about to sit pat and let their nemesis do all of the sucking, so they conceived Thin Lizzy, a band whose stupid name is almost as bad as their music. I said "almost."
Coming soon: #7-4 on The Ultimate List of Suck-Ass Classic Rock Bands. In the meantime, try to get some sleep.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Maybe, it just me...no, actually, it’s not just me. It's me, millions of voters, the pundits and the politicos from all walks of life that must be starting to notice the striking similarities between Sen. Hillary Clinton and the “invincible” Black Knight from Monty Python and the Quest for The Holy Grail.
At this point, Hillary is wobbling on her last leg, having both arms and her other leg severed by Obama. Perhaps, next she’ll try to bleed on him. With one more swift swipe of the sword (holy alliteration, Batman!) Obama will effectively reduce her to a bloody trunk, at which point, she might call the election “a draw.”
For me, I’m sick and tired of looking at and listening to Hillary. In her speech following the North Carolina and Indiana primaries on Tuesday night, I felt myself becoming simultaneously incensed and deflated by her stubbornness, her Black Knight’s inability to admit she has lost. Apparently, she’s invincible!
And did anyone happen to catch Bill standing behind her, looking oh-so-Botoxed, and clapping at seemingly random parts of her speech. Maybe Bill was hearing: “And when I’m president, I’ll be so damn busy that my husband will have free reign to bang all the fat chicks in the greater-D.C.-area.”
Clap, clap, clap, Seal-Boy.
Hell, Hillary, personally—and maybe Keith Oberman won’t come right out and say this, but I will—I don't wanna talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
There. Take that, Hillary. I just blog-slapped your ass, you Black Knight bee-atch.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Except for rare copies on Amazon and Powells, the other two chapbooks in our Idiot Trilogy, Idiot Warriors and Chickenshits, have sold out. Seriously. But I'm thinking of sending the extra copies of Men of Letters to Burma to use as toilet paper in the relief effort, if the Burmese government will let me.
Please drop me an e-mail if you're interested or respond in the "comments" section (that makes me feel popular).
Thursday, May 1, 2008
It's only four days until Amateur Night #3. Following up New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day, Cinquo de Mayo is the third biggest night for clumsy amateur drunks to go to the bars and strut their lack-of-stuff. Prepare for a night full of stumbling sluts, belligerent testosterone-junky douche bags and vomiting at the bar. Oh joy!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Alas, the Sox have pissed me off. Yesterday's matinee soured me for the rest of the day. Goddamn bullpen!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Okay, so I lied. I'm back. Deal with it.
Because today, my friends, I need to vent, and vent I will.
Last year, I got an offer in the mail for a year's subscription to Poets & Writers for some insanely cheap rate. I had to send them a banana and I got a subscription, or something like that. Considering myself a writer/an aspiring writer/a guy who tries belittle people more successful than him in a pathetic attempt to boost up his own decimated ego, it sounded like a great deal. So I jumped at it.
However, the other day I was reading the recent issue of Poets & Writers which had an interview with some distinguished agent in the literary field, and by the time I was finished, I wanted throw everything I'd ever written into a giant dung pile, douse it in gasoline, and use myself as the torch that ignited it. Seriously. According to this agent, I have about as much chance of selling a first novel as I do learning to sing the soprano scores of Pirates of Penzance. It was demoralizing.
And this wasn't the first time. Often I find when I read this magazine, which advertises "From Inspiration to Publication" on the text of the front cover, that as soon as I put it down I'm searching the house for sharp objects. The articles are inundated with horror stories from the industry---bad book deals, predatory agents, the general futility of trying to sell a book these days---and interspersed with goading spreads on writers who are far more successful than 99.9% of readers will EVER be. Nothing like some gentle taunting to inspire creative work. The front cover should read "From Inspiration to John Kennedy Toole", and that's not meant to be flippant. This magazine slowly sucks out your soul through a straw.
It's an existential nightmare on each page. Yes, I realize on an existential level that everything, even the things we find meaningful, are essentially pointless; therefore, we need to embrace the struggle itself as meaningful--- Camus and boulders and hills and blah, blah, blah. I'm not that heady. I find the magazine to be a swift kick in the gonads each time I open it.
Now, I realize that it really is that difficult to get published these days. I know. The writing industry is near-impossible to penetrate, and Poets & Writers is not trying to sell any illusions. But the writing industry is also haughty, pretentious, and self-congratulatory. Don't you think there's a good reason that few people aside from practitioners of the craft, college professors, and people in the business read "literary" fiction or poetry anymore?
I'm done being a masochist. I am not renewing my subscription to Poets & Writers and freeing myself of these manacles. Maybe I'll start my own magazine titled People Who Write but Don't Necessarily Want to Be Referred to as a 'Poet' or a 'Writer' (Especially with the Capital Letters) Because We Don't Want to Seem Like Pretentious Douche Bags to Our Families and Friends. I anticipate the layout of the front cover will be problematic.
P.S. Check out the Rip Torn speech on the clip from Wonder Boys. I'd wager half the audience subscribes to Poets & Writers.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I might as well call it quits. This morning, I discovered that all of the South Park episodes can be streamed live on this site. Now, for all intents and purposes, this is the end of my pathetic writing career (if you listen closely, you can hear the faint sound of slow applause) and most likely the end of this blog. From this day forth, I am officially a man of recreations. I will wear a bathrobe all day, not work, not leave the house, smoke a pipe (packed with tobacco, of course), and watch South Park episodes.
