Archive for December, 2006


Cheap Degenerate Cover Overhaul

December 18, 2006


     With many thanks to my talented graphic designer friend Pat Cegielski, the cover for ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish’ got a touch-up with text for the cafe press site.  I also went back last night and inserted headers, wrote an afterword for the book, and made sure that it looked as professional as it possibly could.  After the changes, the book is now 103 pages and the price is $13.00.  Now what other excuse do you need?  Buy my books!


A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars

December 17, 2006

After goofing off with the Cafe Press site all weekend, I decided to try an experiment for you guys.  I compiled and published my own book on the site.  Its EXCLUSIVE to Cafe Press, I’m ONLY going to be selling it on Cafe Press, and it’s $13.00, making it the cheapest collection I’ve ever released.  Its called ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’, and I compiled the last two years worth of bar reviews into one portable, 103 page book.  I’m going to be tracking the title closely to see how viable the site is as a saleable option, so if you’re interested in the book, by all means click over there and buy yourself a copy!  Click here to go directly to the book info and ordering information:


Tom Waters’ Merch is Up and Running!

December 15, 2006


I just started a shop up on Cafe Press with hats, buttons, t shirts, mugs, bumper stickers and more!  The permanent link is on the web site here listed under blog roll, but click here if you want to check it out:

Supplies are limited and the t shirts and mugs are going fast, so amaze, disgust and impress your friends by wearing, drinking and carrying the Official Tom Waters’ products!


rejection in one of it’s many unpleasant forms

December 15, 2006

As promised in the biweekly newsletter (if you’re not a subscriber, feel free to drop an email to with the subject heading ‘subscribe’, here’s a poem from the upcoming Breathing Room collection.  I’m also posting a new essay up on, so follow the leader and pop over there when you get a chance as well!

rejection in one of it’s many unpleasant forms

we regret to

inform you

that your submission

does not fit our

needs at this


we wish you

the best of

luck in

placing your work


your needs?

i have needs


i need more


to fritter away

on foolish things.

i need publishing


to feed my hungry


i need frequent


that my work

is valued

and entertaining.

i wish you

the best of luck

in placing your


in your ass.


Madamoisselle’s-10, Rick’s Tally Ho-0

December 14, 2006

So here’s how my evening went yesterday.  My editor at Night Life told me that Rick’s Tally Ho was having a X-Mas party.  I told him that I was planning on going to Madamoisselle’s to take part in their holiday cheer, but that I would stop over to Rick’s afterwards.  We had a fantastic time at Madam’s and I got to meet a local radio personality who shall remain nameless.  We had a few drinks, owner Mark Whipple was kind enough to buy me a double of Johnny Walker Black, and fun was had by all.  Then we went to Rick’s…

     In five years of writing bar and exotic club reviews, we’ve never done one on Rick’s Tally Ho.  I said hello to the doorman and after speaking with Rick himself on the phone earlier, I was planning on asking him if he wanted me to mention any of their promotions or specials (which is standard).  I came into the place looking to do my best to make them look good.  Lindsay and I bellied up to the bar and I got a double of Jamison and a bottle of Blue Light.  Rick came over after I’d taken down about four pages worth of stream of consciousness notes for the review and told me that my editor ‘had better call me because he’s going to lose the account’.  That was how I could help him out, as a simple messenger boy.  In six years of freelancing locally and nationally, I’ve never been so insulted in my life.  I stewed with that for a little while, finished my drink and left.  The bouncer told me he was looking forward to the review and I told him that it wasn’t going to happen, and that I wasn’t my editor’s little bitch boy.  He wanted to smooth things out, but what’s done is done.  No wonder Rick’s gets so much bad press; if their owner new anything about self promotion or free promotion, he would know that writers and editors are two different breeds, and that you don’t treat reviewers like ‘the help’.  How fucking dare you, Rick.  That would be like telling Jeff Simon at The Buffalo News that they flubbed the ad for Talladega Nights, or telling Jeff Miers that his typesetting work on the paper was sub par.  As God is my witness, I am never setting foot in that place again (I encourage all of you to do the same) and I have no intention of ever writing anything nice about them for as long as I live.  Lindsay and I spent the rest of the time that I was intending on spending at Rick’s back at Madamoisselle’s and we had a blast.  For yet another week, I am off the review docket.  My editor understood.  After going out of my way to fit them in, Rick blew it.  This is one of the reasons why I’m slowly bowing out of the bar and club review business.  Too many clowns spoil the broth.   


