Sunday, October 31, 2010


Tomorrow is the 1st of November and some of you know what that means (because I have been droning on about it incessantly to anyone who will listen). That’s right; it is NaNoWriMo time once again.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writering Month. What does that mean? Is there some holiday or special Presidential declaration?


There is nothing.

Except for the arduous and difficult and stressful and thankless (and did I say arduous already?) endeavor of writing a 50,000 word novel in a month.

That’s right, an entire novel in one month.

I have attempted it every year for years now and only actually succeeded once (though a second time I hit the word count in the allotted time but didn’t complete the novel appropriately).

There is no prize at the end and no real recognition and really no reason to subject one’s self to something like this other than blatant masochism. Well, there is also the love of the writing. The point of the entire thing is simply to stimulate writing.

The 50,000 words breaks down to 1,667 words each day. That is difficult. More difficult still to make all 1,667 of those words matter each day (though the general idea is that if you end up producing writing of any real quality, that is just an accident).

So tomorrow it will begin. I have no hope of being able to finish a whole novel in November, but I will give it my best. Also, I barely even have an idea what I’m going to be writing about. I have ideas, nebulous and blurry ideas.

I may not be doing a lot of blogging over the next month, but what I might try to do is post some of each day’s writing here.

I’m unreasonably excited about this. Wish me luck.


All Kinds of Awesome.

Do you like hilariousness? If so, please read this from The Borowitz Report.

(Thanks to NYDana for this article!)

Fox News Estimates Jon Stewart’s Crowd at Seven People
Disappointing Turnout, News Channel Says

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – The Fox News Channel reported today that the turnout for Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” was underwhelming at best, with Fox sources estimating the total turnout at seven people.

“Our total count includes Stewart, [Stephen] Colbert, and what appear to be a few of their friends and relatives,” said Fox anchor Shepard Smith. “This has to be a smaller crowd than they were expecting.”

But immediately after Fox broadcast what it described as “live coverage” of the rally showing a nearly-deserted National Mall, viewers began to point out irregularities in the images being shown.

First of all, one viewer noticed that the live coverage of the rally was actually being broadcast a full twelve hours before the rally began.

Second, an expert identified the supposedly “live footage” of today’s rally as file footage from a Sunday in 1997 when the Mall was completely shut down for reseeding.
Even in the face of such evidence, Fox stood by its story, with Fox host Glenn Beck pointing out that the seven people in attendance were “largely elitists.”

“I was struck by how many correctly spelled signs there were,” Mr. Beck said. “That’s not my America.”


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Haiku.

Halloween is so
frightening. Sixty bucks for
a costume? Eegad!

Everyone complains,
“The outfits are too sexy.”
I just disagree.

Let’s dress up tonight!
Sexy bunny? Slutty witch?
Totally okay.

Am I suddenly
a Halloween-o-phile?
Not actually.

But candy is good,
dressing like an idiot
is also okay.

Mostly I just want
to have an awesome séance;
invite ghosts over.


Thursday, October 28, 2010


I recently bought a pretty awesome backpack. You should know about me, I love bags. I love their sizes and shapes, I love the potential of them. When you have a good bag and some good stuff to put in it, you can handle anything.

So I have this really cool backpack and I haven’t gotten to use it yet. And that makes me sad. It is the perfect bag for a couple of days away from home. It is roomy; it has a lot of convenient and well-thought-out pockets. It seems durable, trustworthy. So I would like to use it.

You should come with me while I do. Let’s go somewhere. What are you doing this weekend? Or next?

I don’t have much money right now, so I can’t hop a flight to Senegal, but I do have a car and this badass backpack and more than a little bit of wanderlust (that is one of my favorite words BTW because it is made up of other words that I like yet has a distinct meaning that I also like).

So where do you want to go? We can be in Vegas in just a few hours, or San Diego, Mexico, or up the coast to anyplace that you want. I want to see the Salton Sea and lately I’ve been in the mood to hike up the side of something, or down into something. Or we can lay out a map on my kitchen table and I’ll let you stick a pin in it anywhere you want and that is where we will point the car and along the way we’ll order the chalkboard daily special at every dinner that we pass.

Or maybe we should hop a train, there are still trains you know. And I love trains. I love the world rolling by at a soothing speed and the constant low frequency rumble of the journey. And a few hours in, when you get sleepy and tired of the magazines that you brought, I will even let you lean your head on my shoulder while that train-rumble, that ever-present steel-on-steel vibration lulls you off to sleep.

So let’s go. I have this bag and the desire to use it. So let’s use it.


Get a Room.

Do you remember that part in 500 Days of Summer when Joseph Gordon Levitt is just post-break-up and living on whiskey and Twinkies? And on the street he sees a couple innocently holding hands? And he screams at them, “GET A ROOM!”

That’s what I feel like lately.


Dark Side Astrology.

So I’m not given to astrology, but you know how it is with the internet, you start out reading about the history of trigonometry and then you click a link and click a link and click a link and before you know it you’re watching Amish porn.

Well something kinda like that just happened and I came across a page about the dark side of astrological signs. This is nothing new (we have all seen the book about this on that table at Urban Outfitters), but what struck me is how the dark side of Libras (which I am) reads exactly like some of the emails that I’ve gotten from my Ex.

