Friday, July 28, 2006

Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Member of the Cast of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"?

Army specialist dismissed for being gay was questioned about his involvement with community theater.
Little to Say

Haven't updated much lately. Sorry about that.

Been having some tribulations that have caused me to smack head against table. Won't go into it here but everyone's fine, everything's fine, all will be fine, but man it was, as Charlie (Age 5) would say, FUSStrating. But now it's good. Buy me a cup of coffee some time and I'll tell you about it.

A song this morning by Charlie (Age 5):

Oh, imagination is stupid
Imagination is stupid
Imagining things is dumb and a waste of time
Imagination! IS! DUMB!

(Make up some random melody. He did.)

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Okay, so the most brilliant sitcom you're likely to see in a while can be found at YouTube. Everyone's watching it. It's called Nobody's Watching (see the pilot in three installments: 1, 2, 3). It's scripted. The concept is this: two high school pals love sitcoms, they send a video of themselves to the WB asking for jobs, the WB moves them to LA to make a sitcom but they make them live on a sitcom set and have a studio audience in place at all times, the guys then must make a pilot. It's funny as hell. Anyway, the pilot (real) was not picked up by the WB, sending the show to purgatory. Now it's on YouTube and is so popular that it's being seen by everyone. And it's really funny.

It got me thinking. What if my life is a big sitcom? And it's all being filmed? Like in the Truman Show?

Evidence to back up theory:
1. I work in a radio station, popular sitcom setting.
2. I have adorable wisecracking kids.
3. Guest stars seem to drop by (in the last few weeks I've talked with David Cross and Lewis Black)
4. I'm fond of making jokes.

Evidence to cast theory into doubt:
1. My issues are generally not resolved.
2. No laugh track, as far as I know.
3. Co-workers are fairly homogenous; I don't have the stuffy one, the sleazy one, the oversexed one, the stupid one. They're all normal smart people who quietly go about their business.

Still, maybe it's like an artsy sitcom. Like a new kind of sitcom. And it's certainly not a drama, a reality show, or a news program. Like a sitcom on the Sundance Channel where no one actually laughs.

So let me ask you this: if you're life was a TV show, what kind of show would it be?

Monday, July 17, 2006

I Attended My High School Reunion Last Friday

They asked me to make remarks at the beginning of the program.

Remarks I made:

"It's a night of fun, memories, schadenfreude. And because we have Federal Way High School educations, I'll point out that that's a word you can look up on the computer. And because we have Federal Way High School educations, I'll point out that the computer is that little TV with the box attached to it that don't seem to work with the REE-mote."

The Judas Priest lyric study group will not be doing their presentation tonight. They will be meeting at the regular time next week at CoCo's. This week's topic is Turbo Lover. Please wear leather wristbands.

"11:15 has been set aside for the drunken "I've always had a crush on you" confessional. I see the cheerleaders have once again formed a tight closed circle so you know where to find them."

High school classmates, then and now

Then: Mormon girl I had a crush on
Now: Former mormon and current lesbian

Then: Obnoxious football player
Now: Obnoxious sheet metal worker, 100 pounds heavier

Then: Cheerleaders (4) who found themselves fascinating and assumed everyone else did as well
Now: Same but only three of them now

Questions I asked of other people:

So were you hooked on speed at some point? (answer: No! My god, what are you talking about?)

When you got married, did you think that would take care of the lesbian thing? (answer: yes)

Who are you? (answer: Someone you went to school with for six years, my god, I can't believe you don't remember!)

Questions asked of me:

What kind of music does your radio station play (answer: It's not that kind of... see, the way public radio works is....never mind)

Did you ever go to all these parties? (answer: Nope)

Who did you hate the most? (answer: That guy riiiiiiight there. And evidently I still do)

Friday, July 14, 2006

At Starbucks this morning, waiting in line

BARISTA: What do you have planned this weekend?
CUSTOMER 1: Oh, just getting stuff done around the house.
BARISTA: Cool. Gotta do that. Have a good day. (then to new customer) That'll be $3.29. What's your weekend like?
CUSTOMER 2: I'm going to this big arts festival in Vancouver.
BARISTA: Awesome. There's your change. (then to me) Tall drip, that's a dollar fifty three. What are you doing this weekend.
ME: Tri-state killing spree.
BARISTA: Ha. Okay.

Actually it's not technically a killing spree. Technically it's a Federal Way High School class reunion.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

How Is Your Book Going?

