notes on cinema

On Tuesdays my wife-to-be and I have a friend (always the same friend) over for dinner and we watch a movie. We eat dinner most every night and often watch movies but the specific footwork of Tuesdays is becoming a ritual.

This Tuesday we watched Twister (1996), which I had avoided for 23 years. The movie seems to occur in a Clinton-era “present” where the worst problem imaginable is not knowing how tornadoes work. Everyone in the movie is white and healthy. The tornado scientists want to put radio transmitters inside a tornado, to learn what the tornado is doing, beyond its obvious agenda of moving objects around irresponsibly.

There is a rival gang of tornado scientists who drive sleek black Dodge minivans. They are said to be “only in it for the money,” as opposed to being in it for the love of tornado science. No one explains how tornado science will eventually lead to personal wealth or at least a wealth of self-determination.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is in this movie and he says all his lines like he is just barely containing deep laughter about the entire premise. Bill Paxton is the lead actor.  I would say character but none of the people in the movie have any character traits or background with very few exceptions. His teeth are a vernacular that is no longer spoken but understood. Bill Paxton needs his estranged wife, who is also a tornado scientist, to sign divorce papers. A series of tornadoes interrupt this process and teach them valuable lessons about how to do tornado science.

The central premise of their marriage is that they are both into tornadoes. Helen Hunt’s father was murdered by a tornado. It is suggested that the Bill Paxton character has savant-level or possibly even uncanny capacity for understanding tornadoes. Despite this, he would still like to know more about tornadoes.

The movie is a recursion of the following scenes: “A tornado is nearby” –> “Chasing tornado” –> “almost dying.”

There are only two “places” in the movie: an underlit control center where hassled white collar people eat donuts and reflect on the tornado situation, and outdoors.

The tension in the movie resides in watching computer-generated representations of tornadoes to see whether they will kill the humans.

I'm in the process of resetting my brain after one long project and trying to limber up before tumbling into the next one. I might put some of the lint that gets caught in my brain's lint trap here. Anyway, hope you're well xoxo

all the vatos / never in a poem


with like >67% fidelity i think i’ve kept every baseball game/movie ticket stub i’ve acquired since high school. while i was pruning my crap garden before moving everything to alabama in two weeks (did we talk about that, quien sabe), i found this folded up post-it note in my second tupperfile file box of random paper-based souvenirs/proof that i live and will have eventually lived. the post-it note says NOSTALGIA IS A PRISON. i can’t remember why i wrote that on the post it note exactly, but i do remember that it used to be on the wall at my old office in NY.

whatever the reason i wrote the note originally was, it worked out that the real reason i did it was to encourage myself to throw a bunch of shit out here today in 2015 C.E. but because i am a maniac i am going to write down some pertinent info so if i ever desperately need to know what went down for me personally from like 2000-2014 i can consume this list as a memory vitamin. but yeah it is time to stop carrying around this cigar box crammed full of pieces of paper when i could just have this one piece of digital paper. also, if it helps us remember, the cigar box has a hubert davis 1990s panini NBA sticker on it.

