Archive for April, 2008

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 75 on stands, Mailbag Questions needed!

April 28, 2008

This Monday marks the last of the recycled archival material.  This week’s issue of Night Life magazine hits the stands with the conclusion to ‘Prometheus Packs A Zippo’, a no-nonsense account of the year and a half leading up to the release of If They Can’t Take A Joke.  You can grab your free copy at most bars, clubs, and from what I’ve noticed lately, Eckhard stores. 

Next week is all about the new rants.  I’m starting off the month with ‘Force Feedback’, a Big Words print column exclusive IMPLORING all of you to contribute to the monthly mail column.  I’d still love to interact with my readers in a public forum, so do me a favor and if you haven’t before, send me ANY and ALL questions and comments to: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.  Email me with anything you want, but send that feedback out! 

Plans are also in the works for a public reading at one of my favorite venues some time in June, but I’m not going to blow the lid on that one until everything is finalized.  I’ll also be going into the Uncle Hal studios this week to mark my return to cringe radio, which is guaranteed to be a hoot and a half.  The new episode of the Pissed Off World of Uncle Hal should be up by the tail end of next week, so keep checking back at: powunclehal.com. 

That’s all I’ve got for you for this week.  June’s columns are half-way done and with a block of Club Watch reviews taken care of, I’m planning on knocking out the other two later in the week.  Again, do me a favor and get any questions you might have in to: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.  I’m not asking for lip service here.  Just shoot me a question, a comment, whatever you want and it’ll run in the late June print column.  Thanks,

Tom Waters 

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Club Watch Trifecta Plus Two: Eddie Ryan’s, Riley St. Station, The Irishman (plus Desiderio’s and Heroes)

April 25, 2008

     DAMN YOU, YOURHUB! I just wrote a lengthy account of the last week of bar reviews and I got a critical error message when I pressed the Publish button. I went to publish it a second, third and fourthtime and I got a ‘servor error’ message.Great job on working out the kinks, gang!

     As a writer, there’s nothing more aggravating than losing a piece to computer error. You can never recreate the original spirit of the composition. I’ll try anyways. For a site that’s been around for over a year and a half, you’d think that these little quirks and foibles would be fixed by now. And have you noticed that when the blogs get published they tend to group words together by accident? Nothing’s more exciting than reviewing a piece that you knew was grammatically correct when you wrote it and having to seperate the phrases and sentences anyways. It’s these little detours and aggravations that are keeping this site from competing with Myspace, Facebook and the five million other community/networking/dating/blogging sites out there, folks! Are you listening? Good. Fix it!

