Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Hi.  Come here often?  If so, excuse me.  I didn't recognize you.  If not, please stay a while.  My regular readers* will tell you how good I am to them.

For example . . . 

Around Labor Day, I started an ongoing feud with George Clooney (717,413 "like"-rs).  If that weren't enough, around Halloween, I opened a regular segment tracing the omens in my life that are foreboding my fame.  Interspersed, I've shared invaluable insight into the process of failing to get published.  What more could you ask for?

Well, for those of you who are pagans (i.e. non-Christians), you probably don't know that last Sunday was the first Sunday of the advent.  Translation for you:  that means it's almost Christmas.  I'm feeling giving again.

Announcing a new regular segment on my soon-to-be-famous blog!!!!!!!!!!!

My Celebrity Icons.  Part One.

Through this segment, I will act as an intermediary between the not-famous and the already-famous.  It is, after all, my temporary place in this world.  I will bring my regular readers* brief portraits of already-famous people you might not know much about.  That way, you'll all* get a glimpse into what I will be like when I am famous, and you can start preparing now for the change.  Plus, in the meantime, you'll know who my heroes are. 

My first celebrity icon is...

Professional football player Stevie Johnson!!!!!!!!  (Yay!!!!!!!!!!!)

Stevie Johnson plays for the Buffalo Bills!!!!!!!  He has 59 receptions (should be 60) for 796 yards (could be 836) so far this season.  He earns $388,380 a year in salary!!!!!  People would love to be him.  Most importantly, he writes things like this on Twitter after he drops important passes:


Is he your hero yet?  He's mine.  I mean, how many people do you know who have God following them on twitter?  WTF, RT?, THX THO...

I'm shaking my head in amazement.  I want to be like Stevie.  Goodbye MJ, hello SJ. 

Here is a tweet I just sent to the agent who rejected me yesterday:


I feel better!!!!!!!

I'll be doing everything like Stevie Johnson from now on.  So don't throw me any important passes (I'm looking at you, Ryan Fitzpatrick). 

*Hi, mom!
^unless you're an agent who does, in which case, go football!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Leave me alone, beach!

LEAVE ME ALONE!  If you want to mess with me, you come through me first!  

How dare you bother me, after all I've been through?  All you people care about is readers and making money off of me.  I'M A HUMAN!

What you don’t realize is that I am making you all this money, and all you do is write a bunch of crap about me.  All you people want is more more more more more.  Leave me alone!  

You’re lucky I even performed for you.  LEAVE ME ALONE!  Please.  

. . .

There.  I'm glad I got that off my chest.  

If it matters, I'm at the beach.  Yes, the beach.  I'M BEING AN ORDINARY HUMAN BEING AT THE BEACH IS THAT OKAY WITH YOU?? 

I won't tell you which beach*, and you won't ever find me.  But it's beautiful here.  JUST ORDINARY AND BEAUTIFUL IS THAT OKAY WITH YOU??

I won't be updating about agents or manuscripts or omens or writing anything, ANYTHING about George Clooney or his many, many, many, many "like-rs".  I've had enough.  ENOUGH IS THAT OKAY WITH YOU??  I NEED A FEW DAYS OFF IS THAT ALL RIGHT WITH YOU??

You people really don't get it.  When I put my private business out there, like on a blog or on youtube or every major news network, and I ask people to care about everything, EVERYTHING I do--I'm not giving you all permission to nudge about in my affairs!  THEY'RE MY AFFAIRS!  NOT YOURS!

All I ask is that I work when I want to work and don't when I don't, that I be rewarded extravagantly for just walking into a room, and that people adore me when I want to be adored and LEAVE ME ALONE WHEN I FEEL LIKE BEING LEFT ALONE!

Read my mind, assholes.  It's because of people like you that I've gone crazy and shaved my head. 

I have to sign off now.  The ocean breeze is intruding on my well-deserved privacy.  I'm going to go shout at it.  

. . .


Monday, November 22, 2010

A Private (Very Public) Confession

I read an interview with the agent who is currently (happily) perusing (with growing delight over each passing page) my manuscript.  In said interview, said agent expressed that he or she prefers to take on clients who already have platforms.  So I went out and built a 4' x 5' x 10' wooden structure.  (Punning, my mother tells me, is the first sign of a first-class intellect!*)

No, seriously folks.  What is a platform?  Basically, it means you already have a following. (Think, for example, Jesus or Glenn Beck.)

