Exhibit 1.8.10



* I’ve got another short short up at SmokeLong right here and answered some questions about it here. This piece is mostly notable for having come from an old note I don’t remember making and, in the interview, give you a glimpse at the note next to it, too. I possibly have too many notes.


* I also have a few Sire Lines pieces up at a new journal called The Collapsar which you should read and submit to because those guys are going to do great stuff. My pieces come from the beginning and, well, that’s pretty much it. America!


* The Cupboard is open to submissions until the end of September so you’ve only got a little time left to get something together. So get something together already.

Comment / Posted in Fiction, Links, Writing

Exhibit 1.7.9


* You don’t have a lot of time left to submit to The Cupboard’s contest. Deadline is now May 7th. Learn more here.

* Speaking of The Cupboard, I think we’re about to accept something from slush which always makes me super excited.

* Cupboard logo/t-shirt designer Rebecca Wadlinger has some awesome pieces up at Paper Darts. That’s some damn fine stuff at a damn fine journal.

* O, who am I kidding? Her name is Becca. She just publishes under Rebecca. Sort of like I publish under Adamela

* Adamela won a thing with a piece you can read alongside other awesome piece here.

* Seriously, the fact that Amy Hempel is the judge is the reason I sent and so it’s incredibly gratifying to think of her reading it. I’m pretty sure I’ve found a way to teach her in every fiction and literature class I’ve taught in the last few years.

Comment / Posted in Links, The Cupboard, Writing

Exhibit 1.5.21

Two Links

* I have a short piece giving some flash fiction bylaws over at Nano Fiction for their State of Flash series. I really do mean all of them. Especially the ones about poor, poor Doug.

* My short short “Biologists Study Grace” is over at Paper Darts and the entire page will soon be tattooed onto my back. Not really. probably. Maybe. Sort of. We’ll see. But it is quite pretty.

Comment / Posted in Fiction, Links, Tattoos

Exhibit 1.5.14


* If I’d never worked a job, I probably would doubt the authenticity of this guide to 90s slang from Express. But I have worked a job and, yep, someone got paid to do that. My only regret is that it wasn’t me.

* My favorite similar corporate awareness vacuum was a branding guide full of charts explaining what celebrities a bank was like (Anderson Cooper) and not like (Madonna) with detailed reasons for why. So basically the bank wanted to be an asexual silver fox in favor of more traditional bra designs instead of, you know, a bank.

* Here’s Brett:

* In the last two days on Twitter I’ve made a somewhat obscure Juliana Hatfield joke and a League of Women Voters joke. O, and one about Rizzoli and Isles. Feeling pretty proud of myself. Might just have to quit while I’m on top.

* The Cupboard, by the way, is now on Twitter here. Follow.

* That’s all I’ve got. Unless you want to talk about Game of Thrones. No? Fine.

3 Comments / Posted in Bretts, Links, Things

Exhibit 1.4.20


* There’s a new NOÖ Weekly available right here edited by Laura Eve Engel. I have a thing in it about being pope or something. It’s unclear. But it’s a fantastic issue anyway which you should check out.

* There’s also a cool prose poem made out of lines from all the pieces at the NOÖ blog here.

* So these YouTube “Hitler reacts to ____________” things are more than a little tired at this point, but I have to give it up to the Royals fan who put this one together about the Royals signing Jonathan Broxton. It’s really funny, all the more so if you’re a Royals fan who enjoys jokes about those hydraulic adaptor commercials that blanket all the radio broadcasts.

* If you’re not that–and statistically the odds of you being that are quite small–it’s still got plenty of that nutty Hitler.

* I also have a couple of Sire (on)Lines in the new Jet Fuel Review. These are about the internet and Wal-Mart which, as you might imagine, put them in the latter portions of the manuscript despite my initial intention to call the project Sam Walton: Made in America and have it sold for $8.88 at over 7,000 retail locations worldwide.

2 Comments / Posted in Journals, Links, Things

Exhibit 1.4.16


* So, um, it’s been awhile. How about that.

* I had a long post on the Penn State scandal written up, but I decided not to post it. There is absolutely nothing else to say about that.

