Archive for July, 2008

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Scenes From An Italian Restaurant: Desiderio’s on Podcast!/Site Hit Record Broken & Doubled!

July 31, 2008
As of right now, episode II of Big Words Radio is up online and ready for downloading, ipoding and streaming audio in broadband and dialup.  I talk with Jay Desiderio (one of the owners of my favorite restaurant in the world) about panties in ficus trees, pricing, the economy, the theater and his lifetime passion for cuisine.  I also fire off on Sloan-heads, air a five minute clip with my Uncle Dick.  It was a good night.  Give it a listen yourself over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
Many thanks to Jay Desiderio for being such an entertaining and lovable guest, Richard Wicka (as always) for being a wunderkind producer, and to my Uncle Dick for jumping at the chance to tell a story about my old man back in the old days.  Let me know what you think, Big Words fans!
I’m also ecstatically pleased to announce that the Big Words web site has reached a new hit record.  For the first time in almost a year and a half, the site exceeded it’s original all time high of 107 unique site hits, doubled and kept going! 
The final tally for Wednesday was 264 unique views.  That’s a pretty big deal.  Here’s to hoping that all of you come back and stick around for the fun.  Now that Buffalo Rising has fascistically seen fit to block my IP from offering my opinion on their drivel, you’ll just have to park your ass here if you need your fix.  Thanks so much for helping me to hit this new and momentous milestone.  I’m looking forward to the ride ahead!
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Buscarino Redux

July 30, 2008

In a letter sent to a pal this morning:

Tom is the one who told me you were submitting the same stories to Nightlife too after I told you they had to be exclusive to us.  You had exactly one CD addressed to you, the one (name withheld) picked up.
 
It’s too bad you feel this way, and that Tom has waged a cyber war.  I frankly thought he had quit last week after he signed of with “for christ’s sake” when I told him his next story needed a Buffalo theme.  I have to tell you I shared your email with him on that subject too, by way of enforcing the fact that that’s who we are.  You understood the Buffalo aspect, but not the exclusive.  I had no idea you felt that because you weren’t being paid you had no obligation to adhere to that policy and again, it was Tom who pointed ut that things of yours that we posted were printer verbatim on Nightlife.
 
I’m frankly stymied by the inability of some to understand that we print only Buffalo-centered exclusives.  I was willing to go for the national theme with Tom, but was given the directive to add the outlets where the books and movies could be bought/rented/watched.  This made him angry obviously.
 
As for Alycia, I have no record of having corresponded with her.  Perhaps she was looking for a job rather than to submit.  We simply are not in a position to hire.
 
As for being denied, I was assigning things to Eli and interns as they came in.  On the occasions that yours showed up later, unannounced and unsolicited, of course theirs got put on line ahead of yours.  Maybe if you’d called or come in like I asked, this could have been cleared up.
 
So, Tom’s decided to bully and form what he sees as an army of soldiers.  You’d do best to ask what the crusade is about and why your commander in chief would be willing to throw you under the bus for the sake of his vendetta…a vendetta against simple BRO guidelines…oh, and me.  The big, bad editor.  Please.
    What a selfless martyr.  Give me a break.  I fired back to Newell with the following:
 
Newell,
 
I had NO objections to mentioning local media outlets.  That is not the issue.  What I DID take umbrage with was the fact that Elena wanted me to re-write a fucking graphic novel review (the content, not the plug for area stores at the end), and put a Buffalo-centric spin on the content.  I played by the rules until she sunk to a different plateau of childishness.  You had better get that bitch back on the leash or things are going to get a lot uglier.  This is not a threat, it’s a declaration of intent.  Consider yourself warned. 
 
Cheers,
Tom
     I’m pretty sure I made myself abundantly clear yesterday when I posted this information everywhere I could think of online.  If this menopausal malcontent is looking for escalation, she’s going to get what she fucking well wishes for….
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1, 2, 3…Elena: Support in Defense against Elena Buscarino

July 30, 2008

     This is proving to be a crusade with quite a decent number of good soldiers.

     Immediately after sending out an emergency email and posting my ‘Open Letter To Buffalo Rising’, a veritable avalanche of emails and phone calls came in.  I’m only going to use first names because I’m not sure which people are willing to stick their necks out and which ones aren’t.   Here is just a small sampling of the support I’ve received since last evening.  

Alycia wrote me with this:

oh my god, what happened! this sounds draining and horrible! i know its none of my business but what was the batman situation? so much of what you wrote piqued my interest! i have to say that i had a bad taste in my mouth about her- i was told by someone at the news to contact her and that they’d ‘kill for a published, mediagenic author to write for them’ and after three emails and a phone mesg, never heard from her so im not surprised she’s shady. what was her one line email about?
im sure you already talked a ton about this so you might not be in the mood to share it again but friend to friend, writer to writer, if you have any spare time this week- let me know more about what happened! im so sorry about it tom- you’re a true talent and its such a shame that buffalo cant appreciate what it has and then throws tantrums when talent leaves the queen city.

And the beat goes on.  Carrie wrote me with:

     Woah.  And you copied all of those people.  Again, more proof that you are my hero.
 
