Woke up, put clothes on, didn't go to work.

I realized it's not fair for me to surf other blogs looking for people's roundups of the They Might Be Giants free show in Brooklyn without me adding mine. To sum up: They should have played more of their hits. They do a good job, but they goofed around too much. They made us call them out for a second encore in order to do "Istanbul, Not Constantinople," and didn't do the Malcolm theme, even though I imagine some of the parents in the audience said to their kids, "This is the group that sings the Malcolm theme!" But for a free concert, can I really complain? They have a new album out and they need to promote it.

Thanks to all the great friends who came out and shared food and wine!


To all the people who come to my site by putting in "Is there no help for the widows son": First off, it's a Mormon and Freemasons thing. Secondly, after you're done with Dan Brown, you should read a fun book called Carrie Pilby, about a 19-year-old female genius trying to fit into NYC. Really!
Attn: Anyone interested in sit-com writing. There's a contest on the Bravo channel you'll want to check out. It's a reality show following people creating their own sit-com. You have to submit your idea and application by Sept. 18. There's money to win, too. Click here!
"If you want to sign up for pizza, sign up for pizza now. I'm ordering it. So sign up for it, or don't eat it!" -- Announcement that just came over the speakers at work
"Words fail, buildings crumble
The ground opens wide
Light beams, down from heaven
She stands before my eyes"

-"She's Actual Size", They Might Be Giants

TMBG is giving a free concert in Brooklyn this evening, so I must get my work done on time to beat everyone in NYC under 40 who's going. Bye.


Alternate speech:

Mister Trouble never hangs around
When he hears this Mighty sound.

"Here I come to save the day"
That means that Mighty Mouse is on his way.

Yes sir, when there is a wrong to right
Mighty Mouse will join the fight.
On the sea or on the land,
He gets the situation well in hand.
Help/Hope is on the way...

"The future doesn't belong to fear. It belongs to freedom." - John F. Kerry, 7/29/04

I'm so glad he mentioned how all the senators have wonderful health benefits...meanwhile, so many people have none...and why is it that only the activists are raising their voices to complain about the lack of protection of our nuclear power plants?

Way to go, JFK!

Nomination night wrapup, for those who missed it:

'Dad hug'
Wet hamster
Born in left wing...er, West Wing
Help is on the way!
Hey, where did everybody go? We've got work to do. What are y'all running from?
A site called Preditors & Editors gives writers advice on who's legit and not legit in the world of getting published. Here is a link to their agents section, where they tell you who the rip-off artists are. One agency on there is being investigated by the cops for theft by deception. You can click a letter for an agency's name and check them out.
Woke up
got out of bed
dragged a comb
across my head...


Apparently, if you check out this site and click the button, it helps feed hungry animals. It's an animal rescue site. It takes like a second, so why dontcha. http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/
Woke up, put on clothes, and went to work. GOSH!

(That's a subtle nod to Napoleon Dynamite.)


Woke up & put on clothes & went to work.


At Tuesday Night Trivia tomorrow, Michael Lynch will perform on his guitar and do a singalong after the game, as the musical act. So come and sing along!
Gawker and other sites are all atitter about this Reuters headline.
I have some minor book news...nothing majorly major, but something nice. I will announce it August 1 in this spot. No, it's not that I've sold my 3rd book (I have to do a lot more work on it.)

Does everyone know that August starts this weekend? Can ya believe it?

That also means that this blog will soon start its annual hurricane watch. It's been a really quiet year for them so far.

Too quiet...

Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

I made some guacamole yesterday and it actually came out good!


Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

I'm going to stop procrastinating on stuff.



Someone actually used, in my presence, the tired old saw that some of the homeless are homeless because they are "Too lazy to work." It should be obvious to anyone with a sense of logic that that isn't true. Most of the people who work mainly work to keep a roof over their heads -- because they are too lazy to be able to live on the street!!!!!!
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Reason #1 to be glad you don't live in New York.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

From a wrestling article: "After much speculation, Brooke [Hogan] is NOT dating Aaron Carter, and Hulk said she is not yet old enough to date. Hulk claimed the Aaron Carter romance was a rumor started when they were in the recording studio at the same time..."

Then why was Hulk at Aaron Carter's concert introducing him and talking about them liking each other and stuff? Was it all for publicity? Well, before this blog turns into Teen Beat, I'll get off the topic.


