Friday, August 25, 2006

I Felt His Pain

So I was on the LIRR last night heading to my bro's and I overhear this dude about my age sounding extremely annoyed on his cellphone...

"No, I don't."

"I can see. The train does have windows!"

"Well mom, I guess I'll get wet."


I felt his pain.

Rock On,


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Random Notes from My Writer's Group

Note - This was supposed to be a weekly, or bi-weekly (wait, is "Bi-weekly" twice a week, or once every two weeks? I meant the was sposed to be once every two weeks but I couldn't take why...)

Okay, so I started my new Writers Group last night, which I found while browsing Craigslist (aka Slackers Paradise)...

Will this group help me in my never-ending quest to "be all I can be"? Will I come face to face with someone in my Night of the Living Jews story (which I was reading from)? Will I make a joke of someone's short story, which was about a car crash in which her husband and daughter were killed? And finally, why didn't Godzilla use his radioactive breath more often? I mean, it was soooo cool and destructive...I woulda.

Anyhoo, the answers to many of these questions to follow, so if the two of you, yeah YOU, would please be quiet, we'll get started..........thank you.

So the "invite" was fer 7:30 - I walk into Florencia's apt at 7:30...and not only is everyone already there, but they're knee-deep in a story already...ack! They've met before mind you, so I was feelin' doubly at unease (atchooally triply, cause it's me we're tawkin' 'bout) - Flo (gotta think of a nickname) does the intro's...

Barbara Lippman - an older English teacher - my guess 60 years old - grey hair - first impression - she's gonna be a drip
Sharon - Jewish psychiatrist - about my age - first impression - booooorrring...she was wearin' a high-wasted long denim dress with boots - her long hair was begging for some style (unless "frizzy" is a style) - looked almost Orthodox
Douglas - thick Irish accent - I think he's a bit older than I - first impression - ummm, he's got a thick Irish accent
Anirudh - Indian dude - about my age - first impression - none
Flo - Argentinian chick who grew up mainly in London (been all over) dunno why, but based on e-mails prior to meeting, I thought she's be fat...she wasn't

(Not that it matters but I didn't take notes during the meeting as I do during my "Writing Class" - I figured this was more for the fun of it and didn't wanna feel like I was "working" - I later regretted it though as I could prolly use one or two of these characters in my inevitable Diary Of a Writing Class story - sure, they weren't in that class but that's what us writers call "poetic license" - you lay people would simply refer to as "lying"...see how much better it sounds when us writers do it?)

Unlike my writing class, we actually read our stuff to the group. I got there in the middle of Sharon (now Psych) reading from her comedic murder mystery involving a psychiatrist...sounded like it could be good idea ...not in her hands of course...but it sounded like a good premise - I couldn't help but think that I've seen her at every Jewish singles event I've ever been too - okay, maybe not her, but her "type" - mid 30's, mousy, dresses poorly (Flo later asked me, "Doesn't she see how others dress outside?"), no "edge" whatsoever - y'all know what I mean (Flo also later said, "She's quite pathetic" - again, later, when all had left but me..and her husband - btw, as mean as I can sound from time to time, Flo may have me beat....AND has a British accent...say those quotes with a British accent...go ahead...I think I may have to work on one of those)

The group discussed her work but since i was "late", I didn't join in - It was a lot of dialogue...ehhh....whatever

We moved onto Irish Dude - writing a novel about a bunch of Irish slacker ne'er-do-wells - not a bad premise - up my alley at least - i just wish I could understand what he was saying while he read from it - i begged off analyzing his as i said, "I have trouble critiquing on the fly..I gotta read it on my own first" - i did end up bringing up a point about a "lucky coincidence" that occurs during a scene (it's a pet peeve of mine when that kinda thing occurs in movies) which resulted in a decent discussion about it and how he may wanna change it - happy to contribute somethin' (as I was already worried I wouldn't be able to)

Next up - Barbara Lippman - I'm thinkin' she's the type who would correct me if I ever called her "Barbie" or "Babs" - anyhoo, she read a dreadful short story about a woman, who was getting a massage, with a "happy ending" no less from some gigolo, all the while, she's thinking back to the car crash she was in that claimed the lives of her husband and daughter. First of all, I kept thinking of her as the chick in the tale getting tail, don't ferget she's a 60 year old frigid-looking grey haired woman - with that in mind, I threw up in my mouth, when she wrote "it stopped at her perineum then penetrated"

Okay, now she already read this story at the last meeting they had and revised it due to suggestions made. One of them was that she had too many simile's - alls I gots to say is I WISH I saw the original cause this was unreadable due to all the simile's - seriously, it was like a plane with nine wings or an elephant with three trunks or a like shooting someone thirty times and then stabbing him or get the idea.

here are some of my fave's...

"Benedict's hands pushed her thighs up like a wind flapping up the ends of a tent"
"...her buttocks were two oval plains marked with the silken lines of age that formed a pattern resembling a turtle's shell"
"they became tow rubber balls independent of the rest of her body"
"her heart was heavy, compacted, a piece of leftover scrap iron"
"her finger's were cow udders, he was wringing each of them slowly, deliberately"
"The juice inside covered his finger like a protective blanket and she contracted it in the gentle rythmn of a sea anemone"

Those are all in first four pages by the way....each page averages about 10's unintelligible (that is a word btw).