What a set of BALLS!
 
I can’t wait to read their the reply.  Good for you for setting boundaries.
 
I have to get out of here now (still at work). 
 
Scott was gracious enough to offer me yet another avenue for my creative endeavors:
Tom,Richard came to the rescue this morning by saying this:

Elena doesn’t realize what a valuable thing she is giving up. If
she continues on as editor, I can see Buffalo Rising folding.

And finally, Newell responded to my email with this:

OMG. Hang on… I’m dead tired and need to get to an event, but let me get back to you in the morning. Sorry… let me have a sec to digest this.

     Now I may be a pretty prickly pair, but this…all-out war is proving to be bigger than the two of us.  It looks as if Elena should probably start seeking another job (and apparently, some psychiatric help along with a handful of prescriptions.  I truly appreciate the well-spring of ‘here here’s’ along with so many offers for help.  I know that I haven’t been easy to deal with over the years, but I would like to think that the good I’ve done for Buffalo has far outweighed all of my tantrums, outbursts and wrath-filled outbreaks.  This isn’t over.  Not by a long shot.  This proves that once again, a) Don’t f with me, because I’m going to bite back, break the skin and make it ten times worse and b) Find out who you’re dealing with before you piss in their faces.  You never know how many friends (and in what sort of positions of power and leverage) they may have.  Thanks, everybody.  Keep fighting the good fight for me because honestly, I don’t always have the strength.

 

I just recently found your stuff at BR … and thought the batman stuff was pretty cool.

If you’re looking for an outlet that will really let you do your own thing, I might recommend WNYMedia.net. There’s no print version, but their website is really cool and the way they run things there seems to flow pretty well. They’ve got a long list of contributors (including myself) and their interests go from politics to sports to theatre to … everything that isn’t politics, sports and theatre.

Anyway, best of luck and let me know.

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 88 on stands, ‘Editor’s Choice’?

July 29, 2008

     If all goes according to plan (which it hasn’t yet this month), ‘The Importance Of Being Neurotic’, my piece on the intrinsic value of psychotherapy, will hit stands in the pages of Night Life this week.  In the shuffle, I thought for some reason that it was running last week.  It didn’t.  ‘On Spec’ ran in the Big Words column instead.  Too much confusion.  All of this should be ironed out in time for next month, as I won’t be shuffling shows around like a game of, well, shuffleboard, going into August.

     The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal 60th episode has been postponed indefinitely.  Due to circumstances beyond both of our control, Hal is taking a break and sorting some other things out and I’ll leave it at that.  It pains me to see yet another friend going through a veritable monsoon of troubles that life is dishing out, but I’ll wait patiently on the sidelines and offer help when it’s asked for.  That’s all I can do at this point.  It’s been a tough summer for a lot of my friends, and it aggravates me that it has to happen all at once.  I’m sure there’s a soothing adage for all of this, but any advice eludes me for the time being.

     And finally, I’m not sure whether it’s a massive pyramid scheme of a scam right now, but I had two poems accepted on the notorious Poetry.com web site, ‘Poem For Lindsay’ and ‘On The Corner Of Average’.  The former (‘Poem For Lindsay’) was awarded with the partially prestigious ‘Poet’s Choice’ award.  Whether or not this carries any weight is beyond me, as these are circles I’m unfamiliar in traveling.  However, it’s always good to have more work up and around online.  You can view (and read) ‘Poem For Lindsay’ over on:

http://www.poetry.com/dotnet/P9003195/999/1/display.aspx

‘On The Corner Of Average’ can be found over at:

http://www.poetry.com/dotnet/P9003195/999/2/display.aspx

     This Wednesday, my celebrity interview with Uncle Hal had to be postponed, so in his place, I’ll be talking with Jay Desiderio from Desiderio’s on Broadway for the second installment of the Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.  If you caught the first episode, you know that you’re not going to want to miss the second episode.  I’ve got a real corker of a rant (if you get the email newsletter, you just read it yesterday) for my opening shot, so grab a comfortable chair and a stiff drink and hop online later this week.   Tune on in late Wednesday night at:

www.thinktwiceradio.com

     That’s all the news that’s fit to print for one day.  Talk to you sooner than you think,

Tom Waters

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Not Ready To Make Nice!

July 23, 2008

     The good news is that I’ve finally got definitive proof that a)people are reading the Night Life Big Words print column and b)exotic dancers are indeed literate creatures. 

     If you read my earlier post on the site, you already know that Night Life accidentally ran my ‘Pharoah’s: 10, Madamoisselle’s: 5, Rick’s Tally Ho: Still 0 essay last week.  I really would have preferred that they didn’t, but there’s no use crying over spilled milk.

     Well I got on the horn today to speak with Christy about August’s slate of column submissions (since I accidentally re-sent ‘On Spec’), Dave Koestner told me about the can of worms that I opened up because of the Madamoisselle’s article.

