Archive for the ‘authorhouse publishers’ Category

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On Dasher, On Dancer, On Prozac (Updated)

December 14, 2015

 

prozac light pic

Author’s Note: This little ditty is from my 2008 book If They Can’t Take A Joke (Authorhouse).  I think about this one every time the holidays come around and it deserved some rewrites and revisions.  This is good practice as Travesty approaches the finish line, because I’d like to rework every essay in the manuscript one final time before its release in the Fall of 2016. 

Happy Holidays!

Whelp, I’ve survived the holiday gauntlet. From Thanksgiving until January 1st, there is no reprieve. No sanctuary, no shelter, no quarter from family, family meals, stress, anxiety, depression, aggravation, noise pollution, and hustle and bustle on a scale of mental exhaustion. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Why not celebrate the holidays by running your immune system into the ground, gaining weight, drinking like a fish, and maxing out your credit cards? Holidays are hell on adults, always have been, always will be.

I didn’t really notice it until this year, but more people collectively lose their shit this time of year than any other. I don’t know how I kept mine together aside from the fact that everyone lost their mind around me while I watched. I’m reminded of the relationship between Hunter Thompson and his trusty sidekick in the film/book Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas; one of the two always kept their wits about them while the other loses them. They took turns. I made it straightaway up until three or four days before New Year’s before commencing into total collapse.

My grandfather died five days before Christmas, a fact which never escapes anyone in my family. It’s been six years, but deaths in the family are like cattle brands. Nobody mentioned it this year, but I’m sure we all thought about it. Looming like the ghost of Christmas past, memories of my grandpa and his subsequent passing left an indelible mark on our holidays forever. It seems as if the good ones always go around the really important occasions. That, or there are too many holidays to count, and it just appears that way. Maybe that’s the end result of old age and the stress of the season. I felt my age this year, and perhaps the burden of Christmas shopping and card sending and table settings will put me six feet under when I get older, too.

I’m so sick of shopping and hunting and gathering that I’m considering moving to another country next year between the months of November and March. Maybe I’ll move to Iceland, where they still believe in faeries, Bjork’s music career, and where they have a holiday that celebrates and encourages adultery (I’m not making this up). I’m not a big fan of standing in line on Black Fridays. Leave that to the fucking soccer moms. I don’t chase down bargains or make the six a.m. toy runs the stores like to torture us with. It’s complete madness. Nothing will get me out of bed before eight o’clock (unless, of course, I’m still awake from the night before). By December, people get a glazed, psychotic look in their eyes standing in the checkout lanes. Desperation, exhaustion, and materialism bear down on their tiny brains. Stupid people are much more likely to lose their minds around the holidays because they have less of it to go around. You see them screaming at cashiers, elbowing their way through toys, and clothes-lining Christmas carolers.

One expends a lot of energy participating in family meals, get-togethers and holiday jaunts. Entire days off are chewed up driving to a destination, sitting and talking with loved ones, having a meal, exchanging gifts, toasting champagne, and so on. This leaves you with the feeling that not only don’t you have any free time, but there’s a microverse of frenetic activity that’s taken its place. While I prefer to nap frequently and laze about on days off running the occasional errand, these become a thing of the past in the winter months.

Nothing makes you feel more alone than holidays, especially New Year’s Eve. We’d all like to picture ourselves kissing our intended at the stroke of midnight rather than basking in our own solitude. This is one of the many factors that pushes people right over the edge into insanity. Seasonal violence has a cause and effect. It’s modus operandi is the surmounting pressure that drives people to drink and play bumper sleigh ride with their new luxury sedan, strip the Christmas lights off the tree and hop off of a chair, or gobble up that bottle of sleeping pills like a tender morsel of Christmas ham.

Let’s not forget the big two stressors, either: finances and weight. The average American gains twenty pounds between November and January. So many holiday snacks within reach; fruitcake, turkey, Christmas cookies, egg nog, and scotch. One month on the lips, a new year’s resolution on the hips. Most people worry year round about their budgets, and racking up gifts on multiple credit cards doesn’t help. It’s a holiday recipe for a breakdown.

It’s a good thing the holiday triathlon only comes once a year. It’s probably not any one factor that freaks people out so much as the sum of all of them. That, and the end of another year and the realization that we didn’t do nearly as much as we wanted to in the months preceding it. Expectations for the coming calendar combined with disappointment over the previous one. The thought that we’re getting older at the speed of light, and that another year has gotten away from us. Should old acquaintance be forgot….just give me one solid day off. And let me hide out from family, friends, and shopping centers.

Checking the expiration date on my NA eggnog,

Tom ‘yuletide’ Waters

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Big Words Radio Episode 51: ‘Altered States’

December 18, 2010

 

Tom and co-host ‘Stoner Steve’ dial editor, publisher, author and musician Wil Forbis up on ‘the Skype’ to talk about their collective illicit drug use, Wil’s magazine (Acid Logic), Wil’s band (Wil Forbis & The Gentleman Scoundrels) and a variety of other topics about the West Coast, pop culture and who can blow any of them.
 
To hear the show in full audio quality, feel free to click on over to:
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
or to hear the show along with ALL of my previous episodes, you can visit:
http://www.bigwords.mevio.com
 
    A big thanks goes out to Wil Forbis for publishing me for over a decade and for agreeing to be on the show.  Thanks also to Richard Wicka for recording and producing this episode as well as accommodating our multiple drinks situation in studio.  Thanks to Stoner Steve for lending some comedic value to the show and hanging on to the experience for dear life. 
    My next guests will be Buffalo Music Award ‘Best Duo Act Of 2010’ Busted Stuff.  We’re recording a live concert on location at Dee’s Firehouse on Thursday, January 27th around 5 p.m.  Mark your calendar and meet us out there for the fun!
 
Thanks,
Tom Waters 

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Monday Big Words Simulcast! Shameless Promotional Whoring 2008 Edition on stands AND right here!

June 9, 2008

Morning!

As I’m sure you know by now, we’re just SEVEN days away from the Monsters Of Verse concert at Desiderio’s next Monday.  I’m really glad that Carrie Gardner and I are finally going to have a chance to work together on a performance as we’ve been talking about it for almost four years now!  I can’t tell you how important this is to us, so if you can make the show, by all means, do it.  The new issue of Night Life is on stands with a Big Words edition of ‘Shameless Promotional Whoring 2008’.  In the interest of tipping the scales in our favor, I’m also going to publish the piece right here, right now.  Also, I’ll be going on vacation from this Wednesday until next Wednesday, so I won’t be anywhere near civilization until Monday.  Seeya at the show (hopefully),

Tom Waters

Shameless Promotional Whoring 2008 Edition: One Night Only!

Yeah, you read the headline right, one night only. As you may or may not know, I’m getting married this year, which means that my writing career is taking a back seat for fiscal year 2008. I don’t have the time, money, energy or inclination to launch a book this year. I’ve got a finished one, don’t get me wrong (it’s called Slapstick & Superego), and I’m halfway through the book after that, but you won’t be seeing my next book until some time in the spring of 2009. However, as of this publication date (June 9th), you and I are exactly ONE WEEK away from what will probably be the only public performance I’ll be doing this year. Next Monday (June 16th), I’ll be sharing the stage with renowned poet Carrie Gardner and Shaky Stage, a helluva great band who got their start out in Alden. Here’s the official release:

Carrie Gardner (renowned poet and author of Evil Is A Terrific, Rubbery Goblet) presents a FREE evening of unprecedented entertainment the likes of which Buffalo has never seen before with a reading from her breakout, runaway smash hit book, Evil Is A Terrific, Rubbery Goblet (Authorhouse). The evening will open with a reading from Carrie, a performance from the band Shaky Stage, and close out with a rant or two from local author, bar reviewer and area goofball Tom Waters. All three powerhouse acts will be schlepping and signing their wares (books, CDs, etc.) throughout the evening. Attendance is free and multiple book and CD purchases are strongly recommended. Drinks and phenomenal food will be available from the crack team of culinary masterminds at Desiderio’s on Broadway. Come thirsty, come hungry, and bring many wads of cash for all out consumption and the entertainment extravaganza of the decade, no, better yet, a lifetime! Do not miss this once in a lifetime experience! You’ll regret it for the rest of your life if you do!

If you’ve been to one of my readings before, you know by now that anything can happen and that a great time is had by all. If you haven’t picked up a copy of my last collection of rants, If They Can’t Take A Joke, then now is the perfect time because I’ll be selling and signing the last batch of first edition hardcovers for $20. Carrie will be selling her book for $10. I’m not really sure how much Shaky Stage will be selling their Cds for, but they last time I saw them play live, they were giving away free copies for crowd interaction. So #1, admission is free (and I know Night Life readers love free anything because they come out in droves for it and I‘ve seen it). #2, you’re getting three amazing acts in one night, #3, we’ll be giving away some free stuff and #4, this is the ONLY time I’ll be performing any of my rants on stage in Buffalo this year. What more reason do you need?

