Archive for April, 2007

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 23 on Stands/Club W This Thursday

April 30, 2007

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Today is also the day that the new Night Life magazine is out with the new ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ columns!  You don’t want to miss the next five issues, and from the response that ‘The Best Laid Nervous Breakdowns’ (a rant about the insanity of wedding planning) got, you definitely don’t want to miss this week’s issue!  So what are you waiting for?  Go pick up an issue now!

Also, now that April is over, I’m going to cool my heels a bit with the book promotions for If They Can’t Take A Joke.  However, I’ll be doing a bit of standup this Thursday at 7 pm at Club W on Delaware (just past Chippewa) this Thursday along with the musical genius of Michael Bly.  I was so busy for the last two weeks of April that I forgot to add the calendar listings, so make it out if you can.  It’s the only event I’m doing this week, so be there or be square!

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5 New Big Words Print Columns!

April 29, 2007

     Anybody who’s been on the bimontly email newsletter list for awhile (which you can subscribe to for free by emailing bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading) should know how neurotic I am about giving away all my good material.  Well, I’ve been getting neurotic about giving away too much of my backlog for free in the weekly Big Words I Know By Heart print column in Night Life.  So what was my solution this week?  I’m going to tell you what  my solution was this week if you’ll just gimme a second. 

In the span of a week, I wrote five BRAND SPANKING NEW COLUMNS that will be debuting in the print edition of Night Life magazine.  Next week, I’m running ‘The Best Laid Nervous Breakdowns’ (regarding the insanity of wedding planning).  For the first week of May, I’m going with a commentary about the Bass Pro debate (‘Fishing For Solutions’).  By the second week of May, I wrote a commentary about the Sabres bandwagon (‘Change Of Season’).  For the third week, I’m rolling out a rant about grilling (‘Lucky Charms: Now With More Bell Peppers!’) and for the final week of May I’m running ten commandments about summertime (‘Wife Beaters & Rollerbladers’).  So if you want to read them, get out there and grab a copy of Night Life every week!  You can catch ’em there first!  I’ll reprint the Buffalo-centric columns here, but that’ll be after they run in Night Life.  And this is my idea of Rest & Relaxation after a month of promoting…

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Alma Mater: Buffalo State Aftermath

April 26, 2007

     I was having a terrible day yesterday until I actually did my reading at Buffalo State for the Rooftop Poetry Club.  Traffic was horrendous, some old person took ten minutes to use the ATM machine, just a rotten day.  I popped over to the Buffalo Spree offices for the first time and got to meet Elizabeth Licata (the editor in chief) and drop off a comp copy of the book for review purposes.

Then I got to Buff State and the Visitor parking section was chock full, so I had to risk parking a mile away and possibly getting a ticket (which I didn’t, thank god).  The turnout was not spectacular, but we had a tight knit group of students and poets who showed up during miserable weather and I read a brand new piece (‘The Best Laid Nervous Breakdown’) that I wrote this week about how brutal wedding planning is.  It’ll be going into the Night Life print column this Monday, so you don’t want to miss out on the new issue.  It felt nice to be back on campus for the first time in three years and to feel like I belonged on some level.  I wish that the Club was around when I attended as a student, and I plan on popping back in for their other events after all the book promotions are over.  Many thanks to Lisa Forrest for setting up the event and Sarah Reis for splitting the bill with me.  I truly enjoyed my time there yesterday and once the podcast is up on their site, I’ll pop a link up here. 

     Afterwards, I realized that my Club W appearance downtown is next Thursday, so instead of staying home (which I wanted to do more than anything), I went out.  First I hit the Green Buffalo to hang out with some of the gang from Salon On The Avenue (where I get my hair cut) and then I popped over to the Hidden Shamrock.  Both places were mobbed with Sabres bandwagoneers.  Where were all these fans five months ago?  Sports posers fascinate me.  So I had a few doubles of whiskey, a few frosty Guinnesses, and a few Bud Lights before Michael Bly showed up.  I gave Mike some posters for the event (which I’d been meaning to do, but haven’t had the time) and attempted to chat with him, but he was getting talked up by some fans.  My buddy Brendan showed up (late) and we shared one more Guinness until I begged off early at 10:30. 