* Literally, the only thing to say is that it’s terrible and then shut up.

* Check out the new Wigleaf for some amazing stamp stories, including one from me that’s about, I don’t know, pilgrims or something. Who knows. What I do know is that the others are awesome and that I’m very happy to be there among them.

* Anyway, it’s a very cool issue and a very cool concept. You should definitely buy the book from Mud Luscious here. Do it.

* This new Drake album is The Weeknd’s best album ever.

* Maybe I like the Childish Gambino album better, but nothing on there is as good as “Freaks and Geeks.”

* Fantasy football update: The Cal Drogo and Mike Kafkaesque are both in 2nd place.

* Grading update: I’m not doing it. I’m doing this.

* I’m barely doing this.

Comment / Posted in Journals, Links, Things

Exhibit 1.3.26

Things, Promotional and Otherwise

* A friend of mine decided to move the party to Doha and is writing a phenomenal–and phenomenally titled–blog called It’s Pronounced Qatar. Or maybe that’s only phenomenal if you actually know how to pronounce Qatar which, it turns out, I didn’t (it rhymes with “butter”). I’m considering his experience there practice for the upcoming World Cup. Also, pronouncing butter.

* Brief thoughts on the Obama speech kerfuffle: O Jesus Christ, really?

* The Cupboard needs you to like it. Harder. Please help us by liking our page here and telling your friends to do so, too. We’re terrible about this stuff.

* Brief Dolphins thoughts: Vegas has them at 7.5 wins. I’d probably still bet the under (or at least that’s the smart bet), but for some reason (likely the Orton debacle) people who don’t know the team keep saying they’ll be lucky to win 4. This makes no sense to me. I think Vegas is begging you to take the under not realizing the Dolphins are going to finish with a top-3 defense.

* NewPages wrote a really nice review of the new Camera Obscura which says such embarrassingly nice things about my story that I sort of want to punch them. I too love this journal, and everyone should. Subscribe, submit, spread the word.

* O, and there’s this Mark Sanchez is not (yet) better than Chad Henne. Anyone who has the Jets winning the Super Bowl should probably be aware of that. Sorry. That was more Dolphins thoughts. I should have warned you.

* In more journal pimping news, a friend of mine started a new online journal called Owl Eye Review which is up and accepting submissions and watching you. The first issue is great, and I expect even greater things in the future. I mean, if we can trust owls which, I don’t know, it might be time to.

* What I’m saying is, the Jets got worse this offseason, the Dolphins got slightly better. Don’t get me wrong, the Jets are still a better team in all likelihood, by why are some people acting like 11 wins are a sure thing for the Jets while the Dolphins won’t get 5? The following things are true: the Dolphins defense is better, Mark Sanchez and Chad Henne are a wash, and we’re coming up on the time when Rex Ryan starts to get tuned out. Just saying. O, and that was about politics.

* Laura Eve and I have a [SPOILER ALERT] in the new DIAGRAM. This issue just launched so I haven’t had much time to read through it, but I see names I know and trust. Plus, it’s DIAGRAM. What could go wrong?

* Update: Since I first posted this, I read Bill Barnwell’s NFL preview on which includes the smartest take on the Dolphins I’ve read yet in the national media. He nails the team’s potential downfall while still realizing there’s a lot of talent on the team.

Comment / Posted in Dolphins, Journals, Links

Exhibit 1.3.7


Mostly self-aggrandizing, sadly. But this way it’s all in one place so you know where to look. Everywhere else.

* The new issue of Pank is up, and I’ve got a few pieces from my Sire [on]Line project in it. These are Michael Jackson, Bono, and Ghost Ronald Regan and they’re mostly notable for involving one person who wrote “Billie Jean,” one person who is a ghost, and one person who is not, in fact, an American.

* Quick thoughts on Thor: entertaining though I share Jon Favreau’s concern that it completely destroys the rules by which his Iron Man movies were working and makes the upcoming Avengers movie seem impossibly broad. I mean, one guy is a Norse God and another guy is just really good at shooting arrows? Notably, this is the only concern I share with Mikey. I mean, we are talking about a series of films that are basically Robot Jox with better effects. He’ll get over it.

