Posts Tagged ‘Portrait of the Artist as Accrued Paint on Cheap Canvas.’

But There Are Times When I Am Proud Of Myself

March 15 2010

But There Are Times When I Am Proud Of Myself

At work, I couldn’t grasp the instructions my supervisor gave me (to “pound out” a value in a database). Assuming she meant ‘to select that line’s number and then press enter, thus (somehow, magically) refreshing the field and updating it with the newly changed contract information,’ I did so– to no effect.

When I showed her what wasn’t working, she explained that I was supposed to press shift+3 (or, #) in the field thus erasing the data currently entered and allowing it to refresh correctly. Feeling pretty dumb (as I was already aware of the use of the pound symbol to erase), I explained my confusion:

“Oh, I thought you meant to just >jam< the enter button a bunch.

You know, just really pound on it.

Like tenderizing meat– you pound it out…

And enter, of course, is almost an anagram for tender, so.

–> I thought you were trying to explain things anagramatically.”

Delivering it, too.1

Later, she suggested that I create a Dummy Letter in order to note an error in a batch that I was in the process of following-up on but had not yet received the information necessary to fix. And2 I asked her “So it should go something like ‘Why didn’t you attribute those 401(a) contributions, Dummy?'” in a Red Foxx voice as reverse engineered from sitcom references.3

I am still in love with the idea of Dummy Letters and sort of want to write some.



1like some kind of human monster

2like some kind of human monster

3like most of my knowledge/like some kind of human monster


50 Songs I Liked This Decade (The Zeroes)

December 21 2009

50 Songs I Liked This Decade

feat. Overly Sincere Commentary Genuinely Proffered (straight into a vacuum)


If I had a band we would close every show with a 26 minutes long version of this song. We would have to schedule our shows a week apart because by the end our voices would have ditched our throats for shouting “No RUUU-LES” for 19 minutes straight.1


” Ignoramuses – enlist and sound dumb / Found ’em drowned in cows’ dung – crowns flung // Rings a tinkerbell – sing for things as frail as a fingernail” The perfect ending to a pretty quality decade. “Civil liberties – these little titties’ abilities riddle me / Middle C – [shotgun blast, throatclear]”


Best song about blowjobs ever?2


One of those songs that remind you of a (specific) person and you have no idea why.3 “Hang your holiday rainbow lights – in the garden ” I am and will always be a sucker for last songs; it is probably my best feature.


In an alternate universe of my omnipotent preference, an predominately a capella TV On The Radio doesn’t abandon the songs of theirs I like.4 It pleases me greatly.


As dark as a thing can be, pretty much, but breathless in it’s denouement.56 Wish to hell there were more like it. / “And the night’s getting longer…”7


In between all this death, preparation for disappointment life.


Like a hallway full of ghosts, I’m obviously running out of things to say.8


Meek, boastful; could be any of five or six others from that album, but the electric organ(?) sample(?) wins the day.


Upholding the proud tradition of Rock and Roll songs that trump hypersincere, almost humiliating lyrics by way of pure, unchained melody comma awesomeness. I LITERALLY LOVE IT TO THE MAX!9

40. KID A

What a worthful little nubbin of a song!10 Like the denouement of an old Japanese proverb, even I’m not sure what it means!11


But little did I know, they knew. They knew. Slash speaking of weak points (two songs from now)– the stringing together and playing out of alternate futures, comparable lives.


I feel a little guilty putting this before anything, let alone a song I genuinely love (if in small bursts). But, I mean, seriously: as clever as a thing can be and as perfectly integrated a reward as you could ever want or hope for. “I think I prefer to stay inside” even elicits a small heart break. HOW CAN THAT BE??12


Snaps + Disembodied Calvin Johnson Voice + Effusive and Bottomless Romance = Massively Damaged Weak Points.


Tikki Tikki Timomanon. Also: ?


Separated, at birth, from “I Don’t Really Love You Anymore”; a full-fledged partner in the school of ostensibly, falsely upbeat songs starring absolutely devastating, unassuming lines hidden somewhere in the back.13


Epic + (Fucking) Ridiculous = Sublime.

