Blizzards and skeezy Santas

Listening to: “Another World” – Antony & the Johnsons

Greetings from the heart of the Northeastern Seaboard’s Neverending Blizzard ’08! It’s already put me on postpone for 2 plays this weekend–luckily rescheduling is set to occur. Can’t afford to miss out on writing assignments this month. You know that old carol “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, etc. etc.”? Yeah, I’m the one who hasn’t got a ha’penny and needs some god-blessing.

Still, I think I’ll always have a Pavlovian joy response to snow days, even when I’ve got no work or school from which to play hooky. Last night Tuck and I holed up at Ryan and Rog’s and watched Mad Men and had Schnapps-spiked hot cocoa, while the snow piled up in drifts over Brookline. The mutt definitely digs the snow–sometimes it even makes him forget his debilitating fear of the Green Line–all old smells covered up, fluffy whiteness belly-high, and the whole world fresh and up for grabs. He leap-runs through deep snow in winter the same way he does through the tide in the summer when I bring him to the beach. I wonder what the beaches must look like now–totally surreal, no doubt. You never really see the image of snow falling on ocean waves.

Today out my bedroom window I saw a scrawny guy standing in a full Santa suit on the sidewalk, just chillin’. A girl walks up to him and–I shit you not–sticks her hand down his woolly red pants. And we’re talking deep–like, grab-the-dude’s-dick-and-flail-it-around-a-bit deep. Santa didn’t seem particularly aroused, but it was hard to read the eyes buried between the beard and hat. I’m telling you man, only in Allston.

Alright, time to go dig out the ol’ car so I can get to Cafenation and get some actual productive freaking writing done. I’ll leave you with an image of what I wish I were doing this fine, snowy evening:

Climbing, writing, devolving

Listening to: “Lump Sum” – Bon Iver

Ever since the Rains of All Summer departed from Massachusetts last week, long shadows have entered our little editorial enclave each evening around 5:30ish. When my coworkers behind me get up to leave, I can see their silhouettes dancing fitfully across my computer screen. Really, they’re just packing up their bags, unplugging their headphones, checking their cell phones. But from watching the shadows on my screen (Allegory of the Cave, anyone?) it all looks ritualistic, shamanaic.

I’m gonna climb another one of the Presidentials in NH tomorrow with J and Tuck–Mount Jefferson. The summit (5,712 feet) looks over the Great Gulf–a giant cirque between Jefferson and Washington. Love that term, cirque–a glacier-formed valley, shaped like an amphitheater and flanked by mountains. Geographical terms in general, really–isthmus, chaos terrain, fjord, steppe, estuary, hanging valley–so sexy.

Did you know there are 14 Mount Jeffersons in the United States? (What would I do without you, Wikipedia.) 2 in Virginia alone. I wish that the NH one was the tallest, but its ass gets totally kicked by the ones in Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon. Oh well. Now wouldn’t that be a project–climbing all 15 Jeffersons, all the way from the 11,941′ giant in Nevada down the to the sissy 489′ hillock in Arkansas. I dig it. I gotta climb these big mountains out West sometime. The Northeast just can’t hold a candle, I tell you whut.


The terrain of life lately: Loud ambient music, hermitism, the questionable purchase of I-could-kick-the-shit-out-of-you-if-I-wanted-to,-just-sayin’ boots, marathon sessions of watching Veronica Mars, sunglasses falling down public toilets, mild abuse of mild substances, worsening insomnia, sunny days, dead-end writing sessions.

Oh, and how awesome is Miranda July? So awesome:

“That is my problem with life, I rush through it, like I’m being chased. Even things whose whole point is slowness, like drinking relaxing tea. When I drink relaxing tea, I suck it down as if I’m in a contest for who can drink relaxing tea the quickest. Or if I’m in a hot tub with some other people and we’re all looking up at the stars, I’ll be the first to say, It’s so beautiful here. The sooner you say, It’s so beautiful here, the quicker you can say, Wow, I’m getting overheated.”

Been too distracted/abstracted to read much lately (Sorry, Midnight’s Children, you’re too slow), but No One Belongs Here More Than You. is just my pace right now.


As for my own writing–poor “The Price of Rootlessness” is quickly devolving into a string of endless pseudo-noir dialogue; hopefully there’s a plot waiting at the end of the rainbow.

“Are you gonna tell me what I need to know, or are you gonna make this difficult?”
“It is the finest of flowers that blooms in adversity.”
(*Roundhouse KICK!*)
“Yeah, well this desert rose could use a little moisture. So spill it, Rainfall.”

See what I mean? Yeesh.

Muppet subway conductors, and also California

Listening to: “Girl in the War” – Josh Ritter

For reasons I can’t even quite understand, I had a certain amount of money to spend on plane tickets that I had to use ASAP. After briefly suckling, then abandoning, dreams of France or Guatemala, I settled on California–that great undiscovered West Coast I’ve never seen. Well, OK, technically I was in LA for a few days when I was seven; but all I remember is riding Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, getting locked in a closet by my mom’s friend’s hideous children, and a tall man yelling at me on a basketball court. Why I was on a basketball court, I’ll never know.

