Archive for February, 2007


‘Out Of The Cradle And Onto The Couch’ Sees Print in The Buffalo News My View

February 28, 2007

     Even though I’m never informed as to when one of my ‘My View’ submissions is going to see print, I should have known yesterday.  Some psychopath called my house asking for the definition of ‘trytophan coma’ as if I’m Fred The Definition Guy.  Go look it up in the dictionary, you jackass!  Do you think I sit around the house waiting to have my privacy violated?  Well I don’t.  I went to Desiderio’s last night to drop off posters for the ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ book launch on April Fool’s Day and Bob (one of the servers at Desi’s) told me that he saw me in the paper, so, being neurotic, I ran directly over to Wilson Farms and picked up a copy of the daily Buffalo News.  Sure enough, ‘Out Of The Cradle And Onto The Couch’  (from next year’s collection, Slapstick & Superego) was in the Opinion section of Tuesday’s paper under the title ‘Nothing Like A Nap To Restore Some Pep’.  To view the edited article online, click here: 

This could be a legendary week, because if the Ripley interview runs in ArtVoice and the Mazariello’s review runs in Gusto, I’ll have four published articles in Buffalo in one calendar week.  I’ve had trifectas before, but pick fours?  It’s never happened.  Keep your fingers crossed and your eyes on the papers…


Monday Big Words Update! Week 15 on Stands, Go for the Gusto!

February 26, 2007

Here it is a Monday again which means that the new print issue of Night Life is out in Buffalo and Toronto with the final driving rant of the month, ‘A New Lease On Life’, about my former piece of shit ’93 Buick.  Last week’s essay, ‘Chia Chick’, was an exerpt from Born Pissed, so if you missed it and you want to read it, you’ll just have to buy my book. 

     I’ve been tremendously busy locking down more great appearance dates for the month of April, so I haven’t had much spare time to do anything else.  This Friday, I will post an almost complete list for any and all April appearances for the launch of my fourth humor collection, If They Can’t Take A Joke (coming out in hardcover and paperback).  I’m VERY pleased to announce that I will be appearing at at least one FYE (Hamburg) the day before Easter and I’ve been asked to appear at Buffalo State College for their Rooftop Poetry Club monthly meeting.  As a former student at Buffalo State College, it will be an honor to return in a different capacity: as an accomplished author.  There are a lot of other great appearances that month and you will get the full rundown this Friday, once we’re a calendar month away from the beginning of the hoopla.

     As for the Gusto ‘Club Watch’ reviews, my spidey sense is tingling.  I wrote a review on Shogun over the weekend and it sounds to me like the Mazariello’s review will be in either this week or next.  If all goes well, the ArtVoice interview with Alycia Ripley will hit this Thursday and we’ll have my first published Buffalo trifecta in over a year!  This is a rare occurance, so keep your fingers crossed and your eyes open this week.  We are also now three weeks away from the soft release of If They Can’t Take A Joke, so prepare for preorders.  I’ll let you know the second that I know.  I am completely shot from the weekend so I will leave you with that.  Talk to you all next Monday or sooner,

 Tom Waters


‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish’ Now Available at Talking Leaves!

February 25, 2007

     As of today, ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’ will be available at both Talking Leaves books locations on Elmwood Ave. in the city of Buffalo as well as their original location on Main St. near Hertel in the UB area.  Supplies are limited and copies of this runaway smash hit are going for ten bucks, so don’t dilly dally!  Pick up your copy of the fastest selling bar guide in Buffalo history and find out what all the fuss is about before the big party at Hidden Shamrock on St. Patty’s Day! 


Monday Big Words Update! Week 14 on stands, Uncle Hal Return On Wednesday

February 20, 2007

Yep, its Monday for realsies this week and that means the new print issue of Night Life magazine is out with week 14 of the Big Words I Know By Heart print column.  If you missed out on yesterday’s melodrama, though, make sure to scroll down to the last post so that you’re up to date.  Now that the first two driving pieces are out of the way (‘Morning Traffic Retort’ and the two part ‘Cool Hand Highway Superintendant’, respectively), I slipped in a slightly tardy reprint of a Valentine’s rant against relationships (‘Chia Chick’ from Born Pissed).  It’s a fan favorite from the readings and I couldn’t go through February in good conscience without it.  Out of the kindness of my heart (and because its an excerpt from ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’, which is due out in FOUR WEEKS!), I’m reprinting the full version of ‘Cool Hand Highway Superintendant’ right here!  My editors chose to cut all the f bombs, so here it is in all of it’s f-ing uncut glory!  The second my publisher puts ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ up for pre-order (in hardcover and trade paperback) you’ll all be the first to know, so stay tuned to the site for late breaking updates as they occur.  And before I forget, I’ve been asked to come back to do the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal podcast show by popular demand and loathing, so I’ll be going back into the studio this Wednesday.  The episode should be up by this time next Monday, so stay tuned to

Cool Hand Highway Superintendant

People in Buffalo drive like fucking morons. You may think you don’t apply but if you live in Buffalo and you own a car, you too drive like a fucking moron. Until last year, I always operated on the belief that motorists the world over were inconsiderate, ill-educated, short-tempered jack-asses behind the wheel. Then I took a trip out of state. It didn’t really hit me that people obeyed most traffic laws and paid attention to neighboring drivers until I got within five minutes of the Buffalo city limits coming back into town on the thruway. And once again, I was surrounded by assholes. Cutting each other off, driving twenty five miles over the speed limit and coming to a screeching halt before making a turn and taking up a third of the lane to the left of them because they spent a half an hour shuffling through paperwork in the passenger seat. Oh, if you find strong language offensive, you might want to skip this one.