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 12.18.44 AM

baseball games etc

  • 07/11/98 Twins at Spiders (Brad Radke vs Dwight Gooden, Spiders won)
  • 07/11/99 Reds at Spiders (Brett Tomko vs Jaret Wright, Eddie Taubensee had a big revenge game against Spiders a long time after they traded him for Kenny Lofton)
  • 08/15/99 Phillies at Reds (Robert Person vs Denny Neagle, Person and the Phils won, Terry Francona was managing them)
  • 11/12/99 Islanders at Blackhawks
  • 10/21/00 Miami Fusion (defunct) vs Chicago Fire, Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Soldier Field
  • 04/11/01 Spiders at White Sox (Dave Burba vs Cal Eldred, White Sox won)
  • 08/31/01 Spiders at White Sox (Steve Woodard vs Dan Wright, White Sox won, Marty Cordova hit a home run, it seemed like September 11 happened right after this but it was really 10 days)
  • 09/23/01 Vikings at Bears NFL (tons of immediate-post-9/11 patriotic stuff)
  • 11/03/01 Knicks at Bulls
  • 05/21/02 Pirates at Cubs (double header; game 1 Jimmy Anderson vs Jason Bere, Pirates win; game 2 Josh Fogg vs Juan Cruz, Cubs win; Joe Beimel pitched)
  • 06/07/02 Expos at White Sox (Tony Armas vs Dan Wright, Expos won)
  • 07/06/02 Spiders at White Sox (Jason Phillips vs Mark Buehrle, White Sox won)
  • 08/12/02 Astros at Cubs (Roy Oswalt vs Kerry Wood, Astros won)
  • 04/15/03 Royals at White Sox (this was the game where umpire Laz Diaz got attacked by a fan and players from both teams definitely stomped the guy a bit; Miguel Asencio vs Mark Buehrle, Royals won)
  • 05/26/03 Pirates at Cubs (Josh Fogg vs Kerry Wood, Pirates won)
  • 06/10/03 Giants at White Sox (Jerome Williams vs Jon Garland, White Sox won, Barry Bonds hit a 999-ft home run)
  • 06/16/03 Red Sox at White Sox (Pedro Martinez vs Mark Buehrle, White Sox won)
  • 06/19/03 Red Sox at White Sox (Derek Lowe vs Dan Wright, Red Sox won)
  • 07/08/03 Marlins at Cubs (Dontrelle Willis vs Carlos Zambrano, your future world champ Marlins and a NLCS preview; Luis Castillo hit a bomb off Mike Remlinger, Marlins won)
  • 07/25/03 Celtic FC vs Boca Juniors in Cleveland
  • 07/21/03 Spiders at White Sox (Brian Tallet vs Mike Porzio, White Sox win)
  • 08/18/03 Angels at White Sox (Jarrod Washburn vs Mark Buehrle, White Sox won)
  • 09/03/03 Red Sox at White Sox (Derek Lowe vs Mark Buehrle, Red Sox won)
  • 09/08/03 Anaheim Angels at Oakland Athletics (Aaron Sele vs Tim Hudson, Angels won)
  • 09/22/03 Yankees at White Sox (David Wells vs Bartolo Colon, White Sox won)
  • 04/15/04 Royals at White Sox (Brian Anderson vs Mark Buehrle, White Sox won)
  • 04/25/04 Devil Rays at White Sox (starters: Geremi Gonzalez vs Mark Buehrle, White Sox won, Geremi Gonzalez died after getting struck by lightning four years later)
  • 05/28/04 Anaheim Angels at White Sox (now they’re the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Kelvim Escobar vs Jon Garland, Shingo Takatsu got the win)
  • 06/04/04 Pirates at Cubs (Josh Fogg vs Mark Prior, Pirates win)
  • 07/24/04 Braves at White Sox (John Thomson vs Al Leiter, Braves win)
  • 04/06/05 Spiders at White Sox (Kevin Millwood vs Freddy Garcia, White Sox won)
  • 04/18/05 Twins at White Sox (Kyle Lohse vs Jose Contreras, White Sox won)
  • 06/22/05 Cubs at Brewers (Carlos Zambrano vs Doug Davis, Brewers won)
  • 07/18/05 Tigers at White Sox (Sean Douglass vs Orlando Hernandez, White Sox won)
  • 10/21/05 DC United at Chicago Fire at Soldier Field
  • 04/15/06 Blue Jays at White Sox (defintely the first time I went to a baseball game by myself, AJ Burnett vs Mark Buehrle, White Sox won)
  • 08/12/06 Chivas USA (now defunct) at Chicago Fire in Bridgeview (definitely got borderline alcohol poisoning while partying with Lithuanians after this)
  • 12/17/06 Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (terrible game, Bills won, very cold, drove straight back to Chicago for work on Monday)
  • ??/??/07 unknown University of Chicago football game, which is weird, because I graduated four years before this
  • 04/08/07 Twins at White Sox (Johan Santana vs John Danks, Twins won)
  • 04/10/07 Angels at Spiders, but at Miller Park in Milwaukee (because of weather in Cleveland; CC Sabathia defeated Ervin Santana)
  • 06/16/07 Brewers at Twins (only visit ever to the Metrodome; Dave Bush vs Boof Bonser, Brewers won)
  • 06/19/07 Midwest League All-Star Game in Kane County
  • 07/10/08 Giants at Mets (Barry Zito vs John Maine, last year of Shea Stadium, day game, only game I went to this season?)
  • 06/19/09 Rays at Mets (Andy Sonnanstine vs Fernando Nieve, Mets won)
  • 07/18/09 Cubs at Nationals (Randy Wells vs Jordan Zimmermann, Nats won)
  • 05/09/10 Giants at Mets (Tim Lincecum vs Oliver Perez, the Giants went on to win the WS that year, it was really cold, we left early)
  • 05/31/10 Spiders at Yankees (Mitch Talbot vs Andy Pettitte, Yankees win)
  • 07/15/10 Mahoning Valley Scrappers at Brooklyn Cyclones
  • 08/15/10 Phillies at Mets, (I think it rained, we had really good tickets gifted by my former boss, whose wife did business with the ownership group of Mets, I bought a Mets logo poncho which I might still own)
  • 05/11/11 Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees (notable incidences: E. Hosmer first career HR, Royals win in 11, ticket cost $50 somehow)
  • 06/11/11 Spiders at Yankees (Bartolo Colon defeats Mitch Talbot, A-Rod homers, I vaguely recall seat-neighbors making racist/ignorant comments about Shin-Soo Choo; I have an unused second ticket from this game. I think I got the tickets from the old CFO at my old job and was impressed by how shitty the seats were for someone at the executive pay grade)
  • 08/11/11 Yankees at Red Sox (Bartolo Colon vs Jon Lester, Yankees win)
  • 07/04/12 Williamsport Cross Cutters at Brooklyn Cyclones (I was at Coney Island on July 4 which was kind of a thing unto itself. I think this was a nasty hot spell and I either was on or shortly thereafter went on a couple dates with a girl who was kind of cool but I flaked out and never called her back because I think she said she was into reading Us Weekly and like other tissue-paper-thin weird excuse, but after we saw Battle of Algiers we took a medium-long walk through a psychotically warm NYC summer night, and that walk was a little magic moment that I still keep despite not remembering the girl’s name or really anything other that she was from the part of Pennsylvania between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg)
  • 01/28/13 Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets (the ticket has a giant picture of Joe Johnson’s face on it). all i remember about this game is that Jacque Vaughn coaches (coached?) the Magic and that startled me into noticing how old I am.
  • 05/04/13 Athletics at Yankees (Bartolo Colon vs Phil Hughes, A’s won; I went to this by myself to celebrate giving notice at Bloomsbury, moreso than having a new job)
  • 05/12/13 Pirates at Mets (Jeanmar Gomez vs Matt Harvey, Pirates won)
  • 07/06/13 Tigers at Spiders (Anibal Sanchez vs Carlos Carrasco, Carrasco got shelled, my two young nieces didn’t like the game and we left early, first Spiders home game for me in like ten years)
  • 07/03/14 Rays at Tigers (Erik Bedard vs Max Scherzer, Tigers won)
  • 07/30/14 Mariners at Spiders (Corey Kluber threw a 85-pitch CG shutout against Felix Hernandez; Joe Beimel pitched 12 years later)
  • 08/04/14 Reds at Spiders (Alfredo Simon vs Corey Kluber, Spiders won; this is the point at which I decided Kluber was probably going to throw a no-hitter and I should go to all his home starts)
  • 08/05/14 Reds at Spiders (Johnny Cueto vs Josh Tomlin, Reds won, last out of game came on a walk-off replay review, sat in bleachers)
  • 08/08/14 Rangers at Astros (Miles Mikolas vs Brett Oberholtzer, Astros won, roof closed)
  • 09/26/14 Rays at Spiders (Corey Kluber vs Chris Archer, Spiders won, this was probably the game that cinched the Cy Young for Kluber)
  • 04/15/15 White Sox at Spiders (John Danks vs Trevor Bauer, Jackie Robinson Day, Spiders won)
  • 04/27/15 Royals at Spiders (Jason Vargas vs Corey Kluber, Spiders lost, there were less than 10,000 people in attendance)
  • 05/13/15 Cardinals at Spiders (John Lackey vs Corey Kluber, Spiders won, Kluber struck out 18 in 8 innings, took a no-hitter into 7th, only STL hit was a Jhonny Peralta single)
  • 05/14/15 West Virginia Power at Hagerstown Suns (doubleheader, I left part of the way through first game out of wanderlust, Country Music Night, no idea who won)
  • 05/15/15 Angels at Orioles (Jered Weaver vs Wei-Yin Chen, Angels won)
  • 05/16/15 Diamondbacks at Phillies (Archie Bradley vs Jerome Williams, who I saw pitch 12 years earlier, Phillies won, first time I had ever been at a rain delay, I left before end to drive to Atlantic City)
  • 05/20/15 Altoona Curve at Portland Sea Dogs (Altoona won, they had an infielder from South Africa)
  • 05/25/15 Rangers at Spiders (Phil Klein vs Shaun Marcum, Rangers won)
  • 05/27/15 Rangers at Spiders (Colby Lewis vs Carlos Carrasco, Spiders won)
  • 06/01/15 South Bend Cubs vs Lake County Captains (doubleheader, I left somewhere early in second game, it was unseasonably cold, I ate Mexican food in Painesville beforehand)
  • 06/10/15 Mariners at Spiders (Taijuan Walker vs Trevor Bauer, Mariners won, Joe Beimel pitched again, point being, raise a lefthander)
  • 06/17/15 Cubs at Spiders (Tsuyoshi Wada vs Shaun Marcum, Spiders lost 0-17, I left in 7th, missed two position players pitching)
  • 06/22/15 Tigers at Spiders (Kyle Ryan vs Trevor Bauer, Tigers won, Bauer terrible again)
  • 07/06/15 Astros at Spiders (Dallas Keuchel vs Carlos Carrasco, Astros won)
  • 05/18/17 Salt Lake City Bees vs New Orleans Baby Cakes (TK vs Stephen Fife)
  • 05/26/17 Omaha Storm Chasers at Nashville Sounds (Jakob Junis vs Michael Brady; WP Bobby Parnell; the scoreboard is guitar-shaped)
  • 06/01/17 A’s at Spiders (Jharel Cotton vs Corey Kluber, Spiders won 8-0, I sat in the bleachers)
  • 06/08/17 Cardinals at Reds (WP Scott Feldman, LP Mike Leake, went with my sister, ate a mettwurst)
  • 07/19/17 Jackson Generals at Birmingham Barons (WP Jake Johansen, LP Taylor Clarke, hat purchased)
  • 07/30/17 Pensacola Blue Wahoos at Birmingham Barons (Keury Mella vs Jordan Stephens; Pensacola has a player named Chad Tromp)
  • 05/15/18 Chicago White Sox at Pittsburgh Pirates (Hector Santiago vs Jameson Taillon, WP Edgar Santana, left early because I wanted to get to the art museum before it closed and also because the game was psychedelically boring)
  • 06/21/19 Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Columbus Clippers (Alexis Rivero vs Asher Wojciechowski, WP Wojieetcetc, left early, only pro baseball game I attended in 2019, the Clippers wore vaguely indefensible Latinx heritage gear, final score was 14-0, went with my dad)


