Archive for August, 2008

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Sunday Newsletter Update: Radio Episodes 8.5 & 9 Up!

August 31, 2008

 

Yep,
    I wanted to write sooner.  I wanted to get the last episode up sooner, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Rich (my producer) had to go in for some medical tests and everything came up rosy.  If there’s one thing the two of us have in common, it’s our love for a holistic lifestyle.  Right.
    Life has just been insanely busy lately.  I’ve been wanting to write more comic reviews, but I haven’t had time.  A week and a half ago, I had a Gusto assignment at Hennessey’s Pub out in Alden.  Last Saturday was my bachelor party, which I decided to make a podcast out of.  That turned into episode 8.5 (since I spent more time partying than recording, it was only a half an hour).  On Sunday (amidst a shit storm of aggravation), I wrote three poems.  Then I got lost somewhere on the 279 and ended up sleeping in my car.  This is why I hate large highways. 
    On Monday (after explaining to my wife, her parents and a few other people that the ‘reports of my death were greatly exaggerated’), I met up with ArtVoice Managing Editor Geoff Kelly at Mulligan’s Brick Bar downtown to record on location.  We had a knockout show and for some reason on a Monday afternoon at a bar on Allen there were six people who were unfamiliar with the term ‘inside voices’.  The podcast turned out great regardless. 
    Tuesday was my night at Desi’s.  On Wednesday, I returned to Buff State to chime in and sit in to enjoy Lisa Forrest’s Rooftop Poetry Club get together.  It was therapy that was well needed.  Weds. night I had a quiet night in with the wife.  That was well needed too.
    Thursday I was at work all day for the most part.  Friday was more work and another quiet night in with the wife. 
    Yesterday I had an assignment for ArtVoice that I had to be vague about.  I’ll just say that if you’re a true Elton John fan, you might be familiar with a certain reverse psuedonym that’s going to be popping up soon in their pages. 
    Check out the podcasts, though.  You can find both over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
Episode 8.5 Tag Line
 
Tom commemorates his bachelor party with the drunkest podcast yet, strange boobs in the face, Mighty Taco, and projectile vomiting.
 
Episode 9 Tag Line:    
    
Tom sits down and pounds out the magic with Buffalo Wonder Boy and ArtVoice’s Managing Editor in Chief Geoff Kelly. Mayhem ensues, stout is purchased on Jamie Moses’ corporate credit card.card.
 
    The two Breathing Room poetry books STILL aren’t done.  I am now a month over my personal deadline for them and the first volume had better be finished come next week or somebody is going to be in hot water.  My layout person is still working on them and I don’t understand how the pdf can be so difficult when I knocked out Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish in a weekend.  I guess we’ll see what next week brings.  Volume I should be ready for order by the second week of September.  I’ll be in Las Vegas that week for work. 
    I think that’s just about everything.  I’m about three weeks away from my wedding and the majority of my immediate families (and friends, for that matter) hate my guts or think I’ve lost my mind altogether or both.  These things will happen.  In September, the Buffalo News will be running an essay I wrote about my new in-laws in their ‘My View’ section.  That makes my second accepted submission for the year and they allow three per person, so I’ll have to whip something else up as soon as ‘Our People’ runs.   
     Things are really starting to come together career-wise.  Word of mouth on something or other (or perhaps ALL of it) is hitting the ground running and I’d like to think that the money should be around the corner.  Geoff Kelly and I were talking about career goals, aspirations and objectives on Monday and I told him my conclusion was that ultimately, I wanted to keep busy.  Writing is a compulsive therapy for me now.  It’s something I’m going to do no matter what.  I’m knocking on wood here, because every time I say something like that, I block up for eight to twelve months.  There’s still too much to be done.  And I don’t give a shit about recognition anymore, inclusion, or critical fanfare.  I want to make money.  I want to provide for my new three unit family.  I want to be able to leave my job in two to five years so that I can do this full time.  I’m ready.  The steps are in place.  All I have to do now is keep at it.
    I’ll drop you a line again when I have a chance.  Take care of yourselves, Big Words readers.  Seeya on the flip side.
 
    Tom Waters
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Rooftop Poetry Club Aftermath/Hellblazer: Joyride Review Up on Comics Bulletin

August 28, 2008

Long day…

Got up at four am and kept going.  Worked for quite a bit and then embarked on a trip to Buffalo State (my alma mater) to see Lisa Forrest and throw my hat in the ring for the Rooftop Poetry Club open reading.  I was going to make a podcast out of it (which I was on the fence about doing), but Lisa decided not to make it an official event and restricted podcasting and/or professional photography.  We had a phenomenal time in spite of the media coverage (or perhaps because of the lack of it).

