Saturday, December 27, 2008

Drunk History

Often, people will say things such as "You got to see this. It's the funniest thing ever." Obviously hyperbole. Right?

This, my friends, may very well be "the funniest thing ever." Drunk History is a series on Youtube, and this is one episode of five that I was able to dig up. I recommend watching Drunk History 2.5 immediately after viewing this, as the esteemed Mr. Falconer continues to bless us with a veritable wealth of Ben Franklin knowledge and analysis and Jack Black is brilliant, yet again, in his role as one of our most depraved founding fathers.

I write this with genuine enthusiasm. Watch these videos! Tomorrow is my sixth wedding anniversary, and this was a wonderful gift. I consider myself beloved.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Holidays

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

The Company Man

As a good company man, here's a quick post to let you know that my publisher, sunnyoutside press, is feeling rather festive this holiday season. Until Dec. 20, they are offering a holiday special that, if you read and support the small presses, you simply should not pass up. Seriously, if you pass this up...well, then you need to put down the crack pipe, Pooky.

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

New poems, new book, New Kids On The Block

Here's a new post:

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

Dave Church, R.I.P.

Last night, while I was staying at my parents' place in Rhode Island, I received news via e-mail that the Rhode Island-poet and my friend Dave Church had passed away at age 61. It has been years since I've spoken to Dave---or corresponded with him through letters, which was our primary line of communication---yet the news hit me hard.

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

In the beginning
there's plenty of action---
fast cars,
easy money,
a babe on both
sides of me,
and two
on my lap.

The middle moves along
in an ordinary way.
The action is packed
with more corn
than pop.

It's the ending that bothers me---

I'm falling...

Dave Church

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

Well-done, Keith. Bingo.

I found this video on the poet William Taylor Jr.'s Myspace blog, and it nearly moved me to tears. I haven't heard a more intelligent, beautiful response to the bigots in California who voted for Prop. 8. Everyone should listen to this.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Drop-Down Kid

At one point, I put up a post about my addiction to Googling my own name. So you can only imagine the consummate bliss I experienced yesterday when I went to type "Nate Graziano" into the search engine, and before I finished typing it, I saw the name appear on Google's drop-down menu next to "63,600 results." For a narcissist like myself, this is veritable dream come true. As I understand it, it means that 63,600 of my closest friends have been looking for me. I actually began to tear up. This will likely be my only flirt with fame.

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

Happy Hallo-weenie

I'm getting old. I don't mean John McCain old, or "walk-around-all-hunched-over-and-grumbling-to-myself" old, or "while-whistling-Glenn-Miller-big-band-songs-I-happen-to-crap-myself-and-don't-miss-a-note" OLD; but old in the sense that I see myself becoming more and more of a curmudgeon.

Recently, I actually had to stop myself while saying to a friend, "Can you believe the Halloween costumes these girls are wearing these days? They look like whores." What the hell is going on here? In my younger, hipper days, I had a term for those costumes: eye candy. You would never hear me complaining about them being too "skimpy" or "revealing." In fact, part of what made this country so great, in my eyes, was the fact that one night a year beautiful women walked around dressed like strippers and prostitutes in establishments that served beer. God bless America! Here I am, at the age of 33, saying stupid things like that aforementioned comment to a friend.

Either I'm getting old or gay. Let's go with old, all right?

Now, something else just occurred to me. While I was writing this, I went on Google and searched "sexy Halloween costumes." It seems that just about any occupation, regardless of what you do, has been sexed-up and made into a Halloween costume. With just a short 35-minutes perusal of the pictures, I found a sexy nurse, a sexy police officer, a sexy referee, a sexy secretary, a sexy school teacher, a sexy diner waitress, a sexy soldier, and the ubiquitous sexy French maid. Looking at these things, one would think the costumes had been pilfered from the set of a Ron Jeremy film. But no. They're sold for everyone, anyone, and in plus-sizes.