The catch 22 is this: The older I get the less tolerant I am of traffic, but I have to put up with more traffic the older I get. As a partially responsible adult, I’m on the roads more often. Appointments, errands and shopping. I have a one hour commute to work. One way. And unfortunately, this time, I am not exaggerating. I drive from the suburbs to downtown Buffalo five times a week. And if most buffalonions are assholes, the large anus in the middle is downtown Buffalo. That’s when mad max driving rules take effect. Half of the people downtown don’t even have insurance on their cars. The other half are drunk, stoned, or a combination thereof. And obviously, none of the vehicles sold at dealerships downtown come with a standard turning signal. Nobody uses their fucking turning signal and they change lanes every fifteen seconds.

As a regular commuter, I drive five miles over the speed limit. Ten if I can get away with it and I know it’s not a cop heavy area. I’m always trying to shave some time off of my morning drive. I drive from nine to five in unison with the rest of the fucking assholes in the world and the same people who tailgate me at sixty miles per hour in the morning are the ones taking a leisurely cruise at five fifteen at night to the tune of fifteen miles an hour in a forty five. This infuriates me. My blood pressure is going to elevate so high some day that my head just pops off out of the sun roof in one gigantic blood clot. If you see a fountain of blood spraying out of the top of a Honda Accord some day, you’ll know that some goddamned idiot has finally pissed me off to the ultimate boiling point and my head’s exploded.

And tailgaters can suck diseased Ebola cocks in hell. It is the rudest driving habit in existence and it causes more accidents than any one of the five billion retarded driving habits out there. Don’t fucking tailgate, because I’m reducing that curve one asshole at a time. Let me teach you a little trick: Flip your central rearview mirror up. That’s what that toggle is for. Then you’ll be less likely to cave in to one of these insipid fucking adrenalin junkies who feels so compelled to beat the rest of the waking world to the red light ten feet from the both of you.

I couldn’t even tell you what goes on behind me half the time, and if I have to look back, it means I’m slowing down. What makes you so goddamned important that you need to get to where you’re going that much faster than everyone else? And if you are that important, how come you don’t have a police escort, douche bag? If I had more money and a better insurance rating, I’d start yanking my hand brake every time somebody tried to ride up into my ass on the road, but instead, I go at least five miles under the speed limit and dangle a cigarette out the window while I’m looking in my driver side mirror.

My friends make fun of me for doing the shoulder turn. Before making any sort of turn, I turn half way around in my seat and look behind me. I don’t trust any of the mirrors in my car. I don’t slow down for it and no damage is done as a result, but it’s a habit I got from one of my parents and I don’t know which. It’s hereditary. I also get my constant one way dialogues with people outside the car from my mother. I hold half hour conversations with people in traffic and they’re most likely completely oblivious to them:

“Good job, speed racer! You really showed me by passing so you could hit that red light five feet in front of me. Where did you go? Oh, that’s right, you hit the afterburners and now you’re racing along the horizon! All I can see from where I‘m driving is a trail of flames! You really showed me, Michael J. Fox! You must be in the year 1985 by now! Go back, visit yourself at that age, and tell yourself not to drive like a fuck-stick!”

“Drop dead, you worthless fuck! Drop fucking dead! I’m looking forward to seeing half of you on one side of the road and the other half under the wheel well of a mack truck fifteen minutes from now, jackass! I’m going to hunt you down, burn your house down, piss on the ashes and then run over the ashes with my car. I’m going to find your children and burn them down and find their friends and burn them down, too! Eat my shit!”

…and so forth. It’s no good bottling up these feelings or saving them for when I get home or finally get to work. Some days I come home from work with a thousand yard stare and my girlfriend wonders what’s wrong with me. I give her two syllables. Traffic. This fucking traffic that drains my sanity and gets worse with every passing year. Exponentially worse. Every year more punk ass kids turn sixteen and watch “The Fast and The Furious”. Every year another legion of soccer mom buys a minivan with a DVD player and shits out three more kids to drive all over hell’s half acre. Ever year a handful of fifty something men go just bald enough or just impotent enough or a combination of both that they’re compelled to fortify the stereotype and buy a loud, tiny European sports car. I hate all of these people with a fucking passion, and the world would be a better place without any of them on the road.

