Archive for September, 2014

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New Reading & Signing Announced and The Start Of A Beautiful Friendship…

September 29, 2014

At the risk of going all Dr. Seuss on you, I’ve got Bombshell 1 and Bombshell 2. It’s a busy day for announcements!
Bombshell 1 is that I’ll be doing my first reading and signing in almost three years in November. Here are the pertinent details:

Slapstick & Superego: rants and scathing social commentary by Tom Waters (2009, Doubt It Publishing)

Slapstick & Superego: rants and scathing social commentary by Tom Waters (2009, Doubt It Publishing)

Reading & Signing w/author Tom Waters

Date/Time:
Monday, November 17th from 8-10 p.m.

Location:
Hot Mama’s Canteen
12 Military Rd.
Buffalo, NY
14027
(716-783-8222

The owners tell me there may or may not be accompanying live music, so I’ll let you know if that happens. They’re a newer restaurant with a really cool pinup/rockabilly sort of vibe/decor/staff and they’re already getting a great reputation for good (and spicy) food, so I’m looking forward to this one. I’ll be selling and signing the very limited editions of Icarus On The Mend for $50. Once again, there are only ever going to be 50 copies in existence for this hardcover. If you want one, you should probably head on out for this one. I’ll also have copies of my other books starting at $15. I usually give a discount if you’re getting multiple books. So that’s Bombshell 1.

Bombshell 2 is this: I’ve been talking to Kristy Rock (the editor in chief) at http://www.BuffaloComedy.com for the last week or two. She’s got a sharp site with a solid focus on all things comedy in and around Buffalo. Not to mince words, but I’ve always identified with the term comedy versus humor when it comes to my books or anything else. I’m going to be contributing to BuffaloComedy.com for the foreseeable future. Want to read a new essay? Sure you do! You can check out ‘Breaking Dad’ (an excerpt from the upcoming book Travesty) right here (just follow the bouncing link):

Breaking Dad

As always, please take the time to ‘Share’ and ‘Like’ and all of that other fun stuff. That’s enough big news for one day. There’ll be more next week.

See you in the funny papers,
Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode II: BJs Off TheTable

September 25, 2014

Whew!

Another new episode of Big Words Video is in the can.  I was a little under the weather (having battled a cold for the last two weeks), but the results are pretty damned funny.  Guest Kyle Kaczmarczyk and co-host Jenny O were a mismatched pair made in broadcasting heaven.  I’m not really sure how or why the show wound up in Black and White (that wasn’t intentional), but we’ll chalk that up to the Big Words Poltergeist.  Methinks that producer Richard Wicka may have done it on purpose in preproduction.

Here’s your synopsis:

Tom hunkers down with New York Times bestselling writer/artist Kyle Kaczmarczyk  (Fubar, Igor: Occult Detective, The Misadventures Of Silent Boy) about adolescent bathing, prenups, The New New 52 and other shameful joys.  Co-host Jenny O. shows concern about being dropped from Facebook.

Please watch the newest episode here:

PLEASE take the time to click on the link, watch the show, ‘Like’ the show and Share with your friends as early and often as possible.  Word of mouth is everything.

Thanks are in order to Kyle, Jenny and producer Richard Wicka for a great ‘webisode’.  I’ll be back on the attack in a month with an unexpected guest and an ‘interesting’ co-host!

Thanks!

Tom

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Big Words Video 2.5: Points Of Articulation

September 25, 2014

The bonus segments are turning into off-the-cuff guerilla film clips.

Much like the podcast, I have faith that the show format(s) will evolve with every ‘webisode’.  For this bonus clip, Kyle Kaczmarczyk and myself thought it would be fun to let our action figure avatars do the talking.  We continued the interview while playing make-belive.  Please take the time to click on the link here:

Also, please take the time to ‘Like’ each clip and ‘Share’ ad infinitum.  This segment was filmed in 1080 High Definition, which was totally unnecessary considering the backdrop, but perhaps funnier within the context.

Enjoy!

Tom

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode II (& 2.5) with Kyle Kaczmarczyk & Twitter Modifications…

September 21, 2014

The Misadventures Of Silent Boy by Kyle KaczmarczykHey all,

We’re only a few days away from filming Big Words I Know By Heart Episode II (and 2.5, respectively) on ‘the Youtubes’.  The first episode was so much fun that I can’t wait to get back into the studio.  My guest this time around will be New York Times best-selling comic book writer/artist Kyle Kaczmarczyk (Fubar, The Red Eye, The Misadventures Of Silent Boy, Igor: Occult Detective and many other titles).  Kyle and I have a long history together.  He was around for the first season of the Big Words podcast and he’s accomplished quite a bit since then.