The Dissolution Between Sincerity and Irony.


Just a pretty, quiet song.


The perfect, wist-resisting, ‘giving up of youthful notions of romance/passion’ complement to “I Know,” aka The Best Song Ever Written.14


Do you believe in something beautiful that can never be?


12 Solid Minutes.


Remember being so nervous about being alive/being in public that, rather than work customer service, you would want to plow your station wagon into a telephone pole? Use (or have used) this to calm yourself down enough to make it one piece.15

28. IRENE#?16

More ghosts. Immaculate ones, though. Spectres, really. Or shades.17

Sneak into bed with a pre-ordained loved one (romantical, not familial) and kiss them on the neck while they are sleeping. Record their dreams in the morning, scientifically methodical. Later: fuck, dumpy and cumbersome, in the shower.18


Why won’t America’s Greatest Living Songwriter (Lady Division) write more songs?19 I miss that stupid age when she at least put albums out every 5 years or so.


Pure pop gold. Hits that honeycomb hideout inside your mind where endorphins are made. Or whatever chemical = happiness. Seratonin? Is that different? Brain Juice.20


Reminds me of when I could only run for minutes at a time

“I thought I had a pebble in my sock

I pulled it off and shook out a wasp

that stumbled out lost

and unstung as I was

Still I stomped it”


Makes me want to whisper secrets21 into trees.


I saw God’s shadow on this world,

OR The dissolution of irony and sincerity.

Could go on for another six minutes and I’d be fine with that.

/I hope, live, they Sister Ray’d/No Rules In The Animal Kingdom’d it out to a half hour or so.


Q: Is there a better song to run to?

A: A few, but not many.2223

Also: wall to wall story, crafted in miniature (with exquisite detail) and then spat shouted, unrelenting.


That one idea again.24

20. MAPS#

A pneumatically raising and lowering spinning platform on which the most attracted-to-whom person you’ve ever known is begging for you to join (them).25

19. DAY

Steady and effortlessly grasping that slightness of being. “It’s still day, though”. Sort of makes me wish I were an (for real) adult.


ΑScientifically proven to make even the most depleted feet run at least 46% faster. 112% if you’ve been dogging it. IT IS NAMED AFTER WHAT IT LITERALLY IS!!!!!!!!!Ω


As fragile as a thing can be, pretty much.


Restraint plus craftsmanship plus non-trivial slightness.

Equals if Raymond Carver had a beautiful manvoice,

an immaculate guitar carved from an ice swan.26


“Think of me as just a fan / who remembers every dress you ever wore”27


If only for– after making it through all those hype-ridden, web-scouring, 56k live track collecting months– the moment that (on the way back from Richie’s) I put the disc in the car’s CD player and those first notes completely filled the car and washed |soothingly|28 over everything.


Makes me envious of my past self/ves– who had legs to race with, a car in which to swerve/cut off Pennsylvania highway suckers.

85 miles per hour, at least.


Probably placed to high, but seriously. More Beyonces, fewer Ladies Gaga or Sovereign.2930


A little bit breathless, but I could sooner denounce it than I could my own (stupid) geometry.31


As effective a spiritual as any hymn; as affective of death as the most fire-breathing sermon.


I would trade a dozen Yankee Hotel Foxtrots for this song plus (the song) “Summer Teeth” and feel like I’d completely ripped off my imaginary trading partner in this odd scenario where the appreciation of music is exclusionary and combatative, and the songs themselves mutually exclusive scarce resources the value of which NEEDS TO BE QUANTIFIED.

Protip: If you can manage to time it so that, while waiting for your race to start, exactly the first one minute and fifty-eight seconds of this song elapses, you are GUARANTEED at least a third place finish3233


And our parents’ bedrooms and the bedrooms of our friends.