Recently I was in a computer room of a library. Someone who had used the computer earlier was still logged into AIM. So I got an IM from one of her friends. This conversation followed:

PERSON IM'ING: my cell got stloen this wknd.. i need ur # again
ME: how will ou be able to call me if yr cell got sstolen?
PERSON IM'ing: cause i ogtta get a new 1
ME: oh. well, i'm not the person you think i am...i'm at a terminal that someone left on at a computer library. sorry to hear about your cell tho!
PERSON IM'ing: if u dont kno my fried.. sign off under hin name
ME: that is a very good idea. i think i will. but you have to improve your spelling young man!
PERSON IM'ing: man?... im a girl.....
ME: Is MD103xxy your boyfriend? How romantic! He must be pretty smart to be able to use this computer. Bag him so he can teach you spelling!
PERSON IM'ing: stfu.... it was a friggin mistake.. calm the fuck down...
ME: I'm only kidding. Watch your language, silly. Anyway, you are full of mistakes. And your swearing is not ladylike. I'm signing off now, because this isn't my account, but your boyfriend deserves someone without a pottymouth! Bye. (And calm down too...I'm only kidding around with you)
PERSON IM'ing: im from nyc im possed to have a potty mouth
ME: Actually you're right
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Sunday I took a Forgotten New York tour. I met several interesting people including the webmaster of this great photo site, and his friend who went to the inferior Princeton U. Hi.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

I forgot to point out yesterday that there are whole new directions in fast food! Click www.bkbeaver.com - it's not what you think!


Annoying t-shirt spotted today: "Mustache Rides: 25 cents," On a skinny 20something guy on the subway. Yuk!

Woke up, put clothes on, didn't go to work.

Stormy weather is expected for the NYC area today. Time to add to the barometer blog.


Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

My color palette is missing.

Today I got up early to do some revising. I think book 3 is 70 percent done. A first draft is hard because I start with nothing and have to create a whole world and backstory, even with a rough outline and specific goal in mind. There's a lot of stuff that ends up getting written and later discarded. When it's time to go back and revise and rewrite (like now), I have learned a lot about the characters and what happened to them, and then it's just a matter of finding the best way to tell the story - as if it's actually something that happened that I know all about.

Was that boring? After today's revision session, I decided at the last minute to go to the soup kitchen because I haven't been in a few weeks. I got to hand small bags of donated goods to people who were leaving. Today they got a bottle of apple juice, a canned ham, and a packet of evaporated milk. Often, they will reject an item and share their reason: "No apple juice. That's instant diarrheah." Today a man rejected the ham: "No teeth;" then he gave me a toothless grin. Someone didn't want the powdered milk: "Cows wouldn't drink that." And finally, another man rejected it after reading the packet: "I can't take things that were made in Alabama. You know what happened last time I was in Alabama? A cop said to me and my buddy, 'How long are you gonna be in Alabama'? I said, 'We're leaving tomorrow.' He said, 'Well, how about leaving now?' And I said, 'Okay.' "

Anyone who saw the documentary "Capturing the Friedmans" should know that Jesse Friedman has a legal defense fund (see www.freejesse.net) and if you donate $25, you get "Jesse's Last Night," a film shot by Jesse's brother in his room the night that they helped Jesse pack until 4 and 5 a.m. before he was to report to jail for six years or longer (it turned out to be 13 years). Compelling and heart-wrenching.


This is like when the Wizard of Oz suddenly turns into color.
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.
What are these funny new symbols at the top of my Blogger space?  Yippee! 
Looks like you can easily add photos, too!  Oh good...


Later this morning, I will wake up, put clothes on, and go to work.

In the meantime, check out my essay at Knot Magazine - "Little Darlings." It's about the time I took off from work for a month to spend four weeks as a counselor in a travel camp for OVERprivileged youths. Better than Bug Juice!


Damn... This comes to us from Publisher's Lunch:

John Irving's forthcoming novel is his longest-ever manuscript, at 345,000 words. But, "Twenty-eight days ago I woke up and said: It really should be in the third-person," he tells Toronto's Globe and Mail. "It's a first-person novel." Irving adds, "I don't normally like the first-person voice and I can't even remember what rationale led me to think this had to be a first-person novel, but for the five years I've been writing it, it was. And just one morning I woke up and thought: 'S--t. It's not right.' And it's already bought, you know? And I said: 'Well, too bad.' "

So he's rewriting, "eight to nine hours a day, seven days a week," trying to stay on track for publication next June.

Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

T-shirt spotted yesterday: Orange, with the Reese's peanut butter cup logo & art, but instead of saying "Reese's," it said, "Jesus."


