Archive for the ‘lancaster’ Category

h1

ArtVoice’s ‘Best Of Buffalo’ Polls are now OPEN!

March 22, 2015

image

Hey all,

ArtVoice’s prestigious and king-making ‘Best Of Buffalo’ ballots are now open.  Please take the time to register and vote for Yours Truly as well as any and all friends of my show.  You can sign up and vote right HERE:

ArtVoice Best Of Buffalo

…and here are my recommendations, talented people and loyal friends of #BigWordsVideo.  As long as you have an email address, you’re eligible to vote.  This is a really big deal for a lot of these people, so please take the time to vote.

Best Website: BuffaloComedy.com
Best Poet: Marina Blitshteyn
Best Local Writer: Tom Waters
Best Photographer: Nancy Parisi
Best Video Artist/Filmmaker: Emil Novak Sr.
Best Burlesque Performer: The Stripteasers
Best Standup Comic: Jameel Key
Best Movie Theater: North Park
Best Jazz Musician: Will Holton
Best Rock/Blues Musician: Tommy Z.
Best Jazz Act: Will Holton
Best Rock Act: Black Widow/Widow Maker
Best Country Act: Blood Money
Best Original Music: Busted Stuff
Best Acoustic Act: Michael Bly Band
Best Local Hip Hop: Art ‘Way Of Life’ Shepard
Best New Band: Folkfaces
Best Open Mic: Wednesday’s At Milkie’s On Elmwood
Best Club DJ: DJ Soma
Best Female Vocalist: Lana Notaro Hergert
Best Male Vocalist: Michael Hund
Best New Restaurant: Hot Mama’s Canteen
Best Chef: Bob Desiderio
Best BBQ: Al-E-Oops
Best Beef On Weck: My Little Margie’s
Best Burger: Grover’s
Best Steak: The Red Osier
Best Ice Cream: Taffy’s
Best Wings: Penora’s
Best Fish Fry: My Little Margie’s
Best Italian For Family Dining: Desiderio’s/Lancaster Ale House
Best Stellar Restaurant Service: Desiderio’s/Lancaster Ale House
Best Bookstore: WNY Book & Arts Center

Happy Voting & Good Luck, Everybody!

Tom

h1

Big Words Video @The 2014 Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards!

January 24, 2015

On Wednesday this week (January 21st), Night Life Publisher Ed Honeck celebrated his birthday.  The Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards also took place at The Cove in Depew, having been rescheduled due to the Winter Blast or whatever the hell you want to call it that took place last November.  Thanks entirely to Ed (and our long, long, very long history together), Big Words Video had the exclusive rights to the Music & Club Awards.  I was less than happy with the results.

The ceremony and the shows were fantastic.  The artists, performers and bands who volunteered their time so that we could interview them were great.  My co-host Timmy C. was on point as I expected him to be.  The lighting was deplorable, though.  This month I upgraded to a new camera for the new and improved Big Words One Man Mobile Unit (a term you might remember from the podcasting days of yore).  I didn’t get familiar or comfortable with the camera before we started shooting with it.  So in the final analysis, the blame rests on my shoulders.  What we’re left with here is a shoddy end product.  Clips 1-3 are passable by amateur video standards and 4 and 5 are just downright awful where lighting is concerned.

I spent the better part of a day uploading, tagging and scripting the clips and grappled with whether or not I should post them for the public at all and the decision I came to was this: post the videos warts and all.  Big Words Radio went through the same growing pains in 2008 so it shouldn’t have come as any surprise that I went through the same thing again.  I didn’t learn from history so I was doomed to repeat it, end of story.  I’ll do better next time, sound good?

Here’s your breakdown for the clips which were uploaded in chronological order:

Clip 1: Lana from Black Widow

Clip 2: Jack McArdle from 12 Pack Jack

Clip 3: Vid from Nerds Gone Wild

Clip 4: Busted Stuff

Clip 5: Tommy Z. & Damone Johnson

I owe a huge debt of thanks to Ed Honeck, all of the artists who participated and the staff and proprietors of The Cove for giving us free reign throughout the building.  If there’s one thing I realized at the awards it was that I’ve been out of the game for so long that I don’t recognize most (if any) of the newer players in the Buffalo music industry.  Black Widow is an institution.  Tommy Z. is an institution.  Busted Stuff just took home their 6th award in a row and I’ve loved 12 Pack Jack since the first time I saw them at Double D’s Queen City Grill some 7 years ago.  Get the picture?

Big Words Video will be back for the next ceremony for more clips, more guests and a better battle plan.  As for these five videos, please take the time to Like & Share as always.  If you really want to be my best friend, ‘Subscribe’ and keep yourself up to date with all things #BigWordsVideo.  And yes, we came for the buffet.

h1

You’re Doing It Wrong: My Three Month Experience With Logitech Customer Service

December 26, 2014
"The #1-selling case for iPad" according to Logitech's packaging.  It's safe to say that there are one or two design flaws.

“The #1-selling case for iPad” according to Logitech’s packaging. It’s safe to say that there are one or two design flaws.

Before I get started, let me qualify myself. I’ve worked in customer service (in one form or another) since I was sixteen years old. Whether it was on the front lines during Christmas in retail, being the first line of defense for a home security company, managing a locally owned movie theater and just about everything in between that you could think of, I have a pretty good grasp of what good service is and how that trickles down from a corporate or privately held company philosophy. The golden rule remains that you should treat other people the way that you’d like to be treated. Some insist that the customer is always right. That’s not a belief I subscribe to, but within reason, you should try to take care of the customer’s needs.

That being said, my three month ordeal with Logitech is (without a doubt) the worst experience I have ever had with any company in my entire life. I am appalled at the leaps, hurdles and bureaucratic bullshit that I had to endure to fulfill a replacement for a product that was well within warranty. After what I went through, I would never recommend them as a company to anyone. Quite to the contrary, I will most likely go out of my way to tell people NOT to do business with them or support their products. Here’s what happened. Up until three months ago, I loved Logitech. They make a lot of electronic accessories and I was familiar with their headsets and game controllers from my time as a manager for Electronics Boutique. Their accessories were always a bit more expensive than their competitors, but they were also better designed, sleeker and longer lasting than their counterparts. They gained a reputation for having responsive, durable accessories with inspired design.

Over the summer I bought an iPad Air. When looking around for a keyboard/carrying case combo, I naturally selected Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Folio ($99). It’s a compact case that was advertised (on the packaging) as the “#1Selling Case for the iPad”. This may have more to do with the prominent marketing and merchandising of their product in Apple stores than the quality and durability of the product itself. The case functions with magnets on the bottom (near the keyboard) and a pair of plastic bordered clips at the top rather than the all-inclusive left and right mesh-gripping sides that I’ve seen on similar products.

Shortly after I bought the case my iPad fell out onto the floor. I was walking with the iPad in the upright position, so one could argue that it was my fault. I wasn’t running, I wasn’t jerking the case up and down while moving, I was just walking with the case in order to keep busy during a commercial break on the show I was watching. Luckily, the iPad wasn’t damaged. I wasn’t as lucky the second time. The next time it happened (about a month later), the iPad fell down a concrete set of steps and cracked irreparably across the screen in multiple places. It appears as if the two tiny plastic border clips at the top weren’t as tight in their grip on the iPad as they were when I bought the product. Thankfully, I purchased Apple Care with the iPad, and was able to replace it for a $50 fee. As for the case, I noticed a hairline fracture on the border clip at the top right. AT NO TIME did the Folio case fall to the ground. I had to apply some Gorilla Glue to the crack, which made the entire case combo look ridiculous.  A week later I set the iPad on a counter with the case closed and my new iPad slipped and fell onto the floor. The right border clip had cracked and fallen off completely. This is just poor structural design.

On or around October 15th of this year I filed a warranty claim through Logitech’s website. I included my entire original receipt information, warranty information, serial number and manufacturer number as requested. The generated response by a Lani V. informed me that the company would get a hold of me within seven to ten business days. They didn’t. I followed up with the company and sent an email on October 26th including pictures of the damage. By November 5th, I still hadn’t heard from anybody via phone or email, so I re-sent my previous email. Twice. I sent a new email referencing my case number on November 9th explaining the entire experience and asking for a new case as well as some sort of reimbursement for the damage directly caused as a result of using their case. No one from Logitech called or responded to my email.

By November 19th, I called Logitech at their non-1-800 number, waited on hold for twenty minutes and spoke to a Daryl L., who didn’t leave his name in the body of the email he sent me. Much like my original email over a month earlier, Daryl L. told me that the case was covered under a two year warranty and that I would be receiving my replacement. He had me re-send my original email (which I had already sent multiple times). We got disconnected. A few days later on November 22nd (when I had time to dial long distance and sit on hold for awhile), I called Logitech again to make sure that my replacement was sent out. I’m not sure who I spoke to that particular time as I have no notation in my emails and they never offered their name on the phone or email. In my experience, if a customer service representative won’t offer you their name it’s either because they’re doing something they’re not supposed to do or because they don’t want to get in trouble. The email I sent out THAT day was another trio of pictures displaying the structural flaws of the case along with all of my warranty information (serial #, manufacturer’s #, etc.) all over again.

Another month passed. I was amazed that I still hadn’t received my replacement and had long since purchased a Belkin Folio case for $20 less with better functionality, a longer charge cord and a better grip on the iPad itself. Out of determination and sheer curiosity at just how long Logitech was going to draw this fiasco out, I called Logitech again at their non-1-800 number and spoke to someone else who didn’t offer their name. This was last week, December 17th. When I asked why it was taking so long to reach my home, the male customer servicer rep blamed it on UPS. In my almost forty years on this planet as a manager for a video game retailer, a shipping and receiving employee for big box stores and as someone who’s ordered plenty of things online that ship via UPS, I have NEVER known UPS to take one month to ship anything to anyone anywhere for any reason. It sounded like a complete cop-out and there is zero doubt in my mind that this customer service rep was trying to shift the blame away from Logitech and onto anyone else. I finally received my replacement Folio keyboard on Christmas Eve this week, over three months after filing the initial claim through Logitech’s website.

This isn’t a case of one person dropping the ball. As a result of this experience, it’s my firm belief that there is a major systemic failure at the core of Logitech’s customer service philosophy. From a lack of response emails to a lack of any accountability by any of the three or four reps I spoke with on the phone to a daisy chain of procedural warranty filing and photograph sending to actually blaming another company, anybody else for their total failure to live up to their product, their warranties or their customers, I am left with the impression that 1) Logitech makes a shoddy product that breaks the tablets said product is designed to protect, 2) Logitech really doesn’t give a shit about their customers after they buy their products and 3) Logitech will go out of their way to avoid accepting responsibility for their products at every single level of their customer service department from their website straight on through to their live customer service department. The three months that I spent with Logitech were without exception the WORST customer experience I have ever had with any company in retail or out of it. I am flabbergasted that they have any brand name reputation at all if this is the way that they treat most customers when they have an issue. Please don’t support the company, their products or their way of doing business.

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

h1

Striking Gold At The WNY Book & Arts Center

December 7, 2014

The Book Reading & Signing today at the WNY Book & Arts Center was something of a fourth quarter Hail Mary.  Is that an appropriate sports metaphor?  I certainly don’t know.  At any rate, attendance wasn’t looking too good from the outset, but a really nice crowd showed up from Amherst, Depew, Lancaster and Buffalo proper, and not only that, they showed up with money!  I’m very grateful to have readers who know that the best way to support local, living authors is with their wallets.  I’m a happy camper after this particular reading, and I certainly wouldn’t mind circling back to WNYBAC again some day.  After two readings in two months, though, this old dog is tired.  That’s it for the live promotions for a little while, at least.  Maybe I’ll see you all on the front lines sometime in the spring.  In the meantime, here’s a clip from today’s 2 hour marathon reading.  Thanks are in order to Rosemarie Williams at WNYBAC as well as all of you who came near and far to see me.  As far as the YouTubes go, you’ll see me (not the other way around) in less than two weeks!

Sharing the Buffalove (ugh…),

Tom Waters

h1

Big Words I Know By Heart Episode IV: ‘Pudding Pops and (You Guessed It) Michael Hund

November 26, 2014

 

Promotional shot for Big Words Video Episode IV by Richard Wicka.

Promotional shot for Big Words Video Episode IV by Richard Wicka.

Recording and producing these shows is entirely too much fun!

For Episode IV of Big Words Video I finally (after years of nagging him) got Night Life Publisher Ed Honeck into the studio.  If you locked the two of us into a room together for a weekend, we would still be talking when you opened the door on the following Monday.  Ed is a dear friend who helped me get my start in the world of Buffalo journalism way back in the year 2000 and we’ve been busy ever since.  A half an hour only gave us the opportunity to chip away at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to clubs, strip clubs, bars, bands, musicians, music awards, newspapers and the people who run them.  As a matter of fact, I think between myself, Ed and Big Words Video Producer Richard Wicka, we probably know (or have met) just about everyone in Buffalo.  Here is your synopsis:

Big Words I Know By Heart Episode IV: ‘Pudding Pops and (You Guessed It) Michael Hund

Tom spends the remainder of ‘Snow-vember’ (sans co-host) with Night Life Magazine publisher Ed Honeck to discuss the impending Music & Club Awards, musicians, strippers and something or other about a town called Ferguson.

As always, please take the time to ‘Like’ (on YouTube) and ‘Share’ the episode (on YouTube).

Thanks are (as always) in order to Richard Wicka and esteemed guest Ed Honeck.  The last minute no-show of my co-host didn’t slow us down one bit.  Award-winning band Busted Stuff are up on deck for Episode V in December!  Stay tuned, folks!

h1

Final Artwork For Icarus On The Mend Limited Run Hardcover by Six Shot Studios

July 26, 2013

Final Artwork For Icarus On The Mend Limited Run Hardcover by Six Shot Studios

Sharp!

h1

‘Out With The Old, In With The Newborn’, a recently rejected essay submitted to The Buffalo News

July 24, 2013

For those of you who may have enjoyed reading this-T.W.

Four hours ago my baby son came into the world and I couldn’t be more overjoyed.  Friends warned me that everything would change.  Now I know that it wasn’t a dark prediction so much as a wish fulfilled, or a positive and much needed redirection in our lives.  After crying my eyes out and holding my wife’s hand in the operating room afterwards, I can’t wait for the new road ahead of us.  At six pounds and six ounces (and about a month ahead of schedule), Benjamin Waters made his smashing debut.    

            For the last three years my wife Lindsay and I have been trying for a child and our efforts finally bore fruit last September.  When she broke the news to me with a pregnancy test in one hand after work and a wry joke (‘Honey, we’ve got a problem’), I cracked a grin and embraced her in the kitchen.  It’s cemented in my mind just like our first date on October 15th in 2004.  There are moments you never forget when you’re building a life together.  Our first date, the day I told her I loved her (New Year’s Eve that same year), our wedding day and now, the birth of our child.

            Since we got married there’ve been a lot of hard times and lean months.  Worse along with the better.  I’ve often said that you can’t appreciate the great moments unless you’ve gone through some tough days.  We’ve weathered out most of the worst and moved along to the best time of our lives.  The rough times we’ve suffered through together have made us stronger as a couple and make the wonderful experiences that much more magical. 

            I’ve always been uneasy around newborns.  I even wrote an essay about it (‘March Of The Newborns’ from my third book, First Person, Last Straw).  This little guy was different.  Benjamin Waters turned me around on the entire concept.  Looking through his tiny eyes and cradling his little body in my arms in the Recovery Room I saw an entire universe that was new and fresh to a being that was about to experience everything for the first time.  Not a carbon copy of myself, but a fresh amalgamation of my wife, myself and the generations before us.  Living proof that all of our accomplishments pale in comparison to the life we create, the true legacy that we leave behind some day.

            Parents warned me about getting no sleep, changing a never-ending supply of diapers and getting peed on in the face.  Another friend explained the situation much better by saying that he never understood the concept of being willing to die for someone until he had a child.  Single people spurned the very idea of it and challenged my love of barhopping, going out on a whim or the freedom of independence.  I gladly give it all up to raise a life that we made together. 

            My study has been transformed into a baby room.  Curios, collectibles and knick knacks from my former life have been relocated, packed up, boxed away and retired.  We bought a new, safer car (not a minivan, thank God) so that my transmission wouldn’t die out when I’m taxiing little Benjamin around.  Since the shower, we have clothes for every occasion, accessories for any contingency and enough blankets and homemade quilts to cover the entire household.  Out with the old, in with the newborn. 

            Everything has changed and this isn’t even the first full day.  After a fourteen hour labor and a day filled with caffeine and one meal, I’m still too excited to sleep.  Two sets of first time grandparents are chomping at the bit to spoil our son rotten and I’m more than ready to slow down, stop being so childish and selfish and take care of our child together.  Children change everything.  For the better. 

Tom Waters

-Tom Waters wrote many Club Watch reviews for the Buffalo News along with ten books of essays and poetry.  He looks forward to an early retirement from all that and a new career in carpeting FaceBook with baby pictures.        

                

h1

Preliminary Artwork Compliments Of Six Shot Studios For Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive

July 12, 2013

icarus cover

h1

A Fond Farewell To Club Watch

February 20, 2012

As of today, I will no longer be writing Club Watch reviews for The Buffalo News.  After a great deal of soul searching and months of talking it over with my wife, we’ve both come to the conclusion that it’s time to move on.  As a writer, I’ve reached an age where I’ve started closing some doors behind me in order to go forward into more challenging directions.

Back in 2001, I fell into the hobby by accident.  I approached Jeff Miers (the editor of Buffalo Beat at the time) about doing a weekly column.  He suggested that I start a bar review section for their alternative weekly and (after accepting), he titled it ‘Boozin’ In The Buff’.  After four or five weeks of reviews, Buffalo Beat got bought out and turned into Blue Dog Press, which also went the way of the dodo.

In 2002 I spent three months researching strip clubs in the U.S. and Canada and wrote ‘A Fistful Of Loonies’, one large, exhaustive expose’ about the lifestyle, the sociology behind it and how the entire microcosm worked.  I pitched it to Ed Honeck (the editor of Night Life magazine) and he ran it in four sections.  You can still read the essay in my first book, Born Pissed.  Once all four parts had run their course, I came to Ed and said, ‘What now?’

For the next five years I was Night Life’s point man for bar and exotic club reviews.  I settled into a gonzo style of reporting where I focused on two things: how cheap the drinks were and how hot the women were.  In many reviews I spent more time writing about what sort of drunken insanity my friends and I had gotten into than the bars themselves.  I got to interview a lot of prominent adult film stars including Mary Carey, Puma Swede and Regan Anthony.

By the time 2007 rolled around Lindsay and I were living together in Lancaster.  Covering exotic clubs was getting old and thanks to a different campaign by the Buffalo News (YourHub, a social network that came and went), I was introduced to Brian Connolly, who was the editor of the Club Watch section at the time.  I sent out some sample reviews and he gave me the green light to start covering assignments.  I drove to the publishing offices for Night Life magazine downtown to break the news to Ed and pitched him on a weekly column (‘Big Words I Know By Heart’).  He understood and accepted the column, so for quite a few years I was on double duty writing the weekly column for Night Life and Club Watch reviews for The News.  Since the Club Watch format was a more stringent style of who, what, when, where and why reporting, I took a lot of the funniest Night Life reviews and published Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars.  You can still find that book behind a lot of bars in Buffalo as well as online.

So now, after five years of freelancing with The Buffalo News, it’s time to say goodbye.  While I’ll never say never, I could use a long break.  I don’t ever want to reach a point with any of my writing where an assignment feels like a chore, or I feel like I’m phoning an assignment in for a paycheck or writing on autopilot.  Ten years is a long time to write in any format, and I’m sure you know by now that I’ve got a lot of other plates spinning.

Since 2001 I’ve written for The Buffalo News, ArtVoice, Acid Logic, Buffalo Beat, Buffalo Spree, Buffalo Rising, Boy’s Night Out, Alt Press, The Worldwide Freelancer and a score of other dailies, weeklies and online ‘zines.  I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do and prided myself on getting my assignments in well before deadline where print newspapers were concerned.  For the foreseeable future I’d like to focus more on my books, my publishing house and my radio show.  I’d also just like to sit down on a bar stool for the reasons I fell in love with Buffalo bars in the first place: cheap drinks, great ambience and some of the best conversation in the region.

Thanks for all the memories, Buffalo.

Tom Waters

h1

The Willy Wonka Theorem

January 10, 2012

Time to face facts.  Doubt It Publishing cemented the publishing house with Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY.  Despite the time involved, anthologies are an easy project to attract local writers.  The project was a colossal success and the proceeds that the book has earned for The Just Buffalo Literary Center will resonate for years to come.

Lightning struck twice when heretofore unknown Mark McElligott sent his manuscript along for Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind, which was easily one of the funniest books I’ve read in fifteen years.  While Mark (and the contents of his book) aren’t exactly family friendly, we found a niche for his talent and his book continues to entertain while finding a new audience.

The open reading submission for 2011 was less than satisfactory.  I’m slightly saddened to announce that there won’t be any Doubt It Publishing Author Of The Year this year because, truth be told, I put all of my eggs in two or three baskets.  Not one, but three promising manuscripts passed my desk that held promise.  One had potential but it wasn’t polished enough.  Another had stellar character development but the author’s needs and requests were unreasonable.  The final project was perfect but the person behind the collection couldn’t commit.

I’ve spent the last ten years interviewing writers to find out what works and what doesn’t.  What behaviors succeed, what personality traits work and which ones don’t.  In the same sense, I’ve spent a lifetime learning what it means to run a successful publishing business.  Many schools in the music business open their doors to anyone willing to collect a paycheck and find themselves on the verge of bankruptcy within a few years.  Other ventures weed out new creative endeavors after a short time and turn to subsidy publishing, choosing only to publish and copyright their own work.

Doubt It Publishing is an ideal.  A publishing house that was built to foster new, subversive and talented Buffalo authors and save them from the pitfalls and aggravations that I’ve gone through for the last ten years.  This won’t be a vanity house and it won’t be a catch-all for any author coming down the pike.  It has to be an imprint that welcomes those of you promising enough to make the cut who are willing to put as much work into promoting your book as you did writing it.

2012 is a wash.  The Doubt It Publishing docket for this year has failed.  So we grow, evolve and adapt.  Here’s the decision moving forward: The Call For Submissions will be year round from here on out.  As the Publisher and Editor In Chief, I will no longer depend on any one writer or any one manuscript.  There will no longer be a six month reading period.  If you have a promising work and you want to publish and promote it next year, I want to work with you.  The business model remains.  I’m still looking for one book to work with, but I’m swinging the submission gates wide open.

Tell me what you’ve been working on, Buffalo.  You’ve got all year to do it, and every year from here on out.

Please send your sample chapters, query letters or entire manuscripts to: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

h1

Out With The Old, In With The New

December 29, 2011

2011 was truly a banner year all around.  If someone told me this time last year that I’d launch three books in the span of 8 months while working on two more and holding down a full time job, I’d tell them they were nuts.

Mockery got better media exposure than my last three books combined and went on to sell more copies faster than any other book I’ve released.  In terms of sales it’s second only to If They Can’t Take A Joke.  It continues to sell steadily even though the inaugural push is over with.

Mark McElligott’s Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind was a resounding breakout success from a talented and previously unheard of writer.  Together we managed to find a larger audience for his idiosyncratic brand of humor in his hometown of Lockport as well as throughout Buffalo.  And while there was no real launch campaign for Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, it’s turned a tidy profit since its release in August that would make its previous poetry predecessors proud.  The collection was received as an entertaining step forward compared to both Breathing Rooms.

            Somehow this year I also managed to get banned from Time Warner Cable and earned a film credit for the music video ‘I Wanna Be Oprah’ (which is still available on YouTube).  I guess we can chalk both up to being in the right place at the right time.

While doing some site maintenance this morning I realized that some of the links to the right here were broken.  I updated all of them to ensure that they were functional, so for those interested, you can now click on Born Pissed and Zany Hijinx to buy my first two books or click on ‘The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour’ link to go right to the show.  All of the links on the right-hand sidebar are fully operational again, so browse at your leisure!

Speaking of Big Words Radio, Season 4 turned out to be the magic number.  Somehow despite the over-the-top comedy and subversive, offensive content the show turned out to be the Little Podcast That Could, finding an audience of over 3,000 listeners per month.  Season 5 promises to be just as crass and irreverent as it’s always been, so stay tuned!

The next two years should be light duty compared to this one.  I’m putting the finishing touches on Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive before working on the cover and interior design with cover artist Derek Patrick Evoy and graphic designer Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) for a firm signed and numbered (50 copies only) hardcover release date of October 25th, 2012.  Exactly one year later the book will appear again in two trade paperback volumes for the general public.

It remains to be seen whether there will be a 2012 Doubt It Publishing Author Of The Year.  The book I devoted countless time into proofreading, editing and consultation on fell through due to contract negotiations and after Voices From The Herd I have zero interest in extending a call for submissions.  I am working with someone on something else but time will tell if the concept bears fruit or not.

Thanks for such a spectacular year, everybody.  I look forward to a productive and financially successful New Year!

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters            

h1

‘Notorious’: The Big Words One Man Mobile Unit @The 2011 Buffalo Night Life Music Awards

December 10, 2011

For those of you who weren’t in on it (drum roll please), The Big Words Finale was an elaborate prank that took five months to prepare for.  The joke’s on you, Buffalo!  You didn’t think you’d get rid of me that easily, did you?  Contrary to my cries of woe before the ‘final episode’, new and improved stats on both web sites have revealed that Big Words Radio is tracking at over 3,000 downloads a month.  And for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I had no idea there were so many of you with such a twisted sense of humor, so the show must go on!

Moving on then, co-host Minnick and myself set ourselves loose this week at Page’s Paradise Island for the 2011 Night Life Buffalo Music Awards.  The Big Words Poltergeist struck not once but repeatedly, as the batteries I charged before the show died, we lost a sizeable sound clip with Best Duo Act Busted Stuff and I had a number of headaches posting the show properly on Mevio.  Thankfully all the bugs have been worked out.  Here is your synopsis:

‘Notorious’: The Big Words One Man Mobile Unit @The 2011 Buffalo Night Life Music Awards

Tom and returning co-host/designated driver Kevin Minnick get tanked up during the VIP open bar at Page’s Paradise Island while rubbing elbows with Brian Kahle and his trusty new assistant Rebecca.  0-60 Scott brings the hammer down while The Blues Hounds bring the house down.  The boys find two fantastic new reasons to see Black Widow live, Tom receives an award of his own from Busted Stuff and Michael Hund from Widow Maker says hello.

-To hear the show along with all 100+ episodes including bonus clips, click your way over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com.

-You can also subscribe to the show for free on ‘the iTunes’ by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ and clicking on the Comedy listing in Podcasts.