Somehow continues(, in spite of all odds,) to defy overplay. Scientists in labs around the country puzzle over it, hope to isolate its singular charm to use as a preservative for the Infinitely Enjoyable Aesthetically Engineered Pop Songs Of The Post-Milennium.34


The song you35 hate to admit (freely, in public, on a poorly attended blog) was written about you. Fine– I’ll confess!/: I was the man on the grassy knoll– aka “lying in the reeds”– okay? God. Vultures…

I actually, honestly, do feel a (little) bit better now.


Sometimes a song is perfect just by concisely, succinctly expressing/being what it is. Just by being unable to be improved upon. All the right imperfections/all the imperfections of life itself.36


A sort of synecdoche, in which the whole is represented/embodied by the element or the part: this song bronzes my heart, disallows me from ever feeling anything other than this.3738


A perfect pop song with an exquisite gimmick/bit that makes you wonder how it wasn’t already come-up-with. Completely Refreshing (and good to run to).


The fastest sixteen-and-a-half minutes in music.39 When Bill Callahan comes in on “bones” my heart skips. I mean, more than the slight murmur it usually does.


All the best comedy is ineffable.40

“…Makes me forget / all of the steakhouse – small dancefloor dancing / makes me forget – all the co-workers groping / to “We’ve Got Tonight” / Yeah? – But we’ve also got families” vs. “I was lying on a pile of coats – my face painted ‘Happy Birthday’ / It was a conceptual joke: – it was nobody’s birthday”

This decade’s “Summer Teeth”/ as frail as a fingernail.





1As singularly vicious a set of lyrics as there has ever been and yet completely freeing. Pretty sweet.

2Eat it, “Big Girl”!

3Oh wait, it’s (exactly) because of “Let me come over I can waste your time – I’m bored”

4i.e. Also “Mr. Grieves”

5pretentious, but true all the same

6also, not so much breathless as in “effusive” but as in “sucks all the air from the room, you chest”

7/”And you try to move towards her…”

8were written on shuffle, you know

9give or take 40 songs or so


112 much!

12impeccable craftsmanship, extremely well-cast voice talent; remarkable context

13“I don’t dare to touch your hand – I don’t dare to think of you / In a physical way – and I don’t know how you smell” (emphasis mine). As in an explosive deposit of emotionally crippled and crippling emphasis.

14Non-“God Only Knows” Division

15Ditto “Your Cover’s Blown”

16If not, I’m saving it


18“I love your thighs, and your catapult, and your elision of laughter”

19Is she plotting regicide? Someone Paypal Stephin Merritt some bodyguards!

20Mind Honey

21that I wasted my life constructing

22“At Least That’s What You Said,” “I Found Out,” “No Dancing,” maybe “Grass,” maybe “Reach Out, I’ll Be There,” and, OF COURSE, Hall of Fame Closer “Power Supply” (aka “The Mariano Rivera of Songs”

23respect against one’s own rooting interest = twice to six times as valuable

24|Luckily|, I am still, and forever will be, the same

25Your milage will, likely, vary

26“But do you know what Nicole had to sell to Scientology in exchange for all that stuff? Her vagina, Katie. She had to sell her vagina to Scientology, where it’s being cryogenically frozen in the world’s largest ice swan.” – Jessi Klein

27Just a bad comedian

28again, the absolute value of “soothingly”

29does she even apply here? I couldn’t think of another possibly applicable “Lady”/I mean, definitely fewer “Lady Marmalade (2001)”s– but shouldn’t that go without saying?

30No. “More Beyonces, fewer Ladies Gaga, Sov, or Marmalade Parentheses 2001 (End Parentheses)”

31what would you dream up while I tongue you down?

32scientifically proven; held up in 100% of (one) trials

33Jesus Christ I miss my legs

34“If you want a picture of the future, imagine the cast of Peanuts dancing on a human face forever”

35the distended first-person “you”

36A little too long in the just the right way, a little too simple in just the right way

37this is not, actually, an example of synecdoche; but– in failing to be– isn’t it exactly that?38


39so fast my mind and fingers shave 23 seconds off (each time I write good things about its junk)

40well, an incredibly small but deeply affecting minority, at least

Two Self-Portraits

December 7 2009

two self portraits


I am a drunk old man

getting into a shouting match

with an empty, unlit house

(that isn’t finished being built yet)


I am the type of guy, I finally figured out, whose thought process (often) goes not if we will get together nor when but that I hope my skin clears up (because) I’ll have to give up on my acne medication (then) because otherwise her mouth will taste gross (when she covers my face with kisses) as we are falling to sleep.