It is a reality of the publishing world.  These days, publishers want immediate best-sellers.  After all, about 90% or more of books never earn back the author's initial advance.  In other words, publishers lose money on most books they print.  Consequently, publishers are keen on authors (first-time or not) who already have a following so that, when the book comes out, there are already people who want to buy it, and everyone wins. 

Perhaps you feel that this expectation reflects a certain laziness on the part of the publisher -- that they want to print the book, distribute it, then watch it sell itself.  Maybe you think it's irrational that the marketing burden at first falls significantly on the shoulders of the least-established writers, instead of on major publishing houses with virtually unlimited resources.  Perhaps you also feel it is a catch 22 that in order to gain recognition (say, for a book you wrote) you have to have already gained recognition; it falls into the same category as "it takes money to make money," "the rich get richer," and "good things come to those who wait patiently surrounded by adoring fans in their private pool."  If you share any of these opinions about a platform, I direct you back to the topic sentence of the previous paragraph.

Whatever you believe, I, as a man of privilege, disagree with you.  I have a platform, and people support me, and I intend to use those people's support to ultimately leave those people behind.  Starting now. 

Are you ready for my readership to triple, my handsomeness to grow, and my "like-rs" to surge past Clooney, Conan and JK Rowling alike? 

Today, on November 22, 2010, I have a confession to make.  Here it comes . . .

. . .

I was on the grassy knoll.^  Not only that, I switched Kennedy's body with another handsome Kennedy at the autopsy.^^  And I placed the pristine bullet on the stretcher.^^^

Please don't tell anybody about this confession (e.g., by sharing a link to my blog on your facebook page, or mentioning my blog repeatedly to your friends, or by buying advertising space on the History Channel, then donating it to my blog).  I'm a very private person, and I would wither at all of the media attention I would get if people knew that I also rerouted the motorcade.**  (Oops.) 


* Carpentry is the first sign of a first-class Messiah.  Happy Holidays!
^ May not be true
^^I was not alive in 1963
^^^Replace "pristine bullet" with "a small cat" and "stretcher" with "my lap"

**I stole the Lindbergh baby

Friday, November 19, 2010

Did Someone Lose a Story?

Today, I came home from AC1 to find the following on my computer desktop, saved under the file name "Dog Story."

"Mr.Poofyfluffers ran like the wind. NO! He ran faster than wind. Faster than light. Faster than....time . . .Mr.Poofyfluffers arrived at where the Skate Park should have been. Poofyfluffers emerged from the bushes to find dust. He looked to his right; he saw sand and dust as far as the eye could see. He looked to his left, and he saw what appeared to be a small town off in the distance. A tumbleweed blew by. The sun was beaming down on him at this point. Mr. Poofyfluffers began to walk toward the town. The sun shone so brightly in his eyes, he didn't see that something, or someone, was following him very closely."

I swear, I did not write this.  I don't even know a Mr Poofyfluffers.  Or a Mrs Poofyfluffers, for that matter.

But, if you do, then maybe you have lost your story (or part of your story) on my computer desktop.  If this is your story, and you can send me the rest of it, I will recommend you to my agent.*

Consider that a challenge.
*when the next one says "yes"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A New Turn (A Poem in Blank Verse)

It's Autumn, change is in the
air, baseball ended,
basketball began,
the republicans took the house
of representatives
the leaves are
to the not-yet-frozen ground
robert downey jr in due
date, autumn leaves
autumn sunsets
autumn clocks fall back on their heels
go to hell carolina go to hell
autumn rivalry
peace be with you
autumn peace
an agent appears
autumn agent
he asks to read my manuscript
autumn request
a full request
so rare
1 out of
ten queries
or so
autumn statistics
he works in New York City
a city of
autumn change
will a
basketball curse
follow the
baseball curse
it is possible
request date?
15 november
an off day for the
new york knickerbockers
in the middle of a
losing streak
autumn remembers
winter forgets
i took the one less traveled by
glazed with rain water
beside some white chickens
autumn chickens
autumn white
and that has made all the

Friday, November 12, 2010

Baseball!! WOOOOO!!!! (Big fan hand in the air!!!!)

Boy, do I like baseball.  Latin people hitting balls.  Balls hitting Latin people.  Bats hitting balls.  Batted balls hitting people's balls.  Latin people hitting balls.  Bats hitting Latin people in the ballsBases.

Boy, do I love baseball. 

Remember how John Danks of the Chicago White Sox posted a 3.72 ERA with 162 strikeouts (K's!) this season?  That put him 19th in the American League in strikeouts, only eight K's behind Texas's CJ Wilson.  And CJ Wilson went on to pitch in the World Series.  Probably because his team, the Texas Rangers, had the most productive outs in baseball this season.  But, alas or hurray, they lost to the San Fransisco Giants

I sure hope free agent pitcher Cliff Lee doesn't "wind up" (that's a baseball pun) with the Yankees (grrr!).