     I read three poems and the other six or seven people out of twelve read two or three as well.  It was just good therapy.  I’m not good with the sad stuff or the romantic stuff, but I read it anyway and it went well.  At the close of the event at the E.H. Butler Library, Lisa announced that there wouldn’t be another open reading for poets until November.  Doesn’t that just figure that once I get back on the horse, Buff State is stupid enough to start phasing out one of the best ideas they’ve had in a century.  There ought to be a petition to keep it monthly.  I’m talking to you, Just Buffalo.  If it’s a matter of funding, someone should throw some money Lisa’s way.  It’s a brilliant concept with a large umbrella of talented writers and it would be a genuine shame to see such a wonderful venue go under because of funding, grants, exposure and so on and so forth.  This isn’t my fight, so I’m begging anyone else to take up the cause.  Good luck.  I started a battle with Buff State over their decision to pull funding for freelance writers at The Buffalo State Record when I went to school there back in 1995-1998 and lost that battle.  As a result, I left campus and became a professional writer, so perhaps everything does work out in the end.  Yet I digress…

     In other news, one of my new editors (Thom Young at Comics Bulletin online) and I have come to the decision that we’re going to run the graphic novel reviews every Wednesday up online.  If you like John Constantine: Hellblazer, then this is your week.  I’ve got a review up right this instant for Andy Diggle’s phenomenal new vision/reboot/horrifying entrance into the series with ‘Hellblazer: Joyride’.  Check it out by clicking over to:

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/121986238229540.htm

-And then rush out to your nearest graphic novel retailer (preferably Don’s Atomic Comics in Depew) and buy the goddamned book! 

That’s all I’ve got for today.  Long live Vertigo.  And would somebody for the love of god rescue the Rooftop Poetry Club.  I’m looking squarely at you, Just Buffalo Literary Center.  Food for thought.  There are so few decent open readings in this town and Lisa Forrest’s brainchild on the campus of Buffalo State is one of them.  Somebody save them.  That’s all I’ve got for today.

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Monday Update On Weds./Week 92 on stands/Fall Of Rome…

August 27, 2008

Now most of you know what a neurotic obsessive I am with my web site(s).  So the fact that my computer was demolished thanks to some ambitious hacker with a Trojan Worm this previous Friday caused me a great deal of grief.  For the second time this year, I had to have my computer restored to its default settings so that I could get back on track.  I’m very fortunate in that my future brother in law is a computer wunderkind, so he had it back up and running in a day and a half….

     The other good news is that Rich (my producer at Think Twice Radio) scored me a 15 Gig Ipod for 42 dollars.  So now I get to learn how to upload my 600 CDs (mostly Elton and Dylan) onto this thing.  It’s third generation, but what are you gonna do?

     Over the weekend, I recorded 12 and a half minutes of my bachelor party, read my opening intro and recorded a five minute ‘Question’ segment.  Somehow this worked out to be about a half an hour Big Words Radio Show (episode 8.5).  Check that out over at:

www.thinktwiceradio.com

     I’d give you a direct link to my feed on Think Twice, but the net still isn’t cooperating fully.  I’ll re-edit later on…

     I also recorded episode 9 on Monday at Mulligan’s Brick Bar with Geoff Kelly (managing editor at ArtVoice).  It was a great show, but my producer has been tied up with work obligations, so to the best of my knowledge, it’s not up yet.  It should be by week’s end, so I’ll get back to you as soon as it is.

     This weekend was hell and back and back around again.  I’m still coping with the emotional and psychic fallout.  I really wish that anyone who’s ‘concerned’ about my ‘erratic behavior’ and feels that i should ‘slow down’ could walk a mile in my shoes this summer.  A less durable person would have taken their own life by now or a whole bunch of other people’s and then their own by about mid July.  Four of my friends have had complete meltdowns, the world is crashing down around my ears and I’ve written two entire books, launched a radio show and freelanced my ass off on top of a forty hour plus weekly job.  So yeah, I’m going to be a little erratic.  Deal with it. 

     Five years from now, I’ll look back and see the upswing.  I’ll look on this time as the sheer amount of career leapfrogging I’ve been doing as a writer.  So I would do it again a million times.  When I can quit my day job and do the radio thing or the writing thing full time, things will be a lot easier.  I’m not the praying kind, but if you are, say one for me.  I’ve put my time in.  I’ve been writing since I was 13 and I’ve been on the radio for seven years in one form or another, so it would be really nice to make $40,000 to start to do what I love.  I’ll get there, but it would be nice to get there faster.  It infuriates me to think that there are so many talentless clowns who fell ass backwards into union jobs that I’ve worked my ass off to get to.  It’ll happen, but it really needs to happen sooner rather than later before I snap completely or lose everyone and everything I care about. 