With no relief to me whatsoever (quite the opposite) it’s officially summer time. All the candy asses are out of school tooling about with mommy’s nicest SUV. I’m sure your parents would be pleased to know that you’re shattering your eardrums listening to Tupac with their bass woofers carting the entire neighborhood full of young degenerates to Hot Topic to buy trendy clothing. You really look like you’re big pimpin’ it with your Detroit Lean in dad’s ‘92 Hatchback. Assholes! Once upon a time, kids walked around outside in the summer. They exercised, they played, they…stayed off the fucking road most of the time. I hated teenagers when I was one. I was a self hating teenager. Now I hate them even more.

When Howard Stern ran for Governor his main platform was that he was going to legislate that all road construction be performed at night. This was brilliant, and I wish he was elected for that alone. There’s never a good time for road construction, but summer is one of the least reasonable time frames for it. There are more people on the road and any construction between the hours of nine to five is patently ridiculous. I’ve got enough of a fucking obstacle course going to and from work every day. I’ve got a million other aggravations in my life and that’s one more that I don’t need.

Tear up a side road for three months and steal my tax dollars with your incompetence and inefficiency. Don’t assign twenty guys to a ten foot stretch of main highway to set down cones and eat lunch while they watch the reduced lane of traffic go slowly insane with me in it. I know they’re just doing their jobs. Poorly. I know it’s tough to send in enough box tops to get a GED and make thirty five dollars an hour to show off your ass crack to oncoming traffic and catch a tan. I feel for road construction workers, I really do. No I don’t. Bring back the chain gangs. Sadly, convicts probably have a better work ethic. Put five guys on a road with one guard. If a motorist is driving in a truly annoying manner they can jack the car and scrap the parts for all I care.

Everyone driving a minivan has something to prove. I’ve noticed this with increasing reinforcement in the last couple of months. Why buy a fast car when you can get a big outdated off white piece of shit to show off your poor driving skills to the community? Cut people off in style with a maroon mini van with a sliding door and fifty wailing fucking brats inside of it. Late for soccer practice? Why not swerve around the road and juggle some drink boxes in one hand while you’re holding the steering wheel with the other! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: real men don’t drive minivans. And they know it. They still drive like Steve McQueen in a sad attempt to prove to everyone that their nut sac is not at home next to the tub of fudge that their wife is eating while watching Oprah. Fuck you, soccer dad. You’re not a man and you have no penis and even if you did you still wouldn’t be able to drive because at heart you are fundamentally a useless asshole.

If every SUV in the world took a turn at exactly the right velocity, flipped, rolled and blew up, it still wouldn’t be enough. If everyone who’s ever driven an SUV dropped dead of a massive coronary, I wouldn’t be satisfied. SUVs are the new black plague. They guzzle countless gallons of gas, they look almost as ugly as the PT Cruiser (who designed that goddamn monstrosity?) and they are specifically sold to fucking assholes. If it’s snowing, they drive around like the master mountaneer in the commercial and end up sideways on a culvert five miles down the road. They deserve it. SUVs cannot climb walls like the bat mobile or bite into the dirt on the shoulder of the expressway when you’re passing on the outside, Earnhardt. There’s a reason Dale Earnhardt is dead. Keep driving like him in a sports utility vehicle in you’ll be joining him.

If you’re fat, bald, old or once again, impotent, buck the trend and don’t buy a sports car. Yes, you’re a doctor or a lawyer or somebody really important but I don’t need to see your blindingly bald head tooling down the highway with the top down. It’s not going to get you laid. And a red baseball cap doesn’t hide the comb over, fuck face. People will still notice that you’re bald, or packing a Vienna sausage downstairs, so what’s the point? Yes, the car goes really fast and yes, I’m sure it’s very expensive, but I’d rather be me. Hung like a donkey in heat. I will always have a larger penis than you and no car will change that. I’m still younger than you and have a full head of shiny, luxurious hair. I drive a really nice car. Not amazing and not sixty thousand dollars, but it’s very nice. I’d be jealous of Beamers and Lexus’ and Corvettes but I’m not because I know that the Proctologists, Personal Injury Attorneys and five time divorcees are buying and driving them to hide something. And they’re driving them poorly, at that.

The price of gas has become criminal and odds are that the sickening amount of petroleum that SUVs go through has contributed to that. I had to co-sign the last time I filled up my tank. A gallon of milk hasn’t changed much and I’d rather not burn my house down with a wind up electric car that goes fifteen miles an hour top end or one of those fruity liberal hybrids. I just wish the price would go down. I got a raise for moving to another location and it’s going straight into my gas tank and after reading this I’m sure you can tell that I’m not much of a ‘people person’ so car pooling is not an option.