Anyway, after she finishes this tale about, to refresh yer memories, how she's having flashbacks to the bloody car accident she was in that claimed her husband and daughter, all the while having sex with someone fer hire....I decided to speak first..

"Ya know...I can't help but think that this story SCREAMS fer a midget"

Thankfully, the room cracked up, led by Flo, whom I told previously about how it's my belief that every story should have a midget in it...if fer nothin' else than comic relief...c'mon! they're funny! Atchooally, one person doesn't laugh...yup...Ms. Barbara Lippman...she sez, and I quote, "Do you really think it can use a midget? Do you think it's too serious?" Good grief, she sux. Oh, and she's an English teacher (which makes her unbounded use of similes all the more humorous)...her new nickname...Ms. Crabtree.

Next we move on to Anirudh's book. First of all, I think everyone at least once asked him how he pronounced his name...I therefore anoint thee Whatshisface. So we reviewed Whatshisface's synopsis to his novel. As said in his synopsis, "The novel brings within its ambit 15 interlocked stories..." Besides the fact I have no clue what "ambit" means....fifteen interlocked stories?!? Good god! I have trouble following two or writing one. It's basically a bunch of smaller stories occurring in India during a riot. When he mentioned that we never find out who exactly are the rioters....I couldn't help but think, "What's the diff..they all look the same anyway." Oh, lighten up!
After reading the synopsis, he asked us whether it sounded like a good idea. Keep in mind that he's already written the novel. I shoulda said, "This sounds terrible. No one's gonna wanna read this." Now THAT woulda been funny. Instead i said, in all truthfulness, "It does sound like a good idea....I could see my ex-girlfriend dragging me to the Angelika to see the movie."

Whatshisface had to go just in time to miss the reason I thought we were all turn (btw - Flo thinks Americans like to hear themselves tawk a bit much...i mus say i disagree...anyhoo, back to me)...I never read the whole Night of the Living Jews out loud before and it was a rather educational and revealing experience...for some reason, it sounds "meaner" when I read it out loud than I thought previously...could be the audience as I was certain that Psych and Ms. Crabtree were gonna hate it...Irish dude may not "get" it....and Flo already read it.
So Irish dude had some comments that were intelligent (he's def a smart dood) but I didn't agree with - Ms. Crabtree, as expected, basically thought it was mean-spirited...Psych had zero to say...she claimed she was "burnt" (it was a long session), but i think she hated it and I think i know honor of Psych, I offer the following Haiku....

Jew Chick hated plot
Ugly, dull chicks turned her off
Hit too close to home?

FWIW - Flo may kick her out due to her decreased interest in other's work after she read hers (just as last time apparently) as well as her poor fashion sense.

Then Psych left, claiming exhaustion....last up was Flo...she read a piece of her novel in progress - listening to her, it was obvious that she's a writer...and I'm an accountant who writes....then again, we have diff audiences (i'm lookin' fer the smart-aleck-but-pathetic-thirtysomething -jewish-accountant-slacker-with-back-hair demographic...thats prolly a decent sized group now that i think of it) - After she finished reading, we were all pretty tired and agreed to critique it next week

Everyone left but me and Flo and I (and her husband, who walked in soon thereafter) - we spent about a half hour tawkin' about the crew, the Good (Irish Dude, Whatshisface), the Bad (Ms. Crabtree) and the Ugly (Psych). All in all, a good first meeting...may end up more educational than the "class" i'm takin' at Snake Oil Salesmen Inc (aka Gotham)

Until Next Week...

Rock On,


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hate Mail!

Thanks to a story I had published online, I received my first piece of hate mail...I'd forward it via e-mail but I would think most of your filters would screen words like "fuckwad."

Rock On,


Tuesday, August 8, 2006

A Work-Related Drinking Game

So I was at a Securities Industry Association conference yesterday. Broker/dealers sent their credit people, lawyers, and regulatory accountants (ahem). I was thinking that there had to be some way to spice it up since as you can imagine, it was brutal. So here's my idea...

Drinking Game for any Wall Street/Accounting conference

1. Bring a flask of your favorite alcoholic beverage.

2. Take a swig whenever one of the following things occur....

a. You see a black person

b. Someone nods off

c. A cell phone goes off

d. An employee of the conference takes your "question card" thinking it's for the panel when it's actually notes for a new drinking game that you're devising.

e. It's read aloud.

Rock On,


Thursday, August 3, 2006

To Answer Your Question...

Yes, it is hot enough for me.

Good Lord, it's hot. Feels like I"m living in Haiti. I would explain to those of you who dont live in New York what's been going on here with the heat but I assume that you already know since...well, this is New York we're talking about (too ethnocentric?)

ANYWAY, we're trying to conserve energy here at work so half the lights were turned off. I volunteered to turn my computer off but that was rejected.

Rock On,


Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Reviews of Writing Classmates' Pieces - Haiku Style!

Your stories are lame
But they do serve a purpose
No more sleeping pills

If given a choice
reading this again or death
I choose the latter

Your story moves me
In an unexpected way
I must throw up now

Your writing is rich
I felt as if I was there
Well, not exactly

Also, one of the writing group participants (yes, I joined a writing group) expressed reservations about the burgeoning size of our group...

Here's solution
You can decrease groups members
by not showing up

Haiku's Rule! Screw the personal essay's...i'm gonna write a book of obnoxious haiku's

Rock On,