So really, never really seen the West Coast. I’ll spend a few days in San Diego to send off an old, great friend before she gets married (!!! I know, I flipped the fuck out). Then, LA for a day or so to appease aformentioned mother, who will be visiting aformentioned friend. I believe the aformentioned hideous children are in college now. Then, at last, San Francisco, that city I’ve meant to visit for ages. The place I’ve been having recurring dreams about lately (If there really is a craft brewery/sting operation on the highest point of the Golden Gate Bridge run by the KGB, I hope to find it). I also hope to fulfill several cheesy dreams, like driving on the Pacific Coast Highway, getting sloshed in Napa Valley, and visiting locations Jack Kerouac mentions in The Dharma Bums. Probably won’t get to climb the Matterhorn, but in case I do:

Then would come the wild lyrical drizzling rain, from the south, in the wind, and I’d say “The taste of rain, why kneel?” and I’d say “Time for hot coffee and a cigarette, boys,” addressing my imaginary bhikkus. The moon became full and huge and with came the Aurora Borealis over Mount Hozomeen (“Look at the void and it is even stiller,” Han Shan had said in in Japhy’s translation); and in fact I was so still all I had to do was shift my crossed legs in the alpine grass and I could hear the hoofs of deers running away somewhere. Standing on my head before bedtime on that rock roof of the moonlight I could indeed see that the earth was truly upsidedown and man a weird vain beetle full of strange ideas walking around upsidedown and boasting, and I could realize that man remembered why this dream of planets and plants and Plantagenets was built out of the primordial essence. Sometimes I’d get mad because things didn’t work out well, I’d spoil a flapjack, or slip in the snowfield while getting water, or one time my shovel went sailing down into the gorge, and I’d be so mad I’d want to bite the mountaintops and would come in the shack and kick the cupboard and hurt my toe. But let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.

But I, per usual, digress. I’ve been to three concerts three weeks in a row at the Somerville Theatre which, btdubs, is a kickass venue. Not the fact that you hafta sit down, which is lame, but the acoustics are the kickass part. Saw the Eels two weeks ago, Kimya Dawson last week (plus this AWESOME French band called L’Orchidee d’Hawai whose shit I can only describe as Spy Music), and Colin Meloy (o’ the Decemberists) on Tuesday. Jameson got us these sweet tickets, but some assholes took our seats and the manager smelled far too awful to be talked to for long. Still, it was a great show. Next week, seeing Harry and the Potters (!) cause I’m a huuuuuge dork. Huge. Unapologetic, but huge. Like, the size of an Elizabethan goiter.

What else, what else? Last night, I watched the movie version of Atonement after polishing off the book last week. Joe Wright’s a great fucking director. Those long tracking shots (the ballroom one in Pride and Prejudice and the Dunkirk one in Atonement) make me hot. At the end of his commentary track, when the movie ends and the credits roll, and the “Director: Joe Wright” tag flashes across the screen, Wright just goes, ” ‘es a cunt.” Hilarious.

Oh, and I started writing a song. You don’t know what it’s about. You don’t know. Ha.

Tonight after work, at South Station, I glanced up at the Red Line train as it was pulling onto the platform. As one of the driver’s compartments was flying past, I swear that the guy driving wasn’t a guy at all. It was a Muppet. Like, a humanoid Muppet, that was wearing a Metro Boston Transit Authority uniform, but a Muppet. Felt skin, big googly eyes, floppy mouth, off-putting earnestness, the whole shebang. A Muppet. Fucking driving a subway car. It happened, motherfuckers.

Don’t look at me like that.

No come on. Cut it out.


I’ll kick your ass.

I will.

Only in Allston

I ask you sirs, I stand before you and ask you today, who leaves a bag of sheep feet lying on the sidewalk? Who. The fuck. Does that.

I mean, sheep feet are all fun and games until your dog gets a death grip on one and you find yourself locked in a battle of wills right there on Linden Street, outside the kegger house. And then, when you’re finally able to wrench it out, and have attracted the attention of half the neighborhood with your yelling, your confused (but tenacious) dog still has a death grip on your index finger, which he thinks is the sheep’s foot.

I’m speaking abstractly, of course.

The offending stair

Listening to: “Fuck, Was I” – Jenny Owens Young

So in the front entrance of my building, one of the faux-marble stairs has had a crack in it for at least half a year. This morning when I took my dog out, I saw a handyman measuring it.

Tonight I get back from work, and the stair has been covered with a slab of wood that is, get this, duct taped on. It seriously made my day. Classic.

When I was a kid, I thought it was called “duck tape.” I still kind of think it should be. Those ducks need to be restrained before they…eat all the good crumbs.

I didn’t catch the Oscars last night, partly because I’ve only seen a handful of the nominated films, and partly because I think awards shows are a load of ass. But I did YouTube Diablo Cody’s acceptance speech for Best Original Screenplay (cause I luvs me the Juno). She looked so delightfully out of place, with her crazy dress and giant tattoo and asymmetrical hair. It was all about her battle cry: “This is for the writers!”

I want to be her someday. Now if I could just finish a screenplay. Silliest thing of all–Cody started her career as a blogger. O brave new world, that has such people in it!

PS: Did anyone else think Harrison Ford was on some mad tranquilizers? The man could barely read the teleprompter.