March 31, 2003
March 29, 2003
Update: Yep, alive, if not actually well...
March 27, 2003
Update: In the meantime, though, you can check out my submission to Mike Wolf's "A Case For Song" project. It's about Pulp's "Common People" and it's convoluted!
March 25, 2003
March 24, 2003
March 23, 2003
(Oh, as long as I'm here: Chicago, Marshall, Day-Lewis, Kidman, Cooper, Moore.)
March 21, 2003
First of all, just to get it out of the way, I again apologize for spilling those two drinks on you. I now understand that as part of my apology and explanation for the first spilling incident it was probably unnecessary for me to show you the odd way I was holding my glass, thereby instigating the second spilling incident. May I just say that you were very gracious about these accidents, at least about the first one.
And while you did seem to have it pretty well figured out by the time you left the party, I suppose I should still come clean and admit that I am not, in fact, a writer for the New Yorker in any capacity, and that the articles I claimed to have written were actually written by a number of authors, including many of Joseph Mitchell's pieces during the 1930's. With regards to my claims, any impression I may have given about the many fine vaudeville theaters in Manhattan is most likely false. On a related note, I realize that your comments about how difficult it must be to be a full-time reporter while still running a film production company and playing piano in a successful jazz combo were spoken with a tone more of skepticism than admiration, and I certainly shouldn't have taken those comments as an invitation to cut the already too-close distance between our faces in half, and to maintain that close distance despite all attempts on your part to extend it.
Finally, my tirade following your refusal of my offer to drive you back to your apartment was completely unjustified, especially given that I was extremely drunk at the time and had actually taken the PATH into Manhattan. None of your actions tonight in any way could have possibly qualified as "teasing" or "leading me on," and I obviously regret turning off the music to loudly announce that faulty assessment to the room. Despite these and any other unfortunate lapses in judgment on my part, I certainly did enjoy meeting you, and hope that you will not hold them against me should out paths cross again.
blair ('blar) n.
1. Unquestioning loyalty, even to point of pain or detriment.
Sample Usage: "The soldier maintained his blair to his commander, despite the hopeless and insurmountable odds."
blix ('bliks) v. blixed, blix*ing, blix*es
1. To offer an excessive level of trust and understanding.
2. (Archaic) To thoroughly investigate, report on.
Sample Usage: "I thought when Scott cheated on his wife with that cocktail waitress it be the last straw, but three cocktail waitresses later and she still blixes him."
en*be*cee ('EN-ba-see) n. en*be*cees
1. Loud, ominous audio signal used to interrupt broadcasts for announcement of a) impending catastrophic event, such as nuclear or biochemical attack, or b) special encore presentation of "Friends."
2. Audio signal preceding an image of a serious-looking, 50ish white man in a suit.
france ('fran[t]s) n. franc*es
1. To project an excessive level of trust and understanding.
2. A strong air of superiority in the face of available evidence.
Sample Usage: "Betty in accounting became my france after she bought me lunch and said she'd help me with the project then canceled my funding and bad-mouthed me to the VP."
— france v. french, franc*ing, franc*es
1. To attempt to project power through bureaucratic or totemic symbols as opposed to financial or physical strength.
kim ('kim) v. kimmed, kim*ming, kims
1. To focus all of one's attention on the simpler of two situations.
2. To believe that fixing a small problem will cause a large problem to fix itself.
Sample Usage: "I guess I was just kimming when I changed that flat tire while the engine was still on fire."
ku*wait (ku-'wAt) v. ku*waited, ku*wait*ing, ku*waits
1. To exhibit a feeling of ungratefulness or lack of gratitude.
2. To neglect to repay a debt, especially an implied one.
Sample Usage: "I can't believe that after I lent Bill three grand and helped him through that rough patch with Mary he'd still kuwait when I asked him help me move my couch!"
spain ('spAn) v. spained, spain*ing, spains
1. To build one's status by arranging to be seen near more powerful or attractive figures.
Sample Usage: "Even though I spent all night at the bar spaining near those movie stars, I still didn't meet any women."
2. To offer enthusiastic moral support in lieu of financial or physical support.
Sample Usage: "Pete never showed up at the soup kitchen, so I guess he was just spaining when we made that passionate speech at the last meeting."
(Special thanks to Paul Frankenstein for his help.)
March 20, 2003
So I called out from work, got in my car, and headed west. Ah, the open road! The fresh air (until it got way too cold)! The country stations! The weird meat market off of the Interstate that had a bunch of $2 roast tracheas hanging up near the cash register! The guy driving a green Honda who I almost rammed into in the Gettysburg Visitor's Center parking lot and that I swear was Kenny Rogers! The yummiest pretzels ever! It all felt...purifying, like a cool, strong wind cleaning out all the garbage in my life (though I guess an enema would be a better metaphor there, but I'll stick with the breeze for now). I fell asleep last night exhausted and content, ready to start fresh in the morning.
And then at EIGHT-FREAKING-FORTY-THREE A.M. the whole stupid mess started again. Perhaps even worse, since I had to make up for all the BS I missed yesterday. Bleh, I say. Bleh.
March 17, 2003
(And while we're on the subject, wouldn't all of you love to read a blog by the aforementioned everlovin' Miss D'Lish? Doesn't that sound a heck of a lot more exciting that reading one by, say, me? You know what? Maybe if a whole bunch of people asked her real nicelike she'd start one up! C'mon Mr. Fat Guy, I know you're out there!)
