I am blaming the current sorry state of the writing on a very poor and ill-advised decision to “experiment” with the desk whiskey. The usual menu goes something like this: in times of destitution, it’s a bottle of Evan Williams Bourbon, cheap and dirty. I got into this shit in Seattle when the only way to get hard liquor was from state-run liquor stores that had very temperamental hours and didn’t even pretend to bother on Sundays. Coming the first commercial distillery in the US, this shit is what the cowboys drink. It’s American as fuck. The folks at Evan Williams describe their product as “smooth,” and that’s fine…that’s their job, but this is not smooth: it’s about as harsh as your ex when she finds out you gave her the herp from a ho.
Unfortunately, there has been much destitution in the last decade or so. Ha. Writing. I should have known when I was getting hammered with my editor in Manhattan and he said, ” So…when are you going to make an album and make some real money?”
Anyway, when things are north of destitute, the next step up is Jack Daniels. Fucking right. Uncle Jack. Also American as fuck. I don’t really have to say anything here: it’s Jack. Bonus, pro-tip, however: Jack Fire is significantly more smooth than Fireball.
When things are going well, when you are flush, or when you want to write The Greatest Thing Ever, the desk whiskey simply must be Chivas Regal. Scotch. From Scotland. This stuff could be from the moon, it would still be amazing. (By the way, the moon has really been pissing me off lately. I’ll get into that another time.) It’s a blended scotch, which also happens to be the case with this swill I “experimented” with. But I don’t think this crap was blended using 12-year-old scotch: this stuff was aged for about 10 minutes.
To properly reset the Desk Whiskey scales, the next bottle will be Chivas. For the sake of the writing. If I decide to do any more “experimenting” in the future, it would likely involve Four Roses Single Barrel. If that happens, you’ll be the first to know.
N.P.: “Would That Not Be Nice” – Divine Fits
It’s time for both the Canadian as well as the United States’ governments to reopen the debate on van control.
I don’t drink coffee, but clearly something had to be done, so I went to one of the 7 coffee shops on the corner. You may not know this, but in Seattle, our coffee is served up by girls in bikinis. It’s nice. I told this particular barista that I was not a coffee drinker, but I also wasn’t the sort of person to be awake during daylight, and could she please help a brother out. She winked at me and said, “Oh, I’ll jack you up,” and concocted this horrible bubbling brew with five shots of something awful in it (I assumed it was whiskey, but in retrospect I don’t think this was the case).
I brought the coffee back up the street and drank it quickly.
Jack me up she did.
It’s been half an hour, and I have removed my shirt, am pacing (actually running) around my apartment gritting my teeth, barking at the balcony squirrels every 3 minutes, and watching documentaries about the Manson Family at inordinate volume. If things don’t improve soon, I am going to march back down there to see if that bikini-clad witch has any thorazine.
You people do this every day? Madness.
N.P.: “Revolution” – Uppermost
Hello, dearest reader,
And every apology under the sun for what I’m sure you consider my gross negligence of you here. I can assure you that that is not the case, though I’m sure appearances suggest otherwise. The truth is I’ve just been busy as hell. Working on my own projects, things for others…it’s just been a hectic time. I’m 12 years behind schedule, and catching up can be a bit daunting most days. But I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ll have some things here for you soon.
N.P.: “Inheritance” – New Model Army
Today’s wisdom comes to us from Ikon, a pimp who was sitting on the steps of a funeral home/crematorium in Seattle, drinking a Four-Loko: “Listen, dude…if it has tits or tires, you’re gonna have problems with it.”
In other news, things would be going much better (certainly faster) if I had an assistant.
N.P.: “Pretty Tied Up” – Guns’n’Roses
Hey y’all…I’m busy as hell lately, but I’m working on some things for you. Just wanted to say hi.
N.P.: “Think Twice” – Jackie Wilson & LaVern Baker
“When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.” ~ Ignatius Reilly
Greetings, dear reader…
Finally having a look at “The Terror” on AMC. If you haven’t had a chance to read any of Dan Simmons’ work, I recommend his stuff, particularly his first novel, “Song of Kali.” “The Terror” is based on his 2007 novel of the same name, and Mr. Simmons is executive producer of the show. I’m only an hour in, but so far, so good.