Here, read this and enjoy my humiliation:

If passive-aggressive behavior, condescension and bottled up anger that results in poorly-timed barbs and fickle infidelity doesn't sound appealing to you, than look out for a Libra in their lesser form. The balanced one - in anything less than top shape - is actually completely unbalanced, and without even realizing it will mine the depths of your tolerance as they take stabs at you (verbal and gestural) for merely being yourself. This is because Libra has a tendency to idealize their partners - and as soon as mates fall short in any way (which they inevitably do), they'll become disillusioned. To deal with Libra (and their unfair expectations) is to call them out on their crap and don't stand for their outside flirtations. While infidelity is appealing to these airy creatures, partnership is their preferred state - particularly if you're the one who may leave or stray.

You can read about whatever the hell is wrong with you here.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Take On Me.

In case you were curious, my day was bad in just about every way that it could be. So I am sitting on the couch drinking crap wine and reading Tom Robbins while my roommate Eggplant Parmesan (still test driving blog names for her) and dearest Jennica learn “Take Me On” on ukuleles.

Don’t ever tell them that I said so, but they are actually getting quite good and the soft uke sounds actually help to rub down the nasty edges of my day.

If I were to step out of my head for just a moment (fat chance of that) I might actually realize that life is okay at this very moment.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Something That I Actually Just Said:

Psha yeah, Gossip Girl is so much better than 90210.


New Short Story!

Below is a new short story. I am quite please with it.

Believe it or not, this idea has been in the back, dusty, cobwebby part of my brain for like ten years. I didn’t know until tonight that it was supposed to be a short story.

You probably won’t enjoy it as much as I do, but that’s just because you hate ducks.



Gravity Duck by james bezerra

Gravity Duck
by james bezerra

If we had known how well-connected he was, we probably would have been nicer to that duck.

But at the time, we just thought that he was a duck, so we said stuff like, Come ‘ere ducky ducky ducky, c’mere and you can have some of this bread . . . Ha! Fucker, no bread for you! We used to kinda be assholes like that.

I had just landed. Due to logistical constraints I’d been placed inside of a duck for the trip. It was a regrettable inconvenience but an unavoidable one. I was to meet The Contact in the Park of Earth’s New York City. A band of natives in leather jackets offered me bread, I approached them to thank them but decline. Then one of them kicked me.

In retrospect, if we had known that he was packing a piece, we probably would have behaved better.

I had just been let in on The Gravity Situation a few days before. That’s what we called it, ‘The Gravity Situation’. I asked at the time why we didn’t give it a more obscure name, given that the situation actually was about gravity, but then my boss on the American delegation to the United Nations – his name was Feltzwater – said, “It’s not like we’re calling it ‘The Holy Shit, We’re About To Run Out Of Gravity Situation!’

That was a valid point.

The day of, they sent a bunch of us to comb Central Park because we’d gotten a communiqué – actually just a message from a normal-looking gmail account – saying that their emissary would be arriving in the afternoon. And that he would be a duck.

I had long since given up being surprised by things, so I was dutifully walking around The Ramble kicking stones and looking for any unusual ducks. That’s when I saw it happen; a teenager in a faux-greaser leather-and-pomade getup kicked this little duck with his boot. The duck went a foot in the air and landed with a gravely thud. The greaser kid and his buddies yucked it up, until the duck got his balance back, pivoted toward them, lifted one of his wings and then … well, I guess – to put it plainly – vaporized the kid. This white and blue beam shot out from under the duck’s wing and then that was it. The kid just ceased to be there anymore.

Yeah, so that fucking duck murdered Ralphie.

We’d been having problems with the Greasers in the Park. They were kids from the West Side with too much of mommy and daddy’s money and big old chips on their shoulders. I always thought that they looked kinda queer and I used to holler at’em, “Hey fucking Ponyboy! Stop running or I’m gonna shoot you to death.” But they never stopped running. We worked so hard to clean up this city and then wouldn’t ya know it, the fuck’en white kids start causing problems.

Anyway, I was riding my horse, Coffee, along the edge of The Ramble when I heard them cackling and when I looked, I saw one of them fucken’ boot this duck right in the ass. Well I yanked out my sidearm and I was about to gallop up on their asses when the fucking duck whips around and just like that! ZAP! Fucking nukes the kid. So I spurred Coffee and charged toward the whole scene.

A horse-mounted authority figure approached me at high speed at that point and, being in a fragile duck body and threatened by the large, hard hooves, I had no choice but to act preemptively.

At that point I was a little concerned about the ramifications of an interstellar gravity-dealer killing a teenager, but I’m not really given to running, so I started walking over toward them at a pretty good clip, when this horse cop comes charging down on the kids and the duck. I would have been frightened too, so I don’t blame the duck.

Then this cop shows up, he’s riding a horse and the duck fucking kills the horse too.

I saw the duck turn toward me and Coffee and before I knew it there was a bright light and a wave of heat and then I landed hard, face-first in the dirt with my mouth open and my nose broke and I slid. My thighs were fucken’ burning up and I could hear my own skin sizzling. I was groanin’ into the ground and, at first, I didn’t realize that I’d lost hold of my sidearm.

The cop’s gun flew through the air when the horse got hit with the duck’s heater. The cop ate shit and the gun landed almost at my feet, so I bent down and grabbed it and I was picking it up and thinking of something to say, like, Eat lead Daffy! or Fuck you, you duck!, when this dude – a total square in a jerk-suit – comes walking up like he was out for a Sunday stroll and said, If you shoot that duck the entire world is going to die.

Technically it violated protocol to tell that kid anything about The Gravity Situation, but I figured that under the circumstances it might be worth the risk.

Luckily The Contact arrived just then. He was in a human body and a well-tailored - if cheap – three piece suit. The suit was a soothing shade of brown not unlike my feathers and it made me trust him immediately.