     Apparently, the management at Alexander’s (an old haunt from my exotic club review days) in Tonawanda loved the column so much that they cut out three copies and posted them up on every wall in their club.  I guess ALL of the dancers were abuzz with talk about the article, which, while not antagonistic, was very tell-it-like-it-is about the rotten treatment myself and my guest got when we tried to get into Madam’s without paying a cover charge.

     I feel bad about the piece.  I truly do.  I also feel that if you say you’re going to do a favor for someone, then you damn well better do it.  It is what it is.  The damage is done and the die is cast.  Hopefully last week’s controversy (with Madam’s and BRO) is the last of it for awhile.  I’m a fat old man, and the energy and aggravation it requires to juggle so many quixotic quests wears on the soul. 

     On the other hand, though, I’m going back into Uncle Hal’s sunny Burbank studio this Friday afternoon to slap on my co-host hat and ring in his auspicious and milestone breaking 60th episode!  And you know that whenever the two of us meet up with a pair of microphones, someone’s feathers are going to get ruffled, if not everybody’s!  Wanna catch up on previous episodes?  Click over to:

www.powunclehal.com

     -and see what all the hub bub is about!  Episode 58 was a hoot and a half and I’m bringing the motherfucking heat this Friday!  Look for Episode 60 online (as well as Episode 2 of the Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour) towards the end of next week!

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 87 on stands, whoops!

July 21, 2008

     July (in general) has been a confusing month.  For those of you who picked up Night Life last week, ‘On Spec’ was not the essay that ran.  Towards the end of June, I sent out my four-column package to Christy (who deals with the layout and structure of the magazine).  Then, at the very, very end of the month, I changed my mind.  In light of Buffalo Rising taking a pass on ‘Taking The Super Right Back Out Of Superintendant’, I wanted to get it up in print somewhere while the iron was still hot, so I asked her to work it in to Week 2 (if you never got to see it, it’s still up over on my YourHub site in the ‘Stories’ section and it’s rounding out at about 500 site hits). 

     And, after a poor experience at an exotic club, I wrote a post for week 3 and asked Christy to run that.  Upon cooling down, I emailed Christy and flip-flopped a third time, asking if she’d run the original week 3 essay (‘On Spec’).  Confusing?  Yes.  Did I want last week’s column to run?  No.  Luckily, she buried the column all the way in the ‘adult’ section at the very back of the magazine.  I really didn’t want that article to go in, but I can understand why it accidentally went in. 

     At any rate, this week’s issue of Night Life is bringing the heat with ‘The Importance Of Being Neurotic’ (from the upcoming Slapstick & Superego), a serious look at my lifelong appreciation for one-on-one therapy.  Since I started seeing a therapist again, I figured it was topical.  Well, for me at least.  While some people think that seeing an analyst is pretty private, I think it’s one of the healthiest things in the world that anybody could do.  Read for yourself in the pages of Night Life this week….

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Afterthoughts on ‘The Dark Knight’ and a week of the flying rat at BRO

July 19, 2008

     The movie was perfection, plain and simple.  See it.  Multiple times.  On the opening weekend.  Bring friends, loved ones, pets and enemies and overpay for your tickets and concessions.  Above all else, see it. 

     As for the Buffalo Rising Online 5-parter, it is accomplished.  My work is done now, and I can relax and be at peace.  Think of Andy Kaufman from time to time.  I put some hard thought into the ‘trolls’ who post frequently with their two cents along with the other fifty percent of the readers who have some interesting, amusing and insightful feedback and came to this salient decision today:  the forum is for them.  That’s their headspace, not mine.  It’s not my right (nor my obligation) to chime in to the way they react to whatever nonsense it is that I have to contribute.

     Again, though, I’d like to point out that I care less than nothing about personal criticism or attacks.  Rip my writing to shreds all day and all night long.  That I can take.  I realize that my writing is an acquired taste (not unlike a single malt scotch) and that some people are never going to get a hankering for said taste.  That’s fine.  My objective has always been to polarize.  Love it or hate it, I want a response.  And that’s worked for me for a long, long, long time.  I’m more than happy to be the humble scribbler or the sinister villian: whichever role suits you best.  I’m cool with that, too.

     But don’t take it out on the comics.  I love comics, and as Ian (from Don’s Atomic) and I were discussing last night during a bar review at Marinaccio’s in Amherst, comics are taken a lot more seriously in the rest of the world.  The culture in Canada, Japan and Europe is much more advanced, supportive and encouraging where graphic novels and adult black and white stories are concerned.  Isn’t it time we got with the program where this is concerned?  I love rooting for the underdog, and comic books happen to be one of those horses that you don’t back.  So I’m taking the cause up.  I write columns for Night Life, bar reviews for the Buffalo News, and celebrity interviews and graphic novel reviews for Buffalo Rising.  Something different for everyone.  You can’t look at one piece of the pie and honestly think that that’s all I do.  It’s foolish to churn out the same creative rhubarb for every single publication in town and out of town, though.  Think on that for a bit and maybe it will make sense.

     Turning in for bed.  What a beautiful day.  Goodnight, moon.  Goodnight stars.  Goodnight, Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale and goodbye forever, Heath.  Great way to say adieu…

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