-This episode will also appear later next week at:  http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html

I’d like to thank all of the musicians as well as Brian Kahle for entertaining our questions with a good sense of humor.  I thought we were going to get kicked out last year so it was shocking that we amped up our obnoxiousness and were greeted with open arms.  Thanks are also in order to Ed Honeck from Night Life Magazine and Page’s Paradise Island for allowing us in the door and supplying us with emergency backup batteries.  Thank you also to Kevin Minnick for putting up with my abuse in a public setting for a return tour of duty.

There’s a very big year on the horizon for Big Words Radio.  Cartoonist Tony Millionaire will be coming on the show in January with Atomic Don and award winning musicians Strictly Hip, 100 Proof Justice and Widow Maker are all confirmed.  Dave and Cynthia from Busted Stuff are also discussing an intimate return visit.  Things will only get bigger and better as we continue onward and upward!

Stay tuned,

Tom Waters

h1

The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour Finale Roast

December 6, 2011

After 100 episodes, who knew that my former co-hosts would have so much pent up rage towards yours truly?

Seriously though, Friday’s Finale taping was everything I was hoping for and more.  After some exhaustive editing and splicing work over the course of the weekend we’ve got nearly two hours of creative variety and hilarious lambasting coming your way.  Here are your synopses:

The Big Words Radio Hour Finale Roast Pt.I: ‘Fag Hags & The 99%’

A star-studded cast of co-hosts from the catastrophic history of the program turn up to kick Tom in his baby nuts on the way down for the craptacular finale to a four year run of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.  Intentionally Bald Mike leads the charge, playwright Jon Elston gets himself into trouble, poet/comedian Josh Smith tears Tom a new one, Gun Nut Brendan enjoys what’s left of his Tullamore Dew (after Tom ‘has his way’ with it), Timmy C. reminisces about ‘Foamy Cokes’, Diabetes Dave laments his mom’s last pap smear, and all of the co-hosts in attendance launch an intervention with painfully poor results.

The Big Words Radio Hour Finale Roast Pt.II: ‘I Was Just Looking For Q-Tips & Polyps.’

Zombie Chris comes out of seclusion to discuss ‘the Meeghan double dip’, Tom’s old roommate Charles ‘Chezzie’ reflects on their magical bachelor years and refines his comedy routine, Doubt It Publishing wunderkind Mark McElligott further incriminates himself, Intentionally Bald Mike and Gun Nut Brendan return to cross a woefully small sword, rock star Michael Bly makes an unexpected cameo with his girlfriend Danielle and Intentionally Bald Mike blows a gasket over some shocking news about the show.

The Big Words Finale Bonus Round!

Hawaiian and/or Filipino wind-up car enthusiast Terry Kimmel shares a magical fantasy with Tom in the lead role and Chezzie sharpens up his comedy routine with mixed results.

To hear all three finale episodes along with every episode in the show’s history, click your way over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

You can also download the entire catalog for free by searching the Podcast section and clicking on the ‘Comedy’ listing on ‘the iTunes’.  Part I & II of the finale will appear on http://www.thinktwiceradio.com by the end of the week.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who called in and showed up to tear me a new one.  Thanks for making the Finale so memorable.  A very big thank you goes out to Intentionally Bald Mike as well for being such an influential force from the humble beginnings of the show all the way to the end.

Well what the hell are you waiting for?  Download the damn shows already!

Enjoy,

Tom Waters

h1

Early Concept Art For Icarus On The Mend by Derek Patrick Evoy

November 20, 2011

h1

Big Words Radio 67: ‘Tricky Dicks & Pregnant Possibilities’

November 17, 2011

Last night’s show was pitch perfect.  For the final studio episode of The Big Words I  Know By Heart Radio Hour I couldn’t have asked for a better guest, co-host or program.  For four years now producer and Think Twice Radio creator Richard Wicka has kept mostly silent for over 100 shows.  Until now.  Here’s your synopsis:

 

Episode 67: ‘Tricky Dicks & Pregnant Possibilities’

Tom rounds out his last show in the studio with Think Twice Nucleus Richard Wicka and co-host Carl Theil. The boys talk about their love lives, Occupy Wall Street, smelly hippies and an unexpected caller (Greg S.) weighs in without really bringing much to the table.

 

-To hear the show in full audio quality, click on over to:

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

 

-To hear the newest episode along with bonus clips and the entire history of the show, click your way over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

-You can also subscribe to the show for free on ‘the iTunes’ by searching Big Words Radio in Podcasts and clicking on the show under the Comedy category.

 

Thanks are in order to Richard Wicka (who was a lot more candid and forthcoming with his answers than I expected), Carl Theil for bringing some class and actual big words to the show and Gregory Sterlace for calling in during the show (a bit of a first for us).  I got a little choked up during the end, but overall it was a magical evening.  Rich, Carl and I have had a lot of great discussions during meals over the years so it was great to finally capture our dynamic on the radio show.

We’re two weeks away from the Big Words Finale Roast, so in the mean time, I hope you enjoy this show as much as we loved doing it.

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

h1

T-Minus Two More Episodes: Big Words Radio Slowly Says Goodbye

November 15, 2011

Saying goodbye is a bitch.

 

It just hit me today that Big Words Radio is nearing a very real and definitive end of the road.  After being a guest on Susan Marie’s ‘This Is Not The Apple’ on Think Twice Radio in June of 2008, producer Richard Wicka asked me if I’d be interested in doing my own show.  I was reluctant, but after chewing on it for a few hours I figured ‘Why the hell not?’

It took a few shows to get my legs, but somehow the format figured itself out.  With my marriage, stress and an unexpected firing, the show turned into my therapy along with a launching pad for some of my favorite local musicians, national comic book artists and writers, adult film stars and a never-ending roster of great co-hosts.  Intentionally Bald Mike soon gained favor as a crucial part of the show.  Insanity, tell-all comedy and schmaltzy sound props quickly became the order of the day.

I can’t believe that it’s been four years.  I can’t believe that I’m two shows away from saying goodbye.  Between three or four different web sites, iTunes and a number of incarnations, put-ons and lurches and upsurges in the rest of my life, this is it.  It was a peripheral hobby that looked promising until it wasn’t.  Listeners started disappearing over the summer and the numbers kept getting worse.  Not one to go down with a sinking ship, I made a clear decision to ride out on a high note.

Tomorrow I’ll be coming full circle by interviewing the man who helped me to get the ball rolling: Producer Richard Wicka.  In three weeks time, every co-host who’s ever appeared on the show has a standing invitation to get back at me for all of my taunts, attacks and threats over the years for the Big Words Radio Finale on Friday, December 2nd from 6-8 p.m.  If you’ve been a co-host in the past and you’ve relocated, please phone your roast in to: (716) 823-1750.  Mention the roast at the beginning of your message and we’ll splice it into the last show.

There are too many people to thank who’ve been involved with the show so we’ll do that another time.  Early on I decided to formulate a persona that was clearly over the top compared to the voice I employ in my books.  Walking in the footsteps of heroes like Don Rickles, Lenny Bruce and Andrew Dice Clay, I figured that I’d host a show that I’d want to hear.  The kind of show that made me die laughing as a kid.  A format that made fun of everything.  Offensive, ridiculous and insane.  I hoped that people would get the gist of the spirit of the show.  I was wrong.

There was a boom in 2009 when the show split onto MyPodcast.com, but downloads and site hits have started vanishing in the last six months.  I guess my brand of comedy is a bit too extreme.  In 2002 I used to run out of breath hearing industry greats like Opie & Anthony in the studio with a rogue’s gallery of stand up comics tearing into each other.  I wanted to make a show that appealed to the comedian’s comedian.  For awhile it looked like it was working.

Best not to drag it out.  Chalk this up to closure.  I’m walking into the studio one last time and then we’re recording the Roast in December.  It’s tough to say goodbye to something that turned into such splendid therapy, but I strive to focus my efforts on projects with the largest audience.  Big Words Radio no longer falls into that category.

Counting down,

Tom

h1

Book Signing Dec.4th From 4-6 p.m. w/Mark McElligott

November 7, 2011

After a four month flurry of promotions together, Mark McElligott and I are still a bit tired and weary.  Nevertheless, we are planning some book events during the busy holiday season.  On Sunday, December 4th, we’ll both be at Talking Leaves on Elmwood from 4-6 pm signing copies of Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, Mockery and Mark’s breakout hit Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind.  All three books will be available for $15.  Talking Leaves currently has all three books in stock at both their Elmwood and Main St. locations.

I’m also in the process of setting something up at Dog Ears Books in South Buffalo for December, so stay tuned for news about that.  On top of that, Mark’s shown an interest in booking an event at Café Karma in Lockport, so odds are strong that we’ll book something for him there.

Even when we’re not busy, we’re busy.  I’m promoting lightly on Poke The Scorpion until my calendar frees up, so please try to make it out to Talking Leaves if you want a copy.  My time for the next month is deeply invested in proof-reading an editing a possible manuscript for next year and everything else is on a back burner for the time being.  While my poetry books have never been blockbusters in terms of sales, they’re steady sellers over the years and they mean every bit as much to me as the humor books or other projects.

We look forward to seeing you in December,

Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Episode 66: ‘Tight Rope’

October 26, 2011

There are some days you just want to forget.  Yesterday was one of them.  After spending the majority of my birthday hungry and alone, I wasn’t exactly at the top of my game for the show.  Here’s your synopsis:

 

Episode 66: ‘Tight Rope’

Tom and co-host Brian Bogucki stammer through an interview with veteran journalist Joel Meadows, the editor in chief at Trip Wire magazine. Tom laments the worst birthday he’s ever had, Joel rolls with the punches and Brian does his best impression of a mime.

 

To hear the show on Think Twice, here’s your direct link:

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

 

To download the episode with a smaller audio file or to listen to bonus episodes and additional clips, click here:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

You can also subscribe to the show on ‘the iTunes’ by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ and clicking on the ‘Comedy’ listing.

 

Thanks are in order to Joel Meadows for rolling with the punches for a show that wasn’t our level best.  Thanks also to Brian Bogucki and (as always) producer Richard Wicka for being on board for this disaster.  We’ve got two more shows left.  Join me next month when I sit down with producer Richard Wicka to figure out how and when the program went so horribly wrong.  After that, we’ve got the big finish in early December.

 

Thanks,

Tom

h1

Icarus Manuscript Fetches A King’s Ransom, Big Words Radio Wins An Award & Doubt It Publishing Looks For A New Author On The Roster

September 29, 2011

With such a large scale project accompanied by an enormous timeline, I thought it would be a natural idea to auction off the original manuscript (along with a copy of the hardcover when it’s released).  I started writing Icarus On The Mend last October (in 2010), spent the last two months proof-reading, spell checking and generally filling any gaps in the continuity and continue to put the finishing touches on the second read-through.  The auction started on FB this week and I’m astonished to see that the only copy that anyone can read for the next year is up to $225!  We’ll find out how much it fetches by close of business tomorrow.

A year from now, Icarus On The Mend will launch on my birthday (October 25th, 2012) in a limited, numbered hardcover edition comprised of 50 copies in an 8.25×10.75 format.  Due to the sheer size of the book (430 pages and counting in 6×9), I had to go bigger in order to make the book cost effective.  I’ve been working closely with a new artist on the cover concept and he’s researching mythology and moths for an acrylic painting due by August 1st.  Returning Doubt It graphic designer Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) will be designing all three volumes of the book over the course of the next year from the interior to the wraparound cover layout.  Due to the nature (and content) of the book, I’m not in a big hurry to share it with everyone.  Regardless, the book is almost done and there seems to be a very large demand in the market for people to read it.  It’s been soothing to have a project that we can all take our time with for once so that we all make sure that the book is as perfect as it’s going to be by the time you buy a copy.

Once we all get around to October of 2013, Icarus On The Mend will come out in two soft cover trade paperback volumes in a 6×9 format with the addition of at least one new chapter.  Brian Platter is working on an original photo reel cover for the first volume along with an identical photo negative for the second.

The long term objective for all of this is to release a third volume some twenty years from now as a companion piece to the former two.  Many people have asked me how I can release an autobiography when my life is (in fact) not over with yet.  I decided to start writing it a year ago so that I could retain as much information as possible while it was still instantly retrievable.  After ten years of freelancing, it felt like the right time to reflect on my life in order to prepare for the future.  I also feel that my experience with manic depression might be able to help others coping with the illness, whether it’s relatives, friends of those diagnosed or people with the actual diagnosis.

The book has already drawn more controversy than I expected and it’s not even out yet.  For once I wasn’t trying to cause any trouble and it showed up to the party anyway.  The majority of the dissension came from the fact that (in almost every instance), I’ve used real names in this book.  My intent as to why I’d do this has been called into question and I’m going to address this by saying that there are two ways that you can pen a memoir: You can open up a big gray area where you edit what actually happened and try to apply a complementary image to your life or you can work on being unflinchingly honest about yourself and others.  I haven’t compromised my art so far and I’m certainly not going to start now.  I didn’t use real names as a marketing ploy and (unless the events reported could have caused someone immediate harm), I didn’t use real names to cause anything scandalous.  Again, it felt like the right thing to do and my intentions were genuine.

I’m shooting for a $40 price point on the hardcover and a $15 price point on each soft cover.  It’s been awhile since I’ve released a book in hardcover format (If They Can’t Take A Joke), so I’m not sure if this will be possible, but that’s what we’re aiming at.  I appreciate all the feedback that those of you on Facebook have provided in the interim whether it was positive or negative and I’m pretty shocked by the amount of money some of you have been willing to shell out towards the manuscript.  It’s been very encouraging and it’s given me the initiative for that final push towards polishing off what’s left that needs to be done.  This won’t be my last book by a long shot, but the production window is buying me enough time for starting a family, taking a long break (if I’m capable of taking it) or the opportunity to focus on other projects and other authors for Doubt It Publishing.

Wrapping up, it looks as if The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour is receiving a You Rock award at Bravo on October 22nd to commemorate the Busted Stuff two-party from earlier in the year.  British journalist Joel Meadows will be my distinguished guest on Big Words Radio on October 25th, Richard Wicka will be my guest in November and we’re doing the Big Words Finale Show early in December.  The Buffalo News has also accepted my third and final My View submission for the year which should be running some time in October.  They have a three submission cap and one of my goals this year was to hit all three.  There’s also one month left for promising Buffalo authors to submit their original manuscripts for possible publication as a 2011 Doubt It Publishing Author Of The Year.  Manuscripts can be sent to: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘Submission’ in the subject field.

 

Have a great rest of the week and thanks for keeping up,

Tom Waters

h1

Completely Clueless: Duff’s Wings On Dick Road Couldn’t Buy A Clue With A Free Gift Card & A Hundred Bucks

September 9, 2011

Back around November of 2009, Duff’s Wings opened a new location on Dick Rd. in Cheektowaga.  I’d never had their wings but (as an aficionado), people had been telling me about them for years.  You probably know by now how passionate I am about chicken wings.  For the last twenty years my buddy Ron and I have been getting a double of wings every Sunday like clockwork, so when they opened up in Cheektowaga, we decided to try them out.  We fell in love with the sauce and the size of the wings were fantastic.  We ordered them every single Sunday like clockwork.

Flash forward to around June of 2010.  President Obama chose the Dick Rd. location to try out what Buffalo had to offer and the ‘Hottie with a smoking body’ news story was born.  After that, Ron and I never got an accurate order.  For seven straight months beforehand we ordered a double of wings (ten flats with Suicide, ten drums Hot) and they never got it wrong.  After the Obama visit, they couldn’t seem to get anything right.  Both of us adhere to routine, so we kept ordering for another month or so.  Then we gave up.

Every couple of months I get a hankering for their Suicide Sauce and fool myself into thinking that they’ve righted the ship.  They haven’t.  I ordered a double of wings this evening and asked for mostly flats Suicide Hot and Saucy.  I got home and found a single of wings Hot and a single of wings Suicide and they were all Extra Crispy.  Unbelievable.

Most popular franchises are at least consistently mediocre and that’s why they keep branching out.  Duff’s Wings can’t even pull that off.  Duff’s has gotten 100% of my orders wrong since mid-2010.  Not even one order has been correct.  As a bar reviewer for the Buffalo News since 2007, I’ve been conditioned to support local and avoid chains.  Here’s another experience to reinforce it.

Duff’s on Dick Road needs either new management or a staff that knows how to clean out their ears with Q-Tips before they take a phone order.  I’m done with that location, I’m done with their wings and I’m done with the entire franchise.  You’ve fucked up your last order with me.  In the short run, that doesn’t matter since they continue to fill the restaurant with tourists eager to walk in the footsteps of our current president.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that restaurant trends change, and some day people will just stop showing up.  That’s when you learn to depend on your regulars, and if you don’t take care of your regulars, you might as well close your doors.

I look forward to the day that Duff’s closes their doors in Cheektowaga.  They haven’t lifted a finger to go above or beyond and they haven’t even approached the bare minimum of competence where I’m concerned.  In a city full of places that cook chicken wings well along with restaurants that make things the same way every time and actually write an order down and cook it correctly every single time, they’re playing Russian Roulette with the company’s profits.

Buying my wings everywhere else from now on,

Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Episode 65: ‘Anal Bleaching Changed My Life’

September 8, 2011

While Big Words Radio is winding down for the big farewell in December and I continue to toil away on the autobiography, I find myself more and more nostalgic.  That being said, it was a once in a lifetime treat to have my best friend of over twenty years Ron and our mutual friend and former coworker Mansel on last night for one of the last four or five shows.  Here’s your synopsis:

 

Episode 65: ‘Anal Bleaching Changed My Life’

Tom and his two friends of over 20 years (Ron and Mansel) reminisce about old girlfriends, great asses, getting stoned out of their tree and how Mansel bagged his trophy substitute teacher before the altar.

 

To hear the show in all of its audio glory, click on over to:

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

 

You can also listen to all 95 shows along with bonus clips and out takes at:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

And lest we forget that you can subscribe to the show on ‘the iTunes’ by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ and clicking on the show under the Comedy listing.

 

Greg Sterlace, Paula Wachowiak and Robb Nesbitt also made a surprise (albeit silent) appearance last night in the studio during the taping, so I’d like to thank them as well for showing up during the tail end of the program.

It’s been decided.  I’ll be holding a Finale show on Friday, December 2nd from 6-8 p.m. and rounding up as many former co-hosts as I can so that we can see the show out in style for a good old fashioned roast.  The site hits and downloads just aren’t what they used to be.  Most of you have tuned out, so it’s time for me to move on to something else.  After four years it depresses me that I have to shut down so soon, but it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore.  Despite this, I’ll be following the year out to its natural conclusion.

I’d like to take a moment to thank my producer Richard Wicka for seeing some sort of promise in me that I haven’t fulfilled.  The show got off on the right foot, but somewhere along the line I took things too far and never regained my composure.

I’d also like to thank Ron and Mansel for coming back into the fold before the show finished up.  It meant a lot to me to link back up with some old friends who have known me for so long.

Back in June of 2008 I tried to come up with a comedy show that was extreme.  Something that pushed the envelope and made people laugh uncomfortably and effortlessly.  I guess I tried to hard and that most of Buffalo didn’t get what I was trying to do or didn’t care.  Whatever the case, it’s over.  Four more months and then the fat lady sings.

 

Please tell a friend or share the link to the show so that we can end on a positive note.

 

Have a great week,

Tom

h1

Poke The Scorpion Publicity Junket Rescheduled For Late October

August 13, 2011

I try to follow my instincts, and my gut tells me that it’s a smarter idea to promote Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick during the actual Scorpio season, which runs from October 23rd through November 21st.  While the book is already out online, it makes more sense to promote it effectively during the boom season for the rest of my tribe, so to speak.  While I’m not superstitious and while I don’t cling to too many pat philosophies, there are too many parallels and far too many coincidences associated with the Scorpio sign that are worth giving tribute to.  The entire book is devoted to the Scorpio mentality along with scorpions as a species.
While my poetry collections make up a very small percentage of my overall revenue, the new book is still worth hitting the road and promoting.  Some people shut down instantaneously when you even mention the word poetry, so they’re not going to even be receptive.  Other people’s ears perk up at the notion of something new and innovative.  Others can be converted given the right circumstances.  That’s the market I’m going after.  It’s my wish to incorporate a few readings, signings and related events along with some old tricks that have worked in the past.  Mark McElligott will be joining me on the journey in Buffalo and beyond.  The Monsters Of Verse will get back into the habit this fall with a few coffee houses and a few bookstores.  I’m entertaining the idea of even doing some guest bartending stints just for the hell of it.
Breathing Room Volume I was wildly successful considering the miniscule hopes I had for it.  Volume II did just okay by comparison, but it was weirder, so that’s okay.  The few people who picked up the first batch of Scorpion books have called it ‘the best poetry book I’ve written so far.’  It may be my last.  Locking into that frame of mind is difficult to do, but I’d be happy to go out on a high note where poetry is concerned.
Please enjoy your summers and free up a few weekends in late October and November.  Poke The Scorpion will be hitting you where it hurts soon enough.  In the mean time, I’ll be crouched in a small dark place waiting to strike.  Like most scorpions.
Thanks for staying tuned,
Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Turning Point

July 26, 2011

The fourth year for Big Words Radio could be the final one.

 

Downloads have been dropping steadily for the last two months.  I like to stay productive, but I don’t see a discernable benefit to putting so many man hours into punching up a prospectus, booking guests and slaving over the production, sound editing, intro and outro music and everything else involved with each show if the audience isn’t there.  This time last year the show was on a roll while it was nearing extinction on Mypodcast.com.  Roll the calendar forward by twelve months and we’re moving in the wrong direction.  I’m not quite sure what’s happening or where my crowd went where the radio show is concerned.  The books are selling better than they ever have.  Site hits here & everywhere else have been blowing up.  The new Twitterverse following is growing exponentially.  Big Words Radio is dying a slow death & it doesn’t make sense.  Like some hosts I could pretend that the show is better than ever, but I deal in facts and abide by honesty.

Here’s what’s going to happen: If I don’t see a marked increase in free subscriptions on iTunes or a spike in downloads on Mevio.com by the end of this summer, the show is over.  It’s that simple.  I’m not going to keep investing what little free time I have into trying to make people laugh with over the top outrageous comedy if you’re not down with the cause.  In for a penny, in for a pound.  Now’s the time to show me if you’re listening because if you’re not, I’m not doing it anymore.  I’ll pick up my toys and go home.

Maybe the podcasting boom has burst.  Maybe all of you are busy this summer (very probable).  Maybe my readers only have so much time that they’re willing to devote to waxing my ego.  I get that.  In case you haven’t noticed though, I deal in absolutes.  If the show isn’t growing, then it’s time to close the door.

My career as a writer is turning a very sharp corner this year in an incredibly positive way that I never imagined it would & it’s all happening this year at a lightning pace.  As a podcaster, not so much.  Half of my life is most likely over, so I’d like to make good use of the next half.  Please let me know how to invest my time wisely.

Some radio hosts and some writers can create without one person reading or listening.  I’m not that kind of person anymore.  I’ve got too many plates in the air to play by those rules.

If you want the show to go on, hop onto iTunes & subscribe to Big Words Radio in the podcast section under the ‘Comedy’ listing.  Download your ass off.  There are almost 92 hours of material that’s pretty damned funny.  It’s been a good run, but it might be time to hang up my hat and say farewell.

If you don’t have an iPod, surf on over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

Download 5 episodes.  Download 92 episodes.  Tell a friend.  Listen in your car.  Please spread the word.  It’s been real and it’s been fun, but this could be the tail end of it.

 

It’s up to you.

Tom Waters

h1

Eulogy For Renie (Waters) Ormsby

July 19, 2011

At the heart of things we’re all selfish in how we deal with the death of someone we love and it seems like the people we really love always pass near a major holiday.  This has more to do with the fact that we have more major and minor holidays than not, but there’s something to that that bears further inspection.  Out of everyone in my family, I’ve always forgotten my father’s birthday.  You may think that makes me a bad son (and you could be right), but he’s been known to go into hiding and (in some cases) to skip town when we’ve ganged up and decided to celebrate it, so it’s no wonder I forget it like clockwork every year.  Thanks to Renie, I’ll never forget it again.  The sweet and wonderful people of the world who we’re kind enough or lucky enough to have with us for the short time that we spin around together on this planet almost always leave us on a day that matters for a very important reason: they’re worth remembering.

My aunt left this earthly plane on Monday, July 18th on my father’s birthday.  I suppose that’s a superstitious way of demonstrating just how close the Waters’ family is to each other.  Renie was a devoted, loving wife to Gene Ormsby, a mother who would do anything for her two kids Brad & Brenda, a caring sister to what most would consider to be a large number of brothers and sisters, a daughter who grew up to be the spitting image of her mother in appearance and by her deeds and she was a damned good aunt to boot.  She touched a great many lives and her positivity and her persistent smile will continue to live on in all of us who knew her.

My grandma Waters loved to cook, she loved to play cards and she never tired of her family.  Renie was a spitting image of her.  You only get one family, so you can’t take them for granted and they both realized that.  No one can dispute that Renie was an excellent cook whether it was pastries, pies, fudge or anything else that required time, care and diligence.  I challenge you to find a member of the Waters tribe that won’t pace themselves when it comes to preparing a meal.  We’re all big people because we have big hearts followed by big appetites.  Before I got married (in February of 2007 and 2008) I got to go down to Frostproof and visit with Renie, Jean and the rest of the family.  Renie’s home was stacked to the rafters with pretzels, fudge, enough pies to feed the entire trailer park and a random assortment of sweets and assorted snack treats.  Renie had enough room in her life to cook, eat, spend time with her family and enjoy all three to the best of her abilities.  Her fudge was amazing and there’s probably not one person in that community that hasn’t eaten and thoroughly enjoyed one of her pies.  She cornered the market.

Let’s rewind, though.  Renie and her husband Gene married at an age most would consider too soon these days (and perhaps even then).  He showed my mother Lynn the ring before he proposed and married her while she was still in high school because he was so in love with her.  You could see that love every day that they were together.  They were crazy for each other.  There’s a pivotal difference between loving someone and being in love.  Most of us fall in love with the person we marry and continue to love them in a way that’s more secure and guarded and safe.  Staying in love with someone is next to impossible but they did it.  When you’re in love, it’s all you can think about, you want to spend every second with the object of your affections and you count the moments that you’re with them as well as the moments until you get to see them again.  Renie & Gene were in love with each other for the entire time that they were together and no one can dispute that.  They’re a prototype for the kind of blissful union that rarely occurs and an inspiration for the rest of us who are married, occasionally miserable or those of us who have settled into our regularly scheduled ruts.  They were good to each other because they meant everything to each other.  It’s that simple.