Round up your friends, your girlfriends, your pets, and your enemies and meet us out next week for some strong drink, great food and an evening of entertainment that you won’t soon forget. Who knows? Once the night is over, you may need acupuncture or deep psychotherapy to remove the memory from your brain bank. I guarantee you a great time. And if the Night Life troops can fill the bar, I’ll give away a signed hardcover to one of you wonderful swag-hounds.

I’ve been tinkering away on this column for almost two years now and I’m pretty pleased with the niche impact it’s had on reaching a new and unusual audience. And as a megalomaniac, it’s always nice to meet my readers up close and personal and get their two cents while they’re buying me shots. If it’s been your life’s dream to buy me a shot, now is your chance. I’ll be hanging out at the bar swilling Tullamore Dew and pitchers of Coors Light (or as they call it at Desiderio’s, ‘the tom waters special’) all night before I go up on stage, so if you want to hang out and have a great time, I’ll see you there. And after a few doubles of good Irish whiskey, I can’t be held responsible from a legal standpoint for my actions on stage.

So to summarize: next Monday, Desiderio’s, 8pm SHARP! Bring some cash, bring some friends and get ready to take part in the triple threat all out bash of the summer. Are you listening, Buffalo? I’ll see you next week. You might want to take off of work on Tuesday to recover. Make it out in record numbers and perhaps me and the gang at Night Life will do something special for the Big Words 2 year anniversary.

Seeya at Desi’s,

Tom Waters

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The Monsters Of Verse June 16th at Desiderio’s!

May 23, 2008

Carrie Gardner (renowned poet and author of Evil Is A Terrific, Rubbery Goblet) presents an FREE evening of unprecedented entertainment the likes of which Buffalo has never seen before with a reading from her breakout, runaway smash hit book, Evil Is A Terrific, Rubbery Goblet (Authorhouse). The event will take place at Desiderio’s restaurant (on the corner of Broadway and Bowen) on Monday, June 16th at 8 p.m. The evening will open with a reading from Carrie, a performance from the band Shaky Stage, and close out with a rant or two from local author, bar reviewer and area goofball Tom Waters. All three powerhouse acts will be schlepping and signing their wares (books, CDs, etc.) throughout the evening. Attendance is free and multiple book and CD purchases are strongly recommended. Drinks and phenomenal food will be available from the crack team of culinary masterminds at Desiderio’s on Broadway. Come thirsty, come hungry, and bring many wads of cash for all out consumption and the entertainment extravaganza of the decade, no, better yet, a lifetime! Do not miss this once in a lifetime experience! You’ll regret it for the rest of your life if you do!

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Acid Logic Update/Acid Logic Book Out!/Sneak Peak at ‘Perpetual Estrogen’!

May 9, 2008

Oofa!,

This month’s outstanding issue of Acid Logic is up online with the final, completed version of the new fan favorite ‘Perpetual Estrogen’.  You can read it in it’s entirety by clicking over to:

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

     For a categorical essay that takes some pretty hard shots at the female species, responses from the opposite sex have been overwhelmingly positive because, as they tell me, ‘it’s all true!’.  The very same essay will be appearing in Night Life (in two parts) starting this Monday, so if you like it as much as my newsletter subscribers did, grab a copy for posterity’s sake and show it to all your friends!

     And speaking of posterity, Wil Forbis (the editor in chief and creator of the Acid Logic e-zine) has released his first book compiling ten years of his best work with Acid Logic!  He’s an unbelievably sharp writer in his own right, but he can describe the book better himself:

Folks, my new book, ‘Acid Logic: a Decade of Humorous Writing on Pop Culture, Trash Cinema and Rebel Music’ is now available from fine Internet booksellers, brick-and-mortar bookstores and the author himself! 
 
What is ‘Acid Logic’?  Why its 288 pages of humorous writing on film, music and the world we live in.  It’s celebrity profiles, feature writing, reviews, interviews and fiction. Look no further than the back cover blurb for more details! 
 
‘From the pages of Acidlogic.com, underground author Wil Forbis collects his most shocking and funniest material into one volume! Gasp at comic essays on the impending threat of cloning and the commodified brilliance of the blaxploitation film movement. Swoon over profiles of the entertainment industry’s most eccentric stars, from adult film auteur Doris Wishman to ninja actor Sho Kosugi to shock punk GG Allin. Thrill to interviews with cultural stalwarts like hard rock drummer Rikki Rockett, actor Curtis ‘Booger’ Armstrong and horror director Stuart Gordon. Squeal with delight at fiction ranging from the horrifying to the absurd. THE ACID LOGIC REVOLUTION HAS ARRIVED!!!’
 
But that’s not all!  Here’s what some fellow writers have to say about the book and my writing:
 
‘Wil is a cynic’s cynic, but in the depths of his filthy black heart he hasn’t forgotten how to love. Or how to write.’ 
Mike Daisey, monologuist (‘How Theater Failed America’) and author (’21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ Amazon.com ‘) 
 
‘Forbis has that rare thing, an open mind, with tons of random stuff flowing through it, and a crow’s eye for the glittering oddities of pop culture.’
John Richardson, author ‘My Father the Spy,’ ‘In the Little World’
 
‘It’s nice to see that not every talented young writer has forsaken webzines for blogs. Sure, he’s also blogging (quite entertainingly), but Wil Forbis also has a zine that looks very spiffy.’
 Daniel Radosh, author ‘Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture,’ contributor ‘The New Yorker,’ ‘Playboy’ magazines.
 
‘If any sense is going to be made of a culture dominated by a violent movies, noisy music and silly TV shows, it’s going to come from guys like Wil Forbis who like violent movies, noisy music and silly TV shows.’ 
John Saleeby, contributor ‘National Lampoon,’ ‘Classic Rock’ magazines.
 
‘Whether it’s pop culture, music, or most terrifying of all to me, films, there’s one man out there ripping it all up.  Wil Forbis is the triple threat of the internet, and anyone who’s writing online should be watching their rearview mirror in white-knuckled panic for the lunatic generalissimo of the website no one wanted to know existed–Acid Logic.’
Steve Anderson, columnist ‘Reel Advice From the Video Store Guy’
 
To top it off, the cover and interior illustrations were lovingly rendered by acclaimed underground artist Wayno!
 
So how do you get yourself a copy?  You can order from Amazon by clicking the following link:
http://www.amazon.com/Acid-Logic-Humorous-Writing-Culture/dp/1434357007/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209704613&sr=8-1

You can also order a copy direct from the publisher:
http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail~bookid~47272.aspx
 
(Hint: it’s slightly cheaper from AuthorHouse.com, unless you have Amazon prime or qualify for Amazon super saver shipping (orders of $25 or more.))
Barnes & Noble coming soon.
 
AND, if you’re in the Los Angeles area, or plan to be, hit me up directly and I can get you a copy of the book at the publisher price ($12) without any additional postage costs.  I’m not in this for the money, folks.  I just want to bring the joy of acid logic to your life.  Just reply to this e-mail, or e-mail forbisthemighty@hotmail.com or track me down in person etc.

                                                                                       -Wil Forbis

     As an editor, there is none better.  He’s put up with me for longer than any other editor I’ve worked with, and that’s a testament all to itself.  Believe me, I can tell you some stories.  I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the book and give it a thorough read through.  So show some support and buy a copy, damnit! 

     Oh, and lest I forget, the Irishman bar review hit Gusto today.  Grab a copy of The Buffalo News while it’s on stands!  Have a great weekend,

Tom Waters 

    

 

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Big Words Newsletter Bonus! ‘Why It’s A Good Idea Not To Taunt Your Cuisinart’

June 15, 2007

As promised, here’s a bonus essay from the next book (Slapstick & Superego).  If you’re not on the free bi-monthly newsletter list and you’d like to be, drop me a line at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading.  Enjoy!

Somebody get Stephen Hawking into a tech support van and put him on retainer, because the bulk of my belongings have officially become a lot smarter than I will ever be. After a well publicized and notorious longtime love affair with technology, I’ve tapped out what little intelligence I have left. Charlie and I hit the ceiling with the glass elevator last night and he was crippled in the maintenance shaft on the way down, breaking both legs, that goofy hat and his sternum. I’ve survived to tell the tale but my brain will never be the same again. I have been bested. We all live in a technophile’s cocoon that’s been spreading out since online bulletin boards transmogrified into the all encompassing internet and mix tapes went the way of the dodo to make way for ipod set lists to the tune of 30 gigs of ram. Something has died inside of me and I’ve reached a recidivist state of learning not unlike a Kelly Bundy state of total brain saturation. I refuse to learn anything more about technology because there’s just no room left in the left wing of my brain. It’s on dump out mode, and the synapses are hanging on tight to my universal tv remote programming instructions.

Now I am not a dumb man. I’ve read my thesaurus back and forth, I’ve read many great works of literature, and I’ve been devouring pop culture with an insatiable appetite for quite some time now. As far as gadgets and gizmos go, I am pro gadget and pro gizmo. On the campaign ticket, I strongly supported the gadget/gizmo bill of ’04, and make sure you pronounce ’04 as ’aught four’ in this case. But they’ve been doing their homework. Electronics keep getting better and more complex and it’s reached a point where I would have to take a weekend seminar at the Hilton to catch up. I just can’t do it anymore. I give up. They’re better than me and they’re too goddamned complicated. I have a fleet of remote controls on my coffee table and I don’t have a full grasp on how to operate any of them.