crass menagerie with a mind of its’ own, breathing room bellows out

December 13, 2006

     Despite my sincere feeling that I deserve a rest from the book writing business, my creativity seems to feel otherwise, and I’m almost ten pages into the book 6, with a working title of ‘Crass Menagerie’.  The essays are a bit shorter in the tooth than what I finished ‘Slapstick’ with, but I think I’m trying to get a handle on the overall theme and content of the collection, which, like ‘Slapstick’ will be essays and nothing but.  With almost a three year lead time, I’ve got plenty of time to make a big book with nothing but quality content. 

     As far as ‘Breathing Room’ goes, celebrated local poet Carrie Spadter will be getting together with me tomorrow to throw in her two cents on the project.  She’ll be editing the book for me and hopefully writing the introduction, and there’s no prose writer in existence that I respect more.  She was choice number one for the project, and I’m really honored and happy that she accepted the job.  If all goes well, I should have three hundred pages of prose that she can take a butcher’s knife to towards the end of 2007 in time for a spring ’08 launch simultaneously with ‘Slapstick’ or the untitled Buffalo anthology project with Alycia Ripley, whichever comes first.  God knows that there is no market whatsoever for poetry anymore, but I think fans of my other work might enjoy it more than they think.  This poetry is light years different in terms of style and content than anything I’ve written in the past, peppered with humor, inspiration, and a degree of naked confession I’ve never shown before.  Whatever the case, it should be interesting to see how the book evolves over the next year for me at the very least. 


Week 5 on Stands, Week 4 Right Here!

December 11, 2006

     The newest issue of Night Life is out today with a brand new Big Words column that’s a classic from ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ entitled ‘I Don’t Wanna Go On With ‘What Did You Want On That?’ about the aggravation of drive throughs.  They were kind enough to list the web site address and the mailbag address this week, so hopefully we’ll ring up some hits here.  Don’t forget that I’ll be running a reader mail column the last week of every month in Night Life, so send all responses and criticisms about the columns to:  

Since I specifically wrote ‘Interesting Locales For Mistletoe’ for the Big Words column, I’m reprinting it right here for your reading enjoyment in the event that you couldn’t get the print edition.

     Also, keep your eyes peeled for this week’s ArtVoice as it will be featuring my interview with author Alycia Ripley and possibly more.  I’ll be running that interview in its entirety with photos right here next Thursday.

     And if you haven’t gotten a chance yet, you really are missing out if you haven’t visited my YourHub site.  I’ve been padding the site liberally with stories, event listings and pictures.  It’s a lot more local and the focus is less on the writing and publishing than it is about friends, family and community.  I’ll be posting based on the site traffic, so visit often and rate even more often.  The direct link to my ‘Big Buffalo I Know By Heart’ site on YourHub is:


Tom Waters

Interesting Locales For Mistletoe

This is it. The pre-holiday season is upon us. The next month is going to be a living, breathing, weight gaining, hair-pulling, ulcer-inducing, anxiety riddled gauntlet of pain for adults. Traffic gets five times worse, old women hold up post office lines, psychotic soccer moms with crispy short hair dos bark out orders in every department store, and we open our Sunday papers to find a small bible full of coupons, circulars and sales offers. This is gonna suck. The Christmas season really sucks once you’re a grown man. You don’t get toys anymore, there are in-laws or near in-laws to contend with, and holiday related activities chew up any time you might have had to sit on your ass on days off watching television or flipping through comic books on the toilet with a fresh cigarette and a small silo of strong coffee. Well, maybe that last part was just me.

I know that the weight I lost from this last flu bug is going to come right back to roost. If it isn’t Thanksgiving, it’ll be Christmas. And if it isn’t Christmas, it’ll be the cavalcade of drinks that go along with that week after Christmas leading in to New Year’s. The end of November through the end of January is a busy, drunken time. Getting obliterated is almost a prerequisite for making it clear on through to February, and by then, we all have staggering credit card bills and astonishing weight scale results. I might as well buy a few pairs of loose fitting pants now because I’m sure as hell not going to get any under my Christmas tree. I’m at an age now where I get a check in the mail or knick knacks. I can’t stand knick knacks. Buy me a bottle of scotch or a Bukowski book, don’t give me knick knacks. My girlfriend and I get tandem gifts, too, which are nice and practical and all, but, well, I want toys!