     Since I’m going on vacation shortly, Lindsay and I covered three bar review assignments in the last week. I’m neurotic about making deadline every time and it’s comforting to have a buffer of assignments between what’s hitting the stands and what hasn’t come out yet. It gives me a little bit more freedom when I’m deciding when to head out and what we’re going to cover.
     Last Thursday, I went to Eddie Ryan’s with Brendan, SoCo Mike and my buddy Greg. I researched the web site beforehandand it mentioned that if you went two or three times, you’dprobably run into the owner, Ed Church. We met him the first time out because he was filling in for hismain bartender. Nice place. The food smelled great, but, having the day off, I just made a metric ton of potato and macaroni salad at home. I never intend to cook for an army but it always ends up that way.Lindsay had a rotten day at work, so she didn’t make it out.Afterwards, Mike and I headed over to Desiderio’s for a night cap and a quick hello.
     Normally, I don’t do bar reviews on Sundays and I rarely (if ever) drink before eight pm on the days that we do enjoy cocktails with friends, but we made an exception. Lindsay and I headed out to East Aurora to cover the Riley Street Station and her dad met us out there. It was a really neat place, and unlike any other bar we’ve been to because they took an actual railroad station and converted it into an Irish pub. Lindsay’s dad met us out and Lindsay and I split an order of loaded fries, which were very fresh and very good. They had aseperate whiskey bar that was closed on Sundays, so we’ll have to stop back.
     Last night, we headed out to Williamsville and covered The Irishman Pub and Restaurant. With a name like that, I was 95% sure that I was going to love the place before we even got there. It reminded me of my all-time favorite bar, Hennessey’s. They used to be located on Transit Rd. in Williamsville but they closed a few years ago and it still breaks my heart. Desiderio’s is a close second but nothing will replace what Hennessey’s was to me. The Irishman was a lot like it, but it was a smaller place with less strawberry blonde lasses.
     Lindsay’s friends Vicki and Brian met us out and then SoCo Mike and my buddy Ron showed up, which surprised both of us. The day of a review, I’ll normally call all my friends and we’re lucky if two or three of them show up. Theaverage civilian isn’taccustomed to drinking near-lethal doses of alcohol on a week night and living to tell the tale. And I generally like to cover my bars on Thursdays because a)Inever have to work the next morning and b)although it’s not ‘the weekend’, for Buffalonians in their 20’s and 30’s, Thursdays are theofficial shotgun start to the weekend. I can get a good idea of how a place is going to be on Fridays and Saturdays when we go there on Thursdays. Plus Lindsay and I hate going to the bars on the weekends because it gets too crazy and there’s never a quiet spot to sit down with a notebook and write down some observations incognito. My old co-worker Billy came out (who I haven’t seen in almost five years) and added to the general hilarity of the evening. It looked like they were closing up shop around ten, so we all decided to head over to Heroes on Main St. in Williamsville, which was practically right down the street.
     I wrote a Club Watch review on Heroes almost a year ago and we kept meaning to come back, so since we were in the neighborhood, it was a perfect opportunity. We loaded up the internet jukebox with some Rolling Stones, Beck, Elton John andother assorted tunes and commenced to having our night caps. I was honored to see that the ownerlaminated and posted not one, but three copies of the review (one next to the bar and one in each bathroom). I get a kick out of seeing my reviews framed or posted in the places we cover. I wonder if Janice Okun feels the same way. Most of the time, we never have a chance to go back. Sometimes I feel like the Bruce Banner of bar reviews, always stopping briefly at a place and constantly looking forward to the next assignment. Anyways….
     I told Ron how awesome the wings were at Heroes, so we ordered up a double swimming in hot sauce just the way we like them and commenced to shoveling them into our pie holes anddrowning them with a bottle ofBlue Light. Since we were last there, they got a new bartender and built a wooden awning outdoors over their patio. They were nice changes to a bar that rarely changes at all. I’ve been going to Heroe’s on and off since about 1998, and my brother went before me. It’s always beenthe same corner bar from generation to generation. I take a lot of comfort in that, though. We were coming up on midnight, so we all said our goodbyes andwent our seperate ways, ending a pretty adventurous week for one freelance writer.
     Now that I’m done with my current slate of assignments, I can rest easy knowing that they’ll hit the stands while I’m out of town without a lapse. You can keep your eyes peeled for the Eddie Ryan’s, Riley Street Station and The Irishman reviews in the next sixto eight weeksor so in The Buffalo News Gusto on Fridays. Just remember, with bar reviews, it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure! For my liver! And next time YourHub flubs my post, I’m not going to bother writing it down a second time.

     Thanks to the technical difficulties on YourHub, I’ve posted a complete photo album over on my Myspace site. The nice thing is that I didn’t have to pick and choose pictures due to space constraints, so the entire batch of pictures is up and ready for viewing. If you want to see some candid pics from Eddie Ryan’s, Riley Street Station, The Irishman and Heroes, then click over to my profile at:

myspace.com/tomfulre

-or you can view the album directly at:

http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=425036&albumId=2660401

-Sorry for the inconvenience, but it’s not my fault. Please note that NONE of these pictures will appear in the Buffalo News Gusto section when the reviews hit and that these are all the ‘behind the scenes’ shots I took on location. Enjoy!

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 74 on stands, Think Twice Radio Gig Booked with Susan Marie

April 21, 2008

     The first stretch of the last of the recycled archival material rolls out today in Night Life with part one of ‘Prometheus Packs A Zippo’, an autobiographical tell-all that brings most readers up to the near-present day on where the rest of my life has gone.  Grab it while it’s on stands.

     I was a busy little bee this weekend, penning another new rant (‘Double Barrel Diplomacy’) about the Canadian Invasion in Buffalo, tinkering on a new blog for the YourHub site (‘Love Letter To Lancaster’) that I trimmed down to 600 words afterwards for a shot at a My View column and then covering Riley Street Station for an upcoming Gusto Club Watch bar review.  A very productive weekend, writing wise.  Since I’m going on vacation in about three weeks, I’m trying to get as many bar reviews in as I can so that there’s no lapse in my regularly scheduled publication frequency in Gusto.  The extra paychecks don’t hurt, either.  After my third bar review this Thursday, I’ll be posting pics from all three assignments up on the YourHub site for a sneak peak at the venues before they hit print publication.  That address (again) is:

http://buffalo.yourhub.com/~tomwaters

     And last but not least, I’ll be doing a long overdue guest spot on Think Twice Radio with Susan Marie.  We were originally going to do an interview in July and it just got away from us, so I’ll be heading into the studio late in May.  The web site (for your curiosity/edification) is www.thinktwiceradio.com.  From what she says, the site is up to something like 1,000 hits a day, so that’s some solid exposure.  I’m still beyond psyched about heading back to the Uncle Hal studios this Thursday, but Think Twice should be a hell of a lot of fun, too.  That’s all I’ve got for you for this week.  Make sure to hop on over to YourHub sometime on Friday afternoon.  Cheers,

Tom Waters

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Uncle Hal Reunion Imminent! Special Interest Groups Express Extreme Dislike and Disdain!