When I rolled myself onto my back, I could feel layers of skin sticking to the ground and peeling off my thighs. I mashed my teeth hard and thought of Coffee. Poor fucken’ Coffee. Most of my pants were melted off, but I still had my holdout piece - a pretty little .38 special - strapped to my ankle. I leaned down to it and it felt like fire, but I yanked it out and pointed it at the fuckin’ duck. “Put your fucken’ hands in the air!” I yelled at him.

I had only been in the duck body a very brief amount of time, but was certain that I did not have what the humans refer to as ‘hands’, so I turned, ready to atomize the authority figure, when The Contact stepped past me to engage in conversation.

The square in the suit stepped right up in front of the cop’s gun and said, “Excuse me, but I work for the United Nations and I’m here to save your ass.” It was simply the coolest thing that I had ever seen up until that point in my life and I think of him now every time I put on a blazer.

I don’t ordinarily raise my voice, and almost never to the police, but sometimes these things have to be done. The fate of the world was at stake after all, so I felt it was warranted.

“Who the fuck are you?” I yelled at the guy and – I’ll never forget – he said, “I’m just the guy who is here to make sure that this duck gets over to the UN and renews our gravity lease. So could you stop pointing that at me?” So I lowered my weapon. I mean, who can argue with that?

Then the square in the suit scooped up the duck under his arm and started walking off toward Fifth Avenue, I guess to catch a cab. So it was just me and the Cop and his legs were still kinda smoking and he smelled like burnt hair. He looked at me and I looked at him and then I offered him his gun back. He took it and said, thanks.

I carried the duck across the Park and we caught a cab at 76th and Fifth. The cabbie said that he wasn’t going to be getaway driver for a duck-heist, so I showed him my UN badge and told him that the duck was a gift for the Canadian ambassador. The cabbie seemed to find this reasonable and drove us up to the United Nations building at 46th and First. I delivered the duck directly onto the floor of the General Assembly, which was in emergency session.

I explained to the human leaders that in the future, they should not wait so long to pay their gravity bill, as we nearly had to turn it off. They seemed appropriately embarrassed. We were able to work out a payment plan for their past due balance.

My boss Feltzwater let me take the rest of the day off, seeing as how I had basically saved the entire planet.



I really need a hobby other than writing because writing requires spending a whole lot of time by one’s self and after a while I always end up talking to the cats in strange and regrettable voices and that is probably not healthy.


Ke$ha, Still Better than Metallica.

So if you happen to actually know me, which most of you do (except for the one guy in Denmark who stumbled across this blog looking for naked pictures of Jessica Alba, sucker!), then you probably know that I have been on a regrettable Ke$ha bender the last few months. I am not simply a Ke$ha apologist, no I’m an advocate, an apostle if you will.

With the notable exception of the Black Eyed Peas, I try not to proselytize about my Pop music predilections (yes, I am purposefully trying to use large words so that I sound less lame. Is it working?), however sometimes Pop music comes along that is just the right mix of engineered and yet somehow invigoratingly not sterile. Also, I have been going through some difficult times and Ke$ha’s music is both fun and completely lacking any emotional resonance, so it works for me in that way too.

Anyway, why bring this up other than to embarrass myself on the internet? Because I came across this article: The Anti-Gaga, in a recent NEWSWEEK and I found it to be sort of interesting and humanizing. I mean, yes, she is still kind of just a dumb pop star girl, but I think that the idea of this music as a sort of anti-glam self-expression-for-the-poor is interesting, especially in an era when all of the symbols and sounds of punk have been appropriated by the marketing machine, maybe there is something to the idea of getting the marketing machine to propagate the anti- (‘anti-‘ whatever, it doesn’t really make any difference).

Or am I just intellectualizing?

That might be possible too.

Anyway, while you’re scoffing, I should tell you that my taste in music is just as good as yours, only I remember that Elvis was Pop once, so were your precious Beatles, so were the Stones. I argue that Metallica always was, so too Rancid, Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths, The Stranglers. Shit, Nirvana was somebody’s Pop music too.

Anyway, read the article, or don’t. It is an exercise in freedom.

Here is Ke$ha’s “TiK-ToK” video. The video is both low-budget and low-concept, but I challenge you to play it and not get this song stuck in your head.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Grad Schools, Dead Babies.

AAAAAK. I have been working on grad school applications today and there are few things in the world that I like less than working on grad school applications. I know it doesn’t seem like it should be that frustrating, but it really is. Every school is different, every website is different, all of the instructions are both vague and complicated. Its like Kafka dreamt them all up.

Plus, after having been rejected by some of the finest MFA Creative Writing programs the last go around, I feel more than a little trepidatious about and intimidated by the very prospect of applying again. I feel like the websites are just looking at me going, “Back for more, eh?”

That last part is probably just in my head though, right?

There is a great movie (and by “great”, I mean “terribly depressing”) called Jude. It stars the lovely Kate Winselt and a skinnier than normal Chris Eccleston. It is based on the novel Jude of the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Basically it is the story of poor Jude as he works as a 19th Century English stonecutter while dreaming of getting into a school that (I think) is supposed to be Oxford. Basically he is too working-class for their tastes and he never gets in. But there is a great scene where he is standing in the rain outside the school and angrily singing the school’s song at the big brick buildings. It really is heartbreaking.

I think of that scene every time I work on grad school applications.

