Friday, November 29, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
“Bombs away,” she called again, and dropped the pennies onto the sweater below, and a stranger, were he watching from a higher window across the street, might have seen Tallis and thought, Another crazy person, or the stranger might have thought of his own daughter, how whenever they came to a fountain he’d dig around in his pocket for coins and hand them over, suggesting an underhand toss, might remember how together they watched and heard each plink, then walked on in their private sadnesses, she, wondering if her wish would be granted, worried she’d asked for the wrong thing, and how you knew, and he, suddenly aware his daughter now had a secret from him, the first of how many, and also wishing that she’d get whatever it was, that the world worked by fountains yet (which he knew now it did not). And seeing this girl throwing her money into the street, he finds himself wondering again what she wished for, but he knows the rules; you cannot ask.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
join dave chang and peter meehan for a one night only live performance with selected shorts at symphony space on 12/11. featuring stories by nelly reifler, and others. selected shorts is hosted by BD wong. tickets and more info are available here.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Trying to describe all that Peter Orner’s Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge contains is a bit like trying to summarize the contents of one of the photo boxes I found while helping my parents clean their garage this summer: sweet but impossible. These are universal boxes, aren’t they? Unshuffled decks of younger everybody, great-greats you never met, lovers your folks mentioned in passing (or never mentioned). Some faces reappear. Others turn up just once, posed under a giant boulder or funny hat. No, no one knows who that is. And yet they all look up at you through various years of fade and crease, almost asking for something.
(Then I keep going. Read the rest here.)
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
“It’s our predicament, at this time and at our age, to avoid saying the grand thing—to be scared of it, or to say it and then, in the very next moment, undercut ourselves, want to take it all back, dial it down, turn it into a big joke. This habit of mind started from a good place. You can trace it back to what we’re taught in college: be skeptical of capital-T Truth, look suspiciously at all-encompassing explanations. But it’s gotten out of hand. You hear it in conversation. Someone risks something, some idea they have, something they’re struggling to give words to, and how do they follow it up? They disassociate themselves from it. They say, But what do I know, right? Even about stupid stuff, like an opinion of a new movie. You can see it, too, in the profusion of phrases like sort of and kind of. People take shelter under words like maybe and probably when they could, by rights, insist and declare. On sitcoms, the most earnest character will always, immediately, be cut down in the next moment. It’s the dance move of our time, that little two-step. I struggle with it myself, all the time.” —Paul Maliszewski
I am going to think about this some more. (Probable) conclusion: I don’t watch enough contemporary sitcoms. Aren’t they all reruns?
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
I dreamed about my novel.
Specifically, the end.
The thing is, I don’t ever remember my dreams.
And the other thing is, the dream-end wasn’t half-bad.
Maybe it was because I’d fallen asleep with manuscript pages on my bed.
Stacked, but still. I’m not recommending it.
(Unless it works.)
When I woke up I found the dream had let me remember it. I listened to NPR until I’d heard everything once and then I got up, and collected the pages, a little sheepishly, as if blowing out candles that had burned themselves down in the night.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Lessons in dialogue OR How to be a real dick without meaning to
Open on: Bodega near my house. I’ve stopped in to buy cheap frozen yogurt on my way home. Nice boy in line behind me is buying sad or necessary things like rice cakes and toilet paper. I see him choosing between rice cakes. I think: world, look out for this guy. He has got better evenings ahead.
Nice boy, as I pay: “Is the ice cream good here?”
Me: “Yeah! Better than rice cakes.”
Then me again: “But I guess that’s a pretty low bar.”
Saturday, September 21, 2013
at the record store. on the fence about this one.
MATT JESUS CHRIST THIS IS A LEGENDARY RECORD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. If you did not buy this we have beef now.
ugh, i failed you on this one JD. if it softens the blow at all, i still have the rocky 3 soundtrack on cassette. frank’s ‘no easy way out’ makes me want to drive my ferrari real fast while a montage of mr T. punching a heavy bag and burgess meredith dying plays on a loop in my head.
Nathanson & Darnielle’s subsequent “tribute” to Frank Stallone’s self-titled album on RSO was remarkably faithful to the original; the question “why?” came up early in most reviews, and was in several prominent cases (Rolling Stone, Esquire) the entire review. The album tour visited 45 cities across North America and was variously described as “grueling,” “puzzling,” and “brave.” A film intended for DVD release shows audiences literally hurtling toward the exits, which, at the request of the artists, were often locked. An out-of-court settlement was later reached between interested parties but its details were sealed by the court.
gimme some of that court-sealed bravery.
And, in truth, it was easy to forget what to want when you were the wanted thing.