It all started two years ago when I got this computer (shhh! Keep your voice down, it could be listening!). I bought it like most men with more functions than I could ever possibly need as a means for touting the length and width of my personal computer penis, shaming others into a sad, shrunken condition in the worldwide web of a shower room we all share. Nobody needs this much computer, but that was the point. I’m not a fan of dropping three thousand dollars every two years, so I wanted to do it once this decade and be done with it. This computer has changed my life for the better, and I spend inordinate amounts of time accomplishing a great deal of things at a faster rate than my crash happy Mac from the last incarnation. Plus there’s the porn, of which much has been written. Like every other clown racing after the bandwagon shouting ‘Wait up! I’m ready now! Don’t leave me behind!’, I hopped on to the personal blog platform and rode it on to victory. Nothing is simple anymore. HTML stands for H.ow T.o M.ake L.osers (filthy rich). I tried in vain to spruce up my site and limped away from my computer feeling much stupider than I’ve felt in a long time. Lindsay took a college course on HTML and whipped up the changes in the time it took me to scratch my head like a baboon and fling my fecal matter at the wall behind the pc.

Some sites have been dumbed down considerably, but you still need a rudimentary understanding of computers to navigate them. It’s all lost on me. Fourteen year olds have MySpace profiles now that have better cg and production values than James Cameron’s Titanic, looking forty times better than clunky prototype web pages from 1992. Twelve year-olds are posting their debut movie efforts on YouTube. I spent three hours last Sunday trying to register an account with YouTube and ended up crying into a pint of mint chocolate chip iced cream. Like Algernon, I’m saddened because I’ve come to a full realization that I’ve reached my intellectual peak where this realm is concerned. Things will continue to progress and I will continue to lose touch with how to run them. In another ten years, I’ll be calling ‘the guy’ over to hook up my microwave oven with smart technology like a million other pampered yentas.

I’ve managed to catch five viruses in the last year and a half and should probably consider myself lucky. What a fool I was for thinking that purchasing virus protection would keep my computer free from viruses! Installing just one virus program is like peeling on one condom for a night in a motel with Pam Anderson. Its best to have two dozen virus protectors littering your desk top, and you should make a point of installing one new virus protector a week. You should also by the monthly virus protector protector updates to make sure that you have the latest protection for your eight hundred virus protection software devices. That industry is criminal. A friend of mine once hypothesized that virus protection companies unleash these unholy worms and Trojan horses on the net so that they can sell more software and I thought he was crazy. It actually makes a lot of sense now.

I got a nasty bug this week and we had to call in Lindsay’s brother to assess the damage. He spent two hours futzing around with my computer’s innards and at the end of the day he’d installed another virus protector. He’s been going to school for computer programming for two years. I should have charged him two years tuition and handed him an easy set up guide for installing your new virus protection device. I need a protection device to keep me from taking a fucking sledgehammer to my computer monitor because I shouldn’t have ANY issues after dropping three grand on a personal computer. I should be able to download multiple camera angled fisting amputee hermaphrodite golden shower porn with no firewall, unsecure web sites and a baker’s dozen full of cookies without batting a goddamned eye. The entire industry is more crooked than a State Senate cookout, and we’re too stupid to change it because we’ve become too reliant on it.

Last winter, I upgraded my cable package to include HBO for the final season of ‘The Sopranos’. They threw in a DVR with On Demand for a special three month promotion. Three month promotions with cable companies are the subscriber equivalent to taking a nice girl out to dinner and a movie before you rape her in the ass out in a deserted cornfield with a rusty flag pole. They treat you nice and then completely defile you. The guy came over, hooked it up and I will never be the same again. The luxury of being able to record five hour blocks of ’Desperate Housewives’ to watch on days off when there are no witnesses and by extension no shame or embarrassment cannot be assigned to a cash value. Time Warner cable assigned it a cash value up to and including a hundred and thirty dollars a month including taxes, fees and ‘we‘re the only company in town, so you‘re fucked‘ processing funds. In three short months, I’ve watched every season of every HBO original series ever conceived, created or aired. On Demand programming is my new passion, and it has replaced any intrinsic need to better myself ever again.

Two months ago, I was feeling good about myself and I waltzed in to an electronics chain and bought the ultimate HDTV rig on a whim. I’d been fighting the urge for over two years and snapped in dramatic fashion, going overboard in over-reactive excess and picking up a fifty inch LCD rear projection with a home theater system and an entertainment center spun from tempered glass. It took me three weeks to recite that last line and I’m all tapped out. The kid who sold it to me rattled off a list of features and benefits that I can neither utilize nor comprehend. I had little to no known issues with getting the tv out of the box and plugging it into the wall, but after that, it was all greek to me.

The back of the set had more inputs than Jenna Jamison and the receiver for the home theater is a new exercise in ignorance for me. I bribed one of my co-workers to come over and figure it out for me. I deferred to a higher power, admitted my powerlessness, and sat on the couch like a drooling idiot waiting for the picture box to start running my stories so that I could be told what to think and be pacified. I sucked my thumb in the fetal position rocking back and forth for two hours while he fluttered around behind this gigantic tube hooking up coaxial, input and audio wire in perfect harmony like some Faustian switchboard operator, effortlessly and purposefully. Something died inside of me that day, but now I’ve got my own home movie theater and there’s no logical reason to leave the house, exercise, or step away from the couch.

And now the next generation of game consoles has arrived, and they’ve taken a quantum leap in terms of functionality. Luckily I hooked them up coasting on what little instinct I have left in these matters. The contradiction with the new Nintendo system hinges on the fact that it optimizes the latest advancements in 1080 HD resolution and WiFi compatibility for the sake of playing games in their original 8 bit state. To date, I’ve spent over five hundred dollars to play Super Mario Bros., a game I played when I was 13. Nintendo is the devil. They continue to convince me into buying the same games over and over and over again. Being the last man on the planet to jump on board for online gaming, I went to a local superstore chain last night and purchased a wireless router. I didn’t even try. I dropped my balls into a desk drawer to be forgotten and asked the wife to hook it up for me because she has slightly more patience in these matters.

The salesman was quoted as saying that installation would be ‘a cinch’ and the box description for this new breed of anguish boasted ‘easy ten minute installation!’. Hopping into a time machine and finding a quantum physicist from the future savvy enough to hook up this infernal goddamned box would have taken at least twelve minutes, so I’m filing a class action suit. Lindsay spent two hours, any number of loud, colorful curse words, a half an hour on the phone with her computer gifted brother, and another half hour working the phone menu and talking to tech support and none of them had a good answer. The tech support team opened a ticket and would research the issue and email us back. They didn’t even know how to hook up their own goddamned device, so how can we be expected to?

We’ve officially invented contraptions that are not only smarter than us, but so complex that they are nearly impossible to install, operate, or understand. I’m firmly convinced that home theater receivers, computers, routers, and web design are set up so that only the top ten percentile of the world’s finest think tanks are capable of understanding them. This is a boon for the industry, as we’re getting used to paying someone to turn on our televisions and plug in our computers. It’s gotten too troublesome and it reinforces my ignorance. I’ve thrown in the towel. I don’t even want to approach trying to learn how to do it anymore. The progression of electronics in the last twenty years is staggering and humbling. In 1980, electronic handheld football ushered in the new era of interactive entertainment. Five years from now some fat, scruffy technician with a hereditary five inch asscrack showing will fire a chip the size of a fingernail clipping into the back of my medulla so that I can watch the latest hologram viewing of the six o’clock news and purchase Super Mario Bros. for a record 314th time for immediate play via Nintendo’s Stream Of Consciousness technology.

And I will be the last man on earth to buy or use a cell phone or Ipod. They’re both worthless. If I wanted to talk to people I wouldn’t have this much technology growing in my apartment. I barely use my home phone and screening my calls because I can’t be bothered to get up and walk over to the portable phone gathering dust on the base drives my friends crazy to no end. And what is the deal with these swiss army knife phones? I like having multiple toys so don’t try and shill me on a cell phone that takes pictures, employs text messages, stores music, streams weather and sports forecasts and changes your shorts for you when you soil them? Nobody needs that much functionality in a goddamned cell phone. Furthermore, I’m just now getting in to the joy of making mix cds. I’m a fan of buying a cd once and enjoying that, not buying the cd, buying individual songs for my hard drive, and buying song lists from web sites. I change my mind on eighteen track mix cds, so what makes you think that I have the time or patience to port 800 songs onto a hand held device for my listening pleasure? I’m the market you’re not getting to so leave me the hell alone.

I truly believe that SkyNet will go live in my lifetime. Our artificial intelligence is building up to it, so start googling John Connor right now because if we wait for tech support to do a troubleshoot on the T-4000, Schwarzenegger is going to be throttling my ass into a vat of touch-screen fryer grease in my kitchen. Everything in my house is smarter than me. My gadgets and gizmos are laughing at me when I’m not looking and cracking jokes at my expense while I sleep. Be nice to your cuisinart because some day it’s going to sprout legs and join in the uprising. That R.O.B. the robot in your attic is going to come downstairs with a meat cleaver and back you up against a television set that uses your cerebral fluid for HDMI reception. Game over, man! Game over.