If I haven’t already sold you on the movie, let me tell you these other facts about it: Jude spends most of his time depressingly carving headstones, Kate Winselt refuses to marry him because she doesn’t believe in marriage, which is fine because Jude is still kinda married to this other woman who is a total slag. Also, Jude and Kate Winselt keep getting kicked out of the shitholes where they live because even though they aren’t married, they have kids together, which is a big 19th Century no-no. AND! If you’re still not sold on this movies, let me end with this: dead babies. Several of them.

So anyway, go Netflix this thing, spend three hours of your life watching it, and then you will know how I feel about grad school applications.


Friday, October 15, 2010

That’s right! New Poems!

This is completely true and not made-up: there are scientists and academics who say that when those big European sailing ships appeared on the horizon of the new world, the native Americans would literally not have been able to see them because their human brains would not have been able to process what the eyes were seeing. Essentially, the argument is that there are limits to what the human brain can handle.

This is going to be a similar situation because the poems below are so unforgivably bad that some of your synapses will likely cease firing. Your very neurons will stick in place and sizzle to death like a car on fire.

Yes, that’s right, these poems (if you can even call them that) are simply and only that bad.

Read on at your own peril.


A Poem: Mozart Mops the Floor

Mozart Mops the Floor
by james bezerra

If Mozart got in a fist fight
with Mike Tyson,
I think that he would

But if we lived in a
world where
arguments were settled with
piano battles,

Mozart, I bet,
would mop the floor with Mike.

I would like
living is a world like that.


A Poem: Double Bacon

Double Bacon
by james bezerra

Has Kevin
ever been caught -
in a movie -
I think not.


A Poem: Lifetime

by james bezerra

I can’t think of anything finer
than a Lifetime movie about
Chilean miners.


A Poem: Lady in the Oil

Lady in the Oil
by james bezerra

I wrote some chamber music the other day,
it featured horns and a lute.
Quite a lota lute.

I wrote it to impress a girl who
I saw in a painting.
That she wasn’t real didn’t bother me.

The oil of her skin was old on the canvas,
tiny cracks around her eyes and her hands and her mouth
and anywhere else she might want to move.

But she listened to my music all the same,
and my lute made her happy enough to even
risk the danger of a grin.


A Poem: Need More Hits?

Need More Hits?
by james bezerra

Increase blog traffic?
‘Jessica Alba naked’
Google does the rest


A Poem: The Baby Thief

The Baby Thief
by james bezerra

What if you had
just had
a baby
and while you were still in the hospital,
maybe in a deep
slumber, say,
Bono stole your baby?

Like a phantom of
the night gone black,
like a fang-ed bat man,
like a banshee of the moors or a
sun-glasses-wearing incubus,
he is stealing your baby!

Crouched there on the
ledge of
the open window,
crimson velvet hospital curtains billowing
around him,
fresh pink baby
clutched in his United Nations-Goodwill-Ambassador’s

You swallow your cries,
so as not to
spook him. They burn like Irish whiskey.
“Bono” you coo, “please give back my baby.”
“I can’t live” he growls, “with, or without you.”

Your baby squirms.
You squeak.
Bono looks both annoyed
and hungry.

You realize his
is made of skins. Soft and fleshy skins all
stitched together from the
tanned and oiled
hides of babes.

“Come here Bono, come here. Bring the baby back here.”

He only snarls, lips quivering and
sharp incisors catching
dull hospital light. He says through the gravel of his growl,
“I still haven’t found,
what I’m looking for.”

Then there is a
rustle and
beneath his cloak of skins,
unfurl mighty
that sprout terribly from the
blades of his shoulders. Wings the
color of thin meat,
laced with plump pumping webs of
purple veins,
light glows through the living membranes.

He flaps them wide and big as the room and big like god and
he faces
out the window.

“Bono, no!”

From the ledge he leaps,
your baby within his arms,
pressed against his
scaly and furry black chest,
close to the thick, knotted muscle of his heart.
and as his wings catch
the air,
you hear
him shriek, “Whose gonna ride
your wild horses?”


A Poem: Ode to a Tea Partier

Ode to a Tea Partier
by james bezerra

You don’t like taxes?
Did you get here via freeway?
Then shut the hell up.


A Poem: About My Highlighter, Version I

About My Highlighter, Version I
by james bezerra

Today at work this guy borrowed
my pink
while I was using my pink

I need that highlighter! I have stuff to highlight!

Sure, I have other highlighters.
of them are

I need that highlighter! I have stuff to highlight, you selfish bastard!

And I use the pink
one on this!
This that I
am doing right now!
Every day.
At this time,
on this report,
right now!

I need that highlighter! I have stuff to highlight, you son of a bitch!

Give me back my pink
Or this report will not be highlighted
like all the other reports.

I need that highlighter! I have stuff to highlight, you fucker!


A Poem: About My Highlighter, Version II

About My Highlighter, Version II
by james bezerra

My pink highlighter
was taken glowing hostage
but I rescued her.


A Poem: Bad Idea

Bad Idea
by james bezerra

What’s a bad idea?
Klingons at your dance party.
They have no rhythm!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Trapped in a Chilean Mine.

Now that everyone is safely out of that Chilean mine, we can go ahead and start making jokes about it.

How many Chilean Miners does it take to screw in a light bulb . . .?

I don’t actually have a punch line for that yet.

Or, how many Chilean Miners can you fit in a Volkswagen?

Yeah, don’t have a punch line for that yet either.

What I do have are the lyrics to Chapter 1 of R. Kelly’s magnum opus “Trapped in The Closet” with all 'closet' references changed to 'Chilean mine' references.

It doesn’t quite work, not yet anyway, but I will keep tinkering.