I’ve been working on a couple of projects, and they are both painfully slow going, yet taking most of my effort. An unfortunate side effect is that I don’t always have many words left over in the predawn hours for you here. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been immersing myself in the short stories of both Poe and Lovecraft. So I was thinking about talking about those things here. It could by like our own little book club, except we’ll actually read the book, and we don’t have to deal with the hassle of actually being in the same place at the same time. It won’t be anything “scholarly” and I am approaching both of these authors as just another reader…not a critic, certainly not an expert. In fact this is my first time reading any of Lovecraft’s stuff. I’ve been a Poe fan for most of my life (my first exposure was when I was 10, and I was instantly and permanently enthralled). I took one class that focused on Poe in grad school…nothing related to Lovecraft was ever offered. But I was always hearing about him. He was one of maybe three or four authors that other students would talk about in the context of “Oh man, you’ve got to read this guy,” but the professors would hardly acknowledge publicly (incidentally, when I started teaching college, I talk these authors any chance I could). So yeah…what I mean to say here is that though I’ve been directly exposed to Poe’s work for decades, I’d managed to read a single word of Lovecraft, despite almost constantly hearing about him and his work for just as many decades. And so I’ve been trying to change that this year. I started at the beginning with “The Tomb” and have been making slow but steady progress. More on this to come, but I just wanted you to know what I was thinking about.
Okay…I might be delirious. Back to work.
N.P.: “In the Name of the Father” – Bono, Gavin Friday
Psychologist: “I get the impression that no matter what situation you’re in, fictional or otherwise, you are always the charismatic antagonist.”
N.P.: “Bom Bom Bom” – Living Things
My friend just texted me about MoviePass lowering their monthly subscription rate to an astonishingly low $6.95. He is profoundly astounded at my disinterest in doing any such thing. This is not the first time we’ve had this conversation.
In case you haven’t heard of it, MoviePass is a subscription service which enables you to attend one movie per day in a theater for a month, for hardly any money at all. A single movie ticket is somewhere around $12, so paying half that price to see 30 movies is inarguably an amazing deal. So why am I not signing up? And why are tens of thousands of people signing up for what is to many people apparently an irresistible offer?
Sure, a regular movie ticket is absurdly overpriced, and unless you are willing to smuggle in your own food and drinks, the price gauging at the concession stand is confiscatory and without lube. But the outrageous prices are not the actual reason I have no interest in going to a movie theater. The truth is you could give me a complementary membership to MoviePass for a year and I wouldn’t take it. What I need is either a guarantee that I will be the only one in the theater, or assurances that my fellow movie-goers will have to take and pass a class on how to conduct themselves in public in general, in a movie theater in specific. Here’s a rather simple syllabus for the class:
1) Shut the fuck up.
2) Turn your phone completely off: no sound, no illumination.
These are not difficult lessons, but apparently most of the assholes that I find at the theater were raised by other assholes, or they missed “shut the fuck up” day in school. The last dozen or so times I’ve gone to the movies, I’ve only been reminded of why doing so is such an incredibly bad idea. The problem MoviePass needs to address if it is truly interested in getting people back into theaters (which they’ve already said that they are not) is the affordability and accessibility of quality home theater systems, and trying to convince people like me that there is even one compelling reason for me to put on clothes, leave the house, deal with traffic composed of people who cannot drive, park in a lot filled by people who cannot park, stand in line for overpriced food and drink, sit in a huge room with a bunch of ill-mannered assholes with zero self-awareness as they proceed to talk over the soundtrack and wave their stupidly illuminated phones around.
N.P.: “If All Is Lost” – Eric McFadden
“In the midst of life, you can find that, without knowing precisely how, you have lost your bearings or even your sense of meaning. Perhaps you have lost as well some precious relationship. Suddenly, you find yourself engulfed in darkness and fearful confusion, or mastered by some destructive habit or emotion. It’s hell.
“In a flash you may glimpse the way out. But something blocks the easy escape. (Habits start out as cobwebs and end up as cables.) You need a friend or friendly advisor to guide you awhile. If you are fortunate, some persistent and energizing love for truth, goodness, or beauty will nourish you during the crisis and lead you out of it.
~ Joseph Gallagher
N.P.: “12 Ghosts II” – Nine Inch Nails