  • 10/19/03 4:10 pm Intolerable Cruelty (Webster Place in Chicago, from so long ago there is an ad for defunct Cingular Wireless on ticket back, maybe the worst Coen brother movie)
  • 11/07/03 5 pm Mystic River (River East)
  • 02/29/04 3 pm The Passion of the Christ (River East, sitting really way close to the screen)
  • 03/25/04 2:30 pm Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (River East)
  • 03/29/04 4:40 pm City of God (River East)
  • 03/30/04 2 pm Spartan (City North 14, terrible movie)
  • 04/06/04 1:45 pm Jersey Girl (City North 14)
  • 04/27/04 12:45 pm Kill Bill 2 (City North 14, Chicago, hated it, although working at night is good for seeing matinees)
  • 04/28/04 3:45 pm Punisher (River East, Chicago, the one with Thomas Jane, definitely saw this while drinking by myself before work at the Trib, bad times, definitely made a mess changing a toner cartridge not long after)
  • 04/30/04 6:10 pm Mean Girls (Old Orchard Mall in Skokie, IL. weird to think this was two days after that shitty day seeing Punisher, this one is a good memory)
  • 05/10/04 2:10 pm My Architect (Cedar Lee in Cleveland, bargain matinee)
  • 05/13/04 1:40 pm Super Size Me (Esquire in Chicago)
  • 05/23/04 2:30 pm Shrek 2 (River East, ?)
  • 05/24/04 12:15 pm Troy (Webster Place, so bad)
  • 05/29/04 10:40 pm The Day After Tomorrow (600 N Michigan where you have to take eleventy hundred escalators in my memory)
  • 07/08/04 5pm Spiderman 2 (Union Square, NYC, Alfred Molina, I turned 23)
  • 07/22/04 5 pm Before Sunset (Lincoln Square NYC, I clearly did not have a lot to do this week)
  • 07/25/04 4:50 pm Napoleon Dynamite (Empire 25, seemed amazingly great at the time)
  • 07/29/04 10:45 pm Garden State (Union Square, not a great week of cinema here)
  • 09/07/04 8 pm Collateral (Empire 25, Tom Cruise’s silver hair)
  • 10/31/04 8:30 pm Ray (Union Square, not bad as I recall)
  • 12/25/04 9:45 pm The Life Aquatic (Middleburg Hts, the multiplex that has a graveyard in the parking lot, circumstantial evidence points to need to escape mom’s condo while home for holidays)
  • 04/24/05 5:15 pm Sin City (Empire 25, which is weird because I did not live in NY then, also this movie sucked)
  • 11/19/05 7:30 pm Good Night and Good Luck (Esquire on Oak Street, not even there anyone IIRC)
  • 12/18/05 6:15 pm Syriana (River East)
  • 01/16/06 2:30 pm Munich (River East, I still stan for Eric Bana as leading man)
  • 01/21/06 4:45 pm The New World (River East)
  • 02/19/06 4:30 pm Tristram Shandy (Pipers Alley, this movie is sadly not very good)
  • 04/02/06 3:45 pm Inside Man (River East)
  • 06/04/06 4:40 pm An Inconvenient Truth (River East, definitely snuck into something after this but I have no idea what)
  • 07/22/06 3 pm Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Siskel Center)
  • 07/28/06 7:15 pm Miami Vice (600 N Michigan)
  • 08/07/06 6:15 pm Talladega Nights (a theater in a mall in Memphis, TN)
  • 08/19/06 2:15 pm The Illusionist (River East, such a cheeseball/bad movie)
  • 09/03/06 4:50 pm Idiocracy (600 N Michigan; proud of seeing this in the theater because it was out for like two weeks)
  • 09/16/06 4:40 pm Black Dahlia (River East, so bad)
  • 10/11/06 6:15 pm The Departed (River East)
  • 11/17/06 7:15 pm Casino Royale (600 N Michigan)
  • 12/30/06 4 pm Pan’s Labyrinth (Empire 25, scared the living snot out of me)
  • 01/09/07 8 pm Children of Men (an AMC in Seattle somehow)
  • 01/13/07 7:10 pm Blood Diamond (River East, so mediocre)
  • 03/18/07 8 pm 300 (River East, cannot overstate how much I disliked this movie)
  • 04/07/07 5 pm The Lookout (600 N Michigan, pre-Cobra Commander Joseph Gordon Levitt)
  • 04/14/07 7 pm Grindhouse (Multiplex in Pittsburgh that has the smoke stacks from an old steel mill standing in the parking lot like the world’s biggest lawn ornaments)
  • 05/07/07 6:45 pm Spiderman 3 (River East, a truly terrible movie)
  • 06/06/07 6 pm Knocked Up (River East)
  • 07/17/07 8:15 pm Transformers (River East, I am not a proud man)
  • 07/28/07 3 pm The Passenger (Siskel Center, good, Nicholson and Antonioni, 1970s)
  • 08/16/07 7:30 pm The Bourne Ultimatum (River East, kind of fun, too fast for me)
  • 09/05/07 6 pm The Steel Helmet (Siskel Center, Sam Fuller, weird Korean War action)
  • 09/13/07 7:15 pm 3:10 to Yuma (the Christian Bale/Russell Crowe remake)
  • 11/02/07 2:20 pm The Darjeeling Limited (River East, this movie sucks)
  • 11/05/07 7:15 pm American Gangster (River East, not a good script but still had some swag)
  • 11/10/07 4 pm No Country for Old Men (River East)
  • 11/14/07 6 pm Murder by Contract (Siskel Center, no idea at all)
  • 12/01/07 1 pm No Country for Old Men (River East, apparently I saw this twice)
  • 12/17/07 7 pm I am Legend (River East)
  • 12/27/07 2:20 pm Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (Middleburg Heights megaplex with the graveyard in the parking lot; I saw this with my mom)
  • 01/06/08 7 pm There Will Be Blood (River East)
  • 01/23/08 7:30 pm Cloverfield (River East; the big reveal is that the monster is a monster)
  • 02/10/08 7 pm In Bruges (River East)
  • 02/18/08 8 pm La Chinoise (Siskel Center, that one scene where the friendless Maoist eats yogurt with jam while explaining that his feelings aren’t really hurt, although they are)
  • 02/24/08 7:45 pm The Counterfeiters (Angelika, must have been visiting NYC that weekend because I didn’t move until June; I remember liking this movie a lot)
  • 05/04/08 5 pm Iron Man (River East, back before there were Marvel movies every other week)
  • 07/19/08 5 pm The Dark Knight Rises (Cobble Hill Cinemas, literally every seat taken, some dude barfed in the middle and ran out, movie was and remains great)
  • 08/12/08 7 pm The Thief of Paris (Film Forum, totally mediocre, this was probably like right before or after I started working at Bloomsbury)
  • 09/03/08 6:50 pm They Live (BAM, yes)
  • 10/01/08 7:40 pm Miracle at St. Anna (Cobble Hill Cinemas, good god this movie was bad)
  • 06/08/08 9:15 pm Drag Me to Hell (19th St East, which I worked like three blocks from for five years but only went to maybe three times)
  • 01/01/09 10 pm Gran Torino (Union Square)
  • 01/14/09 8:20 pm Made in USA (Film Forum)
  • 01/30/09 7 pm Slumdog Millionaire (Angelika)
  • 02/13/09 8 pm Two or Three Things I Know About Her (Film Forum)
  • 02/21/09 10:15 pm Gomorrah (IFC)
  • 05/10/09 11 am Diary of a Country Priest (IFC, kind of heavy shit for before noon)
  • 06/22/09 8 pm Brighton Rock (Film Forum, from back when it was only $11, young Richard Attenborough, this is the part of my life where I start going to Film Forum a lot)
  • 07/05/09 9 pm Public Enemies (Union Square, this movie is less than the sum of its parts)
  • 07/10/09 7:40 pm The Vanished Empire (Quad, Russian, this movie is really amazing, it hit me right in the toast at the time, would love to rewatch)
  • 07/24/09 6:35 pm In the Loop (IFC, good but flimsy)
  • 07/29/09 10 pm Johnny Guitar (Film Forum, this movie is amazing)
  • 08/10/09 7:15 pm They Drive By Night (Film Forum)