Trapped in [a Chilean Mine]


Seven o’clock in the morning
And the rays from the sun wakes me
I’m stretchin’ and yawnin’
In a bed that don’t belong to me
And a voice yells, “Good morning, darlin”, from the bathroom
Then she comes out and kisses me
And to my surprise, she ain’t you

Now I’ve got this dumb look on my face
Like, what have I done?
How could I be so stupid to be have laid here til the morning sun?
Must have Lost the track of time
Oh, what was on my mind?
From the club, went to her home
Didn’t plan to stay that long

Here I am, quickly tryin’ to put on my clothes
Searching for my car keys
Tryin’ to get on up out the door
Then she streched her hands in front of it
Said, “You can’t go this way”
Looked at her, like she was crazy
Said, “Woman move out my way”
Said, “I got a wife at home”
She said, “Please don’t go out there”
“Lady, I’ve got to get home”
She said, her husband was comin’ up the stairs

“Shh, shh, quiet
Hurry up and get in the [Chilean Mine]
She said, “Don’t you make a sound
Or some shit is going down”
I said, “Why don’t I just go out the window?”
“Yes, except for one thing, we on the 5th floor [below Chile]
“Shit think, shit think, shit quick, put me in the [Chilean Mine]
And now I’m in this darkest [Chilean Mine], tryin’ to figure out
Just how I’m gonna get my crazy ass up out this [Chilean Mine]

Then he walks in and yells, “I’m home”
She says, “Honey, I’m in the [area above the Chilean Mine]
He walks in there with a smile on his face
Sayin’, “Honey, I’ve been missin’ you”
She hops all over him
And says, “I’ve cooked and ran your bath water”
I’m tellin’ you now, this girl’s so good that she deserves an Oscar

throws her in the bed
And start to snatchin’ her clothes off
I’m in the [Chilean Mine], like man, what the fuck is going on?
You’re not gonna believe it
But things get deeper as the story goes on
Next thing you know, a call comes through on my cell phone
I tried my best to quickly put it on vibrate
But from the way he act, I could tell it was too late
He hopped up and said, “There’s a mystery going on [in this Chilean Mine]
And I’m gonna solve it”
And I’m like, “God please, don’t let this man open this [Chilean Mine]

He walks in the bathroom
And looks behind the door
She says, “Baby, come back to bed”
He says, “Bitch say no more”
He pulls back the shower curtain
While she’s biting her nails
Then he walks back to [area above the Chilean Mine]
Right now, I’m sweating like hell
Checks under the bed
Then under the dresser
He looks at the [Chilean Mine]
I pull out my [pick ax]
He walks up to the [Chilean Mine]
He goes up to the [Chilean Mine]
Now he’s at the [Chilean Mine]
Damn he’s opening the [Chilean Mine] . . .


Stuff You Have No Reason to Care About.

A list: Things that I am most certainly not, but might have enjoyed being if the circumstances of my life had been different somehow.

A botanist - I find plants fascinating! And weirdly soothing.

Someone who jogs – There is something about jogging that intrigues me. It has something to do with self-discipline and sustained physicality out in the world.

Someone who enjoys getting up early – The morning always seems like such a nice place when I am hauling myself off to bed.

A rock climber – I have known a couple of people who climb stuff for fun and it always seemed cool, sadly my lack of coordination, balance, eye-sight and my small hands have always prevented me from trying.

A gentleman caller – Not sure that this is really something that one can be anymore, or rather, no one would recognize you and call you a gentleman caller. In fact I’m pretty sure that is just means, “Hey this guy came by to see you because he’s trying to romance your clothes off,” but I think that we’re all so post-Post-Modern that we just say, “Hey this guy came by to see you because he’s trying to romance your clothes off.” Also, I realize now, that ‘gentleman caller’ is or was probably a ceremonial position in 1970s gay New York discos.

A glass-blower – I have always though that glass-blowing is badass, but please see above about coordination, balance, eye-sight, small hands. I mean, am I really the guy you know who you want handling molten glass around puppies and children and stuff?

One of those people who goes to Antarctica to extract ice ‘core samples’ – We all saw that one X-Files where the people doing this got some weird spore or something and it made them all want to kill themselves and/or eachother, well despite those dangers, I still think it would be fun to fly down there and land on an icerunway and live in an icelaboratory and sleep on an icebed and eat snowcones all the time while I am doing whatever science it is that I am doing down there.

A travel writer – I still hold out some small hope of getting to do something like this one day.

Someone who can dance – I would love to know how to dance, really dance. No, I do not watch Dancing With the Stars, but I did discover that there is a dance studio around the corner from my apartment. Sadly, I – unlike Steve Martin – do not have rhythm.

A starship captain – Yeah, I think that we all acknowledge that I would rock the socks off of this job.

Power Forward for the Washington Generals – Because why the hell not?

A radio DJ – I have always thought that I would be a perfect overnight DJ somewhere. I would get to say whatever I want (because no one is listening anyway) and play whatever I want (because no one is listening anyway) and I would get to have a cool DJ name like, “The Red Baron” or “The Commissar” or “The Midnight Music Magician”. Come to think of it, those would all be pretty good super-villain names too.

A Super-Villain – I think I have the chops for it.

A gardener – Like someone who has a garden and gardens herbs and tomatoes, not like someone who makes their living working illegally for Lou Dobbs.