But really, underneath, I don't care who^ beats whom^ for whom^.  I'm just a fan of the game!

I love baseball. 

If you are an agent, stop reading now.

Maybe the rest of you think I've lost my mind, or at least the thread of my blog.  I haven't.  On the contrary, I've garnered some vital information in my pursuit of an agent.  Ready?

Agents LOVE baseball!

Wanna know how I figured it out?  Well, there's a curious pattern forming.  

The First Request

I started marketing my novel around the beginning of baseball season.  At first I was getting all rejections.  Finally, the first request (and subsequent rejection) I got happened in September, from a letter I sent in July. The agency was in Toronto.  Let's look at the Toronto Blue Jays' record surrounding the date of that request:

Sun 8/29    @DET   L  4-10
Mon 8/30   @TB     L   2-6
Tues 8/31   @TB     W  13-5
Wed 9/1    @TB     L   1-2
Thurs 9/2  OFF DAY (!!!!)
Fri 9/3        @NYY   L  3-7
Sat 9/4        @NYY   L  5-7

Weird.  The agency in Toronto asked to read my manuscript on the Toronto Blue Jays' off day, in the middle of a losing streak.  Could it be that they were disenchanted with their team, wanted a distraction?  No . . . could it?

The Second Request

The second request (and subsequent rejection) I got was from a New York City agency on September 9.  I will assume they are Yankees fans, since they ultimately rejected me. 

The Yankees were going as follows at that time:

Sun 9/5     TOR   L   3-7
Mon 9/6    BAL   L   3-4
Tues 9/7    BAL   L   2-6
Wed 9/8    BAL   W  3-2
Thurs 9/9   OFF DAY (!!!!)
Fri 9/10     @TEX  L  5-6
Sat 9/11    @TEX  L  6-7
Sun 9/12    @TEX  L  1-4
Mon 9/13   @TB    L  0-1

Okay, now I'm getting paranoid.  Is requesting my manuscript some sick thing agents do when their team is choking?  Is it a coincidence that, like the Toronto agency, the New York City agency asked for my manuscript on an off day in the middle of a nasty Yankee losing streak, and to the bottom of the AL no less? 

I'm not crying yet, but let's call it strike two. 


Then October "hit."  (Oh man, I'm full of 'em.)

During the month of October, I sent out 11 query letters (selectively, and intermittently*).   Four of them garnered form-letter "no's."  Six of them have not garnered responses at all (yet?)

And boy did those form-letter "no's" ever seem just a little too hastily written -- as in during "God Bless America!"  (I use this time to write letters, too.  I mean, do we really need two Hurray-for-America songs every baseball game?)  I'm glad I didn't query any Boston agencies in October.  They would have written back "Bum bum bum!  So good, so good, so good!"

Finally . . .

One of the October letters garnered a request for what we aspiring novelists call a "partial." (That is, one agent requested to see the first thirty pages of my novel.)  The letter is dated November 2.  What day did the World Series -- and thus, baseball season -- wrap up?

Well, if you can't answer that, then you obviously don't know anything about baseball.  I hope you're not trying to publish a book or become an agent.

Strike three.  Thank God baseball season is over.  Now I can start to be taken seriously!

. . .

Unless they pay attention to the hot stove  . . . ?
* in case some agent is still reading
^I think I used "who," "whom," and "whom" correctly!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Blog is Not About My Butt

Like any great thinker, I am occasionally mocked. 

For example, I humbly and sincerely, upon the creation of this blog, specified that its* purpose is to record what it's* like to be "regular" before I forget.  Some of you have tried to turn this noble intention into some kind of poop joke.  Well, I have news for you.  

My blog is not about sh*t. 

I specifically chose the word "regular" over words like "normal," "average," "typical," and "mundane" (especially "mundane") because these words listed above refer to a person's innate and inherent qualities.  A "normal," "average," "typical" or "mundane" person is "normal," "average," "typical," or "mundane" by their very nature.  It is a personality flaw (or, more likely, a series of personality flaws), if they even have a personality to begin with, and it is their fault for being that way.  This being the case, these personality-oriented adjectives (which don't apply to me) could only be shed through character building, through socialization, through "self-work," and I simply wouldn't have the time for that (if these adjectives did apply to me, which they don't).