This is both a good and bad thing.

– March 22, 2006

Why I Was A Failure as a Standing-Up Comic, part two

December 2 2009


My new housemate is borderline retarded.

And not in that fun ‘let me throw you a touchdown pass, and then you flex your muscles and think we’re going to the Super Bowl’ sort of way,

but in more of an… Eastern Washington sort of way.

Very Idaho.

• • •

The other day he tried to make conversation with me as I was eating dinner

and in the span of five minutes he said only three sentences,

but they were so shitty, that I feel justified exploiting them for my own personal gain at his expense.

(David Sedaris style).

• • •

Here’s what he said

“I got into it with a bitch at work today”

“A woman is a bitch if she won’t fuck you”

“Seems like I’ve been running into a lot of bitches since I moved to Seattle”

• • •

Now what I >appreciate< about his pathology

If we can just, step back for a second, and appreciate it

Is that it has the concision and solipsistic brilliance, of a Mathematical Proof:

• • •

1. IF you partook in heated exchange, with a Bitch.

2. GIVEN that a bitch, is a woman— who won’t fuck you.

3. AND that nobody wants to jump on your hog, bro!

4. THEN this woman is representative of the superset, of ALL Women, inasmuch as she won’t touch your junk

does not want you inside of her AT ALL

5. THEREFORE you should eat a baloney sandwich in a soiled recliner and have the Worst Conversation Ever.

• • •

He is like the Descartes of Misogyny

Or at least the Robocop.

• • •

Femina, Ergo, Cum

• • •

Thats a little latin joke SEMI COLON

I went to college COLON

Could you possibly be any more smug SCARE QUOTES

Probably not! PARENTHESES

• • •


Some people will try and convince you that Elephants Never Forget

And sure, they have a point: but what they’re not telling you is that

other animals suffer from similar aphorismic idiosyncrasies

• • •

Did you know, that

Alligators never Forgive?

• • •

Did you know that

Porcupines never Go to Bed Angry

and that Hippopotamuses Waste Not and Want For Nothing?

• • •

Did you know that

Koala Bears neither a Borrower nor Lender Be?

• • •

Did you know that, in the interest of national security, all Carrier Pigeons

are bred to be illiterate?

• • •

While notoriously thrifty, Kinkajoues make above average sexual partners

due to their proclivity for experimentation, in the bedroom

• • •

Did you know that Termite Queens – Feel the Beat – of the Tambourine?

Eat that Wall – Rot that Beam – Dug by her Termite Team?

• • •

Did you know that a pomegranate is actually a kind of fruit?

• • •

And did you, Seattle, know

that while bisexual in college, dolphins are now married to an investment banker named Keith?

• • •

Every single Dolphin

• • •

All for Keith

• • •

Good Job, Keith

• • •


Did you know that the State Bird of Detroit is a Trojan Magnum?

It’s a used Trojan Magnum, floating, American Beautiful

down the broken bottle depositories that they call streets there.

• • •

Spreading its seminous spores like a dandelion bukkake,

fertilizing needless and confusing analogies, like a bee in a button factory.

• • •


I accidentally watched the Today Show yesterday

And, what that really means, is that I got to see Willard Scott’s birthdays—

he’s still doing them, at least ‘As Of When I Wrote This Joke Two Years Ago’.

• • •

And I had forgotten this, but, he gives a little biographical information about these 100-plus year olds,

for whom I am almost positive they recycle the same six pictures.

And their bios basically consist of “A woman of enormous faith and loves the good things in life”

or “He reads the bible everyday, a salty pillar… for the comm-unity”

But I sort of wish they’d be more honest— because you know at least, ALL of these people

are [probably] h o r r i b l e bigots.