The Hormsby’s were no strangers to us growing up down at Rushford in the summer during the ’80s and ’90s.  It wasn’t a surprise to see their RV come down the road on a random afternoon unscheduled while I was out swimming, playing or finding trouble.  Gene had almost a room full of Western pulp paperbacks stuffed into the trailer along with their usual assortment of sweets and snacks.  While my cousin Brad was tough on me most of the time, we managed to meet each other in the middle and play rough somehow.  He took a shine to one of the girls across the creek one summer and they had something that resembled puppy love (another variety).  I wasn’t as lucky when my parents dumped me off for a week at Renie and Gene’s and I ran into one of the neighbor girls (I think her name was Corrine).  I was crazy about her but nothing came of it.

The rest of the week I spent with Renie and Gene (’86) was mostly paradise.  Brad was a hellion to me when I first got there but Renie straightened him out.  I managed to avoid any sort of real work on the farm (avoiding real work is a talent I’ve always had) and befriended a goat in their stables.  It was a cute little thing and his quite, simple manner offset Brad’s mischievous ways when I needed a break.  I had Cool Ranch Doritos for the first time when I was with them and never forgot that fact.  I ate as much of the bag as I could and licked the coating off of my fingers with gusto.  Weeks after staying with them I asked Renie how the goat was doing.  She informed me that they killed the goat and ate it.  City mouse, meet Country mouse.  I’m lucky in that I have half of each inside of me thanks to the Waters’ family as well as my upbringing in both Rushford and Buffalo.  We can never forget our roots, and as I get older and more sentimental I’m also giving in to my hillbilly underpinnings and reverting to the family legacy that I deserve to carry on.  I listen to country and bluegrass music and I would rather be out in an open field enjoying the soft silence and a slower pace of life than racing around in the city impatiently where grass is partitioned off and people are rude to each other frequently.

I regret that I didn’t spend more time with Renie as I got older but I’m grateful that we reconnected before and during my marriage.  Renie and Gene would give family the shirt off their backs if need be and they often did.  The two of them offered generously to let my wife and I stay at their timeshare in Myrtle beach for our honeymoon and we accepted.  The airplane that was leaking gas onto the tarmac at the Buffalo Airport had other plans for us, though, so we flipped a coin and wound up spending a week at Lindsay’s parents’ cottage in Silvercreek overlooking Lake Erie.  She was heartbroken that we couldn’t go, but we had the time of our lives regardless.  We settled in like an old married couple and went out to breakfast every day and napped as often as we could, resting up from all of the pressure and nonsense that goes into getting married.  Most of my family loves my wife more than me and I can’t blame them.  I’m a miserable, cranky, cantankerous curmudgeon and she’s a beautiful, cheery, down to earth girl from Elma.  Renie and Gene took a shine to her instantly and she cared a lot about them, too.  Her death yesterday hit us both pretty hard and we’re sorry that we couldn’t be there for her.  Lamentably, I have a job that thrives on good weather and we’re in the middle of a long, steamy summer that’s much deserved for those of us who aren’t snowbirds.

I loved my Aunt Renie truly and dearly.  She was an amazing woman who touched all of us and we will never forget her.  Her pain is over now and the sad, selfish fact is that we must all go on without her.  Our memories keep her beautiful soul alive in all of us and her existence gives me hope that people are genuinely capable of being nice to each other, that relatives are capable of helping to shape their nephews and that True Love isn’t just a goal, it exists and it is indeed real.  She even gave me a parting gift on the way out the door: I’ll never forget my father Butch (or as she called him, Jimmy)’s birthday.  Thank you for everything you did and all of the lives you touched and all of the incredible food you cooked and baked and most of all for your unconditional love that I inherited just by being born into this family, Renie.  You had a wonderful life and I’m grateful that I was a part of it.

 

A nephew who doesn’t know the first thing about making a real pie crust,

Tom Waters

h1

Poke The Scorpion Book Giveaway Contest

July 13, 2011

This month I’ll be giving away three random signed copies of Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick.  What do you have to do to get it?

 

1. ‘Like’ Poke The Scorpion on FB by following this link:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/poke-the-scorpion-with-a-sharp-stick-selected-poems-2008-2011/16130225?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1

 

2. Rate the book on lulu.com.

 

3. Post a link on your Twitter, FB, Google + or any other website you may have.

 

4. Leave  a comment on this post.

 

5. Drop me an email at bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘Contest’ in the subject heading.

 

Final deadline is August 1st, 2011.  Whether you live in Buffalo or beyond, I’ll hold a random drawing at the end of July.  If you’re local I’ll hand you a copy at the first scheduled reading or signing for Poke The Scorpion in August.  If you live out of state or in another country, I’ll send you a signed copy out of pocket.  I’d like to launch this book with a bang and I need your help to do it!

 

Game on,

Tom Waters

h1

‘Sweet Is The Smell Of Success’

July 11, 2011

After four long rewarding and exhausting months of promoting Mockery as well as Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind  in the newspapers, on the radio, on the web and in bookstores, coffee houses, bars and anywhere else that would have us, Mark McElligott and I have earned a much needed break for the rest of the summer.  Our little tour was tremendously successful despite spotty attendance, unusual time slots, double bookings (in two separate cases) and other Spinal-Tap-esque occurances.  Mockery is on track to outsell every book I’ve released so far and it’s been selling faster than any book I’ve sold so far.  My wife remarks that every book looks better and tighter than the last.

Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick will be fun to promote, but it’s going to be more of a Travelling Wilburys deal: getting together with old friends and just having a good time for the sake of it rather than running full steam ahead to make money.  I’ve decided to wait until September for any serious promotions but I may pop up in a few unusual places in August.  I was asked to be a celebrity bartender for the third week in August and I may accept.  Mark and I have already booked a convention show at the Marriott in October.  Aside from that, I’m at ease for the next month and a half.  I’ve never traditionally enjoyed promoting books in public settings but this time around was different.  Mark McElligott was a true joy to partner with and we had more laughs than I ever would have expected.  I think that carries through on the live concerts that we decided to post on Big Words Radio.

Brennan’s Bowery Bar was a smash hit last night.  We had a solid turnout and it’s the first reading I’ve ever had where the average book sale was three different copies.  We made a boatload of cash and I’m grateful for every penny we made.  Thanks are in order to Dave Shatzel, Eve Barbour, Jen O’Hare, Lynn O’Hare, Eve Barbour, Nicole Cook, Fred Peterson, Joshua Hanzlion, Jeff Collins and everyone else who turned out last night.  It was the best way to end a long and winding promotion and we’re going to head back to Brennan’s in the fall for the same deal.

As for the rest of the Mockery & Random Thoughts junket, thanks are in order, so here goes: Eve Barbour, Brian Platter, Stephanie Rhinehart, Ryan Miller, Jennifer Lysiak of Metro Source, Jolene Zanghi from Bee Group Newspapers, Brian Kahle, RD Pohl from the Buffalo News, Geoff Kelly from ArtVoice, Dee’s Firehouse, Don and Jon from Don’s Atomic Comics, Maryan’s, Nance Gardner Lang, the Lancaster Public Library, Dog Ears Bookstore in South Buffalo, Jonathan from Talking Leaves, Christy from Rust Belt Books, Tom and the rest of the gang at Finnan’s, Dave Waters, Dave Lopian, Duane Muth, Stockman’s Tavern and every single one of you who were kind enough to come out and see us.  It’s been a long strange trip and this tour of duty is finally over.

This autumn will be a whole different animal.  Mark McElligott will be joining me for some of the promotions while Dave Waters and JR Finlayson will be partnering up for others.  We’re setting our sights for larger territory and we won’t stop at any state line either.  We’re well equipped to take Buffalo by storm all over again and we’re popping out to Rochester, Alfred, Philadelphia, NYC and possibly Charlotte, NC if a few free plane tickets come our way.  This year has been an incredible turning point so far and the last ten are truly starting to pay off exponentially.

 

Thanks for being a part of it,

Tom Waters

h1

Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick: 30% Off Soft Launch Orders!

July 1, 2011

Here we go again…

It’s July 1st and (as promised), I’m proud to announce the heavily discounted soft launch of Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, my third collection of angry, funny and oversexed poetry.  While I wouldn’t say that this go round is tamer than Breathing Room Volume I and II, it is softer somehow.  I wrote the bulk of the book right before and right after my wedding, so there’s a soft sense of acceptance and inner peaceto the body of work that sets it apart from the other two books.  I’m very proud of the collection for the leap forward in originality as well as the design and the format.  For those of you willing to take a chance on something different, you won’t be disappointed.  From now until August (when I plan on promoting the book in Buffalo), Scorpion will be 30% off if you buy direct on lulu.com.  Here’s your quick link:

 

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/poke-the-scorpion-with-a-sharp-stick-selected-poems-2008-2011/16130225

 

After four solid months of interviews, press releases, and appearances for Mockery, I’m ready for a break.  Mark McElligott, Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters and I have one more outing at Brennan’s Bowery Bar next Sunday (The Brennan’s Boxed Trifecta) on Sunday, July 10th at 6 p.m. and then I’ve got a month off before we kick back into high gear.  I’ve never felt that summer was a good time to promote because there are too many other events going on to compete with, so we’ll be resting up and waiting out the season before we get right back into it this fall.

For those of you who helped to make Mockery my fastest-selling book, thank you.  It’s on target to be my best-selling humor collection to date by year’s end.  There’s a momentum to all of this that seems to be catching up to me this year in a good way.  Hopefully most of you will make the leap of faith over to Scorpion and join me for the second half of this year.  Things are only going to get better from here on out.  There’s a lot left to accomplish.

Enjoy your 4th of July and buy my new damned book!

Tom Waters

h1

Tom Tweets!

June 28, 2011

For those of you interested in following me on Twitter, my profile name is (you guessed it) ‘tomfoolery4’.  Here’s a quick link to make it easier for everyone, too:

 

http://twitter.com/#!/tomfoolery4

 

I’m committing to one post a day until further notice.  I don’t see what all the fuss is about, but it’s another form of free media that we can all dogpile onto en masse.  With luck, I’ll have an ongoing project up on YouTube by the end of the summer.  More on that if and when it happens…

 

h1

‘Scorpion’ Rising, Icarus Ascends & Rust Belt Books On The Horizon

June 22, 2011

While Mockery is winding down and Mark McElligott’s Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind is still gaining momentum, I’ve been quietly preparing to go full steam ahead with promotions this fall with Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick.  Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) and I finished the book in record time.  While I originally set a deadline for the final version of the book at August 1st, it’s already done.  You can buy the book in advance by clicking your way over to:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/poke-the-scorpion-with-a-sharp-stick-selected-poems-2008-2011/16069791

Please click the FB ‘Like’ tab to the right of the book and feel free to review, comment or rate the book while you’re there.  There’s a ten page preview of the contents on the page in order to give you a sneak peek at how the book looks.

Starting on July 1st (through the end of the month), I’ll be running a 30% off sale on lulu for those of you interested in buying the book online.  This should offset their shipping rates and make the book more affordable to those of you who live out of state who are interested in picking up the third poetry collection.  After that I’ll be doing a soft launch on Sunday, July 10th at Brennan’s Bowery Bar in Williamsville at 6 p.m. along with Mark McElligott and a live musical performance by Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters.  If you’re a former classmate from Clarence High School, it sounds as if the classes of ’92, ’93, ’94 and beyond will be dog piling into Brennan’s on the same day for an informal reunion.  At last count, there will be no less than 50 other alumni showing up, so this event is shaping up to be a real barn burner.  Signed First Edition copies of Poke The Scorpion, Mockery, Slapstick & Superego, Breathing Room Volume I & II, and If They Can’t Take A Joke will be available along with Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind by Mark McElligott and 12 Priests & 3 Gnomes by David Waters.

The hard launch for Poke The Scorpion will hit in August and Mark and I will start touring and promoting in Rochester, Buffalo, Alfred and beyond.  While I was apprehensive about releasing two of my own books in the same year, it was a necessary evil I had to carry out in order to devote the time and energy it’s going to take to bring Icarus On The Mend in on time for a fall 2012 launch as a numbered hardcover limited edition of no more than 50 copies.  I’ll be devoting at least six months to proofreading, editing and re-writing the manuscript so that it’s grammatically correct as well as entertaining from a pacing standpoint.  One year later in 2013 I’ll be retiring the hardcover format and launching two smaller volumes of the same book with the intention of releasing a third volume when I get older.  Somewhere in the interim I’ll release Travesty, a return to shorter form where my bombastic essays are concerned.

Mark McElligott and I will both be reading this Sunday at Rust Belt Books on Allen St. in the heart of downtown Buffalo at 5 p.m.  We may be a little late, so please be patient with us as we’re both driving from the suburbs.  We’re paying to rent the space, so attendance and book sales for this event will be crucial.  The turnout will determine whether I go back to Rust Belt books or not, so if you live downtown, make Sunday count for us please.  This is the first reading I’ve done at Rust Belt in almost a decade.  Mark is polished and primed and almost pitch perfect where his timing and delivery are concerned.  Stockman’s, Caz Coffee and Finnan’s were good practice for breaking his teeth on audience response and now he’s ready for prime time.  Look out, Buffalo, because we’re ready to make a sizeable entertainment dent in the collective populace for the rest of this year and we won’t stop until we win you over.

See you this Sunday,

Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Episode 62: Auto Erotic Ass Pixelation (w/Brian Kahle)

June 13, 2011

On the playback, I felt that last night’s show with Brian Kahle couldn’t have been any more perfect.  Brian was charming, funny and well-spoken.  John Kindelan was funny, engaging when it was called for and well-spoken.  It was just the right blend of offensiveness, revealing answers and intelligent responses.  If every show was like this one, I’d do it a hell of a lot more often.  I made a conscious decision a year ago to devote one calendar year on the show to booking guests that I had an existing rapport with versus landing national celebrities and wound up somewhere in the middle.  The proof is in the pudding right here.  Here’s your synopsis for Episode 62:

 

Episode 62: Auto Erotic Ass-Pixelation

Tom settles in for a bucket of scotch while he trades industry stories with Buffalo icon Brian Kahle (Magic Marketing) and co-host John Kindelan (theboompage.com).  The boys discuss mustaches, helipads and their enormous financial largesse.

 

To hear the show, click here:

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

 

You can also hear the new show (along with every previous episode and bonus clip) here:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

I applaud Brian Kahle for his frank and candid discussion as well as his career as a whole.  For a Buffalonian, I couldn’t have any more respect for him as a person.  It was a genuine thrill to be in the same room with two of the biggest marketing influences of my lifetime (Brian and Richard Wicka).  Thanks to both for making this show happen.  Thanks are also in order to John Kindelan for taking the time out to co-host.  He did a bang-up job of rolling with the punches.

I’ve got some entertaining things planned for the next two shows that should prove to be fun for listeners.  You’ll find out more in July.

Thanks for tuning in,

Tom Waters

h1

Final Wraparound Art For Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick

June 12, 2011

h1

Cheers & Jeers: Events As They Develop

June 8, 2011

Okay, here’s the rundown for this particular week…

 

Doubt It Publishing Author Mark McElligott will be reading selections from his breakout debut book Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind  this Saturday at Caz Coffee Café at 7 p.m. in South Buffalo.  Our turnout was less than ideal at Finnan’s Pub last Sunday, so it would be really nice to see some of you who might be remotely interested in supporting local arts actually show up.  While we both realize that the weather is nice out, we’re in the final stretch of a three month junket and we’re busting our asses to get his book out to a new audience.  If you live in (or near) South Buffalo and you’re free on Saturday, please show some support and stop out to see us at Caz Coffee Café.

Most marketing and PR experts would suggest that I shouldn’t complain about a lack of turnout because it makes me look whiny or it makes us look bad.  I simply don’t care.  Mark and I have both invested a great deal of time and money into publishing two books and promoting them and it seems as if (now that the weather has improved) most of you have no interest in discovering just how funny his book is.  Please prove me wrong.  Clear up your schedule, skip a forgettable trip to the beach or a laughable summer venue and come out to see something real.  If you’re the sort of person who needs a newspaper to tell you what you should be interested in or what you should spend your disposable income on, take a chance for once and discover the actual art scene in Buffalo versus the Reader’s Digest abridged version.  Copies of Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind will be available for $15.

On the whole I’ve been deeply disappointed with audience turnout for this junket.  I have no control over it and there’s no way to analyze it, but many of you have let us down.  It’s easier to do nothing than it is to do something, so take comfort in your complacency.  To those of you who continue to show up for the book launches, readings and signings and those of you kind enough to tell your friends, spend money at our scheduled venues and spend your hard earned money to support our work, we really appreciate it.  If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be able to continue creating and publishing new books.  If there were more people like you in Buffalo, there’s a strong possibility that we’d actually be able to make a living wage doing this and we’d be able to produce a larger body of work, but odds are that that will never happen since most people in Buffalo (again) need to be told what art is worth buying by their local media like lost and sluggish sheep.

I appreciate the cross section of you smart enough to make your own decisions and the fact that you march to the beat of your own drummer.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making your own informed decisions based on internal judgment instead of a deep-seated need for peer approval or a desire to have someone else tell you what is and isn’t entertaining.  If you receive this message via email, I understand that it’s infinitely easier to delete this message than it is to take the time to read it and react or respond to it, so for those of you who are reading this right now, thank you.  To those of you who reply or react by showing up to a reading, thank you even more.  I’ll get off my soap box now.

At the time of this writing it is now June 9th, so the Doubt It Publishing call for submissions is now wide open until November 1st.  Again, if you’re a local (Buffalo) writer and you have a completed manuscript or a draft in the realm of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or short stories, please send your manuscript in at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.  One of you will be chosen for publication in 2011 and I’ll give you the full force of my attention and publicity skills to ensure that we both turn a tidy profit on your brain trust in addition to setting up a slate of appearances and book signings.  If you’re willing to put in the work, so am I.

Thanks in large part to graphic designer extraordinaire Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios), Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick is coming along at a brisk pace.  The book should be available by August 1st at the rate we’re going, but I won’t count my chickens yet.  The format size is being developed so that it bridges Breathing Room Volume I and II.  The size of the book will be somewhere in between both, which says a lot about the content.  The cover looks gorgeous and I couldn’t be happier with the bold design choices that Brian has made for the interior.  For those of you daring enough to jump head first into a poetry book, you’re in for a pleasant surprise this fall.  JR Finlayson, David Waters and a host of other local poets and I will be touring throughout Buffalo after the festival and concert season in autumn to promote the book as well as other books.

This Sunday I’ll be returning to Think Twice Radio to interview broadcasting icon Brian Kahle for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour along with local artist and blogger John Kindelan.  We’ll be talking about censorship, the line that’s blurred between advertising an investigative journalism and the current state of Buffalo broadcasting.  The conversation will be bold and uncompromising, but I’m sure you’ve come to expect that from me.  Your frequent (and often vocal) encouragement has molded me into the person I am today.

These are exciting times.  While my pace may be brisk and my candor unforgiving, it’s all because I’m building the framework for a larger plan.  The first ten years of my professional career as a writer are over.  I’m headlong into the next ten and the scope and landscape of a grander design is well underway.  For those of you willing to participate and play along, I’m eternally grateful.  As for the rest of you, you’re missing out on something very real and extremely fun.

 

Race you to next week,

Tom Waters

h1

Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick Cover Art

June 7, 2011

h1

Two New Big Words Episodes Live From Stockman’s

June 7, 2011

More news later in the week, but for now here are two new live performances for Big Words Radio.  It took awhile to work on the audio for these, but here are your synopses:

 

‘For Real: Mockery Live At Maryan’s’

Tom returns to Stockman’s Tavern (where he recorded and thoroughly enjoyed his bachelor party in 2008) for an evening of comedy and music.

 

To hear the show, click here:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/283569/for-real-mockery-live-at-stockman-s

 

‘Is That A Frampton Reference?  Dave Waters Live At Stockman’s’

Dave Waters regales an indifferent and easily offended crowd at Stockman’s Tavern.

 

To hear the show, click here:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/283568/is-that-a-frampton-reference-dave-waters

 

‘Stockman’s’ was misspelled in the synopsis as ‘Stockan’s’, so we all have my wireless keyboard to thank for that.  Sorry, Stockman’s!

The last episode (‘My Balloon Know Will Stay Firmly Tied’) went straight to the top of the download charts with over 600 downloads in two days!  Please keep up the great work and keep listening!  I hope you enjoy the new shows and I’ll be recording a new studio show this Sunday with broadcasting giant Brian Kahle.

More on everything later this week.  I’m in a hurry, so I’ll talk to you all soon.

Thanks,

Tom Waters

h1

A Few Acres Of Ground To Cover: New Books, New Shows & A Reality Check

May 29, 2011

What a productive week!  After telling multiple newspapers that I had no intention of writing an essay collection ever again, I found a way to write another essay collection: make it fun again.

Unlike any book I’ve written to date, it started with the title: Travesty.  My goal is to make every piece live up to the title of the book and to make sure that every single rant is shorter, funnier and more offensive than anything I’ve written to date.  I also set a few ground rules: nothing longer than three pages, every rant has to be written in one sitting and I can’t cover a topic I’ve covered so far.  I started last week with one rant about the supposed Rapture and haven’t stopped.  One third of the book is already done.  The only problem is that I have no idea when to release it.  Doubt It Publishing has a full dance card for the next two years, so I may have to piggyback it with the numbered hardcover release for Icarus On The Mend in the fall of 2012 and I’m leaning strongly towards that.

Pre-production on Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick (my third collection of poetry) is progressing at a rate that’s astonishing and well ahead of schedule.  Brian Platter (the graphic designer behind Six Shot Studios) has taken the bull by the horns and he’s tackled the book head on with a bold look, some daring choices for the title and content fonts and a beautiful presentation where the headers and footers are concerned.  For those of you who were trusting enough to make the leap along with me where Breathing Room Volume I and II were concerned, you won’t be disappointed.

The content has evolved since the original two poetry books to the point where I’m no longer aping my own heroes and I’ve developed my own voice where poems are concerned.  While it’s not necessarily a jumping off point, it is a progression, so we’re working overtime to create a size format that bridges the jump between Breathing Room Volume I and II.  If you buy this book this fall, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the growth.  Two major national literary magazines (The Chiron Review and Chronogram) have already gotten on board with three different poems that they’ll be publishing in short order.

I devoted a week to submitting the content to the top poetry trades in the country along with putting the final touches on the manuscript and it’s already paying off.  While poetry books don’t pay off as well as my rant collections, it’s a labor of love and something I would do whether I turned a profit or not.  This new book means a lot to me and Six Shot Studios is doing a spectacular job on the appearance.  Expect the specialty format this fall by the time Mark McElligott and I get very serious about touring on a regional scale.

Last night I reconnected with two dear friends in person for the first time in three years: Greg Sterlace and Paula Wachoviak (sp?).  Greg and Paula are back in town for a limited time and he’s taken back the reins for The Greg Sterlace Show, his wildly popular Time Warner program spanning back over the last ten years.  The results of the show taping were horrific and hilarious at the same time.  For those of you who catch it on TV, it’s the epitome of cringe comedy.  I’ll have a link for you in a week or two, but in the mean time, here’s a sneak preview of a small percentage of the wrongness at play here on the Mr. Ski Mask show that Mark McElligott and I taped almost a month ago.  Click your way over to:

http://sterlace.com/episodes/index.php/2011/04/the-greg-sterlace-show-832

And finally, there are two new belated episodes of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour available online as well as for free on iTunes.  Almost a month after the actual in-store event (I had to pick up a new SD Card Reader), I hammered out the content and edited it for full-scale enjoyment this morning and posted these two abominations.  Here are your links and synopses:

Episode 61: ‘My balloon knot will stay firmly tied’

Tom kicks off a comic book promotion at Don’s Atomic Comices with a star studded cast of special guests including Carrie & Ron Gardner, Monster Matt, Terry Kimmel, John Kindelan, Michael Hoffert Jr. and Brian Platter.  Newcomer Brian Bogucki gets blindsided while Mark McElligott rolls with the punches.

To hear the show online click on the link below:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/282800/episode-61-my-balloon-knot-will-stay

Tom’s Atomic Bonus Round: ‘Parting Words’

Tom closes out an evening of hilarity and insanity by getting a few more cheap shots in at Terry Kimmel’s expense and dropping a few promotional plugs for once.

To hear the show online click on the link below:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/282797/tom-s-atomic-bonus-round-parting-words

-You can also conveniently subscribe to the show for free on iTunes by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ under the Podcast section as well as the Comedy listing.  The Literature category is a dead link that is no longer active, so please subscribe and the entire library will be at your command!

May was a horrible month for the show in terms of downloads and requests, so I implore you to visit the sites or subscribe to the show.  Without a noticeable increase in traffic I see no reason to keep devoting so much time to working on pre-show prep, research, questions, guests, recording time, production and posting time.  If you enjoy the show, please tell your friends, spread the word and download at will.  Big Words Radio has been booming since September of 2010 and it’s crushing to see the latest numbers.  For a show production that costs me so much in man hours without collecting any monetary revenue, I could really use your help.  Download, listen and tell your friends.  Unlike some other podcast hosts, I don’t cook my numbers.  Despite some recent turbulence that has zero bearing on this month’s numbers, I would really appreciate your ears (and your feedback) on the show.  I’ve spent four years slaving away on a free hobby and it would mean a lot to me if you pitched in and clicked a link or shared the show with the people you know.  All I ask for is a spreading contagion on my stats by the end of June.  Please help me out.

Mockery is selling better and faster than any book that preceded it, so thank you so much for that.  Every appearance has been positive and the book is breaking down barriers heretofore unheard of.  You have no idea how grateful I am for all of the people who have come on board and spread the word about my work and my book.

Three people in the same week commented or asked about the level of my output lately (a lot) and I wish I had an answer for all of you.   I’m in a good place.   The big picture is clicking comfortably into a lifestyle that leads me to bigger and better things along with the ability to write more and publish more often.  Things will only get better from here.  Doubt It Publishing is not a short term subsidy house or a slash and burn print on demand concept, it’s quickly becoming a reality.  I’m going to have to make a hard decision in November when it comes around to picking a new Author Of The Year to work with.

At the risk of sounding insincere or faux-humble, here’s what’s always guided and informed me: William Carlos Williams.  He was a popular poet, a family man and a practicing physician.  After a full overtime shift and an appropriate amount of time eating dinner and tucking his kids into bed and spending time with his wife, he added some hours to his waking existence to writing poems.  I’m an artist from Buffalo.  This is the only option that any of us have for expressing ourselves.  If your work means that much to you, make the time for it.  That’s it.  None of us are busier than William Carlos Williams was, so what’s your excuse?  If what you have to say and want to say is important, you’ll find a way to express it and make the time to do it above and beyond every other responsibility that you have.