April 17, 2008

A summit was reached today and Hal has agreed (against his better judgement) to let me back onto the show sometime next week.  You can expect to hear the episode in roughly two week’s time.  You can also expect biting news, off-color comments that are guarenteed to offend, and a back-and-forth chemistry that puts Reiner and Brooks to shame.  My buddy Brendan was going to post a link to one of the historic episodes, but found that it was removed from the site.  How badly did I piss some special interest group off to make that happen?  For a show that prides itself on pushing the envelope, I’m honored that we pushed it until it spontaneously combusted.  You’re definitely not going to miss the return visit.  I’ll let you know when it’s up and running.  In the mean time, you can catch up on some recent episodes and get a feel for the bombastic nature of the show by clicking over to:

www.powunclehal.com

-Plugola!

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 73 on stands etc.

April 14, 2008

This week in Night Life magazine you’ll find the gripping, spine-tingling, teeth jarring (?) conclusion to ‘Why It’s A Good Idea Not To Taunt The Amish’, my look at the symptoms of a runaway throwaway society.  Scoop it up on stands today. 

And with three new columns down for May, I’ve only got one to go.  I’ve been brainstorming for the last few days, but I’m down for the count right now with either hay fever or a bug I picked up towards the end of last week.  Make sure to check YourHub later this week as I’ll be posting a new blog along with some adorable baby and kitten pictures in an effort to dispel the widely held notion that my life is nothing but whiskey swilling, beer guzzling debauchery.  5% of it involves kittens and babies, so you’ll get to see that side of me (if you dare!).  That’s all I’ve got for you today.  I’ll talk to you all in a few days,

Tom Waters 

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Crass Menagerie (?) Back Under Construction!

April 12, 2008

This is probably confusing, but the book after the next book is back underway.  You might know that my next book, ‘Slapstick & Superego’ is complete.  For a multitude of reasons (most of them having to do with finances and time), I won’t be releasing it until sometime in the spring of 2009.  It’ll be the first collection I’ve ever released that’s comprised entirely of rants and essays.  No filler, no projects, no interviews, no fluff.  I’m really excited about it, and as a body of work, it’s the best collection I’ve written from front to back.  We’ll both just have to wait another twelve months or so to enjoy it together. 

     The book after that was tentatively titled ‘Crass Menagerie’.  I thought that was a pretty snappy name for a collection until I found out a few months ago that there was (or is) a band and a literary magazine by the same name.  I’m not sure how I sit with that.  This makes me think I should change the name, but I’ll mull it over.  After all, I’ve got a year plus to cogitate on that dilemna.  Anyway, I wrote my third new essay this week and it’s a corker.  The birth of a new trilogy (if not quadrilogy or cinco-ilogy and so on).  It’s called ‘Perpetual Estrogen’, and it’s a categorical essay about some universal truths among women.  It was a hell of a lot of fun to write and I stopped short at five rules because each rule chewed up a lot of space.  That leaves me with one more column to whip up for the month of May and 84 pages into ‘Crass Menagerie’.  Have I mentioned that it’s great to be writing again? 

Take a second and let me know what you think about the title dilemna.  Post me a comment on the site or drop me a line at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.  I’m very conflicted about the situation…

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The Block’s Finally Over!/Acid Logic Update

April 10, 2008

After almost eleven cursed months without so much as a coherent sentence on a blank page, I finally clawed my way out of the block today and wrote my first full length essay, ‘Quiet Time Or Else’.  It’s a little rough around the edges, but it usually takes me a few projects to get back into the groove.  It feels damned good just to flex the old cranial muscles again after the lights were out for so long, if that makes any sense.  I made a personal vow to muster up four new columns for next month’s slate of Night Life print articles and I intend on honoring it.  So in another two weeks, perhaps those of you on the bi-monthly newsletter list can get a sneak peak at some of the new stuff.  For those of you who’ve been on the list for the last few years, you know full well that when it rains, it pours.  Enough said on that topic for now.

And since we’re into a new month, Wil Forbis has whipped together a new issue of Acid Logic featuring ‘Underwear On The Outside Looking In’, one of my continuing takes on the world of comics.  Check it out by clicking over to:

http://www.acidlogic.com/underwear_the_outside.htm

That’s all I’ve got for today, but keeping tuning back for new content.  I’ll be snapping some pictures tonight and posting a new blog over on YourHub sometime tomorrow.  Thank christ this block is over.  The last few months it was really starting to wear on me.  Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters

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