* In the new The Reprint from Zine-Scene an old short-short of mine that was originally in The Southeast Review gets rewritten by the always amazing Kevin Wilson (whose upcoming novel I want to steal from heaven or wherever it’s currently kept). Honored, impressed, excited, etc. Be sure to check it out.

* Sigh.

* So if you go to the new Collagist, you’ll see a lot of great stuff, not least of which is Mathias‘s first short story, some poems by Houston-ite Russel Swensen, and a couple of great excerpts from forthcoming books. You’ll also see that [SPOILER ALERT] by Laura Eve and myself won their chapbook competition. This was an accident done mostly to prevent the winner of the Collagist contest from also winning The Cupboard’s contest. Unfortunately, we also won our own contest. I blame Dave and em for their lax rules.

* Joking. Cupboard contest results soon. Seriously though, I don’t want to be the Jake W. Apple of the chapbook scene. I’ve been embarrassed into retirement.

* If you want a [SA] preview, check out the new Sixth Finch which has one and a lot of other great work up. Do it. It’s not intentionally themed or anything–I don’t think–but a lot of it is wonderfully apocalyptic.

* Speaking of the apocalypse, we must be about ready for another one because Jon Pack Approves or Disapproves is updating again. I love Jon Pack despite his disapproval of dipping sauce.

1 Comment / Posted in America, Links, Things

Exhibit 26.19

Three Things

* I guest-edited the most recent edition of NOÖ Weekly which you should check out right here. Great work from people I like: Dave Madden, Angie Hume, Jeff Downey, Laura Eve Engel! Those are some heavy hitters. Go.

* I’ll be doing this tonight in Austin. Music and readings and Texas.

* The Cupboard will be having a summer sale starting…today? Tomorrow? Soon, anyway. $3 single volumes and $12 subscriptions. I’ll probably post the announcement here, but get ready for it.

Comment / Posted in Links, The Cupboard, Things

Exhibit 25.6


* Jon Pack Approves or Disapproves – I don’t know exactly how long this site was defunct before returning, I just know that I haven’t been able to make decisions for at least two years.

* – So someone asked me if I wanted to play chess a few months ago, and I shrugged because Jon Pack wasn’t there to tell me whether or not I should. I don’t even like chess, but I do like the Chess soundtrack. Okay, that’s not true, but if you’d like to play, I will quote this song:

* A New Great Wall: Why the Crisis in Translation Matters – This is a great essay which made me rethink translation as a writer/publisher/teacher. I haven’t done enough in any of those arenas, and while I’d already been thinking about it, this essay makes the issues fairly clear.

I know the essay is talking about translation into English, but I’ve got to start somewhere: Я получаю мои пинки над талией, солнечностью.

It’s god’s work I’m doing.

Comment / Posted in Chess, Links, Translations

Exhibit 24.18


* I made an Octopus 13 for you.

* I’m doing this at AWP. Should be times.

* Joe Posnanksi interview on the Royals. The worst thing about Yuni Betancourt? He’s terrible. The best thing? He’s terrible every day.

* What computers mean we can say part one, two.

* Front page story in the city where I live: 84-year-old man gets in armed standoff with the police because he’s been married “too damn long.” Nothing else happening, apparently.

* Front page story in the city where I used to live: Cops stop kids with BB guns who went on a 9-day reign of terror.

Comment / Posted in 13, BBs, Links

Exhibit 23.22

You’re Probably Already Using This

Grooveshark – It’s pretty amazing but only if you like having streamable access to nearly every song and using a simple and intuitive interface. What is not so amazing about it: my ability to take it over and make long Gangsta Rap and Brit Pop heavy playlists with themes knowable only to me. That’s when everyone gets sad.