I shouldn’t complain. Her family doesn’t need to buy me anything. We’re not legally together in that way (a fact that never escapes any gathering which I even taunt and encourage on occasion), so any gesture is nice. I’m happy with the plate of pepperoni and cheese that they stock and serve especially for me. And her mom makes phenomenal home made stuffing for the Thanksgiving bird. This goes a long way with me. Plus they bring the reserve bottle of whiskey out from under the cupboard in the event that I want to enjoy one to eighteen cocktails during the all day family blowouts that her family is fond of throwing. It’s a culture shock, I suppose. After I moved out, I used to go to my parents for family get togethers, tear open the gifts, inhale my food, nap, and then leave. With them it’s an all day escapade. We show up at two in the afternoon and get home at eight. It’s a good thing that my parents fly south for the window and that my big brother and I only see each other two or three times a year because if I had to do the double family get together, someone would end up getting shot or beaten over the head with a manger scene.

I’m horrible about buying gifts, too. Forget that. Leave it to the housewives to chew each other’s throats out over scarves and epileptic Elmo’s, I’d rather give my money to ‘the wife’ and let her pick the stuff out. I don’t know from people, and I’m not good at figuring out what they want. I’m good at buying things for me, though. Maybe I should charge a small fee to my friends and family to pick out gifts for myself that they could give to me. I wonder if there’s a market for that? Anyhow, the aforementioned big brother and I have a wonderful arrangement where we don’t buy each other anything. We call each other on the phone on Christmas Day, exchange token pleasantries and go on with our day. We’re both cold, calculating corporate whores, so it’s a mutual respect that we share for each other. It’s not that I don’t love my big brother, because I do. It’s just that he has his Holiday Gauntlet to run, as do I. So I’ve only got ‘the old bag’ to worry about for presents. This year I believe I’ll stick a sprig of mistletoe into my belly button. Kidding.

And New Year’s is always a fiasco. The sad thing is that the Millenium was the best, craziest, drunkest New Year I will ever have and I realize that. It would be impossible to top that day. I went to one girlfriend’s, went to my parents’ house, went to another girlfriends, spent some time with her in her car outside of her parents’ house, and then left her to get f-ed up twenty ways to Sunday at my buddy’s house with all of our friends at his apartment out in Cheektowaga. I spent the next New Year’s with an exotic dancer at her apartment with a bottle of Goldschlager and a whip (a story that sounds more exciting than it was), which was pretty cool, too, but those days are long behind me. My current girlfriend and I threw a big bash at our apartment last year that was fun, but anticlimactic. There was a chocolate fountain and three or four bottles of champagne, strawberries, good whiskey, and thirty or forty of our closest friends. It gets old. You don’t want to drive to a party because you know there are going to be eight thousand cops just waiting to haul your ass in, you don’t want to go to the bars because it’s amateur night and people are going to be acting like total jackasses and you know there are also going to be eight thousand cops just waiting to haul your ass in, but you don’t want to stay at home alone like a seventy five year old couple that gets up the hour before Dick Clark’s ball drops just to have a small plastic glass of champagne and then go back to bed. It’s a real pickle. I think we might do the mature, apartment renting, Woody-Allen-esque thing this year and have two or three couples over for smart cocktails and engaging conversation. Than after midnight I’ll parade around the house with a champagne bottle up my ass. Maybe not.

I love turkey, I love whiskey, and I love checks in the mail, but can’t we fast forward and drop the madness for one year? I’ll be happy when it’s February and I’m looking at the bottom line on my filed tax return statement and we really start getting walloped with snow. Snow is Christmas enough for me. It sucks to drive in, but there’s something people down south rarely (if ever get). Waking up in the morning with a cigarette, scratching myself and looking out the window at a perfect, silent patch of freshly fallen snow. That, and watching ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ on DVD on Christmas Day for the eighteen millionth time. I never said I wasn’t festive, I just prefer to be festive without moving, talking, or spending time with anyone else. Does that make me a grinch?

Getting a colonoscopy to find last year’s cork,

Tom ‘Kwanza’ Waters

Questions, thoughts, criticisms and comments? Drop us a note online at ‘’ For more rants, reviews, interviews and other nonsense, visit ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ online at

%d bloggers like this: