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I read some books this year, and a few short stories to boot. I also read a couple of articles on the internet but did not post them here as they are special gems that I plan on keeping to myself. I also read quite a bit of poetry but no one wants to hear about that.
Home Land - Sam Lipsyte (twice - it's quite good.)
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen (also very good but rather long, I cried at the end.)
A Visit From The Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan (also cried at the end)
The Family Fang - Kevin Wilson
How Soon Is Never - Marc Spitz
The Rules of Attraction - Bret Easton Ellis
The Sugar Frosted Nutsack - Mark Leyner (incredibly confusing but I was able to use the phrase "purposefully impenetrable" when speaking to someone about the book so there you go)
Unreliable Narrator - T. Sean Shannon
If On A Winter's Night a Traveller - Italo Calvino (disappointing. I felt hoodwinked)
Anthropology - Daniel Rhodes (one of the best collections of short fiction I've ever read)
The Girl on the Fridge - Etgar Keret (Rebecca thinks I hate this book but it was very good)
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami
The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul - Douglas Adams
Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris
Assassination Vacation - Sarah Vowell
The Partly Cloudy Patriot - Sarah Vowell
Hella Nation - Evan Wright
The Wordy Shipmates - Sarah Vowell (I feel like I read a fourth novel by Vowell but for the life of me I can't remember what it was)
Canon EOS 7D Digital Field Guide - A Man or A Collection of Men
Fargo Rock City - Chuck Kloisterman
Freakonomics - Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Easy Riders and Raging Bulls - Peter Biskind
Bored To Death - Jonathan Ames
Joe Meno - Stockholm, 1973
How To Make Millions in the Oil Market - Christopher R. Howard
Man's Fate - 98: Learning To Love Again, A Story In Three Parts - Neal Pollack
R.W. Apple, Jr. Is Prejudiced. (An Open Letter To R.W. Apple, JR.) - Zev Borrow
The Discovery of El Dorado, City of Gold - Marc Herman
Thanasphere - Kurt Vonnegut
Mnemonics - Kurt Vonnegut
Any Reasonable Offer - Kurt Vonnegut
Yet Another Example of the Porousness of Certain Borders (VIII) - David Foster Wallace
What books did you read last year? Did you check out any good literary journals? Did you start a zine? If anyone has a bead on a cheap copy of the David Lee Roth Autobiography, "Crazy From the Heat," please let me know.
"I'd like to start a literary journal" is not a phrase that I've ever uttered aloud or in my head. It's probable that I've never even said it in a dream. Fortunately for hard work leery artists like myself, the sweethearts at Nat. Brut have decided to take their already stellar online literary journal and propel it to new heights by making the fifth issue a tangible piece of enduring art.
It should go without saying that creating something as bold and interesting as the fifth issue of Nat. Brut is not cheap. I've never tried to print a booklet of any sort but having been a part of a few bands that have released physical albums (both with and without the help of a record label) I know that printing prices can be astronomical. To offset the cost of printing the Bruts are running a Kickstarter campaign that will hopefully fulfill their wildest dreams and leave everyone with a feeling of wonder and beauty. So go give to them, give to the arts and fill the emptiness that sits in your chest.
In what may seem like an unnecessary update to my severely underblogged (not possible) website I would like to direct anyone reading this to both Television Woodshed and Minor Phrases. Both of the aforementioned web sites are places where I'm expressing myself in a variety of ways. At TVWS I'm being allowed to jabber on about programs like Gotham, The Flash, and Nashville (as well as a few one off things like the Saved By The Bell Lifetime Original Movie). At Minor Phrases I'm writing short stories about photographs that I find at flea markets and the like. Both bits of writing are serving the very necessary purpose of keeping my brain busy with jumbles of letters instead of harumphing about things I can't control.
Because I miss livejournal, I'm listening to Tweedy and before that I listened to the new Aphex Twin - both records are quite good.
Last week I had the good fortune of needing to learn how to use a piece of equipment for a job and a few friends who weren't doing anything for the day. After doing some location scouting to find the hottest apartment in LA and purchasing a very expensive ghost costume (authenticity comes at a price) I filmed a very odd short film. While I'm not happy with a few technical issues (mostly ghost authenticity related), I've made my peace and now I would like to share this with you. A hefty thanks goes out to Chance Royce and Thérèse Harvey, without whom this would not have been possible.
Am I editing or am I re-writing? Most of my afternoon was spent typing, and retyping a story that I began with fervor two weeks ago before finishing a poorly constructed first draft and promptly ignoring the story for a full two weeks. In the grand scheme of things this is kind of okay. I'm not being paid to write about international art thieves, I haven't been given a truckload of money and a swiftly approaching deadline, or a third thing - so I should be able to take as much time off from my personal work as I like. Except when I do I feel like shit. But I can't stop taking breaks! I love it! I rewarded myself for retouching the first three paragraphs of my story with playing scrabble and writing this blog post. Here's the kicker -
Even now I'm procrastinating with this blog post by adding tags to the post and checking out Vulture's "7 Books You Need to Read This July," and while Last Stories and Other Stories, by William T. Vollmann seems to have an alluring quality around it, I have a stack of books to work my way through before they topple over and no one is happy with me.