The devil you don’t know bills at sixty dollars an hour,

Tom ’easy installation’ Waters

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Talking Leaves Elmwood Appearance

April 22, 2007

Whelp, it was a beautiful day in Buffalo today and I had my signing at Talking Leaves on Elmwood Avenue.  Unfortunately for me (even though Jonathan and I planned our event at Elmwood two months ago), Just Buffalo scheduled an appearance at Talking Leaves on Main Street with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Carl Dennis.  La de da. 

I showed up at twenty after one (way too early) and the bookstore was beautiful.  It was my first time in there and I got to see Alicia Hoffman, an old, old friend from way, way back whom I haven’t seen or corresponded with in almost six years.  When I self published my first book (Soup To Nuts), Alicia went out on a limb and booked me for a comedy showcase with three professional comedians.  I’ll never forget that.  Alicia and I got caught up a bit and then we set up our table.  Then it quieted down.  I sold one hardcover.

I was happy about the one hardcover (because it’s someone who wouldn’t normally buy the book), but the day and the event were pretty much a dud.  I never play well downtown for some reason.  I do better in the suburbs where people aren’t as concerned about wearing what the hep people are wearing and reading what the hep people are reading.   Maybe I’m just not elitist, liberal or pretentious enough for the Elmwood crowd.  Lord knows that once the reviews hit that that crowd will attempt to be hip and pick up the book, so I guess I’ll make nice then.  It would be really great if they could formulate their own opinions and take a chance instead of having to be told what’s good in the paper and following the herd blindly.  Cest la vis.  The book is still raking in money, so I’ve got no complaints.  I talked to my superstar agent Buddy Dow at Trafford and he’s forwarded the book on to their traditional publishing house for possible inclusion, which could be huge.  Keep your fingers crossed for me and maybe I can learn to turn my nose up at the world like half the crowd on Elmwood, too!

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Another (grueling) Day in Paradise: WYRK with Clay & Dale & Dialog w/Scott Leffler Aftermath

April 17, 2007

After an entire half an hour of free time last night to eat and watch ‘Two And A Half Men’, I went to bed early so that I’d be chipper for my WYRK appearance in the morning.  The locomotives going through Lancaster had otherwise to say about it, as apparently their schedules changed last goddamned night and were running every five minutes throughout the night tooting their horns. 

I got up at six thirty in the morning so that I had time to make coffee, take coffee, drive downtown, get lost once and have two or three cigarettes before my first big break on the FM dial.  After finding the Lafeyette building in the heart of Buffalo, I hopped upstairs (still a bit groggy) and settled into WYRK’s green room area after meeting with the program director and going over the agenda for the appearance.  Then I met Dale Mussen (sp?) in the hallway and joked about qualifying for Dale’s time warp after I made a joke to a co-worker last week about the banana splits.  I gawked at all the platinum albums they had on the wall signed by the Dixie Chicks, Toby Keith and Dierks Bently like a starstruck fanboy while I waited to go on. 

They put me on at 8:10 (ahead of schedule) and we got down to it.  Clay and Dale were really, really nice guys and they made the appearance really comfortable while disarming any nervousness I may have had.  The show went smoothly and they gave away four copies of the new book to the first four callers on the line.  I gave Clay and Dale each a copy of the last two books for their personal reading enjoyment since I’m such a firm believer in the station and their show.   I can’t thank the folks at WYRK enough for allowing me the opportunity to come on and talk about the new book and to meet the two hosts from a morning show that I’ve been listening to for years.  In case you haven’t picked up a copy of the book yet, they’ll be giving away four more copies of If They Can’t Take A Joke tomorrow morning during their ‘Worst Joke Wednesdays’, so don’t you dare touch that dial!

After getting home around nine thirty, I had an hour and a half of down time for a quick power nap before I did a phone interview with 1340 AM for Scott Leffler’s ‘Dialog’ program.  Scott and I found a good groove together and ad libbed our interview for twenty minutes joking about my bar reviews, the book, the perils of engagement and other topics.  This was my second time on Scott’s show and I think we achieved a better sense of chemistry today than we had on my first show.  I’m never sure how to gauge people the first time I meet them which doesn’t necessarily make for great radio, so the second time was a charm.  Thanks for the solid plugs out in Lockport, Scott!

After that, I drove out to Talking Leaves and dropped off some copies of the book for them to sell in the store at their Main St. and Elmwood locations, so if you live downtown and you want to pick a copy up from a local business, there you have it.  I dropped my zoom lens off at a camera store downtown for service and then got home around two, completely shot and depleted from the days activities.  I collapsed and took a nap and woke up to find a message from 97 Rock regarding an appearance I’m working on setting up.  Cross your fingers for me and hopefully I’ll be going there next!

I’ve got one more appearance tomorrow night at the Lancaster Public Library at 7pm (they advertised that I’ll be promoting First Person, Last Straw for some reason, which is fine, I suppose) and then I’m done for a few days before my book signing at Talking Leaves Elmwood on Sunday.  I’m totally beat but with the book taking off as well as it has I’m considering setting up some dates and appearances in June.  Time will tell… 

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 21 on Stands/Caz Coffee Aftermath/WYRK tomorrow!

April 17, 2007

Long day, long week, no energy.  Sorry to be tardy to the party on the Monday update, but I left work and left straightaway for the Caz Coffee Cafe in South Buffalo for a reading/book signing along with featured reader Carrie Spadter and readers Susan Marie and Charles Forness.  We had a phenomenal time, the coffee was great, the crowd was decent, and I sold a pretty decent amount of books for an appearance that took place in awful weather during a Sabres playoff game.  I am definitely going back there in about two months to do another reading when the weather is nicer and the Sabres are done winning that cup!

Since it’s Monday, you should know by now that a new issue of Night Life is on stands with a new print edition of Big Words I Know By Heart.  This week I decided to run ‘Babes On A Plane’, a recent fan favorite that I wrote after my trip back from Florida.  It’s a bit scathing, but readers love when I get worked up, so I went with it. 

I just got home and it’s after ten o’clock, so I’m going to leave it at that.  If you’re driving in to work tomorrow around 8:30 AM (or if you have the day off), I’ll be appearing on the WYRK morning show on 106.5 FM with Clay and Dale!  I love the station and I’m a huge fan of Clay and Dale’s, so I’m looking forward to mixing it up with them and I’ll even be donating copies of the new book for an on air giveaway, so if you want a free copy of the book, tune in!  Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters

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FYE Williamsville Aftermath/3 Days In A Row

April 15, 2007

Saturday was a good day.  I got to visit my parents (they just returned from Florida) for all of a half hour in the morning and then I had to shoot up to FYE on Transit and Wherle for their in store promotion.  After missing Katie (the promotional manager) on the phone for the last six to eight weeks and not having any of my messages passed along, she wasn’t sure what to make of me.  We set up a table near the front with a nice array of books new and old and I got down to it a little bit before noon.  I met a nice older couple who drove all the way from Lockport (after hearing my appearance on Brian Kahle’s show on Tuesday) to pick up a copy of the book.  Boyd, the husband, was a collector of rare books and a former nudist.  He looked like a sweet old man who could be anybody’s grandfather, so I was worried that the new book might offend him before he dropped that bombshell.  Then another pleasant older man from Clarence who’s a practicing magician stopped at the table and grabbed a hardcover.  We swapped stories about vaudeville and the ancient order of magicians.  Older folks don’t necessarily fit my demographic, but perhaps my demographic is evolving, which is nice to know. 

Paulie, the brother of one of my buddies from high school, stopped up with his girlfriend and bought a copy of the bar book.  A Clarence mom who was working on her autobiography shot the breeze with me for awhile about writing and then came back with her two daughters to pick up a hardcover.  It was a steady day leading up to four o’clock and I wanted to make one more sale to round out the afternoon, but it looked like it wasn’t going to happen.  There was a good hour and a half where I just acted like a goofball to grab customer’s attention, playing with my slide whistle, my butterfly yo yo, and scampering around on the sales floor by wheeling my chair across the tiles.  Then, as I was packing up, a man came forward with his wife or girlfriend and said ‘Confrontational humor, eh?  Sounds a lot like me!’  He turned out to be a lawyer who commanded a paralegal firm.  He scooped up a hardcover at the last minute.  I was happy.  I didn’t sell as many books as I did a week prior at the FYE in Hamburg, but I sold a lot more copies of the new book, and they were all hardcovers, so I made the same amount of money! 

I got home and there was a fat check from the Buffalo News for two of my Gusto Club Watch reviews.  I had no idea what they paid for them (and it doesn’t really matter to be honest, because I’m happy to be writing for them), but they pay pretty well!  I can make some pretty good money this year if I keep up my assignments with them.  Then I crashed out and delegated the rest of the evening to some r&r with friends watching the BBC ‘The Office’ boxed set that I picked up after my stint at FYE.  I’ve never seen the show, but it’s pretty damned funny. 