     But I digress.  Week 92 of Night Life is on stands with a Big Words ‘uncut’ column of ‘Love Letter To Lancaster’.  I wanted to run it in August, but I didn’t get around to it.  Later today, I’ll be dropping in on Lisa Forrest’s Rooftop Poetry Club at Buffalo State, my old haunting ground.  Rooftop and the Center For Inquiry remain my two favorite poetry reading venues.  I’m going to try and record the reading for Think Twice, but we’ll see what happens. 

     ArtVoice has also decided to run my graphic novel reviews.  And they’ve given me the green light to do three Pro-Buffalo PD interviews.  At least one writer in this goddamned town should be an ultra conservative, so if it’s gotta be me, so be it.  It’s early in the morning, so I’ll leave you with that.  Four days without the web or a computer has left me behind the eight ball, so I’ve got other things to do. 

     Listen to the radio show.  Grab a copy of Night Life.  We can branch out from there.  Peace out,

Tom Waters

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‘Escape From Bizarro World’ Lances Its Way Onto Comics Bulletin

August 21, 2008

Yeah!

     That’s right, my sphere of influence continues to spread like an open sore.  My new beloved editor at Comics Bulletin and myself have agreed to throw my graphic novel reviews up once a week until further notice.  I coudn’t think of a better venue for comic book opinions, and honestly, it’s refreshing to find an online site that’s more than ready and willing to take my reviews ‘as is’ without frequent retooling (lke Buffalo Rising, for example).  Check out the ‘Escape From Bizarro World’ review over at:

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/

     And speaking of Buffalo Rising, ain’t it sad how few comments they’ve gotten in the last two, three and four weeks?  How very pathetic.  Either no one is reading or their own contributors aren’t signing in under their psuedonyms to chime in on their own work.  Boo hoo.  What is it going to take to have Elena Buscarino’s job, I wonder?  I’m not sure, so I’m just going to keep at it.  Now that we’ve learned that Newell is no longer in charge and that so and so and what’s his face are emptying their pockets trying to keep the ship afloat, I guess we’ll just have to dig deep and try harder, won’t we?  Or failing that, destroy someone else’s life with a minimum of effort.  It’s getting SO much easier, and it’s always been ever so much FUN!

     I just talked to my beloved editor (Ed Honeck) at Night Life today along with my longstanding contact at ArtVoice (Geoff Kelly) and all is right with the world.  It’s incredible just how much mud you can sling about one person behind the scenes as well as in front of.  It helps to have contacts, networking partners and so forth.  That’s neither here nor there, though.  I’ll just say that you can’t buy a stellar sphere of influence for destroying people, now can you?

     My Deepthroat connection is mute this week.  Perhaps he’s occupied, run out of good muck to rake, or just bored.  Time will tell.  I’m sure there are other platforms and crusades I can move on to, but I’m still waiting for word from Buffalo Rising that Elena Buscarino is dead/fired/insane/committed.  If anyone else has any good scoop, I’m all ears. 

    Keep me posted,

     Tom Waters

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 91 on stands/Heaven’s To Megahertz! Episodes 7 & 8 Up Online Now!

August 19, 2008

A busy, bustling seven days.  Four podcast episodes for Think Twice in seven days.  A score of poems, a few rants, some networking, some marketing, some booking work on the Monsters Of Verse gigs…I don’t know where to begin!  Whelp, how about the beginning?

These Monday updates are supposed to be about the Night Life Big Words I Know By Heart column, so let’s get back to that.  Week 91 assaults the newstands today with the third and final installment (conclusion) to ‘Alia Iacta Est’, the serialized print version of the Buffalo Rising jihad.  I’m still not done with them by a long shot, but I thought that print readers might want to be in the loop and it’s a good venue for talking even more trash.  Night Life’s got my back through and through, which is why I’m so loyal to them.  

     Saturday night, Carrie and Ron Gardner came over to our posh Lancaster bungalow to record podcast episodes 7 and 8 of the Big Words Radio One Man Mobile Unit!  The reason why I waited so long to post the Monday update today was due in large part to the fact that I was waiting for Rich to post episodes 7 and 8.  I appreciate his efforts and due to a seperate studio booking yesterday, we were unable to ‘put the tracks down’ in their entirety yesterday, so there was a two day delay in posting them up online.

     Episode 7 is an informal interview with Carrie and her ‘man candy’ Ron Gardner regarding her career, Ron’s music, composing, poetry and a lot of other uncomfortable topics.

    Episode 8 is an informal ‘concert’ we held in my dust-caked hell hole of a basement with a PA system and the third member of the Monsters Of Verse, JR Finlayson.  We were all very pleased with the results.