My co-host will be Jenny O., who’s practically a sister to me.  This will be her first time on the show and I can guarantee you that she’s going to be hilarious.  Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), she’s exactly like me, but female.  So (in a word), she’s completely insane.  It should be a blast.

I’ll post the link as soon as both shows are up.  Word of mouth is everything, so please be sure to Like, Share and Comment.  If you haven’t seen Episode I (and 1.5) yet with guest Jon Elston, feel free to click on the Big Words Video Links in the ‘Links’ section to the right of this post on the Home Page.

On a side note, my Twitter account is now Private for reasons that are really nobody’s business but my own.  You are welcome to follow me @tomfoolery444, but again, you will have to request access in order to follow my Tweets.

Talk to you soon!

Tom

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Thoughts on a Gone Girl

September 12, 2014

Gone Girl Teaser Poster
I’ve been fascinated with director David Fincher since his shocking feature film debut with SE7EN (1995). Alien 3 (1992) doesn’t really count, because Fox retained final cut and, in doing so, butchered the film. This is well documented and Fincher has voiced his disgust with it’s production in more than one interview. Since the, he has failed to disappoint. His filmography (The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) is (in my mind) flawless. He endures as my favorite director, and I feel that he is the Alfred Hitchcock of my generation.
I’ve always wanted to write a critical analysis on his life and work, but have a sneaking suspicion that it would break me. Having written a critique about the life and work of Bret Easton Ellis (which was included in the publication of If They Can’t Take A Joke, 2007), I realize that I have an obsessive and meticulous tendency to throw myself into research work completely. That, and although it may be morbid, I would rather praise Fincher’s complete body of work than appraise a filmography that is always already in progress. I am such an ardent supporter of Fincher’s creative endeavors that I named my son Benjamin after The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.
On October 3rd, Fincher’s Gone Girl opens in theaters starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn. I just finished the book and it’s an intriguing contemplation on the identities we present when we start romantic relationships versus our actual identities, which bleed through over time. The book is about the disintegration of a five year marriage followed by the abduction and/or possible murder of character Nick Dunne’s wife Amy Elliot Dunne. What follows is a suspenseful unraveling of media aggression, police procedure, public relations, predatory litigation and premeditated character assassination. I’d rather not get into spoilers for the sake of readers, but the conclusion was silly and unsatisfying. It didn’t seem faithful to the characters. Luckily, it’s rumored that Flynn (who also wrote the screenplay adaptation) changed the ending for the screen version.
I look forward to Gone Girl with eager anticipation. While many film buffs look down their nose at The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and/or Panic Room, I don’t share their opinion. It should also be noted that Fincher recently executive produced and directed the first two episodes of Netflix’s popular original series House Of Cards (starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright). Notorious for filming multiple takes to find the best organic and natural scene for every film, Fincher is a relentless perfectionist. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

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Dennis McDougal’s Dylan & “Idiot Wind” Lyrics

September 8, 2014

Robert Zimmerman, a.k.a. Bob Dylan

I just finished Dennis McDougal’s  Dylan (2014), a brilliant new biography about, well, Bob Dylan.  In addition to being thoroughly researched and meticulously documented, it gave me a new appreciation for the artist, the man and the mystery shrouding his personal life.  Some artists just aren’t as candid about their lives as others, and Dylan himself is notorious for misdirection, half-fictions and flat-out lies.

I was especially fascinated by the production anecdotes behind Blood On The Tracks, which author McDougal claimed to be one of the very first breakup albums in the history of rock and roll.  Dylan was so intent on making sure that the album was perfect that (after re-shuffling the track order), he scrapped half of the songs and re-recorded them weeks before its release.  Many Dylan fans consider the album a return to form for the first time since his famous motorcycle accident in 1966.

I’ve always loved Blood On The Tracks.  As an album, it took you on a journey from start to finish.  Sadly (in this post-iTunes era), the concept of a thematic album is a thing of the past.  Out of a newfound appreciation for the album, I thought I’d share the lyrics for one of my top 5 all-time favorite Dylan songs, “Idiot Wind” from Blood On The Tracks: 

Someone’s got it in for me, they’re planting stories in the press
Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out but when they will I can only guess.
They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy,
She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me.
I can’t help it if I’m lucky.

People see me all the time and they just can’t remember how to act
Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts.
Even you, yesterday you had to ask me where it was at,
I couldn’t believe after all these years, you didn’t know me better than that
Sweet lady.