This upcoming week, I’ve gotta push for the burn, because I’ve got three or four big appearances three days in the row.  If I can make it through this week, the rest will be downhill.  On Monday, I’ll be appearing with legendary local poet Carrie Spadter at the Caz Coffee Cafe in South Buffalo at 7pm.  Then I’m up early Tuesday morning for an interview with Clay and Dale on Country 106.5 FM WYRK at 8:30 am.  After that interview, I’m doing a phone interview with Scott Leffler for his Dialog show on 1340 AM at 11 am.  If I’ve got any gas left in the tank on Tuesday, I’m going to pop over to the Uncle Hal studios for a bit to celebrate the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal’s 30th episode.  Wednesday night at 7pm, I’m speaking at the Lancaster Public Library for a reading/Q&A combo.  It’s a busy week, so I’m forcing myself to relax so that I’ve got the energy to make it through. 

I’m amazed at how well the new book has been doing and it feels like the momentum from all of the other ones is kicking in.  FYE asked me to make a second pass some time in June.  The Buffalo News informed me that their review of the book should be going in within the next month.  This all goes to show you that if you stick around long enough and keep hammering away at what you believe in, people can’t help but take you seriously eventually.  I look at all of this as PR in the bank for the next humor collection, which is by far the best collection I’ve ever written.  For now I’m focusing on talking up If They Can’t Take A Joke, though, which is no slouch by any means. 

I wanted to throw some pictures up, but my camera is still on the fritz and I couldn’t figure out how to use my parents’ memory stick from their digital camera.  I’ll have to show you another time.  Talk to you tomorrow during the regular Monday update,

Tom Waters   

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Monday Update! Week 20 on Stands/Happy Dyngus Day!

April 9, 2007

Whelp, now that I’ve survived the volley of promotions over the weekend as well as Easter, I’ve decided to counter my crippling exhaustion by going out drinking for Dyngus Day, one of my favorite drinking holidays of the year!  I made a vow this year to make it out for St. Patrick’s, Dyngus Day and Cinco De Mayo, and goddamnit, I’m going to do it!  Since I need a pre-party nap, I’m going to make this Monday update brief.  The new issue of Night Life is on stands with ‘On Being A Large, Land Based Mammal’, my essay from If They Can’t Take A Joke about being a fat man.  As for other things, I’m planning on being on Brian Kahle’s radio show Wednesday at 12:30 on 1340 AM and I’m going into the studio the same day to co-host for ‘The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal’ pod cast.  That’s all I’ve got for you, now.  I’ll write more when I have time and I’ve rested up.  Happy Dyngus Day! 

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FYE & Don’s Atomic Comics: Long Day, Big Success!

April 8, 2007

Today was grueling, but overwhelmingly positive!  I woke up at eight (because I’m neurotic like that when I have a big day ahead), left the house at ten thirty for the FYE Hamburg book promotion and got there a half hour early.  Store Manager Greg Baumgartner had a swank leather chair and a cherry spot right in the front of the store set up along with some great signage and posters for the book advertising the event.  I was a little frustrated to find out that there was an afternoon Sabres game (I don’t follow hockey unless I’m in a bar), but I brought my A game regardless and talked up last minute Easter shoppers regardless.  After settling in to my spot early and merchandising my books for maximum visibility, I talked up the random people who got sucked in by the book cover and started racking up some sales.  I met a nice woman with a family who lived in Toronto and wrote erotica.  She and her husband bought three copies of Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish.  I met another nice woman from Binghamton who bought a hardcover copy of If They Can’t Take A Joke for her husband, who loved humor collections.  I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in years who scooped up one of the remaining copies of First Person, Last Straw.  And there were others.  Four hours came and went and I racked up over a hundred dollars in commissions, which isn’t too shabby.  The afternoon was a total success, and for big box store promotions, I would rather meet total strangers and get to know them so that they can read the book and tell their friends in other towns and countries than run into existing fans.  I was really pleased.  I can’t thank Greg and the staff at FYE enough for their support and their genuine hard work that went into making the in store promotion such a huge success.  The store will be ordering additional copies of the book once it hits Ingram as well as Baker and Taylor, so I’m going to try and stop back for another event in either late May or June.

After going home and recharging the batteries by sacking out for a half and hour, Lindsay and I took cans back and I invested some of my royalties towards picking up beer for the Tom’s Atomic Kegger 2 promotion at Don’s Atomic Comics in Lancaster.  Three cases of beer and two eight packs of Guinness, to be precise.  It’s a tax deduction, so I didn’t sweat the expense.  I got a receipt and headed out to Don’s before seven pm.  Friends, fans, and thirsty patrons started shambling in after seven o’clock and began racking up the book sales.  Some of my fans picked up some comics at the store for the first time and a lot of Don’s fans plunked down their hard earned cash for various copies of the book.  We all had beer.  And more beer.  Don, Ian, Brad and I cracked jokes, played lude and lascivious music and talked a lot of smack among each other.  I got to meet John Kindelen (sp?), another contributor for the YourHub project.  I’ve read his work and I knew he was a big comic fan, so it was nice to know that he shopped at Don’s as well.  Don kept track of the book sales.  By the end of the night, I made over three hundred dollars in sales on the new book along with the previous two.  I turned around and dropped a hundred or more on a new Batman limited edition sculpture and some comics.  We closed shop a little before twelve and agreed that this was the best Don’s Atomic promotion we’ve ever had for one of my books.  Don, Ian, and the rest of the crew at Don’s Atomic are like family to me and this is why I try to run a promo at Don’s shop every time I’ve got a book out.  Thanks again, guys.  For all the ribbing we inflict, it means a lot to me.

I don’t know if it’s the book cover, the momentum or the all around effort, but the new book is really taking off.  I’ve honestly sold more books in a week than I did in a month with the last collection.  Maybe I’m just due.  Don tells me it’s my best book yet.  Whatever it is, it’s reassuring that I don’t have to worry as much about recouping costs and I can focus more on bringing new readers into the fold while keeping my original base of fans happy at the same time.  I may not enjoy actively promoting year round, but it’s a comfort to schedule the bulk of my events with longstanding contacts that I have an ongoing relationship with.  It makes things a lot easier and I know what I’m getting. 

If the coming weeks are as succesful as this one, then the next book will be paid for before I start hashing out the details.  It’s already written, but I don’t even want to think about it right now.   All I can think about is the vacation I’m taking in May, the month of sleep I’m going to desperately need after this is over with, and the mountain of comics that I’m looking forward to having the time to read.  In the mean time, Happy Easter to everyone who isn’t working in the morning.   Mainly, people who aren’t me. 

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Over 3,000 Served/Small Press Book Fair This Saturday!

March 30, 2007

I scrolled back to try and find when we hit the 2,000 hit mark, but to no avail.  Regardless, the Big Words Site just reached 3,000 unique hits today in what seems like only three weeks!  Not too shabby!  The hits keep climbing every day and something tells me we’ll be talking 4,000 soon enough as the frequency and volume of visitors to the site is steadily climbing.  Thanks to Word Press, I can track search terms, daily traffic, monthly stats and trends as well as visitor clicks to and from the site and which blogs are getting the most play for my buck.  This has all been much more informative than my first site on Blogger, and readers seem to like WordPress’s interface much better.  It’s just more user friendly.  Well thanks for visiting, you wacky, net savvy humor lovers!  I appreciate your patronage from the bottom of my heart.  Now buy the new goddamned book, ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’!

Oh, and lest I forget, before the big Desiderio’s book launch this Sunday with musical guests Michael Bly and Lana and Hund on, April 1st (at 7 pm located on the corner of Broadway and Bowen in Lancaster), I will be selling and promoting the book a day early this Saturday along with some of my new pals from Buffalo State’s Rooftop Poetry Club at the Small Press Book Fair from 12-6 downtown at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum on Porter Ave.  I’m not sure where the actual address is, so map quest it (like I will be) and visit if you’re downtown this weekend.  I’ll also be selling my remaining copies of ‘First Person, Last Straw’ for a cool fifteen bucks along with copies of ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish’ for a cooler ten bucks.  Stop out, get your book signed, and then I’ll see you all on Sunday! 

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 19 on Stands (and RIGHT HERE!) 6 Days Until Launch at Desiderio’s!

March 26, 2007

Now things are starting to get exciting!

We’re only six days away from the official launch for my fourth (or fifth if you count Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish) book, If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile!  If you live in Buffalo, I want to see you at Desiderio’s this Sunday, April Fool’s Day at 7 pm, sharp!  I caught Lana and Hund last Friday at Desiderio’s during one of their shows and they are a lock.  Michael Bly (who will also be performing Sunday) is a lock.  And you know I’m gonna be there.  The entire event is free (although I’m asking humbly that you throw a couple bucks in a jar for the musical guests), so what reason do you have not to miss the triple threat of 2007? 

I was also informed today that If They Can’t Take A Joke is now available on not only my publisher’s web site (where it’s two dollars cheaper for the trade paperback and the hardcover) at www.authorhouse.com but also on Amazon, Barnes and Noble’s web site, Border’s web site, and pretty much everyone else’s web site.  It’s looking like I won’t have the hardcover edition available in time for the launch, so if you want a copy of the book in the dust jacket hardcover, you’ll get it faster if you order NOW!  So click on over to authorhouse’s site and buy the damned thing!