     Dial both of the new episodes up on your Ipods at the intraweb address provided:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html

     I’ll leave it at that.  Monday is supposed to be ‘date night’ with the wife and I’m cutting into it, so I’ll scoop you all with more of ‘the knowledge’ later in the week.  That’s all, folks!

Tom Waters

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Major Arcana Poem #1 (or would it be 0)?

August 17, 2008

(this one shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out)

fOOl                                                                   fEll in a vAt

                                jusT liKe tHat

                                                   Cut mY fAce

                     sO lEt’s lOse coNtrol

                                                                     plaY aroUnd

                       (By butChering)

                                                       tHe humAn racE

                             Cat & moUse mE

                                                                   plaY The straIght mAn,

           b

                             i’lL haVe Fun

           daYs iN tHe Sun

                                                               beaT uP youR boY

                criPPle jiMMy’s

                                                                          heLen Of trOy

                                       lAuGh

                                                          & tHe wOrld

                   lauGHs untIl

                                                     theiR laSt

                    bReaTh

                                                                            oPen fiRe

          whY reTire?

                                          wHen wE cAn pLay

              cOwbOys & IndIans

                                                         foReveR

                                                                              swEEthEart,

…I’m Only jOking!!!!

                                                   Don’t bE sO Dark

                i’M haVing a laRk

                                                                  leaVing yOu bOdies

                               lIke liTTle

                   lOve

leTTers

                                                nOne Of it mAtteRs

           & whAt doeSn’t kiLL mE

                                                           JUst mAkeS mE sTRanger

                  {WiTh caNdy!}

                                                          haPPy fiSh**

                               lAUghIng gAs

                                                                    sqUIrty flOWers

            airbORne crEAm pIEs

                           cyANide                           lieS

                                  grenadIEr lUck

              & a puCk-

                                               Ish

                         eXteriOr.

                                                   i cAn dO thiS

                                                                        aLl dAy lOng

                        evEry dAy

                                          fOr tHe reSt oF oUr

                                               courTShip.

                   nOw lEt’s geT doWn

tO braSS tACks

                                        iF i dOn’t sEE

 

             5 fAt laDIes siNGing

              oN a            trAMpOliNe             ovEr        5  millIOn dollArs $

                                       tHe bOy dOEsn’t see

          hIs 16th birTHday cAkE

                                                                      haPPy hunTIng!

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Big Words Radio Episode 6: ‘The Monsters Of Verse’ Saddle Up!

August 14, 2008

     Believe it or not, once I got my hands on Think Twice’s Marantz portable digital recorder, I had to do another episode!  Jeff Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and myself have been discussing the concept of doing a few rehearsals so that we can work on our timing, our intonation, our delivery and our familiarity with our poems leading up to the paying gigs booked from October through May for our ‘Monsters Of Verse’ Algonquian thinktank promoting poetry, our books and the general belief that no one person should be more important than anyone else. 

     We’re really psyched about this ‘tour’, as it were, with a Screening Room gig in December, a Center For Inquiry Gig in May and a bunch of other spots I’d have to check my calendar to go over.   You’ll know more about it as the dates approach.  So last week, I approached a friend of mine about doing a series of secret shows at their restaurant on Tuesday nights when it was quiet.  Since he cancelled the notion after this first podcasted concert, I guess I can give up the ghost: it was Desiderio’s.  This saddens me, but if you listen to the show, you’ll find that it was a bit…intimate for a mass audience that wasn’t primed for the experience.  Carrie came down with a sore throat yesterday and couldn’t make it, so JR Finlayson and myself took to the stage along with Lindsay (who has volunteered as a backup reader in the event that depression takes me during the slated bookings). 

     I’m really proud of the show.  After the previous two, it’s inarguable that I was capable of pushing the envelope any further (comedically), so I decided to go in a different direction.  Think of this as a ‘very special’ episode of Big Words.  I’ve still got a few more plans in the works, but get yourself up to date over at:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html

     I just might have one more episode up my sleeve at week’s end but we’ll see where the week takes us.  I’m also very proud to announce that my entire SLATE of graphic novel reviews (the handful that Elena Buscarino at Buffalo Rising was too half-witted to publish on faith) have been gladly accepted over at Comicsbulletin.com.  You can read the latest post (‘Country Nurse’ by Jeff Lemire) at:

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/121864989018626.htm

    Busy busy.  By most reports from friends and loved ones lately, I need to slow down anyway, and to be honest, I hit the glass ceiling some time earlier this week and I’m starting to embark on a slow descent.  Everyone needs a rest some time, don’t they?  Whelp, it should be a nice downhill slide.

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Monday into Tuesday Update! Episodes 4 & 5 of Big Words Radio Up online/Acid Logic, etc.