  • 08/16/09 9:10 pm Yasukuni (Film Forum, OK doc, but the scene where a guy makes a sword are transcendent)
  • 08/23/09 7:30 pm In a Lonely Place (Film Forum)
  • 09/05/09 7:45 pm Odd Man Out (Film Forum, fantastic movie, great ending scenes in the snow)
  • 09/07/09 6 pm The Reckless Moment (Film Forum, zero recollection)
  • 09/28/09 7:30 pm Fat City (Film Forum, great movie)
  • 10/12/09 6:40 pm Inglorious Basterds (Union Square)
  • 10/25/09 5:30 pm Wild River (Film Forum, man Lee Remick)
  • 11/23/09 7:30 pm 2012 (Union Square, most of the movies I saw at Union Square were bad)
  • 12/06/09 8:30 pm Waterloo Bridge (the 1931 version; “A prostitute’s self-loathing makes her reluctant to marry an idealistic soldier during World War One”; pretty sure this was a date)
  • 12/09/09 8 pm The Road (Landmark Sunshine; not that good of a movie)
  • 12/13/09 6 pm Invictus (Alpine)
  • 12/26/09 4:30 pm Sherlock (Middleburg Heights graveyard parking lot place, I think I saw this with mom)
  • 12/29/09 6:15 pm Sweet Charity (Film Forum)
  • 02/21/10 12:30 pm Shutter Island (Union Square, this movie still creeps me out)
  • 02/26/10 7:50 pm Five Easy Pieces (Film Forum)
  • 03/01/10 8:10 pm Un prophète (Angelika, the one where the B/D train goes by so close that it shakes the theater, I loved this movie)
  • 04/06/10 7:40 pm Sunrise (Film Forum, amazing movie, like first and a half date with someone)
  • 04/10/10 7:40 pm Ace in the Hole (Film Forum)
  • 04/15/10 9:30 pm The Life of the World to Come (IFC, second date with same someone, the thing fizzled on a long weird time lapse, probably my fault, I realized like a year after it was done that I had screwed up)
  • 05/13/10 7:30 pm Metropolis (Film Forum, this movie is amazing, big surprise)
  • 06/16/10 6:30 pm Nightfall (Film Forum, … mostly a blank)
  • 06/20/10 7:45 pm The Killer Inside Me (IFC, this movie is gnarly/unsettling but fits into my larger brief in favor of Casey Affleck. very good texas swing song plays over credits)
  • 06/26/10 6:15 pm Winchester 73 (Film Forum, Jimmy Stewart)
  • 07/11/10 7:40 pm He Walked by Night (Film Forum, all I remember is Richard Basehart, pretty sure I fell asleep for part)
  • 07/14/10 7:55 pm Reign of Terror (Film Forum, weird melodrama about French Revolution)
  • 07/18/10 3:20 pm The Circus (Film Forum Charlie Chaplin series, pretty sure I saw this with my dad and stepmom because it was crazy uncomfortable hot, like too hot to walk around or really not be in a dark air-conditioned disposable tomb)
  • 07/19/10 6 pm Toy Story 3 3D (Chelsea Clearview, also seen with family because it was still too hot to do anything)
  • 07/25/10 3 pm Inception (Union Square, enjoyable, never once thought about it again beyond the snow part and the noise)
  • 07/28/10 5:30 pm Monsieur Verdoux (Film Forum, pretty sure I fell asleep for a bit in the middle, good movie though)
  • 08/10/10 7:50 pm The Emperor Jones (Film Forum, definitely took a nap)
  • 08/27/10 7:45 pm Le Amiche (Film Forum, good movie)
  • 09/18/10 9:50 pm On the Bowery (Film Forum, resented this movie at the time for the way it treated alcoholism as a moral failing, have since realized it’s a pretty great movie)
  • 09/27/10 7:30 pm Devil (Union Square, “A group of people are trapped in an elevator and the Devil is mysteriously amongst them.”)
  • 10/01/10 7:40 pm Charley Varrick (Film Forum, Walter Matthau implausible sex scene)
  • 11/01/10 8:10 pm Marwencol (IFC, great movie)
  • 11/18/10 6:30 pm Every Man for Himself (Film Forum, weird bad Godard, creepy sex scene, Isabelle Huppert though)
  • 11/30/10 7 pm Grapes of Wrath (Film Forum, obviously good)
  • 12/12/10 9:55 pm Vengeance (IFC 100% a Johnnie To gangster movie starring Johnny Hallyday, as good as that sounds)
  • 03/03/11 8:10 pm Oscar Shorts (IFC, the only one I remember is the one about the Scottish kid who maybe murders his friend?)
  • 03/05/11 7:50 pm Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives (Film Forum, definitely fell asleep for a sec, but still liked this a lot despite not being sure what was going on for a lot of it)
  • 04/30/11 5 pm Fire in Babylon (Tribeca Film Festival, ticket too expensive, fun doc about West Indies cricket, seminal Bunny Wailer interview)
  • 05/09/11 7 pm Cave of Forgotten Dreams (BAM, good movie)
  • 05/30/11 1:45 pm The Tree of Life (Landmark Sunshine, has moments but is overall indulgent/bad, seen on memorial day)
  • 07/29/11 4:30 pm Captain America The First Avenger Whatever (the seedy Alpine in Bay Ridge, all I remember is how beautiful the female lead is/was)
  • 07/30/11 8 pm The Public Enemy (James Cagney, kind of great, Film Forum)
  • 08/12/11 3:45 pm Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Alpine, actually kind of an enjoyable movie)
  • 08/15/11 8:40 pm Tabloid (IFC, amazing movie, Booger-Ra the cloned pit bull)
  • 08/23/11 5:40 pm Billy Budd (good lord was young Terence Stamp handsome; this is a good movie)
  • 08/26/11 7:45 pm Attack the Block (Quad, delightful, I think I saw it with the groom from the wedding mention in the ephemera section)
  • 09/02/11 6:20 pm Laura (Film Forum again. Gene Tierney!)
  • 09/10/11 1 pm Contagion (Alpine, so forgettable)
  • 09/17/11 12 pm Drive (Alpine, good time)
  • 09/19/11 6:50 pm The Human Factor (BAM, a little slow)
  • 11/17/11 6:20 pm Sons of Shiva (documentary about Varanasi, good)
  • 02/04/12 6:50 pm The Artist (BAM, I have a distinct recollection of this being like 1 of 2 dates I went on with someone I thought was really cool but the time of year seems wrong; definitely maybe ate at that diner on the corner of Lafayette and whatever beforehand)
  • 02/16/12 9:30 pm Night Nurse (Film Forum, not able to talk about my historical crush on Barbara Stanwyck)
  • 02/26/12 4:30 pm El Field (MOMA, good non-narrative/wordless doc about migrant workers and industrial farming)
  • 02/28/12 6:45 pm Undefeated (Quad, pleasant doc about Memphis high school football and weird race dynamics)
  • 06/17/12 1 pm The Price of Power (Film Forum, weird spaghetti western)
  • 07/06/12 7 pm Battle of Algiers (Film Forum, see 07/04/12 baseball game for bonus footage, probably the last movie i saw at age 30)
  • 07/10/12 7:25 pm China Heavyweight (IFC, good boxing doc about fighters in China)
  • 07/14/12 6:30 pm Easy Money (Film Forum, Scandinavian noir)
  • 07/30/12 6:40 pm The Dark Knight Returns (Union Square, read this one in Bane voice)
  • 08/02/12 8 pm Christmas Holiday (Film Forum, “A young femme fatale-type woman realizes that the wealthy man she married is an incorrigible wastrel”)
  • 08/25/12 5 pm  Blue Velvet (Musuem of the Moving Image in Queens)
  • 09/12/12 7 pm Vertigo (Film Forum, yes)
  • 10/07/12 12 pm Looper (Alpine)
  • 10/21/12 7:30 pm The Master 70 mm (Village East)
  • 11/15/12 7:30 pm Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (IFC, part of a doc festival, great doc, the best part was hearing Big Star in Dolby sound)
  • 11/18/12 8 pm The Man in the White Suit (Film Forum, people used to have more modest thresholds about what constituted successful comedy)