This got me thinking of occupations that you won't see a sexed-up and made into a costume, feel free to add more to this thread: 1.) a sweat shop worker 2.) anything where a hairnet is required as part of the uniform 3.) a janitor 4.) a housewife (I'm dead for saying that) 5.) a disgruntled postal worker 6.) a social worker at an STD clinic 7.) a telemarketer 8.) an assistant in a basement meth lab.

By the way, I read somewhere that the number one costume for women this year is Sarah Palin. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Oh, who am I kidding? She's hot.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Bloody Sock?

The score was 5-0 in the third inning. Oh God, I thought, why put myself through this? Again.

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.

But no.

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

My picks for The World Series

Let me start with the National League because, for me, it's not a real league, unless The Sox make the World Series and must efficiently dismantle one of those bands of rogues who don't even have the decency to use a DH.

The Los Angeles Dodgers. After the Manny trade, which Bill Simmons wrote a most excellent article about, The Dodgers became a blip on my baseball radar. In fact, before the trade, I was quasi-rooting for them to do something that Joe Torre could ram right up the asses of Yankee ownership and fans everywhere, and lo, now they're one of the final four teams left in baseball. Where is Joe Girardi these days? Maybe Fox Sports took pity on his sad ass and brought him back an as analyst, or maybe he's stacking cans of Fancy Feast at a supermarket in Long Island. Who cares? Baseball's most bloated budget really fielded a dream team this year, huh? And next year, when The Evil Empire swoons down with their bag of blood-money made on their new stadium and steals Manny away from his new favorite place in the world, LaLa Land, may the same curse of mediocrity befall them again, in their new House of Overpaid Losers. But watching the Dodgers right now is bitter-sweet. If there were to be a Sox/Dodgers Series, it would be fun to hear Manny's homecoming greeting from the Fenway Faithful---guarantee it will make Johnny Damon's first game back look like a group hug---and it is nice to see Torre taking another team into October while A-Rod sits at home and counts his money like Dickensian villain. Then there's Derek Lowe---an alcoholic, philandering, man-child. In other words, my kind of dude. However, those poor fucking Cubbies fans. Jesus, if John McCain is elected, I think Chicago might burn to the ground.

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.

Now to The American League, something I know only slightly more about; however, being a man who has talked out his ass for 33 years now, I do not find it even slightly daunting to act like I know what I'm saying.

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.

The Boston Red Sox. The Boys from Beantown, The Olde Towne Team have, somehow, against all probable odds, made it back to The ALCS. They have a banged up Mike Lowell, a recovering JD Drew, a Josh Beckett who barely resembled his stunning playoff self (that sounded gay, didn't it?), and a dismantled 3-4 line-up that was arguably the most lethal hitting duo since Ruth/Gehrig. But now they have youth and energy, and a couple of guys in the infield---Pedroia and Youk---who have to at least be included in MVP conversations. They have baseball's next left-handed ace in Jon Lester, and I'll always feel comfortable, Manny or no Manny, when the game is on the line and Big Papi grabs a bat. No, this is not a team as colorful as the cardiac Idiots of 2004, but they're professional, especially Jason Bay who came over when Theo sent Madonna to a place where he might land a cameo on Entourage someday, smoking a joint with Turtle. That's assuming it's before the Evil Empire, now headed by Hank "Every Bit the Douche Bag as Dear Old Dad" Steinbrenner, scoops him up by the dreadlocks and transplants him to The New Stadium. Listen, I still have to pinch myself when I stop and think that five years ago I was sitting in catatonic state in a rocking chair after Aaron Fucking Boone's blast in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, convinced that the Sox would never win a World Series in my lifetime---which is why you'll never see me laughing at Cubs fans. But here they are today, seven wins from their third World Series in five years, sealing the deal on becoming a veritable dynasty. Goddamn it. If The Rays beat them, it will be the work of The Devil. God is clearly not looking over our economy right now, so he must be watching The Sox.
My pick: The Sox sweep!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

All Sorts of Props

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.

So for just this once, as a fan of the game, I'm tipping my cap to The New York Yankees and their historic run in Yankee Stadium.