I’m nobody special.  Writing is the way that I cope with a world that I can’t grasp or deal with without figuring it out on paper.  None of us are heroes or gods or legends and the majority of us do it because we need to.  Otherwise we’d lose our minds without the outlet.  All of this is work.  All of this is important and vital and crucial to me.  Whether it’s a mountain or a mole hill, this is what keeps me relatively sane.

Thank you so much for making it a lucrative side business.  In another ten years, I hope to make it a career.  Please help me work towards it.

Keeping busy,

Tom Waters

h1

Back On The Horse: Call For Submissions & Two Important Promotions This Week

May 16, 2011

As previously stated, Doubt It Publishing is rolling forward in June with this year’s round of submissions for our 2012 Author Of The Year.  From June 1st through November 1st I’ll be reviewing full length manuscript submissions for fiction, nonfiction and poetry.  Doubt It Publishing is looking for: humor, horror, short stories, self-help, memoirs, essays, rants, poetry and suspense. If your book is gripping and engaging I want to see it!  Send either a query, sample chapters or full manuscript to: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.

There is no reading fee or entry fee of any kind.  The only criteria is that you must reside in the Buffalo area and possess a talent for writing along with a willingness to work hard promoting your book when it comes out next year.  As 2011 Author Mark McElligott knows, marketing and campaigning for his book (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) is every bit as important as writing it.  You can review the Author Agreement details at http://www.doubtitpublishing.blogspot.com or by joining the open Doubt It Publishing group on Facebook.  If you know someone who’s working on a book, please pass the word along.  Again, I am only picking (and working with) one author per year so that I can give them my undivided attention as well as the full brunt of my networking, marketing and media experience.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to email me at: bigwordsmalbag@yahoo.com.

Getting back to Mark McElligott, he chose to promote alongside me shortly after I launched Mockery, so while I’m starting to wind down on appearances for my book he’ll be taking the baton and running with it in the coming months.  This Thursday I’ll be reading and signing at Talking Leaves Books on 3158 Main St. from 7 p.m. (SHARP!) to 8 p.m.  Talking Leaves is another venue very close to my heart because it’s local, I’ve done a promotion there for almost every book for the last decade and it’s a great store.  Somehow Jonathan has a knack for stocking the ONE Bukowski book that I don’t own every time I visit.  If you like poetry, they’ve got one of the largest selections in the tri-state area and they feature a comprehensive and diverse selection of local authors.

This Saturday, Mark McElligott and I will both be reading at Stockman’s Tavern on 9870 Transit Rd. in Swormville (between Amherst and Lockport) from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Stockman’s is a great bar with a great crowd, so please mark your calendar and make the time to come out and join us.  This will be Mark’s first full-length reading, so please join me in welcoming him and his incredibly funny new book Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind.  Copies of Mockery and Random Thoughts will be limited, so either show up early or buy both on http://lulu.com  for the low low price of $15.

I’ll see you out on the town this week.  Ladies and gentleman, start your submissions!

Thanks,

Tom Waters

h1

Elston Takes The Gold, Mockery Sells Through & A Few Surprise Books Launching…

May 11, 2011

The ArtVoice 2011 Best Of Buffalo Awards came and went and Jon Elston (the resident playwright for the Road Less Travelled Theater Company) won for Best Writer.  To be honest, there’s no one I’d rather lose to.  Jon’s a talented and prolific writer in addition to being a great guy and we’ve known each other too long to let something as petty as an awards show get in the way of our friendship.  Congratulations are long overdue for Jon and his accolades are well deserved.  I suppose I’ll just have to campaign harder and start earlier next year when it comes to AV’s poll process.

On to more pressing business and the importance of timing, though.  A funny thing happened on the way to the Caz Coffee reading: I checked my inventory and somehow I’ve gotten down to two remaining copies of Mockery.  The book has performed so well for the initial slate of launch events that my first payload is depleted.  The book is doing very well and it’s selling a lot faster than I expected, surpassing the break even mark (recouping production and design costs) and far exceeding it.  More copies are on order and they’ll be in stock in time for the Talking Leaves Main reading next Thursday (7 p.m.) as well as the reading and signing at Stockman’s Tavern with Mark McElligott on the 21st (7 p.m.).  If you want or need a copy before then, you can pick one up at either Talking Leaves location or order direct from my distributor at http://www.lulu.com.

As far as book releases go, I’ve always tried to release no more than one of my own books for year.  That policy is changing.  With the amount of people who have voiced their interest in the autobiography (Icarus On The Mend), there’s another side project that’s been scooted front and center in order for me to release an Icarus limited-run numbered hardcover in the fall of 2012 (50 copies) followed by a two volume trade paperback launch in 2013.  The manuscript for the memoirs is massive, and it’ll take no less than six months to proof, edit and revise.  After promoting Mockery and doing some light piggyback promotions in the fall with Mark McElligott, I’ll be blocking out some time to dig my heels in and get the work done.

This week I finalized the structure and the basic manuscript for Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, my third book of poems.  Unlike Breathing Room Volume I and II, it’s a step in a different direction: an original one.  While both Breathing Rooms were an homage to the people who inspired me to write poetry (Charles Bukowski, e.e. cummings, Rosemary Koethe and Tracy Zullo, respectively), Scorpion shows evidence of an emerging, original voice.  Like any writer (and much in the same manner in which I started out writing essays), I aped my favorites.

The wake of that process has a momentum of its own, and the result is an amalgamation of some standard tricks along with quite a few new ones.  The Breathing Room  books were never blockbusters in terms of sales, but the content was important to me, and they’ve sold slowly and steadily enough to warrant a third collection.  The response I’ve gotten from those of you who enjoy poetry as well as those of you brave enough to try something new has been overwhelmingly positive encouraging.

The only speed bump in working on the layout was dealing with comments from many of you that Volume I: Free Verse was the best book I’ve ever written.  How in the hell do you top a comment like that?  With hard work, frequent revisions and a liberal dose of elbow grease.  Much like the pre-production on Mockery, I’ve gone out of my way to creative a cohesive, seamless book that can be read in one sitting.  Anything that didn’t feel right got tossed and anything written after the initial draft that felt like it belonged alongside the source material was added.  I hope that you’ll be pleased with the results.  Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick is slated for a September release this year.  I’ve already got an artist working on the cover art (mixed media) and Brian Platter from Six Shot Studios will be working on the interior design and cover layout.  More details as we get closer to the launch.

Meanwhile Mr. Mark McElligott is doing quite well with his Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind.  His debut collection of rants broke even the week it came out (within two days of sales) and the word of mouth on how funny the book is has been generating a lot of referral sales.  While my humor leans towards the universal, sarcastic and psychotic, his headspace is a lot more user friendly.  Mark’s manuscript won me over with his unique voice, his left-field observations and his bravery in the face of self-deprecation.  It’s paying off.  Doubt It Publishing’s first release from a single author is a hit.  The book will continue to reach new heights (and sales records) once we actually begin promoting it next Saturday at Stockman’s.

And finally, I’d like to work a plug in for an old friend and comrade.  JR Finlayson (whom you may remember from the Monsters Of Verse) has released Multiples Of Eleven, his first full-length collection of poems for the clever price of $11.11.  To buy a copy of the book, click on over to:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/multiples-of-eleven/15597052?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1

With one new poetry book out and another one on the way could there be a Monsters Of Verse revival?

I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

Have a great week and I’ll keep you posted,

Tom Waters

h1

ArtVoice’s 2011 Best Of Buffalo Nominations/Mockery Promotions Thus Far…

May 1, 2011

After a turbulent week of surprises, promotions and nominations, it’ll be nice to relax for a few days.  The first month of promotions for Mockery is over leaving three months and change for the rest of the scheduled readings and signings.

The Lancaster Public Library reading went off without a hitch and even though the Sabres were busy losing the playoffs, we still had a great turnout with plenty of books sold.  Fellow Monsters Of Verse alumni JR Finlayson made a surprise appearance and read a few selections from his upcoming book Multiples Of Eleven (due out soon).  The evening took an unexpected turn when a few members of the crowd requested (and encouraged) a few passages about manic depression, so I read a piece from First Person, Last Straw along with some of the Jekkyl & Hyde poems from both Breathing Rooms.  Thanks to everyone who attended for making it such an intimate and interesting evening.  I’ll definitely keep the Lancaster Library in mind should Mark McElligott and I decide to promote locally in the fall.

On the same day, Minnesota podcasting great Gary Holdsteady and I recorded Episode 60 of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.

You can listen to the show by clicking here:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/278282/episode-60-i-was-hoping-to-get

-Or (as always) you can subscribe to the show for free in the podcast section of iTunes under the ‘Comedy’ category.

Gary and I have been great friends for years and this was one of the few episodes where I didn’t work off of notes or pre-formulated questions.  Our rapport (and his conversational candor) was strong enough that we ad-libbed the entire show with great results.  To hear Gary’s podcast you can listen on iTunes by searching ‘Independant Stream’ or you can listen online by clicking:

http://independentstream.podomatic.com

Thursday proved shocking when ArtVoice announced their 2011 Best Of Buffalo nominees.  Somehow all of you managed to get me on the ballot for their Best Writer category.  The winner hasn’t been announced yet, but regardless of the outcome, I’m deeply grateful to all of you who voted in addition to every one of you who have supported my work for the last ten years by buying a book, making a reading or spreading the word.  I don’t put a lot of stock in contests, but a lot of people look to them to decide what’s hot and what’s not and with the new book out, it can’t hurt to campaign a little bit more.  Keep your fingers crossed and I guess we’ll see who takes home the gold soon enough.

Last night we had a four hour marathon at Don’s Atomic Comics in Depew for ‘Tom’s Atomic Comic Giveaway’ with special guests Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) and Michael Hoffert Jr. (host of ‘It Came From The Longbox’ on http://www.thinktwiceradio.com).  Don and I have done a promotion for every book since Soup To Nuts and his shop is always a favorite destination during the tour.  The sale went great, I recorded a lot of great audio and a few other surprise guests turned up including Monsters Of Verse alumn Carrie Gardner, Monster Matt, John Kindelan and Brian Platter from Six Shot Studios.

The events for this book have been wildly unpredictable compared to previous years.  Te ones I’ve expected to do well haven’t and the ones that I thought would be a waste of time turned out to be anything but.  It’s hard to predict an outcome for anything in Buffalo with so many conflicting events (sporting and otherwise) and such a melting pot of cultural tastes.  Mark McElligott and I are going to keep plugging away until the end of July at a steady pace with our heads up.  Next Saturday (May 7th) I’ll be reading and signing copies of Mockery at the Caz Coffee Café on Abbott Rd. in South Buffalo at 7 p.m.  If you’re free that night I’d love to see you there.

Resting up for the rest of the week,

Tom Waters

h1

Mockery Live At Maryan’s/Talking Leaves Now In Stock!

April 19, 2011

Saturday was a banner reading for Mockery at Maryan’s.  Even after a losing Sabres playoff game, the crowd was into the material right from the jump and the laughs were legion within minutes.  I’ve been telling Mark McElligott (who’s gearing up for his own slate of readings soon enough) that the events you’re positive will do well often don’t and the ones you never expect to succeed end up surprising you.  It’s always a crap shoot and you can’t predict any one promotion, so the best thing to do is try everything once and stick with what works.  Due to the great audio (and the great crowd), I’ve posted two separate concert shows up on Mevio as well as iTunes.  Here are your synopses:

‘In The Crease: Mockery Live At Maryan’s’: Tom takes to the stage after a losing playoff game for the Buffalo Sabres at Maryan’s in Depew and by some miracle manages to win the crowd over.

-To hear the above episode on Mevio, click on this link:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/276964/in-the-crease-mockery-live-at-maryan

 

‘Love Those Water Boys’: Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters rocks out his first live musical set in almost two years at Maryan’s in Depew.

-To hear Dave’s half of the concert, click here:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/276963/love-those-water-boys

As always, you can subscribe to The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour on ‘the iTunes’ by searching Big Words Radio and clicking on the show listed under Comedy.  If you’re a current subscriber, then you already have both episodes!

Thanks so much to Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters, Nance, Sam, Val, Mike and the rest of the spectacular staff as well as the crowd at Maryan’s.  If every reading and signing went that well I’d never stop touring!  There are no promotional events this week since it’s Easter week, but I’ll be gearing back up again next Tuesday the 26th at the Lancaster Public Library (7:30 p.m.) and then Don’s Atomic Comics on Saturday, April 30th for my Tom’s Atomic Comic Giveaway promotion from 8 p.m. to midnight!  The book promotions at Don’s always have a special place in my heart because a) I’ve done something there for every single book I’ve released, b) it’s always a great time and c) I’ll make a boat load of cash!  To hear how the last promotion went (Tom’s Atomic Poetry Cliffhanger), you can click on:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/166205/episode-xxx-tom-s-atomic-poetry-cliffhanger

and:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/166196/tom-s-atomic-poetry-cliffhanger-the-shocking

And finally, Mockery is now available at both Talking Leaves books locations, so if you live in the city and you can’t make it out to any of the suburban events, feel free to pick up the new book at the Main Street or Elmwood locations.  Talking Leaves has been another long time friend for every single book over the years.  While it’s a hassle to set up some promotions, Atomic Don and Jonathan at Talking Leaves have never needed more than a phone call to iron out a date and time and for that I’m grateful.

I hope you all enjoy your Easter and perhaps I’ll see you out on the road next week!

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

h1

Tom’s Atomic Comic Giveaway Flier by Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios)

April 7, 2011

h1

‘Tom Waters Mocks You’ in ArtVoice Daily, AV’s ‘Best Of Buffalo’ Awards

April 3, 2011

Artvoice Managing Editor Geoff Kelly was kind enough to punch up a quick and engaging blurb (with cover photo) about the new book online for their ‘ArtVoice Daily’ section.  To view Geoff’s write-up (with one of the more scathing samples from the book), click over to:

http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/2011/04/01/tom-waters-mocks-you/

Thank you to Geoff and ArtVoice for the wonderful mention.  And again, I’m asking all of you to take the time and (if you’re willing), vote for me for Best Writer and Best Radio Personality in ArtVoice’s ‘Best Of Buffalo’ Awards.  Every little bit of promotion helps for Mockery and AV has a lock on the downtown Buffalo audience.  Please consider me for these two crucial categories by logging in at:

http://best.artvoice.com

This isn’t an ego thing.  I’ve never officially ‘run’ for either category before, but with the new book out, winning (or even being considered) would be a great help.  And finally, if you’d like to hear ‘Stop The Press!’, my interview with Geoff Kelly from Big Words Radio (way back in August of 2008), click over to:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/164954/episode-ix-stop-the-press

Have a great week and I’ll talk to you all soon,

Tom

h1

Tom’s Atomic Comic Giveaway Art

April 3, 2011

Flier design by Kyle Kaczmarczyk (The Red Eye, Pulp)

h1

Dee Day: Mockery Book Launch & Two New Pieces In The Buffalo News

April 1, 2011

After trimming Mockery to a fault of any essays that were decidedly serious or introspective, there was a lot left on the cutting room floor.  Now whenever I launch into a whirlwind of a book promotion, I try and get some more publishing credits in locally and nationally to raise awareness.  A few months ago I decided to send in an essay about coping with manic depression for most of my life without any regard for what the public’s reaction might be and no idea of the long-range consequences knowing full well that it would be accepted.  It ran today in The Buffalo News’ ‘My View’ Section.  Here’s the link:

 

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial-page/from-our-readers/my-view/article381948.ece

 

(You’ll also find a new breed of Club Watch review in this week’s Gusto.)

 

I haven’t touched upon this aspect of my life often before (mentioning it briefly in two or three other books) because it’s something I’m incredibly uncomfortable discussing when I’m depressed and I’ve always felt that it was a moot point when I’m manic.  A lot of people treat their diagnosis or an ailment as a crutch and I’ve never thought of bipolar disorder in those terms.  After years of dealing with it, I look at it as a gift that comes with consequences.  While I’m concerned about how the general public will react to it (anger over condoning the avoidance of prescription medications or an outpouring of sympathy over the illness itself), it’s high time to stop hiding it.

We’re at the top half of the 21st century and I won’t be part of the moral minority that still perceives any mental illness with blinders on.  That and I have an autobiography (Icarus On The Mend) due out in another year and a half that delves a lot deeper into my struggles and triumphs with manic depression.  The bottom line is that my wife and I both feel that I can function effectively in society without the benefit of medication for now.  We’ve both researched the topic thoroughly.  Those diagnosed typically get worse as they get older (longer and more debilitating depressions mainly) and our average life spans are drastically shorter due to symptom-related health hazards.

I’m hoping (rather foolishly) that the two of us can find a kind of Beautiful Mind-like cognitive anecdote to stave off the worst of the highs and lows.  This piece will be misunderstood and most likely controversial, but you and I both know that this isn’t my first rodeo in either department.

We’re mere hours away from the official launch for Mockery at Dee’s Firehouse at 7 p.m. tonight.  All in all a pretty good week in terms of print media saturation.  Whatever my life span may be, I truly hope Buffalo remembers me when I’m gone.  In the mean time, let’s have some fun tonight!

 

Tom Waters

h1

Commence Mockery in 3, 2…

March 31, 2011

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be embarking on a three month promotional junket for Mockery, what may be my final essay collection.  After a short break to allow ample time to focus on Mark McElligott’s Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind, we’re taking our act on the road to Alfred, Rochester and parts unknown.  I feel strangely peaceful about the upcoming launch and subsequent events.  Two interviews hit Buffalo this week with Metro Source Lancaster and the Lancaster, Depew, Cheektowaga and Clarence Bees.  To read Jennifer Lysiak’s interview,

 

click here: http://www.metrowny.com/news/900-442-Waters_releases_ninth_book_April_1.html

 

For an excerpt of Jolene Zanghi’s interview,

click here:  http://www.clarencebee.com/news/2011-03-30/Lifestyles/Making_a_Mockery_of_pop_culture_human_behavior.html

 

The full Bee interview will be available in four weeks.  In the mean time, you can pick it up on stands throughout Western New York.  Night Life magazine is also running some additional press about the impending launch this week.  A big thank you goes out to Jennifer and Jolene for taking the time to sit down with me at Dee’s to talk about the book, the promotional events and what I’ve got planned for the future.

Tomorrow is the official launch for the book at Dee’s Firehouse on 4628 Broadway in Depew at 7 p.m. with special musical guests One Hot Minute.  If you’ve been to a reading before, then you know how wacky and unpredictable each one can be compared to the next.  If you haven’t, then I look forward to winning the rest of you over.  I’m going to try to read something different at every event so that if you come to more than one you’ll be appropriately entertained.  In addition to having a limited amount of First Edition copies on deck for sale ($15), these are the other books I’ll have on hand:

-If They Can’t Take A Joke (HC) $20

-Breathing Room Volume I and II (Trade Paperback) $15 each

Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY (Trade Paperback) $13

 

I plan on stocking Slapstick & Superego at other upcoming events but I wanted to make sure I had a decent stockpile of Mockery to start off with.

Throughout April I’ll be contacting more of the local press and setting up more radio interviews on the FM dial.  Please help me to make this launch (and the subsequent readings) events to remember.  The turnout we’re expecting so far sounds excellent. As we transition from my book to Mark’s, I hope that you’ll give him the same level of attendance and laughter that you’d give me.  For those of you willing to take a chance on a new author, you’ll find Mark’s collection to be every bit as funny as anything I could come up with.

Thanks for all your support and encouragement over the years.  A huge thanks goes to Dee, Kathy and the rest of the madding crew at Dee’s Firehouse for making tomorrow’s launch such an easy venue to schedule and for buying multiple copies of the new book in one fell swoop.  Thanks are also in order to Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) for the great promotional flier and to One Hot Minute for performing tomorrow night.  There are some great shows lined up for the spring and summer.  I can’t wait to see you there!

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

h1

It Begins! Radio Appearances, Print Interviews & A Very Important Birthday…

March 21, 2011

Okay…

There’s a lot of ground to cover this week, so I’ll try and hit all the bases.  This Wednesday, Mark McElligott and I will be high-tailing it out to Lockport to make an appearance on Kahle & Co. on 1340 AM (WLVL) at noon.  We’ll be talking about both our books with my longtime pal Brian Kahle.

ArtVoice has started taking ballots for their 2011 Best Of Buffalo Awards.  I’ve never really rallied the troops for this contest before, but with a new book literally right around the corner, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so please take the time to log on and vote at:

www.best.artvoice.com

If you’d be kind enough to vote for me for the Best Writer and Best Local Radio Personality, I’d be deeply grateful.  I cast some votes for my favorite bars, comic shops and local artists while I was there, too.

The Mockery Book launch is NEXT FRIDAY at 7 p.m. at Dee’s Firehouse in Depew with special musical guests One Hot Minute!  I really hope to see you out there so you can meet Kathy (one of the best bartenders in Buffalo), Dee and the rest of the gang!  First edition copies of Mockery will be available for the low, low price of $15, so show up on time because they’re going to go fast.

Interviews will be hitting Lancaster Source as well as The Lancaster Bee by the end of this week.  I’ve got a new My View bombshell hitting the Buffalo News either by the end of this month or the beginning of April.  This isn’t exactly a quiet week in terms of promotions, but this is the calm before the storm.  This is the last week of quiet private life (more or less) before a four month junket of readings, signings and book promotions for two books that are definitely going to do very well for Doubt It Publishing.

And finally, my dear friend Gregg Sansonne is celebrating his 50th birthday this Saturday at Griffin’s Irish Pub on 81 Abbott. Rd. in South Buffalo at 8 p.m.  Ten years ago I was starting off with Night Life magazine writing bar reviews when we ran into each other by dumb coincidence while he was starting out as a tremendously talented musician at Route 66 (now closed) downtown.  His performance bowled me over.  His piano playing and his vocals amazed me and they still do.  Please join me, my wife and the rest of Gregg’s friends for such a monumental milestone.  Gregg has been a wonderful person to a lot of people and it’ll be nice to share the occasion with him.

Have a great week and I hope to see you all soon,

Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Episode 58: ‘Your Own Personal White-Out’

March 20, 2011

Okay, this episode was just plain wrong, there’s no two ways about it.  This month (for the radio show) has been a real rollercoaster ride of comedy between the ‘Huge Stuff I Rember From Repetition Dude On The Move Station’, and the comedic brutality unleashed upon Mark McElligott.  It’s in everyone’s best interests if we all just have some quiet time to ourselves to reflect on what we’ve done and who we’ve wronged until Fantagraphics journeyman Mark Kalesniko enters stage right in April to talk about his new masterpiece Freeway. For the time being, here’s your synopsis:

Episode 58: ‘Your Own Personal White-Out’

Tom sits down with Doubt It Publishing Author Of The Year Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) and tears him a new one.  In addition, they make some cheap wisecracks about previous co-host Terry Kimmel, statutory rape and the mentally handicapped.  All in all a good show.

To hear the new show this instant click your way to victory at:

http://www.bigwordsmevio.com

-or you can just subscribe right now for free by searching ‘big words radio’ at ‘the iTunes’ store and clicking on the Comedy listing.

The show has toned down a bit in previous months so it was refreshing to have a guest on who I was positive about being able to handle a relentless barrage of jokes that were far beyond wrong.  This is literally the worst show I’ve done on an offensiveness scale since July of 2009, so it was a treat to take the kid gloves off and go to town on an unsuspecting mark (in this case, Mark).

A big thanks goes out to Mark McElligott for being such a great sport.  In addition to getting a taste of what you can expect from his upcoming debut collection Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind, the two of us will be hitting Buffalo with a vengeance this summer to promote both of our books together in a reading frenzy.  Please click, download, subscribe, laugh, rate high and enjoy.  I’m taking a well-deserved break from podcasting until mid-April.

Enjoying long, sticky white donuts,

Tom Waters

h1

Spring Event Calendar For Mockery and Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind from Doubt It Publishing

March 15, 2011

While these appearances are far from final, here are the events we’re currently looking at for April through June.  When I add more dates, I’ll update this list.  Mark your calendars and get ready to laugh, folks!

Friday April 1st, 7 p.m. to midnight: Mockery Book Launch at Dee’s Firehouse, 4628 Broadway Ave., Depew 651-0711.  Reading and signing at 7 p.m. followed by a live performance by One Hot Minute (Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band) at 8 p.m.  First edition copies of Mockery by Tom Waters available for $15.

Saturday, April 16th, 7 p.m., Mockery Book Signing at Maryan’s, 4921 Broadway, Depew  683-0590.  Live musical performance by David Waters (Whiskey Suicide).

Tuesday, April 26th, 7:30 p.m.  Reading and Signing with author Tom Waters (Mockery) at the Lancaster Public Library, 5466 Broadway, Depew

Saturday, April 30th, 8 p.m. to midnight.  Tom’s Atomic Comic Giveaway! at Don’s Atomic Comics, 6354 Transit Rd., Depew 684-5981.  Buy a copy of Mockery by Tom Waters and get a free back issue.  Midnight madness discounts on graphic novels and collectibles.  Special Guests Josh Tonn (Costumed Crimefighter Comics, Stupid Funny Comics), Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) and Kyle Kaczmarzcyk (The Red Eye, Pulp, Monster Matt’s Bad Jokes Volume I).

Saturday, May 7th, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Caz Coffee Café, 668 Abbott Rd., Buffalo 825-7806.  Reading and Signing with Tom Waters, author of the humor collection Mockery.

Thursday, May 19th, 7 p.m., Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main St., Buffalo 837-8554.  Reading and Signing with Tom Waters, author of the humor collection Mockery.

Saturday, May 21st, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Mockery Book Reading and Signing at Stockman’s Tavern (9870 Transit Rd., Depew 688-9896) featuring Tom Waters with live music by musician Chris Squier.

Saturday, June 11th, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Caz Coffee Café, 668 Abbott Rd., Buffalo 825-7806. Reading and Signing with Mark McElligott, author of the humor collection Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind.

Sunday, June 26th, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Doubt It Publishing presents a book reading by Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broke Mind) and Tom Waters (Mockery) at Rust Belt Books (202 Allen St., Buffalo, 885-9535).  Admission is free, signed first editions of both books available.

h1

Mockery Book Launch Flyer by Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios)

March 5, 2011

h1

Mockery Soft Launch, Doubt It Publishing Blow Out!

March 1, 2011

Okay gang,
Are you ready for the big secret? I hope you’re sitting down (and why wouldn’t you be if you were at your computer?). Here it is:

-Mockery, my ninth new collection of ONLY funny rants is actually available for purchase RIGHT NOW!

The book launch doesn’t happen until April Fool’s Day (7 p.m. at Dee’s Firehouse in Depew with live band One Hot Minute). Even the local press hasn’t gotten a complimentary copy yet! And I’m going to sweeten the pot on top of all this:

-All of my lulu.com titles will be 10% off until April 1st INCLUDING Mockery.

Slapstick & Superego and Breathing Room Volume I & II AND Mockery are all available for 10% off the cover price. If you order ANY or ALL of these books any time between now and April 1st, you save money, AND you can pick up Mockery for less than what I’ll be charging throughout the launch. Think of it as a huge, wet kiss for all the years that all of you have helped me make money with your continued support doing what I love.
There are some great things in store in the next four months, so a) if you live out of town or b) if you want to save money or c) if you’d rather not make the bar appearances because you’re giving up fried food, having fun or guzzling hooch for Lent, now’s a great time to scoop up some great books. Mockery is going to retail at $15 (my lowest price on a humor collection in over 5 years). You can buy it now for $13.49. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

To buy Mockery this very instant, click here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/mockery/15050885

To visit the entire Doubt It Publishing Shop on lulu.com and save on my last three titles,
click here: http://stores.lulu.com/tomwaters

No gimmicks, no hustle. Please rate high when you visit each individual book. Three years ago I decided to publish two little poetry books on my own because I assumed they wouldn’t make any money. They made a decent amount of money for me, so I branched out. Like e.e. cummings, Allen Ginsberg and a score of other writers, I decided to go into the publishing business. Help me to turn this publishing house into a legitimate one.
Thank you so much. Mockery is a knockout collection and it’s unlike any rant book I’ve released to date. I designed the book to mimic a standup comedy act with light jokes and quick rabbit punches at the beginning, big belly laughs in the middle and a soft, fuzzy feeling at the end. The flow and pacing are better than anything I’ve done to date. I really hope you like it.
So what are you waiting for? BUY MY NEW GODDAMNED BOOK ALREADY!
Start your engines,
Tom ‘literary prostitute’ Waters

h1

Miscellaneous

February 8, 2011

            A lot of projects are in the planning stages currently and it’s more a matter of juggling and strategy than inspiration and execution.  Book 9 (Mockery) is in the last legs of pre-production and designer Eve Barbour and I are aiming for a hard April launch.  I’ve always been fond of doing book launches on April Fool’s Day (which falls on a Friday this year), so don’t be surprised if you hear about a large public event and bookstore insertion then.  At $15, it’s the lowest launch price of any rant collection I’ve ever released, so I’ll be shooting for volume rather than profit margin. 

            After that, Mark McElligott and I will be going into pre-production on his book, Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind while we schedule appearance dates at the same time.  We’re looking at a summer release date for his book around the same price point.  While Mark’s never published a book before, he’s got a diverse back ground in music, cartooning and stand-up comedy that should translate well on stage once he gets up and running.

            As for the radio show, Eisner and Harvey award winner Dylan Horrocks (Hicksville) will be talking to me and co-host Terry Kimmel on Thursday, February 24th.  Mark McElligott returns as my guest in March and in April I’ll be discussing the hilarious and often controversial books of Mark Kalesniko (Alex, Mail Order Bride). 

            After agonizing over how and when to release the autobiography (Icarus On The Mend), I’m leaning towards publishing a limited print run of 100 hardcover first editions in 2012 for around $29.95 with no complimentary copies for the local or national media included.  Everyone who knows about the book wants to get their hands on it right away, so I might as well give you all what you want.  Once those hundred are gone, I’ll release two volumes of trade paperbacks for $15 each with complementing photo negative covers and possibly an additional chapter. 

            As for the third poetry collection (Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick), I’m not sure how to gauge demand for the book, so don’t be surprised if it’s released alongside one of the autobiography print runs.  While both Breathing Rooms reached (and exceeded) the 100 copy mark, they’re more a labor of love than a concerted business decision.  Poetry is a tough sell in any market, so I was glad to net over $2000 on the first two in the first year.  The third collection will be the last for a long time, so hopefully readers will enjoy the aftermath to Breathing Room by realizing that the content is new and unusual, not just scraps left over from the first two books. 

            I’ve never had this much material on the slate before at any one time.  Hopefully by 2013 I can buy back the rights to Born Pissed and Zany Hijinx, relaunch them with better cover designs, tighter editing and a lower price point.  If there’s one single piece of advice I can offer budding writers, it’s this: Don’t publish with America House.  There’s no reason why you should give 90% of your royalties away to a publisher for a manuscript that you put 100% of your effort and inspiration into. 

            It’s a bittersweet situation to be in.  I’ve got three years before I have to write another word.  I’m considering writing a novel, but for the time being I’m going to rest and relax since this is the calm before the promotional storm.  Thank you for reading and supporting my work.  People often ask me ‘Do you make any money off of your books?’ and my answer is always that I wouldn’t keep putting them out if I didn’t.  From a fiscal standpoint, 2011 is going to be a great year to make money while making people laugh at the same time.

h1

Big Words Radio Presents The Busted Stuff Boxed Trifecta!

January 28, 2011

Yesterday was an incredible day across the board.  Dave Abbatoy, Cynthia McCaffrey, co-host Mark McElligot and I really had a blast together recording the interview portion of the show at my Lancaster grotto.  Some rough questions were asked and they weathered them out like champs.  I got both of their last names wrong and they brushed right past it like true professionals.

Shortly after taping the interview, the four of us skedaddled down to Dee’s Firehouse in Depew, where Dave and Cynthia gave a once-in-a-lifetime performance to a packed house.  Former co-hosts Zombie Chris, Diabetes Dave and Charles ‘Chezzie’ Amabile were all in attendance along with a large cast of good friends and thirty patrons.

 

Here are your synopses:

 

Episode 54: Maccatoy Vs. Nixon

In less than an hour, Tom manages to f#*$k up both Dave and Cynthia (Busted Stuff’s) last names while offending everyone in the room in addition to his wife.  Pitch-hitter co-host Mark McElligott delivers the ‘opening shot’ and the gang gets misty about Buffalo music while Tom considers stapling the back of his wife’s head.

 

Episode 53: Busted Stuff Live At Dee’s Firehouse (pt.I): The Devil Went Down To Depew

Busted Stuff opens with a scorching set to an increasingly packed house at Dee’s Firehouse on Thursday, January 27th, 2010.  Tom and his cohorts manage to drain four pitchers, a score of finger sandwiches, a double of wings and more than a few doubles of whiskey.  The crowd rejoices.

 

Episode 52: Busted Stuff Live At Dee’s Firehouse (pt.II): Bringing It All Back Home

Dave Abbatoy and Cynthia McCaffrey bring it home for the two point conversion with a once in a lifetime set list of covers, fan favorites, Tom’s favorite version of Peter Gabriel’s ‘In Your Eyes’ and a live version of their award-winning Live Lake Local Music Compilation song ‘Pray To Rain’.

 

A huge thanks goes out to Dave and Cynthia from Busted Stuff for contributing so much of their time and talent to a free show as well as my off-color sense of humor.  Thanks also to Dee, Jim, Cathy, Melissa and the rest of the gang at Dee’s Firehouse for hosting their event at their fantastic bar and restaurant.  If local bands or artists contact me in the future (and believe me, they will), I’d love to do it again at Dee’s.  Thanks are in order to Mark McElligott for co-hosting with a week’s notice and everyone who showed up for the show, ordered drinks and food en masse and helped to make the night one to remember.  So when can you listen to these historic episodes on ‘the iTunes’, you may ask?  They’re already posted.  I rushed home after the show, produced all three and uploaded them before I conked out for the night, so search ‘Big Words Radio’ on iTunes (the show listed under Comedy, NOT Literature), subscribe and rate high!  If you don’t have ‘the iTunes’, you can just as easily hear all three shows over at:

www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

Have a great rest of the week and I’ll talk to you all again in late February when I interview graphic artist/writer Dylan Horrocks with co-host Terry Kimmel!

Tom Waters

h1

Two From The Vault/MOV Legacy/Busted Stuff Countdown

January 18, 2011

     They say everything happens for a reason.  Well, two weeks ago all I wanted to do was put the new Elton John/Leon Russell album onto my iPod.  Due largely to my technical ignorance, my new computer or Apple’s stringent sharing policies, I had to wipe my entire iPod and start from scratch.  After a week, I got all of my songs back on there and then some.  In the following week, I figured out how to get Big Words Radio back onto ‘the iTunes’ through their approval process and got all of those episodes back on, too. 

            You can now subscribe to The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour on iTunes by searching Big Words radio and clicking on the show listed under the ‘Comedy’ category.  The ‘Literature’ show is outdated, so I’m working on having it taken down.  As of today, the show has received over 984 downloads in 16 days this month.  That’s pretty damned good. 

            Within the past week, I’ve uploaded all 14 of the original Monsters Of Verse shows onto their own individual site.  Apple should be approving that within the next few days, so keep an eye out for it if you have an interest in poetry and comedy.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been over three years since JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and myself set out into the Buffalo wild to spread our wings as a traveling literary triumvirate.  Maybe it’s time for a reunion. 

            As an added incentive, I also culled the last existing episode (#58) of The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal that I co-hosted on.  Hal has moved on to other areas of interest and claims that the show is over and that he’s moving on in his life.  While this saddens me (as well as many others), I was glad to be a part of the angry magic that took place every time Hal created a new episode, and I wouldn’t be a show host at all without him, so for that I am grateful.

            And last (but definitely not least), I spoke with my uncle last week and got his permission to post his debut album online.  For the first time in 25 years, Dick Lobdell’s ‘Thank You Very Much’ is available as a free download on iTunes!  Here’s the synopsis for his music site:

            From the late ’60s throughout the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and today, country singer Dick Lobdell brought country and bluegrass to Buffalo, NY, playing at bars, juke joints, honky tonks, dance halls and concerts. He continues to perform across the country to this day. This web site is devoted to sharing that love of Country and Western music with a wider audience along with Dick’s one-of-a-kind voice, journeyman guitar playing and incomparable passion.

            You can listen to the album online directly by visiting http://www.dicklobdell.mevio.com.  You can also download the album on iTunes by searching ‘Dick Lobdell’.  My uncle and I have been talking back and forth and he has some other rare live footage that we’ll be posting in the future.  As soon as it’s up, I’ll let you all know. 

            We’re also about a week away from the big Busted Stuff show at Dee’s Firehouse in Depew, so don’t forget!  It’s next Thursday (the 27th) at 6 p.m.  They’ll be playing a 90 minute set of mostly original material from their upcoming debut album and we’ll be posting the two-part show on Big Words Radio shortly afterwards.  Busted Stuff is excited.  Dee and the rest of the gang at the Firehouse are excited.  I’m pumped.  You don’t want to miss what will arguably be the best free show of 2011, so mark your calendar, call your sitter and put on your dancing shoes!

            With two books in the can and one on the way, I’ve got a two year lease on life to do whatever the hell I want creatively.  For the time being, I’m going to work on expanding the listener base for Big Words Radio and continue to strive towards great new experiments in audio and comedy.  It’s time to welcome a legion of new fans into the fold. 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Racks Up The Downloads!

January 10, 2011

2011 is already shaping up to be one hell of a year.  I checked the download stats for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour and for the month of December there were 1087 downloads on Mevio.com alone!  The Think Twice Radio site had an uptick in traffic as well, garnering 240,177 unique site hits along with 8,951 visits to the site.  What does this mean?  This means that the show is kicking ass!  I still have no idea where all of this traffic is coming from but I’m not complaining.

I urge those of you who listen to shoot me an email at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with your geographical location along with a brief description of how you came across the show. You can also phone your comments or impressions of the show in at (716) 823-1750.  The next studio show is at the end of February (with New Zealand writer/artist Dylan Horricks) and I would love to air some phone calls during the show.  Do you want to hear your voice on the air?  Do you want to plug your band, book, business or project or possibly make your way onto the show as a future guest?  Calling or emailing is a quick and easy way to do so.

I’ve also heard from some of you that Big Words Radio is no longer available on iTunes.  This simply isn’t true.  While the site was shut down on mypodcast.com, there’s a quick and easy way to switch feeds and download all 69 episodes of the show.  I did some homework today and Big Words Radio is indeed still on iTunes. If you go to http://www.bigwords.mevio.com/, just click on ‘subscribe on iTunes’ near the icon on the right hand side. You’ll be able to download any or all episodes onto your iPod within minutes.

We’re also less than two weeks away from what will surely prove to be a historic ‘parter of two’ at Dee’s Firehouse on January 27th at 6 p.m.  Dee’s is located at 4628 Broadway Avenue in Depew NY just minutes away from Transit Rd. on the corner of Broadway and Lackawanna Ave.  2010 Buffalo Night Life Music Award winners for Best Rock Duo Busted Stuff will be playing a free concert while I record the event for inclusion on Big Words Radio.  We’re all collectively putting the word out, so this concert is going to be a real barn-burner.  Mark your calendar, tell all your friends and for god’s sakes, take off of work the following day because this show is going to be epic!

Thanks for listening, thanks for downloading and thanks for spreading the word about Big Words Radio.  Please take the time to email or (better yet) call in with a quick impression on the show.  I really appreciate your support.  If it wasn’t for so many listeners, I probably never would have come back from my self-imposed hiatus.  Here’s to a bright, beautiful future for Big Words Radio!

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

h1

Also (an excerpt from the upcoming collection Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, e.t.a. 2012)

January 8, 2011

Also

f scott & zelda

had the right idea

hemingway

knew what he was doing

ellis

mcinerney

capote

chinanski

 

tie one on

 

(& off topic entirely)

salinger

 

shut out the voices

the muses

the drive to keep writing

day & night

find asylum

detox

sanctuary

a sanitarium

or a safari

away from everything

& try to forget

 

(although it goes against the grain)

 

slough it off python-like

a maturing

let it go

find comfort in 80, 90 & near toxic

proof

(s)

 

if only it were the seminal

prodigious

30s again

with a wellspring of talent

a readership chomping at the bit

& a sun that rose

also.

h1

2011: Veni, Vedi, Veci (‘I came, I saw, I conquered’)

January 2, 2011

Happy New Year everybody!

            2011 is going to be an incredibly busy year for myself and Doubt It Publishing.  I’m not even sure where to begin, but I guess we’ll proceed chronologically.

            The deadline for Doubt It Publishing’s Author Of The Year has come and gone and it’s time to make the announcement.  I’m proud to let you all know that I’ve chosen Mark McElligott’s Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind for publication this year.  It’s an uproariously funny collection of hilarious, ‘out there’ rants that made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions.  His sense of humor is a blend of Woody Allen, Dave Attell and Steve Martin.  He’s goofy, perverse and tremendously talented and we’re both looking forward to showcasing his work to a much larger audience this spring!    

            I’ve got a full slate of new bar assignments for the Buffalo News Gusto that I’ll be knocking out at a rate of one bar per week.  After reviewing The Dog House in Alden, I was saddened to discover that they closed until further notice before I had time to do the write up.  My condolences to the owners as well as the staff there for the unfortunate incident that led to their shutting down.  I had a wonderful time when I went and there was a roofing accident a week later that led to their demise. 

            At the end of this month (on Thursday, January 27th at 6 p.m.), The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour will be recording live on location by hosting a free concert with 2010 Buffalo Music Award winners for Best Rock Duo Of The Year Busted Stuff at Dee’s Firehouse on 4628 Broadway Ave. in Depew.  If you’re free, we’d love to see you at this event!  Dave and Cynthia are great people and they’re incredibly talented, so I look forward to hearing them play again.  They’re also launching a debut CD of original music around the same time frame, so hopefully they’ll have copies on hand to sell.

            As far as my autobiography goes, the first draft is finished.  Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive clocks in at a hefty 430 pages (so far) and if the book gets any larger upon revision, I may have to split it into two volumes from a cost standpoint.  I’d prefer not to charge more than $30 for the book in a soft cover format, so that could be the direction I take when the book is released in either 2012 or 2013.   The book is unlike anything I’ve written before, and while I’ve been guarding the manuscript for its explosive content and the cacophony of sensational revelations within, I’ll be auctioning off the second draft this spring.  The current bid is at $50.  If you want to read the book before it comes out, feel free to email me with a bid before spring.

            In February, I’ll be interviewing artist/writer Dylan Horrocks (Hicksville), who hails all the way from New Zealand.  This will be a studio show for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.  His breakout book was just republished this previous summer from Fantagraphics press and it’s one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read.  Don will be co-hosting with me.

            By April, my ninth collection (Mockery) will launch online and in stores.  It’s a 130 page collection of nothing but finely tuned rants and the book is layered like a stand up comedy act.  This is the first book where I’ve worked diligently on the pacing of the humor throughout the book and the effect on readers should be noticeably different and vastly improved.  It’ll retail for $14.99 and while I never say never, this may be my final essay collection.  Eve Barbour (of Eve Barbour Designs) will be working on the cover layout and interior and Ryan Miller took the cover photo (a black and white picture of me laughing at a little girl who dropped her ice cream cone).  I’ve started working on a fiction novel which I’m not prepared to discuss in any capacity yet as the work is still fresh. 

            I’m not sure what the back half of 2011 will hold for me, Doubt It Publishing, Mark McElligot and The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour, but I’m certainly looking forward to it.  This is going to be a great year and I look forward to taking the journey with all of you.  As always, stay tuned to the web sites for more details as they emerge.  To sum everything up, get ready to laugh.  A lot. 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Episodes 49 & 50: 2010 Buffalo Nightlife Music & Club Awards

December 10, 2010

Episode 50: ‘Night Life Music Awards pt.II’ or  ‘Mullets, Drooping Cleavage, Love Socks & Flaccid Roast Beef Platters’

            On Thursday, December 9th, Tom and co-host Minnick attended the 2010 Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards at Page’s Paradise Island in the technical Town of Depew, NY.  Tom talks with Ed Honeck (the publisher and sometimes editor of Night Life), Dave and Cynthia (from Busted Stuff), Tom’s Top 5 fantasy diva Lana (Black Widow), Gregg Sansonne, Frank Pussieteri (Only Frank.com), Gregg Sansonne, professional audiovisual freelancer Chuck Eckert, and Dave Koestner (Night Life).  Minnick’s worthlessness as a contributing co-host worsens while Tom gets ‘the high hat’ treatment from bartenders and shrinking violets alike.  Bands Copperhead and Vince Vega rock it out in the background.

Episode 49: ‘Night Life Music Awards Pt.I’, or ‘Objects In Front Of Us May Be Larger Than They Appear’ or ‘Third Person, No Straw’ or ‘Balloons, Bottle Blondes & Ihmotep’

            The wacky antics continue as Tom speaks with Sam Gigas (Elmwood Lounge and King’s Court).  Tom and Minnick ogle barely legal boob action, Welcome Back Kotter hair and reptilians wearing bizarre hats of all shapes and sizes.  Gregg Sansonne and Ed Honeck dish a smidgeon more during buckets of gin & tonic, shit gets crazy and Tom plans an escape route before being detained for public drunkenness.  Margo, a Lockport ‘cougar’ relentlessly hits on Tom and Minnick and Video Pix gets a free plug.  Everyone keeps asking Tom for a card and he continues to demonstrate his unprofessionalism while shamelessly plugging his books.  The boys ignore the ceremonies, log on to ‘The Facebook’, check out shambling mummies with button hats and Tom shoves things in Minnick’s mouth.  Busted Stuff bust out a stellar rendition of Peter Gabriel’s ‘In Your Eyes’ and Tom rounds out the night in the top echelon with old time pal Ed Honeck. 
 
     Minnick and I had an absolute blast last night.  Thanks to Minnick (a much better co-host this time around), Ed Honeck and everyone who contributed their time and talents to the event.  To hear both shows in full audio, click on:
    http://www.bigwords.mevio.com 
    If you haven’t signed up yet, it only takes a minute to do so.  The iTunes site is down for the time being, so this is the only way you’ll be able to hear both shows until I post on Think Twice Radio next Friday.  
    Enjoy!
    Tom Waters    
h1

2010 Buffalo Night Life Music and Club Awards

December 9, 2010

            I know it’s short notice, but I’m writing this morning to inform you of the 2010 Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards.  The event will take place this evening at Page’s Paradise Island on Transit Rd. in Depew at 7:30 p.m.  This is literally the one night out of the year where Buffalonians have the opportunity to see every great band and solo act in town under one roof.  Young ingénues, industry veterans, rock, blues, and country artists will all converge on the club to toast the best in the business.  A string of incredible acts will perform in rapid succession on the main stage and Night Life publisher Ed Honeck will hand out multiple awards to the most deserving recipients. 

            I haven’t gone since 2008, so I’m looking forward to touching base again with a lot of old friends of the radio show and beyond.  Gregg Sansonne, Michael Bly, Lenny Revell, Kevin McCarthy, Tommy Z, Black Widow, Busted Stuff, Widow Maker, Mick Hayes, Johnny James and scores of other multi-talented musicians who play out hundreds of times every year for our entertainment. 

            So if you’re not doing anything tonight (or even if you are), I’d strongly recommend that you ditch your plans and head on up to Page’s Paradise Island.  It’s one of the biggest events of the year every year and I’m certainly not going to miss it this time. 

See you there,

Tom Waters

h1

Voices From The Herd Reading Booked For Monday, December 6th@Desiderio’s!

November 9, 2010
     I’m overjoyed to announce that the writers, poets and talents behind Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY will be reading and signing copies of the book at Desiderio’s On Broadway (5827 Broadway Avenue on the corner of Broadway and Bowen) on the dinner theater stage on Monday, December 6th at 6:30 p.m.  We realize that the holiday season is a busy time for everyone, which is why we planned the event early in the month before things get too hectic.
     This is a great opportunity to enjoy a wonderful evening of free entertainment in a fine dining atmosphere, support local arts, contribute to a great cause, buy a reasonably priced book for Buffalo readers and expatriates and help out the Just Buffalo Literary Center all in the same night!  Copies of the book will be available for sale ($13) throughout the event, but supplies will be limited.  We strongly encourage you to buy a copy ahead of time through lulu.com.  Royalties are sent out directly and quarterly to Just Buffalo and so far the book has raised almost $300 for the organization. 
I’ll be recording the event for podcast inclusion for my show on thinktwiceradio.com and we’ll announce attending artists as the date approaches.  In the four years that I’ve lived in Lancaster, Desiderio’s has become a second home to me in addition to my first choice for all of my book launches.  Desiderio’s has earned a reputation for excellence at multiple locations for their exceptional food, personalized service, comfortable atmosphere and unique entertainment.       
In addition to the Voices From The Herd live reading, they’re launching ‘My Three Angels’, a play by Sam and Bella Spewak from Dec.4th through January 30th. It’s the story of three convicts who come to the aid of a good family in need. Call early to book a reservation at 683-7767. Dinner/show packages range from $36-46 depending on your entree. Thurs, Fri, Saturday dinner is 6 p.m. (Show is 8 p.m.). Sunday Dinner is 5 p.m. and Show is 7 p.m.
Desiderio’s has also announced Tom Sartori’s Holiday Caberet on December 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th. Ring in the holidays with a Buffalo native who became a singer, songwriter and recording artist who went on to play all over the country. Tom returns to Buffalo in December to perform the songs of the season with many of the Holiday Tunes you’ve come to love over the years. You’ll definitely leave Desiderio’s with the Joy of the season in your heart.
I truly can’t wait for the Voices From The Herd event on the 6th.  In a season of giving, we’re looking forward to giving you great entertainment while we all give something back to the Just Buffalo Literary Center.
Happy Holidays (in advance),
Tom Waters
Co-Editor

Voices From The Herd

h1

Mockery Alert

October 21, 2010

Wandering away momentarily from the Buffalo Arts Council scandal, I’d like to talk about my next book.  Code named ‘Mockery’, I’m planning on throwing a curve ball right past home base.  So to speak.

With three years of new material in the can and nine books (including the Voices From The Herd anthology), I’m in no hurry to release or promote something new.  Unless it’s something special. 

The idea hit me like a ton of bricks and after doing a million promotions, in-store appearances and readings over the last ten years, it was time for a change.  I thought about what I enjoyed reading, what made sense and honestly (after both Breathing Rooms), how the content naturally fit.  It’s time for a book devoted to what I do best: comedy.

Over the course of a weekend, I took about 300 pages of essays and picked out my favorites.  The lean, mean beasts of the pack.  Out of all of the available material, I harvested 130 choice pages of concentrated hilarity and lined them up to mirror the pacing, timing and structure of a standup comedy routine, with light laughs and superficial material at the beginning leading in to the crux of my angst and closing out with a strong, steady finish that brings it all back around. 

I’m a slow learner.  We’ve been over this.  But personally, as a reader, I’ve always enjoyed reading essay collections that top out at around 130 pages.  I love Andy Rooney, but he runs too long for his own good.  The funniest book I’ve ever read (or in all likelihood, will ever read) is Steve Martin’s Pure Drivel, which closes out at 130 tight, well constructed pages.  It’s high time to follow the path that Hemingway and Fitzgerald carved out.  Less is more, and economy of line packs more of a wallop than a whopper of a book in weight.

The material I’ve chosen has a flow that’s refreshing compared to my previous collections.  I’m very excited, and it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten worked up over my own work.  With a new direction and a vastly evolved battle plan, I’ve got a fresh start.  I’ll be hammering out a lower price point, too, which will attract a larger base of readers.

Slapstick & Superego was a beautiful project and a great book, and I’m proud of the material, the appearance and the layout.  I jumped ship on the promotions though simply because I was exhausted from promoting.  With Mockery, I feel energized because everything feels new again, so Slapstick will get the readings and signings it deserved right alongside Mockery

I’m proud to note that graphic designer Evangeline Barbour is heading up the cover design and interior of the book.  We’ve got a very specific look for this book that appeal to my vintage graphic novel sensibilities.  Fan favorite Mike Hilliard (better known as Intentionally Bald Mike) will be penning the intro.  I’m also in the midst of discussions with web/graphic designer Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) for a brand new web site due out before or at the same time as the book launch that wows, informs and titillates.

            The sad news is that you’re just going to have to be patient for the new book, as I’m taking my time with this one.  Tentatively slated for a spring of ’11 release, I’m going to make sure this baby is perfect before we deliver it to the rest of the world.  Trust me when I say it’ll be worth the wait.  Throw your preconceived expectations out the window and strap yourself in for a reading experience that’ll make you laugh yourself into a brain aneurysm.  I’m not even kidding.         

Stay tuned,

Tom Waters

h1

Monday Big Words Update: S&S Launch Saturday, WYRK tomorrow, John Valby Thursday!

August 24, 2009

            It’s gonna be a busy week.

            Tomorrow morning, I’ll be driving downtown to talk to Clay and Dale at Country 106.5 FM (WYRK) to give away some books on the air and discuss the big Slapstick & Superego launch at Magruder’s this weekend.  If you’re listening in, I should be on some time after 8 a.m.      This Thursday, I’ll have the distinct pleasure of interviewing John ‘Dr. Dirty’ Valby at the Think Twice Radio studio for Episode 41 of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.  Valby is a Buffalo music legend and I look forward to finding out what makes him tick over the course of the hour. 