Someone who owns and sails a sailboat – I think that this would be called a yachtsman, but that doesn’t seem like a dignified word to me, for some reason. Anyway, I like boats, in so much as I have been on a few, and I LOVE the insides of boats. Everything is so specifically designed and though-out and crammed together, but in an efficient way, it is like that demo 800 sq ft apartment in every IKEA, with the bed fitted into the bulkhead just so, that sort of thing. I occassionally even find myself thinking that the insides of RVs are cool for this reason too (RVs are not actually cool though, sorry).

A cartographer – I think that I like this because of the romance of maps, not so much because I find land surveying particularly interesting (I’m sure it probably is, I just don’t know enough about it, though I do recall liking “An Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain” and thinking that cartography seemed as charming as pre-solicitation-arrest Hugh Grant. Man, what was he thinking? The guy was dating Elizabeth Hurley when she was ELIZABETH HURLEY for christ sake!).

Gay – I would totally be gay except that I’m not attracted to men at all (sorry boys), but I do like theatre, bed and breakfasts, shopping with women, wine more than beer, Super Bowl commercials more than The Super Bowl, nice clothes, Madonna, George Michael, scented candles, and a nice bright scarf (sorry if it seems like I’m just rattling off blatantly and cartoonishly stereotypical qualities of homosexuality, no offense intended, but none of this stuff makes me Chuck Norris, you know what I'm saying?). Also, it should be pointed out, none of this makes me Metro, Metro is a totally different thing that involves a lot of product and looking in the mirror. If you have seen me lately, you know that I neither use product or look in the mirror.

A fencer – I totally want to learn how to fence! I think that it would be pretty fetch.

The guy at the Oxford English Dictionary who gets to decide what new words are included – I know that this is probably not the job of a single person, but fuck it, I want this ‘duck (‘duck’ is going to mean ‘job’ as soon as I get this job, I mean duck).


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Do you think that satellites get lonely?


So I Had A Birthday.

So I had a birthday.

Yeah, it happened.

I had tried to avoid it, but it try as I might, I wasn’t able to stop it from coming. I went through that thing that you go through where I just wanted to ignore it (because I’m getting old old and older), but eventually I did what we all must do, I accepted it (more or less).

And used it as a simple excuse to have a small party. A small party is almost always good for the soul. Things that you missed:

My nearly falling over while trying to walk in heels

Discussions of a writer’s duty to embrace his/her bad decisions as a kind of art-enhancing ‘performance literature’

Threats of forced live West Wing reenactments!

My extremely liberal use of martini shakers

Scarf wearing!

Sweet tea vodka Arnold Palmers

Elaborate diagrams of interpersonal relationships

Explorations of pigeon languages

Velvet jackets (that’s right, plural)

It turned out to be both fun and gratifying. I have always enjoyed (and often missed) having a group of people who could drink and talk the night away (I’m seldom as happy as when my life becomes a little Left-Bank-of-Paris-in-the-‘20s situation).

Then when I woke up on my actual birthday, my roommate Eggplant (still test driving blog names for her) had filled up the apartment with red and yellow and blue and green balloons that she had blown up herself in the dead of night (we have left the balloons out to roll around on the floor and scare the cats and I have to admit that it makes the mornings a little more fun when you have to kick your way through a field of colored balloons on your way to the door).

Later we ran around down in the LA and went to MOCA, (which I had never been to!) and I got to stand really close to some Rothkos . . .

. . . and lean in close enough to them to make the security guard nervous . . .

I also encountered a couple of painters I had never heard of but quite like now:

Mister James Rosenquist, who painted this on oil and canvas, entitled Vestigal Appendage

And Mister Antonio Tapies who painted this stellar-ly entitled word, Grey and Black Cross, NO. XXVII

And of course there was Mister Warhol:

The little quote on the plastic white plaque beside this painting said, “Everybody has their own America, and they have pieces of a fantasy America that they think is out there but they can’t see. When I was little, I never left Pennsylvania, and I used to have fantasies about things that I thought were happening . . . that I felt I was missing out on. But you can only live life in one place at a time . . . you live in your dream America that you’ve custom-made from art and schmaltz and emotions just as much as you live in your real one.”

Sing it brother.

After the museum we wandered down the hill into downtown and very nearly stumbled onto Angel's Knoll, a little stitch of a park (right next to and below Angel's Flight) on a hill overlooking part of Downtown. You, of course remember Angel's Knoll from that penultimate indie/hipster/film school (anti)romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer.

There are, BTW, significantly more bums in the park than in the movie, but it is a cool little place.

Later we meandered down through the (blingy!) Diamond District and then stumbled across to Clifton's Cafeteria (which I totally recognized from The Food Network). It is like an eighty year old cafeteria, an actual cafeteria, with plastic trays and everything! The interior is dark and cavernous and sort of like a forest. It looks like a cross between Disneyland’s Splash Mountain and Disneyland’s Splash Mountain eighty years after they stopped dusting and changing the light bulbs. If you find yourself there, get the macaroni and cheese, it’s so buttery and cheesy and greasy that it is almost soup. I’m still a little sick, it was the most disgusting/awesomest thing that I have eaten in ages.

Then later I got to see my parents as they passed through town and even later I got to log onto Facebook and look at all of the happy birthday wishes that people had left.

I try not to write too many things on this blog that are just about me and the humdrum mundane-ity of my life (this thing is supposed to be about the writing, after all), but it was my birthday, so I’m allowed to write things like this.

I wish that I had some newly discovered gem of wisdom to offer to you about getting old, but I really don’t. All I can tell you is that friends are good and that my roommate is awesome and sometimes it is fun to make museum security guards nervous. And otherwise, try to appreciate the good times when they come.

Okay, I’m done being all saccharin.