Of course, does this sudden fit of magnanimity have anything to do with the fact that the team with baseball's most bloated payroll is fit to finish fourth in the AL East? No comment.

Also, while I'm dishing out props, my review of Chris Adrian's A Better Angel is in this week's Hippo Press. Check it out and buy his book.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Are you still thinking about John McCain?

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.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

August Ephemera

It's been a month since my last post. Here's the skinny.
  • 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

I have written. Hear me whimper.

I've received quite a few zines, journals, and magazines this summer with some of my work included and want to take a moment to give these folks a shout out.

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

New poems

Yours truly is one of The Poets of the Week on The Poetry Super Highway. These two poems are part of a new collection that is slowly coming together. Someday soon, my boy will be a man.

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

How I Became a Small Press Writer

Sorry, again, for the poor quality. If you'd like a better-quality version, drop me an e-mail. In case anyone takes it this wrong way, it is a satire and presses mentioned are fictional. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"It's a Girl" (the movie)

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

New story

My short story titled "Sasquatch" is now up on Freight Stories, a very cool and prestigious new fiction journal. Check out the list of contributors in the first two issues and ask yourself, "Who should not be at this table?" Which reminds me, I need to get that check out to Andrew and Victoria. What? Like you've never bribed an editor to pretend to like your work. Liar!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

In defense of my mullet.

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

New poems/quick fiction/haiku on steriods?

I have some new material on The Boston Literary Journal. It's a form I've been playing with lately, and I'm not quite sure what they're called. On the site, they're labeled as "quick fiction," but not really. I wrote them as prose poems, but I don't think they fit that definition either---at least what I understand of prose poems (which is very little). Basically, they're pieces of writing born as hermaphrodites, confused about their identity. If they make it into my next book of poetry, I assure you they'll be wearing woman's underwear. That's pretty sexy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Snuff this

My review of Chuck Palahnuik's new novel Snuff is in this week's Hippo Press. For almost five years, I've been writing book reviews and have never panned a book, until now. This is just bad. I don't proclaim to be any great literary critic, but I can spot a book that is simply going through the motions, honoring a six-figure (maybe more) book deal.

My daughter graduates pre-school tomorrow. Her class is singing Mountain's "Mississippi Queen" a cappella. Rockin'.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New poem and name change

I have a new poem titled "Dressing Down at the Ninety-nine Restaurant" posted on Thieves Jargon. Give it a read and tell me what you think.

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

Yankees Suck

I want you to do me a favor.

Turn off the television or any music in the room. Now, close the windows and fasten your hands tightly over your ears. Listen. What do you hear? That's Yankee fans. That's Yankee fans with their big, fat fucking mouths shut.


Because, right now, the Yankees truly SUCK.

There's no need for the chant at Fenway Park or Camden Yards or anywhere else in any baseball park in America or Toronto. It's superfluous. The Yankees really suck. Might I burn in these words come September? Possibly. But doubtful. This is the truth. The Yankees, literally, SUCK.

And what do you hear from Yankee fans? This is a rebuilding year (translation: we never should have let go of Joe Torre).

A rebuilding year? Really? So why do the Yankees continue to have, by far, the largest payroll in baseball? Injuries, right? Um, what big game player is currently out of their line-up? The Yankee Way---pursuing aging, big-market players in the attempt to field an All-Star team--- can officially be deemed a veritable bust. They haven't won a World Series since 2000 when they wielded a home-grown dynasty. Since, they have signed players such as Jason "The Steroid" Giambi, Gary "The Steroid" Sheffield, Alex "Mr. Playoffs" Rodriguez, Randy "The Big Eunuch" Johnson, Johnny "Cut My Hair and Turned Into a Pussy" Damon, Kyle "Superstar" Farnsworth, and, oh, the list goes on. If only Detroit had learned from the Yankees near-decade of brain farts.