March 16, 2003
Long, Pointless Update: Well, I'm feeling a bit more awake and less cryptic than I did last night, so as not to deprive you all of my life's minutiae, let me just list some of the way too much I mentioned above.
As some of my more local readers may have noticed, Saturday was bee-yootiful, simply the nicest weather we've had around here for something like 16, 17 months, so I took full advantage by heading into Manhattan and wandering around Central Park and parts thereabouts. Well, of course that was delightful, even more so when my friend Gabe invited me to go bowling later that evening, an event to which I immediately invited my sister Nancy (who some of you may remember from her exclusive Winter Olympics dispatches). With that all lined up, I headed over to the Guggenheim to finally check out the Matthew Barney Cremaster Cycle exhibition.
For those of you who are planning to see this show, a striking, in-context collection of sculptures, photographs, and weird gloopy things from the five Cremaster films (which I'm not even going to try to summarize or describe, though you can check out the trailer here), I would strongly recommend trying to see one of the films beforehand (probably Cremaster 3, which plays on Tuesdays and Saturdays). If that isn't possible, go against the signs and start at the top of the rotunda, where you will be able to watch the segment of C3 that was filmed in the museum. After watching the story unfold on the giant Jumbotron screens, I definitely appreciated my trip down the ramp more than my trip up. I was somewhat ambivalent about the exhibit while I was there, but the images and sculptures have stuck in my head ever since, and now I can't wait to head back and explore further.
Well, the sun was still shining when I left the museum, and with Central Park beckoning I decided that it was the perfect time to restart a favorite tradition of mine. I headed over to a little takeout place on 91st and Park, picked up a bucket of fried chicken and some onion rings, then headed over to the Central Park Reservoir jogging track to grab a bench, chow down and wave at the runners passing by. Between the serene majesty of the still-frozen reservoir and the icy glares of the runners, it was a truly wonderful way to spend the afternoon.
After I threw out the bones and found my car it was time to pick up my sister and head downtown for some serious bowling action...except that Gabe completely punked out on me! Like a punk! Something about being all tired and stuck in traffic and needing to be up early the next day, but to me it just spelled WHAAA!!! and no bowling for Ken. My sister and I managed to make the best of things, ending up at the Odessa Restaurant on Avenue A for some fine home cooking (I had the brisket), as well as a spirited discussion about the state of arena football, which included an angry exchange with the loner at the next both, who somehow thought "Odessa" was Ukrainian for "library."
And from there it was time for the main event. Folks, when the whip-smart and smokin'-hot Ari invites you out for her birthday celebration...well, everything else you might have been considering suddenly becomes Plans B-Z. You put on your drinking shoes, pick up a (hopefully kickass) gift, get your insurance in order, and head on down to the Lower East Side. I might have gone with a different selection of tunes (I mean, I like The Cars, but their entire freaking catalog? And Duran Duran's "New Moon on Monday" for Pete's sake?), and there was that unfortunate incident where I may have threatened to break somebody's kneecaps for accidentally looking at my sister, but those quibbles aside you couldn't have asked for a finer evening with better folks. I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.
Then the phone went dead.
March 15, 2003
On the positive side, it's a gorgeous day out, so I'm gonna try and take advantage of that, perhaps lounging in the park and then heading to one of those museum things I've heard so much about. Plus, I just made my hotel reservations for what promises to be the social event of the decade: this July's Jersey Shore nuptials of Murph & Juli, with the beach ceremony performed by...ME! Yes, I'm sure I'll be writing more about this as we get closer, but I have been asked (and have humbly and gratefully accepted) the rather weighty task of joining together my old roommates from back in Seattle. We're working out all of the details (such as: long and ornate white or purple robe, or perhaps one of them Boss Hogg white suits I've always craved?), but if any of you folks out there have any experience with this sort of thing, please drop me a line.
March 12, 2003
March 10, 2003
March 09, 2003
March 08, 2003
March 06, 2003
March 05, 2003
March 04, 2003
On the other hand, have I recommended Raging Cow to you yet? Mmmmm...Raging Cow!
March 03, 2003
Was never a morning guy; always liked night,
That's especially true when I wake with a fright.
Though it isn't bad nightmares that cause me to freak,
Just my first painful glance of each Me of the Week.
I remember Mahir with his "I kiss you, please!"
And hampsters, and clicking on loot stuck in trees.
Tourist Guy, Donkeys — I love a good meme,
But somehow it's different when I'm on the screen.
What damaging pics will be dug out of boxes?
Will a Photoshopped me be surrounded by foxes?
Into which ancient archives will Whybark delve? Is
My face gonna be on a ballsy, fat Elvis?
What horrors do Frankie and `Bark have in store?
Do I dare to awake for four mornings more?
March 02, 2003
Karl Iagnemma is a research scientist in the mechanical engineering department at M.I.T. His short stories have received the Playboy College Fiction award and the Paris Review Discovery Prize, and have been included in the Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies.Sure, other terrific writers like, say, George Saunders may have "explored for oil in Sumatra, played guitar in a Texas bar band, and worked in a slaughterhouse," but I'd personally like to try the whole M.I.T. Research Scientist/Award-Winning Writer combo the next time I'm in a bar and somebody asks what I do for a living. Anyway, Iagnemma's first collection, "On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction," will be published soon, so you should probably go and pre-order a couple of copies to give to friends.
March 01, 2003
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