The word "regular," on the other hand, refers not to my personality, but to my caste, to my wealth, to my unfairly denigrated standing in the eyes of George Clooney (and his fans), and implies that society's failure to recognize me is absolutely not my fault (which it's not).  It is easily shed by a sudden change in the social order, and since this is the United States, such changes to the social order happen all the time.

All of that being said, I think you'll agree that "regular" is the better choice in describing my current predicament.  But if you still think "regular" is funny, just wait.  Upon my arrival at the top, I intend to shed the word "regular" as quickly as, well, an easy trip to the toilet, not to work it off like, well . . . a much longer trip to the toilet. 

But I still intend to be as regular as possible.  I hope that makes sense.  

In summary, fame and the toilet have nothing to do with one another.

*Hey, I used "its" and "it's" correctly!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Progressive Manifesto

When you're someone like me -- someone with a blog -- you have to be careful about how you use your considerable e-power.  I refrain, generally speaking, from getting involved in politics.  After all, if I speak my mind, I might actually change something, and I think I already outlined those risks.

But since I've dipped my foot in this pool, I may as well go for a quick swim.  The water's so nice and blue -- red -- no, blue . . . anyway, it's warm from the bloodbath.  (Pardon me if this post meanders into earnesty.) 

If you agree with the following post, feel free to declare so on the facebook page I just created!

In 2008, 70 million Americans across 50 states voted in favor of Barack Obama's platform of energy independence, health care reform, military restraint and transparent, accessible government.  The political results have been, at best, mixed.  However, while the ensuing progress on these issues has been disappointing to us, we have not stopped believing in or fighting for these issues.

To continue to do so effectively, we must reject the following three common presumptions.

1) The progressive "left."  We must reject the idea that "progressive" values are in any way "fringe" in American politics.  The words "progressive" and "liberal" are currently used almost interchangeably for far left politics, and these terms are simply not the same.  We live in a political climate where many progressive ideas - like those outlined above - enjoy great popularity, yet they are viewed as borderline socialist ideas.  This is inaccurate.  Most progressive ideas are very popular. (If you live in Massachusetts, you should definitely click on that link and call it to the attention of your representative.)

2) Democrat = Progressive.  We must reject the idea that the Democratic Party is the people's party or the avatar of progressive ideas.  During the last two years, Democrats have enjoyed an unprecedented opportunity to fight for progressive principles, and they have compromised those principles repeatedly.  While there are many truly progressive Democrats who deserve their constituents' support, the party as a whole is too fragmented to be labeled "progressive."

3) The outsourcing of political debate.  We must reject the idea of a distant government that must in turn be lobbied and beseeched to carry out the will of the people.   In the 2012 general election, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be open to our will, and each registered voter will receive one vote.  The officials in our government are beholden to us, and we must not be afraid to exercise our power.

Given these principles, I believe that we, the people of the United States who organized so boldy for progressive principles in 2008, must use that same organization to reclaim that power in 2012 by doing two things.

1) We must continue to support progressive candidates in major parties who have stood boldly these two years for our ideals.  We must differentiate between those who have relied only on rhetoric and those who have channeled their principles into a voice on our behalf.  We must reward them.

2) In districts where there is no option which we can enthusiastically support, we must oppose Democrats and Republicans alike by fielding and supporting true independent, progressive candidates in the general election.  We can not allow politicians in the current parties to take our vote for granted simply because we are willing to vote for the lesser of two evils.   We must give rational, disillusioned, angered voters in poorly-represented districts an alternative to voting against a system which does not truly represent them and offer them one that does.  Previously, progressive organizations have supported progressive candidates in Democratic primaries.  This is not enough.  We must present all Americans -- not just registered Democrats and those who vote in the primaries -- a positive option at the polls, and we must see those options to victory.

We musn't forget that the enthusiastic voters and volunteers who believed in changing Washington in 2008 are still here and that, in fact, our numbers are growing.   By our continuing to organize through the free press, through social networking sites, and by simple word of mouth, we can absolutely attain these goals.  By doing so, we will gain new leverage over a system that is drifting further and further from its democratic roots.

How does this sound?  A little too idealistic?  Well, I have three words for you. "Yes, we . . ."  Wait.  We're going to need a new motto this time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Second Omen: I Burned My Face

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the omens in my life.  I posted that the first omen foretelling of my future infamy had arrived -- in the form of a check.  I had recognized it right away as an omen, and I was proud.  I thought I was good at recognizing such things. 

I was wrong (about the recognizing part).  A second, even more obvious omen was already in the making, had already entered my life, walked up to my doorstep, practically slapped me in the face . . . and I hadn't even noticed.   