That last sentence was almost a break into a whole new post! I can't stop. I'm addicted to procrastination. So much so that lately I've been reading up on the best way to keep from dawdling in the 21st century when you work on a computer and can therefore google whatever you want and also watch a movie (today I watched two episodes of MST3K while I did some work and then I watched The Late Shift because of course I did). What I've gleaned from my many online sources is that I should be buying a program that shuts down all of my applications except for my word processor, turning off my wifi, not even using MS Word, writing only twenty minutes a day, and not doing it at home, the office, a coffee shop, or anywhere else where I may be distracted. What's a girl to do?
It's with a heavy heart that I'm informing you that I'll be writing from inside the lip of an active volcano, the possibility of a burning and ashy death is the only thing that can get me to finish writing this story and submitting it to a literary journal on time. Right after I work on a new work out playlist and comb through Netflix for the next hour.
Just checking in to let you know about two shows that I'll be performing at in the Los Angeles area this week. On Tuesday the 13th (spooky) I'll be performing at The Yoohoo Room in Burbank at 9:30pm with a lot of great comedians. You can (and should) purchase tickets online at www.flapperscomedy.com or by calling (818) 845 9721, that room fills up fast so get on it. On Wednesday the 14th (less spooky) I'll be at Sal's Comedy Hole on Melrose performing for Joke Squad, a newish production company that's putting a lot of really great young comedians on stage. /advertisement
In my dream I was Robert Smith and no matter how many times I reapplied my lipstick my face was always clean.
Why can't I remember the chord progression to Just Like Heaven?
Last week I began filming a documentary about the CEO of So…It's Cancer, a young man with stage 4 stomach cancer who is intent on getting his company off the ground before he dies. We've been having a lot of fun (at the moment we're in San Francisco filming his trip to a Wide Spread Panic Show) but the notion that the guy in front of the camera is slowly deteriorating is never far from the front of my brain (or where ever your main thoughts reside, I assume the front or top). If you'd like you can watch a scene from the documentary below where Nick has something called a port put into his chest. Enjoy?
I wrote some presidential slash fiction for all the history buffs out there that The Furious Gazelle was gracious enough to post. Give it a read and please touch yourself at work.
On Tuesday, March 4th I'll be performing a short set at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank with Stephen Thomas and Paul Laier, it's already a pretty cheap show but if you use the coupon code in the link I've provided below the show is half off. I apologize for the informative tone of this blog, it's just that I stayed up very late watching footage from Woodstock 99 with my roommate and I need to drink my weight in coffee before I return to normal. You understand.
In honor of tonight's upcoming episode of True Detective I have composed a poem.
The King In Yellow Goes To The Mall
The King in Yellow showed up to the mall. Everyone was worried that he would induce despair and madness; that the world as we know it would become a riot.
But it was fine; he just needed a new cloak from Banana Republic.
Hi! I wrote a short story about trying to write a short story and how frustrating it was to watch myself fail at writing this thing that I wanted to write. If that sentence seemed self indulgent then you ain't seen nothin yet. Thanks to Jon Paul at The Wolfhouse Journal for posting the story.
John and I drove five hours to Weatherford Texas from Austin (normally a three hour trip) the weekend before Christmas to spend the evening filming, joking and drinking with Sons of Sierra, a new roots rock band that puts more emphasis on having fun and grabbing a drink than worrying about band dynamics or what shirts to wear at their next show. If the phrase "three friends that also play music together" weren't so clumsy I would suggest that you refer to Sons of Sierra as that rather than a band. It's not that they aren't a real band, after watching them practice for a couple of hours proves that notion, it just seems like a nicer way to speak about such great guys. Anthony, Mike and Rene took the two of us in, fed us (a welcomed home cooked meal of spaghetti and meatballs to be precise) and bought us drinks all the while letting John and me get in their faces with our nosey cameras. With every shudder of our shutters they never missed a beat. If you live in the greater DFW area and have a chance to check out the gentleman sierra in the flesh I suggest you pay them a visit, you shan't leave disappointed. Until then enjoy the first in a series of featurettes concerning Sons Of Sierra.
You can find new SOS episodes at youtube.com/sonsofsierra
The lovely transatlantic human being and good friend Tom Levinge illustrated a few of my poems for his blog (www.tomlevinge.tumblr.com) and I absolutely love the drawrings. I hope against hope that I'll get a chance to work again with Tom soon but at the moment he's in England and on a figurative rocket to the moon so we'll see how that works out. Go laugh at his solo work (in a good way, not like that you urchins) and have a lovely day.
After months of looking at polaroids that needed to be scanned and digital photographs that were crying out to be uploaded my body finally gave up under the strains of travel that I've been putting it under and gave me an excuse to upload a new album of travel photos. If you're interested in how drunk and sad I was during the first month of the Krewella Get Wet tour you can now view the proof in still form. Click on that last sentence or go to the Tour Photography section of the site. If you're wondering I'm feeling slightly better. I'm supposed to record funny voices for a thing today but it's not going to happen.
Last week John and I rented a shoulder mount, then bought a gourd, and a pizza and decided to stand around in the unforgiving cold while we shot a short film about a man child stuck in his own head, trying to make sense of the passage of time and the holiday known as Thanksgiving. Although most of my day was spent getting wet (and not the fun kind where you take PCP and eat the face of your dearest loved one) I'm happy with the content that we were able to output. Bully for us.