  • 12/13/12 7 pm Killing Them Softly (Union Square, good movie, kind of grim, Ray Liotta gets extensively murdered in like 10x slow motion, amazing last dialogue)
  • 12/23/12 2:45 pm Silver Linings Playbook (Village East?)
  • 01/01/13 8:15 pm Django Unchained (Cobble Hill Theatre, problematic but fun, like America)
  • 01/16/13 8:45 pm Amour (Film Forum, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson sat two rows in front of me and my date)
  • 02/09/13 4:30 pm Caesar Must Die (Film Forum, great movie)
  • 02/23/13 8:15 pm Lincoln (Kips Bay, meh movie but DDL amazing)
  • 05/02/13 5:30 pm Voyage to Italy (Film Forum, definitely fell asleep for like 20 minutes because it was poky)
  • 05/05/13 7:50 pm Upstream Color (IFC)
  • 07/12/13 8 pm Pacific Rim (Battery Park multiplex, rare chandeliers; the screenwriting in this was so bad it kind of upset me)
  • 07/14/13 2:30 pm Doctor Zhivago (at the BAM Harvey Theater in 70 mm; seen with the other half of a deeply abortive relationship, felt magical but in the way that like falling out of a tree is magic)
  • 08/09/13 6 pm Drug War (IFC, Johnnie To, most basic Hong Kong gangster film)
  • 08/10/13 6:40 pm Elysium (Union Square, not as good as District 9)
  • 08/31/13 7 pm The Grandmaster (BAM, what a great, odd, dreamy movie)
  • 10/19/13 6 pm Gravity (Alpine, seen during a pretty intense panic attack/depressive episode, not the best idea I’ve ever had, kind of a good movie, they totally got me with the Clooney thing)
  • 12/15/13 7:40 pm Inside Llewyn Davis (Union Square, a wonderful, sad film)
  • 01/03/14 9:45 pm Her (BAM, the pants)
  • 01/15/14 6:20 pm Generation War (Film Forum, sat through the entire miniseries after work one day)
  • 01/18/14 9:15 pm The Past/Le Passé (Film Forum, the actress from The Artist kills me)
  • 04/11/14 2:40 pm Noah (Union Square, what a lousy movie; this was a weird period of time where I had quit Open Road but wasn’t moving to Cleveland for six weeks and I kind of wilted as a personal entity, this movie did not help anything)
  • 04/25/14 5 pm Captain America: Winter Soldier (Alpine; I was kind of hoping the brunette from the first one would be in it, maybe I have a weird attachment to Captain America as an idea also)
  • 07/21/14 9:30 pm Snowpiercer (Capitol Theatre in Cleveland, half-price Monday)
  • 10/10/14 4:10 pm Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Capitol Theatre in Cleveland, pretty much the same movie as last time I saw it)
  • 11/09/14 7:45 pm Interstellar (Navy Pier Imax, Chicago; I lived in Chicago for 8 years and never went to this theater until I lived in Cleveland)
  • 01/09/15 8:00 pm Inherent Vice (Cinemark in Valley View, OH; involved driving through pitch-black Cuyahoga Valley National Park after teaching at Kent)
  • 05/26/15 7:10 pm Mad Max: Fury Road (Capitol Theatre)
  • 06/15/15 4:10 pm Jurassic World 3D (Capitol Theatre, also half-price Monday MOTIF ALERT, deeply meh)
  • 07/13/15 11:50 am Inside Out (Great Northern Mall, where they put a movie theater in what used to be the food court and a food court where there used to be that place where you could play Magic: The Gathering, and the food court is somehow like 85% those weird pseudo-Asian places that only serve chicken in goopy brown sauce)
  • [undated] George Kuchar program at Anthology
  • [undated] Two Years at Sea at Anthology
  • [undated] Shohei Imamura program at Anthology
  • 11/26/15 4:00ish pm Creed (Solon Cinemas, Solon OH, I was supposed to go to a semi-optional family thanksgiving thing and i got really stressed out so I just went to see Creed instead and it was an adequate short-term substitute for having a family)
  • 12/18/15 8:30 pm Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Hollywood 16 Cinemas, Tuscaloosa; the first time I went to the movie theater in Alabama, despite having lived there for four plus months by that juncture. I have loved the shit out of Star Wars in my life and this movie brought me some semblance of joy but also I have only thought about it for like forty-five seconds since seeing it)
  • 12/26/15 7:00 pm Carol (Cedar Lee, Cleveland; I guess this was good? I was kind of bored the whole time?)
  • 12/XX/15 ? time Spotlight (Cedar Lee, Cleveland; the screen in the one theater at the Cedar Lee is too small)
  • 01/17/16 11:35 am The Hateful Eight (Hollywood 16 Cinemas, Tuscaloosa) I wasn’t that into this while watching it but after the fact the genre play and general goofball tension kind of won me over, although there is definitely some objectionable-ass material in here, whatever, it was a movie)
  • 07/05/2016 The Lobster (Bama Theatre Tuscaloosa, my back is all F’d, literally the first time I walked from my house anywhere in three weeks)
  • 07/12/2016 High-Rise (Bama Theatre Tuscaloosa, my butt was numb for a lot of this)
  • 07/22/2016 3:30 pm Star Trek Beyond (Hollywood 16 Tuscaloosa, butt went numb again)
  • 08/01/2016 12:20 pm Jason Bourne (Hollywood 16 Tuscaloosa My back was still fucked up and it was really hot and i was bored but not bored enough to like this movie, I think at this point my butt was no longer going numb)
  • 12/20/16 8:00 pm Rogue One (Hollywood 16 Tuscaloosa, stringently cold night for Alabama)
  • 12/26/16 10:10 pm Manchester by the Sea (Capitol Theatre Cleveland half price Monday)
  • 01/04/17 4:50 pm Paterson (Landmark Sunshine NYC) We gave up on making this showing halfway through a brisk walk then gave up on giving up and made it anyway but missed maybe the first minute, it really didn’t matter in the end
  • 01/05/17 7:40 pm Arrival (Village East NYC) We killed a loooot of time wandering around waiting for this movie to start. I want to say Superiority Burger was involved but that may have been the previous day
  • 01/07/17 10:55 pm Fences (Union Square multiplex NYC) Two hours after this I got an uber to EWR and went back to Alabama
  • 03/15/17 12:20 pm Get Out (Cobb 16, Tuscaloosa)
  • 08/04/17 4:30 pm Dunkirk (McWane Science Center, Birmingham) I felt bodily stoned after watching this on a domed imax screen)
  • TK/TK/17 Detroit (Cobb 16 Tuscaloosa) left in the middle because my co-attendee freaked out and truth be told it was a little intense for me too
  • 11/22/17 Lady Bird (Regal Crocker Park etc Westlake Ohio they sold coffee at the concession stand and i got one and it was psychedelically hot and i spilled a little of it on the top of my thumb pretty much every time i tried to drink from the cup during the first hour of the movie)
  • 12/2/17 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (Cobb 16 Tuscaloosa) deeply satisfying if a little flippant re actual human tragedy but we all are
  • 12/16/17 Star Wars: The Last Jedi (ArcLight Santa Monica; I had to pee for the final 90 minutes of the movie and it built up from nagging to excruciating to kind of funny by the end and then i literally sprinted to the ADA/family bathroom outside the theater and may have barged past several families trying to have their little ones pee but it was a real actual bathroom emergency)