Whew! I think everyone’s been covered. Nervous breakdown averted. All systems normal. The only thing I can do to combat this traffic business is stay off the road. Shut myself in on days off or drive on the off hours. It’s irregular but it helps. I don’t avoid going out in my spare time, but if I do, I take side roads at odd hours. Nine and five are guaranteed to piss me off, so I stay away from them. If I were smart, I’d move out of buffalo and the odds of fucking idiots behind the wheel are greatly reduced. But I love my town. I just hate the fucking people in it, is all. Especially when they’re behind the wheel. And in front of me. Or directly behind me and up my ass. Or on the side of me, blasting fifty cents in mommy’s hatchback or whatever that guy’s name is. Two bits. I think that’s it. In Germany they take your license away for life after a DWI. I wish they’d do that with any ticket in my town. My blood pressure would go down by sixty points by this time next year.

Driving along in my automobile,

Tom ‘McQueen’ Waters


David Fincher Bio Begins

February 17, 2007

     For no particular reason (because I feel as if I haven’t found that ONE piece of information that winds up the piece like a mechanical toy), I started actually writing my critique on the life and films of director David Fincher.  It’s still going to be a long process, and to date, I have over eleven pages of notes and quotes in 10 pt. font, but I guess I feel like I can start laying the foundation for the article and go back through it painstakingly to add or edit information.  Much like the director’s films, I’m not leaving much room for error and I’ll be re-working it for the next couple of months.  It feels good to be writing a project that I’ve wanted to do for over five years.  I just wish I had a lead on interviewing Fincher himself.  Again, if any of you have suggestions on how to reach the director, I’m all ears.  By the time I’m done with this critique, I should be one of the leading experts on the man.  I go to great lengths to do justice to my subjects and if you need further proof, Wikipedia has referenced my papers on Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bret Easton Ellis.  Zodiac is about three weeks away and a friend of mine already got me an official film poster, which I’m hermetically storing until I can land a poster case.  I can’t wait for the movie! 


St. Peter’s Waiting Room

February 16, 2007

For the duration of my trip, I wrote a daily travelogue about my time in Frostproof, Florida.  It’s called (you guessed it) ‘St. Peter’s Waiting Room’, and it clocked in at a hefty 13 pages, pushing ‘Crass Menagerie’s (the next book after the next book) limits up to 44 pages without even blinking.  It’s one of only three or four travelogues that I’ve written over the years, and I feel that its a real quantum leap in terms of style and content over ‘Viva Las Thomas’ (from ‘Slapstick & Superego’).  As opposed to its predecessors, I employed subtitles for each day ala Hunter S. Thompson, with catch-all names.  Early indications show that people really enjoy it, so I may try and release it episodically through the print column in March or April if I can pare it down a bit.  Its been difficult to get back into my prior routine of working and writing constantly since I came back, but after thirteen pages, I really don’t need to for a week or two.  The muse has been fed, so I guess I can rest for the time being, and ‘Crass Menagerie’ is looking like it’ll be a very large book indeed at the rate I’m writing it.  The book is still over two years away and my personal deadline for finishing it is another thirteen months.  I’ve never been this far ahead of schedule before and it’s very liberating creatively. 


Monday Update On Tuesday! Week 13 on Stands, Leaving Florida

February 13, 2007

     Sorry to be tardy to the party, here, but I’ve been away from my lightning fast high speed internet in Buffalo and working on my father’s dial up dinosaur.  That, and I’ve been on vacation in central Florida with family and spent the majority of my Monday shopping at two different mega flea markets that make Buffalo flea markets look, well, flea like. 

I don’t need to be in Buffalo to tell you that the new issue of Night Life is on stands with part two of my driving opus, ‘Cool Hand Highway Superintendent’ in my Big Words I Know By Heart print column.  I’ve been working on a travelogue from the trip and it’s clocking in around thirteen pages.  Just because I’m on vacation doesn’t mean I can’t get a little work done.  I get back into town later tonight (tues.) and should have a mountain of sunny green pictures posted up my yourhub site by late Wednesday morning at the latest, providing that we don’t get another lightning round of flight delays.  Agh!  I didn’t just say that!  Knock on wood!  Knock on wood!  Anyhow, I’ll post more when I’m back at home base and working on my computer.  In the mean time, strap on your snow shoes and your muck lucks and grab the new Night Life, palookas!


‘Bad Coverage’ from the upcoming collection (’09?) Crass Menagerie

February 8, 2007

     As promised to my Big Words bimonthly email newsletter group (which you can subscribe to for free by emailing me at: with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading), here is a brand new rant that I wrote for my 6th book about cell phones.  After my guest apppearance on The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal, I was inspired to pound this one out.  I’ll be going back on the show next Wednesday (Valentine’s Day) and the show should be up on the Monday following, so keep checking the official Hal site at:

     If you haven’t heard it yet, my blind rant on Episode 21 was a rollercoaster ride of expletives and psychotic fury.  The listener response has been fantastic so far, so don’t miss out.  My segment comes on somewhere around the 90th minute, but the rest of the show is fantastic, too.  It’s a great podcast with top notch production values chock full of hilarious segments, so don’t miss the boat on this one.  I like the Uncle Hal show better than Opie and Anthony at this point.  Believe it.  Anyhow, here’s the new rant:

Bad Coverage

     People need to stop using cell phones right this instant. They’re unnecessary, they’re annoying to everyone in public, they’re a danger when people use them without mandated headsets behind the wheel (which is all the time), and in less than a full life cycle of interaction, results are inconclusive as to whether or not they promote cancerous growths in the human brain. I can’t stand cell phones. Could you tell? Cell phones have single-handedly destroyed public etiquette over the last fifteen years along with the baseball cap, chewing gum and unruly children. All four instances in public should be exterminated on sight.

I will never own one because on the rare occasion three or four times a year when I need to talk to someone right away while I’m out and about, I’ll just turn to the person next to me and borrow theirs. This is amusing to everyone involved as it takes me an inordinate amount of time to figure out a)how to flip the contraption open, b)where to dial the numbers and make sure that they actually got punched in, and c)how to send the message and hang up when I’m done. I can never tell how loud I am on a cell phone so I end up screaming into the mouthpiece and deafening the person on the other end, and the technology is still so bad that I can’t bear to listen to the feedback and the echoes that reverberate through the call.

Nothing in anyone’s life is important enough to warrant talking out loud to someone else in public, be it in a grocery store line, walking around in a store, at a club, during a concert, or otherwise. Ninety five percent of the cell phone conversations going on in the world at any given time are completely moot and revolve around inane small talk that shouldn’t be taking place anyhow, so save your breath, your minutes and my patience and stop now. If I see another couple that’s too impersonal to shop together sharing list notes in tandem grocery/hardware/houseware aisles on their cell phones when I’m shopping, I’m going to wrench the phone out of their hand and bomb a pass down the cereal aisle with it. How rude can you be? Why don’t you take the rest of the world into consideration when you’re shooting your mouth off about nothing in particular and the rest of us have to put up with it? If I have to listen to one more pampered college kid chuckling to himself and recounting the previous evening’s events to one of his homeys when I’m out and about, I’ll rip the baseball hat off their head, punch the phone onto the floor and pop them in the face. Try chuckling when you’re missing the top half of your teeth, tough guy.

Wanna take a picture? Buy a goddamned camera so that your shots don’t look like they were taken with a half mega pixel piece of shit. Nobody wants to see the worse resolution possible. If I wanted to see some crappy, hazy picture, I’d do two doubles of whiskey and look at you, not a half inch muddy screen on somebody’s cell phone. Take your cell phone pictures and shove them up your ass. Wanna listen to music? Buy an Ipod and join the legion of teenage idiots who are incapable of listening to an album from start to finish. Cell phone companies want us to believe that they’ve created a swiss army knife of convenience when in actuality they’re selling us a jack of all trades and a master of none. Why buy one item that works proficiently when you can buy a cheap plastic piece of shit that performs twenty eight tasks poorly? For three dollars a month and another fifty seven in state and local taxes, you can have an awful cell phone with bad reception that dumps out in tunnels, a horrible camera that takes pictures that are blurrier than your aunts glaucoma, an mp3 player that stores up to and including four and one half songs, and a video player that crashes every five minutes?

If I see you in a fancy restaurant shooting your mouth of to someone who’s not there, you get a free punch in the head. It’s a promotion I’m running for Tom Wireless. For five dollars a month, you get no cell phone, no hidden fees and no other obligations for each successive month. If you want to talk to someone, you’ll have the good sense to invite that person out with you or call them from the comfort and privacy of your own phone without bothering me. The first three hundred people to sign up will get an extra punch in the head for each additional cell phone call they make within earshot of what I’m trying to do. Don’t bother other people with your nonsense, your shitty anecdotes, your awful syntax and enunciation skills, or your lack of an indoor voice. Take it outside like every other tactless moron who goes to Buffalo Wild Wings. Every time I drive by one of those places, there’s a small herd of bad businessmen and spoiled college kids in baseball caps standing outside, pacing and running up their minutes on their cell phones. You know what, though? I prefer that over having to listen to it right next to me when I’m having a good time.

When I go out, I talk to the people who are with me or if I go out alone I make new friends and strike up a conversation with whoever’s around. I prefer live conversation. I guess I’m old fashioned that way. I don’t get together with people in restaurants and bars so that I can ignore them for twenty minutes at a clip running my mouth to some idiot on the other end of a mouth piece. I don’t disrupt the natural flow of an evening’s concert or movie by holding a phone aloft and showing the people who didn’t show up what a great time I’m pretending to have while ignoring the evening at the same time. Fuck cell phones and fuck the people who depend on them. That’s my ruling, it’s all encompassing, and it’s final.

In ten year’s time, I will literally be the last man on earth without a cellular device, be it a text messenger, a cell phone, or a hybrid all in one device. If someone wants to talk to me, they can talk to my answering machine at home and nine times out of ten I won’t call back. If they need to text me, they can do so via email and that’s my fastest response time. My favorite conversations are the silent ones that I control on the internet and respond to when I get around to them. In ten years, everyone will have bloated, malignant cancer heads lending the general public an elephant man type visage, and I’ll be cancer free because I haven’t had a cell phone spot welded to my head constantly. I would rather have no friends than a symbiotic relationship with them via a wireless device. If you can’t have the good manners to talk to me in person, then leave a message in my mailbox. It’s located in the pouch directly below my penis. Due to unusually high volume, the response time is three to four years. Thank you for calling Tom Wireless.

Knocking down coverage towers under cover of night,

Tom ‘analog’ Waters


Acid Logic Update: The Ballad Of Gregg Sansone

February 7, 2007

It’s the head start to a new month, which means that there’s a brand spanking new issue of Acid Logic out online!  My beloved editor Wil Forbis decided to run my interview with the legendary Gregg Sansone this month (‘The Ballad Of Gregg Sansone’), so click on over and check it out at:

For some reason, he included the ee cummings quote I’ve been using on my email sign-offs.  I’m assuming that he thought it was one of my regular essay sign-offs, which it wasn’t.  Gregg and I had a great interview and I remain a big fan of his work and his performances.  Hopefully this will drive more fans to his shows and boost awareness nationally regarding this career.  God knows that some of my other interviews have been a real springboard for artists from all walks of life. 


Monday Update! Week 12 on Stands, Week 11 Right Here, Tom Does Florida!

February 5, 2007

So anyways,

Monday has arrived and the new print issue of ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ is out in the new issue of Night Life magazine.  Continuing with a my February triple shot of driving aggravation you’ll find Part One in my two part ranting rampage, ‘Cool Hand Highway Superintendent’ from ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’.  No one will be left unscathed by the time they’re done reading it as I attack just about every single person behind the wheel in Buffalo in this one, so scoop it off the stands!  Since I wrote last week’s column, ‘Morning Traffic Retort’ with the print column in mind, I’m reprinting it here for your enjoyment.  For various legal reasons, Night Life never runs my frequently peppered F-Bombs.  On the Big Words sight, I can drop the F-Bomb with abandon, so fucking enjoy it! 

Also, I’ll be leaving for Florida this Wednesday to spend a week with my parents, who have a home down there.  If you subscribe to the free bi-monthly email newsletter, I’ll be sending it out earlier in the week than usual.  If you don’t subscribe, feel free to email me at:

-with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading.  I generally premier a lot of stuff there long before anyone else sees it, so find out what you’ve been missing out on! 

This’ll be my first time in Florida so I’m really looking forward to getting the hell away from this freezing goddamned weather.  Have a great week and a half in the arctic tundra, suckers!  Sincerely,

Tom Waters

Morning Traffic Retort

The major roadways in this town are an abomination. I don’t know much about town procedures, department of transportation bi-laws or anything else, but something needs to be done. The Kensington expressway, Walden Avenue, Genesee St., Sheridan Drive and Main Street are a fucking catastrophe from the hours of 7-9 am and 4-7 pm. Like most Buffalonians, I live in the suburbs and commute downtown for work. It takes me an hour to get downtown when it should take twenty minutes thanks in large part to congestion, road construction, poor driving, closed off lanes and other bureaucratic nightmares that could be easily provided if anything got done properly, intelligently or efficiently. If road workers weren’t union employees who sat around on their ass, collected a paycheck, waved flags and took their sweet time getting the job done, everyone’s commute would be a lot easier.

Half the reason why people drive like such douche-tools in the city is due to the fact that we need more lanes. The roads are outdated, overcrowded and just plain aggravating to navigate. Instead of ripping up the same stretch of Genesee leading onto the Expressway, wouldn’t it be a brighter move to widen and multiply lanes so that we’re not wearing them down at the same interval? I’m getting exceedingly sick of seeing the never-ending road construction in progress on Genesee at all times. It’s inconvenient and unacceptable. The city is growing in population and we have a number of major universities that students commute from off-campus to. There’s no reason why Genesee shouldn’t have three or possibly four lanes of traffic especially when you consider that the Buffalo Airport is smack dab in the middle of this monstrosity.

When school is in session at Buffalo State and Medaille, I’ll often skip the Kensington altogether and like a lot of other people, I’ll take Sheridan Drive back to the suburbs. This is also a train wreck under sluggish construction. It shouldn’t take six months to get any stretch of pavement done and we’d all be better served if it the work was performed at night when traffic volume is down. God forbid that people making a minimum of fourteen dollars an hour have to make a lifestyle adjustment for a contract paying job, but that’s the best solution. The situation as it stands is retarded. The stretch of Sheridan from Harlem all the way to Youngs Rd. is a fucking mess, and I’m sick of tooling along bumper to bumper because this city can’t have the foresight and good sense to plan ahead.