That’s all the plugging I’ve got today.  Well, not really.  Since it’s Monday, there’s a new print issue of the Big Words column in Night Life magazine on stands today with the second installment of ‘Shameless Promotional Whoring’.  I’m enclosing it here for your enjoyment since it’s also about Sunday’s event.  I’ll talk to you all in a week (after the initial hoopla),

Tom Waters

Shameless Promotional Whoring Pt.II

Now that we’ve all gotten our drink and our snack and our party on from St. Patty’s at The Hidden Shamrock, you should all be well into third gear for the really big book launch! Are you guys ready for an all out, no holds barred literary BASH? Well I hope so. There are great things in store for this Sunday, kids. Great things indeed. Because this Sunday, April 1st, I’m kicking off my First Annual April Foolfest at Desiderio’s on Broadway and Bowen in the town of Lancaster. I know Lancaster knows how to rock the party that rocks the body, but what about the rest of you, Buffalo? Are you man enough to man up and be part of the bash of the decade? Show me your best! This Sunday (starting at 7pm) I’ll be kicking off the official launch of my new humor collection, If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile. It’s about two hundred pages of scathing, confrontational rants and celebrity interviews featuring author Bret Easton Ellis, comic writers Mike Carey, Brian Azzarello and Brian K. Vaughn along with some local writers, artists and musicians. You know what? I’ll just run the publicity blurb right here instead of trying to paraphrase:

Critically lauded Buffalo humor writer Tom Waters sharpens his craft with essays to razor precision in his fourth published collection of wickedly subversive and laugh out loud rants, essays, and celebrity interviews. The author reloads his calculated wit on topics like babies, pornography, restaurants, relationships, driving, wrestling, coffee addiction, weight gain, psychotherapy, writers portrayed in film, the eroding laziness of our culture, drive-thrus, cooking, republicans, and the agony of shopping for clothes with women. The collection also reprints some of Tom’s most popular celebrity interviews with author Bret Easton Ellis, comic legends Mike Carey and Brian Azzarello and cult film director Lloyd Kaufman.

Waters has enjoyed a rabid cult following among his fans and continues to shock, amuse, and offend with his no-nonsense brand of confrontational rants. Compared as a cross between Andy Rooney, Dennis Miller and Denis Leary, his angst-fueled nonfiction endures as a legacy to the Y generation, an amusing threat to baby boomers, and an inspiration to angry young men the world over. His books and articles have appeared in over four countries and have thus far sold thousands of copies. He’s performed his work on the radio, on stage, and in print for almost twenty years, garnering an award for humor from Columbia University and finding publication in The Buffalo News, ArtVoice, Night Life Magazine, Acid Logic, Film Fax, Too Much Coffee Man Magazine, and The Circle, among others. His last collection, First Person, Last Straw, was described as ’a jolting read’ (Anthony Violanti, Buffalo News) and ’a book that gives as much as it takes from you’ (Brian Bogucki, ArtVoice).

Should I up the ante a little bit more, Buffalo? Just say the word. All right then. I’m not going to be the only person on stage this Sunday, because I’m bringing TWO musical acts with me! Local legend Michael Bly will be performing along with Lana and Hund! How’s that for entertainment? And to top it all off, we’re doing this gig for free! I am asking for donations at the door, though, as all three acts are volunteering their time and their talents to help me promote the new book, for which I am very grateful, so please drop a few bucks in the jar at the door so that these musicians don’t go home empty handed. I’d like to take a moment to personally thank Michael Bly and Lana and Hund for saying yes from the word go. It means the world to me. I’m going to read a few select pieces to start the night off and then I’m going to let the musical guests do what they do best, which is rock your f-ing socks off! This is going to be one hell of a party, and if all goes well, we’ll be doing it again next year, same bat time, same bat channel, same bat bar.

I’ll also be promoting all over the place this month for the book, so don’t forget to check my events either on my official site (the web address just below my fat black and white head up there), my YourHub.com site (Big Buffalo I Know By Heart), or Buffalo.com. Don’t think I’m not running listings in ArtVoice and the Buffalo News Gusto as well, because I’ll have the events up there, too. April is going to be one phenomenal month, Buffalo. Why don’t you join me? I’ll see ALL of you this Sunday at 7 pm at Desiderio’s. I wouldn’t miss it for the world, and there are still a few surprises I’m saving for the launch. Let’s have some laughs, sell some books, slam some shots and rock out Lancaster!

Replacing the battery in my spinning bowtie,

Tom ‘buy my goddamned book!’ Waters

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Final March/April Calendar Of Events for ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile’ by Tom Waters

March 23, 2007

March/April Book Promotions for Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars and If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile by Tom Waters

Note: These are the final dates and details for March and April.  I’ll include the May listings as we get closer to the actual month.   

Saturday, March 31st, 12pm-6pm: Buffalo Small Press Book Fair at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 453 Porter Avenue in Buffalo.  Buy If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile by Tom Waters a day before the official launch!

Sunday, April 1st, 7pm-12am: First Annual April Foolfest at Desiderio’s on Broadway and Bowen in Lancaster.  Offical launch for If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile by Tom Waters in hard cover and soft cover.  Reading and signing followed by musical acts Michael Bly and Lana and Hund.  Admission is free, donations accepted at the door for musical guests.

Thursday, April 5th, 7pm-9pm: Book reading and signing for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters at the Clarence Center Coffee Co.  (corner of Clarence Center Rd. and Goodrich in Clarence Center). 

Saturday, April 7th, 12pm-4pm: Book signing for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters at F.Y.E Hamburg.  Located in the Mckinley Mall plaza in the town of Hamburg. 

Saturday, April 7th, 7pm-11pm: Tom’s Atomic Kegger 2!  Book signing and free beer all night for everyone who purchases a copy of If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters.  20% all comics, toys and collectibles at Don’s Atomic Comics, Transit Rd. in Depew in the Red Wings Shoes/Burgandy Room plaza.  Must be 21 or older to receive free beer.

Saturday, April 14th, 12pm-4pm: Book signing for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters at F.Y.E Amherst.  Located on Transit and Wherle in the town of Lancaster.

Monday, April 16th, 7 pm: Reading and signing for If They Can’t Take A Joke with local poet Carrie Spadter at Caz Coffee Café, Orchard Park. 

Wednesday, April 18th.  7 pm.  Reading, signing and author Q & A for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters at the Lancaster Public Library.  Located on Broadway near Central Avenue in the town of Lancaster.  

Sunday, April 22nd, 2pm-4pm.  Book signing for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters at Talking Leaves Elmwood.  Located on Elmwood Ave. past Forest in the city of Buffalo.

Wednesday, April 25th, 4pm-5pm.  Book reading, signing and author Q&A session for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters for the Rooftop Poetry Club at Buffalo State College.  Located in the campus library ‘on the rooftop’ at Buffalo State College, Elmwood Ave., Buffalo.     

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 18 on Stands, ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ in my hands!!!!

March 19, 2007

So the ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish’ promotion came and went and was a smashing success and now we’re rounding the final stretch to the big launch of ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ in 13 DAYS!  We are now less than two weeks away from the bash at Desiderio’s on Broadway on April Fool’s Day and I’m pumped!  Authorhouse just sent me one of my comp copies of the book today and it’s the best looking book yet from an aesthetic standpoint.  At 271 pages and $18, it’s also the best value of any book I’ve ever released, so soak up all that Watersy goodness!  Spread it on!  You can buy a copy (or 15 copies, for that matter) right this second at:

 www.authorhouse.com  

The new issue of Night Life is on stands today with ‘Portrait Of Health’, a little ditty (from next year’s ‘Slapstick & Superego’) about how reprehensible my eating, drinking and exercise habits are.  I won’t be reprinting that one here.  I will, however, be simultaneously running next week’s column the same day it hits stands, as next week’s column comprises Part Two of my ‘Shameless Promotional Whoring’ series, of which I’m sure there will be more.  And speaking of promotional whoring, I’ll be sitting down with the good folks at 97 Rock to talk about going onto their morning show to promote the new book in April.  I’ll keep this post brief as I’m still recovering from Saturday’s festivities and I’d like to read the book through in one shot to see how it holds up as a body of work.  I think you’re going to be really, really impressed, Buffalo!  Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters 

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If They Can’t Take A Joke NOW AVAILABLE in trade paperback! Order Now!

March 17, 2007

I just wanted to let you all know that the trade paperback version of If They Can’t Take A Joke is NOW AVAILABLE from my publisher’s web site at www.authorhouse.com !  You’re not going to hurt my feelings if you’d rather have the 272 page trade paperback over the dust jacket hardcover (as a matter of fact, I make more royalties on the trade paperback), so start your ordering!  I don’t care if you buy it from me in April (although my personal bank of books WILL BE LIMITED throughout the month), in bookstores (when they get them) or through the web site, but remember that if you’re ordering online, the new book is 2 dollars cheaper from the Authorhouse site over any of the other online book retailers.  So what are you waiting for?  Be the first on your block to own my fourth humor collection, now with 100% less poetry!  Here is the direct link for your book ordering pleasure:http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail~bookid~44407.aspx

Buy ten copies and I’ll wash your car!  Tell all your friends, tell your loved ones and tell your enemies by taping the address to a brick you throw through their window, but BUY NOW!!!  Don’t delay, order today! 