• • •

Happy 101st birthday to Ida Miller of Augusta, Maine.

The only thing she loves more than her cats is the cleansing purge that

AIDS has wrought upon the degenerate core of the Gay-Hollywood-Satanist Complex.

• • •

Happy 103rd birthday to Missy Cooper of Durham, North Carolina.

Her 7 children, 22 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren

are daily recipients of her love, her homemade strawberry preserves

and her steadfast segregation-era prejudices which have divisively torn the family

into bitterly-feuding factoins. Just ask

the 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren who are daily recipients of absolutely nothing,

and whom she will only recognize as a chocolatey taint on the Cooper family name.

• • •

And a Very Happy 100th birthday to Andrew Thompson, serial rapist.

He escaped capture because his brother was the Chief of Police—

anyone who came forth was severely beaten and threatened with death if they ever mentioned it again.

He doesn’t know it, but he has 2 kids and 5 grandchildren.

• • •

I guess I have a tendency to assume that all old people are not just inadvertent bigots,

people for whom time and changing cultural sensibilities have rendered their belief system anachronistic

and entirely unacceptable, but also Human Monsters

who rape, and pillage, and wreak emotional havoc without the least hint of remorse

And I’d feel worse about that, but I don’t.

• • •

Sorry Old People— there’s a Culture War going on and you are Collateral Damage.

Why I Was A Failure as a Standing-Up Comic, part one

November 27 2009


I am of the ever-increasing opinion that Fox News gets a bad rap.


Not because any of the criticisms against it are unfair–

basically anything you can say about them is true.


Uh, Roger Ailes, lost a Labor Day baby eating contest

because he wanted to savor every baby-eating bite

and he had run out of babyque sauce




It’s 98.9 percent true,

where the other 1.1 is whether it was held on Labor Day purely out of spite.


No, Fox News gets a bad rap because

on October 25th,  2007

the Year of the Boar

Journalism ended

And somehow, it wasn’t their fault


Because on that day

There was a headline, so perfectly crafted

by the events of life itself

That not even “Belgian beauty booed at pageant” could top it.


It was better, than “Man puts rattlesnake in mouth comma, gets bitten”

It was better, even still, than “Family hopes for miracle –>Comma<–… Gets only ashes”



Pitbulls, kill.

Cancer Boy’s.

Miniature horse.



Pitbulls kill, Cancer Boy… ‘s miniature horse.


Just the image of that happening:

Because, the family– the family didn’t own these pitbulls.

They weren’t the neighbors. And, as of press time, nobody knew Where the dogs came from.


Put yourself, in his electrical wheelchair

(and no doubt painful legbraces)

And try to fathom


Out Of Nowhere–

as if Metastasized into Existence by his Lonely Tears

A GANG of pitbulls– multiple pitbulls! not just one


Fly, through the air, tackle this tiny horse,

and eat it to death.



Maybe next time you, ‘Make a Wish’, you should ask for a pitbull-proof pony, You Stupid Asshole!









I used to live on the South Side of Chicago

Had to get out, though

had to get out.


Because: as a half-hearted parody

of an insincere impression

of a 1980s observational comedian

my imaginary material was starting to bum a crowd out.


Who are the Ad Wizards that came up with Rent-to-Own

Pay 16 times the sticker price for an off-brand Hi Def TV,

just because you’re desperately poor and woefully unaware of what value is?


That hardly seems fair.


What’s the deal with Outpatient Rehabilitation?

More like ‘In-and-Outpatient’: Am I Right?

(… Am I? I- uh..—)

I haven’t seen a recidivism rate this high since the DSM IV

declassified Gayness as a BRAIN DISEASE


We’ve all been there:

You’re sittting in Quiznos and ALL of a Sudden

a full grown man bursts in:

snot-nosed and crying,

torrents of hot tears streaming down his dirty face,

hard hands chapped and swollen to the size of catchers mitts:

not asking for anything; just crying

Completely broken down… in front of the Pickle Bar!