Thanks Jose for this awesome birthday video!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Wound and Wound Are Spelled the Same.

I sat down like an hour ago to try to write, but nothing’s happening. There’s just no juice. No blood going to it.

I’ve just been writing little descriptions of people. I’ve been jamming words together against their wills.

I’m really very tightly wound today. I need to mellow. I need my spring to unfurl rather than snap.

But whatever, sometimes it’s like ballet and other times it’s like road construction.

I will keep at it.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Problems = Stories = Math.

Lately my roommate Bedazzler Champion (still test-driving blog names for her) and I have been having these tag-team problem sharing sessions where she talks about her problems (and I pretend to listen) and give sage advice and then I talk about my problems and she pretends to listen and give sage advice.

Now I don’t really open up very much or very well, so when I say “talk about my problems” what I actually mean is that I briefly describe them in the way that one might briefly describe the top part of the iceberg that juts out above of the water: “so cold and ice-spiky!”

The thing that we keep saying to each other is that ‘other people’s problems are always more interesting’. It is true. I love other people’s problems. All of that crap going on in your life right now, I find it fascinating! Maybe it’s the ‘misery loves company’ thing, or maybe it’s what my Pop Culture professor (and all Germans) called schadenfreude.

That’s pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. Honestly though, I think it is more just that I like listening to the telling. Any discussion of a problem begins with a story, because a problem is just a story that hasn’t ended yet. In order to explain to someone why you had such a shitty day, you have to start with the story. For instance:

YOU: “Why do you have all of those severed fingers in your glove box?”

ME: “Well, that’s a funny story . . .”

Not to get all English Department about it, but if you can find a way to understand The Story - in anything - then you already have a leg up on everybody else. Everything is s story. I have actually told people that the only reason I am able to do my job (it’s a ridiculously complicated Accounting Department position calculating “residuals” in the Merchant Services industry) is because I am able to follow the story of the money I am moving around. Am I being too obtuse? Here, this will make more sense: I have a charming and delightful little friend who (doesn’t read this blog, so I can unironically use words like “charming” and “delightful”) recently started doing Accounts Payable for the company where she works. I have done AP, so I understand it and I was asking her how she was taking to it (some people burn out on accounting-type work really fast) and she was saying that she actually found it relatively enjoyable. This was met with sputters of rebuke from the other people around (or as I like to call them, “the non-account-ies”). My charming and delightful friend explained that the math really isn’t very difficult at all, but that it takes a while to learn The Logic.

For this blog post, ‘The Logic’ will be used interchangeably with ‘The Story’, or at least interdependently, I haven’t decided yet because I’m making all this up as I go along.

So we live our lives as slaves to the tyranny of the forward passage of time, right? This is why we read from left to right and top to bottom. We have all agreed (in the Western world at least [get with it Buddhists and Hindus!]) that this is what time is like, and so that’s how we live.

So understanding The Logic is being able to look at a bunch of numbers on the page and discern the ways in which they interrelate; in other words, it’s being able to see The Story. You have to mentally place everything in its order in order to understand it. This is how a really well-programmed Excel spreadsheet can transcend the mundane to become artful (I have actually spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how to write a story that functions like a spreadsheet, made entirely of pieces that are clearly connected, but with all of the complicated relationships made invisible).

I felt a little validated then when my charming and delightful friend invoked The Logic, because I felt like someone else understood (in some miniscule way) the way that I see life. Math is really not that different from storytelling, in fact, math is story telling and stories are fascinating!

You know what else is fascinating? All your problems!

That’s how all this started remember? A problem is just a story too.

But why then are problems (other people’s) more interesting than just a story? Why do I always want to gouge my eyes out when you tell me about your trip to the grocery store, but I’m just rapt when you tell me about how your house burned down after you accidently lit your cat on fire? Is it just that nasty German schadenfreude? Maybe. But maybe it is also because when I hear about your problems, it is just so much more genuine, so much more heartfelt and somehow more meaningful. We spend so much of our time not being meaningful. We make so much small talk. We spend so much of our time asking “Hi, how are you” and responding, “Good”. I am a champion of small talk and I can small talk just about anybody under the table, but I have to flip a switch to make it happen. Most of the time I avoid it like the plague. So maybe this is all about some pretentious quest for truth and a deeper understanding of mankind.

But probably not.

Maybe it is just that other people’s problems are more interesting, And maybe they are more interesting because they are so full of real emotion and none of it affects me at all.

I can’t help but think at this point that some psychiatrist somewhere is reading this and going, “Wow, this guy needs to be on a couch.” Why? Probably because I’ve written a thousand words about problems and accounting and meaning without offering up a single detail about what is bothering me today.

So what is bothering me today?

Hey, look at that iceberg! So cold and ice-spiky!


It Gets Hard to Come Up With Storylines After Awhile.

So my roommate Galactic Adventurer (still test-driving blog names for her) is watching Grey’s Anatomy right now and apparently there is a storyline about this purported virgin girl who had a – get this – condom stuck in her lung.

As I post this, the episode is still ongoing, so I don’t know what the deal is with this whole condom-inhaling thing, but I thought that it should just be mentioned. Talk amongst yourselves.


Dark and Moody and Cool: The Editors.

I have been addicted to this album lately. It’s like auditory crack.

The band is called The Editors and this album is called The Back Room.

It came out several years ago and I had a couple of the songs downloaded, but the other night I was at the Arclight in Hollywood (the Arclight is the go-to stuck-up, fancypants theater in LA because they do movie premieres and such there) which is right across from Amoeba Records. I popped in to buy the new Interpol album and picked up The Editors almost as an afterthought. However I have NOT stopped listening to it since then.