August 12, 2008

After a productive weekend and an exhausting Monday, there are two new brilliant and completely offensive episodes of Big Words Radio.  This is a new frontier: The Big Words Radio Show: The Mobile One Man Unit!  On Saturday, I borrowed Richard’s Marantz digital recorder and taped my Uncle Dick Lobdell’s private country and western concert along with interviewing/lambasting my sweet darling Auntie Linda.  If you aren’t offended within ten minutes of listening to either show, then you’re just not listening to ten minutes of either show!  We had a blast, so click on over (and start with Episode Four first) at:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html

     If you liked the first 3 episodes, then you’re going to love 4 & 5!  Find out what ‘anniversary butt sex’ is all about once and for all!  

     Furthermore, Wil Forbis (my longtime editor at Acid Logic) was more than happy to publish my Alex Robinson interview in its entirety along with a new piece I wrote specifically for Acid Logic that I didn’t even have to revise ten times!  Check out ‘Good Grief and Tremendous Flops: The Alex Robinson interview’ over at:

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

and ‘Frank Miller Can Blow Me!’ at:

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

That’s all I’ve got for today.  After typing up fifty pages of even more new poems, my arms need a break before I’m left with shrivelled claws for hands.  Take care and tune into the show!

Tom Waters

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giving it away for free: madhouse

August 8, 2008

the pathetic thing is that this isn’t even part of either volume of breathing room.  i’m working on a 400 page hardcover in my idle (right!) time that i’m gonna set for completion in 2010 called poke the scorpion with a sharp stick.  this october (when my b-day rolls around), i’m going to get a tattoo that i’ve always wanted.  a traditional scorpio symbol from the zodiac in black with his tail reaching out of a circle like a bat-signal for my sign.  that’s gonna be the cover.  it’s good to have goals.  it’s good to visualize these things five moves in advance, too.  anyhow, here’s one i wanted to share that i transcribed from my notebook three minutes ago.  enjoy!

…the whole World is a

{ MADHOUSE }

a looney bin

full of

ranters

ravers

whiners

screamers

schizos

alkies

uppers

downers

punchers

(ragers)

nail-biters

ankle-grabbers

cutters

rapers

the raped

the debauched

the hunted

the haunted

guilt-ridden

pyromaniacs/sodomaniacal/nympho-maniacal/mid-life/crycyle

meltdowns

-i’m not the only inmate.

-i’m not only an inmate

(but)

i’m also the president.

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Big Words Radio Episode III: Priceless! (or) ‘A Prostate Exam For Your Mind’

August 7, 2008
Cost Of A Bicycle Horn: $5
Cost Of Gas Transporting Insane and Heavily Sleep Depraved Radio Host: $3.50
Cost Of Medium Red Bull and 20 oz. Coca Cola Classic: $4
Cost Of 8 Pack, Guinness Stout: $12
Cost Of Friendship With Guest Co-Host Intentionally Bald Mike Due To Obvious and Brutal Homosexual References To His Personal Persuasion: $200
Cost Of Stomach Cramps Due To Pissing My Pants Listening To Show Two Times In A Row: $40
Cost Of Any Career Legs Up From Award Winner Alex Robinson: $4 Million
Cost Of Never Getting To Use Previously Mentioned Bicycle Horn Again Due To Giving Radio Producer ‘a headache’: $?
Cost Of Visit To Therapist Resulting In Sociopathic Comedic Freedom: $50 Co-Pay
 
Cost Of The Best Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Show Yet?
 
Priceless.
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
Every single one of you NEEDS to listen to Episode III with Alex Robinson and guest co-host Mike Hilliard.  Thanks to Alex for being such a great sport, Hilliard for taking it sitting down over and over again (You LOVED it!), and to Richard Wicka for incurring a comedically-inspired migraine.  There is no way to describe this episode.  Treat yourself and then go back and listen to the other two if you haven’t caught them.  Slide whistles and bicycle horns.  The bicycle horn for the first and, indeed, final time.  Historic.  I’ll have to think of another prop next month in the studio for guest co-host gun-nut Brendan  and adult film star call in interviewee Brandy Dean.  Enjoy,
 
Tom Waters 
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I Am Legion, For We Are Many: (Yet Even) More Correspondance Re: Buffalo Rising’s Wacky Antics

August 6, 2008

Far be it from me to beat a dead horse, but my longstanding readers get off on this kind of thing.  Enclosed are a few more words of wisdom from first time emailers and longtime readers.  Christina (a tremendously succesful magazine editor/writer in the Buffalo pipeline) writes with:

Tom,

So sorry to hear about your treatment at Buffalo Rising.  That’s the problem with local papers: they forget they’re expecting you to give it away, that you’re doing them A FAVOR.  Now you’re supposed to put everything else aside and “rewrite endlessly” ’cause they can’t articulate clear guidelines from the outset?