And don’t tell me that there’s no room in the budget! For a city that ranks among the highest in state, local, property and school taxes, you’re losing on all counts of that argument, you nepotistic fucks. Cut a nephew, a brother in law’s or a intern/steady bang’s salary for one year and throw it into the pavement. I’m good friends with numerous people who turn a profit in the paving business and they’ve covered a lot more black top in a much smaller amount of time and they’ve done it to the degree that it doesn’t have to be redone every single calendar-buggering year. There is no logical excuse you can give me for this mind-roasting cluster-fuck we also sometimes refer to as a road-way. It’s only going to get worse with the winter weather and then we’ve got crater-sized pot holes that take eons to get fixed. Do your jobs and do them faster. I am telling you how to do your job because you’re doing it wrong and you’re doing it piss-poorly. When the majority of our populace lives in one place and works on the polar opposite of the city, conditions need to improve. This might be one of the reasons why college graduates smarten up and then get the hell out of town, because they don’t want to have to deal with the completely avoidable psychotic-inducing condition of the traffic congestion. Sure, there are stupid drivers who do stupid things in the morning because they’re not awake who get into accidents and even stupider people slow down to check out the bloodbath and gum up the whole works, but that’s a small fraction of the big picture. Fix our roads yesterday. Maybe if people can get around faster than the speed of paint drying they’ll actually be able to drive into the city, buy houses, support local events and increase revenue and tourism. As it stands, we’re screwed, and this is another reason not to live, work, consume, our support the city. The dozers from Fraggle Rock make a better think tank than the fly-by-night construction clowns we have working now. Figure it out.

One of the legions of drive time road ragers,

Tom ’assault due to commute’ Waters


Appendixitis (excerpt from Breathing Room: attic-rhymes & relics

February 4, 2007

In the process of hand selecting some of the best poems from my last four collections for the second volume of rhyming verse and archival material for the Breathing Room project, I came across this old favorite from 2001).  Re-typing all three and a half pages was a bitch, but so was the girl.  I can still remember reading this at an open mic at a lesbian bar on Allen St. (Joey’s on Allen) on a Tuesday during the winter of 2001/2002.  The girls loved it.  If you live in Buffalo, you might be able to figure out who this free-form rant was pointed at.  Let’s just say it’s an Oldies but goody.  Feel free to post your guesses below.


The way I felt for you, the time we spent together, your body of work, and you yourself, my darling, are a footnote 1.