My friends, my book is gone. I think so, anyway. Today I put it all in an envelope and sent it off to New York after spending the last couple of weeks combing through it for typos (and finding plenty). Meanwhile, a real professional proofreader is doing the same. I also changed a chapter subtitle that made no sense and demanded (well, okay, requested) numbers for the footnotes instead of asterisks.

I believe that this was the last I get to monkey with it until it's published. Not that I really understand the process completely.

Then I went and bought a Hershey bar. Not sure why. Tomorrow I go to my high school reunion.

Available for pre-order.

Oh, and there's another Pop-Song Correspondence up at McSweeney's.

Also, the organization named 826 Seattle is worth supporting for many reasons (they teach kids to write being the hugest). But one of the lesser-known and crucial reasons is this: I dropped by today to pick up my tickets to this huge Bumbershoot thing they're doing (Eggers, Vowell, Hodgman, Merritt, Coulton, Snicket) and the lady working there says, "Okay, you've got two tickets..." and trails off a bit.

"To paradise?" I asked.

And without missing a beat, she says "Pack your bags! You leave tonight!"

They know kids, they know writing, and they know Eddie Money.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


You know how when you read a certain book or listen to a certain record, you just get it so much that you feel like the author or musician could be your friend? Like you just totally connect with it and if circumstances were different you could be pals and meet them for breakfast from time to time or have them over for barbecue or go to a ball game and stuff? That's how it is with some people I interview at some radio station where I work. I'll interview them, we'll get along great, we'll have something in common even, and I just want them to become friends with me.

But you can't really say, "Hey, wanna be friends?" as they walk to the lobby after the interview. Because that's weird. And maybe they actually really would want to be friends but it's just not the time or place or method for that to happen. But then it doesn't end up happening. They walk out the door, out of your life, and the world gets no warmer.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Best Birthday Ever

Gift from Charlie (Age 5)

Gift for Charlie (Age 5) from himself

I opened it, thanked him profusely, and put mine on. I was also wearing jeans and socks and shoes (no sandals, it was a work day). Charlie sprints out of the room with his shirt, comes back in wearing shirt, jeans shorts (that he put on backwards out of sheer excitement), and socks and shoes. I dropped him off at preschool that day. Never have I been so proud to walk side by side with my son.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

How Is Your Book Going?

Glad you asked! So I have a stack of 310 pieces of paper on my desk right now. 310 type set pages. My task is to go through them and catch factual errors and typos while another proofreader does the same. Then I correct them in colored pencil (did I mention publishing doesn't like doing things electronically? They are turning it into a physical book, I guess). Then I send it back by 7/13. Then I have no more control of the book what. so. ever. Done. Sealed. Final. I lay back and get ready for publicity.

I gotta say that seeing it in type set form makes it all seem more real. I loves me the Times New Roman 12-point on the Mac, don't get me wrong, but now it seems much more like A Book than it ever has. Freaks me out. Exciting.

Publicity plans seem to include a book conference in Portland, another one in Austin, then touring to Boston, DC, Milwaukee(!), Minneapolis, SF, Portland, and back to Seattle. Also, a launch party/interview thing on 10/4 (good buddy) in Seattle and a speaking thing here maybe at Town Hall. And bookstores here. And hopefully some national media out of NYC or LA.

Final subtitle is also decided: How I Tried to be a Righty With the Help of Richard Nixon, Sean Hannity, Toby Keith, and Beef Jerky.

And it's available for pre-order!
Oh, I'm Sure You've Seen This By Now...

But just in case, Ted Stevens is a United States Senator from the state of Alaska. He's got some ideas on how the internet works. And don't go thinking it's a truck. It's not a truck.

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

Read more!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Oh, Did I Mention Bumbershoot?

I'll be performing at Bumbershoot this year on Labor Day. It's a live version of the Pop-Song Correspondences column I've been writing on McSweeney's for a while now. Not sure what time of day but it will be on Labor Day. Come see it! If you want! Kanye West is also performing, but not with me. Charlie's favorite band A Tribe Called Quest, too.
A Conversation with Charlie (Age 5) About Spiritual Matters

HIM: Dad, do you want me to tell you about your soul?
ME: My soul?
HIM: Yeah, I can tell you what your soul is like.
ME: Well, yeah. Go ahead.
HIM: Bing bang! Doo-doo-doo-doo! Blah blah! Bathroom toilet! Bing bong bing bong! Beep beep beep! Poopie on your head! Dee-dee-dee! Ting tong beep boop! That's your soul!
ME: Wow! Really?
HIM: No, I'm just kidding. That's not really your soul.
ME: Oh good. Wow.
HIM: Yes it is! PEE!