     I’ve got about two more weeks of promotions and then I’m taking a break for the rest of May.  I am dog tired from all these promotions and out of my mind for scheduling so many so close together.  I’m still working on setting up some spots for June, but they’re not going to be as intensive and all encompassing as the rest of this month has been.  I realized this Monday that I’d really like to have more free time to a)enjoy and b)write some new material.  Crass Menagerie is at the 70 page mark and I’m starting to get nuerotic about running too much of my backlog in the print column.   

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 22 on Stands/Buffalo State this Weds./Sansone interview in the new Buffalo Spree!

April 23, 2007

There’s still a whole lot going on this month and here it is Monday again, which can mean only one thing: that there’s a new Big Words print column in Night Life magazine.   We’re up to Week 22 on my weekly humor column and I threw a real gem in this week, ‘Bad Coverage’, my blind rant against people who use cell phones in public.  Scoop up the latest issue of Night Life if you want to read it, because it’s another rant from Crass Menagerie, which won’t be out in book form until 2009! 

Also, I’ll be appearing at Buffalo State College this Wednesday (two days from now) for the Rooftop Poetry Club at the Butler Library in Room 310 at 4pm.  The event is open to the public (as well as students and faculty), so feel free to attend.  I’m looking forward to setting foot back on Buff State soil for the first time in almost two years, and it will be fun to find out what the students today make of me. 

 I also got early reports today that Buffalo Spree subscribers have received the May issue with my ‘Ballad Of Gregg Sansone’ interview edit.  The May issue should be in bookstores within the next two weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.  This is my first published article with Buffalo Spree and I’m very proud and excited to be freelancing for them on a regular basis.  It’s a slick, well edited magazine and I look forward to contributing my talents on an ongoing basis.

That’s all I’ve got for today.  I’ll post more throughout the week.  In the mean time, I just discovered that there’s a fifth Monday in April, so I need to either whip up a new column or throw a previously unpublished essay in for next week’s Big Words edition exclusively in Night Life magazine!  Sayonara for now,

Tom Waters

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Talking Leaves Elmwood Appearance

April 22, 2007

Whelp, it was a beautiful day in Buffalo today and I had my signing at Talking Leaves on Elmwood Avenue.  Unfortunately for me (even though Jonathan and I planned our event at Elmwood two months ago), Just Buffalo scheduled an appearance at Talking Leaves on Main Street with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Carl Dennis.  La de da. 

I showed up at twenty after one (way too early) and the bookstore was beautiful.  It was my first time in there and I got to see Alicia Hoffman, an old, old friend from way, way back whom I haven’t seen or corresponded with in almost six years.  When I self published my first book (Soup To Nuts), Alicia went out on a limb and booked me for a comedy showcase with three professional comedians.  I’ll never forget that.  Alicia and I got caught up a bit and then we set up our table.  Then it quieted down.  I sold one hardcover.

I was happy about the one hardcover (because it’s someone who wouldn’t normally buy the book), but the day and the event were pretty much a dud.  I never play well downtown for some reason.  I do better in the suburbs where people aren’t as concerned about wearing what the hep people are wearing and reading what the hep people are reading.   Maybe I’m just not elitist, liberal or pretentious enough for the Elmwood crowd.  Lord knows that once the reviews hit that that crowd will attempt to be hip and pick up the book, so I guess I’ll make nice then.  It would be really great if they could formulate their own opinions and take a chance instead of having to be told what’s good in the paper and following the herd blindly.  Cest la vis.  The book is still raking in money, so I’ve got no complaints.  I talked to my superstar agent Buddy Dow at Trafford and he’s forwarded the book on to their traditional publishing house for possible inclusion, which could be huge.  Keep your fingers crossed for me and maybe I can learn to turn my nose up at the world like half the crowd on Elmwood, too!

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Another (grueling) Day in Paradise: WYRK with Clay & Dale & Dialog w/Scott Leffler Aftermath

April 17, 2007

After an entire half an hour of free time last night to eat and watch ‘Two And A Half Men’, I went to bed early so that I’d be chipper for my WYRK appearance in the morning.  The locomotives going through Lancaster had otherwise to say about it, as apparently their schedules changed last goddamned night and were running every five minutes throughout the night tooting their horns. 

