Archive for July, 2015

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Milkie’s On Elmwood: ‘Pull The Other One’

July 30, 2015

Since it’s been awhile (and since I’m at the halfway point where it’s been 3 months since my last reading and 3 months out from the next one), I decided to upload a clip from the Reading & Signing I did last April at Milkie’s On Elmwood in Buffalo on YouTube.  It’s a short rant (‘Pull The Other One’) from my upcoming book Travesty about the Mayan Apocolypse that was supposed to happen in 2012.  We had so much fun that I booked another reading this Fall.  So, without further adeau, let’s roll that clip!:

You may be tired of hearing me say this, but please to Like & Share on YouTube!

I’ll have a brand new essay right here this Monday, so don’t touch that dial!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode XII: ‘Prodigal’ w/Tom Sartori

July 24, 2015
Publicity still for Big Words Video XII by producer Richard Wicka

Publicity still for Big Words Video XII by producer Richard Wicka

Now that we’re eleven (technically twelve, although one never aired) episodes out, the future for Big Words I Know By Heart looks pretty bright and I can honestly say that I’m really proud of the guests and the shows we did for Season One.  Episode XII with Tom Sartori was a sterling example of the quality, comedy and out-of-the-box interview format I’ve been striving toward.  There was only one problem: Sartori is a really, really nice guy, so I had to go a little easy on him.  This episode signals a new record for the show, having garnished over 100 unique Views in less than 24 hours!  Thanks are in order to Tom Sartori for taking a blind leap of faith and coming onto the show, co-host Brian Faulise for handling his co-hosting duties like a champ and (as always), a heartfelt thank you to producer Richard Wicka for allowing me to barrel into his studio like a bull in a china shop once a month rearranging everything, almost setting the house on fire occassionally, spilling drinks and not putting things back where I found them.  This was a really great episode in a long line of them.  I can’t wait to show you what we have in store for Year Two, but my lips are sealed.

Please take the time to ‘Like’ & ‘Share’ this episode on Youtube and don’t forget to Subscribe for FREE to The Big Words I Know By Heart Channel!

Enjoy,

Tom

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Big Words Video Bonus 12.5: ‘Resonance’ and 12.6: ‘Harmonious

July 24, 2015

We were very fortunate to have producer Richard Wicka’s sound board to plug into for these bonus clips.  The sound that resulted from these sessions is far better than what I could have pulled off with my Sony PJ340.  Sartori’s rendition of Joshua Kadison’s ‘Jessie’ as well as his performance of his own composition ‘This Dream Is On Me’ (previously unreleased!) wer a one-two punch that will give me chills for the foreseeable future.  It was a great way to close out Season One of #BigWordsVideo.  There’s a lot in store for next year, so stay tuned and if you want to receive regular updates when new shows and Bonus clips hit the official Big Words I Know By Heart Channel, then for godsakes SUBSCRIBE for free right now!  I’ll see you all in about a week right here for a brand spanking new essay!

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‘Vantage’, an essay from the upcoming book Travesty

July 6, 2015

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I’m turning 40 this year and there’s nothing funny about that.

Here’s the secret, though; the whopping truism that you grapple with your entire life: No grown up has any fucking clue or handle on their life. No clue whatsoever. I grew up operating under the assumption that I’d reach an indeterminate adult age where everything made sense, where I got my life together and the rules of the universe just clicked into place. That will never happen because that scenario doesn’t exist. I will never ‘get it’, and I can’t even tell you what ‘it’ is because I don’t have it and am happily resigned to the fact that I’ll never get ‘it’. I just won’t. Nobody will, and that’s okay.

Now that I’m on the other end of it, I can report back that adults don’t have the market cornered on any profound wellspring of wisdom any more than children do. In some cases even less so. At the core of it, many of us are just scared little kids who have been too busy to work out issues or defects or personality flaws that we’ve carried for three decades. There is no doubt that I’m not much further along psychologically or developmentally than my 2 year old son and I’m probably not the only near-40 year old who can admit that.

Since birth, I’ve had the innate ability to look back by a year and marvel at how far I had my head up my ass. Through my powers of deduction and reasoning, I suspect that I will have that talent well into my old age. By that same logic, I presume that a year from now I’ll be able to look back and draw the conclusion that I had my head up my ass right now. I am a work in progress, and everything is relative.

The big relief (for me) is that I’ve lost my mind so many times in the last 39 years and now there is no grand finale during a phase of my life where all of my friends, peers and co-workers approaching or reaching the same age are obviously losing theirs. I’ve seen the fad beach/Atkins/all hot dog/no carbs/strictly watermelon and free range kale diet for the women looking to erase the irreparable damage that three kids and/or three decades of neglect will do to a woman’s body. I’ve seen the muscle car/motorcycle/sudden interest in guns/hunting and/or the outdoors that somehow reaffirm a man’s masculinity and sense of self after having it systematically stripped away from him due to an overbearing wife or an emasculating job.

Biologically my warranty ran out yesterday. Scientists claim that men reach their peak in terms of growth and sexuality around the age of 23 and I’m certainly not going to disagree with that. Testosterone levels wane, I have a bald spot that’s ideal for a yarmulke or Gregorian Chanting, my ear hair sprouts up like some nightmare Horn Of Plenty and I have to pick and choose how, when and if I’m going to incinerate what brain cells and neurological pathways I have left because they are now finite. As my father is fond of saying, I can’t do it like I used to. Most of my get up and go has gotten up and went. And a hundred other corny hackneyed sayings.

And those are really the only two flavors of mid-life crisis that I’ve seen. We’ve all already worked out most of our divorces or new career trajectories, our relocations, expatriations or major idealogical or spiritual tectonic shifts in our ’30s. Most of what I’ve seen has been more of a renunciation of the lives we’ve already lived; a flat rejection of everything we’ve worked for up until that point. I suppose my recovery falls under that heading, too. All of the crises already in progress have been obvious Mid Life Crises.
There’s the sense that I’m on a long journey and I’ve charted a new course halfway through. It’s probably that way for everyone. You have a clear sense of direction as you establish your identity along with your place in the world and all of a sudden you change your mind in a very contradictory fashion. I spent my 20’s flying by the seat of my pants, hopping into bed with any interested parties, writing for anyone who’d take me and developing a cynical sort of world-weariness. I was trying to be different…just like everyone else. I spent my ’30s trying to be a regular adult with a regular lifestyle grappling with where a square peg fit into a round world and what my obligation as a citizen was to that world.

Those last two decades went out the window recently. 40 is the soft reset, the reaffirmation of the values that propelled you this far that you forgot about or compromised your way out of. It’s the striking realization that you are going to die. I’m not invincible anymore and the glass is half empty now. I’ll leave the half full nonsense to the idealists. If I’m really lucky I’ve got another forty years to go. It’s time to work on making a bigger dent. With the magic of futuristic retrospect, I can assure you that I had my head up my ass when I said that.

     -Tom Waters (39) is the author of twelve books of humor, memoir and poetry. He’s written for The Buffalo News, Buffalo Spree, Night Life Magazine and quite a few other publications during his career. He’s also the host of Big Words I Know By Heart, a YouTube talk show that pushes the boundaries of the polite interview format. Waters lives in Clarence with his son Benjamin and his rescue cat Morris

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