You ARE a writer-to-kill-for, and we all deserve better treatment.  They’ll learn in time.

Christina continues in another email with:

Tom,

After reading all this, my afterthought: Inexperience!

Elena sounds like a beginner trying to feel/fake her way through.  I now suspect she doesn’t have a clue how to be an editor or manager, let alone how to do so efficiently and effectively, least of all diplomatically.  She also evidently has no experience, or even idea, of how to treat volunteers, let alone volunteers who’ve long ago paid their dues and could be spending their time on paid opportunities. 

And my own personal Deepthroat (the informer who brought Nixon down) has been supplying me with a steady stream of intel that may or may not be substantiated.  He/she has emailed me with a lot more info, but I seem to be unable to access my email account on BRO’s site.  Here are some snippets from what this out of towner has been feeding me.  I can neither confirm nor deny their allegations/accusations:

Oh, my password is ok but I can’t post any longer. Even after a little back and forth between myself and…”Precious”. But I will admit that your flameout on the boards will incur her wrath. Big Deal. Do check your profile and password on Twitter, much potential for mischief there but if you’re writing for the web and receiving payment, she would be an idiot to fuck with you like that considering the legal implications. (BTW:she’s an idiot) Also, I received word that Newell no longer owns BRO and was locked out of their offices recently, that he has some weird relationship to BRO as a figurehead but that he’s otherwise no longer The Man. Got no other proof for you. Either way, note that BR is perpetually on the cusp of going under and that several departures, Christa Seychew chief among them bode poorly for their continued existence. ( one of the reasons you were invited to post with them was the fact that they couldn’t afford any regular contributors and now rely on “community contributors” ) I hope they get bought out by someone with better taste in editors and enough dough to replace their 1920’s era server. Check your mail, I’ll have some tasty tidbits from Elena.

This individual was kind enough to send me ten or eleven great emails, but ignored my advice to send them to my fan address.  Again, PLEASE re-send to:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

A second email disclosed this:

Well, in a post last May, Elena actually said that she was a “harness child growing up in Chicago.” This was in the context of Mother’s Day reminisciences. The Newell thing was provided to me by none other than BuffaloPundit.  BTW, it was another Mother’s Day Post by Elena that got me whacked from BRO. Check it out, I said something about “Siciliane big hair” and I guess that was more than she could take. I didn’t even use my fallback line: “Che facia bruta!”. Thin skinned, that one.

Sicilian big hair!  That’s great! 

That’s all the muck that’s fit to rake for today.  I’ll be going to hash things out with my therapist this afternoon and then I’m off to Think Twice studios to wrap and upload the third historic podcast episode of Big Words Radio with Alex Robinson and my special guest co-host Michael Hilliard (or as Night Life bar review readers may remember him from back in the day, I.B.M. or Intentionally Bald Mike).  Expect to hear slide whistles, bicycle horns, Alex on maintaining a functional relationship/marriage when one or both parties have a creative bent, and, as always, your opening shot.  You won’t wanna miss this one.  I’m wound up and ready to let loose on everybody willing to listen!  The show should be up online by about ten pm eastern standard, so tune your dials in and click away at:

www.thinktwiceradio.com

Meanwhile, the word of mouth on Big Words radio has been through the goddamned roof.  One of my work contacts has been telling all the guys on his route that they’re going to piss their pants laughing if they give the show a chance.  That’s promotion you can’t buy. 

BRO would do well to earn that kind of word-of-mouth instead of pissing in every young-upstart freelancer that winds up at their virtual doorstep.  And that number is dwindling down to a narrow few contributors.  In a few more weeks, they’ll be left with just Queenseyes (Newell), Buffalo Rising (Newell/Elena) and Elena Buscarino for contributors.  I can see how it would be difficult to re-tool other people’s material if you’re placing the fastest publication on your own work first and writing three quarters of the publication.  Life’s a bitch, ain’t it? 

And the site hits continue to soar into the stratosphere on the BRO YourHub posts.  We’re in the neighborhood of 3 or 400 individual post hits total on the campaign and yes, Night Life did get the first installment of (Alia Iacta Est: ‘The Die Is Cast’) into the print magazine.  Suck on that, Buffalo Rising!  Suck it long and suck it hard!  The title refers to Ceasar’s legendary remark during one of Rome’s epic battles, so I found it suitable for a war with a crazy bitch from the ass of the boot, so to speak. 