assorted ephemera

  • 10/15/99 concert: Pavement, the Vic, Chicago (i was 18.5 years old; maybe the first concert i went to as a human semi-adult loose in the world, Pavement played a half-ass cover of “1979” by the Smashing Pumpkins)
  • 08/30/00 Weezer at the Odeon in Cleveland (roll your eyes if you want, this was a great concert. people were stoked.)
  • 10/31/01 Spiritualized at the Metro in Chicago
  • 05/11/02 Belle & Sebastian at Congress Theatre
  • 11/09/02 Elvis Costello at Mandel Hall, Chicago (just an awesome experience; EC sang one quiet number without a mic)
  • 06/19/03 Dismemberment Plan at the Metro (this would have been less than a week after I graduated from college, I do not remember it at all)
  • 06/09/04 ATA Denver–>MDW (this was when i helped a friend drive home to telluride and then got semi-stranded there owing to weird circumstances and being broke, although I remember spending most of my last $20 on booze at the airport smoking bar, also the denver airport is haunted)
  • 09/26/05 Chicago PD incident report from the time i got mugged
  • 09/??/05 business card of the Chicago PD detective who investigated my getting mugged
  • 11/26/05 Greyhound from Cleveland–>Chicago
  • 03/24/06 MDW–>EWR–>MDW
  • 08/11/06 Memphis–>ORD (coming home from ecology conference; pro tip: don’t fly with an expired driver’s license the day after a terrorist plot gets uncovered)
  • 11/06/06 Vancouver–>ORD (coming home from history of science conf)
  • 04/16/07 Southwest Airlines itinerary showing a ticket from PGH to MDW to Reno layover to OAK and then back to MDW (I lost $10 in a slot machine at the Reno airport, may have been drunk on the plane)
  • 04/18/07 BART ticket, $6.90
  • 06/14/07 Hiawatha Line light rail ticket, good for 2.5 hours
  • 06/17/07 MSP–>MDW (coming home from AAUP conference)
  • 09/29/07 ORD–>LGA (dunno why)
  • 10/01/07 LGA–>ORD (see above)
  • 11/26/07 NJ Transit ticket from Penn Station to Newark
  • 01/13/08 DC Metro ticket (no idea)
  • 04/18/08 AirTran MDW–BOS for geography conference
  • 08/14/08 Greyhound NY–>Chicago I think I was meeting my dad in Chicago to get the rest of my crap in his Honda Fit and carry it to NY. involved the esteemed Wiry Cat of this blog’s topic categories
  • 09/23/11 Amtrak NY–>Boston (wedding, i am subsequently the godfather of the offspring of this wedding, good job everyone)
  • 09/23/11 Amtrak Boston (the other train station)–>Exeter, NH (see previous)
  • 11/23/12 Amtrak CLE–>NYC
  • 01/01/13 AirTran CAK–>LGA
  • 04/11/13 production of Julius Caesar at BAM by Royal Shakespeare Company (it was really good, everyone in the cast was of African descent, we are all honorable men)
  • 05/09/13 Frick Collection, I think I went with my mom
  • 08/01/13 Alasdair Roberts at Joe’s Pub (there were about nine people at this show, it was wonderful)
  • 08/03/13 James Turrell exhibit at Guggenheim (so so so good)
  • 09/14/13 Delta JFK–>MEX
  • 09/21/13 Delta MEX–>JFK
  • 02/24/14 Seattle–>Bainbridge Island ferry ticket for two humans and one Subaru
  • 08/09/14 one ticket to the Orange Show, Houston TX
  • 08/09/14 seat assignment to table 20 at LG+DS wedding, Houston TX
  • 05/18/?? US Airways Chicago –> Philadelphia (no idea)
  • 05/26/?? United Airlines PGH–>ORD
  • 06/25/?? San Francisco Muni Railway pay stub
  • 07/08/?? AirTran CAK–>LGA (flying on my birthday)
  • 09/08/?? American Airlines LGA–>CLE (no idea)
  • 09/12/?? American Airlines CLE–>LGA (same no idea)
  • [undated] Indian 2-rupee coin with elephant  on it
  • [undated] different DC Metro ticket on it with cute panda bear motif
  • [undated] the insert from the CD Five Upstart Americans by the Monks
  • [undated] pass to take pictures at Museo Casa de León Trotsky, 15 pesos
  • [undated] adult ticket for Bay State Cruise Company ferry from Boston to Provincetown
  • [undated] bingo card, definitely from visiting grandparents, has clearly gotten wet because ink has run, notes on back reading:

“shower curtain covered in blood”
Grandpa drunk
people buzz off it
I said… you left it there
flippancy toward sad old dude. homophobia
rage in car re [redacted family member]


telling of tales

I have considered my work and what manner of story I am able to tell What did I see as eyes witness What did I hear of What did I dream up without meaning to What did I know as lies and keep regardless

Memory is not daguerrotypes You cannot get the past to sit entirely still It will not behave neither do I make any portrait saloon in my mind Fine chairs and brocades for a look of drama and import

My meaning is to capture the wrinkle and clouded eye and stained collar as much as the story And to knife off that which does not serve Leave it for day pigs

My memory does not always obey me even when I prompt him with kicks like a mind were a workshy horse Neither does my knife obey I done my best by my compass I drawn some folk uglier Drawn my favorites more handsome Hair shined more than it were Less tobacco spit crusted on britches Out of manners I have not talked any of outhouses Chamberpots Infants released back into the arms of the lord so soon your heart would burst Who would want such a tale with honest warp Who wants to know what a sadness life is A mind would go soft at the labor of reading Such a vista would fever your brains

disposable sanctitude

nail a dumper dot com

none of you are overly waiting by the phone but as in previous years january 1 is a season of wanting to write more, of meaning to write more. you’d think someone who is presently enrolled in a school entirely predicated on the idea of writing if not more at least enough to fill certain vessels would not have to make promises to self/dead media about writing more, but.

i decline to autopsy 2017 like it was a crop of grapes or a superhero movie/licensing opportunity. it was just days, stacked up, just a tree ring without the glory of seeing the whole tree. today has as much to do with yesterday as it does with tomorrow. we have to hunt/butcher/cook our own poignancy and ought to stop looking for it in abstractions and autotexts. even though it sometimes visits those precincts. but (patiently) whatever. i’m not here to have (more) allergic reactions to myself (again)

some notes about underpants: for the past three-plus years, i have been wearing the same 12-15 pairs of duluth trading company underpants. they are as you might imagine a little ragged by now. i ordered a test pair of duluth trading company underpants because they have a commercial that features a little naked fat man and i relate to little naked fat men. this was during a season of my life when i had more (any) disposable income, so the idea of buying a $17 single pair of underpants seemed a permissable extravagance. the first time i wore them was on a one day business trip to boston that happened to be the same day of the manhunt for the marathon bomber. all my appointments were canceled and i just walked around boston for ten hours, looking for open dunkin donuts to get coffee from and pee at, because not much else was open, and there was no way for me to leave boston. i left my hotel early and kind of in one of those rushes that when you stop to consider why you are rushing you realize there is actually no reason for haste but you didn’t actually stop during the rush, you only realized after that there was no reason for you to rush. anyway.

i was in a tizzy so i happened to put my underpants on backwards, and i wore them all day, walking around pretty much the entire time, and i didn’t even notice any discomfort or even like vague backwardness. so i says to myself, these underpants are clearly worth $17 a pair, i ought to invest in more and so i did. from that time, with the sole exception of travel when i forgot to pack underpants and had to buy replacements, i only wore duluth trading company $17 underpants. i bargain-hunted a little and sometimes they were on sale for like $12 a pair if you took advantage of certain discounts but mostly i paid $17 for these underpants. i probably had all told 20ish pairs of them, considering i discarded ones that got ratty and cycled in some new ones in exciting colors (i am quite fond of the kelly green pair and the several merlot pairs).

that is, by my fuzzy math, something like $500 in underpants considering shipping and opportunity costs not withstanding the ecological footprints and truck miles that it took to grow cotton and invent various synthetic fibers and pay the artist for drawing the little naked fat man cartoon. i cannot believe that i spent $500 on underpants over the course of three years but it seems to be the case. if i ever come to you and ask you why i am or have been or will be broke or headed for broke, please remind me about my priorities as i have variously expressed them to you.

exhibit A

ultimately they are fine underpants. i needed to wear underpants every single day, and they were there for me, almost every single day. i have weirdly fond memories for this particular brand of underpants (the naked guy, discussions of the naked guy with interested parties, the story about the boston manhunt day, the weird self-narrativizing as a person who has a mock-occult preference in underwears which somehow produced meaning in my life). i also helped my dear friend paint what was to become my godson’s nursery and got a little smudge of off white paint on the back waistband of one of the blue pairs of the underpants and i’ll be god damned if i haven’t found that particular pair of underpants to contain if not good luck, something akin to spiritual advil that reduces swelling in my sense of self and my own need to control the affairs of the world. i am actively preemptively upset about the day that i don’t have those underpants and i kind of want to make artwork out of them but i feel like i’d be wakeboarding pretty close to jagged rocks of self-regard masquerading as expression, says the guy who is 850 words into a story about his underwear

anyway, i have been lately and pretty much since achieving my majority sort of cloistered inside my own skull and heart and genitals more often than i ought to be, and so it is not any surprise to you or to myself that i have vested the outer upholsteries of said skull etc with disposable sanctitude, which is how we wound up here. in an effort to honor these cloisters by demolishing them, i have decided to in stages decommission my fleet of duluth trading co underpants and replace them with just like normal, republican cloth coat underpants, but not even that sanctimonious, not trying to clothe myself in camels hair and eat locusts (protein source of the future).

also, and this paragraph here is really closer to my small bruised heart than i was prepared to let you go when i started writing this, I read this article about how people are getting rich writing mattress reviews so i jokingly said to myself what if i got rich writing underpants reviews and there is nothing i like so much as taking jokes too far to the point of spiting myself and others and so, here is the first installment of my underpants reviews.

  1. regular old fruit of the loom underpants purchased from kmart in middleburg hts ohio november 2017 because i forgot to pack my regular underwear while traveling:
    four pairs for $12 or something like that. the royal blue and the gray pairs are totally good underpants and i like that they have this little thin band of thread that keeps the little stubby legs of the boxer brief from getting all blown out. the two pairs that are print patterned are definitely, inexplicably smaller than their two siblings or at least fit differently or my body mutates into a different size when confronted with my mind’s decision to wear patterned underwear. i get the distinct sense that these guys, all four of them, are going to age poorly and get all nubby and fall apart way sooner than i might like given my modest investment in them.
    value: 10/10
    comfort: 4/10
    intangibles: 2/10
  2. uniqlo underpants purchased in santa monica california december 2017 because i got excited about the idea of a more activist underpants consumption profile
    they were $5 each and they are AMAZING. it’s like wearing the really nice sheets you might get to sleep in if you stayed at a nice hotel or were a guest in the home of a rich person. salient critique: they’re almost too smooth to the point of they slip off my ass a little, no matter how tightly i cinch my belt and purposefully tuck my t-shirt in concert. this might be a criticism more of the shape of my ass than the underpants themselves. i wasn’t fond of the colors. i wish they were brighter and i wouldn’t have been mad at some contrast piping on the pee flap/elastic etc. they’re boxer briefs (maybe i should have said earlier, all of these underpants are boxer briefs) but there’s no elastic on the leg hole, which i think was the right move here. the fabric verges on too smooth at times, but i forgive these underpants for not real-time monitoring my changing moods about fabric texture.
    value: 8/10
    comfort: 9/10
    intangibles: 7/10
  3. TK “pact” lifestyle brand underwear purchased off an instagram ad i saw right after i got my monthly paycheck and i (incorrectly) felt rich enough to buy two pairs of underpants for $20
    I literally am wearing these for the first time right now so I will have to get back to you

i’m not sure what (more) i need to do to monetize this idea but i think you can probably safely bet your IRA account that i will never come anywhere near doing it. but the journey is the destination, even if you start the journey by explicitly forsaking the idea of reaching anywhere.

[Achilles tells the horses not to prophesize at him]

notebook dump

observed: woman on a phone call via bluetooth, whispering mostly, as follows:
oh no


no … over the winter?

hell no no uh uh

like that?


New Orleans May 2017 Old car in old garage worked on by old people everything is filthy except for the car which has a doubly spotless white novelty place reading ASK ME TO TELL YOU ABOUT MY GRANDCHILDREN

Haleyville, AL site of the first 911 call
1: What’s your last name
2: [says last name]
1: with a D?
2: with a P [spells last name]
1: That’s … that’s Sanskrit … that means something in Sanskrit
2: It’s a Czech name
1: [not fazed at all, keeps talking about what it means in sanskrit]

January Cleveland dunkin donuts
“Reincarnated as a parking lot”
Cleveland winter face: Looking like a pet went to the bathroom in the house and or you have bad indigestion
Nice older middle aged people having polite catchup conversation They ran out of sports to talk about and went quiet

Carrion birds adusting their feathers like poorly fitting funeral suits never much worn
calmly stepping aside to let my car through, returning to the roadkill in the mirror

How the handsome man can mislead

Lamar ave outside Memphis
Low slung pregnant pitbull chilling on the tarmac of the gas station
man in a grease stained polo buying Gatorade and condoms

stopped to use the bathroom in Clines Corners New Mexico, the grass was a pale mint

Prices on signs like holy temperatures

Stumpy red mesas squinting into the morning sun with me

Cows finding the shade cast by a casino billboard

cleveland june 2017: totally professional looking middle-aged lady wearing nice clothes and pristine air jordans fast asleep in a chair outside this coffee shop at 11 am. little kid selling candy walks past and she wakes up and produces a cigarette from somewhere in her hair

nashville may 2017: putting my bike back on my car after attending a triple-A baseball game. i had parked the accord in front of A Around The Clock Bonding (in the twilight-length shadow cast down the hill by the TN state capitol) i parked there because there was a dude from the bail bond place tailgating, or maybe just grilling, on a tiny stumpy grill in the tiny parking lot and i felt like a sort of smog of domesticity, felt the implication that the grilling bail bond guy might be hanging out all night so my car would have company. anyway i ride my bike the wrong way on some one way streets across some active train tracks past barstruants then back to the interchangeable bail bonding district dribbling out of every large legal facility. i left the game a little early because i wanted to get to this motel an hour north of nashville but i wound up stopping at the wrong motel anyway. the hassled, fried looking dudes finish parking and one of them kind of reels out of the truck and says are you from ohio where in ohio i’m from mansfield and i said yeah dude Mans Vegas I’ve been there and Cleveland I’m from Cleveland and he said the roads up there are seriously and I’ve never and They’re super fucked up Like for real and he was straightening out a bushel of five or six loose cigarettes and his eyes seemed to roll like billiard balls but he nodded soberly and went into A Around The Clock Bonding and I drove to Cave City. Omaha Storm Chasers 8, Nashville Sounds 3 (11) WP Bobby Parnell LP Simon Castro

idea: exercise to the point of spiritual exhaustion every day

to do list with one uncrossed item:

pretty detailed handwritten directions to offsite parking at ATL airport


Eric Ravilious made pottery?

some scrabble scores

some library call numbers

a bunch of to do lists with the same thing over and over again moving up and down depending on how long i have been putting it off



intermittent proof that i am working on writing and not just pretending to be in graduate school

I have got a dispatch for you Horse lathered and rider panting hard enough to bust hearts from haste

Here is the dispatch
This world has got manure for brains

Our skulls is dunged lavishly Spaded carefully all over uncleared stumps and bankrupts and exploded boats and houses what fell down before you even sat in them a single day Our Cleveland is composted more lavish than royal palaces

I wonder how much skulldung they have got up in London Paris and Philadelphia I would like to see every corner of the world weigh out the manure in our beanpots and seen who had the biggest heap

Permit me to news-paper for you scenes what convey the brawny uncouth odors smoking from our ears

As soon as we Americans had got the slipperiest of holds on the working what a steam engine could do we turned them to our two great pastimes The making of money and thickheaded behavior Steam lent herself to both eagerly Steam factories set to the making of durables And steamed boats was near to ideal suited for both moneygetting and idiocy

For a long summer season of the mind the clean brushed young swells seemed to drop from trees in Cleveland And the coem of fall knocked the idea of racing steam boats into each one of their meager brains They did not lose their purses any come in the descent from the arbor But soon enough they would dump out those pocketbooks on the fitting out of a Lake Erie steamed boat

These boats looked the same to their masters as man and wife come to share one aspect across their two persons All were tall lank Decked out in what you would call the haberdashings for a boat Decks tidier than a childs heart Timbermasts raked back swinging Inkstain flags enough to be the making of a thousand diapers Diapering for every large and small rearquarters of strangers what come off the canal Their Inkstain colors brighter than any fruit or fowl you seen in nature No red cardinalbird Blue summer sky or Whitewashed bones could beat the colors of the Inkstain flags you seen on a steamboat ripping down lake Erie

Those what rode on the steamed racers did their best to match with those colors Womenfolk armored in a wildflower garden of calicoes under great laced bonnets like the prettiest single cloud dancing The menfolk were only a step behind in costumes Great sharplined suitclothes under fresh straw with ribbons what a boss Catholic priest would have been sheepish under

Put all that in your minds eye and set the folks to chatter and gay laughter Then set it to slashing across Gods great washbasin five miles or more in an hour You had got the general sense of what a steamed boat race done to an imagination

Now of course I am speaking to you of the general s__brains of my Cleveland and you are chiding me Medium Son It is true that diapers would be more useful than a flag And yes boats have more sober uses than racing but people have got to have some type of idiocy to look on Otherwise the river of days were grim paddling How will this come to a true s___brainedness

Let me complete my thoughts about the steamed boats if you would not mind

more brother rides


disclaimer: it’s 1836, big son can talk to wolves, the wolves pretty much just swear at him, the inkstain is the united states, the narrator is big son’s brother

Big Son he rode out often some like an explorer in search of navigable waters He werent canoeing after the passages to the Orient or the cities of Cibola but for something to do with himself Some significance to prop him up Big Son were not much for contemplation He did not do well in quiet reflection or solitaire On these cutting outs he were often riding out to talk with the wolfs He cared for them after a time Cared for the socials

Now one such instance Big Son come back from the wolfs smiling Even the bay were grinning He told that the time of this occurence he were faced off with a special bold and cussed wolf Not content to whisper contemnation from the safety of the shadows But to step out into Big Sons clearing and denounce him in the open Saying in his wolf way F this and F yours and G D your Inkstain America and such I never heard any wolf speak so it is down to the honor of Big Son as to whether any of this were ever said or heard or drunk up into a dream

My brother he said I seen the line of civilization marching across the land like a great leech as wide as half the world.. But more inspiring more democratic than regular leeches This were the very jaws and teeth of the inkstain and it left back a type of slime or grease after it And he told how as it come forth everything went more orderly, more likely behind the earth come greener and trees stood up military dress The leafs got themselves more orderly

My brother said then right in the mist of a terrible wolf sermon the line of the Inkstain The big long leech swept over that creature and his whole aspect temperanced The wolf seen the light of mans reason Said to Big Son Mister I must apology for my nature I am a wolf I cannot do any other wise but I do appreciate coming into your Inkstain keenly The wolfs teeth cleaned up Gone from piss yellow to hotel linen And that wolf he danced off back to his proper place in the cheek of the wood Where Big Son could hear his curses take on a more cheerful tune Still curses and scabrous but more in the type of a proud drunk boast than the Dog Dockstatter line of talk

Big Son even in the teeth of such portents he had an eye for another interview To know if the big leech of the Inkstain herself had any talking in it Now that she were burst out of inside the maps and minds of her citizens So he rode out after the sweeping line of civilization and barked Hallo.. Hallo.. How do you do.. My compliments Fine to be here in the cool of the woods and out of the sun.. and other bowing and scraping He turned the big bay up to where the Inkstain trucked westward He and the bay danced between trees along the very frontier Half in a nation and half out And he felt a worm up his backbone Like a wash of whiskey but nothing in his mind at all Although his eyes did blink some He said he called out to that Inkstain And all he heard back was his own words But scrambled some like light off broken glass

mostly putting this here as a proof of life shot for myself when i go back and ask what was august 2016 like

my dreams are dogs that bite me

2nd half of 2015 uncollated personal humanity

I moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to get an MFA in creative writing. I lived in a house in a graveyard across the river from campus. The first month was lost in novelty and huffing the rich scents of the one-time middle-four-figures stipend the university gave us to get set up in Alabama. I abandoned a lot of materiel when I left Cleveland at the end of July, silently essential implements like vacuum cleaners and incidental furniture, after abandoning a lot of material in Brooklyn. In leaving two places within one year, I abandoned or never occupied a sense of complete belonging. Not knowing where in the grocery store reside the things you want. More knowing where in the place you live reside the people and vortices that sustain you. It’s easy enough to proceed without a sense of belonging although it is also easy enough to drive a car until it runs out of gas.

Grandma died, went home for funeral. Got depressed re: alien corn, general feeling that life was a new pair of shoes that did not entirely fit. Participatory ethnography of bad habits, old and new. Continued making new friends. Wondered whether I was too old for any/all of this, determined that I had no practical options re reversing direction of space-time. Which led me to October.

Officiated wedding of friends. Basked in radiant practical operative love. Self-lectured about being in school to write and to put own ass in gear re personal implementations of telos re caulking seams in sense of self.

Like October but with Thanksgiving. Attempts at writing and being human continued with typical rate of success.

Stressed over emerging demands of grad school (it turns out you can’t just poke at a weird bunch of fiction and then get a graduate degree at the end, you have to do some actual thinking and working). Met emerging demands after some whining.

I wrote 30 postcards to my mother for her 60th birthday. My sister sent the other 30.

For three days I went to New Orleans. As I walked past a washeteria on Prytania Street, a man in a green shirt said a pinched high sweet accent “You can go on and do what you want but when we get you, this is what we’re going to do to your ass.” He wasn’t talking to me. New Orleans is broken/fixed, bones peeking through skin, beautiful/ugly &c. I want to go there again and fail to see everything again. I saw the jaw bone of a hog killed in self-defense by two Confederate soldiers near Port Hudson, Louisiana. I saw Jefferson Davis’s robe and slippers, and a crown of thorns that the Pope made by hand for the ex president of the Confederacy. I saw a hologram fridge magnet that showed Robert E. Lee knelt in prayer. I ate banh mi in a bleak strip mall. I lost $1 in a video poker machine in a cafe where I got Vietnamese iced coffee that tasted like butane. During the Vietnamese food interlude I received and transmitted information on the phone about my mother being in the hospital with abdominal pain, just two days after she turned sixty.

I drove back to Alabama and packed up my stuff in the graveyard house. For four days I looked after three old black dogs, aged 14, 14, and 12 years respectively. Dogs this old take very short walks. Sometimes dogs this old stop in the middle of very short walks and look at you with their rheumy eyes. I frequently ascribe human-wise thoughts to the expressions of dogs. When these dogs stopped in the middle of walks their eyes said I forgot what we were talking about.

The civil authorities of Western Alabama, even in the relative congestion of Tuscaloosa, have austere ideas about streetlight placement. On the dawn walks the sun pushed up behind the broad prairie of chain retail to the east of town/university and the sun helped me see where I was going and more importantly it helped me see the dog poop I was duty bound to collect per social norms. In the hasty December dusk, that same sun hurried out toward Mississippi. So I walked the black dogs in the dark. I had to bring my cellphone on the walks, to use its flashlight to discover the poops of my charges. Otherwise I went to the gym and watched Netflix and ate at Waffle House. The first time I went to Waffle House a strung-out lady came in at 6 am and asked for plastic bags. I finished dog-sitting and moved all my stuff into a new apartment which coincidentally is very close to the Waffle House. I subsequently ate there a second time, the third time in my life to date.

I drove back to Ohio in stages. I saw my sister and her family. I shopped at Ikea with money I would probably have done better to save. I drove on to Cleveland and looked at newspapers from 1836.

I was a child in the churning world


In 1917, you are born, a fine baby. Really the only thing wrong with you is the third eye.

The midwife says Oh that’s just a baby eye, we used to see those all the time before they put iodide in the salt. What a hoot.

Your mother is reassured by this.

Your father takes a short performative breath and asks Will we be charged extra for the third eye. He says that No one asked if we wanted a third eye.

The midwife says No it’s cool, the baby eye is free. It’s like baby fat. It will just melt away, close up by the time the kiddo is 12 or 13. Sometimes before they’re 10. Everything they see through it will be forgotten. It will even disappear from any properly formatted digital photos. If you do choose to have an oil painting or sculpture made of the child, that won’t update automatically. You’ll have to bring it in and in all likelihood it’ll be out of warranty.

So it does cost extra, your father says with a thin vinegary smile.

this lump of bad meat


photo (c) peter holliday

Deserter 105 could not stop blinding cyclopses. The other men were running down the shore, fleeing to the hollow ships. Odysseus gesticulated wildly come on come on dude hurry, but 105 still struggled to lift the giant stick, its sharp burned end fouled with eyeball bits cooked like egg. The other cyclopses could come get a piece, he screamed to his departed shipmates.


Deserter 106 walked naked from the bushes to ask the princesses for help. The guards stabbed him infinity times.


Deserter 107 left the island of the beautiful sex goddess after seven years of beautiful sex. He stole some of her shit on the way out.


Deserter 108 felt bad about his body and excused himself whenever sex or nudity or princesses were discussed. The guards stabbed him infinity times also.


Only the priests had knowledge of the calendar but Deserter 109 went through the temple garbage and found a printout of the sacred dates, brushed away the coffee grounds. Deserter made a Google Calendar and invited everyone to celebrate the holy days. Everyone subscribed but the priests took away Deserter’s computer privileges.


When the shepherd communities began to rise like bread into permanent villages they needed a heart. The shepherds chose as their heart a sacred fire guarded by economically disadvantaged virgins. Deserter 110 was the poorest of the virgins. She was behind on her bills and desperate. She sold the eternal fire on Craigslist. She forgot to take the ad down.