Comment / Posted in Action Teams, Blue, Links

Exhibit 23.17


* Tarpaulin Sky’s always excellent review blog takes on the second volume of The Cupboard here. Just a completely generous and unexpected reading of James’s really great volume. Made me go back and read it again myself over the break.
* By the way, you can order that or any of the other volumes here. Subscribing is only $15. The Cupboard. We try.
* The nascent sports blog The Realness Hurts has been prepping through the winter and is, at least for me, about to get going. I think I might write about trying to become a Houston Rockets fan (and basketball fan). Also, I still owe myself a Royals off/season recap.
*Did you know you can download and read Kelly Link’s amazing collections Stranger Things Happen and Magic for Beginners for free? You want to do this and then go buy the books to support her and the press. Really cool you can do this.
4 Comments / Posted in Links, Links (again), Sports

Exhibit 23.5


* Great, so now I have to move to Manhattan and marry Lynn True. This video in the Times pretty much sums why I find redeeming value in football (and even how I watch it).

* Fellow Houstonite Laura-Eve has a blog you should be reading here. I wanted to post this link with her cover of R. Kelly’s “Ignition Remix” but instead you’ll just have to watch the karaoke version of the real thing:

Maybe I should link to R. Kelly’s blog instead now? I don’t know, I assume both blogs are mostly about Judaism and Top Chef.

* Speaking of Houston people, another UH person’s blog is here. I don’t know if he wants his name connected to it or not. Also, did you know we elected an openly gay mayor yesterday? We did. Your move, Austin.

* Not a link, but I thought I would provide a beard update. It’s now day five and I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t doing these posts or going out of the way to work my beard into otherwise unrelated conversations no one would know I was growing one.
I decided to add eyebrows for comparison purposes. You might have noticed. It’s the same reason I added them in real life.

Comment / Posted in Houston, Links, Not Links

Exhibit 22.14

Links/Not Links

* Tonight’s Creation Festival at the D&N Event Center in North Platte has been cancelled. No word yet on whether or not this is related to the time “God” lit the old structure on fire with “lightning” to get the “insurance money.”

* Every time I can reference something that happened in western Nebraska during the 1990s I feel like this blog is worth it.

* Mathias illustrates how I look like the guy from Party Down and pitches a screenplay. I like this for a lot of reasons, the greatest of which is that it confirms my theory that I know exactly who has seen Party Down and exactly why. Oddly, “It’s a Starz network original!” is never why.

* I still think Mathias looks like a not evil/enoveralled Leo Johnson:
* Dave’s book brings him in contact with people who work with lemurs.

* My book isn’t going to have a ninth chapter.

3 Comments / Posted in God Arson, Links, Not Links

Exhibit 22.4


* This is just crazy. Unless you previously thought you were god and distinctly remember having created the world last Thursday. In which case, no, it is not at all crazy. Regardless, it is fairly awesome.
* Carlin has his sports blog, The Realness Hurts, up and running again. It’s possible I might relegate any sports thoughts to that venue. And by possible I mean almost a certainty. I think I have a Royals season review in me and then about 7,900 words I want to write about Tim Tebow and concussions that will probably end up over there. The possibilities are endless for that site.
* Speaking of sports, there was a really nice Times article on a school Ted Ginn Sr. runs for at-risk youth in Cleveland. I bet all of those Dolphins fans feel bad for booing when Cam Cameron announced the selection of the Ted Ginn family. Turns out the Ted Ginn family is fairly awesome.

* No, seriously, everyone bought Naca and Zach‘s books, right?

* I guess they printed more of these. I’m sorry. You should follow the lead of whomever bought that awesome sounding book on Poe and Lacan and choose wisely.

1 Comment / Posted in Links, Miscellany, The Ginn Family

Exhibit 21.2

Things I don’t think I ever linked to here

Dave Madden’s Book Deal – Just awesome. Even if I didn’t get to title the book–or should I say, haven’t gotten to title the book yet–it’s still going to be the first non-fiction book I’ve purchased since…um…I’m going to keep thinking about it. In the meantime, why don’t you all go buy Dave some dirty taxidermy-based gifts. This is the best thing that’s happened to taxidermy since that museum in Cleveland opened their animal stars of Hollywood exhibit. Who knew that Mr. Ed was so short?

Zach Schomburg’s Scary, No Scary – It’s the truth. That last thing I said about Mr. Ed may not have been.

Dave of Dave Madden’s Book Deal and I Talk about The Cupboard – It could just be the move, but I feel like we did this eight years ago. Anyway, I never mentioned it here. Good questions with the occasional good answer.

Comment / Posted in Davids, Links, Truth

Exhibit 20.7

Look, it’s becoming more and more clear that I’m just not going to have time to blog successfully while I’m here. Or maybe it will calm down. But today I’ll just give you what you come here for:

* News about The Cupboard – Dave explains how we ended up with and why we like Caia’s piece here.

* News about friends – Chris Higgs is now writing for HTML Giant and Bright Stupid Confetti has become a weekly publication. Look for it Wednesdays because it’s a site that always makes me happy.

* Puppy Brett

Comment / Posted in Brett, Giants, Links

Exhibit 19.17


* I feel like I can post this now that the Royals have won 4 in a row and the seagull game is a distant memory, but Joe Posnanski had a comprehensive rundown of embarrassing things the Royals have done during this era of futility. My favorite is still the time in 2005 they led off the game batting out of order. Retrosheet describes the situation toward the bottom of this page.

At the time I remember the general reaction being somewhat muted as it was almost so unprecedented that no one quite realized how dumb this was. The Royals lost that game 5-0, as if after David DeJesus had to bat twice to start the game they just said screw it and decided to try harder the next day. Or they realized Runelvys Hernandez was the pitcher and that it didn’t really matter anyway.

* The question: Which guy from Three Men and a Baby is your favorite/would make the best cake? The answer.

* Here’s another great interview with Chris Higgs where he says interesting things and insists that he doesn’t have children. I’m sure it won’t surprise Chris to learn I disagree with a fair bit of what he says–he obviously has children if people are asking him about them–yet we often times end up loving the very same books. I don’t know how or why that happens, but I like it.

Comment / Posted in Answered Questions, Links, Royals

Exhibit 19.8

Hey, everyone, it’s The Chapbook Review! It’s full of great reviews of your favorite chapbooks (like the Calls’ Pocket Finger) and an interview conducted by Lakers fan Chris Higgs of (presumably non-Lakers fan) Blake Butler and vice versa. And it just so happens to have two different reviews of Mathias Svalina’s Play (which, as always, you can pick up here).

Matthew Simmons says, “It’s a madcap little book, by turns funny and disturbing.”

And Andrew Borgstrom says, “Mathias Svalina intimidates me. I’m scared to review his book.”

Both of the reviews are super nice as is the site itself which is such a great idea that I’m still a little upset you didn’t think of it.

2 Comments / Posted in Chapbooks, Links, The Cupboard

Exhibit 19.1

Things I’ve Been Reading Recently

* Nick Flynn’s Some Ether – I really, really like this book. It looks like I’ll never get around to doing a full writeup of this one, but that’s probably for the best. Every time I try, I end up writing, “I really, really like this book.” and then stopping.

* Jeffrey Toobin’s article on John Roberts – The worst part is that we all knew he was this guy. There was never any doubt that Roberts was not only very conservative–which is fine, it was Bush’s call–but also unprecedentedly political after his years in the White House. All throughout the hearings he gave answers like this one:

“If the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy’s going to win in court before me,” Roberts said. “But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then the big guy’s going to win, because my obligation is to the Constitution. That’s the oath.”

I mean, nobody believed this. So naturally we now have 5,000 word articles expressing shock–shock!–that Roberts maybe wasn’t what he said:

In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party.

Jesus, it’s like he said what everyone wanted to hear then changed once he had a lifetime appointment. If only there was a group of people who could have gotten together–a sort of congress, if you will–and done something about this. Oh well.

* Higgs’s interview – Good stuff and not just because I always get to imagine him rolling his eyes at my political talk. I like Chris.

* Dave’s new website – Finally, a place for Dave to share his thoughts on the television shows of the day in the most egotistical manner possible. I have this theory he chose .org because Dave thinks of himself not as something he has to sell to you (.com) but as something you have to volunteer and pay dues for, like the AARP. I like Dave.

* Play at This Recording – That’s a great website on any day, but it just so happens to feature pieces from Mathias’s new Cupboard today.