            And this Saturday, the Slapstick & Superego book launch is finally hitting at Magruder’s in Lancaster from 6 p.m.-10 p.m.  After responding to your feedback from a questionnaire last spring and tailoring this launch to reader responses, I truly hope that there’s a record turnout for this event since this is my first booking at Magruder’s and I’d like it to be successful for both of us.  For those attending, the launch will take place on the second floor of the building.  Signed copies of the book will be available for $19.99, so bring your wallet and a sense of humor!  September looks like it may be too hectic for any readings or in-store promotions, so this will probably be your only chance to get the book before October!  Don’t miss out!

            Night Life Magazine drops this week with ‘Babes On A Plane’, a rant about, well, babies on planes from Slapstick & Superego. 

            That’s all I’ve got for today.  I hope to see you all this Saturday at Magruder’s and wish me luck tomorrow and Thursday!

            Tom Waters

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Kahle & Co. This Weds., WYRK in August, Snafu w/Infringement…

July 27, 2009

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, have me as a friend on Facebook (or joined the Big Words I Know By Heart Group or the Big Words Radio Group), you’ve gotten your share of sneak peaks for each Monday and Wednesday Update as each newsworthy item develops. So if you haven’t yet, feel free to friend me and join the groups! Now on to everything else…

I’ll be going on the ‘Kahle & Co.’ radio show this Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. on 1370 AM (WLVL) to talk with Brian Kahle about Slapstick & Superego as well as the upcoming launch. Make sure to tune in since Brian and I always manage to have a good time getting caught up. I also got a confirmation late last week that I’ll be going on Country 106.5 WYRK on Tuesday, August 25th with Clay and Dale in the morning (around 8 or 8:30 AM) to talk about the book launch a few days beforehand. Clay and Dale are great guys and I’m really looking forward to going back for the first time in a few years to talk shop with them.

I also had a great time taking part in the Buffalo Infringement Festival at Neitsche’s two days ago. There were a lot of great bands, I ran into a few people I wasn’t expecting to run into, and Kyle Kaczmarzcyk and I split a table and did the meet-and-greet with many of the festival attendees. Unfortunately, I was off on my times for BOTH shows I was supposed to participate in on Sunday and was unable to make either of them. This was a minor scheduling error that turned into a massive clusterf&%#k, so I apologize if you came out to see me at either event. I rarely (if ever) miss a gig, but when I do, it’s a doozy, so again, sincere apologies…

 As for Big Words Radio, both new sites are tracking at around 352 total downloads for the month of July. Not too shabby. I’ve got two or three more episodes to post on mevio.com and I’m phasing one ‘classic’ Big Words show per week on podomatic, so it’s nice to see that the show is picking up new listeners via multiple avenues on the web as well as ‘the Ipod’. It would be really nice if mypodcast.com could get their stat tracker back up on running, but I’m not holding my breath.

And finally, Night Life magazine rolls out this week with part 2 of ‘Perpetual Estrogen’, my categorical essay on the universal traits of women. Grab it while it’s out!

So please tune in to WLVL this Wednesday or if you have the time and inclination, catch me at Nobody’s Art Space this Saturday or Nietsche’s this Sunday for the final lap of the Buffalo Infringement Festival! Have a great week,

Tom Waters

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Slapstick Launch Revisited, Infringement, Kahle & Co. Visit, & John Valby Booked For Big Words Radio!

July 21, 2009

Okay, I’ve got a helluva lot of ground to cover this week, so I’ll attempt to do it as quickly as possible…. First off, if you didn’t catch the announcement last week, the official book launch for Slapstick & Superego is going down on Saturday, August 29th at Magruder’s Restaurant (2nd floor) from 6-10 p.m.. Signed first editions will be available for $19.99, so mark your calendar and round up the calvalry.

Secondly, I’ll be at the Buffalo Infringement Festival this weekend as well as next weekend to hawk some books and perhaps read some new material. For times and locations, click on over to their web site at: http://infringebuffalo.org/showInfo.php?id=51.

Next Wednesday, I’ll be popping in to talk to long-time pal Brian Kahle about the new book and the book launch during his ‘Kahle & Company’ radio show on 1340 AM at 12:30 on WLVL. Brian’s a great guy with a loyal following and I always make a point of popping in on his show every time a new book comes out, so tune in if you’ve got the time.

And speaking of radio shows, I got confirmation this weekend that John ‘Dr.Dirty’ Valby will be appearing on the next studio episode of Big Words Radio on Thursday, August 27th at 7 p.m.! John is a legend in the Buffalo music scene and I’m exhilarated that I’ll have a chance to sit down and talk to him about his illustrious career. As far as Big Words Radio goes, I’ve posted over 30 existing shows onto the new sister site at http://www.bigwords.mevio.com. In seven days, the show has been downloaded 70 times so far and their audience is just getting their first taste! The stat breakdown is pretty comprehensive, and it gives me the benefit of a full breakdown on individual episodes downloaded, most popular shows, etc. All 50+ shows should be up on mevio by week’s end.

And finally, Night Life magazine drops this week with Part 1 of ‘Perpetual Estrogen’, a categorical look at the universal rules regarding women. Grab a copy on stands everywhere!

With a clear launch date, I’ll be devoting more time this week to setting up promotional spots leading up to the launch as well as a bevy of appearances throughout the fall following the launch. The motto for the S&S junket will be ‘less is more’: less appearances with more publicity behind each individual booking. After coming out of a six month junket with both Breathing Rooms, I’d rather make each spot count than exhaust myself with an obstacle course of endless spots. The next twelve months should be twice as successful and just as busy as the last twelve.

So stop out to Infringement this weekend, tune into 1340 next Wednesday and I’ll drop you all a line later this week!

 Sincerely,

Tom Waters

h1

Quixote Wednesday Update! At Long Last, The Slapstick & Superego Book Launch Announcement!

July 16, 2009

            After a lengthy online questionnaire, plenty of feedback and half a summer of ironing out the fine details, I’m pleased to announce the official launch for Slapstick & Superego. 

            You are cordially invited to attend a live (and recorded) evening of comedy to commemorate the release of my eighth book on Saturday, August 29th from 6-10 p.m. on the second floor of Magruder’s restaurant located at 4995 Broadway in Lancaster.  Mark your calendar now because the evening is going to be one to remember. Admission will be free, but multiple book purchases are strongly encouraged.   

            Thanks to all of you for your feedback regarding the impending launch.  Out of all the responses I received, the one deal-breaker came down to everyone’s desire that the launch take place on a weekend, so you got your wish.  After an hour or two of rants, I’ll be selling and signing First Edition copies of Slapstick & Superego for the eminently reasonable price of $19.99.   

            I’d like to book a band (acoustic or soft rock, preferably), but nothing is confirmed yet.  I’ll keep you posted after I put the feelers out to a few people.    

            As a longtime resident of Lancaster, I’ve always preferred to conduct the book launches in my town, spreading out to the city of Buffalo and beyond afterwards.  I’m a small town guy at heart, and I’d rather run the regional gauntlet afterwards. 

            Expect five or six months of promotions in bookstores, bars and reading venues all over Buffalo afterwards, but if you want to scoop the book up on day one, call your sitter, ask off from work or ride out with your friends, because this particular book starts at Magruder’s. 

            I’ll be putting some time in over the next five or six weeks setting up radio spots, interviews and press coverage to publicize this event.  Please bring your friends, round up a posse and call in the do what you can so that we can make this the biggest event Lancaster has seen to date!

            All early responses on the book have been through the roof.  All of the reader feedback I’ve received thus far shows that this book is going to go the distance.  Let’s launch it in style and show the rest of Buffalo what they have to look forward to.

            I’m psyched with the new venue, the launch date, and a solid battle plan.  Early copies have been selling through by the bushel. 

            I can’t wait.

            See you there?

            Tom Waters

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Convergence

July 13, 2009

            Thank GOD I’ve got a word processing program again.  After six weeks without one, I’m surprised that I made it without clawing the walls like DeSade.  The only problem is that I’m blocked now, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering that there’s a lot of other things that need immediate attention.

            I’ll be devoting most of my free time this week to a) working on the Buffalo Anthology now that the final deadline came and went, b) writing a review on Kyle Kaczmarzcyk’s newly released Red Eye trade paperback (for ordering info visit: http://www.zombieworx.com), c) meeting on Tuesday with a certain Lancaster establishment regarding a late August book launch for Slapstick & Superego (and not the place you’d think), and d) porting the radio show over to some new sites. 

            At the risk of confusing the hell out of everybody, the stat tracker on mypodcast.com. has gone haywire and isn’t recording the amount of downloads performed since the beginning of June.  This is a serious issue and it doesn’t appear as if anyone is monitoring the site for maintenance purposes.  So if it’s not too much trouble (or if you haven’t heard the original shows yet), I’d prefer it if you listened to the show at either http://www.bigwordsradio.podomatic.com or http://www.bigwords.mevio.com.  After signing up and uploading to about two dozen sites in the last week, though, Mevio appears to be the site where I’ll be permanently moving my base of operations.  They’ve got unlimited space, easy upload interface, and a lot of other positive factors in their favor.  The podomatic site is restricted in terms of space, so I’ll be uploading one classic Big Words show per week and phasing out the oldest one if you feel like subscribing from there.  This whole process should take about a month to complete. 

            As for the official web site (http://www.tomfoolery4.wordpress.com) the unique hits took a sharp uphill climb yesterday to the tune of 90 unique hits (with the majority of hits coming from the Mitchell’s Tavern fiasco).  Stats are important to me because I like to see what shows and posts are getting play and which ones aren’t.  I also broke down and joined Twitter, so if you want to add me, you can find me under tomfoolery4. 

            Okay, enough technical mumbo jumbo.  Thanks for all the feedback on last week’s Quixote Wednesday post.  The general consensus is that I should keep bitching when I feel like it, so if I’ve got a bone to pick on a Wednesday, I’ll post it.  If I don’t, I’ll write some time later in the week just to check in with you.  Sound good?   Fair enough.

            That’s really all I’ve got for you this week.  Scoop up Night Life magazine this week for ‘Beating The Shakes’, a summer repeat about the evils of coffee addiction.  Cross your fingers for me tomorrow and hopefully I’ll have an announcement on the S & S launch! 

            Have a great week,

            Tom Waters

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Recognition, Expansion & Promotion

July 6, 2009
What a difference a few days make!
    Brian Meyer from The Buffalo News was kind enough to let me know that ‘Cherish Your Freedom On Independence Day’ (the My View piece that ran on July 4th) was their #1 article on buffalonews.com for July 4th and the better part of July 5th!  I was hoping that the article would strike a chord with readers, but I had no idea it would hit home with so many!  I was astonished last year when I found out that the Town Of Lancaster sealed ‘Lancaster Feels Like Home To Me’ into a 100 year time capsule, but this is quite a milestone in its own right.  Thanks to all of you who read My View and thanks for all the kind words of praise.  It means a lot. 
    In addition, I’ve been spending some time this weekend getting the word out online on The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.  Without getting into too much technical mumbo jumbo, I’ve syndicated some of the earlier shows on to podomatic.com and listed the show on a great deal of directories and feed aggregators.  This basically means that there’ll be more online beacons for the uninitiated to find the show.  While the mypodcast.com site has plenty of room and looks sharp, they’ve been having some problems with tracking accurate statistics in the last six weeks, so I’m looking at some alternatives for setting up shop down the road.  In the mean time, I’ll be experimenting with some of these other free hosting sites and seeing which one works best before setting up shop for good on another site.  If you want to check out, become a fan of, or subscribe to the sister site, here’s the address:
    http://www.bigwordsradio.podOmatic.com
    The stats for the show on podomatic are pretty all-inclusive and they give me a better indicator of how well each show is doing, how many people are listening, etc.  My goals for Big Words Radio Year 2 are to reach a larger audience, book bigger and better celebrities, and scale back on the number of new shows in order to strive for quality over quantity.  I’ll be implementing a lot of these goals over the course of this summer.
    And later this month (as well as the beginning of August), I’ll be taking part in the Buffalo Infringement Festival downtown to promote Slapstick & Superego before the official launch.  I’m still ironing out the details for the launch, but here are the dates, locations and times where you can catch me during Infringement:
    7/25 9pm Nietzsche’s (Part of Space Alien Love Fest)
    7/26 5pm – 7pm Rust Belt Books (Solo)
    7/26 5pm – 8:30pm Rock Harbor Yard (Part of Zombie Fest)
    8/1 9pm Nobody’s Art Center (Part of Nobody’s Pirate Party)
    8/2 8pm Nietzsche’s (Part of Infringement Awards Ceremony and Closing Party)
    A big thanks goes out to organizer Josh Smith for working around my hectic schedule to make this happen as well as the rest of the organizers for the Buffalo Infringement Festival.  This will be the first time I’ve taken part in Infringement, so I’m looking forward to the experience and I’m intrigued to meet and greet with some of the other artists, poets, musicians and writers taking part in the event.  If you’re calendar is free at the end of July or the beginning of August, come out and say hi!
    And finally, Night Life magazine hits the stands with a vengeance today with ‘How To Be A Slob -or- Why Martha Stewart Won’t Return My Phone Calls’, an older essay from Zany Hijinx. 
    That’s all I’ve got for you today.  Lindsay and I are still working on getting a word processing program for our loaner, so I’m holding off on writing anything new since I abhor Wordpad and would rather wait to write on something I’m familiar with.  I’ll talk to you all in two days,
    Tom Waters
h1

2 poems in AV this week, My View this weekend…

July 3, 2009
    I was thumbing through ArtVoice yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to see that they ran ‘token excuses for block’ and ‘listening to thelonius monk’ (from Breathing Room Volume I) in their ‘in the margins section’ in this week’s issue!  I still don’t have the slightest idea when the Joe Nickell interview is running (if ever) along with another piece I was assigned to write, spent money on and wrote LAST SUMMER, so it was nice to see a few poems that were recently accepted run so soon.  As for the other two, this has happened so many times with no clear indicator as to why the pieces haven’t run that I’ve lost any hope of them seeing print in AV.
    As for other publications, be on the lookout in the Buffalo News My View section this weekend (most likely on July 4th) for ‘Declaration’, a new essay I wrote about how Independence Day means a lot more to me than just fireworks and backyard barbeques.  I showed it to my buddy Brendan (the same one who recently co-hosted Episode 40) and he gave it the thumbs up, so odds are that it’s going to go over like gangbusters.  
     I hope you enjoy your 4th of July and don’t forget to grab a copy of ArtVoice and the Buffalo News this weekend!
    Tom Waters 
h1

Monday Big Words Update! Clearing The Slate

June 29, 2009
By the end of this week, I’ll be completely caught up on all previous radio shows.  At some point in the next two days, I’ll be posting a concert with Buffalo jazz great Will Holton live from the Tralf.  I also found a hilarious bonus clip from the anniversary show with Zombie Chris.  You can find that on the Big Words Radio site right now!  Aside from a few other odds and ends, that brings me totally up to speed so that I can finally start working on some new One Man Mobile Units. 
    And it looks like my co-host Man-Whore Mike and myself will be flying solo this Wednesday for the Think Twice in-studio date, so buckle up, because my only recourse is a no-holds barred skewering of my co-host ala the Auntie Linda episode.  The shows were beginning to get tame anyway, so this should be a nice return to core values. 
    It took three months to get the radio show current, from building a new site and porting all of the previous shows to editing and producing the backlog.  Sadly, my interview with Will Holton from November is lost to the ages, along with the final Monsters Of Verse performance.  The show must go on, though. 
    And whenever we get our new computer in, I’ve got some serious catching up to do with the Buffalo Anthology Project, as well as the working manuscript for poke the scorpion with a sharp stick.  The downside of having such a productive year is that it’s going to take me another six months to get caught up with the existing material I have.  Between those two tasks and the upcoming promotional launch for Slapstick & Superego, I’m gonna have my hands full for the rest of this calendar year without writing so much as one more word.  It’s good to be busy, but it stinks just a little bit that I can’t continue to create some new essays at the expense of short-changing three very full time endeavors.  I’ve got a lot of work to do.
    I’m still working on a venue and launch date for Slapstick & Superego.  I hope to have some concrete details by week’s end so that we can set a date, schedule some radio appearances and work on getting some posters up in any place that’s pliable to a stapler.  I can’t work on the anthology until I can access the existing manuscript and start popping the new submissions in, so I’m stuck waiting for perhaps another few weeks.  So we wait a little while longer…
    And the new issue of Night Life magazine hits the stands today with ‘Butch & Tom’, a reprint of an older essay about how much I’m turning into my father in my old age. 
    That’s all I’ve got for today.  I’m getting really sick of complaining about the same things this summer and I’m sure you are too, but I don’t have a choice other than being happy with what little forward progress I’ve been able to make on the creative endeavors I have access to.  Have a great week,
    Tom Waters 
h1

Some 3 months later, April Foolfest 2 is finally online!

June 26, 2009
    Okay, so these two took a while to edit, produce and post.  Better late than never, though, right?  As of this morning, both portions of April Foolfest are up on the new Big Words Radio site.  Here are your snyopsi:
 
April Foolfest 2: Tom & Finny
Tom reads some new selections from Slapstick & Superego and JR Finlayson reads some new poems at Desiderio’s on Broadway.
April Foolfest 2: Lenny Revell
Without the benefit of a vocal sound system, Lenny Revell belts it out a capela to a packed house at Desiderio’s on Broadway during April Foolfest 2.
 
    To listen to both shows, click on over to http://www.bigwordsradio.mypodcast.com .  Subscribe for free on iTunes by clicking on Podcasts and searching ‘Big Words Radio’. 
 
    The portion Finn and I had includes ‘Mona Lisas & Mad Hamburgers’, the Buffalo rant from the new book that seems to be a frontrunner for a new crowd favorite.  Lenny’s clip sounded a lot better than either of us thought it would, but took a LOT of editing due to long pauses, crowd interaction etc. between songs.  Live shows are a bitch to edit afterwards. 
    And again, my next studio date is Wednesday, July 1st at 7 p.m. and I’m still looking for a celebrity guest!  If you know (or if you’re in contact with) an A or B-list national talent (or Buffalo icon), email or call me ASAP!  
    Have a great weekend and enjoy the shows!
    Tom Waters 
h1

Monday Big Words Update! Episode 39 up, more copies of S & S en route…

June 23, 2009
After an amazing party/show anniversary on Saturday (and some serious editing on Sunday), Big Words Radio Episode 39 is now online.  Here’s your synopsis:
 

Synopsis:
     Tom looks back on a wildly successful first year for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour by throwing a party. Former co-hosts reflect on their experience on the show, SoCo Mike commits a serious faux pax by using a vintage Robin The Boy Wonder glass for his cocktail, and special musical guest The Pheonix Resistance rock it out with an original composition (‘Neverending Grace’).
 
To hear Episode XXXIX, click on: http://www.bigwordsradio.mypodcast.com
 
To subscribe to Big Words Radio on iTunes, log on, click on ‘Podcasts’ and search ‘Big Words Radio’.
 
    And the first batch of Slapstick & Superego came and went in rapid succession.  I’ve got another payload of first editions in transit as we speak and should have them in by Wednesday, so if you want one, speak now or forever hold your peace, because they’re going fast!  Early first impressions on the book have been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the general public thinks once they get their hands on the book late this summer. 
    As far as the yet-to-be-published episodes, I spent last week working on April Foolfest 2.  For a two and a half hour spoken word/music concert, there’s a lot of editing to be done.  Much like the new book, I’d rather take the time to get it right the first time than release an unfinished product, so keep your eyes peeled on the web site and hopefully I’ll be done with it some time this week. 
    And Night Life magazine hits the stands this week with ‘Docker Bums’, an essay about the increasing laziness of our modern world.  With limited access to my backlog, I’ve had to resort to some reprints until the computer crisis passes…
    And that’s all the news that’s fit to print this Monday.  Thanks to everybody who made the party such a huge hit, thanks to everyone who helped/participated on the radio show in the last year, and thanks to the new owners of Slapstick & Superego!  I’ll have your Quixote Wednesday Update for you in two more days…
    Tom Waters
h1

Monday Big Words Update: Out Of The Ashes…

June 15, 2009
    This is one of those Frosted Mini-Wheats sort of weeks.  I’ve got alternating good news and bad news:
     The Big Words Radio One Year Anniversary Party is only six days away!  The good news is that I’ll have pre-launch copies of Slapstick & Superego available for $19.99.  The bad news is that I’m only going to have 10 copies to sell, so if you want to be one of the first to get one, yesterday would be a good time to let me know.  Seriously, if you want one of the first copies, let me know ASAP because they are going to go quickly.  Drop me an email ahead of time at:
     bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com
     if you’re interested.  If you can wait until the next payload, by all means do so.
     Our computer is broken beyond repair.  That’s bad.  We’re salvaging what parts we can and all of my original book files (including the Buffalo Anthology Project) will be intact once we get our new Frankenstein monster in two weeks.  That’s good.
     I’ve got all of my current sound files ported over onto the loaner we’re using while our PC is under construction.  This is good news, as I can start knocking out some radio shows from my backlog and posting them up before week’s end.  After a brief upgrade, I still don’t have Microsoft Word or a comparable word processing program.  This sucks.  I’m going on four weeks without the capabilities to write something new without a very time-consuming and roundabout process.  This is worse than writer’s block because I’d really like to get back into some of the projects I’ve been toiling away on and I still can’t.  I suppose I should be grateful that I can work on the radio show, though.  Life’s full of delightful little curve balls.
     That should bring you all up to speed.  The new issue of Night Life assaults the stands this week with ‘Assault On Mitchell’s Tavern’.  You read the blog first almost instantaneously after the incident occurred and now the 70,000 readers of Night Life magazine can read all about it as well.
     Circle on back in two days for your regularly scheduled Quixote Wednesday Update.  Laywer/musician Michael Bly sent a supportive email regarding the Mitchell’s Tavern fiasco and with his permission I’ll be posting it for your enjoyment.
     That’s all I’ve got for today.  As soon as a new radio show is up, you’ll be the first ones to hear about it.  That is unless you’ve already subscribed to the show for free on iTunes (just search ‘Big Words Radio’ in the Podcasts section if you want to join in on the fun).  I’m a fast typer, but the iTunes update is faster.  Talk to you all in two days,
     Tom Waters 
h1

Monday Big Words Update! Big Words Radio Anniversary Party Reminder and more…

June 8, 2009

Monday Big Words Update! Party Reminder and more…

     In less than two weeks (Saturday, June 20th), I’ll be throwing a one year anniversary party for the Big Words Radio show at our Lancaster grotto from 3 p.m.-3 a.m.  Anyone who’s ever been a guest or a co-host on the show  is invited along with the usual suspects.  I’ll be recording five minute roast clips from each alumn and cobbling them together for a radio show afterwards, so come with some ammunition.  The Johnny Berlin Band will also be performing for the party from 8 p.m. on, so get ready to rock out with your c&$3k out!  If you’re interested in attending the party (and you’re fairly certain you’d be a welcome guest in my home), drop me an email at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com
     I heard Johnny Berlin play a few weeks ago and I was really impressed.   He’s got a strong heavy metal style with an understudy in acoustic ballads, so the band should have something for everyone.  We were planning on recording a music two-parter before the party, but Lindsay and I are STILL waiting on a part for our computer, so everything is still up in the air.  I was also planning to have pre-launch copies of Slapstick & Superego, but I’m STILL waiting on five final revisions that can’t be ignored.  If the book is available by June 20th, be pleasantly surprised.  This is the longest amount of time any book has taken me in pre-production, so I gaurantee that it’s going to be perfect.  
     And speaking of the radio show, Night Life magazine hits the stands today with the conclusion to ‘Oral Technique’, an essay regarding the one year mark.  If you’re not local, ‘Oral Technique’ is also up on this month’s issue of Acid Logic at acidlogic.com.  
     As for other freelancing/promotional gigs, two poems from Breathing Room Volume I (‘token excuses for block’ and ‘listening to thelonious monk’) got accepted with ArtVoice last week.  Their publication calendar for poetry is a bit irregular, so keep your eyes peeled because they could be appearing this week, next week, or ten weeks from now.  I also got notification that I’ll be appearing during the Buffalo Infringement Festival downtown in late July/early August.  Once I have specific dates, I’ll let you all know.  
     Aside from that, I have no other news.  The only way I can write on our loaner is by composing an email inside AOL and then copy and paste, so I’m on a bit of a forced break.  What’s scary is that I really don’t HAVE to write for the next two years or so.  The next three books are already complete, so for the first time ever, I can take my time when it comes to working on new material.  
     Stay tuned this Wednesday for your regularly scheduled Quixote Wednesday update.  I’ll be publishing the original review draft for Mitchell’s Tavern since we decided not to run it.  Have a great week and I’ll talk to you all in two days,
     Tom Waters

h1

Monday Big Words Update!: Pekar Approaches, A Brief Respite, and What’s In Store For The Summer…

May 11, 2009
In two more days, I’ll have the opportunity to interview another one of my heroes for Big Words Radio: Harvey Pekar.

By Wednesday night (around nine p.m. Eastern), Episode 38 of Big Words Radio will be up on the Think Twice Radio web site with (arguably) one of the biggest guests to appear thus far. Pekar is a legend and a pioneer in the field of black and white indie comics and the opportunity to speak to him is eclipsing most of my activities this week.

Wednesday morning, I’ll be co-hosting and recording a hotly anticipated return to another controversial pod cast: The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal. Hal hasn’t had a new show in almost six months and after numerous technological upgrades in recent weeks, he’s asked me to join him so that we can offend the remaining civilians on the planet who haven’t found fault with our highly offensive, frequently upsetting and often hilarious pairing. Hal’s show is a bit higher on the production end, so don’t expect to hear (or see) Episode 63 until some time next week on his official site at powunclehal.com. Wednesday’s going to be a busy day.

Also, ArtVoice informs me that my interview with Center For Inquiry ghost-hunter extraordinaire Joe Nickell will be hitting the pages of their new issue this Thursday. Keep your eyes peeled for it this Thursday. On the Night Life magazine side of things, this week’s issue closes out the conclusion to ‘Tom & Twig’, a new essay about how many traits I’ve picked up from my dear old mum.

Aside from that, I’ll be taking a break from writing-related email, the official web site, and the Big Words Radio site from Thursday, May 14th through Tuesday, May 27th. After four straight weeks of building the new site up from scratch, re-tooling 35+ shows, slaving away on completing Slapstick & Superego and coming to a close on Monsters Of Verse, I could use a break. Again, please refrain from emailing from 5/14 though 5/27 as your email will go unanswered until the 27th or afterward.

I may post one final Quixote Wednesday update before the jump, but I’m not making any promises. For most intents and purposes, this will be my last online update before the last week of the month. While it would seem sometimes as if I never stop writing, even I can use a break once in a while.