I got up at six thirty in the morning so that I had time to make coffee, take coffee, drive downtown, get lost once and have two or three cigarettes before my first big break on the FM dial.  After finding the Lafeyette building in the heart of Buffalo, I hopped upstairs (still a bit groggy) and settled into WYRK’s green room area after meeting with the program director and going over the agenda for the appearance.  Then I met Dale Mussen (sp?) in the hallway and joked about qualifying for Dale’s time warp after I made a joke to a co-worker last week about the banana splits.  I gawked at all the platinum albums they had on the wall signed by the Dixie Chicks, Toby Keith and Dierks Bently like a starstruck fanboy while I waited to go on. 

They put me on at 8:10 (ahead of schedule) and we got down to it.  Clay and Dale were really, really nice guys and they made the appearance really comfortable while disarming any nervousness I may have had.  The show went smoothly and they gave away four copies of the new book to the first four callers on the line.  I gave Clay and Dale each a copy of the last two books for their personal reading enjoyment since I’m such a firm believer in the station and their show.   I can’t thank the folks at WYRK enough for allowing me the opportunity to come on and talk about the new book and to meet the two hosts from a morning show that I’ve been listening to for years.  In case you haven’t picked up a copy of the book yet, they’ll be giving away four more copies of If They Can’t Take A Joke tomorrow morning during their ‘Worst Joke Wednesdays’, so don’t you dare touch that dial!

After getting home around nine thirty, I had an hour and a half of down time for a quick power nap before I did a phone interview with 1340 AM for Scott Leffler’s ‘Dialog’ program.  Scott and I found a good groove together and ad libbed our interview for twenty minutes joking about my bar reviews, the book, the perils of engagement and other topics.  This was my second time on Scott’s show and I think we achieved a better sense of chemistry today than we had on my first show.  I’m never sure how to gauge people the first time I meet them which doesn’t necessarily make for great radio, so the second time was a charm.  Thanks for the solid plugs out in Lockport, Scott!

After that, I drove out to Talking Leaves and dropped off some copies of the book for them to sell in the store at their Main St. and Elmwood locations, so if you live downtown and you want to pick a copy up from a local business, there you have it.  I dropped my zoom lens off at a camera store downtown for service and then got home around two, completely shot and depleted from the days activities.  I collapsed and took a nap and woke up to find a message from 97 Rock regarding an appearance I’m working on setting up.  Cross your fingers for me and hopefully I’ll be going there next!

I’ve got one more appearance tomorrow night at the Lancaster Public Library at 7pm (they advertised that I’ll be promoting First Person, Last Straw for some reason, which is fine, I suppose) and then I’m done for a few days before my book signing at Talking Leaves Elmwood on Sunday.  I’m totally beat but with the book taking off as well as it has I’m considering setting up some dates and appearances in June.  Time will tell… 

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 21 on Stands/Caz Coffee Aftermath/WYRK tomorrow!

April 17, 2007

Long day, long week, no energy.  Sorry to be tardy to the party on the Monday update, but I left work and left straightaway for the Caz Coffee Cafe in South Buffalo for a reading/book signing along with featured reader Carrie Spadter and readers Susan Marie and Charles Forness.  We had a phenomenal time, the coffee was great, the crowd was decent, and I sold a pretty decent amount of books for an appearance that took place in awful weather during a Sabres playoff game.  I am definitely going back there in about two months to do another reading when the weather is nicer and the Sabres are done winning that cup!

Since it’s Monday, you should know by now that a new issue of Night Life is on stands with a new print edition of Big Words I Know By Heart.  This week I decided to run ‘Babes On A Plane’, a recent fan favorite that I wrote after my trip back from Florida.  It’s a bit scathing, but readers love when I get worked up, so I went with it. 

I just got home and it’s after ten o’clock, so I’m going to leave it at that.  If you’re driving in to work tomorrow around 8:30 AM (or if you have the day off), I’ll be appearing on the WYRK morning show on 106.5 FM with Clay and Dale!  I love the station and I’m a huge fan of Clay and Dale’s, so I’m looking forward to mixing it up with them and I’ll even be donating copies of the new book for an on air giveaway, so if you want a free copy of the book, tune in!  Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters

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