This armageddon is just getting started.  I’m not done with you by a long shot, E.  I haven’t heard peep from either of them since last Wednesday and don’t expect to.  And in the mean time, I’ve got so many personal appointments, free drinks and luncheons to take with all of the reputable newspapermen and women in the WNY area that I’m going to have to burn the midnight oil to keep slinging this much mud.  Whelp, I’ll get more than five hours of sleep a night when I’m dead.  I’ll see Buffalo Rising buried first, though, and I’m holding the motherfucking shovel.  Cheers,

T.W.

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Monday Big Words Update: Stop The Press, I Wanna Get Off!

August 5, 2008

     If I had a request to pass along to the Fates, it would be that they didn’t let all the important things happen in the last week of each month this summer.  This makes twice now that I’ve had to phone in to Night Life magazine and essentially tell them to ‘Stop The Press!’  With a four rant block of essays already in place, I changed tack in light of last week’s events and decided to publish the Buffalo Rising campaign ala Lenny Bruce by serializing the ordeal.  Every email, every column and every late breaking event will be disseminated in a two or three part column series IN print in Night Life magazine under the auspicious title of ‘Alia Iacta Est’ (or, for those of you familiar with your Latin, ‘The Die Is Cast’. 

     There were a lot of updates I wanted to write over the weekend, but Linds and I skipped town and set sail for Lake Erie.  Some time late on Friday, I finally (after many hits, misses and total mistakes for the notion) came up with a lasting title for Essay Book Six (technically Book 9.  Are you ready for it?  Maybe we should get a drum roll going because the title is unbelievably perfect for the content.

-Drum Roll Please

First of all, you’re all (most of you) familiar with the next Rant Book Title, Slapstick & Superego.  We’ve got that one covered at least.  I’m looking at May or June of next year depending on how long the Breathing Room promotions will spill over.   But the book after that, the rant collection that’s clocking in around 107 pages thus far, is:

-Drum Roll, Please!

Merry Prankster

     I agonize over the naming of things.  This title knocks my socks off, though.  It’s an obscure reference to the ’60s, The Tarot, my lifestyle, the material and my way of life.  It works.  If it turns out that someone else has used that handle, I’m still using it.  It’s perfect, it has a nice ring to it, and I can’t think of Rant Book Six as anything other than.

     I spoke with a lot of Buffalo Industry Veterans today regarding the Buffalo Rising fiasco and they’ve all given me some sagely advice.  Whether I follow it is irrelevant, but it was nice to get their opinions.  People who have been toiling away in the business of newspapers for over a decade (and in some cases, two or three).  In many cases, this experience has opened (or re-opened) a lot of doors for me into new endeavors with old friends and new alike.  A few interviews will be finding their way into the pages of Buffalo Spree, a slick magazine publication with nationwide circulation that Elena was blinded with rage over being unable to trump.  A few others still will be finding a home with ArtVoice after Editor in Chief Geoff Kelly and I manage to trade some old journalistic muckracking anecdotes over a stout or two and come to agreement on the Buffalo Police series.  And I’m going to find a way to work something out with WNY Media, as I think they deserve a few fresh pieces from me after sticking their necks out along with me last week when no one else would.  That takes guts.

     Nicholas Peterson has joined the brigade with myself and Carrie Gardner in putting the finishing polish on both Breathing Room manuscripts.  He’s a wiz on formatting, desktop publishing and layout and he’s been kind enough to volunteer his efforts on rescuing the headers, footers, fonts and formatting headaches that have just about gotten the best of me.  I’ve already begun work on a THIRD volume of poetry (shooting for 3-400 pages for the next tome) entitled Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick which, if I’m lucky, will not be complete for another two years or so with all of the other plates spinning in the air. 

     RD Pohl didn’t see fit to accept any of my submissions for this month’s installment of the Poetry Page in the Buffalo News.  Florine still hasn’t run ‘token excuses for block’, which is understandable as they only seem to run poems once in a blue moon in the ‘In The Margins’ section of ArtVoice.  ‘poem for Lindsay’ continues to garner decent votes on poetry.com, but I’m going to need more credibility for certain parties with the poems if I’m going to move some copies.  It’ll all fall into place over the next three or four months.

     I’m lining up some phenomenal concerts/readings/performances that center again around the ‘Monsters Of Verse’ concept.  Three poets, one location, and the occassional musical guest between sets.  Carrie Gardner, Jeff Finlayson and myself will be headlining a Screening Room reading in mid-December that pays.  Carrie and myself will be featured as readers at the Center For Inquiry as part of Just Buffalo’s ‘Literary Cafe’ readings hosted by the ever-entertaining Perry Nicholas.  All signs point to yes for a launch-window (late October) trifecta reading at Talking Leaves on Main St near UB North.  And discussions are being bandied about regarding doing the official launch at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Center on Main St. downtown.  Most of these events are paying and the majority of them are going to come to pass.  The ‘Monsters Of Verse’ concert concept just feels like more of a downtown Buffalo venue, so I’ll be focusing most of my efforts in and around Buffalo, where poetry seems to thrive in multiple pockets and genres.  Buffalo Spree has even informed me that they’re willing to jump in ahead of the curve and do an Artist Profile and me, which is tremendously flattering. 

