Archive for August, 2009

Fun with Isms!

August 24, 2009

Aphorism, schism, agnosticism, gnosticism, polytheism, futurism, absurdism, existentialism, nihilism, occultism, stegophilism, barbarism, anarchism, hedonism, masochism, sadism, terrorism, Orientalism, fascism, communism, Marxism, Judaism, Hinduism, Jainism, Shintoism, romanticism, Neoclassicism, classicism, modernism, post-modernism, Catholicism, freeganism, Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Antisemitism, feminism, heroism, anachronism, alcoholism, consumerism, solipsism, isolationism, autism, evangelism, creationism, pacifism, militarism, separatism, loyalism, Mormonism, fanaticism, Calvinism, ageism, racism, historicism, revisionism, nationalism, socialism, patriotism, Kitty Chism, voyeurism, Anglicism, vegetarianism, veganism, neologism, onanism, Zoroastranism, Darwinism, baptism, formalism, anti-formalism, reductionism, botulism, symbolism, eroticism, behaviorism, witticism, altruism, asceticism, exoticism, anthropomorphism, stoicism, Naturalism, activism, monasticism, Protestantism, Impressionism, relativism, expressionism, positivism…
Keep it going, kids!


August 23, 2009

B and I are wondering…who invented MASH?  Is anyone credited with this?

Great Excuses

August 19, 2009

I actually began writing a book of excuses, hopefully to be sold as a novelty text at like Urban Outfitters or in the Humor section at Barnes and Noble, but then I saw exactly that at UO!  I was pretty devastated.  Still, I think mine would have been better because it was going to be a practical book; essentially, you could flip through and open to a page and find yourself an appropriate excuse!  “Sorry I can’t come to your son’s brit milah tomorrow…I just found out I’m on duty for neighborhood watch.”  Etc.  This book I saw was a tiny, pretty thing with a section for famous excuses from history and clever categories like that but mine would have been much more systematic…less “In Praise of Excuses” and more “Excuses You Can Use!”

Here are some that I like to call Universal Excuses, ones that can serve as the scapegoat for any sort of general shittiness…

El Nino

Santa Ana winds (specific to California I GUESS)


The Economy (sub-excuse: “I’m broke”)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

“Family Problems”

Dissociative Fugue

Studying for a big test (LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, Realtor’s License, etc.)

Religious conflict

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

Fuck You, Time Warner

August 19, 2009

So the Internet in my house has been down for about three weeks, and someone from Time Warner is finally going to come tomorrow, hopefully to fix it, so I will finally have the time and access to write more substantial things here…and by “substantial,” I just mean longer, and not at all more interesting or poignant.  Well, maybe, but I can’t promise anything.

Some things I’ve been meaning to get off my chest…

It could be worse…

You could be Courtney Love, and you could have told New York Magazine that your new album is, “…really epic.  Very, very big.  It’s like giant black pyramids.  It’s like side two of The Wall.  The good side of The Wall.

This is a good insult

“You have a flair for the obvious.”  ~Ed Hennessy


Why do I have nothing more exciting to say?  I need this cake.

A Poem

August 18, 2009

Half Past Midnight

What good is an

Insomniac who is

not a poet?

Not So Infinite, Huh?!

August 17, 2009

I am done with Infinite Jest! Praise be to God! It was lovely but I’m happy to be out of DFW’s world, for now. Now on to a biography of Anne Sexton. The suicide marathon continues…

In his introduction, Dave Eggers said it took him one month to read IJ. It took me two point five, exactly. Fuck you, Dave Eggers.

Feel Free to Leave Disparaging Comments About Blogging, And How I am Sort of Hypocrite

August 13, 2009

RR: have you seen this btw??
ID: nope because i don’t watch youtube
RR: what’s your deal?
ID: i am a crazy person
i gave you this disclaimer really early on
RR: facebook is one thing
what’s wrong with youtube?
ID: perusing youtube=wading in a sea of mediocrity
wasting time
RR: you tell me you never wade in the waters of mediocrity?
you tell me you never kill time?
ID: i try not to
RR: i have a gameboy ds
ID: i don’t know
i guess i waste time
but not via youtube
it’s just
i don’t believe in totally free speech
some people should not be allowed to broadcast themselves
RR: lol
no i believe in it. i think people are naive and too easily believe their thoughts are original
ID: absolutely
RR: I think free speech would be enhanced if people had a filter that made them realize what they’re saying/doing has been said/done 1,000 times before, and therefore is of no interest to anyone
i think you need to watch youtube either way
ID: your powers of reasoning are truly baffling
i feel completely disarmed
RR: i have been known to baffle
and disarm

There Has Been Too Much Writing Here Lately!

August 11, 2009
The Dutch Caribbean island of Saba, from above.  I am wishing myself there NOW.

The Dutch Caribbean island of Saba, from above. I am wishing myself there NOW.


August 11, 2009

“How does somebody with your kind of Panglossian constitution determine whether you’re ever being lied to, I sometimes wonder, Booboo. Like what criteria brought to bear. Intuition, induction, reductio, what?”
“You always get hard to understand when you’re up on your side on your elbow like this.”
“Maybe it just doesn’t occur to you. Even the possibility. Maybe it’s never once struck you that something’s being fabricated, misrepresented, skewed. Hidden.

“Hey Hal?”

“And maybe that’s the key. Maybe then whatever’s said to you is so completely believed by you that, what, it becomes sort of true in transit. Flies through the air toward you and reverses its spin and hits you true, however mendaciously it comes off the other person’s stick.”


“You know for me, boo, people seem to lie in different but definite ways, I’ve found. Maybe I can’t change the spin the way you can, and this is all I’ve been able to do, is assemble a kind of field guide to the different kinds of ways.”


“Some people, from what I’ve seen, Boo, when they lie, they become very still and centered and their gaze very concentrated and intense. They try to dominate the person they lie to. The person to whom they’re lying. Another type becomes fluttery and insubstantial and punctuates his lie with little self-deprecating motions and sounds, as if credulity were the same as pity. Some bury the lie in so many digressions and asides that they like try to slip the lie in there through all the extraneous data like a tiny bug through a windowscreen.”

“Except Orin used to end up telling the truth even when he didn’t think he was.”

“Would that that were a trait family-wide, Boo.”

“Maybe if we call him he’ll come to the WhataBurger. You can see him in you want to if you ask, maybe.”

“Then there are what I might call your Kamikaze-style liars. These’ll tell you a surreal and fundamentally incredible lie, and then pretend a crisis of conscience and retract the original lie, and then offer you the lie they really want you to buy instead, so the real lie’ll appear as some kind of concession, a settlement with truth. That type’s mercifully easy to see through.”

“The merciful type of lie.”

“Or then the type who sort of overelaborates on the lie, buttresses it with rococo formations of detail and amendment, and that’s how you can always tell. Pemulis was like that, I always thought, til his performance over the urinal.”

Rococo‘s a pretty word.”

“So now I’ve established a subtype of the over-elaborator type. This is the liar who used to be an overelaborator and but has somehow snapped to the fact that rococo elaborations give him away every time, so he changes and now lies tersely, sparely, seeming somehow bored, like what he’s saying is too obviously true to waste time on.”


“I’ve established that as a sort of subtype.”

“You sound like you can always tell.”

“Pemulis could have sold that urologist land in there, Boo. It was an incredibly high-pressure moment. I never thought he had it in him. He was nerveless and stomachless. He projected a kind of weary pragmatism the urologist found impossible to discount. His face was a brass mask. It was almost frightening. I told him I never would have believed he had that kind of performance in him.”

“Psychosis live on radio used to read an Eve Arden beauty brochure all the time where Eve Arden says: ‘The importance of a mask is to increase your circulation,” quote.”

“The truth is nobody can always tell, Boo. Some types are just too good, too complex and idiosyncratic; their lies are too close to the truth’s heart for you to tell.”

“I can’t ever tell. You wanted to know. You’re right. It never crosses my mind.”


“I’m the type that’d buy land, I think.”

“You remember my hideous phobic thing about monsters, as a kid?”

“Boy do I ever.”

“Boo, I think I no longer believe in monsters as faces in the floor or feral infants or vampires or whatever. I think at seventeen now i believe the only real monsters might be the type of liar where there’s simply no way to tell. The ones who give nothing away.”

“But then how do you know they’re monsters, then?”

“That’s monstrosity right there, Boo, I’m starting to think.”

“Golly Ned.”

“That they walk among us. Teach our children. Inscrutable. Brass-faced.”

Contract for a Young Writer or Artist

August 10, 2009

If I, _______, am ever successful enough to have my own assistant, I vow never to:

a) Blame him/her for something that is my fault, unless he/she explicitly gives me permission to

b) Patronizingly tell him/her that

b1) his/her interest in writing or art or what-have-you is “cute” or “endearing”

b2) artistic competency, let alone genius, is “a burden of calling I wouldn’t wish on anyone”

b3) the industry isn’t what it used to be

b4) he/she ought to think about law or prostitution, where the “real money” is

c) Give him/her a copy of my own published work in lieu of a thoughtful, personalized Christmas or holiday gift

d) Regale him/her with too many stories of my younger days and all the knowledge I have amassed as a result of my totally unique and amazing experiences and subsequent (deserved) success

e) Call him/her on a Sunday/after 9 PM unless absolutely necessary

f) Implicate him/her in lies I choose to tell

I understand that these stipulations will make for a healthier working relationship, and will contribute to the assistant’s overall happiness and level of productivity.

For future reference, please file.  It is recommended that the above signed read this contract at least once every three months upon hiring an assistant in order to remind him or herself of what constitutes poor or unethical behavior as a boss and inevitable mentor.

Signed: __________________                        Dated: _________________