I hope the stains on his threadworn jeans mean his pants

are full of Giardinare

Because I nE-e-EED some Pickles!



That’d be my catchphrase?

It would not get me very far.






So that’s not actually true.

I really left Chicago because my roommate’s hairspray was

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas of male grooming aides.


It was so foul, and its reek was so pervasive, that I kept coming up with

more and more elaborate ways of telling him how much I hated it

until we were no longer on speaking terms.


What started off as:

Your hairspray smells like rancid hi-c

quickly became:

Your hairspray smells like Jonestown, two weeks after.

which, in turn, became:

Your hairspray smells like an herbal essences ad, shot entirely inside of a locked port-a-john that was built on a tilt-a-whirl (for some reason).


His hairspray smelled like an alternate Gangland cartoon universe

in which the My Little Ponies iced Strawberry Shortcake

and were hiding her bloated corpse in that very cannister until the heat blew over

— And the heat never blew over.


If I had to compare your hairspray to any putrid vanity project of the inordinately rich, it would be

a celebrity vineyard

built on top of the ruins of a cambodian killing field

from which all the human remains had been excavated

save a mile square pit of fossilized dongs,

with which Lorraine Bracco personally pestles the juice

[Ives-y] From every last grape. (duh nuh nuh NUH nuh, duh-nuh nuh NUH nuh).



Ah. Merry Christmas

My Dream Vending Machine

October 26 2009

My Dream Vending Machine


A1: Oatmeal Cream Pie (large)

A2: Gummi Bears

A3: Apple Fritter

A4: A perfectly ripened Plum

A5: Cadbury Cream Egg



B1: Nerds Rope

B2: Pistachios (pre-shelled, lightly peppered)

B3: A Snake that smells like my Dad’s Hands

B4: The feeling of tightly-packed Sand beneath my Fingernails

B5: Fried Dough



C1: A series of Invisible Trains that stalk the corridors of A Maze that there is No Way Out Of

C2: Candy Buttons

C3: M&Ms (Peanut)

C4: Falling

C5: Falling as a Direct Result of Explicitly Trying Not to Fall



D1: Circus Peanuts

D2: Circus Tickets by which the Clowns find a way into your Home (at night)

D3: Avocado & Chips

D4: The Police Car from Dr. Leong’s Waiting Room

D5: The Credits from Highway to Heaven ad infinitum / Dried Papaya (alternating)



E1: It’s my Junior High mashed-up with my High School, and I can’t remember (for the life of me) Which Period Is What Class nor Where That Class Could (for the life of me) Be

E2: Gym takes place on the Bank of a Particularly Brackish River and the Locker Room is only 6 Feet Tall (Slanting Down) but, spotted with Latch-Broken Chemical Toilet Stalls, stretches for some long forever.

E3: Grape or Banana Laffy Taffy (alternating)

E4: Your mouth forming Words in my Ear that I for-some-reason Can’t Understand; no tears, but in your eyes you are crying

E5: Butter Finger



F1: I am Crying, Begging my parents Not To Get Divorced; they have no idea what I am talking about But Agree To Stay Together Anyways

F2: Crocodile in the House!

F3: Did I Actually Kill Someone In Real Life? I wake up multiple times (in the dream) to find that I have in fact and that this is not a dream and that my life is irrevocably changed as a result of my Action

F4: Delicious Cape Cod Chips

F5: Peeing (on Accident)



G1: Peeing (on Purpose)

G2: You Fucking Somebody Else

G3: General Facelesness

G4: Lion in the House!

G5: Shark Bites / Gushers (alternating)



H1: Wint-o-Green Lifesavers

H2: Wint-o-Green Lifesavers (partially unwrapped)

H3: Wint-o-Green Lifesavers (that smell like my dad’s hands, pocket)

H4: Animal Crackers

H5: The Things We Did And Didn’t Do

H6: Lifesavers Classic 5-Color Roll

H7: The Synaesthetic Conflation of the Feeling of Winding my Childhood Music Box and its  Stuttered Strains of “You Are My Sunshine”/Wint-o-Green Lifesavers (alternating)