Sunday, August 30, 2009

Literary Devolution

So, I’ve submitted a short story to a prominent, East-Coast publication and hope to have another one polished up and ready for submission by Monday. Each story is sexist and certainly chauvinistic, a theme and tone I can’t seem to remove myself from, but I am what I am so whatever. They are regressions by all cultural purposes, but I’ve nurtured them from my dime-sized teat since they were mere semiotes of my cojones (Semiote is a term I invented in my mad linguistic laboratory, directly relating to semiotics. If you don’t understand what that means, it’s okay (but I’m judging you)), and I’m bringing back the chest-pounding literature of yesteryear with a barbarous swing of my club. Do you see how in one, albeit divided, breath, I admitted then demonstrated declination with savagery? It can’t be helped. And why should it? I’m a man for god’s sake. Why shouldn’t I celebrate my thick-skulled brutality? It’s the only thing I’m truly good at. 
None of this means much to you, of course, unless you’re one of the few people who have read both stories, but fear not, for I am relentlessly trying to be a published writer.
I haven’t heard back from The New Yorker, but it’s only been a couple weeks. Their submission guidelines warned me that I could wait up to six months for a response, but my defense mechanisms require I stand detached and distant from hope as there are many, many writers who write...buttloads better’n me. The Sun will have the next honor of receiving my prose. It’s less well known than The New Yorker, but it values personal essays, and though mine is only a few simple pages of my jiggling ding-dong, I find it very agreeable.
Wish me luck.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wicked Retro Posts

For all you screaming fans out there (Sharon) who make me regret slowing on the ol' bloggeroo, here're a few past jewels, apples of my blogger's eye. Most of them should be far back enough that the handful of you who actually read this probably haven't seen them. Note the absence of comments. They're mostly short, and I spent some time making all the links look pretty for you, so I'll take personal offense if you don't read and reread and reread them at all hours of the day and night.

I'm soooo sensitive:

My comedy will disrobe you:

This picture is me at 18 and 2 and it has nothing to do with this posting.

Friday, August 14, 2009

When Degenerates Meet Degenerates.

Earlier today, I was sitting at Barnes & Noble, celebrating my three-day abstinence from coffee with a coffee, the purchase of a new book Chariots of the Gods, and a settling in to seriously adjust one of my short stories for submission when irony presented itself. You see, when I write in public, I enjoy looking at people not talking to them. But it’s people that I enjoy. I rip snippets of conversation and tuck them away for later artistic use; I ogle beautiful women and pretend that I’m a super intellect who types really fast; I relish being present for awkward first dates; I thrive in the gushing accommodation I hear in public job interviews: “Judy? Hi, I’m Over-Dressed-And-Nervous-And-Not-Going-To-Get-The-Job. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” “Hello, Over-Dressed-And-Nervous-And-Not-Going-To-Get-The-Job. I’m sorry I’m so late! Traffic was backed up all the way to the office, and I had to make an emergency stop at a Diamond Shamrock before I shit my pantsuit.” “Oh, it’s no trouble, Judy. It’s only been 45 minutes. May I buy you a coffee?” “Yes.” I judge, but I’m never engaged. I’ve been told I have an unapproachable exterior. It’s the eyebrows I think. But, morons and degenerates don’t seem to mind, and they lovingly gravitate toward me as though I’m Mother-fuckin’ Theresa. I can spot ‘em a mile away too. It’s awful. Anyway, a mentally unsound degenerate approached me today.

The café at B&N was spilling with people, but when I arrived, there were two tables pushed together along a long bench seat lining the wall. I cleaned one off, and pushed the other a respectful distance from mine, so someone else could use it. I had just snugged in a pair of earbuds to drown the deafening chatter when a mismatched sociological study materialized across the café, spied the empty table and then my holiness. He squeezed beside me and immediately started commenting on how he was surprised my computer wasn’t a Mac as all people from the University of Texas have MacBooks (I have no and have never had any affiliation or signifiers to indicate an affiliation to UT (Unless you count an ex-girlfriend who actually shat burnt orange feces, the school’s most recognizable gang color)). He asked me to watch his stuff and stood again to collect the cheesecake and coffee he had ordered. His ass bumped my table upon his return, spilling my coffee and pissing me off. In his defense, he said “Sorry, sorry, sorry” right away, and I actually felt a little guilty for assigning him to social incompetence solely based on his appearance. He was a little younger than me, pale and lanky, disheveled and dandruff sprinkled hair and facial hair, coke-bottle glasses with smudged and dirty lenses, and a fisherman’s jacket. A fisherman’s jacket, folks. Was I wrong to immediately wish he would not sit next to me? He settled into his region of our bench and picked up his fork. “What are you doing?” he asked, peering at my computer screen.” I heard him fine, but I popped my earbuds out to emphasize the inconvenience and told him I was trying to log onto a network. “You can’t do it?” he asked. “Still trying,” I told him as I screwed the sound-dampening devices back into my ears. He gawked at my laptop a moment longer and started gobbling his delicious-looking cheesecake. A minute later, his plate was empty, and my peripheral vision detected his attention again. I ignored him but stiffened when his hand hesitantly reached out, and I felt his long thumbnail press my elbow. “Can you watch my stuff?” he asked over the calming sound of Iron & Wine’s “The Trapeze Swinger.” I uncorked my ears, and he repeated his request. His cheesecake had liquefied in his mouth and frothy strands of pink and white saliva connected his upper and lower lips like stalagmites that made it. “I won’t be here very long,” I told him, unwilling to be responsible for whatever gamer magazines he had within his store bag. “Well I know that,” he said with a laugh that stressed his wet cheesecake into gossamer strands. “Just watch my stuff.” I deflated a little but committed. He collected his fork and plate, returned it to the ordering counter, five feet away, and sat down again. When two tables by an electrical outlet cleared simultaneously, I gathered my stuff and relocated in order to recharge my computer battery. We were adjacent to each other now, and I could still see him out of the corner of my eye, staring. “Oh come on,” he called across the café. “You know you like this seat. You just moved.” His insight was as startling as the distance his voice had carried, so I pretended not to hear him. He waited for acknowledgment then grabbed his gamer mags and mumbled to the table directly behind me. 

Is that not the nature of harassment? The man made me move to another table then followed. I didn’t need to charge my computer. And why me? Outwardly, I’m not a friendly-looking person. Out of some psychological deficiency, I have a perpetually macho scowl on my face. I speak loudly and with crisp depth. My personal bubble extends farther than the average asshole. I’m crotchety for God’s sake. But the crazies don’t seem to recognize that and insist on touching me or standing too close to me or following me down grocery store aisles.

He left without further incident a few minutes after sitting, and since he is technically what I come to these coffee shops for, I thought I’d embrace the irony and write a blog about him. This is it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Austin, a Pictorial

I’m not insect crazy, folks, but these are my interests. I’ll eventually snap some pictures of 6th Street or whatever, but people just get drunk there, and that’s doable in any city.

This is an antlion. They live in funnel-shaped depressions in loose soil, and when an unsuspecting ant falls in the pit (think Return of the Jedi or Enemy Mine), the antlion feels the vibration from the cascading soil and flings dirt at the bugger until its prey slides to the funnel point where the antlion captures it in its mandibles and drags it under. How’s that for a nightmare? The antlion is the larval form of a dragonfly-type beast, but admittedly, I don’t know the whole process. You, however, are now empowered with the term “antlion” and may google it if your fancy needs such tickling. Click for an up-closeThis is my naturalist assistant and “Little Brother,” Watson. He took our antlion expedition very seriously and even secured several specimens in our empty snowcone cups to be transplanted in his backyard for further observation.This last picture shows the little antlion pits.
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