When the first omen arrived on October 16, I had already been contracted to perform at an upcoming event for Harrington Events.  Specifically, a "client" in Newton was throwing one hell of a Halloween party (get it?), and Harrington Events was hiring actors to play ghouls, zombies . . . Julia Child, Zoltar . . . you know, the usual Halloween faces.

A spooky event at a creepy house.  It should have occurred to me that this, too, was just like Betrayal. . . was an obvious omen . . . but it didn't. 

Then, I went to the event, and they turned me into this handsome devil:

I should have realized what this was (an omen, in case you're an idiot or just starting reading this mid-post).  I didn't.

I took myself out into the party's garden and wiggled around on the ground:

Women screamed at seeing me. (Guys dressed like Owen Wilson just watched with their hands in their pockets.)

That should have given it away.  I mean, women scream at famous and near-famous people all the time.  And Owen Wilson stares at famous people all the time.  Obviously an omen, right?

I still didn't realize, though.  I was blinded (Well, half-blinded.  I could only see out of one eye.).

I went back inside, where they turned me into this thing:

I took myself to the dance floor, where women screamed again, but for a different reason.  They danced all around me.  One groped my face.

I still didn't realize.  (How dumb am I?)

As the party went on, I met Tiger Woods and some nice BP people.  And Supergirl, and Batman, and Richard Simmons.  The Village People were there.  How could I still not see?  How could I not recognize that this whole party was one big omen?  Well, I didn't.  And not just because the latex was now dripping into my good eye.  I'm just that obtuse.

Then, finally, on the way home from the event, a friend of a friend asked "So, how many actors were hired for the event?"  I did a quick once-through in my mind.  Me, Keith (Name changed to protect his identity, but you know who he is, Conan O'Brien!), another ghoul  . . . a headless man . . . a bride . . . Julia Child . . . Six.  Six actors.  Six of us at a creepy house. 

A light bulb went on.  How many explorers are there in a game of Betrayal?  Finally, I saw this party for what it was.  A second omen.  

You can tell me this is all coincidence and I'm making things up.  But I ask you: Now which one of us is being obtuse?  And which one of us is two steps along the 13-fold path to celebrity?

Here are the omens so far, so you can follow along attentively at home (or on your iphone or other web-enabled mobile device).

1) My Zeitgeist Stage check
2) I Burned My Face
3) ?
4) ?
5) ?
6) ?
7) ?
8) ?
9) ?
10) ?
11) ?
12) ?
13) Probably a giant check

PS More photos of the event are available on Harrington Events' facebook page.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Erection Day!

Here is some new polling I didn't make up:

"Nearly half of voters who favored GOP control of Congress said their feelings reflected a vote of protest against the Democrats."  Yes!  Perfect!  Huzzah!  Woohoo!  Yes!  Thank God at least half of voters still get American politics.

But maybe you're not one of them, so let me explain what you don't get.

See, 2 years ago we did this to the Republicans.  We told them their clothes looked funny, and their hair was bad, and they were a bunch of scared white boys, and we wanted nothing to do with them.  And it felt great.  Man, did we show them.  We elected so many Democrats that Republicans practically cried.  Man, oh man.  I mean, man.  Do you know what it felt like?  Do you know how silly those Republicans looked? 

It felt great.   

And do you know what it accomplished?

Nothing.  But if that's what you care about, then you don't get American politics.  I mean, at all.  I'll have to explain some more:

The point has never been to actually change things (In fact, that is the opposite of the point.)  The point is always to feel like we've changed things so we can walk around for a few months with our balls hanging out, high-fiving each other.  Pennsylvania basically humps Ohio every two years, it's so excited about all the change we're making.  

And now we get to feel that way again.  And again two years after that.  And again two years after that.  We.  Are.  So.  Lucky. 

Okay, so maybe this isn't getting us anywhere as a country.  Maybe we're not solving our most critical problems.  Maybe we're coming across to the rest of the world as entitled teenagers who don't actually know what we want, but know that we don't want that.  But -- do I have to say it again?  THAT'S NOT THE POINT OF POLITICS!

So go vote Republican tomorrow, even if it doesn't reflect your values (Wait.  These parties actually have platforms?).  It's going to feel really good.  Then, enjoy it for a few months, grow disgruntled, start complaining about out-of-touch politicians, and get angry again.  Then vote Democrat in 2012.  And Republican in 2014.  Democrat 2016.

Man, it's going to be an awesome decade. 

Just do me one favor.  Whatever you do, don't go voting for some hippie shit.  A) It'll ruin the fun for the rest of us, and B) That would be wasting your vote.