I like to imagine that these guys are very British and always wear dark suits and are somehow always cast in shadow. These are not men who go out during the day. They are like vampires, only not lame. They are old-school awesome. I want to hang out with them in a dark bar with red leather booths and then do something either illegal or immoral or maybe both.

This is what cool sounds like.

(If they were to ever go on tour with Franz Ferdinand, I would buy a Kenneth Cole suit and a VW bus and follow them around the country. You can come, but you have to wear that little black dress you keep in the back of your closet. And that pair of strappy black heels. That’s the deal.)


Monday, October 4, 2010

A New and Awfuller Than Normal Poem!

No Cars, No Clothes:
A Post-Apocalyptic Love Story Poem.

James Bezerra

There are no cars.
There are no clothes.
There are no cars with doors I can close.

We have no cars, but that’s okay, because we have no clothes.
Why would we want to leave here anyway?

When there were cars, you had clothes.
And I had clothes that I would wear to meet you.
and I would greet you,
and never say how much I loved you.

Because what does love matter when we’re dressed so nice?
Surely your love would’ve had too high a price.
But then the cars all went away, so we had to stay. The whole world trapped in place, a perpetual non-motion machine.

And us trapped here.
I’m trapped with you and you’re trapped with me.
But when we threw our clothes away, I said:

We have no cars, but that’s okay, because we have no clothes.
Why would we want to leave here anyway?

If there still were cars, or
if there were still clothes,
we wouldn’t be all wrapped up here;
all wrapped up in your legs, wrapped up in my arms, all wrapped up in our mouths,
in our sweat, in our skin, in our smell, all wrapped up in the surprise of our tenderness.

If there were still clothes and cars and worlds beyond the horizon,
then we never would have learned each other’s bodies. Never would have mapped your freckles, never would have learned the little dry cracks in your lips, never would have seen me reflected in your eyes below me. Never would have learned much at all.

The world ended when the cars went away and the clothes fell away and that’s okay because:
we have no cars,
and that’s okay,
because we have no clothes.
Why would we want to leave here anyway?



After all these years my computer still thinks my last name is a misspelling. Red squggle.


My Band's Next Album.

By now you know that I’m in an entirely fake band. We would probably be awesome and radical and charmingly pernicious, but only one or two people in the band can actually play an instrument of any respectable sort, despite the fact that I have let thirty or forty people join the band.

I have three band-related responsibilities, which I have listed below.

1) I play the variable-speed blender (every band needs a blender player).

2) I talk about the band all the god damn time, lest you forget that it exists (or doesn’t, whatever).

3) I collect titles for all of the songs that we are going to write. I write down things that sound like they would be good songs. I jot them down in my little red notebook. I write them down after arguing with girls who have never heard of dairies, or after reading about flowers, or after getting mugged by dumb Eskimos.

Here are some songs for my band’s next album:

Milk Farmer

God’s Other Projects

Wall Street in the Garden of Eden

Smutty Sort of Lust

Eskimo Arithmetic I: How Eskimos add

Eskimo Arithmetic II: How to add Eskimos

Eskimo Arithmetic III: Why the fuck do we live here? It’s so fucking cold!

Charmingly Pernicious

Jellyfish or Cathedrals

Loosening the Virgin Zone

Eggs-istential Breakfast Dilemma

Infertile iPhone Owner

Bullet-Shaped Fingers

Just Enough of Nothing

The Hoodlums of Connecticut

Cultivating the Pancakes


A Sad & Bad Haiku.

Please enjoy this really very bad and sad haiku that I wrote on my lunch break a few weeks ago.

Every time I try
to trust, it turns out that I’m
just not good enough.


The Unexciting Sort of Danger.

I’m drinking red wine from a bottle that has been open for more than a week, it tastes a little off. I should probably stop drinking it. Also, my wine glass is coated with a very fine film of dry dishwasher soap. So really nothing that I’m doing right now is a good idea.

Oh well, at least this lamp full of whale oil that is perched precariously at the edge of the table is casting a nice glow on all the kerosene-soaked rags I like to keep by the kitchen stove.


Quick Flick: The Social Network.

Shakespeare was mysteriously silent on the subject of social networking websites and so Aaron Sorkin had to step up. If Sorkin rewrote the phone book, I would go right now and buy my advance ticket, so I’m clearly biased, but it was a good movie and David Fincher is going to win Best Director (I already have money down on it).

What it is, is perfectly crafted. Just perfectly formed. These are talented and creative people at the top of their game. Somehow they make writing code seem interesting and legal depositions positively riveting. It is thoughtful and funny and grown-up and just good.

What it is not, is a movie that will change your life. I don’t know if you were expecting it to, but it won’t.

Myself, I'm hoping that this is just the first of many collaborations between Sorkin and Fincher on films about websites. Imagine the cinematic potential of Wikipedia, and – of course – Youporn.


Just Eternal Oddness.

I didn’t really realize how weird I have gotten lately until I was on Pandora at work this morning and found myself randomly listening to the lyrics of an Avril Lavigne song and thinking, “Yeah, that’s so right.”

By 'weird', I just mean weird. There is no implied positive or negative value. Just eternal oddness.

Also, why the fuck is my Pandora playing Avril Lavigne?


Friday, October 1, 2010

Slaughterhouse Five, Live.

Holy shit! A stage adaptation of Slaughterhouse Five. I am going to go see this and you are all coming with me. Done.

I am so excited!

Check out

The Action Theatre Company.