If I'm wrong here, then I deserve all the shit in the world, and I'm sure I'll get it come October should The Yankees mount a comeback. But if a team with Ching Ming Wang as their ace and Mike "The Fossil of a Moose" Mussina at the top of their rotation believes they're going to make it deep into the playoffs, if they think they can even compete with Tampa's starting rotation in the AL East, then, let me say, I have a Brooklyn Bridge for sale. I can only imagine that Hank "Just as Much of a Douche as Dad" Steinbrenner Jr. is wishing Brian Cashman pulled the trigger on the Johan Santana deal about as much as John McCain is wishing he never hugged George W. Bush.

The big question here: Is this hubris? Are The Red Sox, staring at the possibility of losing Big Papi for the season, getting a little too comfortable? Possibly. But the fact remains that Phil Hughs and Ian Kennedy and even Joba "Give Me Some Bug-Spray" Champalian might be a form of rebuilding, as might Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano (destined to be one of the best hitters in the game). Sure, they might be "rebuilding." But when you have the highest payroll in baseball, there's no justifying it.

Fact, right now: The Yankees suck. And I'm loving it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

And the Winner Is...

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 It's important that we all work together to STOP THE SUCKING.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Ultimate List of Suck-Asses (4-7)

(Drum roll, please.)

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

The Ultimate List of Suck-Ass Classic Rock Bands

I have no problem admitting that I listen to Classic Rock radio stations. In fact, if you were to peruse my I-tunes (wow, a wicked white statement) you would find a lumberjack's portion of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and other staples of 70s rock world, as well as some side orders of Billy Squier---no, he's not on this damn list and if you think he should be, then you have an open invitation to lick my ball-bag---The Allman Brothers, CSN&Y, Jimi Hendrix, etc.

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

I'm invincible!

Maybe, it just, 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

Calling Natty

I have a new story titled "Calling Natty" on Zygote In My Coffee. It's my first Natty/Cracker piece since the chapbook Men of Letters came out. If you put your ear to the screen, you can still hear it landing with a resounding thud. By the way, there's a website for Men of Letters, and if you're interested in picking up a copy, I have a box of them in my closet. At this point, I'll send it to you for the price of shipping or give you one in exchange for a beer. You choose.

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

McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes

I have a review of McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes in this week's Hippo Press. For anyone reading this blog who is a writer, an avid reader, or has farted around in an English program at some point in their life, this is absolutely hilarious must-read. I won't get all long-winded on yo' asses, seeing there's a review that explains it.

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

Reading in Plymouth

For anyone interested, or in the area, I am doing a very short reading tonight at The Common Man Inn in Plymouth, New Hampshire. This should prove to be an especially interesting short reading, as I am going to have my wife Liz read one of my flash fiction pieces written from a first-person female point-of-view. For some reason, my voice will not cut it for that piece.

Alas, the Sox have pissed me off. Yesterday's matinee soured me for the rest of the day. Goddamn bullpen!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Poets & Writers

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

The end of my life as a semi-productive citizen.

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

Douche bags and blogs

The poet Christopher Cunningham linked this blog on his blog along with a mention of my blog so I'm blogging to mention both blogs because we're both really, really white and love blogging while drinking our microbrews/wine. Anyway, this may be my new favorite site. It's called Hot Chicks with Douche Bags and it's amazing.

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

Who are these people?

First, I want to make a correction on yesterday's blog, just in case the two of you who actually read this picked up on it. Beckett pitched last night (and beautifully), not Wakefield, who I attempted to summon upon with my incantation at the end of yesterday's blog. I used the word "blog" twice in two sentences. Now that's "blogging." It looks like Dice-K is going tonight against Hughes. Maybe Philip Hughes will have a flaring up of anal fissures and get scratched from the start.

But my issue today is not, believe it or not, with the Yankees. If you stuck around, like I did, for the two hour rain delay, you probably noticed something deeply, spiritually disturbing. When Paps came out in the top of the eighth to make A-Rod look like the little, bratty bitch that he is in three pitches, you may have noticed that Fenway was near empty.

Near empty?

Hold on a second here. You have tickets to a Yankees/Red Sox game and you WENT HOME BEFORE IT WAS OVER! And it's not like it was blowout. The Yankees had two men on in a 4-3 game with one of the best hitters in baseball history at the plate and arguably the most dominant closer in the game on the mound. And these people FUCKING LEFT!

