Archive for February, 2007

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‘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:

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20070227/1062891.asp 

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…

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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

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‘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! 

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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 www.powunclehal.com

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

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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! 

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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. 

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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!

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