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 16 on stands, T-minus FOUR WEEKS To ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke Launch!

March 5, 2007

It’s a new month which means I’m running some different material in the Night Life print version of ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ after February’s month full of driving related rants.  As most of you have already read, this week’s essay is ‘Predators & Editors’, my Myspace rant.  I omitted a certain line about you know who just to play things safe, as print laws are a bit trickier and I’d rather not drag Night Life into the crossfire, but the rest of the rant is intact.  If you haven’t read it yet, make sure to pick it up on stands across Buffalo and Toronto this week. 

     I also wrote two brand spanking new columns this month in anticipation of the ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish’ launch at the Hidden Shamrock (next week) and the big launch for ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ (April Fool’s Day, but the column is running the Monday beforehand), so tune in to the newstands for those.  They’re more of a rallying cry and a testament to shameless promotion than commentary, but I tried to make them entertaining. 

     As for ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’, we are getting into the end zone.  By my estimations, Author House should have a copy in my hands in two to three weeks, which means you should be able to preorder within the next two weeks.  Keep checking back at:

www.authorhouse.com

-for current updates as they arise.   Again, I make more royalties if you buy the book off of their web site as opposed to Amazon or the other online retailers, so help a brother out! 

That’s all I’ve got for you this Monday.  I’ll be spending a lot of my free time this week seeing Zodiac again in theaters and getting posters out to the venues that are four weeks away or less, so keep your eyes out throughout the Buffalo/Niagara region for flyers with my big ugly mug!  Thanks,

Tom Waters

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‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ Book Launch update: Sansone’s out, Bly’s in

March 3, 2007

     Due to circumstances beyond both our control, Gregg Sansone will be unable to perform at my book launch at Desiderio’s on April Fool’s Day for my April Foolfest.  However, Michael Bly was kind enough and is willing enough to headline the show, which is fantastic news!  I couldn’t think of a better eleventh hour clutch replacement and honestly, Bly was my first round pick after Sansone informed me that he was unable to attend.  No hard feelings all around, but as Jay Desiderio loves to say, ‘The Show Must Go On’, so as it stands, in four weeks, I will be opening with a rant followed by a full concert from Michael Bly, Green Room and Lana and Hund.  Eat your Wheaties that morning because you are not going to want to miss one second of this star studded extravaganza!

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 14 on stands, Uncle Hal Return On Wednesday

February 20, 2007

Yep, its Monday for realsies this week and that means the new print issue of Night Life magazine is out with week 14 of the Big Words I Know By Heart print column.  If you missed out on yesterday’s melodrama, though, make sure to scroll down to the last post so that you’re up to date.  Now that the first two driving pieces are out of the way (‘Morning Traffic Retort’ and the two part ‘Cool Hand Highway Superintendant’, respectively), I slipped in a slightly tardy reprint of a Valentine’s rant against relationships (‘Chia Chick’ from Born Pissed).  It’s a fan favorite from the readings and I couldn’t go through February in good conscience without it.  Out of the kindness of my heart (and because its an excerpt from ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’, which is due out in FOUR WEEKS!), I’m reprinting the full version of ‘Cool Hand Highway Superintendant’ right here!  My editors chose to cut all the f bombs, so here it is in all of it’s f-ing uncut glory!  The second my publisher puts ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ up for pre-order (in hardcover and trade paperback) you’ll all be the first to know, so stay tuned to the site for late breaking updates as they occur.  And before I forget, I’ve been asked to come back to do the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal podcast show by popular demand and loathing, so I’ll be going back into the studio this Wednesday.  The episode should be up by this time next Monday, so stay tuned to www.powunclehal.com

Cool Hand Highway Superintendant

People in Buffalo drive like fucking morons. You may think you don’t apply but if you live in Buffalo and you own a car, you too drive like a fucking moron. Until last year, I always operated on the belief that motorists the world over were inconsiderate, ill-educated, short-tempered jack-asses behind the wheel. Then I took a trip out of state. It didn’t really hit me that people obeyed most traffic laws and paid attention to neighboring drivers until I got within five minutes of the Buffalo city limits coming back into town on the thruway. And once again, I was surrounded by assholes. Cutting each other off, driving twenty five miles over the speed limit and coming to a screeching halt before making a turn and taking up a third of the lane to the left of them because they spent a half an hour shuffling through paperwork in the passenger seat. Oh, if you find strong language offensive, you might want to skip this one.

The catch 22 is this: The older I get the less tolerant I am of traffic, but I have to put up with more traffic the older I get. As a partially responsible adult, I’m on the roads more often. Appointments, errands and shopping. I have a one hour commute to work. One way. And unfortunately, this time, I am not exaggerating. I drive from the suburbs to downtown Buffalo five times a week. And if most buffalonions are assholes, the large anus in the middle is downtown Buffalo. That’s when mad max driving rules take effect. Half of the people downtown don’t even have insurance on their cars. The other half are drunk, stoned, or a combination thereof. And obviously, none of the vehicles sold at dealerships downtown come with a standard turning signal. Nobody uses their fucking turning signal and they change lanes every fifteen seconds.

As a regular commuter, I drive five miles over the speed limit. Ten if I can get away with it and I know it’s not a cop heavy area. I’m always trying to shave some time off of my morning drive. I drive from nine to five in unison with the rest of the fucking assholes in the world and the same people who tailgate me at sixty miles per hour in the morning are the ones taking a leisurely cruise at five fifteen at night to the tune of fifteen miles an hour in a forty five. This infuriates me. My blood pressure is going to elevate so high some day that my head just pops off out of the sun roof in one gigantic blood clot. If you see a fountain of blood spraying out of the top of a Honda Accord some day, you’ll know that some goddamned idiot has finally pissed me off to the ultimate boiling point and my head’s exploded.

And tailgaters can suck diseased Ebola cocks in hell. It is the rudest driving habit in existence and it causes more accidents than any one of the five billion retarded driving habits out there. Don’t fucking tailgate, because I’m reducing that curve one asshole at a time. Let me teach you a little trick: Flip your central rearview mirror up. That’s what that toggle is for. Then you’ll be less likely to cave in to one of these insipid fucking adrenalin junkies who feels so compelled to beat the rest of the waking world to the red light ten feet from the both of you.

I couldn’t even tell you what goes on behind me half the time, and if I have to look back, it means I’m slowing down. What makes you so goddamned important that you need to get to where you’re going that much faster than everyone else? And if you are that important, how come you don’t have a police escort, douche bag? If I had more money and a better insurance rating, I’d start yanking my hand brake every time somebody tried to ride up into my ass on the road, but instead, I go at least five miles under the speed limit and dangle a cigarette out the window while I’m looking in my driver side mirror.

My friends make fun of me for doing the shoulder turn. Before making any sort of turn, I turn half way around in my seat and look behind me. I don’t trust any of the mirrors in my car. I don’t slow down for it and no damage is done as a result, but it’s a habit I got from one of my parents and I don’t know which. It’s hereditary. I also get my constant one way dialogues with people outside the car from my mother. I hold half hour conversations with people in traffic and they’re most likely completely oblivious to them:

“Good job, speed racer! You really showed me by passing so you could hit that red light five feet in front of me. Where did you go? Oh, that’s right, you hit the afterburners and now you’re racing along the horizon! All I can see from where I‘m driving is a trail of flames! You really showed me, Michael J. Fox! You must be in the year 1985 by now! Go back, visit yourself at that age, and tell yourself not to drive like a fuck-stick!”

“Drop dead, you worthless fuck! Drop fucking dead! I’m looking forward to seeing half of you on one side of the road and the other half under the wheel well of a mack truck fifteen minutes from now, jackass! I’m going to hunt you down, burn your house down, piss on the ashes and then run over the ashes with my car. I’m going to find your children and burn them down and find their friends and burn them down, too! Eat my shit!”

…and so forth. It’s no good bottling up these feelings or saving them for when I get home or finally get to work. Some days I come home from work with a thousand yard stare and my girlfriend wonders what’s wrong with me. I give her two syllables. Traffic. This fucking traffic that drains my sanity and gets worse with every passing year. Exponentially worse. Every year more punk ass kids turn sixteen and watch “The Fast and The Furious”. Every year another legion of soccer mom buys a minivan with a DVD player and shits out three more kids to drive all over hell’s half acre. Ever year a handful of fifty something men go just bald enough or just impotent enough or a combination of both that they’re compelled to fortify the stereotype and buy a loud, tiny European sports car. I hate all of these people with a fucking passion, and the world would be a better place without any of them on the road.