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.



Oops, sorry, I was talking to myself again.

I will have an essay up at a pretty cool on-line mag this Thursday. I will link to it that day.
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

I found some old writing and posted a satirical piece I wrote in 2000 in www.carenlissner.com/writing. It's called "22 1/2 under 22 1/2." Didn't have time to format it, but enjoy it if you read it.


Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

1010 WINS just said that there were 10 murders in New York over the weekend.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Mickey writes: Dumbass mid-westerners! Popcorn makes you thirsty. It should say Popcorn refills free. Pop $2.00.


Many of you probably know that the Post screwed up yesterday and had a cover "exclusive" about Kerry picking Gephardt. Today, the Daily News's cover says, "KERRY'S REAL CHOICE, N.C. Sen. John Edwards will be the Democratic veep candidate, and the Post is wrong again."
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Woke up, put clothes on, went to work.

I've been interviewed for Pif literary magazine (www.pifmagazine.com), so click there and read my interview. The word "oral" should say "overall," by the way.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


The Italian cover (which I just found) of Starting from Square Two, a.k.a "I Play Alone," looks pretty good. Even though it certainly buries the young-widow aspect. Look at the girl's arm - it has a list of men crossed out on it.

I'm so proud to know such intelligent people - here's a good debate on Michael Moore's film, among friends. If the link doesn't work, go to www.genxmisanthrope.blogspot.com and go down four to the "Fanning the Flames" entry.
"Will you forgive me for the things I said when I was drunk..." Who is going to see Lit? They must have at least another hit...
Some good writing from Dave.

Happy 4th!
Woke up, put clothes on, didn't go to work.

Happy belated Canada Day! Especially to Canadians like Tony from trivia. Here's a primer.

So I'm in the midwest right now, and I look at the movie section of the paper, and an ad for one theater says:

"Refills of pop, free.
Refills of corn, 50 cents."

And I think: What does that mean? Pop corn is one thing.

Then I remember that when they say "pop," they mean soda. Those wacky Midwesties.

A girl named Caryn wrote to me to tell me that she is finding the name Gert distracting her while reading Square Two. I told her her name is weird, too.

I finished reading "Eats, Shoots and Leaves." The author makes note, as I did earlier, of the fact that people used "enormity" incorrectly a lot after 9/11. But in my dictionary it actually says, "Informal: Great size, immensity." Maybe it's becoming accepted.

What I didn't like is that the author made some joke about how grammarians were upset after 9/11 not by Osama, but by the incorrect use of enormity. Even though it's an obvious joke, it strikes me that it's a bit insensitive even if it didn't mean to be. It seems like people are starting to become desensitized to the events of 3 years ago now. Right after it happened, there was a question of how long it would take. With Michael Moore naming his film "Fahrenheit 911" and more casual references to it, maybe people are feeling it's ok to be a little more casual about it. I don't think I agree. I don't like the idea of accepting it as business as usual.


Woke up, bla etc.

Someone complained that my entries are too short. OK. Here are some literary thoughts...

1. A few days ago, I complained about writers needing to start their articles with a single dopey generalization before getting into the pith of their lead. I thought I had discovered one of these at the beginning of a New York Times book review, but I should have had more faith; it was meant to make FUN of the author for doing things like that.

Here is the sentence: "One reason it's tempting to follow the smart set -- that anxious clan of stylishly camouflaged, overeducated social maladapts that function in the literary world a lot like those guys sucking White Owl cigars do in metropolitan Off Track Betting parlors -- and flatly declare David Foster Wallace a genius and the greatest young fiction writer of his time, is that doing so is much, much easier than actually reading his sentences (compared to most of which this one is a haiku)."

That was Walter Kirn on David Foster Wallace's new book, Oblivion. He comes just short of skewering Wallace's "ostentatiously elongated, curiously bureaucratic, stubbornly overdetermined prose style" (as if that doesn't do it right there.)

I think I've lost half my readers, so here's something Howard Stern said today, from memory (so it might be a bit off): "90 percent of what I've been fined for are doody quotes. Doody. Doody. Making a doody."

2.I'm reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves, the hit punctuation book. I was reading it with a pencil, underlining things I like and even circling a grammatical error, when I got to this line: "Sticklers never read a book without a pencil in hand, to correct the typographical errors." Whoops! Actually, I almost never have a pencil in hand anymore, but I do for this book because it's good to remember this stuff as a writer and editor.