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
Blowing down the back roads headin’ south.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You’re an idiot, babe.
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I ran into the fortune-teller, who said beware of lightning that might strike
I haven’t known peace and quiet for so long I can’t remember what it’s like.
There’s a lone soldier on the cross, smoke pourin’ out of a boxcar door,
You didn’t know it, you didn’t think it could be done, in the final end he won the wars
After losin’ every battle.

I woke up on the roadside, daydreamin’ ’bout the way things sometimes are
Visions of your chestnut mare shoot through my head and are makin’ me see stars.
You hurt the ones that I love best and cover up the truth with lies.
One day you’ll be in the ditch, flies buzzin’ around your eyes,
Blood on your saddle.

Idiot wind, blowing through the flowers on your tomb,
Blowing through the curtains in your room.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You’re an idiot, babe.
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart
You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasn’t enough to change my heart.
Now everything’s a little upside down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped,
What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good, you’ll find out when you reach the top
You’re on the bottom.

I noticed at the ceremony, your corrupt ways had finally made you blind
I can’t remember your face anymore, your mouth has changed, your eyes
Don’t look into mine.
The priest wore black on the seventh day and sat stone-faced while the building
Burned.
I waited for you on the running boards, near the cypress trees, while the springtime
Turned Slowly into autumn.

Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You’re an idiot, babe.
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I can’t feel you anymore, I can’t even touch the books you’ve read
Every time I crawl past your door, I been wishin’ I was somebody else instead.
Down the highway, down the tracks, down the road to ecstasy,
I followed you beneath the stars, hounded by your memory
And all your ragin’ glory.

I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I’m finally free,
I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me.
You’ll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above,
And I’ll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love,
And it makes me feel so sorry.

Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats,
Blowing through the letters that we wrote.
Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves,
We’re idiots, babe.
It’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves.

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A Triumphant Return To Acid Logic re: Buffalo Bills Fans, Travesty Keeps Truckin’, Big Words Video 2 Approaches…

September 7, 2014
Acid Logic's accompanying cartoon for 'An Open Letter To The Rest Of The Country (and also the planet) re: Buffalo Bills Fans'

Acid Logic’s accompanying cartoon for ‘An Open Letter To The Rest Of The Country (and also the planet) re: Buffalo Bills Fans’

This is not to brag, but I’ve got enough publishing credits to last me a lifetime. In the last ten years, I’ve written, worked for, contributed or been published in enough papers, magazines, ezines and quarterlies to last me a lifetime. I’d like to think at this point that I can pick and choose when, where and why I publish with anyone from here on out.

That being said, though, there’s a special place in my heart for Acid Logic, one-man publisher/editor/juggernaut Wil Forbis’ online ezine of pop culture. He was one of the first national web sites to publish my work nearly fifteen years ago, and we’ve kept in touch ever since. He was also a guest on the now-defunct Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour, promoting Acid Logic as well as his book (same title, with essays from AL over the year penned by Forbis) and his music CDs. As a longtime Californian, Forbis and I just clicked. Those of you who have been following for awhile may also remember that Forbis wrote the forward to First Person, Last Straw, my third collection of essays in 2005.
It is also with the spirit of blind rage that I have towards Buffalo Bills fans that I decided to publish with Acid Logic again for the first time in many years. Forbis’ timing is impeccable; the new issue of AL rolled out today while (in Buffalo), thousands of mindless drones are rallying together for the Buffalo Bill’s Home Opening Game. “An Open Letter To The Rest Of The Country (and also the planet)” rolled out today with top billing. If you missed it here, you can catch the rant here:

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

In other news, the writing on Travesty (my next book) is really starting to gather momentum. The book is almost halfway done. Like any other collection, it’s sure to find its own central theme by accident. It’s been a lot of fun so far. I’ve decided to drop my name from each essay for the very first time in the book’s layout. It seems redundant, and honestly, I’m too old to keep doing the nickname thing after every rant. It was a gimmick that caught on very early in my career and it’s high time to retire it.
And the next ‘webisode’ of Big Words I Know By Heart is a little more than two weeks away. Comic book impresario Kyle Kaczmarczyk (Igor: Occult Detective, The Red Eye, Pulp and the award winning Fubar) will be joining me in the studio on September 24th along with co-host Jenny O.
I’m trying to find a delicate balance in my life where creativity is concerned, so I will make an effort to update more consistently here in an effort to keep you in the loop and up to speed. There has to be a happy homeostasis between overworking to the point of burnout and dropping off the grid for too long and losing readers (or viewers) in the process. I haven’t had it before, but it seems possible now. A lot of things seem possible now.

Stay tuned,
Tom

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