What has been happening at Fenway Park for the past ten years is sickening. Ticket prices are so outrageous that the only people who can afford a night at Fenway are the rich, Boston urbanites going to the game to be seen. Real Sox fans, the blue collar base that has always stood by the team, are being bumped from the ballpark. But I'll tell you one thing, the fans who stayed last night made a lot more noise than the Suits that are usually upfront. They did it up right.

I guess that what two World Championships will do to you. First, you start to find Ben Affleck and his babe dwelling beside the Sox dugout, then all the rich corporations buy out the best seats, and the next thing you know, they're auctioning the Monster Seats to wealthy people. Then there's the assholes, like myself, saying things like, "I remember when we used to buy bleacher seats the night of the game for ten bucks..."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It hurts.

Here we are, 11 games into the 2008 baseball season, and I've yet to weigh in about the Red Sox. Initially, I started this blog because my wife doesn't listen to me when I talk about the Red Sox, so I figured I'd write down my scourges, my frustrations, and my declarations of impending collapse. Yes, despite the fact that the Sox have won two World Series in the past four years, I still expect the worst from them, and last night, we got the worst.

There are very few things that sting like losing to the Yankees---pouring rubbing alcohol into a gaping wound or massaging the genitals with Icy-Hot might come close---and it always, invariably, pisses on my entire night to see them dump a game to those cocksuckers (I always seem to revert to slinging insults from my 14-year-old repertoire of curse words when it comes to talking about the Yankees).

Sure, Wanker threw a nice game last night, but it still doesn't absolve the fact that Wang's home country continues to oppress the Tibetans. By the same strain of logic that makes Obama culpable for the things Rev. Wright said, I'm blaming Wang for China's oppression of Tibet, sweat shops, and disastrous environmental policies. How can anyone root for a team that condones the violation of human rights? And, dear God, just having to look at A-Rod conjures enough bile in me to fill a two-liter bottle of bile. Then I hope that fat-ass Joba Chamberlain drinks my bottle of bile while suffocating in Mike Mussina's smugness and Andy "The Cheater" Pettite's fake penitence. God, I hate the fucking Yankees!

Do you see how irrational I get about the Yankees? You See? You see!

In some good news, it seems Red Sox fans have a new saint to canonize. If this is true, this man should be awarded Monster Seats season tickets for the rest of his life. Bravo!

Already, I've used more exclamation points in this post than I have in the past five years. It's time for some deep-breathing exercise and a couple of anti-anxiety pills. This sustained level of agitation is not good for the digestive system.

Hopefully, Wakefield can mop up the mess tonight, and Big Papi will snap out of his slump. Hopefully, Julio Lugo will somehow morph into Jose Reyes and the bullpen will stop throwing batting practice. Hopefully, they won't drop two in a row to the incarnation of evil, those fuckwads in pinstripes. Hopefully not. Because it hurts.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Here's Whitey

I would be remiss and irresponsible if I didn't share this one. Apparently, this site is getting millions upon millions of hits, and for good reason. You absolutely have to check out Stuff White People Like. I have never felt so exposed, but both my wife and I are having some good laughs at our own expense. And I suspect, my liberal friends, you'll see yourself coming and going as well.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gay Top Gun

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

Well-said, Sir.

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

Google search: "nathan graziano"

There is a fantastic article in the new Poets and Writers by Frank Bures titled "I Google myself, therefore I am." As someone who Googles his own name on a daily basis, this one really hit home and, in some sad and ridiculous sense, gave me comfort in knowingly that I am not the only one with this solipsistic obsession. There are, in fact, many people as self-absorbed and painstakingly insecure as myself.

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

This is better than the original

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

Obama tomorrow

I've spent the majority of my life, past and present, worrying solely about myself. Granted, since the birth of my two beautiful children, my solipsism has hit a speed bump, but still, deplorably, I'm still a very selfish man.

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.