     After two months of typing furiously, my right hand is suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.  I’m afraid I’ll be taking a break from writing (and posting) for the majority of the week so that I don’t put any undue strain on the nerve and tendon clusters in my forearm.  I will, however, be running some emails that a certain Informant on Buffalo Rising has been supplying me with intel from mid-week.  The new Big Words radio show wraps this Wednesday night and Uncle Hal and I are STILL trying to find a good time window to do the 60th episode together.  We’ll hammer something out.  That’s a lot of ground covered.  Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters

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Rock Bottom Club Watch Hits Gusto, or: Hare-Brained Today/Gone Tomorrow

August 1, 2008

After two months of one-review only coverage, my review for Rock Bottom (on Transit Rd. in Amherst) starts off August with a bang.  And with the wedding just around the corner, any extra revenue is truly appreciated.  In the wake of the Buffalo Rising all out cage match, it’s a big plus to get some extra credibility.  Some of us actually get paid to write, and the smarter writers have editors with a high level of professionalism who do indeed edit our work (which is an editor’s job, if I’m not mistaken) instead of telling us to edit it.  I was just talking to Deanna Russo (one of the frontrunners at Buffalo.com’s YourHub) about life, the universe and everything on Wednesday and we agreed that despite what ill everyone may have to say about the Buffalo News (most of them losing competitors), I’ve never had any problems with them.  Their staff and their writers have always had a level of diplomacy and professionalism that is unparralleled in Buffalo and I truly, truly appreciate it.  After working closely with Brian Connelly (the editor for Club Watch) for well over eighteen months now, I don’t think I could ask for a better mentor. 

     And meanwhile, out and about, I continue to tell every living soul about what a reprehensible piece of shit Elena Buscarino is.  Apparently she’s the lead singer in a big band, so if you see her out, feel free to throw some rotten produce in the vicinity of her fat mouth.  A ball gag would serve better, but what’s a fella to do?  The old saw goes that when a customer has a poor experience, he’ll tell ten people.  I’m ahead of the curve on that one.  If I have a poor experience, I just won’t be capable of ending my infinite ire regarding the situation.  You made a very large mistake, BRO.  I want Elena’s job by week’s end, her sanity by the end of August, and the paper to fold by New Year’s of 2009. 

     It would most likely be the best thing in the world if ArtVoice would buy them out (like they did with Blue Dog Press in the yesteryear of 2002) and sink the ship to avoid any media confusion.  And say what you will about ArtVoice, but they are an institution, and they march to the beat of their own drummer instead of kow-towing to the public opinion of a small group of simpletons.  Jamie Moses (publisher) and Geoff Kelly (managing editor) are men of conviction, and they follow their passions wherever they happen to carry them.  AV has vision, drive and intensity, and they make a brilliant bookend to everything that is good and true about Buffalo print.

     I tried to contact Geoff about all of this business this week by phone and via email, but to no avail.  Smart odds would bet that AV is going to sit this one out.  I have yet to speak with Elizabeth Licata (whom Elena Buscarino has been less than complimentary regarding), but I’m interested to see if Buffalo Spree magazine would take the hook on my interviews with Kevin McCarthy, Michael Bly and Bob ‘Ernie’ Insana.  I’m also wondering if ArtVoice will bite before Buffalo Spree.  Perhaps my reputation is shot, but I stopped caring about that a long time ago.  As long as I’ve got the Buffalo News, Night Life and my readership on my side, I could truly and honestly care less. 

     Early response to the radio show has been overwhelmingly positive.  Next Wednesday, I’ll be heading into the studio with Harvey and Eisner Award winning comic book artist/writer Alex Robinson.  There will not be a Buffalo angle.  We’re not so insecure that it’s warranted.  Buffalo does fine on it’s own.  It has enough writers who waste their careers and their creative efforts licking Buffalo’s ass like a lollipop that I’d rather not throw mine away on something so timely and trifling.  The thing about local writing is that it’s here today, gone tomorrow.  After the day, you can wrap a fish in it, toss it in the trash or use it as a recepticle for parrot shit.  Write  a good national interview or universal piece about the foibles of the human struggle, though, and you can pimp that feature out for a lifetime.  This is one thing that a lot of respected journalists (and established hacks) will never get.  Yeah, I’m talking about you again, Elena.  I’m not done with you by a long shot.

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