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.