With no relief to me whatsoever (quite the opposite) it’s officially summer time. All the candy asses are out of school tooling about with mommy’s nicest SUV. I’m sure your parents would be pleased to know that you’re shattering your eardrums listening to Tupac with their bass woofers carting the entire neighborhood full of young degenerates to Hot Topic to buy trendy clothing. You really look like you’re big pimpin’ it with your Detroit Lean in dad’s ‘92 Hatchback. Assholes! Once upon a time, kids walked around outside in the summer. They exercised, they played, they…stayed off the fucking road most of the time. I hated teenagers when I was one. I was a self hating teenager. Now I hate them even more.

When Howard Stern ran for Governor his main platform was that he was going to legislate that all road construction be performed at night. This was brilliant, and I wish he was elected for that alone. There’s never a good time for road construction, but summer is one of the least reasonable time frames for it. There are more people on the road and any construction between the hours of nine to five is patently ridiculous. I’ve got enough of a fucking obstacle course going to and from work every day. I’ve got a million other aggravations in my life and that’s one more that I don’t need.

Tear up a side road for three months and steal my tax dollars with your incompetence and inefficiency. Don’t assign twenty guys to a ten foot stretch of main highway to set down cones and eat lunch while they watch the reduced lane of traffic go slowly insane with me in it. I know they’re just doing their jobs. Poorly. I know it’s tough to send in enough box tops to get a GED and make thirty five dollars an hour to show off your ass crack to oncoming traffic and catch a tan. I feel for road construction workers, I really do. No I don’t. Bring back the chain gangs. Sadly, convicts probably have a better work ethic. Put five guys on a road with one guard. If a motorist is driving in a truly annoying manner they can jack the car and scrap the parts for all I care.

Everyone driving a minivan has something to prove. I’ve noticed this with increasing reinforcement in the last couple of months. Why buy a fast car when you can get a big outdated off white piece of shit to show off your poor driving skills to the community? Cut people off in style with a maroon mini van with a sliding door and fifty wailing fucking brats inside of it. Late for soccer practice? Why not swerve around the road and juggle some drink boxes in one hand while you’re holding the steering wheel with the other! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: real men don’t drive minivans. And they know it. They still drive like Steve McQueen in a sad attempt to prove to everyone that their nut sac is not at home next to the tub of fudge that their wife is eating while watching Oprah. Fuck you, soccer dad. You’re not a man and you have no penis and even if you did you still wouldn’t be able to drive because at heart you are fundamentally a useless asshole.

If every SUV in the world took a turn at exactly the right velocity, flipped, rolled and blew up, it still wouldn’t be enough. If everyone who’s ever driven an SUV dropped dead of a massive coronary, I wouldn’t be satisfied. SUVs are the new black plague. They guzzle countless gallons of gas, they look almost as ugly as the PT Cruiser (who designed that goddamn monstrosity?) and they are specifically sold to fucking assholes. If it’s snowing, they drive around like the master mountaneer in the commercial and end up sideways on a culvert five miles down the road. They deserve it. SUVs cannot climb walls like the bat mobile or bite into the dirt on the shoulder of the expressway when you’re passing on the outside, Earnhardt. There’s a reason Dale Earnhardt is dead. Keep driving like him in a sports utility vehicle in you’ll be joining him.

If you’re fat, bald, old or once again, impotent, buck the trend and don’t buy a sports car. Yes, you’re a doctor or a lawyer or somebody really important but I don’t need to see your blindingly bald head tooling down the highway with the top down. It’s not going to get you laid. And a red baseball cap doesn’t hide the comb over, fuck face. People will still notice that you’re bald, or packing a Vienna sausage downstairs, so what’s the point? Yes, the car goes really fast and yes, I’m sure it’s very expensive, but I’d rather be me. Hung like a donkey in heat. I will always have a larger penis than you and no car will change that. I’m still younger than you and have a full head of shiny, luxurious hair. I drive a really nice car. Not amazing and not sixty thousand dollars, but it’s very nice. I’d be jealous of Beamers and Lexus’ and Corvettes but I’m not because I know that the Proctologists, Personal Injury Attorneys and five time divorcees are buying and driving them to hide something. And they’re driving them poorly, at that.

The price of gas has become criminal and odds are that the sickening amount of petroleum that SUVs go through has contributed to that. I had to co-sign the last time I filled up my tank. A gallon of milk hasn’t changed much and I’d rather not burn my house down with a wind up electric car that goes fifteen miles an hour top end or one of those fruity liberal hybrids. I just wish the price would go down. I got a raise for moving to another location and it’s going straight into my gas tank and after reading this I’m sure you can tell that I’m not much of a ‘people person’ so car pooling is not an option.

Whew! I think everyone’s been covered. Nervous breakdown averted. All systems normal. The only thing I can do to combat this traffic business is stay off the road. Shut myself in on days off or drive on the off hours. It’s irregular but it helps. I don’t avoid going out in my spare time, but if I do, I take side roads at odd hours. Nine and five are guaranteed to piss me off, so I stay away from them. If I were smart, I’d move out of buffalo and the odds of fucking idiots behind the wheel are greatly reduced. But I love my town. I just hate the fucking people in it, is all. Especially when they’re behind the wheel. And in front of me. Or directly behind me and up my ass. Or on the side of me, blasting fifty cents in mommy’s hatchback or whatever that guy’s name is. Two bits. I think that’s it. In Germany they take your license away for life after a DWI. I wish they’d do that with any ticket in my town. My blood pressure would go down by sixty points by this time next year.

Driving along in my automobile,

Tom ‘McQueen’ Waters

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Monday Update: Week 11 On Stands, Possible Trafford Switch at the 11th Hour

January 29, 2007

     First, down to Night Life Magazine business.  The new issue’s out today with a scathing, scathing (did I mention that the article was scathing?) commentary on Buffalo roads and how horrendous they are (‘Morning Traffic Retort’)  in this week’s Big Words I Know By Heart print column.  I’m making this February my official ‘Driving Sucks’ month and rounding out the rest of the month in Night Life with a classic, fan favorite that’s been split up into two parts (‘Cool Hand Highway Superintendant’) and I may or may not throw a Valentine’s piece or another driving piece in for the fourth week.  People who have read my work for some time know that I always shine when it comes to writing about driving, dentists and smoking.  They are three themes that I always seem to circle back to because they constantly aggravate me.  And if you missed ‘Bizarro Acrophobia’ last week, you’re just going to have to wait until next year to read it in ‘Slapstick & Superego’, as I won’t be reprinting it here.  I only reprint the Big Word columns that I wrote specifically for the print column with a local flavor, so sorry for that. 

     One of the submitters to the Just Buffalo anthology that Alycia Ripley and myself are compiling let me know that the Buffalo News ran our call for submissions in the Sunday paper in the Arts section, so that’s getting us some great exposure for the project.  If you haven’t read the call for submissions and you’d like to submit, just scroll down until you find the ‘Call For Submissions’ entry.  This project is starting to gain a lot of momentum and the submission period only runs for another five months, so get cracking if you want to make the cut!

     And as far as ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ goes, I may be switching publishers.  Trafford has made my life a living hell for the past week and they’re telling me that they may or may not have the book out on time.  This is a serious problem that rests squarely on their shoulders, as one of the primary conditions of my signing with them was that they have the book ready for sale by April 1st.  Now they are going back on the agreement and telling me that they’re not sure if they can do it, so I’ve enlisted some legal counsel as well as the advice of Author House, a publisher I dealt with for ‘First Person, Last Straw’ who got the job done in a timely and cost-effective manner with exceptional customer service.  I don’t know why the hell I didn’t go with them for this book and I’m really regretting it at this point.  If Trafford is smart, they’ll throw in the towel and let me have me way.  Otherwise, this could get real ugly real quick.  Authorhouse was kind enough to offer me the same deal thirty days faster for a lot less money.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed because the first leg of the book launch is already scheduled and there are more artists and individuals attached to the project than just me.  If Trafford lets me down on this, they’re letting a lot of people down, and the royalties and venues missed if the book isn’t out will be tacked on to my suit.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll do the right thing…

     As for ‘Breathing Room’ (the two volume poetry collection I’m writing), my editor Carrie Spadter got the manuscript back to me thus far and not only did she really like it, she read it about a dozen times!  I have no reference point for whether or not my prose sucks, but she’s the best poet I know, so her opinion is highly valued.  It doesn’t look as if I’ll have the rhyming collection done in time for the launch of ‘If They Can’t Take a Joke’, but stranger things have happened in less time.  If it’s not ready, I’m looking at releasing four books this time next year: ‘Slapstick & Superego’ (rants and essays only), the Just Buffalo Anthology, ‘Breathing Room: Main Room-free verse’ (self explanatory) and ‘Breathing Room: Attic-rhymes & relics).  That’s a whole lot of books, but they’re diverse, so I believe that there’s a market out there for all of them.  Whatever happens in the next two months, I’m done with Trafford.  I’ll be taking at least one book to Authorhouse, self publishing the slimmer rhyming poetry collection, and we’ll see what we’re doing with the Just Buffalo anthology depending on the funding issue.  Alycia is trying to drum up some contributions from area individuals and charities, but that’s never been my realm of expertise.  More on everything as it develops…

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