But notice, my three readers, that I left you with a clip that neatly ties together the last two blog entries on douche bags and Ben Affleck (is that redundant?). Fare thee well, my friends. God bless and good night.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I'm going to watch Game 2 of the short series in the Bronx now. If the Sox cough up both games, expect an acerbic and entirely irrational blog entry tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy the hot chicks and the douche bags.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Clearly, I have a lot of time on my hands right now. I've hit a bit of a creative spped bump; therefore, it seems a productive use of my spare time drinking beer and trying to unpack the homosexual undertones in the movie Top Gun. My conclusion: Top Gun is veritable anthem for the homosexual lifestyle. See for yourself.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
A friend sent me this link today. It is an intelligent, thoughtful, and articulate analysis of The Hillary Clinton Campaign's recent nonsense. Kudos to Keith Olbermann. If you live in any of the remaining primary/caucus states, please pay attention.
Friday, February 22, 2008
However, seeing Mr. Bures must have been writing with a strict word count, I'd like to pick up on a few things he missed, more minutiae that I believe are deserving of mention and/or clarification.
1. Quotation marks. When Googling my own name, it's not a one-time, buckshot search. I actually Google my name twice: first, with quotation marks around the name, then without them. Although the searches net mostly the same results, the first search is more specific, meaning it will give me the results of the hits that have "nathan" followed by "graziano." The second, broader search can pick up things that might have the words "nathan" and "graziano" in close proximity. The broader search sometimes gives you results that the specific search won't show, but it's a far more time consuming and laborious search because the number of pages to comb through is nearly infinite. But one who is consumed with validating their existence and worth through a search engine cannot afford to be slipshod.
2. Variations of my first name. Although I publish under Nathan Graziano, my colleagues, friends, and family call me Nate. Therefore, a search under simply "nathan graziano" might not show me places--- such as friends' websites or blogs--- where I'm being mentioned as Nate Graziano. Now, you might be asking yourself, "Wouldn't the broader search without the quotation marks show the hits for "nate graziano." Sometimes. But when Googling your name, you can never be too circumspect.
3. Family. If I have the time, say another 10 minutes during my lunch break, I will search the names of my wife and kids plus my own (for example: "paige graziano+nathan graziano") to see what type of profound role I play in their cyber-lives. It's important to remember, as Mr. Bures so poignantly writes, that this whole thing is an existentially vacuous endeavor. It is something that only someone who is egotistical and paranoid would do think of doing on a daily basis. So it seems perfectly plausible that someone who is obsessed with Googling their name would want the added vainglorious praise of seeing how those close to them are affected by their internet presence as well.
All of this talk has whetted my appetite. It's time to do the deed...
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Admittedly, the original video toes the line of cheesy--- I was huffing Lysol the day I put it up---but this one offers an even starker comparison of what we're up against. First of all, I don't dislike Hillary; I can live happily with her as our president, although I'd admit disappointment because I see Obama as someone who could make a real difference, someone outside of The Washington vanguarde. But if McCain is elected, I will attempt to strangle myself with my own tongue. I could go outside, right now, and find roadkill that's more inspiring than John McCain. However, on the bright side, he could potentially put a dent in the pharmaceutical industry's pocketbook by rendering all prescription sleeping aides obsolete: Simply listen a McCain State of the Union address and you'll be counting sheep in a wink.
Good lord, if you're from Ohio, Texas or Pennsylvania and reading this, lend a hand and vote Obama.
P.S. All this political shit is going to be taking a backseat soon. Pitchers and catchers reported, some quite corpulently, to camp this week. Go Sox.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Which, paradoxically, leads me to the reason I've been supporting Barack Obama. Listen, there's no big secret that I'm a liberal--- in spite of my solipsism. I've embraced Whitman's lines in "Song of Myself" like a mantra: "I am large/ I contain multitudes." In fact, I've never understood why the pharmaceutical companies producing male-enhancement pills haven't caught on to that one (Answer: most people in this country probably think Walt Whitman invented Wite-Out).
Tomorrow I will cast my vote in the First in the Nation Primary, an event which is ridiculously publicized and highly unfair to voters in the other forty-eight states. But tomorrow I will be voting for Barack Obama, not because I don't believe Hillary or Edwards are capable candidates; I do. It's because I truly believe Obama's message of hope.
Does this make me a sappy sentimentalist without a political clue? Maybe. But "hope", in my mind, is something we all need to embrace. Not just on a political spectrum, but a personal one as well. I don't see many differences in the policies of the democratic candidates; they all believe in the things I believe: get out of Iraq as safely and humanely as possible; every person, regardless of your income, deserves to be treated if you get sick without breaking your bank (education is a public right, why not health care?); it's about time we stop letting the top ten percent of rich son of a bitches get tax breaks while the middle-class buckles at the knees. It goes on and on and on. The past seven years under G.W. Dipshit and his gestapo have been ten times worse than I ever could've imagined. I won't start the litany.
I believe Obama when he calls himself a "hope-monger." Great. I hope the hope-mongering continues. And maybe I'm being naive and short-sighted, a victim of some insidious ploy of propaganda, but tonight, hours before I'll cast my ballot for Barack, I feel at peace. And for the first time in my life, I'm excited about a politician.
Hey, as a Red Sox fan, I learned that sometimes hope is all you have in the face of inevitable doom and defeat. Tomorrow night, I hope my fellow New Hampshirites (at least the ones with souls) will see that message as well.
Tomorrow isn't about me. It's about all of us. Some may call that an epiphany.