June holds a soft launch for Slapstick & Superego (invite only), a One Year Anniversary Party for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour (same day, invite only) and a heck of a lot more. Expect more new shows, a lot of forward progress on the Buffalo Anthology Project, one hell of a sharp looking new book, and a few other announcements regarding the official book launch slated for either late July or some time in August.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Enjoy the rest of your week and don’t forget to log on to Think Twice radio Wednesday night! American Splendor commencing in 5, 4, 3…

Tom Waters

 

h1

Um…Has Anyone Ever Heard Of ‘the Itunes’?

May 8, 2009
 

For the first time ever, it is now possible for all of you to ‘dial it up’ on your Ipod. As of this week, Apple informed me that The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour (all 36 existing ‘podisodes’?) passed their grueling approval process, so in addition to visiting the site online at its new second home (www.bigwordsradio.mypodcast.com), feel free to subscribe or download directly on Itunes! Just pop onto Itunes, search ‘Big Words Radio’, and BAM! You’re there! It’s never been easier to listen to my nonsense, and when you subscribe, the newest shows will pop up on your Ipod before I even send out the announcement! So the question isn’t necessarily ‘do you like apples’, but ‘do you like Apple’?

And there is still a mountain of back-logged shows that’ll be going up in the next few weeks! As of this morning, the final (and first, oddly) installment of ‘We’ve Got Gregg’s Back’, the benefit for Gregg Sansonne, is up on the site featuring a knockout performance from Buffalo Music Award-winning dynamic duo Busted Stuff! The entire benefit (including my corny jokes on mc detail) is up for your enjoyment in chronological order, so you can listen to the concert the same way those of us who attended heard it, minus the long pauses, band warm-ups, or frequent Chinese Auction announcements.

What can you look forward to hearing in the future, you may ask? April Foolfest 2 featuring yours truly spouting out Slapstick & Superego, JR Finlayson doing what he does best busting out mad lyrical dope rhymes and piano wunderkind Lenny Revell bringing down the house sans microphone Jerry Lee Lewis style! A ’parter of two’ interview/concert combo with local jazz saxophonist Will Holton on location at Ying’s Wings in Depew and the Tralf in downtown Buffalo, respectively. The final Monsters Of Verse performance at the Center For Inquiry. And so much more! Expect brand new ’One Man Mobile Unit’ episodes some time towards the end of May and the beginning of June!

We’re also less than a week away from superstar special guest Harvey Pekar, comic book pioneer and American Splendor icon! Stay tuned Wednesday, May 13th for the first studio show since the shocking Sara Jay episode (#35) from March!

That’s about everything for one day. Have a great weekend and have fun ’dialing it up’ on your Ipods!

 

h1

Big Words Radio One Year Anniversary Party!

May 1, 2009

What?: Big Words Radio One Year Anniversary Party!
When?: Saturday, June 20th from 3 p.m.-3 a.m.
Where?: Tom & Lindsay’s Lancaster Grotto Mansion
Who?: Friends, fans, listeners, and (especially) anyone and everyone who’s ever been on, exposed to, or involved with the show!  Former guests & co-hosts are encouraged to attend for drinks, dinner, and an opportunity to roast Tom for individual 5 minute audio clips.  The sound files will be combined for a 1 year anniversary show pod-cast.  
What The Hell Should I Bring?: A sense of humor and some booze.  Failing that, soda or a snack and proof from a doctor that you fractured your funny bone.
When The Hell Should I R.S.V.P.?: ASAP!
What The Hell Can I Expect?: Pre-launch copies of Slapstick & Superego available for sale and signing(specify if interested in RSVP as copies will be limited!), complete insanity and bedlam, a healthy meal (barbeque cookout weather permitting), a live musical guest (or guests) and a liver transplant shortly afterwards.

h1

Quixote Wednesday Update: Dan Labowski & Michael Bly Band @ Desiderio’s, Big Words Radio Onward & Upward!

April 29, 2009

Now that we’re taking a fresh approach to the concept of Quixote Wednesdays, I thought I’d spend today on some positive topics. Instead of jousting at big, heartless corporate windmills, let’s take a look at local music and a few other things, shall we?

Dan Labowski started a new open mic night at Desiderio’s on Broadway. He’s a great guy, a fantastic musician, and you probably know him better as the lead singer of the Buffalo Music Award-winning super group Suckerpunch (who, coincidentally, played a helluva concert for Big Words Radio on Episode 27) as well as the lead singer for No Excuses. The open mic is every single Tuesday, it starts at around 9:30 p.m., and it’s open to everyone: musicians, comedians, you name it. So if you’re not doing anything one of these Tuesdays, come up and see Dan do his thing! I didn’t realize how diverse Dan’s style was myself until I heard him play a few opening sets. I’ve seen him play out every week for the last four weeks at Desi’s and truly deserves a bigger turnout. Having hosted an open mic myself (way the hell back in 2001), I know just how hard it is to start something new and get a following going. Open mics aren’t as predominant as they were back in 2001, so again, do me a solid and support my buddy!

I’m also pleased to announce that Michael Bly (another former Big Words Radio alumn from Episodes 17 & 18, respectively) will be performing THIS SATURDAY at Desiderio’s on Broadway at around 10 p.m. Mike is a dear friend of many years, a hell of a performer and a great showman. He’ll be playing some material from his upcoming CD Release this Saturday backed by the entire Michael Bly band, so do yourself a favor and come on out! It should be a great concert and the wife, myself and Intentionally Bald Mike will be there rocking out and slamming shots along with the rest of Lancaster’s party people!

Are you noticing a theme here? Big Words Radio. After two and a half back-breaking and grueling weeks, I’m proud to announce that ALL 35 original episodes of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour have been transferred to the new web site complete with pretty pictures, quick download links and relatively accurate posting dates. What does this mean? This means that I can FINALLY start posting all of the new shows from the last six to eight weeks. What’s that web site again, you say? Glad you asked:

bigwordsradio.mypodcast.com

So get the hell over there and download to your heart’s content! And when you get there, you may notice a BRAND NEW EPISODE that you won’t find anywhere else on the web! This morning, I edited, produced and uploaded legendary Buffalo Music Award-winning band Black Widow’s hour-long performance from the Gregg Sansonne: We’ve Got Gregg’s Back benefit. The sound quality was crystal clear, the band brought the house down, and the emcee was less than despicable (yours truly). You may notice that there’s no episode number attached to the post and there’s a damned good reason for that: there are FOUR more concert shows from the same day and I’ll be posting them all in a row! By this time next week, each performance from Busted Stuff, The Mick Hayes Band, Only Humen (with a cameo from Michael Bly) and Gregg Sansonne himself will be up on the new site in chronological order! Not to mention the fact that it’s free! So click over, download those bad boys onto your Ipods and rock out with some great Buffalo Bands compliments of Big Words Radio!

I’ve got a lot more in store for that site and now that the past is taken care of, I can start tinkering on the present and the future. I’ll save a few surprises for next week, but check the site often and you might hear a show before I mention it.

So to recap: Dan Labowski open mic at Desiderio’s every Tuesday from about 9:30 throughout the evening. The Michael Bly band this Saturday at Desiderio’s. The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour at it’s new home with a new show. Have a great rest of the week and hopefully I’ll see some of you out this Saturday!,

Tom Waters

h1

Monday Update! Five Minute Video Premiere/Happy Dyngus Day!

April 13, 2009

Dyngus Day is literally one of my favorite party nights of the year, and it’s one of the only times when you can hear so many great Buffalo Polka Bands, pig out on reasonably priced buffets (especially the smoked Polski Kielbasa), and use a water pistol in a bar without getting rolled. Because of this, this Monday Update will be especially brief since I’d like to get a nap in before the evening’s festivities commence.

Night Life hit’s the stands this week with Part II of ‘Pronunciation’, a new essay that covers the events before, during and after our marriage in September. It’s a serious essay (and a long one), but the pacing seems right and the piece flows well, not to mention that there was a lot of info to cover.

There was a MASSIVE new amount of content uploaded onto The Dirty Bomb in the last week (3 graphic novel reviews and a comic-related update having to do with Dean Haspiel and Harvey Pekar), so if you haven’t yet, scoot yourself over to donsatomiccomics.com and click on ‘The Dirty Bomb’ link on the home page. I’d give you a direct link, but WordPress has been an unconscionable pain in the ass lately with site links.

As far as other freelancing gigs go, the ArtVoice assignments keep chugging along. I wrapped up a sharp interview with CFI resident ghost hunter Joe Nickell last week that should be appearing soon. You can also feel free to check out ‘The Department Of Goofing Off’ in this month’s online issue of Acid Logic at acidlogic.com and if you’d like to comment on the graphic novel reviews in a larger national forum, throw your two cents in over at comics bulletin.com.

Aside from that, I don’t have a lot of news for you. There are a lot of radio shows under production right now, but none have popped yet. Check back for a heads up as soon as I get it. I’ll be appearing on Time Warner Cable public access for the next five weeks (as well as online for the next two years) with a segment for Think Twice’s ‘Five Minute Video Series’ (entitled ‘I Push People): Here’s the web site address and subscriber channel info straight from my producer, Richard Wicka:

http://www.hotftv.net/five-min-series/five-min-index.html
(Adelphia cable subscribers can watch the Five Minute Video Series:
City of Buffalo: Fridays channel 20, 7:00 PM
Suburbs of Buffalo: Mondays channel 20, 10:30 PM)

With a mug made for radio, I’m not sure how I feel about the segment (I haven‘t even watched it yet), but I’ll try anything once.

That’s it for this week, folks. I’m twenty pages away from correcting every last bit of Slapstick & Superego, so we’re getting down to the very last of the pre-production snafus before rolling the book out some time in June or July. Have a safe and festive Dyngus Day and don’t forget to swing on back in two for Quixote Wednesday!

Doing shots every time the Pennsylvania Polka plays tonight,

Tom Waters

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Slapstick & Superego Final Stages/April Foolfest 2 Next Week/Gregg Sansonne Benefit THIS SUNDAY!

March 24, 2009
While this is an exciting time, for many reasons that I can’t divulge, the next six months will be highly irregular. I’m happy to report that I’m currently in possession of the only copy of my next book on the planet and I’m re-reading it (a painful process for me) for typos.

Slapstick & Superego is so close to the finish line that I can taste it, and in many respects, it feels like the first actual book I’ve released. Instead of a resume or showcase-style format, this book was planned from start to finish as a rant collection. No interviews, no poems, no projects, just rants. It is the first concept book from start to finish, and I’m very proud of it. In addition, the introduction (by Alycia Ripley), the wraparound cover (by Ian Chrystal) and the interior layout (by Victoria Robinson) are all second to none. Early response has been through the roof, and the team effect is something I’ll be implementing as Doubt It Publishing moves onward and upward.

In the same regard (for reasons I can’t necessarily go into), I’ll be holding ONE event for the book in the next six months. Once I’m satisfied with the look of the collection, and once I’ve signed off on it, I’ll be holding a singular launch over the summer and then there won’t be any other events until November or later. After the Monsters Of Verse tour, this will be a serious change in the way I’ve done business for the previous six to eight months. Instead of promoting a few times a week, I’ll be plugging, interviewing, reviewing and doing radio spots for one event only and then disappearing into the woodwork until the holiday season.

In case you forgot, April Foolfest 2 is going down next week with musical guest Lenny Revell at Desiderio’s on Broadway at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1st. In light of the fact that Slapstick arrived in my mail box early, not only will I be showing the editing proof off to anyone who wants to see it, but I’ll read a few rants from the book from 7-9 (along with selections from both Breathing Rooms) as well. If you want to see the book before summer comes around, next week will be the time to do it. Anyone who’s been to one of the book promotions at Desiderio’s knows that they’re an event to remember (and that they tend to run all the way up to last call), so if you’re free, make it out to a free evening of tirades and truly inspiring music by new pal Lenny Revell! Aside from the last few MOV events and the Slapstick launch, you won’t be seeing too many public appearances from ‘this guy’ until the holiday ads start running on television and in your local papers, so make a point of coming out!

And closer up on the map, I’ll be emceeing for dear friend Gregg Sansonne’s ‘We’ve Got Your Back’ benefit THIS SUNDAY! Gregg is undergoing some serious (and much needed) back surgery that will put him out of the local performing circuit for at least a few months. Gregg has been like a brother to me, and he played my wedding as a gift for Lindsay and me. If you have this Sunday open (from noon to six), pop on out to the Colonel Weber V.F.W. Post and fork over the measly twenty bucks to see Black Widow, Busted Stuff, Mick Hayes and Only Humen rock the joint out for the better part of the day. There will also be a Chinese Auction, games, raffles, food and a cash bar. I’ve never emceed before, so I hope I can round out the bill without screwing anything up.

Tickets will be available (in limited quantities) at the door, but if you want to secure some in advance, feel free to contact me via email

(bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) or you can feel free to call Nicole (one of the organizers) at 341-4073. I can’t stress what a great friend Gregg has been to me and many others in the Buffalo music community over the years, so PLEASE come out and support my buddy in his time of need!

 

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Updated March-May Calendar, Two MORE Big Words Episodes With Lenny Revell!

March 2, 2009

Monday Big Words Update! Updated Mar-May Calendar, 2 MORE Big Words Shows!

First off, grab your copy of Night Life this week if you want a print version of the very well received ‘Thoughts On The Flight 3407 Crash’ essay that you all saw here FIRST online! There’s a whole block of new columns rolling out this month and they’re all popping into Night Life magazine, so grab ‘em while you can.

Moving on, if you haven’t heard the historic interview with adult film starlette Alexis Amore on Episode 32 of Big Words Radio, don’t waste another second and click over now! I’m also pleased to announce that there are two NEW episodes up in addition to Alexis’ show featuring an interview hour and a fully loaded hour and a half concert episode with national piano wunderkind Lenny Revell! Here’s your synopsi!:

2/20/09 Episode 34
Tom and Lenny meet each other for the first time, forge a heterosexual ‘bromance’ regarding their love for the music of Elton John (vs. Billy Joel), and discuss the predominance (as well as their mutual disgust) of the ’97 Rock Mentality’ on the Buffalo Music Scene.
2/20/09 Episode 33a: Piano Man
National virtuoso Lenny Revell regales Tom and his fans with a number of brilliant renditions while Tom’s brain goes on tilt due to one glass of Knob Creek and a full work day.

Click over and enjoy all the podcasty goodness over at:

Thinktwiceradio.com

Lenny was a pleasure to interview and surprisingly much better than I expected him to be on the keys (and he came highly recommended, mind you). Thanks again are in order to Lenny for rocking it out even after a full work day. Give it a listen and then buckle up and mark your calendar for April Foolfest 2 at Desiderio’s on Broadway when Lenny and I will be splitting the bill starting at 7 pm with an evening of comedy, great music, potent beverages and spectacular cuisine along with Suckerpunch’s Dan Labowski.

And (since the calendar should max out your attention span for the remainder of this post, here is the newly updated Event Calendar for the next three months. Please note the addition of two very important and very exciting bookings (Brennan’s Bowery Bar on St. Patty’s Eve and Milligan’s Pub on St. Patrick’s Day). I’ll be taking a time out from Breathing Room I and II to hawk a few dozen copies of Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars, so if you want to buy a signed copy from me in person (or just buy an Irishman a drink on or near our favorite holiday), Brennan’s and Milligan’s will be the time to do so!

There’s a lot more to cover, but I’ll pop a few posts in throughout the week. Don’t forget to check back on Quixote Wednesday for the latest crusade! Thanks,

Tom Waters

Monsters Of Verse/Breathing Room Bookings March Through May 2009

Saturday, March 14th, 6:30 P.M., Chow Chocolat (731 Main St., 843-4388), Monsters Of Verse featuring poet Josh Smith

Sunday, March 15th, 2 p.m., Big Words Studio Date with Guest Sara Jay (adult film star); co-hosts Intentionally Bald Mike and Alie

Monday, March 16th, Brennan’s Bowery Bar, 5 p.m.-8p.m., St. Patrick’s Eve signing for Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars

Tuesday, March 17th, Milligan’s Pub, 4 p.m.-8 p.m., St. Patrick’s Day signing for Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars

Saturday, March 21st, Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, Karpeles Manuscript Museum, Buffalo, 12-6 pm, (Monsters Of Verse, setup begins at 10 am), special guest author Diane Meholick (Buffalo Stories)

Sunday, March 29th, 12-6 p.m., Gregg Sansonne Benefit, Colon John Weber VFW Post, 2909 South Park Ave, Lackawanna, 823-9605 (Tom Waters hosting, tickets are $20)

Wednesday, April 1st, 8 p.m., ‘April Foolfest 2!’, Desiderio’s on Broadway (5827 Broadway, 683-7767), Tom only with Special Musical Guests Lenny Revell and Dan Labowski.

Saturday, April 25th, Caz Coffee Café (688 Abbott Rd., 825-7806), 7-9 p.m., Reading (Monsters Of Verse with poet Susan Marie and artist/writer Kyle Kaczmarczyk)

Wednesday, May 6th, 7 pm, Center For Inquiry (3965 Rensch Rd., 636-4869), Monsters Of Verse w/3rd poet Christina Wos Donnelly)

Wednesday, May 13th, 7 PM, Big Words Studio Date, celebrity guest TBD

h1

Thoughts on the Flight 3407 Plane Crash…

February 13, 2009
I was very torn about whether or not to write about the horrific plane crash late Thursday night/early this morning, but I feel compelled to. While most people cope with any tragedy of this magnitude, they tend to relate to the event by making it about them. I’ve always shied away from writing about celebrity deaths or Buffalo tragedies because I would rather mourn in my own time than jump onto a bandwagon and vie for recognition in the classic journalistic tradition of grabbing headlines or boosting site hits by banking on the loss and grief of others.

While it’s appropriate and relevant to report an event regarding the who, what, where, why and how, oftentimes writers inject their own egos in situations like these where it’s not warranted (i.e. ‘I met Jimmy Griffin at a church function in ‘76’ or ‘September 11th was important to ME because I was doing THIS on that day and my cousin’s sisters’ husband was down the street’, etc.). While many of my essays are egocentric, I strongly frown on this sort of narcissism in professional writing. Lives have been lost and this has nothing to do with me or anyone else who tries to make it about them. If more people read between the lines in whatever newspaper they read or any cable news station that milked such an awful occurrence for everything it was worth, they’d realize just how exploitative and heartless the field can be.

In this instance, I’d like to say a few things. I was born, raised and lived in Clarence for 26 years before moving out of town to Amherst and then Lancaster. It will always be a part of me and living a half an hour away, that sounds foolish, but there is a definite cultural difference between Clarence and Lancaster. I wrote an article some time back in the Buffalo News My View column about my love for Lancaster and the fact that (like anyone aging and finding out that they ‘can’t go home again’), Clarence has become more populated and less rural over the course of the last twenty years. Over the summer, the Town of Lancaster was kind enough to include this article in a time capsule that was sealed in a building for the next 100 years. Clarence loyalists didn’t take to this article too kindly, but many alumni from high school agreed.

Since my parents’ home is on the border of Williamsville, we spent the majority of our year directly in the flight path leading to and from the Buffalo airport. Most people who live in Clarence can hear the planes that depart and arrive throughout the day and it became so commonplace that we learned to tune it out. It was part of growing up and living in Clarence. For all of us.

In December, I obtained a part time job in Clarence where I remain and work three days a week. It’s given me a great opportunity to reconnect with the town I grew up in and visit with old school chums or familiarize myself with the surrounding townships, bars and roads. The Goodrich Road/Clarence Center Rd. area (where the crash took place) is not only five minutes away from Clarence Central High School, it’s also ten to fifteen minutes away from my place of employment. The Clarence Middle School is also five minutes away from the crash site.

My heart goes out to the victims and families of flight 3407. Early reports are already confirming that most of the 49 people who died in the crash were Buffalonians. It was a horrible, horrible tragedy and most of us will be coping with the loss and grieving in our own ways throughout the weekend and well beyond.

With any unexpected death or national disaster, I try and look for the positive effects and ramifications that weigh out all the negative and saddening events. For those familiar with the Goodrich Rd./Clarence Center area, it’s a highly populated, well-developed suburban area on the border of Amherst and Clarence Center.   With two neighboring schools, a firehall and densely populated neighborhoods, it’s a godsend that more people weren’t hurt. It’s also very fortunate that the crash took place so close to the Clarence Center Fire Hall. Luckily, their response time was much faster than it would have been had the crash taken place further away from their station. What happened was awful. If the crash happened further out, though, the fire could have cost more lives and caused more property damage (during a Buffalo winter where we’ve already had plenty) than it did.

It’s always especially painful when any deaths occur so close to a major holiday. It seems as if the really decent people always die near national holidays. Again, my condolences to the friends and family of the victims in the plane crash. You will be in everyone’s thoughts and prayers in spite of living in a world of exploitative, ulterior and sensationalistic media overexposure where any tragedy is concerned.

Hopefully Buffalo media outlets won’t milk the crash for their own selfish purposes too much in the coming weeks. It would be nice to see ANY media outlet take the moral high ground by being tasteful and conservative on their take as opposed to disrupting the grieving process by hammering surviving relatives with questions for weeks on end and conducting around-the-clock coverage long after all relevant facts have been released and the news portion of the story is gone and the dead horse portion of the exposure truly begins. Please be tasteful and remember that it’s not always ’all about you’ or ’all about Buffalo’ when handling the story. For once. See also: Tim Russert, Jimmy Griffin, anything having to do with the Goo Goo dolls, etc. Real journalists will attempt to write about the story tastefully and objectively within a short time frame. Again, our thoughts and prayers will be with you.

 

h1

Big Words One Man Mobile Unit Episode 27 (at long last): Suckerpunch!

January 2, 2009
Yup,
 
    Much like the Kevin McCarthy two-banger, Suckerpunch was kind enough to record two separate hours (one interview hour, one concert hour) weeks ago from our Lancaster grotto.  And in the same respect, it took me about three weeks to get the episodes up online.  This band was absolutely incredible, and they were unlike any other musical act I’ve had on so far in that they were hardcore with some bite!  If you like rock with some teeth (i.e. Metallica, Marilyn Manson, and Disturbed), then you are absolutely going to LOVE these two shows!  Join Suckerpunch, co-host Alie (Desiderio’s) and myself for two solid hours of boot-stomping, head-banging, Wild Turkey-swilling radio gold!  Here’s the official synopsis:
 
Big Words One Man Mobile Unit Episode 27: A Suckerpunch To The Nuts! (pt.I of II)
   
Tom makes the grave error of a) inviting Buffalo Music Award winning hard rock band Suckerpunch into his home and his heart, b) letting co-host Alie (Desiderio’s) bartend with only Wild Turkey as a hard liquor and c) trying to host a cohesive interview show throughout. Total bedlam ensues as Tom, Alie and the band gear up for a ‘parter of two’ that will rock your f-ing socks off!
    The boys were a bit difficult to herd in for a group session interview wise, but that was part of the fun.  A big thanks goes out to the entire band for lugging about half a million dollars worth of equipment into my home for the full metal experience, Alie for her top notch bartending and co-hosting skills, Phil from Macaroon’s for helping to put me in touch with the boys, and the rest of my apartment building for not calling the cops and hauling us off while Suckerpunch obliterated every eardrum within a five mile radius.  Truly a landmark show.  Listen for yourselves over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
h1

Monday Big Words Update! More More More!

November 18, 2008

Here’s some Monday ‘Talking Points’ for ya:

-‘Sawed Off Sam Walton’ rolls out hot today in the pages of Night Life magazine’s Big Words I Know By Heart print column, which we’re quickly approaching the 2 Year Anniversary Party for at Double D’s Queen City Grill on December 11th!

-I spent two solid hours and got two solid shows from Buffalo Music Awards Hall Of Famer and blues legend Tommy Z.  We talked about some of the American derivatives of the Blues, influences, modern pop, blues and R & B, Gnarls Barkley (?) and Tom was kind enough to intersperce our discussions with crazy licks, play-alongs to some of our favorite blues standards, and many other musical expositions at his multimillion dollar recording studio/compound in the country.  As soon as both shows are up, I will let you know.

-After the interview with ‘Z’, I rushed both shows out to the studio along with 2 Live Monsters Of Verse concerts from last Thursday (Chippewa) and yesterday (Desiderio’s on Broadway).  Thanks again to JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and my ‘la familia’ (sp?) at Desiderio’s for making every event we organize there a time to remember.  Again, when both shows are up, you’ll be the first to know right here!

-Wednesday (if all goes according to plan), I should be sitting down with Irish rock god Kevin McCarthy for a similar session or two right before (you guessed it), the Buffalo Music Awards!  By week’s end, the all three musical explorations with three of the most talented artists in ‘the business of show’ should be up on Think Twice Radio for your enjoyment!  I might have one (technically) two more aces in the hole, but I’m not going to count my chickens etc.  If you want a hint, though, they’re one of my favorite Buffalo Bands and they have something to do with a deadly spider.  Cross your fingers for me! 

That’s it for today.  I got all my assignments done over the weekend which brings me up to speed for a little R & R for the next day or two until the rest of the week takes me away with it.  And don’t forget, Monsters Of Verse at FYE Amherst this Saturday afternoon from 1-4 p.m.!

Cheerio!

Tom Waters

h1

Friday Synopsis: 3 New Radio Shows, Desiderio’s THIS SUNDAY @ 7p.m.!

November 14, 2008
How goes it?
 
    Staying in line with the nutshell scenario’s for these emails (so as not to overload all of you), I’ll make this is as brief as I can:
 
-With the Buffalo Music Awards coming up next Thursday at Coyote’s, I’ve been locking down and scheduling a volley of great Buffalo Music Legends and previous award winners for Big Words Radio.  On Tuesday, I spent five hours with my ‘close, personal showbiz friend’ Michael Bly recording a ‘parter of two’ live at the Hidden Shamrock.  Thanks to Michael Bly, the whole gang at Hidden Shamrock (on Transit between Walden and Broadway) and former room-mate and co-host Charles ‘Chezzie’ Amabile for rolling with the punches!  Part 1 (Episode XVII) is the interview portion where we discuss Bly’s status as a living musical legend.  Part 2 (you guessed it, Episode XVIII) is a live concert with track’s from Mike’s Grammy Award Winning debut album (plug plug, Cliche’) along with some knockout cover songs and previously unreleased songs from his upcoming album.  Dial it up on your skype by clicking over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
    On Wednesday (after last week’s spectacular Big Words show with Uncle Hal), I popped over to his jewel-encrusted mansion/studio to do a cameo/co-host spot on The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal for Episode 61.  I can honestly say that if you combined all of the shows that Hal and I have done, you still wouldn’t approach the level of offensiveness we achieved over the course of the two-hour slam.  Every single human being on the planet who listens to the show is going to want to punch us both in the head, so pop over to Hal’s awesome program at:
 
http://www.powunclehal.blogspot.com
 
    I wouldn’t have a show or the finely tuned sensibilities on my own show (or a show, period) if it weren’t for the Associate’s degree I earned on the seven or eight shows I’ve done with Hal.  A big thanks goes out to Uncle Hal for having me back, getting us both in more trouble, and for his constant advice and support on my own show.  Anyone who’s ever listened to Hal’s show or our shows will attest to that.   If you’re not offended by ANYTHING, hunker down, grab a cold beverage and give it a listen.  Otherwise, avoid it at all costs. 
 