Things I’ve Been Listening to Recently

* The Nazario Scenario – My life has been much richer ever since I discovered how to subscribe to podcasts. This is always one of my favorites. It made me want to meet Amanda Nazario. Then someone told me I did meet Amanda Nazario. But, like, I think I’d meet her better this time. Okay, probably not.

* Danger Mouse’s Dark Night of the Soul – You can stream the entire album at that link since it’s apparently never going to be sold. Or maybe it will be sold but you have to ask David Lynch nicely or something. I don’t know, but I do know that it’s good. You should go listen to it.

* Rany Jazayerli’s Royals on the Radio – I don’t think you’re going to find a better radio show about the Royals hosted by a Muslim baseball statistician/dermatologist. Bold statement, I know. Unrelated to baseball, but his essay from the election which ended up on This American Life is still a must read.

Things I’ve Been Watching Recently

* Not much – But I did catch Frost/Nixon after Netflix skipped approximately 15 other movies in my queue (did that many other people really want to watch Bride Wars?). It was fine and sort of nondescript like Howard’s other stuff, but I just can’t get over the fact that its hero is someone that his most talented contemporaries passionately hate. Peter Cook and the entire cast of Monty Python, for example.

1 Comment / Posted in Justices, Links, The Cupboard

Exhibit 11.15

Since I’ve had this blog for a year and have never really done anything to spruce the place up, I think I’m going to update my links on the right hand side of the page. I don’t actually have all that many to add, but I figure now is as good a time as any. If I do link to you, I probably read your blog or site. Hello.

I might also toss in some alphabetical order while I’m at it. It’s going to be a completely different experience.

Anyway, if I link to you and you’d rather me not, just let me know. If you’d like me to link to you, comment or email or whatever. I’d be happy to. If I’ve previously linked to you and you’ve never understood why, it’s best to continue on in your state of confusion rather than ask any questions.

Comment / Posted in Good Ideas, Links, Spruce

Exhibit 11.2

This post probably won’t be about cake or crullers or any baked good, really. So that’s an improvement already.

I just wanted to point out some things.

Carlin has started his eighth and greatest blog, Fake Interviews With Reputedly Famous People, which, as you may have guessed, features fake interviews with reputedly famous people. They continue to get better. I fear the day when this blog is abandoned like so many others and leaves only a disturbing picture of David Duchovony left for future generations.

I don’t care if that’s not how you spell his name. I’m not about to look it up.

Joe Posnanski’s blog features a poll on who is the lesser actor between Tom Cruise and Kevin Costner. As I type this, they are exactly tied with over 2,100 votes cast. My opinion: Costner is the far inferior actor. Now, if the question was which guy I would rather have a beer with or have a catch with or have show me how great he is at baseball, then sure, Costner all the way. But we’ve been given a question, and that’s the question we have to answer. Ignoring the question at hand in favor of choosing the better-honed public persona is how we ended up in this mess.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to trying to convince myself that the Batman I’ll see four months from now on DVD will be just as good as seeing Batman at midnight tonight in a theater. It’s an argument I’m losing.

3 Comments / Posted in Carlins, Davids, Links

Exhibit 10.26

So when not rambling about controversies I don’t really care about, I sometimes write about stock photography. Apparently, I’m not alone. Slate is on the case here.

Comment / Posted in Links, Stock Photography

Exhibit 10.8

Two Links is incredible. Basically, it takes the never more maligned science of polling and does cool statistical things with it using the historical accuracy of the poll, the methodology, the sample size, etc. Best of all, it’s written by baseball statistician Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus. I like anyone who can tell me why the Royals are going to lose and Obama is going to win without me understanding any of it.

Also, I don’t particularly care for professional golf, but Joe Posnanski’s take on Tiger Woods is, as always, a must read.

Comment / Posted in Don't., Links, Methodology

Exhibit 9.17


*A six-second video Heather made of Sonny.

*Joe Posnanski’s experience at Jon Lester’s no-hitter against the Royals last night.

*A video made by Chris Higgs and Caitlin Newcomer at a new site called Harlot.

1 Comment / Posted in Experiences, Links, Sonny