1)We spent three weeks together. Well, physically. All told, I knew you for four weeks, and I was impressed. You had a beautiful figure, a picturesque face, boundless libido, and an intelligence that betrayed your maturity (or lack of it). Your pretentious reading voice and condescending poetry were amusing to me. It attracted an appalled me, because until I met you, I never believed in disclosing the intimate details of my relationships with other people. That seems to be the only thing you write about, your little ‘fictions’. Self-important monologues about your sexual misadventures disguised as legitimate writing. I thought you’d make a suitable companion (maybe a power couple); we could type together, take turns in free hand (but God knows there was some of that), and share all of our favorite authors (you with your structured Nabakov and me with my meticulous and perverted Nicholson Baker). How was I to know that the 21 pages of prose that you ran into the ground were the sum total of your creativity? Writing never was your calling, was it? Just another phase to meet interesting people whose names you could drop in the company of friends in the hopes of making yourself look more important. Name droppers always did bother the shit out of me. I just ignored it during the first blush of our romance. Can you classify a 3-week sting, though? Break it into segments and analyze it? I’d like to think so. Yes. Let’s start with your propositioning me via email after that reading. How fitting that our relationship began and ended inside of a word processing program. Maybe we were just better on paper. You were in a relationship for a year with this clown that you glommed onto at work and wondered if I wanted to have sex? It was forward, I’ll give you that. I respected your honesty. You cheated on the first man you gave it to with me, and left him and his engagement ring in a heartbeat. 20 is a bit late to surrender a flower, but then again, who am I to say? It set a few warning bells off when we got involved. You were in college, you had a late start, and you wanted to whore things up a bit; see as many men as you possibly could at once. Itold you after you broke up with him that you could take as much time to recover/cope as you desired, and you dismissed the idea, jumping head first into us. It was a wonderful first week. We couldn’t get enough of each other. Sleep and work were the only variables to interrupt that sprawling week of getting to know you. You were almost as good in bed as you perceived yourself to be, too. But I remember that your ex had a thing for pillows, so I suppose (next to that competition), that anybody would look like Cleopatra. I dropped every friend, speaking engagement and obligation I had just to see you, and you did the same. Not that you actually do much. Sure, you’ve got three pretty jobs with pretty pay and pretty hours, but they add up to about 15 hours in, don’t they? And but of course there was the overblown beauty school that you were attending your last semester at. You slept with your (married) English Professor, so you didn’t really need to attend every class. He was married, if I remember. I got to meet your friends and do the things you wanted to do, I got to watch you sing Karaoke at a dive bar and shake your tits at the crowd, blowing kisses at the drunks. I didn’t min. I thought it was cute. Always in need of an audience, darling. Daddy was a musician, so I guess that’s how he raised you. I’d venture that you blew your way into radio so you could be sort of a musical person yourself. There are a lot of barnacles in circles of creativity (who have none), like for example Sandra Bernhard, Bette Midler, Traci Lords or Ethan Hawke. They do a lot of things, but they don’t seem to do much of anything. Rather, they havea lot of projects, but none of them have any substance. Mostly women. Is that a coincidence? Should I cite that? Your friends all played up to your behavior; they allowed you to be the Karaoke superstar that you know you are at all times, whether we were at your house, out having coffee, or anywhere else. You hung on me like I was a set of monkey bars on a playground whenever we went out, as if I was going to float away on you. I was happy for a while there, and I just may have. And you like to talk. Especially afterwards. You could blather on about yourself indefinitely. There were times, in conversation, when I noticed that it didn’t matter if I was responding to what you were saying, or even listening. That’s pretty amusing in retrospect. You were like that space shuttle launch you were so high and mighty about going to for your job, loudly blustering away on a set course. ‘I met James Cameron’, you dropped over the phone. Good for you, baby! Maybe if you meet enough famous people, you just might evolve into someone who…meets famous people. Is that what you saw me as? ‘I met Lenny Kravitz’, is what you told my best friend within five minutes of meeting her. Is that why your rhyme schemes are either terrible and trite, or nonexistent? I wish we had Christmas to spend together. I could buy you a rhyming dictionary. Do you up your popularity when you float about the in-crowd, babe? Then we went out for your Big Birthday Night, so you could have and do everything your heart desired. Actually, that’s how you always wanted things, wasn’t it? We talked about your ex-boyfriend over lamb chops, and how much better your friends liked me rather than him. I didn’t think I need an approval rate up until that point. Most people who have lived one or two dozen years know enough not to babble about ex-lovers during a romantic dinner out, but I guess you were too into your own unique, womanly, quirky creative flux, weren’t you? That’s one of the two thousand annoying things about you that I overlooked. I thought (pompously) that you might become a better writer, that I’d get to be a better writer as a result of our pairing. I was wrong. I’m just a bit more cynical. I was an idiot for getting involved with someone five years younger than me. Call it a character flaw, if you know what that is. Go look it up between your dark room work, your radio do spots, your hectic speaking engagement every 2 months schedule. Whoops! I forgot. You slept with the co-host at one of the open mics. For the sake of teaching him a lesson, right? And you despise your firend Erica for doing the same things you do, for latching onto local ‘talent’. Forget going through the looking glass, try looking at the looking glass, gorgeous. The second week, though, I went out for drinks with someone and you were certain that I’d behave myself. I did. I’m a one-woman man, fo the most part, and you’re a one woman-woman. As for guys, though, well, you really couldn’t care about fidelity. You’re too busy lying to everyone in a five mile radius to ‘fess up for even something so inconsequential as where you went after school. I was nervous about cheating after hearing your torrid stories, but I trusted you. I didn’t want to be one of those controlling boyfriends who show up at your doorstep if you don’t call them back instantaneously, I tried really hard with you. Tried not to do all of the things that usually destroy a good starting relationship scenario. And it still didn’t work. But it’s not my fault. You’re wrecked in the head. I could tell at your family birthday party, when I noticed, coincidentally, that every woman in the family had a big mouth and nothing interesting to say with it. And a short fuse. I was hoping you were the recessive gene. Wrong again. You’re the dominant one. Aside from your violent fantasies that I refused to play along with in bed. I may be experimental, but I’ll only go so far. Maybe it’s a do thing, I don’t know and really couldn’t care. Such nice parents and you still turned out the way you did. I know Catholic girls end up being the biggest freaks to walk the earth, so I’m sure it’s got something to do with that. Maybe it’s one of those high school reminiscent popularity things that I never quite got, where you wish you were one of the cheerleaders, or the main star during the school play. I like figuring lovers out. I can’t believe I bought a Britney Spears CD because of you, you bitch! And speaking of love, who drops the L-bomb after two weeks with anyone? You told me you loved me, and it made me a bit nervous. You also told me some time before that, bragging really, about how well you lied to your parents and your friends on a regular basis because it was easier than having to face a momentary conflict, but you didn’t really say it in such a way. Honesty was a big stumbling block for you. You were too busy being fabulous to let me see the really vicious side of you until you couldn’t hold her back anymore. It was nice for a day or three after you told me you loved me. Displaced emotions, perhaps? I went along with it, though, even though I didn’t feel it. And then when I put up some resistence, didn’t give you everything under the sun for one split second, and it was over. The moment I emailed and complained about your inconsistencies, your capacity to make plans and break them at the last minute, you tweaked. Went from lady to bitch in about 2.5 seconds. And I just figured, if that’s the way she’s going to act during our first fight, then it might as well be the last, too. You were proud of all the guys you ruined in your wake. It’s not going to happen with me. I’ve had better, and I’ve had worse, and three weeks just isn’t enough time in to inflict any damage. I’m over you after three days, princess. You’re a ghost of a memory. Like dead radio air. The really poetic (or so we’re told) pause between stanzas in a beat poem. Or the haze in the background from a black and white photograph. It does take a severe effort to pen your little tell-alls, though. I was always better at footnotes.

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