    I’ll be hunkering down for the next three days to finish up two very big assignments with two great Buffalo newspapers that are due by Monday.  The Monsters Of Verse show at Spot Coffee was sweet and Desiderio’s on Broadway this Sunday at 7 p.m. should be even better.  Both shows will be up by Monday night and I’ll throw you an update by then. 
 
    I’m wrapping up there.  Make it out to Desi’s if you can since it’s on my own turf, there are VERY FEW copies of Breathing Room Vol.I and II available for now, and make sure to buy a mountain of drinks, food, tip your servers and above all else (here’s the wind-up, there’s the pitch):
 
BUY OUR GODDAMNED BOOKS!
 
Love,

 
Tom Waters
h1

Newsletter Feed: One Bigass Sit. Rep! Two new podcasts, two new articles and a whole bunch of other stuff!

November 7, 2008
Whew!
 
    You’d think that being jobless would resemble some manner of paradise involving sitting on my ass, eating government cheese and doing absolutely nothing, right?  Wrong.  In the last month, I’ve put more time into my career (writing) now that I don’t have gainful employment than ever before.  I can honestly say that I’m going through one of those quantum leaps marketing-wise.  The kind I haven’t enjoyed since way back in 2001.  Most of my days have been spent schmoozing on the phone until the battery dies out on my portable, writing any number of different personal projects and assignments, blogging and working on my sites as well as those of others, and spending what little time is left in the evening taking care of things around the house and spending time with my wife while shoehorning research into other side projects. 
    Yesterday alone, I got up at eight in the morning, got a good running start at life and didn’t stop until around midnight.  Aside from a ten minute nap, I didn’t stop.  When I get a full-time job, it’s going to be a bit of a relief, because I’ll have the sort of structure again where I can allow myself to rest once in a while.  Even after getting a molar pulled last week and suffering from related migraines, I felt guilty taking a portion of two days in the last seven to relax and recuperate.  With as many hours in the day as I have at my disposal, I still feel as if there isn’t enough time to accomplish everything I’ve been setting out to do. 
    Bret Easton Ellis told me during our interview a few years back that he treated writing like a job, ‘clocking in’ at 9 a.m., breaking for lunch and then banging out of work around 5 p.m.  I wish I could stop that early.  While tiring, I realize how crucial the time I’ve been given is.  I’ve decided that I’ll be taking this holiday season away from the horrific nightmare that is retail to actually enjoy spending time with my family (new and old) for the first time in 16 years in addition to working on the multitude of projects that are currently under construction or already in progress.  As you may or may not know, the next two essay collections (Slapstick & Superego as well as Merry Prankster) are complete.  I haven’t penned a shred of new poetry for two weeks, but Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick (the next poetry collection) is well over 140 pages without even including the freaky 50 page project I worked on in July (‘Rock/Pop Goes The Weasel’).  And then there are the freelancing assignments….
    My beloved editor at Gusto (Brian Connelly) is apparently moving me up to the big leagues in terms of freelancing and I couldn’t be more grateful.  In addition to the Club Watch bar reviews, he’ll be phasing me into their ‘Tell Me’ section at the very FRONT of Gusto (page two after the front page), conducting interviews with artists, writers and musicians on the cusp of making their big break inside as well as outside of Buffalo.  In regards to that, I’m going to humbly request that if any of you know of an artist (preferably a musician or band) with an upcoming gig in November or December who doesn’t have a firmly established fan base and deserves a wider audience, please email me at once with biographical as well as contact information.  My musical tastes tend to run about twenty or thirty years behind, so I’m woefully ignorant where current up-and-comers are concerned. 
    ArtVoice has also given me the green light on one of two projects I hatched during the idea-storm I was besieged with on my honeymoon at Silvercreek in early October.  With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I’ll be writing a piece about the hot spots to hit on the day before Thanksgiving, which happens to be the biggest party night of the year, eclipsing even New Year’s Eve and/or St. Patrick’s Day.  Again, if you happen to be ‘in the know’ on a bar, club or pub that blows the doors off business wise before the turkey hits the table, drop me a line.  My deadline window is one week, and I NEVER miss deadline.  It’s one of the qualities that’s reinforced my reputation as a serious writer in Buffalo and I’m certainly not going to call that into question now. 
    Yesterday, I had the pleasure and privelage (sp?) of recording an hour long show plus with my podcasting hero Uncle Hal from the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal show.  He was my first choice after being offered my own show at Think Twice and with zero notes, bullet points or questions, we managed to fill 70 minutes worth of the most offensive, irreverent comedy imaginable.  If Hal didn’t have an appointment, I seriously would have gone for two hour-long shows in a row.  I raced Episode XV out as soon as I could and my producer Richard Wicka at Think Twice uploaded it at once.  I strongly encourage you to listen at once over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
    I had some issues finding the new episode with more luck refreshing on Internet Explorer, so if you don’t see Episode XV (and the subsequent ‘Bonus Round’), click Refresh and cross your fingers.  I’m not sure if the site is experiencing technical difficulties, but I’ll be getting to the bottom of it over the weekend.
    In addition to the Big Words One Man Mobile Unit, the Monsters Of Verse are full steam ahead.  I returned to Clarence High School on Tuesday to teach my first workshop on the mechanics of poetry as well as writing in general to Ms. Foster’s Poetry Club while recording the event.  That episode (#3, for those keeping track) can be heard over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html
    
    Once again, I experienced issues finding the newest episode of each show on AOL, so if you have Internet Explorer, you’re better off visiting the site from there. 
    And last night, the Monsters Of Verse launched their second official reading at Talking Leaves on Main St. in Amherst.  JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and myself kicked off the evening in alphabetical order with fifteen minute sets of amusing, insightful and philosophical poems that the crowd really seemed to respond well to.  Due to a small snafu regarding our start time (I forgot that we started at 6 p.m. instead of 7), we read for an additional forty minutes for the sake of entertaining those who showed at or shortly after 7 o’clock.  Twenty minutes of the second set were lost from the digital recorder, so if you weren’t there, you won’t get to hear it once the non-stop rock block of genius goes up online.  Depending on where my day (and my weekend) take me, Episode IV of the Monsters Of Verse should be up on the web by Sunday afternoon at the latest.  I’ll shoot you all an email when I’m positive that it’s up. 
    I’ve had a lot of time to think in the last four weeks.  One of the things I was turning around in my head yesterday was just how…overjoyed I am to have two like-minded creative maniacs to tour Buffalo and beyond with for the next six months.  With Jeff Finlayson and Carrie Gardner on deck, I honestly couldn’t ask for two other people I’d rather be out and about reading with.  Aside from sustaining, supporting and inspiring each other, they remain my dear friends and I’m not so much surprised with how well our collective dynamic is growing and improving so much as I’m pleased with the results.  Maybe we’ll hate each other come the beginning of May, but I doubt it.  Their talent, professionalism and their knockout prognostication skills continue to sustain and inform my burgeoning poetry skills.  At the risk of getting gooey, thank you, Jeff and Carrie.  Our events (and this project) are a feather in our cap that I’m very, very proud of.  I realize that putting up with my thousand event-related emails, phone calls and frequent tantrums is far from fun to deal with (just ask my wife), and your respective patience and professionalism is slowly molding me into a better team player.  You two are the best.
    Our next stop on the quest for global spoken word domination hits next Thursday (the 13th) at Spot Coffee on Delaware and Chippewa from 7-9 p.m.  Three days later, we’ll be at my favorite bar, Desiderio’s on Broadway on Sunday the 16th at 7 p.m. with special musical guest Shaky Stage.  Attendance so far has been admirable, but where the hell have you guys been?  Carrie has brought the majority of our audience and I’m embarrassed to say that most of the Big Words army have been missing in action.  PLEASE make the time to show your face for one (if not both) of the next two events.  I’m disappointed in the total lack of support in terms of these promotions where you’re all concerned, and it would be nice to see some if not all of you out during this new experiment in our collective creative careers.  While I realize that our performances are not at the top of your list, you’re missing out.  We’ve had a great big barrel of fun so far and it’s only going to get better as we continue to sharpen our skill set on the road.  Forget everything you know about poetry and give us a try.  I promise that we won’t let you down, and the after-parties thus far have been phenomenal.  I’ll leave it at that.
    And, on a final note, two new articles popped up online this week.  This month’s issue of Acid Logic is rolling out hot at 15 mph with ‘Sawed Off Sam Walton’, a strangely topical essay about spending half of my life in the hell known as retail.  Read all about it over at:
 
http://www.acidlogic.com/retail_sucks.htm
 
    And after a month long unintentional hiatus from comic book reviews, I put my nose back to the grind and started pumping a few new graphic novel critiques and sending them off to my new editor at Comics Bulletin.  You can catch them every Wednesday on www.comicsbulletin.com.  Top Shelf Comics has been kind enough to send me more than my share of advance copies, review copies and entire libraries for research purposes having to do with the radio show, and one of the books they sent me stood head and shoulders above anything I’ve read this year.  Despite what you might think, I actually do read comics that don’t have Batman in the title.  This previous Wednesday, I gave Nate Powell’s Swallow Me Whole the credit it truly deserved.  Check that review out over at:
 
http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/
 
    You may have to scroll down a tad as my show-notes inform me that it is no longer Wednesday and there isn’t a direct link to each review.  Since the Swallow Me Whole review, I’ve been hard at work building up a stockpile of other new reviews so that there aren’t any gaps on that site.  I’m neurotic about taking advantage of each and every site and publication I write for and I hate to be tardy to the party with any of them unless it’s absolutely unavoidable.  Writing comic reviews is a labor of love and it doesn’t even feel like work to fire off 5 or 600 words about every book I shovel into my brain.  Excelsior!
    That should be all the news that’s fit to print for the time being.  Thanks are in order to: JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner, Richard Wicka, Greg Sterlace (farewell and good luck, new friend!), Jonathan at Talking Leaves, Josh Smith, Uncle Hal, Wil Forbis, Thom Young and last but not least, my wife.  Lindsay has had to endure hell and back and back around again in the last four months.  This wrongful termination from Gamestop was another curveball that we didn’t deserve or anticipate.  She’s a real trooper, and without her love, support and reliability, I’d be well past the point of sanity by now.  I love you, chipmunk! 
    Oof.  One final word.  Now that Hal has popped onto my show, I’ll be doing a walk-on over on his.  We’ll be recording Episode 61 (or is it 62?) next week and you know I’ll give you the head’s up once it’s online.  The two of us are the politically correct equivalent of a keg full of dynamite strapped to a minivan doused in nitroglycerin whenever we get near a microphone.  The Big Words episode was brutal, but now that we’re back in the groove, our show on his site will be worse.  You have been officially warned.  Have a great weekend,

 
Tom Waters
h1

Final Calendar Of Events For Fiscal Year 2008/Some Promotional Spots for ’09

October 15, 2008

Monsters Of Verse/Breathing Room Bookings Fall/Winter/Spring 08/09:

Friday, October 24th, 7 p.m., Think Twice Studios, Greg Sterlace t.v. show (Tom only)

Saturday, October 25th, 7 p.m., The Center For Inquiry, Amherst (Monsters Of Verse)

Tuesday, October 28th 8 p.m., Clarence High School, Poetry Club, Lit Mag reading, Q/A (Tom Waters only)

Wednesday, October 29th, 7 p.m., Think Twice Radio Studios, Big Words Interview with award winning comic writer/artist Jeff Brown (Top Shelf) and special co-host Michael Hagler (Tom only)

Friday, October 31st, 7 p.m., Think Twice Studios, Greg Sterlace t.v. show (Tom only)

Tuesday, November 4th, 8 a.m., Clarence High School, Poetry Club, Lit Mag workshop (Tom Waters only)

Thursday, November 6th or 20th Main St., Talking Leaves Books, Main St. (Monsters Of Verse)

Sunday, November 16th, 7pm, Desiderio’s on Broadway, (Monsters Of Verse)

Tuesday, November 18th, 7:55 a.m.-1:35 p.m., East Aurora High School English Honors presentation(s) (Tom only)

Saturday, November 22nd, FYE Transit (Amherst), 1-4pm, (Monsters Of Verse)

Thursday, November 13th, 7-9pm, Spot Coffee, Delaware & Chippewa (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, December 6th, 1-4pm, FYE Hamburg (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, December 13th, 3 p.m. -3 a.m. Tom & Lindsay’s pad, Batman marathon party, invite only.

Sunday, December 14th, Buffalo Indie Market appearance (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, February 7th, 1-4 p.m., FYE, Transit, Signing (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, February 7th, 6 p.m.-?, Don’s Atomic Comics!, Tom’s Atomic Poetry Kegger w/Monsters of Verse! Free beer for anyone with a book by Tom Waters, additional store discounts for everyone who brings a girl.

Wednesday, May 6th, 7 pm, Center For Inquiry (Monsters Of Verse)

h1

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

August 27, 2008

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

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

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

www.thinktwiceradio.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters

h1

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

August 7, 2008
Cost Of A Bicycle Horn: $5
Cost Of Gas Transporting Insane and Heavily Sleep Depraved Radio Host: $3.50
Cost Of Medium Red Bull and 20 oz. Coca Cola Classic: $4
Cost Of 8 Pack, Guinness Stout: $12
Cost Of Friendship With Guest Co-Host Intentionally Bald Mike Due To Obvious and Brutal Homosexual References To His Personal Persuasion: $200
Cost Of Stomach Cramps Due To Pissing My Pants Listening To Show Two Times In A Row: $40
Cost Of Any Career Legs Up From Award Winner Alex Robinson: $4 Million
Cost Of Never Getting To Use Previously Mentioned Bicycle Horn Again Due To Giving Radio Producer ‘a headache’: $?
Cost Of Visit To Therapist Resulting In Sociopathic Comedic Freedom: $50 Co-Pay
 
Cost Of The Best Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Show Yet?
 
Priceless.
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
Every single one of you NEEDS to listen to Episode III with Alex Robinson and guest co-host Mike Hilliard.  Thanks to Alex for being such a great sport, Hilliard for taking it sitting down over and over again (You LOVED it!), and to Richard Wicka for incurring a comedically-inspired migraine.  There is no way to describe this episode.  Treat yourself and then go back and listen to the other two if you haven’t caught them.  Slide whistles and bicycle horns.  The bicycle horn for the first and, indeed, final time.  Historic.  I’ll have to think of another prop next month in the studio for guest co-host gun-nut Brendan  and adult film star call in interviewee Brandy Dean.  Enjoy,
 
Tom Waters 
h1

Knockin’ Em Dead: Monsters Of Verse Aftermath

June 18, 2008

While I wasn’t too happy with the elements (f you too, god!), we survived the brutal hail in time to bring in a rock star crowd at Desiderio’s on Broadway for our Monsters Of Verse performance. Carrie Gardner started out with a well-structured sampling of her new book, Evil Is A Terrific, Rubbery Goblet, Shaky Stage brought the house down with a great set of original compositions, and I did some of my nonsense for roughly 21 minutes. We had a great crowd, sold some books, sold some CDs, and generally partied like it was day that wasn’t a Monday. If you missed the show and you want to catch the readings in all their audial glory, click yourself over to:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/sue-marie/sue-marie.html

Many thanks to Jay, Bobby and the rest of the gang at Desiderio’s for letting us stage the event. Thanks also to Carrie Gardner, Shaky Stage, Rich, Sue and Josh at Think Twice Radio for sponsoring, recording and producing the event. And don’t forget the Think Twice web site, because as of next week, the Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour is going live! For comic enthusiasts like Shawn Buffum and other well-read intellectuals, I’ll have Don and Ian from Don’s Atomic Comics on for the first episode to talk comic books and other such geekery for the ‘legion of geeks’ that I belong to. ‘Nuff said.

That’s all I’ve got for today. I put in a good eight hours yesterday writing, schmoozing and freelancing and I have no intention of repeating it today, so check out the pics, have a great week and tune in next Monday for Big Words radio!

h1

‘Lancaster Feels Like Home To Me’ (aka ‘Love Letter To Lancaster’) hits My View today in The Buffalo News

June 10, 2008

     I was just telling Lindsay last night (after we got home from a marathon of registering gifts at Target and JC Penney’s for our wedding) that I really hoped the My View piece ran within the next week.  With the performance coming up in six days now, there’s no such thing as too much press to raise awareness.  And lo and behold, I checked the Buffalo News web site this morning to find out that my happy, ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’ style fluff piece grabbed some ink in the My View section.  If you’ve been following ‘Big Buffalo I Know By Heart’ on YourHub, you saw it there first over a month and a half ago in it’s entirety.  If you haven’t, then pick up a copy of the News on stands or click yourself over to:

http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/myview/story/366572.html

     I’m still upset at any hint of extra business that Ronny’s Takeout might get from gaining mention in the article and would like to stress again that I’m never ordering wings, pizza or anything else from them.  My buddy Ron and I ordered some wings from Desiderio’s on Sunday and they were top notch.  Not quite as perfect as they are when we order in the restaurant, but they’re getting within a stone’s throw of it.  I’ll give the takeout batch a 7 out of 10, which is still head and shoulders above whatever passes for competition out here. 

     I was also ecstatic to find my reviewer’s copy of Too Cool To Be Forgotten in my mailbox yesterday.  I tore through it in one sitting and punched up a 400 word review on spec for Jeff Simon (the arts editor at the News who, frankly, needs no introduction).  I’m crossing my fingers that the book review makes the grade.  As for my print interview with Alex Robinson, that’s found a home with a paper/web empire I haven’t worked with yet in Buffalo.  Any guesses?  Well I’m not telling yet.  I’m really excited, though.  It seems like whoever reads these sites only has the attention span to digest two to three posts per week, and there’s already so much going on that I don’t want the announcement to get lost in the mix, so I’ll wait until I get back from vacation.  But let’s just say that I’m crossing the pond in alternative journalism and that there are great new allegiences on the ho-Rising.  Hmph, ho-Rising isn’t a word, is it?  Oh well… 

h1

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

h1

Monday Big Words Update! 2 Weeks to Monsters Of Verse/3 Weeks Until Big Words Radio!

June 2, 2008

     It’s really bizaare how these short forays back into creative activity gather their own momentum, isn’t it?  The new material continues throughout June in the pages of Night Life magazine with ‘The Great Recession’, one of my shorter pieces about the rise in gas prices and the effect it’s had on the economy which, unfortunately, was rejected as a My View submission at the Buffalo News.  You can’t win ’em all, and sometimes, they’ll reject pieces that were too similar to recently published works.  I don’t read the News every day, so perhaps someone beat me to the punch.  At any rate, I’m running the piece in the Big Words column because I think it makes some valid points and it’s a subject that everyone can relate to, and that all of us have been griping about for months.

     Moving on to other business, the Monsters Of Verse show at Desiderio’s in Lancaster (8 PM) is two weeks from today (Monday the 16th)!  Carrie Gardner, Shaky Stage and myself are starting to get really excited about the performance and Carrie and I have decided to make the rounds at the Center For Inquiry open literary reading this Wednesday at 7 pm to see some old faces, meet some fresh ones and promote the event to a demographic that’s perfect for it.    If you received an Evite or a Myspace event invite, please take the time to RSVP either way so that myself and the crack team at Desi’s have an idea of what sort of crowd to expect/prepare for.  I also mentioned during the middle of last week that Think Twice Radio will be sponsoring the event and recording the entire performance for future podcasting purposes, so if you show up, clap loudly and laugh heartily! 

     Also, now that I’ve agreed to take Think Twice up on their offer for my own radio hour, I’ve been putting the pieces together for the first three or four shows.  Guests have been booked, formulas have been employed, formats have been cobbled together and three weeks from yesterday (Sunday the 22nd), the Big Words I Know By Heart radio show will be born!  May god have mercy on us all.  I don’t want to let too much out of the bag too soon, but I’ve got some big plans for the show.  You won’t want to miss out on the first episode, I can guarantee you that. 

     And in case you missed it, I logged a rather extensive play-by-play on the David Fincher critique I’ve been laboring away on for the last year and a half.  If you’re a fan of the director (or just curious as to what the hell I’m talking about), scroll down to ‘Finding Fincher’. 

     And that’s all the news that’s fit to print this week.  Scoop up your copy of Night Life, fill out your dance card on Evite and Myspace Events, and count the days down until the Monsters Of Verse and the Big Words I Know By Heart radio hour.  A storm’s brewing over Buffalo, and some call it Hurricane Buy My Book!  Just kidding.  Talk to you next week (or sooner),

Tom Waters

     

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Week 79 on stands/3 Weeks to the Monsters Of Verse/Think Twice Radio Gig Tomorrow!

May 26, 2008

Whelp, after a week of kicking back and freezing my ass of in Rushford and three days and two nights at Lindsay’s folks’ cabin in Angola, I can honestly say I’m rested and relaxed and ready to get back to the grind.  With no real promotional plan or upcoming book to promote, the engagements are piling back up anyway.  Gusto ran the Riley St. Station bar review on Friday and last Monday saw the conclusion to ‘Perpetual Estrogen’ in my Big Words I Know By Heart column in Night Life magazine.  Today, ‘Quiet Time Or Else’ hits the stands in the pages of Night Life magazine, a blind rant on the agitations of uncontrollable noise pollution.  Tomorrow (after a long delay dating back to last August), I’ll be hunkering down in the booth with poet, promotional wunderkind and music reviewer/interview Susan Marie for her show, ‘This is NOT the apple’ on Think Twice radio.  I’m not sure when it will be done with production and so forth, but keep checking over at: www.thinktwiceradio.com for details and I’ll throw up a post when I’m sure. 

     And after years of talking about it and originally missing a scheduled headline reading at the Center For Inquiry that we booked a year in advance, Carrie Gardner and myself with finally be sharing the stage together (along with the band Shaky Stage) at Desiderio’s on Broadway on Monday, June 16th at 8pm.  For all the details, scroll down to the previous post, but we’re three weeks away and this will in all likelihood be the ONLY time I’ll be performing on stage and signing the final batch of first edition hardcovers for If They Can’t Take A Joke at $20 a pop.   That night isn’t really about me, though.   The spotlight is on Carrie and Evil Is A Terrific, Rubbery Goblet, her phenomenal collection of very accessible and newby friendly poetry and prose which she’s selling for a cool $10.  I read it in one sitting, I’ve been a huge fan of her work since I interviewed her for ArtVoice back in 2004, and this is her first book of collected work.  If you can make it out that Monday and bring friends, do so.  And the gang at Desiderio’s have become (as I’m sure you know by now), dear, dear friends of mine.  I’ve reviewed a million bars for a million different papers over the years, but Desi’s is the only place where I hang my hat and I consider it a second home.  I’ve also come to know the band members for Shaky Stage and they’ve got some great songs and a rock-solid stage act in their own right.  We’re three weeks away.  Mark your calendar, rally up some people and make the trip.  You’ll be glad you did. 

That’s all I’ve got for today.  After being out of town on and off for so long, I’m chasing deadline on some new columns for Night Life for June, so I need to hammer out at least one more new piece for next month.  Have a fantastic Memorial Day and I’ll drop some more knowledge on you later in the week,

Tom Waters   

 

h1

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!

h1

Why I’ll Never Order From Ronny’s Pizza In Lancaster Again….

May 12, 2008

Perhaps you’d find this post petty and inconsequential, but then again, I love a good feud.  When Lindsay and I moved to Lancaster three years ago, I went on a quest to find the best pizza and wings in Lancaster, and I failed time and again.  After growing up in Clarence, I was spoiled.  They can’t make a decent pie and an order of wings out here to save their lives.  Believe me, I’ve tried them all.  I went through a decathlon of local shops and they all failed the test.  I tried Rocko’s, Rivas, Picasso’s, Penora’s, you name it, and they all failed with flying colors.  For a few months, we started getting wings from Ronnie’s on Como Park and Aurora.  The wings were inconsistent, and they messed up the order half of the time but they were the best I could get out here.  Their sauce never cut it but I got by with a bottle of Red Devil hot sauce for a seasoner and/or a home brew from Rich, my future brother in law.  I have a near-fanatical love for wings and all I ask for is consistency.  When we got our apartment and started having parties to invite friends over, we ordered two buckets of wings from Ronnie’s.  We set a time for the order and Lindsay showed up five minutes early.  One of the guys behind the counter chewed her out for showing up before the designated time.  That pissed me off.  We went two years without ordering food from them again.  Six months ago, I decided to give them a second chance and the wings were fantastic.  A week later when I ordered again for guy’s night, not so good.  Over the course of the last four months, Ron and myself have been ordering wings from there.  Every time I order and they give me a set time over the phone, it’s ten to fifteen minutes over the time they predict.  Two weeks ago, I placed an order and picked up a double of wings.  At least that’s what I paid for.  When I got home, I found out that they shorted me by five wings.  Now in my old age, it takes a lot to push me over the edge, so I called and calmly and politely explained that I ordered and paid for a double of wings and got fifteen instead.  The manager (or whoever it was on the phone) apologized, took my home address, and assured me that ‘the owner’ would ‘send me something’ in the mail.  It’s been three weeks now and I don’t think that the mail is that slow.  Henceforth, I’m finished with Ronnie’s.  I ordered a triple of wings from Johnny J’s across the street today and they were phenomenal and reasonably priced.  Do me (and yourself) a favor and boycott Ronnie’s in Lancaster.  If the owner (or owner’s) still spend any time at their pizzeria, they obviously coudn’t care less about regular business.  I regret that I gave them a nod in my My View column and I recant what I said about getting wings from them every week.  In a town flooded with pizzeria’s, quality with every order means something.  Ronnie’s failed every single time with me.  Don’t order any food from them.  Do yourself a favor.  Slap me in the face once, shame on me.  Slap me in the face twice, shame on you.  Slap me a third time and I’ll make it my life’s endeavor to bad mouth you.  If you live in Lancaster, don’t order any food from Ronnie’s.  Ever.  I won’t spend a penny at your shop again.  Great job at following up on cordial customer complaints, you worthless fucks.  I take back what I said in the My View column.  Have I made my point?  I hope so.  If anyone in Lancaster can learn how to make a decent pie and a bucket of wings, please let me know.  In the mean time, I’ll be ordering my wings from Johhny J’s and seasoning them with aftermarket sauce.  Yours,

Tom Waters

%d bloggers like this: